Slash Reveals If Guns N’ Roses Sucked Without Him

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In a new Kerrang interview, Slash discussed watching Guns N’ Roses perform prior to joining the band himself, and he said he was a fan of the very early version of the band.

The Kerrang writer asked, “Can you remember how you felt when you first heard Axl Rose singing?”

Slash responded, “The first time was on a cassette that Izzy [Stradlin, co-founding Guns N’ Roses guitarist] brought over to my house. There was all this noise and then there’s this really intense high voice over the top of it. My first impression was that it was very soulful. It had a bluesy, melodic thing to it, which was rare for that type of voice. You didn’t often hear somebody hold that melody together so naturally. Then I went to see him and Izzy play one time. I didn’t actually realise I was going to see the same person that was on that cassette. They were fucking hardcore on stage. Izzy was doing knee slides and Axl was bashing down. It was cool, like, ’Fuck…’”

In 1984, Hollywood Rose member Izzy Stradlin was living with L.A. Guns member Tracii Guns. When L.A. Guns needed a new vocalist, Stradlin suggested Hollywood Rose singer Axl Rose.[1] Months later, Guns N’ Roses was formed in March 1985 by Rose, rhythm guitarist Stradlin, along with L.A. Guns founders lead guitarist Guns, drummer Rob Gardner and bassist Ole Beich.

Their first show, promoted as “L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose presents Guns N Roses”, was on March 26, 1985. After this show, Beich was fired and replaced by Duff McKagan. Around this time, the band planned to release an EP with “Don’t Cry”, a cover of “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Think About You” and “Anything Goes”; the band demoed the songs during their first radio interview. However, plans for the release fell through, as Guns left the band after an argument with Rose leading to his replacement by Rose and Stradlin’s one-time Hollywood Rose bandmate, Slash.