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1991.10.31 - Circus - Steven Adler Blasts Guns N' Axl Rose (Steven)

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:25 am

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1991.10.31 - Circus - Steven Adler Blasts Guns N' Axl Rose (Steven) 83zKWlq2T7oUStJ0SKa4+Utennavn6

Thanks to @Euchre for sending us this interview!

Transcript:
Steven Adler Blasts Guns N' Axl Rose
by Corey Levitan

Steven Adler had been warned. It was time to record a new Guns N' Roses album, and he had to kick drugs. The drummer promised he'd stop using, but couldn't.

This was the story singer Axl Rose told the world, after Adler was fired last spring from the most popular and controversial rock group since the Rolling Stones.

In his first interview since the axe fell, Steven says it was friction with Axl, not drugs, that precipitated his replacement. He claims his other band mates—bassist Duff McKagan and guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin—were pressured into approving. Guns N' Roses is currently packing stadiums with former Cult drummer Matt Sorum, who was featured on every track of Use Your Illusion I and II.

Adler acknowledges he had a drug habit, but counters that so did some of his band mates. Axl Rose and Slash have confessed their use of heroin and cocaine in dozens of interviews.

"They needed a scapegoat," Steven says. "They fired me to make them-selves look good because the record company was getting on their case." If anyone was responsible for the delay in the new albums, Adler adds, it was Rose. "We went to Chicago for eight weeks," Steven says, remembering a period in spring 1989 when new material was to be written and demoed for Geffen records. Adler alleges Axl was A.W.O.L.

"He didn't show up until seven weeks and five days later, after we already wrote 20, 25 songs and we were leaving in two days!" During subse-quent sessions, Steven says he was the most eager and able Gun to work.

"We would rehearse from seven until one, two in the morning, and I'd come in at five every day. I was always early. Izzy wasn't even there, and Slash and Duff would not show up until ten or eleven at night, or they would not show up at all!"

Adler says he's hurt because the new albums and tour are packed with songs he helped write. "It was me, Slash and Duff who were in the studio writing the music," Adler says. "And a lot of the new songs are old songs we wrote together years ago— 'Don't Cry' and a whole bunch of them. Those songs meant a lot to me, and they got somebody else to play the parts I came up with!"

Steven, 26, was born into the liberal Jewish household of Mel and Deanna Adler in 1965. The Adlers have an older son, Kenneth, and a younger son, Jamie. In 1972 the family moved from native Cleveland, Ohio to North Hollywood, California to escape the cold.

When Steven was 12, he fell off his skateboard in an elementary school playground. A funny-looking kid rode up on his bicycle to offer assistance. It was Saul Hudson, who went by the nickname of Slash. Steven says the two became "blood brothers."

"I put on my Kiss record and did all my Ace Frehley positions," he remembers inviting Slash over for the first time; both were in the eighth grade at Bancroft Junior High. "I knew one chord and one scale on guitar- I showed him that. Ever since then he loved it."

Steven claims Slash and Duff, his closest friends in the band, were so afraid of Axl it forced them to take the singer's side.

"He scared everybody," Steven says. "If someone in the crew looked at Axl funny, he was fired. We had Axl get his own bus because we couldn't stand being on the bus with him. Izzy wouldn't even hang out; he doesn't even like Axl. I hear he's got his own tour bus now to stay away from him."

Steven charges that Rose marked him for early retirement because he dared to speak up.

"I'd be the one to confront him because everybody else was scared," he says. "He would leave the stage in the middle of almost every single show we played. He would throw the microphone down, break it and just leave. Or he wouldn't get there on time; not once did we get on stage on time. Every band we opened for—Motley Crue, Aerosmith—he got them pissed off at us."

Axl wasn't the most receptive type to criticism, Steven remembers. "I'd say, 'What are you doing?' And he would kick me in the balls, which he had done numerous times. The first week I knew Axl, he kicked me in the balls, out of nowhere! It was over some girl he was fucking with, and I said, 'Leave the chick alone!' "

Steven met Axl in 1982, after he caught the singer and Izzy in a band called Rose at Gazzarri's nightclub. "I thought they were fabulous. Then I saw Axl leaving this chick's place on Palm Street and Sunset. I said, 'If you and Izzy and me and this guitar player I know get a cool bass player, we'd have the best rock band out of L.A. since the Doors!' " Steven brought Izzy and Axl over to meet Slash. Duff was summoned later, through an ad in Recycler magazine.

Not far from where Guns N' Roses was born, Adler sits this morning in his lawyer's office, mulling over a lawsuit he's filed against his former band mates. Seeking unspecified damages, the suit demands royalties for Adler's contribution to the Illusion LPs. It also accuses the members of Guns N' Roses of defamation, claiming Adler's reputation was wrongfully damaged.

"Damaged?" Steven huffs. "It was destroyed! I had an offer to play with AC/DC. Then Axl went on MTV and said I was an addict, I was fucked up and I couldn't play drums anymore. So [AC/DC] said, 'No way'."

The irony of his dismissal, Adler claims, is that it came just as he was trying to quit heroin. In March 1990, Doug Goldstein, Guns N' Roses man-ager (Adler still calls him "Dougie") escorted him to a doctor for with-drawal medication.

It was at this point, a week before Farm Aid IV, Adler claims the others moved in for the kill. They waved a contract in his face, which the media was told foreswore Adler off drugs un-der threat of discharge. According to Adler's attorney, Elliot Abelson, the contract served no such purpose.

"In the agreement," Abelson says, "Steven gave up any interest in Guns N' Roses, including the music he'd already written. He agreed not to play with anyone else, and also not speak about Guns N' Roses in the future. He basically gave up everything that he could give up legally." They said, 'Sign this paper,' " Steven remembers. "'or you're not going to be in Farm Aid.' It was all in a matter of seconds, so I had no choice."

After Farm Aid the group tried to record "Civil War." Only two weeks into his medication, Adler was still suffering its effects, which take three weeks to dissipate. "I asked the guys, 'Please, can we wait until next week-end when I wouldn't be so sick?"

Adler says the band wouldn't budge. "They gave me such a hard time. They kept accusing me—saying I'm high—and they knew I was sick from medicine I got from a doctor."

Several demo sessions at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, California followed.

"I kicked ass on those tapes," Steven claims. "If I could find them [Adler claims they were stolen by 'some jerkoff"], I'd go on any radio station and play them." Regardless, after one of the sessions Slash sauntered up to Steven and delivered the bombshell.

"He told me that I suck, that I can't play anymore and it was the biggest waste of time." The tracks were erased. When Guns N' Roses pink-slipped their drummer, it wasn't even to his face.

"Dougie called me up and said I was out of the band. Then I tried calling the guys up and they would not talk to me." Months of unanswered calls en-sued. On February 5th, Steven showed at Duff's door to wish him a happy birthday; he did the same for Slash on July 23rd.

"They would not let me in,- Steven says. "I left their birthday gifts on the porches of their houses. I feel totally betrayed!

"The thing with Slash is," Steven's voice verges on tears, "we were family. I know his mother, his grandmother, he knows mine. We were best friends, man. How could you just desert somebody like that?"

Steven didn't see Slash again until recently, when the two crossed paths at L.A.'s Rainbow nightclub.

"Slash says, `So, you're suing us,"' Steven recalls. "I say, 'Yeah,' And he says, 'Well Axl's going tb kick your fucking ass.' So now I'm driving around wondering whether Axl's going to kick my ass!"

Guns N' Roses were sent a fax, through their publicist, requesting their response to the charges Adler makes in this article. Two days later they fired back the following missive:

"All of the statements attributed to Steven Adler contained in your fax are categorically denied. In light of the fact that litigation is pending, by Steven's choice, we feel it is more appropriate to specifically refute these allegations in a courtroom rather than in the press."

As for Adler's future, he's pieced together a new band featuring five un-known L.A. musicians. He won't reveal their names, but says the band's called Road Crew. It's the same moniker Steven, Duff and Slash played under in 1983.

"I loved the name of that band, and it's copywritten under my name. Slash has Guns N' Roses, so I got Road Crew." Adler, who says he's been clean for more than six months, tells us to expect a tour and album by summer 1992.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:58 am

Extremely explosive. Like his biography, just even harsher. He even calls Matt "old, fat, bald, ugly" in one of the picture captions.
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Post by Blackstar on Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:19 am

I bought this issue too but I hadn't uploaded it yet. Euchre and you beat me to it Smile
------
Yes, it's very harsh. I think that this interview was what established the perception, among many fans, that Axl was the one who fired Adler and the rest of the band just didn't stand up to him.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:50 pm

Steven really has it in it for Axl here. It's a bit over the top, claiming song writing credits for Don't Cry, implying Axl was as addicted to drugs as him, that Axl would almost regularly kick Steven in the balls, that Steven was the one most able to work, and so on. If he had just not exaggerated as much and so obviously, his case would have had much more potency.
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Post by Blackstar on Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:54 pm

From what I've read I tend to believe that Axl really was, as he said, the one who tried the most to keep Steven in the band, at least until the incident with Erin.

I think the reasons for Steven's resentment towards Axl about his firing were (are) basically that:
1) Axl's "antics" were more tolerated/overlooked. Steven just couldn't accept that as a drummer he was more dispensable.
2) What Axl said in the MTV Famous Last Words interview. Although Slash had said a lot in public (and even belittled Steven as a drummer), Axl's interview was on TV (it was aired before the MTV music awards) and many more people saw it.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:15 am

Slash comments on this interview and Circus magazine:

I read the shit [Steven] said about us in Circus. By the way, f?!k that magazine. If any rag has ever gotten off on sensationalism, it's that magazine. And I don't regret what Axl said on 'Get in the Ring,' because that's got to be one of the most exploitative publications out there[RIP Magazine, March 1992].
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