Dave Navarro’s Addiction Struggles Kept Him From Auditioning for Guns N’ Roses
Most rock fans know that Jane's Addiction guitarist and musical journeyman Dave Navarro played with Red Hot Chili Peppers for a hot minute in the '90s. But did you know he nearly had a spot in Guns N' Roses as well?
In 1991, Jane's Addiction went through their first breakup, and Guns N' Roses parted ways with guitarist Izzy Stradlin. Navarro was GNR singer Axl Rose's first choice to replace him, but as the legend goes, the guitarist missed multiple opportunities to try out.
Navarro didn't show due to his drug issues at the time, as he recently shared during an appearance with Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrison on Appetite for Distortion.
Navarro explains, "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." [via Blabbermouth]
However, "at that time in my life," the 54-year-old guitarist continues, "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. … [I] couldn't show up in that shape."
Navarro says now, "It happened the way it happened. I went on to go and be in the Chili Peppers. And, oddly enough, [Chili Peppers bassist] Flea ended up joining Jane's Addiction for a tour, and [GNR bassist] Duff [McKagan] ended up joining Jane's Addiction for a tour."
In 1999, Navarro did end up playing guitar on one Guns N' Roses track. He lends additional leads to GNR's End of Days soundtrack contribution, "Oh My God."
But nowadays, Navarro adds, "it's all water under the bridge and we're all part of this collective musical family and we all played together. … The degrees of separation with those guys and us are way less than six."
Jane's Addiction briefly reformed in 1997, Navarro included, before reuniting again in the early 2000s and ultimately for the long haul in 2008. Their most recent studio album is 2011's The Great Escape Artist.
Navarro's latest musical project is NHC, the trio he formed with his Janes bandmate Chris Chaney and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. The new act debuted earlier this year and have released singles including "Devil That You Know" and "Feed the Cruel."
See Navarro discuss his missed GNR opportunity below.