Slash from Guns N’ Roses was born to be a rock ‘n’ roller, and in truth, there’s no place he feels more content than when he’s shredding on stage. The guitarist puts his dependence on music down to his three favourite albums that transformed his life.
Slash was a teenager when music began to infiltrate his existence, and it quickly became a shared obsession alongside his future Guns N’ Roses bandmate, Steven Adler. Together, they decided to form their first band in 1979, despite neither yet playing an instrument, but it was the first crucial step in his journey.
Before he let music become his everything, it was a BMX that Slash spent every hour of the waking day thinking about, yet, once he heard these three albums, he knew he’d found his new obsession. His parents played a significant role in shaping his music taste, and they were well-positioned to do so, considering his mother was in the belly of the industry.
Slash’s mother, Ola Hudson, was a costume designer to the stars in Los Angeles with her list of clients, including David Bowie, who was just another one of her close friends.
Speaking to Signed Media (via Rock and Roll Garage) in 2010, the guitarist revealed that it was his parents’ record collection that he has to thank for him falling in love with many of the albums he cherishes most, including Led Zeppelin II. He explained: “An important record for me was Led Zeppelin II, their second record. Because when I was a kid growing up, my parents had that record. My parents had the best rock ‘n’ roll record collection of anybody I ever met.
Adding: “But I remember loving that record when I was a kid, then when I started playing the guitar that record still had a huge influence on me as a guitar player. So that was an important record for me.”
While Led Zeppelin II is a record that came into his life thanks to his parents, his second selection, Aerosmith’s Rocks, is one that he discovered for himself while he was experimenting as a teenager.
“The next one that was really important for me was Aerosmith, Rocks, and that record came at a time when I was about 14 years old. I discovered that record at this girl’s house,” he revealed. “I’d gone there to sort of basically to get in bed, and we had a lot of records. We smoked some pot, had the candles lit, and she put the Aerosmith’s Rocks record on, and I completely focused on that record for the next hour. I played it over and over again. And forgot about her and sort of blew that whole day.”
Slash’s three favourite albums
- Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin
- Rocks – Aerosmith
- Who’s Next – The Who
Slash then said that the “attitude” which Aerosmith portrayed “spoke to me” and also praised the aggressiveness of the album, which “set me off on the path of picking up the guitar”.
His final inclusion comes from Slash’s birthplace, England, and is The Who’s classic album, Who’s Next. The guitarist commended the record for having “a big influence on songwriting for me and my sort of approach to rhythm guitar”. Furthermore, he even said that he believes it’s “one of the best rock records ever”.