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

Former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese recently revealed in an interview with Song Fact the Slash-related trap that could end Axl Rose‘s solo career. Years later, after leaving Pearl Jam in 1994, the musician almost became the drummer for Guns N’ Roses.

This came at a turbulent time for the group, as many members came and went and the band had not released new music or toured in several years.
When asked about his memories of working at GNR, Dave replied:

“The Guns thing was tough. Axl [Rose] and I became familiar with one another through nightly phone calls for months before we actually met and played music together. It was a tough time for me because I had quite a bit of soul poisoning from the way my manager handled my termination from Pearl Jam. I was leery of entering the big machine again because of it. Things were moving along well until I spoke to the GNR management regarding my opinion that the new music might be better suited to an Axl solo album rather than a GNR album.”

Management’s Plan And Abbruzzese’s Dilemma

He recalled a phone conversation with GNR management and continued:

“Doug Smith [David probably means Doug Goldstein], the Guns’ manager at the time, told me that the management and the label had a plan of letting the album we were making be the catalyst for getting Axl to reunite with Slash. The plan was to let him fail, and the hope was that this failure would inspire him to reunite with Slash and get the big train back on the tracks. When I heard this, I was forced to choose between informing Axl about it or just bowing out. I felt that if I told him of their plan, it would destroy what little faith he had in the machine.”

Prioritizing Axl’s Creative Independence Over Friendship

Abruzzese eventually revealed the reason for keeping the plan secret, adding:

“So I opted to take one on the chin and sacrifice my new friendship for the sake of Axl’s ability to continue to be a creative force. It was a difficult decision but ultimately one that I am glad I made. I love that guy, and I didn’t want to be responsible for ruining the chance of him and the band continuing to make music for their fans that had waited so patiently for so long for G n’ R to get back to it.”

During this time, Rose tried out several potential members of Guns N’ Roses, including multi-instrumentalist Chris Vrenna and guitarist Zakk Wylde. Drummers who auditioned included Abbruzzese, Michael Brand, Joey Castillo, and the unsuccessful Kelly Scott.


Leave a Comment