It seems only right and proper right here at the halfway point in Slash Week to feature a track that bares his name on the spine of the record. Bent To Fly is taken from Slash (Featuring. Miles Kennedy) And The Conspirators second album as a (terribly) named act World On Fire.
World On Fire is an expansive album wrapped in a deliciously demented Ron English sculpture for a sleeve. I’ve ranted on here before about the awful band name. In the trilogy of releases from Apocalyptic Love to Living The Dream it stands tall as the middle. Again I’ll add it would benefit from a little trimming. All Slash &MC&TC albums would benefit from a 10 to 11 track limit.
This one is of significant personal importance to me because when the album came out I was spending a considerable amount of time travelling the world with my job. I seemed to be constantly in airports or hotel lobbies crouched over my luggage waiting. My earbuds would get to Bent To Fly and I’d get a pang of homesickness.
That guitar intro is all sorts of evocative cinematic mood building. Simple though it is you just have to mix it with the slow pace drum beat and Myles incredible vocal range. In no time you’re doing big time widescreen heavy rock that will not leave the hairs on your arms or neck stationary.
Those Wooo Ohhh’s set the stage for the ‘best vocalist Slash has recorded a whole album with’ to do his thing. Down low like Axl does from time to time but walking that voice up the scales like it’s no effort at all. By the “Won’t let this chance pass me byeyeyeyeyeyeye” bits there’s no doubt this is superior rock and roll.
Then Slash does his stuff. A little flourish here and there at first. His guitar tones entirely Appetite For Destruction. It builds until the “Last Goodbyeyeyeyeyeyeye” and he solos. Like only Slash can. It is glorious. When I hear it now I don’t recall the uncomfortable waiting room seats. I recall the window views. The islands and oceans below rolling by. The storms lighting up clouds like special effects thousands of feet beneath the wings I’m sat looking out on. Best of all we’re the mid-flight sunrises. It’s a beautiful thing when a few passengers peep beneath the blinds to see a view only imaginable from space.
I don’t often fly for work anymore. I don’t like to do it in these times. But the demand isn’t really there either. Slash and Myles (yes and the Conspirators) can make me long for home even now, when I’m sitting it in. Typing this.
In Hong Kong Airport again. With hours to kill and all the food outlets shut… The song would work it’s magic and I’d bump it back to the start and play it again. And again.