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!
SoulMonster
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!
SoulMonster

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:17 pm

Date:
July 24, 1988.

Venue:
Starplex Amphitheatre.

Location:
Dallas, USA.

Setlist:
Unknown setlist.

Line-up:
Axl Rose (vocals), Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitarist), Slash (lead guitarist), Duff McKagan (bass) and Steven Adler (drums).

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Rightarrow Next concert: 1988.07.26.
1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Leftarrow Previous concert: 1988.07.22.
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:41 am

Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:07 pm

Words by Ian Tilton:

The commission in July 1988 was a front cover and inside feature for the British music tabloid magazine, Sounds. Sounds had a reputation for writing about great rock and metal bands. The other two British music papers (Melody Maker and the NME) weren’t interested in rock/metal music, but I loved those having been brought up on AC/DC, Queen, Deep Purple, Status Quo [and] Black Sabbath before getting into U.K. and American punk in the ’70s.

Appetite For Destruction had been released and had quickly sold close to one million copies, and Guns n’ Roses were about to play Donington Monsters of Rock Festival in the U.K. in a few weeks’ time, so it was perfect timing to do a major feature with the band. So, Sounds journalist Paul Elliott and myself flew over to Dallas for three days to meet up with Guns n’ Roses, who were on a big U.S. tour supporting Aerosmith.

The band were very close with each other and hung out together except Axl, who hung out with his girlfriend, not with the band and the two of them were so enamored with each other (according to the band and their manager Doug Goldstein), they just wanted to be together. Axl turned up for the soundcheck and the gig on the second night we were there. I hadn’t seen him for the first day at all.

That first day hanging out with the rest of the band and Doug was great because they were, after all, the “most rock n roll band in the world.” Aerosmith looked on and must have seen the obvious comparison, except Aerosmith were now survivors of all that excess sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and Guns were now doing what Aerosmith have done for years previously. Duff [McKagan] told me he was amazed that Aerosmith were still alive to do this tour.

The fans and the press loved the excitement of a genuinely chaotic band, and it was obvious that Guns n’ Roses were hell bent on creating great music, world fame and drinking themselves into oblivion every day. A bottle of Jack Daniels was always with Slash. He had at least one a day plus drinks on the rider, or at the bars we went to. I didn’t count, but I was impressed and pretty shocked with his capacity for booze. Duff too, whose favorite at the time was vodka cocktails made to his own recipe which Paul, Duff and myself drank plenty of one night in Duff’s hotel room. (Ingredients: three-part Smirnoff, one-part orange juice.)

If there were any drugs, then the band were discreet. Everyone enjoyed their chemical of choice. Slash his neat JD; Duff his vodka cocktail; Steve Adler his spliffs, which the following morning he forgot to collect from under his pillow in the hotel room. This caused a big argument on the tour bus with manager Doug, who made Steve go back to the room pronto before room service changed the bed linen. “Aww, you do it, Doug! You’re the tour manager. It’s your job!” Steve was literally whining to Doug. Doug was having none of it, and like an angry father told him to do it himself and the longer he procrastinated, the more chance that room service would find it and get everyone in big trouble … and may that be a lesson to him!

Anyway, back to our cocktail party. We then proceeded, giggling and merry to Slash’s room on the floor downstairs. “Just go in, don’t knock, Ian,” said Duff. “Slash called me earlier and said he’ll leave the door open.” So, we walk in, and Slash is there in bed with a groupie. “Hi, come in,” he says. “It’s okay.” And I’m feeling relieved, in my English reserved way, that we hadn’t just stumbled in there in a few minutes earlier. Slash’s new friend seemed very pleased I was there with a camera, sits up in bed next to Slash and gives me a big smile. I thought she might hide under the blanket when Slash introduced me to her saying, “This is Ian, he’s doing a documentary on us for the British music press.” “Hi, is it ok to take a photo?” says I. Just then the room phone rings and Slash says, “Go ahead.” I’m so drunk, I take a shot on my Pentax that is out of focus and I feel a little embarrassed but I’m also thinking, “This will make a great photo for the feature.”

Soon we are all off to a club in Dallas (without Axl, of course) where Slash knows some guys in a band that are doing a small gig that night. The band are getting lots of looks of recognition from girls in the club and security usher us to the VIP area. Duff says I should rest my camera and just enjoy myself for a while — his tactful way of saying, “No photos just now.” He tells me he is very loyal to his missus and there are loads of girls coming over to say hello to them. Slash is invited onstage with the band and he’s so full of JD, he amazes Paul and myself by playing a faultless (almost) guitar solo, but it’s cut short when his left foot misses the 18-inch-high stage, and he falls off mid-solo to great laughter and applause.

Outside, our tour bus has pulled up and our “gang” get on board. There are loads of gorgeous girls queuing outside to get on our tour bus too, but security won’t let them. The bus windows are one-way blackened — the band can see what’s going on outside but nobody can see the band inside. “Gee, she’s cute,” says Slash, looking through the one-way glass. “You know, Ian, American girls would love to go with you because you’re English. The attitude to sex is different over here. If you want just point out a girl and tell the security guy or Doug, there’s beds on the tour bus you know.”

I’m feeling awkward and struggling for words at this point because, for me, it’s a no brainer, as I have a beautiful woman I’m engaged and I’m missing her back in Manchester U.K., but I want to be seen as being one of the “gang,” and I have this issue of being a people pleaser. So, I mumbled something like “No, thank you very much, very kind of you, but erm … no thank you.” People-pleasing wasn’t part of Slash’s personality, as he didn’t give a shit If I did or I didn’t. His “cute” girl is already on the bus and they are hand in hand making their way to the back of the bus together. Duff tells me he’s not going to go there either; he’s staying loyal to his missus.

Next day, we are backstage at the Dallas Starplex Arena. It’s a brand-new venue, and ours is only the second event to be hosted there. (Rod Stewart had christened the Starplex earlier that week.) Axl turns up (without his girlfriend) for our scheduled group photoshoot backstage that afternoon. He’s wearing this cool black leather jacket with fantastic customized Guns n’ Roses embroidered badges all over it. He takes it off because it is so hot in Dallas that day, around 40 degrees Celsius [about 104 degrees Fahrenheit] and thank God for the air conditioning.

Underneath the jacket his tattoos look amazing, too: a rose, a girls’ face with dark hair, Guns N’ Roses logo with skulls of each band member. Perfect photo ammunition for a great front cover. Sounds covers at that time were nearly all black and white, so I only took black-and-white film. A week later, when my editor Tony Stewart had got all my prints, I got a call from him. They now wanted a color cover. Tony knew I was expert at hand-coloring black and white prints and thought Axl’s tattoos and leather jacket would make a fine color cover, so I set to work printing a perfect 20×16″ print and using my dyes and paint brushes, which took me about two days.

We were in the green room backstage at the Starplex Arena. My set up was just one light, and Axl was so easy to photograph. He knew how to look good, how to pose and vary the poses, [and] where to place his customized jacket on the arm of the sofa. He posed, I took a shot. He changed the pose, I took another shot. All this while the band members and crew looked on. Axl loved having an audience and loved making everyone laugh by goofing and pulling a few faces. I didn’t need much time or many shots. I knew we had great cover shots almost straight away, and the whole of that session took about an hour to photograph everyone individually and do posed group photos too.

After that, we all went onstage to soundcheck, but Axl didn’t show for it. I never asked why and the band weren’t fazed by his absence, but I thought it odd that he wasn’t there. I later learned he was notorious for skipping sound checks. Slash and Duff were so hot they just wore shorts, and Duff wanted my white Stetson hat I’d bought at a cowboy shop earlier in the day. I let him borrow it, and he looked funny in just shorts, cowboy boots and my hat. Well, he wouldn’t give me that hat back.

“Iaaaan! I love your hat so much will you give it to me?” Well, I loved that hat too, and had walked a mile in the Texan heat earlier that day, before everyone was awake and out of bed in order to buy it, and I didn’t want to give him my precious Stetson. “Iaaaaan! You would be doing great things for Anglo-American relations if you give me this great hat.” Hmmm … my answer was still no, and I told him I’d want another one to take home with me if I gave him mine. I hoped he would say he’d ask one of the crew to drive out and buy another, similar hat. But we both knew there wasn’t time to do that.

An hour or two later, and it’s just before the band go onstage for the gig itself. Duff, Izzy, Slash and journalist Paul come over to me. Me in my precious white hat. Duff says, while the others sidle close to put the pressure on me and everyone is smiling deviously and in cahoots together, “Iaaaan! We all think I should have your hat and you should swap for this one. It’s a really great looking Jack Daniels baseball hat and its really rare and you will be doing a really good thing.” The combination of his charm and peer pressure made me do the “really good thing.” Elated, he swaps my hat for his and they run onstage. It made for some great photographs during their set, when Axl and Duff swap hats. “That’s my hat,” I say to Paul Elliott. “Not anymore, it’s not,” says Paul.

Next morning, I got up early before everyone was out of bed, and I walked that hot mile to the cowboy shop and picked myself an identical white Stetson. I really loved that hat. It got accidentally squashed a week later by a British soldier when I was in Morocco photographing the Army on maneuvers in the Sahara. We were crammed into the back of a Land Rover and the squaddie rolled over in his sleep, flattening my eccentric hat.
Read More: Guns N' Roses Exclusive: 1988 Photos and Memories from Ian Tilton | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/guns-n-roses-1988-tour-photos/?trackback=tsmclip
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:06 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 305019
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:09 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA MRG-30421-b
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:11 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA MRG-30608
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:12 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30311
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:13 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30524
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:14 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30727
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:15 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30620
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:15 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30733
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:15 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30604
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:16 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30514-B
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:21 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA MRG-30739
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:21 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30839-B
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:22 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30611
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:22 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30336
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:22 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30627
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:23 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30914_
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:23 pm

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA 30521_1
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Soulmonster Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:05 pm

Paul Elliott, writing for Sounds Magazine attended the show and would later write about it for Classic Rock Magazine:

On July 23, nine months on from our last meeting, I joined the band on tour in Dallas, Texas, where they were supporting Aerosmith. At last, that dream double-bill was a reality, albeit in America and not poor old Britain. I was writing a cover story for Sounds to coincide with GN’R’s forthcoming appearance at the Monsters Of Rock festival at Donington Park on August 30.

The band was staying at the Four Seasons hotel, a luxurious, five-star palace with its own private golf course. I found Izzy and tour manager Doug Goldstein in the bar, taking refuge from the 100-degree late-afternoon heat. Goldstein was grumbling about having his early morning round of golf disrupted by Steven and Duff, who had commandeered two golf buggies for a race across the course. “They looked like the fucking Banana Splits!” Goldstein hissed.

Izzy asked me for my room number so that we could arrange a time for an interview, and was shocked when I told him I was booked into a different hotel, a cheap one, a few miles away. He cursed the record company and said he’d pay for me to have a room at the Four Seasons. I said not to worry, but it was a nice gesture. Izzy was often portrayed as a surly character, when in reality he was simply more introverted than the others.

I asked Goldstein when I could speak with Axl. Goldstein wasn’t sure. He told me Axl was “resting”.

That night, Izzy took his English girlfriend Emma to see a Rod Stewart show at the venue where Guns and Aerosmith would play the following night: the Starplex, a 20,000-capacity outdoor amphitheatre. “It was very relaxing,” he told me the next day, “like a Quaalude.” Everybody else went to a rock club to celebrate Slash’s 23rd birthday: everyone, that is, apart from Axl, who hadn’t been seen by any of his bandmates since they arrived in Dallas. Was he sick? Goldstein said no. Would he do an interview with me? “Tomorrow,” Goldstein said.

Inside the club a roped-off VIP area had been set aside for the band and its entourage, 20 or 30 people, including various groupies and hangers-on. I had a long, drunken conversation with Steven Adler and Megadeth bassist Dave ‘Jr.’ Ellefson that ended when Adler dragged a girl off to the men’s room. He and many others were in and out of there all night.

In the early hours we returned to the Four Seasons, where Duff invited photographer Ian Tilton and I to his room. Duff had recently married an aspiring musician named Mandy Brix, and was feeling a little lonely. He poured out three tumblers of vodka and added in just enough orange juice to turn the mixture slightly cloudy. Then the phone rang. It was Slash, telling us to come to his room. We took our drinks with us. Moments later Slash opened his door, shit-faced drunk and naked save for a towel wrapped around his waist. He waved us inside, where a girl lay in his bed, completely starkers. “Thanks for coming, guys!” she sneered. Even Duff didn’t know where to look. We got out of there as fast as we could… after Ian had taken some pictures of the happy couple.

We were back at the Four Seasons the following afternoon to ride out to the venue with the band. We sat on the tour bus for a few minutes – I asked if we were waiting for Axl. Izzy shook his head. Axl, he said, would be along later. The atmosphere on the bus was subdued; everyone was pretty hungover. But the mood lifted at sound-check. They played around with a couple of old Stones songs, and Duff – wearing shorts and cowboy boots – tried on Ian’s newly purchased Stetson. He liked it so much he asked if he could wear it for the gig.

After sound-check there was still no sign of Axl. Nobody – not Goldstein, nor the band – seemed concerned about it. But to me it felt weird. Ever since that first time I’d met them, Guns N’ Roses looked an acted like a gang. They had that ‘us against the world’ mentality. But now Axl was on a different schedule to the others. Maybe he was just resting, as Goldstein had said. But after those rumours about Axl being kicked out of the band in Phoenix, it didn’t look good.

Just 90 minutes before GN’R were due onstage, I interviewed Izzy and Slash in a large backstage toilet-cum-shower room. Slash was revelling in the band’s phenomenal success. “It’s completely against the industry,” he said, proudly. “What this industry’s about in the ‘80s is pretty obvious – trying to polish everything up. Everything’s like techno-pop, even heavy metal stuff. We go against every standard of this industry. Even when we play live to 20,000 people, we’re like a club band. We do whatever we feel like doing. That’s just the way it is. And if people come expecting us to play hit after hit, it just ain’t gonna happen.”

On this tour, however, there were some rules that GN’R had to abide by. Aerosmith, formerly the most fucked-up band in America, were now teetotal and drug-free, and in an effort to keep them sober, their manager Tim Collins had drawn up a contract forbidding Guns N’ Roses to drink alcohol outside of their own dressing room. GN’R honoured that contract out of respect for their heroes. “The vibe between the two bands is great,” Slash smiled. “These guys have been through a lotta shit and we have a lot of respect for them. We grew up listening to their music, this and the Stones and AC/DC, that’s what sorta formed what we are. And it’s funny – they don’t do drugs, they just like to talk about them. They love to ask you about what you did last night and how fucked up you got.”

Izzy added, laughing, “You drag your ass into the gig sometimes and you see these guys and you think, Awwww, fuck! They’re eating watermelon and drinking tea and they go, ‘Man, I’ve been up since nine o’clock this morning’, and you say, ‘What drugs are you doing?’, and they say, ‘No, I just been up since nine!”

I suggested to them that few people would have believed that Guns N’ Roses would have survived 14 months of touring like they had. Izzy snorted, “They didn’t expect us to last a week! But touring really doesn’t faze you. if you get twisted backstage, the walk to the bus is only a few yards, y’know? But yeah, if you get twisted every night, you start draggin’…”

Of course, I had to ask them about Axl. I’d been around the band for 24 hours and I still hadn’t seen him. Slash was quickly on the defensive. “You gotta understand that with this bunch, excess is best and all that shit. Axl knows he has to keep from smoking or drinking or doing drugs to maintain his voice. He doesn’t hang out that much because the atmosphere that’s created by the other four members of this band is pretty, uh…”

Izzy cut in: “…Conducive to deterioration.”

“Axl just hangs out by himself,” Slash continued. “He takes it all pretty seriously. He’s doing well to maintain a certain sanity level, seeing as he can’t go out cos of his position in the band. If he was doing what we were doing, he wouldn’t be able to sing at all!”

When I mentioned the rumours about the band firing Axl in Phoenix, Slash responded like a seasoned politician. “That’s been one of the stories that’s gotten bigger than all of us,” he sighed. “And, as little as it was, it’s past tense and it’s not worth talking about cos it doesn’t relate to what’s going on now.”

We returned to the dressing room, where Steven was drinking vials of royal jelly. “Builds up cum in your balls!” he explained. Somewhat belatedly, Doug Goldstein presented a birthday cake to Slash with a message in pink icing: ‘HAPPY FUCKIN’ BIRTHDAY, YOU FUCKER’. A pack of Marlboro Reds, his preferred smoke, had been squished into the cake.

20 minutes before show time, Slash and Izzy were jamming on acoustic guitars, Steven rattling his drumsticks on the back of a chair, when, at last, Axl arrived. He barely acknowledged the other members of the band before disappearing behind a ring of flight cases arranged in corner of the room. Hidden from view, Axl went through his pre-gig warm-up ritual, singing to a loud playback of The Needle Lies, a track from Queensryche’s concept album Operation: Mindcrime. The meaning in the song’s title wasn’t lost on anyone.

Axl emerged from his den just as Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler entered the room, causing general panic as everyone with a beer in their hand tried to hide it. Tyler seemed oblivious: he just wanted to congratulate GN’R on their number one album. He hugged them all and quickly left. Axl disappeared again to change from jeans and t-shirt into his stage gear: leather chaps and codpiece, snakeskin jacket and wide-brimmed leather hat.

He looked surprised when he saw me. He walked over, his bangles and spurs jingling, and we talked for a few minutes. There was no time for a formal interview. I told him what Slash and Izzy had said about him earlier, and he seemed happy enough with that. He appeared distracted, which I attributed to him being psyched up about going on stage. But even when he broke away for Ian Tilton to take a band shot, he seemed apart from the rest of the group. The dynamic between them had changed. The isolation of Axl Rose had begun.

Guns N’ Roses were brilliant that night: the best show I ever saw them play. At times, Axl was in playful mood, swapping cowboy hats with Duff. But his focus was absolute. Aerosmith might have been the headliners on that tour, but Guns N’ Roses were the main attraction, and Axl owned that stage. Just before they’d gone on, Ian Tilton had asked Doug Goldstein if he could shoot from the side of the stage. “Not unless you want to eat a mike-stand…” Ian asked me if that was a joke. I assured him it wasn’t.

Guns N’ Roses whipped the Texan crowd into a frenzy. Standing beside me at the mixing desk in the centre of the arena was Slayer’s Tom Araya, a broken arm in a sling and a beer in his good hand. Even between songs he had to shout right in my ear, such was the noise from the crowd. It seemed ironic that Araya was there. Just 18 months earlier, I’d travelled to LA thinking Guns N’ Roses were nothing compared to Slayer. And now GN’R were on a different level altogether.

Guns N’ Roses were a phenomenon. They had the world at their feet. But their enigmatic singer was already withdrawing into a world all his own.

But then fame can mess with your head. Earlier that day at the hotel, Izzy, Slash, Duff and Steven had appeared in the lobby and were immediately mobbed by a group of pre-teen kids. Izzy smirked as he signed autographs. “Maybe they think we’re Bon Jovi,” he whispered in my ear. Seconds later, the kids all ran off. Izzy looked bemused until we realised where they’d gone – to the other side of the lobby, where they were crowded around another celebrity who had just arrived: A-Team superhero Mr. T.

If ever Guns N’ Roses required a lesson in the fickle nature of showbiz, they got it right there.
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 13053
Plectra : 65103
Reputation : 821
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA Empty Re: 1988.07.24 - Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum