The live band Slash never wanted to follow


Everyone in attendance knew that when Guns N’ Roses performed live in their prime, all bets were off. Nobody earns the moniker “The World’s Most Dangerous Band” for nothing. Some of their performances were among the wildest rock and roll performances to come out of Los Angeles. This was since Van Halen’s heyday in the late 1970s. Slash poured his heart out on stage at every show, giving his all until the very last notes faded away. He had always wished he could never play with Metallica.

Compared to the glam ensembles, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica both represented the other extreme of the hard rock spectrum. Guns came out of the same venues that Ratt and Poison had been playing in a few years earlier. However, they took a lot more inspiration from acts like The Rolling Stones than from The Bay City Rollers.

If Guns N’ Roses avoided hair metal, Metallica were the punks who could kick the ass of any glam band. Bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple influenced them. They could play some of the heaviest thrash anyone had ever heard. No matter how much posturing they put on.

The Black Album’sGoing Pop” may have angered some metal fans. But the band’s choice to tour with Guns N’ Roses was essentially a power move. At a time when glam was beginning to border on cliché, the chance to have two respectable rock bands share a bill was too good to refuse.

In his book, Slash recalled how terrified he was to open for Metallica before both groups graduated to stadiums. He said, “I remember before we went on and the second we got off, the club played nothing but Metallica nonstop.” Any American band, or any band, for that matter, that didn’t sound like Metallica was bound to fail. After the performance, all I could think of was how much I would hate having to repeat this process the next day.

Guns ultimately made the sensible decision to headline the show and have Metallica play before them after deciding to go on tour together. Because anyone who shows up early is going to get their ass handed to them. Especially when you have a band like that tearing up the place.

It turns out that nobody is safe from Metallica when they follow them. Axl Rose embarrasses himself at every other show. He arrives late or does not show up at all due to vocal problems. Can you blame the guy? What in the world could any other band possibly have in their repertoire to match the sound that the entire audience had just experienced—metal perfection?

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