Slash’s girlfriend Meegan Hodges took a time out from July 4 celebrations to post a message of support for the guitarist on Instagram, sharing a photo of Slash with punk rock stylist Jimmy Webb, who passed away last April, aged 62. Hodges wrote, “Baby, Congratulations on your 15 YEARS of SOBRIETY! ‘An addict who achieves recovery is capable of achieving anything.’ (wise words someone said) I am so very proud of you every day but today I am so very extra proud of you. I love you to the moon and back! #recovery #youaresexyandsober #strength #bestmanyoucanbe #slash #happy4thofjuly.”
Speaking to Belfast Live two years ago, Slash admitted he was “drinking myself to death” after quitting Guns N’ Roses in the mid ’90s. “It was very excessive,” he admitted. “I’d left my band, I was getting divorced, I was going through all this shit. I had record company issues. It was really classic rock ‘n’ roll life – the bad side.”
In the same interview, the guitarist stated that his battles with addiction continued “up through 2005,” into his time with hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver.
“Because of the nature of the band – and it’s my own fault – but within that context it was easy to do,” Slash admitted. “I got completely strung out again and at that point I realised there was nothing about being strung out that reminded me of anything like when I first started doing drugs. It was pretty miserable. And then after that, with alcohol, nothing was doing it for me and I decided I had to stop. I had two kids and I was living in a hotel because I couldn’t be around them. It all sort of came to a head and I thought I needed to go to some sort of facility and just get away from everybody for a month and I’ll clean up. I really embraced it and I came out of it really happy and all that energy I was putting towards self-destruction I just put towards music. I have definitely been fortunate.”
Slash was actually ‘partying’ with his friend Nikki Sixx on the night in December 1987 when Mötley Crüe’s leader famously ‘died’ after a heroin overdose. In the band’s best-selling memoir The Dirt, Sixx recalled an out-of-body experience he had as an ambulance crew rushed him to a Los Angeles hospital. “Above me, everything was bright white,’ he told writer Neil Strauss. ‘I looked down and realized that I had left my body. Nikki Sixx—or the filthy, tattooed contained that had once held him—was lying covered face-to-toe with a sheet on a gurney being pushed by medics into an ambulance.”
Sixx posted his own celebration of his sobriety on Instagram on July 2, in a post concluding, “when you see people who are still suffering / treading water or gasping for air, be sure to throw them a life vest. Because we give back now to those that are still afflicted and hope they too pass it on.” Sixx ended his post with the hashtags #SobrietyRocks and #20Years.