The Guns 'N Roses Report

Slash apparently has problems with Axl buddy Paul Huge, who co-wrote a song that appeared on Use Your Illusion I.

Contrary to reports in England's Melody Maker last week, Sex

Pistol/Neurotic Outsider Steve Jones is not joining Guns 'N Roses as

departed guitarist Slash's replacement. A source at the Guns label, Geffen,

denied the rumor, saying that, as of this week, Guns leader Axl Rose had given

no indication that Jones was tapped to join the band, which is now down to

Rose, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum and keyboardist Dizzy Reed, or

to appear on their next album, whose release date "is still up in the air."

As for other rumors from the notoriously sloppy British weeklies, that

Sebastian Bach would be joining Slash's new, unnamed band, a source close to

the top-hatted guitar slinger said only, "Sebastian jammed with him (Slash) at

a show in Philadelphia last month and he's a very... enthusiastic guy...and

Slash is cool with him, but it's just not likely that he'll be a part of

Slash's plan as of right now."

Our source said the guitarist is still

looking for a singer for his band, not caring whether the person is a known or

unknown commodity, but only "a voice that has the right chemistry. He wants to

collaborate this time, instead of the way he made the first Snake Pit album

with Eric (Dover, formerly of Jellyfish), where Slash basically laid down all

the music and then Eric came in and sang afterwards."

The source also

hinted that one of the so-far-unreported factors leading to the split between

Axl and Slash is the presence of longtime Axl friend Paul Huge during the Guns

recording sessions. Huge, a boyhood friend of the mercurial singer from

Indiana, who received co-writing credit on the Guns last proper album, 1991's

Use Your Illusion I on the song "Back Off Bitch," has reportedly been

tapped as Rose's writing partner for the new album, although to everyone

"except Axl" it's unclear if he's a full-fledged member of the band. According

to the source, Huge's presence didn't sit well with Slash, who reportedly has

"creative and personal" differences with the latest Rose writing collaborator,

which played a part in his decision to leave the band "for now, because you

never know with these guys."