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

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

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:54 pm

AXL AND DOMESTIC ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Another chapter I might combine with another. This is about Axl's domestic abuse allegations, and his own admissions of domestic violence.

Gina Siler was an early girlfriend of Axl from Lafayette who moved with Axl to Hollywood and stayed with him there for some time. In an interview she did with Spin Magazine in 1991, she implied that Axl could get violent or at least threaten with violence:

"And I don’t think [Axl]’s even conscious of what he does, or how angry he gets. […] I always thought that there was something chemical that happened to him when he was angry. That image of him sitting in that electric chair in that video ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, looking crazed, says it all. That’s what he looks like when he’s pissed off. And when you see that coming at you from across a room, coming near you, it’s frightening as hell. And I’m not very big, and that made it even worse. I won’t go much into that" [Spin, September 1991].
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Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:10 am

HOW THE BAND MEMBERS DEALT WITH AXL DURING THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' TOURING

"It's been said that you can't consider yourself fully acquainted with Axl Rose until you have at least once wanted to tell him to fuck off. Those who know him well, though, rarely do. Because it's apparent to anyone who spends any time with him that for all of Rose's seething rage and vicious wordplays, for all the time he spends lashing out at the rest of the world, he usually isn't fighting anyone but himself" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

---------------------------------

[…] the band has always been tense, because this isn’t, like, a day job where most bands in the business nowadays just go up and they play the same; they do the show in their sleep, you know. We go up there, every night is different and we care about every single show. If something happens during one particular show, yeah, it’s tense, because the way we treat it is, you go out there and do the best possible job you can, and we do it in a way that it’s not premeditated. We just go up and just go for it right then and there [Countdown, May 1992].
A lot of that tension came from Axl's unpredictable behavior. The one that struggled the most with Axl's behavior was naturally Axl himself. It was obvious he was uncomfortable with the touring:

I pretty much could do without touring in a lot of ways. I'm not a big fan of it [Musician, June 1992].
One way for the band to deal with the messy situation was to downplay its severity, at least to the press. Like when Slash dismissed a question about why the band so frequently stopped shows [Countdown, May 1992].

For quite a while, the band's approach to Axl had been to leave him alone rather than confront him. As one band member was 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]. Many articles would also imply that the label was afraid of him and his temper and behavior and would rather accommodate him than put the foot down. Simply put, "Axl runs the group" [VOX, October 1991].

In July 1991, Matt, who was nicknamed "the Mediator" in the media [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992], would praise Axl's stubborness:

Axl's so fuckin' great. Anything he does or says, it's just because that's the way he really is. He's beyond real, ya know. I've never seen anyone dare to talk shit to him, ever. I love that [VOX, October 1991].
Yet, only a month or so later, Matt would be the one that attempted to confront Axl when he refused to return to stage in Mannheim in August:

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 [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194].
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
[Slash's autobiography, p 343-344].
And in late August, as the band visited England for their August 31 show at Wembley, it was rumored that unless Axl "continued to be difficult to work with", Matt would quit the band [Music Life, November 17, 1991]. In November, when Axl hosted the rock show Rockline, he was confronted wit the rumors that Matt would leave the band because of "arguments and that he can’t deal with the hysteria on the tour":

It got emotionally high and the tensions got high with everybody at different points. But, you know, Matt is working his ass off and he’s great. […] As Matt puts it, it’s like, you know, now and then you get the road blues. […] Matt is amazing, you know. And it’s a real pleasure to introduce him to the world in the way he de [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
In early 1992 Slash would describe himself getting labelled a mediator in the band due to his closeness with Axl:

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 [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
In mid-1992 Duff and Gilby would be asked to describe Axl:

[Axl]’s a...he’s a good guy. Everybody’s got their own personality, but he’s basically . . . he’s down to earth [Hit Parader, June 1992].
Axl and I are both from the Midwest, and we probably have more in common musically than the other members of the band. We both grew up listening to all those same silly '70s songs. And be never rides me —maybe because he thinks if he's mean to me I'll leave [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:12 am

A chapter about Axl and GN'R running into problems with other bands during the 1991-1993 touring.

Mick Wall: "Upon their arrival at the Maracana, Axl Rose announced that neither he nor Guns N’ Roses would take the stage  that night if a) Judas Priest used any of their pyrotechnics;  b) played more than one encore, c) didn’t cut their set by at least 20 minutes and d) used the motorcycle.

Eventually, after much to-ing and fro-ing of messengers between the opposing dressing rooms, it was agreed to allow Priest to play their two encores and Rob was told he could keep the motorcycle. But Priest were still forced to drop five numbers from their set... and the use of their pyrotechnics was definitely ruled out.

But if Guns N’ Roses thought that putting a vice on the performance of Judas Priest would make their own entrance more plausible, the results had exactly the opposite affect, Priest turning in a show that left the Maracana audience stunned and howling for more.

Rob Halford, in particular, was brilliant, the best I’ve seen him in years, and the band were - as advertised - pure steel.

IF ANYTHING, being treated like that only made us more determined to put on a really hard show,” said a still- pouring-with-sweat Halford afterwards. “You know, I think it sorts out the professionals — the men from the boys. I mean, we’ve dealt with all this before.

“And I think that, more than anything, when people try and pull a stunt like that on you it always backfires on them. It’s like, what are you trying to prove here anyway? Do you think that by taking away those things you’re gonna restrict the band’s ability to get a crowd reaction, or affect our performance as musicians?

“There’s no way! We’ve been around too many years to let something like that affect us. Out of all the people at this Rock In Rio festival, Priest have got the longest history. We’ve made more albums, we’ve done more festivals, we’ve done more tours.

“So it’s easier for us to handle but I still can’t understand that kind of attitude problem. It just doesn’t make sense.”

And neither did the pallid attempt at an explanation by one of the road crew offered to Steffan Chirazi and I the next day.

“Guns got pissed off when New Kids On The Block used their side-stage ramps without asking the other night,” he said with the kind of wide-eyed chewing gum sincerity only a true American flunky can summon, “and now they’re paranoid about everything.”

Well, he got that part right.

I didn’t know what to say. Steffan did, though. “Well,” he huffed as though he were about to spontaneously combust, “I think it’s come to something when Guns N’ Roses can be victimised by a bunch of miming useless twats!” Out of the mouths of babes and burger princes, as they say..." [Kerrang! January 1991].

Axl would vehemently deny this:

"We went onstage early because Judas Priest had pulled off on their own accord, and then said that we asked them to leave the stage early, trying to make us look bad. We had told Judas that they could play as long as they wanted, they could have whatever they wanted. The only thing they couldn't have, which the fire marshal wouldn't allow, was their pyro. Then Rob Halford is in magazines saying that I wouldn't allow him to have his Harley. I heard about that during the day. One of the guys who worked with us was in my room with a walkie-talkie, so I grabbed it and said, "Tell Robbie he can have anything he wants." There was no way I wasn't going to allow Judas Priest to do whatever they wanted, because I didn't want bad vibes. Judas Priest was one of the major influences on my singing because Rob Halford is one of the technically best in the world at what he does. And for me to tell them that they couldn't have their Harley is stupid! This guy was saying that I wouldn't allow it, which was a lie!" [Musician, September 1991].

During the Rock in Rio shows, Axl also had problems with Dave Mustaine from Motorhead:

"When we played at Rock In Rio II, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth had been trying to get me to hang out with him the whole show. He had all kinds of people coming up to me and asking me to talk to him and so on. But due to my past experiences with Dave Mustaine, every time I've talked to him, no matter how good the conversation or how good I thought things were, a couple of days later he would try and pull a fast move, backstabbing, just to get himself some coverage. It's just somebody I didn't want to hang out with. It was handled nicely. The only person I spent time with in any of the bands was Billy Idol. We came back to L.A. and Dave's on the radio saying that they won't be playing any dates with Guns N' Roses. That there were deaths at the show. Guns N' Roses shouldn't have played on the night that they played and all this other stuff. What Dave didn't realize is that Guns N' Roses was one of the reasons there was a Rock In Rio II. The people who ran the television station down there and were major financers wanted to see Guns N' Roses. The owner of the television station wanted to see Guns N' Roses" [Musician, September 1991].

When interviewed before the summer tour with Metallica in 1992, Jason Newsted, the bassist of Metallica, seemed to have little respect for their co-headliner Guns N' Roses:

Newated: "We go out, take care of business and we’re done. We get on the stage when we say we’re gonna get on the stage, we play what we say we’re gonna play" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

And when describing why there are no drama surrounding Metallica:

Newsted: "The people that we have working for us are the same people who have worked for us for many, many years — from stage carpenters to our guys that work on our guitars to our management. Metallica is a very fine-tuned machine. When we say we’re going to go do something, we go do it . . . We stick to our contracts and we fulfill them. […] And the music is much different. I’d say Metallica fans are a bit more loyal and a bit more rabid than Guns N’ Roses fans. I’m sure there are Guns N’ Roses fans that go crazy, but I don’t think they have the unity and the touch we have with our people. […] Our plan is to go out and play for a couple of hours and Just pummel. There’s not going to be too much talking or long solos. We plan on going out, song-to-song-to-song, and just crush. That’ll be that. Take care of business and get off stage and then they can do what they want to do" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:03 am

RIOTS

Another chapter that will be moved later.

Slash: "I read something in a magazine - it might have been a quote from me or from Axl, I can't remember - where it said we liked seeing an audience at the point where everybody's about to beat each other up and that we get off on that kind of thing... that we've generated that much excitement, that much intensity. [...] But to correct myself on anything I might have been quoted as saying in the past, I don't really want to see anybody beating themselves up, because crowd violence is not a pretty sight. […] Any individual getting hurt during a rock show really isn't what it's all about... But it is a fine line because you do generate that much of power where you can get people to go crazy like that. And it makes you crazier, and suddenly it can be like the whole place is about to explode! And that's great, but to get the crowd going that nuts you have to be able to find a way to stop it going any further from that point. You have to find a way to cool out or something fuckin' heavy will happen..." [Kerrang! April 1989].

Slash: "There's been a couple of gigs where we've had to consciously slow down a gear... Donington, of course, was one of them. There was another gig, in Upstate New York on the Aerosmith tour, which was particularly intense, too. After we got of stage, the medics booth outside, where all the casualties pass through, was just loaded with kids..." [Kerrang! April 1989].

Axl: "We generate a weird type of excitement. I mean, Izzy put it best, "When you're doing a ballad and people are killing each other in a crowd like in Weedsport, New York, beating the crap of each other, then something's wrong." We don't really understand it. We like the energy, you know. And everybody likes you to see a good bar-room brawl or something, but when it turns into such a mess, I mean, a bar-room brawl is a movie, it's not real life" [MTV Documentary, November 1989].

Duff: "There's some fierce stuff happening there, you know. It's a lot of pain and a lot of.....Uhm, violence, you know. When we get together it's a lot of violence.... and it's just a lot of stuff. We've lost a lot of friends last couple years, together all of our, you know, lots of friends, you know. It's a lot of stuff we've gone through together, and we get on stage all five of us together, it comes out" [MTV Documentary, November 1989].

Duff: I mean, I’m not trying to one-up on any... okay? But I’ve been in, like, 30 (?). 30 bands, you know? And it’s not like this. It’s different, you know? I think maybe because, I mean, it’s always on the edge. It’s always... Anything could happen any time, a riot could break out, because we’re so much on the edge [Backstage on June 7, aired on Much Much, July 1991].
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Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:06 am

OCTOBER 30, 1996 - SLASH LEAVES THE BAND

A quote for the future, a little premonition:

"The volatile chemistry between [Axl and Slash] puts them in the highest class, yet their inherent passion and pyromanic personalities will inevitably blow the partnership assunder sooner or later" [RAW Magazine, May 1989].

Slash being asked if he can see himself leave the band: Not really. I don't look at things in those terms, much. I'm not the kind of guy that has a secret Plan B ready to swing into operation if anything should ever go wrong with this band. We love each other too much as friends for me to worry my ass off about whether we might split up one day [Kerrang! July 1988].

Slash: "Sometimes you go 'What the fuck is it for?' Then you try to look where to escape to and there's nowhere to go. We been doing it for so long that we really would all feel sorta lost and lonely if it fell apart and we had to go out and do solo records. Because it wouldn't be Guns. None of us could reproduce that. Axl's got so much charisma - he's one of the best singers around. It’s his personality. He can go out and do something. What freaks me out is if the band falls apart, I'll never be able to shake the fact that I'm the ex-Guns n' Roses guitar player. And that's almost like selling your soul" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

Slash: "No, my bond with this group is pretty much in my blood. What can I do? It's like if I have to put it down to, 'Well, do you want to keep playing? Or, 'are you gonna get out?' I want to keep playing and that's what keeps me alert and dealing with some of the really crazy shit that goes down" [RAW, October 1991].

Slash: "The only thing that is really, really secure is the relationship between the members of the band and with the people that we work with" [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
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Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:20 am

POLITICAL ORIENTATION

During the show at Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis on July 22, 1992, Axl "blasted Indiana for being the conservative, backward state that sent Dan Quayle to the vice presidential office" [Journal and Courier, July 24, 1992].

Our government talks about freedom and liberty while they exercise and maintain and enforce and strive for and fight for all the control they can have over the people. Since day one we've been taught to support our own oppression, and I think it's time for things to change[RIP, September 1992].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:26 pm

SLASH'S SNAKEPIT

Already back in August 1991, when Guitar Player interviewed him, Slash was thinking about doing a record with another band:

Slash: "But if we take a long hiatus again, I'd like to put out, not really a solo record, but something with another band—a temporary thing that I'd control. It would be geared towards an almost heavy metal funk-rock concept—music with killer rock and roll vocals and the most awesome riffs. Almost like "Jungle," only a little bit tighter and heavier. A long time ago, Aerosmith got close; Beck has a couple of magic moments too. But I don't want it to be a guitar record where I'm off on some solo trip, 'cause I think that's really boring" [Guitar Player, December 1991].
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Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:16 am

1993 - THE SKIN AND BONES TOUR

Slash: "We still feel there is a lot we want to do with the "Illusion" material. We have been touring for a year and a half to this point, but we have all these Metallica shows left, then a Brazilian tour and maybe a little club thing in the U.S. next year where we go out and play all our thrash stuff" [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
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