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Slash is what won't happen to ticket prices
By Brian Offenther

SLASH is the performer, not what will happen to the price.

This past week, tickets for legendary guitarist Slash (real name: Saul Hudson) went on sale for his May 7 performance at the Muse Mixing Room at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Pudong. Tickets have quickly sold out for now (though expect some to open up in the days leading up to, or on the day of the event).

Their price? Including a free drink, they run 980 yuan (US$158) each. To quote the opening line of the first full-length album Slash played on, "Oh My God."

That song would be "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses on what is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time, "Appetite For Destruction." More than just a great album, its influence was immediate, immense and multifaceted.

One was Slash's lead guitar playing. He utilized what became his signature: a fluid, soulful style that doesn't sacrifice the punch of heavy metal. It's canonical in rock history that in the late 1980s, guitarists who came from a heavy metal background were of the Eddie Van Halen school of guitar playing: rapid-fire notes with lightning-fast switches in techniques.

Slash, although a self-proclaimed lover of Van Halen, was heavily influenced by the bluesier Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

Slash continued with the tumultuous Guns N' Roses through the acoustic and live reissue "Lies," the epic but uneven "Use Your Illusion 1 & II," and the covers album "The Spaghetti Incident?"

He also worked with a variety of bands under the name Slash's Snakepit. He soon rejoined with a few of his old Gun N' Roses cohorts to form the super-group Velvet Revolver in 2002. After two albums, the band was put on hiatus, and he has since recorded two albums under his own name.

That doesn't include a plethora of guest appearances with stars such as Michael Jackson and Carole King. His signature top hat and mess of curly hair symbolize hard rock guitar to audiences that otherwise couldn't spell out the differences from Aerosmith to ZZ Top. Even electronic music fans at the Ultra Festival in Miami last month knew what was up when Slash made a cameo during Chuckie's DJ set.

Anyway, back to the price tag. It's hefty, clearly. One could see tomorrow's show at rock club Yuyintang (851 Kaixuan Rd), featuring five of Shanghai's best local bands, and bring 32 friends for slightly cheaper than seeing Slash with opening band Duck Fight Goose.

It gets down to a few questions. Is it worth it to you to see Slash at his first show in China ever? Is it worth it to you to see Slash in a club smaller than just about any on his current tour? Is it worth it to you to see the guy who played the guitar solo in "November Rain?"

So, I'll see you there ...?

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