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1992.06.12 - The Newcastle Journal - Slash n’ sex n’ drugs n’ rock n' roll (Slash)

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1992.06.12 - The Newcastle Journal - Slash n’ sex n’ drugs n’ rock n' roll (Slash) Empty 1992.06.12 - The Newcastle Journal - Slash n’ sex n’ drugs n’ rock n' roll (Slash)

Post by Blackstar on Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:17 pm

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Guns N’ Roses, who currently wear the mantle of the world's most dangerous rock band, make music and headlines. JANE CHILTON talked exclusively — and nervously — to lead guitarist Slash.

Slash n’ sex n’ drugs n’ rock n' roll

He does what he does... but he’s no animal

IT WAS one of the most nerve-wracking jobs I've ever been asked to undertake — an interview with Slash, guitarist with the infamous Guns Ν' Roses.

If you believe all the hype, this man eats babies for breakfast. He's a reformed heroin addict, openly talks about the women he has bedded and is constantly portrayed as mean, moody, totally unpredictable and one who doesn't suffer fools gladly.

On meeting him, however, another side of the man presented itself.

There were no explosive situations, no cat and mouse games or rushed responses — just a very quiet, light humoured, relaxed man, trying to control a severe bout of hiccups while giving full and honest answers.

He'd just returned from a massive shopping spree in Cologne, buying T-shirts and hats — which he collects by the box load. “I’ve got over 4,000 T-shirts." he explained between hiccups. “They're all stashed in boxes back home. I wear them once, then store them away."

Not the sort of hobby you'd expect a prime member of the wildest rock and roll band in the world to undertake.

Slash — born Saul Hudson, in Stoke-on-Trent, leafy England, 26 years ago — looks every inch the star member of the most dangerous rock and roll band in the world.

His hair, thick, dark and curly, falls over his eyes while his petulant lips draw on a cigarette. But that's as far as the stereotype goes.

He claims to be totally bemused and a wee bit saddened about the band's fearsome image.

“You know, this band is so emotionally vulnerable and sensitive and yet everyone is expecting these egotistical, drinking, drug-taking sex maniacs.

"Yeah, we do what we do, but we’re not animals. In a moral sense we are good people, we're not malicious and the only time we mess with people is when they  mess with us." (Slash didn't exactly say "mess" but you know what I mean.)

“If we're not playing or travelling we're not acting wild and out of control, we just hang out. It's everyone around us who tries to make a big deal about things but we don't think it's a big deal. But if people try to take pot shots at us, which they do, we just throw them out."

“We're smart," he added. “We do sort of live the whole rock and roll thing but we’re still here. We have been balancing on a tightrope just to get this far and we’re still here and we’ve learned a lot and can deal with things accordingly. We're more in control than we were."

So what about the drugs?

“Well, I like to take chances which have a lot of risk but at the same time I'm not stupid. I've been through my drug trip early as opposed to being 35 and losing everything. I sorted that out.

“I just got sick of taking heroin. I am a very addictive person and I got to the hilt. I finally  realised my first priority was the band and the drugs were detrimental to my career and I said, ‘OK, I’ve had my fair share of ODs, let's kick it’, which I did."

Drugs were not the only risk Slash was taking. He admits he and the other members of the band have had their fair share of women while touring the globe. Until the true danger of Aids was drummed home to them.

“The world tried to lay it on homos and needle users but it turned out that was just not the case. Now we've all changed our attitudes to sex. Although Aids hasn't cramped my lifestyle, it has taken that
option away.

"We had to realise it's silly. I have to admit we have all had to see our doctors — we have physicals.

Although it may seem we run wild we are actually very aware of how you can suffer. We have gone to our doctors a few times for tests and had to wait for a week for the telephone call to tell us it's all right, and that's a drag. It does have an effect."

“Guns Ν’ Roses is considered mainstream now, but when we started we were totally against the grain and that's why we were lucky enough to be signed. We were allowed to do our own thing; they hadn't seen anything like us at the time and our attitude opened the doors for other bands.

“We've been going against the industry since we started and we've continued with that attitude — we haven't given up our guns to anyone. It's always been close to the edge but it's the way we were brought up, it's the way we do things. Sadly those things become so sensationalised."

So what can their fans expect when Guns Ν' Roses land in Gateshead on Tuesday for what’s being billed as the greatest rock and roll show on earth? “It's going to be wild and unbridled energy," he said.
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