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1992.12.DD - The Times - [Article on the South American tour]

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1992.12.DD - The Times - [Article on the South American tour] Empty 1992.12.DD - The Times - [Article on the South American tour]

Post by Blackstar on Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:19 pm

This article is quoted in the book Guns N Roses' Use Your Illusion I And II (33 1/3) by Eric Weisbard, Continuum, 2007. I couldn't find the original article, hence no title and exact date.

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Nestor Tallarico stared at the television in disgust. Argentina’s national channel was broadcasting the unedifying spectacle of Guns N’ Roses’ lead singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash laughing as they urinated from the eighth floor of their five-star hotel onto a crowd of fans below.

Tallarico’s jaw dropped as he spotted a familiar face among the teenage girls shrieking “Come down and take me” at their idols: his only daughter, 16-year-old Cynthia, sporting a copy of Axl’s famous bandana and a Guns N’ Roses T-shirt, screaming at the top of her voice.

When Cynthia got home she was met with two slaps across the face and a stern warning to stay away from the rock band’s weekend concert. “I’ll kill myself if you don’t let me go,” she shouted. Moments later she had done just that, shooting herself in the head with Tallarico’s .38 calibre revolver.

Finding her in a pool of blood, Tallarico turned the gun on himself and died instantly. Friends said that with their defiant anthems of revolt, Guns N’ Roses had been Cynthia’s only way of escaping an unhappy home dominated by a violent and authoritarian father and a mother suffering from schizophrenia.

The trouble started before the band set foot in Buenos Aires last Friday. Taking off from Venezuela six hours before the military coup, the group lost half its equipment when the airport was closed. In Colombia, a rain-drenched stage collapsed the day before the show, thousands of fans later clashed with police and the band had to stop playing when torrential rain threatened them with electrocution.

In Chile they were mobbed at the airport by the press and the police searched their hotel rooms for drugs.

By the time they flew into Argentina, Guns N’ Roses’ hysteria was at its height, with Catholic parents fearing for their daughters’ virtue. The band was accused of committing a vile crime by burning the Argentinian flag, regarded as virtually sacred. Axl was quoted as boasting that he was planning to burn his boots after they had been tainted by touching Argentine soil. The singer staged a rare press conference to deny the reports, saying they had been put about by a jealous producer. But the damage had already been done.

Television called for a boycott of the concerts, saying such a violent group would set a terrible example to the nation’s youth. The controversy even percolated through prison walls, as Colonel Mohamed Seineldin, serving a life sentence for masterminding three unsuccessful coup attempts, called for a “patriotic” reaction. Young right wingers hurled firecrackers at the girls holding vigil outside the band’s hotel each night, despite the risk of periodic saturation.

Shocked by the Tallarico tragedy, President Carlos Menem described the group as “criminals” and said he had been tempted to expel them. If there was any trouble at the first concert, he said, he would cancel the second.

“It’s just been one thing after another,” said Guns N’ Roses publicity officer Wendy Laister from the band’s latest stopover in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “We’ve been all over the world and we’ve never seen a reaction like this. It’s reached the stage where it’s affecting ticket sales because parents don’t want to let their kids go to the concerts.”

Axl left the country defiant, challenging the press to “get in the ring”. The singer, who has been arrested more than 20 times, was later questioned by police after being photographed throwing a chair from his Sao Paolo hotel window at journalists staking out of the building. “It missed everyone by miles,” said Laister.

Cynthia Tallarico never got to see her heroes in action. Nobody has bothered to develop the pictures she snapped with a little Instamatic on the last evening of her life, which show, no doubt, Axl and Slash emptying their bladders out of a hotel window.
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