SLASH Discusses Milan Stage Incident

Peter Hodgson of the I Heart Guitar blog spoke to Slash about the incident Thursday night (June 10) when the legendary VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist was tackled by a man who had climbed onstage during Slash's performance in Milan, Italy. The guitarist was not harmed, but had his guitar broken and after a few seconds had to stop his solo in the song "Sweet Child O' Mine" until a new instrument was handed to him.

I Heart Guitar: So what's with some jerk tackling you on stage the other night?

Slash: Now that all the facts are out, it was just some drunk guy who got on stage. It doesn't seem like he had any ill will. What happened was he came up behind me, and he'd managed to get up on stage and my security guard came up and tackled him, not knowing what this guy was necessarily capable of or whatever. So the real melee was the tackle. (laughs) He basically deflected the guy off of me, and somehow the guy had managed to be hooked onto my guitar, which I let go of, all in a split second. They went off the edge of the stage, my guitar hit the ground and I picked it up and continued playing, only to find that it was broken, so I had to switch guitars and finish the song. It turned out to not be that big a deal, but you never know exactly what it could have been.

I Heart Guitar: Being a guitar nerd I have to ask, which guitar? Is it gonna be okay?

Slash: Yeah, it's fine. I used it yesterday, and this happened the day before yesterday. All he did was rip the machine head off. The whole mechanism was sort of off. It was one of the Gibson "Inspired By" guitars, which is a replica of my 1988 Les Paul Standard. So it's one of those guitars that's been Murphy-aged [aged by Gibson's Tom Murphy]. That's why I only take new guitars on the road. I don't take old guitars on the road because, in the sort of spirit and energy of the kind of performances that I do, and all the bands I've been in, there's a certain amount of chaos, so if you're looking to keep something preserved in its pristine state, don't use it! (Laughs). Gibsons are durable, but if you feel any sentimental attachment to something that you've had for years and obviously have been through a lot of stuff with, leave it at home and take something else.

Fan-filmed video footage of the incident can be viewed below.

Photos of the concert at the Palasharp Arena are available on the news blog Musica Metal.

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