“I was always starting bands and finding people to write with, but I could never find a singer.
“A bad singer can make a good band terrible. So I just played without one.
“At one point, this guy Matt [Smith] – he was the original guitarist for Poison, a band I had no affinity for – called me up and told me he was quitting and going back to Pennsylvania. They needed another guitar player.
“I thought about it for a while, and finally I decided to put pride aside and go check it out. At least I’d be playing gigs – they were the biggest band on the Strip at the time.
“I learned four of their songs and went down to play with them, and I gotta say I kicked the shit out of ’em. We had a definite difference of opinion as to what it was all about—image issues, clothing issues.
“I knew it wasn’t going to click. They asked me if I planned on wearing jeans and a T-shirt on stage, and I said, ‘Yeah.’
“As I was walking out, C.C. DeVille was walking in.
“He was dressed to the nines. He had makeup on, his hair was all done up – I knew he was the guy for the gig. Bobby Dall called me and told me they’d picked the guy, and I wasn’t surprised.
“Had it worked out and I’d gotten the gig, it wouldn’t have lasted long. I wasn’t right for them.”
A few months ago, Poison drummer Rikki Rockett talked about the whole audition, explaining to Decibel Geek:
“Bret [Michaels] and I liked [Slash] – we all liked him. And he came and worked on some songs with us, but we continued to audition people even though he was a frontrunner…
“We didn’t want, like, a hotshot Yngwie-type guy. We didn’t want that. We wanted a rock, East Coast guy. And then C.C. auditioned, and he just made more sense than Slash did. So it was a tough decision, because we all liked Slash.
“Slash was really pissed off about it. He was pissed. He was, like, ‘What the fuck, you guys?!’
“So there was that rivalry between Guns N’ Roses and Poison because of that, I think, for a long time, you know? And that’s long gone.
“I see Slash and we’re totally cool. I haven’t seen Axl in fucking 15 years, but I’ve seen the other guys, and there’s no problem.”
Back to the original Slash interview, the guitarist also discussed the whole glam scene back in the day, saying:
“The main focus for Hollywood glam metal wasn’t about what I would call musical integrity.
“They were all about the clothes and the image, and that’s what I hated about West Hollywood.
“Guns N’ Roses was the direct result of us hating that scene. We were sort of drawn together because of it. We were into the Dolls and Bowie, Aerosmith and early ’70s Stones.
“We weren’t into the eyeliner and the clothes.”