Alice Cooper: ‘Slash is the Premier Guitarist for This Generation’
Superstar guitarist Slash recently announced his self-titled solo debut would hit stores April 6. Slash recruited a slew of musical celebrities to guest on his album, including the greatest shock rocker of them all, Alice Cooper. Of course, this isn’t the first time Slash and Alice Cooper have worked together. In fact, the two icons go all the way to the very beginning of Guns N’ Roses.
“We took Guns N’ Roses out on their first tour back in 1984/1985 or something like that,” Alice Cooper reminisces to Noisecreep. “We saw them and we said, ‘This band is really good. This band is worthwhile.’ They were a great rock ‘n’ roll band. This was before they had any albums out.”
Cooper continues, “Slash was the guy in the band, and they came out and they opened for us and they were great. They were never late. They were always great. They were a good rock ‘n’ roll band. They self-destructed from within. Slash got himself together, and Duff [McKagan] got himself together. They changed what they were putting in their bodies and became really viable artists.”
‘Viable’ is just half of it. After that first tour with Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses became one of the biggest rock acts in the world, creating a landmark album in ‘Appetite for Destruction.’ After it all fell apart, however, Slash was looking to stay busy with music, and Alice Cooper was always there for him. Cooper offered an open invitation to play with his macabre band.
“We would be doing a gig, and all of a sudden I’d hear an extra guitar … I’d look over it was Slash!” laughs Cooper. “I would say, ‘That’s great!’ He knows the songs. He’s sort of our auxiliary, another guitar player.”
For Slash’s upcoming solo disc, Alice Cooper wrote the song ‘Baby Can’t Drive’ with help from his son, Dash. After Slash listened to the tune, he thought it should be a duet and suggested Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls.
“I just happened to have seen [Scherzinger] do the national anthem, and I said, ‘That girl can really sing!’ He got her to come in and do the vocal on it and it really ended up sounding really good,” Cooper says proudly. “It was not unusual to work with Slash on this thing.
“Every once in a while I’ll do an album, and I’ll go, ‘Oh man, this would be a great song for Slash to play on.’ And I’ll send him the tape and call him up, and say, ‘Just put on here what you think should be there.’ I don’t have to direct him. He knows exactly what to play.”
Beyond that, Cooper happily gives Slash the most monumental of compliments. “I think right now you’d say Slash is the premier guitarist for this generation. Slash, [Joe] Satriani and [Steve] Vai would be the three — comparable to [Jeff] Beck, [Eric] Clapton and [Jimmy] Page for their generation.”