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Slash Biography

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Slash In-depth Biography

As the lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses}, Slash} established himself as one of hard rock}'s finest and most soulful soloists during the late '80s, technically adept yet always firmly grounded in the gritty Aerosmith} and Stones} licks he loved. Slash} was born {%Saul Hudson} on July 23, 1965, in Stoke-on-Trent, England, to artistic parents both involved in the entertainment industry; his mother was a clothing designer who worked on David Bowie}'s film The Man Who Fell to Earth}, and his father designed album art for such artists as Neil Young} and Joni Mitchell}. The family eventually moved to Hollywood, where {%Hudson} attended junior high, received his first guitar, and met future GNR} drummer Steven Adler}. With {%Hudson} adopting the nickname Slash}, given to him by a family friend, the two formed a band called {%Road Crew}; although it proved unsuccessful, it was the vehicle through which they met and eventually joined up with the other members of Guns N' Roses}.

The Gunners debuted in June 1985, and even before Appetite for Destruction} was released in 1987, the band acquired a reputation as notorious alcohol and drug abusers. As their popularity soared, the reserved Slash} established himself as an important part of the band's visual image, with a top hat and a mound of shaggy black hair covering his face as he typically staggered around the stage with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Hedonistic excess consumed most of the band, with such incidents as Slash} and Duff McKagan}'s drunken, profane acceptance of the band's American Music Award on live television. In 1990, opening for the Rolling Stones}, Axl Rose}'s infamous on-stage pronouncement that he would leave the band if certain members did not stop "dancing with Mr. Brownstone" (using heroin) was primarily directed at Slash} and Adler}; Slash} kicked his habit within a year, but Adler} did not and was fired. In 1992, Slash} courted controversy again with a product endorsement for Black Death vodka. Later that year, he was married to actress and model {%Renee Sorum}, a union that lasted five years.

Meanwhile, in spite of controversy and personnel turnovers, Guns N' Roses} had actually continued to record music. After the Use Your Illusion} sets of 1991 and the 1993 punk} covers album The Spaghetti Incident?}, the band went on hiatus. Slash} formed a side project called Slash's Snakepit}, which consisted of fellow Gunners Matt Sorum} (drums) and Gilby Clarke} (guitar), plus bassist Mike Inez} and vocalist Eric Dover}. The group released an album in 1995 titled It's Five O'Clock Somewhere}; Slash} hit the road with a slightly different touring lineup, with Brian Tichy} and James LoMenzo} signing on as the rhythm section. In 1996, Slash} put together a different band to play at a blues} festival in Budapest, an endeavor that evolved into Slash's Blues Ball}. Featuring vocalist/harmonica player Teddy Andreadis}, rhythm guitarist Bobby Schneck}, saxophonist Dave McClarem}, bassist Johnny Griparic}, and drummer Alvino Bennet}, Slash's Blues Ball} devoted themselves primarily to a repertoire of classic blues} covers, plus occasional GNR} and Snakepit} material.

Rumors about the status of Guns N' Roses} had been swirling for some time, and in October 1996 it was confirmed that, owing to his unwillingness to follow Axl Rose}'s interest in industrial} and electronic} music, Slash} was no longer a member of the band (although he left the door open for a reunion if Rose} decided to return to guitar-based rock & roll}). He gigged off and on with the Blues Ball} into 1998, although a rumored live album never materialized. Instead, Slash} decided to re-form the Snakepit} in 1999 with an entirely different lineup (the original members were by this time involved in other projects, and the Blues Ball} was more suited to touring than developing original material). Raspy-voiced singer Rod Jackson} and ex-Venice} drummer Matt Laug} came on board, along with Blues Ball} bassist Griparic} (now Johnny Blackout}) and Teddy Andreadis}, who contributed keyboard and harmonica work. After trying out ex-Alice Cooper} guitarist Ryan Roxie}, Slash} settled on rhythm guitarist Kerry Kelly}, who had previously worked with Warrant} and Ratt}.

The new Snakepit} played some gigs together and in the spring of 2000 completed a new album, which was originally slated to be released on Interscope}/Geffen}. However, feeling that a more traditional guitar rock} album would get lost in the promotional shuffle, Slash} moved over to Koch}, which finally released Ain't Life Grand} in October 2000. A few years later, Slash} teamed up again with McKagan} and other notable rockers to form the supergroup Velvet Revolver}, who released their first album in 2004. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
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