APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:39 pm

WEST ARKEEN


One of the more relevant friends of the band from their early days was West Arkeen. West was a great friend of Axl and Duff and would co-write a few of the band's songs ("It's So Easy," "Crash Diet", "Bad Obsession", "The Garden", "Sentimental Movie" and "Yesterdays").

Axl liked writing songs with West. He liked kicking it while West played guitar.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 85


In late 1988, when asked who his favorite musicians are, Axl answered "David Lank and West Arkeen" [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988].

Axl would also plan to play in a side-band with West and Duff called "Smith & Wesson":

I write with a guy named Wes now and then. We're gonna record an album. I talked to a couple people in the Cult and Cinderella about playing on it. It's something he and I and Duff do. We call it Smith & Wesson.


Axl spent a lot of time hanging out with West and they would be filmed playing together at the Scrap Bar in New York City in July 1989.

Axl would also talk about West in interviews:

West gets all drunk. He was getting drunk every day. He got thrown out of the bar and cut off more times than anybody in history. And, like, all these actors, Nick Nolte and stuff, have partied there for years. So they’ve dealt with all this before but West would get cut off for breakfast, cut off for lunch, cut off for dinner and then talk 'em into opening the bar at three-thirty in the morning so they can make another drink, right? And it was gnarly, right? And so he’s got this fart-ball, and he goes downstairs with it, you know, and he’s all wasted. And he’s beside this older couple and stuff and he, like, keeps doing this fart-ball and making, like, weird faces and fanning his rear end and stuff, like he just farted, like, “Oh... what was that?” And these people go, “You’re disgusting!” and they move away. OK, so then I get this call from Sean Penn, his company or what­ever – these people that work for him – and he wants me to come see an advance screening of his new movie, Casualties of War. And if I want, you know, I can bring West. So West comes up and he’s wasted. So I throw him in the fuckin' shower, help him get dressed and we headed out of there down to the lobby. And there’s this old couple there and this lady introduces herself and goes, “And this is Sean Penn’s parents and they’ll be going with you.” I said, “Hi, my name’s Axl and this is West...” And they were like, “Oh no! You’re that guy in the bar!” ’ He laughed and looked me in the eye for the first time. 'It was Sean Penn’s parents, you know... it was so great. Then we got in the back of this station-wagon, and there’s these little fold-down seats and we’re sitting on them. And, like, somebody pulled up in a car – we were trying to get out of there before these people arrived that were coming to my room – and suddenly there they were. And we were like, “Oh, fuck...” And then I went, “Oh, I'm sorry,” and Sean Penn’s dad turns round and goes, “Listen, goddamnit, don’t ever fuckin’ talk like that again, you understand me?” And then spins around and starts laughing because he just cussed me out.’ He chuckled. 'I thought it was just great. Those guys were great....
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


Some years later, West would be the first artist the band would sign to their own label, Uzi Suicide [Raw Magazine, July 1989].

We're definitely going to sign West Arkeen (long-time friend of the band and co-writer of "It's So Easy" off Appetite) and possibly some other acts.



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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:40 pm

NOVEMBER 1986 - THE BAND FINDS MIKE CLINK


As mentioned in previous chapters, a big problem was finding the right producer for their first album and they had tried out quite a few.

I started going through the list of people who I thought were great engineers who I thought could capture lightning in a bottle for Guns N' Roses. And a couple of the names that came up were Bill Price, because of his great engineering from Roxy Music to the Sex Pistols, and Mike Clink. Mike Clink engineered some of the great UFO records. Axl, Slash and I had a conversation about how great these UFO records were, especially the live record, "Strangers in the Night." I contacted Mike Clink, talked to him and then I introduced him to the band. Mike was looking to step out of an engineering role and move into more of a production role. He subscribed to the theory of the band having creative control. The band would basically be co-producing and I would be heavily involved as an A&R person riding shotgun over the whole thing [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].
Marc Canter would confirm the name of Mike Clink came up when Axl and Zutaut were talking about albums they admired:

Again Axl and Tom brought up names based on album they admired and singled out "Stranger in the Night" by the English seventies group UFO. It was a live album that had just the right balance Guns N' Roses wanted to capture for 'Appetite' and they invited Mike Clink, the co-producer and engineer of that album, to cut a demo. In their first meeting, Mike immediately understood the direction they wanted to take 'Appetite' and subscribed to band's need for creative control. He cut demo, just like all the other prospects before him and Axl and Tom were pleased wit the results. The only question remaining, was if Mike had the personality to tolerate the absurdities and discipline the band [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

According to Axl, they met Clink at "The Rage", but it is not known what that was [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].

Clink loved Guns N' Roses and had seen them live a few times [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 120].

When we first met Mike, we really liked his energy. We liked hanging out with him. He was very low key and quite. He is simple guy without a lot of airs. He was amiable and didn't try to act a certain way to hang out with us. He just seemed very in control [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].
That band would task Clink with doing a version of 'Shadow of Your Love':

We were eager to go in and do the demo of "Shadow of Your Love" and when we got it and it sounded great, we were struck up a great relationship that was very well-rounded from that point on [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].
According to Duff, Clink did a playback and said, "This is how I think your record should sound." As Duff would say, "It was basically us live. And I immediately thought, That's exactly right" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 120].

This version of 'Shadow of Your Love' was recorded at Rumbo Recorders on November 23.


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:53 am

DECEMBER 21, 1986 -OPENING FOR CHEAP TRICK


The next show didn't happen until December 21 at Fender's Ballroom in Los Angeles.

Excellent show, excellent show. It was excellent. [The audience were] like the LA Street Scene, but a little bit more in control [KNAC, December 1996].
That was probably one of the better shows we ever played. Fantastic, the people that were there. We went on an hour early, so it wasn't as full as by the time Cheap Trick came on. They were slamming. It was every kind of people you could imagine there, and everybody was thrashing [KNAC, December 1996].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:12 am

DECEMBER 1986 - THE BAND RELEASES 'LIVE!? LIKE A SUICIDE' AND THROWS A RELEASE PARTY


To "all the people who have helped keep us alive".

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

The band's first release, the EP titled "Live!? Like a Suicide" was eventually released on December 12, 1986. It was released on the UZI SUICIDE logo, allegedly the band's own label but in reality it was released by Geffen Records itself to make it seem like this was an independent release. The accompanying press release was sent out by "the Stravinski Brothers" and signed by "Alan G Stravinski," obviously Alan Niven [December 1986, Press release].

As a sidenote, the band would later use the Uzi Suicide label to sign other artists, including their friend West Arkeen. And Slash would joke that they also intended to release an exercise video on it, based on "Slash-aerobics" [Circus Magazine, May 1989].

The pressing of 'Live! Like a Suicide' was limited to only 10,000 copies to make it exclusive [Hit Parader, April 1987; Goldmine Magazine, May 1989]. The songs on the EP were 'Mama Kin', 'Nice Boys', Move To The City' and 'Reckless Life'. Originally, the band wanted four cover songs on one side (including 'Jumpin Jack Flash' and 'Heartbreak Hotel') and four original songs on the other [Concert Shots, May 1986].

Tom [Zutaut] had the idea for us to go in the studio and record an EP under our own label, Uzi Suicide, which was actually financed by Geffen. [...] Geffen wanted to put out the live album quickly and get people even more excited about us. It would also get us warmed up to record our full-length album [...] The idea was to have a "live" record with thousands of people screaming in the background, therey making is sound as popular as, or maybe more popular than, we actually were. So yes, we knew from the start that they were going to add an audience. We were cool with it. Just as long as it sounded right. We didn't want this album to sound tinny or cheesy. Geffen's engineers told us there would be too miuch shit involved (i.e., it would cost too much) to actually record a live record, so we were told to create the live audience effects in the studio [[Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 107-108]].
The songs on 'Live! Like A Suicide' came from the recording sessions with Spencer Proffer in Pasha Studios, and it took no more than "two or three days" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 109].

We were all in the same soundproof room and we actually recorded those songs together to give it a "live" feel, instead of each performer laying down a separate track, then assembling the tune. The only stuff they overdubbed was the backing vocals. If you listen closely to "Nice Boys," you can hear Axl singing backup to his own vocals [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 109].
After we finished the songs, Spencer added the audience. He used archived tapes of live performances by Dio and Quiet Riot and mixed the cheers in [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 108].
The band would claim the time with Proffer only resulted in a demo [Hit Parader, December 1986], to keep up the illusion that the EP was recorded live. Slash, as late as September 1988, would still state it was a live recording [Guitar, September 1988], as would Duff and Steven in December 1988, even to the point of arguing that a live record is more accurate in presenting the band [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].

In December 1987, Axl would admit that the EP was recorded in Spencer's studio, despite him making the songs "sound really weak" [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].

The band would explain why they released the EP:

Because we wanted an inexpensive dedication to all the kids who helped us get by when we were really low and had no money and were living in abandoned apartments. The kind of record that not everyone will have, because we're only printing 10,000 copies initially [Hit Parader, December 1986].
There is covers on [Live! Like A Suicide] that we wanted to put out because we do them live and the people like them live, and we kinda wanted to do this like, 'this is for you', and this is something that we have been doing in our set[KNAC, December 1986].
It's like an inexpensive dedication to all the kids that helped us get going when we had no money[Hit Parader, April 1987].
Live, "Like a Suicide” is indicative of what this band was all about when we first got together. We didn't sit around in rehearsal studios saying we have to be like this or that. We wanted to go out and play live. We would write songs real fast because we had already booked the gigs. We were an angry bunch of kids. That Ep means a lot to me, because we wrote songs, got them together in an evening, and then went out and played them. The album has songs that we sat down and worked on and actually wrote and worked it out. "Suicide” was from the early days, the beginning[Guitar, September 1988[/url]].
'Move to the City' received some airplay, especially in the Los Angeles area, as well as overseas, and the 10,000 copies of the first pressing were sold out in 4 weeks with no advertisement [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989]. In December 1986 the band were talking about a reissue [KNAC, December 1986].

The band would claim they financed the release of Live! Live A Suicide with their own money:

We financed it off… pretty much the bulk of money that we had, you know, accumulated there and there [Unknown source, June 1987].
So the purpose was to release a fake live EP allegedly released by the band itself, from their own money, to foster more hype about the band and build anticipation for the full-length record to come.

Not long after the release, on December 23, 1986, the band threw a release party at the Cathouse. It included live acoustic performances from Guns N' Roses, Jetboy and L.A. Guns [Onstage advertisement from Axl, December 21, 1986].

At the end of the year the band would play a New Year's Eve Party at the Glamour together with many other bands including Wall of Voodoo, Jet Boy and Jane's Addiction [L.A. Weekly, December 26, 1986].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:16 am

JANUARY-MARCH 1987
THE BAND RECORDS THEIR DEBUT ALBUM


Finally, in early 1987 the band was deemed ready to start recording their debut album.

It wasn't until I heard "Sweet Child O' Mine" that I believed they finally were ready because now they had a record. They had all these great raw, punky, thrasher songs from their early days, but now they also had "Welcome to the Jungle" and they had "Sweet Child O' Mine" and they had a bunch of other songs to flush out what became "Appetite for Destruction".
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


In June 1988, Axl told Rock Scene Magazine that when they signed with Geffen Records they had 27 songs:

When we went into the studio initially, to do some test tracks and lay down some songs and see what we had together, we had about 27 songs together when Geffen first signed us.


That they had plenty of material ready to be recorded and released is also confirmed by Axl saying they originally wanted to release a double album:

Most of the songs on Appetite were written in the two-year period we were playing the clubs. We wanted to put them on a record so we could move on. We had like 27 songs that we felt very strongly about. We wanted a double album for the first one but that wasn't a good marketing move.

[…] Appetite for Destruction was meant to be a double LP too, but Geffen got cold feet about putting out a double as a debut LP.


But in the end they opted for one consistent hard rock album:

We can only put so many songs on one, album, and we wanted our first record ('Appetite For Destruction') to be a full hard rock record from beginning to end.


Preproduction rehearsals for 'Appetite' took place at SIR Studios in Burbank [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 112] while recording took place at Rumbo Studios (Rumbo Recorders), at 20215 Saticoy Street, Canoga Park, CA, and happened over two weeks in January 1987. It has also been said the recording took three months and was finished by the end of March 1987 [Rock Scene, September 1987].

Rumbo Studios was chosen by Clink to keep the guys away from their wild lives in Hollywood.

When we started working on Appetite we were in a hotel in Manhattan Beach, which was like a forty-five-minute drive to Rumbo. I have no idea why we were so far from the studio.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 116


The band would talk about the recording process:

We actually went in and recorded in pre-production. We picked the 12 songs we were gonna stick with, refined them, went a in, recorded them and put them on the record.

[Listening to the playback of recently recorded songs in Rumbo Studios]: I think it's going to kick ass. It's against the - mainstream grain. It's definitely a case of you'll either love it or hate it - which is good, as long as you notice it.

Well, it was done live, pretty much. The drums, the rhythm guitar, the bass are all live from the same room. So there's bleeding on each other's instruments, and tweets [?] on other's mics. Things like that. Just to get the most energy and good [?] to the songs.

[Talking about how he stretched himself vocally, singing bass parts and reaching the F above high C, and that he’s pleased with his vocal performance, as is Geffen]: Tom [Zutaut] told me if I lost my voice it was okay, I could use my rough tracks.

In the studio, I would always say that I wanted the drums to sound like drums. I didn't want them to sound like machines. I want the snare to sound like a real snare drum, the bass like a bass drum; no effects.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

We go in, play, and try to do it the first or second take, and if what comes out is decent enough to use, you don’t go back and keep fixing it – you lose the spirit. When we did solos, I couldn’t stand going back and doing it more than three times.

[...] we did basic tracks in two weeks and then I went back in. Izzy did the basic tracks, that’s it. Otherwise what’s coming out of the left speaker is what we did in two weeks. Everything he did was in mono. I went back and did all the stereo stuff. Izzy is on the left, I'm on the right and I'm in stereo with the echo and slide stuff. I'm more distorted than Izzy. [...] I went in and did basic tracks and played along with the drums and bass and Izzy. I would screw around but keep the actual song going. Then I would go back later and redo the whole rhythm and all the leads in front of the monitors in the control room. I had the monitors cranked up really loud and would just play along. I can’t play with headphones.


Mike Clink would deny the claim that the songs on the record was recorded in one take and that it took very little time:



With only two weeks for the main recordings, most of the songs were undoubtedly done in very few takes, like 'Sweet Child O' Mine' which was allegedly recorded in one take, while 'Think About You', one of the simpler songs, required more (Steven would say 50 takes while Duff would argue 8) [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988].

Zutaut and Clink would talk about the recording process:

I found myself saying to a potential engineer, "I don't know if this is going to be a nine-to-five kind of job, or a a six-to-midnight kind of job. When the band is in the mood to roll tape, I've got to call you and we've got to roll tape." […] It rolled when the band was in the space to roll. Mike Clink was perfect for GNR because he could sit in that studio and sit out all shenanigans. And honestly there were a lot of them.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


Guns N' Roses might have worked consistently for one week, and the next week they didn't turn up. It was pretty erratic, probably because of the drug use and stuff. When Axl was in the frame of mind to work, he might work for two or three days straight and then not turn up for a week or he might come everyday during an eight-hour period. I can't even imagine this scenario happening as corporate as music companies have become today. We thought it was corporate back then. It was hard enough to get people into the concept of, "Here is a band and they're real and you roll tape when they're in the mood, alright.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


Why is "Appetite for Destruction" one of the best records ever made? Because it captures Guns N' Roses when they were in the spirit of mind to be captures, When they were ready to roll, we rolled whenever that tame was. It took a guy like Mike Clink with that kind of patience to be willing to put up with that. I mean most people need a schedule.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007



But whereas the rest of the band claims to have finished their recording quickly (but see Clink's comment above), Axl spent a lot of time on his:

My contributions to the record took six days, start to finish, and I was done. On the other hand, Axl would insist on doing his vocals one line at a time, and that took much longer. [...] It was beyond what a perfectionist would demand. And it soon became obvious to us that it was obsession for the sake of obsession.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 118

We did the basic tracks in two weeks. We'd have all the amps set up in one room. We had the guitar amps isolated and the bass direct and Steve's drums were in the room and we played in the room off the drums, putting all the tunes down in two weeks. Once in a while Slash would do a live solo an he usually would go back and recut them. He is a perfectionist in a lot of ways. [...] When we were going to do that [= add scratch vocals to play along with] Axl got a sore throat so he ended up doing it later. There were previous recordings where we recorded with vocals.


Axl would talk about the recording process:

It's a whole world unto itself. I like it because it brings things out of you, like harmonies I made up on the spot. We worked really hard to keep the spontaneity in the album. […] I miss being in the studio. I want to get a lot more songs out and create more


Axl would state that the recording process was finished on March 27 [Onstage at the Roxy, March 29, 1987].

After finishing his work, Clink knew they had a great record:



And so did Zutaut:

When the record was done, after I mastered it, I went and played it for David Geffen and the president of the company. I said, "This is going to be the biggest album i the history of the label," and they looked at me like, "Sure kid."
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


In April 1987, Axl described his vision for their debut album and beyond:

We’ve got our progressions already planned out. How we’re going to grow. This record’s going to sound like a showcase. I sing in, like, five or six different voices, so not one song is quite like another, even if they’re all hard rock. In the last year I’ve spent over thirteen hundred dollars on cassettes, everything from Slayer to Wham! – to listen to production, vocals, melodies, this and that. I’m from Indiana, where Lynyrd Skynyrd were considered God to the point that you ended up saying, ‘I hate this fucking band!’ And yet, for our song Sweet Child O’ Mine I went out and got some old Lynyrd Skynyrd tapes to make sure that we’d got that downhome, heartfelt feeling.


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:17 am

SPLITTING THE LOOT


Early on, presumably before being signed to Geffen in 1986, the band hired the lawyer Peter Paterno to construct "a legal framework for what had been just a one-for-all-and-all-for-one-gang". The band had gotten in contact with him earlier when Vicky Hamilton had used him to draw up agreements. Paterno explained to the band that they needed a partnership agreement. As Duff said, "He did a great job lassoing in a bunch of guys and making sure we understood the implications of various aspects of the contracts among the band members and between the band and the label" [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 100].

One of the first things the band argued over was splitting publishing royalties. Despite the band members contributing in complex ways to songwriting, they finally agreed to split everything equally across the board. And their lawyer enshrined it in writing [Duff's biography].

At some point, when working on Appetite, the band gathered in their manager's place (Alan Niven) in Los Feliz to sort our who would get song writing credits. They had already discussed this in 1986 (see above), and then decided to split everything equally (Duff's biography]. This time Axl ended up receiving more. Axl would shed light on this when he in 1989 said they had calculated that he wrote 41 % of the music of Appetite for Destruction, but that they still split the revenues "pretty close" to equal among the five members [Howard Stern, February 1989; RIP, April 1989].

According to Steven, during this meeting Axl argued for a bigger share and tricked Steven into getting 5 % of his, resulting in 25 % to Axl, 15 % to Steven, and 20 % to each of the three remaining band members:

Now, I thought it was kind of a formality because we had talked about all this before and from day one it was always supposed to be an equal share for everybody. But Axl had changed his tune. Axl wanted a bigger slice of the pie. Axl didn't think it was fair to split royalties evenly five ways on our songs. He believed he was entitled to more than the rest of us. The other guys were smart, they just stared at the floor. No one said a fucking thing. I don't know if Axl intimidated them or if they just knew that silence was the best way to deal with his ego. Well, I couldn't just shut the fuck up about it. The reason I wouldn't dummy up was I was so outraged. So right of the bat, I was like, "Screw you, I was here from the beginning, I worked on putting those songs together just as much as you." I had no trouble standing up to Axl because I was right. So now there's this deadly silence again, and it is obvious that its become a big fucking deal. Still, no one else is saying anything, so rather than get into a big argument, I proposed what I thought was a fair offer: "Considering Axl did write most of the lyrics, which is a huge fucking part, I'll give you five percent of my twenty percent." Axl shot me this look of not thanks, not of appreciation, but of arrogance and triumph. It was like he expected it. So I looked around the room because what I expected was for everyone else to follow suit and up the ante too, but the room went dead quiet again. I looked around and everyone kind of started taling about other stuff. The matter was over, settled, done. Axl was happy and I was like, "Fuck!" So it went 25 percent to Axl, 20 percent for each of the other guys, and 15 percent for me. The entire ordeal lasted only a couple of minutes [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 112-113]
For the writing credits on their debut record in 1987, 'Appetite for Destruction', the band would list every member for each song. In late 1993, Duff would be asked if this was correct:

Yeah, because that’s how we always write our songs [Guitarists Magazine, November 1993].
The idea that each band member contributed equally to the song writing for every song, is of course not correct and for the band's 1991 releases, 'Use Your Illusion I & II', the band had changed to a more precise crediting despite still splitting the revenues equally:

On the ‘Illusion’ records it said that certain people wrote the songs but moneywise we still split it all equal. At the end of the day I’m proud of what I did and I know I did it. It doesn’t matter to me if other people think I’m just a bass player and that I don’t write any songs.

I know in my own heart what happened, so...
[Guitarists Magazine, November 1993].
But as discussed previously, the band had ended up on a not entirely equal split prior to 'Appetite' and it is likely revenues from 'Illusions' would also not be equally split between what had now become a six-man band.

In the October 1992 issue of RIP Magazine, after Steven had been fired from Guns N' Roses, Axl would talk about the mistake of giving Steven more than he felt he deserved:

At one point, in order to keep this band together, it was necessary for me to give him a portion of my publishing rights. That was one of the biggest mistakes I've made in my life, but he threw such a fit, saying he wasn't going to stay in the band. We were worried about not being able to record our first album, so I did what I felt I had to do. In the long run I paid very extensively for keeping Steven in Guns N' Roses. I paid $1.5 million by giving him 15% of my publishing off of Appetite For Destruction [RIP, October 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:18 am

FROM RAGS TO RICHES...AND BACK AGAIN


Slash quickly spent the advance money he had received after signing with Geffen in March 1986, and was back to poverty. Rock Scene listed his worldly possessions when they met the band in mid-1987: "Clean clothes, dirty clothes, a bolo tie, magazines and equipment, all in bags" [Rock Scene, September 1987].

Izzy was not better off and would state "I’m so rich I need to borrow $20 to go out tonight" [Rock Scene, September 1987]. Izzy had also broken up with his girlfriend Desi and was without a place to live.

According to Ron Schneider, Slash also lived in the studio during the recording after having just broken up with his girlfriend [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

At this time the label had put the band members on a weekly allowance of about $100 a week [Rock Scene, September 1987].

I think they [=Geffen] like us living like this, with no money [Rock Scene, September 1987].
Slash doesn’t get a fuckin’ cent because he spent everybody else’s money on equipment [Rock Scene, September 1987].
Talking to Mike Clink: Do we have cash for dinner? We need food, Mr. C [Rock Scene, September 1987].

Axl, on the other hand, was said to have settled down and lived in an apartment with a girlfriend after having lived in "over 37 places, including cars" [Rock Scene, September 1987].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:19 am

MARCH-APRIL 1987 - SHOWS AFTER RECORDING


While recording their debut album Guns N' Roses did not play any shows (although Izzy did a gig with the band The Loud Ones which featured various artists from other band at The Scream club on March 7 [L.A. Weekly, March 6, 1987]). But as soon as the recording was completed, they played two shows in March 1986. The first took place on March 16 at the Whisky. According to Marc Canter, since they had just finished recording, the songs now sounded very similar to the versions found on their debut LP [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Varla DeVil writing for Endless Party Magazine gave the show a glowing review and concluded:

Hey Ratt, Crye, Poison and all you other so called rock n' roll bands...It's time to retire cause Guns & Roses fit all the requirements for the job...and then some [Endless Party Magazine, April 1987].

The second show happened on March 29 at the Roxy.

Riki Rachtman would introduce the show:

It's going to be a long time before we see these guys in a club this size. They've been in a couple of magazines and they got a record coming out real soon on Geffen Records [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

The review would again be great:

Their constant playing and the finishing of their new album has honed these heart-throb musicians to a fine edge, and Axl’s high pitched voice is so perfect and strong it doesn’t bother my ears like it used to. It even gives me the goosebumps when he goes over-the-top of the screaming lead guitars, and the song “Night Train” sounded so good I became a Guns & Roses fan all over again [L.A. Rocks, April 3, 1987].

In April the band didn't play any shows, but they still partied in Los Angeles in anticipation of mixing the album. According to L.A. Weekly on April 12, Duff and Slash were thrown out of the Cathouse for the "seventh time in seven weeks" [L.A. Weekly, April 17, 1987].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:20 am

MAY 1987 - THE HELL HOUSE


After having signed with Geffen in March 1986, the band rented a cheap rehearsal space in an old shopping center called the Golden Mall in Glendale, near the Burbank line. It was better than the Gardner space, and included a little stage [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 112].

In the beginning of and at least into May 1987, the band lived, or hung out, in a "smallish, detached, flaking white-wood house just off Santa Monica Boulevard" [Sounds Magazine, 1987.04.04], also described as "a filthy, blitzed suburban bungalow in an otherwise pristine street in West Hollywood" [Time Out, June 1987]. This place would affectionately be referred to as "The Hell House" and the address was 1139 N Fuller Avenue.

As with their former hang out at Gardner's, The Hell House was also checked in on by the police regularly, as Simon Garfield from Time Out Magazine could confirm when he visited in 1987 for an interview:

"During my brief visit, the cops pull up at the Hellhouse three times: once to advise an occupant against parking on the front lawn; once to announce that if there was any more bottle smashing in the road there would be severe trouble; and once to raid a Hellhouse car and its passengers for drugs. No drugs are found, but one of the women in the car is called Candy, and she winds up with one officer’s home phone number and promises to call" [Time Out, June 1987].

Garfield would also wittily describe witnessing Slash insisting on breaking a bottle of Jim Beam inside the Hell House [Time Out, June 1987].

______________________________________________________

MOVE:

At some point, according to Izzy, likely in mid-to-late 1987, Alan Niven got them "this huge house in the hills" [Guitar, September 1988]. This house is likely not the Hell House, since the latter wasn't in the hills.

In December 1988, Slash had an apartment on Sunset Boulevard where we lived with a girlfriend called Kimberley [On The Streets, December 1988].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:10 am

WORKING WITH MIKE CLINK


[...] it took us a long time to find Mike Clink. And Mike Clink is like, we worked with him and it's basically like a co-produced album. But, you know, we got him for a lower amount of money [?], giving him the name, and plus then he in turn gave us full freedom to do whatever we wanted. Which worked really good for us. And he trusted me a lot in the studio, with all the vocal ideas, because most of the harmonies and stuff I came up with, like 'It's So Easy' and 'Paradise City,' I came up with the night I was recording those parts because I'd never had the opportunity to work on it before [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
[...]we went with Mike Clink was because we’re so set in our ways that we didn’t want anybody to re-write our songs. So what we did for the album was, we signed up with an engineer, who was really hot shit. He produced the album. Basically he just got all the sounds, and produced it. He just basically got Guns N’ Roses on tape [Rock Scene, August 1988].
With my favourite punk bands, the bass was the loudest thing and led the way. And now as Mike Clink started to produce the songs that would make up Appetite, the bass was the loudest, roundest thing on the recordings. It had a lot of space. And it wasn't on the outside or underneath the way it was on a lot of records back then-Clink had it right in the middle [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 121].
Mike is really, really good. He let us have a lot of freedom to do what we wanted to do. We were basically in the production of this record, you know, we were there like every step of the way, every step of the way. When we went to mix it, you know, usually these people don't have anybody there, we went there with the mixing, we were there when they mastered, we were there. And so when you get this record, you know, maybe it's not produced as well as something else you might hear that's done by the best people in the world, but that's because this is more real, this is us. This isn't somebody else doing it, this is us. It's our work [Unknown UK source, June 1987].
[Mike] pushes us to do a better job of what we want. […] He makes us analyze things [Rock Scene, September 1987].
Steven was initially not so happy with Clink, though:

[...] Our producer Mike Clink came up to me and suggested I change my drum setup. [...] Mike asked me to change "Anything Goes" and that really hit a nerve.

"Fuck you, don't tell us how to write songs." I got so pissed because you don't meddle with the music. I pouted, stomped around, and behaved like a real dick. [...]

So we tried his idea, and to my surprise, it came out great. [...] But I will be the first to admit when I'm wrong or out of line, and after we worked it out, I looked Mike straight in the eye and said, "I am so sorry"
[Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 116-117].
The band affected the non-smoker Clink in various ways:

Yeah, we all smoke a lot, and we were in the studio for a couple of months. He went to his doctor one day and he said, “Man, you gotta stop smoking.” [Rock Scene, August 1988].
We used to get him all drunk and shit [Rock Scene, August 1988].
You should have seen him. When we first met him he was Mike Clink and then after a while with us he was Mike Clink plus 15-20 years. After we finished the album there was a complete difference. Then he started going out, he started screwing around with all these different girls, he broke up with his girlfriend. Then he started getting difficult about jobs. He started getting real picky [Rock Scene, August 1988].
Guns N' Roses would stay loyal to Clink who would end up working on all the bands albums. In 1994 Slash would talk about their relationship with Clink:

You have relationships with people that relate to what you’re all about, and those initial people that you worked with when things were really tough—when no one else would give you a second listen—you’re loyal to them throughout your career [The Georgia Straight, February 11, 1994].
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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:29 am

DEL JAMES


The band got an increasing number of friends and followers as they became more popular, including fellow musicians, both great and small, bikers, artists, and street people. One of these friends was Del James.

I’ve been involved with Guns N’ Roses for as long as I’ve been in California, which is seven years. I guess that would make it about ’85 that I initially hooked up with them. And when I moved out, I went to a building that said “For rent,” and that was a pad West Arkeen was living in, and Axl was crashing on his floor, and Duff was living next door. So while we were walking through this pad West came out and he asked me if I drank, and back then I did, so I spent, like, the weekend there, and those became my first and only friends in California [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
Our friend Wes had passed out on Thorazines and I didn’t have a place to crash, and Del said I could crash at their place [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].

In November 1993, Axl would write about Del James for James' forthcoming book publication [Del James, "The Language of Fear", 1995].

Back when we first met in the summer of ’85, food, shelter, and relief from boredom constituted survival. Del has always been the one to find something to entertain himself faster than anyone else, whether it’s a hockey game, horror movies, a video game, or The Simpsons. It’s amazing to me that considering the self-destructive nature in each of us, our relationship helps us avoid self-destruction. There are a lot of times when Del helps me work through something that is emotionally too huge for me to deal with. That helps me to not self-destruct and in the process take GN’R or anything down with me. He’s always talking me out of stupid shit that I really wouldn’t want to do but I think about doing because I’m frustrated, hurt, angry, or embarrassed. We’ve both saved each other’s lives a few times. Back when we had no clue of what the other one was going to do in life and whether or not we were going to succeed, we still had respect for each other [Del James, "The Language of Fear", 1995].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:32 pm

MAY 1987 - MIXING THE ALBUM IN NEW YORK


After all recordings for 'Appetite' was done, Axl, Slash and Izzy went to New York to sit in on the mixing process. This likely happened in April or May 1987.

After the studio recordings with Mike, Axl and Izzy and I went out to New York to mix the record with Steve Thompson and Mike Barbiero [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].
Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero who had previously mixed the last Tesla record [Unknown UK source, June 1987].

Steve Thompson: "Tom Zutaut sent me the Guns demos and I really liked the band. I remember getting demo after demo and thinking, "Holy shit, this stuff is great." And I think the songs don't deviate much from the demos. The band had the essence of 'Appetite' on those demos. Tom asked ut to produce it and we had so much work we were doing at the time, we just couldn't get it in there. It sucked, because I really loved what I was hearing. We told him that we couldn't produce i, but we'd love to mix it. I remember when we started working on 'Appetite,' I felt that that's where rock needed to be. Nothing was really jumping out and kickin' you in the ass. And Guns was just the perfect band, the perfect attitude, just the perfect vibe for what was going on then. I felt if that record didn't make it then I should get out of the business. I really believed that " [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Mike Barbiero: "Tom Zutaut originally asked Steve and I to produce the first Guns N' Roses LP, "Appetite for Destruction." My recollection is that he liked the work we had done earlier on the Phantom, Rocker and Slick albums we had done for Capitol, but we wound up passing on the production of 'Appetite' because we were involved in something else. That decision definitely turned out to be a bad move in retrospect. Fortunately, Zutaut came back to us with the mix of the album after he heard what we'd done with Tesla's first album, which was also for Geffen. Tom was a big supporter of our work in those days, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for keeping us involved in many of his signings" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Steve Thompson: "The people in the mix were Axl, Slash and Izzy. Each day they would come in to explain a little bit about the tracks and then we'd go off and do out thing. Then, when we felt we were ready for their ears, we would have them come in. I remember when we were mixing "Paradise City," I goofed this one part during the breakdown before "take me home." I basically copied that part of the song and duplicated it. Axl heard it and loved it and said to keep it there. […] We worked closely with Tom Zutaut. He was there every day and I'd have to say Tom has an amazing ear and I really liked his perspective on things. I think he was right on the money on everything in terms of the approach on the mixing of the record. Just keeping it raw and keeping it in your face. You can credit Tom Zutaut with a lot cause he camped out for a long time. He got in the trenches with them. Tom had the passion and to me, that's everything. That's what makes something successful " [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Mike Barbiero: "Tom Zutaut was very specific in his instructions for what he wanted the album to sound like. He had a cassette tape of rough mixes that Mike Clink had done which he played for us. He actually did an A-B of each mix against that tape on a beat box that he had brought from L.A. to make sure the mixes had the sonic elements he wanted. He said he wanted the sound of that rough mix, but bigger. So that's what we went for" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Mike Barbiero: "Axl asked me at the time if I thought the album had a shot, and I remember telling him that it was very original. I remember telling him that to my era the songs and performances were good enough that, though the album wasn't at all like anything being played on radio, the band stood a good chance for a gold record based on word of mouth" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Axl's finishing performance

Steve Thompson: "Izzy would get on the console every now and then and check things out. Slash would come around. I remember we were working with "Rocket Queen" and Axl said it was missing something. He said, "I want to get some sex noises on this." So obviously you could go into your porn collection and record some stuff, but he said, "No I want something real"" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

As we mixed the song 'Rocket Queen,' Axl felt that the bridge needed something; some other element to elevate the drama. He suggested that Adriana Smith, who was with us in the studio that day, fuck him in the live room so that we could record her vocals and layer them on the breakdown. We'd been drinking Jack pretty heavily all day, so it seemed like the most natural think in the world. I was all for it; I knew too well what she was capable of vocally - she had kept me up for the past three nights. So we lit up some candles for atmosphere, then she and Axl went out into the live room, got down on the floor by the drum riser, and we recorded Smith's performance in all of its honest moaning and groaning. Enjoy it - it's all there in the final mix [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, pp 180]
There was also something I tried to work out with various people - a recorded sex act. It was somewhat spontaneous but premediated: something I wanted to put on the record. It was a sexual song and it was a wild night in the studio. This girl we know was dancing; everyone was getting real excited. The night could have gotten really explosive, lots of trouble for everyone, and I thought wait a minute, how can we make this productive [An Interview With The Gunners, Hit Parader - March 1988]
The "various people" included Erin, but according to Adriana Durgan (neé Smith), Erin had declined [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007]. So instead Adraian, who had been invited to join Axl, Slash and Izzy to New York by Slash, did it for a bottle of Jack Daniels [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Steve Thompson: "We had to mic her up and Axl did his thing and it was recorded and that's basically what happened on the session" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Adriana was Steven's on-off girlfriend:

I said: "That's cool, who's that?" Slash said: "It's Adriana." She wasn't like my girlfriend exactly...but, we had some good, long nights. Axl came up with this idea to fuck some girl in the studio and record it for Rocket Queen, so he called Adriana. They put up a divider, laid a blanket down, and recorded it. I just felt that out of all the girls around us, he just had to pick the one that I was hanging out with. He knew we were close. But it came out good, it worked [20 Years of Appetite, Classic Rock Magazine, July 2007]
Adriana Durgan: "After the whole ordeal, Axl took me upstairs to his hotel room where we were staying and he played me November Rain for the first time on a piano. He told me that it was something that he wrote when ha was fifteen. And it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. It was awesome. The next day I woke up in the hotel room. I was all alone and Slash called me and said, "You need to come down to the studio right now." And I was like, "Oh fuck, what did I do? Oh my God." I was incredibly embarrassed and I realized there might be repercussions to my current relationship with Steven, which was a rocky relationship anyway. Instead of being happy about what I did, I got a lot of crap about it because Axl was seeing Erin and I was seeing Steven, so I was now this big slut. I said I wanted the tape destroyed, but too lat; Axl was overwhelmingly happy. He was stoked! This was just what he wanted. He was happy as pie" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

On March 16, Axl had referred to Erin as his "ex-girlfriend" [Onstage at the Whisky, March 16, 1987], so it is possible they were split up when the recording took place.


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:39 pm

MAY 10, 1987 - THE DRUNK FUX IS FORMED AND PLAYS AT THE COCONUT TEAZER


With Axl, Slash and Izzy gone to New York to mix their debut album, Duff and Steven, together with friends, formed a band called the Drunk Fux [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 122].

Their first show took place at the Coconut Teazer on May 10 with Del James on vocals, West Arkeen on guitar, Duff on guitar, Todd Crew on bass, and Steven on drums [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007; Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 122].

Todd Crew had recently been kicked out of Jetboy:

Jetboy kicked [Todd Crew] out because he hung out with us. That was their excuse, which was kinda weird. But he hung out with us and we were bro’s [RAW, September 1993].
Steven would claim that Axl, Del James and West Arkeen weren't part of the band because they "had their own little clique":

[…] everyone kind of spontaneously formed a fun jam band called the Drunk Fux. Many different people were in that band, including Tommy Lee and Lemmy. It was just a jam thing really, and we played some free benefit shows around L.A. [...] Axl, West, and Del had their own little clique that wasn't really part of the Drunk Fux, and I couldn't give less of a fuck about it [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 85].
This is obviously not correct. Axl did not take part in the band's first gig because he was in New York, and both Del James and West Arkeen did play in the band for its first show.

You had to be a drunk fuck to be in Drunk Fux! It was like a silly little side var of Guns N' Roses' folklore! [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].
According to Marc Canter, the band played punk covers and several songs written by Duff and Del James [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

In the first half of June, before the band would travel to England for shows at the Marquee, Del James would spit on Cathouse's Taime Down, resulting in Down having to be restrained by Steven and Todd Crew, amongst others [L.A. Weekly, June 12, 1987].

__________________________________

Move:

We had this band called the Drunk Fux, where we played covers and just basically screwed the whole thing up. But it was okay. […] When we get together, we get completely wasted and book a gig and not show up for it cuz we'll all be too wasted [MTV, May 21, 1993].
It’s F-U-X, so we can say that (chuckles). […] It’s not really a band anymore. It was just a bunch of friends. There was West Arkeen, Duff, a guy named Todd that’s no longer around – which was pretty much the reason why Drunk Fux isn’t around anymore, because he passed away, and he was one of the really main members. There was Del James, who is a really good friend of ours (?), and I. […] So, it was a band that we just went out with a sort of like, you know, juvenile attitude and just – we’d go out and [muted], and we’d book a gig in a club and we’d just hang out. I never made one gig, myself. I would always be passed out in a road case in the back somewhere. That was the whole, like, little touch of Drunk Fux that I had. […] We had a great logo. We got some t-shirts made and that was cool (laughs). We won’t be recording soon, okay? [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992].
Duff would jokingly say that Slash missed all the Drunk Fux because he was too wasted, although this is not entirely true [L.A. Weekly, January 12, 1990].

Slash actually didn’t make any of the gigs. Like, the first five gigs because he was always passed out in the back. It is just a kind of a fun thing, you know. And we always play in front of just, like, chairs [MTV, May 21, 1993].

The band would play shows throughout 1989-1990.


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:59 pm

JUNE 15, 1987 - THE BAND'S FIRST SINGLE, 'IT'S SO EASY'


MTV and other music channels were very important in the 80s and music singles and accompanying videos were crucial to market sales.

The first single off 'Appetite' was 'It's So Easy/Mr. Brownstone' and it was released in the UK already in June 15, 1987, well before the release of the record. This was to coincide with the band playing their June concerts at the Marquee in London.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle article from August 1987 [The San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 1987], the single was accompanied with a music video that cost $85,000, and which was banned from MTV for "being too racy and violent." This is confusing since the band would make a video for 'It's So Easy' in October 1989, which would be banned due to sexual content.

It could be that the Chronicle is talking about the music video for 'Welcome to the Jungle' which contained violent clips, but this video wouldn't be released until the next month, in September 1987. So perhaps the band made an early music video for 'It's So Easy' which would later be edited with live clips from 1989? Or perhaps the music video for 'Jungle' was released prior to the single release?


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:01 pm

JUNE 19-28, 1987 - THE BAND PLAYS AT THE MARQUEE IN LONDON


We fought every inch of the way to get over here to play the Marquee. And that's a dream we've all had since eighth grade [Record Mirror - July 11, 1987].
________________________________________________________________________________

While the band was trying to find their producer, writing new songs, and battling with their record company and addictions, their EP 'Live!? Like a Suicide', which had been released in December 1986, went about without causing much stir. Except for in England where it gained some cult popularity.

Because of this the English music magazine Kerrang! sent a photographer to Los Angeles to shoot the band for a cover article in early 1987 (the interview was released in June 1987). This interview took place at Rumbo Studios where the band was recording for their debut record. The band would later form a tumultuous relationship with Kerrang!

The press comes out first in L.A. if you’re an L.A. band, and then (?) London picks up on it quickly. That’s why […] quickly Kerrang discovered us, found out about us. And they were really into us and the kids found out about us. And then, as soon as we were able to go over there we did, and that’s why we became more happening over there than in other parts of the country [MTV Japan, November 1987].
Six months after the release of the EP, in June 1987, and still without having released their debut record, the band travelled to London for three shows at the Marquee on June 19, 22 and 28.

[...] Alan [Niven] came to us and announced, "You all gotta get passports, we're going to England" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 124].
Duff would describe the trip to England:

At first, we wanted to sleep on the plane. So someone gave us half of a J&B Magnum as a sleeping pill. Whiskey is a big emotion [or commotion?] stirrer among the band. Slash, our guitarist, thought that he was at a party, and wanted to leave through the escape hatch! And another one nearly started a fire by throwing a cigarette behind a seat. The captain of the 747 reprimanded us, and the cops were waiting for us in England, but, thankfully, our manager got it all settled.. [Hard Rock Magazine, October 1987].
Originally this was intended as only one gig, but the first show sold out quickly, so another was added, and a third. According to Steven Adler, the last gig was added while the band was taking the ferry across to Amsterdam [Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p128].

At least parts of the Marquee shows were taped "on a mobile unit by British producer Vic Maile" [Kerrang! March 1989]. Songs off this recording would variously be used as B-sides on the band's singles, including 'Whole Lotta Rosie' which was the B-side on the band's first single, 'Welcome to the Jungle' after being mixed by Mike Clink.

The first show on June 19 was not met with good reviews. Andy Hurt, writing for The Sounds, likened Axl's singing to as if "a six foot-tall hamster masquerading as a GI had the misfortune to be captured by the Vietcong and subjected to the dastardliest of tweaks and prods, it should emit noises similar to those made by Axl. His voice is the voice of Bon Scott with one terrified bollock stuck on the plane, too petrified to take the freefall into the scrotum below" [Sounds Magazine, June 27, 1987].

According to Classic Rock Magazine, Axl, after having read read the devastating review, "was livid and led the whole band to the Sound's office in Mornington Crescent, north London. 'Andy Hurt?' he raged. 'He fucking will be if I find him!' But the reviewer was absent, so Axl contended himself with a warning note left with another member of the staff" [Classic Rock Magazine, July 2007].

Steve Sutherland, likely writing for NME, also gave the show a poor review and described the sound of the band as "weak AC/DC." Again, Axl decided to confront the reviewer as Sutherland would recall in 2005:

"I received a phonecall from the singer, Axl Rose. He said the band were on the way to the airport in a cab and he wondered if I’d be in the office so they could swing right by and FUCKING SORT ME OUT!! Needless to say, I had a pressing engagement elsewhere but I had to admire their balls" [NME, September 2005].

Axl also referenced the "weak AC/DC" description when introducing 'Whole Lotta Rosie' on one of the next gigs.

The two following shows did a lot better.

Playing in London was the first experience Guns N' Roses would have with touring abroad and being celebrity rock stars.

Bars close too early, they drive on the wrong side of the street, they talk funny. […] We got thrown out of a few clubs [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987.
Great hash [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987.
It was insane. We got there having really no idea what the response [would be], because our EP’s did really well over there – before the album. And we get there, and we go to the soundcheck the first night – it’s, like, 3:00 in the afternoon, actually – and there’s a line of kids, two blocks down, all knowing who we were, and we were going on and off [Musique Plus, August 1987].
So we had to have our security guards, right? I mean, for us it’s like, we just hang out. We don’t need security people, we’re not used to that, right? […] Anyway, so we go out and we go to hang out in London, right? And it’s like, all these kids are coming up and they’re asking for autographs, and they want their asses signed, and their chest signed... […] And I’m like, whooa! [Musique Plus, August 1987].
The band was also building a rumor as notorious troublemakers and the media would report that they were "kicked out from three of the most famous clubs in England," that "they smashed a shop window after they were refused entry," and that they "threw various objects through the window of the hotel that accommodated them" [Hard Rock Magazine, October 1987]. Additionally, Axl while in the company of Niven and Zutaut allegedly had an altercation with a security guard at Tower Record resulting in police being called for. Axl would describe this:

I wanted to break everything in there. I’d gladly drive one of these English cabs through their showcase! It’s very hard to keep your cool in this kind of situations [Hard Rock Magazine, October 1987].
In the aftermath Tower Records would apologize to Axl and send him a jacket with the store's logo [Hard Rock Magazine, October 1987].

One of the clubs they visited in London was the legendary Limelight (the band would later play an acoustic gig at its sister club in New York on January 31, 1988). At this club it was reported that Slash got in a fight with Cobalt Stargazer, the singer of Zodiac Mindwarp, when he hit on his girlfriend, but Duff would later claim it was just exaggerated in the press [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987]. They would also party with Lemmy from Motorhead [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].

At soundcheck before the first show on June 19, 1987, the band tried 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' for the first time, and debuted it on the first show at the Marquee. The shows themselves were a success and the band appreciated their popularity.

The gigs were great. We played three gigs at the Marquee and they were all sold out. Kids line up at three in the afternoon, like two streets down. We'd walk up and all these kids knew who we were just by sight. There's really no rock n' roll over there, so we got there and the kids were just waiting and waiting. All the old Hanoi Rocks fans. There's the fans there, but there's just no bands. The kids are looking for a band they can all cling on to [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:31 am

JUNE 1987
TIME OUT MAGAZINE: AXL: "EVERYTHING ABOUT [POODLES] MEANS I MUST KILL THEM"


[…] just remember; don't believe everything you read and that we say half of that shit [Onstage at the Whisky, March 16, 1987].
___________________________________________

In June 1987, the English paper Time Out Magazine would print a story quoting Axl: "‘I’d just like to say that I have a personal disgust for small dogs, like poodles. I have some serious physical problems with them. Everything about them means I must kill them. I must!" [Time Out Magazine, June 1987]. As a result of inflammatory quote, the Royal Society for Protection of Animals (RSPA) in the UK tried to force the cancellation of the three June 1987 gigs at the Marquee [Hard Rock Magazine, October 1987].

According to Hard Rock Magazine, who supposedly was present when Axl made the statement about small dogs, Axl had arrived for the Time Out Magazine interview in a bad mood after hearing that his two Maltese dogs had made a mess in his apartment in Los Angeles, causing an emphatic outburst against smaller dogs. No one in the room, according to Hard Rock Magazine had taken this outburst seriously, except the Time Out Magazine interviewer [Hard Rock Magazine, October 1987].

Axl would later shed more light on the story:

Talking about his dog, Torque: That's the famous dog they said I'd go murdering[...] I don't like poodles. Little poodles. I told some guys everything about poodles makes you want to kill them so the next thing you know there's this magazine in England, and it wasn't even a rock magazine, it was like a magazine that talks [?] about all kinds of things in the world and stuff and it talks about this band in L.A. where this guy's a self-confessed poodle murderer. So then they have like the National Enquirer type papers over there, you know, that sadly started all this stuff, and all those things came out calling me a dog butcher and that I was beastier than Beastie Boys [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].

And like Chinese whispers, magazines would copy each other:

[...]but now, you know, there's things in magazines here [=US], like Hit Parader, where they quoted Slash saying I ran over dogs and he never said that [Unknown publication, December 1987]

The band would later grow more and more frustrated with the media, especially in the early 90s, and this will be discussed in later chapters.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:32 am

1987
THE BAND STRUGGLES TO LAND TOURS


Already before the band released their debut record, band members would dream about tours in the future:

Playing with all these bands that we’ve listened to for years. Getting an opportunity to play with people who we respect. To go out there and to kick as much ass as we can!

I’d love to tour with AC/DC, Aerosmith, or Motley Crue.

We’re looking for a tour bus. A big, black tour bus with a skull on the front and a harem inside, like an opium den.


Just before and after the release of 'Appetite', the label and band were scrambling to get the band out on the road to support the debut album. But landing the right tours proved difficult. The band was gaining a very bad reputation, NME would later state it was "because of their problems with the LA Police" [New Musical Express, August 1989]. In addition, 'Appetite' was either not released or initially not selling very well.

According to Steven in his biography, the first plans were to do a tour with Stryper or with Y&T, but these all fell apart [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 130] for unknown reasons.

An early 1987 tour with Iron Maiden was also allegedly in the works, but cancelled due to Axl's reputation [Hit Parader, October 1988], although the band would tour with Iron Maiden later in 1987.

They were also supposed to open for Motley Crue from the beginning of their "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour from June 1987, but since 'Appetite' wasn't out yet, Motley went with Whitesnake instead [CGBG's Post-show Interview, October 1987]. Whitesnake would later drop out of this tour, and Guns N' Roses would step in in November 1989.

They also said a planned a European tour with Aerosmith in September 1987 that fell apart in "the 11th hour" [Kerrang! March 1989], allegedly because Aerosmith hadn't got their new record out [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987] or due to "finances" [Kerrang! October 1987]. This record was Permanent Vacation and it was released on August 21, 1987, so it doesn't make entire sense timing-wise. Aerosmith would tour this album in 1988 and Guns N' Roses would join them in July-September for that tour.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:50 am

JULY 18, 1987 - TODD CREW DIES


As mentioned before, Todd Crew was a great fan of Guns N' Roses and friend of the band members. After having been fired from his band Jetboy, for spending too much time with Guns N' Roses, he spent even more time with them, accompanying them to England for their shows at the Marquee [RAW, September 1993].

Todd had been part of the band's inner circle from the beginning. He was a shit-kicking, hard-drinking, exceptionally cool guy. He played bass in another band called Jetboy that originated in San Francisco. When they kicked Todd out of Jetboy, we were the first band to tell them, "Screw you, you're done as far as we're concerned. You're never gonna do shows with us" [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 119]
After returning from their successful stint in England in June 1987, the band had about a month to kill before they would tour North America opening for The Cult. Todd was intended to stay with the band during the tour as Duff's bass tech.

In July 1987, Slash flew to New York City to meet with merchandising companies, and Todd Crew came with him. [In Steven's biography he mistakenly claims that this happened when Slash flew to New York City for mixing Appetite, months earlier.]

During their stay in New York, on July 18, 1987, three days before the release of Appetite for Discussion, Todd overdosed on heroin and died.

I don't know what happened exactly, because I wasn't there. I heard that he and Slash were partying, shooting heroin, and Todd passed out. Slash and Todd must have gotten separated at some point and Todd overdosed and died. [...] The band had friends who were so close, so devoted, that we considered them to be members of GNR who merely didn't appear onstage. Todd was one of these, and I truly felt I had lost a brother [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 119]
[Todd] died in a hotel room in New York a while back. We'd copped some stuff and he got it right there. I tried to bring him back... and he was like my best, best friend [Musician, December 1988].
I don’t wanna get too deep into how he died or whatever. I’ve lost close friends since then, and it was just a rude awakening to me. But I don’t want to get into it [RAW, September 1993].
A few days later, on July 21 another Drunk Fux show at the Coconut Teazer that had already been planned [L.A. Weekly, July 17, 1987] was dedicated to Todd Crew. This was the same date as 'Appetite for Destruction' was released. According to Marc Canter, all members of GN'R took part in this show [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007]. This would be the first time the band would dedicate 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' to the Todd Crew, something they would continue to do on the upcoming tours.

Now, if you have known of us, then you know that we recently, a couple of months ago, lost a friend of ours. A little over a month ago, I OD’ed, and I ended up in a hospital called Cedars-Sinai. I was in a coma for about two days. When I got out of the hospital, the first person I saw was a guy named Todd Crew. Todd used to be in a band called Jetboy, and one of the reasons he got kicked out – Jetboy sucks. One of the reasons he got kicked out, was for hanging out with us. I think we were more friends than the people he knew all of his fucking life. When I got out of the hospital, the first person I saw was Todd, and I really didn’t wanna see anybody I knew, because I didn’t know if I had any friends left. Todd came up to me, and gave me a hug and said, “You can’t do this to the family, man.” Two weeks later, Todd OD’ed here in New York. We tried doing this song without dedicating it to Todd, and every time we feel too fuckin’ guilty and we end up doing it anyway. And a friend told me that we won’t get over it till it happens again. So until then, this is for Todd. And this is “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” [Onstage at The Ritz, NY, USA, October 23, 1987]
In 1989 Axl would be asked what his greatest regret is:

That I didn't talk to Todd Crew before he went to New York. I felt a massive need to talk to him out of concern for his well-being. But I wasn't aware enough to realize I didn't have the time I thought I did. I thought I'd have time later... [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
In 1993 Duff would include the song 'Man In The Meadow', about Todd, on his solo record [Guitarist Magazine, November 1993].

['Man In The Meadow' is] about my best friend, Todd, who’s dead now. The guys in GN’R were very close to him, too, but to me it was very personal and so it was right for me to do it [Guitarist Magazine, November 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:55 am

JULY 21, 1987 - THE RELEASE OF 'APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION'


People are fed up with a lot of things. This is a good release. It’s refreshing to see something straightforward [Edmonton Journal, August 25, 1987].
[…] we're very proud of it. It's rock as you've rarely heard it before. We had a lot of opportunities to test these songs live and we saw how the audience reacted. This album is killer [Unknown French Publication, June 1987].
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appetite for Destruction was released in the USA on July 21, 1987.

We got hold of everybody who was anybody n our lives to get together at the Hell House for the "unofficial world premiere." It was to be our first listen to our new album. [...] Slash and I hugged; we were so happy. We listened to both sides, pretty much saying, "Oh yeah, that's working, that sounds cool," throughout. [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 121]
According to Steven's biography, his happiness with hearing the final result was not subdued by the fact that Slash had changed a drum part on 'Paradise City' in postproduction [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 121].

The band had settled on 'Appetite for Destruction' as the name of the record, which was also the name of the chosen artwork for the cover:

[Welcome to the Jungle] was gonna be the title of the record until the title of the original painting was Appetite For Destruction, and we really liked it, cause I break everything around me anyway. That was the title of the Robert Williams painting. He named it. We ended up deciding we really liked it, so we just went with it [Rock Scene, June 1988].
When asked what the title means:

In my opinion, the way the title will be interpreted will be revealing about each one’s personality [Unknown French Publication, June 1987].
Being asked if there was anything they would have changed with the record if they could:

No, the only thing I would like to do is I wish we would have more time to mix but we were working on a release date. There were a couple of songs where I feel we didn't have the time to get just right. 'Paradise City' I think could have been a little clearer. But, you know, we were making two songs per day to make the release date, you know, and there were all kinds of reasons why we had to make that release date, like getting the record out before [?] down in the month of August, and things like that. There was all kinds of reasons why we had a certain amount of time that we have it get it done. So we just did the best we could in that amount of time, we didn't really compromise, you know, we still, I think, hit pretty close to the mount [?] we wanted to hit. There isn't really anything we want to change. There's two words in that whole record that I didn't quite say the way I wanted to, and I forgot which ones they were, didn't have time to go back to find them and redo them. And they are not out of key, so no one else knows it. I am the only one who personally knows it [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1987].
Artistically, with the album, I got exactly what I wanted. I wish we would’ve had a little bit more time to do some mixing. The guys were mixing our record, and one of them had heart problems and had to go to the hospital, which knocked off three days [L.A. Weekly, June 1988].
It doesn’t matter, it’s like there’s little things here and there, where you know you would have liked it a bit different, but it doesn’t matter cause it’s done. It’s there, and you might as well like it cause if you don’t you can put yourself into an early grave worrying about something that you can’t do shit about [Rock Scene, August 1988].
In March or April 1989, Slash would on the contrary claim their "first album wasn't all that good, I don't think" [Kerrang! April 1989]. Later on Slash would also indicate that the label had convinced them to discard some material for 'Appetite':

[Geffen] were pretty scared about the whole thing and they were just basically trying to get it done, so we gave up certain amount of material that we really wanted to do [MTV, September 1991].
In June 1988, Axl was asked if the record would have turned out differently if they had produced it themselves:

There may have been a different track or two just because we're working with other people, and when you're working with other people they have their input on which tracks are the best, and stuff like that. It didn't really bother us, not a whole lot. If we had more time, I think we might have gotten a bit more of a better mix.

Actually, the record's pretty much co-produced, but we got a really good deal from our producer since he wanted to break into producing, and get credits for producing. If we gave him full credit on the record, it would help him a lot in the business. But especially Izzy, Slash, and myself were there every step of the way, so it was pretty much co-produced. We were in on the mixing and stuff, and usually the guys who mix the records never have anybody in the studio when they do that. We were there the whole time
[Rock Scene, June 1988].
And Slash was asked in September 1988 to describe his and Izzy's playing styles on the record:

The funny thing about Izzy and I is that we each play what we want, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It can be frustrating for me because he's very stubborn. He plays very lightweight, sort of Keith Richards style, whereas if I want a heavy riff, I'll want a heavy riff, I'll want us both to play it to make it really stick out. There's a lot of songs on our album I'm really not happy with that way: 'Welcome to the Jungle,' for instance. Sometimes Duff will beef it up, like the riff in 'Paradise City.' I'm a little more knowledgeable on guitar; Izzy's a good songwriter with a great sense of style [Musician, December 1988].

The band would celebrate the release on August 4 at the Cathouse in Hollywood [L.A. Weekly, August 7, 1987], and likely on many other parties. The Cathouse's Riki Rachtman had just undergone jaw surgery [L.A. Weekly, August 7, 1987] after having previously engaged in some "male bonding" with Slash [L.A. Weekly, July 17, 1987].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:57 am

APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION - ARTWORK CONTROVERSY


The original artwork, a painting by the artist Robert Williams, proved to be controversial. Open for interpretation, it is by most people thought to depict an avenging monster about to attack a robot that has molested a woman.

Axl was the one who found the painting and suggested it as the album cover:

[Robert Williams]'s like a major underground comic's artist, and paints like one oil painting the size of a window a week! That painting was actually the size of a wall and sold in 1978 for like $10,000 and we leased it from him. But I found it on the cover of a book that he had put out, in a place called the Soap Plant in L.A. I found it and I thought "Wow, that is an intense picture, man." I'd never seen anything like it, and then I went back to buy it and it was gone.

Then I found it on a postcard, submitted it as a joke, and everybody liked it. I wanted it as the cover, but I thought we could never use it even though it was so intense. I just wanted to show everybody, and we all decided to use it. It was really weird that I found it on the cover of a book to begin with, because it's something that's out of print and it's a collector's item, and the Soap Plant shouldn't have had it to begin with. It goes for like $7,500 bucks now, and it was $11 dollars when I found it! When I met the artist and told him where I had found the book, he said it was impossible. So, it was really kinda like a coincidence that we found it. I think it was meant to be, cause even though it's been banned a lot of places, and Warner Brothers refused to print it, so we had to get an outside printer, but now they stockpile it in their warehouse because they get so many demands for it. Where at the time they were gonna make just a few, now and then. I feel that we've got this piece of art work, and some people just go "Wow, gnarly cover," but I think there's a lot of people out there that can really appreciate the artwork of it, and that's what I wanted to show them
[Rock Scene, June 1988].
How it came about, it was a joke. Axl brought this postcard with that art by this painter, Robert Williams. And we didn’t really want a hassle over our album cover. It wasn’t, like, we wanted to get our picture on the cover of the album just so you can see yourself on the cover. We just don’t want a hassle over it. So, it’s like, okay, we’re all laughing, you know? Fine, record cover, let’s go; let’s get it over with. And, personally – I mean, myself, I don’t think any of us saw anything wrong with it [Much Music, May 1988].
The band would defend the choice of artwork:

We didn't put that out to outrage people. I thought it was a very cool piece of art that would stand the test of time. I don't think it was encouraging sexual abuse at all. I think it's an idea in people's heads that she is attractive, a sexual fantasy. Like, this poor girl got abused and you're thinking about how your husband wants to fuck her so you're upset. People get scared of their own thoughts [Musician, December 1988].
There was really no significant reasons, you know, except for that it was a cool painting. You know, there was no discriminatory thing with that, you know, as far as women are concerned, you know, and anything like that. It was just a painting that looked really cool, it looked really dynamic, and it was, like, who wanted to sit for two hours and think about what was gonna be the cover. And we saw the picture, “Oh, that’s fine, yeah, sure - let’s use that”. (Laughs). And then there’s this line “Appetite for Destruction” on the bottom. And we said, “We don’t have to think about the title, either! [?] It’s perfect [Super Channel, October 1987].
Not to sound stupid or naive or whatever, or close-minded, we didn’t see any rape thing going on. It was, like, exactly what he said. It was a robot vendor getting robbed and she got knocked against the fence, you know? He couldn’t have just...[…] I mean, if you think we’re generally promoting rape - for someone seeing it like that, I could easily get on you for seeing it as a rape. You know, prove it was rape. Why do you think it was rape? [Much Music, May 1988].
I think that since it was such an outrageous picture, that, like, the skill and the talent involved in making it gets overlooked. And I wanted to be a part of, like, showing people, 'No, this is art' [MTV, November 1988].
But many people saw it differently and would accuse Guns N' Roses for being sexist and promoting rape:

There was a picture of a young woman lying on the ground obviously about to get raped by a robot. And just above, there's a hand which is about to crunch the robot up. That doesn't mean anything special. We liked the picture, that's all. But everyone came down on us and accused us of glorifying rape [New Musical Express, April 1989].
Robert Williams himself, would describe the painting this way: "Let me explain the painting to you. It has a red monster in it. The red monster is jumping over the fence. It is killing the robot, because the robot, in some way, violated the female vendor of small toy robots. […] What we’ve got here, is we’ve got an example of music and art merging. This album cover was not a commissioned commercial job to go on the record and in the music. This was a separate piece of art from an earlier period. We’re dealing with culture. Music and art, two things that ran together with mutual interest" [MTV, November 1988].

Warner Brothers was Guns N' Roses' parent label and they allegedly sent angry letters to have the cover replaced [Spin, May 1988].

[…] we got a few letters [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].
We got some complaints from people, organizations, as well as David Geffen [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].
Because of this, the Robert Williams artwork was removed to the inner sleeve and replaced with Axl's cross tattoo.

Big deal. We liked the artwork, but it wasn't something that we felt so strongly about that we'd die for it. After the first few thousand copies, it was changed to our logo [Circus Magazine, May 1989].
Only 30,000 copies with the original artwork was produced [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987].

But hiding the controversial artwork in the inner sleeve was not good enough, though, and in October 1988 MTV would report that stores selling the record were picketed by people protesting against the "pro-rape" and "sexist" inner sleeve [MTV, October 1988], resulting in some stores refusing to sell the record [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. And in 1989, Circus Magazine would report that "New Iberia, Louisiana recently passed an emergency ordinance that would subject any retailers who display the album to both jail time and a fine. At press time, the town council was trying to make it a state-wide ordinance" [Circus Magazine, May 1989].

The band was incredulous to the controversy:

I can’t believe everyone made such a big deal out of a postcard [Spin, May 1988].
It had a picture of this chick flashin’ her panties at you. […] The next album should have someone giving the finger on it [Rock City News, January 1988].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:58 am

'APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION', IN HINDSIGHT


Duff would later claim that the whole process of recording 'Appetite' had been rushed, and that they would spend more time on their second album:

Again, the success and the respect that we've gotten from the industry and from our company will just give us more time and more of ourselves to put into the next record. You know, we'll be able to write...like, the first one it was rushed, and while "these guys ain't shit, they gonna do shit," you know, and blah blah, so, and so we were kind of rushed, in a way mentally, and, and, eh... .


Looking back, in early 1990, Axl would describe the process like this:

But what people don’t understand is that there was a perfec­tionist attitude to Appetite For Destruction. I mean, there was a definite plan to that. We could have made it all smooth and polished. We went and did test tracks with other producers and it came out smooth and polished – with Spencer Proffer. And Geffen Records said it was too fuckin’ radio. That’s why we went with Mike Clink. We went for a raw sound, because it just didn’t gel having it too tight and concise. We knew this. We knew the way we are on stage and the only way to capture that on the record is to make it somewhat live. Doing the bass, the drums and the rhythm guitar at the same time. Getting the best track, having it a bit faster than you play it live, OK, so that brings some energy into it. Adding lots of vocal parts and overdubs with the guitars, adding more music to capture… ’Cos Guns N’ Roses on stage, man, can be, like, out to lunch. Visually we’re all over the place and stuff and you don’t know what to expect. But how do you get that on a record? But somehow you have to do that. So there’s a lot more that’s needed on a record. That’s why recording is my favourite thing, because it’s like painting a picture. You start out with a shadow, or an idea, and you come up with something that’s a shadow of that. You might like it better. It’s still not exactly what you pictured in your head, though. And then you add all these things and you come up with something you didn’t even expect... Slash will do, like, one slow little guitar fill that adds a whole different mood that you didn't expect. That’s what I love. All of a sudden it’s like you’re doing a painting and then you go away and you come back and it’s different. You use the brush this way and allow a little shading to come in and you go, ‘‘Wow, I got a whole different effect on this that’s even heavier than what I pictured. I don’t know quite what I’m onto but I’m on it,” you know? “Paradise City”, man, that’s like, I came up with two of those first vocals – there’s five parts there – I came up with two and they sounded really weird. Then I said, look, I got an idea. I put two of these vocal things together, and it was the two weirdest ones, the two most obtuse ones. And Clink’s like, “I don’t know about that, man...” I'm like, "I don’t know either, why don’t we just sleep on it?” So we go home and the next day I call him up and now I’m like, “I don’t know about this.” But he goes, “No I think it’s cool!” So now he was the other way... So then we put three more vocal parts on it and then it fit. But the point is, that wasn’t how we had it planned. We don’t really know how it happened
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


In 1992, Slash would mention that they mad matured since 'Appetite' and that it is a bit dated:

When I hear it, it sounds a little bit immature to me, in some ways. It just sounds as old as it is. It's cool. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm still proud of it because even though it's years ago, there's nothing on it that I don't like. I still think the playing on there and the attack were really cool. There's certain things in the mix on certain songs, like in "Jungle," where it wasn't heavy enough for me. I think about that. As far as the experience goes, the only nightmare that I can remember from Appetite was trying to count in that "Sweet Child O' Mine" riff (laughs).



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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:00 am

AUGUST-OCTOBER, 1987
'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' IS RELEASED AND FLOPS


In early August 1987 the band did a video shoot for their upcoming music video for 'Welcome to the Jungle' on August 2 at the Park Plaza Hotel Ballroom in Los Angeles. The music video would be released on September 28 in the UK and in October in the US.

It is clear that Axl already a year before had a plan for the music video's thematic content:

[Our first video] is going to be realistic and it might show a lot of violence so it might get banned. There's a lot of violence in the world. That's the environment we live in and we like to show what we live in rather than hide it and act like everything is nice and sugary.

Everybody likes to paint their pretty pictures, but that just ain't how it is. It just seems easier to know the rougher side [of life] than the more pleasant side just because it's more readily accessible.


The video was directed by Nigel Dick and the footage was filmed on August 2, 1987 [Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019]. Niven would later claim he came up with the idea om combining "a Clockwork Orange vibe and blending it with Midnight Cowboy and The Man Who Fell to Earth" [Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019].

During to movie shoot, Niven would recall having to deal with a drunk Slash who wandered into the streets and "terrified rush hour motorists":

I explained, in short syllable Anglo Saxon, and with a certain degree of firmness, that this was behavior that was not suited to the circumstances. Slash looked me silently in the eye, then turned and walked home – some six or seven miles away.
Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019


According to Vicky Hamilton, the 'Welcome to the Jungle' video was partly inspired by the 'Faces Of Death' series of snuff video clips which Axl had studied in detail while living in her apartment [Vicky Hamilton, "Appetite For Dysfunction", 2014, p. 134]. The band had paid for news footage that didn't make it into the final edit:

There's a few changes been made to this video. We bought actual news footage that had been shown on television from NBC and CBS and ABC, but we had to cut a lot of that out.


Axl would refer to this video shoot as the "most fun [he] ever had" [Metal Edge, June 1988].

Despite cutting a lot of the footage out, the video was controversial and received little airplay. In July 1988 Geffen President Eddie Rosenblatt would refer to the low initial sales of the 'Welcome to the Jungle' single as a "flop".

Steven Thompson, one of the engineers at the recording of 'Appetite' had big hopes for the single:

I think we released "Welcome to the Jungle" first, which I thought was an anthem. I was pretty shocked that it didn't break the way it should have. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was not even in the picture. It was a good song, but to say that I thought that was the song that was going to break GNR, I couldn't predict that. I'm usually good at predicting what songs are going to hit. To me it was "Welcome to the Jungle".
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


Tom Zutaut fought for the single and the record:

MTV basically said, "we will never play this band because they are drug addicts, they are scary, and the cable operators have threatened to drop MTV off cable." The guys who ran the big cable companies were basically putting pressure on MTV to tone it back. They said, "This is HBO, this is about family entertainment, and MTV, if you cross the line we're going to pull you off the cable network because we're not going to have our cable franchises pissed at us because of your programming." Now MTV says they will never play Guns N' Roses, they're way to dangerous, and they'll get thrown off the cable networks. We've sold 200,000 units by word of mouth only. People who are buying the record are people seeing them open for Motley or The Cult and they are telling their friends. Honestly, it was like clockwork. They'd go into town and open for somebody, and the next week, spike in sales. I get called into the president of the company's office one day and he looks at me and says, "Hey kid, it was a great run, but you've got to quit beating up the promotion people. They can't get it on the radio, MTV's not going to play it, and we're done with this record at 200,000 units." So I looked at my half-boss, who was a great guy, and as smart-aleck of a kid as I was then and as sure of with Gins N' Roses, I had to give him some deference. I said, "with all due respect Eddie, this is the biggest rock and roll band in the world, and 200,000 hasn't even scratched the surface yet. I will not go in the studio and make the next record, I will not stop pushing for this record. It's only the beginning; I don't know how you can say it's over. I'm going to call David Geffen, because I disagree with this decision. I'm not going to accept this decision that we're giving up on this record."
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


So Zutaut called David Geffen:

I called David Geffen and David said, "I've never heard you so adamant about something." And I said, "I'm telling you, 200,000 records is a disgrace." And he said, "do you know how many new bands sell 200,000 records?" And I said, "well this band can sell ten million, so it's not enough." So David said, "What's the one thing I can do?" And I said, "Well, you could put the 'Welcome to the Jungle' video on MTV. I mean, you're best friends with Fresten the guy who runs it, and they owe you favors. MTV owes you favors." And Geffen's like, "Yeah, I could do that. I'll take care of that and I'll put in a call."
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

So the next day David Geffen calls me up into his office and he says, "You tricked me!" And I said, "What?" And he said, "Well, first off you didn't tell me that they already, adamantly vowed and sworn to never play this band on MTV. If you had told me that in advance I might have been able to do better for you." I said, "You're David Geffen, you're the man, they either owe you a favor or they don't." He said, "Next time, don't forget minor details like that, because it's very important when I call somebody to know what I'm up against. I said, "I promise if something ike this comes up again, I'll give you all the nitty gritty." And he goes, "Ok, in spite of that, I did get them. They'll play it one time, this Sunday at 5am New York time, 2am L.A. time." I sad, "That's it?" And he said, "Look, don't be a schmuck, you could have gotten nothing." And I said, "Alright." So I called the band and said, "Look, we'll stay up all night and watch it." It was exciting. Here it was on MTV in all its glory and it looked amazing. So I come into work the next day, not thinking much of anything other than I hope something happened. I took my shot with David Geffen and the record's over ad I don't know what I'm going to do.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

The next day, I had multiple phone calls from my office. I got in around four in the afternoon, and the head of promotion told me the video had lit up MTV’s switchboards. He was yelling hysterically and said MTV finally added the video into rotation after just one play of 'Welcome to the Jungle'.
L.A. Weekly but copied in Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019

So the head of promotion was this real excitable guy named Al Corian. Because I was up all night with the band, I probably didn't get in until 1:00pm. […] I get an urgent message from Al Corian as soon as I get in and I went to his office immediately. And this guy starts babbling, "I've got to tell you, that Guns N' Roses thing -- it's unbelievable. We're going to get it everywhere." He said, "You don't understand, they blew up the switchboard at MTV, I'm telling you the switchboard blew up. They're putting it in heavy rotation. This is amazing." I told this guy for months it was going to be the biggest band in the world. They wanted to drop the record on Friday and now on Monday it's the biggest thing that ever happened. MTV had put the video into heavy rotation, and it explodes, and we go from 200,000 units to million units practically overnight.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


In an article in Los Angeles Times in July 1988, the story is told somewhat differently. In this article it is said that Geffen president Eddie Rosenblatt made a personal effort to make MTV air the 'Welcome to the Jungle video: "Rosenblatt started sending its execs a weekly computer run of the band's record sales. Impressed, MTV put the "Welcome" video into its "Headbanger's Ball" program" [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].

Regardless of who were responsible, when MTV's Headbanger's Ball played 'Welcome to the Jungle', the record and single sales picked up quickly. Geffen responded by promptly re-releasing the 'Welcome' single [Los Angeles Times, July 1988]. This increase in sales coincided with Guns N' Roses touring with Mötley Crue, and more and more of the audiences seemed to appreciate the opening band.

Steven and Slash would describe the breakthrough this way:

Even though we had shot it, our video was not getting played. David Geffen had to call in a huge favor from the head of MTV to get one fucking airing of "Welcome to the Jungle." They tried to bury it at like five A.M. on a Sunday morning. But guess who's wide awake at that hour on a Sunday and just getting in from a night of partying? That's right, kiddies, GNR Nation! Legend has it that "Welcome to the Jungle" hadn't even gotten done with its one airing and the MTV switchboard was lighting up like a Christmas tree. They were all demanding to know one thing: when would MTV be airing the video again?
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 143

The problem, from what we understand, is that new people took over MTV right about the time our first clip came out. They didn’t know anything about rock and roll, and their main concern was just not to offend anyone. And you know that when it comes to not offending people, you’re dealing with the wrong guys when you’re dealing with us. But once we did get the clip on the air, the response was incredible. Yeah, we flipped when it made it all the way to the top of their dial-in show. That proved the fans really were behind us.


Nigel Dick, the director, would as the result of GN'R's success be highly sought after:

I became, for a while, the go-to guy for that kind of band, and I'd get all these awful band managers coming up to me, 'The job you did for that band was amazing, man, so you've got to do for my band what you did for Guns N' Roses,'You just go, 'Oh my God.' If the guy ain't Axl, he ain't Axl. You can be the best video director in the world, but if the singer doesn't have his oats together, you're f---ed.
Rolling Stone but copied in Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019



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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:00 am

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1987
OPENING FOR 'THE CULT'


Despite the problems getting tours, the band started their first proper tour in August 1987, opening for the Cult across Canada and USA.

Do you know how we got this tour? Because Ian Astbury, the Cult's lead vocalist, came to our first show at the Marquee, the one we got such a slagging for, and liked it so much he offered us the tour. So f**k those journalists who wrote those bad things, Ian Astbury liked what he saw, right?


In addition to having seen the band live in London in June 1987, Astbury also had gotten hold of an advance copy of the soon-to-be-released debut album 'Appetite for Destruction' [Guitarist Magazine, November 1993], which likely helped him in his decision to invite the band to open for the Cult.

The first show was in Halifax, Canada, August 14, 1987. On crossing the border to Canada, Axl was arrested for trying to bring in a stun gun, allegedly the only time in 1987 he was arrested [Spin, January 1988].

Guns N' Roses started the Cult tour in Halifax on August 14, with shows almost every night for a little over a month. Halifax is in Nova Scotia, in the easternmost corner of Canada. Despite everything else, it was an exciting prospect [...]. Hitting the stage that night was extra special. It did not matter in the slightest that there were maybe fifty people in the audience when we took the stage. One thing I hadn't reckoned on were the barricades between the stage and the audience, leaving a ton of space where the building's security personnel could gather and show their force. Because of that gap, the stage lights did not illuminate the few people in attendance. And all of those lights were blinding. The overall effect was to make us feel like we were playing to this big yawning void.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 126-127


In 2008 Axl would look back at this show and say this was his relationship with Slash was starting to unravel:

I like touring with [the current] guys a lot more than the old band. The beginning was fun but it started going bad our first gig opening for the Cult in Halifax between Slash and I. That’s when the ok I put up with all Axl’s and Izzy’s crap now I’m gonna be the man trip started with him runnin’ right out front on the ego ramp for the whole show. It was pretty funny. :rolleyes:
Axl's chat with the fans, mygnrforum, December 14, 2008


Then followed shows in Moncton, Canada (August 15) and Montreal, Canada (August 17).

When looking back at the tour in August 25, Izzy would say the best show had been the one in Montreal:

The best show so far was... in Montreal. The people were just great. To have that response from people who’ve never heard of us, the album has just come out, it’s great.


The next show was in Kicthener, Canada (August 18), Toronto, Canada (August 19), Detroit, USA (August 21), Chicago, USA (August 22), Winnipeg, Canada (August 25), and Edmonton, Canada (August 26).

The review for the show in Edmonton would say that the band displayed "a wide scope for non-linear arrangements and cathartic and often quite personal hard rock" and "their signals are a bit mixed but they hint at a vulnerability made all the more poignant by their swagger and volume" [Edmonton Journal, August 27, 1987].

The next show took place in Calgary, Canada (August 27) and the review would say that "this was a show that recaptured the emotional centre that has always represented the best and most powerful rock 'n' roll, both with The Cult and the raw, sexually aggressive opening set of Guns N’ Roses" [Calgary Herald, August 28, 1987].

For their August 29 show at the Coliseum Theatre Stage in Vancouver, the press would claim the band would be "the first band to play Vancouver whose contract calls for the promoter to supply condoms (multi-colored)" [Province, September 18, 1987].

The review from the next show, on August 30 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle would conclude "Guns N' Roses may have a rosy future" [Seattle Times, August 31, 1987].

When we played the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, I got a bunch of my friends in for free.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 127


The band then continued to San Francisco, USA (September 2), Santa Cruz, USA (September 3), San Diego, USA (September 4), before coming to Long Beach, USA (September 5).

The next tour stop [after Seattle] where any people came early enough to see Guns play our set was at the Long Beach Arena; it was a homecoming show for us after not playing there much that year.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 127


This show would be abruptly ended when the PA closed down. Rumours would have it that The Cult had turned it off out of jealousy, although The Cult would deny this [L.A. Weekly, September 11, 1987].

Later, Raz Cue would suggest an alternative explanation:

About two-thirds into Guns N' Roses' set, the free Heinekens caught up with me. I stashed my current Heineken on top of a stack of Peavey power amps and headed for the pisser. Just as I exited the restroom, the music stopped on a dime. Except for the murmuring crowd, the house was silent. I hurried back to the stage and almost bashed into an ultra-pissed Axl as he hit the bottom step. After he stormed past me, the rest of the guys were not far behind. I asked someone, "What happened?" Apparently, the PA had quit. Later, I heard someone from the crew guessing that a jealous Cult had ordered the sound guy to shut G N' R down.

Remember that Heineken I set on those power amps? Don't ever do that shit, because it might get knocked over. If beer spills into a power amplifier, not only must you procure more beer, a protect circuit will shut it down. From the stage monitor's failure onward, it was all a chain reaction toward a total PA failure. I almost fessed up later during a little after-show get-together inside an Embassy Suites room, but didn't want the party supplies cut off. Besides, G N' R were almost finished with their kick-ass set before... Oops! For those of you who attended the show, no worries. I managed to find another beer.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 248


The next shows were in Phoenix, USA (September 7), Austin, USA (September 12), and Dallas, USA (September 13).

Duff and Slash would later talk about an incident at a show in Dallas, it could be either this or on December 4, 1987.

It's gotten bad at times. In Dallas once we almost got arrested, and we had to pay like $3,000. We tore all the doors off our rooms, and there were a lot of local kids around.

Another time when we were in Dallas, Duff and I had adjoining rooms connected by a door and we invited over too many friends with piles of coke. Our party lasted all that night and well into the next afternoon. Things got out of hand, of course, and a big glass coffee table got smashed, and I walked all over it barefoot and bled everywhere. At some point someone kicked the dividing door off the hinges and tipped the beds over and smashed all of the lamps. There were too many of us behaving badly for Ronnie[/i] [=Stalnaker, Slash's security guy] [i]to deal with, so he came up with a plan to get us out of the hotel without the management noticing. He somehow herded us into a service elevator and snuck us out of a loading dock and onto the bus. The hotel had heard all of the noise and was very aware of the party going on, but Ronnie had kept security out of there somehow for an hour or so. We thought we’d gotten away, until the cops pulled us over a few miles down the road at a convenience store where, if memory serves, I’d actually just stolen a bunch of candy.

We were lined up against the side of the bus and taken in for trashing the hotel rooms. It was expensive and I can say in all honesty that it was the last time I’ve ever really destroyed a hotel room. Sure, I’ve been through a couple of TV sets and done a few other stupid things since, but that was the last time I engaged in total annihilation because I got the bill for that one.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007


The tour followed in Houston, USA (September 16) and ended in New Orleans, USA (September 17).

For the last gig The Cult had a surprise for the band:

It's sort of a rock 'n' roll ritual for the headlining act to play a practical joke on the opening band on the last night of the tour. I was definitely the people person of the band, so I was always in with the roadies and the bands we toured with. The Cult's crew, and the band themselves, were all in on this practical joke. In New Orleans, during one of the last songs in our set, the Cult's crew came out and took my drum set apart piece by piece. First, the cymbal, then the cymbal stand, finally the snare drum, until I was just sitting there looking like a dork. Izzy, Duff, Axl, and Slash were all pointing an laughing at me. The the guys brought the drum set back one piece at a time. Now, usually the opening bands dare not play a practical joke back at the headliners, but we got along so well, we knew it'd be cool. We got naked, with only towels wrapped around our waists. Then the five of us, and a couple of our roadies, walked onstage while the Cult was playing. I had mixed a disgusting concoction of eggs, mustard, and relish in a Styrofoam cup. I walked behind Ian [Astbury] holding it. He didn't see me, and I motioned to the crowd, "Should I?" holding it over his head, ready to pour, and they were like, "Yeah!". He turned around and started chasing me all over the stage. He grabbed at me and pulled the towel off of my waist. I was totally naked onstage in front of everyone.
Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 131-132


Despite having just released Appetite for Destruction in the US, they band was given no airtime on MTV and no one knew who they were. It didn't help that the Canadian release data was 6 weeks after the US release date. For most shows they played for a small audience who were waiting for the main act.

Despite this, the band thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Cult and would praise how well they were treated by the headlining act. According to Kerrang!, Ian even "dashed out to get Duff a ripped black T-shirt to use as a headband" at one point [Kerrang! October 1987].

The Cult is great. I really like the direction their music is moving in and, as people, they’re so cool to us on the road. Hell, they even give us a sound check before the show. It makes the whole tour a helluva lot of fun.

The Cult are the first band we've met who really have treated us right. […] We've been having a great time with the Cult, and Ian seems to spend more time in our dressing room than his own.

The Cult and GNR got along phenomenally well, and we had a great time together. They always had catering at sound check, great food that positively spoiled us. During our set, Axl made it a point to announce to the crowd how great the Cult was to us.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 131

It was a good tour for us. Both bands got on real well together, and they were nicer to us than most headlining bands are expected to be. It was a good start.


Despite being treated very nicely by the headlining band and enjoying the tour in general, Axl would be struggling with adjusting to a regular touring schedule:

It was traumatic for me. I was just so disorganized, a f.ckin' wreck. I don't follow anyone's time schedules but my own, and all of a sudden you gotta get up at 9 in the morning. I'm screaming, 'I didn't get enough sleep!' I'm much more organized and everything's a lot smoother now.


When looking back at the tour in 1993, Duff would comment that Astbury was so impressed with the band he prophesized the Cult would one time open for Guns N' Roses:

Our first tour, like I said, was opening for The Cult and we started up in Nova Scotia and came across Canada; ‘Appetite’ wasn’t even out in Canada so nobody knew who we were but Ian had managed to get a pre-release of the record, or something, and he got us on the tour. Back then we just played things like Reckless Life and all the fast punk things for 40-45 minutes, just whipping it out. But Ian said then that one day he would be opening for us and sure enough...!


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:25 am

'APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION'- LYRICAL CONTENT CONTROVERSY


We were signed by the same guy who originally signed Motley Crue to Elektra. And he told us to keep all the vulgar stuff in [The San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 1987].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In addition to the controversy surrounding the choice of cover art for 'Appetite', the record had to have a warning sticker due to its mature lyrical content and swearing.

The sticker, the sticker are pointless. The sticker means nothing either way. And if I don't say the word 'fuck', or whatever, on the next record that is just because it wasn't put in that song. You know, it's nothing to do with… we don't write songs based on trying to get sales or anything else, we just write songs on how we feel and how we're writing that particular song. […] I would have said exactly what it says and everything on a big list, "This album contains the word 'fuck' at least 27 times" [Interview after Lakeland show, November 24, 1987].
The PMRC can't win - if there are warning stickers on albums, it's only going to sell more records. The whole rebellion thing is what makes everything so great. It keeps the wheels turning [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].
The sticker would also be attached to the 1991 'Use Your Illusion' albums, and now Axl was a litte bit more critical:

The only drawback we've had is due to Tipper Gore, and her work to have stickers placed on albums. That really hindered us, I believe. […] Her efforts really hurt our sales in the States. The whole stickering thing took its effect because major record chains like K-Mart and Walmart, which are 50 percent of a band's sales, won't even carry our albums. You've got to realize that certain income families don't let their kids shop just anywhere. When I was growing up, we were a K-Mart family, so I speak from experience. You could look wherever you wanted, but you bought things at K-Mart because it's a little cheaper. I think the fact that Tipper Gore is closer to power is something that we'll have to deal with. I think the Gores toned down their act in order to get the vote, but I haven't forgotten what she's done. She did achieve her goal-first albums had to be stickered, then stores wouldn't carry stickered albums [Hit Parader, June 1993].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:26 am

SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 8, 1987 - HEADLINING IN EUROPE WITH FASTER PUSSYCAT


After touring with the Cult, the band had planned to open for Aerosmith in Europe, but they pulled out in the "11th hour" [Kerrang! March 1989] allegedly because Aerosmith hadn't got their new record out [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987] or due to "finances" [Kerrang! October 1987]. Instead of scrapping the plans altogether, they decided to headline with Faster Pussycat as their opener. The band thus went to Germany, Holland and UK as headlining acts from September 29 to October 8, 1987.

At the start of this tour Axl's voice was in a bad shape and the band was starting to feel exhausted:

[...] Axl's voice is getting to the point where he can't keep going. Everybody's been having a good time. The thing is, we're burned out[Musician, December 1988].
After having played two shows in West Germany and one show in the Netherlands, the band travelled to England for five shows. Axl looked forward to re-visiting England after having been there for the three concerts at the Marquee in June earlier that year:

We are looking forward to this so much. It's a chance to get out around the country and visit some of the places that fans travelled from to see us at the Marquee [in June earlier that year]. We had a blast in London earlier this year and I'm sure this tour will go extremely well [Kerrang! October 1987].
During their October 5 show at the Rock City in Nottingham, England, Axl was refused entry to the show when he came alone dressed in nothing but a bathrobe. Apparently, he had locked himself out of the tour bus and had to return with his security pass to be allowed into the venue [BBC, December 2015].

In particular, their October 7 show at the Bristol Colston Hall in in Bristol went well:

Last night, in Bristol, it was fantastic, people wanted to jump from the stands, and many of them ended up dancing on the PA. I don’t believe there’s any band that’s not able to lift the spirits of the people in Bristol. When we play at Hammersmith, I’ll ask people to see if there’s no other crowd as good as in Bristol – even though I may get into trouble if I encourage people to go too wild[Popular 1, April 1988 (interview from October 8, 1987; translated from Spanish)].
Bristol Colston Hall were full of slammers and stage-divers and people jumping off the balconies, jumping off amplifiers [Interview with Axl Rose, December 1987].
Mick Wall, writing for Kerrang!, would say that the Hammersmith Odeon in London (October 8) was a fantastic show [Kerrang! March 1989], and he would also applaud the show at Manchester Apollo in Manchester on October 10 [Kerrang! October 24, 1987].

But after the tour, Slash would not be too positive about the five UK shows they did:

When [the next LP] comes out, we're all very adamant about going to England first to tour... It seems like out of everywhere we've played we've sort of, like, cut England short. We haven't given it, I dont think, enough of our time. I mean, we did a tour in England with Faster Pussycat, and there were a couple shows that were great, bit the whole tour itself was sort of half-assed. It was only five shows and I don't think we gave enough in a lot of those shows... [Kerrang! April 1989].
Axl would echo the statement of wanting to do more shows in England:

We miss England. We miss England. Japan was great, we miss England. I hope that when we will do our next tour we can plan out something really big and do it right for your [?]. We had a lot of fun when we did our last tour over there and we would like to make it a lot more special next time [Unknown Source, April 1989].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:29 am

OCTOBER 16-NOVEMBER 1, 1987 - HEADLINING IN USA WITH EZO


After returning to US, they toured the East Coast (October 16, November 1, 1987), supported by EZO who were also on Geffen Records which, according to Axl, "made it really easy just to do quickly" [Rock City News, January 1988].

The third show on this tour took place at a place called Hammerjacks in Baltimore, MD, USA on October 18. Apparently, Izzy got so wasted the band had to turn his amp down:

Izzy—he’s not usually the one to cause any trouble at all, but he got totally annihilated at this place called Hammerjacks—the most fucked place I’ve ever played. First, they got about thirty [uniformed] security guys that look like West Hollywood sheriffs. And Izzy got in arguments with them early in the day about some bullshit they were giving our crew, who were just trying to do their jobs. So Izzy got drunk, and was really hating this club. Then, right before we played, and there are more hassles, and Izzy’s fucking sick of everything, he walked into the club manager’s office and just whipped it out and pissed all over the guy’s desk—with the guy sitting there! It just blew their minds. Then we go on, and Izzy is so drunk we had to turn his guitar down, and when he realized what was going on, he unstrapped the guitar and threw it into the crowd [Original source unknown, but found in Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses by Stephen Davis, Penguin Group, 2008].
Slash would mention this gig in 1995:

I remember playing there. Hammer-jacks is the gig — I don’t know if you should print this or not — but it was the gig where... […] Me and Izzy got really messed up. When you're touring around in a bus, you get there in the morning, you have a day room at the hotel, you go to the gig way too early... and you get bored. […] I play well when I’m messed up. Izzy, on the other hand.... [laughter] So during the gig, he just sat on his amp. But he had a Marshall stack behind him, so he sat on the tiny lip of the bottom cabinet, and we just sorta covered for him. [...] I think he was pretty much turned off at that point [laughter] [The Baltimore Sun, April 9, 1995].
During this touring Axl was still "fighting a see-saw battle with a tenacious case of laryngitis" [BAM, November 1987]. Slash also fell out of the tour bus in October when travelling in upstate New York:

Slash fell against me and I fell out of the chair straight to the ground, about five feet. Concussion time. Knocked out. They thought I was dead [BAM, November 1987].
Some memorable shows during this period of touring Appetite for Destruction, was at The Ritz in New York City (October 23) where Dave Mustaine was thrown off the stage when he wandered on with a guitar in his hands ("We didn't know who he was. We just thought it was some weirdo out of the crowd" [Kerrang! March 1989]); and at CBGB in New York City (October 30, 1987) where the band debuted 'Patience'.

Next up was a show as CBGB, the famous punk rock club in Manhattan. Duff was particularly excited because his heroes Iggy Pop and the Ramones had played there. A lot of my favourites like Blondie and Talking Heads has started out there too. When we got there, I said, "Are you sure this is CBGB?" It was the smallest room, very, very intimate. It held only like fifty to seventy people. I just couldn't imagine that all those famous bands had played there. We performed an acoustic set and I rocked the tambourine. We debuted some songs that we hand't played publicly yet. The lyrics "I used to love her...but I had to kill her" from "Used to Love Her" got a huge laugh. And "Patience" got a very nice response. We also played "Mr. Brownstone" and "Move to the City". Someone yelled out, "Drum solo!" so I shook the tambourine wildly. Everyone laughed [Steve's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 145]
After the CGBG show Axl would talk about an incident that happened at the Gramercy Hotel in New York:

We stay at the Gramercy hotel here [in New York], and one of our friends, West Arkeen, the guy jumped over the counter. His dad had a heart attack and they didn’t give him the message, and then when he yelled at the guy, the guy jumped over the counter and hit him. And then three guys jumped in - it was at the hotel here in New York. So then he came up and got me. I went downstairs and two big guys come with a club. So I grabbed a huge metal sign, you know, and it was like a showdown, they backed off. And then the cops came and, you know. That’s, like, the most recent thing that’s happened [After show interview at CBGB's, NY, October 30, 1987].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:35 am

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS


As the band grew in popularity, the band members would argue that they were picking up on the business side of it:

We learned how to survive. We learned who's who in the music business. We learned how to tell when someone's full of shit. We've learned some hard lessons and had to pay some out-of-court settlements. At least we're smart enough to talk straight business now. If someone in this band is like, 'Okay, we're up against a wall' we have people - lawyers, other lawyers and other accountants - so that any mess we manage to get into, we can get out of [RIP, April 1989].
What I'd tell any kid in high school is "Take business classes." I don't care what else you're gonna do, if you're gonna do art or anything, take business classes. You can say, "Well, I don't want to get commercial," but if you do anything to make any money, you're doing something commercial. You can be flipping hamburgers at McDonald's, but you're a commercial burger flipper [Rolling Stone, August 1989].
Robert John: "as far as business goes, these guys really know what they're doing" [Rock Scene, October 1989].

Izzy and I had always done a lot of reading on Alice Cooper. Not only because we admired him, but also because we figured that anyone who could get this act off the ground had to be a genius ­and that would be his manager (Shep Gordon). So we'd always read as much as we could about Shep, and we met Shep in Long Beach that night [February 26, 1988], and we told him about how we'd read about him. And he said, "Yeah? Well, that's great, man, because I always used to go in and pull out my book on Elvis when we were first starting out." He told us that Elvis had in his contract that when he put out a record, every piece of RCA stationery must have the title of his new record on it, no matter which act it was promoting. Shep wanted to do that, and the record company said it couldn't be done - and Shep got his Elvis book and said "It's right here on page 42" [Cream, Septembert 1989].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:44 am

NOVEMBER 3-21, 1987
OPENING FOR MÖTLEY CRÜE, PART 1


After having played individual shows headlining around the US, the band opened for Mötley Crue on parts of their "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour in the US (November 3-29, 1987), something Izzy had been looking forward to [Concert Shots, May 1986]. Originally, Guns N' Roses was supposed to open from the start of the tour (The "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour started on June 19), but since 'Appetite' wasn't out yet Whitesnake got the job:

Well, we were gonna do it on the original beginning of their tour, but we weren’t ready. Our album hadn’t been put out yet. And so they got Whitesnake and they were real happy with that. But now Whitesnake is ready to start headlining on their own, and they like us and we like them, so it’s like, we’re ready to do it.


So in November Whitesnake dropped out to headline their own tour and Guns N' Roses stepped in [Kerrang! March 1989].

Axl was excited about opening for Motley Crue and grateful for the how accommodating the headliner was:

They’re like, they’re rolling out, like, the red carpet. I mean, they’re giving us more lights than they usually give an opening act. They’re giving us more monitors and more things. […] They’re like, they’re really helping us, because they’re into what we’re doing. And like, someone told me the other day, Circus Magazine told me that Vince Neil said some nice things about us (?). I figure that any kid that has the Guns N’ Roses album has a Motley Crue album too, so it should be great.


The Crue tour was a much bigger show then what the band was used to by then, and, according to Axl, the band "learned a lot about professionalism from that. Fuckin’ a lot" [Rock City News, January 1988]. The band also learnt a lot about partying and wild living:

Well, touring with Motley everybody tends to get very excessive, which we like. If I get too wasted and carried away or pissed off about something, rather than punch someone in the mouth I'll throw a phone, smash a picture on the wall. The first night of the Motley Crue tour, Slash, Steve, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx got in a wrestling match at their hotel, trashed the whole place. We got the bill, but that's the nature of the business—seeing how much you can survive. Nikki's version of winning a drinking contest is not who drinks the most but who can get away without drinking as much and who can make the other guy pass out.


One of the shows took place on November 11 at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana. Not sure on whether the concert should be allowed to take place, a six-man delegation of local officials attended the earlier show in Mobile, Alabama on November 4, to find out if it "warranted any concern". This little mission was described in the Daily Advertiser on November 5. Some excerpts follow:

Cajundome officials found a Motley Crue concert in Mobile to be “way better” than expected and anticipate “no major problems” when the rock group appears here Friday, the Dome Commission’s chairman said Wednesday. […] Bill Rucks III, speaking for a six-man contingent that previewed the act, said while it “may not be suitable to all people” a local assistant district attorney agreed it is “so far from” violation of obscenity laws as to not warrant serious concern. […] The trip followed complaints by several Lafayette citizens and groups that Motley Crue is not up to area legal and moral standards. […] Rucks added that performers used “tough language,” but claimed there was no promotion of drugs or Satanic views in the lyrics he heard.


The same newspaper also published a review of the November 6 show at Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Indiana:

It was a 14-year-old’s fantasy and a parent’s nightmare. […] Even before the opening act, Guns and Roses, took the stage, the decibel level was deafening. When Guns and Roses did go on stage, sound levels became excruciating. There is little to say about the music. Each song was indistinguishable from the one before. This was the heaviest of heavy metal. […] Profanity was the order of the evening. Unprintable four letter words spewed forth with unpleasant regularity. The band even offered up a little of their own philosophy while commenting from the stage about the controversy that preceded their appearance here. “The apathy of the young,” said the lead singer, “is the strength of the old.” A telling point about the overall tender years of the audience members is that the singer followed that comment by asking if the audience knew what the word apathy meant. […] Musically, Motley Crue is light years ahead of Guns and Roses. Crue band members can and occasionally did play their musical instruments with a high degree of skill […]. And Lafayette was not spared the group’s cheeky salute as the drummer dropped his pants and mooned the audience. [...] The insult to the injury here is that neither band is especially good. Mediocrity rises to the top again. There is good rock ’n’ roll. There is even good heavy metal. The Motley Crue/Guns and Roses concert was neither. It was just a chance for the younger citizens of Lafayette to rebel.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:23 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:55 am

DOUG GOLDSTEIN, TOUR MANAGER


For their very first England tour in 1987 the band got a new tour manager, Doug Goldstein (source?). Although in June 1987, during that tour, Axl would refer to their "road manager" as Colin Gardner [Unknown UK Source, June 1987]. In November 1987, when the band was interviewed after their first Lakeland Civic Center show (November 21), Goldstein is again referred to as the tour manager, and Slash again refers to Goldstein as their tour manager in December that year [Late Night Bull, December 1987]. Perhaps Gardner was their first tour manager and was later replaced by Goldstein?

Raz met Goldstein before the August 1988 show at Giants Stadium in New Jersey:

Axl was there with his road manager Doug, who would eventually become their business manager. When we were introduced, he said to me, "Raz, good to finally meet you." He paused momentarily, seemingly pondering something, and then said, "You know who was asking about you the other day?" I perked up, feeling important about him knowing who I was, and that folks were talking about me. But he just chuckled and said, "No one"[Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 255].
In the summer of 1989, Chicago Tribune would refer to Goldstein as one of the band's managers [Chicago Tribune, June 1989], the other likely being Alan Niven.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:57 am

NOVEMBER 22, 1987 - THE OMNI, ATLANTA, AXL GETS ARRESTED


In Atlanta on November 22, at The Omni, when touring with Motley Crue, Axl jumped into the crowd to fight a security man he claimed pushed one of his friends [The Atlanta Constitution, November 24, 1987; Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to Doc McGhee, the manager of Mötley Crüe, the security man was an off-duty cop [Nikky Sixx biography, 2008].

Charlie Brusco, the Omni's head of security would later describe the incident like this: "First strike, he hit an Atlanta police officer. Second strike, he hit a female Atlanta police officer. Third strike, he hit a black female Atlanta police officer. He’s going to jail" [Vulture, 2016].

With Axl detained, roadie Big Ron got on stage to sing 'Honky Town Women' and 'Communication Breakdown' [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to McGhee, he sang 'Communication Breakdown' four times, "not terribly well" [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008]. McGhee would also say that Slash sang "a few songs", including a Rolling Stones song [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008].

According to Brusco, he begged for Rose to be allowed to finish the show and finally the head of security said, "If he apologizes to the police officer in writing, we’ll let him go." Axl signed his apology, and security brought in the female officer who had been hit. Axl looked up and said, “Fuck you, you fucking jag-off cop.” Axl was then hauled to jail, and the show was canceled.

"I don’t think,” Brusco would say, "I did another Guns show after that" [Vulture, 2016]. To avoid a trial, Axl pleaded guilty to assaulting the police and paid a fine [Rolling Stone, November 1988] and was released the day after [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008].

The band members would remember it this way:

Two nights ago we did a show in Atlanta. At about the second song, I found myself on the way to jail. I won’t go into a lot of detail on that, but, basically, that was a case of people getting pushed around to sit in the back, people getting hurt to sit in the back; and people abusing their authority and guys going “Look, I got the lead singer!”. I’m gonna dedicate this to the “Atlanta’s finest” and to the guys that bailed me out. This is a song called “Out Ta Get Me”! [Concert at Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, FL - 11.24.1987]
This guy named Scott, he works in a record store up in Detroit, and he sells records, he’s got a Guns N’ Roses tattoo and stuff, and he comes to a lot of our shows. And the show is in Atlanta, at the Omni, and they make the people... the people can’t get in the aisles, people can’t come to the front of the stage, it’s a big law there; the security will get fined like $25,000 if people are in the aisles or anything. But some of the security doesn’t really seem to care about that, they like the job so they can push around kids. On the Friday night show [11.20.1987] there was this one guy particularly hassling the kids... and the kids don’t know, they come round to the front of the stage, they just think it’s a concert. And this guy like was being overly rough and I jumped off the stage into the pit, leaned on the barricade and grabbed him. [Band interview after the show in Lakeland, FL, 11.24.1987, “A Night In The Jungle”, MTV]
We just recently did a show in Atlanta, opening up for Motley Crue [...], and I [...] actually warned a security guard being a little shit and pushing the kids around, really proving that he was an asshole, and he called me out. So I dived down over the fucking rail, and before I got over the rail, the fucker hit me. So I got him about three times, and now I’m being charged with four counts of assault for hitting police that I never touched. These are the kind of people that can just suck my dick! You know, I’ve got nothing against fucking security. [?] you're out doing your job, but you don’t need to fucking push kids; not my friends that come here. These are the kind of people that get me down. They make me feel that somebody out there is out to get me! [Concert at UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL - 12.18.1987]
I can think of a few people I wouldn't want to have [Appetite For Destruction] in their collections, like the Atlanta police. I don't want them to even have listened to it at all. [Rock Scene magazine, June 1988]
We played in Atlanta and Axl jumped off the stage to help out a fan who was getting beaten by these security guys. He never made it back on stage so we improvised a seven minute blues jam ["In The Classic Way", Guitar For The Practicing Musician, September 1988].
During one show, Axl jumped into the crowd to beat up a security guard who pushed one of our friends around, so he wound up going to jail and we had to do the show without him. We had a roadie come out and sing with us, and the crowd really dug it [Goldmine, May 19, 1989].
In Atlanta I dived in and I had police saying I hit them. I never did, but I had to plead guilty because we didn't have any money at the time. Lie? Yes, I guess I did lie once. I lied and said that I hit four cops. I guess we should reopen the case and take me to trial for perjury. But I didn't have $56,000 to pay them off under the table ["There's A Riot Going On!", Musician, September 1991].
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