The following was originally published on Exclaim.ca.
Slash Sets the Record Straight About Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”: “That’s Gay, I Would Never Play That”
3/11/2010 By Jessica Lewis
Slash, in all his leather and top-hat glory, would like to clear something up. No matter what anyone says, he did not play on Michael Jackson’s hit 1991 single “Black or White.” As a keynote speaker in Toronto today (March 11) for this year’s Canadian Music Week, the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist said, “I did not play on [that song],” remarking that the guitars were not his sound. “That’s gay, I would never play that.”
In fact, he only plays on “Give It in to Me,” found on the same MJ album, Dangerous, but says that the confusion was made when the music video for “Black or White” featured footage of him in the studio.
“Gay” comment aside, Slash explained how Jackson was sweet, unassuming and inspirational, but that it also made sense that he was “doing downers.”
“I think all he wanted was for everybody to like him,” he said.
Along with setting the record straight, Slash touched on a pile of different topics in front of hundreds of his biggest Canadian fans crammed into Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel ballroom, where the guitarist was interviewed by CNN anchors John Roberts and Kyra Phillips.
After Slash made some comments on his upcoming self-titled solo album, which includes collaborations with artists such as Fergie, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne, the conversation turned to his past history of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll — a topic explored in depth in his book Slash.
When asked about already being into the hard-partying lifestyle and fighting demons by age 12, Slash responded, “I was having fun? I just had issues with fitting in.”
Noting that he’s been sober for three-and-a-half years now, Slash mentioned that everyone in Velvet Revolver had their own demons and that Guns N’ Roses didn’t have as much to do with drugs as people think; the problems were between Axl and him.
“Are you still amazed you’re not dead?” asked Roberts. “Not amazed,” said Slash, remarking that it was closer to a “realization.”