Axl Rose was grateful for the opportunity to play and speak at Lisa Marie Presley’s funeral ceremony.
I didn’t know I was going to speak or anything,” GNR founding member Slash tells ET’s, Kevin Frazier. To this day, I’m not sure I deserve to be here, but I’ve always tried to do what’s best for her, her loved ones and her many adoring admirers. It meant a lot to me, and I was anxious and upset while performing.
On Sunday, Axl gathered at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, to honor Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie. Rose sang her favorite song to celebrate Lisa Marie, “November Rain.”
To quote him, “that was my understanding, she talked about whether the circumstance… so that’s why I was asked to do it,” when asked why he was invited to play the band’s 1991 hit. That’s why I’m here, of course.
Axl spoke movingly about his buddy and then played the piano throughout the ceremony, bringing the house down with his performance.
The 60-year-old performer addressed the gathering, “I’m sure many of you are still in shock as I feel.” That’s how I plan to stay for the foreseeable future. My gut tells me I should send her a text message to let her know I’m okay and to gush about how great everyone is.
Axl explained, “I never in a million years anticipated singing here, especially under these conditions. Heartbreaking.
The musician shared how Lisa Marie values her family and how significant it is for her to carry on Elvis’s name and music.
I can attest that Lisa had a deep, abiding affection for her loved ones and was passionately protective of her father and his legacy. Axl said, “She was as proud of her father and his place in music, American, and world history as anyone could ever be.”
Austin Butler, who played Elvis in the film Elvis by Baz Lurhmann, was present at the event with his partner Kaia Gerber and his sister Ashley Butler. The actor made special mention of the film’s significance. She was overjoyed by the movie because, as he put it, “she believed it depicted her father and the attention that was put into the film was reflected in the film.”
Following the loss of her son Benjamin Keough in 2020, Axl discussed Lisa Marie’s commitment to helping others despite her pain. He said that Lisa’s life, and the lives of her family and friends, “took a turn down a rough road” after Ben’s death. She was honorable because she did everything she could to alleviate the suffering of those who had suffered or suffered a similar loss or anguish.
He ended by saying, “We’re gathered here today to pay our respects to Lisa and her family and to share our memories, soothe one another to the extent that we’re able, even under such brutal, tragic, and melancholy circumstances as well as honoring the memory of a dear friend, a family member who was much loved and would be sorely lost, a beautiful spirit, and a friend who touched the lives of many. As time passes, everyone whose lives Lisa touched will continue to remember her with fondness and want her return. We appreciate it.
Following this, Axl sang a heartfelt cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain.”