Slash Makes Poignant Video For Adam Levine Song To Aid Homeless Youth

By Karen Bliss 4/9/12 |

Slash in Toronto - photo credit: Luther Mallory
Ace guitarist Slash rounded up Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club, Suddenly Susan), Lovely Bones' AJ Michalka, True Blood's Kristin Bauer and more, to act in a music video to raise aware about homeless youth in Los Angeles.

"It's for the Los Angeles Youth Network. It's a shelter for homeless kids," Slash tells Samaritanmag during a visit to Toronto to promote his next album, Apocalytic Love (out May 22).  "It's to raise money for them from that song 'Gotten,' the Adam Levine song from the last record. We did a really poignant video about that specific situation."

The original version of the song, featuring Maroon 5's Levine on vocals (he does not appear in the video) and appearing on Slash's 2010 self-titled album, was produced and mixed by Eric Valentine. The new version was remixed at Astound Studios using what's called GenAudio's unique 3D spatial audio technology, AstoundSound(R), which is based on over two decades of R&D into how the brain processes audio information.

The high quality MP3 of the song can be downloaded by making a donation -- minimum amount $1 (US) --to Los Angeles Youth Network

Slash -- who recruited singers from various genres for his last album -- says, "That particular song is not like anything I've ever written before and I was so attached to it. I was sort of shy about playing it for anybody and the few people who I did play it for didn't seem particularly impressed with it for some reason. I was really attached to it so I thought Adam would be the voice for that [but] I don't know this guy; I don't even know if he would like it. I just always thought that he had an amazing control and power over his voice. And so I sent it to him and he really liked it and that was all I needed. We didn't do anything to it, except we sat down and there was one chord that we extended so that was the whole arrangement was already together."

The video was produced by Slash, written by Johnpaul Lewis and directed by Clifton Collins Jr. (Traffic, Capote) who also appears as the gun dealer. It begins with Slash looking at a poster of a missing girl and flashes back to the abusive circumstances that led to her running away and what she has to do to survive on the streets. Additional drama then unfolds when she returns home.

The cast includes Michalka (Super 8, Secretariat, The Lovely Bones), mother Kristin Bauer (True Blood, The Secret Life of an American Teenager), boyfriend Jack Rubio (Distortion) and Nelson as the teacher/John.

When the song ends, a statistic appears that an estimated 1.6 to 2.8 million youth are homeless in the United States right now and over 8000 youths are living on the streets of Los Angeles.

Founded in 1984, LAYN is a California non-profit organization whose mission is to end homelessness for 12 to 17 year olds, by providing shelter, food and counseling for the abused, neglected and abandoned. The goals for each child are to successfully complete the permanent transition away from street life to a safe and secure living environment and to fully participate in society.

The LAYN web site states that "Each night, as many as 7,500 homeless youth will sleep on the streets of LA. On the streets they will fall victim to prostitution and drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. 'Squats,' where youth often settle, under freeways or in abandoned buildings, are filthy and violent beyond belief. They become desperate, and their problems with institutions and authorities become chronic."

LAYN operates street outreach, emergency shelter, transitional living facility, long-term care facility and a new independent living facility that opened last July. The non-profit also provides comprehensive clinical, case management, educational, job development and aftercare services.

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