Zakk Wylde talks about the Black Label Society song that originated during his week of jams with Guns N' Roses in 1994

Zakk Wylde
(Image credit: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

We can only wonder what could have been if Zakk Wylde had joined Guns N' Roses in the mid '90s after jamming with Slash and the band. It was genuinely on the cards that he might join them for a little while but we have at least one piece of music that's tied to that period.

Wylde has again confirmed that Black Label Society song The Rose Petalled Garden was an idea he worked on during the Guns sessions with Slash, Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum

"Well, one of them was The Rose Petalled Garden that ended up on the first Black Label [Society] album [1998's Sonic Brew]," Wylde told when asked about the material that came from his jaunt with Guns. "And then I'm trying to think … It was more in that vein of that kind of stuff. Kind of chunky. But Rose Petalled Garden was one of the ones that we had during that session that, you know, never made it, so I was just like, 'I'll put lyrics to it.'

Zakk Wylde first revealed his Guns adventure in a Kerrang interview back in early 1995. He reportedly spent a week with the band following an invite from Axl Rose. But things didn't quite develop in the way he hoped. 

"There were never any melodies," Wylde recalled to Rolling Stone later in 2000. "There were never any lyrics. I’d say, 'Dude, did you come up with any lyrics yet?’ And he’s just like, ‘Dude, I got people suing me right now.'"

In 1994 Rose faced separate legal troubles with ex-wife Erin Everly and former girlfriend Stephanie Seymour.

Duff McKagan also reflected on Wylde’s brief involvement with Guns in his 2011 autobiography; “[Zakk] brought energy and enthusiasm that was lacking within Guns at the time, wrote McKagan. "‘We can build on the legacy,’ he said excitedly. ‘We can make something great. Listen to this.’ He saw a piano against the wall and sat down and elegantly played it. I had no idea he could play piano at all, much less like this.

"We recorded a few demos with him, but nothing panned out," Duff added. One of those demos would become Rose-Petalled Garden. One of those riff-based demos that Wylde would record with Guns N’ roses ended up becoming The Rose Petalled Garden.”

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.