Rock guitarist grows up–at least a little
Slash wants to be a better model for sons
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For Slash, the party will never stop, but it has slowed down considerably in recent years.
One of music’s most notable guitarists, Slash was also known for a long time as one of music’s most notable revelers.
His addictions and excesses were well-documented in his self-titled autobiography.
These days, however, Slash (born Saul Hudson) refrains from partaking of any illicit or fermented substance.
Cleaning up for the kids
He quit because he wanted to model better behavior for his teenaged sons.
“The drugs thing is a real issue,” he told the Glasgow Daily Record. “I had a lot of freedom growing up. My parents didn’t know what I was up to for the most part and were so liberal.
“You’ve just got to sort of steer them in the right direction, but you can’t be the Gestapo about it because you have to always remember back to when you were a kid and how when people were telling you ‘no,’ you went in the opposite direction,” Slash said.
Another powerful motivator for quitting was the realization that being inebriated and/or wasted is not conducive to being creative.
“You spend a lot more time being sick and fatigued and desperate,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. “It just becomes miserable.”
Working with legends
Slash has performed as part of four major rock bands: Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash’s Snakepit, and his current touring band, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
He has also collaborated with Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop, James Brown, Carole King, Jeff Beck, and many others.
“I have been really lucky to work with such a diverse array of artists,” he told the Melbourne Herald-Sun, “which is great because it means I do not get pigeon-holed into being one type of guitarist.
“I got to work with Ray Charles just before he died, which was a great experience,” Slash said. “If there is one musician I want to work with one day it would be Stevie Wonder. I am a huge fan.”
Slash admits that he hasn’t always felt cool, calm, and collected while working with his idols.
“I’ve sort to learned how to control my intimidation factor,” he told the Sudbury Star. “So when somebody walks in, I might be starstruck as hell, but I know how to handle it. You have to throw yourself out there and take chances and really face your fears to be able to sort of grow and to be able to work with people that you really admire.”
Slash said he is still sort of amazed that he got as famous as he did.
“I’m used to being stared at like I’m an oddball or something like that, ever since I was a little kid,” he told the Toronto Star. “But nowadays, (fame) shocks me, especially since I’m just the guitar player, you know?”
Bucking the system
Even though he is better behaved these days, Slash said he will always be a person who wants to buck whatever system presents itself.
“When Guns broke in the ’80s, it was New Kids on the Block that were huge, Debbie Gibson, all that kind of crap,” he told the South Bend Tribune.
“I’ve always been involved in the antithesis of whatever’s going on. I actually think life would be dull without it.”
Speaking of Guns N’ Roses, the band that died a permanent-seeming death when Slash departed it in 1996 is touring in the fall.
And new music is in the offing.
“The thing is, we haven’t really done anything yet, and I don’t like to say anything,” Slash told the Detroit radio station WRIF. “You know how people used to promote (expletive) and lie through their teeth? So I just wanted to be honest about it, and so there was really no telling what we were gonna do at that point.
“But at this point, I do know that we are gonna do this run [of shows in the fall], and we’ve already started working on stuff. So, there you go.”