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G N' R Lies

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G N' R Lies

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:43 pm

G N' R LIES

[Original cover]

Release date:
November 29, 1988

Track list:
01. Reckless Life
02. Nice Boys
03. Move to the City
04. Mama Kin
05. Patience
06. Used to Love Her
07. You're Crazy
08. One in a Million


Band members talking about the album:
We're putting out an acoustic EP some time late next year [Interview after show, October 1987].
We still haven’t decided exactly what to do next time, but we have thought about doing some acoustic stuff. For those fans who don’t know, we like to play acoustic sets every now and then when we get the chance. We do those when we have in-store record signings and things like that, and people really get off on it. Maybe it would be too radical a departure from what people now expect after Appetite For Destruction, but we kind of like keeping everyone a little off balance. If we can keep doing that, we’ll be around for a long, long time [Hit Parader, October 1988].
The EP's not meant to be taken all that seriously. It's not done... It wasn't done expensively. It's not like, a major album. It's not anything... It's just like, a sort of filler [MTV, October 1988].
The acoustic stuff we did in like, a day, right. So, I mean, we didn't... It wasn't a huge project or anything like that. It's just, I think, to show another side of the band, sort of. And also, you know, our next album is not gonna be out for a while. So, there's a huge void space then we'd like to fill in a bit [MTV, October 1988].
It's us. And it's our music and stuff and it's important in that way, but... It's just not meant to be, you know... It's not meant to be taken as seriously as, say an album is taken. It's real sloppy, it's got us talking in the background, guitar picks dropping. You know, stuff like that. It's out of tune at a lot of places. It's just us sort of hanging out, getting drunk and playing. [...] I didn't think should go on the actual album. And we needed something to put out to fill the gap between the first record and the next one. It's really not that big a deal [MTV, October 1988].
Talking about the subtitle, "Lies. The drugs, the sex, the violence, the shockin' truth": You know, that's pretty self-explanatory as well. It's like, the band's just sorta like, the center of attention, as far as, you know, sort of controversy in rock n' roll and stuff like that. And they make up all these stories. I found out today that I died again today. [...] And, you know, Axl dies all the time. There's all this crap going around. People love to make up stuff about you. I don't know why. We're the band that seems to be the center of all that attention. [...] Sort of a parody of our whole existence. [...] The artwork on the EP is done like a British tabloid kind of... [MTV, October 1988].
Adding his thoughts: It's just like, us saying "Ok, you guys wanna blow this out of proportion? Let's totally blow it out of proportion". If you're gonna get that ridiculous about it [MTV, October 1988].
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Blackstar on Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:22 am

From Classic Rock Magazine, May 2014:
John Wierderhorn wrote:The story of GN’R Lies: the album that drove Guns N’ Roses over the edge

If 1988 was when Guns N’ Roses became superstars, then 1989 saw them flying off the rails. From GN’R Lies to their meltdown with the Rolling Stones, this is the story of their dangerous year

From their earliest days as the brat-princes of Sunset Strip onwards, Guns N’ Roses thrived on chaos. The spark of volatility that coursed through their veins defined their music – never more so than on Appetite For Destruction, the feral debut album that would turn them from messy hopefuls into the biggest rock’n’roll band on the planet.

The all-encompassing success of Appetite masked the fact that it had been slow out of the blocks. Released in July 1987, it took 12 months for the album to properly break. Although when it finally did, in the summer of 1988, there was nothing and no one that could stop it.

But that was just the beginning of their fame and notoriety – and of their problems. The road to success was littered with insanity and carnage, but it had nothing on what would follow. With Appetite For Destruction an unstoppable tsunami, Guns N’ Roses were about to enter the craziest period of an already crazy career. Between the end of 1988 and the end of 1989 they’d become the most talked about, celebrated and controversial band around – all on the back of just one stopgap album and a handful of live appearances.

That this period would push them to the brink of extinction in the most public manner imaginable wasn’t the most surprising thing about those 12 months. The fact that they all made it out alive was. Not for nothing did GN’R start billing themselves as The World’s Most Dangerous Band. And it was a reputation they more than lived up to.

“Being involved with Guns N’ Roses at that point was insane,” says Tom Zutaut, the A&R man who signed the band to Geffen Records and remained at their side as their success escalated. “They were the biggest band in the world and they were out of control. That was extremely stressful. I woke up every day listening to the radio, fully expecting to hear that Slash was dead. But there are just certain bands that nothing can stop – no amount of alcohol, no amount of drugs. Guns were one of those.”

In the summer of 1988, with sales of Appetite For Destruction having stalled at around 250,000 and with little support from MTV, Guns N’ Roses were invited to open for Aerosmith. By the end of the tour, the record had sold more than two million copies.

Arlett Vereecke (personal PR, 1987-1991): People related to them because they were very real, and it was magical when they took the stage.

Marc Canter (photographer and friend of the band): They were a bunch of people that were all meant to be together, that were all there for the same reason, but they each had their own troubles. Anything could have happened at any time.

As momentum gathered, so did the problems. Drummer Steven Adler and guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin were nursing heroin habits, while Axl Rose was prone to turning up for shows late – or not showing up at all.

Alan Niven (manager, 1986-1991): The first show I ever did with them was opening for Alice Cooper in Santa Barbara, and Axl failed to show up. The band were in the dressing room saying: “We can’t go on.” I said: “You fucking get on that stage. I don’t care who sings what, but you will do a show.”

Slash: Izzy and Duff sang Whole Lotta Rosie and a few other covers. That set was a drunken jam fit for a bar – except we were in an arena.

Vereecke: Axl had terrible stage fright because there was so much focus on him. Plus he was insecure. He didn’t see himself as a sexy, attractive guy. He always thought Slash was the guy who got all the attention. If he thought he wasn’t ready or he was too petrified to hit the stage, it would take him hours to calm down.

Tom Zutaut (Geffen A&R man): Axl never faked it. If he couldn’t channel that spark or spirit or that cosmic consciousness, he wouldn’t take the stage. So he’d come on three hours late and play for four hours to make up for it. He was like that when it came to recordings. There was never a situation where you could just book a studio and lock it out and everyone would be there.

Niven: Axl was always extremely difficult. He would be late or wouldn’t show up for rehearsals. There was always an excuse.

On August 20, 1988 Guns N’ Roses appeared at the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donington. Booked before they’d taken off, they were second on the bill, sandwiched between Helloween and Megadeth. In the country that had first adopted the band, the show was a tipping point – sadly, one that was marred by tragedy.

Vereecke: When Guns went on, people stormed the stage and got crushed. It was awful. Later we found out two people had died.

Axl Rose (on stage at the Monsters Of Rock): “The promoters are asking us, in order to keep on playing, can you move back? Everybody try to take a step back. We’ve got some people unconscious… Have a nice day and don’t fuckin’ kill yourselves.”

Slash: We had no idea that anyone was hurt, let alone killed. After we’d done the gig and were celebrating in a nearby pub, Alan came in, completely distraught, and gave us the news. It was horrible. Something that had been cause for celebration a moment before had become a tragedy.

Zutaut: Mentally, they understood that they were not personally responsible, but I think it contributed to the excesses. It’s hard enough when you explode and become a figure that people worship. But to throw a tragedy like this on top of it caused them to use alcohol and drugs as a crutch to try and survive.

Even without the Donington tragedy, it was clear that GN’R were in no physical or mental condition to write a follow-up to Appetite. But the public were clamouring for more music.

Zutaut: Alan and I both saw that the success had splintered the band, and they were off in their own world. A couple of the guys were pretty remote, either due to fear of success, or drugs or alcohol.

Niven: Once Appetite started to rocket away from us, it was apparent that we’d be under incredible pressure to produce a follow-up. We all felt like it was a good idea to lessen the pressure by dropping something like Lies – not really a follow-up, but something that had quality to it and was a stopgap. I knew it would buy some time, and I was very aware it was going to take time for anybody in the band to deal with the success of that record.

Zutaut: When I first signed them they were doing these unplugged gigs in conjunction with their electric gigs. I said: “You should record this stuff.” Later, we did these unplugged sessions in conjunction with Appetite. I might get a phone call at one in the morning from Axl saying: “Hey, we want to go in the studio.” The studio would open, and they would sit on chairs on the carpet and record unplugged ideas. There was this mind-set even before Appetite was completed to have these unplugged sessions, whether they were going to be for B-sides or some sort of EP.

Niven: Axl had an apartment at the time, and he said: “Come on over. I want to run a song by you.” He sat on his bed with an acoustic guitar and played me One In A Million. At that moment he seemed incredibly vulnerable. It was almost like his personality shape-shifted and transported back to the very moment he experienced the things he was talking about in that song. The hook of the song was rather plaintive. ‘One in a million’ – a faint wish in his mind that he might ever be.

Zutaut: I was sitting in the studio kitchen with Izzy. He was playing Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, which the band was doing in their set at the time. All of a sudden he shifted the chords a little bit. That was the beginning of Patience. He started humming this great melody. I heard: ‘Hey, said woman, take it slow,’ and other lines that ended up in the song. I said: “Man, that sounds really great. Why don’t you finish that?” A couple of weeks later Axl was in the studio, so I said to Izzy: “Hey, play that song you did for Axl.” Axl just loved it. So we went in and cut it as part of this idea to do an unplugged session. That became the core song for the whole session.

Vereecke: The other new acoustic song was Used To Love Her [featuring the lyrics, ‘I used to love her but I had to kill her’]. Izzy wrote that. He said it was about a dog. Axl said: “It could be about my girlfriend.” Vicky Hamilton (early GN’R manager): When I first heard that, I thought it was about me! I used to manage the band and then they hired Alan. I had put all this money into them and suddenly I was left with nothing. [Hamilton sued for $1 million, claiming physical and mental abuse. The band settled out of court with her for $30,000.]

Steven Adler: We recorded [the] three new songs and an acoustic remake of You’re Crazy at the Record Plant over a single weekend. I played on three songs and didn’t stay a second longer than I needed to.

In addition to the four acoustic tracks, Lies included four ‘live’ songs originally released in December 1986 as Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide.

Adler: [Soon after we were signed], Tom had the idea for us to go in the studio and record an EP under our own label, Uzi Suicide, which was actually financed by Geffen. The idea was pretty novel at the time, although everyone does it now.

Canter: Spencer Proffer was going to record two songs at Pasha Studios: Night Train and Sweet Child O’ Mine. Geffen was going to pay him $15,000 to do those two songs as a test, and if they liked them they’d give him a contract to do the whole record. But in case they didn’t want to go with him, Spencer threw in the deal that they could record Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide in his studio. They recorded those songs when they were totally out of control. Nobody showed up on time. They’d throw up or pass out in the studio. But they got the songs done.

Zutaut: Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide got the band its first attention in the UK. No one in the US even knew it existed until after Appetite came out, and then they were begging us to re-release it. We figured it made sense to combine these two EPs and put out an album: it’ll be easier to market, easier to sell; a lot of stores didn’t even stock EPs.

The eight-track GN’R Lies was released on November 29, 1988, housed in an ironic, tabloid-style sleeve that proclaimed: “The Sex, The Drugs, The Violence: The Shocking Truth!”

Zutaut: Lies shot up the charts, right along with Appetite. We figured Appetite was peaking, but it just never stopped. It gave us great satisfaction to know that we had defeated the sophomore blues. Patience went to No.2, and that was a great follow-up to the enormous success of Sweet Child O’ Mine.

Niven: Patience was deliciously ironic, given the character of one or two individuals. Definitely part of the appeal of the band was the fact that it was a train wreck: the sense of spontaneity that they had contrasted magnificently with the contrivance of so many other bands. They were a real fucking band, with plenty of personality and character.

Lies was as controversial as it was successful. Used To Love Her drew accusations of misogyny, but that was nothing next to the storm caused by One In A Million. The lines: ‘Police and niggers, get out of my way…’ and ‘Immigrants and faggots, they make no sense to me’ provoked outrage from the black and gay communities.

Rose (speaking to Rolling Stone magazine): I started writing about wanting to get out of LA. I’d been to the Downtown LA Greyhound bus station. If you haven’t been there, you can’t say shit to me about what goes on and about my point of view. There are a large number of black men selling stolen jewellery, crack, heroin… rip-off artists selling parking spaces to parking lots that there’s no charge for… I used the word ‘nigger’ because it’s a word to describe somebody that is basically a problem. The word ‘nigger’ doesn’t necessarily mean black.

Zutaut: Axl was not going to apologise for a factual story of what he experienced when he got off the bus. Slash apologised because there were very powerful people demanding an apology, and Slash, being half African American, was upset that people were offended.

Slash: We had a big disagreement about it, and the more I argued about it, the more adamant he was about putting it out there. It probably says a lot about our relationship.

Rose (speaking to Rolling Stone): When I use the word ‘immigrants’, what I’m talking about is going to a 7-11 or Village Pantries – a lot of people from countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan et cetera get jobs in these convenience stores and gas stations. They treat you as if you don’t belong here. I’ve been chased out of a store with Slash by a six-foot-tall Iranian with a butcher knife because he didn’t like the way we were dressed.

Vereecke: Axl is definitely not homophobic. Axl is a lot more liberal than people give him credit for, trust me. And he’s a lot nicer. He can be difficult, but he also has a really nice side to him.

Rose (speaking to Rolling Stone): I’ve had some very bad experiences with homosexuals. When I was first coming to Los Angeles I was about eighteen or nineteen. On my first hitchhiking ride, this guy told me I could crash at his hotel. I went to sleep and woke up while this guy was trying to rape me… I pinned him between the door and the wall. I had a straight razor, and I pulled the razor and said: “Don’t ever touch me! Don’t ever think about touching me!” Then I grabbed my stuff and split with no place to go, no sleep, in the middle of nowhere outside of St Louis. That’s why I have the attitude I have.

Slash: I didn’t agree with it when it came out and still don’t, but no one really cares about it any more. I don’t think it did us any harm, not in the long run.

The uproar did nothing to damage the sales of Lies, which peaked at No.4 in the US. GN’R ducked the crossfire when they flew to Japan and Australia in December 1988. But in typically chaotic fashion, there were more problems on the horizon.

Niven: We were on our way to Japan, and Izzy sidles up next to me and goes: “Dude, I got my stash. I’m set.” He’s got this little boom box, and he proceeds to show me where he’s hidden his heroin underneath the battery compartment. I’m looking at him, going: “You’re out of your tiny fucking mind. Get rid of that right fucking now!” So off he went and, yeah, he got rid of it all right. But for him, getting rid of it means ‘I’ll just have it all now’. He passed out on the floor and we had to carry him on to the flight. He was still out of it when they got to Japan. They had to wheel him through immigration in a cart. When he came to, he looked out the window and went: “Where the fuck am I?” He called Steven and said: “Where are we, man?” And Steven said: “Tokyo, dude!” And Izzy’s going: “We’re in Tokyo? Really?” I mean, he was out of it.

Vereecke: Slash once told me: “You do heroin once, and it’s such a high that you want to do it again. The problem with that is, the minute you do it a second time, you’re addicted to it.”

Zutaut: Axl was the only sober one, and he was surrounded by guys that were either strung out on heroin, drugged out on pills or in an alcoholic stupor. And that added to some of the friction in the band. Axl didn’t want to be around the guys that were all fucked up.

Vereecke: Axl wasn’t really doing drugs, because of the medication he was on. He was not a big drinker either. People have a misconception of that. But he was the clean and mostly sober one, really. He wanted to preserve his voice, and he was serious about it.

Zutaut: One of the few times he did imbibe any drugs was after he and Erin [Everly, girlfriend and later wife] had a fight. He popped a bunch of pills. So she was concerned that he was suicidal and may have popped enough pills to kill himself. When the sheriffs got there they tried to get him to go to the hospital, and he refused and got belligerent. He laid out three or four sheriffs, so they called for reinforcements. He had superhuman strength because of the uppers he was on. They ended up with about twenty LA County Sheriffs with taser guns. They tasered him, like, ten or twelve times before they could subdue him. But they got him to the hospital and they pumped his stomach – basically, saved his life.

Niven: He overdosed, but I don’t think that that was necessarily a situation of artificial euphoria. I am really pushed to think of him in terms of contentment or happiness. Was Axl ever happy? I don’t think so.

[...]

Additional sources: Slash: The Autobiography – Slash And Anthony Bozza (Harper, 2008); It’s So Easy (And Other Lies) – Duff McKagan (Orion ,2012); My Appetite For Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses – Steven Adler (HarperCollins, 2011); The Dirt – Mötley Crüe with Neil Strauss (It Books, 2002).

Full article (includes events from 1989):
http://www.a-4-d.com/t3302-2014-05-dd-classic-rock-magazine-the-story-of-gnr-lies-the-album-that-drove-guns-n-roses-over-the-edge#12779
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Misfit79 on Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:16 pm

Thanks for a really interesting read!
I always find it very intriguing what Arlette has to say about Axl. Never seen her quote about Axl being more liberal than people give him credit for before.... I guess his tweets are proving her point now!
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Blackstar on Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:56 pm

@Misfit79 wrote:Thanks for a really interesting read!
I always find it very intriguing what Arlette has to say about Axl. Never seen her quote about Axl being more liberal than people give him credit for before.... I guess his tweets are proving her point now!

Yeah, this quote is very interesting and impressive, considering that Arlett is talking about Axl in the late 80s-early 90s.
I think that even then there were some indications that Axl was leaning liberal - politically at least - like the anti-Reagan t-shirt or his onstage rant about Dan Quayle, the conservative vice-president from Indiana, in 1992.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Misfit79 on Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:27 am

Arlett likes Axl’s political tweets, I saw she shared the one about Trump and Kanye West on her Facebook page.
I thought the way she spoke of Axl during her interview on one of the podcasts was really sad. I wish he would talk to her again.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:49 am

@Misfit79 wrote:Arlett likes Axl’s political tweets, I saw she shared the one about Trump and Kanye West on her Facebook page.
I thought the way she spoke of Axl during her interview on one of the podcasts was really sad. I wish he would talk to her again.

I haven't listened to that podcast, what did she say?

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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Misfit79 on Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:43 am

She said she had been to a few NITL shows and went backstage but she didn’t get to speak to Axl. She said the backstage area is so big and the dressing rooms so far apart that she didn’t see him. Also something about it is is impossible to get to him. She thinks if she just bumped into him he would definitely speak to her and be cool about it.
And lots of things about the past.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Misfit79 on Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:45 am

Also she said he cut her out because he didn’t think she was in his corner any more, she says she was. She had tears in her eyes when she said that. It was quite sad.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:35 pm

Oh, that's sad. It seems to me that Axl was reserved towards strangers when the band started to become successful. But if he warmed up to someone, and he found that person to be true to him and a real friend, then Axl would become a very loyal friend in return. The flipside to this is that if this friend did something to Axl that he interpreted as betrayal, he would be very disappointed and cut that person out.

Axl got to know Vereecke before they did their London tour in June 1987 and over the years developed a tight relationship with her. Like any professional publicist/press manager she helped Axl and the band whenever they got in trouble and needed someone to calm the press. Axl allowed her to interview him for Kerrang! in 1989 when he refused to do interviews with US magazines. It seems they developed a strong friendship to, over the years.

So if something happened, and Axl felt "she wasn't in his corner anymore" I am not surprised she had been cut out. It follows the patterns.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Misfit79 on Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:52 am

I wish I could find the podcast for you because it is the most interesting one I’ve listened to.
She actually said how loyal Axl is as a friend. I can’t remember if she went into exactly why Axl felt she wasn’t in his corner any more. It was clear she still likes him and would just love to talk to him again, I guess like a lot of people from his past. Maybe Blackstar can recall more information from her interview than me.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Blackstar on Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:11 am

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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Misfit79 on Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:11 am

Thanks for that Blackstar. It’s one of the better ones.
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Re: G N' R Lies

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:25 pm

It will be Transcribed at some point in the distant future Very Happy
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