Slash, aka Saul Hudson, is the British-American musician that was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England and grew up a few blocks away from Hollywood boulevard. Today, he is best known for being Guns N Roses’ (GNR) lead guitarist. He re-joined the band in 2016 and has been touring with them ever since. At the same time, he has been producing his own music, with 4 being his latest album. He has been promoting the record recently but shockingly revealed the one GNR track that leaves him cringing, despite its global success.
Most bands end up cursed to play one or two of their biggest hits for years, even decades. For GNR, there are plenty of popular tracks to choose from. Paradise City, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door and Welcome to the Jungle are all regulars on the radio.
However, by far their most popular song is Sweet Child O’ Mine. Appearing in the group’s debut album Appetite for Destruction, the track was released in June 1988 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the band’s only number-one single.
It was even re-released in 1989 and raced up to the number six spot on the UK Singles Chart and today regularly finds a spot in top tracks lists from Guitar World, Blender, Rolling Stone and beyond.
Safe to say, it’s beloved with Appetite for Destruction selling around 30 million copies worldwide. However, Slash himself isn’t keen on it, admitting it is one he doesn’t like to hear.
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In a recent interview on Absolute Radio Classic Rock, he said that it’s always a “cringe moment” when he hears the perpetual hit on the radio.
He said: “It’s always exciting if you hear [your music] on the radio. You know, that’s something that never grows old… If you’re in a bar or some other sort of public place, and all of a sudden your material comes on, it sort of stops you dead in your tracks because for a second you’re like, ‘Oh God, that sounds familiar!’ And then you realise it’s you.”
He added: “So, in those instances, it depends on what the song is and what band it is and all that kind of stuff. Because if I walk into a place and Sweet Child O’ Mine comes on, it’s a cringe moment. Like, very awkward.”
Slash said: “Around 13, 14, 15 years old I used to make these fake IDs. You used to be able to get away with it with a pencil and I was pretty good at it. So, we got into The Whiskey and The Roxy and The Starwood. The Rainbow was the hardest one because you really had to… you think you have balls of steel when you’re 15 years old and you can just walk up and it’ll work like everywhere else.”
He continued: “[The Rainbow] had this guy called Steady at the door and he was a hardcore Italian bouncer type… he wouldn’t let me in, so I was just crushed. So, I went home and put on a bunch of makeup and some of my mom’s clothes. I was really drunk, you have to understand that. I went back up there and it was ladies’ night. So, I went back and I got in.
“This whole black cloud of reality came down on me and I felt the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt. Still to this day, I’ve never felt like that and then having to leave and walk down Sunset boulevard in a dress, back to my car… it was horrible.”