on 27 May 2010
With 60 other reviews here, I doubt anyone will wade through them to read this, but if you have, then it's appreciated.
Why I took the time to write this is because the 'Slash' is one of the best rock 'n' roll books you will ever read. And if you've got a 'must-read' list of books for your life, then this one should be added.
And it's not one of those large type 'quick-reads,' this type is quite small but comfortable on the eye nevertheless, and will give you your money's worth.
As others have mentioned, Slash is brutally honest with his story, and this is commendable, even though he's lucky to have survived the perils of heroin and booze addiction.
No one is ever truly clean of any addiction, it niggles away from time to time year's later, but I hope Perla, London, and Cash keep Slash on the right track; he's got a good few years, and albums in him yet; and the grandaddy years will suit him.
on 13 January 2011
Being a big G'n'R fan, the autobiography of Slash was a book I could not miss.
It is an engrossing book which does not gloss over or skimp on any area of his life. He covers the good stuff and bad stuff in equal measure, uses superb anecdotes to give you a picture of the man and frequently states his honest opinions for the benefit of the reader. Considering the sheer quantity of alcohol and drugs he has consumed, I am amazed that he is still alive and playing.
However, after finishing the book, I found myself unable to decide what I thought about Slash. There were too many contradictions and double standards in his life which I found hard to swallow. Most of these revolve around his criticism of others who have various addiction problems and their percieved lack of professionalism. If anyone put in less than 100% effort at a gig or in the recording studio, Slash is very critical of them. Yet he himself is guilty of some of the worst excesses and worst behaviour, he goes to great lengths to justify and assure us that he never compromised the band.
His comments about Axl and the demise of GnR are probably the bits most people will want to read. Suffice to say he gives a fairly frank view of this and you can't help but agree with him on most of it. Much of what said paints Axl in a bad light and you wonder how the band held together as long as it did. I hope one day Axl explains his side of the story.
on 27 June 2014
I've been a fan of Slash ever since i was a kid and saw him on the video for November Rain. I remember this being one of my first introductions to the guitar as an instrument rather than the background of a song, as well as my first insight into rock music. I was astounded! It gave me goosebumps, what this strange hairy man in a top hat could do with six strings and ever since that day i have been a fan. This book allows you to get inside the head of a genuine rock God and discover that he is human too. An honest account of the bad and good side of Slash's life an career from childhood to Velvet Revolver you see a man who changes and develops while still staying true to who he is and what he loves. Slash comes across as extremely hard-working, dedicated and humble even when he was doped to the eyes on heroin or playing to 180,000 screaming fans and it's this quality that actually makes who he is and what he has accomplished all the more admirable. Well written, without exaggeration for effect and 'reviews/ratings' this book captured my interest from the first page to the last and if possible made me a bigger fan than when my little ears first heard that guitar solo all those years ago. Thoroughly recommended for fans of Slash, GN'R or rock music in general!
on 7 January 2009
I had to physically fight myself to put the book down to go to work, even though I would have happily sat on the London tube reading until I was finished!
I've always appreciated what a legend Slash is and was quite partial to a bit of 'Sweet Child', but having grown up mostly in the 90s, I never had the privilege of experiencing the rock n roll era and really knowing much about it. I've always just listened to whatever my friends were into and until I read this book I never really took the time to appreciate music for what it is. I consider my younger days to be musically deprived! Now when I listen to music, I really LISTEN.
In this book, Slash's story is objective and brutally honest without being slightly arrogant or dramatic. You can imagine it to be completely sensationalised, but the fact is, Slash tells it how it is and was, doesn't try to impress and takes on full responsibility for his actions. It is most definitely excessive but ultimately believable by the fact that you can almost hear his voice when you read.
This is possibly one of the best books I've ever read and would recommend this to anyone who can read!
Be warned though, I've been obsessed with Slash and GnR ever since. And I've had to obtain all their albums, a load of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Aerosmith and any other 70s-80s rock I could get my hands on!
N.B. NOT recommended if you have a boyfriend who gets jealous easily... :-/
on 1 February 2009
Having just finished this book I cannot recommend it highly enough! A must for any Guns N' Roses fan. Obviously the story telling is all from Slash's perspective but it is interesting to read his (really quite eloquent) thoughts and feelings about the various goings on at the band. It's disappointing that Axl hasn't released a similar book so you can get the other side of the story and then you know the truth of the matter is somewhere in the middle! Slash's addictions and experiences make for interesting reading and no matter how much an @r$e Axl may be, it can't have been easy being in a band with hard core junkies and alcoholics. That said, buy this book - you will not be disappointed.
on 8 May 2009
The most entertaining, truly interesting story I've read in a long time.
Slash is funny, captivating, eloquent and yet still very true to himself throughout this story.
I thoroughly recommend it - you won't put it down until you've heard every last word of what he has to say.
on 14 April 2016
I really wanted to like this book, I'm a huge fan, but I finished it thinking that it was a massive missed opportunity. The ghost writer and editor must take most of the blame; there are many basic mistakes, such as stories that are dropped midway through, and utterly unnecessary details about relative trivia - I'm pretty sure nobody really cares about the chain of three people leading to an introduction to a musician who auditioned and then didn't end up getting the gig, or what houses he looked at when searching for a place to buy.
Slash's alcoholism and drug addictions were not dealt with at all well. You can get away with a rip roaring, unapologetic account of utter debauchery, or you can give a heartfelt account of your personal struggle as Anthony Kiedis did in Scar Tissue; but this book isn't sure which it wants to try for, and the result is a long chain of pretty lame sounding gratuitous acting out (smashing the headlights on all the rental vans for no apparent reason, wha?) and totally pointless s*** including copious drunk driving. Stories like how he injected drugs into a friend who overdosed and died, but then claims it must have been because of something someone else gave him, really make it difficult to see anything more than the utter banality and ugliness of hardcore drug addiction. This wouldn't be a problem in an autobiography if the writer seemed to be aware of it, but he really doesn't seem to be.
The most disappointing part is the utter lack of any interesting in depth account of his development as a musician and the creative process behind the GnR songs. I've read lots of autobiographies by musicians, and all the books by the members of The Doors give a fantastic account of their evolution as artists and the creative dynamic within the band, that this book leaves me thinking that maybe Slash was just so strung out he doesn't remember any of that in enough detail to put in the book.
on 4 July 2014
You know those books that take over your life for a while? This is one of them.
I picked up Slash's autobiography, a second-hand copy, this week in the shop where my Michael Jackson love started. That big love was back in 2007, when I stumbled across Michael Jackson, The Magic and the Madness, by J Randy Taraborelli.
The book - Slash - starts off brilliantly. I loved reading about his unconventional upbringing in Hollywood, and that his mum had a relationship with David Bowie.
Call me dim but I had not realised Slash was mixed race: British and African-American. He always had his face hidden by the hair, the hat, shades and the cigarette. My friends also had not realised this. Looking back at those iconic Guns 'n' Roses pics of him you feel that he just was not happy in his own skin.
I liked what he wrote (with his professional writer) about how his parents' separation affected him. He went into a lot of detail and his words convey the fact that kids just aren't as resilient as their divorcing parents say they are (or rather, want them to be). One feels he never really got over that.
He doesn't come over as a nice person early on. Amoral. The drug tales get quite repetitive but they are such an integral part of his life that they can't be glossed over.
I scoured the book for his insights into his time working with Michael Jackson but there weren't many. (I blog about MJ) . He will have signed a confidentiality agreement but also, the book was published in 2007, a time when Jackson was very, very unfashionable. I would have liked more insight on this chapter in his life.
Funnily enough, despite how abhorrent I find his past life of thieving, drug taking, cheating, destruction etc - I can't help worrying, nay, truly caring, about how he is now! That's the thing with autobiographies, if their authors do engage you you invest some emotional energy into them. It's been such a life of excess and yet also of - focus to the point of obsession: BMX biking; music; guitar; drugs. And he's had more sex than hot dinners (he doesn't cook but he's still had a whole lotta love).
I would have loved to have seen more insights from the man himself into what the heck was going on in his head. He does give us insight when talking about his juvenile delinquency (I sound like I am from the 1950s!) but later on he just presents the facts. When he finally makes it into a successful rehab situation he merely says that he talked about 'a lot of stuff' he hadn't talked about much before. Ding-ding! C'mon, man, don't leave it there!
But I wasn't the intended audience for this book. I am not a teen who is seduced by tales from the drug crypt. However, I am a woman who loves to read about music, personalities, patterns of behaviour, worlds within worlds, recovery and yes, redemption.
I hope that one day Slash writes a more introspective memoir where he opens up about not just the how... but the why. After all, the man named best living guitarist by Time magazine gets that soul from somewhere.
Meanwhile, I'm buying up G & R stuff and researching more about The Slasher.
on 15 September 2013
When I was growing up, GnR where my biggest formative influence. In these last years I had become reluctant to admit to it, what with all the sideways criticisms that have been aimed at them, especially Axl, and especially from the Metallica camp (whose work I also enjoy - shame, Hetfield...). Well, this book has restored my pride. Slash is such a great guy to read (for his guitar I shouldn't really have to say much, but I will say one thing: I'd rather listen to his playing that comes from the heart rather than most of the so-called guitar virtuosos and shredders who play a thousand notes a minute but aint saying S***...). He talks about all the s*** with such a simple down-to-earth manner, presenting all the characters and events vividly and realistically, beauty AND the beast. His honesty is disarming. You get the background on how he came to music, learned the guitar, how the various riffs and songs came about, which is inspiring to any musician. You get an amazing picture of what L.A.'s rock scene was like, the social side, growing up on the delinquent side etc. Producers, strippers, A&R, dealers, rockers, junkies and tons of sex and destruction are all there in simple detail. The ins (and outs) of heroin and heroin addiction. You see characters like Axl and Dave Mustaine (whom I never really liked but hey - I always enjoy an opposing insight) for their greatnesses, not just the flaws that have been pounced upon by long-term "winners" with ulterior motives. And Slash, even though largely an introvert, is keen enough to share his feelings on everything, rather than just write coldly and diplomatically. I could go on and on but I won't. I'll just say that THIS is the book that should be studied at school - not all the useless crap we learn. Read it and find out what it means to be in the biggest Rock band of a generation!
on 26 July 2011
Slash's Autobiography is an exellent read. I am a fan of Guns n' Roses and Velvet Revolver so I was very interested in reading this book and I wasn't disapointed. The book is perfect in almost every way.
Slash gives good detail of his early life as well as his experiences with girlfriends and wives and his good times and bad in music. I was fascinated to read his stories, some I already knew, some not at all, but all well told. As you'd expect drugs and alcohol are a big part of Slash's story and some of his experiences with this are entertaining to read but ultimately tragic. You realise that despite a great life like he has had how much drugs have tarnished it. There are many interesting insights into how and why things happened and he gives his opinion well. From reading the book you can quite understand why Guns n' Roses fell apart. Drugs are part of the story for the break up but also band in fighting and demands. It's almost impossible to believe that Axl was putting another guitarist over Slash on records towards the end(shocking) and post albulm recording work such as Dizzy's keyboards being added on the Use Your illusion albulms due to Axl demanding it. Even though Axl in the book certainly comes across as demanding and arrogant, you still don't finish it thinking he's the villain, as Axls behaviour has to be compared to Slash's at times out of control drug habit which balances the two out as both being rock n' roll maniacs. Interestingly it's Duff who comes across as the most stable and nice of the group.
At times the book made me feel jealous of Slash's life but then in reflection some of it seemed awful, especially the desperate drug addiction and the tense band conflicts. It's almost sad when you read it, as a massive fan of Guns n' Roses, just how short lived their recording carreer was. Appetite For Destruction being the only full albulm that was recorded with complete group unity. After that the cracks showed. The Use Your Illusion albulms being mostly made up by songs already wriitten or half worked out previous to Appetite. When I read that You Could be Mine was actually meant for Appetite it seemed to make perfect sense. I love the Use your illusion Albulms but it became clear from reading the book that these weren't put together in the same kind of genius as Appetite.
Even though Gun n' Roses recording carreer was a bit of a mess with Lies being two EPS, Appetite a true genius albulm, Use your Illusion 1 and 2 absolutely great but being mostly made up of unused earlier songs, and Spaghetti Incident a covers albulm, the band did some true epic tours. For me it was cool that Slash refers to the concert I saw him at with Guns N' Roses at Milton Keynes in 1993 when Izzy briefly returned. Of course the book also mentions some of the bad concerts, mainly due to Axl showing up late.
If your a Guns n' Roses fan or just a reader of autobiographies then read this book, you won't be dissapointed. I hope Slash does a follow up which updates his life story and maybe he'll remember even more from his past.