Saul Hudson was a good little English lad, born to bourgeois parents whose idea of success was to design costumes or album covers for the likes of David Bowie and Neil Young. But young Saul aspired to a bejeweled throne in the entertainment industry, so he fled the idyllic Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, for the seedy aristocracy of Los Angeles, where the boy who would be Slash prepared to make his royal entrance into the guitar world.
Slash and his subjects
Slash's Snakepit performs Tuesday, July 10, at 8 p.m. at the Engine Room, 1515 Pease. $15. For more information, call 713-654-7846 or visit www.engineroomhouston.com.
After his parents' separation in the mid-'70s, Slash moved in with his grandmother, who presented him with his first guitar at age 15. It became his one true love, distracting from his other passion at the time, the boorish peasant activity of BMX racing, not to mention school.
Various bands were formed before his blood turned blue with the emergence of Guns N' Roses. Of course, we all know the sad royal-family saga of GNR, the drugs, the booze, the busted-up hotel rooms. Music television broadcasts it on a regular basis. After the Illusions tour, he started a recurring affair with a tramp named Slash's Snakepit and recorded It's Five O'clock Somewhere. While maintaining a public relationship with GNR, Slash and his Pit enjoyed a series of trysts in more intimate venues far away from the palatial arenas.
GNR broke up over a dispute between Slash and Axl Rose regarding musical direction. Snakepit then got a makeover, and Slash went public with his new love: Rod Jackson on lead vocals, Keri Kelli on guitar, Johnny Blackout on bass, Matt Laug on drums and Teddy "Zigzag" Andreadis on keyboards and harp. The band recorded Ain't Life Grand (naturally) and set out on tour. With his guitar, Slash has become the consummate charmer over this particular den of vipers. Those who kneel in the pit are glad he chose to do so.