One of the wildest stories about Guns N’ Roses’ original incarnation’s hey day was Slash dying for eight minutes before being revived following a heroin overdose. The story is told in Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses.
Tour manager John Reese woke up to a ringing sound. “I got a phone call at 5:30 or 6AM. ‘Mr. Reese, one of your band members is passed out in front of the elevators on the fifth floor.’ I threw on some pants, ran out of my room – and Slash is dead. He’s blue. Dead. He had no pulse at all. Right away the elevator door opened and the paramedic stepped out.” One of them listened to Slash’s chest and heard nothing. “BAM! They hit him with Adrenalin, right in his heart.”
Slash remembered, “I was told my heart had stopped for eight minutes. I don’t know who called 911. My bodyguard Ronnie was there, and so was Axl’s guy, Earl, and they took care of me and got the paramedics. I woke up when the defibrillators stunned my heart into beating again.”
Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus was asked if he’d ever heard the story in a new StageLeft podcast interview.
“Did Slash really die for 8 minutes? Is that possible? I thought 5 minutes was the max without brain damage.”
He also said, “I’ve never discussed it with him.”
Fortus said he hasn’t seen any wild rock and roll behavior in Guns N’ Roses that is any worse than his previous experiences, and he had nothing but praise for Slash.