Thursday, January 28, 2010

SLASH – Book #2

| Title | Slash |
| Author | Slash with Anthony Bozza |
| Genre | Biography |
| Pages | 458 |
| Publisher | HarperCollins |
| Copyright | 2007 |

Synopsis (from web-site)
Most of the book focuses on Slash's years with Guns N' Roses, including many rock star cliches: trashed hotel rooms, groupies, drug abuse, etc. Slash talks about Axl Rose, front man of Guns N' Roses, and the breakup of the band in the mid-1990s. He explains that Axl's inability to show up to gigs and rehearsals on time, in addition to Axl's almost dictator-like control of the band contributed to the band's downfall. Slash also states that Axl wanted to change the musical direction of the band to include more synthesizers and effects, rather than guitar-driven rock as with their earlier material.

Why I read It
I like early Guns & Roses, Slash is arguably one of the best in the world at what he does, and I found him interesting on his turn as celebrity mentor on American Idol.

What I Thought About It
First of all this book is very honest. Very honest about being in a rock band, the personality struggles between the various members, and what it is like being a junkie. You feel some sympathy for him, but he takes responsibility for a lot of the problems in his life. If you ever want to be a rock star you need to read this first; hopefully you can avoid a lot of problems in your career. The biggest and best message of the book for me was what it takes to be great, in this case the guitar.

Slash was a major BMX’er in his youth until he got a guitar as a teenager. From that day forward he just gave up riding. I think it speaks to the power of finding our true love in life. Once you have it you never waste anymore time on distractions. I am not sure if that sort of dedication is required to be great, but it surely cannot hurt. His first guitar was a cheap acoustic with only one string, but that didn’t stop him from practicing for hours. He would play the notes up and down the one string until he could get the rest. I also like how he learns that you cannot really be great guitar player by copying someone else’s style. It is okay to learn from other’s, but you have to be yourself. Very Bruce Lee like. Ultimately he learned that he had to give up trying to read sheet music for other people’s songs and just keep trying things out as he learned songs by ear. After many hours of practicing he would eventually figure it out, but in the process he learned a lot about how the notes and tempo work together.So we have dedication (without distraction), tons of practice (you should love practicing), no excuses about why you can’t (as they say in ultramarathoning RFD, relentless forward motion no matter what), and be true to yourself (innovate not imitate).

The second message for me was the effects of drugs and how they can control you and ultimately destroy you and those in your life.

Mormon Mentions

Author Biography
Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name Slash, is a British and American musician. Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, England, he moved to Los Angeles, California as a child, where he began his career in the music industry. Slash is best-known as the former lead guitarist of hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he performed and recorded between 1985 and 1996. He later formed the eponymous Slash's Snakepit and co-founded Velvet Revolver with his former bandmates Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. His debut solo album, Slash, is due to be released in 2010. In August 2009, Time Magazine named him #2 on its list of the 10 Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time
Anthony Bozza is a New York City-based author and journalist who is most famous for his writing in Rolling Stone Bozza is also well-known for his bestselling books on musicians which include rapper Eminem and hard rock band AC/DC as well as his work as co-author on the autobiographies of artists which include Slash, INXS, and Tommy Lee.

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