Guns N' Roses guitar tips
20th Nov 2008 | 11:16
Doppelganger reveals all?
Alan Gordon is the 'Slash' you can see in a British pub. As lead guitarist for UK Guns N' Roses, Gordon has devoted the last seven years to being Slash in his tribute band.
"I remember hearing Appetite For Destruction when I was 11", Gordon says. "It was full of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, but with a real rawness and honesty. It set my world on fire. It was Slash who started me playing guitar."
So, here's a tribute band perspective on Guns N' Roses…
What Guns N' Roses song is the most fun to play?
"Estranged is one of the most beautiful pieces of guitar work ever. The way Slash finds those notes that sit perfectly between the chord changes - it still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
"The hardest song to play is Paradise City, the outro solo. Not only because it's really fast, also because we play it last in the set after two hours when we're covered in sweat, drunk and ready to pass out. Still love it though."
Alan Gordon: MusicRadar's favourite fake Slash.
What gear do you use for sounding like Slash?
"I use a hand-built replica of a '59 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop that is stunning.I use two Marshall Silver Jubilees. Paired with my solid mahogany guitar and Seymour Duncan Jazz (low output) pickups, they absolutely sing.
"I use two 4x12 Marshall cabs loaded with Celestion G12Hs - the 30W version of the Greenback speakers. They tend to give a slightly warmer sound than the Greenbacks and I find they are a little more balanced.
"For FX, I use a TC Electronics G-Major. It combines all of the effects I need into one unit and sounds fantastic. It will even switch the channels on my Marshalls.
"I have a Heil talkbox for Rocket Queen and solos. The only piece of kit I've yet to buy is a rackmount Dunlop Wah pedal.I'm using a modified Crybaby at the moment but am hoping to pick up a DCR 2SRs as I've heard good things about them. I also have a Fernandes/Burny 'Les Paul' copy and a Marshall DSL for back-up."
"I feel like I've been cheated out of a potential 5-8 albums by the last great rock band" Alan Gordon aka 'Slash' in tribute band UK Guns N' Roses
Are there particular songs that are hard to copy?
"Tone-wise, not really. Slash is pretty straight ahead when it comes to tone. But the 'whale sounds' effects for Estranged took a little time to dial in on the G-Major.
"A lot of Slash's tone comes from his fingers. He uses heavy strings (.11s, high E) and heavy picks (Dunlop 1.14s) and plays real hard."
Have you ever met Slash?
"No, but we did tour nine dates in the UK with Steven Adler as his backing band for Adler's Appetite in 2006. That was fun. I may have chance to meet Slash this year as there is a little project that he and some of my friends are currently working on. I can't say anything yet. But I've been offered an invite when he's next over."
Chinese Democracy is imminent. Tell us what you inner 'Slash' thinks?
"I'm looking forward to hearing it. In my mind it's not Guns N' Roses. It's Axl and friends.
"I love Axl to bits; his intelligence and talent are unsurpassed in my opinion. I just wished that things hadn't gone down the way they did. As a fan from day one, I feel like I've been cheated out of a potential 5-8 albums by the last great rock band.
"I have no opinion on who's at fault. I just feel that the average rock fan has missed out on some great records. Gutted!"
Would you like to see a reunion of the classic G N' R lineup?
"Of course, any G N' R fan would. It's never going to be the same, because they're not young and hungry anymore. But it would be a dream to see all five or six members on stage at the same time.I don't think you could ever rule it out.
"The Rolling Stones are still going strong at 60, so we've potentially got another 15 years of possibility.
"I just wish I could get them in a room and knock their heads together. Dudes, come on!"
With Velvet Revolver being dropped, expect rumours of a Guns reunion to gather pace quickly...