A documentary about the life of Saul ‘ Slash’ Hudson.
Slash is arguably one of the most famous and/or recognizable Hard Rock guitarists of the past 30 years. I’m actually mildly surprised that it took that long to have a film made about his life.
SLASH is a solid, good looking documentary. It is largely composed of interviews and anchored with a long interview with Slash sitting in the Rainbow Bar and Grill. The narrative follows his youth growing up in LA, doing the usual kids stuff, riding bikes, hanging out and so on. He discovered guitar and shifted focus quite quickly and his liberal artsy parents had no problem with him following his muse. There are some old photos but not too many. They interview some old friends, but for the most part there is a seemingly endless parade of guest stars talking about Slash; Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Nikki Sixx, Joe Perry and many more. He is well-respected.
Interestingly enough, there was no Guns ‘n Roses music on the soundtrack. In hindsight I’m sure this was because the band (ie. Axl Rose) owns the rights to the music and we may recall that this film was shot before the 2016 reconciliation between Rose and Slash. It’s likely they didn’t have permission and perhaps because the focus was largely on Slash and his various post-GNR output, and that maybe the producers didn’t want famous Guns ‘n Roses tunes used, preferring to feature the fine music of Slash.
That brings me to my next point which is that SLASH was largely a puff piece which is a term used by journalists to describe a friendly (or feel-good) story that perhaps lacks substance or hard-hitting content. I enjoyed the film but it did come across as a pro-Slash 90 minute commercial. The vast majority of the negative and hard times in his life were completely ignored. It seems like it was 90 minutes of famous people saying, ‘Slash is awesome!’, which as as fans, we know to be true but it made for a very average documentary. It was produced by his own record label as well, which further eliminates any sense of neutrality.
I liked it but it seemed a bit thin on details and dirt, almost as if was ‘Made for TV’. It’s a great companion piece to his own biography and worth watching but don’t expect to to be blown away.
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