Guns N’ Roses is one of the most famous American hard rock and this band has contributed so much to rock music. This band was formed back in 1985 and they have given hit songs including Sweet Child O’ Mine, Welcome To The Jungle, November Rain, and many more.
As much as the band was famous, Guns N’ Roses also had band members dispute. And today in this article we are going to talk about the same dispute, this dispute was between the lead guitarist of the band Slash and the lead vocalist Axl Rose. Although they have put behind everything and are together now, they were not on good terms for two decades.
So what was the reason behind their dispute? what happened between them? these questions will be answered in this piece, so read the full article to know about Slash and Axl Rose’s dispute history and how they got reunited.
Why did Slash leave Guns N’ Roses?
It broke the hearts of GNR fans after they got the news of Slash leaving the group. He left the group on Halloween of 1996 however, that raises the question of why? why did he decide to leave the band? well, there is no official statement however, we can say that he left the band because of a difference in his and Axl Rose’s creativity.
However, there might be more to it than creative differences. The drummer of the band Steven Adler was kicked out of the band in 1991 because of his heroin addiction. Later co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the band Izzy Stradlin left the band because of Axl Rose’s behavior and mismanagement.
And it seems that Axl Rose took full control of the band and decided on himself for the band. Slash claimed that Rose kicked out a few bandmates without even discussing it with other members. Slash was not going to keep quiet and obey Rose’s orders so he took his time off and formed a side project “Slash’s Snakepit” and members of this project were a few former members of GNR as well as Alice and Chains.
It was after Rose decided to cut off Slash’s guitar part and have new rhythm guitarist Paul Tobias record Slash’s part for Rolling Stone’s cover of Sympathy For the Devil for the movie Interview With the Vampire. Moreover, it is said that the band was forced to record the song, most probably by Axl Rose. Finally in October 1996, Rose released a statement to MTV where he mentioned “has been ‘OFFICIALLY and LEGALLY’ outside of the Guns N’ Roses Partnership since December 31, 1995.” Moreover, he also mentioned, “Slash will not be involved in any new Guns N’ Roses endeavors? as far has not been musically involved with Guns N” Roses since April 1994.”
Their feud started over Michael Jackson
Former manager of GNR Doug Goldstein stated that the real reason how Rose and Slash’s dispute started was because of the king of pop Michael Jackson. When Michael was up for tour he asked Slash to play guitar and Slash agreed to play, and he played hit songs including Black or White, Beat It, Dirty Diana, and more.
And since Michael was charged with child abuse, Rose wanted Slash to turn off Michael’s offer. However, Slash went on a tour and played guitar for Michael anyway. It hit Rose really hard as he too once was a victim of child abuse by his own father and stepfather.
In an interview with Rolling Stone back in 1992, Rose stated that the memories of the abuse started to come through after he went to regression therapy. He said that his father abused him when he was just a toddler. Later his parents split up and he started to live with his mother, and the sad news is that he and his half-siblings were abused by his stepfather as well.
Rose also told that his biological father kidnapped and abused him. He told Roling Stone, “I remember getting a shot. And I remember being sexually abused by this man and watching something horrible happen to my mother when she came to get me. I don’t know all the details.”
Moreover, Doug Goldstein stated, “I told him [Slash] not to do it because Axl was molested by his father when he was 2, and he believed the charges against Michael Jackson.” “[Axl] thought Slash would support him and be against all abuse, from the point of view of Axl, that was the only problem. He could ignore the drugs and the alcohol, but could never ignore the child abuse, he added.”
Axl Rose called Slash a cancer
Later years after their feud in 2009, Rose was in an interview where Rose talked about Slash and called him cancer. He said, “In a nutshell, personally I consider him cancer and better removed, avoided — and the less anyone heard of him or his supporters the better.”
Moreover, he also said that he did not enjoy Slash’s guitar playing. He said that Slash was losing his edge and he added that Slash is just “a wh*re for the limelight.”
Furthermore, Slash also talked about Rose and the band in 2012 in an interview with Piers Morgan. Slash said in the interview, “Basically it was just: ‘I’m done.’ And it wasn’t even me leaving the band, it was not continuing on with the new band that Axl put together that he was at the helm of, which was the new Guns N’ Roses. And I was given a contract that was basically [saying]: ‘Join this new band. It took about 24 hours before I decided this is the end of the line.”
The long feud between Axl Rose and Slash is now over
Back on December 7, 2011, GNR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Later in 2012, Rose announced that he will not be coming, stating, “I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and called it a “complicated and awkward situation.”
However, many fans were expecting to see the original band members together again and perform however, Slash said it was pretty unlikely. He said, “Everyone has been asking me what’s going to happen, and they know as much as I do. I feel you’re totally obligated to be present and I would love to f**king play, but it’s just something that’s not gonna happen for whatever reason.”
At the event Slash showed up with other band members including Duff McKagan, Steven Adler, and Matt Sorum. Later in 2015 Billboard stated that Slash is rejoining GNR and he will appear with the band in 2016 in Coachella. It was a dream come true for many fans. But it was not only Slash who rejoined the band but was also the bassist of the band Duff McKagan.
After their reunion at the 2016 Coachella Festival, Slash said that it was a “magical kind of thing.” Furthermore, talking about rejoining the band he told USA Today, “It’d been 20 years of not talking and letting this bad blood continue to be perpetuated by the media. It turned into something way bigger than what was really going on, so it was good to get past that.”
Moreover, Slash said to ask him anything on Reddit, and when he was asked “what was the catalyst that led to you and Axl burying the hatchet?” he replied, “The catalyst that led to me and Axl burying our hatchet was just the two of us talking for the first time in 20 years.” He said the same thing to The Guardian in 2019.