The guitarist known as Slash, of Guns ‘N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver fame, was recently interviewed by Howard Stern on his SiriusXM satellite radio program. About 22 minutes in, Stern asked about Slash’s contribution to Bob Dylan’s 1990 album, “under the red sky.”
Before we get to the interview, here’s some background. Slash, born Saul Hudson, played on the Dylan track “Wiggle Wiggle.” Other artists at the album sessions included Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Lindley, Bruce Hornsby, Al Kooper, David Crosby, George Harrison, Elton John, Waddie Wachtel, Randy Jackson (of “American Idol” fame), and members of NRBQ.
There are some legendary stories about what transpired between Slash and Dylan, most notably Dylan reportedly asking Slash to play like Django Rienhardt. Below is what Slash had to say to Stern about the session.
Howard Stern: You played for Bob Dylan. He had a record where he had a bunch of guest stars, so to speak, and Bob didn’t use your track?
Slash: Yeah, well, they called me up. Don Was was producing it (Note – David Was and Bob Dylan/Jack Frost co-produced) … I had just done an Iggy Pop record with him, which was really great. So he thought, I guess … I don’t know how I got into it, but he called me up to come down to this Dylan session, and we did this sort of real basic rhythm and blues track. And I played what I thought was a really great one-off, you know, spontaneous solo on it. So I said, “Well, send me a rough mix.” So they sent me the rough mix a couple of days later, and guess the guitar section … I’d done an acoustic rhythm track underneath it. It gets to the solo section, and all of a sudden I just hear strumming on acoustic for however many measures, and then the songs kicks back in. So I called Don and said, “So, where’s the guitar solo?” He goes, “Bob said, “It sounds too much like Guns ’N’ Roses.'”
Oh really? Is that insulting to you?
No, it’s actually sort of cool (laughs). It’s like I established a “sound” at that point.
Yeah, you established a sound, but Bob Dylan … He asks you to come in, it’s an inconvenience … although they pay you for that, right? Is that weird? Does Bob Dylan pay you to come in and do a track?
It was a scale thing.
It’s a scale thing? Even at your level?
Yeah, especially then, because that was in 1989 or 1990 or something, so I wasn’t “all that.”
At this point, the interview went in a different direction. You can listen to the entire interview “On Demand” with the SiriusXM app.
(R.I.P. Eric “The Actor” Lynch. #Byefornow.)
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