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c. 1982

Slash before the hair

Saul "Slash" Hudson at 17.

Long hair? Short hair? Don’t care. The man can play the guitar. You are looking at one of the very Greatest Guitarists of All Time, according to Rolling Stone.

Saul “Slash” Hudson was 17 when these pictures were taken, at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. It was lunchtime on Friday, June 4th, and Saul was playing lead with his first band, ‘Tidus Sloan.’

Slash is, lest we forget, British. Born in London. His mother was African American, and Slash regards himself as both British and black. At age five, he and his father moved to Los Angeles to join his mother who had been there for several years. His parents separated in 1974.

The origin of ‘Slash’

In 1979, three years before these shots were taken, Slash (a nickname that was given to him as a kid, because he was always darting around) picked up a guitar for the very first time. And for “guitar,” read “his grandmother’s Spanish guitar with only one string.”

What followed was practice.  A lot of practice. Like, A LOT. Like, 12 hours of practice every day.

Two years later, Slash formed his first band, shown below. The band was an instrumental one because they couldn’t find a singer. That was remedied soon after when Slash joined the band, Hollywood Rose. That band had a singer, by the name of Axl.

After that, all Saul needed to do was grow his hair.

1977: Slash (3rd row, 2nd from left) in his 6th grade class photo.
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1982: Slash with Tidus Sloane
Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1999: Slash at the UIC Pavillion, Chicago, Illinois
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

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