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It's So Easy

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It's So Easy

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:40 am

Appetite for Destruction, 1987, track no. 2.

Written by:
Lyrics & music: Duff McKagan and West Arkeen.

Vocals: Axl Rose; lead Guitar: Slash; rhythm guitar: Izzy Stradlin; bass: Duff McKagan; drums: Steven Adler.

Live performances:
The song was played live for the first time on October 23, 1986, at Arlington Theatre, USA. Interestingly, at this show Axl turned up late and were lot allowed in. Thus, it was sung by Duff. All incarnations of Guns N' Roses have played this song live. In total it has, as of {UPDATEDATE}, at least been played {ISESONGS} times.

I see your sister in her Sunday dress
       She's out to please
       She pouts her best
       She's out to take
       No need to try
       She's ready to make
       It's so easy, easy
       When everybody's tryin' to please me baby
       It's so easy, easy
       When everybody's tryin' to please me

Cars are crashin' every night
       I drink n'drive everything's in sight
       I make the fire
       But I miss the firefight
       I hit the bull's eye every night

     It's so easy, easy
       When everybody's tryin' to please me baby
       Yeah it's so easy, easy
       When everybody's tryin' to please me
       So easy
       But nothin' seems to please me
       It all fits so right
       When I fade into the night
       See me hit you
       You fall down
     I see you standin' there
       You think you're so cool
       Why don't you just
       Fuck off

     Ya get nothin' for nothin'
       If that's what ya do
       Turn around bitch I got a use for you
       Besides you ain't got nothin' better to do
       And I'm bored

     It's so easy, easy
       When everybody's tryin' to please me baby
       It's so easy, easy
       When everybody's tryin' to please me
       So easy
       But nothin' seems to please me
       It all fits so right
       When I fade into the night
       So come with me
       Don't ask me where 'cause I don't know
       I'll try ta please you
       I ain't got no money but it goes to show
       It's so easy

It is a song West Arkeen and I wrote. It's an account of a time that all of us were going through. We didn't have money, but we had a lot of hangers on and girls that we could basically live off of. Things were just too easy. There was an emptiness; it's so easy [Geffen Press Kit, 1987]
West also showed me open-E tuning, an alternative way of tuning a guitar so it plays E-major chord when strummed with no fingers on the frets. That's why he got a songwriting credit on 'It's So Easy' - without open-E tuning, that song wouldn't have happened. I didn't know alternative tunings existed[Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 86-87]
Most of the harmonies and stuff I came up with, like in 'It's So Easy' and 'Paradise City', I came up with the night I was recording those parts, 'cause I never had the opportunity to work on it before [Interview with Axl by Steve Harris, December 1987]
It says "I drink and drive everything's in sight", well, there was a time when we were a little bit careless and thought we we're really cool and we got away with it. It's not something we do now...or at least try not to. I is not something I would do. Better watch Slash, though [Interview with Axl by Steve Harris, December 1987]
'It's So Easy' also ended up being a song about our lives in the now, at that very moment. And nobody in the world sang it with more intensity, more honesty, than Axl. (...) We could just shove a fishing net out the window of any club and pull in choice catch after choice catch. The girl game lost its appeal; there was no challenge to scoring the choicest snapper, and again, we chose to write about it ["My Appetite for Destruction", 2010]
There's a lot to say for that period of time when you just start to lose the excitement of chasing chicks. You start going after really bizarre girls, like librarians and stuff, just to catch them and say I finally went out and caught a girl that wouldn't be my normal date. Because everything else was starting to get - it's so easy [Geffen Press Kit, 1987]
I got the greatest picture. I cut this ad out of magazine. It's the this girl bent over so her ass is up in the air and it says, "It's so easy". It was an ad for Easy Dates. I sang in a low voice cause that fit the attitude of that song better. It wasn't something I really thought about, I just started doing it. I just sing whatever the song deserves. And that song deserved to be sung different than the other material. It's a hard, tight, simple, punk rock song [Geffen Press Kit, 1987]
When we start a song, it's like, I'll try it in different ways and finding which way fits it best. And if I think that some sound... some way of singing is gonna work better, I'll work on that way. It might be something that I've never done before. Like "It's So Easy". I'd never sang a song like that before. But, the high voice just didn't seem to fit it as well. And so, I started working on the low one. And "Mr. Brownstone"... It reminded me of a Stones-ish type funk-thing and so, I just played around with it. And then, you know, we heard our rehearsal tape back and it sounded like it might work. So, I just started practicing that way. I'm like a second baritone, and I just worked on widening my range, to get a high range. And so then I just try to find the way to use it. Use the whole thing rather than limit myself [Interview with Axl and Slash, 1988]
I sang in a low voice because that fit the attitude of that song better. Wasn't something I really thought about, I just started doing it. People ask why I don't sing like that on a lot of songs and it's only because I just sing whatever the song deserves. And it deserves being sung different than the other material. It's a hard tight, simple, punk rock song. When I went to England they said punk's been dead for ten years. And I said, "it's really weird because America doesn't know that [An Interview With The Gunners, Hit Parader - March 1988]
Great rhythm. Just rocks. Personally I like the guitar solo in it. I like that part of the song 'cause me and Duff are rockin'. Has more feel to it than just a machine [An Interview With The Gunners, Hit Parader - March 1988]

'It's So Easy' was written by Duff and West Arkeen (a friend and co-conspirator of the band), then I wrote the obscene verse because the original sounded too much like 'Night Train' [Screamer, August 1988].

Talking about the responsibilities of being a famous artist: It is really tricky. Our first major tour was with Mötley Crüe and the audience was younger than the audiences we'd played on the Aerosmith tour, or another tours, our own tours and the tours with the Cult. And it was real hard to do the song 'It's so easy' because there's a line in there 'I drink n' drive everything's in sight.' We were talking about how we kinda got away with things and are lucky to be here. It was real hard knowing that some of these kids were gonne go out and go 'Yeah! They drink and drive everything's in sight!.' [...] It's hard when you do your own material and the majority of the audience isn't getting what you meant [Famous Last Words, MTV, 1990]
'It's So Easy'...was originally a hippie ya-ya song. And Duff and West wrote this song like on acoustic, and it literally went like: [singing country-like] "I see your sister in a sunday dress..." Oh absolutely, and we were rehearsing in L.A and Slash basically just starts raping the song and I ran up and started like, doing like the evil Iggy Pop over it, while West is standing there and his face is like drooping, like: "My song " [Eddie Trunk Interview, 2006]
'It's So Easy' was a song that basically was written with West Arkeen. West was a really good friend we did a lot of writing with, especially Axl. When that particular song was first written, it had this light, strummy feel because it was written with open chords. It was a lot slower. It was very cool, though - sort of beatnik-sounding. It sounded like it was written on the back of a train.

I turned it into more of a power-chord type of deal. There were a couple of riffs I introduced to it, and it sounded a lot more rocking by the end. That was always my forte - anything that was written on acoustic or an electric played at less than 11, I would always turn up to 12
[Back to the Jungle, Guitar Edge Magazine, March 2007]
I moved into this apartment building and my next-door neighbor was West Arkeen, this crazy little guitar-player guy, this little freak. He went to the Guitar Institute a couple blocks from our house, and he came out of the Institute, and there was some guy selling an Alesis drum machine and a four-track cassette recorder. It was apparently Sheila E.’s bus driver. Somehow he got stiffed and he’s like, “Fuck it, I’m selling this shit.” So West comes home with this drum machine, [and] we figured out how to use the stuff. The demo of “It’s So Easy” was pretty great. West at this exact same time had taught me how to tune the guitar to open E. We used like, every feature on the drum machine: cowbell, woodblock, and everything on this demo. I sang it, tuned the guitars, put the drum track on, and it was just this cool little lazy summertime hit. West and I would recall all these “summertime hits,” we’d call them. I had an apartment and West had an apartment before we had a rehearsal space, and it became an encampment for about two months for the band. “It’s So Easy,” “Yesterdays,” and I think “14 Years,” a lot of songs were recorded on West’s four-track. I think “You’re Crazy” came out on the West four-track. Sitting in an apartment, we’d play a lot of acoustic guitars, so I think “Easy” was recorded on acoustic guitar. Thing about our songs, we played ’em all on acoustic guitar. “Night Train,” we wrote on acoustic guitar. Because we’d write them in little cramped apartments [The Onion A.V. Club, May 2011]
I remember It's So Easy being one of those songs that when I first heard it in its original form I was like, 'whatever', but then I got to it and changed it to what it sounds more like now. [Behind Use Your Illusion, Classic Rock Magazine, June 2011]

'It's So Easy' performed live at The Ritz, February 2, 1988:

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