Born Saul Hudson in Hampstead, London, in 1965, and spending his early years in Stoke-on-Trent, he moved to Los Angeles around the age of five and subsequently adopted the stage name Slash.
After playing in a number of LA bands, in 1985 he decided to join a bunch of old musician friends who had just formed a new band called Guns N’ Roses The rest, they say, is history. G N’ R toured for a stormy eight years - various drug related incidents causing many problems within the band. Slash himself was not immune to the problems of drug and alcohol abuse. However the band was staggeringly successful in spite of these setbacks. Their debut album, ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ has sold over 28 million copies to date.
After the demise of Guns N’ Roses, Slash formed Snakepit, then Velvet Revolver, and is now touring with Alter Bridge’s magnificent vocalist, Myles Kennedy, and the backing band, The Conspirators.
Slash is immediately recognisable onstage owing to his penchant for wearing a leather top hat, shades, and heavy silver jewellery. The hat has become a trademark for the man, as has his collection of Gibson Les Paul guitars and signature Marshall amps. Playing style can only be described as heavy rock - there’s not much light and shade apparent, which is why I find his music so appealing!! His sound is huge, yet at times very tasteful. Just listen to his playing on ‘Give In To Me’ from Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ album to see what I mean - skip to 3.28 on this track to hear one of my favourite solos of all time.
The YouTube clip I have chosen to feature his playing skills hails from a live performance of ‘Anastasia’ from the album ‘Apocalyptic Love’. Both audio and video quality are excellent, whilst Slash’s performance is just stratospheric - blisteringly fast and accurate - definitely NOT mindless widdling.
A signed poster of the great man adorns my office wall, and a personally presented box of guitar picks has pride of place on my desk, a memento of his (and my) visit to the Guitar Guitar shop in Epsom in 2011. What a gent!