|Legendary guitarist to play at Rogers Centre on April 8
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
He's well known for his "Appetite for Destruction," and now he's ready to take a bite out of baseball. Slash, the former Guns N' Roses guitarist, will play both national anthems at Toronto's home opener on April 8.
The hard-living axe-man moved on from Guns N' Roses years ago, and he recently started Velvet Revolver, an All-Star band that took home a 2005 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. His signature top hat and virtuoso guitar skills will take center stage at Rogers Centre, instantly upping the excitement level on Opening Night.
"The goal of game entertainment, throughout the season and especially on Opening Day, is to enhance the fan experience and create great memories," said Paul Godfrey, the team's president and CEO. "Having one of the world's greatest guitarists perform the anthems will certainly be an unforgettable experience."
Slash was one of the driving engines in Guns N' Roses, a seminal heavy metal band that sold more than 65 million records worldwide. His powerful guitar solos helped hammer songs like "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "November Rain" into the collective consciousness, vaulting his band to superstardom.
"Appetite for Destruction," their first album, is widely regarded as one of the most influential records made in the last 25 years. Rolling Stone called it a "benchmark against which few albums in the genre of Heavy Metal can be measured and not deemed inferior."
The band had one more high point -- the release of a double-album named "Use Your Illusion I and II." The two discs and resulting tour pushed the band back into heavy rotation on MTV and on the radio. After that, Guns N' Roses went into semi-seclusion and never released a fitting follow up.
Slash, however, stayed busy with a solo project dubbed Slash's Snake Pit. He even had a high-profile guitar part in a Michael Jackson song, providing emphasis to the King of Pop's lyrics. Eventually, Slash took some of his former band mates and added Scott Weiland, the former lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots.
Velvet Revolver's first album, "Contraband," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Back on top, Slash is ready to rock the Rogers Centre. That much is certain -- leading to one final question: Is Toronto ready for him?