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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2008.06.09 - Craig Duswalt - Guns N' Roses Story

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2008.06.09 - Craig Duswalt - Guns N' Roses Story Empty 2008.06.09 - Craig Duswalt - Guns N' Roses Story

Post by Blackstar Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:09 am



Duswalt: I get a call one day - I've been off the road for a little while and I get a call one day from Doug Goldstein. Doug Goldstein used to be the security guard for Air Supply [and] is now the manager of Guns N’ Roses. And he calls me up and he says, “You're ready to go back on the road?” “What do I have to do?” “You have to take care of Axl Rose.” “I'll be right there.” So I get my big break and I go on tour with Guns N’ Roses as Axl Rose’s personal manager, and I basically babysat Axl Rose for four years.  First day on the job, I get to Axl's house, in his Hollywood Hills house, and I'm sitting on his couch thinking about, “Oh man, I'm in Axl Rose’s living room, this is cool,” and, all of a sudden, I see a TV fly out of the bedroom window. No, okay (laughs). It was the living room - no, okay (laughs). He never did that stuff. Robert, where are you? Robert, did he ever throw things out of the window?

Robert Finkelstein: Never.

Duswalt: Never. Robert has worked with me - he was working with me with Axl. So the first thing I do on my day at the job, he wants me to go down the hill and pick up Slash. I'm like, “Cool, I’ll get to meet Slash.” So I drive down the hill, the Hollywood Hills, get to the Oakwood Apartments parking lot, and I pull up. I obviously recognize Slash and he doesn't know who I am at all (laughs). I pull up to him and say, “Hi Slash, I'm Craig,” “Cool” and gets in my car. I could have been some, like, crazy man and he's like, “Cool dude, alright, cool” (laughs). So he gets in my car and we drive up, and we don't say a word to each other,  because what would I say to Slash? We get up to the house, and I'm at the house. So Axl is in the house, Slash is in the house and Blake, his first manager guy, the guy at the time - Robert wasn't with us yet, so I was, like, the second guy.

So Blake now… I'm sitting in the living room again where the TV just flew out of the window - just kidding (?) - and Blake gets on the phone, and he's calling this guy and he says, “Hi Brian, this is Blake with Axl,” and he obviously said, “Hey Blake, how you doing.”  So Blake is explaining, “Listen, Axl has a doctor that can really help Freddie at this moment.” And this is November of 1991. Now, I know that Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, is sick, and he is on the phone telling Brian May, the lead guitarist for Queen, that Axl has a doctor that can help save Freddie's life who's dying of AIDS. And I'm looking - I'm a huge Queen fan and I'm thinking to myself, “This guy is on the phone with Brian May of Queen, Slash is in one room, Axl is in another… Where the hell am I? How did this happen?” And what happened was, you know, Freddie… Brian May said to Blake, “It's too late,” you know, “Freddie's just ready to go,” and Freddie Mercury of Queen passed away the next week. It's what bonded, though, Axl and I, because he was a huge Queen fan and I was a huge Queen fan, and that was what made us the good friends that we are today.

[Displays pictures] Here's me and Slash in a restaurant in New York, there's me and Brian May - that's me, believe it or not, right here. We used to have bear hugging contests every night, I guess, or something. I don't quite remember that night – I don't quite remember a lot of nights (laughs). This is my wife and I, Natasha - this is what I used to look like on the road touring with Guns N’ Roses. I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. I dipped at the same time, because I had to stay up 20 hours a day - because when I started working it was 8:00 in the morning, because the offices were calling me at 8:00 in the morning, but Axl went to bed at 6:00 in the morning, so I had to stay up and then go. And that's… I'm used to not sleeping, so last night was not a big deal. This is Robert and I: look at my eyes, they're not even there (laughs). And there's Robert, hi Robert (laughs). So I met a lot of interesting people on the road. There's Bono, but that's me right there. It really is (laughs). That's my only picture with Bono, and I just said, “I have to show that, because it's so cool.” I love Bono. But there's Axl explaining why the world is the way it is and Bono’s going, “Cool.” They got into some very deep conversations, these two. Sitting in the room with these two… (laughs), it's quite a pleasure.

And then we did the most incredible thing that I ever did. We did the Freddie Mercury tribute. It was the lead singer of Queen, he died, and they did a big gigantic tribute in London, England. Robert Plant was there, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Spinal Tap, Elton John, all the stars in the world were there. It was huge. And, once again, I'm thinking to myself, “This is really, really cool.” So I took pictures that night of me with everybody. That was the one night on the road –

[Interrupts to talk to a friend in the audience]

Okay. I took a bunch of pictures of me with every star in the world, because you're not allowed… it was an unwritten rule: when you're touring, don't take pictures of people, because you're one of them and, you know, don't bother them with pictures. But this night everyone was taking pictures of everyone, so I had all these great pictures. I went to the bar after the show, Axl and I went out to a restaurant with all the celebrities and everything. And I walk in, and we sit down at the table, and there's me, there's Liz, and there's Liza, and there's George… So this is the table: it's Axl Rose, Elizabeth Taylor, George Michael, Liza Minnelli, Craig Duswalt. This is my table at the bar. I'm taking pictures like crazy. I’m like, no one's gonna believe this, no one's gonna believe that I sat with these people, right? So Axl goes, “Craig, we gotta go! We just gotta go.  I gotta get home.” Oh fuck. I grab my coat and we leave. The camera was in my coat and it fell out. I lost the most incredible pictures I've ever had in my life. It is in a bar somewhere in England, probably still on the floor somewhere. But because I want to prove to you that I met these people, I kind of recreated the night for you. [Displays photoshopped pictures] So that was me and Liz, that's me and Liza, and finally my boy, George; me and George Michael hanging out backstage at the Levis convention or something.
Blackstar
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