The Led Zeppelin song that changed Slash’s life


Guns N’ Roses was formed in the mid-1980s in Los Angeles. It was with the classic lineup of Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler. After signing with Geffen Records in 1986, the band began work on their landmark debut album. Only fervent devotion to rock ‘n’ roll kept the ship afloat as a group of hedonistic youths. When Appetite for Destruction debuted in 1987, it was clear that this five-piece had a knack for infectious and virtuosic composition.

At the forefront of the band’s compositional prowess was Slash, the top hat-wearing fretboard magician ever capable of conjuring a catchy lead lick. Even though the guitarist did not always intend to pursue a career in rock music, his childhood was well-soundtracked thanks to his mother, Ola Hudson. Hudson was a famous fashion designer who worked on costumes for Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr.

During the 1970s, a healthy dose of classic rock exposed Slash. It was with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin serving as two major influences. These bands served as a sort of stepping stone to heavier music by Aerosmith, AC/DC, and Van Halen.

Slash named The Rolling Stones’ iconic 1969 album Let It Bleed as an early favorite in an interview with Music Radar in 2014. “The Stones were definitely the background music to my existence for a long time – and still are,” he says. “My parents were also big Stones fans.” There was a time when the band released three records that had a huge impact on me. Beggar’s Banquet, Let It Bleed, and Sticky Fingers. Those three were my childhood favorites.”

Led Zeppelin whetted Slash’s appetite for heavier rock and roll around the same time. One of the British band’s songs particularly moved the youngster.

“There is a song that, even before the Rocks Aerosmith record came along, definitely had a big influence on me”. Slash said during a 2019 live radio appearance. “I mean, I had no ambitions to be a musician.” But I adored music throughout my childhood.”

“So I was drawn to it and loved pulling out records, putting them on, listening to them,” he said. “I think I can name some classic records that [I] liked as a kid.” But it was the Zeppelin II album that had the most impact on me. The song that means the most to me because it had such an impact on me would be ‘Whole Lotta Love’.”

Slash went on to say that the song continued to inspire him after he picked up the guitar. I think that sort of speaks to a subliminal thing. So as a kid, without ever having thought of playing guitar it turned up as having a really big influence on me.”

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