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.

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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
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XX. Notes

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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:03 am

Blabbermouth, Sept. 13, 2011:
Guns N' Roses Guitarist Bumblefoot Releases 'Let Your Voice Be Heard' Single

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has released the eighth in a series of singles being made available digitally this year, a punk-metal anthem called "Let Your Voice Be Heard". The track is available in MP3 (320kps), AAC, and higher-quality formats FLAC, MP3 HD, Apple Lossless and WAV. An instrumental version of the song is available in these formats as well.

For guitarists, there's a Player Pack that has a transcription of the entire lead guitar track as a PDF file musical notation, TAB, fingers, picking, and helpful hints. Included with the transcription is a "Backing Track" mix and a "Boosted Lead Guitar" mix, in both WAV and MP3 formats.

The Producer Pack contains 48kHz/24-bit Stereo WAV files of the mix "stems" individual files of drums, bass, lead & rhythm guitars, lead vocals and backing vocals in a bundle that you can load into your multi-track software to play with levels, make your own mixes, and hear every nuance of each instrument's performance on its own track.
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/guns-n-roses-guitarist-bumblefoot-releases-let-your-voice-be-heard-single/
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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:07 am

Blabbermouth, Sept. 15, 2011:
The Compulsions Featuring Guns N' Roses Members: New Song Available For Free Download

New York-based rock band The Compulsions will release its first full-length studio album, "Beat The Devil", before the end of the year. The group's recording lineup consists of Rob Carlyle on lead vocal and guitar, Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses, Thin Lizzy) on guitar, Sami Yaffa (New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, Michael Monroe) on bass and Frank Ferrer (Guns N' Roses) on drums along with many of Carlyle's favorite local musicians; including long-revered blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters).

"Beat The Devil" track listing:

01. Hired Gun
02. I Just Wanna Play Guitar
03. Dirty Woman Blues
04. Yer Too Good For Me
05. Eat My Dust
06. Ea$y Money
07. Ya Never Got Me Down
08. She's So F****n' Sexy
09. I Was Right, You Were Wrong
10. Shut Yer Hole (feat. Hubert Sumlin)

"Ea$y Money" is available for free download at The Compulsions' Facebook page until October 15.
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/the-compulsions-featuring-guns-n-roses-members-new-song-available-for-free-download/
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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:11 am

Interview with Bret Michaels of Poison, Triple M (via Blabbermouth), Sept. 20, 2011:
Becko of Australia's Triple M radio station recently asked Poison singer Bret Michaels about his band's feud in the 1980s with Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses and whether it has continued to this day.

"Let me be very straight with that," Bret replied. "That was more of a feud in the media than it was in real life.

"Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue and Poison were rock bands that were really passionate about what they did. Without a doubt there's a certain amount of competition. You wanna go out there and put on the best show but that friendly competition is good.

"It helped to sell records back then. Guns N' Roses and Poison were touring, doing the same stadiums and both record labels Capitol and Geffen they'd go back and forth with these big publicity releases and then I would see the guys, I'd go to their shows and hang out with them and I'm thinking 'in the media we're fighting but in the real world we're friends.' 'Appetite For Destruction' is one of my Top 10 ever favorite records."
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/poison-singer-on-feud-with-guns-n-roses/
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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:25 am

Another interview with Sebastian Bach; QMI Agency/Blabbermouth, Oct. 7, 2011:
On the possibility of touring with Guns N' Roses again:

Bach: "I would play with Guns N' Roses anytime. And Axl is one of a kind. I was too young to ever see The Doors but when I see old footage of Jim Morrison on stage, Axl has that kind of danger thing going on when he steps up to the mic. He's pretty fascinating."

On his first meeting with Axl Rose back in 1989 when Skid Row was opening for Aerosmith at the L.A. Forum:

Bach: "Axl came down to do the song 'Train Kept A Rollin'' with Steven Tyler and he didn't know the words, and he came to my dressing room and he goes, 'Do you know the words to this?' and I go, 'Yes, I do!' So I sat down there with him. That was a crazy night."

On meeting Van Halen singer David Lee Roth:

Bach: "There was a knock on the door bang, bang, bang and he sticks his head in and goes, 'Sebastian?' And I go, 'Oh, my God! It's David Lee Roth.' And he sits next to me and I go 'Hey Dave, you want to roll up a joint?' And he goes 'Sebastian, you do the honours.' But then that night he took me and Axl to The Rainbow and Rick Rubin drove the car. And can I remember sitting next to Axl in the back seat of Rick Rubin's car throwing up going down Sunset Boulevard, and him holding my hair. I was puking out the door."
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/sebastian-bach-says-axl-rose-has-jim-morrison-style-danger-thing-going-on-when-he-performs/
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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:31 am

Interview with producer Tom Werman, Hit Channel, October 2011:
HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: October 2011. Hit Channel had the great honour to talk with a legendary record producer: Tom Werman. He was A&R man and producer in Epic Records for 12 years (1970-1982) when you signed artists like Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Boston and R.E.O Speedwagon and he has received more than 20 gold and platinum albums in his career.He produced classic albums for Ted Nugent (“Ted Nugent”, “Free-For-All”, “Cat Scratch Fever”, “Double Live Gonzo” and “Weekend Warriors”), Cheap Trick (“In Color”, “Heaven Tonight”, “Dream Police”),Blue Oyster Cult (“Mirrors”),Motley Crue (“Shout at The Devil”, “Theater of Pain”, “Girls,Girls,Girls”),Twisted Sister (“You Can’t Stop Rock N’Roll”, “Stay Hungry”), Molly Hatchet, L.A Guns, Stryper and Poison among others. He is owner of Stonover Farm, a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Lenox, Massachusetts. Read below the very interesting things he told us:

[...]

I’ve heard that your originally tried to produced Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Appetite For Destruction’ album but it was impossible for you to work with them. Which is the truth?

I was asked to go see them in rehearsal. Axl wasn’t there. I asked where their singer was. They replied “He doesn’t rehearse with us cause we’re too loud and he can’t hear himself”. So I said I needed to hear the vocals in order to evaluate the songs. I said I’d come back when Axl was with them.Shortly afterward, Duff McKagan told an interviewer in a rock magazine that I had “put my hands over my ears and walked out“. For some reason known only to him, he felt he had to put me down bymaking up his own version of the truth.
https://www.hit-channel.com/tom-werman-ted-nugentcheap-trickmotley-crueblue-oyster-cult-producer/2072
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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:36 am

Interview with Dregen (guitarist in The Hellacopters and Backyard Babies), Café Magazine, Oct. 24, 2011. He says he auditioned for GN'R (interview in Swedish):

https://www.cafe.se/dregen-avslojar-jag-provspelade-for-guns-n-roses/
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Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:42 am

Interview with Sammy Hagar, Attention Deficit Delirium, Oct. 26, 2011:
Sammy Hagar: I’ll Manage A Classic GN’R Reunion

By Bryan Reesman

Sammy Hagar knows a thing or two about reuniting with a famous band, so when he spoke recently with Attention Deficit Delirium, I asked him about his thoughts on a classic Guns N’ Roses line-up reunion. Over the years people have argued that it will never happen. I argue that money is always a good motivator, even if it just means select concert dates like Rage Against The Machine have done. And with GN’R recently being nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, one wonders if Axl and Slash can bury the hatchet if they get inducted, even to at least to acknowledge the accolade.

“They’ve proved it again and again and again that it ain’t [about] the money,” observed Hagar. “They just don’t get along because Axl goes out for a lot less money with his version of Guns N’ Roses, and Slash goes out for a lot less money with Velvet Revolver or by himself. The amount of money they could make if they got it all back together, made a great record and toured the world would probably be as much as the Rolling Stones [get], and for them not to do it, it obviously ain’t about the money. Because they could do it. I would manage them. I’d be their manager and make sure they got the right deal from all the promoters. They could be the biggest band in the world if they wanted to.”

That’s if they wanted to. (The ka-ching will need to ring loud enough.)
https://web.archive.org/web/20210215204807/http://www.bryanreesman.com/2011/10/26/sammy-hagar-ill-manage-a-classic-gnr-reunion/
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jan 28, 2022 5:27 am

If we are to believe Vicky Hamilton, Slash was in Black Sheep in 1984. Black Sheep played at Music Machine, together with Hollywood Rose and Stryper, when Axl and Chris Weber had a fallout. Vicky introduced Axl and Slash to each other after the show, and Slash subsequently joined Hollywood Rose.

If we are to believe Marc Canter, Slash was in Black Sheep in 1985. After Tracii didn't want to do the Hell tour, Izzy and Axl persuaded Slash to quit Black Sheep and instead join Guns N' Roses.

I believe Marc is right, and this is sort-of confirmed by Slash.

Any comments to this?
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Post by Blackstar Fri Jan 28, 2022 5:00 pm

Soulmonster wrote:If we are to believe Vicky Hamilton, Slash was in Black Sheep in 1984. Black Sheep played at Music Machine, together with Hollywood Rose and Stryper, when Axl and Chris Weber had a fallout. Vicky introduced Axl and Slash to each other after the show, and Slash subsequently joined Hollywood Rose.

If we are to believe Marc Canter, Slash was in Black Sheep in 1985. After Tracii didn't want to do the Hell tour, Izzy and Axl persuaded Slash to quit Black Sheep and instead join Guns N' Roses.

I believe Marc is right, and this is sort-of confirmed by Slash.

Any comments to this?
Yes, As far as when Slash was in Black Sheep, I believe Marc Canter, too. Vicky Hamilton seems to have things mixed up a bit.

As far as Tracii not wanting to do the Hell tour the accounts are conflicting (with Tracii denying it), so I'm not sure what happened there.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:22 am

Blackstar wrote:
Soulmonster wrote:If we are to believe Vicky Hamilton, Slash was in Black Sheep in 1984. Black Sheep played at Music Machine, together with Hollywood Rose and Stryper, when Axl and Chris Weber had a fallout. Vicky introduced Axl and Slash to each other after the show, and Slash subsequently joined Hollywood Rose.

If we are to believe Marc Canter, Slash was in Black Sheep in 1985. After Tracii didn't want to do the Hell tour, Izzy and Axl persuaded Slash to quit Black Sheep and instead join Guns N' Roses.

I believe Marc is right, and this is sort-of confirmed by Slash.

Any comments to this?

Yes, As far as when Slash was in Black Sheep, I believe Marc Canter, too. Vicky Hamilton seems to have things mixed up a bit.

Yes, I am inclined to trust Marc over Vicky. Still, there is something there that doesn't make sense.

Vicky says she introduced Slash and Axl after a Hollywood Rose show at Music Machine where HR opened for Stryper and Black Sheep (feat. Slash). Later, she adds that apparently Slash and Axl had met previously. Vicky was helping Izzy and Axl get gigs with HR at the time, and this was according to Vicky the second show she booked for the band. Weber talked about a show at Music Machine with HR (likely on May 10, 1994) where he got in a fight with Axl. It makes sort of sense that Vicky could have taken the opportunity to introduce Slash to Axl, knowing there was an issue between Axl and Weber and knowing Slash wanted out of Black Sheep. This was also around the time when Axl and Slash were about to meet, so if fits timing-wise.

It just doesn't make sense that Slash was in Black Sheep already in mid-1994. Or it has nothing to do with sense, it is just that Marc says that Slash's Black Sheep period came as the last thing before he joined GN'R, so in 1985. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find corroborating evidence confirming that Slash actually played in Black Sheep in 1985. So maybe Marc is wrong? But wouldn't Weber have mentioned they were opening for Stryper and Black Sheep, and not just Stryper? Black Sheep was a pretty big band at the time. Why only mention Stryper?

If Black Sheep didn't play that night, or Slash wasn't in Black Sheep at the time, what is Vicky talking about when she claims she introduced Axl and Slash? If it weren't after a Black Sheep show, what was the context of this introduction? Slash most likely was active with Road Crew before joining HR, and Vicky had nothing to do with RC, as far as I know. How did she even know Slash back in 1984? I think I need to reach out to Vicky about these things...

Maybe Marc can be of help, too.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 29, 2022 10:16 am

From Marc:

"Vicky is wrong. I told her this once before she even put together her book and explained to her that it was impossible but she is still going by that story."
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:58 pm

An interview of Bret Michaels (Blast, July 1989) where he mentions Guns N' Roses:

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Post by Blackstar Sun Feb 06, 2022 7:53 pm

Excerpts from a book that was released in 2011:

Mark Yarm, Everybody Loves Our Town: A History of Grunge; September 2011
(all quotes, except for three, are from original interviews for the book - the sources of the three quotes are noted)

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

CHARLIE RYAN (U-Men/Cat Butt/the Crows drummer): I was born and raised in Seattle, and grew up pretty much downtown. Bookmaking was the family business. My father was a bartender for years, and he was given this little business by someone who was retiring. Which afforded him a lifestyle of going out and dining and drinking on a nightly basis. Later on, in the ’80s, I started taking bets over the phone for him so he didn’t have to do anything except go collect the money. I met Tom at Roosevelt High School. We were all standing outside smoking pot all the time. Nobody went to class. It was a little hotbed of soon-to-become-punk activity: The Mentors went to school there, Duff McKagan was there, Chris Utting. I moved into this house in the U District with Tom Price and Rob Morgan. Rob had a lot of weird, punky bands—the Pudz, the Fishsticks—that he put together over the years. He was older and had this huge record collection. He was very influential on us. The entire idea of the band was Tom’s. We stole our name right off of this Pere Ubu bootleg called The U-Men. We weren’t working—we were playing records and drinking a lot and coming up with funny ideas. Tom said, “I think we should start a band, Charlie.” And I said, “Okay.” And he said, “You’ll be the drummer.” And I said, “But we don’t know how to play.” He goes, “That’s okay, we’ll learn.” I go, “Okay. We don’t have any equipment.” He goes, “Don’t worry about that.” Tom was very resourceful, and he would obtain things that we needed all the time. I’m not trying to imply that anything against the law happened, but things just got done, things appeared. I don’t know how he did it.

[…]

MARK ARM (Mudhoney singer/guitarist; Green River singer; Mr. Epp and the Calculations guitarist/singer; the Thrown Ups drummer): In the ’70s to mid-’80s, people didn’t stick around Seattle if they were tryin’ to get somewhere. Duff McKagan went to L.A. The Blackouts moved to Boston. The guys in the Tupperwares moved to L.A. and formed the Screamers. A lot of touring bands totally skipped Portland and Seattle because it was 14 hours north of San Francisco and 32 hours west of Minneapolis. People in the Northwest had to make up their own entertainment.

[…]

REGAN HAGAR (Malfunkshun/Brad/Satchel drummer): I grew up in Seattle in a neighborhood called Ravenna, and then in eighth grade we moved to Bainbridge. I was super-upset about leaving the city. So I’d save my lunch money Monday through Friday, and use it to take the ferry to Seattle. I got a job at the Showbox when I was probably 14. We didn’t get paid money, but we—there was a group of kids between 14 and 19—cleaned up and hung posters and tore tickets and behaved as security during the shows. Blaine Cook, who was in the band the Fartz, worked there.

BLAINE COOK (the Fartz/10 Minute Warning/the Accüsed singer): We did security, cleaned up, hung flyers, worked the door. We didn’t get paid, but you got to hang out and see the shows. Regan and I had a bit of a side business where we let people into sold-out shows, and the money would find its way into our pockets.

REGAN HAGAR: I think all the Fartz worked there. Also, Kyle Nixon, who was the singer of the band Solger, worked there. Duff McKagan was just another kid around. John Bigley was at the Showbox with us at the beginning. Bigley goes all the way back.

[…]

TOM NIEMEYER (the Accüsed/Gruntruck guitarist): The Metropolis kinda forced different social scenes into hanging with each other. Like Duff McKagan, all those cats. Duff was part of the leather-jacket-wearin’, spiky-haired real punks.

[…]

TOMIE O’NEIL (soundman; RKCNDY club co-owner/comanager): There were a bunch of legendary shows there [=at Gorilla Gardens]. Guns N’ Roses played in the small room. That night, we’re also havin’ a great Violent Violent Femmes show—maybe 400 or 500 people in there. And my friends were like, “Dude, you gotta go in the other room, there’s this metal band that’s just fuckin’ outta hand—and Duff ’s in it.” Duff had lived in Seattle and went, “Fuck you guys, I’m movin’ to L.A. and I’m gonna be the hugest fuckin’ rock star!” And I remember walking in the other room and goin’, “Man, these guys are fuckin’ great!”

DUFF MCKAGAN: We were horrible. We had a car with a trailer, which broke down in Bakersfield—that’s a long way from Seattle. So we hitchhiked with our guitars and used the Fastbacks’ gear. But it was great for me coming back to Seattle. That was our first real gig. Well, I think we played a gig the night before we left, at Madame Wong’s East or something, to three people. In Seattle, we played to 12. There’s been thousands that said they were at that gig, but actually there were 12, and four of them were the Fastbacks.

[…]

DANIEL HOUSE (Skin Yard/10 Minute Warning bassist; C/Z Records owner): My first band was Death of Marat, which I affectionately refer to as the worst band in Seattle. Not too long after, there was a three-piece band called Bam Bam, and I remember being really impressed by their drummer, a guy named Matt Cameron.

MATT CAMERON (Skin Yard/Soundgarden/Temple of the Dog/Pearl Jam/Hater drummer): I grew up in San Diego, and I started drumming when I was about nine years old. I started playing in rock bands when I was about 13, 14, just with the neighborhood kids. When I was 14, my neighbor John De Bello did this low-budget film that became a cult classic, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and he had me sing the song “Puberty Love” that killed the tomatoes at the end of the movie—my voice was so horrible that it just vaporized them. I moved to Seattle in 1983 with a friend of mine. I was 19 at the time and looking for a new adventure, and boy, did I ever find it.

DANIEL HOUSE (Skin Yard/10 Minute Warning bassist; C/Z Records owner): Matt didn’t stay very long with Bam Bam, but somehow I managed to find him. The guitar player was a guy named Tom Herring, who went by the moniker Nerm—I have no idea why. Together we created Feedback, which was a very cerebral, very mannered prog-rock instrumental three-piece. For a lot of that year I was actually in both Feedback and 10 Minute Warning, which is largely known as the band that Duff McKagan was in before he moved to L.A. When Duff quit, so did their bass player, so I joined playing bass.

JOHN CONTE (the Living/the Blunt Objects singer): Duff was the youngest of like eight in a Catholic family where every person is musical. He was the type of guy that you could shut in the room with a new instrument, and within 15 minutes he would’ve learned a song and come out and played it for you. Everywhere you went people would just come up to him because they knew his brothers and sisters, and he always had tons and tons of girls. I mean, just flocking to him, just to be around him.

DUFF MCKAGAN: When I was 14, a friend of mine who was a drummer and I formed a band with Chris Utting called the Vains—it was my first punk-rock band. My first gig ever was opening up for Black Flag at the Washington Hall in ’79. Later, the Fastbacks asked me to play drums because Kurt Bloch was initially playing the drums and he’s really a guitar player; Kim Warnick became my musical mentor. By ’82, I was playing drums with the Fartz, which was a hardcore band. I was in a million bands and really having fun, starting to tour down the West Coast and play Vancouver all the time. I was writing music with Paul Solger of the Fartz, and these songs were really dirgy and slow and weird and long. We got Greg Gilmore to come in and play drums and we got a different singer, Steve Verwolf, and that was 10 Minute Warning.

BRUCE PAVITT (Sub Pop Records cofounder): When I first moved to Seattle, I got a job in a yuppie restaurant called the Lake Union Cafe, working as a prep cook, and Duff was working as a baker’s assistant. I’d be chopping carrots, and he’d be next to me putting pecans on cakes. I very distinctly remember him saying, “I’m gonna move to L.A. and try to have a career as a musician.” It was indicative of just how impossible it was to make music a career in Seattle.

RICK FRIEL (Shadow singer/bassist): Duff and Mike McCready were really good friends. Mike, my brother Chris, and I were hanging out at my parents’ house, and Duff came by with this guy named Chris Utting, who went by Criss Crass, and Duff had his SG guitar over his shoulder. He was like, “I’m moving to L.A., and I wanted to say good-bye to you.” And we’re like, “No way! That’s so cool.” And he was like, “Yeah, I’m gonna go for it. I’m gonna drive down there and live in my car if I have to.” We were speechless. Somebody’s actually doing something. [note: Shadow was Mike McCready’s band before Pearl Jam]

DUFF MCKAGAN: I’ve heard people quote me as saying, “I’m gonna move to L.A. and become a rock star.” Then they add, “And he did.” Everybody says they knew me in 1984, when they actually didn’t. It wasn’t any of that. I wanted to be a musician, and the people I was playing with in Seattle, everybody was doing heroin, and I wasn’t. Heroin decimated 10 Minute Warning. A friend of mine who was strung out said, “Man, if you don’t get out now, it’s going to pass you by. You’re the guy, you’re our hope.”

JOHN CONTE (the Living/the Blunt Objects singer): Duff was a no-drug guy. Just beer and cigarettes or booze and cigarettes. And the Living even had an antidrug song called “No Thanks,” which he wrote. For a lot of us, when he gets introduced to the hardcore drug scene down in L.A., it was sort of like, Geez, Duff. Someone really worked on you. That was too bad.

DUFF MCKAGAN: Becoming a famous rock guy was never really my intention; I wanted to be in a band that felt amazing and go tour, because that’s what I do. It was between going to New York and L.A., and I had this old piece-of-shit car, and I knew it wouldn’t make it to New York.

DANIEL HOUSE (Skin Yard/10 Minute Warning bassist; C/Z Records owner): After 10 Minute Warning finally disintegrated, the drummer, Greg Gilmore, moved down to L.A. and moved in with Duff. And from what I understand, Greg actually had the opportunity to join Guns N’ Roses, but passed.

GREG GILMORE (Mother Love Bone/10 Minute Warning/the Living drummer): I had nothing else going on at that time, and Duff came to me one day and said, “We gotta get outta here.” We lived right in the middle of Hollywood, right behind the Chinese Theatre, and we were real close to the Musicians Institute. You’d see these guys walking up and down Hollywood Boulevard on their way to and from school with their guitars on, just playing because they are so dedicated to making it. They are fully regaled, fully groomed hair dudes. You never know when you’re going to be discovered. It could be standing right here on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, so be ready.

KURT BLOCH (Fastbacks/Young Fresh Fellows guitarist): One day I got a call from Duff in L.A. He’s like, “You should come down here and play with my new band. We need a guitar player, and there’s a Marshall stack here waiting for you.” The band was Guns N’ Roses, and they didn’t have a lead guitar player. I was like, “Ah, I don’t know if I want to go down to Los Angeles. I’d have to quit my job.” And he was like, “Come on, man, it’ll be great!” I could’ve gone down there and played with them. Whether I would’ve got the job or not, who knows?

GREG GILMORE: We met Slash and Steven Adler through an ad in The Recycler. Slash and I, just the two of us, went and jammed one evening, and that was cool. But by that time I was not really digging it. Those guys all drank quite a bit, and I did not really. I couldn’t hang. But the Guns N’ Roses that we all came to know was two years later. All those wild tales of debauchery and excess weren’t happening yet. I wasn’t asked to join Guns N’ Roses. Not explicitly, anyway. I remember being there when they were brainstorming about vocalists and Slash brings up his buddy Axl. But that’s the same time that I was already winding down there. There was just a lot of emphasis on the business of making it. Not that I had a problem with that. I just didn’t really get it. I came back up to Seattle for the holidays, and I decided that was it for me.

[…]

TRACEY ROWLAND (co-owner of Roscoe Louie/Graven Image galleries; Larry Reid’s wife – note: Larry Reid was U-Men manager): When the U-Men were in L.A. at the beginning of the tour, Larry couldn’t make it, so he talked me into going down—to keep ’em out of jail, I guess. So John’s girlfriend Val and I drove down in my 1964 Volkswagen Bug. The band’s bus was such a wreck that everywhere we went in L.A. during that week and a half, we went in this Bug. So the band, Mike T., Val, and me are all crammed into this Volkswagen Bug, and we pulled into this gas station to get gas, and we all piled out of this Volkswagen. And there’s Duff McKagan!

DUFF MCKAGAN: I was coming home from work, and I ran into them. I was living in a cockroach-infested single-room apartment. L.A. at the time was Quiet Riot, Ratt, some really terrible bands. In L.A., Guns N’ Roses was considered a punk-rock band. We were huddled in this corner of Hollywood, snapping viciously at any gig we could get.

JOHN BIGLEY (U-Men/the Crows singer):  Tom goes, “That’s fucking Duff!” There’s this fuckin’ wanker wearing a bullet belt, with his pants tucked into his cowboy boots. His hair is all teased out and long and crazy. You know, Hollywood butt-rocker guy. “Duff, what’s goin’ on? Look at you, man!” He goes, “Got this band goin’. It’s goin’ really well.” “What’s it called?” He sighs. “It’s the singer’s name …” He whispered it: “It’s called Guns N’ Roses.” Yeah, he was embarrassed. He used to be in a band called the Vains, man. Guns N’ Roses?! “The singer is calling himself Axl.” Guns N’ Roses. Axl. We’re all laughin’. “Wow, how magnificent!” I go, “That sounds like fuckin’ shit. Good luck with that, you freak.” But he was super good-natured about it. The band laughed about it for a couple of days. “Duff ’s doing metal!” Then, fuck, two years later: “Welcome to the jungle!”

[…]

CHRIS FRIEL (Shadow/Goodness drummer): I was 17 when Shadow moved to L.A. My parents have always been just incredibly supportive. They were into it 100 percent. Mike’s parents were not into it at all. They were right, my parents were probably the ones that were sort of crazy. Duff came to our very first show down there, which we played before we moved. We were in L.A. for well over a year. It was kind of humbling because we had come from Seattle, where we were a pretty big band, to down there, where you’re totally starting over and also really feeling like we didn’t fit in. We just really weren’t partiers. There was drugs, girls, all this stuff that you read about in the rock books. I think we were probably a little scared.

RICK FRIEL (Shadow singer/bassist): You’d be around people who were wasted all the time. You’d be at the Cathouse and see Slash get thrown down a flight of stairs. The whole thing was so foreign to us. But I loved everything about L.A. and Hollywood. I had this burning desire to make it, and I loved seeing all these shows and driving around seeing palm trees. I thought, I’m never moving home. We were basically living on Top Ramen and generic beer and pancake mix. I believed that it was gonna happen, but Mike and Chris were like, “We gotta move home.” I think Mike was getting frustrated with the life. He just started partying hard and getting wasted. It wasn’t our thing, so he was doing it on his own. I’d be tryin’ to write lyrics; my focus was completely on the band. We never discussed this with him, but it probably was a reaction to, What the hell’s happening to my body? ’Cause he didn’t know he had Crohn’s disease at the time—that’s when it kinda started.

[…]

COURTNEY LOVE: I moved to L.A., and I had about six months left ticking on my 25-year-old clock, so I was hurrying as fast as I could to put songs together and to put a band together. I became acquainted with the ins and outs of the grotesque L.A. scene: the Bordello and Taime Downe and girls named Marilyn that Axl bought pink Corvettes for. Just the Strip. Strip culture. I remember being in Portland once and looking at a “Love Buzz” seven-inch and a Cat Butt single. I still don’t like that Kurt’s wearing a Harley-Davidson shirt on the cover of “Love Buzz.” It was just so part of the Strip, and it signified to me that he was trying to fit in, like that guy Jason in his band who had long hair and was doin’ whatever the fuck he could to make it. I didn’t like that Kurt was wearing a Harley-Davidson shirt, so I bought the Cat Butt single instead.

[…]

DANNY GOLDBERG (Gold Mountain Entertainment founder/president; Nirvana/Hole manager; Atlantic Records president; Warner Bros. Records chairman/CEO): I remember when Nirvana played a headlining show in L.A. right after Nevermind came out. Eddie Rosenblatt, the president of Geffen Records, was there with Axl Rose. Guns N’ Roses was the biggest act on Geffen, and Nirvana were the second-biggest act. And he came up to me and said that Axl wanted to come by Nirvana’s dressing room. I knew Eddie was on the spot—he had to look empowered to his star—but I had a pretty good idea of what Kurt was gonna think. I told Kurt about it, and he just made a face. Kurt just didn’t like the idea of Axl. I said, “Look, man, why don’t you and I just duck out of the dressing room? You won’t have to talk to him because you won’t be there.” Kurt and I went and sat on the stairs, and I gave Eddie all the passes so at least he could walk Axl into the dressing room and maybe say hello to the other guys.

MARK KATES (Geffen Records/DGC head of alternative promotion): I went to the show at First Avenue in Minneapolis in October of ’91, which was amazing. One of the topics that night was them going on tour with Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, which I had been asked to bring up to them. They had a hard time taking it seriously. Nor should they have, really. It was a very preposterous idea.

BRYN BRIDENTHAL (Geffen Records publicity head) Axl wanted Nirvana to open for Guns because he, too, heard in the music something really, really special, and he wanted to do whatever he could to help, figuring they were this new young band and not realizing that they were at the front of a movement. He just didn’t understand why they didn’t want to, and Amy—his sister, who worked for him—called me one day and said, “Why won’t they take our help?” I said, “Because you represent everything that they’re against. You’re a big, successful, corporate million-dollar rock band. That’s the antithesis of Nirvana.” But Axl didn’t think of Guns in that way.

[…]

AARON JACOVES (A&M Records West Coast director of A&R): I’ll tell you what kicked Soundgarden into gear. It was when Axl, at the height of Guns N’ Roses’ career, started speaking about the group in interviews.  

SUSAN SILVER (Soundgarden manager; Chris Cornell’s ex-wife): After I got the call about the Guns N’ Roses tour, I went to where they were, at Stuart Hallerman’s studio, Avast! I remember walking in, I had a box of T-shirts, some new designs. And I was so excited. Oh, my God, I was so excited: “Hey, guys! I have something to tell you! We got an offer today … to go … on tour … WITH GUNS N’ ROSES!” They didn’t say a word. After about 30 seconds—it felt like an eternity—one of them said, “What’s in the box?”

BEN SHEPHERD (Soundgarden bassist): Our tour with Guns N’ Roses? Yeah, not my fault. I don’t like that kind of music—and don’t fuckin’ make something out of nothing by me saying that. They’re all really nice guys, don’t get me wrong. But still, let me finish. I’m a punk rocker, man. I like Black Flag and way more hardcore stuff. That kind of butt rock, I don’t like. I want nothing to do with that kind of world. I’m not a rock star, I don’t like rock stars, and I don’t want to be around them. That word rock star is really derogatory to me. There seems to be a malicious factor in calling someone that. It’s a put-down. The Guns N’ Roses tour was a full-on metal-circus extravaganza. It was insane. I never wanted to play stadiums. It’s so far removed from your fans and the feeling, and the sound is like crap. So there we are, getting exposed to all these butt rockers, the same kind of people who would try to beat me up when I was a punk rocker. So I had a massive animosity towards those fans.

MATT CAMERON (Soundgarden drummer): We were metal. We definitely had a metal edge. I’m proud of that fact. I always thought it was funny that all the P.C. punkers were completely dismissing us because we did one tour with Guns N’ Roses. The Guns N’ Roses tour was kind of a nightmare backstage, but it was sort of fun to be a part of it. It was an eye-opening lesson as far as how not to tour if you become successful. Like each guy had a bodyguard, and they were just completely wasted all the time. Axl would make the band wait an hour or two before they went on, so they always had to pay out these exorbitant late fees at the venues. One gig I remember, Axl was threatening to go out and actually break up the band onstage. There were a couple of occasions like that where we had to clear the fuck out because people were predicting a riot was going to happen.

CHRIS CORNELL: [Axl] was always hidden somewhere having a personal crisis—always. One time I was in the room when he was talking to his manager, Doug Goldstein, about wanting the Goodyear blimp for the show. I said this as a joke—even though it was true—that the Fuji blimp was the largest blimp in the world. Axl was like, “That’s it! It’s gonna be the Fuji blimp!” [Original source of quote: Rolling Stone, “Q&A: Chris Cornell,” July 28, 2005]

SLASH: February 1, 1992, was our last show with Soundgarden, at Compton Terrace, Arizona, and we decided to commemorate it with a little prank. We got ourselves a few inflatable sex dolls, and Matt and Duff and I took our clothes off and went onstage with them. Come to think of it, I was the only one of us completely naked. In any case, Soundgarden was touring the Badmotorfinger album, and they came from a place where there was no fun to be had while rocking, so they were mortified. They looked around and there we were screwing blow-up dolls all around them; I was drunk and I fell. I got separated from my doll, and at that point I was totally naked—it was a scene. [original source of quote: Slash’s autobiography, 2007]

SUSAN SILVER (Soundgarden manager; Chris Cornell’s ex-wife): It was Soundgarden’s nature to never be enthusiastic about anything, to the point where the Guns N’ Roses crew referred to them as Frowngarden.

BEN SHEPHERD (Soundgarden bassist): Why’d we get called Frowngarden? Because we weren’t party monsters. We weren’t motherfucking rock stars. We were not like that. We were there to play music. We weren’t there for the models and the cocaine. We were there to blow your doors off.

[…]

AMY FINNERTY (MTV director of music programming and talent relations): Earlier that day at the VMAs, we were sitting in a greenroom tent outside. Kurt was sitting next to me, Janet, Courtney, and Jackie Farry, my best friend and Frances’s nanny. Axl Rose was walking through the tent, and Courtney yelled out to him as a total joke, “Hey, Axl, do you want to be the godfather of our child?” Everyone cracked up.

JANET BILLIG (Hole manager): Axl Rose was with Stephanie Seymour. He turned to Kurt and said, “You tell your bitch to shut up!” And Kurt looked at Courtney and said, completely deadpan, “Shut up, bitch.” Hilarious. Then Stephanie said to Courtney, “Are you a model?” I think she was trying to be mean. Courtney was like, “Are you a brain surgeon?” We laughed and laughed and laughed for days.

AMY FINNERTY: Kurt looked at me, and he was like, “I feel scared, like seventh-grade-getting-beat-up-on-the-playground scared.”

BRYN BRIDENTHAL: Courtney and Axl spent so much time thinking about each other. Years later, when Axl was starting work on the album that would become Chinese Democracy, Jim Barber was A&Ring the project. And Axl at one point told me that Jim came to the studio and Axl felt Courtney Love energy coming off of him and made Jim leave. He couldn’t work with that energy in the room. What I found out later, and Axl didn’t know then, either, is that Barber had taken up with Courtney. They kept it a secret from me and the company. So for Axl to feel Courtney Love energy coming off Jim Barber’s forehead, not knowing that they had a relationship, was sort of like, Whooooo! It was just amazing. Axl would do those kinds of things all the time. This is going to sound ridiculous, but it’s true: He’s a very spiritual person. Jim’s work on the album ended shortly after the Courtney energy came off his forehead. Because Axl thought that Courtney was evil and that her evilness would impact on his record.

[…]

ANTON BROOKES (U.K. music publicist): I saw Kurt OD a couple of times. The worst one was in New York, when they played Roseland, in ’93. And Cali DeWitt, who used to look after Frances Bean, ran into the toilet and Courtney was screaming, and we went rushing into the room and Kurt was just laying in a heap on the floor, next to the toilet, with a syringe in his arm, blue, fuckin’ blue. Cali just smacked him in the solar plexus. He didn’t even think about it, he just did it. He just ran in and was in motion, and by the time he got to Kurt his fist was in his chest, and Kurt just came to. And then you’re trying to get him up and deal with the situation: get him walking, wash his face, get him conscious. After that, me and Kurt almost came to blows. I had said to Courtney something along the lines of, “He’s fucking turning into Axl Rose. Who does he think he is?” And Courtney told Kurt that to get me into trouble. What would you say to someone who has just OD’d on a substance called Body Bag? That’s what the little sachets of heroin he was using at the time had stenciled on them. After he OD’d, he was getting a massage and the masseur was finding these sachets everywhere. I was going discreetly next door and flushing them down the toilet. There must have been about 10 bags of it. Body Bag, how sick is that? I think I was within my right to accuse him of selling out a little bit, if you think about what Nirvana was supposed to be about and what they stood for; they did antirape benefits for Bosnia and stuff like that. Nirvana were supposedly right-on, weren’t they? They were the voice of a generation, the conscience of a generation. And for all intents and purposes, Kurt mutated into everything he was against. He became your attitudinal rock star, with the tantrums and the plush hotels and everything. And then, for all intents and purposes, Kurt was sucking corporation cock. Kurt took what I told Courtney really personally, and me and him got into an argument in Central Park, with a photographer about 50 yards away who was just about to do a photo session with the band. I could see the photographer out of the corner of my eye, and he’s checking his light meter and taking Polaroids of locations to show the band. And meanwhile, me and Kurt are having an argument, literally nose to nose; I’m a good foot taller than him, so I think he stood on a rock or something. Just screaming at each other. Calling each other every name under the sun. I told him, “You’ve become Axl Rose! You’ve become everything you set out to be against!” He was arguing he wasn’t like that. The look in Kurt’s eyes said he was probably gonna punch me. I’m thinking, Shit, that guy’s got his camera. And the photographer kept looking over at me. He was far enough away not to know we were arguing. There was a journalist nearby, too. We’re in the middle of Central Park, and I’m thinking, God, can you imagine if this ends up being in the press: ROCK STAR AND PUBLICIST IN PUNCH-UP? Oh, God, this is gonna be really embarrassing. So I just walked away. And then that evening backstage, I walked into a dressing room, and we sat down and talked and Kurt gave me a hug and kiss and apologized, and I apologized for saying what I said. Nirvana went from one extreme to the other within a few hours. That evening they played one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen.

[…]

DUFF MCKAGAN: I was flying from L.A. up to Seattle, to home. And I get on the plane and Kurt gets on the plane and sits next to me, and we took off and he and I started talking. He told me, “I just took off from Exodus.” We talked, y’know, we were drinking…. We got to Seattle, we went to baggage claim, and he was pretty down. And a friend of mine, this guy Eddie, met me at baggage claim in Seattle. Kurt and Eddie went out to have a smoke, and my friend Eddie came back in. I said, “Hey, man, maybe we should take him over to the house tonight.” … So Eddie went back out to get Kurt, and right at that moment his car had picked him up. And he was gone. [original source of quote: The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain, TV documentary, 2007]

[…]

BRYN BRIDENTHAL: I just jumped in, with Jim Merlis and Dennis Dennehy, and we handled it. We were the center that the media came to. I don’t think that I even looked up or peed or had a drink or anything until about 11 that night. The first thing I did when I got back to my hotel room was call Axl, because I was afraid of how the news [of Kurt Cobain’s suicide] might impact him. He was such an emotional roller coaster, I was afraid that Axl would hurt himself. He felt things really deeply, and he felt a real connection there, even though there was no connection from the other side. I think he had a lot of empathy for Kurt. I was on the phone with Axl until about 3 in the morning. Ultimately, it was okay, but I don’t remember what was said because I’d had so many hours and hours of those kinds of conversations with him. One time, I got off the phone with him and my teeth were chattering and I felt like I was energy inside his head. We were just talking on a level that wasn’t in the here and now, that was just pure energy—an out-of-body experience, except that my body acts like it’s freezing or something. It was just so intense.
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XX. Notes - Page 16 Empty Re: XX. Notes

Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 08, 2022 1:56 pm

Excerpts from another book that was released in 2011:

Craig Marks & Rob Tannenbaum, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution; ‎ Plume, October 27, 2011

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

Chapter 29
“HICKORY DICKORY DOCK, THIS BITCH WAS…”
BACKSTAGE AT THE VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS


[…]

TOM PETTY: I played the VMAs with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin from Guns N’ Roses—we did “Free Fallin’” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” I thought it was kind of a shaky performance. We didn’t get a lot of rehearsal time, because Cher was doing a big production number and there wasn’t much time for us. As we finished “Heartbreak Hotel” and walked offstage, Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe came running out of the wings and decked Izzy, hit him right in the face. Our sound guy, Jim Lenahan, was walking off the stage with us, and Lenahan was like, “I don’t even know this Izzy kid, but he’s with us,” so he decked Vince Neil. Izzy was getting a lot of black eyes those days. I think he already had a black eye before Vince hit him.

SEBASTIAN BACH: I was on the side of the stage when Vince punched Izzy. Vince’s gold bracelet flew off his wrist as he cracked Izzy. It was a big chunk of gold. Vince was huffing and puffing, and I was like, “Dude, I’ve got your bracelet.” He’s like, “You can have it, man.” In the day, if somebody said something bad about your band, you were obliged to punch him. It was considered totally appropriate.

ALAN NIVEN: Izzy and I were walking offstage when Vince came out of the darkness and whomped Izzy on the face, at which point I threw Vince to the floor and put my left hand around his throat. I cocked up my right arm to bury in his nose, and had a moment of lucidity where I looked at his rhinoplasty, said, “That’s too expensive,” and let him up. Then Axl ran all over the building, trying to find Mötley and extend the dialogue further. It was very timely that Nikki had jumped into a limo and fled the scene.

[…]

Chapter 38
“WE’VE ALWAYS LOVED GUNS N’ ROSES”
CHICKS AND A SNAKE, HEADBANGERS BALL, AND THE RETURN OF HARD ROCK


THERE WAS PLENTY OF IMITATION IN THE 1980s; WHAT was Whitesnake but a hugely successful Led Zeppelin tribute act? But many of the decade’s biggest stars were unique, sounded like no one else when they appeared, and were not predicted to be Next Big Things: Madonna, Prince, Beastie Boys, U2, Metallica, Dire Straits, Tracy Chapman—even Kenny G, who was unique in a bad way.

No one was a bigger underdog than Guns N’ Roses, five scuzzballs from LA whose caustic notion of hard rock had little to do with Poison or Bon Jovi. As with rap, MTV was afraid of the band. The network relented only under pressure from David Geffen, one of the titans of the record business, and eventually, Guns eventually became so prominent on MTV—in his memoir, guitarist Slash called MTV “a channel that helped us out, but that we didn’t care for”—that the network hired a new VJ mostly because he came recommended by the band.


JOHN CANNELLI (former MTV senior vice president of talent and artist relations): I was taking a ride through Central Park on my ten-speed, and I put the Guns N' Roses cassette on my Walkman. When I heard "Welcome to the Jungle," I almost fell off my bike.

SAM KAISER (MTV vice president of programming, 1986-1988): I had two right arms in the department. One was Rick Krim and the other was John Cannelli. John maybe had the best eyes and ears in the place. He was soft-spoken and dry, but he had a knack for picking stuff. When John spoke up, you listened. He brought us a video by Guns N' Roses, "Welcome to the Jungle," and I fell out of my chair.

NIGEL DICK: I was strictly known as a pop guy. But I was a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, Rory Gallagher, Bad Company, and Free, so getting to direct a Great White video was a breakthrough for me. And I was on my second Great White video when Alan Niven, their manager, said, “I’ve got this new band called Guns N’ Roses. They’re hugely difficult, they don’t want to work with anybody, nobody wants to work with them. Would you do their video?” I turned him down. A week later, Alan said, “Look, I can’t find anybody to do it. You have to do me a favor.” So I thought, What the heck, I’ll make some extra money. I shot the second Great White video on, say, a Thursday and Friday, and shot “Welcome to the Jungle” on Saturday and Sunday. I honestly preferred Great White’s music.

STEVEN ADLER, Guns N’ Roses: At the time, nobody wanted to have anything to do with us. They were afraid one of us was gonna die, or kill somebody. Even recording Appetite for Destruction, we had ten different producers who said, “No way, I already heard about those guys.” And then, of course, they all regretted it.

ALAN NIVEN: The budget that Geffen afforded for “Jungle” was insufficient for us to realize the storyboard we wanted, so we piggybacked it onto a Great White shoot, so we could have a four-day rental in equipment and staff.

NIGEL DICK: The video for “Welcome to the Jungle” was Alan Niven’s idea. He told me, “Axl will step off a bus, then he’ll be sitting in a chair watching TV, and there will be all this horrible footage on the TV.” The hardest part of a Guns N’ Roses video was waiting for Axl to show up. He was always late. You were always worried he’d have a tantrum and leave. After we did the close-up of him on a stage, he hid in the dressing room for two hours. He couldn’t handle the shiny boards and the lights and the bounce cards. It freaked him out.

ALAN NIVEN: Everything of worth in a video is stolen from somewhere, so I stole from some cool movies. Axl’s character is a corollary to Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, who comes to a city that’s a cauldron of false dreams. That plays beautifully into the scene from The Man Who Fell to Earth where David Bowie is in a motel out in the desert with a pile of TVs, trying to absorb information about the planet he’s landed on. Then there’s the scene from A Clockwork Orange, when Alex is made to watch all these violent images on TV.

STEVEN ADLER: Believe it or not, we couldn’t find any girls to be in the video. It was one night out of forever when no girls were around. So I called my roommate—her name was Julie, I couldn’t tell you her last name—and she’s the girl laying in bed with me while Axl watches the TVs. There was an X-rated part where I was making out with the girl, rubbing and licking her neck, her boobs were out and everything. When we went to Japan, I saw the video and they didn’t cut out that scene. It was so great!

TOM HUNTER (former vice president of music programming at MTV): When they submitted “Welcome to the Jungle,” we accepted it for Headbangers Ball, which was typically what we’d do with a video that extreme. Axl was twitching in an electric chair!

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: MTV wasn’t interested. Their response was “We’ll play it two times overnight and see how it goes.”

ALAN NIVEN: MTV didn’t give a damn. Didn’t care.

JOHN CANNELLI (former MTV senior vice president of talent and artist relations): There was controversy over how much to play “Welcome to the Jungle.” Our GM, Lee Masters, thought we were playing too much hard rock. Lee and Tom Hunter, the guys with radio backgrounds, were afraid of the video. Tom got some pressure from Geffen, so we put it on the overnights, and all of a sudden we started getting requests. Then we played it in the afternoon, and from there it went through the roof. And I became GNR’s guy at the network. We did one of Axl’s first MTV interviews at my apartment in Chelsea.

EDDIE ROSENBLATT (former CEO of Geffen Records): Geffen Records had sold a couple hundred thousand albums and MTV still wouldn’t play the video. I sent my weekly sales report on the album to Lee Masters, and I got on the phone and made him read it with me.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: The interesting thing nobody knows is that we’d been touring for a year and three months and had sold 150,000 units. Eddie Rosenblatt took Alan Niven to lunch and said, “Great first album, it’s time to record another one.” But Alan begged for the money to make the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” video.

ALAN NIVEN: I looked at Eddie with total disbelief and said, “What do you think might happen if we got MTV’s support?”

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: Axl was frustrated that “Jungle” wasn’t getting played. He and Cannelli were great friends, so he couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t play it. He knew that, in order to be one of the biggest bands in the world, they’d have to be played on MTV. Axl loved Cannelli. He didn’t care John was gay, that didn’t bother him at all.

GARY GERSH (music industry executive; signed Nirvana to Geffen): David Geffen and Eddie Rosenblatt didn’t spend much time listening to people bitch about what they weren’t getting done. We all courted MTV, from David on down. It was different at Geffen—we didn’t have a central video promotion person. It was like, “Get your fucking ass in there if you want your video played.”

TOM FRESTON (CEO of MTV Networks, 1987-2006): The programming group decided to put “Welcome to the Jungle” on Headbangers Ball for starters. Not in regular rotation. It was getting played a couple of times a week. David Geffen called me and said, “Every time you guys play this thing at 3 A.M., our sales light up. Please leave it on.” Normally, I would never tell the programming guys what to put into rotation. But this was David Geffen.

TOM HUNTER (former vice president of music programming at MTV): Freston called me and said we had to play “Welcome to the Jungle” in regular rotation. I said, “Have you seen the video?” He said, “One of the pieces of advice I got from Pittman was: When David Geffen calls, pay attention. And Geffen called me.”

ALAN NIVEN: I love the euphemistic quality of that statement. In other words, David is an incredibly powerful person, don’t piss him off.

TOM HUNTER (former vice president of music programming at MTV): If we added it into regular rotation, we’d get shit from other managers and labels whose hard rock videos we wouldn’t play. So I handwrote it into the programming log—that way, the add wouldn’t appear in trade magazines. I gave it two plays a day in regular rotation. It got an amazing number of calls right out of the box.

NIGEL DICK: On the second Guns N’ Roses video, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” all the girls from the Geffen office wanted to be in the video. There’s a scene with a guy on a dolly, pulling focus or something. He worked at MTV. Alan said we needed to put him in the video because he was part of the team that could make sure the video got played. There’d been two previous attempts to shoot “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” We had the location and the crew booked, but the band was unable to appear because they were “ill.” I was quite happy, because I got paid each time.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: Axl left some of the best of ’em waiting. He left the Rolling Stones waiting for a sound check. In late ’89, Niven took Axl to do a pay-per-view show in Atlantic City and he kept banging on Axl’s door. Axl said, “The longer you pound, the longer I’m gonna take.” Two hours later, Axl walks onstage and Mick Jagger is staring at him. And Keith Richards says, “I slept inside of a chandelier last night. What’s your excuse?”

JOHN CANNELLI (former MTV senior vice president of talent and artist relations): I’m in the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” video. I was there when they shot it, and they asked me to be in it. I’m like, “I can’t be in your video. People already accuse me of being on your payroll.” So they put me on a dolly and shot me so you can’t see my face.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is about Erin Everly, so it was important to Axl to have her in the video. He didn’t want to cause any shit with the rest of the guys by excluding their girlfriends: Angie, who was Izzy’s girlfriend; Mindy, who was married to Duff; and Cheryl Swiderski, Steven’s wife, are also in the video.

STEVEN ADLER: The girlfriends and wives, they didn’t demand to be in the video, but it was something that wasn’t said and had to be done. Everybody’s got a wife or a girlfriend in the video—except Izzy, who’s there with his dog. Or maybe that was his girlfriend.

NIGEL DICK: The idea for “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was simple. After the first couple of takes, I thought, God, this is awful. It’s so dull. Some execs from Geffen were standing behind me, going, “This is so fucking cool.” I’m thinking, I’m shooting a bunch of guys playing guitar. What’s special about this? But for whatever reason, people thought it was the hottest thing in the world. There’s nothing remarkable about the video at all, except, of course, for the band. Which is exactly how it should be.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: MTV liked “Sweet Child O’ Mine” a lot. John Cannelli was on-site, which he seemed to be for most of our videos in the early days. He said, “It’s a great video, Doug. We’re going to play it.” And the label relaunched “Jungle” after that. So they had two songs being played regularly on MTV. And it just took off.

NIGEL DICK: Soon everyone at MTV was like, “Yeah, we’ve always loved Guns N’ Roses!”

ALAN NIVEN: On the first video, Axl didn’t have confidence in his ideas or how they could be applied. But once he’d done “Jungle,” now he was David Lean. For “Sweet Child,” he had an incredibly involved story line that he wanted to apply with his microscopic sense of myopic detail. So I asked Nigel Dick to give me a thumbnail budget, and he said it would be at least $250,000. I told Axl and said, “By the way, we’ve got $35,000.” Nigel came up with a brilliant idea. Anyone on the set who had a spare five minutes could grab a windup Bolex camera and shoot B-roll. He had one of his staff sit there all night long, loading the Bolexes with 16mm film. Then we did two different edits of the video, so when “Sweet Child” took off and the first video reached burnout stage, I dropped version number two to Cannelli and extended the life of the song at MTV. The first version was a mix of color and black-and-white, and the second was entirely black-and-white except for the final shot, when Axl fades into color.

JOHN CANNELLI (former MTV senior vice president of talent and artist relations): There was an element of danger with Guns N’ Roses. They seemed fragile; there always seemed to be a crisis. But God, when you saw them perform…I booked them for a concert called Live at the Ritz, and the show was amazing.

STEVE BACKER (former promotion executive for Epic Records): Guns N’ Roses gave MTV a second wind. Dana Marshall produced a live show with Guns N’ Roses from the Ritz. I went to MTV and there must have been twenty people hunched into her office, just to watch her edit raw footage of Guns N’ Roses.

ALAN NIVEN: MTV had a conflicted relationship with mainstream America. They were club-dwelling, Manhattan-living aficionados who were more comfortable with music coming out of London than with what played in Peoria or Birmingham. They played hard rock only because they wanted to pay the bills.

NIGEL DICK: “Paradise City” was the biggest video I’d ever done. It cost $200,000, $45,000 of which was a payment to the unions at Giants Stadium. They got $45,000 for carrying a hundred camera cases thirty yards from a parking lot into the stadium.

ALAN NIVEN: We went from $35,000 to a $250,000 budget, shooting with six cameras at Giants Stadium in front of 77,000 people. I wanted to show the scale of the band’s phenomenon. I needed the audience. And Axl is resplendent in his brand-new white leather jacket.

PETER BARON (former video production executive for Arista Records and Geffen Records): There’s an “It’s So Easy” video we never released. It had Erin Everly, Axl’s wife, in bondage. She had a ball-gag in her mouth. It was a bad look for them.

STEVEN ADLER: I never saw that, but I’d like to. Erin was a fox.

RIKI RACHTMAN: Sometimes you can find it on YouTube. It was a great video, filmed at the Cathouse in black-and-white, with Erin shaking her butt. I have no idea why it wasn’t released. Maybe it was the ball-gag.

PETER BARON (former video production executive for Arista Records and Geffen Records): The first Guns N’ Roses video I commissioned was “Patience.” Alan Niven sort of codirected those early videos with Nigel Dick. Of course Axl showed up about seven hours late. And Izzy was screwed up. Coke was dripping out of his nose, but he didn’t realize it because his whole face was numb.

NIGEL DICK: Mostly what I remember about that video is a shitload of chicks and a snake.

ALAN NIVEN: Izzy, who was in the depths of a cocaine habit that was destroying him, sat in a dark corner while we were filming. When we looked at the footage, Nigel and I agreed to minimize Izzy in the video, because he looked wretched. He got sober not long thereafter, but that video represents the nadir of Izzy’s cocaine habit. There were other moments when Slash was in dire condition, and moments when Steven was in dire condition. Those were the three that had the biggest problems with excess.

STEVEN ADLER: I was sitting there rolling joints. That was my whole gig in that video: light incense and roll joints. As for Izzy, if you look at the cover of Rolling Stone when we were on it in 1988, he’s sitting on the ground, and if you look at his wrists, you can see the track marks. He was doing drugs longer than anybody, but he ended up getting it together better than anybody, and then he left the band because he got clean and couldn’t be around us.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: When you’re dealing with two heroin addicts, a cocaine addict, and a bipolar lead singer, every day is mayhem. Well, three heroin addicts, actually: Izzy, too. But Izzy cleaned up midway through the Appetite tour. Rehab wasn’t working for some of the other guys, so I decided to sit in a hotel room for two weeks with Steven and give him sleeping pills, and clean up his puke and excrement. We went to the Orange Tree Resort in Arizona, and Steven is doing good, he’s about four days clean and sleeping until 4 P.M. because of the pills. I decide to go golfing, and when I get back to the hotel, there’s four ambulances, two fire engines, about fifteen cop cars, and three hundred people standing in a circle. Slash is there, naked. And bleeding. He’d come in overnight, to bring Steven heroin, I think. I told my security guy, “Earl, go to my room and get my briefcase.” I used to carry between $30,000 and $50,000 at all times, just for situations like this. So I go, “Did anybody see anything here?” And a guy goes, “Yeah, I did.” So I walk away with him and he goes, “I saw him throw a maid to the ground.” I’m thinking, Okay, this is not good. I said, “I notice you got a little blood on your shirt. That’s, what, a $2,000 custom shirt?” He goes, “No, no.” I said, “Trust me, I know clothing. That’s a $2,000 shirt.” I bring out $2,000 and give it to him. “Think you’re okay going on with your day?” He said, “Yeah.” The cops are cracking up because they can see I’m paying people off. I grabbed the hotel manager and said, “Give the maid $1,000 and an apology from us, please. What about the damage to the hotel?” He goes, “I’d say it was $700.” I said, “So another $2,000 will take care of that. Do you feel like pressing charges?” He goes, “No.” This whole time, Steven is on his balcony, yelling at Slash: “You stupid heroin addict!” We got in the car as quick as we could and boogied. It probably cost $10,000, but I kept ’em out of jail.

[…]

ADAM CURRY (MTV VJ, 1987-1993): If I’m recognized in public now, it’s always about Headbangers Ball. Sure, we had to play Bon Jovi videos. But Saturday at midnight, for three hours, we’d play Metallica, Anthrax, Iron Maiden…It was a little niche when you could show crazy stuff, and I knew everyone was drinking beers and stoned. I would be on newsgroups, talking with fans. I always got asked, “Hey man, why are you playing Bon Jovi? This is our three hours.”

TOM HUNTER (former vice president of music programming at MTV): The real genius happened when Doug Herzog had some of his guys take a look at the show. They wanted to get a host who had credibility with the audience. We needed a tattooed guy who hung with bands. And poof! We got Riki Rachtman.

TONY DiSANTO (MTV producer): I worked on Adam’s daily afternoon show Full Tilt. Adam used to call me his “boot-lickin’ lackey.” I also worked with him when he hosted Headbangers Ball. He’d wear a blazer for Full Tilt, and when it was time to tape Headbangers, he’d take off the blazer and put on a leather motorcycle jacket. Adam was bummed when they brought Riki on board to do Headbangers. Adam and Riki never became friends.

ADAM CURRY (MTV VJ, 1987-1993): I loved Headbangers Ball so much, and I was destroyed when Riki Rachtman took my job. He did his audition with Axl Rose. I was gone within a second. I thought Riki was a douche bag, because I didn’t think he could do the job. He wasn’t a TV guy. I bumped into him years later at LAX. I was running a publicly listed company which I started. I had seven hundred employees; he was managing a porn star. I kinda felt good about that.

RIKI RACHTMAN: Put it this way, if you said “Riki Rachtman,” you thought Guns N’ Roses. If you said “Adam Curry,” you thought Bon Jovi. You wouldn’t picture Adam waking up in a gutter, but you knew I did. You wouldn’t picture Adam getting arrested, but I did. I was living the rock n’ roll lifestyle without ever picking up an instrument. I opened a club called the Cathouse in September 1986, a mile or two from the Sunset Strip in LA. I hate saying it, because I’m patting myself on the back, but it was the most important rock club of that era. Everyone played there: Guns N’ Roses, Faster Pussycat, Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains. I didn’t see Headbangers Ball, because the chances of me being home on a Saturday night were nil. On Saturday, we got hammered. I was with Guns N’ Roses when they got their record deal, all the way up to recording Appetite for Destruction, when all of a sudden they became the biggest rock band in the world. We’d see Adam Curry, and it didn’t make sense for him to be on Headbangers Ball. So Axl said, “Do you want to be a VJ on MTV? I’ll make a call.” I walked into my audition with Axl. Would I have gotten the VJ job without him? I doubt it. I had no TV experience—I had drinking experience, that’s all I had. I started hosting in January 1990—I wore a Motorhead shirt and a studded leather jacket with a blue circle for the Germs, because I wanted to hold on to my punk roots. I still don’t feel comfortable saying the word, but that show made me kind of famous. I never had any say in what we played, and there were many videos I hated that did not belong on Headbangers Ball: Bon Jovi, Winger, Warrant, Slaughter, Firehouse, all the pretty, long-haired boys. I mean, we were even playing their ballads.

[…]

Chapter 40
“EGO-FUCKING-MANIACS”
MICHAEL BAY, CHER, AND ALL 9:08 OF “NOVEMBER RAIN”


[…]

TONY DiSANTO (MTV producer): When Guns N’ Roses started getting some fame, we shot interviews with them at the Chelsea Hotel, and their energy was so I-don’t-give-a-fuck, so punk rock. When Use Your Illusion came out, the next set of interviews was with Kurt Loder in Axl’s beautiful LA backyard. His hair was blow-dried, his teeth were all perfect, and he looked like an angel. I was like, “Wow, they’ve sure changed.”

ANDY MORAHAN: Two of Axl’s favorite artists were Elton John and George Michael. Which was bizarre. As a matter of fact, he hated most other rock bands. If you spoke to him about Van Halen or Nirvana, he’d be spitting feathers, but when it came time to talk about Elton John, he’d go all misty-eyed. One of his favorite videos was George Michael’s “Father Figure,” and he wanted to make some big, epic narrative-driven videos.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: After Axl fired Alan Niven, I walked into Eddie Rosenblatt’s office at Geffen Records and said, “We’re gonna make an expensive video.” And he said, “Doug, we’re out of the video business with you. You pay for your own videos, and then you’ll own the rights to them.”

ALAN NIVEN: The videos that were done under my watch totaled something like $500,000, of which half went into “Paradise City.” I was told it cost $1.25 million to shoot “November Rain,” which to me is a preposterous waste of money.

STEVEN ADLER: I think that video would have been better if I was a part of it. But I’d been kicked out of the band for partying—and the biggest irony is, I was partying with the guys in the band.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: The videos caused tension. Axl would just not show up for a day of shooting, so it doubled the cost. He did that on every video. Everybody in the band was upset about it, and Slash was the only one who spoke up.

DAVE GROHL: When a musician starts to use the phrase “mini-movie” to describe a video, it’s time to quit. Some videos I enjoyed just because they were train wrecks, like “November Rain.” I looked forward to seeing that on TV because I didn’t need those nine minutes of my life anymore.

DANIEL PEARL: Axl was as unreliable a person as you could possibly imagine, but at the same time he was a good benefactor. I did three big videos with Andy Morahan for Guns N’ Roses—“Don’t Cry,” “November Rain,” and “Estranged”—and each one cost over a million dollars, God bless ’em.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: Oh fuck. To be honest, I blank on the Use Your Illusion videos, because they all seem like the same video to me.

ANDY MORAHAN: Axl had written a trilogy of videos based around a short story by his friend Del James. We made “Don’t Cry” the first video. Axl was undergoing regressive therapy, he’d gone through bouts of severe depression and wanting to blow his brains out, and his personal madness became part of the video’s story line. Izzy Stradlin had left the band, and the cracks were starting to appear—the trilogy was Axl’s way of saying, “I’m gonna take control here.” Before we started those videos, Use Your Illusion was up to about 8 or 9 million in sales. After those videos, it went up to 22 million. If I wanted to do a daylight scene, I’d have to keep the band up all night and shoot it first thing in the morning. They were like vampires. I had a day set aside for the graveyard scene. I had half of the LA County cemetery closed down, and a cortege and two hundred extras and four rain machines, and Axl didn’t show up until it was dark. That’s why the graveyard scene is at night.

PETER BARON (former video production executive for Arista Records and Geffen Records): Andy Morahan shot part of “Don’t Cry” on the top of the Transamerica Center in downtown LA. We had two helicopters. It was mayhem. We got in a lot of trouble from the city because we completely stalled traffic on a Friday night.

ANDY MORAHAN: Stephanie Seymour and Axl were lovey-dovey on the first video. Stephanie had no shame in cuddling up to Axl in front of me and saying, “Hey, why don’t you work with some really big Hollywood directors?” Thanks, Steph. Love you, too.

PETER BARON (former video production executive for Arista Records and Geffen Records): When the “Don’t Cry” shoot finally ended, I got on the freight elevator by myself to go down to my car. I press the button, and just as the doors start to close, who walks in but Axl and Stephanie Seymour. And they proceed to make out. I’m not going to say he was dry humping her, but he was dry humping her. He just did not care that there was someone else in the elevator. He was a rock star, and he was having a rock star moment.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: Their relationship was tumultuous. Axl loved that girl to death. I’d say Stephanie was the unstable one in that relationship. The first time I met her, she opened the door naked. She goes, “No, you can come in.” Sorry, gotta go.

ANDY MORAHAN: We couldn’t figure out what we were going to do with Slash in “November Rain.” I said to him, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you walked out of the church into a completely different environment?” And he said, “Yeah, let’s go to New Mexico and do that.” So we did. Weirdly enough, Anton Corbijn was staying in the same hotel as us in New Mexico. I’d known Anton for a while, and I invited him to come to the shoot. After about a half hour he said to me, “Andy, this is incredible. You’ve got five cameras, cranes, helicopter, this big crew. Is this the whole video?” I said, “No, it’s about twenty-seven seconds of it.” I’ve had calls from Sofia Coppola’s people over the years asking to buy the original storyboards from “November Rain.” All three songs—“Don’t Cry,” “November Rain,” and “Estranged”—are overblown power ballads. And all three videos are crazy. It was like Spinal Tap with money. I still don’t know to this day why, in “November Rain,” you see only half of Stephanie Seymour’s face in the coffin.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: Axl jumping off the oil tanker in “Estranged,” that’s got to be the most extravagant thing I’ve ever seen.

BILL BENNETT (record executive): I got a notice at work one day that Sunset Boulevard was going to be closed all afternoon for a video, and thought, “Who the fuck would close down Sunset?” Guns N’ Roses, that’s who, for “Estranged.” Their videos were late, bloated, and expensive. The band was so big, they did whatever they wanted.

ANDY MORAHAN: By the time we got to “Estranged,” Axl had split up with Stephanie Seymour, and he said, “I never want a girl in a video again. I’d rather go out with a dolphin.” Which is why I put dolphins all over the video. I’ve been asked by students about the metaphorical imagery in those videos, and I’m like, “Fuck if I know.”

[…]

Chapter 48
“A PEP RALLY GONE WRONG”
“SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT,” GRUNGE, AND THE HAIR METAL APOCALYPSE


[…]

COURTNEY LOVE: We’re sitting backstage at the VMAs. Everybody in the world is in this big tent, and there’s a Guns N’ Roses camp and there’s a Nirvana camp. Literally, our roadies and their roadies are getting in fights. We stayed in our trailer most of the time because Kurt was sick, but we got bored, probably because there weren’t any drugs to do, except coke, and we wouldn’t have noticed that. So Kurt and I wander out to the main trailer with Frances, and Axl Rose comes over and he looks nervous. Everyone was watching us. I said something to him, I can’t remember what, and he said to Kurt, “Get your bitch to shut up or I’ll take you to the pavement.” Kurt was holding Frances, and in a moment of pure brilliance he said to me, “Shut up, bitch,” in the most deadpan possible voice. The whole room laughed at Axl. It was like your worst Freudian nightmare of a whole room laughing at you. I knew it would be a story I’d be telling many years later. Then Stephanie Seymour thought she’d be clever, and said to me, “Aren’t you a model?” And I said, “No, aren’t you a nuclear physicist?” At that moment, the world was definitely on our side.

DOUG GOLDSTEIN: I’d love to straighten out the story about Axl and Kurt Cobain. Axl loved Kurt’s music, but Kurt used to say not very nice things about Axl. And Axl could never understand why. So we’re walking along, it’s me and Stephanie and Axl, and all of a sudden I hear this voice: “It’s Asshole Rose. It’s Asshole Rose.” It was Courtney. Axl said, “Fuck off,” and kept walking. She said, “Asshole. What are you doing, Asshole?” So finally, Axl was pissed off and he walked over to Kurt and said, “Look, if you can’t shut that bitch’s trap, maybe I should shut yours.” The instigator in this situation was Courtney.

GARY DELL’ABATE (producer of The Howard Stern Show since 1984): It looked like it was gonna get really ugly. Kurt never looked up from his food, he wanted no part of this. But Courtney was right in Axl’s face, holding her baby like a loaf of bread, and yelling “Fuck you.”

AMY FINNERTY (music programming executive at MTV, 1989-2000): Courtney was obviously trying to rile Axl. He said to Kurt, “You better get a handle on your woman.” So Kurt screamed at Courtney, “Woman! You better listen to me!” At which point we all cracked up. But when Axl walked away, Kurt quietly said, “Honestly, that was scary.”

DAVE GROHL: That was a really weird night. It felt like I was back in high school, and that’s one of the reasons I’d dropped out in the first place.

AMY FINNERTY (music programming executive at MTV, 1989-2000): After the show I went back to Nirvana’s trailer. As I got there, I saw Duff McKagan and a couple of the guys from the Guns N’ Roses camp rocking the trailer back and forth, trying to tip it over. They were trying to get back at Kurt for his comments. I started screaming at them, “The baby’s in there, the baby’s in there!” They stopped, but it was ugly for a second.

[…]

Chapter 53
“YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW I MISS IT”
FANS, STARS, STAFF, AND DETRACTORS REFLECT ON THE VIDEO AGE


[…]

STEVEN ADLER: Rock n’ roll ended after the ’80s. I see bands on TV nowadays, and I could swear it’s the same guy I just bought a Whopper from at Burger King. Nobody has a look, nobody really cares.
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XX. Notes - Page 16 Empty Re: XX. Notes

Post by Blackstar Sun Feb 13, 2022 12:46 am

Article about MTV (Greensboro News & Record, July 31, 1991, but originally published in the New York Times) with mention of GN'R and Welcome to the Jungle video:
10 YEARS OF MTV MUSIC TELEVISION\ CABLE NETWORK PUT ITS LABEL ON MUSIC OF THE '80S

BRUCE BRITT
New York Times News Service
Jul 31, 1991


What do you do for an encore after you've changed the world?

That's the question facing MTV executives as they celebrate the cable music network's 10th anniversary today. The New York-based network exerted a tremendous influence on culture in the 1980s, introducing superstars like Madonna, George Michael, Motley Crue and Guns N' Roses to the world.That alone would be enough to crow about, but star-making is only part of MTV's success. The network, which announced plans Tuesday to expand to three channels in mid-1993, went about its duties with unprecedented style, melding video clips with dazzling graphics and a nervy pace that influenced fashion, art, television and film.

That's no small feat, yet MTV executives have not scheduled any self-congratulatory programming, opting instead to concentrate their energies on the MTV Video Music Awards in September.

Anyone craving an MTV 10th anniversary retrospective will have to wait until November when ABC televises a gala celebration. MTV chief executive officer Tom Freston said the network's bigwigs decided against patting themselves on the back.

"I don't think our audience is really interested in looking back on our history," Freston said.

Yet despite MTV's suspiciously low profile, it's almost certain the network's 10th anniversary won't go unnoticed by the media. After all, MTV transformed culture in the 1980s in much the same way Elvis Presley and the Beatles changed pop in the '50s and '60s.

"Television and song have always been around," said Abbey Konowitch, MTV's senior vice president of music and talent. "All we did was use the technology to its extreme. We exposed acts through television in a great, orderly way. That had never been done before."

Konowitch likened MTV to a gallery, a museum where pop trend setters can display their work to a broad audience. Thanks to MTV, acts like Duran Duran, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, Joe Jackson and Simple Minds won the broader exposure they had labored years to achieve.

Armed with Rod Stewart videos\ MTV got its start seconds after midnight on Aug. 1, 1981, when the smugly prophetic "Video Killed the Radio Star" clip by the Buggles was broadcast.

The way Judy McGrath, MTV's senior vice president and creative director, remembers it: "We went on the air with like 15 Rod Stewart videos and 100 videos from everybody else. And that was basically the playlist."

At first MTV's impact was limited by the number of cable operators that hooked up to the 24-hour rock-music video service. But now the network has nearly 60 million subscribers in the United States alone.

But some record executives and upstart acts mutter that MTV has become as stodgy as radio. The network recently began lumping clips together in "blocks," each according to genre. Thus, MTV will show three rock-oriented clips, followed by three hit single clips, and so forth.

Some see the move as a means of segregation. But Konowitch said he thought blocks could be "revolutionary," a sort of sorting service for viewers.

"If they tune in to MTV and see LL Cool J, they know clips from some of their other favorite rappers are going to follow. We're just recognizing people who love top-40 music probably don't love hard-core rap. We're recognizing music is fragmented, while choosing not to eliminate anything."

Others, however, aren't impressed with MTV's programming.

Poison singer Bret Michaels said MTV wouldn't touch the band's first two videos, and that the network only began showing the clip for "Talk Dirty to Me" after radio picked up on it. "We've been very fortunate where MTV is concerned, but only because the fans demanded it," Michaels said.

Poison isn't the only act MTV was slow to discover.

Snubbing of "Billie Jean"

The network initially refused to show Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" video, reportedly because it deemed itself a "rock 'n' roll" network. MTV relented after Jackson's label, CBS, threatened to pull all its videos from the network.

MTV turned out to be instrumental in making Jackson's "Thriller" album the best-selling record of all time, as well as making the singer the world's most popular entertainer. Jackson's MTV-generated popularity, in turn, put the struggling network on the map.

In 1988 MTV proved it still hadn't quite learned its lesson.

According to MTV's Freston, Geffen Records founder David Geffen personally called him to urge the network to play a video by a new band named Guns N' Roses. The network, stung by viewer allegations that MTV was playing too much heavy-metal rock, initially passed on the band's premiere video, titled "Welcome to the Jungle."

After much prodding and pressure, the network played "Welcome to the Jungle" in the early morning. Response was so overwhelming that the clip eventually made it to prime time, where reaction became explosive. MTV helped make Guns N' Roses one of the biggest rock 'n' roll acts in the world.

Konowitch said the rules of programming a music-video network are far different now than when MTV had its debut. He said the network is being flooded with more videos than ever, and supply far outweighs demand.

"If a label happens to submit 10 videos to us that week, we're liable to only pick one," Konowitch said. "But then, the label is only going to (promote) one of them anyway. Our obligation is to our viewer, and we have to make sure that we are programming to their needs and reflecting what they want to hear, whether that's Amy Grant or Aerosmith."

Freston said expansion is the buzzword at MTV for the '90s. The network is already seen in Europe, Japan, Australia and Brazil, and has a worldwide reach of 201 million households on six continents.
https://greensboro.com/10-years-of-mtv-music-television-cable-network-put-its-label-on-music-of-the/article_0cff721c-1e5c-5dd9-a578-2979f1c4f1f4.html
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Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 21, 2022 10:29 pm

Interview with Nuno Bettencourt, Cifra Club, Nov. 3, 2011. At about 5:33 min. mark he mentions being asked to play in GN'R:



"For many years people asked me to play with many bands. I mean, many bands like Guns N' Roses, I mean lots of bands. And I always say no, because, you know, Extreme is my band."

According to a mygnrforum poster claiming having talked to Nuno, he was asked to replace Buckethead:

https://www.mygnrforum.com/topic/179261-nuno-bettencourt-was-asked-to-play-in-gnr/?do=findComment&comment=2919324
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Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 21, 2022 11:13 pm

Various interviews with Sebastian Bach.

The AU Review, Sept. 15, 2011:
That's the style called 'Bel Canto', if your readers want, they can Google that, get someone to teach them that style. But I also sing other things. I also sing like along to Journey and Judas Priest. I can remember I told Axl, I go: “Dude, sometimes I have to sing along to Journey to get my voice going up in that high-mid range, tenor”. He goes [in a spot-on Axl impersonation]: “Baz, if I had to sing to Journey records to get my voice going I'd quit the fucking music business” *laughs* But I was like: “O well!”.

[...]

I know who I am, even people who are my detractors can't deny that I have a very clear vision of what I do musically and stylistically. Like Axl said that to me, he goes: “Baz, even people who don't like you have to admit you're the real deal!” I was like: “I think there's a compliment in there somewhere!” *laughs*
https://web.archive.org/web/20110924130611/http://www.theaureview.com:80/interviews/sebastian-bach-new-jersey-usa

*

Sleaze Roxx, Sept. 7, 2011:
Sleaze Roxx: As you've mentioned, you maintained a relationship with Axl Rose for years now. If he comes calling would you do a North American tour with him?

Sebastian Bach: I'm sure there's a chance of it. I haven't received any word on that at this point, but he's taken me out so much that if he doesn't I'd be okay with it. I would love to play with him anytime. Who knows if it will happen? If it does it would be great.

Sleaze Roxx: When Slash and Duff McKagan were putting together Velvet Revolver did you audition for them to be in the band

Sebastian Bach: It wasn't an audition, I didn't walk in and sing some songs -- it wasn't like that. I worked with them for a month or a little over. The guys gave me five songs with no vocals so I wrote lyrics and melodies and then we went into the studio to record it. So you see it was a little more than an audition. I still have those songs on my iPod.

What happened was that I was in the play 'Jesus Christ Superstar', on a national tour, they were paying me and Velvet Revolver was not. I had to take care of my family so I went on the road with 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' They chose Scott Weiland, so they put their faith in a heroin addict. How did that work out for them? I would put my faith in a drug addict alright! (laughs) I might drink a little bit of wine, and on occasion stain my teeth, but that's it! Listen, if they had picked me we'd probably still be together right now. I'm a musician like them -- I'm not a junkie and not into that kind of thing. So they don't have a singer and I have a new album. Let's rock! (laughs)
https://web.archive.org/web/20150315033820/http://www.sleazeroxx.com/interviews/sebastianbach.shtml

*

Blogs N' Roses, Sept. 18, 2011:
BnR:  I see Guns N' Roses is touring, will you be opening up for them?

Bach:  I would love to do that. I would love to play on those shows. I don't know yet, we'll have to see what happens.
https://web.archive.org/web/20110920191237/http://blogsnroses.com/2011/09/18/exclusive-interview-with-legendary-sebastian-bach.aspx

*

Brave Words, Sept. 27, 2011:
GN’ R has announced a US tour that runs throughout October and November. Considering just how much Baz has played with Axl in the past, and the fact that Axl lent his vocals to Angel Down, an opening slot on this upcoming jaunt would seem more than likely. “Yes, I got a text last week. Nothing’s been confirmed, but I did get a text saying, we want you to play with us. I don’t know how many shows, so keep your fingers crossed.”
https://web.archive.org/web/20171128020140/http://bravewords.com/news/sebastian-bach-rock-n-roll-means-complete-freedom

*

Stay Thirsty, November 7, 2011:
THIRSTY: You know Guns n’ Roses play the same week that you do in New York, so I hope Axl is with you!

Sebastian Bach: I would love that! I would like to open for them. I’ve been texting him lately just the last couple of days, maybe we’ll do some shows with them.

THIRSTY: You’ve really maintained a close friendship with Axl throughout the years. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Sebastian Bach: Yeah, you know I always wondered why he’s so nice to me, like what does that say about me? (Laughs) But he’s great guy. He’s helped me out so much in my career. He sang on Angel Down and I sang on Chinese Democracy. And he just helps me out and I’m here for him. He’s a great friend.
https://web.archive.org/web/20210125200227/https://www.staythirstymedia.com/201111-063/html/201111-sebastian-bach.html

*

Finally, on Nov. 7, 2011, it was announced that Bach would open at three GN'R shows (Blabbermouth):
Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach and his solo band will support Guns N' Roses on the following shows:

Nov. 19 - Hartford, CT - Comcast Theatre
Nov. 20 - Wilkes-Barre, PA - Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Nov. 23 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/sebastian-bach-announces-three-shows-with-guns-n-roses/

*

The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show, Dec. 14, 2011:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE5Z3FmsM9w
Bach: I’m going on tour with Guns N’ Roses next week.

Blair: Wow!

Bach: New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, two nights. So that’ll be a lot of fun.

Blair: That’s right. You’re like bros with Axl.

Bach: Yes.

Bach: And a lot of people are very intimidated by Axl. What do you think makes your relationship different?

Bach: Because I just treat him like a normal person and a lot of people get freaked out when they’re in his presence, because he’s so mysterious. I mean, I kind of get freaked out, too. Like, he’s a very intense guy, but he’s so nice to me, and he helps me out, and he brings me on the road. And I love the guy. He’s a great guy.

Blair: I’m very thankful for that also that you’re gonna be getting that opportunity, because that is an amazing opportunity to play in front of that many people.

Bach: Yes, it is.

Blair: And also they just announced that Loaded, Duff McKagan’s band, is gonna be opening some shows for Guns N’ Roses. Now is that crazy or what?

Bach: It’s crazy. That is crazy.

Blair: Have you heard about that?

Bach: Well, I’m just happy that I’m playing with them.


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Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 21, 2022 11:16 pm

Interview with Tracii, Legendary Rock Interviews, Sept. 1, 2011:
Q: As you know, I think it’s ridiculous that folks like the guy who plays bass for Motley Crue or the gentleman who sings in Guns and Roses taking shots at you for having an ego problem. People that have known you over the years know the deal with how you treat fans. When all's said and done how can people honestly accuse you of doing things to “cash in” on associations or purely for ego? Do you just gotta put the blinders on and let some shit slide? Is it disheartening that people who should be considered mates feel the need to be a badass and lash out via the internet, years after the fact?

A: Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. once told me that I am a free spirit and that that scares certain types of people. That I have the ability to walk on any stage at any given time with a guitar and just start playing whereas a lot of these other cats put a lot of time and effort into perfecting their shtick. I don’t have a shtick, I am the shtick. That’s why shticky guys want to work with me so they can add the shtick I guess to the new shtick they are creating at that time.

Believe me, in the rock world to have Axl Rose and Nikki Sixx both who are notorious for their egos bash me verbally which also means they feel that I am a threat somehow to their egos is great because it reminds me that I am important enough to these people to go out of their way to say anything negative or positive about me. Thank you Axl and Thank you Nikki,,,, we created mayhem and great loud rock… At least I still appreciate it.
https://www.legendaryrockinterviews.com/2011/09/01/legendary-rock-interview-with-tracii-guns-of-l-a-guns/
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Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 21, 2022 11:39 pm

On Sept. 6, 2011 there was a strange tweet from Tommy (via HTGTH - the tweet was later deleted):

@tommy_stinson: I regretfully have to tell you guys my time with Gn'R is at an end. I had a blast!!

followed by this:

A little later (via HTGTH):

tommy_stinson: Fully dedicated to GNR and all you great fans!

And then:


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Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 21, 2022 11:48 pm

Bumblefoot twitter, Sept. 28, 2011:



There was another tweet in the series that was later deleted (via HTGTH):

Bumblefoot
Car accident - busted stuff in my neck, constant pressure on spine, constant pain... should NOT be touring, but I am. Until I can't. And then I won't. Suck it. OK, back to packing........

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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 2:26 am

Interviews with Zakk Wylde.

Music Radar, Nov. 9, 2011:
After Judas Priest, you're going on the road with Guns N' Roses.

"Yeah, that'll be amazing, too. I've been friends with Axl for a long time. He's the last of the great frontmen. Seriously, who else is there? You had Elvis and Mick Jagger, then you had Jim Morrison and Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Ronnie Van Zandt, and of course you can't forget about Ozzy, David Lee Roth… After all them, Axl came out, and it was like, Wow! The ultimate frontman, you know?

"You've gotta give it up for Axl. Amazing songs, amazing production - Appetite's one of the greatest records of all time. The guy's got the whole nine yards. As a frontman, nobody's come close to him since he busted out."

If you had your choice of a Guns N' Roses song you could play on stage with Axl, which would it be?

"Besides Get Down Tonight by KC And The Sunshine Band? [laughs] Tell me that wouldn't be brilliant. It'd rule the day if we did that. OK, if I had to pick one…I'd pick whatever Axl asked me to jam on. If it's a Guns N' Roses song, it'll be good. No worries there."
https://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/zakk-wylde-on-his-new-christmas-ep-touring-with-guns-n-roses-judas-priest-512264

*
Live-Metal, Dec. 9, 2011:
After this, in December, you’re playing some shows with Guns N’ Roses. I know you go back a long ways with Axl. Are you looking forward to that tour?

Yeah, catching up with the guys, and just having a laugh, laughing our balls off and just talking about goofy stuff. And getting up there and throwing down every night, and then getting a chance to watch Axl and the guys kick some ass. It’s just like the same thing with the Priest guys. We go up there and just watch the guys, and it’s awesome.

This happened a while ago and I’m sure you’ve talked about it a lot, but back in the mid-‘90s, you kind of jammed with Axl and the guys a little bit. What actually happened back then?

We were jamming stuff at the rehearsal place and at the complex. Nothing was really going on. I was playing with the boss at the same time, ‘cause we recorded Ozzmosis. Ozz was like, “Zakk, are you jamming with them? Eventually, I’m gonna have to know. We’re gonna start doing this tour.” I go, “Of course, I wouldn’t leave or do anything like that.” Ozz was like, “Zakk, I can’t blame you. If you wanna go jam with them, knock yourself out.” I’m like, “Of course, Ozz, I’m not gonna leave you hanging. Without you, I wouldn’t even be talking to the guys.” And without Ozzy, there’d be no Black Label. That’s just a fact. So the whole thing is, nothing was going on, and then Ozzy just got to the point where he was like, “Zakk, I gotta get another guitar player.” I’m like, “Ozz, I don’t blame you.” I’m like, I’m sitting around here, I don’t know whether we’re coming or going, or whether we’re gonna do this thing or not do this thing. So nothing was happening with the boss. That’s when Joe Holmes came in, and Joe’s a killer player. Joe came in, and then after that, nothing was happening. We were just sitting around. I had riffs laying around, and I was like, “Fuck it, I’ll just go do it myself.”

I gotta work, dude. It really doesn’t matter how much dough you have. You could be the richest dude on the planet. I still gotta wake up every day knowing I got something going on. What is my purpose for getting up? George Foreman said it. After he retired from fighting, he was sitting around, he said, “Now I can finally go fishing. And then, after a while, it’s like, ‘I really am tired of fishing.’” (laughs)

I’ve never gone on a vacation in my life ‘cause they’re boring. I’d go, “What am I doing here?” I’m not really a beach guy ‘cause with my white, pasty, Mick/Kraut skin, I’m a couple shades away from clear. Sitting out in the sun and getting sand up my ass is really not my idea of a good time. Whenever we go out on these things, it would just be me and you sitting at the bar. Barb and the kids would be out. That’s not my thing. It’s a 103 degrees out, and you want me to sit around and act like I’m having a good time? I’ll be at the bar with the air conditioning, chilling out, and I’ll be watching football. You can knock yourself out. I’ll go to the weight room, go back to the bar, then I’m gonna go jam on the guitar for a bit, and then I’m gonna go back to the bar, then I’m gonna go back, jam for a bit, then back to the bar, and then start all over again tomorrow. Knock yourself out. I could be doing this at the house. How much is this costing me? $8,000? I’m like, “Just remind me not to send me on any of these trips again. I could think of plenty of other things to do with $8,000 to $10,000.”
https://web.archive.org/web/20120110192840/http://www.live-metal.net/interviews_zakk-wylde-2011.html


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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 2:31 am

Interview with Keith Nelson of Buckcherry, Gibson.com, Nov. 30, 2011:
Buckcherry opened for Guns N’ Roses for select dates on their fall tour. How did that match-up come about?

I’m not really sure! We got offered the shows, and of course we jumped at the opportunity, and it was a phenomenal experience for us. It was a good time. I think a Guns N’ Roses, Buckcherry tour was a long time in the works. So, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do the shows.

What was your best memory from the trek?

I’ve got to tell you, there were a lot of good memories, but Axl Rose – before they went on stage and after we were done – got us all together and gave us really nice gifts for being a part of the tour and was really gracious. He was really sweet and nice. So, actually, meeting him and his generosity was probably the most memorable thing of that tour.

Why do you think the pairing of Guns N’ Roses and Buckcherry drew such buzz and anticipation?

I think it’s probably because we’re one of the few rock bands left – true rock ’n’ roll bands, as opposed to what seems to be the current the flavor. It’s obvious Guns N’ Roses was an influence on us. So, I think that has something to do with it. There were a lot of Les Pauls on stage. [Laughs]
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 2:42 am

Interview with Lonn B. Friend, Legendary Rock Interviews, Dec. 6, 2011:
LRI: Would Althea have been pleased with the ultimate product [=RIP Magazine]?

LF: Are you kidding me, she would have been thrilled. That first Guns and Roses cover, METAL’s NEW SUPERGROUP with Axl and Slash shot by Robert John after that theatre show. The fact that we could get a picture like that from a band like that in like 5 minutes is AMAZING. Those guys loathed doing photo shoots, they hated doing press and it was a real cool accomplishment for us. [...]

LRI: I have to ask you…. what do you think about all of these books coming out now by musicians? I realize it’s easier to sell a book these days than it is an album but many of them strike me as either totally fabricated or sensational save for the rare instance of the artist who actually writes them without using a ghost writer.

LF: I have to say I don’t read them John (laughs). I love Slash and consider him a beloved friend, a guy who signed a guitar for me recently when I needed it to sell it….. but his book….from what everyone has told me is entertaining but not very well written. To me, he is such a great and REAL guy so it sucks to hear about how it is just filled with inaccuracies and flaws that are obvious to people who were there and know him; people like Mike Clink and others who were a part of that history. It’s just a matter of a lot of these books not being very accurate and I blame that on the writer responsible for many of them Anthony Bozza. He is a guy who has gotten a lot of these high profile book gigs. What he does is he hangs out with the artist and he runs a lot of tape of the artist talking and takes what they say as the gospel without really checking facts or doublechecking the artist’s memory versus others. What you get is the definitive version of what the artist happened to say on tape that day and not a researched, well thought out and documented story. I love Duff and respect Duff and have a copy of his book which I havent read but I will say that I love the fact that he’s held on to his sobriety all these years.

LRI: Is the bottom line just that these guys aren’t writers?

LF: These guys are rock stars, not journalists. Billy Corgan is a guy that when he writes a book I tend to believe he wrote the book and maybe had some editing help. These other guys???!!!! I mean, seriously….STEVEN ADLER???? He didn’t write his book. NIKKI SIXX??? he has kind of a cool prose voice and style going now but do you know HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE SENSE OUT OF A PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE LIKE THAT???? Everyone thinks journalism is easy and everyone’s a writer so they all have a book coming out but without guy like me……this is a good segue John into my story from the book, the title chapter actually of SWEET DEMOTION about the situation with Steven Tyler. I was called in July of 2009 to meet with Steven about his book that he was workin on but wasn’t happy with. It was this exact thing you and I are talking about. The writer he had wasnt getting it right so I negotiated and we made a deal, I got paid up front and spent the next two or three months going back and forth with him and that chapter is so intimate and so important to me. It represents for me the END of my midlife. I didn’t touch that material that I had on Steven Tyler for a year after I had been back and forth talking and interviewing him. He went into rehab, I left the project with him and I didn’t hear from him for months. He got healthy and he went and did his thing and went from SEASONS OF WITHER to SEASONS OF IDOL. I love the guy, we sent a few texts back and forth and it’s great that he’s back in the public eye because he is just one of the most genuine and beautiful souls you will ever encounter in or out of rock and roll. Having said that, that period with him and I was a MESS because that book and manuscript he had together was a mess. We worked and crafted to improve the whole entire first half of that manuscript and it was just a mind-blowing lesson in frustration.
https://www.legendaryrockinterviews.com/2011/12/06/legendary-rock-interview-with-author-and-rip-magazine-editor-lonn-friend/
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 2:46 am

Gene Simmons comments on GN'R and Axl; Music-News.com (via Blabbermouth), Nov. 11, 2011:
When asked about what advice he would offer the members of Guns N' Roses with respect to staying at the top of their game, [Simmons] said, "You get to sleep in the bed you make. It's simple. If you're lucky enough to be accepted on stage by the audience, if you're lucky enough to be able to write a song, if you're lucky enough to have charisma on stage, that's the beginning. And then you've got to be able to deliver night after night after night. And not everybody is designed to run a marathon. Because to be a rock star for decades means you're running a marathon. Guns N' Roses could have been the best band in the world, and the reason they're not is because of Axl Rose. I mean, the drugs, the heroin, the alcohol and all that. But ultimately, it falls on Axl's shoulders."

After he was asked what Axl could have done to change that path, Gene said, "A good beating would have helped. I mean, when you misbehaved as a little kid and continued to do it, there was somebody there to give you a what for. Then when you become a grown-up, who's there to set you straight?"
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/gene-simmons-axl-rose-is-the-reason-guns-n-roses-is-not-the-biggest-band-in-the-world/
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 3:16 pm

Incident at one of Duff's book readings; Blabbermouth, Oct. 23, 2011:
----------------------------------
Video footage of a middle-aged man heckling Duff McKagan about Nirvana star Kurt Cobain's last days during Duff's interview and book-signing appearance this past Friday, October 21 at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington can be seen below.




https://blabbermouth.net/news/duff-mckagan-gets-heckled-over-kurt-cobain-s-last-days-video/
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 3:19 pm

Blabbermouth, Oct. 12, 2011 (the video has been deleted):
Angry Axl Rose Videotaped At Rosario Airport?

Video footage of what appears to be Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose arriving at the local airport following the band's October 10, 2011 performance in Rosario, Argentina can be seen below. The 54-second clip, which was shot by a Guns N' Roses fan and uploaded to YouTube, opens with someone who looks like Rose angrily slamming the door of a car after exiting the vehicle and yelling at a fellow passenger, "Get the fuck away from me, you fucking idiot."

The rough translation of the Spanish text by the fan is that Axl arrived at the airport to take his private jet; when the VIP gate wasn't working, he was forced to use the main entrance, and fans descended upon the car when it pulled up the main entrance.
https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/angry-axl-rose-videotaped-at-rosario-airport/
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 3:22 pm

Another Zakk Wylde interview; Gibson.com, January 5, 2012:
What Could Have Been: Zakk Wylde Talks Guns N’ Roses

Peter Hodgson

It could have been one of the most interesting heavy music collaborations in rock history: Zakk Wylde as a member of Guns N’ Roses.

And beyond that, it would have been a Les Paul-toting guitar dream team. And it very nearly happened in the mid-1990s. The rhythm guitar slot in Guns N’ Roses was in a state of flux after the departure of Izzy Stradlin, the tenure of Gilby Clark and the is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-band-member status of Axl Rose’s friend and former Hollywood Rose bandmate Paul Huge. Meanwhile, Zakk Wylde’s role as Ozzy Osbourne’s right hand man had officially come to an end when Ozzy’s No More Tours tour wrapped up in 1992 and the Ozzman entered a short-lived retirement.

Zakk released one album with his Southern rock-influenced band Pride & Glory before returning to Osbourne’s employ for the recording of the album Ozzmosis. But by the time Ozzy’s Retirement Sucks tour for Ozzmosis rolled around, Joe Holmes was in the lead guitar chair and Zakk was on the path that would eventually lead to the formation of Black Label Society.

So what would a Zakk/Slash guitar duo sound like in the context of Guns N’ Roses?

“It sounded like the riffs I write and the way I write, mixed in with the way the guys write, you know what I mean,” Wylde says. “It would have been like, when I was jamming with Slash and all the guys, even if I’m in the band there’s only one guy that’s playing the solos to ‘November Rain,’ ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ and all those classic songs. I’m not going to do anything there. But the future stuff that we would have been writing, it would have been cool! Because I love Slash’s playing and I’m buddies with him. It would have been cool, but with those guys there was nothing happening, so we were jamming but it wasn’t going anywhere.”

Slash ultimately left the band in 1996 to pursue his own path with Slash’s Snakepit (using songs he was working on for the next GN’R release), while Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum’s respective tenures in the band ended a few months apart from each other in 1997. The 2001 rebirth of Guns with players such as Buckethead and Robin Finck was still a few years off, but Wylde didn’t sit around waiting for another call from GN’R. And Ozzy moved on, too.

“That’s when Oz got Joe Holmes in the band, and I didn’t have anything going on,” Wylde says. “I just had all these songs lying around and I said ‘Y’know what? I’m just gonna start doing it. And that’s when Black Label was born. I decided to just do it myself.”

This story came full-circle in December 2011 when Black Label Society joined Guns N’ Roses on tour, and Zakk joined the band on stage at several shows to blast out an AC/DC cover.

“It was awesome, man,” Wylde says. “The first time we were there, Axl was like, ‘Dude, you wanna get up and jam? Look at the setlist, pick out the songs, whatever.’ I said ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ is pretty easy. Pretty much everyone all learns that one. So this way there didn’t have to be any band rehearsals, me sitting in with the band, you know. The GN’R songs are all already worked out, so I said why don’t I just get up there and jam out on ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’? And it was great, man. All the guys in the band are super-cool dudes, and I’ve known a bunch of them for a bunch of years. It was great seeing Axl again because I haven’t seen him since like 1995 when I was jamming with them. And he’s doing great. We had a couple of laughs talking about the same old ridiculous stuff about the music business, y’know. Music in general and just life in general. It was good catching up, and it was a blast playing on stage. And the crew guys were all super-cool dudes, so it was a good time, man.”

Wylde’s brief time with Guns N’ Roses in the mid-’90s didn’t lead to any material on the long-awaited Chinese Democracy album, but the guitarist appreciates what Rose achieved with the recording. “With Axl, I think that as far as the album taking so long, 17 years in between records, well if you don’t feel like putting it out, you don’t feel like putting it out. You can’t force anyone to do something they don’t want to do!”
https://web.archive.org/web/20120108185524/http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/zakk-guns-and-roses-0105-2012/
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 4:25 pm

Triple M, Jan. 12, 2012:
Guns N' Roses Guitarist DJ Ashba Reveals His New Wheels: "The Death Ride"

Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba has revealed his new rock star wheels.

"The Death Ride" is a 2012 limited edition Dodge Challenger SRT-8 and has been custom made for the rock star guitarist.

The awesome machine comes complete with skull gear lever and "ASHBA" branding on the tail lights.

We showed the photos of the car around Triple M with one staffer's reaction summing it up, "That's a pretty sick looking car!"
https://web.archive.org/web/20120121013624/http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/music/news/blog/photos-guns-n-roses-guitarist-dj-ashba-reveals-his-new-wheels-the-death-ride/20120112-fbwy.html

And a video:

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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 4:34 pm

Corey Taylor on Velvet Revolver; ESPN, Jan. 10, 2012:
The Life: To continue the analogy of a band being like a sports team, the singer would then be the quarterback. So being the quarterback, what do you bring to the Slipknot team, the Stone Sour team, and what would you have brought to the Velvet Revolver team, had you quarterbacked it?

Taylor: [...] What I would have brought to Velvet Revolver would have been more of the attitude that I think they wanted from Scott [Weiland], but they got the negative side of it, you know what I'm saying? Scott, to me, has always been the guy who -- he's much more interesting when he's being a d--- to other people than he is onstage, to be honest. I mean, he does the lizard weird-thing-dance and everything, but that gets old after a while. When you need that strong frontman, he just really didn't do it because he was too busy just being into himself instead of engaging the audience.

So I would have tried to basically build a bridge between what they had with Axl [Rose] and what they had with Scott, but with a little more good time feel to it -- 'cause I can have an attitude and still smile, all f------ day. I think, in a lot of ways, they could have relaxed a little bit, knowing that they wouldn't have to worry about, What's the singer going to do? Are we going to be able to go onstage on time? Are we going to be able to play our show without a fit being thrown? Are we going to be able to play the songs the way they were written?

I am a firm believer in, give the fans what they want. Do what you do, but give the fans what they want. They're the whole reason that you are where you are, and they deserve every f------ bit that you can give them.
https://www.espn.com/espn/thelife/music/news/story?id=7445551
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Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 22, 2022 4:40 pm

Music Vice, Jan. 16, 2012:
Jimmy Gnecco in-depth: on the future of Ours and rumours that he is the new lead singer of Velvet Revolver

By Laura Antonelli

[...]

Okay, so let’s set the record straight regarding the rumours revolving around you being Velvet Revolver’s new lead singer. Because last we spoke you said you didn’t want to replace anyone. What’s changed? And are you actually VR’s new lead singer?

[Long pause] I’m not.

Are you auditioning?

No, I played with them at a concert.

At the Road Recovery show, right?

Yeah, like I said, we’ve been talking back and forth, maybe not directly, but I was talking to management just trying to figure something out. I’ve always loved them, Slash and Duff, and the whole crew. I’ve always loved what they do. It’s just that I was in the thick of making Ours records when they were first looking for a singer, so that wasn’t the right time. Then when Scott left we were just releasing Mercy. I felt like if I was just to jump on stage and start to sing those songs to replace Scott, the fans would have rejected it. Because they love Weiland and I really like him as well. I just felt like myself and the band wouldn’t get an honest shot if I was just to jump in and replace him. But I really wanted to get into a room with them, play music, and just see how we all felt, see if they like me, see if I felt comfortable.

The show came up and I was really looking forward to jamming anything with them. It came up that I would sing “Hey Joe” with Slash. So I talked to him and said, “Hey, I’d love to sing these songs”, the one Velvet tune and then the Guns N’ Roses song. So I went up and sang them. I felt like we’d been a band for a lifetime for some reason. I looked around and I felt like – I don’t know what it was. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t uncomfortable, it just felt fucking great. I had a lot of fun doing it, so we spoke. I’m gonna head out in a few weeks and we’re gonna get together and just see again how it feels. [Throughout the month of December, Gnecco was in Los Angeles writing with Slash and Duff McKagan].

So you guys are going to be writing together then?

[Long pause] Yeeeesssss.

[Laughs] You really hesitated with that yes.

Well, I don’t wanna say anything. I don’t know what it’s gonna be and I don’t think they know. I think the most honest thing to say here is that I had a great time playing with them. I’m definitely open and looking forward to trying to create new music with them that we all feel great about. If we can do it, then that’s great.

Say something comes out of this, because just from reading online, there have been a lot of mixed reactions from your fans about these rumours.

Right.

You’re known for being a musician who will fight and do everything you can to maintain your integrity.

Right.

So what do you think of fans that might view this as, dare I say, a “sellout” move or something like that?

[Laughs] It’s hard to say sellout move because we haven’t done anything yet. It’s not like they offered me 10 million dollars and I’m selling out. If we don’t write great songs, then there’s no selling out anything [laughs]. We can only hope to sell out stadiums [laughs]. It’s not really a sell out move, I like what they do. Slash has always been one of my favourite guitar players. I’ve always loved and respected Duff as well, so I wouldn’t see it as selling out.

What I would say to those people is just hang in there for a little while. I understand why they feel that way. But just hang in there, we’re gonna try to make great music. That’s the whole thing. They might really like it. I can tell you one thing; I’m not just going to join a cover band. You know what I mean? So in that sense if anybody is saying it’s selling out well – I’d say just be patient, and if they don’t wanna be patient then they can come pay my rent if they’re that worried about it. Then I won’t have to go out and write songs with anybody else [laughs].

Because when you google your name [in the news section], it’s attached to a lot of articles regarding Velvet Revolver’s new lead singer –

Really? Interesting.

Yeah, I guess you don’t pay attention to what’s happening online?

[Pause] You know, [pause] … that’s not for me [laughs]. I’ve watched the videos of us playing together because I had a great time and enjoy them. It’s like watching somebody else’s life in a sense. I watch that and I say, “Am I auditioning with Guns N’ Roses essentially? Yeah, I guess I am. That was a lot of fun. It felt like my band.” Any time you’re in a band, it should always feel like your band no matter who you are. If you’re the drummer you say, “Yeah, my band.” If you’re the keyboard player, “It’s my band” so it felt like home to me, so we’ll see what happens [laughs].

Do you hope that that maybe it would bring you more exposure to an audience that’s never heard of Ours before?

That would be nice. We’ll see. It would be nice. I don’t know if they’ll be two completely different audiences. If they are and they like what I do in Ours, then that’s great. If not and they just like what I do with these guys, then that would be great too. I’ll say Velvet Revolver for now but I don’t have any idea what it will become.

But I understand. I understand the protectiveness. That’s a good problem to have if people love your music and they want you to keep making it. They don’t want it to go away. I’m not gonna stop making music that resembles what we’ve done in Ours and where we’re going next with that. I’m not gonna stop that forward movement. And there’s no money on the table or big huge offers, or anything like that. Those guys don’t even have a record deal right now. The funny thing people may not understand is that the biggest sellout of my life came when I signed on to make Distorted Lullabies. I got paid more money than you can imagine. I gave it all away. I was broke two months after I got it all because I felt like, “I don’t want this money. I haven’t made a record yet.”

So I’d just tell them to be patient, maybe we’ll surprise them, maybe we’ll make some great music.
https://web.archive.org/web/20160401044640/http://www.musicvice.com/interviews/jimmy-gnecco-on-ours-and-velvet-revolver-160112/2
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