Slash Recalls Uncomfortable First Encounter With Brian May

Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash looked back on the first time he ever met Queen guitarist Brian May in a recent interview with Matt Pinfield over at 95.5 KLOS. The musician stated that they showed up at a Velvet Revolver show, and he felt both uncomfortable and intimidated by knowing he was in the audience with Led Zeppelin icon Jimmy Page.

There are numerous guitar players that Slash mainly talks about with much affection during interviews. One of those artists is Brian May, with whom Slash had the opportunity to perform on stage multiple times. The feeling is mutual as May has also praised the GN’R guitarist and stated that he’s happy to have a continuing friendship with Slash.

May previously stated in an interview:

“I don’t know when I first met Slash, but I’m happy to say that we have a continuing friendship. I guess I was around him mostly when I did that support tour for Guns N’ Roses all over the world. It was great for me because I was playing with people who I respect, and they also respect me.”

While fans are used to seeing rivalry between successful guitar players, Slash has endless admiration for Brian May, and he doesn’t refrain from expressing it during conversations about his heroes. During a recent interview, the Guns N’ Roses icon was asked about the time he met his guitar idols. Slash started by saying he feels more starstruck than the average person, which is problematic since he feels obligated to act cool and not make the other person feel uncomfortable by directly expressing their importance to him.

He recalled a 2005 show with Velvet Revolver during which he met both Brian May and Jimmy Page when they showed up unannounced. Slash said it was awkward as he had difficulty keeping it cool in front of the two icons despite May and Page being humble. Though Slash was happy to meet them, he remembers that show as one of the most intimidating performances he ever did, knowing they were in the audience watching him.

About meeting May for the first time, Slash stated:

“Let’s see… I’ve met a bunch of them over the years. And, you know, I get probably as starstruck, if not more starstruck, than the average person. And you just have to be cool. You have to keep your cool and try not to make anybody uncomfortable by telling them what a big influence they are on you right away. Because I think that’s unnerving. It is for me because I don’t know how to react.

But I’ll tell you one story, meeting some guitar heroes and just what an impact it has. I was doing a show at Hammersmith in; I guess it was 2005 with Velvet Revolver. And Jimmy Page and Brian May, who I’ve not met before, showed up at the gig. And that was… Talk about just being really uncomfortable. But they’re lovely guys, really, really down to earth. And I was really happy to meet them and also to find that they were so, sort of, human. But I’ll never forget that as being one of the most intimidating shows I ever did.”

You can watch the interview below.