Alan Niven rejected managing Guns N’ Roses twice before finally agreeing to manage the band in the 80’s, but Izzy Stradlin actually nodded out from drugs on a restaurant table during the meeting where he agreed to come onboard.
Niven told Louder Sound, “Only Izzy [Stradlin] and Slash turned up for the meet. Izz nodded out at the table. The needle and damage being done.
“Which left only me and Curly. And I liked him. He was articulate. Very charming. I was intrigued. Enough to go and see what was going on in Pasha Studios. I was asked to sit in on the mix. The bayou began to rise up over my boots. I began to get sucked in.”
Niven said Slash was different than many posers on the Sunset Strip playing guitar in the 80’s.
“When I first met and listened to Slash there was the impetuousness of youth – lots of energy and even more notes.
“I first thought he might be beyond average when I asked him what he wanted from the band, from his playing – ’I want to be recognisable’ he said. He wasn’t referring to a top hat , he was talking about developing a personal style that could be recognised. Think of Santana. Think of Robin Trower. Think of Peter Green. All have their feel and sound. Predominantly determined by their left hands.
“Guitar is a voice – it’s not how many words you use, but how you deliver the right ones with dynamic, and clarity. Great speakers know when to pause. Great players revere the space between their notes. Great guitar players learn how to manipulate a sustained note into personal representation.
“Slash didn’t say he wanted a house, an endless stream of girls, an Aston Martin. He wanted to develop his technique so that it would have an identifiable character. That’s an intelligent and special musician.”