Guns N' Roses Almost Went Wylde
Guns N' Roses at one time looked at adding Zakk Wylde as a guitarist and the Ozzy Osbourne sideman says that the jamming involved in the process led him to form Black Label Society.
Zakk spoke about the experience while taking part in Musicians Institute's "Conversation Series" and said that in the mid-1990s Axl Rose and Slash discussed adding him to the band, and they started jamming as a result, but the offer to join the band never came.
Wylde said that he was friends with Slash and Duff McKagan but had never met Axl before. He then relayed the story about how he became involved. He said, "Axl was just saying, him and Slash were talking, like, 'Who else would you wanna get on guitar?' And I guess my name came up.
" 'Why don't we ask Zakk what's going on?' And Axl was, like, 'All right. I'll call him up.' So Axl ended up getting my phone number and called me up: 'Hey, Zakk, man. It's Axl. I just wondered if you wanted to get together and jam with the guys.'
"And I said, 'Yeah. No problem.' So we ended up jamming. We were recording [Ozzy Osbourne's 1995 album] 'Ozzmosis' at the time. And so we were jamming on and off. We were recording the record, we were doing 'Ozzmosis', having a blast doing that, and then in between, when I'd come back out to L.A., I'd end up hooking up with the guys and we'd jam down at the rehearsal hall.
"So it was just ideas floating around. But nothing was happening there with the Guns guys. And then Ozz was going, 'Zakk, listen, we're gonna get ready to tour. Are you gonna jam...?' Ozz was, like, 'You can do both, but, Zakk, I've gotta have an answer, if you're gonna be jamming with them and me. This ship leaves twelve o'clock Monday. Are you gonna be ready to go or not?' I couldn't get an answer from the fellows, and everything was up in the air, and Ozz was, like, 'I've gotta get somebody else in here, man.' So that was it.
"So I was just sitting around, going, 'What am I gonna do? I've got all these riffs laying around. I'm not playing with Ozz right now. I'm not doing the GN'R thing. F*** it.' And then I came up with Black Label Society. So that's basically how Black Label was born right there."
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