When you think of literacy, chances are the first name that comes to mind isn’t Slash. But the notoriously bad-assed guitarist from rock legends Guns n’ Roses has recently come out with an autobiography detailing his many, many encounters with sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.
He was born in England but moved to LA in the early seventies, where he was surrounded by musical icons such as Joni Mitchell and David Geffen, and even almost had a step-daddy out of David Bowie. He devoted his youth to stealing records, skipping school, and riding his BMX around Hollywood. But it wasn’t until his grandmother gave him a one-string guitar from the back of her closet that he realized his true calling.
The book is written by former Rolling Stone journalist Anthony Bozza, who has also written autobiographies of Eminem and Tommy Lee. Despite how cheesy he could have made this book, it’s a very frank look at the hair metal scene of the eighties, and the drugs that were oh-so-popular at the time.
Want to meet the man behind the hair? Slash will be coming to Toronto to sign copies of his self-titled autobiography on Monday, November 19 at Chapters Festival Hall at 142 John Street. The event starts at 7:00 p.m.
We’ve included an excerpt after the jump.
Book cover courtesy of Harper Collins.
“Restlessness is a fickle catalyst; it can drive you to achieve or it can coax your demise, and sometimes the choice isn’t yours. My restless nature is what earned me my nickname and it’s kept me looking for the next thrill, the next gig, and the next mountain to climb for as long as I can remember. It’s not the kind of thing that takes days off.
Before Guns got signed, I had no job and was living in a vomit-stained garage that was about as charming as a South American jail. All of my energy went into day-to-day survival and working to further the band, one show at a time. Once Guns was signed I didn’t have to worry about money, food, or shelter. This minor sense of stability was unfamiliar to me; I had no concern for acquiring any of the trappings of normal life, so what seemed to be a blessing to me was almost a curse.
We were signed for something like $250,000, and our signing advance was around $37,000, of which my cut was about $7,500. I translated it into American Express traveler’s checks that I kept in the right front pocket of my jeans, thanks to my trouble with the IRS. Saving my share wasn’t an option, but I didn’t celebrate by buying myself a new guitar or anything — I spent almost all of it on heroin. Each of us learned the same lesson in our own individual way before we got ourselves in line to do what we’d set out to do. It wouldn’t be the last time that we’d need to rally against our instincts: whenever we earned ourselves some peace of mind, the same restlessness that fueled our success threatened to destroy it all.”
— Anthony Bozza, Slash.