Axl Rose Wasn’t Aware Of The Slash-Related Trap To End His Solo Career

Axl Rose

Former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese recently told Songfacts about a trap tied to Slash that may have terminated the solo career of Axl Rose.

A few years later, after quitting Pearl Jam in 1994, the musician nearly became the drummer for Guns N’ Roses. This occurred amid a chaotic period for the band. Several members were coming and going, and the band did not release new music or tour for several years. When questioned about his memories of his time cooperating with GNR, Dave replied:

“The gun thing was tough. Axl Rose and I met and played music together after months of nightly phone calls. It was a difficult period for me because of how my management handled my termination from Pearl Jam. As a result, I was hesitant to return to the large machine. Things were going well until I told GNR management that I thought the new songs would be better suited to an Axl solo album than a GNR record.

Recalling phone chats with GNR management, he continued:

Doug Smith, the Guns’ manager at the time, told me that management and the label planned to use the record we were working on as a catalyst to get Axl to reconnect with Slash. The aim was to let him fail, in the hopes that it would encourage him to reconcile with Slash and get the enormous train back on track. When I learned this, I had to choose between notifying Axl and simply bowing out. I was afraid that if I told him about their strategy, he might lose faith in the machine.”

Finally, Abbruzzese explained how he chose not to publicize the plan:

“So I decided to take it on the chin and sacrifice my new friendship for the sake of Axl’s capacity to remain a creative force. It was a difficult decision but ultimately one that I am glad I took. I adore that guy. And, I didn’t want to be the one to damage his and the band’s chances of continuing to make music for their fans. I knew they had waited so patiently for G n’ R to return.”

During that period, Rose tried out various potential recruits for Guns N’ Roses. This includes multi-instrumentalist Chris Vrenna and guitarist Zakk Wylde. Drummers who auditioned included Abbruzzese, Michael Bland, Joey Castillo, and Kellii Scott from Failure.

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