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Slash Biography

Home > Music > S > Slash > Biography

Birth Name: Saul Hudson
Born: 1965/07/23
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, United States
Years Active: 1983-present
Genres: Hard Rock, Blues-rock, Heavy Metal, Jazz Rock

Slash (born Saul Hudson, July 23, 1965) is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the former lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During his later years with Guns N' Roses, Slash formed the side project Slash's Snakepit. He then co-founded the supergroup Velvet Revolver, which re-established him as a mainstream performer in the mid to late 2000s.

In June 1985, Slash was asked by Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin to join the newly founded Guns N' Roses Duff McKagan and Steven Adler completed the line-up. They played nightclubs and opened for larger acts throughout 1985 and 1986. It was during this period that the band wrote most of its classic material, including “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Sweet Child o' Mine” and “Paradise City,” After being scouted by several major record labels, the band signed with Geffen Records in March 1986. Later that year, they began recording their debut album, but initially nothing was accomplished as Slash had developed a drug problem.

In July 1987, Guns N' Roses released its debut album, “Appetite for Destruction,” which was the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. In the summer of 1988, the band achieved its only U.S. #1 hit with “Sweet Child o' Mine,” a song spearheaded by Slash's guitar riff and solo. In November of that year, Guns N' Roses released “G N' R Lies,” which sold over five million copies in the U.S. alone.

In May 1991, the band embarked on the two-and-a-half-year-long Use Your Illusion Tour. The following September, Guns N' Roses released the long-awaited albums “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II,” which debuted at # 2 and #1, respectively, on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, a feat not achieved by any other group. Slash played his final show with Guns N' Roses in July 1993. In November of that year, the band released “The Spaghetti Incident?,” a cover album of mostly punk songs, which proved less successful than its predecessors. After three years of inactivity, Slash announced in October 1996 that he was no longer a part of Guns N' Roses.

In 1994, Slash formed Slash's Snakepit, a side project that featured his Guns N' Roses band mates Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke on drums and rhythm guitar respectively, as well as Alice in Chains' Mike Inez on bass and Jellyfish's Eric Dover on vocals. The band recorded Slash's material originally intended for Guns N' Roses, resulting in the release of “It's Five O'Clock Somewhere” in February 1995. The album was critically praised for ignoring the then-popular conventions of alternative music, and fared well on the charts, eventually selling over one million copies in the U.S .alone despite little promotion from Geffen Records. Slash's Snakepit toured in support of the album with bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Brian Tichy of Pride and Glory, before disbanding in 1996. Slash then toured for two years with the blues rock cover band Slash's Blues Ball.

In 1999, Slash chose to regroup Slash's Snakepit with Rod Jackson on vocals, Ryan Roxie on rhythm guitar, Johnny Griparic on bass, and Matt Laug on drums. Their second album, “Ain't Life Grand,” was released in October 2000 through Koch Records. It did not sell as well as the band's previous release, and its critical reception was mixed. To promote the album, the band—with Keri Kelli on rhythm guitar—embarked on an extensive world tour in support of AC/DC in the summer of 2000, followed by their own headlining theater tour. Slash disbanded Snakepit in 2002.

In 2002, Slash reunited with Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum for a Randy Castillo tribute concert. Realizing that they still had the chemistry of their days in Guns N' Roses, they decided to form a new band together. Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin was initially involved, but left after the others decided to find a lead singer. Dave Kushner, who had previously played with McKagan in Loaded, then joined the band on rhythm guitar. For many months, the four searched for a lead singer by listening to offered demo tapes, a monotonous process documented by VH1. Eventually, former Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland joined the band.

In 2003, Velvet Revolver played several concerts during the summer and released their first single, “Set Me Free.” In June 2004, they released their debut album, “Contraband,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and sold two million copies, re-establishing Slash as a mainstream performer. In July 2007, Velvet Revolver released their sophomore album, “Libertad,” and embarked on a second tour. During a show in March 2008, Weiland announced to the audience that it would be the band's final tour. He left the band the following month to rejoin Stone Temple Pilots. Despite Weiland's departure, Velvet Revolver did not officially disband.

In early 2010, Velvet Revolver began writing new songs and auditioning new singers. By January 2011, the band had recorded nine demos, and was reportedly due to make a decision on their singer. However, the following April, Slash stated that they had been unable to find a suitable singer and that Velvet Revolver would remain on hiatus for the next few years while its members focus on other projects.

In September 2008, Slash began production on his debut solo album. The album, simply titled “Slash,” debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 upon its release in April 2010. It featured an all-star roster of guest musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, and Iggy Pop. To promote the album, Slash embarked on his first solo world tour with Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge who also appeared on the album on vocals, Bobby Schneck on rhythm guitar, Todd Kerns on bass and Brent Fitz on drums.

Slash began working on his second solo album in June 2011. He collaborated with his touring band mates Kennedy, Kerns and Fitz, with the resulting album billed to “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.” The album, titled “Apocalyptic Love,” was released in 2012 and debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200.