(Gibson) Zakk Wylde In Guns N' Roses? was a top 12 rock story of Jan. 2012: It could have been one of the most interesting heavy music collaborations in rock history: Zakk Wylde as a member of Guns N' Roses. And beyond that, it would have been a Les Paul-toting guitar dream team. And it very nearly happened in the mid-1990s. The rhythm guitar slot in Guns N' Roses was in a state of flux after the departure of Izzy Stradlin, the tenure of Gilby Clark and the is-he-or-isn't-he-a-band-member status of Axl Rose's friend and former Hollywood Rose bandmate Paul Huge. Meanwhile, Zakk Wylde's role as Ozzy Osbourne's right hand man had officially come to an end when Ozzy's No More Tours tour wrapped up in 1992 and the Ozzman entered a short-lived retirement.
Zakk released one album with his Southern rock-influenced band Pride & Glory before returning to Osbourne's employ for the recording of the album Ozzmosis. But by the time Ozzy's Retirement Sucks tour for Ozzmosis rolled around, Joe Holmes was in the lead guitar chair and Zakk was on the path that would eventually lead to the formation of Black Label Society.
So what would a Zakk/Slash guitar duo sound like in the context of Guns N' Roses? "It sounded like the riffs I write and the way I write, mixed in with the way the guys write, you know what I mean," Wylde says. "It would have been like, when I was jamming with Slash and all the guys, even if I'm in the band there's only one guy that's playing the solos to 'November Rain,' 'Sweet Child o' Mine' and all those classic songs. I'm not going to do anything there. But the future stuff that we would have been writing, it would have been cool! Because I love Slash's playing and I'm buddies with him. It would have been cool, but with those guys there was nothing happening, so we were jamming but it wasn't going anywhere." But the story doesn't end there.