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Dave Navarro almost joined Guns N’ Roses following the exit of rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin.

Navarro touched on this in a new interview on the Appetite for Distortion podcast saying, “Axl really wanted me to join the band, and we talked nearly every day about ideas and the way the band could work with me in it….at that time in my life, 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.”

Navarro continued, “But it happened the way it happened. I went on to go and be in the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers. And, oddly enough, Flea ended up joining Jane’s Addiction for a tour, and Duff [McKagan] ended up joining Jane’s Addiction for a tour. So 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. But the degrees of separation with those guys and us are way less than six.”

Despite not joining GN’R, Navarro did end up playing on “Oh My God,” the song the band recorded for the soundtrack for the 1999 film End of Days. That process lent itself to a very funny story Navarro shared.

“Axl called me one day and said, ‘I’m working on this record. It’s for the ‘End Of Days’ soundtrack. Do you wanna come and play guitar on it? And I was, like, ‘F— yeah! Of course I do,'” said Navarro. “So I was given a location and a time and a studio and I showed up with my gear. And there was 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.’ I said, ‘Okay.'”

Navarro continued, “And I sat down and I plugged in. They played the track. I said, ‘This f—ing sounds great.’ And I recorded a couple of passes. And then, I s— 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 speaker phone from his home listening in the whole time.”

He added, “I was, like, ‘What?’ It was just Axl’s voice out of nowhere — like out of a f—ing speaker. Then he kind of gave me some direction, and I was, like, ‘Okay, cool.’ And then we were stoked, and that was that. It was a very strange [experience] but I love that it was strange. You know what I mean? Because it makes the story so much juicier and more f—ing just memorable and fun.”

It certainly makes you wonder how many other musicians worked with Axl Rose via speaking phone, that’s for sure.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.