Legendary guitarist Slash dropped by the studios of CBC‘s “George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight” (formerly “The Hour”) recently, and host George Stroumboulopoulos had a chance to ask him about his his relationship with late pop singer Michael Jackson(see video below).
“Michael, I only knew him, for the most part, on a professional level,” said Slash. “I don’t even think… When he attempted to be any closer than that, I even allowed it. ‘Cause it was just too crazy. There’s being famous and then there’s being that kind of famous. And that’s a crazy world to be in, because you have no sense of reality. . . I was close enough at that point, ’cause GUNS N’ ROSES was probably the biggest stadium rock band at the time, and then you had Michael, who was this sort of Elvis Presley of the period. That’s scary fame. And he was just dealing with it, and I felt for him, ’cause, he was, as an artist… one of the most genius artists I’ve ever really been around next to maybe Ray Charles and a couple of other guys. And [he was] sort of stuck in this world where nobody is real — nobody will talk to him in a real fashion and everybody is sort of around him so they can gain something from him and so on and so forth. It’s a really lonely situation.”
Watch for the full “George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight” interview with Slash when it airs later this month.
Slash said a couple of years ago that wanted Michael Jackson to contribute a guest vocal on his solo album before the singer died of cardiac arrest, according to Ace Showbiz. The former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist played lead solos on a handful of Jackson‘s songs in the past and said he regrets not asking Jackson to return the favor before his death at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009.
Slash said, “When I was thinking about who I wanted to work with, Michael crossed my mind. I thought about doing something that would see him totally cross over into rock. But it was around this time last year and he was flat-out rehearsing for the London O2 gigs so in the back of my mind I thought, ‘He’s not going to have the time.'”
Slash told The Pulse of Radio that he refused to take part in the media frenzy surrounding Jackson‘s death and skipped seeing “This Is It”, the concert rehearsal film rush-released afterwards. “He’d been sort of completely ostracized by the public and the people that, you know, used to work for him and all that because of all these issues that he had,” he said. “And he had a really rough last nine years. And then all of a sudden when he passed away, it was like, ‘Oh, Michael,’ you know? So I didn’t want to have anything to do with everybody capitalizing on his death, so I didn’t go see the movie and I’m sure he probably wouldn’t have wanted them to make a movie out of rehearsal anyway.”
Jackson was accused of child molestation in 1993 and again in 2003. He settled the first case and was acquitted of all charges in the second case in a 2005 trial.