Back in 2007 Slash revealed in his memoirs that Axl Rose and David Bowie once came to blows over a girl, not just any girl but Erin Everly, the daughter of Don Everly of The Everly Brothers. It was a rock ‘n’ roll soap opera episode we just had to show you.
David Bowie may not necessarily be the first person you think of when you think rock lothario but, to put it mildly, if you were to write of The Thin White Duke then the chances are he’d be off with your girlfriend quicker than a fat drunk guy and a free kebab. The legendary Bowie became infamous for pinching the girlfriends of his contemporaries and often found himself on the end of an ear-bashing from one star or another.
It would also appear that the same thing happened to ’80s and ’90s rock heartthrob Axl Rose. In 1989 Slash had invited his longtime friend David Bowie to come and visit him and his band in a small—but legendary—heavy metal bar called ‘The Cathouse’. Bowie, who had known Slash and his mother Ola Hudson for a very long time, once had the latter design his clothes and costumes since their first meeting in 1975. Slash even claims he once walked in on Hudson and Bowie in the nude… underestimate Bowie at your peril.
In 1989, when Guns ‘N’ Roses were well and truly on their road to major, the band were announced as the warm up for act for The Rolling Stones at their favourite haunt The Cathouse. With Bowie and Slash’s mother Hudson in attendance, sitting in the front row no less, Axl started to throw some nasty insults in his direction. The story has it that Bowie then stood up and left mid-way through Guns’ set. Furthermore, Ola didn’t understand any of it until Slash told her later that Axl was angry at Bowie for allegedly hitting on his girlfriend Erin Everly.
Prior to the gig, there was a shoot for the Guns ‘N’ Roses video ‘It’s So Easy’ (which only saw the light of day last year) which Bowie had rocked up to very drunk. The video featured Everly in leather bondage gear, handcuffs, with a ball-gag in her mouth. According to the owner of The Cathouse, which is sourced in an old Kerrang article, when Axl caught wind of Bowie sizing up Everly, he lost it, and the two threw punches, culminating in Axl chasing Bowie screaming: “I’m gonna kill you, TIN MAN,” according to reports.
As Axl and the band had their shows with The Rolling Stones, Rose ran into Mick Jagger (who himself had fallen victim to the charms of Bowie) alongside Eric Clapton, who at the time of their meeting, had heard about the skirmish and was interested to hear of any blow landed on Bowie’s beautiful bonce. “I was out doing a soundcheck one day when we were opening for the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton cornered me. I’m sittin’ on this amp and all of a sudden they’re both right there in front of me. And Jagger doesn’t really talk a lot, right?
“He’s just real serious about everything, and all of a sudden he’s like (adopts exaggerated Dick Van Dyke-style Cockney), ‘So you got in a fight with Bowie, didja?’ So I told him the story real quick, and he and Clapton are going off about Bowie in their own little world, talking about things from years ago. They were saying things like when Bowie gets drunk, he turns into the “Devil from Bromley” (Bowie’s family moved to the London Borough of Bromley when he was a teenager). I mean, I’m not even in this conversation. I’m just sittin’ there. Listening to ‘em bitch like crazy about Bowie. It was funny.”
Axl and Bowie did eventually make up—hence the image at the top of this article—as they agreed to move on and one assumes Bowie find his next girl and leave Axl’s
(Via: Dangerous Minds)