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The mid-90s were a strange time for Guns N’ Roses. Founding guitarist Slash would ultimately quit the band in 1996, followed by bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum in 1997. But before all that, Guns N’ Roses was entertaining the idea of having then-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde join the band.

In an interview with SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard, Wylde said he was called by the Guns N’ Roses camp while working on Osbourne‘s Ozzmosis album asking if he “wanted to get together and jam.” Wylde then called Slash, who confirmed that his name had come up when the band was discussing who they wanted to try playing with. Wylde would jam with the band, but ultimately formed Black Label Society instead.

“I would jam with the guys for a bit. It was when we were doing Ozzmosis out here in New York because I’ve known Slash when I first joined Ozzy, he came over to the hotel room. We got hammered and everything like that and it was just when Appetite was exploding, and I’d met, you know, Duff a couple times, then Steven and stuff like that. Never met Izzy or I had never met Axl, and then, but I remember when we were out here jamming, so that was like ’95.

“Axl called me up and he was just like, ‘Hey Zakk, it’s Axl.’ I was like, ‘Hey, what’s going on man?’ He just goes, ‘I was just wondering you want to get together and jam with me and the fellas because I was asking Slash. I was like, well, who would you want to get to jam with?’ and you know, he goes, ‘Your name came up because we were all talking about why don’t we give Zakk a call,’ or whatever and I was like, ‘Yeah, of course man.’ You know, because obviously I love, the guys are great guys and an amazing band.

“So we were jamming stuff at this rehearsal place that they had. We were jamming there for a while, just jamming ideas, and then we were gonna go do some stuff over at Duff‘s house, and then, you know, nothing was kind of happening, like, are we gonna do this or what are we doing because I need to save up for pizza money and a soda pop to take out my girlfriend. You know what mean?

Wylde continued: “Yeah. Riffs and everything like that, so I just, you know, we had all these riffs laying around and I was just like, nothing was happening, then Oz was like, ‘Zakk, I can’t be sitting around waiting.’ You know, because it was after we did Ozzmosis and everything like that, he was like, ‘I’m getting ready to tour,’ whatever and I mean, without Ozzy there, I wouldn’t even be in a conversation with Guns N’ Roses, you know what I mean? Because I owe everything to Oz.

“So the Guns thing was just lying dormant, you know, just nothing was happening and I was like, ‘I need to raise some pizza money and soda pop money for my girlfriend, Barbaranne,’ so that’s when Black Label Society was born.”

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