The Irish natives of U2 sent a welcoming gift to Slash upon his arrival in Dublin that unfortunately missed the mark. Slash, the renowned guitarist for Guns and Roses, has been sober for eight years and yet received a case of Guinness as a "Welcome to Dublin" package from Bono and his bandmates.
Slash was good humored about the mistake and even tweeted a thank you to the band saying that the popular Irish beer was the only thing he misses about being sober. While U2 may have had good intentions by offering some of the best tasting Guinness in the world, as a recovering alcoholic Slash was the wrong recipient for their hospitality.
While getting free beer from U2 may have been tempting, Slash has been committed to being sober since 2006.
Slash's Rock Bottom and Recovery
Slash has been open about his decision to quit drinking and using drugs for several years and spoken in interviews about his past life as a functional addict. His drug use and drinking escalated to the point of total debauchery that began to interfere with what he was once able to do.
After reaching rock bottom Slash finally realized his addiction had not only lost its fun but was also preventing him from accomplishing what he wanted to do as a musician. Being sober was a difficult adjustment at first for the guitarist who spent years of his life as a "productive junkie".
While still in rehab he was obligated to play with Velvet Revolver on a quick tour around California and experienced being sober onstage for the first time. He was nervous and shaky, worried that he wouldn't be able to get through it but he persevered and adjusted to the feeling of performing without any drugs or alcohol.
Life After Guns and Roses
Slash's real name is Saul Hudson and he is most famous for his work as a star guitarist for the band, Guns and Roses. The guitarist decided to leave the band in 1996 which he says was a huge weight off his shoulders.
He began to produce his own material and collaborated with numerous musicians eventually creating the super group, Velvet Revolver with vocalist Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots. After splitting from Guns and Roses, Slash has not spoken to singer Axl Rose for fifteen years.
While Guns and Roses may or may not form any kind of reunion after the bitter breakup, Slash has been interested in reuniting Velvet Revolver at some point. Slash currently plays with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators and landed in Dublin to perform a gig with them when U2 sent him their ill-fated welcoming gift.
While Slash could have been another rock and roll casualty, he made the right choice to clean up his life so that he could continue making music for his fans. His alcohol and drug use had always been excessive throughout his time in Guns and Roses and many years after.
At one point he nearly died after a GnR show in 1992 when his heart stopped for eight minutes following a heroin, crack and cocaine binge. He says that although heroin was physically hard to give up, alcohol was probably the hardest thing for him to leave behind.
He came from a family of drinkers and was born into the pub culture of England. He knew that he could not leave the door open to casually drink because it would lead to other drug use and put him back in the same position. Slash chose to be sober in all respects and while he may have a nostalgic appreciation for the Guinness he received from U2, he will have to hand it over to his bandmates for them to enjoy.