Blackie Lawless recently appeared on the Guns N’ Roses-focused Appetite for Distortion podcast, and given the theme of the show, host Brando asked the W.A.S.P. leader about any connection he has to the Gunners. Specxifically, he brought up a passage from Sebastian Bach’s autobiography, 18 and Life on Skid Row, where the singer wrote that back in the day when he would hang out with Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose, they would jump in Rose's car and he would be blasting the W.A.S.P. classic, “I Wanna Be Somebody.”
When Brando asked Lawless if he was aware of this fact, Blackie responded, “Yeah, sure. Our road crew that was our local road crew before we started touring the world ended up working with them when they started playing the Troubadour in L.A. And I remember we came home in like '86 after the second tour, and we saw our old crew guys and they said, 'Yeah, we're working with this new band, you know, Guns N' Roses, and we really think they're going to be something. These guys used to come to the Troubadour when we were playing originally and [they said they] would watch you guys, and they thought you were the best thing since whatever, you know?"
Lawless went on to relate a story about Axl Rose telling him that one of Guns N' Roses' biggest songs was inspired by a W.A.S.P. album.
"And then later, after their first album came out, I was in a club one night in Hollywood, and Axl came up and introduced himself," Lawless said. "And I didn't really know them from the record [Appetite for Destruction] yet. I just knew them from our old crew telling me about them. And [Axl] said, 'I just wanted to tell ya, you know, we're huge fans.'
"But he says in reality, 'We have this song called "Welcome to the Jungle," and it seems to be doing good, it’s getting a lot of airplay.' And he says, 'I just wanted to let you know, your record Inside the Electric Circus gave us the idea for "Welcome to the Jungle." '
"And I said, 'Well, what do you mean by that?' He says, 'Well, we looked at the idea of circus, and there's animals in the circus, and jungle, you know, and there's chaos and all that.' And he says, 'We just kind of looked at it, and that's where the idea came from.' "
When Brando asked Lawless what it means to know that he inspired one of hard rock's most famous songs, the W.A.S.P. man responded, "I guess you just take it in stride. I really don’t think about it much. I would imagine most artists, when they look at people who are their peers, we see it differently than the average person out there. It might not have the same sort of impact. But every once in a while you’ll see somebody do their thing and you’ll realize how they got to where they are.”