Why Zakk Wylde Didn’t Join Guns N’ Roses in the ’90s

It’s no secret that Zakk Wylde was one of the guitarists Guns N’ Roses considered recruiting in the mid-’90s. He didn’t end up joining, but he’s opened up more about why it didn’t work out during a new interview with Mark Strigl on the SiriusXM channel Ozzy’s Boneyard.

After the departure of original guitarist Izzy Stradlin in 1991, Gilby Clarke was brought in on rhythm guitar, but only until ’94. A few other guitarists were considered to take his place afterward, including Wylde, who’d been playing with Ozzy Osbourne since ’87.

Wylde recalled to host Strigl that while working on Osbourne’s 1995 studio album Ozzmosis,he received a phone call from Axl Rose, who asked if he “wanted to get together and jam.” The guitarist then called Slash, who confirmed that his name had come up when the band was discussing who they wanted to try playing with.

“I was like, ‘Yeah of course,’ because obviously they’re great guys and an amazing band,” Wylde said, adding that they ended up playing together for a while in a rehearsal space that Guns had.

“Nothing was kinda happening,” he continued. “And that’s when Joe Holmes came in the band, Oz was like, ‘Zakk, are you gonna jam with the guys or not?’ And I was like, ‘Oz, let me try and get an answer from the fellas.’ Like, are we gonna do this, or what are we doing?”

Wylde noted that he’d come up with quite a few riffs and ideas with the Guns N’ Roses guys, but he still didn’t have an answer as to whether he was in the band or not. As a result, Osbourne told him he couldn’t wait around any longer and moved forward with Holmes as his guitarist.

“The Guns thing was just laying dormant, nothing was happening. And I was like, ‘I need to raise some pizza money and soda pop money for my girlfriend, Barbaranne. So that’s when Black Label Society was born,” Wylde concluded.

READ MORE:Zakk Wylde Says Purpose of Pantera Is ‘Not to Record’ New Music

Before Black Label Society, though, Wylde brought in bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Joe Vitale for his very first solo album titledBook of Shadows,which came out in 1996. Afterward, he worked with drummer Phil Ondich, and they formed Black Label Society and put outSonic Brew.

As for Guns N’ Roses, Slash left in 1996 for a multitude of reasons, but the nail in the coffin was when Rose brought in Paul “Huge” Tobias to play guitar with him on their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” A plethora of musicians joined and left the band over the next several years, and the rest is history.

All 23 Musicians Who’ve Been in Guns N’ Roses

Hope you got some time to get through this one.


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