Slash's iconic image, with his top hat and afro hair, became the official 'guitar hero' image for an entire generation. In the late 80's and early 90's when a child plugged an electric guitar into an amplifier for the first time the first thing he imagined was to see himself playing Sweet Child O' Mine, as a generation before had dreamed of Eruption and a generation before that Voodoo Child. But Slash had a talent equal to that image and his talents as a guitarist soon made him one of the most desirable guitarists in the world. Here are some of his most interesting collaborations.
Iggy Pop - Home (1990) The 80's were not the best time for an Iggy Pop who seemed to have lost the energy of his best days, so Brick By Brick was considered by several critics his best work since his stint in Berlin with David Bowie. Part of the blame was on his collaboration with two members of the most important rock group of the moment, Guns N' Roses, none other than Slash and Duff Mckagan. The guitarist in the hat lent his sound to Home, Butt Town, Pussy Power and My Baby Wants To Rock & Roll, of which he had composed the music. Perhaps the best of the lot is the first, the one in charge of opening with force the album where he leaves several fantastic solos, especially the one at the end while Iggy is on fire like in the wild times of the Stooges.
Lenny Kravitz - Always On The Run (1991)
The guitarist of Guns N' Roses had made complimentary comments about Lenny Kravitz's debut, in particular, he had said that Let Love Rule was his favorite album for making love to his girlfriend. When he found out, Kravitz invited him to the studio and when they met, they realized that they had gone together to the same high school in Los Angeles. Slash took to the studio his Kris Derrig’s replica of a 59 Gibson Les Paul Standard to record the Fields Of Joy solo but, between takes, he started to play with a riff that he had but that did not convince his band. Kravitz didn't hesitate for a second and turned that funky riff into one of the best songs of his career, Always On The Run. A song that once again demonstrated the guitarist's mastery to make a memorable riff (we're talking about the creator of Sweet Child O' Mine), although his solo wasn't bad either.
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid (1991)
In 1991, with the appearance of the two volumes of Use Your Illusion, Slash was the world's most famous guitarist and there was no rock star who didn't try to appear with him. So it's no wonder that Alice Cooper recruited him for the song that gave title to his 12th solo album, Hey Stoopid. But, in case something was still missing, he also incorporated Ozzy Osbourne himself to sing the harmonies and Joe Satriani to support Slash's fierce solo guitar, with his Marshall amp set at 11.
Motörhead - I Ain't No Nice Guy (1992)
In 1991 Lemmy Kilmister composed four songs for Ozzy Osbourne's No More Tears which, in his own words, brought him "more money than he had earned in a 15-year career with Motörhead". So when, the following year, he decided to record his band's tenth album, March ör Die, he called Ozzy to sing with him on I Ain't no Nice Guy, a ballad he had composed and was sure would be a success. To top it off, he called the most important guitarist of the time, Slash, to rip the solo in the song. The guitarist in the hat gladly accepted but, instead of his beloved Les Paul, he took with him (if we pay attention to the video) his ‘64 Firebird. The result is explosive.
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me (1992)
When Michael Jackson wanted a guitarist in 1982 he chose Eddie Van Halen, and when the King of Pop wanted one 10 years later, he chose Slash, and that says a lot about what our protagonist meant at the time, in other words, he was "the guitarist". His guitar is heard in two tracks on Dangerous, in the introduction of Black Or White (just in that beginning) and in the ballad Give In To Me, where he has more time to shine. Especially in that ending where his Les Paul roars and screams while the singer sings something that, now even more so, sounds quite disturbing: "Don't try to understand me/Just simply do the things I say".
Queen/Joe Elliott - Tie Your Mother Down (The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert) (1992)
When Freddie Mercury finally died of AIDS on November 24, 1991, his bandmates decided to organize a tribute concert to raise funds for research against the disease. They got some of the most popular bands of the time (like Metallica, U2 and Guns N' Roses) to perform and then a distinguished group of stars to join them on stage to celebrate Mercury's life and work. One of the chosen, as it couldn't be any other way, was Slash, who added his Les Paul to Brian May's Red Special to extract gold from this Tie Your Mother Down.
Blackstreet - Fix (1997)
Blackstreet was an R&B group that had a huge success with their 1996 song No Diggity, released on their album Another Level. On that same album was Fix that when it was chosen to be the third single on the album did so with a remix that included rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, with the group Fishbone and Slash himself on guitar. R&B, rap and rock go hand in hand.
The Strokes - New York City Cops (2004)
Slash, Duff Mckagan and Matt Sorum, a former Guns N' Roses member and, at the time, members of Velvet Revolver discovered the Strokes after a concert and made friends with them, even appearing in Someday's video of the first New Yorkers' album, Is This It, released in 2001. So it's not so surprising that a few years later Julian Casablancas' band invited the guitarist to the stage to play another song from that mythical album, in this case New York City Cops, which has also allowed people like Jack White or Josh Homme to come on stage with them. I ́m including it here just to see Slash with one of the most representative groups of the first decade of the 21st century rather than for the performance itself, and that is because the guitarist, one of Nick Valensi's greatest heroes, is drunk at rock star levels.
Joan Jett - Star Star (2010)
In the Guns N' Roses of Appetite Izzy Stradlin served as Keith Richards and Slash as Jimmy Page, but that does not detract from the fact that the guitarist was also a fan of the Stones as can be seen in this live performance with the great Joan Jett. His cover of Star Star is a perfect vehicle for Slash to bring out of his red Les Paul 'Snakepit' with the best feeling of Richards and the father of it all, Chuck Berry.
B.B. King - The Thrill Is Gone (2011)
Their styles may not be similar but, in the end, the great guitarists end up understanding each other. Here Slash accompanies B.B. King in a rendition of his great classic, The Thrill Is Gone, in which he shows that he also got the blues in his veins. Accompanying them are other heavyweights such as Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Ronnie Wood and Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall. In the middle of the song the king of blues asks Slash for the hat and he gives it to him without a blink, because between magicians, there are no secrets.