It might be a stretch to say that Robert Redford brought back together one of the most powerful rock bands of the twentieth century, but strange things have been known to happen at Sundance Film Festival parties. During a private soiree to celebrate the premiere of Alex Steyermark’s Prey for Rock & Roll on Monday, the film’s star Gina Gershon — who plays the aging frontwoman of an all-girl Los Angeles rock band and sings throughout the film — performed live on the small stage of Cisero’s in Park City, Utah, backed up by none other than Guns n’ Roses vets Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.
The unusual combo blazed through a set that included covers of the Nancy Sinatra hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” and the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” during which McKagan duetted with Gershon. Waylon Jennings’ son Shooter, a friend of Prey co-star Drea de Matteo and frontman for L.A. hard rock band Stargunn, took over lead duties for Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” as well as Gn’R’s “It’s So Easy” and the riveting set-closer “Paradise City.”
Gershon, who starred last year on Broadway in Cabaret, ruled the stage in leather pants and a sleeveless denim shirt unbuttoned to her underwire, acting every inch the rock star she dreams to be in Steyermark’s captivating film. “There’s more of an emotional nature to performing theater,” Gershon said after the show. “This was so fun because it’s complete freedom. It’s all instinct. It’s like being a little kid. And how lucky am I to have had these guys behind me? It was amazing.”
Sorum, who ran into Gershon and de Matteo at the Whiskey Bar in L.A. the week before the festival, told the actress he’d come out and back her up. “We were just kinda talking about the movie and the party, and I wound up pimping out Slash and Duff without them knowing about it,” Sorum said. “I’ve always had a bit of a crush on her.”
The trio of ex-bandmates has, in fact, gotten very close again in recent months. Following the death of Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo last spring, Sorum organized a tribute performance that included Slash and McKagan. “We hadn’t played in years, and I called them up and asked them to play with me,” he says. “We just jammed. It was awesome. We sort of looked at each other after that and said let’s try and make something work.” The summer was spent co-writing songs with former guitarist Izzy Stradlin, and the group is now looking for a new vocalist.
“When we went out and saw what Axl was doing with his band, we decided there was nothing standing in our way,” Sorum continued. “We’ve written over fifty songs. We’re ready. We’re going to make a rock & roll album.”
McKagan, Sorum and Slash looked healthy and full of energy on the tiny Park City stage — like a band ready to make a comeback. “We had to take some years to heal from what happened,” Sorum said. “It was all so crazy. We’re a little older, a little wiser, but we’ve still got the rock & roll in us. We’ve been rehearsing every fucking day, five days a week. Coming to Sundance was a good way to break up the monotony of it.”
According to Sorum, the as-yet-unnamed band hopes to get in the studio with a new vocalist — “just like Rage did” — within the next few months and hopes to release a record by the fall. All that’s needed from their rabid fans, at this point, is a little more patience.