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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
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This I Love

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This I Love Empty This I Love

Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:11 pm

This I Love Newbor11
THIS I LOVE
Albums:

Chinese Democracy, track no. 13, November 2008.


Written by:
Axl Rose.

Musicians:
Axl Rose – lead vocals, backing vocals, keyboards, piano, guitar
Robin Finck – lead guitars, keyboards
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal – lead guitar
Buckethead – lead guitar
Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar, piano
Richard Fortus – rhythm guitar
Tommy Stinson – bass, backing vocals
Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals
Chris Pitman – keyboards, programming, sub bass, backing vocals, bass, 12 string guitar, mellotron
Bryan "Brain" Mantia – drums, percussion
Frank Ferrer – drums, percussion

Live performances:
'This I Love' was played live for the first time on December 11, 2009, in Taiwan. In total it has, as of {UPDATEDATE}, at least been played {THISILOVESONGS} times.




This I Love
From the alternative Red Hand album artwork
Credit to troccoli



This I Love
From the alternative Grenade album artwork
Credit to troccoli



Lyrics:

And now I don't know why
She wouldn't say goodbye
But then it seems that I
Had seen it in her eyes

And it might not be wise
I'd still have to try
With all the love
I have inside
I can't deny

I just can't let it die
Cause her heart's just like mine
And she holds her pain inside

So if you ask me why
She wouldn't say goodbye
I know somewhere inside

There is a special light
Still shining bright
And even on the darkest night
She can't deny

So if she's somewhere near me
I hope to God she hears me
There's no one else
Could ever make me feel
I'm so alive
I hoped she'd never leave me
Please God you must believe me
I've searched the universe
And found myself
Within' her eyes

No matter how I try
They say it's all a lie
So what's the use of my confessions to a crime
Of passions that won't die
In my heart

So if she's somewhere near me
I hope to God she hears me
There's no one else
Could ever make me feel
I'm so alive

I hoped she'd never leave me
Please God you must believe me
I've searched the universe
And found myself
Within' her eyes

So if she's somewhere near me
I hope to God she hears me
There's no one else
Could ever make me feel
I'm so alive

I hoped she'd never leave me
Please God you must believe me
I've searched the universe
And found myself
Within' her eyes

So now I don't know why
She wouldn't say goodbye
It just might be that I
Had seen it in her eyes
And now it seems that I
Gave up my ghost of pride
I'll never say goodbye


Quotes regarding the song

As described previously, the song had been considered for inclusion on the 'What Dreams May Come' soundtrack in 2005 [see previous chapter]. In connection with this, studio engineer Dave Dominguez would say the song had been recorded when the band was touring Use Your Illusion:

"This I love" is actually an old GN'R song that the original GN'R wrote and recorded for the "Illusion" records I like that song a lot.. it took a couple of weeks to find all the tapes because they finished recording "Use Your Illusions" on the road and one tape was in Paris another in London and another in Sydney I believe.


And Axl had previously mentioned the song in an interview done already back in December 1992, indicating that this was an old song:

I wrote and recorded a new love song that I want on the next record called This I Love, that's the heaviest thing that I've ever done.
Hit Parader, June 1993; but interview done in December 1992


And when talking about the material they were working on for the follow-up to the UYI albums:

Slash has been working with a lot of riffs, and I've been working out where my head's at about things. I'd like the next record to go to farther extremes. If I'm expressing anger, I'd like to take that farther; if I'm expressing happiness and joy, I'd like to take that farther. We haven't actually gotten together to collaborate on too many songs. I wrote and recorded a new song that I want to have on the record called 'This I Love.'
Raw Magazine, 1993


In the quotes above, Axl would indicate 'This I Love' was one of his songs and according to Sp1at, Howard Karp, who would work on the song in 2000, described the song as a "simple piano ballad" [Sp1at, February 14, 2005].

In 2010, when doing a show in Amnéville in France, Axl would state that the song had been written while in France:

This may be the only GN'R song written in France
Concert in Amnéville, France, September 2010; paraphrased


Taken together, these quotes would indicate that the song was written in June 1992 when the band did a show in Paris.

Later, Craig Duswalt (Axl's personal assistant during the UYI touring), would talk about having been there when Axl wrote the song:

I loved the ballad, “This I Love” for two reasons. First, it’s an awesome song, and second, I was there while Axl was writing that song in his hotel rooms during the Use Your Illusion tour. It’s really cool to hear how a song goes through different variations, and what finally ends up on an album.


In 2017, Axl would again talk about the song from the stage, more cryptically but possible suggesting it took some time to get his soul back after the end of his relationship with Stephanie Seymour:

The person I wrote that song for said "thank you for the gift of your soul". Well, it took a while but I got that fucker back.
Copenhagen, Denmark, June 27, 2017


Dawn Soler, musical supervisor for 'What Dreams May Come', would state to Sp1at that Axl was "really into the film" but that the director of the movie, Vincent Ward, decided against its inclusion on the soundtrack [Blabbermouth, February 21, 2005].

[This I Love] was definitely a love song...very heartfelt, it would have fit perfectly with 'What Dreams May Come'.


In 2019, Dominguez would describe what had happened back in 2005 in more detail:

Mike Clink called me and said, “Hey, the producers for this Robin Williams movie are coming down at some point and they want Guns to record a song for it, a song called This I Love. But we gotta find the tapes. I was like, “Okay,” because I guess they had written it and recorded it during the Illusions tour. Because I don’t know if you knew this, [...] Illusions wasn’t finished when they hit that tour, so Mike would fly with them and they would finish it up in different cities. So I remember getting four tapes, one from Australia, one was in England, the other was, like, somewhere in Wisconsin...

So they’d come in and they were from different parts. So when they finally got there, Axl – that was Axl who was really involved with that – said, “Hey,” he called me up. “Hey, don’t you come in?” “Yeah.” So he came in and goes, “This is what I’m looking for.” And I found the... because then there’s always a master tape, which has usually drums, rhythm guitars, bass and a scratch vocal; and then the rest are slaves, which have different parts. So they had, like, three different slaves. He was like, “There’s a certain part of the song that I want, that I really like, so you gotta find the right tape”. So I put it up and he was like, “Yeah, that’s it.” And it was a beautiful song. I guess it ended up on Democracy, but just the title. It’s a whole different song. [...] I remember I listened to it - I haven’t listened to Democracy in quite a while, but I go, “Oh, this isn’t the exact...” Because that was a piano ballad. [...] It was a ballad, it was a really cool song. So a guy, Kenny (?), who I mentioned earlier, who was around at the time, had become, like, my assistant during that, he would come in and he’d help me out.

I’m sure you’ve heard the famous Axl stories about him just being out of control and being, you know, rude, just yelling... Well, I never really got any of that, personally. He always treated me great, and he treated my family great, and he was always awesome. The only time he ever did really get upset with me was during that session. At the end of that song, This I Love, he was repeating the... oh what was his girlfriend? Stephanie Seymour. It was like “I love you, Stephanie” or “This I love, Stephanie.” He was, like, whispering it at the end of the song. And he heard it and he goes, “Just erase all that.” I was like, “Do you want me to back it up?” “No, erase it!” And he yelled and walked out of the room. So Kenny there, the assistant, and I said, “We’re gonna erase something GNR fans are never ever gonna hear. Like, they’re never gonna hear this.” That to me was like, “Wow, this is crazy. This is a GNR song that no one’s ever heard and no one is ever gonna hear this again.” I looked at him, “Are you ready?” And I put the tracks in the recorder and I erased it. [...]

It was pretty intense. That was the first time he got upset - I think the only time he ever got upset with me. And I was like - because I didn’t know. I was like, “Do you wanna back it up, just in case?” You know, I was gonna lock it to the A-DAT and back it up, so anybody could put it back. And he was like, “No.” I go, “Alright...” And I just remember, like, that was the only time I had butterflies on my stomach. I didn’t wanna erase the wrong thing. So he left the room, and I said, “I need ten minutes.” I would’ve probably only needed two minutes to do it, but I wanted to verify I was erasing the right thing. It was like, I did triple-quadruple checking, like, “this is it, here we go.” Yeah, that was pretty crazy.


In 2008, Axl would be asked if the song was still the heaviest thing he had written:

That's still it and ultimately a great healing experience to compose something you have no real idea you're capable of such as the bridge. It's a lot more intricate than I think most realize yet as the guitar and vocals are placed as they should be so dominant. The main string melody in that section I had originally written to a hip-hop loop as well.


He would also say it is the most emotional song for him to sing [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008] and that the part of the album he was most proud of was the song's orchestral arrangement:

Right now a lot on [Chinese Democracy]. For me musically it would have to be the orchestral arrangement in the bridge of TIL


Axl would also say he hadn't intended to include it on Chinese Democracy, but that Robin and Constanza had insisted:

I didn’t want to do This I love in anyway shape or form and Robin and Caram insisted gaining Tommy’s and the others support
mygnrforum.com, December 14, 2008


Robin describing the solo he recorded for the song:

When I knew I was gonna go in and record one of the lead parts on "This I Love," I would listen a few times without playing. I would listen to the track without playing guitar and just kinda try to hear what comes natural as far as starting low or starting high or where to begin and where to end up. I've always liked guitar players that play in phrases maybe like a horn player who needs to take a breath. I don't think about it - I'm thinkin' about it more now because you've asked me than I have ever thought about it (laughs). There wasn't a lot of thinkin' going on to be honest.
Ultimate Guitar, January 2014


Talking about playing the song live:

[Talking about his favorite song off Chinese Democracy]: Probably ‘This I Love’ is one that really hooked me, because it’s just a great song, lyrically and musically; it goes through a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s very heartfelt, you can tell.
Classic Rock Magazine; June 23, 2011

I really like - and at first hated it - This I Love. At first, I just couldn't get my head around the solo, so I had to tweak it out and just make it a little bit more mine. I am really bad at mocking other guitar players. I've never been that good at learning cover songs - it's just never been my thing, so it was hard to wrap my head around [Robin's] style. That one was way harder than a Slash solo, in my opinion.
Total Guitar, December 2012


This I Love Newbor11


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:56 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Blackstar Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:39 pm

The person I wrote that song for said "thank you for the gift of your soul". Well, it took a while but I got that fucker back. [Copenhagen, Denmark, June 27, 2017]
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:02 pm

The alternate version that was leaked:



Personally, I am not a fan of the gritty voice and prefer the original.
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:27 am

"This I love" is actually an old GN'R song that the original GN'R wrote and recorded for the "Illusion" records I like that song a lot.. it took a couple of weeks to find all the tapes because they finished recording "Use Your Illusions" on the road and one tape was in Paris another in London and another in Sydney I believe.

[This I Love] was definitely a love song...very heartfelt, it would have fit perfectly with 'What Dreams May Come'.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:26 am; edited 5 times in total
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Post by Blackstar Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:57 am

From a later interview (2019):

Mike Clink called me and said, “Hey, the producers for this Robin Williams movie are coming down at some point and they want Guns to record a song for it, a song called This I Love. But we gotta find the tapes. I was like, “Okay,” because I guess they had written it and recorded it during the Illusions tour. Because I don’t know if you knew this, [...] Illusions wasn’t finished when they hit that tour, so Mike would fly with them and they would finish it up in different cities. So I remember getting four tapes, one from Australia, one was in England, the other was, like, somewhere in Wisconsin...

So they’d come in and they were from different parts. So when they finally got there, Axl – that was Axl who was really involved with that – said, “Hey,” he called me up. “Hey, don’t you come in?” “Yeah.” So he came in and goes, “This is what I’m looking for.” And I found the... because then there’s always a master tape, which has usually drums, rhythm guitars, bass and a scratch vocal; and then the rest are slaves, which have different parts. So they had, like, three different slaves. He was like, “There’s a certain part of the song that I want, that I really like, so you gotta find the right tape”. So I put it up and he was like, “Yeah, that’s it.” And it was a beautiful song. I guess it ended up on Democracy, but just the title. It’s a whole different song. [...] I remember I listened to it - I haven’t listened to Democracy in quite a while, but I go, “Oh, this isn’t the exact...” Because that was a piano ballad. [...] It was a ballad, it was a really cool song. So a guy, Kenny (?), who I mentioned earlier, who was around at the time, had become, like, my assistant during that, he would come in and he’d help me out.

I’m sure you’ve heard the famous Axl stories about him just being out of control and being, you know, rude, just yelling... Well, I never really got any of that, personally. He always treated me great, and he treated my family great, and he was always awesome. The only time he ever did really get upset with me was during that session. At the end of that song, This I Love, he was repeating the... oh what was his girlfriend? Stephanie Seymour. It was like “I love you, Stephanie” or “This I love, Stephanie.” He was, like, whispering it at the end of the song. And he heard it and he goes, “Just erase all that.” I was like, “Do you want me to back it up?” “No, erase it!” And he yelled and walked out of the room. So Kenny there, the assistant, and I said, “We’re gonna erase something GNR fans are never ever gonna hear. Like, they’re never gonna hear this.” That to me was like, “Wow, this is crazy. This is a GNR song that no one’s ever heard and no one is ever gonna hear this again.” I looked at him, “Are you ready?” And I put the tracks in the recorder and I erased it. [...]

It was pretty intense. That was the first time he got upset - I think the only time he ever got upset with me. And I was like - because I didn’t know. I was like, “Do you wanna back it up, just in case?” You know, I was gonna lock it to the A-DAT and back it up, so anybody could put it back. And he was like, “No.” I go, “Alright...” And I just remember, like, that was the only time I had butterflies on my stomach. I didn’t wanna erase the wrong thing. So he left the room, and I said, “I need ten minutes.” I would’ve probably only needed two minutes to do it, but I wanted to verify I was erasing the right thing. It was like, I did triple-quadruple checking, like, “this is it, here we go.” Yeah, that was pretty crazy.
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:34 am

Blackstar wrote:From a later interview (2019):

Mike Clink called me and said, “Hey, the producers for this Robin Williams movie are coming down at some point and they want Guns to record a song for it, a song called This I Love. But we gotta find the tapes. I was like, “Okay,” because I guess they had written it and recorded it during the Illusions tour. Because I don’t know if you knew this, [...] Illusions wasn’t finished when they hit that tour, so Mike would fly with them and they would finish it up in different cities. So I remember getting four tapes, one from Australia, one was in England, the other was, like, somewhere in Wisconsin...

So they’d come in and they were from different parts. So when they finally got there, Axl – that was Axl who was really involved with that – said, “Hey,” he called me up. “Hey, don’t you come in?” “Yeah.” So he came in and goes, “This is what I’m looking for.” And I found the... because then there’s always a master tape, which has usually drums, rhythm guitars, bass and a scratch vocal; and then the rest are slaves, which have different parts. So they had, like, three different slaves. He was like, “There’s a certain part of the song that I want, that I really like, so you gotta find the right tape”. So I put it up and he was like, “Yeah, that’s it.” And it was a beautiful song. I guess it ended up on Democracy, but just the title. It’s a whole different song. [...] I remember I listened to it - I haven’t listened to Democracy in quite a while, but I go, “Oh, this isn’t the exact...” Because that was a piano ballad. [...] It was a ballad, it was a really cool song. So a guy, Kenny (?), who I mentioned earlier, who was around at the time, had become, like, my assistant during that, he would come in and he’d help me out.

I’m sure you’ve heard the famous Axl stories about him just being out of control and being, you know, rude, just yelling... Well, I never really got any of that, personally. He always treated me great, and he treated my family great, and he was always awesome. The only time he ever did really get upset with me was during that session. At the end of that song, This I Love, he was repeating the... oh what was his girlfriend? Stephanie Seymour. It was like “I love you, Stephanie” or “This I love, Stephanie.” He was, like, whispering it at the end of the song. And he heard it and he goes, “Just erase all that.” I was like, “Do you want me to back it up?” “No, erase it!” And he yelled and walked out of the room. So Kenny there, the assistant, and I said, “We’re gonna erase something GNR fans are never ever gonna hear. Like, they’re never gonna hear this.” That to me was like, “Wow, this is crazy. This is a GNR song that no one’s ever heard and no one is ever gonna hear this again.” I looked at him, “Are you ready?” And I put the tracks in the recorder and I erased it. [...]

It was pretty intense. That was the first time he got upset - I think the only time he ever got upset with me. And I was like - because I didn’t know. I was like, “Do you wanna back it up, just in case?” You know, I was gonna lock it to the A-DAT and back it up, so anybody could put it back. And he was like, “No.” I go, “Alright...” And I just remember, like, that was the only time I had butterflies on my stomach. I didn’t wanna erase the wrong thing. So he left the room, and I said, “I need ten minutes.” I would’ve probably only needed two minutes to do it, but I wanted to verify I was erasing the right thing. It was like, I did triple-quadruple checking, like, “this is it, here we go.” Yeah, that was pretty crazy.

Not really sure if Dominguez deleted just the whispering part or a whole track of the song.

Also not sure if the new version was a "whole new song" or just not "exact". I guess the first version Dominguez had heard was just Axl and a piano, while the new version had full instrumentation and possible some other changes.
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Post by Blackstar Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:41 am

Dominguez said he wanted to make sure he would erase the "right thing." The way I understand it, it sounds more likely that he erased that specific part than the full song.
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:50 am

Blackstar wrote:Dominguez said he wanted to make sure he would erase the "right thing." The way I understand it, it sounds more likely that he erased that specific part than the full song.

Yeah, I lean towards that interpretation, too.

Hopefully we can sometime hear the original version of the song.
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:55 pm

I loved the ballad, “This I Love” for two reasons. First, it’s an awesome song, and second, I was there while Axl was writing that song in his hotel rooms during the Use Your Illusion tour. It’s really cool to hear how a song goes through different variations, and what finally ends up on an album.
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