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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2012.06.DD - Classic Rock - Slash: A Mystery Wrapped In An Enigma

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SLASH

Asked for one word to describe his life to date, Slash plumps, with characteristic understatement, for “colourful’'. On the cover of his self-titled 2007 autobiography, the word ‘excessive’ is picked out in bold type. That also works, he concedes. A fast-paced rock 'n' roll memoir to rank alongside Hammer Of The Gods or The Dirt, Slash is frank and funny but also, in places, terribly sad. Slash hasn’t read it since it was published, but he insists that nothing in the story’s breathless highs and hellish lows was sensationalised. To borrow Ronnie Wood’s famous description of Mick Jagger, in the book Slash comes across as a nice bunch of guys - a preening, priapic golden god one moment, a frightened, insecure little lost boy the next. Today, he shrugs as he's told this, and spreads his hands wide.

“You are who you are and you do what you do,’’ he says. “Things come and go and change, and I’m too busy living in the moment to watch the ebbs and flows. I’d hate to come off as an asshole or arrogant or a prima donna, but it’s not important to me that everybody gets beneath my skin.’’ Mind if we give it a go?

He emits a mirthless chuckle. “Feel free to try.”

Your T-shirt says ‘Fuck Me I’m Famous’. Is it fun being famous?

Well, this T-shirt is from a club in Ibiza, it’s not a personal statement. But no, I don't think being famous is as fun or glamorous or as exciting as people think it’s going to be or is. Some people work hard to be famous, but I find it sort of tedious. I'm not looking for that much attention. When I go out in public, to some fucking red-carpet thing which I cannot stand, then of course I’ll be ‘Slash’, I'll be that persona. But going to the liquor store or going to Starbucks or the library, I try to slip in and out without people knowing I exist.

Do you have a disguise you wear when you go out in LA?

I don’t have a disguise, no. You'll never catch me walking around wearing a top hat and leather trousers, but I hate to pretend I’m someone that I'm not, so it’s not like I take my earrings out or my nose ring. I just put my hair in a ponytail, pull my cap down and cruise. And no one pays that much attention.

So it might be that Slash the rock ’n’ roll ‘brand’ is what people truly identify with when they look at you; that without your hat and your leather trousers and your Les Paul you’re kind of invisible?

I don’t really think about it, I don’t dwell upon it. I've never thought of myself as a brand. I’m not so self-centred as to worry about such things. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I just be who I am and you can take it or leave it.

Do you think many people know who the real Slash is?

Probably not. I don’t really get that heavy with anyone. I don’t have a lot of what you’d call dose friends.

Have you ever been to see a therapist?

Are you kidding? Ha ha! Yeah, I have. But I don’t have a regular therapist I go see every week, and when I have been I find that I don’t have much to talk about. Anyone who knows me real well - my wife especially - will tell you that I don’t talk very much. I don’t have a lot of feelings that I want to express verbally, 1 don’t have a lot of deep thoughts that I would like to put out. That’s just the way I am. I have people I love very much, but they will all tell you that it’s hard to get anything out of me. This conversation is forcing me to look a little bit deeper, but I don't like people to get too close.

Here are some facts about Slash you may well know. He was born in Hampstead, north-west London on July 23, 1965, the eldest of two boys born to his English artist father Tony and African-American clothing designer mother Ola. The family relocated from Stoke-on-Trent to Los Angeles in 1971. Two years later Tony and Ola separated. Slash was given his first guitar at age 13 by his grandmother. The following year he freebased cocaine for the first time, and derived a quiet thrill from the knowledge that even within his parents’ bohemian peer group such behaviour was considered outré.

In 1984 he answered an advert in LA’s free classified ads paper the Recycler for a band seeking “a Heavy Metal Punk Glam guitarist", through which he was first introduced to William Bailey and Jeffrey Isbell, two 22-year-old musicians from Layfayette, Indiana, now better known to the world as Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin. The rest is history.

Less well-publicised are the facts that Slash is a Graham Greene fan, that he’s been teetotal for the past seven years, and that he hasn’t smoked a single cigarette since his mother passed away from lung cancer on June 5, 2009. He was introduced to his wife Perla by porn star Ron Jeremy, and has her name tattooed on his left forearm (and his own name tattooed on his right). He drives an Aston Martin V12 Vantage, owns just one snake now, and tries to schedule poker games with near neighbour Robbie Williams in LA as and when time allows. Oh, and no one calls him Saul any more.

Anyone listening to Apocalyptic Love for deeper insights into Slash’s psyche will be disappointed. A more cohesive collection than 2010’s self-titled Slash - understandable, given that it was recorded with the same band who toured that album for 18 months, rather than with a dozen guest musicians as was the format on the first one - its rock ’n' roll imagery - wanton women, heroic men, lost souls adrift in the gutter but staring at the stars - comes not from Slash’s own imagination, but from the pen of vocalist Myles Kennedy, on loan once again from Alter Bridge. Kennedy describes Slash as “a stand-up cat”, but freely admits that for all the memorable experiences he’s shared with him he has yet to truly pierce his bandmate’s protective shell.

“We’ve had conversations where I get glimpses as to who he is,” says the singer, speaking to Classic Rock on the phone from Los Angeles, “but he’s not the kind of person you meet who within a week is laying it all out there. He definitely wears the veil. He's a hard-working, intelligent, talented individual, but his cards stay close to his chest."

For his part, following the well-documented personality clashes which defined much of his time in Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver. Slash appears genuinely thrilled to be working with Kennedy, bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz again. He describes the three men as a Godsend.

"Maybe after all these years I’ve paid my dues and I’ve earned a band that I can just have a good time with," he muses. “Everyone gets along, everyone plays great and we have a blast." He insists that he’s no control freak - “I'm supposedly the boss, but I’m not a dictator” - although he admits that he likes the responsibility of leading the band.

"I think it fits my personality," he says. “It’s nice to be able to pick and choose my own destiny without having to ask anybody or look over my shoulder to see if anyone approves. But at the same time I’m very much a band guy. I’m a bit of a workaholic, one of those people that likes to be active and hands-on. Because if I don’t do that, I go the other way, which is not good. Because that’s when the trouble starts, when bad things happen.”

"Bad things" clouded much of Slash’s early music career. He first shot up heroin in 1984, while partying with Izzy Stradlin. In his biography, he remembers thinking: “This is the best thing I’ve ever done.” On the evening of September 24, 1992, following a Guns N’ Roses show in San Francisco, he ‘died’ for the first time - his heart stopped for eight minutes, following a heroin, crack and cocaine binge. It wouldn’t be his last overdose.

"Heroin was like the ultimate complement to my personality," he told interviewer Piers Morgan in 2010. "It fitted perfectly. Everyone else was doing coke and speed, and it made hyper people even more hyper. Heroin just made me more reclusive and quieter. It was just me and my drug.”

When Appetite For Destruction became the biggest debut album by a rock band ever, Slash retreated further into heroin use. It took him to some dark places. “If you're using drugs and alcohol to hide the fact that you’re not happy, life goes downhill pretty fast,” he later noted. It would take him until 2001 to kick his habit. In the end, he says, his drive to play music simply exceeded his need for drugs. But, around the same time, his dependency on alcohol had become so severe that he was given between six days and six weeks to live.

What was the hardest drug to give up?

I think alcohol was really the hardest thing to give up. I come from, not an alcoholic background, but my dad was a drinker and people in my family were drinkers, and being born in England that was just part of pub culture. So (hat was definitely the hardest. And next was smoking. Heroin was physically hard, but I was always in and out of that. I’d be into it when nothing was happening, and then I’d get focused on work and 1 would stop. I’d work for a year or two years, and then work would stop and I’d fall back into it. It was really just an excuse for not knowing what to do with myself when I had nothing to do.

I once asked Steven Tyler about that famous Trainspotting tag-line which compared taking heroin to your best orgasm, multiplied by a thousand. He said: “Oh, no, it’s better than that.”

Yes it is. It really is. I had dinner once with Ewan McGregor, actually and Trainspotting was all we talked about. That's one of the iconic drug movies for anyone who has experienced that. There’s nothing that beats fucking dope. Especially when you’re first doing it. That’s what junkies are chasing their entire lives, that first buzz.

How do you stop doing heroin?

There’s a lot of different ways. It really is to each his own as to how you get to that point. I was fortunate, because I could wrap my head around the idea of getting off the drugs so I could continue what it is that I was doing music-wise. So my priorities were in check. But even then I went through periods where drugs sorta take over and you forget what your fucking purpose is. It’s tough.

Do you have a constant fear that you might relapse into bad behaviour?

I’m not really worried about it. That’s not part of my present consciousness. But I do need to keep busy, just for my own sanity. The whole process of getting off that stuff was a very long and tedious process, and it got to the point where I was really sick and tired of it, to the point where it didn’t interest me any more. But I also know that if I thought I could casually have a drink or casually do whatever, that would leave that door open. I know how that works, because I’ve done it before, so I just abstain from it altogether.

So if I was to rack out two lines of coke right now and invite you to take one...

I have that all the time, trust me. I'm not one of those people who’s like: ‘Okay, everybody fucking quit all (hat around me or I’ll break down.’ I had to get over it on my own. So if 1 see it or I’m around it, it really has no effect on me. It’d be hard for me to sit around if you pulled the works and started rigging up to shoot up. That might be a little unnerving for me. But I’ve had many times where somebody has laid out some blow on the table or on the bathroom counter and said: ‘Hey, do you want some?’ And I’m always like: 'No.' I know where that path leads."

And what does a drug-related death feel like?

I didn’t feel or see anything. Maybe I was just too high.

A voracious reader, Slash recently finished The Dwarf, by the Nobel Prize-winning Swedish author Par Lagerkvist. A dark, violent parable about evil (embodied in the principal character, an amoral, 26-inch-high aide to a Renaissance-era Italian Prince) and man's incapacity to escape the past, it’s a sobering, even depressing read, set out in diary form. Slash himself doesn't keep a diary and never has - “I don’t like putting shit down on paper and getting personal,” he says - but in some ways he too remains inextricably chained to history.

Before our interview today, Slash's management had requested that no questions be asked about Guns N’ Roses’ forthcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Of Fame, an occasion which could theoretically see the five founding members of the band back in the same room for the first time since drummer Steven Adler was sacked in the summer of 1990.

The request is understandable: at a time when Slash is promoting his own album, it must be infuriating for him to have to answer question after question about a band he quit 16 years ago, not least because much of the talk before the induction ceremony on April 14 has centred on whether or not The World’s Most Dangerous Band will reunite for a one-off performance.
Today I get as far as mentioning “an important date looming" before he anticipates the question. No, he hasn’t spoken to anyone else in GN’R about the event. Yes, he’s honoured to be inducted. No, he doesn’t sec a reunion happening. Asked whether he’ll extend warm hugs or handshakes to his former bandmates on the night, he sighs deeply before answering: “A mixture of both, depending on the person." Given that in 2009 Axl described Slash as “a cancer", noting "one of the two of us will die before a reunion", it has the potential to be an awkward evening for all involved.

“It’s a humbling accolade, but at the same time that was so long ago,” Slash says quietly. “There’s no band now to share that with. I talk to Duff pretty regularly and I've talked to Steven a couple of times lately. But I haven’t talked to Izzy in a while, and Axl I haven’t spoken to since, um, 1996. Now that we’ve been inducted I’m like, do we have go through the fucking dinner and all that shit? I hated it when I last went to the ceremony. I don’t like awards shows or any of that stuff, but if I don’t go it’s seen as some big statement and there'll be all this bullshit. So I’ll go, but a big part of me is like, okay, thanks, now let’s move on.”

One can’t help but wonder if Slash gets frustrated by the fact that his past is always the elephant in the room in every interview he does.

“I can understand why you’re asking that," he says, shrugging, “and how that would frustrate some people, but I’m proud that I have a history that’s important enough to bring up. At the same time, it all depends on what particular angle people want to take on that subject. I’m proud of who 1 am and where 1 come from, but sometimes I feel like I’ve done enough over the last 10 years that people don’t need to dwell so much on a subject that’s, like, 20 years old. And 1 don’t like people forcing me to think back to experiences that may not have been so positive. Actually, it’s not been like that for a while, though. There was a period when Velvet Revolver started where it was the first time any of that shit had been directed towards me. And I only had really bitter feelings about the whole thing, so I just kept venting. Thinking about it later, that was kinda damaging. I’ve too much to look forward to now to dwell too much in my past."

In the past do you think that people thought you were a soft touch?

I’ve always been too fucking easy-going and I'm always getting taken advantage of. Fortunately the guys I’m working with now are really laid-back and arc not looking to control anything. This band isn’t like Guns N’ Roses or Velvet Revolver, where I’m one of five guys unanimously making decisions. This time everyone is on board to do what I want to do. But we’re all on the same wavelength.

Most musicians who lead their groups say bands can’t work as a democracy.

In theory that’s true, but it all depends on who's steering the ship.

You played a one-off Velvet Revolver reunion show in LA in January. Did that feel good, like drawing a line under unfinished business?

No. it didn't feel anything like that. It didn’t have any of that special magic that one sometimes wants to romanticise about. We were doing this particular gig for a particular reason [as a tribute to composer John O’Brien, who passed away in August 2011] and we got up and we did it. It was good to jam with Dave and Matt and Duff, and Scott was in there too. Credit where credit’s due, Scott did a good performance and he seemed very together, but it didn't really change my feelings about how that works.

So how unlikely is another Velvet Revolver album looking?

I think it would be to my disadvantage to speculate at this point. At some point 1 want to do another Slash record with these guys because it was a really great experience. As far as a Velvet record goes at some point... you never know what can happen. I don’t like to guess.

It’s hard to survive in this business without having something of the bastard about you. Is there a bastard inside you that you can call upon if needs be?

No, not really. But sometimes there are certain things you have to face. One of the great things about alcohol and drugs is that you get to sweep everything under the couch. But with my name on this band I can’t run away from shit I don’t want to deal with. I’ve made mistakes, and I'll make some more, I’m sure.

Among the mixture of low-slung anthems and widescreen ballads which make up Apocalyptic Love, there's a low-key rocker titled One Last Thrill. ‘I had it all when I was wild and free,’ sings Myles Kennedy. 'Those were the best of times.' It’s tempting to read the song as a lament for glory days gone by. But ask Slash when and where he was happiest in his life and he gets slightly irritated by the question. "I’m happy right now,” he says slightly too sharply. “Except for this conversation, I’m happy.”

It’s the one point today where his placid exterior slips. But if he has a yearning at all to revisit a youth gleefully misspent, he hides it well. His face lights up when he talks about his sons - nine-year-old London and seven-year-old Cash - and quiet nights at home with Perla, flipping between the Military Channel and various cooking channels on cable. But the couple’s life hasn't always been so harmonious. In July 2010 Slash filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences” with his partner, although by the following summer they’d kissed and made up, renewing their wedding vows in Ibiza in August 2011 to mark their tenth anniversary together.

“Twitter was the catalyst for that break-up,” he confesses. “I’m not going to get into why that is, but somebody in our inner circle used the distance between us to play us against each other. And it was really a sad state of affairs that I never would have seen coming. So yeah, we did have a rough patch. But if you knew Perla and I, we’ve had a really crazy, tumultuous, fun, insane kind of relationship that managed to get through thick and thin, stuff that people would find unbelievable, and we’ve managed to get through that. We’ve just been surviving in our own sort of crazy way.”

I interviewed you on the phone once and you broke off mid-conversation to have a little argument with Perla because she’d just found a bag of sex toys in your wardrobe.

Hmmmm... Well, er, I don’t recall that exactly, but it was probably just an issue of not wanting the housekeeper to find all that shit sitting out in the open.

Does Perla go on tour with you?

Yeah. I spend the greater part of my existence on the road, and she pops in and out every couple of weeks and sometimes brings the kids. But road life is something I’m extremely adapted to, whereas she’s looking to get something fun out of it, and finds that it’s often frustratingly not fun. She’s pretty great, she can make fun out of anything. But it can be a lot of work just to hang out.

What do your kids make of daddy’s job?

It’s hard for me to say. When I was a kid 1 was in and around the music scene and it’s just life as it is, you don’t know any different, really. They’re more aware of it when they sec how other people react around me in public, but at home I’m just dad. But they like seeing me play every so often, because, that's the only time they ever see me get really animated.

Would the 21-year-old Slash who made Appetite For Destruction wonder how your life got so free of chaos and drama?

Well, I might express to you how low-key and drama-free my life is, but by most people’s standards my life is pretty damn exciting. There’s always craziness and drama and chaos in the world I work in, and even though I don’t get sucked in I don’t think it’s mundane. Would I be happier if the shit I’ve dealt with in the past was still in my life? Fuck no. If you stood in my shoes for a few days you wouldn’t think my life was mundane.

Noon is upon us and our time with Slash is up. He looks, quite frankly, relieved, muttering under his breath something about an “interrogation” as he returns to his Les Paul. Running through scales, bending the strings, lost in music, he’s instantly expressing himself more confidently than he has at any point in the past hour. It’s in such moments, you sense, that Slash is most fully alive. Because, in reality, the Slash of myth and infamy - that “drugged-out, guitar-slinging, fucking Jack Daniel’s-toting, cigarette-smoking wildman” - is dead and buried, long gone and not coming back.

And yet, for all his humble affirmations of himself as just a regular guy, the idea of this most iconic of musicians as one of us, just another music-obsessed family man with a wife who won’t stand for any shit, doesn’t quite ring true either: when pop star Rihanna donned a top hat and shades in the video for her song Rockstar 101 a couple of years ago, she wasn’t paying homage to you or I. But if the notion of being a living legend fucks with Slash’s head, it’s little wonder that he doesn’t try too hard to unpick his own stitching.

Before I leave his company, I ask him to sign my copy of his autobiography and dedicate it to my wife. He does so willingly, adding his little signature symbol of a skull and crossbones topped off with a top hat and a smoking cigarette. Strictly speaking he could lose that cigarette now, but then sometimes, for all of us, life is less complicated and a little easier to negotiate when we cling to images of the past.

*

"EVERYTHING HE DOES SPEAKS VOLUMES."

Slash on the influence of blues legend - and his unofficial mentor - BB King.

The sweetest moment of BB King's all-star concert at London's Royal Albert Hall last summer came when guest star Slash removed his trademark hat and gently placed it on the head of the great bluesman sitting beside him on stage. The song they were playing was The Thrill Is Gone, Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell's slow-rolling classic that gave the blues legend his breakthrough US hit in 1969 and earned him a Grammy the following year. It has since become his signature tune.

The song occupies a special place in the former GN’R guitarist's heart, too. Shortly after his post-GN'R band Slash's Snakepit first split in 1996, he formed Slash's Blues Ball, a superior covers band whose concert highlight was a deliciously wounded take on The Thrill Is Gone. It served as both a tribute to the music that had inspired him and a tacit acknowledgement of BB King's influence on him. Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Keith Richards may have been his first loves but, as he admitted later: "The two guys I go back to consistently are Albert King and BB King... With BB everything he does just speaks volumes.'’ It's no coincidence, either, that Slash's weapon of choice is a Gibson, as is BB's beloved Lucille.

But it's not one-way traffic. BB first sang Slash's praises in the early 90s after being impressed by Guns N' Roses' bluesy nuances. On October 27, 1995 he personally invited Slash to jam at his 70th birthday show in Memphis, a four-hour extravaganza also attended by Willie Nelson, Boz Scaggs, Jeff Healey and Buddy Guy.

BB's and Slash’s have a mutual appreciation society now into its third decade. "Of all the blues greats," a beaming Slash says backstage at the Royal Albert Hall show, "there's something about BB’s style that's so unique and that I identify with. Getting the chance to work with someone like that is a dream come true."

BB King And Friends Live At The Royal Albert Hall is out now on DVD and Blu-ray via Decca.

*

SLASH IN NUMBERS

NAME: Saul Hudson
AGE: 48
CV: Guitarist with Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and solo band. Stoke-on-Trent's most famous ex-resident. Former snake owner. Top hat enthusiast.

No. of Guns N' Roses albums sold: 100 million
No. of Velvet Revolver albums sold: 5 million
No. of Slash's Snakepit/solo albums sold: 2 million

Number of times he has appeared on the cover of Classic Rock (including this one): 9

Number of snakes owned by Slash in 2008: 80
Number of snakes owned by Slash in 2012: 1 - He got rid of them due to concerns that they'd eat his son

Appetite for collaboration
Four of the 50-plus people he's played guitar for: Michael Jackson, BB King, Bob Dylan, Doro Pesch

What Slash says about Stoke-on-Trent: "It's a very cozy, close-knit small town. Very English: shit weather."
What Stoke-on-Trent says about Slash: "I think it's a complete waste of time and effort." (Labour councillor Matt Wilson on a local petition for a statue of Slash)

Most-watched Slash YouTube videos
Guns N' Roses, November Rain: 85,480,664 views
Guns N' Roses, Sweet Child O' Mine: 46,525,852 views
Rihana ft. Slash, Rockstar 101: 42,590,573 views

*

THIS IS RADIO SLASH

Presenting, for your aural delectation: a mixtape of hard-rockin' and deeply bluesy thrills selected for you by the top-hatted one himself, including some cherishable Slash guest appearances.

1. MICHAEL MONROE
'78
A glitter-punk anthem full of sharp-elbowed guitars, football-yob chants, and lyrics advising us that it’s 'time to take your middle finger out of your ass’, '78 is the rubber-stamp on the comeback of the former GN'R associate and prettiest man in rock.
Taken from: Sensory Overdrive (2011)

2. EDGAR WINTER
Rebel Road
Slash's sneering guitar cameo on the Texan veteran's 2008 Rebel Road album threw an amuse-bouche to fans during that maddening limbo between Velvet Revolver's meltdown and Slash’s solo resurrection. It even rocked the school run.
Taken from: Rebel Road (2008)

3. RORY GALLAGHER
Laundromat (live)
Joe Perry and Jimmy Page might have been the posters on his adolescent bedroom wall, but Slash’s guitar attitude is steeped in the roughneck fire of the much-missed Rory Gallagher. The recording studio never quite caught Rory’s magic, but this jaw-breaking live stomp through Laundromat did.
Taken from: Live At Montreux (2006)

4. ALTER BRIDGE
Ghost Of Days Gone By (live)
A reflective moment amid the fire-power of AB III, the Bridge's live take of this song is so epic that you’ll need one hand to punch the air and the other to dab your eyes. Slash’s poaching of Myles Kennedy for his solo project is starting to look like a stroke of genius.
Taken from: Live At Wembley (2012)

5. BRAND NEW SIN
All My Wheels
Appropriately for a band who've toured like itchy-footed masochists since 2002, All My Wheels is a classic ode to getting the hell out of Dodge. You'll be screaming every word back at them when they support Slash in May.
Taken from: United State (2011)

6. SLASH AND BETH HART
Mother Maria
Beth Hart is rapidly becoming the guitar hero’s doe-eyed muse of choice, and though Mother Maria only made the iTunes version of the Slash album in 2010, its slow-burn atmospherics and wrenched-from-the-depths vocal knocks Fergie et al into a cocked top hat.
Slash/iTunes version (2010)

7. BUDDY GUY
I Can't Quit The Blues
When Buddy Guy released A Man & The Blues back in 1968 he was still playing like his shoes were on fire, and never more so than on this Strat-mangling stand-out track. They don’t make ’em like this any more. Frustratingly, neither does Buddy.
Taken from: A Man & The Blues (1968)

8. THE VIRGINMARYS
Bang Bang Bang
Opening for Slash has clearly put some lead in the pencil of this Macclesfield trio, and Bang Bang Bang is them at their best, kicking off with a clanged gong, breaking into a feral garage-blues thud, and shamelessly glamourising the probably messy reality of blowing your own head off.
Taken from: Forthcoming debut album King Of Conflict (2012)

9. JOEY RAMONE
New York City
Slash was perhaps the highest-profile mourner when Joey was lost to lymphoma in 2001. Eleven years later, there’s enough material in the vaults for a posthumous second solo album and, if the guttersnipe thrills of New York City are any yardstick, it should be thrilling.
Taken from: ...Ya Know? (2012)

10. TONY CARDENAS-MONTANA
Ordinary
A face on the 80s Hollywood scene, a some-time member of Great White and the shoe-filler for Todd Kerns on Slash’s 2010 tour, Cardenas-Montana is also an undervalued songwriter. Ordinary stacks soaring harmonies and slaps the face of Heat magazine and the rest of their trashy, prurient tabloid ilk.
Find it at www.soundcloud.com/tony-cardenas-montana

11. B.B. KING
The Thrill Is Gone (live)
Even the unflappable Slash admits to having butterflies at the Albert Hall last June, but he held it together for King’s signature slow blues tune. “That was a huge honour,” he reflects. “And especially to not have him turn around and frown at me!"
Taken from: B.B. King Live At The Royal Albert Hall 2011 (2012)

12. RONNIE WOOD
Why You Wanna Go And Do A Thing Like That For Don’t be fooled by the bloke-in-the-pub song title - this lost gem comes on like a wee-small-hours confessional, with Slash providing the sympathetic backing to Woody’s leather-voiced cri de coeur ('Hear that old coyote howling at the moon... feeling feelings he don't understand').
Taken from: I Feel Like Playing (2010)

13. DEREK SHERINIAN
In The Summertime
The chart-topping old Mungo Jerry favourite is exhumed and coated in stardust, with Sherinian plonking the joanna, Billy Idol handling the sozzled, tail-chasing lyric and Slash firing off a good-natured solo. The result sounds like an all-star jam at the world’s coolest barbecue.
Taken from: Blood Of The Snake (2006)

14. TAKING DAWN
Time To Burn
Being asked to drop everything and support Slash up the US West Coast was both a pinch-yourself and brick-yourself moment for Las Vegas metallers Taking Dawn. Fortunately they turned up to the game armed with Time To Burn, a blitzkrieg of jackhammer drums and harmonised screams that peeled early punters away from the bar.
Taken from: Time To Burn (2010)
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