Undeniably, Led Zeppelin’s influence has rippled through generations of musicians, one of the most notable being Slash, the iconic guitarist from Guns N’ Roses.
Both bands, at a glance, share several commonalities, but the profound connection lies between the ringmasters of these legendary groups – Slash and Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.
The parallels are numerous, from their impeccable skill to their shared love for the Gibson Les Paul guitar.
Reflecting on his artistic journey during a 2019 interview with Raised on Radio, Slash unveiled how Led Zeppelin, and particularly the track ‘Whole Lotta Love’ from their second album, left an indelible mark on him.
This swaggering hard-rock masterpiece signaled a paradigm shift in music, heralding the end of The Beatles era and ushering in a new group with an unbounded ambition to push musical boundaries.
In Slash’s words, “There was a song, even predating Aerosmith’s ‘Rocks’, that profoundly influenced me. I mean, I didn’t aspire to be a musician then, but my childhood was permeated by a profound love for music.”
Providing further insight, Slash mentioned, “I was naturally drawn towards it, loved spinning records, and diving into their soundscapes. There were several classic records that fascinated me as a child, but ‘Whole Lotta Love’ from Zeppelin’s second album hit me the hardest.”
The track wasn’t merely a song for Slash; it was a subliminal call to his future self. He further added, “The music I gravitated towards as a child, without even contemplating playing the guitar, later emerged as a significant influence on me.”
The segment concluded with Slash illuminating how ‘Whole Lotta Love’ spurred him to experiment with distortion and the Gibson Les Paul. These explorations, fueled by his interaction with the song, were critical to his artistic growth and the formation of his unique musical identity, now considered as iconic as Page’s. “The song, with its sexy, sleazy, guitar-driven vibe, was the catalyst that sparked my initial experimentation with distortion and the Les Paul. It was an amazing introduction to the direction the 70s was heading in,” reminisced Slash.