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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 Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:26 am

JUNE 1987 - THE BAND TRAVELS TO ENGLAND

The EP Live! Like a Suicide was released in December 1986 without causing much of a stir except for in England where it gained some cult popularity. Kerrang! magazine even sent a photographer to Los Angeles to shoot the band for a cover article in early 1987 (The interview was released in June 1987). This interview took place at Rumbo Studios.

Six months after the release of the EP, in June 1987, and still without having released Appetite for Destruction, the band travelled to London for three shows at the Marquee in London. Originally this was intended as only one gig, but the first show sold out quickly, so another was added, and a third.

[...] Alan [Niven] came to us and announced, "You all gotta get passports, we're going to England" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 124].
At least parts of the Marquee shows were taped "on a mobile unit by British producer Vic Maile" [Kerrang! March 1989]. Songs off this recording would variously be used as B-sides on the band's singles, including 'Whole Lotta Rosie' which was the B-side on the band's first single, 'Welcome to the Jungle' after being mixed by Mike Clink.

Playing in London was the first experience Guns N' Roses would have with touring abroad and being celebrity rock stars.

Bars close too early, they drive on the wrong side of the street, they talk funny. […] We got thrown out of a few clubs [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987.
Great hash [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987.
One of the clubs they visited in London was the legendary Limelight (the band would later play an acoustic gig at its sister club in New York on January 31, 1988). At this club it was reported that Slash got in a fight with Cobalt Stargazer, the singer of Zodiac Mindwarp, when he hit on his girlfriend, but Duff would later claim it was just exaggerated in the press (Endless Party Magazine, August 1987). They would also party with Lemmy from Motorhead [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].

At soundcheck before the first show on June 19, 1987, the band tried 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' for the first time, and debuted it on the first show at the Marquee. The shows themselves were a success and the band appreciated their popularity.

The gigs were great. We played three gigs at the Marquee and they were all sold out. Kids line up at three in the afternoon, like two streets down. We'd walk up and all these kids knew who we were just by sight. There's really no rock n' roll over there, so we got there and the kids were just waiting and waiting. All the old Hanoi Rocks fans. There's the fans there, but there's just no bands. The kids are looking for a band they can all cling on to [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987.
The press in England loved writing about Guns N' Roses, often to the dismay of the band:

Talking about his dog, Torque: That's the famous dog they said I'd go murdering[...] I don't like poodles. Little poodles. I told some guys everything about poodles makes you want to kill them so the next thing you know there's this magazine in England, and it wasn't even a rock magazine, it was like a magazine that talks [?] about all kinds of things in the world and stuff and it talks about this band in L.A. where this guy's a self-confessed poodle murderer. So then they have like the National Enquirer type papers over there, you know, that sadly started all this stuff, and all those things came out calling me a dog butcher and that I was beastier than Beastie Boys [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
The band would later grow more and more frustrated with the media, especially in the early 90s.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:34 am

July 1987 - The Death of Todd Crew

As mentioned before, Todd was a great fan and friend of the band and played with them in the Drunk Fux.

Todd had been part of the band's inner circle from the beginning. He was a shit-kicking, hard-drinking, exceptionally cool guy. He played bass in another band called Jetboy that originated in San Francisco. When they kicked Todd out of Jetboy, we were the first band to tell them, "Screw you, you're done as far as we're concerned. You're never gonna do shows with us" [[Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 119]]
After returning from their successful stint in England, the band had about a month to kill before they would tour opening for The Cult. Slash flew to New York City to meet with merchandising companies, and Todd Crew came with him. Todd was intended to stay with the band during the tour as Duff's bass tech. In Steven's biography he mistakenly claims that this happened when Slash flew to New York City for mixing Appetite, months earlier.

During their stay in New York, on July 18, 1987, three days before the release of Appetite for Discussion, Todd overdosed on heroin and died.

I don't know what happened exactly, because I wasn't there. I heard that he and Slash were partying, shooting heroin, and Todd passed out. Slash and Todd must have gotten separated at some point and Todd overdosed and died. [...] The band had friends who were so close, so devoted, that we considered them to be members of GNR who merely didn't appear onstage. Todd was one of these, and I truly felt I had lost a brother [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 119]
[Todd] died in a hotel room in New York a while back. We'd copped some stuff and he got it right there. I tried to bring him back... and he was like my best, best friend [Musician, December 1988].
The band was later to regularly dedicate live performances of 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' to Todd's memory.

Axl when asked what his greatest regret is:

That I didn't talk to Todd Crew before he went to New York. I felt a massive need to talk to him out of concern for his well-being. But I wasn't aware enough to realize I didn't have the time I thought I did. I thought I'd have time later... [Rolling Stone, August 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:47 am

JULY 1987 - THE RELEASE OF APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

Appetite for Destruction was released in US on July 21, 1987.

We got hold of everybody who was anybody n our lives to get together at the Hell House for the "unofficial world premiere." It was to be our first listen to our new album. [...] Slash and I hugged; we were so happy. We listened to both sides, pretty much saying, "Oh yeah, that's working, that sounds cool," throughout. [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 121]
According to Steven's biography, his happiness with hearing the final result was not subdued by the fact that Slash had changed a drum part on 'Paradise City' in postproduction [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 121].

The band had settled on 'Appetite for Destruction' as the name of the record, which was also the name of the chosen artwork for the cover:

[Welcome to the Jungle] was gonna be the title of the record until the title of the original painting was Appetite For Destruction, and we really liked it, cause I break everything around me anyway. That was the title of the Robert Williams painting. He named it. We ended up deciding we really liked it, so we just went with it [Rock Scene, June 1988].
Being asked if there was anything they would have changed with the record if they could:

No, the only thing I would like to do is I wish we would have more time to mix but we were working on a release date. There were a couple of songs where I feel we didn't have the time to get just right. 'Paradise City' I think could have been a little clearer. But, you know, we were making two songs per day to make the release date, you know, and there were all kinds of reasons why we had to make that release date, like getting the record out before [?] down in the month of August, and things like that. There was all kinds of reasons why we had a certain amount of time that we have it get it done. So we just did the best we could in that amount of time, we didn't really compromise, you know, we still, I think, hit pretty close to the mount [?] we wanted to hit. There isn't really anything we want to change. There's two words in that whole record that I didn't quite say the way I wanted to, and I forgot which ones they were, didn't have time to go back to find them and redo them. And they are not out of key, so no one else knows it. I am the only one who personally knows it [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
Artistically, with the album, I got exactly what I wanted. I wish we would’ve had a little bit more time to do some mixing. The guys were mixing our record, and one of them had heart problems and had to go to the hospital, which knocked off three days [L.A. Weekly, June 1988].
It doesn’t matter, it’s like there’s little things here and there, where you know you would have liked it a bit different, but it doesn’t matter cause it’s done. It’s there, and you might as well like it cause if you don’t you can put yourself into an early grave worrying about something that you can’t do shit about [Late Night Bull, December 1987].
In March or April 1989, Slash would on the contrary claim their "first album wasn't all that good, I don't think" [Kerrang! April 1989].

In June 1988, Axl was asked if the record would have turned out differently if they had produced it themselves:

There may have been a different track or two just because we're working with other people, and when you're working with other people they have their input on which tracks are the best, and stuff like that. It didn't really bother us, not a whole lot. If we had more time, I think we might have gotten a bit more of a better mix.

Actually, the record's pretty much co-produced, but we got a really good deal from our producer since he wanted to break into producing, and get credits for producing. If we gave him full credit on the record, it would help him a lot in the business. But especially Izzy, Slash, and myself were there every step of the way, so it was pretty much co-produced. We were in on the mixing and stuff, and usually the guys who mix the records never have anybody in the studio when they do that. We were there the whole time
[Rock Scene, June 1988].
And Slash was asked in September 1988 to describe his and Izzy's playing styles on the record:

The funny thing about Izzy and I is that we each play what we want, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It can be frustrating for me because he's very stubborn. He plays very lightweight, sort of Keith Richards style, whereas if I want a heavy riff, I'll want a heavy riff, I'll want us both to play it to make it really stick out. There's a lot of songs on our album I'm really not happy with that way: 'Welcome to the Jungle,' for instance. Sometimes Duff will beef it up, like the riff in 'Paradise City.' I'm a little more knowledgeable on guitar; Izzy's a good songwriter with a great sense of style [Musician, December 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:05 am

ARTWORK AND LYRICAL CONTENT CONTROVERSY

The original artwork proved to be controversial:

[Robert Williams]'s like a major underground comic's artist, and paints like one oil painting the size of a window a week! That painting was actually the size of a wall and sold in 1978 for like $10,000 and we leased it from him. But I found it on the cover of a book that he had put out, in a place called the Soap Plant in L.A. I found it and I thought "Wow, that is an intense picture, man." I'd never seen anything like it, and then I went back to buy it and it was gone.

Then I found it on a postcard, submitted it as a joke, and everybody liked it. I wanted it as the cover, but I thought we could never use it even though it was so intense. I just wanted to show everybody, and we all decided to use it. It was really weird that I found it on the cover of a book to begin with, because it's something that's out of print and it's a collector's item, and the Soap Plant shouldn't have had it to begin with. It goes for like $7,500 bucks now, and it was $11 dollars when I found it! When I met the artist and told him where I had found the book, he said it was impossible. So, it was really kinda like a coincidence that we found it. I think it was meant to be, cause even though it's been banned a lot of places, and Warner Brothers refused to print it, so we had to get an outside printer, but now they stockpile it in their warehouse because they get so many demands for it. Where at the time they were gonna make just a few, now and then. I feel that we've got this piece of art work, and some people just go "Wow, gnarly cover," but I think there's a lot of people out there that can really appreciate the artwork of it, and that's what I wanted to show them
[Rock Scene, June 1988].
Warner Brothers was Guns N' Roses' parent label and they allegedly sent angry letters to have the cover replaced [Spin, May 1988].

We didn't put that out to outrage people. I thought it was a very cool piece of art that would stand the test of time. I don't think it was encouraging sexual abuse at all. I think it's an idea in people's heads that she is attractive, a sexual fantasy. Like, this poor girl got abused and you're thinking about how your husband wants to fuck her so you're upset. People get scared of their own thoughts [Musician, December 1988].
[…] we got a few letters [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].
There was really no significant reasons, you know, except for that it was a cool painting. You know, there was no discriminatory thing with that, you know, as far as women are concerned, you know, and anything like that. It was just a painting that looked really cool, it looked really dynamic, and it was, like, who wanted to sit for two hours and think about what was gonna be the cover. And we saw the picture, “Oh, that’s fine, yeah, sure - let’s use that”. (Laughs). And then there’s this line “Appetite for Destruction” on the bottom. And we said, “We don’t have to think about the title, either! [?] It’s perfect [Super Channel, October 1987].
It had a picture of this chick flashin’ her panties at you. […] The next album should have someone giving the finger on it [Rock City News, January 1988].
We got some complaints from people, organizations, as well as David Geffen [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].
I can’t believe everyone made such a big deal out of a postcard [Spin, May 1988].
Because of this, the Robert Williams artwork was removed to the inner sleeve and replaced with Axl's cross tattoo. Only 30,000 copies with the original artwork was produced [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987]. But hiding the controversial artwork in the inner sleave was not good enough, though, and in October 1988 MTV would report that stored selling the record were picketed by people protesting against the "pro-rape" and "sexist" inner sleeve [MTV, October 1988], resulting in some stores refusing to sell the record [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

In addition to this, the record had to have a warning sticker due to its mature lyrical content and swearing.

The sticker, the sticker are pointless. The sticker means nothing either way. And if I don't say the word 'fuck', or whatever, on the next record that is just because it wasn't put in that song. You know, it's nothing to do with… we don't write songs based on trying to get sales or anything else, we just write songs on how we feel and how we're writing that particular song. […] I would have said exactly what it says and everything on a big list, "This album contains the word 'fuck' at least 27 times" [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987].
The PMRC can't win - if there are warning stickers on albums, it's only going to sell more records. The whole rebellion thing is what makes everything so great. It keeps the wheels turning [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:51 am

HOW TO SELL A RECORD

The record sold slowly at first, and the band would blame this partly on radio stations for not playing their songs, including their first single, 'Welcome to the Jungle', which was released on September 28, 1988:

[...] it's been going up and down, between 60 and 50 for the last month and a half. It's doing okay with very little radio play and limited video play. So, for that it's doing great. Especially since we are a new band, you know, people don't really know who you are. It's doing really good. We're hoping to put out a video for 'Sweet Child' and that should move things up a little more. The record's selling alright. [...] You know, people think every song on our record has the word 'fuck'. Four songs have obscenities in them, four songs. Not twelve, four. You know, and we're were not asking them to play those four, you know, pick one of the others. Also, that, you know, we have loud guitars, real guitars, real drums. [...] I'm getting limited by a radio station that plays 'Welcome To The Jungle' as a joke because they've got all these papers and everything sat on it. They play it as a joke, a top-40 station, [?] said we're the number one request so that they decide definitely not to play it. That makes me mad. That frustrates me. People are scared that they're going to open up a can of worms and what really frustrates me is the fact that fucking radio is basically run by advertising dollars. We are not talking money, okay, we are not talking art, we are not talking music, we're talking, "What kinda of music can we play that we can get this guy to put his commercials on our radio station so we can make lots of money?" You know, to me that's, I mean, then you have no business being in radio. Get the fuck out. Go home. If you want a job like that then work in a factory or something. Get the fuck out of this and leave these people that really care about their music alone, because these people are screwing with my bank accounts when I am being sincere, I got some insincere fuck worried about paying his rent so he is kissing ass and playing Madonna songs that he hates and he won't play Guns N' Roses that he loves. That guy's fucking with my bank account. I don't like wimps like that. That makes me mad [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987]
Well, there was profanity all over the album, and radio didn't want to touch us. People wouldn't play us 'cause of the original album cover, MTV wouldn't touch us [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989]
Still, the label did not throw in the toler and gave up on the band because the record continued to sell, despite its low exposure [Los Angeles Times, July 1988]. By April 1988, the record reached Billboard top 10 [Rock Scene, April 1988]. As Rosenblatt would recall: "That told us we were onto something, even if radio or MTV didn't get it. We kept thinking--'Just think what we could sell if MTV really played the clip? Or if we miraculously had a hit single?" [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].

Axl's hope was that releasing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' as a single would help them:

[...] we're hoping 'Sweet Child' will have a chance to get through in a lot of ways, you know, we don't know. I think it should, you know, and I believe it should and I don't see any problem with that. I can see the hassles with 'Jungle,' I can see the hassles with 'It's So Easy,' definitely, I can see the hassles with 'Paradise City' because it's really long and the verses are a little bit too heavy for a lot of radio stations. But I don't see a problem with 'Sweet Child' and I didn't write 'Sweet Child' to get it on radio but I don't see the problem with it doing that. And it doesn't do it, then someone's just slamming the door on us, purposely [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987]
And according to Duff, it did:

You should have seen the difference in crowd reaction before and after that single came out. Before, only the people up front knew who we were. People came to see us who were our fans, and there weren't very many, to tell you the truth. Afterwards, when that song came on, all the cigarette lighters switched on and everybody was on their feet. It was amazing, like night and day. And it happened that quickly, too. […] I've actually seen a full-on preppy guy - the type who wouldn't even say hi to me - whistling that song. I stopped dead in my tracks and just stared at this guy [Circus Magazine's Readers Poll, February 1989].
The band also had to make sacrifices when they released radio edits of songs and music videos:

Since this is our first record, we had to make compromises to get a certain level of sales so that we could get a certain level of power to do exactly what we wanted next time around. [...]Like, with 'Sweet Child,' the video version will be... they'll be an even shorter version put out for the single. To me, that's like a heart-wrenching compromise, and I just don't like to make any compromises with our art, so it's really hard for me to live with an edit or anything. At the same time, I can see what it will do for us, but I have to keep weighing back and forth, what's it gonna do to me? I don't know. It's something that I have to live with and figure out what my values and things are. I don't want to end up like a lot of bands that have been out playing the circuit for so long and they want to make this amount of money, and be looked at a certain way, so they'll do whatever they have to do to their song. They'll delete all the hard rock or mellow the guitars out for a version of it. If that's something I set out to do, fine. If I want to put out three versions of a song, that's one thing. But if I'm doing it just to get sales, that will really bum me out [Rock Scene, April 1988].
We're not a product to be sliced up. Editing really sucks...that's not what we're all about. ['Sweet Child'] was our first experience with a single, so we didn't know what was going on. [The editing] was done behind our backs, and we're not gonna let it happen again. [...][We've shot] a video for 'Paradise City' in Giants Stadium and at Donington. Whether or not we'll release it as a single, I can't really say. They'll take the whole thing or nothing - we're not gonna let them edit this one [Circus Magazine, November 1988].
We weren’t too proud of editing use of our songs purely for radio purposes, but we finally broke down and did it anyway at the request of our record company. We figured if it will wake that many more people aware of us who normally wouldn’t be, then cool [Hit Parader, July 1989].
Not that any of our songs compare, but if you hear a short version of "Layla," I think you're gonna be pissed off, especially if you're planning on hearing the big piano part at the end. I hate the edit of "Sweet Child o' Mine." Radio stations said, "Well, your vocals aren't cut." My favorite part of the song is Slash's slow solo; it's the heaviest part for me. There's no reason for it to be missing except to create more space for commercials, so the radio-station owners can get more advertising dollars. When you get the chopped version of "Paradise City" or half of "Sweet Child" and "Patience" cut, you're getting screwed [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

Geffen president Eddie Rosenblatt made a personal effort to make MTV air the 'Welcome to the Jungle video: "Rosenblatt started sending its execs a weekly computer run of the band's record sales. Impressed, MTV put the "Welcome" video into its "Headbanger's Ball" program" [Los Angeles Times, July 1988]. When MTV's Headbanger's Ball played 'Welcome to the Jungle', the record and single sales picked up quickly. Geffen responded by promptly re-releasing the 'Welcome' single [Los Angeles Times, July 1988]. This increase in sales coincided with Guns N' Roses touring with Mötley Crue, and more and more of the audiences seemed to appreciate the opening band.

Steven would describe the breakthrough this way:

Even though we had shot it, our video was not getting played. David Geffen had to call in a huge favor from the head of MTV to get one fucking airing of "Welcome to the Jungle." They tried to bury it at like five A.M. on a Sunday morning. But guess who's wide awake at that hour on a Sunday and just getting in from a night of partying? That's right, kiddies, GNR Nation! Legend has it that "Welcome to the Jungle" hadn't even gotten done with its one airing and the MTV switchboard was lighting up like a Christmas tree. They were all demanding to know one thing: when would MTV be airing the video again? [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 143]
And Slash:

The problem, from what we understand, is that new people took over MTV right about the time our first clip came out. They didn’t know anything about rock and roll, and their main concern was just not to offend anyone. And you know that when it comes to not offending people, you’re dealing with the wrong guys when you’re dealing with us. But once we did get the clip on the air, the response was incredible. Yeah, we flipped when it made it all the way to the top of their dial-in show. That proved the fans really were behind us [Hit Parader, October 1988]
The band's almost constant touring activity surely also helped. On August 6, 1988, almost exactly a year after its release, the record reached the number one spot on the Billboard sales list in USA [Circus Magazine, November 1988; Rolling Stone, November 1988].

We were in a place called Sandstone, just outside of Kansas City, when we found out. And we were like, 'Ok, we're Number One.' There was no big fanfare. It was during our soundcheck, so we didn't even celebrate or anything. Geffen sent us a cake, though [Circus Magazine, November 1988].
It's kinda like those Izod shirts that were fashionable once, a while back. We're cool to like now. Six months ago, kids were afraid to like GNR because their parents, teachers, or friends would come down on 'em. When I was on the track [in high school], if you said you liked Alice Cooper, you had to run an extra lap [Circus Magazine, November 1988].
Now it's cool to like us. And don't get me wrong, we're all happy and everything that we went Number One, and that so many people like us now. But it's gotten to the point where you walk down the street and you'll see some preppy guy singing 'SCOM' and you'll go 'wait a minute...' [Circus Magazine, November 1988].
I mean, did that really happen to us? It's like, there's that, and then there's regular life. The rest is just words and numbers that don't really mean a thing [Kerrang! December 1988].
The single 'Sweet Child O' Mine' was released in August 1988 and went to no. 1 three weeks later. Another sales pull came when 'Welcome to the Jungle' (and band members) were featured in the Clint Eastwood movie 'The Dead Pool', allegedly after a suggestion by business affairs executive Debbie Reinberg. The song played throughout the film's heavily-publicized 90-second trailer [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].

I'm a little disappointed that it's not a better film, but the trailer is really spectacular. And I'm sure it helped our momentum. After all, it was on practically every TV station in the entire country [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].
Actually the film isn’t very good. The trouble was that we were so naive and green about the movie business that in the end we came across as kinda dumb. Perhaps we shoulda asked more questions about what was going on. And I can’t help feeling that Eastwood fucked us over with his direction. In fact, Clint didn’t talk to us much on the set at all. We had very little contact with him. Just about the only thing he said to us was, ‘Hey, great album’ [Raw Magazine, July 1989].
With the success of Appetite, the label started to push the band into milking the success:

Because of the success of the record, everybody in the business is getting so damn excited. (mimicking) "Gee, we have such a big seller now, we can push this one." So because in the record company world, our album has been moved into a position where it's now the record to push. And with us being out on the road all the time, things are getting goddamned out of hand! There's people preparing to put out different mixes and edits of songs before we even get a chance to get a grip on what's going on. It's really not a representation of what our band stands for… or what our sound is. Hopefully, what will happen is they'll do their bull, we'll sell another million records, and that'll give us more power next time to say, "No, you sons of bitches." […] it's rough to hear about some of our "b"-sides being put out while we're on the road and can do nothing about it. We only hear about it after they go on and do it and we ask, "What do you mean?" It gets kinda weird with people taking liberties with your music. We could throw a big monkey wrench into the thing but that would mean a complete halt and right now we don't wanna do that, so we're gonna have to put up with this over the next few months and we're not real happy about it or proud of it. We'll show a change by our next record and I just hope the kids out there don't think we're coming out with some of the stuff they'll wind up seeing… because it has nothing to do at all with us. Y'know, you battle to a certain point and all of a sudden you're face to face with the big monkey-making machine [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:53 am

EXPLAINING THE SUCCESS OF APPETITE

When asked about why Appetite became so successful, the band showed humility:

When we went gold I was surprised. When we went platinum I was shocked. The fact that we broke the top ten is unreal. I mean, this isn't supposed to happen. This isn't right [Scene Magazine, April 1988].
That void is something I was looking at for a long time. The punk movement was dying out, and there were all these metal bands starting up, so [guitarist] Izzy and I put out these ads for a guitarist for a “punk metal glam thrash band.” So we were looking to fill this void. Now it’s starting to get across in a big way. For a time there, we didn’t think it was going to. I thought after Poison we’d be welcomed with open arms as the logical next step. It didn’t quite happen the way we thought it would. But now it’s starting to explode. It took a lot of patience. When we first started out this band was banned. No one wanted to book us, manage us, take us on tour or play us on the radio. Now our video’s been in the Top 5 on MTV for nine weeks [L.A. Weekly, June 1988].
Being asked why he think they reached no. 1: I'm not sure. I think the only reason it could have possibly gone to Number One is we're filling some sort of void. That's really the only thing I can attribute it to. It's not because the songs are all huge hits - that's the last thing they are, they're just a bunch of dirty rock 'n' roll songs. So I figure, we're just like the resident down and dirty rock band in town at the moment. Everybody wants to have that record because it's not really that safe... and it looks cool next to George Michael records in their collection [Kerrang! December 1988].
What is the reason? Timing. We didn't time it, it wasn't like, "Okay guys, let's get together here in 1985 and then," but it was just, we're at the right time at the right place, you know. There wasn't very many honest bands [Japanese TV, December 1988].
It's not that we are that great or anything, but at least, you know, at least we're realistic and we're sincere about what we do. […] we're like affected by shit the same way that most normal people are affected. We don't, like, pose so that we can fit into the business. So it's like you don't get up in the morning depressed and you put on a smile on your face and go out to the offices and start going through the bullshit. We're, like, get up depressed, go to work depressed, and it's like, you know, one way or the other, you know. If we're happy, we're happy. That's just the way it is. So the album is, sort of like, very emotional, you know, and all the shit we do is usually very emotional. We have a really shitty crowd we get, you know, affected by it, we get pissed off, sometimes we really insult [?] the crowds because it's like, "Well, fuck you!" [laughter]. So somehow, I guess, that works, I guess. I mean, I don't think we would be as popular in 1976 or 77 as we are now because it was, I think there was more bands sort of like us. So I think would have been different. But we're the only band like us right now so it's just timing and shit, you know […] [Japanese TV, December 1988].
[…]Aerosmith and AC/DC were still around, they're great bands, but I think kids, you know, of the late 80s here didn't really have a band who were their peers to cling on to […] [Interview Sessions, December 1988].
[…]everybody asks us that question, like, "Why do you think you guys have hit this point". It's a hard question to answer. I think one of the main things is that we sort of, like, filled, you know, a gap in music business right now, because for the last, since 1970-1980 it's been pretty bland as far as rock and roll is concerned, and so at least, if nothing else, the attitude of the band has come over and people are like, "Yeah!". I mean, that's sort of, like, what rock and roll is all about. And also that freedom-kind-of-thing [Interview Sessions, December 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:25 am

THE BAND'S FIRST MUSIC VIDEOS

It is clear that Axl already a year before 'Welcome' were to be released, had a plan for the video's thematic content:

[Our first video] is going to be realistic and it might show a lot of violence so it might get banned. There's a lot of violence in the world. That's the environment we live in and we like to show what we live in rather than hide it and act like everything is nice and sugary.

Everybody likes to paint their pretty pictures, but that just ain't how it is. It just seems easier to know the rougher side [of life] than the more pleasant side just because it's more readily accessible
[Los Angeles Times, 1986.06.07.
According to Vicky Hamilton, the Welcome to the Jungle video was partly inspired by the Faces Of Death series of snuff video clips which Axl had studied in detail while living in her apartment [Vicky Hamilton, "Appetite For Dysfunction", 2014, p. 134]. The band had paid for news footage that didn't make it into the final edit:

There's a few changes been made to this video. We bought actual news footage that had been shown on television from NBC and CBS and ABC, but we had to cut a lot of that out[MTV Headbanger's Ball, 1987.10.24].
Despite cutting a lot of the footage out, the video was controversial and received little airplay. In July 1988 Geffen President Eddie Rosenblatt would refer to the low initial sales of the 'Welcome to the Jungle' single as a "flop".

For the video to 'Sweet Child', Axl had plans:

We did "Sweet Child" the other night and I wasn't thrilled with it. I like where we have the band playing live, and working on that. Other than that, I have to see what came out. We filmed a lot of stuff with us just hanging out, so I have to see that. What we did, the filming, was pretty fun, but some things came up, like "Sweet Child" is used when they roll the credits to the movie Bad Dreams, and we had come up with this whole concept of how we were gonna film our video in an insane asylum, then when we went and saw the screening of the movie and no one, including our manager, knew that the whole movie was filmed inside an insane asylum! That kind of shot down all the fun. I really wanted to do the conceptual footage, and we really didn't do any for this video. So that's the part that I guess, that little bit of acting, that I like doing [Rock Scene, June 1988].
Axl would later get to make conceptually complex music videos for singles for the Use Your Illusion albums.

After 'Sweet Child' and 'Paradise City' they did a video for Patience, the only single from GN'R Lies. Then in the beginning of 1989 they decided to make a video for their first single, 'It's So Easy':

[…] well ... we're gonna have a home video, at some point. So we wanted to do some stuff that was, like, no-holds-barred, uncensored things... Not worrying about whether MTV's gonna play it, y'know? Just go out there and do a fuckin' blown-out realistic video... […] I don't really give a shit [if MTV plays it], to tell you the truth... I mean, we've done three videos already- four videos now, with 'Patience' - and this is more or less just for us, so we're just gonna put the harshest stuff in it, you know, and leave it like that. I really don't care if MTV or anyone else plays it or not, it'll just be there all the same, and if people wanna see it bad enough, they'll find it . .. [Kerrang! April 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:37 am

February-September 1987 - Cancelled tours

The label and band was scrambling to get the band out on the road to support the newly released record.

Playing with all these bands that we’ve listened to for years. Getting an opportunity to play with people who we respect. To go out there and to kick as much ass as we can! [Concert Shots, May 1986].
We’re looking for a tour bus. A big, black tour bus with a skull on the front and a harem inside, like an opium den [Rock Scene, September 1987].
I’d love to tour with AC/DC, Aerosmith, or Motley Crue [Metal Edge, March 1987].
But landing the right tours proved difficult. The band was gaining a very bad reputation and Appetite was initially not selling very well.

According to Steven in his biography, the first plans were to do a tour with Stryper or with Y&T, but these all fell apart [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 130].

They were also supposed to open for David Lee Roth in February-March 1987, but this tour was allegedly cancelled when Roth heard that "one or more of the band were about to enter a rehab clinic for drug problems". In Hit Parader in October 1988, it would be stated that the actual reason the David Lee Roth tour didn't happen, was due to Axl's unpredictable behavior, to which Slash would state:

Hey. I don’t think it’s fair to dump everything on Axl. We ended up getting the Aero­smith tour, so we probably got the best tour for us of the four. There were some problems with Roth because his people got wind of those rumors about Axl and that the band was breaking up. They really never bothered to confirm what they heard. If they had, I think we would have been able to patch everything up [Hit Parader, October 1988]
Then they lost a tour with AC/DC [Hit Parader, March 1989; Juke Magazine, July 1989], because AC/DC "wanted to hold their pay as security for three weeks, and then planned to kick them off the tour at the end of the grace period; they declined the offer" [Spin, May 1988]. This must have been devastating to Slash who had said that opening for AC/DC would be "a total turning point in my life" [Concert Shots, May 1986]. Hit Parader would again claim the real reason was Axl's behavior [Hit Parader, October 1988].

They also said a planned a European tour with Aerosmith in September 1987 that fell apart in "the 11th hour" [Kerrang! March 1989], allegedly because Aerosmith hadn't got their new record out [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987]. This record was Permanent Vacation and it was released on August 21, 1987, so it doesn't make entire sense timing-wise. Aerosmith would tour this album in 1988 and Guns N' Roses would join them in July-September for that tour.

In 1988 they would also be refused to join the Monster of Rock tour which featured Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come, to which Slash would comment:

I mean, what am I going to do? Get the bassist from Van Halen or Judas Priest strung out on something? We’re just a bunch of kids, you know [Spin, May 1988]
An early 1987 tour with Iron Maiden was also allegedly in the works, but cancelled due to Axl's reputation [Hit Parader, October 1988], although the band would tour with Iron Maiden later in 1987.

In the autumn of 1988 they also planned a European tour with Metallica, but this was shelved when they decided to take a break after the Aerosmith tour [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:37 am

August 1987 - OPENING FOR THE CULT

Despite the problems getting tours, the band started their first proper tour in August 1987, opening for the Cult across Canada and USA. The first show was in Halifax, Canada, August 14, 1987. On crossing the border to Canada, Axl was arrested for trying to bring in a stun gun, allegedly the only time in 1987 he was arrested [Spin, January 1988].

They would tour with the Cult until September 1987. Despite having just released Appetite for Destruction in the US, they band was given no airtime on MTV and no one knew who they were. It didn't help that the Canadian release data was 6 weeks after the US release date. For most shows they played for a small audience who were waiting for the main act.

The Cult and GNR got along phenomenally well, and we had a great time together. They always had catering at sound check, great food that positively spoiled us. During our set, Axl made it a point to announce to the crowd how great the Cult was to us [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 131].
"It was a good tour for us. Both bands got on real well together, and they were nicer to us than most headlining bands are expected to be. It was a good start [Kerrang! March 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:23 am

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 1987 - HEADLINING IN EUROPE AND USA

After touring with the Cult, the band had planned to open for Aerosmith in Europe, but the pulled out in the "11th hour" [Kerrang! March 1989]. Instead of scrapping the plans altogether, they decided to headline with Faster Pussycats as their opener. The band thus went to Germany, Holland and UK as headlining acts (September 29 - October 8, 1987).

Slash would not be too positive about the five UK shows they did:

When [the next LP] comes out, we're all very adamant about going to England first to tour... It seems like out of everywhere we've played we've sort of, like, cut England short. We haven't given it, I dont think, enough of our time. I mean, we did a tour in England with Faster Pussycat, and there were a couple shows that were great, bit the whole tour itself was sort of half-assed. It was only five shows and I don't think we gave enough in a lot of those shows... [Kerrang! April 1989].

In September Axl's voice was in trouble again and the band was starting to feel exhausted:

[...] Axl's voice is getting to the point where he can't keep going. Everybody's been having a good time. The thing is, we're burned out[Musician, December 1988].

After returning to US, they toured the East Coast (October 16, November 1, 1987), supported by EZO who were also on Geffen which, according to Axl, "made it really easy just to do quickly" [Rock City News, January 1988]. During this touring Axl was "fighting a see-saw battle with a tenacious case of laryngitis" [BAM, November 1987]. Slash also fell out of the tour bus in October when travelling in upstate New York:

Slash fell against me and I fell out of the chair straight to the ground, about five feet. Concussion time. Knocked out. They thought I was dead [BAM, November 1987].
Some memorable shows during this period of touring Appetite for Destruction, was at the Hammersmith Odeon in London (October 8) which according to Mick Wall was a fantastic show [Kerrang! March 1989]; at The Ritz in New York City (October 23) where Dave Mustaine was thrown off the stage when he wandered on with a guitar in his hands ("We didn't know who he was. We just thought it was some weirdo out of the crowd" [Kerrang! March 1989]); and at CBGB in New York City (October 30, 1987) where the band debuted 'Patience'.

Next up was a show as CBGB, the famous punk rock club in Manhattan. Duff was particularly excited because his heroes Iggy Pop and the Ramones had played there. A lot of my favourites like Blondie and Talking Heads has started out there too. When we got there, I said, "Are you sure this is CBGB?" It was the smallest room, very, very intimate. It held only like fifty to seventy people. I just couldn't imagine that all those famous bands had played there. We performed an acoustic set and I rocked the tambourine. We debuted some songs that we hand't played publicly yet. The lyrics "I used to love her...but I had to kill her" from "Used to Love Her" got a huge laugh. And "Patience" got a very nice response. We also played "Mr. Brownstone" and "Move to the City". Someone yelled out, "Drum solo!" so I shook the tambourine wildly. Everyone laughed [Steve's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 145]


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:36 pm

November 1987 - OPENING FOR MOTLEY CRUE

After that they opened for Mötley Crue on their "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour in the US (November 3-29, 1987), something Izzy had been looking forward to [Concert Shots, May 1986]. Originally, Whitesnake was supposed to open on this tour but dropped out to headline their own tour [Kerrang! March 1989]. The Crue tour also was a much bigger show then what the band was used to by then, and, according to Axl, the band "learned a lot about professionalism from that. Fuckin’ a lot" [Rock City News, January 1988].

This was a raucous period of the band. Doug Goldstein, who was the tour manager at the time, would say "These guys are nuts. I mean, they keep me hopping, all the time. I'm getting about two hours sleep a-night. […] They are the craziest guys I ever worked for. […] I have to make sure that I always have enough alcohol. It doesn't matter if it's 8 am or when" [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987]. Slash would concur: "That was the craziest tour we'd ever been on" [Kerrang! March 1989].

One incident happened when Slash and Nikki Sixx were wrestling, resulting in neck injury for Slash:

[…] Nikki Sixx fell on me when we were wrestling one night, and I dislocated three of the vertebrae in my neck, and I had to go onstage. So I was in agony and still had to play […] [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].
But all in all, the band was happy about the tour and their increased popularity:

And then we went out with Mötley and that was that was pretty insane, you know, 'cause like any night that we did two nights in a row, the first night, you know, we got them going, but if we did two nights in a row when we came back to the second night they were like, "Whoa, now we know who these guys are. The first time people see us, a lot of times unless they've really heard us and are into us, they are more into watching and checking us out and watching every little thing. But by the time you do a second night they lose their minds. They're like, "Yeah, now I can let myself go. It's it's cool to act like I like these guys" [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
Then we went out with Motley Crue, which was great. I mean, playing 15,000 seaters and stuff with bands like ourselves just fresh out of the clubs. It went over real well [Rock City News, January 1988].
Reminiscing about walking around at the arenas when they were opening for Crue and just freaking - our little band as a part of this huge, major thing [Circus Magazine, September 1989].

The last show of the tour took place at the Sportarium in Los Angeles on November 29, 1987. As customary, the headliners decided to prank the opener band:

We had one bomb explode on us once. And we didn't even do it! The guys in Mötley Crüe when we toured with them. Scared the shit [interrupted]. It was the first song [interrupted]. 'It's So Easy', and it comes in goes "bom-cha-bom-bom-cha-BOOOOM!" and I watched everybody in the band, standing in front, in one leap they were all behind me [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
Scared the shit out of me, too! […] It was sick. It was the last show. They did it as a joke to us [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
Presumably, later that very evening, Slash and Nikki Sixx visited the Rainbow club in Los Angeles for some post-tour partying. Sixx overdosed and was wheeled out of the Rainbow on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital where for a period of six hours doctors feared for his life [Hit Parader, November 1988].

There were many similarities between Guns N' Roses and Mötley Crüe, something Sixx would acknowledge: "We've had our influences, and Guns N' Roses have theirs. We've toured together, and hung out together, and I think we call each other friends. That's cool. I don't see them as competition to us because we're all working towards the same goal - to play rock and roll for the kids out there. They're going through some of the things that we went through five or six years ago, and they're having a great time. More power to 'em. Bands like Guns N' Roses are what rock and roll are all about in my book" [Hit Parader, November 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 am

November 22, 1987 - THE OMNI, ATLANTA, AXL GETS ARRESTED

In Atlanta on November 22, at The Omni, when touring with Motley Crue, Axl jumped into the crowd to fight a security man he claimed pushed one of his friends [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to Doc McGhee, the manager of Mötley Crüe, the security man was an off-duty cop [Nikky Sixx biography, 2008]. Charlie Brusco, the Omni's head of security would later describe the incident like this: "First strike, he hit an Atlanta police officer. Second strike, he hit a female Atlanta police officer. Third strike, he hit a black female Atlanta police officer. He’s going to jail" [Vulture, 2016] With Axl detained, roadie Big Ron got on stage to sing 'Honky Town Women' and 'Communication Breakdown' [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to McGhee, he sang 'Communication Breakdown' four times, "not terribly well" [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008]. McGhee would also say that Slash sang "a few songs", including a Rolling Stones song [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008]. According to Brusco, he begged for Rose to be allowed to finish the show and finally the head of security said, "If he apologizes to the police officer in writing, we’ll let him go." Axl signed his apology, and security brought in the female officer who had been hit. Axl looked up and said, “Fuck you, you fucking jag-off cop.” Axl was then hauled to jail, and the show was canceled. "I don’t think,” Brusco would say, "I did another Guns show after that" [Vulture, 2016]. To avoid a trial, Axl pleaded guilty to assaulting the police and paid a fine [Rolling Stone, November 1988] and was released the day after [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008].

Axl and Izzy would remember it his way:
You know, I've got nothing against [expletive] security, you're out doing your job. But you don't need to [expletive] push kids [Onstage at UIC Pavilion, Chicago, December 1987].
In Atlanta I dived in and I had police saying I hit them. I never did, but I had to plead guilty because we didn't have any money at the time. Lie? Yes, I guess I did lie once. I lied and said that I hit four cops. I guess we should reopen the case and take me to trial for perjury. But I didn't have $56,000 to pay them off under the table ["There's A Riot Going On!", Musician, September 1991].
We played in Atlanta and Axl jumped off the stage to help out a fan who was getting beaten by these security guys. He never made it back on stage so we improvised a seven minute blues jam ["In The Classic Way", Guitar For The Practicing Musician, September 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 am

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS

When the band started out, they did everything themselves. Luckily, when it came to their own career and making it as musicians, the band was tenacious and driven.

The band happened top be pretty street smart and we always managed to take care of ourselves and all that crap. At the same time, there was an amount of naivete going into the whole thing. I mean, we were hip tp not getting screwed and all that stuff. We weren't going to be taken advantage of. But at the same time we had no idea where we were headed. Basically, the rule of the game was to make as much money as possible and not get screwed out of percentage. […] the amount of time I put into [guitar playing] was the same amount of time I put into the band. I would put in 12-18 hours a day[Scene Magazine, April 1988].
Slash designed most of the band's artwork [ref?]

I'm very business-oriented when it comes to knowing what all the figures mean and making sure we don't get ripped off[Kerrang! December 1988].
Later, as the band grew in popularity, they would argue that they were picking up on the business side of it:

We learned how to survive. We learned who's who in the music business. We learned how to tell when someone's full of shit. We've learned some hard lessons and had to pay some out-of-court settlements. At least we're smart enough to talk straight business now. If someone in this band is like, 'Okay, we're up against a wall' we have people - lawyers, other lawyers and other accountants - so that any mess we manage to get into, we can get out of [RIP, April 1989].
What I'd tell any kid in high school is "Take business classes." I don't care what else you're gonna do, if you're gonna do art or anything, take business classes. You can say, "Well, I don't want to get commercial," but if you do anything to make any money, you're doing something commercial. You can be flipping hamburgers at McDonald's, but you're a commercial burger flipper [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
Robert John: "as far as business goes, these guys really know what they're doing" [Rock Scene, October 1989].

Izzy and I had always done a lot of reading on Alice Cooper. Not only because we admired him, but also because we figured that anyone who could get this act off the ground had to be a genius ­and that would be his manager (Shep Gordon). So we'd always read as much as we could about Shep, and we met Shep in Long Beach that night [February 26, 1988], and we told him about how we'd read about him. And he said, "Yeah? Well, that's great, man, because I always used to go in and pull out my book on Elvis when we were first starting out." He told us that Elvis had in his contract that when he put out a record, every piece of RCA stationery must have the title of his new record on it, no matter which act it was promoting. Shep wanted to do that, and the record company said it couldn't be done - and Shep got his Elvis book and said "It's right here on page 42" [Cream, Septembert 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 am

DECEMBER 1987 - OPENING FOR ALICE COOPER

After touring with Mötley Crue, the band opened for Alice Cooper on his tour (December 3-19, 1987).

Opening for Alice Cooper was monumental because me and Izzy, it's funny, we leave Alice Cooper onstage and go backstage to get our showers and have an old Alice Cooper taped in, you know, in the deck playing, and not because we were on tour with Alice Coopers but because it's stuff we listen to. And I go, "Wait a minute man, we'll shut the tape off and go out and watch it live for the first time in our lives" [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
During the tour with Alice Cooper, when the band was about to travel to Chicago for their UIC Pavilion show on December 18, 1987, Steven broke a finger in his hand:

I’ll explain to you very basically what happened with my hand. I went to this bar in Michigan for lunch, and I had 14 Kamikaze’s (7 but they were doubles). Anyway, I got drunk, got a little out of hand, got into this fight with the manager, no, what do they call them? [...] Lumberjacks. This big old dude just pushed me around, tossed me out of the door of the bar. There was this lamppost outside, I got mad, punched it, kinda missed and hit the metal part. I wasn’t the nicest guy in the universe after that [Late Night Bull, December 1987].
He drank 7 double kamikazis and punched a lightpost outside the bar [Rock City News, January 1988].
He missed the glass part and hit the metal. Broke his hand in 14 places [Rock City News, January 1988].
Apparently, Steven was so messed up Slash and Duff had to drag him away across the street, resulting in wounds to his back. Doug Goldstein then took him to the hospital [Late Night Bull, December 1987]. To step in for Steven, the band used Fred Coury, the drummer in Cinderella:

Right now we're using Fred Coury from Cinderella because our drummer has a broken hand, and so him and Fred are really good friends and Fred flew in and Fred knows all the songs because he has time off right now. And so the other night we were playing with Alice Cooper and Fred played two songs he'd never played before all his life live. [...] He did great, he did great [?]. I told the crowd, "Not bad for a guy who's never played the song before, huh?" and they went screaming [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
So, we were up in the northern part of the country a maple of months ago and we met the likes of this character right here (points to Fred). He came to a few of our shows. You know, he told us that he practiced to our album. Drummers do that, Steve practices to Frankie Vallie and Fred practices to our album. We thought, Stevie broke his hand but we’re obligated to finish this tour. We’re obligated to a lot of things actually. So we called Fred Coury and he was gracious enough to come out and do this for us [Late Night Bull, December 1987].
Fred’s really cool, and he came and filled in at the last minute, and he knew all the songs and he really saved our necks [Rock City News, January 1988].
That was very strange. Freddy is a great drummer, but every drummer has a different feel, and even if he's playing exactly what Stevie's doing on the record, it's not the same. You know, I was a drummer before I played bass, and that gave me more insight into working with a drummer, because you know what's going on inside his head. So it creates a much better groove because we can talk to each other. Most drummers are odd things to begin with, and usually the band can't understand what he's saying. But me and Stevie are real tight, so I did not enjoy playing with a different drummer [Circus Magazine, September 1988].
Coury would claim to be paid $ 25,000 per show [Late Night Bull, December 1987]. In August 2018, Coury would describe how he became the stand-in for Steven: "I got a call on my answering machine that simply said “learn the song on your outgoing message, I’ll call back in an hour”. (I had Welcome To The Jungle on my machine) it was GNR’s manager. 3 hrs later I was on a flight to Minneapolis to play a show that night with them. Steven had broken his hand and they asked me to fill in for the remainder of the tour" [Thunder Bay Arena Rock, August 2018].

Interestingly, Slash would admit to having broken his hand, too, some time before Steven's incident, in Seattle and having to wear a cast for eight weeks [Late Night Bull, December 1987].

Their first show with Coury was at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago on December 18, 1987. According to Rolling Stone magazine, "the band members got hassled when they tried to check into the hotel early. A fight was narrowly averted. Later that night, in the hotel bar, Axl punched a business man who hassled his friends and called the singer a "Bon Jovi look-alike." Dozens of cops broke up the brawl, and Axl and Steven went to jail. Steven would later prefer to not say too much about this incident:

I went to jail in Chicago once. We got into this big fight, a major fight in the bar of a hotel. But I better not say anything else about that [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].
Afterward, Goldstein found Slash drunk in the bar, threw the guitarist over his shoulder and carried him back to his room. To show his thanks, Slash peed on Goldstein's shoulder [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

From the stage in Madison the next day, Axl would say he got in a fight because he had long hair and that one guy grabbed him and told him he looked like Bon Jovi:

Bon Jovi can suck my dick! [Onstage at Dane County Coliseum, Madison, December 1987].
The band would remember the shows with Alice Cooper this way:

We were the epitome of Red Dog surviving on the road. Plus we had to play in the corner of the stage because Alice’s stage set was so large [Rock City News, January 1988].
Everybody in the band on the Alice Cooper tour was really cool to us, they dug it. They’d be walking down the halls going, “Welcome to the Jungle”, you know. And we hung out with Alice and was like, you know, this is a great band and stuff, and we did photos with him [Rock City News, January 1988].
The last night of the tour he was getting off the stage, and me and Axl were hanging out on the side, and he goes by and says, “Hey man, thanks for everything” [Rock City News, January 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 am

DECEMBER 1987-FEBRUARY 1988 - INDIVIDUAL SHOWS AND MTV AT THE RITZ

After the Alice Cooper tour the band played four shows at The Perkins Place in Pasadena, California in late December (26., 27., 28. and 30.).

We only booked one, and then that sold out and then we tried another one. And then after 4 shows we were going to try for 5, but the people at the Rose Bowl wouldn’t let us. Can you imagine booking the Rose Bowl?[Rock City News, January 1988]
The Perkins Palace shows were some of the best shows we'd ever done...and Fred Curry [sic] was playing. It was awful for Steve: he was standing there in his Clint Eastwood shawl, with one of those batter's helmet hats with the two straws leading into cans of beer and his arm in a cast. I sort of felt sorry for him. He played tambourine; he was so pissed off[Slash's autobiography, p. 223]
The band was supposed to tour with Motley Crue for two weeks in Europe in the beginning of 1988 [Interview with Steven Harris, December 1987; Rock City News, January 1988], but for an unknown reason this didn't happen. Instead they played gigs around California. When in Seattle, in early February 1988, the band was informed that Appetite had sold to gold:

[...]at the time, I knew it was gonna happen. The day before, I got woken up in the middle of the night. And I was like, 'If this is about going gold I'm gonna be so pissed off.' God, if other people had my problems, right?  [Rock Scene Magazine, June 1988]
The band also played two shows in New York: at the Limelight (January 31, 1988), and an MTV recorded show at The Ritz (February 2, 1988). The Ritz show was extensively aired on MTV and got the band lots of publicity.

Personally, I think we looked like a bunch of idiots on it [...] [Felt Forum, September 5, 1988].
You see on that live MTV thing, everything was pro except this monitor man who didn't have a clue what was going on. The crowd's hearing the show, everything's great, we're hearing spaceships' landing onstage, backwards echoes, screaming feedback, and the drummer doesn't know what, Steven doesn't know what's going on. Finally I tried to nail the monitor man with my microphone and my tour manager moved and I nailed him [laughs]. That was messy. But it leaves for some excitement [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1988].
Ahh, I hate that concert. [...] You know everybody likes it, but it was the worst playing...especially on my part. It was just bad. [...] Yeah, [the audience] did everything to me! They untuned my guitars and they pulled my jacks out. [...] We were all out of tune for the first three songs. It was chaos.[Circus Magazine - "Up Close and Personal with Guns' Slash and Duff", July 1989]
It's bad, it's terrible![...] My bass went out of tune for two songs.[...] I think people like it more like in the way when you drive past a car accident and somebody's mutilated, you know, it's like you can't help but look at it![Circus Magazine - "Up Close and Personal with Guns' Slash and Duff", July 1989]
The Ritz show in New York we played that trip was hugely popular on MTV. It wasn't one of our greatest shows by any means: Axl was having vocal problems, and though we didn't play badly, we'd played so much better in the recent past. In any case, it was loose and out of tune and punk rock, and for those reasons alone, it is something to be recognized. That footage is important because it is the essence of the band. The crowd was great, and like so many memorable moments, it was over and done before I knew it [Slash's autobiography, p 225]
MTV had contacted our management about taping one of our live performances while in the Apple, and it was scheduled for our appearance at the Ritz on February 2. Label mates Great White opened for us. After their set, it was time for us to hit the stage. I'm all ready to go, and fucking Axl is holding us up. Of all the times for him to do this. MTV was there, and this was huge, but eventually the MTV guys were like, "We gotta go, we gotta get this going, guys". Axl's like, "Fuck it. I'm not going on unless I have my bandanna!" Apparently, he couldn't find it after tearing apart the little hovel they gave us backstage. Of course the rest of the band was avoiding any eye contact with Axl, preferring to wander off, out of earshot, to do their grumbling. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. "What's wrong with you, Axl?" He shrugged me off and continued with his insane tirade. He had all of our roadies looking around for people who had scarves or bandannas. I said, "C'mon, Axl, let's just go on." He blurted out, Fuck that. Fuck you. I need a bandanna or a scarf or I'm not doing this. Now, we're thirty minutes late. The cameramen were tired of standing around and said, "We're outta here." I was the only one who was openly begging them to stay: "Please, don't go, we'll go on." I'm sure that's why I am featured prominently throughout the video, because I showed some respect for the MTV crew. Axl finally found a fucking scarf, some bowder-blue, girly-looking thing, and the show began. He put it on, and he got this Little Rascals Alfalfa look going, because his hair was pushed up, like a ridiculous cowlick, on the back of his head. I'm sitting there playing and just laughing. "You dick, look at you. You couldn't go on without your scarf, and now you look like you're in an Our Gang movie."Someone must have tipped him off, because he finally got wise to it and adjusted the bandanna. In spite of all the drama, the show went off fantastically. It's become one of the most widely bootlegged performances of the band[/i][Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 156-157]
I think that was the same night that I stage-dove and the crowd parted like the Red Sea and let me hit the floor. I lay there for a moment taking stock of whether I'd broken any bones or not. Then I got back on stage and tried to maintain some semblance of cool [Slash's autobiography, p 225]
Two shows in Phoenix followed, one of which was cancelled when Axl didn't show up leading to him being fired from the band [see below].

On February 26, Alice Cooper visited Long Beach and Axl, Izzy and Slash joined him onstage for 'Under the Wheels', a song originally released on Cooper's 1971 Killer album.

Slash and I also went onstage and did it live with him when he played in Long Beach. It was intense. It was fun being onstage with someone you'd looked up to since you were a little kid. We had toured with him, of course, but then to get up onstage with him in L.A. was phenomenal. He's such a mellow guy[Cream, September 1989]
'Under the Wheels' was re-recorded in 1988 with Guns N' Roses, Axl singing duet with Cooper. Axl was thrilled about getting to sing on the song:

It was really cool because I'd originally heard that some other singer had gotten [to sing on it]. Well, we were on tour with Alice, and I didn't even know that we were going to get to do it, so I was really bummed out. And we heard that the singer from Cinderella had gotten it [= Tom Keifer], and we'd become friends with those guys. In fact, we had the drummer from Cinderella out on the road with us because Steve had broken his hand. And he said, "Yeah, Tom got this gig." But then something didn't happen with that, and all of a sudden I get this phone call, and it was like "Do you want to do it?" And it was like "Yeah!!" Because "Under My Wheels" is more his rock 'n' roll type song - less of that horror type thing. And we were psyched to do it [Cream, September 1989]
The new version of 'Under My Wheels' would be released in June 1988 as part of the documentary film "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years".

Axl had problems adjusting to life on the road:

Being the perfectionist that I am everything must be in order, or I'm a wreck! So nine times out of ten, I'm completely disorganized! When we first went on tour, things were just a mess and it took awhile to get into the swing of things. I pretty much got everything down smoothly, and as soon as I can figure out hotels, and the way they don't know how to run their own phone systems... 'OK, no calls to this room please,' and five minutes later the phone is ringing! As soon as I can get that worked out, I'll be fine, and until then, I buy a lot of phones! [...] I just wish that I could function more smoothly on tour, so that I wouldn't end up upsetting so many people. They never know what's gonna happen. It's like, 'What's Axl gonna do next?'[Rock Scene, April 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 am

FEBRUARY 13, 1988 - AXL IS A NO-SHOW AND IS FIRED FROM HE BAND

In February the band was supposed to do two shows at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on February 12 and 13. The second of these dates was cancelle because, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "Axl decided not to show up […] leaving the opening band, T.S.O.L., to improvise Zeppelin jams until the Gunners' cancellation was announced" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

Axl had ended the previous day's show early, right after 'Nightrain' preventing the band from going through their encore [Yahoo Music, April 2016]. What caused him to do that and skip the next night's show is unclear.

The show promoter, Danny Zelisko recalled in 2016 that he had been across town when he the next day got the call from the manager at the venue, "Man, you better get down here right away. This place is going to explode" because, as Zelisko would describe it, "The opening act had been on for 90 minutes and Axl wouldn’t come out of his hotel room" [Vulture, 2016]. T.S.O.L. was only intended to play a 40 minute set, but Niven had told them to continue playing.

I was trying to buy time. Finally, these poor guys in T.S.O.L. came offstage after playing Beatles covers. They looked at me mournfully and said, ‘We’ve played absolutely everything we know. We’re beat. Can we quit now?’  [Yahoo Music, April 2016]
Apparently, Axl had barricaded himself in his hotel room together with his girlfriend, Erin Everly, and refused to leave [Yahoo Music, April 2016].

We tried everything to get him out. We banged on the door and shouted, ‘C’mon, dude we got a gig. Come out!’ and he’d shout back, ‘Fuck off!’ I don’t know if Axl and Erin were fighting. That was probably something that happened more often than not, but he refused to come out no matter what we said [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
Niven told Zelisko that Axl wouldn't come causing Zelisko to wonder, "How are we going to get out of this building alive?” then turning to Niven, "You have a nice British accent. You make the announcement. I’m not getting torched.” Niven did, saying that Rose had "throat problems" [Vulture, 2016].

That was the moment I had to walk onstage and say, ‘Tonight’s performance by Guns N’ Roses, unfortunately, will not occur due to a medical emergency.’ Immediately, people started throwing shit at me and it got ugly fast. The crowd rioted and it spilled out into the parking lot, and at least one car was turned over and set on fire [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
Zelisko's story differs, saying that "the crowd dispersed peacefully". As a make-good, the band agreed to return to play a benefit show later in the year and everybody, except Axl, came to Zelisko's barbeque the day before that gig [Vulture, 2016].

Axl not turning up for the second show in Phoenix was the final straw for his band mates who fired him, only to allow him back into the band a few days later [see http://www.a-4-d.com/t2847p30-the-history-of-guns-n-roses#11287 for more details] after Izzy and Slash allowed him to explain himself [Sounds Magazine, November 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2018 5:43 am

THE ESCALATION OF BAD HABITS

During the Appetite for Destruction touring in 1987 and 1988, the band lived out lives of sex, drugs and rock and roll. This was a period of constant touring, gigs every week, and learning from the headliners, especially Mötley Crüe, who had been on this circuit of debauchery for much longer. But compared to before they were signed, this was also a period with substantial down-time, between recordings and between tours:

Yeah, I’m kind of bouncing off the walls. Getting prepared to record [Appetite] is involving a lot of time sitting around with nothing to do. And that’s time that I need to fill. It’s not just me. We all really need constant activity. We hate the dead time, sitting around waiting for something to happen [Hit Parader, July 1987].
It pretty much began when we signed with our record company. Before that we were rocking out and kicking ass all the time. Then all of the sudden we found ourselves sitting around with a lot of money, being told not to do anything, there’s only one thing you can do. Party! [Hit Parader, July 1987].
And "party" would mean lots of alcohol and drugs, something the media would love to write about. Despite this, the band would occasionally, and outrageously, deny any drug addictions:

I'll put it this way, there's no chemical de­pendencies in Guns N' Roses [BAM, November 1987].
We’re not saying we’re angels in this band, because that would be a fucking lie. But we don’t use drugs, and we really never have. When you live in a place like L.A., you get to see what cocaine does to people every day. It’s not cool [Hit Parader, October 1988].
Like with the drugs, they've pretty much gone now and that's because we've never met a single person that took a substantial amount of drugs over a long period of time who didn't have to go into rehabilitation or who didn't go down the drain. It just leads to instability and insecurity [Melody Maker, March 1989, but interview from October/November 1988].
The drug thing is no big deal. Two years ago, maybe it was. [...] [Being asked if it is part of the past] As far as you know [MTV, October 1988].
Although they were less likely to deny being heavy drinkers, which would, of course, be difficult since they regularly drank, or were drunk, during interviews. Slash, for instance, would insist on being drunk before interviews due to being too "introverted" to talk sober, asking the interviewers to bring Jack Daniels [Rock Scene, September 1987].

I do have a chemical dependency. Just one. I drink. But it's all-Amer­ican. When I get thrown out of a bar I say 'How un-American!' [BAM, November 1987].
I don't think I'm gonna buy a car for a while, though… I'm too psychotic behind the wheel, I'd kill somebody. I lost somebody's car the other night. I borrowed a car to drive myself home from a friend's, and I was so drunk that I parked it somewhere, but I can't remember where. It's just gone, kaput! I have the keys sitting on the table in my living room, and I don't even know where it is. And the thing is, I always want to drive when I'm drunk. It doesn't really interest me as much when I'm sober. I get drunk and I want to drive fast, and I just know it's gonna get me into big trouble one day if I don't watch out… I've been through the experience once already of hitting somebody in a car… I hit a van, it was when we were recording [Appetite]. I realised pretty quickly then that one drunken night just isn't worth years in jail, or being responsible for somebody else's misery… [Kerrang! December 1988]
We don’t do drugs - but we do drink a lot [Hit Parader, October 1988].
After having ordered his fourth vodka double during the interview: This sounds sort of childish, but I have to drink a certain amount before we go onstage or I'm awkward and I can't play right. Otherwise I'm too jittery. But a lot of people see me hanging around clubs drunk off my ass, and they think that's all we're about. We get this image for being irresponsible punks who don't care about anything. Well, we are sort of like that, but we don't do it on purpose, we're just being young! I think the Stones were like that [Musician, December 1988].
Axl would be more forthcoming and indicate that Izzy and Steven had a serious heroin problem in late 1986, and indicate it wasn't over in 1987:

It happens lots of times and we kind of kick each others ass. 'Put the bottle down or l' m gonna put it over your head!' It's come down to that. It came down to that with heroin about a year ago. Izzy and Slash were way into it and everybody else was dabbling. It came down to this shit has to go or we might as well just stop right here [BAM, November 1987].
Axl would echo this sentiment in mid-1988:

I think we keep [the drug use] under control because we all want what we’re doing. It does get out of hand sometimes – but then the guy who’s getting out of hand all of a sudden has the other four guys coming down on his ass [Cream, September 1988, but quote is from mid-1988].
At some point in 1988, Izzy got in a scuffle with Vince Neil's wife at a party. According to Izzy, he had her ejected from a private room at a local rock club; but according to Neil, Izzy had attempted to remove Neil's wife's clothing and later kicked her in the stomach. Neil's wife pressed assault charges against Izzy, but they were dropped. In September 1989, Neil would try to get his revenge when he would attack Izzy at MVT Music Video Awards [Los Angeles Times, September 1989].

Izzy also got in trouble at the very end of 1988 when the band headed to Japan for some gigs. Alan Niven told the band to get rid of any drugs they had, resulting in Izzy swallowing his stash and allegedly sending him into a 36-hour coma.

Despite Slash, Izzy and Duff claiming otherwise, Slash was heavily into heroin in 1988. In June 1988, after the early ending of the Iron Maiden tour, he put his heroin use in high gear (again) due to idleness. To sober him up, band management sent him on an 8 day trip to Hawaii to get him away from the toxic environment of Los Angeles:

All in all I can't say that it hurt me. I took vitamins for, like, eight days, didn't drink that much, got a suntan. I hadn't been out of a pair of black jeans since I was about 14! I was getting ingrowing hairs on my legs! [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
As Izzy would describe him in that period:

You'd really stepped off the edge, though [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
It is possible that this is the period Slash would refer to in the Rolling Stone interview in November 1988:

There was a point where I fuckin' stopped playing guitar and didn't even talk to my band except for Izzy, 'cause we were both doing it. I didn't come out of the apartment for three months, except to go to the market. The one thing that really stopped me was a phone call from Duff saying, 'You've alienated yourself from everybody.' Since they're the only people I'm really close to, that really affected me, and I finally quit [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
The only problem with connecting this quote to the period after the terminated Iron Maiden tour, is that the stop in touring did not last for three months. Slash is possibly here talking about his drug use in early 1987, instead.

Regardless, any sobriety reached by Slash did not last long, if it happened at all, because about a month later, in July 1988, he would be using heroin together with Todd Crew.

At some point, probably beginning of 1988, Slash would move to a TraveLodge apartment in Hermosa Beach to get away from Hollywood [Spin, May 1988].

Duff soon realized that his panic attacks were triggered by flying, and he dulled his senses by drinking in excess before flights [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 130]. This can be gleamed from an interview he did at the day of Monster of Rock festival at Donington in August 1988:

Being asked what it meant to him when he heard Guns N' Roses was on the Monsters of Rock bill: It meant we'd have to fly over here and fly back. [...] We took the Concord out here. It was great. We ate dinner and we were here. We get to the airport and they send us to this Concord lounge, which has got a bar, free bar. I was in heaven. Food. Then you get escorted to the plane. We almost didn't make it. We actually got into a fight in the airport with some guy. So all these cops came. The pilot said, "one foul word out of any of you guys and you're out of here!" Fair enough [Unknown publication, August 1988].
Despite trying heroin together with Steven and Slash and experimenting with pills like quaaludes [Rock City News, January 1988], Duff mostly kept to alcohol.

Recalling how the drummer from Faster Pussycat passed out in Duff's bed: I couldn't understand it, but this made Duff super-pissed. Duff's the mellowest guy, but the booze could turn him into one mean mother. "Fuck this shit," he said. He wanted to play a practical joke on the guy, so he had me help him grab and tie the drummer's legs and wrists with duct tape. We taped all around his mouth and head too and we carried him to the hotel elevator. It was one of those really old lifts with the gate that you have to pull open. We threw him in, and at that point, I thought it was funny as hell.

Then Duff pressed all the buttons in the elevator, closed the door, and let him go. The next day at the show, Duff and I saw hi, bruised and very hungover. He avoided us completely, never uttering a word about the previous night
[Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 134-137].
Steven was also becoming a heroin junkie. He tried it for the first time in Amsterdam in October 1987 [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 133]. Steven had his first heroin overdose in August or September 1988:

I woke up in a hospital room the day we were supposed to be filming our second scene for [The Dead Pool]. I had no idea how long I had been out. In fact, I had no idea where I was or what has happened, but as my Visio cleared it was apparent someone was keeping vigil over me. Someone was at my bedside patiently waiting for me to come out of it, though no one knew if or when that would be.

I blinked. I blinked again. It was Axl. Axl got up and was now standing over me. He smiled. He looked genuinely relieved. He said, "Man, that was close, Stevie." He was the only one there. Later, a nurse told me he had sat by my bed the whole time, The other guys went ahead to do the movie but Axl stayed at the hospital[/i] [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 162-163].
During the tour with Alice Cooper in December 1987, Steven broke a bone in a finger when he in anger hit the door of a bar where he had just been thrown out. As a result of this, Fred Coury from Cinderella had to step in for Steven on drums on the following shows.

After that incident, things started to accelerate downhill. The band was just like, "What a dumbass, breaking his hand." They didn't care about me one bit. No one called the hospital while I was there. There was no talk of postponing anything until I knitted up. They just went out and got someone else to fill in. I swear, if it was anybody else in the band, they would never have gotten a replacement. No way in hell [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 152-153].
In July 1988, Alan Niven would describe the band this way:

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Their reputation is not unjustly earned. But I also think there's been a tremendous amount of exaggeration about their exploits. [...] Let's just say that they are very willful and they do like to enjoy themselves. In fact, sometimes they really enjoy themselves. And right now I'd just like them to enjoy their career [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].
When the band toured with Aerosmith in July to September 1988, they did their best to hide alcohol and drugs from the recently sober Steven Tyler and Joe Perry [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 135]. In fact, according to Rolling Stone in November 1988, their rider said they should confine drinking to their dressing room and leave the arena right after their set as to not tempt Aerosmith [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

Originally that was their managers plan, but there was no need for it. I mean, by the time the second show rolled around, it was that soon, it was like "Come on, let's go hang out". There was no problems[MTV, October 1988].
And Aerosmith wasn't just aware of the rumors of drug use in Guns N' Roses, they had themselves directly bought drugs from Guns N' Roses before, according to Slash [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. This was likely from Izzy or Slash who both sold drugs at a time [Melody Maker, June 1987].

During the last show with Aerosmith, at September 15, 1988, Duff celebrated with a rare intake of cocaine followed by vodka and Valium.

Duff writes that a turning point in his addiction came at the very last show of the Aerosmith tour in Costa Mesa at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Orange County, CA (September 15, 1988). Actually, this show was not their latest of this tour, they would do one more show in USA before heading to Japan for 9 more shows. During the Costa Mesa show, their friends from Los Angeles came out to party. Duff, who had been careful about being sober during the tour with Aerosmith, was handed an eight of an ounce of cocaine and took it in combination with Valium and vodka.

When I hit the stage with Aerosmith, I was experiencing that toxic mix of uppers and downers for one of the first of what would become countless times in the future. Little did I know it would become my secret potion and cure-all for the next six years. I did it when I was happy. I did it when I was sad. I would do it until I was almost brain-dead, hopeless, and left for dead.

In hindsight, I can see that night as the moment I started the transformation from a guy who had spirit and soul and who looked at the cup as half full into a blackened shadow of my former self
[Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 139]
Raz also hung out with the band in September 1988, and noticed a change in the intra-band dynamics although he wouldn't go in any specifics:

Less than a year before, whenever I'd hang out with any of the guys, we'd have a blast. Get two or more of them together, and it was a legendary, good-time rock 'n' roll fun. When I headed out on the road with the second-most dangerous band in the world, I fully expected to live it up like we used to. But sadly, there were no big bags of blow or endless partying. [...] And although I left out all the gossip-column-style tell-all dirt, you might have heard that, at times, the guys didn't get on well. So of course there were a few tense, stressful interactions amongst folks during my visit [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 268].
There was no way of escaping the drug rumors, but the band tried to downplay the seriousness:

At the moment, I'm on three bottles of Jim Beam a day. Yeah, I fucking know that's a lot. It's a heroin thing, a tapering off from that. The heroin thing in this band is an old thing now but it was bad at one time. Me and Izzy were addicts at one time, even dealing it. You'd be surprised though. We've had and have a lot of integrity. Sure, we have a very loose attitude to things but we also have a very cheeky attitude. We're not stoopid. We're smart enough to be able to put things in perspective. No denying it's a sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll lifestyle but we're not overblown with it [Melody Maker, June 1987].
Izzy hardly even smokes anymore! Steven doesn't have any problems in those regards and Duff and I drink [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].
I'm not saying we're angels in this group - in fact we're just the opposite. But when it comes to drugs we're pretty smart. We know how that shit can really screw you up. When you've had as much good luck as we have over the last few months, why would we want to run the risk of fucking it up? [Hit Parader, November 1988].
You know, things like that gets blown way out of proportion, but uh, I mean, yeah, we probably do party a lot more than most people. But, you know, I don't see death in the imminent future here. It's a real morbid thought, you know, I wouldn't like to think that any of us are going to die [Interview Sessions, December 1988].
Our drug situation's not as bad as it was. Yeah, I have been out a few times - 'blue' and all that. We used to sing 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'; that's dedicated to my best friend Todd, who died in a hotel room in New York a while back. We'd copped some stuff and he got it right there. I tried to bring him back... and he was like my best, best friend. That really scared me. I had a habit and I finally stopped it. And every so often, I'll 'chip,' you know, just for the fun of it. But that's not something you talk about because you don't want people to think, 'He's a drug addict' [Musician, December 1988].
Todd's death came on July 18, 1987. So Slash claims that from that point onwards, he reduced his drug use which is not true. If this is true, it was only temporarily, because Slash would be struggling with heroin addiction in 1988 and 1989, too.

Although the constant drinking was harder to deny for Slash:

I've got a bad drinking problem. It's the only thing that brings me out of my shell enough to be able to deal socially. [...] I'm an alcoholic in the sense that I need to drink all the time, but I don't have a physical dependence on it the way some people do [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
This sounds sort of childish, but I have to drink a certain amount before we go onstage or I'm awkward and I can't play right. Otherwise I'm too jittery [Musician, December 1988].
Slash was given a man, Ronnie Stalnaker, whose job it was to "follow Slash around when he was drunk" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

I'm one of those blackout drunks. I get so fucked up I don't remember anything. I probably give the impression of being a real asshole most of the time, but I'm not really that bad [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
When I get drunk I get like [Steven] does but I still manage to keep enough up here [in his head­] and to not fuck up things that concern my ultimate surroundings. [...] My most immediate surroundings I fuck up, but not the band stuff. Just my own personal shit. And, when Duff gets drunk he just gets very jovial, nice, and short-tempered. See, we take everything very unseriously, very lightly because, how really important [no matter what], in the general scheme of things [life in general], how important is a Rock & Roll band? [Late Night Bull, December 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2018 6:50 am

AXL'S MENTAL ISSUES

Axl had his share of issues in 1987 and 1988. The problem with Axl was not drug and alcohol use, though, he would steer away from excesses to perform at his best:

Axl doesn't do any drugs or even drink hardly anymore. He lives to be on that stage. He eats, sleeps and plays. That's it [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988 1988].
Since injuring his voice earlier in the year, and his future's uncertainty while recuperating, Axl was all business. No "champagne  and cocaine" rock star lifestyle, at least while I was around. Wahhhhhhh! Believe it or not, Aerosmith were a good influence on G N' R, who had agreed to substance-ly change their behavior when the Aero boys were present. Whatever the reason, Axl was attempting to live as healthy a lifestyle as the road would permit, all the while valiantly attempting to get adequate rest between performances[Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 258-259].
I don't really go out to clubs anymore -- although I used to love to. I don't really drink that much either cause I try to keep my voice in shape, I'm using it a lot, you know. If I go out to clubs, I have to talk to so many people about so many different things that have who knows what to do with, and I'll end up having a few drinks or something. I kinda miss it, but that's fame for you, that's show biz [Rock Scene, April 1988].
Axl's problem was his temperament and mental stability. He would often get in fights, and, according to himself, not always through his own fault:

I have the worst temper. It's a hair-trigger temper and I am not proud of it. It's just something I learned to live with [Unknown US magazine (quoted in Juke Magazine, 1989), unknown date in 1988].
People pick fights. You can see it in their eyes, that in the back of their minds they're thinkin', "I can sue this guy" [Screamer, August 1988].
[...] people are always trying to provoke some kind of fight so they can sue me. I'm scared of thrashing an asshole and going to jail for it. For some reason I can walk into a room and someone will pick a fight. That's always happening with me. Like, I went into a store once to buy a stun gun. We were headlining the Whiskey and things were getting out of hand, so I figured, 'I'll buy stun guns. We won't have to break their jaw; we'll just zap 'em and carry them out.' So my brother and I walked into the store and I said, 'Excuse me, sir, can I see this stun gun, please?' Being very polite. And the guy goes, 'Listen, son, I don't need your bullshit!' And my brother says, 'Listen, he just got signed, he can buy 10 of these,' and the guy says, 'I don't care, I'll sell them to you but not to him' [Rock Scene, April 1988]
His extreme mood swings would also send him into depression and according to Sounds Magazine [November 1989], he overdosed just two weeks prior to the band's trip to England in June 1987 for their gigs at the Marquee [Sounds Magazine, November 1989] in a way Axl described to MTV in 1990 sounds closely like a suicide attempt:

I started to write about when I OD'ed four years ago, and the reason why I OD'ed was because of stress, I couldn't take it, and I just grabbed this bottle of pills (?) in an argument and gulped it down and I ended up in a hospital. But I liked that I wasn't in a fight anymore and I was fully conscious that I was leaving. I liked that. But then I go, all of a sudden my real thoughts, though, were that 'Okay, you've haven't toured enough, the record's not gonna last, it's gonna be forgotten this and that, you've got work to do get out of this,' and I went 'No!' and I woke up, you know, pulled myself out of it. But in the describing of that some people could take it wrong and think it means to go and put yourself into a coma, so, it's a little tricky and I'm still playing with the words to figure out to, like, show some hope in there [Famous Last Words, MTV, 1990]
Just a month later, just before the release of Appetite for Destruction, Axl was said to have entered a "deep depression" [Juke Magazine, July 1989]. It is plausible to think that the possible suicide attempt in June 1987 was the result of the same depression.

According to Raz, some time during the summer of 1988, Axl overdosed, again, although Raz may have the timing off and describe the June 1987 overdose:

Not long before that muggy summer day in New Jersey [August 1988], [Axl] had arrived in an emergency room on the verge of experiencing an untimely death by misadventure. As he lay atop the gurney, fearing the end was nigh while fighting loss of consciousness, he sang to himself, "Axl 'made a record, went straight up to' number four." He then thought, "Whoa... I can't die like this." So he gathered the will to fight on and finish what he'd begun. Plus, the E.R. folks probably gave him a shot of something to send him in a different direction, and he was not twenty-seven[Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 260].
In addition to his mood swings, Axl also behaved unpredictable in ways that caused problems for his band mates. In October 1988, Hit Parader wrote: "Over the last three months there’s been a constant stream of talk concerning the bands breaking up" [Hit Parader, October 1988]. The next month Hit Parader would also claim that around the time when Appetite for Destruction went platinum, "Axl Rose began acting too unpredictably for the other members of the group, and a vote was taken to kick Axl out of the band. Thankfully, cooler heads soon prevailed, and Axl was sent to a clinic where he was quickly able to regain control of his life and resume responsibilities as Guns' front man" [Hit Parader, November 1988]. This was also mentioned in Sounds Magazine [November 1989], "Axl was kicked out of Guns N' Roses in February 1988. He disappeared before a show in Phoenix, Arizona, which was subsequently cancelled. When Axl finally showed up the band told him he was no longer singer in Guns N' Roses. The split lasted two tense days before Izzy and Slash decided they'd hear Axl out and let him explain his absence. Clearly, his explanation was a good one". According to Hit Parader, this was Axl's comment to this event:

There's really not much to say about what happened. It got blown out of proportion in the press. It was something that went on within the band, and it's been settled now. So let's just put it behind us and look ahead, okay? [Hit Parader, November 1988]
The band would comment on this this way:

That's been one of the stories that's gotten bigger than all of us. And, as little as it was, it's past tense and it's not worth talking about cos it doesn't relate to what's going on now [Sounds Magazine, August 1988]
Look, there were some problems a while back, but those are more-or-less in the past now. This is the kind of band probably always have something strange going on in it. People don’t really understand us. They hear part of a story and they try and guess their own ending. The truth is that we had some problems with Axl. He started pulling some weird shit on everybody and we just didn’t dig that. But we’re pretty close, and we were able to sit down and work things out [Hit Parader, October 1988]
We’re not breaking up. if that’s what people want to know. Let’s just say that some of the talk people might have heard over the last few months is true and some of it isn’t. I really don’t want to get into it much deeper than that. Things are pretty cool within the band at the moment, and that’s the way we want to keep it [Hit Parader, October 1988]
Hit Parader in October 1988 would further state that "Axl's unpredictable behavior cost the band tours with David Lee Roth, AC/DC and Iron Maiden," to which Slash would defend his colleague and friend:

Hey. I don’t think it’s fair to dump everything on Axl. We ended up getting the Aero­smith tour, so we probably got the best tour for us of the four. There were some problems with Roth because his people got wind of those rumors about Axl and that the band was breaking up. They really never bothered to confirm what they heard. If they had, I think we would have been able to patch everything up [Hit Parader, October 1988]
[Inferred from Hit Parader [March 1989], Axl was also kicked out of the band for three days in February/March 1987, but likely this was meant to be February 1988.]

Vicky would recall that when they were to start the tour with Aerosmith on July 17, 1988, no one knew where Axl was or even if he'd make the gig. People who knew the band were sitting in the Hard Rock Café taking bets on it. He did appear that evening, one hour before showtime [Musician, December 1988; Juke Magazine, July 1989]. And Doug Goldstein, the tour manager at the time, would recall that toward the end of the Aerosmith tour in September 1988, Axl approached him and was concerned that others felt he'd become a prima donna. "I haven't changed, have I, Doug?" Axl inquired. "Of course not," Goldstein replied affectionately. "You've always been a prick" [Musician, December 1988].

Axl's a real temperamental guy. He's hard to get along with. [...] He does a lot of weird shit no one understands, but I love the guy. I mean he's a real sweetheart [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
If it wasn't for the band, I just hate to think what he might've done. [...] He can still be a tyrant, but then he can turn around and be the nicest guy in the world [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
[Axl] has tendency to break down every so often [In The Streets, December 1988].
Here's the thing about Axl. He demands emotion. "Love me, hate me, but don't you dare fucking ignore me." He will not tolerate a vacuum. Sometimes I think that's why he would keep fans waiting for three hours before going on. He demanded an emotionally charged atmosphere at all times. He wanted a life spent on the frantic jagged edge, and that's why he could deliver that unique urgency in his lyrics: he lived it [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 153].
Axl's mental problems goes back a long time. According to the Rolling Stone interview in November 1988, a psychiatrist who evaluated Axl back in Indiana noted his high IQ and "decided that his behavior was evidence of psychosis." In an interview in October 1987, Axl would describe himself a "maniac depressive" [NME, October 1987], but whether this was self-diagnosed or as a result of a psychiatric examination is not clear. The media started to question his mental stability: "Is Axl Rose crazy? Or is he just a sensitive, high-strung kid whose band wants to be successful without compromising what made them so good in the first place: attitude and street credibility" [L.A. Weekly, June 1988]. In later 1988, though, he had definitely been diagnosed being manic-depressive and he put on lithium, although "[Axl] thinks it's ineffective and claims to be in control of his moods" [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. It would be claimed that he didn't always take his medicine [Musician, December 1988]. In the beginning of 1989, radio host Howard Stern would refuse to accept that Axl was manic-depressive and Axl would jokingly attribute it to him just always having been pissed off [Howard Stern, February 1989].

I’ve really learned to control myself. It used to be that I would get mad, break everything in the fucking room, smack somebody in the face and then leave. Now I work real hard at trying to keep things cool and together [Hit Parader, July 1987].
I can be happier than anybody I know. I can get so happy I'll cry. I can get completely opposite, upsetwise [Hit Parader, November 1988].
[…] I react to everything. I react to thoughts. I can be sitting here in a good mood and think about something really fucked, and if I can't get it out of my head, I'll react to it. If I hold it back, I walk around frustrated for a very long period of time. When I talk with an interviewer, it hurts my feelings if they act like my best friend, then chop me down. I always try to let people know what they want when we're talking [Musician, December 1988].
Basically, right now I'm just trying to get myself together. I know I'm seen in a lot of different ways. Without being humorous, it's like I have multiple personalities -- schizophrenic. It depends on the situation and the mood I'm in [Rock Scene, April 1988].
I'm psychotic, and that's a real problem to try to like, you know..."Ok, now I'm done with business. Now I can go in this room and be psychotic and tear it up. You know, I have to like, balance up. You know, when can I destroy everything around me to when I have to be nice to everybody. [...] I usually end up trying to take vacation and destroying everything around me, because I can't calm down. I don't know, it just... [...] I just destroy my apartment and then rebuild it [Headbanger's Ball, May 1988].
A lot of things about my mood swings are, like, I have a temper and I take things out on myself. Not physically, but I'll smash my TV knowing I have to pay for it, rather go down the hallway and smash the person I'm pissed at. […] With all the pressure it's like I'll explode. And so where other people would go, 'Oh well, we just got fucked,' Axl's going, 'God damn it!' and breaking everything around him. That's how I release my frustration. It's why I'm, like, pounding and kicking all over the stage [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
I have a lot more control over [mood swings] compared to when I used to break every single thing in my room. This way I can go for two months before I do that. That's a long time [Juke Magazine, July 1989].
I'm very sensitive and emotional, and things upset me and make me feel like not functioning or not dealing with people, the band or anything. I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was take one 500-question test - ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of sudden I'm diagnosed manic-depressive. "Let's put Axl on medication". Well, the medication doesn't help me deal with stress. The only thing it does is help keep people off my back because they figure I'm on medication [RIP, April 1989].
I think his inner turmoil is derived from the external turmoil that we have around us all day. A lot of us either choose to, or are more adept at, shutting it out. He doesn't. He doesn't choose to shut it all out. He looks it right in the eye [Juke Magazine, July 1989].
Axl's sensitivity also shone through in his live performances and made for intense experiences:

There are a lot of bands where the guitar player or someone else writes all the words, like Cheap Trick, where Rick Nielsen writhes most of the lyrics. Robin Zander’s able to put this heart and soul and feeling into it, but I don’t think it really rips up and destroys his life. Because it’s not really him. Me, it’s like I put exactly where I’m at into every song. There’ve been times when I’m singing a certain song onstage and it’s, like, I get all chocked up and I’m havin’ a problem singin’ the next line, because I’m so emotional about it. Maybe something happened that day that I feel relates to that song, or whatever. Nowadays, I’m trying to work out some problems, like why I want to grab somebody by the fucking neck, and instead of just doing it, trying to understand it. So I’m writing, not necessarily nicer words, but ones that I can read and sing in my head. And they’ll, like, help calm me down or whatever [L.A. Weekly, June 1988].
In 1987 and 1988, Axl also started to distance himself from the band, allegedly to not be tempted to drink and use drugs:

And for me personally it's like I'd like to party as much as the other guys, but, you know, it's like they don't have to worry about if they're able to sing. They can get up play the guitar even if they got trashed the night before, or the next day. Doesn't hurt my energy so much by running around but where it takes [?] me first is in my voice. So I gotta monitor my social life more closely. I can't really go party unless I know I know I have a few days off [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
You gotta understand that with this bunch, excess is best an' all that shit. Axl knows he has to keep from smoking or drinking or doing drugs to maintain his voice. He doesn't hang out that much because the atmosphere that's created by the other four members of this band is pretty, uh... [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
Finishing Slash's sentence: Conducive to deterioration [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
He just hangs out by himself. He takes it all pretty seriously. I couldn't do it. He's doing well to maintain a certain sanity level seeing as he can't go out cos of his position in the band. If he was doing what we were doing he wouldn't be able to sing at all! [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
Rolling Stone would report that by November 1988, he was traveling on his own tour bus, both because he slept during the day and stayed awake at night, but also to avoid friction with his band mates [Rolling Stone, November 1988], furthering the distance between himself and the rest of the band. In an interview with RIP in April 1989, Axl would comment on this:

First of all, it was Izzy's idea to get a separate bus, and secondly, after shows I can't afford to party out like the other guys. There's been several times when I had to leave the bus because of nerves. It's impossible to sit there completely straight, listening to someone who is annihilated go off about something or another. Also, it gives us more space. We all used to live together, but we've outgrown being crowded in together. Not because we don't like each other, but because we have different lifestyles [RIP, April 1989].
Axl's tendency to sleep in is also implied in this quote from an unknown Geffen representative: "We now know not to call him too early in the morning – that way he doesn’t become disoriented and start freaking out" [L.A. Weekly, June 1988].

In December 1988, when the band was touring in Japan, he seemed to have a good period:

He's temperamental, he's a pain in the ass, but we love him too. He is really... He's been great since we've been in Japan, he's been really cool. So it's like the kind of thing where when Axl's, like, easy to be around, he's great; when he's hard to be around, he is a pain in the fucking ass [Japanese TV, December 1988].
Maybe the down period before this leg of the tour had been good for him?


Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:23 pm; edited 15 times in total
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Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2018 6:50 am

THE MAKING OF GN'R LIES

After returning home from touring in 1987, the band recorded some acoustic songs originally intended to be used for "B-sides or whatever" [Duff's biography]. According to Axl, they "wrote some of the songs during or before the recording of Appetite and revised them until we felt they were strong enough to put out" [RIP, April 1989]. The new acoustic songs included 'Patience' and 'One In A Million' [Duff's biography].

We still haven’t decided exactly what to do next time, but we have thought about doing some acoustic stuff. For those fans who don’t know, we like to play acoustic sets every now and then when we get the chance. We do those when we have in-store record signings and things like that, and people really get off on it. Maybe it would be too radical a departure from what people now expect after Appetite For Destruction, but we kind of like keeping everyone a little off balance. If we can keep doing that, we’ll be around for a long, long time [MTV, October 1988].
Only a few months before the release of Lies, the band didn't know exactly what to do with these songs they had recorded. Steven thought they would be put out on an album with "some real surprises: songs that you'd never expect us to do. There's one about 15 minutes long with strings, synthesizers, piano, and a lot of big drums" [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988], obviously thinking that this album would also include November Rain. As it turned out, the band did not include November Rain and decided to put the songs out on an EP instead:

Well, it's something we always planned on doing. We always planned on releasing an acoustic thing and when the record [=Appetite for Destruction] starts to die off, it will do good for us there, financially, and keeping the buzz going about Guns N' Roses, while we take the time to make the next record. Also, it's a way to get out certain things that we don't necessarily want to put on our albums.

We've got so many other things we want to put on the record, so this gives us a way to get rid of excess material. Like we did the live thing, now we want to do an acoustic thing, and stuff like that, and so we don't have to spend like $50,000 dollars to go in and record this thing. This way we can get out a lot more of our material and I think it will help make us... with the EP, the record, and then the new EP, that will be like having two records out. So, that will give us a lot stronger base quicker. There will be a lot of stuff for people to pick from, in a lot less time than it would take to release three albums
[Rock Scene, June 1988].
In the same interview, Axl would imply that the acoustic songs came out at the end of an electric recording for Appetite for Destruction:

Being asked what is happening with their planned EP: That's what we're doing next week (at press time -- Ed.). We've just been recording, and we might even leave it intact, as it is, or use it as a B-side. When we went into the studio initially, to do some test tracks and lay down some songs and see what we had together, we had about 27 songs together when Geffen first signed us. So we went in, laid that down, and we were in there for like two days, and at the end of the second day we just got into an acoustic jam [Rock Scene, June 1988].
The acoustic stuff we did in like, a day, right. So, I mean, we didn't... It wasn't a huge project or anything like that. It's just, I think, to show another side of the band, sort of. And also, you know, our next album is not gonna be out for a while. So, there's a huge void space then we'd like to fill in a bit [MTV, October 1988].
The band would stress that this EP shouldn't be looked upon as their second album but rather as something quick between Appetite and its follow-up:

[…] we did all of this in just an hour. We sit around when we get we're at home together, we drink and you know we have bongos and tambourines and all kinds of percussion stuff, acoustic guitars, we sit around at home, you know, get drunk and write stuff, so we say, "Hey, let's record some of this stuff, maybe the kids might like it." […] It's for the kids, the fans! But this is something, you know, we're hanging out, and we had no gigs, nothing up, and you know we were hanging around and said "Hey, let's just go in the studio and record this." [?] "Let's go and do it, see what happens." And that's what happened [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
[…] we just did it in like two days. We recorded that. This is not our next album, you know, I must clarify that, it's just an in-between. The next album we'll start recording in January. That's when we're gonna to take a lot of time, months, okay? So this is just...how do I word this, I don't wanna say it's filler because it's not, but it's just in between the two records, it's a different side of us. [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
This EP is just to hold everyone off until we get the next album done. Since this record's done so well, we stayed on tour longer than we expected. That pushed our recording plans back a bit. We want everyone to understand that this EP isn't our second album - it's just to fill the gap until that record's done. We've already gotten a lot of songs written for that one and they're really good. We think it's safe to say that we're gonna be around for a long time to come - no matter what everyone says about us [Hit Parader, March 1989].
The EP's not meant to be taken all that seriously. It's not done... It wasn't done expensively. It's not like, a major album. It's not anything... It's just like, a sort of filler. [...] I didn't think should go on the actual album. And we needed something to put out to fill the gap between the first record and the next one. It's really not that big a deal. [...] It's not meant to be taken as seriously as, say an album is taken. It's real sloppy, it's got us talking in the background, guitar picks dropping. You know, stuff like that. It's out of tune at a lot of places. It's just us sort of hanging out, getting drunk and playing [MTV, October 1988].
One motive was to make the songs on Live Like A Suicide more accessible to the fans:

We wanted to put something out between the last tour and the next album. We heard that kids were having to pay $50 to $100 for original copies of our first EP, Live Like A Suicide. We also wanted to do some new songs that showed another side of us. So what we did on Lies was re-release the four songs that had been on Suicide, and we added four new songs that are very different from anything we've done before. These are songs we just felt like doing. This is a rock and roll band, but there are a lot of different influences within Guns N' Roses. We write a lot of our songs on acoustic guitar, so doing Lies seemed a natural thing for us [Hit Parader, May 1989].
Yeah, for the fans you know. And we saw the live stuff, the earlier stuff, being sold now -- because it was a limited release -- being sold in L.A. for 150 bucks a copy which is ridiculous. What fan of ours can afford that? So we re-released that and put out this new stuff which is just another side to us, we do play sometimes acoustic, we do acoustic shows, so and the daring part of, we've never really kind of clung to the commercial, I mean, we've never clung to that road that like Whitesnake say or something like that would take. [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
Another motive was to show the world a different side of themselves:

So now we have come to the point where the industry, we're accepted now in the industry, something we actually despise, but we can do, the success that we have gotten we can do really what we want to do now, you know. And which is both sides, you know, acoustic stuff, you know, I'm sure kids are interested if they're interested in the album they're gonna be interested in some acoustic stuff and how the songs are written and all that, and it's just, you know, it's not to be taken seriously [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
In an article in Musician, it is implied that Axl in September was putting the final mikes on the acoustic tracks [Musician, December 1988].

The Ep 'Lies. The drugs, the sex, the violence, the shockin' truth' was released on November 29, 1988. Slash and Duff would explain the name of the EP this way:

You know, that's pretty self-explanatory as well. It's like, the band's just sorta like, the center of attention, as far as, you know, sort of controversy in rock n' roll and stuff like that. And they make up all these stories. I found out today that I died again today. [...] And, you know, Axl dies all the time. There's all this crap going around. People love to make up stuff about you. I don't know why. We're the band that seems to be the center of all that attention. [...] Sort of a parody of our whole existence [MTV, October 1988].
It's just like, us saying "Ok, you guys wanna blow this out of proportion? Let's totally blow it out of proportion". If you're gonna get that ridiculous about it [MTV, October 1988].
Since the band is the center of attention as far as controversy in rock’n’roll, this EP is sort of a parody of our whole existence [FACES, March 1989].
We did the cover for a good reason. We've been in the center of attention for so long. We've had so much hype and sensationalism centered on us over the last few years that it became really ridiculous. All of it was bullshit. We've heard that we've all died in car crashes, that we're all drug addicts and that we all have AIDS - and, of course, it's all untrue. This EP cover was our chance to turn it around and stick it back in everyone's face [Hit Parader, May 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2018 6:50 am

APRIL-JUNE 1988 - HEADLINING IN THE US AND OPENING FOR IRON MAIDEN

The band had intended to do a tour of the US in March 1988, but this was cancelled (probably due to Axl's throat problems?). In April and May 1988, the band did their first headlining tour of the US with Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction and UDO as the openers. Around this time the band started thinking about making a documentary about the band supported by live footage:

We have stacks of videos of all the shows we did in the clubs. We plan on trying to do another club taping. We've taken video cameras on the road and we'll see what comes out of that [Screamer, August 1988].
The idea of a documentary goes back to 1986, when Izzy says it was part of the contract with Geffen [L.A. Rocks, August 1986].

In the same interview Axl would mention a book about the band, but that "the project may take two or three years" [Screamer, August 1988]. Nothing came out of either the documentary or the book.

Guns N' Roses then opened for Iron Maiden in Canada (May 13 -June 8, 1988) on their 'Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour'. The Iron Maiden fans were not very receptive to Guns N' Roses. As Duff would say in his biography:

To be fair to the audiences, what they were picking up was correct: much as I respect metal, we didn't fit the bill musically. We wanted to be different. After all, Steven had only one bass drum. And while Axl sang in a high voice much of the time, he wasn't operatic. [...] Oh, and also we didn't write songs about elves and demons and shit-unless of course, you considered Mr. Brownstone a demon [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 133].
In August 1988, when the bands met again at the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington, UK, Axl would also comment on the band's differences:

Being asked if there are any similarities between Iron Maiden and Guns N' Roses: I hope not. I don't know whether or not, I mean, they're nice guys but, you know, it's like political organizations. Your band's like a political thing and your music or your albums kind of like your political stance. Well, theirs completely different to ours and I think this doesn't have anything to do with rock and roll as far as I'm concerned. We're a rock and roll band, what they do is what they do, I don't know what it is and I hope to never be like that. I hope it's not catching. [Unknown publication, August 1988].
When playing at the Felt Forum in New York on May 9, Axl almost came too late for the show after having been passed out from drinking. Fortunately, the show was delayed due to problems with the barricades, and Axl managed to get there on time [RIP, April 1989].

Also in May, Duff broke off from touring to travel home for his wedding (with Mandy Brix of LA's Lame Flames [Sounds Magazine, November 1989]). He arranged for Kid "Haggis" Chaos, from The Cult, to fill in for him for the May 27 show at Olympic Saddledome in Calgary, Canada, and was back for their next show [Circus Magazine, September 1989]. According to Duff, Alan Niven was at fault for Duff missing that gig:

We had planned the wedding for a year prior, and I asked our manager [Alan Niven] when he thought a good time would be, that we wouldn't be touring. So he told me to make it for May. And he promised me. So every two weeks I would remind him: 'All right, we've set the date, we've paid all the money, and made all the plans.' And then, a month before the wedding, he calls me and he goes, 'Yeah, we're on the Maiden tour now!' And I said, 'What about May 28, Alan?' And he says, 'What's May 28?' And I said, 'My fucking wedding!' It pissed me off, but you've got to deal with it, so I called Haggis, took one day off to get hitched, then came back on the tour [Screamer, August 1988].
The Iron Maiden tour was cut short. There are two explanations for this. According to Steven in his biography, Axl had wanted to save his voice for the following tour with Aerosmith:

[...][Axl] had dropped out of the end of the Iron Maiden tour to give his voice a good rest. You see, Aerosmith meant so much to him, and so much to us, that he didn't want to blow out his voice. He wanted to be well rested [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 165].
Raz Cue agrees:

The grueling pace caught up with Axl, and because of an injury to his vocal cords, he wisely shut [the tour] down before doing any further career-threathening damage. But there's an old saying about journalists: "They never report that a plane landed safely." The truth is, "It if bleeds, it leads," so those highly ethical rock "journalists" had a field day conjuring up several contradictory "real reasons" G N' R had departed the Iron Maiden tour early[Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 252].
This is plausible, Axl did struggle with his voice later in the touring, too. Sounds Magazine would report that after the Iron Maiden tour, it was suspected that Axl had developed nodules on his vocal chords, but after inspection by four different doctors, none were found [Sounds Magazine, August 1988]. Kerrang! would say he was "ordered by his doctors to take to his bed and rest his voice completely for three weeks" [Kerrang! March 1989]. During an interview with Rockling in July 1988, Slash, Duff and Izzy is asked how Axl is doing and they would reply that it is inevitable that his singing style after so much touring would lead to problems but that he is doping well [Rockline, July 1988].

The second explanation was that the band was kicked off the tour because of Axl's unpredictable behavior [Hit Parader, October 1988]. According to Juke Magazine [July 1989], Axl would confirm this: "The Iron Maiden incident was when he accidentally knocked over a meal tray in the dressing rooms just before the first show, and the Maiden boys heard Axl was thrashing the dressing rooms. They decided it'd be tiresome to put up with this behavior for the two-month US tour and gave the band its walking papers."


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2018 6:50 am

JULY-SEPTEMBER 1988 - OPENING FOR AEROSMITH

Having cut the Iron Maiden tour short, and rested for a month and a half, the band then opened for Aerosmith's national summer tour which lasted from July 17 to September 15, 1988. This was a highly anticipated tour, Slash would refer to Aerosmith as they "teenage heroes" [Musician, December 1988]. Apparently, Aerosmith was also impressed by Guns N' Roses, as Doug Goldstein would say in November 1987: "I get calls from Aerosmith's management and they told me the guys love the band" [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987]. To promote the tour, Geffen released promotional-only "tour" CD featuring songs from Aerosmith as well as GN'R's 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine' [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].

This is like the first rock 'n' roll tour we've done. The Mötley tour was fun, but this is the most compatible. The vibe between the two bands is great. These guys are around their thirties or forties, they've been through a lotta shit and we have a lotta respect for them. We grew up listening to their music; this and the Stones and AC/DC, that's what sorta formed what we are. That's the only way you get any kinda personality — through influences. [...] It's funny. They like to talk about drugs. They don't do drugs, they just like to talk about them! It's cool to be around that. [...] They're eating watermelon and drinking tea. They love to ask you about what you did last night and how fucked up you got. They go, "Man, I've been up since nine o'clock this morning," and you say, "What drugs are you doing?" They say, "No, I just been up since nine"! [Sounds, August 1988].
Everything's going great. Even better than what we expected. [...] [The reception]'s been really good. Everywhere we've been going and the package [?] on his tour is working out phenomenal for us [KJJO 104, August 1988].
An incident during this tour took place on August 4 when the band was visiting Philadelphia. According to Rolling Stone magazine "just minutes before a concert, Axl got into a fight with a parking-lot attendant who, Axl says, shoved Stuart, Axl's younger brother and personal assistant. Doug Goldstein, the group's tough but temperate and shrewd tour manager, persuaded the police to release Axl in time for the show" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

Just two days later, on August 6, the band was playing in Saratoga Springs and had to cut the set short when fans stormed the stage:

There was nearly a riot. I get off on that kind of vibe, where everything's just about ready to crack. When there's 25,000 people and they have, like, three security guys. God, it was intense, man. It was just on that fucking edge of 25,000 people coming down to the stage [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
Schenectady Gazette, in their review of the concert on August 8, would contrarily imply that the band finished the set: "By the time the band launched into their closing anthem, "Welcome to the Jungle", the area in front of the stage had broken out into a full-scale melee, with dozens of fans rushing forward and trying to climb on-stage. As the band left the stage at the end of the song, Rose grabbed the microphone and dressed down the stage-climbers with, "It took me ten years to get up here. You don't get five minutes for free" [Schenectady Gazette, August 1988].

Three night later the band would play a show in Weedsport, NY, which Axl would describe as "just, like, psycho" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

Not long after that this, the band travelled to England for the Monster of Rock Festival at Donnington Castle where two fans would tragically lose their lives, before returning to the US to continue the Aerosmith tour.

By August 1988, the band had been touring for 14 months and they were starting to feel exhausted:

They didn't expect us to last a week! Touring really doesn't faze you. If you get twisted backstage, the walk to the bus is only a few yards, y'know? But, yeah, if you get twisted every night, you start draggin' [Sounds, August 1988].
Touring has its downfalls. It's a distorted kind of reality but, I swear to God, that 45 minutes makes it all worth it. When you're not touring you're always looking for something to fulfil that buzz [Sounds, August 1988].
The last show of the tour was held at the Pacific Theatre, in Costa Mesa in California on September 15. As customary, Aerosmith would prank the opener band on the last show, and they did this by dressing up as monkeys for Welcome to the Jungle, as Robert John would recall it: "I think one of the funniest things was during the last show with Aerosmith. They were playing 'Welcome to the Jungle,' and the guys in Aerosmith dressed up in ape costumes. There was a guy dressed like Tarzan, and there was a rope tied to the rafters, and when they started that song, he came swinging down. Then there were apes all over the stage, with bananas. It was great. It was so funny" [Rock Scene, October 1989].

It was either on this show, or the show before (also in Costa Mesa), that the band played Mama Kin with Aerosmith [Kerrang! December 1988].

After the Aerosmith tour the band took a break, according to Izzy to preserve Axl's voice [Sounds Magazine, August 1988], and the band wouldn't tour again until December 1988 when they travelled to Japan.

Despite the exhaustion, Slash and Duff would fondly look back at the Aerosmith tour:

[...] we just finished touring with Aerosmith. It was the best tour we've ever done. [The band would in fact do another leg of the tour in August and September 1988, maybe Slash did not know at the time of this interview] It was so much fun that it was like a dream come true. And we got along with them! Y'know, sometimes you have tours you don't really enjoy but you just go out and play. This was one of those tours where we felt comfortable and had a ball. We looked forward to the shows no matter what city. It was great. All the shows sold out. We sold tons of merchandise and all that other business stuff [Unknown publication, August 1988].
Great. [...] It was killer. [...] It was one of those things, that was nice to be respected by a band that's been around that long, you know. They watched us, we watched them. We hung out. We had a really good time. It was one of the best tours we've ever had [MTV, October 1988].
It was great [MTV, October 1988].
Aw, man, it was great... Some funny shit went down on that Aerosmith tour. We were so similar, and yet we made such a contrast. They're all 'straight' now; clean. And their whole operation runs like clockwork; they stay in one place for four or five gigs, then when the tour moves a little further up the road they move to another place and make that their base for the next five gigs, or whatever. The whole thing is kept well under control... Which is exactly the opposite, of course, from the way we usually get things done. we travel the whole time, and very little of what we do is done, uh, straight... But it didn't seem to matter. They were exposed to us the whole time, and we got to hang out together a lot. Which was really cool, because those guys have all been heroes of mine since I was a kid and first started listening to rock 'n' roll. […] It was nice, too, because we were told by the people that worked for them that they would never go to the side of the stage and watch any of the bands that opened for them, usually. But for us they were there just about every night. There was always one or two of them there, and sometimes even the whole band. […]The first time I looked over and saw them all standing there watching us play, yeah, that fucked with me. It was weird… All of a sudden I look over and Joe's standing there watching me, and I almost froze. It was like, 'Wow! What do I do now?" In the end, it was a real family vibe going on between the two bands. They used to watch us, we used to watch them, and the rest of the time we'd hang out together. We managed to earn a little respect just by being a half-decent rock 'n' roll band, just really going out there and fuckin' trying to kick some ass, regardless. I did a guitar solo one night - one of those finger-pickin' slow blues things - and after the show, Tyler got me to one side and said, 'That was amazing!'. I just stood there and said, 'Well, thanks', and couldn't think of anything else to say. I was blown away. Seriously, that's something I'll never forget... That, and a couple of other things he did, which I won't mention because it would get us both into too much trouble... [Kerrang! December 1988].
Being asked why they did so well in Circus Magazine's Readers Poll: I bet a lot of it had to do with the Aerosmith tour we completed in September. There we were again, for the third time, in every major city on a great tour. I think that probably left a good taste in a lot of people's mouths [Circus Magazine Readers Poll, February 1989].
Being asked if the guys in Aerosmith preached to them about the evils of drink and drugs: No, not once. They don't do any of that shit any more, but it hasn't turned them into preachers. I used to drink around them all the time and nobody said anything - though I did use a cup! But that was when I was still carrying a bottle of Jack around with me the whole time. […] There was one time when Steven [Tyler] came into the room I used to use for tuning my guitar. I'd stepped out of the room for a minute and when I got back there was Tyler standing there looking through my tapes and stuff. I had one empty, one half-empty, and one full bottle of Jack lying around in there. Anyway, I walked in and we started talking. And he says, 'Did you drink all that today?' And I was, like, yeah, I did. And he just gave me this look. He started to say something, but then he changed his mind. He's been through some scenes of his own, I guess. […] I remember Steven [Adler], our drummer, was very disillusioned about just about everything at one point, and he sat down and talked to Tyler about it, and Tyler gave him some sound advice. [Kerrang! December 1988].
The tour was also well-received in the media: "In concert together, Aerosmith were by far the more polished performers. But Guns N' Roses were thrashing out the dramas of their lives, and Axl's Janis Joplin-like stage presence connected on a deeper emotional level. By tour's end they were the opening act in name only, drawing half the crowds and running away with the T-shirt concessions" [Musician, December 1988]. The success would also be reflected financially, when it became one of the two hottest-ticket-in-town draws of the year - only Def Leppard's tour did comparable business in America [Kerrang! December 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2018 6:51 am

SEPTEMBER 17, 1988 - TEXAS STADIUM

After the Aerosmith tour they did a one-off festival with INXS as headliners at Texas Stadium in Irving, on September 17, 1988.

Two days after the end of the Aerosmith tour in September 1988, Guns played a strange festival-type gig at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Texas. INXS headlined and the opening band included the Smithereens, Ziggy Markey and Iggy [Pop]. I was excited to meet [Iggy]. After the show, Iggy and I boh ended up at a party in the hotel suite of Michael Hutchence, the vocalist for INXS. I was nervous as hell to be in a room with Iggy, a guy who had inspired a dream that stuck with me for the rest of my life - a dream that cemented the direction of my life in many ways. So I commenced to get really fucked up. Michael Hutchence was already as famous for dating models and appearing in paparazzi photos as for singing "Need You Tonight," and I think Iggy felt as out of place as I did - so he joined me. We got fucked up together [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 136-137]
The show was the absolute worst we ever played. For some reason, the guys just weren't into it and the reason was simple: they wanted to go home. [...] To add to our misery, it was raining that day. We were in Texas Stadium, a partially covered arena that had a huge opening over the playing field. From the stag, I could see rain pouring down on the crowd, but we were kept mostly dry, except when it would get gusty. It was the weirdest-looking setup. We played out set in record time. just wanting to get it over with[Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 174-175]
We just did one date with [INXS] and, well, the gig itself was a disaster because it was in the Texas Stadium which has a big hole in the top and the hurricane Gilbert, or whatever it was, was forty miles south of us so it was pouring through the hole in the roof, and we were getting rained on, and the sound was crappy, you know[Interview Sessions, December 1988]
This show in Texas concluded touring until December 1988. The band would now return back home and release their new EP, Lies. The band needed a break from touring:

The promoters, the booking agency, they want us to keep going. We've been getting offers to headline the Forum, Madison Square Garden... but we knew this had to end. And Axl's voice is getting to the point where he can't keep going. Everybody's been having a good time. The thing is, we're burned out [Musician, December 1988]


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 06, 2018 8:28 am

1986-1988 - THE PRESS

There was that rape charge. Three of us had supposedly O.D.’d. We had been busted in England on drug charges and been dropped from the label. I was supposedly this bisexual heroin addict who had AIDS and was into small animals. There’s been about a rumor a week with this band [Hit Parader, July 1987].
It could be said that we have a pretty nasty history. The thing is, I don't give a fuck about the image that everyone buys. It's all been blown out of proportion, the bad-boy' thing, how much we drink, how much drugs we do or don't do. It's boring. While everyone's talkin' about what we did or supposedly did yesterday, we're already working today on the music they're gonna hear tomorrow [Guitar World, March 1989].
------------------------------------------------------------

The band seemed to have enjoyed the initial press coverage, a true sign of success, although Slash was not comfortable in interviews, being naturally shy and an introvert. In the beginning he had to do interviews to create buzz, and he was also forced to by Alan Niven after being signed to Geffen:

I hate doing interviews. Because they’re boring. At this point in time we’re at the mercy of the press because we don’t have a record out, so as soon as we get a record out, the shoe goes on the other foot. Then we’re not going to brown-nose to the press anymore. That’s why we’re so docile in our interview. You can’t fuck around too much or people badmouth you. Our manager says, ‘Listen, Slash, if you do this and that and the other, I’m taking the van away from you, I’m taking this from you. You can’t go on living up to this reputation of yours [Unknown publication, December 1987]
The UK press was the first to start writing in-depth about the band with 'Live!? Live A Suicide' gaining some popularity there, motivating the band to travel to London in June 1987 for three gigs at the Marquee. This also gave the band the first experience with tabloid English newspapers who were more interested in shocking headlines than adhering to facts and the truth:

Oh, I don't like poodles. Little poodles. I told some guys everything about poodles makes you want to kill them so the next thing you know there's this magazine in England, and it wasn't even a rock magazine, it was like a magazine that talks [?] about all kinds of things in the world and stuff and it talks about this band in LA where this guy's a self-confessed poodle murderer. [Harris laughs] So then they have like the National Enquirer type papers over there, you know, that sadly started all this stuff, and all those things came out calling me a dog butcher and that I was beastier than Beastie Boys [Unknown publication, December 1987]
Axl is here referring to Time Out Magazine (UK), June 1987, who came to L.A. to interview the band before they were to head to London for their Marquee gigs. And like Chinese whispers, magazines would copy each other:

[...]but now, you know, there's things in magazines here [=US], like Hit Parader, where they quoted Slash saying I ran over dogs and he never said that [Unknown publication, December 1987]
As the band grew in popularity, and Appetite sold more and more, the press would love writing about them. They lived dangerously on the edge and many magazines would be more interested in stories about drugs, sex and violence than the band's music and live shows. In 1987 and 1988, the band was challenged by this tabloid interest from the press, fuelled by their own assuredly wild behavior which they often did little to hide during interviews, resulting in less attention to their music and ambitions as artists. At this stage they didn't have to do interviews to create a buzz any more, either, and especially Slash was more at liberty to not take interviews as serious any more, with a good example being the interview with NME from October 1987. At the same time this more seedy focus from the press helped fuel the band's "wild boys" image which would undoubtedly help sell records and tickets to live shows.

You know, I really liked it when the kids loved us and we were still sort of underground. Now it's gotten to the point where we're sort of a circus act for normal society to go, 'Look at them fall down. Isn't that cute?' Sometimes it just pisses me off. I always thought of us as basically nice guys who were over-exaggerated about. I mean, we don't rob banks, we don't beat up girls, we don't smash guitars over kids' heads in the front rows. I don't see why it's such a crime to be us [Musician, December 1988].
In 1988, the press would regularly report than one or more of the band members had died, likely fuelled by true reports of ODs and accidents [example in Los Angeles Times, December 1988].

One time Geffen got a call from the Long Beach police department because they had a body in the morgue and it had been identified as Izzy. But the best story I heard was, after having to cancel a show in Phoenix, everyone there knew that the matter was that I died of AIDS [L.A. Weekly, June 1988]
People Magazine wanted to do an article on how America is accepting us as sleazy as we are, so we turned 'em down. [...] The press... It’s like they expect us to live up to this reputation that they've tagged us with. Well, maybe deep down inside I might feel I have to, to some extent, still, none of us have ever tried to be anything that we weren't. We never wanted to be role models for anyone [Circus Magazine, November 1988]
The press tries to glamorize us - they make it seem like we're always strung out or trashing a hotel or something, and that's not the case at all. I mean, we're worked really hard to get here, and they choose to ignore that aspect of the band. To me, destroying a hotel room is boring. It's a waste of time and money [Circus Magazine, November 1988]
I don't like 90% of the writers out there. I don't trust 'em. I might slip and say one thing I shouldn't and two months later, I'll see an entire five-page article built around ten seconds of an hour-long interview. After this album, I'll let the other guys deal with the press [Circus Magazine, November 1988]
In November 1987 Rolling Stone magazine published an article on the band and gave them the front page even though they had intended to use it for Aerosmith [MTV, October 1988]. To GN'R's consternation, the magazine described in detail the band's post-gig antics:

Well, he was with us for three days. I mean, I like the guy. He was with us for three days. He saw, basically every side of us. But he kinda exploited just one side, which happens from like, after the gig till you go to sleep on the bus. That side, you know [MTV, October 1988].
I mean, apparently with us, it's like, the main thing people wanna hear is how bad we are. This and that we did, and so and so did that. That's like, sort of novelty of Guns N' Roses, right. And so that's what... Rolling Stone just printed the stuff that's gonna make their magazine sell, basically [MTV, October 1988].
Okay, here's what they did, and they really misled us, because they sent this guy out...Rob? Tannenbaum. And, uhm, spent three fucking days with us, day and night, right? He was asking questions about the music and this and that, which is the most important thing, it's our music… […] But we were trying to be... we fucking showed him a great time, we hung out and actually really became friends within those three days. And we really believed he was going to focus on the music of the band so when the article comes out really was disappointed because he focused on the drinking and the fucking and the sake...[…] I think the reason they write this shit, I mean, that's all that's been written about us, it's the non-musical...it's just, these guys fucking drink and do this in that, fine! […] You know, everybody in the fucking world drinks, almost, you know, so what? You know, so let's focus on the music, you know. That's what was promised to us and it didn't happen [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
It’s kind of one-sided. ‘Okay, let’s exploit the dirty side, all the dark sides of this band,’ ya know? The writer was with us for three days. I mean, I liked the guy. He was with us for three days, he saw basically every side of us. But he kind of exploited just one side. Which happens from, like, after the gig until you go to sleep on the bus? That side [FACES, March 1989].
Apparently, with us, it’s the main thing that people want to hear is how bad we are, and that’s the sort of novelty about Guns N’ Roses, right? And so, that’s what Rolling Stone just printed, the stuff that’s going to make the magazine sell, basically [FACES, March 1989].
To make a mockery of the press, the band would design the layout of the EP G N' R Lies to look like a typical tabloid newspaper with fake stories about the band.

In mid-1989, Axl would talk about the press ans say the exaggerated stories just helped the band:

The press seems to be more interested in our off-stage activities than in the music itself! But a lot of the time, it's our own friends who start the ball rolling because we might tell them something that happened, they'll tell somebody else, who'll tell somebody, and by the time it reaches a journalist, it's been blown out of proportion. A lot of the stories really aren't much. We've had some run-ins with the cops, most people do, but because we're in Guns 'n' Roses, it's blown up to be something totally astounding. People think we're criminals, or something. […] We don't really are about these rumors. I heard we were all dying of AIDS, and the times I've heard that I'd died of a drug overdose, it's laughable. The way I figure it, these stories just make us seem more interesting than we are. It'll just encourage people to listen to the records or come and see our concerts; and when they do, the music's good enough to hook them right in. So let these people warn the kids away from us, they're just helping our cause! [Juke, July 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Mon May 07, 2018 10:38 pm

PROFESSIONAL CREW - ALAN NIVEN

When Geffen signed the band they did not formally have any management, and it is likely they wanted someone more established than Vicky Hamilton. In came Alan Niven, who, according to KNAC in December 1986, was originally meant to just help out with getting the EP Live! Like A Suicide out. Alan Niven was part of Stravinski Brothers Management, together with Doug Goldstein [Kerrang! March 1989]. Niven became their manager and Goldstein would become their tour manager.

Geffen assigned a personal manager for us, Alan Niven. He was a big, shit-talking tough guy with a British accent. He was also currently managing the established L.A. band Great White. I know the guys were hoping for Doug Taylor or Doc McGee to manage us, because they managed huge acts like Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. But Alan was raw and hungry and we would be there for us. We all liked him. He was uncompromising and brutally driven [...] and he was gonna bust ass, get us busy, and get us to the top [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 109-110]
The band was initially very happy with Alan as their manager:

Alan does more work in one day than any of these so-called professional big-time people that we have worked with. We've got a lot of work to do, and we need work done, too. [...] we need someone doing the job. [KNAC, December 1986]
The band would remark that one of the reasons they like him is that when “he took us out for drinks [at Barney’s Beanery], he showed us he could drink as much or more than we do" [Rock Scene, September 1987].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue May 08, 2018 6:05 am

PROFESSIONAL CREW - DOUG GOLDSTEIN

For their very first England tour in 1987 the band got a new tour manager, Doug Goldstein (source?). Although in June 1987, during that tour, Axl would refer to their "road manager" as Colin Gardner [Unknown UK Source, June 1987]. In November 1987, when the band was interviewed after their first Lakeland Civic Center show (November 21), Goldstein is again referred to as the tour manager, and Slash again refers to Goldstein as their tour manager in December that year [Late Night Bull, December 1987]. Perhaps Gardner was their first tour manager and was later replaced by Goldstein?

Raz met Goldstein before the August 1988 show at Giants Stadium in New Jersey:

Axl was there with his road manager Doug, who would eventually become their business manager. When we were introduced, he said to me, "Raz, good to finally meet you." He paused momentarily, seemingly pondering something, and then said, "You know who was asking about you the other day?" I perked up, feeling important about him knowing who I was, and that folks were talking about me. But he just chuckled and said, "No one"[Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 255].

In the summer of 1989, Chicago Tribune would refer to Goldstein as one of the band's managers [Chicago Tribune, June 1989], the other likely being Alan Niven.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:03 pm

PROFESSIONAL CREW - THE OTHERS

During their touring of Appetite, Guns N' Roses started to obtain a larger crew of professionals who helped them out. Slash's guitar tech was Adam Day, who had been working with George Lynch of Dokken. Adam would stay with the band for years and actually live with Slash at times [Kerrang! April 1989].

McBob was Duff's bass and Izzy's guitar techie.

Izzy had a guitar tech called Scott [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 125].

McBob's brother, Tom Mayhue, came onboard as the drum tech and also remained for years [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 135]. In December 1988, Tom Mayhue had become the band's stage manager and Steven would joke about Tom sitting behind him during shows to make sure he didn't make any drumming mistakes [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988]. Steven developed a particular fondness for Tom:

He's my mentor. He's my idol. I do look up to him and I respect him more than anything [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
Their press manager which they got before the London tour in 1987, was Arlett Vereecke [Unknown UK Source, June 1987]. She had been hired by Alan Niven [Kerrang! March 1989] and was described as "flamboyant and free-wheeling" and owned an apartment in West Hollywood [Kerrang, April 1989]. In 1989, when the band refused to do interviews with US magazine, she would interview Axl for the British magazine Kerrang! [Kerrang! June 1989].

In this period they also worked with Bryn Breidenthal at Geffen [Unknown UK Source, June 1987].


Peter Paterno, the lawyer who Vicky Hamilton had asked to have a look at the band's contracts, was still employed by the band [Rock Scene, September 1987].

Steven's drum tech for this period was his friend, Ronnie Schneider [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 125].

In late 1987, Axl had a bodyguard named Ronnie [Spin, January 1988].

Axl would also have his younger brother, Stuart Bailey, acting as his personal assistant [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

I must say that our manager [=Alan Niven], our road manager [=Doug Goldstein] and our security guy [=Ronnie?] are the best[Late Night Bull, December 1987].
Everybody in our organization is great. Ronnie, Toddy, Mike, Bill (Bartholomew Augustus Cezar), are great. Then we have Dave Kehrer, McBob, and Doug Goldstein[Late Night Bull, December 1987].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:03 pm

August 20, 1988 - TRAGEDY AT MONSTERS OF ROCK

The band took a break from the Aerosmith tour to go back to England to play at the Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington on August 20. This was by far the largest show the band had done, playing for 107,000 festival goers. Guns N' Roses was near the bottom of the bill and played early in the day.

I think our performance is kind of secondary to what's happening in the crowd. They have casualties here. Were you out there at all? I think I saw a casualty happen. It was really weird. It was really strange. We had to stop the show. The P.A. system is kind of screwed up and you don't get time to have a good sound check so we couldn't really hear ourselves but we pulled it off. I think we did a good show. But I'm still stunned at the size of the audience and what was happening up front. It was real scary. We all went like, "woah!" [...] It was kids piled on kids horizontal on the ground. They were unconscious. And more people kept on falling on them. I saw them! It took about 20 minutes to get everybody out. We stopped the show and they finally pulled the last couple of people out and I think they were dead. It was really weird. I saw no life in those bodies at all. [...] ['Patience's] on the EP. The crowd needed to settle down and that's a song that says, "ok, everybody relax and listen"[Interview with Duff, Minutes after the concert]
A few hours after the show, not aware there were fatalities: Don't get me wrong, we hate to see violence, people getting hurt, and we feel sorry for the kids that are right there in the middle of it. But a rowdy crowd, a crowd that knows how to rock, is the best. It makes you feel great that people can get that into it and the kind of energy level we're talking about is good for the band.

That's why we like playing in England. The whole situation is heavier here, work is harder to get, money's tight, opportunities are fewer than they are in the States. So the kids need to have that one release from a rock 'n' roll show. They'll die for it
[Melody Maker, March 1989].[/i]
A few days after the show: It's hard for me to talk about it. We went back to the hotel, had dinner, and learnt about the deaths when we were in the bar. We've sort of been attacked for it, as if we were directly responsible, but with all those people — 100,000 — and the mud, y'know, no one thing can be blamed. Everybody was there for a release, to get away from their jobs, their parents, their problems, to get drunk and have a good time, but then you have this insane inconsideration for others. That ruined what it was supposed to be about — for everybody.

The Donington gig was our third major open air appearance and there were riots at both the other two. We just go out there and play, try to generate some excitement, but when it gets out of hand, when it fucks up the kids, you get to the point where you don't want to go out and play those kind of gigs
[Melody Maker, March 1989].[/i]
We didn't tell people to smash each other. We didn't tell people, 'Drink so much alcohol that you can't fucking stand up.' I don't feel responsible in those ways [1988.11.17, Rolling Stone Magazine]
The band were really brought down by the event. And we did try to stop the craziness down the front by changing our set, slowing things down, I actually don’t know it the accident was our fault or not. If someone were to ask me face-to-face whether Guns n’ Roses were to blame, I couldn’t say with any conviction that we’re not. I don’t think we can be held responsible, but I’d have to think very hard before giving an answer. Maybe we have to take some of the blame. After all, we were onstage when those kids died, and had Guns n’ Roses not existed then perhaps the tragedy wouldn’t have occurred.

It weighs very heavily on us and whatever anyone else may write or say about the incident can’t make us feel any worse. Quite honestly, we couldn’t give a fuck about the media trying to make us the scapegoats. That thing will haunt me forever anyway.

It’s strange, but tragedy and pain do seem to dog our career, A lot of weird shit happens to this band. We seem to attract it. I dunno, I can’t help wondering if the reason why Slash and Izzy were so strung out on certain ‘substances’ recently (they’re now cleaned out and revved up) was their way of attempting to hide and numb the pain they felt
[Raw Magazine - "Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know?", 1989.07.28]
That was... very strange. I mean, I saw it all go down. I stopped the gig three times. Kids were lookin' at me, givin' me this real intense look, like "something really, really bad is going down." You could read it all in their faces. I tried to stop the band... like three times... but they just kept playing, y'know on and on. Then I turned around and I could see the bodies being pulled out [The Face - "The Daze of Guns N' Roses", October 1989]
We stopped the show a couple of times at Donnington - a big racetrack in England - when things started getting out of hand. It was people as far as you could see. It rained; people would fall over and asphyxiate in the mud. We didn't know that a couple of people died untill after the show [Slash - The Hands Behind the Hype, December 1991]
Donnington was the worst show we've ever played. You don't know what's happening so you can't stop it [The Days of Wine and Roses, Classic Rock, April 2005]
At that show we experienced a frenzied reaction like nothing we'd seen before. The festival broke attendance records that year, surpassing the hundred-thousand mark. There couldn't have been a better place for us to record live footage...except for the fact that two people were trampled to death at the front of the stage during our set. The audience was crazy, just this sea of surging people. Axl stopped the set a number of times in an effort to control the crowd, but there was no calming them down. We had no idea that anyone was actually hurt let alone killed; after we'd done the gig and were celebrating in a nearby pub, Alan came in completely distraught and gave us the news. It was horrible; none of us knew what to do: something that had been a cause for celebration a moment before had become a tragedy [Slash's autobiography, 2007, p 236]
Those fans dying at Donnington has stayed with me, for sure. We were so excited to be playing there, but of course the phrase 'bittersweet' is way too light to cover it. We'd come off stage on a total high, feeling complete elation at the reception we'd got, and then we went to some pub near the venue, some hotel, and our manager Alan Niven told us what had happened and it was numbing. It just erased everything. I still think about it to this day. Two kids who had got up that morning to go to a rock concert... [The Truth, Mojo, June2008]
About a week after the sheet-cake ceremony [for reaching no. 1 on Billboard for Appetite], we flew to England again to play the outdoor Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington. This was the kind of thing you heard about other band playing - big bands, household names, not grubby kids a year or two removed from living in a back-alley storage space and treating their venereal diseases with fucking fish food. Looking out on the sea of faces on August 20, 1988, I realized I'd never eve seen a crowd that size, much less stood in front of one. The festival had been going for a few years, but this was the biggest one so far - 107,000 in attendance. It was stormy, and the lawn - the infield of a racetrack - was thick with mud. Wind swirled. The PA had problems and a giant video screen blew over. We were near the bottom of the bill and played early in the day. When we started laying, tens of thousands of people surged forward. 'Shit almighty, people really want to see us. This is fucking crazy.' As fans swarmed toward the stage, I could see people getting pushed around, losing their footing. "Back up!" Axl screamed at the crowd. Security stopped te show during the third song to fish a few people out of the scrum. But they were also occupied dealing with the video screen that had collapsed in the wind., People refused to get out from under it - it was still showing the video feed. We continued playing after getting the okay from security. When we played 'Paradise City' the crowd surged forward again, a writhing mass of bodies, singing, screaming, nodding. Suddenly I could see kids piled on top of other kids, horizontal in the mud. It looked like some kids might be getting hurt. 'Should I jump in and try to do something?' I was too scared. We stopped playing again. "Don't fucking kill each other," Axl said to the crowd. This pause lasted about twenty minutes. Dozens of people were pulled out of the mud by security, Then once again we were told we could resume playing and finish our set. Only later did we hear the news: two fans had died, suffocated beneath other fans in the mud. 'Oh, fuck, no, no, no, no.' Those two fans, Alan Dick and Landon Siggers, had just come to see a rock concert. They had tried to see us, to sing with us. And now they were dead. All I could think about were their final moments of anguish, the horror they must have faced as they struggled to breathe in the knee-deep mud and other fans fell on top of them. 'Oh, God, no. I wish we'd never played this fucking show.' I wanted to apologize to their families [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 136-137]
In the middle of the tour we were flown out to England to perform at the annual Monsters of Rock festival at a racetrack in Castle Donnington, England. [...] In the middle of the afternoon we hit the stage. It was a madhouse. Over a hundred thousand kids were cramming against the front. The racetrack were selling these big thirty-two-ounce beers. The kids were drinking, and they weren't about to go through this whole fucking crowd just to urinate at a stall, so they pissed in the bottles. Before we went on, we were standing at the side of the stage looking at the size of the crowd.

Suddenly, we saw what looked like a swarm of giant locusts flying through the air; they were actually hundreds of these plastic bottles of urine soaring over the crowd. We were like, "What the fuck?" Bam, pop! People were getting hit in the head and splattered with pee. But it wasn't going to change anything. We had gotten spit on, we had bottles of booze and beet thrown at us, and we had gotten in shoving matches with fans and other bands, so what's a little projectile piss?

I was surprised to see so many Guns N' Roses banners waving in the crowd. By the time we went on there were 120,000 people screaming and jumping up and down. It was really an impressive sight for us all. Everyone was so out of control, and we had to stop the show several times because people kept rushing the stage. Axl asked the crowd to settle down and back up. People were getting crushed at the front of the stage. It wasn't until the next day, after we flew the Concorde back to the U.S., that we were told that two kids were killed during our set. They were trampled to death.

I was shell-shocked. Numb. I couldn't believe it. Of course, the media blamed the band, fueling our notorious bad-boy image. And we were just starting to get a broader, more friendly public image going when this happened. [...]

To this day, the Donnington tragedy still haunts me like a nightmare
[Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 168-170]
What’s kind of lost is that people think Guns n’ Roses headlined Donington. We played at noon. We were really low on the bill and we were just happy to be here. [Classic Rock Magazine, June 2013]
The two fans who died were Alan Dick and Landon Siggers.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:04 pm

DEALING WITH SUCCESS

Success is a double edged sword. On one side the band enjoyed succeeding as musicians:

It's a great dream come true, it's like an ongoing memory. Every day I'll be able to say, `Yeah, I had a Number One record'. That isn't something that will die off or diminish [Kerrang! June 1989].
we’re headlining places that I remember Aerosmith and AC/DC headlining when their best albums came out. And we’re playing those places now. It’s a trip! [Hit Parader, July 1989].
You dream about it for so long, go through utter shit to get there. It doesn't matter what happens to the band now. Once you've got a No. 1, then everything is...well, it's not an anticlimax, but whatever happens now won't matter because nothing can take away that experience of going to No. 1. Even if the next album doesn't do anything, I can still say I had a No. 1 record [Juke, July 1989].
I like being successful. I was always starving. On the other side. When it came to people with money, it was always "The rich? Fuck them!" But I left one group and joined another. I escaped from one group where I was looked down on for being a poor kid that doesn't know shit, and now I'm like, a rich, successful asshole. I don't like that. I'm still just me […] [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
On the other hand, they also had to deal with their new celebrity status:

We’ve had to adapt our lifestyles a little. If we go to clubs these days we have to expect to be hassled and I’ve gotten into three fights recently with guys just trying to show off to their girlfriends - I won all of ‘em, though! You see, I’ve got a mountain bike that I constantly ride, so I’m in good shape [Raw Magazine, July 1989].
Talking about the fame: […] there are little problems here and there as far as trying to maintain any animosity (ed: I think he means 'anonymity'), but otherwise, no, not much of a change. You get recognized a lot more [In The Streets, December 1988].
It's weird to go out to a local club like the Cathouse or Bordellos just because you want to have a good time, and this guy comes and talks to you for one and a half hours, not because he enjoys your company or finds you've got something interesting to say, but because he can tell his friends he was hanging out with someone famous [Juke, July 1989].
[It] gets weird. I don't really need to in LA, but I don't go out to clubs much - except to the Cathouse and to Bordello's, because I have police security there. The DJ and the owner of the club (Rikki Rachtman) are looking out for me. […] That's one of the only places I really go. It's hard to go out, because everybody wants to talk to you and they all want an autograph. It's especially annoying when people are really drunk and talk for half-an-hour to an hour about something you're really not interested in, just because they're having their chance to talk to somebody they are into. You don't want to hurt their feelings, but at the same time you wanted to get out and have a good time and, instead, all of your time is taken up. It's kind of weird to know where your responsibilities end and where they begin [Kerrang! June 1989].
Trying to handle success is a pain in the ass. It's really strange and takes some getting used to. I've never had my place to live before, never had to deal with the amount of money we've made and not get ripped off, never understood doing your taxes and all these things. I was hating it a few months ago, trying to get organized and trying to get a place to live and to get a grip on everything. But now things are coming together. I've wanted to be here my whole life [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
Talking about going back home to Indiana: It gets a little bit out of hand. I can't really go any where. I just go to my friends' houses, but people I don't know show up wanting autographs. People that I used to go to school with, people that used to hate my guts, want me to invest money in this and that. People say shit like "Axl thinks he's too cool to party with us." But those people never wanted to party with me before, The people who are offended by this comment are the ones who should be [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
I really only go to clubs where I know the people who work there, so I can have some privacy and hang out. It's hard when you go to a club with 600 people and you end up having to talk to 400 people. You have no time of your own to have fun. Maybe if I haven't gone out for a week, I'll go to the Cathouse, because I know some friends are gonna be there. I just want to be around my friends, even if we don't talk about anything. I just need it. You have all these people asking you for an autograph, and it gets kind of embarrassing. I don't want to be a prick to people and go, "Get away from me." But I don't enjoy going someplace and just signing autographs all the time. It comes with the fame, but sometimes it gets out of hand and people can be very rude and obnoxious about it. I've had people break into my hotel room with cameras, waking me up and taking photos. People find out where I live and show up at my building. I've never asked anyone for an autograph [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

Of particular annoyance to Axl was his notoriety which prevented him from buying a house in Hollywood:

[…] I still can't go and buy a house anywhere in Hollywood because people won't sell me their houses, or their neighbors won't let them! [Juke, July 1989].
Talking about what irritates him the most: That I couldn't find a house in Hollywood to buy, rent or steal for a reasonable price. […] You can't make a million bucks and sit down and talk to people about, 'Oh man, I can't find the right house for a million bucks'. Your friends are saying, 'Oh, dude, your problems must be rough!'. They laugh in your face, because they think it's ridiculous [Kerrang! June 1989].
But in addition to material wealth, the band would be increasingly frustrated with the public considering them caricatures of themselves [Musician, December 1988], and where any normality of their lives would be unreported by the media, because it doesn't sell:

The fact is, we're all really sensitive people. And that's probably why, for one, I drink so much, why Axl flies off the handle and has these fits of depression. Because we're still living life, and sometimes that's hard to deal with. There's no big macho sense in this band. Duff's married; Axl's got a girlfriend he loves very much. Maybe sometimes we have relationships or other things that just drive us crazy. No one wants to know about that, though. Because at this point, it's not 'Guns N' Roses' for any of that to happen [Musician, December 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:04 pm

FROM RAGS TO RICHES

When this band got together everybody was basically starving [BAM, November 1987].
------------------------------------------------

With the success, the band could escape their poverty. During the touring in 1987 and early 1988 they had lived out of their suitcases, but by August 1988 they had paid back Geffen what they were owed [Screamer, August 1988], and when they back in Los Angeles after the tour they were handed their first check from record sales: $ 80,000 each. Three weeks later they got another check [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 143].

Duff bought himself a "nice little place" in Studio City, away from the Hollywood where everybody "dressed like us, in bandannas, and trying to sound like us. […] We all bought right on the main road or just off it. Obviously, in thinking accessibility would be a plus, we failed to recognize the way our lives were about to change. We'd soon want to be out of this fishbowl" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 144]. He could also afford, for the first time, to fly back home to Seattle to celebrate Christmas of '88 with his large family, a family he otherwise only got to see when they came to see him after shows in Seattle [Circus Magazine, February 1989].

As far as personally there's no difference, I don't think in any of us. I mean, yeah, I mean, now we can do stuff you never been able to do before. Which is great, you know, when we have time to do it. Before, like, we wouldn't have been able to...we'd both share a room, there'd be two people in a room and you couldn't order anything from room service because you didn't have any money, you'd have to eat at the show or something. And now we each have our own room and we can order room service [Japanese TV, December 1988].
I have a car now. Nothing really... I mean, you don't have to worry... basically where your next meal, or next bottle's coming from now [MTV, October 1988].
Slash, who claimed that while not on tour to just "live around" because he had no home [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988], and who had no ambition of owning a home except to "get a house and build a jungle round it" [L.A. Rocks, August 1986], bought an apartment on Sunset Boulevard [On The Street, December 1988]:

It's five minutes drive from the Roxy and the Rainbow and all those other cheap dives I often find myself in. And if I get too out of it to drive myself home I can always roll myself down the hill… Other than that, it's just a little apartment already furnished. It came with this fuckin' couch and cheap table and a refrigerator and stuff - like one of everything. It's the first apartment I ever lived in that actually belongs to me… It's a whole new experience. I can't live off everybody else forever; if I can afford to have a place. I can't just keep being, like, a total fuckin' gypsy all my life… [Kerrang! December 1988 ]
In Musician, December 1988, it is said that Slash was merely renting an apartment, and that he had rented an apartment nearby to Ronnie, Slash's friend and part of the crew [Musician, December 1988]. Axl would mention visiting the apartment and also that Slash was at the moment dating famous porn star Traci Lords [Howard Stern, February 1989]. He soon decided to abandon that apartment:

What happened was, the last time I saw you I had an apartment, but that got so hectic and crazy that I ended up having to sort of sneak out of there... I had the cops there every day, and a lot of heavy traffic, and it was just a bad scene after a while, y'know? Everybody knew where it was... SO I snuck out of there, then I spent a little bit of time sleeping on people's couches again [Kerrang! April, 1989].
In May/April of 1989, Slash had bought himself a house and while it was being renovated, he lived in another house he was renting high in the Hollywood hills together with his guitar tech, Adam Day [Kerrang! April 1989].

The noticeable difference in mine is I have a... you know, supply of cigarettes and booze and stuff. [laughs] I got a place finally. I mean, there's differences [MTV, October 1988].
Izzy, who had expressed a desire to build a guitar collection (and who had to sell his Gibson Black Beauty in 1987 to pay the rent [Guitar World, March 1989]) and an underground studio, and buy guns to kill the animals in Slash's jungle [L.A. Rocks, August 1986], bought a bed:

I enjoy life more now, I'm not so pissed off all the time. When you got no bread, drug problems, no money and winos in your alley throwing up, it does tend to aggravate you. It's much better now. I can live like a normal person. I mean, for the 10 years I lived here, I never had a bed. I just bought one - and it's a futon. I guess I'm used to lying on the floor [Musician, December 1988].
Axl, as always, had lofty plans:

Talking about adapting to fame: Right now it's hard. It's gonna take a little time living like a rat in the streets to being able to manage my accounts, find places to live, buy houses. I'm getting a place here and in the Midwest, and eventually I'd like to live in New York, and get ideas for songs on the street [Musician, December 1988].
Axl struggled to find a place to live in Hollywood, because no one wanted to sell to him, but in July 1989 it was reported that Axl was living in a spacious Spanish bungalow together with his girlfriend Erin Everly [Juke, July 1989], and he would comment that he was "very happy with it" [Kerrang! June 1989]. While talking with Howard Stern, he also mentioned that he had wanted to get a place in New York since at least 1988 [Howard Stern, February 1989]. Axl would also start buying guns [RIP, April 1989], a parcel of land in Wisconsin where he would build his "dream house" [Rolling Stone, August 1989], as well as cars:

[My custom Corvette] got a Chevy engine, a four-cam that goes 180-plus miles an hour. I'll join a racetrack where they teach you how to drive fast. I like the idea of having a car where I won't be so eager to put my gun in the car and shoot somebody [Musician, December 1988].
Axl's always wanted the good things in life. He's real big on cosmetics, clothes, cologne and stuff, and now he's able to get it. He can have a nice car, although he's always been a terrible driver. Now they can buy stuff they want [Rock Scene, October 1989].
I can eat whatever I want [Japanese TV, December 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:04 pm

November 29, 1988 - The Release of G N' R Lies

With the success of Appetite, the band decided to package the acoustic tracks the band had recorded (date?) with their old Live! Like A Suicide EP. The new EP was named G N' R Lies: The Sex, the Drugs, the Violence, the Shocking Truth. It was released in November 1988. According to Goldmine Magazine, this record did not count towards fulfilling the band's contract with Geffen and Geffen did not advertise or send our promotional copies whatsoever [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].

We recorded the new tracks at the Record Plant recording studio off Sunset by Paramount Studios. The entire process was done over a single weekend [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 176].
Axl knew the songs would be controversial, that they would "freak people out" and decided to deal with it by writing a note of explanation/apology on the album cover [Musician, December 1988].

The president of Geffen Records, Eddie Rosenblatt, would comment on it this way: "We believe in free speech at this record company. We've stickered the record, which should serve as ample warning to concerned parents. But we can't speak for the artist. In fact, it's important to let our artists speak for themselves--and we hope their audience will judge them in the appropriate context" [Los Angeles Times, December 1988].

The EP debuted at no. 5 on this lists in mid-January 1989 [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989]. At one time Guns N' Roses had to records in top 5 simultaneously, 'Appetite' and 'Lies', a feat "never equalled by the likes of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard . . . or even the Stones and Zeppelin" as well as starting a "trend of 'acoustic releases' from Hard Rockers" [RAW Magazine, May 1989].


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

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