Slash

Slash’s Top Five

Word: Marcel Anders
Photography: Press photo / Slash

Legendary Axeslinger Slash has these five songs to thank for his appetite for seduction and how he’ll knock on heaven’s door.


Top hat, mane of curly hair, sunglasses. Slash has remained true to his trademark look, even though it’s 18 years since he left Guns N’ Roses. He and Axl Rose and the boys sold more than 100 million albums together back in the day, and Slash lived strictly according to three commandments: sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

He’s put all those vices behind him now. Eight years ago, he even gave up drinking and smoking. “But the guitar is the love of my life,” says the 49-year- old, born Saul Hudson. His third solo album, World on Fire, is proof of that: 17 throbbing rock songs, featuring incredible solos by a guitar god. The snake lover tells us the tracks that hold deep meaning in his life and career.

AC/DC - Back in Black

“When this song came out, in 1980, I’d only just started playing the guitar. I first heard it at the actor Seymour Cassel’s house. He’s also the person who gave me my nickname, Slash [because he was full of energy]. ‘Back in Black’ has this killer rhythm. It’s sexy and sleazy. For me it’s like sex, only much better.”

Aerosmith - Back in the Saddle

“I heard the song when I was a teenager from a girl I wanted to get into bed. She put this single on and we eventually sat on her bed. I got so wrapped up in the song that I completely lost interest in making out. I played the record over and over again and ignored the girl until she ended up throwing me out.”

Black Sabbath - Iron Man

“In the early 1980s I was up in the Hollywood Hills on the estate that used to be Errol Flynn’s property. It was frequented by teenagers who did acid. I remember being there, in the middle of the night, looking at the stars. One night someone played ‘Iron Man’ and it blew my mind. It was a life-changing experience that stuck with me to this day.”

Stevie Wonder - Living for the City

“This was my mother’s favorite song. It’s about this kid from the country, getting his big opportunity to move to the city and falling into a drug situation. My new song, ‘30 Years to Life,’ deals with a similar fate. It shows what happens when you live too recklessly. Of course, I set out to be a complete drug addict myself …”

Erik Satie - Gymnopédies

“Satie is a French composer who’s not rock ’n’ roll at all, but he had a big influence on me. My father always used to put on his music when he’d had a bottle of wine or two too many. Then he’d paint to it. That’s why I’m still very drawn to it to this day. I could even imagine having this played at my funeral.”

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