He was born in England but reared in L.A., surrounded by the leading artists of the day amidst the vibrant hotbed of music and culture that was the early seventies. Slash spent his adolescence on the streets of Hollywood, discovering drugs, drinking, rock music, and girls, all while achieving notable status as a BMX rider. But everything changed in his world the day he first held the beat-up one-string guitar his grandmother had discarded in a closet.
The instrument became his voice and it triggered a lifelong passion that made everything else irrelevant. As soon as he could string chords and a solo together, Slash wanted to be in a band and sought out friends with similar interests. His closest friend, Steven Adler, proved to be a conspirator for the long haul. As hairmetal bands exploded onto the L.A. scene and topped the charts, Slash sought his niche and a band that suited his raw and gritty sensibility.
He found salvation in the form of four young men of equal mind: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, and Duff McKagan. Together they became Guns N' Roses, one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. Dirty, volatile, and as authentic as the streets that weaned them, they fought their way to the top with groundbreaking albums such as the iconic Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion I and II.
Here, for the first time ever, Slash tells the tale that has yet to be told from the inside: how the band came together, how they wrote the music that defined an era, how they survived insane, never-ending tours, how they survived themselves, and, ultimately, how it all fell apart. This is a window onto the world of the notoriously private guitarist and a seat on the roller-coaster ride that was one of history's greatest rock 'n' roll machines, always on the edge of self-destruction, even at the pinnacle of its success. This is a candid recollection and reflection of Slash's friendships past and present, from easygoing Izzy to ever-steady Duff to wild-child Steven and complicated Axl.
It is also an intensely personal account of struggle and triumph: as Guns N' Roses journeyed to the top, Slash battled his demons, escaping the overwhelming reality with women, heroin, coke, crack, vodka, and whatever else came along.
He survived it all: lawsuits, rehab, riots, notoriety, debauchery, and destruction, and ultimately found his creative evolution. From Slash's Snakepit to his current band, the massively successful Velvet Revolver,Slash found an even keel by sticking to his guns.
Slash is everything the man, the myth, the legend, inspires: it's funny, honest, inspiring, jaw-dropping . . . and, in a word, excessive.
Even in the world of rock and roll, a figure like Axl Rose doesn't come along very often. Mercurial and brilliant, deluded and imperious, Rose defies easy description or analysis. Few people have studied Rose as closely as Mick Wall has. Traveling with Guns n' Roses and writing about them in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wall first earned Axl's trust and later his fury.
W.A.R. goes back to the beginning, revealing Rose's childhood influences (and how he got his name), and tracking the birth of the band and their enormous success with albums like "Appetite for Destruction" and "Use Your Illusion." With fame and money came substance abuse and infighting, and a lead singer who morphed from eccentric to seemingly unhinged. Wall's book is richly detailed and offers surprising new views on some celebrated Guns 'n Roses and Axl Rose incidents, including:
--the death of two fans at a concert in Donington Park in England,
--Rose's fall-out and eventual split from every one of the other original Gn'R band members,
--fights with perceived enemies like Kurt Cobain, Motley Crue's Vince Neil and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger,
--Rose's consistent refusal to show up at concerts throughout his career,
--Axl becoming a virtual recluse at his Malibu mansion for most of the past 15 years.
The book goes right up to the present, to explore why a new Guns n' Roses—with a reconfigured band—has toured but still hasn't released their long-awaited album "Chinese Democracy", now over a decade in the making at a cost of over $13 million. W.A.R. is about great music, bad relationships, and the public and private personas of one of the most controversial performers of our time.