The Led Zeppelin album that had a “huge influence” on Slash

Growing up in Los Angeles, Slash was at the epicentre of rock ‘n’ roll and became infatuated as a young child. As a result of his obsession, he picked up the guitar at an early age, and the discovery of Led Zeppelin further accelerated his pursuit to become a master of the six-string instrument as he ogled at the wizardry of Jimmy Page.

The showbiz industry surrounded Slash during his childhood, with his mother working in the entertainment business as a costume designer. His father is also an artist, and although they separated when Slash was extremely young, they both indoctrinated him into a life of rock ‘n’ roll by constantly exposing him to their record collection.

They provided a musical education, which put him on the right path, eventually leading to the formation of Guns N’ Roses. While there were many formative experiences, such as falling in love with Aerosmith, hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time was another crucial moment which illustrated to him the immense power of rock ‘n’ roll.

The British group’s second album, Led Zeppelin II, was a childhood favourite of Slash, and when he started playing the guitar, his love for the album reignited. The musician revealed to Signed Media in 2010: “An important record for me was Led Zeppelin II, their second record. Because when I was a kid growing up, my parents had that record.”

He continued: “My parents had the best rock ‘n’ roll record collection of anybody I ever met. But I remember loving that record when I was a kid. Then, when I started playing guitar, that record still had a huge influence on me as a guitar player. So that was an important record for me.”

Slash later singled out the opening track of Led Zeppelin II as a pivotal song in his life during a later radio interview in 2019. He explained: “There is a song that, even before the Rocks Aerosmith record came along, definitely had a big influence [on me]. I mean, I didn’t have any aspirations to be a musician. But I really loved music all my entire childhood.”

The guitarist continued: “So I was really drawn to it and loved pulling out records, putting them on, listening to them. I think I can name classic records that [I liked] when I was a kid. But one that really had an impact on me was the Zeppelin II record. The song that means the most to me because it had such an impact on me would be ‘Whole Lotta Love’.”

Slash then again noted how ‘Whole Lotta Love’ had a “subliminal” impact on him, which began to make sense once he began to make music of his own. He explained: “So a lot of the music I was really into as a kid, without ever having thought playing guitar turned up later as having a really big influence on me.”

Listen to Led Zeppelin II below.

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