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1993.02.01 - The Age - Gunnas get down to the heavy fever and filth (Gilby)

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1993.02.01 - The Age - Gunnas get down to the heavy fever and filth (Gilby) Empty 1993.02.01 - The Age - Gunnas get down to the heavy fever and filth (Gilby)

Post by Blackstar on Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:06 am


Gunnas get down to the heavy fever and filth


Gunnas fever takes all forms, but perhaps the most disturbing on the band’s Australian tour so far has been the three adults In the foyer of Sydney’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel wearing Guns N’ Roses wigs and riding the lift up and down hoping to be mobbed.

This was indeed pitiful. Only the most intoxicated or optimistic soul would have thought they were Axl Rose and Slash. Their wigs had more movement In them than the Scenic Railway. And this is the sort of shenanigans we can expect as the Gunnas lug their show to Melbourne tonight.

And what a show it is. After their triumph at Sydney’s Eastern Creek on Saturday night, the biggest, baddest band in the world are bringing their pyrotechnics, their bicycle shorts and Axl’s “11-out-of-10” set of legs and “pert tush” (source: 28-year-old female crowd member) to Calder Raceway for the rock concert of the year.

For those old enough to remember that Paul McCartney had a band before Wings, Gunnas Fever underscores the rhythmic rush of pop history. It doesn’t seem too long ago that there was Wings Fever, Boz Scaggs Fever, Beach Boys Fever and (how could we forget?) Kiss Fever.

For sheer hype (and, yes, quality of group) the Gunnas almost outdo them all. But not everyone is overwhelmed. "Axl can’t sing, he’s ugly and the only good songs they do are by Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney,” said a jaundiced 30-year-old on Saturday night. So why is he here? “I had to take my sister.”

Indifference to the Gunnas was not common in Sydney at the weekend, as 80,000 people journeyed out to the far-flung raceway. But Bob Hawke seemed uninterested. While scruffy people in shorts and carrying clipboards and mobile phones invaded his home, the Ritz-Carlton in Double Bay, Mr Hawke sat on a lounge chair beside the rooftop pool reading in the weekend papers about how Paul Keating took his Job. Gunners schmunners.

Guns N’ Roses are, of course, very naughty boys indeed. The band that brought to you a song called 'Back off Bitch’ is not a favorite among women who would like to turn Axl’s 11-out-of-18 legs Into a couple of barbecued satays. Is the band sexist? "I don’t think so, but I’m not a female,” Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilbey Clarke told 'The Age’. “To me women are sexist in their own ways, too.”

So what about raw-boned young men in the crowd? "They do exactly what they want,” said a man wearing a Guns N’ Roses T-shirt depicting a naked woman astride an up-turned pistol. “They don’t conform, they have an attitude,” said his friend, a Newcastle electrician in a ‘Die Yuppie Scum’ T-shirt. “The Gunnas? Filthy,” said a third, indicating his appreciation.

They might be the world’s preeminent band, landed by critics and the public, on the cutting edge of metal-heavy rock, but it’s good that the verities of rock-and-roll can still be seen. On Saturday night, the crowd held up ignited cigarette lighters during the ballads as part of rock music’s traditional 1000 points of light.

Still, we're lucky to have Guns N’ Roses at all. “When this band first appeared, everyone predicted turmoil,” says Gilbey Clarke. “That everyone was going to OD. And they haven’t. Everyone’s holding it together pretty well.”

Axl’s struggle with drugs is well documented and it appears Mr Clarke had his own struggle. “I had a problem when I was a teenager, but I got over all that,” he says. “When I got involved in the band (one year ago) everyone cleaned up. Axl even jogs now. And he sits on machines.”

After the show, the Ritz-Carlton was besieged by fans and impersonators. “Are the Gunnas having a party here tonight?” asked a hopeful youth. “No, sir, they’re not staying in the house,” replied the hotel attendant. “The hell they’re not,” the youth replied. “I’m not stupid. Not like those people outside the Sebel Townhouse. That was a scam. I always knew they were here.” He was right. Upstairs, Gilbey Clarke relaxes with a drink. “It’s like living out our fantasies,” he says. “We write the rules now.”

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