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Duff McKagan recalled the “culture shock” moment of first meeting Slash in Los Angeles in a new interview.

McKagan shared the story on Rock This with Allison HagendorfThe eventual bandmates met at the famed Canter’s Deli. Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler was also present during the meeting. McKagan said, “It was so foreign to me. I had come down [from Seattle] and played punk rock gigs [in L.A.], but I didn’t know anybody in Hollywood, and here I was. I walked in. His name was Slash in the ad. We talked on the payphone, and I thought he’d be some, like, punker guy like me. ‘Cause it was ’84…The hardcore had come in and kind of ruined a lot of punk scenes. It was these suburban jock guys who shaved their heads and started beating up people and doing ‘sieg heils.’ It was, like, ‘This is not punk, guys.’ So whatever was next, it was gonna be up to.”

McKagan continued, “So this guy’s name was Slash. The influences he liked were Fear, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper… I’m, like, okay, but this guy’s going kind of where I’m going. I had blue hair, short blue hair. I walked into Canter’s. And they told me what booth they were gonna be at. So I found the booth, and it’s these two long-haired guys, and I’m, like, ‘Woah.'”

Duff added, “It was kind of a culture shock, and I think I was a little bit of a culture shock to them. But we sat down and started talking, and we talked about music. And that’s the thing that — it’s a universal thing. We went back to Slash’s house, his mom’s basement, and he started playing acoustic guitar…and I’m, like, ‘Oh, wow.'”

McKagan is currently promoting the album The Living: 1982 from his pre-GN'R band The Living. The newly released album was originally recorded in 1982, but the album was thought of as “lost” until the tapes were recently found by the band’s drummer Greg Gilmore, who would later join Mother Love Bone.

The Living: 1982 came out last Friday (April 16) via Stone Gossard’s label, Loosegroove, and features seven songs, all of which were written by a then 17-year-old McKagan.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.