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SoulMonster

West Arkeen

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West Arkeen

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:02 am


WEST ARKEEN


Full name:
Aaron West Arkeen.

Date of birth, date of death:
June 18, 1960 – May 30, 1997.

Band position:
Arkeen was never an official member of the band, but hung with the band and co-wrote many of their songs.

Shows with the band:
Tracii played no shows with Guns N' Roses but did play shows with band members as "Drunk Fux".
Biography:
Aaron West Arkeen (June 18, 1960 – May 30, 1997), was an American musician best known for co-writing several Guns N' Roses songs. He died in Los Angeles as a result of a drug overdose. [Wikipedia, August 2016].

Quotes:
I moved out of Orchid Street to another ground-floor place (they were always the cheapest9 on El Cerrito [...]. This little troll of a guy came out as I was moving in and helped me carry the few things I had. His name was West Arkeen, and he lived in the apartment next to ours [Duff lived his girlfriend Kat]. Turned out he was one of those guys studying at the Musicians Institute around the corner from my previous apartment. West was one tough motherfucker. He was a funny motherfucker. And he quickly became valuable not only for his friendship but for his songwriting.

He wasn't the type who wanted to be in a band, but he was an incredible guitar player. He ended up writing songs with several of us. He had a hand in an unreleased song called 'Sentimental Movie,' and in 'Yesterdays' and 'The Garden,' which eventually turned up on Use Your Illusion. All of those songs were written there on El Cerrito together with various members of our band. West also showed me open-E tuning, an alternative way of tuning a guitar so it plays E-major chord when strummed with no fingers on the frets. That's why he got a songwriting credit on 'It's So Easy' - without open-E tuning, that song wouldn't have happened. I didn't know alternative tunings existed
[Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 86-87]
Duff also made the acquaintance of West Arkeen while he lived in  [an apartment at Hollywood Boulevard]. The only place I knew West to live on a regular basis back the was in his beat-up El Camino. I think at that point he was parking it outside of Duff's building, so he was a tenant by extension. I was introduced to him through Duff and he became friends with the band; much more so with Axl than with me or the rest of us at first. (...) West was a guitar player from San Diego and a consummate party guy who became more of a fixture than the average friend of the band: he even cowrote some of our songs like 'It's So Easy' and 'Yesterdays' with Duff and 'Bad Obsession' and 'The Garden' with Axl. Duff and West would hang out and write songs and I would join them sometimes, but West and Axl got really tight. In addition to writing with Guns, he cowrote songs for Duff's and Izzy's solo projects and all of us contributed to his project, the Outpatience, in the late nineties, just before he dies of an overdose ["Slash", 2007]
West was a hard-drinking, hard-living good-times guy, so he fit in with us just fine. He was the kind of character who was so secure in his own skin and content  with his own existence that if you weren't nice to him, he'd still be amiable to you (...). West became the only thing like a friend that our band had in the world. He was the only one that always came through when any of us needed anything; for a long time he literally was the only one we could trust ["Slash", 2007]
My old friend West Arleen started to call me more often around this time, too [in 1995]. He had struggled with crack and heroine addiction since the day I met him in Hollywood back in 1985. For many years I felt helpless to do anything to straighten him up - despite pleas from his various girlfriends, I was just too fucked myself to possibly play a role in addressing other people's addictions. I realized in retrospect just how bad off he must have been if people around him had called me, of all people. Of all people! [...] As I talked to him now, it seemed as if West was serious about cleaning up, and I felt that I also now knew some things that might help him - even if I didn't yet feel equipped to help anyone with sobriety myself. So I invited him to join me down at the dojo [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 271]
West Arkeen suddenly stopped coming to the dojo. Sensei Anthony called him and drove to his house on multiple occasions - but was unable to make contact. I called West once or twice, but then my old defense mechanisms quickly went up when I figured he must be using again [...] I was filled with a searing black anger I hadn't felt in a while. West started to call my house again. I sat idly by, listening to his voice messages and not picking up the phone. He wanted help. [...] Then, at the end of 1997, West Arkeen was found dead in his apartment, his body badly burned from a crack torch and riddled with track marks and bruises [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 288]
West was a really good friend we did a lot of writing with, especially Axl [Back to the Jungle, Guitar Edge Magazine, March 2007]
I was good friends with West, but I never wrote with him. We hung out and jammed a couple of times but there was only a couple of songs I was ever around where I was there with Axl and we were all playing together. West and Axl and Del and Duff, that was more what that was like. I didn’t mind. As long as the song was good and I could do something with it [Team Rock, 2016; taken from unknown primary source]



Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:07 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Re: West Arkeen

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:44 am

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Re: West Arkeen

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:22 am

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Re: West Arkeen

Post by puddledumpling on Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:42 am

What a very nice guitar West is holding. Seems he experience the same kind of "accident" as Richard Pryor. Sad

The clip from Scrap Bar of West and Axl I remember seeing on MTV when it was current. (I was inside of Scrap Bar about a year after that clip - it was like being in Mark Bolan's man cave. I doubt it is still there.) Axl seems shy in the clip, West does not.
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Re: West Arkeen

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:12 pm

@puddledumpling wrote:Axl seems shy in the clip, West does not.

I don't think West was sober Hay
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