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Slash: The Story of the First Band I Was Ever In

Slash took a trip down the memory lane during a recent interview with fellow guitar master Leslie West of Mountain, saying about his first band ever:

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“[Tidus Sloan] was the first band I put together. I didn’t know what the name meant.

“I had a stoner buddy in high school who was way more advanced on guitar than I was. Philip Davidson – he had a Strat, he had an amp, and he knew how to play Deep Purple. He was like a god to me.

“His parents were never home, so we had keg parties and trashed the house. At one point, the name Tidus Sloan hit me as a great name for a band, although I can’t remember why.

“I think it had something to do with what Philip said – I must’ve misheard it.

Focusing on Road Crew, a group he founded with Steven Adler, Slash continued:

“After I picked up the guitar, Steven migrated to drums. I hadn’t seen him for about two years, but we got re-acquainted.

“He and I started a band that was short lived, but that’s when we met Duff McKagan. We were looking for bass players, and he answered an ad I put in the paper.”

And then, Hollywood Rose, the first band Slash and Axl played in together. The guitarist said:

“That was the first group that we were in together. There were different incarnations of it before I was in it.

“Initially, Izzy was in the band, but there was a falling out and he left. So it was me and Axl, Steven Adler and Steve Darrow.

“We did a bunch of gigs, but it didn’t last long. It was sort of the impetus for what came later.

Asked whether any of the Hollywood Rose tunes made it to GN’R records, Slash replied:

“There was one that came from way earlier. It’s a song called ‘Anything Goes.’ It’s probably the most obscure song on ‘Appetite,’ and it was rewritten a lot of times before we did that record.

“Izzy and Axl had been playing it before I came around.

“Oh, but there’s a song on the album, a really cool riff-based song called ‘Rocket Queen,’ and the origins of that came from Road Crew – that was Duff, Steven and me.”

Sharing more details from the “Appetite” days, Slash noted:

“I remember we were at this rehearsal space and Axl asked me about this riff I had, the one that would become ‘Welcome to the Jungle.’

“I started out with it and I had three parts to it, it and everybody had input into it. It just became a song. It’s a really strange arrangement. I don’t think there’s one orthodox arrangement on that record, and it’s because everybody had input.

“I’d start out with a riff and maybe a verse part, and things would take on a life of their own. It was very spontaneous.

“We could only pay for two or three hours of rehearsal time, so we’d finish a song inside a couple of hours. There was a riff that came from Izzy on ‘Appetite,’ and it became ‘Out Ta Get Me.’

“He played it off the cuff one day, and I picked up on it right away. It was that kind of inspiration between the five of us that would make songs come together.”

He concluded:

“That’s the way it starts out, with just the original members in a room doing it. It’s hard to recapture that innocence as you start to become successful.

“You have people coming in from all over the place; they have ideas for the music or the show. It’s inevitable. You don’t know who it’s going to be, but it’s going to be somebody.

“You have to fight and claw to keep the integrity. A lot of the time you try to go along with stuff, but your gut is telling you this isn’t right.

“When it was firing on all cylinders, I like to consider it a great rock ‘n’ roll group on its own merit. It wasn’t because of gimmicks. Obviously, it was highly volatile.

“Now that we’re back together, without getting too much into it, we’re able to talk about it and identify people who got in the way.

“It’s great to be past all that without having to listen to anybody’s input – not managers, not business people. We just do what we’re good at, and it’s nice that it’s been well received.”

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