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Sing-a-Long Saturday – “The Cat in the Hat: Slash” – A Los Angeles and World Guitar Icon

Jan 29, 2011 by D. J. Schwartz

The very first time I knew about the band “Guns N’ Roses,” is actually quite benign.

One day I happened to be watching a video on MTV and there was a band I had never seen before playing live on-stage–and apparently unbeknown by me–this was one of the seminal bands and group of musicians that was ever part of Rock n’ Roll.

By that time, circa mid-1980’s, I had stopped watching MTV and apparently wasn’t listening to very much music. But at that very moment, I participated in what is a universal experience among people–that “AHA” moment.

In other words, I was simultaneously stunned, amazed, impressed, and transfixed at what I was seeing and listening to–and I knew instinctively that this band was remarkable, and that the band and music members were nothing short of electrifying.

Of course, we all know about the history of the Guns N’ Roses implosion, and its two major front-men–lead singer Axl Rose and the guitar player, Slash.

Be that as it may, this story is about Saul Hudson, otherwise known around the world as “Slash.”

I have no doubt that nickname isn’t unknown to most people, even if they aren’t into his music or Rock n’ Roll.

A book could be written about Slash’s musical accomplishments, with and after his departure from Guns N’ Roses, as he’s never looked backwards having formed 2 major bands since–Velvet Revolver and Slash’s Snakepit–as well as a large torrential body of work and people that he’s collaborated with.

In the event that the Federal Highway Administration ever finds cause to create a ROCK STAR CROSSING traffic sign, there shall be only one man sufficiently identifiable in black silhouette: Slash, he of the dangling smoke, top hat, and low-slung Gibson Les Paul. The onetime Guns N’ Roses guitarist—born Saul Hudson—has accomplished much since he left the band in 1996, even though exchanging public barbs with touchy former band mate Axl Rose occasionally seemed a full-time gig. He started two bands (Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver) and kicked booze and drugs (though he’s still trying to quit cigarettes, a habit he once admitted being able to enjoy in the shower). He’s also raising two sons (ages seven and five) with his wife of eight years, Perla Ferrar, and just this spring he watched his first solo record, Slash, debut as the number-one rock album on the Billboard charts. So permit us to pay homage to this curly-haired Angeleno, a gent still fit enough to strip off his shirt for encores—in this, the month of his forty-fifth birthday.  Source: Elle Magazine interview and Cat in the Hat

Slash is one of the greatest Rock n’ Roll guitarists of all time and he’s a one man industry to boot. Slash has received critical recognition as a guitarist. In August 2009, Time Magazine ranked him #2 on its list of the “10 Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time.” He was also ranked #21 on Gigwise’s list of the “50 Greatest Guitarists Ever.”

But for most lovers of Rock n’ Roll, it’s obvious Slash is a guitar genius.

A musician, songwriter and producer as well, Slash, aka Saul Hudson, has a significant discography and is currently forming another band that’s due to be announced in the next few months.

He’s collaborated with such diverse musicians including Michael Jackson, Fergie, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick, Ronnie Wood, only to name a few.

He has his own website, Slash Guitar, where you can always get the latest information about him and from him–because he’s always writing and sharing what he’s currently up to–news, videos, music, community, media and more.

Slash is a playable character in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and his likeness appears on the game cover.

Although Slash was originally born in England, Slash considers himself a Los Angeleno, having moved here when he was only 11. After doing a bit of research, many people are not aware that Slash is half-black from his mother’s side, and half-Jewish from his father.

But he’s all Rock and Roll and the Gibson Les Paul is his guitar. In fact, Slash owns more than 100 guitars, and his guitar of legend is the Gibson, Les Paul. Les Paul has manufactured guitars solely for him, and “Slash Les Paul Standard is a recreation of Slash’s favorite Les Paul and is made of solid mahogany and is finished with an Antique Vintage Sunburst. Just like the custom shop version the guitar is fitted with Seymor Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups and a neck modeled after Slash’s original. The guitar was made in a limited run of 1,600 guitars.  Source: Wikipedia

Below are two live performances of versions of Nightrain–the first one with Slash performing the song last year with Myles Kennedy in Australia; and when he originally performed the song live at the Ritz with Axl Rose, and the rest of the Guns and Roses band members in 1988.

Both versions are great yet are different due to the changes in Slash’s life and career:

Slash & Myles Kennedy – Nightrain – MTV Classic Launch

Guns N’ Roses – Nightrain – Live At The Ritz 88

For all, during this Art Los Angeles Contemporary Expo weekend, today’s Travelin’ Local’s Sing-a-Long Saturday, is meant to celebrate and inspire our devotion to art, and is dedicated for all, to Rock On!

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