Last Gigs: Slash with Guns N' Roses

Originally printed in Guitar World, November 2008

July 17, 1993 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

By the time Guns N’ Roses wrapped up their world tour behind their two Use Your Illusion albums in 1993, they had played 192 shows in 27 countries, in front of more than seven million people. The band had been on the road for two and a half years, which made the jaunt for that time—and perhaps still—the longest tour in rock and roll history. When the last show, at Estadio River Plate, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 17, ended, Slash, for one, was more than a little relieved.

“I was definitely physically and mentally exhausted,” he says. “And Duff [McKagan, bass] was in dire need of some serious rehabilitation. But the final show was great. That was during the ‘Skin & Bones’ leg of the tour, which was a lot more stripped down and raw. There was less camp and less production, which is what I prefer.”

That’s not to say that there were no special effects involved that night. Following the song “You’re Crazy,” a man dressed in a Domino’s Pizza uniform walked onstage to deliver a piping-hot pie to the band, which singer Axl Rose then tossed into the crowd. “I don’t know what that was all about,” Slash says. “That was an Axl thing. I have no clue why he set that up.”

After running through the rest of the set, which included covers of the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers” and the Who’s “Pinball Wizard,” the band closed the show with “Paradise City,” which, in addition to being Slash’s “favorite Guns song,” now stands as the last tune he and Duff would ever play onstage with the band. Not that Slash knew it at the time. “I knew I was just done—very worn out—but I couldn’t look too far into the future to imagine what would happen next. But then, as soon as I got home, the first thing I did was to start putting together the Slash’s Snakepit record. So I guess I had some idea in my mind about what I needed to do.”

Currently with Velvet Revolver, Slash and Duff recently experienced another last show of sorts, only this time it was someone else doing the leaving. At a gig in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 20 of this year, disgruntled singer Scott Weiland announced from the stage that fans were witnessing Velvet Revolver’s last tour. What Weiland was unaware of was that the rest of the band had already planned to continue on, only without him.

“We had gotten to that point where we were resigned to the fact that we weren’t going to be working with him anymore, before we even left for that leg of the tour,” Slash says. “But we had no intention of breaking the band up. So it might have been the last show for him, but it wasn’t the last show for Velvet Revolver.”

The band gave their final performance with Weiland on April 1 in Amsterdam. “That last show was a relief, because it was a lot of work to get all five of us onstage every night,” Slash says. “We never spoke to Scott during the entire UK/European leg of the tour. When the show was over, he took off. And that was the last time I saw him.”

Immediately following the gig the band issued a press release stating that Weiland was no longer a member of Velvet Revolver. “And now we’re dealing with the search for a new lead singer,” Slash says. “Which I guess is the story of my life!”

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