Slash: Sweet child o’ mine
by Nancy J Price
Rolling Stone? MTV? The Grammys? He’s been there, done that. But I was the first writer to speak to rock guitarist Slash (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) about his latest, and most important, passion: fatherhood.
“It’s hard to explain,” he says when asked what being a dad is like. “I look in his eyes, and he’s laughing, and I think, ‘Wow — he’s real!'” Though, as an adult, Slash hasn’t spent much time around kids, “I had a baby brother, and it all came back.”
“He’s like another man — he is so into this baby,” beams his wife Perla. “He says, ‘Now someone is more important than we are.'” Slash, she says, “is someone very misunderstood [by the public]. He’s soft-spoken, mild-mannered — the kindest person.” (For the sake of the baby, Slash gave up his snakes — which numbered no fewer than 30 on the date of their departure. “That was a small collection for him,” says Perla.)
Slash’s days as a doting dad started way before his son was born. Perla was placed on strict bedrest during her pregnancy — for four months — and he cared for her. “I was prepared for anything,” he says. He was even ready when his wife gave birth a little bit early, by cesarean section. “He’s really squeamish usually,” Perla says, “but he was right there with me.” As soon as London was delivered, “I heard him say, ‘He’s perfect — he’s totally formed!'” Slash tells us, “My first thought was that he was healthy — in one piece. You have a certain paranoia that he’s not going to be okay,” He also remembers noticing the baby’s hands. “I said, ‘Look how long his fingers are!'” (A future guitarist, perhaps?)
Daddy Slash proudly jumped into his new role. “I cut the cord, I have him his first bath, and I changed the first diapers,” To recover after the cesarean surgery, Perla and the baby remained in the hospital for awhile. “For four days, he was there taking care of me,” Perla gushes. “He slept with us, and took care of the baby at night so I could get some rest… He was great — I couldn’t get rid of him,” she laughs.
Parenthood has been good to the couple. “It’s just awesome — every day is a new experience,” Perla says. “Slash has just been amazing with him. Last night, they were just sleeping together,” says Perla, adding that she thinks parenthood has brought them closer together as a family.
As for Slash, he has the perfect word to describe fatherhood: “It’s fantastical.”
* This interview was conducted in 2002, shortly after London’s birth. London was born August 28, 2002, and his brother, Cash, arrived on June 23, 2004.