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October 7th, 2000
Slash’s Heroes & Villains
NME, October 7, 2000

Al Pacino: « He’s one of my all-time favourite actors, just because he’s so dedicated to his craft. I guess you’d call him a Method actor, although he’s done some really cool character stuff. What’s that Warren Beatty movie as the cartoon ? Yeah, Dick Tracy. Now I wasn’t a Dick Tracy fan, but he was great in that. And yesterday I saw Scent of a woman and he finally got an Academy Award, so he’s definitely a hero I look up to for achieving. No, I’ve never met him. I get so star-struck if I meet anybody. I met the little girl from the Diet Pepsi commercials and I was flabbergasted ! She’s, like, seven ! »

Vincent Price « I grew up with radio tapes, not movies, but radio tapes from when I lived in England. He was a hero of mine right up until he passed away. Right before he died he still managed to do a very dignified role in Edward Scissorhands. That’s why he’s a hero : because he accomplished things all the way until his pulse ran out, and that’s what he was dedicated to and he had a lot of passion. Yeah, sure I saw him in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, but that doesn’t count necessarily. He was always cool regardless. »

Malcolm Young, AC/DC: « I’m working with him at the moment. We’re touring with AC/DC. Angus Young is great too, but for some reason Malcolm seems like the backbone of the whole band and he’s very dedicated to what he does. And what he does he does really, really well. He’s the songwriter and the rhythm guitar player, and basically he kept the band together through the death of Bon Scott and their resurrection, and that means he’s got some stamina. Malcolm’s great - plus he’s only about four-and-a-half-feet tall ! No he’s taller than that ! But he’s very serious about what he does. »

Steve Tyler, Aerosmith: « Along the same lines as Malcolm Young. All the shit that he went through, from serious excesses to the point of almost breaking up, and pulling it back together and still being a successful unit, which to me is impressive. Actually the whole band is impressive, but I’m just saying Steve because I just saw him the other night in New York. Heh heh. »

Ron Wood: « I’ve known him since I was like 12 or 13 years old. I met him through one of my villains. Ron’s a hero because he’s been doing it since fucking…before I was born. He’s one of the nicest, most sincere, funniest people I know. Through all the shit that goes on in this industry, he always has a very positive and amicable and uptempo personality. When I would crack, he would just keep on smoking his cigarette, laughing. Four years ago, I went to a party at his house in Ireland, and it was this huge fucking party. And he was struggling with his drinking, trying not to do too much blow, smoking his cigarettes, and his wife is this lovely woman and his kids were there and he loves his music - he’s just an awesome character. And he very much downplays his role as a guitar player. He’s a fucking unbelievable guitar player. »


Seymour Cassel: « The reason I know Ron Wood from when I was so young is because I was raised in the music business and I’ve always known all the people my parents worked with in some way, shape or form. Ron Wood I met over at a guy named Seymour Cassel’s house, which was behind the Hyatt Hollywood, and his son was my best friend in Junior High School in Los Angeles. We pretty much ditched all of school and spent most of our time at Seymour’s house smoking pot, growing pot - basically the whole gang of bad kids used to hang out there. Well, not the bad kids but all the misfits or whatever. Seymour’s an actor - he was in Dick Tracy too - you’ve probably seen him at least a million times. He’s a tough motherfucker and he’s also the guy who gave me the name Slash, because that’s what he used to call me and it just stuck. I asked him why years later on a tour in Europe and he goes, ‘Because you’re always in some hurry or doing a deal or hustling something.’ He’d see me and I was always coming or going, you know, and so he called me Slash. And every time I came over to the house he’d go, ‘Hey Slash !’ and that’s the most conversation we ever had. I met Ron Wood there because all the Stones used to party over at Seymour’s house whenever they played in L.A., and we’d be there with our girlfriends and have band practices there. I guess this was in, like, 1980. »

Captain Hook: « I always loved Captain Hook. Not the movie version, the fucking cartoon. I love that character and for what reasons ? I have no fucking clue. He got his hand bitten off by a crocodile and he just had the fucking look. He’s great, and that’s about as in-depth I can get about his character. And he seemed to have a soft side to him too, even though he was dead-set on killing Peter Pan. He was also very camp. »

Keith Richards: « I think this one is self-explanatory. He once pulled a knife on me in a hotel room. I don’t know for what reason, I guess just to let me know who’s boss. But it wasn’t a big knife, just one of those little Chinese jobs. He’s like the classic villain. »

Sid Vicious: « Sid Vicious, of course, because you can’t have a list of villains without him. He’s probably one of the most confused villains of all ; he’s sort of a hero/villain kinda thing. No, my villains aren’t really bad people because I don’t give a shit about really bad people. You know, I could mention some names, but then we’re talking very serious. Why Sid ? Because Sid basically - what’s a good way to put it without sounding too ridiculous ? - he was a role model for a lot of us kids when we started playing during that period. To any mother at that time, especially in England, he was definitely a fucking villain, even more so than Johnny Rotten because he epitomised everything that we weren’t supposed to be doing and was making money doing it and making the papers. And now that I look back on it, y’know, obviously Sid was Sid. I had my brushes with doing some stupid shit along the same lines. He was notorious when I was a kid. »

Axl Rose: « He’s the closest person I’ve ever worked with that was as villainesque as they get. You know, in a sort of harmless kind of way, but not totally. All that is sort of self-explanatory as well. I definitely gotta put him on the list cos as much as I love the guy he’s definitely way up there. I don’t know how familiar you are with Guns history, but I quit the band five years ago and haven’t looked back since. Axl’s probably still in them, but I haven’t seem him. He’s just a really fucking huge mindfuck. He has a sweet side to him and a nasty side to him, if memory serves. He would be very, very violent and have very wicked thoughts and sore points. I guess I last saw him in an attorney’s office. I quit the group because of musical differences. I wanted to continue doing the hard rock thing, and he wanted to do techno-rock or something. We’re still to see the end result. I just do what I do because that’s what I like doing, but his thing seems to be a little more convoluted. »

Transcribed by Laura


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