Rock supergroup Velvet Revolver are to reunite with sacked frontman Scott Weiland next week (beg09Jan12) to honour a late friend of guitarist Dave Kushner.
Slash, Duff MCKagan, Kushner and Matt Sorum have been looking for Weiland's replacement since he was fired from the group following a public bust-up with his bandmates in 2008, but how the quintet will reteam at a benefit gig for musician John O'Brien's widow in Los Angeles on 12 January (12).
O'Brien was found dead in a Chicago, Illinois hotel room last August (11). He was 45.
Kushner tells, "I found out he passed away on August 20, and it was like out of nowhere. 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.' That’s how it started.
"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 individually if they would agree to do it. Once they said so, then I got in touch with Scott, and he agreed."
He admits he's not surprised his bandmates agreed to put their differences to one side to honour his best pal: "John was the brother I never had, and everyone knew him. I’ve known Scott for 22, 23, 24 years, so he’s known John since then; Duff and John had an amazing relationship, and Matt knew him too."
Next week's concert at the House of Blues in Hollywood will also feature Maroon 5, Sheryl Crow, Tom Morello and Stephen Stills. All the proceeds from the show will benefit O'Brien's wife and family.
Kushner adds, "Unfortunately, John didn’t have life insurance at the time (he died) and he left behind a wife that's pregnant and a four-year-old son. That, to me, is the main focus of why I’m doing this."