Happy Birthday, Slash!

On this day in 1965, Saul Hudson was born in Hampstead, England. Later, he came to the United States and became world-famous as one of the greatest guitar players to ever live, and he did it under one of the most killer stage names in the history of rock: Slash.

No matter how he celebrates his birthday, he can stand by the fact that not only does he have a handful of releases in his back pocket that are unequivocal classics (Guns N' Roses debut Appetite for Destruction could easily be considered one of the best rock albums of all time, mostly thanks to his muscular riffs and adroit solos), but he's also still making great music. Earlier this year, he dropped his first solo album, a collection of awesome, stadium-sized rock tunes featuring a revolving cast of guest vocalists (everybody from Ozzy Osbourne to Chris Cornell to Kid Rock to Fergie lent their pipes).

But while Slash has remained on the cutting edge of rock for nearly three decades, one of his birthday wishes is undoubtedly some kickass riffs from other people. When Slash stopped by the MTV News office last month, he named off a handful of groups who have impressed him recently (including epic Australian monsters Karnivool), but when asked if he thought we were in the middle of a good era for rock, he was frustrated and frank. "It's a lousy era for rock," he said. "Are you kidding?"

show|null|video|545024




Slash added that he did think that the music industry was cyclical, and that it was only a matter of time before somebody managed to figure out something unifying and galvanizing. In the meantime, he'll continue doing exactly what he has been doing for years: Turning the volume on his amp way, way up and cranking out some of the most classic riffs in history.

What would you get Slash for his birthday? Let us know in the comments!