SLASH: 1965 – 2009
With Velvet Revolver on what is starting to look like a permanent hiatus, Slash has been off recording a Santana-style all-star solo album with lots and lots of famous collaborators. It’s actually kind of a brilliant idea, and you wonder why he didn’t do that instead of Slash’s Snakepit Mach 2, a fun band that was really never gonna pay off for him.
Now Slash has announced his first solo offering: a two-track Japanese (and thus “internet,” whether Saul Hudson likes it or not) single called Sahara, which will offer both that song, with some Japanese dude I’ve never heard of on vocals, and… a re-recording of “Paradise City” with vocals by Cypress Hill and Fergie.
Yes, while Axl Rose has been busy ripping off other people, Slash has gone the Chuck Mosley route and decided to rip-off himself. But whereas Chuck was at least bright enough to recruit an actual original member of his former band to participate, Slash invited only Josh Freese, who played drums for a chunk of the Axl Rose-Chinese Democracy sessions and wrote the title track to that album.
And then there’s Cypress Hill and Fergie.
Neither of them were ever going to make a suitable substitute for Axl Rose circa 1987, and I guess I at least don’t feel any serious animosity towards Cypress Hill. “Insane in the Brain” or whatever the fuck it was called was a fun song in 199whateverfuckingyearitwas. And the idea of collaborating with some gangsta rappers seems true enough to the ideals of the GN’R of yore; that band wore N.W.A. and Public Enemy merch, and seemed reasonably dangerous enough for that not to feel embarrassing. So the idea of doing the song with that particular duo is silly, but it’s silly in the way a lot of Slash stuff has been silly, and I’d be happy to write it off as a “whatever” kinda thing. (Some idiot in the comments section will inevitably point out that Slash is also half-black, but that’s neither here nor there in this instance. He’s also half-Jewish, but I don’t wanna see him record with Matisyahu any time soon.)
But man, if I could get a time machine and show the Slash of 1987 the Slash of 2009 playing with Fergie… I think I could convince him to O.D. just to prevent it from ever happening. How ridiculous. The only connection between these two artists should be that they’ve both suffered drug habits which have done serious damage to their health – Slash has a pacemaker, and Fergie has a face that alerts anyone who ever looks at her that she did crystal meth.
RANDOM THOUGHT: Holy shit, do you think that Fergie will be the new singer for Velvet Revolver?!?!?!
And none of this is taking into account the absurdity of the notion of Slash making any kind of improvements to his performance on Appetite for Destruction. Why don’t we just re-animate Da Vinci and see if there’s anything he wants to do with the Mona Lisa? Hey Slash: ask George Lucas how going back and tinkering with his beloved classic worked out, dude.
One last thing to really ice this cake: the main riff for “Paradise City” was written by… Duff McKagan.