Slash Details His Quest To Find The Right Guitar For Guns N’ Roses Records

Although Slash now has a Les Paul named after himself, he went through many guitars before he found the one that felt right to him, or, actually, any guitar that would work for the first studio recording of Guns N’ Roses. During a conversation with Loudwire Nights, he revealed that while recording ‘Appetite For Destruction,’ he didn’t even have a guitar until his manager gave him one.

“When we did ‘Appetite,’ it was just the zenith of my learning about guitars,” the legendary guitarist said, recalling the early days of Guns N’ Roses. “You know, because up to then, it’s all been sort of a real learning experience—a lot of trial and error with a lot of guitars. And I really did know that you know, I didn’t know what I didn’t know [laughs]. And there was a lot of stuff that I was learning along the way.”

He continued, “And one of the big lessons I learned was; I had one really good guitar, which was another Les Paul replica that I picked up and used to be Steve Hunter’s from Alice Cooper. And I had that guitar in the early years of Guns N’ Roses as a club band, and then because of other sorts of extracurricular priorities, I actually hawked that guitar. So I was left with these other sorts of scatter-guitars we had that time.”

By the time they were recording their debut album, Slash was thus left without a guitar. He continued saying, “And we went into the ‘Appetite For Destruction’ record, put the headphones on, and started playing, and I realized that these guitars don’t sound right. And I just went, ‘Oh f*ck, what am I going to do?’ Because I didn’t have any money and didn’t have any resources. After we finished the basic track, I was really desperate. Because I had to redo all of those guitars, I didn’t have a proper sounding guitar; I wasn’t really totally sure what the right guitar would be.”

However, their manager came to his rescue and handed him his iconic Les Paul replica, which he would never let go of. Slash recalled, “And he gave me another replica Les Paul that was built by a different luthier, and right when I was going in to do the overdubs for ‘Appetite,’ and I plugged that into a Marshall that I rented from SAR, and it just sounded f*ucking great. And so that particular guitar was the guitar that to this day is sort of my main guitar.”

Slash had many strings before he got that guitar. They even included a one-string flamenco guitar, which is a Spanish acoustic guitar, that his grandmother had given him. He initially played bass but then decided to switch to electric guitar because as soon as he heard his two teachers playing songs from bands such as the Rolling Stones, Cream, and Led Zeppelin, he realized what he really wanted to do.

Although he has played many different guitars since then, including a Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster, Travis Bean, and many more, Slash will always be associated with the Gibson Les Pauls. After he carved his name in the rock scene with thousands of riffs he played with that guitar, Les Paul released Slash Appetite Les Paul model as a signature guitar in the spring of 2010.