Alternative Nation posted a write-up of an interview former Guns n’ Roses manager Doug Goldstein gave to the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone. (NOTE: Consequence of Sound and Ultimate Classic Rock have also done similar write-ups of the Goldstein interview) The headline is that Goldstein blames the demise of Axl Rose and Slash’s relationship on the fact that Slash played a show with Michael Jackson and Axl wasn’t happy about it because he had allegedly been abused by his father and he believed the molestation allegations against Jackson. (NOTE: I don’t speak Portuguese, so I’m analyzing this article assuming Alternative Nation’s translation is accurate.)
Goldstein seems to be conflating several different issues together, but if you look at the timing and sequencing of events, I would highly doubt this explanation’s accuracy. (Either that or the magazine misquoted or mistranslated his comments) I read Slash’s memoir several years ago, in which he was pretty honest about the problems going on behind the scenes with Guns n’ Roses. He briefly mentioned his collaboration(s) with Michael Jackson, but did not mention that as an issue between himself and Axl. Duff McKagan made no mention of this in his book either, nor did Stephen Davis in his biography of the band.
Beyond this, take a look at the timing and sequencing of events:
- September 17, 1991: Guns n’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II albums released (Source: RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database)
- November 26, 1991: Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album released. (Source: RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database)
- July 17, 1993: After two and a half years of constant touring, Guns n’ Roses play the last show of that tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to being the final show of the band’s Use Your Illusion-era lineup, it was also the final show Slash played with the band. (Source: Guitar World)
- August 24, 1993: The Los Angeles Police Department announces Michael Jackson is the subject of a criminal investigation, which began on August 17 based on a complaint filed against the singer. (Source: New York Times)
It’s difficult to prove a negative – that something didn’t happen – but in this case it is possible based on the available evidence. Based on the time table of events, Slash probably recorded his guest parts for the Dangerous album some time in 1990-1991. The Michael Jackson molestation allegations would not become public until August of 1993 – a month after the band had played its last show together from the Use Your Illusion tour. Bottom line – there’s no way Axl and Slash could have had a falling out over the Michael Jackson allegations two years before they happened. Beyond that – books by/about the band show that there were problems building within the band for a very long time. I highly doubt Michael Jackson had anything to do with the deterioration and collapse of Axl’s relationship with Slash.