By Metal Dave
To say it’s been a banner year for rock guitar hero Slash is like saying he has an appetite for the occasional pack of smokes.
Besides rave reviews for his latest album, “Apocalyptic Love,” the former Guns N’ Roses outlaw was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sure, GN’R singer Axl Rose spitefully snubbed the ceremony (or maybe he’s just running late), but the recognition was deliciously wicked for a band that sold 100 million albums laced with hard-rock f-bombs and blatant excess.
More recently in Los Angeles, Slash again was honored when he scored his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Compared to other sidewalk scores, the Walk of Fame ordeal was at least police-approved (although emcee Charlie Sheen may have raised a sniff of suspicion).
Now mutually estranged from Axl Rose and the drama of a Stone(d) Temple Pilot (see Velvet Revolver), Slash brings his new “Apocalyptic” posse — singer Myles Kennedy, bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz — to Stubb’s on Friday where career-spanning hits like “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Paradise City” and “Slither” are all fair game to be pulled from his hat.
Lest anyone think Slash’s best playing rests with Guns N’ Revolver, “Apocalyptic Love” proves he’s got plenty of bullets to spare. A hard-boogie grinder full of slinky blues and ballistic solos, “Apocalyptic Love” may be Slash’s finest hour. At the very least, the solos in “Anastasia” could stop a conversation between Al Di Meola and Eddie Van Halen. It ain’t bragging if it’s true.
In Kennedy, Slash has a powerful all-terrain vocalist. Whether wailing and growling like Axl Rose or fanning the low-spark soul of Steve Winwood, Kennedy proves to be a full-time keeper after first appearing on Slash’s 2010 solo album alongside guest vocalists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Grohl, Fergie and Chris Cornell. Welcome to the jungle, indeed.
Slash in a Flash:
Born Saul Hudson in England, 47-year-old Slash was raised in Los Angeles where he attended school with Lenny Kravitz. His mother worked for, and reportedly romanced, David Bowie. After an early audition with Poison, Slash found universal fame with the more compatible Guns N’ Roses, whose blockbuster 1987 debut, “Appetite for Destruction,” is considered one of the greatest rock records of all time. Before falling out with Axl Rose in 1996 following GN’R’s “Lies, Lies, Lies,” the double-album “Use Your Illusion,” and the covers collection, “The Spaghetti Incident?” Slash recorded two albums with his side project, Slash’s Snakepit, and eventually joined ex-GN’R mates Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum in the all-star Velvet Revolver featuring singer Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots. To date, Slash has collaborated with such legends as Michael Jackson, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and, um, “Phineas and Ferb.
Boston-born musician Myles Kennedy first gained national prominence in 2004 as the singer for Alter Bridge, which was basically the massively successful band Creed minus singer Scott Stapp. More importantly, he also made a closing appearance in the 2001 film, “Rock Star,” featuring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. That’s him climbing out of the crowd to replace Wahlberg as the totally stoked singer for the totally rad Steel Dragon.
2Fast2Die Note: The text of the above article originally published in the Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 6, 2012 under my “professional” byline, David Glessner. Gotta pay the bills, ya know?
For more Slash info, visit www.slashonline.com