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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2007.10.30 - The Late Show with David Letterman - Interview with Slash

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2007.10.30 - The Late Show with David Letterman - Interview with Slash Empty 2007.10.30 - The Late Show with David Letterman - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:20 am



Transcript:
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Letterman: Our next guest is the guitarist for Velvet Revolver, and the author of this new autobiography in stores today - well, what are we doing here then? It’s entitled “Slash.” Here’s the man himself, Slash, ladies and gentlemen. How are you doing?

Slash: I’m all right!

Letterman: Congratulations on this book. Well, this is a very impressive thing here. This is your life right there.

Slash: Pretty much, yeah.

Letterman: You know, do you mind talking about your… I’m curious about your health. You had some heart difficulties at one point. Do you still have that?

Slash: Well, what happened was, there was a little excessive drinking, or you could say an alcohol problem.

Letterman: How much were you drinking when this problem came on?

Slash: It was a good half gallon of vodka a day, plus-

Letterman: Half gallon of vodka a day!

Slash: That was at home. Then I would go out.

Letterman: Uh-huh?

Slash: And this went on for about ten years.

Letterman: Ten years! My god! And it affected your heart in what respect?

Slash: At a cardiomyopathy.

Letterman: And what does that mean?

Slash: It means, basically, it’s a virus that your heart gets and it weakens your heart muscle.

Letterman: Right. Well, what do they do for that?

Slash: They hope – well, they told me I had six days to six weeks to live.

Letterman: Oh. And so how did that make you feel? How old were you? Just a young man at the time.

Slash: 35, I think?

Letterman: So they tell you that you’ve got maybe six days to six weeks to live.

Slash: Yeah.

Letterman: What did you do then?

Slash: I just didn’t believe it. I was like, “I don’t think so.” So they said, “Well, what we want you to do is, obviously, stop drinking, and”-

Letterman: Did you stop drinking?

Slash: Yeah. And do some minor exercises to sort of build it - you know, see what happens and build it back in shape.

Letterman: Right. Yeah.

Slash: And I did that, and I had my sights on going out and finishing the tour, because this happened during the tour and I had to cancel a bunch of dates. So I was really focused on getting back on the road. I wasn’t really thinking about the possibility of really dying. I didn’t care what the doctors said.

Letterman: Right, right.

Slash: So I did what I was supposed to and I eventually got back on the road. But I recovered, which is an amazing thing, because a couple of people I know died from the same thing.

Letterman: They did give you a pacemaker for this?

Slash: They gave me a defibrillator, like a type of pacemaker.

Letterman: And you keep that were, in your hat?

Slash: (Laughs) No, it’s right here and…

Letterman: (Laughs) Good on us.  

Slash: Yeah (laughs).

Letterman: And in addition to the drinking, a lot of drug use?

Slash: Yeah, there was a lot of drug use. I mean, at that particular time-

Letterman: But you don’t do any of that anymore.

Slash: I haven’t in about a year-and-a-half.

Letterman: Well, good for you.

Slash: After I had it implanted, I went for a good year and I started with the wine…

Letterman: Mmm-mm. You started to drink again.

Slash: And then it started snowballing again.  

Letterman: So you had to cut it down all together. You know, there’s a picture in here - and I don’t know if I will be able to find it – of you and your family, and it looked like you’re on a Disney cruise.

Slash: Ah, yeah.

Letterman: And you have two beautiful little kids. And I’m thinking to myself that you’re lucky to be alive, and you have these kids. You know, what kind of lessons are you able to teach them about life, and about what to do and what not to do? And will you be okay with, you know, if they start drinking and taking drugs like that?

Slash: They’re 3 and 5 right now. Between my wife and I we can teach them a lot about what not to do – what to do and what not to do.

Letterman: Right.

Slash: But I think it’s one of those things where we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. It’s hard to sort of foresee how you’re going to…

Letterman: Do you think that, when they get old enough to understand, they’ll be interested in reading this book?

Slash: I’m not sure (laughs).

Letterman: Do you mind if I show the kids? (shows a photo from the book). Beautiful-looking. They’re beautiful, yeah.

Slash: That had a lot to do with sort of straightening me up.

Letterman: Well, I would think so. And, you know, you look at that picture and it really doesn’t sort of go along with the story you just told, you know? It’s incongruous. I mean, you’re a very lucky man to have those kids and also to be alive. And why do we call you Slash? Where did that come from?

Slash: It was a nickname that Seymour Cassell used to call me. I used to be best friends – and I’m still good friends - with his son, Matt, and so I used to hang out over at their house, and he always used to call me Slash. Basically he says it was because I was always in a hurry, I was always scheming, I was always hustling, and this and that; so he always saw me on the go, on the fly. So he used to call me Slash and it just stuck. My friends started to call me that and it just became a permanent nickname.

Letterman: And you became interested in music at a very young age, right?

Slash: I started playing when I was 15, but I was raised around music my whole life.  

Letterman: And your next-door neighbor when you were a kid was David Geffen. Is that right?

Slash: David Geffen was a neighbor, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, some of the guys from the Eagles… There was a lot of people back then.

Letterman: And how are things with Axl Rose now?

Slash: We haven’t really spoken, but I think what I would like to sort of do is clear some of the air. The media sort of perpetrated a lot of negative energy about the whole thing; and I think I probably helped, too, because I think when I started doing press when Velvet Revolver first started I was still bitter about the whole Guns N’ Roses breakup and I didn’t have anything really positive to say. [I would like to] sort of air that out, if I can.

Letterman: But he actually lived in your home for a while, when you guys were younger, right?

Slash: When he and I first met, he shacked up at my house, when I was still living at my mom’s house.

Letterman: Yeah.

Slash: And we had some interesting situations…

(Someone laughs loud)

Slash: I think because we’d first met and I didn’t really know him that well. One morning I took off and went to work, and I guess he got – in the afternoon he woke up, went up and passed out on my grandmother’s couch.

Letterman: Really?

Slash: Right?

Letterman: Your grandma’s couch?

Slash: Yeah. And I came home from work, and my mom said, “That guy, Axl, I came home and he was asleep on the couch. Grandmother had nowhere to sit.”

(Laughter)

Slash: So I told him – you know, he had to get up and whatnot, so he went downstairs, and so I thought, you know, that I had to confront this issue. So we had rehearsal that night and we got in the car, and I very delicately put it to him that it was sort of rude and whatever. And his reaction was to jump out of the car, and it was probably 35, 40 miles an hour down in Santa Monica Boulevard (laughs).

Letterman: (Laughs).

Slash: And I realized that what I’d said to him had offended him, and-

Letterman: (Laughs) How could it possibly offend him? He was the one who took grandma’s couch, for god’s sakes.

Slash: So-

Letterman: Hopped out of the car.

Slash: Right. So, from that point on, it was sort of kid gloves after that.

Letterman: Yeah…

Slash: He had a different way of looking at it.

Letterman: And will all of this ever be healed, do you think, this rift?

Slash: You know, I can’t really tell what goes on in the future. I’m sort of more in the now. I’m not really dwelling on how that’s all gonna happen. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t… It’s been 11-12 years or something since I quit the band.

Letterman: When you were in any incarnation travelling around the country, would you support or reinforce the stereotypical rock band behavior, busting up hotel rooms, and junking things, and setting fire to the couches, and that kind of thing?

Slash: There was a lot of that.

Letterman: Really?

Slash: Yeah (laughs).

Letterman: And I always wondered, what motivated that? What would cause that?

Slash: I think boredom, more than anything.

Letterman: Boredom.

Slash: You know, being bored, being in a place that’s not necessarily your own, so you don’t have to take good care of it, and just trying to get the hours to pass by - plus, you’re usually inebriated. But then you get the bills and it stops (laughs).

Letterman: (Laughs) And did you have a guy that was in charge of kind of looking after that sort of thing, to sort of take care of it, or hush it up or prevent it?

Slash: When the band could afford it, they put a security guard on me. His job was, basically, to follow me around and try to keep me out of trouble, which became really ultimately a big game. So I would do stuff on purpose just to see if he could catch me.

Letterman: (?) Sure, yeah.

Slash: (Laughs) And, you know, he sort of… I put him through the paces.

Letterman: And one time you heaved a bottle of vodka through a TV screen, is that right?

Slash: Yeah. A bottle of Jack Daniels.

Letterman: Jack Daniels. That happened a lot, probably. That was just for starters.

Slash: Well, he locked me in my room and he was sitting outside the door. I was pissed off and drunk, and I tossed the Jack Daniels bottle at the TV set, and then subsequently fell asleep (laughs).

Letterman: (Laughs).

Slash: You know, one of the things that he did, which was actually really cool and he didn’t have to do, is that he went in my room, took the TV set and climbed out the window - so as no one see him going down the hall with it – went out on the ledge, went to the room next door, switched TV sets, and came back in.

Letterman: There you go. That’s good.

Slash: But we were, like, 11 stories up (laughs).

Letterman: Excellent. He’s out walking on the ledge (laughs). Well, there you go. It’s called “Slash,” in stores today. Very entertaining. Good to see you again!

Slash: Good to see you, too.

Letterman: Thank you very much for being on the program.
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2007.10.30 - The Late Show with David Letterman - Interview with Slash Empty Re: 2007.10.30 - The Late Show with David Letterman - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster Sun May 23, 2021 7:01 am

Slash commenting on this interview and Letterman in general:

Letterman sort of has known me for a while. When he first signed to CBS, they did a show here in L.A. and he asked me to be there. I went down and I liked the guy. He, like a lot of other people, sees me as a sort of comic book character. They find me entertaining. But I got him some cigars and ever since then we’ve been close. But he did do me a good turn [on my most recent appearance]. I was very uncomfortable the first two or three minutes.
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