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Perla Hudson Interview: Slash, Dinosaurs and Helping the Youth of L.A.

By: Rick Landers

Perla Hudson, the wife of Velvet Revolver’s legendary guitar player, Slash, has navigated the depths and ridden the crests of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for a decade. And no one would be surprised if she simply wrapped herself in that self-indulgent lifestyle that we hear about that beckons and, sometimes, overcomes the rich and famous. But, we spoke to Perla, and she let us know that she and her husband had more important things to take care of and nurture.

As much as she enjoys the raucous highlights of the rock ‘n’ roll fantasy, Perla has invested time and effort into being a mother to her two growing boys, keeping the home fires burning with her husband, and helping the disenfranchised youth of Los Angeles. She has supported the work of L.A.’s Department of Children’s Services. She’s also served on the Board of Directors, and more recently on the Advisory Committee, of the L.A. Youth Network (LAYN). And when she talks about it, she’s not only committed, she’s passionate.

And now, both she and Slash are offering up a treasure trove of their possessions to help fund LAYN programs to benefit children who are homeless and need the kindness and guidance of caring adults. Their Slash and Rock Legends Auction will be held by the famous Julien’s auction house beginning March 26, 2011, and will feature some of the hippest and coolest prized possessions owned by the Hudsons.

On this list is some Slash signature gear, like a stage-worn Chrome Hearts leather top hat; his GNR silver cuff, a one-of-a kind custom Stravinski Fender Stratocaster, his B.C. Rich Red Mockingbird axe, pieces from his prized dinosaur collection and the coup de grace, Slash’s beloved 1966 big block Corvette coupe.

The Slash and Rock Legends auction should rake in some serious cash, all for a good cause. We at Guitar International tip our black leather top hats to Slash and Perla, for reflecting not only the best in rock ‘n’ roll, but the best in all of us.

Rick Landers: Hey, I just found out that you’re Cuban. Do you dance salsa?

Perla Hudson: Of course I do! I’m cooking Cuban food for dinner tonight, too.

Rick: Are you really? Good for you. I guess Cuba should be opened up fairly soon, right? Do you think you’ll ever go down there?

Perla Hudson: I’ve been. We want to take the kids, but just finding the right time and you know how that all goes. Hopefully we’ll be there soon.

Rick: A lot of people think rock stars are always self-indulgent, even rock couples, I suppose, but I saw that in the auction that’s coming up this month you have a passion for the L.A. Youth Network.

Perla Hudson: Absolutely.

Rick: I was wondering how you ended up choosing that particular charity?

Perla Hudson: Well, I’ve been on the Board of Directors for LAYN for about three years. I only, in the past couple of months, stepped down because there’s a lot of decision making when you’re on the Board of Directors and it was very time-consuming for me. I’m still on the Advisory Committee and on the Fundraising Committee for them, which is where this comes in.

We did a lot of charity work with the Department of Children’s Services. Every Christmas we would fulfill their wish lists. One year we rolled up on the Gibson tour bus and gave everybody Gibson guitars. Another year we actually gave the kids what they were hoping for. These are Children’s Services children. The woman from DCS told me about LAYN, which is a homeless shelter for children. It serves with emergency housing, temporary and permanent housing for kids in the L.A. area. So, we started focusing our efforts on LAYN.

It’s really important because a lot of people ask Slash to donate a top hat, donate a guitar, donate this, donate that, and he’s been extremely generous and giving, but you don’t necessarily always see where all that stuff is going to. With LAYN we see it. I’ve been there for kids’ birthdays. Slash has been to their talent shows. We’ve sponsored the kids to go to prom. It’s pretty amazing.

These are kids that have been living on the streets, have been kicked out of their homes because either they’re gay or lesbian or abused. Kids that got a birthday cake for the first time when they were 13 and didn’t know what to do with the candles. So, I think the work they do is amazing and the W.O.O.W. [We’re On Our Way] program is basically what your parents did for you.

When you were going through college, they paid for your housing, paid for your food, and that’s what the W.O.O.W. program does with these kids that are out of high school, up to the age of 22, even 25. There’s still a kid that age in school. It’s a great organization. It’s a home. We’re very hands-on with them, and as a matter of fact, they’re honoring us in June at their gala for a lot of the work that we’ve done for them.

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