Axl Rose on The Slash-Related Trap To End His Solo Career

Axl Rose

Former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese recently revealed a Slash-related trap that might have ended the solo career of Axl Rose in an interview with Songfacts.

After departing Pearl Jam in 1994, the musician almost joined Guns N’ Roses as their drummer a few years later. The band was going through a confusing period at the time, having seen several members come and go and not putting out new music or touring for several years.

When questioned about his recollections of his time working with GNR, Dave said, “The Guns incident was difficult. Before we met in person and started performing music together, Axl [Rose] and I got to know one another over several months of late phone calls. I was experiencing severe soul poisoning as a result of my manager’s handling of my termination from Pearl Jam, so it was a difficult time for me. That’s why I was afraid to use the big machine again. Everything was going great until I told the GNR management that I thought the new material would work better on an Axl solo album than a GNR album.

Management’s Plan And Abbruzzese’s Dilemma

He continued, recalling his phone conversations with the GNR management:

“Doug Smith, who is most likely Doug Goldstein, who was the Guns’ manager at the time, informed me that the label and management intended to use the album we were recording as a springboard to get Axl and Slash back together. It was intended to let him fail in the hopes that, should he fail, he would be motivated to team up with Slash and get the big train back on track. I had to decide whether to tell Axl about it or to just give up when I heard this. I believed that informing him of their scheme would shatter the meager trust he still harbored for the machine.

Prioritizing Axl Rose Creative Independence Over Friendship

Finally, Abbruzzese continued, explaining why he decided not to reveal the plan:

I decided to bite my tongue and give up my new friendship to support Axl’s ability to be a creative force. Though it was a challenging choice, in the end, I’m glad I made it. I adore that man, and I didn’t want to be the one to sabotage the possibility that he and the band would keep recording music for their supporters who had been waiting so patiently for G n’ R to return to their craft.”

Rose tested out several possible Guns N’ Roses members during that time, including guitarist Zakk Wylde and multi-instrumentalist Chris Vrenna. Drummers who auditioned included Abbruzzese, Michael Bland, Joey Castillo, and Kellii Scott from Failure.


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