Slash Recalls 'Eye-Opening' Advice David Bowie Gave Him About Drug Abuse

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

August 3, 2020

When asked recently what he was like during Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction-era, Slash had a blunt response: "Drunk."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has been sober for over a decade after having been under the influence from the time his career began.

"You've heard stories, I'm sure," he told Kerrang! in an interview.

Slash went about his career as an addict with the same curiosity as he went about his career as a musician. Even near-death experiences didn't prompt him to clean up.

While Slash was a functional alcoholic — and many people wrote off his alcoholism as something akin to a personality trait — Slash acknowledged that some people did offer him help along the way.

Once during his hallucinogenic phase, Slash mentioned to David Bowie that he had been on a series of "disturbing" trips. He didn't understand why his psychedelic experiences had suddenly turned so negative. Bowie, a reformed psychonaut himself, had an answer ready.

"He'd said, 'No, you're probably in a bad place right now and you have become vulnerable to a lot of outside interaction with things that people don't normally see, and you've exposed yourself to this,'" Slash recalled.

"And I was like, 'Whoa! That's heavy...' But that was a sound piece of advice. Or maybe an eye-opening clarification of the state of mind I was in."

Slash finally committed to sobering up in 2006, after deciding his dependencies weren't adding to his quality of life.

He notes that addicts are never able to recreate their initial buzz, and he's lucky to have put his alcohol and drug abuse behind him before his health deteriorated.

Photo: Getty Images

SlashGuns N' RosesDavid Bowie

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