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1990.04.07 - Farm Aid IV, Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, USA

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1990.04.07 - Farm Aid IV, Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:32 am

April 7, 1990.

Farm Aid IV, Hoosier Dome.

Indianapolis, USA.

01. Civil War
02. Down on the Farm

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

We got an offer to play Farm Aid in Indiana on April 7, 1990. That gig got us fired up in the same way that those gigs with the Stones had done for us not too long before. These kind of jump starts would kick the band into gear and get it all flowing again because when the band was working we fired on every cylinder. We put together a few songs just for the show; we worked up a cover of the U.K. Subs' classic "Down on the Farm" and we fine-tuned "Civil War." I was really excited to get out and play together again, but things went south quickly. The second we walked out onstage, Steven took a run up to the drum riser, which is a pretty big platform that's hard to miss, and took flight. I assume he was planning on landing next to his kit, but his depth perception and reflexes were clearly impaired, so he ended up landing about four feet short. I watched it as if it was happening in slow motion...It was more than embarrassing. Steven hobbled through the show, and our performance was dodgy at best, though well received by the farm Aid crowd [Slash's autobiography, p 301-302]
When we had played a couple of songs to a huge crowd at Farm Aid in April, [Steven] was a mess onstage [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171]
In early 1990 the band agreed to appear at a benefit at the famous Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis called Farm Aid. It was huge, tens of thousands of fans cheering nonstop, with millions more watching on TV. While it was an important event, we didn't even bother to rehearse for it. I flew out there expecting to have a great time, but Duff and Slash continued to distance themselves from me. They seemed locked into their private little clique. Izzy was off on his own, but that was typical.[...]
When we were introduced at the farm Aid concert, I was so excited that I sprinted out to the drums, and as I leaped up, I caught my foot on the flange that ran around the border of the riser. I tripped and fell right on my ass. I might have been a little buzzed, but let me tell you, thereæs nothing like wiping out in front of all those fans to sober your ass right up. I was bummed - "Shit, I'm on live TV." But I quickly scrambled right back up, smiled broadly, and grabbed my sticks, ready to rock. I assumed we'd be playing a couple of our hits, like 'Paradise City' or 'Welcome to the Jungle.' Axl announced, "This is something new we got, called 'Civil War.'"
Huh? Although I knew the song, I didn't know that would be the title. So I looked at Duff and I was like, "Dude. What's goin' on?"
He was kind of being a dick, maybe disgusted with my wipeout on the stage, so I just sat there, and when I heard Slash play the opening riff, I caught on. Although we didn't even have that song completely down and had never rehearsed it with Axl, it played pretty well. I kind of sighed with relief to have gotten over that hurdle, but the damn surprises kept coming.
Next Axl says, "This is by a punk band called the UK Subs. And this song really rocks; it's called ' Down on the Farm.'" I'm like, "What the fuck?" I yell over to Duff, "Dude! How does it go?" He just claps his hands, providing me with the tempo, and then walks away. So I just played the tempo with my bass drum and winged it. I'd never once heard that song before. But I kicked ass, and that made me feel proud, not mad.
Looking back, I realize that this may have been proof positive that their plan to get me out of the band was already in full motion. They weren't cluing me in on new songs or even telling me what we were playing. I believe their strategy was to make my playing sound like shit. I believe they wanted me to fuck up on live TV; that would be their evidence. BY branding me as an inn-prepared, crappy drummer, they'd be armed with a sound reason for kicking me out
[Steve's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 201-201]
Next concert: 1991.01.20.
Previous concert: 1989.10.22.
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