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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 Fri May 11, 2018 6:04 pm

THE 'ONE IN A MILLION' CONTROVERSY

Before the release of 'GN'R LIES' the song 'I Used To Love Her' was expected to cause controversy with its assumed misogynistic lyrics. The band, though, knew there was another song there more likely to cause uproar:

[insert quote about OIAM before the release of LIES]

...a backpack, a piece of steel in one hand and a can of maize in the other. And guys were trying to sell me joints everywhere, and some black guy turned me on to the bus station. So, I found the bus station. And there'll be a song about the bus station on our EP called "One In A Million" [Interview with Axl and Slash, 1988]
And immediately after the release of Lies, the song caused controversy due to Axl's lyrical content, both its perceived racist message, but also its homophobia, in particular through the lines "police and niggers, get out of my way" and "immigrants and faggots, don't make no sense to me."

Axl would try to defend or explain the song in various ways:

We were aware of what kind of flak we were going to get, which is why I put an apology right on the cover of the record. Living on the streets you go through a lot of hard times and a lot of my hard times were with people of different races or different beliefs. I haven't anything against those people. I'm not a racist. The songs are just (an account) of what happened to us. If you change the words or soften them, you change the truth [Taste Makers, Los Angeles Times, December 1988]
I started writing about wanting to get out of LA , getting away for a little while. I'd been down to the downtown-L.A. Greyhound bus station. If you haven't been there, you can't say shit to me about what goes on and about my point of view. There are a large number of black men selling stolen jewelry, crack, heroin and pot, and most of the drugs are bogus. Rip-off artists selling parking spaces to parking lots that there's no charge for. Trying to misguide every kid that gets off the bus and doesn't quite know where he's at or where to go, trying to take the person for whatever they've got. That's how I hit town. The thing with 'One in a Million' is, basically, we're all one in a million, we're all here on this earth. We're one fish in a sea. Let's quit fucking with each other, fucking with me [The Rolling Stone Interview With Axl Rose" Del James, Rolling Stone August 1989]
'One in a million' is about...... I went back and forth from Indiana eight times my first year in Hollywood. I wrote it about being dropped off at the bus station and everything that was going on. I'd never been in a city this big and was fortunate enough to have this black dude help me find my way. He guided me to the RTD station and showed me what bus to take, because I couldn't get a straight answer out of anybody. He wasn't after my money or anything. It was more like, "Here's a new kid in town, and he looks like he might get into trouble down here. Lemme help him get on his way." People kept coming up trying to sell me joints and stuff. In downtown L.A the joints are usually bogus, or they'll sell you drugs that can kill you. It's a really ugly scene. The song's not about him, but you could kinda say he was one in a million. When I sat down after walking in circles for three hours, the cops told me to get off the streets. The cops down there have seen so much slime that they figure if you have long hair, you're probably slime also. The black guys trying to sell you jewelry and drugs is where the line 'Police and niggers, get out of my way' comes from. I've seen these huge black dudes pull Bowie knives on people for their boom boxes and shit. It's ugly (...) I don't have anything against someone coming here from another country and trying to better themselves. What I don't dig is some 7-11 worker acting as though you don't belong here, or acting like they don't understand you while they're trying to rip you off. [Axl mimics an Iranian] "Wot? I no understand you". I'm saying "I gave you a 20, and I want my $15 change!" I threatened to blow up their gas station, and then they gave me my change. I don't need that. I don't know what to think about gays. They're in a world of their own. I'm not too happy about AIDS. When I say I'm a small-town white boy, I'm just saying I'm no better than anyone else I've described. I'm just trying to get through life, that's all. [The world according to W. Axl Rose by Del James; RIP April 1989]
I used words like police and niggers because you're not allowed to use the word nigger. Why can black people go up to each other and say, "Nigger," but when a white guy does it all of a sudden it's a big put-down. I don't like boundaries of any kind. I don't like being told what I can and what I can't say. I used the word nigger because it's a word to describe somebody that is basically a pain in your life, a problem. The word nigger doesn't necessarily mean black. Doesn't John Lennon have a song 'Woman Is the Nigger of the World'? There's a rap group, N.W.A., Niggers with Attitude. I mean, they're proud of that word. More power to them. Guns N' Roses ain't bad. . . . N.W.A. is baad! Mr. Bob Goldthwait said the only reason we put these lyrics on the record was because it would cause controversy and we'd sell a million albums. Fuck him! Why'd he put us in his skit? We don't just do something to get the controversy, the press [The Rolling Stone Interview With Axl Rose" Del James, Rolling Stone August 1989]
When I use the word immigrants, what I'm talking about is going to a 7-11 or Village pantries - a lot of people from countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan et cetera, get jobs in these convenience stores and gas stations. Then they treat you as if you don't belong here. I've been chased out of a store with Slash by a six-foot-tall Iranian with a butcher knife because he didn't like the way we were dressed. Scared me to death. All I could see in my mind was a picture of my arm on the ground, blood going everywhere. When I get scared, I get mad. I grabbed the top of one of these big orange garbage cans and went back at him with this shield, going, "Come on!" I didn't want to back down from this guy. Anyway that's why I wrote about immigrants. Maybe I should have been more specific and said, "Joe Schmoladoo at the 7-11 and faggots make no sense to me." That's ridiculous! I summed it up simply and said, "Immigrants." [The Rolling Stone Interview With Axl Rose" Del James, Rolling Stone August 1989]
To appreciate the humour in our work you gotta be able to relate to a lot of different things. And not everybody does. Not everybody can. With ‘One in a million’, I used a word - it’s part of the English language whether it’s a good word or not. It’s a derogatory word, it’s a negative word. It’s not meant to sum up the entire black race, but it was directed towards black people in those situations. I was robbed, I was ripped-off, I had my life threatened! And it’s like, I described it in one word. And not only that, but I wanted to see the effect of a racial joke. I wanted to see what effect that would have on the world. Slash was into it.... I mean, the song says « Don’t wanna buy none of your gold chains today ». Now a black person on the Oprah Winfrey show who goes « Oh, they’re putting down black people! » is going to fuckin’ take one of these guys at the bus stop home and feed him and take care of him and let him babysit the kids? They ain’t gonna be near the guy ! I don’t think every black person is a nigger. I don’t care. I consider myself kinda green and from another planet or something, you know? I’ve never felt I fit into any group, so to speak. A black person has this 300 years of whatever on his shoulders. OK. But I ain’t got nothing to do with that. It bores me too. There’s such a thing as too sensitive. You can watch a movie about someone blowing all the crap outta all these people, but you could be the most anti-violent person in the world. But you get off on this movie, like, yeah! He deserved it, you know, the bad guy got shot... Something I’ve noticed that’s really weird about ‘One in a million’ is the whole song coming together took me by surprise. I wrote the song as a joke. West (Arkeen, co-lyricist of ‘It’s so easy’ amongst other songs) just got robbed by two black guys on Christmas night, a few years back. He went out to play on Hollywood boulevard and he’s standing there playing in front of the band and he gets robbed at knife point for 78 cents. A couple of days later we’re all sittin’ around watchin’ TV - there’s Duff and West and a couple other guys - and we’re all bummed out, hungover and this and that. And I’m sitting there with no money, no job, feelin’ guilty for being at West’s house all the time suckin’ up the oxygen, you know? And I picked up this guitar, and I can only play like the top two strings, and I ended up fuckin’ around with this little riff. It was the only thing I could play on the guitar at the time. And then I started ad-libbing some words to it as a joke. And we had just watched Sam Kinison or somethin’ on the video, you know, and I guess the humour was just sorta leanin’ that way anyway or somethin’. I don’t know. But we just started writing this thing, and when I sang « police and niggers, that’s right », that was to fuck with West’s head, cos he couldn’t believe I would write that! And it came out like that....then later on the chorus came about because I was like getting really far away, like ‘Rocket man’, Elton John. I was thinking about my friends and family in Indiana, and I realized those people have no concept of who I am anymore. Even the ones I was close to. Since then I’ve flown people out here, had’em hang out here, I’ve paid for everything. But there was no joy in it for them. I was smashin’ shit, going fuckin’ crazy. And yet, trying to work. And they were going, « Man, I don’t wanna be a rocker any more, not if you go through this ». But at the same time, I brought’em out, you know, and we just hung out for a couple of months - wrote songs together, had serious talks, it was almost like bein’ on acid cos we’d talk about the family and life and stuff, and we’d get really heavy and get to know each all over again. It’s hard to try and replace eight years of knowing each other every day, and then all of a sudden I’m in this new world. Back there I was a street kid with a skateboard and no money dreamin’ ‘bout being in a rock band, and now all of a sudden I’m here. And it’s weird for them to see their friends putting up Axl posters, you know? And it’s weird for me too. So anyway, all of a sudden I came up with this chorus « You’re one in a million », you know, and « we tried to reach you but you were much too high .... »(...) So that’s like, « we tried to reach you but you were much too high », I was picturing ‘em trying to call me if, like, I disappeared or died or something. And « you’re one in a million », someone said that to me real sarcastically, it wasn’t like an ego thing. But that’s the good thing, you use that « I’m one in a million » positively to make yourself get things done. But originally, it was kinda like someone went, « Yeah, you’re just fuckin’ one in a million, aren’t ya? », and it stuck with me. Then we go in the studio, and Duff plays the guitar much more aggressively than I did. Slash made it too tight and concise, and I wanted it a bit rawer. Then Izzy comes up with this electric guitar thing. I was pushing him to come up with a cool tone, and all of a sudden he’s comin’up with this aggressive thing. It just happened. So suddenly it didn’t work to sing the song in a low funny voice any more. We tried and it didn’t work, didn’t sound right, it didn’t fit. And the guitar parts were so cool, I had to sing it like.....HURRHHHH ! so that I sound like I’m totally into this [Stick To Your Guns by Mick Wall; Kerrang, 21st and 28th of April 1990]
I'll get lambasted and filleted all over the place over that song. Dave Marsh will be writing about this 'We Are The World' consciousness, but Dave, I don't know where you were doing your 'We Are The World' consciousness, but we were getting robbed at knifepoint at that time in our lives. 'One In A Million' brought out the fact that racism does exist so let's do something about it. Since that song, a lot of people may hate Guns N' Roses, but they think about their racism now. And they weren't thinking about that during 'We Are the World.' 'We Are the World' was like a Hallmark card [There's A Riot Going On! Musician, September 1991]
However that song makes them feel, they think that must be what the song means. If they hate blacks, and they hear my lines and hate blacks even more, I'm sorry, but that's not how l meant it. Our songs affect people, and that scares a lot of people. l think that song, more than any other song in a long time, brought certain issues to the surface and brought up discussion as to how fucked things really are. But when read somewhere that l said something last night before we performed "One in a Million," it pisses me off. We don't perform "One in a Million" ["I, Axl" Del James, RIP Magazine - 1992]
My opinion is, the majority of the public can't be trusted with that song. It inspires thoughts and reactions that cause people to have to deal with their own feelings on racism, prejudice and sexuality["I, Axl" Del James, RIP Magazine - 1992]
l wrote a song that was very simple and vague. (...)l think I showed that quite well from where l was at. The song most definitely was a survival mechanism. It was a way for me to express my anger at how vulnerable l felt in certain situations that had gone down in my life. It's not a song l would write now. The song is very generic and generalized, and I apologized for that on the cover of the record. Going back and reading it, it wasn't the best apology but, at the time, it was the best apology I could make.["I, Axl" Del James, RIP Magazine - 1992]
I'm on a fence with that song. It's a very powerful song. l feel, as far as artistic freedom and my responsibility to those beliefs, that the song should exist. That's the only reason l haven't pulled it off the shelves. Freedom and creativity should never be stifled. Had l known that people were going to get hurt because of this song, then l would have been wrong. l was definitely wrong in thinking that the public could handle it ["I, Axl" Del James, RIP Magazine - 1992]
It was originally written as comedy. It was written watching Sam Kinison during one of his first specials. I was sitting around with friends, drunk, with no money. One of my friends had just gotten robbed for seventy-eight cents on Christmas by two black men [Interview Magazine talks to Axl Rose, 1992]
l played it on guitar and it was done very slow and in a different tone of voice and done very humorously. Well, that didn't work out when we recorded it because I had Duff play it on guitar -- because he could play it better and in better time -- and Izzy put this other guitar thing to it, and it evolved into something of its own. We didn't plan that song to be as forceful as it was. We walked into the studio, and boom, it just happened [Interview Magazine talks to Axl Rose, 1992]
The band, who had been part of the recording and also played it live at least four times (October 30, 1987, at an acoustic gig at the CBGB's, USA; at the Limelight, USA, on January 31, 1988; in Cleveland on May 5, 1988; and in Mears in July 30, 1988), reacted differently to the uproar. Duff consistently defended the decision:

I think each individual has to interpret it as they like. As for me? I think it's kinda funny! It's real life, and this band has never minced words when it comes to real life. The song is basically Axl's view of coming to downtown L.A. for the first time. He was from Indiana, he was real green--and L.A. blew his mind. [...] You have to remember--we've lived all this stuff. When you saw these dirty white-trash (expletive) guys on Hollywood Boulevard--hey, that was us! [...] I'm sure it'll bother some people--and I can understand that. But the song is a way of describing what happened to us, not making any value judgments. [...] If you're just exposing aspects of life that are already out there, what's the problem with that? When I was 14, I thought Sid Vicious was cool, but I knew that didn't mean I had to OD on heroin. This is just our song--and we're not asking for everyone to like it. I don't think we have to be responsible for everybody else's opinion [Guns N' Roses Living Up to Notoriety, Los Angeles Times, December 1988]
That whole thing’s such a bunch of crap, man. Slash is half black. I come from a family that’s a quarter black. And if you [assumes a bullhorn voice] READERS OUT THERE, if you listen to all the lyrics, you might learn something. Axl was a fuckin’ wet behind the ears white boy in LA for the first time and he was scared to death! That’s what the song is about. People are just gonna have to take it whichever way they think is right. I mean, I don’t even like talking about it anymore. All it is, is a tale about a certain part of town. Yes, the story is told by a white kid, but that’s his story. And Axl’s got such a reputation now, he’s so well know, that of course they’re gonna jump all over his fucking ass. He said that dirty word. I mean, tell me about it. I’ve been an uncle since I was two. It was my older sister’s first child and it was a black kid. When I was growing up I was surrounded by nieces and nephews and cousins that were black, plus my own immediate family, who were white of course. Until I started school, I didn’t know there was a difference in black and white. That was the first time I heard anybody call somebody a nigger. I didn’t even know what the word meant. I still don’t. So I feel strongly about this. The bottom line is, Axl is not prejudiced. There is no prejudice in this band. It’s just a tale of what happened to a kid from Indiana, okay? And just being scared off his fucking ass by what he finds in the big city. [...] That song was that song. I can’t see us ever doing a song like that again. Not because we’re chicken shit to do it, just because that was then. There’s nothing left in our lives like that [Kerrang, March 1990]
Axl's lyrics in 'One In A Million' immediately caught attention. The press labelled us things like David Duke's house band; I heard that the KKK - or some faction of the Klan at least - started using the song as a war cry. I stood by my original interpretation of the song and of Axl's intentions. Art gets misunderstood all the time. Still, I found myself uncomfortable as a result of this particular misunderstanding [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 145]
As criticism mounted, the other band members would increasingly distance themselves from the song, and blame it on Axl and his stubbornness:

There's a line on the 'GN'R Lies' EP, in a song called 'One In A Million,' where it says: 'Police and niggers'...And that was a line I really didn't want Axl to sing, but, you know, Axl's the kind of person who will sing whatever it is he feels like singing...And I knew it was gonna come out and finally it did come out. What that line was supposed to mean, though, was 'niggers' in the sense of...not necessarily talking just about the black race. He was more or less talking about the general sort of street thugs that you run into in LA. Especially if you're a Midwestern, naive young kid just coming to the city for the first time, and there's these guys trying to pawn this on you and push this on you, and all that. It's a heavily intimidating kind of thing for someone like that. I've been living in Hollywood for so long, I'm used to it...But I didn't want it to be taken wrongly. Which always happens. I decided once or twice that I was gonna do a sort of international press release to explain what all that was supposed to mean. And then I thought, no, fuck, you know, that's a waste of time. [...] That kind of thing bothers me in particular because, you know, I'm part black...and I don't have anything against black individuals at all. And what else bothers me is that one of the nice things about Guns N' Roses is that we've always been a people's band, and we never really segregated - is that the right word for it? - our fans. [...]. I mean, it doesn't even have to be about the blacks; the term 'nigger' goes for Chinese, Caucasians, Mexicans, whatever...It's about a type of people, not a race. [...] I don't think that statement should have been made. I think that should have been kept at bay. But...Axl has a strong feeling about it and he wanted to say whet he wanted to say, y'know? But God forbid any of us should get arrested and end up in County Jail, and someone wants to go, 'Yeah, that's the guy who wrote that song,' y'know? You could be in some serious fucking truble then, boy...And it's a shame because 'One In A Million' is a great track...at least I think it is. But now everybody's homing in on that one line, and I can't complain because I understand why [Kerrang!, April 1989]
Everybody on the black side of my family was like, 'What is your' problem? My old girlfriend said, 'You could have stopped it.' What am I supposed to say? Axl and I don't stop each other from doing things. Hopefully, if something is really bad, you stop it yourself. It was something he really wanted to put out to explain his story, which is what the song is about. Axl is a naive while boy from Indiana who came to Hollywood, was brought up in a totally Caucasian society, and it was his way of saying how scared he was and this and that. Maybe somewhere in there he does harbor some sort of [bigoted) feelings because of the way he was brought up. At the same time, it wasn't malicious. I can't sit here with a clear conscience and say, 'It's okay that it came out.' I don't condone it. But it happened, and now Axl is being condemned for it, and he takes it really personally. All can say, really, is that it's a lesson learned [Musician, December 1990]
I have a big problem with that lyric. I've talked to Axl many times about his lyrics. 'You don't need to say that, Axl. You're a fuckin' immigrant yourself. Everyone's a fuckin' immigrant in America. Don't you see you're putting down the whole of fuckin' America? And if they faggots, well so what?' Axl... is very... confused. But I was pissed off. I was very against that shit going on our record. 'Why'd you have to say that, Axl. It's hard enough just gettin' by.' [Pauses] But at the same time, y'know, this is just fuckin' rock 'n' roll music. When it's fucked up, it's more interesting. Whoever said this was responsible music, y'know? We're not fuckin' role models. At all. But 'One in a Million' is just flat-out racist. Like that about niggers trying to sell you gold chains [The Face, 1990]
Living with that 'One In A Million' fall-out was heavy shit. I don't know if Axl learned anything from the experience - I would hope he did. Actually, Slash said the best things about that in some interview he did when he said that Axl's free expression was all well and good but he'd hate to think what would happen to any of the band if they got thrown in jail and had to explain the lyrics to the other guys doing time. 'Cos during that period I ended up in jail in Phoenix for a day. I found out. It was pretty fucked up [The Vox, 1991]
That's a song that the whole band says: 'Don't put that on there. You're white, you've got red hair, don't use it.' You know? 'Fuck you! I'm gonna do it cos I'm Axl!' OK, go ahead, it's your fucking head. Of course, you're guilty by association. [But] what are you gonna do? He's out of control and I'm just the fucking guitar player...[Classic Rock, 2001]
When Axl first came up with the song and really wanted to do it, I said I didn't think it was very cool... I don't regret doing 'One in a Million,' I just regret what we've been through because of it and the way people have perceived our personal feelings ["Slash: The Rolling Stone interview" Jeffrey Ressner with Lonn M. Friend, Rolling Stone, February 1991]
And then as far as the whole racist thing is concerned, it had nothing to do with racism, or us speaking out against blacks or anything. I'm half-black, so I was like: "Ok, this is a good one. And we're definitely not homophobic. Axl's view doesn't maybe match with what you're "supposed" to think. But the experiences Axl had of gays when he came to Los Angeles for the first time, you can't take that away from him [Metal Zone, December 1993]
When I first heard 'One In A Million', I asked Axl, 'What the fuck? Is this necessary?' He just said, 'Yeah, it's necessary. I'm letting my feelings out' [The Days of Wine and Roses, Classic Rock, April 2005]
That song was meant, to the best of my knowledge, as a third-person slant on how fucked-up America was in the '80s. I don't know. I wouldn't have used the words, but Axl has been known to be amazingly bold at times [Reverb, July 2010]
'One In A Million' featured the wildly controversial lyrics about "police and niggers" and "immigrants and faggots." I thought that it was a great song that needed strong words. It expressed a heavy sentiment that had to be delivered with no punches pulled. I knew that the words weren't directed to the majority of blacks, gays, or immigrants. It simply described the scumbags of the world. (...) The song explained the shit that Axl, a naive hick from Indiana, had gone through ["My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, pp. 177]
I come from a family that’s multi-racial, Slash is half-black, and “One In A Million,” from where I sat in 1988—and I was convinced of it and still am, and people look at me cross-eyed—to me it was a commentary on America from a third person, and I thought it was the most genius thing ever, and I thought it was pretty bold of Axl to take that stance. We weren’t the huge band we’d become when Lies came out, but people knew who we were, so we knew people were gonna hear this song, but it wasn’t done for the shock value. It was kind of just recorded and done and out, and we were moving on. David Geffen had us on this AIDS benefit in 1989 or ’90, and it was gonna be at Radio City Music Hall, and we were the headliner for this thing. And the Gay Alliance or Rainbow Coalition or something gave David Geffen so much grief that we were kicked off. And it was really like, “Are you fuckin’ serious?” And that’s when it first started to dawn. I remember taking a flight home to Seattle and there was an empty seat next to me, and the flight attendant sat down, and she was a black woman. She said, “So, are you in the band Guns N’ Roses?” “Yeah.” “Are you really a racist?” She wanted to sit down and talk to me and try and turn me from being a racist. She was a nice Seattle chick, and I was a nice Seattle guy, and I just shrank in my seat. I didn’t know what to say [The Onion A.V. Club, May 2011]
Slash discusses the song heavily in Kerrang! April 1989, and quotes from there should probably be included in this section.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:14 am; edited 11 times in total
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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

THE ONE IN A MILLION CONTROVERSY - HOMOPHOBIA

Immediately after its release, it was mainly the racist aspects of 'One in a Million' that was debated in the media. The homophobic slurs did not cause as much controversy at first, or it sort of had to take a backseat while media discussed the use of the word 'nigger'. But when that discussion started to wind down, the band started to receive more criticism for the homophobic verses and even lost work as the result:

David Geffen had us on this AIDS benefit in 1989 or ’90 [it was in 1989], and it was gonna be at Radio City Music Hall [in New York], and we were the headliner for this thing. And the Gay Alliance or Rainbow Coalition or something [it was the Gay Men's Health Crisis] gave David Geffen so much grief that we were kicked off [The Onion A.V. Club, May 2011].
We're in no way associated with the Gay Men's Health Crisis, except that David Geffen is on the board of directors for the concert and he's the owner of our record company. We were asked to do this, and we wanted to contribute some money to help stop a deadly disease that's killing humans of all kinds. A friend of mine who's homosexual and was largely responsible for the record companies taking notice of us was upset about it because we didn't even get a chance to clear ourselves, to make good. AIDS is something very scary. The concert was something we wanted to do and felt it was important to do but we were denied the opportunity. We were even denied the opportunity to say anything about it. It was just publicly announced that we weren't allowed to do it because the Gay Men's Health Crisis wouldn't let us. I don't feel they have the right to deny the money and attention they would have gotten from us playing. It's pride, it's ignorant and it's childish [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

The homosexual friend Axl is mentioning here is likely Joseph Brooks or Henry Peck, who Axl would mention when discussing homosexuality:

The only people I deal with that are gay are [Cathouse DJ] Joseph Brooks and [DJ-about-town] Henry Peck, and I try not to offend them. Their sex life doesn’t come into any view of mine, ‘cause I’d just flip out. So it’s not like some kind of aggressive-against-gays shit [L.A. Weekly, May 1988].

While Axl would be bending over backwards to explain and defend his verses on blacks, he had a harder time, or didn't want to, defend the homophobic portions of the song:

When I use the word immigrants, what I'm talking about is going to a 7-11 or Village pantries - a lot of people from countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan et cetera, get jobs in these convenience stores and gas stations. Then they treat you as if you don't belong here. I've been chased out of a store with Slash by a six-foot-tall Iranian with a butcher knife because he didn't like the way we were dressed. Scared me to death. All I could see in my mind was a picture of my arm on the ground, blood going everywhere. When I get scared, I get mad. I grabbed the top of one of these big orange garbage cans and went back at him with this shield, going, "Come on!" I didn't want to back down from this guy. Anyway that's why I wrote about immigrants. Maybe I should have been more specific and said, "Joe Schmoladoo at the 7-11 and faggots make no sense to me." That's ridiculous! I summed it up simply and said, "Immigrants" [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

And he would explicitly state that he had an "attitude" towards homosexuals caused by a bad experience:

I've had some very bad experiences with homosexuals. When I was first coming to Los Angeles, I was about eighteen or nineteen. On my first hitchhiking ride, this guy told me I could crash at his hotel. I went to sleep and woke up while this guy was trying to rape me. I threw him down on the floor. He came at me again. I went running for the door. He came at me. I pinned him between the door and the wall. I had a straight razor, and I pulled the razor and said, "Don't ever touch me! Don't ever think about touching me! Don't touch yourself and think about me! Nothing!" Then I grabbed my stuff and split with no place to go, no sleep, in the middle of nowhere outside of St. Louis. That's why I have the attitude I have [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

When pressed in whether he is anti-homosexual, he would state:

I'm proheterosexual. I can't get enough of women, and I don't see the same thing that other men can see in men. I'm not into gay or bisexual experiences. But that's hypocritical of me, because I'd rather see two women together than just about anything else. That happens to be my personal, favorite thing [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

And when asked about his thoughts on gay-bashing and if he had ever beaten up someone because of their sexual orientation:

No! I never have. The most I do is, like, on the way to the Troubadour in "Boystown," on Santa Monica Boulevard, I'll yell out the car window, "Why don't you guys like pussy?" 'Cause I'm confused. I don't understand it. Anti-homosexual? I'm not against them doing what they want to do as long as it's not hurting anybody else and they're not forcing it upon me. I don't need them in my face or, pardon the pun, up my ass about it [Rolling Stone, August 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:05 pm

December 1988 - Touring Japan, Australia and New Zealand

After three months of downtime (with their last gig in 17 September 1988), in December 1988, the band travelled to Japan, Australia and New Zealand for five shows which was a long-held dream of Axl and Izzy:

We are so excited. Me and Izzy have talked about going to Japan - me and Izzy's been together for the last 13 years - for the last 10 years. It's been a dream. Going to Japan and playing the songs in Japan. Our favorite records was 'Cheap Trick At Budokan' and 'Unleashed in the East' [Judas Priest], you know. You hear the screaming Japanese people and we go, "You know, we have to go there! We have to go!" Hopefully we will have the people be like that for us and we'll have fun with them. And I'm looking forward to all he sushi. [...] We can find some opium den [and learn some, and have some oriental girls can teach us some things American girls don't know [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
Originally, this tour was planned for July 1988 but had been delayed because of trouble with Axl's voice [Kerrang! June 1989]. This is a bit strange, because in July 1988 the band was busy touring with Aerosmith.

Slash expected that they would be rusty:

We're gonna go to Japan for the first gig and suck miserably. Isn't that terrible? [In The Streets, December 1988].
Some of the shows in Japan were filmed potentially intended for a live release:

Right now it's just for our own benefit. We don't know what we're going to do with it. We're just filming and taping some stuff, because we think it's important to have it. We don't know if we'll find anything in there we want to use. It's not really a concern, it's just something we were finally able to afford to do. So we thought, 'Let's be smart. If we do film and tape it and there is anything good on tape, we might be able to use it.' But we really don't know [Kerrang! June 1989].

But:

Mike Clink came out to oversee the recordings and we also shot some video footage. But a funny thing happened when the video stuff was put in for processing - the tapes from the Budokan show disappeared I’m sure that some backroom kid now has a hot video in his possession, so I guess bootleg copies of that show will soon be appearing... [Raw Magazine, July 1989].

During the tour in Japan in December 1988, Steven and Axl had an altercation after Steven had slept with a girl who slept with Axl the day after:

[...] she starts telling [Axl] that I was talking all kinds of shit about him. Why would I share negative stuff about him with some random girl I didn't even know? [...] So Axl comes up to me and says something like, "This here is my woman, ans she told me that you said I'm an asshole." I said, "Your woman? You just met her, Axl. We fucked last night. That's all. I didn't say shit to that bitch." The argument just kind of fizzled out at that point with Axl mumbling something as he walked off. [...] Unfortunately, incidents like this only served to weaken my relationship with Axl [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 180].
According to Australian Record Collector, the band had to leave Australia early due to "an onstage rumble involving Axl" [Australian Record Collector, September 1994]. Whether this meant an early departure after the Sydney show on December 17 to get to their Auckland, New Zealand gig (Dec 19), or an early departure after the Auckland show, is not clear. Juke Magazine in July 1989 also mentions an "incident" that supposedly happened during the Australia touring [Juke Magazine, July 1989].

Looking back at the tour, Axl had the following to say:

As far as the country goes. I didn't really have time to get to see much, because I was too busy trying to make sure I could sing. Japan seems real fast-paced. Everybody is caught up with what big business is doing. […] The shows were great. The audiences were not that much different from the American ones, except that they're not allowed to leave their seats. But their response was great [Kerrang! June 1989].
Duff recalls that when returning from Japan he brought with him a camera he had received as a gift. He did not declare it at customs, and when the band was picked out for customs check and the camera was found and about to be confiscated, he smashed in on the ground in frustration. This was reported on his passport file (side 146).


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

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 11, 2018 6:05 pm

1989 - THINGS FALL APART, PART I: DRUGS & BOOZE

After the heavy touring of 1988, the band members found themselves back in Los Angeles with lots of money and lots of idle time. It did not work out. Especially Slash was struggling with adjusting to the more sedate life between tours:

The thing about being on the road constantly is that you never really have any big problems hanging over you the whole time. When you're moving around from city to city all the time you don't think about anything except getting to the next gig. Then when you come off the road, it's like this whole other world that you thought you'd left behind, but that's been waiting for you to come back to so it can start fuckin' with you. I mean, I hate having to deal with normal day-to-day shit. It leaves no time for anything else. […] To me it's like, well now you're off the road and you have a lot of money and you can do anything you want... But there's nothing that I wanna do except play. I just wanna get back on the fuckin' road... I envy all the bands that have their new albums done and are getting ready to go out. I'd love to have the album finished already and go back out. That's life as I know it, y'know? [Kerrang! April 1989].
Izzy, Steven and Slash continued with heroin. Duff would remark that Izzy's and Slash's extensive drug abuse may be linked to coping with the tragedy at Donington, but that they at the time of the interview were now "cleaned out and revved up" [Raw Magazine, July 1989] .

Another night, Slash and I paid a visit to Izzy at his new place. He had a loft in his apartment where he would hide from the world, shooting smack and smoking coke. We came by unannounced and evidently disturbed him. He was all weird and strung out from the drugs. He just said, "Hey," and kind of circled the room a few times, scratching his shoulders and his head like he had lice or something [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 187].
Steven was in increasingly worse shape:

[Steven] had bought a house just three blocks from mine and as a result I was able to check on him more often; what that amounted to in practical terms was watching helplessly as his crack and heroin use escalated. It got so bad, and he seemed si incapable of reining it in, that at one point I found out where his drug dealer lived and took a shotgun to the guy's house [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]
Steven would be convinced by his techie to go in rehab in January 1989 [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 187]. It would be the first of many attempts at sobering up. Axl might have been referencing this, when he in February 1989 said that "Stevie's got a way like, things just come up in his life" when explaining why they split the revenues almost equally between the band members, implying that he had a costly habit [Howard Stern, February 1989].

The drug use escalated while Steven, Duff and Slash were holed up in Chicago waiting for their band mates to join them.

One night I was so fucked up that somebody pulled me aside and said, "Here, do a little coke and you'll sober right up." And there you go, that was the secret potion. [...] Coke just allowed me to pursue my favored mind-altering regimen-vodka-harder and for longer periods of time [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 151]
Unfortunately this was also the point at which Steven really started to go overboard with his cocaine and heroin intake. I was nothing close to sober then, but I maintained a line I would not cross-which meant, first and foremost, that I would not let my work suffer. Also over the line: putting my life in jeopardy, putting someone else's life in jeopardy, getting arrested. Slash maintained a similar line-especially when it came to rehearsing and playing live shows. [...] In Chicago, Steven started to become frightening even to us, a couple of guys not accustomed to getting spooked when it came to intoxicants [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 151]
After returning to Los Angeles after their ill-fated Chicago trip, Duff was able to cut back on his excesses, he started exercising a bit and rarely did coke or took pills [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]. Steven, on the other hand, would claim that both Slash and Duff's addictions caused them to show up to rehearsal drunk, or not at all [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192].

Regardless of whether Steven or Duff are right, Slash, on the other hand, maintained a strong heroin addition as confirmed by them both:

Somehow I had it in my head that not shooting [heroin] gave me some moral high ground to shake my head and feel that Slash was out of control with the shit. Even though I had dabbled with needles, I had backed off a bit and was a little freaked by Slash's behavior. Not long after that first day of scoring together [after they had both moved to houses near each other], Slash started to really lose it. We had been partying for a few days, and as the sun was peeking up, I couldn't find Slash in the house.

I went out back, and he was sitting by the pool. He was so out of it, just blindly jabbing a syringe into his arm, over and over
[Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 186]
I would hang out with Slash from time to time, but things were getting dark up there at his house in Laurel Canyon. One day he pulled out a stack of Polaroid pictures he had taken around his house. "Duff, look at these," he said. "It's some of those Martian bugs I was telling you about. They're infiltrating my house and watching me all the time." There was of course nothing on those Polaroids. But he kept flipping through the stack and pointing [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]
When the band started rehearsing for the Rolling Stones gigs in October 1989, the heroin use started to affect the band professionally, with some of them coming in late, or leaving early, or not meeting at all [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156].

Axl, in contrast to his bandmates, continued to put his career before drugs and excesses:

Right now, for me, a line of coke is too far. A line of coke puts my voice out of commission for a week. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I did a lot of stuff before. Maybe it's guilt and it's relocated in my throat. All I know is it's not healthy for me right now. And if somebody goes, "Oh, man, he's not a partyer anymore," hey, fuck you! Do you want a record or not? [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
And when discussing this with RIP in April 1989, he ended with inserted a cautionary advice to the rest of the band:

I have a different physical constitution and different mindset about drugs than anybody I've known in Hollywood, because I don't abstain from doing drugs, but I won't allow myself to have a fuckin' habit. I won't allow it. I'll have done blow for three days and my mind will go "Fuck no". I'll have the physical feeling of knowing my body needs it, and I'll just refuse to do coke that day. I'm not going to do it, because if I was going to do it, I know I won't be able to hit my goals with what I want to do with this band. I can't let myself get into coke as much as I'm into the band. The same thing with heroin. I did it for three weeks straight and had one of the greatest times in my life, because I was with a girl I wanted to be with in this beautiful apartment, and we just sat there listening to Led Zeppelin, doing drugs and fucking. It was great, 'cause at that time I had nothing to do but sit on my ass and make a few phone calls a day. I stopped on, like, Saturday, because I had serious business to attend to on Monday. I felt like shit, sweated, shook, but on Monday I was able to function. I can't hide in drugs. A lot of people can, but whenever I do any drugs - pills, booze, smack, whatever - to enjoy it, my life has to be perfect - no fuck-ups, nothing going wrong. Otherwise, when I'm high, I'll analyse the shit out of everything that's happening in my life and why things are going wrong. That's not enjoyable. And if I have shows to do, I won't touch drugs because it fucks up my throat. My advice is don't get a habit, don't use anybody else's needle and don't let drugs become a prerequisite to having a good time. Do things in moderation, and just be careful [RIP, April 1989]
A few months later, Axl felt a need to comment on his statements to RIP:

I'm not and never have been a junkie. The last interview in RIP Magazine got taken out of context about me talking openly about my drug use. That was over two years ago and was only for a few weeks when there was nothing to do. I was also very safe about it. That doesn't mean that at some point I won't get really sick of life and choose to OD. Then people will go, "He was always a junkie." That's not the case, but you can believe what you want, I don't give a fuck. No one's really gonna believe anything I say anyway as far as what I do or don't do with drugs, 'cause it's such a taboo subject. Lately I've been drinking champagne for fun, a few beers, you know. Right now drugs get in the way of my dreams and goals. I really don't want drugs around me now, I'm not necessarily against the use of drugs, they just don't fit in my life right now. Then again, I could be out on tour for six months and a blast might be what cheers me up that night [Rolling Stone, August 1989]


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:47 am

1989 - THINGS ARE STARTING TO FALL APART, PART I: BAND OF BROTHERS NO MORE

The relationship between Steven and the band continued to deteriorate. In 1988 Steven would openly express his admiration for Slash and Duff, "I look up to those two guys more than anybody else" [Superstar Facts & Pix, No 16, 1988] which made it so much harder for him when he felt ostracized by them. In January 1989 the band played Patience on American Music Awards with Don Henley stepping in for Steven who was in rehab at the time:

WTF! when I got out [from rehab], someone asked me why I hadn't appeared on the American Music Awards. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. He proceeded to tell me that GNR performed "Patience" [...] with someone else on drums. [...] I was completely blindsided by this, so stunned and hurt, I can't begin to describe the feeling of betrayal [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 188].
And while Steven was becoming less and less important to the band, Axl was increasingly taking a leading role, to the dismay of the others:

Word was getting back to me that people were whispering in Axl's ear, saying all the ass-kissing cliches: "You're the guy, you're the basis of the band's success". That's cancer for any band [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148]
When famous radio host Howard Stern called Axl in February 1989, he wasn't merely whispering in Axl's ears, he was repeatedly telling him that Axl was the one writing all the songs in the band and should have a bigger share of the revenues[Howard Stern, February 1989]. In this same radio interview, Axl would mention that he had been "very, very mad a Slash" but not explain why [Howard Stern, February 1989].

Axl would also imply that he was in charge:

I can't be doing drugs every night because, after selling six million records, the business I have to deal with is a lot more intense than most people's. Once you reach a point where you're platinum or projected to go platinum, all of a sudden you're dealing with major record executives and business people and MTV and everything else [RIP, April 1989]
I'm like the president of a company that's worth between $125 million and a quarter billion dollars [Rolling Stone, August 1989]
Yet, when asked in March or April 1989, Slash would deny that they were growing apart:

Actually, because the success has fucked with everybody's heads so much, we're sort of like clinging to each other for support, and to keep some sort of mental balance, y'know? [Kerrang! April 1989].
And Axl would also emphasize that they made band decisions together:

Discussing Axl's desire to do big stageshows: Probably, but it will all be with the say-so of the band. I mean, the band will be the judge of everything that is involved with it [Kerrang! June 1989].

When asked explicitly if he considered himself "the leader of the band," Axl would reply:

That's a good question. I'm gonna do what I want to do. That may be selfish, but it's the best way for the most to come out of me. When we write a song, nobody in this band plays anything they don't really want to. When we write a song, the bass player plays his line and it ends up being what he wants to do on bass. It ends up working that way and fitting, so we end up with a set of songs that everybody likes. I couldn't say I'm the leader, like "We're gone do what I say." It doesn't work that way[/i] [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

Still, at some time in 1989 Slash started jamming with Dave Mustaine and there were rumours that they would start a separate band. Duff saw this as frustration on Slash's part with the "directionless path that GN'R was on" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148].

Slash just wanted Guns to get back to being a gang of dudes who hung out together all the time. As equals. With no bullshit. But there was no communication [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148]
Duff relates how he and Axl were worried about their comrades:

"What are we going to do?" [Axl] asked. I had no answer. We talked, but all we could do was hope they would find it in themselves to pull back and get into the swing of things as far as the band was concerned. We never thought of rehab or interventions back then [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148]
Later, when Steven, Slash and Duff hang around in Chicago waiting for Axl and Izzy to show, Steven was the one who were the most pissed at Axl [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 152].

Ever since the band had started, there had been some vague animosity between Axl and Steven. This happens in bands. All bands. I could never quite figure out what these two guys had against each other [...] [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 151-152]
One of the issues between band members were differences in approach to working, and especially frustration with Axl's attention to detail:

I'm too much of a perfectionist, I know that. I'm a perfectionist so much, that I don't get a lot of things done. [...] My main motivation for all of this, and it could never be anything but, is the music, the songs. I look at it like I'm a painter or something, and that's my motivation, just to be able to get the material out the way I want it. I'm not driven for financial things, those are a bit more than secondary. It's like, I can get as excited about making money as the next person in that I'm gonna be able to buy this and that, but if the song doesn't come out the way I really wanted it to then I'm more disappointed, and the money doesn't really mean anything to me then. I now that's hard for a lot of people to believe, but that's something that we've kinda stuck by the whole time, as much as possible [Rock Scene, April 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:59 pm

SUMMER 1989 - RELOCATING TO CHICAGO

Both the band's problem with drugs and the increasing friction between band members, became increasingly clear in the summer of 1989 (Steven claims in his biography that this took place already in March 1989) when the band moved to Chicago for two months to try to write for their follow-up record.

Axl was the guy who had suggested to relocate the band to Chicago. The idea was partly to get the band back together again (similar to their Gardner days when they had lived together and been efficient at writing songs together), and partly because Axl wanted to be closer to his roots in Lafayette, Indiana. As Duff would put it, "The band bowed to Axl's wishes" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 149].

The band wanted little press attention while in Chicago, presumably to concentrate on writing music, but this didn't work out since band members made little attempts to hide and were spotted around town. This resulted in The Chicago Tribune deciding to run a story on it which was published on June 26. As part of that story they contacted Doug Goldstein, one of the band's managers:

Why do you think we sent them to the Midwest? They couldn't get (expletive) done in L.A. They left to do the early work and rehearse for the next album. Who the (expletive) do you think you're (expletive) dealing with? If you (expletive) print anything that says they're there, you'll never talk to this (expletive) band. Ever [Chicago Tribune, June 1989].
In complete disregard to Goldstein, and needless to say, The Chicago Tribune ran a story on the band in Chicago. As part of that they also asked Geffen Records about it with a spokesperson saying, "Only management knows where they are. All we know is that they're working on the album outside the city" [Chicago Tribune, June 1989]. They also talked to Tom Mayhue, the band's stage manager, who would claim the band had only been in Chicago for four days for the National Association of Music Merchandisers convention [Chicago Tribune, June 1989].

Duff would later comment on this:

On top of that, a Chicago newspaper did a piece about the band living there in town, writing songs for a record, and even revealed the street where we were living and the location where we were rehearsing. Perhaps the lone advantage Chicago could have offered was anonymity, and now kids came to seek us out from all over the place with the hope of getting a glimpse of us or even partying with the band now tagged as the most dangerous in the world. This was not good. [It's So Easy (and other lies): The Autobiography (p. 151)]
Steven, Slash and Duff arrived in Chicago first.

Again, Steven claims in his biography the rest of the guys avoided him:

We'd always have blow on us at the studio. But when I'd offer to cut them a line they would refuse. Then Slash and Duff would go in some other room to party. "Hey, where ya going?" I would begin to follow them only to find that they had shut the door on me. To this day I have no idea why, other than I felt they believed I just wasn't cool enough to hang out with anymore [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 190-191].
At rehearsals, I felt I was getting pushed out of the songwriting circle as well. we would be working on the dynamics of a song and the three of us would throw around ideas. Then suddenly the exchange would be limited to Duff and Slash. I learned just to sit and wait patiently. They would agree on something, then turn to me and say, "Okay, Steven, this is what we're going to do" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
Slash, Duff and Steven got resentful when Axl and Izzy did not come as expected. While Izzy's new found sobriety was likely the cause for him being reluctant to spend time in close proximity with his drugging band mates, the whole Chicago trip had been Axl's idea.

Axl arrived seven weeks and five days later, with only two days left of studio time, according to Steven [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192]. He then got into a fight with a girl they had befriended, thrashed the place, and left. Izzy arrived the same day, saw the mess Axl had made, the drugs that floated in the place, and left, too [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 149].

Steven in his biography also claims Axl wasn't interested in the songs Slash, Duff and Steven had worked on when they presented them to him:

He sat there like we were putting him through some kind of torture. Plain and simple, Axl wasn't interested in our material! He just wanted to record a new song he had been working on called "November Rain" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192].
Steven does not mention in his biography that Axl got in a fight and trashed their room, nor that Izzy would show up and hastily leave when he saw the mess and drugs, as Duff claimed in his biography.

[Izzy] would still send in riffs and ideas for Use Your Illusion and didn't officially quit until 1991, but his day-to-day involvement with the band pretty much died that day [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 153]
Up to then I had not wavered in how I perceived us-as a band and a family and a gang. But this trip solidified some of the flimsy walls that had begun to go up between various parties in our unit. [...] Steven was fully strung out and babbling incoherently much of the time. Slash had one foot out of the band as a result of feeling betrayed. Izzy had all but checked out. [...] The damage was done and all forward progress stopped for quite some time [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]
Was I so fucked up that I didn't realize my drum playing was beginning to suffer? Was I lucid enough to even ask myself that question at the time? [...] All I know is that my opinion didn't matter anymore. It bummed me out. We were always a team; it had always been a combined effort. But not any longer [...] [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:05 am

1989-1990 - PERSONAL ISSUES II

As 1989 came along, Axl still suffered from violent outbursts despite having both a diagnosis and medication.

Axl: When I get stressed, I get violent and take it out on myself. I've pulled razor blades on myself but then realized that having a scar is more detrimental than not having a stereo. I'd rather kick my stereo in than go punch somebody in the face. When I get mad or upset or emotional, sometimes I'll walk over and play my piano [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

Include some quotes from Duff's book about his anxiety and Axl starting to see a psychiatrist.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:58 am

AXL'S PERFECTIONISM

Axl operated slightly different than the rest of his band mates in regards to music. He was very particular about how the music they created, often to the point of obsessing over minor details:

There isn't really anything we want to change [with Appetite for Destruction]. 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].
Sometimes six lines take two years. It’s just got to say exactly what I mean. Sometimes I write some great words, and then hear this fabulous music in my head, and I think, ‘Wow! This is really happening! This is better than Led Zeppelin!' And then I go home and put on a record and I realise, shit, it was Led Zeppelin [Time Out, June 1987].
His perfectionism may also be related to his stage nerves and anxieties regarding their live shows:

I'm very stressed about the shows, which are the most important thing to me. Nothing ever really works right for this band [RIP, April 1989].
This was very different to Slash's approach that was usually to finish his in a few takes [source]. Naturally, such different philosophies in regards to music would cause friction, and this would be more pronounced as Axl started spending longer and longer time on his work.

Axl was also strongly opposed to any compromises. To Axl, the art came before anything.

I believe in art first [...] Sometimes people talk about money being the success, that's second. That's being lucky and people being generous to you by buying your album. Your being accepted. That's success on its own terms. But success to me is like you do a painting, it might not have been what you wanted, because when you think of a painting in your mind sometimes what comes out on the paint is a shadow of what you thought of, but still, it is something you are proud of, and if you can get that and you're really proud of it no matter what anybody says, whether someone offers you a dollar or ten thousand dollars for that painting, if you're proud of it, that's to me what counts. And that's what we strive for.
[Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
I'm not going to not believe that we can't [make it with Appetite for Destruction], but anything's possible, you know, and if it doesn't happen then we're going to figure out another album without compromising our music because once we compromise our music there's no reason to be in this band. Get the fuck out. Go home. You know. If I wanted to fucking compromise I could have cut my hair and I could be, you know, a car salesman somewhere, or I could be climbing the corporate ladder or something. I'm not in this to compromise. Not at all.[...] I just don't like compromises just for the sake of being successful. That bothers me. To pay the rent. I'd rather starve than paying the rent by bending over and taking it in the ass, and that's how I consider it [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:19 pm

1989-1990 - Run-Ins with the Law

On January 17, 1989, Axl was allegedly arrested for "disorderly conduct and public drunkenness" with his brother Stuart when partying at Slash's apartment. They were detained in the drunk tank for six hours but no charges were filed [People Magazine, February 1989].

In October 1989, Izzy would be arrested by the FBI for pissing at the galley carpet in a plane [see below].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:19 pm

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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:19 pm

1989-1991 - THE PRESS II

In the beginning of 1989 the band refused to do interviews with US press:

From now on, interviews will be very limited. That must sound like, 'Oh, he's being a rock star', but the truth is, I don't need the headache of not getting things across to the public the way I feel they should be. I'm only doing this interview because I believe in RIP and some of the friends I've made there [RIP, April 1989].
The only reason were not doing any American press right now is because just so much American press has been done. We don't want to be overexposed to the point where people bum out on us. You know, when its almost to the point where you're on cereal boxes! [Kerrang! April 1989].
In RIP from April 1989, Axl said that "there are some magazines that we have some major problems with", and pointed out the recent article in Rolling Stone (from November 1988) as particularly disappointing [RIP, April 1989].

The band was getting fed up with an increasingly antagonistic press who focused on everything but the music:

It seems to me that we're a spectacle, a freak show. Magazines are more interested in who fell over last night than the music. I'm to the point where I'm tired of being a spectacle. One of the things that make this band so controversial is that we tell the truth. We tell what really happens. I like being honest with the press. What bugs me is after reading something about me, people don't have the slightest clue as to what I'm all about. Isn't that what doing interviews is about? [RIP, April 1989].
I don't really read the magazines that much any more... I like to look at the pictures [Kerrang! April 1989].
Likely, the band was also fed up with how the media could create or exaggerate friction in the band:

And I've got to the point where I've come to understand what the media's all about, and what these people really want out of you ... Some people are serious hounds for any shit they—can pick up and print about us, to the point where you just sit there and look at them and you just see them as pathetic [Kerrang! April 1989].
I'm not really worried about what people think of me. What bothers me is what certain things printed about me do to people who I care about. If I say something, and it gets twisted to where it seems like I'm saying my band's full of shit or something when it's not what I said, that bothers me. That's not fair. Writers have to understand where we're coming from and hopefully print it that way. I've tried to be very open. You know, you've just met the interviewer real quick, you try to answer their questions, try to be as friendly as possible and then you end up with this person looking at your life not through a telescope, but rather through a kaleidoscope. Everything's in pieces and distorted. [RIP, April 1989].
An example of the media creating wedges in the band, is the RIP interview that Axl did in April 1989. When confronted with this interview and Axl's quotes drug use that included a thinly-veiled advice ti his bandmates, Slash would say:

There's some stuff he said about drugs in there that I wish he hadn't said. [...] I mean, at this point in time, what with having such a bad reputation, and having had so many run-ins with the cops, I'm really wary when I see stuff like that in print. It makes me nervous. I mean, this is the real world now, and anything can happen out there - and usually does where this band's concerned! [Kerrang! April 1989].

By 1989, the press was mostly interested in Axl and Slash. The vast majority of interviews and articles would focus on these two. Thirdly was Duff, who now and then got some attention. Izzy was much less featured, maybe because he, after an active period in the beginning of the band's history, now wanted to take the back seat or was starting to be really fed up with the band and industry. But even less attention was given to Steven. No interviews or articles focusing on Steven alone is to be found before 1989. He was by far the most anonymous of the members. The only time he would be featured was together with others, and often then he would let the others do most of the talking. When discussing how wrote the lyrics to the band's songs, Slash and Duff would perhaps reveal a reason for this:

"What about Steven Adler?

Slash: He plays drums. Steven's not the most vocal person in the world.

Why? Is he shy?

Slash: Well, no, maybe vocal isn't the right word, more like illiterate would be the word. (laughter)

Duff: Put it this way, the Navy wouldn't take him!" [Hit Parader, July 1989; but the quotes are from 1988].



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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:19 pm

SEPTEMBER 1989 - IZZY AND VINCE AT THE MTV VMA

Not long after his airplane incident, Izzy found himself in trouble again at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.

Alan Niven: jumped out of a crowd of people and sucker-punched Stradlin. Stradlin's lip was cut by Neil's rings but he was otherwise unhurt. Neil, on the other hand, found himself on his back; he scrambled and ran for his limo. […] Fortunately Vince is a powder puff and can't do much damage, but it was a chicken . . . thing to do" [LA Times, September 1989].

According to Niven, Neil's animosity towards Izzy stemmed form an incident in 1988 when Izzy had Neil's wife "ejected from a private room" at a local rock club, resulting in assault charges being filed and later dropped against Stradlin [LA Times, September 1989]. Neil would dispute this and claim "that [Izzy] had attempted to remove Neil's wife's clothing and later kicked her in the stomach" and that when Neil saw Izzy at the Awards show, "I did what any man would do" [LA Times, September 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:19 pm

OCTOBER 1989 - DANCING WITH MR. BROWNSTONE

In August 1989, Rolling Stone Magazine mentioned rumors about Rolling Stone wanting Guns N' Roses to open for them on their upcoming tour. Axl would say that no formal offer had been made [Rolling Stone, August 1989]. But at some point in 1989 Rolling Stones did offer GNR the opening slot for their entire tour for $50,000 a night [Yahoo Music, April 2016]. According to Alan Niven in 2016, he had been reluctant to accept the offer:

From a fiscal point of view, I was dubious about that, because at that point Guns could clearly sell out arenas on their own, which would more than double that take. The other aspect was I didn’t consider the band to be in any condition, whatsoever, to be able to take on a tour of that length and magnitude. Izzy had gone through a really, really bad cocaine period and was just getting out of it. Slash was using too much [heroin]. Steven was using too much. Duff loved his cocaine and his vodka. They were in no condition to take on a venture like that. Much to the bemusement of the band’s agent, I passed. Think about that for a moment. Can you think of anybody who’d been offered to open for the Rolling Stones and said, ‘No, thank you?’ How fucked up in particular is that? […] I was like, ‘The Stones are touring again? F—ing hell! They always sell tickets, but as far as I was concerned, my boys were now the standard bearers of excessive glories of rock ‘n’ roll. Why should they open for a bunch of landed gentry and English financiers? So, conceptually, for me, it didn’t sit very well [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
The Rolling Stones then came back with a second offer: four nights at the Los Angeles Coliseum for $500,000. Though intrigued, Niven still wasn’t entirely convinced by the offer:

My thought was this. You’ve got 77,000 tickets to sell in the L.A. Coliseum. I can see the Stones doing that twice, but four times? I think that’s pushing it, even for the Stones – unless they’ve got someone with them who is going to push it over the edge. And knowing that they had two confirmed and were holding two more shows that they wanted to do, I rather felt that that described the circumstance. So I went back and said, ‘We’d be delighted to accept the offer for a million dollars.’ The Stones’ people just about choked on that, but guess what? Jagger came back and accepted, because he knew he needed Guns N’ Roses to get the four nights. He’s a businessman, and he figured out the formula [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
So the band was set for the pinnacle of their career so far. Opening for The Stones had been a dream to Axl and a signal that they had made it [Concert Shots, May 1986]. The grandness of these shows were also apparent to Duff, but his band members didn't pull it together:

Despite the work we needed to do to prepare for the Stones shows, Slash and Steven showed no signs of pulling out of their drug habits, and Izzy slipped back into heroin use, too. Sometimes those guys put their drug use in front of band practise. One or the other often showed up late or left early from rehearsal-if they showed up at all [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156].
We were to do five shows with the Stones in late September and then go back to a place called Mates Rehearsal in North Hollywood to rehearse for the Use Your Illusion tracks. [...] Axl had a limo pick him up from home and take him to the shows. [...] I would walk over to Slash's room to hang out and party. Unfortunately, every dealer on the West Coast was buzzing around for the concert, and I fell to temptation again. At this point, Slash hadn't let up at all and was getting sucked deeper into hard drugs. Heroin came packaged in rubber balloons, and that night after we checked in, I bought six of those balloons and went to Slash's room. I walked in and I saw Slash in the bathroom, and he had like twenty of these same balloons lying around, already opened and used. he was just sitting on the toilet, staring down at the tiles, all stoned out. He was going to be no fun, so I just spun around and left [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 198-199].
According to Niven, Axl was nowhere to be seen before the show, with the production manager saying to him: "Your guy’s not here. Tell me what I’m supposed to do – call the LAPD and warn them we may have a riot with 77,000 people?" Niven would then, allegedly, ask the production manager if he had a contact in the LAPD who was an "absolutely no-questions-asked guy", with his wishes confirmed and the cop on scene, Niven gave him the address where Rose was staying and allegedly said:

I want you to send two uniforms to this address and have them get the occupants out any which way they can and bring them here right away, in handcuffs, if necessary [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
The police did as asked and brought Axl to the venue [Yahoo Music, April 2016]. When Axl came on stage he first defended 'One In A Million', and then continued:

I don't like to do this on stage. But unless certain people in this band start getting their act together, these are going to be the last Guns N' Roses shows. I'm sick and tired of too many people in this organization dancing with Mr. Brownstone [From stage, October 18, 1989].
And then, before the encore: "Before we begin, I'd like to announce this is my last gig with Guns N' Roses" [Los Angeles time, October 20].

I was watching my band mentally and physically fall apart. It was a harsh move [talking about it] onstage, but we had tried everything else, and nobody would stop. It just kept getting worse and worse and worse. [...] I remember bumping into [Geffen Records head] David Geffen when I walked onstage and he was all excited about us playing with the Stones and all the people there. I just looked at him and said, 'Well, then enjoy (the show) because it's the last (damn) one' [Run N' Gun, Los Angeles Times, July 1991]
You should have seen Geffen’s face. I was, like, 15 paces behind, trying to keep up, and I’m waving my hands at Geffen, like, ‘Leave him alone! Leave him alone! Get out of the way! Don’t stop him now!’ And then Axl shut himself off and then went back to his apartment [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
The band members felt humiliated and resentful:

[...]I got the call that Axl wasn't going to do the gigs. His reasoning was that Steven and I were on smack. We were...but that's beside the point; we were opening for The Stones. Somehow we coerced him into doing the first show and it was a disaster. "Enjoy the show," Axl said when we took the stage, "because it's going to be our last one. There are too many of us dancing with Mr. Brownstone." I was so pissed off about that and he was so pissed at me for being a junkie that I spent the better half of the show facing my amps. Nothing was together that night, the band sounded horrible [Slash's autobiograohy, p 277-278]
As I neared the stage I could hear the fans. As I rounded the corner, I could see the multitudes screaming their heads off. The sound of that crowd was so powerful that it actually gave me an incredible buzz. When the audience caught sight of us, they all bolted upright. It was like one giant wave of energy, intensely stimulating. We were the proud prodigy, the bastard sons of the Rolling Stones, and we killed that night. We were there to show the world that rock was alive and bigger than ever, and we succeeded in every way.

But at a time when we should have been rejoicing beyond all measure, Axl instead chose to wag his finger. He had become aware of the out-of-control partying that was happening within the band and he made a long rambling statement during the show. "If some people in this organization don't get their shit together and stop dancing with Mr. Brownstone, this is going to be the last Guns N' Roses show. Ever!"

Axl went on and on, threatening to shut us down if the runaway abuse continued. Maybe it was done for publicity, maybe out of genuine concern, I don't know, but it was way over the top. Disbanding GNR for drug abuse was like grounding a bird for flying
[Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 199-200]
Then came the second night [This really happened on the first night, on October 18, Duff seems to be mistaken here]. Before we played our first note, Axl suddenly announced to the 80,000 people in attendance that "if certain people in Guns N' Roses didn't stop dancing with Mr. Brownstone," this would be our last show. The crowd became absolutely quiet. People in the audience looked at one another; they seemed confused as we were. They really had no idea what Axl was talking about. I shrank. I felt so fucking embarrassed. And I was so fucking mad that Axl felt he could do this to me. I would have been supportive if he was sufficiently pissed off at certain guys to want to confront them for what was going on - I was with him., the situation was bad. But he needed to talk about that shit in private! Not out here. Never out here. Once Axl took his concerns public, the times of being a gang - us against the world - were over. We played the rest of the show, but it was a halfhearted effort at best. Afterward, and really for the remainder of our career, we just went our separate ways. That night officially rang the bell for the end of an era of GN'R [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 158]
I never even told Axl how upset I was [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 159].
Niven headed Axl’s apartment at 10 a.m. the next day and sat on the rocker’s bed, "trying to talk some sense into him" [Yahoo Music, April 2016]:

I brought a very big bag of donuts with me, and as I sat and listened and listened and listened, and as he complained about everybody and everything, I just kept feeding him donuts. Eventually, he started to get a little bit of a sugar rush, and in the throes of the sugar rush, he conceded that if I could get Slash to humiliate himself by apologizing to him live onstage, then maybe he might possibly think about doing that night’s show. So I got on the phone with Slash and said, ‘Whatever you have to do, do it. You’re gonna have to grovel. You’re going to have to bite the bullet. Just do what he says – that’s the only way we’re going to get him onstage.’ And obviously, reluctant Slash agreed to do it and, bless him, he took a bullet for everybody, and was publically humiliated onstage and apologized to Axl live onstage that night [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
On the second night, Slash addressed the crowd before they started playing, talking about the perils of drugs but concluded "Guns N' Roses is not gonna be a band that falls apart because of it." Axl then came on stage and thanked Slash before saying, "I'd like to apologize for my actions and comments last night. I just didn't want to see my friends slip away" [Los Angeles Times, October 1989].

The press wanted to know if this was only a media stunt, but "a source close to the band" stated that "There has been real tension in the band. The only thing that surprised me was that Axl went public with it. It might have been the pressure of the big engagement" [Los Angeles Times, October 1989]. This was not the first time Axl had expressed concern about his bandmates lifestyle, in November 1988 he had mentioned to Rolling Stone Magazine that he wasn't worried about the band's violent temper as long as they lived long enough to record a new album where that aggression could fuel the music:

It's cool that this tension is building up, because it's gotta find its release in the music. If we live that long [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
And in August 1989 he mentioned to Rolling Stone that "I don't want to see drugs tear up this band" [Rolling Stone, August 1989]. This was just months prior to the ill-fated shows with Rolling Stones.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:19 pm

"WE WERE NEVER ANY GOOD WITH COMMUNICATION"

As the band members grew apart in 1989, not living together, not writing together, everybody in their own world of drugs, anxiety, and mental issues, they stopped talking to each other. When they lived together, even a band of strong individuals, would be forced to communicate, to share, and talk things out.

Instead resentment grew and festered. Instead of confronting Axl with his lateness and his growing megalomania, the band fled into bottles and syringes. Instead of confronting Steven and Slash with increasing drug use that started to affect the band, Izzy distanced himself and Axl became more convinced he was the only one that could hold the band together. And instead of confronting Duff and Slash with avoiding him, Steven would keep quiet and to himself.

Instead of confronting them and flushing out whatever the hell it was that seemed to be getting worse, I let the drugs take me into a dark valley of despair, where I could wallow in my own self-pity [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
We were never any good with communication, especially when that meant confrontation. If we could have developed those skills then, the story of GN'R might have been very different [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156].
For the most part, Axl had been ignoring me during this period. But that was my fault too. I never took the initiative to talk with him and find out what was simmering in that brain pan of his. I wish I had insisted on making the time to sit him down and sort things out to clear the air [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
These problems would ebb and flow, but steadily grow. What broke the band apart can always be discussed and there were many factors, but a lot could possibly have been solved if the band had just communicated directly, honestly and with care.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:20 pm

OCTOBER 29, 1989 - IZZY GETS ARRESTED

On October 29, 1989, Izzy was arrested on a stop-over when flying from Indianapolis to Los Angeles [Arizona Republic, October 1989] and charged by the FBI for "interfering with the duties of the plane’s crew" after he was obnoxious to flight attendants, smoked in no-smoke section, and pissed in the galley when the restroom was occupied [Arizona Daily Star, October 1989].

Bryn Bridenthal, the band's publicist, would excuse the event this way, saying that Izzy "relieving himself in the galley was just his way of expressing himself," and that "he’d been bitten in the face by a dog in Indianapolis and he was still a little bit shocked by that,” so "when he got on the plane, he was bumped from first class into coach. It was just sort of one band thing pilling up on another" [Arizona Daily Star, October 1989].

In October his case would be brought to court and Izzy would plead guilty and apologize. He was fined $2,000 "for urinating on an airplane and lighting up in the non-smoking section" and $1000 to USAir for "cleaning up his mess." Additionally, he was put on probation for six months are ordered to see a psychiatrist back in Los Angeles for counseling. His attorney Edward Novak would state that Izzy "is an individual of few words, but someone who can keep his word and is... anxious to find out whether he has a problem with alcohol [Arizona Republic, October 1989].

This incident seemed to have spurred Izzy on into sobriety [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 150]. In his biography, Duff would say that by October 1989 Izzy was back on heroin [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156]. The incident happened late in October (October 29), so either Izzy was back on heroin in November or later, or Duff is mistaken.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:20 pm

GEFFEN GROWS IMPATIENT

By now Geffen Records would be well used to the band moving slowly. 'Appetite' had taken longer than planned, partly resulting in the release of the EP Live? Like A Suicide. And now the follow-up to 'Appetite' was taking much longer than what the label wanted. The label saw the need to release quickly while the band enjoyed immense success from 'Appetite,' but writing and recording was a very slow process and again the label decided to release an EP, 'GN'R Lies'. Still, the band was far from having the follow-up ready and they started re-releasing singles.

Duff: "Well, you can took at it from the point of view that ‘AFD’ is two years old, but it you recall the LP only really began to take off about a year ago, so in those terms it’s not that old. One thing all of the band are pissed off with, though, is the fact that Geffen Records have seen fit to re-release ‘Sweet Child...’ again in the UK. Why? We certainly weren’t consulted on this state of affairs and whilst I know that the label don’t need our permission to put out anything as a single from our LPs, nonetheless it seems to us that they’re milking the fans. And I just hope that we don’t get the blame" [Raw Magazine, July 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:20 pm

1988-1991 - THE MAKING OF USE YOUR ILLUSION

A follow-up to 'Appetite' was something the band had looked forward to for a long time. But with the success of their debut LP, the pressure was on:

Slash was humble when reflecting on the success of a follow-up:

Our next album will come out, and it'll sell a lot, but I don't think it will be like this, the way things are right now [with Appetite]; crazy. But it doesn't matter. What matters is whether the next album is actually any good or not. As long as the material is all there, I'm happy. We'll just make the best record we possibly can, as sincerely and as honestly as everything else we're ever done, and that's it. After that, it's not our problem any more... I know damn well that the reason 'Appetite...' is going where it's going is because we hit certain fuckin' particular place and time and the sparks just flew [Kerrang! December 1988].
Yep, the pressure's kind of on. Still, its nothing we can't handle [Guitar World, March 1989].
Getting the follow-up out would turn out to be a laborious process.

After having released Appetite in November 1987, the band spent most of their time touring until the end of 1988. During this time they did not have much time to properly work on their follow-up (although they did record for the EP 'G N' R Lies'). In August 1988, Axl said they planned to release their second album in the first half of 1989. Circus Magazine would in September 1988 state that the band intended to start working on their second LP after coming back home from their shows in Japan in December 1988 [Circus Magazine, September 1988]. Slash would say in October 1988 that they expected to have the album out by the summer of 1989, and start touring in the fall that year [MTV, October 1988]. In December that year, Duff and Slash said they were going to start recording in January 1989 [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988; Kerrang! December 1988] but Duff doubted they would have the album ready for the summer that year [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988]. In March 1989 Slash was asked when he believed the album would be out, and answered, "I don't know, I really don't. […] I guess we should be in the studio working on it by June...July?" and that he hoped the album would be out in 1990 [Kerrang! April 1989], clearly indicating that things weren't going according to what they had hoped for in 1988.

The songs that would comprise the Use Your Illusion albums were written over a long period of time, some went all the way back to Hollywood Rose, other were written for Appetite for Destruction, and others were written after the release of Appetite. As usual, Axl had put thoughts into the contents of the follow-up:

Right now I'm really into writing, not necessarily ballads, but they're not like blazing fast rockers either. Things that have a lot of feeling, and that show some growth in understanding the world around you, and trying to relay that to other people. I've been writing a lot of different stuff for myself. I feel I'm growing as a songwriter. I don't necessarily know what the kids will think of it, or the majority of the public will think about it, but it's something I want to do. Like the next record, or the record after that could just fall flat on its face, but if I'm writing songs that I like, that I feel good about, that's all that counts. I'll still be happy [Rock Scene, April 1988].
There was a lot of stuff written before the last record, before we even went into the studio, in which case we picked 12 songs to go on the first album, and so that left a lot of ideas and material that we didn't use left over. This is stuff we care about. There's songs that Slash wrote guitar parts for, like, four or five years ago, and I just started writing words to one of them about a month ago. It was something I always liked but never found the right words for. There's a lot of stuff like that. There's other tracks that we decided we didn't want to put on the first album, we wanted to wait until we had a larger listening audience and spring it on them. [...] I've written a bunch of stuff, and Slash has written a bunch of stuff, and Izzy's written a bunch of material, and we've just started putting it all together. Basically what we do is, everybody just writes a whole song on their own. Those guys might delete words. I might delete guitar parts, but I have an idea of how I want them to go. Then we get together eventually, throw it in a pot and see what we can pull out [Rock Scene, June 1988].
For the next record the lyrics I've written don't have anything like that [=profanity] in them. But there's a lot of stuff that Slash has written... a lot of heavier stuff. We'll get together and see what happens with it [Screamer, August 1988].
We've got a lot of songs. Songs we wrote even before we did the first album. We had songs that weren't right at the time, so we said we'd save them for the next record [Circus Magazine, February 1989].
The next record will definitely be much more emotional. I try to write so the audience can understand what emotions I was feeling. Also, I think the songs are worded in a way that a great number of people will be able to relate to the experiences; it's not so personalized that it's only my weird, twisted point of view. […] The most important songs at this point are the ones with piano, the ballads, because we haven't really explored that side of the band yet. They're also the most difficult songs to do - not difficult to play, but to write and pull out of ourselves. The beautiful music is what really makes me feel like an artist. The other, heavier stuff also makes me feel like an artist and can be difficult to write. But it's harder to write about serious emotions, describing them as best as possible rather than trying to write a syrupy ballad just to sell records [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
In mid-1987, Axl talked about wanting to have Manny Charlton (from Nazareth) guest vocal on the record. They had already figured the song out [Unknown UK source, June 1987]. This did not happen and it is not known what song this was, but maybe a cover of 'Hair of the Dog' which would later be recorded for the Spaghetti Incident.

By the second half of 1988, Slash and Axl would say they already then had enough material for a double album [Melody Maker, March 1989] and looked forward to touring it in 1989:

[...] we've got about enough stuff planned for a double album and we don't know exactly what we're gonna put out on the next one, we're looking forward to being able to get out there again next year, and give the people even more of a show in a headlining position, so that they can, you know, see more of what we're about. [KJJO 104, August 1988].
In October 1988 Slash would emphasize the amount of material they already had:

There's just a lot of material. I can't really say... I mean, there's tons and tons of stuff. And we'll just do whatever we really like and you know. I think there's at least gonna be two songs that are slow on the album [MTV, October 1988].
In the beginning of 1989 the band was supposed to rehearse and write, but apparently things weren't going as planned. Slash would also say they had "the rehearsal studio block-booked 24-hours-a-day so we can hang out there whenever we want" [Kerrang! April 1989].

There's a lot of songs that I've written that Axl's heard and that he's real excited about. I still have to teach them to the rest of the guys in the band, though . . . And that's basically what I'm supposed to be doing right now. Izzy's got a few songs, too .. . I had him over here for a few days, and managed to get those songs on tape. In a couple of weeks we'll be ready for Axl to come down and start putting melodies and lyrics to the stuff. Hopefully, we'll be in full-blown pre-production in about a month-and-a-half [Kerrang! April 1989].
In April 1989, Slash would also indicate they had the material ready for recording:

The material actually came together a little easier this time. We knew what we wanted to do, so every time we had a break from the road we'd all get together in an L.A. rehearsal hall and try to get some new songs together. The four musicians in the band would work on some basic song structures while Axl would be off working on his lyrics. Then we'd get together and see what fit together. It was amazing how even if we didn't know what the other guy was doing how the words and music just naturally fit together [Hit Parader April 1989].
Slash would repeat himself in May 1989:

I don't have to worry about us being able to make this next record even better than the first one. We've already gotten all the songs written, and Axl's come up with some incredible lyrics. Being able to tour the world and experience all we have during the past 18 months has given us an incredible amount of energy to draw from. Appetite for Destruction was only the beginning of what this band is going to do. This next record will kick-ass just as hard, but it'll be different, too.[...] The material actually came together a little easier this time. We knew what we wanted to do, so every time we had a break from the road we'd all get together in an L.A. rehearsal hall and try to get some new songs together. The four musicians in the band would work on some basic song structures while Axl would be off working on his lyrics. Then we'd get together and see what fit together. It was amazing how even if we didn't know what the other guy was doing how the words and music just naturally fit together [Hit Parader, May 1989].
In the summer of 1989 (June to July?) the band relocated to Chicago for a few months to work on their record. According to their manager Doug Goldstein, this was because "they couldn't get (expletive) done in L.A." [Chicago Tribune, June 1989]. The relocation was only a partial success with Axl and Izzy missing for large parts of the stay, resulting in mounting frustration on Duff, Slash and Steven's part.

When the band returned from Chicago late in July [Raw Magazine, July 1989], they continued rehearsing at Bob Mates Studios in North Hollywood [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192], and Duff would comment on the path forward:

In August we begin working with producer Mike Clink on actually recording the LP - probably at studios in Los Angeles. And hopefully the record will be out by November or something through Geffen [Raw Magazine, July 1989].
In the summer 1989 it was reported that the band was sifting through 30 songs, 10 of which ballads that Axl thought was "more credible than 'Sweet Child 0' Mine'" [Kerrang! June 1989], and Axl would confirm they had enough material for a double set and that they wouldn't tour until the beginning of 1990 [Juke, July 1989]. In Kerrang! from June 1989 (likely done before the Chicago trip) Axl said he focused on writing ballads but wanted to write harder songs together with his band mates, indicating that they hadn't been in a studio/rehearsal space together yet:

Right now I'm waiting to write hard rock songs with the band. I have a lot of subjects to choose from that I'm very interested in, but I'm waiting to see where their heads are at when we sit down with the guitars and everything. Right now I don't want to veer off too much in my own direction, because it would probably not be very heavy, I want to write some hard rock songs. The reason I wouldn't be writing so much hard rock songs my own is because I know I can do it with the band. A lot of riffs were going around in the air at the sound checks during the Japanese tour, things I've been hearing Slash and Duff go over, and I've had a lot of ideas for words, but I'm going to wait until we get in the studio to see what we put together [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987].
In July 1989 it was reported that the band had started pre-production in studio with Mike Clink. Yet also that Axl was collaborating with Sex Pistol's Steve Jones on his second solo album [Circus Magazine, July 1989], indicating that his attention wasn't 100 % directed at his band. This would also be implied when he talked to Rolling Stone later in 1989:

We're trying to regroup. I'm ready to work. I'm creating, and finally I have an environment in which I can work. I haven't had that for a long time, since three years ago, when we all used to live in one room, sitting around writing songs. Until recently, I haven't had peace of mind. There were always distractions, but now it's like we can finally work on our songs. [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
So it seems that the band struggled to work both because of Axl not being in the right headspace and because of interfering drug problems.

Izzy had gotten sober again, and this time for good, and he kept his distance from the rest of the band, who spiraled further down into drug use. During the songwriting for the Use Your Illusion records, Izzy would send the band homemade cassette tapes of his songs and ideas. According to Duff, "there was no animosity about his reluctance to come to rehearsals" (page 162-163).

It is natural to think that the variety of the two Use Your Illusion records came as a consequence of the band not living together anymore, not writing together, and not rehearsing together, to the same extent as before, but this was planned out from before:

The next record will be a lot of different material on it and I am sure that some people that like the EP or this record, they'll go, "Oh they've changed, they sold out," but they don't know when those songs were written [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987].
[...]there will be a lot of different styles of material that's gonna come out of us that I don't think people are really gonna expect [Rock Scene Magazine, June 1988].
[…]we wanted our first record ['Appetite'] to be a full hard rock record from beginning to end. The next record will have other variations, there may be some heavier songs as well as some softer ones [Kerrang! June 1989].
I don't know what [the next record]'s gonna do in terms of sales or our following. But it should be, for us, a very weird experimental process and coming up with a lot of new things. Because "Appetite For Destruction", a lot of the material written on that was done when we were in the club scene in L.A. That's over two years ago. Sometimes three years ago, some of it. And "Anything Goes" was first started about four years ago. And so, during this time, we've had a lot time to grow and mature, I think, lyrically and musically, and the next record we get to, like, fuses all this and see what we come up with. [...] Yeah, it's like a lot of people right now are getting turned on to 'Appetite for Destruction', like it's brand-new, and we still have the same momentum behind those songs as we've always had and we still find something and then we get excited, but, you know, the next record for us will be, like, anywhere from a two to four year jump and a lot of people, you know, are going to get that jump in one year's time and it's got to surprise a lot of people [Headbanger's Ball, September 1988].
The inclusion of November Rain was discussed between the band members:

Being asked if the next record will contain a "15-minute song" "filled with synthesizers and strings": [laughing] Could be. There's talk. We constantly disagree and keep changing our minds about everything from one day to the next [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].
Axl had long admired different musical styles, and bands who would be able to master them:

[...] that doesn't mean we won't play a heavy metal song, or we won't play a country song. The Rolling Stones, to me, have done the best, 'A Girl With Far Away Eyes', 'Far Away Eyes' to me, that's the best country song ever written, you know. Rolling Stones wrote whatever kind of music they felt like writing. They wrote 'Miss You', one of the best disco songs ever written. Just, you know, whatever you feel like and basically we're just a rock and roll back playing whatever we feel [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
I like variety in music. I don't want us ever to hem ourselves in. I think you can go from writing a heavy metal song to writing a mellow song without selling out. The important thing is approaching the music with the same conviction [Los Angeles Times, December 1988].
I've always looked at things in a versatile sense because of Queen, ELO, Elton John, especially early Elton John and groups like that. With Queen, I have my favorite: Queen II. Whenever their newest record would come out and have all these other kinds of music on it, at first I'd only like this song or that song. But after a period of time listening to it, it would open my mind up to so many different styles. I really appreciate them for that. That's something I've always wanted to be able to achieve. It's important to show people all forms of music, basically try to give people a broader point of view [Rolling Stones, August 1989].
The abundance of material, comprising two full albums, can also be explained by Axl worrying that this would be their last chance to release music, foreshadowing the future of the band:

I hope to do as much material as possible, maybe a double album. So if anything happens to the band, it'll still live on for a while [Musician, December 1988].
Duff would comment that if they didn't release all the good songs they had, they might "get lost":

We’re seriously thinking about making the album a double record, because we’ve got so many songs together. Slash and I have written some cool shit. And Axl has come up with some great stuff.., including the songs left over from ‘Appetite…, we’ve got about 40 numbers knocking around at the moment. And if we don’t do a double LP a lot of good tracks will be lost [Raw Magazine, July 1989].
The uncertainties in whether the band would succeed at releasing a second album came also through in an interview with Slash and Duff in October 1988, when Duff said they "hoped" they would make a second record and Slash insisted they would [MTV, October 1988].

Izzy and Duff would echo Axl's statements about the next record being more varied than their first:

It's hard to say what the next album is gonna sound like. It'll definitely be interesting. I don't think anyone's given any thought to it, so we'll just go and see what comes out. It'll definitely be varied. I think the first album has diversity to it, but the next one will have even more. We've got a ton of stuff to sort through. It'll be a rock & roll album, that's for sure [Circus Magazine, September 1988].
It's gonna be all kinds of stuff. Again, the success and the respect that we've gotten from the industry and from our company will just give us more time and more of ourselves to put into the next record. You know, we'll be able to write...like, the first one it was rushed, and while "these guys ain't shit, they gonna do shit," you know, and blah blah, so, and so we were kind of rushed, in a way mentally, and, and, eh... [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
Studio time was delayed when the band had to find a replacement for Steven. In the end they had twenty-seven songs to record. Matt, who replaced Steven, had to learn all the songs in rehearsals and make charts for them for the recording sessions.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:48 pm

LAWSUITS

Litigation followed the band from the early days. The first known lawsuit was from former manager Vicky Hamilton. Hamilton sued the band to get back $ 10,000 she had invested in them when she was helping them out in the early days [Musician, December 1988]. Axl would comment on the decision to settle out of court:

We didn't want to go to court, pay lawyer fees, court expenses and shit, especially when I don't trust the law and judicial system. I don't need the hassle. I don't believe in the fuckin' law system. […] Poor Vicky might look great in front of a judge, and Guns N' Roses look like slime, so they should lose [RIP, April 1989].
Then the band's publicist Bryn Bridenthal would sue two members of Poison after they poured booze over him as retaliation for comments Slash had made about them in the press [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

In September 1987 it was indicated the band has "lawsuits slapped on them" and Duff would say that "all the lawsuits that have come about are totally unfounded” [Rock Scene, September 1987]. Izzy would embellish:

We have quite a few of them [=lawsuits] already, but our attorney says you’re not a real band until you have at least a dozen lawsuits, so we have about eight or more to go [Rock Scene, September 1987].
Axl would refer to the lawsuits in 1988:

Law is something that interests me, cause there's always someone that wants to sue you, so I like to know everything I can about it. So, I'll be learning as much as I can from him and maybe, eventually, one day that's something that I'll turn to, just because it's something that I want to know about [Rock Scene, June 1988].
If I'd gone on through school, I'd probably be a lawyer. Then I could take half the people who screw with me to court [Musician, December 1988].
In 1989, Axl would mention that they have had "some out-of-court settlements," one obviously being the Hamilton case [RIP, April 1989]. Slash would also comment on the lawsuits in 1989:

We've got lots of lawsuits pending, but I don't think it would be wise of me to state any names, or someone will hold it against me somehow. They're richer and more influential than we are, on the average." [Faces, June 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:49 pm

1990 - Dizzy joins the band.


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:32 am

ACCOLADES

Another chapter I haven't really decided where to place. It's about the musical skills of the band members. I mean, GN'R was popular because of their songs, but individually, band members have been praised as musicians, especially Axl and Slash. So this chapter will deal with that, praise from others (non-band members) and their own words.

Axl

I’ve been singing since I was five years old. I sang in church from the age of five until I was 15. It was a Pentecostal holy roller church, eight miles out in the country. I played the piano in church [Spin, January 1988].[/i]
I grew up as a kid listening to Elvis Presley and gospel records, you know, and then when I got older I got into greatest hits in the 70s and all that stuff, and I played piano for years so I was really into anything to do with piano, Elton John and Billy Joel and stuff like that. But then when I started singing, you know, hardcore rock and roll I was really into Dan McCafferty of Nazareth [Unknown UK source, June 1987].[/i]
Despite this, according to Spin in May 1988, Axl never wanted to be a singer "because he didn't like his voice" [Spin, May 1988].

I'm like a second baritone, and I just worked on widening my range, to get a high range. And so then I just try to find the way to use it. Use the whole thing rather than limit myself [Headbanger's Ball, September 1988].
Slash

For me, it's like certain compliments come from different sources and I take them in different ways... Like, getting Best Guitarist in Kerrangl- that right there is one of the all-time greatest compliments, right? […] And then not only does t happen, but I find out Gibson's putting out a Slash model Les Paul... And this is all completely fuckin' amazing stuff that I would never have dreamed of happening to me when I was a kid! […] But instead of letting it go to my head, the way I honestly feel about it is, like; really don't see my playing as being truly worth that, y'know? I tend to put it down to record sales and 'cause it's hip to like Guns N' Roses right now. […] I mean, it would be a real joke if I was to start thinking of myself as the world's best guitarist, because that's just not true, and I should know... […] I mean, God, I would hope I'm twice the guitarist now than I was when we recorded the first album. But in another way, it gives me the energy and motivation to really play my ass off on this next record, so I can at least prove myself of being even just a little bit worthy of all the praise and attention I've had and the band's had this last year or so. […] It's fatal to believe in your own hype... I've seen it happen to people in other bands - they win some poll and immediately they start walking around thinking they're the fuckin' greatest! Believing too much in your own image - it's instant brain death [Kerrang! April 1989].[/i]


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:48 am

JULY 1990 - STEVEN IS FIRED

I would be safe to assume that if there was somebody to leave or if...whatever, the band would not be happening anymore. I would almost be safe to assume that. […] I mean, because it takes personalities and a certain, uh, way with each other to fucking make whatever is going to happen. […] said we kicked Stevie out of the band, you can't just bring fucking Tommy Aldridge in the band and it's going to be the same [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988]
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Steven makes a point in his biography to emphasize that the band already in its early years had a problem with him. During rehearsals for the 1987 shows at the Marquee in London, for instance, the band started playing 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' without informing Steven that it would be played:

It was Axl's idea to do "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." He told Slash about it, they learned it, and we did it. They never even mentioned it to me though, just expecting me to pick up on the beat on the fly. I didn't know if this was a tribute to my drumming adaptability or a sign of their abject disregard for my needs as a member of the band (but I could venture a pretty good fucking guess). [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 126]
In Steven's opinion, this disrespect towards him, although he doesn't explain where it came from, was a major component in the decision to fire him:

[...] this growing disrespect only snowballed until it put me in an awfully embarrassing situation at Farm Aid [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 127]
Contrary to this, the rest of the band would explain his firing entirely on his increasing heroin and crack use which made him unreliable. This affected the band's work on the Use Your Illusions:

Steven [...] was beginning to get erratic. His participation in rehearsals and writing and recording sessions became less frequent, and his ability to perform suffered big-time [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 162].
This became to a climax during the recording 'Civil War' for the Nobody's Child charity album in early 1990:

The first thing we wanted was a fluid drum take. Bass and drums always got done quickly in the early days. I hardly ever had to do bass fixes because Steven and I were so solid as a rhythm section. But when we had tried to lay down the basic tracks for 'Civil War,' producer Mike Clink and I had to patch together the drum tracks from dozens of inadequate takes-by hand, as this was before editing made that sort of thing much easier [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 163].
On April 7, 1990, the band played its only show that year, at Farm Aid charity festival, at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis.

When we had played a couple songs to a huge crowd at Farm Aid in April, [Steven] was a mess onstage [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].
The band then tried to scare him by saying they were auditioning new drummers. When that didn't help, they hired a sober coach, Bob Timmons, but nothing changed. Finally they tried to scare him again by saying he should get a lawyer [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].

It was meant to scare him, but it proved convenient for Slash, Axl, Izzy and me. In the end, we had our lawyer tell his lawyer that he was permanently out [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
It sounded ironic to a lot of people for us to kick someone out of such a notoriously debauched band for drugs. The truth is we didn't care what drugs people did or how much they did. We cared only about our work and our ability to keep the band moving forward now that we finally had songs to record and shows to play. We didn't give a shit about cause, just effect. Drugs? Sure. But it could just as easily have been something else. Lack of motivation. Jail time. Death. For me, I always thought death and death alone could ever push me across that line when it came to this band. (I was wrong.) For Steven, coke and heroin proved enough to nudge him across [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:05 pm

1990 - DIZZY JOINS THE BAND


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:05 pm

DIZZY BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:05 pm

1990 - MATT JOINS THE BAND

With Steven being kicked out of the band, the band needed a new drummer.

It was heartbreaking, especially for me and Slash, but we had to find a replacement drummer [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
Steven was fired after the Rock In Rio gigs were booked, but still with months to go [how many?].

The same thing that had made Steven an important part of our sound also made it difficult to replace him-his sense of groove We tried out drummer after drummer. Things started to look a bit grim. [...] Thankfully, at the very last moment we found Matt Sorum, who had been playing with the Cult [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:05 pm

JANUARY 20 AND 23, 1991 - ROCK IN RIO

In the autumn [precise date?] of 1990 the band booked its first gigs in more than a year: Two nights at the Rock In Rio Festival in January 1991 [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].

I will just add this Axl quote from November 1987 here. It's interesting because everything has been going according to Axl's plan: they got bigger, they started headlining seriously the following year with bigger shows, and here at Rock In Rio they put on really big shows, and with UYI they did a lot musically:

But things are going well and we're, you know, it'll get bigger. I don't think I'll relax until like we're headlining in a very, very big way and being able to put a full show across. And until then it's just we're still hungry, and then even when we get that then it's like we want to make a really big show, we've still got a lot of things that we want to do musically [Japanese TV interviews, November 1987].
Axl would also talk about the bigger shows ("huge stadiums, huge lights, huge sound") they wanted to do in an interview in July 1989:

When we went through Australia, we kept it basic because we wanted to prove to people that, above all, Guns 'n' Roses are a band that could play, we weren't a figment of some publicist's imagination. But next time around, we're gonna take one step up. The time's right for that one further step [Juke Magazine, July 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:05 pm

September 1991 - The release of Use Your Illusions


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:06 pm

NOVEMBER 1991 - IZZY LEAVES THE BAND

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

I think that if either Axl, Izzy, or Slash leave the band, it will be completely different. You know, Izzy's really an essential part of that band, more than I think most people realize. The songwriting is a big part of it, but Izzy really is essential to what Guns N' Roses is. Everybody thinks Axl is what Guns N' Roses is, but Izzy's the founder of the whole idea. Izzy's the one that wanted to get the big hair, the image, that whole thing going. So, he's really like a major part. He's not just the rhythm guitar player, he's the guy that stuck with it, really pulled the thing from the bottom up [Rock Scene, October 1989].

Izzy started to separate himself from the band after the Appetite touring, partly to get some distance from the partying as he was trying to sober up, but also because he likes solitude: "[Izzy] is the closest thing in the band to a loner; when he's on tour he likes to wander the streets by himself, and his girlfriend mentions he'd like to buy a house in the desert" [Musician, December 1988].

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

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


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:06 pm

AXL'S DEMONS

"Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place where as a child I'd hide
and pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by
"

Another chapter I am not really sure where to place. Probably in 1991 (?) when he talked about being abused as a child. I suppose it deserves its own chapter, at least as a possible light on his behavior as an adult.

In this interview from September 1988, Axl seem to hint at ugly things happening when he was a kid. Of course, "certain things" could just be an overly protected environment where he was limited in various ways, but of course also mean an abusive upbringing, something he would talk about at length in 1991:

And it took a long time and it's still, even to this day, I still have to deal with, you know, coming to grips with certain things that happened during my childhood, and certain things I wasn't allowed to do and allowed to hear and everything like that [Headbanger's Ball, September 1988].

He would touch upon this theme again in October 1989:

You see, I get along with my father real well now. Actually, he's my stepfather, but he raised me. But I see some of the pain that he has to go through in dealing with the way he raised me, and the pain that I have to deal with in getting along with my father, and thinking back on certain things that happened every now and then, and how mad I get. I don't want those things to happen [Rock Scene, October 1989].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:06 pm

July-October 1992 - Touring with Metallica

The band had attempted to tour with Metallica earlier. Already in early 1988 they had attempted to be brought onto the Monster of Rock tour with Metallica, but was refused [Spin, may 1988]. They later had a European tour in the autumn of 1988 planned, but this was shelved when they needed a break after the Aerosmith tour [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].

There's an element in Metallica that's the same with us. We couldn't really go out and do gigs with Slayer, but with Metallica it's not so much the style of music we play, it's more an attitude of going out and generating a lotta energy. Although, we're a helluva lot sloppier than Metallica! Rock 'n' roll is based on attitude [Sounds Magazine, August 1988].
We've thinking about tours, like, our favorite new bands out, like Metallica. We're friends with those guys and stuff and we're trying to work out something with those guys. But it's like, you know, they're going like we are, [?] we think that might be a monster show [KJJO 104, August 1988].


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

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:06 pm

BRANDING II

Axl: When I put on my clothes or do a photo session, I want to look the best I can. If you're going on a date, you want to look good for that person or for yourself. I've got enough money now to buy a suit I like and wear it the way I want. I don't wear suits every damn day now. Maybe I'm gonna shave and wear makeup and do my hair fuckin' way up. We're definitely image conscious. I think if Izzy came wearing a clown suit to a photo session, we'd want to know how he could validate his presence in a clown suit. [Laughs] But if he could back it up and convince us there was a reason, then it would be cool. Otherwise, it wouldn't be. Steven has his own way of dressing, in the latest commercial-rock fashions. Steven enjoys the hell out of the clothes he wears, whereas Slash and I wouldn't be caught dead in either. It's just different personalities. If we're gonna do a show, I wear a headband because my hair gets in my face. When we do a photo session, a lot of the time I'll wear a headband because that's how I am onstage. If I feel real dominant and decadent, I'm gonna be wearing my jack-boots and stuff like that. I try to express myself through my clothes. It's another form of the art. I'm not afraid of what people think about different ways I look. I'm gonna do what I want to do [Rolling Stone, August 1989].


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