Kushner explains one-off gig is headline-grabbing fundraiser for dead friend but admits to thoughts of doing more with sacked singer
By Andrew McDonald
Velvet Revolver’s reunion with sacked singer Scott Weiland is a deliberate attempt at grabbing headlines, admits guitarist Dave Kushner.
But now they’ve confirmed a one-off show together in Los Angeles this week, there’s the possibility to working together again in the future.
Kushner brought guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum, himself and Weiland together to raise funds for a dead friend, composer John O’Brien. It will be the first time all five bandmates have performed since Weiland was sacked after a tense tour in 2008.
He tells Rolling Stone: “John was the most talented, generous person I’d ever met. He was the brother I never had.
“I found out he passed away and it was like out of nowhere. He didn’t have life insurance and he left behind a pregnant wife and a four-year-old son.
“Next day I was in shock and my wife said to me, ‘You gotta have a benefit concert for his wife, and you have to get Velvet Revolver back together.’
“We did a benefit show for this thing called Road Recovery – me, Duff, Slash and Matt – in New York, and that’s when I asked those guys if they would do it. Once they said so, then I got in touch with Scott, and he agreed.”
Kushner understood a reunion with Weiland would generate headlines, and admits that was his prime motive in calling the singer up. “If you’re gonna do this, you want to raise some serious money, then put all caution aside. Because we hadn’t played with Scott in a long time, I said ‘look, let’s just do three songs.’ It’s not too much of a commitment.”
But the guitarist accepts the show will put thoughts of a more permanent arrangement into many people’s heads, especially since VR have tried without success to replace the singer since he returned to Stone Temple Pilots.
“As for more shows, everyone’s got other commitments,” Kushner says. “But I think everyone’s like, ‘Let’s get this thing done and get through this’. Then we’ll see.”