L.A. Guns guitarist and founding member of Guns N’ Roses, Tracii Guns, talked about the band’s formation in the newly released book ‘Nöthin’ But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion,’ and recalled the first time he met Slash and the astonishment he felt upon hearing a man so young playing in such a professional way.
As you know, Guns is mostly known as the co-founder of the iconic band Guns N’ Roses. However, his career with the band was rather short-lived as he left a couple of months after their formation due to a falling out with Axl Rose, because ‘it just wasn‘t fun anymore.’ He was replaced by Slash and he continued his career with L.A. Guns and the supergroups Brides of Destruction and Contraband.
He was one of the stars who contributed to ‘Nöthin’ But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion’ which was released on March 16, and talked about the time he moved to L.A. and his first impression of Slash. As it turns out, it was Tracii Guns who saw Slash’s ad somewhere and reached out to him because he thought that ‘he was a punk rock guy‘ like himself.
They met up at Canter’s Deli and the first thing that he saw when he looked towards Slash was ‘all this fuc*ing hair.’ After having a great time at the deli, Slash, his girlfriend, and Tracii went to Slash’s mom’s house, and as they were hanging out in the basement having some vodka, Slash picked up his guitar. Tracii Guns recalls thinking; ‘I’d never been in a room with a guy my age who played guitar like that.’
Here’s what Tracii Guns said during the interview:
“I moved down to L.A. in September of ’84. As a punk kid from Seattle, it was a total culture shock. Of course, I knew about, like, Eddie Van Halen and that kind of guitar playing. And I knew that first Mötley record they had put out themselves. But moving here and seeing all the ﬂyers on the telephone poles and shit. It was a lot of bands, a lot of long hair, a lot of outfits, you know what I mean?
He [Slash] had this ad that said, ‘Inﬂuences: Fear, Aerosmith, early Alice Cooper.’ And his name was Slash. So I thought he was a punk rock guy like me. I called him up, we talked on the phone – totally cool guy. Then I went to meet him and Steven at Canter’s Deli. He said, ‘We’ll be in the left booth at the end.'”
He went on to say:
“So I look in the left booth and there’s, you know, basically all this fucking hair! But also, I was wearing like this long red-and-black, like, super-ﬂy pimp jacket with an anarchy A on the back of it, and I had short blue hair. So I’m sure they’re looking at me and going, ‘Huh?’ Slash’s girlfriend at the time, she was a very out-front kind of girl, and she goes, ‘Are you gay?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m not gay.’ She goes, ‘OK, well, maybe we can find you a girlfriend.’
We ended up that night going back to Slash’s mom’s house. We’re hanging out in his room in the basement and drinking vodka and he starts playing guitar. And I‘d never been in a room with a guy my age who played guitar like that.”