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THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS - Page 4 Empty Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:01 pm

THE ONE IN A MILLION CONTROVERSY - HOMOPHOBIA


Immediately after its release, it was mainly the racist aspects of 'One in a Million' that was debated in the media and caused controversy. The homophobic slurs did not cause as much controversy at first, or it had to take a backseat while media focused on the perceived racism of the song. But when that discussion wound down, the band started to receive more criticism for the homophobic verses.

The first major backlash came in early 1989 when Guns N' Roses had been the "first band" to sign up for an AIDS Benefit Concert called "Rock and a Hard Place" that was to take place in New York City in June. [Circus Magazine, May 1989].

It's something [record company president] David Geffen is putting together. Or at least [he's] involved with, and he asked us if we would do [Circus Magazine, May 1989].
Whether this was a deliberate attempt by David Geffen to make the band more palatable after the One In A Million criticism is not known.

The band agreed to do it, probably mostly to create awareness of a new disease that was causing fear in the music scene:

We're against AIDS and we just want to help out because as soon as it hits the rock crowd, it's over. Once one guy gets it, everybody is going down. Maybe that's why people are getting it, everybody's going down-hill [Circus Magazine, May 1989].
The only serious problem today isn't violence, or drugs, but AIDS. It's there, it can strike anywhere and anyone [New Musical Express, April 1989].
The only thing I see that will likely kill the spirit of rock 'n' roll is AIDS. I know that may sound funny, but it's something that really worries me. Since no major rock star has died from it yet, the scare really hasn't permeated the music scene. But as soon as someone like (names a major rock star) goes, then the girl who was with him will be with the next band, and the next, and so on, and before we know it, the 1990s could wind up being the age of no bands at all. Five years from now, you just watch and see what happens [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].
But then, on the demands of the sponsor, Gay Men's Health Crisis, the band was kicked off the event [Journal and Courier, March 1989; Arizona Republic, March 1989; Daily News, March 1989].

David Geffen had us on this AIDS benefit in 1989 or ’90 [it was in June 1989], and it was gonna be at Radio City Music Hall [in New York], and we were the headliner for this thing. And the Gay Alliance or Rainbow Coalition or something [it was the Gay Men's Health Crisis] gave David Geffen so much grief that we were kicked off [The Onion A.V. Club, May 2011].
It's really unfortunate that they don't want us to do it. We wanted to really make some money for AIDS, you know, cuz it's a big problem and it's unfortunate that they felt that strong and pulled us. I don't agree with them [Rapido, Unknown date, 1989].
We're in no way associated with the Gay Men's Health Crisis, except that David Geffen is on the board of directors for the concert and he's the owner of our record company. We were asked to do this, and we wanted to contribute some money to help stop a deadly disease that's killing humans of all kinds. A friend of mine who's homosexual and was largely responsible for the record companies taking notice of us was upset about it because we didn't even get a chance to clear ourselves, to make good. AIDS is something very scary. The concert was something we wanted to do and felt it was important to do but we were denied the opportunity. We were even denied the opportunity to say anything about it. It was just publicly announced that we weren't allowed to do it because the Gay Men's Health Crisis wouldn't let us. I don't feel they have the right to deny the money and attention they would have gotten from us playing. It's pride, it's ignorant and it's childish [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
The homosexual friend Axl is mentioning here is likely Joseph Brooks or Henry Peck, whom Axl had mentioned when he was discussing homosexuality on a previous occasion:

The only people I deal with that are gay are [Cathouse DJ] Joseph Brooks and [DJ-about-town] Henry Peck, and I try not to offend them. Their sex life doesn’t come into any view of mine, ‘cause I’d just flip out. So it’s not like some kind of aggressive-against-gays shit [L.A. Weekly, May 1988].
The quote above is telling about Axl's views on homosexuality and homosexuals at the time. While he would be bending over backwards to explain and defend the One In A Million verses on blacks (see previous section), he had a harder time, or didn't want to, defend the homophobic portions of the song:

When I use the word immigrants, what I'm talking about is going to a 7-11 or Village pantries - a lot of people from countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan et cetera, get jobs in these convenience stores and gas stations. Then they treat you as if you don't belong here. I've been chased out of a store with Slash by a six-foot-tall Iranian with a butcher knife because he didn't like the way we were dressed. Scared me to death. All I could see in my mind was a picture of my arm on the ground, blood going everywhere. When I get scared, I get mad. I grabbed the top of one of these big orange garbage cans and went back at him with this shield, going, "Come on!" I didn't want to back down from this guy. Anyway that's why I wrote about immigrants. Maybe I should have been more specific and said, "Joe Schmoladoo at the 7-11 and faggots make no sense to me." That's ridiculous! I summed it up simply and said, "Immigrants" [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
And he would explicitly state that he had an "attitude" towards homosexuals caused by a prior bad experience:

I've had some very bad experiences with homosexuals. When I was first coming to Los Angeles, I was about eighteen or nineteen. On my first hitchhiking ride, this guy told me I could crash at his hotel. I went to sleep and woke up while this guy was trying to rape me. I threw him down on the floor. He came at me again. I went running for the door. He came at me. I pinned him between the door and the wall. I had a straight razor, and I pulled the razor and said, "Don't ever touch me! Don't ever think about touching me! Don't touch yourself and think about me! Nothing!" Then I grabbed my stuff and split with no place to go, no sleep, in the middle of nowhere outside of St. Louis. That's why I have the attitude I have [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
When pressed in whether he is anti-homosexual, he would state:

I'm proheterosexual. I can't get enough of women, and I don't see the same thing that other men can see in men. I'm not into gay or bisexual experiences. But that's hypocritical of me, because I'd rather see two women together than just about anything else. That happens to be my personal, favorite thing [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
And when asked about his thoughts on gay-bashing and if he had ever beaten up someone because of their sexual orientation:

No! I never have. The most I do is, like, on the way to the Troubadour in "Boystown," on Santa Monica Boulevard, I'll yell out the car window, "Why don't you guys like pussy?" 'Cause I'm confused. I don't understand it. Anti-homosexual? I'm not against them doing what they want to do as long as it's not hurting anybody else and they're not forcing it upon me. I don't need them in my face or, pardon the pun, up my ass about it [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
But Axl wasn't the only one who had expressed similar thoughts on gays. Slash said the following in 1989, which comes across as both degrading to groupies and homosexuals:

We're not sexist, but that's no reason for the groupies who hang around backstage to start wanting respect. We treat them like shit because that's what they are. […] We're talking about groupies, not women in general. Anyway, one day one of those tramps is gonna catch AIDS from screwing some faggot and end up giving it to every group in town. That'll be the end of the rock scene in LA [New Musical Express, April 1989].
In a review of the band's show in Houston on January 9, 1992, the Houston Chronicle wrote that Axl "allegedly told 'Rolling Stone' magazine he liked to 'beat up faggots after a concert, to relieve stress' [Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1992]. We have not been able to find the original source for this quote, and it is not found in any of our known Rolling Stone magazines. We conclude that this is either entirely fictional or a misunderstood and tasteless joke.  

When invited to play at Freddie Mercury's tribute concert in April 1992 [see separate chapter], the band would again be targeted by anti-homophobia groups who would use the lyrics of 'One in a Million' and statements in interviews to protest against the band's inclusion on the lineup.

Around the same time Axl would discuss the allegations that he is homophobic and for the first time admit he had been wrong and imply his views on homosexuality had matured:

When I used the word faggots [in 'One in a Million'], I wasn't coming down on gays. I was coming down on an element of gays. I had just heard a story about a man who was released out of the L.A. county jail with AIDS and he was hooking. I've had my share of dealings with aggressive gays, and I was bothered by it. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not judge," and I guess I made a judgment call, and it was an insult [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Axl's would also argue that his problems with homosexuality came from being raped by his father when he was two years old:

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 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 and it's caused a problem ever since, but other than that, l don't know if I have any homophobia. How was that? […] So anyway, homophobia? The song [=One in a Million] is very generic. it's very vague, it's very simple, it was meant to be that way, it was written that way. It was like, O.K., I'm writing this song as l want to -- l want this song to be like "Midnight Cowboy." That guy was very naive and involved in everything. The cowboy. My friend who got robbed, he was like Dustin Hoffman's character. l wanted the song to be written from that point of view. l wrote it to deal with my anger and my fear and my vulnerability in that situation, that l still felt uncomfortable with, that happened to me. That was the "police and niggers" line. But now we move on to another line that says, […] "Immigrants and faggots, they make no sense to me/ they come to our country and think they'll do as they please / like start some mini-Iran, or spread some fucking disease / and they talk so many goddamned ways / it's all Greek to me." […] The line about "faggots" was written after I heard a story from a sheriff about a man they had just arrested after just releasing from jail, and he had AIDS, and he was back out on Santa Monica Boulevard hooking. We were like, "Oh, my God." And this just happened to get stuck in the song, since we had a radical line like "police and niggers" -- we might as well go all the way now, we'll write something else just as obnoxious, because we were just writing off-color humor at the time. We were dealing with a situation that was really heavy, ugly, and scary, and so we were making light of it. l was being encouraged to write as l was writing. […] Then we move on to the gay issue. I hitchhiked a lot and I got hassled an awful lot. I was very naive, and very tired, and a guy picked me up and said l could crash at his hotel, and l woke up with the man trying to rape me. l almost killed this man, l was so frightened. l had a straight-edge razor and was freakin' out: Don't ever touch me again! Then the guy ran out the door. l was so scared and l felt so violated. l didn't know that l felt even more violated than l was in the situation because of what had gone on in my childhood and what l had pretty much buried-and didn't even remember [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
People can do whatever they want to, but I'm more pro-hetro. I'm not knocking it -- I have friends that are gay. It's just that it's not my cup of tea, l guess. That's all. People can do what they want. l can sit and watch the Madonna movie and enjoy it very much and feel I'm learning something, and then I have other friends that can't handle it at all. […] I don't make any judgment, you know. Sometimes we can be stupid, like somebody rooting for their team and just going, "Oh, our team's the best." That song sounds like l am, because when we went in the studio it came out very forceful. l played it on guitar and it was done very slow and in a different tone of voice and done very humorously. Well, that didn't work out when we recorded it because I had Duff play it on guitar -- because he could play it better and in better time -- and Izzy put this other guitar thing to it, and it evolved into something of its own. We didn't plan that song to be as forceful as it was. We walked into the studio, and boom, it just happened [Interview Magazine, May 1992].

In June 1993 Slash would again deny they are homophobic and perhaps imply his own mother was gay:

I mean, as people, we're definitely not homophobic. You know, my mom… The closest I grew up around… You know, gay... I'm very fond of gay women. So, I mean, I'm not homophobic [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].


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THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS - Page 4 Empty Re: THE HISTORY OF GUNS N' ROSES - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:02 pm

1989 - THINGS FALL APART, PART I: DRUGS & BOOZE


[Drug abuse] is very scary, I mean, it almost killed us, almost broke this band. It almost, you know, killed a few of us a couple times [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
It was the biggest test to my sanity — getting off the road after being on for two years and having to mature enough to handle my own life. That was a hurdle [Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992].
-----------------------------------------------------------

Although trying to keep sober while touring in 1988, the heroin habits picked up again at the very end of the tour when the band travelled in Australia:

But the last time I was here [in late 1988], I can’t remember a fucking thing! […] drugs. […] We’d nearly finished being on tour, and dabbled with this and that, but we were more or less clean the whole time... then we found all these junkies in Sydney, and got the taste back! […] Then we went back to the States tor a hiatus to write and record - except there were more drugs available. And we had the money to buy them [RAW, June 23, 1993].


Duff and Izzy would confirm that the drug problems escalated after returning to Los Angeles in early 1989:

Put yourself in our shoes ... going from s— poor, seriously, getting $100 a week. All of a sudden you’re handed a gold card. You get a thing in the mail saying, ‘This is how much money you’re worth. You should probably look for a home now. You can actually buy a car.’ We were on the road for at least 2 1/2 years, and that’s what we got hit with when we came off. That’s when the drug prob­lems ... started happening [Detroit Free Press, May 1991].
We left Hollywood as the dirtbags, the band that everyone was betting would crash 'n' burn the first week out. We were gone almost two years, and suddenly we were so popular in LA, everybody loved us, everybody had something they wanted to sell us. The drugs came easier, everything [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
We left Hollywood as street urchins. When we left, everyone was betting that we'd never last and that we'd burn out. We were on the road continuously for almost two years and when we got back we were suddenly really popular. Lo and behold, suddenly everyone wanted to be our friend, everyone wanted to hang out with us. Everyone wanted to sell us something or get something off us.

Getting drugs was as easy as getting bread from a baker. I just slipped into a totally crazy way of life. I'd spend all night, right 'til the early hours, in bars and clubs or at parties that were always going on
[Rock Star, November 1992].
We've been living in some strange sort of vacuum for so long, going at such a high pace and just living in this little world that the band was all about, that we didn't know anything else. So when the tour ended, we just go back out on the streets, more or less, and end up fucking up because we were bored. The whole success thing and the rockstar-kind-of-persona that we got labeled with, made it difficult to walk around in the neighborhood, so to speak, you know, Hollywood, without being recognized. And that was awkward. So we started hiding away and, you know, getting into drugs and all the stuff that goes with it, you know, drugs and chicks and chicks always had drugs, and it was all day-in and day-out. And it finally took its toll and that's what happened to Steven [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].
One story that was mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine in November 1988, was that the band was invited to Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen's house for a party [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to Rolling Stone, Nielsen challenged Slash to a tequila challenge which resulted in a brawl that ended with Izzy kicking Nielsen in the balls [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. Nielsen would deny this happened and claim he "decked Slash" [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. Izzy and Axl would later deny this version of the events from Rolling Stone:

Absolute shit. (laughs). That’s absolutely a lie. […] No, that’s not true at all. It was something that appeared in the Rolling Stone magazine totally twisted and the rumor got bigger. […] a great party, the only thing that happened was that at the end of it, we all ended up face down on the road. That’s the only thing that happened (laughs) [Popular 1, November 1992].
There was a thing in Rolling Stone where [Rick Nielsen] said he fuckin’ decked Slash. He didn’t deck Slash. Do you think fuckin’ anybody’s gonna deck Slash with Doug Goldstein stand­ing there between Slash and them? It’s not gonna happen... [...] [The band provokes that kind of reaction] because Guns N’ Roses have this reputation for being bad and the new bad boys. And so, like, hey man, it perpetuates fuckin’ Rick Nielsen in the youth market and whatever else, and he’s bad, you know?’ [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]
Especially Slash was struggling with adjusting to the more sedate life between tours:

The thing about being on the road constantly is that you never really have any big problems hanging over you the whole time. When you're moving around from city to city all the time you don't think about anything except getting to the next gig. Then when you come off the road, it's like this whole other world that you thought you'd left behind, but that's been waiting for you to come back to so it can start fuckin' with you. I mean, I hate having to deal with normal day-to-day shit. It leaves no time for anything else. […] To me it's like, well now you're off the road and you have a lot of money and you can do anything you want... But there's nothing that I wanna do except play. I just wanna get back on the fuckin' road... I envy all the bands that have their new albums done and are getting ready to go out. I'd love to have the album finished already and go back out. That's life as I know it, y'know? [Kerrang! April 1989].
I want to be back on the road so bad [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
We were on the road when [the success] happened so, when the tour was over, they dropped me off at the airport and I was standing on the kerb going, 'Now what? Where do I go?' That's where the drugs trip came back [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].
Being an impatient sort of workaholic type, before the band went on the road and before the record came out [in 1987], we had our problems. Then I cleaned up, went on the road and it was great for two years and then bam! Back again. I said, 'Okay, all right, I can make a phone call and kill this time [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].
As he would tellingly say:

As pathetic as this may sound, my personal life and existence has nothing to do with anything beyond the band and being a player. I'm very single-minded. All I do is music, or else I do something—entirely different [Musician, December 1990].
Slash would get back on heroin "right away" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

Steven would recall a haranguing story that likely took place before October 1989:

Somehow I had it in my head that not shooting [heroin] gave me some moral high ground to shake my head and feel that Slash was out of control with the shit. Even though I had dabbled with needles, I had backed off a bit and was a little freaked by Slash's behavior. Not long after that first day of scoring together [after they had both moved to houses near each other], Slash started to really lose it. We had been partying for a few days, and as the sun was peeking up, I couldn't find Slash in the house.

I went out back, and he was sitting by the pool. He was so out of it, just blindly jabbing a syringe into his arm, over and over
[Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 186]
Duff was also mention Slash's paranoia around the same time:

I would hang out with Slash from time to time, but things were getting dark up there at his house in Laurel Canyon. One day he pulled out a stack of Polaroid pictures he had taken around his house. "Duff, look at these," he said. "It's some of those Martian bugs I was telling you about. They're infiltrating my house and watching me all the time." There was of course nothing on those Polaroids. But he kept flipping through the stack and pointing [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155].
Slash also had numerous OD's:

I really should be dead by now That's how bad it was. I guess I always felt I was indestructible. And that if I died, I didn't care about that either. I'd OD'd lots of times, would wake up and go, 'What happened?' [Musician, December 1990].
I've OD'd so many times. I’ve woken up in the hospital so many fucking times. I don’t like to get into it, but I've been through some shit. I’ve been in jail over drugs. You’d think things like that would make you stop, but they don't [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
When the band relocated to Chicago in mid-1989 to get work done, and Slash, Duff and Steven had to wait for the arrival of Axl and Izzy, Slash's drinking got really bad:

I'd wake up with the shakes so badly, detoxing just from waking up [Musician, December 1990].
He would later describe his drinking:

I seriously used to go through one and two bottles of Jack Daniel’s a night. Easy. Sometimes a half gallon. I used to get up in the morning and I’d just be drunk all the time. I passed out on the floor of a guitar store in England — really stupid shit [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
While in Chicago Duff and Slash went to a The Cult show and met Matt Sorum. Matt would describe them this way:

That’s when I first met the guys and they were in kind of a state [Chicago tribune, May 1991].
In August 1989, Izzy was asked about how Slash was doing:

I hear he's doin' better, y'know. Haven't seen him in three to four weeks but I hear he's doin better than in a long time. He seems to realize now that with this new album to be made there's like a... uh, time period he has to be sustainin' right. Which he couldn't do before because of the way he's livin' his life [The Face, October 1989].
In 1989, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith would also call up on Slash to hear how he was doing [Musician, December 1990].

Slash's escalating drug and alcohol abuse led to Axl's famous "Mr. Brownstone" speech at The Stones show in October 1989. In a retrospective perspective in 1991, Slash would shed light on the incident as reported by The Los Angeles Times: "The problem that led to the Coliseum showdown, [Slash] says, wasn't the endless months on the road in 1987 and 1988, but the days and weeks after the tour ended in September, 1988--when the band members didn't have each other or their crews for support. Like Axl and the others, he thought he had found a new family in Guns N' Roses and felt isolated when the band returned from the marathon tour and there was no support group" [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. So again, it was the isolation that he felt after returning from the extensive touring in 1988, caused by newfound celebrity and little to do, and band members who drifted apart, that fueled Slash's addiction and ultimately leading to Axl's ultimatum.

Slash would not deny his problems, in Rolling Stone he would describe it as a "really serious heroin problem" in the period leading up to the shows with The Stones in October 1989, and that he promised to quit smack after these shows [Rolling Stone, January 1991]. From Steven's biography and Axl's "Mr. Brownstone" speech, it could seem like Slash actually promised to quit smack before the shows with The Stones.

Regardless, after the shows with The Stones Slash promised to clean up.

Izzy and Steven were into heroin, too. Duff would remark that Izzy's and Slash's extensive drug abuse may be linked to coping with the tragedy at Donington, but that they at the time of the interview were now "cleaned out and revved up" [Raw Magazine, July 1989] .

Another night, Slash and I paid a visit to Izzy at his new place. He had a loft in his apartment where he would hide from the world, shooting smack and smoking coke. We came by unannounced and evidently disturbed him. He was all weird and strung out from the drugs. He just said, "Hey," and kind of circled the room a few times, scratching his shoulders and his head like he had lice or something [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 187].
At the end of 1989, Izzy went to Indiana to clean up.

Steven was in increasingly worse shape:

[Steven] had bought a house just three blocks from mine and as a result I was able to check on him more often; what that amounted to in practical terms was watching helplessly as his crack and heroin use escalated. It got so bad, and he seemed si incapable of reining it in, that at one point I found out where his drug dealer lived and took a shotgun to the guy's house [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]
Steven would be convinced by his techie to go in rehab in January 1989 [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 187], which caused him to miss a show on American Music Awards. It would be the first of many attempts at sobering up. As Izzy would phrase it, "Stevie has probably been on several of those missions, yeah" [The Face, October 1989]. Axl might have been referencing this, when he in February 1989 said that "Stevie's got a way like, things just come up in his life" when explaining why they split the revenues almost equally between the band members, implying that he had a costly habit [Howard Stern, February 1989].

The drug use escalated while Steven, Duff and Slash were holed up in Chicago waiting for their band mates to join them.

One night I was so fucked up that somebody pulled me aside and said, "Here, do a little coke and you'll sober right up." And there you go, that was the secret potion. [...] Coke just allowed me to pursue my favored mind-altering regimen-vodka-harder and for longer periods of time [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 151]
Unfortunately this was also the point at which Steven really started to go overboard with his cocaine and heroin intake. I was nothing close to sober then, but I maintained a line I would not cross-which meant, first and foremost, that I would not let my work suffer. Also over the line: putting my life in jeopardy, putting someone else's life in jeopardy, getting arrested. Slash maintained a similar line-especially when it came to rehearsing and playing live shows. [...] In Chicago, Steven started to become frightening even to us, a couple of guys not accustomed to getting spooked when it came to intoxicants [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 151]
After returning to Los Angeles after their ill-fated Chicago trip, Duff was able to cut back on his excesses, he started exercising a bit and rarely did coke or took pills [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]. Steven, on the other hand, would claim that both Slash and Duff's addictions caused them to show up to rehearsal drunk, or not at all [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192].

In early 1990, the journalist Mick Wall would describe Duff this way: "I take a good look at him. At a glance, he still looks good, girls. Tall (bottled) blonde in faded 501s squeezed into tight black leather chaps, heavy black motorcycle boots, black cotton shirt undone to the stomach and a battered blue denim jacket with the sleeves sawn off. You can see the girls eyes flash like traffic lights every time Duff appears in the room. But looking at his face close up wasn’t such a pretty sight. The corn coloured hair was lank and greasy; the pink cherubic features pale and unshaven. His eyes were the shade of deep red you get from too much drinking or after you’ve been up all night crying [Kerrang! March 1990]. Duff had recently split up Mandy Brix whom he had married about two years earlier [Kerrang! March 1990].

Duff would also describe his own looks "a couple of months" after the Coliseum gigs with The Stones:

I was like 20 pounds heavier than I am now . . . just from alcohol. My face was all puffy and pale, and I said to myself, 'This is not me.' So I quit drinking and I poured all the alcohol in my house out, but I almost died from the withdrawals [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].
This would imply that Duff quit drinking in early 1990.

Looking back, Duff would explain how he ended up drinking too much after returning from the touring in 1988:

For a while, we were separated . . . we didn't have each other to talk to every day. We were on our own. I was drunk, Slash was doing smack. There was an adjustment period because we were used to living in (crap) around town, but all of a sudden, there was all this money and you'd go to a club, the Whisky or whatever, and people would mob you. […] It (messes) your head . . . and I wanted to escape. I didn't know how to deal with things. The easiest thing to do was go to the liquor store and get two half-gallons of vodka and drink it [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].
All the abuse caused troubles for the band and their plans to work on a follow-up to 'Appetite'. In his biography, Duff would relate how he and Axl were worried about their comrades:

"What are we going to do?" [Axl] asked. I had no answer. We talked, but all we could do was hope they would find it in themselves to pull back and get into the swing of things as far as the band was concerned. We never thought of rehab or interventions back then [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148]
When the band started rehearsing for the Rolling Stones gigs in October 1989, the heroin use started to affect the band professionally, with some of them coming in late, or leaving early, or not meeting at all [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156]. Duff would probably discuss this period in early 1990, and claim it was behind them:

Drugs are bad, yeah. I will always be the first to say that. And everybody in this band has had his bouts with drugs, but that’s all over now, really. It doesn’t mess with the band anymore, that’s the thing. Before, it used to mess with the band; guys weren’t showing up for rehearsals, guys were coming to gigs all fucked up. But it’s like, that’s all over now, man [Kerrang! March 1990]
Axl, in contrast to his bandmates, continued to put his career before drugs and excesses:

Right now, for me, a line of coke is too far. A line of coke puts my voice out of commission for a week. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I did a lot of stuff before. Maybe it's guilt and it's relocated in my throat. All I know is it's not healthy for me right now. And if somebody goes, "Oh, man, he's not a partyer anymore," hey, fuck you! Do you want a record or not? [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
And when discussing this with RIP in April 1989, he ended with inserted a cautionary advice to the rest of the band:

I have a different physical constitution and different mindset about drugs than anybody I've known in Hollywood, because I don't abstain from doing drugs, but I won't allow myself to have a fuckin' habit. I won't allow it. I'll have done blow for three days and my mind will go "Fuck no". I'll have the physical feeling of knowing my body needs it, and I'll just refuse to do coke that day. I'm not going to do it, because if I was going to do it, I know I won't be able to hit my goals with what I want to do with this band. I can't let myself get into coke as much as I'm into the band. The same thing with heroin. I did it for three weeks straight and had one of the greatest times in my life, because I was with a girl I wanted to be with in this beautiful apartment, and we just sat there listening to Led Zeppelin, doing drugs and fucking. It was great, 'cause at that time I had nothing to do but sit on my ass and make a few phone calls a day. I stopped on, like, Saturday, because I had serious business to attend to on Monday. I felt like shit, sweated, shook, but on Monday I was able to function. I can't hide in drugs. A lot of people can, but whenever I do any drugs - pills, booze, smack, whatever - to enjoy it, my life has to be perfect - no fuck-ups, nothing going wrong. Otherwise, when I'm high, I'll analyse the shit out of everything that's happening in my life and why things are going wrong. That's not enjoyable. And if I have shows to do, I won't touch drugs because it fucks up my throat. My advice is don't get a habit, don't use anybody else's needle and don't let drugs become a prerequisite to having a good time. Do things in moderation, and just be careful [RIP, April 1989]
A few months later, Axl felt a need to comment on his statements to RIP:

I'm not and never have been a junkie. The last interview in RIP Magazine got taken out of context about me talking openly about my drug use. That was over two years ago and was only for a few weeks when there was nothing to do. I was also very safe about it. That doesn't mean that at some point I won't get really sick of life and choose to OD. Then people will go, "He was always a junkie." That's not the case, but you can believe what you want, I don't give a fuck. No one's really gonna believe anything I say anyway as far as what I do or don't do with drugs, 'cause it's such a taboo subject. Lately I've been drinking champagne for fun, a few beers, you know. Right now drugs get in the way of my dreams and goals. I really don't want drugs around me now, I'm not necessarily against the use of drugs, they just don't fit in my life right now. Then again, I could be out on tour for six months and a blast might be what cheers me up that night [Rolling Stone, August 1989]
Looking back at this dark period in their lives, Slash would say:

But the point of what I’m saying is, there was that whole change in our personal lives [when returning to Los Angeles after touring in late 1988], which people may or may not be interested in, but it was really serious. There was a lot of — well, I’m surprised we’re all still here! Cos there was a lot of stuff to swallow, to establish a sense of security or to be able to deal with money or houses and all that crap, which we’ve never been interested in in the first place. After the tour they basically dropped us off at the airport and it was like, ‘Well, touring’s done, guys. Go make another record’. We went through a lot of emotional and personal changes. [...] We were gone for a long time, and during that period we watched everything go back down the toilet [Kerrang! July 27, 1991]
Slash would also say the band's drug problems had continued well into 1990 when Matt joined the band:

When Matt happened, it was the one final thing that we needed to pull it all back together. It was just loose; we were all together but we were all just hanging on the edge, trying to figure out how to keep the band going. There were a lot of, uh, chemical situations going on and so forth, and Matt was like a godsend because he was the one thing we needed [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:03 pm

1989-1990 - THINGS FALL APART, PART II: BAND OF BROTHERS NO MORE


Adjusting to wealth and popularity was difficult guys who had been living together for years and suddenly found themselves having to adjust to celebrity status.

Our reality is that we came from nowhere--or maybe even a subzero level, being on the road, doing that every day—and having no other life. And there is a pace to that, which is kind of exciting. Then all of a sudden, bam! That life comes to a screaming halt. You don't have your crew guys, the maid doesn't come in, you're laying in bed wailing for the gig to happen...and it's not gonna happen.  […] But there was no other life for us to come back to. We'd never had any other life. And now we were all separated—we had our own little places, which had never happened before. I remember a point where I was just sitting in bed bored and uninterested In anything. You hear one of the guys in your band on the answering machine and you don't even pick up the phone [Musician, December 1990].
The band members found themselves separated:

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]

Especially Izzy would be drifting away:

We’ve gotten so – you know, we’ve gone through those periods where everybody was used to living together or staying in the same hotel, then when we go home we all live in different places. And I’d be busy doing my thing completely obsessed with what the band is doing, and Axl would be doing his thing, and everybody - so we wouldn’t see each other that much. And so Izzy just really got farther, and we got farther and farther away from him. And that had been developing over the years anyway [MTV, May 1993].[/i]
In 1989 the relationship between Steven and the band continued to deteriorate. In the previous year, 1988, Steven had openly expressed his admiration for Slash and Duff, "I look up to those two guys more than anybody else" [Superstar Facts & Pix, No 16, 1988] which, according to his biography, made it so much harder for him when he now felt ostracized by them.

In January 1989 the band played Patience on American Music Awards with Don Henley stepping in for Steven who was in rehab at the time:

WTF! when I got out [from rehab], someone asked me why I hadn't appeared on the American Music Awards. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. He proceeded to tell me that GNR performed "Patience" [...] with someone else on drums. [...] I was completely blindsided by this, so stunned and hurt, I can't begin to describe the feeling of betrayal [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 188].
At the time the band would claim, through their fan club, that Steven was suffering from "a bad case of the flu" [Conspiracy Incorporated Fan Club Newsletter, March 1989].

And while Steven was becoming less and less important to the band, Axl was increasingly taking a leading role:

Word was getting back to me that people were whispering in Axl's ear, saying all the ass-kissing cliches: "You're the guy, you're the basis of the band's success". That's cancer for any band [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148]
When famous radio host Howard Stern called Axl in February 1989, he wasn't merely whispering in Axl's ears, he was repeatedly telling him that Axl was the one writing all the songs in the band and should have a bigger share of the revenue [Howard Stern Radio Show, February 1989]. In this same radio interview, Axl would mention that he had been "very, very mad at Slash" but not explain why [Howard Stern Radio Show, February 1989].

Axl would also imply that he was in charge:

I can't be doing drugs every night because, after selling six million records, the business I have to deal with is a lot more intense than most people's. Once you reach a point where you're platinum or projected to go platinum, all of a sudden you're dealing with major record executives and business people and MTV and everything else [RIP, April 1989]
I'm like the president of a company that's worth between $125 million and a quarter billion dollars [Rolling Stone, August 1989]
Yet, when asked in March or April 1989, Slash would deny that they were growing apart:

Actually, because the success has fucked with everybody's heads so much, we're sort of like clinging to each other for support, and to keep some sort of mental balance, y'know? [Kerrang! April 1989].
And Axl would also emphasize that they made decisions together as a band:

Discussing Axl's desire to do big stageshows: Probably, but it will all be with the say-so of the band. I mean, the band will be the judge of everything that is involved with it [Kerrang! June 1989].
When asked explicitly if he considered himself "the leader of the band," Axl would reply:

That's a good question. I'm gonna do what I want to do. That may be selfish, but it's the best way for the most to come out of me. When we write a song, nobody in this band plays anything they don't really want to. When we write a song, the bass player plays his line and it ends up being what he wants to do on bass. It ends up working that way and fitting, so we end up with a set of songs that everybody likes. I couldn't say I'm the leader, like "We're gone do what I say." It doesn't work that way [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
When recounting how the rest of the band would consider him a dictator when they worked on songs in Chicago, Axl would dismiss that:

Listen, after working with Jagger it was like, don't ever call me a dictator again, man. You can go and work for the Stones and you’ll learn the hard way... [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Axl would also state that he was gradually taking over more aspects of running the business side of the band after having seen how Mick Jagger steered The Rolling Stones:

That guy walks off stage and goes and does paperwork. He says “Excuse me, I’ve got to do paperwork..." […] That guy is involved in every little aspect, you know, from what the background singers are getting paid to how much we’re paying for this part of the PA. He is on top of all of it. It’s him and his lawyer, OK? And a couple of guys that he hangs with, you know, part of the entourage. But basically, it’s all him... [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Despite this, the media increasingly wrote about the friction in the band. To them, the battle was between Axl and Slash, with Axl slowly gaining the upper hand, as it would be phrased in Raw Magazine in May 1989: "This is very much [Axl's] band and very much his driving force that keeps everything on certain rails. He is the leader, Slash (at least in band terms) his own man. Of necessity that puts the onus more on Axl to keep the Guns n' Roses juggernaut motoring, leaving Slash more time to ruminate on his own position" [RAW Magazine, May 1989].

Maybe because of this, in the first half of 1989 Slash started jamming with Dave Mustaine and there were rumours that they would start a separate band together. It went as far as Mustaine inviting Slash to join Megadeth [Blast! April 1989], a "joke offer" according to Slash:

And I toyed with the idea of winding up the rest of Guns n' Roses by telling them that I'd accepted this offer. Ha! [/i] [RAW Magazine, May 1989].
This implies a growing frustration with Slash and how things were developing in Guns N' Roses. This was picked up by other media outlets as well: Axl and Slash was developing frontman-lead guitarist syndrome [MTV, 1989]. In 2018, Mustaine corroborated this story when he mentioned that he and Slash had recently talked about how they, in the 80s, had talked about "[Slash] joining Megadeth and leaving Guns N’ Roses and we were jamming together a lot" [Metalhead zone, October 2018].

Duff considered Slash and Mustaine jamming as frustration on Slash's part with the "directionless path that GN'R was on" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148].

Slash just wanted Guns to get back to being a gang of dudes who hung out together all the time. As equals. With no bullshit. But there was no communication [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 148]
According to RAW Magazine from May 1989, Slash also "talked about getting involved with other outside projects [beyond Megadeth] simply to let off certain creative instincts that don't fit into The Gunners' style." This was allegedly not so much a frustration borne out of a "directionless path" as Duff would claim in his biography, but frustration arising from increasing musical differences between two uncompromising musicians, Slash and Axl, that resulted in Slash having to yield and compromise [Raw Magazine, may 1989].

Axl would be frank about conflict issues in the band:

We have to work on pulling things together because we definitely have our own lives and individual personalities and dreams and goal. And, so then what you try to do is to try to find a way to make all those things fit together, and it's not necessarily easy, none of us are trained in psychology. Maybe we need a child psychologist on the road. She could look great too, that would help [chuckle] [MTV 1989]
Later, when Steven, Slash and Duff hang around in Chicago waiting for Axl and Izzy to show, Steven was the one who were the most pissed at Axl [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 152].

Ever since the band had started, there had been some vague animosity between Axl and Steven. This happens in bands. All bands. I could never quite figure out what these two guys had against each other [...] [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 151-152]
The friction between Axl and Slash would be magnified when Axl called out the band for doing too much heroin during their shows with The Rolling Stones in October 1989, and demanding that Slash addressed the crowd and apologized. In December 1989, media would report that both Axl and Slash played with Michael Monroe, but not together suggesting that "their unwillingness to appear on stage together may be another indication that relations between the two band mates are still not completely thought out" [MTV News, December 1989].

One of the issues between band members were differences in approach to working, and especially frustration with Axl's attention to detail:

I'm too much of a perfectionist, I know that. I'm a perfectionist so much, that I don't get a lot of things done. [...] My main motivation for all of this, and it could never be anything but, is the music, the songs. I look at it like I'm a painter or something, and that's my motivation, just to be able to get the material out the way I want it. I'm not driven for financial things, those are a bit more than secondary. It's like, I can get as excited about making money as the next person in that I'm gonna be able to buy this and that, but if the song doesn't come out the way I really wanted it to then I'm more disappointed, and the money doesn't really mean anything to me then. I now that's hard for a lot of people to believe, but that's something that we've kinda stuck by the whole time, as much as possible [Rock Scene, April 1988].
Izzy, on his side, started to distance himself from the band. In August 1989 he was travelling Europe, visiting both France and Germany, where he had an appointment with a dentist to "have all this new scientific shit pumped into my gums so my teeth won't keep fallin' out" [The Face, October 1989].

He also bought a home in Lafayette to get away from 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 [Courier and Journal, February 21, 1993].
And basically moved to Lafayette:

I moved back to Indiana in 1988, 89 — after Guns N' Roses had been out on tour and made some money. I bought a house (in Lafayette) and I've been based out of there since. I’ve got family and I've got old friends back there and I kind of got to know the place again, I suppose [Indianapolis Star, February 21, 1993].
In 1990, Axl would comment on the band members growing apart but that they had found a way to make it work:

Yeah, everybody has their own lives. I mean, Izzy basically has five Harley's, and every time you're looking for Izzy, you find out he's in Mexico or he's in London or he drove to Texas or he's up in Yellowstone or something, you know. He's always somewhere. […] [Slash is] always working on something, working on his house or working on someone else's record or something like that. So we don't really hang that much but we call each other up on the phone to tell each other what we did, you know. We’re best friends, even though we have separate lives somewhat, you know. And we brought that friendship back together, you know, because otherwise it was getting to a point where “Okay, then we are gonna go separate” [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
In late 1989 or early 1990, rumors spread that Axl considered quitting the band [Hot Metal Stars, 1990].

The press would report that the band was on so bad terms that they had to record their studio parts at separate times [New Musical Express, November 1990].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:08 pm

1987-MAY 1989 - PLANNING THE FOLLOW-UP TO 'APPETITE'


Already back in 1987 did Slash muse on the follow-up to 'Appetite':

I’d like to go a little bit farther with it on the next one. I would like to see the sound get even heavier [Morning Call, October 1987].
They had music left over from 'Appetite' that was ready to be released:

We have a handful of songs that we deliberately didn’t include in the first album, because both the label and us thought that it would’ve been a big shock for people. We took a big step from the EP to the album, and our second album will be a new step for sure, because we already have many of the songs that will be on it [Popular 1, May 1988 [translated from Spanish; from an interview dated October 8, 1987)].
The same month Axl would even indicate that it could become a double album and that they had as much as about 40 songs ready:

[…] we’ve already talked with Geffen and we will record a double album whenever we’re done touring. And hopefully we’ll put out a double album. We’ll see how it sounds, and if it’s a smart move to put out a double record cuz it’s gonna cost more. But we got all the material ready for it and we’re still writing new stuff, so... We have about 40 songs ready to go that we believe in [CGBG's Post-show Interview, October 1987].
A follow-up to their debut record was something the band looked forward to, especially as they toured extensively after the release of 'Appetite' in 1987 and were getting fed up by their old material. But also because they wanted to show the word a different side to themselves:

I hope [the next] album's more successful because I just want to bury 'Appetite.' It's like, I like the album but I'm sick of it. I don't live my life through that one album. I have to bury it. So rather than just throwing a bunch of songs together, we thinking far more [?] going over it, you know, with a fine-tooth comb and just working on everything to try... That's the goal, bury 'Appetite' [MTV 1989].
But with the success of their debut LP, the pressure was on:

Yep, the pressure's kind of on. Still, its nothing we can't handle [Guitar World, March 1989].
The biggest thing we had to deal with at one point was like the follow-up thing, right? And we were like, 'Ah f***, we don't care'. But finally, when we were off the road and it was time to go back in the studio, people were trying to put really heavy pressure on us and we were just like, 'WHAT?' And it did start turning into a pressure. Even Steven Tyler goes, 'Is there another "Jungle" on it?' and I was like, 'Of all people to ask me that!' And at that point we just cut it off from everybody. Y'know, ‘We're gonna do OUR record' […] [Melody Maker, August 1991].
Although Duff was unfazed:

And there's really no pressure on us, you know, the success of the last record... there's absolutely no pressure on us at all, you know. Maybe if we only sold 50,000 copies or something there would be, but... And even if that happened we'd say "screw you" to the record company [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
There was also a question on how their success would impact their music which had been so rooted in their gritty and vagrant lifestyles. As Jon Bon Jovi Would say, "I think Guns n' Roses are a great band. But what will happen to them when they lose their street feel? I worry for them at that point" [Raw Magazine, May 1989]. Still, all they could do was their very best:

Our next album will come out, and it'll sell a lot, but I don't think it will be like this, the way things are right now [with Appetite]; crazy. But it doesn't matter. What matters is whether the next album is actually any good or not. As long as the material is all there, I'm happy. We'll just make the best record we possibly can, as sincerely and as honestly as everything else we're ever done, and that's it. After that, it's not our problem any more [Kerrang! December 1988].
I don't know what [the next record]'s gonna do in terms of sales or our following. But it should be, for us, a very weird experimental process and coming up with a lot of new things. Because "Appetite For Destruction", a lot of the material written on that was done when we were in the club scene in L.A. That's over two years ago. Sometimes three years ago, some of it. And "Anything Goes" was first started about four years ago. And so, during this time, we've had a lot time to grow and mature, I think, lyrically and musically, and the next record we get to, like, fuses all this and see what we come up with. [...] Yeah, it's like a lot of people right now are getting turned on to 'Appetite for Destruction', like it's brand-new, and we still have the same momentum behind those songs as we've always had and we still find something and then we get excited, but, you know, the next record for us will be, like, anywhere from a two to four year jump and a lot of people, you know, are going to get that jump in one year's time and it's got to surprise a lot of people [Headbanger's Ball, May 1988].
Axl had long admired different musical styles, and bands who would be able to master them:

[...] that doesn't mean we won't play a heavy metal song, or we won't play a country song. The Rolling Stones, to me, have done the best, 'A Girl With Far Away Eyes', 'Far Away Eyes' to me, that's the best country song ever written, you know. Rolling Stones wrote whatever kind of music they felt like writing. They wrote 'Miss You', one of the best disco songs ever written. Just, you know, whatever you feel like and basically we're just a rock and roll back playing whatever we feel [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
I like variety in music. I don't want us ever to hem ourselves in. I think you can go from writing a heavy metal song to writing a mellow song without selling out. The important thing is approaching the music with the same conviction [Los Angeles Times, December 1988].
I've always looked at things in a versatile sense because of Queen, ELO, Elton John, especially early Elton John and groups like that. With Queen, I have my favorite: Queen II. Whenever their newest record would come out and have all these other kinds of music on it, at first I'd only like this song or that song. But after a period of time listening to it, it would open my mind up to so many different styles. I really appreciate them for that. That's something I've always wanted to be able to achieve. It's important to show people all forms of music, basically try to give people a broader point of view [Rolling Stones, August 1989].
But getting the follow-up album out would turn out to be a very laborious process and plans and release dates would ne continuously delayed for different reasons.

In mid-1987, before the release of 'Appetite', Axl talked about wanting to have Dan McCafferty (from Nazareth) guest vocal on their second record. They had already figured the song out [Unknown UK source, June 1987] which was 'November Rain':

When we got back to the States [likely after their June shows in England], I was informed that Dan had listened to our ballad 'November Rain' and liked it a lot. So I asked him if he wanted to sing with me, and he told me that he’d love to do it, if he could [Popular 1, April 1988 (although interview from October 1987; translated from Spanish)].

This did not happen and it is not known what song Axl had in mind, but likely a cover of Nazareth's 'Hair of the Dog' which would later be recorded for the The Spaghetti Incident.

After having released 'Appetite' in November 1987, the band spent most of their time touring until the end of 1988. During this time they did not have much time to properly work on their follow-up (although they did record for the EP 'G N' R Lies'). Still, Axl made some thoughts on how the second record could turn out:

The next record will be a lot of different material on it and I am sure that some people that like the EP or this record, they'll go, "Oh they've changed, they sold out," but they don't know when those songs were written [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987].
Right now I'm really into writing, not necessarily ballads, but they're not like blazing fast rockers either. Things that have a lot of feeling, and that show some growth in understanding the world around you, and trying to relay that to other people. I've been writing a lot of different stuff for myself. I feel I'm growing as a songwriter. I don't necessarily know what the kids will think of it, or the majority of the public will think about it, but it's something I want to do. Like the next record, or the record after that could just fall flat on its face, but if I'm writing songs that I like, that I feel good about, that's all that counts. I'll still be happy [Rock Scene, April 1988].
There was a lot of stuff written before the last record, before we even went into the studio, in which case we picked 12 songs to go on the first album, and so that left a lot of ideas and material that we didn't use left over. This is stuff we care about. There's songs that Slash wrote guitar parts for, like, four or five years ago, and I just started writing words to one of them about a month ago. It was something I always liked but never found the right words for. There's a lot of stuff like that. There's other tracks that we decided we didn't want to put on the first album, we wanted to wait until we had a larger listening audience and spring it on them. [...] I've written a bunch of stuff, and Slash has written a bunch of stuff, and Izzy's written a bunch of material, and we've just started putting it all together. Basically what we do is, everybody just writes a whole song on their own. Those guys might delete words. I might delete guitar parts, but I have an idea of how I want them to go. Then we get together eventually, throw it in a pot and see what we can pull out [Rock Scene, June 1988].
Axl would also indicate that the band might start using synthesizers:

On our next record, we should have a pretty broad range of what we're able to give the public. But it won't be lack­ing the loud guitars because that's something I'm a fan of. On the other hand, on some of the Top 40 stuff, you'll hear loud guitars, but they sur­round it with synthesizers. I'm not against that, but I sometimes think it's not being played with a lot of orig­inality or heart. I don't want to do that. If we use synthesizers-which I hope we do on the next record - it'll be a bit more experimental [Cream, September 1989; quote is from mid-1988].
and that they would explore different styles:

[...]there will be a lot of different styles of material that's gonna come out of us that I don't think people are really gonna expect [Rock Scene Magazine, June 1988].
Not even his band mates seemed to expect the extent of variation that Axl wanted to express, and the inclusion of November Rain, a piano-driven ballad, was discussed between the band members:

Being asked if the next record will contain a "15-minute song" "filled with synthesizers and strings": [laughing] Could be. There's talk. We constantly disagree and keep changing our minds about everything from one day to the next [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].
In June 1988, Slash would comment on the status:

Oh, we've got lots of things written . . . different parts to different things already laid down on the road. We get a surprising amount done while we're actually touring. […] I'm relied on to come up with a lot of the guitar parts, the main chord changes and the so-called bitchin' riffs and shit, and then Izzy comes in with some real cool rock and roll guitar licks, and Axl gets pissed off at something and starts to write words ... Just making it up as we go along. […] It's really friendly, really easy the way we write together. We never sit around in a room some place waiting for something to happen. We don't have to. Axl will just grab me at a gig and take me into the showers and say, 'Listen to this!' And he'll stand there singing me a couple of verses to something he just made up that will completely blow me away. […] [The new stuff] looks like it's going to be really good, but it looks like it's also going to be even more angry and bitter and twisted than the stuff on the first album […] There's a song called 'Perfect Crime', then there's a song called 'You Could Be Mine'. That's really about it for actual titles. I don't concentrate that much on the lyrics anyway, until we come to lay the slit down on the tape [Kerrang! July 1988].
Slash would also say they he thought they would start recording in October 1988 [Kerrang! July 1988]:

The plan is to have the album out late Spring, early Summer next year, and then we'll maybe hook up with one of the big outdoor Summer tours that will be happening around America at that time-maybe the Monsters Of Rock thing, I don't know. […] Then after that we'll go out on our first headline world tour and we'll come home never wanting to open for anybody ever again! [Kerrang! July 1988].
This would be corroborated by Axl, who in August 1988 said they planned to release their second album in the first half of 1989. Again, Axl shed more info on what the next record would be like:

For the next record the lyrics I've written don't have anything like that [=profanity] in them. But there's a lot of stuff that Slash has written... a lot of heavier stuff. We'll get together and see what happens with it [Screamer, August 1988].
In the second half of 1988, Slash and Axl would say they already then had enough material for a double album [Melody Maker, March 1989] and looked forward to touring it in 1989:

[...] we've got about enough stuff planned for a double album and we don't know exactly what we're gonna put out on the next one, we're looking forward to being able to get out there again next year, and give the people even more of a show in a headlining position, so that they can, you know, see more of what we're about [KJJO 104, August 1988].
Circus Magazine would in September 1988 state that the band intended to start working on their second LP after coming back home from their shows in Japan in December 1988 [Circus Magazine, September 1988].

It's hard to say what the next album is gonna sound like. It'll definitely be interesting. I don't think anyone's given any thought to it, so we'll just go and see what comes out. It'll definitely be varied. I think the first album has diversity to it, but the next one will have even more. We've got a ton of stuff to sort through. It'll be a rock & roll album, that's for sure [Circus Magazine, September 1988].
Uncertainties in whether the band would actually succeed at releasing a second album came through in an MTV interview with Slash and Duff that also took place in October 1988, when Duff said they "hoped" they would make a second record and Slash insisted they would [MTV, October 1988]. Slash claimed they expected to have the album out by the summer of 1989, and start touring in the fall that year [MTV, October 1988]. Slash would also emphasize the amount of material they already had:

There's just a lot of material. I can't really say... I mean, there's tons and tons of stuff. And we'll just do whatever we really like and you know. I think there's at least gonna be two songs that are slow on the album [MTV, October 1988].
In December that year, Duff and Slash said they were going to start recording in January 1989 [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988; Kerrang! December 1988] but Duff doubted they would have the album ready for the summer that year [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].

It's gonna be all kinds of stuff. Again, the success and the respect that we've gotten from the industry and from our company will just give us more time and more of ourselves to put into the next record. You know, we'll be able to write...like, the first one it was rushed, and while "these guys ain't shit, they gonna do shit," you know, and blah blah, so, and so we were kind of rushed, in a way mentally, and, and, eh... [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].
In February 1989, Duff commented on what they had so far:

We've got a lot of songs. Songs we wrote even before we did the first album. We had songs that weren't right at the time, so we said we'd save them for the next record [Circus Magazine, February 1989].
In March 1989 Slash was asked when he believed the album would be out, and answered, "I don't know, I really don't. […] I guess we should be in the studio working on it by June...July?" and that he hoped the album would be out in 1990 [Kerrang! April 1989], clearly indicating that things weren't going according to what they had hoped for in 1988. Still, Axl would continue talking about his aspirations for the record:

The next record will definitely be much more emotional. I try to write so the audience can understand what emotions I was feeling. Also, I think the songs are worded in a way that a great number of people will be able to relate to the experiences; it's not so personalized that it's only my weird, twisted point of view. […] The most important songs at this point are the ones with piano, the ballads, because we haven't really explored that side of the band yet. They're also the most difficult songs to do - not difficult to play, but to write and pull out of ourselves. The beautiful music is what really makes me feel like an artist. The other, heavier stuff also makes me feel like an artist and can be difficult to write. But it's harder to write about serious emotions, describing them as best as possible rather than trying to write a syrupy ballad just to sell records [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
We found ourselves trying to, you know, write the next 'Jungle', write the next 'Paradise City', you know, and it's... we didn't want to but it was happening... Lyrics were coming out with lines about our other songs. That took a few months to get past that, to where... to put those to rest [MTV 1989].
In the beginning of 1989 the band was supposed to rehearse and write, but apparently things weren't going as planned. Slash would also say they had "the rehearsal studio block-booked 24-hours-a-day so we can hang out there whenever we want" [Kerrang! April 1989].

There's a lot of songs that I've written that Axl's heard and that he's real excited about. I still have to teach them to the rest of the guys in the band, though . . . And that's basically what I'm supposed to be doing right now. Izzy's got a few songs, too .. . I had him over here for a few days, and managed to get those songs on tape. In a couple of weeks we'll be ready for Axl to come down and start putting melodies and lyrics to the stuff. Hopefully, we'll be in full-blown pre-production in about a month-and-a-half [Kerrang! April 1989].
In April 1989, Slash would also indicate they had the material ready for recording:

The material actually came together a little easier this time. We knew what we wanted to do, so every time we had a break from the road we'd all get together in an L.A. rehearsal hall and try to get some new songs together. The four musicians in the band would work on some basic song structures while Axl would be off working on his lyrics. Then we'd get together and see what fit together. It was amazing how even if we didn't know what the other guy was doing how the words and music just naturally fit together [Hit Parader, April 1989].
In April 1989 Duff said to MTV that they might go in the studio "in about a month in an effort to record, but it could take about five years" [MTV, April 1989]. The same month, New Musical Express would publish an article where it would be said the band was working on their new LP and intended for a summer release with touring in the fall [New Musical Express, April 1989].

Axl, on the other hand, would say they would "possibly" make a new record [Unknown Source, April 1989], either in jest or revealing that thigs were not all going according to plan.

Slash would again point out the amount of material they had:

I don't have to worry about us being able to make this next record even better than the first one. We've already gotten all the songs written, and Axl's come up with some incredible lyrics. Being able to tour the world and experience all we have during the past 18 months has given us an incredible amount of energy to draw from. Appetite for Destruction was only the beginning of what this band is going to do. This next record will kick-ass just as hard, but it'll be different, too.[...] The material actually came together a little easier this time. We knew what we wanted to do, so every time we had a break from the road we'd all get together in an L.A. rehearsal hall and try to get some new songs together. The four musicians in the band would work on some basic song structures while Axl would be off working on his lyrics. Then we'd get together and see what fit together. It was amazing how even if we didn't know what the other guy was doing how the words and music just naturally fit together [Hit Parader, May 1989].
In May 1989, Slash allegedly had started teaching the other guys the songs he had written:

I've written seven or eight tunes and the others are learning them at the moment. Some of these are more complicated than anything we've previously attempted. And Axl's coming up with some cool shit on the lyrical front [RAW Magazine, May 1989].
And Axl would shed light on his approach to lyric-writing:

[…] unless it's a song we wrote a few years ago, I don't want to be singing about starving on the streets, because I'm. not. [The new songs will be] as real as possible in the world we live in now [Circus Magazine, May 1989].
The idea now was to start recording in the studio with Mike Clink as the producer in September 1989 [RAW Magazine, May 1989]. This could imply that a trip to Chicago (June-July) was planned by this time and that they would immediately enter the studio afterwards.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:12 pm

SUMMER OF 1989 - TRYING TO GET THINGS DONE IN CHICAGO


In the summer of 1989 the band moved to Chicago for two-three months to try to write for their follow-up record. Exactly when they moved there, and how long they stayed is not known. Steven claims in his biography that this took place already in March 1989. From an interview with Duff in March 1990, it can be implied they arrived in April/May [Kerrang! March 1990].

Axl was the guy who had originally suggested to relocate the band to Chicago. The idea was partly to get the band back together again (similar to their Gardner days when they had lived together and been efficient at writing songs together), and partly because Axl wanted to be closer to his roots in Lafayette, Indiana [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 149]. Slash on the other hand would say both Izzy and Axl wanted to get away from LA and be closer to Lafayette, and that it was he, Slash, who chose Chicago:

[Izzy and Axl] wanted to go there and get some sort of foundation, as far as having a home life, and so on. Living in LA was so crazy, people at you all the time. You couldn't think, it was constant. I personally didn't have anywhere to go, so I picked Chicago because it's a big metropolis and it's close [VOX, January 1991].
Still, in his biography, Duff would claim it was Axl's idea and that the band "bowed to Axl's wishes" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 149].

In 1990, Duff said the idea was to try to get some of the songs they already had down on tape [Kerrang! March 1990].

The band would use the vacant Top Note Theatre above Cabaret Metro on Clark Street [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].

The band members wanted little press attention while in Chicago, presumably to concentrate on working on the music, but this didn't work out since they made little attempts to hide and were spotted around town. One place they visited was Kelly's pub where three of the band members (highly likely Steven, Duff and Slash) was immediately recognized as GN'R band members by the proprietor's daughter [Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2019].

On June 24, New Musical Express would report that the band was in Chicago "rehearsing for a US tour" [New Musical Express, June 1989]. And The Chicago Tribune deciding to run a story on the band being in their city with an article being published on June 26. As part of that story they contacted Doug Goldstein, one of the band's managers, to get a comment:

Why do you think we sent them to the Midwest? They couldn't get (expletive) done in L.A. They left to do the early work and rehearse for the next album. Who the (expletive) do you think you're (expletive) dealing with? If you (expletive) print anything that says they're there, you'll never talk to this (expletive) band. Ever [Chicago Tribune, June 1989].
In complete disregard to Goldstein, and needless to say, The Chicago Tribune published their story. As part of the article they also asked Geffen Records to comment on the band being in Chicago, with a spokesperson from Geffen saying, "Only management knows where they are. All we know is that they're working on the album outside the city" [Chicago Tribune, June 1989]. The Tribune also talked to Tom Mayhue, the band's stage manager, who would claim the band had only been in Chicago for four days for the National Association of Music Merchandisers convention [Chicago Tribune, June 1989].

Duff and Slash would later comment on the press attention they received when supposed to be laying low:

And then we tried to go to Chicago and get away from the LA scene, Just so that we could get together and rehearse. The next thing you know they printed in the paper where we were living. So there were hundreds of kids outside the apartment and there was just no concentrating there [RAW, October 1991].
On top of that, a Chicago newspaper did a piece about the band living there in town, writing songs for a record, and even revealed the street where we were living and the location where we were rehearsing. Perhaps the lone advantage Chicago could have offered was anonymity, and now kids came to seek us out from all over the place with the hope of getting a glimpse of us or even partying with the band now tagged as the most dangerous in the world. This was not good [It's So Easy (and other lies): The Autobiography (p. 151)].
Steven, Slash and Duff arrived in Chicago first [Kerrang! March 1990] and Steven claims in his biography the rest of the guys avoided him when they were in Chicago:

We'd always have blow on us at the studio. But when I'd offer to cut them a line they would refuse. Then Slash and Duff would go in some other room to party. "Hey, where ya going?" I would begin to follow them only to find that they had shut the door on me. To this day I have no idea why, other than I felt they believed I just wasn't cool enough to hang out with anymore [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 190-191].
At rehearsals, I felt I was getting pushed out of the songwriting circle as well. we would be working on the dynamics of a song and the three of us would throw around ideas. Then suddenly the exchange would be limited to Duff and Slash. I learned just to sit and wait patiently. They would agree on something, then turn to me and say, "Okay, Steven, this is what we're going to do" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
Slash, Duff and Steven got resentful when Axl and Izzy did not come as expected, especially since the whole Chicago trip had been Axl's idea [Steven and Duff's biographies]. Axl came first, then Izzy. According to Slash, it took "like three months or something" before Izzy arrived [Raw Magazine, March 4, 1992].

In March 1990, Duff would comment on Axl and Izzy's late arrivals:

Axl had his reasons for not coming out. He was just waiting for us to do our trip as musicians. And Izzy - Izzy was having a hard time with life at that point, and he was just travelling the world [Kerrang! March 1990].
According to Steven, Axl arrived "seven weeks and five days" after Slash, Duff and Steven, with only two days left of studio time [Circus Magazine, October 1991; Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192]. This is remarkably precise to be from Steven, and perhaps not accurate considering his heavy drug use in the period. Duff would later say the three of them sat in Chicago for three months waiting for Axl and Izzy, and that it got "kinda suicidal" [Kerrang! March 1990]. When Axl finally arrived, Duff would recall that they just "wanted to go home" [Kerrang! March 1990].

We know that Axl got inspiration for lyrics to 'Civil War' from an article that was published in Chicago Tribune on July 9, where he basically lifted a quote from a Peruvian guerilla officer. So Axl was likely in Chicago from early July, at least.

Axl would explain his late arrival on "weird timing schedules" and having to drive his "truck to Chicago from LA", and that he spent at least a couple of weeks in Chicago:

We got into these fights in Chicago. I was, like, just into fuckin’ everybody’s music, getting into Slash’s stuff, getting into Duff’s stuff. Our timing schedules were all weird and we kept showing up at different times. But when I would show up, I’m like, OK, let’s do this, let’s do that, let's do this one of yours, Slash. OK, now let’s go to this one, and Steven needs to do this... And then they decided I was a dictator, right? I'm a total dictator and I’m a completely selfish dick. I was like, fuck, man... And we were on a roll, man! You know, we were cranking.

Slash is like, “We’re not gettin’ nothin’ done.” I was like, “What do you mean? We just put down six parts of new songs, you know we’ve just got all this stuff done in, like, a couple weeks!” He was like, "Yeah, but I've been sitting here a month on my ass...” This was while I was driving across country in my truck, you know. Like yeah let's party! Shoot guns!
[Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Duff would also argue that they "got a lot of shit done" [Kerrang! March 1990] although that was probably referring to the period before Axl and Izzy showed up.

Izzy would later describe the stay i Chicago:

I don't remember a whole lot of work getting done there. That was a nasty time, there was a lot of negativity and sarcasm in the air [Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1993].

According to Steven, when Axl arrived he got into a fight with a girl they had befriended, thrashed the place, and left [Steven's biography]. Nick Kent who interviewed Izzy extensively, would write that the Chicago stay "culminated in Axl destroying the group's apartment building there and staying in the rubble while the rest returned west in disgust" [VOX, October 1991]. According to Duff, when Izzy arrived he saw the mess Axl had made, the drugs that floated in the place, and left [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 149]. Steven does not mention in his biography that Izzy would show up and hastily leave when he saw the mess and drugs, as Duff claims in his biography. So there are apparent problems with Steven's and Duff's recollections of the Chicago period.

According to Musician Magazine, Slash got so furious that he "scribbled a goodbye note and flew back to L.A" and that he and Axl "didn't speak for a long time after that" [Musician, December 1990]. Entertainment Weekly would report that Axl thrashed the apartment, but remained in Chicago as the rest of the band members left [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

Steven in his biography claims Axl wasn't interested in the songs Slash, Duff and Steven had worked on when they presented them to him, in contradiction to Axl's statements above:

He sat there like we were putting him through some kind of torture. Plain and simple, Axl wasn't interested in our material! He just wanted to record a new song he had been working on called "November Rain" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192].
Duff would mark this as a turning point as far as Izzy's involvement with the band:

[Izzy] would still send in riffs and ideas for Use Your Illusion and didn't officially quit until 1991, but his day-to-day involvement with the band pretty much died that day [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 153]
Up to then I had not wavered in how I perceived us-as a band and a family and a gang. But this trip solidified some of the flimsy walls that had begun to go up between various parties in our unit. [...] Steven was fully strung out and babbling incoherently much of the time. Slash had one foot out of the band as a result of feeling betrayed. Izzy had all but checked out. [...] The damage was done and all forward progress stopped for quite some time [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 155]
Was I so fucked up that I didn't realize my drum playing was beginning to suffer? Was I lucid enough to even ask myself that question at the time? [...] All I know is that my opinion didn't matter anymore. It bummed me out. We were always a team; it had always been a combined effort. But not any longer [...] [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
In late 1990, Slash would talk about the stay in Chicago, but not mention the serious problems they had as a band, instead focus on the media problems:

But we had more of a problem there. They printed in the paper where we were staying, all kinds of shit. So it got hectic there. We did write some good songs which are on the record, things did come out of it. But finally we ended up leaving [VOX, January 1991].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:15 pm

JULY 22, 1989 - THE SCRAP CLUB AND JAMMING WITH THE CULT


After the relocation of the band to Chicago in the summer of 1989, Izzy and Axl travelled to New York. On July 22, Axl and West Arkeen jammed at the Manhattan bar The Scrap Club where they later met The Cult.

Later that same evening, Axl and Izzy joined the Cult for a night of jamming at The Loft with only "30 or so fans and followers", a private rehearsal room in Manhattan [New Musical Express, August 1989]. Ian Astbury, the singer of The Cult would describe the night this way: "We jammed for what seemed like seven hours, everyone was changing instruments, but Jamie [Stewart, bass] and Matt [Sorum, drums] played throughout. We did mostly Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Sex Pistols songs" [New Musical Express, August 1989].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:58 pm

AUGUST 27, 1989 - IZZY TAKES A PEE AND GETS ARRESTED


Earlier in the day of August 27, 1989, an inebriated Izzy had been bitten in the face by his father's dog while in Indianapolis, resulting in a hole in his eyebrow [Musician, November 1992], but the day would become much worse later on when he was arrested at Phoenix airport while on a stop-over on his way to Los Angeles [Arizona Republic, October 1989] and charged by the FBI for "interfering with the duties of the plane’s crew" [Arizona Daily Star, October 1989]. Under the influence of double Bacardis and coke [Musician, November 1992] Izzy had been obnoxious to flight attendants, smoked in no-smoke section, and pissed in the galley when the restroom was occupied [Arizona Daily Star, October 1989]. He then returned to his seat and passed out for the remainder of the flight, only to be arrested by 12 cops in Phoenix [Musician, November 1992].

Bryn Bridenthal, the band's publicist, would excuse the event, saying that Izzy "relieving himself in the galley was just his way of expressing himself," and that "he’d been bitten in the face by a dog in Indianapolis and he was still a little bit shocked by that,” so "when he got on the plane, he was bumped from first class into coach. It was just sort of one band thing pilling up on another" [Arizona Daily Star, October 1989].

Izzy would be a little bit more frank in his description of what happened:

I was on this plane going to LA to work on the never-ending albums, and I was drunk in the middle of this bunch of senior citizen types. I was smoking, and the stewardess came over. I told her to fuck herself. I was drinking so much I had to take a piss. The people in the bathroom… Man, it seemed like I waited an hour. So I pissed in the trashcan instead. And one stewardess saw me, right? Next thing I know we've landed, I'm walking out and I see ten policemen, and the other passengers are pointing at me, shouting 'He's the guy!' And I remember thinking: 'Uh-oh! I think I fucked up again' [VOX, October 1991].
It's a federal offence If you f**k up on an airplane. I was outta my mind, there was a queue to the bathroom, and I was going, 'Well, I'm either gonna piss in my pants or piss on the f**king rug'! Everything was real quiet on the plane after that. […] I was happy I'd pissed, I was completely numb, drunk, and of course when we landed, the police were there. I was also carrying a nine millimetre pistol, but when my bag finally got to LA it was gone [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Slash would later claim it happened as the plane was about to land, which contradicts Izzy above:

[Izzy] had to take a piss and they wouldn’t let him because the plane was landing or something. So, you know, he said, 'I’ll do it right here in the wastebasket' [Press Conference in Australia, January 1993].
On October 17 (the day before the first show with The Rolling Stones) his case would be brought to court and Izzy would plead guilty and apologize. He was fined $2,000 "for urinating on an airplane and lighting up in the non-smoking section" and $1000 to USAir for "cleaning up his mess." Additionally, he was put on probation for six months and ordered to see a psychiatrist back in Los Angeles for counseling. His attorney Edward Novak would state that Izzy "is an individual of few words, but someone who can keep his word and is... anxious to find out whether he has a problem with alcohol [Arizona Republic, October 1989]. The probation included, in Izzy's words, "fuckin' involuntary piss-tests almost every day for about a month" [VOX, October 1991].

That probation officer was an okay guy, they're pretty fair people, but it made me realise that it doesn't matter how f**king big your band is, when it comes down to the legal system, you're just the same as anyone else [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
The incident would lead to Izzy earning the nickname "Whizzy" from his band mates [R/R Countdown, February 1993].

According to Entertainment Weekly, the probation "prohibits him from flying on public or private aircraft, an odd stipulation that explains why he’s making his [Use Your Illusion] tour rounds on a private bus" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. This is likely not correct since the probation should only last for 6 months (and thus end in March 1990) and since Izzy likely flew when travelling to Brazil for the Rock in Rio shows in January 1991 and later to Europe for their 'Use Your Illusion' tour.

Duff would suggest that the flight incident spurred Izzy on into sobriety [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 150] although Duff would say that by October 1989 Izzy was back on heroin [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156]. Likely the court case would help Izzy get out of his addictions, because about a month later, around December 17, 1989, Izzy would take his last drink in the company of the Rolling Stones when Izzy and Axl guested on a show in Atlantic City [VOX, October 1991].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:01 pm

AUGUST-DECEMBER 1989 - PLANNING THE FOLLOW-UP TO 'APPETITE'


When the band returned from Chicago late in July [Raw Magazine, July 1989], they continued rehearsing at Bob Mates Studios in North Hollywood [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 192], and Duff would comment on the path forward:

In August we begin working with producer Mike Clink on actually recording the LP - probably at studios in Los Angeles. And hopefully the record will be out by November or something through Geffen [Raw Magazine, July 1989].
Duff would also comment that if they didn't release all the good songs they had, they might "get lost":

We’re seriously thinking about making the album a double record, because we’ve got so many songs together. Slash and I have written some cool shit. And Axl has come up with some great stuff.., including the songs left over from ‘Appetite…, we’ve got about 40 numbers knocking around at the moment. And if we don’t do a double LP a lot of good tracks will be lost [Raw Magazine, July 1989].
In the summer of 1989 it was reported that the band was sifting through 30 songs, 10 of which ballads that Axl thought was "more credible than 'Sweet Child 0' Mine'" [Kerrang! June 1989], and Axl would confirm they had enough material for a double set and that they wouldn't tour until the beginning of 1990 [Juke, July 1989]. It was also reported the band was ready to enter pre-production [Patience CD Single, June 1989]. In Kerrang! from June 1989 (this interview was likely done before the Chicago trip) Axl said he focused on writing ballads but wanted to write harder songs together with his band mates, indicating that they hadn't been in a studio/rehearsal space together yet:

Right now I'm waiting to write hard rock songs with the band. I have a lot of subjects to choose from that I'm very interested in, but I'm waiting to see where their heads are at when we sit down with the guitars and everything. Right now I don't want to veer off too much in my own direction, because it would probably not be very heavy, I want to write some hard rock songs. The reason I wouldn't be writing so much hard rock songs my own is because I know I can do it with the band. A lot of riffs were going around in the air at the sound checks during the Japanese tour, things I've been hearing Slash and Duff go over, and I've had a lot of ideas for words, but I'm going to wait until we get in the studio to see what we put together [Kerrang! June 1989].
[…]we wanted our first record ['Appetite'] to be a full hard rock record from beginning to end. The next record will have other variations, there may be some heavier songs as well as some softer ones [Kerrang! June 1989].
When the band attempted to get work done in Chicago in the summer of 1989, UK press speculated that they would return to Castle Donington and the Monsters Of Rock festival in August that year as headliners. NME contacted a spokesman for the band's British record company who denied this would happen because the band would still be recording at the time of the festival, but that they may play concerts in UK in October or November (presumably as part of the touring that would follow the launch of the new record) [New Musical Express, June 1989].

In July 1989 it was reported that the band had started pre-production in studio with Mike Clink. Yet also that Axl was collaborating with Sex Pistol's Steve Jones on his second solo album [Circus Magazine, July 1989], indicating that his attention wasn't 100 % directed at his band. This would also be implied when he talked to Rolling Stone later in 1989:

We're trying to regroup. I'm ready to work. I'm creating, and finally I have an environment in which I can work. I haven't had that for a long time, since three years ago, when we all used to live in one room, sitting around writing songs. Until recently, I haven't had peace of mind. There were always distractions, but now it's like we can finally work on our songs. [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
In 1989, Izzy started to keep some distance from the rest of the band. In July he and Axl spent time in New York before travelling back home together to Lafayette, Indiana and spending some time there. Then Izzy, in August, travelled to Europe [The Face, October 1989]. After this trip, Izzy was supposed to return back to Los Angeles to regroup with his band mates and work on the record, according to The Face "in order to once more attempt the seemingly impossible dream of completing their next album without anyone dying" [The Face, October 1989]. This was likely in late August or the start of September. During the songwriting for the Use Your Illusion records, Izzy would send the band homemade cassette tapes of his songs and ideas. According to Duff, "there was no animosity about his reluctance to come to rehearsals" (page 162-163).

In November 1989, Duff would comment on the songs they had written:

The new songs are a lot harder, so it’s an improvement on my bass playing. I think Slash has improved my bass playing, because some of the riffs he comes up with are, like, these guitar riffs. And Slash and I almost always play the same thing, and then Izzy plays off of that. And so, I have to play, like, these incredible things that Slash comes up with. This guy has, like, the quickest left hand of anybody I know [MTV, November 1989].
To conclude, it seems that the band struggled to get work done both because of Axl not being in the right headspace and because of interfering drug problems.

Looking back at 1989, Slash and Duff would explain what happened this way:

DUFF: “We had some shows to do….”

SLASH: “We toured for a long, long time. Off and on for two-and-a-half years…”

DUFF: “No, two years.”

SLASH:” Two-and-a-half…I know my facts, man. Martin Luther King died in 1965…”

DUFF: “Yeah, yeah, yeah…”

SLASH: “But the album started to happen for us over a year into the tour. And then we had to tour some more. And there was a certain type of demand, and then there were the three Stones gigs at the LA Coliseum…and just adjusting to all this Rock star bullshit. Getting a house together….a life. Just getting a life.”

DUFF: “ It’s a whole new life compared to what we were used to. It’s like going from one extreme to the other. It takes time to adjust to it all.” [Raw Magazine, April 1990].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:05 pm

1989-1990 - AXL'S PERSONAL ISSUES


As 1989 came along, Axl still suffered from violent outbursts despite having both a diagnosis and medication.

He's very crazy, y'know. Like, sometimes he can be very rational and other times he's just deep left-field. It's always up and down, up and down with Axl. He just has a very hard time relating to other people. […] Sometimes he just goes off the deep end and if anyone can make sense to him in those states, I think it's me. Because we still relate as friends coming from "bumfuck" Indiana. The rest doesn't mean much. I can kinda talk him down when he freaks out and locks himself in his room and we've got to play a gig or record [The Face, October 1989].
You gotta just deal with it. [Axl] knows sometimes he’s an asshole, and he’ll admit it, and he’ll say sorry later. But it’s something that can’t, really, help right now. It’s fine, you know. He’s an interesting guy and he's very creative, though. I mean, he’s a good guy. He doesn’t do a lot of, like, drugs and stuff. He’s got good control. I think he’ll outlive us all, actually [From unknown 1989 interview footage shown in Rapido, September 1991].
In June 1989 Axl would describe how losing control of situations caused episodes:

Frustration and not being able to handle a situation that you feel you should be able to take control of, which can be anything with dealing with our success in any way; dealing with, you know, money, interviews, fans, record companies, radio stations, all of that; and not really knowing how to do it. I mean, a lot of strange things happen to piss you off, and you’d like to smash somebody with that. But that's gonna get you in a lawsuit or something like that. So, you know, it's just for pent-up frustration, not knowing what to do, and releasing it, you know. And it's like, it's not, like, okay, yeah, now I've got money so I’ll just break things all the time, dah dah dah... I’ve always broke things. […] I feel a lot like... It’s the character of The Godfather, Sonny, who gets pissed off and he goes and does something; and then, eventually, you know, he has that used against him, and he goes out and it's a setup and he gets shot. And that fear also breeds, you know, frustration of, like, okay I'm mad, I want to do something, I want to take action and I wanna get (?) with this person that just screwed me over. And you don't, and you know you can't, because you know that there's gonna be consequences that you're gonna have to face up to out of whatever you do and you not... and you can't pinpoint all of them, you know, to make sure you can get away with whatever action you decide to take. So, instead, I'll just break something of my own and that depresses me too, but it's better than sitting in jail, I guess. [Patience CD Single, June 1989].
In August 1989 he would suggest his issues were exasperated by stress:

When I get stressed, I get violent and take it out on myself. I've pulled razor blades on myself but then realized that having a scar is more detrimental than not having a stereo. I'd rather kick my stereo in than go punch somebody in the face. When I get mad or upset or emotional, sometimes I'll walk over and play my piano [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
This could also explain why he would be agitated before live shows:

If I’m psyched for the gig, great. Nine times out of ten, though, before the gig I’ll always not wanna do the fuckin’ show and hate it. I mean, I love it when I’m psyched, you know, let’s go! But most of the time I’m, like, mad about something, something’s fuckin’ going wrong... I’m nervous. I’m like, “I'm not playing for these fuckin’ people!” […] It’s like, I’m not playing for whoever’s putting on the show, or like that. We have a lot of good relationships with promoters and stuff, so I don’t want that to be taken as the main example,’ he added cautiously. ‘But you know, situations are always different before a show. Something always fuckin’ happens. Something always happens. And I react like a motherfucker to it. I don’t like this pot-smoking mentality.’ He sucked in his cheeks. 'I feel like Lenny Kravitz... Like, peace and love, motherfucker, or you’re gonna die! I’m gonna kick your ass if you fuck with my garden you know? I like that attitude more [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Axl's strong emotions also helped to fuel his emotive performances:

The rest of the band'll bounce back quicker after a show. I mean, Steven, you know, runs out of the dressing room, wants pizza, and he's out to find the girls and everything. It's like, I need about an hour to pull my head back together because every song I sing, when I'm singing it, at the same time I'm like dealing with the crowd and stuff I'm also thinking about the situation when I wrote the song, which could be nine years ago, and where that person is now. All this stuff's going through your head like a million miles an hour [MTV Documentary, November 1989].
Being asked if his fame and popularity allowed him to get more away with such behavior:

No. I’ve always been that way. But now I’m in a position to just be myself more. And the thing is people allow me to do it whether they like it or not, you know? […] I’m just an emotionally unbalanced person. Maybe it’s chemical, I don’t know. ’Cos maybe emotions have something to do with chemicals in your brain, or whatever. So then it’s a chemical imbalance [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
By Christmas 1989 Axl was suffering from depressions:

[...] these people didn't know anything about the Christmas before [in 1989], when I was driving to your house [=Del James' house], trying to find someone with dope on the way because I wanted to OD. I could always relate to the Hanoi Rocks song "Dead by Christmas." [RIP, September 1992].[/i]
In the 1990s Axl's relationship with Erin Everly was under severe strain (see below), they were fighting and had to go through the experience of a miscarriage. Axl had bought a house in Hollywood Hills where he intended to start a family. Strain and tension caused him to wreck the place:

I had a piano, which I bought for $38,000, and there’s a $12,000 statue in there and a $20,000 fireplace, and I stood there and I just snapped. I’m standing in this house going, ‘This house doesn’t mean anything to me. This is not what I wanted. I didn’t work forever to have this lonely house on the hill that I live in because I’m a rich rock star. So I shoved the piano right though the side of the house. Then I proceeded to destroy the fireplace, knock all the windows out and trash the statue and everything. The damages were about $100,000. What’s wild is that the next day Erin went to the house and she trashed the three rooms I didn’t [People Magazine, November 1990].
To which Erin would comment, "I had my own different reasons” [People Magazine, November 1990].

Axl tried to find out more about his biological father:

Like I found William Rose. Turns out, he was murdered in 84 and buried somewhere in Illinois, and I found that out like two days before a show and I was fucking whacked! I mean, I’ve been trying to uncover this mystery since I was a little kid. I didn’t even know he existed until I was a teenager, you know? Cos I was told it was the Devil that made me know what the inside of a house looked like that I’d supposedly never lived in. So I’ve been trying to track down this William Rose guy. Not like, I love this guy, he’s my father. I just wanna know something about my heritage....weird shit like am I going to have an elbow that bugs the shit out of me when I get 40 cos of some hereditary trait? Weird shit ordinary families take for granted. […] he was killed. It was probably like at close-range too, man. Wonderful family..... [Kerrang! April 1990].
In November 1991, Axl would say that it wasn't certain his biological father really was dead:

There’s a lot of issues around this person, you know. He is believed to be dead, I don’t know if that it’s true or not. But in a weird way it’s, you know, probably the best place for him if he is. […] You know, they’ve said that he’s buried in 7 miles of strip mining somewhere in Illinois because of a bad deal he made with somebody. […] [Chuckles] It’s in court, you know, they’re looking for the body [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
In 1991 it would be rumored that Axl had asked a "member of Guns personnel to wake him at a certain time then sack[ed] the hapless minion for waking him" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

By December 1990, Axl was suffering from depressions. He moved into the recording studio to work on the record and when Christmas came a friend would spend time with him because they were worried he "wasn't going to make it through":

There was no heat in that room. It was a cold, lonely place, but it was the only place I could stay to keep myself in the work. It was cool-looking, but it was dark, cold and weird! It got to the point that certain people could tell just by the way I was talking, the tone of my voice, that I wasn't right. A friend brought by some Christmas presents. Another flew out unannounced and stayed with me Christmas Day, because they were very worried that I wasn't going to make it through. I couldn't leave the studio, but I couldn't go back to my condo because of my neighbor. That was a nightmare [RIP, September 1992].[/i]


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:05 pm

1989-1990 - RUN-INS WITH THE LAW


On January 17, 1989, Axl was allegedly arrested for "disorderly conduct and public drunkenness" with his brother Stuart when partying at Slash's apartment. They were detained in the drunk tank for six hours but no charges were filed [People Magazine, February 1989].

In August 1989, Izzy, while in France, would complain about the police being after him:

I'm supposed to go back [to Los Angeles] on Friday to do the album [work on the follow-up to Appetite] and already it's worryin' me 'cos the police have our names and numbers there, y'know. And I've been arrested once already. It's just a nightmare. I don't go out anymore. All my friends are the same way. But that's LA for you. I go out for a drive, I get pulled over. First thing, the cop pulls a gun in my face. I'm sittin' there... "Officer, what did I do?" […] Right now in West Hollywood it's a complete Gestapo situation. If you're walking down the street they'll jump you, beat you up, plant shit on you and haul your ass off to jail. Then you're in court and it's your word against theirs. I mean, who are they going to believe? When I go back, I'm just going to stay cool and not hang out in the city. I've seen too much shit go down. I know too many people associated with Guns N' Roses whose lives have turned into absolute shit because of this drugs media angle. I mean, that's why I'm over here [The Face, October 1989].

The same month Izzy would be arrested by the FBI for pissing at the galley carpet in a plane [see post further below].

Axl was having problems with the West Hollywood police. On August 1, 1990, Axl filed a complaint over "police harassment and heavy-handed intimidation":

My wife [Erin Everly], my friend [Sebastian Bach] and I were sitting there on the balcony having dinner, and my wife suddenly saw about seven to nine police cars pulling up below. She thought someone had been killed. It took some 13 or 14 cops about 40 minutes to organize downstairs. They thought they were pulling some big sneak attack or something. My wife couldn’t see through the eyehole to see who was knocking, so she opened the door, and there they were, and they said to me, ‘Step out,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, right.’ This cop shoved my wife, walked into my place and is saying that I invited him in. He’s lying. That’s assault and trespassing, and I want an investigation. I don’t know if they’re out to get me, but they hate my guts, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because if you’re working the [Sunset] Strip and you saw long-haired guys with earrings who have no socially redeeming qualities going out with these girls you wished you had, it might tend to piss you off after a few years [People Magazine, August 1990].
He would later speculate that his neighbour from the flat that he owned, turned the police against him [Pirate Radio, October 1990 - copied in Melody Maker, November 1990]. This neighbour would later claim Axl had hit her in the head with a bottle, leading to Axl being arrested.

Not exactly involving the law, but at some point the band was banned from all Four Season hotels because of damage to the rooms, and this ban was not lifted until 1992 when the band was touring again [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:06 pm

AXL'S PERFECTIONISM


Axl operated slightly different than the rest of his band mates in regards to music. He was very particular about how the music they created, often to the point of obsessing over minor details:

There isn't really anything we want to change [with Appetite for Destruction]. There's two words in that whole record that I didn't quite say the way I wanted to, and I forgot which ones they were, didn't have time to go back to find them and redo them. And they are not out of key, so no one else knows it. I am the only one who personally knows it [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
Sometimes six lines take two years. It’s just got to say exactly what I mean. Sometimes I write some great words, and then hear this fabulous music in my head, and I think, ‘Wow! This is really happening! This is better than Led Zeppelin!' And then I go home and put on a record and I realise, shit, it was Led Zeppelin [Time Out, June 1987].
I'm too much of a perfectionist, I know that. [...] I'm a perfectionist so much, that I don't get a lot of things done. It's like, I used to run cross country and when you're working at everything, it wings a lot easier when everything's going right, of course, because everyone's doing what they're supposed to do. When it's going a lot smoother, then you can give a lot more and you can maybe break a record or something. That's what people want to see, and that's what I like to give 'em. I like to be able to go out there and give my ultimate rather than just get by by the skin of my teeth. Everyone may have loved it, but I know it sucked compared to what I should have done. Like, I can go out and not be able to hit the notes in the end of 'Rocket Queen' and I can make up a melody on the spot, right there on the stage, and people think they're getting something special cause they're hearing it in a different way, but I know the fact is that I couldn't hit the fucking notes cause I haven't slept for two days, because of insomnia. I don't think that's fair to the people in my own mind. [...]
My main motivation for all of this, and it could never be anything but, is the music, the songs. I look at it like I'm a painter or something, and that's my motivation, just to be able to get the material out the way I want it. I'm not driven for financial things, those are a bit more than secondary. It's like, I can get as excited about making money as the next person in that I'm gonna be able to buy this and that, but if the song doesn't come out the way I really wanted it to then I'm more disappointed, and the money doesn't really mean anything to me then. I now that's hard for a lot of people to believe, but that's something that we've kinda stuck by the whole time, as much as possible. You have to make compromises here and there, because... Since this is our first record, we had to make compromises to get a certain level of sales so that we could get a certain level of power to do exactly what we wanted next time around.
[Rock Scene, April 1988].
Gina Siler, and old girlfriend who knew Axl back in Lafayette, would talk about Axl's perfectionism:

"He is extremely intelligent. That was one of the things that attracted me to him. He is just a nit-picky perfectionist and when things don’t go smoothly and to his liking he just loses it. He blows up. I’ve seen him do it on many occasions, smashing things and breaking things and yelling and screaming - holes through walls. Seen him do it one too many times" [Spin, September 1991].

His perfectionism may also be related to his stage nerves and anxieties regarding their live shows:

I'm very stressed about the shows, which are the most important thing to me. Nothing ever really works right for this band [RIP, April 1989].
This was very different to Slash's approach that was usually to finish his in a few takes [source]. Naturally, such different philosophies in regards to music would cause friction, and this would be more pronounced as Axl started spending longer and longer time on his work.

Axl was also strongly opposed to any compromises. To Axl, the art came before anything.

I believe in art first [...] Sometimes people talk about money being the success, that's second. That's being lucky and people being generous to you by buying your album. Your being accepted. That's success on its own terms. But success to me is like you do a painting, it might not have been what you wanted, because when you think of a painting in your mind sometimes what comes out on the paint is a shadow of what you thought of, but still, it is something you are proud of, and if you can get that and you're really proud of it no matter what anybody says, whether someone offers you a dollar or ten thousand dollars for that painting, if you're proud of it, that's to me what counts. And that's what we strive for.
[Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
I'm not going to not believe that we can't [make it with Appetite for Destruction], but anything's possible, you know, and if it doesn't happen then we're going to figure out another album without compromising our music because once we compromise our music there's no reason to be in this band. Get the fuck out. Go home. You know. If I wanted to fucking compromise I could have cut my hair and I could be, you know, a car salesman somewhere, or I could be climbing the corporate ladder or something. I'm not in this to compromise. Not at all.[...] I just don't like compromises just for the sake of being successful. That bothers me. To pay the rent. I'd rather starve than paying the rent by bending over and taking it in the ass, and that's how I consider it [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:07 pm

1989-1991 - THE PRESS II


We go out and we play, you know? And we record and we rehearse when we go through our own personal problems. And the differentiation between the media and your personal life is starting to become a really big hassle [Interview at the AMA, January 1990].
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the beginning of 1989 the band refused to do interviews with US press:

From now on, interviews will be very limited. That must sound like, 'Oh, he's being a rock star', but the truth is, I don't need the headache of not getting things across to the public the way I feel they should be. I'm only doing this interview because I believe in RIP and some of the friends I've made there [RIP, April 1989].
The only reason were not doing any American press right now is because just so much American press has been done. We don't want to be overexposed to the point where people bum out on us. You know, when its almost to the point where you're on cereal boxes! [Kerrang! April 1989].
In RIP from April 1989, Axl said that "there are some magazines that we have some major problems with", and pointed out the recent article in Rolling Stone (from November 1988) as particularly disappointing [RIP, April 1989].

The band was getting fed up with an increasingly antagonistic press who focused on everything but the music:

It seems to me that we're a spectacle, a freak show. Magazines are more interested in who fell over last night than the music. I'm to the point where I'm tired of being a spectacle. One of the things that make this band so controversial is that we tell the truth. We tell what really happens. I like being honest with the press. What bugs me is after reading something about me, people don't have the slightest clue as to what I'm all about. Isn't that what doing interviews is about? [RIP, April 1989].
I don't really read the magazines that much any more... I like to look at the pictures [Kerrang! April 1989].
We've had some run-ins with the press because they seem determined to turn on into something we're not. They love to write how we're always acting crazy and destroying things Well, it's just not true. Maybe they think by writing things like that they're making us seem bigger than we are and badder than we are. But we don't need it and we don't like it [Hit Parader, June 1989].
And a press who continued to be more interested in their wild lives than their music:

I saw this thing in National Enquirer and... It's fuckin' Stevie, man. Apparently he went to Nevada, got fucked up, met some girl and, like, ended up marryin' her or somethin'. And the headline, y'know... It read something like "GN'R DRUMMER MARRIES GIRL: SAYS I CAN STILL FUCK AROUND". Incredible! [The Face, October 1989].
A story that went the rounds in mid-1989 was Axl shooting a pig. It is not known to what extent this story is true, and Axl has never commented on it as far as we know. As told by New Musical Express:

"Guns N' Roses were at the centre of controversy again this week with reports in the US press that singer Axl Rose had shot a five pig at a barbecue. The incident is said to have taken place after Axl attended the premiere of Depeche Mode's 101 movie in Hollywood [on April 28, 1989]. Axl introduced himself to the band by reciting the lyric's to Depeche's `Somebody' and declared that he was a big fan of the band. He took the British technopoppers to the Cat House, his favourite heavy metal club. Later that night Axl reportedly went on to a barbecue at a friend's house in Beverley Hills and shot a live pig. It is not clear whether Depeche were at the barbecue. A spokesman denied that they, were presents Singer Dave Gahan said he'd heard that a cow, not a pig had been done to death. "As strict vegetarians the band were appalled by his behaviour and do not wish to associate themselves with any who goes round shooting pigs for fun," said a Mode spokesman at Mute Records" [New Musical Express, June 1989].

Likely, the band was also fed up with how the media could create or exaggerate friction in the band:

And I've got to the point where I've come to understand what the media's all about, and what these people really want out of you ... Some people are serious hounds for any shit they—can pick up and print about us, to the point where you just sit there and look at them and you just see them as pathetic [Kerrang! April 1989].
I'm not really worried about what people think of me. What bothers me is what certain things printed about me do to people who I care about. If I say something, and it gets twisted to where it seems like I'm saying my band's full of shit or something when it's not what I said, that bothers me. That's not fair. Writers have to understand where we're coming from and hopefully print it that way. I've tried to be very open. You know, you've just met the interviewer real quick, you try to answer their questions, try to be as friendly as possible and then you end up with this person looking at your life not through a telescope, but rather through a kaleidoscope. Everything's in pieces and distorted. [RIP, April 1989].
An example of the media creating wedges in the band, is the RIP interview that Axl did in April 1989. When confronted with this interview and Axl's quotes regarding drug use that included a thinly-veiled advice to his bandmates, Slash would say:

There's some stuff he said about drugs in there that I wish he hadn't said. [...] I mean, at this point in time, what with having such a bad reputation, and having had so many run-ins with the cops, I'm really wary when I see stuff like that in print. It makes me nervous. I mean, this is the real world now, and anything can happen out there - and usually does where this band's concerned! [Kerrang! April 1989].
All this aside, the band must take a lot of blame for the media loving to write about their lives. As Nick Kent would write in October 1989: "Strictly on a cartoon level, Guns N' Roses are probably the most singularly entertaining and titillating group in the whole of late-eighties rock pop culture right now. After all, they're the youngest, the thinnest, the rowdiest, the most calamity-prone, etc., etc. Plus there are a number of Spinal Tap comparisons (the ongoing drummer problem, the fact that the GN'R manager, New Zealander Alan Niven, apparently bears an uncanny resemblance to the Tap's long-suffering celluloid counterpart)" [The Face, October 1989].

By 1989, the press was mostly interested in Axl and Slash. The vast majority of interviews and articles would focus on these two. The "big guys" as Duff would jokingly refer to them [Kerrang! March 1990]. Third in popularity was Duff, who now and then got some attention. Izzy was much less featured, maybe because he, after an active period in the beginning of the band's history, now wanted to take the back seat or was starting to be fed up with the band and industry. But even less attention was given to Steven. No interviews or articles focusing on Steven alone is to be found before 1989 [control check this]. He was by far the most anonymous of the band members. The only time he would be featured was together with others, and often then he would let the others do most of the talking. When discussing who wrote the lyrics to the band's songs, and being asked what part Steven took in this, Slash would reply: "He plays drums. Steven's not the most vocal person in the world. […] Well, no, maybe vocal isn't the right word, more like illiterate would be the word [laughter]" to which Duff would add: "Put it this way, the Navy wouldn't take him!" [Hit Parader, July 1989; but the quotes are from 1988].

In the beginning of 1990, Axl would talk about being more selective about which interviews they did:

We haven’t done a lot of press things lately, not so much out of, like, Well, fuck you guys, we don’t need you, or this and that, you know? It’s just been kind of like... I mean, we want Guns N’ Roses to be huge and stuff and we’re glad when we get offered different interviews and all this stuff. But at the same time, you know, we get a bit sick of it, too. Seeing our faces all over the place. And at the same time, you don’t want so much over-exposure and so you kind of like go, OK, I’m gonna do one piece. OK, which magazine am I gonna do that in? What audience do I want to hit with what I’m gonna say, you know? Like, how am I going to approach this interview? It’s like, if I’m doing a Rolling Stone interview, it’s not so much catering to the audience, it’s like I’m just gonna use a different facet of my personality, ’cos I figure I’m talking to different people. With Rolling Stone you’re talking to U2 fans, REM, you know, and different crowds, OK, than you’re talking to in RIP... So maybe what I want to say needs to be said that way. So you do one interview rather than, like, trying to keep on top of Metal Edge, Metallix, Blast, you know, and all the Japanese magazines — Burn, Music Life and all the others. ’Cos it’s like, we’ve had to focus in on trying to get our lives together to deal with this, you know? And we’re just now getting some things under control [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
In late 1990, the author Danny Sugerman would write a piece on Axl that would be published in Spin Magazine [Spin, November 1990]. The Spin article, as stated at the end of it, consisted of excerpts from Sugerman's then forthcoming biography on Guns N' Roses. The band was initially opposed to the book and refused to endorse it or give any access. Alan Niven would later mention the Spin article as an example of the band's distrust towards the press and said it was "full of inaccuracies and self-serving embellishments" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991]. But in the same article, Sugerman blamed Spin Magazine for misquoting both himself and Axl:

"I don’t blame Alan for being upset. [...] Spin rushed the story out two months early and they totally misquoted Axl and me. They never showed me a final draft of the piece, and they didn't make most of the corrections I’d suggested. In fact, they took sentences I’d written and put quotes around them and attributed them to Axl. I was livid about the whole thing" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].

Bob Guccione Jr., publisher-editor of Spin at the time, denied Sugerman's allegations:

"Actually Danny came in wildly late with his piece. His story was the only story in later than mine. We only made so many changes because the piece wasn’t very well written. We never changed any of Axl’s quotes, not a single one. The only fixes we made were so Danny’s language would be more understandable. Afterwards we discovered that the best part of his story [an account of a police raid on Axl’s apartment] turned out to have been lifted' straight out of a People magazine story. So I had to run an apology in the next issue of Spin saying that we’d run portions of the People story without attributing it to them."

Sugerman replied to Alan Niven's and Guccione's accusations with a letter saying that Niven was upset because Axl had spoken with him:

"Regarding the March 17 Pop-eye column: I’m not sure whether being called a liar by Alan Niven and Bob Guccione Jr., two of the sleaziest people in the music business—a business with no dearth of sleaze—is either the biggest insult or the highest compliment I’ve ever received. Despite such ambivalence, I’m prompted to inform readers that Guns N’ Roses manager Niven is upset because he couldn’t slop me from writing a book on his band and couldn’t stop Axl Rose from speaking with me or, for that matter, stop me from speaking with Axl, whom I found to be infinitely more sensible and intelligent than his manager. As for Guccione, all I can say is consider the source. We all know to what high moral standards this paragon of virtue aspires" [Los Angeles Times, April 1991].

Niven responded:

1— Two years ago, Sugerman contacted our (management company] expressing a desire to write a book about Guns N’ Roses. Our clients told us they wanted no part of it. Despite their wishes, Sugerman secured a contract from a publisher. Since our clients preferred to have any such volume compiled under other authorship, we were instructed to tell the publisher and Sugerman that they would be denied any access or endorsement.

2— As for Axl Rose’s meeting with Sugerman, Axl elected to deal with the inevitable. He decided out of responsibility to his following to read the manuscript in order to extinguish the inaccuracies he anticipated after Sugerman’s piece in Spin magazine. What's more, Axl is quite capable of recognizing an exploitative sycophant when he meets one.

3— In regard to Sugerman’s slur, I am prepared to have any aspect of my business investigated by anyone at any time. My firm prides itself on its integrity and ethics, and our reputation is unimpugned. Check with anyone who is actually a part of the business (as opposed to being an opportunistic parasite).
[Los Angeles Times, April 1991].

Axl and Slash would have somewhat differing view on Sugerman's unauthorized book, and Sugerman himself. Axl felt flattered by the comparisons drawn up by Sugerman, and was a fan of his previous book on Jim Morrison:

I read [No one Gets Here Out Alive (Sugerman's Jim Morrison biography)] seven times and I didn’t really ever do an interview with Danny. Danny and I are friends now, but I talked to him for 15 minutes in a bar and then the story came out in a magazine a few weeks later [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
[Sugerman's GNR biography] wasn’t authorized, but I proof read it cuz I got a copy right before it was about to come out, and I just went back and changed... And Danny, you know, agreed and worked with me on just changing the facts, [like] if he said “Izzy and Slash” and it was actually Izzy and I. We changed those things. But I didn’t change any of his opinions. I thought it was really - it’s a really interesting book and it’s kind of flattering to be, you know, compared, and have, like, this college thesis written about you, and your place in the world, and rock ‘n’ roll, and Greek mythology. But, other than that, I just, you know, I wish it would’ve been more fun for people to read [Rockline, November 27, 1991].

Compared to Slash:

I’m gonna kill that guy [The Guardian, September 1991].
It’s stuff like that, because kids only – well, not kids, but people in general only believe in what they read or what they see on TV, and so when a book comes out and a, say, Guns N’ Roses fan sees it on a rack and buys it, that’s all he’s got to go on. And that guy has never even met us. […] That guy is so full of it. I’m gonna kick his ass when I see him. I’ll – (laughs) [Australian TV Channel 7, January 25, 1993].
[Sugerman's book] is a complete load of garbage, man. He wrote it like he'd known us for years when he’d only interviewed Axl a few times. If I ever saw him in a club, he knows I'd get him. He's scared of us [The Age, January 29, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:30 am

SEPTEMBER 6, 1989 - IZZY AND VINCE NEIL AT THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS


That asshole punched me in the dark. What happened, happened. Maybe one day we’ll meet again [Popular 1, November 1992].
____________________________________________________________________________

At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards that took place on September 6, Izzy got in trouble with Vince Neil, the frontman of Motley Crue.

[Neil] jumped out of a crowd of people and sucker-punched Stradlin. Stradlin's lip was cut by Neil's rings but he was otherwise unhurt. Neil, on the other hand, found himself on his back; he scrambled and ran for his limo. […] Fortunately Vince is a powder puff and can't do much damage, but it was a chicken . . . thing to do [LA Times, September 1989].
Later, Axl would confirm that Neil had punched Izzy:

That happened, you know, and then he ran past me. And I didn’t know who he was, cuz he’d just had his cheeks done, and I couldn’t tell who he was [laughs] [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
According to Niven, Neil's animosity towards Izzy stemmed form an incident in 1988 when Izzy had Neil's wife "ejected from a private room" at a local rock club, resulting in assault charges being filed and later dropped against Stradlin [LA Times, September 1989]. Neil would dispute this and claim "that [Izzy] had attempted to remove Neil's wife's clothing and later kicked her in the stomach" and that when Neil saw Izzy at the Awards show, "I did what any man would do" [LA Times, September 1989]. Nikki Sixx, the bassist in Motley Crue, supported Neil's version of the event: "[Izzy] pulled her top off, and kicked her in the stomach. Vince was going to press charges, but instead said, 'The next time I see him I’m going to clean his clock'" [Poughkeepsi Journal, October 15, 1989].

In November 1989 Neil did an interview with Kerrang! where he would talk about the incident. These comments would then infuriate Axl and lead to the public spat between the frontmen [see later section]:

"I just punched that dick and broke his f**king nose. […] Anybody who beats up on a woman deserves to get the shit kicked out of them. He hit my wife, a year before I hit him. I called up his management after he hit her and Alan Niven (GN’R manager) was like, 'My bands can do anything they want. Guns can do anything they want’. So I’m like, fine... […] I went looking for Izzy and I couldn’t find him, so I waited to the next time I saw him. That was when I was leaving and he was just coming offstage, 'cos he’d been jamming with Tom Petty. So I walked up to him and f* *king bopped him. […] I f**king punched him and event security dived on me, because they didn’t know who the f**k I was. [...] They threw me over towards the stairs and I’m trying to get at Izzy and he’s trying to get at me. The security told me to get out, so I walked past Izzy and I said, ‘Touch her again and I’ll f**king kill you, man’. I walked right past Axl, past all of them and out. I didn’t f* *king run. […] As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a Crüe v Guns thing, it was something this f* *king wimpy asshole who likes to hit girls deserved. It’s a score I had to settle" [Kerrang! November 4, 1989].

Izzy would later deny these accusations although admit he had "pushed her back" with his foot:

Three years ago, we played some club one night and I was hangin' out with these girls when she came backstage. I said 'Hey your pussy's hangin' out!' and she fuckin' punched me! So I just lifted my foot and pushed her back. She fell down. Next thing I know, she's got me on a rape charge. So I have to go to court, right, for this bullshit, and she didn't show up. Anyway, Motley Crue are a bunch of lying cocksuckers. It's gonna be interesting to see how they respond to this [VOX, October 1991].
In 2019, Sharise Neil did a podcast and discussed the episode:

"We had this thing called “The Broad Squad” and it was all the girls from Tropicana. We were like a clique. And my girlfriend was actually dating Riki Rachtman. She was his living girlfriend. [...] So I wasn’t allowed to hang out with them, hardly ever, and definitely not allowed to go to the Cathouse with them, because bad things were gonna happen. [...] So, this night, I wore one of my creations, which was like a pencil skirt made out of spandex, black. And then, up to the side I did a sheer nylon panel, where you could see the side of my legs. [...] And then I wore, like, a little half-top. I made that too, by the way. [...] Like I said, we were the “Broad Squad”. My girlfriend’s boyfriend, it was his damn club. We walked in like we owned the place. [...] I walk into the room, and I see Izzy Stradlin standing by the deejay. He tells me to come over to him, he waves me over. I say, “Oh, cool, Izzy.” You know, we just got off the road with them, I met all the guys, I was out with them, I thought they all knew me, we were all talking, hanging out, shaking hands... So when I get within a foot of him, he reaches down – Riki says this wrong on his show; he says that he grabbed my boob. No, no, no. Izzy reaches down and grabs my freshly made pencil skirt and rips it up, like, to my vagina, and trying to rip it off me. […] And I’m flabbergasted. My mouth falls and I smack him hard across his face. A fuckin’ roundhouse smack to the face, buddy. When I do that to him, he puts his foot up and he kicks me in the stomach away from him. […] Alright. Now you’ve unleased mean Sharise. Now I’m pissed, and I got my bony little finger in his face going, “Fuck you. Who the fuck do you think you are? How fuckin’ dare you touch me? Wait till my fuckin’ husband gets up,” or, you know, “gets a word of this.” [...] Don’t do that to a woman. […] Okay, so then, after I’m done with my tirade, I turn around and I see Axl sitting in a chair in the corner - I think my tirade must have been heard all over the club – and he just came in. He wasn’t there before when I walked in, but I think he saw what happened after. So I said to him, “What the fuck is wrong with him?” And Axl, very nicely, said, “Oh my god, he’s really fucked up. He’s fuckin’ on heroin.” I went, “I don’t care. Wait till Vince finds out. This is not gonna be good.” […] So I tell [Neil], and he goes ballistic: “He did what? I’m gonna kill that guy!” So that is the start of the fight between Axl and Vince and Izzy" [Bobbie N' Sharise Sweet and Sour Hour, April 13, 2019].

Sharise would also talk about the incident at MTV VMA:

"It was the MTV Awards, yeah […] So, there I guess Tom Petty was on stage, and then Guns N’ Roses were doing the last show of the night, they were doing a song; or Izzy and a couple of the band members were playing with Tom Petty. So Vince – this has been, like, six months since this happened, and Vince has not run into Izzy at all, or Axl. But there they are that night! [...] So now Vince is plotting, “How can I get back at him,” like, “Oh, he’s on stage now. Sharise, go to the car.” I’m like, “What are you gonna do?!” and he’s like, “Don’t worry about it. Go to the car.” So this is what I remember: I was sitting in the limo, waiting, waiting, waiting... And I’m looking behind me, and what I see is hilarious. I see Vince walking very briskly and then running towards the car: “Open the door! Open the door!” I’m like, “What’s going on?” Then I see Axl running after Vince with, like, two big black bodyguards following. Vince gets to the car and he tells the driver, “Go!” So now we’re taking off in the parking lot as Axl is running behind our car. I mean, that’s a scene" [Bobbie N' Sharise Sweet and Sour Hour, April 13, 2019].

During the 1989 Video Music Awards a photographer hired by MTV would also claim to have been pulled by a bodyguard for the band, resulting in alleged injuries and a lawsuit [more on this below] [The Dispatch, September 1990].

In October 1992 Izzy would be asked if he would donate bone marrow to save the life of Neil:

Fuck, no! There’s plenty of other donors out there [Kerrang! October 31, 1992].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:31 am

OCTOBER 10, 1989 - RECORDING THE VIDEO FOR 'IT'S SO EASY', AXL BEFRIENDS DAVID BOWIE


On October 10 the band was doing a video shoot for 'It's So Easy', intended to present a more raunchy side of the band. According to rumors printed in Kerrang! in April 1990, David Bowie visited the set of the video and got "a little too well acquainted with Axl’s girlfriend, Erin" resulting in Axl "aiming a few punches Bowie’s way before having him thrown off the set" [Kerrang! April 1990].

When commenting on the incident, Axl would not go in detail on the brawl but tell a long story of going out with Bowie and having a good time:

Bowie and I had our differences. And then we went out for dinner and talked and went to the China Club and stuff, you know, and when we left I was like, “I wanna thank you. You're the first person that’s ever come up and said I’m sorry about the situation.” You know I didn’t, like, try to take away any of his dignity or respect - like Rolling Stone saying I’ve no respect for the Godfather of Glam even though I wore make-up in this or that video and dah dah dah...

It’s like, when we opened for the Stones Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton cornered me, right? I go out there to do the soundcheck, and I’m sitting on this amp and all of a sudden they’re both right there in front of me. And Jagger doesn’t really talk a lot, right? He doesn't really talk at all, he’s just real serious about everything. And all of a sudden he was like’ – he assumed a theatrical Dick Van Dyke cockney – “So you got in a fight with Bowie, didja?” You know, and I’m like... I told him the story real quick and him and Clapton are going off about Bowie in their own little world, talking about things from years of knowing each other. They were saying that when Bowie gets drunk he turns into the Devil from Bromley... I mean, I’m not even in this conversation. I’m just sitting there and every now and then they would ask me a couple more facts about what happened, and then they would go back to bitchin’ like crazy about Bowie. I was just sitting there going, wow...

But Bowie was really cool. We went to this restaurant and, like, it was just supposed to be Slash and me and Bowie and his girlfriend. Then I’m going and I bring an old friend of ours called Danny, who's an old roadie who’s been through, like, crazy stories with cops and everything. We haven’t been able to find Danny for two years. And Danny was like Dan the Man, he was a big part of our lives. But we couldn’t find Danny. Well, I find Danny and another guy called Eric – two guys we haven’t seen for a while that Slash and I used to hang with. So I bring them. Then Izzy shows up with Jimmy from Broken Homes, and we have this crowded table, right? And everybody's getting wasted on wine and stuff.

Then Bowie comes around the table and he squats down next to me and starts talking. And all of a sudden somebody hit the table and my elbow, like, bumped his cheek, just real lightly. And he goes, “OH, FUCK!” and grabs his eye and jumps up, and the whole restaurant spins round... ’Cos they did not like me and Slash being in the restaurant anyway, OK? This doesn’t usually happen any more but this place it happened in ’cos they were all, you know, all quiet, with an art gallery showing on the walls and all this stuff.

And the people running the restaurant don’t know who... It's not like they don’t know who I am, but they don’t give a flying fuck. They don't know it's Slash and Axl, they just see us coming in in leather jackets and stuff and they’re freaking, right?

So there’s a whole table and we’re all getting loud and stuff. But Bowie s there so they’ve got to let this go on, they don’t know what else to do right? It was great. So Bowie jumps up and goes, “OH FUCK!" and the whole place spins around, and the ladies and stuff are hiding behind their fuckin’ menus. Then he goes, “Just kidding! Just fucking kidding!” It was great, it was great...

We went to the China Club and stuff and he, like, had me do photos with him. He was like, “I don’t know if you wanna do this but...” He was really cool. We started talking about the business and I never met anybody so cool and so into it and so whacked out and so sick in my life. I looked over at Slash and I went, “Man, we’re in fuckin’ deep trouble.” He goes, “Why?” And I go, “’Cos I got a lot in common with this guy. I mean, I’m pretty sick but this guy’s just fuckin’ ill!” And Bowie's sittin’ there laughing... Then he starts talking about, "One side of me is experimental, and one side of me wants to make something that people get into. And I DON’T KNOW FUCKING WHY! WHY AM I LIKE THIS!?” And I’m, like, thinking to myself, I’ve got twenty more years of... that to look forward to? I’m already like this! Twenty more years? It was heavy, man...
[Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
As a side-note, about a year later Slash would also befriend Bowie:

Late last year, Bowie and I got together and went to dinner. We had a great time, and we’ve been hanging ever since. He’s a sweet guy. It’s been really cool, going from being a kid and growing up with musicians and then meeting these people you haven’t seen in a long time who actually have respect for you [ROCKbeat, July 1991].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:34 am

THE ROLLING STONES WANTS GUNS N' ROSES


In August 1989, Rolling Stone Magazine mentioned rumors about Rolling Stone wanting Guns N' Roses to open for them on their upcoming tour. Axl would say that no formal offer had been made [Rolling Stone, August 1989]. But at some point in 1989 Rolling Stones did offer GNR the opening slot for their entire tour for $50,000 a night [Yahoo Music, April 2016]. RAW Magazine would in May 1989 claim that this was summer tour and that the band rejected the offer because they planned on writing and recording the follow-up to 'Appetite' [Raw Magazine, May 1989]. According to Alan Niven in 2016, on the other hand, he had been reluctant to accept the offer mainly due to the compromised state of the band at the time:

From a fiscal point of view, I was dubious about that, because at that point Guns could clearly sell out arenas on their own, which would more than double that take. The other aspect was I didn’t consider the band to be in any condition, whatsoever, to be able to take on a tour of that length and magnitude. Izzy had gone through a really, really bad cocaine period and was just getting out of it. Slash was using too much [heroin]. Steven was using too much. Duff loved his cocaine and his vodka. They were in no condition to take on a venture like that. Much to the bemusement of the band’s agent, I passed. Think about that for a moment. Can you think of anybody who’d been offered to open for the Rolling Stones and said, ‘No, thank you?’ How fucked up in particular is that? […] I was like, ‘The Stones are touring again? F—ing hell! They always sell tickets, but as far as I was concerned, my boys were now the standard bearers of excessive glories of rock ‘n’ roll. Why should they open for a bunch of landed gentry and English financiers? So, conceptually, for me, it didn’t sit very well [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
The Rolling Stones then came back with a second offer: four nights at the Los Angeles Coliseum for $500,000. Though intrigued, Niven still wasn’t entirely convinced by the offer:

My thought was this. You’ve got 77,000 tickets to sell in the L.A. Coliseum. I can see the Stones doing that twice, but four times? I think that’s pushing it, even for the Stones – unless they’ve got someone with them who is going to push it over the edge. And knowing that they had two confirmed and were holding two more shows that they wanted to do, I rather felt that that described the circumstance. So I went back and said, ‘We’d be delighted to accept the offer for a million dollars.’ The Stones’ people just about choked on that, but guess what? Jagger came back and accepted, because he knew he needed Guns N’ Roses to get the four nights. He’s a businessman, and he figured out the formula [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
Slash would confirm that their management was against doing the gigs with The Stones, and imply at least part of it was due to Slash's heroin problem that was very bad at the time:

At that time I was at the tail end of a really, really serious heroin problem. I felt the band had to do the Stones gigs to bring us back together. We were all living in our separate houses, no one saw anybody, I was doing my thing, and only three of us were going to rehearsals on a regular basis. So I said, “Yeah, let’s do the gig,” even though our management was against it. I made an agreement with the band that after the Stones shows were over, I’d clean up. That was agreed upon and understood [Rolling Stone, January 1991].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:41 am

BRANDING II


Axl: When I put on my clothes or do a photo session, I want to look the best I can. If you're going on a date, you want to look good for that person or for yourself. I've got enough money now to buy a suit I like and wear it the way I want. I don't wear suits every damn day now. Maybe I'm gonna shave and wear makeup and do my hair fuckin' way up. We're definitely image conscious. I think if Izzy came wearing a clown suit to a photo session, we'd want to know how he could validate his presence in a clown suit. [Laughs] But if he could back it up and convince us there was a reason, then it would be cool. Otherwise, it wouldn't be. Steven has his own way of dressing, in the latest commercial-rock fashions. Steven enjoys the hell out of the clothes he wears, whereas Slash and I wouldn't be caught dead in either. It's just different personalities. If we're gonna do a show, I wear a headband because my hair gets in my face. When we do a photo session, a lot of the time I'll wear a headband because that's how I am onstage. If I feel real dominant and decadent, I'm gonna be wearing my jack-boots and stuff like that. I try to express myself through my clothes. It's another form of the art. I'm not afraid of what people think about different ways I look. I'm gonna do what I want to do [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:47 am

OCTOBER 18-22, 1989 - "DANCING WITH MR. BROWNSTONE"


October came around and the band was set for the pinnacle of their short career. Opening for The Rolling Stones had been a dream to Axl and a signal that they had made it [Concert Shots, May 1986].

The grandness of these shows were also apparent to Duff, but his band members didn't pull it together:

Despite the work we needed to do to prepare for the Stones shows, Slash and Steven showed no signs of pulling out of their drug habits, and Izzy slipped back into heroin use, too. Sometimes those guys put their drug use in front of band practise. One or the other often showed up late or left early from rehearsal-if they showed up at all [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156].
Slash was "shooting heroin and speedballs" at the time and had his dealer meet him "before and after the gig" [Musician, December 1990]:

I'd built a place in the hotel room to hide my shit. Axl was tripping out on the whole thing but as far as I was concerned I was fine—at least the gig was happening and I was playing [Musician, December 1990].
In Steven's recollection it is implied that Slash had promised to quit drugs before the shows, which is in disagreement with Slash's quote above where he claims the deal was to quit after the shows with The Stones:

I would walk over to Slash's room to hang out and party. Unfortunately, every dealer on the West Coast was buzzing around for the concert, and I fell to temptation again. At this point, Slash hadn't let up at all and was getting sucked deeper into hard drugs. Heroin came packaged in rubber balloons, and that night after we checked in, I bought six of those balloons and went to Slash's room. I walked in and I saw Slash in the bathroom, and he had like twenty of these same balloons lying around, already opened and used. he was just sitting on the toilet, staring down at the tiles, all stoned out. He was going to be no fun, so I just spun around and left [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 198-199].
The band Living Color was opening for Guns N' Roses and Rolling Stones. The day before the first show, on October 17, Vernon Reid, the singer of Living Color, was guesting at a radio show with call-ins. He was asked by one caller what he thought of 'One in a Million' and replied that he liked the band but took exceptions to some of the words in the song [RIP Magazine, November 1990].

At the morning of the first show, Izzy got an ominous call from Axl:

It was the biggest thrill I ever had working with this band, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking, 'cos - we did four gigs in LA, right? - at six the morning of the first one, Axl called me completely hammered, and told me 'I'm quitting'. I told the other guys 'It's gonna be a long four days, fellas' [VOX, October 1991].
I got a call from Axl on the morning of the first Stones show. He said, 'I'm sorry, these gigs aren't gonna go, I quit!' [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
Niven would talk about this in October 1992, too, and refer to Axl's decision to quit the band the very day they were going to play with the Rolling Stones for "bad timing" [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].

According to Niven, Axl was nowhere to be seen before the show, with the production manager saying to him: "Your guy’s not here. Tell me what I’m supposed to do – call the LAPD and warn them we may have a riot with 77,000 people?" Niven would then, allegedly, ask the production manager if he had a contact in the LAPD who was an "absolutely no-questions-asked guy", with his wishes confirmed and the cop on scene, Niven gave him the address where Rose was staying and allegedly said:

I want you to send two uniforms to this address and have them get the occupants out any which way they can and bring them here right away, in handcuffs, if necessary [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
The police did as asked and brought Axl to the venue [Yahoo Music, April 2016].

As Axl walked towards the stage, he allegedly confronted Reid with his comments and said that he never thought of “you guys as niggers" [Spin, November 1990]. As he took the stage he first defended 'One In A Million', and then continued with his famous "Mr. Brownstone" speech:

I don't like to do this on stage. But unless certain people in this band start getting their act together, these are going to be the last Guns N' Roses shows. I'm sick and tired of too many people in this organization dancing with Mr. Brownstone [From stage, October 18, 1989].
And then, before the encore: "Before we begin, I'd like to announce this is my last gig with Guns N' Roses" [Los Angeles time, October 20].

If it is true that Slash had promised to quit drugs before The Stones shows and not after, that would help to explain Axl's frustration and anger at the time and his ultimatum that his band mates stop using heroin or he would quit the band.

Axl would later explain why he did it:

I was watching my band mentally and physically fall apart. It was a harsh move [talking about it] onstage, but we had tried everything else, and nobody would stop. It just kept getting worse and worse and worse. [...] I remember bumping into [Geffen Records head] David Geffen when I walked onstage and he was all excited about us playing with the Stones and all the people there. I just looked at him and said, 'Well, then enjoy (the show) because it's the last (damn) one' [Run N' Gun, Los Angeles Times, July 1991]
That was definite and that was serious. I mean, I offered to go completely broke and back on the streets, ’cos it would have cost, like, an estimated $1.5 million to cancel the shows, OK? That means Axl’s broke, OK? Except what I’ve got tied up in Guns N’ Roses’ interests or whatever. But I didn’t want to do that because I wouldn’t want the band to have to pay for me cancelling the shows. I don’t want Duff to lose his house ’cos Axl cancelled the shows. I couldn’t live with that. But at the same time I’m not gonna be a part of watching them kill each other, just killing themselves off. It’s like, it came down to like, we tried every other angle of getting our shit back together and in the end it had to be done live. You know, everybody else was pissed at me but afterwards Slash’s mom came and shook my hand and so did his brother [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]
You should have seen Geffen’s face. I was, like, 15 paces behind, trying to keep up, and I’m waving my hands at Geffen, like, ‘Leave him alone! Leave him alone! Get out of the way! Don’t stop him now!’ And then Axl shut himself off and then went back to his apartment [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
The band members felt humiliated and resentful:

[...]I got the call that Axl wasn't going to do the gigs. His reasoning was that Steven and I were on smack. We were...but that's beside the point; we were opening for The Stones. Somehow we coerced him into doing the first show and it was a disaster. "Enjoy the show," Axl said when we took the stage, "because it's going to be our last one. There are too many of us dancing with Mr. Brownstone." I was so pissed off about that and he was so pissed at me for being a junkie that I spent the better half of the show facing my amps. Nothing was together that night, the band sounded horrible [Slash's autobiograohy, p 277-278]
If Slash had promised to clean up before the shows with The Stones, it wasn't so much that they were on smack, but that they still were on smack.

As I neared the stage I could hear the fans. As I rounded the corner, I could see the multitudes screaming their heads off. The sound of that crowd was so powerful that it actually gave me an incredible buzz. When the audience caught sight of us, they all bolted upright. It was like one giant wave of energy, intensely stimulating. We were the proud prodigy, the bastard sons of the Rolling Stones, and we killed that night. We were there to show the world that rock was alive and bigger than ever, and we succeeded in every way.

But at a time when we should have been rejoicing beyond all measure, Axl instead chose to wag his finger. He had become aware of the out-of-control partying that was happening within the band and he made a long rambling statement during the show. "If some people in this organization don't get their shit together and stop dancing with Mr. Brownstone, this is going to be the last Guns N' Roses show. Ever!"

Axl went on and on, threatening to shut us down if the runaway abuse continued. Maybe it was done for publicity, maybe out of genuine concern, I don't know, but it was way over the top. Disbanding GNR for drug abuse was like grounding a bird for flying
[Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 199-200]
I don't think it helps by ridiculing somebody onstage in front or 50,000 people. It would probably have been much more effective talking one to one [Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
Then came the second night [This really happened on the first night, on October 18, Duff seems to be mistaken here]. Before we played our first note, Axl suddenly announced to the 80,000 people in attendance that "if certain people in Guns N' Roses didn't stop dancing with Mr. Brownstone," this would be our last show. The crowd became absolutely quiet. People in the audience looked at one another; they seemed confused as we were. They really had no idea what Axl was talking about. I shrank. I felt so fucking embarrassed. And I was so fucking mad that Axl felt he could do this to me. I would have been supportive if he was sufficiently pissed off at certain guys to want to confront them for what was going on - I was with him., the situation was bad. But he needed to talk about that shit in private! Not out here. Never out here. Once Axl took his concerns public, the times of being a gang - us against the world - were over. We played the rest of the show, but it was a halfhearted effort at best. Afterward, and really for the remainder of our career, we just went our separate ways. That night officially rang the bell for the end of an era of GN'R [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 158]
In his biography, Duff would claim he "never told Axl how upset [he] was" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 159], yet in an interview Duff did in early 1990 he would claim the opposite:

[On the] next day [of the show] we were on the phone together, talking, and [Axl] explained his reasons for doing that shit and I understood what he was saying. […] Axl was blowing off a lot of steam, not only about that but just about a lot of shit. The band hadn’t all made it to Chicago, that all fucked up. […] I was pissed off at Axl. I was mad. But that’s the beauty about this band; we got on the phone, the two of us, the next day, and really got out what was going on. That’s what happens with this band. We don’t bottle shit up. It just comes out and sometimes it’ll come out onstage. Maybe not the right place, but it works!!! [Kerrang! March 1990].
Another person who talked to Axl the next day was Alan Niven. He claims to have headed Axl’s apartment at 10 AM the next day and sat on the rocker’s bed, "trying to talk some sense into him" [Yahoo Music, April 2016]:

I brought a very big bag of donuts with me, and as I sat and listened and listened and listened, and as he complained about everybody and everything, I just kept feeding him donuts. Eventually, he started to get a little bit of a sugar rush, and in the throes of the sugar rush, he conceded that if I could get Slash to humiliate himself by apologizing to him live onstage, then maybe he might possibly think about doing that night’s show. So I got on the phone with Slash and said, ‘Whatever you have to do, do it. You’re gonna have to grovel. You’re going to have to bite the bullet. Just do what he says – that’s the only way we’re going to get him onstage.’ And obviously, reluctant Slash agreed to do it and, bless him, he took a bullet for everybody, and was publically humiliated onstage and apologized to Axl live onstage that night [Yahoo Music, April 2016].
On the second night, Slash addressed the crowd before they started playing, talking about the perils of drugs but concluded "Guns N' Roses is not gonna be a band that falls apart because of it."

Axl said he wouldn’t perform unless I agreed to go up and do what he called apologize, which I refused to do. I said what I said, and he came out, and it was very warm because what I said was totally honest. It wasn’t an apology; it was sort of an explanation. No, not even that — I just opened up and said what I felt about heroin and what it does to people, who it’s killed and how wrong it is. Because that’s how I felt. But I was a junkie at the same time [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Axl then came on stage and thanked Slash before saying, "I'd like to apologize for my actions and comments last night. I just didn't want to see my friends slip away" [Los Angeles Times, October 1989].

The press wanted to know if this was only a media stunt, but "a source close to the band" stated that "There has been real tension in the band. The only thing that surprised me was that Axl went public with it. It might have been the pressure of the big engagement" [Los Angeles Times, October 1989].

This was not the first time Axl had expressed concern about his bandmates lifestyle, in November 1988 he had mentioned to Rolling Stone Magazine that he wasn't worried about the band's violent temper as long as they lived long enough to record a new album where that aggression could fuel the music:

It's cool that this tension is building up, because it's gotta find its release in the music. If we live that long [Rolling Stone, November 1988].
And in August 1989 he mentioned to Rolling Stone that "I don't want to see drugs tear up this band" [Rolling Stone, August 1989]. This was just months prior to the ill-fated shows with Rolling Stones.

In 1990, Axl was asked if he had been specifically referring to Steven's heroin addiction when he made the "Mr. Brownstone" speech:

The majority of the band was at that time ["dancing with Mr. Brownstone"] - or too much alcohol or too much something. Me, I was eating too much or whatever, and just sitting on my ass too much [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
In 1991, The Los Angeles Times would report that Axl had Slash specifically in mind [Los Angeles Times, July 1991], and Slash would say that "the problem that led to the Coliseum showdown" wasn't the endless months on the road in 1987 and 1988, but the days and weeks after the tour ended in September, 1988 -- when the band members didn't have each other or their crews for support [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. In January 1992, Slash would also admit that "[Axl] got on my case because I was... killing myself" [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992].

Despite the heaviness of admonishing his band mates from the stage and giving them an ultimatum, Axl would look back at playing with the Rolling Stones fondly:

It was great playing with them. It was a definite dream. I mean, it was something that we told people we were going to do and people were going, “No, they broke up.” “I don’t care, we’re going to open for the Stones, you wait. We’re going to do this, I don’t know how, but we’re gonna do this.” And then, you know, I told Keith Richards that and he's like, “Well, you've made it, mate. Let me have a cigarette” [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].
Izzy was perplexed it wasn't an even bigger disaster:

How we managed to get through those gigs, I'll never know. There was so much shit down on us. Axl's mood to quit, the drug problems, the Steven problem, the whole 'One In A Million' controversy - plus I had a court date the morning after the last Stones date, at eight in the morning, for pissing in a trash can on an airplane, and I was facing six months in jail because I had a prior arrest for drug possession (later dropped). So that was a fuckin' major psycho-time [VOX, October 1991].
[…] we managed to get through [the shows]. That was a weird time for me. Playing to 50,000 people with the Stones is as good as it gets, but the Monday after the last show I had to be up at 8am to meet my new probation officer. That was after I got arrested on a plane [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
While Slash would have to admit never meeting the guys in The Rolling Stones due to being strung out on smack:

I never met them. The reason I didn't meet the Stones, one was that I was high out of my gourd - that was during my real wasted days, and basically when you are high like that you don't care who it was; nothing was more important that getting on with what I had to get on with. The other thing was to meet the Stones - there was so much like putting Guns N' Roses up against the Stones, and every time you would be in the same room there would be 50 paparazzi guys taking pictures: Slash and Keith Richards, that whole big generation rock band bad boys bullshit. Basically I wanted to meet them on a more personable level, so I never made any efforts to meet them at all, and when the band did a photo with them I just didn't show up [Q Magazine, July 1991].
But also because he hated the inevitable comparisons between Guns N' Roses and the Rolling Stones:

Being compared to the Stones: Those kind of labels hit us all the time. That's one reason why, when we played with the Stones, I never took a picture with them or even made an effort to meet them. I'd love to meet them, but not on that level. There were so many paparazzi around. You know the theme: bad boy band of one era meets the new model? Screw that! [Guitar World, February 1992].
In hindsight, Slash would point out how important it had been for the band to come together again:

Yeah, it started at the Stones shows. That was the first time we'd played since the 'Appetite For Destruction' tour ended. The band had gotten so alienated and even as individuals we'd completely separated. And, even though I was going through my little chemical problem at the time, the idea of doing the Stones' gigs was to get the band back together and get the ball rolling again. Because we were losing touch with not only ourselves but with what we were supposed to be doing and what Guns n' Roses was all about. So we went and we did the Stones' gigs and that's where it started [RAW, October 1991].
As an epilogue to the October 1989 shows with The Stones: In December 1989, about two months later, Axl and Izzy would play with The Stones when they played in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This would be the last time Izzy had a drink.

The Stones were asking me: 'Which song are you doing?' We'd chosen 'Salt of the Earth'. Nobody knew it! And I'm thinking: 'Fuck, you guys wrote it over 20 years ago! You must remember some of it!' So we go back in this little trailer and Mick Jagger's got a tape-player and he's listening to it, with the lyrics written on a piece of paper in front of him. And I'm sitting there playing acoustic guitar with Keith Richards and I'm thinking 'This is sooo cool!' 'Cos we're playing it thru' and Charlie and Bill Wyman are sitting there, listening to it. And I'm just flipping out, thinking 'God, this is sooo wild!' Finally we finished the song. They all turned to me and said: 'So where's your singer?' And I didn't have an answer! Axl was late again. Real late [VOX, October 1991].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:49 am

"WE WERE NEVER ANY GOOD WITH COMMUNICATION"


As the band members grew apart in 1989, not living together, not writing together, everybody in their own world of drugs, anxiety, and mental issues, they stopped talking to each other. When they lived together, even a band of strong individuals, would be forced to communicate, to share, and talk things out.

Instead resentment grew and festered. Instead of confronting Axl with his lateness and his growing megalomania, the band fled into bottles and syringes. Instead of confronting Steven and Slash with increasing drug use that started to affect the band, Izzy distanced himself and Axl became more convinced he was the only one that could hold the band together. And instead of confronting Duff and Slash with avoiding him, Steven would keep quiet and to himself.

Instead of confronting them and flushing out whatever the hell it was that seemed to be getting worse, I let the drugs take me into a dark valley of despair, where I could wallow in my own self-pity [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
We were never any good with communication, especially when that meant confrontation. If we could have developed those skills then, the story of GN'R might have been very different [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 156].
For the most part, Axl had been ignoring me during this period. But that was my fault too. I never took the initiative to talk with him and find out what was simmering in that brain pan of his. I wish I had insisted on making the time to sit him down and sort things out to clear the air [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 191].
These problems would ebb and flow, but steadily grow. What broke the band apart can always be discussed and there were many factors, but a lot could possibly have been solved if the band had just communicated directly, honestly and with care.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:54 am

OCTOBER 1989-MARCH 1990 - SLASH AND IZZY SOBERS UP


As mentioned in a previous chapter, there are things that suggest that Slash was supposed to have cleaned up before the shows with Rolling Stones in October 1989, and that his failure to do so led to Axl's emotional outburst from the stage.

Regardless, after the shows with The Stones Slash promised to clean up and to do that he went to a golf resort in Phoenix, Arizona:

Of course I took 10 grams of coke with me. I'd be telling the limo driver to stop at a restaurant to get me a silverware set and he'd come back with a knife and a fork. I'd be like, 'No, the complete set'... [Musician, December 1990].
During his stay at the golf resort the amount of coke he was doing made him see hallucinations. According to Musician, 1990, he "imagined a knock on the door and men with guns" and "destroyed the glass in his shower room, attacked a maid, ran out-side bloodied and naked". He almost had to go to prison because of this incident [Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992], but with a little help from his friends, he avoided it [Musician, December 1990]. Slash would later recall this incident as a "really gnarly, violent experience" [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992], and:

The lowest I went was a little fucking episode in Phoenix, where I flipped out on coke, destroyed a hotel room and was all bloody, running around the hotel naked and shit. Some people tried to press charges, and the cops and paramedics came, but fortunately I lied my way out of it Rolling Stone, January 1991].
In September 1991, Izzy would describe an incident that happened "about a year and a half ago", which would indicate it happened in late 1989 or early 1990:

Like, about a year and a half ago, Slash got pulled over in LA for drunk driving and this was when he was using a lot of heroin, right? Anyway, I was staying in a hotel in Venice and he showed up at four in the morning, fucked out of his mind. How he managed to drive there will always remain a mystery to me! So I let him spend the night. The next morning I find two rigs (syringes) hidden in my closet. I told him: 'Listen, fucker, I got problems and I just can't have this shit around,' 'cos I was on probation for six months at the time. And I had to do drug testing - fuckin' involuntary piss-tests almost every day for about a month as well [VOX, October 1991].
Despite the failed detox in Phoenix, Slash would later say he managed to clean up [Musician, December 1990]. He achieved this on Hawaii [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]:

They tried to put me into rehab, but I left in three days. I was real pissed off and came back home, got loaded, then went to Hawaii and cleaned up. I’ve been clean ever since [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
They tried to put me in a rehabilitation institute, and I lasted about three days. So I split and cleaned up on my own. I just locked myself up in a hotel room in Hawaii ... and cleaned myself up [Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992].
It's a long story. I don't wanna talk about it. I just went away and I did it on my own and I've been clean ever since. I just stopped being excessive to the extent where it was really harmful. I mean, it was financially just ridiculous […] [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].
I just got sick of taking heroin. I am a very addictive person and I got to the hilt. I finally realised my first priority was the band and the drugs were detrimental to my career and I said, ‘OK, I’ve had my fair share of ODs, let's kick it’, which I did [The Newcastle Journal, June 12, 1992].
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when Slash managed to get clean, but end of 1989 or early 1990 seems likely.

He would later describe the failed forced rehab:

I was forced into rehab once when I was going through a very big needle phase. Three days. And I saw what that was all about, and looked in the Yellow Pages and got a car and got myself out of there. I said, I'm not this fucked up! I mean, I know when I'm doing something [Q Magazine, July 1991].
Everybody else told me, “Dude, you gotta do something.” So they tried to put me in rehab, and I’m not the type for rehabs – you know, I fix it myself. So I went there for three days, and escaped, and took off and cleaned up my own house. I’ve been clean since. It’s one of those things where, when you’re on tour, the sex and drugs element becomes sort of like your way of making yourself feel like you’re having a good time. When you’re working 24 hours a day, travelling constantly with no real control over reality, except for the two hours that you spend on stage, the rest of it is a nightmare. So you end up chasing women and getting stoned a lot [Australian TV Channel 7, January 25, 1993].
He would also say that the reason he finally cleaned up was that he almost went to prison [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991; The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992], likely talking above the aforementioned incident in Phoenix.

Talking about the process of cleaning up:

I had a pretty bad habit, so kicking was always rough. The physical part of it is bad enough, but the anxiety part is the worst. But I don’t see why the subject of kicking dope is such a big deal. It’s personal, really. It’s like asking how I go to the bathroom or what do I wash first when I take a shower. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think it’s anybody’s business. I don’t want to be another Keith Richards. His whole history with drugs has been so heavily publicized, and he’s spoken so candidly about it when he was fucked up because he thought it was cool, I guess. What happens is those stories never go away…It’s a very sensitive subject. But it’s a subject that you don’t try and put across to how many millions of people who read this magazine who don’t do it or haven’t been through it. It’s like one of probably the most disastrous things that a human being can go through. It’s like sitting on your deathbed all the time Rolling Stone, January 1991].
The quote above implies he cleaned up more than once, and we know he also cleaned up in 1987 before the release of 'Appetite' and the band went on tour [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

Slash would also say that he cleaned up because the band was "falling apart" [Rolling Stone, January 1991], giving credence to the seriousness of Axl's "Mr Brownstone" speech. When asked, Axl would also agree that his speech had helped push Slash towards sobriety:

It way worked, man! ’Cos Slash is fuckin’ on like a motherfucker right now [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
The following Christmas Slash spent with his girlfriend at the time and her family, and this provided some stability and normality to his newfound sober life [Musician, December 1990]. This, together with Axl's quote from January 1990, would indicate that Slash got sober before the Christmas of 1989. Yet, the Izzy quote from VOX above, could indicate that he was still using in early 1990. Maybe he had a relapse? In an article about Slash from July 1992 it is claimed he had been clean from heroin for three years, indicating he sobered up already in mid-1989, but this is clearly not correct - either Slash implied he had sobered up earlier than he did, or the journalist got it wrong [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].

By the end of 1990 Slash claimed to still be sober and was hoping to remain so:

But at this point it's not something I'm worrying about. Even though I didn't go through any counseling, I think I understand where it all stemmed from and how it could happen again. If it did happen it would have to be a different reason. To go from nowhere to here was such a huge mind trip; now that it's happened and we've managed to keep it together, I don't think we'll go through that kind of shock again [Musician, December 1990].
He would claim to have reduced the drinking, too:

I haven’t been drinking that hard if I can help it. I still get overly drunk sometimes and have a good time, and it doesn’t bother me. It’s sort of a pain in the ass the next morning, though. But I still have my little quirks and insecurities where I go to a bottle rather than just being sober and dealing with it. I still have those little problems, which are part of a pattern, I guess. But then I haven’t been as depressed as I was. Usually if I’m drinking too much, it’s for a reason. Boredom is my worst enemy, and I get bored really easily. In the history of this band, as long as we were out playing, I never had a problem of any kind. When we’re rehearsing or recording or onstage, there’s not really that much drinking going on, nor am I concerned about it. I’ll have a cocktail when I’m home or whatever, but it’s as simple as that [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
Before the 'Use Your Illusion' touring in 1991, Slash would look back at his drug problems in the two previous years:

[After the touring] 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].
At some point in 1989 Izzy had enough. He obtained Valium and codeine from a doctor to taper off and drove with his brother to Indiana to clean up [Musician, November 1992].

In 1989, I started to clean up. It was a home detox [The Boston Globe, February 5, 1993].
F**k, one day I was sitting in my apartment, f**ked out of my head, and I go, 'Man, I gotta step back to some reality'. […] I think going back to Indiana woke me up from my haze, point blank. I was still drinking a lot, still getting twisted, but it helped me get away from the drugs and that sorta bullshit lifestyle; every night the clubs and the parties and the drugs, just pointless stuff. That shit got old. […] I managed to stop drinking and using drugs for a month or two, and you get all this anxiety, this energy, which you don't know what to do with. I put some of the energy into bikes, skateboarding.. [Kerrang! September 5, 1992].
I got to the point where we finished touring and came back and we were very successful. I was in my apartment and nothing seemed to be going right and I knew I just had to fuck off and go back to Indiana. I can't say [becoming sober] was easy. It was just a continious process from day to day. […] I think drugs have always been around and they always will be around. I don't know what to think of it really. I know, for me personally, it doesn't work [Metal Hammer, September 1992].
I kicked at my mom's place. I probably weighed about 115 pounds. I was obviously very sick and she let me stay there. That was a pretty traumatic experience, kicking in the house I grew up in. Lying there thinking, `I fucked up somewhere. What was it? What brought me back here?' [Musician, November 1992].
The hardest thing about kicking coke is the f**king anxiety. It lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I remember two weeks when I really didn't sleep, and it takes months for your body to begin functioning naturally again. I had a harder time with coke than smack. I kicked smack but would keep starting up again, and the times I'd go cold turkey with no sort of medication; that's bad, but you can get through it. The coke I found even more evil, a real f**ker. […] I'll be getting strip-searched at Heathrow if you print this! [chuckles]. […] Coke is more socially accepted than smack, but I haven't been around it for a long time. I haven't even been around any people using it, cos as soon as you stop using that stuff, you suddenly start looking differently at the people you hang out with. […] For years, I never knew any other way to live. I suppose when you're a kid you do, but as you start f**king around with that stuff, it seems normal. I feel better not using it; it f**ks me up. […] 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].
It got to the point where it was just fuckin' me up. Kicking it all was a slow process, it didn't just happen overnight. Rather than kicking smack medically I chose to go cold turkey - and man, that's a hard thing to go through. It took a month or more and, like they say, it's a day to day thing. I can't say, 'Okay, I'm not gonna do that again.' It took weeks before I could stay straight for more than a few days. First it was a month, then two months and then it got a little easier, but it's an ongoing thing where you gotta remind yourself how tucked you felt before.

The thing is, dependency didn't slow my output but it sure affected what was comin' out, man! Even when I was fucked up beyond belief I was writing lots of music, but now when I go back and listen to it I go, 'Oh man, that's dark, that's black, that's grim!' A lot of it I just can't listen to now. It was a state of mind I was in and I don't wanna be reminded of it
[Hot Metal, November 1992].
In October 1992, Izzy would say that he went to Indiana "shortly after" the Rolling Stones shows in October 1989, indicating that he started to sober up in late 1989.

But in early 1993, he would say that he quit drugs before his peeing incident which took place on August 27:

I didn’t go to any rehabilitation center. I went cold turkey. But once I got off drugs, I thought I could still drink, though I then screwed up in an airplane and got very drunk and got arrested [The Boston Globe, February 5, 1993].
This indicates that he quit drugs before September 1989, or perhaps that he had more than one trip to Indiana to clean up.

[The drugs] were doing me in. I felt like shit all the time. I went to somewhere I knew I couldn't score [=Indiana], I had some Codeine with me and a few Valium to take the edge off, and I basically sweated it out. I made it through the 72-hour period, but then I started drinking like a fish. I gave that up as well a couple of months later. I've been told that alcohol's no good for American-lndian blood, which I've got in me. Alcohol really does f*** me up. It makes me crazy. I become impossible to deal with.

[...] I knew that I couldn't afford to f*** up any more. I'd used up all my 'Get Out Of Jail Free' cards. […] I didn't miss using drugs. I'd been used to living with them. But I'd gone through many problems in my life trying to stop, and when I started learning how to get along without them, I felt glad to be free of all the bullshit that went along with it - the scoring, the rip-offs, the bad drugs, the day-to-day hassle
[Melody Maker, October 10, 1992].
I never was a good drinker. At 16, like a lot of kids, I’d hang out at a liquor store trying to get older guys to buy for me. Then later that night, I’d end up vomiting face down somewhere [The Boston Globe, February 5, 1993].
During the process when Steven was being fired from the bad, in March/April 1990, Izzy would claim he had "nearly managed to clean up" "from everything" [Rock & Folk, September 1992], suggesting that he finally gave up drinking in March/April 1990.

In March 1993, Slash would say that he and Izzy "sort of quit at the same time, give or take a month" [Calgary Herald/The Hamilton Spectator, March 21, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:27 am

1989-1991 - RELATIONSHIP ISSUES


In early 1989 Slash had been dating the famous porn star Traci Lords [Howard Stern, February 1989]. At some point, Slash "lent his talents to a demo" by Lords but by mid-1989 that relationship had turned sour:

We've since not gotten along at all and she changed her number and I changed mine [Circus Magazine, May 1989].

Years later, in 1993, when Slash was in a marriage with Renee, an interviewer would say "Hi" from Lords to Slash, prompting the following reply:

Traci Lords! God, my wife would love to hear that! [chuckles]. Yeah, I’d like to say hi to her, but that’s probably not a good idea [RAW, June 23, 1993].

As the band popularity grew, Slash, who had enjoyed being able to go out before he became a celebrity, felt locked up in his apartment and house in-between tours:

I can't move about as freely as I used to, and I find it very mentally trying. I feel sort of like a cartoon character. People come up to me and it's always like, 'Hey dude, drink this beer, dude'. Or they wait for you to do something crazy, or a whatever... People don't see you as a real human being, and they're constantly trying to grab at you and sit down with you and be your buddy for five seconds. It's just really awkward. And I find that going out to clubs, which is something I used to do, you know, every single night and get trashed, isn't something I can really do and enjoy any more. It's actually at the point where when I go out to a club, I end up leaving just totally depressed. It really brings me down. And everybody wants to have your undivided attention. And if you don't give it to them they act like you're an asshole who's on some rock star trip... Which I think is something that everybody goes through. But you just can't do it... It's like, they never wanted my attention before... It's really a pretty traumatic experience sometimes. […] I just don't really go out any more... So, you know, there's been a real downside to all this. I'm only just now realising. I don't go out that much; I don't have that many close friends. And what close friends I have, the times I get to see them are usually few and far between... […] It gets to be a little bit lonely sometimes, yeah [Kerrang! April 1989].
Despite this, by late 1989 Slash had found a new girlfriend whom he spent the Christmas of 1989 with:

I spent Christmas and Thanksgiving that year with my girlfriend at the time, who was very family-oriented. She'd stuck with me through this whole thing and I feel the worst for her, 'cause I put her through a lot. But anyway, I spent time with her family and they were really wonderful people. My regular life started to come back and I realized that I was somebody who still had ambitions [Musician, December 1990].
This girlfriend was likely Meegan Hodges [sources to be inserted later]. Their relationship would not last, though, and in early 1990 he had another girlfriend to whom he celebrated their 8 month anniversary [Musician, December 1990]. This girlfriend was likely Renee Suran who he would marry in 1992 [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992]. Slash would also mention that he, at some point, would like to have a daughter and not a boy, because "I don't need another one of me" [Musician, December 1990].

According to Cheryl Lynn Swiderski, at the October 20, 1987, gig at the Trocadero, Philadelphia, Fred Coury would introduce her to Steven. About two years later, Steven and Cheryl would get married in a private ceremony in Las Vegas on June 6, 1989 [The News Journal, June 1989]. It is doubtful the relationship between Steven and Cheryl was well-known among the band members, as this quote from Izzy attests to:

Apparently [Steven] went to Nevada, got fucked up, met some girl and, like, ended up marryin' her or somethin'. And the headline, y'know... It read something like "GN'R DRUMMER MARRIES GIRL: SAYS I CAN STILL FUCK AROUND". In-credible! [The Face, October 1989]
The couple planned a proper church ceremony sometime in 1990 after the follow-up to 'Appetite' was recorded [The News Journal, June 1989], but Steven's drug use would ruin the relationship:

I spiraled downwards as the drugs took over and soon I became a selfish prick from hell.[...] Anything could set me off and soon Cheryl was spending as much time out of the house as possible. I stopped bathing. I wore the same shirt for two or three weeks. I wasn't thinking or caring. I was totally self-absorbed. This was it, the lowlife's high life [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 185]
In early 1990, Duff's marriage with Mandy Brix from 1987 was also falling apart [Kerrang! March 1990].

Axl had started dating Erin Everly, the daughter of Don Everly from Everly Brothers, as early as 1987 [San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 1987]. Axl would mention that Don Everly had dressed up as Axl, with jackboots and bandana, at an Everly Brothers show in Los Angeles some time in 1987 (or 1986?) while performing Jimi Hendrix' 'Purple Haze' [San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 1987]. By 1989 the relationship between Erin and Axl was strained. In a Rolling Stone interview from August 1989, it is described how he had wrecked his condo in West Hollywood: "One guitar has been destroyed, a mirror wall shattered, several platinum albums broken beyond repair and the telephone dropped off a twelfth-story balcony" [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

Erin and Axl got married on April 28 in a "middle-of-the-night ceremony" in Las vegas [People Magazine, May 1990], but Axl would file for divorce only 28 days later [Los Angeles Times; May 1990; People Magazine, August 1990]. The filing would be cancelled and in July Axl would describe the marriage as "stronger than ever" despite having broken up many times before [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990] and in August he would say:

[Our marriage] is good when we’re communicating. Then it opens up a lot of doors and things of hope that I really didn’t see or believe in before and just read about in books. Being married is more a part of me. The ‘institution’ of marriage itself is mumbo-jumbo paperwork, but the union of two people when you get that involved just blows me away. […]I’m looking forward to [fatherhood]. We already have the children named. We wanna have a boy named Shiloh Blue and a girl named Willow Amelia [People Magazine, August 1990].
In October 1990 it was reported that Erin had experienced a miscarriage [MTV, October 1990] and that they "recently had some hard times" [Pirate Radio, October 1990, as copied in Melody Maker, November 1990]. As Axl would say, "Erin and I hadn’t been on the best of terms during the pregnancy" [People Magazine, November 1990] and allegedly they had been briefly separated many times [People Magazine, November 1990], but that "the miscarriage brought us closer together" [People Magazine, November 1990]. Axl had bought a house in Hollywood Hills where he intended to start a family. Strain and tension caused him to wreck the place:

I had a piano, which I bought for $38,000, and there’s a $12,000 statue in there and a $20,000 fireplace, and I stood there and I just snapped. I’m standing in this house going, ‘This house doesn’t mean anything to me. This is not what I wanted. I didn’t work forever to have this lonely house on the hill that I live in because I’m a rich rock star. So I shoved the piano right though the side of the house. Then I proceeded to destroy the fireplace, knock all the windows out and trash the statue and everything. The damages were about $100,000. What’s wild is that the next day Erin went to the house and she trashed the three rooms I didn’t [People Magazine, November 1990].
To which Erin would comment,  "I had my own different reasons” [People Magazine, November 1990].

Axl also overdosed at some point due to his "relationship with [Erin] being so fucked up" [RIP, November 1992]. It is unclear when this OD happened and if it is one of those mentioned in an earlier chapter and that took place in 1987 and/or 1988. Axl also mentioned that in the Christmas of 1989 he was looking to score drugs to OD [RIP, September 1992], and it could be this was the event that was caused due to relationship issues with Erin.

Axl's arrest in relation to his issues with his neighbor caused new tension in Axl and Erin's relationship. As Erin would say, the arrest was "the last thing we needed. I was going through total pain. I’m physically and mentally sick right now" [People Magazine, November 1990].

Despite their issues, Axl was still planning to create a family with Erin in their house in the Hills:

I’m gonna try again with this baby thing and hope it will work out this time [MTV, October 1990].
In early 1991 the marriage was over [The Indianapolis News, February 1991]. In court papers quoted by Rolling Stone, Axl said that their relationship had been marked by "severe property damage, mutual acts of violence and humiliation and similar such activities" [The Indianapolis News, February 1991].

I am an artist and performer, and I sincerely believed Erin was my greatest inspiration. […] [Everly left for] weeks on end without notice. She made It quite clear by her actions and statements that she had no intention of complying with her promise to raise a family and be involved In a well-adjusted marital situation [The Indianapolis News, February 1991].
Rumors would abound about Axl's and Erin's relationship, including one involving spray-painting on the couple's garage [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. This rumor would be denounced by both Axl and Erin [TMZ, September 2012; Express, September 2012].

While Axl's relationship with Erin was unsteady, he was gradually reconnecting with his stepfather, and one item them bonded over was car stereos [Car Audio Electronics, August 1990].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:28 am

LAWSUITS


Litigation followed the band from the early days. The first known lawsuit was from former manager Vicky Hamilton. Hamilton sued the band to get back $ 10,000 she had invested in them when she was helping them out in the early days [Musician, December 1988]. Axl would comment on the decision to settle out of court:

We didn't want to go to court, pay lawyer fees, court expenses and shit, especially when I don't trust the law and judicial system. I don't need the hassle. I don't believe in the fuckin' law system. […] Poor Vicky might look great in front of a judge, and Guns N' Roses look like slime, so they should lose [RIP, April 1989].
Then the band's publicist Bryn Bridenthal would sue two members of Poison after they poured booze over him as retaliation for comments Slash had made about them in the press [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

In September 1987 it was indicated the band has "lawsuits slapped on them" and Duff would say that "all the lawsuits that have come about are totally unfounded” [Rock Scene, September 1987]. Izzy would embellish:

We have quite a few of them [=lawsuits] already, but our attorney says you’re not a real band until you have at least a dozen lawsuits, so we have about eight or more to go [Rock Scene, September 1987].
Axl would refer to the lawsuits in 1988:

Law is something that interests me, cause there's always someone that wants to sue you, so I like to know everything I can about it. So, I'll be learning as much as I can from him and maybe, eventually, one day that's something that I'll turn to, just because it's something that I want to know about [Rock Scene, June 1988].
If I'd gone on through school, I'd probably be a lawyer. Then I could take half the people who screw with me to court [Musician, December 1988].
In 1989, Axl would mention that they have had "some out-of-court settlements," one obviously being the Hamilton case [RIP, April 1989]. Slash would also comment on the lawsuits in 1989:

We've got lots of lawsuits pending, but I don't think it would be wise of me to state any names, or someone will hold it against me somehow. They're richer and more influential than we are, on the average." [Faces, June 1989].
In early 1990, Duff would say they had "people wanting to fucking sue you all the time" [Kerrang! March 1990].

In September 1990, it was reported that a photographer hired by MTV, Jeff Kravitz, sued the band when a bodyguard for the band had pushed him during the MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 1989. According to the suit, Kravitz had lost his footing resulting in a "sprained or strained back", causing “severe neck pain” and “massive headaches” and also "aggravated a previous injury to his elbow" [The Dispatch, September 1990].

After the St. Louis riot in July 1991, Axl would receive numerous lawsuits, many of which weren't settled until 1994 [see separate section for details].

Another high-profile lawsuit happened when Steven sued the band on July 19, 1991. In the suit he claimed members of the group forced him to use heroin, then made him quit the band while he was trying to kick the habit. He wanted the contract that led to him being fired, annulled and the band broken up so assets could be doled out to the members [AP/Vidette Messenger, July 1991]. See separate section for details on this lawsuit.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:28 am

NOVEMBER 1989-1991 - AXL'S FEUD WITH VINCE NEIL


The band members of Guns N' Rosses would frequently throw digs at their LA contemporaries, especially Poison and Motley Crue.

When the topic of Molet Crue comes up: The kids can tell the difference between their homogenized garbage and the stuff we play. Our music is a reflection of our lifestyle, not vice versa. It’s not a pose[The Calgary Herald, August 21, 1987].
This could likely just be considered a reflection of constructive competition between local bands, and in November 1987 Guns N' Roses would agree to open for Motley Crue on their tour, indicating that the contempt didn't go very deep or that it was more important to get a big tour than to separate themselves from bands they claimed to dislike.

The rivalry took a more personal and violent form in the next year, 1988, when, according to Alan Niven, Izzy had Vince Neil's (singer of Motley Crue) wife "ejected from a private room" at a local rock club, resulting in assault charges being filed and later dropped against Izzy [LA Times, September 1989]. Neil would later dispute this and claim "that [Izzy] had attempted to remove Neil's wife's clothing and later kicked her in the stomach" [LA Times, September 1989].

Then, in September 1989, Neil and Izzy had a brawl at the MTV's Video Music Awards (see earlier chapter).

In November 1989, Kerrang! would publish an interview with Neil where he would contest Alan Niven's recount of what happened at the MTV VMAs. In a later interview that the writer Mick Wall did with Axl and which was published over two issues of Kerrang! in April 1990, and would later feature as an unabridged version in his book "GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World", Wall would describe Axl indignantly reading quotes from Neil from the November issue of Kerrang!: "[Vince Neil] I just punched that dick and broke his fucking nose! Anybody who beats up on a woman deserves to get the shit kicked out of them. Izzy hit my wife, a year before I hit him" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]. According to Wall, Axl would hotly deny Neil's claims as reported in the Kerrang! interview and would challenge Neil to a fight over the matter [Kerrang! April 1990; Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

According to Wall, the contentious statements that Axl made regarding Neil was made before Wall had started the recording and so the comments must have been jotted down either when they occurred or from memory at a later time [Kerrang! April 1990; Loudersound, August 2017].

The interview as featured in Kerrang! is more volatile than the supposedly unabridged interview Wall would later published in his book. Wall also re-wrote parts of the interview. For instance, compare these two alleged quotes from Axl:

"I tell ya, man, it makes my blood boil when I read him saying all that shit about how he kicked Izzy’s ass. Turn the fuckin’ tape recorder on. I wanna set the record straight. I mean, when Vince did that, we were advised we could sue his ass off if we’d wanted to. But we said no, fuck it, who needs the grief? The guy’s a jerk. Fuck the courts, the guy needs a good ass-whippin’! And now I read this - we get Kerrang a little late here in LA - and I tell ya, he’s gonna get a good ass-whippin’, and I’m the boy to give it to him..... It’s like, whenever you wanna do it, man, let’s just do it. I wanna see that plastic face of his cave in when I hit him!" [Kerrang! April 1990]

"I don’t know. I’m pretty calm about it, actually. It’s kind of like, just whenever you wanna do, it man. Let’s just do it. I think it’s be fun. It's like, 'cos this way I can basically get away with it legally and everything, man. I can have a full-on brawl and get away with it. I don’t know, though, man, I don’t know if I wanna hit the guy with that plastic face. It’ll cave in..." [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

A phone conversation between Wall and Axl took place later in 1990, likely in March or April, where Axl was confronted by statements he had made towards Neil. Axl would reply, "I feel childish now about my comments, at the same time I’m still glad I said what I said. But I do feel a bit childish about it and I feel that my anger fell into what I believe is Nikki Sixx’s game of publicity" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

Regardless of whether Axl actually said the inflammatory things towards Neil that was published in Kerrang! and in Wall's book, they led to great hostility between not only Axl and Neil but also between the Guns N' Roses camp and the Motley Crue camp. And to a very public, and beloved by the media, feud between Neil and Axl.

In August 1990, MTV would air an interview with Axl where he would repeat his challenge to Neil, apparently fueled by Neil talking shit about the band:

No way. Haven’t patched-up anything. […] Well, I mean they think that I've read in the interviews of theirs that they feel that it’s like I'm just, you know, standing up for Izzy and stuff, but Vince should be careful what golf course is he's mouthing off about Axl on and who he is playing golf with, you know. When he goes out playing golf and mouths off about Axl - and he happens to be playing golf with people that work for me - stories come back. And he likes to put in magazines that he broke Izzy’s nose or, you know, and how Alan Niven wasn't even there, a manager or anything like that, and no one was around. I don't know, we didn't want to take it to court because it would be too much trouble and too much hassle but when, you know, Tom Petty’s security crew wants to be witnesses in court you, know... It's, you know, it's funny because Izzy is, like, going - ‘cause people think it's gonna happen sooner or later or whatever; and it’s like that Vince is now getting into it or something, you know - and Izzy laughs, because he's like, that guy had a full-on free shot, you know, and hit like a powder puff and it was like... (chuckles) So it's pretty scary if the guy thinks about a real hassle,. I put in in a magazine, you know, anytime he wants it, anywhere, Atlantic City, I don’t care. […] Put the money on it, you know. I don't care. And then he tried to turn it around and say the same thing, but, you know, the invitation is there; I'm easy to find. If you really want a hassle, you know, we can have it out [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].[/i]
The feud dragged on, and in August 1991, Entertainment Weekly would report that Neil had challenged Axl to a boxing match, to settle their feud "man to man" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

An early version of the song 'Double Talkin' Jive', which the author Nick Kent got to hear from an advance cassette tape while interviewer Izzy in July 1991, allegedly contained Axl going off on Neil:

"The sound of suitably raucous guitars heralds the beginning of the first track, the delightfully named 'Double Talking Jive Motherfucker', which showcases a performance of rare spleen from Rose who this time chooses to focus his wrath on chubby little Vince Neil, the "plastic-faced, pussy-assed" singer of rival L.A. 'bad attitude' icons Motley Crue" [VOX, October 1991].

It could be that Kent is mistaken, and that Izzy only told him that the song was written with Neil in mind.

A little bit later in August, as the band was in London for their concert at Wembley (August 31), Axl allegedly demanded that Montley Crue weren't played by a DJ at a party at the Conrad Hotel [Music Life, November 17, 1991].

In late November, possibly jokingly, Axl would claim he had challenged Neil to a match to the death:

Well, Vince Neil made his challenge and it was a publicity stunt, you know. And he was pretty much a puppet, who doesn’t really know how he got where he got. But, you know, there’s other people behind him that kinda put him up to something. And the situation I have with Vince Neil is not about a pay-per-view, it’s not about a publicity stunt. So I issued him a challenge [chuckles], I sent him a challenge, that, you know, wherever he wanted to fight to the death in another country, I’d pay for the round trip in a coffin. And I haven’t heard from him since [chuckles] […] But the real thing is pretty much with the people that are behind him, and they know who they are. And if they’ve got a problem, the offer stands with them too [Rockline, November 27, 1991].[/i]
Axl would throw digs at Motley Crue in 1992:

It just confuses me that we work as hard as we do to make the music that we make and that a lot of people here seem to enjoy. We don’t have tape decks rolling under the stage, we don’t have other people playing the parts we should be fucking playing underneath the stage. I mean, this is no Motley Crue show[Dayton, OH, USA, January 14, 1992].
Neil said he wanted to do a televised boxing match with Axl [Bobbie N' Sharise Sweet and Sour Hour, April 2019], but Axl wouldn't do it:

[...]I just see a lot of curiosity about this Motley Crue thing lately. The rest of the country gets real confused because they don’t know that we spent ten years in Hollywood watching those guys rip everybody else up. And if you’re curious why I don’t get in the ring with Vince, it’s because I’ll shoot Vince in the fuckin’ head. But Vince is not as stupid as he looks. He’s smart enough to pop up every now and then and say something in the press so that Motley Crue can make some money and hang on the GN’R’s cock tail. [?] But he’s not smart enough to do that by himself. Nikki Sixx tells him how to do these things. So, you know, I’ve been asked a lot. I just recently got asked by Rolling Stone, so that’s why I’m talking about this, because a lot of people apparently didn’t hear me when I said it. See, they wanna do a pay-per-view boxing thing. I’m not interested in taking any more money from you people to go in Motley Crue’s fuckin’ [?] So if Vince, or Nikki, or Tommy, or Mick, or all of them at the same time have a problem, they know my address. Or I’ll buy around your tickets and some coffins and we can go to the country [?] and we can fight to the death. And I’m serious. It’s stupid. I just wish these cockroaches would go away [...][San Diego, CA, USA, January 27, 1992].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:41 am

DECEMBER 1989-MARCH 1990 - THE MAKING OF THE FOLLOW-UP


This album is the album I’ve always been waitin’ on. Our second album is the album I’ve been waitin’ on since before we got signed. I mean, we were planning out the second album before we started work on the first one, you know? [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
-------------------------------------------------

After trying to record throughout 1989, the band came to a showdown at the Rolling Stones shows in October. After this, Slash went away for a month (likely to rehab) and when he returned in late November 1989 they were supposed to start working on the record, but Steven was in a bad state:

[…] so we played the Rolling Stones gigs to whip it out and actually play. And that brought us hack together. […] Then I took oft for a month and when I came back Steven wasn't ready. I booked this studio out here in Canoga Park and Steven wasn't ready for it, so it turned out to be a waste of money. At this point I'm very aware of what our financial situation is. You have to be. You're forced to be. So I cancelled the time in the studio [VOX, January 1991].[/i]
According to other sources [list them], the band finally went into the Mates Studio Rehearsals, and not in Canoga Park (likely Rumbo Studios; which they would end up using for the actual recording in 1990), in December 1989 to start pre-production of what would become the band's follow-up to 'Appetite for Destruction'.

In an interview after the American Music Awards in January 1990, Slash would say they had 35 songs but are doing 24 and that it would become a double album [Interview after AMA, January 1990]. The band would not disclose the title of the albums at this time, nor say they had decided upon them. In the end, the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums would contain 30 tracks, including 'My World' and two versions of 'Don't Cry'.

The same month Steven would be very positive about the progress:

The sound is great, the songs are coming together and we’re just really looking forward to get it out. […] But it’s coming on really well. We’re very pleased [MTV, January 1990].[/i]
In Kerrang! in March 1990, it is confirmed that the band has started working in the studio and Duff would again mention the 35 songs:

We have 35 songs for this next album. […] we got 35 songs that we’re absolutely proud of and, I tell you what, man, I don’t mean to brag, but my bass playing has gotten so much better. Slash’s guitar playing has gotten immense, immense! […] Axl’s voice had gone from, well on the last album, 'Appetite', it was great but he was just a kid learning how to use his voice. Now he’s like (Smacks right fist into the palm of left hand) he’s got it nailed man [Kerrang! March 1990].[/i]
Duff would also say they had booked the same studio they used to record 'Appetite for Destruction':

We’re going to the same studio we recorded ‘Appetite’ in, we’re gonna use the same producer [Mike Clink]. We’re using the same everything. The sound we got on the last album was so awesome, I mean, why change? I’m even using the same old amps and things [Kerrang! March 1990].[/i]
Yeah, just because we’re familiar with it. We could have chosen any studio we wanted, but it’s not that expensive, and we’re even using the smaller studio here, not the big one. We use the same room, the same producer [Mike Clink]. It’s like the ‘If the dog doesn’t bite you, why kick it in its ass’ theory [Raw Magazine, April 1990].[/i]
The magic about Mike [Clink] is, he gets on tape exactly what's being played. This is what rock 'n' roll recording is all about. It's simple, dry; that's it. Don't mess with it. Don't trigger any samples on it. I would never allow that to be done. Just record the band, live. We're not a studio band. He saw that, and we knew that, so you just press play and record. He got all our sounds perfectly [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].[/i]
And regarding the length of the record:

It will be a double album if we can last that long. We’ve got the studio booked open-ended, so we’ve got plenty of time. It just depends what shaper we’re all in after a couple of months [Kerrang! March 1990].[/i]
As far as name, Duff suggested "Girth" or Heinous" mentioning that they already had a song called "Girth" [Kerrang! March 1990]. "Girth" would later end up being renamed "Coma". In the beginning of 1990, Axl would mention "GN'R Sucks" and "BUY-product" as possible names [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

In an interview published in April 1990, Slash would confirm they were going for a double album and had 13 songs recorded with 16 or so more songs to record [Raw Magazine, April 1990].

Out of the 13 songs we’ve done, there’s about five old ones. If that. ‘Back Off Bitch’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Ain’t Going Down’. These were songs which could have surfaced on the first album, but we weren’t really working on them at the time. We were concentrating on the songs that came on that first album, so we saved them for later. Some of the new ones are ‘Coma’, ‘So Fine’, ‘Dead Horse’ and ‘Civil War’ [Raw Magazine, April 1990].[/i]
In January 1990, Axl was asked if his "Mr. Brownstone" speech at the first show with Rolling Stones in October the previous year had amounted to anything:

It way worked, man! ’Cos Slash is fuckin’ on like a motherfucker right now. And the songs are coming together, they’re coming together real heavy [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
When Axl was asked if the reason they had spent so much time, with the whole of 1989 not amounting to much, was only due to drug issues, he would answer:

Partly. But another reason things have been so hard in a way is this. The first album was basically written off Axl coming up with maybe one line and maybe a melody for that line or how I want to present that line, how I’m gonna say it or yell it or whatever, OK? And then we’d build a song around it. Or someone came up with one line, OK? On this, Izzy’s brought in eight songs - at least. Slash has brought in an album, I’ve brought in an album [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
And when asked to comment on the peculiarity of 1989:

Yeah, but if you look at it, it’s not peculiar at all. Because number one, we had to find a whole new way of working together, because everybody got successful. OK? And everybody’s had a dream that when they got successful they could do what they want. And so that ends up with Slash bringing in eight songs. It’s never been done before, Slash bringing in a song first and me writing words to it. I’ve done it twice with him before and we didn’t use either of those songs. Out of Slash’s choice. Now he’s got eight of them that I gotta write words to and they’re bad-assed songs! Meantime, I was working on, like, writing these ballads that I feel have really rich tapestries and stuff, and making sure each note in effect is right. […] ’Cos I also write with a lot of... whether I’m using a lot of instrumentation and stuff, I’ll still write with minimalism, right? But it has to be the right note and it has to be held in the right way and it has to have the right effect, you know? [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
It’s taken a lot of time to put together the ideas for this album. And... in certain ways nobody’s done what we’ve done. Come out with a record that captured, like, an essence of the Sex Pistols’ spirit, and stuff like that. And then got taken all the way... And no one’s followed it up. Well, we’re not gonna put out a fuckin’ record until we can, you know? That’s all. So we’ve been trying to build it up. And now it’s like, I’m writing the right words. And that’s just really started happening in the last month. And now, as of last week, I’m on a roll with the right words for Slash’s stuff. So it’s taken that long time to find ’em. And, you know, I hope the people are into it. I think that the audience has grown enough. Has grown with us. It’s been three years, they’ve gone through three years of shit too. So hopefully they'll relate to some new things [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
So band members were claiming that the recording was coming along nicely in the very beginning of 1990, in fact, Axl would say that the record would "hopefully be out by the summer" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

Axl would also mention that he wanted Jeff Lynne to collaborate on string arrangements for November Rain and "three of four possible other songs" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]. In July, later that year, Axl would mention to Howard Stern that he had then actually been in talks with Lynne about the "string arrangement for [November Rain]" but that "we got it right" [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990].

There’s, like, thirty-seven songs, and I know by the end of the record there’ll be forty-two to forty-five and I want thirty of them down. […] Well, a double record but a single 76-minute CD. OK? Then I want five B-sides – people never listen to B-sides that much – and that will be the backside of another EP. You know, we’ll say it’s B-sides. Plus, there should be four extra songs for an EP, if we pull this off, OK? So that’s the next record. And then there’s the live record from the tour... If we can pull this thing off, if we do this right, it’ll be five years before we have to make another album. […] And we can have five years to... It’s not so much like five years to sit on our asses. It’s like, five years to figure out what we’re gonna say next, you know? After the crowd and the people figure out how they’re gonna react to this album, and then the mental changes we will go through... […] This record will have seen us grown a lot. There’ll be some childish, you know, arrogant, male, false bravado crap on there, too. But there’ll also be some really heavy, serious stuff [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].[/i]
As planned from 1988 and 1989, the album was turning out to be more diverse than 'Appetite':

The new album is so diverse, and it goes to extremes that we haven’t really communicated to the people who listen to us. Maybe in concert, we’ve come close to it. It’s a lot heavier in concert than the ‘Appetite‘ album. We seem to be extreme in two ways. It’s really heavy or really mellow. There’s acoustics and horns and shit like that. […] But it’s going to be different. The songs are longer, and the lyrics are very serious. Very defined and very direct at certain issues. Very harsh. […] When we did ‘Appetite...’, I didn’t think it was going to be commercial, but it was. So I don’t know what this will do in that sense. It doesn’t sound like a commercial album to me [Raw Magazine, April 1990].[/i]
Yeah, there’ll be, um, there’ll be a few acoustic things. There'll be some songs that are acoustic going into electric back to acoustic, and stuff like that. I actually play guitar on a couple songs for the first time (laughs). I only play two strings but it's some pretty cool punk rock type stuff (chuckles). [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].[/i]


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:42 am

GEFFEN RECORDS GROWS IMPATIENT


By now Geffen Records would be well used to the band moving slowly. 'Appetite' had taken longer than planned, partly resulting in the release of the EP Live? Like A Suicide. And now the follow-up to 'Appetite' was taking much longer than what the label wanted. The label saw the need to release quickly while the band enjoyed immense success from 'Appetite,' but writing and recording was a very slow process and again the label decided to release an EP, 'GN'R Lies'. Still, the band was far from having the follow-up ready and they started re-releasing singles.

Well, you can took at it from the point of view that ‘AFD’ is two years old, but it you recall the LP only really began to take off about a year ago, so in those terms it’s not that old. One thing all of the band are pissed off with, though, is the fact that Geffen Records have seen fit to re-release ‘Sweet Child...’ again in the UK. Why? We certainly weren’t consulted on this state of affairs and whilst I know that the label don’t need our permission to put out anything as a single from our LPs, nonetheless it seems to us that they’re milking the fans. And I just hope that we don’t get the blame [Raw Magazine, July 1989].[/i]
In June 1991, Axl would indicate that the label had suggested release dates:

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]
In November:

But, you know, there’s a business and they might not necessarily understand where the artist is coming from. And, you know, they want to do their job and get a record out; and if they’re excited about something, you know, they just might get like, I don’t know, too excited and and try to make it happen too fast. And it was like, there was no way for us to actually put a deadline on trying to achieve a certain feeling with our album. And so sometimes things got a little bit messy [Rockline, November 27, 1991].[/i]
Talking about going on tour in 1991 before the recoding was complete:

It broke the record company's stride! It didn't break ours. We were happy. They kept saying, "When are we gonna see that record, guys?" Our attitude was, "We don't know. When it's done, it's done" [Guitar World, February 1992].[/i]
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:43 am

JANUARY 22, 1990 - DRUNKS AT THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS


After a troubling 1989, 1990 started well with the band winning two awards at the American Music Awards, the first was for favorite heavy-metal group the other for best heavy-metal album, "Appetite for Destruction."

Slash and Duff, obviously under the influence, accepted the awards. During one of their acceptance speeches Slash uttered the word "fuck" twice and the broadcast was cut. ABC had to apologize: "We regret that last night's live telecast of the American Music Awards contained some offensive language. This has not happened before in the 17 years this awards show has been on the air. We will take precautionary measures to see that it does not happen in future telecasts" [Los Angeles Times, January 1990].

I said 'Ooops'... I know that things like this add to our image. I understand that now, but still - who cares? […] We don’t calculate this shit. We’re not creating a hype. I can’t figure us out, so why analyze it? I reckon it’s just that our lives are a whole lot deeper than the press can print on a fucking page [Raw Magazine, April 1990].
It's not that big a deal. If people were offended by a few swear words that everybody says every day, well, in the whole scheme of things, who cares? At least we didn't have some contrived (bleeping) speech. It was real and that's what the band is about [The Seattle Times, July 1991].
Slash would later recall what happened:

The fucking music awards…What happened was I got this phone call the day of the show asking if I wanted to go. We were nominated for two awards, and someone from the band needed to accept if we won. So me and Duff and our girlfriends all got drunk and flipped on down there after a stop at Carl Jrs. When we arrived, it was mass confusion, the whole paparazzi thing. I really didn’t give a shit; I just wanted to hang out and have a good time. Anyway, we had third-row seats, and the show was real cheesy and boring. We were smoking and drinking wine, and all of a sudden we won this award. We weren’t ready for it. I don’t know what I said onstage, but it was short and sweet. I don’t think there were too many “fucks” in it. Then we went backstage. I met Lenny Kravitz, which was cool, but Prince blew us off. He and his entourage just ignored us when we walked by. He didn’t say anything, and he probably didn’t know who we were. I don’t think we’re what he’d call good company, and I really didn’t care. He looked like a fag that night anyway. Afterward, we went back to our seats, and when the second award came, it was totally unexpected. I got up to the microphone and started to thank the people who helped us out over the years. I said “fucking” again, and I knew it was live television, so I said, “Oops.” But it just slipped out again and again and again. Once I started, that was it. It was just like using an adjective. […] I wasn’t really drunk. All I had was wine. I had, like, two glasses of wine during the show, and I wasn’t that fucked up. That’s just me — really, you have to know how I am, especially when I’m in a crowd of people. All this attention is focused on you, and I get very shy. I don’t know why, but I can’t approach a public situation like that without loosening up. That night, I didn’t wear my hat, I didn’t have a guitar to hide behind, and I wasn’t performing. You walk into one of these places, and you feel almost like you’re being X-rayed. Besides, I sort of wanted us to be the fuckups there, because everybody else was so polite and stiff and unnatural. We were trying to have a good time, and I think out of all the people there, we were the only ones who weren’t putting on a façade [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
The swearing on national TV made some radio stations boycott the band's music [Detroit Free Press, May 1991], yet Slash was not apologetic:

I think it was the funniest thing that happened during the whole show. It was a really stiff awards show. It was really a bore. I tried to make it a good time. It slipped out. I was a little nervous. They called me up and asked me to do the awards again this year [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
For the 1992 awards Slash's appearance would be pre-taped due to him being on tour [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:45 am

MARCH 1990 - GEFFEN RECORDS IS ACQUIRED BY MCA INC.


In March 1990, Los Angeles Times reported that Geffen Records had been sold to MCA Inc. The sole owner of Geffen Record, David Geffen, received stock options in MCA worth about $550 million [Los Angeles Times, March 1990].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:46 am

MARCH 1990 - DIZZY JOINS THE BAND


Axl would announce that they had got a piano player in the band in early 1990:

But here is new news. There is a new member of GN’R. […] Erm, a guy named Dizzy. […] Dizzy. D-I-Z-Z-Y. […] We just call him Dizzy. But he’s the sixth member of Guns N’ Roses. He’s our keyboard player and piano player. […] He was in a band out here called The Wild. And he used to be our next-door neighbour. He was actually asked to join three or four years ago. But the very same day that we decided we were gonna ask Dizzy to join the band he was in a car wreck and had his hand smashed, so he had to get pins and stuff put in it. Then he came into rehearsal a few months ago and played three songs that he’d never heard before, songs that we didn’t even plan having piano in, that were heavy metal. But he put heavy metal piano into it, you know? And it was amazing. […] So the other day, Monday, I found out he was going to be put out on the streets... no, it was a Sunday night. So I called Alan on Monday and I said, secure this guy, hire him, write up the contracts. Put him on salary and give him an advance so he can get an apartment. So now we have a piano player... [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Dizzy would explain how he had called Axl and told him he was about to be vacated from his apartment where he couldn't pay the rent:

Having a keyboard player in the band was something they talked to me about a long time ago. I never really thought it would happen. I go "Dude I'm starving. As of tomorrow I'll have no phone, no apartment, no food, no nothing and if you guys need to know where to get a hold of me I can't tell you where I'm gonna be [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
The next day Axl called him and told him he was in the band:

Basically, they fuckin' saved my life [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I was doing this thing called “the couch tour” and it was like getting (?), I was, like, squatting in this apartment. And I had, like, one day left, and the phone was getting turned off, and they’re gonna make sure that, you know, we always have your number. And I was just like, I had no money, no food, nothing to drink; like, there’s no furniture in this joint, right? Finally, I got ahold of Axl and go, “Dude, man, it’s like, tomorrow there’s not gonna be a place to get ahold of me.” Quite frankly, man, I was starting to give up hope, you know, on the L.A. scene and the L.A. life. It’s just like it’d be really tough. […] The next day I got a call, and he said, “Dude, congratulations, you’re in the band.” […] I said, “Let me sleep on that." (laughs). […] I think that all it has to do is just a hope. You can’t give up hope, and you can’t give up your dreams. […] Giving up is too easy, you know. It’s something I always wanted. I never actually thought that I would be in the band, you know. But, I mean, six years later, here I am [Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993].
The band would also formally tell their fan base that Dizzy was in the band in May 1990 through the official fan club newsletter, but say that he was "employed" and that he might "become a full-time member" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Getting Dizzy in the band was obviously Axl's decision and not enthusiastically appreciated by the rest of the band:

…Another thing Axl had been working on. One day Dizzy came down to our rehearsal. He must have had a terrible time, 'cos everyone ignored him for two weeks. I tried to be friendly. I'd say: 'Hey man, how's it going? I don't know what we're doing either! We've just been in this studio for the last two years and we're supposed to be making a record or something. By the way, do you have a keyboard?' - 'cos the guy didn't even own a fuckin' instrument. After a few weeks I said to him: 'Hey man, seeing as we're Guns N' Roses, maybe someone can lend you a keyboard or we can get you an endorsement or something'. In fact, the guy's turned out to be a really cool addition [VOX, October 1991].
Slash would admit to giving Dizzy a hard time:

I had to get used to the idea. At first I thought, "We don't need no stinking keyboards!", and I really gave Dizzy a hard time. He was the new guy, and I would be like, "You screwed up there. Just don't play." Now he's really part of the band and I love him to death. But he probably remembers how bad it was at first. […] Now, I think the keyboards are great, especially live. They give as many more expressive options [Guitar World, February 1992].
Regarding the challenge of joining Guns N' Roses:

To me it’s just as anything else. I just looked at it as another challenge. And it’s like, if I can pull this off, I could definitely do anything (chuckles) MTV, May 1991].
In a press release from Geffen in 1991, it was said that Dizzy was included to "give some additional color to the sound" [Geffen Press Release, September 1991].

There are signs indicating that Dizzy may not have been considered a band member of equal stature as the rest of the guys. Izzy's story above about how Dizzy had been given a cold shoulder at the first rehearsals attests to that. Whereas Matt was quickly embraced, other band members seemed more lukewarm towards Dizzy. When Duff mentioned how they would rehearse for the Rock in Rio shows, he mentioned Matt but not Dizzy [Special TV, 1991]. And when Duff was talking about how the Rock in Rio gigs would be the debut for Matt, Dizzy was mentioned almost in a side-sentence [Special TV, 1991].

The difference in how Dizzy and Matt was welcome can probably be explained by Axl thrusting Dizzy upon the rest of the band members while Dizzy was Slash and Duff's choice, and disagreement on whether they really needed a keyboard player.

Being asked if Dizzy was brought in to add a dimension to their music, Slash would answer:

No, we just did cuz we wrote the songs that way. You know? [MTV, May 1991].
In May 1991, Dizzy would talk about fitting in the band:

I'm lucky enough that Axl has a really good... You know, he wrote a lot of the songs on piano and stuff, so he has a really good concept of keyboards in music and whatnot. And to me it’s just as anything else. I just looked at it as another challenge. And it’s like, if I can pull this off, I could definitely do anything (chuckles) [MTV, May 1991].
In July 1991, the journalist Nick Kent who wrote an article for VOX that was released in October, and who hung out with the band backstage before their July 19 show at Mountain View in California, would comment that Dizzy "still looks a bit lost in the midst of it all" [VOX, October 1991].

Around the same time Slash would deny Dizzy being a fully-fledged members of the band because he hadn't been in the band long enough (yet say that Matt was, despite having been in the band for about equally long), and also imply that bringing in Dizzy had been all Axl's idea:

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 [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
In May 1993, while being interviewed on a boat together with Matt and Duff, Dizzy would be asked how he had been fitting into the band:

Well, it’s been three years now. I think if I hadn’t settled in I probably wouldn’t be on this boat [The O-Zone BBC, May 31, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:46 am

DIZZY BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


Dizzy was born on June 18, 1963.

The band members knew Dizzy from their early days in Hollywood when Dizzy played in a band called 'The Wild' and used to hang out at the Gardner place. Slash would refer to him as an "almost pseudo-roommate" [MTV, May 1991].

Slash: "Dizzy's an old friend of the band's, too. When Guns were all living in one room off of Sunset, he was in the room next door with his band. We used to have big parties in the parking lot. We always liked him" [Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].

But where Guns N' Roses enjoyed success, Dizzy's bands went nowhere and 6 years after having met the guys, Dizzy hadn't "made a penny playing music" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

At some point he was considered for touring and recording with the band:

Dizzy: "I was supposed to do some shows with the band [before Appetite], and I think some recording too. But, a couple of days before the first show, I kind of got a little car accident. […] I got, like, a big toe instead of a thumb now. […] It made [playing the piano] a little difficult at first, but, you know, when your life is depending on it for whatever, you figure out a way to do it" [In Your Face, October 1992].

If true, this would imply that the band, or perhaps only Axl, considered adding keyboards to their first record.

Dizzy: "[…] it was after Guns moved out and I was still with The Wild. And Mary’s band moved in to the same little studio, and we’d been living there for a year-and-a-half, and there was no shower – there was, like, a faucet in the parking lot of a hose. […] We never thought about building a shower. She moved in and in, like, one day she sets up a shower. Like, she goes to the hardware store, comes back with all the stuff - the tools and everything - and sets up a shower; and she hooks it up to the faucet out in this parking lot and puts, like, a crate there to stand on. And I was like, “Woah, no way, I’ve got a shower! How could we never thought of that?” Like a year-and-a-half later, right? And so, I was so excited, man. I just stripped down naked and cruised over there. So it’s just in the middle, it’s out in the open, and I’m standing there naked taking a shower (laughs). This other girl (?) is around and I’m just like, “Hi, how you doing? Alright” (laughs). And then, like two minutes later, Mary pulled up the stuff and then she went to the store to build the curtain (laughs)" [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:48 am

EARLY 1990 (?) - THE STEVEN AND ERIN DRUG CONTROVERSY


At some point in the first half of 1990, an incident happened between Axl, Erin and Steven, probably alluded to in the bold parts of the quote below:

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

I even forgave [Steven] after he nearly killed my wife. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit because her heart had stopped thanks to Steven. She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine? I kept myself from doing anything to him. I kept the man from being killed by members of her family. I saved him from having to go to court, because her mother wanted him held responsible for his actions [RIP, October 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:51 am

APRIL 1990 - STEVEN IS PUT ON PROBATION


During 1989 and early 1990, Steven's increasing heroin and crack use made him unreliable and this affected the band's work on the Use Your Illusions:

Steven [...] was beginning to get erratic. His participation in rehearsals and writing and recording sessions became less frequent, and his ability to perform suffered big-time [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 162].
It's been over the course of years where we just had little problems here and there and then it got to be major and it held the band back for a while. Finally it came down to `it's either going to f*** up the whole band's career and everybody as an individual or we're going to have to make a decision about this [VOX, January 1991].
We had recorded like 18 tracks for the Use Your Illusion I record with Steven and it just wasn’t happening. […] We put him through rehab like three times. I even went to his drug dealer’s house and threatened him with a gun and said, ‘Dude, if you ever...’ [Circus Magazine, November 1991].
As Slash would say it, "his chops were all over the place" [Musician, December 1990].

Slash would describe how Steven changed:

Steven is about as rock & roll a personality as you can get. All he lived for was sex, drugs and rock & roll — in that order. Maybe drugs, sex and rock & roll. Then it was drugs and rock & roll. Then it was just drugs [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
According to Slash, he was also lying and deceiving the band:

And he was lying to us on a daily basis. I was trying to talk some sense into him but it never happened. He wouldn't listen to anybody—none of us will! And Axl and Duff had had it. […] As amazing as it seems in this `drug-free' exercise and health age, there's a bunch of us who are still clinging fast to the late '60s and '70s. But Steve never grew up to the fact that it's not all just sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. To him it was a big fantasy and we took care of him. And now he's on his own [Musician, December 1990].
See, [Steven] never quite made it to that growing-up period that the rest of us went through. It was always just a big game for him—fun all the time. That's a rock and roll attitude, which I've always appreciated, but Steven was just out there [on drugs], and I had just come back from that. So he couldn't lie to me about it. But he still kept trying to lie [Guitar World, February 1992].
At some point before April 1990, Steven was out of the band, resulting in the band testing out the drummers Adam Maples [from Sea Hags] and Martin Chambers [from The Pretenders], and this was reported in the media. But Steven was only to be let back in again:

[Steven] is back in the band. […] He was definitely out of the band. He wasn’t necessarily fired. We worked with Adam Maples, we worked with Martin Chambers. Then Steven did the Guns N’ Roses thing and got his shit together. And it worked. He did it. And Steven plays the songs better than any of ’em. He’s just bad-assed and he’s GN’R. And so, if he doesn’t blow it, we’re gonna try the album with him... and the tour [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
When we went to try out drummers, I got really depressed, because it's hard, especially for me, as I used to play drums. I know what goes through a drummer's head, and I know how it should be. It was really scary, 'cause Steven was the drummer since the beginning of the band. We're used to our style. […] [The drummers] tried out with Slash and I. Since our albums weren't out, we'd usually have them learn "Jungle," "Brownstone," maybe "Paradise City"-things that they might be familiar with [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].
Rumors about Steven being about to leave Guns N' Roses were widely reported and the band addressed this in their May issue of the fan club newsletter by saying Steven is "definitely a band member" and that he was "winning his battle with hard drugs" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Slash would comment on the possibility of Maples replacing Steven:

The guy from the Sea Hags was a really cool guy, and we got along, but he just didn’t have the right vibe [Rolling Stone, January 1991].
And later Slash and Duff would say that none of these replacements were good enough:

And we went through a few people and it just wasn’t clicking and it was getting really frustrating [MTV, September 1991].
We tried Martin Chambers from the Pretenders and that wasn’t happening, and a few other people. Drummers are the hardest part of the band to find. Especially with this band because it’s like totally a family, so we had to find somebody that’s like a bro [Circus Magazine, November 1991].
The quote also suggests the band considered using Adam Maples and Martin Chambers to both get the record finished and to replace Steven for the upcoming touring. Maples would to the recording and Chambers the touring [Hot Metal, May 1990].

To try to get Steven into sobering up, the band then presented Steven with a probation agreement in which Steven would refrain from drugs. This agreement also reduced his position in the band from "partner" to "employee" and the contract would end after 30 days, basically implying that Steven would have to be re-hired after this period, and put on another employee contract, to continue his job in Guns N' Roses, or, as Axl implies, get his partnership back:

You know, we worked out a contract with [Steven]. He’s going to do the album and, if he doesn’t blow it, then he’s going to do the tour. Then if he doesn’t blow that he’s fully reinstated [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
According to Steven, the agreement was signed a week before their Farm Aid concert [Circus Magazine, October 1991], which would have made it in early April 1990.
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