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1992.06.08 - The Liverpool Echo - Gunners proud to be the baddies (Slash)

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1992.06.08 - The Liverpool Echo - Gunners proud to be the baddies (Slash) Empty 1992.06.08 - The Liverpool Echo - Gunners proud to be the baddies (Slash)

Post by Blackstar on Thu 31 Jan 2019 - 5:32

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Gunners proud to be the baddies

GUNS N’ ROSES are about to kick off the UK leg of their massive European tour.
And their latest single — Knockin' on Heaven's Door - is heading straight for the number one spot.
They’ve earned themselves a reputation as being the new bad boys of rock — and are proud of it.
In true rock 'n' roll style Gunners guitarist Slash took time out after their Cologne concert to talk to RACHEL HALLIWELL about drugs, sex and life on the road.


“THIS tour’s just awesome,” drawls Slash, between heavy pulls on his cigarette.

“It’s just been so great for us — we’re havin’ a really good time.”

You'd never guess this lad was born in Stoke-on-Trent!

“This tour’s just gotta be the most exciting thing we’ve done so far.

“I hate to say this, but playing in Europe's better than anything we’ve done back  home in the States.

“American audiences kinda think they own us because that's where we’re from.

Appreciate

“But here people really seem to appreciate what we’re doing.

Then, ever wary of sounding like something out of spoof metal band Spinal Tap, he says: “Hey, does that sound really rock ’n’ roll? Am I being cliché?”

Well maybe a touch rock ’n’ roll — especially when every sentence is peppered with expletives. But what the hell.

He might have been born in ordinary Stoke-on-Trent but he grew up in Los Angeles, surrounded by the rock set.

His dad’s in the music business too and his mum designed clothes for the showbiz crowd, with David Bowie among her clients.

Slash — his real name’s Saul Hudson — is still getting to grips with fame, and the hero-worship that goes with it.

“Sometimes I get sick of having pieces of paper shoved in my face and being told ‘sign this.’

“Even from people who aren’t into us. One woman came up to me with all her sons and said: 'I hate your music but I’ll have your autograph anyway.'

“That kind of stuff gets me pretty mad, so I told her and her sons just where to get off.

"Other people think that because you’re their hero they own a part of you and can hassle you.

“I’m no hero. I’m just pretty good at playin’ guitar.

So good, in fact, that a queue's forming with people who want to work with this 26-year-old.

And although his music is poles apart from the thrashing Gunners style, Michael Jackson was first in line.

Slash played on Jackson’s number one hit Black or White and they’re working together on new material at the moment.

“Oh Michael’s a sweetheart,” laughs Slash. “He’s a really cool guy.

“We’ve been workin’ together for a couple of years now on different stuff.

“I like him — he’s such a sweet and gentle man and actually pretty ordinary.

“People thought it was weird, us working together. I just think that in the end it’s all music — whatever kind you’re into.”

The pair aren’t just poles apart in their musical style. Jackson’s squeaky clean image is a far cry from the shady one Slash and Co. have earned for themselves.

Banned

The trashed hotel rooms and concert brawls have kept Guns n’ Roses in the world’s headlines for years now.

Their lyrics have offended gay rights campaigners, feminists and their records have been banned in a number of countries.

There have been plenty of brushes with the law and, of course, there’s the drugs.

“I knew I had to quit drugs when I nearly got sent to prison. I was into some heavy stuff, we all were.

“I started to notice that guys who did the hard stuff and got a real habit couldn’t keep it up. In the end they died.

“And it was messing up our music.

“We had a talk about it and decided we had to make changes if the band was to go anywhere. That’s why we got rid of some members.

“Some people find our songs offensive — well sometimes life’s pretty offensive.

“We write about the stuff we know about, sex and drugs and that. It’s real life.

“But we’re not saying it’s cool to do all that. We’re just saying, you know, that we’ve been there.”

Slash is the first to admit that his lifestyle is a far cry from anything you or I might experience.

And he says he’s constantly fighting the temptations that go with it.

“OK, I’ve quit the drugs, but there’s plenty of other things to get into.

“You gotta try and keep your hands off the beer, and off the girls.

“That’s hard. But I’ve got a girlfriend now back in LA and I have to think of her.

“She knows girls throw themselves at me because I’m in this famous band and that it’s really tempting for me to just go for it.

“But it upsets her and I wanna try and make it work between us.

“Anyway with AIDS you just can’t enjoy casual sex any more. That hit our business hard you know. I mean, sex was one of our favourite vices.”

Still, he hardly lives the life of a recluse while he’s on the road — unlike the band's frontman Axl Rose.

Axl stays inside his hotel room during tours, only venturing out for each show. He doesn’t even turn up for soundchecks.

“Well hell, you can’t blame him,’’ defends Slash.

“He’s had the worst time with the press. It’s like everyone hates him and wants to dig the dirt on the poor guy.

“We’ve been friends since we were kids. I love the guy. He just gets a bit worked up sometimes and things get to him.

For that reason Slash has taken over all dealings with the press.

And while it’s been hard work, he says he’s learning how to cope with being under the media spotlight.

“I was pretty naive at first and didn’t know how to handle these press guys. But I’m learning.”

He certainly is. One particularly offensive Guns n’ Roses track is Get In The Ring — a scathing attack on the press where they name certain music writers and go on to insult and degrade them.

“I was being interviewed by this radio guy on his show and he just knew nothing about us.

“I asked him what he thought of Get In the Ring and he said it was great — he loved every line.

“So I told him to play it live on his show — he did, and he was lucky to keep his job afterwards!”

Guns N' Roses appear at Manchester's Maine Road on tomorrow. Also on the bill are US rock bands Faith No More and Soundgarden.
Blackstar
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