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Sweet riff of mine!

Byline: PAUL COLE

IT is the greatest rock guitar riff of all time -and it's made in the Midlands. More than 2,000 fans polled by a top music magazine have voted Guns N' Roses' hit Sweet Child O' Mine the bestever rock guitar anthem.

And that's music to the ears of axeman Slash, the Staffordshire star who played the famous riff, and whose Paradise City is also listed in the Top 20.

Brought up in Stoke-onTrent, Slash -real name Saul Hudson -got hooked on rock 'n' roll by his par-ents, both of whom worked in the music business.

His mother designed some of David Bowie's unforgettable costumes, while his father was art director for albums by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. He moved to America with his dad when his parents split, and played in a number of unsigned bands before joining Guns N' Roses in the mid-1980s. Sweet Child O' Mine was the band's biggest hit in 1989 but Slash later left the band after his relationship with frontman Axl Rose deteriorated.

The 38-year-old guitar star has just launched his new band Velvet Revolver, which includes former bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum, who also quit Guns N' Roses. Other Midland bands in the Top 20 guitar riffs include Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath's and Ozzy Osbourne.

Total Guitar magazine editor Scott Rowley said: 'What this poll shows is that the so-called canon of classic rock -Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix -is as popular as ever.'

THE TOP 20 ROCK RIFFS1. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses 2. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana 3. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin 4. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple 5. Enter Sandman - Metallica 6. Layla - Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton 7. Master Of Puppets - Metallica 8. Back In Black - AC/DC 9. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix 10. Paranoid - Black Sabbath11. Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne 12. All Right Now - Free 13. Plug In Baby - Muse 14. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin 15. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love - Van Halen 16. Walk This Way - Aerosmith w Run DMC 17. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream 18. No-One Knows - Queens Of The Stone Age 19. Paradise City - Guns N' Roses 20. Killing In The Name - Rage Against The Machine

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SWEET MUSIC: Midlands-born guitarist Slash
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 2, 2004
Words:384
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