Stenning, Paul – Slash: Surviving Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver & Rock’s Snake Pit (Book Review)

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Author: Paul Stenning
Title: Slash: Surviving Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver & Rock’s Snake Pit
Publisher: Independent Music Press
Year: 2007
Reviewed: Jan 2019
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer:  JP

For whatever unknown reason, I like to buy music stuff in pairs that are related or sets with some common connection.  It’s just the way my mind works at times.  When I was on a business trip I came across the new Slash album and an older book about Slash so it seemed like a natural fit to buy and review both this month.  Check ‘em out!

This book is now pretty out-of-date.  It was published by Independent Music Press in 2007.  There are quite a few photos, a discography and some trivia sections, some gear stuff, pretty much anything a fan would want.  A lot has happened in Slash’s world since then…four more solo albums, a divorce and a reunion with Guns ‘N Roses. This book badly needs an update but I am trying to review all the Hard Rock/Metal books in the world so it fits and besides, it is a nice addition to my library.

Paul Stenning has written a whole ton off books about Hard rock and Heavy metal people and now he had a chance to write about the iconic guitarist.  The book follows a standard chronological timeline and runs through many areas of his life, and musical career.  Stenning does have a fine ear and spends a good amount of time analyzing various songs from Guns n’ Roses, Snakepit, and Velvet Revolver, with an eye and ear to the contributions of the Slash.  He gets into some personal detail, (his hobbies, his pets etc) but much of the material is drawn from other sources like MTV, Hit Parader and the New York Post!

I’ve enjoyed all of Stenning writing before but this one comes across as just a bit too positive and one-sided.  He glosses over many of the negatives of Slash’s career, it’s almost as if this was aimed at a bit of a younger audience.  On the flip side there is quite a bit of hyperbole, Stenning refers to Slash with terms such as ‘god’ and ‘genius’ quite frequently, it is clear where his loyalty lay in the oft-discussed Axl vs. Slash topic. It might be interesting to note that Slash’s own autobiography came out in 2007 making this perhaps a bit redundant.  However, the book truly is an extended love-letter to Slash…and maybe that is not a bad thing.

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