Sunday, November 27, 2011


I do recommend this book to other AP Lang students. The book provides insight into the darkness of drug addiction, and is definitely an interesting read. Everyone wants to know what it is like to be a rock star, and one would know after reading this. SLASH allows someone to participate in incredibly illegal activities without actually doing so. I, personally, love this book; maybe because I am too an aspiring guitar player, but probably because I am also an avid Guns 'N Roses fan and listener.

Summary of the Book

The book begins when Slash is born in London, England, and when he moves to Los Angeles, California. He grows up there until he joins Guns 'N Roses, and he begins to go on the road on a 10-year tour of the U.S. After the tour, they record their first album, which was an unbelievable success, and begins another tour, but not of the United States. He tours the world. During that tour, tension builds in the band, mostly on account of the lead singer, Axl Rose. During the recording of their second album, Axl is late to almost every band practice, and tension begins to escalate even further. The third tour of Guns 'N Roses is cut short because of personal issues within the band, and they breakup shortly after. Slash then proceeded to go on a search for a new band, with all new members besides the rythym guitarist. The result of this search is the formation of Velvet Revolver, which becomes incredibly popular with a few hit songs. During the formation of Velvet Revolver, Slash gets married to his current wife Perla, and has two kids, London and Cash. Slash is still a member of Velvet Revolver, although they are on hiatus.

Best Section

The best section of the book is definitely the beginning, because it describes Slash's early life. I find it interesting to learn about how different life was in previous decades, and especially how different teenage life was. The first few chapters of SLASH enlightens me on that topic. He discusses how he used to skip school whenever he wanted, roam the streets of Hollywood without worry, and how easy life was in the early to late 70's. I also like this section of the book because I see some similarities in him and myself, and how some of his attitudes toward other people are similar to mine. I can also learn from the mistakes he made as an adolescent. From chapters 1-3 are definitely the most exciting, because they are the most relatable.

Analyzing Tone

On page 51 of SLASH, Slash has a sort of reminiscent tone. He discusses how enjoyable school was for him, because of the drugs he used to snort, smoke, and inject at lunch and between hours of class. Although one would think that one would be regretful of these activities, but Slash seems to miss those times, and discusses them like he would describe a long-lost girlfriend.

10 Significant Events

1. Slash was born.Without Slash being born, there would be no story.
2. Slash's brother was born. Slash claims that having a little brother changed the dynamics of his family, and for the better.
3. Slash's parents' separation. When Slash's mother and father separated, he says that he had to redefine himself on his own terms.
4. Slash owns his first guitar. Playing guitar defines Slash still, even today. It is the reason he is famous.
5. Slash joins his first band. Being in a band reassured Slash that playing Rock and Roll was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
6. Slash becomes addicted to heroin. Becoming addicted to drugs prevented Slash from being who he wanted to be; the greatest guitarist ever.
7. Slash joins Guns 'N Roses. Guns 'N Roses is the reason that Slash became recognized as a great guitarist because of the other great musicians that surrounded him at Guns 'N Roses.
8. Guns 'N Roses split up. The breakup of the band cast Slash into a low-point in his life, and also provided him with reasons to rise out of his low-point.
9. Slash creates the band Velvet Revolver. The creation of this band put Slash back into mainstream Rock 'N Roll.
10. Slash gets married and has two kids. Slash gaining responsibility provided further reasoning to stay sober.

Two Places

Slash mentions many venues in his book, but the one that seems the most significant to him is the Troubadour, which was home to many heavy metal bands in the 80's such as Guns 'N Roses and Motley Crue. The nightclub was housed with crazy-haired groupies, and strung-out rock and roll fans of the 80's. Slash played at the Troubadour multiple times and has never had a bad experience there, he says that that is his favorite venue to play at.

Another place Slash mentions in his book is where he met his life-long friend when he was 16 years old, at the ruins of the Pan Pacific Theatre in LA. It had been a 1940's movie palace, with an arched ceiling and a huge screen that used to show news reels. The arches were still intact, but the rest of the place during Slash's arrival had been reduced to rubble. Slash claims that it was a meeting place for ages 12-18, and was a place where kids hungout and did drugs. It was significant to Slash because it was a place that he could "fit in".

Two Important People

The most important person in the book is obviously the main character, and author, Slash. He is the most important character because what he has done throughout his life, determines what transpires throughout the story. Without Slash, there would not even be a story to be told. Slash is half African-American, half British, with long curly black hair. He is outspoken, and when under the influence of alcohol, has a short-temper. He also rather has an addictive personality, which subsequently led to his addictions with alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and his  love of guitar.

The second most important character in the book is Slash's wife, Perla. Without her, Slash would have never reverted back to a sober lifestyle, without drugs and alcohol. Perla provided a meaning to his life, and means of a healthy life. She also provided Slash with two children, with further reason to sustain sobriety.

Why Call it SLASH?

The title of SLASH relates the the book in many ways. After all, the main character, and author of the book is almost always referred to as Slash, and he was given this title as a nickname when he was a boy. He was given this nickname by a friend of his father, because he was always so hyperactive. The title of this book is not only in relation to the story, it is the story. Slash's name is his persona, it's what makes his so dynamic on stage, because he was always trying to live up to his persona of  "slash".

About the Author

Saul Hudson, AKA Slash, is a guitarist that has been in the bands Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, and his current band, Velvet Revolver. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife Perla, and his two sons, London and Cash. He is one of the most revered guitarists in history, and has written, or helped written, many hit songs, several of which have reached #1 on the Billboard's Top 100.

Slash was born in Hampstead, London, but grew up in Los Angeles, California, and went to high school there, never finishing and earning his diploma, because of his aspirations to play in a rock band.

MLA Citation of SLASH

Hudson, Saul. SLASH. 1st. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why I Write, essay from National Writing Project

Mark Salzman writes about why he writes in this particular essay. He claims that before learning about Helen Keller he feels that he wants to be as determined and confident as she was. Salzman also wishes that he does not want to be a "wasted life" like Helen Keller was "supposed" to be. The main reason he writes though, instead of being a martial-arts teacher like he had planned, is because he did not feel right doing what he did, and he felt that writing would feel more like the life he had originally planned to have.

Salzman, Mark. "Why I Write." N.p., 17/10/2011. Web. 17 Nov 2011.

The way Mark Salzman writes this piece is the way that I wish I could write. He connects his paragraphs, which are not very similar in thought, very seamlessly, and although the essay is no more than a few paragraphs, he really gets his point across. It seems that I know exactly why Salzman writes just by a few paragraphs of explanation. I really enjoyed this piece of writing.

"Why I Write" Reaction

"Why I Write" by Terry Tempest Williams struck me differently than most literature I read. The passage explains why this particular author writes and what she gets out of writing. It includes a long list of short sentences, most of which beginning with the words "I write". I loved this piece because I felt i could connect very deeply to it. Most of her examples of why she writes i can apply to why I do some of the things that I do. She says that she "writes because it creates my composure". I feel similarly to why I play my guitar, it gives me almost a feeling of confidence; it calms me down. I feel that I could even write a similar list for why I play guitar, but I'll save that for another time.