Queen lead guitarist Brian May recently spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock and recalled the time he was on the stage with Guns N’ Roses lead vocalist Axl Rose and guitarist Slash as a part of a tribute show, and shared his ideas about their characteristics.
As you probably know, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert took place on April 20, 1992, at Wembley Stadium in London. It was a benefit concert planned as a tribute to the band’s lead vocalist Freddie Mercury who died due to AIDS. Many musicians such as James Hetfield, Elton John, Tony Iommi, Slash, and Axl Rose performed on stage in honor of the legendary frontman.
The fact that Axl Rose joined the concert caused a serious backlash from the LGBTQ community because Rose used a gay slur in ‘One in a Million.’ However, Rose continued to perform ‘We Will Rock You” and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ with Elton John and the remaining Queen members despite reactions from the audience.
During his interview, Brian May remembered the tribute concert in which he worked with Axl Rose and Slash. He mentioned that both of them were very nice and respectful toward him even though many people always described them as angry and problematic musicians.
Also, May compared Axl Rose to Slash, saying that Rose was more prepared before the concerts while Slash was always comfortable and hanging around. He added that Slash is also a great and talented musician, although he was too relaxed before his performances.
May stated in his interview that:
“I don’t know when I first met Slash, but I’m happy to say that we have a continuing friendship. I guess I was around him mostly when I did that support tour for Guns N’ Roses all over the world. It was great for me because I was playing with people who I respect and they also respect me.
Axl was known for being difficult and whatever, you know, he was always great to me. He always had time to speak to me. I used to go into Axl’s dressing room before they went on. Because Axl would normally have something he wanted to say to me or ask me, which was part of his preparation for going onstage.
Slash was just always very relaxed, very cool. That’s always been the way I’ve seen Slash. He’s a real gentleman and a fantastic musician, obviously.”
You can watch the concert below.