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Slash 101: Everything You Need to Know About His Career Before and After Guns N’ Roses

It's Slash, man
Duane Prokop, Getty Images

Slash, Guns N’ Roses guitarist: June 1985 – October 1996

Guns N’ Roses Discography: Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide (1986); Appetite for Destruction (1987); G N’ R Lies (1988); Use Your Illusion I & II (1991);  The Spaghetti Incident? (1993)

Non-Guns N’ Roses Discography: Slash’s Snakepit, It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere and Ain’t Life GrandVelvet Revolver, Contraband and Libertad; Slash (self-titled); Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators, Apocalyptic Love and World on Fire.

Pre-Guns N’ Roses: The most L.A. of all the original Gunners, Saul Hudson is actually British. Born in England in 1965, he didn’t move to Los Angeles until age five, but what a time to arrive. With a mother who designed costumes for David Bowie and a father who was an artist, Slash (the nickname was given to him by actor Seymour Cassel), was immersed in southern California’s rock world during its ’70s heyday.

The guitarist and his childhood pal, Steven Adler, formed a band named Road Crew in 1983, adding bassist Duff McKagan when he replied to their newspaper ad.  The band didn’t go anywhere, but they managed to work up the foundation for the song “Rocket Queen.” After Road Crew, Slash joined up with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin in Hollywood Rose.

In June ’85, Slash joined Road Crew alumni Adler and McKagan and his former Hollywood Rose mates Stradlin and Rose in the newly formed Guns N’ Roses.

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Post-Guns N’ Roses: Although Slash wasn’t officially out of the Gunners’ fold until ’96, the writing was on the wall as early as late ’93/early ’94. The guitarist and drummer Matt Sorum wrote several songs for the follow-up to the Use Your Illusion albums, only to have them rejected by the band.

Rather than wait around while Guns N’ Roses dragged their feet, Slash, Sorum and Gilby Clarke formed the side project Slash’s Snakepit to record the rejected tracks. The album sold over a million copies, and according to some accounts led to the split between Axl and Slash.

In 2002 the guitarist formed Velvet Revolver along with McKagan and Sorum. Of all of the post-Guns N’ Roses projects Velvet Revolver was easily the most commercially successful, but, like its predecessor, was derailed by interpersonal issues. Since VR’s indefinite hiatus began in 2008, Slash has released three albums — one solo and two as Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators.

Perhaps only Duff gives Slash a run for the title of most visible former Gunner. He’s appeared in films, television, and video games and has played guest spots for everyone from Michael Jackson to Lenny Kravitz to Insane Clown Posse.

Right Now: Among the guitarist’s many current projects are a covers album with Ace Frehley and plans for his next solo album, slated to start recording in spring 2016.

Guns N’ Roses Mini-Reunions: Slash joined Duff and Gilby onstage in early 2015 during a tour stop in Argentina. On Sept. 12, 2015, he joined Duff at a fundraiser for the Wonderland Avenue school in Los Angeles. Izzy Stradlin and Slash guested with Steven Adler at a 2003 show at L.A.’s Key Club. He’s played many shows with revolving supergroup Camp Freddy, which on at least one night included Stradlin, Sorum, McKagan and Slash — a nearly complete Use Your Illusion reunion.

Report: Axl and Slash to Reunite for Guns N’ Roses Tour

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