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R.I.P. Manny Charlton, Nazareth Guitarist Dead at 80

Charlton appeared on hits like "Hair of the Dog," and also produced demos for Guns N' Roses

Nazareth's Manny Charlton dies death dead obituary
Nazareth’s Manny Charlton, photo by Fin Costello/Redferns
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    Manny Charlton, the guitarist who founded the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, has died at age 80. Charlton’s grandson, Jamie, first announced the news on Facebook, and the band later confirmed his passing, with bassist Pete Agnew writing, “I believe his death was sudden and not illness related.”

    Born July 25th, 1941 in Spain, Charlton formed Nazareth 1968 with Agnew, singer Dan McCafferty, and drummer Darrell Sweet. The quartet previously played together in the band The Shadettes. They released their eponymous debut album as Nazareth in 1971, and went on to release such classics as 1975’s Hair of the Dog, which yielded the hit title track and the band’s notable cover of The Everly Brothers’ “Love Hurts.”

    Like many guitarists at the time, Charlton was inspired by the blues, and Nazareth’s sound earned the approval of Deep Purple, who recruited the group to open for them on a 1971 tour. Later, Nazareth so inspired one band, Guns N’ Roses, that Axl Rose enlisted Charlton to produce their iconic 1987 album Appetite for Destruction. While Charlton didn’t end up producing the final cut of the album (Nazareth’s recording duties forced him to return to Europe), the tapes from Guns N’ Roses’ recording sessions with the guitarist appeared on a 2018 reissue of the album.

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    Charlton left Nazareth in 1990 and released his first solo album, Drool, in 1997. He went on to release several other solo records, including 2013’s Hellacious, which featured contributions from Tim Bogert, Walfredo Reyes, Jr., Steven Adler, Vivian Campbell, and Robyn DeLarenzo.

    Our condolences go out to Manny Charlton’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time. See Nazareth performing their classic hits in the video clips below.

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