Dave Navarro’s ‘Strange’ Guns N’ Roses Recording Session
Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro recalled his “strange” experience of recording with Guns N’ Roses in 1999 – eight years after he failed to show up at an audition to join the band.
The guitarist can be heard on the song “Oh My God,” which was recorded for the movie End of Days during the period when Axl Rose had complete control of the band after the other classic-era members had left.
“Axl called me one day and said, ‘I’m working on this record. … Do you wanna come and play guitar on it?’” Navarro recently told the Appetite for Distortion podcast. “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 … there were 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.’”
Navarro said he then “sat down and plugged in,” and then listened to the track. “I said, ‘This fucking sounds great!’ and I recorded a couple of passes,” he remembered. “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 speakerphone from his home listening in the whole time! I was, like, ‘What?’ It was just Axl's voice out of nowhere.”
Rose gave him some direction for another take, resulting in a track that left everybody “stoked,” Navarro said. “It was … very strange – 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!”
You can watch the interview below.
Navarro was actually Rose’s first choice to replace Izzy Stradlin in 1991, but the guitarist admitted that his drug issues were too severe to join Guns N’ Roses. “Axl really wanted me … and we talked nearly every day about ideas and the way the band could work with me in it,” he explained. “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.”
He added that "it happened the way it happened … 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.”