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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:55 am


The band only played one show in 1990, at he Farm Aid charity festival, at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, on April 7, 1990. The band only played two songs, debuting 'Civil War' and a cover, 'Down on the Farm" originally by UK Subs.

When we had played a couple songs to a huge crowd at Farm Aid in April, [Steven] was a mess onstage [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].

After Farm Aid, Izzy would have "one of the best rides" of his life when he rode his Harley motorbike back to Los Angeles, through Memphis, New Orleans and Texas [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:56 am


I would be safe to assume that if there was somebody to leave or if...whatever, the band would not be happening anymore. I would almost be safe to assume that. […]  I mean, because it takes personalities and a certain, uh, way with each other to fucking make whatever is going to happen. […] said we kicked Stevie out of the band, you can't just bring fucking Tommy Aldridge in the band and it's going to be the same [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988]

After the Farm Aid concert on April 7, the band tried recording 'Civil War' for the Nobody's Child charity album:

The first thing we wanted was a fluid drum take. Bass and drums always got done quickly in the early days. I hardly ever had to do bass fixes because Steven and I were so solid as a rhythm section. But when we had tried to lay down the basic tracks for 'Civil War,' producer Mike Clink and I had to patch together the drum tracks from dozens of inadequate takes-by hand, as this was before editing made that sort of thing much easier [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 163].
I didn't want to go into the studio because his playing was so far off. He'll argue with me even now and say, "I played great." But he didn't—he couldn't. The guy was nodding out all over the place. That went on for a couple of months, and then I cancelled the studio time because it was a waste of money. So the only song on the album that Steven played on is "Civil War." He thought he was great, but we had to edit the drum track like mad just so we could play along with it. Even then, I had to remember where the drum mistakes were to keep the guitar in time with them [Guitar World, February 1992].
The problems with recording the drum tracks for 'Civil War' would be mentioned by Slash and Duff in more interviews [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992]. Steven would later claim he was suffering from the side-effects of opiate blockers he had taken two weeks earlier and that it was these that affected his drumming:

I asked the guys, 'Please, can we wait until next week-end when I wouldn't be so sick?' […] 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 [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
And that the demo tapes they made in Rumbo Recorders were fine:

I kicked ass on those tapes. If I could find them [Adler claims they were stolen by "some jerkoff"], I'd go on any radio station and play them. […] Slash told me that I suck, that I can't play anymore and it was the biggest waste of time [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Slash would disagree:

At Rumbo, Steven would nod out to the point where he would be on a stool, but his head would be touching the floor. He'd say, 'I'm tired. I'm sleepy,' and he couldn't play. That was basically it. We gave him so many chances to turn around. We took him to Indiana, to play Farm Aid, and he jumps on the drum riser and almost breaks his f?!king neck. Look, Steven was a part of what made Guns N' Roses happen. He had a great energy. He wasn't an insanely great drummer, but he had tons of attitude. When the sex and drugs and the whole bit started to get out of hand, he went right along with it. But there's a certain time when you really have to control your life. I'm not preaching - I'm in no position to preach - but you must be aware of your own existence and take care of your own business. You just can't be loaded all the time and expect everything to be okay. Trust me, I know. As far as the rest of us, we bounced back, we straightened up. Steven never did. We always told each other when it was getting real bad. Everybody was there for the individual who needed help. That's how we're survived as a band. But Steven would never cop to anything, as far as telling us how bad it was [RIP Magazine, March 1992].
The band also tried to scare him by saying they were auditioning new drummers. When that didn't help, they hired a sober coach, Bob Timmons, but nothing changed. Finally they tried to scare him again by saying he should get a lawyer [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].

Steven did not improve, though, and only about two weeks into the probation period, which would make it a week after Farm Aid, did the band decide to permanently replace Steven with Matt who had been brought in to help out with recording the record. This indicates that Matt replaced Steven in mid-April 1990. Steven would later argue that his failure to live up to his probation contract was due to opiate blockers he had received that made him sick [Source?].

It was meant to scare him, but it proved convenient for Slash, Axl, Izzy and me. In the end, we had our lawyer tell his lawyer that he was permanently out [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
Steven would claim it was Doug Goldstein who told him:

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 [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
In an interview in September 1992, Izzy would be asked if firing Steven had been "all Axl's idea" (like firing Alan Niven which they had discussed earlier in the interview), to which Izzy would reply:

At this time I had nearly managed to get clean up, from everything. When I was looking at the band, I would see Stevie, who was a good guy, who's been struggling with us during all these years, but couldn't handle it anymore. He was a real millstone, he needed to clean up! Fuck... We all tried to help him, to support him. But no, finally, we'd been on the road with this guy for years and we lived this dilemma: "OK. We leave him six months doing nothing without any guarantee it gets better, or we forget about the double album and we burry the band?" Actually, the industry's machine woke up and the answer was: "We take someone else to cut these records." It's wasn't an easy decision [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
After being fired, Steven would claim he tried to contact the band members, including calling Duff and Slash for their birthdays, but that they wouldn't see him:

They would not let me in. 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? [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Then Steven sued the band [see below]. According to Steven in the October 1991 interview, he first met Slash again "recently" when they crossed paths outside the Rainbow in Hollywood:

Slash says, 'So, you're suing us'. I say, 'Yeah,' And he says, 'Well Axl's going to kick your fucking ass [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Steven's claims that the band avoided him is disputed by Slash, who claims he tried to keep in contact with Steven, but that Steven's insufferable behavior pushed him away:

I did keep in touch. I'd pop into his house every now and then to see how he was doing. I stuck with him, as you'd do for a loved one. And then he started getting on my case, saying, `I've heard you guys are all on heroin and what's the difference, blab blah blab....' And finally I couldn't talk to him anymore. I'd take him out to dinner and it would turn into this huge fight, to the point where I couldn't take it. So now I don't see him anymore. I call his doctor and I think about him a lot. And I worry. 'Cause it's a scary thing. And he was my best friend for a long time [Musician, December 1990].
Other factors may have played a role in Steven being fired. In early 1992, Slash would imply that the new material was too complex for Steven:

But Steven [Adler] would have been happy just to do the same thing [as on 'Appetite'] again on the new album. He wouldn't have made it through the record [Guitar World, February 1992].
And the incident between Erin Every and Steven [see other section] might also have soured the relationship between Axl and added that to the decision:

We gave him every ultimatum. We tried working with other drummers, we had Steven sign a contract saying if he went back to drugs, then he was out. He couldn't leave his drugs and... Other things have happened involved with Steven, that Steven is basically someone I used to know. That makes me feel bad, but there's other things beside the band that he was involved in with his drugs that’ve been very dangerous and scary, and I want nothing to do with him. [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
In hindsight the band members would comment upon firing Steven:

It sounded ironic to a lot of people for us to kick someone out of such a notoriously debauched band for drugs. The truth is we didn't care what drugs people did or how much they did. We cared only about our work and our ability to keep the band moving forward now that we finally had songs to record and shows to play. We didn't give a shit about cause, just effect. Drugs? Sure. But it could just as easily have been something else. Lack of motivation. Jail time. Death. For me, I always thought death and death alone could ever push me across that line when it came to this band. (I was wrong.) For Steven, coke and heroin proved enough to nudge him across [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
I felt really bad for Steven. He’s saying stuff like “How could they do this to me?” But it wasn’t a matter of how could we do this to him. It was how could he do this to us. He was taken care of by this band. Anybody who thinks we just kicked him out is just somebody who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and doesn’t know what went on. We waited for him for a fucking year. How long is a band supposed to wait around? We all wanted to get out and play, and he wanted to play, too. He was just too loaded to do it. Really, we did all kinds of things for this kid to get him back to normal, and he refused. Every time he went into rehab, he took off. I mean, I took off from rehab, but it’s because I didn’t want to be controlled by anybody else. I went and cleaned up on my own. Steven had no control whatsoever. He didn’t want to be in rehab and still wanted to be doing what he’s doing. He thought it was very rock & roll. What do you tell a guy like that? So I just said, “Fuck it, that’s it, I can’t deal with it anymore, we have to get a new drummer" [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
We tried our best to get Steven back together. Steven - he's always been the child of the band, the one that was always just the happy-go-lucky, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and that's it. He couldn't understand why the drugs were so separated from rock'n'roll all of a sudden; why he couldn't be a junkie and be in a rock'n'roll band, because the twain are supposed to meet on the same ground. But after a while it's really not like that. You have to take care of yourself. People will not go around wiping your ass for you. So a year went by (three visits to rehab) and I finally said, Steven, you've got to go. […] It still fucks with me. And I still check up on him. I won't go so far as to say he's clean and I won't go so far as to say he's still fucked up. I know he's unhappy. I hadn't seen him since the day it that it was over. Then I was at the Rainbow one night, of all the places to run into him, and I was with Duff and with Matt, who he'd never met...It was really awkward. I haven't really seen him since. It's too deep a thing to get into. But the upside of it is that Matt has made the band - I think it was a shot in the arm, no pun intended, that the band didn't necessarily need but that took the band beyond what we were before. I think we're a little bit more - just tight, more focused, more serious about what we're doing. We're not so much the punk band as we were, only because we've been doing it for a while and we're all sort of really aspiring musicians, regardless of the lifestyle. The most important thing I've gotten out of this whole fucking stupid circus that we've been involved in all this time is to sit back and know that we're actually good. And not only that we're good, but that we're original. And if I'm sleeping in a chandelier one night - I stole this from Keith Richards, OK? - I can still get up the next morning and actually play, and play with some sort of integrity, as opposed to hitting one chord as many times as I can as quickly as I can and then continue partying. My playing is my priority, and my playing's actually a lot better. When I listen to the record, it's really good. And that's the thing that's my saving grace and my feelings for the whole thing that happened with Steve [Q Magazine, July 1991].
That's a sensitive subject. It's because as everybody grew up a little bit and tried to get out of the heroin thing and that whole trip [Steven] just never went along, he never grew up with the band. When I gave up a really serious habit he just kept going, the whole sex, drugs and rock'n'roll concept was pretty much all he could fathom and we couldn't work he wasted a lot of money in the studio with us. We've all gone through our trips and we've all had our fucking problems but we've dealt with it, if not for our personal lives for the band itself. We always took care of him and it stopped the band working for a fucking year. When I came back after cleaning out— and I had a really fucking bad habit with all kinds of shit and lzzy came back and we were ready to go, and having to go through this whole thing with Steve going to the hospital, we were wasting tons of money. The guy is sitting on the stool in the studio with his nose touching the fucking floor, with the whole band just staring at him. We'd wake him up and he'd go 'I'm just tired'. Finally it came to the point where I called him up and said 'Steve, it's over' [Rip It Up, September 1991].
I took it pretty hard when Stevie was out of the band. It was pretty upsetting, cos I was watching Stevie trying to get himself together after pulling myself together, and it was kinda hard seeing somebody trying when they're not really ready for it. Weeks and months were going by, we were in that old dilemma; it had been two or three years and we didn't have a f**king album out, we gotta move [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
I know Steven, and he was, like, beyond repair. Or it wasn’t coming within the next couple of years. You can do whatever you like to do but you’ve got to be able to make the gig. We still go out and party and have a lot of fun, but we make it to the gig the next night [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993].
Steven makes a point in his biography to emphasize that the band already in its early years had a problem with him. During rehearsals for the 1987 shows at the Marquee in London, for instance, the band started playing 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' without informing Steven that it would be played:

It was Axl's idea to do "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." He told Slash about it, they learned it, and we did it. They never even mentioned it to me though, just expecting me to pick up on the beat on the fly. I didn't know if this was a tribute to my drumming adaptability or a sign of their abject disregard for my needs as a member of the band (but I could venture a pretty good fucking guess). [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 126]
In Steven's opinion, this feeling of disrespect towards him, although he doesn't explain where it came from, was a major component in the decision to fire him:

[...] this growing disrespect only snowballed until it put me in an awfully embarrassing situation at Farm Aid [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 127].
Steven became bitter over being fired and would repeatedly attack the band and especially Axl for the what happened; in the words of Slash Steven "slandered us like crazy" [Guitar World, February 1992]. When contacted by Los Angeles Times in July 1991, he would refer to Axl as the "most ruthless and meanest person" he's ever met [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. Shortly thereafter, on July 19, he would file a lawsuit against the band [see section below for details].

Later on, he would describe the firing this way:

Obviously everybody knows about the drug thing but, hey, I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I know drugs aren't right and can screw your life up. I know first hand, but I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong because I was doin' them with my band. They were doin' it, so was I, and I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong. […] I wish that maybe someone would've, not just put their hand on me, but given me a hug and said, 'Hey y'know, slow down.' But the drug thing, I don't really wanna talk that much about it because I'm getting away from it. Like I said, I was doing it with my band. It didn't seem abnormal then. […] "I was their scapegoat. Everyone knows that Guns N' Roses were drug-oriented, everyone knows that. […] They had the record company comin' down on them, saying, 'You've gotta straighten up.' And no way were they gonna straighten up, so to make it look better they decided to 'point the finger at the nice guy'. Because (at the lime) I was no more f ked up than them. […] To tell you the truth, they're the meanest people I ever met in my life, that's why we didn't get along. I got along with Slash and Duff but with Axl it was just a total difference in personality [Hot Metal, December 1991].
In the October issue of RIP Axl would again talk about firing Steven:

The misconception is that we kicked him out for the hell of it, and that I was the dictator behind it. The truth is, I probably fought a little harder to keep him in the band, because I wasn't working with him on a daily basis like the other guys were. They grew tired of not being able to get their work done because Steven wasn't capable of it. I've read interviews where he's saying that he's straight. Most of the time he isn't. He's the type of person who wants everything handed to him, and he did get it handed to him. He got it handed to him from me. At one point, in order to keep this band together, it was necessary for me to give him a portion of my publishing rights. That was one of the biggest mistakes I've made in my life, but he threw such a fit, saying he wasn't going to stay in the band. We were worried about not being able to record our first album, so I did what I felt I had to do. In the long run I paid very extensively for keeping Steven in Guns N' Roses. I paid $1.5 million by giving him 15% of my publishing off of Appetite For Destruction. He didn't write one goddamn note, but he calls me a selfish dick! He's been able to live off of that money, buy a shitload of drugs and hire lawyers to sue me. If and when he loses the lawsuit he has against us, and he has to pay those lawyers, if he has any money left, it'll be the money that came from Guns N' Roses and myself. At this point I really don't care what happens to Steven Adler, because he's taken himself out of my life, out of my care and concern. I feel bad for him in ways, because he's a real damaged person, but he's making choices to keep himself in that damage. There's nothing we can do at this point. We took him to rehabs, we threatened his drug dealers, we helped him when he slashed his wrists. I even forgave him after he nearly killed my wife. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit because her heart had stopped thanks to Steven. She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine? I kept myself from doing anything to him. I kept the man from being killed by members of her family. I saved him from having to go to court, because her mother wanted him held responsible for his actions. And the sonofabitch turns on me? I mean, yeah, I'm a difficult person to deal with, and I'm a pain in the ass to understand, and I've had my share of problems, but Steven benefited greatly from his involvement with me - more than I did from knowing him. Steven had a lot of fans, but he was a real pain in the ass. I need to keep him in my life for you? F?!k you! [RIP, October 1992].
In November 1992 and early 1993, Izzy would look back at the firing of Steven:

The first time I realized what Steve did for the band was when he broke his hand in Michigan. Tried to punch through a wall and busted his hand. So we had Fred Coury come in from Cinderella for the Houston show. Fred played technically good and steady, but the songs sounded just awful. They were written with Steve playing the drums and his sense of swing was the push and pull that give the songs their feel. When that was gone, it was just...unbelievable, weird. Nothing worked. I would have preferred to continue with Steve, but we'd had two years off and we couldn't wait any longer. It just didn't work for Slash to be telling Steve to straighten out. He wasn't ready to clean up [Musician, November 1992].
I took it pretty hard; it was upsetting [R/R Countdown, February 1992].

In mid-1993, with Izzy having left the band, Slash would look back at firing Steven and compare with Izzy:

The reasons [why Steven was fired and Izzy quit] were very different. Steven didn’t leave only because of his drug problem, but also because he couldn’t handle the pressure. And I hate to say it, but I miss him much more than Izzy, who thought that being in the band was just a question of ‘sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll’; he didn't accept the other aspects of this job [L'Unita, May 16, 1993; translated from Italian].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:47 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:02 am


Things weren't progressing as efficiently with the follow-up to 'Appetite' as the band members would claim in the media. Despite Slash and Duff now apparently working efficiently on recording, they were having problems with Steven whose drug addiction meant he had trouble keeping his time in the studio [VOX, January 1991]. Problems were so bad the band was considering having Steven replaced to be able to record the drum tracks [see previous chapters].

In early April 1990, Mick Wall talked to Axl over the phone and asked about rumors that Steven was out of the band:

No. He is back in the band. […] He was definitely out of the band. He wasn’t necessarily fired. We worked with [former Sea Hags drummer] Adam Maples, we worked with [former Pretenders drummer] Martin Chambers. Then Steven did the Guns N’ Roses thing and got his shit together. And it worked. He did it. And Steven plays the songs better than any of ’em. He’s just bad-assed and he’s GN’R. And so, if he doesn’t blow it, we’re gonna try the album with him... and the tour. […] You know, we worked out a contract with him. He’s going to do the album and, if he doesn’t blow it, then he’s going to do the tour. Then if he doesn’t blow that he’s fully reinstated [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
Being asked if they told him to quit drugs or else he'd be fired:

Yeah, exactly. But like, you know, it’s worked out. You know, it's finally back on and we're just hoping that it continues. It's only been a few days. What's today? Saturday? It's only been since Tuesday it was on and he's doing great [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
From the quote above it is obvious that the band had struggled with Steven for a while, long enough to collaborate with two possible replacement drummers. They had also put Steven on a probation contract [this happened on March 28, 1990] to force him to shape up. It is logical to assume these issues would have severely delayed recording in the beginning of 1990 and possible second half of 1989.

Axl would admit the issues with Steven meant they had to end the recording process and that studio time was now delayed until May 1, 1990:

Ah... we don’t start recording till May 1st. We pulled out of the studio and went back and rewrote some of the songs, and because of the Steven situation. But what was cool about the Steven situation is that it made the four of us realise that we’d got to get our shit together. Because if we bring in Martin Chambers then we better have the songs down. You know, so then we worked out eleven songs in a week, that we really had down. And so we worked those out and got those tight. And then worked on a bunch of things in rehearsal, you know, with other drummers, and got all of our weak areas pretty tight [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
Despite Axl's optimism, they eventually did replace Steve in April 1990. According to RIP in June 1991 the problems with Steven lasted for "almost 18 months" [RIP, June 1991]. This would mean that the problems started in about the beginning of 1989, and if so it would imply that a big reason why the band got little done in the whole of 1989 was due to Steven's issues. This is likely not entirely true, it is clear from quotes in this section that the band also struggled with other member's addictions, with adjusting to fame and wealth, and with Axl's numerous issues.

Slash would also emphasize the problems they had with Steven:

We had recorded all these songs but a lot of situations went on with Steven not being altogether there in the studio. We tried helping him out, we stuck it out with him for like a year, and then it was like `Well, something's got to happen' [VOX, January 1991].[/i]
I don't want to say anything against Steven, but we went through so much miscellaneous bullshit. I mean, for years all the other distractions, and with Steven for more than a year alone. Then, all of a sudden, Matt enters the picture. We rehearse 36 songs in a month and record the whole LP, all the basics, in five weeks - I mean all the guitars, bass and acoustical stuff; the vocals took a little longer. When Matt came in, we just went into the studio and did it. Just like that! We were entangled in the biggest procrastination situation you ever heard of [RIP, June 1991].[/i]
I don't want to say anything against Steven, but we went through so much miscellaneous bullshit. I mean, for years all the other distractions, and with Steven for more than a year alone. Then, all of a sudden, Matt enters the picture. We rehearse 36 songs in a month and record the whole LP, all the basics, in five weeks - I mean all the guitars, bass and acoustical stuff; the vocals took a little longer. When Matt came in, we just went into the studio and did it. Just like that! We were entangled in the biggest procrastination situation you ever heard of [RIP, June 1991].[/i]
Here Slash is indicating that Steven held up the production for "more than a year". Although it is likely that Steven did cause significant delays to the process, it is not fair to put the blame entirely on him as discussed above.

Replacing Steven with Matt caused further delays. Matt joined the band in April 1990 and had to learn all the songs in rehearsals and make charts for them for the recording sessions. When Matt joined the band, the band was in chaos:

When I joined the band about 8 months ago [interview is done in January 1991, during Rock in Rio], everything was in turmoil. And the band has really come together and we pumped out a lot of tunes for this new album [Specialty TV, 1991].[/i]
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:03 am


With Steven in the process of being kicked out of the band, the band needed a new drummer to finish the recording which was dragging out.

It was heartbreaking, especially for me and Slash, but we had to find a replacement drummer [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
Finding a replacement drummer wasn't easy, both because Steven's drumming was such an integral part of the band's sound but also, as Slash would say, "we couldn't place an ad in the paper" [Musician, December 1990].

The same thing that had made Steven an important part of our sound also made it difficult to replace him-his sense of groove We tried out drummer after drummer. Things started to look a bit grim [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
So Steven was ultimately let go and then we couldn't find anybody to replace him. We're a very tight-knit little family. Every single guy that we tried out would have to walk into this room with a bunch of guys just sitting there, looking like they were going to kill him! [VOX, January 1991].
Eventually, the band found Matt Sorum from the band The Cult. Guns N' Roses knew the band well, having opened for The Cult on their 1987 tour in Canada and USA.

Thankfully, at the very last moment we found Matt Sorum, who had been playing with the Cult [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].
Slash would announce the news in an interview with Guitar Player that was published in October 1990, but done before July 1990:

We've got a new drummer, named Matt Sorum. The press doesn't seem to know about it, which is cool. We've had problems for months with Steven [Adler], and it was holding up the band. Once I swallowed the reality that things had to change, I started scouting drummers. We obviously couldn't put an ad out -- we would've had the Goon Squad knocking at our door. So we started auditioning people we heard about through the grapevine.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone with the right attack or feel. I was really depressed over the situation for a while. Then one night, not too long ago, I went to see the Cult. I was at the sound board, and I was thinking, "This drummer is really awesome." I think Lars from Metallica told me about him, too. I was really, really impressed. He was literally one of the best rock drummers I had ever seen.

I initially didn't contact him because he was with the Cult. But I was at an all-time low and I knew that the Cult were off the road, so I decided to give Matt Sorum a call. I went through all these different sources to get in touch with him. Finally we hooked up, he came down to a rehearsal, and things immediately clicked. It was great and he was a great guy -- the chemistry worked.

Steven wasn't a technically great drummer, but we had been playing together for so long that we had a great collective feel. His meter, however, was always changing-up and down, up and down. So we had never really played with a great drummer. We didn't know what it would feel like. Not to say Steven isn't any good -- I don 't want to put him down -- but we never really played with anybody that was awesome. Duff and I started realizing how good Guns N' Roses could be after playing with some great drummers, like Kenny Aronoff from Iggy's band. We just looked at each other after playing with Kenny and went," Wow!" Then when Sorum came down and kicked ass, it confirmed things. The band sounds about 100 times better.

The difference is insane. At one point Duff thought it was his fault. We couldn't get a decent groove going, and we couldn't figure what was going wrong. Then we thought it was the whole band! You should've seen us! Y'know, long faces and shit ... [laughs]
[Guitar Player, October 1990].
Slash would later talk about seeing Matt play with the Cult:

What happened was I went to the Universal Amphitheatre and saw The Cult, I watched the show from the soundboard and the main thing I noticed was that the drummer was great and I said, 'Well, why can't we find a drummer like that? What's the problem? [VOX, January 1991].
The Cult show that Slash mentions was the final gig on the the The Cult tour this year and took place on April 3, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. But both Slash and Duff had seen Matt play with The Cult a few months earlier, on June 24, 1989, at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy when they were hanging out in Chicago waiting for Axl and Izzy to show up [Chicago Tribune, May 1991] and had been impressed with his performance.

Matt says he was contacted the day after the April 3 show, while Steven was still on the probation contract, and that initially the idea was to only bring Matt in for recording the album:

They didn't approach me again until the very last show I did with the Cult in April last year, so I had a sneaking suspicion something was going on. The next day I got a call from Slash at my house. Originally I was just going to go down and do the album. Then about two weeks into rehearsal, I went up to Slash's house for a little barbecue and he asked me to join the band [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].
I was just finished with The Cult tour in 1990. It was a couple... It’s two years ago that I’ve been in Guns. And I got a call from Slash. And originally I was just gonna go and do Use Your Illusion I and II, the records, and go back to The Cult. And they would go with Steven out on tour. And I started rehearsing with the band and we just got along really well. Duff and Slash and myself mainly rehearsed at first, then Izzy would come in and then Axl. And about two weeks into it, I was up at Slash’s house, where we had a little barbecue - you know, cook us a chicken – and he said, “Hey, do you wanna come to Guns N’ Roses?” And I go, “Wow” – again (laughs) [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
This would be confirmed by Slash [MTV Rockline, March 1992].

This implies the band still hoped that Steven could remain in the band. But that after two weeks they gave up that idea and asked Matt to replace Steven permanently. This would place Matt joining GN'R to mid-April 1990. This also fits with a comment he made during an interview at Rock In Rio II, in January 1991, when he said he joined GN'R "about 8 months ago" [Special TV, 1991]. Despite this, in a Geffen press release from 1991, it was stated that Matt joined the band in August 1990 [Geffen Press Release, September 1991].

Slash, on the other hand, has given statements that could imply Matt joined the band much later:

What happened was I went to the Universal Amphitheatre [April 3, 1990] and saw The Cult […] So three months or something went by and I was tearing my hair out trying to find a guy who would fit in the band and have the right feel and get along with us on a personality basis. Because as much as everybody would like to try and believe it, we're not like a business when it comes to just the five of us. It's not like we just hire some outside guy as long as he can play the parts right. And I think then I remembered that Cult gig and figured out I'd just try and steal him. And that's what I did [VOX, January 1991].
If this is correct, Slash contacted Matt first in June-July 1990.

Matt would claim to have had reservations about joining Guns N' Roses:

I heard a lot of horror sto­ries, and I had mixed opinions about joining this band. Final­ly I decided that this is a once in-a-lifetime opportunity and that if I didn’t take it now, I’d probably kill myself later[/i] [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].
“You hear the stories, the drug abuse, the lifestyle. I just didn’t know what to expect, it was crazy, a wild ride [Star Phoenix, March 26, 1993].

But the band had few reservations about him:

He has saved the band’s life. He came in, he's in an up mood, he works, he writes his own material. He writes a lot. He works real well with us. He takes suggestions while he keeps everybody in line, keeps the timing great... Yeah, I mean, he played 29 songs in a month [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
He’s amazing. Can’t say enough nice things about him. He’s a great guy to hang out with, he’s always friendly, he’s usually always in a good mood [MTV, January 1991].
[Matt had] the best groove I'd heard. So we got together, and he fit in with us from day one. […] In the past, Steve used to watch my feet for meter, and I always rush things in certain places—not on purpose. So a lot of our tempos would be all over the place. We just got used to that. A couple of times we had a drummer fill in for Steve on the road, and in the middle of 'Welcome to the Jungle' I'd realize I'm four bars ahead of the drummer. So, now I'm learning to play with an actual musician [Musician, December 1990].
The fact that Matt could play and fit in was what saved us. If we hadn’t found somebody, it would have ultimately been the demise of the band. Matt’s been capable of keeping up with it, if not enhancing it totally and bringing new stuff to it. He still can’t show up anywhere on time, though [laughing] [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
When Matt happened, it was the one final thing that we needed to pull it all back together. It was just loose; we were all together but we were all just hanging on the edge, trying to figure out how to keep the band going. There were a lot of, uh, chemical situations going on and so forth, and Matt was like a godsend because he was the one thing we needed.

There was a point there that we thought we couldn’t play. It was very weird. Matt’s a f**kin’ great guy, an awesome drummer, and he f**kin’ made the band solid. He was the kick in the ass that re­motivated us, because at one point, I think we forgot what we were here for. When Matt joined the band, we pulled 30 songs together in a month. So after two years of going through all this bullshit, when the band finally came together, we just clicked like we always have
[Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
Matt came in and kicked ass. And that put a foot up our ass. It was like, ‘That’s right! We’re a fucking band, man, that’s right!’ It’s like we forgot we were a rock and roll band that could kick ass. And it all came back. It was completely natural [Circus Magazine, November 1991].
Izzy seemed to be a little bit more indifferent:

Talking about what Matt has done for the group since he became a member: Um, as a drummer I would say... I don’t know, it’s good, you know? (chuckles). […] Yes, different style [than Steven's]. But, you know, they’re both good drummers and Matt is working good [MTV, January 1991].
Matt himself would comment on replacing Steven:

It was hard for them to bring someone new into the band, because they had known Steven for so long and he was a really good person; he just had his problems. And they were having a hard time finding someone that they could really open up to and hang out with the way they had with Steven [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].
Basically, I never was really a member of the Cult. And when these guys came on and asked me to do the album – I was just gonna do the record and go back to the Cult and hopefully Steven would get his thing together, but it didn’t work out, so they asked me to join the band. And, you know, it was basically something I couldn’t turn down; I’d have probably kicked myself in the ass real hard later, you know [Press Conference, August 1991, in Rapido, September 1991].
Slash and Duff came to see a Cult show and liked my style of playing. They called me to work on the records (Use Your Illusion I and II). Originally I wasn't going to tour with them, but Steven had to be let go and I became a full time member [Star Phoenix, March 26, 1993].
With Steven being entirely replaced by Matt, and Matt joining Guns N' Roses on tour in 1991, Guns N' Roses had practically "stolen" the drummer from the Cult. Asked about how Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy from the Cult reacted, Slash would reply:

Actually, I just ran into them, like, two days ago. They were really cool about it, because... Of course I called Matt on the sly, you know (chuckles). I didn’t call Ian and say, “Can I steal your drummer?” But I called Matt and said, “Well, do you wanna do the album?” you know. I didn’t really tell him I was stealing him for the whole tour and everything. So he was like, “Well, The Cult’s off tour and the record is done” and so on, and so, “Yeah, I’ll come down.” And we clicked, you know, in the first five minutes. So then it was like, obviously we’re not gonna replace him, and we did the whole record and everything. So we made him an offer of such... You know, right? […] And so, as far as Ian and Billy were concerned, that was Matt’s deal, really, to confront them with it. And then, as time went by, running into Billy and Ian... I mean, Ian was great about it. I didn’t really talk to Billy about it, you know, but Ian was like, “Whatever, it’s cool.” Yeah, so it was amicable [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Duff, on the other hand, would claim they talked to Astbury before offering the job to Matt:

We didn't steal their drummer away. We talked to Ian first. It was their last gig of the tour, so it fell right into place. I was crossing my fingers, 'cause he seemed perfect. Then when he came in for an audition, I was like, "Okay, yeah!' [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
Slash, summarizing what happened:

Matt I found after being seriously frustrated looking for a drummer. It was a crucial period where we had to get it together if we were gonna stay together. He was playing with the Cult. I saw him a few months before I called him. I had to sit down and go, "Okay, who's the best drummer I've seen, regardless of what band he's in?" I remembered being blown away by Matt with the Cult. So I thought, "I'll just give him a call. The Cult's off the road." I called him, and he came down and we hit it off right away [Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:05 am


Matt was born in Long Beach, California, on November 19, 1960 and grew up in Orange County near Laguna Beach [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991] into a musical family where his mother was music teacher and his brother a classical violinist [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991]. He got his first drum kit when he was 5 but "got serious" about it at age 9 [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

I just always wanted to play drums. I got my first set of drums when I was about 5 years old. You know, I was just always banging on things, I don’t know. My first band I was really into was probably Black Sabbath. You know, during, like, junior high school. I guess that’s what made me hit drums so hard, because I saw Black Sabbath and, you know, his drumming was just so amazing, Bill Ward, back in those days. And I liked his power. And then I got into Zeppelin and all the stuff that the rest of the guys were into, you know, Aerosmith and.. [Special TV, 1991].
Playing drums was a good way to get out anger:

[…] you know, it was my way of getting it out. It was great that I’d come home from school every day and thrash (imitates playing drums). And right after that I’d feel really good and mellow. […] I’d say for anybody out there that, like - let’s say people down in, like, East L.A. that want to go out and beat somebody up. They should just buy a drum kit or something, you know? Really. Beat on a drum, don’t beat on each other or something. I think that’d be a great model for the world. You know, everybody buy drum sets. And when you feel like you wanna go, like, hit your kid or something, go in a room and play a beat [MTV, September 1992].
Other bands and artists that inspired Matt were old Genesis, Deep Purple, Louis Belson and "some other jazz artists" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

Matt started his career as a drummer in various Los Angeles-based hard rock bands in 1976. Then he played with an Australian new wave band called IQ, toured with a guitarist named Greg Wright, and returned to LA to work as a session drummer, including playing with Gladys Knight. He also played with E.G. Daily, Belinda Carlisle, Shaun Cassidy, Jeff Paris and Spencer Davis [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

There’s a lot of different types of music, which I didn’t have a problem with, because I come from, like, a lot of different musical backgrounds. I played with R&B artists and I played with a lot... […] Gladys Knight & the Pips I played with… […] I played with them about two years ago, I did one of their albums. I got one track with them. And then I worked with Belinda Carlisle, who is a pop star, so I have all kinds of different, like, stuff just to make ends meet. It’s what I did in the studios in LA. If someone called me up, you know, I wouldn’t argue. I’d play with anyone [MTV, May 1991].
After playing with Gladys Knight he hooked up with The Cult [Rolling Stone, September 1991] and played with them in "December of ’88 and through May of 1990" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

In the Cult every night was a big party. Now I take it a little easier [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:10 am


After Matt joined the band (minus Axl) would enter a productive phase:

As soon as I got into the band, it was like clockwork. We rehearsed for a month every day for four or five hours. There was none of this calling in sick because you were up too late the night be­fore partying. If you were, you had to show up anyway. […] More songs just kept com­ing out. Some of the better ones on the album were actually writ­ten in the studio. Some were done on the first or second take, real spur-of-the-moment stuff. It ended up being 36 songs and we went, ‘God, how are we gonna put all this on an album?’. […] About one-third of the stuff we updated, becauseit’s been around with those guys from the beginnings of the band and they wanted to get it out now [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].[/i]
What took us two years to get together came together in a month [VOX, January 1991].[/i]
In the band's official fan club newsletter for May 1990, it would be said the band was "hard at it recording the almost forty songs" and that recording sessions had been held at "Rumbo, A&M, Take One and One on One in Los Angeles" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

At this point Dizzy had also joined the band and got to make his print on the songs they were writing and recording:

I started going down to pre-production and we were kind of listening through (?). We listened to, you know, all the songs. And I was there and, like, if I had an idea I got up and I played it, and if they liked it, we worked on it. If they didn’t want keyboards on that song, we just threw it out. And then I went in, they did all the basic tracks and I went in, like, a couple of weeks and just did (?) keyboard stuff on the new album [MTV, May 1991].[/i]
In July 1990, Axl would say they had just "laid down 29 basic tracks", that the record "won’t be out till the beginning of the year", and that it would contain 31 songs [The Howard Stern Radio Show, July 1990]. The same month he would say the planned to "start the album in about a week or so" [Unknown Source, July 1990]. That the main recording took place in the summer of 1990, would also be confirmed by Slash:

So we worked for a month on 30 songs and then went in the studio—I guess it was the summer of last year [must be summer of 1990 since the interview with GW happened in 1991]—and recorded basic tracks. We ran through 30 songs in 30 days. [Guitar World, February 1992].[/i]
In July 1990, Axl would for the first time disclose the possible name of the albums:

It might be called Use Your Illusion. We’re talking with an artist named Kostabi, because I bought a painting and we want to use it as a possible cover, and the title of the painting is “Use Your Illusion”, and that’s what we may use. I wrote a song the night before that says, “I bought me an illusion and put it on the wall”, and the next day I found a painting called “Use Your Illusion" [Unknown Source, July 1990].[/i]
According to rumors in the press the band "were getting along so badly that they recorded their studio parts at separate times [New Musical Express, November 1990] and it would be reported that a record company staffer had been overheard saying "we'll be lucky to see an album from them by the end of 1991, if ever..." [Hot Metal, August 1990], indicating that the problems in the band hadn't gone with Steven.

Slash would later describe how he worked in the studio:

For the basic tracks, I play with the band, using headphones; we're all in one room. The main goal is to get the bass and drums down. It's a great vibe and I wish I could record my final tracks that way, but I can't. I need to be in my own studio—away from where the basic tracks are done—in the control booth. I don't let anybody in from the band, if I can help it. On "Shotgun Blues" (Illusion II) Axl and some friends popped in, and I did the solo in one take. Sometimes you just want to fuckin' jam in front of somebody. Usually no one was in the studio except for Mike [Clink, producer] and Jim Mitchell, our engineer. That's really my element. I love it [Guitar Player, December 1991].[/i]
I'm basically the only one Slash will even let in the studio. He doesn't like anybody around when he records. He gets real nervous, but I drop by. Sometimes he'll call me and say, "Come down, man, and listen to this thing I did." Who am I to tell Slash what to do? But I love playing with the guy. I might make a suggestion here and there, which he listens to, 'cause he knows if I make a suggestion it's at least valid. I don't know where he comes up with his stuff. His solos are never random, off-the-cuff solos. He thinks, he maps them out, but they're not contrived [Guitar Player, December 1991].[/i]
Slash would discuss working with Clink:

[Clink] has a good ear and if I'm overplaying, or if I might be a little bit out of pitch, he'll let me know. I can take it home and listen to it that night if I disagree. By the next morning, I'll either keep disagreeing, and we'll keep it on there, or he might be right. The outro solo on "Heaven's Door," I did the first day after I came up with the melody for the first solo. I did the second one and he wasn't really happy with it. I thought it was fine. I took it home and listened to it. The next morning, on my way somewhere, I stopped by the studio and just pulled it off one more time and did it way better [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].[/i]
Then, with the basic tracks recorded, Slash would redo his parts, completing his work for 27 songs in five weeks:

I redo all my parts. There are a lot of guitars on the album. Izzy has only one guitar throughout the whole record; he comes out of the left speaker. He recorded most of his stuff during basic tracks. I did all the overdubs and harmonies, plus my regular rhythm track. There are a couple of songs, especially ones I wrote, where I beefed up the tracks over on Izzy's side, 'cause he's got a particular sound that doesn't necessarily... ["weigh as much" would be suggested by the interviewer] Yeah, exactly. It falls out of balance. I did all that, the acoustics, and my other instruments in five weeks. For 27 songs, it was pretty quick. […] Actually, I didn't spend too much time on anything. It was always one or two takes, more or less. If the intonation was really off, Clink would tell me, and I'd go back and maybe punch in. But we never spent entire days on guitar solos. We'd take an entire day and do a whole song. Of course, for the really long songs, it would take two days to get all that shit right. But I'd like to think that it was more rock and roll than what most bands are doing these days [Guitar Player, December 1991].[/i]
Then I worked on guitar parts and overdubs for five weeks. I played a lot of guitar on this record, though five weeks isn't bad for 30 songs [Guitar World, February 1992].[/i]
Slash had a preferred spot to stand on when recording:

I'd find a cool spot and put a piece of tape on the ground. Then girls would come down to the studio and hang out. I'd get in the next day and find these shapes on the floor where they'd had a ball with the tape. I was completely confused: "Where's my spot?" Or somebody would come in and tidy up. I'm like, "Fuck, do not touch anything, leave everything alone!" I love things to be a complete disaster. For every beer we drank, we'd stick the label on the [control room] glass—we almost covered the whole thing. One day we got to the studio and the manager had cleaned up. The whole environment was shot—all the porno pictures were taken down [Guitar Player, December 1991].[/i]
In November 1990, Melody Maker reported that the band had almost finished recording and that they intended to tour in the summer of 1991. According to a spokeswoman for the band, "Before they even got to the studio, they had 56 songs ready to go, and that was before Axl came in with his. It was a matter of working through which ones were right for the album" [Melody Maker, November 1990]. What was left at the time was Axl's vocals. The spokeswoman would elaborate, "Axl still has to do quite a bit of vocal. He doesn't sing every day he sings when it suits him. But if everything goes according to schedule, it should be released in mid-April or the beginning of May" [Melody Maker, November 1990]. The band also recorded "four live tracks in one-and-a-half hours, for B-sides, and it sounds great" [Melody Maker, November 1990].

Around the same time Slash would say things had happened very fast for the last three months:

We've done everything over the last three months. We rehearsed 35 songs in 30 days, got them all 'recordable' and then went into the studio and did 30 songs in 30 days on basics. We recorded five more while I was doing my guitar overdubs, did five more in a day, and then Axl's doing the vocals. The whole process, once we got it together, was really fast. Not that everybody would believe it [VOX, January 1991].[/i]
In December 1990, Musician would release an interview with Slash where he said the new record is tentatively scheduled for release early in 1991 and that he's put on nearly all the guitar parts for the record's 30-plus tunes [Musician, December 1990].

This month Axl would also physically move into the recording studio to add vocal tracks:

There was no heat in that room. It was a cold, lonely place, but it was the only place I could stay to keep myself in the work. It was cool-looking, but it was dark, cold and weird! It got to the point that certain people could tell just by the way I was talking, the tone of my voice, that I wasn't right. A friend brought by some Christmas presents. Another flew out unannounced and stayed with me Christmas Day, because they were very worried that I wasn't going to make it through. I couldn't leave the studio, but I couldn't go back to my condo because of my neighbor. That was a nightmare [RIP, September 1992].[/i]
While Slash in the end of 1990 and beginning of 1991 was sober and productive, Axl's mental instability and issues with everything from his marriage, the police and his neighbor, was allegedly holding up the record resulting in Slash's growing frustration:

Well, [Axl's problems are] a pain in the ass, and they keep things from getting done. I’m the most uptight about all of this. It’s just my nature — Axl thinks I’m this sort of sick-minded workaholic. And it’s true — in some ways, I do get uptight. I can get very negative about it. But there are moments when it [Axl’s troubles] really gets in the way of what I think is productive, and we end up spending a lot of money. Sometimes I think Axl has no idea, or has a very slight idea, of what the financial reality is. I mean, to me $400,000 or whatever to make a record is ludicrous. Of course, if I was to say that to Axl outright, he’d say I don’t know what he’s going through, and there’d be a fight right there. That’s the way we’ve always been — there’s something I can’t relate to or vice versa, and that’s where we butt heads. So I just sit there with my head between my knees, freaking out…But Axl’s craziness drives me crazier than it does Axl, unbeknownst to him. And that’s the truth [Rolling Stone, January 1991].[/i]
As for the amount of material Slash would say that due to their stormy history, they couldn't be sure they would release another record, and:

It's all material we would never have gotten off our chest if we didn't do it now [Musician, December 1990].[/i]
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:11 am


On June 26, 1990, the world would finally hear new music from Guns N' Roses, a live recording of the Bob Dylan cover 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' featured on the soundtrack 'Days of Thunder' for the movie of the same name. The band had previously released a live version of the song.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:11 am


In July 1990 Guns N' Roses would again contribute to a compilation album, this time the charity album 'Nobody's Child: The Romanian Angel Appeal'. GN'R's contribution would be the song 'Civil War' that would later be released on 'Use Your Illusion II'. This would be mentioned in the band's official fan club newsletter in May 1990:

"The first completed track is “Civil War”, which was also performed at Farm Aid [April 1990]. This track may make an early appearance on a record George Harrison is compiling for the relief of Romanian orphans, many of whom are AIDS stricken" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Axl: […] we’ve got a new track coming out in about three weeks. […] (?) benefit album, with, like, Elton John and Eric Clapton and the Wilbury's and shit [Unknown Source, July 1990].

Slash: "When we recorded [Civil War], it wasn't in our normal studio. I didn't have a normal amp. It was one of those things where we had to do it because we were doing it for a benefit album, and it was a rush thing. The song was great, but Steven couldn't play. It took two days just to get the drums. That's out of the norm for us. I had to use a rented amp, and I wasn't particularly happy with the sound. Then Clink tried to mix it in a couple of different studios. I wasn't happy with the mix, and we usually don't use Clink to mix. We sat in on the mix, but I couldn't get it right. I didn't like the studio. When it came time to use it for our album, we had it mixed by Bill Price, who is awesome" [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:12 am


On October 30, 1990, police would respond to a call from one of Axl's neighbours. The neighbour claimed that "[Axl] had shouted at her when she came home at about 2:30 in the morning, tossed her condo keys off the 12th floor and down on the ground, and then took a wine bottle she was carrying and hit her in the head with it [MTV, October, 1990].

Axl, as he was leaving the police station from bail, had a different opinion:

I live next door to a psycho [MTV, October 1990].
A spokesman for Axl said, "This woman has repeatedly caused Axl problems. She is basically a fan who's been harassing him since the beginning of the year. After she abusively assaulted him the night of the incident, he requested the building's security officer call the police on his behalf. Despite the call for protection, the sheriffs did not arrive until after a call from his assailant. The neighbour was neither hit by Rose nor hospitalised, contrary to earlier news reports. The incident constitutes Rose's continuing dispute with the sheriffs' department which appears to be harassing him. An earlier complaint he filed against the department remains unresolved" [ Melody Maker, November 1990].

After having been released on a $ 5,000 bail, Axl said the following to Pirate Radio in Los Angeles:

My wife and I recently had some hard times, and so she was asleep, and me and a friend of mine were sitting here, cos we're working on some songs together for the new album, and we were talking very quietly. My neighbour was in the hallway, drunk and yelling, trying to talk to one of my friends that she doesn't even know, and I went and told her to chill out. She came at me with a wine bottle she swung it at me, and I grabbed the bottle. I didn't hit her with it - if I had she wouldn't be walking, she wouldn't be alive. She threw her keys at me and I shut the door and threw her keys off the balcony and poured the wine out and threw it away. She proceeded to beat on my door for 20 minutes. I then called the sheriffs and they didn't give a fuck. They she went downstairs and did a great acting job when the police showed up. She doesn't complain about my stereo to me. I don't know if she complained to other people or not. I have my suspicions about the problems I've had with the sheriffs being somewhat directly related to her. I had problems with the sheriffs when I had Sebastian Bach over here and we had the stereo up. Then she proceeded to play my album full blast every night for the next two weeks. She likes to have sex to my album and beat on my bedroom door. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when I am the one busted for it, that's not what's good [Melody Maker, November 1990].
And this to MTV:

I was sitting here at home with a friend of mine, Dave Lank, and his fiancee, (?). My wife, Erin, was asleep, um, she had a miscarriage last week, and she’s just been in bed. My neighbor was out in the hallway about 1:30, um, drunk and yelling to talk to Dave - and she doesn’t even know Dave, she just seems to [?] my friends from Indiana. And he didn’t want anything to do with it, and she was out there yelling for a while. And finally, I just went outside, went out in the hallway, and said I wanted her to shut up and go in and crush. (Laughs) She was wasted and she came flying at me, screaming, “What you gonna do, who are you and what you gonna do, hit me, hit me” and swung this bottle of wine at me. I grabbed the bottle of wine out of her hands, and then she threw her keys at me which went into my apartment, so I just said, “Well, I guess you don’t need those either”, and I shut the door, threw her keys off the balcony, and poured the wine out. Then she proceeded to... For about 20 minutes she just ran full speed into my door and kicked it, and bashed into my door, and... We’ve taken some photos of the door and everything, there are black marks and [?], and the doorbell all bashed up and stuff... And screaming that she is going to stub me, and get me when I’m not looking, and all these other things. And I thought I was calling the police, I had the building call the police on her, and for me - and we called the sheriff’s office. They didn’t really seem to care. And she went downstairs, and was screaming and yelling; and called the sheriffs from downstairs and they came, and she told them that I hit her with the bottle. So they came up here and arrested me on felony assault with a deadly weapon [MTV, October 1990].
Regarding his views on the upcoming court case in November:

I don’t think I’m gonna have much of a problem. But then again, you never know, and I’m not, you know, going to sit here and say that everything will be just fine, ‘cause you never know in a court of law, what can happen. I just know that I’m gonna take the step also... and with a civil suit against her for all the inconvenience and the stress to my wife and, you know, being arrested falsely and everything. So it’s just been an ongoing problem and I’ve been on the phone with my lawyers and management for about the last year-and-a-half, saying, “Something’s gonna happen,” “Something’s gonna happen,” you know. And this is her 15 minutes, as Andy would say. She’s inventing her life, she’s one of these people that, like, I feel sorry for. She’s lonely and doesn’t have much in her life. But, you know, she’s trying to cling on to something and now she’s found a way to get involved, and she would rather be in a confrontational argument than be ignored [MTV, October 1990].
In an interview likely done in November 1990, Slash would comment on the episode:

What happened with Axl, when I heard about it, I was like 'Oh, cool, is he going to make it to the studio tomorrow?' It was no big deal [VOX, January 1991].
As the result of the court case, Axl won a temporary restraining order against his neighbor. She was ordered to "stay away from [Axl], his wife, Erin, and their guests" [Los Angeles Times, November 1990]. The district attorney would not prosecute charges against Axl, citing lack of evidence [Los Angeles Times, November 1990]. Axl and the neighbor later entered an agreement to stay away from each other, which was filed on November 29 [Los Angeles Times, December 1990].

The incident would inspire the song "Right Next Door To Hell" on Use Your Illusion I:

[One song]has a verse about life in L.A., and the chorus came when I was at home and couldn’t figure one out. All of a sudden [the neighbor] started beating on the walls and had her television cranked on 10 to bother me, and I just wrote this chorus called ‘Right Next Door to Hell.’ It works really well [People Magazine, November 1990].
Well, the song wasn’t necessarily written about [the wine bottle incident]. It’s just - the incident with my next door neighbor just inspired the chorus. […] The situation with the neighbor was just that she just kinda lost it after I realized this wasn’t a person I wanted to be involved with. And she just couldn’t handle the rejection of living next door, you know, and that was, like, her big claim to fame. And she was drunk and swung a wine bottle, and I took it, and now she just couldn’t deal with that. And so her way to be involved was the same as Steven Adler suing us. It’s like, “Okay, let’s make a law case out of it”. You know, the D.A’s threw it out, but now it’s a civil suit and, I mean, she’s trying to tell people that I’m insinuating that she actually emanated from hell (laughs). That’s her case [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
By December Axl moved into the studio to work on the record, at least partly because he "couldn't go back to [his] condo because of [his] neigbor" [RIP, September 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:13 am


Initially, Slash didn't want lots of stage effects for the large tour they expected of doing at some point in time:

Talking about doing a headlining stadium tour: We won't have any of that [laser and pyro] shit. All it means is that we'll all have acres of space to run around and go nuts in! If anything, we're gonna play down the whole idea of putting on some kind of dumb show with a Million stage props, and go out and just fuckin' kick some ass! […] Too many bands hide behind all that stagey shit, anyway. The bigger the band, the bigger the explosions at the beginning and end of their set. Well not us . . . None of that shit for us. We ain't faking it, we play take it or leave it rock and roll and if the kids want some of that they'll come along. Try and fuckin' stop them... [Kerrang! July 1988].
But about a year later Axl had different ideas:

We're already designing stages. […] On the 1988 tour, we wanted to show it could be done with just amps and a drumkit but that doesn't mean we're against big stageshows. We just wanted to prove that you don't need a big stageshow. Your music comes first and your performance onstage - that's priority. After that I think you can add anything you want. […] We love big stageshows, and if we come up with one that's a lot of fun for us, then we'll do it. We hope that people don't think we've sold out, 'cause it's not an attempt to sell out. We just like the lights and everything, but we haven't chosen to use those things yet and it's worked out good. […] I would like to experiment. I don't know that we'll be doing any of this stuff next year, but I'm really interested in lasers and holograms. I don't really have the time to find out about it right now, but there's the possibility of getting everything we can involved with our stageshow, 'cause it's like a living work of art [Kerrang! June 1989].
In early 1990, Axl would say the follow-up to 'Appetite' would hopefully be out by the summer, but...

But I don’t have any idea about the schedule for touring. We definitely want a major world tour and we want to play in as many places as we can. So it’s whatever the best timing is to pull that off the best way we can. I don’t know if England will be first or America, but we’re not trying to neglect anybody this time. It’s just trying to make it work the best way for everybody. […] I really want to play all of Europe, actually. I’m really into England, but we’ve only played in three countries – Germany, Holland and England. Now I want to play all of Europe. I want to go down to Panama, too. ’Cos you know they played Guns Ν' Roses songs down there to get Noriega out? I wanted to fly down last night, and I should have done, ’cos if I’d known he was gonna turn himself in I would have been there. I wanted to go down there and stand in one of the tanks with all the troops [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
A year later, the release date for the follow-up (now given the name 'Use Your Illusion') was closer and the band had started to plan, or think about, the massive touring that would follow:

We’re slated for a two-year tour starting in April. We’ll go to New Zealand, Australia and Japan, then to the United States, where we’ll branch out to all those places we haven’t done yet. We’ll go to Europe and play Wembley [in London], I think, then go to Japan for one gig and then come back to the States. That’s just off the top of my head. We’ll do arenas here, and then we’ll come back and do coliseums [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
In early 1991 the band was rumored to start touring after the release of the 'Use Your Illusion's' in the spring of 1991. First off was the US with Skid Row in support, and then they would play selective dates in Europe, including one stadium show in Britain in late summer [Select Magazine, February 1991].

In January 1991, Axl would say they hoped to start touring in April 1991, and would go on for two years [MTV, January 1991].

In June 1991, it was reported that the band sold 40,000 tickets the first day for the Alpine Valley shows that would start the European tour, a feat equaled only once before in history, by the Who. After touring America first the band planned to head overseas, to Australia, Europe and Japan [RIP, June 1991].

We're gonna end the States leg in L.A., at the Forum. We're tentatively scheduled to play four nights. They wanted us to do eight! Eight f?!king nights! [RIP, June 1991].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:14 am

JANUARY 20-23, 1991 - ROCK IN RIO

In the autumn of 1990 (Duff was unsure if it was three or four months before January 1991 [Special TV, 1989]), the band booked its first gigs in more than a year: Two nights at the Rock In Rio Festival in January 1991 [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].

Looking back, the band had progressed according Axl's long-term plans, and was now topped with headlining on a large stage:

But things are going well and we're, you know, it'll get bigger. I don't think I'll relax until like we're headlining in a very, very big way and being able to put a full show across. And until then it's just we're still hungry, and then even when we get that then it's like we want to make a really big show, we've still got a lot of things that we want to do musically [Japanese TV interviews, November 1987].
Axl would also talk about the bigger shows ("huge stadiums, huge lights, huge sound") they wanted to do in an interview in July 1989:

When we went through Australia, we kept it basic because we wanted to prove to people that, above all, Guns 'n' Roses are a band that could play, we weren't a figment of some publicist's imagination. But next time around, we're gonna take one step up. The time's right for that one further step [Juke Magazine, July 1989].
The Rock in Rio shows were booked when the band was in the finishing stages of recording their follow-up to 'Appetite'. It is unclear who took the initiative for the shows:

No, we didn’t have to [play the shows]. It was something we wanted to do, I think. Actually it’s kind of mixed. I don’t know who wanted to do [it or] might not have wanted to, but everybody’s here, you know [MTV, January 1991].
Even if the shows were booked when the band was in the middle of making the 'Use Your Illusion' records, Duff, Matt, Izzy and Slash were able to start rehearsing for the shows:

We were right in the middle of doing a record so it was kind of pain in the ass, so... But I was done, and Matt was done, we were done with the basic tracks. All we had to do was sing backgrounds and mix. So Matt and I had time to go in and start rehearsing. Slash has still been doing guitars. Slash and Izzy came in and it was like... You know, we had just got done getting Matt as a drummer, so... Matt and I rehearsed together [Special TV, 1991].
The two Rock in Rio gigs took place at Maracana Stadium in front of 280,000 Brazilian fans [Special TV, 1991]. This was the first time the band had performed together on stage since Farm Aid in April 1990 and the debut for Dizzy and Matt [MTV, January 1991].

We’re going on stage in front of 140,000 people, first time [Matt]’s up to play with us. And, for that matter, Dizzy, the piano player, who was actually kind of shitting bricks cuz the biggest crowd he had ever played to was, like, 400 [Special TV, 1991].
It was like a blur, it was like, no, I can’t believe this. You know, I mean, I would be, like, completely lying and ridiculous if I said I wasn’t nervous for that. Actually it’s weird, after doing it I looked back at it and, like, we did that little show in LA and, like, 500 people were there that I knew, at least, you know. And that was, like, a lot scarier than doing Rock in Rio, because Rock in Rio is just... you just get kind of numb, cuz there’s so many people. You’re just kind of numb. It’s like doing novocaine over your whole body, you just play [Special TV, 1991].
Introducing Matt from stage before his drum solo: I’d like to introduce you to somebody new in the band. Someone who came along and if it hadn’t worked out we wouldn’t be here tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Matt Sorum. Rate it, bear his ass, right now. Take it away home [Rock in Rio II, January 1991].
Not only was it Matt's and Dizzy's first live show with the band, they had never played with Axl before at all:

For me it was kind of wild because, you know, it was the first time I ever heard him sing with the band, with me playing, you know? So a couple of times when he did some screams and stuff, you know, kind of throwing me for a second. Maybe, you, know, messed up my fill or something [laughs] [Special TV, 1991].
Matt and Dizzy had never played with us as a complete band, because Axl doesn't come to rehearsals. They'd never seen Axl sing with us. […] So, anyway, we tell Matt, three minutes before he goes onstage in front of 140,000 people, that he's gotta do a drum solo. And he pulled it off! He rocked! Dizzy, shit, the biggest crowd he ever played for was about 400, opening up for L.A. Guns at the Country Club. Let's just say Dizzy had a few cocktails before we went on, but he pulled it off too. Right before we went onstage, the whole band - and this hadn't happened for a long time - got together in one room. You could just feel the electricity. No matter how many people were out there, or our families, or the press and photographers, bla bla bla, what it came down to was , we were just the same guys that we were five years ago, and you could feel that in the nervous laughter. It was f?!king amazing [RIP, June 1991].
This was also warm-up shows for their upcoming tour:

We’ve been rehearsing at a little rehearsal place and just getting warmed up for... being geared up and psyched up to tour. Rio should get us in groove. I mean, you know, usually you don’t play those gigs til the end of the tour. We’re doing it backwards, that’s how we do everything [Special TV, 1991].
As the band prepared for the high-profile shows, they would let Matt in on how they operated:

And for [Matt] to come into this band... Cuz we don’t have a setlist, you know. We just kinda call of songs - if that, you know. Or we just kind of like, someone starts off the next song and... We kinda told Matt that, like, 5 minutes before we went on. “This is not a setlist by the way, Matt. It’s a call list. And, by the way, you’re doing a drum solo (?)." So he can take the pressure (laughs) [Special TV, 1991].
The Rock in Rio concert was heavily focused on new material, and over the two shows the band would debut the following songs: Bad Apples, Pretty Tied Up, Double Talkin' Jive, Dead Horse, You Could Be Mine, and Estranged.

After the shows, Axl and Slash were satisfied:

It was the first gig with everybody involved in a long time. Especially, you know, with two new people, right? It’s the first show that we’ve done that it was fucking – no matter how many technical problems we had and this and that – we fucking had a fucking blast, you know? And I could turn around... It was like, turn around and there’s those people that I know so well, you know? It was great. [Special TV, 1991].
It was the funniest show that I’ve ever played. It was the funniest show. And the reason I wanted to talk with you so much was to thank Rio. […] I want to thank Rio for being so responsive, so into it. It was great. It’s amazing. I had a blast. We did two hours and it was a blast. It was the best show, funniest show I’ve ever played. I really like it, I really like it down here. It’s like, I hope to come back here in a year and play again. You know, play more shows and play in Sao Paolo. […] This was the biggest crowd that we’ve ever played to and one of the most responsive. Donington was like, they knew all the words but, I mean, a lot of people down here don’t know English and they could still sing all the songs and everything. Like, Sweet Child; they sing every chorus with me. It’s so much fun [MTV, January 1991].
From Axl's comments it seems his love for Brazil was born during Rock in Rio and the band would come back to this country again and again in the years to come.

In their biographies, both Duff and Slash would point to the Rock In Rio shows as especially memorable:

It was incredible; we played two nights in a row to 180,000 fans in Maracanã Stadium. [...] It was something else; I'm not sure that I've ever seen a more insane Guns N' Roses crowd - and that is saying something. When we kicked into the bridge of "Paradise City," people swan-dived from the upper tier of the stadium - seemingly to their death [Slash's autobiography, p 325]
Maracaña Stadium: 175,000 people and a river of sewage streaming right through the place. An actual river. Of shit. People chanting, "Guns N' Roses, Guns N' Roses!" The audience cried and sang along to every word as we launched into our set. 'Fucking hell, there are a lot of people up here onstage.' We had a two new keyboard players, backup singers, and horn players. The sides of the stage swarmed with crew and management and who knows who else. 'Where my boys at?' I turned and looked toward the drum riser. Steven wasn't there [Duff's autobiograpy, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 176]
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:44 am


"My growth was stopped at two years old. And when they talk about Axl Rose being a screaming two-year-old, they're right. There's a screaming two-year-old who's real pissed off and hides and won't show himself that often, even to me. Because I couldn't protect him. And the world didn't protect him" [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]


Already back in the 1980s Axl had hinted at a difficult upbringing, like in an interview with MTV's Headbanger's Ball from September 1988, where he talked about "certain things" that had happened to him:

And it took a long time and it's still, even to this day, I still have to deal with, you know, coming to grips with certain things that happened during my childhood, and certain things I wasn't allowed to do and allowed to hear and everything like that [Headbanger's Ball, May 1988].
He would touch upon this theme again in October 1989 and imply his stepfather had been involved:

You see, I get along with my father real well now. Actually, he's my stepfather, but he raised me. But I see some of the pain that he has to go through in dealing with the way he raised me, and the pain that I have to deal with in getting along with my father, and thinking back on certain things that happened every now and then, and how mad I get. I don't want those things to happen [Rock Scene, October 1989].
As the 1990s came along he would also mentioning how he would like to work with and support organizations dealing with child abuse, again implying dark events in his own childhood:

I'd like to be part of an organization working with child abuse. Sexual abuse and child abuse. I figure you gotta start somewhere [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
At the end of 1990 Axl had been suffering from depression [see previous chapter], and the depression continued into 1991:

I was a walking dead man. I was a dead man! That's why in the 'Don't Cry' video, there's my gravestone, marked 1991. I was, like, for two months recording the record, smoking pot because any other drugs just screwed me up. That was the only thing I could do to, like, sedate me and keep me contained enough to not freak out on how depressed I was. I was doing it almost medicinally. I was too depressed. l' d just flip out [Life Magazine, December 1992].
The depression made him remember his past and seek therapy [Life Magazine, December 1992]. The therapy started in February 1991 [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992; Interview Magazine, May 1992] before their massive tour in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums.

l reached a point where l was basically dead and still breathing. I didn't have enough energy to leave my bedroom and crawl to the kitchen to get something to eat. I had to find out why I was dead, and why I felt like l was dead. I had a lot of issues that I didn't really know about in my life and didn't understand how they affected me [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
According to Axl, the therapy sessions lasted five hours a day, five days a week [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

I know people are confused by a lot of what I do, but I am too sometimes. That's why I went into therapy. I wanted to understand why Axl had been this volatile, crazy, whatever, for years. […] I was told that my mental circuity was all terms of how I would deal with stress because of what happened to me back in Indiana. Basically I would overload with the stress of a smashing whatever was around me… […] I used to think I was actually dealing with my problems, and now I know that's not dealing with it at all. I'm trying now to (channel) my energy in more positive ways...but it doesn't always work [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].
Axl would also keep going to therapy during the touring of 1991 which was tarnished by Axl's behavior which led to multiple stops, late starts, and rants:

I was like, I’d come off stage, and either get on the phone or have the person fly out personally into four or five hours right after stage. You know, where someone goes, like, once a week to work out their problems for half hour or an hour, I was doing four-five hours a day; like, every day [MTV, September 1992].
In 1992 he would also mention that his therapist was a homeopath [for more information on Axl and alternative medicine, see later chapter]:

I came with a nice big package of defects. So I do past-life regression therapy work with a homeopathic doctor [Unknown original source, reprinted in Use Your Illusion Tour Program, May 1993].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:13 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:45 am


In late 1990 Slash would vent his frustrations with the press:

I don't think anybody will understand. [...] Everybody likes to make assumptions, people like to make up all these stories and I can't figure out the mentality behind it. They're always picking on our personal lives. It's never accurate. So it's made up like they're talking about somebody else altogether. The only thing you can go on is what's actually printed correctly in the press, quotes that are actually accurate, which isn't too often, anyway. […]

[…] you have to deal with [the lies]. You keep avoiding it, and avoiding it, trying to ignore the fact it's going on, and it sort of sticks with you and it just builds up. It finally hits you and you can have a breakdown over this shit eventually if you let it build up for too long. If you don't make some sort of rebuttal to what's being said about you, you end up having to live with it, which is not the right thing to do
[VOX, January 1991].
And later the same year he would look more philosophically at it:

This is one of those bands that, even before it got signed when it was a club band, was just bait for hype. And it’s like that now, only on a bigger scale. So at this point, we’re pretty numb to it [MTV, May 1991].
But they weren't so numb that they didn't make an attempt to curb the bad press, because in March 1991 the band's relation with the media had become so strained it was claimed that anyone who wanted to interview them had to sign a contract. According to Los Angeles Times, this "two-page document gives Guns N' Roses copyright ownership and approval rights over any "article, story, transcript or recording connected with the interview," control over any advertising or promotion involving the story and indemnifies the band from any damages or liabilities in connection with the story" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991]. Even photographers had to sign "a similar three-page contract" "with similar clauses, including band ownership of all pictures taken by any photographers" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].

Alan Niven would defend the decision:

We're fed up with being misused and abused by all the scurrilous (scum) who pass themselves off as journalists and photographers. I can't begin to tell you how many writers and photographers have misrepresented themselves, made up quotes or made money selling substandard photos of the band. It's amazing, but people can peddle any kind of (junk) if Axl's picture is on it. The press always says, 'Trust us,' but whenever we do, we get screwed. We started (using these contracts) with the European press, who are notoriously untrustworthy and incompetent, and we've found it keeps incompetence and inaccuracy to a minimum. We're not trying to deprive people of their opinions. But we do want a formal document that will prevent the abuses we've endured in the past [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].
So would Duff:

The critics are looking for us to fall on our a__. The group went from being critics' whipping boys to being "the press' darling, then the press turns around on you [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
Some magazines, including Guitar World and Venice, signed the contract while others, including Rolling Stone, Playboy, Spin and Penthouse, refused [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].

The musical editor of Rolling Stone magazine, Jim Henke, was incredulous: "I can't believe anyone would go along with anything like this. We're always having people asking to be on the cover, but we've never had anyone try to dictate the editorial content of a story. I have to wonder whether the band is going to still go through with this even after their album comes out" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].

The band's publicist, Bryn Breidenthal, had the following comment: "My immediate reaction was that this might provoke a lot of hostility. But the band is just reacting to all the inaccurate information that's been disseminated about them. In my 25 years of doing publicity I've never dealt with a press contract before, but when you deal with this band, you deal with a lot of firsts" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].

Matt would later argue that it was only meant to stop some magazines:

[The contract] was for people we didn't want to talk to. It's been blown all out of proportion, because there's plenty of stuff the band wants to talk about openly [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].
This would be confirmed by Axl in May 1991 when he referred to it as a "test contract" aimed at specific magazines:

And that was a test contract basically because of certain situations we’ve had with the English press that we tested in Rio. And the most outrage that we really got was from the magazines that we were having problems with to begin with, you know. And because we weren’t going to talk to them anyway, then they saw that and went running with it. But no, we’re not trying to control everything. We just want what we said or anything we say to be in the proper context, to be something that we really said. […] So we’re just trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. You know, if we don’t have a real big problem and if we get along with people we don’t even ask about contracts. You know, it’s like, if we know everything’s gonna be okay and it’s gonna be honest, then it’s fine. The contracts are kind of... I laugh, you know, when they make such a big deal, because it’s really kind of like a deterrent for people that want to cause problems. They see that and they know they won’t be able to get in to cause that problem [MTV, May 1991].
The "English press" that Axl is here referring to, is likely the interviews by Mick Wall in Kerrang! Axl's antipathy for Wall would also result in him being named in the rant in 'Get In The Ring' [see later chapter].

Axl would further embellish on the detrimental nature of inaccurate and out-of-context quoting:

And we’ve had certain things that may not hit the world on a big scale, but dealing with smaller magazines and stuff, where they’ve run all kinds of interviews we never did and where they said I said things. Like, I may have said something hostile towards a member of another band, but they’ve turned it around and said I said all kinds of things I didn’t say. And it’s like, the things I said were even meaner (chuckles), but I knew what limb I was going out on it, and then somebody cuts down the tree and then hits me. And it’s like, it’s not really fair, because I do take the time to try to answer the questions and talk about things as honestly as I can; and then I have someone distort that, you know? And if a magazine has a... maybe they have a subscription rate of 50,000 or 70,000 but, you know, this was a 40,000 people show tonight. 40,000 people were here, you know, and that hits that many people with a different impression of us and that kind of hurts [MTV, May 1991].
Neither MTV or the Chicago Tribune had to sign the agreement [Chicago Tribune, May 1991]. In the end, as indicated by Matt and Axl, Rolling Stone did not have to sign the contract, either. As Kim Neely, a senior writer at Rolling Stone would say, "The thing about that contract has really been blown out of proportion." Neely would say she didn’t have to sign any contract because “there are certain magazines that have never done them wrong in the past, and Rolling Stone is one of those magazines. We submitted two names to them, and they said either would be okay.... I’m a big fan" [New York Magazine, August 1991].

In June, Spin Magazine, with chief editor Bob Guccione Jr., would print a highly critical article about the contract which including the contract for all their readers to see [Spin Magazine, June 1991]. The same month, Geffen would release a press statement saying that the band didn't require the contracts to be signed before doing interviews that the reason why the band had done fewer interviews was simply that the band was occupied working on the new record. [Geffen Press Release, June 1991].

Lauren Spencer, Spin's senior editor of music, would comment:

"They were actually asking all writers to go ahead and sign the contract if they wanted to get an interview with Guns N’ Roses. Basically, that was the story we got. What they said was, ‘You want an interview? Look over this contract. Let us know.’ The bottom line is that the band isn’t doing interviews anyway. It was just kind of offensive that they would in the first place be introducing the contract. Whether it was a joke, I don’t know " [The Courier Journal, June 1991].

In June [although published in August] Slash would talk about the contracts and mention they had been changed:

So there was a situation where we put out a contract, where anybody who wanted to interview the band had to sign this agreement saying that we would get to see the actual interview and approve it, because we’d been screwed around for so long and taken it. And now the band’s got to this point, it only makes things worse, because now there’s some really meaty stuff to make up!

So a lot of the rock ’n' roll publicity machine and the critics were handed this contract, and if they didn’t abide by the stipulations on it, then it was gonna cost them 100 grand. Which was pretty harsh, but my feelings about it were that if these guys weren’t gonna be blatantly honest and do what it said, then they were out to screw us in the first place. In other words, why worry about it? I mean, if I give you a piece of paper right now that says, ‘Don’t try this on me, or do this and that’, and you won't sign it, how am I supposed to trust you?


But since then we’ve restipulated the contract. It’s more of a thing for who we want to deal with and who we don’t wanna deal with. Because at this point, if it’s gonna go public, the only people what we care about are the people that listen to the band, and I don’t want them given bullshit. […] We still get to approve the articles, but now the band’s got the choice of wanting to deal with the situation. There’s no money involved any more...
[Kerrang! August 3, 1991].
Basically what it comes down to is, screw the contract and all that, it comes down to it being fair to the kids, to our fans. If you're gonna write about us, write the truth. The kids, they know the truth... [Kerrang! August 3, 1991].
Tony Gerard, writing for Kerrang!, would say the following regarding the contracts: "To be honest, I’ m still not sure I follow the band’s reasoning on this, and I’m dead against any kind of control over a piece of journalism save by the writer and the editor, but at least the contract issue has been wisely retooled to the point where it does significantly less damage.

Still, it’s a disturbing facet of this band that one wishes had never seen the light of day. Is it just paranoia on the part of the band, or a authentic strike against that shameful cluster of journalists who slander for the sake of a juicy story? Only by sitting in on every interview GN’R has ever done and then reading the resultant feature would one be able to discern the truth
" [Kerrang! August 3, 1991].

In August a spokesperson for Guns N' Roses would say the contracts were not in use any more [New York Magazine, August 1991]. When asked, Slash would claim they had modified the contract when they realized they did want to talk to some journalists [The Age/Independent on Sunday, August 1991].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:48 am


Axl befriended Sebastian Bach at some point in the 1980s. Bach, being at the time the singer of the famous rock band Skid Row, was in the media considered a rival to Axl. It didn't turn out that way, though:

Axl: Actually, Sebastian Bach and I are talking about doing a version of Amazing Grace together. Well, I think it's a whole new idea that him and I are gonna do this together, ‘cause everybody wanted us to be enemies, kind of, a bit in, you know, press things, “Who's better or this and that”. And it's kind of like, we just hit it off [MTV Famous Last Word, August 1990].

In 1990 they would hang out frequently. In July they would call in to the Howard Stern show [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990] and in the month after they were together in Axl's condo when a neighbor complained and it got raided by the police [People Magazine, August 1990].

When Guns N' Roses finally started touring the 'Use Your Illusion' records in May 1991, they chose Skid Row as the supporting act.

Axl: You know [Sebastian and I are] hoping to work together some, and it just... […] I’d told you last time that we wanted to do a version of Amazing Grace but we haven’t got to it yet [MTV, May 1991].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:56 am


In January 1991, Rolling Stone would report that what was still remaining to be done on the follow-up to 'Appetite' was "the completion of Axl’s vocals and the mixing chores" [Rolling Stone, January 1991; Special TV, 1991].

By then they had recorded 35 songs:

Thirty-five of the most self-indulgent Guns n’ Roses songs…It’s a lot of material to work with — like four albums’ worth. For most bands, it would take four to six years to come up with this much stuff [Rolling Stone, January 1991].[/i]
For Axl's recording of vocals, it would be reported that he took his bed and exercise bike (Exercycle) into the studio and lived there for a month [The Vox, October 1991].

With so much material recorded and ready to be released, the band was discussing how to do it:

There’s a ton of material we want to get out, and the problem is, how does one release all of it? You don’t make some kid go out and buy a record for seventy dollars if it’s your second record. We’re trying to think of a way to distribute the material where each of the four discs of material can be separated, so you can buy the whole thing or you can buy just one. But since it’s not released yet, nothing is etched in stone. It might change, and I don’t want to mislead anybody. I know the thing that it’s not going to be is one big boxed set, where you have to buy the entire thing or nothing. I can tell you that much [Rolling Stone, January 1991].[/i]
Slash would describe the albums as they were taking shape:

The album spans our whole career. It's such a self-indulgent record, it might come out and everybody will go. 'What the f*** is this?', but we don't care, because it's ours. It's a killer album. It's very heavy and it's not mainstream. […] We're doing this one with the attitude that we'll just get it done, but everybody else has such high expectations and... the f*** with trying to live up to them! [VOX, January 1991].[/i]
And according to Kerrang! in January 1991, Axl would arrive later than the rest of his band mates for Rock in Rio II in Brazil, because of "hurriedly putting the finishing touches to his vocals on the new ‘Use Your Illusion' opus" [Kerrang! January 1991].

This would be confirmed by Slash:

Axl went in and did vocals, then in the middle of the sessions we went out on the road. From that point, Illusion was thrown all over the place; we recorded the album in like ten different studios or something [Guitar World, February 1992].[/i]
The mixing of the album, which took place at Skip Saylor Recording in Hollywood [New York Times, December 8, 1991] "early in the year" [Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991], was also a laborious process [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. The band first tried the respected sound engineer Bob Clearmountain, but the band was not happy with his mixes and Clearmountain was not happy with the process [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Clearmountain was quoted as saying that Axl "seemed to have a lot on his mind at the time,” and that getting the singer to join the rest of the band in the studio — Clearmountain prefers his clients to be heavily involved — was "an absolute nightmare". According to Entertainment Weekly, this was due to Slash and Rose going through one of their "periodic personality clashes" at the time and Clearmountain would say that Slash deliberately stayed away from the studio so as not to "distract" the singer, and instead worked with him over the phone. Clearmountain would also claim that he didn't "hear from [Axl] for a week, and then he’d show up." Clearmountain recalls, "I’d ask if he listened to the last couple of mixes I did, and he’d say, ‘Oh yeah, man, it’s happening.’ And that’d be about it. He basically wasn’t paying attention" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Furthermore, according to Clearmountain, Axl would threaten to "quit the band three times a week" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Additionally, for unknown reasons, the band refused to talk to Tom Zutaut [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

With Clearmountain being dismissed, Slash suggested Bill Price to mix the albums [VOX, October 1991] and Price came in "at the 11th hour" and did the job [New York Times, December 8, 1991].

Matt would comment upon the mixing issues:

Then we ran into problems with the mixing. The guy that was doing the mixing didn't do a good job, so we had to call in Bill Price who re-mixed almost all the material [Press Conference, August 1991].[/i]
Slash would recount the mixing issues without mentioning Clearwater at all:

We couldn't work with Thompson-Barbiero, who were the two guys who mixed Appetite. At first, we chose not to work with them, and then by making that decision, they took on another gig, and we didn't have anybody to mix it. Then we asked them to do it and they couldn't, because they were working on Tesla. Being that we don't know that much about mixing and because we were so close to the music, we got to a point where we didn't even know what it was supposed to sound like anymore. Bill Price is somebody that we originally wanted to produce the album, in the early days, because he'd done the Pistols and the Pretenders. We really liked the sonics on those records. So we got in touch with him and he came out, and he brought a whole new life to the album. He has a great overall idea of what separation's all about, as far as instruments go, especially because there were so many things going on in some songs. He was great to work with, and he has great ears, so it was a real relief, 'cause I thought the album was destroyed. The hiring of Bill Price is one of the reasons this album took so long to get out [Guitar for the Pracising Musician, April 1992].[/i]

Getting Bill Price in to do the mixing would cost a lot of money and time, according to Kerrang! in July 1991, and would postpone the expected release date to August 19 [Kerrang! July 20, 1991]

In late April/early May 1991, Slash, Duff and Tom Zutaut spent time mastering some of the songs that would end up on the records [RIP, September 1991]. Around the same time, Rober John, who was still the band's photographer, was given "half an hour" to shoot the records' back covers, "something he'd been working on for over a month" [RIP, September 1991].

In May 1991, when the band was to embark on the touring for the albums, Axl, Slash and Duff "were putting the finishing touches" on the 36 songs expected to be released, with an expected release date of mid-July [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].

I’m actually gonna be recording some stuff here [in Wisconsin] to finish it up. […] Recording on the road, yeah. […] Finishing up what we went through mastering of, like, 25 of the songs right before we left. And we went through all the approval of lyrics and all that stuff and how it works all coming together and... Yeah, it’s definitely coming out [MTV, May 1991].
The long wait for the follow-up to 'Appetite' was hard on fans who were eagerly waiting for new music:

'When’s the album coming out, dude?’ is the expres­sion. I’m at the point now where I don’t mean to be rude, but I just say, ‘When it’s in the stores. When you see it in the store’ [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
Slash would shed some light on what was remaining:

I think we still have three songs left. […] they’ll be on the record. They’re gonna get done while we’re here in Wisconsin. Just vocals [MTV, May 1991].
These three songs are likely songs that the band decided to include at a late stage, one of them being '14 Years' [VOX, October 1991].

At that point it was planned to release the records on Slash birthday, July 23 [MTV, May 1991].

In June, Los Angeles Times would report that Axl still needed to put the vocals on "one selection" and that the band had booked studio time on June 7 while in Toronto [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

In July, Axl would talk to Musician about getting the record out:

Guns N' Roses pretty much calls its own shots with a lot of other people trying to call other shots and trying to tell the world that this is when the record is going to come out and whatever. It's like saying there are delays on the record. There are no delays on our record! There have never been any delays on our record. The record will not come out until we're done with it. But Geffen Records says it's going to come out by May 24th or whatever. We try to meet those things, but we've known from day one that the record wasn't going to come out until we're ready. That's one reason why we worked so hard to sell so many records the first time around - so that we could make sure we got this record done exactly the way we wanted to. Then the press comes out with how we are delaying the record. No! What do you mean delaying the record? It's my record! Delaying it? Do we want another Godfather III? No. We don't want Godfather III with our record. We want it to be right! We don't want it coming out six weeks early and saying, "I wish we would have had the time to get this part right [Musician, September 1991].[/i]
Then further delay was caused by the firing of Alan Niven. Rumor has it Axl refused to work on the record until Niven was replaced by Doug Goldstein [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

On September 4, Geffen would send a letter saying the albums would be released on September 11 [Geffen Letter to Media, September 1991].

In September 1991 Slash would talk about the long process of making the albums and how difficulties in their lives (drugs, coping with fame, shit from the press) had influenced how their song-writing:

Looking back on it it was [a creative period], but at the time it didn't feel like it. A lot of really heavy material came out of it but at the same time when we were going through it, it wasn't anywhere near as cool as it is now to look back on and see what we achieved by going through it [Rip It Up, September 1991].[/i]
Looking back at the production process, Izzy would claim they rehearsed and recorded the albums three times [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:58 am


It's like the first time I met Slash, I said, "The world's gotta see this guy." That's why when he plays with other people or does solo things it totally gets me off and makes me happy. It secures his place in rock history as a guitarist [Hit Parader, June 1993].


With the immense success the band had with 'Appetite for Destruction' and 'GN'R Lies', the band members started to attract offers to collaborate and do side-projects. Especially Slash was popular.

As previously mentioned, both Slash and Axl contributed on a new version of 'Under My Wheels' with Alice Cooper which was released on 'The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II soundtrack' in 1988. Alice Cooper would also feature on the song 'The Garden' off 'Use Your Illusion I" while Slash would play a solo on Cooper's 'Hey Stoopid' [from the album "Hey Stoopid"] to be released in June 1991 [Guitar Player, December 1991]. Slash was not enthusiastic about the latest collaboration:

I'm a bit perturbed, 'cause Alice has a video for this song with Joe Satriani in it. That pissed me off. I love Alice to death, so I don't want it to sound like I'm really angry, but it bums me out to have anybody think that it's Satriani playing my solo, right? When I left the studio, all the guitars were done. Somewhere down the line they put in this other guy—maybe from the band, maybe it's Satriani—playing the chorus melody at the tail end of the song. I heard it today on MTV: There's my sound, which is sort of nasty and ratty, and then all of a sudden this other guitar comes in. I hope nobody thinks that's me; I want to get that straight [Guitar Magazine, December 1991].
Cooper would describe Guns N' Roses this way:

"They’re just kids, you know? They went from being this bar band in Los Angeles to being bigger than God, or something like that. You can’t expect someone in their 20s to handle that with grace. ... I know I didn’t when it happened to me" [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].

Slash, on his side, would describe Cooper as a "sweetheart" [Q Magazine, July 1991].

In 1990, Slash and Duff would be featured on four songs on Iggy Pop's 'Brick by Brick' [Musician, December 1990]. Slash even picked up a co-writing credit for revamping "My Baby Wants to Rock and Roll" [Musician, December 1990].

I've known [Iggy Pop] since I was little. My mum went out with David Bowie when I was little. Iggy was in a mental hospital when I first met him and so my mum and I and David went to visit. He's such a fragile, sweet, soulful, honest and sincere guy. I really love him a lot. That was great. We did that in one day and it kicked ass [Q Magazine, July 1991].
The first record I did was with Iggy [Pop], who is just one of the sweetest guys. He was doing Brick By Brick and had some songs he thought me and Duff might want to play on. We hung out one night, listened to his home demos, and picked out songs. We went into the studio and cranked out four songs in one day. I co-wrote one. That was great [Guitar Player, December 1991].
All four of the songs I did with Iggy Pop were done in one day. I went in and it was just fun. There's the song "My Baby Wants to Rock 'n' Roll," that I wrote with lggy in the studio. That's a real spontaneous, off-the-cuff riff that I wrote on the spot [Guitar for the Practising Musician, Aprii 1992].
Pop would comment on Slash and Duff:

"They’re not dumb boys. They’re canny guys. They’re very aware of the world around them and things. They know a lot of stuff I didn’t learn until just this last year" [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].

And also on Guns N' Roses in general:

"The band didn’t sound like they were biting the weenie, like all the other bands. They didn’t sound fake to me. At least they didn’t sound like they were faking it for somebody else. Everybody in this world fix things for themselves. You can’t help it, you’re a human being. But – and musically it sounded exciting, in a way that it didn’t sound like it was dependent on some click track in the drummer’s ears or some machine going “bum-bum-bum” to give them a muscle they didn’t have. It sounded like it might fall apart at any time, and they would change tempos, and so I thought, “Ooh, a real band. How exciting. How cool" [Rapido, September 1991].

Slash was also called upon by Bob Dylan to contribute to the album 'Under the Red Sky,' which features many guest artists, where he was asked to "strum an acoustic like Django Reinhardt" only to have his solo erased from the song [Musician, December 1990].

Don Was [Dylan's producer] called me up and asked me to play with Dylan, which turned out to be one of those mistakes you learn from. He must have said two words while I was there. One was “Hi” and the other was “Play it like Django Reinhardt.” With all due respect to Django, that would have been a great concept had it fit the song. The whole thing was just a drag. Nothing against Dylan, because my dad liked him. I mean, I grew up on Bob Dylan; he was the guy my family listened to. And I never disliked him until the last five or six albums. I did get to meet George Harrison while I was there, though, and that was great. He was doing some fucking awesome slide playing [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
That was a drag. I really regret that. I'd just finished the Iggy Pop thing and Don Was approached me. I grew up with Bob Dylan stuff, but Bob Dylan then is not the same as Bob Dylan now, and I hadn't really paid much attention to him. But I said OK. I went to the studio and I met George Harrison, and he was great. He was playing when I wasn't there, this gorgeous slide guitar, and then I met Kim Basinger who could have done anything! Anyway, I finally met this little guy who looked like an Eskimo. It was a summer day and he's wearing a heavy wool sweater with a hood over it and a baseball cap underneath the hood and big leather gloves on and appeared to be stoned out of his mind. And he was really just impolite. I didn't have a good time at all. I was being as outwardly nice as possible, just trying to finish the guitar part, and I did one of the best one-offs that I can remember doing. And everybody was happy and I left and the record was about done. And then at last minute he took my guitar solo off because he said it sounded like Guns N' Roses [Q Magazine, July 1991].
And you know, that's that and I just know, from now on, I'll never play on anybody's record, or play with anybody that I don't admire or respect, or… I'm not friends with or something [Musician, September 1991].
I did Dylan, and he flicked me over. I hate that guy. That was the most miserable session, too. I did a really good job on it, and he kept my playing on there even when the advance copies went out to the record company. Then at the last moment he took it off because he said it sounded too much like Guns Ν’ Roses. Why did he call me, y’know? [The Guardian, September 1991].
The guy was impossible to work with. No matter how amiable I might be, Dylan was just impossible to relate to, to communicate with. I couldn't figure out whether he knew what he was talking about or not. I played on a track that was really good -- I wouldn't say it was good if it wasn't -- and then he took it off at the last minute. It was really sort of perturbing, you know? It's not like I tried to do it for the money [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991].
I played acoustic underneath the lead, right? Well, [Dylan] wanted me to play like Django Reinhardt! But the chords were a typical I-IV-V progression—I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. I ended up doing some strum patterns, and he went, "That's it." I'm like, "This is not Django Reinhardt." The space is still there in the song, so now when it gets to the guitar solo all you hear is me strumming these stupid chords. I learned my lesson from that [Guitar Player, December 1991].
They invited me to come along, and when I get there [Dylan] was wearing these gloves and a hooded jacket, and be barely even said ‘Hello’. I did one of the best solos I've ever done, straight off, and then later I hear they cut It out and you can only hear me playing a bit of rhythm guitar. He said it sounded too much like Guns N' Roses! What the f- - - did he expect me to play? [The Age, January 29, 1993].
In 1991, Slash would be featured on Lenny Kravitz' 'Mama Said'.

[…]my girlfriend and I were just head over heels in love with [Kravitz'] album. When I met him I told him, 'You're so great, we fuck to your record all the time!' He was probably a little shocked [laughs] but he's a really good guy. I put a solo on one dills new songs, which is the most out of tune first-take dry guitar solo—but he really digs it. He's really raw, one of the most soulful people [Musician, December 1990].
We didn't know each other then. I was in what you call Continuation School, which was for kids who smoked in class, that whole thing. But we recognised each other, jammed one night... He's a real cool character [Q Magazine, July 1991].
I went down to the studio where [Kravitz] was in L.A., and we hung out that night. He smoked pot, and I drank vodka, and we did a solo on one of his songs called “Fields of Joy.” I just finished recording another song for his new record, a song I’d originally written for Guns that never happened as a Guns song. We had a great time hanging out in New Jersey. The guy is so fucking down-to-earth. It’s a pleasure to work with somebody like that, where there’s no bullshit [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
I fell in love with his first album. We met at some awards thing and got to be friends. I went to the studio and put a solo on "Fields Of Joy" and played the riff on "Always On The Run" [both on Mama Said]. That was a great time too [Guitar Player, December 1991].
Slash was also called up by Les Paul and asked to contribute to his tribute record:

Les Paul called me up to play on this tribute record where he’s producing tracks by Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and all these cats. So I took another song called “Burnout,” which should have been a Guns tune, and got Iggy Pop to sing it and Kenny Aronoff to play drums. Duff’s going to play bass, and Lenny sang backup on it.

When we were at the studio, Les Paul said to me, “You’re pretty good when you learn how to play.” Thanks, God. You know, that was pretty fucking intense. I just sort of, like, crept away
[Rolling Stone, January 1991].
I got to jam with Les Paul. I did a song on a tribute record for him, and jammed with him. And that was like, a totally humbling experience. It sort of reminded me as to how long I've been playing. Not that long. [laughs] [Musician, September 1991].
I played on his tribute album, which is on hold right now. I knew the project was disorganized, but I decided to do it anyway. I put the band together with Iggy, and [drummer] Kenny Aronoff. Fernando Saunders played fretless bass on it, but it didn't sound right, so I took it off and put Duff on it. And Lenny Kravitz does background vocals. […] We did a song that was supposed to be a Guns N' Roses' song, but Steven could never play. It's a slow blues shuffle called "Burnout." It's really different now, though, 'cause Iggy's singing. […] [Jamming with Les Paul] was the most humbling experience in my life. He and his rhythm player are amazing. They play chords like...I mean, how they get from one of these chords to the other just blew my mind. And Les is a great guy. Funny, eccentric, and very, very smart. Once, before this tribute thing ever happened, he called me up out of the blue. I picked up the phone and was like, "Whoa, Les Paul!" We talked for an hour [Guitar World, February 1992].
[Les Paul]'s great! I jammed' with him over at Fat Tuesdays. That must have been one of the most humbling experiences in my life. I was like, "Christ! Get me off the stage!" […] [The song we recorded] was my own tune, "Bum Out," so I just played it my way. That was cool. I got Duff to play bass on it because the original bass player didn't sound right [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
According to ROCKBeat, by July 1991, Slash had been asked to play on a "dozens of other performer’s records" but said no to focus on finishing the 'Use Your Illusion' albums [ROCKbeat July 1991].

On some point, Slash also jammed with Rory Gallagher:

I got to jam with Rory Gallagher, whose one of my favorite guitar players. So that was great [Musician, September 1991].
On eof Slash's most famous collaborations came with Michael Jackson [see later chapter].

Despite being highly sought after, and willing to branch out, Slash would also deny requests.

I'm always afraid that people are going to start thinking of me as some half-assed session guy. On the other hand, playing sessions keeps me focused on something constructive when Guns isn't playing[Guitar Player, November 1992].
When the actress Kim Basinger called him and asked if he would contribute to her debut record, Slash said no [Rolling Stone, January 1991].

One artist Slash wanted to collaborate with, was Carole King:

I’ve got some plan about playing with Carole King on one of her songs. I love what she does. In fact, one of the calls I’ve got to make after we finishing talking is about that. I hope it happens[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
In April 1992 the collaboration with Carole King happened at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992]:

I played on Carole King’s new, what she’s working on, and I did the jazz festival with her[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
[The jazz festival] was fun. A hell of a lot of fun. A very different crowd. I've never played, I swear to God, it looked like springbreak. Everybody had like fluorescent orange and pink and blue caps on, shorts. It was wild. I've never played in front of a crowd like that. The crowd was really responsive and I went up and played three songs. And of them was the one I recorded with [Carole King] and "Chains," which is an old song, and "Locomotion" with Aaron Neville singing. So I was like: "Wow." I was up there with no shoes, no shirt, leather pants, sunglasses. Like: "It's summertime, we're in New Orleans." It was fun. I didn't rehearse anything. Just went up there and winged it, as they say[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview, June 6, 1992].
I jammed with Carole King once. Just to get on stage with her was a highpoint in my career. She knows my mom and we got to be friends. I talked to her about playing on something when she gets back to the studio[Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].
In 1992 Slash would be featured on the song 'Break Like The Wind' by Spinal Tap:

It was great. Let’s see, it was after a really bad rehearsal that we had one day. I was really pissed off and I was in a bad mood. So I knew I had a session that night, so I got in the car and just, like, cruised over the studio. And for the mood I was in and the state of mind I was in, it was very Spinal Tap, so... (laughs) And I walked in...[…] Spinal Tap, we watched it before a show one day, one night right before a gig, and I was just like watching it going - cuz as our career is going on, it’s, like, all of a sudden becoming more and more significant, that movie, cuz it’s just really classic stuff that does happen. So I watched it before a show and it just screwed up my whole life (laughs). […] They were great guys, though. And I just went in, plugged in, and did it in, like, one take. And then it was just, you know, nice to meeting you and split. But they were really cool[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
In the first half of 1992, Slash also did "two songs" with Motorhead[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992; The Akron Beacon Journal, August 23, 1992]:

[…]we’ve been off for a month. I’d been out jamming around, like doing the Motorhead thing and all this other stuff. […] I haven’t listened to them in a while. I forgot the name of the first one, but the second one I did was called “I ain’t no nice guy” and it’s a classic song. It gave me chills - you know, it’s sort of rare to go into somebody else’s session and get chills from their song. So I think it’s gonna be on their new record. That’s as much as I can really say about it[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
In April and May 1992, Slash would also say that he wanted to do a collaboration with Stevie Wonder [MTV, April 20, 1992; MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992]. In June he would mention having done something with the TV show The Simpsons [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview, June 6, 1992].

Slash talking about how all these collaborations take place:

Very rarely does anybody call me and says, "Come down and play!" It's usually some sort of relationship I have with somebody. Most of these people I know, that I've played with. There's been, like the Michael Jackson thing, that was the one phone call and everything else it's just people I know, or I've come in contact with. You know, like we go and have a beer and then jam some day, It'll be on tape [laughs][Fully Illustrated Book & Interview, June 6, 1992].
Axl, on his side, was rumored to have received a request from Ice T to make a new version of 'Welcome to the Jungle' with them [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].

It’s like, I had this big heavy conversation with Ice T and Easy E. Ice T sent a letter, wanting to work with me on “Welcome to the Jungle” if I ever did it as a rap thing. And I got the word to Easy E that I’m interested in having him be a part of it too, if we ever do it. I mean, don’t think it’ll be on this record now, there’s already too much material[Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Nothing seems to have come out of this.

In 1989, he was also asked by Don Henley to provide backing vocals on the song 'I Will Not Go Quietly' from Henley's third solo album.

[Henley] just wanted a background singer on the song, and actually the guy he’s working with, you know, suggested me and it just fit. And I went in. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Don Henley, except that he didn’t really know that I was so into his music. But I used to practice with the Eagles to learn certain melodies. There’s a lot of, I don’t know, street-wise and worldly-wise wisdom in all the Eagles material and I learned a lot from them. […] He was somebody I always wanted to meet, you know. I was in there making fun of the tea he drinks, singing Wasted Time [Eagles song] but changing the word to Sunbirds tea, and stuff like that [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Not long after Guns N' Roses would ask Henley to return the favorite by sitting in on drums for Steven during the 1989 American Music Awards while Steven was in rehab.

Axl also added vocals to Steve Jones' 'I Did You No Wrong' in 1989 [The Munster Times, November 12, 1989]. Jones would describe how the collaboration came to be:

"I was on my bike on Sunset Boulevard. And Axl was standing there surrounded by girls. I had no idea who he was at first. But he says, 'Hey, you're Steve Jones!’ After that, every time I'd see him, he'd rave on about lovin' the Pistols. Finally, I asked him if he'd like to join me in doing an old Pistols song for my album. He loved the idea" [The Munster Times, November 12, 1989].

"I’d see Axl out at the clubs and he’d always come over and ask me all these questions about the Sex Pistols. When I decided to include the Pistols’ ‘I Did U No Wrong’ on my album, I just asked Axl if he’d want to sing on it" [The Record, November 12, 1989].

The same year Axl would also appear in the music video for the song 'Dead, Jail or Rock ’n’ Roll' by Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks. This came about as Axl happened upon the photo shoot while in New York; Monroe reminisces:

"[Axl] happened to be walking by 52nd Street and saw some trucks and asked what was going on. He learned I was shooting a video, and he came up and said that I was a major influence on him, that Guns N’ Roses were always huge Hanoi Rocks fans. It was really nice. He told me that if Hanoi Rocks hadn’t split up, Guns N’ Roses wouldn’t be as big as they are—that Hanoi’s breaking up left sort of a gap. […] We were playing the song live during the video shoot, so I asked him if he wanted to come up and jam. He got into it. It was sort of a tribute thing. He said he’s sick of people not knowing who Hanoi Rocks were " [Chicago Tribune, November 24, 1989].

Monroe would later be featured on the song 'Bad Obsession' from 'Use Your Illusion II' where he played harmonica and tenor saxophone, and on 'Ain't It Fun' from 'The Spaghetti Incident!?' where he would add guest vocals.

We flew Michael Monroe to L.A. from New York and he sang - we played harmonica and sax on one song on the record, and he sang a duet with Axl on another song [Finnish TV, August, 1991].
Axl had become a huge fan of U2 and in an interview with Musician that was done in March 1992 (but published in June), he said the following:

I look at U2 that way [=someone with a career he would like to emulate]. They're my favorite band right now. I'm finally getting certain songs that I never understood before or couldn't relate to. I've always listened to them, but the only song I really got into was "With or Without You." I couldn't relate to their other songs because I was like, "That's great, but I don't see that part of the world." Things were a little too dark for me. Now I can see more of the things he's talking about. […] I bought Achtung Baby and the third song, "One" - I actually wanted to do a cover of that song. I want to play it on tour this summer. I think "One" is one of the greatest songs that has ever been written. I put the song on and jut broke down crying. It was such a release. It was really good for me. I was really upset that my ex-wife and I never had a chance because of the damage in our lives. We didn't have a chance and I hadn't fully accepted that. That song helped me see it. I wanted to write Bono a letter just saying, "Your record's done a lot for me" [Musician, June 1992].
One of my favorite bands is U2. They used to not be, but they are now. I used not to get it. I didn't see the world they were singing about. Love and pain and caring? Only in a few instances, like "With or Without You," could I relate or understand. That was the song I saw right before I OD'd because my relationship [with his ex-wife] was so f?!ked up. I could barely see the things they were singing about in a few of my friends, and I could believe it in theory, but my true expression didn't see it at all. I can see a different thing in U2's music now, and it has nothing to do with how it's performed or what the people are wearing. There's just a different feel in the music. I think their song "One" is one of the greatest songs ever written. Now I can see and understand why people were into U2 years ago [RIP, November 1992].
Not long after the two band's would cross path in Vienna, Austra, while being on their respective tours, and on May 24, 1992, Axl would join U2 on stage for a cover of 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'. Back in Hollywood, when U2 was visiting on their 'Achtung Baby tour' on April 12 and 13, 1992, Axl would attend parties with the band [Details Magazine, September 1, 1992]. Edge, the guitarist of U2, would be asked about Axl and his relationship with U2 and their music: "I personally don't trust press profiles of people, so it's not big surprise to find out how different the guy we met was from The Demon With the Notorious Reputation. I was surprised that he liked the album and the show so much, though" [Details Magazine, September 1, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:59 am


In the beginning of 1991, Mick Wall was surprised to see that Slash wouldn't talk to him [Kerrang! January 1991]. He would later blame this on the infamous media contracts that the band issued [see later section]. But, as it turned out, these contracts were only meant to stop some magazines/interviewers, and after the release of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums with the song 'Get In The ring' where Mick Wall was singled out as someone who had "wanted to start shit by printin' lies instead of the things [the band] said" it was clear that the good relationship Wall had enjoyed with the band was over.

After the release of the 'Use Your Illusion's, Wall thought the animosity towards him was due to a Kerrang! series of stories he had written and with the recent publication in Britain of an unauthorized book containing Wall’s interviews with the band [Entertainment Weekly, September 1991]. Wall's colleague in Kerrang!, writer Paul Elliott, would speculate it was due to articles Wall had written about the band's Rock In Rio performances in early 1991 [Kerrang! September 12, 1992].

The articles wall wrote about the band's performance at Rock in Rio is likely the ones referenced in an article Lonn M. Friend wrote for RIP Magazine and that was released in March 1992:

"One night Axl called me at home because he was upset about something he'd read in Kerrang! According to Axl, the journalist completely missed the boat in reviewing the band's performance at Rock In Rio. "We were on the second night," Axl told me. "Why didn't he see that?" Later investigation revealed that the writer missed the show entirely, because certain personnel around GN'R wouldn't give him a decent place to watch the concert from. Our conversation rambled on about the press, and I was forced to ask Axl why it really mattered. Why should a sentence in a British metal rag matter to the lead singer of the biggest rock band in the world? 'I just care,' he answered with conviction. 'I don't know why; I just do' " [RIP Magazine, March 1992].

In September 1992, Izzy would be asked about the animosity:

"I honestly don't know what that was about or what was said. Axl was mad at Kerrang!, right? There were so many things that pissed him off..." [Kerrang! September 12, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:00 am


In July 1991, Los Angeles Times would report that the band had severed ties with their manager Alan Niven. Doug Goldstein, who started out as tour manager and then became co-manager together with Niven as part of the Stravinski Brothers, became the new band manager [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. The break with Niven had occurred before the touring for the 'Use Your Illusion' albums started [RIP, September 1991].

According to an insider interviewed by Los Angeles Times, the problem was with Axl who wanted Niven out:

"I think that Axl and Alan had been drifting apart for a long time as individuals, even as far back as 'Appetite for Destruction. In the end, I don't think Axl saw Alan as someone who was still fully on his side. He has a more comfortable relationship with Doug, whom he perceives as a friend as well as manager. Axl knew this was going to be a long tour, and he wanted to have everything in place before it started" [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

Izzy was not happy about this decision [Kerrang! September 21, 1991] and would later claim it was Axl's idea and that he threatened to quit the band if the rest of the band didn't go along with it:

Axl fired him. […] We weren't given any choice! It happened like that. Four members of the band were against and Axl said "All right, take him as a singer then because if he stays, I leave!" What can you do? What can you say?[Rock & Folk, September 1992].
Allegedly, one of the issues Axl had with Niven was that he had booked the tour before the 'Use Your Illusion' albums were released, likely due to what Axl would describe as "excessive greed" [VOX, October 1991]. Axl would certainly indicate he was angry with the "premature" tour from stage:

I know you guys don’t wanna hear a lot of bullshit raps, so I’ll explain real quickly what we’re doing with these shows here. Due to the pressure from my – how should I say it – ex-manager, who wanted to make sure we toured and didn’t give a fuck to watch about when the record was done. So we’re out here before the record is done. But it’s a good thing. And we want to make sure that we are not ripping you people off and when we come out you get the most (?) [...][Richfield, OH, June 4, 1991].
Due to an over-excited manager we’re out on tour. But that excited manager is now fired, so... I don’t mind so much being out on tour, but I would’ve liked to get my record done. And since we’ve all waited such a fucking long time, we figure we’ll play it on the tour whether you’ve heard it or not, cuz (?) you know, and like, “I don’t know, I don’t know if people don’t know those songs, they might not like them, you better not play those, it might not work.” Fuck that shit. Anyway, it’s recorded, it’s been put together and it’ll be out in a little while. [...][Landover, MD, June 20, 1991].
We’ve been pairing the old and the new [songs], since we are out on this tour since we had an over-excited ex-manager, or rather greedy ex-manager. I love that word, “ex”. Ex-wife, ex-manager... [...][Costa Mesa, CA, July 25, 1991].
Slash would confirm that Niven booked the tour before the records were completed:

[…]we decided to start touring before the album was even mixed. Which wasn't our fault. It was more the fault of our old manager, because he booked these gigs and we hadn't finished the record yet[Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
There were also rumors about disagreements over the music to be included on the records, with Niven disagreeing with the inclusion of "12 minute songs" on the albums [Melody Maker, August 1991].

Izzy was not happy with seeing Niven go:

I felt really bad about it, because I'm still friends with Alan. I felt I had to choose between him and the band. He was kinda like the sixth member of the group for a while. And he really helped put us where we are now. I still think he's a great manager. "But Axl and he finally had too much of a clash of personalities. Alan has his way of doing things which is more like a military strategy. Axl wants to do stuff his way, at his pace, in his time[VOX, October 1991].[/i]
With Niven being out of the picture, Goldstein would commence sole managerial control of the band. Commenting upon Goldstein taking over:

Dougie's done a lot of stuff in the last couple of years. He's the guy who now gets to go over to Axl's at six in the morning when his piano's hanging out at the window of his house. All kind of shit like that. Now we get these fuckin' calls - 'You hear what happened?' No, what now? 'Axl just smashed his $50,000 grand piano out the fuckin' picture-window of his new house.' That's nice, Dougie. You just take care of it. Call me when it's all over[VOX, October 1991].
After Izzy quit the band he still worked with Niven, to Axl's frustration:

I'm angry with [Izzy] because he left in a very shitty way, and he tries to act like everything's cool. He put his trust in people that I consider my enemies. People like Alan Niven, who I think is his manager now. I don't need Alan Niven knowing jack shit about Guns n' Roses. Everybody has a lot of good and bad, and with Alan, I just got sick of his fucking combo platter. It's like "If you're involved with these people, we can't talk to you [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
On stage in Dayton on January 14, 1992, Axl talked about rumors that Goldstein had been fired and implied that not everybody in the camp was happy with Goldstein:

There were even some people that were really happy and they threw their little fucking parties because they thought Dougie would be gone [Dayton, OH, USA, January 14, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:03 am

1991-1992 - PERSONAL LIVES

Axl had bought property in the Alpine Valley resort area, in East Troy, WI, together with his stepfather to have a link to the Midwest and a place to be buried [Rolling Stone, September 1991]. But according to reports in July 1991 he sold the property [Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1991], allegedly as the result of therapy sessions in 1991 leading to him not feeling the same connection to region as before. Yet, in June 1993 it was reported that Axl owed $7,095 in property taxes on a lot in Walworth County, Wisconsin, which he had bought in November 1988, which is likely to have been the same property he was assumed to have sold [Daily Citizen, June 10, 1993]. Why Axl didn't sell the property is not known.

Axl also gave away his condo in West Hollywood, as part of an MTV contest [Muncie Evening Press, August 1991].

Erica Aidan of Akron, OH won [the contest]. Erica’s a huge GN’R fan. She said there were only 5 days left in the contest when she decided to send in her postcard. She was flown to Hollywood to check out her new condo and then flew back to New York to seen one of the three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and to meet the former owner of the condo[Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, March 1992].
Lastly, Axl also sold his house in the Hollywood Hills where he had intended to live with Everly but where he had never moved in. Before the tour in 1991, Axl had been living in hotel rooms around Los Angeles [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

In December 1992 it would be reported that Axl had bought a Malibu home [Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1992]. It would be described as a "contemporary Mediterranean with five bedrooms and 8 1/2 baths in about 7,000 square feet. The home, on a three-acre promontory with ocean and city views, also has a guest house, studio, tennis court, pool and spa" and it was bought for $3.95 million [Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1992].

In October 1991, it would be reported that Axl's favorite hobby was "checking out artwork in museums" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

In mid-1991 it was reported that Axl, who had divorced Erin Everly early that year, was now dating the model Stephanie Seymour [Dayton Daily News, May 1991].

Axl had met Seymour while filming music videos for Use Your Illusion singles:

Del James: "When we were coming up with the treatments for the script, we had to cast the female character. I picked up a magazine, I think it was, like, Cosmopolitan, cuz the girl on the cover had this hippie kind of flower shirt and she just looked really down to earth. Axl picked up another magazine. […] This beautiful woman should be what the imagery behind the story is about. […] And as you all know, Axl and Stephanie are more than a celluloid couple - they’re a real couple. So it’s little coincidences that kind of reaffirm that there’s more to life than the cut-and-dry, the black and white" [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].

Del called me up on the phone about over three years ago now, and he goes, “Dude, I know who should play the part of Elizabeth” – that was the girl’s name in his story.  I was like, “Who?” and he goes, “Stephanie Seymour. You know who she is?” And I was like – I’m on the phone going, “I’m looking at her picture right now.” […] “Yeah, if we can get her, that would be great.” […] So we also had to figure out how to do that, how we’d make something incredible enough and good enough for somebody who wasn’t just gonna be in a “tits ‘n’ ass” video and just stand there and dance, you know? It had to be something that, like, excited her and something that she wanted to do. […] We also wanted it to, like, be something that would help whoever played that character’s part, her career a bit, you know; and help show them to more people and give them – it’s not talking, but a bit of an acting role. […] We wanted the character to be somebody who was really cool and really strong; and somebody that somebody could definitely obsessed over. And we met, and it just happened [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
Seymoure: "I’d never done a video. I never wanted to do one, you know? […]  I had people ask me to do videos and I’d never been interested, until Guns N’ Roses asked me to do it.

But on November 25, 1991 it was reported that Seymour had left Axl. Allegedly, Axl was on a health kick and had wanted Seymour to get healthy with him, but she just wanted to continue being herself [Orlando Sentinel, November 25, 1991]. Axl had become health conscious, including therapy and physical exercise. During the touring starting in 1991 he would bring along his training apparatus [source].

l work out a little bit. Actually, when l get off the phone I'm gonna work out. l work out now and then on a StairMaster, with my chiropractor-trainer. We do a workout on the StairMaster that enables me to breathe and move better on stage. And what I'm doing on stage turns out to be something that helps build me up rather than tear me down by being so exhausting. At first when l was playing it would just wear me out[Interview Magazine, May 1992].
Later it was reported that Seymour had found Axl was "too demanding" and that she had "no time to nursemaid [him]" [Star Press, December 6, 1991]. Despite this, just a couple of days later it was reported they had broken up, on the radio show Rockline, when asked "is there any women in your life right now," Axl would reply, "Yeah, yeah. But I wouldn’t say 'women', I’d say 'woman'" [Rockline, November 27, 1991]. And in late December, after Seymour had been spotted $20,000 diamond ring at a GN'R show in New York that month, it was reported they had made up again [Orlando Sentinel, December 21, 1991].

In early 1992 Axl, who had talked about his desire to become a father when married to Erin [People Magazine, August 1990; MTV, October 1990], connected to Stephanie's two-year-old son, Dylan, and found similarities:

Stephanie has been very supportive in helping me deal with all this. People write all kinds of things about our relationship, but the most important thing in our relationship is that we maintain our friendship. The romance is a plus. We want to maintain our friendship and be really protective of how our relationship affects Dylan. Dylan gets priority over us, because he could be greatly damaged, and I don't want that to happen.[…] I've been with Dylan and he'll be upset about something, and I'm trying to help him, and he gets mad at me, and I've been offended. I've thought, "The only way I can deal with this is 'Okay, he's just being a jerk right now.' " But it was pointed out to me that he's not being a jerk, he doesn't know. What he needs is love. I thought about it, and I was like "Yeah, because I was told that, too." About my music, which is pure expression and honest emotion and feeling. I mean, I'll be singing something and know "Man, they're not gonna like this" and "This isn't right." But it's how I feel. The way I've been attacked has been strange. The press has actually helped me get my head more together. You know, my stepfather helped me, too. I learned a lot of things. That doesn't mean he wasn't also being an asshole. It's not quite fair to bring a two-year-old into the realities of who's an asshole and who's not. There's a part of me that's still two and getting a little better every day[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In May 1992, Interview Magazine would feature an interview with Axl where he would discuss his relationship with Stephanie. The magazine would feature pictures of the two kissing and caring for each other:

Steph and I have a really good time talking with each other, and we want to try to see if we can have that, in our lives, for our lives. We don't know, but we're definitely trying to communicate as much as we can. […] Sometimes your friends are your lovers, or have been at one time, or are at some time or are at different times. Maintaining the friendship and taking the responsibility of being a friend and also helping the other person be a friend to you, and expressing your feelings about your friendship...Stephanie and I do that with each other. It's a good thing[Interview Magazine, May 1992].
According to Duff, Axl's relationship with Stephanie was doing him good:

Axl’s a changed guy, and I think it’s because of Stephanie and himself [The Atlanta Constitution, July 31, 1992].

At some point in 1992 (or possibly 1991), Axl (and likely Stephanie) vacationed in Portefino, Italy [Hit Parader, June 1993].

But since we've started I've only had one real vacation-that was in Portofino. And there within hours, everyone seemed to know I was there. We ended up having room service all the time. It sounds tough, but it's actually kind of cool. I like to be real private: you don't always want everyone around you even when they like you. But at the same time, if they're not there, you wonder what you're doing wrong[Hit Parader, June 1993].

In 1992 Axl would open up about his relationship with his sister, Amy Bailey. According to Axl, his stepfather, who molested Amy for years and beat Axl "consistently", had succeeded at driving a wedge between Axl and Amy:

We've been working on putting our lives together ever since and supporting each other. Now my sister works with me. She's very happy, and it's so nice to see her happy and that we get along. My dad tried to keep us at odds. And he was very successful at some points in our lives[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In 1992, Axl would also talk about wanting to write a movie and that this would be "somewhere down the road" [Interview Magazine, May 1992].


In October 1991, it would be reported that Slash's favorite hobby was "collecting dinosaur models" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991]. Another hobby of Slash's was the collection of t-shirts:

I’ve got over 4,000 T-shirts. They're all stashed in boxes back home. I wear them once, then store them away[The Newcastle Journal, June 12, 1992].
In an interview with Los Angeles Times in August 1992, Slash would claim he met his then wife Renee "three years ago", suggesting that when 1990 started he was already in a relationship [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992]. Describing his love life:

I’ve only had five real girlfriends in my whole 25 years, but there have been a lot of in-between things. I’ve gone through so much shit with girlfriends, but just like anything else you do on a regular basis, you start to learn from your mistakes[ROCKbeat, July 1991].
In July 1991, it was reported that Slash had been going out with the same girl for over a year [ROCKbeat, July 1991], and this must likely have been Renee, indicating he started dating her in the summer of 1990. Asked to describe his girlfriend and the secret of their relationship:

Well, it’s like, besides the guys in the band, she’s one of my best friends. We get along and she takes care of herself so I don’t have to worry about that as much, you know? We just hang out. We go to the Rainbow [a Los Angeles rock hotspot] and stuff. I hate to sound like one of those guys who’ve wimped out and doesn’t want to be around in public anymore. If you’re not touring, I’d just rather be working. And if I’m not working, I don’t want that shit, the hassles of going out in public. Like, the Rainbow is the worst place to go if you want to get away from things. Yet at the same time, there’s a certain vibe happening there, so we’ll go over there. Like, giving autographs to nice people, that’s wonderful and I don’t mind at all, but there are some creeps out there who treat you like some sort of fantasy figure. It’s weird, man. I’m as down to earth as I can be [ROCKbeat, July 1991].
In August 1991 media reported that Slash was dating a girl called Renee [Music Life, November 17, 1991]. Slash would describe he was trying to be faithful to his girlfriend who he described as "a religious fanatic about fidelity" [Life Magazine, December 1992]:

Right now, as far as promiscuity goes, that's mellowed out a little... a lot. I have my girlfriend and I'm tight with her[Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].
He would talk more about this in an interview published in September:

I always end up with a girlfriend who has no idea who the fuck I am — the novelty of just getting laid all the time wears off really quick. […] The only time that ever happens [=to go out with rock chicks] is when you go out just to have a good time and you have a few drinks somewhere and a good looking chick comes up. Basically, if they're gonna do that then you take advantage of it and it's more like a selfish kind of thing to get involved with, it's like 'okay, fine, if you're going to put yourself in that position I'm going to ...' what's the expression, you know ... so when it comes down to it, I'd rather stick with my one woman that I love and she doesn't give a shit about the whole rock star trip so it's more down to earth, which is more what I'm into [Rip It Up, September 1991].
But in April 1992, People Magazine would claim that Slash was now dating the porn star Savannah, or rather that Slash and Savannah had "engaged in full hit whoopee" at the Scrap Bar in New York, in front of other customers [People Magazine, April 27, 1992]. Or, as Lakeland Ledger would describe it, they "did the nasty" "on a barroom floor — in front of scandalized (or titillated) patrons" [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].

Slash would likely refer to this rumor in the following quote from an interview with MTV in May, complaining about how the rumors had screwed up a relationship which he was now trying to restore:

And being that the band-as much as I hate to admit it-has gotten to a certain kind of popularity status you can't hang out in the bars you usually hang out in without people watching you and talking about what you did and hearing rumors back coming back. And you can't maintain a relationship. I mean, all that stuff so you just don't want to be around it at all, you'd rather just stay on the road 'cause you can relate to that. […] I think probably lately it really occurred to me that I didn't have any privacy in the last couple of months. I really tried to maintain that, like, I'm a guitar player so I can slip in and out of places without anybody noticing and, you know, all of a sudden it hit me really abruptly it wasn't like that, and everything I've done for the last year or so, all of a sudden […] it was big rumors and this and that - that was a drag and it screwed up the relationship that I had at the time, which I'm trying to, like, rework, you know, and I think the fact that I can't just walk up and down the street or going to this pub or going to this club or whatever, you know, and that's changed and I have to be aware of myself. Now that's the biggest hardship. The rest of its great, I mean, the three hours that we play on stage makes it worthwhile, so you try not to bitch about it too much. But it has its moments where it gets to be like, "I can't believe people are writing this, it's not true," and people's perceptions of what you're all about are completely distorted because they're being [cut][MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
The same month Slash would indicate that his touring life had put pressure on relationships, again likely referencing an ongoing problem in his relationship with Renee:

Relationships with the opposite sex can be really f***ed up now, because of the position we're in. Everybody's trynna get a piece of something. It's either that or there's someone really genuine who loves you or likes you because of who you are, regardless of what you do. We're in that struggle now. It's either: f*** off, just leave me alone. Or, if you're trying to make it work with somebody, and you're playing the tour at the same time, the trains don't really meet on the same ground. It's difficult. […] I'm just realising all this and I'm 26 now. […] the last coupla months has been a transitional period for me. I don't want to adapt to any normal kind of life, yet there are things that are really important to me that I'm trying to hold on to. Of course the way I am is: oh, up for this. So I try to explain, 'I've been in a rock'n'roll band since I was 15/16 years old. There's been one year in my life at home, and that's when you met me. […] I just wanted to be back on the road, and it turned into the same old thing, and it blew her mind. Y'know? She heard about all the shit that goes on and she was just flabbergasted. I guess I'm trying to do what it is that I do, but at the same time make some semblance of a home life[Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
In an article published in December 1992, it would be said that Slash had been unfaithful to Renee after they got engaged and that she dumped him [Life Magazine, December 1992].

When Gilby was asked about the rumor about Slash and Savannah he would reject it as pure nonsense and emphasize that it had caused in Slash and Renee's relationship:

Total fiction. That club owner and Slash had some sort of disagreement, so the club owner released this story to get even and everyone picked it up and ran with it, adding embellishments along the way. And yes. It's a pretty hilarious story, but Slash's girlfriend, Rene, wasn't laughing. Neither was Slash. He's marrying Rene soon, and that was the last thing he needed her to read[Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
Slash would also talk about trying to protect girlfriends from exposure:

Then there's been, 'Oh why won't you let me be in your video?' I say, 'Because when you and I split up, I don't want to. have to deal with the relationship part of my life in this context.' A lotto that comes up. I went out with a girl from- f***, not Manchester — ah, Sheffield, for a while. All the guys had their girlfriends in the 'Sweet Child' video, and I cut all my scenes out. There was one picture of my hand on her ass and that was it. I'm not into drawing attention to the personal side[Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
By June it seems Slash had managed to square things with Renee, because he would now talk about trying to be faithful to Renee and the threat of getting AIDS meant that Slash was trying to curb his promiscuity:

OK, I’ve quit the drugs, but there’s plenty of other things to get into. […] You gotta try and keep your hands off the beer, and off the girls. That’s hard. But I’ve got a girlfriend now back in LA and I have to think of her. She knows girls throw themselves at me because I’m in this famous band and that it’s really tempting for me to just go for it. But it upsets her and I wanna try and make it work between us. Anyway with AIDS you just can’t enjoy casual sex any more. That hit our business hard you know. I mean, sex was one of our favourite vices[The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].
And in July and August 1992 Slash would say he was soon to marry Renee:

It's a stretch of the imagination for me to get married in the first place. I've been the most intense womanizer for so long -- I like women! I finally had to weigh them out -- stay with this girl or go out with all these girls? So I'm getting married and, honestly, I feel good about it[The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].
I had spent so much time chasing around and after a while it was like going to strip clubs. You start looking at women like pieces of furniture, something you admire for their lines. And you realize you either keep going on like that forever or you commit to someone you love--and that's what happened to me. I realized the other stuff is a sort of waste of time anyway. […] I met my fiancee three years ago and I've never been happier. The funny thing is a friend was going out with her roommate, and my fiancee said she didn't even want to meet me. We finally met by chance and she found out that I wasn't this beast that she had heard about[The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].
Slash and Renee Suran married on October 10, 1992 [People Magazine, October 26, 1992].

I tried anything to avoid tying the knot because I was scared to death of it, and there became a situation where it was one or the other, and I opted for getting married and staying with her. And once I did that, it changed me completely[MTV, October 1992].
During the hiatus in touring between August and December 1991, Slash would live in an apartment complex in Burbank rather than in his Hollywood Hills house [Guitar World, February 1992] or in hotels:

I'm in LA, but I'm in a hotel. I don't go home when we're on the road even if we're in town, I just stay in hotels. I'm a road rat so I can't stand the thought of actually settling down for a couple of weeks at my house and then going back on the road — it fucks with my whole momentum[Rip It Up, September 1991].
Slash would also take time off to travel to Africa to photograph wild animals [Guitar World, February 1992].

After the break in touring in February 1992, before travelling to Japan, Slash again opted to stay away from his houses. This time he stayed in a hotel:

I’m not at home at the moment basically, because the pace on the road is so different, I find it really hard to adjust when it comes to coming home for a couple of weeks. I have all these animals, like snakes and lizards and shit, and since I’m not a round there’s people who are there working at my house and taking care of shit living there. I can’t just concentrate in m y house when there’s people around. I’d rather just stay in a hotel room where I can get my shit together, throw shit around the room, spit on the walls and relax a bit! I can’t spit on the walls at home, but in the hotel room... you can do anything like seeing the maid’s faces when I haven’t let them in the room for three days! (laughs) No, seriously, I’m not that bad [Raw Magazine, February 4, 1992].
Slash would also get fed up by life in Los Angeles:

I don't hang out in LA really, I'll go to the Rainbow or whatever but I'm not what you call an LA character. I don't like being noticed - I appreciate it but at the same me I like to be left alone. I get very fucking nervous and uptight when there's people staring at me so I don't really like being out. So I spend all my fucking time sitting in the hotel room and then at night I'll go out and accept the fact that I'm in a club and try and have my privacy - yeah, I'll have a security guard with me because I have to, much as I hate to admit it. I've gotten myself in some really awkward situations and I really do like to be left alone. I don't mind signing autographs but the majority of people who come up to you just demand it like you're a puppet or something. Its like you go to a record store and you've got to sign 600 records just to buy a fuckin' Stones record and it takes three hours. That's kind of weird. It sounds like I'm complaining but like I said earlier, it's a small price to pay for doing what it is that I want to do. […] I'm sort of introverted. On a social level I pretty much just like to be around close friends and have everything pretty much down to earth. When the band was younger and we weren't like big shit used to go out and get fucking drunk out of my mind and break stuff but that only lasts for so long and then after a while you get sick of all the attention[Rip It Up, September 1991].
[…][Los Angeles is] just such a f***!n' phoney poser town. It's ridiculous. And y'know, people talk about me an' stuff when I'm gone, then when I come home everybody goes real quiet. I'd always considered myself, like, the guitar player, I can cruise in and out of places, have a drink or whatever, nobody's watching me. But now it's not like that. I find that 'friends' or mine have been trying to pick up on my girlfriend just cos I wasn't in town. Y'know? Really weird high school shit, kindergarten shit. And people making some sorta noise about what I do on the road, having a real ball. And I didn't realise we were that significant. […]I mean I expected it more to happen to Axl, just because he's the lead singer. But it happened to me and...f***! I can't walk around and it's a drag. My basic privacy is gone. I don't know, it's all so f***in' complicated[Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
Then you're then you forced into, like, you know, like, home life, this mundane kind of existence which I'm just not into. The pace is too slow. And being that the band-as much as I hate to admit it-has gotten to a certain kind of popularity status you can't hang out in the bars you usually hang out in without people watching you and talking about what you did and hearing rumors  back coming back. And you can't maintain a relationship. I mean, all that stuff so you just don't want to be around it at all, you'd rather just stay on the road 'cause you can relate to that. […] I think probably lately it really occurred to me that I didn't have any privacy in the last couple of months. I really tried to maintain that, like, I'm a guitar player so I can slip in and out of places without anybody noticing and, you know, all of a sudden it hit me really abruptly it wasn't like that, and everything I've done for the last year or so, all of a sudden […] it was big rumors and this and that - that was a drag and it screwed up the relationship that I had at the time, which I'm trying to, like, rework, you know, and I think the fact that I can't just walk up and down the street or going to this pub or going to this club or whatever, you know, and that's changed and I have to be aware of myself. Now that's the biggest hardship. The rest of its great, I mean, the three hours that we play on stage makes it worthwhile, so you try not to bitch about it too much. But it has its moments where it gets to be like, "I can't believe people are writing this, it's not true," and people's perceptions of what you're all about are completely distorted because they're being [cut][MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
From the previous quote it is obvious his celebrity status and rumors had caused problem for a personal relationship but that he was trying to restore it [could this rumor have been the report from People Magazine, April 27, 1992, where it is claimed that Slash was dating the porn star Savannah?].

A little bit later he did another interview where he talked about the problems that came from his new celebrity status:

When it starts to hit you on a personal level, you know, when it starts to come out, then all of a sudden, reality of you don't have any real privacy, and all that. That's strange realization to have to try and grasp. I don't complain about it too much. I've been complaining about it a lot lately because it's really just hit me recently. Like in the last couple of months. Where the band's been big for a long time, but I just never put myself in that... saw myself in that light. As being any kind of, you know, pseudo-celebrity type. And so this just really hit me in the face recently. It was sort of a shock, because it hit me really hard. It was just like: "Fuck, I can't really do this, I can't go there." You have to think about what you're doing when you walk out the door. That kinda shit[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
When asked to elaborate on whether something happened:

Just a bunch of shit that all happened at once. […] It's always when you've been on the road for a while and you come home and you don't think that's anything's different, and you find out that it really is. I mean, you don't walk around the streets going: "Somebody's looking at me." So, when you find out that you're walking down the street, not thinking that people are calling other people and saying where you were. I mean, that's like a morbid fucking situation to be in. And like I said, I don't usually complain about it, because, you know, everything I've been through has been a small price to pay for what I get away with, you know. But then to find that I don't really get away with anything. [laughs] That's what pissed me off. [laughs][Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
He also had his share of obnoxious people:

One woman came up to me with all her sons and said: 'I hate your music but I’ll have your autograph anyway.' That kind of stuff gets me pretty mad, so I told her and her sons just where to get off[The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].
In September 1991 Slash would describe his snake collection:

Yeah, 25. They're all in my house. I have a snake room and I have like a wall tank, it used to be a closet which I converted into a case and then there's aquariums everywhere. And then I've got ten cats and a big lizard that walks around the house and two dogs. I live in a little house, it's really overcrowded[Rip It Up, September 1991].
In October 1991 it was reported he owned "23 snakes, 2 dogs and 12 cats" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991]. In December 1991 Slash bought a home off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills for "close to its asking price of $1.495,000" [Los Angeles Times, December 29, 1991]. He would still keep his other house in Laurel Hills for his "16 snakes, eight cats and two Rottweilers" [Los Angeles Times, December 29, 1991].

During the touring of 1991-1992, Slash would have two friends, Jim and Larry, who would take care of his extensive collection of snakes [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].

By late 1991 it was also reported that Slash owned "about 50 guitars" [Guitar Player, December 1991], but he would later claim the number was 45 and that a lot of it came from him buying all the guitars he used for recording 'Illusions' [Guitar World, February 1992].

Duff, who had divorced Mandy Brix in 1989 was single in August 1991 [Finnish TV, August 1991] and looking for "Mrs. Right":

I was married on our last tour and I never cheated once. I guess that makes me a schmuck. […] She'll be the happiest woman in the world! [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
During the 'Use Your Illusion' touring of 1991, Duff talked about the loneliness being the hardest part:

The worst part is the loneliness, you know. I kinda cleaned house before I left. You know, I don’t have a girlfriend or anything. So, it’s like, you don’t have a home base to call home to, you know? But, I mean, that’s part of the road, it’s part of the tour thing, you know. I’ve got my friends in the band[Finnish TV, August 1991].
But in June 1992 Duff would say he had found a girlfriend [Musicvideo, June 27, 1992] and in July Slash would confirm in an interview that Duff was about to get married [Rockline, July 13, 1992].

That lucky lady was Linda Johnson and they got married in mid-July 1992 [The Atlanta Constitution, July 31, 1992].

Duff would miss Linda while on tour:

A lot of nights I wake up, and I'm, like, where am I, what city, and you run to the window and look out and try to figure it all out. You actually forget who you are. It's, like, I am completely blank. I end up a lot of times just sitting on my bed, and I'll find tears start coming out of my eyes and my heart is just aching. It's, like, please let there be another show soon. It's, like, can you get the next shot of insulin [Life Magazine, December 1992].
In October 1991, it would be reported that Duff's favorite hobby was waterskiing but also that his form of escape was to get "away to the mountains" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991]. The waterskiing had been born out of his love for winter skiing [see earlier chapter]:

Yeah, I got a cabin. It’s so awesome. I’ve got a great ski boat [The Gazette/Orange County Register, September 26, 1992].
Izzy was in a relationship with Anneka and would bring her along for the 1991 touring [VOX, October 1991].

I've had a steady girl for a few years and it's a great thing. Love makes life a lot easier [Raw Magazine, November 11, 1992].
Izzy would also love his dog, Treader:

I've got a German shepherd and I've had him since he was a puppy, ya' know. I bought him when he was just a twerp. He's three years old, he's healthy, he's big and he can run 40 miles an hour and he's great. I love my dog! [Raw Magazine, November 11, 1992].
Izzy became a vegetarian around the time he stopped using drugs and drinking:

Indian food and pizza are my favourites. I stopped eating meat a few years ago. I don't eat red meat or chicken, but I eat fish. I stopped eating meat shortly after I stopped drinking and using drugs. I think it was a case of wanting to heal myself a little quicker rather than objecting to meat, plus there were some cases on the West Coast where people were dying after they'd eaten bad meat. I'm big on salads. Salads in America are just a couple of bits of dead lettuce, but over here people are a bit more conscientious.

But Indian food and pizza are my favourites and that's why Chicago is like heaven to me because you can get a pizza delivered at 5am and it's damn good pizza. There's a place there called Mama Mia and they deliver all night long. They've got pizzas that are two inches thick with like a cracker crust with fresh tomatoes on top. […]

I like mango lassi and sweet lassi from Indian restaurants. My second would be fresh squeezed orange juice. Those are the only things I drink
[Raw Magazine, November 11, 1992].
In October 1991, it would be reported that Izzy's favorite hobby was "riding his mountain bike" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

Dizzy, who had married in June 1990, received a paternity suit in February 1992 from Angela Parker who claimed her daughter, Morgan Alexandra, was Dizzy's daughter and demanded $5,000 in child support and sole custody [MTV, February 11, 1992]. Two days later, Bryn Bridenthal, as spokesperson for Guns N' Roses, said Dizzy had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment [The Newark Advocate, February 13, 1992].

In October 1992 Dizzy would talk about being a father:

Well, I’m just now getting used to it, cuz we’ve been gone, but it’s great [In Your Face, October 1992].
He would also talk about moving from Hollywood to Laguna in Orange Country (CA):

It’s kind of weird, you know. It’s like going from Hollywood to, like, “Leave It to Beaver” overnight. I went out to get the paper in my bath towel, you know? Not even thinking, like, the neighbors, like “Welcome to the neighborhood, Dizzy!” I’m like, “Hey, come over for a beer.” It’s like, “Alright!” A guy has (?) across the street and one waves, you know. I mean, it’s like in Hollywood, you walk out and everyone locks their windows. So, you know... [In Your Face, October 1992].
In October 1991, it would be reported that Dizzy's favorite hobby was "checking out bands in the local L.A. scene" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

In October 1991, it would be reported that Matt's favorite hobby was "waterskiing and surfing" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:04 am


Some time in 1990 Michael Jackson's people contacted Slash.

I was in shock! I didn't know how to react. Like, "Why me?" But what was then communicated to me was that Michael liked my playing and feel, and that's what he wanted. So I said, "Cool." I called his studio to see what was going on and they sent me a really rough demo. Apparently, they work really slowly, 'cause I waited around for another couple of months before I heard anything else. I still haven't actually played anything yet [Guitar World, October 1990].
It's at once the most sterile and creative process I've been involved in. Everything is pieced together from samples; you use the same drum beat and chords then later add things to make it different in some places. Which is so different from what we do. Michael hires out the studio for like 10 years and shows up once a month. I'll probably never meet him... It's sort of weird [Musician, December 1990].
Michael Jackson was somebody I admire and have a lot of respect for. But when it came down to it, the sessions were so unorganized. I like to keep a schedule and be punctual, but those dates just sat there for months and months until I kept thinking they didn’t want to use me anymore. I got a call three months later to do it at such and such a date, but when that date came, it wouldn’t happen. I finally went down and recorded some rhythm stuff for a couple of songs. Then the producer said he was going to another country for a while, and I told him to give me a call when he got back. But all I did was end up talking to his wife or his kid trying to find out what the fuck was going on, and to this day I still don’t know what’s happening [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
In the first half of 1991 Slash had still not met Michael Jackson:

I didn't meet him. I regret having done that too, only because that's way too automated for my taste. The guy books the studio for like two or three years and comes in once every sixth months. I was very still. I'd do a riff and it was really cool and they'd sample it for the rest of the song. You know, where I come from is like what they call the Old School - you get in there and you play. I think Michael Jackson is great, but not the process [Q Magazine, July 1991].
In August 1991, while being interviewed for the December issue of Guitar Player, he had again been contacted by Michael Jackson, and this time he got to talk to him:

When someone asked me to work with [Michael Jackson], I thought it would be cool, sort of an Eddie Van Haien spot where I could really shine. I asked, "Can I have a tape?" That was a major situation. Finally, I managed to get one, but it didn't have any vocals—just synthesizer and drum-box. Three to four months passed before they finally asked me down. I was completely out of my element, but I did one song my way. But no solo—the song was only two minutes long. I used a talk box on another one. I played my lick once, and they sampled it for the rest of the song [grimaces]. I really wanted to put solo on that one. They wanted me to do one more song. Six months went by and they called: "Can you come down and finish?" I said, "Yeah, when?" "Well, we're trying to figure it out." A few months later, I finally call them: "Do you want me to finish this? Maybe Michael isn't hip to the stuff I put down." And they said, "No, you've gotta do it." Ages went by and they called again. At this point I said, "No, I'm doing our record and we're on the road. Too late." I never met Michael through this whole thing. […] For a while, I was bummed. But a couple of days ago, Michael called. This little voice says, "Slash?" We talked; it turns out he has a song he won't record unless I play on it. He's going to delay the project until I can get into the studio. Michael sent me a tape—the song is perfect for me. I'm practicing it right now I'm going to wail. [Q Magazine, July 1991].
In December 1991 and February 1992, Slash would again shed light on the collaboration:

I only played on the intro thing where that Macaulay Culkin kid, or whatever his name is, plays air guitar in the beginning of the video. So I'm on that, but when it goes into the actual song, that's not me. That doesn't sound anything like me. So I was a little pissed off, after all the work we'd done in getting together, when I realized [Michael Jackson] was promoting it as such. […] [Michael Jackson] works really hard, which is something I can appreciate because I don't like to fool around and waste time. He's real personable -- and we got the stuff done. It was actually probably easier than anything we do in Guns [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991].
Detroit Free Press was present at the show on January 9, 1992, and would describe Slash finishing a phone conversation with his "good buddy" Michael Jackson [Detroit Free Press, April 12, 1992]. According to the newspaper, Slash had recently received a "the gift of a big-screen TV from Jackson" [Detroit Free Press, April 12, 1992]. Slash would comment on their friendship:

[Michael Jackson] turned out to be very down to earth, very sincere. And he worked really hard, which is something I always respect. […] Working with him was humbling in a way, too. You think about the amount of attention that’s been thrown at us all the time. Working with Michael, whoa — that was definitely a heavy-duty glamour situation. It went way beyond what we do [Detroit Free Press, April 12, 1992].
Working with Michael Jackson was really interesting in that way. He’s as big as they get and he does live in some sort of mental Disneyland, but he’s a lot more real than he’s made out to be. He works his fuckin’ ass off. We musta done like 50 takes of this one song (‘Black & White’) before we actually went on TV. I didn’t actually play on that song although everyone else thinks I did. I only played on the beginning bit where the dad’s yelling at the kid. Then I played on another song, ‘All Together,’ which I might do a video for with him [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
[Michael Jackson] was great, you know? I mean, I know a lot of people have... You, know, because he’s such a celebrity, a lot of people have... they think different things about what he is as a person. But, as far as I was concerned, he was just real sweet, and he works real hard and he was real down-to-earth, so we had a great time, you know. That’s why we’re gonna go in and do something else, and, like, finish the whole project out that we started on. I had a great time [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
It was a year later, when [Michael Jackson] called and asked me to play on something, that it turned into a more personable kind of thing. He was at the studio when I did it. So that was cool. It's called "Give in to Me" There's a totally spontaneous solo on that. It wasn't necessarily perfect, but it had the right energy to it, so I left it on there. Michael gave me no direction at all. He wanted me for the gig, and he knew what it would sound like. He never questioned anything I was doing the whole time. By the way, contrary to popular belief, I'm not playing on "Black or White." I did play it live with him on television [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
See, working with Michael (Jackson), I've gotten to be good friends with him in the last coupla years, and I don't know how he handles it. His whole situation just seems so way out of proportion. Then he'll turn round and say something like he's got a sore throat today. And I'm like — wow, that does happen, huh? Back to reality [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
In May 1992 Slash would say he would soon be doing a music video with Michael Jackson [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992]. And and:

Oh Michael’s a sweetheart. He’s a really cool guy. […] We’ve been workin’ together for a couple of years now on different stuff. […] I like him — he’s such a sweet and gentle man and actually pretty ordinary. […] People thought it was weird, us working together. I just think that in the end it’s all music — whatever kind you’re into[The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].
In August 1992 Slash would again talk about the collaboration with Jackson:

[…] Michael Jackson just called me up. He wants me to go to Europe and play a gig with him somewhere, and I'm going to do it because I can't stand doing nothing. I also just finished helping him with his next video, "Give In To Me." He gave me a lot of space. […] It's funny. Everybody thought I played the main riff in "Black or White," but that isn't me. To be honest with you, I don't know who the hell is playing that riff. Most people think that I played the whole thing because Michael really publicized that I played on the track. The only part I played is in the beginning, when the little kid is playing air guitar in the video. I played much more on "Give In To Me." I played the whole rhythm part and solo. It was very loose. I was just jamming to the track, and Michael came down with Brooke Shields. I asked, "Is this cool?" and he'd say, "Anything you want, Slash"[Guitar Player, November 1992].
Slash would also get to organize the video for 'Give in to Me':

When it came time to do the video, Mike put the whole thing in my hands! I picked the director and organized the band. Gilby is in it, Tony Thompson is on drums, Muzz Skillings is on bass, Dizzy's on keyboards and Michael sings. We're in this tiny space and it is very rock and roll. It's a completely different thing for Michael. I hope he digs it[Guitar Player, November 1992].
In March 1993 Slash would be asked about his collaboration with someone like Michael Jackson:

The reason that it's cool to play with a lot of different musicians, um, from a technical point of view. Is just that it gives you a chance to experience working in someone else's environment. And makes you, it helps you grow. It, aah, it forces you to play as best as you can in a different style of music, you know. If I was to play with another band like Guns, it wouldn't make much sense, right? So when you play with other people, if you find something in their style that you dig, something that you like, you try to adapt to it. So you're learning, you're having a good time, you're not conscious of it at the time, Looking back on it, realizing that you're learning and all that. When Michael called me, I was just flattered. Because Michael, no matter what anybody says about the guy, is undeniably like awesome talent, you know. And I wasn't gonna turn it down, it's not uncool, you know, to go and play on a Michael Jackson record. And so I went and did it, and I can't say that it was an easy thing to do, because of how disorganized it was. But, I'm proud of it after the fact. Now all the commercial stuff that goes along with it, and all the sort of hoopla and fucking paparazzi that, that's associated with it. I could really give a shit. That wasn't my point. It was just to go and, and pull it off and, and make it sound good, Which I think it did came out sounding cool, and that's all that really matters[The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].

When asked about his relationship with Jackson in May 1993, he would admit that he was an eccentric person:

Well, that was sort of a shock, I mean cos I’m (?) me and Michael Jackson, like, on two completely opposite ends of the spectrum. But I was still really flattered. And I can understand, yeah, that he might be a little eccentric, but he’s an awesome talent. […] You know, I don’t wanna be just, like, the Guns N’ Roses guy. I’d like to expand a little bit more than that. And there’s a lot of people that I really admire what they play, or their songwriting or something, and it’s great to be invited to go along and play. It’s an honor[The Big Breakfast Channel 4, May 28, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:05 am


In May 1991 the touring for the yet-to-be-released 'Use Your Illusion" albums finally commenced. The tour was booked by their manager at the time, Alan Niven, and as the tour started Axl would criticize Niven for having booked the tour too soon. Axl felt he was not ready to tour, especially with the stress of trying to finish the record at the same time and dealing with issues arising from his ongoing therapy sessions.

In September 1992 Axl would explicitly state that if it wasn't for the records (which were out by then), he wouldn't have been on tour:

If we didn't have an album out right now, I wouldn't be on tour, I wouldn't have chosen to take on that particular responsibility at this time. But I didn't really have a choice, especially if I want to keep my career going. I would've liked to be more together emotionally and mentally before this tour. Part of the job of being in Guns N' Roses is coming onstage and being superhuman. We've supposed to rise above the energy in the crowd, rise above whatever bad may have happened that day, rise above whatever is in your head, while at the same time trying to rise above the damage in your own life [RIP, September 1992].
Regardless of the reasons, the tour would be marred by late starts, cancelled shows, terminated shows, rants and riots, most of which was due to Axl's unpredictable and volatile behavior.

Despite this, Axl had been preparing for the tour for a long time and reportedly became very health-conscious [sources?]. Being able to give it all at the shows were important to Axl:

And everybody will get in better shape once we, like, get some form of regimentation down and stuff, and realize what we are again and what we’re doing and we’re doing every day. Cuz we wanna take this for the long haul, as long as that can be. It’d be nice if we could go for a year-and-a-half to two years [MTV, May 1991].
For the tour, Axl would bring along his Exercycle (the same he brought into the recording studio when laying down vocals for the 'Use Your Illusion' albums) so he could exercise between gigs [The Vox, October 1991].

Slash had also started exercising before the tour, but apparently that wasn't for him:

I took care of myself for a while and I still am, more or less. Like, I’m no angel or anything, I didn’t turn into that. But before... Before this started happening, I was, like, sitting around drinking beer, watching cartoons at my girlfriend’s house and, like, doing nothing all day until rehearsal. And I realized I’d better get off my ass and, like, so I started exercise for a while. But then we, you know... That’s not my style. I mean, seriously, it’s just not. The only reason I’m wearing this stupid thing is that I have nothing else to wear, do you know what I’m saying? And so now I get my workout, you know, I mean I’m back to normal just from the shows and for some reason I wasn’t ever in good health in the first place (laughs) [MTV, May 1991].
Rehearsals for the tour took place in a fenced-off compound at an airport in the Los Angeles valley, in an aircraft hangar. "A small area has been divided off as a band hang-out: it's a reproduction of guitarist Slash's house, with candles, incense and scarf-draped lamps" [Q Magazine, July 1991]. Axl did not take part in the rehearsals:

Part of the reason I don't go to rehearsals is, I like to go all out. If the band's not going out at the same intensity - they're concentrating more on getting the music right - I feel like an idiot, jumping around, taking it so serious [RIP, September 1991].
[…] we’ve never rehearsed with Axl. Since we started out that’s never happened because we’re just too loud. We rehearsed to write songs either at my house or in the real early days he’s come down and sit there in rehearsals while we played the music and he’ll come up with words even though we couldn’t hear him. […] The only thing I can say where we’ve had the odd full rehearsal thing is when we were getting something like ‘Live And Let Die’ together, otherwise we’ve always been four-piece when it comes to doing things regularly and keeping the groove going. That’s the point of our rehearsals, to get fresh ideas and keep things fresh. Not many bands work like that again but to me it still sounds really alive that way and that’s really important to us [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
For travelling, the band chartered a plane from MGM Grand with the band logo on its side. Izzy bought himself a tour bus that could take his dog ("Treader" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991]) and motorcycle [RIP, September 1991], or girlfriend and dog [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991]. Why Izzy preferred to travel by bus can be discussed. He was definitely starting to distance himself from his bandmates (discussed below), but rumor also had it that his probation prevented him from flying [source?].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:07 am


Throughout the 80's Axl had recurrent problems with his voice [insert sources and quotes].

Prior to the touring in 1991 in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' records, Axl did "daily vocal exercises alone or with his vocal coach, Ron Anderson" [RIP, September 1991].

Axl realized the importance of maintaining his voice:

[My voice] seems to be doing good. And I’m finally, for the first time, into doing my warm-downs after a show and I’m bringing my voice teacher up so he can see some shows and see what it is I do, because this man works opera and he has no idea what it is I do except that he… […] I had him at one show in L.A, so he’s getting the idea. And then, you know, I’m taking the steps so that I can ensure the people a good show and I’m up to my best [MTV, May 1991].
In addition to doing warm-downs as mentioned above, Axl would also do "operatic voice exercises" before the shows [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

In early 1992, Axl would list some of the issues he had that would affect his singing:

I've had a mutated form of polio, a mutated form of rubelia, the swine flu, scarlet fever, and strep throat in my heart. […] It's mostly respiratory stuff. Air conditioners in hotels circulate the same air, and on the plane everyone's breathing the same air. So if anyone's got anything, my tonsils grab it. I'm chronic like that. That's one of the reasons I've never liked touring. My resistance is low in my tonsils. […] Other than that, I'm pretty healthy. [RIP Magazine, March 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:58 am

MAY 11-16, 1991 - WARM-UP GIGS

Before kicking off the tour proper, the band started with three warm-up shows. The original plan was that the warm-up shows would constitute a mini-tour and that they would include shows in many cities, including Seattle, Detroit and Dallas [RIP, September 1991]. For various reasons, Del James would list "pressures and assorted other bullshit" and having to finish the 'Use Your Illusion' albums [RIP, September 1991], the tour was reduced to only three shows, at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco (May 9), at The Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (May 11) and at The Ritz in New York City (May 16).

For the two West Coast shows Axl picked the band Dumpster as the opener (containing Axl's Lafayette friend Mike Staggs), while Slash picked the band Raging Slab as the opener for the New York City show [RIP, September 1991].

For the first warm-up show, in San Francisco, Axl, Matt and Izzy was flown in on their tour plane, while Duff and Slash came in from New York City where they had been working on mastering the albums [RIP, September 1991]. This show was advertised as a "live rehearsal" [Mercury News Music, May 1991]. In fact, the gig was first announced the same day when Slash and Duff called in a radio station early in the morning. The tickets were sold out within an hour [RIP, September 1991]. Axl would refer to the situation in the band at the time as, "the most highly organized unorganized bunch of people in the whole world" [RIP, September 1991]. Izzy had been milling about when kids either lined up to buy tickets or to enter the theatre:

It was insane, man. All those kids that early in the morning. I can't wait till we finally go on [RIP, September 1991].
Apparently, this show was mired by the band trying out things. Duff also tried out a stage-dive, but was stopped by a security guard who, according to Del James, "grabbed his legs as he was in mid-flight, causing him to eat it, face first" [RIP, September 1991]. San Francisco Chronicle critic Joel Selvin gave it a poor review:

"They’re a fraud. It was among the worst rock shows I’ve ever seen. Most of it was a mulch of painfully loud sound” [Copied in Chicago Tribune, May 1991].

One criticism the band received was Axl having to read the lyrics to the new songs off teleprompters [New York Magazine, June 1991]. Even Del James gave it "a seven out of a possible 10" [RIP Magazine, September 1991].

Despite the bad reviews, the kids had sung along to many of the new songs by the second choruses:

It's real cool when people are singing songs they don't really know. I work on communicating it to them, and they take the time to get into it. I like the intimacy, and I think the crowd likes the intimacy of us showing them our new songs [RIP, September 1991].
The challenge of playing songs the audiences didn't know would mar the show until the release of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in September. But the band for most part, as judged by reviews, managed to present a strong mix of old songs that the audiences were familiar with, with new songs of the new albums. Which is impressive. Sammy Hagar from Hagar's Van Halen, who were also touring this year, commented upon this:

"I can't believe those poor guys being out there out there on the road without a record. I understand Axl's having a real hard time. When they play their new songs, there's not much reaction, but what do you expect? It's like they're kind of stuck" [Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991].

For the Los Angeles show Slash and Duff again announced the show on the showday, this time by calling in to KLOS radio channel, although by now rumors had been spreading that the band would play this day [RIP, September 1991].

As in Rio De Janeiro, Matt did a drum solo:

The drum solo is great. I never got to do one when I was with the Cult. Actually, I never did one before Rio. Hopefully they'll keep getting better. It's really cool of the guys for letting me do it [RIP, September 1991].
Shannon Hoon, the lead singer of Blind Melon, would also come on stage to sing 'You Ain't The First' and 'Don't Cry' together with the band [RIP, September 1991].

Hoon: "I was at the Pantages, but I didn’t have time to get nervous at that, because it was real spontaneous" [Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993].

The Los Angeles show got much better reviews [Los Angeles Times, May 1991; RAW Magazine, May 1991]. Del James would give it an "eight and a half" [Rip Magazine, September 1991].

Before the band's third show, Axl would comment on how they were doing so far:

I'm really happy with the way things are going, professional rehearsals in front of people. It allows me to get into the mode I'm gonna have to be in when we start doing the big shows. Frisco and Bill Graham were really cool, and there was a different kind of hunger there for us. L.A. seemed to scrutinize us a bit more, and I welcomed that. In L.A. we didn't play 'Jungle' or 'Paradise,' because we'd already played for over two hours. I didn't want to push my voice any harder. Also, we didn't want to push past the curfew and be fined eight grand for one song. It felt a little bit like I ripped some people off, but I knew they were happy with what we had done. I thought we went over real well in L.A., but I still look at it as rehearsals. I'm not really worried about what critics have to say about these gigs, but if they like these shows, in six months they'll be real happy [RIP, September 1991].
At the New York show, Axl injured his heel:

I’ve just had a chronic history of bruising my heel and messing up the ligament, but never... I couldn’t afford it at the time when it happened, when I was, like, in junior high and stuff, to figure out what was wrong. And then, about a week ago, we played the Ritz in New York and I got really excited, I was just jumping off everything. You know, there’s a lot of photos with me like ten feet in the air and stuff. And I came down really hard on my heel when I was jumping - not even on stage – off the stage and landed on my heel on a cement floor with no cushioning in my boots. And it just messed up the ligament and stuff. But the doctors seem to think it’ll be fine. We had, like, all the top doctors from the Brewers and the Packers and New Balance Shoes all working on designing me something so I could run around. Cuz yesterday, without this, it’s definitely limping. But we didn’t want to call off the show, you know [MTV, May 1991].
This injured caused him to perform with his leg in a cast for subsequent shows [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].

Duff also managed to successfully stage-dive, and Shannon Hoon again joined the band for 'Don't Cry' [RIP, September 1991].

Del James also gave this show a "nine and a quarter" and called it "pretty damn close to perfection" [RIP Magazine, September 1991].

Slash enjoyed the warm-up shows:

You know, the theater tour was killer, because it gave us a chance to get back and get toe-to-toe, and realize where the band really was. Where as opposed to, like, going out there and jerking off for 40,000 people that are just screaming just for the hell of it. You know, you start to see that you really have to do something, that we really have to actually play and perform, you know, above or at least apart. And that makes you work hard. Otherwise you turn to a lazy old... you know. Which is not happening [MTV, May 1991].
Duff would describe the warm-up shows:

New York was the best. San Francisco was a bit wild – I’m about to read a review on it - because, you know, it was the first time Axl sang with us in... two years, maybe? And L.A. was rocking. And New York was the best [MTV, May 1991].
This is not entirely correct. Obviously, Axl sang with the band during the Rock in Rio shows in January 1991, and before that he sung with them at Farm Aid in April 1990, and before that at the four shows opening for Rolling Stones in October 1989. What Duff is probably alluding to, is that Axl didn't sing with the band during the recording of 'Use Your Illusion' nor at rehearsals for any of the shows in this period, and as such the band had been playing together a lot in the last two years without Axl.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:01 am


For the proper tour, which was named "The Get In The Ring, Motherfucker Tour" [RIP, September 1991], the band had chosen Skid Row as their supporting act:

Well, we just figured we wanted really high energy, we wanted to give the people something they really wanted, more than other acts at the time and something on a hard rock vein. And, you know, Skid Row was doing really great and people wanted them, and then Sebastian and I get along great. […] But I just thought it would be a good package, cuz it will only be for a while, you know, and then they’re gonna go with a couple of other bands and then hopefully go to headlining themselves, and so... You know, when you’re a kid you’re always going, “It’d be a great show, it’s like, to see this band, and this band, and this band...” And we just knew that that would be one of the shows that if we didn’t do, people would be talking, “what about it, what would that be like, the two things together?” So it’s something we thought we had to do. I mean... I was gonna say, like, almost even if we hated it – we don’t – we were gonna know that we gotta do this because it’ll be a lot of fun. And the fact that we get along so well and that they’re really into what they do and it’s high energy - I mean, they got the crowd all worked up for when we come out there. And it’s definitely a... Now it’s a really large audience cross, you know, and they have a lot of people that haven’t seen us. There’s a lot of Skid Row fans that are more into Skid Row than Guns N’ Roses, there’s Guns N’ Roses fans that are more into us than Skid Row, and it brings us to all of them. And I really like that [MTV, May 1991].
Well, the Skids were, like, the friends of ours and stuff and actually, like, the only band that has sort of that attitude around that was, like, genuine and brash. And, I mean, when you think about it, it’s a great (?). It’s all the bad attitude (chuckles) and whatever it is that we do. I mean, I couldn’t see going out with such and such and such, like, you know, Great Lion, Great White Lion Tigers or whatever (laughs) [MTV, May 1991].
For most of the band's previous touring they had been the opener, now they got to headline:

It’s nice that we’re headlining now, you know. It’s not like we’re an opening band and we’re sort of at the mercy of the headlining band. So we, sort of like, have our own rules and we just travel around from city to city and take that with us. [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Axl was excited to be back on the road:

It feels great, it feels great. I mean, we’ve been planning this for ever since we started. We’ve been aiming at, you know, being... We wanted, on our second major album, we wanted a headlining tour and to do it right. And it feels great. You know, we think we’ve got all the pieces in the right place and the morale is really high. […] And, actually, now that we’re starting a tour everybody’s gonna be starting to get in more shape while we’re playing and stuff. We brought a trainer and everything and are just into doing our job that we’ve set out to do our whole lives [MTV, May 1991].
Yet, as he would admit to the next year, starting to tour again was difficult after their extensive break from touring:

That was a whole change of life. You know, realizing, “Okay, now we’re out on tour;” I haven’t toured, I’ve been sitting on my ass at home or whatever. And then I’ve been out, you know, running around and rocking out; and had to, basically, change my whole life in order to be able to keep doing this. And so, you do a show and then you’d be shot, you know, where you’d be, kind of like, shot for three weeks. But no, you’ve got a show tomorrow. So then it’d take, like, all these hours of preparation, where now it doesn’t take me as long to be ready for a show [MTV, September 9, 1992].
In particular, having Matt replace Steven was a good thing:

Well, Matt’s really solid, you know, and you can... Everybody in the band can rely on Matt’s playing... […] You know, the drums are, like, your anchor and he’s definitely the strongest anchor we’ve ever had. And one of the best drummers that there are, I think, in the world [MTV, May 1991].
As the tour went on, Axl would often stop the show to confront concert goers who angered him or caused problems for the show. In April 1992 he would discuss this:

Like having somebody thrown out who is causing a commotion and basically obstructing the show. Most performers would go to a security person in their organization, and it would just be done very quietly. I'll confront the person, stop the song: "Guess what: You wasted your money, you get to leave." If a person is trying to egg me on, like "Come on out here, motherfucker, I'm gonna kick your ass," it's like "No, you're not going to kick my ass, you're going to go home. We're doing a show, there's 20,000 other people here, and you're not going to ruin it. You're leaving." Because if I jump in and get in a fight and then there's no show, the crowd's gonna love that [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
When asked why he takes it upon himself to interfere:

Why shouldn't I deal with it? And why shouldn't I deal with it publicly? It's a distraction. I don't go see a band just because they suck. And if someone comes to a G n' R show for that, it's like "Go home, we don't want you here." I mean, if you throw a party at your house and somebody comes to your party just to tell you you suck all night, you are going to ask them to leave your house. And while we're onstage, that's our house and those are our guests. I've been accused of thinking my shit doesn't stink. And it does, and maybe sometimes it stinks a lot worse than other people's. But I'm not gonna say I'm wrong until I'm shown I'm wrong. Just because someone else believes they're right doesn't mean that they've shown me I'm wrong [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In the beginning of the tour, the band was figuring out how to play the new material:

I worked on bringing the other people out with what they did and I thought what they did best. You know, we still haven’t worked it out on stage, how we do it, yet, but... (chuckles). […] You know, a dream I have is to get to where I can do a three-hour show. And right now we don’t use a setlist. We just pick song to song on how it feels and what we think we can perform best; and, when I think vocally, [what] I can do best, because it’s still warming up. I figure, you know, we’re gonna go out and give as much as we can every time. But I figure a real Guns N’ Roses show, what we’re shooting for, hopefully I might have in six months. I mean, that thing... As I told you last time, it’s like, Jagger was working on getting that stage thing together for a really long time; and I learned a lot from him. So we’re hoping in six months we can actually have different set of orders and things, and have it planned out so it’s a lot more dramatic. You know, there will be additions to the stage setup and the lighting and things like that, that we didn’t use right now. Because of my heel, we’re not using a lot of the stage setup that we have. We have extra ramps and ramps coming out in the middle fully lighted and we’re not using any of that at this particular time [MTV, May 1991].
The first proper shows took place at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin on May 24 and May 25, 1991. According to The Age, the band "inspired a large-scale mud fight which led to four fans being hospitalised with 'turf poisoning'" [The Age/Independent on Sunday, August 1991]. According to Circus Magazine, a smoke bomb was also hurled on stage, resulting in Axl threatening to end the show and yelling "I don't work five years to have some burnt 16-year-old take my eye out!" [Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991].

In his biography, Skid Row's vocalist, Sebastian Bach, would recall how he had been sitting under the stage close to Duff's bass rig and snorting cocaine while GN'R was playing, handing out lines to Duff who would come offstage regularly during the show to get a fix. At one point, Izzy's brother approached Bach and called him a faggot. Bach, not knowing Izzy's brother punched him in the face almost leading to Bach getting a stern warning from Doug Goldstein [Sebastian Bach, 18 and Life on Skid Row, Harper Collins, 2016].

Duff would later reminisce about the experience of the first proper gig:

At Alpine Valley Amphitheatre in Wisconsin, my sense of anticipation for the first gig of the tour was overwhelming. Our intro music came on: the theme song from The Godfather. The crowd roared. 'Here we go.' My game face came on. I felt we represented something, something primal and animalistic. I felt that fire and anger - I was ready to kick someone in the head. All the background noise of life began to recede. We rushed the stage and I played the first few bass notes for 'It's So Easy.' Total fucking bedlam. Tens of thousands of people absolutely losing their shit. I could see the first few rows of people. I could see how far back the masses of bodies went. Everyone was on their feet and the roar was almost louder than the band [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 183]
The next shows was at the Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana on May 28 and May 29. These shows would feature some aspects of GN'R shows in the 1990s that would divide the fans and antagonize band members and eventually be part of the reasons for to break up the lineup.

Firstly, the band started the first show an hour and 15 minutes after Skid Row completed their set [The Indianapolis News, May 1991]. Axl would blame the delay on "Deer Creek's poor stage" [Noblesville Ledger, May 1991] while County sheriff's Sgt. Tom Gehlhausen would say, "Axl Rose had problems getting to the event last night which delayed the concert [Noblesville Ledger, May 1991]. In September 1991, Spin reported that Axl was suffering from stage fright and was "extremely nervous" to play for friends and family from his hometown, and that this caused the "two hour" late start [Spin, September 1991].

Secondly, the band had a curfew at 11 pm, but the band played 50 and 25 minutes longer resulting in a fine of $ 5,000 [Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 1991]. Hamilton County Prosecutor Steve Nation said Saturday in announcing the charges:

"That in and of itself wasn't so significant. What makes this different is that Axl Rose said on stage Tuesday that he knew about the curfew and thought it was stupid. And he said a few things about our county and about our state " [Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 1991].

The prosecutor was referring to statements from Axl, including introducing the song 'Estranged' by referring to Indiana as "a place that makes me feel estranged" and "I grew up in this state for two-thirds of my life. It seems to me, there are a lot of (bleeping) scared old people in this (bleeping) state and basically, for two- thirds of my life, they tried to keep my (bleep) down" [Indianapolis Star, May 1991].

Izzy was not happy about Axl criticising their home state:

When Guns N' Roses played Indianapolis, when Axl would start to go off on a tirade, I'd stand there and go, "Oh, let's go. Next song, next song." Kind of embarrassing. But there's no shutting him up. Once he gets going, that's it [Indianapolis Star, February 21, 1993].

Thirdly, the Noblesville Ledger would report that about 100 people were arrested at May 28 concert [Noblesville Ledger, May 1991] and between 60 and 80 arrested at the May 29 concert [Noblesville Ledger, May 1991]. The arrests were mostly from alcohol violations, undoubtedly increased due to the concert's late start and end.

A set of shows would follow with great reviews. Duff and Matt were happy with how the tour was progressing:

Every night is just, like, incredible, you know. The fans are killer, fans are unbelievable [Backstage on June 7, aired on Much Music in July 1991]
Every night is different, man. It’s amazing. I mean, everything is clicking, everybody’s ready, everybody’s, like, healthy. Everybody in the band is clicking. […] It’s amazing. It’s, like, no problems with the band. And that’s... You kind of have to be there, but to have no problems with the band, you know, it’s amazing. Because this band is very volatile. And the rumors, like, that we can break up at any second is true. But right now it’s not that way at all. It’s like, everybody’s grooving in...[…] Anything could happen any time, a riot could break out, because we’re so much on the edge [Backstage on June 7, aired on Much Music in July 1991]
Duff's comment on the possibility of a riot breaking out at any time casts a dark premonition since a riot would break out less than a month later.

And another warning of what was to come happened on June 17, at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. As reported by The Los Angeles Times:

"[…] the band was several hours late to its performance, and Mr. Rose was finding scapegoats in just about everybody except himself " [Los Angeles Times, June 1991].

The audience was reported to keep calm despite the long wait, although some would chant "bullshit!" [New York Daily News, June 1991]. Rolling Stone would report that Axl arrived by helicopter [Rolling Stone, September 1991]; New York Daily news would claim the whole band arrived by helicopter, 2 hours and 20 minutes after Skid Row ended their set [New York Daily News, June 1991].

Axl would rant against Geffen and claim they were behind the delayed start:

I'm sorry I'm late. I know it sucks. And if you think it sucks, why don't you write a letter to Geffen Records and tell them to the fuck out of my ass! [Onstage at the Nassau Coliseum, June 1991].
The reason for this rant is allegedly that staffers at Geffen had made the mistake of asking Axl to work on the album before the show. Bryn Bridenthal would elaborate:

"I was there doing some publicity work. Tom Zutaut was there to work on some of the music, and the art director was there with some boards for approval on the packaging. Axl felt there was pressure on him to make decisions. Before a New York show, that was probably not smart of us" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

According to Rolling Stone, not everybody saw the entire show: "In a car full of long-faced Geffen staffers, all of whom have been advised, via a messenger from a certain dressing room, to get out of Dodge" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

According to MTV, Axl also blamed the late start "on a photo session the group had done in Manhattan with star photographer Herb Ritts for an upcoming cover story in Rolling Stone magazine. However, that photo session had actually taken place the night before" [MTV News, June 1991], at 6 am [New York Daily News, June 1991]. According to Axl during the concert, Geffen had insisted on using this particular photographer: "They [the record company] said only this one guy could do it, and it would just take [a short period of time]" [New York Daily News, June 1991].

When contacted, Bryn Bridenthal would dismiss Axl's excuses and say the delay was due to "stress, trying to finish the record and tour at the same time. The kid's got a lot on his plate" and "I’m sure he gave lots of excuses [that night]" [New York Daily News, June 1991].

Axl also had some choice words for Rolling Stone who was making a long article on the band and had been interviewing them extensively for a while:

There's a Rolling Stone coming out with us on the cover. Do me a favor. Don't buy it. And if you want to read it, steal it [Onstage at the Nassau Coliseum, June 1991].
Slash would look back at this show as an ominous premonition of what was to come:

The show that set the pace for what was to ultimately unhinge the tour took place in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau Coliseum, where we went on late. That night, however, Axl apologized to the fans for being late, which, once it became a regular occurrence, he never bothered to do again [Slash's autobiography, p 339]
On the next show, at the Capitol Center in Landover, on June 19, the band was again late on stage and had to end the show early due to a curfew, resulting in songs like 'Sweet Child' and 'Paradise City' not being played. During the show, Axl would also stop a song to jump into the crowd and help an audience member who was in a scuffle with security guards [The Evening Sun, June 1991].

Some nights later, on June 25, at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, the band played a record-long show:

"The band played for nearly four hours that night, taking the stage long after the opening band, Skid Row, finished its set. The crowd was as volatile as the band that night, with multiple fistfights breaking out during the lull between acts" [Journal Now, August 2017].

One of the reasons they played so long was, according to Axl from stage: "We’re gonna make it up to you because we’re so late" [Journal Now, August 2017].

On June 30, at the Birmingham Racecourse in Birmingham, the show veered between disaster and victory with Axl threatening to leave after someone threw dirt at him during the song 'Patience' [, June 2016]. This was a stark premonition of what would come when a riot broke out at the next show in St. Louis [see separate entry below for details].

The St. Louis riot resulted in the band having to cancel the show on July 4 at the World Music Theatre in Chicago [Los Angeles Times, July 1991; Chicago Tribune, July 1991] and the July 6 show in Bonner Springs, Kansas [USA Today, July 1991].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:02 am


I regret what happened last night [KSHE-FM, July 3, 1991].

Tension had been building up through the first shows of the 'Use Your Illusion' tour in 1991, with the June 30 show just a few days before indicating a disaster was imminent. And disaster struck at the Riverport Theatre in St. Louis on July 2.

During 'Rocket Queen', about 90 minutes into the set, Axl spotted an audience member with a video camera. After demanding the security confiscated the camera, with no results, Axl jumped into the audience where a fight broke out. After returning to the stage, Axl ended the show resulting in a riot. About 2,000 of the 19,000 audience stormed the stage and "destroyed the band's drums and amplifiers, tore down chain-link fences, ripped shrubs out of the outdoor theater and demolished two large video screens" [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. About 75 people, including more than a dozen police officers, were injured [The St. Louis-Post Dispatch, July 1991] and damages was estimated at more than $ 200,000 [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

The band would later describe what happened:

Axl had a beef with a guy in the first few rows who had a video camera. Axl mentioned it to the venue security and they did nothing about it. Their attitue and the guy's blatant disregard really set Axl off, so he jumped out into the crowd to take his camera away. When he jumped down, it was great, we kept playing that suspenseful riff that starts of "Rocket Queen," and I thought the whole moment was killer. When Axl got back onstage, everything felt triumphant for a second...then he grabbed the mike, said something like, "Because of the bullshit security, we're going home," slammed the mike own, and walked offstage.

The band kept going. We'd gotten good at improvising to fill dead space - drum solos, guitar solos, jams - we had a bag of tricks to keep things moving whenever Axl made a sudden exit. We kept jamming, and I went over to the side of the stage. "Where is he?" I asked Dough.

He looked at me with a pained expression. "He's not coming back."

"What do you mean he's not coming back?" I shouted, still playing the riff.

"There is no way he is coming back, " Doug said. "There's nothing I can do."

We were about ninety minutes into our set, which was our minimum, contractually, but the plan was to play a two-hour set and the crowd wasn't close to satisfied. They knew there was a lot more left. I would have done anything to get Axl back onstage at that point.

"Ask him again!" I yelled. "Find out if he's really not going to." I should have by Doug's expression that there was no use.

Once it was final, we had no choice: the band put down our gear, and it was like pulling the plug on the stereo - the song just ended on a question mark. That entire arena sat there expecting something to happen, but instead we walked offtstage without a word. And that set them off. We had no idea how much that set them off.

We all gathered in the dressing room, Axl wasn't there, and the mood was pretty solemn, to say the least. And that's when the racked started. We could hear this pounding; even through the doors, it sounded like mayhem. Axl suddenly came into the dressing room and said, "Let's go back on."

We went down the hallway toward the stage and it was like the scene in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine where they're walking through a hall and it's normal but every time they open a door there's a train coming at them or a cat screeching: we'd open a door and there was yelling, we'd open another and see people on stretchers, cops with blood all over them, gurneys everywhere, and pandemonium. At the time we were shooting a documentary, so we have a lot of it on film.

The St. Louis locals weren't having our cancellation - they tore the entire building apart; they did things that I didn't think were possible. It was daunting, if anything - we learned not to fuck around with crowds to that extent. Axl, at least, should have been more wary from that point on not to take an audience to that level of agitation ever again
[Slash's autobiography, p 339-340]
The show started about an hour late - which by this point almost counted as on time. We played about an hour and a half, and were in the middle of "Rocket Queen" when all hell broke loose. For reasons that don't matter - they were immediately eclipsed not only by the coverage of the incident but also in the moment, onstage, as events unfolded - Axl dove into the audience to try to address something the house security had not. His foray didn't last long, and I helped him upright as he lunged back onstage. He then strode to the mic and announced that because security hadn't done their job, he was leaving. He slammed the mic down and stormed off. We quickly followed.

For about ten minutes, we waited in the wing, unsure what to do. Since we all had our own dressing rooms and staff and Axl had hurried off to his, we didn't know whether or not he was planing to return. We thought he probably would. The crowd seemed to think so, too.

Unlike a lot of venues, this one had a huge set of sliding doors at the back of the stage tat could be closed and locked with chains. Most of the equipment not visible from the audience was already in a position to be locked backstage. After that first ten minutes, the tone of the crowd changed and people began to throw stuff at the stage. The crew started to shift some of the items in front of our set out of harm's way - guitars, amp racks.

Every time crew members went out now to grab something, all sorts of shit rained down. It was coming steadily. Most dangerous of all were the venue's plastic chairs with pieces of their metal frames still attached. Those were heavy. I could hear the thuds and they landed on the stage and bounced off the walls. [...]

Axl re-emerged from his dressing room and we offered to go back out and play to calm things down. It was too late.

Security tried to push the crowd back from the stage with a fire hose. But the crowd got the hose and backed our entire crew, the house security, and all the local cops behind the sliding doors. Kids were climbing our hanging speaker towers, destroying our monitors, smashing lights.

We hunkered down backstage. We were lucky. In a lot of venues there is no chained door and the crowd would have taken over the entire venue. Once the gates were closed and the kids had the stage, the crew did not go back out - there was no reason for anyone to risk opening a door and poking their head out to see what was going on.

But we could hear it all. Screams, crashes, the thunder of thousands of feet. Boom, boom, boom, WHOOSH. Rumble, rumble, boom, AAAAAAAAAAAH! Shouts, more thunder, the scraping groan of large objects being pushed around.

Another twenty minutes went before forty or fifty police cars came screaming in and backup police stormed and retook the venue.

The band was shoved into a small van and told to get on the floor so we weren't visible. Slash's hat was sticking up. The driver asked him to take it off. When the van drove our of the enclosed part of the venue and into the parking lot, I could hear the mayhem had spread outside. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I peeked out the back window - I could see speaker cabinets and pieces of our pianos. Kids had gotten tired of carrying them or dumped them when the cops showed. Clots of cops ran around with batons and pepper spray. Kids ran this way and that. Medics rushed around treating bloodied fans. Police had people in cuffs. It looked like a war zone
[Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 186-188]
The fan with the camera was "Stump" from the motorcycle gang Saddle Tramps. Earlier in the show, Stump and Axl had talked briefly when Stump handed Axl a card with his name and affiliation [Rolling Stone, August 1991].

The local media would also describe the riot:

"Hundreds of police were called out Tuesday night to quell a riot that broke out at the Riverport Ampltheatre In Maryland Heights during a concert by the heavy metal rock group Guns Ν' Roses. The police chief of Maryland Heights requested tear gas and fire hoses to help disperse the crowd. The St. Louis County police helicopter was dispatched to direct police movements. There were reports of people being trampled, and numerous ambulances were sent to the theater. Police supervisors were directing officers to use searchlights on areas of the theater that had been secured to help authorities find Injured and trampled concertgoers. By 1 a.m. today, police still were calling for reinforcements." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1991].

At the next show, on July 8 in Dallas, Axl would be unapologetic:

Fuck you St. Louis and God bless America! [Onstage Dallas, July 8, 1991]
At the July 8 show in Dallas, Axl would also say that he jumped into the crowd "because the security was beating on some kid." This statement would be contested by the concert's promoters:

"If he says that security was beating up someone, he’s the only person who saw it" [The St. Louis-Post Dispatch, July 1991].

Axl would also claim he was refused from returning back on stage, and that this lead to the riot. This claim would also be disputed by the promoters:

"Axl Rose was not asked to leave. In fact, the senior vice president of our company asked him to return to the stage, but he was not at all responsive to that idea until it was too late" [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

That the band actually wanted to return to stage after some time, but that it by then was too late, was confirmed by Police Chief Neil Kurlander [Rolling Stone, August 1991].

On July 10, Geffen would release a press statement were they denied the band or Axl was at fault for the riot. According to the press release, the band's manager Doug Goldstein cited a breakdown in security at the new venue as the cause [Geffen Press Release, July 1991].

I don’t think their security people were trained in how to deal with a spontaneous rock show. It wasn’t just about an illegal camera, as has been widely reported. […] The primary problem at Riverport in St. Louis was a motorcycle club that was intimidating people in the audience. One of them also happened to have a still camera. Axl could see them from the stage and he kept asking local security to get rid of them. I found out after the show these guys were all friends with local security, which could explain why security wouldn’t deal with the problems they were causing. Axl has never been one to stand by and just watch an injustice being done to his fans. […] We don’t like to condone or condemn the use of alcohol at the shows, and in fact, in our contracts with all promoters it specifically states that if the building or promoter decides to sell alcohol at the venue, they assume complete responsibility for all damages and actions because we really feel alcohol has a tendency to accentuate problems at a venue. […] We don’t want to see anyone get hurt. Toward this end, in the future, GNR’s own security director will be advancing all our shows to meet with each promoter about security provisions. If we feel the promoter is not properly equipped, we will bring in professional security people [Geffen Press Release, July 1991].
Axl would deny that he was at fault for leaving the stage:

I didn't have a choice. I couldn’t' even see, and was injured, and did not feel safe on the stage. I was concerned that people didn't get more of a show. But some fans don't take responsibility that they should take. There's a lot of people not taking responsibility for the damage they did at that place[Rolling Stone, August 1991]
Kurlander agreed with Rose:

"The people that rioted are ultimately responsible for their own actions. No matter what Axl Rose did, they cannot escape the fact that they violated the law. They were the ones hitting people and throwing chairs, and bottles and whatever else they could get, I don't think there's any excuse for their behavior " [Rolling Stone, August 1991].

Band reactions to the riot

Everybody thinks it is just because we were wimped out on photos being taken But you can only put up with so much shit from one or two members of the crowd. It's distracting to have flashbulbs go off in your face. They're not supposed to bring cameras, right? There was a handful of security guys who weren't paying attention to the audience at all. They were turned around - watching us. Axl told one guy, "If you don't take care of this, I will!" But the guy didn't react. I don't know if it was miscommunication or if he was just not interested. We've been jumping into crowds our whole career - that's how we do things. So Axl dived in to go after the flash. When we finally got him back onstage, he just walked off. We had already played an hour-and-a-half kick-ass set, but a couple of people started throwing things, and then someone jumped onto the stage - that brought out a few security guys. At that point, the crowd got off on rushing the authority and tearing up the amps - the whole fucking grandness of it. [...] We decided we were the only people who could take control, so we started to go back onstage. But by then the kit and all my cabinets were gone. These people were fucking ripping into the metal MESA/Boogie grilles to get to the speakers! Some guy ran off with a lot of guitars - they caught him. Our crew and our own security were the wall defending our equipment. Some of our guys got stitches. Backstage, there were people on stretchers, bleeding, and cops coming through on stretchers. It was real intense. [...] They rushed us out in a van, all huddled together. We saw cop after cop going in the opposite direction. They're trying to blame us for it, and in a small way, I'll say it was our fault, but there were so many other factors involved [Slash - The Hands Behind the Hype, December 1991]
That was something stupid. I won't comment on that because I don't want to be negative. It happened and it was ridiculous. There was people injured and that pissed me off a lot. I can't enjoy people being hurt in a show. That was bullshit! It was one of the worse nights, like the Donington show were those kids died. That was horrible [Popular 1, July 2000]
Y'know everybody is trying to pick on us because of the taking of the picture. But it wasn't about that really. It was one of those things that sorta built up. Okay, there were some security guys- we're talking about the front line house people right? And the guys are fucking standing there with their arms on the stage watching the band, okay? And there was this gang of guys, and they're taking pictures and shit. And Axl says to the security 'are you gonna do anything about it?' And the security are like 'Oh, yeah dude, rock 'n' roll man!' That's security. So Axl just decided to take care of it himself. He says, "Well, if you're not, I will!' That's Axl- bam, right in there. "We kept the suspense beat going, but when he got backstage, it was like "Fuck this" and he threw his mike down and walked off. That's just the way he is all right? It makes us look like a bunch of fucking pansies and that's not the case. It's like 'C'mon, there's a fucking rule. No cameras. Everybody's bootlegging us. Get the fucking guy and stop it.' I mean, there's enough people taping us and shit. They make a fortune. "I used to bootleg shit, I used to scalp tickets- I know! If we don't see it, then we don't see it. I don't give a fuck. I ain't crying. But if the guy's in the front row and it's like click, click, click, this flashing going on, you gotta tell the security to get the guy. "St. Louis turned into such a violent situation, y'know, we lost all our equipment. Like one of Izzy's cabinets we found out by the concessions stands! My amps were out on the lawn, monitor boards... I was wondering what the fuck would make anybody sit there and dig into a metal grate to get into the speakers in a speaker cabinet. And when we say the lighting truss, they stole half the guns logo. "There were cops. There was blood everywhere. And we had to sneak outta the gig. Y'know we tried to go back on, but the kit was down and that made us realize... it's just the band and the crowd. The more authority you stick in front of the crowd, the more cops and SWAT guys, even though they're doin' their job, the worse the crowd gets. Because we're a rebellious band and our fans are like "Fuck this! We'll kick your ass and we'll kick that guys ass and we'll storm this fucking thing", right? So we have to say 'OK, listen, just don't be an asshole okay? We're only a band, y'know We're as weak as the next guy and, y'know we're up here playing and it's a sensitive subject anyway [Metal Masters, 1992]
That was the most violent act I've ever witnessed in my life. But I could feel that something was going to happen long before the riot broke out. There was an unmistaken ugliness in the air that night. It broke out so fast that there were no way we could have stopped it. We were afraid that someone was going to die, ourselves included. We had hardly gotten off the stage when people started to tear the place apart. They brought down these huge stacks of speakers and completely ripped my amps to shreds. We had to hide in a van to escape from the parking lot, and even then we weren't sure that we were going to make it out of there[Guitar World, January 2000]
The riot happened because we left the stage after we had done an hour-and-a-half show, which we were contracted to do. The people want a lot more out of Guns N' Roses and usually they get it, but that night they were upset because they weren't getting it. The place allowed bottles and knives and whatever else inside, which is evident from looking at the videotape. It was all over the stage. (...)The rights that I have and the band has are written all the way through our contract. Nobody has really ever questioned it. Nobody has said, 'No, these are my rights and I'm claiming them right now.' (...)

And they think I did it just because I wanted to stop somebody from taking my picture. The camera was the last straw, the final thing. I was sick of, at that point, with the security in the front. There was a weird space in my mind the entire night. I was thinking, "Something isn't right up here. Why is there this weird attitude, this passiveness, in the security?" There was no feeling that they were on the same team as us. Their feelings towards the crowd wasn't right. A young boy and a girl were getting shoved over here while rowdy bikers are being allowed to do whatever they want. What is going on? I was very confused. (...)

When someone says, "Axl didn't want his picture taken," they are not considering the big picture. We are the most bootlegged new band in history. There are over 47 albums out. Even songs that are on the new record. When I play "November Rain" people cheer. They know the song. It's already sold a few million copies on bootleg. When people aren't working together to help avoid that, it really gets me mad. (...)

They don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. I dived into that crowd. And when I dive I'm aware of what can happen. I wasn't aware that they were going to tear the place down, but I'm aware of all the legal things that can happen with me. Someone getting hurt or whatever. But I've got a videotape of people destroying our equipment. It wasn't the building's equipment. I think people got ripped off of a good show. When my audience is denying me the right to call my show for reasons that don't have anything to do with them, that's not fair. We realized the police were not handling the situation. Their method was not working.(...)
A lot of people don't realize that we tried to come back, but we found out the drums were damaged while the police were on the risers, so we couldn't. We felt we had a better chance of calming everybody down than the police, but by that time everything was too far gone. We were told to leave and now people are saying they don't remember that. (...)

That night in St. Louis I got hit in the eye when I jumped off the stage. When I did I lost a contact. I wear these experimental lenses and I didn't know I had another set. So I am half blind going, "Okay, I can't see. The show is over. As a matter of fact my next few shows are over." I was really upset. I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't know that I had anymore lenses. But once I realized I had another contact I got the band together and we were going to go back out because now they know there is a problem with security and stuff, so things are going to be handled differently. But by that time the riot had already started and there was nothing that could be done. The police were trying to figure out whether they should just arrest me and let the crowd do whatever they wanted to do. It's really hard to handle the frustration I get, and the anger, at being portrayed consistently so negatively. There are certain areas of the media who do that to me all the time.(...)

I was a part of a very unfortunate night for everybody. It wasn't a good time for us. I wasn't Mother Theresa that night.

[“There’s a riot going on”, Musician, September 1991.]
The reason it happened was because the promoter just didn’t really care about the people in the crowd or the band on the stage. And, you know, there were a lot of problems going into the show and during the show with the way the building was being run, and once I realized we fulfilled our contract and... I got a contact knocked out in diving after a guy that the security didn’t care to stop because he was their friend, it was like it was over. And I went backstage, got a new contact, came back and it was too late, you know.

And my problem with that situation is that... there’s a lot of fingers pointed at Guns N’ Roses, a lot of fingers pointed at me, and I’m going to take responsibility for what I did in that situation and why I did it and pay whatever the consequences are. But a lot of people in that crowd that, you know, they tore up our equipment, they tore up the building, and I don’t see anybody going “Umm, I apologize for throwing that chair through your amps.”... you know, I don’t see that, and that really bothers me.

But then I also look at it like, you know, Spin magazine said that it was a great show of solidarity, you know, with us and the crowd, being sarcastic. The same time I went “well that’s our audience and that’s what I used to do if things went wrong, I’d just tear something up” (laughs). So, I went, well, I guess that was our crowd, you know, and it’s like when emotions got high, and I think everybody should take a bit more responsibility for what happened, you know, and... also respect that, you know, it is the artist who has control over a lot of things and if that isn’t respected by the building, or the security, or even the people in the crowd, the artist has the right to leave.
[Rockline radio interview, November 27, 1991.]
I'm saying, yeah, I jumped off-stage and, yeah, things went haywire after that, and maybe I could have handled it better or whatever, but no one was really handling anything at that point. So I took it into my own hands with what I could do ... because I had been pretty much pushed to the limit by their lack of security. But I don't see anybody else in St. Louis really taking any responsibility for anything that happened. [MTV interview with Kurt Loder, July 12, 1992.]
With the St. Louis thing, you know, that was Axl’s deal, and I don’t want to conflict anything with whatever it is, however he settled that situation. Some of the shit that went on was [messed up] because a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon with it. But as far as the actual situation was concerned, I do firmly believe that there were a couple of security guards that just weren’t paying attention to what Axl was trying to communicate to them. And Axl will do that. He just jumps in the crowd.

And the reason we’re sensitive about the camera shit is because we got bootlegged. I mean, from the public’s point of view, I don’t think they understand the financial impact that bootlegging has on a business like, say, Guns N’ Roses or even back to Led Zeppelin or anything.

So I know where Axl was coming from. It was a little bit dramatic, and I don’t think leaving the stage is necessarily correct. I don’t condone that or anything, but from where I was standing, I was still just playing my guitar. I just looked over and all of a sudden Axl’s not there and I see this commotion go on.

Then, of course, what happened after that was a fluke. I’ve never seen anything like that, the retaliation aspect of it, because there was a point there where Axl and I went to go back on stage. And we didn’t know it had gotten started because we were back in the dressing room.

So we got up and went to the side of the stage and looked, and there were like riot cops and everything was broken and people were bleeding. There were like stretchers and shit, and I was just like ‘Jesus Christ!’ And then they whisked us away in a van, and I had my top hat on. They said, ‘Get that [bleeping] thing off! Duck!’ And we got out of there. There were cops pouring in. I mean, the whole thing was a nightmare.

I have a videotape of it that someone took, and I can’t watch it. I watched five minutes of it and went, ‘Jesus, I just can’t, I just don’t want to be reminded of the whole thing’. And that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back and play in St. Louis. I was trying to get Axl to do a club gig there because that would be cool. We have the [guts] to be able to come back and do that. It’s like a getting-back-on-the-horse kind of concept.
[St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 28, 1995.]
We were all headed out and there was a lot of violence, there was the riot squad coming in, helicopters, tear gas, the whole thing. It was a full-on riot. It was pretty serious. We knew we were either going to be arrested for the situation or... Inciting a riot. We were, like, running from the law. It was pretty awesome. So we went in this van. I'll never forget it, ‘cause we were going through the crowd and people were banging on the van, and Slash had his top hat on. I remember reaching over and going, "Take your hat off. It's obvious that it's you," you know? We stopped at a waffle house. Axl was still in his skirt. It was like... We went in, people just looked over... "Holy shit." You know? We got up to Chicago and... Everything was on the news. These riots, huge fires and 600 people injured. Holy shit, right? Record sales are going through the roof. It was...amazing.

So the next day it comes on the news that they're going to extradite Axl. They're going to arrest him for inciting a riot. We sent two decoys out of the hotel. We dressed them like Axl, and we had this other guy named Ronnie that worked for Slash. He had really curly hair like Slash. So we dressed him up like Slash. And the cops were coming in the front, and Axl went out the kitchen. And they arrested those guys, thinking they were Axl and Slash.
[“The Most Dangerous Band In The World”, BBC, 2016.]
There would have been no destroying of the place if I was there. ‘Cause if Axl left and they started getting crazy, I would have started playing my drums, and I would have got them excited. I would have done something to stop that [“The Most Dangerous Band In The World”, BBC, 2016].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:05 am


In the wake of the St. Louis riot numerous lawsuits were filed. Concert goers would file suit against Axl, Guns N' Roses, the promoters of the show, and the developers of the theatre for injuries occurred. Security guards would file suits against Axl and Geffen for injuries occurred. The promoters would file suit against Axl and the band for money lost. When the band cancelled the next two shows due to damaged equipment, and tried to collect insurance money for this, they were sued by the underwriters of Lloyd's of London [The St. Louis-Post Dispatch, July 1991]. Finally, Stump (real name Bill Stephenson), the biker with the camera, would also file a suit leading to five misdemeanor charges against Axl for injuries occurred when Axl jumped on him [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 1991]. In total, civil suits from 17 individuals would be filed against Axl [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:08 am


On July 19, 1991, Steven filed a lawsuit against the band, claiming members of the group forced him to use heroin, then made him quit the band while he was trying to kick the habit. In the lawsuit he asked to have the agreement he signed on March 28, 1990, that led to him being fired, annulled. Furthermore, according to the suit, the band "continually strove to live up to its wild reputation. In doing so, the other members of the band introduced Adler to hard drugs and provided them to him." The suit sought unspecified damages and a breakup of the band so assets could be doled out to members [AP/Vidette Messenger, July 1991].

As a result of the lawsuit, Axl would repeatedly bash Steven from stage on shows in July and August.

In October 1991, Circus Magazine would publish a highly contentious interview with Steven. In the interview, Steven would claim that he was fired as a scape-goat when the other band members couldn't finish the follow-up to 'Appetite', but that in reality it was the other band members who were the problem:

They needed a scapegoat. They fired me to make themselves look good because the record company was getting on their case. […] 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![Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Furthermore, he would claim that the other band members were so afraid of Axl that they didn't dare not take his side:

[Axl] scared everybody. 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[Circus Magazine, October 1991].
And that he got on Axl's side for daring to speak up:

I'd be the one to confront [Axl] because everybody else was scared. 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. […] 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![Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Quite outrageously, Steven would also claim he was instrumental in the foundation of Guns N' Roses:

I thought [the band Rose] 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 [=Slash] get a cool bass player, we'd have the best rock band out of L.A. since the Doors!'[Circus Magazine, October 1991].
In the interview it is then claimed that Duff was summoned to the band later through an ad in Recycler. In reality, Axl and Tracii formed the band first, and recruited Duff when Ole Beich was fired. Duff was recruited through Izzy, who knew him. Duff had been recruited through an ad, but that was for Steven and Slash's band Roadcrew earlier. After Tracii and Rob Schneider left the early GN'R, Axl recruited Slash and Steven was, a bit reluctantly, brought along [this is detailed in previous chapters].

Steven would also imply he had been important in the writing of the band's songs, including that he was part of writing 'Don't Cry':

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![Circus Magazine, October 1991].
That "someone else" is Matt, whom Steven would refer to as "old, fat, bald, ugly" and one "who doesn't fit in" the band [Circus Magazine, October 1991]. Whereas it is true Steven likely came up with the drum parts to 'Don't Cry' that Matt played on the records, the song was written by Izzy and Axl before Steven became part of the band.

In his suit against the band it was claimed his reputation had been damaged. In the October interview he would argue that was an understatement and that comments Axl had made to MTV after the suit resulted in him losing a drumming job with AC/DC:

Damaged? 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'[Circus Magazine, October 1991].
At some point in 1991 Steven would also make a long comment on what happened to him, which was published in an unknown magazine:

They told me I had a drug problem, well, who the fuck were they to tell me that? A couple alcoholics and heroin users? Did they take some time in between fucking strippers to decide they were going to throw me out of the band? Doug Goldstein took me to have an opiate blocker, which made me very sick. I told them [slash & Duff] that I felt sick and couldn't record. Slash told me we had to, because we couldn't waste the money. I said "Money? What about the money we wasted last year [referring to the 1989 Chicago rehearsal/recording sessions] when Izzy was cleaning himself up, and Axl was nowhere to be found? Why was it okay for those guys to waste the money, but not me [in order to] get well?" So anyway, they bring me into the studio and I feel like shit. It took me forever to get the song [Civil War] right, and they got frustrated with me. So next thing I know, Doug has a stack of papers in front of me that I could never fucking read because they were about five inches thick! He's telling me 'sign here, sign there' and telling me I was signing an agreement saying I was on "probation", meaning I was going to detox in time to record, or else. But it turns out, those papers weren't really giving me that chance. So I don't hear a fucking thing from anyone for awhile, then I got these notices saying 'you're out of the band'. Through my lawyers, I discovered that the "probation" papers that Doug had me sign were actually the rights to my partnership and all my royalties, which I was unknowingly signing away! They completely screwed me out of everything, these guys, [who were] my friends, my family. It hurt more than anything. My royalties were from playing, writing, and [use of] my image such as t shirts and shit.

When we recorded [Appetite for Destruction], Slash came up with this system where whoever wrote got credit. But then when it came time to actually divide them up, suddenly everybody was getting credit but me. I mean, [for example] Izzy wrote the song "Think About You" by himself before we started playing it, yet Slash, Duff, and Axl were also going to be receiving royalties for it, since they supposedly "added to it". I said, "well what about me? Did I add nothing?" I mean Izzy wrote the fucking song, I thought that's how the writing credits were determined, but the other guys were getting credit for something they didn't write, and I wasn't. Same thing for all the other songs, Axl would get credit for songs such as "Brownstone" [written by Slash and Izzy] and "It's So Easy" [written by Duff and West Arkeen], even though he didn't write anything on them, and the other guys [who didn't write also got credit] too. So why not me? So Axl gave me a portion of his [to compensate for not being included], and my name was put beside the rest of theirs [in the writing credits] and that was that. But now they've screwed me out of those royalties and my other ones too. Two fucking albums that I played on are still selling and they're collecting money from them, and I'm not. Guns N Roses T shirts with my face on them are still selling, and they're collecting money from them, and I'm not. That's what they did to me, people I thought were my friends took it all away and said goodbye as if I never existed. Fuck that! That's why I sue them, and I'm confident the jury will see it my way
[Unknown source, 1991].
The issue for Steven was the agreement, the probation contract, he signed which led to the band firing him. According to Steven lawyer, Elliot Abelson:

"In the agreement, 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" [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

But more so, Steven claims he was forced into signing the agreement:

'Sign this paper, or you're not going to be in Farm Aid.' It was all in a matter of seconds, so I had no choice[Circus Magazine, October 1991].
In August 1991, Melody maker would report that the band's "management are refusing to comment on the content of former drummer Steve Adler's lawsuit against the band because "they have not received all the paperwork yet'" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991]. A little while later, Circus Magazine would fax the band asking for comments to Steven's allegations and to which Bryn Bridenthal would fax them a reply:

"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 " [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

And in February 1992, Bridenthal would say:

"Guns N’ Roses don’t want to dignify Steven's allegations with a response because they believe the truth will easily come out within the due legal process" [Indianapolis Star/LA Daily News, February 2, 1992].

In November 1991, Axl commented on the lawsuit:

You know, Steven can’t handle that he’s not in Guns N’ Roses, and he’s been kinda put up to this by other people. And he said a lot of things that weren’t true to get the lawsuit together, and it’s kind of all coming out. I wish the best for Steven and I hope things work out for him, you know. And I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, and I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes coming up against us - you know, especially since we have the facts. And it’s a kind of sad thing. It’s like, this is his way of trying to figure out how to get back involved, you know. I’m sure somewhere in his mind, it’s like, “Well, this could all turn around and I could be back in the band”. That’s not gonna happen[Rockline, November 27, 1991].
In early 1992 Slash would finally comment on the lawsuit and also indicate that someone was influencing Steven:

I haven't said anything in public about it so far, though [Steven]'s slandered us like crazy and is trying to sue as about stuff that's total bullshit. But I know for a fact that Steven's scared to death of me. Because I've known Steven since I was 13, and I know him too well. So I'm like, "Steven, what do you think you're doing?" But he's not even doing it; somebody else is pressing his buttons[Guitar World, February 1992].
We turned him onto drugs? My f?!king ass! That's so pathetic. Steven is scared to death of me. If he sees me in public, he just turns into a grovelling heap of defeatism. He just doesn't know what to say. He mumbles. I ask him a straightforward question, 'What's your motivation behind this?"' and he doesn't know what to say. Until now I haven't said a word about Steven to the press. I haven't attacked him; I haven't insulted him. I felt sorry for him. I didn't want to hurt him. We gave him a year to get his shit together. He couldn't play any of the new shit anyway. It got to a point where the material was way beyond him. I can't believe this little f?!ker. I read the shit he 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. Anyway, back to Steven. He said in that article he's sober now, but every time I've seen him, he's been wasted. I don't know what he's wasted on; I don't even care. I lost all concern and feeling for the guy. And I know a drug lie when I see one. We couldn't get any work done at Rumbo [the original studio where the band started work on Use Your Illusion three years ago]. He cost us a fortune. We had to edit the drum track to 'Civil War' just so we could play to it[RIP Magazine, March 1992].
Slash would also be very clear about his feelings towards Steven, as when he was asked if he was still in contact with him:

No. He’s on my... bad list (laughs).[…] Well, when the whole breakup thing happened, there was a whole – I’d say, like - six months to a year where that developed, and we hung in there with him. And now he’s turned around and started attacking us. And there’s a lot of falsities going on coming from his side of the camp [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
In late 1992, long after he had left the band and with no particular reason to be protective of his former bandmates, Izzy would deny Steven's allegations:

Lies. When I met him, he showed me some of the stuff he was taking. But I will say to end this is that Stevie is a great guy, I wish him the best. I’ve talked with him once in the last three or four months [Popular 1, November 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:10 am


The St. Louis riot resulted in the band having to cancel the show on July 4 at the World Music Theatre in Chicago [Los Angeles Times, July 1991; Chicago Tribune, July 1991] and the July 6 show in Bonner Springs, Kansas [USA Today, July 1991].

At the first show after the St. Louis riot, at the Starplex Amphitheatre in Dallas on July 8, Axl was two hours late [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1991]. The band would claim the late start was due to damaged equipment from the St. Louis riot [Geffen Press Release, July 1991], but media would report that Axl was missing before the show and arrived late, just minutes before Guns N' Roses took the stage [Pittsburg Press, July 1991; Press-Telegram Wire Service, July 1991]. The long wait resulted in numerous concert-goers leaving the arena in "disgust" [MTV News, July 1991]. During the show Axl would admonish the audience for throwing bottles at the band, stopping the show at one time and making sure a bottle thrower was removed from the theatre [Geffen Press Release, July 1991]. Due to a curfew, the concert was shorter, only about an hour.

The band did anther two shows before playing at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on July 13. Axl did not like the audience who he felt was too calm and not into the show enough, and Axl would later rant against the tour. But later he realized why the mood was subdued:

We did a show with Skid Row in Utah, and there were people sitting there like they were bored off of their asses. Finally, we left. Why should we play the encore? But what we didn’t know was that people had been killed at an AC/DC concert there, and the press and local officials had gone off on the kids so much that by the time they got to the show they were just fed up. Security just kept them from getting into the show at all – and we didn’t know that. We didn’t know what was up. We just wanted to get out of there. My attitude was, “Man, I only have a few bands that really get me off at a show. What do you want? What do you have to do tonight that’s better than this?” There were 17 year-old kids there who seemed bored, and I just didn’t understand why. Maybe they wanted to go home and listen to something else [Hit Parader, June 1993].
The next show took place at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma on July 16. At this concert something is thrown on stage that explodes followed by a rocket some songs later. Melody Maker would describe the event:

"The bomb goes off during "Welcome to the Jungle". Axl's singing, "D'you know where you are baby? You're in the jungle and you're gonna DIE!" when, for a split second, everything's white-then-black. Axl just grimaces, breathes hard, pulls down his NWA cap, skips off stage and lets it pass. Slash dons his top hat, lights a cig and plays the "Godfather" theme, Matt does his drum solo, Duff joins in and everything's cool until Axl re-emerges in a fishnet shirt and launches into "Rocket Queen". Suddenly there's an explosion from somewhere about 15 feet from the stage, a blinding flash and a rocket narrowly misses Izzy. Too close for comfort. Too f***ing close…" [Melody Maker, August 1991].

First it's a firecracker, now it's a rocket... If you saw whoever lit that, we'll give you 10 minutes to turn 'em in and we'll be back... We're not here to get hurt or see anybody else get hurt just because some drunken f***in' pussy can't control. .. F***him! No! F*** YOU! It's up to you. Get him outta here and we'll be back. If not... goodnight. Peace[Melody Maker, August 1991].
Slash would also comment upon this incident:

[…] a lot of shit does go down onstage. There's always a bottle flying here, a bomb going off there. The other night I hear this crash, I'm like, 'What the fuck was that!' And somebody threw an M80 into the crowd![Music Life, November 17, 1991].
Originally the band had planned a second show at the Tacoma Dome, on July 17, but this was cancelled since the band needed to film for the video to their single 'Don't Cry'.

The band then played three shows before coming to the Shoreline Theatre in Mountain View, California, not far from San Francisco, on July 19 and 20. before the first show, Izzy would reminisce about playing in San Francisco:

We always had a problem when we played here before, 'cos we'd try to cop this China White heroin and end up paying ungodly prices for fuckin' nothing[VOX, October 1991].
The first show in Mountain View was delayed by one and a half hour. Axl would blame this on "overzealous film crews from local television stations, who demanded interviews and threatened to have him arrested" [The Press-Telegram, July 1991]. Axl seemed to have been in an angry mood this evening. He ranted against Steven and ended the show early:

"After the first few notes of what Rose had introduced as a new song called 'The Strange,' the music stopped, apparently because Rose was dissatisfied with it. "You can start over any time,'' he said sardonically to his bandmates. They did, briefly, until Rose threw his microphone to the floor and stalked off stage. He never returned, but Sorum, Slash and Reed came back to collaborate on a brief instrumental jam before pleading that "we don't know any more songs'' and departing for good " [The Press-Telegram, July 1991].

An unknown band member would elaborate that during the show he started seeing what he thought was "a bunch of dead raccoons landing on the stage. It was dark and I saw this big hairy thing hit Slash's mic stand. It was a huge lump of sod. The audience had torn up the whole hillside in the back of the auditorium and tried to throw it onstage. The crazy fuckers!" [VOX, October 1991].

According to writer Nick Kent, who witnessed the show, the partying had its effect on Duff who "has to spend several numbers lying flat-out, his eyes closed, smoking a cigarette" [VOX, October 1991].

Kent would also describe how he would torment his "personal mike-stand roadie" by repeatedly kicking down the mike-stands and hurling them after the roadie, before exclaiming, "Hey, check it out - I'm having one of those irrational temper tantrums you keep reading about in the press. Y'know you fuckers shouldn't encourage this sort of shit" [VOX, October 1991]. When listening to audio recording of this show, it seems like the roadie was Tom Mayhue and that Axl was in a more playful mood than malignant: "Fuck! Tom, you’re too efficient tonight. Whoo! [Someone in the crowd: “Oh my God”] This is something new... Fuck! You know, I work on my fucking stupid irrational temper. But though, when I lose it, you fuckers get off on it. I guess being a fucking psycho basket case helps my career" [On stage, Mountain View, CA, USA, July 19, 1991].

After the show Axl was interviewed by Lonn M. Friend for an upcoming issue of RIP Magazine:

This is crazy, isn't it? I mean, three f?!king months on the road - with no record! It's nuts. I sat in my hotel room all day today, looking at a pile of faxes and papers, a million things that needed my attention. And I don't know, something just came over me. I took my Halliburton briefcase and smashed every light fixture in the room with it. Sometimes I don't know what's real anymore, and what isn't[RIP, March 1992].
The second show at the Shoreline Theatre was cancelled for unknown reasons.

Then the band headed to the Great Western Forum in Inglewood for four shows on July 29 and 30 and August 2 and 3. All of these four shows were started late, the third of them due to Axl having "stomachache" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991; Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

For the second show (on July 30), a little mishap occurred as Axl was being driven to the show. The driver made an illegal turn and was stopped by police and issued a ticket. This caused Axl to "angrily stick his head out of the limousine's sun roof and cry foul to the motorcycle officer issuing the citation." Axl then refused to take the stage unless Inglewood police took back the ticket. Bridenthal would comment on this:

"Before a show, Axl is volatile. It's a sensitive time and . . . someone had told the limo driver to turn left" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

After a discussion with the band's manager and the Forum's manager, the police decided to take the ticket back to avoid a riot. Axl thanked the police from the stage. The police would later explain that the ticket was taken back "for investigation" and eventually the driver was fined $60 [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

For the two August shows, Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon would join the band for the songs 'You Ain't The First' and 'Don't Cry'.

Hoon: "Yeah, the Forum. I was very tripped out. I’d never been in - I was at the Pantages, but I didn’t have time to get nervous at that, because it was real spontaneous. But at the Forum, man, my mind was blown away. I was so scared. My knees were really shaking" [Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993].

In addition, for all four shows in Inglewood, the band played past the curfew and would be fined [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

Slash remembered the shows in Inglewood fondly:

The [Great Western Forum] gigs were all sold out and they were amazing. The last one we did there was three and a half hours - in the history of the band, it was the longest one we ever played [Slash's autobiography, p 339-340].
The last show would also be mentioned in the band's newsletter as being their longest show to date at three hour and thirty six minutes [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

In an interview published in September 1991, Slash would talk about how the touring has been progressing:

Oh fuck yeah, it's wonderful, especially for it to be so well received [Rip It Up, September 1991].

Axl, on the other hand, would in December 1992 look back at the tour and be critical:

I really felt burnt out a lot on the first tour we did with Skid Row. It was very hard for me to be out there because all of the songs were a part of my past, and i wanted to get on to my future. The burnout thing hits and that's when we change the set around a little bit [Hit Parader, June 1993].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:11 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:12 am


Axl had occasionally been late the concerts in 1985-1989 as well, but when touring the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums he got worse. At the Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville on May 28, 1991, the show started an hour and 15 minutes after the opening act [The Indianapolis News, May 1991]. At the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on June 17, the band was "several hours late" [Los Angeles Times, June 1991; Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991]. At the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro on June 25, the band took the stage "long after the opening band" [Journal Now, August 2017]. At the Thompson-Boiling Arena in Knoxville on June 26, the band was two hours late [Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991]. At the Starplex Auditorium in Dallas on July 8, the band was again two hours late [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1991; Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991]. At the Shoreline Theatre in Mountain View on July 19, the band was one and a half hour late [The Press-Telegram, July 1991]. The band then started late for all four shows at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, with one of them being delayed due to "Axl's stomachache" [Los Angeles Times, August 1991].

Matt would provide an early explanation:

There’s a lot of pressure on us, and sometimes it gets to Axl. He can’t take the stage if something’s on his mind and if someone’s pressuring him about something. That’s why we delay some of the shows. […] A lot of people don’t understand that. Some nights we in the band even get mad, but we know that Axl has to do to get psyched to sing. Because once he gets out there, he’s incredible[Wisconsin State Journal/LA Daily News, July 1991].
In September, Izzy would describe the feeling:

Axl's just naturally late. It can get pretty tense at times, particularly when you're supposed to be on-stage and you're sitting there, literally counting the seconds, thinking 'man, we've just had a riot in St. Louis. Now we're in Texas. What the fuck is going to happen here?' [VOX, October 1991].
Things did not improve as the band travelled to Europe for their first European leg. The band was three hours late for their second show at Globen in Stockholm, Sweden [Duff's biography]. And in Mannheim, Germany, they were late, "even for us", as Slash would recall [Slash's autobiography, p 343-344].

After having quit the band, Izzy would talk about the late starts and how it bothered him:

I didn't feel it was fair to a lot of the people coming to the gigs to go onstage two or three hours late. That's just not right. That's the way Axl is and the way he works, but it's not right for me, and I didn't think it was right for the fans either. Stuff like that kinda got to me after four months on tour. There's a lotta pressure, I suppose, but the bottom line is, if you gotta be somewhere and there's something you gotta do, you do It. That's how I see it. […] When we were playing the gigs, a lotta times it was a case of, how long's it gonna be before Axl comes back onstage? It's a pretty big stage, and you're going, 'Anybody see which way he went?'. Then you see a bunch of roadies running... And the old filling-in with a blues jam and a drum solo shit gets old when it's on a nightly basis. It wasn't every night, but y'know... [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Izzy's departure in November 1991 and the break before the band started playing show again in December 1991, did not help on the late starts. For the first show at Worchester on December 5, the band started well over two hours later than announced [Hartfort Courant, December 7, 1991]. Then they were 90 minutes late for their show at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 9 [New York Times, December 11, 1991]. For their show at the Philadelphia Spectrum on December 16, 1991, the band started one and a half hours after Soundgarden finished their set [Courier-Post, December 18, 1991]. And or their December 28 show at the Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg, the started started 80 minutes after Soundgarden [Tampa Tribune, December 30, 1991]. For the January 9 show at the Summit in Houston, the band started more than four hours after the door opened [Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1992]. At the Erwin-Nutter Center show in Dayton in January 13, the band didn't start their show until 12:25 AM [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. They were late again for their first show at Target Center in Minneapolis on January 21 [Star Tribune, January 23, 1992] and for the show at the San Diego Sports Center in San Diego on January 27 [Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1992], and for the January 31 show at Compton Terrace in Chandler [The Phoenix Gazette, February 1, 1992], and for the April 9 show at Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont [Chicago Tribune, April 12, 1992].

Axl would discuss the late starts from the stage in January 1992, including on January 13 on their first show in Dayton, a show that was particularly late, saying it was because of all the things on mind including racist allegations:

And they wonder why it takes time to get on stage or whatever. Because this shit goes through my head. I don’t feel like getting up here and having a good time with about 20,000 people, and having some jerkoff in the press saying some racist bullshit fucking thing that went down and nobody knows about it except the 20,000 that were here and the 50,000 to 100,000 people that read that thing believing this whole bullshit, believing you’re bullshit [On stage in Dayton, OH, USA, January 13, 1992].
Matt would later talk about what went down at this show:

That’s what we do, man. We sit around and wait, just like everybody else. […] [The scene backstage was] a... nightmare. […] What happens with Axl is, if he doesn’t feel good about playing the gig, he just doesn’t... want to play. […] It’s a weird thing to make people wait, but it’s almost as if he wants to put on the best show for the people. He’d rather not go out — that’s the only way I can explain it. That’s what used to go on with him[Onstage in Dayton, January 13, 1992].
But days later Axl would also claiming it was about freedom of expression:

Now, people say, “Why are you late?” dah dah dah. There’s all kinds of fuckin’ reasons. There’s a million fuckin’ reasons. You know, because it ain’t about getting up here to make money and it ain’t about getting up here to fuckin’ “let’s rock ‘n’ roll.” I can fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll in my car or to the stereo. We haven’t come up here to run around and jump off shit to rock ‘n’ roll. It ain’t about partying. It’s about freedom of expression. And it’s about telling you that you can fuckin’ get away with it, no matter what they fuckin’ try to tell you. You see, they’re scared of you. They’re real scared of you. They’re scared of people like you all over the country. They keep everything from you. They keep the medicines that can heal you away from you, because they want to make your fucking money. They keep everything away from the fucking people, so that they can run it the way they want and it’s safe. And they can send you to war to fight for their fucking oil and their money deals, and that blowing down another country [Onstage in San Diego, January 27, 1992].
The media was making a lot of the late starts, frequently reporting about audience goers who had to leave early or missed the shows altogether, and would frequently ask the band members about it. Slash would so his best to downplay Axl's role in the late starts, explaining it by band mentality:

I have to say we’re pretty self-indulgent when it comes to going on stage. Coming from a club background, we would go on from 11 to midnight. We're a nighttime band, and it takes us a while to get it together mentally and physically to go on stage. We just sort of cruise into the moment. We don’t go on until 10, at least, which is not to say that’s necessarily right[St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991].
We're a club band basically and we're used to going on at, like, midnight. We have a couple of entertainment factors between sets (after the opening band) where we have video screens and we videotape the crowd and we have close-ups of girls and they get off on that. We also have killer intermission music to listen to. All things considered, I think it would be better if we do a really good show as opposed to rushing into it when we're not mentally and physically prepared[Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
It’s just because we are a club band and we’ve never had to... I mean, we’ve always gone on, like, at 11:00 or midnight, you know. That’s where we come from. So as an opening band you had to cater to the headlining band and go on their schedule. But once we were on our own schedule, it was like, we didn’t really want to have to listen to the promoters per se, and we just thought it was cool to go on late at night, because it was cooler, you know? […] the unions don’t care, because they get paid it double time (?) so they’re happy. The unions love us, but the promoters got pissed off and some of the crowd, I think, was a little ticked off because they weren’t used to it. You know, they’re used to bands going on at 9:00[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
When confronted with the Rolling Stone interview where Axl seemingly admits to be the root of the problem, Slash prevaricated:

Well, it’s, you know, we just keep back in the dressing room. And like, we have these monitors, we have these cameras that shoot the crowd, so we watch different people in the crowd and stuff... […] And so we keep back in the dressing room, have a couple of drinks or whatever and watch what’s going on, and just basically getting into the frame of mind where you want to go up and play for three hours. And it’s like, it’s not a job, you know, so... […] I think we’re coming from a whole different mentality than the business is and so it did have its repercussions. And so we’ve, sort of like, tried to adapt; you know, try and find some middle ground[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
But when Axl was asked about it, he would admit the issue and take the blame:

I pretty much follow my own internal clock, and I perform better later at night. Nothing seems to work out for me until later at night. And it is our show. I don't want to make people sit around and wait -- it drives me nuts. That hour-and-a-half or two-hour time period that I'm late going onstage is living hell, because I'm wishing there was any way on earth I could get out of where I am and knowing I'm not going to be able to make it. I'm late to everything. I've always wanted to have it written in my will that when I die, the coffin shows up a half-hour late and says on the side, like in gold, SORRY I'M LATE[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
As for what goes on behind the stage when he is late:

The chiropractor we work with on the road tapes my ankles professionally. I kept twisting my ankles during shows, and it still happens now and then. I have weak ankles, always have. I used to run cross-country, and that was one of the things that got in the way of that. So I work with a chiropractor. I work with a massage therapist, because I put a lot of stress in my lower back, and with what I do onstage, there's a lot of rebuilding that has to be done. There's operatic voice exercise. And I started therapy in February (1991) and, Jesus, I'm right in the middle of stuff. I mean, if a heavy emotional issue surfaces and you've got a show in four hours, you have to figure out how to get that sorted out really quick before you get onstage so that you're really quick before you get onstage so that you're not in the middle of "Jungle" and have a breakdown. The pressure of having to do the show when whatever else is going on in my life is hard to get past. We did a show in Finland where I just couldn't understand why I was doing what I was doing. I sat down while I was singing "Civil War," and I was kind of looking at my lips while I was singing and looking at the microphone and looking at the roadies, and everything just shut off. Well, that doesn't make for a very good show. We're out there to win at what we do. And if that means going on two hours late and doing a good show, I'm gonna do it. I take what I do very seriously[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
But Axl would be quick to point out that these weren't excuses, only explanations on what he goes through and results in the late starts:

One thing I want to say is, these aren't excuses. I'm not trying to get out of something. The bottom line is, each person is responsible for what they say and what they do. And I'm responsible for everything I've said and everything I've done, whether I want to be or not. So these aren't excuses. They're just facts, and they're things I'm dealing with. And if you've got a real problem with it, don't come to the show. If you gotta be home at fucking midnight, don't bother. Do yourself a favor. I'm not telling you to come -- I don't think that I'd want to. If you've got a problem with me trying to deal with my shit and doing the show the best I can, then just don't come, man. It's not a problem. Just stay the fuck away. Because you're getting something out of it, but I'm also there for myself. I've got a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do. I've done about seven years' worth of therapy in a year, but it takes a lot of energy. And Guns n' Roses takes a lot of energy. It's a weird pressure to try to deal with both at the same time. And I'm gonna do it the best I can when I can and how I can. And I'm the judge of that--not anybody in the crowd [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
And when asked how he would respond if a fan stopped him on the street and complained that Axl doesn't give a fuck about the fans:

If I didn't give a fuck about them, I'd come out and do a shitty show. I'd come out and tell 'em to fuck off. I'd sit down, sing the songs off-key and just not care. But I do care, and I also care too much about myself to do that. It's confusing to me that people go, "Well, I have to work in the morning." If you were getting laid, you wouldn't be so worried about what time it was. I know it's complicated, but so is getting onstage. And I'm sorry. I try to make it up by coming out and doing a good show and explaining as much as I can about what was going on in my head and why we weren't there[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In interviews he would again make a point of having to work on himself to be able to record and put out a record, but that the work he did, and what he uncovered, meant he had to deal with issues that resulted in the late show starts:

[…] we were trying to maintain our careers, deal with our lives, and record a record and put it out, and work the record. If I wasn't doing this work I wouldn't have been able to do the record. It's made things very hard over the last year, trying to do everything at once. Definitely my energies are on maximum. But to slow it down would mean having to stop doing something, and right now it's not really a smart move to do that. It's just been really hard, with a lot of misunderstanding, like, about why I'm late on stage or things like that[Interview Magazine, May, 1992].
Last year I was doing extensive emotional work on myself, so when I go out to do a show, if something – I was, you know, uncovering something in my unconscious mind or whatever, and kind of experiencing it, it’d be really hard to go out and do the show, where that took, like, a year to get things under control. I’d come off stage, and either get on the phone or have the person fly out personally into four or five hours right after stage. You know, where someone goes, like, once a week to work out their problems for half hour or an hour, I was doing four-five hours a day; like, every day[MTV, September 9, 1992].
In April 1992 Matt would claim he had learnt to deal with it:

I’ve learned to deal with it and I can understand where Axl is coming from. Because he wants to give his best performance, and until he’s ready and he doesn’t feel up to it, he won’t – he doesn’t like to go on [From April 20, 1992 but footage shown in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
When Slash was again asked to comment on Axl's lateness in May, he would again not talk about Axl but speak in generalities:

It’s like that for everybody. In order to prepare for going all-out for 2-1/2 hours – whatever the show is – you gotta feel you’re in the right headspace to do it, you know? And that’s why we sit around and we hang out with each other, we have a few drinks to, like, cool down and relax, cuz we work out really hard and we give everything we can to every show, as opposed to going out and, like, faking it for two hours and just going through the motions, which a lot of bands do. So, I feel pretty justified in taking the time to do it right[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May, 1992].
And when asked what he does while waiting for the shows to start:

Well, I keep in touch with everything that’s going on with us. You know, as far as where we’re going, what time we’re supposed to get there – the whole schedule thing. And because we’ve been together for so long, there is a predictability about it, you know? So it’s not a big deal[MTV Headbanger's Ball, May, 1992].
Despite discussing the late starts in the media, the situation did not improve. For the band's show in Manchester on June 14, 1992, the band started two hours late but blamed in on technical difficulties [The Liverpool Echo, June 15, 1992; The Evening Chronicle, June 16, 1992].

Before the Metallica tour in the summer of 1992, Slash would claim that they weren't so late anymore because of touring in Europe with strict curfews:

We've come to a happy medium where we haven't been going on that late. […] [Because] some of these gigs we did in Europe, there was a 10 p.m. curfew so we'd go on at 5 or 6 p.m.[Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992].
And when the Metallica summer tour started the heat meant they tried to be quicker, although stage change meant it took longer:

We’re trying to be a little bit more considerate about that, especially because of the heat. You know, the day is long enough for the people who are going. It starts, like – the doors open at 2:00. […] You know, Faith No More goes on for 45 minutes to an hour, Metallica’s on for 2 h and, sometimes, 2 h 15 minutes. And then, you know, the set change between us and Metallica is 1 hour 15 min, because they’re both big productions and so, turning the stage around like most bands do, we have to take down Metallica’s stuff and put our stuff up, and it takes a long time. So by the time we get on, unfortunately most of the kids are burnt out (laughs). But then, you know, we play for 2.5 hours, 2 h 45, something like that. So we try and get on as soon as possible. For the first time at Giants Stadium we were actually ready to go and the stage wasn’t up yet. [...] All of us were standing around. You know, it was an unprecedented event[MTVs, July 20, 1992].
We're not late like we used to be. We've gotten a lot better. There is an hour-and-15-minute set change, and we can't do anything about that. It just takes that long. There's like 100 guys working to get this together. The kids understand. It's a bummer that it takes that long. […] Metallica has got a pretty intense stage setup. Lars [Ulrich] has got his drums on a train track, and they have all their other props. We don't have any props. Metallica pretty much stays in one place. It's cool the way they do it. We run our butts off. It's two different entities[Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].
James Hetfield: "We've got an oval thrust stage, and there's people [fans] inside it in a type of pit. Then when Guns goes on, they cover it up and he [Rose] has got his ego ramp to go out on. So it worked out pretty good. […] Compared to Monsters of Rock, this is more hectic and there’s a bunch of more hubbub going on, but there are less bands. There are not so many frantic things between the crews. I won't say there's less people out; Guns have so many people [on tour], it's amazing. Who knows what those people do?" 9929.Although Slash would point out that the reason for the late starts was partly that they needed to be ready to give it their all:

One of the reasons that we go on late is so that we can get mentally and physically prepared to go out and do 150% for every single gig, right? And there’s such an emotional involvement with the songs that every single tune, whether we play for 1.5 hour or 3 hours, regardless – you know, every single song has to mean something at that moment. So the intensity is really just in the band itself. And we don’t work any other way. We don’t go through the motions. We don’t fake it every night and just, like, ride on some setlist and really wish we were somewhere else. You know, it’s like, we’re there to do this and it’s not really like a so-called job. It’s more – it’s what the band does, this what we’re happy doing, this is our life, so every show is like that. So every show is as intense as we feel, you know?[MTVs, July 20, 1992].
Gilby would also emphasize the band's late starts was not due to any arrogance on their part, but being "free" and just doing "what it wants all the time":

The band is freedom. The band’s always lived on its own terms, it’s always played on its own terms. Therefore, people can mistake that for an arrogance. It’s like, 'Oh, they’re late going on stage. What an arrogant bunch of guys.' And that’s not it. The reason a lot of people like the band is that the band says and does what it wants all the time. That’s the charm of it[The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].
For the co-headlining summer tour of 1992 with Metallica, there would be significant time needed to change the stage-setup between Metallica and Guns N' Roses leading to GN'R often taking the stage after midnight:

The wait isn't because anybody is late. It is because each band is doing a full show, which means we have to take down all the Metallica equipment, which is three truckloads of gear, before ours goes up. […] We could have cut a lot of corners--and saved a lot of money--if each band did shorter sets and used the same (staging), but the whole idea was to make this tour unique. The only reason it's happening at all is that the bands wanted to put on the kind of show that they loved when they were teen-agers themselves[Los Angeles Time, August 9, 1992].
Some people are now thinking we're still up to our usual tricks of waiting two or three hours, but it really takes about an hour and half to change (sets)[The Greenville News, September 29, 1992].
Slash would also argue that they made more of an effort to not start as late any more:

We are trying to be a little more considerate about that. For a while we were going on late because it takes us so long to get mentally and physically prepared, as opposed to just walking out there and going through the motions. We had to get to the point where we were comfortable. We hang out, have a few drinks, see some friends and then go out and kick ass. ’Course it’d be midnight by then. Now, we try to get on as soon as we can[The Boston Globe, July 30, 1992].
Axl would again open up about his lateness:

I addressed the crowd in Phoenix and explained, "Maybe I was just too f!?kin' bummed out to get my ass up here any quicker." They loved that. Maybe I couldn't move any faster than I was because it was a bitch. I don't mean to inconvenience the crowd by being late. Maybe by reading this interview they can understand a little of what I go through regularly. Sometime it's really hard getting onstage, because I feel like I just can't rise above and win. I don't want to get onstage unless I know I can win and give the people their money's worth. I'm fighting for my own mental health, survival and peace. I'm doing a lot of self-help work and, fortunately, I can afford the people I work with. People say that I'm just spoiled. Yeah, I am. but the work I'm doing is so I can do my job. I've learned that when certain traumas happen to you, your brain releases chemicals that get trapped in the muscles where the trauma occurred. They stay there for your whole life. Then, when you're 50 years old, you've got bad legs or a bent back. When you're old, it's too hard to carry the weight of the world that you've kept trapped inside your body. I've been working on releasing this stuff, but as soon as we release one thing and that damage is gone, some new muscle hurts. That's not a new injury, it's very old injury that, in order to survive, I've buried. When I get a massage, it's not a relaxing thing; it's like a football player getting worked on. I've had work done on me - muscle therapy, kinesiology, acupuncture - almost every day that we've been on the road[RIP, September 1992].
Being asked why it is always uncertain whether Axl is going to show up for a gig or not:

Part of it is because GN'R is like a living organism. It's not an act. Even if I'm doing the same jump during the same part of a particular song, it's not an act. That's the best way for me to express myself at that point. I get there, and I let it out. Certain ways I move, like during "Brownstone," is the way to get the best out of myself. It's like, how can I give the most at that without giving up my life? We don't go onstage like Guns N' Roses used to, or like a punk band - and I'm not knocking punk bands - thinking that if we don't make it to tomorrow, that's okay. Now there's a lot of things depending on tomorrow and GN'R. It's like, how can we give the most and turn around tomorrow and give that much again? It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort and a lot of maintenance. When I went onstage in San Diego, I got on thanks to Nirvana. I used their music to inspire me. I took their attitude and got up in jeans and a T-shirt - I never do that. I got out there and told Slash that I didn't know what was going to happen. I thought I was going to go out there and quit. If I go out there and can't do it because I have no energy, the I have to walk away. When I got out there, the crowd was very giving with their energy towards us, and it actually fueled me. There's energy in the crowd that, unless you've seen and felt it, there's no way to describe. It's f!?kin scary. Darby Crash [lead singer of the L.A. punk band the Germs] was scared to death of that energy, and his only way of rising above it was by getting wasted, acting like it didn't exist and showing that he could do more damage to himself than the crowd could. That's how he rose above it, but it finally killed him[RIP, September 1992].
In August 1992 Slash would be asked if it was always Axl's fault and would again refuse to put the blame entirely on Axl's shoulders:

I don't like to go on until I'm mentally and physically ready. However, I'll admit that three hours is pushing the limits.

We just feel the situation out. I don't know. In a way, we still feel like troubadours. We like to show up, have a good time, and play into the night without worrying about curfews and whatever. I feel like concert productions have become too rigid. It's turned into a formula, and we don't come from that side of the fence at all. I think we'd be fucking the audience more if we adhered to those rules, because we wouldn't be half the band on stage if we didn't do it our way. It's true that we've put our audiences through a lot of shit, but it's not that we don't care. Each show is a completely different trip for us, depending on our mental state. We try to approach each one as a unique event - almost like it was our last show. It's hard to regulate something like that. It's hard to say that it will start exactly at 9 p.m.

When we started going on stage late, the audience initially wondered what the hell was going on. Then it became part of the event. They knew we would either play an incredibly long set, or maybe just eight songs and leave. Our shows have the potential to be rowdy or completely calm. People come prepared for anything - but they always know it's going to be real.
[Guitar Player, November 1992].
Gilby would also be asked about the late starts:

It's something you should ask Axl about. It's hard for me to answer, since I don't share his opinions in all questions.
[…] Axl has made that clear to everyone, that he doesn't get on stage before he feels ready. I've experienced when people have forced him to go on stage and I've seen when he's refused. […] It's worth waiting one or two hours, because then Axl gives the absolutely best possible show. At the same time I understand that people can get irritated, but that's something I can't affect
[Heavy Mental, 1992].
For the band's Skin N' Bones tour in 1993, and the shows leading up tp it, Axl seems to have been able to be more on time:

Lately we have been very close to being on time. In South America, where we had a new problem every day, we were very, very late. But in Australia, where we just got back from touring, we were pretty much on time. […] It just depends when Axl shows up. […] It has nothing to do with the fans. He does care about them. But it’s just one of those things where he puts out everything he has every single night. When he’s ready to do it, he comes out and does it. When he’s not, he won’t go through the motions. […] When he comes in late, sometimes I’ll ask, ‘What up?' He’ll say, something like ‘somebody didn’t wake me up’ or ‘the limo was late.’ When he tells me this, there’s not much I can say. It’s his band[The Cincinnati Inquirer, February 26, 1993].
As for what the band do when waiting for Axl:

We start drinking. The longer the wait, the tipsier we get. […] Girls flash us [on closed-circuit television piped into the backstage dressing rooms]. And, we sit back there and watch[The Cincinnati Inquirer, February 26, 1993].

In late 1992 and early 1993  Izzy would look back at the unpleasantness of the late starts and bewilderment why Axl couldn't start the shows on time:

On tour [Axl] had a real hard time finishing the sets. And he had a hard time getting onstage. So you're sitting there in the dressing room at a hockey rink and for, like, two hours the walls are vibrating while the audience is going, `Bullshit! Bullshit!' That time goes "slow" when you're sober. And they have to send a helicopter to the hotel to get him. He would just `get ready,' and sometimes he would `get ready' for a long time. I don't know what goes on upstairs with him. To me it's simple. Get an alarm clock, ya know? There's a modern invention that seems to work for people. You set it, and then you wake up when you're supposed to[Musician, November 1992].
Not only does that drive the audience crazy, but it’s hard on your road crew that has to take the stage down later. They might be up until sunup because of the delay. I once asked Axl what was going on, but I never found out. I’ve known the guy for a really long time, but I didn’t get an answer[The Boston Globe, February 5, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:14 am


In early 1989 rumors were spreading that the band planned to release a set of themed EPs, including a Punk, a Metal and a Rap EP [Kerrang!, April 1989]. Asked about his, Slash responded:

Well, we've been talking about doing an EP of cover songs, maybe. […] The cover songs we've been talking about doing, though, are things like a Steve Jones song - a Pistols song that Steve Jones sang and wrote called 'Black Leather'. And we're talking about maybe doing 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' by the Stones; an old Misfits song; and a couple of different things… [Kerrang!, April 1989]
Axl had lofty plans:

I want to do five records in two years. There's the next studio one (possibly a double) [what would become 'Use Your Illusions'], the live one [what would become 'Live Era'], his own solo LP plus two EPs, firstly a Punk covers record and, secondly, another acoustic set, this time with X-rated versions. And then there's the films... [RAW Magazine, May 1989]
This would be confirmed in July 1989 with the band talking about a punk EP, a live release, and an "an X rated acoustic EP" [Raw Magazine, July 1989].

But we have talked about doing a Punk EP. We’d probably do stuff by the likes of Fear, the Adolescents, The Sex Pistols, the sort of music we listen to before going onstage [RAW Magazine, July 1989]
In December 1990 it was reported that the song "Down On The Farm" would end up on Use Your Illusions [Musician, December 1990]. In January 1991, Slash would mention they had recorded six covers as part of the material for the forthcoming Use Your Illusion record(s) and that these would likely be released on a separate record [Rolling Stone, January 1991]:

An EP is probably the direction we’re going to go as far as some of the covers are concerned. There are six covers: “Live and Let Die,” by Wings, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” by Dylan — that new version [on the soundtrack for Days of Thunder] that went nowhere — “Don’t Care About You,” by Fear, “Attitude,” by the Misfits, “New Rose,” by the Damned, and “Down on the Farm,” by U.K. Subs. They’re songs that we like – it’s as basic as that. Each of us has an individual favorite, and at the same time we share some. “New Rose” is something Duff wanted to do, I think. “Don’t Care About You” is something I wanted. The Misfits song was Axl’s idea, and “Heaven’s Door” and “Live and Let Die” were songs Axl and I both thought about doing [Rolling Stone, January 1991]
As late as June 1991, Duff was quoted in RIP Magazine saying they had just decided to add 'Ain't It Fun' as the 36th song to be included on the forthcoming 'Use Your Illusion' records. At this time, they had decided to save 'I Don't Care About You', 'Attitude', 'New Rose' and 'Black Leather' for a future EP, but still expected to include 'Live and Let Die' and 'Down on the Farm' on the 'Illusions' [RIP, June 1991].

In the end, they decided to included only 'Live and Let Die' and 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' on the two Use Your Illusion records and save the remaining cover songs for a later release.

In May 1991, Axl would mention that they wanted to release an EP with "six punk rock songs" [MTV, May 1991]. These were likely the four remaining punk cover songs that the band had recorded but weren't included on the Use Your Illusions ('I Don't Care About You', 'Attitude', 'New Rose', 'Down on the Farm') and a couple more.

In late 1991, Slash would confirm that there were 6 punk song leftovers from the 'Illusion' sessions intended for an upcoming EP:

The only time I kept anything through headphones [while recording] was on a punk EP we did that's going to come out eventually, which we mostly cut live in the studio. […] It's just a bunch of songs that different guys in the band really like. There's a Steve Jones/Sex Pistols song called "Black Leather." A song called "I Don't Care About You" by Fear. And "Ain't It Fun" from the Dead Boys—sort of a tribute to Stiv Bators. There's a total of six songs on it now, and we're talking about doing a Hanoi Rocks tune. […] punk was an attitude I totally related to. [...] I loved the rebelliousness of it. I believe in that shit, and I dug the chicks, who were just great. I'm not a violent person, but I love that violent attitude. Even at our shows, it's part of our thing; break down the barriers and kick ass for three hours. I don't like it when it gets so violent that people are maliciously beating each other up. But the punk scene was a big influence, especially on Duff. I almost wish that attitude would come back and kill what the record business is right now. I hate it! I hate being a part of it. […] We've always done everything in our power to stay away from the norm. But then all of a sudden we became the norm. Appetite took off, and what I call the copying period set in. And all of a sudden it was no longer fun to be in Guns N' Roses, to have that "go into a liquor store, rip off a pack of cigarettes and play your guitar all day" attitude. I think that's one of the main reasons we didn't know what to do with this new album. We were real frustrated with being so acceptable. We're not Motley Cite. We're not gonna do something that appears a little bit dangerous so we can sell records [Guitar World, February 1992].
In August 1991, the six punk songs would be listed as "I Don't Care About You" (originally by Fear), "Attitude" (The Misfits), "Ain't It Fun" (Dead Boys), "Black Leather" (The Sex Pistols), "Down On The Farm" (UK Subs) and "New Rose" (The Damned) [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

In September 1991, Slash would talk about when the EP would be released:

Not for a while no reason saturating the market with Guns material at one time. We're touring for next year - we've already been out three months — we have another year and a half. When the record's been out and old news they'll put out the punk EP [Rip It Up, September 1991].
In February 1992, Slash was again asked what was happening with the "long lost" punk EP and he also mentioned that they intended to include their own song 'Ain't Going Down' on what would become an LP:

Well, that’s not gonna come out until we finish touring with this record and there’s a lot of mileage left in this album. As far as the Punk thing goes, there’s gonna be a new song on there that we didn’t finish for ‘Use Your Illusion’. It’s finished as far as all the backing tracks were done, but we didn’t finish the words. It’s called ‘Ain’t Going Down’ and it’s one of those songs that we wrote in the streets in Hollywood just walking around. Then there’s another cover that we’d like to do. It’ll probably be a Hanoi Rocks cover. Then there’s a song that I did in a band a long time ago that I used to sing that I’ve talked to Axl about but we’ll have to see. The whole thing will probably be a full record now, though [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
And again in March and July 1992:

It was all done live and it was just really cool, so we want to release it. But at the same time we’re still touring on Illusions, which was a huge project for us and really one of those kind of things that I don’t think anybody can understand what we went through to do it. And so we’re gonna ride that out and tour on it until it’s, like, officially over and then we’ll start worrying about releasing other stuff, you know? [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Well, there is a record coming out. When we feel like, you know, it’s a cool time to do it, then we’ll put it out. But, right now, we’ve been so involved with this tour and tour, you know, preceding it, so we’re just, like – when they feel ready, then we’ll put it out. And it’s got all these punk songs on it and sounds really good. I’ll leave it at that [Rockline, July 1992].
Talking about the recording process:

We did it a bit more live. We didn't have to articulate as much as on our own stuff. I sing on "Attitude" and "New Rose." Axl and Michael Monroe trade off lines on the Dead Boys song. It's something the band has always wanted to do, and we just did it while we were in the studio, as opposed to regrouping and learning the songs over again, and coming back a year from then and doing it [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
Well, we recorded [the punk EP] after the epic Use Your Illusion I and II albums. Duff gave me a call and he says, “Hey, let’s do a punk record.” I’m like, “I was thinking of going maybe in Hawaii or something,” but...[…] (Laughs) But - so we went into the studio one day and we did a bunch of covers, about four or five songs. New Rose, and a song by Fear, which I can’t say the title on the air (laughs). And a bunch of stuff [MTV, June 1992].
For newcomer Gilby it was important to become part of the recording history of the band:

Well, my dream at the moment is to record an album with Guns N' Roses. Who will remember Kill For Thrills? Guns, on the other hand, will be in all history books and it would be nice to be in on one corner [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Duff would talk more about the record in April 1993 and mention it had been mostly his idea:

The record was really mostly my idea. We did ‘New Rose’ by the Damned, and ‘Down On The Farm’ by the UK Subs…if you were my age growing up with the Punk and Hardcore scene and shit, it’s all come full circle. After signing to a major label, all of a sudden I’m in this band that has the Number One record and a Number one single, and God knows how many fucking records we’ve sold. - ridiculous, stupid amounts - and all of a sudden we can go back and do Punk covers on a major recording budget! It’s almost hilarious! It’s kind of taking the piss out of them. […] It’s gonna come out while we’re not touring. I imagine next autumn. We’re going to take some time off, which we really need, because we’ve been touring for so fucking long [Kerrang! April 1993].

Slash would also talk about how unexpected it was from them to release a punk record:

That's just stuff that we grew up with, that we dug. I think it's probably gonna turn the corner on everybody, because we keep changing all the time. No one seems to understand what the fuck is going on, because the rest of this industry is so predictable at this point. There's some great bands out there, but they never get a chance, no one ever signs them and they don't get a break. Fortunately, somewhere along the way, we found a hole in the door and managed to get a foot in and we've been doing things our own way. So we change all the time. No one seems to understand what we're doing. So this is just something that we wanna do [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].

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