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1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

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1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:53 am



Transcript:

Intro: In the spring of 1969 Billboards album charts were overrun with middle-aged crooners, g-rated soundtracks, and sugar-coated pop singers, but in the second week of May a British hard rock band's debut album managed to crack the Top Ten without releasing a single for radio airplay. That band was Led Zeppelin. Almost 20 years later popular music had come full circle. The best-selling albums in the country included veteran rockers, British synth pop, and teen idols. But in the third week of April, a hard rock band from Los Angeles entered the top ten with their debut album Appetite for Destruction. Once again the record buying public was way ahead of radio programmers, rock critics, and the rest of the music industry.

Keith Richards: Despite the fact they couldn't get a radio play or anything, the public beat the media. They said, "We want it".

George Michael: Sounds like a rock and roll band to me. It sounds like something that isn't manufactured. Whatever its qualities are, they seemed to be genuine.

[cut to clip from an MTV interview done on May 1988 at the Chelsea Hotel with Axl and Slash]

Axl: I hit L.A. with 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 then 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". And then I rode all around Fullerton thinking it was just the smallest city I'd seen and I would find Izzy. I rode the bus for like, two days. Never found Izzy.

[cut to clip of unknown date with Steven]

Steven: I saw pictures of Izzy and Axl. I said, "Slash, if we could get these guys and a bass player we could have the best rocking band." And it was on flyers we saw them and we went to the show and I was right. And we asked them.

[cut back to May 1988 interview]

Axl: We ran an ad for "heavy metal punk glam guitarist. Blues influenced". And Slash showed up and we said "Nah". But he kept popping up everywhere we were at and all of a sudden we started working together.

[cut to interview with Duff, unknown date]

Duff: And I moved to California and I didn't I... I wasn't that good of a guitar player, really, to be like... cuz there's a million guitar players in LA. And then my drum kit was just it was a piece of junk, you know, so I said, "Okay, I'll play bass" just to get my foot in the door and this is the door I've stepped into.

[cut back to May 1988 interview]

Slash: And we where the only five guys that could have made up Guns N' Roses. I mean, we had different combinations of us in different bands, you know. Throughout the time we were coming up and getting together. […] There was nobody else in L.A. we could have played with so it was inevitable that the five of us would get together, because that was it. I mean, there was no other combination that would have worked.

Axl: And eventually there was enough people that noticed over the years that we were able to have a following, and we worked our way up. We started Tuesdays then Wednesdays, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Since we got to Saturday nights we were headlining, yeah. And so then a year of headlining and we were signed.

[cut to voiceover]

On August 29 1987 Guns and Roses released Appetite for Destruction. A dark violent album with explicit lyrics and controversial topics. The album's original cover art featuring a Robert Williams painting was banned from record stores in the United States. The songs described life in the seedy Hollywood underground including tales of rebellion, drug addiction, and paranoia. Against all odds Appetite went to number one on the charts and sold over 12 million copies worldwide.

[cut to a new interview with Duff, unknown date]

Duff: Everything is about something that happened to one of us, or something. And, uh, I think kids really dug into that, you know. It's about real stuff that they deal with. I mean, kids today in America, it's it's crack, heroin, you know, there's, you know, pregnancy at 12, there's AIDS, you know, this is all this heavy stuff.

[cut back to May 1988 interview]

THE STATE OF ROCK AND ROLL

Axl: So I think a lot of it has to do with advertisers and advertising dollars and what radio stations will play, so they don't lose advertisers.

Slash: It's got greedy and institutionalized... that's what's happened today. I think that's why we're doing so well because we're sort of like a shot in the arm for rock and roll

Axl: You know, we're not trying to promote, you know, drug abuse or anything like this. It's very scary, I mean, it almost killed us, almost broke this band. It's almost, you know, killed a few of us a couple times, you know. It's something that we stay away from. And it's like being here in New York, you know, we've had some bad experiences before and, you know, and you just have to be really careful because, like, a lot of people take all kinds of meanings out of your songs which has nothing to do with the fact that, basically, it's about something that happened in your life two years ago.

[cut to footage from July 1989 at The Scrap Bar of Axl and West Arkeen with voiceover]

Axl turned another life experience into a song on the band's follow-up EP 'GNR lies'. 'One in a Million' is an odyssey through Downtown LA's jungle of urban decay. The lyrics contain a racial epithet and derogatory references to immigrants and homosexuals.

[cut to an MTV interview with Axl from unknown date in 1989]

Axl: A lot of people just take the time to assume that when a white person uses the word 'nigger' it's meant at the whole black race, you're derogatory and you're racist. I don't think people take the time to listen to the third verse and figure that one out, it says "radicals and racists, don't point your finger at me." You know, which is exactly what happened. We had the Ku Klux Klan saying we're promoting shows and backing the Ku Klux Klan and they immediately got a letter for my lawyer, you know, because that is not true. […] I'll be asked about that word for the rest of my life.

[cut to footage from CBGB's in October 1987 of the band playing 'One in a Million' and then back to the unknown date in 1989 interview]

Axl: You're more prepared to fight to the death and go down in flames than to make it. We're going to do anything to make it. We're ready, you know, with our own morals and values we are just ready to fight to the death for it. Thing is, is everybody we had seen, on the majority of bands we'd grow up around, had gone down in flames or, you know, breaking up and stuff without being, like, financially successful in the business. And then all of a sudden we did succeed financially. I think we were more unprepared for that than anything.

[now comes a section where it cuts between two different interviews, one of Slash at unknown date and one of Steven at unknown date]

Slash: There was this elementary school that we used to hang out at, me and these guys. [?] And we used to go, like, cut open the fence and there was these banks in the school that skateboarders used to use. And we used to use them with our bikes. It was one pool [?], right, and first became popular.

Steven: I met Slash at a LA elementary school at my skateboard.

Slash: This kid on a skateboard went flying one day.

Steven: I fell off, hit my head. It was a good 7 foot drop to the ground.

Slash: Came rushing up to me with such a pace I was like, "Oh, this guy's gotta be wounded".

Steven: And he said, "Are you all right?" and I said, "Yes." And I met him in school. My teacher was chasing me around the room and chased me into his room. This teacher was [?] him.

Slash: That was right before we ditched the entire seventh grade, yeah.

Steven: And then after the class was over we got together. Sang King Tut on the third floor railing [?] right on the edge of the railing. The teacher came out and freaked. And we've been friends ever since.

Slash: That's how we met and we've been friends ever since.

Steven: I had a guitar and a little amp and I invited him over by my grandmother's bedroom, showed him the one chord and one scale, put my Kiss record on, and I did all my Ace Frehley positions.

NICKNAMES

[cut to interview with Axl from July 1989]

Axl: Izzy was Izzy since junior high. [?] I remember we had a sheet behind his drums, "IZZY"! You know, it was great. And everybody knew he was Izzy.

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: Everybody's name kind of suits them.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: I had it since I was two, my parents gave it to me. I don't know how they came up with it but it stuck, it's my name now.

Someone beside Duff: "Bonehead"?

Duff: Yeah, "Bonehead".

[laughter]

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: A friend of mine's dad used to call me that whenever he came over, with my best friend. He used to come over and like "Slash!", and it just sort of like stuck.

[cut to 1989 interview with Axl]

Axl: "Axl" came along as name of band my friend used to write down. My friend Dave Lank wrote down names of bands, him and Mike Staggs and Roger Miley. And we always thought of names of bands and he had this page, like hundreds of names he thought of for names of bands. One day they called me up they said, "We got a name for a band, 'Axl'" and, like, I don't know, the world was coming down on me in my house and it's, like, I answered the phone and I was like, "What do you want?!" "We got a name for a band: Axl. How's your response?" And I was like, "A-X-L" *click* [laughter]

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

THE WONDER YEARS

Slash: I grew up in the music business. I grew up pretty heavily in it, so... I always had, from what I can remember, always had a real fascination with it, you know. I loved the environment and I loved the people and I loved the equipment, you know, things to mess around with. Like anytime we'd go to a rehearsal I'd be on the drum set or a guitar. Any of that stuff I've always had an affection for.

[cut to interview with Axl from July 1989]

Axl: We had the Bailey Trio. Me, my brother and sister. And we worked out three-part harmonies and we get up in front of Church and we'd sing like some gospel hit of the seventies, a little bit more rocked out than the actual hymns, you know, but I was like the bass then, I was like, [singing with a deep voice] "One more time. Jesus [?] burden" It was so much fun, it is really weird to think about that. We looked so geek [laughter].

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: My mom tried to get me to take piano lessons which I couldn't stand and didn't last very long. And I played, I think I played, not harmonica, recorder, you know that flute like thing in fifth grade or something which I wasn't really into either. Little bit too lightweight an instrument.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: My family is a pretty musical family also, I'm the last of eight kids, you know, so basically it's like my mom said, "Just do whatever you want to do." So I did it.

[cut to interview with Axl from unknown date]

Axl: He'll be very quiet and stuff, most of time, and really won't let a lot of himself out until he picks up the guitar and then his heart and soul seems to pour out through the guitar

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: Oh, I practice everyday, everyday, all the time. I love... I ever said at home, you know, I have... in my backyard, "Thank God," you know. It's not soundproof enough for my neighbors but, you know, either which way. It's great: I love playing. I have to play every day.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: I never, like, sit down and practice my bass, you know. It's just so, like, halfway through the gig I finally get warmed up because I never sit there before the gig and play a bass, you know. On tour I get a lot better, you know, because I'm playing every night. But when we're off-tour, it's like [?]

[cut to 1989 interview with Axl]

Axl: I can't do those "wooo" things Rod Stewart does, like in [?], no matter how hard I try. [?] That bugs me, bugs me to death.

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: I wish I could sing. I can't. I scream real good though.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: See, I was never really a bass player at all. I was always like a guitar player, or a drummer or something. And it's... joined this band, played bass, now I love playing bass, you know, I've gotten into it. Like, the next stage. "Okay, you can play bass, but how well can you play?"

SUCCESS

[cut to interview with Axl from July 1989]

Axl: We didn't own anything, you know. We didn't have cars, we didn't have anything, you know. It's like, "What? You mean I have to change the oil?! I mean, you know that but you never had one of your own. The maintenance is.... I mean, Slash calls me at times and go, "[?] I got this house and my refrigerator's leaking all over the place and I feel comfortable just leaving it that way but I know I can't do that cuz this is my house."

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: I mean I've never even had a car before. I'd never bought a car before. And so actually being able to go out and buy a car, you know, it was pretty cool.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: I rode a car down here, which is something...  my name's on the registration.

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: I got a nice car, bitchin' car.

[cut to 1989 interview with Axl]

Axl, talking about Izzy: The guy's intense, the guy's way intense. He's put a driveway around his place, say, like five acres and this pond and he's got this driveway around it so immediately he goes on buys all these go-karts and stuff for all his friends so they can get drunk and all the neighbors are just like, "Oh." Every house around Izzy's house is for sale now [laughing]. And nobody can touch him, it's out of the city limits. They can't. You know, then they go outside and he shooting off his AK and it's it's pretty [?].

PETS

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: You can come into my house on a giving day and find a snake in every room.

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: I got two dogs, two Chinese pugs. Benson [?] and Buster. I love my dogs.

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: Pythons and Boas, tree boas, reticulated pythons and blood python, Burmese python, carpet pythons and African rock pythons and anacondas and all this stuff. And then I've got another... I had like a bookcase that I converted into another snake tank, it's got three boas and stuff. It's cool, it's a lot of fun.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: I have two dogs. Two yellow labs. Etcetera [?] and Cloe. [Someone, likely West Arkeen, exclaiming "Well trained!"]. Well trained dogs.

[cut to interview with Axl from July 1989]

Axl: The band wants me to bring Torque on tour cuz he's fun to party with. Cuz he's fun! The dog is fun. He's this little dog, he tries to attack Akitas and things. He's four and-a-half pounds and would get bitten in half. But he's like gnarly. And he's fun and they wanted me to bring him on tour and I'm like, "Who's gonna clean up?" and they went, "Oh, that is a problem, uuuh." I can't do it, there's no way.

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: I want to be back on the road so bad.

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: [?] wish we go on the road. I want my bus. I want our bus. Dougie, where's our bus?

LIVE

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: I'm not bragging or anything but something [?] we can turn a coliseum into a club, you know. I don't know what it is but that's what happens.

[cut to interview with Axl from July 1989]

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

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

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

[cut to interview with Axl from unknown date in 1989]

Axl: The rest of the band'll bounce back quicker after a show. I mean, Steven, you know, runs out of the dressing room, wants pizza, and he's out to find the girls and everything. It's like, I need about an hour to pull my head back together because every song I sing, when I'm singing it, at the same time I'm like dealing with the crowd and stuff I'm also thinking about the situation when I wrote the song, which could be nine years ago, and where that person is now. All this stuff's going through your head like a million miles an hour.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: We toured for like a year before the album broke, but it broke, I mean it broke. And we were on the road and it was just weird, you know. It's weird, to get back on the bus and I was number one.

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: I mean for a bunch of kids to come off Sunset Boulevard and then end up on the road and then turn into like one of the biggest bands in the country, you know, which wasn't overnight but the actual success part happens so quick that it was such a mindblower. And especially when we got off the road and you're recognized everywhere and you go on to a record store, you go to a gas station, people recognize your new car, you know, and all that stuff. It's a real shock. I mean, it definitely, you know, set one over on me.
Threw me for a loop.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: I knew what I knew until I was 23, now I've learned a whole new life in two years, a whole different life, you know. So it's just dealing with that is just kind of weird. I'm not complaining, you know, but it just, it's weird. It's like cramming eight years of college into, you know, a week.

THE NEXT ALBUM

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: And since so much really bizarre stuff has happened to us over the last year and a half, two years, is that there's a lot to write about.

[cut to interview with Axl from unknown date in 1989]

Ax: I feel I have responsibilities to myself and to music, and things I want to do with it, like, you know, trying to relate to as many people and help open their minds up and least make them think. I'm not telling them that we can save the world but I can kind of describe the world, and, you know, just at least let them think about it, you know.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: People might listen to the album an think it sucks but I think the songs are really good. And there's really no pressure on us, you know, the success of the last record... there's absolutely no pressure on us at all, you know. Maybe if we only sold 50,000 copies or something there would be, but... And even if that happened we'd say "screw you" to the record company, you know.

[cut to interview with Slash from unknown date]

Slash: As far as I'm concerned the new material is great.

[cut to interview with Duff from unknown date]

Duff: It's a lot darker, a lot darker.

[cut to interview with Steven from unknown date]

Steven: I dig it.

[cut to interview with Axl from unknown date in 1989]

Axl: I hope this I was more successful because I just want to bury 'Appetite'. It's like, I like the album but I'm sick of it. I don't want to live my life through that one album. I have to bury it. So rather than just throwing a bunch of songs together that we think are fun, we're going over it, you know, with a fine-tooth comb and just working on everything to try. That's the goal bury 'Appetite'.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:04 pm; edited 17 times in total
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:47 am

This documentary contains footage from other interviews MTV did with the band. A lot of these original interviews are not to be found anywhere. An exception is the footage of Axl and Slash from September 1987. It is likely that some of the interviews with Duff and Steven are from the same time, but I don't know for sure.

It would have been really great to get hold of the unedited interviews that MTV must have somewhere in their archives.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:51 am

I sent an email to MTV asking about dates and whether they still have the unedited interviews in their archives. Worth a shot.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Blackstar on Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:34 am

I hope they reply. There must have been other edited versions of the 1988 interview with Axl and Slash, because there are more segments of it on various videos on youtube. Same with the other interviews.
It would be great if MTV released the full interviews.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:23 pm

The documentary contains footage from the VMA that happened on September 6, 1989. So the documentary must have been aired later than that.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Blackstar on Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:32 am

Yes, I believe it was probably aired between mid-September and mid-October 1989 before the Rolling Stones shows. That's because there is a comment from Keith Richards in the beginning of it but no reports on the Stones shows.
I also think that the interviews with Slash, Duff and Steven are all from 1989 because they talk about the new album and Steven says he's looking forward to go back on the road.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:21 am

Makes sense.

I have contacted the producer of the Rockumentary to try to get some help in dating the interviews (and maybe here if it is possible to get the complete versions).
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Blackstar on Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:33 pm

I found out that the documentary was aired on November 4, 1989.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:05 pm

Finally done with transcribing this!
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Blackstar on Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:52 pm

I found some more clips of the Axl interview from July 1989 in various video compilations on youtube. I transcribed them and then cut them (as well as the ones in the documentary) and combined them all in one video:
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(I had started transcribing the clips from the documentary before you did your transcription).

I did the same with the other Axl interview from 1989 and with the Axl-Slash interview from May 1988.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:24 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:I found some more clips of the Axl interview from July 1989 in various video compilations on youtube. I transcribed them and then cut them (as well as the ones in the documentary) and combined them all in one video:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
(I had started transcribing the clips from the documentary before you did your transcription).

I did the same with the other Axl interview from 1989 and with the Axl-Slash interview from May 1988.

That's great. There were even some parts there I can't recall having seen before.
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Re: 1989.11.04 - MTV - Guns N' Roses documentary

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