03. 1962-1984 - BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES (2024)

1965-1981

SLASH'S EARLY YEARS IN ENGLAND AND LOS ANGELES

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND


I was "conceived" in France. In fact, my mother took me to England before I was born, but my fetus was born in France!

Hard Force [French], October 8, 1987; translated from French

Slash was born Saul Hudson in Hampstead near Stoke-On-Trent in England on July 23, 1965 [The Independent, July 17, 2011], and has a 5 years younger brother called Ash (born Albion [Let There Be Talk, August 29, 2013]), to parents Anthony and Ola Hudson [Guns N' Roses Interview Disc, June 1988]. He was named after illustrator and cartoonist Saul Steinberg [Zeit Online, March 17, 2019].

I think [Steinberg]'s fantastic. But of course I had no say in my name. Steinberg was one of my father's favorite artists, so I knew his work very well. But for a long time I didn't know that he was the one I was named after. At first it was said that I was named after King Saul. When my father told me about Steinberg, everything suddenly made a lot more sense.

Ola made her living in Los Angeles and the couple travelled back and forth between USA and England, resulting in Slash growing up with his grandparents Sybil and Charles Hudson in Blurton [The Independent, July 17, 2011].

Slash's uncle, Ian Hudson, would talk about Slash in his early years:

He came to Blurton to live with his gran because he needed an education.


You see, I remember Saul – as he was then – as this boisterous little guy who lived with my mum and dad, Cybil and Charles, in Consett Road, Blurton, and went to the local primary school.

Saul was very close to his dad, adored his auntie Mabel and loved drawing. He was a very gentle boy really, and there was certainly nothing to indicate that he would become a hard rock musician or join a band.


He was a very energetic young lad and more than a few times called into the headmistress's office at school. He wore denim trousers and a corduroy jacket and had this thick head of hair, so girls were keen on him and the lads right jealous. But he was a gentle, loving, nice boy.

Slash would reminisce about growing up in England:

[Growing up in England was] great—an entirely different atmosphere, different set of morals as far as things considered important. L.A. has everything. In Northern England, there's a difference in what's held in high regard. It's a lot tougher there; school is different. I fought a lot when I was real young. I'm usually calm now. Moving to L.A.—the transition—when you're young, you take in so much, it's just another experience.


[Recalling his first memory]: My grandmother in England dragging me to church on Sunday mornings in the fall and shuffling through the leaves, knowing I had no choice.


[Talking about his first years in England]: I don’t remember the name of the street that I lived on, but I just have really fond memories of my grandparents and my uncles and aunts. They were just wonderful. The neighborhood that I lived in, everybody lived in the same part of the village, though, and then I had to go to school around the corner, which was, I would get up in the morning and the fog was so thick that you couldn’t see across the street. I walked to school and we had the lollipop guy? (laughs).


I had a good time in England. And then my grandmother was an amazing cook, except for – she actually made, like, the most amazing pies, and my aunt would come over and they would just do that all day. So on the weekends that was, like, a big deal. I’m just shooting from the hip here, you know. And that was basically it. I remember there was... my dad and I used to take these walks across where, you know, the cows – some pasture and stuff, and it was real peaceful. It was a very tight community.


As far as school goes, I just didn’t fit in the school there because I had long hair. [...] I had long hair and I had, you know, basically jeans, and t-shirts, and all that kind of stuff. And I was into drawing. So, like, the regular sort of curriculum for the average boy was- [...] It was out of my way. And I was a little drummer boy for the Christmas play, like, four times in a row.


I have fond memories of Stoke. I remember never being able to see across the street because of the weather. Walking to school was like stumbling around like a blind man. No, it was a very tight community, everyone knew each other. My grandmother made great mince pies, and my dad would take me for long walks in the countryside. I loved it.


I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent. We moved to Los Angeles when I was five years old. My memories of Stoke are cosy: my aunt and grandmother making mince pies and my grandfather being an old-fashioned fire chief. The thing I missed most when I left the UK was that there was no lollipop lady in LA.


I have very vivid memories, it's funny. I had a wonderful childhood in Stoke. I have memories of my family, and taking the train to London with my dad – and going to the museums, and the zoo.


I grew up in - well, I started out in Stoke-on-Trent in England, which is a pretty small, close-knit little town, village. And I was weaned on music in Stoke, I'd say that was where my big introduction to rock and roll came from. My dad - and this was 1965, ‘66, ‘67, my dad and his two brothers, my dad was the middle of two brothers, and they were all hardcore music enthusiasts, like, super rock fans, rock critics… You know, it's hard for me to verbalize that kind of a thing, but they were just really, really passionate about it. And so, from as early on as I can remember, I was listening to The Kinks, and The Yardbirds and The Stones, and a lot - my dad really loved The Who, so that was a big one. And then, you know, there was The Beatles and Gene Vincent and Moody Blues and… god, I'm probably leaving something out. Donovan, I think, was in there. But anyway, so that's what I was sort of raised on. And, you know, Stoke was great. My dad and I used to take the train into London a lot and sort of hang out in this sort of bohemian ‘60s kind of thing that was going on. My dad was very much an artist and had been going to art school, and all that kind of stuff before I came along. So we had a lot of beatnik friends around London that we used to hang out with. It was very sort of communal. And you could just show up at somebody's doorstep and just crash there. It was pretty cool. Anyway, and then my mom being American, living in Los Angeles, we eventually - I think I went back to L.A. when I was one years old, I don't really remember that. But then I went back to London, or back to Stoke, and went to school and all that.

And also his early music inspirations:

The funny thing about it for me is I was raised in a guitar-laden environment and never knew it. I was turned on to rock ’n’ roll from the very get-go, because my dad and his brothers were all big rock fans and we were all living in England. All I heard was the Who, the Stones, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, and some Moody Blues in there. My dad said, “The most important part of the song is the guitar break.” I was surrounded by that.


I was born in Hampstead, London, and my dad was a huge rock 'n' roll fan. His brothers, too. I was weaned on the Who and the Yardbirds, the Stones and the Beatles, the Moody Blues—everything that was going on over there. My dad and his brothers were very hardcore.

In 2008, Slash would talk about his British family:

My aunt Christine, my dad’s brother's wife, well her daughter - if you're following this - contacted me by e-mail through my fan site. She said, "My name’s Sarah Hudson, I'm a relative..." and I was like, "Wow!" Anyway, she brought me my family tree, all the Hudsons on the English side of my family, going back to about 1790. [...] they were all mill workers and sh*t. Hardcore working-class people that never left Stoke. It got me thinking about my place in life, about who came before me and who will come after me. Sarah put all these old photographs of Stoke in there, too. It's awesome.

Talking about what he remembers from England:

The f*cking weather. Even when I was little, I was thinking, "There's got to be somewhere better." I knew there must be sunshine somewhere.

Slash' father, Anthony, was British and white, while his mother, Ola, was American and black [Musician, December 1990].

03. 1962-1984 - BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES (1)

Slash as a child

TRANSITIONING TO LOS ANGELES, USA


And my grandparents hate my dad, and my dad hates my grandparents, because he went off on this tangent and he went marrying a black woman; and, you know, instead of following the family way, he decided to become a graphic artist and hang out with all that whole free kind of lifestyle.


My dad, who actually still lives here in L.A. - his dad was a fireman. His name is Charles – Charles and Sybil, right? Anyway. Out of the three brothers, Ian, David and Tony – Anthony, my dad is Anthony, and he was the one that got into the rock ‘n’ roll thing, him and David did. So got turned onto the Who, the Moody Blues, the Stones, and the Beatles in Stoke. My dad and my grandfather did not get along because my dad was a tearaway; he went to art school instead of becoming a fireman, or becoming a lawyer, or whatever it was that my grandfather wanted him to do. So those guys were constantly at each other’s throats. My mom was an American black lady, right? Which, to actually tell you the truth, they loved her to death - it’s just my dad and my grandfather. Anyway, so my dad got in the art direction business, so I was constantly going back from Stoke to London; and that’s more or less where I was headed anyway. If I’d stayed in England, I’d still would have been involved in the music business, because that’s where my dad was and that’s where my mom was. We ended up in America, because my mom had a clothing store here and she serviced a lot of musicians. And my dad knew that this was the place to come to really be successful at that particular point in time, which was the latter part of the 60s - to be real successful in what was becoming a booming industry, which was rock ‘n’ roll. So he hooked up with Geffen – it wasn’t Geffen Records yet, it was Geffen & Roberts, a management company – and started doing album covers here. So when he left England, it was for two reasons: one to become successful, two to be just a rebel against his grandfather [=father] who was very old traditional type of guy. So I moved to L.A. and I kept commuting back and forth. Then, finally, we stayed permanently and took up a residence in Los Angeles. So, one way or another, if I hadn’t moved to Los Angeles, I’d probably been in London. If I’d stayed in Stoke, I’d probably been a farmer (laughs).


But when we’re talking about my northern England upbringing and so on, when my dad left, we never kept in touch – he sort of made it so that we never communicated with that side of my family the whole time I lived here. You know, my mother might have wanted me to, but he would just never give up the information. He had a very bitter thing against his dad, my dad.

Anthony was a graphic designed who designed album covers, including Joni Mitchell's 'Court and Spark' [Musician, December 1990] and John Lennon [Rolling Stone, January 1991].

[Listing album covers his father worked on]: A lot of the early Joni Mitchell album covers, Neil Young and the Crazy Horse albums... Who else he was doing it for then, um... I know there was a lot of people, but Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are the only ones that are really still around. Crosby, Stills and Nash, I think there was a couple of things. But the other people who he worked for were happening then, but they’re not around now, you know.

Ola was a clothing designer who made David Bowie's suits for 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' [Musician, December 1990] as well as outfits for Lennon, Diana Ross, the Pointer Sisters [Rolling Stones, January 1991] and Chaka Khan [Blast! April 16, 1988].

My mom was a clothes designer for a lot of rock bands in the 70s. My dad did album covers. As far as the bands he did, Bowie, Lennon, Ringo, The Pointer Sisters – f*ck, there’s a whole bunch of them.


I was in the music business ever since I can remember. You know, I’ve always been around it, which is probably one of the reasons I can deal with it so well. […] My parents – my mom used to make clothes for rock stars. […] And then my dad used to do album covers for – actually for David Geffen, so I’ve known David Geffen since I was a kid, you know? (?) He lived in the same building.


But my parents, like I was saying, with all the freedom that I was given, as far as certain morals and certain character – you know, a lot of that that was instilled in me, there was a lot of right and wrong that sort of came natural for them to sort of instill in me, which was really great. I think there was sort of a mutual respect thing, almost like treating me on the same level as they were. It was interesting. I mean, I used to call them by their first names.

Because of his family Slash got to meet many artists early on:

I know Joni Mitchell pretty well. I know David Bowie, you know, from when my mom did clothes for him. I got to meet Keith Moon when I was younger. Let’s see, who else... Nobody really that I’ve kept in contact with, because these are friends of the parents, just people I was around. But Joni is a sweetheart.

Slash would describe his mother as "a real happy-go-lucky, San Francisco hippie" [Musician, December 1990; The Howard Stern Show, February 1, 1995].

And my mom is about as much of the flower girl as they get, a flower child as you’d call it. So I was raised around that very open minded kind of – and rock ‘n’ roll was very popular with that kind of crowd.


I was born right during the big 60s, that kind of thing. So I grew up with hippie parents and all that stuff.

But his parents' dedication to the ideals of hippie-life could result in embarrassing situations for the young Slash:

[…]it was during the free love thing. My parents – I had to be naked. I had a birthday party, which I’ll never forget. I was so embarrassed. I had a birthday party and I couldn’t have been more than, like, six years old; and all the adults there had a naked pool party, and they threw all the kids in the pool, took their clothes off, threw me...

When Slash was 6, the family moved to Los Angeles [The Irish Examiner, August 15, 2014], and his parents split up when he was 10 or 11 [The Irish Examiner, August 15, 2014].

Straight to Hollywood, [laughs] and ALL of Hollywood, too, because my family was always real mobile. We never lived in one place for more than a year, so I lived in all of the greater Hollywood area.


When I was a little kid, they brought me out here to LA with my grandma and I wasn’t that fazed by it. Then I went back to England for Christmas. I went back and forth a few times. My earliest memories of America are, like, seeing King Kong on TV for the first time and noticing how it was always sunny... The English way is so different. You know, they know how to cook and the food’s just different, and everybody’s sweet, and it’s like you know everybody in that neighbourhood and the neighbourhood doctor and all that.

Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview fro June 1988

Slash would later be asked about his relationship with England and his family there:

I never went back to see my family, ’cos they hadn’t seen me since I was a little kid, anyway. Actually I never visit the family. So that’s sort of deleted at this point.

Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988


I don't remember much of my time in England and I don't think I'm carrying anything typically English. It's not something I'm aware of anyway.


[…] I don’t feel so British. I was really very young when my family moved. We came back a few times to visit the relatives, but it doesn’t mean much to me.

NOT FITTING IN

Transitioning to Los Angeles wasn't easy for the young Slash:

[…] I was just pretty much an outcast from even when I lived here in England, because I always had long hair and I was always wearing holey jeans. It was just a different – you know, the average preschooler doesn’t walk around like that (laughs). And when I moved to L.A., when I was in school, I was living in a pretty substandard area, but I was going to a decent school and all the kids there were – it was all about having certain kinds of shirt, a certain kind of pants, and so on. I just did my same trip, so I was always very outcast.


[…] I went through a period where I just didn't fit in. When I moved to the States I didn't fit in. My parents were completely different then all the other parents of the kids that I grew up around, you know, looser and cooler and, you know, more in the music business as supposed to being attorneys, doctors. So, I didn't really get on. I don't have too many friends that I can think of, that go back to my childhood. I think I can count maybe five. [laughs] These were kids that were outcasts themselves. So we just sort of… just naturally fell together.


When I moved to the States I didn't fit in. My parents were completely different then all the other parents of the kids that I grew up around, you know, looser and cooler and, you know, more in the music business as supposed to being attorneys, doctors. So, I didn't really get on.


My childhood was tumultuous. My parents separated when I was eight, both of them were living pay cheque to pay cheque, and it was an artistic environment with one and then two kids [Slash’s brother Ash was born in 1972]. We never lived in any place more than a year. I went to every school in LA. Plus I was British, I was half black, I had long hair and wore jeans and rock T-shirts . . . where did I fit in?


And then at some point when I was a little older, we moved permanently to Los Angeles, which was pretty much a culture shock for me, because it was way busier, obviously ten times bigger than Stoke, and really, really energetic and electric. I remember that very much.

In Los Angeles, his mother would date famous artist David Bowie for "pretty close to a year" [Rolling Stone, January 1991; Dutch TV, June 5, 1995].

David and mom would be praying to the little lamp that they had (laughs). […] They had one of those little Buddha things, you know […]


My mum started working with David professionally at first. I'm pretty sure that’s how it started. Then it turned into some sort of mysterious romance that went on for a while after that. She did his wardrobe for his whole Thin White Duke period and The Man Who Fell To Earth movie that he did. She did all that and he was around for a while. He was always over – they were always together. I caught them naked once. They had a lot of stuff going on, but my perspective was limited. Looking back on it, I know exactly what was going on. When I look back on that whole combination of people, I can only imagine how freaky it was.

A few days after that latest quote, Slash felt the need to comment upon what he had said:

That was a very casual conversation with somebody on the phone in Australia that I had no idea was gonna get blown up. It became this big headline, and it was very awkward. I'm embarrassed 'cause I'm sure David didn't appreciate it. And my mom — rest in peace — probably wouldn't have dug it either. All it was, was they dated for a while, which is common knowledge, and all I said was there was one occasion where I happened to walk into the bedroom when they weren't fully dressed. That was it. It wasn't anything more lewd to that.

For more on David Bowie and Guns N' Roses, see later chapter.

Recalling driving along the cliff of the Big Sur in California with his mother and her friend when he was a small kid, the grown-ups stoned on pot and him just absorbing it all: "It was the time of 'free love,' and there was no saying no. It's one of the things that's made me comfortable with myself as a person and at the same time has probably made me...not necessarily the way I should be, in certain areas. But my parents were always supportive and I love them for it [Musician, December 1990]. And "I come from a very loving and supportive family, thank God. I could be a lot worse than I am now" [Rolling Stone, January 1991].

Slash was an artistic kid with a talent for athletics. Some of his hobbies would be drawing and biking, and these are discussed in a later chapter.

A "FREE SPIRIT" AT SCHOOL

Slash did not enjoy school much and did not fit in:

Yeah, it doesn’t seem like anything, but in the general scheme of things, all through school in England and all through school here in the States, I didn’t fit in at all, because my whole upbringing was completely different than the average kid whose parents might have been, like, doctors or... - in L.A. at least, not in England. In England everybody was working class, but in the States they tried to keep me in, like... Not my dad, my dad never really promoted school. He taught me how to read - I didn’t learn from school how to read. I still can’t do f*ck all with math, because I never adjusted – and he can’t either (laughs).


So I went to sort of an upper class elementary – a whole bunch of upper class elementary schools. My mom was so persistent about me having a good education (gulps) – I can’t even say the word – a good education, and then she put me in, like, a French private school at one point, you know?


As a child you don't really have anything to compare your own life to. But when I look back, I'm happy to have grown up in such an artistic environment. However, I went to a public school most of the time - I never really fit in because I didn't come from a typical mainstream American family.

Being asked if he wanted to be more like other kids:

That's hard for me to say. I always had long hair and walked around in jeans and T-shirts, never in Lacoste shirts like others. But I also remember that when we moved to the US, I tried really hard to get rid of my English accent.

Talking more about mathematics:

I could add and subtract and sh*t. But when it came to matrix and algebra I was failing miserably at school, and mom tried to stick me in a summer school in an algebra class.

I’d go in every day and smoke cigarettes. It was just me and the tutor for the first week and a half... You know, I do honestly try. So I went and this boring f*cking asshole was trying to shove this sh*t down my throat. I was so sick of it I just split. I wasn’t real good at that. But English was one of those subjects that my dad pushed on me at an early age, ’cos he reads and all that. Other than that I was just average...

Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview fro June 1988


I was actually in a class for kids who we're a little screwed up (laughs).

03. 1962-1984 - BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES (2)

Slash in 7th grade

In 1988, Slash would say his family gave him a lot of freedom and that he "used to not come home for weeks" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

[…] I had great parents who were really cool. I happened to be one of those kids that was given freedom. I went in no particular direction, but always had the moral set.


When I was 12, I sneaked out one night to Hollywood Boulevard. I was standing in front of this hamburger stand, where a crowd had gathered, and this crazy guy on acid or something decided he was gonna beat everybody up. And he went after the wrong guy and he got knifed. He was just laid out on the sidewalk - and I've been here ever since.

In 1995, he would claim he grew up on "drugs, parties, alcohol and women" [Metal Hammer, February 1995]. He would reveal his first sexual experience:

The first time I got laid I was 13 years old. The girl was 26 — one of those mysterious women who moved in next door kind of things? She used to have a white picket fence, the whole thing, and she would sit out on her porch. She was gorgeous. Steven Adler and myself used to walk down the same street every day and one day she called us over. She cooked for us and she took us into her bedroom. And she f*cked Steven and then she f*cked me! And then she moved two weeks later! It was sort of like The Summer Of 42, remember that movie?. I was very quiet but very horny, so I was willing to get over the intimidation to get on with getting on! Steven got busted! He was doing her and her gay roommate and this guy walked in the room and she threw him off the bed and he landed hardon-down on the floor! And then I was next!

In 1991, Slash's mother would soften the image of Slash more or less living on the streets:

I’ve been shocked at a lot of things I’ve read where it sounds like I left him on somebody’s doorstep in a basket. They make it seem as if he never had a family and grew up on the streets like an urchin, but that’s not true. It’s just part of his image. He’s not all leather and tattoos.

Slash would also comment on this:

My mom’s way cool; my dad’s way cool. I never give them any credit. I said something in the Rolling Stone article about being out on the street, and my mom took it personally. She thought i meant that she had kicked me out of the house when I was a little kid. I was talking about when I’d left home, and the band and everything. I was just scumming it, you know what I mean. But they were always f?!king cool parents. I respect them as friends, not as parents.

His main interest became guitar playing, and this is discussed in a later chapter.

QUITTING SCHOOL AND STARTING TO WORK

Slash's last grade was "the 11th grade" [Circus Magazine, May 1988; Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996] and that he then "quit school to work full time so I could support my guitar addiction" [Circus Magazine, May 1988] and also that he was "crap in school" [Guns N' Roses Interview Disc, June 1988].

I had long hair, and the schools I went to were filled with kids of bankers and real-estate agents. It wasn’t like any of them came from the same background I had.


And it was just like, I just did not fit in. I tried really hard to a certain point, and then, as soon as I started playing guitar, I just sort of, slowly but surely, gave up. I ditched the whole 7th grade, part of the 8th grade, and sort of just got by in the 9th grade. Then I went to high school and left in the 11th grade.


And as I got older, at some point we moved out of Laurel Canyon, started moving into Hollywood. And it was the kind of family where we lived very much paycheck to paycheck. We moved a lot. I went to a lot of different schools. It was very... it was a fun lifestyle, but not stable, you know? So, when work was good, you ate well and when work wasn't good, you know, you're struggling and I remember that a lot. And going to a lot of different f*cking schools and never really fitting in at all, because I was sort of pretty much the same as I am now but minus the nose ring and the top hat. So I just did not fit into conventional sort of student curriculum and, you know, I still had the English accent, which I worked very hard to get rid of because that was one of the things that made me extremely different than the average kid in elementary school. So it was, you know, an interesting kind of life in all ways, but still around a lot of music and around a lot of art, and so on. And then I picked up the guitar when I was… I guess the summer that I was 14 years old and turned 15. I remember that pretty well. And then at that point I didn't give a sh*t about trying to deal with school anymore.

But as he started to play the guitar he went from being a "loner who never had many friends" to become more popular [Rolling Stone, January 1991].

Some of the jobs he had to take to sustain himself was in "theatres, newsstands" and "in a place that made clocks" [Circus Magazine, May 1988; Metal Edge, January 1989], and as a "recording studio assistant" [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].

[Talking about the newsstand where he had worked]: It was at a place called Centerfold on Fairfax Avenue, near Melrose — the place with all the crazy letters on it. That was my last job. It's the only job I ever got fired from because I was on the phone all the time, try­ing to get band business done because I used to do all the business for the band in those days—the gigs, promotion. So I'd be on the phone all night long. I worked the late shift, so the boss usually wasn't around. But he started to call, and the phone would be busy for like half an hour. So I finally got canned, I moved out of this apartment I was living in with this girl named Alison. She also worked at the newsstand. She was this real cool chick, and she let me stay in her apartment for like $100 a month.

Creem Close-Up Metal, October 1989; interview from mid-1988


[Describing what he would have done if he didn't become a musician]: I'd probably be doing something that had to do with art and wouldn't be a nine-to-five thing. I just can't do that mundane sort of every day thing. It would have to be something where I could make my own schedule.


The last job I had was in a music store and I got fired. I worked other jobs too. One job I never even showed up at because I found out Motley Crue was recording in L.A. so I went to hang out outside the studio.


I was trying to stay in school and then I had to get a full-time job to support the- [...] My habit, yeah. Guitar strings and so on. And I got to such a low point in school that I just said, you know, “f*ck it, I don’t want to do it anymore.” So I started working, like, completely full-time to support my guitar habit, and I did that all the way up until... realistically all the way up until Axl and I first met. [...] I had a full-time job even until Guns started. [...] The last one I had was a newsstand. On Fairfax (laughs). That was my last job and the only job I ever got fired from; and the only reason for that was because I was on the phone scamming gigs for Guns when we first started (laughs).


I had a lot of jobs. I started working when I was 11 years old. I had - by anyone's standards - a pretty intense paper round that covered a huge chunk of the LA metropolis. On a bicycle! I worked in news stands, movie theatres and guitar stores; I used a darkroom, printed up sh*t and hammered crap. I got fired from my last job for using the phone too much. I was booking all the gigs. This was before call-waiting and my boss couldn't get through. I was paid $4 an hour.


[Laughs] Yeah, that’s where I used to sell tickets… to customers at work. People would come in and I’d sell Troubadour tickets.


I got nabbed [shoplifting] at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard, which was my parents’ favorite record shop. I was hired at the very same store six years later in the video division, and during every shift for the first six months, I was convinced someone was going to remember that I’d been caught stealing and have me fired.

Describing himself in late 1988:

I'm pretty much shy and quiet. But I am short-tempered. I like to read. I like to draw. That's probably a real contrast to what's been written about me so far.

In October 1987 as GN'R was touring in England, they passed near where Slash's grandparents were living and they hadn't seen him since he was 11. When asked if they'd be shocked to see him, Slash replied, "Probably not, cause the rest of my family is pretty wackos" [Super Channel, October 1987].

EPILOGUE

After leaving his family in Stoke Slash didn't maintain his relationships with them, yet in October 1988 he would discuss considering visiting them:

I was thinking about spending Christmas in England. I don’t know, it depends if it’s snowing and all that sh*t.’

[…]

I still do have family there. I'm thinking of visiting them but they haven’t seen me since I was about ten or eleven years old. I don’t really know if they’re still there. We went through Stoke on our English tour. I could have stopped and gone over there - I knew exactly where it was. I couldn’t take the pressure, though. Can you imagine?

Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988

Although his reason for considering spending the Christmas of 1988 in England could also be to visit his girlfriend at the time's family.

03. 1962-1984 - BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES (2024)

References

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Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.