It's been a good, and eventful, year for Slash so far.
The top-hatted guitar hero made the most of a contentious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in April with his former band, Guns N' Roses -- making a gracious speech and playing a trio of songs despite the absence of original members Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin -- and then releasing "Apocalyptic Love," his first full album with his own band, the Conspirators, with Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy on lead vocals.
Then again, Slash (real name Saul Hudson) says that "it's been great since the end of the last Velvet Revolver tour" in 2008, when that band went into dry dock and he started working on 2010's "Slash," an all-star set that brought Kennedy into the mix.
"It's really the first time I've done anything where I've been focused and on my own at the same time," Slash, 47, says with a laugh. "I've been on my own and unfocused, and I've been unfocused and not on my own, so this is the first time I've combined those two things and managed to see what I was made of, so to speak. It's really exciting, and it's been good all around."
Slash, of course, knows that his GNR association will stay with him forever -- and he's certainly proud of what the band achieved when he was in it. But he is hoping that the Rock Hall induction allows him to put that, and certainly any questions about future GNR reunions, in the rearview mirror.
"It was a surreal experience," he recalls. "It was a huge negative going into it, and a lot of mixed feelings about the whole thing. I never have planned or thought there was going to be any reunion. I knew it was an impossible thing, and it wasn't something I really wanted.
"But now, having done that one thing, as close to a reunion as we'll ever get, there was a definite feeling of closure. When I got on the plane the next morning, I was like, 'I never have to deal with that again...' "
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators and Foxy Shazam perform Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15-$60. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com
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