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Post by Soulmonster on Sun 23 Jun 2019 - 23:15


For a guy who had always struggled with temptations when not actively touring, Slash was thrilled to finally be back on the road in mid-1991 when the band started touring the 'Use Your Illusion' albums:

I’ve been fucking going nuts. […] I’ve been a complete basket case for... I’ve been through the mill since we got off the road last time (laughs) [MTV, May 1991].
And Izzy, when asked in September 1991, would point out that they were finally in a state where they could tour:

We've just gotten to the point where everyone's back and finally coherent enough to be able to play together. That's what the deal is here. It's been such a trip from having no money and notoriety to havin' all this money, and notoriety, all these drug connections and bullshit [VOX, October 1991].
Before the 'Use Your Illusion' touring started in May 1991, Slash would discuss his various (previous) addictions with Q Magazine. When asked if he ever considered seeking therapy his answer was:

For one, I couldn't see myself going to an analyst because personally I just don't want to know. And the other part being that whole trip of pre-planning your existence is something that people do to a point where it makes life just not fun anymore, because you are trying to preconceive your next move, and so on and so forth. […] If you were to ask, as a therapist, Why do I drink? - the simple thing is you do it out of boredom and to relax. The worst thing is it's for people who are so volatile and so shy - because that was always my biggest problem, to be able to deal with everything that's going on, especially when you're in the public eye so much and then being a very reserved kind of person. You end up drinking a lot to come out of your shell. In that way it's a vicious sort of drug, because it works [Q Magazine, July 1991]
And when asked about why he used to do coke and heroin, Slash would answer:

Well [coke is] obnoxious, and you can't get it up! And you get into these really ridiculously bitter fights. And then, when you do a lot of coke, you tend to drink a lot - and I know that one real well too! […] I just liked [heroin]. I liked the way it felt. And fuck, I didn't know if I did it four or five days in a row I'd get fucking hooked on it! And that's a different subject altogether. That drug takes you over mentally and physically, so much that to come back is hard. I was never a big coke addict, ever. I had not so much a drinking problem as to just want to drink and get rowdy. I used to love to get just fucking drunk! I used it to escape a bad day. Sometimes, I'd much rather just go home, sit down with a glass or something and kick back and go to sleep. I really don't feel that I have the intense addiction that people believe [Q Magazine, July 1991].
Slash's more sober life came as the result of his excesses in 1989. In the period off the road that Slash was alluding to in the quote starting this chapter, the band almost broke up due to heroin addition and heavy drinking, Axl called his bandmates out on stage when opening for The Rolling Stone, and Slash sobered up "some months" later [see earlier chapter for details on Slash's heroin addiction and how he cleaned up]. Yet, "sobering up" can mean different things and in May 1991 he would be clear that he wasn't "an angel or anything", something he would repeat in many interviews:

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 [MTV, May 1991].
Izzy would agree that Slash was doing a lot better:

And Slash, well, let's say he can pronounce his syllables better now. He was pretty bad though. Fuck, he was a mess. He's a great guy an' all, but he can't monitor his own intake, with the result that he's always fuckin' up big-time. Like leaving dope hanging out on the table when the police come to call; nodding out into his food in restaurants - shit like that. I love the guy a lot, but the fact is, man, Slash is not what you'd call your thinkin' man's drug-user. He's real careless, doing really shitty things like OD-ing a lot in other people's apartments. A lot [VOX, September 1991].
While in Mountain View in July, talking to the journalist Simon Garfield, Slash admitted that he still takes drugs, but that it is now a "minor" thing in his life:

I’m no angel, y'know? I just stopped going over­board. The habit is just not major any more. […] I'm no angel. But I know I can't get hooked on dope again, because it just does not work for me. Its just an alienating drug period. And so I've been cool [The Age/Independent on Sunday, August 1991].
Garfield would then ask a band crew backstage if "he thinks Slash will sue if I write that he still indulges" to which the reply was, "He'll probably sue if you don't" [The Age/Independent on Sunday, August 1991].

In August 1991, while the band was on tour in Europe, Slash was again asked if he was totally clean:

No, I’m not totally clean. I don’t shoot heroin any more. You know, I stopped hard-lining, okay? That’s the new word for the month, right? Hard-line, right? But I stopped being so overindulgent to the point where I wasn’t keeping up with what I really wanted to be doing [Danish TV, August 1991].
And as interviews happened throughout 1991, it was clear Slash was still a heavy drinker [Press Conference, August 1991; The Age/Independent On Sunday, August 1991].

I’m not any kind of angel. I’m still up till all hours of the morning, still chasing women around. I still drink and still party, but within the confines of sanity. […] Let’s put it this way: I don’t get into trying to outdo myself anymore [Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992].
In May 1992 Slash would admit to occasional cocaine use [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].

In July 1992 he would claim to have cut down on his drinking:

There was a point where I used to drink a bottle of [Jack Daniel's] a day. But that's not too conducive to being productive as far as I'm concerned. I've grown up a little bit in that sense. I may be out late at night and get toasted off my {expletive}, but for the most part I try and watch myself...[…] After a while, it gets boring, to be honest [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].
We don’t have as much going on outside of performing right now, in light of the fact that some of the guys got married and there’s not this huge drug thing going on — we’ve seen this movie so many times. It’s just gotten to the point where we really are just concentrating on the shows. We might go out and have a drink and do whatever [after the show] but the focus is not going out to get laid and [messed] up all the time. There were theater tours where we cared about the gigs, but we were on a [expletive] tightwire. […] [Staying in shape] is not even a professional responsibility. It’s more a responsibility to yourself: that you want to feel like you’ve given the optimum performance you can give. I take my playing seriously and I know everybody else in the band is the same way. I wouldn’t mind being up there with guitar players like Jimmy Page, so it’s not gonna help if I’m irresponsible to that goal [The Boston Globe, July 30, 1992].
I still drink, but the whole thing used to be like this big adventure. I used to get wasted on stage. There were nights when I'd have to start "Sweet Child o' Mine" four or five times because I was so loaded I couldn't play it. But I got burned out on the whole drug thing and the groupie scene [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
In February, 1993, as the band was touring Australia, Slash would talk about staying at different hotels than Skid Row to avoid partying too hard:

Sebastian [Bach] is one of my best friends, but once we pair up, all hell breaks loose. So it’s a strategic thing to keep us apart. But I can’t smoke pot like he does. I just space out too hard. I like to be totally in control. […] You can be stoned and enjoy what you're doing, but it’s not conducive to responsibilities, and you get to the point where you’re inconsiderate about the people you’re working with and you alienate yourself [RAW, June 23, 1993].
Regardless of Slash's sobriety from hard drugs, the band was still partying hard. Slash and Duff's partying was now, in the words of Melody Maker, "enthusiastically aided and abetted by new drummer Matt" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

I think I'm lucky because I went through the drug trip early in life, as opposed to having it build up and hit me when I was 30. But I have to admit, I never really thought about drugs until I got to a point when I just realized that things were getting a little too hectic. I'm 26 now; it's been two years and I haven't had a problem with it. I'm no angel, but I'm not slamming and all that stuff [Guitar World, February 1992].
There’s not a lot of sub­stance abuse happening, but I’m not gonna turn around and say we're all clean and we don’t want any booze back- stage. We like to party a bit, but it’s all in the right kind of order now. Partying doesn’t come first. We play the gig and then we might have fun, but we don’t let the fun have us [Chicago Tribune, May 1991]
Everyone has pretty much got a lot of the ex­cessive living under control. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not turning around and saying we’re Aerosmith, that we don’t party anymore. But it’s not like before, where they were get­ting too deep into it and weren’t wor­rying about the music as much [The Home News/Orange County Register, July 1991].
We grew out of [playing wasted]. Before the show I have a couple of cocktails, to loosen me up. I wouldn't chance a show on any kind of chemical; its just not conducive to accurate playing [Guitar Player, December 1991].
Right now Slash is a lot better. But these guys, they still drink, they still party. Probably way too much for their own good. Fuck, these guys like to trash the fuck out of themselves. They really haven't changed much [VOX, October 1991].
Matt would quickly embrace the lifestyle of his new band members:

Me, I like to party. I'm like your typical drummer, I guess. Sometimes I go overboard [VOX, October 1991].
At the end of 1992 Matt was feeling the strain and would try to become more health:

I was actually getting a little bit... out there, you know what I mean? Carried away in a few rock ’n’ roll excesses, but nothing like what Steven was into [Dayton Daily News, February 26, 1993].
In early 1993, Matt would say the band had "cleaned up its act" [Star Phoenix, March 26, 1993]. And further elaborate:

No one's doing heroin anymore. […] It’s no longer total decadence. The older you get, the harder it is to get out of bed in the morning. It’s like, 'This is really hurtin’.’ I’ve had my share of good times, you know, but you eventually reach a point when your body says, ‘Enough’s enough!’ […] When I joined this band, it was everything I dreamed about. The whole backstage scene was exactly what you’d think a rock and roll band would be about [Lincoln Journal Star, April 4, 1993].
To have something else to do than partying, Matt hired a personal trainer to accompany him on the road:

[Making touring] more like real life, like if you were at home. For almost two years on the road, I didn’t do anything but go out at night, and then... stay in my hotel room all day [Dayton Daily News, February 26, 1993].
I needed something to do beside being a partier. I go to the gym, get fit and it seems to help both mentally and physically [Star Phoenix, March 27, 1993].
When Gilby had himself struggled with addiction in his youth but that he had sobered up:

I had a problem when I was a teenager, but I got over all that [The Age, February 1, 1993].
And when he joined the band, he would confirm that the drug issue was under control but that they still partied:

The band is really cleaning up quite a bit. I mean there's no drugs or anything any more. We're still drinking a little bit, but that’s about it [The Greenville News, September 29, 1991].
When I got involved in the band everyone cleaned up [The Age, February 1, 1993].
Despite reducing his drinking in early 1990, and allegedly cutting it out again for Rock in Rio, Duff was drinking heavy again during the touring in 1991 and 1992.

While doing a conference in Copenhagen on August 19, 1991, he was described as being "noticeably drunk and kept taking drinks" [Press Conference, August 1991].

To Rolling Stone who talked to him in June, 1991, on the other hand, he claimed to drink much less, "far from the 2 gallons of vodka a day" back in the band's early days. He would also explain that the uncertainty of whether the band would break apart or not "a few years ago", caused him to drink. When things began to look more secure he decided to stop drinking and quit for 71 days [Rolling Stone, September 1991]. These 71 days probably happened early in 1991 during Rock In Rio when Duff and Izzy were rumored to have sworn off alcohol and drugs for 60 days [Kerrang! January 1991], although Izzy at the time was sober so it might just be a bogus rumor.

Duff was aware of drinking too much:

When I have kids, I will stop drinking for good. I'm not going to be like my fuckin' Dad. I came to that conclusion when I was in the 2nd grade [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
In addition to drinking, Duff would develop a cocaine habit. Sebastian Bach, the singer of Skid Row who opened for Guns N' Roses in 1991, would describe how he was handing out cocaine to Duff during their first show together at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin on May 24, 1991 [Sebastian Bach, 18 and Life on Skid Row, Harper Collins, 2016].

In the March 1992 issue of RIP Magazine, it would be claimed that Duff's drinking got so bad his doctor in October 1991 told him to quit [RIP Magazine, March 1992]. Three months later, in January 1992, Duff was still sober but said it was hard:

I want to go a year, but it's gonna be tough [RIP Magazine, March 1992].

But his sobriety didn't last. In May 1992, while Faith No More was opening for GN'R, a writer for NME would describe Duff in the backstage area as looking "punch-drunk, swollen and decaying", to which Mike Patton, the singer of FNM to say, would retort, "That's business, man. You have to hold your hat off to the guy who's done that to him" [NME, May 20, 1992]. And when doing an interview in May 1992, an Italian journalist would describe his as "may have had a little bit too much to drink" [L'Unita, May 16, 1992].

In July 1992 Duff claimed to be sensible about things and even avoid Metallica's camp because of drug dealers:

When I see kids stoned or high, I try to educate them a little, but not by preaching because I’m no AA member. We are buddies with Metallica, but I’ve seen them only once this tour because I don’t like coming down to the shows early because there’s too many drug dealers around.

[…] I’ve done my share of stuff, but I’ve never pushed anything on anybody. […] It’s too tempting—that’s not the right way to say it, maybe — but I’m just not into drugs now. It’s sad to see kids who are. So many people will push drugs on you
[The Atlanta Constitution, July 31, 1992].
In November 1992 Izzy would discuss Duff's drinking:

The doctors talked to him two years ago. They said your liver is supposed to be this big [holding his hands in the shape of a hardball]. They said his liver was this big [holding his hands in the shape of a softball]. And when his liver gets this big, it's all over [holding his hands in the shape of a canteloupe] [Musician, November 1992].
Izzy would in late 1991 state he had been sober for quite some time:

I don't fuck around with that stuff [=drugs]. I just reached the point where I said 'I'm gonna kill myself. Why die for this shit [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I've been straight for a year and a half now. No booze, no weed, no nothing. I just stopped cold. I said 'Fuck, I should give this a shot.' At first it was real hard. When I finally stopped and then started going out, just riding around on a fuckin' bicycle, I thought 'Wow, this is really cool. How did I forget all this simple shit?' [VOX, October 1991].
Izzy's last drink was allegedly taken in the company of Keith Richards and Ron Wood [Rolling Stone, September 1991], around December 19, 1989, when Axl and Izzy played with the Stones in Atlantic City, New Jersey [VOX, October 1991]. Yet, in a later interview he would claim he was almost cleaned up from everything around March/April 1990 [Rock & Folk, September 1992], indicating that he either cut alcohol before some other substances (which is contradicted by another statement where he says he quit alcohol last [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992]) or that he did continue drinking after the appearance with the Stones.

Still, this implies that the rumor about Izzy swearing off alcohol for Rock In Rio in January 1991 was wrong; he had already been sober for some time by then. Perhaps the rumor pertained to someone else in the band or was false altogether?

Looking back at his drug and alcohol abuse:

We used to do a lot of funny shit [laughing]. But I don't miss it. There is nothing like throwing up out a bus door going 65 miles an hour [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I'm not a moderate person, OK? I would take my share, then the drummer's and the singer's, and then the bassist's! You got it? And I would go: "You don't have some more? You really don't have some more?" Pitiable (laughs)! You become a monster, a hydra! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
A lot of the time when I was using, I'd just end up with a guitar, writing or recording some pretty depressing songs. I thought they were good at the time, and a couple are not too bad, but a lot of the shit I listen back to and think, ugh, that's fucking depressing, or I think of the state I must have been in; lips all cracked, been up for five days, voice gone. Once you got doing you'd never stop.

I could stay up for four or five days straight doing krell and smack or whatever, up and down up and down, writing songs all the time and recording on my eight-track. But give me a bottle of whisky and send me to a club one night, and I'm the guy in the alley throwing up and rolling around.

It just didn't work; it just poisons me and I don't know why. I got Indian blood, and my mom says that's why I can't handle liquor, but it's still a thing I did for a long time
[Rock & Folk, September 1992].
Matt would confirm that Izzy was sober, and also imply he was opposed to it:

Izzy just doesn't dig it at all anymore. He don't dig the drinking, even [VOX, October 1991].
While Slash would say Izzy was the one who is "suffering the worst from being clean" [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].

And that's one of the reasons that Izzy, even though he's completely clean, has to be away from any sort of drug activity. He doesn't know how to deal with it. Whereas with me, people can do whatever they want and I don't give a shit. I'm comfortable being on the same planet with them. […] He was definitely struggling to keep himself clean. That's why he traveled separately from us and so on [Guitar World, February 1992].
Axl was still health-focused and had a nuanced opinion on drugs:

[…]I would also like it to be known that I'm not a person to be telling the youth of America, "Don't get wasted." Because many times drugs and alcohol -- there's a technical term that they're called, emotional suppressants -- are the only things that can help a person survive and get through and be able to deal with their pain. But l think that it would be good for people to realize and understand that they are doing something to deal with their pain and they aren't really going to be allowed to escape it and outrun it forever without side effects and certain consequences, as far as emotional and mental happiness and their physical condition. And I'd like people to be aware of those things. Fine, party and get wasted, but prepare yourself to be ready to make a change and face the actual reasons why you have to go get drunk. That's what I like, rather than someone saying, "Well, you know, doing this was the wrong way." Don't know if it was. A lot of bands have cleaned up now and talk about things they did and how they were wrong. I don't know if it was necessarily wrong. It helped them survive. At the time they weren't given the proper tools to do the proper healing. I personally don't do any hard drugs anymore, because they get in the way of me getting to my base issues, and I'd rather get rid of the excess baggage than find a way to shove it deeper in the closet, at this time in my life [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
Okay, first off, I'm on very specific, high-tuned vitamins. My body needs these vitamins. I'm also involved in extensive emotional work to reach certain heights with myself that doing hard drugs would interfere with. I'm doing several detoxing programs to release trapped toxins that are there because of trauma. Doing a lot of coke would get in the way of my work. Doing dope would definitely get in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. Some pot doesn't really get in the way too much. It gets in the way of the work for, like, the next day, but sometimes it's a grounding thing. If I'm flipping out in the middle of Idaho, then a little bit of pot helps me be sedate. Also, coming off stage, going from such high energy into a very sedate world, is heavy - I don't care how many strippers you have. It's like going off a cliff in a car, and that's when I can use some smoke. […] About a year ago [in 1991], while we were recording the records, I smoked a lot of pot. I was in a lot of pain, and that was the only way I could keep myself together enough to work. It was the the only thing that could take my mind off my problems, so I could stay focused and record. It helped keep me together. Now it would interfere with things [RIP, September 1992].
Gilby would talk about hos health-conscious Axl is:

Axl even jogs now. And he sits on machines [The Age, February 1, 1993].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri 12 Jul 2019 - 20:38; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun 23 Jun 2019 - 23:17


More than a year before the release of 'Use Your Illusion I & II' Axl would discuss a possible title and artwork:

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].
In fact, as said in the band's official fan club newsletter Axl had been specifically visiting "a number of L.A. galleries" to find "a cool painting for the record cover"[Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

The lyrics Axl is referring to is from the song 'Locomotive' off 'Use Your Illusion II'.

Apparently, the name and artwork of the records was all Axl's idea:

It’s the title of a painting by some controversial artist. I don’t know who. I’ve never heard of him. I don’t keep up with art circles. But that’s the name of this painting that Axl bought, and he said, “Let’s make this the cover of the album.” Like the last album cover, we just said, “Fine,” no discussion [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Ιt’s an artist by the name of Mark Kostabi. And I picked that painting because I was like, I was really tired and I was having dinner somewhere. And there was an art gallery across the street, and I went like, "Well, I’ve never walked into an art gallery before being able to afford something" [chuckles]. […] And I went in, and I happened to know this guy who worked for Billy Idol, and he was working there. And I wandered around, and then I walked into the office when no one was around, and it had all these other paintings. And I had just written Locomotive, where I said “I bought me an illusion and I put it on the wall”, and I found this painting that I really liked. And then I looked at the back and the title was “Use Your Illusion”. And it was just kinda like meant to be. It was, like, the first painting that I’ve ever bought. And I took it home and took everybody by a little while to warm up to it, but, you know... And everybody finally got into it. And Slash decided that it said a lot, you know, and we agreed as a band that it was pretty cool. I also wanted to use that picture because it was art. It was art that has a lot of controversy around it, because of Kostabi’s methods of actually doing the paintings. The background was taken from a very old painting, but it’s still something really nice to look at and it’s - I don’t know how I feel about how it was done, I just know I like it. So to me that’s kinda like with songs, when using a tape or using tape machines to create things. Sometimes that’s a problem, other times it’s just like, “Well, maybe that’s how they need to get it done and you get to hear the song”, you know. So that’s why I like this particular cover, a lot of reasons. […] Plus, it was, like, a cover to go, to go to people that could go on, “Guns N’ Roses is just obnoxious” or whatever. And I might go on, “Yeah, well, why don’t you put this nice picture in your house”, you know? Sitting there, you know? […] “You didn’t expect that from us, did you”? [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
But Slash found the title brilliant:

The title, "Use Your Illusion" - which is every bit as splendidly apposite to Guns as "Appetite For Destruction" - came from a painting by Mark Kostabi that Axl liked, just as "Appetite" was named after the outrageous robot rape painting that graced its sleeve until record shops refused to stock it. […] "Use Your Illusion' is also very ironic for us. I mean, I don't know why but this band has just generated bullshit hype for so long that it's like throwing it back in their faces [Melody Maker, August 1991].
He would further expand upon what the title meant:

It's the title of the painting on the cover but 'Use Your Illusion' means that the band is so high profile in a sort of vanity sense, the way people perceive us and what we're doing, what we're talking about or what our whole trip is about, 'Use Your Illusion' is like 'go ahead' [Rip It Up, September 1991].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun 23 Jun 2019 - 23:20

1991-1992 - AXL AND SLASH

Axl and Slash had had their differences from when the band first started.

The relationship between most lead singers and most lead guitar players is very sensitive, very volatile. It’s just very, very intense. It has major ups and major downs, there’s always big mood swings and arguments. Singers and lead guitar players are very temperamental, everyone wants to have their own way. To be a lead guitar player or a singer, you have to have a real big ego! But somewhere within all this intensity and this friction, there's a chemistry. And if the chemistry is right, as with Axl and me, then there's something... a spark, or a need... that holds it together. But you fight too... [Unknown original source but reprinted in Use Your Illusion Tour Program, May 1993].
Slash's struggles with heroin had resulted in Axl calling him out from the stage in October 1989, when the band opened for The Stones (which helped Slash gain sobriety). On the other hand, Axl had been taking a increasing leadership role in the band as his band mates struggled with addiction, and while Slash was now in a productive physical state, Axl's notorious temper and mental instability that resulted in marriage problems and confrontations with the police and his neighbor, vexed on Slash in early 1991 as it delayed the making of the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums.

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. […] Axl is like a magnet for problems. I’ve never met anybody like him. He’s the kind of guy that would get a toothbrush stuck down his throat because that particular toothbrush happened to be defective. [..] I mean, shit goes on with that guy, and if you talked to him, he’d tell you the same thing [Rolling Stone, January 1991].

I don’t want to talk about Axl, because everybody is constantly trying to pit us against each other. You know, they’re trying to put two fucking Japanese fighting fish in the same bowl. We’ve always been the same. We have our ups and downs, and we butt heads. As long as I’ve known Axl, we’ve had so many differences that have been like the end of the line as far as we were concerned. I think that happens with most singers and guitar players, or whatever that cliché is. It might look a little intense on the outside, seeing all this shit that we’re going through, but it makes for a tension that’s — in a morbid kind of way — really conducive to the music we collaborate on. But as far as Axl goes, he is the best singer-lyricist around [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Despite saying he didn't want to talk about Axl, Slash was still not happy with how the Rolling Stone interview came out:

I said in the [Rolling Stone] article that there were three things I didn’t want to talk about: Axl, my drugs past and other bands. So when it comes out, the first thing it says is: ’Slash on Axl Rose and drugs’.

And then in the article itself, they did this huge thing on mine and Axl’s relationship. The way it read was to pit me and Axl against each other, which is not at all what I wanted to get into. Axl and I have a relationship which is private, and none of that stuff should be out in the open. As far as the drugs stuff goes, that was my fault. They pressed me so hard on the questions, I ended up just saying, ‘Yeah, well, this is what happened...’. When I read it back, it raised the hair on my arms
[Kerrang! August 3, 1991].
They twisted what I said around and they only focused on certain things definitely at the relationship between Axl and I, that they are always trying to make a real negative issue out of; which is not like that at all. When that came out, and there were certain things in there that I said that were true, but in the context of the conversation they would have read completely different than the way the guy edited the whole thing.

I was pissed off because I was like, you know, this is why I don’t like getting involved with this kind of stuff, because I don’t like being misrepresented and having a hit so close to home
[MTV, September 1992].
Before the touring in 1991, Slash would open up a bit on his relationship with Axl:

If there ever was a combination of fucking opposites, like me and Axl or whoever else in the past, that one is crystal clear. Me and Axl are so unalike that we attract each other. […] The relationship between most lead singers and most lead guitar players is very sensitive, very volatile - I could go on listing these things for hours. It's just very intense. It has major ups and major downs. But somewhere between all this intensity and this friction there's a chemistry. And if the chemistry's right, like me and Axl are really tight, then there's something - a spark or, you know, a need, that holds it together. You fight too. The biggest fights are between me and Axl. But that's also what makes it happen [Q Magazine, July 1991].
And when asked what they fight over. Music? Drugs? Who gets the most attention?

I don't remember us ever fighting over who gets the most attention! No, dumb things. Like a marriage. I hate to harp on that subject because it's so negative and there's so many other cool things about the two of us, everybody else in the band too, that are just more interesting [Q Magazine, July 1991].
And when describing the "cool things":

Well, when we talk, we're not band members. We talk about ideas that we have, or remember seeing this or hearing that? We'll just sit up all night and talk, and it's me and Axl talking. It goes beyond anything you could write down. Whatever entity the Slash-Axl combination makes, you can't define it like that. It's just how we are... If I ever gave it that much thought and had an answer, then it would make the whole thing too fucking predictable, wouldn't it? [Q Magazine, July 1991].
In September 1991, Rolling Stones would discuss the different personalities of Axl and Slash: "Slash seems to have accepted the occasional flare up arising from his and Rose's warring internal time tables as par for the course; its clear that he sees the tension as a necessary evil, the spark that makes for the combustible energy at the heart of their creative collaboration" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

The same month, Slash would again indicate that he and Axl was tights but that the media was causing problems:

They’re trying constantly to, like, sensationalise me and Axl, or Axl and I’s relationship, which has totally gone way leftfield. Me and Axl are fine. We’re tighter now than we’ve ever been, I always say that. And it’s true. It’s not me trying to make up, like – you know, to cover anything up. We get along great, but there’s this thing behind us, that’s constantly nipping us in the back, going, “Oh, Axl and Slash,” “Axl and Slash,” “Axl and Slash.” You know, I’m just sick of it. I mean, it’s not true [Rapido, September 1991].
As Axl caused controversies during the 'Use Your Illusion' touring in 1991, Slash received more and more credit for keeping the band together. The Boston Globe would say that Slash is "widely viewed as keeping Guns in gear" and that he "has become the band's expert at damage control" able to "throw a positive spin on all events" [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]. Slash himself would downplay Axl's negative media coverage:

The best way of putting it is that his (Axl's) image gets blown way out of proportion. Some of the things are true, but some are blown way out of proportion. And then there are complete falsehoods -- and even those are blown out of proportion from the first time they came out [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991].
In December 1991, Slash would also say that he and Axl never fight anymore and that they have a professional relationship [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991]:

Every night I show up, he shows up, we talk about normal things. We figure out what the first song should be. We’ve been doing this for a while, so we’ve gotten good at picking up whatever the other person is feeling, which is important, because things are so spontaneous we have to be really together as a band [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991].
He would corroborate on this in early 1992:

[The relationship between him and Axl]'s only been stormy in the public’s eyes because of the media. Axl and I haven’t had a fight in about a year and a half, and the couple fights that we did have were the kind of fights that any family could have over such a volatile situation as the one we’re in [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].
Axl, too, would indicate their fights were behind them:

Let me say something about us being at each other's throats: We haven't really been that way in the past year and a half. I love the guy. We're like opposite poles of energy, and we balance each other out. We push each other to work harder and complement each other that way [RIP, October 1992].
Taken these two quotes together, it would indicate that Axl and Slash were going through tough times in the second half of 1990, but that things had been okay between them since then.

During the band's second show in Dayton, on January 14, 1992, a quarrel broke out onstage between Axl and Slash when Axl misheard something Slash had said:

We had a run-in in Dayton [Ohio], because both myself and Dougie thought [Slash] said something shitty to me onstage. That was the night I cut my hand to the bone. Backstage we have monitors much like the ones onstage, and while I was back there dealing with my hand, I thought I heard him take a potshot at me. I wrapped my hand up in a towel and was like, "Let's get it taken care of, so I can finish the show." I came back onstage and was a dick to him and told him I'd kick his f?!king ass in front of 20,000 people. That was f?!ked up. I was wrong, and I apologized the second I realized I was mistaken. Someone who is supporting me as strongly as he does is a hand I never want to bite [RIP Magazine, September 1992].
Axl's amazingly misunderstood. I've known him for a long time and we've gone through a dozen different plateaus in the relationship. It took me a long time to understand him. We're so different as far as personalities go. He's highly complex; I'm very black-and-white. So we have a lot of run-ins. But we're really close [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
In February 1992, Slash would again talk about the complexity of Axl's personality and how Slash would act as a mediator:

Well, I know Axl real well and a hell of a lot better than anyone’s gonna know him from reading the press. I know where he’s coming from and I may be a little more level-headed so I guess I get labelled as the mediator at this point. With Axl though, a lot of it comes from just unbridled sincerity. Everything about him as a performer and a singer comes from his personality, so the shit that makes him crazy or the shit that he finds hard to deal with is, at the same time, what makes his talent, you know? […]Sure, shit goes down and I keep it together, but with me it’s pretty simple. It’s ‘Get the fuck up there and plug in that guitar and go!’. With him it isn’t that simple. There’s a lot going on part from the three hours that we spend up there and it’s that shit that affects him. I can say that really, apart from getting laid, we’ve all realized that there ain’t that much fun in the music business! [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
In a RIP issue published in March he talked about how close they were:

The thing about me and Axl is, both of us have no real life outside of this band. All I do is play guitar. My life is completely devoted to my own personal career and Guns N' Roses. So, like, Axl might seem like a pain in the ass to everybody involved, but at the same time. he's as dedicated to it as I am - even more so in many ways. He cares about a lot of things I don't even think about, because I'm sort of just a rock guitar player... book the gig and play it! Me and Axl have gotten really close lately, talking about this whole Guns N' Roses trip and what this band is capable of doing, and about making a few statements as far as what we're about, because we're getting sick of having other people tell us what we're supposed to be about [RIP, March 1992].
An example of how Slash would protect Axl and downplay any of his negative sides, is from MTV in March 1992 when Slash was asked to explain the band's late concert starts, and even challenged on whether it wasn't Axl's fault and how he felt about that. Slash would refuse to throw Axl under the bus and instead prevaricated [MTV Rockline, March 1992].

In the first half of May he would again point out their differences but that they were friends:

As for my relationship with Axl, we’re friends but we’re two very different people. I've never been able to express myself and show my feelings since I was a kid, and I'm still like that, while Axl kind of succeeds in that [L'Unita, May 16, 1992; translated from Italian].

The same month Slash would also indicate there were issues, though, without indicating whether there were any conflicts between him and Axl causing the "obstacles":

Well the obstacles are harder than they were. Because shit comes out of the woodwork you wouldn't believe! Anything to try to stop the wheels from turning. That part's harder. Sometimes you just want to go to sleep and forget. But the band as a unit is stronger, cos we've been through so much [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
But he would point of there were no "blazing rows":

No, we've never had that kind of relationship! People print that stuff and it really hurts. Because really the only family we have is between us. These guys, they're my sense of reality, they're the people I cling to, and people are trying to rip it apart so I don't have a f***ing home. But we bond together, because there's this thing tugging at us all the time saying we're getting real close [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].

Axl would confirm the band members were like a family, and that the bond between him and Slash was particularly strong:

Especially with Slash and it's [=the relationship] definitely a marriage [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
In May 1992, Slash would also describe the relationship:

We’ve been friends since we were kids. I love the guy. He just gets a bit worked up sometimes and things get to him [Interview done in May 1992, published in The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].
And in July:

When Axl and I first met is when we had the biggest problems. But he's opened up so much now and that's made me a lot more sensitive with Axl. ... We communicate great and I've been having a ball with this whole thing. We trust each other more than anybody else and I feel really close to him. […] No one can kick our {expletive} -- that's how tight our bond is [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].
This would again indicate that their worst problem was in the beginning of the band.

Slash would again discuss his relationship with Axl in August, and indicate Izzy's departure had only served to strengthen it:

[Izzy's leaving] made us all closer. I had always been close to Duff, but the changes made me and Axl a lot closer than we had been. We had always been friends, but there is really a bond there now. What used to happen is we'd misunderstand each other. We'd have fights because of something I was supposed to have said about him in the press or something he was supposed to have said about me. All these problems have pushed us closer together, so that we communicate better and avoid the misunderstandings. [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
He would also say the last time they fought was in 1988 during his worst drug period:

The last fight we had was four years ago and that stemmed from the fact I cut myself off by being completely loaded. At this point, I really have it together, so he can lean on me and I can lean on him. He has opened up more. He's not like a firecracker anymore, who just explodes. As far as image, it's hard to get that across to people when you have 5,000 publications trying to tell you what they want about Axl and the band [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri 12 Jul 2019 - 20:53; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun 23 Jun 2019 - 23:21


After a short break the band travelled to Europe to continue their 'Use Your Illusion' tour in August 1991. For this leg of the tour the band had got a chiropractor and masseuse on tour with them, especially for Slash who needed to have "his back aligned before each show to prepare him for the stress of jumping off stage ramps" [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]. Slash would also be more conscious about his health:

I used to play in cowboy boots, but now I'm in my Adidas. We have a chiropractor on the road; right before the show, he'll crack me up and make me a bit more limber. And we have a masseuse. My left hand cramps up some-times, and she gets right in here and loosens it up. There have been shows when between songs I'm going, "Ax, I can't play'—my fingers are like this [makes fist]. Now at the hotels, regardless of whether I want to or not, for breakfast I'll eat cornflakes and bananas for the potassium. Axl's always been very health-conscious; I'm the complete opposite—I used to do as much damage as humanly possible. Now that were headlining, all of a sudden I'm really aware—as aware as my personality will allow—of my physical status. […] It's more that I don't want to burn out or have some physical ailment pop up in the middle of a set. It was a conscious effort by people who work with us, who said, "Try this." For so long, my attitude has been to blow everything off; now I'm striving to be open-minded. I started taking vitamins—pop four with a Coke [grins]. I mean, I'll never completely grow up. After an awesome show, you come away feeling fuckin' jazzed. It's the best feeling in the world, so you do whatever you can to support that. And yes, it does help to have 20,000 people enjoy your show [Guitar Player, December 1991].
Skid Row travelled along as the opener. The first shows was at Helsinki Ice Hall in Helsinki, Finland on August 13 and 14. The European leg started where the North American had ended just 10 days before, with Axl being volatile:

[...] Axl walked offstage just as we started playing 'Welcome to the Jungle' and disappeared for twenty-five minutes or so [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 190].
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 [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
After this the band played two shows at Globen in Stockholm, Sweden on August 16 and 17. On the second of these the show started three hours late:

[...] At the fourth show [of the European leg of the Use Your Illusion tour], in Stockholm, Sweden, [Axl] went to a street festival and watched fireworks before turning up to the gig three hours late [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 190].
According to the band's newsletter, one of the two shows in Sweden was the band's "best performance ever" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

The band then travelled to Denmark for a show at the Copenhagen Forum in Copenhagen on August 19. On the very same day a coup d'état took place in Soviet and Axl would hoist a Russian flag at the concert in protest [Press Conference, August 1991].

It was a one-time happening that we did because of what's happening in the Soviet Union. We're not gonna meddle in the politics, but it was our way to express our opinion [Press Conference, August 1991].
During this concert an explosion was heard and the band stopped playing. Axl yelled that they would not continue until the culprit had been arrested. After a little while the band came back and Axl explained that a guy had turned himself in [Press Conference, August 1991].

The band was then supposed to travel to Norway for a show in Oslo, but this concert was cancelled.

The next show was in Germany at the May Market Arena in Mannheim on August 24. At about 25 minutes into this show, Axl was hit by an object under 'Live and Let Die,' and, as a result, left the stage. According to Slash and Duff, the promoters prevented Axl from leaving the arena, forcing him back onto the stage, and a riot was prevented.

We went on late - late even for us - then, pretty early in the set, something happened and Axl walked off for what reason I have no idea. He wasn't getting heckled as far as I could see, no one hit him with a bottle or anything, but he wasn't having it. Th stage at that venue was literally about a mile away from the production office and dressing room, so a van was there to shuttle us back and forth. When Axl left the stage, he went to the van and headed off to the dressing room.

The rest of us came offstage and were standing around, waiting to find out if Axl was coming back or if his van had taken off to the hotel. [...]

I remember standing there with Duff while Matt was fuming. [...] "Fuck that guy," he said. "I'm gonna go straighten him out."[...]

By this point we'd discovered that Axl's van had not left for the dressing room; he was sitting in it but refused to come out and return to the stage [...] So Matt went down to Axl's van to rally him, but as he got down there, he ran into Axl, who had emerged to head back to the stage. Matt was so fired up, though, that he got in Axl's face regardless, to the degree that it almost got physical.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Matt yelled. "Get back onstage!"

I ran up and got between them, because it wasn't a good situation. Axl can get completely psycho when he decides to fight and Matt weighs twice as much as I do - and he plays the drums - so it wasn't exactly a good place for me to be. Axl went back to his van, and it didn't look like he was coming out again. The clock was ticking.

The promoters saw the drama that was going on and closed the gates around the venue so that we couldn't leave. They'd heard what had happened in St. Louis, and it's a good thing they did; if they hadn't, I'm positive that the thirty-eight thousand fans there would have rioted, we would have been held liable and arrested, and people might have died. The local police were already there in riot gear, ready to deal with a full-on situation. It was a scary, tense scene, and a very near miss.

We got Axl back onstage once he realized he had no choice, and the rest of the show went as planned. All I could remember thinking as I walked offstage after the encore was Fuck that was close
[Slash's autobiography, p 343-344]
When Axl left the stage in Mannheim, Germany, another riot looked inevitable. We had gone on late again. The venue was huge, an outdoor stadium packed with twice as many people as even the biggest of the basketball arenas we had played in the United States up to this point. Matt Sorum tried a novel approach when Axl left; maybe to a "new" guy it was the obvious thing to do. He went to find Axl and confront him. He was turned away by Axl's security detail. The promoters - not the band members, not the managers, not the entourage - saved the day. Their threat was that Axl would be arrested if a riot occurred might not have worked on its own. But they also locked us into the venue [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194]
The band then headed to the last show on the first European leg, at Wembley Stadium, London, in England on August 31. In the months leading up to this date, the media would be speculating on the two supporting acts, with Motorhead and Lenny Kravitz being rumoured [Raw, July 1991].

Before the show the band allegedly told the Brent Council they would refrain from swearing or jumping offstage [The Guardian, September 1991].

After the show Slash met Brian May from Queen. Guns N' Roses would later play in Freddie Mercury's tribute concert at Wembley (April 20, 1992], May would play with the band at Wembley (June 13, 1992], and May would also work with the band during their Chinese Democracy era in the late 90s/early 00s.

I’m trying to get to the point where I can get known as a good guitar player as opposed to the drunken drug guy. I met Brian May after Wembley and he gave me a lot of compliments. He was really sweet [The Guardian, September 1991].
Oh, [May]’s awesome, yeah. I mean, that goes without saying. I didn’t think that could be a question (laughs) [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
When we first met Brian May last summer, it was wild. None of us would let him out of the room. He's one of the nicest people I've met[RIP, September 1992].
As Slash was talking to May, an elderly man and a teenager approached, asking if they could have his autograph and then introducing themselves as Slash's grandfather and cousin [Music Life, November 17, 1991].

I hadn't seen them in 15 years! […] And then out of the blue I got a letter. One of my uncles is a rock fan – he turned me on to the Moody Blues when I was still living in England – and he was reading a Jethro Tull article in a magazine and he saw the names Ola Hudson (Slash's mother), Saul Hudson – Saul being me – and that's how they knew how their relative was. […] So I knew they were coming but I didn't know who they were. I was really nervous about it for a little bit. And when my grandparents – my grandfather; my grandmother has apparently passed away – after the show I was sitting there fucking exhausted going, okay, I'll just have a drink and I'll go out. And when I saw them, they had fucking baby pictures of me, the whole thing! Very bizarre! [laughter] But it was cool, It's just an example of how weird this whole fucking business gets [Music Life, November 17, 1991].
The Wembley show will go down in history as the last show with Izzy.

Izzy didn't walk away and force the cancellation of the Wembley show. He stayed and played one last gig to draw the curtains on this leg of the tour - the last show before the release of the albums we were ostensibly touring. Axl arrived on time. We played spectacularly well, as fierce and inspired and together as ever before. If not for the additional people and gear onstage, it could have been mistaken for one of our club shows [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194].
Izzy's final show was before seventy-two thousand people at Wembley Stadium, in London, a venue we sold out faster than any artist in history [Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 344-345].
The Wembley concert was also the last before the release of 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'Use Your Illusion II'. Slash would comment upon how it had been to play the shows before the albums were out:

We were amazed that the shows were sold out and we could headline without a record. That's a great way to break your band in. It was a lot like when we first started and we didn't have a record out and we were playing and opening up for Motley Crüe and all that and people had no idea who we were but we pulled it off because the band was good. And so we just did it again. We started without having the album and people can get familiar with the material on the album by hearing it at the show and then they can look for it on the record as opposed to the other way round. It's very ass-backwards! [RAW, October 1991].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun 23 Jun 2019 - 23:25


In September 1991 Axl started to open up to the media about some of the results from his therapy sessions. Axl would claim that regression therapy had brought about memories from before his birth, even back to the time of his conception with some of the first memories being his stepfather being abusive to his mother resulting in Axl being born with a hatred towards his stepfather [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

Furthermore, issues from his childhood would help to illuminate his problems dealing with stress and women:

I'm getting a lot more comfortable with things. I'm still not very good at handling stress, and I was told that that was because of the way I was raised. I basically had my family screw up any positive, productive form of release. Rebelling in my music kept me from going to jail. Somewhat. […] I have to retrain myself, it’s not something that's gonna happen overnight. And my sexual attitudes and attitudes towards women... I went through some heavy things in childhood. I formed really strong, serious opinions, lodged them in my subconscious and have been acting on them ever since. There were ugly, violent situations, and they affected me negatively [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I know what the problem was. I had an extremely volatile relationship with Erin [Everly]. And I was projecting strong negative feelings about myself onto other people. I was attracted to people with similar dysfunctional traits, people that I was going to end up not really getting along with. And it wasn't good for me or them, it just made me despise being with anyone or meeting anyone or having a good thoughts linked to someone [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I've had my problems in relating, you know, and I've definitely had my problems in relating to women and understanding what's going on. A lot of that's based in problems that l had with women that I didn't know l had, that started when I was a baby overhearing conversations with my mother and grandmother. That really affected me and I didn't even realize it [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
I was affected by what I saw at such an impressionable age. I kind of separated from the self I came here with. Man, I did a really good job of putting together a reasonable facsimile of who I thought I was. I was an angry pissed-off person most of the time. At least I was very honest to that. I didn't then try to split off and be somebody else from that. If I had you'd be seeing me on "Oprah" talking to my 23rd personality [Musician, June 1992].
I had a really distorted view of sexuality and women. I remember the first time I got smacked for looking at a woman. I didn't know what I was looking at, and I don't remember how old I was, but it was a cigarette advertisement with two girls coming out of the water in bikinis. I was just staring at the TV - not thinking, just watching - and my dad smacked me in the mouth, and I went flying across the floor. Someone can say, "Dude, just get over it." Yeah? F?!k you! Whether I wanted it there or not, that incident was locked into my unconscious mind. Whenever there was any form of sex, like a kissing scene, on TV, we weren't allowed to look. Whenever anything like that happened, we had to turn our heads. Dad had us so brainwashed that we started turning our heads on our own. We scolded each other. My mom allowed all of this to happen because she was too insecure to be without my stepfather. She assisted in me being damaged on a consistent basis by not being there for me or my sister or my brother. I've always felt this great urge to go back and help my mom. I felt obligated to, but I don't anymore. She fed me and put clothes on my back, but she wasn't there for me. I'm still experiencing anger over this situation, but I'm trying to get over it. Burying it doesn't work for me anymore. I buried it for too long. That's why there's a gravestone at the end of the "Don't Cry" video. I watched almost everyone in this church's lives go to shit because their own hypocrisy finally consumed them [RIP, November 1992].[/i]
Talking about what his upbringing did to him: I couldn't be with someone sexually in a nice way, because I was made to feel like I was doing something wrong - even if it was someone I liked. The only way I could enjoy sex was if I got into being the "bad guy." Finally I grew tired of being the bad guy. I love this person I'm with. Why do I have to always maintain a low level of self-esteem in order to feel alright? I don't feel alright feeling like a piece of shit, and I don't want to be a f?!king piece of shit. Even though it was put into my head years ago, by reading up on abuse and doing the work I'm doing, I've found out that's how it works. It's a real weird thing to have to deal with. You know, I'm grown up now. That was a long time ago. I'm supposed to have gotten past that. Yeah, maybe [RIP, November 1992].[/i]
Later on, Axl would be asked to elaborate on what he had told Rolling Stone:

Well, I feel that… umm… you know, child abuse… you know, and sexual abuse. Especially… child abuse is like, kind of the key to why there's so many problems in the world today. Umm… The more books I read on it, and the more work I do on trying to overcome the problems… you know, that I had in my childhood that I accepted it as normal behavior for my life. And I realize now that it wasn't normal behavior. And it's caused me to act in… umm, many ways because it's what I was trained, it's what I was taught, it's what I saw. It's… umm, my formative years were… very ugly. And you know, people had picked up on that one. They listen to some Guns N' Roses songs. And: "This isn't right, something's wrong here…" Da, da, da. Well, they're right. Umm, the Herald Examiner ran a piece on… you know: "We find out the hidden truths of Axl Rose" and da, da, da. You know, we'll find 'em out, soon as I find 'em out. [laughs] A lot of people don't know, including myself. I'm… I'm working on it. Umm, I would like to… find some organizations to… donate money, or… umm, you know, go talk to kids or… talk to groups of people about my experiences and how hard it was, and still is for me on a daily basis, in dealing with people in my relationships, because of the abuse that was present in my childhood. I don't necessarily wanna elaborate any further on this right now, because it's something that I have to… umm, do in stages. Little by little, and I think getting, you know, too much of that right now… Umm, could really get… you know, make it too hard on myself, so… I think we'll stop there [WNEW 102.7, September 1991].
In other interviews in 1992, Axl would go into more detail about what happened to him, indicated that he was abused by his stepfather without his mother protecting him:

I've been doing a lot of work and found out I've had a lot of hatred for women. Basically, I've been rejected by my mother since I was a baby. She's picked my stepfather over me ever since he was around and watched me get beaten by him. She stood back most of the time. Unless it got too bad, and then she'd come and hold you afterward. She wasn't there for me. My grandmother had a problem with men. I've gone back and done the work and found out I overheard my grandma going off on men when I was four. And I've had problems with my own masculinity because of that. I was pissed off at my grandmother for her problem with men and how it made me feel about being a man [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
And it was a very strict spare-the-rod, spoil-the-child uptight religious family. It was okay to beat the kids. Those situations embedded themselves deeply within my personality. Going back through those situations and experiencing the anger or the pain or the hurt and letting them go is the healing process. Then you start to become who you really are. Usually a person is going to be a lot more happy with who they really are than whoever they think they are. There is really nothing to be afraid of, but it seems scary [Musician, June 1992].
I also found out it is supposedly some kind of mental thing having to do with me punishing myself for expressing myself. For 20 years of my life I was beaten by my parents for expressing myself, so part of me believes I should be punished for that expression. I do this by lowering my own resistance. Turn that around, and there you have it - self punishment [RIP Magazine, March 1992].
Even worse, Axl would claim his step-father had molested his sister, Amy Bailey:

And this person [=Axl's stepfather, Stephen Bailey] basically tried to control me and discipline me because of the problems he'd had in his childhood. And then my mom had a daughter. And my stepfather molested her for about twenty years. And beat us. Beat me consistently. I thought these things were normal. I didn't know my sister was molested until last year. 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].
Axl's therapy sessions would also tell him that his biological father had kidnapped him and raped him at the age of two:

And what I found out in therapy is, my mother and him [=Axl's biological father, William Rose] weren't getting along. And he kidnapped me, because someone wasn't watching me. I remember a needle. I remember getting a shot. And I remember being sexually abused by this man and watching something horrible happen to my mother when she came to get me. I don't know all the details. But I've had the physical reactions of that happening to me. I've had problems in my legs and stuff from muscles being damaged then. And I buried it and was a man somehow, 'cause the only way to deal with it was bury the shit. I buried it then to survive -- I never accepted it. […] Homophobic? I think I've got a problem, if my dad fucked me in the ass when I was two. I think I've got a problem about it [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
I'll repeat myself -- this is something that l just said in Rolling Stone. I don't know, maybe l have a problem with homophobia. Maybe l was two years old and got fucked in the ass by my dad […] That's a fact. That's something that happened and that's some of the damage I've been working on. […] l suspected it about two years ago, because all of a sudden the thought crossed my mind. When it crossed my mind l had to stop the car and I just broke down crying. Such an outpouring had never come out of me [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
With the help of regression therapy I uncovered that my real dad, not my stepdad, sexually abused me. The most powerful anger was this two-year-old child's anger because it was hurt. Nothing could really scare me, because I'd already seen hell. I'd been killed at two and lived through it, and I was miserable because I'd lived through it. I was miserable for 28 years. My stepdad came into my life when I was three or four, and I didn't even know my real father existed until I was 17. I was separated from myself at an early age, and my stepfather made sure I never put myself back together, with his confusing mixed messages of love and brutality. He'd love me one minute, then beat me the next. I've had to learn how to shed both of these men's personalities. I'll take two steps forward, then one step back, but I'm into it. A lot of things are new to me now, but I won't let my fears stop me from progressing [RIP, November 1992].
In an interview with Musician that was released in June 1992, Axl would be asked how he could know the results of regression therapy were trustworthy and not some "dream or fantasy or some projection or demonization":

I have a lot of corroboration from people who knew something horrible happened. Even now I could talk about it with my grandmother and she'd nod her head yes, but would not talk about it. Also, the emotions that end up surfacing and the amount of weight that is lifted each time we get into certain issues kind of makes me go, "Wait a minute, I can trust myself here." I can trust myself because I feel a hell of a lot better. I mean, you could go to a medium and talk to someone in your family who had died and when you come out you'll feel much different. Someone will say, "Was it real?" and you'll say, "I don't know, but I know I feel a lot easier with the situation and acting on it isn't going to hurt me [Musician, June 1992].
The interviewer from Musician would then point out that if the allegations were false, they weren't just affecting Axl but his family, too, so that "the rules of evidence would have to be stricter" than if it was just between Axl and his father and step-father:

Oh yeah. My sister is involved with my life and works with me, so I know what happened there. I know what reaction my mom has to dealing with any of it. Her eyes turn black. It's complete anger and she will fight to the death to not have to re-experience that. That somewhat justifies it. The physical damage manifesting itself is another thing that puts it together. Certain thought patterns are there that would have no reason to be there unless something happened. I don't believe too many people are born evil or born fucked up. Something had to happen somewhere. You go back and find the time that something happened and work through and finally find the base underneath. And by letting it go, all of a sudden you don't have certain problems in your life. That somehow validates the situation. I've gone back and realized that I had thought my whole life that sex is power and also that sex leaves you powerless [Musician, June 1992].
Having talked about the severity of how he had been abused as a child, Axl would again talk about moving forward and trying to help other abused children:

It's finding some way to break the chain. I'm trying to fix myself and turn around and help others. You can't really save anyone. You can support them, but they have to save themselves. You know, you can live your life the way you have and just accept it, or you can try to change it. My life still has its extremes and ups and downs, but it is a lot better because of this work. I'm very interested in getting involved with child-abuse organizations. There's different methods of working with children, and I want to support the ones that I believe in. […] I've gone to one child-abuse center. When I went, the woman said that there was a little boy who wasn't able to accept things that had happened to him and to deal with it, no matter how many children were around him who'd had the same problems. And apparently he saw something about me and childhood problems, and he said, "Well, Axl had problems, and he's doing okay." He started opening up, and he's doing all right. And that's more important to me than Guns n' Roses, more important to me than anything I've done so far. Because I can relate to that more than anything. I've had such hatred for my father, for women, for …[…] I'm working on getting past those things, and the world doesn't seem to be too tolerant of me doing that in public. It's like "Oh, you got a problem? You go away and take care of it." All these relatives knew little pieces of this puzzle, and nobody helped me with shit. I'm angry about that. I can't sit and think about Uncle So-and-So and enjoy it much. And if you're talking with any of these people, they try to get you to just tolerate it and take things back to the way they were: "Let's not get it public." My family did everything they could, thinking they were doing what was right, to bury it all. My stepfather was just adamant that he was going to protect Mom and himself: "Your real father does not get brought up." And he was also trying to cover his own tracks for what he did [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Being asked why he was talking about these subjects in public:

One reason is for safety's sake. My stepfather is one of the most dangerous human beings I've ever met. It's very important that he's not in my life anymore or in my sister's. We may be able to forgive, but we can't allow it to happen again. There's a lot of reasons for me to talk about it publicly. Everybody wants to know "Why is Axl so fucked up?" and where those things are coming from. There's a really good chance that by going public I'm gonna get attacked. They'll think I'm jumping on a bandwagon. But then it's just gonna be obvious who's an asshole and who's not. There are probably people that are jumping on a bandwagon. But I think it's time. Things are changing, and things are coming out [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Gilby would also be asked about Axl coming out with what he had experienced, and point out the positive social effects:

The band knew about it, but that [=to talk about it to the media] was a personal decision made by Axl. It took guts, and he thinks it helped him explain himself to the rest of the world. And if you read the letters to the editor the next month you'll see that he did a lot of good. Other people who had suffered from the same thing started going out and getting treatment [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
In 1992 Axl was still working on himself and the results of the therapy:

I didn't realize that I felt certain ways toward women, toward men, toward people in general, and toward myself. The only way to get through that was to go back through it and find it and re-experience it and attempt to heal it. I'm still working on that but I'm a lot further along than I was [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
Another issue that likely was discussed in Axl's therapy sessions, were his depressions:

[…] l was miserable and suicidal and I realized I had to do this work [=therapy] or I would check out. […] It's helped give me a drive. I have a definite survival drive, and the pressure gave me a drive to get on top of it. It was either sink or swim. Sometimes l would want to sink, and then while I was sinking I'd go, "Wait a minute, this isn't what I want to do," and I would calm down while I was sinking and then start rising back to the surface again [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
I used to jump ship every three days. And I wasn't crying wolf. It would usually come down to I was leaving but there was no place to go. What am I gonna do, go to Paris, do poetry? Look at art museums and hope that not going after what I set out to do didn't eat me alive? Go pump gas? I was leaving to pump gas a few times, and ready for it. Then, I don't know, something in me would go, 'You can deal with this now'. It just took time to be able to deal with it. And that's when I would get hassled for not doing photo shoots and interviews, because at that time I needed to be able to deal with just being able to stay here. And that took a lot of time. A lot of my anger came from people not understanding that I needed that time. I would turn myself inside out to certain people, and they still wouldn't get it. They're no longer with us, because I just didn't feel safe, ever. […] For over two years, I lived in a black room. Blackout curtains, black floors, black walls. It's what I always thought I wanted, and sometimes it was really cool and sometimes it was a nightmare. And for two years, I worked on trying to put my head together, and find answers, because I couldn't find a reason to stay alive. I know a lot of cool people, but I wasn't thinking about them missing me, or me missing them - I was just like 'Hope they'll be all right, and I want out of here'. I just wanted to leave. […] I don't so much want to leave anymore. I'm finally starting to settle into my life. Ever since that point, it's been rough, but I knew I'd walked into my life. And the touring is the combat zone of it [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
Los Angeles Times would report that "those around Rose say he is calmer since beginning the therapy, but they don't think they've seen the end of the outbursts [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. And Rolling Stone would report that "those around Rose say his therapy has helped him make a great deal of progress. At the very least it has helped him deal with the depression that so often made him feel suicidal in the past" [Rolling Stone, September 1991]. In September 1991, Izzy would imply Axl was doing better:

[Axl] understands responsibility a lot more. Before, he used to be one of those guys who, if he even thought someone was looking at him weird, would just haul of and smack 'em. And sometimes, y'know, the people he went for weren't even looking at him [VOX, October 1991].
The Christmas in 1991 turned out to be "probably the nicest" in Axl's 29 year long life, with the two previous Christmases in 1989 and 1990 marred by depressions [RIP, September 1992].

Despite all his emotional instability, Axl would continue to develop strong relationships with people whom he trusted, including the Geffen publicist Bryn Bridenthal:

"He’s been doing a lot of reading and really working on educating himself. He’s really thirsty for information and growth all the time. […] I absolutely adore him, because he’s a very sincere and loyal person. He cares so honestly and deeply about doing it right... It doesn’t necessarily always come out that way, in other people’s perception, but his intentions are always correct" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

I have a certain close group of friends that I try to spend as much time with as possible... and it's like for some reason Guns N' Roses is always on the brink of some kind of disaster and whenever there's a major problem, it's amazing that I get a few phone calls from a few of those close friends. Well these same people help keep me in perspective of myself[Hit Parader, March 1992].
When asked what he would like to be better at:

Making road life a little bit smoother, so that everyone around me doesn't get so pissed off, 'cause I freak on them [Hit Parader, March 1992].
In interviews published in 1992, Axl would again claim that the therapy had worked:

I'd already grown past a lot of the things by the time I started working on my therapy in February. It takes a lot of work to slowly dig that out. And I've been doing this while I'm on the road. Some of this stuff is coming out at four in the afternoon, when you don't expect it [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
I've found a lot more peace in the last year than I've ever known and I feel a bit more creative than ever. I'm not writing a whole lot but I write a little bit and I play a bit on the piano and it comes easier than it used to. […] I've done a lot of emotional therapy and getting in touch with my real self, rather than the self that I've created to deal with life. Even though I was fighting to be myself, I wasn't really in touch with who I was. I guess I allowed it, but what are you going to do? You're a baby and things happen. You get affected [Musician, June 1992].
Now I feel I know why I've gotten myself into negative situations and why I've been negative in situations and how I've kept that ball rolling whether I wanted to or not. I can see a lot of that in my life and in the albums. I was pretty much trying to express the anger and frustration and I was blaming certain things on the women involved. That's not to say that when I was writing a song like "Locomotive" that the person I was inspired by wasn't doing something completely fucked up. You know, I can even have some love for my real father now, which I never had before, but that's not to say he wasn't an asshole. I can understand Izzy leaving the band and be fine with that, but that's not to say he didn't go about it like an asshole. Someone could understand why I stormed offstage but I have to take responsibility for that. I could have been bein' a fuckin' baby. […] I'm trying to learn how to take more responsibility for my actions. I just wish I didn't have so [Musician, June 1992].
And that the therapy produced explanations but not excuses for his behavior:

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 [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
After the release of the Rolling Stone article in April 1992, Axl would comment on it from stage and claim his family was against the interview:

Any of you read the latest Rolling Stone? I was on the phone for a long time last night, and a friend of mine was telling me how... […] some of the members of my family and some of the friends of my family “have taken a great offense at what I said in this magazine.” “It’s a shame what – look what he’s done to his mother. His mother can’t even go out of the house now”. It was amazing my mother could have gone out of the house before, knowing the shit she fuckin’ knew. And, “Why is he talking about this?” Because it might have not happened to you, but it might have happened to the two or three people that are standing around you, who’ve got some fucked up family life that’s gonna come back to haunt them when they hit about the age of 25. And then you gotta find your way, try to climb your way out of what you thought was your life, but it looks more in your head like a fuckin’ car wreck that no one told you about. Because, “The family doesn’t want to be embarrassed by these things coming out. We just don’t want to have to deal with this, and we shouldn’t have to deal with this publicly.” But if we don’t deal with it publicly, then we’re probably not gonna deal with the bullshit at all. And I bet they like it that way.

I’m not a qualified therapist. I don’t know a lot of shit about this. But I do know that we’re in the 90s, and I do know that if we’re gonna make it for another 50 years on this planet, we gotta fuckin’ change our shit now! And there’s a lot of motherfuckers that don’t want that shit to be changed, because that’s gonna dig up their crap. There’s a lot of parents who’ve done fucked up their kids through their whole fuckin’ lives and they’re about 40, they’re about 50, and they think it’s cool. Fuck that shit![…]

Anyway, there are those in my family who - they plan now that I’ve written these things that they’re gonna get revenge, because it was “a terrible thing” I did. “We’re gonna get revenge”. Yeah? Try it. And if a fuckin’ scrawny little junior high 90-pound weakling can finally get his ass up here and take this shit on, so can anyone of you that have the same fuckin’ bullshit problems in your life. They don’t have to get away with it. You know, I tried being nice, I tried being cool about it. I tried, like, being friends and offering forgiveness, and love, and all that kind of shit. All I got was, “you know how much we love you, but let’s keep the screws on and keep you down like we always have.” Yeah, well, guess what, I changed my point of view. For me now it’s kind of like, Live and Let Die, motherfucker
[Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, April 9, 1992].
He would say that his family were opposed to him opening up about his childhood in interviews:

[…] I haven't talked with my parents in over a year-and-a-half. I sent them some letters just recently to let them know this was happening, but when I started to uncover things they let me know, very adamantly, to drop the issue [Musician, June 1992].
In the June issue of Musician, an interview with Axl would be published which had been done in March 1992 before the release of the Rolling Stone interview. Rather than being worried about the effect of his honesty in the Rolling Stone interview, Axl was described as expressing "feelings of great relief, even liberation, at having exposed his demons to the light of day" [Musician, June 1992].

In the same Musician issue, an interesting description of Bill Bailey's transformation to Axl Rose and the artistic awakening of Axl Rose, would be presented:

"[Axl] also says that while he was growing up, forbidden access to rock culture, the only music magazines he saw were the publications he could buy at the local grocery store: teenage poster mags such as Circus and Hit Parader. Axl Rose shaped his vision of rock 'n' roll out of rock 'n' roll's most unsubstantial debris. Unaware of all the possibilities, he began his career expressing his talent through a limited vocabulary.

As a troubled child Billy Bailey looked at pin-up pictures of silly heavy metal bands and thought they really meant in. So he took that trivial style and infused it with a powerful creative vision. He brought integrity to a shallow genre through his own passionate belief. Billy Bailey was a sad, scared kid who recreated himself as a rock star named W. Axl Rose. And then, against all odds, he found himself again
" [Musician, June 1992].

For an interview in Star Tribune in August 1992 when Metallica was co-touring with Guns N' Roses, both James Hetfield and Duff was asked identical questions separately. One of the questions was about Axl:

Axl's not really that bad of a demon as he's made out to be. I can't really look at it objectively because he’s my good friend. When it comes down to it, he's really a sweetheart. If you were to sit down and talk with him, you'd see what I'm saying. You’d go: 'He's just a normal dude. What's everybody writing about him?’ […] In England, it’s the worst with all the tabloids. He reads it. He’s already got enough problems of his own, let alone people saying he's got AIDS or something. He’s very sensitive and that kind of stuff gets him down. I tell him it’s some [jerk] making up something and he says, 'Yeah, but my girlfriend’s going to read this,' or something like that. He's a normal dude who just grew up a little differently than the status quo. […] He’s got that anger. He doesn’t hold back his feelings onstage, which is very cool [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].
James Hetfield: "I tried to communicate with Axl. He likes to talk and thinks he's got his thing together. He’s got a lot of yes men, which doesn't help him mentally, I think, but speaking with him is really difficult. He tries to project himself as a real humanist and trying to make everything best for everyone, make this a better world and try and make life fun for everyone. […] I don’t really like hearing [information] secondhand from people. ‘Oh, his psychic said this,’ or, ‘Guess what he did today?' I hate the whole gossip thing. To sit down and talk face to face is the best way to do things, and I don't really have the desire to do that [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

About the same time, Gilby was asked about Axl:

Axl is a very eccentric person, very talented. And if he wasn’t eccentric and talented we wouldn’t be where we are right now [The Greenville News, September 29, 1992].

In the September issue of RIP Magazine, while discussing the never-ending rumors that he was a drug-addict Axl would discuss his health:

Okay, first off, I'm on very specific, high-tuned vitamins. My body needs these vitamins. I'm also involved in extensive emotional work to reach certain heights with myself that doing hard drugs would interfere with. I'm doing several detoxing programs to release trapped toxins that are there because of trauma. Doing a lot of coke would get in the way of my work. Doing dope would definitely get in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. Some pot doesn't really get in the way too much. It gets in the way of the work for, like, the next day, but sometimes it's a grounding thing. If I'm flipping out in the middle of Idaho, then a little bit of pot helps me be sedate. Also, coming off stage, going from such high energy into a very sedate world, is heavy - I don't care how many strippers you have. It's like going off a cliff in a car, and that's when I can use some smoke [RIP, September 1992].
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].
In the November 1992 issue of RIP Axl would go in more detail about the therapy:

I'm continuously learning that when I get depressed there may be a reason for it that I'm not aware of. It could be something that happened a long time ago, and I've carried a base thought ever since. That base thought hasn't been exposed since it happened, and it's never been healed. I've buried it so deep that I don't even know it's there. I can talk about life and love and happiness, but beneath that there's some ugly thought. Or hatred. Or fear. Or hurt. Something I'm still acting on. By going back slowly…[…] There's all kinds of methods, but it's basically figuring out how you feel and what really bothers you, getting more focused. Then, with my therapist, I work on releasing my unconscious mind. Unless your true self is in pain, why would you want to be detached from it? Yet most people are detached. Who knows how to go back and heal their own pain? Having help and being able to accept it is a lot stronger and sometimes easier. Sometimes it's harder though. I mean, who wants to need help? I found someone I trust and can work with. The methods aren't necessarily important; what's important is the getting there and the healing. A therapist could talk about it better than I could; and if I do, it may throw certain people off. It probably sounds very weird, but the important thing is that it's working. I have certain emotional, mental and physical problems that I don't want to have to live with any longer than I have to, so I'm obsessed with getting over them. The only way a person can tell if they need help is if underneath however happy you think you are, you know that you're miserable. I've been miserable for a long f?!king time, and now I'm not so miserable. […]  I could get really depressed and OD next week, but I don't think so, and I'm hoping not to [RIP, November 1992].
When asked if he takes his therapist with him on tour:

Sometimes, when I feel I'm going to be needing to do some work. If we weren't on tour, I would've concentrated harder on getting this work finished and then gone out, but that was impossible. The albums needed to be worked [RIP, November 1992].
In early 1993 Matt would say that therapy and Axl's relationship to Stephanie Seymore had made him healthier:

I think I can speak for Axl on how he’s feeling about everything. I think he’s a totally changed person. […] Now he’s into playing, and everything’s pretty cool. […] [But Axl still has bad days] because a lot of stuff goes on with him... just basically being Axl Rose. […] I don’t know if I’d want to be him, to be honest with you. You’d have to think about that yourself: ‘Would I want to be Axl Rose?’ Yeah, millions of people would, but then you’d have to be in his shoes for a little while to see what it’s actually like. [...] I think he really enjoys being in a big band and all that, being a big rock star or whatever, but there’s times when he doesn’t, and that’s the times when he just doesn’t want to... do anything. […] It’s real interesting. After being in the band for almost three years now, I can understand the guy. For a while there I just couldn’t, and neither could millions of people [Dayton Daily News, February 26, 1993].

Duff would also concur that the therapy was working and that Axl was at a better place:

Axl is just a happier person these days. We all go through our stuff. He just vents it sometimes the wrong way. The only thing I can say is that people vent it in different ways - some people beat their wives or some wives beat their husbands. I personally don't deal with things the way he does, but I'm not him[The Boston Globe, MArch 12, 1993].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun 30 Jun 2019 - 17:27; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun 23 Jun 2019 - 23:27


After being handed advanced copies of the soon-to-be released 'Use Your Illusion' albums, DJs in St. Louis saw the statement "fuck St. Louis" found in the liner notes. In retribution they tried to "rally with what they hope to be thousands of angry fellow citizens on Tuesday [=September 15, 1991], the official release date for the Guns albums, assemble them into the shape of a hand with its middle finger extended, photograph them from the air and send the resulting picture straight to Axl Rose" [MTV News, September 1991].

On his Rockline interview in November 1991, Axl was confronted with the "Fuck St. Louis" statement:

Well, I feel that the loyal fans shouldn’t take that to heart. If they didn’t have anything to do with it, then, you know, I wasn’t talking to them. If you look really closely at the Don’t Cry video, I have a 1940’s St. Louis baseball and a St. Louis hat on. And 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 had fulfilled our contract, and I got a contact knocked out in diving after a guy that the security didn’t care to stop, cuz that 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... You know 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.” I don’t see that, and that really bothers me. But then, I also look at it like - you know, Spin magazine said that that was a great show of solidarity with us and the crowd, being sarcastic. At 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.” (chuckles) So, I went, “Well, I guess that was our crowd,” you know. And it’s like, the emotions got high, and I think everybody should take a bit more responsibility for what happened, you know; and also respect that 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, November 27, 1991].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 8:18


"We have released our new albums, “Use Your Illusion I and II.” […] We hope you’ll like what you hear on the albums. There’s something there for everyone. This was truly a labor of love and is a closer look at what we’re all about. You’ll be hearing the contents of our hearts and soul" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].


In May 1991, the song 'Bad Apples' leaked to the media [Los Angeles Times, June 1991; RAW, July 1991]. The song was leaked to several air stations by an employee at Mercury Records, who, in return, wanted airplay of one of their singles [Raw, July 1991]. The radio station WMMS played the song but a court order stopped them [Raw, July 1991]. How the Mercury employee got a copy of the song is not known.

So when the magazine Guitar Player got to listen to a pre-release copy of the records in August security was tight due to "piracy problems" [Guitar Player, December 1991].

Before the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums were released, Matt, Slash and Duff would describe how the follow-ups would differ from 'Appetite':

‘Appetite’ was a party album. This new stuff goes deeper than that. It’s more about relationships [than politics], stuff that’s hap­pened to the band over the last few years [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].
I will say it leans more to the darker side. There’s not a ton of really happy material on it, you know? Most of it is pretty fucking pissed off. It’s very pissed off, and it’s very heavy, and then there’s also a subtlety to it as far as us really trying to play. […] he way our lives turned around, the repercussions of our success and the general shit that we do from day to day gets brought up a lot. There are a lot of semi-humorous drug tunes and a few songs about love going in whichever direction. Regardless of whether it sounds like the blues or not, basically that’s what it is. It’s a strange thing. I never thought we were a naive band; I always thought we were pretty hip to what’s going on. But when we used to just hang out on the street, it was more fun than when we had lots of money and became part of society and were forced to deal with responsibilities. I think money is like the central nerve of it all, too. It’s like I think Jimi Hendrix said — “The more money you make, the more blues you can sing [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
I’ll put it this way, take the songs from ‘Appetite,’ the rocking songs, the heavy songs ... they’re magnified by 10. The pretty songs? Magnify that by 10, too. 'Sweet Child o’ Mine’ was a real pretty song, but compared to the new s—, it’s real amateur [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
I don't know if [the new records] going to be so much of a shock [to the fans] as I think it's going to confuse a lot of people because there's so many songs. I think Appetite centred more on one particular kind of a sound whereas this record has one song that might sound like Appetite, and then there's 25 other songs that are all completely different. There's acoustic, there's lots of piano, I must have played 25 guitars on it — banjo, bass all kinds of shit, there's one I guess, you'd call it New Age music with synthesisers on it that Axel did which is pretty intense. There's almost some stuff which is reminiscent of Queensryche where the music is going on-and there's people talking so it's like a movie track. Then we've got stuff which is really simple, straight ahead and harder than anything that was on Appetite [Rip It Up, September 1991].
And how they had expanded the instrumentation:

You know, there’s actually some synth on the new record, but it’s not, like, Milli Vanilli didn’t do (laughs). […] No, I mean it’s not that kind of stuff. It’s just with the band playing and there’s some other stuff, like, thrown in. And just because we were screwing around it’s very Guns N’ Roses. We did work with somebody – I won’t mention his name – that was using samples on the drums and, like, when Axl and I discovered it, we flipped, literally. We were like, “What?” You know, it was all these Guns N’ Roses samples he used [MTV, May 1991].
There’ll be a lot of different instruments. I’ve got guitars doing all different kinds of sounds and things. There are horns on “Live and Let Die.” We didn’t get into sampling, but right now, as we speak, Axl is in the studio with a rack of synthesizers, so we don’t have to bring in an orchestra for a couple of songs. There might even be a bunch of kids singing on “November Rain,” because it’s that kind of song. It’s very angelic. We’ll do whatever it takes to make the songs as powerful as possible [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Yet, it did not signify a change in musical direction:

It’s not a change in direction; I don’t think we ever had a real direction. But we have gotten a little bit more experimental, I guess. I hate that word — we’ve just been doing shit, whatever we felt like doing. This album goes from one extreme to the other, from some very, very intensely raunchy, over-the-top stuff to being very mellow — and everything in between [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
In September 1991, though, Slash would say they were evolving as musicians and describe the new records as more "mature" than Appetite [Rip It Up, September 1991].

You can stick with being a certain way and try to push an image like Motley Crue, or you can keep evolving. The fans that listen to you can either accept that or get pissed off because you're not doing Welcome To The Jungle' again. Obviously you want to go and do something else, it's like we've done that record already [Rip It Up, September 1991].
Slash would also shed some light on the collaborative effort:

Left on our own, I'm sure everyone would make very different albums. I write songs that are maybe a little more intricate than what Izzy wants to play—there's one on the record, 'Coma,' that's about 10 minutes long and 500 chord changes. But if the melody doesn't catch you at first it's hard to develop an interest in anyone else learning it. We all have different ideas, but there's no hierarchy. We still have to do everything as a band [Musician, December 1990].
Describing the difference between 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'Use Your Illusion II':

Well, I’d say, the first half of the first CD is more in line with Appetite, no new songs. And the second half of the first CD has Coma, November Rain, and The Garden... So some really experimental numbers for us. And then I’d say that the first half of the second one is “the south will rise again” (laughs). We didn’t plan on that, but there’s, like, Heaven’s Door, and Civil War, and the song Yesterdays and a song called Breakdown that definitely have a bit of a southern rock feel. […] Like, I’d say, Paradise City - in the chorus - kind of has that. And Sweet Child kind of has that. And it ended up the best sequencing to make the record flow all the way through. We didn’t plan on putting all those songs in that vein together, but to make the record flow all the way through, so if you wanted to listen to all of it, that’s the best way. […] And there’ll be a version of Don’t Cry on both records, one on the first one and one on the second. The one on the first one is the newly recorded version of the original lyrics. And then the second one is the newly recorded version of alternative lyrics; they’re kinda like ’91 updates, got different words and melody in the verses [MTV, May 1991].
Alan Niven would hype the records:

"Use Your Illusion" is a cross between Physical Graffiti and "The Wall. It's a record that's gonna amaze and frighten at the same time [RIP, June 1991].
Slash would explain how the track lists were decided:

I think we had the whole band write up their personal list of what they thought the order would be and then we all came together with one, were we sort of put them together and came up with one. […] Somehow we came up with a master list [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
The two albums were finally released on September 17, 1991. The releases were an immediate success. In the USA, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II went straight onto the charts as no. 2 and no. 1, respectively, and it was the first time a major contemporary artist had released two separate albums on the same day and the first time two albums by a band or artist had simultaneously entered a chart tight at the top [Guns N' Roses Australian Tour Special, January 1993]. The expected sales within just the first two hours was $5 million [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. Needless to say, Geffen Records president Eddie Rosenblatt was thrilled: "This is the most exciting thing that's ever happened in the record business" [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. After a week, Geffen estimated that each record had sold more than 2.5 million copies [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. This would be down-adjusted to between 1.5 and 2.0 copies in total, with 'Use Your Illusion II' selling 100,000 more copies than 'Use Your Illusion I'. As with 'Appetite', some stores, including Kmart and Walmart, refused to sell the records, citing the band's image and lyrics [MTV News, September 1991].

In July 1992 it was reported that the records were banned in South Africa [MTV, July 12, 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 8:19


In the beginning Izzy was an immensely important piece in the puzzle that was Guns N' Roses:

I think that if either Axl, Izzy, or Slash leave the band, it will be completely different. You know, Izzy's really an essential part of that band, more than I think most people realize. The songwriting is a big part of it, but Izzy really is essential to what Guns N' Roses is. Everybody thinks Axl is what Guns N' Roses is, but Izzy's the founder of the whole idea. Izzy's the one that wanted to get the big hair, the image, that whole thing going. So, he's really like a major part. He's not just the rhythm guitar player, he's the guy that stuck with it, really pulled the thing from the bottom up [Rock Scene, October 1989].
But as the years went by, Izzy started to separate himself from the band. This happened already after the Appetite touring, partly to get some distance from the partying when he was trying to sober up, but also because he likes solitude: "[Izzy] is the closest thing in the band to a loner; when he's on tour he likes to wander the streets by himself, and his girlfriend mentions he'd like to buy a house in the desert" [Musician, December 1988].

During the touring in 1988, Izzy got reacquainted with his estranged father. When telling about this in late 1988 to Musician magazine, he sounds wistful about Indiana and the simpler life he once had:

He comes walking backstage unannounced, completely out of the blue. Took a second or two to recognize him. It was a real trip. But it was definitely not...well, I don't want to get into it. I mean, in 10 years I've only been back to Indiana twice. I don't even know anyone there anymore; I don't keep in touch like Axl does. But when I look back, I do see some kind of stability that comes from growing up in a fucking cornfield. You're at one with the earth [laughter].  You don't give a shit about much. It's a simple life [Circus Magazine, September 1988].
The next year, in 1989 (or possibly 1988), he would buy himself a house in Lafayette to get away from the craziness of Los Angeles:

Away from just the insanity of Los Angeles. I'd been out there for six years trying to get a band together that we could work and try to make a living off of. It's six years of living in your car, sleeping on couches, sleeping wherever you can, no money for food. […] By the time we left L.A., we were the least-likely-to-succeed band. We came back a year-and-a-half later and all of a sudden everybody loved us. I was like, screw this. I want to go back to Lafayette and get myself together and take a break and just look around [Circus Magazine, September 1988].
According to this quote from Axl, he had also considered quitting the band at some point before 1991 due to people misinterpreting their songs:

[…] there's a line in ["It's So Easy"], "I drink and drive/and everything's in sight". We were talking about, kind of, how we got away with things and we're lucky to be here. It was real hard knowing that some of these kids would just go out and go, ”Yeah, I drink and drive and everything's in sight.” I mean, Izzy put it best when he said that a lot of people think our record means you know, party and do cocaine and rock ‘n’ roll. And it's like, that just ain’t what it is. So Izzy was gonna quit at one time because he was... didn't like the way people reacted to it [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
In August 1989, he would sound almost paranoid when talking about drug wars and crazy fans and the police out to get him [The Face, October 1989], and how big the band was starting to become:

I just realized that Guns N' Roses had become way, way bigger than anything you could possibly hope to control as a musician. I mean, when you play clubs you're pretty much in control. But the energy forces in these stadiums and arenas are beyond anything... It's frightening, y'know. And the fuckin' money that's involved... like with us, then with this Stones tour... I mean, what are the promoters goin' to off us next? Is that next? Y'know, "Come to our city and take all these drugs" [The Face, October 1989].
The paranoia resulted in Izzy starting to carry a gun with him everywhere:

There was a point in LA where I wouldn't go outside without a gun. I was carrying a pistol all the time, and eventually I think that works on you too. It's f**ked, it's no way to live, and when I realised, I said, 'I gotta get outta here before it gets too f**kin' crazy' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
During the recording of the Illusions Izzy was frustrated with the lack of structure to the process and tried talking to Axl about this:

I tried talking to [Axl] during the Illusion albums: 'If we had a schedule here, come in at a certain time...' And he completely blew up at me: 'There is no fucking schedule' [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
In early 1991, when asked if he was the guy "in charge of getting everybody’s butt together and saying, 'Let’s go do this', 'Let’s go do that'", Izzy would say:

No, I don’t think so. Not so much, you know? I’m usually the first one who wants to get on the plane, like, a day earlier or something. Let’s go check the place out, you know? For the gig. But, yeah, I wouldn’t say that [MTV, January 1991].
When the band started touring the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in May 1991, Izzy distanced himself from the band [Kerrang!, September 21, 1991]. The Rolling Stone journalist who followed the band would remark that Izzy's bandmates were confused as to how Izzy was spending his time, because they only saw much of him at concerts [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

I'd spend an hour at a soundcheck and two hours playing, and that still gave me 21 hours of my own where I didn't have to get caught up in it all. I created a life outside the arena, which was where I went to do my work. I would leave the arena right after a gig, stop somewhere, and get something to eat at a restaurant. […] We were usually all in the same hotel, but I'd wake up early and I'd go out and do something before the soundcheck, which normally I wouldn't have been doing. I had my dog, a German Shepherd, on tour with me in the States, and I took him out in the mornings. Then I'd be riding a motorcycle or a bike, skateboarding or walking round town, not to cop or score but just to look at the scenery [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
It was also obvious Izzy was struggling with all the controversies the band generated and in particular the late starts:

We've got the gigs booked, so we'd best show up and play. 'Cause I don't want to be on CNN anymore [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
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?' [Interview done in July 1991, published in VOX, October 1991].
And at the same time, Izzy was looking forward to what he was going to do after the touring:

After this tour's finished, I'd like to go hang out in Europe, preferably somewhere near the ocean, and just keep writing songs [Interview done in July 1991, published in VOX, October 1991].
For the band's last concert of their 1991 European leg of the 'Use Your Illusion' tour, at Wembley on August 31, rumors had it that no one knew if Izzy would show up and play and that he might quit the band due to Axl's "attitude" [Music Life, November 17, 1991].

The rumor that he had quit the band, or intended to do so, had started when Izzy failed to show up for a video shoot of 'Don't Cry' in September 15. Izzy would later say he "didn't make it to the video shoot" [Guitar Playing Magazine, May, 1993]. Izzy had also been absent from the last scenes in the video to 'You Could Be Mine'. To emphasize Izzy's absence, a sign with "Where's Izzy?" written on it would be displayed by Dizzy in the 'Don't Cry' video.

As they were filming the 'Don't Cry' video, Axl would be asked how he was tripping of Izzy not being there:

No, I’m not really tripping off it right now, cuz I’m just like, Izzy’s cool. You know, Izzy’s always been the fastest person in Guns N’ Roses to decide what it is they want to do and what it is they’re going to do. So, you know, whatever Izzy’s doing or whatever he’s not doing is cool. I just want the guy to be happy, and that makes me happy; you know, it makes me feel good inside [Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993].
Axl would also say that Izzy "didn't want to be [there]":

The [music video] scene we did the other night was originally written with Izzy in it, and he didn’t want to be here. […] What was also heavy was, you know, I didn’t really plan on this being completely “the Axl video,” and now, in ways it’s kind of turning out to be. So that was really hard, because I want the band to be happy, and everything for us to gel, and get along there. And the Izzy thing was a very emotional thing, cuz it is real and I’ve known him for 15 years, and he’s one of the people that I care about the most in the entire world [Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993].
Izzy would later comment on seeing the video and the sign:

I thought, well, s —, I'm here in Indiana, man. What do you mean, where am I? [Indianapolis Star, February 21, 1993].
Fans would question why Izzy was not in the video and in the band's October issue of the fan club newsletter this would be explained with Izzy being "out of town" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991]. According to the band's publicist, Bryn Bridenthal, Izzy was touring Europe at the time and didn't want to return just for the video. In a Rolling Stone interview from 1992 it would be indicated that the reason Izzy didn't want to do the 'Don't Cry' video was the million-dollar cost and that it was pointless indulgence:

I didn't have any say in it, and I didn't want to be in it [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
Some time in September there was a meeting in Los Angeles "about the future of Guns N' Roses" [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992]. It is likely it was Izzy who initiated the meeting to bring up some changes to the band he felt was necessary "for the sake of the livelihood of the band" [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992]. One of the issues were the late starts that resulting in curfews costing the band money:

It was really fucked that it even had to come into play, to base something like that on money. But the reality was that it was bumming me out, to be waiting there because someone else is late. It's just not fair to the audience, to the other band members. And the crew! When you go on three hours late, that's three hours less sleep they get. […] I expressed my feeling to Axl, and the very next night on MTV I saw that I was going to be replaced by the guy in Jane's Addiction. So I took that as an indication that I'd really pissed him off [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
"That guy" in Jane's Addiction was Dave Navarro. Tom Atencio, the co-manager of Jane's Addiction, said that Dave Navarro, the group's guitarist, has been contacted about sitting in for Izzy if the guitarist decides to stop touring.

A source close to the band would emphasize that this was very different from what went down with Steven: "This is totally Izzy's decision, and it appears to be based on whether he wants to spend the next two years of his life on the road in such a highly volatile situation" [Los Angeles Times, September 1991].

The paper media would naturally also pick up on the story and Kerrang! ran with the headline "Izzy Stradlin' Quits Band" [Kerrang! September 21, 1991]. It turned out that wasn't entirely true, and the band (nor Izzy) would not confirm Izzy's departure.

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:04


The band would discuss why the decided to release two records:

Well, on album form, on the wax, it’s four albums, because we wanted to have the deepest grooves and stuff for... Since vinyl is somewhat going out, we wanted to be one the last bands doing the best job we could for audiophiles and stuff. You know, the deepest grooves and a minimal amount of time on each side. And figuring out the sequencing was really hard (?) anything else, to start each side and end each side with a cool song, so that it sounded like it began and ended right, resolved properly. And the CDs and the tapes being two separate things, we’re echoing well a lot of kids. A lot of people, when they go to buy a record, they go to buy one and they won’t be able to... It’s like, if there’s a choice, “Well, I’d like to get Guns N’ Roses, but it’s $29.95 and there’s this other band’s album, well I’ll get that one.” You know, we were like, maybe we can get past that a little bit. […] I’m sure it will sound better on CD. We worked to make it sound stronger on CD, but we’re gonna definitely work on the mastering to get the best sound we can on the vinyl. Everything gets as much attention as anything else. Every single song has got as much attention as anyone’s song. Every little part. You know, we’re kind of perfectionists and you never quite get it right, but... (chuckles) [MTV, May 1991].
For one, we didn’t wanna look that pompous and we didn’t wanna make anybody go out and have to spend, like, 30 bucks or whatever it is for a double record. Double records just seem to be just, like, out-of-date anyway. And we’ve been in the concept, when this concept started to form, of separating it and making it so you go out and buy one and, if you like it, then maybe you buy the other one. You have a choice of the two and stuff like that, that made it more fair to the public, you know [MTV, May 1991].
We didn’t make it a double album because that’s a little overboard and a little pretentious. Plus, this way, a kid can go out and buy one record, his buddy can go buy the other record or whatever... and maybe when they get enough money to buy the other one, they can do that. Plus, it’s never been done this way before [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
There’s a ton of material. Sure, we could have held out and released some more stuff down the line, put out one record now, but it’s like, nobody’s ever done it before, so what the hell? The first single's off ‘...Volume 2’, and then when that’s dying, we’ll release a single off the other one, and hopefully have two albums competing with each other... […] Two buddies could go out and instead of buying one double album, which is, I don’t know...[…] One kid can buy ‘...Volume 1', one kid can buy ‘...Volume 2’, and they can tape off each other’s records.. [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
The main reason for us doing a double record is because it’s material that spans our entire career as a band. Some of it’s really old, so we just basically cleaned our whole slate. That way, when we do the next record, we can start completely fresh, without any kind of a backlog.

And so we said, you know, ‘Screw it’ to the industry as far as the album standard goes; we just said we were gonna release it all. And then we came up with the idea of how to do it and how to package it and how to market it, so it will get done and there’ll be no excuses from the record company to say, ‘No, you can’t do it this way.’ So we get all the material out, you get the history of the band, plus the material’s really good, as far as we’re concerned...

Basically, you can go out and buy one, and if you dig that, then you have the option to buy the other - instead of being forced to buy a double LP. Most of our fans don’t have the extra 25 or 30 bucks to take a chance on a record that they might not even like. I think that’s totally uncool.

And it’s gonna be a weird buzz, cos automatically, by human nature, everyone’s gonna go for ‘...Volume 1’. But the first radio release is from ‘...Volume 2’. And then the next single after that one is on ‘...Volume 1, and the next one after that will be on ‘...Volume 2’. “If you’re gonna get into it, get into all of it. Don’t just pick one. I don’t want the public to focus just on the first record because it’s called ‘...Volume 1'
[Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
And when asked if Geffen was pulling "their hair out over the sheer scope of this thing"?

They didn’t have any when we started! [chuckling]. No, everything’s been cool [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
There’s been a coupla little battles here and there. A coupla little skirmishes, I should say. But the band had everything together to present, and it was basically an offer they couldn’t refuse! It was like, here, this is what we’re gonna do [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
There was a lot of old material that we wanted to include. It's not possible to release your second album as a double so we thought it was a good idea to release two separate albums instead. Besides many fans can't afford a double-album. Now two friends can buy one album each and tape them from each other. If you buy "Use Your Illusion I" and think it's good you then can buy "Use Your Illusion II." […] We had been separated from each other in over one year and the recordings were a way for us to get together again. That's why it was nice to be in the studio so long that we once again became a unit. […] During our entire career we've put material aside. We've been thinking "this we can use later" and we ended up having too much material put aside. Now there isn't any unreleased material with Guns N' Roses, so when it's time for out third album it will be up-to-date [Press Conference, August 1991].
So that the people could afford it. You know, they can buy one or buy the other; or they can buy one and a friend can buy the other and they can tape it, and... So that the package, you know, for the price, they could buy one or the other. And it was also competitive with other things out there in the market. You know, if somebody else’s record is 12.95 and ours is 30 bucks, it’s like, that’s... [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
We did it, number one, because nobody’s done it before. But also, we had so much material built up when we went into the studios, we decided.... “Well we got all this material; let’s record until we’re burnt out”. If we can only do one record, we’ll only do one record. But we never burnt out. We just kept goin’ and it turned out that we recorded over forty tunes. I mean there is another record in the can [Hit Parader, June 1992].
They did come out simultaneously, but they’re two different records. We didn’t do it as a double record because....I don’t know how much a double record is these days, but it’s gotta be like thirty bucks. This way, two friends will be able to go out and like buy one....and one will buy the other....the record company will kill me for sayin’ this…[…] One will buy the other right....yeah. We don’t want to rip off the kids. […] I’m sure [Geffen] won’t hear this at all, but you know this way we won’t rip off our fans. If we put out a double record, there could be only one buy it or starve [Hit Parader, June 1992].
Yes [it was a good idea to put out two albums simultaneously]. We went through so much emotional turmoil after the success of "Appetite for Destruction" and the albums reflect that. I'm talking about all of a sudden going from a garage band to becoming some sort of half-assed celebrities. […] The albums are so close to us that every single song has its own meaning and memories attached to it--the problems with drugs and adjusting to all the other drastic changes in our lives. That's why we put out two albums. We had so much material and we wanted to use it all [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
Slash and I were just discussing [releasing so much material] this morning, and there's no way we regret it. We're very proud of what we've done. We had planned on doing that even before we had done our first album. We didn't know that it would include quite as many songs, but we knew we had to bury Appetite in some way. There was no way to out-do that album, and if we didn't out-do Appetite in one way or another it was going to take away from our success and the amount of power we had gained to do what we wanted. We got all the material we needed to out of our system, and commercially it's been a major success [Hit Parader, June 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:06


During the process of recording the albums, band members would comment upon the lengthy process.

In May 1991, Slash was asked why it had taken so long:

Actually, you know, there’s a lot of stuff that’s taking long and that made it take a long time. I mean, all this success made it take a long time, that sudden realization of, like, being huge. I know it blew my mind and threw me for a loop, right? Especially cuz we’ve been... we were, sort of like, just not from that school at all. So that took a little while. I mean, that took till just recently for me to adjust as far as home life goes. And then there was the associated drug problems that ensued. And then there was, you know, the situation with Steven and then finding somebody to replace Steven and, you know, finding somebody to fit into the band, fit into the folds, right? Which was no easy task at all. So, like, we couldn’t put an ad in the Post, you know. And then, after that, it was getting us in a studio. No, working out the material with Matt and then getting in the studio. And we did the studio stuff really quick, like, the basics, and then I went and did guitars and all that stuff. Then we just spent a lot, we enjoy being in the studio, and although we did wanna go out on tour, we had all this material and we wanted to do it good, so I mean... yeah. Plus we just sat around, like, sort of watch the music scene turn into sludge again. I was terrified so we just hung out until the timing was right [MTV, May 1991].[/i]
Well, we toured for so fucking long, and by the time the tour was over we were told we were mega - Spinal Tap, you know. You're great! You're great! And we're still walking around trying to make sure you don't have a stain on your jeans after you take a piss kind of thing. And there's all this stuff going on around you, all these people treating you like you're on a pedestal even if you don't feel that way. So we went from nowhere to being this really huge band, not feeling any different, only having people tell you that and react to you a certain way.

When they dropped us off at the airport after the tour was over, I had nowhere to go. It kind of runs in the family with us - maybe not with Axl but defenitly with me - where if I'm not busy and focused, I get loaded to pass the time. So that's what happened. I went through a phase of that and then I cleaned up and we tried to rehearse and we were writing material.

The worst thing of it, though, was because of no longer having to live in one room, the band got separated, getting their own homes. And that was the hardest part. It's like Slash is here, Axl's here, Izzy's over there, Duff's here, and I don't even know where Steven lives, right? Like, Duff, can we come over? "Well, the gardener's coming today..." That was a whole huge experience that took a really long time for me to adjust to
[Q Magazine, July 1991].[/i]
I moved into an apartment, the cheapest apartment I could find off of Sunset Boulevard - that's how demented I am, right? - and we just used to party all the time and have amps all about the place and I'd write songs and Duff would come over and every so often Axl would come over and we'd write together. But it was such a long period. And I got so wrapped up in dope and coke and all the fucking scum that goes along with it that finally it just got out of hand. So I cleaned up and bought a house. Then I sat in the house for a while and hated it. I'd lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. There was nothing to do. And then I got back into it and got strung out in a serious way, where everybody was really worried and I had some close run-ins with the police. But then the Stones gigs came around - which I really wanted to do to bring the band back together; that's why after the Stones gigs (and Axl's onstage ultimatum) I went and cleaned up - and then it was Steven's turn [Q Magazine, July 1991].[/i]
I keep reading about delays in getting the record out, but as far as the band is concerned, there really have been no delays. The only (rule) we had was to make the best record we could, regardless of how long it took. […] But we had people at the record company come up with deadlines on when they wanted the record out and we'd go, 'OK, we'll do our best (to meet the deadline),' and we tried. But we were not going to give anybody the record until we felt it was done [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].[/i]
People want something, and they want it as soon as they can get it. Needy people. And I'm the same way, but I want it to be right - I don't want it to be half-assed. Since we put out Appetite for Destruction, I've watched a lot of bands put out two to four albums. They went out, they did a big tour, they were big rock stars for that period of time. That's what everybody is used to now - the record companies push that. But I want no part of that. We weren't just throwing something together to be rock stars. We wanted to put something together that meant everything to us. […] I've had a good understanding of where I wanted Guns n' Roses to go and the things I wanted Guns n' Roses to achieve musically, and I can't say that everybody's had a grip on that. We're competing with rock legends, and we're trying to do the best we can to possibly be honored with a position like that. […] We want to define ourselves. Appetite was our cornerstone, a place to start. That was like 'Here's our land, and we just put a stake in the ground. Now we're going to build something [Rolling Stone, September 1991].[/i]
And it was because of this dramatic affect that success had on everybody's personal psychic, you know. I managed to get over my situation just because I wanted to keep playing. Axl, I think, was the only one that wasn't strung out during this whole period. He was having more personal, emotional problems. And Duff had his… We all had these different things. But it kept up from getting any work done. So finally we booked the Rolling Stones gigs and that sort of got us back together. Despite the rumors of us fighting and all that. We came to realize that we really are focused on what we're doing and that's why we're managing to stick it out this long [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].[/i]
Slash would also blame the press and people pestering them for the long process:

Yeah, that and we didn't like the way the band was perceived by the press or the way that they used us as the example of rock'n`roll excess of the '90s. There were people always s pointing their fingers at us and making rumours and stories. And we just got sick of all that and said 'fuck everybody' because that wasn't what we got into it for. So we just didn't care and didn't talk to anybody and if we did basically it was like 'fuck you' [Rip It Up, September 1991].[/i]
You know, the biggest thing is that we work so hard at playing and yet everybody spends so much time trying to pull out so much negative stuff about us and drugs and sex and bad relationships and the guys in the band and stuff, and it makes it hard for us just to concentrate on playing. Which is one of the reasons why it took us so long to get the record together because, after awhile, the hype just got to be overwhelming, We'd lock ourselves away in the studio and it was great to be in that environment and just spend all your time playing. But even then it came and crept into the studio. It was really hard. […] Everybody just started to know where we were and every time we'd come out to the studio there'd be people waiting outside. it was like, 'C'mon, give us a break, you know, It's just a band. We're trying to make a record' [RAW, October 1991].[/i]
As for dealing with the high expectations and whether that had been challenging:

Yeah, because you don't feel like it should be that big a fucking deal. All things considered, its just a rock'n'roll band and its just a fucking record, and it means a lot to you personally because you made it but at the same time it's hard to accept the fact that it means a lot to ten million people. We tried to just completely ignore what was going on around us and just got involved with making the record regardless of whether anybody likes it or not [Rip It Up, September 1991].[/i]
About a year after their release, Izzy and Slash would look back at the records:

It was crazy. The last record we did was two records. There were too many songs for me to remember really. I had a hard time with 'Coma', it wasn't so much my style. Those albums I found very frustrating. I think there's some good songs on there, but the process was extremely, extremely slow. Again, that's the way Axl wants to do things. […] I like to get the stuff done and carry on. If you start picking everything apart, analysing, it's pointless, a downward spiral - and next thing you know, months have gone by, or a year. It took us a long time to get those records out, I don't even remember how long [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
[…] that last record, the Illusions records, were just so many songs. I could probably remember ten of them that were on there. There’s a lot of music and it was no cohesive, sort of. Nothing really held it together [Japanese Interview, October 15, 1992].
That record, for me, had it been my way in a perfect world, I would have done it as a lot shorter and a lot more to the point sort of record [Spin, April 1993].

Use Your Illusion is also very ironic for us. I mean, I don't know why but this band has just generated bullshit hype for so long that it's like just throwing it back in their faces. And d'you know what? The album is so controversial. It's the same and worse than the last one. The subject matter deals with drug stuff. And uh, I don't think we cut any corners as far as profanity goes. It deals with bad relationships and all that kind of crap. […] Y'know I detect a little bit of anti-feminism shit going on too, because the songs are about women who are negative and really fucking hard. I can see girls going 'What assholes!' But then, y'know our angle is just, 'This is true you fucking cunt'. This is the way it was and we put it down on paper. But you know, these feminist groups will be like... d'you know what I'm saying? People assume we're advocating what the songs say, and they go for the throat. We're not trying to get some truth tho. We're not trying to send out any fucking messages. This is just our experiences. It's us, put it on vinyl. Buy it or don't buy it, like it or don't like it, whatever. […] Look, I don't know how influential people think we are supposed to be. I mean like, we're an example now because we're a big band? No. No, no, no, no. I appreciate the fact that we're a big band and I know it's because all these people can relate to us. But there's all of these outside fucking people that are just like, 'Okay, well you influence a lot of young kids and you have a high profile'. All right so they think that's gonna have an effect on our musical integrity? Like, we're gonna fucking alter everything we do so we don't make any waves? No! Guns is all against that. "Some people seriously want to nail us, y'know? This band is a magnet for it. It's always been like that. Ever since before we got signed, so we just deal with it... sometimes too much shit gets hard to take though, y'know [Metal Masters, 1992].
Izzy would later complain about his guitar being mixed down:

They took two years to finish the two records, and at the end I don't even feel like listening to the final product. Not at all! In fact I listened to the records only after the concert at Wembley in August 91, and I freaked out: "Where the hell is my fucking guitar?" It's gone! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
On the last record I wasn't around for the mixes, and when they finished them you really don't hear my guitar at all. It was just a big Les Paul through a Marshall sound on most of the songs. Live, it got to the point where I didn't even know if the audience could hear my guitar. I was playing, and my amp was on about 8 or 9 to keep up with everybody else. We were a really loud band; so loud you can t imagine--even at rehearsals [Guitar Playing Magazine, May 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:07


Despite Slash claiming there weren't any singles on the upcoming two 'Use Your Illusion' albums, the band would end up releasing eight singles.

I don’t think there are any singles on this record. […] I don’t mean to rock the boat or anything, but I think there’s a swearword of some sort on every song. Every potential single it’s, like, whoops, oh, well, not that one. But there’s some great songs, and I don’t care if they say “fucking” in it or if they say “shit” or if they’re talking about girls in the way we’re not supposed to [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
The first single out was 'You Could Be Mine' which was released on June 21, 1991. It sold more than 1.5 million copies in the first 30 days [Geffen Press Release, September 1991]. The song would be featured as the theme song in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The music video would hence feature Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold was great. Arnold’s really nice. […] He apparently is a Guns N’ Roses fan. […] And he was working on his movie and he said that he was talking with Jim Cameron, the director who did The Abyss and he was saying he wanted to get (does a Schwarzenegger impression) “some good music, some hard music, some Guns N’ Roses”...for a very long time and finally, like, in the last month, all of a sudden he was like, “I think you’re right” and Arnold was like, “It’s a little late”. But it worked out really cool because we wanted to put out a version of the song You Could Be Mine. And also with Don’t Cry we had a rocker and a ballad. And we let them listen to a lot of material and the song they picked was You Could Be Mine. So it worked out good for both of us and we shot a video for it, we filmed the show in the Ritz and then, you know, I guess Arnold was flying back from Congress and going, (does Schwarzenegger impression) “I want to be in the video”. So Arnold got all his people and put together a video so we’ll have yet to see what it’s like [MTV, May 1991].
I mean, I guess [Schwarzenegger] liked the songs and stuff. We hung out really. We got along really, really well. And he gave the whole band jackets from the movie and these great French leather biker jackets, right? With bullet holes, everywhere. And the one jacket I got was from my favorite scene. I mean, they’re at random and he gave them to us, right? And I got my favorite one, which is, like, he gets shot six million times and they all come through his back, right? So I got that one. The sleeves come down to my fingernails (laughs). Anyway, I gave that to my security guard and he flipped. And I gave Arnold my top hat. […] No, [You Could Be Mine] is a rocker. It’s the first release on the record and it’s in the movie, and so we shot in New York and we shot some, like, footage of us coming out of the dressing room, there's a stage door at the Roxy in L.A., where we come face-to-face with Arnold in his Terminator gear and it was all pretty funny [MTV, May 1991].
Arnold was great. I was real skeptical about getting involved with "Terminator" at first, because… uhh… It's just… It's another one of those things people do a lot nowadays. And you see these videos that makes absolutely no sense. It's like, the song, and then… and then… uhh… and then… uhh… you know, some clip from the movie, and then you see the band and the two… The twain don't meet on the same ground for some reason. And so, I didn't wanna get involved into that sort of campy way of doing things. But at the same time, "Terminator 1" was great. And so we liked that, you know. And sort of in good faith, we gave them four songs for them to check out. To see if they're really interested or not. 'Cause they brought it up to us, we didn't go to them. And they picked "You Could Be Mine" and… So, we went to Arnold's house and we had dinner and we hung out. And it was like, we stripped away all the… the celebrity status stuff and just really hung out and had dinner and had a great time. So that meant a lot, you know, to get personal and get toe-to-toe with somebody. That's like, one of the most important things for us, is to be able to feel comfortable with somebody. And believe me, that's a hard thing for us to do. And so, that went over well. And they… they took "You Could Be Mine"… and they put it into a rough edit and we went and saw a screening. And the movie was cool and the song was really cool where it was in the movie. And… as long as we had final approval on the… on how we were gonna use it in the video, then everything was great. And the finished product was cool. So, I'm actually happy with it. And I thought for a movie… uhh… for… for… you know, music video… music video slash movie kind of thing, it was pretty original, you know. And pretty dynamic [WNEW 102.7, September 1991].
It worked out really cool because we wanted to put out a version of the song You Could Be Mine. ... and we shot a video for it, we filmed the show in the Ritz and then, you know, I guess Arnold was flying back from Congress and going, (does Schwarzenegger impression) "I want to be in the video" [MTV, May 1991].
We hung out, really. We got along really, really well. And he gave the whole band jackets from the movie and these great French leather biker jackets, right? With bullet holes, everywhere [MTV, May 1991].
He was kind of real soft spoken, nice guy [MTV, May 1991].
[…] we shot some footage of us coming out of the dressing room, there’s a stage door at the Roxy in L.A., where we come face-to-face with Arnold in his Terminator gear and it was all pretty funny [MTV, May 1991].
Schwarzenegger himself would comment upon it:

"[The band members] have been big, big fans of Terminator and have expressed that many times. And I have been a fan of their music, so we checked into what it will be like to do a video together or to get some of the music" [MTV, September 1991].

Izzy is absent from non-live footage in the video, and his refusal to participate in videos would later be criticized by Axl and Slash fueling a conflict that eventually would lead to Izzy leaving the band [see separate section]. Fans would question why Izzy was not in the video and in the band's fan club newsletter it would be explain with Izzy being "out of town" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991].

Schwarzenegger was president George Bush's fitness guru, and Kerrang! magazine would imply that collaborating with Schwarzenegger was a political statement from the band and that it "went against everything Guns N' Roses stood for" [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].

The second single was 'Don't Cry', released on September 17, 1991, the same day as the two albums were dropped. The ambitious video to accompany the single will be discussed in THE F@*!ING VIDEOS Chapter.

The third single was 'Live and Let Die'. The video was finished on November 25, 1991 [Rockline, November 27, 1991]:

Just got it done 2 days ago and we’re really happy with it. We used a lot of shots from our childhood and stuff that we’ve had to live through. I think it will be fun for people [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
The press has liked to show pictures of us as children, kind of where we started, but they also did it with an attitude to hurt us or something. That's why in the video for "Live And Let Die," we show pictures of us all as children in the background, coming in now and then - some of our favorite shots of us as children - to confront that.[…] My step-father had shot a video of our entire family and of his entire family, all the way back to great-great-grandfathers, and he compiled this video. Through doing certain work with my family, with understanding what was going on there now, it was very strange, very surreal, and very disturbing. I use a shot in the beginning of the video from when I was about three or four years old. I come in the door with a toy gun and my dad happened to film it. That went on the video. He sent it to me with some sound effects over it and a comment, kind of putting me down, letting me know he's still on top of things or whatever. But that's not the fact and I don't accept it, so it's like, "No, I'm using it my way, and that's me, and don't forget it" [Metallix, 1992].
Okay, this next video I’m gonna show you was shot – it was one of our live performances when Izzy was still in the band. We did it all over Europe and the United States, and we just took this live footage and then we had little old pictures of each member of the band as kids, you know? And this next one is called Live and Let Die [MTV, May 1993].

Then they released 'November Rain' on February 18, 1992. The ambitious video to accompany the single, and which was thematically related to the previous 'Don't Cry' video, will be discussed in THE F@*!ING VIDEOS Chapter.

The fifth single was 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' (might have been released before November Rain).

In 1993, the band would also release a promotional single of Garden of Eden together with a music vide directed by Andy Morahan.

Which was in that same airplane, so we just said, “Let’s do Garden of Eden,” and then Andy Morahan, who directed the last few videos, had this idea of just doing it with one camera and in one take. And so that’s basically it. So we just did it. We just shook our heads like madmen for about two minutes. It was a hell of a lot of fun. That was it. […] Yeah, [Morahan and GN'R] communicate well together,  I don’t think he wanted to be a so called video entrepreneur type, trying to make huge videos that sell a lot of records, and depended technically and stuff. It’s just really to get the expression of the band across, and so he relates to that, which is really important [MTV, May 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:08


The split with Guns N' Roses hit Steven hard:

Besides losing my best friends and my family, which was that band, my wife also left me… […] I was married and my wife left me. First the band treats me like I'm dead, then my wife leaves me. And at that point I was feeling so sorry for myself it was ridiculous [Hot Metal, December 1991].
Not long after being fired, Steven briefly attempted to form a new band with former Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy [VOX, October 1991]. According to an anonymous GN'R member "it lasted maybe a couple of weeks, then someone overdosed over at the house and that was that" [VOX, October 1991].

Later Steven pieced together another band that included former members of the Vain [Hot Metal, December 1991]. The band was called Road Crew, the same name of the band Slash and Steven had in 1983, before Guns N' Roses [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

I loved the name of that band, and it's copywritten under my name. Slash has Guns N' Roses, so I got Road Crew [Circus Magazine, October 1991].
Steven would further claim he had been clean for "more than six months" and that people could "expect a tour and album by summer 1992" [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

Slash was not happy about Steven resurrecting the 'Road Crew' band name:

Okay, Road Crew was a name that I came up with. It was a while before Guns N’ Roses even started and before I even met Axl. And there was different versions of it, you know, I could never find a singer, so it didn’t do that much. And there was one point when I did have a singer when we played a bunch of places. I’d known Steve previous to that and he was in the band for a couple of weeks; when we first met Duff and we rehearsed together, we had a big fallout and we broke up. And that’s when Guns N’ Roses consequently started to come together. Anyway, just recently I find out that Steven has started a new band called Road Crew and I was like, he had nothing to do this; and I’m like, where does he get off? You know, I haven’t even hassled him in the press or anything, nothing compared to what he said about us, and finally I just got to the point where I was like, “No”. Because it’s just personal to me and if I ever did, like, some sort of outside project from Guns N’ Roses, I don’t want to have that taken away from me, especially because he had nothing to do with it. So I feel a little bit... agitated; I think this is a good word for it (laughs) […] I trademarked the name and everything [MTV, July 20, 1992].
Not happy at all:

So I don’t know what he’s gonna do. But if he had any kind of imagination, or any sense of integrity, or any brains whatsoever, he wouldn’t have used it in the first place. At this point, I’m going, don’t use it, because if you do, there’s gonna be a big conflict, because I will defend it, you know? […] I don’t talk to that guy anymore. (Whispering) He’s a fucking idiot [MTV, July 20, 1992].
And when confronted with Steven claiming he had been in 'Road Crew ' longer than three weeks, Slash would respond:

No. The band round was for a year. We just rehearsed in a little room on Highland in Hollywood for – I mean, literally - a couple of weeks; like, maybe, seven songs we got through. And Duff can attest to that too, because all three of us went through it together. So my message to Steven is just leave it alone, don’t – because he doesn’t want to mess with me. Steven knows that. He doesn’t want to get started. And haven’t hassled him at all. So it’s, like, time to think of a new name, because it’s something that it’s just... You know, I don’t want to go “It’s mine, mine, mine.” It’s just, like, real personal to me, and I think he should go out and do his own thing anyway, you know? […] and it’s a cool name too. It’s, like, perfect for a heavy metal garage band that I want to, like, sort of do, you know, on the side or something. So that’s my feelings on it. I got a fax from his attorney saying - One of the contentions in this lawsuit that Steven and Guns N’ Roses have been going through was, “... and I want the rights to the name Road Crew.” You know, anytime somebody comes up to you and challenges you like that, for me, it makes me just want to go out and fight. It’s part of my nature, so if that’s what he wants to do, then fine [MTV, July 20, 1992].
And when asked if Steven's lawyer would be aware that Slash owed the rights:

Yeah, but that’s why he was forced to ask, you know, or demand the rights in this deal that he was trying to come up with, so that we can settle on the whole breakup story; which is the whole thing in itself [MTV, July 20, 1992].
There was no love lost between Matt and Steven, too:

I didn’t even think about him when I came into the band. The only time I ever think about him is when I see his face in magazines still, after almost two years. To me, he was just a drummer that blew it and I was there to step in. I hope he gets something else going, but it doesn’t seem like he can. [...] I'm trying to forget him, to be honest with you. I am the drummer and I don’t need to hear about that guy. I did two records that were probably four times the magnitude of Appetite. Even though Appetite was a great record, I just feel that the past is the past and we’re looking toward the future now [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].
Izzy would talk about having reconnected with Steven after having heard he wasn't "doing so well":

Look, yesterday, I talked to him over the phone for the first time in a year. I told him: "God Stevie, get your act man, record..." And he answered: "Fuck, man, my reputation is fucked up." I couldn't help laughing! And I told him: "Open your eyes, your reputation has always been fucked up (laughs)! Get a band! Play!" [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
I actually spoke to Steve probably a month ago - against the advice of the legal system, the attorneys, all that f**king bullshit. That part of the business, that part of the band, is such a load of shit — it seems it f**ks up so many good things. But I talked to Stevie; I'd heard he wasn't doing so well, and it was a trip talking to the guy, cos I hadn't talked to him for what must've been a year. […] He was a good-natured guy; I hope he can get a it together. He was never malicious, he never tried to f**k people around, he was just happy playing his drums. In some ways he's a little naive, I guess. […] I just tried to offer a little support, y'know? I just talked to him for a little bit. He was a good drummer. He wasn't a virtuoso, a Neil Pearl from Rush or something, but he's a f**king damn good rock drummer, he's a good guy, and he was funnier than shit on the road. […] I was always laughing when I was hanging out with Stevie. Some of the shit he'd pull, you'd just go, 'No f**king way'! One time we were in New York: I was rooming with Stevie and due to overbooking, we got a huge $500-a-night suite. We had this big room so we had a big party... and two days later we're still up! […] Stevie's a hairy guy, he's naked, his f**king eyes are red and swollen like goggles, and he's walking around when the maid comes in. The look on this lady's face, man — it just freaked the shit out of her, this f**king red-eyed ape guy! […] He was funny. I hope he gets it together. I told him to get a real job, clean himself up and start doing studio work or something. […] He was saying that he just really missed playing. All these lawsuits, it's just so f**king ugly, y'know? I guess it's inevitable... [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
I talked to him about a month ago. The lawyers said don't because of the lawsuit, but I'd heard he was in a bad way. He said he was having a hard time stretching it for more than a day or two. Really scared me. I know how I'd feel if he did himself in and I didn't make an effort to help him. I said if he cleaned up, I'd like to cut a couple of reggae tracks with him next summer. I know he's really bitter about the whole situation. He needs to start thinking forward [Musician, November 1992].
In November 1992 it would be reported that Steven was still struggling with addiction and that he had been fired from Road Crew and that the band had changed name to Vain (after Davy Vain) [Popular 1, November 1992].

Izzy would again talk about having talked to Steven (still "probably a month ago"):

But I actually spoke to Steve probably a month ago - against the advice of the legal system, the attorneys, all that fucking bullshit! That part of the band's business is such a load of shit. […] I just tried to offer a little support, y'know? I told him to clean himself up and start doing studio work or something...He's a good guy, and he was funnier than shit on the road. We had this party in a New York hotel once for two days. I remember him being naked, and his fucking eyes were red and swollen like goggles, when the maid came in. It just freaked the shit out of her - this fucking red-eyed ape! [R/R Countdown, February 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:11


In August 1991 it would be rumored that Axl was distancing himself from the rest of the band mates by "arriv[ing] at gigs separately and seldom see[ing] the rest of the band" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

For quite a while, the band's approach to Axl had been to leave him alone rather than confront him. As one anonymous band member was allegedly quoted as saying to VOX journalist Nick Kent: "Nowadays we just let Axl do pretty much what he feels, 'cos he'll only do it anyway" [VOX, October 1991].

Kent would also write that Axl had insisted on the 'Use Your Illusion' albums being so long, had insisted that Skid Row should open on their tour (despite band members despising them), calling for the resignation of Alan Niven, and what music would be played over the PA before the shows [VOX, October 1991]. It was likely Izzy who had a problem with Skid Row, since Slash and Duff would party with Sebastian Bach [Sebastian Bach, 18 and Life on Skid Row, Harper Collins, 2016; Slash's biography; Melody Maker, August 10, 1991] and Duff would invite Bach to play on his record [source?]. Additionally, Slash would repeatedly argue in favor of the long 'Use Your Illusion' albums to get rid of the backlog and allow them to start afresh on the next record [Rolling Stone, January 1991; Melody maker, August 1991; Slash's biography]. So it could be that Kent's close relationship with Izzy somewhat affected his judgment.

Regardless, many articles would still imply that the label was afraid of Axl's temper and behavior and would rather accommodate him than put the foot down [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Simply put, "Axl runs the group" [VOX, October 1991] or, in the words of "a source at Geffen," "Axl’s got everybody by the balls"[/i] [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

One alleged example of this comes from Izzy when he tells how the firing of Alan Niven happened:

Axl fired [Niven]. […] 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].
Axl was confronted by rumors of taking control of the band when he did an interview with Musician in March 1992 (published in June 1992). When the interviewer said, "It seems like you have the other guys in the band over a barrel sometimes. Everyone knows you're capable of saying, "The hell with it, I won't go on" or won't record or won't show up. Doesn't that force the band to say, "We better do it Axl's way or it ain't going to happen at all"? Axl simply responded "Yeah" [Musician, June 1992]. The interviewer followed up by asking if it is fair to say that by going from a shared vision to Axl's vision it takes something out of the band. In his reply Axl would indicate that he had always had the vision and that Slash and Duff was finally coming round to it:

Yeah, it's somewhat fair. That's definitely the case with Izzy. Izzy wanted the financial rewards and the power rewards of my vision. Izzy's vision was much smaller. The other guys in the band just though I was crazy. In order to make certain things happen, certain people had to think certain ideas were completely their own. I definitely knew what I wanted. I didn't know quite how to get there. And sometimes the only way to have everybody going the same place is to allow them to think that they're the ones who thought of it. [...] It's not so much that way anymore and it's been real difficult to uncover that reality. It's been hard for people to accept. But it has been a basic reality of Guns N' Roses since the beginning. It just wasn't seen. Because I wasn't someone who had all the answers and all the plans, I just had a vision. I wasn't necessarily someone that people wanted to follow blindly and say, "He's got the plan, let's go." I've finally earned respect from Duff and Slash that wasn't necessarily there before. And Slash and I, more than anyone else, are very much a team [Musician, June 1992].
In September 1992, Izzy would be asked about Axl claiming he was the man with the vision and agree that it was correct:

Yeah, that's right! […] Surely, yeah, whereas we wouldn't see beyond an hotel bar's closing at two in the morning. Without doubt! We played behind him for five years, and never, at any time, we thought about what was happening! Authentical! Whereas him, he was cogitating, in his bedroom. You know, we were just trying to stay in life, behind [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
In May 1992, while opening for GN'R, Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, would describe GN'R this way:

"GNR and their management are like a small government. Axl's the president, and his manager's a personal advisor. A couple of the other more visible band members are vice-presidents" [NME, June 20, 1992].

When Slash was asked about the running of the band, in mid-1992, he offered a corroborating picture:

We all have our own particular little things that we do. You know, that we do best. Like, on a creative level, having to do what the band is doing, it's really between Duff and Axl and I. Because none of the other guys are actually original. Although Matt's come in and we sit down and listen to what he has to say about stuff. You know, Axl has his thing and I more or less like, the day-to-day stuff because I'm always there. Like: "Give me something to do!" So I get into that. Duff has his thing and we just fall into it naturally so there's not a lot of debating as to who does what [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
But it was clear that if you weren't part of the partnership, e.g. Axl, Slash and Duff, you were to some extent left out of the decision making process:

When asked what the future holds for the band: The future is very hard to say. We’ve got this tour going on right now and we’re gonna, you know, probably go out again in January and do Japan and South America and Australia. You know, you never know what’s gonna happen with this band. I pretty much – I wake up in the morning, turn on MTV and, you know, I find out (chuckles). […] Or the radio, I turn that on, you know, “Axl’s in jail,” oh wow [MTV. July 17, 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:15


Despite media claiming Izzy had left the band back in August, Izzy wasn't completely out of the band yet, even if he hadn't been able to change the way the band was run. Or, at least, the final resignation would come in November.

In October, the rumors again swirled that he was permanently out of the band, implying his problems with the "madness of it all" and "Axl's tantrums":

"Izzy's absence at interviews appears to be more than just a passing phase. Never the most verbal of the band and certainly the only founder-member able to walk the streets relatively unrecognised, his decision seems to have a more permanent quality about it. Throughout the whole tour Izzy had travelled seperately from the rest of the band and rumours concerning his departure from the band began to emanate when the Gunners were in Germany and cancelled a show. These now appear to have been founded with the guitarist finally feeling that the madness of it all had grown too much and that Axl's tantrums had gone too far. Quite whether he has left for good has yet to be clarified, although it is understood that the rest of the band are attempting to coax him back" [RAW, October 1991].

Izzy spent large parts of October and November in Indiana, riding trial bikes [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].

After returning to Los Angeles, in the second half of November [Kerrang! September 5, 1992] at the end of the band's rehearsals for the next leg of the tour [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992], Izzy had a meeting with Axl and Slash where Izzy was "threatened" to be demoted from "equal partner", which would affect his share in revenues, unless he started to work harder. This was the final straw for Izzy:

In November I went back to LA, and there were some conditions and terms put to me which pretty much made the decision to quit the band real easy for me. I just thought, this is not acceptable - so that was it. […] When I was told how the future was gonna be in the band, I thought about it for a long time that night, and when I woke up the next morning, I knew what I was gonna do that day. I decided to leave [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
I went out there and I was trying to work it out with those guys. And it was put to me by the singer how things were gonna be. There was an agreement I was supposed to sign and when I heard the figures I said, 'There's no way I can go along with this.' I just didn't think it was fair, so l said, 'Well, screw it. Gotta go' [Music Express, November 1992].
It was made clear to me how things were going to be run. I slept on it, and when I woke up in the morning, I said, ‘That’s the end of the line for me.’ I just felt like my opinions were no longer considered valid. It wasn’t about being a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing music any more. Life is tough enough to live day to day without an extra 50lb of aggravation on your head [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
[…] Axl made it clear that he was going to do things his way, and there was no space for debate. So I had to make it clear to everybody that that was the end of the line for me [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
We love Izzy, but there were certain things we weren’t getting from Izzy, that we really wanted. Everybody was, like, giving a certain amount, and we thought that everybody should give energy in a certain way to Guns N’ Roses; and we weren’t getting that [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
So then Axl and I decided that he wasn’t an equal partner, per se, unless he decided to change his ways about a few things — at least do like a couple videos a year, and work harder on the road. And Izzy said, ΌΚ, I resign'. […] But I can’t understand why he would drop out of something as cool as what we’ve been doing. That’s not an ego thing — that’s not like ‘We’re the biggest band in the world and why would you want to quit that?’ I was like, ‘Why would you want to quit the relationship that we have that got us to where we are? Why would you just want to flake out on it?’ [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].
Izzy just let me down really badly. The guy’s a great songwriter. He’s got his own style. He's a cool character. But I'm so ambitious about what I do that I’m always a mile ahead of myself. He’s so not into doing anything. He could be so potentially awesome if he would let himself get totally involved in the band trip, or even his own thing. But he’s so laid back he’ll probably never get around to it. […] It’s strange, but when he got high, everything was cool. He got clean and he couldn’t hang out in the Guns N’ Roses element, or whatever. […] He didn’t wanna do any videos, hardly wanted to show up in the studio. When we ended the last leg of the tour, he didn’t play guitar for three months. He was riding his bike in Indiana or whatever. […]When he showed up at rehearsals for this leg, he sounded like he hadn’t played in three months. The next day he didn’t show at rehearsal at all. Me and Axl were at the end of our f—ing rope. He wasn’t contributing. He was equal partner in the band, so we told him, ‘Until you start doing something you’re not an equal partner.’ He resigned. Didn’t even tell us. Sent notification to the office, the accountant [St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991].
I'm real... hurt, confused and disappointed with Izzy. He stopped wanting to do it, you know, and he didn’t want to go through the ups and downs of what any rock band goes through, which is sort of like your own life, but we live our life out in public. But he just didn’t want to make any effort [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].
But basically, we just came to the conclusion that Izzy wasn't putting in the time we thought was necessary for the good of the band. It had been building up for a long time. And finally Izzy came out in the open with me and Axl and said he didn't want to deal with the work that was involved. So we decided to work with someone else [Guitar World, February 1992].
It was about time that we had some long discussions. I went back out to L.A. and hooked up and had a rehearsal and talked to the guys. Things didn't feel right. I just decided I was going to say goodbye and wish them well [Journal and Courier, February 21, 1993].
It was made clear to me by Axl that he and Slash would steer the machine, control the videos, the direction of the band, everything, and that I had to put up or step out. So I said, 'Fine, I'll go home and paint [Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1993].
Then Izzy went to the band's lawyer and prodded into the band's finances [Popular 1, November 1992]. Slash would say that Izzy checked out the band's finances before the meeting with him and Axl:

The next thing we found out though was that he’d been down to the accountants to find out how much money had been spent on what, when it had nothing to do with him. Axl and I went to him and said ‘Unless you start doing such and such you’re not a full partner anymore’ (Slash’s reference to ‘partners’ here deals with the GN’R corporation which all initial members were part of to take care of business – Ed). Then, without even calling us, he resigns through the office [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Axl tried to convince Izzy to stay and they had a "four hour" phone conversation that ended "amicably" [Popular 1, November 1992]. In this conversation Axl said it was okay if Izzy "didn't want to do this anymore", likely implying that the band would be fine with Izzy not touring any more [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

Axl had a talk with him on the phone and just said ‘Well, listen if you don’t want to do this anymore then that’s fine ‘cos maybe we can write together in the future’ and Izzy was cool and it was real amicable [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Izzy would later talk about this phone conversation and what Axl tried to achieve:

Let’s say that what [Axl] did say didn’t make any sense. (laughs). I didn’t understand what he wanted to get out, but, whatever it was, he didn’t accomplish anything [Popular 1, November 1992].
Before I left I spoke with Axl for a couple of hours on the telephone, and he made it real clear to me that he was going to be running things, so to speak, and there were some conditions put up that I was going to have go by. He was trying to make it good for me as well, I guess, but at the same time I realized that was it, I was done. The next day I signed my leaving papers. What a relief, too, I gotta tell you. I got tired of it, man. I just didn't understand it anymore. It didn't make any sense to me [Spin, April 1993].
According to an interview/article with Izzy in November 1992, Slash claimed that Izzy then spoke bad about Axl and Slash behind their backs, telling the rest of the band that he had been fired and that they didn't give him an opportunity to defend himself [Popular 1, November 1992].

Then he turned around and told Matt and Duff behind our backs that we’d kicked him out. That pissed Axl and me off to no end. Izzy didn’t know we knew and he went over to Axl’s and Axl just turned around and said ‘Get the fuck out of here!’. It was pretty bad [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Axl would confirm that Izzy talked shit about them:

You wanna know how he really hurt me? When he came up here to my f?!king house and acted like, "What's wrong, man?" It's really weird; I knew he was coming. I could literally feel his car driving up as I was getting dressed. I went outside and sat down, because Izzy couldn't come into my house. I couldn't act like he was my friend after what he'd done to me. He came up and acted like he hadn't done anything, but he let us down at a weird time. It wasn't like someone leaving the band because they couldn't take it anymore; he left in a shitty way. Izzy called up members of the band and tried to turn them against me by saying that I pushed him out, and that's not how it went down. He said a lot of shit behind my back. He tried to make a power play and damage us on his way out, and that's real f?!ked up [RIP, October 1992].
Another phone call between Axl and izzy took place, in which Axl asked Izzy to go to hell [Popular 1, November 1992]. According to Slash, this case as a result of Izzy having talked shit about him and Axl:

Izzy didn’t know we knew [that he had talked shit about them] and he went over to Axl’s and Axl just turned around and said ‘Get the fuck out of here!’. It was pretty bad [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
That was the end of Izzy's period in Guns N' Roses.

On November 16, the guitarist Marc Ford told that he have received a phone call from Slash (on November 11 and 12) where he'd been asked to become Guns N' Roses' new touring guitarist. Ford, who had recently joined The Black Crowes, declined [Los Angeles Times, November 16, 1991]. In February 1992, Slash would say that Izzy "dropped out three weeks before we were meant to start the US tour" [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992], probably meaning the leg of the tour that started on December 5, 1991, meaning that Izzy quit the band in mid-November 1991. This coincides well with Marc Ford being asked to replace Izzy on November 16, although the band had obviously tested out other guitarists, including Dave Navarro as early as September 1991, around the time when they had the band meeting in Los Angeles and it became obvious Izzy was considering to quit the band. Later, Slash would pinpoint the date of Izzy's departure to November 7 [RIP, March 1992]. It also coincides well with Izzy describing that he spent October and the first half of November in Indiana riding trial bikes, before returning to Los Angeles in the second half of November and then quitting [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].

[Izzy] didn’t have the courage to come up and tell us in person; he got his lawyers to contact us. He left me looking for a replacement with about a day to find one. Thanks a f------ lot [The Age, January 29, 1993].
And when [Izzy] finally quit it was, like, such short notice and so close to the next leg of the tour. And he didn’t call any of the guys in the band; he just called management and sent, like, a letter of resignation [MTV, May 1993].
Axl would describe being told that Izzy was leaving:

I'm no longer working with Izzy, and people have written about how that went down. (Axl laughs) They weren't around. They didn't see it. They didn't know. They didn't know how painful that experience was. They had no clue. But yet, I was just a dick. (Axl laughs) I just went off on Izzy. You know, he tried to talk to me nicely and l went off. That's not how it went down. It was funny: when Bruce Weber was taking the photos of Stephanie and l for this article, that's when l got the call that Izzy was leaving the band. […] Bruce was taking photos and I was standing there crying. l was blown away. At those times when we're against the wall kissing and my tongue was out and stuff, it's like, there were also tears going dawn my face but with the lighting or whatever it doesn't show. But it was there. Stephanie was helping to comfort me. We didn't go, "Well, let's hug and kiss for the photos." She was comforting me -- my friend of fifteen years was leaving [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
MTW News then reported that Izzy had quit the band, but the news was quickly withdrawn by the request of the band [RAW, December 1991] only to be officially announced by Axl on November 27, on a Rockline interview. Axl would also state that Gilby Clarke would replace Izzy for the tour:

Izzy has resigned. […] At this point, no [=Izzy will not continue writing with the band]. And we have our own plans for the next - the follow-up - and then the record after that. And it’s kinda like, we’re going in separate directions, and he’s not really into touring or video or anything like that. And Slash and I are the ones, you know, figuring out the direction that Guns N’ Roses is going, and Izzy is not really part of that anymore, so...[…] Right now we have a guitar player named Gilby Clarke. And he’s been in Hollywood about as long as us. And, you know, he’s doing a really good job. But I don’t know about farther than the touring [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
When confronted with a fan who was shocked about Izzy leaving:

Well, we’ve been together for 15 years, so it’s kind of a shock to my system too [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Axl would also philosophize on losing members and turn a positive spin on it:

Yeah, well, it’s kinda like...It’s evolving, you know. And certain members necessarily couldn’t keep up with where it’s going, and, you know, we actually ended up being more happy with where we’re at now than where we were. It’s like, we’re glad about the times we had with these people and the songs we did, but it’s evolving, and we’re really happy to be where we’re at right now. And we feel stronger than ever, you know. There’s obstacles every day that seem like the bottom fallout. But we put it back together and we’re usually much more happy with the results of putting it back together than where we were before the accident happened. […] And it’s like, everybody wants to see that togetherness that maybe they aren’t necessarily able to achieve in their own lives, you know, and to relate to it in someone else’s. And it would be nice if we were able to make people happy in that way. But that’s just, unfortunately, how it’s worked for us. And, you know, we’re really happy musically with where we’re going and the directions we’re going [Rockline, November 27, 1991].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri 5 Jul 2019 - 14:16; edited 11 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:19


I don't really enjoy being a center of attention. I'm more into the music and what's happening with that. I enjoy having those guys take care of the publicity [Circus Magazine, September 1988].

There is likely not one single reason why Izzy left, many reasons have been given by the parties involved. Hence, it is easy to choose the one that fits one's narrative the best. Anyway, the man himself, and his former band mates, would talk about it extensively after the departure:

I was sick of it, just completely fed up with it. It didn't feel like it used to, something wasn't happening that used to happen for me [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Being asked if he felt pushed:

Yeah, somewhat. I don't want to get into it too deep; a lot of it's personal stuff. I don't wanna say anything that's already been said about me, you know what I mean? There's been a little shit talked from their side, but I just gotta blow it off and say, 'That's how it is with them, it's nothing new' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
There would also be bitterness about Izzy leaving, with Slash claiming that Izzy had been absent during recording of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, too, with Slash having to record most of his parts:

[Izzy] just wanted to hang out. He thought it would be easy. Even on stage, I knew I had to walk around this person. We never got a sound thing together, or a guitar combo — I ended up playing most of the guitars on the record. […] When he left, he didn’t even resign to us. He called the office, and sent out a memo to everybody. There was a certain amount of hurt in that [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991].
Replacing Izzy's guitar parts, or putting them lower in the mix, actually helped drive Izzy away. When Izzy, in August 1991, realized his guitar work was missing his interest in going on with the band was diminished:

They took two years to finish the two records, and at the end I don't even feel like listening to the final product. Not at all! In fact I listened to the records only after the concert at Wembley in August 91, and I freaked out: "Where the hell is my fucking guitar?" It's gone! From there I lost the little interest I had left in the G N' R enterprise. This and the stadium tour! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
Izzy would also say he never felt like quitting before the UYI touring, and that the late starts was part of the reason:

I never really thought about leaving the band till the last tour we did. 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...  […] I don't wanna talk down on these guys because a lot of the stuff that we did as a band was great, some great music, and God knows we had a load of f**king crazy times, good times. I'm really proud of some of the stuff WE did. Now it's 1992, and who knows where it goes from here. I just had to say, 'I'm stepping aside at this point' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Back when I was a kid, I used to work in a car wash starting at 8 a.m. every day. If you weren't there on time, you got canned. I kept that with me. I think it's just common courtesy not to keep people waiting for you [Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1993].
Slash would also claim that the band worked up Izzy’s songs from the rhythm guitarist’s demo tapes, and that he refused to rehearse, record overdubs, appear in the band’s videos and was virtually lifeless on stage [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].

The claim that Izzy didn't put in enough effort and that the partnership was no longer equal, was an argument Slash would repeat when discussing Izzy [Detroit Free Press, April 12, 1992].

In February 1992, Slash would discuss how Izzy had started to phase out from the band already back in 1989 and how Axl and Slash had been holding things together:

The whole things goes back quite a way. That goes back to the end of our first tour (which ended around late ’88). Izzy and I both went through a breakneck fuckin’ drug bout where we were both very scarey. There came a point where Izzy had to go out to Indiana and straighten himself out as well as me reaching a point where I had with the authorities in the US. I just felt it was ridiculous. The band weren’t doing anything, we’d just played the Stones dates and it was a case of trying to get it all back together again. We went to Chicago to try and do that, as you know. Izzy just didn’t show up for like three months or something. It was just then that it became increasingly obvious that he wasn’t making any effort to do it anymore.

All this shit was going on but, like I said, I don’t go public about shit that’s that personal when it can harm us. And the shit that was going on with Matt and Steven was enough to possibly destroy us. If it hadn’t been for Axl and I really holding on to what Guns N’ Roses is all about and what we had in store for the future was concerned, I’m sure that we would’ve broken up already by then. Izzy was doing nothing to keep it together. He wasn’t playing that great and when he finally showed up he hadn’t touched his guitar for like four months, he didn’t want to be in the videos and he hardly played on the records. All the songs on these records that are his are old demo tapes from years ago that we worked on.

The bottom line is that you’re only as weak as your weakest member and that’s pretty true. When it got to the point where it was me, Matt and Duff rehearsing and trying to get ready for the European tour it didn’t look too good. When we came home after Wembley we carried on rehearsing ‘cos I wanted to hire some horn players. Izzy just wasn’t there.

While I was hiring all these horn players and doing all this work Izzy didn’t seem to care about what we were doing. He showed up right at the tail end of rehearsals and it just was like ‘What the fuck is going on with this band?!’
[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

It’s kinda funny because I know a lot of people are pointing their fingers at Axl and me as being the assholes in this whole thing because they really liked Izzy. The truth of the matter is that we tried everything to keep him going and he just didn’t want to do it. It was a real shame [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Izzy would be asked about Slash's claim that Izzy had sent in sloppy demos:

That's not Slash talking. That's Axl talking and Slash repeating it. Axl did say the tapes weren't up to GNR standards. Well, in the beginning nobody owned an eight-track. All our tapes were made on a cassette player. Whatever, I'm credited with just about everything I wrote. I will say that Slash was much better at keeping tapes in order. He always labeled stuff [Musician, November 1992].
In the band's official fan club newsletter for March 1992, they would explain what happened to their fans this way:

"Izzy Stradlin’ resigned from GN’R. Izzy hasn’t been into GN’R for quite awhile. He didn’t want to tour to do videos or anything. So rather than fake it, Izzy felt (and we support his feelings), that it was best to leave the band and do his own thing. We split on good terms and we’ll miss him. He’s been a part of our lives for a long time and losin’ him is kind of a shock for us too. But we’re confident that things will work out better for everyone this way" [Conspiracy Incorporated, March 1992].

Later Slash would say Izzy would still write with the band and occasionally play with them, but that he was out as a touring musician:

Izzy resigned from Guns on November 7, 1991, because his heart wasn't in it. He's just not interested anymore. It was one of those things where he just didn't want to tour again. Izzy's been keeping himself more or less clean for quite a while now, and the chaos of being on the road, especially with the rest of us driving him crazy, he just couldn't deal with it. He's been 110% sober for the past two years, and even though I'm not shooting up or anything anymore. I'm still a nutcase when it comes to extracurricular activities. He tried to come back though. He came to a couple rehearsals, but he really wasn't there. He didn't care. His heart wasn't in it. Izzy's still gonna write with us, and he might make a few special appearances on the road, but he's no longer a touring member of the band. As for me, personally, I'd rather Izzy be happy. And this is what he wants [RIP, March 1992].
Based on the quotes from Slash it seems Izzy was upset by how much money was spent on the tour (as well as other frustrations he felt at the time, as described in this chapter). Slash and Axl, on their side, was frustrated with Izzy and how he had (for a long time) cares less and less about the band. They then gave him an ultimatum, he either had to pull more weight or he would be demoted (from partner to salaried employee). This likely angered and hurt Izzy resulting in him resigning through the office, which in turn hurt Slash (and likely Axl).

Axl, being asked why Izzy left:

To get a clear answer, you'd have to ask Izzy. My personal belief is that Izzy never really wanted something this big. There were responsibilities that Izzy didn't want to deal with. He didn't want to work at the standards that Slash and I set for ourselves. […] He didn't want to do videos. […] He just wasn't into it. Getting Izzy to work on his own songs on this record was like pulling teeth. When Izzy had 'em on a four-track, they were done. I mean, I like tapes like that, but we'd just get destroyed if we came out with a garage tape. People want a high-quality album. And it was really hard to get Izzy to do that, even on his own material. Izzy's songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record, not because Izzy gave a shit either way. If people think I don't respect Izzy or acknowledge his talent, they're sadly mistaken. He was my friend. I haven't always been right. Sometimes I've been massively wrong, and Izzy's been the one to help steer me back to the things that were right. But I know that I wanted to get as big as we possibly could from Day One, and that wasn't Izzy's intention at all. I think he's ready to do like an X-Pensive Winos (Keith Richards's band) thing. So maybe the world'll get another really cool band. I know that I'll be trying to get an advance tape, just like everybody else [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Talking about how it went down:

But I can fault someone, in the same way someone can fault me, for being an asshole about the way he went about it. A comic book says how Izzy comes to me and says, "You know, I just don't feel I'm up to this," and I go, "Yeah, and you're scared, too, aw, shit." Well, that ain't the way it went down. […] We were filming "Don't Cry," and he had to be there. Instead, he sent a really short, cold letter and didn't show up. We got this letter saying, "This changes, this changes, and maybe I'll tour in January." And they were ridiculous demands that weren't going to be met. I talked to Izzy for four and a half hours on the phone. At some points, I was crying, and I was begging. I was doing everything I could to keep him in the band. There were stipulations, though. If he was going to do like the old Izzy did, he wasn't going to make as much money. It was like "You're not giving an equal share." Slash and I were having to do too much work to keep the attention and the energy up in the crowd. You're onstage going, "This is really hard, and I'm into it and I'm doing it, but that guy just gets to stand there." […] But when the guy's getting up at six thirty in the morning and riding bicycles and motorcycles and buying toy airplanes, and he's donating all this energy to something else, and it's taking 100 percent of our energy to do what we're doing on the stage, we were getting ripped off. I'm hoping Izzy's new album rocks. But at the same time, it'll be like "Why couldn't he do that with us?" He wouldn't do anything [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
I'm angry with him 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 (former G n' R manager) 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].
In the June issue of Musician, Axl would again talking about Izzy leaving and how he [Axl] had championed Izzy and made sure he was included on the 'Illusions':

As far as keeping Guns N' Roses going and figuring out what we're doing, Izzy really wasn't that much involved anymore. He wrote songs, but those songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record and because the band agreed to learn them and liked them and we all worked on them. I really believed in Izzy. I was an Izzy fan for 15 years and I wanted his songs to be a part of this project. But it was like pulling teeth to make that happen. A lot of people might have liked the way Izzy was standing there onstage and it was kind of cool, but the truth of the matter was that Izzy wasn't handling any of the weight
[Musician, June, 1992].
Media would report that Izzy left because he "got tired of touring" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

In August 1992, Slash would again talk about Izzy's departure:

I love the guy [=Izzy] dearly, so I don't want to belittle his character by saying anything about him. But he just got sick and tired of dealing with everything. I think more than anything he didn't want to do the amount of work that Guns N' Roses has to do to keep it together. […] I totally sold my soul to this thing, but Izzy wasn't that way. He didn't want to do videos or spend all those hours in the studio, and slowly but surely he started to drop out [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
And claim he wasn't angry about Izzy phasing out:

Not at all. In fact, I was really happy because I could never understand what was going on with him. Like even on stage, he would just sort of stand there--and that was the only time I'd see him on the road because he traveled separately. When he finally left, it was like a relief because there had been no communication at all [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
That Slash wasn't angry with Izzy at the time, and rather happy about it all, seems somewhat at odds with quotes above where Slash seemed frustrated with Izzy for not doing his part, and hurt when he quit.

In September Duff would say that Izzy quit because he "couldn't handle the pressure" and that it was "amicable and all" [The Gazette/Orange County Register, September 26, 1992]. Again, no, it wasn't completely amicable.

Izzy would also talk about the break in September and October 1992 and in early 1993 and dispute it was because he had a problem with the touring:

I ain’t got a problem, really, with touring. I think I got a bad rap on all that, but... You know what I mean, it’s like... […] Well, I had a bus and they had a plane. And I beat them; to the gig (chuckles). [...] You get to the point where you’re like, am I gonna carry on like this or am I not, you know. And I said I’m not [MTV, September 1992].
I've always loved touring. I got a bad rap from the Gunners about not wanting to tour and do videos and all that. But I've always loved traveling and I've always loved playing different places. I've lived from suitcase to suitcase since '86 [Indianapolis Star, February 21, 1993].

Well, this gig wasn't making me laughing anymore. You know, it's quite easy, I wasn't happy anymore. So I told myself, all right let's do something else! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
I prefer just to work, just to go in and do it. With Guns N’ Roses, I had to stop involving myself much with the press because I had no idea when the record was going to be finished. It was such a day-to-day existence, I never really knew what was happening. I didn’t want to make promises unless I planned on keeping them [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Talking about trying to learn some songs to play while Axl was off-stage: I couldn’t get the other guys to learn any cover songs with me, or practice anything to fill the space. I tried talking to Axl about it and he would just get pissed off. I was really fed up and unhappy with it. I felt like there was nothing I could do to fix this thing [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Talking about the press: It got to the point where the only thing you’d hear or read about was the antics. There was no talk of the music, which was what it was all meant to be about. If the band is consistently in the papers for things other than the music, it’s weird. We had a lot of drug problems in the band from day one, but, somehow, we managed to rise above that with our music and records. With the “Illusion” albums, it kinda felt that the music had submerged beneath the bullshit [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Talking about strained relationships and that he: rarely saw [Axl], except of gigs. The band had a great big aeroplane, and I only rode it once, I think [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Of course, some blame for this must be put on Izzy who decided to stay away from the band, which meant that he wouldn't be as updated on the progress of recording and that he would become estranged from his bandmates. He would also admit that the growing estrangement was partly his fault [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].

I did prefer to travel at my own pace. They had a jumbo jet and most of the gigs were 200 miles apart. When a gig was over, my girlfriend and my dog and I would get on the tour bus. I didn't need to go out and get laid. I had to pass on the booze. There just wasn't much for me to do backstage. Toward the end of the tour we even dumped the bus and took a van or a motorcycle. My dog Treader loved being on tour. I got him when I got sober and he's helped me keep my perspective, see life through a dog's eyes. You're doing all right if you've got food, a place to sleep and someone to pet you [Musician, November 1992].
On why he travelled by himself: It was only because it was much simpler. Most of the time I got there before the plane did. As weird as it sounds, that was usually the case [Spin, April 1993].
The only thing I wanted to see was the gigs running on time. Also, whoever was responsible for being late should have been prepared to pay the ‘loss charges’ to the union guys. It’s ugly that it comes down to money, but we f***ed away hundreds of thousands of dollars over these late gigs. I didn’t think it was fair for the band to keep turning up late. People have got jobs to go back to in the morning, they have families and kids, they’ve got to get babysitters, and I just figured, ‘Shit, these people are shelling out money for tickets, and we should be on time. If the monitors are f***ed, too f***ing bad. We should just roll with it and try and get them working [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Still, the deteriorating friendship between Izzy and Axl was a main reason for his decision to leave:

The differences of opinion were between me and Axl. I tried to resolve the problems with him before I left, but it didn’t look too promising. I’d known him for long enough to know that he was going to do things his way, and I’d end up doing things my way. We were both hard-headed in that sense [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
When asked about the allegations that he wouldn't work while in GN'R yet was about to release a new record in about six months, Izzy would respond:

How can I say this without spitting more venom into the debate? I saw all their dirty laundry bashing all over the magazines. At some time, I felt a little bit like picking up my phone, call a journalist and spit my answer, my version of the story... […] Finally I decided to get into the studio. The others can say whatever they want [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
In the October issue of RIP Axl would again talk about Izzy leaving and how he felt, and indicate that he felt Izzy's working with Alan Niven as a particular betrayal:

I feel like shit all over me, and I wiped it off and ain't too happy that it happened. I think for a long period of time Izzy wanted to be more independent, but Guns N' Roses took off fast, and he was such a part of it, it was hard to take that step. That's my opinion. There are certain responsibilities to Guns N' Roses that Izzy didn't want to face. He basically didn't want to work as hard at certain things as we did. He pretty much just showed up before we went onstage, would get upset that I wasn't on time, played, then split. There were times when we'd get off stage, and five minutes later he was gone. He didn't socialize with the band on any level, and he had a real problem being sober and being around us. Izzy's always been very compulsive and impulsive, and although he's quit abusing various substances, he still hasn't gotten to the base of the reason why he was abusive. He hasn't solved that, so instead of doing drugs, drinking and womanizing, he was keeping himself busy traveling, bicycling and buying lots of toys. There's nothing wrong with any of that, except that he wasn't able to do the things required of him in Guns N' Roses. Getting Izzy to work hard on the album was like pulling f?!kin teeth. Everybody dreaded it. Nobody would go by the studio while he was there, because no one wanted to deal with it. He'd play something out of key, and we'd ask him to do it again, and he'd be like, "Why? I just did it." Izzy was very unsupportive of me in general. He was very concerned about his free time, and he didn't have a whole lot of understanding of what to takes me to do my job. As far as I'm concerned, he was a lazy, selfish user. There are ways that I miss him and wish it could've gone on, but he was a real f?!king asshole to me. I was always a massive Izzy fan and supporter, but now that he's working with Alan Niven [former GN'R manager], f?!k him - and you can print this. Even if we work things out between us, I won't regret what's coming out in this interview, because it's how I feel. I'm glad we got the songs out of him that we did, and I'm glad he's gone [RIP, October 1992].
Looking back in November 1992:

Guns N' Roses was pure chaos. The smallest thing could turn into a massive problem. You'd get pulled in one direction and then the other. It was really difficult keeping hold of where you were supposed to be going. What really bothered me was working on 'Use Your Illusion I and II'. It progressed really slowly. Each song kept being taken to bits and analysed again and again and remade and before you knew it was weeks and months had gone by. When we finally finished a song I'd forgotten how to play the others. Slowly but surely, I began to realise that I wanted to have less and less to do with it. When things went on and on I finally realised that I'd have to do something about it [Rock Star, November 1992].
[…] getting sober played a part in my leaving. I think you make more decisions when you're sober. And when you're fucked up, you're more likely to put up with things you wouldn't normally put up with. When I have something I wanna do, I gotta do it. I like just doing it. I didn't like the complications that became such a part of daily life in Guns N' Roses. Sometimes for the simplest things to happen would take days. Time was so slow, you sat around for days just to do a photo shoot. Schedule it, get a phone call, it's been delayed. Reschedule it, get a phone call, it's been delayed again. That pattern could stretch out for weeks. On "Illusion", we did the basic tracks in about a month. Then there was a time lag of about a year before the vocals were finished. I went back to Indiana and painted the house. If you've got a group and people are focused, it just shouldn't take that long [Musician, November 1992].
For the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, I was sober doing those tracks, and it was just frustrating. When you're sober and you gotta be someplace at four, and when other people come in at six or seven, and they're, like, not quite together, you find yourself thinking, why the fuck was I here at four? [Kerrang! December 5, 1992].
And in early 1993:

It was becoming harder and harder to deal with G N’ R on a daily basis. There was always an undercurrent that somebody could go to jail or die of an overdose. And in a big band like that, there are so many phone calls and faxes to worry about. There are so many changes every hour. It was just mind-boggling. I needed to get away and cool out [The Boston Globe, February 5, 1993].
It was a very clear-headed decision. I didn’t leave in any emotional state or anything like that. See, I just wanted to play music and have fun, just enjoy it. And it wasn't like that anymore [Detroit Free Press, February 14, 1993].
It was the last tour that was the beginning of the end for me. We were having a lot of trouble. And I was just growing tired of it. We'd finished up the tour. We'd done America and we'd done Europe and it was time to do videos. I'm just not into the big production videos. I like to keep it real simple, which it wasn't anymore with Guns. […] It just got to the point that Axl, he was going to run the show. He was going to run Guns n' Roses. I just decided I wasn't going to be part of it, that I was going to go off and do whatever. I thought about coming back and planting some acreage [laughter] [Journal and Courier, February 21, 1993].
It was a pretty tough thing. I was pushed and pulled in any number of directions. It just wasn't working out for me on any level and I couldn't seem to communicate my side of it. […] I couldn't really get through to anybody. I've known Axl a long time and I still have a lot of feelings for these guys. But I had to leave to get sane and somewhat normal. To get back to reality, I guess you could say [Quad City Times, February 24, 1993].
It was made clear to me by Axl that he and Slash would steer the machine, control the videos, the direction of the band, everything, and that I had to put up or step out. So I said, 'Fine, I'll go home and paint [Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1993].
Living with that kind of stuff [the circus that was GN'R] day to day takes its toll. I left because I figured there's got to be a simpler way to get through life day to day [Star Tribune, February 26, 1993].
After, after the whole drug period… Um, I think everybody went in their own directions. And as far as dealing with getting off the drugs, everybody had their own approach. And from the time that we'd more or less quit, you know, dope and stuff. Um, Izzy had more or less lost interest in… I don't know if he lost interest or, I mean there could have a lot of phases, and I don't wanna, you know, put Izzy's personality into one little sentence. But what it seemed to me was that he'd lost interest in doing the work that was involved. He didn't feel comfortable with all the other guys. Because we'd all gone through this massive emotional experience in trying to get ourselves out of the slum. And he just didn't wanna run with the ball anymore. So, when we finally did get through that whole period and we, we got into the studio he wasn't that interested. He didn't have that much input, as far as recording and all that was concerned. And that was a really stressful time for the entire band anyway. And we went out on tour, and he finally quit. And the time that he was on tour, right before he quit, I was just really pissed off. Because it seemed like he'd show up and he would stand on the stage, for the alotted two and a half, three hours. And then, you know, split. I felt for that whole period of time that he was on stage, he really didn't wanna be there [The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].
The last three months of our last tour got to be a little too much for me. We were having trouble finishing our sets, we couldn’t seem to get on stage at the right time, and it all seemed wrong to me. It just wore me out, and I started thinking, There’s got to be a better way to go about this [The Daily Spectrum, April 11, 1993].
During the last three months I spent on tour with them, it was growing increasingly tough for us to get onstage on time and finish a gig without some sort of interruption. Things were just out of control. In the early days I had some sort of balancing factor in the band, and we'd discuss things. But towards the end, I was less and less spoken to about decisions. I'm sure a lot of it s my own doing, because those last few months were so chaotic that I took a sideline position. I didn't want to be wrapped up in all the madness [Guitar Playing Magazine, May 1993].

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].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:22


With Izzy leaving the band, the band again found themselves in a position of having to replace a member that they had thought was irreplaceable. The last time they needed a new drummer fast to continue recording the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, this time because they were supposed to go back out on tour in not long.

When Izzy left […] we realized that we either had to find a new guitarist in three weeks or cancel a bunch of gigs. We didn't want to cancel any shows, so we started searching. […] I had a piece of paper with about 30-odd candidates listed. Duff was looking around and Axl had his ideas, but nobody seemed right [Guitar Player, November 1992].
One of the guitarists that the band considered was Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro. That Navarro was auditioning to replace Izzy had also rumored in the press before Izzy's departure was official [Los Angeles Times, September 1991]. But Navarro didn't cut it:

[Navarro] didn't work out. He's got a little too much going on right now with his own personal situation [Guitar World, February 1992].
For a while it looked like Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction was going to join, but he couldn't get it together, so that never happened [Guitar Player, November 1992].
Gilby would later say that it was Axl who wanted Navarro [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993].

Another rumour was that ex-Rose Tattoo slide guitarist Mick Cocks would replace Izzy [RAW, December 1991]. The did not, however, contact Tracii:

I thought I would be [asked to replace Izzy], actually. […] I would have said no. […] It would have been nice to be asked, yeah. I expected it because not only was it my band at one time but other bands when they lose their guitar player have asked me... [Kerrang! May 23, 1992].
After putting the word out that they were looking for a replacement for Izzy, the name of Gilby Clarke was then quickly mentioned:

When we decided to look for a new guitarist, I put the word out as discreetly as possible. A couple of my friends recommended Gilby—he's a guy that Axl and I sort of knew from Guns N' Roses' early days. He was in another band at the time, but we had lost track of him. Axl and I auditioned 17 guitarists or so, and he's the one who fit in the best. He had to learn about 30 songs in two weeks in order to be ready for the tour on time, and he's done a great job. We're really happy [Guitar World, February 1992].
We knew Gilby when me and Axl were in Hollywood Rose, which was ages ago. He was in another band, and I met him then. He was a cool guy then and I hadn't talked to him in all these years that Guns N' Roses had been together. I discreetly went through, like, 15 guitar players trying to find somebody to do the spot because we only had three weeks before the first show. Someone mentioned Gilby and I thought, "Yeah, I know him." I talked to him on the phone. He was the only guy that I actually rehearsed [Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].
Slash and I, we went kind of nuts. I just happened to have Gilby’s number written on the back of a book. I had gotten his number from a friend of a friend of a friend. So I called him to come down and audition. He was the first guy we auditioned. We heard him and said, ‘Cool’ [The Gazette/Orange County Register, September 26, 1992].
Izzy decided he wanted to leave and go do his own thing. And we had, like, two weeks to find somebody. So Slash, and Duff and myself just started throwing around names, you know. And Gilby was an old friend from the club days in L.A., and we thought it was a perfect choice [From April 20, 1992, footage in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
I was tearing my hair out, trying to figure who to get. We obviously couldn't put an ad in the paper. Someone randomly suggested one of Izzy's friends, Gilby Clarke. I had thought about him, but I hadn't seen him since our earliest club days. So I called him up, and he came down. He was the only guy we auditioned. One guy! [Guitar Player, November 1992].
The news was definitely on the street. Though I asked a friend who was working with the band to mention my name to Slash, I was a little surprised when he actually called me on the phone to ask if I'd like to audition [Guitar Player, November 1992].
I hadn’t heard from [Guns N' Roses] in about five years. Then I found out that Izzy was leaving, and I called up a friend of mine who worked for them and said, ‘If you’re throwing in names, throw in my name.’ And Slash just called me one day. […] They had a lot of people in mind. But I was the only person who came in and physically auditioned for the band, came down and played with them. The rest of the people, he pretty much met in a hotel and kind of like ‘vibed’ them. If they didn’t pass the vibe test, that was it. Me, I had known them, so I just went down there. […] With this band, the people that work for the band, it’s like a family. These people have been with the band since the beginning. So if someone new is going to come into their family, it has to be more than just ‘You’re a good guitar player, you can cover it.’ It has to be more like, 'Do you fit in?’ [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993].
Everyone in Los Angeles had heard the rumors that Izzy had left Guns N' Roses and that David Navarro had replaced him. The next rumor was that David wasn't in. When all this happened I called a guy that worked for them called Josh Richman, whom I knew very well, and said "Josh, if Guns is looking for a new guitarist couldn't you mention my name to them" [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Gilby was only happy to get the opportunity:

[…] when Izzy left, I was the only guitarist they called to audition [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
The only thing I remember clearly about the audition is that they had this taped-off area where Izzy used to stand, which said to me, 'Do you have what it takes to fill this spot?' That was pretty amusing [Guitar Player, November 1992].
[…]I was a little surprised when [Slash] actually called me on the phone to ask if I'd like to audition. I said, "Yeah, I think I can make that." [laughs] Then he said, "Learn three songs and come down tomorrow. […] The funny thing is, I really didn't even learn the three songs, I just listened to a few things, got the keys in my head, and winged in the next day. I didn't really have any time to prepare beyond that. […] To be honest, I don't really remember [which songs they were]. I think it was "Civil War," "Knocking On Heaven's Dorr" and one other. […] So, after my audition, they asked me to learn some more songs and told me to come back the next day. This continued for a week. They never said I had the job, they just kept asking me to return [Guitar Player, November 1992].
Slash called me. And he just called me one day - you know, everybody had heard rumors around town that they were looking for a guitar player. So he gave me a call and asked me to come down. So I came down the next day, played some songs with him and then he asked me to come back the next day. And just like that, like, every day was, “Can you come back tomorrow?” [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
Talking about starting in GN'R: My first thing was like – almost like relief, after pounding, you know, L.A. clubs and touring America and stuff. And then, you know, everybody in town knew that they were looking for a guitar player, and when [Slash] called, I was like, 'Yes!' […] And it’s like, I was going to see Izzy’s new band. That’s why I went to see the band, 'Let’s go see Izzy’s new band,' you know? And then I met and talked to Axl a few times. Honestly, I really didn’t know Slash and Duff at all. I had known Matt because him and I had played so many clubs together for years and years on end. And so, when this call came, it was kinda cool, cuz at least when I got to go down, you know, I had known Matt fairly well; so, no matter what was going out with everybody else, I can always, like, go to Matt: (whispers) 'What’s going on?' (laughs) [Hey Hey It's Saturday, September 1992].
After a week of auditioning Gilby got the job:

And then, like, after a week, they said, "We're gonna do the tour, so you have another week to learn everything" (laughs). That’s basically what we did. […] I mean, I don't think that I could have been the guitar player to help them get where they got today. I think Izzy, you know, he had a lot of contribution to that and he was the one who brought them to where they are. Hopefully I’m gonna be the one after it, to the next step [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
After a week of auditions, Slash called me up and told me I had the job, and that the band wanted to start touring the following week. I had to learn 50 songs in one week, and play them in front of thousands of people. My second gig was Madison Square Garden! I would come to rehearsal, play what I had learned, then go home and learn five more songs. I didn't sleep for two solid weeks - all I did was play guitar [Guitar Player, November 1992].
I had two weeks to learn, like, 40-plus songs. Two weeks. So it’s like, I didn’t have any time to think about anything, you know. Izzy and I are from the same school. They all kind of like the same kind of music, so I think that’s one of the things that - the reason why I’m doing it is because there was a certain style that they wanted and that was what I play [From April 20, 1992, footage in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
I don’t know how I did it [=learn 50 songs]. I didn’t have song books to do it with and nobody even knew what Izzy played. They gave me the records. I'd be learning five songs a day and then remembering the five songs I learned from the day before. I'd rehearse with them during the day. At night, I would learn five new songs. […] When I played the first date, there were only two songs that I had cheat-sheets for. I actually memorized all of them. And to this day, I still have those same two cheat-sheets. Coma and Estranged I cheat on. I still don’t know them [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].
People were going. 'Hey, what'd Izzy play?' And then someone else would answer, 'I don't know. I never listened!' [laughter] It was crazy, wild. But we all got along, and it was a real nice feeling. Of course, I had two weeks to learn 50 songs! It was a miracle we ever managed that first concert together — two weeks later — but we did [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
I had so much work to do. I mean, I really had to learn almost 50 songs in two weeks - that I didn't have time to fathom thoughts of 'What's Axl going to say...,' you know, 'What if they don't like this lick?', 'What if we don't get along?', What if I'm not wearing the right clothes?' […] The reason I got it was because we do all fit together, we do all get along and we do have the same lifestyle [The Greenville News, September 29, 1992].
They could have taken a more established guitarist then me. Even though I had been in different signed groups I was totally unknown to the public. Guns N' Roses have an incredible apprehension of who they are and what they want to do. They wanted someone they could trust and could associate with on the side of the stage. Their court photographer Robert John laid in a good word for me, which most certainly helped [Heavy Mental, 1992].
It was like, ‘If you can learn all the songs, you’re in the band.’ So that’s what I had to do — learn every song.... They had just released the ‘Illusion’ records and I hadn’t heard any of that. I had heard just the first two albums, and I didn’t know how to play one of their songs [Muncie Evening Press, February 26, 1993].
Every day, somebody different was coming up to my amp and just standing beside my amp. I’m sitting, like, learning the songs and playing, and there’s somebody different every day standing by my amp. So it’s like I always have this feeling that somebody is listening to everything I’m doing (laughs). All the time with the band I’m just waiting for when they’ll say, “You missed a note. We’re gonna have to send you home [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
One problem Gilby faced was the fact that no one in the band really knew what Izzy had been playing:

My task was to play Izzy's parts and play exactly like him. No one helped me in the beginning. Slash told me to pick out Izzy's parts and play them. So I listened to the albums, came down to the rehearsal place and played. "That's not Izzy's riff," meant Slash, and I said "but that's what I heard." "It's my riff" he continued whereupon I said "oh!" So I had to learn to play exactly like Izzy did [Heavy Mental, 1992].
To make matters worse, nobody really seemed to know what Izzy played. I would perform something, and Slash would say, "I thought you knew this tune." And I'd argue that I did. And then he'd say, "No you don't - you're playing my part!" And then we'd realize that you couldn't really hear Izzy's part on some of the songs. So then we had to try to reconstruct his parts the best we could. Duff knew what Izzy had played more than anyone, so I leaned on Duff a lot.

But it also might have been a blessing in disguise. It gave everyone in the band the opportunity to suggest a fresh approach. I think they were giving me stuff to play that they always wanted to hear, but Izzy would never do. So my rhythm parts are a combination of Izzy's original ideas, some of my ideas and a few additional ideas provided by the band
[Guitar Player, November 1992].
They give me the records and they give me the list, so every day I had to learn different songs. But the funny thing is, as you go in, you’re like, I’ll go in to learn the songs; and I’d go, “Is this right?” and Slash would go, “I don’t know” [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
Later, Slash would emphasize, and confirm Gilby quotes from above, that he only rehearsed with one other guitarist, indicating that the 16 others they considered for the job either didn't play at all, or played alone (possibly with recorded backtrack):

Despite what everyone said, Gilby was the only one that I physically rehearsed with and it worked out great. It was real casual and he just makes the effort on stage that Izzy didn’t [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
During the rehearsals Izzy called and asked who would replace him:

When they tried guitarists Izzy called and asked who was gonna replace him. When they answered it was going to be me he said that he was happy. We respect each other very much and I'm not gonna take anything from him. Izzy made sure this group got on the map and what he's done is totally incredible. I'm after Izzy [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Slash was thrilled about having Gilby in the band and would claim that "for the first time in years, he is getting harmonic support on his guitars solos" [The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1991]. He would also say that Gilby's "enthusiasm" countered Izzy's "lethargic stage presence and rudimentary guitar work" [St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991].

We hired Gilby because he is his own man. The last thing we needed was someone whose mind would've been blown at the prospect of playing with GN'R. We didn't need that kind of pressure, because we were trying to cope with the loss of Izzy. We needed to know that the person joining the band could hold his end of it together [Guitar Player, November 1992].
As mentioned above, Axl preferred Navarro over Gilby and wasn't as enthusiastic in the beginning, but this subsided as soon as they started to play together:

Axl was one of the people who really wasn’t in favor of me being the new guitar player. He wanted David Navarro. Once I got in, I really had a lot to prove to him. And after the first show, he came up to me and said, ‘I’m so happy you’re here.’ It made me feel a lot better [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993].
When Gilby joined the band and it was brought up, I wasn’t into it at all, because Gilby had kind of been, in the early days, considered – at least in my mind and in girls’ minds – as, like, Izzy’s rival (laughs). […] I didn’t know what Gilby was into or what Gilby was doing. I didn’t know Gilby personally, but it was just a name you always heard; and there was this other guy that I admit that I always thought was Gilby. […] He was cool, but I didn’t want to work with him. And that wasn’t who Gilby was; I never knew that (chuckles) [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
When I went down to the studio, before we went on tour, to see this person play, knowing that we pretty much had to go with this person or we were fucked. […] I walked in, and he was playing Coma and rocking out. It was just like done deal; and all I can say, it’s perfect [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
Despite having found Gilby, the band wasn't sure whether he would be a recording member or just a touring members:

Right now we have a guitar player named Gilby Clarke. And he’s been in Hollywood about as long as us. And, you know, he’s doing a really good job. But I don’t know about farther than the touring. […] He was in the band Candy when we were playing the clubs, there was all kinds of different bands [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Chemistry between musicians is something that takes a while to develop. So right now we're just touring. We don't have any plans for recording or writing together [Guitar World, February 1992].
We have a person that we are working with, named Gilby Clarke, who has played around Hollywood about as long as us. But I don’t know about the next album, you know. We’re still talking with other people and stuff as far as that goes [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
I don’t know if we’re going to write with [Gilby] when the tour’s over but I actually call him up and say ‘You wanna do this?’ and we hang out. With Izzy, the only time we used to do that was when we were getting stoned. That was like over three years ago [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
One of the reasons for this reluctance might have been a hope that Izzy would actually return:

Discussing if Izzy is out for good: That's something I have no idea about—how this is going to affect Izzy and his attitude. He may be happy not doing this anymore. Or he might really want to come back and make the effort that he wasn't making before. […] I just can't understand how [Izzy] could let something like this just fall apart. I mean the guy didn't want to tour or do videos; he hardly wanted to record. I just never thought he was one of those guys that this would happen with. It's a lot different than the Steve Adler situation. So I don't know what's going to happen a year from now: whether we'll be working with Gilby, Izzy or somebody else altogether. A lot of things are up in the air right now. But we've got a heavy duty tour going on, and we've got a killer band to do it [Guitar World, February 1992].
Gilby would also comment on fitting in immediately:

I had two weeks to learn about 40 songs – that was hard! Fitting in was the easy part, we hit it off right away [The Evening Chronicle, June 16, 1992].
As the touring went on, the band members would praise Gilby:

Well, he’s done a really good job considering that he had only about two weeks to learn the entire set, you know, of tunes. And basically we don’t learn a set; we learn, like, a lot of songs. So he learned about 30 songs for the tour and we pick from those. So, you know, in that respect he learned a lot of stuff in a short period of time, which is really brave [Video Interview, February 1992].
Gilby was the guy that fit in, like, right off. Same way that Matt worked out. And Gilby was the only guy that we actually had come down to the studio and rehearse on stage with us. So it was that kind of chemistry [Video Interview, February 1992].
Gilby fit in so naturally that I figured it was a godsend; I didn't feel like we had to look any further. He just came in and did the work required. He's a great guy. He's a little older than I am, he's been on the road for a long time, and he's tough as nails. Gilby and I have become friends - that's how we relate to each other. We didn't want a session guy or some weird, star-fucker type who was into the gig for the glory, or to further a solo career. We wanted a dedicated band member, and he has grown into that [Guitar Player, November 1992].
In the band's official fan club newsletter, they would mention Gilby joining the band this way:

"Sitting in on rhythm guitar for the now is a guy by the name of Gilby Clark. Gilby is a cool guy and has been playin’ Hollywood for about as long as we have. He was in a band “Kill For Thrills” and an old Hollywood “Candy.” It sometimes takes a while for the chemistry of band members to develop and meld. So we’ll see how Gilby will fit in... but right now, he’s doing a killer job! " [Conspiracy Incorporated, March 1992].

In July 1992 Gilby would be joking about going from "nothing" to GN'R over one night:

Basically, they bribed me (chuckles). They made me do it. […] It was a tough decision, you know, to go from the clubs and stuff to doing this. It was hard. […] 10 years of struggling, 6 months of cheating (laughs). And it was right there, right at the top.  […] Oh, man, this is great. This is, like, everything you’ve ever heard of, like The Rolling Stones used to do back when we were growing up. This is it, this is the top [MTV, July 17, 1992].
I’ve been doing this for so long and finally it’s handed to you. At first I felt a little strange, like ‘You don’t deserve this.’ I didn’t feel comfortable — I was comfortable with the guys but not with the other stuff. Axl actually said one time, ‘You deserve this just like the rest of us. You worked just as hard, played all those clubs just like we did.' And I said. ‘Yeah, maybe I can accept this’ (laughs) [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993].
Later he would also talk about being afraid it would just be a short, temporary thing:

I never even thought I was going to make it to the first gig [laughs]. I thought they were just covering themselves until Izzy came back. Then I thought they were going to dump me after our '91 Christmas break. But then Slash gave me this beautiful red Les Paul with an ebony neck. After that, I felt a lot more comfortable. You don't give somebody a present like that if things aren't going well [Guitar Player, November 1992].
And when asked if it was much of a change to join GN'R:

Actually, in a strange way, it wasn’t. Living in L.A. and being in the rock scene, you basically have this style of life and I pretty much already fit in. What was really great was I always liked the band from the earliest days when they first started in clubs and I thought it was a really cool band. Now they’re probably the biggest band in the world. I was just so happy [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:22


"He ain't Izzy, but who is he?" [Guitar Player, November 1992].

I was born in 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to California when I was 16 years. At this moment did music come into my life. I couldn't play guitar, but together with two friends who played bass and drums I formed a band anyway. We were really bad! [Heavy Mental, 1992].
I moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles in my early teens. I was supposed to go to high school, but that never really happened - I discovered the guitar instead [Guitar Player, November 1992].
[…] I’d been in bands in Cleveland. I was like the little rock star around school (more laughter) [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993].
We went in high school and our gigs were at schools. All the other bands that played on these high schools consisted of guys that had left the school a couple of years earlier. Since we still were in high school we became somewhat of local rock-stars [Heavy Mental, 1992].
What was really strange is that when I first moved here [=Los Angeles] people were so nice — you walk down the street and people say ‘Hello.’ And I’d go ‘What the hell? Well, F-k you.’ Where I came from you’d get in a fight once or twice a week, it was no big deal and you’d be friends again the next day. But when I moved out here my first week I got in a fight and next thing I’m in the principal's office and I’m suspended. It was like, ‘Oh, California...' [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1992].
A lot of people say that they chose this lane because of the chicks. That wasn't the case for me. I've always been interested in music and when I lived in Cleveland I bought records with Alice Cooper and Aerosmith. I had to have a guitar, so I changed a pair of stereo loudspeakers, that my parents had given me, for a guitar [Heavy Mental, 1992].
From the age of 16 I've aimed to becoming a rock star and daydreamed about standing on a stage. I don't know why, but the thoughts about music was in my head and grew stronger all the time [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Gilby's first proper band was Candy [Guitar Player, November 1992] which was formed in 1981 when Gilby was becoming a "fairly competent guitarist" [Heavy Mental, 1992].

I had two bands before Guns N’ Roses and, like, we had our first record deal in... Jeez, I think it was, like, ’83-’84. So I did, like, a couple years of touring the States. That band was doing pretty good - we were on MTV and all that - and that went on for, like, five years [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
We got signed with Polygram and released the album "Whatever Happened To Fun" (1985). The music was a mix of Bay City Rollers, Beatles and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. It was a weird band, because we looked like punkers but played pop! That was way before Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue became the biggest thing that happened Los Angeles in years. We went as opening act to the, at the time, mega-huge Rick Springfield and performed in big arenas [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Candy didn't go anywhere and Gilby decided to start a new band, Kill For Thrill where he would take a more prominent role [Heavy Mental, 1992].

And then I started my other band, Kill For Thrills. That was just basically from the ground up playing clubs and, you know, the whole thing. And it's just years, you know, doing all that stuff [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].
Candy was really big in Los Angeles. When I started Kill For Thrills everyone in town knew who we were, so we had a stabile ground to stand on. We didn't have to go through a lot of shit that a lot of other new bands have to [Heavy Mental, 1992].
Kill For Thrill released two records: "Commercial Suicide" (1988-89) and "Dynamite From Nightmareland" (1989-90) [Heavy Mental, 1992]. Looking back Gilby would admit he released three records that "flopped" [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992].

Gilby met Izzy while playing in bands in Los Angeles, likely during his Candy period, and they shared a love for the Rolling Stones:

Seriously, I was one of Izzy's first friends in Los Angeles. We both got to L.A. around the same time. Izzy and I both liked the same kind of music, and we hung around in the same small circle of friends [Muncie Evening Press, February 26, 1993].
We both wanted to be Keith Richards [Guitar Player, November 1992].
I met Izzy around 1984, shortly after he moved to Hollywood, and we really hit it off. We were part of a small group of Keith Richards fanatics who were somewhat alienated from L.A.'s heavy metal scene. During that period, I was also the lead singer and guitarist in a moderately successful power-pop band called Candy, which had a record deal with Mercury and even did a major arena tour warming up for Rick Springfield [the Australian heartthrob best known for his hit single, "Jesse's Girl"].

Izzy and I eventually lost contact, because I was busy with the band. But the next thing I knew, he was in the hottest band in Los Angeles - Guns N' Roses. When I was in town, I went to see GN'R every chance I could because I wanted to support Izzy
[Guitar Player, November 1992].
I'd known Izzy and Axl both in the early years. We used to jam together in Los Angeles in the lean years [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
Since I knew Izzy and he had a new band I had to check it out. This was before Guns when they were called Hollywood Rose. When I first saw them and heard Axl singing I said "that's one damned talented singer." It was so obvious that he had something special. […] I had been out on tour for a while and when I got back in LA I was shocked over Izzy's band. Suddenly they were the biggest in Los Angeles. I saw a show with them and even though the sound was so bad that you couldn't discern much, I understood something was going on. […] The first that struck me when the album ("Appetite") came out was Slash. He was the best guitarist I've heard in a l-o-n-g time [Heavy Mental, 1992].
I was actually friends with Izzy when Izzy first came to town. Then when Izzy got in Guns N’ Roses, I used to go see them because it was Izzy’s band. […] I kind of lost touch when they went on and became big and my bands were still playing clubs all those years [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993].
I was one of Izzy’s first friends when he came to L.A. […] I never played with Izzy. He wasn’t a very good drummer (laughs). So him probably playing guitar was a better idea (laughs). […] I mean, I like it. I really like it. I always liked their music from day one. And to be playing it now, it’s like, I almost feel as if – you know, when I’m playing, it’s not faking it. I enjoyed it and I liked it [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
Gilby also met Matt during his Candy period:

I've known Matt since the beginning of the eighties when I was in Candy. I had met Axl, Duff and Slash a couple of times, but I didn't really know them [Heavy Mental, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:23


Izzy leaving the band was a big shock to the band and fans alike. The fallout from the band members telling their side of what happened to the media affected the relationship between Izzy and his previous band members for a long time.

In March 1992 it seems like the split was permanent, because Slash would indicate that they probably weren't going to be working together after all:

I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Izzy. That’s a personal kind of a situation in a way, cuz of course, you know, we’ve been together for a long time, and him and Axl’s known each other for a long time. We went through a lot of stuff together. But he basically just wasn’t interested in doing it anymore for whatever reasons [that] are basically unknown. I mean, I have my ideas, and Axl has his ideas and Duff as well, so... It’s like, the songs that he wrote on this record, a lot of them the band really had to work up to make them sound the way that they do. Maybe he didn’t want them to sound that way, I’m not really sure. So as far as writing songs in the future, I just figure, you know, the three of us are gonna do what we’re gonna do. I don’t know if we’re gonna keep working with Gilby or not, because we’re just touring right now doing songs that have already been recorded. And as far as the relationship with Izzy goes, if it doesn’t happen, obviously we’re not gonna, like, go, “We can’t write songs anymore,” because obviously we’ve written a lot of songs without him, and so... [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
And when asked if he was still in contact with Izzy:

No, I don’t think we’re a real good – you know, in a good way as far as a relationship goes, but it is a time-will-tell thing [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
During a call-in interview on Rockline in July, Slash was asked if Izzy would contribute to songwriting in the future, to which Slash replied:

I’m gonna talk to [Izzy] tomorrow about some of the so-called logistics having to do with the situation that we’re dealing with, so we’ll take it from there [Rockline, July 13, 1992].
In July 1992 Slash would say he had just met Izzy for the first time since the break-up:

I saw him for the first time here in New York. We met in a neutral place, a neutral hotel. And it was great, because there’s so much red tape and so much politics involved, that you don’t communicate at all as people. You go through, you know, management calls so and so and so and so, calls the accountants, messages go back and forth. Everything snowballs and you get to a point where it’s so out of hand, this whole split. I can admit that we, like, hated Izzy, because he wouldn’t deal with us directly, he didn’t quit directly. You know, he sent a memo, a letter of resignation to the accountants and to the management, so we were just like, “You know, where you...?” You know, cuz that felt closer than that. But there was a lot of stuff in the way that this band has evolved, that has gone on emotionally, technically as far as business is concerned, the whole stature of it just being sort of overbearing, and all that. So we got a chance to actually talk about a lot of the personal things that we felt in all of this, you know, sort of Guns N’ Roses hype, and hysteria, and all that; because, as band members, we never felt like a part of it, it was always what was built up around us. And it got to a point where he didn’t want to be involved in the amount of work that it took and the amount of stress, and energy, and sleepless nights that took to keep it going so that it didn’t fall apart. So he just bailed and we took that really personally. But having seen him recently, it was nice. I missed the guy, you know. It was nice to actually see him. And we talked about how we want to make this a clean break without going to court, without having to make it, you know, insanely public and bicker back and forth in the press; which is really easy, because attorneys can send out letters and they print them in the press, and then we, you know, the band or the members of the band, see it and go, “How can he say that?” and it’s really not what came out of his mouth. And that builds up after a while and then you tend to misjudge somebody altogether. I mean, as long as he’s happy it’s cool, as long as we have an amicable split on the technical side, then everything will be fine. […] It was a lot more personal than what we’ve been dealing with over the last year. […] there was things that we disagreed on. You know, we disagreed on a lot of stuff all the way through this. But at least we could talk about it as friends and as people, as opposed to...[…] You know, through black and white, and all the logistics that the perception the people that work around us get in the way that they communicate. […]  the wounds I guess have healed at this point. I mean, we’ve just gone on to do what Guns was planning on doing and he’s gonna do his own thing. And so we don’t really give a shit at this point, you know. […] we had a great time. We, sort of like, took all the fax papers, sort of put it aside, and just talked amongst each other […] [MTV, July 20, 1992].
Izzy would also mention the meeting with Slash but that he still hadn't resolved things with Axl:

Since [leaving], I've talked to Slash once, about a week ago in New York, and, uh, the last time I saw Axl there were a lotta harsh words - from him - so I kinda left it alone. I called him once after that, we talked for about a half hour, so I'm kinda wailing for him to call me back to discuss the things that we haven't really resolved [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
That phone call with Axl took place in December 1991:

I called him up, said, 'Hey, you still pissed off?' 'No, I'm not pissed off.' Things were okay. But then time went by, and he got pissed off again [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
We haven't talked to each other for seven or eight months. Actually, we did. Two weeks ago I was in New York and I bumped into Slash. Of course, he was furious. Well... We finally talked a little bit, just him and me. That was cool! [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
I would have rather met with Axl. But I guess Slash was 'designated diplomat.' He was as apprehensive as I felt, so it felt pretty good. Then the next thing I heard was on MTV in Europe: 'Izzy's forgiven, and he's doing a reggae album.' So I don't know what it actually accomplished [Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992].
Losing both Izzy and Steven were the biggest tests we could possibly face. Because we're such a tight family, losing two members was really traumatic - yet we somehow survived. That was the be-all, end-all obstacle. As Spinal Tap as it may seem, we are still real people, and it was incredibly personal. […] Nothing phases me now - even this postponed tour with Metallica. It's just a period and we'll move on. The key is not to go crazy. Believe me, this situation is nothing compared to losing Izzy. That was heavy. That's why I'm not freaking out [Guitar Player, November 1992 (interview from August)].
When asked about the allegations that he wouldn't work while in GN'R yet was about to release a new record in about six months, Izzy would respond:

How can I say this without spitting more venom into the debate? I saw all their dirty laundry bashing all over the magazines. At some time, I felt a little bit like picking up my phone, call a journalist and spit my answer, my version of the story... […] Finally I decided to get into the studio. The others can say whatever they want [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
In the October issue of RIP Axl would again talk about Izzy leaving and how he felt, and indicate that he felt Izzy's working with Alan Niven as a particular betrayal:

I feel like shit all over me, and I wiped it off and ain't too happy that it happened. I think for a long period of time Izzy wanted to be more independent, but Guns N' Roses took off fast, and he was such a part of it, it was hard to take that step. That's my opinion. There are certain responsibilities to Guns N' Roses that Izzy didn't want to face. He basically didn't want to work as hard at certain things as we did. He pretty much just showed up before we went onstage, would get upset that I wasn't on time, played, then split. There were times when we'd get off stage, and five minutes later he was gone. He didn't socialize with the band on any level, and he had a real problem being sober and being around us. Izzy's always been very compulsive and impulsive, and although he's quit abusing various substances, he still hasn't gotten to the base of the reason why he was abusive. He hasn't solved that, so instead of doing drugs, drinking and womanizing, he was keeping himself busy traveling, bicycling and buying lots of toys. There's nothing wrong with any of that, except that he wasn't able to do the things required of him in Guns N' Roses. Getting Izzy to work hard on the album was like pulling f?!kin teeth. Everybody dreaded it. Nobody would go by the studio while he was there, because no one wanted to deal with it. He'd play something out of key, and we'd ask him to do it again, and he'd be like, "Why? I just did it." Izzy was very unsupportive of me in general. He was very concerned about his free time, and he didn't have a whole lot of understanding of what to takes me to do my job. As far as I'm concerned, he was a lazy, selfish user. There are ways that I miss him and wish it could've gone on, but he was a real f?!king asshole to me. I was always a massive Izzy fan and supporter, but now that he's working with Alan Niven [former GN'R manager], f?!k him - and you can print this. Even if we work things out between us, I won't regret what's coming out in this interview, because it's how I feel. I'm glad we got the songs out of him that we did, and I'm glad he's gone [RIP, October 1992].
Izzy would also be asked if he would donate bone marrow to save Axl's life:

What, you mean if he had an accident? Uh, if he was gonna die I’d give him a little bone marrow. A little. We could work something out! [Kerrang! October 31, 1992].
Axl would bash Izzy from stage [sources?] and in November 1992 Izzy would give his thoughts on this:

I've heard [Axl]'s still slinging mud. I can't take it personally, because if it wasn't me, it would just be somebody else. Somebody's gonna get it in every city. There's nothing I can do about it. When I left the band, he got real pissed off, told me to get off his property. When I talked to him a couple weeks later, he said he wasn't still mad, but who knows? I've left him all my phone numbers since December, and he still hasn't called. When he's ready, he'll call and we'll talk [Musician, November 1992].
Axl only seems to say bad shit about me. I don't know why he does. Maybe he was just having a bad day. I haven't seen or heard from those guys in a while. I spoke with Slash in New York not so long ago. We talked for like two hours and it was great [Hot Metal, November 1992].
In late 1992 Izzy would indicate that he would be careful about what he said about his former band mates, implying a future litigation:

Well... I mean, I gotta leave some of it alone because there are still some unresolved issues with those guys. But it's natural, everybody's gonna wanna know what happened. […]

Just over a period of time, it became obvious to me that I needed to change something in my life. Me leaving the band was the change I needed. It was a big step, but man, it was for the better. Now that I can look back on it, being in Guns N' Roses was complete insanity. Don't get me wrong, there were some great times I had with that band. We had some good gigs and t think some of our songs were okay... I really liked being in G'N'R when you could go grab a beer in some bar after a show and hang out with the guys without being swamped by a thousand 'new friends', you know?

Towards the end we had to send our runners and security guys to go get our beers while we were barricaded in some hotel room, and that ain't living, it's not a whole lotta fun. I think these days Axl even has somebody to open the beer can for him. I don't know, I'm joking of course, but it got a lot like that. Those guys, especially Slash and Axl, are being protected from the outside world now. Even if they wanted, the powers controlling the band wouldn't allow them to go grab a beer in a local bar
[Hot Metal, November 1992].
In early 1993, though, he would claim to be on "good terms with all the guys in the band" but that he hadn't seen much of Axl who "is pretty insulated with lots of bodyguards and security" [The Boston Globe, February 5, 1993].

There’s no animosity on my part. After you go through so much with people, it’s hard to say these guys aren’t my friends anymore [Detroit Free Press, February 14, 1993].
There still is none on my part. For them, there might have been initially when I left. But I'm sure it's like anything else. Life goes on and you gotta carry on [Journal and Courier, February 21, 1993].
Duff tried calling me here last night at like 4 in the morning, but I was sleeping. I got the message this morning. I saw  Slash in New York last January and I talked to Matt. […] I haven't talked to Axl since December of '91, but I’m sure he's been busy. But I’ve left the doors open if they want to call or anything like that. No animosity on my part [Indianapolis Star, February 21, 1993].
About Duff calling him at 3am: We'll always have that relationship. We went through a lot. It's like being Army buddies or going through drug rehab together. [chuckles] It was a rocket ride. But am I bitter? Nah. It's too short for that [Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1993].
Duff would confirm that he had no issues with Izzy leaving, saying his reasons were "very valid", and that he had been the first to contact Izzy after his departure:

I’ve never had a problem with Izzy. Izzy and I are very amicable and always have been. He had his reasons, and they were very valid. I’m not one to go, Fuck you, man!’. […] I could tell he was just miserable. I knew it wasn’t his bag, and it was killing him. He was all clean and sober, and no way I would’ve wanted to have any part in making him stay in the band, and driving him back to whatever he was doing. So, between him and me there was never a problem [Kerrang! April 1993].
In March 1993 Slash would say the following about Izzy:

Sometimes I miss [Izzy], but the major part of his personality I don’t miss. After the whole drug thing was over, he and I — probably being the worst of the band as far as that goes — both sort of quit at the same time, give or take a month. Then there were major changes and Izzy became less involved with the band. He took that different road where he could never be around anybody who had done it (drugs) [ Calgary Herald/The Hamilton Spectator, March 21, 1993].
After Izzy played with the band for five shows in May 1993, when stepping in for an injured Gilby, Slash would admit it was nice to see the guy again and discuss the resentment he had from how Izzy quit the band:

And when [Izzy] finally quit it was, like, such short notice and so close to the next leg of the tour. And he didn’t call any of the guys in the band; he just called management and sent, like, a letter of resignation. So there was a lot of tension going on when all that finally came to light, that drift that was going on. And then having to find another guitar player and all that kind of stuff. And I think there was a bit of resentment for a while, and at this point – you know, I’ve known him for so long, I can’t be mad at the guy. And it was great to see him, so, yeah, it’s, like I said, water under the bridge [MTV, May 1993].
And we just recently played with Izzy and Izzy is just not interested in this business anymore [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].

Matt would concur:

It feels good, cuz, you know, when he left the band, it was a little weird. I mean, he had different reasons, he was feeling like he kind of wanted to do his own thing, and when we spilt we hadn’t really spoken with each other. I spoke with him a few times, Duff spoke with him a few times, but, you know, not like it used to be. So when he came back, at first when I saw him, it was a little strange. But once we got up on stage it feels like the old days. I look over at him now and it’s like, “Wow, there’s Izzy.” It’s kind of trippy [MTV, May 1993].
Whether it would help to heal the wounds: Yeah, I think so. I think it’s helped heal the wounds to a lot of other people too. A lot of people thought that we had a lot of conflict amongst us with Izzy and stuff. But it’s not true. And for him to come back is obviously – you know, it’s cool [MTV, May 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:26


'Appetite' was released when the band members were in their early 20s. As the guys matured they would quickly have to deal with defending lyrics they might not feel fully represented them as grown-ups. They would also explore different lyrical themes in their music, as shown on more "mature" lyrics at the 'Use Your Illusion' albums.

You know, we're not trying to promote, you know, drug abuse or anything like this. It's very scary, I mean, it almost killed us, almost broke this band. It's almost, you know, killed a few of us a couple times, you know. It's something that we stay away from. And it's like being here in New York, you know, we've had some bad experiences before and, you know, and you just have to be really careful because, like, a lot of people take all kinds of meanings out of your songs which has nothing to do with the fact that, basically, it's about something that happened in your life two years ago [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
I feel I have responsibilities to myself and to music, and things I want to do with it, like, you know, trying to relate to as many people and help open their minds up and least make them think. I'm not telling them that we can save the world but I can kind of describe the world, and, you know, just at least let them think about it, you know [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
Our first major tour was with Motley Crue and the audience was younger than most audiences that we played, like on Aerosmith tour or on other tours or on our own tours and the tours with The Cult. And it was real hard to do the song It’s So Easy because there's a line in there, "I drink and drive/and everything's in sight". We were talking about, kind of, how we got away with things and we're lucky to be here. It was real hard knowing that some of these kids would just go out and go, ”Yeah, I drink and drive and everything's in sight.” I mean, Izzy put it best when he said that a lot of people think our record means you know, party and do cocaine and rock ‘n’ roll. And it's like, that just ain’t what it is. So Izzy was gonna quit at one time because he was... didn't like the way people reacted to it. I heard something on the radio last night; when Frank Zappa broke up The Mothers [Of Invention] it was ‘cause people were clapping for all the wrong reasons [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
Their past lifestyles would also be scrutinized by the media and band members would frequently defend or discuss it:

You learn from experience. We were very arrogant and in many ways an ignorant band, that just thought we could do everything our way. And we try to hold on What. I mean, there's still no formula For us. But then you see how people love to drag out dirty laundry, they expect you to come onstage and throw up or something. Which has nothing to do with music and every-thing to do with attitude. But of course, attitude has a lot to do with music. Personally, I don't want to piss off anyone. But we'll probably always be controversial. Life goes on [Musician, December 1990].
I just turned 25, and something went off in my head. When I started this I was 19, and at that age there's nothing to stop you, so far as you can see. And then as you get older—not to say I'm old now—but you do change a little and see things differently. It's pretty natural. Some people are a little luckier than others as far as living through it. 'Cause there are extremes. When you're 22 and on the road with access to excess—well, you can get in trouble [Musician, December 1990].
I think we're a pretty decent mirror for what kids and young adults go through, if you're not brought up in a totally stiff atmosphere. For people who have spent time on the street or have family problems, alcohol problems, we've voiced some opinions about what we were going through. And some of the reason we did so well is that a lot of kids related to that. Of course their parents might have freaked—It's that 'our generation' kind of thing—but it's what we went through. And now, what we have to say is a little different [Musician, December 1990].
We’re older and we’re more experienced. This is sort of a G Ν’ R cliché now — we’re not saints, and things still happen, but we try and keep them confined to the band, cos everything goes public now. People expect me to be drunk or people expect me to throw something out the window or expect Axl to break something and walk off the stage. That’s not what we’re all about. After a while, you keep everything to yourself. If you do smash the TV set, just quietly get rid of it y'know? [The Guardian, September 1991].
In 1991 Axl went through therapy that helped him to understand why he was the way he was and to grow:

I really think that the next official Guns n' Roses record, or the next thing I do, at least, will take some dramatic turns that people didn't expect and show the growth. I don't want to be the twenty-three-year-old misfit that I was. I don't want to be that person. […]I guess I like who I am now. I'd like to have a little more internal peace. I'm sure everybody would [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Axl would also comment on the way they had behaved before:

We, Guns N ' Roses, did [act like pigs] for a while. Or did, because it was the only way to deal with it -- it was O.K. to be obnoxious and rude like that for a while. it's not O.K. for me personally to be that way anymore. It was accepted of us [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:30


As the band members got older and had their horizons expanded from travelling the world, they seemed to develop  a broader consciousness about societal issues. This would show up in interviews and lyrics.

We’ve been asked to do so many different things, and, you know, in America it’s real big to talk about the rainforests and stuff. But the poverty down here is, like, nothing I’ve ever seen. And I imagined my... You know, when we were first coming to the stadium to do soundcheck the first day, we went under the tunnel, and when I looked up and saw the houses, I thought of myself as a little kid here and having, you know, to try to make a life and starting that way. And it, like, ripped my heart out, right? So we’re trying to find whatever angle we can to get involved and... Cuz we haven’t really ever taken on any cause, you know, charity cause or anything, and it’s something I’m interested in. And since we do want to come back and we know we can make a lot of money playing the shows, maybe we can do something to help a little bit if we can find the right way to place things where we know the people are going to get the money. When we put Civil War out, we put it on The Romanian Angel (?) and George Harrison and his wife were, like, handling it directly to make sure that 400,000 babies got the medical supplies and stuff. We’d like to see if we can possibly help something, like first start something like that here. We don’t know... We don’t really know who to talk to. Everybody we talk to gets scared, you know, of where the money will go. […] Yeah. So we wanted to possibly if... It’s something I’m really interested in and then I asked the band, and the whole band is into it. We just don’t quite know who to talk to yet [MTV, January 1991].
And when Axl introduced 'Welcome to the Jungle' at the first Rock In Rio show, he would do it with this spoken word introduction:

When the poor come down to the street
And the death squad is out of reach
Everybody’s looking for a piece of the pie
I look outside my window
I see your [?]

And when the poor come down from the hills
At night
And the government and the merchants send the death squads out
To remove the beggars
Keep them out of the way of the rich
To keep the slums from coming down into the city
You gotta watch your ass, homeboy
Cuz I ain’t been at many places
But you know where you motherfuckers live?
I said, do you know where you live?

Do you know where you are?
You’re in the jungle, baby
Rio de Janeiro jungle, baby
And if you don’t watch your ass
You’re gonna die!
[Live from stage, January, 1991].
Dizzy would also talk about the poverty he saw in Brazil and wanting to help:

There’s a lot of poverty. I mean, I guess, like, 1% of the population actually has the money, and everybody else is just – there’s, like, packs of kids, like when I grew up you had, like, packs of dogs that were roaming the mountains and stuff. They have packs of kids that hit the beaches and stuff. It’s kinda scary, but, at the same time, it makes you realize that hopefully there’s something we could do to help those people out eventually [In Your Face, October 1992].
With this exposure to poverty and unfairness, and with their wealth, band members would star to get involved in various charities. Axl would talk about wanting to support organizations that would help abused children, partly due to its personal meaning to him:

I’m trying to find the right organizations I want to get involved with things for child abuse and sexual abuse for children, but I don’t know exactly where to place... You know? [MTV, May 1991].
Later he would be asked to elaborate on what he had said in the Rolling Stone issue:

Well, I feel that… umm… you know, child abuse… you know, and sexual abuse. Especially… child abuse is like, kind of the key to why there's so many problems in the world today. Umm… The more books I read on it, and the more work I do on trying to overcome the problems… you know, that I had in my childhood that I accepted it as normal behavior for my life. And I realize now that it wasn't normal behavior. And it's caused me to act in… umm, many ways because it's what I was trained, it's what I was taught, it's what I saw. It's… umm, my formative years were… very ugly. And you know, people had picked up on that one. They listen to some Guns N' Roses songs. And: "This isn't right, something's wrong here…" Da, da, da. Well, they're right. Umm, the Herald Examiner ran a piece on… you know: "We find out the hidden truths of Axl Rose" and da, da, da. You know, we'll find 'em out, soon as I find 'em out. [laughs] A lot of people don't know, including myself. I'm… I'm working on it. Umm, I would like to… find some organizations to… donate money, or… umm, you know, go talk to kids or… talk to groups of people about my experiences and how hard it was, and still is for me on a daily basis, in dealing with people in my relationships, because of the abuse that was present in my childhood. I don't necessarily wanna elaborate any further on this right now, because it's something that I have to… umm, do in stages. Little by little, and I think getting, you know, too much of that right now… Umm, could really get… you know, make it too hard on myself, so… I think we'll stop there [WNEW 102.7, September 1991].
And when Axl settled in a suit following the St. Louis riot, he suggested to donate money to charities that would help abused children [St. Louis Post-Depatch, October 1993]. At this point, Axl had gone through therapy sessions where it was indicated that many of his issues stemmed from how he was treated as a child. He would imply this in an interview with Rolling Stone that was published in September 1991, and again reiterate that he wanted to help abused children:

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].
The band's video for 'You Could Be Mine' featured Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role in the movie "Terminator 2". Schwarzenegger was at the time president George Bush's fitness coach and Slash would be asked if this meant they had sold out:

We don't pay any attention to any of that. We don't get involved in politics. We're not a political band! […] Our songs deal with everyday life. I know what you're saying but it's just personal politics. It's personal experience and situations and how you deal with them. But we don't take it too seriously. As far as what goes on now, we're not really into going all the way down to things like cigarette tax. […] I'm not politically conscious [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
This prompted Kerrang! to ask what Slash's opinion on the Gulf War was:

I thought it was pretty f**king stupid. I know how the whole thing came about, but I thought it was f**ing stupid [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
He was then asked if it wasn't "all the more incongruous why [he] should align [himself], albeit only in a movie, with Bush-man Arnie in 'Terminator II'":

In hindsight, if I thought you'd be asking me about it now, I might not have done it. At the time we just did it to fill a gap. We weren't thinking about Schwarzenegger's f**king social life, you know. We don't give a f**k about hanging out with the right people. We're not image conscious [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
On April 29, 1992, four Los Angeles police men were acquitted after having severely beaten a black man, Rodney King, after a traffic stop. The incident was filmed and the acquittal caused controversy, especially among Afro Americans in Los Angeles. The unrest led to city-wide riots.

It was an irresponsible verdict and the violence was wrong [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
Well, the LA thing was very heavy, I thought. I thought the whole decision for one… the decision that was made was really irresponsible, and then I thought that the reaction was really irresponsible. I thought the whole thing was just a huge mess. I think it gave a lot of people excuse to do what they did, you know, and I'm hoping the verdict changes at some point or they do figure out some way of reconciling with, otherwise it's get... there's absolutely no respect for law enforcement in Los Angeles right now and it's spreading all over the... you know, […] it spreads from LA to then it went to Beverly Hills, it went to the Valley and it starts to go to different countries because they see, like, "Well, they can do it, we can do it," and so on. A lot of the other stuff that goes down, stuff that's going on in Thailand, you have to be aware of especially when you're in these third-world countries, all you have is CNN so you just sit there staring at it going, "Jesus Christ, it's getting hectic out there," you know. But as a rock-and-roll band we're not really that politically conscious because, you know, it's a whole environment unto ourselves that we travel around in and you don't always have things to say about what's going on in the rest of the world because you know that's hectic anyway and you're just trying to get on with just doing what you do [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
On August 19 1991, in Copenhagen, Axl would protest the ongoing violence in Soviet by displaying a Russian flag from stage [Press Conference, August 1991].

Still, Slash would emphasize that GN'R is not a political band:

With the lyrics, a lot of them can be very serious about personal situations or they can be just sorta funny about shit in general. People read into it really heavily. Yeah, pretty soon they'll be wondering if we're Republicans or Democrats. I haven't even voted. There's no one to vote for. For me it's like, 'F*** it, does my amp work?' [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992].
For the summer tour with Metallica in 1992, the band would invite charities and activists to set up booths at the stadiums, allowing them to hand out information material, accept donations, recruit volunteers, etc. Initially, the idea started with Axl wanting to help child abuse centers but it grew into encompassing other organizations, too. Represented were child abuse prevention and counseling organizations, local chiropractic education groups, The Children’s Survival Project, Inc., Rock The Vote, Rock Out Censorship, Surfrider Foundation, Amnesty International, Green Corps, The National Coalition for the Homeless, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Animal Alliance of Canada, Rainforest Action Network, and the American Civil Liberties Union. [Press Release, June 1992]. For the show in Foxboro on September 11, one of the booths was for "the Massachusetts Prevention of Cruelty to Children" [The Boston Globe, July 27, 1992].

In August 1992, Slash and Duff would talk about politics and how they tried to avoid taking public political stances as a band:

As a group, say, Guns N’ Roses isn’t a politically conscious band, even though as people, as humans, we are. We try not to advocate our views on politics as a group, because, like he said, we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, so we try and concentrate on what our lives are about, and sing about that. And if something comes in from the outside, something major, we might sing about it, but we don’t like to send messages via the press and stuff [Much Music, August 9, 1992].
For the most part, who are we to send a message to a kid? Who are we to advocate some issue to some age group, or sex group, or whatever? You know, that’s too much. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band - again, like I said [Much Music, August 9, 1992].

Slash would later emphasize that they didn't have a responsibility with their music:

That's for Sting. Sting and Bruce Springsteen and, you know, all these other guys. They have responsibilities to do that. We're just a rock n' roll band. I mean, we're just being completely honest about stuff that we see or how we feel. And you can take it or leave it. It's not something that's supposed to be judged so harshly. It's really not to such an extreme as that offensive. I mean, we have certain morals, that I know wouldn't come out. We would not go against some lyrically, or idealistically, as the band's concerned. Just 'cause there's people that we're not into. Within the limitations of what we're about as people, we write about that and we're not out sending any message. We're not on some sort of fucking "Save The World" brigade, because that's all… That's something else altogether. That's not why we make records [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].

Axl and Slash would talk about voting:

When asked who he voted for in the last election: Nobody. There's nobody to vote for [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
[...] Anybody here voting? What do you think of politics? It’s really kind of fucked. I did manage to register to vote, but, goddamn, as far as the president is concerned, there’s nobody to fuckin’ vote for. We’ve got Bush, who sold our ass out in the Gulf War for billions of dollars and lots of people killed. We’ve got Clinton, who could bring change, but then we’ve got Al Gore. [...]  Al Gore, who - if his wife had her fucking way, we wouldn’t have this goddamn concert tonight. And it looks like there’s a good chance she’s gonna be in a lot more fuckin’ power. I’m not saying not to vote for Mr. Clinton, but, if you want your records in the fuckin’ stores, you’re gonna have to do some fighting for it. Just like how we fought for this tour, us and Metallica, to make this fuckin’ thing happen, when most of the stadiums didn’t want us to play, cuz “it was too fuckin’ dangerous.” I just think that, like, it’s gonna take people like you all across this country to slap a warning label over that bitch’s mouth [onstage in Seattle, WA, USA, October 6, 1992]

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:32


After a break since their Webley gig in August 31, 1991, the band continued with their touring in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in December 1991. This leg of the tour would feature some changes. Most significantly,, Izzy had been replaced with Gilby. In addition the band had added extra touring musicians. The first to be added was a second keyboard player [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992], Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992]. Andreadis was in the band before September 1991 [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

We got a guy named Teddy, Teddy Andreas [sic] and he does harmonica, which is on songs like Bad Obsession, and he plays organ, he’s a great organ player and he’s just a great background vocalist [MTV, June 1992]
The band also decided to add a horn section and backup singers:

We've used horns in clubs before, but that's it. And they're just for certain songs… We're just trying to do whatever we can to make the band sound as cool as possible [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]
As Axl would later quip, "five guys on stage was too much of a homosexual thing" [Onstage at the Worchester Centrum Centre, December 5, 1991].

The idea to add horns and backup singers was Axl's idea, but making the horn section all-female was Slash's [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992]:

Well, when this first started coming up, it was around the time that Izzy split and Gilby came in. At the same time I was trying to audition musicians to make November Rain, and Heaven’s Door and stuff to sound a little bit more like it did on the record. And Axl really wanted to get into that, so I got the job of going out and finding something to simulate it. And I didn’t want anything corny like three guys in tuxedos coming up with their horns, right? So I got some chicks to do it. That’s how, basically, the whole thing came about [Boston Globe, December 5, 1991]
Andreatis helped to find Lisa Maxwell for the horn section [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Maxwell: "Ted mentioned my name, and I went and jammed with Slash. Then he said, ‘Get together two other girls and write the arrangements" [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Maxwell then began transcribing the group’s albums and called up her old friend and trumpeter, Anne King. King recommended saxophonist and flutist CeCe Worroll, making the horn section complete [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

The back-up singers that were recruited were Diane Jones and Roberta Freeman [The Boston Globe, July 30, 1992]:

The ladies had themselves opted for wearing lingerie [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992]. But according to Maxwell it was a little bit more complex than that:

Maxwell: "The look was real important. I mean, the playing was the least of it, it’s not hard. […] ][The band] couldn’t decide if they wanted us to look elegant or have a street-slut vibe. They decided on street, and got a designer who did a great job but really didn’t have time to fit us properly" [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Eventually, after some fans and critics commented on the costumes, the women asked to use their own clothes because they felt it would lend more credibility to their playing [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].

Maxwell: "We sort of joke around and say we’re a dessert topping and a floor wax - sometimes we travel with the band, sometimes we travel with the crew, and nobody seems to know what to do with us. […] The crew was very resistant at first. They figured that the band put us with the crew because they didn’t respect us and so we weren’t worth very much. But now that we know each other they treat us like sisters[/i]" [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992]

And it’s fun having this - like, this whole, you know, entourage out on the road. You know, like, five girls, and Ted, and the rest of us. It’s a circus, you know? [MTV, June 1992]
There's Teddy, there's Dizzy, there's Roberta, Tracy, Lisa, CeCe, Anne, Gilby, Matt, Duff, Slash and me. Slash put this new band together, did all of the groundwork. He did such an amazing job that I just can't believe it really happened. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a pretty huge thing, and we might even add some dancers, like we used to have back in the old Troubadour days. It's something we've considered[RIP, October 1992].
[The extra musicians] were hired at the same time as I came in the picture. As far as I know the choirgirls and the horn section is there because they're on the albums. Sometimes you see a concert and wonder "where did that sound come from?" And there's some guy who puts on a tape recorder. We play everything live so they have to be there. […] Besides the new stage is gigantic, so Duff, Slash and I have to run around all the time to cover all the spaces. Then it's hard to sing all the parts, so the girls unload us[Heavy Mental, 1992].
When asked his thoughts on people who preferred the band when it was more stripped down, Axl would say:

But I don't think it's losing any of its energy. There's a lot more energy now. I think that before, people were seeing the potential. […] Yeah, well, there are people who like a girl that had the same haircut she had ten years ago, too. I understand that. I understand that a lot. But it's like, we're evolving, and it's us. I read a quote where David Bowie was saying that Pink Floyd was Syd Barrett to him. I'm like "Yeah, but to deny anything that Pink Floyd's done after that?" Certain elements of our music and our performance and our attitude are still there, but we're not the same people we were then. Maybe it would've been best for the purists if we'd died or broken up. Then they'd get to keep it the way they liked it[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In the March 1992 issue of their official fan club newsletter, the band would explain the addition of musicians this way:

"Also, for this tour, we are bringing along an extra keyboard player, three lady horn players and two backup singers. So when you see us in concert, it will sound as close as possible to how the albums sound... Maybe even better!" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, March 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:33


After a break since their Webley gig in August 31, 1991, the band continued with their touring in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums in December 1991. This leg was supposed to start in October, then in November, but the band kept postponing [Melody Maker, March 28, 1992], likely due to having to replace Izzy and adding additional musicians as described in the previous section.

In addition, the band had gotten Soundgarden as the opener. The members of Soundgarden looked forward to the tour:

Chris Cornell (singer): "This is a problem we’ve always had in that there’s not that many bands really that we can be matched up with in a tour situation — it’s got to be obviously appropriate. […] Really, musically, Guns N’ Roses is more appropriate than any other tour we’ve really been offered. Most of their audience isn’t going to be familiar with our music, but I think most of their audience is going to understand what we do, and that’s the important thing" [The Newark Advocate, January 19, 1992].

Matt Cameron (drummer): "It's the coveted opening slot for any band out there right now. We were lucky to have been chosen by the band members themselves, instead of some management-manipulation-payola trip. […] If they come on late, we've been told we can stretch our set a little bit, which should be fun. […] We were going to go out with Queensryche. […] So we had to say 'Later' to those guys, and go on the Guns N' Roses ship. We really believe in our record, and we want it to be heard" [Circus Magazine, January 31, 1992].

The first two gigs were at Worcester Centrum Centre, in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, on December 5 and 6. The December 5 show was sold out in a "record 22 minutes" [RAW, December 1991]. The band would start these shows well over two hours late [Hartfort Courant, December 7, 1991]. The late starts, which had plagued the tour so far, would continue for this leg with 90 minutes or more wait after the opener becoming the norm more than the exception.

These shows would also be Gilby's first shows with the band:

I guess Izzy and I have got a similar look. So there were kids up front, especially in Boston, going ‘Yeah, Izzy! All right, Izzy!’ And I was like, ‘Wrong guy, man’ [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993]
Talking about what he remembers from his first gig with the band: yes, a lil... i was hungover. i met up with some friends the night before & had a yager party. it took the edge off [A4D Interviews, August 2011]
I’m calling it a hangover, it could be first-day jitters, I don’t know for sure. But it really helped calm me down. Like, before the show started, seriously, I was the most calm person on the stage. Everybody else was way more worried than I was [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993]
I’m a pretty calm person — I think the first show the other guys were more nervous for me than I was. I knew it was going to be cool, and I’d played arenas before so it wasn’t a big surprise. What was a big surprise was I’d always been in the opening band and you have to win the audience. Here you walk out and the audience is already won. One thing that worried me was that Izzy had been in the band since Day One, and I wondered how receptive they’d be to me. I mean, I always liked Izzy and I liked Izzy in the band — it would be strange to see a new guitar player take his place. The night before I met some friends and got pretty trashed so the night of the first show I had probably the worst hangover of the last few years. That probably helped take the edge off [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993]
And after the first show, [Axl] came up to me and said, ‘I’m so happy you’re here.’ It made me feel a lot better[Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993]
For the first show Gilby was asked to do a solo spot:

I didn't even know that I was getting a solo spot until the day before the first gig! They just came up to me and said, "So what are you going to play in your solo segment?" I mean, why would I get a solo segment? So then Axl said, "Well, Izzy always used to do a little solo before 'Patience.' Do you think you can come up with something?" I just didn't want to get out there and do a lead guitar thing. Slash is the lead guitarist. So I decided to play "Wild Horses," which is one of my favorite songs[Guitar Player, November 1992].
Then followed three shows at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 9, 10 and 13. During the first of these, which started almost 2 hours later than announced because Axl had the flu which left him throwing up backstage between the songs [Rolling Stone, December 1991]), Axl would say they expected to pay $24,000 in curfew fees [New York Times, December 11, 1991]:

You people are worth more than the $24,000 we’re paying in overtime[Onstage at Madison Square Garden, December 9, 1991]
The band then played 7 more shows before coming to play two shows at The Summit in Houston on January 9 and 10, 1992. For the first of these shows the Houston chapter of the organization Queer Nation organized a protest titled "Pansies against Roses," calling out and showing displays, "Racist, sexist, anti-gay -- Guns N' Roses, go away!," and "Gay bashers are closet cases." The demonstrators were met by hecklers chanting "Guns N' Roses!" and "Faggots go home!" [Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1992].

After the two shows in Houston the band came to Fairborn near Dayton in Ohio, on January 13 and 14, 1992. For the first show the band was even more late than usual, long after the "around 8 PM" time printed on the tickets [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. At 11:52 PM Slash came on stage to announce the show would be delayed due to a technical problem with one of the stage monitors: "I didn’t build the... equipment — I just play through it" [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. The band entered the stage first at 12:25 AM [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. Several members of the Nutter Center’s support staff allegedly said that Axl did not arrive at the venue until after midnight [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. The show ended at 3:05 AM [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992]. From the stage Axl would imply psychological issues, saying "You’ve got to realize that this is not a pleasant place for me to play" while explaining that his step-father was from Dayton and that he had needed time to prepare himself mentally for the performance [Dayton Daily News, January 15, 1992].

And you all know how that’s just one of my “favorite” places. No offense, but if you believe that – I mean, my stepdad is from here in Dayton and I used to come here when I was a kid. This is not a pleasant place for me to be. But I got to realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with you who came to see the show[Dayton Daily News, February 26, 1993].
In early 1993, Matt would talk about having to wait for Axl for 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].
During the show Axl would also try to get the crowd into the show by engaging with them about the accusations that the band had supremacist sympathies:

Talking about trying to get a crowd reaction: I approached it a bit differently when we did the first show in Dayton, Ohio. We'd been told we're the perfect house band for David Duke's America. And it's like, fuck David Duke, I don't like being associated with that. I asked the crowd: "Is that what you get out of this, that we're racists and you're supporting it? 'Cause if that's the case, I'm gonna go home. That's not why we're here." I asked the crowd about those things. I got some real interesting responses. The way they reacted was a little bit different than normal. There was silence in different places and cheering in others. You could tell that they were thinking for a minute[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]
Also on the day of this show, something, a "miscommunication" in the words of Axl, happened between Doug Goldstein and Axl, resulting in rumors that Axl had fired Goldstein:

Last night there was a miscommunication between me and my manager, and suddenly that turned into I fired my manager. And before we even got back to our hotel, I may even say this is where it started – you know, this is the only time I get to be around the fucking crew and shit, I’m talking to our crew and stuff, and suddenly the fucking story was back to L.A. and New York, before we even got back to the goddamn hotel, that I fired my manager. Which, basically, kind of ruined the last day for our manager. His name is Mr. Doug Goldstein, and I love Mr. Doug Goldstein, and if anybody gets in the fuckin’ way of that with their little fuckin’ stories, they can take a walk now. 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].
During the second performance in Dayton [January 14], Axl slashed his hand open on a broken microphone stand:

It happened at the beginning of the set and he made it through the whole show. It was making everybody nervous. I didn't want anything to happen to the hand. I just wanted him to get it checked out to make sure it was OK. He was a trooper[Star Tribune, January 21, 1992]
The incident would also be mentioned in the band's official fan club newsletter:

"During a concert in Dayton, OH on Jan. 14, 1992, the weld on Axl’s mike stand broke. It caused a deep laceration running from his thumb across the palm of his hand. Axl wrapped his hand in towels to contain the bleeding, and fighting off shock, insisted on finishing the show. Axl was rushed to a doctor who stitched up the deep gash. Fearing permanent nerve damage that might prevent him from playing keyboards, Axl was flown to New York to see a hand specialist who performed surgery. The band was forced to postpone two concerts in Detroit. Luckily, Axl’s hand is healing perfectly!!!" [Conspiracy Incorporated, March 1992].

While Axl was backstage having his hand looked at, he thought Slash said something critical about him and when entering the stage he would call Slash a "punk motherfucker" and that he would "kick your fucking ass". Before things escalated the band started playing 'Welcome to the Jungle'.

We had a run-in in Dayton [Ohio], because both myself and Dougie thought [Slash] said something shitty to me onstage. That was the night I cut my hand to the bone. Backstage we have monitors much like the ones onstage, and while I was back there dealing with my hand, I thought I heard him take a potshot at me. I wrapped my hand up in a towel and was like, "Let's get it taken care of, so I can finish the show." I came back onstage and was a dick to him and told him I'd kick his f?!king ass in front of 20,000 people. That was f?!ked up. I was wrong, and I apologized the second I realized I was mistaken. Someone who is supporting me as strongly as he does is a hand I never want to bite [RIP Magazine, September 1992].
To get stiches the band would end the show about 30 minutes early.

I apologize. We’re going to play a few more songs and go so I can get some stitches [Dayton Daily News, January 16, 1992].
As mentioned in the fan club newsletter, the band cancelled two shows in Detroit due to Axl's hand injury.

The band then played two shows at Target Center in Minneapolis on January 21 and 22. Again, Axl was late. Before the show, Soundgarden's singer, Chris Cornell, had talked about the headliner's late starts:

"The bottom line is if you’re trying to incorporate regimen in rock ’n’ roll, you’ll end up with a paradox. It’s like putting a three-dimensional picture in a two-dimensional frame. Rock is supposed to be spontaneous" [Star Tribune, January 22, 1992].

And Cornell would quip about this before they left the stage:

"You’d better appreciate us. We may be the last band you’ll get to see for a while" [Star Tribune, January 22, 1992].

The band then came to Las Vegas for a show at the Thomas and Mack Center on January 25, 1992. The day before the show, January 24, Axl would be interviewed by Kim Neely for Rolling Stone magazine, and Neely would describe Axl's good mood including how he had welcomed two girls who had managed to sneak past security and knocked on his hotel room door [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].

Later, Axl would look back at this gig:

I think it's pretty much on my shoulders and I don't mind that at all. The band works the stage and gets off on the crowd, but I'm kind of a shield. If I'm gone they don't really know how to get on top of it. If I'm out there and not handling it, no one can really rescue me. It's just very hard sometimes. We've done shows where I could feel that it was a very taking thing and I turn around and Slash is doing handstands because he's still getting off on the chaos of it. And I'm having the shit beat out of me. This happened in Vegas. My jaw was hurting, my back was hurting, my leg was hurting. I call it shadow boxing because it comes down to between me and the audience. And for Guns N' Roses to be successful, I have to win. And if I win, everyone wins. If the crowd wins then a lot of people lose, including the crowd. They didn't get to be satiated, they get to go home pissed off because we crumbled under it[Musician, Shadow Boxing with Axl Rose, June 1992].
The band then travelled to the San Diego Sports Arena for show on January 27 and 28.

The last shows of this leg was on January 31 and February 1 at Compton Terrace in Chandler. As common in the music industry, for the very last show, GN'R decided to play a prank on the opener, Soundgarden.

February 1, 1992, was our last show with Soundgarden, at Compton Terrace, Arizona, and we decided to commemorate it with a little prank. We got ourselves a few inflatable dolls and Matt and Duff and I took our clothes off and went onstage with them. Come to think of it, I was the only one of us completely naked. In any case, Soundgarden was touring the Badmotorfinger album, and they came from a place where there was no fun to be had while rocking, so they were mortified. They looked around and there we were screwing blowup dolls all around them; I was drunk and I fell. I got separated from my doll, and at that point I was totally naked - it was a scene [Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 347]
Phoenix? Naked? Oh, now I remember! That was the last time Soundgarden was opening for us, and we were losing them. So we wanted to play some kind of prank, but we didn't want it to be one of those old cliche pranks. Next thing you know, we were taking our clothes off and running out during their set. [...] Axl didn't do it, but not because he was chicken. He'd just arrived at the place just in time to see us do out thing. [...] But I'll tell you who chickened out. Matt did. Print that. Matt chickened out. Hah! [Lakeland Ledger, August 1992].
Gilby would be asked if he had been told to act in any particular way on stage on their touring:

No, not at all. Nobody has ever said what I can or can't do, or what I can or can't wear. That's not the way the band is - you just kind of feel your way around situations. Many things are left unsaid. The same thing applies to the music. The most difficult thing for me when I was learning their material was copping the feel of the band. They would always say, "Lay back, man, lay back." It's not something you can articulate - it's something you feel. It probably took me a couple of months before I fell completely into their groove [Guitar Player, November 1992]
During the touring Soundgarden would comment on how it was to open for Guns N' Roses:

Matt Cameron (drummer): "We've been treated really great. The crew's wonderful; the guys in the band are really nice and helpful. It's been really organised " [Rock Power, March 1992].

Chris Cornell (singer: "Most of it is tedious. We just thought most of the stories surrounding Guns N' Roses were media generated -- people looking for a story. Nothing spectacular ever happened" [Melody Maker, March 28, 1992].

Chris Cornell (singer: "A lot of it is blown out of all proportion. With Guns, a lot of the reports about how they handle their success and what they do aren't true. They're down to earth, but people don't wanna think of them that way" [Kerrang! April 4, 1992].

Matt Cameron (drummer): "The experience is great; it's a coveted opening slot which was given to us, and we're not gonna throw that in anybody's faces " [Kerrang! April 4, 1992].

Chris Cornell (singer: "Spending time with Axl on the Guns tour, I realized how much stuff written about them is really bullshit. They treated us better than any band ever has" [RIP Magazine, July 1992].

Matt Cameron (drummer), talking about the crew encouraging girls to flash before the cameras: "They did that pretty much every night. It was just backstage entertainment, because all that stuff was coming through on the monitors. It was just kind of a "rock" thing to do. I watched it one night, and I thought it was pretty funny, but it was definitely a strange scene. The women who do stuff like that are pretty stupid in the first place. A big rock circus is what it was" [High Times, July 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:34


Duff, with his punk sensibility, was not in favor of mechandise:

[…] there is this whole corporation now, this Guns N’ Roses industry with merchandising and concerts and tickets. […] I hated that when [Kiss] started selling folders and stuff like that[Hit Parader].
In Januar 1991 Slash was also asked about the topic and expressed similar sentiments:

I guess we’re doing [a sponsor for the 'Use Your Illusion' tour], but I don’t want to sell out. I don’t want to be the next Janet Jackson, M.C. Hammer, fucking Eric Clapton or whoever else. We’re doing a tour, and if they want to help pay for it, we’ll use their name — we’ll put banners up all over the gig, I don’t give a shit. If there’s free cigarettes and free beer and they help pay for the tour, I don’t care. But I’m not wearing a Budweiser T-shirt. I don’t care if we do our own photos and it says “Budweiser” or “Marlboro” on the bottom of the page, but I don’t want to do anything where I’m holding up something with a big smile on my face. […] I don’t think the fans will care. They all drink Budweiser and smoke Marlboros. I was worried about the parents and what they’d say about the cigarettes, but it’s like some of the most influential personalities in baseball, football, basketball and race-car driving do ads. I mean, I advertise smoking constantly anyway; I can’t help it. I don’t see why cigarettes are any worse than beer[Rolling Stone, January 1991].
But when asked if there was something he would be willing to sponsor individually, he made an exception for a vodka brand:

I’m willing to do it if there are no dumb ads and no dumb commercials. I want to do Black Death Vodka. Axl turned me on to it. I want Black Death Vodka to call me, because I’ll sponsor them. Just me personally[Rolling Stone, January 24, 1991].
Slash and Black Death Vodka will be the topic of a separate chapter.

Axl would express his thoughts on merchandise and sponsoring from the stage:

I wanna talk to you for a minute because I wanna get your opinion on something. And I’m real serious. You know, being a band in our position, you wander about cuz you’re interested in making some more money. And the offers get made and you go, well, you know, I drink the beer. So there’s all this talk of sponsorship. And I was pretty much undecided either way, since I drink Budweiser and I smoke Marlboro, then I couldn’t care less if they want to slap the sticker on you. Until today. I don’t have anything against the companies that sponsor and manage us here, except I’ve got a tattoo on this shoulder. It’s a tattoo of a Thin Lizzy album cover, you know? And since both my father and my stepfather were assholes, Phil Lynott kinda like took the place of dad for me when I was a kid. And I’m watching TV today and I see this Molson commercial with The Boys Are Back In Town on it. I mean, I heard the bassline and shit and I was like, what the fuck is this? And I’ve never been more pissed off and hurt in my life, you know, at least not in a long fucking time that I can think of. Because, I mean, whoever sold that to them, I hope they’re a big motherfucker, cuz if I find them anywhere, I’ll crack their skull. I mean, Phil’s gone. What do you think about our sponsorship? If you’re into it and hey yes, you know, yell “yes”, really loud. If you think it’s, like, selling out, let me hear you yelling “no”. [The crowd is rather yelling “yes”] Let’s put it down right in a ballot box (laughs)[Onstage, Toronto, June 7, 1991].
But merchandise presented a welcome source of revenues from the band in the beginning:

The last tour we did cost us two million dollars and we didn’t make a penny off the tour except for maybe the ‘T’-shirts that we sold[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

The most popular item was t-shirts:

Jeff Condon (Merchandise manager): "This is one of our best selling t-shirts. It’s got the album cover, so it kind of identifies with the tour, Use Your Illusion, and the dates on the back – this tour – kind of give the kids an idea of where the show was and gives them something to identify the show with. So yeah, these are real popular" [The O-Zone BBC, May 31, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:35


After a short break the touring commenced again with three shows at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on February 19, 20 and 22. The film of the February 22 show was released on two home videos (VHS/DVD), called "Use Your Illusion World Tour - 1992 in Tokyo I" and "Use Your Illusion World Tour - 1992 in Tokyo II", on December 8, 1992.

Review in Entertainment Weekly:

Last year there was talk that Guns N’ Roses were concocting a long-form video to unify their hysterically indulgent Use Your Illusion I & II: World Tour 1992 in Tokyo clips into one, presumably even more excessive, GN’R movie. At first glance, you might think these two tapes contain such scintillating goods, but as the cassette boxes’ small print reveals, they’re just two halves of a concert video — and a deadly dull one at that (apparently lifted from a Japanese TV broadcast, with interview segments retaining their subtitles). The wimpy sound mix doesn’t do justice to GN’R as a hard-rock band, and front man Axl Rose’s stage manner seems to confirm his avowal to MTV’s Kurt Loder that there’s a lot of other stuff going on in his head while he’s performing [Entertainment Weekly, February 5, 1993].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:36


After the three shows at Tokyo Dome in late February 1992, the band had a break until the tour started again in April.

Slash being asked who will be the opener for the next leg of the tour:

I don’t know who we are going out with. It’s just a small leg that we’re doing. We’re doing, sort of, what I would call “make-up dates” to, like, Detroit we had to postpone, so we’re gonna do that, and Chicago because of the Illinois incident we’re gonna go back and make that up. Then we’re doing some shows in Mexico and, I think, one in Oklahoma. But I don’t know who’s opening for us or not, to tell you the truth. […] I’m sure that we know, but it just hasn’t been my main concern at this point, because we’ve been doing so much stuff, there’s so many other things going on, and that hasn’t been my main focus[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
The first shows were at Palacio De Los Deportes in Mexico City, Mexico on April 1 and 2, 1992. These shows would be followed by one show at Myriad Arena in Oklahoma (April 6).

Now that we're headlining, we actually have control about where we play. So there was a lot of speculating about where we were gonna go that we hadn't been before, and we just played Oklahoma. The option was Oklahoma or Texas. I was like: "Why would we go back to Texas?" We've never been to Oklahoma. Which turned out to be a really good gig. I guess you have to pay attention to that stuff, 'cause you can fall into a pattern and just go around in a circle[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
Then the band did one show at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont (April 9). The three following scheduled shows, in Rosemont (April 10) and Auburn Hills (April 13 and 14), were cancelled when Axl feared he would be arrested and extradited to St. Louis if he continued to stay in the country [Chicago Tribune, April 11, 1992; Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992; Chicago Sun-Times, April 16, 1992]. The first show can cancelled in the last minute, "leaving thousands of fans waiting outside" the venue [Chicago Sun-Times, April 12, 1992].

According to Bryn Bridenthal, "Rather than go to jail, Rose left the sheriff's jurisdiction" [Chicago Tribune, April 11, 1992] and "[Axl] wasn’t anxious to spend any time in jail without reason. […] To suddenly extradite him over a misdemeanor charge, there’s no cause" [The Northwest Herald, April 11, 1992]. Robert McCulloch, St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, would respond:

"[Axl] is easy to find. Wherever he goes, we’ll be waiting for him. If he wants to cancel his whole schedule, fine. If he leaves the country, we’ll notify Customs to get him when he comes back" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 12, 1992].

The cancelled shows would cost the band with Bridenthal estimating they had generated $1.5 million in ticket sales [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 15, 1992].

With the police waiting the band fled to Europe for the Freddie Mercury benefit and the European leg of the tour.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:37


The material side of it was never a thing with me. The bigger we got – not that I'm complaining because I'm not – the more of a pain in the ass money was. I was better off when I didn't have any money! I never carry cash anyway and I don't go shopping. I appreciate having money. I'm financially at a point where I can have room service without worrying! I can feed my cats, feed my snakes – I don't have to worry about little things like that. […] And I have one pair of jeans, and if they really do finally fall apart I can get another pair. These (his clothes) are the things which I've had since we did the last record! if they still work, I don't need any others[Music Life, November 17, 1991].
The last tour we did cost us two million dollars and we didn’t make a penny off the tour except for maybe the ‘T’-shirts that we sold. The truth is that I’m still watching my money. We put so much back into the group that we won’t really see anything until a long time down the line when we’ve sold records consistently. We haven’t even re-negotiated our contract so that might never happen. To me that means I still feel the same as I always have. I’m happy though, but it’s like that old Jimi Hendrix quote which goes ‘The more money have, the more Blues you can sing’. People like to see the glamour that surrounds bands. They like to think that that’s what it’s all about and it isn’t[Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].
Duff would buy a cabin in Lake Arrowheads in the mountains out of Los Angeles:

My cabin is the coolest place in the world. I'm right on the lake and I love to fish. And there's an old man who is my fishing buddy. I call him and he misses me. He doesn't care who I am. We're just fishing buddies. He doesn't care that I have long hair and tattoos. If you like fishing, that's all that matters there[The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
Now you can call down and say you need a car to go somewhere or order whatever you want from room service. But we’re still wearing the same clothes and doing the same thing. […] One of the coolest things that happened was I’d been in the band a month and we went to Japan. I did a lot of work to get ready — I only had two weeks to learn the whole catalogue of 50 songs so I was up day and night. And nobody really knew what Izzy played on the records but I finally did it and after (the tour) Duff gave me a car. Just out of the blue, like ‘Thanks, you really came through for us.’ A brand new Corvette. I thought he was kidding but, no ...[Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 11:37


The English band Queen was one of Axl's [Interview with Steve Harris, December 26, 1987], Slash's [Countdown, May 1992] and Gilby's [MTV, July 17, 1992] favorite bands, and also inspirational to Axl and his vision for Guns N' Roses.

One night I discovered Queen. They had what rock 'n' roll wasn’t supposed to have: technique. They were a perfect combination of technique and rock 'n' roll. I read about them, and their tours, and their great success in Japan. I got piano sheet music of their songs, and, since my parents were clueless, when they forced me to practice, I could play what I wanted, like Queen, the Beatles and the Stones. They thought I was practicing my daily lesson and had a satisfied smile on their face [Popular 1, April 1988 (although interview from October 1987; translated from Spanish)].
Steven would also mention Queen's drummer, Roger Taylor, as one of the drummers he had learnt from [Superstar Facts & Pics No. 16, 1988]. Axl also considered Queen's Freddy Mercury [Rockline, November 27, 1991; The Interview Magazine, May 1992] and Brian May [Rock Scene, April 1988] huge influences and had hosted a 20th anniversary special of Queen [Rockline, November 27, 1991].

But if I didn’t have Freddie Mercury’s words and lyrics to hold on to as a kid, I don’t know where I would be. And that was, you know, probably... I don’t necessarily know what form of influence it is, but it taught me about all forms of music. You know, I’d get a Queen record and hate half of the songs and then... But [I’d] force myself to listen to them, to learn about that type of music, and it would open my mind more and more. And I really never had a bigger teacher, you know, in my whole life. […] instead of going to school to learn about music, I listened to Queen[Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Already in 1987 before 'Appetite' was released, Axl would draw comparisons in their music to Queen and how Queen had not limited themselves "into one frame" but instead "found a way to bring it all out" [Kerrang! June 1987]. Axl would reiterate this to Rolling Stone in 1989 [Rolling Stone, August 10, 1989]. Later in 1987 Axl would say that the album 'Queen II' is among the best recorded albums in the world and one of his favorite records [Interview with Steve Harris, December 26, 1987; Rock Scene Magazine, June 1988; Rolling Stone, August 10, 1989].

Then, on November 24, 1991, Freddy Mercury died of AIDS-related illness.

Axl would be asked about the death:

Freddie Mercury’s death was just something I’d actually been preparing for since I’d heard about the AIDS thing. My impression of Freddie was that he wanted this world to be a place where, you know, it was kind of a heaven on earth and you could do what you wanted as long as you weren’t hurting anybody, and that was like a great dream. So about drugs and promiscuity, I guess that’s up to each individual, and if you’re not hurting yourself or hurting someone else in however you’ve got to get through things - you know, whatever you need to survive - I’m not the one to make judgement calls on that[Rockline, November 27, 1991].
What Axl didn't say was that he been trying to help Mercury as he struggled with AIDS, as revealed by Brian May later:

"I mean, Axl was very involved towards the end of Freddie’s life. You know, Axl was trying very hard to find a way to cure Freddie. I had talked to him a lot" [MTV Brazil, December 11, 1992].
"I’ve known them for a while, particularly Axl, who was a great fan of Freddie’s. He was very concerned and wanted to help — he knew Freddie was ill long before most people. Axl and I were in touch quite a lot before the end. I have a very high regard for him and I don’t think people should believe too much of what they read" [The Vancouver Sun, March 25, 1993].

For the April 20, 1992, tribute concert to fight AIDS and remember Mercury, Guns N' Roses was invited to play. Due to assumed homophobic verses in 'One in a Million' and quotes from band members, the inclusion of GN'R in the tribute concert was controversial. The London branch of ACT UP said they would try to get the 70,000 large audience to boo Guns N' Roses unless Axl publicly apologized [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992]:

John Campell from ACT UP: "We will accept Guns N' Roses (on the bill) when they have a press conference and publicly denounce everything they've said about AIDS and homophobia. […] We want the words, 'We were wrong. We're sorry. They've been responsible for misinformation about AIDS. Their homophobic attitude creates an atmosphere of ignorance and intolerance" [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992].

And if they didn't apologize:

Campell: "We will ask artists to put pressure on the show's management to remove (Guns N' Roses) from the billing. If management refuses we won't ask anyone not to appear, but for Guns to be snubbed by the other artists, and we'll ask for people to boo the band off the stage" [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992].

GN'R's management issued the following statement in reply: "We're disgusted by ACT UP's lack of sensitivity in trying to politicize this tribute. Perhaps they should read Axl Rose's comments in the new issue of Rolling Stone for a more enlightened perspective. We refuse to be their pawn" [Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1992].

When asked in March whether GN'R would perform at the tribute concert, Slash would say they would [Rockline, March 1992] and would comment on the criticism:

I never would have thought that we were gonna get that kind of flak. […] They’re trying to get us off the bill or basically sabotage the gig. I don’t know exactly what they want to do, you know, or what they’re really shooting for it, cuz it sounds so screwy in the first place. I don’t think they really know what they wanna do, themselves. […] I know they’ll go to press with it and keep it up all the way until show day, but I don’t want to get into the whole subject. I mean, we’re doing it for – the reasons that we’re doing it was, you know, for Freddie Mercury and not... I don’t know how to explain it. We just wanted to play the gig and we were asked to do it, you know, by the Queen people, and we’ve been supported by all the other bands that are playing. So we’re gonna play it, yeah - if that answers the question. […]. It’s just screwy stuff to have to deal with. It’s like, every single day it’s like, “Oh yeah, right, okay. We’re gonna deal with this now[Rockline, March 1992].
Slash rehearsed before the tribute concert:

Well, I went down and rehearsed, because I was playing "Tie Your Mother Down" with Queen. So I went down. I mean, I was already in London for a little while anyway, and I went down to rehearsal, and we played it a few times. But as far as the rest of it goes, it was just a typical Guns N’ Roses thing, where no one is rehearsing (laughs)[Countdown, May 20, 1992].
Backstage before the tribute concert Slash would talk more about the event:

But things come up and we were like, well, yeah, we’d like to get involved and try and do something to help it out. But then it turns around on us, right? And they got, like, all these gay activist groups and jumped on our case for being involved with this, to the point where there was a question as to whether or not was even safe for us to do this gig. And finally we just said, screw it, let’s just do it, you know. Whatever. I hope we don’t get shot or anything. […] I don’t know what they’re so uptight about. They were saying they were gonna do whatever they could to sabotage our part of the show and they totally attacked the whole Queen Organization for allowing us on the bill and all this stuff. And I’m like... It is never ending, you know? It’s always something, it’s, like, so ridiculous [MTV, April 20, 1992].
Slash would also mention being a fan of Queen:

Well, yeah. I mean, it was one of the bands that I was definitely leaned on. And at rehearsal for this thing the other day, it was great. I mean, I was like a little kid when we got up and played Tie Your Mother Down with Brian May [MTV, April 20, 1992].
One Queen member that Guns N' Roses became tight friends with was the guitarist Brian May. Slash had met May after their August 1991 show at Wembley [The Guardian, September 12, 1991]. May had made a singularly positive impression on both Slash and Axl:

I’m trying to get to the point where I can get known as a good guitar player as opposed to the drunken drug guy. I met Brian May after Wembley and he gave me a lot of compliments. He was really sweet [The Guardian, September 12, 1991].
And [May]’s, like, one of the sweetest guys. Really easy to get along with and really gracious, you know. There’s no pop star attitude and no errors going around. This whole gig is gonna be really cool [MTV, April 20, 1992].
When we first met Brian May last summer, it was wild. None of us would let him out of the room. He's one of the nicest people I've met [MTV, April 20, 1992].
Oh, [May]’s awesome, yeah. I mean, that goes without saying. I didn’t think that could be a question (laughs) [Countdown, May 20, 1992].

The band's friendship with Brian May would lead to him being invited to open up for the band on shows at the Skin N' Bones tour of 1993, and in addition Axl would invite him to play on at least one song for the album 'Chinese Democracy' that would eventually be released in 2008, although by then May's contribution had been replaced [see later chapters].

In early 1993 May would talk about Axl:

May: "I’ve had a lot of long conversations with Axl. I have a great admiration for them all as a band and as individuals. But I have this fatherly feeling, particularly for Axl. Axl is hard to handle for a lot of people. That makes him vulnerable. He’s a very honest person. I feel a great love for the guy" [Des Moines Register, March 23, 1993].

At the tribute concert Guns N' Roses would play 'Paradise City' and 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'. In addition, Axl would perform 'Bohemian Rhapsody' with Elton John and Queen, and 'We Will Rock You' with Queen, and Slash would perform 'Tie Your Mother Down' with Queen and Joe Elliott.

After the tribute show the band members would talk more about Queen and the concert:

Well, Queen was just one of those bands that we were really into. I mean, it’s one of a handful of bands when I was my teens coming up and getting into this whole thing. You know, they were a, sort of like, model, that this is the model band. And Freddie was, like, an awesome talent as the rest of them all. And the fact that he’s not here is a real drag, you know, and I’m not into it. […] Everybody that bought tickets and all the bands involved, it’s a celebration of Freddie, the fact that he has ever existed. And it’s also because the AIDS thing is really heavy, you know? Especially for us musicians. It’s even different for us, because it’s really screwing up our whole... (laughs). I mean, you know how rock guys are. But it’s something that people really need to be aware of and, like, at least have a certain kind of etiquette of how they handle themselves, because it’s different now than it was a few years [ago] [Super Channel, April 20, 1992].
They asked us.  And we jumped at the chance, because - I mean, at first we really wanted to do it and then there was a period of not being sure. There was this whole, you know, gay activist thing that was going against us. And we just decided to do it anyway. But we grew up with Queen, and as far as - you know, that’s one of the main bands that we were influenced by. So of course we were excited about it. […] I’d never met [Mercury] before, actually. I’d met Brian May before though, that’s about it [Countdown, May 20, 1992].
To play with [Queen] and with the whole thing, it was just awesome. Something that I’ve never, ever dreamed that we would do [MTV, July 17, 1992].
The idea behind the whole concert, the fact that it was completely sold out before they knew who was on the bill – talking about the public – and it sold out in the way to give a sort of certain kind of energy to the AIDS awareness thing, especially in the rock ‘n’ roll circle. And losing Freddie to it was, you know, like a catastrophe. And it turned everybody’s heads around. Having everybody show up at the concert for that cause was great. And then all the bands that were there. There was none of that sort of rock star – you know, who’s who of rock vibe going on. So we all had a basically good time and it was really well organized [MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
It was an honor just being asked to do it . . . sort of like being put on the map by people we had admired for years. But the experience was even much deeper than that.

Being the type of band that we are, the last thing we wanted to know about a few years ago was AIDS. Like most people, we thought it was only a problem for needle pushers and homosexuals, which meant we didn't have to worry about it. I was still as promiscuous as hell.

But then it started getting closer to home and everybody had to start being aware of the dangers . . . homosexuals, heterosexuals; people were even starting to get it from their dentists or whatever. That slowed my trip down a lot, but it didn't really hit home until Freddie died of AIDS because he was this huge icon in our minds.

To walk out on that stage in front of 75,000 or 80,000 people was a very emotional experience. It was like all of us in rock 'n' roll, the artists and the audience, were saying we did care and we are responsible for each other. It was a great sense of community that day and it touched something in me
[Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
The Queen gig was the most humbling experience of my life. It was f?!king intense. When we first met Brian May last summer, it was wild. None of us would let him out of the room. He's one of the nicest people I've met. When we did "Bohemian Rhapsody," that was unrehearsed. Brian asked me to do it that day, and it felt right. I spoke to Elton before the show, and he was kind of uneasy about meeting me - you know, I'm supposed to be the most homophobic guy on Earth. When we talked, I was excited, but serious, telling him how much his music meant to me. By the end he was like "Whoa." Onstage I was trying to be as respectful to him as I could. I was purposely vibing out, and if you look close, you can see it at times, how much I love and respect I have for Elton. There was some heavy eye contact going down. It was amazing. MTV's John Norris kept saying, "This could be the last time you'll ever see Elton John and Axl Rose together onstage." Not if I have anything to do with it. […]

I want to learn more [about AIDS] and start helping people. Freddie Mercury's death is a marker in my life that says there's no turning back, and I'm going to do whatever I can to inform the public about certain things. We can't sit idly and hope someone will change things and hope things will be alright. There are alternative forms of medicine that are having high success rates in treating AIDS victims. There's things like vibrational medicine, oxygen-ozone therapy, there's homeopathic medicines, there are Chinese medicines and different forms of vitamins. The government is denying the public this information. That's because the government, the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars off of people dying. The FDA invests money in companies they've supposed to be regulating - that makes no sense. Over the last 50 years there have been different cures for different illnesses that have been kept from us. Freddie Mercury's death made me want to fight for people to have the right to know about these alternative treatments. Everyone has got a God-given right to health, and it's being denied by power-hungry, greedy people who want control
[RIP, October 1992].
Brian May would also talk about the impact of Guns N' Roses being part of the show:

"It was the first time, for instance, that a band like Guns N’ Roses, (which is) regarded as the very macho end of the spectrum, (got involved). . .the fact that they were involved made people realize it was not just the gay sector of the community that needed to worry. That was a very important turning point in England. It achieved a lot. […] We got flak for having them a bit, but to me the fact that they’re there says it all. It shows their hearts are in the right place, and both Axl and Slash did a lot of TV here to emphasize how they felt" [The Vancouver Sun, March 25, 1993].

And Slash would talk about whether the public opinion about the band had shifted as a result of them participating at the Mercury tribute show:

I think there was a general realization about the AIDS situation for everybody involved, you know. Especially the crowd. To see - I don’t know what you’d call it - currently popular musicians in the music business getting up there making a statement, especially in demise of Freddie Mercury, and seeing that happening and finally admitting to the fact that AIDS does exist. Because of all the sort of - oh, I don’t know what the word for it is - you know, the gays had to deal with it, and then it started to be a heterosexual thing, but all the bands just did not want to even know about it, because, if you think about it, that’s, like, one of the things that goes with the territory that we really enjoy, sex (laughs). Anyway, so we finally all came to terms with it and everybody in the crowd realized that it’s not something you can ignore, you know? And it was a cool feeling to see everybody - I mean, I hate to say that something positive came out of somebody dying, but it’s something positive to come out of it, and, to everybody there seeing it, it was seeing how everybody felt. It was really cool, it’s a good vibe[Countdown, May 20, 1992].
Despite the show being a success, the gay pressure group Outrage would continue to protest after the event, and in particular claim that Axl during a show in Houston [January 9, 1992] had told fans, "to go out and massacre the queers in the gay ghettoes of cities around the world" [Kerrang! April 25, 1992]. Unfortunately we don't have access to audio recording from this Houston show, but it does seem extremely unlikely that Axl would ever have uttered anything like that. Outrage would also cite a Rolling Stone interview where Axl supposedly had said he liked to "beat up faggots after a concert, to relieve stress". We have not been able to find this Rolling Stone interview, nor any other interview with Axl where he has expressed anything close to it. The rumor that Axl had said this likely originates with a Houston Chronicle review from January 10, 1992.

In July 1992, Duff would say the Freddie Mercury tribute concert had been one of his most memorable shows [MTV, July 17, 1992].

In addition to honoring the late Freddie Mercury, the tribute concert allowed Axl to share the stage with one of his childhood idols, Elton John [Concert Shots, May 1986; Audio interview with Axl and Slash, June 1987; Rolling Stone, August 10, 1989; MTV 1989; Kerrang! April 1990; Musician, June 1992]:

Elton John is it. It’s like, yeah, his...  especially the first seven albums.  Bernie Taupin to me is the  best lyric writer that’s ever lived on the face of the earth. And Elton John was just amazing in the studio and the recording of everything. Some of it is so art. I mean, to me, that's my classical music, because some of his stuff is classical, you know, and I listen to Elton John all the time. […] I'm always supposed to meet them. I think they're the only two people I'm, like, nervous to meet.  (Chuckles) You know, and it's like, something always comes up, I don't feel (?), I just can't meet them[MTV, August 31, 1990].
I was way influenced by Elton John. I got all his sheet music as a kid and everything, and figured, “Wow, this stuff is pretty technical. I can't play it, but I'll learn how to fake it real good” (laughs). So, it's like, instead of doing, like, you know, five finger things on the left hand and then how to do octaves killer. That's a lot easier (laughs). [MTV, 1989]
I mean, Freddie Mercury and Elton John are, like, two of the biggest Influences in my whole life. And probably always will be. If someone asked me if I could have anything in the world, what would l want? If l could own anything, like owning a piece of art, l think it would be Elton John's publishing, on his first seven albums. I don't want the money. Being able to own those songs Is like owning a painting of someone you admire[The Interview Magazine, May 1992].
Axl and Elton John had tried to do something together before:

Well, we’ve been asked to do a pay-per-view show with him. But with the Izzy thing, it kind of messed up rehearsals, so I don’t know if we will do that or not. But if we can, we’ve been asked to do some things. And, you know, fitting it into our schedule, we’re trying to do it. So, hopefully, something will happen at one point with Elton[Rockline, November 27, 1991].
And when it happened it was great:

I spoke to Elton before the show, and he was kind of uneasy about meeting me - you know, I'm supposed to be the most homophobic guy on Earth. When we talked, I was excited, but serious, telling him how much his music meant to me. By the end he was like "Whoa." Onstage I was trying to be as respectful to him as I could. I was purposely vibing out, and if you look close, you can see it at times, how much I love and respect I have for Elton. There was some heavy eye contact going down. It was amazing. MTV's John Norris kept saying, "This could be the last time you'll ever see Elton John and Axl Rose together onstage." Not if I have anything to do with it[RIP, October 1991].
Elton John would also comment on meeting Axl:

"I heard that he had problems with the people in ACT UP, but I thought if he was willing to come on the show that we should make him feel at home, which is why I put my arm around him. We all say and do things we regret. I met him before the show and he seemed quite gentle, and I very much like some of his music.

In this business, I don't care who you are. There are Jekyll and Hyde characters in us all. There's not one performer who can't be an absolute animal at times. You have to be pretty strange to want to be a performer.

There must be a need to want to be loved. I'm not a psychiatrist, but there is something very vulnerable in most performers. Just listen to Axl's songs. I understand the nightmare of being a performer. There are fantastic moments, and there are dangerous, life-consuming ones. The art is to find a balance. And I'm glad I got a second chance
" [Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 15:17


We [=Izzy and Slash] don't work out our parts. If it's Izzy's song, I might turn the riff around a little bit and add something. But he'll play his part the way he wrote it—very loose, very Stonesy. When it comes to my tunes, I write riffs that are a lot more intricate—that's my style. So he just takes his style and adds it to my riff. Usually, for every five notes there's one chord on that side [points left and chuckles]. We don't consciously work out parts, whereas Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing probably get into that. […] [Duff and Matt fitting hand-in-glove] was an important factor in choosing Matt. It's different from the way, say, AC/DC works, where the guitars play together and the bass just keeps a line that goes straight through the song. Izzy plays really simple; me and Duff play all the intricate stuff—it's almost like one thick part. Duff takes whatever riffs he and I play and does them with the drums. And everything has to be in sync. So if Duff's playing with somebody who's not hip to what's going on, he knows in an instant[Guitar Player, December 1991].
I'm not well-schooled technically compared to guitar players these days as far as patterns and scales and things like that. I think about what I am about to do and my fingers will be on that note. I have to hear it in my head first, and then go for it. It just takes experience to know exactly what every note on the guitar sounds like so you can pull it out of the hat[Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].
On the record, [Matt]'s one of the most amazing drummers I've ever heard, but he's better than [what he achieved on 'Use Your Illusions']. […] When he goes off on his own creative sense it's pretty amazing. I want to facilitate that getting out[Hit Parader, June 1993].
Izzy answering the question where he "found that science of the riffs you were using since the very beginning of Guns":

From the Ramones (laughs)! I've stolen it all from Johnny Ramones! Actually, at the beginning, from them and Motorhead. Then you discover the blues, you slow down, and you find out about the Great Chuck Berry... [Rock & Folk, September 1992].
With Steven and Izzy gone, Slash talked about how that had affected their playing:

Well, it’s been really refreshing just to get out there and be able to have a really solid band, because... I mean,  I said I don’t like to talk the other guys, as far as Steven and [Izzy] goes […] because it’s a real personal kind of relationship and it’s real emotional. But there was a point there, where, our aspirations as a band, as far as I was concerned and as far as Axl and Duff were concerned, that I don’t know where those guys were really coming from. So it started to be unenjoyable to play with them, you know? So it was real refreshing to get in and have people that were real eager to do it. So it’s been a lot of fun thus far, you know?[MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Even though the band always sounded cool, Izzy and I never sat down together and worked out guitar parts. We weren't really a team, in that sense. We would just jam, and he'd play things his way and I'd play things my way. And even though Gilby is essentially playing Izzy's parts, he adjusts them so there is more of a sense of unity - more of a sense that we are playing together. This isn't to put Izzy down in any way, it's just that Gilby and I have a different relationship. […] I told [Gilby] to learn the basics and then take it from there. As the tour progressed, he progressed. I think it's important that Gilby put his own stamp on our songs. It's important that he feels he can contribute creatively. A musician's self-confidence becomes vulnerable when he isn't allowed to do his own thing [Guitar Player, November 1992].
So Gilby likes doing it. So there's a lot of interaction, and ahh, you know. I don't like to say anything against Izzy because we've all been playing together for a long time. Um, but I mean, it just got to a point where he just didn't wanna be there. So Gilby does wanna be there, so… You can feel it, you know. There's definitely some different feeling. And I don't feel like I have to rely on myself to cover the guitar and stuff, as much as I used to [The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].
Axl would also talk positively about the changes:

One night when I was bummed, Matt came around and put his hand on me: "It's all right, man." Those little things are really special. With the new band and the new people, it's the first time I've really felt at home. It used to be just the five of us against the world. Now we've brought some of the outside world into the band. The first night we played with the new band, I was sitting at the piano during "November Rain," just looking at this and feeling really glad that I was a part of this thing[Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
I know one song in particular, "Patience," where Axl hits a certain vocal that gives me chills, and it affects my playing, when that goes by. And it happens every single night when we play it. It might be a spontaneous moment in the evening when he'll say the right thing, or he'll sing the right way, to just make my guitar go crazy. Make my playing go crazy[Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
In July 1992 Slash would again talk about how losing members affected them:

It’s hard, you know. You have to deal with the situations at hand - Axl, Duff and I, and Matt’s been in the band for a long time, so I have to include him on this subject. But you have your goal and you want to go out and keep the – you know, whatever the Guns N’ Roses thing is and what we have fun doing. So you keep that together and keep it alive, and you just thrive on it. And so when changes occur, you have to look at it from perspective and just go, “Alright, what are doing here?” You know, what’s the objective? And finally you come to a conclusion where you go, “Alright, we want to keep this going, and if you can’t keep up with it, then, you know, at least we thrive between the members that are left. And that’s it. You know, you can’t make it more complicated than that. On the outside it might look a little, you, know, more complicated than it seems. […] The relationship between bands is really complicated, in the sense that we all hang out and you guys look at us from one perspective, but, you know, we’re just – this is a family kind of thing going. And after a while, in going through everything that we’ve gone through, and all the concerts and all the tours we tried to set up as individual bands – right? - you get to a point where you really have to hold on to each other. And when it gets rough, you have to deal with it and that’s it[Rockline, July 13, 1992].
We go to clubs all the time. At the Roxy in L.A.. Slash was playing and I was in the balcony and I was thinking, ‘This guy is great. And I’m in a band with him’ [New York Daily News, July 29, 1992].
Matt’s a great drummer, especially now that he’s been with us for two years. He’s a drummer you don’t have to pull along — he pushes you and makes you better. Nothing against Steven, but Matt takes us up a level — and Gilby’s guitar is whipped cream on the cake[New York Daily News, July 29, 1992].
Axl would also rave about the positive effects of having Gilby in the band:

Gilby is awesome, and a pleasure to be around. He works the stage and the crowd really well. Also, he helps give us a sense of rock 'n' roll normalcy - if there is such thing. Gilby has a way of understanding and dealing with situations that makes the whole trip more tolerable. His insights from being on the outside of GN'R helps us. He has his opinions of what's going on with us, and it helps us get a different perspective, ' cause Slash, Duff and myself have been in GN'R for so long and are so close to it that sometimes we don't see things like other people would. Every now and then he'll say something to me, and I'll go, "Wow, I didn't see it that way." He's been putting himself through his own rock-and-roll education with his other groups for years. Now he's a part of Guns N' Roses [RIP, October 1992].
Talking about the nature of their shows:

I mean, the band is the way the band is, okay? We go out and we jam. We react off the crowd and so on. Uh, yeah, we're still rough around the edges, probably always will be, but the spirit's there, y'know, and that's what the fuck matters right? "We have this responsibility for maintaining headlining status, right? Well fuckin' A, y'know? We can't keep it up all the time. We don't go out and do the same show every night. We use the fucking people that we're playing for and, if it's not happening with them, we'll keep working. We work real fucking hard y'know? I mean, I know you spent so many dollars to get into this gig, but we're not fucking robots all right? This isn't... I won't name any names, right, but this isn't mechanical. In order to play, we have to get into it. This is like emotional shit right?[Metal Masters, 1992].
And about the pressure and being nervous:

Being asked if the big shows puts pressure on the band: Yeah, unfortunately. What happens is that… From the pressure of having played those big gigs, you feel like that when you get up there, the huge amount of people that can't even see you, for the most part. You know, there's only the first 10 or 30 rows that really can see your expressions and, you know, if you fucking drool all over yourself. Burning yourself up with your cigarette, you know, I mean. Everybody else is just expecting some unbelievable show, which is really… that's, that's a pressure. To go out there and know that people are thinking that. I mean, I'm amazed that we can play the size of the stage we've been playing.


I still get nervous. I mean, the only time… I mean, if you're not nervous, you're gonna have a bad show. That wasn't something that was taught to me, I learned that from experience. It's still a challenge, it's still, you know, that you have something to prove, not to them, not to the people you are playing to, but to yourself. And go out, and press the people that you are playing for, with your newfound sense of confidence, right. Then you're doing alright. When you think you got it made, and you got it all together, then you're gonna screw up. I mean, that's something I've learned personally, I can't speak for everybody else in the band. Everybody has their own psych that they use to, you know, approach getting on stage and playing to that many people
[The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 15:18


As the band grew so did their professional retinue. For the tour in support of the 'Use Your Illusion" albums the crew was substantial.

Slash, being asked to talk about their entourage and how many are travelling with them:

Slash: "Fuck, I don’t know (laughs). 50 of us, huh? There’s a bunch of us. It’s like the Guns N’ Roses gang" [Countdown, May 1992].

Gilby would throw praise on the professionality of the crew:

"You know the people that are with the band now (road crew, assistants) are the people who were with the band in the beginning and the organization is incredible, they’re so professional. This band didn’t get successful and then can everybody, and what’s awesome is at the beginning of the tour I sat down (with the guitar tech) and said ‘This is what I like’ and I never have to say it again. When I’m playing a show I can change guitars every song and it’s always perfectly in tune, the equipment works right, you don’t have to settle for less like you do when you’re playing clubs. ‘The monitors aren’t going to work tonight’ — ‘Oh ...’ It means you can just concentrate on playing good. We still have our days when something blows up, but shit happens" [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993].

And it definitely had become a large crew. In the official tour program for 1992 [Use Your Illusion Tour program, 1992], the following crew was listed:

Doug Goldstein: Personal Manager; John Reese: Tour Manager  [MTV, June 1992]; Jerry Gendron: Tour Accountant; Earl Gabiddon: Security [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]; Jon Zucker: Security; Ron Stalnaker: Security; Bill Greer: Director of Security; Dale "Opie" Skjerseth: Production Mgr/Stage Mgr [Canal 33 Sputnik, June 1992]; Phil Ealy: Lighting & Set Designer; David Kehrer: Sound Engineer; Adam Day: Guitar Tech [Guitar Player, December 1991]; Tom Mayhue: Vocal Tech; Mike Mayhue: Bass Tech; Will Jennings: Keyboard Tech; Elwood Francis: Guitar Tech; Tim Doyle: Drum Tech; Art Freund: Carpenter and Joni Veage: Wardrobe; Robert John: Tour Photographer; Alex Kochan: Tour Consultant; Kirt Klingermann: Management Assistant; Craig Duswalt: Band Assistant; Amy Bailey: Press Coordinator; Steve Thaxton: Chiropractor; Sabrina Okamoto: Masseuse; Lori Perkins: Production Assistant; Michael Graphix: Monitor Engineer; Beth Turnbull: Wardrobe; Pat Ryan: Rigger; Mike Tierney: Ground Rigger & Camera Operator; Kurt Wagner: Carpenter; Chris Deters: Carpenter; Nick Passiglia: Carpenter; George Barnes: Sound Crew Chief; Jim Stanforth: Sound Crew; Doug Pope: Sound Crew; Brian Doyle: Sound Crew; Courtney Jones: Sound Crew; Paul Becher: Director; Terry Brennan: Camera; Jay Strasser: Camera; George Elizondo: Camera; Kenn Moynihan: Projectionist; Jim Perry: Show Power; Erik Dismuke: Varilite Op; Bob Jarvis: Varilite Tech; Doug Brent: Lighting Crew Chief; JR Edington: Lighting Crew; Mike Lamb: Lighting Crew; Rob Mackenzie: Lighting Crew; Dave Grayson: Lighting Crew; Charles Cochran: Lighting Crew; John Adam: Lead Truck Driver; Gary Passanis: Truck Driver; Dan Cole: Truck Driver; Tom Burrington: Truck Driver; John Bonta: Truck Driver; Kevin Collings: Truck Driver; Lindsay Davis: Truck Driver; Randy Dowell: Truck Driver; Robert Kruzscewski: Truck Driver; Max Shaeffer: Truck Driver; Dennis Mallatt: Bus Driver; Bennie Johnson: Bus Driver; Harold Russel: Bus Driver; Jerry Burnside: Bus Driver; Jeff Condon: Merchandiser and Steve Noonan: Merchandiser.

As can be seen from this list above, Axl's sister, Amy Bailey, was working as Press Coordinator for the band. Axl also mentions working with his sister in Rolling Stone in April 1992. In addition, also had a personal assistant called Blake [RIP, September 1992].

The wider crew was listed as:

Management: BIG FD Entertainment (Doug Goldstein, Chris Jones, Tom Maher); Tour Consultant: Alex Kochan; Publicity: Geffen Records (Bryn Bridenthal); Legal: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (Lee Phillips); Financial Control: Siegel & Feldstein (Shelley Goldberg); Merchandising: BROCKUM: Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo (Michael Rotondo, Gerry Barad, Jeff Condon, Carl Gibbs); Record Company: Geffen Records (Tom Zutaut); Travel Agency: Mark Allan Travel (Shelby Glick); Lighting: Light & Sound Design Inc (Tim Murch); Sound: Electrotec Inc (Rikki Farr); Moving Lights: Vari-lites (John Wiseman); Stage & Set: Showstaging/Showfab (Eric Eastland); Passes: Otto Printing (Mark Alger); Itineraries: Smart Art (Alan Mitchko, Sharon James); Freight: Rock-It Cargo (Duane Wood); Video: Nocturne Inc (Pat Morrow); Air Transportation: MGM Grand Air (Bob Lyons); Buses: Senator's Coach (John Aikin); Crew Travel Agency: Air Apparent (Kathleen Botting); Trucks: Roadshow Inc (Dave Kiley); Insurance: General Insurance Consultants (Bev Beilen, Ann Leiderman); Booking Agency: ICM/FAIRWARNING (John Jackson); Paintings front and back of program: Kostabi; Photography: Robert John, George Chin, Gene Kirkland; Illustration on pages 10 & 11: R K Sloane; Tour Program:  Satori  Art Coordinator (Michael Rotondo), and Additional Design: Ellen Meiselman.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon 1 Jul 2019 - 13:58; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon 24 Jun 2019 - 15:20


The 'Appetite' lineup had been a tight unit and had protected their rights through a recording agreement already signed on August 25, 1986 [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

But in 1990 the band lineup started to change. First Dizzy Reed joined and the band started to distinguish between "employers" and "full-time members":

"Dizzy is keyboard player who is being employed to be a Gunner – he may become a full-time member" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

With incoming musicians who didn't have the same back history with the rest of the band members, it was important to Slash to try to retain that particular cameraderie the band had enjoyed from the beginning:

The most important thing is – I’m glad that you asked that, because that’s a good question. One of the most important things for us in finding people to replace Steven and to replace Izzy was finding somebody that we could hang out with and feel like family still. Because Guns N’ Roses is one of those things that we were real tight, you know? And we don’t let any kind of outside people influence us, and we don’t take on any kind of, like, what you’d call session players or anything like that. So it’s got to be a really cool hangout situation. And it was sort of a godsend for Matt and Gilby, because they fit in so quickly, and it was such a stressful period for Duff and Axl and I to have to deal with. So, you know, for it to come down the way it did, and for us to feel so comfortable and finish this record, really said a lot about the whole organization as it was. And so, yeah, it’s an important thing; and no, we don’t take on any so-called business partners. Yeah [MTV Rockline, March 1992].
Then when Steven was in the process of leaving the band, the band members signed a new agreement, March 28, 1990, in-which Steven was transformed from being a member of the previous partnership (a partner) to an "employee" [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

In July 1991 Slash would be asked if Dizzy and Matt were fully-fledged members:

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that about Dizzy. He hasn’t been with us long enough. Matt, I would call a fully-fledged member, cos he is the foundation that we play off, and he came into a very heavy situation and fitted in right away. […] Dizzy’s more - and Axl might disagree with me here - but Dizzy’s an old friend, somebody that we’ve known for a long time, since Guns started, and he was the kind of player that Axl wanted. His style was what Axl wanted for the piano stuff.

But I wouldn’t call him a full-fledged member yet because he hasn’t been on the road with us long enough - although when we played Rio he really pulled it off...
[Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
Yet, when considering how well he had done at Rock In Rio in January 1992, Slash would admit he was a member:

So he is a member of the band, and though he hasn’t been fully initiated yet he’s been great... [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
In March 1992, Axl would be asked about the difference between "playing with guys you've hired, as opposed to guys you slept on floors with"?

In some ways it's not a whole lot different because in the beginning we were putting a band together to achieve something. It was always kind of a triad between Slash, Izzy, and me. And when Izzy wasn't so much being a part of that triad, Doug Goldstein, our manager, kind of took his place. As far as keeping Guns N' Roses going and figuring out what we're doing, Izzy really wasn't that much involved anymore. He wrote songs, but those songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record and because the band agreed to learn them and liked them and we all worked on them. I really believed in Izzy. I was an Izzy fan for 15 years and I wanted his songs to be a part of this project. But it was like pulling teeth to make that happen. A lot of people might have liked the way Izzy was standing there onstage and it was kind of cool, but the truth of the matter was that Izzy wasn't handling any of the weight[Musician, June 1992].
Then when Izzy left the band, in September 9, 1991, he also left the previous partnership resulting in Axl, Slash and Duff signing a new partnership agreement which was signed by the Slash and Duff in October 1992 (the copy we have has not been dated by Axl), although the effective date of the agreement was set to September 10, 1991 [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. The purpose of this partnership agreement, which was likely the purpose of previous partnership agreements, was defined as "utilizing and commercially exploiting their collective talents and personalities in the areas of recording of audio and video tapes, live personal appearances, publishing of musical compositions, and sales and merchandise" [Partnership agreement, October 1992].
Additionally, the agreement contained provisions for division of income, stating that from the effective date until the date of the agreement (September 10, 1991 to October/November 1992) all income had been dividing equally between the partners, but that from now any "new" profit (from new music etc) should be divided with 36.3 % to Axl, 33.3 % to Slash and 30.3 % to Duff, while all "old" profit should be divided equally (20 % each) among the members of the Appetite lineup [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. This would mean that Steven and Izzy would continue receiving royalties on the sale of 'Live Like A Suicide', 'Appetite', 'Lies' etc, but that only Axl, Slash and Duff would receive royalties on the sale of the 'Illusion' records and any future records. The partnership agreement also opened up for an revenues arising from solo records being solely entitled to that partner [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. The latter basically means that the partners have the right to have a solo career outside of Guns N' Roses.

Interestingly, the partnership contract from October 1992 also set forth provisions on governance, stating that Axl and Slash should make all "partnership decisions" and that if they couldn't come to an agreement the the majority of Axl, Slash and Duff should select a person to decide on the matter [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

The agreement also contained a clause on how partners could leave the agreement, both freely but also by being voted out by the other two partners (expulsion) [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. Any terminated partner (through leaving or being expulsed) would lose the right to use the name "Guns N' Roses" [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. Additionally, any terminated partner shall sell any stocks he controls in any corporations held by the partnership [Partnership agreement, October 1992]. If two members withdraw, the partnershop is dissolved [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

In the October 1992 issue of RIP Axl would be asked if Gilby was a "member" of the band:

This "member" thing is quite interesting, I read in an interview where Matt [Sorum, drummer] said that if he didn't get made a member, he wasn't going to be in Guns N' Roses. The truth of the matter is, Matt's a member of GN'R, but it doesn't really mean anything. It's kind of like a clubhouse/gang thing. We're all members of this gang. What it boils down to is, whose yard is the tree house in? Matt's a member of GN'R, and his opinions are taken into consideration. As far as that's concerned, Gilby is a member too, Dizzy is a member of the band. With all the background singers, horn players, keyboardists - we look at it like we're all Guns N' Roses. But the bottom line is, the business is basically run by Slash and myself. Then we run whatever it is we're discussing by Duff and see if he's cool with it. Guns N' Roses is basically Slash, Duff, Doug Goldstein and myself, but there's a lot of other people involved that are a part of our lives and a part of our family[RIP, October 1992].
And when asked if he thought Matt would be pissed after reading this, Axl responded:

It would be nice if he wasn't. I love everybody in this band. It's kicking ass and feels really warm and really cool onstage. At this point it's the 12 of us that get onstage and f?!king go all out. […] There's Teddy, there's Dizzy, there's Roberta, Tracy, Lisa, CeCe, Anne, Gilby, Matt, Duff, Slash and me. Slash put this new band together, did all of the groundwork. He did such an amazing job that I just can't believe it really happened. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a pretty huge thing, and we might even add some dancers, like we used to have back in the old Troubadour days. It's something we've considered[RIP, October 1992].
In the tour program for 1992 [Use Your Illusion Tour program, 1992], the band was listed as being comprised of Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt, Gilby and Dizzy, while Andreadis, Maxwell, Worall, King, Amos and Freeman were listed separately. In early 1993, Gilby would also be said to have been "accepted as a full member of the band" "appearing in all the band's subsequent videos" [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1992].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun 30 Jun 2019 - 12:17; edited 1 time in total
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