|Intro||British-American musician and songwriter|
|Known for||Lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses|
|A.K.A.||Saul Hudson, 00439710448 IPI, 00127521396 IPI|
|Is||Musician Songwriter Guitarist Autobiographer Record producer Composer Banjoist Rock musician|
|From||United Kingdom United States of America|
|Type||Business Literature Music|
|Birth||23 July 1965, Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, United Kingdom|
Slash, real name Saul Hudson is a British-American guitarist, songwriter, and rock musician. He is the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is considered one of the greatest guitarists in rock history. Besides Guns N' Roses, he has also been a member of his band Slash's Snakepit and the supergroup Velvet Revolver, which he co-founded in 2002.
Time magazine named him runner-up on their list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009, while Rolling Stone placed him at number 65 on their list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" in 2011.
Slash was born Saul Hudson on July 23, 1965, in Stoke-on-Trent England, the birthplace of another rock legend Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. It was also the year The Beatles released Rubber Soul and The Rolling Stones released Rolling Stones No. 2, the best of their collections of blues covers.
He was named after American cartoonist Saul Steinberg.
His mother, Ola J. Hudson (née Oliver; 1946–2009), was an African-American costume designer originally from Los Angeles, California, and his father, Anthony Hudson, was an English painter/artist. The two met in Paris, France –– Ola was seventeen and Tony, twenty. They fell in love in Paris and got married shortly after in England.
Ola's career as a costume designer started around a year after Slash was born, and over the years, her clients included many famed British, American, and Australian figures such as Flip Wilson, Ringo Starr, Pointer Sisters (Ruth Pointer, Issa Pointer, and Sadako Pointer), John Lennon, Helen Reddy, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Bill Cosby, Joni Mitchell, and Sylvester. Anthony Hudson was a renowned artist who, through Ola's connections, created album covers for such musicians as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.
Soon after his birth, his mother returned to Los Angeles to focus on her costume design business and Slash was raised by his father at his parent's house in England for four years. At the school, he was active in theater and performed in Twelve Days of Christmas and The Little Drummer Boy.
When Slash was five years old, he and his father joined his mother in Los Angeles in 1970, after which his father never spoke with his parents again. Slash got to see his English relatives only after Guns N' Roses became a well-known band and they performed at Wembley Stadium in 1992.
Life in Los Angeles
The family lived off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in a very sixties community up at the top of Lookout Mountain Road. Among their neighbors were many musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison of The Doors, and Glenn Frey of The Eagles. Through his mother, Slash met many of the acclaimed musicians such as Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Minnie Riperton. He also got to hang out backstage with musicians, as he recollected in his autobiography, "Every backstage or sound stage scene that I saw with my mother worked some kind of strange magic on me. I had no idea what was going on, but I was fascinated by the machinations of performance back then and I still am
now. A stage full of instruments awaiting a band is exciting to me. The sight of a guitar still turns me on."
Slash grew up listening to The Doors, Beethoven, Led Zeppelin, etc. which his parents played frequently at home. They would also take him to concerts regularly. Slash listened to the radio non-stop, usually KHJ AM.
Growing up, following the footsteps of his father, Slash used to draw and paint at the school; French painter Henri Rousseau was one of his favorites and imitating him, he would often draw jungle scenes with his favorite animals.
Slash's obsession with snakes started from an early age; when he was six years old, he once went to Big Sur, California, with his mother, and he spent hours in the jungle catching and releasing snakes.
In 1972, Slash's younger brother, Albion "Ash" Hudson, was born.
Slash's father was an alcoholic and the relationship between his parents started to get sour. Two years later, in 1974, his parents separated and divorced a few years later. He and Albion lived with their mother, moving into a house on Rangely Drive. The separation was not easy on Slash, as he commented later, "My parents' separation was the picture of an agreeable split. There were no fights or ugly behavior, no lawyers, and no courts. Yet it still took me years to come to terms with the hurt. I lost a piece of who I was and had to redefine myself on my own terms. I learned a lot, but those lessons didn't help me later on when the only other family I'd known disintegrated. I saw the signs that time when Guns N' Roses started to come apart at the seams. But even though I did the leaving that time, the same blizzard of feelings lay in wait for me, it was every bit as hard to find my way back to my path again."
In 1975, his mother began working with David Bowie while he was recording his tenth studio album Station to Station, She was hired to do the costumes for his 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth. During the course, the two also dated briefly.
Slash attended Bancroft Junior High School, in Hollywood.
In his teens, Slash was living the fast life of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. His passion had shifted from drawing to bicycle motocross and he was good at it. He received a Webco motocross bicycle from his grandmother and began competing. He started winning races and was listed in a couple of the magazines as an up-and-coming rider in the thirteen to fourteen age category.
Slash admitted in his autobiography that he suffered from "kleptomania." He would often go to a store and stuff his clothes with things he thought he needed but couldn't afford –– things like books and cassettes. Once he even stole a few snakes from the Aquarium Stock Company, a neighborhood pet store.
When Slash was thirteen, he became friends with Steven Adler. The two became inseparable, spending a lot of time together, creating trouble in the neighborhood and listening to rock n' roll, mostly Van Halen, Kiss, Boston, Mötley Crüe, and Queen. Slash and Adler decided to form a band –– with Adler on the guitar and Slash on the bass. Slash decided to take lessons from Robert Wolin at Fairfax Music School on Fairfax and Santa Monica Blvd. At the time, Slash didn't own a bass guitar –– all he had was a one-string flamenco guitar given to him by his grandmother. Nor he had any idea what a bass guitar is; all he knew was that he wanted to learn the bass. Once he was introduced to the world of guitars by his instructor, he decided he wanted to switch from bass to the lead guitar. The guitar soon replaced bicycle motocross as his main obsession. He took the lessons on his one-string guitar until he could afford a six-string guitar.
Slash then got his hands on a guitar instruction book named "How to Play Rock Guitar," which had chord charts, tablature, and sample solos from the guitar greats like Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, and Jimi Hendrix. The book came with a floppy 45 that showed the proper way to play the songs in the book. Using the book, Slash practiced the songs and figured out how to mimic the rock "sound" he was in awe with. According to him, the book changed his life. [Slash by Slash p. 37] He then borrowed $100 from his grandmother and purchased an imitation of a Les Paul electric guitar –– Les Paul because all most of his guitar idols played Les Paul, though he had no idea who Les Paul even was. Though later in his prime, he shared the stage with Paul many times.
Around the same time, he started dating Melissa who introduced him to the sounds of bands link Supertramp, Journey, Styx, April Wine, Foghat, and Genesis.
Slash and Steven's rock band dream didn't materialize, but it did turn Slash into a guitarist.
In 1979, Slash entered Fairfax High School, and his best friend, Steven Adler had moved back to the San Fernando Valley for high school. His school offered music theory classes in which Slash excelled. That's the only class he never missed and where he learned to write time signatures, chords, and chord structures. Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns was his schoolmate –– at the time he was in the band named Pyrhus.
His best friend at the high school was Matt Cassel, son of actor Seymour Cassel. Once, at a party at Seymour's house, Seymour noticed Slash passing from one room to another, and asked him "Hey, Slash, where ya going? Where ya going, Slash? Huh?" And that's how Saul got his nickname "Slash." Later, during the "Use Your Illusions" days, Seymour explained that "the nickname embodied [his] sense of hustle." His reason for calling him Slash was that he never stood still for more than five minutes.
Slash continued to practice playing the guitar and getting good at it. His ﬁrst professional gig was at Al's Bar, playing in a band with friends of his father's. His father was very proud of his son's love of guitar and always bragged to his friends about him.
At the high school, Slash became friends with Adam Greenberg who played drums and Ron Schneider who played bass. The three teamed up to form a band named Tidus Sloan, in 1981. The band was purely instrumental with no vocalist.
During the period, to pay the bills and maintain his guitar-playing, Slash did various odd jobs –– as a paperboy, at a clock factory, at a music store, etc.
Slash was expelled from Fairfax High School over an incident and had to enroll as a continuation student at Beverly Hills High school. Lenny Kravitz also attended Beverly Hills High at the same time, but as a regular student. One day, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe showed up outside the school and were talking to girls in the parking lot. Slash was impressed and envious –– he wanted to have what they had, though he didn't want to sound or look like Mötley Crüe.
In 1983, his best friend from junior school, Steven Adler, returned to Hollywood. By the time, Adler had learned to play drums at his mother's house. Adler found out that Lizzie Grey co-founder of the heavy-metal band London was looking for a guitarist and a drummer for the second version of London. They auctioned, but things didn't work out. Adler and Slash decided to strike out on their own and started to audition for a bass player to join their band, which they named Road Crew. They placed an ad, "Bass player needed for band influenced by Aerosmith, Alice Cooper. Call Slash." Duff McKagan responded and was hired as the band's bassist. Then they auditioned a number of singers, including the former frontman for Black Flag Ron Reyes. However, they failed to find the right singer and eventually disbanded the following year –– Adler's unprofessionalism was also an issue that forced him to break it off. Following the event, Slash and Adler joined a local band known as Hollywood Rose, which featured singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin. A few months later, Hollywood Rose split up and Axl and Slash parted ways for a bit. Slash went on to join Black Sheep with Willie Bass and Axl joined Tracii Guns in L.A. Guns, which soon became the first version of Guns N' Roses.
Guns N' Roses
When Axl found out that Slash was looking for work, he helped him get a job at Tower Video. In June 1985, Axl and Izzy Stradlin asked Slash to join the newly-founded Guns N' Roses, along with Duff McKagan and Steven Adler (replacing founding members Tracii Guns, Ole Beich, and Rob Gardner). Their first show was in Seattle. In Los Angeles, they played at many big nightclubs including Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy, and The Troubadour, and also opened for larger acts throughout 1985 and 1986. Their local profile also continued to grow and soon they connected with record executive/manager Vicky Hamilton who had previously helped Mötley Crüe and Poison in their early days.
The mid-1980s was the peak of Guns N' Roses when they wrote and published most of their classic material including Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child o' Mine, and Paradise City. Their growing clout and their rowdy and rebellious behavior quickly earned them the moniker "Most Dangerous Band in the World." After being scouted by several major record labels, the band signed with Geffen Records in March 1986.
On July 21, 1987, Guns N' Roses released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction to little to no fanfare. The album as of September 2008 had sold over 28 million copies worldwide, 18 million of which were sold in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the states. In the summer of the following year, they achieved its only U.S. No. 1 hit with Sweet Child o' Mine, a song spearheaded by Slash's guitar riff and solo.
On November 29, 1988, they released their second studio album G N' R Lies. According to the RIAA, the album has shipped over five million copies in the United States. "Patience" was the only single released from Lies and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
As the band was going places and accumulating worldwide recognization, so did the interpersonal tensions within the band. In 1989, during a show, Axl Rose threatened to leave the band if certain members of the band didn't stop "dancing with Mr. Brownstone," a reference to their song of the same name about heroin use. Slash and Izzy were among those who promised to clean up and did clean up. However, Adler didn't have the wherewithal to see it clearly and take steps to change it. At one point, he was forced to sign a written ultimatum for him to get his act together. According to the paperwork, if Adler showed up high to recording sessions, he would be fined, and if he did it three times, he would be fired. Adler failed to comply and was fired. After trying out many drummers, including Martin Chambers from The Pretenders, they settled on Matt Sorum of The Cult as Adler's replacement.
On September 17, 1991, Gun N' Roses released their third studio album Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II Both albums were released in conjunction with the Use Your Illusion Tour. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, selling 685,000 copies in its first week, behind Use Your Illusion II's first-week sales of 770,000. As of 2010, Use Your Illusion I has sold 5,502,000 units in the United States as per Nielsen SoundScan. Both albums were certified 7× Platinum by the RIAA and were nominated for a Grammy Award in 1992. This, despite major stores like K-Mart and Walmart refusing to stock the albums due to the profanity.
Incorporating elements of blues, classical music, heavy metal, punk rock, and classic rock and roll, the albums served as a turning point for the Gun N' Roses. Use Your Illusion I also carried longer songs; "November Rain" is nearly nine minutes long and "Coma" is more than 10 minutes. "November Rain" was initially scheduled to go on Appetite for Destruction, however, they later pushed it to Use Your Illusions I because Appetite for Destruction already had a ballad "Sweet Child o' Mine."
Stradlin abruptly left the band in November 1991 and was replaced by Gilby Clarke of Candy and Kill for Thrills.
Axl and Slash had a love/hate relationship. As Slash commented in his autobiography, "Axl and I had a pretty rocky relationship from the very beginning, which continued until the very last time we spoke, for the simple reason that we have such different, different ways of looking at and handling things. I bear him no ill will; I know that his version of events is every bit as viable as mine...just different." He added, "One of the hard things about [Axl] back in the day was that when no one else agreed with him, Axl’s retaliation wasn’t easy: he’d throw something, knock something down, leave the building, or walk away, fuming, down the street and quit the band. In the heat of those moments, you couldn’t reason with Axl; he was like a kid having a tantrum. It made me wonder about the dynamics of his upbringing. I’m in no position to give away the details, but from what Axl told me of it, his childhood was very rough." Their chemistry on stage was great despite all the drama within the band.
Slash played his final show with Guns N' Roses on July 17, 1993, in Argentina. In October 1996, Slash announced his departure from the band, stating "Axl and I have not been capable of seeing eye to eye on Guns N' Roses for some time. We tried to collaborate, but at this point, I'm no longer in the band." Axl called his father, his security guard, and his wife Renee, and told them that Slash was making the biggest mistake of his life. But Slash was done.
In 1994, Slash formed Slash's Snakepit, a side project that featured his Guns N' Roses bandmates Matt Sorum on drums, Gilby Clarke on rhythm guitar, as well as Alice in Chains' Mike Inez on bass and Jellyfish's Eric Dover on vocals. In February 1995, they released their debut album It's Five O'Clock Somewhere, comprising Slash's material originally intended for Guns N' Roses. The band toured in support of the album with bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Brian Tichy of Pride & Glory, before disbanding in 1996. Slash then toured for two years with the blues-rock cover band Slash's Blues Ball.
In 2002, Slash formed a supergroup Velvet Revolver. He was the lead guitarist and other members were: Duff McKagan (bass, backing vocals) and Matt Sorum (drums, backing vocals), Dave Kushner (rhythm guitar, formerly of punk band Wasted Youth,) and vocalist Scott Weiland (formerly of Stone Temple Pilots.) In April 2008, Weiland abruptly left the band to rejoin Stone Temple Pilots. Although Velvet Revolver worked on new material and auditioned new singers following Scott Weiland's departure, the band has not released any new material and only performed publicly once since 2008, when they reunited with Weiland for a one-off reunion show on January 12, 2012, at a benefit concert. This proved to be their last performance together before Weiland's death on December 3, 2015. Slash and McKagan having since rejoined Guns N' Roses.
Return to Guns N' Roses
Slash rejoined Guns N' Roses to headline Coachella 2016 in April, filling the lead guitarist spot vacated when DJ Ashba left the band.
Slash's first marriage was with model/actress Renée Suran from 1992 to 1997. The two had met in the summer/fall of 1990 when Slash and Duff McKagan went to a bar to jam with a local blues band. Renee was at the bar with her friend, Pilar. McKagan, who had recently split up with his wife, Mandy Brixx, hooked up with Pilar. Slash and Renee also met but didn't talk much initially. Slash later chased her and the two began dating and got married on October 10, 1992. They divorced in late 1997 after five years of marriage.
Slash then married his second wife, Perla Ferrar on October 15, 2001, in Hawaii. They have two sons, London Emilio Hudson (born August 28, 2002) and Cash Anthony Hudson (born June 23, 2004). Slash filed for divorce from Ferrar in August 2010, but the couple reconciled two months later. In December 2014, he again filed for divorce.
Perla got the primary physical custody of both children per the divorce settlement, which states that Slash will pay Perla $6.6 million as well as $100,000 per month in spousal support and $39,000 per month in child support. Slash will keep his guitars and any musical compositions he owns, with future proceeds belonging to Slash, and Perla will get their Los Angeles house, a 2014 Range Rover, and 2 Mercedes. In addition, each child will get .09% of Slash's income for the next 20 years.
In 2001, Slash was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy that was caused by his many years of alcohol and drug abuse, with doctors telling him that he has anywhere between six days and six weeks to live. However, he was able to survive through physical therapy and the implantation of a defibrillator, and with the support from his family. In a March 2009 interview with People.com, Slash gave credit to his family, saying that settling down with Perla and his two sons meant "getting rid of all the real hardcore stuff that I used to live on."