SLASH Speaks Out About G N’ R and Golden Gods Awards
RS: Did you ever consider just not going to the induction ceremony?
Slash: My whole thing was that I really, in my heart of hearts, wanted to have the whole original band [to] get together and actually perform, which I sort of knew was wishful thinking. When the whole thing first came up, that’s basically what I wanted to do. It became apparent that that wasn’t going to happen. I was like, “Oh fuck,” and I was sort of disillusioned with the whole thing, but there was that commitment that was sort of made that I was going to go, and I thought Axl was still going to go, and it wasn’t until the last minute that I heard that he wasn’t coming, and that’s when we all decided we were just going to go ahead and play anyway. Early on, when it was probably more confusing than necessary, I have to admit, I was like, “Oh fuck, I don’t really want to go to this if we’re not going to play,” though I never said, “No, I’m not going to go.” But it was sort of a black cloud for a few months there. Before that I thought we were just going to show up and not play, which is what I was resigned to.
RS: At what point did you decide to play?
Slash: It was literally two days before the actual ceremony. The day that the press release came out and Axl said he wasn’t coming, we had the Golden Gods awards, and it was in the dressing room there that Duff and I talked. We said, “OK, we’re just going to fucking get together and play,” and Duff goes, “We should get Myles.” I was talking to Duff about who was going to sing, I thought Duff would sing, him and Gilby, but Duff said, “What about Myles?” It hadn’t occurred to me, really. I talked to Myles about it, he was apprehensive about getting put in that position, so at first, he turned it down, but finally he said, “OK, I’ll do it.” We got it all together and we put together a little rehearsal the night before and did our thing.
RS: What was it like rehearsing? Watching it, it’s not that different from Velvet Revolver, but it felt super different.
Slash: I hadn’t played with Gilby in a long time, and I hadn’t played Guns N’ Roses songs with Steven in fucking 18 years or something like that. It was all sort of a little bit foreign at first, the first five, 10 minutes of whatever the first songs were we were playing, it took a second, and after a couple of minutes, it started to fall into place. It was fun, I had a really fucking good time.
RS: This had been weighing on Steven for a long time, and he said he feels like the chapter is closed and he can move on.
Slash: Yeah, I think it did that for all of us. I didn’t have any illusions or delusions of GNR getting back together for anything. I maybe tried to see it happen for this one particular event, I didn’t have high hopes for that, I didn’t feel confident it was going to happen, but having done this one gig, and for the event itself, when it was all said and done, it really felt like closing the book on the whole thing.
RS: Some people could say you played so well because it was a fuck you to someone who wasn’t there, but it sounds like it came from a more positive place.
Slash: Yeah, it had nothing to do with that. It might have come together because basically we felt a sense of loyalty to the enthusiasm from the fans. We’re proud of this moment, and I’m talking about legions of Guns fans who are really excited about the prospects of something happening so we can accept this fucking acknowledgement or whatever. I think that was really the glue that held us all together to get past whatever the differences were and just go up and be there. So it was a really good feeling for all the right reasons. It wasn’t because we were trying to wag our finger at anybody or try to be vengeful in any way. It was an homage to the fans, and then standing there and individually accepting the honor, you really felt we’d arrived at a certain place, the band as a whole, the records that we’ve made and all that stuff.
Read Slash’s entire interview with Rolling Stone by clicking here.