Slash Reveals The Story Behind His Infamous Top Hat

David Layde
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Speaking to South Africa’s Sunday Times, GNR guitar hero Slash opened up about his trademark black top hat. The burning question that’s on everybody’s mind? How the hell he is able to keep it on his head in those moments when he rocks out? The guitarist replied,

“I do not really know how I do it, but my hat just always stays on, yeah. I realize it has become a very recognizable look, yet it was never planned. My hat has also become something I can hide behind, as even though I love performing, I have never been good at looking into the eyes of the audience who are watching me.”

 

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Slash explained how he settled on his trademark look in the early days,

“Early in my career, I was always on the lookout for a cool hat to complete my stage wardrobe. In 1985, we were playing the Whisky a Go Go [in West Hollywood] and I went to Melrose Boulevard in Los Angeles, where I spotted this top hat in the window of a store called Retail Slut. I went inside and checked it out and thought it looked really cool, so I got it. In the vintage shop right next door, called Leathers & Treasures, I got a concert belt that I cut up and put around the hat. That became my hat and I wore it that night for the first time at that gig.”

The king of riffs also explained how his tophat serves to protect him,

“From that night on, my hat became something that I feel comfortable in. It has also become something I can hide behind, as even though I love performing, I have never been good at looking into the eyes of the audience who are watching me. So, my hat and my hair in my face has just been my thing ever since.”

Slash also discussed the life on the road and the reality that most groups have to stay on the road almost indefinitely, considering that other revenue streams are no longer sustainable,

“I love being on the road and it is just something that really resonates with me,” he said. “I have always toured a lot and I probably tour now twice as much as before given all the opportunities I have to cover as much of the globe as possible with GUNS N’ ROSES, THE CONSPIRATORS and other people I jam with. I am just very comfortable being on the road and I like it as I get to play every night. I enjoy playing live a lot more than playing in the studio. I see the studio as a way to get back on the road…

“This is one of the big reasons why Myles Kennedy [of THE CONSPIRATORS and ALTER BRIDGE] and I get along so well, given he is also an extreme road hog. In fact … THE CONSPIRATORS is primarily a road band. We only use the studio as a means to get back out there again.”

“I look forward to touring a lot next year, as everybody seems to really like our new material and that means we can play most of it, if not all of it, live. I hope we can come back to South Africa next year as THE CONSPIRATORS to play a couple of shows here.”

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators’ latest record, “Living The Dream”, was dropped back in September on Slash’s label Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.

Source: Sunday Times via Blabbermouth

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