's surprise guest appearance
with Guns N'Roses
in London last week was even a surprise to the classic-era bassist, he's revealed.
As frontman Axl Rose
explained on the O2 Arena stage, the pair really did just happen to be in the same hotel. And when they met for the first time since 1993 McKagan still had no idea he'd wind up playing You Could Be Mine
with the new lineup until a roadie handed him a bass at the side of the stage.
Hennemusic reports McKagan saying: I got to London last Thursday on business, and checked into the hotel I use all the time. The hotel manager came up and said, So, you're playing tonight?' I said, No, not tonight,' and he looked at me strangely: What, you're not playing?'
I had no idea Axl and Guns n'Roses were in London. The manager told me Axl was in the next room, but I went straight into these business meetings very serious meeting over something I've worked on for a year.
McKagan says it wasn't until mid-afternoon the word travelled round that Rose and he were in the same hotel, at which point GN'R's tour crew began calling him. He continues: It came down to the simple fact Axl and I met up, we saw each other and we hugged. And I went down to the gig with him.
As far as the bassist was concerned, that's all there was to it. The show was going on and I was watching, he continues, Then somebody comes over with a bass.
I haven't played You Could Be Mine since 1993. I was like, Oh, God okay, I can play it I think I remember it.' I'd forgotten part of it and I had to look at Bumblefoot's guitar neck to see where the next chord was.
But, yeah, it was fun. I had a great time.
McKagan realises it was a game-changing moment, and observes that almost immediately industry people began complimenting him wherever he went. But that wasn't his primary concern: I could have got a free dinner and free car service everywhere I went in London. But I was more concerned about the band Axl's put together. I've gotten to know Bumblefoot, Tommy Stinson and Frank Ferrer, and of course Dizzy Reed is still there. It's a great band and I didn't want to do anything to lessen what they were doing.
McKagan caught Rose for dinner the following evening. But the bassist isn't using the moment to allow reunion rumours to get any stronger. I have nothing to say about it,
he states. It's not anything I worked or planned for. It's not something that makes me go, Okay, one day this is going to happen'.
But he adds: It was very serendipitous and the blood was in the water, no doubt.
Thanks for the report to RockRadio