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SoulMonster

1988.05.28 - Blast! - Are They or Aren't They? (Axl)

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1988.05.28 - Blast! - Are They or Aren't They? (Axl) Empty 1988.05.28 - Blast! - Are They or Aren't They? (Axl)

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:53 pm

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Transcript:

GUNS N' ROSES - Are They or Aren't They (Breaking up, that is!)
By Del James

Guns N' Roses have a song titled "It's So Easy," but nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing has ever been easy for Guns N' Roses. L A.'s fearsome fivesome has always had a penchant for trouble, with rumors circulating regularly as to what GNR did or what someone heard they did.

The road to success isn't always paved smoothly. Tnere are a lot of obstacles that have to be dealt with to survive in the music business, and just when everything appeared to be going great for Guns N' Roses, a major problem presented itself.

Recently, Guns N' Roses played a headlining mini-tour of the West Coast with another L A. band, TSOL, opening. Every concert was sold out, and the mini-tour was a great warm-up for the band's upcoming tour--the opening slot on David Lee Roth's tour. Then, as fate would have it, disaster struck.

On the final two nights of the mini-tour, everything went wrong. The first night saw vocalist W. Axl Rose split his lip in half. Because of the way he moves around on stage, Axl uses a wireless microphone religiously. That night, Axl unable to use his wireless, and would cost him.

After the second night was cancelled, a full-scale riot broke out. Damages ran into the thousands, and the Dave Roth tour was cancelled. What is the current status of Guns N' Roses? Are they splitting up? Are they being dropped by Geffen Records? When will Guns N' Roses' fans be able to see the band live again? BLAST spoke recently to W. Axl Rose and got the lowdown as to what's going on with GNR.

"In Phoenix, everything went wrong! The first show we did was okay, but there were a lot things, like the wireiess wouldn't work because of radio signals or something, picking up radio stations. I had a chord mike, and it was a different-shaped microphone, and the chord kept getting tangled on everything. It was a jinxed chord that had a mind of its own.

"All of a sudden, when I pulled the mike back, it whipped and smacked me in the mouth real hard. Someone else's chord got tangled on mine or someone tripped on mine. It cut my top lip in half. They were telling me to get stitches and everything like that. I couldn't go back on, so the band did a blues thing, and we were outta there.

"By the time of the next show," Axl continues, "I was trying to avoid everybody in the band--not because I don't like anybody, but because when you're mad, you tend to say things you don't really mean, and I wanted to wait until I'd calmed down.

"I wasn't feeling well. I started feeling pretty down and out and sick. My lip was bothering me. The hotel kept sending maids in, and they couldn't get anything right when I ordered food. I wasn't in any condition to go out. I was just trying to get myself together for the show, so I ended up ripping my phone out of the wall and smashing it, as well as smashing a couple of lamps and some tables. I was just trying to get some peace and some sleep before the show. The next thing I know, there are people knocking on my door, and I'm telling 'em to get away from me. They're trying to break in my door, but I had it chained. No one knew what Axl's doing. They think Pm in there shooting up or killing myself or I'm mad at the world and won't do the show. I had every intention of doing the show. I was feeling pretty sick, and I got to the show late, and they'd already cancelled the show, unbeknownst to me.

"I saw, like, 12 cop cars--cops everywhere, kids smashing in windshields, kicking in cars. I realized the show had been cancelled, so I took a cab real slow around the place, watching the whole scene and then went back to the hotel.

"I flew back to L A. and have since gone to a doctor, who said I was just exhausted. He also said I suffer from insomnia. They're taking blood tests and stuff. A lot of people think it's drugs or I have AIDS because that's the new popular rumor. It's nothing that serious, but it's something serious enough that it caused problems in the machinery of Guns N' Roses.

"Now we're taking the time to regroup. We've had countless meetings, and everybody's on really good terms. Everything seems to be worked out real well, and we're planning our next stages. I know everybody says that--a lot of bands say that, and the next thing you know, they're trying to kill each other, but we're actually trying to put things in order. It's good that we're doing this now rather than selling a million records and then everybody splits and no one in the band talks to one I another because you hate each other's guts. This band is a family, and that's very important to me."

Insomnia is a horrible ailment. Anybody who has spent a night tossing and turning, unable to sleep, knows how horrible you feel the next day. Imagine never being able to sleep normally. Since Axl has been seeing several specialists, has his sleeping problem improved?

"No, but at least now I've switched it around," Axl confides. Now I'm sleeping at night instead of during the days. I've had insomnia since I was a little kid, and I never really realized it until this past week. I've talked to my parents, my brother and my sister, and I've traced it all of the way back to when I was a baby and I wouldn't go to sleep.

"I only sleep after staying up for countless hours or doing various drugs or doing whatever to the point of exhaustion. Then you'd sleep through the day, and the only reason you'd go to sleep then is because the light hurt your eyes so bad and you've had so many beers or so much alcohol and taken whatever that you finally just go to sleep."

Sleeping or waking, Guns N' Roses are one hot property. Their album, Appetite For Destruction, is certified gold and rising. Their video for "Welcome To The Jungle" constantly is in the top-five most-requested. The Gunners filmed recently a live concert at the Ritz in New York to be aired on MTV, and Axl reflects back on that concert.

"In New York, we filmed a show for MTV, which was another one of those nights that was a great show for fun, and the crowd was crazy. The show didn't necessarily go as well as I think it should have. We had a monitor man, and on stage, it was the twilight zone. I stage-dived, and my Thin Lizzy shirt got shredded right off my body. The crowd grabbed my necklaces and started choking me, pulling my hair. Some little kid had my arm between his knees with his legs wrapped around and his hand behind his back holding onto my hand, trying to steal my bracelets and was not going to let go of me until he got them. I couldn't get a hand free to punch him in the head because Doug Goldstein (GNR's tour manager) had my other arm and was trying to yank me back to the stage, an I'm getting split in two. There like, 30 people trying to throw me back on stage and another 30 trying to get a piece of Axl. It was a blast!"

Canceling the David Lee Roth tour would appear to be major setback in GNR's career (Faster Pussycat has since replaced GNR), but the band currently is working on another video, for "Sweet Child 0' Mine," as well as writing new songs. How is Axl handling the cancelled tour?

"I feel real bad about it. I let real bad for the kids who were planning on it but more so for Dave Roth, himself, because he was planning on us doing something, it was all set up, and we let him down. They (Roth's people) think we shined it for other opportunities, and that's not the case at all. The last thing we wanted to do was let down someone who's been influencing us for years and was giving us a break."

With the cancellation of the Roth tour, there have been a lot of rumors and gossip that Guns N' Roses are unstable, that they're breaking up and that there are problems between management and the hand. Are any of these rumors true, and what is the current status of Guns N' Roses?

"One of the things that makes Guns N' Roses work is the fact that we are very volatile," Axl explains. "We put that into our music. At this point, we're not breaking up. As a matter of fact, it seems to be tighter than ever. Everybody realizes there's a lot more work to do and a lot more communication needed. Duff came up to me the other day, and I explained that the situation in Phoenix didn't have anything to do with the band. I said, 'I felt really bad because I love you guys, and he goes, 'I thought you hated me.' I was like, 'No, man, I don't hate you.' He's like, 'Well, call me,' and I'm like, 'I didn't know you wanted me to.' I didn't know he wanted to hear from me because I thought he was busy with his own life. What we found out is that while we thought everybody was mad at each other, and we were in a position where it looked like breaking up would be the best thing, everybody basically digs the hell our of each other and was mad that we don't hang out together more. We've sat down and talked it all out and found out that we really care about each other much more than we real thought. Nobody wants to play with anybody else."

Guns N' Roses were in line for the opening spot on AC/ DC's upcoming American tour but things didn't work our. White Lion got the tour, and Axl (as well as the rest of the band), who is a serious AC/ DC fan, is upset.

"We were gonna do the AC/ DC tour, but AC/ DC got cold feet and decided to withhold money from us. Then they decided to sign White Lion for the rest of the tour without telling us. That was real nice of them. That's not what I expected out of someone I'd looked up to for years. AC/ DC was a dream tour, so it was a big letdown."

There are two sides to every coin. Just when things started looking bleak for Guns N' Roses, things got better. The band made a cameo appearance in Clint Eastwood's upcoming movie, The Death Pool. Guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin, along with Axl, joined Alice Cooper on stage at the Long Beach Arena in California for a rocking rendition of Cooper's classic "Under My Wheels."

Even though they lost out on the Roth tour, the layoff is working out for the band's benefit. Most of their problems have been ironed out, and the band will be back on tour soon, and, as of this moment, Guns N' Roses are out opening for Iron Maiden.

"I'm looking forward to doing Canada again," Axl notes. "I'm also looking forward to doing the West Coast in larger venues. Maiden has a faithful following, and this is a big challenge, winning them over. Rod Smallwood (Maiden's manager) has been great. This is a chance for us to learn things from a band who's been doing it for years. I can't wait to start playing live again."

Neither can Guns N' Roses' fans!
Soulmonster
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