Friday, September 4, 2009

Slash: "Why I Chose Not To Continue On With GN'R"

There isn't anything new here. The following comes from Slash's 2007 autobiography. For those of you who haven't read it, and for those of you who've forgotten, I've reproduced it here.

"I'd like to make one more thing pretty clear, because this is another question that haunts me almost every day, usually because it's asked by people who don't know me at all. I'd like to state, very simply once more why I chose not to continue on with Guns N' Roses so that no one feels the need to ask me this ever again when they see me on the street.

Here it goes:

1) the constant disrespect for all involved by going on late for no good reason night after night after night,

2) the legal manipulation that Axl forced on us, from demanding ownership of the name to downgrading us, contractually, to hired hands, and

3) losing Izzy and Steven, who were such an integral part of the band's sound and personality ... without them, the band no longer had its original chemistry.

My departure had nothing to do with artistic differences, as many people claim to know. It was not as simple as "Axl wanted synths and Slash was old-school." It had nothing to do with Axl wanting to go digital and Slash staying analog. To think that dissolving the kind of band and the kind of musical chemistry we had over something so trivial is just asinine.

It's true, I am old-school, and I do like keeping it simple — but I've never been close-minded. If anything, I was more than flexible and willing to try any kind of recording technique or explore any new sound, so long as I was doing so on an equal playing field with musicians that worked together toward a common goal. I would have hung in there with Axl through an industrial record or whatever else he wanted to try if the creative vibe between us was positive. My flexibility is the only thing that kept me in the band as long as it did — that's how a team works.

Unfortunately, we stopped being a team somewhere along the way.

As for the rest of how it all played out, I learned, looking back on it all, that the people Axl hired to "represent his interests" through all of the band's undoing could have been a bit smarter than they were. Maybe intelligence has nothing to do with it: had they cared enough about him and about Guns N' Roses as a band to have advised him to pursue any other path than the one he did this story may have had a different ending. Anyone could have foreseen the lack of positive outcome that lay ahead on the road Axl chose to go down. But then again, maybe that is how he wanted it."

Related: Axl Rose Sets the Record Straight


faldor said...

I only buy his 3rd point. He's pretty much been proven wrong as far as the "we were forced to sign over the band name to him before a gig" excuse. Going on late may have been an issue for them, but I don't think too many people were overly concerned with it when they were known as "the most dangerous band in the world", selling out venues on a nightly basis. It only became a problem after the fact.

Anonymous said...

I've read the book and I underlined a lot of stuff. Some parts are confusing and contradictory. I've checked some facts and, really, no Booza could have tried to make clear what is on Slash's memories of the whole process.
Let me just say that I do love slash and think that he is indeed a great guitar player and a wonderful character. I loved every inch of his biography and he's part of my life as the guitar riffs of "my own jungle".
That, however, doesn't refrain me from thinking with my own head and come to my own conclusions.
About the reasons on "why i chose not to continue":
#1 Reason: I understand that getting late every night is stupid, BUT it is clearly stated in the book that his concern was NOT the respect for the audiences, but the respect to himself and the rest of the band, and, specially, the ammount of money spent on fines, which actually led to add 3rd and 4th legs of the world tour. Forget not, however, that the tardiness was a problem since the beginning (even in the first tour they did outside the US - 1988). So why would this reason be a problem in...1996? Slash recognizes on the book that Axl's tardiness is based on giving 100% of himself and creative process. So here it is a guy that gets late by artistic reasons; and there's this 1 guy that complaints due to economical reasons.
#2 Reason: I'll quote Faldor on this. But just to make your own mind, please read Stephen Davies "Watch you bleed - The saga of guns n' roses". I'm not saying it's right - for me all founding members should have equal rights - but let me say that Slash is on record stating that it was fair that Adler shouldn't hold the same rights as Axl, Izzy, Duff and Slash, since he didn't write songs. Separating this contract issue from the managing deal is, IMO, not fair from Slash, since Axl argued with that fact. Plus, Slash didn't want to get responsability from firing managing, but his signature is on that document. Again, Axl is the bad guy.
#3 Reason: losing Izzy and Steven. Again, that would be a reasonable argument if his decision to leave the band wasn't made in 1996 and not 1991 - the year Izzy left.

Increasingly, over the years, I've grown a bit disappointed at Slash. Still luv the guy, though. But the guy in caught all the time in this contradictory schemes. For all of you that are wondering, NO, i don't think slash is cancer and i totally think axl was out of line stating that.


faldor said...

Exactly, these problems only came to light YEARS later. Just like while he was in VR things were peachy, yet a few years after they fire Scott, they were the worst years of his life. He'll tell you what you want to hear at the time and then bury people when he has to cover his own ass so he can still look like the good guy.

I love Slash too, but I'd hardly take anything he says as gospel.