Slash: Raised on The Sunset Strip gives fans an in-depth look at a guitar legend who shot to fame with Guns N Roses in the late 80s and has lived through it all. The 2014 documentary, presented by DirecTV and Guitar Center, covers all aspects of Slash’s career from childhood to Guns N Roses to Velvet Revolver and his solo career. The rock doc makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut via Shout Factory on February 5th. In case you missed the original airing in 2014, the 70 minute film features interviews with Dave Grohl, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, Duff McKagan, Lemmy, Nikki Sixx, Dave Mustaine, Matt Sorum, Steven Adler and others.
Slash’s interview segments take place at the famous Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip. In the film, the guitarist discusses all aspects of his life including his family’s move from England to the famous Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. It also touches on how he grew up with parents who were in the entertainment industry. He talks about his dad being an album cover artist who has designed covers for Alice Cooper, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and others while his mom was Mitchell’s wardrobe artist as well as David Bowie and others. He also discusses growing up in an inter-racial family, skateboarding throughout all of Los Angeles as a kid, developing a love for playing the guitar and the formation of Guns N Roses.
Original Guns N Roses drummer Steven Adler has been a friend since the two were teenagers. He begins to tell how Slash, whose real name is Saul Hudson, adopted his stage name at 13 years old. Actor Seymour Cassel, who’s the father of one of his best friends, is credited as giving Slash his name because he was never in one place for very long.
“He said as a joke, ‘You’re like a slash. You’re here and then you’re there,’” tells childhood friend Marc Canter. Adler confirms that ever since, everyone calls Hudson Slash except for his grandmother.
The disc is divided into several chapters that represent each segment such as “Rock and Roll Guitar,” where we learn about Slash’s newfound love of guitar as an early teen. “The Hat” tells why Slash dons the signature top hat for his authentic look. The disc also touches on his post Guns N Roses projects: Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and his solo career. There’s also video footage of Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators in the studio recording their World On Fire album along with footage of the promotional concerts they performed on the Sunset Strip.
I received a Blu-ray copy which is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio. The audio is presented in DTS Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0, but doesn’t blow you away when music is played. The video is very clean and crisp and the audio is well balanced. I didn’t have to mess with the volume like I normally would for a feature film that’s music heavy.
If you’re a fan of rock and roll, then this documentary is something you’ll want to add to your collection. Slash has no doubt influenced a frenzy of guitarists, so this disc is the perfect companion for guitarists on any level to learn how he became who he is today. It’s definitely an entertaining and learning experience.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.