Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash was revealed that he had a new song that later became “The One You Loved Is Gone” rejected by the AMC show The Walking Dead in a new Basel Meets podcast interview.
“We never really discussed [the lyrical approach prior to writing it] … Whenever we write music or write anything, I’ll just come up with a very simple arrangement of ideas for one song, and [Myles Kennedy will] start coming up with melodies. And we’ll work up the whole song, the whole arrangement together with Brent [Fitz, drums] and Todd [Kerns, bass] and get it so that we have all the arrangements together. And then, when we’re in the studio is when the ideas for his lyrics really crystalize. So where his ideas for lyrics come from could be a completely different place from where the music idea came from.
“Initially, that song was inspired — believe it or not… I wrote the intro for [AMC zombie drama] ‘The Walking Dead’. Because at that time, ‘The Walking Dead’ didn’t really have any other music outside of its score music, and so I was trying to push them to play an original song on there. But they wouldn’t go for it. ‘Cause it’s me, and they don’t wanna have any recognizable existing names as part of ‘The Walking Dead’ world. And so it never happened, but it was always a good musical idea. And I introduced it to Myles to see if would come up with something so we could create a song for ‘The Walking Dead’. So he had some melodies and whatnot, but the lyrics became something completely different by the time we recorded it in 2018.”
Slash previously said that his original musical idea for “The One You Loved Is Gone” was played on an electric guitar that wasn’t even plugged in, recorded on to his phone and sent to somebody at “The Walking Dead”‘s music department.
“And, you know, when I listened back to the recording, I couldn’t even believe that I had the balls to send it in — it was just this scratchy, unplugged electric guitar, like, ‘Hey! I’ve got an idea!'” he said. ‘There was no way anybody else would have been able to understand what I was hearing in it. But anyway, it was one of these ideas I stuck with because I thought that musically it was pretty cool. I remember working on it with Myles here and there, and by the time the band started playing it at rehearsals earlier this year, it had evolved into something a little different than what it was initially. Then Myles came up with this great verse and chorus and it shaped up to be a really pretty song.”
Myles Kennedy added, “When Slash reintroduced it at rehearsals, I think that’s where it really started to come together for me. I was sitting in a hotel in L.A. and the first line, ‘And I wonder even now whatever came of you…’ just popped into my head. I said, ‘That’s a really strong hook. Now we’re getting somewhere.’ And I chased it down from there. And what’s interesting is that it sounds like I’m singing about a longing for a lost romance, or some sort of human relationship. But the lyrics are actually about missing a dog that I had to leave behind at my parents’ house when I started touring years ago — a chow chow/golden retriever mix named Cinnamon. [Laughs] He was already a little older by that point, and eventually he passed away. But he was such a great dog. So, yeah — the song’s essentially about Cinnamon!”