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Slash (born Saul Hudson in London, UK, July 23, 1965) is one of the secret characters from the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The second boss of the game, the player can purchase him upon beating him. He appears on the front of the game's cover.
BiographyEditSlash was born in Hampstead, an affluent neighborhood in London, England to a Caucasian Jewish English father and a Nigerian mother, both of whom were involved with show business. Slash's mother worked as a costume designer for David Bowie, and his father was an artist who contributed live ensembles to Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Slash was raised in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, until the age of 11, when he relocated to Los Angeles, California with his parents in the mid-1970s. He was given the nickname "Slash" by family friend Seymour Cassel, according to whom Saul "was always in a hurry, zipping around from one thing to another."
At the age of 14, Slash was given his first guitar by his grandmother, an old Flamenco guitar with one string. Reveling in the artistry of his hard rock idols, he would spend several hours a day practicing. He took music lessons for a short time, but quit out of frustration at the slow pace he was learning at. Eventually, his entire focus was put on music and he made the decision to quit school. In a Rolling Stone article, he remarked:
"My big awakening happened when I was fourteen. I'd been trying to get into this older girl's pants for a while, and she finally let me come over to her house. We hung out, smoked some pot and listened to Aerosmith's Rocks. It hit me like a fucking ton of bricks. I sat there listening to it over and over, and totally blew off this girl. I remember riding my bike back to my grandma's house knowing that my life had changed. Now I identified with something."
In addition to Aerosmith, Slash's early influences included AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Iron Maiden, Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, Van Halen and Frank Zappa.
As his skills improved, Slash became enamored by the hard rock scene on the Sunset Strip. Having both failed auditions to join Poison, Slash and childhood friend, Steven Adler, formed Road Crew in 1983. The band had difficulties retaining members due to their blues-based sound that was entirely different from traditional glam metal. When Slash put out an ad in a newspaper calling for a bassist, he quickly received a response from an enthusiastic Duff McKagan.
When Road Crew called it quits, Slash joined a local band known as Black Sheep. Headed by Willie Bass, the band shared an agent with another upstart group known as Hollywood Rose. In 1984, both bands opened for Christian metal band Stryper. After the show, Slash and lead singer Axl Rose were introduced to one another by a mutual friend. The two quickly became friends, and several months later, Slash and Steven Adler were asked to join the newly revamped Guns N' Roses, with Axl Rose, Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin.
Gritty, young, and reckless, Guns N' Roses toured bars and opened for larger acts throughout 1985 and 1986. It was during this period that they wrote most of their classic material, including "Welcome to the Jungle", "Sweet Child o' Mine", and "Paradise City". As they pushed their way to the forefront of LA hard rock, the band was approached with several lucrative record contracts. Opting to sign to Geffen, they spent half of their advance on clothes, and the other half on alcohol and drugs. It was during this period that the "Most Dangerous Band In The World" tag was first attached to them. In 1988, Slash remarked:
"For some strange reason, Guns N' Roses is like the catalyst for controversy, even before we had any kind of record deal."
When Appetite for Destruction appeared in the summer of '87, the hype had reached staggering proportions. A tour with Iron Maiden was canceled when Slash was packed off to Hawaii to kick his drug habit, while Axl ended up in intensive care at an LA hospital after attacking a police officer. When the press saw the album cover - a controversial Robert Williams painting of a girl being raped by a robot - the hype went into overdrive. Thankfully, the music more than lived up to the band's reputation. By 1988, Guns N' Roses scored its first #1 hit with "Sweet Child o' Mine", a song spearheaded by Slash's memorable riff and legendary guitar solo. In the years following its release, critics and fans continue to hail Appetite for Destruction as a landmark album that solidified Slash's place as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. To this day, many of his riffs and solos are still featured in "best of" lists around the world. With 15 million copies sold in the United States, it is the second highest selling debut album of all time, behind Boston's debut album.
In 1988, Guns N' Roses released G N' R Lies, an EP best remembered for its featured single, the acoustic song "Patience". Though this album only had eight tracks (four of which had already been released), it was immensely successful, selling over 5 million copies. After a four year hiatus, Guns N' Roses returned with the epic Use Your Illusion discs. The albums indicated a change in musical direction for Guns N' Roses, including more artistic and dramatic songs like "November Rain" and "Estranged". Songs in this vein, along with ballads such as "Don't Cry", contributed to mounting tensions that would ultimately tear the band apart just a few years later. As Rose expressed a desire to pursue more progressive genres, Slash and McKagan fought to maintain their traditional sound as a punk/blues-based hard rock band. Slash later cited this issue as a key component to his inability to work with Rose on any creative level.
Despite the turbulent production of the albums, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II are considered by many to be the band's most ambitious effort. While both discs received lukewarm reviews, critics lauded Slash's work as "sublime". His most acclaimed song is arguably "Coma", a 10-minute heavy metal ode to his two infamous drug overdoses. In 1991, Guns N' Roses embarked on the 28-month long Use Your Illusion Tour, coinciding with the release of their new albums. Upon completion of the tour, Slash became an American citizen.
After the release of "The Spaghetti Incident?", an album for which he and Duff McKagan had strongly petitioned, Slash began to drift in and out of the band, frustrated by the lack of activity and communication between him and Rose. In the mid-90s, he wrote several songs for what would have become Guns N' Roses' follow up album to Use Your Illusion I and II. Rose rejected the material, leading Slash to form Slash's Snakepit, a side-project that saw support from Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke, Dizzy Reed, Mike Inez and Eric Dover. The band recorded Slash's material and released the album It's Five O'Clock Somewhere in 1995. Critically, the album was praised for ignoring the conventions of grunge and alternative music. It also fared well on the charts, eventually selling over 1.2 million copies in the United States with little promotion from Geffen.
In an attempt to salvage the wreck that Guns N' Roses was becoming, Zakk Wylde, initially of Ozzy Osbourne fame in the late eighties and early nineties, was invited to jam with the band, but both Slash and Wylde agreed that Gn'R did not have space for two of the world's pre-eminent lead guitarists, although they remain good friends to this day. Wylde went back to work with Rose in the studio in the late nineties, but was alleged to have a more efficient work-ethic than Rose, and no recordings transpired.
On October 30, 1996, it was discovered that Slash was officially no longer a part of the band, as lead singer Axl Rose sent a fax to MTV stating he and his former guitarist had experienced several disagreements regarding the band's musical direction, and ultimately parted ways.
A crucial moment leading up to Slash's decision to quit the band occurred when Rose removed a section of Slash's guitar track on the cover of Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" present in "The Spaghetti Incident?". Without his consent, Rose replaced Slash's guitar overdub with the work of Paul Tobias, a friend of Rose whom Slash and the rest of the band vocally disapproved of for years. Additionally, as revealed on a VH1 special, Slash stated that he never truly forgave Axl for his spiteful rant regarding some of his fellow band-mates during a 1989 concert.
After his departure from Guns N' Roses, Slash focused on Slash's Snakepit, playing a few tour dates before disbanding the group in 1998. Over the next decade, Slash would become an in-demand session guitarist, recording music with the likes of Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Insane Clown Posse, Ronnie Wood, Bad Company, Cheap Trick, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Rod Stewart.
In 2001, he chose to regroup Slash's Snakepit to release his second solo effort, the aptly titled Ain't Life Grand. The album managed to do well on the charts, reaching platinum status. To promote it further, Slash embarked on an extensive world tour with AC/DC in the summer of 2000.
In 1990, Slash collaborated with Michael Jackson on his comeback album, Dangerous. He performed guitar on two hit singles, "Black or White" (main riff) and "Give in to Me". He later appeared in the "Give in to Me" video with Jackson and performed on special occasions during the massive Dangerous World Tour. In 1995, he appeared on stage with Jackson for the MTV Music Video Awards. Slash also played guitar in "D.S.", a controversial song from the 1995 HIStory album. In 2001, Slash once again collaborated with Jackson, on the Invincible track "Privacy". Also in 2001, he joined Jackson on stage at the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special, performing guitar for "Black or White" and "Beat It" (which was originally played by Eddie Van Halen).
In 1995, Quentin Tarantino asked Slash to contribute music to his famed adaptation of Jackie Brown. Several Slash's Snakepit compositions can be heard throughout the film. In 1996, Slash collaborated with Marta Sanchez to record the flamenco inspired "Obsession-Confession" for the Curdled soundtrack. The song was received well by Smooth Jazz radio stations. Later that year, Slash also played live with Alice Cooper at Sammy Hagar's club Cabo Wabo in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The show was recorded and released the following year as A Fistful of Alice.
In 1997, Slash (alongside the late Ol' Dirty Bastard and hit alternative rock band Fishbone) appeared on BLACKstreet's rock remix version of their hit single "Fix". In 2003, he participated in the Yardbirds' comeback record Birdland, released on the Favored Nations label. He played lead guitar in the track "Over, Under, Sideways, Down." In early 2003, Slash also made an appearance at a rally to protest the coming War in Iraq called "Peace on the Beach." Specifically, Slash performed the song "Imagine" by John Lennon. Ed Kowalczyk provided vocals during this performance.
In 2002, he reunited with Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum for a benefit/tribute concert for Randy Castillo. Realizing they still had the chemistry of their days in Guns N' Roses, they decided to form a new band together. The band that featured Slash, McKagan, and Sorum also featured former Buckcherry members Keith Nelson and Josh Todd. Later Duff put out a statement that Josh and Keith didn't quite fit with the band, and they added Dave Kushner as rhythm guitar and, after a long search, Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland. In 2006, Slash performed a guest spot on keyboardist Derek Sherinian's solo album Blood of the Snake covering the 1970 Mungo Jerry hit single "In the Summertime", also featuring Billy Idol on vocals. A video was also made featuring Slash, Billy, and Derek for this song.
Velvet Revolver began as "The Project", a venture by Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum to find a new lead singer. On rhythm guitar, they initially worked with Izzy Stradlin, and they were offered to open for The Rolling Stones but Slash, Duff and Matt wanted to have a lead singer; after this Izzy became less involved. They would find their second guitarist in the form of Dave Kushner, who had previously played with McKagan in "Loaded" prior to this project. For many months, the four of them listened to demo tapes of potential lead singers, a monotonous process (documented by VH1). After many months, Slash and the others were almost ready to give up. However, Stone Temple Pilots had recently imploded, allowing lead singer Scott Weiland to volunteer to record a song with the band. Realizing there was chemistry between each member, Weiland officially joined the band in 2003.
Velvet Revolver played several concerts in the summer of that year and released their first single, "Set Me Free" as part of the soundtrack for The Hulk. In June 2004, they released their first studio album, Contraband (from which "Slither" came). A 19-month long tour ensued, as the album went double platinum and re-established Slash as a mainstream performer. After the tour concluded, he and his bandmates took a lengthy break before beginning work on their second album. In July 2007, Velvet Revolver released the critically acclaimed Libertad, a follow-up to their multi-platinum debut, which spawned the song "She Builds Quick Machines".
He also appears in Guitar Hero II as a customized character. His song "Ghost" is playable in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock; "What I Want" and "Always on the Run", two songs that Slash featured on, are playable in Guitar Hero: On Tour and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, respectively.
- In single-player mode, when Slash appears onstage at Shanker's Island to battle with the player, an inmate can be heard shouting, "Oh my God, it's Slash!!! SLASH!!!"
- Both Slash and Tom Morello's bands have played anti-war songs.
- It is unclear as to why Slash is at Shanker's Island.
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