Most of us can remember the first time we heard Guns N’ Roses, but it’s easy to forget that GN’R also had those memorable firsts like Slash hearing Axl Rose sing for the first time.

The guitar icon recalled the moment in a new interview with Kerrang and said, “The first time was on a cassette that Izzy [Stradlin] brought over to my house. There was all this noise and then there’s this really intense high voice over the top of it.”

Slash continued, ” My first impression was that it was very soulful. It had a bluesy, melodic thing to it, which was rare for that type of voice. You didn’t often hear somebody hold that melody together so naturally.”

Slash then looked back on seeing Rose live saying, “Then I went to see him and Izzy play one time. I didn’t actually realize I was going to see the same person that was on that cassette. They were fucking hardcore on stage. Izzy was doing knee slides and Axl was bashing down. It was cool, like, ‘F—…’.”

The entire interview is a great read and even includes Slash’s first run-in with Lemmy at the Rainbow.

“This was probably pre-Guns N’ Roses and I was there with a girlfriend,” says Slash. “We’re sitting in this booth, and I’m not anybody, right? So I get up to take a piss and when I come back, Lemmy’s there. He’s on the outside seat, she’s on the inside, and I get on her other side. I’m so enamored that Lemmy is there that I’m completely oblivious to the fact that he’s chatting up my girlfriend.”

Slash adds, “And she’s in this weird state, thinking, ‘Who the f— is this guy? And why aren’t you doing something about it?’ Lemmy finally realizes that he’s become the third wheel in this situation and it’s not going anywhere for him, so he gets up. She was like, ‘Hey, I didn’t do anything…’ And I said, ‘Do you know who that was?’”


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights