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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Blackstar Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:18 pm



Transcript of selected parts:

[...]

Gary Sunshine: I met Axl - I know you want to touch on some Guns N' Roses, I don't have a whole lot - but I first met him, I think it was at Cat Club, a New York club back in the day where everybody played and or went to. I think Riki Rachtman introduced me to him. Riki was interviewing, I think, for Headbangers Ball and he introduced me to him and I only knew of them in a sense. And I, you know, was friendly and that was it.

[...]

GS: Friends of ours, Raging Slab, opened for them at the Ritz [on May 16, 1991] in New York. So I went to that show and it was pretty intense and pretty great, and I, you know, got a little more into what it was. And then I realized how good it was as it is, you know, as time went on a little bit. You know, we [=Circus of Power] were busy so I wasn't thinking about it much and we didn't cross paths at that time because they were doing really well. We were just beginning our tours and things like that.

[...]

Brando: Obviously there's a lot of, I mean, that's life, you can't foresee anything really. But when you were touring with Jane's Addiction, did you ever think that you would end up making a Guns N' Roses song with him?

GS: With Navarro?

Brando: Yeah.

GS: Well, it wasn't a tour but we would come across across each other's paths. We had a tour manager that-

Brando: Or did shows with them.

GS: Yeah. And then of our early tour managers did Lollapalooza with Perry. But Dave, we would run across a little bit in California too. And yeah, it was cool to be a part of that. However, I never saw them at the sessions, the sessions are all a mystery, you know, this guy goes in, this guy goes out. I don't know what was going on. I did my part. And that was it. So I didn't come across Dave and I've never seen him since or spoke to him about it really. It's a big world, you know, But he's a great player. He's really, really good, really good.

Brando: Alright. So unless you, I guess we want to get to, you know, the main GN'R thing here, which is Oh My God. And you kind of touched on it a little bit. And I'll sprinkle in some of the way. I like how the fans phrased this [...] "Oh My God is my favorite GN'R track. Please ask him about the entire recording process."

GS: Oh boy. What I know about it is not a lot. It's a crazy tune. It wasn't easy to learn. I listened to it the other day and I was like, "I don't even know what I played on that thing." I know I played.... I know I reinforced a bunch of chords and played the structure of the song. You know, it was really just to beef it up a bit. I remember that. I know Axl was in the session, me and the engineer, and maybe that was it. Maybe Del, I don't know. I did like two days, two different sessions with them. And all I remember is learning that because what I had was, I think they gave me a cassette tape of the two or three songs to think about for sessions and there was no vocal on them. So I didn't really know what they were going for. It was just an intense, like, crazy instrumental thing. And with very little instruction like, you know, "Here are the changes," or, "this is the part," or, "this is this," or, "this is that." So I just did the best I could. And, you know, a little nerve wracking, especially with a song that's so insane. But it's a great song. I know you have a real affinity for it, but it is a cool song. I agree with you on that. So the only thing I remember is recording the root of the song, you know, the basic rhythms. I was redoing certain parts of this and that. So I didn't do any of the... I think Dave did maybe that wahwah pedal solo and stuff like that and I think, I'm not sure. I think so much was added into those songs, or gone or changed, you never know what's going to end up when they start mixing things. So I am assuming that my chords are there. You know, somewhere, somewhere in that mix. And that's really all I knew. I knew it was for a film.

Brando: End of Days.

GS: Yeah, that's the only thing I knew about it was that. And then I was like, "Oh, what a great song." I mean, it seemed like it's only going to be a soundtrack, I was really disappointed, I wanted to hear it running around a little bit and all that. I was gonna share it with some people recently and I had trouble finding it, but I did find the other day.

Brando: Yeah. I think it just got added to Spotify. So now I can-

GS: Yeah, it's around now. It's around now, for a long time I don't even know where to find it [?] through the movie.

Brando: How did the recruitment process does happen? How would you-

GS: Recruitment?

Brando: Yeah, to be part of the-

GS: Well. For a bit I was working with Axl, it was in the very late 90s. Whenever that movie was done, I lose track of time, '98 or '99-

Brando: '99, it says it came out.

GS: I'm guessing '98-'99. One of one of the guitar techs with Guns N' Roses... I'm having trouble remembering his name. I was trying to think of it the other day. I was trying to jog my memory into some of this. I couldn't remember his name, but he gave me a call one day, but I knew him. Maybe he worked with us too at some point, I think so. And he said, "Hey, I have a pretty high profile guy, client, or somebody I work with, who might be interested in working on some guitar in like a lesson format, somewhat." And I hate to say that because they weren't that, so much, but I was hired to to work with him. First I was asked to, you know, come down and meet him at the studio, and I don't remember what studio it was. But I went down and Axl has been working on something way back. This was at that point... Well, I guess that's not way back, because when did the record come out? You know better than I?

Brando: What?

GS: When did Chinese Democracy come out?

Brando: Yeah, 2008.

GS: So 2008, I figure in '99 he was starting the process of writing and recording, or he's in the midst of it. I don't know the timing of the whole project. So at that point he wanted to brush up on guitar and you know things like that. It was it was no real intense plan involved. It was just like, "Hey, come up." So I would go up to the house once a week for a while, you know for a few hours here and there, and we would bounce ideas and work on things. And I remember my focus was that I knew he was writing and he was, you know, in this period of like "What's next?" kind of thing where everybody had their eyes on him. And I knew it was about writing and being creative and that whole world and that's what mattered to him, not learning actual guitar things that may or may not be helpful. So I went with that angle and we were working on everything from like Beatles to Radiohead, kind of just other concepts that were non-blues related because, you know, they had exhausted the Aerosmith blues model somewhat, you know, they did it to the max with the first record. So he was trying to go in every other direction. I think, you know, he's a very creative guy. So he was looking at every way. I remember like up at the house working on like saying, "All right, well, these are like blues based things you could do," he goes, "Well, I don't really want to do blues." I remember that. And now I get it because he wanted to go past that, because he plays by ear. He's not trying to learn that. So he was just trying to get, you know, more comfortable on the instrument. And there's been a lot of like talk about why is he doing this? Why is he doing that? At that point at least. But we would just bounce ideas and work on tunes, this and that, and jam a little bit. I remember doing like certain Beatles songs. I remember Radiohead too, because it was just interesting chord changes and things and ideas. So it was mostly that. So I was working on, like a kind of guitar instructor in a sense, but it wasn't really that. It was talking and hanging out a little bit. I did that for anywhere between six months and a year. I'm not really sure. And somewhere in that period, I got a call. I guess it finished up. And then he called, or Del, one of them called and asked if I would do some sessions. And I said, "Well, yeah, sure." Of course I had done some session work. It's not my forte, as they say, you know what I mean? I can do it, but I play by feel mostly. So it's always a little exhausting for me, but I'm certainly going to give it a shot. So I did go in there. It was super professional and very cool. So it was the two songs. It was at least two songs. So I remember. But it was, Oh My God, definitely, and there was one other one which may have been IRS and I can't remember. Not that I can't remember, it was instrumental and I never knew. There was no vocal on it. So that's the recruiting. That's a long story of the recruiting.

Brando: That's great. And that goes along with another question. I like, this is a common question, which you did talk to a little bit. This is from Ireland. Our buddy Mr. Mack, said he drove, because I mentioned LimeWire, Napster, pre-internet, he drove 60 miles roundtrip just to buy the CD just so he can listen to Oh My God. I lived in a very small coastal town, miles away from anything. And you did talk, Sean, because you wanted to know about how Axl was as a guitarist and if he came up with any cool riffs? So did he come up with any riffs in addition to practicing Radiohead?

GS: Yeah, I think everything he did was, as I remembered, it was all by year. You know, I would come in with, you know, I would spend like old this time trying to figure out "What am I going to work on with him? I don't know him very well and I want to do the right thing," and this and that, and it was a cool thing to do. So I would write out stuff and ideas and different ways to improvise stuff, you know, related to that. And then I'd get up there and we'd just play along and he would just go with it and it would be by ear. He wouldn't look at what I wrote out, really. It was of no value. It was more helpful for me probably. But we would jam little ideas. He would always have cool riffs and things. He's a really cool... He was solid, man. He was solid. I mean, maybe technically he didn't know all the details, but... I think he just wanted to brush up on what to do and have a better feeling for what he plays. I know he plays piano very well, but I just don't know... Is it by ear? I don't know. I don't know the deal with him. I know he's very well versed in a lot of different things.

Brando: You seem to have spent a lot of time with him though, before even the session. Did you guys bond over anything other than music?

GS: Yeah... Well, it was very personal. It was very friendly. He trusted me and I trusted him and we'd have good conversations because I came from a different, a similar situation almost. I guess he heard that I was an okay guy. That, you know, I'm not a fuck up. I'm sorry about that language, sorry.

Brando: No, it's okay, it's a podcast, all good. Fuck, fuck, fuck, all good.

GS: Yeah, you know, I guess, you know, my reputation is that I'm not that, pretty much. Someone probably thinks I'm, somewhere. So anyway, I think it was comfortable and friendly, and we would just talk, it would be about anything. You know, no details, you know, I don't talk about personal stuff.

Brando: No, I just get a kick out of how Buckethead and him bonded over Disney. If it was something silly like that.

GS: Oh, us was probably relationships in the world and politics, maybe politics, relationships, music and similar background kind of thing. We're both in bands and same period of time. I'm guessing it's in that world.

Brando: Okay. I just would hate that for some reason you two ended up being like huge like Burt Reynolds fans and just bonded over that.

GS: That was it!

Brando: [laughs] That was the only reason why I asked.

GS: There was no clear thing. We had a lot of common interests and likes, but I don't remember them clearly. I just know it was a really good experience, that's all I know.

Brando: I guess I asked that and Art definitely knows this with the unknown and the known of the whole Chinese Democracy, not just record, just of that era, of the man, of just going through the guitarists and why people leave and if you guys had a good relationship. And for me, Oh My God was, I love that track. And when I re-listen to it preparing for this interview, I'm like, "That's why I like Shackler's Revenge so much." It was on that path. It didn't strike me as like, "Oh, this is industrial." It struck me as like, "This is just angry Axl," and this was the main reasons why I love him. And just the guitars ripped. So it just makes me wonder if you guys were cool, why just that one project and why nothing since then?

GS: Oh, you know why? Cause, well, I'm a shy guy and I stay out of the limelight. I remain under the radar and I don't pursue when I should or could. So I kind of stayed cool with him. I always wanted to be respectful and not ask for anything. I got a call to go do this and a call to do that. That was strictly it, it was not like, "Hey, hey, you want to do anything?" Which I should have. So I always thought, "Maybe this will lead to a write something together." It didn't come to that. He had such great guitar players during those days. He wasn't lacking ideas and riffs, you know, things like that. He had great players. So, I don't know.

Brando: That's fair. Because I look at it also, I use sports analogies a lot, and you being a New Yorker. It's like, Murderers Row, like he always just has like a home run, and Bart's in it. I mean, Bart. I combine baseball and art. Art's a big baseball guy. It's just like, you have all these weapons at your disposal, and that's what I liked about Chinese. Of course I like Appetite and I know the familiar faces, but just the different influences that came out of that record that are still being discovered today throughout all the... Undiscovering the layers and peeling away the layers.

GS: You know, I listened to a little bit of it the other day to get in the flow here, because I knew you were calling and all that. So I was getting reacquainted with it. I didn't know it real clear, you know, and it was pretty impressive and it was all over the place in a good way, you know, and then it was, you know, to have Tommy Stinson who's in one of the great, great bands, the Replacements, of all time, in my estimate, in the band, was certainly a big help. And then he had monster drummers, you know. Always had great drummers in there. You know, Robin Finck's a great guitar player. That's the one I knew at the time I was there, kind of. Robin and Tommy. Oh, Buckethead had already worked with him, I guess, but I didn't come across him. I did, however, go into the Buckethead chicken coop thing that they built. I think when I went to do the... I was trying to remember it the other day. It was either when we did the session or when I met with him, but I was brought in there to see, "Hey, check this out." He wasn't in there, of course. It was pretty interesting.

Brando: Yeah, Art, you detailed that.

GS: It's a whole set up  for his comfort. And recording and this and that. It was cool.

Brando: So you can verify what Art said about the decapitated chickens?

GS: Well, I didn't see the decap... I read that. I didn't see that, but they were probably there. I remember it was decorated and it was interesting. But it was a full, like a little, almost like a little studio, New York studio apartment, that was a chicken coop inside of a recording studio. And I remember that was one of the first things that they showed me when I went to look at the studio. And I wonder if that was... Rumble, I don't know.

Art Tavana: A really random note about Buckethead, I think fans will think it's funny and maybe Gary, you'll get a kick out of it. Someone told me that, I won't say who, but I didn't include it in my article, but someone told me that Buckethead at that point, like in the 90s, 2000s, would drive around in a white van. That was his car, it was like a beaten up van from like a 70s or 80s van. And then in a driver's seat, supposedly, I don't know if this is true, but it's what I'm told, in a driver's seat, he'd have like a mannequin or a dummy of a girl who was like, her throat was slit. And there was like blood like all over the girl's body and he would just like put a seatbelt on her and drive around with her and use a carpool lane.

GS: In order to use the carpool lane?

AT: Yeah. What a guy.

GS: Yeah, it's a sweet story.

Brando: How can I come off that statement?

AT: You gotta go left field.

Brando: Yeah, I think I just got a button hook a little bit. This one was going to, I'll just go to another question. This is from Johan from Sweden says, "Do you remember," wait, you said, as far as like any, like the vocals, "do you remember when the vocals came in?" Cause when you first, when you said you started working on it, it was just an instrumental.

GS: I never heard the vocals. I never heard the vocals at that point. Until, you know, when it was released. That was it. It was like, "Here's your session, talk to you later, let me know if you need anything." And then the record came out and I was like, "Holy shit!"

Brando: So you didn't even know if, because this was part of this question too, if there were different versions of the song? It was just-

GS: No, no. Certainly there were, I would imagine there's all kinds of versions. I mean, it was, you know, layers and layers of things. But I never got to hear that until it was done. It was just interesting. That's a different perspective when you're playing without the vocal and the melody. Maybe it brings different things out. I've never thought of that, so anyway.

Brando: Obviously it took many years for Chinese Democracy to come out. Did it ever occur to you that maybe, where all these years, all these leaked tracks were coming out, what's gonna be on the album, what's not? There were rumors that are still going on to this day, which Art verified again, about the three albums, that you were thinking, "Oh my god, could it gonna be on this?"

GS: I would assume there was a place for it. I don't know. I don't know.

Brando: Were you disappointed when it didn't show up?

GS: Yeah, sure. Cause that was the one that was clearly stated that I played on. He had mentioned it in a story and other people had written it. So it was a clear, you know, nod that, you know, yeah, I did do this. You know, sometimes you do things and you tell people, "Oh, you know what I did?" and they don't believe you. You think they're not gonna believe you. It's nice when it's in print. It was in print. And then the other song, which I don't know for sure what it was, but I'm not credited with anything because maybe they didn't use it, you know, maybe it was just a layering of parts or whatever. I think that was IRS. Which is another good song. But I don't know. So yeah, I wanted to be on the record, sure, in some form. But I'm on that song, which is cool.

Brando: Yeah, forever, I mean, you're forever on that song. And I know we can keep you here forever, but we don't want to do that. So what's going on? I mean, Art, do you have any other questions? Because I want to find out what's going on with Gary now. But anything?

AT: Yeah, I had like a couple. I mean, I had like one more, I guess, I have a few more. But the one that I was wondering about with Gary was in the creative process, sort of when you're in the studio working with Axl. When he's worked with so many different guitar players and bass players I've talked to who said that there are certain things that he, you know, really liked and want to channel the most. Like he caught something that he thought was cool. And he's like, "Oh yeah, let's play that riff," or like, "Let's build on that riff." Was there something about your playing or your influences or your attitude towards playing that he kind of like latched onto and said, "Oh, let's expand on that"?

GS: You know, as I remember, he knew of my band, you know, he knew of the Circus of Power thing, cuz he had mentioned that and we talked about that. And then he had heard good things about me. And then we sat together and played and he could see that I could play and this and that. And then he kind of said, "Come on in and do these songs, learn these," but at one point he said, "Add whatever you think or feel," but I never really had that opportunity. So I never really took it, but I think he was hoping that I would, you know, I think he wanted people.... He was being a good producer even though he wasn't... well, maybe he's the ultimate producer of the record in a sense. But I think he wanted to pull creativity out of all the different ingredients, which is kind of what Brandon was saying about the whole eclectic mix of people and sounds and different things that make up that record. So I think as far as the whole Chinese Democracy, I include them together because to me that whole period is the same to me at this point. So I think his way of doing it is to, "Yeah, do your thing," you know, "see what you come up with." He didn't direct as much as, you know, be open to like, ideas, which is a terrific thing, you know.

Brando: Yeah, less pressure that way.

GS: Yeah.

Brando: And Art, did you have another one? Because I, you know, we got Mr. Sunshine here, so I want to make sure before the sun sets.

AT: I'd love to know, Gary, you said you read the Billboard. To me, it's a unique opportunity when someone who's as prolific and has been around as long as you have, having read the Billboard article and they were talking to you about Chinese and Axl during that period, for the fans, they'd probably get a kick out of this. Was there anything in that article you thought was missing? Be completely honest. Was there something that you think, gosh, which aren't, you know, touched on that a bit more, missed a little bit of this, or artistically was...? because you're an artist, so you have a unique perspective.

GS: I think you came to it from a different angle, which was nice. You saw the positive and coolness of the record, whereas everybody was wanting... not everybody, quite a few people, you know, always hope for failure when somebody's big, famous, or, you know, quiet, and doesn't play along, you know, doesn't play along the way they want you to play. So I think with all that involved, it was refreshing to see this other take of the cool ingredients in a different...

AT: It's weird, like the more I listen to that, Oh My God, especially, and all the other stuff, I didn't like any of that when I was younger, when it first came out. And the more I listen to it over the years, the more I dig into it, it's like it really does grow on you. It is like a fine wine that record, especially because there's so many layers. You can't capture it right away. It's like a Radiohead record. It takes a while for it to grow on you.

GS: Yeah. Yeah. Well, great things, you know, there's two ways. Either something hits you in the face and it blows you away or there's so much in there that you have years of listening and getting something from it, which is pretty good for the long picture, the big picture of things. I don't know, I was listening to it and I'm not sure if you touched on it, but all the different Nine Inch Nails and progressive technology kind of things that were added into it and the mixing, trip hop kind of things, and the trip beats and things that were. Those parts I like. I was listening to it today, this week, they live well for me. Those are interesting. You know, for him to just use the guitar players and do the songs and him sing over it, would have been fairly normal and it wouldn't have been the other record, would have been, you know, the original stuff. It would have been compared to it. This was left field, which is good. And, you know, I hear, you know, Nine Inch Nails and Metallica and all kinds of influences and that's a good thing. And there's no need to be critical of people expanding and trying to do cool things, you know.

Brando: I couldn't agree more and that's how I feel. That's what Art and I were talking about before you came on about him expanding with his writing and no limits and why being pigeonholed and that's how I feel versus FM radio, terrestrial versus doing a podcast. So when Art and I, I guess when GN'R really came into our consciousness, at least for me, Appetite's already out, Use Your Illusions is already out. It's not like they had changed. It wasn't like they went from Appetite and like that's all I saw them I saw them as a band that was already progressing and had progressed and I didn't get a chance to see them and Axl Rose was a myth, you know, it was him hanging out with Elvis ghost. He was like it was never gonna happen So when that song came out, it was exciting just because like, "Wow, Axl's making new music," but for me, you know, when during the few times in my life where I actually have tried to workout and gain some muscle mass, Oh My God, it was always on my-

GS: That was the one.

Brando: It was always on my workout playlist, like no joke. But it was really interesting when I put it out there preparing for this interview and getting the fans' reaction. It really was, you know, either, "I didn't like the direction," or, "This literally is my favorite Guns N' Roses song." So it's always going to be remembered, regardless of whether it was on an album or not.

GS: This is an analogy that may not make sense to anyone else, but for me, Zeppelin, I grew up at a point where the first three Led Zeppelin records were the ones. Everybody else I know grew up at House of the Holy and the older ones after that. And for me, those didn't hit me. You know, they're great, but they didn't do it for me as much. The other ones were pure, just plain and blues-based and hard and everything else and fresh and new and nothing to do with the kit. So it's kind of like, to me, Appetite into the others is kind of that same idea for some people, I would think. I don't know if you get that, but-

Brando: No, I totally.

AT: It makes sense.

Brando: It does, it absolutely makes sense.

GS: You know, when you start expanding, people complain. Everybody complains, you know. "They were great when they started," you know. "They were great in the little club and now they suck because they're a big band." And I'm not them, but you know, everybody. You know, that's a pretty common phenomenon.

[...]
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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty Re: 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Soulmonster Sat Apr 06, 2024 6:42 am

Finished with this.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Apr 06, 2024 7:31 am

Do we know when Rachtman and Axl went to New York?

I met Axl - I know you want to touch on some Guns N' Roses, I don't have a whole lot - but I first met him, I think it was at Cat Club, a New York club back in the day where everybody played and or went to. I think Riki Rachtman introduced me to him. Riki was interviewing, I think, for Headbangers Ball and he introduced me to him and I only knew of them in a sense. And I, you know, was friendly and that was it.


Rachtman has told the story many times about Axl helping him with the audition for MTV; but I can't remember if he ever put a date to it. It must have been in 1989 or 1990, since Rachtman started working at Headbanger's Ball in 1990.
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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty Re: 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Soulmonster Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:41 pm

Soulmonster wrote:Do we know when Rachtman and Axl went to New York?

I met Axl - I know you want to touch on some Guns N' Roses, I don't have a whole lot - but I first met him, I think it was at Cat Club, a New York club back in the day where everybody played and or went to. I think Riki Rachtman introduced me to him. Riki was interviewing, I think, for Headbangers Ball and he introduced me to him and I only knew of them in a sense. And I, you know, was friendly and that was it.


Rachtman has told the story many times about Axl helping him with the audition for MTV; but I can't remember if he ever put a date to it. It must have been in 1989 or 1990, since Rachtman started working at Headbanger's Ball in 1990.

So it was definitely 1989:

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:46 pm

Huh, according to the Kennedy lawsuit, this was in February 1989. Although she is not very trustworthy, I don't think she is wrong about having met them at this date.
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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty Re: 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Soulmonster Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:51 pm

I found this on mygnrforum regarding the date:

Blackstar wrote:She actually might have been even older than 27, because it's likely that it didn't happen in Feb. 1989 like the lawsuit says, but later. She hasn't given a specific or approximate timeline either in her book or in her interviews, so I suppose her lawyers used Axl's Feb. 6, 1989 Stern interview to pinpoint the date both because she mentioned a Stern interview and because it was a date when both Axl and Riki Rachtman were in NY, even though the interview was actually on the phone and not in the studio like she said and the Axl-Stern conversation she talked about is non-existent. There also other things in her story that don't match the Feb. 1989 timeline. For example, she says that Riki Rachtman was already hosting Headbanger's Ball and had brought The Cathouse in NY. However, although, based on what Axl told Stern in that interview, Riki Rachtman auditioned for MTV in Feb. 1989, he didn't become host of HB until months or even a year later. I have listened to the episode of Riki Rachtman's podcast telling the story of how he ended up on HB and, although he admitted that he doesn't have a good memory, he mentioned that he and Axl stayed at the Mayflower when they went to NY for Riki's audition, they went to Homestead and then to the China Club to meet an MTV exec, then the next morning Riki went alone to his audition and after that he went back to L.A., while Axl stayed in NY a little longer.

In Sheila's book the Axl story is the most vague in terms of timeline and places. In all her other stories she's fairly specific about places (hotels, restaurants, clubs etc. ) where this or that incident happened and she also gives at least an approximate time. Then there's her recollection of the Stern interview. It wouldn't be unnatural to misremember a detail like whether it was on the phone or in the studio after 30 years, however she describes a whole conversation that supposedly happened during the interview which simply doesn't exist.

I'm not sure what to make of all this, but I think there's a possibility that at least part of her story may not be about Axl, but about someone else.

This Blackstar person makes for a compelling argument that we can't trust the February date.
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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty Re: 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Blackstar Sat Apr 06, 2024 1:43 pm

Soulmonster wrote:I found this on mygnrforum regarding the date:
Blackstar wrote:She actually might have been even older than 27, because it's likely that it didn't happen in Feb. 1989 like the lawsuit says, but later. She hasn't given a specific or approximate timeline either in her book or in her interviews, so I suppose her lawyers used Axl's Feb. 6, 1989 Stern interview to pinpoint the date both because she mentioned a Stern interview and because it was a date when both Axl and Riki Rachtman were in NY, even though the interview was actually on the phone and not in the studio like she said and the Axl-Stern conversation she talked about is non-existent. There also other things in her story that don't match the Feb. 1989 timeline. For example, she says that Riki Rachtman was already hosting Headbanger's Ball and had brought The Cathouse in NY. However, although, based on what Axl told Stern in that interview, Riki Rachtman auditioned for MTV in Feb. 1989, he didn't become host of HB until months or even a year later. I have listened to the episode of Riki Rachtman's podcast telling the story of how he ended up on HB and, although he admitted that he doesn't have a good memory, he mentioned that he and Axl stayed at the Mayflower when they went to NY for Riki's audition, they went to Homestead and then to the China Club to meet an MTV exec, then the next morning Riki went alone to his audition and after that he went back to L.A., while Axl stayed in NY a little longer.

In Sheila's book the Axl story is the most vague in terms of timeline and places. In all her other stories she's fairly specific about places (hotels, restaurants, clubs etc. ) where this or that incident happened and she also gives at least an approximate time. Then there's her recollection of the Stern interview. It wouldn't be unnatural to misremember a detail like whether it was on the phone or in the studio after 30 years, however she describes a whole conversation that supposedly happened during the interview which simply doesn't exist.

I'm not sure what to make of all this, but I think there's a possibility that at least part of her story may not be about Axl, but about someone else.

This Blackstar person makes for a compelling argument that we can't trust the February date.


Haha.

We can't trust the February date as far as Sheila Kennedy's story. But as far as when Axl and Riki Rachtman went to NY so that Riki would try out for MTV, it is certain that it was early February 1989, because Axl mentioned it during the Stern interview:

https://www.a-4-d.com/t549-1989-02-06-howard-stern-radio-show-interview-with-axl

(It's in the unedited version that we haven't fully transcribed yet).

And I'm sure that Sheila Kennedy's lawyers used the Stern interview to pinpoint a date in the lawsuit, because Kennedy herself didn't mention/remember a date in her book, not even approximately, but mentioned a Stern interview (although the details she mentioned are far from the actual Axl interview).
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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty Re: 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Soulmonster Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:19 pm

Blackstar wrote:
Soulmonster wrote:I found this on mygnrforum regarding the date:

Blackstar wrote:She actually might have been even older than 27, because it's likely that it didn't happen in Feb. 1989 like the lawsuit says, but later. She hasn't given a specific or approximate timeline either in her book or in her interviews, so I suppose her lawyers used Axl's Feb. 6, 1989 Stern interview to pinpoint the date both because she mentioned a Stern interview and because it was a date when both Axl and Riki Rachtman were in NY, even though the interview was actually on the phone and not in the studio like she said and the Axl-Stern conversation she talked about is non-existent. There also other things in her story that don't match the Feb. 1989 timeline. For example, she says that Riki Rachtman was already hosting Headbanger's Ball and had brought The Cathouse in NY. However, although, based on what Axl told Stern in that interview, Riki Rachtman auditioned for MTV in Feb. 1989, he didn't become host of HB until months or even a year later. I have listened to the episode of Riki Rachtman's podcast telling the story of how he ended up on HB and, although he admitted that he doesn't have a good memory, he mentioned that he and Axl stayed at the Mayflower when they went to NY for Riki's audition, they went to Homestead and then to the China Club to meet an MTV exec, then the next morning Riki went alone to his audition and after that he went back to L.A., while Axl stayed in NY a little longer.

In Sheila's book the Axl story is the most vague in terms of timeline and places. In all her other stories she's fairly specific about places (hotels, restaurants, clubs etc. ) where this or that incident happened and she also gives at least an approximate time. Then there's her recollection of the Stern interview. It wouldn't be unnatural to misremember a detail like whether it was on the phone or in the studio after 30 years, however she describes a whole conversation that supposedly happened during the interview which simply doesn't exist.

I'm not sure what to make of all this, but I think there's a possibility that at least part of her story may not be about Axl, but about someone else.


This Blackstar person makes for a compelling argument that we can't trust the February date.



Haha.

We can't trust the February date as far as Sheila Kennedy's story. But as far as when Axl and Riki Rachtman went to NY so that Riki would try out for MTV, it is certain that it was early February 1989, because Axl mentioned it during the Stern interview:

https://www.a-4-d.com/t549-1989-02-06-howard-stern-radio-show-interview-with-axl

(It's in the unedited version that we haven't fully transcribed yet).

And I'm sure that Sheila Kennedy's lawyers used the Stern interview to pinpoint a date in the lawsuit, because Kennedy herself didn't mention/remember a date in her book, not even approximately, but mentioned a Stern interview (although the details she mentioned are far from the actual Axl interview).

Right, I was looking at the Stern interview but forgot that not everything is transcribed. Thanks! A new section added to the history.
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2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl Empty Re: 2018.12.31 - Appetite for Distortion - Gary Sunshine talks Oh My God, Chinese Democracy and recording with Axl

Post by Blackstar Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:22 pm

Soulmonster wrote:
Blackstar wrote:
Haha.

We can't trust the February date as far as Sheila Kennedy's story. But as far as when Axl and Riki Rachtman went to NY so that Riki would try out for MTV, it is certain that it was early February 1989, because Axl mentioned it during the Stern interview:

https://www.a-4-d.com/t549-1989-02-06-howard-stern-radio-show-interview-with-axl

(It's in the unedited version that we haven't fully transcribed yet).

And I'm sure that Sheila Kennedy's lawyers used the Stern interview to pinpoint a date in the lawsuit, because Kennedy herself didn't mention/remember a date in her book, not even approximately, but mentioned a Stern interview (although the details she mentioned are far from the actual Axl interview).
Right, I was looking at the Stern interview but forgot that not everything is transcribed. Thanks! A new section added to the history.
Axl and Riki Rachtman at Homestead stake house in New York. According to Riki Rachtman, who shared the picture on his Instagram a while ago, it was taken during the trip to New York for his MTV audition:





https://www.instagram.com/p/B1SbWoGg-lC/
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