Taken From BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
Q: "Catcher N' The Rye" is one of the best songs on the ["Chinese Democracy"] album. Why no Brian? [QUEEN guitarist Brian May recorded a guest appearance on the track back in 1999, but his contributions were removed from the final album version of the song.]
Axl: "There's a few reasons, and none of them all that big and definitely not in spite or to slight anyone.
"First off, obviously I knew people liked the song, but the Brian appreciation really only showed up in force publicly after we had moved on in GUNS. In fact, not many seemed to care and most comments were aimed at why Slash, in their opinions, should be here.
"Brian's solo itself is a personal fave of mine and I really couldn't understand, as he's such a rock legend, why it wasn't openly appreciated more at the time.
"In actuality, all that feel and emotion referred to now had a lot to do with Sean [Beavan, one of the producers who worked on 'Chinese Democracy'] and I and the parts I chose out of Brian's different runs, versions, practice runs, etc., to make sure we had those elements in one version. It's entirely constructed from edits based around one specific note Brian hit in a throwaway take. And though Brian seems to have warmed a bit to it, at least publicly, he was unfortunately none too pleased at the time with our handiwork. I remember looking at Brian standing to my left and him staring at the big studio speakers a bit aghast saying, 'But that's not what I played.'
"Sean Beavan and I were not in any way tring to mess with Brian, we just did what we do and then try and do our best to stand up for our decisions."