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THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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

THE MAKING OF THE SPAGHETTI INCIDENT!?

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 February 1992, Slash was 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].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:02 pm

1991-1993 - DRUGS AND BOOZE AGAIN

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 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].
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 July 1992 he claim 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].
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 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].

This means that the rumor about Izzy swearing off alcohol for Rock In Rio was wrong; he had already been sober for a year by then. Perhaps the rumor pertained to someone else in the band or was false altogether?

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].
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 Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:11 pm

1991-1992 - 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].
And:

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].
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].


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

AUGUST 13-31 - TOURING 'USE YOUR ILLUSION', FIRST EUROPEAN LEG

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. Before this 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 Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:33 pm

SEPTEMBER 17, 1991 - THE RELEASE OF USE YOUR ILLUSION I & II

"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] and when 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]. But finally, in September 1991, after numerous delays and a long process, the two records, 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'Use Your Illusion II', were released.

More than a year before the release date 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].
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].
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].
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].
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 choice....to 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].
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].
The two albums were finally released on September 17, 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 releases were an immediate success. 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].

During the process of recording the albums, band members would comment upon the lenghty 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]
And after its release, Slash would blame the press and people pestering them:

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

About a year after their release, Izzy 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].


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

JUNE 1991-JANUARY 1994 - SINGLES FROM THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSIONS'

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].

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].
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 Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:23 pm

STEVEN, AFTER GUNS N' ROSES

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":

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].


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

AXL TAKES CONTROL

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].

Axl was confronted by these rumors 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].
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 Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:19 am

NOVEMBER 9, 1991 - IZZY LEAVES THE BAND

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].
If anybody in the band – including Matt, but especially within the four of us, Axl, Duff, lzzy and I – if any of us left there wouldn't be a Guns, it's the only band like it. Guns N' Roses is unique. You can't take pieces out of it. We're more like a family. It's not Bon Jovi, okay? [Music Life, November 17, 1991].
------------------------------------------
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].
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. 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]. 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 on September 24 the media reported that Izzy might stop touring with the band. The rumor 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. But 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].

In October, the rumors said 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].

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].

And finally, on November 27, on a Rockline interview, Axl would announce that Izzy had resigned and that Gilby Clarke would replace him 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].
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 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. 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].
In December 1991 and January 1992, Slash would also for the first time indicate that Izzy had been threatened to be demoted from "partner" to "employer" unless he started to work harder just before he quit the band:

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].
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].
Izzy would support this, saying that when he returned to Los Angeles in November 1991, after having spent some time in Indiana, he was presented with conditions and terms that made the decision to leave easy:

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].
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].

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].
This would add another plausible explanation for why Izzy quit: he was upset over the possibility of losing his partnership.

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].
and

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].
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 tht 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).

Yet, a little while later 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].
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].
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].

This last time that Izzy saw Axl was likely when Izzy went to Axl's house to talk to him. Axl mentions this meeting in the October issue of RIP:

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].

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 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].


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

GILBY JOINS THE BAND

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 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].
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].
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?” 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].
[…] when Izzy left, I was the only guitarist they called to audition [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 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].
One of the other guitarists that auditioned was the guitarist of Jane's Addiction, 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].

[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].
Later, Slash would emphasize that he only rehearsed with one other guitarists, 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].
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 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].
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].

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, other 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].
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].


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

GILBY BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES

Gilby had been part of the bands Candy and Kill for Thrills and had released three records that "flopped" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

Gilby: "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. 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].

Gilby: "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].


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

TURNING INTO ADULTS

'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 Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:11 am

SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS

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].
Later he 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].
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].


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

DECEMBER 5, 1991-FEBRUARY 1, 1992 - TOURING 'USE YOUR ILLUSION', NORTH AMERICA

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].
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].

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 band would start the 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 would by 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]
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].

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]
During the second performance in Dayton, 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 last show of this leg was on February 1 at Compton Terrace in Chandler. As common in the music industry, 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].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:52 am

MERCHANDISE AND SPONSORING

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 Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:55 am

FEBRUARY 19-22 - TOURING 'USE YOUR ILLUSION', JAPAN

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 Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:47 am

APRIL 1-9, 1992 - TOURING 'USE YOUR ILLUSION', "MAKE-UP" DATES

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 Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:04 am

MATERIAL WEALTH

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 Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:21 pm

APRIL 20, 1992 - THE FREDDIE MERCURY BENEFIT

Axl had wanted to play with Elton John for a long time and at some point they discussed some kind of collaboration:

Well, we’ve been asked to do a pay-per-view show with [Elton John]. But with the Izzy thing, it kind of messed up rehearsals, so I don’t know if we will do that or not. But if we can, we’ve been asked to do some things. And, you know, fitting it into our schedule, we’re trying to do it. So, hopefully, something will happen at one point with Elton[Rockline, November 27, 1991].
This quote came only three days after Freddie Mercury died, and it might be that they had already discussed doing something together on a benefit concert in memory of Freddie Mercury on April 20, 1992.

Axl's admiration for Mercury and Elton John went deep:

[…]Freddie Mercury and Elton John are, like, two of the biggest Influences in my whole life. And probably always will be. If someone asked me if I could have anything in the world, what would l want? If l could own anything, like owning a piece of art, l think it would be Elton John's publishing, on his first seven albums. I don't want the money. Being able to own those songs Is like owning a painting of someone you admire[Interview Magazine, May 1992].
In the beginning of 1992 Slash would confirm they would be part of the upcoming benefit concert in the memory of Mercury:

All in know is that we’re coming over to do this Freddy Mercury thing (a benefit gig which is set of Wembley Stadium on April 20 and also likely to feature Extreme and as well as Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor) before we go off and do the rest of Europe. I know there’s talk of more shows but they’re all being switched around because Metallica have booked a tour and we don’t want to clash with them[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Guns N' Roses had been asked to do the tribute concert:

They asked us.  And we jumped at the chance, because - I mean, at first we really wanted to do it and then there was a period of not being sure. There was this whole, you know, gay activist thing that was going against us. And we just decided to do it anyway. But we grew up with Queen, and as far as - you know, that’s one of the main bands that we were influenced by. So of course we were excited about it[Countdown, May 1992].
Although Slash never got to meet Mercury [Countdown, May 1992].

Inviting Guns N' Roses to play at a tribute concert for an artist who died of AIDS was controversial, and the organization ACT UP did their best to stop it from happening:

"We will accept Guns N' Roses (on the bill) when they have a press conference and publicly denounce everything they've said about AIDS and homophobia. […] We want the words, 'We were wrong. We're sorry.' […] They've been responsible for misinformation about AIDS. Their homophobic attitude creates an atmosphere of ignorance and intolerance" [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992].

And if they don't apologize:

"We will ask artists to put pressure on the show's management to remove (Guns N' Roses) from the billing. […] If management refuses we won't ask anyone not to appear, but for Guns to be snubbed by the other artists, and we'll ask for people to boo the band off the stage" [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992].

A representative for Guns N' Roses management would respond:

"We're disgusted by ACT UP's lack of sensitivity in trying to politicize this tribute. […] Perhaps they should read Axl Rose's comments in the new issue of Rolling Stone for a more enlightened perspective. We refuse to be their pawn" [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992].

Slash would also comment on ACT UP:

I never would have thought that we were gonna get that kind of flak. […] Gay activist groups that are a little bit appalled – I think it’s a good word for it coming from them about us playing it. And I just wasn’t expecting that kind of reaction. […] And we’re gonna play anyway, so they’re… […] They’re trying to get us off the bill or basically sabotage the gig. I don’t know exactly what they want to do, you know, or what they’re really shooting for it, cuz it sounds so screwy in the first place. I don’t think they really know what they wanna do, themselves. […] I know they’ll go to press with it and keep it up all the way until show day, but I don’t want to get into the whole subject. I mean, we’re doing it for – the reasons that we’re doing it was, you know, for Freddie Mercury and not... I don’t know how to explain it. We just wanted to play the gig and we were asked to do it, you know, by the Queen people, and we’ve been supported by all the other bands that are playing. So we’re gonna play it, yeah - if that answers the question. […] It’s just screwy stuff to have to deal with. It’s like, every single day it’s like, “Oh yeah, right, okay. We’re gonna deal with this now[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Slash would rehearse before the event:

Well, I went down and rehearsed, because I was playing "Tie Your Mother Down" with Queen. So I went down. I mean, I was already in London for a little while anyway, and I went down to rehearsal, and we played it a few times. But as far as the rest of it goes, it was just a typical Guns N’ Roses thing, where no one is rehearsing (laughs)[Countdown, May 1992].
In an interview with MTV backstage at the tribute concert, Slash would say the following:

Well, it’s an issue for me, it really cramps my style, the whole AIDS thing. It’s really not... (laughs). It’s not clicking with me, you know. But things come up and we were like, well, yeah, we’d like to get involved and try and do something to help it out. But then it turns around on us, right? And they got, like, all these gay activist groups and jumped on our case for being involved with this, to the point where there was a question as to whether or not was even safe for us to do this gig. And finally we just said, screw it, let’s just do it, you know. Whatever. I hope we don’t get shot or anything. […] I don’t know what they’re so uptight about. They were saying they were gonna do whatever they could to sabotage our part of the show and they totally attacked the whole Queen Organization for allowing us on the bill and all this stuff. And I’m like... It is never ending, you know? It’s always something, it’s, like, so ridiculous[MTV, April 20, 1992].
And later he would look back at it:

You know the vibe was great. It was really great to find out that all the tickets were sold without knowing what the bill was. So it was really for the cause, which was really important, 'cause I think rock and roll now, for the first time, learn that it is a heavy-duty issue. I think everybody was trying to ignore it for a long time and think like, "oh, it could never happen to us." And it was nice to see all that support. Even though it was the result of something tragic as Freddie dying, it was still good to see everybody come together and all that. The whole, like, pop music social scene was a little heavy for me, so I didn't want to be there unless we were playing. The rest seemed to me a bit like "Who is Who of Rock and Roll" and "Hi, let's take picture!" and all that kind of crap. But you know, the show was fun, the crowd was great[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
Slash would also talk about Brian May, whom he had met when the band played at Wembley Stadium the year before [see earlier section]:

And [May]’s, like, one of the sweetest guys. Really easy to get along with and really gracious, you know. There’s no pop star attitude and no errors going around[MTV, April 20, 1992].
Oh, [May]’s awesome, yeah. I mean, that goes without saying. I didn’t think that could be a question (laughs)[Countdown, May 1992].
After the show, Elton John would comment on ACT UP and performing with Axl:

"I heard that he had problems with the people in ACT UP, but I thought if he was willing to come on the show that we should make him feel at home, which is why I put my arm around him. We all say and do things we regret. I met him before the show and he seemed quite gentle, and I very much like some of his music. […] In this business, I don't care who you are. There are Jekyll and Hyde characters in us all. There's not one performer who can't be an absolute animal at times. You have to be pretty strange to want to be a performer. […] There must be a need to want to be loved. I'm not a psychiatrist, but there is something very vulnerable in most performers. Just listen to Axl's songs. I understand the nightmare of being a performer. There are fantastic moments, and there are dangerous, life-consuming ones. The art is to find a balance. And I'm glad I got a second chance" [Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1992].

Slash and Gilby would look back at the gig and its relevance:

I think there was a general realization about the AIDS situation for everybody involved, you know. Especially the crowd. To see - I don’t know what you’d call it - currently popular musicians in the music business getting up there making a statement, especially in demise of Freddie Mercury, and seeing that happening and finally admitting to the fact that AIDS does exist. Because of all the sort of - oh, I don’t know what the word for it is - you know, the gays had to deal with it, and then it started to be a heterosexual thing, but all the bands just did not want to even know about it, because, if you think about it, that’s, like, one of the things that goes with the territory that we really enjoy, sex (laughs).  Anyway, so we finally all came to terms with it and everybody in the crowd realized that it’s not something you can ignore, you know? And it was a cool feeling to see everybody - I mean, I hate to say that something positive came out of somebody dying, but it’s something positive to come out of it, and, to everybody there seeing it, it was seeing how everybody felt. It was really cool, it’s a good vibe[Countdown, May 1992].
The idea behind the whole concert, the fact that it was completely sold out before they knew who was on the bill – talking about the public – and it sold out in the way to give a sort of certain kind of energy to the AIDS awareness thing, especially in the rock ‘n’ roll circle. And losing Freddie to it was, you know, like a catastrophe. And it turned everybody’s heads around. Having everybody show up at the concert for that cause was great. And then all the bands that were there. There was none of that sort of rock star – you know, who’s who of rock vibe going on. So we all had a basically good time and it was really well organized[MTV, June 1992].
Actually, the nicest thing about it was the fact that it separated itself from being just the big concert. It was, like, an awareness thing and till it happened – Oh, God, I can’t get into all that. With rock ‘n’ roll and stuff we all, just, sort of got to a point where AIDS – you know, I don’t want to get into it. It did get to a point where you had to realize that it was around. And, finally, everybody just, you know, getting into the concert, and selling that many tickets, and having everybody really aware of the situation that was going on. It was a good feeling. It was a uniting kind of thing. […] You know, the best feeling about that was that, in light of the tragedy, and Freddie dying, and so on, it’s great that everybody came together and, like, really actually realized what the situation was. Because, you know, there’s 60,000 to 70,000 people at that gig, right? […] So it was a realization of what’s going on. It was cool [Rockline, July 13, 1992].
Huge Queen fan. I’ve loved them from early 70s. […] To play with them and with the whole thing, it was just awesome. Something that I’ve never, ever dreamed that we would do [MTV, July 17, 1992].
It was an honor just being asked to do it . . . sort of like being put on the map by people we had admired for years. But the experience was even much deeper than that. […] Being the type of band that we are, the last thing we wanted to know about a few years ago was AIDS. Like most people, we thought it was only a problem for needle pushers and homosexuals, which meant we didn't have to worry about it. I was still as promiscuous as hell. […] But then it started getting closer to home and everybody had to start being aware of the dangers . . . homosexuals, heterosexuals; people were even starting to get it from their dentists or whatever. That slowed my trip down a lot, but it didn't really hit home until Freddie died of AIDS because he was this huge icon in our minds. […] To walk out on that stage in front of 75,000 or 80,000 people was a very emotional experience. It was like all of us in rock 'n' roll, the artists and the audience, were saying we did care and we are responsible for each other. It was a great sense of community that day and it touched something in me[Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
The Queen gig was the most humbling experience of my life. It was f?!king intense. 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. When we did "Bohemian Rhapsody," that was unrehearsed. Brian asked me to do it that day, and it felt right. I spoke to Elton before the show, and he was kind of uneasy about meeting me - you know, I'm supposed to be the most homophobic guy on Earth. When we talked, I was excited, but serious, telling him how much his music meant to me. By the end he was like "Whoa." Onstage I was trying to be as respectful to him as I could. I was purposely vibing out, and if you look close, you can see it at times, how much I love and respect I have for Elton. There was some heavy eye contact going down. It was amazing. MTV's John Norris kept saying, "This could be the last time you'll ever see Elton John and Axl Rose together onstage." Not if I have anything to do with it[RIP, September 1992].
I want to learn more and start helping people. Freddie Mercury's death is a marker in my life that says there's no turning back, and I'm going to do whatever I can to inform the public about certain things. We can't sit idly and hope someone will change things and hope things will be alright. There are alternative forms of medicine that are having high success rates in treating AIDS victims. There's things like vibrational medicine, oxygen-ozone therapy, there's homeopathic medicines, there are Chinese medicines and different forms of vitamins. The government is denying the public this information. That's because the government, the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars off of people dying. The FDA invests money in companies they've supposed to be regulating - that makes no sense. Over the last 50 years there have been different cures for different illnesses that have been kept from us. Freddie Mercury's death made me want to fight for people to have the right to know about these alternative treatments. Everyone has got a God-given right to health, and it's being denied by power-hungry, greedy people who want control.[RIP, September 1992].


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

THE BAND MEMBERS DESCRIBING PLAYING MUSIC TOGETHER

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].
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].
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].


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

1991-1995 - PROFESSIONAL CREW II

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].

When the band started touring the 'Use Your Illusions', Slash's guitar tech was Adam Day [Guitar Player, December 1991], the same techie Slash had been using since the days of 'Appetite'.

Axl's bodyguard was Earl Gabbidon [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

At some point Axl's sister, Amy Bailey, started working for Axl [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]. Axl also had a personal assistant called Blake [RIP, September 1992].

During the recording of 'Use Your Illusion', Duff's bass tech was Mike Mayhew.

During the touring in 1992, the tour manager was John Reese [MTV, June 1992] and the production manager was Dale 'Opie' Skjerseth [Canal 33 Sputnik, June 1992].


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

PARTNERS, BAND MEMBERS AND SESSION MUSICIANS

The 'Appetite' lineup had been a tight unit but in the 90s it started to splinter. Steven was the first to go in 1990, and then in 1991 Izzy left the band. By the inclusion of Dizzy 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 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].
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].
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].


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

ACCUSATIONS OF SEXISM AND MYSOGENY

The band had been accused of sexism since the release of 'Appetite' with its original rape-scene artwork and lyrics, especially to 'It's So Easy'.

With the release of 'Lies', the lyrics to 'Used To Love Her' added fuel to the accusations.

It's just a song. It was done very tongue-in-cheek, we never meant for anyone to take it seriously. It is just a fucking song[Circus Magazine, May 1989].
Band members would vehemently defend themselves, but not always very efficiently:

Well if the average person had to deal with the same kind of members of the fuckin' opposite sex that we have to deal with all the time, they'd probably think the same. Well, 75 per cent of the girls that hang out at the gigs, you can't tell me that most of them aren't sluts. […] They are very, very cheap. We're around it 24 hours a day. What the fuck do they want? […] Its very true. We never said anything bad against women in general and I mean everybody in the band has had girlfriends and shit that they cared about. Its nothing against women its just those occasional fuckin' tramps that hang out at every gig. They're the people were exposed to and so we write songs about that. And if the other people don't understand that then tell them not to buy the fuckin' record[Juke, December 1988].
There was a picture of a young woman lying on the ground obviously about to get raped by a robot. And just above, there's a hand which is about to crunch the robot up. That doesn't mean anything special. We liked the picture, that's all. But everyone came down on us and accused us of glorifying rape. […] We're an easy target for people who like to see the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other. We look so much like the image they like to have of bad guys. We're not sexist, but that's no reason for the groupies who hang around backstage to start wanting respect. We treat them like shit because that's what they are. [Being accused of that statement being sexist] No, it's not. We're talking about groupies. not women in general. Anyway, one day one of those tramps is gonna catch AIDS from screwing some faggot and end up giving it to every group in town. That'll be the end of the rock scene in LA[New Musical Express, April 1989].

And later Slash would indicate that the 'Use Your Illusion' albums are a bit anti-feministic:

Y'know, I detect a little bit of anti-feminism shit going on too, because the songs that are about women that are negative are like really f***ing hard. I can see girls going, 'What assholes!' But then, y'know, our angle is just like, ‘This is true you f***ing c***'. 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?[Melody Maker, August 1991].

Another things that drew criticism for the band was the practice of filming girls before shows and encouraging them to show their tits. The band would stop this after complaints from fans:

Bridenthal: "The key thing to them (stopping the practice) was that it wasn't parents complaining, but their own fans" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

Yet, during the US leg of the tour in December 1991 and January 1992, the crew would again film girls in the audience [numerous show reviews].

Am I sexist? The answer is no[Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].

After the release of 'Use Your Illusion', Axl was asked if he was a mysogenist:

[…]'Back Off Bitch' is a ten-year-old song. I've been doing a lot of work and found out I've had a lot of hatred for women. Basically, I've been rejected by my mother since I was a baby. She's picked my stepfather over me ever since he was around and watched me get beaten by him. She stood back most of the time. Unless it got too bad, and then she'd come and hold you afterward. She wasn't there for me. My grandmother had a problem with men. I've gone back and done the work and found out I overheard my grandma going off on men when I was four. And I've had problems with my own masculinity because of that. I was pissed off at my grandmother for her problem with men and how it made me feel about being a man. So I wrote about my feelings in the songs. […] I've been hell on the women in my life, and the women in my life have been hell on me. And it really breaks me down to tears a lot of times when I think about how terribly we've treated each other. Erin (Everly, Rose's former wife) and I treated each other like shit. Sometimes we treated each other great, because the children in us were best friends. But then there were other times when we just fucked each other's lives completely up. And so you write about that in your frustration. The anger and the emotions and stuff scare people, and it's good that people recognize these things as dangerous. I don't think our music promotes that you should feel this way, and if people are getting that, that's not right. We're saying you're allowed to feel certain ways. Now, if you want to hold on to something that you know is bad, that's your problem. I don't want to. I've already left most of the lyrics behind. I'd already grown past a lot of the things by the time I started working on my therapy in February. […] But ... I love women. I remember the last time in ROLLING STONE, saying that I liked seeing two women together, and there were letters from lesbian organizations saying, "How disgusting." I can be as disgusting as the next person, but it wasn't meant to be disgusting. I think women are beautiful. I don't like to see people used. If I'm looking at a men's magazine and I just look at the surface, I might be able to enjoy it. But if I know that this person is really messed up and that person's messed up and they're being used by the person who set up the photo session, then it'll turn my stomach[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

Axl would also argue that his attitude towards women was shaped by experiences he had in his childhood when his father had been abusive towards his mother:

I got a lot of violent, abusive thoughts toward women out of watching my mom with this man. I was two years old, very impressionable, and saw this. I figured that's how you treat a woman. And I basically put thoughts together about how sex is power and sex leaves you powerless, and picked up a lot of distorted views that I've had to live my life with. No matter what I was trying to be, there was this other thing telling me how it was, because of what I'd seen[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

In May Slash would agree to have been a womaniser but that it was all in the past [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].


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

MAY 16-JUNE 3, 1992 - TOURING 'USE YOUR ILLUSION', EUROPE

For the 1992 European leg of the tour they added Faith No More as an opener:

Faith No More was some band that we got turned on to a while back when they put their first record – not their first record, their third record came out and we loved it. So that was one. Soundgarden we got turned on to at some point. I don’t remember when, but we just thought they were great. So when it came to support bands, we like to play with people that we like and...[Czechoslovakia TV, May 20, 1992].
We always pick the support bands. You know, bands that we think are cool. Soundgarden and Faith No More, you know, two bands that we always listen to, so... It’s our tour, basically (laughs)[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
While touring, Slash would give his thoughts on playing large stadiums:

You have to approach the production a bit differently, because, as far as sound goes, it's really important to us to sound right onstage, in order for us to do the show the way we wanna do. We have to hear things correctly, so we have to anticipate the difference between a stadium and an arena, you have to prepare for that. Otherwise you, attitude-wise and show-wise is the same. It's more stage to fill. So it's great for us, 'cause we're into it. […] I'm very aware of everybody and where they are and where I'm gonna go. Like if I'm gonna jump off this, if he's gonna move then I'm gonna land on him, you know, it's pretty complicated. […] It's very unpredictable what we're gonna do, but at the same time there's a chemistry, where, since we've been on the road for so long, like Axl knows I'm gonna be in a certain place 'cause I know the guitar sounds good there. It's a sweet-spot, we call it. It's just certain places in certain songs when you know you need to be somewhere and you fall into sort of a regiment. Knowing that I have to switch guitars or I'm gonna have to get feedback or something. The rest of the time is just aimless wandering [laughs]. […] The only things that you really concentrate on are musical integrity, like it's not a joke when you're playing. That's the first and foremost priority. Then, the other thing is making sure you don't hurt somebody else in the band [laughs]. The rest of the time we can do whatever. But, you do have to concentrate and it's weird because you have to concentrate within the confines of, like having a great time. So, it's like a constant tug-of-war. You lose it all together, but then you sort of keeps your feet on the ground, just by knowing you have to pay attention to these things. Because if you fuck that up, you're gonna fuck the show up[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
This leg of the tour would take the band to new countries in the eastern parts of Europe:

Aside from the crowd, everything is entirely different. I mean, it’s - I don’t even think it’s worth explaining. I mean, the United States and Europe, the culture is so - it’s so diverse in Europe, for one. And we’ve only been to London and Germany. So a European tour, for one, is all these places we haven’t even been to. So it is different. As far as the States, I mean we played Texas 15 million times. I mean, I’m just... (laughs). […]I mean, we’ve been to England. We played England, like, five, six, seven or eight times in the span of - in the time the band has been together. We’ve gone back and forth to London, and we’ve played Germany twice. So that was cool, we’re used to that. But, I mean, that doesn’t necessarily constitute any kind of idea what the rest of Europe is all about. It’s not like going from, like, Las Vegas to Kansas, where the transition isn’t really all that harsh. In Europe, it’s like, you go from one country to the next and it’s some major cultural difference, yeah[Countdown, May 1992].
The first show was at Slane Castle in Slane, Ireland on May 16, 1992, a place Slash would refer to as "gorgeous" [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].

It was the first show of the European leg, and we’ve been off for a month. I’d been out jamming around, like doing the Motorhead thing and all this other stuff. But we hadn’t, as a band, played together for a month. So, as a matter of getting that chemistry in order – I think the first couple of songs probably sounded like mud (laughs) and it tightened up towards the end. Then they gave us three days off, and so we have to do it all over again today in Prague, you know?[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
According to a later review, the band took the stage two hours after the appointed time after Axl was helicoptered in from Dublin [Irish Times, May 27, 2017], having allegedly refused to leave his hotel [The Irish Independent, May 18, 1992].

Slash would comment on Axl's lateness and claim he was only 20 minutes late:

Just about 20 minutes. It isn’t that big a deal. I mean, come on, they had us on 6:45. It’s just stretching the imagination, as far as I’m concerned[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
After the show at Slane Castle the band travelled to Prague, Czechoslovakia, on May 20:

Prague, it was – the crowd was great. And the people were very interested in the American culture and talking to us. They spoke English very well[/i] [MTV, June 1992].

Although Duff would later struggle to remember having even been in Czechoslovakia due to his heavy partying in this period:

I don't even remember playing Czechoslovakia; we played a stadium show in one of the most beautiful cities in East Europe not long after the fall of the Berlin wall, and the only way I knew I'd even been in the country was because of the stamp I found in my passport [Duff's autobiography, "It' So Easy", 2011, p 201].
Then they played shows in Budapest in Hungary on May 22, in Vienna in Austria on May 23, in Berlin in Germany on May 26, in Stuttgart in Germany on May 28, in Cologne in Germany on May 30, and in Hannover in Germany on June 3. They would then travel to Paris for their first pay-per-view show.


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

JUNE 6, 1992 - PLAYING PARIS WITH FRIENDS

As part of their European leg in 1992, the band would do their first pay-per-view show. Axl and Izzy had been part of a pay-per-view back in December 1989 when they joined the Rolling Stones for a song a song during the Stone's own cable special [MTV, June 1992].

The concert took place at the Hippodrome de Vincennes in Paris, France, on June 6, 1992, before an audience of 40,000 and an estimated 200,000 watching on the TV [MTV, June 1992].

Following the tremendous success of the releases Use Your Illusion I & II as well as completing a sold out tour, GUNS N’ ROSES felt this worldwide television event would enable them to reach millions of their fans who would otherwise not be able to see them in a live show [Press Release, April 29, 1992].
The only reason we’re doing this is because it’s a vehicle for us to get our show out to a bunch of people that don’t have the opportunity to see it. So that’s that [MTV, June 1992].
And also, I might want to add, it’s not, like, a profit motivated thing for us to make money. It’s just for kids. Cuz we’re only playing certain towns and certain places, and kids that don’t get to see us, and can’t afford it, and just can’t make it, it gives them the opportunity to see us. So I hope it all works out great[MTV, June 1992].
I think it’s a great thing for people in countries and, like, states that they don’t have the opportunity to see us. Like, let’s say, a kid lives in Montana or Idaho, which we’ll never play; I mean, maybe someday, but not this week. Or somebody in Russia, because they have MTV in Russia, right? And there’s pay-per-view all over the world. So people can see us that don’t get an opportunity to come to the concert[MTV, June 1992].
We’re not really paying attention or letting it get to us that there’s millions of people watching us (chuckles). Well, you know, we’re just gonna play a regular gig. We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, you know[MTV, June 1992].
I have to admit that the amount of pressure going into this pay-per-view thing is a little bit more than the average show. But all you can do is just, like, walk out there and, you know, start playing (laughs)[MTV, June 1992].
For the show the band had invited some of their friends to participate, Jeff Beck to play on 'Locomotive', Lenny Kravitz to play his song 'Always on the Run' which features Slash, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith for the songs 'Train Kept A-Rollin' and 'Mama Kin'.

Slash was looking forward to playing with Beck, a guitar player he had previously stated he liked [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992] and wanted to jam with [WNEW 102.7, September 1991]. Beck would explain how it came about:

"Well, I just got a phone call from my manager saying, “Guns N’ Roses called. Would you care to step on stage and do a number of them?” And I said, “Where?” “In Paris.” I said, “Yep, let’s go.” They told me Locomotive was the song. And it’s pretty – there’s a lot of changes in it. I guess they thought that I’d be alright for that, for a guest spot " [MTV, June 1992].

The phone rings, I pick it up and I’m like, “What!” And he goes, “Is that Slash? This is Jeff.” And I’m like, “Oh, Jeff... Jeff who?” (laughs). And he was Jeff Beck and I was floored. I was like, okay, this is my all-time favorite guitar player calling me up to ask me about the song and what the schedule was gonna be. And I was like, “Well, you can play whatever you want. I don’t even care if you don’t even learn it. Just come out, that would be great”(laughs)[MTV, June 1992].
It was really cool because, you know, Jeff Beck was here last night, in the bar downstairs in the hotel, and we said, “Hey, do you wanna come upstairs and learn the song?” You know, he’d never really listened to it. And he came upstairs, and Duff, after a couple of cocktails, was teaching him how to play it on the guitar. And he was, like, teaching Jeff Beck how to play a Guns N’ Roses song. That was something new and different[MTV, June 1992].
I just thought to myself: 15 years ago, 10 years ago, a year ago, if I would have seen myself showing Jeff Beck a song on the guitar, you know, people would have thought I was nuts[MTV, June 1992].
Jeff Beck, Duff and I are in the room and Duff’s soloing (laughs). Perfect. “Duff! Let him do it,” you know?
[MTV, June 1992].
Gilby takes everything - you know, he’s so mellow about everything. And he’s such a good player, and he’s very confident. So Gilby... What does Gilby think about this whole thing? He’s, like, “Cool, can I have a sandwich?”  (laughs) You know?  “Hi Jeff. See ya”[MTV, June 1992].
Unfortunately on the day of the show Beck had to cancel due to tinnitus.

He was rehearsing with us all day yesterday and he had - he has tinnitus in his ear and he was having a real problem sleeping last night with this huge ringing in his ear. So he called and he said that, you know, he talked to his doctor, and they thought that it’d be a better idea if he didn’t play, cuz it could cause, you know, damage. So we thought it’d be best for him, and he thought it’d be better if sat out of this one. But it was great to meet him and play with him in the rehearsal anyway, you know[MTV, June 7, 1992].
Kravitz, who had collaborated with Slash in 1991 [see previous section] had been waiting for the opportunity to play with GN'R:

"I’ve been waiting a long time to get to actually play live with them. And so they called me a week or so ago and said, “Come to Paris and play”" [MTV, June 1992].
"It’s always fun to play with other people, you know, and do something different from what you normally do. Especially when you’re on tour and you’re doing the same thing every night" [MTV, June 1992].

It was a riff [on Always on the Run] that I wrote. Initially, I mean, I write everything for Guns, you know. And, sometimes, especially when Steve was in the band, some stuff was definitely too funky. And so we just didn’t use it. So now, having Guns play it, I was like, you guys don’t even realize how funny this is (laughs)[MTV, June 1992].
Well, yeah. I mean, it’s gonna be Lenny singing, of course, but it’s gonna... Yeah, it’s a good way to put it. It’s gonna have the Guns N’ Roses attack on it[MTV, June 1992].
Lenny Kravitz: "Well, it’s more that we’re just a big jam now, everybody’s playing. We’ve got two keyboard players, three of us on guitar, you know, bass, drums, horns, background singers... It’s kind of a big jam on the tune " [MTV, June 1992].

As for Aerosmith, the guys knew each other well after having toured together in 1988.

We toured with Aerosmith, so we’re already like family with them. You know, they’re pals, and so it’s like Old Home Week or something[MTV, June 1992].
Joe Perry: "Well, I think that when we first went out with them, that was, like, their first big tour or something, you know? So it’s pretty cool to see them doing what they’re doing. At the end of the tour we gave them all Halliburton luggage, you know, the metal stuff, and we said, “Man, you’re in for a ride. Dig it.” So it was cool. It’s great to see them doing what they’re doing. We haven’t really played together that much, but, you know, we can play a song like Mama Kin and it seems to mesh pretty well. And we did Train-Kept-A-Rolling too yesterday. It was pretty good. It was fun" [MTV, June 7, 1992].

So they just showed up to watch Jeff play, you know, and then we just got and went out there. And we had never really rehearsed it or anything, but it sounded cool[MTV, June 7, 1992].
It’s kind of a great position to be in, to be able to ask, you know, people like that, and they go, “Yeah!” And they’re into it, you know. They did it because they want to jam, you know[MTV, June 7, 1992].
During the show Axl would rant against Warren Beatty who had been dating Stephanie Seymour previously [People Magazine, June 22, 1992].


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

JUNE 13-JULY 2, 1992 - TOURING 'USE YOUR ILLUSION', EUROPE

After the televised show in Paris on June 6, the band was supposed to play in Manchester, UK, on June 9 but this show was rescheduled to June 14 due to Axl being exhausted, according to band spokesman Bernard Doherty [The Springfield News Leader, June 10, 1992]. The band pulled out of the show just hours before the band was due on stage [The Liverpool Echo, June 9, 1992].

The first show took place at Wembley, England, on June 13. The band would be joined on stage by Brian May from Queen for covers of 'Tie Your Mother Down' and 'We Will Rock You' [The Guardian, June 15, 1992].

After Wembley the band travelled to Manchester, England, for a show on June 14. This was the show that originally was planned for June 9 but had been postponed. The show started two hours late [The Liverpool Echo, June 15, 1992], but the band blamed it on technical difficulties and avoided a fine of "tens of thousands of pounds" [The Evening Chronicle, June 16, 1992].

The next shows were at Gateshead in England on June 16 and then in Würzburg, Germany, on June 20. In Würzburg they experienced a colossal thunderstorm, and it is likely it is this show Gilby talks about here although the anecdote about Dizzy pouring a beer over his head is also connected to their previous show in Budapest on May 22:

In Germany one time we had to play in a thunderstorm, like the worst thunderstorm we had in 20 years in Germany. And we are all sitting there watching all the fans (?), they’re soaked and everything and we’re dry cuz we have a roof. So Axl takes one look at them, steps out, gets soaked, made all of us step out and get soaked. Matt came out from his drum stage, got soaked, Dizzy poured a beer over his head, of course, got soaked... Yeah, every day is an adventure, something new [MTV, July 17, 1992]

On June 19 the band flew to Basel, Switzerland, for a show on June 21. But while going through security, Axl is detained by customs agents resulting in him threatening to never play in Europe again [The Akron Beacon Journal, August 23, 1992].

One June 21, 1992, Guns N' Roses had to pay to keep the public-transport system open late in Basel, Switzerland. The only way back into town from the soccer stadium was a tram line that normally closed long before we finished - maybe before we even started [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 204]
The next show was in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on June 23.

On Tuesday, June 23, in Rotterdam, I stewed backstage after the Dutch police told us power would be cut at 11:30 p.m. - fans had already waited two hours since opener Faith No More finished playing, and our set would not be finished by 11.30 p.m. I feared another riot. Onstage, Axl told the crowd about the police threat, and basically invited teh audience to tear the place down if the show was stopped. The power stayed on [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 205]
They then travelled to Turin, Italy for June 27, Seville, Spain, for June 30, and to the last show of this leg in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 2,


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

AXL'S STAGE FRIGHT AND WORKING WITH AUDIENCES

Axl's perfectionism may also be related to his stage nerves and anxieties regarding their live shows:

I'm very stressed about the shows, which are the most important thing to me. Nothing ever really works right for this band [RIP, April 1989].
In September 1991, Spin reported that Axl was suffering from stage fright and that this caused the two hour late start at the Deer Creek Music Center show in Noblesville, Indiana [Spin, September 1991]. According to "sources back stage" Axl was "extremely nervous" to play for friends and family from his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana [Spin, September 1991].

When interviewed by Kim Neely for Rolling Stone in early 1992, Neely would mentioned that Axl had previously told him he "hate performing". When confronted with this statement Axl would say:

I just think it's a really weird job. I'm not saying it's a bad job, I'm not saying it's a great job. But you know, it's just the work that goes into being that athletic. I mean, do you want to go out every night and jump off, like, your car? And have to do that? It's like it becomes your job. That doesn't take away the sincerity or the honesty of it, but it is a job. And sometimes I'd rather be doing something else [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Axl's alleged stage fright could only be understood by the experiences he went through when performing and trying to work with the audiences. During the touring of 'Illusions' he would repeatedly talk about struggling to control the shows and the crowds:

Yeah, that's like a gladiator thing. That's a morbid part of human nature and it can be tough to deal with. Especially if you feel it from a crowd. It's very disguised. It's not like, "Aw, you suck!" They're screaming and they're happy but they want to see blood. To figure out how to rise above that and still satiate the crowd is a tough job. I've done shows where to the naked eye it looked really positive, but onstage, being sensitive to it, it was a draining thing. These people were out for every last drop they could get. If they're giving something back, you can give more [Musician, June, 1992].
When asked how he deals with negative energy from the crowd:

It's been different at different stages of my career. It used to be more of a punk rock thing where a band would take that negative attitude and turn it on themselves. "You want to see blood? I'll give you more than you planned on, I'll even take my own life." I've tried that avenue until finally… it was too hard. You just go down the tubes too fast giving in to that kind of anger. […] But it's really hard to stay positive when there's that kind of taking and that kind of anger in the crowd. There's places where we have played where we have turned it around. I think that's part of the job. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused when you're getting beat up by the energy. You can physically feel that you're getting beat up rather than getting inspired. It feels like a nightmare and to try to get above that is very difficult [Musician, June, 1992].
And when asked if the band members respond similarly to negative energy:

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. […] I'm such a Victory or Death type of person. I realized at one point that going onstage and just smashing everything around and singing "Jungle" wasn't getting me anywhere in my own life. It wasn't enough for me. And taking it farther and hurting myself or taking my life onstage wasn't going to do me any good. And if people are benefiting from the music it wasn't going to do them any good if I was gone. So I had to start working on other ways of dealing with it and other ways of working with the crowd. We still haven't risen above a lot of things but we've risen above some. And we're continually thriving [Musician, June, 1992].
In August 1991, Slash was asked why the band was so volatile and would talk about Axl and what he was going through:

Axl – Axl's got all this pent-up stuff. Like he's really into doing everything perfect, so he's been working so fucking hard. I spend a lot of time with Axl and I can't even get into all the things that he's doing, but he's going through a lot of shit right now with his past personal life and stuff, and even though we're on tour and supposedly hugely successful, these 'rock stars', we're all deafeningly human, to the point where it's like, Jesus! You've got to try and maintain some semblance of security in your personal situation while at the same time you're being completely thrown to the sharks […] [Music Life, November 17, 1991].
I'm less sensitive to [people throwing things] than Axl. He takes it very personally; I just duck [Guitar Player, December 1991].
The only thing I can say about it is I understand it. I understand how rough it is. And I spend so much time with Axl – to realise what he goes through to do that and to be able to sing every night. He's given me analogies – like, say, 'If you only had one guitar and you broke all the strings, how are you going to finish the show? Or when the monitors go out I'm fucked!' he's telling me. You know, we're playing Instruments, I've got replacement guitars, more strings. It's not as harsh for me to go through my personal situations onstage as it is for him. I've got something to hide behind. Him – if the entire system falls or he loses his contact lens or gets dizzy whatever – and being out there you're bigger than life. They don't want to see any fucking faults at all! And Axl's a very sensitive guy, and 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].

Slash would also discuss how the band in general responded to "dead crowds" like during the Metallica tour when fans were often exhausted by the time GN'R started their set:

We interact with the crowd a hell of a lot. That’s one major thing, if the crowd happens to be particularly hostile (laughs) for some strange reason, you know, or, sort of like, dead in the front row. But then we react on that; you know, it’s just natural. […] we fuck with them a little bit and see if we can get them going or, you know – you usually blame yourself, like you’re not playing hard enough. And that’s where some of us are, like, jumping off ramps and all that stuff. I think it initially came from so much adrenaline and then the crowd would just go nuts, and so that would make us just get, you know, more into it, and the next thing you know, it’s like, we’re one and the same. It’s like, a stadium full of people, and basically the six of us on stage plus, you know, the extra people, but all getting off on material that we wrote and there’s a great vibe going on, you know? So it’s worth really getting into it every single night, because that’s the only reason you’re there [MTV, July 20, 1992].


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

GROUPIES

In August 1991, Melody Maker who was interviewing the band backstage, would describe 21 girls, "hand-picked by the Guns crew from the Tacoma crowd" "panting, preening and eager to fuck a Gunner" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

Matt: Every night's a fuckin' party, man. Chicks, beer, you name it. Take any chick you want, man. It's just like being in a candy store [VOX, October 1991].

Despite this, in 1992 Slash would argue that they had cooled them due to the threat of AIDS:

Slash: "The world tried to lay it on homos and needle users but it turned out that was just not the case. Now we've all changed our attitudes to sex. Although Aids hasn't cramped my lifestyle, it has taken that option away. […] We had to realise it's silly. I have to admit we have all had to see our doctors — we have physicals" [The Newcastle Journal, June 12, 1992].

Slash: "[…] I got burned out on the whole drug thing and the groupie scene. […] I had spent so much time chasing around and after a while it was like going to strip clubs. You start looking at women like pieces of furniture, something you admire for their lines. And you realize you either keep going on like that forever or you commit to someone you love--and that's what happened to me. I realized the other stuff is a sort of waste of time anyway" [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].


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

GEAR

A chapter on equipment:

As discussed previously, Slash had been trying out different guitar before joining GN'R and in his first period in the band, with a B.C. Rich Mockingbird being a favorite show guitar. This changed some time before the release of Appetite, when he got a Les Paul copy from Alan Niven, a "handmade yellow flame-top with zebra [Seymour Duncan] Alnico II pickups" [Guitar Player, December 1991]:

Slash: "I got a handmade '59 Les Paul copy, built by a guy who makes awesome guitars, better than anything the company produces now—nothing against Gibson. I think that's when I turned into a Gibson freak—Gibson and Marshall. That's been my standard until this album" [Guitar Player, December 1991].

This guitar would be Slash's primary instrument for recording 'Appetite':

Slash: "For the first record, I must have gone through 10 guitars trying to find one I liked. And I couldn't afford to buy some ridiculously expensive Les Paul. When our former manager showed up with this one, it became my main studio guitar. […] [I used it] for almost everything on Appetite and then for most of the heavier songs on Use Your Illusion" [Guitar Player, December 1991].

On the 'Illusions' Slash would also use other guitars:

Slash: "Some fucking great guitars—a '58 V and a '58 Explorer. There's a certain nasal sound that you can hear on "Heaven's Door," "Locomotive," and a couple of other songs—it's almost [Michael] Schenker-sounding. That's just the tone control on the V, no wah pedal. There were a couple of other guitars that people aren't used to hearing me play: I used one of those small-scale Music Mans like Keith Richards has. There's a Travis Bean that I use for slide on "Bad Obsession" [Illusion I]. When I first got into slide, I went to a Joe Perry Project show; he had a Travis Bean, and it sounded killer. So when I saw one in the paper, I bought It. It has a gorgeous mahogany body with this real subtle rainbow in the finish—it's almost airbrushed. I played maybe 20 different guitars on Use Your Illusion: a Strat, a Dobro, a 6-string bass, a banjo, some acoustics. But the sound that I'm recognized for is my Les Paul through a Marshall half-stack. […] I have several Guilds—a nice 12-string and a couple of great big dreadnoughts. I used a Gibson I-100 too" [Guitar Player, December 1991].

On the question of whether there would ever be a Slash signature Les Paul:

Slash: "At one point they had an idea for a Slash Les Paul. I gave them my best live guitar; they had it for six months, trying to get the weight and density and everything right. God bless the guys who worked on it, 'cause they're really cool, but they sent me four instruments and none of them sounded anywhere close to it. I'm sort of pissed off at Gibson, because in the six-odd years that I've been with them, I've only gotten three gold-tops that I can use live. And I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on old Gibsons. We just cannot seem to get a sound that I'm happy with from the new ones" [Guitar Player, December 1991].

In 1991 Slash got a new B.C. Rich:

Slash: "But a while ago I bought another [B.C. Rich] from this guy I met at the Cathouse [an L.A. club] one night. I used it in the video for "You Could Be Mine." B.C. Rich saw the video and were ecstatic" [Guitar World, February, 1992].

Duff: "The basses that I use, the Fender Jazz Specials, are slightly different. My basses are made an RCH longer, to allow for the strings flapping. My particular model was only made for a year or two. It's got sort of a Jazz neck and Precision body. It has a Precision pickup and a Jazz pickup in the back. The first bass I bought, the white Fender Jazz special, that I bought at the Guitar Center, had inadvertently been screwed up when they made it. As opposed to the neck being perfectly conical, mine is half eggshaped. Somebody in the shop filed it too much. I was so used to that bass, that when I went to try other basses, something wasn't right. It's like, wait a minute, something's different with these other Jazz Specials. I went down to the custom shop, and sure enough, they spun it through this graphic computer and found what was wrong-or, for me, right-with the bass. So now I have all my necks custom-made exactly like that one" [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].

Duff: "I just retired my original white bass. It's at home. But, like I said, I had to get the other basses made exactly like it. Me and John Paige at Fender worked together. It took a long time. I didn't know it was gonna be this difficult" [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].


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

PLANNING TO TOUR WITH METALLICA

The band had attempted to tour with Metallica earlier. Already in early 1988 they had tried to get onto the Monster of Rock tour with Metallica, but was refused [Spin, may 1988]. They later had a European tour in the autumn of 1988 planned, but this was shelved when they needed a break after the Aerosmith tour [Sounds Magazine, August 1988; Kerrang! July 1988]. According to Blast Magazine, the interest in doing something together was mutual: "Metallica's new album is tentatively called And Justice For All. The band is planning a world tour and hopes to take Guns N' Roses with them for at least some European dates" [Blast! May 1988].

There's an element in Metallica that's the same with us. We couldn't really go out and do gigs with Slayer, but with Metallica it's not so much the style of music we play, it's more an attitude of going out and generating a lotta energy. Although, we're a helluva lot sloppier than Metallica! [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
As far as guitar, well, James Hetfield is awesome [Countdown, May 1992].
We've thinking about tours, like, our favorite new bands out, like Metallica. We're friends with those guys and stuff and we're trying to work out something with those guys. But it's like, you know, they're going like we are, [?] we think that might be a monster show [KJJO 104, August 1988].
Just before Christmas 1991 Guns N' Roses made a call to Metallica's management, asking if the band would co-bill a US stadium tour in 1992 [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]. Metallica's management relayed the request to Metallica who, according to Lars Ulrich, responded with a resounding, "Hell yeah!" [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]. Soon rumors were spreading again that Metallica and Guns N' Roses would tour together [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992], and at the Grammys in February 1992 Metallica mentioned it backstage [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992]. The tour was confirmed in May and dates would be set with the first show on July 19, 1992 [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

An important meeting between the bands took place in February at Le Dome restaurant in West Hollywood [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992]. Attending this meeting were Axl, Slash and Doug Goldstein on one side with Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and the management team of Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch on the other side [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Burnstein: "We were so in sync on everything down to the point that I was wearing a Naughty by Nature T-shirt and Axl was wearing a Naughty by Nature cap " [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Ulrich: "So, it was great after the (Le Dome) meeting . . . me and Axl were standing outside the restaurant, talking about how surprised people were going to be once the tour was announced . . . and how everyone would be saying, 'I can't believe it . . . it'll never happen'" [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Slash and Lars did an interview on Rockline together and during this interview Lars would say the friendship between Guns N' Roses and Metallica went back to before the release of 'Appetite' and that they were set up by their common lawyer, Peter Paterno, who suggested that Metallica should hang out with GN'R because of a "shared attitude" [Rockline, July 13, 1992].

Slash and Lars would again discuss how it came about:

We'd sit there and say, 'We should play together'[/i] [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].
Lars: "It continued over numerous late-night gatherings all over the country. I had these conversations with Axl and Slash, and it was always 'One day we've got to go out and do gigs together.' So now -- here we are" [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].

Jason Newstead, the bassist of Metallica, had a slightly less romantic argument for why they wanted to do the tour:

Newsted: "When it comes right down to it. If we worked for the same amount of time on our own, we wouldn't play to as many people and we wouldn’t earn as much money. We would have made plenty of money on our own and everybody gets taken care of real well in our organization. But if we’re looking at the big picture and we have a chance to make a few more million dollars over a six-week period, then we’re going to do it" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

But there was a great deal of skepticism to the tour stemming from obvious differences between the bands and their organizations and how they operated, as described in Detroit Free Press:

"It's a tour that's been regarded with great skepticism since rumors began circulating about it late last year. The organizations were too different, naysayers chimed: Metallica is known for its precise, businesslike manner, while Slash acknowledges that Guns N' Roses prides itself in "going against the system entirely." Metallica will adhere to a relatively tight schedule; Guns N' Roses could go onstage in the wee hours and play 'til dawn, depending on the whims of its members" [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].

And planning such a massive tour was complicated. Lars would say that when the managers and lawyers got into problems negotiating the details they would call up Slash and him and they would sort things out [MTV, July 14, 1992]. Slash would confirm their good relationship was important in getting the tour organized:

It was really complicated, but we dealt with each other as friends [MTV, July 14, 1992].
It was really all the bands’ that did it. I mean, when it came down to it, it was the bands that made all the decisions, you know? And it just got kind of legislated through the management and all that. So it’s a band tour. It’s like, you know, it’s not a corporate tour or nothing like that. It’s set up by the bands [MTV, July 17, 1992].
Lars: "Both of our bands have different ways of approaching things in terms of how we run our band on a day-to- day basis. It was 'Look, let's sit down and check our egos at the door.' We all had to make sacrifices to make this happen. […] But we have a lot of mutual respect for each other, so it wasn't a problem. The real reason this is happening is a genuine desire between the main guys of both bands to make this happen. That makes it stronger than what the lawyers or booking agents or managers would throw our way" [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].

When asked why it took so long from the Metallica first said the tour was going to happen before tour dates were announced, Hetfield would say: "We were still working out logistics and seeing if this thing could even be pulled off. There were a lot of meetings trying to figure out what cities we were going to play, how many shows in a row, whose voice could hold out, who was going on last, who was playing the longest, guest lists — a bunch of political crap. The actual stage set had to be compatible" [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

Slash would say that the band came together as often as possible to discuss and plan, including a dinner meeting on April 19, 1992, the day before the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in London where both bands participated [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]:

You really have to feel each other out on it -- what's their trip, and what's ours? It's really simple when you actually sit down and talk about it amongst friends. When you let management deal with it, all of a sudden it becomes corporate [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].
Some compromises had to be made. According to Detroit Free Press, both bands agreed to play 2-3 shows per week which meant that GN'R had to play more frequently than they were used to and Metallica had to play fewer shows than what they were used to [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]. It was also decided that GN'R would close every show:

[…] because [Metallica] don't want to take the risk of having us go on late and making them perform at some crazy past-midnight time [chuckle] [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].
We’ve been on tour for so long. We're in tour mode big-time, so for us to open for somebody wouldn't make any sense at this point. It was kind of a given that we'd go like this. It's not like we’re headlining; we're coheadlining. The kids realize that. There’s no big deal there [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].
Hetfield: "We knew we didn't want to follow that and we'd be on at 5 in the morning. This is a prime spot for us. There's daylight and there's nighttime. We get the best of both. During the day, you get to see faces in the crowd a lot better, which really matters to us as far as getting going. Then we get to play with the lights and get the whole other vibe. By 10:30, we're done and we get to go hang out. We beat ’em [the audience] up, and then they [Guns] have to deal with it" [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

Booking stadiums became a problem, too, as described by Detroit Free Press:

"'Venue management and city politics have actually been the biggest obstacle to getting into the stadiums,' Kochan [Alex, GN'R's booking agent] says, describing curfew restrictions and other barriers to booking the tour in many cities. The 24 sites on the itinerary, he says, represent "just about every place that would have us," and a Sept. 5 show in Dallas is still up in the air" [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].

In June 1992 tour dates were being set up and it was reported that a planned show in Minneapolis on August 5, 1992, was cancelled. The media would speculate that Axl's psychic had told him to avoid playing gigs in places that started with the letter "M", which, according to Star Tribune, would explain why the band did no shows in Milwaukee, Memphis, Miami or Minneapolis [Star Tribune, June 26, 1992]. This rumor would be mentioned on a Rockline interview with Slash and Lars Ulrich in July 1992, just prior to the start of the tour, and Lars would emphasize they would be playing other cities starting with "M" and that if they didn't get to play in a specific large city that was because the cities weren't interested:

Lars: "I think it was some kind of... I think that somebody somewhere got hold of some very long-winded story that was floating around...[…] There was a story going around about cities that began with “M” that we were omitting, but obviously we’re playing Minneapolis, we’re playing Montreal and, you know, if... I think the misunderstanding that if places like – I think the biggest problem of this tour, and this is actually the truth, is that most of the bigger cities that we aren’t playing on this tour, we’re not playing them because we didn’t want to go there, we’re not playing them because they didn’t want to have us. Places like Philadelphia, and Cleveland, and Kansas City, and Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta, places like that. You know, we tried when we sat down in April and put all the final details on this tour. We wanted it to go to the 30 biggest cities in the country and take the show everywhere we could, so all the fans across the country could get a chance to see this once-in-the-lifetime thing. But, you know, places, like I said, Philly, and all these other cities, the stadiums there, they just weren’t interested. They “Oh, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica will come and mess up the stadium” and blah blah blah. You know, just a lot of bad vibes from a lot of people. And it’s just like, we tried, believe me, we sat there and tormented our managers, and our booking agents and everything. “Find us a race track, find us a field,” you know, “Find us a yard... We’ll play in a sewer…” […] ”We’ll be there.” There’s like, I mean, Philadelphia is the fourth biggest market in the country and it’s like a joke that this tour isn’t going there. So believe me that we tried, so this whole thing about, well, Milwaukee, you know, that we didn’t wanna go to Milwaukee because it begins with “M,” that’s just a crock of ... beep. […] I mean, believe me, believe me, we sat down, we tried to take the city, so every big – this tour, every big city in the country that we could. And, like, I don’t wanna grovel here or apologize, but, you know, to all the kids in the cities that we’re not going to, believe me that we tried" [Rockline, July 13, 1992].

In a later interview Hetfield would also be asked about this rumor and would go far in saying it could have been true: "They have a lot of people out with them, and who knows who tells who what to do? That's basically their business. But when it comes down to ‘We can't play this city because...' now you're stepping into our territory, and we'd like to know why. We had backup plans, no doubt, in case [things] like this came up. I couldn't confirm it, but I think it did have something to do with his psychic, or his psychic’s assistant" [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

Duff, on the other hand, would vehemently deny the rumor:

That [rumor] is a complete joke. Someone told me that yesterday; that’s the first time I'd heard it. I don't know where that rumor came from. That's a blatant lie [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].
Lars would talk more about picking cities:

Lars: "We sat down and , like, basically picked the 30 biggest cities in the country. And we it came down to, like, Cleveland, Philly, Atlanta, Kansas City, places like that, they just said, “Stay away.” And, like, we tried...[…] Well, [St. Louis] was one of the cities that was picked. Believe me. But, like, the stadiums there, we tried, you know, race tracks. I mean, “If you have a field, we will show up and play in a field,” you know, “find us a sewer system and we’re there.” But I just want to tell all the kids in those cities that it’s not because we didn’t – you know, not for lack of trying, all you guys in Atlanta, and Cleveland... So you guys are gonna have to do a little driving, but, hey, we tried" [MTV, July 14, 1992].

Some shows into the tour the newspaper Star Tribune did interviews with Duff and James Hetfield where they separately were asked the same questions. One of the questions was why the tour didn't have a proper name and it is obvious the bands couldn't come to an agreement:

Who's to say what the name of this would be? Monsters of Rock is such a ridiculous name for a tour. It’s so sophomoric. Obviously, they were peddling to the 12-year-old kids who read comic books. I’m not into that commercialism type of thing. Lollapalooza, on the other hand, is cool. That's not just a tour; it's kind of an event type of thing. Clash of the Titans is catering to the comic book readers. We're rock 'n' roll bands. It's Guns Ν' Roses, Metallica and Faith No More. Need you really say more? [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992]
Hetfield: ""That was another little thing that we were trying to work out. They wanted something, we wanted something. They wanted this circus kind of vibe — Rock 'n' Roll Circus something. The words 'rock 'n' roll’ make me cringe for some reason, 'circus' as well. I don't think a name really matters. We have a T-shirt out there with both of our names on it" [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

In early 1992 it was rumored that Skid Row would be the opener of the tour, Slash would deny this and suggest it might be Nirvana:

Well, I don’t think the Skids are gonna be on it. We’re talking about doing it with Nirvana but we need to see where those guys are at. Metallica, Nirvana and us sounds pretty good to me [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
In the end it would be Faith No More that would get to open the show with a 45 minute set [Rockline, July 13, 1992; MTV, July 14, 1992].

In the first half of 1992, Slash and Matt would talk more about the upcoming tour with Metallica:

Oh, it’s gonna be great! It’s one of the things that we were talking about that was really important, that was trying to bring back that great stadium tour from the 70s, where they had all these great bands. Because, after a while, it was just, like, the headlining band and the opening band, it didn’t really matter. Now it’s, like, co-headlining. It’s two really heavy bands and Faith No More is opening, so it’s gonna be a big event. It’s gonna be an all-day thing, so bring, I don’t know, a sac lunch; and a blanket[…] I think, musically, there isn’t any kind of similarities [between GN'R and Metallica]. But, attitude-wise, there is a lot. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to do it together, because we’ve gotten really far away from conforming to the industry, and doing things our own way we’ve been successful at it. And I think we opened a lot of doors – both bands will open a lot of doors for other bands, and open up the attitude of some of these, you know, very stiff white-collar executive types over the record companies and let them know that this commercial attitude that they’ve got isn’t necessarily the way to go; there is other things happening and it definitely works. So we have that similarity and, plus, we’re just good friends. […] It’s Faith No More, Metallica and us. Metallica plays for, like, three hours. We play for, like, three hours. Faith probably play for an hour – maybe 1-1/2 hour, I’m not really sure. So, it’s definitely something to get there early for [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
We’re good friends with those guys and stuff, and we’ve got it worked out, so it’s gonna be a cool thing for everybody. It’s not gonna be, like, Guns N’ Roses is headlining and Metallica is opening. It’s gonna be, you know, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. And, you know, they’re gonna do their full set, we’re going to do our full set. And then, you know, what will happen after the end of that, it will be probably something cool [MTV, June 1992].
Well, I mean, as you know, both bands are good friends. We hang out in Hollywood and stuff together when they are there and we were there. And we just, like – I mean, literally, at bars and stuff we talked about why we should tour together. And it finally came together after a lot of, you know, bolt [MTV, July 17, 1992].
Why they wanted to do this tour: Just because we’ve been buddies for a long time. […] It was real - we’d go out, we’d get drunk and we’d go, “We should do a tour” [MTV, July 14, 1992].
When asked if the bands would be co-headlining, Slash would confirm it [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992]:

Yeah, that’s one thing, it’s a co-tour, right? So it’s Metallica and Guns, Guns and Metallica. That’s that. […] So, it’s not like anybody is trying to pull some sort of star trip. It’s really just a summer concert that's gonna be cool [MTV, July 14, 1992].
As for the layout of the stage:

We’ve come to an agreement as far as the stage goes, which is a little bit of a secret at this point. We’re trying to keep some things secret, yeah? (chuckles) [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
This is a good one, actually. Cuz we went through, like, logistics on our own, like, “Okay, what are we gonna do?” And so we figured it out, basically. You know, we have Metallica’s stage, and then, when Metallica is done – and they play forever, you know (Laughter) […] And then we go on and we do our own stage. It’s really one of those things where it’s sort of refreshing, cuz we just go out and we do our own trip and there’s no sort of, I don’t know, commercial kind of – you know, you go out and you have to this kind of production kind of thing. We go out and we do our own thing. And so everybody who’s gonna be at the show, just goes, “Oh." You know, "there it is." (chuckles) [Rockline, July 13 1992].
Lars: "We both incorporate a lot of the different things. You know, these guys have been out playing stadiums for a while in Europe and stuff, and they got their whole trip, like Slash is saying. And we’ve got our whole thing. We’ve got some ideas with the snake pit that we’ve had indoors, we’re kind of taking that along, and we’ve got some different things. So both our bands are basically gonna have to complete, you know, basically the normal surroundings that we’re used to playing in. And, you know, we’ll each play for forever, basically, so pack your lunch and don’t make any plans for the rest of the week" [Rockline, July 13 1992].

And when discussing whether the tour would also continue into Europe:

I don’t know, because we’re doing our European thing now and Metallica, if they haven’t done it already - you know, it’s gotten to that point where we’re just gonna probably do it in the States and leave it at that; cuz we still got other stuff to do after the States [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
For the tour 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].

Just before the tour Axl, Stephanie and Dylan had a vacation in Paris, France. As they returned to USA in July, just a few days before the first show on July 17, Axl was arrested when they landed in New York and then travelled to St. Louis to stand before the court. A court date was set for October and Axl was free to do the tour with Metallica. See previous chapter for more information on the St. Louis riot and its aftermath. When asked if this lead-up to the tour with Metallica would be a problem, Axl responded:

Once the music is there, it’s kind of like getting in a car and driving it when the car is completely tuned and it’s running well. And you know how to drive – drive the car. It’s like, when the band’s got the song down, I know the song [MTV, July 12, 1992].
During the Rockline interview Slash would be asked if Axl's legal problems would cause a problem for the tour:

[The tour] will start as scheduled. And Axl was really cool with the whole thing. He just went in and went, “You know, look. You can’t expedite [extradite] me” – because, you know, they can, obviously. And this situation is, he’s in the public eye to this point where he had a little sense of humor about it, and it was just like, “Alright, cool.” He’s gonna be fine. So, everything is great. […]  I can’t give you a better answer than that, just cuz he’ll be fine, and the tour is fine [Rockline, July 13, 1992].

Peter Mensch from Metallica's management team would also comment on Axl's issues: "Promoters were calling us all the time asking about the Axl and St. Louis matter. And we kept saying, 'Don't worry. We'll sort it out before the tour starts.' Doug had been assuring us that things would be OK and he delivered " [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Both Slash and Lars Ulrich would admit that the legal problems meant that many fans were hesitant to believe the tour would actually happen. Slash would use Detroit as an example:

For example, Detroit is flipping out, cuz they don’t know if we’re gonna play or not. Cuz we canceled there three times. And it’s not like we don’t wanna play Detroit. It’s just because we’ve had all these - you know, circumstances we’ll call them, which have prevented us from being able to get there. So we are playing, you know? (laughs) So if you got anybody in Detroit, that’s where, you know – we are coming [MTV, July 14, 1992].
Despite the many issues some promoters were optimistic about the tour and its effect on the industry, like Gregg Perloff from Bill Graham Presents, a San Francisco-based concert production firm:

Perloff: "I think this tour will have a huge effect. You have two major headliners playing together in a historic package. Other acts who normally tour alone are going to look at what is happening here and think it makes sense for them, too. […] This tour is a return to the spirit of the '60s and '70s, when you had lots of bands playing together . . . a time when you could see the Who and the Grateful Dead together. […] I'm also excited about the 'Lollapalooza' concept, which mixes music with other elements, from performance art to crafts, and allows greater socialization . . . something you can do every year, like going to the state fair" [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].


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