Slash with Anthony Bozza

Synopsis from Amazon
The long-awaited, never-before-told, no-holds-barred memoir from the legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist. Finally, all the lurid tales of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll are revealed as Slash describes his incredible rollercoaster journey as part of the biggest rock band in the world, living life to the full in the 80s. The mass of black curls. The top hat. The cigarette dangling from pouty lips. These are the trademarks of one of the world’s greatest and most revered guitarists, a celebrity musician known by one name: Slash. Saul “Slash” Hudson was born in Hampstead to a Jewish father and a black American mother who created David Bowie’s look in The Man Who Fell to Earth. He was raised in Stoke until he was 11, when he and his mother moved to LA. Frequent visitors to the house were David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Wood and Iggy Pop. At this time Slash got into BMX bikes and would eventually turn professional, winning major awards and money, but at 15 his grandmother gave him his first guitar. Sessions with numerous local LA rock bands followed until a fateful meeting with singer W Axl Rose!and the rest was rock history.

Guns N’ Roses spent two years builiding their reputation before Appetite for Destruction was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Chart success and global domination followed but with it came the inevitable fall — addicted to heroin, booze and cigarettes the band imploded in a rift between Axl and Slash that is as deep today as ever. But with a new wife, kids and new band Velvet Revolver, Slash is back on track. As raucous and edgy as his music, Slash sets the record straight and tells the real story as only Slash can.

My thoughts

I don’t normally read autobiographies but this book has had such an effect on me that I have been raving about it!

The first 100 pages are about Slash’s childhood, his upbringing and his family life which ultimately influenced his decision to become a musician but also contributed to his drug taking.
I found the first 100 pages a bit hard going, not because I didn’t enjoy them but because I wanted to get to the Guns n’ Roses days.

The next 200 pages or so are about Slash’s continuing battle with heroin addiction during Guns n’ Roses early days. There are some particularly harrowing moments including one incident where Slash was hallucinating and was running through a hotel complex naked as he thought demons were chasing him. After several failed attempts Slash finally beat his heroin addiction but unfortunately replaced it with alcohol.

It was lovely to read about how he and his wife Perla met and their children.

Since reading this book I have found myself listening to all of the Guns n’ Roses albums again, watching their videos, looking at the CD covers and finding pictures of Slash as I now know what was going on in their lives at the time that they were recorded/taken.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book even though at times it was quite dark.

9/10

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