Slash, the iconic former guitarist of Guns n' Roses, made a cameo at the Super Bowl Halftime show, performing a few verses of Gn'R's classic "Sweet Child O' Mine" with Black Eyed Peas' Fergie on vocals. The reaction has thus far been pretty ugly among Slash's core fanbase. The RME caught up with Slash in an imaginary universe to discuss the show.
Rock Music Examiner: First off, Slash, congratulations on your wonderful Super Bowl Halftime performance. It must be an honor to take part in what has become an annual embarrassment for rock music.
Slash: Yeah, thanks. Anytime you get chance to obliterate what’s left of your rock credibility in front of the largest television audience possible, you have to capitalize on that.
RME: The bedazzled top hat was a nice touch.
Slash: It’s like Steve [Adler, Guns drummer] always used to say: “No point in putting the needle half way in.”
RME: Words to live by. Talk about your decision to urinate on Axl’s grave by performing “Sweet Child” with Fergie.
Slash: Axl is still alive, man.
RME: Technically. But we digress.
Slash: Well, naturally people will assume that I did it just to tweak Axl, but that was just a fringe benefit.
RME: You had greater reasons for ritually murdering a classic on national television?
Slash: The first thing you have to understand is, “Sweet Child,” while a great love song, is second only to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” as a soundtrack for strippers and “Girls Gone Wild” videos. So, I thought the best way to respect the song’s legacy was actually to have it be performed by an untalented skank in chrome lingerie.
RME: Mission accomplished. And the second thing?
Slash: Second, I don’t really give a crap. It’s time for my fans to accept that. I’m not sure where the idea that I have artistic integrity came from.
RME: You are partially responsible for one of the grittiest, most authentic sounding hard rock albums of the last 30 years—perhaps people assume that you care about the music.
Slash: We made music about being self-destructive, nihilistic jackasses. What made it authentic was the fact that we weren't acting, and the fans knew it. Did you see what happened once we got paid?
RME: Good point.
Slash: But now, apparently, when I do something tasteless and offensive, I’m selling out? The only way people are going to get it, I figure, is if I go on the biggest stage possible and trash a Guns standard while bedazzled like a street magician.
RME: Check and check.
Slash: Like that dude says in Fight Club after he pounds Jared Leto's face: “I wanted to destroy something beautiful.”
RME: Thanks for clearing the air, Slash. It all makes sense now.