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1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

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1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Thu 8 Dec 2011 - 14:02

Date:
October 18, 1989.

Venue:
Los Angeles Coliseum.

Location:
Los Angeles, USA.

Setlist:
01. It's So Easy
02. Mr. Brownstone
03. Out Ta Get Me
04. Move to the City
05. Patience
06. My Michelle
07. Rocket Queen
08. Sweet Child O'Mine
09. Welcome to the Jungle
10. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
11. Paradise City

Line-up:
Axl Rose (vocals), Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitarist), Slash (lead guitarist), Duff McKagan (bass) and Steven Adler (drums).

Notes:
Opening for Rolling Stones.

Quotes:
I was watching my band mentally and physically fall apart. It was a harsh move [talking about it] onstage, but we had tried everything else, and nobody would stop. It just kept getting worse and worse and worse. [...] I remember bumping into [Geffen Records head] David Geffen when I walked onstage and he was all excited about us playing with the Stones and all the people there. I just looked at him and said, 'Well, then enjoy (the show) because it's the last (damn) one.' [Run N' Gun, Los Angeles Times, July 1991]
[...]I got the call that Axl wasn't going to do the gigs. His reasoning was that Steven and I were on smack. We were...but that's beside the point; we were opening for The Stones. Somehow we coerced him into doing the first show and it was a disaster. "Enjoy the show," Axl said when we took the stage, "because it's going to be our last one. There are too many of us dancing with Mr. Brownstone." I was so pissed off about that and he was so pissed at me for being a junkie that I spent the better half of the show facing my amps. Nothing was together that night, the band sounded horrible [Slash's autobiograohy, p 277-278]
As showtime approached, Axl wasn't there and everyone - us, the Stones' people - was sweating and frantic. But he made it at the last minute, the first concert went off without a hitch, and I didn't slip on the metal stage [wearing his usual boots]. Sure, the guys were smacked out of their minds, but I had family and good friends around me, and I didn't really pay much attention to what was going on with those guys backstage [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 157][
As I neared the stage I could hear the fas. As I rounded the corner, I could see the multitudes screaming their heads off. The sound of that crowd was so powerful that it actually gave me an incredible buzz. When the audience caught sight of us, they all bolted upright. It was like one giant wave of energy, intensely stimulating. We were the proud prodigy, the bastard sons of the Rolling Stones, and we killed that night. We were there to show the world that rock was alive and bigger than ever, and we succeeded in every way.

But at a time when we should have been rejoicing beyond all measure, Axl instead chose to wag his finger. He had become aware of the out-of-control partying that was happening within the band and he made a long rambling statement during the show. "I some people in this organization don't get their shit together and stop dancing with Mr. Brownstone, this is going to be the last Guns N' Roses show. Ever!"

Axl went on and on, threatening to shut us down if the runaway abuse continued. Maybe it was done for publicity, maybe out of genuine concern, I don't know, but it was way over the top. Disbanding GNR for drug abuse was like grounding a bird for flying
[Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 199-200]
Then came the second night [This really happened on the first night, on October 18, Duff seems to be mistaken here]. Before we played our first note, Axl suddenly announced to the 80,000 people in attendance that "if certain people in Guns N' Roses didn't stop dancing with Mr. Brownstone," this would be our last show. The crowd became absolutely quiet. People in the audience looked at one another; they seemed confused as we were. They really had no idea what Axl was talking about. I shrank. I felt so fucking embarrassed. And I was so fucking mad that Axl felt he could do this to me. I would have been supportive if he was sufficiently pissed off at certain guys to want to confront them for what was going on - I was with him., the situation was bad. But he needed to talk about that shit in private! Not out here. Never out here. Once Axl took his concerns public, the times of being a gang - us against the world - were over. We played the rest of the show, but it was a halfhearted effort at best. Afterward, and really for the remainder of our career, we just went our separate ways. That night officially rang the bell for the end of an era of GN'R [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 158]
Next concert: 1989.10.19.
Previous concert: 1989.10.13.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed 7 May 2014 - 19:23; edited 4 times in total
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Thu 19 Jan 2012 - 21:35

Interesting how much weight Duff puts on Axl's Mr. Brownstone rant when it comes to the gradual dissolution of GN'R. I wasn't aware how much it affected the band long-term, or at least affected Duff.
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed 7 May 2014 - 18:50

Preview to the four Coliseum dates with Rolling Stones in Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1989:

SHOWDOWN AT THE COLISEUM : Guns N' Roses Take on the Rolling Stones : For years, there was only one choice as 'The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band'--but it's all over now
October 15, 1989|ROBERT HILBURN

Lots of people think the world's greatest rock band will be on stage this week when the Rolling Stones and Guns N' Roses appear at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but don't assume they're all referring to the Stones.

The Stones have been called the world's greatest band for so long now that no one even considered the possibility on past tours of another group actually upstaging the masters.

But the Stones' seven-year absence from touring has made the once-invincible band seem vulnerable, and rock observers and fans have began wondering if it isn't time to nominate another group as the world's greatest.

Guns N' Roses is just one of several contenders, but it is the only one of the potential rivals that will be on the same bill with the Stones during the tour.

There is such a sense of drama surrounding the Stones/Roses match-up that you can imagine a ring announcer stepping up to the microphone and introducing the contestants at the Coliseum, the only place on the Stones' 3 1/2-month tour where Roses will be appearing.

"In this corner," he might say, "from Los Angeles, California . . . a band that was formed just four years ago, but which has already sold more than 12 million records, including such mega-hits as 'Sweet Child o' Mine,' 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Patience' . . .

"A group whose lead singer Axl Rose conveys the charisma and mystery of such rock immortals as Jim Morrison . . . a band whose image and music live up to the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll attitude so fully that it has been called the bastard offspring of the Rolling Stones themselves.

"L.A.'s own . . . GUNS N' ROSES."

When the cheering wanes, the announcer continues:

"And now the defending champions . . . from London, England, a band that has helped shape rock 'n' roll for more than 25 years . . . a band with more than three dozen Top 40 singles, including such masterworks as 'Satisfaction,' 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'Tumbling Dice' . . .

"A band whose lead singer, Mick Jagger, was outraging parents before Jim Morrison was even cutting classes at UCLA . . . a band that returned to live shows this summer after a seven-year layoff and is still able to pack stadiums around the country.

"Ladies and gentlemen . . . THE ROLLING STONES."

Start your amps.

"I don't see the Coliseum concerts as a contest at all," a 17-year-old rock fan said shortly after the Stones/Roses package was announced in August.

A 20-year-old fan who overheard the remarks in a West Hollywood record store, also balked at the idea of the concert's being a true battle of the bands.

"Showdown? It's going to be a wipe-out," he said condescendingly.

The noteworthy thing is that the two Southern California fans were supporting different groups.

Gerald Macy, 17, said he thinks the Stones' reputation and great backlog of material make it impossible for Guns N' Roses to upstage them. "Everybody my age has been listening to the Stones and waiting to see them all our lives. I like Guns N' Roses, but there would be no Guns N' Roses without the Stones."

But Bill Hardin, 20, said he thinks time is against the Stones. "I'm interested in seeing them, but they don't mean anything to me," he said.

"Guns N' Roses are like the Stones were 20 years ago, and who wouldn't rather have seen the Stones then than now? It's like Muhammad Ali getting into the ring with Mike Tyson or something. You respect the Stones, but Guns N' Roses are today ."

There's no way--short of an exit poll--to know precisely what role Guns N' Roses played in convincing more than 275,000 fans to pay from $35 (the Ticketmaster charge) to $500 (the broker charge for choice seats) to see Wednesday's Coliseum match-up, which will be repeated Thursday, Saturday and next Sunday. Industry observers, however, believe the L.A.-based quintet may have been responsible for as much as 20 to 40% of the sales.

"The Who's failure to sell out even a single show in August at the Coliseum demonstrated the value of having some insurance, which a hot new band like Guns N' Roses provides," said a concert producer who is not involved with the local Stones dates and asked that his name not be used.

"I believe the Stones are much a stronger draw in Southern California than the Who and that they would have been able to sell out at least two Coliseum shows, maybe even a third on their own, but Guns N' Roses guaranteed a third date and enabled the promoters to add a fourth."

Joseph Rascoff, business manager for the Stones and producer of the tour, said the sluggish Who sales in Los Angeles and San Diego didn't worry him.

"The Rolling Stones had planned from the begining to have a current album out and (work toward) being meaningful in the 1989 music environment," he said. "This gave their tour a whole different dimension and momentum than the Who tour, which had a lot of nostalgic overtones."
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed 7 May 2014 - 19:24

I believe this is the first show where I have quotes from the entire lineup.
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Nov 2014 - 9:13

And now also from Alan Niven:

The day of the first show , Brian Ahern [the Stones’ production manager] comes to me and he goes: “Your guy’s [Axl] not here. Tell me what I’m supposed to do.” I said: “Do you have a contact in the LAPD who is an absolutely no-questions-asked guy?” And he said: “I do.” So the guy came in and I told him: “I’m going to give you an address.” And it was Axl’s apartment. I said: “I want you to immediately send two no-questions-asked uniforms to this address, get the occupants out of that condominium in any which way they can, and bring them right here – in handcuffs if necessary.”

"They went and got him, and the band arrived on stage a mere twenty minutes late. I’m standing in the backstage feeling pretty damn clever. And that’s right at the moment that Axl announces this is going to be the last show and he’s going to retire.
Source: http://metalhammer.teamrock.com/features/2014-05-30/the-night-axl-had-to-be-arrested-to-get-him-to-the-gig-on-time
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Thu 12 Apr 2018 - 14:24

A pre-show article in Los Angeles Times:

Robert Hilburn wrote:SHOWDOWN AT THE COLISEUM - Guns N' Roses Take on the Rolling Stones
For years, there was only one choice as 'The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band' -- but it's all over now.


Lots of people think the world's greatest rock band will be on stage this week when the Rolling Stones and Guns N' Roses appear at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but don't assume they're all referring to the Stones.
The Stones have been called the world's greatest band for so long now that no one even considered the possibility on past tours of another group actually upstaging the masters.
But the Stones' seven-year absence from touring has made the once-invincible band seem vulnerable, and rock observers and fans have began wondering if it isn't time to nominate another group as the world's greatest.
Guns N' Roses is just one of several contenders, but it is the only one of the potential rivals that will be on the same bill with the Stones during the tour.
There is such a sense of drama surrounding the Stones/Roses match-up that you can imagine a ring announcer stepping up to the microphone and introducing the contestants at the Coliseum, the only place on the Stones' 3 1/2-month tour where Roses will be appearing.
"In this corner," he might say, "from Los Angeles, California... a band that was formed just four years ago, but which has already sold more than 12 million records, including such mega-hits as 'Sweet Child O' Mine,' 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Patience'...
"A group whose lead singer Axl Rose conveys the charisma and mystery of such rock immortals as Jim Morrison... a band whose image and music live up to the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll attitude so fully that it has been called the bastard offspring of the Rolling Stones themselves.
"L.A.'s own... GUNS N' ROSES."
When the cheering wanes, the announcer continues:
"And now the defending champions... from London, England, a band that has helped shape rock 'n' roll for more than 25 years... a band with more than three dozen Top 40 singles, including such masterworks as 'Satisfaction,' 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'Tumbling Dice'...
"A band whose lead singer, Mick Jagger, was outraging parents before Jim Morrison was even cutting classes at UCLA... a band that returned to live shows this summer after a seven-year layoff and is still able to pack stadiums around the country.
"Ladies and gentlemen... THE ROLLING STONES."
Start your amps.
"I don't see the Coliseum concerts as a contest at all," a 17-year-old rock fan said shortly after the Stones/Roses package was announced in August.
A 20-year-old fan who overheard the remarks in a West Hollywood record store, also balked at the idea of the concert's being a true battle of the bands.
"Showdown? It's going to be a wipe-out," he said condescendingly.
The noteworthy thing is that the two Southern California fans were supporting different groups.
Gerald Macy, 17, said he thinks the Stones' reputation and great backlog of material make it impossible for Guns N' Roses to upstage them. "Everybody my age has been listening to the Stones and waiting to see them all our lives. I like Guns N' Roses, but there would be no Guns N' Roses without the Stones."
But Bill Hardin, 20, said he thinks time is against the Stones. "I'm interested in seeing them, but they don't mean anything to me," he said.
"Guns N' Roses are like the Stones were 20 years ago, and who wouldn't rather have seen the Stones then than now? It's like Muhammad Ali getting into the ring with Mike Tyson or something. You respect the Stones, but Guns N' Roses are today ."
There's no way --short of an exit poll-- to know precisely what role Guns N' Roses played in convincing more than 275,000 fans to pay from $35 (the Ticketmaster charge) to $500 (the broker charge for choice seats) to see Wednesday's Coliseum match-up, which will be repeated Thursday, Saturday and next Sunday. Industry observers, however, believe the L.A.-based quintet may have been responsible for as much as 20 to 40% of the sales.
"The Who's failure to sell out even a single show in August at the Coliseum demonstrated the value of having some insurance, which a hot new band like Guns N' Roses provides," said a concert producer who is not involved with the local Stones dates and asked that his name not be used.
"I believe the Stones are a much stronger draw in Southern California than the Who and that they would have been able to sell out at least two Coliseum shows, maybe even a third on their own, but Guns N' Roses guaranteed a third date and enabled the promoters to add a fourth."
Joseph Rascoff, business manager for the Stones and producer of the tour, said the sluggish Who sales in Los Angeles and San Diego didn't worry him.
"The Rolling Stones had planned from the begining to have a current album out and (work toward) being meaningful in the 1989 music environment," he said. "This gave their tour a whole different dimension and momentum than the Who tour, which had a lot of nostalgic overtones."
About the addition of Guns N' Roses in Los Angeles, he said, "They were not added for 'insurance' purposes, though I think it is fair to say they are the icing on the cake of the Rolling Stones.
"Historically, the Stones have given fans in certain markets a substantial, multiact show. For instance, Prince opened for them in Los Angeles last time, Van Halen in New Orleans, ZZ Top in Texas and so forth. Guns N' Roses is simply in that tradition."
No one knows who first pinned the "world's greatest rock band" tag on the Stones, but the group has carried it at least since the Beatles broke up in 1970. Some supporters, in fact, were even thinking of the Stones -- who defined the idea of rock rebellion for a generation of musicians and fans -- as rock's greatest before then.
The group's 1969 tour is still regarded by many as one of the supreme moments in rock history. Among the highlights: a pair of shows on one night at the Forum, the second of which didn't end until dawn.
Though rivaled by such outstanding bands as the Who, Kinks, Cream, Byrds, Doors, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Yardbirds and Velvet Underground in the '60s, the Stones emerged from the decade with a variety of strengths that made it virtually impossible for new attractions to dethrone them. The Stones were a great live act with a marvelous collection of hits, a wildly provocative image and, crucially, enormous fame outside the hard-core rock community.
Other groups in the early '70s --including the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival-- may have been as admired by critics, and still others --notably Led Zeppelin-- may have been as prized by young, hard-core rock fans, but no one could come close to the Stones' celebrity.
Zeppelin and most other major rock attractions of the '70s were little known outside of the rock world, but the Stones --partly because of the notoriety surrounding the band in the '60s and the familiar string of AM hits-- were virtual household names.
The Stones were an almost irresistible blend of renegade cool and society chic -- a mix that made the group such a media favorite that the tours were often front-page news at a time when other bands' tours were only reported on the pop pages.
Several bands in the late '70s made better records and/or exerted more influence (the Sex Pistols, Clash and Eagles, among others), but they couldn't overcome the Stones' dominance in terms of historical importance and fame. Besides, the Stones did occasionally bounce back in the late '70s with some terrific music (notably the "Some Girls" album) and spectacular shows.
(David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen were more exciting than the Stones at various points in the '70s, but they both fall more into the singer-songwriter tradition of rock than the classic "band" mold.)
When the Stones started bickering publicly rather than touring after the poorly received "Dirty Work" album in 1986, the band no longer seemed invincible. Maybe the band --whose key members were now in their 40s-- was finally wearing down. The rock world started looking around for a new champion.
But who?
The criterion was no longer who could match the Stones for historical significance, because no one could. The question was simply who was making the most stirring music these days.
U2, the socially conscious Irish band, was a name placed in nomination. The group enjoyed not only enormous fan support (they played the Coliseum themselves two nights in 1987), but also considerable critical backing (the band's "The Joshua Tree" won a Grammy in 1988 as album of the year).
And there were others, including Metallica, R.E.M., the Replacements, Talking Heads, the Cure... and Guns N' Roses.
Great rock challenges as well as excites, and Guns N' Roses succeeds on both fronts. It may not be the No. 1 contender to the Stones' crown, but it is a worthy one.
To appreciate the group, however, most pop-rock fans will have to set aside some prejudices about hard rock and heavy metal.
The disheartening parade of calculated merchants who have marched in recent years under those rock banners makes it easy to think of every band in the genre as simply another weary cliche.
And Guns N' Roses, on casual meeting, may indeed seem like just that cliche. There's a loud and crude edge to most of their music, and lead singer Axl Rose sports a lot of your standard hard rock trimmings.
But there's a difference.
The band's themes may be about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, but they aren't your typically hollow or recycled exercises. In tunes as varied as the nightmarish "Welcome to the Jungle" --a journey into the trendy, West Hollywood glam-rock world-- or the disarmingly tender "Sweet Child O' Mine"-- a wonderfully effective reflection on lost innocence -- the band examines the temptations and consequences of fast-lane behavior with convincing authority and emotion.
In fact, Rose, a high-school dropout from Indiana who moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and virtually lived on the streets for years, writes about his experiences with a bluntness that has, at least in one case, led to controversy. (See article on facing page).
This same independent, "take us as we are" attitude makes GNR a compelling force some nights on stage, but can leave it distant and ill-focused others. Like the early Stones, the band seems to live in greater fear of being mechanical on stage than of being merely bad.
Rose, 27, is a gifted, spontaneous performer who slips around the stage in an alluring, dream-like resonance with the music. His mates --guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler-- also play with an eye toward capturing the emotion of the moment rather than just replaying the record.
The band showed it can rise to the occasion when it opened last year at the Pacific Amphitheatre for Aerosmith, another outstanding veteran band that is in fine shape these days.
Guns N' Roses was far from polished that night, but there was a sense of electricity in the band's music and in Rose's manner that upstaged Aerosmith. It's not that Aerosmith was off its form, but that Guns N' Roses drained the audience so thoroughly that there was little rock 'n' roll emotion left when the headliners came on.
But Guns N' Roses has to be careful at the Coliseum. The circumstances aren't the same.
First, GNR isn't accustomed to stadium shows, and it takes a different kind of energy to be effective in that setting than it does in the kind of 15,000-seat venues that the band normally plays. Plus, GNR hasn't been on tour for months, and it often takes several shows for a band to find a musical groove.
Third, the Stones are in excellent form. Jagger has shed many of the exaggerated movements that made him seem a caricature at times on the 1978 and 1981 tours, and the rest of the band is also tighter musically than on either of those tours. And finally, there is no way to underestimate the seductiveness of all those great Stones songs.
Added warning: Guns N' Roses also has to be wary of being upstaged itself. Living Colour, the opening act on the show, is one of the few black bands in rock, and it backs its flashy, crowd-pleasing act with purposeful songs (about such matters as false idols and racial stereotypes) that give the band a liberating sense of mission.
Like a fighter being rushed prematurely into the ring with the champion, Guns N' Roses --with just two albums-- may be risking comparison to the Stones too early. But this bold, even reckless attitude is part of Guns N' Roses' magic.
The Coliseum stage will be worthy of a championship match. Ten stories high and 300 feet wide, it is believed to be the largest ever constructed for a rock tour -- so high, in fact, that warning lights have been fixed to the towers to comply with federal regulations governing airplane safety.
Similarly, there's the scent of money around this tour that is similar to what you'd find at a Tyson or Sugar Ray Leonard title fight. The tour promoter, Michael Cohl, president of BCL Entertainment Corp., shocked even hardened industry veterans when he guaranteed the Stones $65 million to do the tour. But his judgment appears to have been validated by what is happening around the country.
At an average ticket price of $28.50, the concerts will gross almost $90 million at the box office alone.
In an interview in Washington, D.C., where the Stones sold out two shows at 50,000-capacity R.F.K. Stadium, Richards, 45, was pleased by the way the band has been accepted after the seven-year break.
"The doubts seemed to have dissipated very quickly. The reviews and reaction have been amazingly good, so a lot of the voyeurism has been killed. People at the shows aren't so much wondering, 'Can they still do it?' as simply having a good time, which is the way it should be."
But what have the showdown contestants been saying about each other?
In an interview last December with The Times, Axl Rose noted a debt to the Stones.
"We have lots of influences, but the Stones are most definitely a big part of it," he said. "As a band, we haven't seemed to wear out the Stones yet. We keep learning more and more from them... about the fact you are able to do anything you want in your music."
On the Stones side, Jagger, 46, explained in an interview last August why the band had invited Living Colour -- on the entire tour and Guns N' Roses in Los Angeles -- to open for them.
"We added (those bands) because they're proven people's groups. They've come up not because of music industry flogging, but on their own, because they hit a populist nerve."
But Jagger, in a Washington interview last month, downplayed the idea that the Coliseum shows are a special test for the Stones.
"Someone asked me the other day if we feel we have to prove something on this tour... if we feel we have to show we are the 'greatest band on earth' or whatever," he said. "Well, I'm not trying to prove anything. I just want to go out there and have a good time, and I think that's the way most of the fans approach the show too.
"I told someone the other day that I remember when the Dave Clark Five knocked us off the top of the charts back in 1965 or whatever and someone came up to us and said, 'How does it feel not to be No. 1 anymore?' "
Asked about today's young bands, Keith Richards, in a separate Washington interview, singled out U2 as a special favorite.
"That's one of the few bands I've bothered to go see in the last two or three years, and they have a real nice band feel and spirit," he said. "I like them a lot."
And Guns N' Roses?
"I don't know much about them, but it's another band that seems to have a spirit, and I've been told I'll like them. I guess we'll find out in Los Angeles."
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Thu 12 Apr 2018 - 14:41

Review from Los Angeles Times:

Robert Hilburn wrote:STILL THE GREATEST


The winner and still champ: the Rolling Stones.

On a night when rock 'n' roll's most celebrated survivors played with such passion and fire at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that they looked as though they could go on convincingly for another 10 years, Guns N' Roses, the young Los Angeles rock upstarts, made you wonder Wednesday whether they were going to even survive the concert.
In a series of hot-tempered remarks during his group's 80-minute set, Guns lead singer Axl Rose not only fueled the controversy over the racial and sexual epithets in the band's song "One in a Million," but he twice suggested that the four-day Coliseum stand, which concludes with shows Saturday and Sunday, may be his last performances with the band.
The concert loomed as a classic rock 'n' roll showdown: a generational battle of the bands.
But the Stones simply had too many weapons: too much historic aura, too many great songs and too splendid a lineup of musicians.
Some of the Stones' songs (especially "Play With Fire" and "2,000 Light Years") are too dated, and others are decidedly marginal ("Harlem Shuffle," "Undercover of the Night"), but the best of the Stones' rockers ("Start Me Up," "Brown Sugar") and the most seductive of the band's mood pieces ("Tumbling Dice," "Honky Tonk Women") are rock hallmarks.
The Stones, with good reason, have been called the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band for so long -- at least since the early '70s -- that for years no one has even considered an alternative. It wasn't until the band's recent seven-year layoff from touring that rock observers started wondering if the band -- nearing its third decade -- should pass the torch.
Guns N' Roses isn't the only contender, but it is the only one appearing with the Stones during the band's 3 1/2-month tour. The group -- whose bad-boy stance is reminiscent of the Stones' role in the '60s and early '70s -- is the most celebrated hard-rock outfit of the '80s. Its first two albums have sold an estimated 12 million copies.
The Coliseum bill -- it's the only place Guns N' Roses is appearing on the Stones tour -- is so hot that nearly 280,000 people will see the four shows. Ticket brokers around town reported brisk business, commanding as much as $700 for choice seats. The souvenir stands at the Coliseum also reflected an awareness of the older Stones fans' affluence. Besides the standard $20 T-shirts, booths offered such upscale concert items as a $450 leather jacket and a $190 flight jacket.
Coming on stage shortly before 8 p.m., Rose didn't even wait for the rest of the quintet to get in place before grabbing the microphone and defending his right to use in "One in a Million" words deeply offensive to blacks and homosexuals.
"Before we start playing, (I want to say) I'm sick of all this publicity about our song," he said in an expletive-filled tirade to an estimated 72,000 fans. He then denied he was a racist, but suggested that selective use of the words -- against particular members of those groups who offend you -- is acceptable. "If you still want to call me a racist, you can... shove it..."
Rose's defense is likely to anger further those who have been offended by the song. It's one thing to argue for the limited use of those words as social realism in art, but it shows a lack of sensitivity to use them as a part of your vocabulary.
It was soon apparent that his ire was not just directed at those who have challenged him on the language of "One in a Million."
Before starting the second song, he again paused. "I don't like to do this on stage," he said, "But unless certain people in this band start getting their act together, these are going to be the last Guns N' Roses shows," he said.
While fans looked at each other in amazement, Rose -- known to be a volatile, highly spontaneous performer -- continued: "I'm sick and tired of too many people in this organization dancing with Mr. Brownstone," a reference to a Guns N' Roses song dealing with drug use.
Later, returning for the encore of "Paradise City," he again seemed agitated. "Before we begin, I'd like to announce this is my last gig with Guns N' Roses." He then added, with an air of disillusionment, that there's no need to look for a Paradise City because none exists.
(The band's management had no comment Thursday on the group's status for the Coliseum shows on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).
It was both a troubling and fascinating display -- one that will probably go down as a storied moment in L.A. rock. Rose has the potential to be one of the most compelling figures in American rock since the late Jim Morrison.
Like Morrison, Rose exhibits a fierce independence that sometimes leads to errors in judgment as he races in a somewhat romantic pursuit of artistic truth. He also shares Morrison's duality: exploring the dark side of man's nature (the fast-lane corruption of "Welcome to the Jungle") while also possessing an almost old-fashioned yearning for innocence ("Sweet Child o' Mine").
In the midst of the anger Wednesday, for instance, Rose led the audience on a disarming sing-along of Bob Dylan's wistful "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."
The most striking of the similarities with Morrison, however, is Rose's tendency on stage to act on raw impulse and emotion. He is someone that you can't take your eyes off. There is a sense of genuine involvement -- rather than rote -- in both his soft, swaying movements as he sings, and in the way he searches vocally to find some new truth every time he sings a song.
Rose seems to get so caught up emotionally in the song that he disregards his own safety. At one point early in the set, he fell approximately six feet after he accidentally stepped off a dark edge of the main floor while singing "Patience," one of Guns' hit singles. He landed on his side on a platform and appeared stunned, losing his balance as he tried to regain his footing. Finally, a security guard helped him up.
Undaunted, Rose stepped down to the Coliseum floor and shook hands with fans as he moved along a wooden partition that separates the audience from the technicians in front of the stage.
Whether because of or despite its raw edges, Guns N' Roses has become the most absorbing hard-rock band to emerge in the '80s, and it may again challenge for the title -- if it survives. But you can't beat a great team by showing the divisions that Guns N' Roses did.
The group did supply one element Wednesday that the Stones no longer have: A sense of spontaneity. It wasn't however, enough.
There was a time when the Stones were branded as irresponsible in their use of language and as rude in their behavior as Guns N' Roses is now. What those criticisms missed was the excellence of the Stones' music, and it's that music that now enables the group to continue to be such a wonderfully stirring attraction.
After the emotional high-wire act of Rose, the Stones seemed almost quaintly tame. The show moved as smoothly as a Broadway revue -- but what a revue.
The stage set is a futuristic construction site that, through use of lighting, shifts during the evening to serve as either an unsettling display of urban decay or a more optimistic statement of social and urban renewal.
The lighting, too, is dazzling as it changes from red-hell alarm (during "Sympathy for the Devil") to a comforting blue ("You Can't Always Get What You Want"). There's also a sense of humor as 50-foot high balloons in the shape of bar girls brighten "Honky Tonk Women."
Wearing the same sporty green leather tails he wore at the start of the tour on Aug. 31 in Philadelphia, 46-year-old Mick Jagger set a fast opening pace as he skipped around the stage with the energy of a man half his age.
Guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman have been joined by keyboardists Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford, saxophonist Bobby Keys, three backup singers and a three-piece horn section. These musicians have all been woven into the Stones' traditional blues-based rock sound without making it appear either unnecessarily fancy or uptown.
Richards has always said that he doesn't worry about growing old because he's seen his treasured bluesmen play into their 60s and 70s. That gives him and the Stones a long time to go. The question on recent tours was whether they would still be accepted by young audiences.
The response of the young fans on this tour -- and about two-thirds of the crowd on most tour stops is under 21 -- is that the Stones hold up well. Even those fans predicting a Guns N' Roses victory in Wednesday's showdown expressed admiration for the Stones. Their fondness for Guns was based on matters of generational pride. "This is my band," said Robert Sanchez, 20, of Hollywood. "The Stones are my dad's band." After the concert, Martin Miller, 36, of La Habra had a comment that appeared more typical of the older Stones fans on hand. "Guns N' Roses," he said sarcastically, "may be a great band -- let's see in 10 years."
Living Colour, the opening act, was in the difficult position of beginning its set at 6 p.m., when only about 5,000 people were in their seats and it was still daylight. But the New York group, led by guitarist-songwriter Vernon Reid, put on a crowd-pleasing mix of almost metal-ish force and songs with substance and social relevance. The only weak link is the stiffness of lead singer Corey Glover.
The lesson of Wednesday's show is that it's doubtful that any band can step on stage with enough good-to-great familiar songs and with enough historical mystique to take the rock crown away from the Stones. The Stones can only be upstaged when they no longer play their music with the energy and commitment it deserves. Don't expect it to happen soon.
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Blackstar on Sun 15 Apr 2018 - 23:55

Another review from The Los Angeles Times (October 19, 1989):


Robert Hilburn wrote:Stones Roll On--Rose Acts Up
October 19, 1989|ROBERT HILBURN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Rolling Stones and Guns N' Roses squared off Wednesday in a battle of rock 'n' roll generations that proved to be explosive and surprising.

"I like the Stones, but I kind of figure Guns N' Roses will take it," said Johnny Perale, 20, of East Los Angeles. "They are newer and more hip. The Stones are the legend, but Guns N' Roses are the legend in the making."

By the time the Stones took the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum stage just before 10 p.m., many in the audience of 72,000 had been wowed--and perhaps stunned--by some of the comments and antics of Guns N' Roses lead singer Axel Rose.

Before the Los Angeles-based quintet struck a note, Rose--who has been accused of racism and bigotry over the lyrics of one of his songs--grabbed the microphone to heatedly defend himself.

"I'm sick and tired of all this publicity," said Rose, referring to recurring media debates over his use of certain offensive racial terms and insulting slang references to homosexuality in the group's song "One in a Million."

After the band's first number, Rose again took the microphone and seemed to warn that internal friction might cause the band's demise.

"Unless certain people in this band start getting their act together, this is going to be the last Guns N' Roses show," he said. "I'm sick and tired of too many people in this organization dancing with Mr. Brownstone," a reference to an anti-drug song on the group's hit album "Appetite for Destruction."

Despite the quixotic commentary, the audience responded enthusiastically to the band's 80-minute show. Before and during the show, the audience browsed through stands selling souvenirs that ranged from the normal concert tour T-shirts to $190 Rolling Stones flight jackets and $450 leather jackets that seemed aimed at the older, and more affluent, Stones fans rather than the younger Guns N' Roses fans.

Fireworks were set off when Stones' lead singer Mick Jagger leaped on stage at 9:45 p.m. wearing a flashy blue and aqua waistcoat and singing the group's trademark song, "Start Me Up."

Not even an earthquake could stop 50-year-old Norm Swenson from flying in from San Francisco to see the Stones. "I'm slowin' down, but I still go to the big ones," he said.

More than 280,000 fans are expected to see the four concerts featuring the Stones that began Wednesday. The concerts are part of a 3 1/2-month tour expected to earn $90 million and to draw 3 million fans.
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

Post by Blackstar on Sun 15 Apr 2018 - 23:59

Review from Kerrang!

Brian Brander Brinkerhoff wrote:

The fact that Guns N' Roses were a bit sloppy on the first of four sold-out shows as support to the Rolling Stones shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

After all, they've been off the road for a stretch now, and put in just a couple of warm-up dates in some smaller venues around LA prior to today's (October 18) first show at the city's huge Coliseum.

What was surprising was that frontman W. Axl Rose decided that tonight was the proper time to announce his 'retirement' from Guns, and that these gigs with the Stones would be the final shows that GN'R would do…

Rather than jump right into the opening number 'It's So Easy', the band milled around for a few minutes while Axl started off the set with an explanation and defence of the now infamous lyrics to 'One In A Million'. That accomplished, to a very mixed reaction from the crowd I might add, the music and the bombshell announcements came pouring forth.

The fivesome followed 'It's So Easy' with 'Mr. Brownstone'. But before it, Axl suggested "certain people in the Guns N' Roses organization get their shit together and quit dancing with this man."

Izzy Stradlin and Slash each added some tasteful playing, although with Slash now minus the famous trademark top hat that he wore during the opening song, it can now be revealed that the man is quickly becoming a definite candidate for a Syrup! However, the sudden hair loss certainly hasn't affected Slash's playing, which was strong throughout the set.

'Out Ta Get Me' was most memorable owing to the fact that Axl took an unexpected tumble from the stage on to the ground below. He fell a full four/five meters, but hardly missed a not and attributed the mishap to "fancy footwork", adding: "That wasn't the type of stage dive I had in mind."

A horn section, featuring Duff McKagan's brother, added an interested touch to 'Move To The City', and if any HR/HM band can pull off horns without appearing to succumb to trendiness and pandering to the mostly yuppie crowd assembled here tonight, it's these GN'R guys.

Things slowed down a little but for 'Patience', but anyone expecting an opportunity to catch their breath was rudely jolted back to reality by the thundering 'My Michelle". Steven Adler and Duff laid down a fierce and pounding bottom end that Izzy and Slash used to their advantage, adding some fiery six-string flourishes.

During 'Rocket Queen' the band broke into an extended middle section breakdown, which saw Axl take over on bass chores and Duff move over to add more muscle to Adler's percussion work.

The one-two punch of 'Sweet Child O' Mine' and 'Welcome To The Jungle' had everyone moving and singing along. 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' closed the proceedings.

"Since you're the biggest LA crowd we've every played in front of, you better be the loudest," admonished Axl, and the atmosphere in the crowd reached fever pitch.

Of course the band returned for an encore - a frantic run-through of 'Paradise City'.

Then Axl made his stunning announcement: that he was 'retiring', and that these were Guns' final shows. He threw his microphone to the floor, and GN'R left the boards for parts unknown. "Have a nice life…" was Axl's parting comment.

Backstage, David Lee Roth was on hand to take the singer aside and offer some calming words as Axl threw another of his 'mood swings'. So now the wondering starts.

Is Axl serious? Time will tell, but I somehow doubt it.

Later in the evening, Mick Jagger told the crowd: "I don't know what's the matter with Axl tonight, but we dedicate this next number to him. We all have these things but we don't talk about them onstage!" After which the Stones launched into 'Mixed Emotions'!

STOP PRESS: Before the October 19 show, Slash took the mic to make a speech about drug and heroin abuse, apologizing for his own transgressions…
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Re: 1989.10.18 - Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA

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