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Why Slash Matters

He plays great guitar, he writes great songs. But what’s the real reason why Slash is so much better than the rest?

Why does Slash matter? It’s a question that philosophers, music historians and rock fans have wrestled with ever since the great man first strode into view, topped and tailed in top hat and cowboy boots, more than a quarter of a century ago. Of course, the answer all depends on who you’re speaking to.

You could do worse than start with Duff McKagan, Slash’s two-time band-mate in Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver. “Slash has remained an innovator and high-water mark for what modern rock’n’roll guitar playing should be and is,” says Duff. “I have seen how hard he works at his craft, and he is not just good by chance. The dude just flat-out works hard. Make no mistake, he was given a gift, but he has moulded the gift and has never taken it for granted.”

Alternatively, you can ask Iggy Pop, punk progenitor and someone who knows a thing or two about livewire guitarists. “Slash has a pretty highly developed sense of timing and rhythm,” says the man who was one of the multitude of guest stars on Slash’s first solo album two years ago. “He’s a talented cat. He knows his way around the song form, so that helps. And he had access to a lot of good records as a kid.”

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