Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name Slash, is the preeminent guitarist of his generation. Growing up in a poor neighbourhood in Los Angeles, he lifted himself from the gutter with his guitar playing, becoming a household name through Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and now a successful solo career. Slash: It Seems Excessive But That Doesn't Mean It Didn't Happen, is the New York Times bestselling autobiography that give a candid look into this extraordinary person's life and battles as he fought from the gutters to dizzying Rock and Roll heights before crashing to the depths through alcohol and drug addictions.
Slash covers his childhood, growing up in a single parent household in one of the poorer section of Los Angeles. With little interest in school, it was a life that could have been ruined by running with gangs except that from a relative early age, Slash discovered the guitar. Almost immediately he showed the single mindedness that was to be both the blessing that allowed him to become the most celebrated guitarist of his generation and the curse that lead him in never ending spirals of drugs, alcohol and depression that he has spent his entire adult life fighting. His love of music sustained him through the difficult teenage years and his determination to become a famous rock musician gave him the drive and focus to take knock back after knock back, enduring living in a self storage garage in west Los Angeles with no money and no prospects except practicing and refining his rare talent to eventually form the greatest rock and roll band of the 80's and 90's. Without becoming condescending, Slash gives a detailed portrayal of how it was not born talent that enabled him to become a guitar god, but his almost OCD desire to play, practice and refine his skills and his years of struggle in squalor conditions that shaped him into the guitarist that the world knows and loves.
Guns and Roses And His Relationship With Axl Rose
Slash gives the first detailed insider account of how Guns 'N Roses met and formed from the remnants of LA Guns and Hollywood Roses. Of particular interest is of the first time Slash heard Axl Rose's iconic voice, dubbed poorly on a cassette tape which he described as "and the singer was screaming in the background, but the screaming was in key." After years of struggling for so many years, and knocking back opportunities in other 80's era bands such as Poison due to them being too glam and not following the hard rock tendencies that Slash wanted in a band musically, it's amazing just how meteoric the rise of Guns N' Roses was once the key elements fell into place. From playing small venues in LA to becoming the biggest band in the world in less than 18 months, the book shows how Slash dealt (or more accurately didn't deal well with) the sudden change of being a broke, nearly homeless guitar player to one of the most famous people on the planet, where money and fame could make any desire happen almost instantly.
Slash spends considerable time documenting his time on the road with Guns and Roses, who at the end of their Use Your Illusion tour held the record for the longest running concert series, though amazingly they didn't make any money from the tour due to the excesses and party life style that Slash covers in detail. Unfortunately Slash does not go into great detail about the breakdown of his relationship with Axl, but he does spend time talking about their complex relationship and how he found Axl as a person and a performer and he comments on the events that shaped Axl's life.
Life Of Excess
They only thing more prodigious about Slash than his musical ability was his life of excess. In this book he is brutally honest about his self, his failings and his party life and the damage it caused to himself and his family. Hilarious stories of wild nights with his band and the likes of Motley Crue and Ozzie Osbourneare always tinged with sadness of partying going well beyond excess, with either alcohol or drug addictions constantly interfering with his life, which have lead to later day health problems that have required Slash to have had a pacemaker permanently inserted to keep him alive.
Slash the Autobiography gives a true and honest account of the life of a truly special but flawed genius. Filled with humor and terrific stories from a 20+ year career, it is a wonderful read that shows the pitfalls of the rock and roll lifestyle without preachy. Not only a must read for fans of Guns and Roses, this book is strong enough to stand as a telling documentary of a genius who has fought his demons and has lived to tell the tale. Purchase Slash The Autobiography Now at the best price from Amazon
Other Featured Articles
2010 has been a terrific year for new rock books, memoirs and autobiographies. See which books have been declared the best of the best in this informative book review guide.