A few months ago i plowed through the book Slash which is “written” by the Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. I’m a huge fan so i really enjoyed the read. Here are some interesting things i learned in the book:
- When Slash‘s parents got divorced, the first guy his mom started dating was David Bowie. Slash and her would go to his shows with him and just hang out with the guy
- Slash’s mom was a professional costume designer named Ola Hudson. She was quite an artist and tailored outfits and album covers for such acts as John Lennon, Diana Ross and the Pointer Sisters. He dad also did album covers – for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell
- His mom was also good friends with David Geffen. But when Slash was signed by Geffen’s label, he kept is a secret. One Christmas, Geffen was eating lunch with Slash’s mom and asked how Slash was and she replied, “you should know, you signed him a few months ago.” He was floored b/c he had no idea Slash was actually the same little kid that he knew for all those years.
- Slash was really into BMX bikes and at age 12 was considered one of the best riders in the country for his age bracket
- One of Slash’s good friend’s dad was Seymour Cassel, who is an actor (Max’s dad in Rushmore). He is the one who gave Slash the name “Slash” because he never sat still and was always scheming
- Slash was so messed up on drugs the entire time that most of the success he realized has been forgotten. For instance, he went to the MTV music awards and didn’t even know he was a nominee. When they won, he went on stage and didn’t know that it was an acceptance speech. The whole night was a blur and along the way he left the award in a cab.
- All the members of the band were so messed up on hard drugs that they really couldn’t function. They had to have a fix before shows to operate. Slash went to rehab several times and it never really worked until he was long done with GnR
- Alx comes off as a total dick in the book. They were constantly waiting for him. He’s arrive late to almost every show. He wouldn’t show up for rehersals. While i’m sure he was much more sane than the rest of the crew, he was also the main source of anxiety and stress for all members of the band
- The song November Rain was actually written for Appetite for Destruction but they left it off because they wanted only one ballad on the album and that was Sweet Child o’ Mine.
- Paradise City was written when they were all driving down from San Fran way before they were even getting good gigs and was just a chant they wrote when they were excited to get back to LA. As the band grew and the egos grew, they never traveled like this again and lost all comraderie. Reading the book you realize why songs like Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child, Paradise City, Rocket Queen never materialized. They were written at a time when the band was incredibly tight and the lyrics of Alx, and the guitar playing of Duff and Slash were perfect compliments
It’s a good book and really interesting if you’re a Guns N’ Roses fan. It’s a bit longer than The Dirt – Motley Crue’s autobiography – and it only focuses on one member so it has much more depth. I recommend it. 3.5 to 4 stars (out of 5).
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