You can blame Michael Jackson for Guns N’ Roses’ breakup

Rock ‘n’ roll feuds are as old as rock ‘n’ roll itself, but few rifts have been as deep as the one that split up the key members of Guns N’ Roses. Slash quit the band due to personal tensions with frontman Axl Rose in 1996, but a new interview with the group’s former manager suggests that the divide between the two musicians began much earlier — and can be attributed in part to Michael Jackson.

Speaking to Rolling Stone Brazil, GNR’s ex-manager Doug Goldstein said that Rose was deeply offended when Slash played a tribute concert with Michael Jackson. “I told him not to do it because Axl was molested by his father when he was two and he believed the charges against Michael Jackson,” said Goldstein. “So I asked Slash, ‘How much are you receiving?’ … and he said, ‘I’ll just receive a big screen television.’ When Axl found out Slash was going to play with Michael Jackson and that the payment was a big screen TV, he was devastated. He thought Slash would support him and be against all abuse. From Axl’s point of view, that was the only problem. He could ignore the drugs and the alcohol, but never the child abuse.”

According to Goldstein, Slash has never apologized to Rose for performing with Michael Jackson in the wake of his abuse allegations, but that would be the best place to start if the band were ever to get back together — something the manager remains hopeful about. “I really believe that for how much I love the band, I’d be the manager to reunite them,” he said. “I don’t think anyone else could do it.”

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