Some musicians who achieved fame with the help of their band mates have not been so successful when flying solo. That’s not the case for the Grammy Award-winning guitarist known worldwide as Slash. Fans of the veteran rocker can now see why Slash has enjoyed such staying power with the release of a two-part live concert event and documentary, thanks to a special partnership between Guitar Center and www.directv.com/
The live show portion, titled “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators live from The Sunset Strip,” spotlights a recent concert that took place at The Roxy in Hollywood. Throughout the 90-minute event, viewers take in tracks from Slash’s latest critically acclaimed album, World on Fire and classics from his years with Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver.
Audiences then have the equivalent of a backstage pass with Slash: Raised on the Sunset Strip. The film goes back to the beginnings of this artist who was born as Saul Hudson on July 23, 1965 in Hampstead, London, to Ola and Anthony Hudson. Slash’s mother was a costume designer who worked with rock legends like David Bowie, while his father crafted album covers for the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.
The documentary covers the beginnings of the rock legend when Slash first picked up a six-string after he heard his music teacher play “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones. He went on to practice his craft obsessively, sometimes up to 12 hours a day. Slash joined several bands starting with Tidus Sloan in 1981. He later formed Road Crew with childhood buddy Steven Adler. This is when the duo first joined forces with Duff McKagan.
As Slash explained in the documentary, he and Adler soon joined another band, Hollywood Rose, where they met Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin. After his stint with Hollywood Rose, Slash continued to play with other groups and made an unsuccessful bid for membership with Poison. It wasn’t until June of 1985 when Rose and Stradlin asked Slash to join Guns N’ Roses, when the group produced tracks like “Paradise City” and “Welcome to the Jungle.” This time period when they were living, working, and partying on L.A.’s notorious Sunset Strip is focused on heavily in the documentary. It was not only an extremely wild and destructive scene for Slash and his bandmates, but it also provided inspiration for some of their greatest hits.
Many of those hits were featured on their first album; Appetite_for_Destruction was released in 1987. It is now known as the best-selling debut album of all time in the United States. More success followed with the release of G N’ R Lies, but by 1990, drug addiction took its toll on the band. Adler was fired for his heroin use, and later, Stradlin left the band. Slash played his last show with Guns N’ Roses in July of 1993.
He went on to wow fans with his shredding skills as part of several collaborations. Slash’s Snakepit hit the music scene in 1994 and underwent a couple of metamorphoses in terms of membership until the group parted ways in 2002. His next venture, Velvet Revolver, reunited him with McKagen and allowed him to work with Scott Weiland, best known as the voice for Stone Temple Pilots. Weiland rejoined STP in 2008, which eventually led to the end of the band’s successful two-tour run.
In April 2012 Slash released his self-titled debut solo album, one featuring works with Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Kennedy and more. In 2012, Slash released his second solo album, Apocalyptic Love, and in 2013 Loudwire readers dubbed him “Best Guitarist of the Year 2012.” More accolades followed, including a star on the Rock Walk of Fame in 2007 and his 2012 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Earning a spot among the legends of rock is a result of perseverance and the technical skill Slash has always brought to the studio and stage. Fans who have followed him will agree.
written by: Spencer Blohm
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