The Secret History of Rock

How Ian Thornley Almost Ended Up in Velvet Revolver

Photo credit: Kristina SistiJust as Ian Thornley was getting ready to re-launch Big Wreck after a decade of inactivity, he got a call from Slash.  He and the rest of the guys in Velvet Revolver were still actively looking for someone to be their new singer after the departure of Scott Weiland.  

Would Ian be interested?  What do you think?  Slash sent up a couple of tracks for Ian to sing on.  That went well, so he flew down to LA to give a formal audition.  

That went well, too—except for one thing.  Ian also wanted assurances that he’d still be able to play guitar.  Deal-breaker.  There were already two guitar players in Velvet Revolver, one of whom was Slash.  They didn’t need another one.  

And besides, Ian was more comfortable as a front man standing behind a guitar.  He didn’t have all the front man moves.  Too bad—but it was a helluva experience.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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2 thoughts on “How Ian Thornley Almost Ended Up in Velvet Revolver

  • What balls! To be instantly a millionaire and a world known rockstar, and turn it down to do club tours and maintain his artistic integrity. Wow!

    Already a huge Big Wreck fan, I'm even more impressed now. Having seen them 3 times in their first go-round, and 4 times in the last year, I can honestly say this is the best, heaviest, bluesiest live rock act going, bar none! To miss them is to do a youself a disservice, SJMC!


  • Holy frig, we need to hear the demo tapes. I keep hearing about this and how well it went, etc… let’s hear it. Maybe these guys need a rethink.


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