Slash Dodged £100-Per-Cigarette Smoking Fine on U.K. Tour
Slash recalled dodging fines issued for smoking in U.K. venues before he quit the habit in 2009, adding that he didn’t believe the law would be successful.
The Guns N’ Roses guitarist faced sanctions of £100 ($127) per offense during a solo tour after it became illegal in 2007 to light up in enclosed working spaces, which included the venues he was playing in.
“I chainsmoked,” Slash told WTF With Marc Maron (via Blabbermouth). “And I couldn't handle — this is not why I quit smoking — but I couldn't handle not being able to smoke wherever I wanted. I was smoking at gigs, and I was on tour in the U.K., and they told me, 'The smoking ban's coming,’ I said, ‘You guys are gonna have some serious problems. … You know they're gonna riot. It's not gonna work.’
“And so we finished the tour, and I came back maybe six months later, and they had passed this thing. And it was people sitting outside all smoking their cigarettes with their cocktails, and they were sitting on benches. And some hotels had put monitors outside so you could watch TV and smoke, and they just went down quietly. And it was, like, 'Wow!' No repercussions whatsoever — no violence, stoning or anything.”
You can listen to the interview below:
He added: “They were trying to fine me for every cigarette I smoked on stage. So it was, like, a hundred quid for every cigarette," Slash said. "So, we had to make up a bunch of stories, and we got out of it. But I couldn't believe it had gotten to that point.”
Slash explained he’d finally given up smoking after his mother died of cancer, but said it remained “tough” to keep off the cigarettes. “You've got these triggers all the time,” he explained. “They only last for maybe two seconds or so, but they're really, really potent. And you can just get it watching somebody smoke on TV. I saw somebody smoking at a bus stop, and I said, 'Ohhh…' It happens at least once a day every day.”