Slash’s Guitars and Gear

Saul (Slash) Hudson was born on July 23rd 1965 in Hampstead, London. Both of his parent were artists, who worked with clients such as David Bowie, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Up until the age of five Slash mostly lived with his father Anthony, after which they joined his mother Ola who was living in Los Angeles. This is where Slash met a great number of movie and rock stars, and perhaps ignited the passion to become one himself. He formed his first band in 1979 with his friend Steven Adler, but they never really got to a point where they could perform live. Nevertheless, this got Slash deeper into music, and he soon started taking bass guitar lessons from Robert Wolin. It didn’t took long before Slash dumped the bass and switched to a guitar – most likely influenced by one of his school teachers, who would often play songs by Led Zeppelin songs for the class.

Slash eventually become one of the biggest names in the guitar industry, and he achieved worldwide a success in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a lead guitarist with the Guns N’ Roses’. During his later years with the band, Slash formed a side project/band which he named “Slash’s Snakepit”. He then co-founded the super-group Velvet Revolver, which re-established him as a mainstream performer in the mid to late 2000s. He was placed as No. 65 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” in 2011. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the other members of Guns N’ Roses.

Slash’s Electric Guitars:

1970/80s Memphis Les Paul

Memphis Les Paul Copy This was Slash’s first electric guitar – one on which he learned how to play. This was most likely sometime in early 80s, prior to when Slash joined his first band called Tidus Sloan in 1981.

The next thing that I got (after his first acoustic guitar) was a Memphis Les Paul copy, and that was my first electric guitar. That was pretty special to me up until I actually learned that it wasn’t really that great. But innocently enough, initially that guitar was great. [‘My First Guitar’ With Slash]

 

1978/79 B.C. Rich Mockingbird

BC Rich Mockingbird Natural small Very soon after Slash learned some basic licks on his Memphis Les Paul, he realized the guitar just wasn’t good enough for him anymore. He gathered some money and decided to purchase something better. He quickly got himself a couple of different guitars, among which was the late 70’s model of the B.C. Rich Mockingbird.

He used this guitar on some of his first live gigs with the band “Tidus Sloan” circa 1982. It featured koa wood body with natural brown finish, full two octave scale neck with diamond inlays and a pair of DiMarzio humbuckers

He ended up selling this guitar to a pawn shop in order to pay out his struggle with drugs.

Jackson Archtop Prototype

Jackson Strat Archtop There’s virtually no info about this guitar beside a quote from Slash saying that he had one of these around the time he recorded “Appetite For Destruction”.

Jackson Firebird Copy

Slash Jackson Firebird Played around the same time as the previous Jackson. This guitar featured black finish, tremolo bridge, two humbuckers, and a sticker featuring the same design as the tattoo on Slash’s right arm.

B.C. Rich Warlock

BC Rich Warlock Red Slash The before-mentioned Mockingbird wasn’t the only B.C. Rich model that Slash played in the early years. This red Warlock was one of his favorites at the time, and he played it on most of the stuff on “Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide”, and on almost all of the early gigs with Guns N’ Roses.

Slash supposedly had this guitar when Guns N’ Roses entered studio to record “Appetite For Desctruction”, but he didn’t like the sound of it, and decided to record most of the stuff on a Les Paul, given to him by Alan Niven – the band’s manager, at the time the album was nearly finished. This might mean that some of the recording was done on the Warlock, but without a direct confirmation from Slash himself it is impossible to know for sure.

1961 Gibson SG

Gibson SG 1961 Slash used this guitar on “My Michelle” from the AFD album.

He supposedly hated the guitar, and ended up smashing it against the band’s tour van. Be that as it may, the guitar was brought in one piece back to “Guitars R Us” store.

Gibson Les Paul “The Hunter Burst”

Slash HunterBurst Although this was never really been cleared out by Slash, a lot of people argue that Slash owned a different Les Paul prior to getting the Kris Derrig replica. In his book () Slash talked about purchasing a Les Paul from a place called “Guitars R Us” owned by Howie Hubberman. The guitar was previously owned by Steve Hunter, who played with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed.

The Hunter Burst was not an original Les Paul, but a replica built by a well-known guitar luthier Peter “Max” Baranet, and later modified by Roman Rist, who removed the PAF pickups, and installed two Saymour Duncan humbuckers.

Slash owned this guitar just for a brief period of time in 1986, before selling it in order to pay out his drug problem.

1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard – Replica by Kris Derrig #9 0607

Les Paul Slash Replica Kris Derrig #9 0607 Slash got this guitar in 1986, around the time the band was doing finishing touches on the “Appetite For Destruction” album. Slash was frustrated with the equipment he had at the time, and he was not satisfied with the sound he was getting out of his B.C. Rich and Jackson guitars. Alen Niven, who was the band’s manager, went out to a shop owned by Jim Foote, and bought one of the two replicas Jim offered him. They were both built by a guitar luthier Kris Derrig, who supposedly was building and selling Les Paul replicas in order to get funds to restore a muscle car he was working on.

Before taking it out of shop, the guitar didn’t have any pickups, so Alen told Jim to put int the Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro which were at the shop. He then took it to the studio where Slash was making final overdubs and recording solo sections on the album. He immediately fell in love with the sound of Derrig Les Paul, and it ended up being his main guitar, and one which he would use on every single album that followed – including his solo work.

Since than, Slash had a few unpleasant experiences with this guitar. At one point it was stolen from him by a fan in the crowd, but luckily the security guys took it back – and at another occasion he broke the neck on it.
Since then, he mostly keeps the guitar safe at his house, and uses various replicas and signature models.

1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard – Replica by Max Baranet

Slash HunterBurst Slash got this guitar from Howie Hubberman – the same person who sold him the Hunterburst. Howie contacted Slash saying that he has another Max replica in his shop, which would make a great replacement for the Hunterburst which Slash no longer had. Slash came down to Howie’s store “Guitar R Us” on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and agreed to buy the guitar from Howie for $2600 – which he didn’t pay until two years later. As the part of the deal Howie got the keep the original PAFs, so they took the guitar to Roman Rist who put in Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups instead.

What’s interesting about this guitar was the Skull and Crossbones design which appeared naturally on the maple top behind the bridge (clearly visible on this picture). Because of that Slash refers to this guitar as “Skull and Crossbones Max”.

(*big thanks to Howie Hubberman for providing the info)

 

1987 Gibson Les Paul Standard

Slash 1987 Gibson Les Paul Standard Once the AFD was released and band went on the tour to promote the album, Slash needed a couple of more guitars to use as a backup for his beloved replicas. He got two nearly identical Les Paul Standard models from Gibson, only difference being the darkness of the finish, and moded both guitars to sound as close as possible to his favorite Les Paul. This included installing the Alnico II Pro humbuckers, repainting one of them, and of course – removing the pickguard. Both of the guitars were factory seconds, meaning they had small flaws that prevent retail stores from buying them.

He used them as his main stage guitars for the latter part of the 2 year long tour, and after he decided it is smarter to keep the the replicas safe at his house, since they were precious to him.

One of the guitars went through some rough times, having it’s neck broken and put back together, and display lots of wear and even some cigar burns on it’s body, but Slash still has it and plays it very often.
Other one was stolen in the late ’90s, when his apartment was robbed.

1958 Gibson Flying V

1958 Gibson Flying V Slash Slash used this guitar on the studio recording of ”Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

1959 Gibson Explorer

1958 Gibson Explorer Bought this guitar together with the 1958 Flying V. He refers to them as the most expensive guitars he ever bought.

1967 Gibson EDS-1275

Gibson EDS-1275 Black Slash uses/used this guitar on live version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and “Patience”.

1987 Gibson Les Paul ’57 Reissue Goldtop

Slash 1987 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Used during the AFD tour, and specced same as rest of his Les Paul’s.

This guitar went missing sometime in the late ’90s. Slash seemed to really liked it, since he published an ad searching for the guitar. It’s serial number is #70854, and you can contact Slash with any info you might have at slashgibsongoldtop@gmail.com

1959 Gibson Les Paul Tobacco Sunburst

1959 Les Paul Tobacco Slash Joe Perry This guitar was originally owned by Joe Perry whose first wife sold it in the early 80s after their divorce to a music shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts for $4,500. Billy Loosigian, who worked at the shop, bought it himself, and played until 1987 when he sold it to a guitar dealer Gerry Beaudoin. It didn’t take long before Garry sold the instrument to Eric Johnson, who played it for a bit, but after finding out that it belonged to Perry, he offered to sell the guitar to him for the same price he payed. Perry didn’t have the money at that moment, so Eric contacted a few more people interested in buying it. Among them was Slash.

Loosigian reported that the guitar had pits all over the fingerboard when he first bought it. It also had Japanese style plastic tuners and the covers were removed from the pickups. He replaced the tuners with Klusons, installed Gibson pickup covers and re-fretted the neck. The guitar remains in this state to this day.

Slash played it in “November Rain” music video and on the “Use Your Illusion” studio sessions.

This Les Paul remained with him up until 2000, despite Perry’s constant efforts to buy it back. Finally on September 10th, Slash saw a great opportunity to surprise Perry: “I kept the guitar for a long time; but I knew that Joe really loved it probably as much as I did. So I gave it to him for his birthday. “

1991 Gibson Les Paul Black Death Vodka

1991 Gibson Les Paul Black Death Vodka Slash supposedly had a deal with Black Death Vodka to play this guitar. It was completely blacked out, and had their logo on it.

The guitar was used from around 1991 to 1993, during the Use Your Illusion tour, and more recently in 2005 for the Velvet Revolver tour, mostly just for the song “Dirty Little Thing”.

1987 Gibson Les Paul Standard

1987 Les Paul Standard Ebony Used from around 1992, for the Use Your Illusion tour. Ebony finish, two Alnico humbuckers and of course – missing the pickguard.

B.C. Rich Mockingbird

BC Rich Mockingbird Slash Slash got this guitar in the early ’90s from a guy in Hollywood for $400. Since he was playing mainly Les Pauls at the time, he needed a guitar with tremolo, and this Mockingbird seemed like an ideal choice.

It ended being his main tremolo guitar for the with Guns N’ Roses, and he used both on the UYI album, and the following tour. It also appeared in the music video for “You Could Be Mine”.

Just recently Slash got a custom made Les Paul with Floyd Rose installed, which replaced the Mockingbird. He kept the B.C. Rich for a while, but since he wasn’t using it anymore he decided to put it on the auction in 2011.

Travis Bean TB1000

Travis Bean Slash Slash used a black colored Travis Bean TB1000 Standard during the 1992 tour with Guns N’ Roses. You can see him play it on Bad Obsession live in France.

Based on some early photos of Slash, he also has two more TB1000s – one in natural finish, and other in white.

Guild Doubleneck Slash Custom

Guild Doubleneck Slash Custom This guitar was made by Guild following Slash’s own design, which he drew on a cocktail napkin. He basically wanted to avoid switching guitars during songs which required both acoustic and electric sound. This guitar allowed him exactly that. Top part of the body is hollow, and therefore sounds like an acoustic, while the bottom part is solid, and holds two humbuckers for the usual Les Paul sound.

Slash had a number of these – but his most often used a black one.

1976 Gibson Les Paul Standard

1976 Les Paul Slash Zebra Slash used this guitar primarily live with the Slash’s Snakepit, and later with the Velvet Revolver.

The guitar features tobacco burst finish and had a “zebra” Seymour Duncan humbucker in the neck position.

1996 Gibson Les Paul “Snakepit”

Slash Les Paul Snake PIt This guitar was made by Gibson on Slash’s own demand. It features red finish with Slash’s Snakepit logo, snake inlay across the whole fretboard, and two Alnico Pro II humbuckers.

Slash initially received a couple of these guitars, but since his apartment was robbed in the late ’90s he’s left with only one.

1964 Gibson Firebird V

Gibson Firebird V Slash bought this guitar from Guitars R Us, and used it for a short time with Slash’s Blues Ball band in 1996.

1965 Fender Stratocaster

1962 Fender Stratocaster Although Slash is rarely imagined with a Fender guitar, he does own a couple of them. Perhaps the one he most often uses is the vitage model from 1965, kept in a completely stock condition.

He used this guitar for the lead track on “Sucker Train Blues”, on some stuff with Slash’s Snakepit, and even on Guns N’ Roses’ third album “Use Your Illusion”.

1952 Fender Telecaster

Fender Telecaster Blonde Maple Used for the rhythm part of “Sucker Train Blues”.

B.C. Rich Bich 10

B.C. Rich Bich Slash played this guitar as a 6-string mainly when playing Stone Temple Pilots songs.

Gibson ES-335

Gibson Es-335 Black Block inlay This guitar appeared in the Velvet Revolver music video for “The Last Fight”, but it’s not clear whether Slash actually played it on the album – although it is most likely the case.

The guitar is finished in black, has block inlays, and from the looks of it – it’s completely stock.

In the most recent days Slash usually plays new guitars from his own Signature line, and keeps his vintage ones safe at home. Gibson released quite a few models for Slash, and he plays most of them, but prefers the AFD Les Paul, which is the replica of the replica used on the recording of Guns N’ Roses’ first album. Nearly all of the Les Pauls he currently plays feature Alnico Pro II pickups.

He also has a specially made Les Paul with Floyd Rose tremolo system, which replaced the B.C. Mockingbird which he was using since the early ’90s.

Slash’s Acoustic Guitars:

Although Slash expressed his love for acoustic guitars numerous times, it’s almost impossible to get any exact information about his personal collection. He mentioned a couple of them in a few interviews, but without going into much detail, and really the only solid proof of his acoustic guitar collection are couple the photographs taken at his home, which is widely spread on the internet.

Here are couple of the guitar that we cond find some interesting info about:

1988 Guild JF-30

Guild JF30 Slash used this guitar to record the acoustic part on “Patience” from the band’s second album “G N’ R Lies”. The guitar was one of the two identical guitars that he used during the 1991-1994 UYI tour. The other one survived and was recently auctioned, but the original one was unfortunately destroyed on the tour. [Slash played Guild acoustic JF30 at Julien’]

The current owner of the second guitar was kind enough to contact us and provide a couple of photos of the guitar in its current state (thanks Brad for the photos – DrJenningsortho.com)

Martin D-28

Martin D-28 Used first on “Use Your Illusion”, and later on “Slash” in 2010. Please note that he most likely he didn’t use just one guitar, but several different guitars of the same model.

Jose Ramirez Nylon

Ramires Nylon Classical Bought around the same time he got the Martin – just prior to recording the “Use Your Illusion”. The guitar was most notably used on “Double Talkin’ Jive”.

1940 Gibson J-35

Gibson J-35 It seems that this is something that Slash bought just recently – meaning post 2000. Not much is known about the guitar at this point of time.

1965 Gibson J-200

Gibson J-200 Slash allegedly used to carry this guitar with him on the tour bus in the more recent years, and wrote some of his stuff on it. The exact details about the guitar are unknown.

Maton TE-1 (Tommy Emmanuel series)

Maton TE1 Slash Max Session This is an Australian made guitar, and Slash used it during the MAX sessions, which is an Australian television program. Based on that, this guitar is probably something that Slash picked up while being there, and ended up liking it and using it for the gig.

Gibson Sheryl Crow

Gibson Sheryl Crow Used with Myles Kennedy on “Sweet Child O’ Mine” during the 2012 SiriusXM sessions. This guitar is basically a reissue of an older model called Country Western made in the ’50s.

Taylor 616ce

Taylor 616ce Slash was seen using this guitar at a gig played with Jerry Cantrell and Tom Morello on Slash’s birthday party at JET Nightclub at the Mirage Hotel and Casino on July 24, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. As an interesting note – he was quoted saying that he likes Taylor guitars, but doesn’t necessarily like to use them in a studio setting.

Taylor make great guitars, I don’t necessarily play them but they are gorgeous. I’m not even sure what the models are, sometimes you just pick them up and you’re like “Wow”. I actually picked up a friend’s Taylor last night that played really, really well. I do have one at home that doesn’t work in the studio so well, but it sounds great when you’re sitting in the living room. [Slash: An appetite for acoustic]

Guild D-40/50

Slash Guild Acoustic Guitar with Stickers Slash was seen with this guitar in the June 2010 issue of Acoustic Rock Magazine Cover (US). Based on the photos in the magazine, the guitar looks fairly old so this might be something that Slash owned for quite a while. It also styles a number of stickers, which means that the guitar was most likely something that Slash owned himself, as opposed of it it being used just for the photo sessions. Among the stickers are Mighty Mouse, one saying “No Lot Lizards” (Google the term if you’re interested in the meaning), and a picture of the three hyenas from The Lion King cartoon.

The exact model of this guitar is something we’re not completely sure about. It is almost certainly either the D-40 or the D-50, main difference between the two being the type of wood used on the fretboard (rosewood and ebony). The rosette design however doesn’t seem to feet neither of the two models, and we couldn’t match it to anything else used on other dreadnought models from Guild. If you happen to know more anything more about the guitar, please be sure to contact us. The photos of the rosette are available here.

Gibson Blues King

Gibson Blues King L-00 Slash was seen with this guitar in the June 2010 issue of Acoustic Rock Magazine Cover (US). The guitar was likely relatively new, and was either picked up by Slash recently, or it was just used for the purpose of the photo session.

 

Martin D-18

Martin D18 Vintage Slash was seen playing this guitar during the 2012 Guitar Center Sessions featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. The guitar was used to play “Not For Me” from Slash’s second solo-project studio album.

JOI Custom

 JOI Guitar Slash This guitar was commissioned by Slash in 2014, and it was built and designed by Reuben Forsland. After the guitar was finished and delivered to him, Slash noted that he was positively surprised by the results.

When I picked it up, I was completely humbled. It was a shock-and-awe moment. It changed everything I’d ever thought about acoustic guitars leading up to that point, It was the most amazing acoustic guitar I’d ever played or heard. [Welcome to the Jungle: Slash gets a ‘Tree’ Guitar]

The guitar features some extremely rare and old materials. The top was made of a 2,800 years old spruce tree, and the back and sides came from The Tree – which is a unusually dense and beautiful mahogany tree that was cut in 1965. For more info about the materials and the process of making the guitar, please refer to the video bellow.

Slash’s Guitar Amps:

Marshall 1959T Superlead

Marshall 1959 Slash used this amp on the recording of the Appetite For Destruction album in 1986. The amp was borrowed from SIR (Studio Instrument Rentals), and it modded by a guy called Tim Caswell, who removed the tremolo circuit, and hot-rodded the amp the boost the gain.

Slash ended up really liking the amp, and he wanted to buy it of, but the guys at SIR didn’t wanna sell it. He even went as far as telling the guys that the amps was stolen from him, and that he can’t return it – but this scheme fell apart after one of his guitar techs, without knowing about the plan, went to SIR and returned the amp.

Marshall JCM800

Marshall JCM800 After AFD was released and the band went on a tour, Slash started using JCM800 as his main amp for live gigs. He mostly used the JCM800 2203 model – but only up until 1988 when he got the Silver Jubilee.

Slash stopped using

Marshall Silver Jubilee 2555

Silver Jubilee Model 2555 Slash purchased this amp after the first year of the AFD tour, and used it as his main amp all they way until the release of his signature line of amps from Marshall.

Roland JC-120

RANP100//0 Used on the studio recording of “Paradise City”.

Marshall JCM 2555SL Slash Signature Amp

????????????????? This amp was released in 1996, and it was based on the Silver Jubilee that Slash was using as his main since the AFD. A total number of 3000 amp were released, and Slash soon switched to this amp, and he’s basically been using it on almost every tour to this day.

Fun fact is that this particular amp is the first-ever signature model from Marshall.

Marshall AFD100

Marshall AFD100 Amp built by Marshall to replicate the sound of the modded 1959T used on Appetite For Destruction. The AFD100 was released exactly 23 after the release of the album – and to commemorate that, Marshall released 2300 units total.

Slash uses this amp live on his most recent gigs.

Although Slash mostly uses the mentioned Marshall heads, he also likes to experiment with other brand of amps. The example of him using different amps can be heard on Velvet Revolver’s songs, where he used Fender Tweed Champ and Silverface Twin-Reverb, Vox AC-30, and the Marshall Vintage Modern 2466 head.

As for cabinets, in the past Slash used Marshall 1960 4×12 cabinets loaded with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. Nowadays he mostly uses his own signature line based on 1960BX, which also has the same speakers.

Slash’s Guitar Effects:

– MXR M234 Analog Chorus

– BOSS DD-3 Digital Delay

– Whirlwind switcher (used for the Dunlop Heil HT1 Talkbox)

– MXR Phase 90 Phase Pedal

– MXR CAE MC-401 Boost Line Driver (used on most of his solos)

– BOSS TU-2 Stage Tuner

– Peterson Autostrobe 980 Tuner

– MXR M159 Stereo Tremolo

– MXR M134 Stereo Chorus (used on “Paradise City”)

– Dunlop QZ-1 Cry Baby Q-Zone

– MXR M135 Smart Gate (for noise reduction)

– Dunlop Cry Baby SW95 Slash Signature Wah

– BOSS GE-7 Equalizer (??)

– MXR M103 Blue Box

– Korg Pitchblack Tuner

 

Jim Dunlop recently worked with Slash personally to develop a couple of signature pedals. Slash himself uses both of them.

– MXR Slash Octave Fuzz

– Dunlop SC95 Slash Cry Baby Wah

Slash’s Guitar Strings:

– Ernie Ball Power Slinky RPS 11-48 strings

Slash’s Guitar Picks:

Contributors: H. Hubberman, hyprz1, BradtheGreat19