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1992.01.05 - The Dispatch/Rolling Stone - A year of routine tumult for Guns N’ Roses

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1992.01.05 - The Dispatch/Rolling Stone - A year of routine tumult for Guns N’ Roses Empty 1992.01.05 - The Dispatch/Rolling Stone - A year of routine tumult for Guns N’ Roses

Post by Blackstar on Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:11 am

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A year of routine tumult for Guns N’ Roses

Rolling Stone Magazine

They feel like cornered rats, but in fact they’re multimillionaire pop stars, among the most pampered humans on the planet. It’s the hellhound contradiction that follows hard on the trail of rock and roll success: You start out as desperate underdogs, but what’s there to rebel against when everyone does whatever you want? Except in rare cases, only two roads beckon: Get comfortable in the soft hell of spectacular estates, electrified gates and society-page notoriety or turn your venom on yourself and manufacture problems to rail against. Guess which path Guns N’ Roses have chosen?

Yes, 1991 was another year of routine tumult and willed controversy for Guns N’ Roses. Matters started off with the Gunners’ insistence that publications wanting interviews sign a contract yielding all publication rights to the group — an outrageous violation of standard journalistic practice. The band later withdrew the demand.

An abrupt change in management then helped delay the releases of “Use Your Illusion I and II” — the Gunners’ first albums since the gazillion-selling, and aptly titled, “Appetite for Destruction,” from 1987 — by several months, causing the band to launch its tour before the discs were in the stores. The albums seized the top two spots in their debut week on the charts anyway — a first.

Their Get in the Ring tour, of course, provided the occasion for all manner of mishap. Singer Axl Rose injured his foot during a club date that preceded the tour’s start and performed the opening shows in East Troy, Wis., in a splint. On Long Island, N.Y., Guns N’ Roses hit the boards two and a half hours late; in his now de rigueur onstage rant, Axl excoriated Rolling Stone, the New York Times and Geffen Records, the band’s label. In St. Louis, Axl thought it wise to vent his anger over “lax security” by leaping into the crowd, scuffling with a patron and then suddenly quitting the stage, triggering a riot in which 60 people were injured.

Circus atmosphere

Meanwhile, guitarist Izzy Stradlin, reportedly fed up by the circus atmosphere of the tour, failed to turn up at a couple of video shoots and was widely rumored to be leaving the performing lineup of G N’ R, to be replaced by Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction. Stradlin finally decided to stay. After the usual delays, the second leg of the two-year (!) Guns N’ Roses tour is now being scheduled.

Oh — and the music? Killer. The live shows have garnered raves, and despite its idiotic chick-bashing, “Use Your Illusion I and II” is a sprawling, savage masterwork that simultaneously captures the group’s rage and longs for a transcendent escape into a sweeter, more exquisite world elsewhere. Guns N’ Roses: violence and romance. If the band can continue to transform its obsessions into such terrible beauty, time will eventually bum away the chaos of the everyday, and the work itself will loom large, indeed.
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