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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by Blackstar Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:47 pm



Transcript:

Brando: We actually got a few questions for Mitch before we talk to Alan. This would be part of Shotgun News, so maybe some breaking news here, we don't know. [...] the guy wrote, "Weeks before the reunion announcement Mitch said that Dave Kushner was going to be in the band, why? Just news to gain followers or was it a real option?" Keep in mind before you answer, I interviewed Dave Kushner - very grateful for that - he made no mention of that and he seemed like he wish he was a part of the reunion. So Mitch, fake news or not?

Mitch Lafon: Not fake news.

Brando: Of course not.

ML: And let me explain, you know, when the wheel start moving on reunions or on farewell tours or on a new album or any kind of rock news there are million parts that come into play and the news that comes in or the rumors you hear or the the things that you hear, are very fluid and some of them are very true at the moment and then as things develop they change. And so when I heard that Dave was going to be invited it was from a very trusted source. It wasn't the Internet or Wikipedia or some nonsense. And so there was a suggestion that he was going to be invited and, you know, sometimes... and I'll give you an example, a very concrete example, in 2014 Def Leppard went on tour with Kiss and it was announced that Night Ranger was going to be on the bill. And Night Ranger was on the bill, if you spoke to anybody [?], they were on the bill, they were part of the same management team as Kiss at the time and what happened is the money wasn't there and the band decided, "You know what? Instead of opening for this tour and losing money we're gonna go play the summer festivals and the backyard barbecues and all that as headliners. Sure, we're not going to be playing in front of 25,000 people every night but financially it's going to make more sense." So you could go back and say, "Well, whoever said that Night Ranger was opening for Kiss? It's fake news," but it's not and that's what happens all the time. So I don't know what happened with Kushner, maybe his name came up in a conversation during a meeting and whoever, you know, told me, heard that and said, "Hey, by the way." Who knows what the moving parts are but it certainly wasn't deliberately misleading, it certainly wasn't deliberately fake, because there's no advantage for me to do that. Here's the thing, when you do this, the rock journalism thing, or any journalism, it's all about credibility and if nine times out of ten the stuff I post is false, misleading, purposefully misleading, or just a blatant lie, at some point people would just go, "Why am I following this guy? He's a," you know? So I'm very careful about that and, yeah, once in a while, like the Night Ranger in 2014, things change and it doesn't change because of it's a lie, it changes because there are realities in the business, there is contracts, sometimes contracts don't work. Now as far as that, as far as the Dave thing goes, I don't know what happened, why it didn't work out, but I do know that a trusted source mentioned it to me and it made sense and if the trusted source had some misinformation or if the trust... but none of it was a deliberate attempt to mislead anybody because it really... and when your questioner on Twitter said, "Is it just to get followers?" no, it actually has an adverse effect if it turns out to be untrue because, "Oh, I can't trust him," and so I wouldn't purposefully try to harm my credibility, it makes no sense. And so, no, it wasn't fake news, it was what was the hot news at the time [?] and if you go back in my Twitter history, I tweeted that out with Dave Kushner tagged on it, look back and see his answer.

Brando: I'll have to look into that, interesting.

ML: He didn't say, "No, Mitch, you're lying." Go look at his answer and look at the wink that it [?]

Brando: Somehow I don't think when I asked him about that he would have lied to me, I understand certain things you can't talk about and I tell everybody I interviewed that including I [?]. I don't like to twist words or anything like that so that's also part of the GN'R Shotgun News - why don't you always get that name right, I mean, I made a stupid sound bite for it. And another reason, in a Bumblefoot interview that he just gets frustrated when people take his words out of context. And, you know, I want to get him on the show at some point. I mean, he was technically my first interview ever back in Cape Cod and so, I mean, I understand people are a little - especially in today's American climate with the fake news and people are just jump to conclusions - but I never even thought, for me personally, a second that Mitch would put anything out there that didn't have any sort of validity to it. And life changes, shit just happens.

ML: And by the way, I spoke to Bumblefoot last year. I've done two interviews since then with him, but I spoke to him last year and we got into this long discussion about why we're not talking about Guns N' Roses, why we're not going to talk, and he said, "Listen, I've got this album," and I think at the time it was Sons of Apollo, "and it's like we'll do all this stuff and blah blah blah and then the only thing you will be you'll see on the news is, 'Bumblefoot said Axl this,'" and so he said it was frustrating. And it's funny because we did the entire interview skirting around the Guns N' Roses topic, we went in the interview talking about how there are clickbait sites. And out of all the interviews I've done with Bumblefoot guess which one didn't get picked up by those sites? Yeah, the one where we didn't talk about GN'R and we both were giving our opinions about click bait and clickbait titles and stuff or headlines, I guess is the word for it. And so, yeah, you know, yeah.

Brando: I get it and I've spoken about it before, why.... I mean, he was really nice about it not coming on because it's a Guns N' Roses site and I understand he wanting to move on and that's why with Alan I'm gonna focus on not just GN'R stuff but his life and everything. But I get it and I would focus on other things. It really is fascinating. And right now I'm trying to... let's see if I can get it, I found my original interview with Bumble when I was a kid... a kid, I was probably like early 20s, you probably laugh at that phrase... I'll have to find it and play it. But I did get another question for you before we get into Alan and start asking him all these fun questions, I want to know - this is from GeorginaUK from mygnrforum - and this could be, I don't know, it's not gonna be fake news, this is just if you know it, "Do you know anything, if you heard, about concrete Axl/DC? There's a realistic expectation of a new GN'R album?" So two questions I guess within that same one.

ML: So okay, so look, have I heard anything official about a Guns N' Roses album? The answer is "no." Have I heard people within the spiderweb talking about that? I have but none of them are based on anything concrete, they just sort of there's a lot of, "a friend of a friend said that a friend of a friend saw that a friend of a friend heard," so, you know, is it 'where there's smoke there's fire' or is it just 'blah blah blah'? My personal feeling - based on absolutely just knowing the business - you know, you do a tour, you know when Kiss did the reunion tour back in '96, the next logical step would be to have new product. And a new t-shirt or new running shoes is not the right product. A new album is. So I would think that the next logical step would be a new Guns N' Roses album now. As for Axl/DC or AC/DC, I'm trying to think if I if I was told or if I read it somewhere that Angus was very, very happy with Axl in the band and that he wanted to move forward with making an album, so my own personal feelings is, yeah, I expect that there will be new product from both AC/DC featuring Axl and of course Guns N' Roses featuring Slash, Duff and Axl. It just is sequentially the logical next step for both entities.

Brando: And I kind of feel the same way, it is fascinating. I'm gonna see if this works right now, I'm gonna see if I can play you the Bumblefoot thing.

[from earlier episode] Brando: The better of us know him as

Brando: This is a 20 year old Brando, my very first radio interview with Bumble. I met him at a show in Ottawa - there's your connection, your Canadian connection - kept up with him via Myspace. I told the story about this in previous podcast but I hadn't played the actual audio. I wish I had the full interview but this is just what I put on my radio reel, so enjoy little Brando, this is before a Chinese came out, talking to Bumblefoot.

[from earlier episode] Brando: Some of you know him is Ron Thal, the better of us know him as Bumblefoot, one of the guitarists from Guns N' Roses. How you doing today?

Bumblefoot: Very good, man, how are you doing?

Brando: I have to ask the question-

BBF: About the album?

Brando: Yes, about Chinese Democracy-

BBF: How did I know?

Brando: I know, I wouldn't be doing my job.

BBF: I know all the DMs[?] are sick of hearing the word "soon".

Brando: Yeah.

BBF: But you guys haven't heard that the album is done recorded.

Brando: Alright, excellent. There you have it, it is going to come out, once again "soon is the word." From what I've heard from the leaks and from what I've heard live, it's gonna be well worth the wait and Bumblefoot I can't thank you enough for your time.

BBF: Oh, it's my pleasure, thank you.

Brando: And you're welcome back any time and if you want to throw in some free backstage passes to me, I won't turn them away.

BBF: Very cool.

[/old interivew]

Brando: Horribly edited and so long ago. Hopefully he comes on again-

ML: Did you get the backstage passes?

Brando: No, of course not. No, I'm not Mitch Lafon. So there you go, so I hope to have one day Bumblefoot on the show and I'll ask him about everything other than GN'R if he wants. I've made that offered to other guests who were a little timid. I mean, I'm glad Brain eventually came on but I say, if you just want to talk about your life growing up, I think GN'R fans will still care about that, they care about you, so the invitation is always there to Bumblefoot, forever. He popped my interview cherry.

ML: Yes, and I will be seeing him in April in Montreal. We spoke about it and I offered to be his tour guide and lunch companion to take him around town. So that that's supposed to happen in April when they're here with the new band, a new new band.

Brando: I've heard nothing but good things. I haven't seen them live yet, Sons of Apollo, but it'll be interesting. And maybe, you know, you want to co-host an episode or I'm sure you'll have them on Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon first but if there's ever a right time maybe he'll feel better about if Mitch Lafon was co-hosting an episode of the AFD show, who knows? But that is potentially then, this is now I have to give credit always where credit is due, you know, I'm very lucky to have gotten some of the guests that I've had on this show but, you know, with someone like Mitch who really has worked from the ground up and and to go from, you know, just doing YouTube stuff to eventually working with Chris Jericho it just says a lot, so thank you Mitch for connecting me with Alan Niven and being my co-host on this episode, it means a lot and I want to... you're always, of course you're always welcome whenever you want to co-host, after you've wrung out the good stuff on Rock Talk if there's any leftover stuff if you want to put on the AFD show, feel free to come on because I know you have a lot more GN'R stories-

ML: I have quite a few, I mean, you know, there was that time in, I guess, 2008-2009, Guns N' Roses came to play Quebec City and I was hanging around backstage and, you know, Bumblefoot and all those guys walked in and said hello to everybody and then the captain of this police squad came in and said, "No, no, no questions, look away, turn your eyes down," and like, "What the fuck?" and then somebody said, "Oh, Axl's walking in," and so everybody had to look away and stuff. And I'm like, "Come on? This is not Axl who's asked this? This is just some dude who's thinking he's," you know, and it was a strange to see sort of reporters and everybody sort of staring at their feet while Axl walked in and it was like, "Really?" like. And I know that that's not from Axl, I know that that's just somebody at the venue who just wanted to make some kind of show or some kind of, "I'm the boss here," it was weird. And of course I was at the Olympic Stadium riots back in - what was that? August 1992? 91? I was there, that was a fun night. And yeah, I got plenty of great stories to tell from the GNR stuff, lot of great stuff, a lot of great stuff.

Brando: All right, so that's why you're gonna be a reoccurring character, you're gonna be-

ML: A bababooey [?]

Brando: I want to give you more credit. You're gonna be Tom Selleck on Friends, that's you!

ML: There you go.

Brando: There you go. He's got to grow a mustache. But in the meantime, because we know about Mitch, we're gonna get to know Alan, so I believe he is calling up right now. So enough of my fluffing, Mitch Lafon, time to talk to Alan. So as Mitch and I were talking about, obviously, while you're tuning into this episode, joining us on the phone right now, Alan Niven. You may know the name, you do know the name if you're of course a Guns N' Roses fan, he was their manager for a crucial part of their history, has done so much else, you know, of course with Great White and worked with so many different bands. I want to find out more about Alan, and first of all, hello - or do I say... first of all, is it offensive if I call you a Kiwi? Please, I'm an ignorant American, I don't know, is that an offensive term, Kiwi?

Alan Niven: No, it's definitely not offensive to call a New Zealander a Kiwi.

Brando: Okay.

AN: Some New Zealanders might get upset if you call them "Moseys."

Brando: Okay, all right, because I - well, full disclosure and nobody gives a shit about me - but there was this Australian girl that I was hitting on and trying to be a good jerk about it I kept calling her a Kiwi, it did not work at all. So I want to know more about Alan and how he got there. First of all, a thank you so much for joining us and taking the time.

AN: My pleasure, there's not a hockey game until at 7:55 my time.

Brando: Yes, we have to establish because obviously, Mitch, you're home in Canadia or you have your Justin Trudeau comforter on right now? Hanging out in Montreal, that's where you're hanging out?

ML: "Hehe". First of all, no, I am NOT a Justin Trudeau fan and quite frankly he could go be your president, for all I care.

[cut to GN'R part]

AN: Well, actually Brandon, you've got a very good segue there when you hit on the word "underdog" because I think perhaps three of us might agree that rock and roll at its best is the voice of the underdog, the voice of the disenfranchised. An underdog means of speaking power to truth and it was certainly part of my initial appeal with GN'R was they were a bunch of junkyard dogs with the right attitude.

Brando: Yeah, and actually, you picked up on it actually, sometimes I shoehorn my transitions in there, like, too much, to try to enforce it but no, you picked up on it. And that actually leads me to, because I had real listen to your interview with Mitch and you said a lot of interesting things about GN'R and again the underdog and maybe where they are now and where they were when you were managing them, so we will get there and  fan questions from literally around the world for you, but I will mention one fan specifically that I know will appreciate all the hockey [cut].

AN: First of all, I didn't grow up in New Zealand, my parents moved from there when I was four years old, moved to England. I was raised in England and went to English boarding schools which will explain my deep and profound anti-authoritarianism. The first significant job I had was driving a van for a young company called Virgin Records and I was with them for five years. Within about six months of being at Virgin they started to send me abroad, they'd send me to Sweden and Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and eventually one day I would went in for my end of year evaluation was told that they were going to send me to America the following week. So that was a major shift in my life in that I started coming to America regularly and I started to understand the American infrastructure better than I knew the English infrastructure. And after I parted ways with Virgin, I retired from, in my mid-20s I retired, not even sure I was really working anyway but I decided that I didn't want my passion to be my occupation. I went and lived in Sweden for two years and while I was there somebody came out from LA and offered me a job and it was one of those moments, Brandon, in life where - and excuse me if I'm about to drop an f-bomb and you've got to clean it out -

Brando: Oh no, you can curse.

AN: All right, because, you know, they tend to-

Brando: Fuck, shit, asshole, you know, all that, whatever makes Alan Niven happy, I don't care. Don't drop n-bombs, now that would be awkward.

AN: I had that moment of realization that I was basically fucked. Because if I didn't go and take this job in LA I knew that I'd spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if you'd gone and I knew I had to go and find out what was going to happen. So I moved to LA and worked for a company there for a while, it was called Green World. After that, with the partners who owned Green World, we decided to launch a label. I'd signed a band that had come through the door that no one else would go near or touch to our tiny little distribution net company. It was a band called Motley Crue and obviously we got somewhere with that. And out of that we decided to launch a label which I called Enigma. My first signing for Enigma is actually a band called Berlin.

Brando: Yeah, I know Berlin.

AN: And from that I still found my partners were not necessarily easy people to work with so when another band came along and said, "We want you to manage us," I said, "You know, I think you could get more entertaining company than the people I'm with," so I stepped off and did management despite the fact that, as I pointed out to the band, I knew nothing about it whatsoever, and their response was, "You'll learn." And, obviously, had I known anything about management I'd had probably gone back to being an accountant or something. That's as quickly as I can get you from New Zealand to LA.

[cut]

AN: I like to think that part of what made me of some little use to various bands at certain point was that I didn't approach it with a suit on. I wasn't buttoned down. It wasn't 9:00 to 5:00. The occupation, the passion, was a way of life and I still viewed rock-and-roll as a way of life, I mean, you know, the rational amongst us would say, "Yes, rock and roll is a way of life, it's God's occupation for the unemployable."

[...]

ML: And just quickly on Axl, I will say that whatever happened from '80 to 2005, it's over, the last two years on tour on time the voice... AC/DC, he's just been absolutely on point and just good for him, I mean, just really good for him. You know, I applaud the Axl of the last two-three years, is fantastic, absolutely fantastic.

Brando: It's been shocking and I want to get Alan's... I know you've spoken with Mitch but not on the AFD show yet, I want to get to your thoughts on the current state, but I still want to focus on you and how you got to where you are now.

[...]

AN: [...] and I now tell you flat out I've had my own bouts of extreme depression post GN'R and I'm not letting much of a cat out of a bag when I look around and go, "And guess what, everybody in GN'R suffered from depression at certain points." And of course most people will sit there and go, "Well shut the fuck up, I mean, you got money in the bank, got chicks, maaan, Jack Daniels, you know, what can you get depressed about?" Well, guess what, you get depressed about fundamental things that affect everybody. Who do you trust? Who do you believe? Self-worth issues. Is this right? Is this wrong? Do I feel connected or do I feel alienated to the people around me? And there is no college course for what we'll call "success." I will say that an interesting way to look at success is to describe it as a figment of an envious mind. One thing you learn about an influx of money, and especially a sudden influx of money, is that it may eradicate the problems that you're focused on at the moment but it will present you with a completely new palette of problems to deal with and not all of them are very pleasant. So yeah, mental health, I think everybody connected to GN'R has gone through a rough period at some point or another, and I think that only speaks to the fact that, you know, we all have a humanity. So to make comments about mental health without empathy or without understanding is at the very least in poor taste.

[cut]

AN: There are there are interesting aspects here, first of all you got to consider that the only institution to which we're obliged in life that we do not join voluntarily, is family. And family circumstances, family experiences, family genes, are the first piece of major baggage that we're obliged to learn how to carry through, you know, the airport of our existence. I don't know if you have any credence in things like astrology, I do I live with a remarkable woman who is the best example and definition of my comprehension of being psychic that I've ever come across, and she's a very adept reader of astrology. But if you do Axl's birth chart you look at it and even with my rudimentary knowledge I look at it and go, "Oh my god, I wish I had seen this back in the day. How the hell does he get through life anyway? I mean, his chart is not one I'd wish on anybody." And then again, you know, and another step is when we're talking about chemical imbalances, I've been through the same process of being prescribed chemicals - and in one way or another I was when I was much younger I was a little bit of an expert at chemicals - the other thing I've come to realize too is that we are very much exploited by big pharma and if you sneeze twice there's a reason why you have to take their pill and if you sneeze four times there's reason why you have to take their three pills. In other words, they shovel shit onto us when maybe that isn't appropriate or needed, maybe other things are needed, maybe there's a more holistic way of improving your state of mind, even simple things like exercise. A major difference to me is a good relationship. If you're in a good relationship that really helps with my state of mind. If I'm in a shitty relationship or if things around me are not fun or if I'm feel like I'm swimming in a goddamn shark tank - which was most of my time with GN'R, I felt I was swimming in a shark tank, and I'm not referring just to the band, I'm referring to all the people around who all wanted something for some reason - then that puts you ill at ease. So again, you know, in America we have an industry, big pharma, who make an awful lot of profit out of selling all kinds of shit to people because it's necessary and I am very concerned about the fact that the NRA a are talking about mental health, that the president is talking about mental health and so on. What are we looking at Brandon? We're looking at neighbors peering over fences and going, "Oh my god, she's wearing a bikini and jumping in the pool, she must be mentally nuts," you know, you know where this is gonna go.

Brando: You're absolutely right and I know, again, it's funny because it's not a political show, obviously, but we have dedicated, I mean, Trump just you can't help but bring him up anyway, but, especially since like Axl brought up the pinata and how vocal Del James is and so on, I mean, politics gets intertwined in our Guns N' Roses world, but you're absolutely right.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Jan 03, 2024 6:51 am; edited 9 times in total (Reason for editing : AxlAx)
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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty Re: 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by Blackstar Fri Jun 30, 2023 3:45 am

AN: Wait one minute there, Brando. At its very best there is inherently a sense of politics in the best of rock and roll. To me, when Axl wrote Civil War I got incredibly excited at that because I thought he was going to develop from being a social politician to a social statesman. That he was going to make statements that I found worthwhile and important for people to hear through the medium of his creativity and take it from the interpersonal to the social as well. The best rock and roll bands and the people who have inspired me have been inherently political because it's caring of everybody in the audience, it's looking at your entire audience and having a viewpoint, it's speaking truth to the powers that exploit that audience. I mean, John Mullen and Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, the best of the best, they were all political. Bob Marley was killed, Bob Marley was assassinated by the CIA. So yes, politics is involved in Guns N' Roses.

Brando: Yes, and it we spoke about last episode just the irony of it being Guns N' Roses, of course. But there are a few things that you had I've said and said in there and this also I guess this could lead into appropriately one of the fan questions we got for you and it's Contraband, one of our listeners, Gavin from the UK, this was on Facebook, so this actually involves both Mitch and Alan and it's perfect in the Civil War, it's like I planned this. He goes, "Hey there, I see you of Alan and Mitch coming on soon, I have a question please. Mitch was going to ask Alan this for some time back when he interviewed him last but he forgot. Oh Mitch!" Look at those fans, they pay attention. "Anyway, this is my-

AN: Perhaps it is selective memory.

Brando: I got it. You and I we both know what anyway [?] podcaster conversation later. He goes, "Anyway, this is my question, basically it's about Axl," excuse me, "Izzy and Civil War. Civil War was recorded many months before the proper Use Your Illusion session started. It was completely separate from the Illusion sessions. Izzy was not on the demo or the actual finished song according to the Use Your Illusion II booklet credits. I just want to know, why Izzy had no involvement in the recording of that song, seems odd, especially as it was the last song done with Adler?" It's a mouthful.

AN: Yeah, it's a mouthful.

Brando: If you can't answer-

AN: No, it's remembering the moment and remembering other people states of mind in that situation at that time, too. It's no secret that there was a sense of fragmentation in the band and it was being played out creatively during the making of Illusions. And again this is obviously no big surprise and something I'm sure I've probably said too many times before, but for me Use Your Illusion is when we started to lose the original band and become the Elton Rose band. And Izzy was not comfortable with it, Slash was not comfortable with it, but there was very much a sense in those days of, "Whatever we have to do to get along, we'll make minimal compromises we have to, but let's just try and keep this moving along for now." I think Use Your Illusions basically somewhere in there is one really good record. I think there's material on there that could use rethinking or editing or is not really of the essence of the Appetite for Destruction band. And yeah, I love bands to develop, I think all artists should develop, just for me some of that material went too far too soon. And I'm going to make a point here while it pops in my head - for the record I had absolutely no influence on Izzy leaving the band and it came as a shock and a surprise to me when he did - but when you compare Coma to Dust N' Bones you can see where the fragmentation is.

Brando: It's interesting because I know... isn't that why a Coma was added to the setlist for Not In This Lifetime, because it's one of Slash's
favorites to play? Or maybe there was a different fragmentation that I'm.... you know, maybe like Izzy didn't like that song. Because I'm just surprised that Coma is the example you know.

AN: And any of those long complex pieces which, you know, Steven had a nightmare trying to play the same way twice. That was definitely not where Izzy's consciousness was. You know, to me, Dust N' Bones is the purest moment of Izzy on that record.

Brando: Sure, yeah, because, I mean, while he's singing on it, sure.

AN: Well, it's his feel, it's the attitude, it's, you know, and for me to, and again, try and hear me clearly on this because I'm twisting an old phrase, people mishear me sometimes, but to me Izzy was the heart of the soul of the band and when you start to lose a degree of Izzy's input then that band is becoming something else. Now it doesn't mean to say that what the band is becoming is good or bad, because it's not connecting to the fundamental that Izzy brought to it, but it's definitely changing.

Brando: And not just for Izzy but for you as well. So then let's just take a couple steps back to see but before we get to that specific moment then when things were changing and starting to break off.

[cut]

AN: [...] that brought my stock up a little bit in LA and was probably as much out of that as anything else that Zoots was able to come from Geffen and say, "Are you interested in signing this band that I've just signed called Guns N' Roses?" And at the time I wasn't. He came back a second time and asked me, by which time I'd done some research, and Zoots is a dear friend of mine, I sat him down, I said, "You're out of your beloved fucking mind, this band is going to be the end of your career," you know, "everything I've heard about them is that they are completely off the charts with their behavior and their indulgences and you'll never get anything done with them and they will just be a fucking nightmare for you."

Brando: And you're saying that as someone who managed Motley Crue or worked with Motley Crue.

An: I didn't manage them.

Brando: I changed my phrasing but knowing Motley Crue, were they more so than Motley?

AN: Oh absolutely. Frank, Nikki Sixx, it's very much of the Gene Simmons mold, very ambitious and a very smart marketeer. Guns N' Roses, their attitude was unconfined. And Zoots actually came back a third time and said, "Look, you're right, I have been told by Rosenblatt that he's not going to record an album with this band unless they get management. I can't get anybody to manage them. At the very least will you pretend to manage?" And I looked at Zoots and I said, "Seriously, I can't pretend to be fucking anything, but I will go and talk to them and see..." you know. And it started from there, you know, and I started to fall in love with the entity and, you know. Izzy and Slash I found very engaging and the fact that they were impossible was also irresistible, you know. From a calculating point of view I looked at it and I went, "Well, I can't make the situation any worse than it is so if I improve the situation then people are going to consider I've got some chops." So on that side of it it's not a bad thing to consider. On the other side, it's going to take an awful lot of time and I've just gotten Great White resigned and I don't want to take anything away from my concentration on getting that to where it should be. It's a ridiculous thing to take on and I've just had my first child and I need to be very smart about what I'm doing - but there was something irresistible about them.

Brando: I like that, that's [?]. So what was your first interaction officially with them? Was it with the management? Was a with certain specific members?

AN: [laughs]

Brando: I love the laugh track.

AN: The the management that they had at the time, Arnold Stifel and Randy Phillips, were desperately trying to offload them and get away from them as fast as possible. And Zoots took me to a Troubadour show to see them play for the first time and in the dressing room afterwards I noticed that Duff picked up a vase of flowers had a card in it that was an apology card from the management for not being there, and then he winged it right across the room into a waste paper basket on the other side of the room. And I took note of that and I thought, "Well, that probably defines the nature of the relationship between the band and current management, and certainly shows a certain attitude in the band." The first time I really spoke to them was at Pasha Studios when they were doing demos, the demos that we later put audio, you know, false live audio on to make Live!? Like A Suicide. And I sat in with Hans Peter Huber, I think I remember his name, who was the engineer, who was doing the mixing and he and I sat in and mixed that together.

Brando: What are your... because I don't want to take up too much of your time, I know we've been talking for an hour, by the way, I also noticed when Mitch said that in his interview with you and then it went on for like another half an hour 45 minutes, so I know you're a true [?] but I guess I know I don't want to keep you forever.

AN: It's Sunday, if we're getting close to 7:55 I'd be getting antsy and my own answers would be getting short. There's no hockey for a while so, you know, however long you want, get it while it's there.

Brando: I appreciate that. So, I mean, now I'm just envisioning Duff just throwing things, the vase across the room and that scene from Airheads, "He wipes his ass with the record contract, I love this guy!" I just picture you being, "I love this guy!" you know, "I want to work with this." So that was your first introduction to Duff. I want to know about, you know, Axl, because - and this is gonna tie into... and I'm glad you are more in depth with the mental illness and how it all ties in so we can get into, like, deeper conversations with it, so I always, like again, identify with Axl and whatever his persona was at the time and is now, but what was it like meeting him for the first time? I know you were warned about the band but was there any warning about him specifically that you got?

AN: Superficially and initially I thought he'd be the least of my problems because he presented in a very reserved and very polite manner, whereas when I first... when I went to my first band meeting only Izzy and Slash were there and Izzy nodded out at the table which left me and Slash. And Duff was a raging alcoholic and Steven was, you know, an alcoholic. I thought Axl is going to be the least least of my problems, that the behavior and the indulgence of the others is going to be far more significant to deal with.

Brando: What were some of your, the best memories of starting? I mean, getting past all the, you know, you just had your kid and the stress of it, like, when did it, I guess, click be like, you know, "Maybe I do have something here and I'm not just taking a chance," like, "oh, I have nothing to lose if I, you know, improve this band by 5%," you know, "I am a winner," but was there a moment where it clicked for you perhaps at the beginning that you can reflect on a positive moment?

AN: I thought we made a really good record. Watching Thompson and Barbiero mix manually instead of using an automated board was magical. They were in a form of dance, it was wonderful to watch two people connect to making rock and roll in such a physical way instead of just sitting there and, you know, programming a fader. They did everything manually and that was tremendous. But to be perfectly honest, Brandon, once the record was made I knew that we were going to have a nightmare of a time getting any AOR radio play. My viewpoint on this is, "I'm going to have to go through England and we're going to have to go through touring, and good luck keeping this band touring." My hope was that it might, if we got lucky and if we did some good work, that we might get to a point where it may eventually go gold. That I thought it would be one of the coolest underground rock and roll bands around. I had no idea, no vision, no perception, that it would become the best-selling debut rock and roll record of all time, and if anybody says that they do believe that, and I know that, you know, god bless, I love Zoots to death, he claims it, I think Axl claims it. No, let's be honest, let's go back to the day and go my god we were wondering if we could get through a 10-week tour back then, the odds were that when we went out with The Cult that they'd come back with their tails between their legs looking for their dealers within about 10 days, you know. I remember really clearly in the Hell House before we went to England for the first time and I was on one side of the room and the entire band were on the other side of the room around a really ratty disgusting stinking couch, and I was explaining to them what to expect in travel and circumstance when we went over there, and one of them looked at me and said, "Niv, do you think we can do this?" to which I replied, "That's why I'm fucking here."

Brando: This sounds so much like Spinal Tap in you're the manager just trying to get shit done. I mean, I'm sure you've had many Spinal Tap moments in your career, I can only imagine.

AN: Actually I resent that.

Brando: Do you?

AN: Oh absolutely.

Brando: Oh, forgive me, I'm an asshole.

AN: I don't think we're Spinal Tap in any way, I have seen-

Brando: I'm not saying you're Spinal Tap, I'm just saying there's certain moments but talking with the band and the manager that are Spinal Tap. I know you're not [?], that part of the movie.

AN: That said, Great White did get lost under the circular stage of the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool.

[laughs]

Brando: There you go.

[laughs]

Brando: The sharks, I don't know, maybe they're not the best of swimmers or they don't want the best sense of direction, I guess.

AN: Sharks go after blood in the water, Jack Russell went after chemicals in the water.

Brando: Now I'm sure that's not the first time you said that either, that's so funny.

AN: Actually, that is the first time I've said that.

Brando: Oh well, it came off too easily so I assumed...

AN: I'm almost awake now, I'm almost lucid, my second cup of coffee just hit.

Brando: Right on, right on. So let me ask when the tours that they know that you would come home from, I got some questions about specific tours and, you know, if anyone remembers any of them, it's not just with you. That's why I think it's hilarious that Adler said he's coming out with the second book about what friends remember that he did that he doesn't remember, I just think it's fucking hilarious. First one, I got this is from Johan who was on also Facebook, from Rhode Island, "Ask Alan about the GN'R Maiden tour."

AN: [laughs]

Brando: That says it all. So any memories of the... because I know Bruce Dickinson doesn't really like Axl, right? Or is it mutual?

AN: Here was my situation, from a simple professional, pragmatic point of view we needed to be on tour to keep the record supported, to keep Geffen focused on the record, to keep the record moving, and we'd been through the problem in Phoenix which cost us supporting AC/DC and David Lee Roth walked away from us, and the only person who had a tour going out at that moment was Rod Smallwood. And I called Rod up and asked him if he'd be so kind as to think about taking Guns out and he very kindly said he would. And believe you me, most managers and bands looked at Guns N' Roses and went, [ironically] "Yeah, we'll take those cowboys out," you know? "God knows what's going to happen." But Rod very kindly said the band could go out on tour with Maiden. And it was also a relief to me because when I had the band on a tour bus it was easier to wrangle the cats and keep the dealers away. You knew where they were and you could keep them moving so you had a better chance of mitigating certain destructive indulgences. But I knew we were in trouble when the very first show I get a phone call from Izzy and he's going, "Niv, what the fuck!" and I'm going, "What's up, Izzy? What's happened now?" He goes, "We just did soundcheck, man, and there are all these cardboard icebergs on the stage - what the fuck is this?" And at that moment I knew we had a match made in hell and it probably wasn't going to last long. And Axl came down with a really bad throat condition which very fortunately didn't last very long.

Brando: I can read between the lines there so I get there were not maybe... they didn't even see Eddie, he had a problem with the iceberg that's...

AN: My god, you know, had he seen Eddie straightaway we probably wouldn't have got one show done.

Brando: That's crazy to me, I mean, like, Eddie's so iconic and, I mean, I know GN'R even now they're not the kind of band with a lot of stage stuff, I mean, other than pyro - they turned off to, you know, people like bands like GWAR or, you know, I'm just trying to think of bands that really do big productions. You know, they may think differently now but back then.... I don't know, I just find it interesting.

AN: There's a different form of authenticity to GN'R music and it's a little more fundamental and a little more to the point. But that left me with no tour to go on whatsoever at a critical moment in the development of the record and there was only one tour left and that was the Aerosmith tour and I went to - they were fortunately on Geffen, thank God - and I went to Eddie Rosenblatt and told him that he had to deliver that tour for us and basically bully Tim Collins into putting us on the bill. Tim Collins just had them all go through rehab, the Aerosmith environment was incredibly clean, there was this, you know, none of that, and the idea of GN'R being on that bill... I mean, David Geffen must have really pushed Tim Collins arm right up between his shoulder blades.

Brando: Another question we got and this is, you know, going along the theme of tours, but were you on the tour in '89 with the Rolling Stone shows? This is coming from Layla de Sousa [?], I can't pronounce the name it's at la.... whatever, it's a Twitter name, I asked you your question, you'll know who you are.

AN: So what is the question?

Brando: He wants to know if you were managing when everything went down, you know, at the Rolling Stone shows, if there is any insight and how things went down?

AN: Oh absolutely. We were off with the entire tour and it might sound like a large sum of money that we were offered for opening, but from my point of view, at this point, I felt my band were a bonafide touring band and closing band in their own right at that stage, and I was not that overwhelmed of the idea that we would help Mick Jagger get richer at our expense. And Mick's always had a propensity to take the young or the new glittering act out to boost the Rolling Stones profile. Now bear in mind that I am a dyed-in-the-wool Rolling Stones fan, I will love Keith Richards for the passion, and for me on a personal level just to be in a position where a band I'm working with gets offered a tour, ordinarily we would have been just unimaginable, just too fantastic. But when I applied my due diligence I didn't think it was a very good idea. And on top of that the condition of two of the members of the band was such I was genuinely concerned that they might not last the entire tour and I'm not going to risk anybody's life for a tour.

Brando: Was that so it... was that agreed upon then when you would say, it was your decision to not do the entire tour?

AN: No, it was my decision. You know, both Slash and Izzy, especially, "Well, come on, Niv, we got to tour with the Rolling Stones!" and I went, "No, we're not going to do it." And interestingly enough we got an another phone call from Jagger's office a little later, they wanted to know if we would play four shows at the LA Coliseum. So again I did a little bit of due diligence because this seemed doable, it was our home town, I didn't have to take anybody on the road, it was only four shows over a period of five days. But I did a bit of due diligence there and I found that holding four nights at the LA Coliseum even for the Rolling Stones back then was a little bit ambitious. They could probably do two without much problem but to do four they needed some extra sizzle and obviously Guns N' Roses at that point was the loudest sizzle in rock and roll. So I went back and said, "Yeah, we'll do the four but it's for a million dollars." And our agent, Bill Olsen, at the time, a very dry intellect, made the comment to me on the phone, "That's rather extravagant, would have to see what Mr. Jagger says," but that's what they agreed to pay the band. And the interesting thing to me was we cleared about the same amount of money as if we'd done the whole tour of what they initially offered us. So fiscally we came out even in the end.

Brando: [?] making any money, that's something I think, you wouldn't think that.

AN: Oh, getting paid a million dollars for four shows in your own hometown, I mean, we had no buses, we only had the crew for a few days, I mean, you know, it was almost all profit. Whereas what they were gonna pay us to open would have amounted... had we been able to get through the entire tour we might have cleared three quarters of a mill.

Brando: And that's your job, obviously, yeah, so that is fascinating.

AN: Yeah, and, you know, I'll say something about about Axl and, again, this is a novel observation but it's come in the moment, this I will say about Axl, I mean, it's no secret that for some reason he detests me and obviously I think he was poisoned and I obviously have an idea of who that that poisoner was, but the one thing I'll say about my relationship with Axl is it's authentic, I might be the only person on the planet who wouldn't blow smoke up his ass.

Brando: You would think you would want that, I mean, that's is not what I want and again only what you can answer, why do you think that is he detests you or the poisoning thing, why... because nowadays how fans are, our perception is he seems to be in a good place, you know, so it could be he was poisoned back when you were around him. So if you could just elaborate on that, if you could.

AN: Well, I mean, it's really simple, isn't it? I don't have to mention names, I mean, mama said if you can't say anything nice about [?], don't say it. But, you know, you have to look at who took over and what their role was at the time. But what I would say is that I am genuinely awed by the workload that Axl has taken on both in the fact that the tour lasted for 18 months and the fact that he ended up performing for over three hours. Nobody saw that coming, absolutely nobody saw that coming. And you have to take your hat off to him individually for that workload. I mean, the guy's in his fifties and he's out there singing for three hours. I mean, you know, that kicks Pavarotti in the ass.

Brando: Yeah, I don't know, we've discussed that, too, the only other person I can think of that's doing anything close to that is Springsteen but he doesn't put the same amount of energy into the shows as Axl. And you know, the band breaks, it's just, it's different. And it is quite fascinating. I guess, well, that led to one of the questions that was and maybe this is what you were alluding to in the change of management, so this is from one of our good listeners in Ireland, this is from Mr. Mac, he goes, "Five years to get GN'R from clubs and bars and Wembley then Goldstein takes over and it takes three four years for it to crumble," so if you have a comment on that,  if you want to comment, that was one of the questions that we got.

AN: My only observation on that is it didn't take three years to crumble, it took three months. Three months after I was gone. Izzy was gone. And in point of fact, I had to.... I was actually in Switzerland at the time and I look at my phone and I go, "Why is Izzy calling me?" and he was telling me that he had had enough, there had been some major frack arm [?] problem in Germany and it had freaked him out entirely and he was done with it all. And they still had their first show at Wembley coming up and I had to talk him into going to the Wembley gig. In fact I rented him a suite at the hotel nearest to the venue and told him, "Look, just tell somebody on the crew to call you if Axl's there and then you can go down and be a part of the gig and play, but, you know, you cannot walk away from this gig, it will have a detrimental effect not just on the band but on you as well, so you have to see it through, see  this Wembley gig through." But he was done after that Wembley gig. And again I'm going to reiterate this, I had no idea that Izzy was going to jump and I had no idea that he was going to jump that fast, but for me once Izzy was gone that is a major, major, major, major element of the band gone. And, you know, from there on it's just a matter of time as it all falls apart. So well done, Doug.

Brando: Well, I hope to get a Doug on the show at some point and get his version of it, of course, but, I mean, you see it, I mean, when you were there the upswing and of course there could be many variables to what the downswing, so I just wanted to get your viewpoint on it. Of course a lot of questions but I'll narrow down just to one person to give him credit since he's a loyal listener, Garret from Texas, he simply goes, "How is Izzy?" A lot of people just want to know so are you still in contact? Do you speak with Izzy Stradlin?

AN: I haven't spoken with Izzy for a while. He did come out and visit me in Arizona a few years back. He's been in a long-term relationship with a lovely French lady.

Brando: Oh-la-la!

AN: His obsession is surfing and mountain bikes. To my knowledge he's still really healthy and hopefully he's happy. I hear indirectly from him once in a blue moon through a mutual friend, but we don't we don't talk.

Brando: Okay, gotcha. Then this relates to just your thoughts on Izzy, I guess, this is coming from mygnrforum.com, username strangerinthistown, but they're from Germany, questions from everywhere, "Do you think that Izzy would be up for joining..." I know they... it's a loaded question and, you know, of course Izzy went on stage with Axl and it was, you know, with Bumblefoot, and yeah, Izzy went on with Velvet Revolver, and there's been a lot of dispute whether he would join the reunion, and the tweet that came out it was about money, so I don't want to get there right just now, but do you think that Izzy might be just up for joining? Maybe, like, the tour might be too much but just, like, to make new music again? Because it seemed like him and Axl were still friends and him and Slash were still friends, so as someone who at least has known him for a while, yes, you don't... you're not a snapchatting him every day and everything, but do you foresee anything in the future with Izzy in this band? Or Guns N' Roses, I should say.

AN: It's a hypothetical speculation-

Brando: Of course and it's just your viewpoint while I have you on and, again, you can say, "Hey," you know, "I don't have an opinion on it," you know, [?], life, I'd have no idea.

AN: My hypothetical speculation is that that moment came and went and they should have involved him in the last tour and I would think that Izzy is pretty angry that he wasn't treated with equality and wasn't a part of this tour. He did get as far as flying out and doing a sound check and then he left after the sound check, he didn't want to didn't want to have anything to do with it.

Brando: When was that?

AN: Last year. It was somewhere out in the Midwest somewhere when they were doing the stadiums-

Brando: And so just like a random show, like Adler, may have been Izzy-

AN: Yeah, and, you know, obviously had it gone well and everybody being happy and, you know, had there been a little bit of brotherhood, you know, I'm sure he would have stayed with it. But something must have really upset him because he left after the soundcheck and never turned up for another one or an appearance. And I would think that right now he's probably a little pissed off.

Brando: I can understand that. Another question, this is also from mygnrforum.com, from Greece, username Blackstar, you're quoted in Mick Wall's book as saying, "Erin Everly and Meegan," Slash's girlfriend, for those who don't know, "had a big part in bringing Axl and Slash back together, can you tell us more about that story? Is that actually information or just an opinion of yours?"

AN: It's not an opinion, it was a piece of information that I was given.

Brando: Okay. So, I mean, me-

AN: And that doesn't surprise me, it doesn't surprise me that the girls were able to put a little bit of oil on the water and bring Slash and Axe together, that doesn't surprise me at all.

Brando: This goes into the relationship things that we were talking about, you know, the relationships that you've had and what Izzy has now and how that helps you with mental health, and a lot of people were saying - and I've never met Slash, I don't know Perla, you know, the only connection I have I was lucky enough to interview his 15 year old kid London, so I don't know, but the divorce in how Meegan seems to be putting Slash in a certain mindset so that relationship seems to have affected, you know. Again, this is just speculation on the outside but you at least knowing these people to a degree kind of saying the same thing that the relationships is what fixed there's, you know, Slash's girlfriend fixed his... his real girlfriend fixed his work life or whatever that phrases is, you know.

AN: Yeah, I mean, Brandon, we all need at least one relationship that we can invest trust and ourselves into and, you know, and I'm just delighted that Slash and Meegan are back together after, you know... because Meegan was Slash's girlfriend for a while in '88 and she took one look around her and said, "I can't deal with this, it's too fucking crazy," and got out of it. But, you know, thank God they eventually got back together again because she's a wonderful person and obviously somebody that Slash can absolutely trust and be himself with. We all need somebody in our life that we feel accepts us for being who we are.

Brando: Do you think - because of course Erin is mentioned in this as well - do you think that's something Axl had was missing with him, because, you know, Duff's a family man, Slash is a family man, I mean, even within the band, like, not original members, I mean, Frank has kids, do you think that's something that's always eluded Axl, maybe that was something that hurt him for a while and maybe what would stop him from-

AN: Undoubtedly. I mean, obviously Axe has got some major family issues and I'm not going to go there because-

Brando: I don't want you to.

AN: - it's not appropriate. Family issues, you know, in some degree stemmed from his own family and to my knowledge he's never married and to my knowledge he's never been a father himself. Of course he's missed out on something essential in life. You know, whatever you think about Team Brazil the one thing you have to acknowledge is that they provided stability and family for him.

Brando: Right.

AN: I'm delighted that he has that from them. Are they the best managers in the world? No, I think Cliff and Peter are the best managers in the world, Bernstein and Mensch. But you have to have some sanity and you have to have some firm ground in the foundation of your home otherwise you're going to go off spinning and all of us involved with GN'R have got off spinning at one time or another. no you're out

Brando: No, you're right and again that's what drew me into this band and the characters within the band. And just getting your perspective as somebody who, you know, met them at the beginning - well, not the beginning but when they were making the name for themselves, finally, and, of course, you helped them out with that. Another question, kind of divert from something that's not "as deep", this is comes from Twitter, Xavier, he wants to know, "How many shows were professionally recorded during your tenure with the band? Any unseen Appetite or Lies gig collecting dust somewhere?" Anything that, you know, because GN'R fans love our bootlegs and unreleased material. So if you know of any we would love to know.

AN: Well I know Tommy Zutaut would love for the Marquee shows to be mixed and mastered properly and put out. One story that.... you know, we all make big mistakes in our lives and I'll never forget going into Geffen and being with Eddie Rosenblatt and saying, "We're playing the Roxy in a in a couple of weeks and it's going to be the last LA club show because then we're going out on tour with The Cult and this may well be our last LA club gig," and, "would you put up five grand so as I can get a truck and record it? And he turned me down and I sometimes sit there and try and extrapolate how many millions of dollars that would have generated for Geffen and Universal if they'd just come up with five grand at that moment. But I think the one recording that I know that Tommy would like just to see the light of day properly, is the stuff we recorded at the Marquee.

Brando: Anything from videos other than just shows? Because I was talking to Mitch off the air and he had to hop off the call just for a second, but there was something... and this has been a talk amongst GN'R fans this all the tour bus videos, like, there could be eventually a Behind the Scenes of GN'R that may be waiting in the wings at some point to be released. Do you know anything of that?

AN: To be honest, Brandon, it's so long ago my memory of that would be less than dependable.

Brando: That's fair answer, that's fair.

AN: The one thing that comes to mind is the It's So Easy video, which I think you can find online now. I mean, you know, there's nothing hidden, nothing is private in this world anymore.

Brando: You're right.

AN: But the It's So Easy video, I canned it because I thought it was going to have a really negative impact on Axe because of some of the scenes in it. And ironically when he went through his divorce there and he tried to find some masters for it so that he could can it, and her and her lawyer couldn't get a hold of it, but, you know, even that somehow is out there, you know, as a rough edit. And I think what you have to assume is in this day and age if there was any recording device anywhere it'll come bubbling up on the fucking Internet one way or another whether it should or not.

Brando: Yeah, just ask our president, you know, for everybody...you know, who would have thought that would have come out.

AN: Oh, I know.

Brando: To a much lesser extent of recording quality or whatever. Oh, just again, there are so many questions that I can't get to them all but I want to go back to focus more on you. And just so your post-GN'R life and everything that's been going on, I want to know more about Alan Niven today, you know, everything that happened after GN'R, you mentioned depression and whatever you're comfortable sharing. Cuz there I will say this could be I guess a segue, this was another just another question and things from my buddy Johann from Sweden, you're one of the places that you love, from mygnrforum, he goes, "Wants to know how you felt when you saw the band you once managed starting headlining all these stadium shows at the Use Your Illusion," and you alluded to some of it before that it was depressing and this is a understandable feeling to have.

AN: The fracture of the relationships, the sense of betrayal, the sense... and I eventually found that every major relationship in my life at that time involved a degree of betrayal. That put me in depression. In terms of what they've done in the last year and a half, to be perfectly honest I am absolutely thrilled for Slash. He's playing better than he's ever played in his life. He could definitely have become a rock and roll casualty at some point, especially after I was not managing him anymore. I mean, one of the things I'm proudest of is the fact that none of them died and that was a battle. And I'll give kudos to Goldstein there because he put an awful lot of effort into that with me, and was a very significant part of keeping people alive. So I'm thrilled that Slash is out there doing that. I mean, when he turned 49 he had a bit of a meltdown because, you know, as he said, "Mid-50s coming up," and I said to him, I said, "Listen and listen to me good, if I could get one decade back to relive it would be my 50s because that's the best balance between wisdom, body, heart, and soul that I've ever experienced," and I said, "your 50s are going to be the prime of your life." And here he is about now 52 and things couldn't be better.

Brando: [?] as a friend and instead of just [?]. That's a great thing to say, I'm glad that you said that. I had a nervous breakdown at 24.

[laughs]

Braindo: "Oh my god I'm gonna be in my mid 20 soon!" I know it's ridiculous.

AN: I will tell you, your 50s will be the prime of your life-

Brando: I'm not even 40 yet so pump the brakes a little bit [laughs]

AN: You've got things to look forward to good and I will suggest that you will probably look back on your 50s and go, "[?] pretty damn good," once you hit 60 it's all over. It starts falling apart.

[cut]

Brando: [...] there were some things that were interesting with the interview with Mitch and that being with Axl/DC.

AN: Yeah, the Axl/DC I'm ambivalent about. The older I get, Brandon, the more I see our existence as binary, black and white, male/female, good and bad, right and wrong, and I'm just not that comfortable that Axl will go and sing Highway To Hell because I don't think that is really who he is and I don't think that's really his soul and his spirit. I know why he's doing it, he's having fun and [?], but I think Axl has still got an awful lot to offer. He's a very smart and intelligent person and a very good writer and I would love for him to draw a line in the sand and say, "I am of the light."

Brando: It's interesting because - to refresh you - I know my audience knows my thoughts on it cuz when I first heard Axl was gonna be with AC/DC I'm like, "This doesn't make any sense, this is weird," and then I started watching the videos online. And when I got to interview Scott Ian he was the same way so it was interesting that he felt the same that I did. We were watching the videos online like, "Okay, this is this could work," and then going to... I went to go see them at Madison Square Garden and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen, and actually I didn't meet Scott Ian at that show, I saw him in the crowd with Charlie Benante and Daryl Dixon - Walking Dead coming back tonight, I'm gonna watch that! - but they were in the crowd and - sorry I got excited for a second - and Scott Ian and when I interviewed him saying, "That's the best AC/DC show he's ever seen." So it's interesting those perspectives, but with yours.... I mean, cuz Axl, he grew up on AC/DC, grew up on Elton John, you know, "Elton and Roses." And the other thing, and I know Mitch is back on the line, that I'm just curious about because you being a rock and roll manager and especially in the days of GN'R when they were really dangerous, but the devil imagery that you had an issue with, is that still a case? Cuz it's not like it's Deicide or Cannibal Corpse kind of imagery.

AN: Oh, I know, but I've got no time for that at all.

Brando: Sure, that's, you know, that's your feelings. It's fine, I mean, I'm just curious of it, it was just, surprised me.

AN: Yeah, I mean, you know, as I pointed out earlier I'm old and ancient and the back end of the hippy movement and it's interesting when people use the word "dangerous" of Guns N' Roses, no band is quote/unquote dangerous. A person who is dangerous is somebody with a pump-action shotgun in their hand and intent to use it.

Brando: Unfortunately, yes, man.

AN: You know, but I've obviously heard that comment made many times before, and I have to laugh because to me it's like, "Okay, so if a band is visceral and they have an intelligence as well and actually make you think about some things, that's dangerous?" because that to me is GN'R, an incredibly visceral band with a really smart intelligence in it. Well, if that's dangerous, guys, that's dangerous. But the thought provocation I would hope brings people to being in the end positive and of the light, and not dumbass and of the darkness. What did Young say, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness," and to me a great rock and roll band with a good spirit and a good heart is a lit candle.

Brando: I like that, I mean, I understand all of that thought process and I like what GN'R does, or did or does, what you're talking about the intelligence level. You know, that's why I do like that they are getting political a little bit online, some more involved like Del James or, you know, Richard Fortus makes a Facebook post, or it can be just as simple as Axl just says, "Fuck Nunez!" or, you know, same some shit about Jeff Sessions, so I mean, they're still involved. And that's why, I mean, I like AC/DC but they were never as intelligent of music as GN'R which is why I never.... I don't have an AC/DC podcast for that reason-

AN: Listen, when they're talking about AC/DC, I mean, first of all you have to distinguish and for me my affection for AC/DC is umbilically connected to Bon Scot because he had a wit about him, there was a sense of humor in what he did that I found appealing. The Young brothers on their own I don't find very appealing.

Brando: That's fair, and you in this country, for now, you are allowed to have your own....[laughs] that's cool. Have you-

AN: You know, I wonder, one of the bands I worked with is called The Angels who are very much heir group [?] of AC/DC in Australia. And the appeal to The Angels for me, they were visceral and they were guitar driven but they had Doc Neeson and Doc Neeson was a wild Irish poet with a magnificent heart and I loved him. I thought Doc Neeson was just one of the best people I ever knew. So I found The Angels far more appealing than the Young brothers.

Brando: Fair enough.

[cut]

Brando: Have you seen any of the new or do you want to see any of the new GN'R shows? Is that hard is that again an ex-girlfriend in your face or even, on a lesser level, when that live concert that they have with Bumblefoot that's on VH1 or MTV all the time, can you go back and watch GN'R whether it be post-you or current?

AN: It's not something that I've been obliged to react to at this point. Would I buy a ticket or a friend of mine bought a ticket, would I go and accept it? No, I wouldn't. If on the other hand I got an invitation from the band and they were kind enough to send a car to pick me up and bring me home, then I would graciously accept.

Brando: Alright, well I hope to start that bridge. I don't know why Axl detests you, you seem like a lovely man. I'll be your Meegan, I'll see what happens. My boobs aren't big, though.

AN: On that one I'll say, "Good luck!"

Brando: A boy can dream. Hey, if somebody from New Zealand/the UK can, you know, go on to manage GN'R, crazier things can happen.

[cut]
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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty Re: 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by Blackstar Fri Jun 30, 2023 3:49 am

Excerpts from Alternative Nation:
-----------------------------------------

Former Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven revealed in a new interview on Appetite for Distortion that Izzy Stradlin actually showed up to a soundcheck at a Not In This Lifetime tour show, but left before playing. Niven was asked if Izzy will ever return, and he doubted it. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“My hypothetical speculation is that moment came and went, and they should have involved him in the last tour. I would think that Izzy is pretty angry that he wasn’t treated with equality, and wasn’t a part of this tour. He did get as far as flying out and doing a soundcheck, and he left after a soundcheck, he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”

“It was last year, it was somewhere out in the midwest, when they were doing stadiums. Obviously had it gone well and everybody had been happy, and there had been a little bit of brotherhood, I’m sure he would have stayed with it. But something must have really upset him, because he left after the soundcheck, and never turned up for another one or an appearance. I would think right now he is probably a little pissed off.”

Niven also credited Erin Everly and Meegan Hodges for helping bring Axl Rose and Slash back together. Everly is Axl Rose’s ex, while Meegan is Slash’s current girlfriend.

"It’s not an opinion, it was a piece of information I was given, and that doesn’t surprise me that the girls were able to put a little bit of oil on the water and bring Slash and Axl together.”

https://www.alternativenation.net/izzy-stradlin-showed-up-guns-n-roses-reunion-show-something-really-upset-him/

----------------------

Alan Niven's information regarding Izzy probably stemmed from this story that was shared by a fan who attended the show in Nashville in 2016 (in a later interview Niven would say specifically that it happened at the show in Nashville):

https://www.a-4-d.com/t2695-2016-07-09-nissan-stadium-nashville-tn-usa#30651
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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty Re: 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jan 05, 2024 7:28 am

Finished translating this. I only did the GN'R parts, but it is always interesting to hear Alan Niven talk, he is witty and intelligent, so check out the whole part.

It seems to me he either held back on Axl a bit or had softened compared to previous interviews, or maybe the interview simply didn't go in a direction where it made sense for Alan to criticize Axl. In either way, it is full of interesting comments and observations.

And it is such a pleasant thing to transcribe Alan Niven talking compared to Brain. Brain is all over the place with long, twisting sentences full of quotes. Alan speaks concisely and precisely.
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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty Re: 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by ludurigan Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:42 am

Soulmonster wrote:Finished translating this. I only did the GN'R parts, but it is always interesting to hear Alan Niven talk, he is witty and intelligent, so check out the whole part.

It seems to me he either held back on Axl a bit or had softened compared to previous interviews, or maybe the interview simply didn't go in a direction where it made sense for Alan to criticize Axl. In either way, it is full of interesting comments and observations.

And it is such a pleasant thing to transcribe Alan Niven talking compared to Brain. Brain is all over the place with long, twisting sentences full of quotes. Alan speaks concisely and precisely.

The nonsense of firing Alan Niven...

Alan is capable of recognizing Axl greatness where and when it exists and manifestss and he is also capable of calling all of the Axl sad, pathetic bullshit behavior that damages the band and, ultimately, himself

After 30-plus years of following this band (the other day I cried listening to Sweet Child O' Mine) and reading interviews with all members and associates like Niven, it seems to me that

- Axl should know better

- Niven is indeed witty and intelligent!

- Niven is like that friend that always tells you the truth, that always tells you how it is, that refuses to sugarcoat the reality to please you

- Niven when managing Guns n' Roses was like a parent that refused to spoil its kid and made everything to keep the kid grounded in the real world. That other sad, sad guy Doug Goldstein, on the other hand, is like a parent that allows, enables the kid to be a complete asshole to everyone, because his kid is "always right".

- Firing a manager like Niven is almost as stupid as not realizing how absolutely crucial Izzy Stradlin is to Guns 'n Roses and not realizing that Guns n' Roses ceases to exist if Axl, Izzy or Slash are not in the band. If we are stupid enough to elect a "big three" then obviously Axl, Izzy and Slash are the "big three".

- Ow, yeah, Axl should know better!
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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty Re: 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by Blackstar Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:54 am

Soulmonster wrote:Finished translating this. I only did the GN'R parts, but it is always interesting to hear Alan Niven talk, he is witty and intelligent, so check out the whole part.

It seems to me he either held back on Axl a bit or had softened compared to previous interviews, or maybe the interview simply didn't go in a direction where it made sense for Alan to criticize Axl. In either way, it is full of interesting comments and observations.
Don't worry, Alan will go back to normal in the interviews that follow Very Happy
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2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven Empty Re: 2018.02.26 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Alan Niven

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:10 am

Blackstar wrote:
Soulmonster wrote:Finished translating this. I only did the GN'R parts, but it is always interesting to hear Alan Niven talk, he is witty and intelligent, so check out the whole part.

It seems to me he either held back on Axl a bit or had softened compared to previous interviews, or maybe the interview simply didn't go in a direction where it made sense for Alan to criticize Axl. In either way, it is full of interesting comments and observations.

Don't worry, Alan will go back to normal in the interviews that follow Very Happy

Hhahah Very Happy
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