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Slash (1965) Guns n' Roses guitarist
Guns n' Roses lead guitarist Slash was born Saul Hudson on July 23, 1965 in Stoke-on-Trent, England, to artistic parents both involved in the entertainment industry. Father Hudson designed album art for such artists as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Mother Hudson designed clothes, for example for David Bowie's film The Man Who Fell to Earth.
The Hudsons in time moved to Hollywood, where Saul got his first guitar and formed a band called Road Crew with Steven Adler (the future Guns n' Roses drummer). In this period a family friend called him Slash for no known particular reason, but Hudson adopted the nickname. Slash and Adler then met the others with whom they would form Guns n' Roses in 1985. With the scruffy Axl Rose and the shaggy face-covering black haired Slash the band's visual image was soon set, combined with notorious alcohol and drugs abuse.
The latter was confirmed at the live coverage of the American Music Awards, where Slash and fellow band member Duff McKagan were clearly smashed from way too many alcoholic consumptions as they accepted the prize. Slash also used heroin, making Rose infamously pronounce he would leave the band if certain associates would not stop "dancing with Mr. Brownstone". Saul 'Slash' Hudson kicked his habit within a year, but drummer Adler did not and was fired.
Alcohol was apparently still approved, as Slash contributed to Black Death vodka advertisement in 1992. Later that year, he was married to actress and model Renee Sorum. The marriage would last five years.
His best guitar performances include Sweet Child Of Mine and November Rain. After several successful band albums, Slash formed a side project called Slash's Snakepit, consisting of fellow Guns n' Roses members Matt Sorum (drums) and Gilby Clarke (guitar), plus bassist Mike Inez and vocalist Eric Dover. After the 1995 album called It's Five O'Clock Somewhere, Slash put together a different band to play classic blues covers at a Budapest blues festival in 1996 under the name of Slash's Blues Ball.
In October 1996 rumours were confirmed that Slash was no longer a member of Guns n' Roses, although he left the door open for a reunion if Axl Rose would decide to return to guitar-based rock & roll. He gigged off and on with the Blues Ball into 1998, but then decided to re-form the Snakepit in 1999 with an entirely new line-up. They released Ain't Life Grand in October 2000.