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1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy

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1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy Empty 1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:49 pm

Date:
June 29, 1993.

Venue:
Modena Stadio.

Location:
Modena, Italy.

Setlist:
01. It's So Easy
02. Mr. Brownstone
03. Live and Let Die
04. Attitude
05. Yesterdays
06. Welcome to the Jungle
07. Double Talkin' Jive
08. Dead Flowers
09. You Ain't the First
10. You're Crazy
11. Used to Love Her
12. Patience
13. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
14. November Rain
15. Dead Horse
16. You Could Be Mine
17. Sweet Child O'Mine
18. Paradise City

Line-up:
Axl Rose (vocals), Gilby Clarke (rhythm guitarist), Slash (lead guitarist), Duff McKagan (bass), Dizzy Reed (keyboards) and Matt Sorum (drums).

1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy Rightarrow Next concert: 1993.06.30.
1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy Leftarrow Previous concert: 1993.06.26.
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1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy Empty Re: 1993.06.29 - Modena Stadio, Modena, Italy

Post by Blackstar on Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:01 am

Craig Duswalt wrote:
All over Europe, fans are very passionate about their favorite bands—Guns N’ Roses included. They get to concerts early, they stay late, they sing the words to every song (even in non-English-speaking countries), and they also love to grab. Grab at anything close to them—hair, clothes, body parts, and skin. Let me tell you, having your skin pulled in twenty different directions hurts.

Yes, even though I was not the rock star, I was used and bruised before, during, and after tons of shows. Most fans didn’t care if I was a rock star or not. I worked for Axl, and that was good enough; or because I was always next to him, and they just grabbed for anything, I was collateral damage.

We had just finished a show in Modena, Italy, at Stadio Alberto Braglia, and the band members, excluding Axl, and their entourage, headed back to the hotel. Ninety percent of the time the band left the venue first. Axl left a couple of hours later, usually with me, Earl, Robert, and Steve, Axl’s chiropractor. On this night Steve was lucky enough to have left earlier with the band.

Just as we sometimes used decoys to stand in for Axl, we also used decoy limos. When we left a concert we used two limos, one with Axl and us, and a much nicer limo with the driver by himself. We figured that people would assume Axl was in the nicer limo. Sometimes we took a van or a regular car back to the hotel while the beautiful limo in front of us had no one in it. It was worth the extra expense.

When the nice limo pulled up to the front door of the hotel, the fans attacked it thinking Axl was going to get out. While that melee took place we calmly had our driver take us around to the side door or the loading dock, and we walked into the hotel unscathed.

Sometimes we’d go to the lobby and watch the driver of the decoy limo in front of the hotel as he tried to convince thousands of people that Axl was not in his limo. Not a pretty sight, but very humorous.

This particular night there were hundreds of fans waiting for Axl to arrive back at the hotel after an amazing show. But because it was only about fifteen feet from the limo to the front door of the hotel lobby, we figured we would take our chances. There were protocols we followed in these situations, and we took them very seriously. Unfortunately, Axl never listened to these protocols.

We pulled up to the hotel and because we’re really smart, we told the driver to pull around to the side of the hotel so we could get out there after Earl “cleared” the area.

Earl is an ex-NFL player. He can clear an area.

We pulled up to the side of the hotel, and within seconds the hundreds of fans from the front of the hotel surrounded our limo. Europeans are very fast. Even Earl couldn’t clear this area. We needed help. At that point, “protocol” was for Earl to get on the walkie-talkie and summon help. Because the tour was very high security, we all carried walkie-talkies 24/7. If we needed help it would literally be there in seconds. This was very comforting and very helpful on numerous occasions. So we knew that as soon as Earl got on the walkie-talkie, within seconds, we would have the place cleared by our team of very large bodyguards with booming voices and we would calmly walk into the hotel, to our rooms, and straight to bed.

Didn’t happen.

On this night, out of nowhere, as we sat in our safe limo, surrounded by hundreds of very “passionate” European fans, we heard the following come from Axl’s mouth:

“I’m going for it.”

Seemingly less than a millisecond later, Axl opened his door and leaped into the crowd.

With that, Earl, Robert, and I looked at one another in horror and yelled, “Damn!” as we jumped out of the limo to try to save Axl, who was engulfed in a sea of Guns N’ Roses fans.

Imagine a slab of meat surrounded by thousands of piranha. You get the picture.

The biggest melee to date was taking place and it starred Axl Rose. Our job was to get him out of there, intact, and preferably with his clothes still on his body.

Earl threw people around, left and right, trying to get to Axl, and Robert and I pushed our way through as well. We were grabbed and scratched, but felt no pain because the adrenalin had kicked in.

To make matters worse, there were a lot of paparazzi in the melee as well, taking pictures of Axl fighting his way through the crowd. Axl does not like his picture taken.

So, because we knew that Earl would eventually get to Axl, Robert and I turned our attention on getting the paparazzi “out of the picture.” Most paparazzi are exactly who they are portrayed to be in the news—ruthless, rude, disgusting human beings with no moral compass.

As soon as we decided to confront the paparazzi, Axl got plowed into by one of the camera-toting dirtbags and fell to the ground.

Robert got in Mr. Dirtbag’s face. Axl got up and got in Mr. Dirtbag’s face.

Then the dirtbag shoved his camera in Robert’s face, and Robert grabbed the camera and smashed it to the ground.

It was beautiful. Paparazzi boy was in total shock, shouting out what we assumed were Italian curse words. Funny, it was okay for him to plow into our lead singer, but as soon as we defended ourselves, he got upset. And I mean upset.

The frenzy to get a piece of Axl and his clothing had escalated into a full-fledged brawl with hundreds of people wailing at each other—friends hitting friends, brothers hitting brothers, moms hitting grandpas …

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a gunshot went off.

Everyone stopped.

Silence.

We all looked at each other.

Still.

And simultaneously we all started checking our bodies for a single gunshot wound. I felt around my chest, my arms, my legs, freaking out, because in my mind that bullet had to go somewhere, and at that moment, we were the enemy.

I looked around and everyone else was doing the same thing—checking to see if they were hit.

Then, like the parting of the Red Sea, people backed away to reveal an Italian policeman standing at the top of the stairs, seemingly in his own outdoor flood light provided by the hotel, with his gun held high up in the air, smoke coming out of the barrel.

It was like a movie.

The policeman came to save the day.

Axl and I looked at each other for a split-second and without saying anything, took the opportunity and darted into the hotel, untouched. Earl and Robert followed.

We were finally safe.

But we didn’t go to bed ... obviously.

We went straight to the bar and got lit, and told everyone the story how we all thought for one second that we were shot.
Source: Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014.

Craig Duswalt was Axl's personal assistant at the time.

Robert, who is mentioned in the excerpt, was the second assistant.
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