By Staff Writer
Original Source: soberinfo.com
Saul Hudson just sold his house to Big Sean for $8.7 million. The paperwork will read “Saul Hudson,” but no one calls him that. That’s because when Saul Hudson was fifteen years old, his grandmother gave him his first guitar. Seven years later — under the moniker “Slash” — he became an Official Rock God with the release of Appetite for Destruction, the debut of legendary LA supergroup Guns n’ Roses.
Five albums and six years later, Guns n’ Roses was no more. The original band occupied a tightly compressed, nearly perfect moment in rock history — perfectly coinciding with the peak of the music video era. Fans who cut their teeth on late 80s / early 90s MTV watched Guns n’ Roses progress from the opening riffs of Paradise City’s time-lapse stadium rock video to Slash’s epic guitar solo — on top of a grand piano and backed by a full orchestra — at the end of November Rain. This was a band built for the cultural moment they inhabited.
And that cultural moment was surrounded by drugs — lots and lots of freely-flowing, readily available drugs. All of the members eventually succumbed to various addictions, but Slash was particularly vulnerable. The child of artistic parents connected to the music industry, he grew up in a home where it wasn’t uncommon to round a corner and find David Bowie or Iggy Pop hanging out with your parents.
Growing up in such a bohemian crowd led Slash to begin experimenting with drugs, including heroin, while still a teenager. As he tells it, the music lifestyle didn’t lead him to a drug habit; rather, being the founding member of a supergroup just “kicked it up a notch.”
He died. More than once. In one legendary episode, the guitarist collapsed from an overdose, spent some time clinically dead, was resuscitated, then calmly checked himself out of the hospital because he had a gig to get to.
Eventually, though, the lifestyle wore thin. At 31, Slash was diagnosed with congestive heart failure brought on by two solid decades of riotous living. That sobering moment, coupled with his marriage to Perla Farrar and the subsequent birth of their two sons, seems to have finally curtailed his penchant for walking the wild side.
“Eventually, you just get tired of it all,” he told CNN Asia in 2010. One thing he’s not tired of: playing guitar. The virtuoso is still working. He did a stint with Velvet Revolver (whose frontman Scott Weiland battled his own addictions), recorded and toured under his own name, and continues to do session work and play live with the likes of Joe Perry, Rick Clapton, Iggy Pop, and more.