DAVE NAVARRO Didn't Join GUNS N' ROSES Because He Was 'Immersed' In His Drug Addiction
December 15, 2021
During an appearance on a recent episode of the GUNS N' ROSES-centric "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, JANE'S ADDICTION guitarist Dave Navarro once again spoke about the fact that he nearly became a member of GN'R two decades ago after Izzy Stradlin's departure from the Axl Rose-fronted group. "Axl really wanted me to join the band," Dave said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And we talked nearly every day about ideas and the way the band could work with me in it. [But] at that time in my life, I was just simply not present enough to do it. I had an audition with the band that I actually didn't show up to because I was immersed in my drug addiction and I just simply couldn't show up in that shape. But it happened the way it happened. I went on to go and be in the [RED HOT] CHILI PEPPERS. And, oddly enough, [CHILI PEPPERS bassist] Flea ended up joining JANE'S ADDICTION for a tour, and [GUNS N' ROSES bassist] Duff [McKagan] ended up joining JANE'S ADDICTION for a tour. So at this age now, it's all water under the bridge and we're all part of this collective musical family and we all played together a myriad of times. But the degrees of separation with those guys and us are way less than six."
Although Navarro never performed live with Rose, he played on the GUNS N' ROSES song "Oh My God" which was a featured track on the soundtrack to the 1999 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "End Of Days".
Regarding how his appearance on "Oh My God" came about, Navarro told "Appetite For Distortion": "Axl called me one day and said, 'I'm working on this record. It's for the 'End Of Days' soundtrack. Do you wanna come and play guitar on it? And I was, like, 'Fuck yeah! Of course I do.' So I was given a location and a time and a studio and I showed up with my gear. And there was 10 people in the studio. And I was, like, 'Where's Axl?' And they were, like, 'He's coming. He's coming. But let's get started anyway.' I said, 'Okay.' And I sat down and I plugged in. They played the track. I said, 'This fucking sounds great.' And I recorded a couple of passes. And then, I shit you not — I swear — all of a sudden I hear in the background, 'Yeah, that sounds really good. Why don't you keep that one?' And what it was was Axl on speaker phone from his home listening in the whole time. I was, like, 'What?' It was just Axl's voice out of nowhere — like out of a fucking speaker. Then he kind of gave me some direction, and I was, like, 'Okay, cool.' And then we were stoked, and that was that. It was a very strange [experience] but I love that it was strange. You know what I mean? Because it makes the story so much juicier and more fucking just memorable and fun."
Navarro, best known for his longstanding role in JANE'S ADDICTION, joined RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS in 1993 following the departure of John Frusciante. He played lead guitar on RHCP's 1995 album "One Hot Minute" before leaving the band in 1998. He has also released two solo records, including 2001's "Trust No One".
Navarro and Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) are currently promoting the third "Above Ground" benefit concert, set to take place on December 20 at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California. Proceeds from the event will be donated to MusiCares, the leading music charity that acts as a safety net for the music community.