Slash Makes ‘Junkie’ Keith Richards Revelation


Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash called his father and uncles rock and roll ‘junkies’ who led him to admire the work of guitarists like The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards in a new Guitar interview.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but that was where it all started for me,” he reflects. “My dad and his brothers were huge rock ’n’ roll junkies – the kind of kids that pulled a record out and felt the texture of the sleeve, put it on the turntable and analysed every song – serious stuff! I was raised in that… and it was like The Kinks, Gene Vincent, the Stones, some Beatles, The Who was the big one, and The Yardbirds and The Moody Blues.

“That was a very big part of my earliest memories, and then going in to London on the train and hanging out in the whole 60s beatnik scene that my dad was part of, crashing at their flats, doing all that!

“So rock ’n’ roll guitar for me began in Stoke, and that was just part of my upbringing, so when I picked up a guitar, that was one of the reasons I was never a big 80s-guitar-influenced guy, because what really touched me was Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, Dave Davies… all those different guys.”

Keith Richards recently told Steven Van Zandt at the YouTube Space about making his solo album Talk is Cheap, “I had one great band, one of the greatest bands in the damn world, you don’t screw this up! All of my energy and whatever I’ve got had always been into the Stones.

“I’ve never considered myself a frontman, because the job of the guitar player is actually a lot cooler than being the frontman. It’s a better job. I don’t have to be out there all the time, I can make my moves in and out, and do my stuff, whatever.”

Richards was dragged ‘kicking and screaming’ into the idea, and said he felt at the time that the Stones should have continued on tour after recording 1986’s ‘Dirty Work’.

“I thought that the Stones should have been back on the road, but at the same time i understood that everyone has to agree on these things – and there was disagreement.

“At the same time, in retrospect I realize that we’d already been doing this since 1962, and this is now 1985.

“Even though you’re in the best band in the world, you want to spread your wings. There was a certain antsy thing. I didn’t feel it as much as probably Mick obviously did.”