Manny Charlton, Founding Nazareth Guitarist, Dead at 80

    Manny Charlton, founding guitarist of the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, has died at the age of 80. The guitarist’s grandson, Jamie, confirmed the news on social media, sharing a photo with the caption “RIP Grandad.” No cause of death was provided.

    Charlton was born in Andalusia, southern Spain, on July 25, 1941. Having relocated to Dunfermline, Scotland in the 1940s, he co-founded Nazareth in 1968 with singer Dan McCafferty, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. The band opened for Deep Purple on their 1971 tour and started playing their own headline shows a few years later. Deep Purple’s bassist, Roger Glover, would produce several of the band’s early albums, but Charlton took over for 1975’s Hair of the Dog, which featured the hit title track as well as the ballad ‘Love Hurts’, a cover of the 1960 track by the Everly Brothers.

    In the 1980s, Axl Rose enlisted Charlton to produce Guns N’ Roses’ iconic 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction. Though Charlton did not end up producing the final version of the album, the band’s sessions with the guitarist were later included on the 2018 reissue of the LP.

    Charlon left Nazareth in 1990, after the band released their 17th studio album, 1989’s Snakes ‘N’ Ladders. He issued his first solo album, Drool, in 1997, and went on to release several other solo records, including 2013’s Hellacious, which featured guest appearances from Tim Bogert, Walfredo Reyes, Jr., Steven Adler, Vivian Campbell, and Robyn DeLarenzo. His final project was the 2018 best-of compilation Creme de la Creme.

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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