Las Vegas wasn't paradise city for Slash when he tried to check out Guns N' Roses at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino late last month. It seems the band's former guitarist wasn't welcome to the jungle.
Slash, who quit the group in 1996 and later formed Slash's Snakepit, said he was in Vegas on vacation when he learned that GN'R would be playing there in two weeks' time, on New Year's Eve and two days before (see "Guns N' Roses Ante Up For Another New Year's Eve In Vegas"). He said he made some calls and got on the guest list for the December 29 show via the venue and the promoter.
"I've never actually seen Guns N' Roses from that perspective," he said, "and I was curious. And I wanted to go in a supportive capacity as well. ... I was trying to be discreet about it, but apparently Guns N' Roses' management found out and it was major pandemonium. It was like they sent out an all-points bulletin."
Slash said a representative from the band's management company, along with hotel security officers, came to his room and told him to stay away from the show, "to spare me the embarrassment of being turned away at the door."
He said he tried to assure them that he had no ill intentions, but to no avail. The prevailing concern, they relayed, was that his attendance might "freak Axl [Rose] out," and he was told that no former members of the band would be admitted. Slash offered to enter the show late and leave early, sitting in the back where he wouldn't be noticed, he said, but they refused.
"I even found a security guard who said he would sneak me in, but the promoter found out about that and nixed that. Basically, if they found me inside, they said, someone would get fired."
At that point he realized it was pointless to try to attend the show, he said, so he gave up and to went to another casino for the night. The evening wasn't a total loss, though Slash ran into GN'R crew members who were old friends and partied with them after the show, he said.
"Really, I just wanted to go to the show, not cause a scene. If I had wanted to cause a scene," Slash said, "I could have called the head of security on my cell phone and said I was in the middle of the venue and to come and get me, just to f--- with him. I even thought about doing that, but that's just my mischievous side. It shouldn't have been a big deal. And if, even after all this time, if Axl had wanted to do a song, any number of our old GN'R songs, it would have been way cool."
A hotel spokesperson, who noted that Slash did not have a ticket to the sold-out show, said the venue had no record of any security personnel having any interaction with the guitarist and therefore she could not confirm nor deny Slash's account. "If a patron has a ticket or credentials, then we allow admittance," she said. "If they do not have a ticket or credentials, then we don't allow admittance."
Guns N’ Roses’ manager, Doug Goldstein, did not return calls for comment, but he told the Los Angeles Times: "We didn’t know what his intentions were. If nothing else, it would have been a distraction. Axl was really nervous about these shows. We decided on our own not to take any risk."