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THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:33 pm

NOVEMBER 25, 1992 - ESCAPING A COUP IN VENEZUELA


In July 1992, Axl and Matt would discuss ambitious plans for continued touring:

Hopefully we’ll go off and on till about next May. Because, you know, hopefully in December and stuff we will be doing South America and things like that, and then we’d like to try to do some really strange places like, we’re working on China, so who knows. […] I’d like to play China, I’d like to play Israel, I’d like to play Moscow... [MTV, July 12, 1992].
The future is very hard to say. We’ve got this tour going on right now and we’re gonna, you know, probably go out again in January and do Japan and South America and Australia. You know, you never know what’s gonna happen with this band. I pretty much – I wake up in the morning, turn on MTV and, you know, I find out (chuckles) [MTV, July 13, 1992].
In October 1992 it was clear the band would be touring South America:

The hysteria that’s going on in South America about us coming over there is sort of apparently unequal; like, we sold an amazing amount of tickets at an amazingly fast amount of time compared to the acts that usually go over there. So, we’re just going to South America. I don’t know if we’re gonna call back and say, you know, “This is where we’re at.” I mean, because that’s a whole different country altogether and you just want to just go and focus on playing there. So, we’ll see how things develop. I don’t know if anybody in the States is gonna hear from us for a while. I mean, I think everybody’s probably sick of us at this point anyway, so, yeah, they'll be glad to let us go away for a while (laughs) [MTV, October 1992].
The tour that never ends. Next stop is South America, and from what I understand we’re playing, like, Bogota, and Lima, Buenos Aires...[…] It’s gonna be interesting. Hopefully they’ll check the plane before we take off every time (laughs). For bombs [In Your Face, October 1992].
For at least some of the South American dates Brian May would be the opener [MTV Brazil, December 12, 1992].

The first show of the tour took place in Caracas, Venezuela on November 25, 1992. While in Venezuela, Duff would be asked about which country of the tour would be the most difficult one:

Well, I would think some place like Colombia, but this is just me and what I’ve heard from people that have been there, like our crew that’s been there like a week or so. Colombia is probably the least used to having a big show like this. But, I mean, we’re looking forward to every country. I don’t look at any one country as being the most difficult, you know. We’re gonna do the best we can anywhere that we go in the world, you know, as far as that goes. […] and we’ve been to South America before. I mean, we hadn’t stopped in Venezuela. But we were there for two and a half weeks, we kind of got somewhat of a little bit of culture, as much as we could, at least. But yeah, I mean, the promoters down here sent us the whole booklet of, like, each country – what to kind of expect. But you have to live it to really, like – you can’t read what actually a country is gonna be like; so, for us to study it, as you say, it doesn’t have any worth like to actually being here, the real thing [Televen, November 26, 1992].
Talking about the show:

But the kids, like, really appreciated us and it was great [Telefe, December 4, 1992].
Two days after this show there was an attempted coup in Venezuela [USA Today, December 1, 1992].

[We] found ourselves in the middle of sudden political unrest when we did a show in Caracas, Venezuela. [...] We were scheduled to play the biggest concert in the history of the country, and since there wasn’t a venue large enough to hold the forty-five thousand ticket holders, the promoter created one in a huge parking lot. It was an amazing show, and all went off well …until the next night, when the country experienced a sudden military coup just after we left for Colombia. We made it out, but a few of our crew, and over half our gear, did not—they got held up in the chaos at the airport [Slash: The Autobiography, Harper Collins, 2007]
We noticed a lot of military people there—we noticed there was nobody but military people, but we thought, 'oh well, that's the way it goes [Rip It Up, January 1993].
There were some scary moments [at the tour]. We escaped a coup in Caracas by two hours. The airport was bombed two hours after we left it [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:34 pm

NOVEMBER 29, 1992 - TROUBLE IN COLOMBIA


Next the band travelled to Bogota, Colombia, for a show on November 29. The fan hysteria in Bogota was extreme:

And the kids, they’re starving for it. You know, they’re just like, “Give one good day in the week to go out and watch a rock ‘n’ roll band" [Telefe, December 4, 1992].
In Bogota, Columbia, it was really hectic. You needed about two vans of security people just to move around. It was a
nightmare
[Hit Parader, June 1993].
According to Craig Duswalt, Axl's personal assistent at the time, Axl refused to do the show:

Axl came into my room, still dressed in his shorts, and told me that he’s not doing the show tonight. And after dropping that bombshell, he headed back to his room. […] Doug proceeded to tell me that there were about 80,000 people squeezed into a stadium that might fit 50,000. I might be exaggerating these numbers, and maybe Doug might have been as well, but you get the idea. If we cancelled at this last minute there would be a lot of pissed-off people.

Doug also reminded me that he’d just spoken with the police, and if Axl didn’t arrive in the next fifteen minutes, they would make an announcement to the audience that the show was cancelled, and that they would not restrain the fans from destroying the stage.

My stress level reached new heights.

I’m a regular guy from a small town in Long Island and suddenly I was responsible for getting Axl Rose to a concert, otherwise equipment would be destroyed, and there was a good chance that people would die.

I had never told Axl that he had to do a show. But I knew I had to do it that night. It was not going to be a great conversation. I could tell when Axl walked into my room that he was not in a good mood. Something must have happened. […]

I grabbed the key to Axl’s room, knocked on his door, and without waiting for an answer, opened his door with the key.

Axl was sitting on his couch in his dimly lit room.

“Axl, you have to do the show. If we’re not there in fifteen minutes, they’re going to release the audience, and Natasha [Craig's wife] is backstage, and so is your sister, Amy. Let’s go.” And much to my surprise, he only said, “Fine.” He headed to his bedroom to get dressed
[Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014].
And while Duswalt was struggling with Axl the crew had been fighting the weather to prepare the stage, and the bad weather continued during the show:

The crew arrived and began to feverishly set up for a delayed Bogotá show. Then, after a huge rainfall, pooled water on the roof collapsed the stage. The crew started over with what was left. The day of the rescheduled show arrived. It rained and rained. It continued to rain during the show. Then, as Axl played the opening chords of “November Rain,” the sun broke through the clouds. Everyone in the audience crossed themselves. After the song, the rain began again. [It's So Easy (and other lies): The Autobiography, Orion, 2011]
When we were in Bogota, Columbia, it started raining during 'November Rain', and the crowd lost their minds. That city deserved to have that happen more than any place else in the world, because 'November Rain' was Number One for 60 weeks. Singing in the rain. It was a very special moment. We all got very happy about it, because we were having a miserable time in Bogota. There's big hotels and armed security everywhere [Raw Magazine, 1993].
For unknown reasons, the show was cut short:

We had to quit the show in Bogota early the other night-and that's only the third show we've had to cut short for technical reasons or riots, or whatever-and that bothered us a great deal [Hit Parader, June 1993].
The band was originally intended to play a second show in Bogota, but that didn't happen:

We were to play two nights (Friday and Saturday) in Bogota. After playing a Thursday show in Caracas Venezuela, we flew into Bogota only to find out there had been a coupe attempt in Caracas, which closed the airport, meaning our gear was being held back.

The promoters tried to talk me into giving back half the money and just playing the Saturday show. I blatantly told them “No way”, that we would play on the Saturday and Sunday!! The promoters opted for one show on Saturday. We played the show and there were at least 30,000 fans trying to gain access into the building. Cops on horseback were deployed and they were hitting fans over the head!

The band started playing “November Rain”, and the rain started pouring down in the roofless stadium. The fans who couldn’t get in ravaged the streets looting the shops in town!

At about 7am, I heard a knock on my door. I got up and there was a soldier who stuck a machine gun in my chest. I read the note (which was written in Spanish), and it said I have a mandatory meeting with the mayor at 3pm. I told him I would let Mr. Goldstein know as soon as he got back!

I called my U.S. Embassy security guy and asked him to come to my room. I asked him what the letter meant, and he told me what I had assumed. There was no meeting — they were going to kidnap me and hold me until we returned half the money. We woke up the security guys and had them get the entourage together and hauled ass to the airport!
[https://wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/doug-goldstein-guns-n-roses-manager-for-17-years-recalls-harrowing-escape/].
We were supposed to play two nights in Bogotá, Colombia, after [Caracas], but without that huge cargo crate of equipment, it wasn’t really an option. The promoter decided to roll both nights into one show, to take place the next night, so we had a day off to relax in our hotel. [...] During our stay, word got out to the authorities that we had drugs, so, in another move typical of South America, the authorities got “warrants” to search our rooms, in hopes of finding something that might require us to buy them off, I imagine. The day of the show, the cops barged in on all of us. I had nothing; they came in, guns drawn, and found me, freshly showered, in a towel playing pinball. “Oh, hey,” I said. “Hi!” They showed me the warrant and started searching my room. I was pretty jovial as they tore through my stuff. “Señor, is it okay if I keep playing?” I asked.

The show that night—November 29, 1992—was pretty magical; it was one of those moments that you can’t believe is happening even as you watch it all unfold, even as you’re a part of it. There was a torrential rainstorm the entire day before as our crew set up; the weight of the water buckled the stage roof (which wasn’t ours), sending a lighting rig crashing to the ground. Luckily, no one was hurt. The whole stage had to be redesigned. Then the day of the show, a sudden storm damaged some of our equipment. Despite more rain, people filled the arena and were lined up outside, where fights broke out, a few cars were burned, and the police had to use tear gas to calm everyone down.

When we took the stage sometime around eleven p.m., the place went crazy. We were playing really well, and the rain had held off throughout the first hour of our set until we played “November Rain.” As we started that song, literally on cue, the sky opened and it poured once again. It was one of those massive tropical downpours where one drop can fill a coffee cup. It was coming down in a black mist that mixed with the steam rising off of the audience. I could barely see through the clouds that formed in the arena; the people were a sea of silhouettes. It was very dramatic and very beautiful; it felt as if they and the band were one. The audience was as moved as we were—they were into it, truly passionate. It rained so hard that we finished the song then we had to break until the storm passed, and once it did, we came back on and gave it everything we had
[Slash: The Autobiography, Harper Collins, 2007].
That night, more news: a coup had been launched in Venezuela. An air-force pilot named Luis Reyes Reyes and his co-conspirators were able to wrest control of most of the country’s air bases by the morning of November 27. Our cargo planes were grounded. McBob and the rest of the crew were stuck.

The next morning a bomb went off near our Bogotá hotel. Then Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar told the press that we were his friends and that he was supplying us with a bunch of cocaine. He was already in hiding then as a result of American pressure (we never met him), and I guess he was just sticking it to the U.S. government, using us to have some fun. [...] At some point that next day, I went to leave my hotel room. Outside my room stood a machine-gun-toting soldier. He motioned me back inside. I was—we were—under house arrest. Oh, shit. I didn’t know what to do. I spent the day stewing. What are we going to do now? At least there was booze. That evening there was a knock at my door. I opened it. The hallway was dark. The soldier was gone. Instead there was a guy in a suit—also carrying a machine gun. “Yayo?” he said. I had learned this was slang for coke in South America. “Yayo?” I slammed the door and locked it. Shit. I’m being set up. I just know it. I picked up the hotel phone. Who did I know who could help? Who could call somebody? I didn’t want to scare my mom. Then it hit me: my dad. He’d been a fireman. He must know people at city hall in Seattle. I dialed my dad. It went through. “Dad, I don’t know who else to call,” I said. “It’s all gone terribly wrong. I’m in a hotel room in Bogotá with an armed guard out front. I don’t know if they’re going to let us out. I don’t know if they’re going to let us play the show—if our planes even get here. And I don’t know what will happen if we don’t play the show. I’m really worried. Is there anyone you can call?” I have no idea what my dad did, but the U.S. consul soon showed up on the scene. The atmosphere lightened. The armed guards disappeared
[It's So Easy (and other lies): The Autobiography, Orion, 2011]
We were in Bogota, Colombia, and somebody bombed the hotel we were at [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
As the result of the rioting following the cancelled second show in Bogota, which results in 20 people injured and damages worth an estimated $165,000, authorities banned rock concerts "indefinitely" [The Age, December 4, 1992].

The local concert promoter, Julio Correal, would later recall the story:

So I was the manager of this Guns N’ Roses show Back in '92, in Bogotá. The whole country, actually, was very violent, a real mess, it was - you know? It was Colombia. It was an adventure. Pablo Escobar was around, marihuana and cocaine, you know... But "El Meneíto" ["Meneaíto" - dancehall song] was being played everywhere in Bogotá. "El Meneíto, el Meneíto". That was very hot in Bogotá back then. And with that in mind, I was persuading El General, who was the best performer of ""El Meneíto". 88.9 radio station manager, Fernando Pava [and me], we both knew a businessman who, back in the day, was the most famous show planner of Colombia: Armín Torres. And also another businessman called Felipe Santos, brother of Juan Manuel Santos [former president of Colombia]. I vividly remember that I went to Armín Torres' place. He was staying in Torre Bavaria. “Hey! My big guy! I managed to get El General, dude! We're gonna make it big!” Then he confidently looks at me and says, "Really, huh?" He was trying to bring something up, you know. So I thought, "He's up for something." "Just look at this, man. Guns N' Roses!" And I'm like, "What! No freaking way, dude! Oh god! Show me the fax messages, please!" And effectively, the fax message included "Bogotá, Colombia", the date, everything! And I'm like, "Oh Lord!" Then I remember that I told him, "Dude, schedule two shows."

We signed the contract and started to sell the tickets. Everything was awesome. I already spotted a couple of Ferraris for me, some stage kits and other things. The second payment was due and we needed to pay the money. And one of the Armin Torres' businessmen said, "I don't have that money! You’re on your own, guys." The other guys got mad: "What! You bastard!" and they were trying to beat him up. Everyone else was like, "Hey! Calm down!" Anyway, we did the payment on time. We kept on pushing, but now it was like – let’s say that we weren’t really cool after that.

One day, a friend of mine called me at 6 a.m. and he says, "Dude, you really are in a bad streak." He says, "There is a coup (d' etat) going on in Venezuela right now." Guns N' Roses, their plane and all their show equipment were stuck there. And I'm like, "No way." They got a show in Caracas and Hugo Chávez orchestrated a coup around the same date. The airports were closed. After we were told about it, the most important thing that we needed and didn't have in Colombia was the stage roof. We sent a person to Miami to rent a stage roof. He brought it, and we started to set it up on Wednesday. The things around Venezuela got calm and the plane could now take off to Colombia. And so the Gunners arrived in their private jet.

When the band arrived, I went to the airport and witnessed an incredible mess. There were around 5,000 fans waiting for Guns N' Roses. We saw the vans cut through to get to the band. Then, when they tried to leave, the people around were jumping over them. They didn't plan this out. People were actually jumping over the Guns N' Roses vans. The security guard took action by taking out his revolver, rolled down a window and shot his gun twice in the air, bam-bam. And I was like, "Oh my God. What the fuck is happening right now!" So I thought, "Shit, if this is happening at the airport, I can’t imagine what the hell is happening at their hotel." So we went there and we found almost 500 fans out there by the hotel's entrance. The band arrived and Axl Rose got out with his girlfriend; and the poor girl was pulled from her hair, Axl as well, and they grabbed her ass. Plus, the band was already drunk, so they decided to go into the bar Chispas.

When they arrived that night, the same day at around 12:00 the roof of the concert had fallen down. I remember very well arriving with Felipe Santos, and entering the stadium through the back, and seeing the whole roof sitting on top of the stage, and I just said, "Dude..." and we started crying. Then the stage falls over the roof, so now, not only did we lose the roof, the lights also went to shit. So we were there having an open concert without any roof. Without a roof over the stage, the second day of the concert had to be canceled. And I remember very well coming into the bar Chispas, and fetching the manager to sit down with him, and we said: "Hey dude, it appears we will only do only one of the two dates. We paid 1 million dollars, how are we going to solve this?” So the guy said, "I’ll give you back $45,000 for the second day". We lost $500,000, and those $350,000 from our associate weren’t coming back. We were in a huge hole, dude. A big fucking hole. We were screwed, dude. So the only thing left to do was to rock ‘n’ roll, because we were only moments away from the show.

So we were in a meeting with the American Embassy, their lawyers, our lawyers, the agent... And out at the concert, they were about to start. Hordes of people were screaming and throwing rocks so that we opened the doors and let everybody in for free. What's their deal? So, at one point, I heard the show had started and I said, “You know what? I don't give two shits about whatever we are doing here. We brought Guns N' Roses. They are playing on that fucking stage, and I'm going to go see the show and have a great time, motherfuckers. You can all stay here, if you want.” So, the show started all great, until mayhem burst out in the streets. There was huge lack of control and little help from the police or anybody. After a while, they called me on the radio: "Hey, the colonel had to be taken to hospital". "What happened!?" So he tells me, "The colonel got into the armored truck, and decided to go take a look around the stadium to see what was going on. The level of craziness and mayhem around was such, that the guy had a heart attack right there and then. Inside an armored truck, the chief commander of security had a heart attack.

Anyway, the show was going well and "November Rain" started playing, and things started to get hectic. Those were no special effects. They were no - I mean, dude, it started pouring rain. "November Rain," Axl Rose's piano, the music video where it's raining playing behind them. And then it really starts raining. The maximum climax you can imagine in terms of special effects. I was next to another colonel, rolling myself a joint, and Camilo drinking some Jägermeister. It was already a mess, already a fucking mess, man. So then Axl tells something to Slash and then uses the microphone. He says: "Hey, Opie, [stage manager], we’re about to be electrocuted." Because, you have to understand, the stage was a damn pool, wires floating everywhere and such. And Axl went on to say: “Guys, stay calm. We are not leaving; we'll come back."

So I started running, man, all the way backstage, and I saw they already had their vans parked outside with the doors opened. And I was like, "These sons of bitches are leaving, dude. Oh God, these sons of bitches are definitively leaving, dude. No fucking way." And I saw Opie walking and I confronted him. I told him, "Hey, Opie, motherfucker, where are you going?", I told the guy, «Where do you think you’re going motherfucker?" He said, "We are leaving." And behind me me I had a bunch of my workers that had helped with the lights and that stuff - Colombian workers. And, of course, they saw I was mad, because I was really mad. “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” So the guy says: "We are leaving!" "Yes? You’re not going anywhere, you piece of shit!" There are people who have been waiting, I don't know how long. So the workers started saying: "Go and get him Don Julio, go and get him Don Julio, go for him Don Julio!" And the guy says I don't know what, and then another thing and I just, bam, I headbutted this guy. Come on. It had already stopped raining. And they hadn't even played Sweet Child O' Mine or "Knockin On Heaven's Door, the motherfuckers. So, at that point, the guy screamed, "Security!" or something like that. Security comes in, and my guys got my back: "Whaddup bitches, what are you going to do, huh?” Finally these guys got in their vans and decided to leave, and all our associates left for the hotel. But one of the associates was an airplane pilot at the time. So he calls the Control Tower at the airport and tells them: “Those motherfuckers, Guns N' Roses - they are buttloaded with a bunch of drugs. Let them board on the plane, get all their stuff inside, and then when they are done, make them get off the plane with everything they have and search these assholes for any drugs.” Dude, it was 3 in the morning, they were about to take off. And they were absolutely pissed off. Fingers up their asses. I mean, I can only imagine five officers arriving to search them with their rubber gloves on. Yeah, man, “It's an anti-narcotic check, would you please form a line please, one by one
[Vice Espagnol, March 19, 2019].
In early 1993, Duff would look back at the South American leg, and especially the show in Colombia:

South America, you know, they’re very religious down there. This is heavy. They’re very, very Catholic. And November Rain has been, like, number one down there for a year or something - or more than a year - and it’s, kind of like, their anthem. I forget, I think it was Colombia or something, and they’re very religious, right? It just started raining when November Rain started, and these people just freaked. They were all doing, like, this (makes the catholic cross sign gesture) and they’re like, “Oh, wow!” and praying. It was really heavy [Japanese TV, January 1993].
Fuck that shit! Never again! We did Rock in Rio before, but that was okay because media and bands from around the world were there. This time, it was just us. And fuck man…In Columbia, they were threatening to kidnap Doug, our manager, shit like that, we were getting bombarded with shit. It was like, ‘Fuck this, we’re outta here’. […] The kids were great. The places we played were huge, and all sold out. I think the smallest place we played, was like, 85,000 people. So it wasn’t the kids. It was the government. Which is scary. None of the embassies, none of the American embassies, are very strong down there, so if you really wanted to get out it would be iffy at best [Kerrang! April 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:34 pm

DECEMBER 2, 1992 - BEING LATE IN CHILE


Having narrowly escaped Colombia the band continued to Santiago in Chile for a show on December 2. The show was two hours delayed [Calgary Herald, Dec. 6, 1992] resulting in fighting breaking out in the audience [The Record, December 4, 1992]. Myriam Henríquez Reyes, a 15-year old girl, was critically injured from trampling and died later at the hospital [The Record, December 4, 1992; ABC, December 9, 1992].

Duswalt: "Guns N’ Roses went on two hours late that night, and during the show, specifically during the song “Civil War,” bottles were randomly thrown on the stage. No one got hit, and normally Axl would have just left the stage, for fear of getting hit. He had been hit before with objects, as had most of the members of the band. But this night Axl did not leave the stage, probably because he knew something bad would happen. More than 85,000 people were there—the biggest concert ever in that stadium in Santiago.

However, unrelated to the show, something bad did happen. Fifty people were arrested outside the stadium, and through no fault of the band, a teenage fan sustained numerous injuries at the concert and died two days later. Rumor had it that she had snuck out of her house to see the concert, because her parents wouldn’t allow her to go
" [Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014].

During a later press conference in Argentina Axl would be asked if the reason they were two hours late was that he was drinking and using drugs, to which he would say:

The show was scheduled at 10:00, which means we usually go on at 10:30, so we went on at 11:00. And I don’t have time to be drunk or drugged before a show, or I couldn’t do my shit. The truth was that I had strep throat, so, it’s like, I had to do a lot of throat exercises and things like that, and work with my doctors, so that I could do the show altogether, or there wouldn’t have been a show. People will write anything (laughs) [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Axl would also comment upon the crowd throwing stuff:

The crowd was throwing bottles and spitting a lot, because they thought that’d be a thing to show they liked the band. They hit our rhythm guitar player with a bottle, so there were many times we almost stopped the show [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
In general, the South American fans were excited:

In Chile, there were, like, 500 kids at the hotel at any given time [Raw Magazine, 1993]
Traces of cocaine was found in a tube in one of the band members clothes while it was being cleaned at their hotel in Santiago, resulting in being refused to leave Chile until after the police had searched their private plane for drugs [The Orlando Sentinel, December 4, 1992; Tallahassee Democrat, December 5, 1992]. After the search of the plane the band was allowed to leave [The San Francisco Examiner, December 4, 1992].

When looking back at the show in March 1993, Duff would tell a story about someone trying to plant drugs on them:

In Chile, they tried to plant drugs on us. My wife was in the hotel room when we were playing the gig. She was naked on a bed and all these men in suits came in the room and she screamed and they left, but who knows what they were trying to do. It just goes on and on[The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993]


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:36 pm

DECEMBER 5-6, 1992 - TROUBLE IN ARGENTINA


Next up was Buenos Aires, Argentina for a show on December 5 and 6. In prelude to their coming to Argentina, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, said the band members needed "very serious and deep psychological therapy" [The Guardian, December 14, 1992]. Before the first show, the band would display erroneous and hysterical local media reports on the big screen, including a report that Axl had burnt an Argentine flag and that the band would burn their shoes before leaving the country, with the word "LIES" behind [ABC Sevilla, December 9, 1992]. Wendy Laister, Guns N' Roses international tour publicist, would say, "Those stories are extraordinary. They’re completely untrue. There’s not even one grain of truth in the stories. The band has been excited to come to Argentina. Which is why it was one of the countries on the South American tour, and it’s the first time they’ve ever been here and they’re very excited to come (?)" [Telefe, December 4, 1992].

In Argentina, there was a rumor we had burned an Argentinian flag and that we wouldn't buy Argentinian boots because we didn't want them to touch American soil. So we had all these right-wing skinheads, like Nazis, after us. They were all out in front of the hotel - hundreds of them - yelling and chanting. And we even had a guy who went in front of us to every city, because he knew who to pay off. I'm serious. We had to have a grease money float. It was scary [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
To address the rumors Axl, Slash and Duff, and management and other members of the crew, would do a rare press conference while in Argentina:

Also, we’re giving out this press conference, which we don’t do in every city. We don’t do press conferences. As Doug, our manager, said, the reason we’re doing this is to clarify a few things up, because all these rumors are flying. And where do they come from? Not from us. They come from the press, you know. So, that’s why we are here, to clarify a lot of these really ugly, kind of silly and stupid rumors that are happening, and it makes us sick, you know? We’re here to play, we’re here to make people happy, and it’s really gotten out of hand. That’s why we’re coming down to do this. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band, you know? [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Also, I’d like to say, we have been touring for seven years together. And this is the first time that we’ve ever seen – I mean it’s great, but we’ve never, ever seen the type of reaction that we’ve seen with the press and with the fans. It’s more hysteria than we’re certainly used to. And, to be honest with you, a lot of people get afraid when you have press people pushing this way, the fans pushing this way, you have nowhere to go. It gets a little scary [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
I might add that in some distorted way we do appreciate all the attention. We just don’t know what to do with it (laughs) [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Well, also because of the things that went on in the papers down here. I don’t even know what paper or what writer or who said what about me. All I know is that I’m seeing fights outside right now, people burning Guns N’ Roses t-shirts, other people beating the crap out of them. Now there is a mess outside. People throwing bottles every now and then, hitting little girls in the head... So that’s why I came down [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Axl would explain that such rumors could influence the actions of crazy people:

I’m a bit concerned with an element of people at the show or outside the venue that were affected by the story of me flag burning and not taking my boots back to America or something. I think that might be an element outside the arena and that might be an element inside, and I don’t want anybody in the crowd to get hurt. It’s like, we’re pretty much a target up there, and now we deal with it at every show, cuz you never know where you’re gonna have a crazy that could shoot you or whatever when you’re up on the stage [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
For the press conference and show Axl would be donning an Argentinian football shirt, when asked why he would say:

Because it was given to me (chuckles) […] Well, in light of the false stories in whatever papers, I think it’s a good gesture for me to wear it [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Axl would also talk about the rumors to an Argentinian TV channel:

I don’t even know the name of the man who said these things. I’d rather burn him. (chuckles) But I don’t know enough about Argentina to ever say anything to disgrace it, or to be disgraced about being in Argentina. I don’t want to take anything away from the country or capitalize on anything. I haven’t come to spit on the territory or offend anyone, because I like the feeling from the people at the shows here in Latin America and how much they’re into us, and there are many people who like us a lot more. I’m watching out my window, and I see that there are people who are in favor of Guns N’ Roses and there are those who are attacking our fans because of all the things they’ve read. But I understand that they’re offended, because if someone said that in America I would see the youth get behind that feeling and something similar happen. But I don’t know if these people know the truth of what happened, that there’s this man who was really irresponsible and obviously doesn’t care about the Argentine people. He doesn’t care for what kind of violence can happen because of false stories like that. I believe that this violence is reflected in what is happening outside the hotel right now, people are attacking girls because of a person who was very irresponsible for putting out statements that we never made; a person who was greedy, selfish and angry that they weren’t the ones working with us on this tour; a guy who is involving innocent people who can get hurt in a series of situations, and I don’t want anyone to get hurt [Telefe, December 4, 1992].
Unfortunately, the notoriety of the band resulted in a young fan, Cynthia Tallarico, who wasn't allowed to attend the show by her parents, committing suicide [The Times, December 1992; Rip It Up, January 1993]. Upon finding her daughter, the father then shot himself [Rip It Up, January 1993]. Duff would recall this tragedy in his biography, but mistakenly think it happened in Colombia:

When we arrived in Bogotá, Guns N’ Roses was the lead story in all the local newspapers. When we asked what all the headlines were, someone translated for us. A fourteen-year-old Colombian girl had committed suicide after her father refused to let her attend our upcoming show. Jesus. Another person whose life we touched . . . gone [It's So Easy (and other lies): The Autobiography, Orion, 2011]
We did hear about it. We did hear about it, but, unfortunately for us, whenever we do get to places, there’s always so much kind of havoc that happens. We had heard a report, and I think it was when we were leaving, somebody told us about it. And when you hear it like that, it’s hearsay and it’s like, “Did that really happen?” I guess it did happen. That’s a complete tragedy and – I mean, I wish we would’ve known about it when it was happening, but – [Argentinian TV, June 1994].
And talk about the upcoming two Argentinian shows:

We’ll give everything that we’ve got to the shows and to the people. At the same time, I hope that we can clear up a little bit of the confusion that has been created from what was in the papers; and, hopefully, we’ll show people that rock and roll is not that bad of a thing. We’ll perform all the songs that the people want to hear and we’re doing this so that we have a great show. I wanted to do this interview because I don’t want people to hurt each other at the show because of a group of people who are angry about statements that don’t exist. We, as Guns N’ Roses, haven’t said anything like that, it’s somebody else. […] I want to say that, if people come to the show because of what they’ve read, they shouldn’t believe everything they read. There’s a lot of people that for some reason want to stop rock ‘n’ roll, they’d like to stop Guns ‘ Roses or they’re against rock ‘n’ roll and they don’t want people out there to have a good time - why that is, I don’t know. And to take a moment to think, and to be a bit more responsible and not throw bottles or anything, because we want everything to be nice, we want everyone to have a good time at our show, and that is all 100% [Telefe, December 4, 1992].
Axl would also sum up the South American tour:

I think everything’s been going pretty well. The shows are really big, because a lot of other rock bands don’t necessarily always make it down to South America. There’s been some different confusions and different problems arise, like in Chile, because the people putting out the shows aren’t used to organizing this kind of big show. But I think everything has gone pretty well. The media – and CNN has kind of jumped on - has presented the details a bit more exaggerated, over-exciting in a negative way. […] Slash and I have really had a great time in the South American tour, and we have toured the world - I mean, we just did the stadium tour in the U.S. with Metallica and that was very good for us, but the last show we did in Chile was much more exciting. And we hadn’t realized that Guns N 'Roses was so big here in Argentina [Telefe, December 4, 1992].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:36 pm

DECEMBER 10-13, 1992 - THROWING CHAIRS IN BRAZIL


Despite all the troubles the band experienced while in South America, the fans were ecstatic which motivated the band:

The South American tour, for instance, has really gotten Slash, Gilby and me very excited, especially about
the people and their responses to the show. It's brought new life into it
[Hit Parader, June 1993].
Then the band travelled to São Paulo, Brazil for shows on December 10 and 12.

Duswalt: "Axl stopped the first show in São Paulo about four times. First, because there was a fight in the crowd. Second, because there were stones being thrown onstage. Third, I think because he got hit with a tennis shoe or something like that. And lastly, during “Paradise City,” their final song of the evening, when a stone hit drummer Matt Sorum.

That was the last straw. Axl and the band walked offstage halfway through the song.

I think his parting words that night, were, 'Good night, and f*** you, assholes'
" [Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014].

While in São Paulo Axl hurled a chair from a hotel mezzanine at a "small group of journalists, fans and hotel guests" 33 feet below [Associated Press via The Greenville News, December 10, 1992; Associated Press via the Pantagraph, December 11, 1992]. According to GN'R publicity officer Wendy Laister, the chair "missed everyone by miles" [The Times, December 1992].

They made me sign a document saying that I didn't wanna throw that chair. I wanted to throw it, and, if they stop me again, I'll throw and throw however many chairs needed. This is a song called 'Double Talkin' Jive Motherfucker!' [Onstage in Sao Paulo, Brazil, December 10, 1992]
Duswalt: "The second show in São Paulo was postponed, due to heavy rains. However, Guns N’ Roses played the next night with the 120,000 fans in attendance standing in the mud. It was a mess " [Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014].

While in Brazil Duff and Matt would again talk about the South American press:

The tabloid journalists down here – you know, they gotta make their buck. And the way they do it down here than what we’re used to. […] it’s very sensationalist and they get the wrong information. We’re just down here – I mean, we haven’t even left the hotels, and the stories they tell about us, like, doing this and that, and this and that, it’s like, “What? I did what?” And the stories get all mixed up and it kind of comes bad on us – not even “kind of”, it really comes bad on us. We’re just down here to play rock ‘n’ roll shows, man. That’s what it’s all about, ya know? [MTV Brazil, December 11, 1992].
[…] it’s a lot heavier here [=South America], you know, as far as, like, political situations and things like that - with the Argentinian situation with the flag and all that. I mean, we haven’t really experienced that before. We had almost a riotous situation in front of the hotel and people threatening us and - you know, that kind of thing, which makes you, like, scared to go up and play a show. […] There was guys out in front of the hotel that were basically threatening us and, you know, burnt American flags to retaliate for what they thought we did, that we didn’t do. […] we made it out of Venezuela, three hours before the coup, so we thought we were, like, home free, you know? It just kind of kept happening, you know? Every country we went to, we were having problems [MTV Brazil, December 11, 1992].
I almost kissed the ground when I landed here [in Brazil] (laughs) [MTV Brazil, December 11, 1992].
The Times would also describe the tour:

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

Television called for a boycott of the concerts, saying such a violent group would set a terrible example to the nation’s youth. The controversy even percolated through prison walls, as Colonel Mohamed Seineldin, serving a life sentence for masterminding three unsuccessful coup attempts, called for a “patriotic” reaction. Young right wingers hurled firecrackers at the girls holding vigil outside the band’s hotel each night, despite the risk of periodic saturation
" [The Times, December 1992].

The next and final show of this tour leg took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 13.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:45 pm

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1993 - TOURING JAPAN AND OCEANIA


The tour kept on rolling.

Well, we have to finish touring [before recording more music], because we’re doing South America and then we’re going to, I think, Japan and Australia. And then we’re gonna do the States some more, yeah (chuckles) [In Your Face, October 1992].
The next shows would be on January 12, 14 and 15 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

The band then turned towards Australia, and before coming there the stage would be described as "72 feet wide and 64 feet deep - and the set (designed by Phil Ealy and the band) is a monstrous 75 feet high. The stage weighs 50 tons and the total weight of equipment transported to each show is 150 tons, which includes the steel scaffolding and the band's equipment, which weighs 7 tons alone" and the "show uses an incredible 250,000 watts of power, with 900 lights on stage and three massive video walls - one either side of the stage and one at the back. There are 60 microphones in use during the show. It takes three tractor trailers to transport the speaker cabinets. And let's not forget the giant inflatable monsters that are operated by four men in 'Welcome to The Jungle'" [Guns N' Roses Australian Tour Special, January 1993].

While in Australia, the band would g on a tour of the Great Barrier Reef [The Age, January 29, 1993] and before the first show Dizzy and Gilby would meet with five seriously ill children [The Sydney Morning Herald, February 8, 1993].

The first show in Australia was at The Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney on January 30. As the name implies, this was a racetrack and it was expected that 70,000 to 80,000 would attend the show [The Sydney Morning Herald, January 29 and 30, 1993] and according to GN'R tour publicist Wendy Leister, it would be the largest concert in Australia [Australian Channel 5, January 30, 1993] .

We played Sydney a month or so ago. We played the biggest gig ever played in the Southern Hemisphere. We were told that before the gig and you can’t think. You've got to put that out of your head. That’s pretty major, you know? And here we are, just a couple of lunkheads [Edmonton Journal, March 26, 1993].
Yeah, it was so big that gig, in fact it was in a specific 8 month period where I don't remember a lot, but I do remember that gig and just kind of how overwhelming it was to have that many people at the gig [Triple M, January 2013].
The next show took place in Calder Park Raceway, Melbourne on February 1, with possibly an even larger crowd [Australian TV; February 1, 1993]. Due to heavy rain and urine the gig area became a "smelly swamp" and because of the conditions the show would later be referred to as the "worst concert ever staged in Australia" [9 News, September 7, 2016], which would later lead to an official inquiry [The Age, February 4, 1993].

I remember just seeing a fucking sea of people. It was a big huge gig, Rose Tattoo was on it, and that was a band that really meant a lot. I’d discovered them when Guns first came together [Faster Louder, September 2012]
You know, I guess I missed all of [the problems during the gig caused by heat, lack of water and poor amenities]. I never really heard any of that stuff. I remember it being really hot and that there was a lot of people needing water. [...] I was having all these crazy dreams about tornadoes and stuff and then we had to take a chopper out there, a helicopter, and there were some stormy skies. When we landed I remember some of the crew telling us there had been tornadoes, which was kind of weird. If I’d known they even had tornadoes down there I probably wouldn’t have got on the helicopter [Faster Louder, February 2013]
After Melbourne the band continued to New Zealand for a February 6 show at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland. This was on Axl's birthday and the "crew arrived on stage with a cake and everyone in the audience sang to him" [Stuff, August 26, 2016]. Apparently, this show was not very good, with Steve Braunias from RAW writing:

"More impressively, [Slash] does his best in front of 45,000 fans the following night to save Guns N’ Roses from absolute disaster. As he stalks the stage in leather, Slash is everything you want in a Rock god.

There’s a great melodic solo on ‘November Rain’, a quick hurst of Hendrix' ‘Voodoo Chile’, the deadly opening bars of 'Bad Obsession’ and a surreal, cosmic duet with Gilby Clarke on ‘Wild Horses’.

Meanwhile, Axl jogs and sings lyrics that most of the crowd can’t hear, Drift looks sick as a dog, and Matt Sorum sends hundreds of fans home early with a drum solo as dull as a month of wet Sundays...
" [Raw, June 23, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:47 pm

JANUARY 1993 - THE SINGLE 'GARDEN OF EDEN' IS RELEASED


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

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


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:47 pm

HOW THE BAND MEMBERS DEALT WITH AXL DURING THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' TOURING


"It's been said that you can't consider yourself fully acquainted with Axl Rose until you have at least once wanted to tell him to fuck off. Those who know him well, though, rarely do. Because it's apparent to anyone who spends any time with him that for all of Rose's seething rage and vicious wordplays, for all the time he spends lashing out at the rest of the world, he usually isn't fighting anyone but himself" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

---------------------------------

[…] the band has always been tense, because this isn’t, like, a day job where most bands in the business nowadays just go up and they play the same; they do the show in their sleep, you know. We go up there, every night is different and we care about every single show. If something happens during one particular show, yeah, it’s tense, because the way we treat it is, you go out there and do the best possible job you can, and we do it in a way that it’s not premeditated. We just go up and just go for it right then and there [Countdown, May 1992].
A lot of that tension came from Axl's unpredictable behavior which meant that his band mates never knew what was going to happen and whether a show would go smoothly or turn into a riot:

There were certain times when Axl would leave the stage, but he was going through a phase where he was just so lost and confused that he couldn't help it. I'm not him, but it seems to me that he's gotten past all that now. I'm not going to say Ax was a dick for doing that, but it scared the shit out of me. I mean, I didn't know if he was coming back. What if some kid got hurt as a result of what we did? [RIP Magazine, November 1993].
The one that struggled the most with Axl's behavior seemed to have been Axl himself. It was obvious he was uncomfortable with the touring:

I pretty much could do without touring in a lot of ways. I'm not a big fan of it [Musician, June 1992].
One way for the band to deal with the messy situation was to downplay its severity, at least to the press. Like when Slash dismissed a question about why the band so frequently stopped shows [Countdown, May 1992].

For quite a while, the band's approach to Axl had been to leave him alone rather than confront him. As one band member was quoted as saying to VOX journalist Nick Kent: "Nowadays we just let Axl do pretty much what he feels, 'cos he'll only do it anyway" [VOX, October 1991]. Kent would also write that Axl had insisted on the 'Use Your Illusion' albums being so long, had insisted that Skid Row should open on their tour (despite band members despising them), calling for the resignation of Alan Niven, and what music would be played over the PA before the shows [VOX, October 1991]. Many articles would also imply that the label was afraid of him and his temper and behavior and would rather accommodate him than put the foot down. Simply put, "Axl runs the group" [VOX, October 1991].

In July 1991, Matt, who was nicknamed "the Mediator" in the media [The Indianapolis Star, July 21, 1992], would praise Axl's stubborness:

Axl's so fuckin' great. Anything he does or says, it's just because that's the way he really is. He's beyond real, ya know. I've never seen anyone dare to talk shit to him, ever. I love that [VOX, October 1991].
Yet, only a month or so later, Matt would be the one that attempted to confront Axl when he refused to return to stage in Mannheim in August:

Matt Sorum tried a novel approach when Axl left; maybe to a "new" guy it was the obvious thing to do. He went to find Axl and confront him. He was turned away by Axl's security detail [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 194].
So Matt went down to Axl's van to rally him, but as he got down there, he ran into Axl, who had emerged to head back to the stage. Matt was so fired up, though, that he got in Axl's face regardless, to the degree that it almost got physical.

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

I ran up and got between them, because it wasn't a good situation. Axl can get completely psycho when he decides to fight and Matt weighs twice as much as I do - and he plays the drums - so it wasn't exactly a good place for me to be. Axl went back to his van, and it didn't look like he was coming out again
[Slash's autobiography, p 343-344].
And in late August, as the band visited England for their August 31 show at Wembley, it was rumored that unless Axl "continued to be difficult to work with", Matt would quit the band [Music Life, November 17, 1991]. In November, when Axl hosted the rock show Rockline, he was confronted wit the rumors that Matt would leave the band because of "arguments and that he can’t deal with the hysteria on the tour":

It got emotionally high and the tensions got high with everybody at different points. But, you know, Matt is working his ass off and he’s great. […] As Matt puts it, it’s like, you know, now and then you get the road blues. […] Matt is amazing, you know. And it’s a real pleasure to introduce him to the world in the way he de [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Izzy would claim that while he was in the band he was balancing factor between Axl and the rest of the band:

I was always pretty quiet, and that band was pretty much....I don't know, I guess in some ways I was sort of a balancing factor between Axl and the rest of the guys at one point. I don't know how it evolved to where it is now. I don't know what goes on with them now [Spin, April 1993].
In early 1992, it was Slash who would describe himself getting labelled a mediator in the band due to his closeness with Axl:

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

[Axl]’s a...he’s a good guy. Everybody’s got their own personality, but he’s basically . . . he’s down to earth [Hit Parader, June 1992].
Axl and I are both from the Midwest, and we probably have more in common musically than the other members of the band. We both grew up listening to all those same silly '70s songs. And be never rides me —maybe because he thinks if he's mean to me I'll leave [Lakeland Ledger, August 28, 1992].
Matt on Axl in early 1993:

I think I can speak for Axl on how he’s feeling about everything. I think he’s a totally changed person. […] Now he’s into playing, and everything’s pretty cool. […] [But Axl still has bad days] because a lot of stuff goes on with him... just basically being Axl Rose. […] I don’t know if I’d want to be him, to be honest with you. You’d have to think about that yourself: ‘Would I want to be Axl Rose?’ Yeah, millions of people would, but then you’d have to be in his shoes for a little while to see what it’s actually like. [...] I think he really enjoys being in a big band and all that, being a big rock star or whatever, but there’s times when he doesn’t, and that’s the times when he just doesn’t want to... do anything. […] It’s real interesting. After being in the band for almost three years now, I can understand the guy. For a while there I just couldn’t, and neither could millions of people [Dayton Daily News, February 26, 1993].
Gilby would also explicitly say that it was Axl's band and that there was nothing he could do about Axl being late for concert starts or changing his behavior:

When he comes in late, sometimes I’ll ask, ‘What up?' He’ll say, something like ‘somebody didn’t wake me up’ or ‘the limo was late.’ When he tells me this, there’s not much I can say. It’s his band[The Cincinnati Inquirer, February 26, 1993].
Axl is the way he is and nobody’s going to change him. But there’s a certain amount of respect among the guys in the band. If Axl’s in a bad mood, he’s not going to take it out on me. And if he starts throwing one of those tantrums onstage, I just walk off[Muncie Evening Press, February 26, 1993].
As for what the band do when waiting for Axl:

We start drinking. The longer the wait, the tipsier we get[The Cincinnati Inquirer, February 26, 1993].
In March and April 1993 Matt would talk about Axl:

I think he’s lonely. It’s so hard being the centre of attention. You try to have a normal life, and juggle that with being a rock star, although I hate that term; it’s just difficult. It’s real demanding, people just feed off you. It’s very draining. I mean, we sometimes go out for dinner and people come up to him screaming[The Star Phoenix, March 26, 1993].
I know that he’s a good person. For whatever reason, he takes the grunt for anything. They love to say Axl, Axl, Axl, Axl, Axl, but the fact of the matter is, the band’s called Guns N’ Roses. But he takes all the responsibility. […] He felt really bad about a lot of (stuff) that's happened. He's not up there wanting to cause some riot. When that kind of stuff happens it blows everyone’s mind. All we are is a rock and roll band, just playing music[Lincoln Journal Star, April 4, 1993].
In June 1993 Slash would be confronted with an interviewer who remarked that the live shows are better when Axl are in a good mood, to which Slash would say their strategy was just to not try to piss him off even more:

Well, that's probably just the way it is. If Axl's in a good mood, us others in the band don't have to think about what he's doing and why. But if he's in a worse mood, we have to spend a big part of the show at not making him more pissed off or irritated and therefore screw the show even more[Metal Zone, December 1993; although interview done in June].
When asked if paying customers doesn't deserve that one at least tries to pretend to be happy:

Not Axl. It's just not possible. He will absolutely not do anything he doesn't feel like and I respect that. Of course it happens that a show doesn't fully work due to his mood-swings. But he can't pretend. But the times we are good, then it feels really good. Then there is nothing better[Metal Zone, December 1993; although interview done in June].
In late 1993 Duff would claim the press exaggerated Axl:

Well, you know, [Axl is] my bro, and his personality doesn’t swing as much as it’s often publicized. He’s just a regular guy. He has good days and bad days, like everybody else. When he has bad days, he has really bad days, and I feel sorry that he has some of those problems. But it’s not like everybody thinks it is, he’s just more intense about it. If I thought about everything as hard as he does – you know, he lets everything kind of get to him[Metal Express, December 1993; translated from French].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm

PRE-SHOW ROUTINES


Slash: "Currently what I've been doing is taking the guitar into the hospitality room. Me and whoever else is hanging out sit there, and I play and talk at the same time. I have a drink, watch TV, and just try and keep my fingers moving. I do fast picking, but not any particular pattern. I play the way I play, and maybe stretch my fingers a bit across the neck. […] I can't even hear the guitar. I don't plug it into an amp, which is really important" [Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm

1991-1994 - PLANNING THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE 'ILLUSIONS'


We really have only just begun. We’ve only have what we have - what, four records out. We’re still babies, you know. We’ve got a lot to achieve [From unknown date in 1992, shown in MTV Special, July 17, 1992].
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After the release of 'The Spaghetti Incident!?' in 1993, Guns N' Roses would not release a new album until 'Chinese Democracy' in 2008. But the band hoped to work on new, original music already in 1991:

We’re already starting to work on new material now with an 8-track on the road, and hopefully we can fire something out by the end of this, rather than wait forever [MTV, May 1991].
Yeah, we were talking about getting right in the studio [after the release of the Illusions] and doing another one. Just eight or nine, ten songs, you know? [RAW, October 1991].
In addition, the band would claim they had many songs and song ideas not used after releasing the 'Use Your Illusion' albums:

But also, we had so much material built up when we went into the studios, we decided.... “Well we got all this material; let’s record until we’re burnt out”. If we can only do one record, we’ll only do one record. But we never burnt out. We just kept goin’ and it turned out that we recorded over forty tunes. I mean there is another record in the can [Hit Parader, June 1992].
If Duff is accurate with his "over forty tunes" comment, it means that there were 10 songs recorded but not featured on the two Illusion albums. Six were punk covers intended for the upcoming punk EP (which would evolve into a full covers album). In addition comes 'Ain't Goin' Down' which was intended for the punk record but never was released. This still leaves a few songs. Axl, though, says it was only "parts and stuff" and implies that Slash had more songs ready but that these might be used outside of Guns N' Roses:

No, we started with 56 songs… […] ... you know, and we cut it down to 30. And we decided which ones were important out of that, and kind of put different things on the side, on the shelf, that we weren’t really into, and recorded the most important ones now. And we kinda wanted to get things - we wanted to clean the closet, you know. Because when we set out to make Appetite, we had some of these songs already then, and we wanted to get rid of all those songs so that we could have - be fresh to start, and whatever we do next time is brand new for us. […] I have no idea [what we are going to do with them]. There’s just parts and stuff. And we kinda like took the best things from those. Slash is, though, one who really has a backlog of some material, and I don’t know what he plans to do with that [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Axl talking about how he has changed through therapy:

I really think that the next official Guns n' Roses record, or the next thing I do, at least, will take some dramatic turns that people didn't expect and show the growth. I don't want to be the twenty-three-year-old misfit that I was. I don't want to be that person [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
Working on the new record while touring:

I'm trying to write the songs at the moment [Kerrang! May 16, 1992].
Well, we do that when there’s a chance in soundcheck. We usually try to, like, just jam, you know, come up with riffs. So we’ve got some good stuff going in. We tell the sound man to hit the tape player. And then, later on, we’ll compile some of it and maybe we’ll have another Guns N’ Roses album in... five years (laughs) [MTV, June 1992].
We haven’t gotten together as a band per se and, like, started to put songs together, although we’ve been jamming a lot. You know, cuz we always jam. And so I sit around and, you know, come up with ideas and I just keep it in my head. And when, you know, everything is over with, we’ll probably get together and start trying to complete some of the ideas [MTV, June 1992].
By July 1992, Duff would indicate that the work on a new record had progressed and even hinted that the new material sounded more like 'Appetite', somewhat in contrast to Slash above:

We have enough material now. It’s more like ‘Appetite for Destruction’ than ‘Illusion’ — songs that are right in your face [New York Daily News, July 29, 1992].
While Slash would say a new record was not on his mind when asked when he thought the next album would be out:

I don't know. We still feel there is a lot we want to do with the "Illusion" material. […] I'm not even thinking about the next record until we finish all that. When the time does come to begin work on it, we'll take however long is necessary. We've never been the kind of band that rushes in and forces things--like one of those album-a-year type bands [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].
In October 1992 Dizzy would say that they would start recording when all the touring is finished:

Well, we have to finish touring [before we can record], because we’re doing South America and then we’re going to, I think, Japan and Australia. And then we’re gonna do the States some more, yeah (chuckles). […] [The tour]’s going on forever. It’s perpetually touring. Never stops. No, we’re gonna – after we do the States again, then we’re gonna start working on the next record, which is gonna be very fun, because, you know, we have Gilby in the band now, and Matt is gonna be involved in, like, the writing and stuff now too, so that’s gonna be very cool. […] it’ll be good. It’ll be better [than just Axl and Slash in the group]. […] You know, whenever you change the chemistry of anything, it becomes a little different. It becomes either better – in this case, I think it will [In Your Face, October 1992].
In an interview published in September 1992, Mike Patton from Faith No More would claim that Axl was into his other band, Mr. Bungle, and wanted to do something "heavier" and "industrial" [Details Magazine, September 1992]. Whether this was for a solo project or GN'R's next release is uncertain.

In the October 1992 issue of RIP Magazine, Axl would talk about what he wanted to do on the next album:

What's next is, I would like to have a cleaner, more focused expression. We've pretty much stayed within the parameters of rock 'n' roll music as we know it. I'd like to see if we could add anything to GN'R, possibly bring in a new element that hasn't been there before. Guns N' Roses is not just me. There are other members in this band, and everyone's growing. There was a certain focus we all wanted to keep for Illusion I and II, but when I did "My World," everyone dug it and wanted it on the record. By the next record I think we can branch out a lot further. I would like to move in a direction where I'm more in touch with life and love but still remain as strong in terms of exposing ourselves as GN'R has always been. I don't feel now like I did when I wrote "Estranged." I'm not as bummed out as I was then. I've grown past that [RIP, October 1992].
In December 1992 Slash would also talk about Axl, Gilby and him talking about the next record:

As far as what’s next, last night Axl, Gilby and I were all talking about, you know, the next record and what – […] Yeah, Gilby, Axl and I. Anyway. We were talking about what the next record is gonna be like and how we’re gonna go about it. And everybody’s just really excited. I still don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen, but I’m writing songs upstairs - you know, in my room, just playing - Gilby’s writing songs, Axl’s got ideas [Telefe, December 4, 1992].
Axl would share more light on this in December 1992, and emphasize that Slash had been working on riffs while he had been trying to get in the right state of mind to make the next record more emotionally extreme:

Slash has been working on a lot of things, working on a lot of riffs with the band. I've just been working on where my head's at on things so I can approach the next record in a way that lets me go to farther extremes. If I'm going to express anger, I want to take that farther, and if I'm expressing happiness and joy I want to take that farther too. We really haven't really sat down to collaborate on songs yet. I wrote and recorded a new love song that I want on the next record called This I Love, that's the heaviest thing that I've ever done. Other than that, we're not even sure how we're gonna approach writing for this next album. Last time Slash would write his songs, I would write mine and Izzy would write his, and then we'd put em all together. Well, this time there's no Izzy, and Slash isn't writing just his songs-it's gonna be more of a collaboration thing. We don't know if we're gonna be writing with Gilby or somebody else. We know we want to play with Gilby, but we're not sure about the writing. […] It's definitely an evolving thing because everyone has a different direction that they want to go in, and I wanted to get the band big enough that they'd have those opportunities. We have a lot of new people in the band, but what works at the end is what gets me and Slash off. We're not sure where we want to come from with the other band members as far as the writing goes, and, who knows, if someone isn't into a song, maybe they don't want to be there. We're really into letting Matt go more off on his own in terms of drumming for GNR. On UYI, he was pretty much playing just what we wanted to hear on a particular song which we already had together before he joined the band. […] When he goes off on his own creative sense it's pretty amazing. I want to facilitate that getting out. I want Matt to just explode on the next record [Hit Parader, June 1993; but interview done in December 1992].
And on the direction of new music:

My girlfriend recently asked me if I could still write a song as nasty and gritty as the things on Appetite, and I told her that it would probably depend on the song and if I was moved to write that way. But I'm not gonna write that way just to sell records. I'm not gonna write anymore bar room sex songs just to sell a few more albums. If something inspires me to do it, I will. I won't regress. I'll do it if I can take it to a new place, a new level [Hit Parader, June 1993; but interview done in December 1992].
Duff would talk about new music before they went to Australia and New Zealand in January/February 1993, saying the stuf they had been playing at sound checks "a lot broader" in style than the Illusions, and:

The stuff we've been writing at sound check — it's way, way outside. When you're on tour for this long, you kind of lose it a bit so some of the stuff is just, I don't know, very heavy, sort of like dark. But not in a bad way [Rip It Up, January 1993].
In Februar and March 1993 it would be reported that Slash and Gilby was starting to come up with songs for the next record [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993; RAW, June 23, 1993].

Y’ know, I was just thinking about [being the musical arranger], ‘cos I’m in the middle of writing a lot of new material right now. But I wouldn’t call me a song arranger, because I have no attention span!. […] So I talk with Duff a lot, and talk with Axl a lot, and we still have original ideas, and we’re still turned on by one another as far as creating is concerned. That’s a huge accomplishment after all this time, and anyone who wants to criticise can fuck off [RAW, June 23, 1993 but interview from early February 1993].
In May or June Axl's head was finally in the right place to start working on new music:

It’s like, I haven’t really written songs for a new album, until I started, like, this weekend, because I’ve been trying to get my head in a certain space that I was actually growing, rather than staying in the same place. And now that this tour is winding down, the Use Your Illusion songs have all, in one form or another, come back to life emotionally for me on the albums; and so we’re experiencing them in new situations, and then trying to figure out how to grow and go farther, rather than stay in that same place. I’ve been kind of doing it with every aspect of my life; and it’s very strange for me, because on a tour I feel like I’m trapped in a time warp that I created (laughs) ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History", Documentary, June 19, 1994; but interview from May or June 1993].
It would also be said that Axl, Slash and Duff would continue to work on new material together but that it wasn't clear whether Gilby would be involved [RAW, June 23, 1993].

In July 1993, Duff would say that he would adjust his upcoming solo tour to accommodate work on he band's next record:

[Scorpions have] offered us the Canada dates, but I haven't given them a definite answer. […] [Mostly because, come next Spring] we're all planning to get back together to work on GN'R stuff, and of course that's the priority. […] We've got a lot of stuff written already [Kerrang! July 17, 1993].
Later in the year Duff would indicate that a new record with original material would not happen quickly:

GN'R always jams new stuff at soundcheck - when we do soundchecks [laughter] - so we have some cool riffs already. […] People are going to have to realize that it's going to be a while before our next official record comes out. We released two albums with 30 songs on them in September of '91 and were touring before the records even came out [RIP Magazine, November 1993].


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1992-1993 - PLANNING THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR


In Mid-1992 Slash would talk about doing another tour in 1993 where they would play all their harder stuff:

Slash: "We still feel there is a lot we want to do with the "Illusion" material. We have been touring for a year and a half to this point, but we have all these Metallica shows left, then a Brazilian tour and maybe a little club thing in the U.S. next year where we go out and play all our thrash stuff" [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Axl would talk more about this tour in December 1992 and reveal its name, 'the Skin N' Bones tour':

Axl: "We're calling this one the Skin And Bones tour, and it gives us a chance to play other songs-the ones that aren't necessarily the hits. It will be all stripped down to just the six members of the band and a small stage. We'll use the video screens and maybe some cool lights, but it'll be only an hour and forty-five minute set, and we're really excited to have the Brian May band as our opening act. I always loved Queen, so that's very exciting for me. And we're gonna be playing arenas in cities that we haven't played yet" [Hit Parader, June 1993].

In early 1993 Duff would talk about wanting to strip down their shows now and go back to basics:

Duff: "But, you know, we started off with the girls and the girl horn players, who are - they’re all great. They’re great to look at, and we all have fun and they have fun getting dressed up, you know. But it’s not, like, a sexist – it’s not like that at all. I hope people won’t get that, because the girls really have fun getting dressed up, and we have fun goofing around with them, and the most important thing is they’re great musicians, you know? But that’s something we started – I guess, now, - what about 14 months ago. And after we do this Japanese and Australian/New Zealand thing, then we’re done with that. We’re stripping back down to do again Europe and again the States, and then we’re done. But we’re doing it just as a five-piece band again. It’s gonna be called the “Skin N’ Bones” tour" [Japanese TV, January 1993].

Slash: "And after that we’re gonna do a tour in the States which is just stripped down and just jamming" [MTV Brazil, December 12, 1992].

Explaing why:

Duff: "Well, it’s very simple. We’ve been touring the whole stadium thing, the whole real kind of big, big events on this tour in the past - you know, we’ve been touring for two years, with like, the real big – what do you say – focus, sort of. And I guess it’s been, like, “Oh, Guns N’ Roses got all these people in the band now. What, are they’re trying to cover up cuz they can’t play?” or “They’re not a rock ‘n’ roll band anymore,” or whatever else people will wanna take a crack at it about. So we’re gonna come back, and it’s kind of like, “Okay, alright, here you go. There’s us again,” ya know? So it’s just basically to prove that on any turf, any place, anywhere, we are the same band" [Japanese TV, January 1993].

As mentioned above, the tour would be named "The Skin N' Bones Tour", although Matt would refer to it as the "the tour that wouldn't die" [Dayton Daily New, February 26, 1993].

Matt: "[The elaborate production on the previous tours] worked out for the big shows, ’cause it just made it a little bigger, more like what the Stones would have done. […]. [The auxiliary musicians] filled up a lot of the music, and if you’re playing in that big of a situation, you want it to sound a little plusher. […] I don’t want to use the word ‘plush,’ because that doesn’t go very good with Guns N’ Roses [laughing]. A little bit more like the record is what we were trying to go for, and I think that happened. I think the band sounded better. […] We just felt that it was time to come back to just being a rock ’n’ roll band [Dayton Daily New, February 26, 1993].

For this tour Matt would bring with him a personal trainer [Dayton Daily New, February 26, 1993].

Matt: He wanted touring to be "more like real life, like if you were at home. For almost two years on the road, I didn’t do anything but go out at night, and then... stay in my hotel room all day" [Dayton Daily New, February 26, 1993].

In March 1993 Duff would talk more about why they left the big production behind:

"We got that out of our systems. That's gone. I'm glad we did it, but it's over. Never again. There was just too much to keep up with. There would always be something that somebody would forget to do. Or one of us would fall through part of the stage. Or the monitor system wouldn't work. […] Every night you'd worry about something - whether the big inflatable monsters on the side of the stage would go up without popping, whether the three Diamond Vision video screens were working, whether the 250,000 watts of PA were OK, and whether the 125 members of the crew had all made it there. It was too much. And me and Slash and Axl were the eye of the hurricane, because we paid for all this stuff. So you had all that on your mind and you still had to play the gig. […] We lost so much money on the big production tour. We had to cart that whole circus all the way through Europe, and then on through Tokyo and Australia and New Zealand [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].


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FEBRUARY 23-APRIL 1, 1993 - THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR


In addition to having scaled back to a six-piece band again (dropping Ted Andreadis, the horn players and the backup singers), Axl would also drop the many costume changes that he had been doing for the shows the previous year.

The concerts would feature an acoustic set where the band played selected songs off a couch brought onto the stage. They would also be served beer by topless dancers and a pizza from a guy dressed in a Domino Pizza's uniform [Star Phoenix, March 29, 1993].

For the first dates of the Skin N' Bones tour the band had invited Brian May as the opener.

May: "Guns N’ Roses did not need us to sell tickets. So you always feel slightly on trial" [Des Moines Register, March 14, 1993].

On February 23, 1993, at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, USA the band started its Skin N' Bones tour. Axl would mention from stage that they hadn't planned the shows in detail:

There are those out there that, to them, it doesn’t matter what we do. They’ll always have a problem with us. And it seems that they like a lot of the bands in Seattle. And I like a lot of bands in Seattle, and I remember when a lot of these people, like Spin Magazine and shit, when they hated everybody else but they thought that we were cool. But when we didn’t want to suck their dick like they thought we would, then we weren’t cool anymore. Which means that right now in somebody’s eyes, “Axl Rose is throwing a tantrum.” [Makes a funny sound] Well, that’s what this little show is all about. Especially this tour. What you’re gonna see tonight is, some of the songs we’ve been doing in the summer and a lot of shit we’ve never played live anywhere. We’ll be doing – in the middle of the show we have a small [?] break where we’re gonna put together an acoustic set. We haven’t done something like that since on MTV [?] There’s a lot of bands that are going, “We don’t want to be like U2 or Guns N’ Roses, [?] .” Well, we just wanted to see if we could fuckin’ pull out the big show; that was all. And sorry, but we’re big like that because of you. So now we’re gonna have some fun trying a bit of a show that’s kind of hard work, since we just threw it together about two days ago. Even though it was planned and we sold tickets a long time ago, we still had no idea what we were doing until last night. So [?], we’ll try to have a good time tonight. And anybody who says we’re trying to rip you off or kiss ass or that it’s contrived, they can suck my dick and they’re nothing but a bunch of Double Talkin’ Jive motherfucker [Onstage at Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX, USA, February 23, 1993]
The next show was on February 25 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Here Axl would end the show early. According to the Jefferson Civic Centre's assistant security director, Maureen Reagan: "Axl was on stage for 20 minutes and he got mad at their sound man, fired him and left the stage for 40 minutes while the band continued playing" [Star Phoenix, March 25, 1993]. Apparently, the monitor issues caused Axl to blow out his voice and as a result they would cancel the next shows [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].

I don't blame Axl for that. I can blame him for other things, but not that [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
The next three shows, in Cincinnati, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Providence, were cancelled [Hartford Courant, March 2, 1993], likely due to Axl having blown out his voice in Birmingham [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993] or due to Axl's emotional state after splitting with his long-time girlfriend Stephanie Seymore [The Atlanta Constitution, March 2, 1993].

During the unexpected break, Gilby would be asked about the reasons for postponing the shows:

I think we had some equipment problems or something. This is a brand new show we’re doing, and I don’t think they got it all together. […] It’s, like, wherever you were walking, you were not hearing anything. And Axl was just losing it. He just wasn’t hearing his vocals [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993]
Gilby would also talk about why they had stripped down the shows:

After doing [the large productions] for a year and half, the band was going, ‘Let’s be a rock band again.’ We stripped everything down. We got rid of the whole background section. […] The set is like a club stage; there’s just one level and a back line. And it’s cool. It’s just down to us. And we’re playing songs that we’ve never, ever played before — a lot of songs off the ‘Lies’ record and stuff off the ‘Illusion’ albums that we’ve never played. It’s kind of like a harder, faster tour [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1993]
Then followed shows on March 6 at New Haven Coliseum, in New Haven, b]March 8 at Cumberland Civic Center in Portland[/b], March 9 at Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, March 12 at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton and March 16 at Augusta Civic Center in Augusta.

The next show was on March 17 at Boston Garden in Boston. Before the show Duff would be interviewed by Boston Globe and talk about the massive touring they had done:

We started the tour the day the Iraq War broke out. That's when we played the Rock in Rio concert. And we won't end until July 15. We're going back to Europe soon for the fifth time on the tour - and we're going to play Moscow and Tel Aviv. […] But I've given up on itineraries and stuff. I just get on the plane and go. All I know is that we're going to be in Boston on St. Pattie's Day [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
Duff would also talk about the Skin N' Bones tour:

It's just the basic band again, playing on a small stage. It's great, man. Right on, we're a punk- rock band again. We're doing a lot of the early hard core stuff, like 'Nice Boys' and 'Reckless Life.' It's really sparked energy in the band. We'd be pretty dragged down by now if we were still doing the big production thing, because that really started to get strenuous [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
And on their acoustic set:

It's kind of like what Led Zeppelin used to do. Not comparing us to Zeppelin or anything, but Slash will sit out front with a 12-string guitar; and we got a grand piano that's rolled out for Axl. We do songs like 'Crazy,' 'Used to Love Her,' 'You Ain't the First,' 'Patience' and 'November Rain.' We're having fun with it [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].
Before the Boston show Slash would also talk about the differences to the sets on the Skin N Bones tour:

That's… that's cool, I mean, I would do more, you know, it's like: I would more and more often. Um, because pulling out new stuff, just makes it really fresh. I love turning the corners on everybody. And going, you know, and showing the fact that aah… We're just that kind of band, you know, that can do that. I mean, it's like, it's one thing to play "Jungle," you know. I mean, we can do "Jungle," you know, whatever… However "Jungle" is supposed to sound like, we can do that. But when you turn around and play something like "The Garden," and having it totally be as heavy as that song is, and pull it off live, and just fucking blow everybody's minds with it. 'Cause they're not expecting it. That's pretty much the joy of, of continuing touring. To keep pulling the stops, you know [The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].
And about which songs that intimidate him:

"Live And Let Die." Especially with that new double-neck that I've been playing. [laughs] You know, 'cause I have to make sure I switch the buttons right. Sometimes it used to be the intros to "Paradise City," before I go into the actual song. Or definitely having to do the fucking guitar-solo, because I never have that mapped out, you know. Let's see… the end of "Double Talkin' Jive" always intimidates me. I'm intimidated by a lot of stuff that we're playing, you know, I tell you. You know, it depends on the guitar sound, and how the rest of the guys in the band are feeling, or how they're playing, you know, you know. Where Axl's at, I mean. Like I was saying earlier, it's like, it depends on a given night for that given song, you know [The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].
And whether he was tired after two years of touring:

I think that the only times that I'm not tired is when I'm walking up the stairs. And about to get on the stage. And you hear the crowd and you're about to break in to the first tune. And then there's some sort of like revitalizing energy that get, you know, that comes out of nowhere and it carries you around for two hours. [laughs] You know, the rest of it is just… it's just fucking hell, I mean, you know. And especially for doing it for, as long as two years, with and, and having, and having all those other dates looking at you, you know. I usually go: "Ok, that's gig, that's gig 450 and we have 60 more coming," you know. [laughs] I mean, it's a little, it's a little nerve-racking. But playing actually… I can't say I'm tired from playing [The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].
The Boston show was stopped and the band left the stage after someone threw a beer bottle onto the stage [Boston Globe, March 18, 1993]. This prompted the audience to chant "bullshit" [Boston Globe, March 18, 1993]. When the band returned after 10 minutes they started with "Attitude" with Slash uttering, "Not that this city needs any" [Boston Globe, March 18, 1993].

This was followed by shows on March 20 show at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, March 21 at the Fargo Dome in Fargo, and March 24 at Winnipeg Arena in Winnipeg.

After the show in Winnipeg, Duff would comment on going from a large production to a small:

When we started (the Use Your Illusion tour) it was just the band, and then we decided we wanted to get the horns and the backup singers, and do something big. And we did it. We did all the stadiums. Every night it was between 80,000 and 145,000 people. […] I don’t think we would have survived much longer doing all those big shows. It was too big, man. Check it out OK? Here’s the deal. We had 140 people working for us. Nineteen semis. Nineteen buses. Two 747s to take the (equipment), OK? And another plane for the band. It was too big It was every day. […] And when it comes down to it it’s myself, Axl and Slash who have to take care of all the financial (details) because we started the band and all that. So here we are being businessmen, and trying to get out and rock every night, and you know, you’ve still got faxes falling out of your pockets when you’re up on stage. […] It’s like, this ain't happening, man. It was cool for a while, but it just got too much. And you’ve got the backup singers and the horn players screaming that they want bigger rooms — it just goes on and on. So we’re back to square one, and it’s great. […] It was a cool thing to do, but we got it out of our system and we re back to what we are, which is a rock band. Now we’ve got an acoustic set in the middle, and a small stage, and we’re playing smaller places, arenas, and it's really cool. It’s just good to have that band feeling back and not like this obscene huge circus going around the world. We’re coming back to prove what we are — Guns N’ Roses, a few guys on stage trying to play what they like to play [Edmonton Journal, March 26, 1993].
Duff would also comment on a review of the Winnipeg show:

Axl and I are on the cover, and it’s a really horrible picture of me. I’ve got like 15 double chins. Really nice. But it was a good review and was a good show last night, really good, although we went on a bit late. Which is par for the course, I guess [Edmonton Journal, March 26, 1993]
The next show happened on March 26 at Saskatchewan Place in Saskatoon, Canada. After the show Slash, Matt and Dizzy would hang out at the local var Ryly's where Slash and Matt would jam with the local band Robin's Trip [The Star Phoenix, March 29, 1993].

Then followed shows on March 28 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Canada, March 30 at British Columbia Place in Vancouver, Canada and April 1 at Portland Coliseum in Portland, USA.

Before the show in Vancouver, Gilby would be asked his thoughts on the Skin N' Bones tour:

I’m really happy with this because this is what I thought I was joining but that was just when they were going to do the shows with the big band. I had no idea, so when they told me we were going to do this, I said great [Vancouver Sun, March 30, 1993]


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:50 pm

MARCH-NOVEMBER 1993 - AXL AND STEPHANIE SPLIT AND SUE EACH OTHER


On March 1, 1993, Geffen Records released a statement saying that Stephanie Seymore and Axl was splitting [The Atlanta Constitution, March 2, 1993]. In the statement Axl would be quoted as saying, "It was fun; I wish Stephanie the best" [The Atlanta Constitution, March 2, 1993].

It would also be reported that Axl was seeing another woman, but that they had not been romantically involved before the break-up with Seymore [The Daily Journal, March 5, 1993], and that this woman was from "a small Southern town and is (surprise) not a model" [Salt Lake Tribune, April 2, 1993].

In August it would be reported that Axl and Stephanie were not on friendly terms. According to the Star-Gazette, Axl was considering suing Stephanie to receive gifts he had given her, and for "assault and mental and emotional abuse" [Star-Gazette, August 27, 1993]. Allegedly, the threat to sue Stephanie came after she sent a "missives that she’ll publish a picture of herself with a black eye if he doesn’t stop asking" to have the gits returned [Star-Gazette, August 27, 1993]. According to Axl, Stephanie had attacked him at a Christmas party, leading him to defend himself, and there were supposedly many witnesses [Star-Gazette, August 27, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:50 pm

APRIL 3, 1993
AXL TAKES ON METALLICA


As discussed in the chapters about GN'R and Metallica touring together in 1992, the band didn't see eye to eye on everything, or much. Right before the tour, Jason Newstead had said the following:

We go out, take care of business and we’re done. We get on the stage when we say we’re gonna get on the stage, we play what we say we’re gonna play.


And when describing why there are no drama surrounding Metallica:

The people that we have working for us are the same people who have worked for us for many, many years — from stage carpenters to our guys that work on our guitars to our management. Metallica is a very fine-tuned machine. When we say we’re going to go do something, we go do it . . . We stick to our contracts and we fulfill them. […] And the music is much different. I’d say Metallica fans are a bit more loyal and a bit more rabid than Guns N’ Roses fans. I’m sure there are Guns N’ Roses fans that go crazy, but I don’t think they have the unity and the touch we have with our people. […] Our plan is to go out and play for a couple of hours and Just pummel. There’s not going to be too much talking or long solos. We plan on going out, song-to-song-to-song, and just crush. That’ll be that. Take care of business and get off stage and then they can do what they want to do.


Especially James Hetfield ripped on Axl on a few occasions. One of these were Metallica's "A Year and A Half in the Life of Metallica" home video in which Hetfield made fun of Axl's tour rider:

Axl Pose dressing-room requirements - absolutely no substitutions. One cup of cubed ham. Not [beep], you know, it’s gotta be cubed [beep] right, so it can get down his little neck. (Laughter) One rib-eye steak dinner, [?] to look like a [beep] ‘vegemetarian.’ One gourmet cheese tray. Pepperoni pizza – fresh.” I think that’s for throwing around. Cans of assorted Pringles chips. You know, the greasy shit that he uses to [?] his hair back. Bee honey, that makes you (does screechy voice) sing like that.
MTV, April 1993


Another was in an interview with Rolling Stone published on April 13, 1993:

[Guns N' Roses]’re a different type of band – and I use the word band loosely. It’s a guy and some other guys. We were out to show people that there was something a little more progressive and hardcore than Guns n’ Roses. And to go about it our way. But it was hard going on, dealing with Axl and his attitude. It’s not something we’d want to do again.
Rolling Stone, April 13, 1993


In it, Hetfield would also comment on the tour rider dig:

Metallica humor. It didn’t really matter what the hell was on [the rider]. Just the fact that Axl had his own rider was funny. It’s hard to grasp. When we saw he had his own dressing room, I just didn’t understand that.
Rolling Stone, April 13, 1993


And would criticize Axl for what happened in Montreal:

He was pissed off at the monitors or whatever. For some reason, he didn’t get enough volume, strained his voice, and it wasn’t working for him. He threw a fit, and that was that. I was so disappointed in him. Because he could have won so many people over by continuing the show. And he went the exact opposite way and made things ten times worse and jeopardized people’s lives. There was a lot of unnecessary violence because of his attitude. He could have turned it into a great evening.
Rolling Stone, April 13, 1993


At the April 3, 1993 show at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, CA, USA Axl would viciously lash back at Metallica:

So we’re kinda like around the Bay Area, right? Good. So it’s kinda like we’re here on somebody else’s turf in a way. Some people we used to like to think that we were homeboys or something. I wanna talk about – maybe your good friends, I don’t know – Metallica for a minute. Let me tell you a couple of things about Metallica. First off, they do a lot of bitching for a band that got paid about 20 to 30% more than fucking what they deserved at a show, because they didn’t bring that much.

“Ooh, Axl’s talking now, well, listen to that, who does he think he is?” I’ll tell you who I think I am. I thought I was friends with these people. I don’t know how long they were on the road, but there was nobody in their crew that ever got a bonus or paid anything extra for working their fucking ass off and slaving for that band. I pretty much watched a lot of people being treated like shit, and it wasn’t very enjoyable.

I watched the man named James prove that - you know, since I’m supposed to be the “rock racist,” cuz I used a word once? I watched the man show me that he was a motherfucking racist. He got a real big problem with Ice-T and any black man, actually. “Oh, rap is really terrible. Black men [?]” I watched him be really shitty at black people who worked with us. That wasn’t very enjoyable.

I watched him diss on other people, like Sebastian and shit, people that, like, love this fucking band. They love Metallica. They would, like, fucking do anything for that band. But Metallica don’t give a shit. Lars don’t give a shit. The motherfucker calls me at 4:00 in the morning trying to kiss my ass and stuff. And it’s like, but I can’t trust the little fucker. They’re gonna take it and figure how they’ll go make some more money. Like the time that we sat around writing a video for Don’t Cry, and we talked about being under water and showing all these things, and then Lars would [?] a video. And the cool thing about it is, he cocked to it, yeah, “I was ripping you guys off.”

I’m gonna dedicate this to these people who like to run a fucking little video for people saying, “Fuck you, this ain’t the Guns N’ Roses tour. This is Metallica.” Who say things like, “Oh, it was just a joke because we are friends.” You ain’t no fucking friend of mine, you fucking stupid little [?] cocksucker. This is for you, Lars, and you, James. This is called Double Talkin’ Jive motherfucker!


Slash would later shed some light about the relationship between the two bands:

The Metallica tour was the hardest thing we ever did. It turned into such a conflict of interests between the two bands that we're no longer friends any more. I'm not gonna put blame on anybody, or any of that shit, it just turned into something that maybe wasn't such a great idea.


By early 1995, Slash was back at hanging out with Metallica and would say he was okay with them attacking Axl but not Guns N' Roses:

I told Lars [Ulrich], like, 'Just don't fucking talk shit about Guns, because that means me. We're good friends, and if you talk about Guns I have to defend my band. You can talk about Axl all you want, I know the situation there. But when you say Guns N' Roses' it's a whole, and you're talking about me and the guys who make the fucking tour happen.' We really did our best to keep it together. So I just got in his face and we worked it out.

I love James [Hetfield]. James hates Axl, but he doesn't hate me. You never see me talking about them. It was always them talking about us. And if there was a problem with me, fine. But there wasn't. It was only tour situations that were Axl-related. They were talking about the whole band when they could have just said Axl. Everyone knows who Axl is. Don't say Guns, because that's me.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:52 pm

APRIL 3, 1993 - DUFF GETS BOTTLED


Later in the show April 3 show, after Axl had ranted against Metallica, at about 90 minutes into the show, Duff was hit by a water-filled plastic bottle and knocked unconscious [Sacramento Bee, April 5, 1993]. The band had to end the show while Duff received treatment [Sacramento Bee, April 5, 1993]. As the band left the stage, Axl would utter, ""If you find the a-----, kill him" [Sacramento Bee, April 5, 1993].

RIP Magazine would later recount the incident:

"The concert in Sacramento was going exceptionally well. Guns N' Roses, in their only California appearance on the Skin N' Bones leg of their world tour, had just finished "November Rain," which usually comes two-thirds of theway through the show. As the band was preparing to go into the next song, a full bottle of Evian was thrown from the upper mezzanine and struck bassist Duff McKagan square in the face. McKagan dropped to the floor, writhing in agony. He was rushed off the stage, and the rest of the band followed. Sash came out a bit later to explain to the confused audience that, unfortunately, the show couldn't continue without Duff. What's the moral of this story?

It only takes one asshole in a crowd of 12,000 to ruin everyone's night.

Duff was taken to the hospital, x-rayed and treated. Although sore, he made the band's next scheduled appearance, wearing a T-shirt printed with a large target and the words 'Don't Even Think About It'
" [RIP Magazine, November 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 pm

THE FINANCIALS OF THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' TOURING


Despite the huge commercial success of the extensive touring in 1991-1993, the band did not make much of a profit.

It’s not because of the money [we play the long sets]. We go over time so much and have in the past, to the point where we didn’t make a dime, you know. And it doesn’t really matter to us.


Explaining why:

Well, union stuff, and promoters, and, you know, different things (laughs).


Touring with Metallica might also not have made much sense financially. The double-bill certainly increased the market, but finding large enough stadiums that were willing to take them on became a problem [see discussion in previous chapter]. As discussed in Los Angeles Times:

The rule of thumb in rock is that a headliner receives about 60% of the gate at a stadium show. If you figure a gross of $1.2 million for a stadium date, Guns N' Roses or Metallica would walk away with about $720,000 if they headlined their own shows. […] But production costs escalate on a twin-headline event, so the headliners on a Guns/Metallica-type bill will walk away with $500,000--or about $250,000 each, according to one insider's estimate. That's a handsome $6 million when multiplied by 24, but far less than the potential $17.2 million from a solo stadium tour. […] On that basis, Guns N' Roses and Metallica are doing the stadium shows for about the same money each receives for a successful show in a much smaller arena.


Doug Goldstein would also admit they didn't try to cut costs:

We could have cut a lot of corners--and saved a lot of money--if each band did shorter sets and used the same (staging), but the whole idea was to make this tour unique. The only reason it's happening at all is that the bands wanted to put on the kind of show that they loved when they were teenagers themselves.


During the touring in 1991-1993 the band would also spend lots of money on lavish parties:

They blow big money on parties after the show. I think they could use that money somewhere else.

We have these great parties that Axl’s been kind of putting on, theme parties and stuff. […] We had voodoo night. And we had a Roman, like, orgy type night, a (?) party and they had all these big muscle guys bringing in a pig, roasted pig. At 4:00 in the morning, of course - you know, who wants to eat a roasted pig?


In September 1992, Greenville News would claim the band had different theme parties "every night", including a Roman party:

People were handed those little wreath things for their heads. The people that will work back there — usually really attractive girls — (were) in the toga uniforms.


They would also have an Indy 500 theme with girls dressed up in race uniforms:

We brought, like, a big checkered grub and had a bunch of girls that looked like – You know, when someone wins a race, then the girl kisses the guy.


They also did a 60's party with black lights and girls dancing, in the words of Gilby, on a "twister thing" [The Greenville News, September 29, 1992].

Later, Slash would say the parties had cost so much they had to end the, and that they had been Axl's idea:

[…] the Guns party situation was something that was very expensive and we had to stop it after a while. That was an Axl thing, too. But it was fun and we got to experience a bit of that. It was so expensive that we couldn't do it any more.


Duff would also point out how the big production drained profits:

We lost so much money on the big production tour. We had to cart that whole circus all the way through Europe, and then on through Tokyo and Australia and New Zealand.



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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 pm

JANUARY 1993-SEPTEMBER 1994 - AXL AND SLASH


As 1993 came along it seems like the relationship between Axl and Slash was worsening:

Slash: "My relationship with Axl is really, really personal. So, I don't know if I would like to talk about it that much. Because it's been so blown under proportion, in a negative way, that I'm scared to say anything anywhere about it. You know, a little gun-shy. Um, it's real sensitive, kind of… I don't know , like a partnership kind of thing. And I don't like it being tanned, you know, and thrown out of whack, because of the press or the media or whatever. So I'm a little shy, you know, to say anything" [The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993].

In May Slash would respond to being asked if the Axl-Slash relationship was anything like the Lennon-McCartney phenomenon:

Slash: "You know, I never even think about stuff like that, and I would never try and compare myself to a combo as overwhelmingly great as that; just I wouldn’t even bother. I mean, I have a lot of admiration for what it is that Axl and I, if you want to call us a team - it’s really a band, but for what we do as composers or writers and what we come out with. But, I mean, the people that I grew up with that I really admired - you know, the influences that helped shape how I turned out – I would never even try to compare us to them" [The O-Zone BBC, May 31, 1993].

In January 1994 they would do an interview on Rockline together, something they hadn't done in "a couple of years" [Rockline, January 3, 1994]. During the interview Slash and Axl would talk about writing songs over the phone together, and not working on the songs while being physically together until they started rehearsing them in the studio [Rockline, January 3, 1994].

The same month Slash would be asked "do you still say: "Hi Axl. Do you wanna go rent a video?" Are you friends, or is gotten to be business associates? Do you see so much of each other on the road, you don't wanna see each other?" and replied:

Slash: "That's what I was trying to get out. That's the only thing that keeps us from being completely whacked out, is that we're all still really close friends" [97.7 HTZ-FM, January 1994].

Slash is here talking about the entire band and not him and Axl, which is even more clear from what he says next:

Slash: "We just jam a lot, you know. We just get together and play and all our musical roots and all that kinda shit are still intact. You know what I mean. So, like... We've been working on songs for the next record and all we do is like, jam up at my house" [97.7 HTZ-FM, January 1994].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:55 pm

1993-1994 - PERSONAL LIVES


Duff had married Linda around August 1992, after having been lonely for a while [Kerrang! July 17, 1993].

Linda was doing a nude photoshoot for the magazine Platinum as the band's were interviewed by MTV talking about how Linda has helped Duff get more in order [MTV, March 1993]. Duff would later say that Platinum had "kinda screwed [them] over" [Rockline, September 27, 1993].

In July 1993 Duff would talk more about the happiness of finally being in a stable relationship:

I'm happy now. I have a beautiful wife who was like my best friend for two years before we started realising, 'Well, wait a minute...' I wrote this song about wishful thinking, seeing a girl, like 'Is this the one?' It's a really lonely song, but it's also like a song full of hope, because it turns out that she is the one. 'Could It Be U' is for Linda, my wife [Kerrang! July 17, 1993].
Duff would also for the first time start opening up about his anxiety attacks:

If I have an anxiety attack onstage, Gilby will come up to me, put his arm around me and say, "I'm here. I'm here for you, man," and he means it. Gilby won't play until I'm better[RIP Magazine, November 1993].
Maybe it was the cathartic experience of releasing a highly personal solo record that made Duff open more up about his personal issues? Or just added maturity? Or being in a stable relationship again?

With his stable relationship he also looked into a future with his own family:

I'm the youngest of eight kids, and in the future I look forward to having kids of my own. Road temptations, like groupies, that ain't no thing. I got my wife[RIP Magazine, November 1993].
In an interview published in various magazines Axl would talk about collecting antique crucifixes, and looking for such at antique shops in South America [Hit Parader, June 1993; RAW 1993].

In late 1992 he would be asked if he was happy:

Am I happy? Hmmmm. Yeah, but I won't really know how happy I am until the end of this tour in May. That's when I'll know if I achieved all my goals. I've achieved a lot of them, but I'm not in a place where I can sit back on my laurels and say "Hey, I did it." If i can kick back in June and feel a sense of accomplishment, then I'll be happy [Hit Parader, June 1993; but interview done in December 1992].
He would also mention trying to get back in skateboarding as a hobby:

I just bought a skate board, and I was thinking of getting back into that. I can do that then because if I break my arm, I won't have to miss any tour dates because I won't be on tour anymore! I bought a new house, so I guess I'll try to set that up and get some stability in my life. I'll be happy doing some domestic things. Stephanie and I have worked very hard to try and have a personal life, but it's not easy. We've tried to stay in touch as much as possible, but our lives are such fast-moving things. Five months for us, are like five years for most people [Hit Parader, June 1993; but interview done in December 1992].
In early 1994 Axl would be asked what he does in his spare time, and like Slash (below) say that business and personal life overlapped:

There's no real split between business and personal things, so it's still Guns N' Roses. I mean, I don't know when we'll go out again. We're aiming at '96 and we'll probably be doing a lot of recording, and trying to put a lot of things between now and then. But, we're still trying to move ahead as… And just keep this moving as hard as we can. So, there's not really a whole lot of free-time. I mean, now and then you kick back watching a movie or something. […] Other than that, it's just trying to keep your life together. And people from taking it away [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
Axl's break-up with Stephanie Seymore is described in a separate chapter.

Slash and his wife Renee were living in a house in Hollywood Hills that would be described lik this by Kerrang! in March 1994:

"Home for Slash and his wife Renee is a glorious house at the top of a winding road in the Hollywood Hills, with the kind of view of LA's long straight roads and twinkly car headlights that you'd normally go up in an aeroplane to get. It's got cats, it's got snakes - the snakes almost got one of the cats at one point, but that's a whole other story! - and, probably most important of all to Slash, it's got a studio" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

They had found a way to balance marriage and Slash's rock life:

She refuses to come to shows because of the groupies and all that. So she comes out with me, and then she hangs out for a couple of weeks and stays at the hotel, or hangs out with other wives or girlfriends that are out. And I go on to do the gig and I have my freedom. It’s cool. Good sort of balancing [The Big Breakfast Channel 4, May 28, 1993].
Yet he would also state that marriage curbed his promiscuity:

And, you know, I'm married now, which keeps me off the streets a little more then I used to be. Keeps me from waking up in some strange girl's apartment. And I love her very much so it's OK. That's curtailed my extracurricular, lunar activities [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].
In February 1993, when an interviewer said "Hi" from Traci Lords, a former girlfriend of Slash and former porn star, Slash would respond:

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].
Being asked if he pictured himself as a father:

I have a really hard time with that. [laughs]. […] 'Cause I'm just not ready for it. I wasn't even ready to get married actually. I was the least likely candidate for marriage I ever met. […] Yeah, 'cause I loved her too much [to not marry her]. And I was afraid I would end up losing her and then I would be more pissed off, eventually. I had other little reasons why I wanted to stay with one person [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].
Slash was also building a studio in his Hollywood home [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993], where he was reported to have pin ball machines and his snakes, cats, his alligator, lizards, iguanas, monitors "and stuff" [The Big Breakfast Channel 4, May 28, 1993].

It’s got a great studio, and a party room – and my snakes are there. All 35 of them... well, it might be a hundred by now,’ ‘cos one of them is pregnant. Plus, I have my lizards here, and my alligator [RAW, June 23, 1993].
On January 17, 1994, an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck the San Fernando Valley in California, causing damage to Slash's house:

Actually I just gotten done recording and come down the stairs, and was getting in bed and kiss the little woman goodnight, kind of thing. And all of a sudden: "Bam!", and the TV popped out across the room and that's when it started. The whole house blacked out and it was pretty much one of the most violent things I've ever been through. […] the house is fucked! [laughs] Everything living in the house, my pets and my wife and my cousin-in-law are all fine. All things considered, I could give a fuck about the house [97.7 HTZ_FM, January 1994].
It was major. That had to be the most shocking experience I’ve ever had. The house was devastated. And my wife was there and her cousin and I’ve like some 40-plus animals and t he whole thing was just a panic. Some of the cats were so freaked out, they were wedged in areas where you couldn’t even find them. And one of the major priorities after the initial shock was over was to check the cobra cages, but it was OK. They hadn’t gotten out.

Besides, it was just a house. I can still play guitar and everybody close to me is still alive and all the animals are fine. So, I’ve got nothing much to complain about
[Calgary Herald, January 29, 1994].
The damage meant that Slash and Renee would evacuate to a hotel for some time [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

Not long after a wildfire would ravage the outskirts of Los Angeles:

right by it. And fortunately it didn't come this far. I fuckin'… I was asleep early one morning, and the phone rings, and it's this friend of mine, who I actually don't talk to that much, he goes: "Are you watching the news?" Uh, no, why? He says: "Well, 'cos Mulholland's burning." And I was like, Mulholland? (Laughs) That's the street I live off. It turned out it was Mulholland City which is pretty far away so it didn't get this close. Matt (Sorum, GN'R drummer) almost lost his house. And Tom Zutaut from Geffen Records did. And Axl almost lost his. It's pretty… y'know, it's fucked up, so what I did was - that sort of gave me a little bit of panic, so I went out and got emergency evacuation containers for all my snakes and cats [Q Magazine, March 1994].
By late January 1994, Slash would say he had about 50 pets, listing "a lot of reptiles", "a lot of cats" and a mountain lion called Curtis [97.7 HTZ_FM, January 1994].

My wife's cousin Greg, his first visit to LA, right. He comes to my house, he had to sleep in the room where all the cobras are. And so, he got a little nervous, 'cause the cobras get up at night and start moving around. So he moved into my wife's office. And he had Curtis to deal with and all that, and all of a sudden the earthquake. […] So he's pretty frazzled. He got about 20 years of stress in about ten minutes [laughs] [97.7 HTZ_FM, January 1994].
No. I wouldn't trust him with it - he wouldn't know what to do! No, he's a pretty good father. He's got a baby cougar - it's like having a kid, and he's been really good with it. […] The cougar's cool; we hang out with him a lot. Now he's getting big, he's like eight months old, and he's the same size as me now - he's 150 pounds! He's fun. If you're sitting there playing pinball, he'll stalk you and pounce on you. It's fun. He's got a really good personality [Kerrang! May 25, 1994].
The snakes were kept all over the house:

[…] they stay in the cages. But there's cages all over the house. […] But I keep most of them separated. Like... you know, I have one room, which is my office that has all the dangerous snakes. You know, the poisonous ones in that room and then there's a couple of rooms in the back of the house... When we bought the house, there's a maid's room. I don't have a maid so I put... that whole room is filled with cages. And then there's a, what do you call it? A maintenance room in the garage, and then there's a couple of big cages in the main part of the house [97.7 HTZ_FM, January 1994].
Being asked is Renee likes the snakes:

She's... I mean, anybody that can deal with me as a husband, you know... Snakes really aren't that kinda big deal [97.7 HTZ_FM, January 1994].
In early 1994 Slash would be asked what he does in his spare time, and like Axl (above) say that business and personal life overlapped:

To tell you the truth, most of the time I spend, as far as free-time is… Just working with Guns stuff. It's a never-ending thing [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
In between his busy schedule Slash also had a small role in an episode of the TV series "Tales from the Crypt":

I don’t have an acting career. I only did it cuz it’s Tales, and that’s my favorite, all-time favorite TV show. I’m, like, the cool DJ that’s got the prime time slot [MTV, October 1994].
Dizzy continued to be a low-key member of the band, doing little press and generally operating under the radar. In mid-1993 he would do a rare interview and mention getting tired from the touring:

I feel worn out as we speak. We’ve been touring USA and Canada non-stop in the last two months. I miss my home, my wife, my kids, my dogs, my cats. […] I don’t have a problem with touring. What bothers me is the continuous travelling to be in a different city every night... You want to go to a club, you get into a taxi, the driver asks where you’re going, and you’re like, “I don’t know!” You don’t even know what hotel you’re staying at or which room. It’s weird. It isn’t natural. It isn’t normal! [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
Matt bought a Spanish-style house in Malibu, CA, for about $1 million, for him and his wife Kai [Real Estate Beat, October 31, 1993] but in May 1994 it would be reported that the pair was getting divorced [The Windsor Star, May 20, 1994]. The divorce papers were filed on June 1 [People Magazine, June 20, 1994].

Matt also planned a drum clinic in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on May 23, 1994 [The Windsor Star, May 20, 1994] but had to postpone [The Windsor Star, May 21, 1994] likely due to having to do a testimony after being charged, in true GN'R fashion, with spousal abuse [UPI, May 23, 1994]. The domestic violence, one misdemeanor count, was claimed to have happened on May 7 at their home at Maisel Avenue [UPI, May 23, 1994]. Matt pleaded innocent to the charge [UPI, May 23, 1994]. Pre-trial hearing was set for June 24 [People Magazine, June 20, 1994].

Gilby had his first baby due in June:

I think everything's gonna change. It's gonna be strange because it's hard to say, but there's gonna be someone coming into my life who's gonna be the most important thing. […] It's gonna be weird, because me and Daniella just mess around a lot, but now there's gonna be someone who's gonna take everything from us. You know, all of our attention. Everything we do is gonna be for the baby [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].
I’m a papa. I have a little baby daughter, her name is Francesca. She’s a sweetheart. I’ve never thought of myself as a father figure (laughs). But she is such a sweetheart, and I don’t even look at it like, you know, “I’m your father.” It’s like, we’re like a new team, me, my wife and my daughter now [Argentinian TV, June 1994].
When asked if Slash is going to be the godfather:

No. I wouldn't trust him with it - he wouldn't know what to do! No, he's a pretty good father. He's got a baby cougar - it's like having a kid, and he's been really good with it [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].
As for what has changed since joining GN'R:

As a person, I don't think I've changed at all. I don't think I've mellowed or gotten wilder. I think I'm pretty much the same. […] The only thing that's different is that financial things are more taken care of. But then, again they're not... You know, I have a house and I got more cars and motorcycles, but now I gotta work to pay for 'em! People always say, `Well, you have more money'... I say, `Maybe I have a couple more zeros, but my debts also have a couple more zeros'! [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].
I mean, obviously, from the days of – you know your house is now paid for, I have cars that are paid for; and, you know, you get to buy a couple of toys here and there. So it’s alright [Argentinian TV, June 1994].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:55 pm

APRIL 4-13, 1993 - THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR


Despite Duff being knocked out by a bottle on last night's show, the band was on again on for April 4 for their show at Lawler Events Center in Reno, Nevada, April 7 at Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah and April 9 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

For this last show Blind Melon had taken over opening duties after Brian May [Rapid City Journal, April 10, 1993].

The band's practice of encouraging girls to show their breasts on camera also continued, and, as usual, received quite a bit of controversy in local press:

Kevin Buntrock said he would have stopped a giant-screen video display of topless women during the Guns N’ Roses rock concert Friday — if he had realized what was happening. Buntrock is manager of Rushmore Plaza Civic Center here.

The incident apparently was partly spontaneous.

During the long break between the warm-up band, Blind Melon, and Guns N’ Roses, a video cameraman onstage panned the crowd.

Several young women pulled up their shirts for the camera, which projected their images by closed-circuit television onto two large television screens.

The cameraman was with Guns N’ Roses. The large screens were used during the concert to give the audience a better view of the band.

But witnesses said the cameraman encouraged and even urged women to bare their breasts. One witness counted 20 women on camera, although not all of them pulled their shirts up.

Ben Eicher, a Rapid City attorney who reviewed the concert for the Rapid City Journal, said he was surprised that the display was allowed to continue for so long - possibly as long as 45 minutes.

Buntrock said he was aware that two or three women had exposed their breasts, but he said he was not in the main arena at the time. He said he did not know the extent of the display until after it happened.

"That’s not acceptable behavior in most markets," he said.

Assistant City Attorney Kent Hagg said the women could have been cited for indecent exposure. Hagg also said the cameraman might have been cited for "inciting" or "soliciting" the behavior, but he said it would be difficult to prosecute such a case.

None of the flashers was cited.

Rapid City Police Capt. Doug Noyes said it would have been impractical and possibly dangerous to wade through the tightly packed crowd on the floor of the arena to write a ticket for indecent exposure.

“You have to be realistic,” Noyes said. "I do not think it would be prudent to enter that crowd for an arrest of this type
.
[Rapid City Journal, April 15, 1993].
After this show the band played April 10 in Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska, [b]April 13 at The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan.[/b]


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:58 pm

APRIL 15, 1993 - EVADING ATLANTA


On April 15, 1993, the band was originally intended to return to the Omni in Atlanta for their first time since November 22, 1987, when Axl had famously stage-dived to fight security guards and the police.

For the return show, the concert promoters thought it would be a good idea if Axl was handed a key to the city, or at least an apology the mayor [The Atlanta Constitution, April 1, 1993; Herald and Review, March 3, 1993]. But "official city image protector", Joel Babbit disagreed:

I don’t think it’s appropriate that you give a key to the city to a guy who hits a policeman on his last visit here. I think he ought to be the one giving something to us — maybe 1,000 bulletproof vests for police. Plus, I don't like his music.
[Herald and Review, March 3, 1993]
I suppose the mayor will say I’m some [bleep] who doesn’t care for his fans... but I'm not willing to be a sitting duck for the police.
[The Atlanta Constitution, April 2, 1993]
We’d love to play there. After all, they have great strip bars.
[The Atlanta Constitution, April 2, 1993]
Regardless of the reasons, the city and venue was changed to Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke, North Carolina.

Slash would mention this in his book:

We canceled a show in Atlanta both to let Duff recover and because Axl had been arrested there during the Appetite tour for kicking in the head a security guard whom he’d supposedly seen roughing up audience members. Doug didn’t trust either Axl or the venue’s security and he was probably right on both counts.
[Slash with A. Bozza, Slash, 2007].
Axl would also reference this from stage in 2011 when they did finish a show in Atlanta:

That's a better start than the last time I was here. I'm not in jail yet!
[Concert at Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA - November 2, 2011]
After Roanoke the band played a show on April 16 at Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:58 pm

APRIL 21-28, 1993 - THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR - MEXICO


The band then travelled to Mexico for five shows in Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey on April 21 to 28.


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:54 am

APRIL 29 1993 - GILBY BREAKS AN ARM


After returning from Mexico the band had some downtime before travelling to Europe to continue the Skin N' Bones tour. At the very first day after their last show in Mexico, April 29, Gilby crashed on a motocross bike and broke a wrist while preparing for a celebrity race [The San Bernandino County, May 18, 1993]. The bike belonged to MTV's Riki Rachtman [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1993].

Gilby: "We were sitting like way back, you know. It happened, I think, on a triple jam. I was going up, I was doing three spins and something on the way died" [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1993].

The injury required surgery and a metal plate and screws had to be inserted [The San Bernandino County, May 18, 1993].

Gilby: "I’m just gonna miss a couple of dates in Europe and then I’ll be back. […] I’m gonna miss, like, five dates of Europe then we’re going out in the middle of this month" [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1993].

Gilby: "Yes, the accident came like a serious chock for me. It happened on a day-off and I was in a fucking hospital with a broken wrist when we were going the next day! The whole Europe leg was left and it included a lot of important places that we hadn't visited yet. All the arrangements were done and there was no way that we could reschedule the tour" [Heavy Mental, June 1994].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:54 am

MAY 1993 - IZZY IS ASKED TO STEP IN FOR GILBY


In May it would be reported that Izzy had been asked to step in for Gilby for shows in "Israel, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom" later in May [The San Bernandino County, May 18, 1993].


Someone wondered "how will we find a replacer? Are we going to do it without Gilby?" and someone else came up with the idea "we'll ask Izzy, he knows all the songs". I went totally… "What? Can't you get someone else but Izzy? I have several pals that can learn the songs in no-time". […] It was a shock. To be totally honest I was so gone due to all the analgesic medicine that I took, so I wasn't thinking entirely clear. That's why it didn't take me so hard then[Heavy Mental, June 1994].
It was Slash's idea to call Izzy:


It was my idea to call Izzy; I thought It would be interesting. I didn't know he hadn't picked up his guitar in the last f"kIng year![Kerrang! March 12, 1994].
But it was Axl who picked up the phone and called Izzy:


I'd returned to Indiana, I lived peacefully, and one day, Axl called me. He asked me whether, effectively, I could help them on some concerts. I asked where these shows would take place, and it answered in Istanbul, in Athens, in London... you think that I hesitated (laughter)?! I love to travel and see new countries! [Hard Rock (French), June 2001].
Well Axl was the one who called me and asked if I would do it. I was home working on my bikes when I got the call. I thought about it for a couple of days, and then said that I'd do it for those five dates. Why did I go back? Well, I just saw it as a free holiday, really. I got to go to countries like Israel and Greece where I'd never been before[Metal CD, 1993].
Izzy would admit the main reason he did it was because of the money, and that he would use the situation as leverage to pressure the band for money:


Part of the reason [for doing these five shows] was that I had time off in Indiana, I wasn't really doing anything important, just working on bikes, motorcycles, and, yeah, "maybe it's fun". They played Turkey, they played Greece, they played Israel, so maybe it's cool to go see those places since I've never been there. And I knew all the music so it wasn't like I had to study or practise much, just take a guitar and go over. But the main reason was that for a year and a half since I left them they had never paid me all the money that I was owed, because there was a dispute about what was. So I told them, "look, tell your people to call my people and write up some paperwork and pay me my fucking money, and I'll gladly come over and help you guys out". Because they were kinda in a position where they didn't do these shows they would have lost, like, a lot of money [Interview with Izzy in Japan, September 22, 1993]
It was weird. We toured Greece, Istanbul, London – I liked that side of it, seeing some places I’d never seen. […] a big shit load of money sitting somewhere [for me] and they weren’t paying me [it]. I don’t know the deal was, some kind of legal bullshit. […] Money was a big sore point. I did the dates just for salary. I mean, I helped start this band… [Classic Rock, 2001]
Besides, Alan Niven, my manager, who was also that of Guns in the beginning, explained to me that the band still owed me some money. He advised me to accept to make them pay what they still owed me. It's only afterwards that I realized that Alan was going to get 20% of this sum (laughter)! [Hard Rock (French), June 2001]
Asked if he was freaked out when he heard Izzy would be stepping in to replace him, Gilby would respond:


A little bit. But I was so drugged up I didn't really notice it! […] Yeah, it was really strange, but when it first came up I was literally still in a hospital bed. I'd just gotten my wrist reset. And that's when they brought it up. 'Well, we can't cancel the tour. Who are we gonna get to play guitar?'. And I'm like, 'Wait a minute...'. And so they came up with the Izzy idea. In the back of my head I was going, 'Well, I don't think that's a very good idea', because what if Axl goes, 'Hey, this is kinda cool, let's just get Izzy back'[Kerrang! May 14, 1994].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:56 am

MAY 15, 1993 - THE DRUNK FUX IS REVIVED FOR A CHARITY GIG


On May 15, 1993, the Drunk Fux would be resurrected for a charity gig at the Hollywood Palladium [MTV, May 21, 1993]. The charity was to raise money for a popular local tour manager called Fred Saunders who had suffered massive injuries from a motorcycle accident [MTV, May 21, 1993]. For the occasion the Drunk Fux included Slash, Duff, Gilby (just singing due to his cast), Matt as well as Lemmy and others [MTV, May 21, 1993].

Duff: "Of course [Saunders] didn’t have any medical insurance or money for, you know, in general. So, you know, he’s gonna be okay, but this is the outfit for his medical bills" [MTV, May 21, 1993].

Slash: "Now that we are all here we sort of talked about what songs we can play, which ones we remember since none of us got together and practiced any of it" [MTV, May 21, 1993].

The show raised $ 40,000 [MTV, May 21, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:57 am

MAY 1993 - ROBERT JOHN RELEASES 'GUNS N' ROSES THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY'


Robert John: "I remember when [GN'R] were going over to England [in June 1987], Axl and Izzy asked me if I wanted to go. I said yes, but that I would have to quit my job. That was it. I never went back to a nine-to-five job ever from that point on because Guns N' Roses hit. As soon as we went over to England, that was the beginning, at least for me. It opened up a lot of doors. Axl helped me out tremendously with my career, because as doors got opened for him, he made them available for me. I totally appreciate that to this day and thank him for that. I didn't realize how big they became because I was touring with them and it wasn't until I stepped back that I saw it. These guys got huge. We went from watching this band that drew thirty-five people at the Troubadour to this" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Robert John: "Me and Axl used to talk about, you know, someday I was gonna put out a book on the band, and I thought they’d be huge. So he kept pushing me into it, and finally I said okay. Hopefully, it’s gonna do well. I really hope that people look at the book and feel that’s a real photo history, because I started working with the band in 1985, and from my very first photo shoot up until 1992. That’s what’s in the book" ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History" Documentary, June 19, 1994].

Robert John: "My personal likes are a little bit of motion blur - you know, to show what the person’s doing. Seeing a guitarist standing perfectly still, with the guitar in his hands, is really boring. I like seeing a lot of movement, like when Slash is on stage and he starts jumping around on one foot, and things like that. Those usually turn out to be really good photos" ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History" Documentary, June 19, 1994].

Robert John: "As far as my book goes, yeah. I’m very proud of it, because it’s weird – you know, people look at the book and they see the history of a band, and I look at the book and I see my progression on photography. I’m still not technically the best, but I see a progression of my own work" ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History" Documentary, June 19, 1994].

Slash: "I couldn’t pinpoint which photo I like the most that Robert shot. He has a great sense of timing. So, say he gives me a slide sheet from a few dates out of the tour to approve, I usually just approve all of it; or, if there’s something I definitely don’t like, it’s like one out of ten that, you know, I’m adamant about. But, otherwise, he’s got a great sense of timing. And, since he’s been with us so long, he’s one of the only guys that knows how to catch us at the right moment. You know, I grew up fucking reading rock ‘n’ roll magazines, and I knew what cool looked like as far as I was concerned. So, obviously, growing up you’re influenced by that, and when you see pictures of yourself, you’d like to be able – you know, if you’re lucky - to compare them to the cool shit that you grew up with. So he’s great for capturing that cooler-than-though kind of image" ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History" Documentary, June 19, 1994].

Axl: "In ways, Robert has been another member of the band, because he’s been there since the beginning; and is someone who is coming from the same headspace and attitude in ways about their craft and about the band that we were. So I’ve really liked supporting the loyalty in myself to Robert. And it’s something that’s had to be fought for at different times. You know, like when we were getting signed, there were pretty much, like, four photographers who had a monopoly over rock photos and the rock magazines; and I was like, “Well, I’m not signing unless you’re gonna guarantee me that Robert comes with us,” because I wasn’t gonna sign a deal and then have to go to Robert and go, “Well, now that we’re signed we got to shoot with these guys and can’t shoot with you anymore.” And I could feel that starting to happen. I mean, now I think that there’s a lot of different photographers in the rock ‘n’ roll magazines of different bands, but that wasn’t the case when we were signed" ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History" Documentary, June 19, 1994].

Slash: "It’s probably a better kind of a book for me to look at, just because I was there. You know, that kind of thing where – I mean, that shit really did happen, as they say. I suppose photo shoots where you all get together and anyone of a number of photographers gets you, it’s no real experience. This was even more than a day in a life. When I look back on it, I go, “Fuck.” You know, how nuts that day was, how stoned we were that day, when we were rehearsing and trying to get our shit together, and so on so forth. The thing is, it hasn’t changed much. And when it finally comes down to the wire and you start to feel like it’s all just too fucking difficult or things have changed, or anything like that, when you just start to get moody, I can look at that and go, “It’s always been fucking hard” ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History" Documentary, June 19, 1994].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:59 am

MAY 22-30, 1993 - THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR, THE IZZY SHOWS


After a few weeks break the band continued its tour. This time they would return to Europe and Slash would explain why:

In all honesty, the reason that we're going back to Europe, is… most, 75 percent of the tour is focused on places we've never been. And the unfortunate thing about Europe is that… aah, like in the States we can play arenas, we can go anywhere from theatres to arenas to… to stadiums. And there's even in between venues, that you can play. And in Europe you have, little tiny clubs, theatres and stadiums. So, we have to play, you know, the gig that is gonna facilitate our show.

Which means that we're going back into stadiums again. And so in some of the countries that we want to play in, the only place we can play in is in the stadiums that we have played in already. But, uuh, everybody travels far and wide to those gigs from all over the country. It's a lot different then playing in the States. So if we wanted to make up a gig that we couldn't have done, because we couldn't have gone in to that particular little city. If we go to, you know, the main stadium in the country, then those people will commute to get there. So, you end up playing same country over and over again. So people keep travelling from different cities, if that makes any sense. It's basically just to reach a bunch of people that you haven't reached before
[The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993]
For the Skin N' Bones tour Axl had stopped with the frequent changes in clothes during shows:

On this tour, what I wear on stage is pretty much what I wear every day. That will change when the tour is over, because then I can have the time to wear clothes again, and next it will be like the Chili Peppers and wear socks. Slash thinks that the greatest freedom will be to play naked. I personally don’t have a great desire to be on the same stage, but – ["Guns N' Roses: The Photographic History", Documentary, June 19, 1994].
This last leg of the tour started on May 22, 1993 at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel. For the first five shows Izzy was substituting Gilby who had suffered a broken wrist. Brian May was also back as the opener.

Slash was disappointed with Izzy's performance and what he would claim was a couldn't-care-less attitude:

I really looked forward to playing with him again and really hoped that he had changed. I booked a place before the first gigs in Tel Aviv to rehearse. But Izzy thought it was unnecessary, that it was just wasted time. He hadn't changed one bit and therefore the gigs turned out the way they did. [...] Izzy simply doesn't like playing rock at the level where we are right no. We understand it no and I'm personally very fucking disappointed at his previous behavior [Metal Zone, December 1993]
And we just recently played with Izzy and Izzy is just not interested in this business anymore [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].
Axl would lately corroborate on this when he mentioned they had to turn his amps down during shows:

You know, I read something somewhere. Someone was writing an article about my other friends. And they wrote this thing about how 'in the old days, you know, there were lots of problems and technical errors of the band and Izzy couldn't hear himself' [laughing] The reason that Izzy couldn't hear himself - this isn't being mean - is our roadies would stand behind Izzy's amp, 'cause Izzy would be so whacked out of his mind that he would basically be playing a different song in the wrong key, and the only way we could do the songs was that every time he would go to him amps, he would turn his amps up and turn around to the crowd. When he would turn around to the crowd the roadie would reach around and turn his amps back down so that we could play the song. That worked especially well in Tel Aviv [laughter] Just a full tippit there for your Trivia Pursuit [Onstage Boston, December 2002]
This could be read as Axl implying that Izzy was back on drugs again, but this is likely a misunderstanding and Axl was talking about Izzy not remembering the songs or not playing them well enough.

And Duff would confirm that Izzy couldn't remember how to play all the song but that he was happy t have his friend back:

Myself, I've always been friends with Izzy, and so it’s really good, like, him stepping back in. It’s okay, I mean he’s forgotten to do the songs (laughs). But that’s alright, you know. People know that he hasn’t played with us for over two years, so they’re not gonna expect crystal clear, perfect sounds coming off the stage. Cuz they definitely are not. Not that I just think it’s Izzy, I mean everybody. We’ve never been perfect[MTV. May 1993].
[Izzy] had his reasons for quitting and he is his own man; if he’s not happy then screw it. So him coming back was neat. He was really excited and it was like old times with him playing next to me and we just goofed off. He had nothing to lose: he could make all the mistakes he wanted![Guitarists Magazine, November 1993].
Izzy was also not happy about the shows and would complain about the state of his band mates:

I didn’t actually say ‘see you’ cos they were all fucked up. Duff and these guys, they didn’t even recognise me. It was really bizarre. It was like playing with zombies. Ah, man, it was just horrible. Nobody was laughing anymore…[Classic Rock, 2001][/i]
I did these shows and I didn't enjoy myself a lot because Duff and Slash were always still wasted. I don't want to pretend I'm a saint, 'cause I did everything, but when you're clean, there's nothing funny about seeing your friends like that[Hard Rock (French), June 2001]
While in Israel the band visited Jerusalem [MTV, May 1993].

The next show took place on May 24 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece.

Talking about the crowd in Athens: At first they were a bit (?). I guess a bunch of bands have cancelled for whatever reasons. So the fans were a bit (?) at first and apprehensive. But once we started on, the crowd really got into it. That was good and all [MTV, May 1993]
Before the show members of the crew would be interviewed about the production.

Tom Mayhue, described as Axl’s on stage health consultant, would talk about Axl using a tent with a humidifier during the show to moisturize his throat:

"Basically we’ve got an oxygen rig with a humidifier, which puts moisture back in his throat during the show. Then later we’ll have assorted teas and things like that that he uses. It’s a make-up table with what-have-you - towels, mic stands, tea pot, you name it. We’ve got it all in here" [The O-Zone BBC, May 31, 1993].

Slash would also be asked if he playing in front of so many people frightened him:

You know, we’re used to doing it. We’ve been it for a while, but I have to admit that the couple of hours before we get on stage are pretty tense, especially because we’re not what you’d call a very rehearsed band. So if we have a good night it totally depends on how we get on together on stage and the way the building sounds, or the venue sounds, and what the kids are like. So you never know exactly what it’s gonna be like every night [The O-Zone BBC, ay 31, 1993]
Slash would also be asked how the tour has changed:

Well, right now we don’t have that big band that we were carrying around before, and we’re doing an acoustic set. That’s a big difference. The thing is, like, we did the show in Israel the other night and Izzy was playing with us because Gilby broke his wrist, so that was interesting in itself - I think we’re one of the first stadium bands who’s replaced their replacement with the original guitar player. And we went up there and we played pretty much like a club band. There was a small stage and we were loose, and Izzy hadn’t played with us in a long time, and, basically, had no idea what the set was like, and we didn’t know what he was gonna be like – and it was all pretty much spontaneous [The O-Zone BBC, May 31, 1993]
And the frustration of not being able to explore the places they go:

When you get to go somewhere in a different country, because of the fact that you’re confined to a hotel most of the time, it’s actually a little frustrating. You know, because it’s exciting when you get into the airport, into an entirely different culture, and you go straight to the hotel. And that’s basically it until the gig, because the hysteria level is so high; which, you know, I’m not complaining or anything, but it does get to be a drag, cuz you can’t go out and experience it, except if you pick some time in between, say, tour dates and just gather maybe one or two people and just go on your own. When the whole entourage is in town, everybody knows; there’s no escaping it [MTV, May 1993]
Slash and Dizzy would also talk about how the idea of having an acoustic set came:

I think it’s a blast. When we first started rehearsals to do that, I remember we brought out, like, all those stools, and we were sitting there doing (does gesture of playing guitar). And I remember Axl at the rehearsal is like, “No way, we can’t do this.” He’s like, “We need a couch - and a coffee table.” You know, and it just looks like your living room now, right? (?) And we brought the couch out there, and the table, and got the guy to serve the pizza. You know, it’s like sitting around in your house jamming. And that’s, basically, what you could do to get stuff started out. In some way we’re trying to portray that to the audience and make it more real. I think it’s a lot of fun for us and I think most of the people get into it in the same way [MTV, May 1993]
A lot of diehards and, like, metalheads will be like, “Oh, man, they do, like, a 20-minute really boring acoustic set.” But we have a great time doing it and the songs are there. And, you know, we just do whatever we feel like, which makes it fun for us, and I think people can read that more than when they see a band that’s out there doing it extensively like a job and just doing the same ritual routine over and over and over again. I can name a lot of bands that I know that would actually flag me and name Guns N’ Roses, but I won’t name them. But there are bands out there doing it, and they’ve been doing it for a long time [MTV, May 1993]
The next show was in Turkey:

We have to go to Turkey tomorrow and, you know, we might never come back from there. So it’s like our last right to life, I say – something like that [MTV, May 1993]
That show was on May 26 at Inönü Stadyumu in Istanbul, Turkey.

They then headed to England for two shows on May 29 and 30 at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes. These would be the final shows with Izzy playing full sets. He would come back to play with various incarnations of Guns N' Roses later, but never for a full show.

For the second show at Milton Keynes Gilby had returned, although he didn't play and instead saw the show from backstage until he was called on to sing on 'Dead Flowers':

I came to Izzy's last gig in Milton Keynes in England and I sat by the side of the stage. I thought "but what's happening here. This is my part!". Even though it was Izzy's from the beginning. He used all my old equipment too, so it felt very weird. Then I went on-stage and sang a song with the band. I didn't notice I sang it on my own! We never rehearse and Axl came to me and said, "we do a cover of Rolling Stones. Izzy knows everything with Stones" and so we played "Dead Flowers". Axl said, "hit it!" and I thought we were gonna sing together. There I was in front of 50,000 people and sang [laughs][Heavy Mental, June 1994]


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:07 am

JUNE 2-JULY 13, 1993 - THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR, EUROPEAN LEG


The next show took place at June 2 at Praterstadion in Vienna, Austria, before heading to Netherlands for two shows on June 5 and 6 at the Stadspark De Goffert in Nijmegen. Then followed a June 8 show at Gentofte Stadion in Copenhagen, Denmark, a show on June 10 at Valle Hovin in Oslo, Norway.

While in Oslo Duff would visit a dentist to have a tooth removed:

Yeah, I still have it! It’s a big ugly fuckin’ big-ass three fuckin’ rooted tooth! It doesn’t look human, man, It’s like this THING but it came out of my mouth and now I have this huge gap. They coulda saved it, but I didn’t have the time to undergo six weeks of root canal shit and it hurt so bad I just said, ‘Please, please get it out!!! And it was so big and ugly I had to keep it! [RAW, September 1993].
The band then travelled to Sweden for a show on June 12 at Stockholms Stadion in Stockholm,

Talking about the show in Stockholm: The only thing that was screwed was that it rained all day. The stage was completely soaked. I found it really hard to try to run around on stage, because it was so fucking wet. Otherwise it was great. The crowd was fucking awesome [Swedish TV, June 13, 1993].
The next show as on June 16 show at Fussballstadion St. Jakob in Basel, Switzerland.

For the Basel show, Blind Melon was back as the opener. And instead of the normal guy bringing the band pizza, it was a nude Shannon Hoon (the singer of Blind Melon) that came on stage. He proceeded to play congas with the band, still stark naked, before exiting the show and being immediately arrested by waiting on the side of the stage [Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014].

The band then travelled to Weserstadion in Bremen, Germany for a show on June 18, Müngersdorfer Stadion in Cologne, Germany on June 19, Wildparkstadion in Karlsruhe, Germany on June 22, Waldstadion in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 25, Olympiastadion in Munich, Germany, on June 26, before two shows at Modena Stadio in Modena, Italy on June 29 and 30.

After the first Modena show, as Axl was being brought back to his hotel with his entourage of Earl the bodyguard and Axl's two assistents, their limo was swarmed by fans who wanted to get to Axl. Despite "protocol" Axl decided to exit the limo and try to get into the hotel by himself. This led to a scuffle as Axl's entourage tried to free him from all the fans who wanted to grab and touch him. Axl's two assistants got in a fight with paparazzi who had bumped into Axl and knocked him over. The situation was resolved when a police man fired his gun in the air, causing everybody to pause long enough for Axl and his crew to quickly dart into the hotel [Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014.].

The band then travelled to Spain for a show on July 5 at Estadi Olimpic in Barcelona and a show on July 6 at Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid before heading to France for a show at Halle Tony Garnier in Lyon on July 9 and to Belgium for a show at Werchter Festival Ground in Werchter on July 11 before heading back to France for a show at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris on July 13.

This concluded the European leg of the Skin N' Bones tour.


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:08 am

JUNE 22, 1993
THE MAKIN' OF THE F@*!ING VIDEOS


In June 1993, the first two of three "the making of" videos would be released, trying to explain the stories behind the 'Don't Cry' (June 22, 1993), 'November Rain' (June 1993) and the forthcoming 'Estranged' video (1994), and documenting their filming.

Looking back at the three videos:

Don’t Cry, it’s like, personally I’m more proud of that than anything I’ve done as far as work-wise. November Rain, I’m really proud of and really happy with, but there was certain things that I wasn’t completely involved in, that I was in Don’t Cry and that made it more part of me. And, you know, November Rain was exactly what we wanted it to be, but it’s a more black-and-white video where you can tell what’s happening, while in Don’t Cry it was more surreal.

Those videos are hard to look at. I mean, the “Making of” those are hard to look at and hard to put out. [Making of] November Rain was very hard to put out. I mean, I was in the process of being fucked over when [Making of] November Rain was coming out, but I put it out anyway. But there was a period of time where I was going to buy the video from the band, which would have put me fucking flat broke at that time and probably owing money. I was gonna buy the video and put it in storage, and no one would’ve ever seen it. But I decided to rise to it and put it out.

You know, I’ve worked with Andy [Morahan] a lot, and there’s a lot of trust involved. And it’s ended up going way over the top and different scenes, but yet I know that, like, a feeling that we were trying to convey is still there.


With the music videos the band was accused of being indulgent:

Yeah, indulgent, right. It’s funny ‘cos I always thought music was indulgent in the first place. Putting out two double albums might be indulgent, but if you ask me we’re musicians doing exactly what the fuck we want to do and having the space to do it. We’ve never adhered to industry standards and I felt that going out there and playing those songs that no-one had heard in front of 20,000-60,000 people per night was pretty ballsy. I can’t see Bon Blow-me doing that, can you? Otherwise they’d be out there now. I don’t think we bored too many people and, in fact, as a live band I think we showed exactly where our confidence lies. No one told us to play bund of hits and I think we managed to crossover from being a band that people went to see to get fucked up to, to a band that people actually listen to, that’s cool, whatever anyone says.

[From the filming of the 'Don't Cry' music video]: It’s very self-indulgent. Extremely self-indulgent. So self-indulgent, that I’m gonna film three versions of myself tonight (laughs).


Axl's band mates didn't always fully understand the videos and stories, nor appreciate the effort:

I have no idea what it means at all. I mean, just the obvious of what anybody that watches it gets, but, you know, when you’re doing it – […] I was on the inside and I’m still confused. I’m waiting for the movie to come out.

Both those videos, even if you don’t understand them or you can’t make any sense of them, they’re very compelling to watch, because you wanna try and figure it out, you know? I mean, I catch myself, like, flipping through channels and I hit the (?) and I see one of our songs, I’ll stop for a minute, you know, and look at it, and it means something new to me every time I see it.

I don’t really get into the video aspect of it that much. I come up with my idea for my guitar solo, and then Axl – you know, the big cinema graphic sequences that Axl gets into writing and all that. I’m just, you know, driving a car off the cliff, okay?

Those videos don’t have a lot to do with me, per se. I mean the playing on the songs that I do is serious, and then I just write my own part for my guitar solo. All the rest of it is Axl getting into the whole story and all that. So I’m not there for the whole thing. But even my own parts, I have to admit, are a bit of a pain in the ass.

Some of these video shoots go on forever, man. You know, they’ll start at, like, I don’t know, whatever hour of the day, noon, and go till 10:00 the next morning. I never realized or fathomed what goes into the making of such a video. It’s hard, I mean, just being around through the whole time. The waiting is the hardest part. So it’s a 24-hour thing, you know? Into the next day.

We do this all over and it gets to be 6:00 in the morning, you know, and it’s like, “Hey, you guys have enough shots of me, man” (laughs).

[Estranged] is the first video I’ve actually really shown up that much. November Rain just – I’m not in that video that much, because it drove me nuts making it.

I don’t know, I don’t know. I’ll be probably explaining this video for the next year, too, just like the last one – and not knowing what I’m talking about and just blabbering (laughs).

I think it’s cool that it’s not obvious what it’s all about. It’ll keep you guessing forever. I mean, nobody’s ever gonna actually come out and say, “This is exactly what this means here” and “Don’t you get it?” So it’s up to the viewer. I think that’s cool.


Although it wasn't all negative, and they would compliment the results:

Yeah, I think it’s great to do it. I think it’s a great thing between radio and the concept of video, mixing the two together is great. Visuals are always great. But, you know, having to get down there, and be a musician and have to fake it sometimes - which, even if you’re playing live, sometimes you are having to do, you know, take one/take two/take three, and it’s not as natural as it could be. It just goes with the territory; you know, when you’re making movies you have to stop and start, and stop and start, this camera is not on, that camera is not on... But you can do a lot of things with it, and it has more toe to toe kind of relationship with your audience, because you can see something. I mean, it was never a bad idea, to put it that way.

When I first saw Don’t Cry - and I was not associated with the band in any way, and I saw it, I thought it was the coolest video that they’d done. I didn’t understand it at all, but I liked that. I thought it was really, really cool and interesting to see the band do something that different.

I understand it in my own way. And for me to give my explanation of the trilogy would be kind of ridiculous, because I’m sure Axl’s got his. I mean, I know what Axl’s thinking, and Slash, and – I think they’re three very beautiful videos and should be taken as that.

Oh, I think they’re great. They’re amazing. You know, I’m still trying to figure them out, but so it’s always fun when people ask you, “What does that mean?” “Hey, I don’t know.”


I 1995, with Slash and Axl not being on the best of terns, Slash would express more negative feelings about the videos:

What, the big epic ones with dolphins, oceans and stuff? […] I hate doing videos like that. I like to have a video that looks cool, where it’s just the band playing. That’s what I think a cool video is


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:09 am

JULY 16-17, 1993 - THE END OF TOURING, THE END OF AN ERA


The band would now travel to South America for two shows at the Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 16 and July 17.

While in Argentina, the band was accused of having bought 50 g of cocaine from drug dealers in the hotel, and for indecent exposure after Slash showed his ass from the balcony of his hotel room [The Windsor Star, July 19, 1993]. A judge quickly ordered their rooms searched but no drugs were found [The Windsor Star, July 19, 1993] and both charges were dropped after Slash agreed in writing to not expose himself again, allowing the shows to take place [The Windsor Star, July 1993].

In October 1993 it was reported that the accuser, former state intelligence agent Juan Imbessi, had been motivated by unspecified "anguish and erotic exasperation" and had "sought to cancel the show" [Gainesville Sun, October 21, 1993].

Gilby, looking back at the incident:

It was a joke. […] What it is, it’s a complete joke and it’s really inconvenient, too. But I don’t know if you remember when it happened – […] It was really funny, because they came and we were all like – I mean, we were all around laughing at this, like, “Go for it.” I mean, come on. It’s really, really silly, you know? They make all these accusations and stuff and it’s like, come on, don’t insult our intelligence, first of all. “We’re carrying drugs because you ain’t gonna find them” (laughs). But we don’t do that, you know? We’re not stupid. We don’t want to go to a country, get kicked out and never come back [Argentinian TV, June 1994].
Craig Duswalt would recount the incident in his biography:

"At approximately 5 p.m., a group of about fifty police officers from the city’s narcotics division descended on the hotel. They were looking for a large amount of cocaine, which had allegedly been stashed in one of the band member’s rooms. They forced their way onto our secure floor and were met by our security team and Doug. I heard on my walkie-talkie that something was going down, and it didn’t sound good. I came out of my hotel room, and there, by the elevators, were a ton of armed policemen talking to Doug and a few others. I took position in front of Axl’s door. At that point he had no idea what was going on. He was eating dinner inside his room, while Steve was taping his ankles for the show. The chief of police was demanding to see Axl’s room. […] But before they went in any of the rooms, Doug did something very smart. He negotiated with them that we have an American representative go in the rooms with their team of policemen while the rooms were searched. We were all afraid of drugs being planted in our rooms. […]Eventually the American representative showed up, and the chief of police and his posse started searching the rooms. Of course, they wanted to start with Axl’s room. And because we now had an American representative, we showed them which room was Axl’s.[…] No cocaine. After all that, the chief of police and his team were about to leave Axl’s room, when the chief turned to Axl and asked for his autograph. […] Axl had Doug and I set up an impromptu press conference and within minutes we had a meeting room, and a room full of reporters, and television crews. Axl released a live statement of what had just occurred, adding that no drugs were found in any of our rooms. It was fed live to all local television stations. Only an hour and a half later, Guns N’ Roses hit the stage and put on another amazing show" [Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014].

These were the last shows with Matt and Gilby, and the last shows with both Duff and Slash until April 2016. The band would not play any more shows until January 1, 2001, but then with a radically different lineup wit only Axl and Dizzy remaining.

Looking back at the Skin N' Bones tour:

Then we went to do our own tour, the 'Skin And Bones' one. We did it in Europe, which is always better than playing in the States. […] It was really cool. European audiences appreciate the stuff I would appreciate. In the US, there are some towns where bands don't go to much and they always appreciate it. But you go to some towns, mostly the major cities, and it's different [Kerrang! January 8, 1994].
[…] I've got a lot of stamina, but those last records and that entire tour, it was such an endurance thing. […] That was a hell of a long tour. A lot of stuff went on. Nine kids were born, a dozen people got divorced, a dozen people got married. I got married! I'm the last person I'd ever expect to get married - it's funny! All this stuff went on while we were still doing the tour. It was like watching real life going down in this mad kind of environment - such a contradiction in terms [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:11 am

1991-1994 - THE PRESS III


I don't even think [the press] expect us to be nice any more. I think they now see us as their puppets. It's really just sensationalism, like if there's nothing to write about let's talk about Guns N' Roses' s latest antics. When you actually meet them face to face, some of them are a little paranoid, like I'm going to smash a bottle in their face or something. Some of them want you to! [laughs] I haven't been able to figure out the psychology behind that! And if there's nothing they can say they make it up. Those are the press people we're pissed off at, in 'Get In The Ring', the ones who make it up. Because what I'd been hoping would happen at some point in our career is that our musical ability – going out there as a rock band and kicking ass – would somehow surpass the hype some day [Music Life, November 17, 1991].
The press tends to really jump on the wrong things. They twist words around and just make things up about you when they want to. I have no use for that. It angers me when the fans read something about me or the band that they believe but that we know is not really true. But I've also come to realize that you either fight with the press or you try to cooperate the best you can [Hit Parader, July 1994].
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In August 1991 the band would refuse to do any of the planned interviews with UK magazines as the band visited England to play at Wembley in London (August 31, 1991], although they did at least talk to RAW Magazine: "At some unGodly hour [Axl] called his publicist and decided that all the press Guns n' Roses were gonna do in the UK was just gonna have to be undone. Consequently there's a horde of TV crews and assorted press people standing around looking a little dismayed at the fact that despite all the assurances, there are no members of Guns n' Roses in the building" [RAW, October 1991].

In November 1991 Axl would indicate that he had learnt from his dealings with the press:

That you have to just deal with it. Just take the time to understand it, and go over where you feel you didn't get your point across so well before. And just being aware of the interviewers' motivations, how your interviews are being used, how much money different people are making by running articles on you or comments by you [Metallix, 1992].
And in early 1992 Axl would say the following:

I’d like you to know something: unless I’m publicly somewhere saying I did this interview, half the shit you read I said, I’ve never fuckin’ said. I haven’t done an interview with a lot of magazines in three to four years [Onstage in Dayton, January 13, 1992].
In July 1991 (although published in August) Slash would confirm that many of the earlier press stories had been grounded in the truth and that they had been behaving outrageous with little regard to how they came across:

I’m more concerned about it now after reading some of the stuff, or watching some of the stuff that we did when we weren’t at all conscious of what we are doing. Not that we were incoherent, just that we didn’t care. Then you read it back and go, ‘This is just f**kin’ ridiculous, you know'. So I think, as we grew up a little bit, not as a band but just as individuals […] [Kerrang! August 3, 1991].
As for press dealings, like in previous years, Izzy was holding a low profile. In June 1991, Rolling Stone confronted him with his reputation of being the "most press shy band member":

I've read so much bullshit about our band. […] At first I thought it was funny. Then I was like 'I don't need this'. Why should I try to explain our version when they are going to write whatever? [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
And Rolling Stone would point out that he "does however find doing the rare interview useful - like say when he's lost touch with two of his old Indiana friends – Mike Gold and Troy Kendall - and thinks that crediting them as early influences in a magazine article might prompt them to look him up" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

Of course, at this time Izzy was considering leaving the GN'R circus altogether, and probably found interviews pointless.

After the band first show at Madison Square Garden in New York on December 12, 1991, Jon Pareles, writing for New York Times, wrote a lackluster review of the show. This prompted Axl to invite him to attend the second show at MSG and "tell the crowd why they weren't having a good time." In an interview with Rolling Stone by Kim Neely, that was published in April 1992, Axl was asked why he did that and if he didn't realize Pareles would be walking into "a minefield":

[Pareles] didn't have the balls to stand behind what he wrote, and he got exposed [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
When Neely asked why Axl couldn't call Pareles or meet him at "neutral ground":

I'm not gonna make the New York Times any more money. It was an obnoxious piece. It was shit journalism. He could've written: "I didn't like the show, personally. I think they suck." Okay, fine. Cool. You can think we suck, and I can think you're an asshole. But don't just try to make it look like nobody enjoyed it [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
And when Neely pointed out that he might just have been "calling it like he saw it":

Then that's a person with some severe fucking personal problems, and he has no business being there writing about our show. It's a different crowd at a G n' R show now than it used to be. He didn't understand it. Most people that have been into G n' R for years don't understand it, but they can feel it. Having a nice time is weird for people that don't have nice times in their lives. When you don't really know what a nice time is, a nice time is for pussies [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992].
In April 1992, Rolling Stone would publish a heavy discussion between Lonn M. Friend and Axl that talked in detail about Axl's therapy and what he had discovered about himself and his childhood. Apparently, Axl had been nervous about how the article would come out, but was so happy about the end product or its reception that he immediately made himself available to new interviews [New York Magazine, April 6, 1992].

In an interview in May 1992, that would be published in June in the Liverpool Echo, Slash would say that Axl "gets a bit worked up sometimes and things get to him" and the newspaper would imply that because of this Slash was now taking over all dealing with the press [The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].

In June 1992 Slash would talk about all the articles that were written about them:

Well, you know, certain things come out, people makes you aware of certain articles or, I go to get some cigarettes. You know, from a newsstand, and I see a cover with my face on, and go "ok." Then you feel like a real idiot, 'cause the guy selling you the cigarettes is looking at you looking at yourself in a magazine. I mean, he knew who you were when you were walking up there to get the cigarettes. Which you try and walk in like you're just anybody. And you'll flip through it. But I've never do anything but look at the pictures. [laughs] I mean, who's got time to sit there and read like a page of garbage, on some band, you know. The Guitar Player ones I'll read. That's it. Axl's Rolling Stone cover, because I knew what a big deal that was. That was something I read. Every so often that you have a series article that you do… an interview that you do that you vent out a lot of stuff, personal stuff. So you gonna see how that come out. But for the most part, no, I don't read anything [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
When asked specifically about Axl's Rolling Stone interview:

I was just glad he got it off his chest. He had a lot going on and… I mean, to do it in Rolling Stone… I think he really needed that Rolling Stone has. Which is a hell of lot of people, a lot of different… sides of the spectrum, as far as people go. It was great for him to do that, because people really misunderstand him. So it's cool. For me, I could say anything. [laughs] I mean, it's a different kind of scene. I mean, I don't usually get that serious, you know, regardless of how serious things are. It's hard for me to sit down that long and share it with anybody else [Fully Illustrated Book & Interview Disc, June 6, 1992].
Also in June 1992 Hit Parader would publish an interview with Duff where they would discuss bad experiences with the press:

There has been things said about us.. .ya know.. .We’ve been there for the interview and like trusted the guy.. .ya know....because we were always good to them. And you think this guy’s cool....give him a beer or whatever and hang out with him and you do the interview. And then this totally slanderous interview comes out two months later. Ya know....like I thought this guy was my friend. […] It happens more than you can imagine....or happened I will say now [Hit Parader, June 1992].
When asked about the press contract, Duff would first say he didn't want to talk about it, but when pressed he would say that they still used a watered down form:

Well that’s yeah....yeah. And there still is a form. It’s not as harsh as the old one was. It was so harsh because we had over the years accumulated all this crap on us that wasn’t true. And we got fed up. It was like.. .OK, if you want an interview you got to sign this, and we get to go over everything that’s gonna be printed. And if you don’t print exactly the way you show it, then you get faced with a libel suit. […] [The suit] is totally against our.. .you know....were just five, six guys out playin’ and we don’t want to do that. But then again, you don’t wanna look back when you’re fifty years old and look at these interviews sayin’ garbage. […] There’s a different contract now. I don’t wanna talk about this because it’s got nothing to do with rock and roll [Hit Parader, June 1992].
In August 1992, Duff and Slash would discuss the press:

The journalists, I would think, they would practice it to more – you know, the rainforest thing that’s going on down there, and Yugoslavia and all that. I think they, sometimes, get their morals or their...[…] focus a little screwed up. Yeah, focus. Exactly. And we’re not that big of a deal, you know. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band. We’re touring and that’s what we’re doing [Much Music, August 9, 1992].
Yeah. One of the things that we’ve been doing is, like, just doing more press - and especially doing it on camera - so that we can actually speak our minds about stuff, instead of letting other people do it for us. Because it just gets out of hand. And it’s just like, the tabloids and stuff kind of attitude, where they’re just feeding off of personality, and it gets to the point where it gets so negative. It’s like, what you’re trying to concentrate on, what you’re trying to communicate with the readers. You know, and the people who are interested in what “entertainers” –as they would call it- are doing, at least they should be told the truth. Otherwise, it’s like, this whole big facade is built up, and when you go out and play in front of people, they have no idea what you’re all about [Much Music, August 9, 1992].
When the band toured South America in late 1992 the press would write crazy stories about the band and its members, this resulted in Axl, Slash and Duff doing a rare press conference on December 4, 1992 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to try to address the rumors:

Also, we’re giving out this press conference, which we don’t do in every city. We don’t do press conferences. As Doug, our manager, said, the reason we’re doing this is to clarify a few things up, because all these rumors are flying. And where do they come from? Not from us. They come from the press, you know. So, that’s why we are here, to clarify a lot of these really ugly, kind of silly and stupid rumors that are happening, and it makes us sick, you know? We’re here to play, we’re here to make people happy, and it’s really gotten out of hand. That’s why we’re coming down to do this. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band, you know? [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Also, I’d like to say, we have been touring for seven years together. And this is the first time that we’ve ever seen – I mean it’s great, but we’ve never, ever seen the type of reaction that we’ve seen with the press and with the fans. It’s more hysteria than we’re certainly used to. And, to be honest with you, a lot of people get afraid when you have press people pushing this way, the fans pushing this way, you have nowhere to go. It gets a little scary [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
I might add that in some distorted way we do appreciate all the attention. We just don’t know what to do with it (laughs) [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Well, also because of the things that went on in the papers down here. I don’t even know what paper or what writer or who said what about me. All I know is that I’m seeing fights outside right now, people burning Guns N’ Roses t-shirts, other people beating the crap out of them. Now there is a mess outside. People throwing bottles every now and then, hitting little girls in the head... So that’s why I came down [Press Conference in Argentina, December 4, 1992].
Dizzy would also comment on these rumors as some of the "most ridiculous things" he had heard about the band:

Oh God, there’s been so much stuff that I don’t know where to start. There was a story in Argentina – some guy's inspiration, who wrote that Axl had brought the Argentinian flag out on stage during our show in France! Nice, huh? Anyone can write some bullshit... But why would they do that? An Argentinian flag in France? It just doesn’t make sense. He also wrote that we’d have to take our boots off before leaving Argentina, because we couldn’t enter the States after having stepped on the Argentinian shit - something like that, haha ​​(!!!) [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
In the same interview Dizzy would talk about the press in general:

I'll tell you how I see it: When journalists see a movie or a band they don’t like, they present it in a way that makes you want to check it out too! Many of them just make stuff up, and that’s a shame. That's why I tell people that they shouldn’t always believe what they read. Publicity isn’t always beneficial, so I don’t agree with the old motto that goes, ‘Any publicity is good publicity.’ We have personal lives, too, and we don’t like getting slandered in the press. That’s why we’re all wary. Of course, a way to show ourselves as we really are is to give interviews to the right people – like you. […] Many journalists are honest and trustworthy. But others make up their own stories and print them. Sometimes they make us laugh; but, in general, we take them seriously and get pissed off [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
As before, the press was most interested in Axl and Slash. When this came up in an interview, Duff would respond:

They deserve what they get. And to tell you the truth I really wouldn't want to be that prominent in the public eye. I like the position I have, the role that I play. The guys in the band know what I do and respect it, so that's fine with me [Kerrang! July 17, 1993].
Axl and Slash are more the public face of GN’R than I am and that’s fine with me. I don’t envy the guys at all because they’re constantly hounded and I’m not. It’s really become a pain in the ass. I didn’t get into rock’n’roll to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or to be gawked at; I did it for the music. As far as being a household name goes - I'd rather not be, thank you very much [Guitarist Magazine, November 1993].
I think Axl's image has really never matched the guy,’ bandmate Duff McKagan said. "I’ve known him a long time, and when I read about him in the papers or the magazines, it just doesn't make sense. He's a very strong willed guy who will fight for whatever he thinks is right. I think that's a very noble quality. That some portions of the media have made him into some kind of a scapegoat is really amazing. They don't understand him at all. He's a very complex individual [Hit Parader, July 1994].
In early 1994 Axl and Slash would be asked what it would be the would choose to change if they could change one myth about GN'R:

When Use Your Illusions came out, I actually read a review that said we should have titled the albums "Our Hitler", meaning me, or something. And I would like to change the myth that we want to control the media, and control people. That's not… You know, there's some people that believe that, or something. It's like, I don't wanna control the media, I just want things to be accurate. It's the only control that we want, is that it's accurate and the things that we say and do are there as we say and do them. Not changed around or taken out of context or distorted. A lot of times we don't get an opportunity, or chance to rectify things without having to go through a whole lot of trouble that opens up a whole new can of ones [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
What I've been seeing since we've been off the road is… The simple fact that the media is the one that's really backwards and very twisted. And I think it's actually sicker what they do than anything they even try to make us out to be. And it's a drag because when it comes down to it… We've been together for a long time and I know these people and it's like… be taken that seriously for one and then, from a completely wrong direction is just… you know, it's a drag and you don't have any control over it. After a while you have to take a… [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
To dispel the myths the band had planned a book:

We've been working on a book since we started as Guns N' Roses, with Del James. We've been doing interviews for this book for a very, very long time, to try to get an accurate picture with all our own personal mistakes and our own personal nightmares. And actually it's very exposing. But, we wanna show, like, an accurate picture of who we are and where we've been. It's not necessarily favorable for us in some places. It's a lot of times: "I said that? What an idiot! I can't believe I said that." But we're gonna put it all out [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
In March 1994, Slash would say he had stopped reading the press:

But at this point I really don't care. I've had too much flak for too long. That's why I just ignore everything. I don't even read the press anymore. I don't read magazine articles. I probably won't read this when it comes out (laughs) [Q Magazine, March 1994].


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