2010 was a big year for fans of Slash around the world. That is when the first Slash solo album was released, but also when Gibson made the famous Appetite Les Paul, a fine replica of the guitar used to record Appetite For Destruction, Guns n’ Roses debut album, the one that started it all in 1987. But rather than making that guitar for the wealthiest fans only, Gibson made three versions of the Appetite: VOS Aged (made by the Custom Shop and artificially aged), VOS (made by the Custom Shop) and USA (made in the Nashville Gibson factory).
This wonderful piece featuring a AAA flamed maple top is part of a total of 600 USA guitars that were made. Rather than a slavish copy of the original, it is a Les Paul featuring each and every one of Slash’s favorite specs, the ones that matter when the hatted one picks a guitar. The pickups are the timeless Seymour Duncan Alnico II that have been his favorites for decades, in a zebra finish to make them even cooler. The neck has a fine slim taper profile just like in the early sixties, and the bridge is a TonePros, making it that more reliable.
Visually, the Appetite Les Paul is stunning with its amber “Unburst” color, meaning with a single color that perfectly highlights the tiger-like extremely flamed top. Slash’s classic skull logo is on the headstock, and since that beautiful guitar has been weight-relieved you can go from one end of a huge stage to the other without running out of breath. A great tool ready to rock.
Group : Guns N’ Roses
Main guitar : Gibson Les Paul Standard 1959 Kris Derrig
An absolute “must-hear” track : Welcome To The Jungle
Without Slash, it is likely that the Les Paul would be nothing more than a relic of the past that would only interest hard-core Clapton fans. Yet, with the sheer force of his legendary riffs and the wet, seductive sound he gets out of his Les Paul, this ultimate guitar hero brought the sunburst back into fashion and even made it his trademark, just like his top hat and long curly hair.
Saul Hudson (his real name) was a pure product of the eighties, to the point that he even auditioned for the kings of glam, Poison. But he managed a beautiful metamorphosis by joining Hollywood Rose, the group that would become Guns N’ Roses. He and singer Axl Rose reinvented themselves as bad boys, junky dandies, and post-glam rockers, breathing new life into the model of the dangerous duo of a singer and his lead guitarist, based on the model of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. With rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, Slash created a guitar sound that became the soundtrack of the late 1980s with the huge album Appetite For Destruction (1987), on which there are as many unforgettable riffs as there are tracks; Welcome To The Jungle, Nightrain, Mr Brownstone, and many more. The next album, Use Your Illusion (1991), confirmed the band’s status as a global colossus, embarking on a two-year non-stop tour. Slash was at the height of his fame, and all the teenagers of the time wanted a Les Paul to learn how to play the intro to Sweet Child O’ Mine.
Tired of tensions within the band, Slash finally left in 1996 to devote himself to his solo project, the very bluesy Slash’s Snakepit. He also appeared as a guest on many albums by other artists, from Michael Jackson to Bob Dylan and Lenny Kravitz. In 2002, he founded Velvet Revolver with former Guns N’ Roses members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. But the curse of the singer followed Slash into that band and he had to fire Scott Weiland in 2008 because of his pervasive dope habit. In 2010, the curly-headed virtuoso did what was expected of him and released an album under his own name, a solo venture on which all his singing friends came to lend a hand. Among them, it was Myles Kennedy who became the singer for the following solo albums.
Finally, in 2016, Slash returned to Guns N’ Roses for a memorable sold-out tour. The band plays as if its life depended on it. The concerts are long and exciting, and Slash has permanently attained the status of a living guitar god. And his signature Les Pauls are selling better than ever.