The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the most-watched musical performances on the planet. It's a place where only the greatest (or at least biggest) artists are allowed to strut their stuff while big burly blokes drink Gatorade in a nearby dressing room, shouting words like "Scrimmage" and "The longest yard".
In 2011, it was the turn of The Black Eyed Peas, coming a few months after the mixed-reception to their sixth album The Beginning. Following in the footsteps of The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty in the three years prior, the LA hip-hop collective had the opportunity to sprinkle some bombastic sometimes-political pop bangers over the end zone. But, because it's the Super Bowl, they needed some rock'n'roll too.
And who do you call when you need an instant injection of guitar-slaying badassery into your set? Mr. Slash Slashington.
Let's get one thing out of the way early: what happened next was not Slash's fault. By 2011, he must have played Sweet Child O' Mine live thousands and thousands of times. He can do it in his sleep, upside-down, with his guitar behind his head. Cut him and he bleeds 'whoa-oh-oh's.
Similarly, it's not strictly Fergie's fault just how much of a car crash this duet is, but it's certainly not her finest moment.
It starts with the punctuation-abusing will.i.am, complete with titanium hairdo, shouting the word "Beats!" over the top of that iconic guitar intro for seemingly no reason. Down below, glowing green bodies float around the pitch, resembling Mr. Burns coming out of the woods, before the swarming crowd converges at the lip of the stage and start putting their hands in the air like they just don't ruddy care – because, y'know, this is RAWK music. This is what rock fans do. We hear a riff and instantly start pogoing with both arms aloft for the duration of the song. That is our duty.