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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!
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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:26 am

SIGNATURE INSTRUMENTS


SLASH


Talking about his amps and getting a signature amp from Marshall in 1991:

For the longest time, it was just two old MarshallJCM 800s, and four cabinets. Then, we got the Silver Jubilee heads, and I think I had six heads and eight cabs - two heads for dirty, two for clean, and two as backups. I carried that rig with me all the way up until the St. Louis riot in 1990, when we lost a lot of gear. We had played about 45 minutes when Axl had an altercation with a guy up front, and then left the stage and never came back. The audience was most disappointed and acted accordingly [laughs]. They totaled a lot of stuff, including some of the amps. Luckily, Marshall came to me right then with the idea of doing a signature model JCM Slash head. Perfect timing. [...] I think the controls have a wider range of field than on original Jubilees, but, other than that, it's basically just a reissue of a great amp


In July 1996, Slash would mention that Gibson Guitars was making a Slash signature Gibson Les Paul guitar, but that it was not in sale yet [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996]. Slash would also tell that his private guitar collection now contained 87 guitars [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996].

The guitar featured cranberry finish with Slash’s Snakepit logo, snake inlay across the whole fretboard, and two Alnico Pro II humbuckers.



Gibson Custom Slash Les Paul SNAKEPIT
1995/1996



Another Slash Signature Les Paul was released in late 2003 or early 2004:

Gibson based it on a 1987 Standard that's been my main live guitar ever since then, I remember I bought it at cost from Gibson back then when Guns were on their first big tour. I've never found a guitar that sounds quite like it. So that's the model we used. The main addition is definitely the piezo system. I can flick this switch and go to an acoustic, so it's definitely a live guitar. Actually, that song we were talking about earlier, You Got No Right, that's sort of what inspired it because it's got that acoustic beginning. I've only got two prototypes here. I'm gonna get some more and try to find the one that's got the perfect sound. Also, I think we're gonna dull the finish up a little bit, and that's gonna be the one that's commercially available.


Talking about his signature guitars:

There is a couple of them coming out. There is a Signature model, which is basically a Les Paul that has a certain kind of neck cut and vintage hardware. It is basically a 59 re-issue. It is very a nice looking guitar; I got two of them out on the road right now. The other one is inspired by the guitar that is a replica that I got from Gibson in 1988, that I have been touring with all the way up until now. It is a replica meaning, it has all the cigarette burns, and cracks in the neck, and dents and belt buckle scratches to a tee. It looks identical to the original. There are those two guitars, and then is an Epiphone model of the Slash model, which is a little bit less expensive than the Gibson model. I think there is a Gold top coming out, which is a re-issue of the Gold Top that I have been using for the last twenty years. There are a couple of different options to those two guitars. Some have the shiny brand new finish, and then there is one that is completely faded, different things like that. I was using it in New York.


Eventually Slash would collaborate with Gibson on 29 Les Paul models [slashparadise.com, retrieved on August 17, 2020].

[Discussing one of his signature guitars]: [...] my Les Pauls are missing the pickup covers only because I take them off. But new guitars almost always come with them on. Also, the first run of "SLASH" Les Pauls probably have ebony fingerboards because that's what I asked for in the designing process. But I switched back to rosewood like my main live guitar.


Being asked what he likes in Les Pauls:

One thing I like - and this is one of the main reasons we're doing these Slash model Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls - is a thin, shaved neck. Not the round 1959-style, baseball bat neck, but a thinner '60s-era neck. Also, the guitar has to be heavy. There will be a chambered Slash Signature model available, too, but there's something that seems very amiss to me about a Les Paul that's light. Sey­mour Duncan Alnico Ils are my favorite humbuckers. They're low output, so you don't get that reallyover-the-top distorted, midrange­y kind of Les Paul sound, but you still get a bit of growl. I have no real hardware preferences. I don't care if a Les Paul has vintage-style knobs or newer ones. I had Gibson leave the finish on the Slash models they just sent me, because they look so pretty all brand new ­ though they're almost coo bright and shiny on stage. They've also made some Murphy Aged versions chat are more washed-out and dull looking. The Epiphone Signature model is more affordable than the Gibson USA model, but it actually has a lot of the same exact gear on it. We'll probably have other guitars coming out too, such as a goldtop Paul, and maybe a Firebird and a double-cutaway Melody Maker.

My two best Les Pauls are the Standards I bought brand new in 1988. I've used one as my main stage guitar, and the other as a backup for all these years. The Inspired By Slash model is an exact replica of my main 1988 Standard. They recreated every scratch, cigarette burn, and belt buckle scrape so accurately that when I first saw it, I thought it was my original, and I grabbed it to take it home. They said, "That's the prototype!" [Laughs.] I've got that prototype in my arsenal on the road. It's so identical that it even has the same scar the original has from me breaking the neck off.


Talking more about his signature guitars:

I think what's happened over the years is I've played so many different Les Pauls, I've always had four, if not 10 Les Pauls out with me on the road, and I think the signature models are basically just accruing information that I've picked up over the years having played Les Pauls for so long.

I've identified the different features that I really like, and so those particular necks are what I've gravitated towards with particulars guitars on the road, so it's basically just an accumulation of knowledge.

[Being asked if he has ever been tempted to incorporate any crazier features into your signature instruments]: Well personally all I'm doing is playing guitar. I don't go in for any pyrotechnics and I don't need any bells and whistles and I think the more you cut out of a guitar to make room for any sensationalistic amenities like that the more you take out of the guitar's original sound, and I try to keep it intact.


In October 2008, Gibson was release a Slash signature Goldtop:

Obviously we've had this relationship for a long time [=with Gibson] and I'm constantly going to them at the beginning of the tour cycle or whatever and going, "I need a guitar for this. I need a guitar for that," and when Velvet Revolver first started, I'd wanted to take my 1988 Les Paul and retire it. So, I went to Gibson and they built me sort of a Slash model, let's say. It sounded amazing, so I had a couple of those and did the first Velvet Revolver record with that particular guitar.

I think they sold a couple commercially. But, it wasn't like a big launch like this kinda thing. It was a very limited edition. And then at the beginning of this next tour that we did for the Libertad record last year, I went to them, I said, 'I need another guitar.' I specified what I wanted and you know, because Les Pauls are pretty much perfect right out of the box, I don't have a lot of things to have to tweak on them.

I'd like to make sure that it's a particular size neck that I feel comfortable with and I put the Alnico pickups in them. I usually choose old-looking hardware, just because it looks cooler to me. I'm very particular about the finish, if I have a choice, right?

That's basically how it starts and when we did these Goldtops, we took it a little bit further. We redesigned the tone pots so that they wouldn't diminish volume or presence when you turn them all the way down. Because one of the great things about the Goldtop is, on the rhythm pickup, if you turn the tone down or are using a Marshall with a certain amount of gain, you get one of the sweetest, creamiest lead sounds, which is great for blues or any kind of long-sustaining notes that you wanna do.

Basically the Goldtop is a reissue of the 1991 Goldtop I got from them back then. And I used it for the whole two and a half year Guns N Roses "Use Your Illusions" tour. That was the guitar I did all those real epic solos for, or epic songs rather, like "Sweet Child of Mine" and "November Rain" and "Estranged" and "Heaven's Door." And all of these had these very melodic, sustaining solos. That guitar was just perfect for it. It got stolen in 1998 or '99 along with a bunch of other guitars. I got everything back, except for the one guitar.

Finally, I went to Gibson and said, "Could you check your logs and see if you can find the specs for a 1991 Goldtop?" And they did and so they built me one. They said, "Oh, this is a great guitar. Maybe we should put this out commercially." So, here we are.

This is a new Les Paul that Gibson is launching today, actually. It's basically a replica of a guitar I used for years. I got it from Gibson. It was 1991 so it was a brand new, off the showroom floor Goldtop and I used it for all these epic songs with these long sustained note guitar solos like "November Rain," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Sweet Child of Mine" and a couple other songs like the Godfather theme. Anyhow, it was just this amazing sounding guitar, very well rounded. What I loved was I'd take the tone off the rhythm pick up, turn it all the way down, do these solos and it was just sustained for days. There was no real pick attack because you turned the tone down so you just got this creamy sound. I loved it. In 1998 I was hanging out watching a movie with a friend and realized I was missing all this stuff. My guitar tech came back all white, like, "All your guitars are gone." It was unreal. Like something out of a bad dream. Slowly but surely over the years I got the guitars back and the only one I didn't get back was the Goldtop. So finally I went to Gibson and said, "Can you guys look up the specs on the 1991 Goldtop?" And they did and they built me one. They thought it would be a good idea to make a Slash model.

You know what happened? There are basically four Slash models at this point: there’s the Gold Top which is coming out and the other ones that I did not too long ago. And those are just after years and years of refining my own Les Pauls. So it was very simple to sort of go down and hang out with the boys over at Gibson in the Custom Shop and also Gibson USA and go, “This is specifically what we need to put on this guitar and how we need to do the neck,” and so on and so forth. It’s like I’ve been developing my own Les Pauls over the years for myself and so we just modeled these guitars after particular favorites of mine.

I asked Gibson to make me a reissue of the 1991 Les Paul Goldtop that I had been using on tour for “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “November Rain” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” This was probably the best guitar that I ever heard for playing those kinds of solos. In 1998, I had my studio ripped off and all my guitars were stolen. Slowly but surely I got them all back — but the one I didn’t get back was that particular Goldtop. Finally, I got to the point of asking Gibson to build me a reissue. It’s amazing: they built me this guitar and it sounds exactly like the 1991 stolen guitar, which somebody out there still has.


The Goldtop would be a limited edition:

They are limited. They're not gonna be like a regular season-long kind of production. As far as I know, it stops there.


And Slash would personally sign 2,000 certificates:

I'm actually sitting on the same couch right now where I actually signed all 2,000. It's a bitch to sign 2000 certificates! Let me tell you, you do it in increments of 500!



DUFF


In October 2007, Fender released a Duff McKagan signature P Bass model, based on his main Jazz Bass Special [eGigs, March 3, 2008]. Being asked if he plays that bass all the time now:

(Laughs) It's only my signature bass because it's the one I play, it's the first bass that I bought when Guns n Roses got our advance and that's the one I wanted. Fender stopped making them, so they would make those basses for me at the custom shop. It's the bass I preferred to play and it's the one I still to this day. I have some other Fender basses and I have some old P3B-F (P-III Bass-F) ones and they're great and cool but I wouldn't take them on the road. So you could say on the road I played my bass.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:27 am

JULY 1996
'SLASH'S BLUES BALL'


Things were not working for Slash with Guns N' Roses after his return from touring with Snakepit, so he filled his time with other projects [see other chapters]. One of these were blues music. In February 1996, it would be reported that Slash had jammed blues tunes with Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora and actor Steven Seagal at the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues [New York Daily News, February 5, 1996; Kenosha News, February 7, 1996].

In July 1996, Slash would announce that he would be going away to play in a new blues band:

Gun has been trying to get the next record together and in the meantime, i've been working on soundtracks and just jamming arount town. i'm playing in Budapest on the 14th of Aug with a Los Angeles based blues band.

Well I'm on my way, actually this evening, well tomorrow morning, it is a three o'clock in the morning - I have to get ready and fly out to Budapest. So I'm doing this sort of band that I threw together to do like a whole bunch of old blues covers and we're just playing a festival.


Talking about hos the band was founded:

I didn't have a band together at the time, so I went down to this club called the Baked Potato, where I jam on Tuesdays, I put the band together […].


This blues band was originally called Slash's Blues Balls or Slash's Blue Balls, but it would be changed for later shows [WAAF, May 28, 1997]. One of the members of the band was Teddy "Zigzag" Andreadis, and the first gig would be in Budapest, Hungary, on August 14, 1996 [Netscape Online Chat, July, 1996].

Then I got a phone call to play a gig in Hungary; our manager Tom [Maher] goes, "We got this offer for headlining this festival in Hungary, and it's a big, seven-day event in a stadium." And I was like: "I don't have a band! How am I gonna do that?" I had to put a band together, but they had to be the right players-people who would consider Snakepit a permanent "day job." So I got Teddy "Zigzag" Andreadis, who played keyboards and harmonica in Guns, and we hooked up with musicians that he knew. That's how I hooked up with Johnny [Griparic, bass]. So we put a band together and called it Slash's Blue Balls-it was a joke, because in Hungary they'd think it was funny, but we changed it to "Blues Ball" later-and we went out and headlined the last day of this festival. We played some really cool old stuff, and the whole place went nuts, so we just kept booking gigs after that. And I kept changing drummers, changing rhythm guitar players, and this and that until Blues Ball became a permanent entity.


Talking about the gig in Hungary:

It was like a throw-together bar band in front of 23,000 people [laughter]. We had a great time.

[…] we flew to Hungary and played in front of 20,000 people. It went over well and was a lot of fun, so we decided to take it on the road.



1996-1997: SLASH RETURNS TO THE BLUES AFTER GUNS N' ROSES


Immediately after leaving Guns N' Roses Slash would return to playing with his blues band, Slash's Blues Ball and would embark on a five-date tour [Associated Press/The Daily World, November 13, 1996]. Slash would describe the band as "really just a good-time band" and:

It's mostly all covers--and not necessarily a lot of blues. There's a lot of old-style rock in there as well. […] this isn't like the traditional blues cover band you see in clubs these days. There's definitely a hell of a lot more decibel levels going on. Nobody should be expecting a nice, quiet B.B. King type of thing. It's more of an approach of, say, like a Johnny Winter.

And no two shows are ever the same.




Poster for show at The Tramps, New York
December 5, 1996



Slash would be occupied with Slash's Blues Ball throughout 1997, touring the USA.

Looking back at Slash's Blues Balls:

I got on the phone to put together for a particular gig, so I made phone calls to all the local musicians that I'm good friends with and I ended up... one of the guys was the bass player, Johnny Blackout...so we did six months of touring, having a great time doing Slash's Blues Ball, which was really just a glorified cover band. We covered everything from John Lee Hooker to the Stones to Joe Walsh. We did all kind of different material. It was all very cool. We had our own approach to doing the material the way we did it.



2008: A ONE-OFF BLUES SHOW


In 2008, Slash would again do a show with Blues Balls, this time at the premiere of the "Bottle Rock It" concert series in Las Vegas, together with Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, Jason Bonham and Royston Langdon of Spacehog [Daily Fiasco, July 7, 2008].


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:27 am

1996
SLASH AND RENEE HAVE THEIR UPS AND DOWNS


In August 1996, it would be reported that Slash had sold his house in the Hollywood Hills, and this was likely the house that was totaled in the earthquake, and bought a "Spanish-style house built in 1929" in the Beverly Hills [Los Angeles Times, August 25, 1996].

As for their marriage, they had their ups and downs:

[Renee is] wonderful, she's pursuing her acting career. She's done commercials but she's trying to get a good movie part. I drive her crazy. It's just the way I am. We've been married for two years and been together I guess five years. We've had our ups and downs. I told her we're gonna be on a tour bus. She'll come in and out, she's not into f.ckin' gigs and all that. She's not from that side of the fence, which is probably why I married her. I knew a lot of girls from my side of the fence. They're trouble.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

[Renee]'s pissed off at me now because this is all I do, and then I go out with my friends. She doesn't keep the same kind of crowd that I do, so we usually don't go out together. I'm hanging out with Matt. We're fine, but she's pissed off at me because I didn't come home until 6:30 yesterday morning! It's no big deal. She knows who she married and she deals with it.

You obviously learn from previous mistakes. Unless you're a complete fucking idiot. But having gotten married has changed me. But within reason. […] She hasn't tried to change me too much. There are certain limitations to what I can get away with.

[Renee] pops in and out — which is cool! She’s turned into one of the guys! The only thing is we go into a bunk, we do our thing, and then she kicks me out and she sleeps on the bunk and I sleep on the couch at the back! I get to stay in the bed at home — unless she’s pissed off at me!

Getting married has been great, cuz I love my wife very much. But, at the same time, I don’t change very easily, and so there’s a lot of, like, checks and balances in the relationship, where I have to adhere to certain needs she has, and she has to deal with me, basically (laughs). So we’ve been pretty harmonious. You know, it’s been almost three years, so we’re doing pretty good.

I love my wife dearly, but it's hard for me to measure this all out. She's my first and only wife. If anything should ever happen in this marriage. I'll never get married again.


After marriage, Slash claims to have become faithful:

I've been faithful since we got married and, you know what, it hasn't been too hard. Sometimes I'll look up a girl's skirt. I'm like a divining rod. But I wouldn't go any further than that. […] Now you can see how fucking evil women are. They want to fuck you just because you are married. Just to fuck the chick up. They want to see if they can conquer you. But I'm not stupid.


And whether Renee trusted him:

Yeah, she does now but it took a long time.


One issue that might have caused a bit of friction between Slash and Renee was a rumour published in New York Times that Slash had had to be rescued from his hotel room after having been handcuffed to his bed [The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 29, 1996]. Slash would mention this rumour in an interview with MTV [MTV, August 1996], and again in 1997:

That I was handcuffed to a bed that didn't even have a bedpost. It was in the New York Times. I had to call my wife to tell her,  "Look, don't believe this, it was not... didn't happen." They said they had to get a rescue team to come get me from a room that does not have a bedpost. How could I possibly be handcuffed to it? And that's what people read.


As for having kids:

No. We have enough animals. The biological clock has stopped at this point. We have cats and dogs.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

I'm not exactly the marrying kind, so we have our ups and downs. She doesn't come on tour all the time. She's no fuckin' Yoko. We have an agreement not to have kids. We’re too busy. That's why if she tells me she’s forgotten to take her pill, I say, 'Well, get up an' take the fuckin’ pill.'

Not now but maybe someday.


Slash would also mention that they considered moving to "the outskirts of London or Ireland" [Kerrang! July 1995].

After returning to Los Angeles after the tour with Snakepit, Slash involved himself in numerous projects, including an appearance at Florida Guitar Show on February 24, 1996 [The Tampa Tribune, February 21, 1996].

Sometime in late 1994 or early 1995, Slash would have a cameo in Tales From the Crypt:

One of the actors in the series, Miguel Ferrara, is a very good friend of mine. He has acted in great films but never in leading roles. Another friend of mine, Steve Lukather, the guitarist of Toto, has also worked in the show. So they asked me to play a rock DJ. ‘Tales From the Crypt’ is my favourite TV show, so I agreed to do it in a heartbeat. I was supposed to wear leather and have my top hat on and stuff. I only uttered three sentences, and then I had to wait all day in the trailer... The studio people had hired a guy to watch me and make sure that I wouldn’t leave, so I had that guy looking at me and I couldn’t go anywhere (laughs). It was fun.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish


In 1996, Slash would also have a cameo in Howard Stern's movie Private Parts [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996] that would premier on February 27, 1997.

The scene in Howard Stern's movie was a reconstruction of my appearance at the MTV Music Video Awards, so I just have a cameo as myself.


In 1999, Slash also had a short role in "The Underground Comedy Movie" directed by Vince Offer:

Me and Rod went up to my bedroom and we both said, “Let’s watch” and we watched, like, the Stones’ Cocksucker Blues and we watched something else, and I said, “I got this tape of this movie I was in and I’ve never seen it.” So we watch it - it’s the worst movie- [...] I was in it because this guy wouldn’t leave me alone for, like, four or five months. So I finally said, “Okay,” and I play a judge for a homeless person beauty pageant. I just play myself and it was like, if you ever see it, I look like I’m completely drunk. I have a bottle of Jack Daniels… But I wasn’t drunk, you know? The first day I got there, there’s all these homeless people running around naked. [...] I guess he somehow managed to talk them into doing this thing. So when I got there, the cops were there and they said, “No, there’s no more shooting today,” and there’s all these (?) running around with no clothes on. I said, “What the fuck I got myself into?” (laughs). So I said, “Listen, my part is only about 30 seconds long. Let me just shoot this one thing. I’m in Pasadena, for Christ’s sake. I just want to get the fuck out of here.” And they said, “No. No more shooting today,” so I said, “Okay Mr. “ossifer.” I gotta go.” (laughs).


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:27 am

AUGUST 1996
TRYING TO REPLACE GILBY, SLASH WANTS RYAN ROXIE


In early August Slash would indicate Paul Huge was still in the picture but that Slash had another guitar player in mind that he hoped could be brought into the band:

Axl’s playing guitar now, so I have to deal with that. There’s also another guitarist, who I don’t want to work with. This whole thing started because of him. But there’s someone I do wanna work with.


When asked who this guitar player was, Slash wouldn't say but mention he had been in Alice Cooper's band:

[…] Izzy was an idea, but there’s a guitar player I worked with who was in Alice Cooper's band. He’s really good.


This would likely have been Ryan Roxie who would later he recruited by Slash's for the second Snakepit album.

[…] I got introduced to Ryan [Roxie, guitar] through Alice Cooper. When I first played with Ryan I was like, "This guy is great!" He was like a better version of Gilby, and also had some of Izzy [Stradlin] in him-that "other" style that I've never really been able to do myself, but I relate to it because of playing with Izzy for so long.



Ryan Roxie


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:28 am

AUGUST 1996
AXL AND SLASH COME TO AN AGREEMENT


In August Axl and Slash met to talk things out and Slash agreed to come to rehearsals:

Well at this point now that Axl and I are really civil. We went out to dinner recently and had a bottle of wine together and like sat and talked about what we were interested in and so on and so forth. You know, more complicated I guess than it normally would be, but Axl is a very complicated guy. He does like to talk about the stuff, I like to just plug in and jam and that's sort of the thing that's the difference between guitar players and he is sort of a visionary - and it sounds like Spinal Tap - and I just like to play my guitar. But we did sit down a couple times and have a really good meeting and so at this point I start rehearsal in a week and a half or so and we just take it from there. That's the way I see it. If you were to talk to him it'd probably be like a little bit more... yeah, I don't know, planned out than that but I'll just show up and we'll go from there. It'll work out, though.


And at the same day as the quote above, Slash would talk about their differences:

[…] the only thing that really draws us together is once we get in synch as players. Then you get to that earthy, 'all for one, one for all' thing, where you start hanging out together. I don't care what Axl might say - this band was formed on the camaraderie between a little gang, against all odds.
Kerrang! September 21, 1996; interview from early August 1996


In September 1996, to Howard Stern, Slash said that he and Axl had just got reacquainted and that they hadn't seen each other in "like three years" [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996]. In the same interview Slash would describe his conflict with Axl as a "conflict of interests" and "not having a meeting of minds" [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996].

And emphasize the importance of communication:

For any younger bands reading this, you’ve got to watch the beast in this business that stops you from talking to each other.

Nowadays, when the tail-end of my generation gets confronted with it, they either die or disappear into drug-dom. That’s not where we come from. So we will fight and struggle through it.
Kerrang! September 14, 1996; interview from early August 1996


When Kerrang! pointed out that they clearly were not a gang anymore, Slash responded:

Well, we have to re-establish that. We have to say, 'We're gonna do this, because nobody else is'. It's almost like starting over again. "Guns is like a family thing, but we've gone through so many changes - just going through the monstrosities of the business. Contracts, legal stuff, management... This whole huge conglomeration dealing with a stupid bunch of punk kids. It gets over the top.
Kerrang! September 21, 1996; interview from early August 1996

The plan is for Duff and Matt to take off their band, Neurotic Outsiders, for a while, leaving me and Axl to write stuff. If that spark gets rolling, then great. If it doesn't and we get into a fight, I'll just carry on playing gigs and jamming -with Snakepit or whatever. It's not complicated. At least, I don't see it that way. Axl and I could've done this sooner, if we'd just made a few compromises. But I guess that when bands get so big indecision becomes everything. There's no sense of, like, finite reality with Guns. It's just a matter of everybody coming together and the magic happens. I hate to sound silly about it, but I've found it's the same with a lot of the older bands I've got to know over the years. I talked to (Rolling Stones guitarist) Keith Richards, and he said he'd had more drastic but similar problems with Mick Jagger.
Kerrang! September 21, 1996; interview from early August 1996


From the quote below it can seem like they formalized the planned worked in an agreement:

You know and then as far as Guns N' Roses is concerned, as of yesterday we've actually - I don't know - we've sort of concealed our contract so we're in working order as they say. […] Well...in contrast to everything that's been going on in the press, which I've been hearing a lot of, it's like "Guns is in the studio" or "Guns is this" or "Guns is that" or "I'm hanging up by handcuffs in a hotel room" [chuckling]. I mean, basically we've all been working and so now at this point we're actually going to formate [?] ourselves and get to work.


One major issue for Slash was the continuous presence of Paul Huge:

So now, I’ve come back and Paul’s still there. Now, I’m dealing with this.
Kerrang! September 14, 1996; interview from early August 1996

[Whether he was willing to compromise regarding Paul]: No, I’m going to confront it. Either Paul goes, or he... Well, this is personal, I don’t want to get into this. But during this whole period, Axl’s been geared to get up and do it.
Kerrang! September 14, 1996; interview from early August 1996


But like Slash, Duff was also not confident their problems had been sorted out, and would admit there were tensions but that they were "little things":

There's a certain tension with this band and there always has been, and there's some issues that haven't quite been cleared. Just little things. We've been together 10 years. We're not unlike brothers. So there's tensions, but that's how we thrive.

It’s rockin’. The problem’s never been the material; it’s getting us in the same room. There’s tension - good stuff.


Later, in September, it could seem like it had worked and the guys were on "civil terms":

Axl and I are on civil terms. At this point, we’re partially sober.


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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:28 am

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1996
SLASH'S FINAL SESSIONS WITH GUNS N' ROSES


EARLY AUGUST - "WORKING TOWARDS WORKING"


In early August Slash had not been part of any earlier sessions by the band but they had been trading tapes amongst themselves [Kerrang! September 21, 1996; but interview from early August 1996]. At the time they were "working towards working":

The reason I’m talking to you now is that Guns are working towards working. We’re looking for a rehearsal situation that’s compatible. But who f**king cares anyway? People just want the record.

In the last three months, Duff and Matt have started rehearsing every night, and I’m coming in when I get back from Hungary. We all have tons of material, and we have a lot to work out.

I just want us to make a simple, kick-ass hard rock record.

We're definitely getting geared up to do another record. […] It sounds like the band again. Everybody's in good shape and Duff's looking really good and healthy. It was good that we took the time off, because at the end of the tour Duff was one foot in the grave. I mean it was like we were all drugged out. We just all stepped back out of the whole rock and roll debauchery for a while and just sort of mellowed.

Yeah, like always, we’ve been swapping tapes. We always do that; then if everything clicks when we’re together, we turn each individual’s songs into something heavy. If it doesn’t happen -I don’t mean to disappoint anybody -but it’s just a bunch of human beings making a version of everyday life.
Total Guitar, November 1996; interview done earlier


This quote from Duff is likely from either August before they started working or in September when they did work together:

We’re back in. We’re writing new stuff, and we’re going to make a record and tour next summer. The two years apart actually took the edges off some of the issues, and we’ve handled the other issues flat out - maybe not in the best way, but they were handled. Now the amount of tension in the band is perfect for creating what we do.


As for how it would work out when they started playing again together, Slash was unsure:

We'll see where it goes. I haven't rehearsed with them, or even been in the same room with them, since before the Snakepit record came out [February 1995].
Kerrang! September 21, 1996; interview from early August 1996

The records that Guns have left behind are great. But we haven't blown our f**king wad yet.
Kerrang! September 21, 1996; interview from early August 1996


The same day when asked by MTV if they had any songs ready already, Slash would mentioned they had about 80 songs between themselves:

We have tons of songs. Between the three existing members, you know, like Duff and Axl and I, we've got probably about 80 songs, you know.


Describing the songs on the tapes they had shared:

It's amazing stuff. The songs are really good, and I have a good vibe about it. I wouldn't want to go out and do a bad Guns N' Roses record.


And what the record would be like:

Well, I think everyone's so pissed off and frustrated at this point that it's inevitable [the new record will be a modern equivalent to Appetite for Destruction]. It's gonna be an angry record, but that's what we were built on.
Kerrang! September 21, 1996; interview from early August 1996



LATE AUGUST-SEPTEMBER - ACTUALLY WORKING


Then, likely not long after Slash returned from his festival show in Budapest on August 14, the band started playing together with Slash finally being part of it:

[Being asked if they are all together recording]: Absolutely. Slash, myself, Axl, Matt and Dizzy. [...] We have 16 songs and they rock! I'd love to say before Christmas. For sure there's going to be an album before spring. [...] You know, we spent about a month and a half in this place in West LA and went down every night. There's one thing about Guns, once we're in the same room, the chemistry is there. The problem is getting us all in the same room.

[Being asked who Axl is writing music with]: He has a friend whose name is Paul. We're all writing together like we always did.

We've been in for two weeks as a full band with Slash and Axl and me, and we go from midnight to five in the morning. With Guns, there's no problems with material. The problem has always been getting us in the same room. So now that we're in there, it's rockin'.

After all this starting and then stopping again, there’s finally been real rehearsals, which started two weeks ago. We’ve been rehearsing ungodly hours and there’s a real air of excitement. We’re not playing any of the old stuff — not even playing ‘Brownstone’ or something to warm up — we’re just going in and doing new stuff. It’s moving fast.

Oh, we're back together! We've been working for about two months, no, a month and a half. We've got a lot of songs. Our problem's never been material. (I laugh) We're actually trying to get it down to 12 songs. We might be going in and start recording, probably in October. [...] We work long hours, but we always have when we actually get down and get shit done. And it's a different energy, man. We work late at night. Start at midnight and go to five or six in the morning.

We started up again two weeks ago – you know, we started the record. And it’s a big deal, you know? It’s in the newspapers, everybody wants to ask me about it. And it’s like, “Wow, just let us go play,” you know? But we can’t [because of the media interest]. […] You know, we’ve been apart for two years. […] That’s really going great, you know. It’s really fuckin’ rocking and it’s really loud. We are the loudest band in the world. Yeah, it’s great, man. I mean, I can – I just can really tell you my life is going really good right now (chuckles).[…]  What can I say? Guns N’ Roses is really rocking. I’m really happy. I’m very satisfied with what we’re doing. And the chemistry with Guns, I mean, you know, it’s electricity.
Rock & Pop Argentina, September 1996; translated from Spanish

I must agree with [Axl], because he's a visionary. He knows what GNR should be 2 or 3 years in advance. When we got out of the plane [in 1993], he said: "Guys, we'll see us again in 96". It was 3 years ago. And now, we work together and an album will be released in 97.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

It was cool when Slash joined for a week.


Duff would also talk about the efforts to WYSP-FM (94.1) and state that although they were working, a new record was not likely before the middle of 1997 [Courier Post, August 8, 1996].


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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:28 am

SLASH AND MATT EXPLAIN WHY IT TOOK SO LONG TO GET BACK INTO THE STUDIO


"POLITICAL CRAP"


Slash would offer an explanation of why it had taken so long to finally start working together, by pointing to "political crap":

We just haven't sat down and actually done it because there's been so much political crap going on and I know that kids don't want to know about it but it does go on in this business and sometimes you have to deal with it directly because you can't, there's no other way around it and so, you know, we finally, you know, took the bull by the horns and just said, "look, we don't want to around anymore, let's just do it."


When asked if this political crap came from inside or outside of the band:

They come from everywhere [laughing]. They really do. You know, anybody that's young and starting a band at this point, because when I when I first started, I don't know if anybody cares, but when I first started people used to say, like, "how do you get about doing all this stuff?" and, like, I don't know, it's no big deal. But when it comes down to it eventually down the line it becomes something that you weren't expecting and it comes out of the blue and it's just like, and you have to deal with it. If you're gonna function as a working band you have to, you know, confront it.


Duff would also talk about outside pressure:

There's a lot of BS that went down. The media had built up this pressure. Some people know how to deal with it, some start believing their hype. But now we've grown up a little bit. ... There’s a natural angst now at rehearsal, but it’s great. Just try to put yourself in the shoes. It's like you’re brothers, and all of a sudden it’s like you’re married to each other, too, and you’ve gotta deal with life together. You can get a divorce, but it doesn’t make much sense, because there’s a lot of people out there who want to hear another record.



AXL WON'T COMPROMISE ON QUALITY?


Around the same time Matt would explain that the reason it takes so long time comes down to Axl's personality:

I had very difficult moments with Axl, but he's extremely intelligent, he's a very emotive guy who writes great songs. Sometimes, I have the feeling he's a genius. Right now, he's playing guitar and it's like he plays that instrument for 10 years. He had very difficult moments, when we toured in stadiums, sold millions of albums, when everybody wanted to tell us how great we were. Axl, as the leader of the band, had a lot of responsibilities. I told him many times: "Relax Axl, don't take things to heart like that". But he can't. You can feel those difficulties in his music. What he's doing is eating him, he's living it too intensively. That's why the new album is not done yet, he doesn't want to make a shitty record.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:28 am

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1996
THE LINEUP, PAUL IS STILL OUT IN THE WINGS


Duff would state that Dizzy was part of the August/September sessions in addition to Slash [Addicted to Noise, August 30, 1996] and that Axl would still be the rhythm guitarist [The Michigan Daily, September 12, 1996].

[Being asked who Axl is writing music with]: He has a friend whose name is Paul. We're all writing together like we always did.

[Axl] plays guitar now, by the way. [...] Yeah, he's rocking!

And Axl's playing rhythm guitar, it's fuckin' awesome. Who better? We solved our own problem. Who better knows what should be there than one of the guys in the band, so he's been playing. I mean, he plays guitar a little bit, and it's great because he plays so innocently! He doesn't even know -- he'll say, 'What note is this?' 'It's an A.' (I laugh) 'OK. So I go to the A and I go to the... what note is it?' 'F sharp.' '...and I go to the F sharp.' And it's cool! He knows what it should sound like, so it's real cool. It's a lot of hard work right now.


Yet, Matt would claim Axl would not be the new rhythm guitarist and that they were working with another unknown rhythm guitarist:

[Being asked if Axl would replace Gilby on rhythm guitar]: No, there's someone, but I can't tell you his name. […] He's unknown. But I can't tell you his name because I don't know if he will tour with us.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


Matt would also say that the record would likely feature many guitarists:

There will probably be several guitarists on this album, a lot of guests.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


In 2001, Slash would say that during these sessions he had worked with "various guitar players", implying that there were more guitarists involved than just Paul:

When the tour ended I was supposed to commence work on the next Guns n' Roses project, which I sort of hesitantly did, even though I knew that Axl wasn't ready. I did about 10 rehearsals with various guitar players - people I didn't like.


Later, in an article released in November, it would be implied that Paul was still part of the rehearsals [Metal Edge, November 1996], so it was likely Paul that Matt had been referring to.

Curiously, Matt would also talk about a "friend of a friend of a friend":

[…] there are so many people in this project. There's the friend of the friend of the friend. 3 years ago, I had a real role to play. Now it's between Axl and Slash. It' working well, so it's cool.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


Later, after Duff had quit, he would indicate that Axl had insisted upon Paul being part of the band:

I told Axl this was his band, he had ignored everyone and had hired his best friend for the band. I couldn't play with him. Paul Huge, that was the guy! He's a friend of Axl, he's a 'yes man'. […] Man, you can't be in Guns N' Roses just like that. That was a real band. […]  imagine you and I grow up together and you're my best friend. OK, I'm in Guns N' Roses and I tell the rest you're going to join the band. "OK, Slash, Axl, Matt, guys, this guy is in the band". "Duff, you got a minute?" "No, he's in the band" "Well, no. Everyone in the band has to vote it, Duff, so no way!" "Fuck you, this guy is in the band! I'm not doing anything unless this guy is in the band" "OK, you know what? We'll try and play with him, since you're that much interested in it. Hey Duff, the guy can't play" "I don't care" "Well that's not very reasonable." "I don't care" At that point, what would you do? I came to a point where I couldn't even look at him [Paul]. If I were in such a situation, if I were the friend joining the band, I'd say "Hey guys, you've done very good yourselves alone, I'm not going any further. Hey, Duff, thanks for the offer, but I'm breaking your band." But he didn't say it.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:29 am

SEPTEMBER 1996
TALKING ABOUT THE NEW MUSIC


At some point, likely in August, Duff would describe what was happening:

[We are working on] 15 different things, some just riffs, some bodies. But it’s moving quickly, the spirit’s hot and there’s an excitement there that I haven’t felt in, God, I don’t know how long. It was getting to be like, ‘do I have a band?’. I was actually starting to forget.


The plan was to release the album in the spring of 1997 consisting of 12 songs with no ballads [Addicted to Noise, August 30, 1996] and then do a tour in early 1997:

We're already starting to make tour plans. We've got a possible tour starting in South America in January and then we're going to stop and finish the record and probably tour next summer.

We are working on rock songs that last only 4 minutes (laugh). We already did 7 songs and we will write 7 others.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

[The album] will be a single album with 10 or 12 songs.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


Despite the band diligently working on the next record, Slash took time to travel to Arizona's Blockbuster Desert Sky show on August 25 to play with Foreigner [Arizona Republic, August 28, 1996].

In August and September, Duff would describe the music they were working on:

Some songs are almost finished. […] It's only work titles, it's very stupid. I don't want to mention them to have bad luck!
Hard Rock, August 1996; translated from French

[Being asked if the new material is more like Appetite ot Use Your Illusions]: Appetite. It's normal. We haven't played together in a long time and our collaboration in fresh, just like in the beginning.
Hard Rock, August 1996; translated from French

[Being asked if the music was like Appetite or the Illusions]: I would say that it's in between. This is not as sophisticated as Illusion, but not as wild as Appetite. It's in the middle. Maybe more groovy. Musically, we are all better. I never heard Duff play like that.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

It rocks; it's heavy. With Guns, with what the chemistry of the band is, you're going to be able to tell it's Guns -- even if we're playing a polka, you would be able to tell it's Guns.

I really feel like we've just started. The last 10 years was [?] used to it, learning the tricks, and now it's time to apply 'em.

We’re making a 12-song record — no ballads, nothing slow. We’ve got to crush on this record. And there’s no better judges of our music than ourselves, so we really cut ourselves apart: We’re basically taking 40 songs and finding 12. But you’ve gotta watch each other’s feelings, so we never use the term ‘that sucks.'


And as for when it would be out:

[It] shouldn't be out any later than next spring.


Just a few weeks later, a staffer at the band's Los Angeles management company would be less optimistic:

[…] we’re hoping to have an album out by the end of ’97. But then, we’ve been waiting awhile. What people should know, though, is this is the first time they’ve rehearsed together in quite some time. Everybody’s finally showing up. So it is important.


At the same time these sessions were happening, Duff and Matt would be busy with their side-project, The Neurotic Outsiders [see previous chapter]:

On this [Neurotic Outsiders] tour we're doing, Matt and I fly back from Toronto and then we do four days with Guns (recording) and then we go back out, so Matt and I are playing every single night with one or the other (bands) in September.


Matt would also suggest that it was the activity in Neurotic Outsiders that had spurred Axl into action:

"I think Neurotic Outsiders is single-handedly responsible for Guns N' Roses being reunited. It seems like every time something good starts happening, I get a phone call from Axl, `We're going to start rehearsing tomorrow.' But seriously, when Axl heard that me and Duff had gone out and gotten this multi-million-dollar record deal and we're going to go out on the road, he started getting a little nervous.

And now that we got this band together, GN'R decides: "Ok, we're gonna do a record". So, hopefully, you know, we're gonna come out with a GN'R record soon as well. It's kinda thrown a little bit of a quality problem in the Neurotic Outsiders because, you know, we got a lot going on, me and Duff.

Getting Guns back together again has been an ongoing process for a while, but it might have had a little bit to do with the Neurotic Outsiders! Because it seems like every time we all try to run off to do something on our own, because we’re just sitting around waiting, it all happens. When it rains, it pours! I really think a lot of the reason we’re getting back together as a band is because he heard we were so good, huh Duff?


In September 1996, Slash would be asked about the new record and say he had been in the studio working on it for the last three and a half weeks:

You know what, we're working on it. […]  I've been [in the studio] for the last three and a half weeks.

Well, I’ve been back in Guns N’ Roses for the last three weeks. So we’re just, like – just writing stuff and reacquainting each other, with each other. […] [Axl's] healthy (laughs). […] he’s fine. I mean, we really haven’t gotten to the point – I mean, first thing first is to do an album and finish that. And then the touring plans come later.


Slash would also say the studio was in Los Angeles and that the whole band went there [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996]:

We get there at 11 o'clock at night.  And then we go to a local....[bar, "or something like that"]…around the corner and about 12 o'clock, 1 o'clock we get working. We work till about 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning.


In an interview likely from September 1996, Duff would also confirm that the entire band was rehearsing, but that they also included a "friend of Axl":

We rehearse every night and I play bass! Axl is playing the rhythm guitar, and it works very well! We work from Monday to Friday, ha, ha! There's me, Axl, Slash, Matt, Dizzy. There's also a friend of Axl who helps him to learn to play guitar. But we play, and it works!
hard Metal, 1996; translated from French


This friend was again likely Paul Huge.

And when asked if they had any songs completed:



Some time, likely start of October, Duff, would be optimistic:

It's fun and the energy is there. It's awesome now, everything's killer, so I guess things like the time off do happen for a reason. I would hope, at the latest, Guns can have an album out by spring.


The band was hooping to hit the recording studio in 1.5-2 months:

We’re going in soon, very soon — a month and a half, two months maybe. We don’t have a producer lined up yet. Mike (Clink)’s awesome, but we haven’t even talked to him yet.

Right now, we’re just trying to get back on track. Remember it’s been three years since we’ve all been in the same room together! Axl’s really great, he’s in really good spirits. He just wants to make a record. Axl’s playing a little guitar and writing some cool songs. Slash is coming around. And we’re just trying to figure out what we’re going to do about the other guitar player. It’s a good thing; we really need to do it. I’m sick of walking down the street and people go, ‘What are you guys doing? Are you together?’ And now I can say, ‘Yes we are.’ I’m happy about that.



STATUS AT THE END OF THE SESSIONS


Based on the quotes above, it seems the band had at least 7 songs recorded, and that there were no ballads among them. The musical style was described as closer to Appetite than Illusions, and, according to Slash, it was mostly Axl's songs they had worked on.

In 2000, Slash would be asked if it was true that there would be songs on Chinese Democracy featuring Slash's solos:

No, that isn't true. There were some rehearsals of new material that I was there for, but I didn't contribute any solos.


In 2002, Axl would mention Slash's work:

I think that some of the riffs that were coming out of him were the meanest, most contemporary, bluesiest, rocking thing since Aerosmith's Rocks. The 2000 version of Aerosmith Rocks or the 1996 Aerosmith Rocks by the time we would have put it out. I don't know if I would have wanted to even do a world tour at the time but I wanted to put that record together and could we have done it? Yes. It's not something I would want to approach (without Slash) because at the time there was only one person that I knew who could do certain riffs that way. We still needed the collaboration of the band as a whole to write the best songs.


Slash would later look back at their efforts at working together again:

I went back for like ten rehearsals. It just didn't work out. It was worse than before I left […]

I went back to Guns for like 12 rehearsals on the forthcoming Guns N' Roses record to re-establish the band and where it was headed. And realistically from Use Your Illusion all the way up until now, Axl's been holding the reigns on taking it in his direction, and I just went, 'You know what? Fuck it then, you do it.' I would have suggested just do a solo record and let Guns do what it does naturally, but he insisted that Guns was his solo project anyway, so why did he have to do a solo project? So I just went, 'Fine, I'm gonna leave while the band's still cool, 'cause I don't know what you're gonna do with it.'

[Axl and I] had 11 rehearsals together around 1995. Through those, we learned what we needed to know.

Once I was done with recording and promoting [It's Five O' Clock Somewhere] live the way it deserved it, I came back to Guns N’ Roses and tried my best to work and get along with Axl. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it and so I simply ended up leaving the band.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French

You can’t imagine how much fun I had on the It's Five O'Clock Somewhere tour. I felt like when Guns first started. I wasn’t trying to recapture a kind of magic, I just played with no holds barred, the way I like it. We toured for four months, I met thousands of kids and had a huge kick. So you can imagine how brutal the transition was when I came back to Guns. Very quickly, I thought: "Fuck that, it’s annoying. I want to play without torturing myself." Snakepit opened my eyes.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French

I had 11 days of rehearsal that were really tedious, more or less painful […]


Slash would later admit his heart hadn't been in it when he returned to try to work Guns N' Roses:

I sort of made a half-assed attempt at going back to Guns. But at the end of the day it was half-hearted, and I realized it wasn't going to happen […]


He would also mention reacting to the production methods employed:

I came back from that first Snakepit tour— […]  And I came back to the studio and there was nothing but ADAT machines and ProTools and I did 11 days of rehearsal and woke up suicidal one morning, [saying] “I can’t do this anymore.”



FALL TO PIECES


During his final sessions with Guns N' Roses, Slash would play parts of a song that would end up as Velvet Revolver's Fall To Pieces:

Which led to the trial period where Slash played the key bits of 'Fall to Pieces' but once I showed some interest that was over.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:29 am

SEPTEMBER 27, 1996
THE MOVIE 'CURDLED' IS RELEASED FEATURING MUSIC BY SLASH


In September 1996 Quentin Tarantino would release the black comedy crime movie Curdled.


Curdled
September 26, 1996


Slash had been involved in making the music and to New York Daily News, he would say he had done on a couple of tracks for the movie [New York Daily News, July 24, 1996]. In a later interview, he would indicate it was only one track:

I've been doing a soundtrack for a movie called Curdled -  that's a Quentin Tarantino movie. I wrote a song for that.

“My music appears during the murder scenes, which is cool.


The song was 'Obsession Confession' with vocals by Marta Sanchez, and it would feature in two version on the soundtrack, an acoustic and an electric [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996]. He spent one night recording each song [Online Chat, October 16, 1996].

[Talking about his inspirations]: Different kinds of music, and also, as an example, for the "Curdled" soundtrack, visuals. Like the lead actress in Curdled, Angela Jones. The movie has a latin theme, so that helped. And the twisted, bizarre, bloody mess that the movie is based on.


To Slash's surprise the song reached the no. 4 spot on adult contemporary music lists:

To tell you the truth, I haven't really grasped that whole medium of music where you end up on The Wave [an LA radio station]. […] I wrote this song for the movie soundtrack and that was basically it. I don't know exactly how to receive No. 4 in the adult-contemporary charts. Obviously that's a little left-field for me.

My mom called me and told me she heard me on the radio. I was like, 'What are you talking about?' She goes, 'That music you did on the radio.' I was like, oh God, now I'm adult contemporary? But I'm proud of the song regardless..


Talking about his playing:

I don't think it's really radical fusion jazz or anything [laughter]. There's something about blue-style guitar playing that fits into a lot of ethnic music. The Spanish chord changes are more of less the same basic style, so it feels very natural to me. It's not like I'm playing advanced flamenco guitar; I'm not that technically proficient. But I have a feel for it, I think.


And how the collaboration came together:

I actually played with Bernard [Edwards] the night he died [=April 18, 1996]. He's the Big Daddy bass player of all time. Rest in peace. I love that guy. We did three shows in Tokyo and it was cool because I also got to play with Omar Hakim, Stevie Winwood, Simon Le Bon and Sister Sledge - all together.

It was like a huge 'pop star' orchestra. That was a great experience. In the process, Nile turned me on to this Spanish singer - she's like the Madonna of Spain - and that led to me doing a soundtrack for a movie; an instrumental based on this Spanish song, which turned out to be a huge success for me on the Adult Contemporary charts.


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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:29 am

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 1996
BUT THINGS ARE NOT GOOD BETWEEN AXL AND SLASH


Things must have turned sour between Axl and Slash during the sessions in August/September, because in mid-October Slash's comment on the new music and their work wasn't exactly promising:

I would like [the new record] to be hard edged like Appetite, but at this moment in time I have no idea what direction it's going in. I have only been back in the band for three weeks and my relationship with Axl right now is sort of at a stand still.


And from an interview published in January 1997 but likely conducted in October:

Right now we're in sort of a trial and error period. To me, the group is actually Duff and Matt and Axl. Where I stand is not etched in stone. I can't say it's all working out perfectly. That's part of the illusion of looking at five different personalities onstage and seeing them actually get on. It's not as easy at it looks. Over the last year, everybody has gone in different directions. Putting us all back together in one room is not simple.


And when discussing what they had done so far, Slash would emphasize that they had only been "collaborating":

At this point in time we have only been collaborating together. But we have been doing mostly Axl's material.


Although Duff would express - what in hindsight would seem misplaced - optimism:

I hope [a new record] happens, and I think it will. But I’ve gotten my hopes up before only to see everything kind of crash in around me. But I honestly believe that everyone wants to make a new Guns N’ Roses album now, and I think that everyone knows that if we don’t do it now we may not get the chance. It’s amazing to all of us to realize that five years have passed since Use Your Illusion, and that a whole new generation of fans has come along. But it kind of presents some new challenges to us, and that’s one thing we’ve always enjoyed. Whether it’s with Guns N’ Roses or the Neurotic Outsiders, when you place a challenge in front of use, the odds are that we’re going to take on that challenge.


In 2000, Slash would indicate that he and Axl had only grown more apart musically as he returned from the Snakepit tour:

When I came back [from the tour], me and Axl had grown so f--king far apart--as far as what we thought we should be doing--that I inevitably ended up quitting.


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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:29 am

LATE 1996
TRYING TO REPLACE GILBY, STEVE VAI?


In late 1996 there would be rumours about Steve Vai joining the band:

Steve Vai - I have no idea about that one. He might have to take my place if anything weird were to happen. […] It'd definitely be the same thing with Vai [as with Wylde], having two overly - I wouldn't say flamboyant - but two aggressive front guys as lead guitar players. We'd both be doing the same thing at the same time, and it would lose its personality. The guitar playing shouldn't be excessive; it should be one of the instruments in the band.


When Slash was out of the band in late 1996, Vai was asked about joining Guns N' Roses:

Can you imagine me in Guns N' Roses? I like Guns N' Roses. I like Axl. But I've worked with enough singers like that for four lifetimes.


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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:30 am

OCTOBER 1996
SLASH IS OUT OF GUNS N' ROSES


[Being asked if he can see himself leave the band]: Not really. I don't look at things in those terms, much. I'm not the kind of guy that has a secret Plan B ready to swing into operation if anything should ever go wrong with this band. We love each other too much as friends for me to worry my ass off about whether we might split up one day

The bottom line is that nothing can come between Slash and I, and as long as we have that bond we have Guns N' Roses.
Hit Parader, June 1993; interview from December 1992

Guns will be around forever, trust me. They know how I feel. They know I'm not going anywhere. I don’t have the inclination to quit Guns and think I’m cool.

[Being asked how he would react if he suddenly got a fax saying Slash had been fired]: It would be difficult.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

Leaving Guns N' Roses was legally, technically one of the hardest fucking things to do. It shouldn't have been that hard. Divorce wasn't that hard.

_______________________________________

OCTOBER 16: SLASH GOES A LONG WAY IN SAYING HE IS OUT OF THE BAND


In October Slash would do an online chat that would result in some very ominous comments:

Right now, Axl and I are deliberating over the future of our relationship.

I have only been back in the band for three weeks and my relationship with Axl right now is sort of at a stand still.


And in an interview published in Total Guitar in January 1997, but likely conducted  some months earlier, Slash went even further:

There's no animosity between the guys in the band, put it that way. But I've been out if it for so long, and there's a reason why that hasn't changed all that much. I'm trying right now; if it works out I'll be ecstatic...And if it doesn't, I don't want everybody to think it's a done deal and everything is fine. If they turn around and I'm not in the band, I don't want everyone to say 'He Lied'. […] I have no regrets. It was basically a really good time.



OCTOBER 30: AXL SENDS A FAX TO MTV


As mentioned in previous chapters, Axl had stayed low for a long time, since their tour ended in 1993, giving very few comments to the press and allowing his band mates (mostly Slash) to keep the media updated on what was happening. But then, in October 30, 1996, Axl sent out a fax to MTV commenting on many on the ongoing rumours:

LIVE!!!! From "Burning Hills", California...

Due to overwhelming enthusiasm, and that "DIVE IN AND FIND THE MONKEY" attitude....

#1. There will NOT be a Guns N' Roses tour.

#2. There will NOT be an official Guns N' Roses web site.

#3. There will NOT be any NEW Guns N' Roses videos.

#4. There will NOT be any new Guns N' Roses involved merhandise.

#5. There will NOT be a Guns N' Roses Fan Club.

#6. There will be a new Guns N' Roses 12 song minimum recording with three original "B" sides.

  NOTE: If all goes well this will be immediately repeated.

#7. However*******Slash will not be involved in any new Guns N' Roses endeavors, as he has not been musically involved with Guns N Roses since April 1994 with the exception of a BRIEF trial period with Zakk Wylde and a 2 week trial period with Guns N' Roses in the fall of 1996. He (Slash) has been "OFFICIALLY and LEGALLY" outside of the Guns N' Roses Partnership since December 31, 1995.

                   ***************************************************

             Nothing here is Subject To Change
             Without A PERMANENT SUSPENSION
             Of the "Pseudo Studio Musician Work Ethic"


                             SINCERELY,
                             
                             W. Axl Rose

c.c. Big FD Ent., Inc.
Michael "Duff" McKagan
Matt Sorum


The text of the fax is copied from a blurry screen shot and may contain mistakes.

In addition to denying rumours surrounding a tour, web site, fan club and merchandise, but confirmed the band's plans to release a record, Axl officially announced that Slash was out of the band and had indeed been so since December 31, 1995.

Interestingly, although in the words of Axl, the press release also came from Big FD Enterprise Inc. and Duff and Matt, indicating that this wasn't a solo decision by Axl but had band backing.

Axl would not elucidate on Slash being out of the band until November 1999, when he did an interview with MTV:

We were trying to make things work with Slash for a very, very long time... about three and a half years.


And:

It was a divorce. The poverty is what kept us together. That was how we became Guns N Roses. Once that changed... Guns N Roses was like the old Stones or whatever. Not necessarily the friendliest bunch of guys.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999

I never said that I was bitter. Hurt, yeah. Disappointed. I mean, with Slash, I remember crying about all kinds of things in my life, but I had never felt hot, burning tears...hot, burning tears of anger. Basically, to me, it was because I am watching this guy and I don't understand it. Playing with everyone from Space Ghost to Michael Jackson. I don't get it. I wanted the world to love and respect him. I just watched him throw it away.'
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999


Later, Axl would claim that Slash, together with Renee and Ronnie Stalnacker, had been sabotaging any progress on new music and that it had been an issue of control over the band:

It seemed to me that anytime we got close to something that would work, it wasn't out of opinion that Slash would go ‘hey it doesn't work', but it was nixed simply because it did work. In other words, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. That actually might be successful, we can't do that.' People like to call me paranoid. It has nothing to do with paranoia; it was to do with reality. If the material were strong enough for me to sink my teeth in then I would still be in a certain public position in regards to Guns, we'd have possibly still held a certain popularity with the public as I have previously been fortunate enough to have had. Slash and his ex-wife Renee and his security guy and closest confidant at the time, Ronnie Stalnacker could not live with that. It's not something Slash could live with. Slash chose not to be here over control issues.

Now people can say ‘Well Axl, you're after control of the band too.' You're damn skippy. That's right. I am the one held responsible since day one. When it comes to Guns n' Roses, I may not always get everything right but I do have a good idea about getting things from point A to point B and knowing what the job is that we have to do. Within those parameters, I give everyone as much freedom to do what they want something Slash has verified in several interviews. Had Slash stepped up and written what we captured glimpses of, it would have created an environment that was beyond Slash's ability to control. He did not want to do that or put himself through the rigors of taking the band to that level even if he was capable of writing it. Was he capable of doing it? Absolutely 100%. I think that some of the riffs that were coming out of him were the meanest, most contemporary, bluesiest, rocking thing since Aerosmith's Rocks. The 2000 version of Aerosmith Rocks or the 1996 Aerosmith Rocks by the time we would have put it out. I don't know if I would have wanted to even do a world tour at the time but I wanted to put that record together and could we have done it? Yes. It's not something I would want to approach (without Slash) because at the time there was only one person that I knew who could do certain riffs that way. We still needed the collaboration of the band as a whole to write the best songs.

Since none of that happened, that's the reason why that material got scrapped.

The reality was that I was basically going to do most of Slash's songs in particular, and work on those with him, but basically any time we got anything that would be halfway near something that was gonna be either successful, because it completely kicked ass or it was just strong in any way, then it was backed away from. And I believe that this has a lot to do with trying to keep the material down - for his own personal reasons, keep his own material down.


In 2008, Axl would again refer to two years of trying to make it work with Slash resulting in a "trial period" in late 1996:

The [legal] battles were during the breakup. Our people and my individual legal basically forced me to go through the motions with everything I had to make things work for over two years in the sense that if they felt I wasn't making every effort 110% and with all the sincerity and all above board I wouldn't have their support which I wanted, couldn't afford to lose or risk losing. Which led to the trial period where Slash played the key bits of 'Fall to Pieces' but once I showed some interest that was over.



COMMENTS FROM THE MEDIA


Naturally, the media would report on Slash being out of the band and the label would be quick to confirm that Slash was indeed out [Philadelphia Daily News, November 1, 1996]. The press would report that Slash had quit to focus on his band Snakepit [Philadelphia Daily News, November 1, 1996]. It would also be reported that it was a mutual decision between Axl and Slash [The Orlando Sentinel, November 1, 1996]. The mutual nature of the break-up would also be confirmed by a spokeswoman from Geffen who insisted on anonymity [Associated Press/The Daily World, November 13, 1996].

A label representative would also comment on the break-up:

They had been rehearsing together in Los Angeles, but couldn’t work out their differences.


Later it would be reported, based on band sources, that musical differences between Axl and Slash was at the core of their problems [MTV, November 8, 1996].

There was also concern over the financial outcome of the break-up, with Malcolm Dome, editor of Kerrang! saying:

[It is] total bloody suicide. Axl's new band could very easily come out and die the death. From what I can tell you, from our readers' reaction, they just don't care that much about Axl anymore.


And an anonymous French promoter:

In 1992 Guns played to 30,000 people on Paris, in '93 to less than half that number. If Slash were still in the band, he'd book them into a 60,000 seater.


And the general interest in Guns N' Roses was waning, as explained by an American promoter:

In his years away from the stage, Axl Rose's thunder has been stolen by younger performers. If the kids want a bad-ass hellion to admire, Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Jonathan Davis of Korn, and the singer from Tool do the whole 'I'm a fucked-up child and now you're going to suffer' routine. And if you want the beer-swilling drug-taking hooligan with charisma who sometimes doesn't turn up to gigs - look no further that Oasis's Liam Gallagher.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:30 am

1996-2016
SLASH'S PERSONAL LIFE; LEGAL TROUBLES


1997: SLASH AND RENEE DIVORCE


In late 1997, Slash and Renee would divorce. Of the only two things he would regret in his life, getting married was one of them [FHM, April 2000].

One of my few regrets of my entire existence.


Talking about the divorce and what went wrong:

It just went wrong. It was just wrong to begin with. […] it just got – something got real wrong and old about it.


And admitting he had been a terrible husband:

Well, you know, all things considered, I had no business being married at that time anyhow. I was a lousy husband.

I got very addicted to sex at one point. I'd keep three or four different rooms in one hotel so I could bounce around between them. That was over the top and that took me to therapy. It was during my first marriage, too, which is pretty sad. That first marriage was a big mistake.

I was like a sex addict at that point. I was out of control. I had three and four hotel rooms in every hotel, so I could be bouncing around.


Being asked if he would ever marry again:

It’s not a question in my mind. Am I thinking about it? No. Would I do it? If I did it would have to be majorly different. I don’t think it’s necessary especially in this business. It’s just another contract.



PERLA FERRAR


In September 2000, Slash would talk about having sold the house and still living as a bachelor despite having a girlfriend:

I just sold the house. Record's done, I don't have any use for the house.[...] The only reason I left the house was because, being that I'm like the consummate bachelor, even though I have a girlfriend and I've been married, whatever, my lifestyle's the same. I don't need a house. I just need a place to go jam and I need to have a bar and a strip bar and Carl's Jr. and a Jack In The Box nearby. I need to be in the city. As soon as I knew we were going to go on tour, I said, 'F--k it, I don't need a house, sell it.'


Slash had started dating a new woman, Perla Ferrar, about one year before the divorce with Renee [The Howard Stern Radio Show, June 7, 2000]. In a later interview he would say he met up with Perla during the divorce process, and that they knew each other from before:

Right as I was about to get divorced, I ran into an old friend of mine in a bar one night, and she and I hooked up, so I went from getting divorced to starting a whole new relationship […]

Her name is Perla and she’s 100% Cuban. She’s just... She’s great. She’s really, really cool. […] That just like happened, so I went from one to another, but it was a huge difference, because for four years of being married and not being happy to all of a sudden being ecstatic, it’s like, “Okay, so there is...”

I didn’t go into it [=the marriage with Renee] from the heart. So I sort of dated the girl that is now my wife – not really dated, but we saw each other on occasion. We always had a good time, and she knew that; she knew that we have sort of a connection.


The place where Slash and Perla met in 1997, was the Sunset Marquis’s Whiskey Bar [The Telegraph, June 15, 2010].

In 2007, Perla would state they met for the first time after a show in January 1992 [The Howard Stern Radio Show, June 7, 2000; Rolling Stone, July 31, 2007]. They met at a Las Vegas casino and were introduced by a "leading porn star" [Daily Mirror, September 10, 2004]. Perla would later describe the meeting:

Backstage at a Guns N' Roses show. [...] Groupie dream come true (laughs).
Rockerazzi, November 24, 2008


The porn star was Ron Jeremy and Perla was working at Hustler at the time:

I was [introduced to Perla by Ron Jeremy], yeah. [...] I could tell she was using Ron as a tool to get to me. She worked at Hustler at the time, and had seen me, and wanted to meet me. So she got him to arrange it.


In 2004, while discussing managing money, Slash would imply Perla had been a manager at a brothel:

I never had any ambitions with money. I had no interest in it, no real respect for it. Money will turn your life in all sorts of twisted directions if you don't get a handle on it. So my wife helps me. She was a madam back in her day. She knows money backwards and forwards.


But also this relationship wasn't without fights:

I came here pretty much in the clothes I’m standing in. It’s a long story, man. My girlfriend and I got into a fight and she locked me out of the bedroom…so I just came here pretty much as is.
Record Collector Magazine, February 2004; interview from late 2000 or early 2001


And in 2010 he would mention violent arguments that have had:

She and I were hard-core partiers for a long time. When we walked into a room you knew there was trouble. She was more hard-core than I was! [...] And also, more – what’s the word for it? – more outspoken. A tougher all-round person. I’m sort of quiet. I don’t want to draw attention to myself if I can help it. She, on the other hand, started trouble. So between the two of us, Sid and Nancy had nothing on us. We weren’t necessarily that stupid though. Although we did have a couple of rows that were, you know, serious. Cops coming and s---. [...] There was one time when we both were [injured]. Anyway, we’ve had an interesting existence. Then at some point somehow we both just mellowed out a little bit. We’re still a pretty rockin’ couple though, I gotta say.



OCTOBER 15, 2001: MARRYING PERLA


By 2001 Perla and Slash were engaged to be married [The Howard Stern Show, September 7, 2001] and the wedding took place on October 15, 2001 [Classic Rock, January 2002].

[The wedding] happened on October 15, so I was kinda busy with that. She’s a good girl. She was my girlfriend - obviously, ha, ha! It's been great. You know, it’s all good for me right now.
Classic Rock, January 2002; interview from 2001


The night before the wedding with Perla, Slash slept with another woman [The Howard Stern Show, November 1, 2007].

Slash would claim that with Perla it was the first time he was monogamous:

You know what? It’s the only time I’ve ever been completely, um… [Stern suggests monogamous.] You know? It’s weird, too. It’s not really weird, cuz, you know, all things considered, I love her to death. But before that, you know, I wasn’t necessarily the trophy guy when it came to being a good husband or something.

Yeah, you know, this last five-six years I’ve spent with Perla, I’ve been, you know, like total... I haven’t even looked around, I haven’t even gone there.

I just ended up with one girl who was exciting enough to make me give all that [=groupies] up.


In August 1998 it would be reported that Slash had moved into a new house in the Beverly Hills, previously owned by Cecil B DeMille and former residence of Roman Polanski [Metal Hammer, August 1998]. His previous house, with the Snakepit studio, was sold to Billy Bob Thornton [KNAC.com, October 2000].


2002-2004: LONDON AND CASH


In February 2002, it was announced that Perla and Slash were expecting their first child [New York Daily News, February 14, 2002].

The baby was conceived at Ronnie Wood’s house in London. [...] We’re thinking about maybe giving the kid the middle name Woody. I can’t believe we are going to be somebody’s parents.
New York Daily News, February 14, 2002

I was 37 when I had my first kid. He was conceived in London at Ronnie Wood's house. I'd been drinking nothing but Guinness for two weeks and my wife got pregnant. So I always hold up Guinness as the real deal.


The child, named London (Emilio), was born on August 28:

We just had a baby ten days ago. His name's London, nine pounds, four ounces. He's only ten days old, but he's got a cool personality . . . This is the first time I've been away from home since he was born, so I've called home like six times. And as soon as the gig is done, I'm going home.


Explaining the name:

My wife will tell you that it was because he was conceived here.

It's a combination of things. I knew someone back in junior high school who had that name, and I always thought it was cool. Plus London was conceived here. We were going to name him 'Guinness', because I credit Guinness with giving me healthy enough sperm to conceive. When we were trying for kids that was all I drank. Up until then I'd been shagging with the best of them for years and nothing ever happened. Except for that time in Japan... I got a letter (laughs).


In early 2004 they were expected their second child [Dagbladet, February 17, 2004].

I'm the same guy [as I was before kids], it's just that I now carry more luggage. I love my children and my wife, and I love that, so there is not much to think about. I'm a little bit more responsible than I was before. It was my destiny to grow in this business because I was very young when it all happened, and one of the best things that happened to me was that, being involved in this being so young. Anyway, inside all this craziness I also thought that, in some moment I would have children and I liked that Idea too, so now, I enjoy it very much, I think it happened at its best moment, because before. I wouldn't had been able to handle it.

Domesticity is something I didn't welcome too easily. I fought it real hard. But I love my wife and having a kid came at just about the right time. When he came along it sort of straightened my wife and I out, 'cos we were still partying pretty hard - actually harder and more consistently than I was in the Gunners days.


Their second son was named Cash Anthony [Daily Mirror, September 10, 2004].

Talking about having mellowed down:

I mean, nowadays when we do a show, when it’s over, I sort of actually have gotten a little bit mellower afterwards. Like, I need some... somewhere to sort of withdraw for a while. So I’ll go to a neighborhood pub and hang out there with some locals, you know? That kind of deal. But if you were used to fucking chasing chicks around and looking for something exciting to do, you just couldn’t wind down. But now, after having been through that and seen it all, I know that there’s nothing out there that I haven’t seen already and it’s just – it’s a bore. You know? I woke up the other day in my hotel room, and just the first thing that happened in the morning was that I woke up and I was like, “God, I’m so fucking glad I don’t have some stupid bimbo I gotta kick out of here from last night,” you know? So, I mean, I think you just live and learn; and, after a while, you’ve just done it too many times and it just gets old.

[Becoming parents] gave us a sense of responsibility that neither of us were really used to, but at the same time if I was going to be a father I wanted to be a good parent. [...] We still party. But only when we have a babysitter.

You end up realizing what a (expletive) selfish self-centered person you've been all your life. I spent my entire life as a no-holds-barred rock 'n' roll musician with nothing to lose. [...] Now I have something that I care about which is not about myself.


And asked if Perla worries over him:

No, no. She doesn’t worry about me. She’d kick my ass (laughs). No, actually, my wife is an interesting story. I was married once before and I was probably – had to have been - one of the worst husbands you could possibly have, because I was... they wanted to check me in for sex addiction back then. I used to keep three and four different hotel rooms in the same hotel, so that I could go back and forth to different girls and stuff. Matt really thought that I was sick; he thought I needed to go to an institution. Actually, during those years, while I was still married, I met my wife now. I was just always really good friends with her and we used to fuck around here and there. Then I ran into her just before my divorce and we’ve just been tight ever since. I never really needed anything else from anybody else, so it’s just... you know, she doesn’t have to worry about it. She does worry, but she doesn’t have to.


And on secrets of married life:

When you get married, and especially when you have kids, you realize what a selfish motherfucker you’ve been all your life. It turns out that’s just the way you are. Lending an ear is usually the most important thing you can do, and spending time not thinking about yourself…and allowing them to go shopping. If I said I had it down I’d be lying, but I am aware of some of the rules.


And on quitting smoking:

I just quit smoking for 8 months until I got here, so I was doing great. I went to a fucking hypnotist, and I didn’t go of my own accord-my wife talked me into it. We’d just had the baby and she said, “Every time I give you the baby he smells like cigarettes”. So she went with me and I sat and listened to this guy just verbally abusing the whole smoking concept, then he put me under for 15 minutes. I tried not smoking that whole day and it lasted 8 months. Now I’m back to a pack a day, so I don’t really have any tips, you know?



UPS AND DOWNS


In 2006, there would be rumours that Slash was getting a divorce from Perla:

And, of course, that whole thing that I filed for divorce didn't go over well either. [Laughs] [...] that was like… [I was like], 'What are you talking about?' 'Look on your computer.' And I'd look on there… [It was written] very matter-of-factly, on the date that [supposedly] I did it… this, that and the other, and all things considered...


In early 2007, Slash was inducted into the Hollywood Rockwalk [Ultimate Guitar, January 19, 2007].

In August 2007, Slash would talk about how he has survived the tensions and excesses of rock and roll:

There are two things that have helped me survive. There's my guitar and my music, and sometimes that wasn't enough. The real grounding factor is my family. I'm married and I have two kids, who are 5 and 3. That's been a real stabilizing force. When London, my oldest, was born, I still hadn't learned my lesson. I still toyed with self-destruction. But that's not the way I am anymore. I need self-preservation more than anything.


In February 2009, Slash bought Robbie Williams' house up in Mulholland [Daily Mirror, February 15, 2009].

In June 2009, Slash's mother Ola died:

Hello all, as some of you may already know, my mom (Ola Hudson) died 6:30am last Friday morning of Lung Cancer. This is a difficult time, but I have to share with you that she was the sweetest, warmest, most loving human being I've ever known (next to my grandmother on her side), as well as one of the most creative & talented. She was also the coolest Rock & Roll mom a Rock junkie like myself could ever possibly want to have. She was responsible for exposing me to a lot of the music that would influence me as a musician growing up. As well as introducing me to "the life" & priming me to survive this crazy business that I'm now in. But more importantly, she turned me on to all different forms of art & the importance of artistic self expression & creative communication thru music & dance from as early on as I can remember. She really was all things artistic & creative personified & the world is a lesser place without her.

I still haven't grasped fully that she is gone & this is going to take some time to process. But, I have gotten a lot of really genuine condolences from many of you & I want to tell you that I appreciate it more than you can possibly know. My family & I thank you for your support.

My mum was my biggest fan. She was so supportive. I think she was relieved when I picked up a guitar when I was a kid because I was a real hell-raiser. This record [=Slash's slo record in 2010] is dedicated to her as her illness was going on at the same time as I was making it - and I know how much she wanted me to finish it.


Being asked how wealthy he is:

Not as rich as people think. I'm not ridiculously wealthy, but I don't squander money either. I've never been that materialistic. I put my kids in nice schools, and my wife's happy. That's where my money goes, whereas it used to be booze, drugs and fags. Though I have just bought a new white Aston Martin DBS. I allow myself one nice car.


And talking about his relationship with Perla:

She is the only woman I've met who could put up with me for an extended period of time and still be happy. [...] I think I'm a great husband. I'm loyal, I've never cheated on her or even thought of cheating on her. And I can be fun to be around. But the flip side is I'm dedicated to music, 24/7. It's hard for me to prioritise anything in front of my work. But she gets that, and works around it, and although it's a cliché, she completes me. [...] I've always been pretty happy, but right now I'm the most content I've ever been in my own skin.

I've already been married once; I had to go through the trial marriage! I think a lot of it has to do with how, as people, we [me and my wife] are both put together because she's really unique and I'm not really the marriage type; she and I just have this certain kind of ‘bond', and she's definitely a certain kind of girl, just a really cool and fucking rock and roll female. We first met before I got married to my first wife – so I was like 25 and she was 18 – and I was really taken by her, even back then. But I was way too crazy then to even conceive of going into a relationship with someone that I really cared about, so I got into a relationship with someone that I didn't really care about! Years later though, we got reintroduced and we've been together ever since. And it's hard work, relationships take a certain amount of effort but we manage to persevere, and, y'know, I love her to death and she's very loyal. We're very faithful to each other and it's a very cool, rock and roll marriage.



1998-2007: LEGAL TROUBLES


In 1998, Slash would sue the management company Gudvi, Chapnick, Oppenheim and business manager Michael Oppenheim [MTV News, December 8, 1999] for allegedly overpaying Renee under terms of a prenuptial agreement, and seek $224,000 in recovery [Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1998]. According to the Los Angeles Superior Court: “Plaintiff and his wife divorced, and she has refused to return the overpayments or any portion of them” [Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1998]. Other sources would have it Slash had never asked her to repay the money [MTV News, December 8, 1998].

In July 1999 it would be reported that Slash had been arresting after allegedly beating his live-in girlfriend Perla Hudson [Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1999]. Slash would be released on a $ 50,000 bail [Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1999]. Slash's management would send the following statement to MTV News:

The alleged charges against Slash are the result of the recent break-up of Slash and his girlfriend of two years. Over the course of the breakup, Slash was staying at the Le Parc Hotel in Hollywood, under an alias to help ease the situation. His ex-girlfriend found out where Slash was staying and apparently bluffed her way into his hotel room where Slash was asleep. She initiated a physical dispute, and was removed from the room by the police, who had been called at Slash's request. Several day's later the ex-girlfriend opted to press charges.

There's a compelling set of extenuating circumstances in this case, but, as Slash does not want to further complicate the situation and cause anymore undue duress to either himself or his ex-girlfriend, neither he nor his representatives will be commenting further on the matter until it is resolved.


Later, Jack Douglas, the producer of 'Ain't Life Grand' would describe how Hudson had found Slash in his hotel room and how Slash had later been arrested by the police:

[Slash]'s a gas. Also the only guy I ever produced who was hauled off by the cops in the middle of a guitar solo. […] Slash had been charged by this crazy girlfriend of his with assault and had a warrant out. When the cops finally showed up, we expected it. The girlfriend had caused a major scene already, showed up at my hotel room and demanded to know where he was. I said nothing, so she talked the clerk into giving up his room number. She finds him and stabs him with a pencil! After he pushes her off, she charges him with assault! Anyway, the cops show up in the middle of the session, looking for "Mr. Slash," cuffed him and took him away. He had the bail bondsman's number in his teeth at the time, on a piece of paper. Had him out in no time. […] He lives for that shit, the edginess.


In August 1999, Slash would report a guitar theft in his Hollywood Hills home [MTV News, August 26, 1999]. A total of 12 guitars had been stolen, including a Gibson "Slash" model Les Paul and two Guild Crossroad double necks, as well as a large amount of studio equipment, a bronze sculpture and some of his personal belongings [MTV News, August 26, 1999].

I don't know who did it yet. They took all kinds of stuff; mikes, studio gear, 11 guitars. They even took my rock-star stuff, all my top hats but one. These guys knew who they were robbing, so they better watch their ass. There's only so many places you can sell that stuff, so when they try, I'm going to hear about it, trust me. When I find them, it will definitely be an unfortunate day.


At some point, Slash was arrested after having smoked on an plane and had to appear before court:

I guess I smoke a lot; in the shower, on the toilet; in bed, everywhere. So I'm in this bathroom on a plane, and the stewardess starts banging on the door. I must've set off the smoke alarm or something. It was really embarrassing; everyone on the plane knew what happened. That's a federal offense, did you know that? I didn't.


In 2000, Slash would be asked about the "worst criminal activity" he had been involved in and answered:

You've seen me down at the police station here in LA right?! Apparently, being drunk and going into LA County Jail to go meet somebody. Other than that I’m not gonna mention all the other shit! That was the most recent. I almost got arrested for being drunk in LA County.


It is not clear when this occurred, but he does refer to it as the most recent.

In 2005, Slash would be sued by his publicist Arlett Vereecke [Celebrity Justice, July 15, 2005]. Vereecke claimed that Slash owed her tens of thousands of dollars [Celebrity Justice, July 15, 2005]. Interestingly, Vereecke blamed Perla and not Slash:

[Perla is] on a power trip. It's all about her. She doesn't want Slash to be involved with anyone but her.


Apparently, Vereecke had been fired from representing Velvet Revolver after getting in a fight with Weiland and now just represented Slash [Celebrity Justice, July 15, 2005].

In April 2006, Vereecke posted the following scathing attack on Perla on the fan forum chinesedemocracy.com:

Slash married a prostitute, who's taking over his life, his finances, and his business, and got him involved in her voodoo business of killing animals, smearing animal's blood on their bodies, and filing lawsuits against everyone they ever said hello too.
Nobody wants to work or deal with him at this point.
Attorneys decline to represent Slash, manager do not want to represent him anymore,
VR would like to get rid of him, GNR does not want to have anything to do with him...all because of his wife's nastiness.
Until he has the balls to leave his wife, and take back his life, he's on his own.
All his friends left him, and she refuses to let him have any friends.

It's time for Slash to face his demon wife, put a stop to his madness and get back to the business of making music with his friends.
Nobody is too blame except Slash.
Sorry to disappoint you.
I'll attach herewith a beautiful shot of his wife's past occupation that appeared in a recent Hustler magazine spread.
Enjoy!
chinesedemocracy.com, April 2006[/url]


This update from Slash was likely about the ongoing problems he had with Vereecke, and if so, he steadfastly stood by his wife's side:

Hey kids, it seems a certain unnamed individual, unnamed mostly because only a handful of people know or care who she is, is spewing really hateful shit about my wife & I to anybody on the net that will pick it up. I know this psycho woman well, she was once involved in GnR's career in the 80's but got fired because she's.........well, psycho. And, trust me everybody who has ever worked with her will attest to that with utmost enthusiasm. She also attempted a partnership with my wife not long ago, but her less than stable behaviour was the catalyst for an abrupt end to that relationship as well. So, now she is bitter & pissed off & trying as hard as she can to get attention through the media with a smear campaign using my mom's passing as her vehicle. Normally I wouldn't react to this nonsense & Perla & I wouldn't be fazed by her ranting, but the accusations she is spitting about the relationship between my mom & my wife & I are way below the belt & obviously intended to be as harmful as possible. I will handle this how I see fit, but I wanted my family, friends & fans to know that this individual is an intensely vindictive person who is out for blood anyway she can get it & her statements have absolutely no merit whatsoever. So, don't buy in to her bullshit, she's desperate for attention, & consumed with some misplaced entitlement or something worse.


Not exactly a problem with the law and much more humorous, in July 2007, Slash would return a guitar he once stole from Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas:

The guitar has the best story. I stole that from the Hard Rock in Orlando (in Florida). It was in the dressing room. I didn't know what it was doing there, so I took it. I mean, it was in the dressing room and no one claimed it. So I've had it all these years and been playing it. But then I thought what better way to honor the Hard Rock for honoring me than to give it back, sort of.


Also in 2007, Slash and Perla sued a real estate agent after the house the purchased had faults, including not being on a private, gated street and allegedly being smaller than listed [TMZ, November 15, 2007]. According to the suit, Slash and Perla had suffered "grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, worry, disappointment, nervousness, stomach disorders, backaches, loss of appetite and inability to concentrate on work" as the result of this and sued for in excess of $1 million [TMZ, November 15, 2007]. In August 2009, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana said he was leaning toward allowing a jury to decide whether Slash and Perla deserve punitive damages from real estate agent Gregory Holcomb and Sotheby’s International Realty, but that he wanted to consider the matter further before making a final decision [L.A. Weekly, August 14, 2009]. The trial of the suit was set for September 21, 2009 [L.A. Weekly, August 14, 2009].


2009: STEVEN'S STALKER


In July 2009, a restraining order prohibiting Lisa Jill Martin-Cahn from contacting Steven or Slash would be issued [TMZ, July 29, 2009]. Martin-Cahn had stalked Steven for quite some time and allegedly hired three separate private detectives to try to hunt him down [TMZ, July 29, 2009]. In her efforts to get in contact with Steven she had pestered Slash, which was the reason for that restraining order [TMZ, July 29, 2009].

Had to get a restraining order for a crazed stalker this morning, nice.


It is possible that Slash is referring to Martin-Cahn when he mentioned that he did not attend his mother Ola's public service:

My mom's service was today, I didn't go because it was made public by that hag.

But, I had a private service for her at the church this morning with my dad, it was really nice.


It s also possible "that hag" is Arlett Vereecke [see above for the ongoing spat between Vereecke and Perla at the time].


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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:14 pm

WHY SLASH LEFT


When I made my decision, that's the time. My dad taught me not to be with a sinking ship. That's it. I was so desperate when I left the band. I came back from rehearsal at six or seven in the morning and I was so desperate after an hour sleep. I'm sure I was dead if I did that(heroin) then. No one can imagine how much I depressed. After a while I tried to make some cocktail, smoke cigarette and watched a few episode of "Wings" then went back to sleep. It was a little better when I woke next, but I was still unstable. Most important thing is peace of mind to me. But it was too far to be stable. There is no light at the other side of tunnel. I was like wandering in the dream. But I was awake though. I went back to sleep again and I was alright next time I woke up, so I quit the band. I started to call around and said "That's it. I can't go back there!" That's the final decision. There was no other way to go, but I had it. Let me go on.

When the 90’s rolled around, Axl got really, really into the whole trip and became a more exaggerated version of someone I already knew. Nothing that Axl does now surprises me. It’s just a bigger, more exaggerated version. That’s where he was headed. […] I just wanted to go back in and do another record and keep going, but we just never fell back in sync. So I just quit.

With respect to the millions of Guns fans, I wish I could explain how inevitable the split was. There wasn't anything that could be done to save it.

It was fucking tough to leave Guns N Roses, as simple and as complicated as that. Anyway, it happened when it had to happen. But I don't regret, after that, I've been playing and having fun all the time, which is what I really love doing and keeps me alive.

The Stones were recording Voodoo Lounge up at Don Was's house. Ronnie [Wood] and Keith and their wives and myself and my wife at the time all went to a very famous Beverly Hills restaurant that all the movie stars loved to be seen at. I was sitting at the bar with Keith and we were talking, funnily enough, about drugs. He asked me what I was doing with Guns, and I told him about the situation with Axl. Keith said, 'You never leave.' I thought a lot about what he said.

One of the things about Keith that I love so much is that he hangs in there, thick or thin. He's a hero to me because he's one of the few people that is completely unbendable when it comes to what he does, so I look up to him. So I got the wherewithal to be able to go back to rehearsal next day with a fresh attitude. I did that for weeks and weeks. It kept me in there for as long as humanly possible until it finally got to a point where it wasn't gonna go anywhere.

I don't know what relationship Keith and Mick [Jagger] have, or any of the lead singer and lead guitarists. The one thing they all seem to have in common is the singer wants to do his thing. I was dealing with somebody who didn't want to do anything in particular except to keep fucking dragging the ship down. So finally I did leave. I talked to Keith later after that, and he said, 'There was nothing you could fucking do'.



DISAGREEING WITH AXL OVER MUSICAL DIRECTION


After leaving Guns N' Roses, Slash would stress differences in opinion on the direction of Guns N' Roses, as the reason.

It's just that we're not seeing eye to eye on where Guns should be going. It's just such a pain in the ass. […] let the smoke clear and maybe we can talk about it later, rather than try and force something unnatural and have everyone go 'We waited around all this time for THIS?' Axl's whole visionary style, as far as his input in Guns N' Roses, is completely different from mine. I just like to play guitar, write a good riff, go out there and play, as opposed to presenting an image.

In a nutshell, Axl and I aren't really seeing eye to eye as far as musical direction is concerned. Where he's taking on a visionary direction, I'm still rooted in the original concept [from] when we first got together. We're sort of butting heads on that.

It's not a real big concern with me right now because if it gets together, you know how I always put it, if we get together we get together, and in the meantime there's so many other things to do. […] [Axl] does [want to have the band back together], but he wants to... I don't know. For me personally we're just not...uh, let's put it, like a more civil kind of way of putting it, is we're not seeing eye-to-eye on the direction point of view and it's a lot of friction and it's just worth it.

Uhm, it's real simple. Me and Axl had more or less a musical... difference of opinion as far as musical direction. Simple as that. You've heard it a million times. It's a rock n roll cliche.

[Authentic rock and roll] was just what turned me on when I was young, and I’ve been around music pretty much all my life. That’s sort of the direction that I went in when I decided to be a musician, and I’m still working on it (laughs). And probably one of the reasons why I left Guns is that it took a strange left somewhere. And so I’m still trying to get that [bleep] raw, pure rock thing down, you know?
Dave's Old Interview podcast, July 26, 2017; from a phone interview with Slash in 2000

It turned into a job. It wasn’t because of the music. It wasn’t because of anything other than Axl was going one way and the rest of us were trying to get better at what we thought we were good at.

That’s probably one of the reasons I left Guns. It took a strange left turn somewhere. I’m still trying to get the raw, pure rock thing down.

I went off and I did the Snakepit thing and the tour and everything and by the time I came back, I realised that the direction that he wanted to go in, or whatever, the conflict of interest, was definitely against whatever it was that we'd been doing, and that we weren't going to come to any kind of plausible meeting of the minds.

I guess I last saw him in an attorney’s office. I quit the group because of musical differences. I wanted to continue doing the hard rock thing, and he wanted to do techno-rock or something. We’re still to see the end result. I just do what I do because that’s what I like doing, but his thing seems to be a little more convoluted.

After all, although Axl and I were often in disagreement, sometimes we shared the same points of view. But we tended to become unnatural when we messed up the line-up, when we introduced foreign elements to rock. That’s why I felt at peace with myself when I left the band.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French

I left the band when it was still cool. I don’t have time to regret anything, life is too short and goes on, with or without Guns. I still have a lot of things left to prove. Actually, the only thing that bothers me is what our true fans think: "You had everything to be huge. Why?" The problem is that behind this facade, there was a strong tension. It was easy for me to plug my guitar and play. It wasn’t so simple for Axl. He was always fucking everything up. It had gotten to a point when we spent all our time fighting and we went backwards musically. I felt it coming, I already felt it during the recording of Use Your Illusion.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French

Me and Axl had grown so fucking far apart as far as what we thought we should be doing, that I inevitably ended up quitting.

It turned into playing nothing but ballads. I started to get bored with that. Then it was more internal stuff having to do with Ax and myself.

I was trying to get better at what we were basically getting good at. It seemed the natural course.

[Being asked if musical differences weren't one of the main reasons he quit]: Yeah, that's right. Axl wanted to incorporate a more industrial sound into the music.

It came to a point where I just couldn't continue working with Axl anymore. Somewhere along the way we got disjointed. I had a hard time relating to him, and he had a hard time relating to my single-minded, one-focus approach. Our breakup is as simple as that. I don't have a good hypothesis for why musical differences happen. Every band goes through it. […] [The break-up] was personal because it was musical, and musical because it was personal.

I thought we were just getting good at what we were doing and Axl headed in a different direction. I was basically too fucking stubborn -- still trying to perfect the one thing I was just getting good at to be able to go there. My whole trip is still based around the same original concept from when I started playing when I was 15… For me it’s basically all the same shit, and as far as what Axl had in mind I’m still waiting for the [next] Guns N’ Roses record to come out to see what that was.

[Talking about the final straw]: Well, I wasn’t really aware of where it was going, but it didn’t look good, let’s put it that way, man. It’s a two guitars, drums, bass and vocals band – always had been. Guns N’ Roses just started going in a direction that I couldn’t really understand. There was no emotional content for me whatsoever. So, as long as I hung in there, there was a certain point where I was basically suicidal. [...] I came home from rehearsals at 5 or 6 am one day. I went to bed, woke up and thought I was gonna have t kill myself … somehow. Luckily enough, I went back to sleep, and then I woke back up in my regular headspace and made some phone calls. Now, if I had the shit that I had around a few years ago, I’d be dead.

Axl was taking off in a direction I had no grasp of, and the way it was going, I wasn't having a good time. So I got out of the band in 1996 while it was still cool to do it.


Slash would later point out that their differences in opinion on how to develop Guns N' Roses had started already from the making of 'Appetite':

[Axl] was heading in one direction and I was heading in another. It was actually a slow progression from the days when we first made a record all the way up to the final record. When our last tour ended, he made it clear which way he wanted to go musically. I tried to hang on and stay with the band as long as I could, but there was definitely limitations. It just got to the point where we couldn't work together anymore.


On May 30, Slash would describe that direction as "techno-grunge" [The Boston Globe, May 30, 1997].

I just quietly walked away and told him, ‘When you want to do a rock ’n’ roll record, let me know.'

The best thing about the break is that it ended while it was good. I'm too into what I do to let it go all the way to hell and become like Styx or something (laughs)
Aftonbladet, July 9, 2004; translated from Swedish


Tom Zutaut would confirm that differences in opinion over musical direction was a huge problem:

Axl had a vision that GN'R should change and Slash had an attitude that Guns N' Roses was Guns N' Fucking Roses and that's who they were. I don't think they could get over their breakdown in communication. It wasn't announced publicly because nobody wanted to say the band had broken up.


In 2002 as Velvet Revolver was starting to become an entity, Dizzy would discuss the new band and implicate that Slash (and likely Duff and Matt) weren't interested in being relevant and adapting to the new music scene:

I think some of those guys really go complacent. I know Axl thought we really needed to change, and in their mind we didn't need to change, we should just do what we do and everything will be cool.

But you look around and you see bands that did that, and they're trivial now. They're nostalgia. We didn't want to be that way ... and one by one, people started quitting. The old band was a little more hell-bent on self-destruction; this band, I think, is kinda headed upwards as opposed to downward.

I think probably... I don't know if it's artistic differences but I think sometimes you know .... Some of the older guys just wanted to keep doing whatever Guns N' Roses was doing and I think the band needed to grow and change musically so if that's artistic differences then cool, I think it might have been a case of not wanting, some people not wanting to put as much work in than other people and that probably has more to do with it.

I think some people wanted to kind of stay in the same spot musically and just take that road wherever that was going, which probably was down. I think that we needed to go where we are now. We needed to diversify, we needed to modernize the sound of the band and change with the times.


In 1999, Slash would suggest he was unaware of Axl always having a vision for the band and long-term plans:

But Axl had his own - I still want to know the answer to where Axl’s ambitions were from the get-go. Because, you know, things came out in the open over the years. I was like, “Really? So you were thinking all that way before.” You know? And I was just like, “I just thought we were just hanging out.”


Axl would vehemently deny trying to change the sound of the band and claim he wanted to make an Appetite-style recording but that he agreed to work on whatever Slash was interested in at the time:

Originally I intended to do more of an Appetite style recording but with the changes in the band's dynamics and the band's musical influences at the time it didn't appear realistic. So, I opted for what I thought would or should've made the band and especially Slash very happy. Basically I was interested in making a Slash record with some contributions from everybody else. There'd still be some chemistry and some synergy happening and whatever dynamics anyone else could bring in to the project. It seemed to me that anytime we got close to something that would work, it wasn't out of opinion that Slash would go ‘hey it doesn't work', but it was nixed simply because it did work. In other words, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. That actually might be successful, we can't do that.' People like to call me paranoid. It has nothing to do with paranoia; it was to do with reality. If the material were strong enough for me to sink my teeth in then I would still be in a certain public position in regards to Guns, we'd have possibly still held a certain popularity with the public as I have previously been fortunate enough to have had. Slash and his ex-wife Renee and his security guy and closest confidant at the time, Ronnie Stalnacker could not live with that. It's not something Slash could live with. Slash chose not to be here over control issues.

Now people can say ‘Well Axl, you're after control of the band too.' You're damn skippy. That's right. I am the one held responsible since day one. When it comes to Guns n' Roses, I may not always get everything right but I do have a good idea about getting things from point A to point B and knowing what the job is that we have to do. Within those parameters, I give everyone as much freedom to do what they want something Slash has verified in several interviews. Had Slash stepped up and written what we captured glimpses of, it would have created an environment that was beyond Slash's ability to control. He did not want to do that or put himself through the rigors of taking the band to that level even if he was capable of writing it. Was he capable of doing it? Absolutely 100%. I think that some of the riffs that were coming out of him were the meanest, most contemporary, bluesiest, rocking thing since Aerosmith's Rocks. The 2000 version of Aerosmith Rocks or the 1996 Aerosmith Rocks by the time we would have put it out. I don't know if I would have wanted to even do a world tour at the time but I wanted to put that record together and could we have done it? Yes. It's not something I would want to approach (without Slash) because at the time there was only one person that I knew who could do certain riffs that way. We still needed the collaboration of the band as a whole to write the best songs.


And in 2008, Axl would say the allegations that he insisted the band changed their musical direction was "crap" and repeat that he had been willing to work on blues rock:

A lot of people bought that crap and me having gone in other directions seems to many to have verified that. Then you have the mind twisting equally as true horseshit in Slash’s book but I have the rehearsal tapes. There’s nothing but Slash based blues rock and he stopped it to both go solo and try to completely take over Guns. I read all this if Axl would’ve put words and melodies on it could’ve… That was denied and I didn’t walk till several months after having 3 to 4 hour phone conversations nearly every day with Slash trying to reach a compromise. I was specifically told no lyrics, no melodies, no changes to anything and to sing what I was told or fuck off.


But that without Izzy that guitar interplay from Appetite was missing:

Part of what destroyed Guns was the battle between those guitars that works so well for 'Appetite.' I have no concept how to duplicate that with either the old guys or anyone else. I liked it then but can't say I truly understood their nature as I feel I do now. Make no mistake: That was a war and the efforts of one man to "successfully" remove another in his path between him and I. Neither player wants to deal with each other in those ways again. Those battles have already been fought, both sides went their prospective ways. Regardless of if they were to work together or not, the true dynamics of back then aren't something Izzy has an interest in or would allow himself to actually be in to such a degree other than for appearances, if that. Also, anything I had written I felt was in similar directions then, during and after the 'Illusions' tour was more than rejected by both Slash and Duff at a time, which greatly helped destroy whatever confidence I may have had at the time.


He would also again state that the music changed first after Slash left:

The music changed after Slash and I parted so the direction was where I took GUNS not where I had intended or tried to go previously. It had a lot to do with not finding or knowing a more blues based player that I found inspiring and I was really knocked down and beat up. Slash, Duff and Matt's [Sorum] decisions had as much to do with kicking a guy when he's down or abandoning ship at the time as anything else. Other things were going on with music as well, we were basically dead at Geffen. I liked other things as well so I wanted to explore, be legitimate and survive. I wasn't doing what was written so often about chasing fads etc. Jesus, I wouldn't have agreed for Zakk [Wylde] to come down if any of Slash's or the media's nonsense were real. And that could've worked on some level but like GUNS it would've been up to those two and their relationship. They talk nice but it wasn't pretty… but it was pretty awesome!!

Part of that, I feel, may have come from Slash painting a rather distorted picture publicly, both back then and since, of what our studio was like during his trial period. Contrary to his accounts, there weren't tons of computers, keyboards and endless, useless gear around that anyone was paying insane prices for. What in my opinion are Slash's aversion and fears have been greatly amplified and exaggerated and often in complete juxtaposition to and a subversion of reality to support his case publicly at both ours and the fans' expense.

I know that I wasn't opposed to anyone from then ... and tried anything I could, or that anyone else could think of, to allow that to happen at the time. ... The end of each relationship was devastating and terrifying, (but) ... no, there wasn't any way I'm aware of, then or in hindsight, to have kept the old lineup together, at least (by) myself or anyone involved in our camp at the time.



PAUL HUGE


Despite Slash stressing the differences between him and Axl, rumours would also have it that Paul Huge's continuous presence in the band, with Axl now wanting his as a writing partner, was annoying Slash [Addicted to Noise, January 13, 1997].


BEING MISERABLE


There's really not much to say. I'm not a person to quit anything, but it got to the point where it was a miserable situation and I had to leave.

[Whether the decision to leave was a hard one to take]: Not so much actually. All in all, I was only a fifth of Guns N’ Roses. I couldn’t go on like that. It just appeared obvious to me that I had to leave, it was a question of survival.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French

When I came back, I thought, ‘I don’t really like my day job anymore’. I was frustrated, because nothin’ was happening. But I hung in there for a little while, then finally got disillusioned with the whole thing. That’s when I started thinking about doing my own thing again.

If I'd stayed for the sake of chivalry, I would probably be sitting here doing nothing. 'Cause there is no new Guns record out. In fact, I would probably not be walking this earth. I'd be pushing daisies. With respect to the millions of Guns fans, I wish I could explain how inevitable the split was.

I was suicidal [after waking up after only two hours sleep]. If I'd had a gun with me at that time, I probably would have done myself in.

If I'd had a half-ounce of f**king heroin with me, I probably just would've gone. It was heavy. It was a headspace I'd never been in before.

Somehow I managed to go back to sleep. Then, when I woke up later that morning, I made a decision. I felt the whole weight of the world drop.


Slash would also imply that the problems in the band became a danger to him as it pushed him back towards drugs:

I can’t relate to Axl. Maybe I never could. I mean, Axl came with Izzy, I came with Steven, and then we all hooked up with Duff...

When the other guys left, I realised I was out alone, and that meant me and Axl had to come to terms with... not our animosity, but having a different opinion about everything. And, I mean, you know, Axl works as hard as anybody else but only on what he wants to work on. And... I just lost interest. [...]

But it all comes down to this: if I hadn’t quit, I would have died, hanging round with nothing to do, no mutual artistic relationship, nothing... [...]

I mean, I tried to hang on in there, but it was like a big, revolving door, from really hi-tech equipment, different guitar players, all kinds of shit going on... I was just waiting for the dust to clear.

Eventually, I thought, we’ll never be able to put this back on the right path. It was getting so bad I saw myself really slipping again...



AXL'S BEHAVIOUR


Now I don't wanna go back in those days. There was nothing fun at all. Three hour delayed show caused by only one brat. And twelve year old girl was beaten up during the riot, police was carried on a stretcher. There's nothing good.

It was hard to get up in front of an audience and say, ‘We’re sorry we’re three hours late. Thanks for showing us your tits on the monitors.

I really never necessarily fuckin’ just quit because of musical differences. I quit because he is an asshole! I have other things to do and life is too short.

I can live with most shit, but it was the fucking up the gigs that got me. You've got four other musicians and 80 people working their ass off to set up this stadium show up every night, and you've got 30,000 to 180,000 fans turning up to see it. Everybody is dependent on it all synchronising, so when you start sabotaging that for no good reason, it's the most unbelievably selfish thing. I just couldn't live with it. I tried to keep it together even after Izzy split [Izzy Stradlin, guitarist who left Guns after Rose walked offstage in Mannheim, Germany in 1991], but after touring Use Your Illusion I and II for 28 months I was mentally and physically exhausted, I had no interest in working on another Guns record.

His sort of m.o., as far as the band was concerned, over time got so exaggerated in the rock star sense or whatever and he became such a dictator and this and that and the other, that it was impossible for me to work with him, because I'm not the kind of person that takes orders, you know.



THE BAND HAD CHANGED TOO MUCH


But everything that I learned and all the experiences that we had were all fucking awesome, you know? I had a great time. But when the band got really big is when everybody’s true colors really started to come out. There was, like, managers and a lot of people riding – [...] Yeah, riding this wave. I was handling a lot of interviews and stuff, still not really consciously aware of where everything was going, just keeping on and keeping on. And at the end of the day, all of a sudden it became the guy with the top hat and the Les Paul, and the crazy fucking… [...] The singer and the bandana. And the rest of the band sort of like just became this Guns N’ Roses thing, you know? You know, still to this day, I never really have gotten to how the image itself all works or any of that shit. We were touring around the world and doing this whole thing with this entourage of, like, 80 or something other people. I would say that there’s probably about – I could count on two hands how many people I still talk to.

After Izzy and Steven left, I realized core of the band was lost. I was pushed to the point that I leave the band to keep the state of mind. […] I'm not the person who gives up easily, but terrible situation made me to do it. That was the only way left, I have to take care of myself. Replacement is OK with me, but I have to choose "quit" when the band itself has broken. That was all up to me, other guys were quit or fired though. Leaving the band eased my mind. I could do differently when I recall now, but I couldn't even think that time, because we were so fucked up. It took two and half years to think that way.

I didn’t want to go down with the ship, so to speak. Alright? So I left when it was still just, like, cool.

It’s really not as complicated and it’s not as "Rock and Roll Heroic Break Up Stuff" as everybody makes it out to be. When Steven (Adler, drummer) got kicked out, and then we kept going from there, that was one thing. Then when Izzy (Stradlin, guitar) quit, that’s when I went "Oh..." And the only reason Izzy quit is...it had a lot to do with Axl. So, I hung in there, because we set out on a mission to do this thing -- and we did it -- but the camaraderie was not totally there. We hung in as long as we could, then it finally came to a point where I was like, you know what, I can’t fucking hang in there anymore.

One of the main reasons I actually ended up leaving is because the ideology behind Guns N' Roses all of a sudden took up a more preconceived turn than what we originally set out doing. I’m still working on being a rock ‘n' roll band and when I realised that I didn't have much control over the outcome of the way Guns was gonna sound, I went on to do the next thing which was to start my own band, and doing what it is I'm still trying to do - good old genuine rock 'n' roll.

Sure, sure, because, for me, nothin’ much has changed, either. Not really. Everything that went on in the band, it didn’t matter if it was playing Donington way down on the bill, or flying to gigs on the private plane we had after that, it was always the same for me.

Me and Axl are different like that, the whole 'aspiration of stardom’ thing. I always hung out in the same places, always did the same things, wherever the band was at. But for him it was like everything changed. He wasn’t like the same guy anymore, it was like the band wasn’t the same band anymore.

It was a gradual kind of thing. I think it started out with Steven [Adler] getting fired, which was a mutual thing. We all realized that Steven was just too much over-the-top at that time to continue on. And then when Izzy [Stradlin] quit, I think it was just the breaking up of the gang, so to speak.

That led to a point where we found replacements and managed to keep going, but … I went to rehearsals and my heart just wasn't there. And it was never me and Axl [Rose] and the rest of the guys, the way that people like to see it — where it's like the two front guys are the main thing and then there's the back line. I was very tight with the guys in the back line, which was depleted at that point, and there was never a really big relationship between me and Axl.

So now that Axl was running the ship, I was going, 'I can't do this.' And the whole thing was taking an all around direction somewhere that I couldn't even relate to. I just couldn't hang in there, and I'm pretty tenacious. I very rarely quit anything.

There wasn’t really a final straw, I had 11 days of rehearsal that were really tedious, more or less painful, and by the end of those 11 days, it was just way too foreign, a different kind of vibe going on. Of course, without all the original members, the fabric of the band had started to show real holes in it. And that was that.

The lineup in the band had depleted so much. I just realized I couldn't keep doing it anymore. So I just split while it was still cool. (Laughs) You know?

It was also because of the degeneration of what I considered the real guts of the band - Steve [Adler, drums], Izzy [Stradlin, guitar] and Duff [McKagan, bass]. The degeneration of my backup, my hang. Axl was always more intense and isolated than the other guys in the band - the rest of us were more kickback and casual. The depletion of members eventually took a toll on the band.

First there was Steven [Adler, the band's first drummer, who was let go for excessive drug abuse]. That was a big change, but we survived it. But that still had a big effect on the camaraderie of a bunch of guys who - I hate to sound cliché - really came from the gutter. But it was hard, because I was only 20 and Steven was only 21 when the band really started. We had professional ethics, but at the same time, we were a crazy bunch of kids. Trying to keep a tab on any one of us was difficult [laughs]. We just knew when we had to show up for work, but after work… God knows what was going on.

So when we buckled down to do Use Your Illusion, [former Cult drummer] Matt Sorum came in, and he was just like the rest of us, so that was cool. And then we're doing this whole double-record thing because we had so much material. And then we had all these huge shows coming up, so it's like we were touring during the making of the record. There was a lot going on. So we were out for two-plus years on those albums.

Then Izzy left, and a lot of that had to do with the excessive shit happening on the road, as far as going on late and riots and that kind of stuff. We were a really simple band from the start. We really looked forward to getting up and playing every night - that's what we're all about. But when that started to get complicated for reasons that didn't have anything to do with the rest of us, it put a strain on the band.

It wasn't a "success kills" kind of story, it was just that what Axl had originally planned all along started to become something that none of us knew anything about [laughs]. So when the tour was over, I looked at what was going on, and I realized I felt very estranged. What bound us together was really lacking as soon as we were missing a couple of guys. You just can't reinvent something like that.

We tried to hang in there as long as possible, but Axl was going in a musical direction that none of us could fathom. Eventually, it just wasn't fun for me, and I finally left. And consequently Duff left, and Matt got fired. Now Axl is doing Guns on his own. I have no regrets about the whole thing, because it was a slow, systematic thing that went on. I'm just waiting for the new Guns album to come out so I can have something solid in my hands to explain where Axl was headed - just to clarify some things [laughs].

It took a lot for me to quit. It probably started with the depletion of band members. It was a very hard band to put together. First, we lost Steven, then Izzy quit. We kept going, did the whole two and a half year tour. Videos started to go awry, money was being spent … management was bad. I mean, a lot of fucking shit that I would never have expected I would have been stupid enough to go through, you know? A rock’n’roll band is such a simple concept, but it just got to be so complex in the end. And at the end of the day, I had nobody to go home to except Axl. And we literally didn’t see eye to eye on anything at that time.

The thing was that when Izzy left it became impossible. I couldn't deal with Axl on my own and the band stopped being what it originally was. Originally Izzy could deal with Axl, I could deal with Izzy and Duff could deal with me. Steven also played his part. And that's how it was. We all had a way of dealing with each other and it all balanced out. After Izzy left it became something else.

And then, when we got back and it was time to write a record, it really became apparent how much the original group worked. There was a certain unsaid formula that made us all be able to support one another and also deal with Axl, and this and that. And now that was sort of gone. [...] I also came to terms with the reality that I’m not the guy to be able to have to communicate with Axl, and Duff’s not the guy to do it. And the two of us together even can’t [do it]. He just turned into this almost separate entity. It was like, no way we could really communicate on a creative level.

It already went wrong when original drummer Steven Adler was kicked out of the band.

Because Steven was gone, Izzy also left. But we had a whole tour planned so we kept the whole thing going. When it was time to record a new album, though, we missed those guys a lot. Look, nothing was right about our little band, but we were very successful. Without Steven and Izzy, though, it really turned into Axl's trip.

A lot of it had to do with just not being able to control [Axl] the time that the band went on stage, when we were doing anything on a professional level. And then, after the Use Your Illusions tour was over, which was two-and-a-half years of a lot of roller coaster kind of behavior – and also another thing was losing two of the original members of the band, which was Steven and Izzy. I realized there was a chemistry about the way that we all worked, and also in relationship to Axl. Izzy was very much sort of the glue, the in-between guy that kept Axl and I sort of on an even keel, because he came to L.A – basically they were both from Indiana, so they had a certain kind of a relationship that really helped how the rest of the band sort of functioned.



CONTRACTUAL STUFF


In 2007, Slash for the first time mentioned that Axl had presented him with contracts in 1995 or 1996 that had been too much for Slash:

And then, once we got in to start working on what would have been the next record, there was a lot of contractual stuff that Axl started throwing around, and that just was the icing on the cake.


This is not the first time a band member leaving would be preceded by a contract disagreement; Izzy had mentioned something similar before he quit the band [see earlier chapter].
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19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS - Page 2 Empty Re: 19. DECEMBER 1994-OCTOBER 1996: AXL AND SLASH FIGHTS, SLASH QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 11, 2021 7:19 am

1996-2016
SLASH AFTER GUNS N' ROSES: DRUGS AND BOOZE


After quitting Guns N' Roses, Slash's addictions seem to have gotten worse with the drinking being his largest problem, although occasional drug use was also part of his life style as it had been for many years:

I'm not really what you'd call a drug guy, you know. I have a drink (laughs). Drugs are around all the time, and it's not that big a deal. I always keep a bottle of Jack and a bottle of vodka around, though.

You know what, I've slipped a couple of times over the last ten years because I've run into the wrong person at the wrong time. I've ended up in a hospital a few times. And you know what, while I was in the hospital I thought, "It wasn't even a good high." So I'm really over it now. Its too much bother and too much of a pain in the ass. It's too non-productive. Especially if you're like somebody like me who has a lot going on. I have too much I want to do. You can't sit in that funky kind of place for too long a period of time and expect anything good to happen your way. You just get tired of it after a while. If it doesn't get tired of you first.


Being asked how long it's been since he last took heroin:

I went through a long-term (expletive) thing with that, but it just became nonconducive to getting anything done. As soon as my music starts to deteriorate, I had to stop whatever was hurting it. And I don’t miss it at all.


About his current drug use:

While I'm still no angel, I'm a lot cleaner than when I was younger.

I have my own personal maintenance kind of thing, which is not necessarily the healthiest way to live.


The first show of the Snakepit tour with AC/DC, in March 2001, had to be cancelled when Slash got ill [Press release, March 26, 2001]. Slash would first claim it was due to pneumonia:

I apologize to the fans and to AC/DC, but I don't want to get up there and do a half-ass show. I hate to let people down, but it wouldn't be right to give them a performance that's anything less than our best.

I didn't take it all that seriously at the time, but for some reason, something, somehow, catching pneumonia, for me, doesn't sound all that realistic. But the doctors, apparently, did think so. That's the first time I've ever been flat on my back, as far as I can remember, because a doctor said so.

[…] I had pneumonia. It hit me at a bad time. I was doing the shows but I just wasn't feeling 100 percent. So a hospital just happened to be next to where we were doing a sound check, so I went in and they said, "Jesus Christ!" They didn’t let me leave. I was pushing myself too hard and I guess what I had was walking pneumonia, and the doctors said to me that I have to slow down. I didn't want to because I was right in the middle of a tour, but the doctors said I had to. It was unfortunate, because this all happened right before we were supposed to go on tour with AC/DC. The timing was just wrong. […] I'm feeling great now. I just needed a little bit of time off. Now we're retooling and we'll be going on tour this summer right through next year.


Despite Slash claiming it was pneumonia, rumours would have it he had overdosed:

[Being asked to comment on rumours he had overdosed]: People keep asking me this question, and - considering all the serious stuff I’ve done in my life - it’s funny that this time it was just a natural thing. I got sick. I didn’t realize how sick I was until we got to Pittsburgh, and the venue we were playing at was right around the corner from the hospital. I thought I should see the doctor because I didn’t feel good. I walked over to the hospital with the tour manager, and I ended up staying in bed for a week. But it had nothing to do with any of my drugs (laughs).


In September 2001, though, Slash would finally admit the AC/DC shows had been cancelled when he had suffered from issues because of his drinking, and that he had given up drinking as the result:

[Smoking is] my last real good vice. […] You know, there just came a point there where it just sort of came up and bit me in the ass. […] And I had a little - I spent a week in the hospital, you know, so... (laughs). […] Somewhere in Pittsburgh. […] Just excess, let’s leave it that. […] This was a physical – this was the real deal. It was in the middle of the tour, right? And I wasn’t feeling good, but knowing me, I just kept going and kept going, kept going... And my tour manager at the time was like, “You should go get yourself checked out.” So I went to – I thought, “Well, I’ll go to the doctor, then I’ll do soundcheck. Or I’ll do soundcheck and then go to the doctor.” (?) So I went before soundcheck and once I got in, there was all she wrote. It was like, “You’re not going anywhere, man.” So I was on my back actually for a week in Pittsburgh and for another week in L.A. But so I got all completely cleaned out.


In later years he would be more fortright and admit how bad he had been:

I destroyed myself. I drank so hard around the clock for so many years that I ended up in the hospital. I woke up four weeks later and was clean. After that I took a year where I was completely white. [...] I had too much alcohol in the system. [...] No. [it wasn't the liver], heart problems. It did not affect my liver as it should have, but it still almost took my life.
Aftonbladet, July 9, 2004; translated from Swedish

I woke up in the hospital at the end of the last Snakepit tour and was told that I had between three weeks and six months to live. Apparently, my heart had expanded to about ten times its normal size. Just from drinking. All day, every day.

When I inevitably quit the band, I went through some real hard times sorting that out, and I almost died after that. Then all of a sudden I came out of the hospital clean, and I had a year sober. Now I drink, but not as much, and I haven’t had the desire.


Slash would also mention the episode resulted in him getting a defibrillator:

[...] a cardiomyopathy. [...] It means, basically, it’s a virus that your heart gets and it weakens your heart muscle. [...] They hope – well, they told me I had six days to six weeks to live. [...] 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”- [...] 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. 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. [...] They gave me a defibrillator, like a type of pacemaker.

They put a defibrillator in my heart. [...] And they told me that I wasn’t gonna live. They said, “You have six days to six weeks,” and I refused to – you know, I remember that was serious and I didn’t have a problem quitting drinking to sort of go along with doctors’ orders, but I was really concerned with… because I had to cancel the tour. So I wanted to make up those dates. And that’s what got me through it, you know (laughs). And I was back on the road within months.

That's from drinking, okay. But the doctor put that in this, a safety precaution in case I ended up in the hospital for alcohol poisoning. And I had a condition called cardiomyopathy, which basically they told me you have six weeks to six months to live. That was it. I managed to get through that. This was a few years back. Rick James died from the same thing. He called me, he said, 'You know, how do I deal with this?' You're going to have to stop doing what you're doing. And he couldn't stop. And it killed him. So I did, I stopped drinking for about a year and whatnot. But they said if — in case you go down this path again, this will be a physical warning and it will straighten you out.

Years of drinking had swollen my heart to the point of bursting. It reached the point where the doctors gave me between six days and six weeks to live.

They installed a defibrillator to keep my heart from stopping and keep it beating at a steady rate. After the operation I began therapy and miraculously my heart started to heal.


Slash rested for four months after having the defibrillator inserted, and then had his first show at Michael Jackson's 50th birthday celebration:

I was out of circulation for four months before I picked up a guitar. It was the darkest period of my life – but in 2001 I agreed to play at Michael’s birthday celebration. This was my first gig since the operation so I was looking forward to it. It certainly turned out to be memorable. On the day it was a great show. Everyone in the Michael Jackson entourage was rocking out, and I was doing the best I could to stay away from alcohol. After all, I now had a pacemaker. When the doctors put the defibrillator in me, it was for maintaining a normal heart rate. For most people this isn’t a problem, but it was for me. Once I get up onstage my heart rate sky-rockets. When I took the stage with Michael and got into it, I was suddenly hit in the chest by a shock and my vision flooded with electric blue light. This happened about four times during each song, and I had no idea what was going on. I thought I had a short-circuit in a guitar cable or a photographer’s flash had popped in my eyes. Each time it happened I had to stand there and make it look as if everything was normal. I saw it later on TV and you couldn’t tell, so I guess I pulled it off. It was extremely disconcerting until I figured out what was what.


The sobriety lasted for about 6 months before Slash started "sneaking in whiskys":

[Asked what he would have ordered if he were in a bar]: I've been sober for the last six months, but how about a shot of good whiskey? Actually, I've been sneaking a few of 'em in lately.

After I had [the defibrillator] implanted, I went for a good year and I started with the wine… [...] And then it started snowballing again.


In 2003-2005 Slash would again discuss his drinking and say he had stopped drinking during the day:

The coolest rock stars I'd ever seen in pictures always had a bottle of Jack Daniel's. There is a picture of Keith Richards getting out of a limo with Patti Hansen - bottle of Jack in his hand. There is a great old picture of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page on an airplane looking really stoned, with Page holding a bottle of Jack. And there is a picture of Aerosmith in their heyday - a bottle of Jack Daniel's on their drum riser. When you're a kid, you look through rock magazines, and if you see somebody you like doing the same thing you're doing, you go, "Oh cool, I'm doing the right thing." I started drinking Jack as soon as I could afford it. I'd get to the studio at noon and have a Jack and coffee. Then it was straight up at night. Eventually, it was just shots. There was actually a point where all I needed in my life, besides my guitar, was cigarettes and Jack Daniel's. Even to this day, it's on my tour rider, and every year for my birthday that's all I get from everyone: Jack Daniel's and cigarettes. I don't drink as much anymore; I've sort of eliminated the whole daytime drinking thing. But I still like my Jack and Coke at night. Jack's great. But remember one thing: Qaaludes and Jack Daniel's really don't mix.

I don't usually start at noon, but I came in your office and it was sitting there. I have toned it down a little. It's one thing to do it casually, it's another thing to fucking live on it, like water and air. Drink put me in hospital in 2000. It was my heart so I'm very conscious of it now. I watch myself now.

I do not drink near what I used to pour into me. [...] My health is okay. It's just beer. And I do not drink near what I used to.
Aftonbladet, July 9, 2004; translated from Swedish

But I mean, all things considered, I’m still the one guy in the band that needs to have a little bit of something going on, like a drink, or some sort of a party, or something after the show, or whatever. But, you know, if somebody comes up and goes, “You wanna go do a line?” I’ll think twice.

And then I just drank myself almost to death. They told me I only had three months to live, if I was lucky. So I cleaned myself up, got my health back, and now I just drink a glass a night.


In 2004 a fan would comment that Slash looked healthy:

I don’t spend time chasing dealers around anymore. After a while that kind of lifestyle becomes a drag. For me, it became a burden and a pain in the ass rather than something that was fun and exciting, so I just stopped. As a result, I spend more time focused on guitar, and I have more energy to devote to it.


Slash would also say that having his first baby had straightened both him and Perla out:

But when my wife first announced that she was pregnant, it straightened us. Because she and I were, like, a pretty crazy couple. Anybody in Hollywood that knows us will tell you we were that sort of couple. But when she told me she was pregnant, I was actually in the beginning of another binge - I could see it coming - and she was doing what she was doing, and it just straightened us out. So that whole nine month period was a whole completely different focus. I was also trying to start another band, and somewhere around the time that this band first-first started is when he was born, so then I had the band thing. You know, it’s one thing if I’m not in a band and I’m not working consistently, and I’ll be out there trying to work; but it’s like trying to keep it cool, too, trying to keep clean and all that. So the baby sort of helped, and then it helped my focus as far as trying to get this group together, even though I didn’t know it was gonna be this group.

I don't drink anything like I used to. Having kids made a difference. It happened at the right time, when I'd turned the corner. I was at the births and I was stunned. At my two-year-old's birthday party, I watched him play and this overwhelming wave of love just hit me. I was like, whooah.

Obviously I'm a lot more aware of the consequences of my actions now, especially now I've got kids. You won't find me down in the basement with a needle hanging out of my arm any more. I'm prepared to admit I'm still a heavy drinker, but it's nothing compared with what I used to be.


He even stopped smoking for a while:

I gave up smoking once, actually. In 2003, when we recorded the first Velvet Revolver album, I was clean off alcohol and drugs. My son had just been born and my wife kept telling me that, when I handed him to her, he smelt like a cigarette. And she talked me into seeing a hypnotist, cos our friends Matt Sorum [of Velvet Revolver] and Steve Jones [of the Sex Pistols] had quit that way. So I saw two hypnotists and, in both cases, I had lit up a cigarette before I even got to their front porch after the session was over. But this third guy I went to, it actually fucking worked. And I had no desire to smoke for 10 months. Then Duff [McKagan] and I came to Europe for a promotional tour, and I ran into a buddy in France who smoked Gitanes and had a bottle of wine. And the next thing I know is that I’m drinking and smoking again. I guess it’s up to my kids to bug me enough to make me give up.



FALL OF 2006: REHAB


In the fall of 2006, Slash entered rehab for two months [Reverb Magazine, May 21, 2007] with Duff describing the period before the rehab as "pretty scary":

Slash is in the best mindspace I've know him since we were 19 years old. It's great to see. The few months before [he went into rehab] were pretty scary. But he's sought help and done the hard work. He's faced some shit and dealt with it.


Talking about the period leading up to rehab:

[Being asked if he still has any vices]: Yeah it was only a matter of months ago that I had them big time. But yeah I still smoke and my rock and roll vices or whatever are still the same, the only thing that's changed is I'm not shooting up and I'm not drinking a gallon of booze every 5 minutes, all that kind of stuff, which is probably for the best.


In June 2007, Slash was still sober and would indicate that the rehab had been in about August 2006:

I haven’t had a drink in 11 months. Or anything else for that matter. Yeah, it’s pretty much cigarettes at this point. Cigarettes and sex.


Apparently, Matt and Duff got into problems, too:

Everyone [in Velvet Revolver] is really good right now. But a few of us lapsed back into some old habits. The only one who stayed completely sober actually was Scott. Dave doesn't count because he has been clean for years.


Slash, talking about getting older:

I went through a period between 30 till 40, I went through so much where I tested my mortality that when I turned 40 I was pretty shocked. At this point I've learned that I'm sort of disinterested in...um...trying to test the boundaries of my physical limitations. So I've gotten to be a little bit more relaxed about all that shit, and in contrast to all that stuff when I was 29 now I can actually picture myself being 50.


Slash would talk more about the rehab and say both Perla and him had been having problems and that he had abused Oxycontin and alcohol:

Yeah, I've actually been clean for about 10 months, so we'll see how long that lasts [laughs]. I don't really get into talking about it that much. One of the catalysts was I was having problems at home, problems with my wife because she had a problem. And we came from two different problems. And there was all this bullshit with the band, toward the end of the tour I was drinking bottle of wine after bottle of wine, cos I know how to do that [laughs].

So at one point my wife came to the conclusion that she needed to go to rehab. So when she went I knew when she came out I was going to have to go, because that was the only way we could sort things out. So while she was gone I went on a fuckin' smack binge. Well, it was Oxycontin - it's easy stuff, you get it from a doctor so you don't have to deal with dealers and all that shit. That went on for a couple of months, then I went into rehab and got some clarity.

Being loaded worked for me in the early days but nowadays I cannot be effective or as convincing to anybody stoned. I guess it just doesn't fly anymore [laughs]. Sometimes the idea of having a drink sounds nice but I know it won't stop at that. And the whole smack thing - I knew when I was doing it it was wrong. No matter what anyone tells you, trying to do a world tour with a heroin habit has got to be one of the most excruciating things ever.

There were a lot of crazy things going on in my life, and it just got to a point where I needed to get away to get my head together. We hit some downtime from writing and re­hearsing, and I decided to check in. [...]it wasn't like a long, drawn-out drug thing. I hadn’t been using all the time; I just went on a little binge and took it to the nines, knowing that on a certain date I was go­ing to walk into rehab. And after I got out, we went straight to work!

I was having problems at home so I went on a smack binge. It was Oxycontin I could get from a doctor. Being in Velvet Revolver keeps me sane and pulls me out of the black holes. [...] That’s why when we stopped playing I went on a crazy drug bender. The thing is, I can keep myself together when I am working and touring but when we stop I go stir-crazy. [...] I was indulging myself and letting myself go off the deep end while I realised what my priorities were. Music and my guitar have that influence on me and it can pull me back. [...] But I know I could stop and I even pre-booked rehab. I was in control. I managed to go to rehab willingly. I had never been before and it was a good experience. It was only dark for the first week when I was withdrawing and I was able to clear my head and handle what I wanted to do.

There was just a lot of negative shit going on. Some of it was band stuff, some of it was home stuff, it was a lot of shit, and I went on a little fuckin’ OxyContin binge for, like, two or three months, and I had a set date to go into rehab.

I've not had a drink in nine months and 10 days. Since I was in rehab. My wife went to rehab for her excesses a while ago, and I knew when she got out I was going to have to go, so I went on a two-month, hardcore drug binge.

I think I was burning out on the whole super-excessive lifestyle. At some point, my wife and I really both took it to the hilt. Around the same time she got pregnant, I realized there were certain indulgences I really wasn't having as much fun with anymore.

I wasn't the 'rehab type' of guy and wasn't sure what I wanted to do. So, when she got pregnant, it was like: 'Are we going to do this?' And then the paternal side came out and we decided to be very responsible, with a lot of love.

Having kids really does give you a perspective on your own mortality and gives you something you can put you heart and soul in besides your own self-centered concerns, which music really is. So, I think everything has been happening in due time.

Three years ago, I got really stressed because Velvet Revolver were in a state, and my marriage was in a state, and I went back down that road for a while, and while it was fun for a minute, it wasn't nearly as much fun as it had been before. I'd just grown out of that lifestyle. [...] [Having children] helped me put a pen in it. I think I needed to go back and have one last go at it, to get over it. And I don't regret any of it. I don't believe in having regrets. I haven't killed anyone, or anything like that. But I did go into rehab after that, for a month, and I really haven't wanted drugs since then.

When Perla announced that she was pregnant, I was loaded on Oxycontin going to an Aerosmith gig, and I was out-of-my-mind high that night. And I was like, ‘Okay so now it’s time to start taking care of this issue,’ but I thought I could juggle it, which I did up until about three-and-a-half years ago. So really the sobriety thing is relatively new, and it’s almost like you could fall off any second. But I’ve been holding on to it because I want to be attentive to the responsibilities that I have, and also because after years and years of doing it, it starts to get old.


Slash would also start exercising:

I have a bit of a workout regime now, too. It's for an hour, 3 times a week. I try to do it as quietly as possible. One of the things I can't stand is the fitness kick, chatting by the water-cooler, on the treadmill, the whole image, all that crap.


Although it would limit itself to running on treadmills:

Working out and all that bullshit? I can't stand it. And I hate the way society has become obsessed with it. It's lame. In the month that I spent rehabilitating myself, I met all those characters with the yoga mats and the leotards, but I just didn't sign up. I think it's my dad's influence from the British side of the family. You guys hate exercise, right? I do try to get some running in on show days. I'll get on the treadmill for an hour at the hotel. Wanting to do what I do to the best of my ability is a major motivation for me. I'm a helluva lot better guitar player since I've been sober.



2007- : SLASH'S NEW LIFE


Talking about his new life:

It's great now. Don't get me wrong. Back in the day it was great too. You'd finish the set and have the booze in the back and the chicks and a couple of lines and the days just went on and on like that. But now, for me, it's sort of old hat. I just don't get the same thing out of it. Trust me, I've gone back and experimented and it just doesn't have the same kick.

[Being asked if he still drinks]: No. I dropped everything. And I feel good. The most important thing for me now is to be able to function as an artist. You can keep struggling to do both, or make a choice. And I put my music first, that is now my priority, and my family.


In 2009, Slash even stopped smoking:

It’s been almost a year. I haven’t been on the road as a non-smoker proper though, I don’t know if I can handle it. I don’t have any vices left now. [...] I tried the toothpick. It wasn’t the same. I’ve been chewing that nicotine gum like crazy ever since I quit.


He didn't quit smoking as a direct result of his mother dying from lung cancer:

I smoked through the whole thing. I'd be sitting with her at the hospital and go out to smoke. Her illness was so sudden, the suffering went on for seven months and I was there through it all. Every five minutes I needed a cigarette - I had such a habit. [...] I became ill with a severe case of pneumonia. I couldn't smoke for two weeks, so I gave quitting a shot, but I am finding it hard.
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