Slash’s Awkward First Meeting With Lemmy Kilmister

Though the rock scene is quite big, with dozens of successful musicians that have made a name for themselves, only a few rockers tend to build close relationships with fellow artists. While some of these friendships occur naturally through collaborations or mutual organizations, some have rather unexpected stories behind them. Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash’s first encounter the Motörhead icon Lemmy Kilmister belongs to the second group.

One may think it was entirely natural for the two musicians to bump into each other, especially considering their shared interests and circles. Still, according to the guitar player, he met Kilmister in a rather peculiar way. In an interview with Kerrang in 2018, Slash shed light on this matter and shared the first time he met Lemmy Kilmister.

“My first real Lemmy experience actually happened at the Rainbow,” said the guitarist. He then revealed that this incident occurred before he got famous. “This was probably pre-Guns N’ Roses, and I was there with a girlfriend. We’re sitting in this booth, and I’m not anybody, right?”

“So I get up to take a piss,” Slash continued, “and when I come back, Lemmy’s there. He’s on the outside seat, she’s on the inside, and I get on her other side.” Although the young guitarist was going nuts about meeting one of the biggest rockers of the era, Kilmister was more interested in talking to Slash’s then-girlfriend. He recalled, “I’m so enamored that Lemmy is there that I’m completely oblivious to the fact that he’s chatting up my girlfriend.”

Since his girlfriend didn’t know who Lemmy Kilmister was, she didn’t understand why her boyfriend allowed this man to join them. However, Slash knew exactly who they were talking to as he said, “She’s in this weird state, thinking, ‘Who the f*ck is this guy? And why aren’t you doing something about it?’”

After a while, the late icon realized that he was flirting with the woman Slash was dating and decided to step back. Although his girlfriend was confused about what happened, it sounds like Slash was thrilled that Kilmister sat at their table. The GN’R icon concluded, “Lemmy finally realizes that he’s become the third wheel in this situation, and it’s not going anywhere for him, so he gets up. She was like, ‘Hey, I didn’t do anything.’ And I said, ‘Do you know who that was?’”

After this encounter, Slash became a worldwide phenomenon with Guns N’ Roses, and Lemmy Kilmister continued being a rock legend. Their paths inevitably crossed, and Kilmister even appeared on Slash’s debut solo album, released on March 31, 2010. The musician appeared on vocals for ‘Doctor Alibi,’ along with other musicians that worked on the album for different songs, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Cornell, Iggy Pop, and many more.

Since they had a close relationship, Slash and Lemmy Kilmister performed together a few times after the guitar player’s album. Their most notable performance was at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards 2010 when they were joined by the Foo Fighters icon Dave Grohl to perform ‘Ace of Spades.’

After Lemmy Kilmister passed away on December 28, 2015, his friends and family held a memorial. During the ceremony, Slash appeared moved by this tragic loss and said, “Lemmy was somebody that I was so honored to have been friends with.” The duo built a close relationship over the years after their awkward first meeting, which ended with an emotional speech and one’s passing.