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Chinese Democracy

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Chinese Democracy

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:29 am


CHINESE DEMOCRACY
Album:
Chinese Democracy, 2008, track no. 1.

Written by:
Axl Rose and Josh Freese.

Musicians:
Axl Rose – lead vocals, backing vocals, keyboards, piano, guitar
Robin Finck – lead guitars, keyboards
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal – lead guitar
Buckethead – lead guitar
Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar, piano
Richard Fortus – rhythm guitar
Tommy Stinson – bass, backing vocals
Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals
Chris Pitman – keyboards, programming, sub bass, backing vocals, bass, 12 string guitar, mellotron
Bryan "Brain" Mantia – drums, percussion
Frank Ferrer – drums, percussion

Live performances:
The song was played for the first time at the House Of Blues, January 1, 2001. In total it has, as of {UPDATEDATE}, been played {CHINESESONGS} times.
Lyrics:
It don't really matter
You're gonna find out for yourself
No it don't really matter
You're gonna leave this thing to somebody else

If they were missionaries
Real time visionaries
Sitting in a Chinese stew
To view my dis-in-fat-u-ation

I know that I'm a classic case
Watch my disenchanted face
Blame it on the Falun Gong
They've seen the end and it can't hold on now

'Cause it would take a lot more hate than you
To end the fascination
Even with an iron fist
All they got to rule the nation
When all I've got is precious time
It don't really matter
Guess I'll keep it to myself
Said it don't really matter
It's time I look around for somebody else

'Cause it would take a lot more time than you
Have got for masturbation
Even with your iron fist
All they got to rule the nation
When all we got is precious time
All they got to fool the nation
When all I got is precious time

It don't really matter
I guess you'll find out for yourself
No it don't really matter
So you can hear it now from somebody else

You think you got it all locked up inside
And if you beat 'em enough they'll die
It's like a walk in the park from a cell
And now you're keeping your own kind in hell
When your great wall rocks blame yourself
While their arms reach up for your help
And you're out of time


Quote:
The movie Kundun was on [television] about the Dalai Lama. I was getting ready to leave...and it was the end of the movie. And the Dalai Lama is about to cross over the border, to you know, be in exile for the rest of his life from his own country. And he looks back at the men who helped him, and you know he's escaped the Chinese government. And he looks back at them and he waves and they wave at him. And then they show a scene where he looks back at them again and he sees every one of them dead. Because he knew they would be killed, and they knew that in helping him they would be killed. And you know the emotion in this next song, that's all that's about. It's not like an intelligent song. It doesn't have the answer to anything. And it's not necessarily pro or con  about China. It's just that right now China symbolizes one of the strongest, yet most oppressive countries and governments in the world. And we [Americans] are fortunate to live in a free country. And so in thinking about that it just kinda upset me, and we wrote this little song called 'Chinese Democracy.' [Las Vegas, House Of Blues, January 1, 2001]

Our song, "Chinese Democracy," in its irreverence, is for positive purposes and communication with all segments of society; music fans (Guns N' Roses fans in particular) and, especially, the western media, to open a dialogue in areas not necessarily focused on both current events and global social responsibilities.

When I was fortunate enough to visit both Hong Kong and Mainland China, I experienced different levels of fear at all times in relation to the particular area I visited. I did not experience the fear in the sense of having feared for myself, I witnessed it in others everywhere around me, and kept my demeanor calm, observant and extremely polite. What I felt was emotional heartbreak. I've never witnessed so many individuals going about their lives in such a degree of visible fear, especially the average citizen in the spectrum of social, economic or social position. The military were nearby in some form or another, from one lone sentry to marching drill teams. It was not like a movie as it was much more extreme in the sense that this was real. I did not ask or talk about any of these issues with anyone in public.

The use of the two words "Chinese" and "Democracy" was intentional, though perhaps not in the way many may think. I do not purport to know what system of government is best for the people of China. I feel that the prejudice and closed mindedness of at least many outspoken Guns N' Roses fans seems to warrant an awareness of the realities of a constantly evolving and ever growing world where China continues to play an ever increasing role.
[Excerpt from alternative album cover sleeve, unknown date]

That's a wacky feather in my cap. After 10 years I was ready to see [the song] have eight different writers on it, but it didn't get convoluted and fucked up. [...] I think they made the intro longer. I'd have 'em cut right into the thing. It's a simple bonehead rock song with a big riff that I'm assuming will be perfect for 'Guitar Hero' one day [Spinner, March 27, 2009]
About his favourites to play live: The [title] track to Chinese Democracy is one of my favorites [LA Weekly Blog, December 21, 2011]
About his favourites to play live: I think 'Chinese Democracy' is pretty much fun to play, [...] that is just a barn burner, really fucking in your face [fanpass.tv, May 2014]
I added the fretless riffs behind the verses and that was really the main contribution to the song [Ultimate Guitar, July 2014].
One of my favorite strange feathers in my cap that I have is that whenever I walk into a room of people and they’re talking about [whispers] Chinese Democracy, just this whole debacle of a record that took 100 years to make and cost a million dollars—I’ll walk into a room full of people and go, “What are you guys talking about?” They go, “Chinese Democracy,” and I raise my hand and go, “I wrote ‘Chinese Democracy,’” because I wrote the music to the song. I didn’t write anything else on the album. I wrote a couple other things that didn’t make it on the album. When I left, there were still another seven or eight years before the album came out. But it always makes me laugh. It’s not like I wrote Track 10 or something; I wrote “Chinese Democracy.” Some people told me I shouldn’t brag about that. Actually, I like that song. And it’s not just because I wrote it; it’s because it’s a really dumb, simple, dirty guitar riff. It’s cool. I think it’s one of the better ones on that record. [noisey, August 21, 2014]

'Chinese Democracy' performed live in Osaka, Japan, December 16, 2009:


'Chinese Democracy' performed live on Rock In Rio, 2001:

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Re: Chinese Democracy

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:12 pm

Here's all Axl wrote about China from the alternative booklet and would, to some extent, pertain to the song:

Axl wrote:What if you lived in constant fear... knowing that you could be arrested at any time without cause; without warning; thrown in prison; tried and convicted; sentenced with virtually no chance for appeal or reprieve; even executed without representation by a jury or family?

What if you were informed by the government that you and your family were allowed to visit your loved one in prison, but before you were allowed to do so, you were suddenly informed that without notice the State had them executed?

What if the degree of force brought against much less than minor misdemeanors - or outright innocence - was as extreme as for the strongest offenses and nearly a part of your every existing minute? What if you knew that a friend or a family member, a loved one, could be ripped from your life instantly with little or no recourse?

What if nearly everyone and anyone could literally be a government informant for information regarding remedial discussions in areas of human rights; Buddhism, Tibet, the Dali Lama, different systems of government, religion or spirituality or conversing about and with anything other than disdain for the way of life, government and commerce in western society? If you were born into such a predicament and circumstance, what would you do?

What if you felt so helpless and afraid that you were compelled to sell your own child you love because you cannot afford the financial penalty and other consequences due to China's 'one-child' rule?

What if your contact with the world outside your country was controlled by your government to the degree that you had no real awareness of even basic global current events? What if you lived in a country where the discussion of a word associated with the name of your country, such as "democracy," in any manner but disdain could bring severe consequences, what would you do?

In my opinion, on some level what obviously is an understatement, is that the true core of a multifaceted perception, and the reality of life for an entire country with the largest population in the world - and my particular focus - is that you would suffer... daily. Unless your mind and/or education could maneuver through the minefield of communist law enforcement and government bureaucracy, where the risk is so real and psychologically devastating that living in obvious fear and denial are nearly positive forms of action, reaction, and daily survival or protection for yourself and loved ones... You would see suffering and you may even choose to simply see suffering as a means of survival.

I have no disrespect for the People of The Republic of China whatsoever. In fact, for reasons I can't explain, I have a deeply rooted and firm respect, compassion and love for the Chinese people.

Our song, "Chinese Democracy," in its irreverence, is for positive purposes and communication with all segments of society; music fans (Guns N' Roses fans in particular) and, especially, the western media, to open a dialogue in areas not necessarily focused on both current events and global social responsibilities.

When I was fortunate enough to visit both Hong Kong and Mainland China, I experienced different levels of fear at all times in relation to the particular area I visited. I did not experience the fear in the sense of having feared for myself, I witnessed it in others everywhere around me, and kept my demeanor calm, observant and extremely polite. What I felt was emotional heartbreak. I've never witnessed so many individuals going about their lives in such a degree of visible fear, especially the average citizen in the spectrum of social, economic or social position. The military were nearby in some form or another, from one lone sentry to marching drill teams. It was not like a movie as it was much more extreme in the sense that this was real. I did not ask or talk about any of these issues with anyone in public.

The use of the two words "Chinese" and "Democracy" was intentional, though perhaps not in the way many may think. I do not purport to know what system of government is best for the people of China. I feel that the prejudice and closed mindedness of at least many outspoken Guns N' Roses fans seems to warrant an awareness of the realities of a constantly evolving and ever growing world where China continues to play an ever increasing role.

China, whether anyone likes it or not, will become more and more a part of our daily lives and an integral force to the future of our planet. To that, without acquainting ourselves to severe realities of China as a super power, with all she has to offer and brings both to the future and into our lives, this continuing transition will be less than pleasant and can go in diverse directions most would feel are either inhibiting, unacceptable or unconscionable. Yet, economics and government position could force us into accepting these conditions, as is the case now.

There is no way I can touch on all the issues important to such a subject here. Nor do I claim to be an authority or even knowledgeable of all the facts of China. What I do claim, as an ibhabitant of our world, that through my own eyes I have perceived a deep level of pain not evident in the average citizen in western society that is directly related to how the people in China are governed. Why would a government want their people to be under such a level of fear, stress and emotional bondage?

I do not entertain delusions that change will happen overnight. What I do know is that whether anyone likes it or not, China is coming and she brings an oppressive force with her beyond anything we have experienced in our daily lives and until we familiarize ourselves, it will be increasingly difficult for many. Tensions may prove much more taxing than need be and have many unsatisfactory conclusions.

Basic human rights are at the forefront of these concerns, not just for China but for the planet. The obligation to offer and maintain these rights for ourselves and all citizens of this planet is a responsibility shared by all. The request and plea is for the government of China to recognize that her people love her and give all that they must to see her survive. China can prosper, grow and thrive without the unnecessary level of fear instilled by the government and the intolerable degree of oppression, social and basic human rights abuse exercised by those in power.

Religious freedoms, those chosen by the people and not the government, and the recognition and respect of cultures and religions of others is imperative to both the health of the nation and the planet as a whole. Those who rule with fear in my opinion have a deeper and greater fear that rules them from inside (which must be addressed, diminished and steered in alternate directions), than those that form the basis for governing people who willingly seek to follow, fight for and love their country.

Please forgive me if I've said too much or you feel this is not my place or my business. As an inhabitant of our planet, I respectfully disagree as in my opinion this is our obligation to each other.

These are merely a few thoughts out of many to keep in mind as we move forward in this century. Thank you for taking the time to read some of mine.

All the best and God Bless,
Sincerely, Axl Rose
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