Blackie Lawless Says Axl Rose Credits W.A.S.P. for One of Guns N’ Roses’ Biggest Songs
In Sebastian Bach's book 18 and Life on Skid Row, the vocalist recalled that he and Rose would jam to W.A.S.P. together in a car years ago — specifically the song "I Wanna Be Somebody," which Rose was a big fan of. During a new episode of the Appetite for Distortion podcast, Lawless remembered the first time he heard about Guns N' Roses in the mid-'80s.
"Our road crew that was our local road crew before we started touring the world ended up working with them when they started playing the Troubadour in L.A. And I remember we came home in like ’86 after the second tour, and we saw our old crew guys and they said, ‘Yeah, we’re working with this new band, you know, Guns N’ Roses, and we really think they’re going to be something."
Apparently, the crew members told W.A.S.P. that Guns had often gone to see them play at The Troubadour, and were big fans. So, sometime after Appetite for Destruction came out in 1987, Rose had the opportunity to introduce himself to Lawless at a club in Hollywood.
“And I didn’t really know them from the record yet. I just knew them from our old crew telling me about them. And he said, ‘I just wanted to tell ya, you know, we’re huge fans,'" Lawless continued.
According to the frontman, Rose told him that the song "Welcome to the Jungle" was inspired by W.A.S.P.'s 1986 album Inside the Electric Circus.
"And I said, ‘Well, what do you mean by that?’ [Rose] says, ‘Well, we looked at the idea of circus, and there’s animals in the circus, and jungle, you know, and there’s chaos and all that... We just kind of looked at it, and that’s where the idea came from.’"
Lawless added that he took the compliment in stride, as artists tend to not to think as much about their influence as other people do.
Check out the full episode below.
Perhaps Rose will be in attendance during one of W.A.S.P.'s upcoming 40th anniversary shows. The tour kicks off Oct. 29 in Anaheim, Calif. and wraps up in early December. See all of the dates here.