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1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist

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1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist Empty 1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist

Post by Blackstar on Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:39 am

1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_096
1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_097
1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_098
1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_100
1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_099
1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_101
1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist 1988_102



By Arlett Vereecke

There’s no argument here: Guns N’ Roses are the fastest-rising rock band on the scene today.

It’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating: They’ll be bigger and larger than The Stones ever were. The band has all of the right ingredients: Axl’s vocal capacities and presence are downright out of this world, while lead guitarist Slash developed his own blues-oriented style most rock fans have been craving for many years.

At a recent Los Angeles Aerosmith/Dokken concert attended by rockers such as Motley’s Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, the whole Ratt pack, Blackie Lawless, Bon Jovi and many others, Slash was, by far, the most mobbed person in the hall!

Slash is probably the most identifiable Gunner in the band, but looks aside, this is one cool dude!

Meeting Slash is quite a revelation. He’s entertainment to the max—funny, bright, caring, always supplying the party spirit, and he loves to drink shots of Jack Daniels. Parties and playing guitar aren’t his only interests in life, though. A bookworm (who favors horror stories as well as horror movies), Slash is quite up to date on what’s going on in the world. But most of all, he’s intriguing, and as the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat.

Born and raised in England, where he lived with his dad and grandparents, Slash (at 11) and his family relocated to America and joined his mother, who was, for business reasons, still L.A. based.

"Straight to Hollywood,” he laughs, "and ALL of Hollywood, too, because my family was always real mobile,” Slash states. "We never lived in one place for more than a year, so I lived in all of the greater Hollywood area.”

Although there are no other musicians in his family, both of Slash’s parents worked indirectly in the industry—his dad, as an art director in charge of creating album covers, and his mom, as a very sought-after clothes designer for superstars such as David Bowie, Chaka Khan and many others.

"We had a record collection that was just vast!” he recalls. "One wall, about 16 feet long, was piled up with crates of records. I just loved music, and all I used to do all day was pick out records to listen to from The Who, Joni Mitchell, Minnie Ripperton, The Stones, Chaka Khan, Rufus, Cream, Derek & The Dominoes, David Bowie, The Beatles and more, but I never planned or aspired to be a musician at that time.”

He credits fellow Gunner Steve Adler with turning him on to playing in the first place. "Steven had an amplifier in his bedroom,” Slash explains, "and he had all of these Kiss records. He was a total Kiss freak. He had a guitar and an amp, and he’d just plug it in and turn it all of the way up when his grandparents were at work and bang on it real loud, and I was just fascinated by it. Right off, I wanted to start a band but didn’t know anything about playing. I just wanted to be in a band and learn how to play. Steve had a guitar, but he couldn’t play guitar; he just knew how to bang on it. He’d bang, like, one song on one string, and since he had a guitar, he wanted me to play bass. I decided that if I wanted to learn how to play, the first thing I should do is try and take some lessons. I had no instrument of my own, and I was really ignorant about the whole thing.

I wasn’t piecing it together or trying to look at it realistically. So, what happened was, I went to take lessons without an instrument. The teacher asked me which instrument I’d rather play, bass or guitar, and I didn’t know the difference! When he explained the difference, I said, 'Guitar.’ It sounded more interesting—it had more strings on it, and I never went back to take lessons.

"First, I got a one-string guitar from a garage sale or something, and I started teaching myself UFO songs, Aerosmith songs, all on one string. I’d be going up and down the neck, you know—you have to stretch around.

"Finally, my grandmother bought me a cheap acoustic nylon-string guitar. I thought, 'Now that I’ve got the right instrument, I should go back to this guitar teacher,’ and I did.

He started teaching me stuff I wasn’t interested in—things like rudiments, basically. Still pretty much ignorant of the whole thing, I wasn’t hearing Ted Nugent, Aerosmith or Cheap Trick in the things he was teaching me, so, eventually, I quit.

"As soon as I quit, all of a sudden, I became very attuned to the whole thing and got really involved, and from then on, my life revolved around playing guitar. I was practicing, learning records, learning guitar licks, learning how to scam to get money to get other guitars and going through and doing the whole musician thing.

"I was really diligent about it, and I got to the point where I would go to school and just ditch school entirely and sit in the bleachers and play my guitar all day. For some reason, everybody stayed away from me all of the time—not because I was an a—hole or anything, but because my head was so into this, and I became very introverted.

"I went through a series of different bands, one of them being Roadcrew, which was a band I think was the first real musical thing I was involved in where we actually went out and played at high schools and parties.”

Steve Adler was out of the picture during that time. He had become a vocalist but couldn’t sing, so it was back to the drawing board for him.

"One day, out of the blue, Steven showed up at a gig and said, 'Get rid of your drummer--he’s not good enough!”’ Slash reports. "I did, and Steven and I carried on Roadcrew, which was really a great band, but we could never find a good singer. So, here I was with a killer three-man group and no singer. At the same time, I was working in a guitar shop, and Izzy came in one day because he’d seen a drawing I did of Aerosmith and wanted to know if he could get a copy of it, and that’s how we met.

"Some time later, I met Axl, and Steven said, 'They have a band—you’ve got to see their band.’ At that time, I wasn’t really interested in another guitar player because I’d never played with another guitar player. I just wanted to steal Axl for my own band, but I couldn’t get Axl away from Izzy. They were like, 'F—k you!’ And I was like, 'All right, f—k you, too, then!’ If it won’t happen, it won’t happen.

"Eventually, Roadcrew broke up, and somewhere along the line, Steven got hooked up with Izzy and Axl, while I would do all kinds of strange stuff. I would play with anybody I could play with, and again, Steven pushed me to go down and play for Axl and Izzy because the guitar player they had wasn’t happening, and Steven persuaded Axl and Izzy to check me out again.

"Axl and Izzy came down with this distant sort of attitude--the 'check-me-out’ attitude. Steven told me, unbeknownst to them, to play my most ripping heavy metal blah, blah, blah.

By this time, I’d become a proficient enough guitar player to play heavy metal, but mostly what I was into was blues stuff, but I could incorporate heavy metal into the blues or blues into heavy metal. The first thing I did was just wail, and they said, ’That’s great, but what happened to that stuff you played for us the last time we met you?’ I said, 'Oh... ’ I played it, they dug it, and we got together.”

Of course, in-between, there was the now-infamous Poison audition...

"I’m to blame for a lot of this whole Poison situation,” he reveals, "because as Alan Niven, my manager, says, 'It’s just another Slash scam.’ What I used to do was, I would join bands and play one gig with them if it was a big enough place and join the band right at the right time when that gig was gonna happen. I’d rehearse with them and go out and do it for exposure. I was sort of like a loan shark in that sense, and it’s sort of selfish, but it’s a selfish business in that you’ve got to get by. So, I’d go out and play with bands because I couldn’t get my own thing happening.

"I wasn’t gonna sit around and keep putting ads in the paper and wait around until I was 20. I could be as old as I am now and not have done anything. I still haven’t seen really anything I’m impressed with come out of Los Angeles. I mean, I love what we’re doing, and I honestly think that out of most of the bands in L.A., this is one of the few that really has any substance to them. And this is what I was fighting against when I was trying out for Poison. Matt, their ex-guitar player, called me and said, 'Listen, I’m going back to Pittsburgh. I’m starting a family, and Poison is open, and if anybody can do it, you can.’

"Matt was really cool, and I dug him a lot. So, here I am thinking, 'Great! I know this band from when I played with them in Hollywood Rose! They’re basically the epitome of what I can’t stand, but I’ll go down there and play with them, and it’ll do wonders for me as far as getting out there is concerned. The auditions lasted for, like, two weeks. I went down a couple of times, had the songs down, played them really well, and then they called me up and said, 'Well, everything’s going great. Let’s have a meeting. This is like a dress rehearsal—don’t bring your guitar.’

"I went down there, and I figured, if anything, they could have the style and image they had, and I’d still go down there being me, and I could always be the f—ing foil for what they do and probably get away with it, but they wanted me to change my shoes, asked me what kind of pants I wore, how I did my hair and all of this stuff, and I was really irked by the whole thing. Anyway, me and C.C. were the two guitar players who ended up being the last two to be picked, and finally, one day, we had a big argument about this thing in the set where they say, 'Hi’ and introduce themselves, and there was no way I was gonna go up and say, 'Hi, I’m Slash’ and do a guitar lick and be real cute about it, so C.C. got the job, which was no big deal. It was just another passing thing, and I went on to do whatever. Now it’s sort of backfiring on me because I got the impression that it looks like I’m bitter because C.C. got the job and I didn’t, which is not the case. I’m not jealous of their band’s success. I’m not jealous of C.C.’s position or any of that stuff.”

So, basically, the whole so-called feud was blown way out of proportion by the press?

"Let me tell you,” Slash confides, "the feud between us and Poison isn’t even a feud. It’s just a situation that happened between me and one of their band members, and it was nothing so serious that had to turn into this full-blown type of ordeal. It held no bearing on the rest of the guys in the band.

"I don’t have anything against the entire band enough for them to go and cause a major problem with the lady from our record company, and I haven’t said anything else in the press about it. It’s not been such a major concern that it’s on my mind, and if they want to take it that far, they can, but the only thing I have to say is that I thought it was in really bad taste.

"If they really wanted to make a point about it, they could have come to me, or they could have come to the rest of the band, who, in turn, would have talked to me about it. I don’t want to start a fight with them. I don’t want to try to beat them up. I don’t want to do anything like that. All I can say is that something was blown way out of proportion by a member of the so-called press, and it was nowhere near as big a statement as it was made out in print to be, so I can understand the misunderstanding there, but at the same time, regardless, I don’t think the whole thing is answered by that kind of action. I’ll stand behind what I did say, but I won’t stand behind what the press said, and, you know, basically, you’re on your own!”



How’s this for a tune? GUNNERS’ W. AXL ROSE singing a duet with ALICE COOPER? Axl and Alice rerecorded Alice’s old hit, '’Under My Wheels,” while SLASH and IZZY laid down some spicy guitar riffs to re-buff the tune. The track will be on the soundtrack for the movie The Decline of The Western Civilization.

Congratulations to GUNS N' ROSES, whose album, Appetite For Destruction, just went gold in America, signifying over 500,000 copies sold!

METALLICA is residing in Los Angeles for the time being. For the first time, they hired a producer to handle the helm for their upcoming album, and their choice was Mike Clink, who just scored highly as GUNS N’ ROSES’ producer. Since both Metallica and Guns are very close friends, it seems they’ve included Mike in their mutual admiration society!

Speaking of friends, the so-called feud between POISON and GUNS N’ ROSES is over. SLASH, IZZY and BRET MICHAELS settled their differences when they ran into each other at the Rainbow nightclub in L.A. Later on, BOBBY DALL joined Slash and STEVE ADLER at their hotel room.

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1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist Empty Re: 1988.04.16 - Blast! - Guns N' Roses' Slash: A Superb Soulful Rock Guitarist

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:12 am

Great find! And great to have a new early interview Smile
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