Slash has called BS on a former manager’s claim about the reason Guns N’ Roses broke up.
Doug Goldstein, the one-time manager of Guns N’ Roses, told Rolling Stone Brazil that singer Axl Rose was furious over Slash’s decision to perform a tribute concert with Michael Jackson in 1991.
But Slash notes that Guns N’ Roses stayed together well beyond that event and doesn’t recall it being an issue.
“I don’t think there’s any truth to that,” Slash told WWDC-FM’s Elliot in the Morning program on April 3. “Obviously, the band stayed together for years after that whole thing. And it wasn’t a big deal at the time.
“And if it did piss anybody off, it was something that went away. So I don’t think it had anything to do with the original Guns N’ Roses demise.
“I did not read it,” he added, referring to Goldstein’s Rolling Stone Brazil interview. “I don’t want to read or hear that guy’s BS. So I just avoid it. That way is stay sane.”
According to Goldstein, Rose believed rumors that Jackson had sexually molested children staying at his Neverland Ranch. Goldstein says Rose had been molested by his father when he was a child, and felt betrayed by Slash’s decision to perform with Jackson.
Goldstein told Rolling Stone Brazil:
“In 1991, we were on the road, and Slash went to my office and said ‘I’ll be leaving tomorrow to play with Michael Jackson on a tribute concert.’ I told him not to do it because Axl was molested by his father when he was two and he believed the charges against Michael Jackson. Everyone knew Eddie Van Halen received $1-million to play in “Beat It.” So, I asked Slash, ‘How much are you receiving?’ and he said, ‘I’ll just get a big screen TV.’
“When Axl found out Slash was going to play with Michael Jackson and that the payment was a big screen TV, he was devastated,” Goldstein continued. “He 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 the child abuse.”
It’s not clear what tribute show Goldstein is referring to. Slash made a guest appearance at Jackson’s December 31, 1992 New Year’s Eve concert in Tokyo and at a concert in Oviedo, Spain, in September 1992.
Slash played lead guitar on the single “Give In to Me,” from Jackson’s 1991 Dangerous album, and he played guitar on the skit that precedes “Black or White” from the same album.
Jackson was not accused of child abuse until 1993, two years after the tribute concert. He was charged again in 2003 in a different incident and went to trial. He was acquitted on all charges.
You can hear Slash’s Elliot in the Morning interview below. The segment about Jackson begins at 8:00.