Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba discussed Sharon Osbourne helping him get the gig as the Slash ‘stand in’ back in 2009. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.
He told Action Figures, “She introduced me to Axl – and I didn’t know I was on Axl’s radar, I had no idea. When I got a call, I got a call from Katie McNeil, she was my manager for many years – she called me, and I had a No. 1 song on the radio with Sixx:A.M. called ‘Life Is Beautiful.’
“And we have just gotten off of – I believe it was Crue Fest, our song was No. 1, and I got a call, and she wanted to know if I wanted to try out for Guns N’ Roses.
“I never thought I’d get it, but I was like, ‘Yeah, I just want to go hang out with Axl.’ We’re both from Indiana, I’ve always had so much respect for him.
“So yeah, I went down there, tried out and I didn’t know it, but I guessed Axl called management and said, ‘If he even shows up, he has the gig.’ I didn’t even know I was on his radar.
“Axl has his ear close to the ground, he really knows what is going on and who’s who – he’s incredibly intelligent.
“Yeah, it was a big surprise to me, I didn’t really know what I was stepping into – it was a huge surprise to me.
“I didn’t really know what I was stepping into, it was a roller coaster from there. But we had the best time, it was just so much fun, debauchery, and just, you know, three-and-a-half-hour concerts, we went around the world several times, it was just so much fun playing.
“But even though I was doing that, I had a sense of accomplishment with Sixx:A.M. because it was something Sixx-Ashba-Michael, it was something I helped create. Beautiful Creatures – same thing, I helped create that thing.
“I remember the first time I was on a tour bus with BulletBoys – I felt like I made it, but in my heart I knew, ‘Dude, this isn’t your band, you didn’t write these songs.’
“So in my heart, I was like, ‘If I could ever get back to this point with a band that I helped write the songs,’ and I did, I got back there with Beautiful Creatures.
“And we had our own bus, songs that I’d written, Warner Brothers, but it still wasn’t enough. I was like, ‘There has to be more. If I can get back there with less than five guys and do this again.’
“And I did it again with three guys, it was Sixx:A.M., and now I’m going to come back and do it with one.”