Slash dishes the dirt on his sessions for Ozzy Osbourne's Ordinary Man

Ozzy Osbourne and Slash
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/WireImage)

If there’s an obvious centerpiece to Ordinary Man, it’s the album’s title cut, which features not only piano and vocal contributions from Elton John, but also a soaring and majestic solo from Slash, which acts as a fitting climax to an already epic, emotive track. 

Slash has played with Ozzy numerous times over the years, and he was brought into the Ordinary Man project via a phone call from his Guns N’ Roses bandmate, Duff McKagan. But when he arrived at the studio, he was surprised to see another familiar face.

“The session was set up with some guy named Andrew, and I didn’t recognize the name,” Slash recalls. “But then I showed up at his place and I was like, ‘Oh, no fucking way!’”

It didn’t take long for Slash to realize that this was the same Andrew who, with California Breed, had served as the opening act on a 2014 Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators UK tour. 

“So we sat down and reminisced a little bit and he told me what he’s been up to with all the pop stuff and all that,” Slash explains. “And I was like, ‘Fuck, that’s a great success story.’”

Once they got down to business, Slash continues, “I started playing to the chord changes [in Ordinary Man] and Andrew was just really into the energy of it. There was an emotional thing to what I was doing, and he totally supported that.”

I threw on the solo to Straight to Hell real quick as I was about to leave the studio


Afterward, Slash also added a frenzied, wah-drenched solo to the album’s opening cut, Straight to Hell. “I was almost walking out the door and Andrew said, ‘Oh, I’ve got this other song…’ So I just threw that one on real quick as I was about to leave,” he says.

The whole session was loose and relaxed, and Slash smiles as he recalls how Watt made sure he had a very Slash-appropriate amp, a Marshall Silver Jubilee, to play through for his solos.

“For these types of sessions I never get too technical about shit - just throw an amp in there and I’ll bring a guitar and that’s it,” Slash says. “But Andrew had asked me what amps I use, so I told him.” He laughs. “I didn’t expect him to go out and get one.”

In general, Slash says, “Working with Andrew was great. He has a really youthful approach and great energy. And as a guitar player he’s not trying to be a Zakk or a Gus or any of those guys. He has his own thing. He’s definitely somebody to watch out for.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.