Guns N' Roses"It could be said that we have a pretty nasty history. But it's all been blown out of proportion, the bad-boy thing, how much we drink, how much drugs we do or don't do." (Izzy Stradlin)
Slash plays with Guns N' Roses from 1985 to 1996 and since 2016. He recorded five studio albums with the band.
- Axl Rose: lead vocals, piano (1985-present)
- Slash: lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1985-1996 & 2016-present)
- Duff McKagan: bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (1985-1997 & 2016-present)
- Richard Fortus: rhythm guitars, backing vocals (2002-present)
- Frank Ferrer: drums (2006-present)
- Dizzy Reed: keyboards, backing vocals (1991-present)
- Melissa Reese: sound programming, backing vocals (2016-present)
- Izzy Stradlin: rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals (1985-1991)
- Steven Adler: drums, backing vocals (1985-1990)
- Matt Sorum: drums, backing vocals (1990-1997)
- Gilby Clarke: rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1991-1994)
DiscographyStudio albums: 5 | Studio songs: 64 | Live album: 1 | Singles & EPs: 26 | Music videos: 17
Use Your Illusion 1
Use Your Illusion 2
Live Era '87-'93
Singles & EPs
Tours & concerts
- Get In The Ring Tour 1991-1992 (142 shows in 26 countries)
- Skin N' Bones Tour 1993 (56 shows in 19 countries)
- Not In This Lifetime Tour 2016-2017 (98 shows in 32 countries)
- Slash's live equipment with Guns N' Roses
Interviews & articles
- In The Classic Way (Guitar magazine, September 1988)
- Inside Guns N' Roses (Rolling Stone magazine, January 1991)
- The Hands Behind The Hype (Guitar Player magazine, December 1991)
- Smoking Gun (Guitar World magazine, February 1992)
- Trail By Fire (Guitar World magazine, November 1992)
- Return To The Jungle (Guitar One magazine, June 2002)
- The Days Of Wine And Roses (Classic Rock magazine, April 2005)
- Back To The Jungle (Guitar Edge magazine, March 2007)
- Behind Use Your Illusion (Classic Rock magazine, June 2011)
Slash met Steven Adler in Los Angeles when he was 15, and they both decided to form Road Crew. Meanwhile, Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin got together to play in several bands. They hired Duff McKagan, who came back from Seattle, to give their first concert as Guns N' Roses in April 11th 1985 in Anaheim, California. Slash and Steven Adler joined the band the following month and, after rageous openings for L.A. Guns, Poison or Faster Pussycat, Guns N' Roses drew the attention of Geffen Records who signed them on March 26th 1986 for the recording of seven albums.
The Gunners created their own label to release Live Like A Suicide, a first EP sold to 10,000 copies in four weeks. In early 1987, Guns N' Roses recorded Appetite For Destruction and the debut album was released rather confidentially in July 1987. The band opens shows for The Cult and Motley Crue and gives its first concerts out of the U.S.A.. Supported by a heavy rotation of the single "Sweet Child O' Mine" on MTV and an explosive onstage presence, Appetite For Destruction reached number 1 on the Billboard in 1988. It's with a well established reputation that Guns N' Roses opens for Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and Aerosmith shows and takes part of the Monsters of Rock festival in front of more than 100,000 people.
While being on the cover of prestigious magazines and receiving several awards, Guns N' Roses's second album, GN'R Lies, is released in November 1988. Including the four recordings from Live Like A Suicide as well as four acoustic tracks, the album soon reaches the top 5 of best U.S.A. selling albums.
As recording sessions for the new album just started, Steven Adler, drugged out of his mind, is fired and replaced by Matt Sorum from The Cult. Around the same time Dizzy Reed, an old friend of the band, becomes the keyboardist of the group. Studio work is put on hold between January 20th and 23rd of 1991 as Guns N' Roses headlines two nights in Brazil in front of the 120,000 crowd of the Rock in Rio festival. On those nights, Matt and Dizzy appeared for the first time as full time members, and several new songs were played. The band then returned to the studio to finish the recording until they embarked on the Use Your Illusion World Tour in May 1991.
In July, the soundtrack of the movie Terminator 2 launched "You Could Be Mine" as the first single of the two Use Your Illusion albums which were finally released on September 17, 1991 and debuted respectively as number 1 and 2 of the Billboard charts. The success is global and it propels the band into the top rank of rock acts. So when Izzy Strandlin quits Guns N' Roses in the whole middle of the tour, the surprise is complete. He is soon replaced by Gilby Clarke. The endless tour is riddled with incidents: riots, late starts, cancellations, health or abuse problems, pouring rain, police raids... The last concert takes place in Buenos Aires on July 17 of 1993, after 197 shows given in front of more than five million people on the planet.
At the end of November 1993, Guns N' Roses released its fourth album made of punk rock covers and entitled The Spaghetti Incident?. But tensions grew between Axl and the rest of the band, and in June 1994, the singer fired Gilby Clarke against all odds. At the end of the summer, Slash and Matt proposed new material, but Axl refused it, arguing that he wanted to give a new orientation to the band. The recording of "Sympathy For The Devil" for the soundtrack of Interview With A Vampire sealed the split: members didn't meet once, Axl recorded the vocals on his own and mixed the final cut with guitar tracks of his friend Paul Huge without telling the band. Slash then decided to distance himself from the drama, and moved on to a new adventure with Slash's Snakepit.
Thanks to Geffen's efforts, the remaining members meet at the end of 1995 to rehearse, but the feeling wasn't there. During the summer of 1996, Duff and Matt record and tour with Neurotic Outsiders and on his side, Slash puts up a blues band to play a festival in Hungary. In November, he announces that the does not know if he is still part of Guns N' Roses. A couple of days later, Axl sends a fax to MTV saying that Slash is officially and legally out of the band since December 31st 1995. Duff and Matt will finally leave as well, leaving it to Axl to build the history of Guns N' Roses according to his own preference.
Several days after a Guns N' Roses related teaser was released to movie theaters Guns N' Roses is officially announced in January 2016 as the headliner of Coachella Music Festival reporting Slash and Duff McKagan are rejoining the band. Few weeks later the band announced 21 shows as part of a North American tour named Not in This Lifetime Tour. A previously unannounced warmup gig at the Troubadour in Los Angeles took place on April 1, 2016: Slash, Axl and Duff are back on stage together for the first time for 23 years. The band also features Richard Fortus on guitar, Frank Ferrer on drums and Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese on keyboards.
Guns N' Roses is currently touring around the world: North American and South America in 2016 then Asia, Australia and Europe in 2017. The Not In This Lifetime Tour is an ongoing series of 56 concerts in 19 countries.