Slash reflects on “I’m Just Ken” Oscars performance: “I had no idea what to expect”

Disney/Frank Micelotta

To make it to the Oscars, Slash needed to pull a Taylor Swift.

Just like the pop superstar hopped on a last-minute jet from Tokyo to see boyfriend Travis Kelce win the Super Bowl, the Guns N’ Roses shredder fit in a flight to Los Angeles in between tour dates in Asia to take part in Ryan Gosling‘s instantly iconic performance of the Barbie song “I’m Just Ken” during Hollywood’s biggest night.

“I flew to LA from Korea, got to the Kodak Theater, got rushed into this crazy mayhem situation which is the Oscars, and we did a quick run through with Ryan Gosling singing and all these guys dancing around, and then went backstage,” Slash tells Classic Rock magazine. “I sat in the audience with all the other actors for the ceremony, then got up and played the song, got in a car, went back to the airport and flew to the Philippines.”

Slash played on the studio version of “I’m Just Ken,” as did Wolfgang Van Halen, who also took part in the Oscars performance. While the two guitarists definitely brought the riffs, Slash maintains that Gosling was the number’s real star.

“Ryan was really cool, I had no idea what to expect,” Slash says. “We hung out backstage, and he sung the s*** out of the song — I’ve got to give him kudos, he made that whole production happen.”

Meanwhile, Slash is preparing to release a new blues covers album, Orgy of the Damned, on May 17, and launch a U.S. tour in July. Guests on the record include AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson, Iggy Pop, Demi Lovato, Gary Clark Jr. and ZZ Top‘s Billy F Gibbons.

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