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1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:16 pm

October 3, 1992.

Rose Bowl.

Pasadena, CA, USA.

01. Welcome to the Jungle
02. Mr. Brownstone
03. It's So Easy
04. Live and Let Die
05. Attitude
06. Bad Obsession
07. Yesterdays
08. Double Talkin' Jive
09. Civil War
10. Patience
11. You Could Be Mine
12. November Rain
13. Sweet Child O'Mine
14. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
15. Estranged
16. Paradise City

Axl Rose (vocals), Gilby Clarke (rhythm guitarist), Slash (lead guitarist), Duff McKagan (bass), Dizzy Reed (keyboards) and Matt Sorum (drums).

Talking about playing at the Rose Bowl before the tour started: It’s pretty wild. I don’t think anyone... Not that many people play there, you know, because the people in Pasadena are pretty old and they like to keep the volume down, I think. […] So I think we had a hard time getting it, you know, the facility to play. But I’m glad that we did, because we can get, like, I don’t know how many, 220,000 or something [MTV, July 17, 1992].
We didn't have such a great experience when we just played the Coliseum. This (expletive) makes up for the whole thing. [...] They might even allow us back again. You've been a (expletive) excellent crowd. They've got nothing to complain about [From stage, October 3, 1992].
That was probably the best show too. I mean, they were all great, but that was the funniest [In Your Face, October 1992].
When we did the Rose Bowl (in Pasadena), that was the dream concert of the whole summer tour, but it didn't feel like that peak moment we thought it would because there was a whole lot more to do. [Raw Magazine, 1993].
1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA Rightarrow Next concert: 1992.10.06.
1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA Leftarrow Previous concert: 1992.09.30.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Tue May 14, 2019 11:35 am; edited 5 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Thu May 08, 2014 1:17 pm

Review in Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1992:

POP MUSIC REVIEW : GNR, Metallica Rock Rose Bowl . . . Peacefully

Welcome to the Arroyo Seco, baby.

The Rose Bowl's bucolic setting is hardly a jungle, urban or otherwise. Yet the highly touted--and highly feared by some in the neighborhood--Guns N' Roses/Metallica tour seemed right at home in the dry Pasadena riverbed Saturday night.

When the site for the concert was announced last spring, some questioned the choice. On one hand, the locale seemed a bit placid for a hard-rock concert. On the other, a large crowd of young, possibly rowdy rock fans invading the well-to-do, conservative neighborhood--members of which have been fighting proposals for rock concerts there for years--seemed someone's worst nightmare.

Why not go to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum? That's a rockin' place that has withstood all that rock has to offer--from the Rolling Stones to the Who.

Well, the tour did go to the Coliseum eight nights ago, for a show announced after the Rose Bowl concert was postponed for a month due to an injury suffered by Metallica singer James Hetfield. And the Coliseum show was, by all accounts, a lackluster affair, with a half-filled stadium and less than show-stopping performances.

But the Rose Bowl rocked Saturday--and apparently without disturbing the neighbors. Rose Bowl officials and area residents reported that the show was about as trouble-free as a gathering of 62,000 rock fans could be--or 62,000 anythings, for that matter. Both co-headliners delivered highly charged performances, feeding off the enthusiasm of the crowd.

And leading the best-behavior brigade: W. Axl Rose himself.

"We didn't have such a great experience when we just played the Coliseum," Guns N' Roses' often temperamental singer told the Rose Bowl crowd. "This (expletive) makes up for the whole thing."

Rose wasn't above a little provocation: He invited comedian Andrew Dice Clay to introduce GNR with his scatological, misogynistic patter. And at one point during the show, the singer wore a T-shirt with big red letters proclaiming "St. Louis Sucks"--a reference to his legal problems in that city, stemming from a riot at a GNR concert last year when he went after an unauthorized photographer in the audience and cut the show short. But later he proudly wore a football jersey from UCLA, the Rose Bowl's home team.

Rose was in such a good mood that he launched only one of his famous tirades, and that was a small one--apparently about a former friend whom he feels betrayed the band. He didn't once mention not being allowed by the show's promoter to have controversial rapper Ice-T on the bill, as he'd requested. And even what sounded like a slightly strained throat didn't set him off. (It was a sore throat that caused him to cut a Montreal show short in August, sparking another uprising by rampaging fans.)

Later, with a big grin on his face, Rose said: "They might even allow us back again. You've been a (expletive) excellent crowd. They've got nothing to complain about."

Nothing, that is, until some very loud and bright fireworks were launched just before the midnight curfew--with fines of $4,000 per minute to be assessed against the band if the show ran any longer. (There had been some doubt that GNR would meet the curfew, as Rose was reported to have commented that the threatened fine was "only money.")

But Dale Beland, president of the East Arroyo Residents Assn., said Sunday that the pyrotechnics were his only real complaint, and he praised the efficient traffic and security measures that got the crowd in and out of the area with relative ease.

Breathing the biggest sigh of relief were the Pasadena officials who saw this as the ultimate test of rock in the Rose Bowl, which is viewed as a way to add to the city's recession-stretched coffers.

"I was very concerned about Guns N' Roses because of the St. Louis and Montreal incidents," Pasadena Mayor Rick Cole said during the concert. "We want more concerts here, so we can't afford to make mistakes."
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Post by Blackstar Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:42 pm

Preview from Los Angeles Times:
Ice-T Is 'Vetoed' From 2 Guns Shows


Controversial rapper Ice-T has been "vetoed" from appearing on the Guns N' Roses/Metallica concert bills Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Oct. 3 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The rapper, whose song "Cop Killer" was the focus this summer of a national debate over lyric content in music, is doing at least five dates with the two rock bands--including Oakland tonight and San Diego on Wednesday. Ice-T and his rock group Body Count also had been asked by Guns N' Roses to do the two Los Angeles-area shows.

But concert promoter Brian Murphy said he believed that an appearance by Body Count was inappropriate because of negative "perceptions."

"I thought it was an inappropriate act, given the circumstances of where our show was taking place," Murphy said Wednesday.

He said that he had no fear of violence, but was concerned that the controversy surrounding the band could hurt sales by compounding fears of some rock fans about attending a concert at the Coliseum so soon after the Los Angeles riots.

"I want to keep the perception of our show credible with our audience and reduce any concerns anyone might have about going downtown to the Coliseum," he added. The Rose Bowl date was dropped at the same time.

Ticket sales for the Coliseum show are reportedly well below expectations. Predictions now call for only about 35,000 to 40,000 fans out of a potential 70,000. The Rose Bowl has sold out, with sales of more than 70,000 tickets. The English hard-rock band Motorhead will appear on the two Los Angeles area shows instead of Body Count.

Body Count manager Jorge Hinojosa didn't criticize Murphy for his actions. "We're glad to be doing the dates we are on the tour," he said.

Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose branded the elimination of Body Count from the shows as "shallow-minded." He added, "Both Ice and myself are tired of all the racial crap. This was our chance to play together and show people that we're about artistic expression, not violence or prejudice. It comes down to this--freedom of speech is OK, as long as it doesn't piss off some public official."

Ice-T withdrew the song "Cop Killer" from Body Count's debut Sire album in July after various police organizations complained to Time Warner, which distributes Sire Records, that it encouraged violence against police officers.

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1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA Empty Re: 1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA

Post by Blackstar Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:05 am

Articles in Los Angeles Times about the difficulties in booking the venue, due to opposition residents in Pasadena.

April 26, 1992:
1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA XnKnLgzr_o
1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA Yy18medK_o
Will They Call It the Guns Ν’ Roses Bowl?

The year’s hottest hard-rock package—Guns N’ Roses and Metallica—looks like it’s a go for this summer.

But will the dream bill find a home in Los Angeles or Orange counties?

Tour insiders say that the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is Guns N’ Roses’ first choice over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Dodger Stadium and Anaheim Stadium.

But will the Rose Bowl welcome them?

We should know more Tuesday when Rose Bowl management goes before the Pasadena City Council to ask permission to hold the concert there on Aug. 22 or 23.

Looking to increase revenues from the 101,000-seat stadium, the council has already approved a June 27 date for the Cure and tentative Aug. 29-30 dates for an Elton John/Eric Clapton package (which is also reportedly considering Dodger Stadium). In both cases, the city body waived noise and curfew ordinances that would have prevented the shows. The shows would have to end by 11 p.m., under council rules.

Everything looks ready for the Guns Ν' Roses/Metallica request, but longstanding opposition to hard-rock concerts by the Rose Bowl’s neighbors could stand in the way. The request is for this show to end at midnight.

"Guns N’ Roses—no, Elton John—yes,” says Cam Currier, vice president of the Linda Vista-An-nandale Assn. of nearby home owners. “To pack [the stadium] up with drug-oriented rock concerts not only offends the community as a whole, but is a blatant disregard for the neighborhood.”

Yet residents of the Arroyo Seco, the well-to-do setting of the Rose Bowl, seem almost resigned top accepting an increase in concert activity, given the estimates of nearly $300,000 that a GNR show could add to the recession-depleted Pasadena coffers.

As it stands, the three dates thus far approved are unprecedented for the facility, which last hosted a rock concert in 1988, when De-peche Mode performed. And that was the first since a 1982 Journey show. Neighborhood opposition prevented a 1984 date for the Jacksons’ "Victory” tour, which went to Dodger Stadium instead.

The biggest concerns of residents are the increased traffic (there are only two roads in and out of the Arroyo Seco), litter, loitering and rowdiness. Acting Rose Bowl Manager Bob Holden and Pasadena Assistant City Manager Ed Sotello are pledging that no concert would be held without those issues’ being adequately addressed.

But Brian Murphy, president of Avalon Attractions, which is promoting the Gun N’ Roses/Metallica show(s) in Los Angeles, remains "optimistic" that the Rose Bowl will be the Los Angeles site.

“If the band chooses to play there, I’m sure [Pasadena officials] will welcome the show,” says Murphy. “There can’t be an easier way for a community to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and be impacted for only 24 hours. It doesn't seem much trouble for that much money.”

Steve Hochman

REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY: Dale Beland, president of the East Arroyo Residents Assn., believes maybe an influx of rowdy headbangers might actually help the neighborhood's fight against hard rock in the long run.

At a meeting last week between Rose Bowl management and neighborhood representatives, he suggested, “Having the concert might be the best strategy [to get future concerts banned].” S.H.

STADIUM ROCK II: If not the Rose Bowl for Guns/Metallica, then where? Given Dodger Stadium’s conservative stance toward pop acts, it’s unlikely the park would be available. In fact, sources even say the Chavez Ravine facility hasn’t even been approached.

At this point, the Coliseum would seem to be the second choice, and general manager George Gonzalez says that he has been contacted regarding the possibility. But, he says, he has not yet seen the schedule for Los Angeles Raiders games and cannot at this time offer certain dates.

Anaheim Stadium presents even a more scheduling problems, with both the baseball Angels and the football Rams tying up the schedule at that time of year.

There’s apparently no problem in San Diego, where the bands apparently have a green light for a possible Aug. 14 stop at Jack Murphy Stadium. — S.H.

April 29, 1992:
PASADENA : Gun N' Roses Concert at Rose Bowl OKd


The Pasadena City Council on Tuesday approved an August heavy metal concert at the Rose Bowl, featuring Guns N' Roses and Metallica, despite the objections of neighborhood leaders.

The council vote permits the suspension of noise restrictions and extends the regular 10 p.m. curfew at the 100,000-plus seat stadium to midnight.

The financially beleaguered Rose Bowl expects to make about $400,000 from the Aug. 22 event, which is expected to attract 70,000 to 80,000 fans.

Profits could be even greater if the controversial Guns N' Roses violates an agreement to end the concert by midnight. Promoter Avalon Attractions has agreed to pay the city $4,000 for every minute the concert extends past 12:01 a.m.--or $66 a second.

But spokesmen for homeowners on the slopes of the Arroyo Seco, overlooking stadium, were not impressed.

"The overall interests of the people were irresponsibly ignored by the council," said Cam Currier, vice president of the Linda Vista-Annandale Assn., whose members live in the hills west of the bowl.

April 30, 1992:
Residents to Fight Concerts at Rose Bowl

Neighborhoods: Nearby homeowners renew objections after City Council gives the go-ahead for performances by controversial rock bands Guns N' Roses and Metallica.


PASADENA — With visions of heavy metal concerts dancing in their heads, irate residents of the hillside neighborhoods around the Rose Bowl say they will press for a new citizens advisory commission to minimize the number of loud, high-attendance concerts at the 70-year-old stadium.

Over the emotional objections of neighborhood leaders Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to give the go-ahead to an August concert featuring the rock bands Guns N' Roses and Metallica.

"If they'll book a group like Guns N' Roses, who won't they book?" asked Cam Currier, vice president of the Linda Vista-Annandale Assn. Currier said the city is in the process of changing the Rose Bowl from "a sports-oriented venue to an entertainment venue."

But others defended the council action as a blow for artistic freedom that also happens to make financial sense. "This is an opportunity to raise almost $400,000 overnight," said Matthew Owen, a mortgage company loan officer who recently moved to Altadena. "Are we willing to inconvenience a few homeowners for the benefit of 120,000 (Pasadena residents)?"

The council vote permits the Rose Bowl to suspend noise restrictions and extend the regular 10 p.m. curfew to midnight on Aug. 22 so the bands can play into the night and the city can earn at least $385,000.

If the concert goes late, the city stands to earn even more from stiff penalties. Promoter Avalon Attractions has agreed to pay $4,000 for every minute the concert extends past 12:01 a.m.--$66 per second.

"For 66 bucks a second, I looking forward to it," said Councilman Isaac Richard, who argued strongly for approval of the concert.

But homeowners on the slopes of the Arroyo Seco, overlooking the Rose Bowl, were not appeased.

"My interests have been totally ignored by the City Council, which is attempting to balance the city budget on the back of the Rose Bowl," Currier said. He called the vote, with all council members approving except Rick Cole, who was absent, irresponsible.

Currier and others cited the reputation of Guns N' Roses for inciting mayhem, particularly during an abbreviated concert in a St. Louis suburb last year, when the audience rampaged after vocalist Axl Rose walked off the stage. The result was 60 people injured and $200,000 damage to the Riverport Amphitheater.

"There may be behavior that is potentially dangerous," said Dale Beland, present of the East Arroyo Neighborhood Assn.

Currier also referred to the lyrics of a Guns N' Roses song, "One In A Million," which includes racial epithets. Currier demanded to know if Richard approved.

"If he was trying to get an invitation to my house, I wouldn't let him through the door," Richard said. "But they're making money for the city."

Others in the audience defended the bands. " 'One In A Million' was meant to point out the offensiveness of that kind of language," said Brett Perkins, a songwriter and advertising director.

Owen, who is 28, said he had been to eight Guns N' Roses concerts in the past year--"and I haven't experienced one problem." He added that both Metallica and Guns N' Roses performed at an international benefit for AIDS patients last week in England.

"When it comes to drunk fans, nobody could be worse than the Giants fans in the 1987 Super Bowl," Owen said. "Some heavy metal fans even have jobs and short hair."

Avalon expects to draw between 70,000 and 80,000 to the Aug. 22 concert, said Avalon president Brian Murphy. The city will earn $385,000 for the show, as well as a share of profits from the sales of food, beverages and novelties, and a portion of fees paid for parking.

Acting Rose Bowl manager Robert Holden said the city has negotiated an extraordinarily good deal with Avalon, including a $1-million performance bond. "That's not the norm," he said.

The Rose Bowl has largely been a money-losing enterprise in recent years, posting deficits of as much as $570,000 in five of six years, according to an audit that was released in February.

Murphy raised the possibility of requesting a second night at the Rose Bowl for the two bands. "If we sell out immediately for one show, you can understand that we'd be back again," he said.

Holden said the city is in line to earn at least $750,000 from rock concerts this year. The council has already approved a concert of the Cure, a British band, in June. Rose Bowl administrators are negotiating for two nights of Elton John and Eric Clapton at the end of August.

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Post by Blackstar Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:15 pm

The show was originally scheduled for August 22. Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1991:
GNR-Metallica Rose Bowl Date Postponed

The Guns N' Roses-Metallica show scheduled for Aug. 22 at the Rose Bowl has been postponed due to hand and arm burns suffered by Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield during a concert last Saturday in Montreal.

No new date has been announced, though promoters say that late September is likely. Refund arrangements will be announced when a new date has been set.

Shows scheduled for Monday in Vancouver, Tuesday in Seattle and Thursday in Oakland have also been postponed, as was one that had been planned for yesterday at San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium.


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Post by Blackstar Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:30 pm

Excerpt from a feature on Metallica at this show (NME, October 24, 1992):
Metallica: High on Iron Scion

Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, 24 October 1992


METALLICA HAVE shed the mottled skins they sported in previous lives, those of single-minded thrashers and prog-rock conceptualise. They have been smelted in the black furnace of their fifth, definitive album, Metallica, and forged anew as a streamlined war machine, all ferocious firepower cowled inside glinting gun-metal.

In fact, Metallica the album is currently nudging nine million sales worldwide, six million in America alone. As you read this, that figure is rocketing past the combined totals of last year's flabby Use Your Illusion twin-set and flicking a cheeky two-fingered salute at Guns N' Roses as they choke on Metallica's dust.

If the Gunners are elite stormtroopers in LA's airhead army, Metallica are its black-clad resistance movement, subversive outsiders bent on seizing power. Ironically, the hard-rock establishment Metallica rejected when they left Los Angeles for San Francisco ten years ago is currently desperate to suck their cocks. Not too surprising for an industry where sales equate directly to power and an entire town built around the mindlessly moronic worship of celebrity: Cretin Culture.

Hooray for Hollywood. Metallica's staggering success wickedly mocks Southern California's stupefying crassness, pouring boiling scorn on the sun-addled wannabe scum who gladly submit to a brain-dead conformist system more rigid and conservative than any Eastern Bloc dictatorship. And how does Cretin Culture respond to this lacerating onslaught? With blind adoration, of course. After all, these guys really kick ass.

Lars scampers to his limo in skimpy shorts. James, Jason and Kirk stride purposefully to theirs. Brief whispers are exchanged with Ian Jeffrys, Metallica's amiable and infinitely patient British tour manager. Ian never carries a cricket bat but his word is the law around here, and the latest word is Metallica have postponed our planned in-transit interview until after we arrive at the Rosebowl. Ho hum.

After a decade of steady development, Metallica are serious challengers for the Guns N' Roses hard-rock throne, a high-tech tortoise overtaking the loudmouth hare. Even more remarkably, they eschew the dumb party-animal trappings of their genre to construct mature, emotionally complex songs about childhood nightmares and existential struggle. Heresy, pestilence, mutilation and sorrow without end. Now that's what I call party music.

Rich in melancholy, steeped in Biblical suffering: no wonder Metallica are huge in South America, where crafted studies of corrosive guilt and holy terror doubtless strike deep chords. So chillingly confident are Hetfield's booming tones, he could easily be leading this teeming congregation of mesmerised youths into mass Jim Jones-style suicide. Which might not be such a bad thing...

But we'll come to that later. Let us step back through murk and mist to a time when the Rosebowl show was just a formless embryo, creeping towards Pasadena to be born.


IT'S 2.30PM. A Mafia funeral appears to be assembling outside the Hollywood hotel where Metallica are staying. Half a dozen mile-long limousines cluster outside this favoured haunt of Morrissey, Springsteen, The Black Crowes and — during our stay — death metal overlord Rick Astley.

On nearby Sunset Boulevard, Tower Records is wrapped in huge sheets of brown paper, stamped with Metallica's cryptic coiled-snake logo. Further along, the legendary Whiskey club — reconstructed for Oliver Stone's Doors movie and currently a lurid lilac colour — sports a more brazen billboard proclaiming 'ONLY ONE ROCK BAND HAS SOLD MORE THAN 5,000,000 COPIES OF AN ALBUM IN THE '90s'. Guess who?

It's 6pm. The grizzled genius that is Lemmy looks relaxed but woefully incongruous on an open air stage before 50,000 tanned young Californians, many of whom were mere toddlers during Motorhead's skull-splitting heyday 12 years ago, when teenage obsessive Lars Ulrich shadowed the gnarly thrash pioneers all across Europe.

Voluntary exile in Los Angeles seems to have mellowed the warty old warhorse somewhat, and his new-model Motorhead is a chugging parody of former glory, but their very presence on this high-profile bill is a conscious acknowledgment of Metallica's spiritual lineage amidst the howling sprogs of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and their mud-caked midwives.

Faith No More — opening act for most of this tour — had prior commitments during the last month, so Gun N' Roses drafted in Ice-T's controversial hardcore outfit, Body Count. Now, for the final shows, Metallica are repaying some of the debt they owe Lemmy from their early '80s incarnation as wired young spunkers pumping out gritty (and frankly unlistenable) doom-tracts like 'Kill 'Em All' and 'Ride The Lightning'.

Lemmy, alas, does not surface in Metallica's spacious backstage reception suite, an oasis of calm in a sea of frantic activity. Three sumptuous couches, huge video screen, mounds of fine food, cooked meat which folds neatly on to dainty slices of bread. A tranquil sanctuary from the relentless ugliness and monotony of stadium rock.

Tour manager Ian orchestrates this controlled chaos, calmly dispensing orders like a Gulf War general. Many of his crew are fellow Brits, and Metallica claim to be strongly influenced by the abrasive edge and dry sarcasm of English humour. All the same, it is an uphill struggle explaining the appeal of Vic Reeves to Ian, a long-term Stateside resident

Another Brit voice backstage belongs to official band photographer Ross Halfin, a hyperactive South Londoner who becomes progressively more manic as the evening progresses. Not so KJ Doughton, stone-faced Metallica biographer, who took time off caring for the senior citizens of Oregon to tag along on this tour.

Metallica themselves emerge every few minutes from their screened-off dressing area and limber up by jamming in a small rehearsal room. James greets various members of his family — this is virtually a hometown gig for most of the band — while Lars bids us a cheery 'Hello', but both insist there can be no interview before they have played. Tum te tum.


9.30PM: MORE than two hours of Metallica live at the Rosebowl completely alters all preconceptions. Tight and disciplined, bleak and unrelenting, highly charged and hugely atmospheric, this is an immensely impressive spectacle and easily the best stadium show these eyes and ears have ever witnessed. I am convinced and converted.

I am also barred from Metallica's dressing room afterwards. The band are sitting down for a private meal with friends and family, so everyone else has been herded outside.

With Guns N' Roses due onstage imminently, the backstage enclosure suddenly buzzes with heightened excitement and fresh faces: Billy Idol, Rick Rubin. Bill & Ted Star Alex Winter, Scott Ian from Anthrax and has-been comedian Andrew Dice Clay — here to introduce the Gunners with some smutty rhymes which prove to be more pathetic than controversial.

Even Axl himself skips among us, a surprisingly pretty strawberry-blond imp dispensing kisses and smiles to selected disciples. Maybe he's not such a world-class git after all.

He is certainly less repulsive than the big-haired hordes of painted female stick-people who travel in groups and make it abundantly clear they want to f— Metallica senseless. And if not Metallica, anything male and famous. Ugh. Cretin Culture low-life at its most amoeba-like.

Mercifully, Metallica have their girlfriends on board tonight, so there is little evidence of the wanton jiggery-pokery which allegedly characterises their smaller, more provincial shows. At the moment, in fact, there is no evidence of Metallica at all. Watching Guns N' Roses would seem to be the only option.

And what a duff option it is. After Andrew Dice Clay whips the redneck element of this heaving crowd into a yapping devil-dog frenzy, the Gunners thunder into view and trundle through their greatest hits with a degree of flatulent self-indulgence rarely seen outside grand opera. Multiple costume changes, giant inflatables, teams of guest players and absolutely no excitement whatsoever. Axl greedily snatches back his crown as world-class git numero uno.

Here it becomes clear just how astonishing a phenomenon Metallica have become. Their European hinterland, brutal austerity and matt-black minimalism — trawling the backwaters of emotional hardship and spiritual deprivation — could hardly be more removed from the bloated Americana-by-numbers of Guns N' Roses. On one side Nietzsche and nouvelle cuisine, on the other Big Mac and smack to go. Never mind competing with Axl on his own terms, it is amazing Metallica don't need subtitles to function in such a willfully moronic market.

Speaking of morons, when the Gunners arrive we are suddenly refused backstage entry and directed — wrongly — outside the stadium. Like all too-trusting strangers in a strange land, we now discover — surprise surprise — we can no longer get back inside. At each heavily-guarded entrance we encounter ever more jobsworth meatheads. Our mission has taken a grimly farcical turn.

We carefully explain to three security officers — each the size of a small bungalow and weighed down with sinister Terminator-style gadgetry — that we are working backstage. We honestly don't want to stand anywhere near Guns N' Roses. We are not impressed by mindless celebrity for its own sake.

And they stare blankly at us like we are gibbering spacegoblins. Then, incredibly, they let us through.


IT'S ONE in the morning and Stefan and I are jet-lagged and bored shitless. Metallica's dressing room is open again, post-gig festivities are winding down and we are assured our interview is mere minutes away. Likewise the pictures. Just like they have been for the last ten hours.

A flustered Ross Halfin finally succeeds in cajoling Lars and James into the showers together for an official photo shoot. Stefan suggests taking some snaps at the same time. Ross drops his shorts,  yanks out his knob and challenges Stefan to earn his photo pass by following suit. This offer is graciously declined. It's been a long day for everyone.

Both parties take their pictures regardless, after which Lars finally deigns to talk to the NME. And boy does he talk. Mile upon mile of friendly and excitable Danish-American babble spills from his grinning Cabbage Patch Kid face.

Firstly he defends Bob Rock's ultra-commercial, high-definition production on Metallica, which brought sell-out accusations from the normally uncritical specialist rock press. The band only ever intended to make a great Metallica LP, Lars insists, not some pantywaist Bon Jovi affair. Nine months in the making, he claims this meisterwerk stands up to repeated listening better than all four previous albums.

As to whether Metallica set out — Def Leppard style — to methodically contrive a nine-million-seller, he suggests such cynicism rarely works because fashions and tastes waver unpredictably. He admits the band are becoming more user-friendly, overcoming their aversion to video since breakthrough hit 'One', and releasing more singles per album, but both hand and heavyweight management Q Prime felt such compromises were justified in promoting work with the depth and calibre of Metallica.

Lars explains how Guns N' Roses were allowed top billing on this double-header tour because of their reputation for arriving late and over-running. Yet he claims the Gunners have been more consistent and better behaved these last three months than he has ever seen them.

He conveniently fails to mention the cancellation in Montreal, Axl's half-hour disappearance in Denver or the headliners' ludicrous 50-person entourage, including personal psychic for their troubled singer. Noises from other corners of the Metallica camp are far less diplomatic, dismissing Axl as a past-it prima donna whose main talent is for making enemies.

Lars considers the new sound of Seattle — where his father now lives — to be a media fad, but he enjoys bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. San Francisco is coincidentally halfway between Seattle and Los Angeles, but Metallica chose the city for its free-thinking liberalism.

Which is odd because they are, alas, hardly a liberal bunch. Unprompted, Lars confesses to regretting the anti-American stance of previous albums. His adopted home, he decided recently, is a great place to live because it doesn't have social welfare like Denmark, which encourages scroungers and layabouts who complain and complain and complain all day.

It may sound harsh, he admits, but then Metallica have always been brutally honest and no motherf—er is ever going to take that away from them. So I ask, in the name of honesty, how much Lars is earning at the moment. He splutters and blusters and does everything except answer the question.


YES, THE interview did take place. No, the tape recorder was not faulty. Lars just didn't say anything very quotable in his hour-long mash of corporate whitewash and knee-jerk sentiment.

It was doubtless stupid to expect Metallica to be much more than platinum-plated reactionaries when they have just slithered to the top of an industry staffed with tight-trousered Tories, but we all have our illusions.

But we should still be grateful for Metallica, and not just for their awesome music or astounding live shows. They are about to make Gun N' Roses and their fatuous ilk extinct. That's the easy part. Their real trial will be not turning into the pampered monsters they have systematically hunted down and destroyed...

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1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA Empty Re: 1992.10.03 - Rose Bowl, Pasadena, USA

Post by Blackstar Sat May 04, 2019 11:21 pm

Craig Duswalt wrote:
Saturday, October 3, 1992. Guns N’ Roses performed at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. I remember that show very well, and I remember Axl saying after the show, “Now, I feel like I’ve made it.” His goal was always to play at the Rose Bowl. Maybe because of his name, or probably because it is one of the biggest venues we ever played. I vividly remember thinking that day that Axl Rose, for the first time I noticed, seemed extremely proud of his accomplishments. It was the only time I ever saw that in him. We ended up leaving the venue at about 7 a.m. Long night. Great night.
Source: Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014.

Craig Duswalt was Axl's personal assistant at the time.

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