The Story Of Where The Guns N’ Roses Stars Axl Rose And Slash Got Their Nicknames From

While there are numerous bands that have left their mark in rock history and culture, Guns N’ Roses is one of the few that still enjoys increasing popularity. The iconic hard rock band was formed in 1985 in Los Angeles California by then Hollywood Rose vocalist Axl Rose and rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, and L.A. Guns founding members guitarist Tracii Guns, drummer Rob Gardner and bassist Ole Beich.

However, the band’s line-up changed soon after the band’s formation as Guns was replaced by a former Hollywood Rose member Slash, Beich was fired and replaced by Duff McKagan, and Gardner was replaced by Steven Adler. Even though there are a lot of fun facts about the band, one thing that has always interested fans is the unusual names that the band members have, and in specific; Axl Rose and Slash.

Where Did Axl Rose’s Name Come From?

For those of you who may not know, Axl Rose was born William Bruce Rose Jr. and he adopted his current name in 1986. Rose has had quite a troubled childhood. His biological father abandoned him and his mother when Axl was around two years old and his mother remarried Stephen Bailey and changed her son’s name. Thus, Axl grew up thinking that Stephen was his biological father.

Axl Rose and his siblings were physically abused by their father and it wasn’t until he was 17 years old that he found out that his real father’s name was William Bruce Rose. After that, he unofficially readopted the surname Rose but referred to himself only as W. Rose because he didn’t want to share a first name with his biological father.

However, it wasn’t until after he moved to Los Angeles in 1982, that he decided to adopt the name Axl. Apparently, he had named his band AXL and he was so passionate about it that his friends suggested that he uses that name. However, some other sources argue that Axl Rose picked this name because it’s an anagram of ‘oral sex.’

Where Did Slash Get His Nickname From?

In comparison to Axl Rose, Slash had a happier childhood. His real name is Saul Hudson and he was born to a family of artists. His mother Olivia J. Hudson was a black English costumier and fashion designer who worked with famous stars such as David Bowie, Ringo Starr, and Janis Joplin. As for his father, Anthony Hudson, he is an artist who created the album covers of numerous musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.

Although Slash lived in the United Kingdom for the first years of his life, the Hudson family moved to the United States for Olivia’s work. His parents separated when he was nine years old and he chose to live with his mother but was often sent to his maternal grandmother when his mother needed to travel for work.

Sometimes, he would accompany her to work where he would get to meet and hang out with film and music stars. In fact, those were the days when he got the nickname Slash. The famous actor Seymour Cassel gave Saul Hudson the nickname Slash because he was ‘always in a hurry, zipping around from one thing to another.’