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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:43 pm


At the first show after the St. Louis riot, at the Starplex Amphitheatre in Dallas on July 8, Axl was two hours late [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1991]. The band would claim the late start was due to damaged equipment from the St. Louis riot [Geffen Press Release, July 1991], but media would report that Axl was missing before the show and arrived late, just minutes before Guns N' Roses took the stage [Pittsburg Press, July 1991; Press-Telegram Wire Service, July 1991]. The long wait resulted in numerous concert-goers leaving the arena in "disgust" [MTV News, July 1991]. During the show Axl would admonish the audience for throwing bottles at the band, stopping the show at one time and making sure a bottle thrower was removed from the theatre [Geffen Press Release, July 1991]. Due to a curfew, the concert was shorter, only about an hour.

The band did anther two shows before playing at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on July 13. Axl did not like the audience who he felt was too calm and not into the show enough, and Axl would later rant against the tour. But later he realized why the mood was subdued:

We did a show with Skid Row in Utah, and there were people sitting there like they were bored off of their asses. Finally, we left. Why should we play the encore? But what we didn’t know was that people had been killed at an AC/DC concert there, and the press and local officials had gone off on the kids so much that by the time they got to the show they were just fed up. Security just kept them from getting into the show at all – and we didn’t know that. We didn’t know what was up. We just wanted to get out of there. My attitude was, “Man, I only have a few bands that really get me off at a show. What do you want? What do you have to do tonight that’s better than this?” There were 17 year-old kids there who seemed bored, and I just didn’t understand why. Maybe they wanted to go home and listen to something else[Hit Parader, 1992].
The next show took place at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma on July 16. At this concert something is thrown on stage that explodes followed by a rocket some songs later. Melody Maker would describe the event:

"The bomb goes off during "Welcome to the Jungle". Axl's singing, "D'you know where you are baby? You're in the jungle and you're gonna DIE!" when, for a split second, everything's white-then-black. Axl just grimaces, breathes hard, pulls down his NWA cap, skips off stage and lets it pass. Slash dons his top hat, lights a cig and plays the "Godfather" theme, Matt does his drum solo, Duff joins in and everything's cool until Axl re-emerges in a fishnet shirt and launches into "Rocket Queen". Suddenly there's an explosion from somewhere about 15 feet from the stage, a blinding flash and a rocket narrowly misses Izzy. Too close for comfort. Too f***ing close…" [Melody Maker, August 1991].

First it's a firecracker, now it's a rocket... If you saw whoever lit that, we'll give you 10 minutes to turn 'em in and we'll be back... We're not here to get hurt or see anybody else get hurt just because some drunken f***in' pussy can't control. .. F***him! No! F*** YOU! It's up to you. Get him outta here and we'll be back. If not... goodnight. Peace[Melody Maker, August 1991].
Slash would also comment upon this incident:

[…] a lot of shit does go down onstage. There's always a bottle flying here, a bomb going off there. The other night I hear this crash, I'm like, 'What the fuck was that!' And somebody threw an M80 into the crowd![Music Life, November 17, 1991].
Originally the band had planned a second show at the Tacoma Dome, on July 17, but this was cancelled since the band needed to film for the video to their single 'Don't Cry'.

The band then played three shows before coming to the Shoreline Theatre in Mountain View, California, not far from San Francisco, on July 19 and 20. before the first show, Izzy would reminisce about playing in San Francisco:

We always had a problem when we played here before, 'cos we'd try to cop this China White heroin and end up paying ungodly prices for fuckin' nothing[VOX, October 1991].
The first show in Mountain View was delayed by one and a half hour. Axl would blame this on "overzealous film crews from local television stations, who demanded interviews and threatened to have him arrested" [The Press-Telegram, July 1991]. Axl seemed to have been in an angry mood this evening. He ranted against Steven and ended the show early:

"After the first few notes of what Rose had introduced as a new song called 'The Strange,' the music stopped, apparently because Rose was dissatisfied with it. "You can start over any time,'' he said sardonically to his bandmates. They did, briefly, until Rose threw his microphone to the floor and stalked off stage. He never returned, but Sorum, Slash and Reed came back to collaborate on a brief instrumental jam before pleading that "we don't know any more songs'' and departing for good " [The Press-Telegram, July 1991].

An unknown band member would elaborate that during the show he started seeing what he thought was "a bunch of dead raccoons landing on the stage. It was dark and I saw this big hairy thing hit Slash's mic stand. It was a huge lump of sod. The audience had torn up the whole hillside in the back of the auditorium and tried to throw it onstage. The crazy fuckers!" [VOX, October 1991].

According to writer Nick Kent, who witnessed the show, the partying had its effect on Duff who "has to spend several numbers lying flat-out, his eyes closed, smoking a cigarette" [VOX, October 1991].

Kent would also describe how he would torment his "personal mike-stand roadie" by repeatedly kicking down the mike-stands and hurling them after the roadie, before exclaiming, "Hey, check it out - I'm having one of those irrational temper tantrums you keep reading about in the press. Y'know you fuckers shouldn't encourage this sort of shit" [VOX, October 1991]. When listening to audio recording of this show, it seems like the roadie was Tom Mayhue and that Axl was in a more playful mood than malignant: "Fuck! Tom, you’re too efficient tonight. Whoo! [Someone in the crowd: “Oh my God”] This is something new... Fuck! You know, I work on my fucking stupid irrational temper. But though, when I lose it, you fuckers get off on it. I guess being a fucking psycho basket case helps my career" [On stage, Mountain View, CA, USA, July 19, 1991].

After the show Axl was interviewed by Lonn M. Friend for an upcoming issue of RIP Magazine:

This is crazy, isn't it? I mean, three f?!king months on the road - with no record! It's nuts. I sat in my hotel room all day today, looking at a pile of faxes and papers, a million things that needed my attention. And I don't know, something just came over me. I took my Halliburton briefcase and smashed every light fixture in the room with it. Sometimes I don't know what's real anymore, and what isn't[RIP, March 1992].
The second show at the Shoreline Theatre was cancelled for unknown reasons.

Then the band headed to the Great Western Forum in Inglewood for four shows on July 29 and 30 and August 2 and 3. All of these four shows were started late, the third of them due to Axl having "stomachache" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991; Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

For the second show (on July 30), a little mishap occurred as Axl was being driven to the show. The driver made an illegal turn and was stopped by police and issued a ticket. This caused Axl to "angrily stick his head out of the limousine's sun roof and cry foul to the motorcycle officer issuing the citation." Axl then refused to take the stage unless Inglewood police took back the ticket. Bridenthal would comment on this:

"Before a show, Axl is volatile. It's a sensitive time and . . . someone had told the limo driver to turn left" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

After a discussion with the band's manager and the Forum's manager, the police decided to take the ticket back to avoid a riot. Axl thanked the police from the stage. The police would later explain that the ticket was taken back "for investigation" and eventually the driver was fined $60 [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

In addition, for all four shows in Inglewood, the band played past the curfew and would be fined [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

Slash remembered the shows in Inglewood fondly:

The [Great Western Forum] gigs were all sold out and they were amazing. The last one we did there was three and a half hours - in the history of the band, it was the longest one we ever played [Slash's autobiography, p 339-340].
The last show would also be mentioned in the band's newsletter as being their longest show to date at three hour and thirty six minutes [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

In an interview published in September 1991, Slash would talk about how the touring has been progressing:

Oh fuck yeah, it's wonderful, especially for it to be so well received [Rip It Up, September 1991].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:32 am; edited 47 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:02 pm


Axl had occasionally been late the concerts in 1985-1989 as well, but when touring the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums he got worse. At the Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville on May 28, 1991, the show started an hour and 15 minutes after the opening act [The Indianapolis News, May 1991]. At the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on June 17, the band was "several hours late" [Los Angeles Times, June 1991; Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991]. At the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro on June 25, the band took the stage "long after the opening band" [Journal Now, August 2017]. At the Thompson-Boiling Arena in Knoxville on June 26, the band was two hours late [Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991]. At the Starplex Auditorium in Dallas on July 8, the band was again two hours late [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1991; Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991]. At the Shoreline Theatre in Mountain View on July 19, the band was one and a half hour late [The Press-Telegram, July 1991]. The band then started late for all four shows at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, with one of them being delayed due to "Axl's stomachache" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

Matt would provide an early explanation:

There’s a lot of pressure on us, and sometimes it gets to Axl. He can’t take the stage if something’s on his mind and if someone’s pressuring him about something. That’s why we delay some of the shows. […] A lot of people don’t understand that. Some nights we in the band even get mad, but we know that Axl has to do to get psyched to sing. Because once he gets out there, he’s incredible[Wisconsin State Journal/LA Daily News, July 1991].
In September, Izzy would describe the feeling:

Axl's just naturally late. It can get pretty tense at times, particularly when you're supposed to be on-stage and you're sitting there, literally counting the seconds, thinking 'man, we've just had a riot in St. Louis. Now we're in Texas. What the fuck is going to happen here?' [VOX, October 1991].
Things did not improve as the band travelled to Europe for their first European leg. The band was three hours late for their second show at Globen in Stockholm, Sweden [Duff's biography]. And in Mannheim, Germany, they were late, "even for us", as Slash would recall [Slash's autobiography, p 343-344].

After having quit the band, Izzy would talk about the late starts and how it bothered him:

I didn't feel it was fair to a lot of the people coming to the gigs to go onstage two or three hours late. That's just not right. That's the way Axl is and the way he works, but it's not right for me, and I didn't think it was right for the fans either. Stuff like that kinda got to me after four months on tour. There's a lotta pressure, I suppose, but the bottom line is, if you gotta be somewhere and there's something you gotta do, you do It. That's how I see it. […] When we were playing the gigs, a lotta times it was a case of, how long's it gonna be before Axl comes back onstage? It's a pretty big stage, and you're going, 'Anybody see which way he went?'. Then you see a bunch of roadies running... And the old filling-in with a blues jam and a drum solo shit gets old when it's on a nightly basis. It wasn't every night, but y'know... [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Izzy's departure in November 1991 and the break before the band started playing show again in December 1991, did not help on the late starts. For the first show at Worchester on December 5, the band started well over two hours later than announced [Hartfort Courant, December 7, 1991]. Then they were 90 minutes late for their show at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 9 [New York Times, December 11, 1991]. For their show at the Philadelphia Spectrum on December 16, 1991, the band started one and a half hours after Soundgarden finished their set [Courier-Post, December 18, 1991]. And or their December 28 show at the Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg, the started started 80 minutes after Soundgarden [Tampa Tribune, December 30, 1991]. For the January 9 show at the Summit in Houston, the band started more than four hours after the door opened [Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1992]. At the Erwin-Nutter Center show in Dayton in January 13, the band didn't start their show until 12:25 AM [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. They were late again for their first show at Target Center in Minneapolis on January 21 [Star Tribune, January 23, 1992] and for the show at the San Diego Sports Center in San Diego on January 27 [Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1992], and for the January 31 show at Compton Terrace in Chandler [The Phoenix Gazette, February 1, 1992], and for the April 9 show at Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont [Chicago Tribune, April 12, 1992].

Axl would discuss the late starts from the stage in January 1992, saying it was because of all the things on mind including racist allegations:

And they wonder why it takes time to get on stage or whatever. Because this shit goes through my head. I don’t feel like getting up here and having a good time with about 20,000 people, and having some jerkoff in the press saying some racist bullshit fucking thing that went down and nobody knows about it except the 20,000 that were here and the 50,000 to 100,000 people that read that thing believing this whole bullshit, believing you’re bullshit [On stage in Dayton, OH, USA, January 13, 1992].
But days later also claiming it was about freedom of expression:

Now, people say, “Why are you late?” dah dah dah. There’s all kinds of fuckin’ reasons. There’s a million fuckin’ reasons. You know, because it ain’t about getting up here to make money and it ain’t about getting up here to fuckin’ “let’s rock ‘n’ roll.” I can fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll in my car or to the stereo. We haven’t come up here to run around and jump off shit to rock ‘n’ roll. It ain’t about partying. It’s about freedom of expression. And it’s about telling you that you can fuckin’ get away with it, no matter what they fuckin’ try to tell you. You see, they’re scared of you. They’re real scared of you. They’re scared of people like you all over the country. They keep everything from you. They keep the medicines that can heal you away from you, because they want to make your fucking money. They keep everything away from the fucking people, so that they can run it the way they want and it’s safe. And they can send you to war to fight for their fucking oil and their money deals, and that blowing down another country [Onstage in San Diego, January 27, 1992].
The media was making a lot of the late starts, frequently reporting about audience goers who had to leave early or missed the shows altogether, and would frequently ask the band members about it. Slash would so his best to downplay Axl's role in the late starts, explaining it by band mentality:

I have to say we’re pretty self-indulgent when it comes to going on stage. Coming from a club background, we would go on from 11 to midnight. We're a nighttime band, and it takes us a while to get it together mentally and physically to go on stage. We just sort of cruise into the moment. We don’t go on until 10, at least, which is not to say that’s necessarily right[St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991].
We're a club band basically and we're used to going on at, like, midnight. We have a couple of entertainment factors between sets (after the opening band) where we have video screens and we videotape the crowd and we have close-ups of girls and they get off on that. We also have killer intermission music to listen to. All things considered, I think it would be better if we do a really good show as opposed to rushing into it when we're not mentally and physically prepared[Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
It’s just because we are a club band and we’ve never had to... I mean, we’ve always gone on, like, at 11:00 or midnight, you know. That’s where we come from. So as an opening band you had to cater to the headlining band and go on their schedule. But once we were on our own schedule, it was like, we didn’t really want to have to listen to the promoters per se, and we just thought it was cool to go on late at night, because it was cooler, you know? […] the unions don’t care, because they get paid it double time (?) so they’re happy. The unions love us, but the promoters got pissed off and some of the crowd, I think, was a little ticked off because they weren’t used to it. You know, they’re used to bands going on at 9:00[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
When confronted with the Rolling Stone interview where Axl seemingly admits to be the root of the problem, Slash prevaricated:

Well, it’s, you know, we just keep back in the dressing room. And like, we have these monitors, we have these cameras that shoot the crowd, so we watch different people in the crowd and stuff... […] And so we keep back in the dressing room, have a couple of drinks or whatever and watch what’s going on, and just basically getting into the frame of mind where you want to go up and play for three hours. And it’s like, it’s not a job, you know, so... […] I think we’re coming from a whole different mentality than the business is and so it did have its repercussions. And so we’ve, sort of like, tried to adapt; you know, try and find some middle ground[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
But when Axl was asked about it, he would admit the issue and take the blame:

I pretty much follow my own internal clock, and I perform better later at night. Nothing seems to work out for me until later at night. And it is our show. I don't want to make people sit around and wait -- it drives me nuts. That hour-and-a-half or two-hour time period that I'm late going onstage is living hell, because I'm wishing there was any way on earth I could get out of where I am and knowing I'm not going to be able to make it. I'm late to everything. I've always wanted to have it written in my will that when I die, the coffin shows up a half-hour late and says on the side, like in gold, SORRY I'M LATE[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
As for what goes on behind the stage when he is late:

The chiropractor we work with on the road tapes my ankles professionally. I kept twisting my ankles during shows, and it still happens now and then. I have weak ankles, always have. I used to run cross-country, and that was one of the things that got in the way of that. So I work with a chiropractor. I work with a massage therapist, because I put a lot of stress in my lower back, and with what I do onstage, there's a lot of rebuilding that has to be done. There's operatic voice exercise. And I started therapy in February (1991) and, Jesus, I'm right in the middle of stuff. I mean, if a heavy emotional issue surfaces and you've got a show in four hours, you have to figure out how to get that sorted out really quick before you get onstage so that you're really quick before you get onstage so that you're not in the middle of "Jungle" and have a breakdown. The pressure of having to do the show when whatever else is going on in my life is hard to get past. We did a show in Finland where I just couldn't understand why I was doing what I was doing. I sat down while I was singing "Civil War," and I was kind of looking at my lips while I was singing and looking at the microphone and looking at the roadies, and everything just shut off. Well, that doesn't make for a very good show. We're out there to win at what we do. And if that means going on two hours late and doing a good show, I'm gonna do it. I take what I do very seriously[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
But Axl would be quick to point out that these weren't excuses, only explanations on what he goes through and results in the late starts:

One thing I want to say is, these aren't excuses. I'm not trying to get out of something. The bottom line is, each person is responsible for what they say and what they do. And I'm responsible for everything I've said and everything I've done, whether I want to be or not. So these aren't excuses. They're just facts, and they're things I'm dealing with. And if you've got a real problem with it, don't come to the show. If you gotta be home at fucking midnight, don't bother. Do yourself a favor. I'm not telling you to come -- I don't think that I'd want to. If you've got a problem with me trying to deal with my shit and doing the show the best I can, then just don't come, man. It's not a problem. Just stay the fuck away. Because you're getting something out of it, but I'm also there for myself. I've got a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do. I've done about seven years' worth of therapy in a year, but it takes a lot of energy. And Guns n' Roses takes a lot of energy. It's a weird pressure to try to deal with both at the same time. And I'm gonna do it the best I can when I can and how I can. And I'm the judge of that--not anybody in the crowd [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
And when asked how he would respond if a fan stopped him on the street and complained that Axl doesn't give a fuck about the fans:

If I didn't give a fuck about them, I'd come out and do a shitty show. I'd come out and tell 'em to fuck off. I'd sit down, sing the songs off-key and just not care. But I do care, and I also care too much about myself to do that. It's confusing to me that people go, "Well, I have to work in the morning." If you were getting laid, you wouldn't be so worried about what time it was. I know it's complicated, but so is getting onstage. And I'm sorry. I try to make it up by coming out and doing a good show and explaining as much as I can about what was going on in my head and why we weren't there[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In interviews he would again make a point of having to work on himself to be able to record and put out a record, but that the work he did, and what he uncovered, meant he had to deal with issues that resulted in the late show starts:

[…] we were trying to maintain our careers, deal with our lives, and record a record and put it out, and work the record. If I wasn't doing this work I wouldn't have been able to do the record. It's made things very hard over the last year, trying to do everything at once. Definitely my energies are on maximum. But to slow it down would mean having to stop doing something, and right now it's not really a smart move to do that. It's just been really hard, with a lot of misunderstanding, like, about why I'm late on stage or things like that[Interview Magazine, May, 1992].
Last year I was doing extensive emotional work on myself, so when I go out to do a show, if something – I was, you know, uncovering something in my unconscious mind or whatever, and kind of experiencing it, it’d be really hard to go out and do the show, where that took, like, a year to get things under control. I’d come off stage, and either get on the phone or have the person fly out personally into four or five hours right after stage. You know, where someone goes, like, once a week to work out their problems for half hour or an hour, I was doing four-five hours a day; like, every day[MTV, September 9, 1992].
In April 1992 Matt would claim he had learnt to deal with it:

I’ve learned to deal with it and I can understand where Axl is coming from. Because he wants to give his best performance, and until he’s ready and he doesn’t feel up to it, he won’t – he doesn’t like to go on [From April 20, 1992 but footage shown in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
When Slash was again asked to comment on Axl's lateness in May, he would again not talk about Axl but speak in generalities:

It’s like that for everybody. In order to prepare for going all-out for 2-1/2 hours – whatever the show is – you gotta feel you’re in the right headspace to do it, you know? And that’s why we sit around and we hang out with each other, we have a few drinks to, like, cool down and relax, cuz we work out really hard and we give everything we can to every show, as opposed to going out and, like, faking it for two hours and just going through the motions, which a lot of bands do. So, I feel pretty justified in taking the time to do it right[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May, 1992].
And when asked what he does while waiting for the shows to start:

Well, I keep in touch with everything that’s going on with us. You know, as far as where we’re going, what time we’re supposed to get there – the whole schedule thing. And because we’ve been together for so long, there is a predictability about it, you know? So it’s not a big deal[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May, 1992].
Despite discussing the late starts in the media, the situation did not improve. For the band's show in Manchester on June 14, 1992, the band started two hours late but blamed in on technical difficulties [The Liverpool Echo, June 15, 1992; The Evening Chronicle, June 16, 1992].

Before the Metallica tour in the summer of 1992, Slash would claim that they weren't so late anymore because of touring in Europe with strict curfews:

We've come to a happy medium where we haven't been going on that late. […] [Because] some of these gigs we did in Europe, there was a 10 p.m. curfew so we'd go on at 5 or 6 p.m.[Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].
And when the Metallica summer tour started the heat meant they tried to be quicker, although stage change meant it took longer:

We’re trying to be a little bit more considerate about that, especially because of the heat. You know, the day is long enough for the people who are going. It starts, like – the doors open at 2:00. […] You know, Faith No More goes on for 45 minutes to an hour, Metallica’s on for 2 h and, sometimes, 2 h 15 minutes. And then, you know, the set change between us and Metallica is 1 hour 15 min, because they’re both big productions and so, turning the stage around like most bands do, we have to take down Metallica’s stuff and put our stuff up, and it takes a long time. So by the time we get on, unfortunately most of the kids are burnt out (laughs). But then, you know, we play for 2.5 hours, 2 h 45, something like that. So we try and get on as soon as possible. For the first time at Giants Stadium we were actually ready to go and the stage wasn’t up yet. [...] All of us were standing around. You know, it was an unprecedented event[MTVs, July 20, 1992].
We're not late like we used to be. We've gotten a lot better. There is an hour-and-15-minute set change, and we can't do anything about that. It just takes that long. There's like 100 guys working to get this together. The kids understand. It's a bummer that it takes that long. […] Metallica has got a pretty intense stage setup. Lars [Ulrich] has got his drums on a train track, and they have all their other props. We don't have any props. Metallica pretty much stays in one place. It's cool the way they do it. We run our butts off. It's two different entities[Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].
James Hetfield: "We've got an oval thrust stage, and there's people [fans] inside it in a type of pit. Then when Guns goes on, they cover it up and he [Rose] has got his ego ramp to go out on. So it worked out pretty good. […] Compared to Monsters of Rock, this is more hectic and there’s a bunch of more hubbub going on, but there are less bands. There are not so many frantic things between the crews. I won't say there's less people out; Guns have so many people [on tour], it's amazing. Who knows what those people do?" 9929.Although Slash would point out that the reason for the late starts was partly that they needed to be ready to give it their all:

One of the reasons that we go on late is so that we can get mentally and physically prepared to go out and do 150% for every single gig, right? And there’s such an emotional involvement with the songs that every single tune, whether we play for 1.5 hour or 3 hours, regardless – you know, every single song has to mean something at that moment. So the intensity is really just in the band itself. And we don’t work any other way. We don’t go through the motions. We don’t fake it every night and just, like, ride on some setlist and really wish we were somewhere else. You know, it’s like, we’re there to do this and it’s not really like a so-called job. It’s more – it’s what the band does, this what we’re happy doing, this is our life, so every show is like that. So every show is as intense as we feel, you know?[MTVs, July 20, 1992].
Gilby would also emphasize the band's late starts was not due to any arrogance on their part, but being "free" and just doing "what it wants all the time":

The band is freedom. The band’s always lived on its own terms, it’s always played on its own terms. Therefore, people can mistake that for an arrogance. It’s like, 'Oh, they’re late going on stage. What an arrogant bunch of guys.' And that’s not it. The reason a lot of people like the band is that the band says and does what it wants all the time. That’s the charm of it[The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].
For the co-headlining summer tour of 1992 with Metallica, there would be significant time needed to change the stage-setup between Metallica and Guns N' Roses leading to GN'R often taking the stage after midnight:

The wait isn't because anybody is late. It is because each band is doing a full show, which means we have to take down all the Metallica equipment, which is three truckloads of gear, before ours goes up. […] We could have cut a lot of corners--and saved a lot of money--if each band did shorter sets and used the same (staging), but the whole idea was to make this tour unique. The only reason it's happening at all is that the bands wanted to put on the kind of show that they loved when they were teen-agers themselves[Los Angeles Time, August 9, 1992].
Some people are now thinking we're still up to our usual tricks of waiting two or three hours, but it really takes about an hour and half to change (sets)[The Greenville News, September 29, 1992].
Slash would also argue that they made more of an effort to not start as late any more:

We are trying to be a little more considerate about that. For a while we were going on late because it takes us so long to get mentally and physically prepared, as opposed to just walking out there and going through the motions. We had to get to the point where we were comfortable. We hang out, have a few drinks, see some friends and then go out and kick ass. ’Course it’d be midnight by then. Now, we try to get on as soon as we can[The Boston Globe, July 30, 1992].
Axl would again open up about his lateness:

I addressed the crowd in Phoenix and explained, "Maybe I was just too f!?kin' bummed out to get my ass up here any quicker." They loved that. Maybe I couldn't move any faster than I was because it was a bitch. I don't mean to inconvenience the crowd by being late. Maybe by reading this interview they can understand a little of what I go through regularly. Sometime it's really hard getting onstage, because I feel like I just can't rise above and win. I don't want to get onstage unless I know I can win and give the people their money's worth. I'm fighting for my own mental health, survival and peace. I'm doing a lot of self-help work and, fortunately, I can afford the people I work with. People say that I'm just spoiled. Yeah, I am. but the work I'm doing is so I can do my job. I've learned that when certain traumas happen to you, your brain releases chemicals that get trapped in the muscles where the trauma occurred. They stay there for your whole life. Then, when you're 50 years old, you've got bad legs or a bent back. When you're old, it's too hard to carry the weight of the world that you've kept trapped inside your body. I've been working on releasing this stuff, but as soon as we release one thing and that damage is gone, some new muscle hurts. That's not a new injury, it's very old injury that, in order to survive, I've buried. When I get a massage, it's not a relaxing thing; it's like a football player getting worked on. I've had work done on me - muscle therapy, kinesiology, acupuncture - almost every day that we've been on the road[RIP, September 1992].
Being asked why it is always uncertain whether Axl is going to show up for a gig or not:

Part of it is because GN'R is like a living organism. It's not an act. Even if I'm doing the same jump during the same part of a particular song, it's not an act. That's the best way for me to express myself at that point. I get there, and I let it out. Certain ways I move, like during "Brownstone," is the way to get the best out of myself. It's like, how can I give the most at that without giving up my life? We don't go onstage like Guns N' Roses used to, or like a punk band - and I'm not knocking punk bands - thinking that if we don't make it to tomorrow, that's okay. Now there's a lot of things depending on tomorrow and GN'R. It's like, how can we give the most and turn around tomorrow and give that much again? It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort and a lot of maintenance. When I went onstage in San Diego, I got on thanks to Nirvana. I used their music to inspire me. I took their attitude and got up in jeans and a T-shirt - I never do that. I got out there and told Slash that I didn't know what was going to happen. I thought I was going to go out there and quit. If I go out there and can't do it because I have no energy, the I have to walk away. When I got out there, the crowd was very giving with their energy towards us, and it actually fueled me. There's energy in the crowd that, unless you've seen and felt it, there's no way to describe. It's f!?kin scary. Darby Crash [lead singer of the L.A. punk band the Germs] was scared to death of that energy, and his only way of rising above it was by getting wasted, acting like it didn't exist and showing that he could do more damage to himself than the crowd could. That's how he rose above it, but it finally killed him[RIP, September 1992].
In August 1992 Slash would be asked if it was always Axl's fault and would again refuse to put the blame entirely on Axl's shoulders:

I don't like to go on until I'm mentally and physically ready. However, I'll admit that three hours is pushing the limits.

We just feel the situation out. I don't know. In a way, we still feel like troubadours. We like to show up, have a good time, and play into the night without worrying about curfews and whatever. I feel like concert productions have become too rigid. It's turned into a formula, and we don't come from that side of the fence at all. I think we'd be fucking the audience more if we adhered to those rules, because we wouldn't be half the band on stage if we didn't do it our way. It's true that we've put our audiences through a lot of shit, but it's not that we don't care. Each show is a completely different trip for us, depending on our mental state. We try to approach each one as a unique event - almost like it was our last show. It's hard to regulate something like that. It's hard to say that it will start exactly at 9 p.m.

When we started going on stage late, the audience initially wondered what the hell was going on. Then it became part of the event. They knew we would either play an incredibly long set, or maybe just eight songs and leave. Our shows have the potential to be rowdy or completely calm. People come prepared for anything - but they always know it's going to be real.
[Guitar Player, November 1992].
Gilby would also be asked about the late starts:

It's something you should ask Axl about. It's hard for me to answer, since I don't share his opinions in all questions.
[…] Axl has made that clear to everyone, that he doesn't get on stage before he feels ready. I've experienced when people have forced him to go on stage and I've seen when he's refused. […] It's worth waiting one or two hours, because then Axl gives the absolutely best possible show. At the same time I understand that people can get irritated, but that's something I can't affect
[Heavy Mental, 1992].
In November 1992 Izzy would look back at the unpleasantness of the late starts and bewilderment why Axl couldn't start the shows on time:

On tour [Axl] had a real hard time finishing the sets. And he had a hard time getting onstage. So you're sitting there in the dressing room at a hockey rink and for, like, two hours the walls are vibrating while the audience is going, `Bullshit! Bullshit!' That time goes "slow" when you're sober. And they have to send a helicopter to the hotel to get him. He would just `get ready,' and sometimes he would `get ready' for a long time. I don't know what goes on upstairs with him. To me it's simple. Get an alarm clock, ya know? There's a modern invention that seems to work for people. You set it, and then you wake up when you're supposed to[Musician, November 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:11 pm


In early 1989 rumors were spreading that the band planned to release a set of themed EPs, including a Punk, a Metal and a Rap EP [Kerrang!, April 1989]. Asked about his, Slash responded:

Well, we've been talking about doing an EP of cover songs, maybe. […] The cover songs we've been talking about doing, though, are things like a Steve Jones song - a Pistols song that Steve Jones sang and wrote called 'Black Leather'. And we're talking about maybe doing 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' by the Stones; an old Misfits song; and a couple of different things… [Kerrang!, April 1989]
Axl had lofty plans:

I want to do five records in two years. There's the next studio one (possibly a double) [what would become 'Use Your Illusions'], the live one [what would become 'Live Era'], his own solo LP plus two EPs, firstly a Punk covers record and, secondly, another acoustic set, this time with X-rated versions. And then there's the films... [RAW Magazine, May 1989]
This would be confirmed in July 1989 with the band talking about a punk EP, a live release, and an "an X rated acoustic EP" [Raw Magazine, July 1989].

But we have talked about doing a Punk EP. We’d probably do stuff by the likes of Fear, the Adolescents, The Sex Pistols, the sort of music we listen to before going onstage [RAW Magazine, July 1989]
In December 1990 it was reported that the song "Down On The Farm" would end up on Use Your Illusions [Musician, December 1990]. In January 1991, Slash would mention they had recorded six covers as part of the material for the forthcoming Use Your Illusion record(s) and that these would likely be released on a separate record [Rolling Stone, January 1991]:

An EP is probably the direction we’re going to go as far as some of the covers are concerned. There are six covers: “Live and Let Die,” by Wings, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” by Dylan — that new version [on the soundtrack for Days of Thunder] that went nowhere — “Don’t Care About You,” by Fear, “Attitude,” by the Misfits, “New Rose,” by the Damned, and “Down on the Farm,” by U.K. Subs. They’re songs that we like – it’s as basic as that. Each of us has an individual favorite, and at the same time we share some. “New Rose” is something Duff wanted to do, I think. “Don’t Care About You” is something I wanted. The Misfits song was Axl’s idea, and “Heaven’s Door” and “Live and Let Die” were songs Axl and I both thought about doing [Rolling Stone, January 1991]
As late as June 1991, Duff was quoted in RIP Magazine saying they had just decided to add 'Ain't It Fun' as the 36th song to be included on the forthcoming 'Use Your Illusion' records. At this time, they had decided to save 'I Don't Care About You', 'Attitude', 'New Rose' and 'Black Leather' for a future EP, but still expected to include 'Live and Let Die' and 'Down on the Farm' on the 'Illusions' [RIP, June 1991].

In the end, they decided to included only 'Live and Let Die' and 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' on the two Use Your Illusion records and save the remaining cover songs for a later release.

In May 1991, Axl would mention that they wanted to release an EP with "six punk rock songs" [MTV, May 1991]. These were likely the four remaining punk cover songs that the band had recorded but weren't included on the Use Your Illusions ('I Don't Care About You', 'Attitude', 'New Rose', 'Down on the Farm') and a couple more.

In late 1991, Slash would confirm that there were 6 punk song leftovers from the 'Illusion' sessions intended for an upcoming EP:

The only time I kept anything through headphones [while recording] was on a punk EP we did that's going to come out eventually, which we mostly cut live in the studio. […] It's just a bunch of songs that different guys in the band really like. There's a Steve Jones/Sex Pistols song called "Black Leather." A song called "I Don't Care About You" by Fear. And "Ain't It Fun" from the Dead Boys—sort of a tribute to Stiv Bators. There's a total of six songs on it now, and we're talking about doing a Hanoi Rocks tune. […] punk was an attitude I totally related to. [...] I loved the rebelliousness of it. I believe in that shit, and I dug the chicks, who were just great. I'm not a violent person, but I love that violent attitude. Even at our shows, it's part of our thing; break down the barriers and kick ass for three hours. I don't like it when it gets so violent that people are maliciously beating each other up. But the punk scene was a big influence, especially on Duff. I almost wish that attitude would come back and kill what the record business is right now. I hate it! I hate being a part of it. […] We've always done everything in our power to stay away from the norm. But then all of a sudden we became the norm. Appetite took off, and what I call the copying period set in. And all of a sudden it was no longer fun to be in Guns N' Roses, to have that "go into a liquor store, rip off a pack of cigarettes and play your guitar all day" attitude. I think that's one of the main reasons we didn't know what to do with this new album. We were real frustrated with being so acceptable. We're not Motley Cite. We're not gonna do something that appears a little bit dangerous so we can sell records [Guitar World, February 1992].
In August 1991, the six punk songs would be listed as "I Don't Care About You" (originally by Fear), "Attitude" (The Misfits), "Ain't It Fun" (Dead Boys), "Black Leather" (The Sex Pistols), "Down On The Farm" (UK Subs) and "New Rose" (The Damned) [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

In September 1991, Slash would talk about when the EP would be released:

Not for a while no reason saturating the market with Guns material at one time. We're touring for next year - we've already been out three months — we have another year and a half. When the record's been out and old news they'll put out the punk EP [Rip It Up, September 1991].
In February 1992, Slash was again asked what was happening with the "long lost" punk EP and he also mentioned that they intended to include their own song 'Ain't Going Down' on what would become an LP:

Well, that’s not gonna come out until we finish touring with this record and there’s a lot of mileage left in this album. As far as the Punk thing goes, there’s gonna be a new song on there that we didn’t finish for ‘Use Your Illusion’. It’s finished as far as all the backing tracks were done, but we didn’t finish the words. It’s called ‘Ain’t Going Down’ and it’s one of those songs that we wrote in the streets in Hollywood just walking around. Then there’s another cover that we’d like to do. It’ll probably be a Hanoi Rocks cover. Then there’s a song that I did in a band a long time ago that I used to sing that I’ve talked to Axl about but we’ll have to see. The whole thing will probably be a full record now, though [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
And again in March and July 1992:

It was all done live and it was just really cool, so we want to release it. But at the same time we’re still touring on Illusions, which was a huge project for us and really one of those kind of things that I don’t think anybody can understand what we went through to do it. And so we’re gonna ride that out and tour on it until it’s, like, officially over and then we’ll start worrying about releasing other stuff, you know? [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Well, there is a record coming out. When we feel like, you know, it’s a cool time to do it, then we’ll put it out. But, right now, we’ve been so involved with this tour and tour, you know, preceding it, so we’re just, like – when they feel ready, then we’ll put it out. And it’s got all these punk songs on it and sounds really good. I’ll leave it at that [Rockline, July 1992].
Talking about the recording process:

We did it a bit more live. We didn't have to articulate as much as on our own stuff. I sing on "Attitude" and "New Rose." Axl and Michael Monroe trade off lines on the Dead Boys song. It's something the band has always wanted to do, and we just did it while we were in the studio, as opposed to regrouping and learning the songs over again, and coming back a year from then and doing it [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
Well, we recorded [the punk EP] after the epic Use Your Illusion I and II albums. Duff gave me a call and he says, “Hey, let’s do a punk record.” I’m like, “I was thinking of going maybe in Hawaii or something,” but...[…] (Laughs) But - so we went into the studio one day and we did a bunch of covers, about four or five songs. New Rose, and a song by Fear, which I can’t say the title on the air (laughs). And a bunch of stuff [MTV, June 1992].
For newcomer Gilby it was important to become part of the recording history of the band:

Well, my dream at the moment is to record an album with Guns N' Roses. Who will remember Kill For Thrills? Guns, on the other hand, will be in all history books and it would be nice to be in on one corner [Heavy Mental, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:17 pm


For a guy who had always struggled with temptations when not actively touring, Slash was thrilled to finally be back on the road in mid-1991 when the band started touring the 'Use Your Illusion' albums:

I’ve been fucking going nuts. […] I’ve been a complete basket case for... I’ve been through the mill since we got off the road last time (laughs) [MTV, May 1991].
And Izzy, when asked in September 1991, would point out that they were finally in a state where they could tour:

We've just gotten to the point where everyone's back and finally coherent enough to be able to play together. That's what the deal is here. It's been such a trip from having no money and notoriety to havin' all this money, and notoriety, all these drug connections and bullshit [VOX, October 1991].
Before the 'Use Your Illusion' touring started in May 1991, Slash would discuss his various (previous) addictions with Q Magazine. When asked if he ever considered seeking therapy his answer was:

For one, I couldn't see myself going to an analyst because personally I just don't want to know. And the other part being that whole trip of pre-planning your existence is something that people do to a point where it makes life just not fun anymore, because you are trying to preconceive your next move, and so on and so forth. […] If you were to ask, as a therapist, Why do I drink? - the simple thing is you do it out of boredom and to relax. The worst thing is it's for people who are so volatile and so shy - because that was always my biggest problem, to be able to deal with everything that's going on, especially when you're in the public eye so much and then being a very reserved kind of person. You end up drinking a lot to come out of your shell. In that way it's a vicious sort of drug, because it works [Q Magazine, July 1991]
And when asked about why he used to do coke and heroin, Slash would answer:

Well [coke is] obnoxious, and you can't get it up! And you get into these really ridiculously bitter fights. And then, when you do a lot of coke, you tend to drink a lot - and I know that one real well too! […] I just liked [heroin]. I liked the way it felt. And fuck, I didn't know if I did it four or five days in a row I'd get fucking hooked on it! And that's a different subject altogether. That drug takes you over mentally and physically, so much that to come back is hard. I was never a big coke addict, ever. I had not so much a drinking problem as to just want to drink and get rowdy. I used to love to get just fucking drunk! I used it to escape a bad day. Sometimes, I'd much rather just go home, sit down with a glass or something and kick back and go to sleep. I really don't feel that I have the intense addiction that people believe [Q Magazine, July 1991].
Slash's more sober life came as the result of his excesses in 1989. In the period off the road that Slash was alluding to in the quote starting this chapter, the band almost broke up due to heroin addition and heavy drinking, Axl called his bandmates out on stage when opening for The Rolling Stone, and Slash sobered up "some months" later [see earlier chapter for details on Slash's heroin addiction and how he cleaned up]. Yet, "sobering up" can mean different things and in May 1991 he would be clear that he wasn't "an angel or anything", something he would repeat in many interviews:

I took care of myself for a while and I still am, more or less. Like, I’m no angel or anything, I didn’t turn into that [MTV, May 1991].
Izzy would agree that Slash was doing a lot better:

And Slash, well, let's say he can pronounce his syllables better now. He was pretty bad though. Fuck, he was a mess. He's a great guy an' all, but he can't monitor his own intake, with the result that he's always fuckin' up big-time. Like leaving dope hanging out on the table when the police come to call; nodding out into his food in restaurants - shit like that. I love the guy a lot, but the fact is, man, Slash is not what you'd call your thinkin' man's drug-user. He's real careless, doing really shitty things like OD-ing a lot in other people's apartments. A lot [VOX, September 1991].
While in Mountain View in July, talking to the journalist Simon Garfield, Slash admitted that he still takes drugs, but that it is now a "minor" thing in his life:

I’m no angel, y'know? I just stopped going over­board. The habit is just not major any more. […] I'm no angel. But I know I can't get hooked on dope again, because it just does not work for me. Its just an alienating drug period. And so I've been cool [The Age/Independent on Sunday, August 1991].
Garfield would then ask a band crew backstage if "he thinks Slash will sue if I write that he still indulges" to which the reply was, "He'll probably sue if you don't" [The Age/Independent on Sunday, August 1991].

In August 1991, while the band was on tour in Europe, Slash was again asked if he was totally clean:

No, I’m not totally clean. I don’t shoot heroin any more. You know, I stopped hard-lining, okay? That’s the new word for the month, right? Hard-line, right? But I stopped being so overindulgent to the point where I wasn’t keeping up with what I really wanted to be doing [Danish TV, August 1991].
And as interviews happened throughout 1991, it was clear Slash was still a heavy drinker [Press Conference, August 1991; The Age/Independent On Sunday, August 1991].

I’m not any kind of angel. I’m still up till all hours of the morning, still chasing women around. I still drink and still party, but within the confines of sanity. […] Let’s put it this way: I don’t get into trying to outdo myself anymore [Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992].
In May 1992 Slash would admit to occasional cocaine use [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].

In July 1992 he would claim to have cut down on his drinking:

There was a point where I used to drink a bottle of [Jack Daniel's] a day. But that's not too conducive to being productive as far as I'm concerned. I've grown up a little bit in that sense. I may be out late at night and get toasted off my {expletive}, but for the most part I try and watch myself...[…] After a while, it gets boring, to be honest [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].
We don’t have as much going on outside of performing right now, in light of the fact that some of the guys got married and there’s not this huge drug thing going on — we’ve seen this movie so many times. It’s just gotten to the point where we really are just concentrating on the shows. We might go out and have a drink and do whatever [after the show] but the focus is not going out to get laid and [messed] up all the time. There were theater tours where we cared about the gigs, but we were on a [expletive] tightwire. […] [Staying in shape] is not even a professional responsibility. It’s more a responsibility to yourself: that you want to feel like you’ve given the optimum performance you can give. I take my playing seriously and I know everybody else in the band is the same way. I wouldn’t mind being up there with guitar players like Jimmy Page, so it’s not gonna help if I’m irresponsible to that goal [The Boston Globe, July 30, 1992].
I still drink, but the whole thing used to be like this big adventure. I used to get wasted on stage. There were nights when I'd have to start "Sweet Child o' Mine" four or five times because I was so loaded I couldn't play it. But I got burned out on the whole drug thing and the groupie scene [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
Regardless of Slash's sobriety from hard drugs, the band was still partying hard. Slash and Duff's partying was now, in the words of Melody Maker, "enthusiastically aided and abetted by new drummer Matt" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

I think I'm lucky because I went through the drug trip early in life, as opposed to having it build up and hit me when I was 30. But I have to admit, I never really thought about drugs until I got to a point when I just realized that things were getting a little too hectic. I'm 26 now; it's been two years and I haven't had a problem with it. I'm no angel, but I'm not slamming and all that stuff [Guitar World, February 1992].
There’s not a lot of sub­stance abuse happening, but I’m not gonna turn around and say we're all clean and we don’t want any booze back- stage. We like to party a bit, but it’s all in the right kind of order now. Partying doesn’t come first. We play the gig and then we might have fun, but we don’t let the fun have us [Chicago Tribune, May 1991]
Everyone has pretty much got a lot of the ex­cessive living under control. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not turning around and saying we’re Aerosmith, that we don’t party anymore. But it’s not like before, where they were get­ting too deep into it and weren’t wor­rying about the music as much [The Home News/Orange County Register, July 1991].
We grew out of [playing wasted]. Before the show I have a couple of cocktails, to loosen me up. I wouldn't chance a show on any kind of chemical; its just not conducive to accurate playing [Guitar Player, December 1991].
Right now Slash is a lot better. But these guys, they still drink, they still party. Probably way too much for their own good. Fuck, these guys like to trash the fuck out of themselves. They really haven't changed much [VOX, October 1991].
Matt would quickly embrace the lifestyle of his new band members:

Me, I like to party. I'm like your typical drummer, I guess. Sometimes I go overboard [VOX, October 1991].
When Gilby joined the band, he would confirm that the drug issue was under control but that they still partied:

The band is really cleaning up quite a bit. I mean there's no drugs or anything any more. We're still drinking a little bit, but that’s about it [The Greenville News, September 29, 1991].
Despite reducing his drinking in early 1990, and allegedly cutting it out again for Rock in Rio, Duff was drinking heavy again during the touring in 1991. While doing a conference in Copenhagen on August 19, he was described as being "noticeably drunk and kept taking drinks" [Press Conference, August 1991].

To Rolling Stone who talked to him in June, on the other hand, he claimed to drink much less, "far from the 2 gallons of vodka a day" back in the band's early days. He would also explain that the uncertainty of whether the band would break apart or not "a few years ago", caused him to drink. When things began to look more secure he decided to stop drinking and quit for 71 days [Rolling Stone, September 1991]. These 71 days probably happened early in 1991 during Rock In Rio when Duff and Izzy were rumored to have sworn off alcohol and drugs for 60 days [Kerrang! January 1991], although Izzy at the time was sober so it might just be a bogus rumor.

When I have kids, I will stop drinking for good. I'm not going to be like my fuckin' Dad. I came to that conclusion when I was in the 2nd grade [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
In addition to drinking, Duff would develop a cocaine habit. Sebastian Bach, the singer of Skid Row who opened for Guns N' Roses in 1991, would describe how he was handing out cocaine to Duff during their first show together at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin on May 24, 1991 [Sebastian Bach, 18 and Life on Skid Row, Harper Collins, 2016].

In the March issue of RIP Magazine, it would be claimed that Duff's drinking got so bad his doctor in October 1991 told him to quit [RIP Magazine, March 1992]. Three months later, in January 1992, Duff was still sober but said it was hard:

I want to go a year, but it's gonna be tough [RIP Magazine, March 1992].
In May 1992, while Faith No More was opening for GN'R, a writer for NME would describe Duff in the backstage area as looking "punch-drunk, swollen and decaying", to which Mike Patton, the singer of FNM to say, would retort, "That's business, man. You have to hold your hat off to the guy who's done that to him" [NME, May 20, 1992].

In July 1992 Duff claimed to be sensible about things and even avoid Metallica's camp because of drug dealers:

When I see kids stoned or high, I try to educate them a little, but not by preaching because I’m no AA member. We are buddies with Metallica, but I’ve seen them only once this tour because I don’t like coming down to the shows early because there’s too many drug dealers around.

[…] I’ve done my share of stuff, but I’ve never pushed anything on anybody. […] It’s too tempting—that’s not the right way to say it, maybe — but I’m just not into drugs now. It’s sad to see kids who are. So many people will push drugs on you
[The Atlanta Constitution, July 31, 1992].
In November 1992 Izzy would discuss Duff's drinking:

The doctors talked to him two years ago. They said your liver is supposed to be this big [holding his hands in the shape of a hardball]. They said his liver was this big [holding his hands in the shape of a softball]. And when his liver gets this big, it's all over [holding his hands in the shape of a canteloupe] [Musician, November 1992].
Izzy would in late 1991 state he had been sober for quite some time:

I don't fuck around with that stuff [=drugs]. I just reached the point where I said 'I'm gonna kill myself. Why die for this shit [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I've been straight for a year and a half now. No booze, no weed, no nothing. I just stopped cold. I said 'Fuck, I should give this a shot.' At first it was real hard. When I finally stopped and then started going out, just riding around on a fuckin' bicycle, I thought 'Wow, this is really cool. How did I forget all this simple shit?' [VOX, October 1991].
Izzy's last drink was allegedly taken in the company of Keith Richards and Ron Wood [Rolling Stone, September 1991], around December 19, 1989, when Axl and Izzy played with the Stones in Atlantic City, New Jersey [VOX, October 1991]. Yet, in a later interview he would claim he was almost cleaned up from everything around March/April 1990 [Rock & Folk, September 1992], indicating that he either cut alcohol before some other substances (which is contradicted by another statement where he says he quit alcohol last [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992]) or that he did continue drinking after the appearance with the Stones.

Still, this implies that the rumor about Izzy swearing off alcohol for Rock In Rio in January 1991 was wrong; he had already been sober for some time by then. Perhaps the rumor pertained to someone else in the band or was false altogether?

Looking back at his drug and alcohol abuse:

We used to do a lot of funny shit [laughing]. But I don't miss it. There is nothing like throwing up out a bus door going 65 miles an hour [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I'm not a moderate person, OK? I would take my share, then the drummer's and the singer's, and then the bassist's! You got it? And I would go: "You don't have some more? You really don't have some more?" Pitiable (laughs)! You become a monster, a hydra! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
A lot of the time when I was using, I'd just end up with a guitar, writing or recording some pretty depressing songs. I thought they were good at the time, and a couple are not too bad, but a lot of the shit I listen back to and think, ugh, that's fucking depressing, or I think of the state I must have been in; lips all cracked, been up for five days, voice gone. Once you got doing you'd never stop.

I could stay up for four or five days straight doing krell and smack or whatever, up and down up and down, writing songs all the time and recording on my eight-track. But give me a bottle of whisky and send me to a club one night, and I'm the guy in the alley throwing up and rolling around.

It just didn't work; it just poisons me and I don't know why. I got Indian blood, and my mom says that's why I can't handle liquor, but it's still a thing I did for a long time
[Rock & Folk, September 1992].
Matt would confirm that Izzy was sober, and also imply he was opposed to it:

Izzy just doesn't dig it at all anymore. He don't dig the drinking, even [VOX, October 1991].
While Slash would say Izzy was the one who is "suffering the worst from being clean" [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].

And that's one of the reasons that Izzy, even though he's completely clean, has to be away from any sort of drug activity. He doesn't know how to deal with it. Whereas with me, people can do whatever they want and I don't give a shit. I'm comfortable being on the same planet with them. […] He was definitely struggling to keep himself clean. That's why he traveled separately from us and so on [Guitar World, February 1992].
Axl was still health-focused and had a nuanced opinion on drugs:

[…]I would also like it to be known that I'm not a person to be telling the youth of America, "Don't get wasted." Because many times drugs and alcohol -- there's a technical term that they're called, emotional suppressants -- are the only things that can help a person survive and get through and be able to deal with their pain. But l think that it would be good for people to realize and understand that they are doing something to deal with their pain and they aren't really going to be allowed to escape it and outrun it forever without side effects and certain consequences, as far as emotional and mental happiness and their physical condition. And I'd like people to be aware of those things. Fine, party and get wasted, but prepare yourself to be ready to make a change and face the actual reasons why you have to go get drunk. That's what I like, rather than someone saying, "Well, you know, doing this was the wrong way." Don't know if it was. A lot of bands have cleaned up now and talk about things they did and how they were wrong. I don't know if it was necessarily wrong. It helped them survive. At the time they weren't given the proper tools to do the proper healing. I personally don't do any hard drugs anymore, because they get in the way of me getting to my base issues, and I'd rather get rid of the excess baggage than find a way to shove it deeper in the closet, at this time in my life [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
Okay, first off, I'm on very specific, high-tuned vitamins. My body needs these vitamins. I'm also involved in extensive emotional work to reach certain heights with myself that doing hard drugs would interfere with. I'm doing several detoxing programs to release trapped toxins that are there because of trauma. Doing a lot of coke would get in the way of my work. Doing dope would definitely get in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. Some pot doesn't really get in the way too much. It gets in the way of the work for, like, the next day, but sometimes it's a grounding thing. If I'm flipping out in the middle of Idaho, then a little bit of pot helps me be sedate. Also, coming off stage, going from such high energy into a very sedate world, is heavy - I don't care how many strippers you have. It's like going off a cliff in a car, and that's when I can use some smoke. […] About a year ago [in 1991], while we were recording the records, I smoked a lot of pot. I was in a lot of pain, and that was the only way I could keep myself together enough to work. It was the the only thing that could take my mind off my problems, so I could stay focused and record. It helped keep me together. Now it would interfere with things [RIP, September 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:33 pm


More than a year before the release of 'Use Your Illusion I & II' Axl would discuss a possible title and artwork:

It might be called Use Your Illusion. We’re talking with an artist named Kostabi, because I bought a painting and we want to use it as a possible cover, and the title of the painting is “Use Your Illusion”, and that’s what we may use. I wrote a song the night before that says, “I bought me an illusion and put it on the wall”, and the next day I found a painting called “Use Your Illusion" [Unknown Source, July 1990].
In fact, as said in the band's official fan club newsletter Axl had been specifically visiting "a number of L.A. galleries" to find "a cool painting for the record cover"[Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

The lyrics Axl is referring to is from the song 'Locomotive' off 'Use Your Illusion II'.

Apparently, the name and artwork of the records was all Axl's idea:

It’s the title of a painting by some controversial artist. I don’t know who. I’ve never heard of him. I don’t keep up with art circles. But that’s the name of this painting that Axl bought, and he said, “Let’s make this the cover of the album.” Like the last album cover, we just said, “Fine,” no discussion [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Ιt’s an artist by the name of Mark Kostabi. And I picked that painting because I was like, I was really tired and I was having dinner somewhere. And there was an art gallery across the street, and I went like, "Well, I’ve never walked into an art gallery before being able to afford something" [chuckles]. […] And I went in, and I happened to know this guy who worked for Billy Idol, and he was working there. And I wandered around, and then I walked into the office when no one was around, and it had all these other paintings. And I had just written Locomotive, where I said “I bought me an illusion and I put it on the wall”, and I found this painting that I really liked. And then I looked at the back and the title was “Use Your Illusion”. And it was just kinda like meant to be. It was, like, the first painting that I’ve ever bought. And I took it home and took everybody by a little while to warm up to it, but, you know... And everybody finally got into it. And Slash decided that it said a lot, you know, and we agreed as a band that it was pretty cool. I also wanted to use that picture because it was art. It was art that has a lot of controversy around it, because of Kostabi’s methods of actually doing the paintings. The background was taken from a very old painting, but it’s still something really nice to look at and it’s - I don’t know how I feel about how it was done, I just know I like it. So to me that’s kinda like with songs, when using a tape or using tape machines to create things. Sometimes that’s a problem, other times it’s just like, “Well, maybe that’s how they need to get it done and you get to hear the song”, you know. So that’s why I like this particular cover, a lot of reasons. […] Plus, it was, like, a cover to go, to go to people that could go on, “Guns N’ Roses is just obnoxious” or whatever. And I might go on, “Yeah, well, why don’t you put this nice picture in your house”, you know? Sitting there, you know? […] “You didn’t expect that from us, did you”? [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
But Slash found the title brilliant:

The title, "Use Your Illusion" - which is every bit as splendidly apposite to Guns as "Appetite For Destruction" - came from a painting by Mark Kostabi that Axl liked, just as "Appetite" was named after the outrageous robot rape painting that graced its sleeve until record shops refused to stock it. […] "Use Your Illusion' is also very ironic for us. I mean, I don't know why but this band has just generated bullshit hype for so long that it's like throwing it back in their faces [Melody Maker, August 1991].
He would further expand upon what the title meant:

It's the title of the painting on the cover but 'Use Your Illusion' means that the band is so high profile in a sort of vanity sense, the way people perceive us and what we're doing, what we're talking about or what our whole trip is about, 'Use Your Illusion' is like 'go ahead' [Rip It Up, September 1991].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:39 pm

1991-1993 - AXL AND SLASH

Axl and Slash had had their differences in 1989 and 1990. Slash's struggles with heroin had resulted in Axl calling him out from the stage in October, 1989, when the band opened for The Stones (which helped Slash gain sobriety). On the other hand, Axl had been taking a increasing leadership role in the band as his band mates struggled with addiction, and while Slash was now in a productive physical state, Axl's notorious temper and mental instability that resulted in marriage problems and confrontations with the police and his neighbor, vexed on Slash in early 1991 as it delayed the making of the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums.

Well, [Axl's problems are] a pain in the ass, and they keep things from getting done. I’m the most uptight about all of this. It’s just my nature — Axl thinks I’m this sort of sick-minded workaholic. And it’s true — in some ways, I do get uptight. I can get very negative about it. But there are moments when it [Axl’s troubles] really gets in the way of what I think is productive, and we end up spending a lot of money. Sometimes I think Axl has no idea, or has a very slight idea, of what the financial reality is. I mean, to me $400,000 or whatever to make a record is ludicrous. Of course, if I was to say that to Axl outright, he’d say I don’t know what he’s going through, and there’d be a fight right there. That’s the way we’ve always been — there’s something I can’t relate to or vice versa, and that’s where we butt heads. So I just sit there with my head between my knees, freaking out…But Axl’s craziness drives me crazier than it does Axl, unbeknownst to him. And that’s the truth. […] Axl is like a magnet for problems. I’ve never met anybody like him. He’s the kind of guy that would get a toothbrush stuck down his throat because that particular toothbrush happened to be defective. [..] I mean, shit goes on with that guy, and if you talked to him, he’d tell you the same thin [Rolling Stone, January 1991].

I don’t want to talk about Axl, because everybody is constantly trying to pit us against each other. You know, they’re trying to put two fucking Japanese fighting fish in the same bowl. We’ve always been the same. We have our ups and downs, and we butt heads. As long as I’ve known Axl, we’ve had so many differences that have been like the end of the line as far as we were concerned. I think that happens with most singers and guitar players, or whatever that cliché is. It might look a little intense on the outside, seeing all this shit that we’re going through, but it makes for a tension that’s — in a morbid kind of way — really conducive to the music we collaborate on. But as far as Axl goes, he is the best singer-lyricist around [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Despite saying he didn't want to talk about Axl, Slash was still not happy with how the Rolling Stone interview came out:

They twisted what I said around and they only focused on certain things definitely at the relationship between Axl and I, that they are always trying to make a real negative issue out of; which is not like that at all. When that came out, and there were certain things in there that I said that were true, but in the context of the conversation they would have read completely different than the way the guy edited the whole thing.

I was pissed off because I was like, you know, this is why I don’t like getting involved with this kind of stuff, because I don’t like being misrepresented and having a hit so close to home
[MTV, September 1992].
Before the touring in 1991, Slash would open up a bit on his relationship with Axl:

If there ever was a combination of fucking opposites, like me and Axl or whoever else in the past, that one is crystal clear. Me and Axl are so unalike that we attract each other. […] The relationship between most lead singers and most lead guitar players is very sensitive, very volatile - I could go on listing these things for hours. It's just very intense. It has major ups and major downs. But somewhere between all this intensity and this friction there's a chemistry. And if the chemistry's right, like me and Axl are really tight, then there's something - a spark or, you know, a need, that holds it together. You fight too. The biggest fights are between me and Axl. But that's also what makes it happen [Q Magazine, July 1991].
And when asked what they fight over. Music? Drugs? Who gets the most attention?

I don't remember us ever fighting over who gets the most attention! No, dumb things. Like a marriage. I hate to harp on that subject because it's so negative and there's so many other cool things about the two of us, everybody else in the band too, that are just more interesting [Q Magazine, July 1991].
And when describing the "cool things":

Well, when we talk, we're not band members. We talk about ideas that we have, or remember seeing this or hearing that? We'll just sit up all night and talk, and it's me and Axl talking. It goes beyond anything you could write down. Whatever entity the Slash-Axl combination makes, you can't define it like that. It's just how we are... If I ever gave it that much thought and had an answer, then it would make the whole thing too fucking predictable, wouldn't it? [Q Magazine, July 1991].
In September 1991, Rolling Stones would discuss the different personalities of Axl and Slash: "Slash seems to have accepted the occasional flare up arising from his and Rose's warring internal time tables as par for the course; its clear that he sees the tension as a necessary evil, the spark that makes for the combustible energy at the heart of their creative collaboration" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

The same month, Slash would again indicate that he and Axl was tights but that the media was causing problems:

They’re trying constantly to, like, sensationalise me and Axl, or Axl and I’s relationship, which has totally gone way leftfield. Me and Axl are fine. We’re tighter now than we’ve ever been, I always say that. And it’s true. It’s not me trying to make up, like – you know, to cover anything up. We get along great, but there’s this thing behind us, that’s constantly nipping us in the back, going, “Oh, Axl and Slash,” “Axl and Slash,” “Axl and Slash.” You know, I’m just sick of it. I mean, it’s not true [Rapido, September 1991].
As Axl caused controversies during the 'Use Your Illusion' touring in 1991, Slash received more and more credit for keeping the band together. The Boston Globe would say that Slash is "widely viewed as keeping Guns in gear" and that he "has become the band's expert at damage control" able to "throw a positive spin on all events" [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]. Slash himself would downplay Axl's negative media coverage:

The best way of putting it is that his (Axl's) image gets blown way out of proportion. Some of the things are true, but some are blown way out of proportion. And then there are complete falsehoods -- and even those are blown out of proportion from the first time they came out [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991].
In December 1991, Slash would also say that he and Axl never fight anymore and that they have a professional relationship [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991]:

Every night I show up, he shows up, we talk about normal things. We figure out what the first song should be. We’ve been doing this for a while, so we’ve gotten good at picking up whatever the other person is feeling, which is important, because things are so spontaneous we have to be really together as a band [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991].
He would corroborate on this in early 1992:

[The relationship between him and Axl]'s only been stormy in the public’s eyes because of the media. Axl and I haven’t had a fight in about a year and a half, and the couple fights that we did have were the kind of fights that any family could have over such a volatile situation as the one we’re in [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].
Axl, too, would indicate their fights were behind them:

Let me say something about us being at each other's throats: We haven't really been that way in the past year and a half. I love the guy. We're like opposite poles of energy, and we balance each other out. We push each other to work harder and complement each other that way [RIP, October 1992].
Taken these two quotes together, it would indicate that Axl and Slash were going through tough times in the second half of 1990, but that things had been okay between them since then.

During the band's second show in Dayton, on January 14, 1992, a quarrel broke out onstage between Axl and Slash when Axl misheard something Slash had said:

We had a run-in in Dayton [Ohio], because both myself and Dougie thought [Slash] said something shitty to me onstage. That was the night I cut my hand to the bone. Backstage we have monitors much like the ones onstage, and while I was back there dealing with my hand, I thought I heard him take a potshot at me. I wrapped my hand up in a towel and was like, "Let's get it taken care of, so I can finish the show." I came back onstage and was a dick to him and told him I'd kick his f?!king ass in front of 20,000 people. That was f?!ked up. I was wrong, and I apologized the second I realized I was mistaken. Someone who is supporting me as strongly as he does is a hand I never want to bite [RIP Magazine, September 1992].
Axl's amazingly misunderstood. I've known him for a long time and we've gone through a dozen different plateaus in the relationship. It took me a long time to understand him. We're so different as far as personalities go. He's highly complex; I'm very black-and-white. So we have a lot of run-ins. But we're really close [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
In February 1992, Slash would again talk about the complexity of Axl's personality and how Slash would act as a mediator:

Well, I know Axl real well and a hell of a lot better than anyone’s gonna know him from reading the press. I know where he’s coming from and I may be a little more level-headed so I guess I get labelled as the mediator at this point. With Axl though, a lot of it comes from just unbridled sincerity. Everything about him as a performer and a singer comes from his personality, so the shit that makes him crazy or the shit that he finds hard to deal with is, at the same time, what makes his talent, you know? […]Sure, shit goes down and I keep it together, but with me it’s pretty simple. It’s ‘Get the fuck up there and plug in that guitar and go!’. With him it isn’t that simple. There’s a lot going on part from the three hours that we spend up there and it’s that shit that affects him. I can say that really, apart from getting laid, we’ve all realized that there ain’t that much fun in the music business! [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
In a RIP issue published in March he talked about how close they were:

The thing about me and Axl is, both of us have no real life outside of this band. All I do is play guitar. My life is completely devoted to my own personal career and Guns N' Roses. So, like, Axl might seem like a pain in the ass to everybody involved, but at the same time. he's as dedicated to it as I am - even more so in many ways. He cares about a lot of things I don't even think about, because I'm sort of just a rock guitar player... book the gig and play it! Me and Axl have gotten really close lately, talking about this whole Guns N' Roses trip and what this band is capable of doing, and about making a few statements as far as what we're about, because we're getting sick of having other people tell us what we're supposed to be about [RIP, March 1992].
An example of how Slash would protect Axl and downplay any of his negative sides, is from MTV in March 1992 when Slash was asked to explain the band's late concert starts, and even challenged on whether it wasn't Axl's fault and how he felt about that. Slash would refuse to throw Axl under the bus and instead prevaricated [MTV Rockline, March 1992].

In May Slash would indicate there were issues, though, without indicating whether there were any conflicts between him and Axl causing the "obstacles":

Well the obstacles are harder than they were. Because shit comes out of the woodwork you wouldn't believe! Anything to try to stop the wheels from turning. That part's harder. Sometimes you just want to go to sleep and forget. But the band as a unit is stronger, cos we've been through so much [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
But he would point of there were no "blazing rows":

No, we've never had that kind of relationship! People print that stuff and it really hurts. Because really the only family we have is between us. These guys, they're my sense of reality, they're the people I cling to, and people are trying to rip it apart so I don't have a f***ing home. But we bond together, because there's this thing tugging at us all the time saying we're getting real close [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
Axl would confirm the band members were like a family, and that the bond between him and Slash was particularly strong:

Especially with Slash and it's [=the relationship] definitely a marriage [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
In May 1992, Slash would also describe the relationship:

We’ve been friends since we were kids. I love the guy. He just gets a bit worked up sometimes and things get to him [Interview done in May 1992, published in The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].
And in July:

When Axl and I first met is when we had the biggest problems. But he's opened up so much now and that's made me a lot more sensitive with Axl. ... We communicate great and I've been having a ball with this whole thing. We trust each other more than anybody else and I feel really close to him. […] No one can kick our {expletive} -- that's how tight our bond is [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].
This would again indicate that their worst problem was in the beginning of the band.

Slash would again discuss his relationship with Axl in August, and indicate Izzy's departure had only served to strengthen it:

[Izzy's leaving] made us all closer. I had always been close to Duff, but the changes made me and Axl a lot closer than we had been. We had always been friends, but there is really a bond there now. What used to happen is we'd misunderstand each other. We'd have fights because of something I was supposed to have said about him in the press or something he was supposed to have said about me. All these problems have pushed us closer together, so that we communicate better and avoid the misunderstandings. [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
He would also say the last time they fought was in 1988 during his worst drug period:

The last fight we had was four years ago and that stemmed from the fact I cut myself off by being completely loaded. At this point, I really have it together, so he can lean on me and I can lean on him. He has opened up more. He's not like a firecracker anymore, who just explodes. As far as image, it's hard to get that across to people when you have 5,000 publications trying to tell you what they want about Axl and the band [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

But the alleged amicable relationship between Axl and Slash would soon turn sour. According to Goldstein, Slash's friendship with Michael Jackson became a problem to Axl when molestation accusations against Jackson popped up in the media. Axl had recently opened up to the media about his own childhood with molestation and according to Goldstein he felt this as a betrayal from Slash:

[Slash] came to my room and said: 'Hey I'm flying to Paris to do a pay-per-view with Michael Jackson'. I said: 'Okay, you know that your lead singer has just told the world about the molestation and you're talking about someone who's been accused of child molestation. 'He said 'I don't care' [9 News, September 7, 2016].

Slash did play with Michael Jackson three times in 1992, in Oviedo and Tenerife, Spain, in September, and then in December in Tokyo, Japan, but not in France.

You know, [Axl] just attracts trouble, because people don’t like people like that. They have a hard time dealing with somebody who’s that blatantly honest. It scares people, so the obvious reaction is to retaliate, which is what he has to deal though, especially, like, with police and authorities, and all kind of stuff [Australian TV Channel 7, January 25, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:23 pm


After a short break the band travelled to Europe to continue their 'Use Your Illusion' tour in August 1991. For this leg of the tour the band had got a chiropractor and masseuse on tour with them, especially for Slash who needed to have "his back aligned before each show to prepare him for the stress of jumping off stage ramps" [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]. Slash would also be more conscious about his health:

I used to play in cowboy boots, but now I'm in my Adidas. We have a chiropractor on the road; right before the show, he'll crack me up and make me a bit more limber. And we have a masseuse. My left hand cramps up some-times, and she gets right in here and loosens it up. There have been shows when between songs I'm going, "Ax, I can't play'—my fingers are like this [makes fist]. Now at the hotels, regardless of whether I want to or not, for breakfast I'll eat cornflakes and bananas for the potassium. Axl's always been very health-conscious; I'm the complete opposite—I used to do as much damage as humanly possible. Now that were headlining, all of a sudden I'm really aware—as aware as my personality will allow—of my physical status. […] It's more that I don't want to burn out or have some physical ailment pop up in the middle of a set. It was a conscious effort by people who work with us, who said, "Try this." For so long, my attitude has been to blow everything off; now I'm striving to be open-minded. I started taking vitamins—pop four with a Coke [grins]. I mean, I'll never completely grow up. After an awesome show, you come away feeling fuckin' jazzed. It's the best feeling in the world, so you do whatever you can to support that. And yes, it does help to have 20,000 people enjoy your show [Guitar Player, December 1991].
Skid Row travelled along as the opener. The first shows was at Helsinki Ice Hall in Helsinki, Finland on August 13 and 14. The European leg started where the North American had ended just 10 days before, with Axl being volatile:

[...] Axl walked offstage just as we started playing 'Welcome to the Jungle' and disappeared for twenty-five minutes or so [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 190].
And I started therapy in February (1991) and, Jesus, I'm right in the middle of stuff. I mean, if a heavy emotional issue surfaces and you've got a show in four hours, you have to figure out how to get that sorted out really quick before you get onstage so that you're really quick before you get onstage so that you're not in the middle of "Jungle" and have a breakdown. The pressure of having to do the show when whatever else is going on in my life is hard to get past. We did a show in Finland where I just couldn't understand why I was doing what I was doing. I sat down while I was singing "Civil War," and I was kind of looking at my lips while I was singing and looking at the microphone and looking at the roadies, and everything just shut off. Well, that doesn't make for a very good show [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
After this the band played two shows at Globen in Stockholm, Sweden on August 16 and 17. On the second of these the show started three hours late:

[...] At the fourth show [of the European leg of the Use Your Illusion tour], in Stockholm, Sweden, [Axl] went to a street festival and watched fireworks before turning up to the gig three hours late [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 190].
According to the band's newsletter, one of the two shows in Sweden was the band's "best performance ever" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

The band then travelled to Denmark for a show at the Copenhagen Forum in Copenhagen on August 19. On the very same day a coup d'état took place in Soviet and Axl would hoist a Russian flag at the concert in protest [Press Conference, August 1991].

It was a one-time happening that we did because of what's happening in the Soviet Union. We're not gonna meddle in the politics, but it was our way to express our opinion [Press Conference, August 1991].
During this concert an explosion was heard and the band stopped playing. Axl yelled that they would not continue until the culprit had been arrested. After a little while the band came back and Axl explained that a guy had turned himself in [Press Conference, August 1991].

The band was then supposed to travel to Norway for a show in Oslo, but this concert was cancelled.

The next show was in Germany at the May Market Arena in Mannheim on August 24. At about 25 minutes into this show, Axl was hit by an object under 'Live and Let Die,' and, as a result, left the stage. According to Slash and Duff, the promoters prevented Axl from leaving the arena, forcing him back onto the stage, and a riot was prevented.

We went on late - late even for us - then, pretty early in the set, something happened and Axl walked off for what reason I have no idea. He wasn't getting heckled as far as I could see, no one hit him with a bottle or anything, but he wasn't having it. Th stage at that venue was literally about a mile away from the production office and dressing room, so a van was there to shuttle us back and forth. When Axl left the stage, he went to the van and headed off to the dressing room.

The rest of us came offstage and were standing around, waiting to find out if Axl was coming back or if his van had taken off to the hotel. [...]

I remember standing there with Duff while Matt was fuming. [...] "Fuck that guy," he said. "I'm gonna go straighten him out."[...]

By this point we'd discovered that Axl's van had not left for the dressing room; he was sitting in it but refused to come out and return to the stage [...] So Matt went down to Axl's van to rally him, but as he got down there, he ran into Axl, who had emerged to head back to the stage. Matt was so fired up, though, that he got in Axl's face regardless, to the degree that it almost got physical.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Matt yelled. "Get back onstage!"

I ran up and got between them, because it wasn't a good situation. Axl can get completely psycho when he decides to fight and Matt weighs twice as much as I do - and he plays the drums - so it wasn't exactly a good place for me to be. Axl went back to his van, and it didn't look like he was coming out again. The clock was ticking.

The promoters saw the drama that was going on and closed the gates around the venue so that we couldn't leave. They'd heard what had happened in St. Louis, and it's a good thing they did; if they hadn't, I'm positive that the thirty-eight thousand fans there would have rioted, we would have been held liable and arrested, and people might have died. The local police were already there in riot gear, ready to deal with a full-on situation. It was a scary, tense scene, and a very near miss.

We got Axl back onstage once he realized he had no choice, and the rest of the show went as planned. All I could remember thinking as I walked offstage after the encore was Fuck that was close
[Slash's autobiography, p 343-344]
When Axl left the stage in Mannheim, Germany, another riot looked inevitable. We had gone on late again. The venue was huge, an outdoor stadium packed with twice as many people as even the biggest of the basketball arenas we had played in the United States up to this point. Matt Sorum tried a novel approach when Axl left; maybe to a "new" guy it was the obvious thing to do. He went to find Axl and confront him. He was turned away by Axl's security detail. The promoters - not the band members, not the managers, not the entourage - saved the day. Their threat was that Axl would be arrested if a riot occurred might not have worked on its own. But they also locked us into the venue [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194]
The band then headed to the last show on the first European leg, at Wembley Stadium, London, in England on August 31. In the months leading up to this date, the media would be speculating on the two supporting acts, with Motorhead and Lenny Kravitz being rumoured [Raw, July 1991].

Before the show the band allegedly told the Brent Council they would refrain from swearing or jumping offstage [The Guardian, September 1991].

After the show Slash met Brian May from Queen. Guns N' Roses would later play in Freddie Mercury's tribute concert at Wembley (April 20, 1992], May would play with the band at Wembley (June 13, 1992], and May would also work with the band during their Chinese Democracy era in the late 90s/early 00s.

I’m trying to get to the point where I can get known as a good guitar player as opposed to the drunken drug guy. I met Brian May after Wembley and he gave me a lot of compliments. He was really sweet [The Guardian, September 1991].
Oh, [May]’s awesome, yeah. I mean, that goes without saying. I didn’t think that could be a question (laughs) [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
When we first met Brian May last summer, it was wild. None of us would let him out of the room. He's one of the nicest people I've met[RIP, September 1992].
As Slash was talking to May, an elderly man and a teenager approached, asking if they could have his autograph and then introducing themselves as Slash's grandfather and cousin [Music Life, November 17, 1991].

I hadn't seen them in 15 years! […] And then out of the blue I got a letter. One of my uncles is a rock fan – he turned me on to the Moody Blues when I was still living in England – and he was reading a Jethro Tull article in a magazine and he saw the names Ola Hudson (Slash's mother), Saul Hudson – Saul being me – and that's how they knew how their relative was. […] So I knew they were coming but I didn't know who they were. I was really nervous about it for a little bit. And when my grandparents – my grandfather; my grandmother has apparently passed away – after the show I was sitting there fucking exhausted going, okay, I'll just have a drink and I'll go out. And when I saw them, they had fucking baby pictures of me, the whole thing! Very bizarre! [laughter] But it was cool, It's just an example of how weird this whole fucking business gets [Music Life, November 17, 1991].
The Wembley show will go down in history as the last show with Izzy.

Izzy didn't walk away and force the cancellation of the Wembley show. He stayed and played one last gig to draw the curtains on this leg of the tour - the last show before the release of the albums we were ostensibly touring. Axl arrived on time. We played spectacularly well, as fierce and inspired and together as ever before. If not for the additional people and gear onstage, it could have been mistaken for one of our club shows [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194].
Izzy's final show was before seventy-two thousand people at Wembley Stadium, in London, a venue we sold out faster than any artist in history [Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 344-345].
The Wembley concert was also the last before the release of 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'Use Your Illusion II'. Slash would comment upon how it had been to play the shows before the albums were out:

We were amazed that the shows were sold out and we could headline without a record. That's a great way to break your band in. It was a lot like when we first started and we didn't have a record out and we were playing and opening up for Motley Crüe and all that and people had no idea who we were but we pulled it off because the band was good. And so we just did it again. We started without having the album and people can get familiar with the material on the album by hearing it at the show and then they can look for it on the record as opposed to the other way round. It's very ass-backwards! [RAW, October 1991].

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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:50 pm


"We have released our new albums, “Use Your Illusion I and II.” […] We hope you’ll like what you hear on the albums. There’s something there for everyone. This was truly a labor of love and is a closer look at what we’re all about. You’ll be hearing the contents of our hearts and soul" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].


In May 1991, the song 'Bad Apples' leaked to the media [Los Angeles Times, June 1991; RAW, July 1991]. The song was leaked to several air stations by an employee at Mercury Records, who, in return, wanted airplay of one of their singles [Raw, July 1991]. The radio station WMMS played the song but a court order stopped them [Raw, July 1991]. How the Mercury employee got a copy of the song is not known.

So when the magazine Guitar Player got to listen to a pre-release copy of the records in August security was tight due to "piracy problems" [Guitar Player, December 1991].

Before the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums were released, Matt, Slash and Duff would describe how the follow-ups would differ from 'Appetite':

‘Appetite’ was a party album. This new stuff goes deeper than that. It’s more about relationships [than politics], stuff that’s hap­pened to the band over the last few years [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].
I will say it leans more to the darker side. There’s not a ton of really happy material on it, you know? Most of it is pretty fucking pissed off. It’s very pissed off, and it’s very heavy, and then there’s also a subtlety to it as far as us really trying to play. […] he way our lives turned around, the repercussions of our success and the general shit that we do from day to day gets brought up a lot. There are a lot of semi-humorous drug tunes and a few songs about love going in whichever direction. Regardless of whether it sounds like the blues or not, basically that’s what it is. It’s a strange thing. I never thought we were a naive band; I always thought we were pretty hip to what’s going on. But when we used to just hang out on the street, it was more fun than when we had lots of money and became part of society and were forced to deal with responsibilities. I think money is like the central nerve of it all, too. It’s like I think Jimi Hendrix said — “The more money you make, the more blues you can sing [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
I’ll put it this way, take the songs from ‘Appetite,’ the rocking songs, the heavy songs ... they’re magnified by 10. The pretty songs? Magnify that by 10, too. 'Sweet Child o’ Mine’ was a real pretty song, but compared to the new s—, it’s real amateur [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
I don't know if [the new records] going to be so much of a shock [to the fans] as I think it's going to confuse a lot of people because there's so many songs. I think Appetite centred more on one particular kind of a sound whereas this record has one song that might sound like Appetite, and then there's 25 other songs that are all completely different. There's acoustic, there's lots of piano, I must have played 25 guitars on it — banjo, bass all kinds of shit, there's one I guess, you'd call it New Age music with synthesisers on it that Axel did which is pretty intense. There's almost some stuff which is reminiscent of Queensryche where the music is going on-and there's people talking so it's like a movie track. Then we've got stuff which is really simple, straight ahead and harder than anything that was on Appetite [Rip It Up, September 1991].
And how they had expanded the instrumentation:

You know, there’s actually some synth on the new record, but it’s not, like, Milli Vanilli didn’t do (laughs). […] No, I mean it’s not that kind of stuff. It’s just with the band playing and there’s some other stuff, like, thrown in. And just because we were screwing around it’s very Guns N’ Roses. We did work with somebody – I won’t mention his name – that was using samples on the drums and, like, when Axl and I discovered it, we flipped, literally. We were like, “What?” You know, it was all these Guns N’ Roses samples he used [MTV, May 1991].
There’ll be a lot of different instruments. I’ve got guitars doing all different kinds of sounds and things. There are horns on “Live and Let Die.” We didn’t get into sampling, but right now, as we speak, Axl is in the studio with a rack of synthesizers, so we don’t have to bring in an orchestra for a couple of songs. There might even be a bunch of kids singing on “November Rain,” because it’s that kind of song. It’s very angelic. We’ll do whatever it takes to make the songs as powerful as possible [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Yet, it did not signify a change in musical direction:

It’s not a change in direction; I don’t think we ever had a real direction. But we have gotten a little bit more experimental, I guess. I hate that word — we’ve just been doing shit, whatever we felt like doing. This album goes from one extreme to the other, from some very, very intensely raunchy, over-the-top stuff to being very mellow — and everything in between [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
In September 1991, though, Slash would say they were evolving as musicians and describe the new records as more "mature" than Appetite [Rip It Up, September 1991].

You can stick with being a certain way and try to push an image like Motley Crue, or you can keep evolving. The fans that listen to you can either accept that or get pissed off because you're not doing Welcome To The Jungle' again. Obviously you want to go and do something else, it's like we've done that record already [Rip It Up, September 1991].
Slash would also shed some light on the collaborative effort:

Left on our own, I'm sure everyone would make very different albums. I write songs that are maybe a little more intricate than what Izzy wants to play—there's one on the record, 'Coma,' that's about 10 minutes long and 500 chord changes. But if the melody doesn't catch you at first it's hard to develop an interest in anyone else learning it. We all have different ideas, but there's no hierarchy. We still have to do everything as a band [Musician, December 1990].
Describing the difference between 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'Use Your Illusion II':

Well, I’d say, the first half of the first CD is more in line with Appetite, no new songs. And the second half of the first CD has Coma, November Rain, and The Garden... So some really experimental numbers for us. And then I’d say that the first half of the second one is “the south will rise again” (laughs). We didn’t plan on that, but there’s, like, Heaven’s Door, and Civil War, and the song Yesterdays and a song called Breakdown that definitely have a bit of a southern rock feel. […] Like, I’d say, Paradise City - in the chorus - kind of has that. And Sweet Child kind of has that. And it ended up the best sequencing to make the record flow all the way through. We didn’t plan on putting all those songs in that vein together, but to make the record flow all the way through, so if you wanted to listen to all of it, that’s the best way. […] And there’ll be a version of Don’t Cry on both records, one on the first one and one on the second. The one on the first one is the newly recorded version of the original lyrics. And then the second one is the newly recorded version of alternative lyrics; they’re kinda like ’91 updates, got different words and melody in the verses [MTV, May 1991].
Alan Niven would hype the records:

"Use Your Illusion" is a cross between Physical Graffiti and "The Wall. It's a record that's gonna amaze and frighten at the same time [RIP, June 1991].
Slash would explain how the track lists were decided:

I think we had the whole band write up their personal list of what they thought the order would be and then we all came together with one, were we sort of put them together and came up with one. […] Somehow we came up with a master list [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
The two albums were finally released on September 17, 1991. The releases were an immediate success. In the USA, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II went straight onto the charts as no. 2 and no. 1, respectively, and it was the first time a major contemporary artist had released two separate albums on the same day and the first time two albums by a band or artist had simultaneously entered a chart tight at the top [Guns N' Roses Australian Tour Special, January 1993]. The expected sales within just the first two hours was $5 million [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. Needless to say, Geffen Records president Eddie Rosenblatt was thrilled: "This is the most exciting thing that's ever happened in the record business" [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. After a week, Geffen estimated that each record had sold more than 2.5 million copies [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. This would be down-adjusted to between 1.5 and 2.0 copies in total, with 'Use Your Illusion II' selling 100,000 more copies than 'Use Your Illusion I'. As with 'Appetite', some stores, including Kmart and Walmart, refused to sell the records, citing the band's image and lyrics [MTV News, September 1991].

In July 1992 it was reported that the records were banned in South Africa [MTV, July 12, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:19 am


The band would discuss why the decided to release two records:

Well, on album form, on the wax, it’s four albums, because we wanted to have the deepest grooves and stuff for... Since vinyl is somewhat going out, we wanted to be one the last bands doing the best job we could for audiophiles and stuff. You know, the deepest grooves and a minimal amount of time on each side. And figuring out the sequencing was really hard (?) anything else, to start each side and end each side with a cool song, so that it sounded like it began and ended right, resolved properly. And the CDs and the tapes being two separate things, we’re echoing well a lot of kids. A lot of people, when they go to buy a record, they go to buy one and they won’t be able to... It’s like, if there’s a choice, “Well, I’d like to get Guns N’ Roses, but it’s $29.95 and there’s this other band’s album, well I’ll get that one.” You know, we were like, maybe we can get past that a little bit. […] I’m sure it will sound better on CD. We worked to make it sound stronger on CD, but we’re gonna definitely work on the mastering to get the best sound we can on the vinyl. Everything gets as much attention as anything else. Every single song has got as much attention as anyone’s song. Every little part. You know, we’re kind of perfectionists and you never quite get it right, but... (chuckles) [MTV, May 1991].
For one, we didn’t wanna look that pompous and we didn’t wanna make anybody go out and have to spend, like, 30 bucks or whatever it is for a double record. Double records just seem to be just, like, out-of-date anyway. And we’ve been in the concept, when this concept started to form, of separating it and making it so you go out and buy one and, if you like it, then maybe you buy the other one. You have a choice of the two and stuff like that, that made it more fair to the public, you know [MTV, May 1991].
We didn’t make it a double album because that’s a little overboard and a little pretentious. Plus, this way, a kid can go out and buy one record, his buddy can go buy the other record or whatever... and maybe when they get enough money to buy the other one, they can do that. Plus, it’s never been done this way before [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
There was a lot of old material that we wanted to include. It's not possible to release your second album as a double so we thought it was a good idea to release two separate albums instead. Besides many fans can't afford a double-album. Now two friends can buy one album each and tape them from each other. If you buy "Use Your Illusion I" and think it's good you then can buy "Use Your Illusion II." […] We had been separated from each other in over one year and the recordings were a way for us to get together again. That's why it was nice to be in the studio so long that we once again became a unit. […] During our entire career we've put material aside. We've been thinking "this we can use later" and we ended up having too much material put aside. Now there isn't any unreleased material with Guns N' Roses, so when it's time for out third album it will be up-to-date [Press Conference, August 1991].
So that the people could afford it. You know, they can buy one or buy the other; or they can buy one and a friend can buy the other and they can tape it, and... So that the package, you know, for the price, they could buy one or the other. And it was also competitive with other things out there in the market. You know, if somebody else’s record is 12.95 and ours is 30 bucks, it’s like, that’s... [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
We did it, number one, because nobody’s done it before. But also, we had so much material built up when we went into the studios, we decided.... “Well we got all this material; let’s record until we’re burnt out”. If we can only do one record, we’ll only do one record. But we never burnt out. We just kept goin’ and it turned out that we recorded over forty tunes. I mean there is another record in the can [Hit Parader, June 1992].
They did come out simultaneously, but they’re two different records. We didn’t do it as a double record because....I don’t know how much a double record is these days, but it’s gotta be like thirty bucks. This way, two friends will be able to go out and like buy one....and one will buy the other....the record company will kill me for sayin’ this…[…] One will buy the other right....yeah. We don’t want to rip off the kids. […] I’m sure [Geffen] won’t hear this at all, but you know this way we won’t rip off our fans. If we put out a double record, there could be only one buy it or starve [Hit Parader, June 1992].
Yes [it was a good idea to put out two albums simultaneously]. We went through so much emotional turmoil after the success of "Appetite for Destruction" and the albums reflect that. I'm talking about all of a sudden going from a garage band to becoming some sort of half-assed celebrities. […] The albums are so close to us that every single song has its own meaning and memories attached to it--the problems with drugs and adjusting to all the other drastic changes in our lives. That's why we put out two albums. We had so much material and we wanted to use it all [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:23 am


During the process of recording the albums, band members would comment upon the lengthy process.

In May 1991, Slash was asked why it had taken so long:

Actually, you know, there’s a lot of stuff that’s taking long and that made it take a long time. I mean, all this success made it take a long time, that sudden realization of, like, being huge. I know it blew my mind and threw me for a loop, right? Especially cuz we’ve been... we were, sort of like, just not from that school at all. So that took a little while. I mean, that took till just recently for me to adjust as far as home life goes. And then there was the associated drug problems that ensued. And then there was, you know, the situation with Steven and then finding somebody to replace Steven and, you know, finding somebody to fit into the band, fit into the folds, right? Which was no easy task at all. So, like, we couldn’t put an ad in the Post, you know. And then, after that, it was getting us in a studio. No, working out the material with Matt and then getting in the studio. And we did the studio stuff really quick, like, the basics, and then I went and did guitars and all that stuff. Then we just spent a lot, we enjoy being in the studio, and although we did wanna go out on tour, we had all this material and we wanted to do it good, so I mean... yeah. Plus we just sat around, like, sort of watch the music scene turn into sludge again. I was terrified so we just hung out until the timing was right [MTV, May 1991].[/i]
Well, we toured for so fucking long, and by the time the tour was over we were told we were mega - Spinal Tap, you know. You're great! You're great! And we're still walking around trying to make sure you don't have a stain on your jeans after you take a piss kind of thing. And there's all this stuff going on around you, all these people treating you like you're on a pedestal even if you don't feel that way. So we went from nowhere to being this really huge band, not feeling any different, only having people tell you that and react to you a certain way.

When they dropped us off at the airport after the tour was over, I had nowhere to go. It kind of runs in the family with us - maybe not with Axl but defenitly with me - where if I'm not busy and focused, I get loaded to pass the time. So that's what happened. I went through a phase of that and then I cleaned up and we tried to rehearse and we were writing material.

The worst thing of it, though, was because of no longer having to live in one room, the band got separated, getting their own homes. And that was the hardest part. It's like Slash is here, Axl's here, Izzy's over there, Duff's here, and I don't even know where Steven lives, right? Like, Duff, can we come over? "Well, the gardener's coming today..." That was a whole huge experience that took a really long time for me to adjust to
[Q Magazine, July 1991].[/i]
I moved into an apartment, the cheapest apartment I could find off of Sunset Boulevard - that's how demented I am, right? - and we just used to party all the time and have amps all about the place and I'd write songs and Duff would come over and every so often Axl would come over and we'd write together. But it was such a long period. And I got so wrapped up in dope and coke and all the fucking scum that goes along with it that finally it just got out of hand. So I cleaned up and bought a house. Then I sat in the house for a while and hated it. I'd lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. There was nothing to do. And then I got back into it and got strung out in a serious way, where everybody was really worried and I had some close run-ins with the police. But then the Stones gigs came around - which I really wanted to do to bring the band back together; that's why after the Stones gigs (and Axl's onstage ultimatum) I went and cleaned up - and then it was Steven's turn [Q Magazine, July 1991].[/i]
I keep reading about delays in getting the record out, but as far as the band is concerned, there really have been no delays. The only (rule) we had was to make the best record we could, regardless of how long it took. […] But we had people at the record company come up with deadlines on when they wanted the record out and we'd go, 'OK, we'll do our best (to meet the deadline),' and we tried. But we were not going to give anybody the record until we felt it was done [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].[/i]
People want something, and they want it as soon as they can get it. Needy people. And I'm the same way, but I want it to be right - I don't want it to be half-assed. Since we put out Appetite for Destruction, I've watched a lot of bands put out two to four albums. They went out, they did a big tour, they were big rock stars for that period of time. That's what everybody is used to now - the record companies push that. But I want no part of that. We weren't just throwing something together to be rock stars. We wanted to put something together that meant everything to us. […] I've had a good understanding of where I wanted Guns n' Roses to go and the things I wanted Guns n' Roses to achieve musically, and I can't say that everybody's had a grip on that. We're competing with rock legends, and we're trying to do the best we can to possibly be honored with a position like that. […] We want to define ourselves. Appetite was our cornerstone, a place to start. That was like 'Here's our land, and we just put a stake in the ground. Now we're going to build something [Rolling Stone, September 1991].[/i]
Slash would also blame the press and people pestering them for the long process:

Yeah, that and we didn't like the way the band was perceived by the press or the way that they used us as the example of rock'n`roll excess of the '90s. There were people always s pointing their fingers at us and making rumours and stories. And we just got sick of all that and said 'fuck everybody' because that wasn't what we got into it for. So we just didn't care and didn't talk to anybody and if we did basically it was like 'fuck you' [Rip It Up, September 1991].[/i]
You know, the biggest thing is that we work so hard at playing and yet everybody spends so much time trying to pull out so much negative stuff about us and drugs and sex and bad relationships and the guys in the band and stuff, and it makes it hard for us just to concentrate on playing. Which is one of the reasons why it took us so long to get the record together because, after awhile, the hype just got to be overwhelming, We'd lock ourselves away in the studio and it was great to be in that environment and just spend all your time playing. But even then it came and crept into the studio. It was really hard. […] Everybody just started to know where we were and every time we'd come out to the studio there'd be people waiting outside. it was like, 'C'mon, give us a break, you know, It's just a band. We're trying to make a record' [RAW, October 1991].[/i]
As for dealing with the high expectations and whether that had been challenging:

Yeah, because you don't feel like it should be that big a fucking deal. All things considered, its just a rock'n'roll band and its just a fucking record, and it means a lot to you personally because you made it but at the same time it's hard to accept the fact that it means a lot to ten million people. We tried to just completely ignore what was going on around us and just got involved with making the record regardless of whether anybody likes it or not [Rip It Up, September 1991].[/i]

About a year after their release, Izzy and Slash would look back at the records:

It was crazy. The last record we did was two records. There were too many songs for me to remember really. I had a hard time with 'Coma', it wasn't so much my style. Those albums I found very frustrating. I think there's some good songs on there, but the process was extremely, extremely slow. Again, that's the way Axl wants to do things. […] I like to get the stuff done and carry on. If you start picking everything apart, analysing, it's pointless, a downward spiral - and next thing you know, months have gone by, or a year. It took us a long time to get those records out, I don't even remember how long [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
They took two years to finish the two records, and at the end I don't even feel like listening to the final product. Not at all! In fact I listened to the records only after the concert at Wembley in August 91, and I freaked out: "Where the hell is my fucking guitar?" It's gone! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
[…] that last record, the Illusions records, were just so many songs. I could probably remember ten of them that were on there. There’s a lot of music and it was no cohesive, sort of. Nothing really held it together [Japanese Interview, October 15, 1992].
Use Your Illusion is also very ironic for us. I mean, I don't know why but this band has just generated bullshit hype for so long that it's like just throwing it back in their faces. And d'you know what? The album is so controversial. It's the same and worse than the last one. The subject matter deals with drug stuff. And uh, I don't think we cut any corners as far as profanity goes. It deals with bad relationships and all that kind of crap. […] Y'know I detect a little bit of anti-feminism shit going on too, because the songs are about women who are negative and really fucking hard. I can see girls going 'What assholes!' But then, y'know our angle is just, 'This is true you fucking cunt'. This is the way it was and we put it down on paper. But you know, these feminist groups will be like... d'you know what I'm saying? People assume we're advocating what the songs say, and they go for the throat. We're not trying to get some truth tho. We're not trying to send out any fucking messages. This is just our experiences. It's us, put it on vinyl. Buy it or don't buy it, like it or don't like it, whatever. […] Look, I don't know how influential people think we are supposed to be. I mean like, we're an example now because we're a big band? No. No, no, no, no. I appreciate the fact that we're a big band and I know it's because all these people can relate to us. But there's all of these outside fucking people that are just like, 'Okay, well you influence a lot of young kids and you have a high profile'. All right so they think that's gonna have an effect on our musical integrity? Like, we're gonna fucking alter everything we do so we don't make any waves? No! Guns is all against that. "Some people seriously want to nail us, y'know? This band is a magnet for it. It's always been like that. Ever since before we got signed, so we just deal with it... sometimes too much shit gets hard to take though, y'know [Metal Masters, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:09 am


Despite Slash claiming there weren't any singles on the upcoming two 'Use Your Illusion' albums, the band would end up releasing eight singles.

I don’t think there are any singles on this record. […] I don’t mean to rock the boat or anything, but I think there’s a swearword of some sort on every song. Every potential single it’s, like, whoops, oh, well, not that one. But there’s some great songs, and I don’t care if they say “fucking” in it or if they say “shit” or if they’re talking about girls in the way we’re not supposed to [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
The first single out was 'You Could Be Mine' which was released on June 21, 1991. It sold more than 1.5 million copies in the first 30 days [Geffen Press Release, September 1991]. The song would be featured as the theme song in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The music video would hence feature Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold was great. Arnold’s really nice. […] He apparently is a Guns N’ Roses fan. […] And he was working on his movie and he said that he was talking with Jim Cameron, the director who did The Abyss and he was saying he wanted to get (does a Schwarzenegger impression) “some good music, some hard music, some Guns N’ Roses”...for a very long time and finally, like, in the last month, all of a sudden he was like, “I think you’re right” and Arnold was like, “It’s a little late”. But it worked out really cool because we wanted to put out a version of the song You Could Be Mine. And also with Don’t Cry we had a rocker and a ballad. And we let them listen to a lot of material and the song they picked was You Could Be Mine. So it worked out good for both of us and we shot a video for it, we filmed the show in the Ritz and then, you know, I guess Arnold was flying back from Congress and going, (does Schwarzenegger impression) “I want to be in the video”. So Arnold got all his people and put together a video so we’ll have yet to see what it’s like [MTV, May 1991].
I mean, I guess [Schwarzenegger] liked the songs and stuff. We hung out really. We got along really, really well. And he gave the whole band jackets from the movie and these great French leather biker jackets, right? With bullet holes, everywhere. And the one jacket I got was from my favorite scene. I mean, they’re at random and he gave them to us, right? And I got my favorite one, which is, like, he gets shot six million times and they all come through his back, right? So I got that one. The sleeves come down to my fingernails (laughs). Anyway, I gave that to my security guard and he flipped. And I gave Arnold my top hat. […] No, [You Could Be Mine] is a rocker. It’s the first release on the record and it’s in the movie, and so we shot in New York and we shot some, like, footage of us coming out of the dressing room, there's a stage door at the Roxy in L.A., where we come face-to-face with Arnold in his Terminator gear and it was all pretty funny [MTV, May 1991].
Arnold was great. I was real skeptical about getting involved with "Terminator" at first, because… uhh… It's just… It's another one of those things people do a lot nowadays. And you see these videos that makes absolutely no sense. It's like, the song, and then… and then… uhh… and then… uhh… you know, some clip from the movie, and then you see the band and the two… The twain don't meet on the same ground for some reason. And so, I didn't wanna get involved into that sort of campy way of doing things. But at the same time, "Terminator 1" was great. And so we liked that, you know. And sort of in good faith, we gave them four songs for them to check out. To see if they're really interested or not. 'Cause they brought it up to us, we didn't go to them. And they picked "You Could Be Mine" and… So, we went to Arnold's house and we had dinner and we hung out. And it was like, we stripped away all the… the celebrity status stuff and just really hung out and had dinner and had a great time. So that meant a lot, you know, to get personal and get toe-to-toe with somebody. That's like, one of the most important things for us, is to be able to feel comfortable with somebody. And believe me, that's a hard thing for us to do. And so, that went over well. And they… they took "You Could Be Mine"… and they put it into a rough edit and we went and saw a screening. And the movie was cool and the song was really cool where it was in the movie. And… as long as we had final approval on the… on how we were gonna use it in the video, then everything was great. And the finished product was cool. So, I'm actually happy with it. And I thought for a movie… uhh… for… for… you know, music video… music video slash movie kind of thing, it was pretty original, you know. And pretty dynamic [WNEW 102.7, September 1991].
It worked out really cool because we wanted to put out a version of the song You Could Be Mine. ... and we shot a video for it, we filmed the show in the Ritz and then, you know, I guess Arnold was flying back from Congress and going, (does Schwarzenegger impression) "I want to be in the video" [MTV, May 1991].
We hung out, really. We got along really, really well. And he gave the whole band jackets from the movie and these great French leather biker jackets, right? With bullet holes, everywhere [MTV, May 1991].
He was kind of real soft spoken, nice guy [MTV, May 1991].
[…] we shot some footage of us coming out of the dressing room, there’s a stage door at the Roxy in L.A., where we come face-to-face with Arnold in his Terminator gear and it was all pretty funny [MTV, May 1991].
Schwarzenegger himself would comment upon it:

"[The band members] have been big, big fans of Terminator and have expressed that many times. And I have been a fan of their music, so we checked into what it will be like to do a video together or to get some of the music" [MTV, September 1991].

Izzy is absent from non-live footage in the video, and his refusal to participate in videos would later be criticized by Axl and Slash fueling a conflict that eventually would lead to Izzy leaving the band [see separate section]. Fans would question why Izzy was not in the video and in the band's fan club newsletter it would be explain with Izzy being "out of town" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

Schwarzenegger was president George Bush's fitness guru, and Kerrang! magazine would imply that collaborating with Schwarzenegger was a political statement from the band and that it "went against everything Guns N' Roses stood for" [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].

The second single was 'Don't Cry', released on September 17, 1991, the same day as the two albums were dropped. Axl now wanted to realize his lofty aspirations for filmatic music videos, and reportedly had planned the schematics of the associated music video already back in May 1991 [RIP, September 1991].

[…] the video that we just did for 'Don’t Cry' fits even better with the new lyrics than the old one [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
At the end of the music video for 'Don't Cry' the text "P.S. thanx Joseph!" In his 1991 Rockline interview, Axl would explain this was to honor Joseph Brooks who had played a role in the band's early success:

And Joseph was the guy who... You know, Don’t Cry was his favorite song. He’s a DJ out here in Hollywood that keeps a lot of bands alive, and keeps people listening to them - you know, a bit alternative and a bit hard rock - and he works in all the hard rock clubs. And he’d got our song, Don’t Cry, to the record company in the beginning, and I didn’t feel that anybody that he had helped had really thanked him enough. And I knew if I put it on there, it would be permanent, and if I didn’t put his last name – his name is Joseph Brooks – people would be like, “Oh, who is Joseph?” [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Explaining the babies with different eye colors in the video:

Well, the eyes, it was different babies, and it was meant to be that it was two different people, you know, and it was like birth and rebirth. And it was meant to show that, you know. And we just used green eyes cuz I have green eyes. And “there’s a lot going on” means that there’s a lot more going on in the world than most people think or care to realize [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
The third single was 'Live and Let Die'. The video was finished on November 25, 1991 [Rockline, November 27, 1991]:

Just got it done 2 days ago and we’re really happy with it. We used a lot of shots from our childhood and stuff that we’ve had to live through. I think it will be fun for people [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
The press has liked to show pictures of us as children, kind of where we started, but they also did it with an attitude to hurt us or something. That's why in the video for "Live And Let Die," we show pictures of us all as children in the background, coming in now and then - some of our favorite shots of us as children - to confront that.[…] My step-father had shot a video of our entire family and of his entire family, all the way back to great-great-grandfathers, and he compiled this video. Through doing certain work with my family, with understanding what was going on there now, it was very strange, very surreal, and very disturbing. I use a shot in the beginning of the video from when I was about three or four years old. I come in the door with a toy gun and my dad happened to film it. That went on the video. He sent it to me with some sound effects over it and a comment, kind of putting me down, letting me know he's still on top of things or whatever. But that's not the fact and I don't accept it, so it's like, "No, I'm using it my way, and that's me, and don't forget it" [Metallix, 1992].
Then they released 'November Rain' on February 18, 1992. With that single the band was accused for being indulgent:

Yeah, indulgent, right. It’s funny ‘cos I always thought music was indulgent in the first place. Putting out two double albums might be indulgent, but if you ask me we’re musicians doing exactly what the fuck we want to do and having the space to do it. We’ve never adhered to industry standards and I felt that going out there and playing those songs that no-one had heard in front of 20,000-60,000 people per night was pretty ballsy. I can’t see Bon Blow-me doing that, can you? Otherwise they’d be out there now. I don’t think we bored too many people and, in fact, as a live band I think we showed exactly where our confidence lies. No one told us to play bund of hits and I think we managed to crossover from being a band that people went to see to get fucked up to, to a band that people actually listen to, that’s cool, whatever anyone says [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
The fifth single was 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' (might have been released before November Rain).

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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:10 am


The split with Guns N' Roses hit Steven hard:

Besides losing my best friends and my family, which was that band, my wife also left me… […] I was married and my wife left me. First the band treats me like I'm dead, then my wife leaves me. And at that point I was feeling so sorry for myself it was ridiculous [Hot Metal, December 1991].
Not long after being fired, Steven briefly attempted to form a new band with former Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy [VOX, October 1991]. According to one Gunner "it lasted maybe a couple of weeks, then someone overdosed over at the house and that was that" [VOX, October 1991].

Later Steven pieced together that included former members of the Vain [Hot Metal, December 1991]. The band was called Road Crew, the same name of the band Slash and Steven had in 1983, before Guns N' Roses [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

I loved the name of that band, and it's copywritten under my name. Slash has Guns N' Roses, so I got Road Crew [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Steven would further claim he had been clean for "more than six months" and that people could "expect a tour and album by summer 1992" [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

Slash was not happy about Steven resurrecting the 'Road Crew' band name:

Okay, Road Crew was a name that I came up with. It was a while before Guns N’ Roses even started and before I even met Axl. And there was different versions of it, you know, I could never find a singer, so it didn’t do that much. And there was one point when I did have a singer when we played a bunch of places. I’d known Steve previous to that and he was in the band for a couple of weeks; when we first met Duff and we rehearsed together, we had a big fallout and we broke up. And that’s when Guns N’ Roses consequently started to come together. Anyway, just recently I find out that Steven has started a new band called Road Crew and I was like, he had nothing to do this; and I’m like, where does he get off? You know, I haven’t even hassled him in the press or anything, nothing compared to what he said about us, and finally I just got to the point where I was like, “No”. Because it’s just personal to me and if I ever did, like, some sort of outside project from Guns N’ Roses, I don’t want to have that taken away from me, especially because he had nothing to do with it. So I feel a little bit... agitated; I think this is a good word for it (laughs) […] I trademarked the name and everything [MTV, July 20, 1992].
Not happy at all:

So I don’t know what he’s gonna do. But if he had any kind of imagination, or any sense of integrity, or any brains whatsoever, he wouldn’t have used it in the first place. At this point, I’m going, don’t use it, because if you do, there’s gonna be a big conflict, because I will defend it, you know? […] I don’t talk to that guy anymore. (Whispering) He’s a fucking idiot [MTV, July 20, 1992].
And when confronted with Steven claiming he had been in 'Road Crew ' longer than three weeks, Slash would respond:

No. The band round was for a year. We just rehearsed in a little room on Highland in Hollywood for – I mean, literally - a couple of weeks; like, maybe, seven songs we got through. And Duff can attest to that too, because all three of us went through it together. So my message to Steven is just leave it alone, don’t – because he doesn’t want to mess with me. Steven knows that. He doesn’t want to get started. And haven’t hassled him at all. So it’s, like, time to think of a new name, because it’s something that it’s just... You know, I don’t want to go “It’s mine, mine, mine.” It’s just, like, real personal to me, and I think he should go out and do his own thing anyway, you know? […] and it’s a cool name too. It’s, like, perfect for a heavy metal garage band that I want to, like, sort of do, you know, on the side or something. So that’s my feelings on it. I got a fax from his attorney saying - One of the contentions in this lawsuit that Steven and Guns N’ Roses have been going through was, “... and I want the rights to the name Road Crew.” You know, anytime somebody comes up to you and challenges you like that, for me, it makes me just want to go out and fight. It’s part of my nature, so if that’s what he wants to do, then fine [MTV, July 20, 1992].
And when asked if Steven's lawyer would be aware that Slash owed the rights:

Yeah, but that’s why he was forced to ask, you know, or demand the rights in this deal that he was trying to come up with, so that we can settle on the whole breakup story; which is the whole thing in itself [MTV, July 20, 1992].
There was no love lost between Matt and Steven, too:

I didn’t even think about him when I came into the band. The only time I ever think about him is when I see his face in magazines still, after almost two years. To me, he was just a drummer that blew it and I was there to step in. I hope he gets something else going, but it doesn’t seem like he can. [...] I'm trying to forget him, to be honest with you. I am the drummer and I don’t need to hear about that guy. I did two records that were probably four times the magnitude of Appetite. Even though Appetite was a great record, I just feel that the past is the past and we’re looking toward the future now [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].
Izzy would talk about having reconnected with Steven after having heard he wasn't "doing so well":

Look, yesterday, I talked to him over the phone for the first time in a year. I told him: "God Stevie, get your act man, record..." And he answered: "Fuck, man, my reputation is fucked up." I couldn't help laughing! And I told him: "Open your eyes, your reputation has always been fucked up (laughs)! Get a band! Play!" [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
I actually spoke to Steve probably a month ago - against the advice of the legal system, the attorneys, all that f**king bullshit. That part of the business, that part of the band, is such a load of shit — it seems it f**ks up so many good things. But I talked to Stevie; I'd heard he wasn't doing so well, and it was a trip talking to the guy, cos I hadn't talked to him for what must've been a year. […] He was a good-natured guy; I hope he can get a it together. He was never malicious, he never tried to f**k people around, he was just happy playing his drums. In some ways he's a little naive, I guess. […] I just tried to offer a little support, y'know? I just talked to him for a little bit. He was a good drummer. He wasn't a virtuoso, a Neil Pearl from Rush or something, but he's a f**king damn good rock drummer, he's a good guy, and he was funnier than shit on the road. […] I was always laughing when I was hanging out with Stevie. Some of the shit he'd pull, you'd just go, 'No f**king way'! One time we were in New York: I was rooming with Stevie and due to overbooking, we got a huge $500-a-night suite. We had this big room so we had a big party... and two days later we're still up! […] Stevie's a hairy guy, he's naked, his f**king eyes are red and swollen like goggles, and he's walking around when the maid comes in. The look on this lady's face, man — it just freaked the shit out of her, this f**king red-eyed ape guy! […] He was funny. I hope he gets it together. I told him to get a real job, clean himself up and start doing studio work or something. […] He was saying that he just really missed playing. All these lawsuits, it's just so f**king ugly, y'know? I guess it's inevitable... [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
I talked to him about a month ago. The lawyers said don't because of the lawsuit, but I'd heard he was in a bad way. He said he was having a hard time stretching it for more than a day or two. Really scared me. I know how I'd feel if he did himself in and I didn't make an effort to help him. I said if he cleaned up, I'd like to cut a couple of reggae tracks with him next summer. I know he's really bitter about the whole situation. He needs to start thinking forward [Musician, November 1992].
In November 1992 it would be reported that Steven was still struggling with addiction and that he had been fired from Road Crew and that the band had changed name to Vain (after Davy Vain) [Popular 1, November 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:11 am


In August 1991 it would be rumored that Axl was distancing himself from the rest of the band mates by "arriv[ing] at gigs separately and seldom see[ing] the rest of the band" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

For quite a while, the band's approach to Axl had been to leave him alone rather than confront him. As one anonymous band member was allegedly quoted as saying to VOX journalist Nick Kent: "Nowadays we just let Axl do pretty much what he feels, 'cos he'll only do it anyway" [VOX, October 1991].

Kent would also write that Axl had insisted on the 'Use Your Illusion' albums being so long, had insisted that Skid Row should open on their tour (despite band members despising them), calling for the resignation of Alan Niven, and what music would be played over the PA before the shows [VOX, October 1991]. It was likely Izzy who had a problem with Skid Row, since Slash and Duff would party with Sebastian Bach [Sebastian Bach, 18 and Life on Skid Row, Harper Collins, 2016; Slash's biography; Melody Maker, August 10, 1991] and Duff would invite him to play on his record [source?]. Additionally, Slash would repeatedly argue in favor of the long 'Use Your Illusion' albums to get rid of the backlog and allow them to start afresh on the next record [Rolling Stone, January 1991; Melody maker, August 1991; Slash's biography]. So it could be that Kent's close relationship with Izzy somewhat affects his judgment.

Regardless, many articles would still imply that the label was afraid of Axl's temper and behavior and would rather accommodate him than put the foot down [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Simply put, "Axl runs the group" [VOX, October 1991] or, in the words of "a source at Geffen," "Axl’s got everybody by the balls"[/i] [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

One alleged example of this comes from Izzy when he tells how the firing of Alan Niven happened:

Axl fired [Niven]. […] We weren't given any choice! It happened like that. Four members of the band were against and Axl said "All right, take him as a singer then because if he stays, I leave!" What can you do? What can you say?[Rock & Folk, September 1992].
Axl was confronted by rumors of taking control of the band when he did an interview with Musician in March 1992 (published in June 1992). When the interviewer said, "It seems like you have the other guys in the band over a barrel sometimes. Everyone knows you're capable of saying, "The hell with it, I won't go on" or won't record or won't show up. Doesn't that force the band to say, "We better do it Axl's way or it ain't going to happen at all"? Axl simply responded "Yeah" [Musician, June 1992]. The interviewer followed up by asking if it is fair to say that by going from a shared vision to Axl's vision it takes something out of the band. In his reply Axl would indicate that he had always had the vision and that Slash and Duff was finally coming round to it:

Yeah, it's somewhat fair. That's definitely the case with Izzy. Izzy wanted the financial rewards and the power rewards of my vision. Izzy's vision was much smaller. The other guys in the band just though I was crazy. In order to make certain things happen, certain people had to think certain ideas were completely their own. I definitely knew what I wanted. I didn't know quite how to get there. And sometimes the only way to have everybody going the same place is to allow them to think that they're the ones who thought of it. [...] It's not so much that way anymore and it's been real difficult to uncover that reality. It's been hard for people to accept. But it has been a basic reality of Guns N' Roses since the beginning. It just wasn't seen. Because I wasn't someone who had all the answers and all the plans, I just had a vision. I wasn't necessarily someone that people wanted to follow blindly and say, "He's got the plan, let's go." I've finally earned respect from Duff and Slash that wasn't necessarily there before. And Slash and I, more than anyone else, are very much a team [Musician, June 1992].
In September 1992, Izzy would be asked about Axl claiming he was the man with the vision and agree that it was correct:

Yeah, that's right! […] Surely, yeah, whereas we wouldn't see beyond an hotel bar's closing at two in the morning. Without doubt! We played behind him for five years, and never, at any time, we thought about what was happening! Authentical! Whereas him, he was cogitating, in his bedroom. You know, we were just trying to stay in life, behind [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
In May 1992, while opening for GN'R, Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, would describe GN'R this way:

"GNR and their management are like a small government. Axl's the president, and his manager's a personal advisor. A couple of the other more visible band members are vice-presidents" [NME, June 20, 1992].

When Slash was asked about the running of the band, in mid-1992, he offered a corroborating picture:

We all have our own particular little things that we do. You know, that we do best. Like, on a creative level, having to do what the band is doing, it's really between Duff and Axl and I. Because none of the other guys are actually original. Although Matt's come in and we sit down and listen to what he has to say about stuff. You know, Axl has his thing and I more or less like, the day-to-day stuff because I'm always there. Like: "Give me something to do!" So I get into that. Duff has his thing and we just fall into it naturally so there's not a lot of debating as to who does what [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
But it was clear that if you weren't part of the partnership, e.g. Axl, Slash and Duff, you were to some extent left out of the decision making process:

When asked what the future holds for the band: The future is very hard to say. We’ve got this tour going on right now and we’re gonna, you know, probably go out again in January and do Japan and South America and Australia. You know, you never know what’s gonna happen with this band. I pretty much – I wake up in the morning, turn on MTV and, you know, I find out (chuckles). […] Or the radio, I turn that on, you know, “Axl’s in jail,” oh wow [MTV. July 17, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:15 am


In the beginning, Izzy was an immensely important piece in the puzzle that was Guns N' Roses:

I think that if either Axl, Izzy, or Slash leave the band, it will be completely different. You know, Izzy's really an essential part of that band, more than I think most people realize. The songwriting is a big part of it, but Izzy really is essential to what Guns N' Roses is. Everybody thinks Axl is what Guns N' Roses is, but Izzy's the founder of the whole idea. Izzy's the one that wanted to get the big hair, the image, that whole thing going. So, he's really like a major part. He's not just the rhythm guitar player, he's the guy that stuck with it, really pulled the thing from the bottom up [Rock Scene, October 1989].
But as the years went by, Izzy started to separate himself from the band. This happened already after the Appetite touring, partly to get some distance from the partying when he was trying to sober up, but also because he likes solitude: "[Izzy] is the closest thing in the band to a loner; when he's on tour he likes to wander the streets by himself, and his girlfriend mentions he'd like to buy a house in the desert" [Musician, December 1988].

During the touring in 1988, Izzy got reacquainted with his estranged father. When telling about this in late 1988 to Musician magazine, he sounds wistful about Indiana and the simpler life he once had:

He comes walking backstage unannounced, completely out of the blue. Took a second or two to recognize him. It was a real trip. But it was definitely not...well, I don't want to get into it. I mean, in 10 years I've only been back to Indiana twice. I don't even know anyone there anymore; I don't keep in touch like Axl does. But when I look back, I do see some kind of stability that comes from growing up in a fucking cornfield. You're at one with the earth [laughter].  You don't give a shit about much. It's a simple life [Circus Magazine, September 1988].
According to this quote from Axl, he had also considered quitting the band at some point before 1991 due to people misinterpreting their songs:

[…] there's a line in ["It's So Easy"], "I drink and drive/and everything's in sight". We were talking about, kind of, how we got away with things and we're lucky to be here. It was real hard knowing that some of these kids would just go out and go, ”Yeah, I drink and drive and everything's in sight.” I mean, Izzy put it best when he said that a lot of people think our record means you know, party and do cocaine and rock ‘n’ roll. And it's like, that just ain’t what it is. So Izzy was gonna quit at one time because he was... didn't like the way people reacted to it [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
In August 1989, he would sound almost paranoid when talking about drug wars and crazy fans and the police out to get him [The Face, October 1989], and how big the band was starting to become:

I just realized that Guns N' Roses had become way, way bigger than anything you could possibly hope to control as a musician. I mean, when you play clubs you're pretty much in control. But the energy forces in these stadiums and arenas are beyond anything... It's frightening, y'know. And the fuckin' money that's involved... like with us, then with this Stones tour... I mean, what are the promoters goin' to off us next? Is that next? Y'know, "Come to our city and take all these drugs" [The Face, October 1989].
The paranoia resulted in Izzy starting to carry a gun with him everywhere:

There was a point in LA where I wouldn't go outside without a gun. I was carrying a pistol all the time, and eventually I think that works on you too. It's f**ked, it's no way to live, and when I realised, I said, 'I gotta get outta here before it gets too f**kin' crazy' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
During the recording of the Illusions Izzy was frustrated with the lack of structure to the process and tried talking to Axl about this:

I tried talking to [Axl] during the Illusion albums: 'If we had a schedule here, come in at a certain time...' And he completely blew up at me: 'There is no fucking schedule' [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
In early 1991, when asked if he was the guy "in charge of getting everybody’s butt together and saying, 'Let’s go do this', 'Let’s go do that'", Izzy would say:

No, I don’t think so. Not so much, you know? I’m usually the first one who wants to get on the plane, like, a day earlier or something. Let’s go check the place out, you know? For the gig. But, yeah, I wouldn’t say that [MTV, January 1991].
Izzy is absent from non-live footage in the 'You Could Be Mine' video. Fans would question why Izzy was not in the video and in the band's October issue of the fan club newsletter this would be explained with Izzy being "out of town" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

When the band started touring the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in May 1991, Izzy distanced himself from the band [Kerrang!, September 21, 1991]. The Rolling Stone journalist who followed the band would remark that Izzy's bandmates were confused as to how Izzy was spending his time, because they only saw much of him at concerts [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

I'd spend an hour at a soundcheck and two hours playing, and that still gave me 21 hours of my own where I didn't have to get caught up in it all. I created a life outside the arena, which was where I went to do my work. I would leave the arena right after a gig, stop somewhere, and get something to eat at a restaurant. […] We were usually all in the same hotel, but I'd wake up early and I'd go out and do something before the soundcheck, which normally I wouldn't have been doing. I had my dog, a German Shepherd, on tour with me in the States, and I took him out in the mornings. Then I'd be riding a motorcycle or a bike, skateboarding or walking round town, not to cop or score but just to look at the scenery [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
It was also obvious Izzy was struggling with all the controversies the band generated and in particular the late starts:

We've got the gigs booked, so we'd best show up and play. 'Cause I don't want to be on CNN anymore [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
Axl's just naturally late. It can get pretty tense at times, particularly when you're supposed to be on-stage and you're sitting there, literally counting the seconds, thinking 'man, we've just had a riot in St. Louis. Now we're in Texas. What the fuck is going to happen here?' [Interview done in July 1991, published in VOX, October 1991].
And at the same time, Izzy was looking forward to what he was going to do after the touring:

After this tour's finished, I'd like to go hang out in Europe, preferably somewhere near the ocean, and just keep writing songs [Interview done in July 1991, published in VOX, October 1991].
For the band's last concert of their 1991 European leg of the 'Use Your Illusion' tour, at Wembley on August 31, rumors had it that no one knew if Izzy would show up and play and that he might quit the band due to Axl's "attitude" [Music Life, November 17, 1991].

And in September the media reported that Izzy might stop touring with the band with Kerrang! even claiming Izzy was entirely out of the band [Kerrang! September 21, 1991].

The rumor that he had quit the band, or intended to do so, had started when Izzy failed to show up for a video shoot of 'Don't Cry' in September 15. Izzy had also been absent from the last scenes in the video to 'You Could Be Mine'. According to the band's publicist, Bryn Bridenthal, Izzy was touring Europe at the time and didn't want to return just for the video. In a Rolling Stone interview from 1992 it would be indicated that the reason Izzy didn't want to do the 'Don't Cry' video was the million-dollar cost and that it was pointless indulgence:

I didn't have any say in it, and I didn't want to be in it [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
Some time in September there was a meeting in Los Angeles "about the future of Guns N' Roses" [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992]. It is likely it was Izzy who initiated the meeting to bring up some changes to the band he felt was necessary "for the sake of the livelihood of the band" [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992]. One of the issues were the late starts that resulting in curfews costing the band money:

It was really fucked that it even had to come into play, to base something like that on money. But the reality was that it was bumming me out, to be waiting there because someone else is late. It's just not fair to the audience, to the other band members. And the crew! When you go on three hours late, that's three hours less sleep they get. […] I expressed my feeling to Axl, and the very next night on MTV I saw that I was going to be replaced by the guy in Jane's Addiction. So I took that as an indication that I'd really pissed him off [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
"That guy" in Jane's Addiction was Dave Navarro. Tom Atencio, the co-manager of Jane's Addiction, said that Dave Navarro, the group's guitarist, has been contacted about sitting in for Izzy if the guitarist decides to stop touring.

A source close to the band would emphasize that this was very different from what went down with Steven: "This is totally Izzy's decision, and it appears to be based on whether he wants to spend the next two years of his life on the road in such a highly volatile situation" [Los Angeles Times, September 1991].

Izzy wasn't completely out of the band yet, despite the rumours, even if he hadn't been able to change the way the band was run. Or, at least, the final resignation would come a couple of months later. Before that happened Axl tried to convince him to stay and allegedly they had a "four hour" phone conversation that ended "amicably" [Popular 1, November 1992]. This was likely while Izzy was in Indiana, riding his trial bike in October or November [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].

Izzy would later talk about this phone conversation and what Axl tried to achieve:

Let’s say that what [Axl] did say didn’t make any sense. (laughs). I didn’t understand what he wanted to get out, but, whatever it was, he didn’t accomplish anything [Popular 1, November 1992].
In October, the rumors again swirled that he was permanently out of the band, implying his problems with the "madness of it all" and "Axl's tantrums":

"Izzy's absence at interviews appears to be more than just a passing phase. Never the most verbal of the band and certainly the only founder-member able to walk the streets relatively unrecognised, his decision seems to have a more permanent quality about it. Throughout the whole tour Izzy had travelled seperately from the rest of the band and rumours concerning his departure from the band began to emanate when the Gunners were in Germany and cancelled a show. These now appear to have been founded with the guitarist finally feeling that the madness of it all had grown too much and that Axl's tantrums had gone too far. Quite whether he has left for good has yet to be clarified, although it is understood that the rest of the band are attempting to coax him back" [RAW, October 1991].

After returning to Los Angeles, in the second half of November [Kerrang! September 5, 1992], Izzy had a meeting with Axl and Slash where Izzy was "threatened" to be demoted from "partner" to "employer" unless he started to work harder just before he quit the band:

In November I went back to LA, and there were some conditions and terms put to me which pretty much made the decision to quit the band real easy for me. I just thought, this is not acceptable - so that was it. […] When I was told how the future was gonna be in the band, I thought about it for a long time that night, and when I woke up the next morning, I knew what I was gonna do that day. I decided to leave [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
I went out there and I was trying to work it out with those guys. And it was put to me by the singer how things were gonna be. There was an agreement I was supposed to sign and when I heard the figures I said, 'There's no way I can go along with this.' I just didn't think it was fair, so l said, 'Well, screw it. Gotta go' [Music Express, November 1992].
It was made clear to me how things were going to be run. I slept on it, and when I woke up in the morning, I said, ‘That’s the end of the line for me.’ I just felt like my opinions were no longer considered valid. It wasn’t about being a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing music any more. Life is tough enough to live day to day without an extra 50lb of aggravation on your head [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
[…] Axl made it clear that he was going to do things his way, and there was no space for debate. So I had to make it clear to everybody that that was the end of the line for me [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
So then Axl and I decided that he wasn’t an equal partner, per se, unless he decided to change his ways about a few things — at least do like a couple videos a year, and work harder on the road. And Izzy said, ΌΚ, I resign'. […] But I can’t understand why he would drop out of something as cool as what we’ve been doing. That’s not an ego thing — that’s not like ‘We’re the biggest band in the world and why would you want to quit that?’ I was like, ‘Why would you want to quit the relationship that we have that got us to where we are? Why would you just want to flake out on it?’ [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].
Izzy just let me down really badly. The guy’s a great songwriter. He’s got his own style. He's a cool character. But I'm so ambitious about what I do that I’m always a mile ahead of myself. He’s so not into doing anything. He could be so potentially awesome if he would let himself get totally involved in the band trip, or even his own thing. But he’s so laid back he’ll probably never get around to it. […] It’s strange, but when he got high, everything was cool. He got clean and he couldn’t hang out in the Guns N’ Roses element, or whatever. […] He didn’t wanna do any videos, hardly wanted to show up in the studio. When we ended the last leg of the tour, he didn’t play guitar for three months. He was riding his bike in Indiana or whatever. […]When he showed up at rehearsals for this leg, he sounded like he hadn’t played in three months. The next day he didn’t show at rehearsal at all. Me and Axl were at the end of our f—ing rope. He wasn’t contributing. He was equal partner in the band, so we told him, ‘Until you start doing something you’re not an equal partner.’ He resigned. Didn’t even tell us. Sent notification to the office, the accountant [St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991].
[Izzy] didn’t have the courage to come up and tell us in person; he got his lawyers to contact us. He left me looking for a replacement with about a day to find one. Thanks a f------ lot [The Age, January 29, 1993].
I'm real... hurt, confused and disappointed with Izzy. He stopped wanting to do it, you know, and he didn’t want to go through the ups and downs of what any rock band goes through, which is sort of like your own life, but we live our life out in public. But he just didn’t want to make any effort [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].
But basically, we just came to the conclusion that Izzy wasn't putting in the time we thought was necessary for the good of the band. It had been building up for a long time. And finally Izzy came out in the open with me and Axl and said he didn't want to deal with the work that was involved. So we decided to work with someone else [Guitar World, February 1992].
According to an interview/article with Izzy in November 1992, Slash claimed that Izzy then spoke bad about Axl and Slash behind their backs, telling the rest of the band that he had been fired and that they didn't give him an opportunity to defend himself [Popular 1, November 1992]. Then, still according to the same article, Izzy went to the band's lawyer and prodded into the band's finances [Popular 1, November 1992]. Another meeting with Axl was then held, in which Axl asked Izzy to go to hell [Popular 1, November 1992]. All of this is unconfirmed by primary sources although Axl is likely talking about this meeting here:

You wanna know how he really hurt me? When he came up here to my f?!king house and acted like, "What's wrong, man?" It's really weird; I knew he was coming. I could literally feel his car driving up as I was getting dressed. I went outside and sat down, because Izzy couldn't come into my house. I couldn't act like he was my friend after what he'd done to me. He came up and acted like he hadn't done anything, but he let us down at a weird time. It wasn't like someone leaving the band because they couldn't take it anymore; he left in a shitty way. Izzy called up members of the band and tried to turn them against me by saying that I pushed him out, and that's not how it went down. He said a lot of shit behind my back. He tried to make a power play and damage us on his way out, and that's real f?!ked up [RIP, October 1992].
On November 16, the guitarist Marc Ford told that he have received a phone call from Slash (on November 11 and 12) where he'd been asked to become Guns N' Roses' new touring guitarist. Ford, who had recently joined The Black Crowes, declined [Los Angeles Times, November 16, 1991].

MTW News then reported that Izzy had quit the band, but the news was quickly withdrawn by the request of the band [RAW, December 1991] only to be officially announced by Axl on November 27, on a Rockline interview. Axl would also state that Gilby Clarke would replace Izzy for the tour:

Izzy has resigned. […] At this point, no [=Izzy will not continue writing with the band]. And we have our own plans for the next - the follow-up - and then the record after that. And it’s kinda like, we’re going in separate directions, and he’s not really into touring or video or anything like that. And Slash and I are the ones, you know, figuring out the direction that Guns N’ Roses is going, and Izzy is not really part of that anymore, so...[…] Right now we have a guitar player named Gilby Clarke. And he’s been in Hollywood about as long as us. And, you know, he’s doing a really good job. But I don’t know about farther than the touring [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
When confronted with a fan who was shocked about Izzy leaving:

Well, we’ve been together for 15 years, so it’s kind of a shock to my system too [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Axl would also philosophize on losing members and turn a positive spin on it:

Yeah, well, it’s kinda like...It’s evolving, you know. And certain members necessarily couldn’t keep up with where it’s going, and, you know, we actually ended up being more happy with where we’re at now than where we were. It’s like, we’re glad about the times we had with these people and the songs we did, but it’s evolving, and we’re really happy to be where we’re at right now. And we feel stronger than ever, you know. There’s obstacles every day that seem like the bottom fallout. But we put it back together and we’re usually much more happy with the results of putting it back together than where we were before the accident happened. […] And it’s like, everybody wants to see that togetherness that maybe they aren’t necessarily able to achieve in their own lives, you know, and to relate to it in someone else’s. And it would be nice if we were able to make people happy in that way. But that’s just, unfortunately, how it’s worked for us. And, you know, we’re really happy musically with where we’re going and the directions we’re going [Rockline, November 27, 1991].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:14 am; edited 39 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:52 am


I don't really enjoy being a center of attention. I'm more into the music and what's happening with that. I enjoy having those guys take care of the publicity [Circus Magazine, September 1988].


It took about a year before Izzy would explain why he left:

I was sick of it, just completely fed up with it. It didn't feel like it used to, something wasn't happening that used to happen for me [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Being asked if he felt pushed:

Yeah, somewhat. I don't want to get into it too deep; a lot of it's personal stuff. I don't wanna say anything that's already been said about me, you know what I mean? There's been a little shit talked from their side, but I just gotta blow it off and say, 'That's how it is with them, it's nothing new' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
In February 1992, Slash would say that Izzy "dropped out three weeks before we were meant to start the US tour" [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992], probably meaning the leg of the tour that started on December 5, 1991, meaning that Izzy quit the band in mid-November 1991. This coincides well with Marc Ford being asked to replace Izzy on November 16, although the band had obviously tested out other guitarists, including Dave Navarro as early as September 1991, around the time when they had the band meeting in Los Angeles and it became obvious Izzy was considering to quit the band. Later, Slash would pinpoint the date of Izzy's departure to November 7 [RIP, March 1992]. It also coincides well with Izzy describing that he spent October and the first half of November in Indiana riding trial bikes, before returning to Los Angeles in the second half of November and then quitting [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].

Axl would describe being told that Izzy was leaving:

I'm no longer working with Izzy, and people have written about how that went down. (Axl laughs) They weren't around. They didn't see it. They didn't know. They didn't know how painful that experience was. They had no clue. But yet, I was just a dick. (Axl laughs) I just went off on Izzy. You know, he tried to talk to me nicely and l went off. That's not how it went down. It was funny: when Bruce Weber was taking the photos of Stephanie and l for this article, that's when l got the call that Izzy was leaving the band. […] Bruce was taking photos and I was standing there crying. l was blown away. At those times when we're against the wall kissing and my tongue was out and stuff, it's like, there were also tears going dawn my face but with the lighting or whatever it doesn't show. But it was there. Stephanie was helping to comfort me. We didn't go, "Well, let's hug and kiss for the photos." She was comforting me -- my friend of fifteen years was leaving [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
There would also be bitterness about Izzy leaving, with Slash claiming that Izzy had been absent during recording of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, too, with Slash having to record most of his parts:

[Izzy] just wanted to hang out. He thought it would be easy. Even on stage, I knew I had to walk around this person. We never got a sound thing together, or a guitar combo — I ended up playing most of the guitars on the record. […] When he left, he didn’t even resign to us. He called the office, and sent out a memo to everybody. There was a certain amount of hurt in that [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991].
Replacing Izzy's guitar parts, or putting them lower in the mix, actually helped drive Izzy away. When Izzy, in August 1991, realized his guitar work was missing his interest in going on with the band was diminished:

They took two years to finish the two records, and at the end I don't even feel like listening to the final product. Not at all! In fact I listened to the records only after the concert at Wembley in August 91, and I freaked out: "Where the hell is my fucking guitar?" It's gone! From there I lost the little interest I had left in the G N' R enterprise. This and the stadium tour! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
Izzy would also say he never felt like quitting before the UYI touring, and that the late starts was part of the reason:

I never really thought about leaving the band till the last tour we did. I didn't feel it was fair to a lot of the people coming to the gigs to go onstage two or three hours late. That's just not right. That's the way Axl is and the way he works, but it's not right for me, and I didn't think it was right for the fans either. Stuff like that kinda got to me after four months on tour. There's a lotta pressure, I suppose, but the bottom line is, If you gotta be somewhere and there's something you gotta do, you do It. That's how I see it. […] When we were playing the gigs, a lotta times it was a case of, how long's it gonna be before Axl comes back onstage? It's a pretty big stage, and you're going, 'Anybody see which way he went?'. Then you see a bunch of roadies running... And the old filling-in with a blues jam and a drum solo shit gets old when it's on a nightly basis. It wasn't every night, but y'know... […] I don't wanna talk down on these guys because a lot of the stuff that we did as a band was great, some great music, and God knows we had a load of f**king crazy times, good times. I'm really proud of some of the stuff WE did. Now it's 1992, and who knows where it goes from here. I just had to say, 'I'm stepping aside at this point' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Slash would also claim that the band worked up Izzy’s songs from the rhythm guitarist’s demo tapes, and that he refused to rehearse, record overdubs, appear in the band’s videos and was virtually lifeless on stage [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].

The claim that Izzy didn't put in enough effort and that the partnership was no longer equal, was an argument Slash would repeat when discussing Izzy [Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992].

In February 1992, Slash would discuss how Izzy had started to phase out from the band already back in 1989 and how Axl and Slash had been holding things together:

The whole things goes back quite a way. That goes back to the end of our first tour (which ended around late ’88). Izzy and I both went through a breakneck fuckin’ drug bout where we were both very scarey. There came a point where Izzy had to go out to Indiana and straighten himself out as well as me reaching a point where I had with the authorities in the US. I just felt it was ridiculous. The band weren’t doing anything, we’d just played the Stones dates and it was a case of trying to get it all back together again. We went to Chicago to try and do that, as you know. Izzy just didn’t show up for like three months or something. It was just then that it became increasingly obvious that he wasn’t making any effort to do it anymore.

All this shit was going on but, like I said, I don’t go public about shit that’s that personal when it can harm us. And the shit that was going on with Matt and Steven was enough to possibly destroy us. If it hadn’t been for Axl and I really holding on to what Guns N’ Roses is all about and what we had in store for the future was concerned, I’m sure that we would’ve broken up already by then. Izzy was doing nothing to keep it together. He wasn’t playing that great and when he finally showed up he hadn’t touched his guitar for like four months, he didn’t want to be in the videos and he hardly played on the records. All the songs on these records that are his are old demo tapes from years ago that we worked on.

The bottom line is that you’re only as weak as your weakest member and that’s pretty true. When it got to the point where it was me, Matt and Duff rehearsing and trying to get ready for the European tour it didn’t look too good. When we came home after Wembley we carried on rehearsing ‘cos I wanted to hire some horn players. Izzy just wasn’t there.

While I was hiring all these horn players and doing all this work Izzy didn’t seem to care about what we were doing. He showed up right at the tail end of rehearsals and it just was like ‘What the fuck is going on with this band?!’.

The next thing we found out though was that he’d been down to the accountants to find out how much money had been spent on what, when it had nothing to do with him. Axl and I went to him and said ‘Unless you start doing such and such you’re not a full partner anymore’ (Slash’s reference to ‘partners’ here deals with the GN’R corporation which all initial members were part of to take care of business – Ed). Then, without even calling us, he resigns through the office. Axl had a talk with him on the phone and just said ‘Well, listen if you don’t want to do this anymore then that’s fine ‘cos maybe we can write together in the future’ and Izzy was cool and it was real amicable. Then he turned around and told Matt and Duff behind our backs that we’d kicked him out. That pissed Axl and me off to no end. Izzy didn’t know we knew and he went over to Axl’s and Axl just turned around and said ‘Get the fuck out of here!’. It was pretty bad
[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

It’s kinda funny because I know a lot of people are pointing their fingers at Axl and me as being the assholes in this whole thing because they really liked Izzy. The truth of the matter is that we tried everything to keep him going and he just didn’t want to do it. It was a real shame [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Izzy would be asked about Slash's claim that Izzy had sent in sloppy demos:

That's not Slash talking. That's Axl talking and Slash repeating it. Axl did say the tapes weren't up to GNR standards. Well, in the beginning nobody owned an eight-track. All our tapes were made on a cassette player. Whatever, I'm credited with just about everything I wrote. I will say that Slash was much better at keeping tapes in order. He always labeled stuff [Musician, November 1992].
In the band's official fan club newsletter for March 1992, they would explain what happened to their fans this way:

"Izzy Stradlin’ resigned from GN’R. Izzy hasn’t been into GN’R for quite awhile. He didn’t want to tour to do videos or anything. So rather than fake it, Izzy felt (and we support his feelings), that it was best to leave the band and do his own thing. We split on good terms and we’ll miss him. He’s been a part of our lives for a long time and losin’ him is kind of a shock for us too. But we’re confident that things will work out better for everyone this way" [Conspiracy Incorporated, March 1992].

Later Slash would say Izzy would still write with the band and occasionally play with them, but that he was out as a touring musician:

Izzy resigned from Guns on November 7, 1991, because his heart wasn't in it. He's just not interested anymore. It was one of those things where he just didn't want to tour again. Izzy's been keeping himself more or less clean for quite a while now, and the chaos of being on the road, especially with the rest of us driving him crazy, he just couldn't deal with it. He's been 110% sober for the past two years, and even though I'm not shooting up or anything anymore. I'm still a nutcase when it comes to extracurricular activities. He tried to come back though. He came to a couple rehearsals, but he really wasn't there. He didn't care. His heart wasn't in it. Izzy's still gonna write with us, and he might make a few special appearances on the road, but he's no longer a touring member of the band. As for me, personally, I'd rather Izzy be happy. And this is what he wants [RIP, March 1992].
Based on the quotes from Slash it seems Izzy was upset by how much money was spent on the tour (as well as other frustrations he felt at the time, as described in this chapter). Slash and Axl, on their side, was frustrated with Izzy and how he had (for a long time) cares less and less about the band. They then gave him an ultimatum, he either had to pull more weight or he would be demoted (from partner to salaried employee). This likely angered and hurt Izzy resulting in him resigning through the office, which in turn hurt Slash (and likely Axl).

Axl, being asked why Izzy left:

To get a clear answer, you'd have to ask Izzy. My personal belief is that Izzy never really wanted something this big. There were responsibilities that Izzy didn't want to deal with. He didn't want to work at the standards that Slash and I set for ourselves. […] He didn't want to do videos. […] He just wasn't into it. Getting Izzy to work on his own songs on this record was like pulling teeth. When Izzy had 'em on a four-track, they were done. I mean, I like tapes like that, but we'd just get destroyed if we came out with a garage tape. People want a high-quality album. And it was really hard to get Izzy to do that, even on his own material. Izzy's songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record, not because Izzy gave a shit either way. If people think I don't respect Izzy or acknowledge his talent, they're sadly mistaken. He was my friend. I haven't always been right. Sometimes I've been massively wrong, and Izzy's been the one to help steer me back to the things that were right. But I know that I wanted to get as big as we possibly could from Day One, and that wasn't Izzy's intention at all. I think he's ready to do like an X-Pensive Winos (Keith Richards's band) thing. So maybe the world'll get another really cool band. I know that I'll be trying to get an advance tape, just like everybody else [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Talking about how it went down:

But I can fault someone, in the same way someone can fault me, for being an asshole about the way he went about it. A comic book says how Izzy comes to me and says, "You know, I just don't feel I'm up to this," and I go, "Yeah, and you're scared, too, aw, shit." Well, that ain't the way it went down. […] We were filming "Don't Cry," and he had to be there. Instead, he sent a really short, cold letter and didn't show up. We got this letter saying, "This changes, this changes, and maybe I'll tour in January." And they were ridiculous demands that weren't going to be met. I talked to Izzy for four and a half hours on the phone. At some points, I was crying, and I was begging. I was doing everything I could to keep him in the band. There were stipulations, though. If he was going to do like the old Izzy did, he wasn't going to make as much money. It was like "You're not giving an equal share." Slash and I were having to do too much work to keep the attention and the energy up in the crowd. You're onstage going, "This is really hard, and I'm into it and I'm doing it, but that guy just gets to stand there." […] But when the guy's getting up at six thirty in the morning and riding bicycles and motorcycles and buying toy airplanes, and he's donating all this energy to something else, and it's taking 100 percent of our energy to do what we're doing on the stage, we were getting ripped off. I'm hoping Izzy's new album rocks. But at the same time, it'll be like "Why couldn't he do that with us?" He wouldn't do anything [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
I'm angry with him because he left in a very shitty way, and he tries to act like everything's cool. He put his trust in people that I consider my enemies. People like (former G n' R manager) Alan Niven, who I think is his manager now. I don't need Alan Niven knowing jack shit about Guns n' Roses. Everybody has a lot of good and bad, and with Alan, I just got sick of his fucking combo platter. It's like "If you're involved with these people, we can't talk to you [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In the June issue of Musician, Axl would again talking about Izzy leaving and how he [Axl] had championed Izzy and made sure he was included on the 'Illusions':

As far as keeping Guns N' Roses going and figuring out what we're doing, Izzy really wasn't that much involved anymore. He wrote songs, but those songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record and because the band agreed to learn them and liked them and we all worked on them. I really believed in Izzy. I was an Izzy fan for 15 years and I wanted his songs to be a part of this project. But it was like pulling teeth to make that happen. A lot of people might have liked the way Izzy was standing there onstage and it was kind of cool, but the truth of the matter was that Izzy wasn't handling any of the weight
[Musician, June, 1992].

Media would report that Izzy left because he "got tired of touring" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

In August 1992, Slash would again talk about Izzy's departure:

I love the guy [=Izzy] dearly, so I don't want to belittle his character by saying anything about him. But he just got sick and tired of dealing with everything. I think more than anything he didn't want to do the amount of work that Guns N' Roses has to do to keep it together. […] I totally sold my soul to this thing, but Izzy wasn't that way. He didn't want to do videos or spend all those hours in the studio, and slowly but surely he started to drop out [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

And claim he wasn't angry about Izzy phasing out:

Not at all. In fact, I was really happy because I could never understand what was going on with him. Like even on stage, he would just sort of stand there--and that was the only time I'd see him on the road because he traveled separately. When he finally left, it was like a relief because there had been no communication at all [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
That Slash wasn't angry with Izzy at the time, and rather happy about it all, seems somewhat at odds with quotes above where Slash seemed frustrated with Izzy for not doing his part, and hurt when he quit.

In September Duff would say that Izzy quit because he "couldn't handle the pressure" and that it was "amicable and all" [The Gazette/Orange County Register, September 26, 1992]. Again, no, it wasn't completely amicable.

Izzy would also talk about the break in September and October 1992 and dispute it was because he had a problem with the touring:

I ain’t got a problem, really, with touring. I think I got a bad rap on all that, but... You know what I mean, it’s like... […] Well, I had a bus and they had a plane. And I beat them; to the gig (chuckles). [...] You get to the point where you’re like, am I gonna carry on like this or am I not, you know. And I said I’m not [MTV, September 1992].

Well, this gig wasn't making me laughing anymore. You know, it's quite easy, I wasn't happy anymore. So I told myself, all right let's do something else! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
I prefer just to work, just to go in and do it. With Guns N’ Roses, I had to stop involving myself much with the press because I had no idea when the record was going to be finished. It was such a day-to-day existence, I never really knew what was happening. I didn’t want to make promises unless I planned on keeping them [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Talking about trying to learn some songs to play while Axl was off-stage: I couldn’t get the other guys to learn any cover songs with me, or practice anything to fill the space. I tried talking to Axl about it and he would just get pissed off. I was really fed up and unhappy with it. I felt like there was nothing I could do to fix this thing [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Talking about the press: It got to the point where the only thing you’d hear or read about was the antics. There was no talk of the music, which was what it was all meant to be about. If the band is consistently in the papers for things other than the music, it’s weird. We had a lot of drug problems in the band from day one, but, somehow, we managed to rise above that with our music and records. With the “Illusion” albums, it kinda felt that the music had submerged beneath the bullshit [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Talking about strained relationships and that he: rarely saw [Axl], except of gigs. The band had a great big aeroplane, and I only rode it once, I think [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Of course, some blame for this must be put on Izzy who decided to stay away from the band, which meant that he wouldn't be as updated on the progress of recording and that he would become estranged from his bandmates. He would also admit that the growing estrangement was partly his fault [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].

I did prefer to travel at my own pace. They had a jumbo jet and most of the gigs were 200 miles apart. When a gig was over, my girlfriend and my dog and I would get on the tour bus. I didn't need to go out and get laid. I had to pass on the booze. There just wasn't much for me to do backstage. Toward the end of the tour we even dumped the bus and took a van or a motorcycle. My dog Treader loved being on tour. I got him when I got sober and he's helped me keep my perspective, see life through a dog's eyes. You're doing all right if you've got food, a place to sleep and someone to pet you [Musician, November 1992].
The only thing I wanted to see was the gigs running on time. Also, whoever was responsible for being late should have been prepared to pay the ‘loss charges’ to the union guys. It’s ugly that it comes down to money, but we f***ed away hundreds of thousands of dollars over these late gigs. I didn’t think it was fair for the band to keep turning up late. People have got jobs to go back to in the morning, they have families and kids, they’ve got to get babysitters, and I just figured, ‘Shit, these people are shelling out money for tickets, and we should be on time. If the monitors are f***ed, too f***ing bad. We should just roll with it and try and get them working [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Still, the deteriorating friendship between Izzy and Axl was a main reason for his decision to leave:

The differences of opinion were between me and Axl. I tried to resolve the problems with him before I left, but it didn’t look too promising. I’d known him for long enough to know that he was going to do things his way, and I’d end up doing things my way. We were both hard-headed in that sense [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
When asked about the allegations that he wouldn't work while in GN'R yet was about to release a new record in about six months, Izzy would respond:

How can I say this without spitting more venom into the debate? I saw all their dirty laundry bashing all over the magazines. At some time, I felt a little bit like picking up my phone, call a journalist and spit my answer, my version of the story... […] Finally I decided to get into the studio. The others can say whatever they want [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
In the October issue of RIP Axl would again talk about Izzy leaving and how he felt, and indicate that he felt Izzy's working with Alan Niven as a particular betrayal:

I feel like shit all over me, and I wiped it off and ain't too happy that it happened. I think for a long period of time Izzy wanted to be more independent, but Guns N' Roses took off fast, and he was such a part of it, it was hard to take that step. That's my opinion. There are certain responsibilities to Guns N' Roses that Izzy didn't want to face. He basically didn't want to work as hard at certain things as we did. He pretty much just showed up before we went onstage, would get upset that I wasn't on time, played, then split. There were times when we'd get off stage, and five minutes later he was gone. He didn't socialize with the band on any level, and he had a real problem being sober and being around us. Izzy's always been very compulsive and impulsive, and although he's quit abusing various substances, he still hasn't gotten to the base of the reason why he was abusive. He hasn't solved that, so instead of doing drugs, drinking and womanizing, he was keeping himself busy traveling, bicycling and buying lots of toys. There's nothing wrong with any of that, except that he wasn't able to do the things required of him in Guns N' Roses. Getting Izzy to work hard on the album was like pulling f?!kin teeth. Everybody dreaded it. Nobody would go by the studio while he was there, because no one wanted to deal with it. He'd play something out of key, and we'd ask him to do it again, and he'd be like, "Why? I just did it." Izzy was very unsupportive of me in general. He was very concerned about his free time, and he didn't have a whole lot of understanding of what to takes me to do my job. As far as I'm concerned, he was a lazy, selfish user. There are ways that I miss him and wish it could've gone on, but he was a real f?!king asshole to me. I was always a massive Izzy fan and supporter, but now that he's working with Alan Niven [former GN'R manager], f?!k him - and you can print this. Even if we work things out between us, I won't regret what's coming out in this interview, because it's how I feel. I'm glad we got the songs out of him that we did, and I'm glad he's gone [RIP, October 1992].

Looking back in November 1992:

Guns N' Roses was pure chaos. The smallest thing could turn into a massive problem. You'd get pulled in one direction and then the other. It was really difficult keeping hold of where you were supposed to be going. What really bothered me was working on 'Use Your Illusion I and II'. It progressed really slowly. Each song kept being taken to bits and analysed again and again and remade and before you knew it was weeks and months had gone by. When we finally finished a song I'd forgotten how to play the others. Slowly but surely, I began to realise that I wanted to have less and less to do with it. When things went on and on I finally realised that I'd have to do something about it [Rock Star, November 1992].
[…] getting sober played a part in my leaving. I think you make more decisions when you're sober. And when you're fucked up, you're more likely to put up with things you wouldn't normally put up with. When I have something I wanna do, I gotta do it. I like just doing it. I didn't like the complications that became such a part of daily life in Guns N' Roses. Sometimes for the simplest things to happen would take days. Time was so slow, you sat around for days just to do a photo shoot. Schedule it, get a phone call, it's been delayed. Reschedule it, get a phone call, it's been delayed again. That pattern could stretch out for weeks. On "Illusion", we did the basic tracks in about a month. Then there was a time lag of about a year before the vocals were finished. I went back to Indiana and painted the house. If you've got a group and people are focused, it just shouldn't take that long [Musician, November 1992].
For the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, I was sober doing those tracks, and it was just frustrating. When you're sober and you gotta be someplace at four, and when other people come in at six or seven, and they're, like, not quite together, you find yourself thinking, why the fuck was I here at four? [Kerrang! December 5, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:55 am


Izzy leaving the band was a big shock to the band and fans alike. The fallout from the band members telling their side of what happened to the media, affected the relationship between Izzy and his previous band members for a long time.

In March 1992 it seems like the split was permanent, because Slash would indicate that they probably weren't going to be working together after all:

I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Izzy. That’s a personal kind of a situation in a way, cuz of course, you know, we’ve been together for a long time, and him and Axl’s known each other for a long time. We went through a lot of stuff together. But he basically just wasn’t interested in doing it anymore for whatever reasons [that] are basically unknown. I mean, I have my ideas, and Axl has his ideas and Duff as well, so... It’s like, the songs that he wrote on this record, a lot of them the band really had to work up to make them sound the way that they do. Maybe he didn’t want them to sound that way, I’m not really sure. So as far as writing songs in the future, I just figure, you know, the three of us are gonna do what we’re gonna do. I don’t know if we’re gonna keep working with Gilby or not, because we’re just touring right now doing songs that have already been recorded. And as far as the relationship with Izzy goes, if it doesn’t happen, obviously we’re not gonna, like, go, “We can’t write songs anymore,” because obviously we’ve written a lot of songs without him, and so... [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
And when asked if he was still in contact with Izzy:

No, I don’t think we’re a real good – you know, in a good way as far as a relationship goes, but it is a time-will-tell thing [MTV Rockline, March 1992].

During a call-in interview on Rockline in July, Slash was asked if Izzy would contribute to songwriting in the future, to which Slash replied:

I’m gonna talk to [Izzy] tomorrow about some of the so-called logistics having to do with the situation that we’re dealing with, so we’ll take it from there [Rockline, July 13, 1992].
In July 1992 Slash would say he had just met Izzy for the first time since the break-up:

I saw him for the first time here in New York. We met in a neutral place, a neutral hotel. And it was great, because there’s so much red tape and so much politics involved, that you don’t communicate at all as people. You go through, you know, management calls so and so and so and so, calls the accountants, messages go back and forth. Everything snowballs and you get to a point where it’s so out of hand, this whole split. I can admit that we, like, hated Izzy, because he wouldn’t deal with us directly, he didn’t quit directly. You know, he sent a memo, a letter of resignation to the accountants and to the management, so we were just like, “You know, where you...?” You know, cuz that felt closer than that. But there was a lot of stuff in the way that this band has evolved, that has gone on emotionally, technically as far as business is concerned, the whole stature of it just being sort of overbearing, and all that. So we got a chance to actually talk about a lot of the personal things that we felt in all of this, you know, sort of Guns N’ Roses hype, and hysteria, and all that; because, as band members, we never felt like a part of it, it was always what was built up around us. And it got to a point where he didn’t want to be involved in the amount of work that it took and the amount of stress, and energy, and sleepless nights that took to keep it going so that it didn’t fall apart. So he just bailed and we took that really personally. But having seen him recently, it was nice. I missed the guy, you know. It was nice to actually see him. And we talked about how we want to make this a clean break without going to court, without having to make it, you know, insanely public and bicker back and forth in the press; which is really easy, because attorneys can send out letters and they print them in the press, and then we, you know, the band or the members of the band, see it and go, “How can he say that?” and it’s really not what came out of his mouth. And that builds up after a while and then you tend to misjudge somebody altogether. I mean, as long as he’s happy it’s cool, as long as we have an amicable split on the technical side, then everything will be fine. […] It was a lot more personal than what we’ve been dealing with over the last year. […] there was things that we disagreed on. You know, we disagreed on a lot of stuff all the way through this. But at least we could talk about it as friends and as people, as opposed to...[…] You know, through black and white, and all the logistics that the perception the people that work around us get in the way that they communicate. […]  the wounds I guess have healed at this point. I mean, we’ve just gone on to do what Guns was planning on doing and he’s gonna do his own thing. And so we don’t really give a shit at this point, you know. […] we had a great time. We, sort of like, took all the fax papers, sort of put it aside, and just talked amongst each other […] [MTV, July 20, 1992].
Izzy would also mention the meeting with Slash but that he still hadn't resolved things with Axl:

Since [leaving], I've talked to Slash once, about a week ago in New York, and, uh, the last time I saw Axl there were a lotta harsh words - from him - so I kinda left it alone. I called him once after that, we talked for about a half hour, so I'm kinda wailing for him to call me back to discuss the things that we haven't really resolved [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
That phone call with Axl took place in December 1991:

I called him up, said, 'Hey, you still pissed off?' 'No, I'm not pissed off.' Things were okay. But then time went by, and he got pissed off again [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
We haven't talked to each other for seven or eight months. Actually, we did. Two weeks ago I was in New York and I bumped into Slash. Of course, he was furious. Well... We finally talked a little bit, just him and me. That was cool! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
I would have rather met with Axl. But I guess Slash was 'designated diplomat.' He was as apprehensive as I felt, so it felt pretty good. Then the next thing I heard was on MTV in Europe: 'Izzy's forgiven, and he's doing a reggae album.' So I don't know what it actually accomplished [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
Losing both Izzy and Steven were the biggest tests we could possibly face. Because we're such a tight family, losing two members was really traumatic - yet we somehow survived. That was the be-all, end-all obstacle. As Spinal Tap as it may seem, we are still real people, and it was incredibly personal. […] Nothing phases me now - even this postponed tour with Metallica. It's just a period and we'll move on. The key is not to go crazy. Believe me, this situation is nothing compared to losing Izzy. That was heavy. That's why I'm not freaking out [Guitar Player, November 1992 (interview from August)].
When asked about the allegations that he wouldn't work while in GN'R yet was about to release a new record in about six months, Izzy would respond:

How can I say this without spitting more venom into the debate? I saw all their dirty laundry bashing all over the magazines. At some time, I felt a little bit like picking up my phone, call a journalist and spit my answer, my version of the story... […] Finally I decided to get into the studio. The others can say whatever they want [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
In the October issue of RIP Axl would again talk about Izzy leaving and how he felt, and indicate that he felt Izzy's working with Alan Niven as a particular betrayal:

I feel like shit all over me, and I wiped it off and ain't too happy that it happened. I think for a long period of time Izzy wanted to be more independent, but Guns N' Roses took off fast, and he was such a part of it, it was hard to take that step. That's my opinion. There are certain responsibilities to Guns N' Roses that Izzy didn't want to face. He basically didn't want to work as hard at certain things as we did. He pretty much just showed up before we went onstage, would get upset that I wasn't on time, played, then split. There were times when we'd get off stage, and five minutes later he was gone. He didn't socialize with the band on any level, and he had a real problem being sober and being around us. Izzy's always been very compulsive and impulsive, and although he's quit abusing various substances, he still hasn't gotten to the base of the reason why he was abusive. He hasn't solved that, so instead of doing drugs, drinking and womanizing, he was keeping himself busy traveling, bicycling and buying lots of toys. There's nothing wrong with any of that, except that he wasn't able to do the things required of him in Guns N' Roses. Getting Izzy to work hard on the album was like pulling f?!kin teeth. Everybody dreaded it. Nobody would go by the studio while he was there, because no one wanted to deal with it. He'd play something out of key, and we'd ask him to do it again, and he'd be like, "Why? I just did it." Izzy was very unsupportive of me in general. He was very concerned about his free time, and he didn't have a whole lot of understanding of what to takes me to do my job. As far as I'm concerned, he was a lazy, selfish user. There are ways that I miss him and wish it could've gone on, but he was a real f?!king asshole to me. I was always a massive Izzy fan and supporter, but now that he's working with Alan Niven [former GN'R manager], f?!k him - and you can print this. Even if we work things out between us, I won't regret what's coming out in this interview, because it's how I feel. I'm glad we got the songs out of him that we did, and I'm glad he's gone [RIP, October 1992].
Izzy would also be asked if he would donate bone marrow to save Axl's life:

What, you mean if he had an accident? Uh, if he was gonna die I’d give him a little bone marrow. A little. We could work something out! [Kerrang! October 31, 1992].
Axl would bash Izzy from stage [sources?] and in November 1992 Izzy would give his thoughts on this:

I've heard [Axl]'s still slinging mud. I can't take it personally, because if it wasn't me, it would just be somebody else. Somebody's gonna get it in every city. There's nothing I can do about it. When I left the band, he got real pissed off, told me to get off his property. When I talked to him a couple weeks later, he said he wasn't still mad, but who knows? I've left him all my phone numbers since December, and he still hasn't called. When he's ready, he'll call and we'll talk [Musician, November 1992].
Axl only seems to say bad shit about me. I don't know why he does. Maybe he was just having a bad day. I haven't seen or heard from those guys in a while. I spoke with Slash in New York not so long ago. We talked for like two hours and it was great [Hot Metal, November 1992].
In late 1992 Izzy would indicate that he would be careful about what he said about his former band mates, implying a future litigation:

Well... I mean, I gotta leave some of it alone because there are still some unresolved issues with those guys. But it's natural, everybody's gonna wanna know what happened. […]

Just over a period of time, it became obvious to me that I needed to change something in my life. Me leaving the band was the change I needed. It was a big step, but man, it was for the better. Now that I can look back on it, being in Guns N' Roses was complete insanity. Don't get me wrong, there were some great times I had with that band. We had some good gigs and t think some of our songs were okay... I really liked being in G'N'R when you could go grab a beer in some bar after a show and hang out with the guys without being swamped by a thousand 'new friends', you know?

Towards the end we had to send our runners and security guys to go get our beers while we were barricaded in some hotel room, and that ain't living, it's not a whole lotta fun. I think these days Axl even has somebody to open the beer can for him. I don't know, I'm joking of course, but it got a lot like that. Those guys, especially Slash and Axl, are being protected from the outside world now. Even if they wanted, the powers controlling the band wouldn't allow them to go grab a beer in a local bar
[Hot Metal, November 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:47 am


With Izzy leaving the band, the band again found themselves in a position of having to replace a member that they had thought was irreplaceable.

When Izzy left […] we realized that we either had to find a new guitarist in three weeks or cancel a bunch of gigs. We didn't want to cancel any shows, so we started searching. […] I had a piece of paper with about 30-odd candidates listed. Duff was looking around and Axl had his ideas, but nobody seemed right [Guitar Player, November 1992].
One of the guitarists that the band considered was Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro. That Navarro was auditioning to replace Izzy had also rumored in the press before Izzy's departure was official [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. Another rumour was that ex-Rose Tattoo slide guitarist Mick Cocks would replace Izzy [RAW, December 1991].

But Navarro didn't cut it:

[Navarro] didn't work out. He's got a little too much going on right now with his own personal situation [Guitar World, February 1992].
For a while it looked like Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction was going to join, but he couldn't get it together, so that never happened [Guitar Player, November 1992].
After putting the word out that they were looking for a replacement for Izzy, the name of Gilby Clarke was then quickly mentioned:

When we decided to look for a new guitarist, I put the word out as discreetly as possible. A couple of my friends recommended Gilby—he's a guy that Axl and I sort of knew from Guns N' Roses' early days. He was in another band at the time, but we had lost track of him. Axl and I auditioned 17 guitarists or so, and he's the one who fit in the best. He had to learn about 30 songs in two weeks in order to be ready for the tour on time, and he's done a great job. We're really happy [Guitar World, February 1992].
We knew Gilby when me and Axl were in Hollywood Rose, which was ages ago. He was in another band, and I met him then. He was a cool guy then and I hadn't talked to him in all these years that Guns N' Roses had been together. I discreetly went through, like, 15 guitar players trying to find somebody to do the spot because we only had three weeks before the first show. Someone mentioned Gilby and I thought, "Yeah, I know him." I talked to him on the phone. He was the only guy that I actually rehearsed [Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].
Slash and I, we went kind of nuts. I just happened to have Gilby’s number written on the back of a book. I had gotten his number from a friend of a friend of a friend. So I called him to come down and audition. He was the first guy we auditioned. We heard him and said, ‘Cool’ [The Gazette/Orange County Register, September 26, 1992].
Izzy decided he wanted to leave and go do his own thing. And we had, like, two weeks to find somebody. So Slash, and Duff and myself just started throwing around names, you know. And Gilby was an old friend from the club days in L.A., and we thought it was a perfect choice [From April 20, 1992, footage in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
I was tearing my hair out, trying to figure who to get. We obviously couldn't put an ad in the paper. Someone randomly suggested one of Izzy's friends, Gilby Clarke. I had thought about him, but I hadn't seen him since our earliest club days. So I called him up, and he came down. He was the only guy we auditioned. One guy! [Guitar Player, November 1992].
The news was definitely on the street. Though I asked a friend who was working with the band to mention my name to Slash, I was a little surprised when he actually called me on the phone to ask if I'd like to audition [Guitar Player, November 1992].
Everyone in Los Angeles had heard the rumors that Izzy had left Guns N' Roses and that David Navarro had replaced him. The next rumor was that David wasn't in. When all this happened I called a guy that worked for them called Josh Richman, whom I knew very well, and said "Josh, if Guns is looking for a new guitarist couldn't you mention my name to them" [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Gilby was only happy to get the opportunity:

[…] when Izzy left, I was the only guitarist they called to audition [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
The only thing I remember clearly about the audition is that they had this taped-off area where Izzy used to stand, which said to me, 'Do you have what it takes to fill this spot?' That was pretty amusing [Guitar Player, November 1992].
[…]I was a little surprised when [Slash] actually called me on the phone to ask if I'd like to audition. I said, "Yeah, I think I can make that." [laughs] Then he said, "Learn three songs and come down tomorrow. […] The funny thing is, I really didn't even learn the three songs, I just listened to a few things, got the keys in my head, and winged in the next day. I didn't really have any time to prepare beyond that. […] To be honest, I don't really remember [which songs they were]. I think it was "Civil War," "Knocking On Heaven's Dorr" and one other. […] So, after my audition, they asked me to learn some more songs and told me to come back the next day. This continued for a week. They never said I had the job, they just kept asking me to return [Guitar Player, November 1992].
Slash called me. And he just called me one day - you know, everybody had heard rumors around town that they were looking for a guitar player. So he gave me a call and asked me to come down. So I came down the next day, played some songs with him and then he asked me to come back the next day. And just like that, like, every day was, “Can you come back tomorrow?” [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
Talking about starting in GN'R: My first thing was like – almost like relief, after pounding, you know, L.A. clubs and touring America and stuff. And then, you know, everybody in town knew that they were looking for a guitar player, and when [Slash] called, I was like, 'Yes!' […] And it’s like, I was going to see Izzy’s new band. That’s why I went to see the band, 'Let’s go see Izzy’s new band,' you know? And then I met and talked to Axl a few times. Honestly, I really didn’t know Slash and Duff at all. I had known Matt because him and I had played so many clubs together for years and years on end. And so, when this call came, it was kinda cool, cuz at least when I got to go down, you know, I had known Matt fairly well; so, no matter what was going out with everybody else, I can always, like, go to Matt: (whispers) 'What’s going on?' (laughs) [Hey Hey It's Saturday, September 1992].
After a week of auditioning Gilby got the job:

And then, like, after a week, they said, "We're gonna do the tour, so you have another week to learn everything" (laughs). That’s basically what we did. […] I mean, I don't think that I could have been the guitar player to help them get where they got today. I think Izzy, you know, he had a lot of contribution to that and he was the one who brought them to where they are. Hopefully I’m gonna be the one after it, to the next step [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
After a week of auditions, Slash called me up and told me I had the job, and that the band wanted to start touring the following week. I had to learn 50 songs in one week, and play them in front of thousands of people. My second gig was Madison Square Garden! I would come to rehearsal, play what I had learned, then go home and learn five more songs. I didn't sleep for two solid weeks - all I did was play guitar [Guitar Player, November 1992].
I had two weeks to learn, like, 40-plus songs. Two weeks. So it’s like, I didn’t have any time to think about anything, you know. Izzy and I are from the same school. They all kind of like the same kind of music, so I think that’s one of the things that - the reason why I’m doing it is because there was a certain style that they wanted and that was what I play [From April 20, 1992, footage in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
I don’t know how I did it [=learn 50 songs]. I didn’t have song books to do it with and nobody even knew what Izzy played. They gave me the records. I'd be learning five songs a day and then remembering the five songs I learned from the day before. I'd rehearse with them during the day. At night, I would learn five new songs. […] When I played the first date, there were only two songs that I had cheat-sheets for. I actually memorized all of them. And to this day, I still have those same two cheat-sheets. Coma and Estranged I cheat on. I still don’t know them [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].
People were going. 'Hey, what'd Izzy play?' And then someone else would answer, 'I don't know. I never listened!' [laughter] It was crazy, wild. But we all got along, and it was a real nice feeling. Of course, I had two weeks to learn 50 songs! It was a miracle we ever managed that first concert together — two weeks later — but we did [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
I had so much work to do. I mean, I really had to learn almost 50 songs in two weeks - that I didn't have time to fathom thoughts of 'What's Axl going to say...,' you know, 'What if they don't like this lick?', 'What if we don't get along?', What if I'm not wearing the right clothes?' […] The reason I got it was because we do all fit together, we do all get along and we do have the same lifestyle [The Greenville News, September 29, 1992].
They could have taken a more established guitarist then me. Even though I had been in different signed groups I was totally unknown to the public. Guns N' Roses have an incredible apprehension of who they are and what they want to do. They wanted someone they could trust and could associate with on the side of the stage. Their court photographer Robert John laid in a good word for me, which most certainly helped [Heavy Mental, 1992].
One problem Gilby faced was the fact that no one in the band really knew what Izzy had been playing:

My task was to play Izzy's parts and play exactly like him. No one helped me in the beginning. Slash told me to pick out Izzy's parts and play them. So I listened to the albums, came down to the rehearsal place and played. "That's not Izzy's riff," meant Slash, and I said "but that's what I heard." "It's my riff" he continued whereupon I said "oh!" So I had to learn to play exactly like Izzy did [Heavy Mental, 1992].
To make matters worse, nobody really seemed to know what Izzy played. I would perform something, and Slash would say, "I thought you knew this tune." And I'd argue that I did. And then he'd say, "No you don't - you're playing my part!" And then we'd realize that you couldn't really hear Izzy's part on some of the songs. So then we had to try to reconstruct his parts the best we could. Duff knew what Izzy had played more than anyone, so I leaned on Duff a lot.

But it also might have been a blessing in disguise. It gave everyone in the band the opportunity to suggest a fresh approach. I think they were giving me stuff to play that they always wanted to hear, but Izzy would never do. So my rhythm parts are a combination of Izzy's original ideas, some of my ideas and a few additional ideas provided by the band
[Guitar Player, November 1992].
Later, Slash would emphasize that he only rehearsed with one other guitarist, indicating that the 16 others they considered for the job either didn't play at all, or played alone (possibly with recorded backtrack):

Despite what everyone said, Gilby was the only one that I physically rehearsed with and it worked out great. It was real casual and he just makes the effort on stage that Izzy didn’t [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
During the rehearsals Izzy called and asked who would replace him:

When they tried guitarists Izzy called and asked who was gonna replace him. When they answered it was going to be me he said that he was happy. We respect each other very much and I'm not gonna take anything from him. Izzy made sure this group got on the map and what he's done is totally incredible. I'm after Izzy [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Slash was thrilled about having Gilby in the band and would claim that "for the first time in years, he is getting harmonic support on his guitars solos" [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991]. He would also say that Gilby's "enthusiasm" countered Izzy's "lethargic stage presence and rudimentary guitar work" [St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991].

We hired Gilby because he is his own man. The last thing we needed was someone whose mind would've been blown at the prospect of playing with GN'R. We didn't need that kind of pressure, because we were trying to cope with the loss of Izzy. We needed to know that the person joining the band could hold his end of it together [Guitar Player, November 1992].
Despite having found Gilby, the band wasn't sure whether he would be a recording member or just a touring members:

Right now we have a guitar player named Gilby Clarke. And he’s been in Hollywood about as long as us. And, you know, he’s doing a really good job. But I don’t know about farther than the touring. […] He was in the band Candy when we were playing the clubs, there was all kinds of different bands [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Chemistry between musicians is something that takes a while to develop. So right now we're just touring. We don't have any plans for recording or writing together [Guitar World, February 1992].
We have a person that we are working with, named Gilby Clarke, who has played around Hollywood about as long as us. But I don’t know about the next album, you know. We’re still talking with other people and stuff as far as that goes [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
I don’t know if we’re going to write with [Gilby] when the tour’s over but I actually call him up and say ‘You wanna do this?’ and we hang out. With Izzy, the only time we used to do that was when we were getting stoned. That was like over three years ago [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
One of the reasons for this reluctance might have been a hope that Izzy would actually return:

Discussing if Izzy is out for good: That's something I have no idea about—how this is going to affect Izzy and his attitude. He may be happy not doing this anymore. Or he might really want to come back and make the effort that he wasn't making before. […] I just can't understand how [Izzy] could let something like this just fall apart. I mean the guy didn't want to tour or do videos; he hardly wanted to record. I just never thought he was one of those guys that this would happen with. It's a lot different than the Steve Adler situation. So I don't know what's going to happen a year from now: whether we'll be working with Gilby, Izzy or somebody else altogether. A lot of things are up in the air right now. But we've got a heavy duty tour going on, and we've got a killer band to do it [Guitar World, February 1992].
Gilby would also comment on fitting in immediately:

I had two weeks to learn about 40 songs – that was hard! Fitting in was the easy part, we hit it off right away [The Evening Chronicle, June 16, 1992].
As the touring went on, the band members would praise Gilby:

Well, he’s done a really good job considering that he had only about two weeks to learn the entire set, you know, of tunes. And basically we don’t learn a set; we learn, like, a lot of songs. So he learned about 30 songs for the tour and we pick from those. So, you know, in that respect he learned a lot of stuff in a short period of time, which is really brave [Video Interview, February 1992].
Gilby was the guy that fit in, like, right off. Same way that Matt worked out. And Gilby was the only guy that we actually had come down to the studio and rehearse on stage with us. So it was that kind of chemistry [Video Interview, February 1992].
Gilby fit in so naturally that I figured it was a godsend; I didn't feel like we had to look any further. He just came in and did the work required. He's a great guy. He's a little older than I am, he's been on the road for a long time, and he's tough as nails. Gilby and I have become friends - that's how we relate to each other. We didn't want a session guy or some weird, star-fucker type who was into the gig for the glory, or to further a solo career. We wanted a dedicated band member, and he has grown into that [Guitar Player, November 1992].
In the band's official fan club newsletter, they would mention Gilby joining the band this way:

"Sitting in on rhythm guitar for the now is a guy by the name of Gilby Clark. Gilby is a cool guy and has been playin’ Hollywood for about as long as we have. He was in a band “Kill For Thrills” and an old Hollywood “Candy.” It sometimes takes a while for the chemistry of band members to develop and meld. So we’ll see how Gilby will fit in... but right now, he’s doing a killer job! " [Conspiracy Incorporated, March 1992].

In July 1992 Gilby would be joking about going from "nothing" to GN'R over one night:

Basically, they bribed me (chuckles). They made me do it. […] It was a tough decision, you know, to go from the clubs and stuff to doing this. It was hard. […] 10 years of struggling, 6 months of cheating (laughs). And it was right there, right at the top. […] Oh, man, this is great. This is, like, everything you’ve ever heard of, like The Rolling Stones used to do back when we were growing up. This is it, this is the top [MTV, July 17, 1992].
Later he would also talk about being afraid it would just be a short, temporary thing:

I never even thought I was going to make it to the first gig [laughs]. I thought they were just covering themselves until Izzy came back. Then I thought they were going to dump me after our '91 Christmas break. But then Slash gave me this beautiful red Les Paul with an ebony neck. After that, I felt a lot more comfortable. You don't give somebody a present like that if things aren't going well [Guitar Player, November 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:04 am


"He ain't Izzy, but who is he?" [Guitar Player, November 1992].

I was born in 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to California when I was 16 years. At this moment did music come into my life. I couldn't play guitar, but together with two friends who played bass and drums I formed a band anyway. We were really bad! [Heavy Mental, 1992].
I moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles in my early teens. I was supposed to go to high school, but that never really happened - I discovered the guitar instead [Guitar Player, November 1992].
We went in high school and our gigs were at schools. All the other bands that played on these high schools consisted of guys that had left the school a couple of years earlier. Since we still were in high school we became somewhat of local rock-stars [Heavy Mental, 1992].
A lot of people say that they chose this lane because of the chicks. That wasn't the case for me. I've always been interested in music and when I lived in Cleveland I bought records with Alice Cooper and Aerosmith. I had to have a guitar, so I changed a pair of stereo loudspeakers, that my parents had given me, for a guitar [Heavy Mental, 1992].
From the age of 16 I've aimed to becoming a rock star and daydreamed about standing on a stage. I don't know why, but the thoughts about music was in my head and grew stronger all the time [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Gilby's first proper band was Candy [Guitar Player, November 1992] which was formed in 1981 when Gilby was becoming a "fairly competent guitarist" [Heavy Mental, 1992].

I had two bands before Guns N’ Roses and, like, we had our first record deal in... Jeez, I think it was, like, ’83-’84. So I did, like, a couple years of touring the States. That band was doing pretty good - we were on MTV and all that - and that went on for, like, five years [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
We got signed with Polygram and released the album "Whatever Happened To Fun" (1985). The music was a mix of Bay City Rollers, Beatles and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. It was a weird band, because we looked like punkers but played pop! That was way before Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue became the biggest thing that happened Los Angeles in years. We went as opening act to the, at the time, mega-huge Rick Springfield and performed in big arenas [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Candy didn't go anywhere and Gilby decided to start a new band, Kill For Thrill where he would take a more prominent role [Heavy Mental, 1992].

And then I started my other band, Kill For Thrills. That was just basically from the ground up playing clubs and, you know, the whole thing. And it's just years, you know, doing all that stuff [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
Candy was really big in Los Angeles. When I started Kill For Thrills everyone in town knew who we were, so we had a stabile ground to stand on. We didn't have to go through a lot of shit that a lot of other new bands have to [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Kill For Thrill released two records: "Commercial Suicide" (1988-89) and "Dynamite From Nightmareland" (1989-90) [Heavy Mental, 1992]. Looking back Gilby would admit he released three records that "flopped" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

Gilby met Izzy while playing in bands in Los Angeles, likely during his Candy period, and they shared a love for the Rolling Stones:

We both wanted to be Keith Richards [Guitar Player, November 1992].
I met Izzy around 1984, shortly after he moved to Hollywood, and we really hit it off. We were part of a small group of Keith Richards fanatics who were somewhat alienated from L.A.'s heavy metal scene. During that period, I was also the lead singer and guitarist in a moderately successful power-pop band called Candy, which had a record deal with Mercury and even did a major arena tour warming up for Rick Springfield [the Australian heartthrob best known for his hit single, "Jesse's Girl"].

Izzy and I eventually lost contact, because I was busy with the band. But the next thing I knew, he was in the hottest band in Los Angeles - Guns N' Roses. When I was in town, I went to see GN'R every chance I could because I wanted to support Izzy
[Guitar Player, November 1992].
I'd known Izzy and Axl both in the early years. We used to jam together in Los Angeles in the lean years [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
Since I knew Izzy and he had a new band I had to check it out. This was before Guns when they were called Hollywood Rose. When I first saw them and heard Axl singing I said "that's one damned talented singer." It was so obvious that he had something special. […] I had been out on tour for a while and when I got back in LA I was shocked over Izzy's band. Suddenly they were the biggest in Los Angeles. I saw a show with them and even though the sound was so bad that you couldn't discern much, I understood something was going on. […] The first that struck me when the album ("Appetite") came out was Slash. He was the best guitarist I've heard in a l-o-n-g time [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Gilby also met Matt during his Candy period:

I've known Matt since the beginning of the eighties when I was in Candy. I had met Axl, Duff and Slash a couple of times, but I didn't really know them [Heavy Mental, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:21 pm


'Appetite' was released when the band members were in their early 20s. As the guys matured they would quickly have to deal with defending lyrics they might not feel fully represented them as grown-ups:

You know, we're not trying to promote, you know, drug abuse or anything like this. It's very scary, I mean, it almost killed us, almost broke this band. It's almost, you know, killed a few of us a couple times, you know. It's something that we stay away from. And it's like being here in New York, you know, we've had some bad experiences before and, you know, and you just have to be really careful because, like, a lot of people take all kinds of meanings out of your songs which has nothing to do with the fact that, basically, it's about something that happened in your life two years ago [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
I feel I have responsibilities to myself and to music, and things I want to do with it, like, you know, trying to relate to as many people and help open their minds up and least make them think. I'm not telling them that we can save the world but I can kind of describe the world, and, you know, just at least let them think about it, you know [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
Our first major tour was with Motley Crue and the audience was younger than most audiences that we played, like on Aerosmith tour or on other tours or on our own tours and the tours with The Cult. And it was real hard to do the song It’s So Easy because there's a line in there, "I drink and drive/and everything's in sight". We were talking about, kind of, how we got away with things and we're lucky to be here. It was real hard knowing that some of these kids would just go out and go, ”Yeah, I drink and drive and everything's in sight.” I mean, Izzy put it best when he said that a lot of people think our record means you know, party and do cocaine and rock ‘n’ roll. And it's like, that just ain’t what it is. So Izzy was gonna quit at one time because he was... didn't like the way people reacted to it. I heard something on the radio last night; when Frank Zappa broke up The Mothers [Of Invention] it was ‘cause people were clapping for all the wrong reasons [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
Their lifestyles would also be scrutinized by the media and band members would frequently defend or discuss it:

You learn from experience. We were very arrogant and in many ways an ignorant band, that just thought we could do everything our way. And we try to hold on What. I mean, there's still no formula For us. But then you see how people love to drag out dirty laundry, they expect you to come onstage and throw up or something. Which has nothing to do with music and every-thing to do with attitude. But of course, attitude has a lot to do with music. Personally, I don't want to piss off anyone. But we'll probably always be controversial. Life goes on [Musician, December 1990].
I just turned 25, and something went off in my head. When I started this I was 19, and at that age there's nothing to stop you, so far as you can see. And then as you get older—not to say I'm old now—but you do change a little and see things differently. It's pretty natural. Some people are a little luckier than others as far as living through it. 'Cause there are extremes. When you're 22 and on the road with access to excess—well, you can get in trouble [Musician, December 1990].
I think we're a pretty decent mirror for what kids and young adults go through, if you're not brought up in a totally stiff atmosphere. For people who have spent time on the street or have family problems, alcohol problems, we've voiced some opinions about what we were going through. And some of the reason we did so well is that a lot of kids related to that. Of course their parents might have freaked—It's that 'our generation' kind of thing—but it's what we went through. And now, what we have to say is a little different [Musician, December 1990].
We’re older and we’re more experienced. This is sort of a G Ν’ R cliché now — we’re not saints, and things still happen, but we try and keep them confined to the band, cos everything goes public now. People expect me to be drunk or people expect me to throw something out the window or expect Axl to break something and walk off the stage. That’s not what we’re all about. After a while, you keep everything to yourself. If you do smash the TV set, just quietly get rid of it y'know? [The Guardian, September 1991].
In 1991 Axl went through therapy that helped him to understand why he was the way he was and to grow:

I really think that the next official Guns n' Roses record, or the next thing I do, at least, will take some dramatic turns that people didn't expect and show the growth. I don't want to be the twenty-three-year-old misfit that I was. I don't want to be that person. […]I guess I like who I am now. I'd like to have a little more internal peace. I'm sure everybody would [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Axl would also comment on the way they had behaved before:

We, Guns N ' Roses, did [act like pigs] for a while. Or did, because it was the only way to deal with it -- it was O.K. to be obnoxious and rude like that for a while. it's not O.K. for me personally to be that way anymore. It was accepted of us [Interview Magazine, May 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:44 am


As the band members got older and had the horizons expanded from travelling the world, the seemed to develop an expanded consciousness about societal issues. This would show up in interviews and lyrics.

We’ve been asked to do so many different things, and, you know, in America it’s real big to talk about the rainforests and stuff. But the poverty down here is, like, nothing I’ve ever seen. And I imagined my... You know, when we were first coming to the stadium to do soundcheck the first day, we went under the tunnel, and when I looked up and saw the houses, I thought of myself as a little kid here and having, you know, to try to make a life and starting that way. And it, like, ripped my heart out, right? So we’re trying to find whatever angle we can to get involved and... Cuz we haven’t really ever taken on any cause, you know, charity cause or anything, and it’s something I’m interested in. And since we do want to come back and we know we can make a lot of money playing the shows, maybe we can do something to help a little bit if we can find the right way to place things where we know the people are going to get the money. When we put Civil War out, we put it on The Romanian Angel (?) and George Harrison and his wife were, like, handling it directly to make sure that 400,000 babies got the medical supplies and stuff. We’d like to see if we can possibly help something, like first start something like that here. We don’t know... We don’t really know who to talk to. Everybody we talk to gets scared, you know, of where the money will go. […] Yeah. So we wanted to possibly if... It’s something I’m really interested in and then I asked the band, and the whole band is into it. We just don’t quite know who to talk to yet [MTV, January 1991].
And when Axl introduced 'Welcome to the Jungle' at the first Rock In Rio show, he would do it with this spoken word introduction:

When the poor come down to the street
And the death squad is out of reach
Everybody’s looking for a piece of the pie
I look outside my window
I see your [?]

And when the poor come down from the hills
At night
And the government and the merchants send the death squads out
To remove the beggars
Keep them out of the way of the rich
To keep the slums from coming down into the city
You gotta watch your ass, homeboy
Cuz I ain’t been at many places
But you know where you motherfuckers live?
I said, do you know where you live?

Do you know where you are?
You’re in the jungle, baby
Rio de Janeiro jungle, baby
And if you don’t watch your ass
You’re gonna die!
[Live from stage, January, 1991].
Dizzy would also talk about the poverty he saw in Brazil and wanting to help:

There’s a lot of poverty. I mean, I guess, like, 1% of the population actually has the money, and everybody else is just – there’s, like, packs of kids, like when I grew up you had, like, packs of dogs that were roaming the mountains and stuff. They have packs of kids that hit the beaches and stuff. It’s kinda scary, but, at the same time, it makes you realize that hopefully there’s something we could do to help those people out eventually [In Your Face, October 1992].
Later Axl would talk about wanting to support organizations that would help abused children:

I’m trying to find the right organizations I want to get involved with things for child abuse and sexual abuse for children, but I don’t know exactly where to place... You know? [MTV, May 1991].
Later he would be asked to elaborate on what he had said in the Rolling Stone issue:

Well, I feel that… umm… you know, child abuse… you know, and sexual abuse. Especially… child abuse is like, kind of the key to why there's so many problems in the world today. Umm… The more books I read on it, and the more work I do on trying to overcome the problems… you know, that I had in my childhood that I accepted it as normal behavior for my life. And I realize now that it wasn't normal behavior. And it's caused me to act in… umm, many ways because it's what I was trained, it's what I was taught, it's what I saw. It's… umm, my formative years were… very ugly. And you know, people had picked up on that one. They listen to some Guns N' Roses songs. And: "This isn't right, something's wrong here…" Da, da, da. Well, they're right. Umm, the Herald Examiner ran a piece on… you know: "We find out the hidden truths of Axl Rose" and da, da, da. You know, we'll find 'em out, soon as I find 'em out. [laughs] A lot of people don't know, including myself. I'm… I'm working on it. Umm, I would like to… find some organizations to… donate money, or… umm, you know, go talk to kids or… talk to groups of people about my experiences and how hard it was, and still is for me on a daily basis, in dealing with people in my relationships, because of the abuse that was present in my childhood. I don't necessarily wanna elaborate any further on this right now, because it's something that I have to… umm, do in stages. Little by little, and I think getting, you know, too much of that right now… Umm, could really get… you know, make it too hard on myself, so… I think we'll stop there [WNEW 102.7, September 1991].
And when Axl settled in a suit following the St. Louis riot, he suggested to donate money to charities that would help abused children [St. Louis Post-Depatch, October 1993]. At this point, Axl had gone through therapy sessions where it was indicated that many of his issues stemmed from how he was treated as a child. He would imply this in an interview with Rolling Stone that was published in September 1991, and again reiterate that he wanted to help abused children:

I'd like to be part of an organization working with child abuse. Sexual abuse and child abuse. I figure you gotta start somewhere [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
The band's video for 'You Could Be Mine' featured Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role in the movie "Terminator 2". Schwarzenegger was at the time president George Bush's fitness coach and Slash would be asked if this meant they had sold out:

We don't pay any attention to any of that. We don't get involved in politics. We're not a political band! […] Our songs deal with everyday life. I know what you're saying but it's just personal politics. It's personal experience and situations and how you deal with them. But we don't take it too seriously. As far as what goes on now, we're not really into going all the way down to things like cigarette tax. […] I'm not politically conscious [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
This prompted Kerrang! to ask what Slash's opinion on the Gulf War was:

I thought it was pretty f**king stupid. I know how the whole thing came about, but I thought it was f**ing stupid [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
He was then asked if it wasn't "all the more incongruous why [he] should align [himself], albeit only in a movie, with Bush-man Arnie in 'Terminator II'":

In hindsight, if I thought you'd be asking me about it now, I might not have done it. At the time we just did it to fill a gap. We weren't thinking about Schwarzenegger's f**king social life, you know. We don't give a f**k about hanging out with the right people. We're not image conscious [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
On April 29, 1992, four Los Angeles police men were acquitted after having severely beaten a black man, Rodney King, after a traffic stop. The incident was filmed and the acquittal caused controversy, especially among Afro Americans in Los Angeles. The unrest led to city-wide riots.

It was an irresponsible verdict and the violence was wrong [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
Well, the LA thing was very heavy, I thought. I thought the whole decision for one… the decision that was made was really irresponsible, and then I thought that the reaction was really irresponsible. I thought the whole thing was just a huge mess. I think it gave a lot of people excuse to do what they did, you know, and I'm hoping the verdict changes at some point or they do figure out some way of reconciling with, otherwise it's get... there's absolutely no respect for law enforcement in Los Angeles right now and it's spreading all over the... you know, […] it spreads from LA to then it went to Beverly Hills, it went to the Valley and it starts to go to different countries because they see, like, "Well, they can do it, we can do it," and so on. A lot of the other stuff that goes down, stuff that's going on in Thailand, you have to be aware of especially when you're in these third-world countries, all you have is CNN so you just sit there staring at it going, "Jesus Christ, it's getting hectic out there," you know. But as a rock-and-roll band we're not really that politically conscious because, you know, it's a whole environment unto ourselves that we travel around in and you don't always have things to say about what's going on in the rest of the world because you know that's hectic anyway and you're just trying to get on with just doing what you do [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
On August 19 1991, in Copenhagen, Axl would protest the ongoing violence in Soviet by displaying a Russian flag from stage [Press Conference, August 1991].

Still, Slash would emphasize that GN'R is not a political band:

With the lyrics, a lot of them can be very serious about personal situations or they can be just sorta funny about shit in general. People read into it really heavily. Yeah, pretty soon they'll be wondering if we're Republicans or Democrats. I haven't even voted. There's no one to vote for. For me it's like, 'F*** it, does my amp work?' [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
For the summer tour with Metallica in 1992, the band would invite charities and activists to set up booths at the stadiums, allowing them to hand out information material, accept donations, recruit volunteers, etc. Initially, the idea started with Axl wanting to help child abuse centers but it grew into encompassing other organizations, too. Represented were child abuse prevention and counseling organizations, local chiropractic education groups, The Children’s Survival Project, Inc., Rock The Vote, Rock Out Censorship, Surfrider Foundation, Amnesty International, Green Corps, The National Coalition for the Homeless, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Animal Alliance of Canada, Rainforest Action Network, and the American Civil Liberties Union. [Press Release, June 1992]. For the show in Foxboro on September 11, one of the booths was for "the Massachusetts Prevention of Cruelty to Children" [The Boston Globe, July 27, 1992].

In August 1992, Slash and Duff would talk about politics and how they tried to avoid taking public political stances as a band:

As a group, say, Guns N’ Roses isn’t a politically conscious band, even though as people, as humans, we are. We try not to advocate our views on politics as a group, because, like he said, we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, so we try and concentrate on what our lives are about, and sing about that. And if something comes in from the outside, something major, we might sing about it, but we don’t like to send messages via the press and stuff [Much Music, August 9, 1992].
For the most part, who are we to send a message to a kid? Who are we to advocate some issue to some age group, or sex group, or whatever? You know, that’s too much. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band - again, like I said [Much Music, August 9, 1992].
Axl and Slash would talk about voting:

When asked who he voted for in the last election: Nobody. There's nobody to vote for [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
[...] Anybody here voting? What do you think of politics? It’s really kind of fucked. I did manage to register to vote, but, goddamn, as far as the president is concerned, there’s nobody to fuckin’ vote for. We’ve got Bush, who sold our ass out in the Gulf War for billions of dollars and lots of people killed. We’ve got Clinton, who could bring change, but then we’ve got Al Gore. [...] Al Gore, who - if his wife had her fucking way, we wouldn’t have this goddamn concert tonight. And it looks like there’s a good chance she’s gonna be in a lot more fuckin’ power. I’m not saying not to vote for Mr. Clinton, but, if you want your records in the fuckin’ stores, you’re gonna have to do some fighting for it. Just like how we fought for this tour, us and Metallica, to make this fuckin’ thing happen, when most of the stadiums didn’t want us to play, cuz “it was too fuckin’ dangerous.” I just think that, like, it’s gonna take people like you all across this country to slap a warning label over that bitch’s mouth [onstage in Seattle, WA, USA, October 6, 1992]

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:21 am


After a break since their Webley gig in August 31, 1991, the band continued with their touring in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in December 1991. This leg of the tour would feature some changes, firstly, Izzy had been replaced with Gilby, and in addition the band had added additional touring musicians. The first to be added was a second keyboard player [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992], Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992]. Andreatis was in the band before September 1991 [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

We got a guy named Teddy, Teddy Andreas [sic] and he does harmonica, which is on songs like Bad Obsession, and he plays organ, he’s a great organ player and he’s just a great background vocalist [MTV, June 1992]
The band then decided to add horns and backup singers:

We've used horns in clubs before, but that's it. And they're just for certain songs… We're just trying to do whatever we can to make the band sound as cool as possible [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]
As Axl would later quip, "five guys on stage was too much of a homosexual thing" [Onstage at the Worchester Centrum Centre, December 5, 1991].

The idea to add horns and backup singers was Axl's idea, but making the horn section all-female was Slash's [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992]:

Well, when this first started coming up, it was around the time that Izzy split and Gilby came in. At the same time I was trying to audition musicians to make November Rain, and Heaven’s Door and stuff to sound a little bit more like it did on the record. And Axl really wanted to get into that, so I got the job of going out and finding something to simulate it. And I didn’t want anything corny like three guys in tuxedos coming up with their horns, right? So I got some chicks to do it. That’s how, basically, the whole thing came about [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]
Andreatis helped to find Lisa Maxwell for the horn section [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Maxwell: "Ted mentioned my name, and I went and jammed with Slash. Then he said, ‘Get together two other girls and write the arrangements" [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Maxwell then began transcribing the group’s albums and called up her old friend and trumpeter, Anne King. King recommended saxophonist and flutist CeCe Worroll, making the horn section complete [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

The back-up singers that were recruited were Diane Jones and Roberta Freeman [The Boston Globe, July 30, 1992]:

The ladies had themselves opted for wearing lingerie [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992]. But according to Maxwell it was a little bit more complex than that:

Maxwell: "The look was real important. I mean, the playing was the least of it, it’s not hard. […] ][The band] couldn’t decide if they wanted us to look elegant or have a street-slut vibe. They decided on street, and got a designer who did a great job but really didn’t have time to fit us properly" [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Eventually, after some fans and critics commented on the costumes, the women asked to use their own clothes because they felt it would lend more credibility to their playing [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Maxwell: "We sort of joke around and say we’re a dessert topping and a floor wax - sometimes we travel with the band, sometimes we travel with the crew, and nobody seems to know what to do with us. […] The crew was very resistant at first. They figured that the band put us with the crew because they didn’t respect us and so we weren’t worth very much. But now that we know each other they treat us like sisters[/i]" [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992]

And it’s fun having this - like, this whole, you know, entourage out on the road. You know, like, five girls, and Ted, and the rest of us. It’s a circus, you know? [MTV, June 1992]
There's Teddy, there's Dizzy, there's Roberta, Tracy, Lisa, CeCe, Anne, Gilby, Matt, Duff, Slash and me. Slash put this new band together, did all of the groundwork. He did such an amazing job that I just can't believe it really happened. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a pretty huge thing, and we might even add some dancers, like we used to have back in the old Troubadour days. It's something we've considered[RIP, October 1992].
[The extra musicians] were hired at the same time as I came in the picture. As far as I know the choirgirls and the horn section is there because they're on the albums. Sometimes you see a concert and wonder "where did that sound come from?" And there's some guy who puts on a tape recorder. We play everything live so they have to be there. […] Besides the new stage is gigantic, so Duff, Slash and I have to run around all the time to cover all the spaces. Then it's hard to sing all the parts, so the girls unload us[Heavy Mental, 1992].
When asked his thoughts on people who preferred the band when it was more stripped down, Axl would say:

But I don't think it's losing any of its energy. There's a lot more energy now. I think that before, people were seeing the potential. […] Yeah, well, there are people who like a girl that had the same haircut she had ten years ago, too. I understand that. I understand that a lot. But it's like, we're evolving, and it's us. I read a quote where David Bowie was saying that Pink Floyd was Syd Barrett to him. I'm like "Yeah, but to deny anything that Pink Floyd's done after that?" Certain elements of our music and our performance and our attitude are still there, but we're not the same people we were then. Maybe it would've been best for the purists if we'd died or broken up. Then they'd get to keep it the way they liked it[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In the March 1992 issue of their official fan club newsletter, the band would explain the addition of musicians this way:

"Also, for this tour, we are bringing along an extra keyboard player, three lady horn players and two backup singers. So when you see us in concert, it will sound as close as possible to how the albums sound... Maybe even better!" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, March 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:41 am


After a break since their Webley gig in August 31, 1991, the band continued with their touring in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in December 1991. This leg of the tour would feature some changes, firstly, Izzy had been replaced with Gilby, and in addition the band had added additional touring musicians as described in the previous section.

In addition, the band had gotten Soundgarden as the opener.

The first two gigs were at Worcester Centrum Centre, in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, on December 5 and 6. The December 5 show was sold out in a "record 22 minutes" [RAW, December 1991]. The band would start these shows well over two hours late [Hartfort Courant, December 7, 1991]. The late starts, which had plagued the tour so far, would continue for this leg with 90 minutes or more wait after the opener becoming the norm more than the exception.

These shows would also be Gilby's first shows with the band:

Talking about what he remembers from his first gig with the band: yes, a lil... i was hungover. i met up with some friends the night before & had a yager party. it took the edge off [A4D Interviews, August 2011]
For the first show Gilby was asked to do a solo spot:

I didn't even know that I was getting a solo spot until the day before the first gig! They just came up to me and said, "So what are you going to play in your solo segment?" I mean, why would I get a solo segment? So then Axl said, "Well, Izzy always used to do a little solo before 'Patience.' Do you think you can come up with something?" I just didn't want to get out there and do a lead guitar thing. Slash is the lead guitarist. So I decided to play "Wild Horses," which is one of my favorite songs[Guitar Player, November 1992].
Then followed three shows at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 9, 10 and 13. During the first of these, which started almost 2 hours later than announced because Axl had the flu which left him throwing up backstage between the songs [Rolling Stone, December 1991]), Axl would say they expected to pay $24,000 in curfew fees [New York Times, December 11, 1991]:

You people are worth more than the $24,000 we’re paying in overtime[Onstage at Madison Square Garden, December 9, 1991]
The band then played 7 more shows before coming to play two shows at The Summit in Houston on January 9 and 10, 1992. For the first of these shows the Houston chapter of the organization Queer Nation organized a protest titled "Pansies against Roses," calling out and showing displays, "Racist, sexist, anti-gay -- Guns N' Roses, go away!," and "Gay bashers are closet cases." The demonstrators were met by hecklers chanting "Guns N' Roses!" and "Faggots go home!" [Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1992].

After the two shows in Houston the band came to Fairborn near Dayton in Ohio, on January 13 and 14, 1992. For the first show the band was even more late than usual, long after the "around 8 PM" time printed on the tickets [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. At 11:52 PM Slash came on stage to announce the show would be delayed due to a technical problem with one of the stage monitors: "I didn’t build the... equipment — I just play through it" [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. The band entered the stage first at 12:25 AM [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. Several members of the Nutter Center’s support staff allegedly said that Axl did not arrive at the venue until after midnight [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. The show ended at 3:05 AM [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. From the stage Axl would imply psychological issues, saying "You’ve got to realize that this is not a pleasant place for me to play" while explaining that his step-father was from Dayton and that he had needed time to prepare himself mentally for the performance [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992].

And you all know how that’s just one of my “favorite” places. No offense, but if you believe that – I mean, my stepdad is from here in Dayton and I used to come here when I was a kid. This is not a pleasant place for me to be. But I got to realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with you who came to see the show[Onstage in Dayton, January 13, 1992].
During the show Axl would also try to get the crowd into the show by engaging with them about the accusations that the band had supremacist sympathies:

Talking about trying to get a crowd reaction: I approached it a bit differently when we did the first show in Dayton, Ohio. We'd been told we're the perfect house band for David Duke's America. And it's like, fuck David Duke, I don't like being associated with that. I asked the crowd: "Is that what you get out of this, that we're racists and you're supporting it? 'Cause if that's the case, I'm gonna go home. That's not why we're here." I asked the crowd about those things. I got some real interesting responses. The way they reacted was a little bit different than normal. There was silence in different places and cheering in others. You could tell that they were thinking for a minute[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]
Also on the day of this show, something, a "miscommunication" in the words of Axl, happened between Doug Goldstein and Axl, resulting in rumors that Axl had fired Goldstein:

Last night there was a miscommunication between me and my manager, and suddenly that turned into I fired my manager. And before we even got back to our hotel, I may even say this is where it started – you know, this is the only time I get to be around the fucking crew and shit, I’m talking to our crew and stuff, and suddenly the fucking story was back to L.A. and New York, before we even got back to the goddamn hotel, that I fired my manager. Which, basically, kind of ruined the last day for our manager. His name is Mr. Doug Goldstein, and I love Mr. Doug Goldstein, and if anybody gets in the fuckin’ way of that with their little fuckin’ stories, they can take a walk now. There were even some people that were really happy and they threw their little fucking parties because they thought Dougie would be gone [Dayton, OH, USA, January 14, 1992].
During the second performance in Dayton [January 14], Axl slashed his hand open on a broken microphone stand:

It happened at the beginning of the set and he made it through the whole show. It was making everybody nervous. I didn't want anything to happen to the hand. I just wanted him to get it checked out to make sure it was OK. He was a trooper[Star Tribune, January 21, 1992]
The incident would also be mentioned in the band's official fan club newsletter:

"During a concert in Dayton, OH on Jan. 14, 1992, the weld on Axl’s mike stand broke. It caused a deep laceration running from his thumb across the palm of his hand. Axl wrapped his hand in towels to contain the bleeding, and fighting off shock, insisted on finishing the show. Axl was rushed to a doctor who stitched up the deep gash. Fearing permanent nerve damage that might prevent him from playing keyboards, Axl was flown to New York to see a hand specialist who performed surgery. The band was forced to postpone two concerts in Detroit. Luckily, Axl’s hand is healing perfectly!!!" [Conspiracy Incorporated, March 1992].

While Axl was backstage having his hand looked at, he thought Slash said something critical about him and when entering the stage he would call Slash a "punk motherfucker" and that he would "kick your fucking ass". Before things escalated the band started playing 'Welcome to the Jungle'.

We had a run-in in Dayton [Ohio], because both myself and Dougie thought [Slash] said something shitty to me onstage. That was the night I cut my hand to the bone. Backstage we have monitors much like the ones onstage, and while I was back there dealing with my hand, I thought I heard him take a potshot at me. I wrapped my hand up in a towel and was like, "Let's get it taken care of, so I can finish the show." I came back onstage and was a dick to him and told him I'd kick his f?!king ass in front of 20,000 people. That was f?!ked up. I was wrong, and I apologized the second I realized I was mistaken. Someone who is supporting me as strongly as he does is a hand I never want to bite [RIP Magazine, September 1992].
To get stiches the band would end the show about 30 minutes early.

I apologize. We’re going to play a few more songs and go so I can get some stitches [Dayton Daily News, January 16, 1992].
As mentioned in the fan club newsletter, the band cancelled two shows in Detroit due to Axl's hand injury.

The band then played two shows at Target Center in Minneapolis on January 21 and 22. Again, Axl was late. Before the show, Soundgarden's singer, Chris Cornell, had talked about the headliner's late starts:

"The bottom line is if you’re trying to incorporate regimen in rock ’n’ roll, you’ll end up with a paradox. It’s like putting a three-dimensional picture in a two-dimensional frame. Rock is supposed to be spontaneous" [Star Tribune, January 22, 1992].

And Cornell would quip about this before they left the stage:

"You’d better appreciate us. We may be the last band you’ll get to see for a while" [Star Tribune, January 22, 1992].

The band then came to Las Vegas for a show at the Thomas and Mack Center on January 25, 1992. The day before the show, January 24, Axl would be interviewed by Kim Neely for Rolling Stone magazine, and Neely would describe Axl's good mood including how he had welcomed two girls who had managed to sneak past security and knocked on his hotel room door [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

Later, Axl would look back at this gig:

I think it's pretty much on my shoulders and I don't mind that at all. The band works the stage and gets off on the crowd, but I'm kind of a shield. If I'm gone they don't really know how to get on top of it. If I'm out there and not handling it, no one can really rescue me. It's just very hard sometimes. We've done shows where I could feel that it was a very taking thing and I turn around and Slash is doing handstands because he's still getting off on the chaos of it. And I'm having the shit beat out of me. This happened in Vegas. My jaw was hurting, my back was hurting, my leg was hurting. I call it shadow boxing because it comes down to between me and the audience. And for Guns N' Roses to be successful, I have to win. And if I win, everyone wins. If the crowd wins then a lot of people lose, including the crowd. They didn't get to be satiated, they get to go home pissed off because we crumbled under it[Musician, Shadow Boxing with Axl Rose, June 1992].
The band then travelled to the San Diego Sports Arena for show on January 27 and 28.

The last shows of this leg was on January 31 and February 1 at Compton Terrace in Chandler. As common in the music industry, for the very last show, GN'R decided to play a prank on the opener, Soundgarden.

February 1, 1992, was our last show with Soundgarden, at Compton Terrace, Arizona, and we decided to commemorate it with a little prank. We got ourselves a few inflatable dolls and Matt and Duff and I took our clothes off and went onstage with them. Come to think of it, I was the only one of us completely naked. In any case, Soundgarden was touring the Badmotorfinger album, and they came from a place where there was no fun to be had while rocking, so they were mortified. They looked around and there we were screwing blowup dolls all around them; I was drunk and I fell. I got separated from my doll, and at that point I was totally naked - it was a scene [Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 347]
Phoenix? Naked? Oh, now I remember! That was the last time Soundgarden was opening for us, and we were losing them. So we wanted to play some kind of prank, but we didn't want it to be one of those old cliche pranks. Next thing you know, we were taking our clothes off and running out during their set. [...] Axl didn't do it, but not because he was chicken. He'd just arrived at the place just in time to see us do out thing. [...] But I'll tell you who chickened out. Matt did. Print that. Matt chickened out. Hah! [Lakeland Ledger, August 1992].
Gilby would be asked if he had been told to act in any particular way on stage on their touring:

No, not at all. Nobody has ever said what I can or can't do, or what I can or can't wear. That's not the way the band is - you just kind of feel your way around situations. Many things are left unsaid. The same thing applies to the music. The most difficult thing for me when I was learning their material was copping the feel of the band. They would always say, "Lay back, man, lay back." It's not something you can articulate - it's something you feel. It probably took me a couple of months before I fell completely into their groove [Guitar Player, November 1992]

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:42 am


Duff, ever the punker, was not in favor of mechandise:

[…] there is this whole corporation now, this Guns N’ Roses industry with merchandising and concerts and tickets. […] I hated that when [Kiss] started selling folders and stuff like that[Hit Parader].
In Januar 1991 Slash was also asked about the topic and expressed similar sentiments:

I guess we’re doing [a sponsor for the 'Use Your Illusion' tour], but I don’t want to sell out. I don’t want to be the next Janet Jackson, M.C. Hammer, fucking Eric Clapton or whoever else. We’re doing a tour, and if they want to help pay for it, we’ll use their name — we’ll put banners up all over the gig, I don’t give a shit. If there’s free cigarettes and free beer and they help pay for the tour, I don’t care. But I’m not wearing a Budweiser T-shirt. I don’t care if we do our own photos and it says “Budweiser” or “Marlboro” on the bottom of the page, but I don’t want to do anything where I’m holding up something with a big smile on my face. […] I don’t think the fans will care. They all drink Budweiser and smoke Marlboros. I was worried about the parents and what they’d say about the cigarettes, but it’s like some of the most influential personalities in baseball, football, basketball and race-car driving do ads. I mean, I advertise smoking constantly anyway; I can’t help it. I don’t see why cigarettes are any worse than beer[Rolling Stone, January 1991].
But when asked if there was something he would be willing to sponsor individually, he made an exception for a vodka brand:

I’m willing to do it if there are no dumb ads and no dumb commercials. I want to do Black Death Vodka. Axl turned me on to it. I want Black Death Vodka to call me, because I’ll sponsor them. Just me personally[Rolling Stone, January 24, 1991].
Slash and Black Death Vodka will be the topic of a separate chapter.

Axl would express his thoughts on merchandise and sponsoring from the stage:

I wanna talk to you for a minute because I wanna get your opinion on something. And I’m real serious. You know, being a band in our position, you wander about cuz you’re interested in making some more money. And the offers get made and you go, well, you know, I drink the beer. So there’s all this talk of sponsorship. And I was pretty much undecided either way, since I drink Budweiser and I smoke Marlboro, then I couldn’t care less if they want to slap the sticker on you. Until today. I don’t have anything against the companies that sponsor and manage us here, except I’ve got a tattoo on this shoulder. It’s a tattoo of a Thin Lizzy album cover, you know? And since both my father and my stepfather were assholes, Phil Lynott kinda like took the place of dad for me when I was a kid. And I’m watching TV today and I see this Molson commercial with The Boys Are Back In Town on it. I mean, I heard the bassline and shit and I was like, what the fuck is this? And I’ve never been more pissed off and hurt in my life, you know, at least not in a long fucking time that I can think of. Because, I mean, whoever sold that to them, I hope they’re a big motherfucker, cuz if I find them anywhere, I’ll crack their skull. I mean, Phil’s gone. What do you think about our sponsorship? If you’re into it and hey yes, you know, yell “yes”, really loud. If you think it’s, like, selling out, let me hear you yelling “no”. [The crowd is rather yelling “yes”] Let’s put it down right in a ballot box (laughs)[Onstage, Toronto, June 7, 1991].
But merchandise presented a welcome source of revenues from the band in the beginning:

The last tour we did cost us two million dollars and we didn’t make a penny off the tour except for maybe the ‘T’-shirts that we sold[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:50 am


After a short break the touring commenced again with three shows at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on February 19, 20 and 22. The film of the February 22 show was released on two home videos (VHS/DVD), called "Use Your Illusion World Tour - 1992 in Tokyo I" and "Use Your Illusion World Tour - 1992 in Tokyo II", on December 8, 1992.

Review in Entertainment Weekly:

Last year there was talk that Guns N’ Roses were concocting a long-form video to unify their hysterically indulgent Use Your Illusion I & II: World Tour 1992 in Tokyo clips into one, presumably even more excessive, GN’R movie. At first glance, you might think these two tapes contain such scintillating goods, but as the cassette boxes’ small print reveals, they’re just two halves of a concert video — and a deadly dull one at that (apparently lifted from a Japanese TV broadcast, with interview segments retaining their subtitles). The wimpy sound mix doesn’t do justice to GN’R as a hard-rock band, and front man Axl Rose’s stage manner seems to confirm his avowal to MTV’s Kurt Loder that there’s a lot of other stuff going on in his head while he’s performing [Entertainment Weekly, February 5, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:37 am


After the three shows at Tokyo Dome in late February 1992, the band had a break until the tour started again in April.

Slash being asked who will be the opener for the next leg of the tour:

I don’t know who we are going out with. It’s just a small leg that we’re doing. We’re doing, sort of, what I would call “make-up dates” to, like, Detroit we had to postpone, so we’re gonna do that, and Chicago because of the Illinois incident we’re gonna go back and make that up. Then we’re doing some shows in Mexico and, I think, one in Oklahoma. But I don’t know who’s opening for us or not, to tell you the truth. […] I’m sure that we know, but it just hasn’t been my main concern at this point, because we’ve been doing so much stuff, there’s so many other things going on, and that hasn’t been my main focus[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
The first shows were at Palacio De Los Deportes in Mexico City, Mexico on April 1 and 2, 1992. These shows would be followed by one show at Myriad Arena in Oklahoma (April 6).

Now that we're headlining, we actually have control about where we play. So there was a lot of speculating about where we were gonna go that we hadn't been before, and we just played Oklahoma. The option was Oklahoma or Texas. I was like: "Why would we go back to Texas?" We've never been to Oklahoma. Which turned out to be a really good gig. I guess you have to pay attention to that stuff, 'cause you can fall into a pattern and just go around in a circle[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
Then the band did one show at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont (April 9). The three following scheduled shows, in Rosemont (April 10) and Auburn Hills (April 13 and 14), were cancelled when Axl feared he would be arrested and extradited to St. Louis if he continued to stay in the country [Chicago Tribune, April 11, 1992; Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992; Chicago Sun-Times, April 16, 1992]. The first show can cancelled in the last minute, "leaving thousands of fans waiting outside" the venue [Chicago Sun-Times, April 12, 1992].

According to Bryn Bridenthal, "Rather than go to jail, Rose left the sheriff's jurisdiction" [Chicago Tribune, April 11, 1992] and "[Axl] wasn’t anxious to spend any time in jail without reason. […] To suddenly extradite him over a misdemeanor charge, there’s no cause" [The Northwest Herald, April 11, 1992]. Robert McCulloch, St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, would respond:

"[Axl] is easy to find. Wherever he goes, we’ll be waiting for him. If he wants to cancel his whole schedule, fine. If he leaves the country, we’ll notify Customs to get him when he comes back" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 12, 1992].

The cancelled shows would cost the band with Bridenthal estimating they had generated $1.5 million in ticket sales [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 15, 1992].

With the police waiting the band fled to Europe for the Freddie Mercury benefit and the European leg of the tour.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:45 am


The material side of it was never a thing with me. The bigger we got – not that I'm complaining because I'm not – the more of a pain in the ass money was. I was better off when I didn't have any money! I never carry cash anyway and I don't go shopping. I appreciate having money. I'm financially at a point where I can have room service without worrying! I can feed my cats, feed my snakes – I don't have to worry about little things like that. […] And I have one pair of jeans, and if they really do finally fall apart I can get another pair. These (his clothes) are the things which I've had since we did the last record! if they still work, I don't need any others[Music Life, November 17, 1991].
The last tour we did cost us two million dollars and we didn’t make a penny off the tour except for maybe the ‘T’-shirts that we sold. The truth is that I’m still watching my money. We put so much back into the group that we won’t really see anything until a long time down the line when we’ve sold records consistently. We haven’t even re-negotiated our contract so that might never happen. To me that means I still feel the same as I always have. I’m happy though, but it’s like that old Jimi Hendrix quote which goes ‘The more money have, the more Blues you can sing’. People like to see the glamour that surrounds bands. They like to think that that’s what it’s all about and it isn’t[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:06 pm



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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:54 pm


We [=Izzy and Slash] don't work out our parts. If it's Izzy's song, I might turn the riff around a little bit and add something. But he'll play his part the way he wrote it—very loose, very Stonesy. When it comes to my tunes, I write riffs that are a lot more intricate—that's my style. So he just takes his style and adds it to my riff. Usually, for every five notes there's one chord on that side [points left and chuckles]. We don't consciously work out parts, whereas Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing probably get into that. […] [Duff and Matt fitting hand-in-glove] was an important factor in choosing Matt. It's different from the way, say, AC/DC works, where the guitars play together and the bass just keeps a line that goes straight through the song. Izzy plays really simple; me and Duff play all the intricate stuff—it's almost like one thick part. Duff takes whatever riffs he and I play and does them with the drums. And everything has to be in sync. So if Duff's playing with somebody who's not hip to what's going on, he knows in an instant[Guitar Player, December 1991].
I'm not well-schooled technically compared to guitar players these days as far as patterns and scales and things like that. I think about what I am about to do and my fingers will be on that note. I have to hear it in my head first, and then go for it. It just takes experience to know exactly what every note on the guitar sounds like so you can pull it out of the hat[Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].
Izzy answering the question where he "found that science of the riffs you were using since the very beginning of Guns":

From the Ramones (laughs)! I've stolen it all from Johnny Ramones! Actually, at the beginning, from them and Motorhead. Then you discover the blues, you slow down, and you find out about the Great Chuck Berry... [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
With Steven and Izzy gone, Slash talked about how that had affected their playing:

Well, it’s been really refreshing just to get out there and be able to have a really solid band, because... I mean, I said I don’t like to talk the other guys, as far as Steven and [Izzy] goes […] because it’s a real personal kind of relationship and it’s real emotional. But there was a point there, where, our aspirations as a band, as far as I was concerned and as far as Axl and Duff were concerned, that I don’t know where those guys were really coming from. So it started to be unenjoyable to play with them, you know? So it was real refreshing to get in and have people that were real eager to do it. So it’s been a lot of fun thus far, you know?[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Even though the band always sounded cool, Izzy and I never sat down together and worked out guitar parts. We weren't really a team, in that sense. We would just jam, and he'd play things his way and I'd play things my way. And even though Gilby is essentially playing Izzy's parts, he adjusts them so there is more of a sense of unity - more of a sense that we are playing together. This isn't to put Izzy down in any way, it's just that Gilby and I have a different relationship. […] I told [Gilby] to learn the basics and then take it from there. As the tour progressed, he progressed. I think it's important that Gilby put his own stamp on our songs. It's important that he feels he can contribute creatively. A musician's self-confidence becomes vulnerable when he isn't allowed to do his own thing [Guitar Player, November 1992].
Axl would also talk positively about the changes:

One night when I was bummed, Matt came around and put his hand on me: "It's all right, man." Those little things are really special. With the new band and the new people, it's the first time I've really felt at home. It used to be just the five of us against the world. Now we've brought some of the outside world into the band. The first night we played with the new band, I was sitting at the piano during "November Rain," just looking at this and feeling really glad that I was a part of this thing[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
I know one song in particular, "Patience," where Axl hits a certain vocal that gives me chills, and it affects my playing, when that goes by. And it happens every single night when we play it. It might be a spontaneous moment in the evening when he'll say the right thing, or he'll sing the right way, to just make my guitar go crazy. Make my playing go crazy[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
In July 1992 Slash would again talk about how losing members affected them:

It’s hard, you know. You have to deal with the situations at hand - Axl, Duff and I, and Matt’s been in the band for a long time, so I have to include him on this subject. But you have your goal and you want to go out and keep the – you know, whatever the Guns N’ Roses thing is and what we have fun doing. So you keep that together and keep it alive, and you just thrive on it. And so when changes occur, you have to look at it from perspective and just go, “Alright, what are doing here?” You know, what’s the objective? And finally you come to a conclusion where you go, “Alright, we want to keep this going, and if you can’t keep up with it, then, you know, at least we thrive between the members that are left. And that’s it. You know, you can’t make it more complicated than that. On the outside it might look a little, you, know, more complicated than it seems. […] The relationship between bands is really complicated, in the sense that we all hang out and you guys look at us from one perspective, but, you know, we’re just – this is a family kind of thing going. And after a while, in going through everything that we’ve gone through, and all the concerts and all the tours we tried to set up as individual bands – right? - you get to a point where you really have to hold on to each other. And when it gets rough, you have to deal with it and that’s it[Rockline, July 13, 1992].
We go to clubs all the time. At the Roxy in L.A.. Slash was playing and I was in the balcony and I was thinking, ‘This guy is great. And I’m in a band with him’ [New York Daily News, July 29, 1992].
Matt’s a great drummer, especially now that he’s been with us for two years. He’s a drummer you don’t have to pull along — he pushes you and makes you better. Nothing against Steven, but Matt takes us up a level — and Gilby’s guitar is whipped cream on the cake[New York Daily News, July 29, 1992].
Axl would also rave about the positive effects of having Gilby in the band:

Gilby is awesome, and a pleasure to be around. He works the stage and the crowd really well. Also, he helps give us a sense of rock 'n' roll normalcy - if there is such thing. Gilby has a way of understanding and dealing with situations that makes the whole trip more tolerable. His insights from being on the outside of GN'R helps us. He has his opinions of what's going on with us, and it helps us get a different perspective, ' cause Slash, Duff and myself have been in GN'R for so long and are so close to it that sometimes we don't see things like other people would. Every now and then he'll say something to me, and I'll go, "Wow, I didn't see it that way." He's been putting himself through his own rock-and-roll education with his other groups for years. Now he's a part of Guns N' Roses [RIP, October 1992].
Talking about the nature of their shows:

I mean, the band is the way the band is, okay? We go out and we jam. We react off the crowd and so on. Uh, yeah, we're still rough around the edges, probably always will be, but the spirit's there, y'know, and that's what the fuck matters right? "We have this responsibility for maintaining headlining status, right? Well fuckin' A, y'know? We can't keep it up all the time. We don't go out and do the same show every night. We use the fucking people that we're playing for and, if it's not happening with them, we'll keep working. We work real fucking hard y'know? I mean, I know you spent so many dollars to get into this gig, but we're not fucking robots all right? This isn't... I won't name any names, right, but this isn't mechanical. In order to play, we have to get into it. This is like emotional shit right?[Metal Masters, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:06 am


Slash, being asked to talk about their entourage and how many are travelling with them:

Slash: "Fuck, I don’t know (laughs). 50 of us, huh? There’s a bunch of us. It’s like the Guns N’ Roses gang" [Countdown, May 1992].

And it definitely had become a large crew. In the official tour program for 1992 [Use Your Illusion Tour program, 1992], the following crew was listed:

Doug Goldstein: Personal Manager; John Reese: Tour Manager [MTV, June 1992]; Jerry Gendron: Tour Accountant; Earl Gabiddon: Security [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]; Jon Zucker: Security; Ron Stalnaker: Security; Bill Greer: Director of Security; Dale "Opie" Skjerseth: Production Mgr/Stage Mgr [Canal 33 Sputnik, June 1992]; Phil Ealy: Lighting & Set Designer; David Kehrer: Sound Engineer; Adam Day: Guitar Tech [Guitar Player, December 1991]; Tom Mayhue: Vocal Tech; Mike Mayhue: Bass Tech; Will Jennings: Keyboard Tech; Elwood Francis: Guitar Tech; Tim Doyle: Drum Tech; Art Freund: Carpenter and Joni Veage: Wardrobe; Robert John: Tour Photographer; Alex Kochan: Tour Consultant; Kirt Klingermann: Management Assistant; Craig Duswalt: Band Assistant; Amy Bailey: Press Coordinator; Steve Thaxton: Chiropractor; Sabrina Okamoto: Masseuse; Lori Perkins: Production Assistant; Michael Graphix: Monitor Engineer; Beth Turnbull: Wardrobe; Pat Ryan: Rigger; Mike Tierney: Ground Rigger & Camera Operator; Kurt Wagner: Carpenter; Chris Deters: Carpenter; Nick Passiglia: Carpenter; George Barnes: Sound Crew Chief; Jim Stanforth: Sound Crew; Doug Pope: Sound Crew; Brian Doyle: Sound Crew; Courtney Jones: Sound Crew; Paul Becher: Director; Terry Brennan: Camera; Jay Strasser: Camera; George Elizondo: Camera; Kenn Moynihan: Projectionist; Jim Perry: Show Power; Erik Dismuke: Varilite Op; Bob Jarvis: Varilite Tech; Doug Brent: Lighting Crew Chief; JR Edington: Lighting Crew; Mike Lamb: Lighting Crew; Rob Mackenzie: Lighting Crew; Dave Grayson: Lighting Crew; Charles Cochran: Lighting Crew; John Adam: Lead Truck Driver; Gary Passanis: Truck Driver; Dan Cole: Truck Driver; Tom Burrington: Truck Driver; John Bonta: Truck Driver; Kevin Collings: Truck Driver; Lindsay Davis: Truck Driver; Randy Dowell: Truck Driver; Robert Kruzscewski: Truck Driver; Max Shaeffer: Truck Driver; Dennis Mallatt: Bus Driver; Bennie Johnson: Bus Driver; Harold Russel: Bus Driver; Jerry Burnside: Bus Driver; Jeff Condon: Merchandiser and Steve Noonan: Merchandiser.

As can be seen from this list above, Axl's sister, Amy Bailey, was working as Press Coordinator for the band. Axl also mentions working with his sister in Rolling Stone in April 1992. In addition, also had a personal assistant called Blake [RIP, September 1992].

The wider crew was listed as:

Management: BIG FD Entertainment (Doug Goldstein, Chris Jones, Tom Maher); Tour Consultant: Alex Kochan; Publicity: Geffen Records (Bryn Bridenthal); Legal: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (Lee Phillips); Financial Control: Siegel & Feldstein (Shelley Goldberg); Merchandising: BROCKUM: Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo (Michael Rotondo, Gerry Barad, Jeff Condon, Carl Gibbs); Record Company: Geffen Records (Tom Zutaut); Travel Agency: Mark Allan Travel (Shelby Glick); Lighting: Light & Sound Design Inc (Tim Murch); Sound: Electrotec Inc (Rikki Farr); Moving Lights: Vari-lites (John Wiseman); Stage & Set: Showstaging/Showfab (Eric Eastland); Passes: Otto Printing (Mark Alger); Itineraries: Smart Art (Alan Mitchko, Sharon James); Freight: Rock-It Cargo (Duane Wood); Video: Nocturne Inc (Pat Morrow); Air Transportation: MGM Grand Air (Bob Lyons); Buses: Senator's Coach (John Aikin); Crew Travel Agency: Air Apparent (Kathleen Botting); Trucks: Roadshow Inc (Dave Kiley); Insurance: General Insurance Consultants (Bev Beilen, Ann Leiderman); Booking Agency: ICM/FAIRWARNING (John Jackson); Paintings front and back of program: Kostabi; Photography: Robert John, George Chin, Gene Kirkland; Illustration on pages 10 & 11: R K Sloane; Tour Program: Satori Art Coordinator (Michael Rotondo), and Additional Design: Ellen Meiselman.

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:24 am


The 'Appetite' lineup had been a tight unit and had protected their rights through a recording agreement already signed on August 25, 1986 [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

But in 1990 the band lineup started to change. First Dizzy Reed joined and the band started to distinguish between "employers" and "full-time members":

"Dizzy is keyboard player who is being employed to be a Gunner – he may become a full-time member" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

With incoming musicians who didn't have the same back history with the rest of the band members, it was important to Slash to try to retain that particular cameraderie the band had enjoyed from the beginning:

The most important thing is – I’m glad that you asked that, because that’s a good question. One of the most important things for us in finding people to replace Steven and to replace Izzy was finding somebody that we could hang out with and feel like family still. Because Guns N’ Roses is one of those things that we were real tight, you know? And we don’t let any kind of outside people influence us, and we don’t take on any kind of, like, what you’d call session players or anything like that. So it’s got to be a really cool hangout situation. And it was sort of a godsend for Matt and Gilby, because they fit in so quickly, and it was such a stressful period for Duff and Axl and I to have to deal with. So, you know, for it to come down the way it did, and for us to feel so comfortable and finish this record, really said a lot about the whole organization as it was. And so, yeah, it’s an important thing; and no, we don’t take on any so-called business partners. Yeah [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Then when Steven was in the process of leaving the band, the band members signed a new agreement, March 28, 1990, in-which Steven was transformed from being a member of the previous partnership (a partner) to an "employee" [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

In March 1992, Axl would be asked about the difference between "playing with guys you've hired, as opposed to guys you slept on floors with"?

In some ways it's not a whole lot different because in the beginning we were putting a band together to achieve something. It was always kind of a triad between Slash, Izzy, and me. And when Izzy wasn't so much being a part of that triad, Doug Goldstein, our manager, kind of took his place. As far as keeping Guns N' Roses going and figuring out what we're doing, Izzy really wasn't that much involved anymore. He wrote songs, but those songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record and because the band agreed to learn them and liked them and we all worked on them. I really believed in Izzy. I was an Izzy fan for 15 years and I wanted his songs to be a part of this project. But it was like pulling teeth to make that happen. A lot of people might have liked the way Izzy was standing there onstage and it was kind of cool, but the truth of the matter was that Izzy wasn't handling any of the weight[Musician, June 1992].
Then when Izzy left the band, in September 9, 1991, he also left the previous partnership resulting in Axl, Slash and Duff signing a new partnership agreement which was signed by the Slash and Duff in October 1992 (the copy we have has not been dated by Axl), although the effective date of the agreement was set to September 10, 1991 [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. The purpose of this partnership agreement, which was likely the purpose of previous partnership agreements, was defined as "utilizing and commercially exploiting their collective talents and personalities in the areas of recording of audio and video tapes, live personal appearances, publishing of musical compositions, and sales and merchandise" [Partnership agreement, October 1992].
Additionally, the agreement contained provisions for division of income, stating that from the effective date until the date of the agreement (September 10, 1991 to October/November 1992) all income had been dividing equally between the partners, but that from now any "new" profit (from new music etc) should be divided with 36.3 % to Axl, 33.3 % to Slash and 30.3 % to Duff, while all "old" profit should be divided equally (20 % each) among the members of the Appetite lineup [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. This would mean that Steven and Izzy would continue receiving royalties on the sale of 'Live Like A Suicide', 'Appetite', 'Lies' etc, but that only Axl, Slash and Duff would receive royalties on the sale of the 'Illusion' records and any future records. The partnership agreement also opened up for an revenues arising from solo records being solely entitled to that partner [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. The latter basically means that the partners have the right to have a solo career outside of Guns N' Roses.

Interestingly, the partnership contract from October 1992 also set forth provisions on governance, stating that Axl and Slash should make all "partnership decisions" and that if they couldn't come to an agreement the the majority of Axl, Slash and Duff should select a person to decide on the matter [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

The agreement also contained a clause on how partners could leave the agreement, both freely but also by being voted out by the other two partners (expulsion) [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. Any terminated partner (through leaving or being expulsed) would lose the right to use the name "Guns N' Roses" [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. Additionally, any terminated partner shall sell any stocks he controls in any corporations held by the partnership [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. If two members withdraw, the partnershop is dissolved [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

In the October 1992 issue of RIP Axl would be asked if Gilby was a "member" of the band:

This "member" thing is quite interesting, I read in an interview where Matt [Sorum, drummer] said that if he didn't get made a member, he wasn't going to be in Guns N' Roses. The truth of the matter is, Matt's a member of GN'R, but it doesn't really mean anything. It's kind of like a clubhouse/gang thing. We're all members of this gang. What it boils down to is, whose yard is the tree house in? Matt's a member of GN'R, and his opinions are taken into consideration. As far as that's concerned, Gilby is a member too, Dizzy is a member of the band. With all the background singers, horn players, keyboardists - we look at it like we're all Guns N' Roses. But the bottom line is, the business is basically run by Slash and myself. Then we run whatever it is we're discussing by Duff and see if he's cool with it. Guns N' Roses is basically Slash, Duff, Doug Goldstein and myself, but there's a lot of other people involved that are a part of our lives and a part of our family[RIP, October 1992].
And when asked if he thought Matt would be pissed after reading this, Axl responded:

It would be nice if he wasn't. I love everybody in this band. It's kicking ass and feels really warm and really cool onstage. At this point it's the 12 of us that get onstage and f?!king go all out. […] There's Teddy, there's Dizzy, there's Roberta, Tracy, Lisa, CeCe, Anne, Gilby, Matt, Duff, Slash and me. Slash put this new band together, did all of the groundwork. He did such an amazing job that I just can't believe it really happened. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a pretty huge thing, and we might even add some dancers, like we used to have back in the old Troubadour days. It's something we've considered[RIP, October 1992].
In the tour program for 1992 [Use Your Illusion Tour program, 1992], the band was listed as being comprised of Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt, Gilby and Dizzy, while Andreadis, Maxwell, Worall, King, Amos and Freeman were listed separately.

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