Here, Guns N’Roses’ eminent guitarist on fatherhood, snakes, why motorbikes are more dangerous than drugs, and his favourite British sitcom… “I love anything with Dawn French, she’s fucking brilliant, man!” Originally published in Uncut’s February 2008 issue (Take 129). Words: John Lewis
Slash is in his Hollywood home with his youngest son, three-year-old Cash Anthony Hudson, and is just about to pick up his eldest, five-year-old London Emilio Hudson, from school.
“I’ve got to be a bit careful what I wear to school,” he says. “Last time I wore a Chrome Hearts baseball cap with ‘Fuck You’ written on it, something I didn’t realise until I’d left the school gates. Doh. So it’s a plain black T-shirt and a plain baseball cap now. I have to admit I feel really uncomfortable around schools and parents and that whole scene. When I was a kid, all parents hated me, and I assume nothing’s changed…”
The man who famously once “died” for a few minutes after a heroin overdose is now cleaned up, off the drink and drugs, happily married to the ex-model Perla Ferrer for more than ten years, playing Monopoly with his family and getting “quite into” fatherhood. “However,” he says, “there are certain parental responsibilities that I can’t get the hang of, and going into schools is one of them. I’m a rock and roll guy and there are certain rules that I’ll never abide by. So what’s this? Questions from Uncut readers? Does that mean I’m a celebrity?”
Can you rap?
RZA, Wu-Tang Clan
Ha! RZA knows I can’t. I daren’t. He’s a good guy, a talented guy, a great chess player too. Hip hop is all pretty much my wife listens to, so end up hearing a lot of it. My favourite stuff goes back to NWA and Public Enemy, that real aggressive, urban war music, although Dre and Snoop Dogg always comes back with something interesting.
Do you ever intend to give up smoking?
Lee, Ladbroke Grove
I gave up smoking once, actually. In 2003, when we recorded the first Velvet Revolver album, I was clean off alcohol and drugs. My son had just been born and my wife kept telling me that, when I handed him to her, he smelt like a cigarette. And she talked me into seeing a hypnotist, cos our friends Matt Sorum [of Velvet Revolver] and Steve Jones [of the Sex Pistols] had quit that way. So I saw two hypnotists and, in both cases, I had lit up a cigarette before I even got to their front porch after the session was over. But this third guy I went to, it actually fucking worked. And I had no desire to smoke for 10 months. Then Duff [McKagan] and I came to Europe for a promotional tour, and I ran into a buddy in France who smoked Gitanes and had a bottle of wine. And the next thing I know is that I’m drinking and smoking again. I guess it’s up to my kids to bug me enough to make me give up.