It’s not uncommon for musicians in fledgling bands to seek out ways to get their music heard, and passing out demo tapes used to be one of the key ways to do so. Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell recalls the time that he gave a demo tape to Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose, who in turn, threw it away.
“When we were actually getting Alice in Chains together, I actually went and saw Guns N’ Roses at the Seattle Center, and I brought a demo tape down to give the band,” Cantrell said during a speech honoring Slash in 2010. “I met Axl after the show actually, I gave it to him, and as he was walking away I saw him throw it away.”
Little did Rose know that Alice in Chains, along with an entire group of bands from Seattle, would eventually be dominating the rock charts in a few short years.
Cantrell recently spoke about his first encounter with Rose again during a discussion on the Appetite for Distortion podcast. He didn’t speak about the memory bitterly, though — he actually cited Guns N’ Roses as being one of the key bands that influenced Alice in Chains.
“I did speak to him about it at a club in New York… We had never really met before, other than just kind of meeting backstage at the show in Seattle at the arena where I gave him the demo tape,” the guitarist recalled.
“I can’t remember what was on it,” he continued. “They were an important band to us, and Appetite is one of a handful of records that’s one of those epic things that transcends space and time and the band. It’s a worldwide massive record and it’s perfect.”
The rocker remembers being in a club with Billy Duffy and seeing Rose enter the room, and approaching him “with purpose.”
“And he comes over and is like, ‘I heard you telling that story about you giving me that demo tape — are you still with that girl that you met there?'”
“It’s kind of just one of those fun things, when you’re proud of your band when you’re kind of unknown, and they were pretty damn huge. People still give me their demo tapes all the time.”
Check out both clips below.
Jerry Cantrell Recalls Axl Rose Throwing Out His Demo Tape
Jerry Cantrell Interview – Appetite for Distortion
Top 90 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1990s