When The Eagles’ Don Henley Accepted Axl Rose’s Offer To Save Guns N’ Roses

Formed in 1985, the world-famous rock band Guns N’ Roses consisted of Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler. They released their debut album ‘Appetite For Destruction’ two years after their formation. A year later, GN’R released their next studio album, ‘G N’ R Lies.’

Both of these albums achieved great commercial success. ‘Appetite For Destruction’ and its single ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts while selling around 30 million copies. On the other hand, ‘G N’ R Lies’ was also a chart-topping album that sold ten million copies worldwide. When GN’R was almost at the top of their musical career, they decided to go on a tour.

During the 1987 Appetite For Destruction Tour, drummer Steven Adler broke his hand and couldn’t perform. Also, he was struggling with drug addiction as well. In 1989 when Guns N’ Roses went to perform for the 1989 AMA show, it was Don Henley who saved the band. Let’s learn what happened during that time.

Axl Rose Called Don Henley To Ask Him To Play Drums For Guns N’ Roses

In 1989, Guns N’ Roses would perform at the American Music Awards, but Steven Adler was battling severe drug addiction. Thus, he entered a drug rehabilitation program to get clean. Due to his absence, the Eagles drummer Don Henley filled in for him during the AMA show.

As Axl Rose and Henley have worked together several times in the past, the drummer didn’t hesitate to accept Rose’s offer to join the band on stage. According to UCR, in a previous interview with Modern Drummer, Don Henley recalled the time Rose offered him to play drums for GN’R. He said that Rose called him while in the studio and asked him to play the drums for the AMA show.

Following that, Henley told Rose that he needed to think about that as he was pretty shocked at that moment. So, he went to the producer Danny Kortchmar to ask for his opinion, and Krotchmar encouraged him to take the offer.

As reported by UCR, Don Henley recalled Axl Rose’s offer as:

“I was in the studio about two or three weeks later, and the phone rang. It was Axl. He says, ‘I got a proposition for you. We’ve got to play the American Music Awards, and our drummer’s sick. We want you to play the drums.’ I was a little taken aback by the proposition. So I told him I’d think about it and call him back.”

During the American Music Awards performance, Don Henley joined Guns N’ Roses to perform their hit single ‘Patience.’ Therefore, he saved the band that day by taking this offer.

Below, you can watch Don Henley’s performance with Guns N’ Roses below.