"Oh, you're the man with the hat!": Why Slash "tripped out" meeting Queen Elizabeth II, after offering Ozzy Osbourne £5000 to flash his ass at Her Majesty

Slash and Queen Elizabeth II
(Image credit: Slash - Adam Gasson/Total Guitar Magazine/Future via Getty Images / Queen Elizabeth II - Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

When the Prince Of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, received an invitation to perform for Queen Elizabeth II at the 2005 Royal Variety Performance, the proud royalist was determined to pull out all the stops in tribute to the British Monarch. In this spirit, Osbourne made a phone call to another iconic member of rock royalty, Guns N' Roses' English-born guitarist Slash, inviting Slash to make a special guest appearance on stage with him on the night. The guitarist declared himself "really honoured" to have the opportunity to participate... and even more honoured when he subsequently learned that Queen Elizabeth knew who he was.

Staged at the Cardiff Millennium Centre on November 21, 2005, the line-up for the Royal Variety Performance in question was decidedly un-rock n'roll... unless one's idea of rock n' roll is Cliff Richard, Will Young, Shirley Bassey, Joe Pasquale and Charlotte Church. [Actually, to be fair, Charlotte Church is pretty rock 'n' roll, but that's a topic for another day]. Out of respect for the occasion, Ozzy too opted to dial down the whole Prince Of Darkness schtick, and chose to perform a Beatles classic, In My Life, with a string section, rather than one of his solo hits or a Black Sabbath anthem. He and Slash scrubbed up pretty well, as it goes.

Post-show, the performers stood in line to meet the Queen, with Ozzy accompanied, as ever, by his beloved wife and manager Sharon, and Slash joined by his young son London. "It was interesting... kinda cool, " Slash recalled.

"When she got round to me she said to me, 'Oh, you're the man with the hat!' It was a moment, you know? The fact that the Queen knew who I was, that tripped me out."

Summarising the evening, Slash added, "That was a lot of fun, that was well worth the trip."

It later transpired that Slash wasn't quite as well behaved on the night as he appeared to be, as Ozzy revealed that the guitarist offered him £5,000 to flash his arse at the Queen.

"A few beers inside me and I would have double mooned the Royal Box," Ozzy admitted to the Sunday edition of UK newspaper The People.

Watch Ozzy, Slash and Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin perform for Queen Elizabeth II below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.