Wolfgang Van Halen recently explained that it was frontman Axl Rose who wanted him to join Guns N' Roses on stage to jam their classic hit "Paradise City".
His solo band Mammoth WVH opened for Guns N' Roses on their U.S. summer tour and he joined GNR on stage at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL back in October.
During the show frontman Axl Rose asked the crowd, "Wolfgang Van Halen - do you know how cool it is to say that? That's f***ing cool, you'll understand. We're talking legacy."
Van Halen was asked about how the jam came about and the experience of opening for Guns N' Roses during a recent chat with Spin. He was first asked about the very first show with the band. He responded, "I think the craziest part about that is by the time we went on stage for Hershey, it was about already 80% capacity sh*t, which is insane for the opening act.
"If that was the first show, then I really would have freaked out. But now that we were getting into it. I think it went much better. I've always heard Guns N' Roses is tough.
"Not every Guns fan likes the bands that are opening for Guns. They even told that to us. But, they said, 'We have not seen such an amazing response from an opener in like 19 years.'
"I think the craziest thing was after we played the show and Guns were about to go on, we went back to front of house to watch the beginning of the show. And as we walked out, people started to recognize us and started cheering like it was f***ing graduation. And it was like literally like those stories where you go like, 'And then everyone clapped.' And you're like, 'Yeah, sure, bullsh*t.' But that's really what was happening."
Wolfgang was then asked about Mammoth WVH lasting the full tour as the opener. He explained, "It wasn't until I think it was like the Live Nation head or whatever said that there haven't been many openers that have lasted an entire tour.
"Axl was really so kind. You could really tell during that last show, where he invited the whole band up, and then they wanted me to play 'Paradise City' with them for the two nights, which is crazy. I want to frame that picture of my band and Guns bowing together. It was such a cool experience."
He was then asked how the jam came about, and he responded, "It was Axl's guy. He was like, 'Hey, Axl wants you to come and play 'Paradise City,' and do the bow for the last two nights.' And I was like, 'Holy sh*t, I have to learn "Paradise City."
'Luckily, I have a guy in my band who has been playing "Paradise City" with Slash for a very long time, Frank Sidoris. So he sat there and taught me every little thing. And then I took it upon myself to just play it every day like people were getting sick of it [Laughs]. It was the only thing I played when I had a guitar in my hands on the bus because I wanted it to be f***ing perfect.
"It wasn't right until we started that Duff was like, 'Hey, come, come sing!' You know, come sing the backups. I was like, Oh, sh*t, I gotta do backups. All of a sudden, I just started singing like this high part that I had always heard on the song.
"And at the end of it, Duff said, 'Hey, you did the high harmony. We forgot about that sh*t. Good job.' I was like, 'Oh, OK, cool. I did something good.'"