Australian Guitar - - Cover Story -

Like The Ru­n­aways, a lot of the ap­peal in the G’n ’f ’n’ R axe at­tack was visual: Slash in his trademark shades and top hat reel­ing out the so­los, and Stradlin ex­ud­ing ef­fort­less cool on his low-slung Les Paul. But there was also a seam­less chem­istry that made the band’s de­but al­bum such a master­piece of rock ex­cess.

You can tell, too, be­cause the records that fea­ture Stradlin and Slash are – not coin­ci­den­tally – the good ones. It helped that Stradlin was also one of the band’s strong­est song­writ­ers. “Patience” was his, “You Could Be Mine” was Axl Rose’s lyrics over his mu­sic, and it was he that first iden­ti­fied that a string-skip­ping fin­ger warm-up that Slash was faffing about with at re­hearsal sounded like a killer riff, adding the chords that were to be­come “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

Stradlin quit mid-tour in 1991 in an at­tempt to over­come his rolling ad­dic­tions, to be re­placed with Gilby Clarke. Slash and Clarke were both gone from the band by 1996, al­low­ing Rose to ful­fil his dream of turn­ing the most dan­ger­ous US band of a gen­er­a­tion into a bloated par­ody of it­self.

Slash re­turned a few years ago as Rose at­tempted to recre­ate the old band, but Stradlin de­clined the of­fer. Some­times it’s best just to let the past be the past.

Roses Guns‘n

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