Heart’s iconic riff for “Barracuda” is very recognizable, but it turns out not completely original. In a new interview, guitarist Nancy Wilson reveals where they “borrowed” the riff from.
Wilson says that they came up with the idea while touring as the opener for Nazareth in Europe. “Nazareth had a hit with this Joni Mitchell song that they covered, called ‘This Flight Tonight,’ that kind of had that riff” she explains. “So we kind of borrowed that and we made it into ‘Barracuda.’”
Naturally, once Nazareth heard their guitar chugging in the song, they weren’t very happy. But Wilson notes that in music, “that’s what everybody does – you borrow.” Plus, Heart added their own flare to the riff that made it their own. Check out a clip of the interview.