Birth name: Saul Hudson
Born: July 23, 1965 - Hampstead, London, England
Years active: 1981 -
Official site: http://slashonline.com/
Slash is a self-taught guitarist. How did he do it you ask? He listened to records and tried to mimic what he heard. He would practice for 12 hours a day! One of the first songs he learned was Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, by the way, a song lots of beginners get started on. Yes, Slash was a beginner at one time as well.
Mr. Hudson's playing... Oh sorry, Slash's playing style has its roots in the blues-based, rock and metal styles of the 1970s. He has named many influences, but the strongest ones being Jimmy Page, Mick Taylor, Eddie Van Halen, and Jeff Beck. His favorite bands as a child were Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Black Sabbath, and The Who.
He uses lots of double stops, as well as palm muting to get that chunky rock sound. He uses a wide, fast vibrato technique, and does lots of pull-offs and hammer-ons for speed.
One of Slash's favorite settings for lead guitar is switching to his Les Paul's neck pickup, and turning the tone control all the way back. This was made famous by Eric Clapton, and is known as the "woman tone".
Like many guitarists, Slash likes to use feedback to sustain notes for a long time during his solos.
Slash was raised in Stoke-on-Trent, a fairly small town in England. His mother was African-American, and his father was a white British citizen. Both of his parents worked in the music industry:
- His mother, Ola Hudson, was a costume designer for the likes of David Bowie.
- His father, Anthony Hudson, created album covers for musicians, such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.
His mother moved away early, and he was mainly raised by his father and grandparents.
The family reunited by moving to Los Angeles when Slash was 5 years old, but his parents split a few years after. Slash chose to live with his mother, who often took him to her place of work, where Slash got to meet stars at a very early age. When her mother was traveling because of work, Slash's grandmother took care of him.
After his parents' separation, Slash became a problem child. He lost interest in schoolwork and took up BMX racing. This is when he was given the nickname "Slash", because he was “always in a hurry, zipping around from one thing to another.”
At the age of 14, Slash decided he wanted to form a band, in which he would play bass guitar. After his first music lesson, he decided to change to the normal guitar instead. The band never formed, but it gave Slash the first push towards music. He started learning guitar 12 hours per day.
In 1981, Slash joined his first band, Tidus Sloan. He dropped out of high school to tour with the band. During the next four years, Slash formed and joined several bands, none of which lasted. It was at this time that he met Axl Rose in one of the bands.
In 1985, Axl Rose asked Slash to join their newly formed band, Guns N' Roses. They played nightclubs and opened for larger acts throughout 1985 and 1986, while writing great songs and making a name for themselves. They were called "The Most Dangerous Band in the World".
They were signed by Geffen Records in March, 1986. They started recording their debut album that year, but didn't get very far, as Slash started abusing drugs. Their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, was finally released in July, 1987. It became the best-selling debut album of all time in the USA.
Guns N' Roses went on to world fame, and released 4 more albums. Their success was jarred by problems between the band members, alcohol and drug abuse. Slash played with Guns N' Roses for the last time in 1993, and after 3 years of inactivity, officially announced their split in 1996.
In 1994, Slash formed Slash's Snakepit as a side project. The band recorded Slash's material which he originally intended for Guns N' Roses, material which Axl Rose rejected. The band released 2 albums and toured, but was disbanded in 2002.
In 2003, Slash formed Velvet Revolver with his ex-bandmates from Guns N' Roses, with the exception of Axl Rose. Slash hasn't spoken to Axl since 1996. Velvet Revolver recruited Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland.
Slash also released two solo albums, one in 2008 and one in 2012. He also did session guitarist gigs for the likes of Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Quentin Tarantino, and other famous stars.
In 1992, Slash married model-actress Renée Suran. They divorced in 1997.
In 2001, he married Perla Ferrar. They had 2 children together, and they had two children, London Emilio (2002) and Cash Anthony (2004).
Slash owns more than 100 guitars, as we can see on one of the pictures in the photo gallery below. He prefers the Gibson Les Paul, calling it the "best all-around guitar". Gibson actually credits Slash with bringing the Les Paul back into the mainstream in the late '80s. He has created 13 signature Les Paul models with Gibson.
Slash uses mainly Marshall amps, particularly the Marshall "Silver Jubilee" JCM 2555. He has also used the Vox AC30 amp, as well as small tube amps from Fender.
Velvet Revolver Full Concert
Slash jams with B.B. King and others