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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.


2017.09.03 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Raz Cue

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2017.09.03 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Raz Cue Empty 2017.09.03 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Raz Cue

Post by Soulmonster Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:50 am

Episode 26 of the brilliant Appetite for Distortion. A podcast about Guns N' Roses. This episode features an interview with Raz Cue.


Brando: But first we're gonna talk to Raz.  I'm gonna start the interview awkwardly cuz usually Ian has this nice written out, you know, biography but we were talking a little bit before we brought you on the air, Raz, that how John brought you to my attention and I wanted to save it to on the air that really grabbed me. In addition to just being at a huge GN'R nerd about your story that the the cover has handicap logos on it - I'm also handicapped, I have a neurological condition that requires me to use leg braces and a cane, so I'm just reading more and more about your story and I was actually watching your standup earlier [?], and actually, if you give me a a second I want to play a clip from it cuz I've always thought about because - you know, I'm Jewish, I have to be a comedian - about what would I say if I went on stage with my cane and I think you came up with the best joke because you come on, by the way, I'm gonna tweet this video, you look amazing in it, it's totally 80s even though it's 1990, right? And is your name pronounced "coo" or "cju"?

Raz Cue: "Cju", like "cue ball".

Brando: Ah. okay. I got you.

RC: Like [?] studios.

Brando: All right. So here's Raz doing stand-up in 1990.

RC (from standup in 1990): [?]

Brando: I just couldn't stop laughing. So that's enough of my, you know, me talking, we're here to talk to you. So you're calling us from Vegas today, right?

RC: Las Vegas, Nevada, the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brando: And this is your second book, right?

RC: Yeah, I got another book, Bud's Love Bus, it's about these guys that make a 1972 Volkswagen bus drive on weed.


Brando: How is that not a movie yet?

RC: You know, I don't know. Like people say [?], you got a lot of weed movies. Plus I know people that that acquire books for films, I never even pitched it to them though. So it's like, I should, shouldn't I?

Brando: Maybe one day. And I also want, before we get into your story, this is the very first interview you've ever done on a podcast, on a radio, ever?

RC: Ever, yeah, yeah.

Brando: I mean, I'm completely honored and I hope you can understand by me saying, "Goddamn, right! We should be the first to interview," people who, like, I think, can understand you, well, I mean, as soon as I started reading the book I said, "He's got to come on the show."

Someone: I'm glad you brought him to us.

Someone: You know, a friend of mine that I only know through online, his name is Gavin Barnard, he's a huge fan, he lives in Great Britain and he alerted me right away, cuz, "Do you have Raz' book?" I said, "No," and so he sent me the Amazon ad, I bought it immediately, started reading. I've been wanting to talk to you for years, like, we were talking about this earlier in 2011. I first heard your name from Rob Gardner while he and I were on the phone and then of course when I met Michael Jagoz he talked about you non-stop. And I think I might have mentioned this to you, Michael thought you had died, and so I'm like, "I don't think so, I think I saw-"

Brando: How does that make you feel?

Someone: Yeah.

RC: You know, I heard that I was dead and it kind of freaked me out a little bit. But it's kind of cool, actually.

Someone: You're not dead, though, we can confirm your not dead.

RC: Yeah, I'm here to confirm that.

Someone: You're not speaking from beyond.

Brando: So, we're, I mean, obviously we're both excited to talk to you, so tell us about your story, or what first prompted you to write this book, The Days of Guns And Raz's?

RC: You know, there's just like so much stuff out there, like, it's weird, like people that were involved whatever and, you know, even like secondary and third string characters or whatever, and they tell all these stories and it's like, "Man, you guys were there and you're just getting it wrong." And I got a history degree, I'm a history major and all that, [?] into accuracy, so I just like had to write it.

Someone: What was out there that you felt that you needed to to correct? I mean, you don't want to throw anyone under the bus if you don't want to. I mean, you could if you want to, it would get us more buzz.

RC: I'm good like that. I don't care, man, that's what buses are for, right?


Brando: "Weed buses"!

RC: Yeah. Okay, so, I mean, it's a lot of stuff. Like when I was a kid I used to read rock magazines like crazy, you know, like probably all of us did, and put the pictures up. You know, like, I had my Scorpions pictures and Judas Priest and all that stuff. And Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, like the whole wall was... you know, and I'd read the articles religiously. And then when the LA rock scene started, you know, like the Crew, I'm sorry, [?] the new generation was Motley Crue and Ratt, Quiet Riot. And I'd read all these... [?] and then when GN'R came out, like, I knew the guys and I would just read like everything. And then I started noticing, like, okay, like, I'd read like Hit Parader or whatever, or Circus, and it would be, like, the same interview, it wouldn't be an actual... I knew the guys didn't do that interview, it was just like it's second-hand information, and then one magazine will report what the other magazine said as if it was gospel and it's like, "I don't know, man" and then just over the years those stories became fact almost, you know.

Brando: How times have not changed. It seems like that is now.

Someone: Well, I loved it because there are a lot of.... there's so many books that... no that's not by the ones by Slash and Duff, but that are just not right, they'll throw in just fallacies.

Brando: Right and, you know, John is big on calling out people for putting out poor fax or certain websites with certain facts. So I mean, that's cool that you want to get that part of it straight. Is that what the purpose of the book was? Or is it also yourself because-

RC: I think it's my story.

[cut away part not about GN'R]

RC: Mike [Jagosz]'s brother was in a band called Shire. And then I one day Mike just warmed the band up cuz they had a, like, at the end of that school year they had a show at Providence High School, they were playing like the end of the school year or whatever and Mike was warming the band up so Dave Anthony, the singer for Shire, wouldn't ruin his voice. And this guy Izzy was playing bass, you know, he was older than us, he was probably like in his 20s, 21-22, something like that, we were all like 17. Fucking Izzy was great, man! I became an Izzy fan like the first time I saw him. He was bouncing around being cool, you know, cooler than Fonzie.

Someone: Everyone says that. Coolest person you ever met. That's when you know it's [?] when everyone says it. And I'm talking about people like person in Indiana and in LA, and now, you know, [??] so that's cool.

RC: You know, the funny thing is like like he's a cool dude, like he's not on Instagram, he's on on Twitter, he's only following two people, Ron Wood and Keith Richards.

Someone: Oh perfect.

RC: You don't get any cooler than that.

Someone: No, why would he.

Brando: Axl follows zero people.

RC: That's cooler.

Brando: I spoke with Alan Santalesa, he was the Shire guitarist, I don't know if I told you about him or not, Ian, so of course he mentions you when I was talking to him and I also just curious how Izzy even got... I never, you know, I don't think I asked Johnny Kreis, the drummer and also Hollywood Rose drummer, how they got Izzy. Izzy just answered an ad in the Recycler, right? I mean, I had never heard. I always wondered how he came-

RC: And he played bass.

Brando: Right, and he had that white Fender bass. And Alan said he already had his electric guitar, he said he already had that.

RC: What I heard at the time, after Izzy left, he was theoretically, or supposedly, would never play bass again. He wanted to be a guitar player and I guess he took that gig thinking that, you know, maybe they would add a second guitar player. I don't think he was in Shire that long, I mean, I just saw him that one time and then like two months later I went to a Shire show just to see Izzy play and they had the guy Mitch [?] playing bass, so.

Brando: I'm curious again, because from my perspective as someone who has a disability, how you were treated by the band, you know, when you came in and what were you using, I guess to assist you, when you're going into these shows, you know, cuz-

RC: Oh yeah, I hadn't started using the walker yet, it came later, like, I didn't start walking around until like 1989 or '90 or whatever - so in a wheelchair, yeah.

Brando: So then how did they treat you, then?

RC: Like back in the day, like, when I had my accident, I was young so I went everywhere because I only weighed like a hundred fifty pounds and all my friends didn't have bad backs, so like if there was stairs or whatever anything, they lugged me around everywhere.

Brando: I've done that.

RC: Yeah, everybody was cool. I don't think anybody ever like treated me different cuz I had a disability. So I think, I mean, if anything like I could I got a little mouthy with people sometimes, my friends, and I'd kick their butts.

Someone: And you mentioned having to endure some punches to the face but one of your friends for something you said to somebody, and I forget which guy that was.


Someone: Alright, so with the time line, that's when you saw Izzy perform one time, right?

RC: Yep, just once in rehearsal, yeah. And I went to the Shire show and he wasn't there but I kept asking, like, "What's up with Izzy?" "Where's Izzy at?" and they're like, "Oh, he's in a punk band called Rose or something like that." And then Shire, like, you know, like, a month later, I think it was February of '84, or something like that, Shire played a show with Rose, they were sharing drummers, Johnny Kreis, so they were sharing drummer, and Sandy West was playing upstairs, at the Madame Wong's West, it's on Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica, or something like that, a couple miles from the beach. So I was like, "Oh man, I'll move you guys' gear, I want to go to that show, man." Mostly to meet Sandy West. And that's the first time I saw Axl and he just fucking blew me away, like, first time, man. I was like, "Man, this guy's amazing." Even just at soundcheck.

Someone: And your description of it is unreal, I love it. So you describe like what it's like to see Axl, and hear, for the first time and I'd rather that be read.

RC: Go ahead.

Someone: No, no, I'm not reading it, I would rather people get the book and read it.

Someone: Oh yeah.

RC: I do good.


RC: It's amazing what


RC: Mike and Axl just didn't get along even back in the day. I don't know, it might have been something that predated-

Someone: There was a girl-

RC: Yeah, I mean, they had like the same girlfriend at one point. Actually, Mike went out with her first and Axl like later or whatever. And then another thing is like everybody's like they [?] and everybody just liked Axl better. So for Mike you know, he left LA Guns, you know, or after he left LA Guns, and then Guns N' Roses started and they just got huge quick and it's like, you know, Mike, you know, because Axl was in LA Guns and they were drawing good then Mike came in the band they were drawing all right and then the draw got less and less and then Guns N' Roses starting to draw this fucking blew up, you know.


RC: I just think Mike didn't have the drive that Axl had. Like, Mike was plenty talented enough, he was plenty good looking it up, and he was in the right place, but he just didn't, he just was waiting for world to come to him instead of, you know, going out there and taking it.


RC: So because of my accident I was like waiting on a settlement, so basically that summer after I saw Axl... so Rose broke up after that, that was it, so I didn't see any more shows and then, as soon as I got my settlement money, like, in, you know, early summer 1984, Tracii hit me up to invest in his band, LA Guns, which was Pyrrhus, but Mike had got fired and he reformed the band... So I wasn't gonna do it but then I heard that Axl was available because I was, like, I asked him cuz I was leaving, like, "What's up with Hollywood Rose?" or whatever, and he goes, "They broke up," and Izzy was jamming with his band called London - which is kind of a big local band here, or our there, I'm in Vegas I forgot -- so Tracii wanted me to invest in his band and, "I will think about it," you know. And then when I heard that Axl was available and I was like, "Man, maybe I can get Axl and Tracy together, man, that would be fucking huge." Tracy is a shredder, I mean, no matter what I think about him now, I mean, the guy could play guitar, I mean, I don't think there's any doubt about that. So it's like, "I'll think about it," and then if I went on a road trip with my brother, pick up my brother from Northern California, bring him back, and when I came back I said, "Oh yeah, Tracii, I'll invest in your band," and my whole reason was to try to get Axl to join LA Guns.

Someone: This is all because they came to you for your settlement money, because obviously all those bands are broke.

RC: Yeah, for sure.

Someone: But you, obviously, you don't care, I mean, you don't think they're taking advantage of you because of this? You like, "Well, I have this money but it's gonna be my way," and you wanted Axl to be in LA Guns?

RC: I was kind of in charge. I still think like at some point like Tracii wasn't all and complete up and up with me and it was pretty much like he was looking at the sack of money that he thought I had.

Someone: I mean, that's why I asked cuz, I mean, you could be like just like you said nobody was... you know, just like for me, my friends, I forget I'm handicapped half the time it's all day, you know, I go to the elevator and, you know, I remind them like, "Hey, I'm not Jesse Owens, I can't walk as fast as you can." But with the wheelchair nobody cared, you go to concerts, all these things, but you never know if someone's gonna take advantage of you and back in the day when, you know, whoever's doing drugs and everyone's trying to be famous, you would never know if they are gonna take advantage of you.

RC: Yeah, I mean, I had paperwork, though, I went to a lawyer and everything. I mean, I didn't put that much money into LA Guns, so I mean, I guess, the way I figured it at the time after LA Guns broke up and the EP was done and everything, I put about 20 grand, we had our name everywhere, I mean, we had our billboards on top of the Rainbow, matchbooks [?], posters everywhere and stickers and, I mean, we flyered the fuck out of Hollywood, man, like, everybody heard about LA Guns.


Someone: So the Sunset and Gardner studios, the one in which LA Guns rehearsed, that wasn't the one that eventually housed GN'R, was it? I mean, that was in the same-

RC: Yeah, it was right next door. So there was a bunch of garages, you know, that somebody converted into studios, a guy named Billy, and he rented them out hourly. And it was like, you know, you'd have him twelve bucks an hour or something, but we wanted a lockout so I went over there, I was like, "Hey, can we get this as a lockout?" and he's like, "No, I'm doing it hourly," I go, "Just give me a price," so he threw this number at me and he said like, "Six fifty," or something like that.

Someone: A month?

RC: A month, yeah. And I think he thought that I was gonna say, "Oh, that's too much," but, "Okay," and then like all of a sudden he realized that he...cuz I own the studio like ten years later and he put a lot of hours in and I think he realized that like, "Okay, I'm gonna make half as much money but I never have to be here." And he was just like happier than a pig in shit at that point. So it became like monthly lockouts after that he only had that one studio at first, a big room, but he had control of all the other garages and he made them all into like monthly lockout studios. So the one that LA Guns have, Studio A, and then right next door to his office what became Studio B, is where Guns N' Roses ended up getting, like at the end of '85, I believe? So basically like a year and a half later they rented, like in the fall of '85, they rented it. And there was a band called The Wild that was in the LA Guns studio.

Someone: With Dizzy Reed.

RC: Yes, Dizzy, yes.

Someone: So, I mean, I've always wondered how did they eventually find this place, you know, I had this picture my head of Axl and Izzy, you know walking down Sunset like, "Hey, what's," you know, "what are those storage facilities back behind there? Maybe we could rent one of those?" You don't think they'd get a real estate agent. No, of course not.

RC: No, you know what's weird, so we threw these razor [?] parties back there and like sold beer, my brother JoJo was the stage manager for Guns N' Roses, and we'd sell - like after-hours parties like 2:00 in the morning to like sun-up - we'd sell beer out of the trunk of a 65 Mustang, we throw a bunch of ice in there, like 10 cases of beer, and just sell them for like a dollar a pop but we got that beer for free so it was like all profit. It was great but it's weird, like, only one time a cop walked down that alley, nobody ever wandered back there.

Someone: Well, it's not that visible from Sunset and you gotta walk up, at least the way it is now, yeah.

RC: Not from Sunset, actually, it was from Gardner Street, it was the only entrance back then.

Someone: Oh, really?

RC: -a wall back there between Guitar Center.

Someone: I did not know that, okay.

RC: Yeah, so you had to catch it from Gardner Street. And the cop just came back there and he was a detective and he shined his light and everything, "Oh, cop," right, cuz the flashlight means cop, so everybody's like stashing their beer and he just looks around he's like, "Hey, did anybody run back here?" - like I guess he was following somebody - and we were like, "No," like, "Okay," and he just left. But I mean, cops went back there, obviously.

Someone: Yeah, well, clearly, I guess so.

RC, Later, because I think Dizzy got arrested, they thought he was Axl or something.


Someone: I guess we ought to go to GN'R formation.

Someone: Yes, that's the next thing I want to get into, because you've seen them, then you're trying to invest in LA Guns but only if Axl's involved with Tracii.

RC: Yeah, so Axl joins LA Guns, he eventually... like, Axl's telling me like four times, like, "No." I can't keep hitting him up and I just gave up. And then he just called me out of the blue one day and I guess he had gone home to Indiana and he decided that he was gonna give Tracii a shot. Tracii's good at snoozing [?] people so he had like talked Axl into it-

Someone: But he didn't want to do it first? He didn't want to do it first?

RC: No, cuz he said he didn't think that Tracii and him were on the same page musically.  

Someone: Oh, okay. Okay.

RC: And then I remember Tracii's like, "Just offer him a pair of leather pants and he'll join Axl."


Someone: Axl is that easy, eh?

RC: Yeah, I was like, "I don't want him in the band if that's what you fucking got to do." So when I told Axl that later, you know, I was like, "Hey," when he called and said he wanted to join, I was like, "Hey, dude," and I told him what Tracii said, Axl was like, "I wouldn't join the fucking band if you gave me a car and a house if I wasn't into it," and I'm like, "Okay, good, good to hear." And then, man, it was great. La Guns with Axl was great. Can you believe that?

Someone: How long were they a thing?

RC: Not that long, man, I think... fuck, I forgot what I wrote in my book, was it like five shows I said or something like that?

Someone: I think so. Trubadour was first...

RC: Yes, basically Axl quit on Halloween, like Halloween night we had a little thing at the Rainbow where he got in an argument with Michael, the Assistant Manager, and then I got kicked out too and I got mad at Axl, like, "He got me fucking kicked out man and there's all those whores in there right now."


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 12, 2023 6:31 pm; edited 33 times in total (Reason for editing : Added embedded audio)
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2017.09.03 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Raz Cue Empty Re: 2017.09.03 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Raz Cue

Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 01, 2023 10:50 am

RC: And he's like, "I can't believe you're mad at me!" and he quit. And I was like bombed, I was like, "Fuck, dude." I mean, I'm a dick, you know, I'm sure I got in his face and shit some times, but most the time I kind of deferred, just like, "Okay, dude, whatever." You know, like, we'd argue, everybody argues, you know. Yeah, he quit over that but then he told me later, like after, you know, when he was getting ready to kick Tracii out of LA Guns later, you know, like the next year, that he quit because he didn't like Tracii, like, he was tired of Tracii [?]. Axl wanted to play in a band that was kind of like what Guns N' Roses became and Tracii's a metalhead so Tracii's like, when [?] told Axl wanted to do like a blues bass kind of hard rock Aerosmith-ish, you know, and the next thing you know he's playing like, you know, Sabbath and, you know, metal stuff, you know, like-

Someone: And then Axl already knew Slash at this point.

RC: Oh yeah, they'd already been in Hollywood Rose together.

Someone: Okay.

RC: Yeah, I am bouncing all over, sorry.

Someone: No, but that's why you have it all in the book. But Axl had already started recording with LA Guns, they had already stepped-

RC: Yeah, we were recording and we had-

Someone: Oh, so more than these live shows.

RC: Yeah, yeah. So we did the live shows and then we're recording and Axl had laid down vocals for Heartbreak Hotel, because they covered that. [?] Elvis Presley tune. And he laid tracks down for that and then the producer guy was a dick, I mean I like him, but when it came to like interacting with Axl he was at dick. He would try to get Axl to stand still in the studio and don't move around and everything like that, so they had like a confrontation about that and then Axl left, and then I told the producer guy, it was like, "Look, Chuck, don't tell him what to do, just let him sing, let him sing his song, that's how it works. If he needs to dance around when he's singing, let him dance around." And then, yeah, we never made it back in the studio after that, the guys had finished the tracks, like the basic tracks, non vocals, and then Axl was supposed to come in but before then he quit.

Someone: So then bring Michael in [?]-

RC: Yeah, that's when we brought Mike. [?]

Someone: [?]

RC: I never got fired.

Someone: No, you were saying you were the first GN'R, or at least it said that-

RC: Oh, "manager to get fired", that was a joke, man.

Someone: I guess I took it seriously.


Someone: I guess what I was... I used the wrong terminology [?], but they kicked you out or whatever and said goodbye and you had to leave all the whores because of you and were Axl's buddy?

RC: So Mike joined LA Guns - this is when Mike joined - so it was a couple weeks later. Tracii wanted to audition singers and he was like, "No Mike," "No Mike," but I was kind of like, "Fuck, Mike knows the songs, we got shows booked," and like, "Let's just do this, finish this EP." I'm thinking purely business right here, you know, and I'm not understanding how the art process works, like, if Tracii doesn't want to jam with Mike and no matter what I do I can't make him jam with Mike, but I'm thinking that I have the power to do something like that, which I really didn't, you know what I mean?

Someone: Yeah, no absolutely.

RC: So that's why the band LA Guns with Mike and EP lasted for another four months was because I still had money, so I was still in control. But once I went broke, I mean, the record was done and, like, that EP got done and like nobody was... Ole was the only one that would help me go out and try to sell it, like everybody else was just, like, once the EP was done was just, like, Rob was busy, like, breaking up with his girlfriend in the Valley, you know, another of those breakup things so he never had time to go out and... People that don't know LA, like, if you live in the city and the Valley is like a whole away, so if you're in the Valley you're kind of like lost to the human race.


RC: So later Tracii and me are living in the house together in North Hollywood, California, and LA Guns has a show that's booked, like even though there's no band, cuz he said "No Mike's, no Mike." So Axl starts hanging around cuz Jojo, my brother, was friends with Axl, Tracii was friends with Axl, and Tracii wanted to start another band with this guy, Don Costa, who played with Ozzy for a minute, so Tracii's thinking he's gonna start a band with Tony Richards, the Wasp drummer, and Axl and Don Costa. So Ax was coming around and whatever, he's cool, we're getting along fine, there's no animosity with the LA Guns thing or whatever, we're just friends hanging out. And then, so Hollywood Rose played a one-off show in, I guess, February or March, probably March of 1985, and they got Robbie, the LA Guns drummer, to play the drums. Then after that show, like a couple days later, you know, everybody's hanging out and like, Tracii tells Axl, like, "Hey, we got this show at the Troubadour, LA Guns show, will you do the show?" And Axl immediately says, "Yes." Like, "Oh my god," I could not believe it. I was like, "Oh, that's cool."

Someone: Complete opposite [?] before, yeah.

RC: Yeah, cuz, like, he quit and, like, Tracii wanted me to beg him back when he quit LA Guns and I'm like, "I didn't do anything," like, "How can I..." I'm not one of those people that can apologize when I don't think I did anything wrong. Even if I did do something wrong, if I don't think I did something wrong I'm not gonna apologize. Which I probably should have, but in retrospect. At the Troubadour you couldn't cancel a show, so LA Guns had a show booked and you can't cancel it and if you don't play you can never play there again.

Someone: Oh wow.

RC: And like I said, I got $20,000 into promoting its name, LA Guns.

Someone: Oh wow.

RC: And I got an EP and at this point I don't realize nothing's ever gonna happen to this EP, I'm still thinking like, "Okay, we're gonna get the band together, we're gonna go on the road and we're gonna sell some records." So I was like, "I got to keep this name but you have to play the Troubadour." So then when Axl said he'd do the show, I was like, "That's awesome." So then Tracii made a flyer for LA Guns with Axl's little picture and everything and when he actually came back to check out the artwork, and I was like - oh, I had already heard the name "Guns N' Roses" because Mike got mad at Tracii, saying like, "If you do that Guns And Roses thing, I'm gonna quit," and I was like, "Man, that's a great name." So, yeah, bouncing back and forth. So then flash-forward back to March when Axl said he'd do the LA Guns show, I said, "If you're gonna do that Troubadour show why don't you do that Guns N' Roses thing you're talking about? And bring Izzy in?" And then Axl's like, "I'll ask him." And the only reason I said that is because I just wanted to clear the LA Guns name, I just wanted to keep the name, because I legally owned the name, and I wanted to be able to whatever band I in the future put together, because I thought I was Peter Grant at that time, I was like, "Whatever band I put together, I will just have them play under the name LA Guns and I could play The Troubadour."

Someone: [?] branding, that's all you needed. But what was the "Guns And Roses thing" that was previously mentioned? Was that-

RC: So Tracy... Oh this is when LA Guns, like, right, like a week before, like, the last show they ever did with Mike, and I come into the studio over there a Gardner and Tracii had fired Mike and Mike was just piss drunk. And I guess Mike had pawned something that belonged to Tracii or something like that but it wasn't that big of a deal, it was something that was sitting around the studio and Mike had got just like 15 bucks so we could buy some more happy-hour drinks or whatever, I mean, basically the shit would have been out of pawn the next day. But so Tracii's like, "I calmed everybody down," I was like, "Come on, dude, we got to do this show at the Cats Club [?], you can't break up the band now we got a record out," blah-blah-blah. And so I got Tracii calmed down but then Mike was still being a dick and then Tracii just laughs and as Tracii's leaving, Mike goes, "Oh, and if you do that Guns And Roses thing I'm gonna fucking quit!" And then Mike went back inside the studio and said to JoJo, I go, "Hey, what's that 'Guns And Roses', man?" and he's like, "Oh, that's a jam band that Tracii and Axl were thinking of doing together," I'm like, "That's a great name."

Someone: Oh my god.

Someone: "Jam band"!

RC: Yeah, yeah, I suppose a side project. I guess nobody wanted me to know because, I guess, Tracii, you know, within LA Guns and it's like, you know, and I'm investing in his band and managing his band it's like, "Why would he do a side project?" you know.

Someone: Right. That's really, wow.

RC: You guys remember the first time you heard that name? It's just one of those names you hear it's like [?].

Someone: I still think it's the best rock-and-roll name ever. But you, just to reiterate what you just said, you're like, "Oh, that's a cool band name," like that's like a joke now when you hear something like weird, you know, like, "Purple Monkey Dishwasher" [?]


RC: I remember down in the studio with Guns N' Roses was over there at Gardner, like right before they got signed so they were pretty big around Hollywood, like not only famous but infamous, you know, like, so people come tell us like, "Hey, we got pulled over and the cops were like, 'Hey, what band are you in?'" and then they would say the name of their band and they would go, "Okay, good, we're looking for those guys in Guns N' Roses." Like the cops, even before they were signed, before they were world famous or whatever, the cops they heard that name and it sticks in your head and they heard they were trouble.

Someone: I mean, it sounds like a gang.

RC: Yeah, yeah.

Someone: Wow.

RC: So I remember Axl used to say like, "Man, if I ever get pulled over"... and okay, this not giving Axl [?], I knew a singer who used to say, like, "If I get pulled over and they ask me what band I'm in, I'm gonna say I'm in a band called 'Black Bag Cop'," cuz that was back in the day when it was like the LAPD was all white-bred, pre Rodney King days, all a bunch of tough, white nationalist-looking cops.

Someone: So then I guess where do we go... So you that's... what the Guns N' Roses thing happened then... I guess the name, I think it's so funny it's called "the Guns And
Roses thing".

Someone: Well, I think I mentioned this to you, just riding with... that there's a crazy war almost between certain fans who love to declare that the original Guns N' Roses was the Appetite lineup and then there's more purists who say, you know, "No! Originals is original," get the facts out, you know, Rob, Ole, Axl and Tracii and Izzy, you know. The only detail is something that - I don't know if we should talk about because I feel like readers of the book should to get into it. [?] Who do you think the original Guns N' Roses are?

RC: Okay, if I answer this I want everybody to promise they're gonna go buy the book, nah, just kidding.

Someone: No, they should, tho.

RC: Yeah, buy the book, buy the book.

Someone: Yeah. I hope so.

Someone: They need the book. This is really important.

RC: When I think of the original Guns N' Roses, I mean, Ole was in that band but he never played a show. I mean, Duff was like at the very first show so. But Robbie, the drums, and Tracii Guns on guitar was, I mean, I think that that is the original lineup, with Duff. But here's the thing, like band members, I think like Slash and Steve, somebody said that Slash said they remember playing with Ole. Here's what-

Someone: Slash remembers playing with Rob, definitely.

RC: I don't think Rob and Slash ever were played, though. So, okay, cuz Ole told me... like he didn't say anything that night when I told him that he was out of the band, I got a new bass player, like, he just was like, "Oh, whatever." And then when me and him went to see The Cult - Guns N' Roses opening for The Cult after Appetite for Destruction came out - and on the way home me and Oe drank like 20 Heineken, or whatever, I might not have been operating a motor vehicle, Ole told me he's like like bummed out on the way home, he's like, "Why am I not in that band? I should be getting my dick sucked in like 20 different languages right now." And then I was like, "Dude, you made your choice at the time, don't regret, on March 4," and he's like, "I didn't choose to not be in that band." But then, so what happened, what he said when I told him he wasn't in GN'R anymore and he went to pick up his gear at the studio, Slash and Steven were over there jamming because Slash was in a band with the bass player Willie Basse who owned the studio where GN'R rehearsed, so Ole went to pick up his care gear, Slash and Steven are there, so he starts jamming with them, so they're thinking they just going to get a singer and start a band, so Ole actually lost out twice. He's in GN'R and then he's forming a band with Slash and Steven and they end up going into GN'R.


RC: Yeah, it bummed him out, he was a sad man at the end of all that.

Someone: He died 1990-ish?

RC: I think it was '91.

Someone: All right. So even with all the musical chairs going on, you know, and I mean I don't know how else to put it, you were still involved, though? You were still in the-

RC: Yeah, see. I made a decision early on that I would rather be a fan and stick with it. See, the thing is when you [are] involved business-wise with a band you have to fight with them and you have to argue and you have to hurl them around and try to manipulate and do all this shit just cuz you got to protect your investment and your time. But I was like, "Man, I just love this band, I want to be able to drink 20 beers into the shows instead of drinking two beers," you know, "I don't want to have to count heads at the door to make sure like we're getting paid," and all this shit, and I realized that bands don't need a manager when they just start out, you need a manager when there's actually something to manage, but at that point I just let them go and see what happens. By the time, I mean, I got in a little argument with my brother, he was staying in my house and Axl were staying over there, too, and I got in an argument with my brother and then I threw in some shit talking to Axl at the same time and they both stormed out. I didn't see GN'R for like three months after that, I just like boycotted them. I was like, "I want those people..." like, I hold a grudge with both hands so I didn't go see the band and nothing. And then I happened to see Izzy on the freeway, we were stuck in traffic, and he's like, "Hey Raz, come to our show tonight, we'll play in the Country Club," and I hadn't seen them like all summer, like, "I'll go, I hear you guys are opening for Jet Boy," "I know, we got switched to headliners." So I went to the show and that's where the first time they played Paradise City and I was like, "Man, that song..." Maybe it was Welcome To The Jungle? Oh, whatever.

Someone: Either one.

RC: Yeah, it was Paradise City I think they played that show. And I remember thinking, "Man, they're doing a cover." It was that good. I was like, "Man, that song's so good." And then they got to the Gardner studio after that and they were signed like within like three or four months. They got big so quick, like, even around town by the LA standards at the time. I think it was a year and like two weeks to the day they actually played their first show they were signed to a major label. Which is kind of incredible. But they deserve it, you know, the A&R people were doing their job.

Someone: So then how do you feel because in a way you kind of, you know, you saw this Axl guy like, "I gotta get," you know, "do something with him," and you're investing all this money into LA Guns and then you wanted to invest if Axl was involved, so how did you feel when you saw this band, from essential your hometown, I know, you know, they're not everyone's from LA in GN'R, but how did you feel? Did that give you a sense of... I don't want to say pride? "Hey, I was right about these guys, I was right," you know or, "Hey, these are [?]", like how did you feel when that happened?

RC: You know, I'm so used to being right about stuff.

Someone: [laughs] Fair enough.

RC: I know-

Someone: Don't tell that to a woman.

RC: Ah, yeah. "Yes, dear." I knew it inside, you know, nobody knows some bands gonna become, like, you know, the biggest thing of their era. I knew they would sell records and I knew they're gonna be huge, but, you know, who knew that they were gonna be playing stadiums like, you know, 30 years later still you know?


RC: You know, okay, here's the thing, like, there's people that they're really good and even great, or whatever, then there's the people that are legendary and it's like they're just so far above like the next level below that, like, I had a rehearsal studio in the Valley like after the GN'R days, or whatever, and I had a bunch of people like, you know, like on their way up and on their way down that would practice there-


RC: [...] But then Appetite for Destruction came out and they started playing like, you know, like with The Cult. The Cult was my favorite band at a time so it's cool, like, "Here's my buddies like opening up for The Cult and I'm sitting side stage like watching them." The story's in my book. So I was  watching GN'R from side stage and I got about five or six Heinekens in me and I decided to go take a piss. So I set my beer on top of the stack of power apps in a road case. And I'm in the bathroom and like GN'R's like rocking out and all of a sudden it's just silent, so I was like, "Fuck, let me go back out there." So I go out and right as I get there, Axl's like the first one off the stage, he's at the bottom step and he storms past me and then, like, the rest of the guys kind of straggle past. And I go to Steven, I go like, "What happened?" And it's like "I don't know, PA went out so his monitors went out." So I look and my beers are like sideways and, I guess, they spilled on the power app or something and it just caused like a chain reaction of like shutting down the circuit. And then later we were at the Suites, or whatever, those suites where we used to do drugs, where Nikki OD'ed, I can't remember... Embassy Suites, over in Hollywood, GN'R had, like, some rooms over there. We're hanging out drinking, doing maybe other stuff, and there's somebody, like, surmise that The Cult had cut the power to the PA because they were jealous with GN'R and I was like, "I don't think they did that, I think it was probably the..." But I didn't want to tell anybody-

Someone: "I don't know what happened" *wink*

Someone: It's almost 30 years, we can tell the truth now.

RC: Yeah, I was like trying to let them know, don't be mad at the [?] Yeah, but somebody had got it into their head maybe like that The Cult was jealous and it was the GNR's home crowd, and that they had done that, and I was like sitting there, like, "Oh man, I got my favorite band in trouble," and it's like, "I can't say like, 'Hey, I [?]'"


Someone: And someone just put a video clip from the Street Scene in '86 up and Axl he says, you know, "Thanks to the people in front of the stage, you spilt water on the electrical cables, the show's over!" and he points to someone and goes, "You, fuck you!"

RC: I got trampled at that show, man.


RC: What happened was, I think the Circle Jerks was supposed to play later, that stage was set up at the back door of Parker Center [?], so after GN'R played there was it was like... Circle Jerks? Yeah. There was supposed to be... Or maybe Agent Orange? But there was some punk band. So the cops had just started streaming out of the back door, and in full riot gear and everything, like, "This show's over," so they canceled the show. So I was like, "Fuck it, I'm gonna get out of here," right? So the girl I was with was like, "I want to stay and see them," I'm like, "No, they have riot gear on that means it's going to be a riot." So I went around the corner and I thought I was in a safe spot, I guess it was only one way out, so once the cops started charging the crowd everybody like [?] trampled me, man. Like I was sitting there, like I was knocked out of my chair.

Someone: Oh my god, dude.

RC: On the news there was no riot.


Someone: Unbelievable, man. Raz, you've had such an insane life. Do you speak to anyone in the camp today? Are you involved with anyone today?

RC: No, I mean, I saw Robbie yesterday, but that doesn't count, does it.

Someone: Sure it does.

Someone: Sure. I mean, because you knew these guys back in the day so I don't know if it's just the way life goes. You just fell out of touch-

RC: What happened was, like, okay, so after they got on the Appetite for Destruction tour, whatever, they all kind of came and all of a sudden my broke friends had tons of money and they were, like, buying fast cars and dating supermodels and everything like that. And then, like, I'd see them around and then I opened the studio and I started working like 16-hour days and when Use Your Illusion albums came out I couldn't take time off, I couldn't go to the tours or anything and then, I mean, I ran at Axl over at Dizzy's house a couple of times like, you know, after Use Your Illusion tour were over and everything was cool and everything like that, but I don't know, I never said, "Hey, I didn't go to your show," and, "Hey, you didn't go to my show," like, you don't care, you know, he's got.... I mean, how many of us still hang out with people that we hung out with-

Someone: That's true, that's why we're posing it in that way, I mean, it doesn't have to have anything to do with the celebrity, it can just be life itself.

RC: Yeah, that's what I mean. I mean, people change, things get different.

Someone: Yeah, that's what's interesting about your book is that... First I want to say, did you get such a great impression of Axl as a person, besides being a performer, that most people don't touch upon in any book that's been out there, but also you go into what it was like seeing him and sort of showing changes that he was experiencing, you know, the pressures that were coming on him without even touching upon it, just in terms of how he started dealing with people, sort of, maybe, closing himself off a little bit. And to me that was one of the more heartbreaking moments of the book and I think people should really... people need to read that and learn that, like, this guy goes through being this kid from Indiana, you know, like, aspiring artist, all of a sudden he explodes and maybe he just wasn't prepared for the change that I was gonna-

Someone: Well, that's what's fascinating a lot about, you know, about not only your book, Raz, but just in general, let's only try to do here on this podcast, of course we're just talking about, you know, Guns N' Roses, "Yeah, we like the rock and roll," but just going in depth and finding about the emotions and the players and we've talked about that, like why I identify with Axl and, you know, depression and anger, you know, it's deeper than just, you know, the outside. The lyrics are nice but like, "What's behind them?" "What's the story behind the lyrics?" So, you know, finding out about your story is just a complementary to everything else that we've been trying to do here.

Someone: And for anyone to understand why you were in the position that you were with them, is because of your life, your lifestyle and your life.


Someone: So we want to talk about like a little bit about Tracii because you said it wouldn't matter about your feelings about him, you said that earlier and I guess I didn't probe that, that you felt he was still a great musician. So why don't you not like him now? [?]

RC: It's funny, some people who read my book they know both of us, or whatever, like, "Man, you killed Tracii in there."

Someone: Cuz we don't know, I know we also want to acknowledge because, I mean, we put out the invite to Tracii and hopefully we'll get him on the show because we know we always want to be fair but we have you on now, so.

RC: Okay, the deal with Tracii is, it's not anything like... Well, I was disappointed that he broke the band up and not giving a shit about, like, selling a record, if he could have hung on for another summer, you know, that's all it would taken [?], you know. But then we wouldn't have Guns N' Roses so that's kind of cool that he fucking broke the band up, right, cuz now we got Guns N' Roses. So what really pissed me off was when the LA Guns reformed [...]

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 12, 2023 6:22 pm

Completed this, but only transcribed the sections about GN'R.
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