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THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:50 pm

DECEMBER 17-19, 1989
AXL AND IZZY PLAY WITH THE STONES AGAIN IN ATLANTIC CITY


In December 1989, about two months after the famous shows with Rolling Stones, Axl and Izzy would play with The Stones again when they played in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on December 17, 19 and 20.

The show on the 19th was televised as pay-per-view. Together they would perform the Stones song 'Salt of the Earth'.

Before the show on the 19th, the Stones held a press conference. When asked why they chose GN'R to accompany them considering the "controversy over their lyrics with references to blacks, and homosexuals, and immigrants", Jagger quipped, "Because we want to appeal more to the gay/black market" [Philadelphia Inquirer, December 18, 1989].

This would be the last time Izzy had a drink.

The Stones were asking me: 'Which song are you doing?' We'd chosen 'Salt of the Earth'. Nobody knew it! And I'm thinking: 'Fuck, you guys wrote it over 20 years ago! You must remember some of it!' So we go back in this little trailer and Mick Jagger's got a tape-player and he's listening to it, with the lyrics written on a piece of paper in front of him. And I'm sitting there playing acoustic guitar with Keith Richards and I'm thinking 'This is sooo cool!' 'Cos we're playing it thru' and Charlie and Bill Wyman are sitting there, listening to it. And I'm just flipping out, thinking 'God, this is sooo wild!' Finally we finished the song. They all turned to me and said: 'So where's your singer?' And I didn't have an answer! Axl was late again. Real late.


Axl being late and Keith Richard's reaction would result in one of Slash's favorite stories:

The best rock'n'roll quote I ever heard is a Keith Richards one he told Axl. He turned up late for this show with The Stones. Someone hassled him an' he said...‘I slept in a chandelier last night - but I still fuckin' got here.' That’s rock'n'roll, folks! Keith's done everything that's in my personality an' survived. You can't be a red-blooded rock’n'roll guitar player without admiring Keith.

Now, the thing is is Keith Richards put it best to one of our band... "I slept in a chandelier last night and I still made it on time."

The best rock and roll line I ever heard was from Keith and it was because Axl showed up late in Atlantic City and Keith went, "you know, I slept in a chandelier last night and I made it."


Later Slash would later confirm that Keith Richards told the story directly to Axl [The Howard Stern Show, February 25, 1997].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:52 pm

1989-1991
RELATIONSHIP ISSUES


SLASH


While doing the Marquee shows in England in 1987, Slash met a girl called Sally [Blast! January 1989] who would become his girlfriend. Sally would later move to Los Angeles, but in late 1988, the relationship had ended:

I mean, when I was in England the first time when we played those Marquee dates, right? Remember that girl I met? […] Me and her have been going out since then. And she lives here now, you know, in the States, I've lived with her for a while. She's still here. And we're not really going out anymore because I have a hard time with keeping a girlfriend if they get to be too possessive then it gets me a little weird. But she's here, you know. And the only reason I got involved with her is because she didn't give a shit who I was and didn't really know. I mean, she knew who Guns N' Roses was, but she didn't really know who I was. And that's how we met. And that's why we stayed together, you know.

[Being asked if he had a girlfriend]: Ah, not really, no. The situation with women, of course, that’s all fucked up, too. The girls you tend to run into - the ones that are only interested in you ’cos you’re in a band - they tend to be pretty erm... pretty low, I think. I don’t know.

[…]

I'd like to have one with the right person. Somebody who had their own career and had their own life. My old girlfriend ended up being so dependent on me, I couldn’t take it. It got to the point where her dependency on me sort of drove me out. Then when we split up I realised that everybody else is sort of ... I don’t know, you need to find someone really special and it’s just not that easy. Basically, in the kind of places I would be known to frequent, the kind of girls there are just more of the same. It’s depressing. There’s just a bleak kind of aura around them...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from March 1989


The celebrity status of the band members made it harder for Slash to have normal relationships:

And then the other problem I'm having was, like, this new, you know, with this new status that we've achieved, is that if you have to give up like any kind of half decent love life, I mean, you can't go out and meet a chick that you really think you might like because the only reason she's really interested in you, chances are, is because, you know, because you're in a band, and because, you know, I'm in the band that I'm in. That sort of gets to be a drag because, you know, I'm getting sick of going out and getting laid just for getting laid basically [chuckles].


Despite this, at the MTV Music Awards on September 7, 1988, Slash met Traci Lords [L.A. Weekly, September 16, 1988] and they would start dating:

We got an award. You know, MTV gave us the award for the Best New Artist. So when I accepted the award, instead of going up and saying, "okay, I would like to thank everybody at the Academy for this and that and the other," I went up there with Traci Lord and she said, "Hi, I'm Traci Lords" and I said, "Hi, I'm Slash." And then I had her take the award and I split. [laughter] I met her that way. I took her to dinner and we've been hanging out and stuff.


In late 1988, Slash "lent his talents to a demo" by Lords [Nice Boys interview, January 1989]:

Like hers [=Lord's] is a disco record. I have sort of an affection for dance music, if it is more black-oriented, if it is real, you know, lots of bass and drums and real rhythmic, I love to play that kind of stuff. I like funk music and stuff like that. And so hers is like a disco record, it's not exactly what I am really into but at the same time I do like to play that sort of, you know, sort of black guitar playing. You know what I mean?

(Laughs) Yeah, I played on one of her songs, and then we broke up. I guess the album will come out one day.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish


But by mid-1989 that relationship had turned sour:

We've since not gotten along at all and she changed her number and I changed mine.

Pornstars and musicians, what a great combo! (laughs) I guess it’s all a matter of ego: the bad boy and the hot chick, the sexy pornstar. It's good for a little while, but it doesn’t work after that.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish


Years later, in 1993, when Slash was in a marriage with Renee, an interviewer would say "Hi" from Lords to Slash, prompting the following reply:

Traci Lords! God, my wife would love to hear that! [chuckles]. Yeah, I’d like to say hi to her, but that’s probably not a good idea.


As the band popularity grew, Slash, who had enjoyed being able to go out before he became a celebrity, felt locked up in his apartment and house in-between tours:

I can't move about as freely as I used to, and I find it very mentally trying. I feel sort of like a cartoon character. People come up to me and it's always like, 'Hey dude, drink this beer, dude'. Or they wait for you to do something crazy, or a whatever... People don't see you as a real human being, and they're constantly trying to grab at you and sit down with you and be your buddy for five seconds. It's just really awkward. And I find that going out to clubs, which is something I used to do, you know, every single night and get trashed, isn't something I can really do and enjoy any more. It's actually at the point where when I go out to a club, I end up leaving just totally depressed. It really brings me down. And everybody wants to have your undivided attention. And if you don't give it to them they act like you're an asshole who's on some rock star trip... Which I think is something that everybody goes through. But you just can't do it... It's like, they never wanted my attention before... It's really a pretty traumatic experience sometimes. […] I just don't really go out any more... So, you know, there's been a real downside to all this. I'm only just now realising. I don't go out that much; I don't have that many close friends. And what close friends I have, the times I get to see them are usually few and far between... […] It gets to be a little bit lonely sometimes, yeah.


Despite this, by late 1989 Slash had found a new girlfriend whom he spent the Christmas of 1989 with:

I spent Christmas and Thanksgiving that year with my girlfriend at the time, who was very family-oriented. She'd stuck with me through this whole thing and I feel the worst for her, 'cause I put her through a lot. But anyway, I spent time with her family and they were really wonderful people. My regular life started to come back and I realized that I was somebody who still had ambitions.


This girlfriend was Meegan Hodges. Their relationship would not last, and they broke up right after Christmas, on New Year's Eve 1989/1990 [Blast! May 1990].

In early 1990 he had another girlfriend to whom he celebrated their 8 month anniversary [Musician, December 1990]. This girlfriend was Renee Sura [Blast! May 1990]. Renee would be described as a Hollywood model [Blast! May 1990], and they would marry in 1992 [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992]. Slash would also mention that he, at some point, would like to have a daughter and not a boy, because "I don't need another one of me" [Musician, December 1990]. More about Slash and Renee in later chapters.


STEVEN


According to Cheryl Lynn Swiderski, at the October 20, 1987, gig at the Trocadero, Philadelphia, Fred Coury would introduce her to Steven. About two years later, Steven and Cheryl would get married in a private ceremony in Las Vegas on June 6, 1989 [The News Journal, June 1989]. It is doubtful the relationship between Steven and Cheryl was well-known among the band members, as this quote from Izzy attests to:

Apparently [Steven] went to Nevada, got fucked up, met some girl and, like, ended up marryin' her or somethin'. And the headline, y'know... It read something like "GN'R DRUMMER MARRIES GIRL: SAYS I CAN STILL FUCK AROUND". Incredible!


The couple planned a proper church ceremony sometime in 1990 after the follow-up to 'Appetite' was recorded [The News Journal, June 1989]. By May 1990, Cheryl and Steven were married [Blast! May 1990].

Unfortunately, Steven's drug use would ruin the relationship:

I spiraled downwards as the drugs took over and soon I became a selfish prick from hell.[...] Anything could set me off and soon Cheryl was spending as much time out of the house as possible. I stopped bathing. I wore the same shirt for two or three weeks. I wasn't thinking or caring. I was totally self-absorbed. This was it, the lowlife's high life.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 185



DUFF


In January 1990, it was reported that Duff's marriage with Mandy Brix from 1987 was also falling apart and that they were about to divorce [L.A. Weekly, January 19, 1990; Kerrang! March 1990]. The decision had been made that Christmas, "the worst Christmas" and "one shit fuckin Christmas" as Duff would describe it [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990].

She told me she hated me and I told her to get out and she did. It was the shittiest fuckin' Christmas I ever had.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

I will say, though, that I’m happy now about the way things turned out. The marriage wasn’t going anywhere. We hadn’t been happy for a long time... We tried, it didn't work, end of story. All I’m thinking about now is going back in the studio and starting work on the new album. And then getting back on the road. There’s a reason for everything, I think. Good or bad. And what with everything coming up that the band has to do maybe it's better that I’m on my own right now... I certainly feel better already.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


The personal issues had affected Duff's beliefs in his ability make another record with Guns N' Roses:

In the last eight months or so I just wasn't sure if I, or if we, were mentally capable of making the next record. When we made the first record, man, I had one foot like this and one foot like this… In those days, man, there was two-inch deep marks where I was dug-in to do this. I wasn’t sure that I could do that again - just dig in and do it. But I’ve just gone through a bunch of shit in my personal life and now I hope I’m dug in again. I’ve been hanging with Slash, we’ve been playing together, and I’m ready again...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


In October 1990, Duff was dating model/actress Kim Anderson [L.A. Weekly, October 19, 1990].


AXL


Axl was still in a tumultuous relationship with Erin Everly, the daughter of Don Everly from the Everly Brothers. Axl would mention that Don Everly had dressed up as Axl, with jackboots and bandana, at an Everly Brothers show in Los Angeles some time in 1987 (or 1986?) while performing Jimi Hendrix' 'Purple Haze' [San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 1987].

By 1989 the relationship between Erin and Axl was very strained. In a Rolling Stone interview from August 1989, it is described how he had wrecked his condo in West Hollywood: "One guitar has been destroyed, a mirror wall shattered, several platinum albums broken beyond repair and the telephone dropped off a twelfth-story balcony" [Rolling Stone, August 1989].

Erin and Axl got married on April 28 in a "middle-of-the-night ceremony" in Las Vegas [People Magazine, May 1990]. The wedding took place at Cupid Wedding Chapel and it was a five-minute ceremony with their limousine driver as the witness [Aiken Standard, May 3, 1990; The Independence Examiner, May 3, 1990].

But Axl would file for divorce only 28 days after the wedding [Los Angeles Times; May 1990; People Magazine, August 1990]. The filing would be cancelled and in July Axl would describe the marriage as "stronger than ever" despite having broken up many times before [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990] and in August he would say:

[Our marriage] is good when we’re communicating. Then it opens up a lot of doors and things of hope that I really didn’t see or believe in before and just read about in books. Being married is more a part of me. The ‘institution’ of marriage itself is mumbo-jumbo paperwork, but the union of two people when you get that involved just blows me away. […]I’m looking forward to [fatherhood]. We already have the children named. We wanna have a boy named Shiloh Blue and a girl named Willow Amelia.


In October 1990 it was reported that Erin had experienced a miscarriage [MTV, October 1990] and that they "recently had some hard times" [Pirate Radio, October 1990, as copied in Melody Maker, November 1990].

Michelle Young, who was a friend of Erin, would confirm the fights they had:

Erin would call me and say, "Axl's crazy - he's throwing things around." She pushed his buttons, but I know that he loved her.


I was walking and he stubbed his toe behind me ... and started just attacking me and telling me it was my fault that he had stubbed his toe because he was coming to tell me something.
Spin, July 1999; from a sworn deposition in connection with a later lawsuit


As Axl would say, "Erin and I hadn’t been on the best of terms during the pregnancy" [People Magazine, November 1990] and allegedly they had been briefly separated many times [People Magazine, November 1990], but that "the miscarriage brought us closer together" [People Magazine, November 1990]. In November 1990, it was reported that Axl had bought a 2000-square foot house in the Hollywood Hills for $800,000 [Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 26, 1990] where he intended to start a family.

Axl's personal assistant, Colleen Combs, would describe the house:

Axl and Erin bought a house somewhere up in the Hollywood Hills after they got married.... They redesigned it, furnished it, pushed a grand piano through the French doors. They helicoptered in two topiary elephants. But they never moved in.


Strain and tension caused Axl to wreck the place:

I had a piano, which I bought for $38,000, and there’s a $12,000 statue in there and a $20,000 fireplace, and I stood there and I just snapped. I’m standing in this house going, ‘This house doesn’t mean anything to me. This is not what I wanted. I didn’t work forever to have this lonely house on the hill that I live in because I’m a rich rock star. So I shoved the piano right though the side of the house. Then I proceeded to destroy the fireplace, knock all the windows out and trash the statue and everything. The damages were about $100,000. What’s wild is that the next day Erin went to the house and she trashed the three rooms I didn’t.


To which Erin would comment,  "I had my own different reasons” [People Magazine, November 1990].

Axl also overdosed at some point due to his "relationship with [Erin] being so fucked up" [RIP, November 1992]. It is unclear when this OD happened and if it is one of those mentioned in an earlier chapter and that took place in 1987 and/or 1988. Axl also mentioned that in the Christmas of 1989 he was looking to score drugs to OD [RIP, September 1992], and it could be this was the event that was caused due to relationship issues with Erin.

Axl's arrest in relation to his issues with his neighbor caused new tension in Axl and Erin's relationship. As Erin would say, the arrest was "the last thing we needed. I was going through total pain. I’m physically and mentally sick right now" [People Magazine, November 1990].

Despite their issues, Axl was still planning to create a family with Erin in their house in the Hills:

I’m gonna try again with this baby thing and hope it will work out this time.


In early 1991 the marriage was over [The Indianapolis News, February 1991]. In court papers quoted by Rolling Stone, Axl said that their relationship had been marked by "severe property damage, mutual acts of violence and humiliation and similar such activities" [The Indianapolis News, February 1991].

I am an artist and performer, and I sincerely believed Erin was my greatest inspiration. […] [Everly left for] weeks on end without notice. She made It quite clear by her actions and statements that she had no intention of complying with her promise to raise a family and be involved In a well-adjusted marital situation.


Josh Richman, a friend of Axl, would describe the marriage and its end:

Axl and Erin really wanted to be together. This was a guy who desperately wanted a family, having come from a busted family. The annulment happened right away.


Rumors would later abound about Axl's and Erin's relationship, including one involving spray-painting on the couple's garage [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. This rumor would be denounced by both Axl and Erin [TMZ, September 2012; Express, September 2012].

While Axl's relationship with Erin was unsteady, he was gradually reconnecting with his stepfather, and one item them bonded over was car stereos [Car Audio Electronics, August 1990].


IZZY


In May 1990 it would be reported that Izzy was engaged to a German girl called Juliette [Blast! May 1990].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:53 pm

LAWSUITS


1988: VICKY HAMILTON


Litigation followed the band from the early days. The first known lawsuit was from former manager Vicky Hamilton. Hamilton sued the band to get back $ 10,000 she had invested in them when she was helping them out in the early days [Musician, December 1988]. Axl would comment on the decision to settle out of court:

We didn't want to go to court, pay lawyer fees, court expenses and shit, especially when I don't trust the law and judicial system. I don't need the hassle. I don't believe in the fuckin' law system. […] Poor Vicky might look great in front of a judge, and Guns N' Roses look like slime, so they should lose.



1988: BRYN BRIDENTHAL


Then the band's publicist Bryn Bridenthal would sue two members of Poison after they poured booze over her as retaliation for comments Slash had made about them in the press [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. See previous chapter for more information on this.

In September 1987 it was indicated the band has "lawsuits slapped on them" and Duff would say that "all the lawsuits that have come about are totally unfounded” [Rock Scene, September 1987]. Izzy would embellish:

We have quite a few of them [=lawsuits] already, but our attorney says you’re not a real band until you have at least a dozen lawsuits, so we have about eight or more to go.


Axl would refer to the lawsuits in 1988:

Law is something that interests me, cause there's always someone that wants to sue you, so I like to know everything I can about it. So, I'll be learning as much as I can from him and maybe, eventually, one day that's something that I'll turn to, just because it's something that I want to know about.

If I'd gone on through school, I'd probably be a lawyer. Then I could take half the people who screw with me to court.


In 1989, Axl would mention that they have had "some out-of-court settlements," one obviously being the Hamilton case [RIP, April 1989].

Slash would also comment on the lawsuits in 1989:

We've got lots of lawsuits pending, but I don't think it would be wise of me to state any names, or someone will hold it against me somehow. They're richer and more influential than we are, on the average.


In early 1990, Duff would say they had "people wanting to fucking sue you all the time" [Kerrang! March 1990].


1990: K MART CORP.


Yet, in October 1990, it would be reported that the band was suing someone else, K Mart Corporation [Associated Press, October 26, 1990]. The band sued for $2 million for alleged "unauthorized use of the rock band’s picture and name in an advertisement for a toy drum set" [Associated Press, October 26, 1990]. According to the suit, the band members "suffered damage to their reputation, loss of good will, mental anguish resulting from the use of the advertisement without their consent" [Associated Press, October 26, 1990].


1990: JEFF KRAVITZ


In September 1990, it was reported that a photographer hired by MTV, Jeff Kravitz, sued the band when a bodyguard for the band had pushed him during the MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 1989. According to the suit, Kravitz had lost his footing resulting in a "sprained or strained back", causing “severe neck pain” and “massive headaches” and also "aggravated a previous injury to his elbow" [The Dispatch, September 1990]. The bodyguard was actually Axl's brother Stewart [Jeff Kravitz' instagram, February 7, 2020]. The case was settled out of court [Jeff Kravitz' instagram, February 7, 2020].


1991: ST. LOUIS


After the St. Louis riot in July 1991, Axl would receive numerous lawsuits, many of which weren't settled until 1994 [see separate section for details].


1991:STEVEN


Another high-profile lawsuit happened when Steven sued the band on July 19, 1991. In the suit he claimed members of the group forced him to use heroin, then made him quit the band while he was trying to kick the habit. He wanted the contract that led to him being fired, annulled and the band broken up so assets could be doled out to the members [AP/Vidette Messenger, July 1991]. See separate section for details on this lawsuit.

Other lawsuits was with Gilby, various other [add sentence from rolling stone article in 2000].

There would also be frivolous lawsuits, an example being an artist suing the band over 'Don't Cry', claiming it was based on his own song [Evansville Courier & Press/MTV, July 19, 2000].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:54 pm

NOVEMBER 1989-1991
AXL'S FEUD WITH VINCE NEIL


The band members of Guns N' Rosses would frequently throw digs at their L.A. contemporaries, especially Poison (as described previously) and Motley Crue.

[When the topic of Motley Crue comes up]: The kids can tell the difference between their homogenized garbage and the stuff we play. Our music is a reflection of our lifestyle, not vice versa. It’s not a pose.


This could likely just be considered a reflection of constructive competition between local bands, and in November 1987 Guns N' Roses would agree to open for Motley Crue on their tour, indicating that the contempt didn't go very deep or that it was more important to get a big tour than to separate themselves from bands they claimed to dislike.

The rivalry took a more personal and violent form in the next year, 1988, when, according to Alan Niven, Izzy had Vince Neil's (singer of Motley Crue) wife "ejected from a private room" at a local rock club, resulting in assault charges being filed and later dropped against Izzy [LA Times, September 1989].

Neil would later dispute this and claim "that [Izzy] had attempted to remove Neil's wife's clothing and later kicked her in the stomach" [LA Times, September 1989]. Then, in September 1989, Neil and Izzy had a brawl at the MTV's Video Music Awards (see earlier chapter for more information about Izzy and Neil).

In November 1989, Kerrang! would publish an interview with Neil where he would contest Alan Niven's recount of what happened at the MTV VMAs. In a later interview that the writer Mick Wall did with Axl and which was published over two issues of Kerrang! in April 1990, and would later feature as an unabridged version in his book "GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World", Wall would describe Axl indignantly reading quotes from Neil from the November issue of Kerrang!:

I just punched that dick and broke his fucking nose! Anybody who beats up on a woman deserves to get the shit kicked out of them. Izzy hit my wife, a year before I hit him.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


According to Wall, during the call with him, Axl would hotly deny Neil's claims as reported in the Kerrang! interview and would challenge Neil to a fight over the matter [Kerrang! April 1990; Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

The contentious statements that Axl made regarding Neil was made before Wall had started the recording and so Wall must have jotted down the comments either when they occurred or from memory at a later time [Kerrang! April 1990; Loudersound, August 2017].

The interview as featured in Kerrang! contains more volatile quotes from Axl than the supposedly unabridged interview Wall would later published in his book. Wall also re-wrote parts of the interview. For instance, compare these two alleged quotes from Axl:

I tell ya, man, it makes my blood boil when I read him saying all that shit about how he kicked Izzy’s ass. Turn the fuckin’ tape recorder on. I wanna set the record straight. I mean, when Vince did that, we were advised we could sue his ass off if we’d wanted to. But we said no, fuck it, who needs the grief? The guy’s a jerk. Fuck the courts, the guy needs a good ass-whippin’! And now I read this - we get Kerrang a little late here in LA - and I tell ya, he’s gonna get a good ass-whippin’, and I’m the boy to give it to him..... It’s like, whenever you wanna do it, man, let’s just do it. I wanna see that plastic face of his cave in when I hit him!

I don’t know. I’m pretty calm about it, actually. It’s kind of like, just whenever you wanna do, it man. Let’s just do it. I think it’s be fun. It's like, 'cos this way I can basically get away with it legally and everything, man. I can have a full-on brawl and get away with it. I don’t know, though, man, I don’t know if I wanna hit the guy with that plastic face. It’ll cave in...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


A phone conversation between Wall and Axl took place later in 1990, likely in March or April, where Axl was confronted by statements he had made towards Neil. Axl would reply:

I feel childish now about my comments, at the same time I’m still glad I said what I said. But I do feel a bit childish about it and I feel that my anger fell into what I believe is Nikki Sixx’s game of publicity.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


Regardless of whether Axl actually said the inflammatory things towards Neil that was published in Kerrang! and in Wall's book, the quotes led to great hostility between not only Axl and Neil but also between the Guns N' Roses camp and the Motley Crue camp. And to a very public, and beloved by the media, feud between Neil and Axl.

In August 1990, MTV would air an interview with Axl where he would repeat his challenge to Neil, apparently fueled by Neil talking shit about the band:

No way. Haven’t patched-up anything. […] Well, I mean they think that I've read in the interviews of theirs that they feel that it’s like I'm just, you know, standing up for Izzy and stuff, but Vince should be careful what golf course is he's mouthing off about Axl on and who he is playing golf with, you know. When he goes out playing golf and mouths off about Axl - and he happens to be playing golf with people that work for me - stories come back. And he likes to put in magazines that he broke Izzy’s nose or, you know, and how Alan Niven wasn't even there, a manager or anything like that, and no one was around. I don't know, we didn't want to take it to court because it would be too much trouble and too much hassle but when, you know, Tom Petty’s security crew wants to be witnesses in court you, know... It's, you know, it's funny because Izzy is, like, going - ‘cause people think it's gonna happen sooner or later or whatever; and it’s like that Vince is now getting into it or something, you know - and Izzy laughs, because he's like, that guy had a full-on free shot, you know, and hit like a powder puff and it was like... (chuckles) So it's pretty scary if the guy thinks about a real hassle,. I put in in a magazine, you know, anytime he wants it, anywhere, Atlantic City, I don’t care. […] Put the money on it, you know. I don't care. And then he tried to turn it around and say the same thing, but, you know, the invitation is there; I'm easy to find. If you really want a hassle, you know, we can have it out.


The feud dragged on, and in August 1991, it would be reported that Neil, through en Elektra Records press release, had challenged Axl to a boxing match, to settle their feud "man to man" [Santa Ana Orange County Register, July 28, 1991; Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Bryn Bridenthal would quickly state that it was all a publicity stunt from Neil designed to hype the release of the band's next record [Santa Ana Orange County Register, July 28, 1991].

In October, Neil would be interviewed by MTV and say:

Axl, if you’re watching this, I’m going to give you the time and I’m going to give you the place, and there’s no backing out now, buddy!


An early version of the song 'Double Talkin' Jive', which the author Nick Kent got to hear from an advance cassette tape while interviewer Izzy in July 1991, allegedly contained Axl going off on Neil:

The sound of suitably raucous guitars heralds the beginning of the first track, the delightfully named 'Double Talking Jive Motherfucker', which showcases a performance of rare spleen from Rose who this time chooses to focus his wrath on chubby little Vince Neil, the "plastic-faced, pussy-assed" singer of rival L.A. 'bad attitude' icons Motley Crue.


It could be that Kent is mistaken, and that Izzy only told him that the lyrics were written with Neil in mind.

A little bit later in August, as the band was in London for their concert at Wembley (August 31), Axl allegedly demanded that Montley Crue weren't played by a DJ at a party at the Conrad Hotel [Music Life, November 17, 1991].

In late November, possibly jokingly, Axl would claim he had challenged Neil to a match to the death:

Well, Vince Neil made his challenge and it was a publicity stunt, you know. And he was pretty much a puppet, who doesn’t really know how he got where he got. But, you know, there’s other people behind him that kinda put him up to something. And the situation I have with Vince Neil is not about a pay-per-view, it’s not about a publicity stunt. So I issued him a challenge [chuckles], I sent him a challenge, that, you know, wherever he wanted to fight to the death in another country, I’d pay for the round trip in a coffin. And I haven’t heard from him since [chuckles] […] But the real thing is pretty much with the people that are behind him, and they know who they are. And if they’ve got a problem, the offer stands with them too.


Axl would throw digs at Motley Crue in 1992:

It just confuses me that we work as hard as we do to make the music that we make and that a lot of people here seem to enjoy. We don’t have tape decks rolling under the stage, we don’t have other people playing the parts we should be fucking playing underneath the stage. I mean, this is no Motley Crue show.


Neil said he wanted to do a televised boxing match with Axl [Bobbie N' Sharise Sweet and Sour Hour, April 2019], but Axl wouldn't do it:

[...]I just see a lot of curiosity about this Motley Crue thing lately. The rest of the country gets real confused because they don’t know that we spent ten years in Hollywood watching those guys rip everybody else up. And if you’re curious why I don’t get in the ring with Vince, it’s because I’ll shoot Vince in the fuckin’ head. But Vince is not as stupid as he looks. He’s smart enough to pop up every now and then and say something in the press so that Motley Crue can make some money and hang on the GN’R’s cock tail. [?] But he’s not smart enough to do that by himself. Nikki Sixx tells him how to do these things. So, you know, I’ve been asked a lot. I just recently got asked by Rolling Stone, so that’s why I’m talking about this, because a lot of people apparently didn’t hear me when I said it. See, they wanna do a pay-per-view boxing thing. I’m not interested in taking any more money from you people to go in Motley Crue’s fuckin’ [?] So if Vince, or Nikki, or Tommy, or Mick, or all of them at the same time have a problem, they know my address. Or I’ll buy around your tickets and some coffins and we can go to the country [?] and we can fight to the death. And I’m serious. It’s stupid. I just wish these cockroaches would go away [...].


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THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS - Page 6 Empty Re: THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:54 pm

DECEMBER 1989-MARCH 1990
SPIRITED WORK ON THE FOLLOW-UP TO 'APPETITE'


This album is the album I’ve always been waitin’ on. Our second album is the album I’ve been waitin’ on since before we got signed. I mean, we were planning out the second album before we started work on the first one, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

______________________________________________________________________________

After trying to record throughout 1989, the band came to a showdown at the Rolling Stones shows in October 1989. After this, Slash went away for a month (likely to rehab) and when he returned in late November 1989 they were supposed to start working on the record, but Steven was in a very bad state:

[…] so we played the Rolling Stones gigs to whip it out and actually play. And that brought us hack together. […] Then I took oft for a month and when I came back Steven wasn't ready. I booked this studio out here in Canoga Park and Steven wasn't ready for it, so it turned out to be a waste of money. At this point I'm very aware of what our financial situation is. You have to be. You're forced to be. So I cancelled the time in the studio.


Duff was interviewer on January 2, 1990, and would indicate that they planned to hit the studio later in the month:

We’re going into the studio on the 15th of this month... […] The basic tracks could take about three weeks. Stevie and I are really fast, we work real hard together. Then Slash could do his guitars in another three weeks. Axl... it’s hard to say how his voice holds up, and he’s bound to come up with new ideas. So that’s already six weeks. It’ll take a few months, but if we can start touring again by the end of the summer, it’ll be great...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


In fact, the studio had "already been open for [them] for about a year" and the agreement with the studio was "open-ended" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990].

They would also be using Mike Clink as the producer again:

Yeah, as far as the basic tracks go. I talked to Axl about this, and he agrees, and so does Slash: the drums and bass on the last record are just so awesome. I loved Steven's drum sound, I loved my bass sound - it's so round and in your face! So I mean, why change? I'm even using the same old amps and shit I always use. […] because they still sound so great. They’re not old, anyway, they're good amps. It’s this whole cabinet I put together.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


And that it would likely result in a double album:

OK, here's what it is. It will be a double album - if we can make a double album. If we burn out after, like, fourteen songs then why go on just to make a double album?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


And about the title:

I think Girth or Heinous would be a great name for the record. Girth… We could have special promos of, like, a big dick...  I don't know, we joke about it but we have actually got this song called "Girth"... Well, it's not going to be called "Girth" on the album, it'll get changed, but it's such a heavy song we call it "Girth" for now. It’s named after this guy Wes [Arkeen], who writes with us sometimes. He’s a real little fucker, right? But his dick, it’s only about this long but it’s like this wide, man! So he's got the girth, right? So we call this song "Girth"...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


And on whether Arkeen had helped write other songs for the album:

Yeah, we got a song called “Yesterdays” - a great fucking song. And, er, ‘Just Another Sunday”. Both great tunes that we wrote aeons ago... Like, “It’s So Easy" Wes and I wrote together, that’s what we did for the last record. Axl put about a quarter of the lyrics into that. But this time these songs are almost fully his, I guess, if I remember right... Maybe I wrote part of them with Wes and Axl, yeah, whatever. But, yeah, Wes is gonna be with us on this one.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


According to other sources [list them], the band had entered the studio already in December 1989 for pre-production, and the studio ended up being Mates Studio Rehearsals and not a studio in Canoga Park. When the actual recording did start in 1990, though, it was Rumbo Studio in Canoga Park that was used. It could be that it is the recordings in Rumbo Duff is talking about, and that they had indeed at the time of his interview in early January finished pre-production at Mates.

When Duff was asked why it had taken so long to get to the point of recording he would prevaricate:

OK, here’s the deal. We’ve always had enough songs, right? But we went to Chicago - Slash and myself and Steven went there - to try and make a start on the songs. And we waited for Axl and Izzy, but Axl had some reasons for not coming out - he was just waiting for us to do our trip as musicians - and Izzy... Izzy was having a hard time with life at that point and was just travelling the world. So we sat in Chicago for three months, the three of us, and kinda got suicidal. But at that point we also got a lot of shit done. So if people are gonna ask, have these guys lost their fuckin’ edge, I’d have to say no, we’ve gained a lot more edge.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

We'll get it done. Things fall into place – or they don't - for a reason. If we’re not doing the record till now then there’s got to be a good reason. I always believe in that shit. It's not that I'm one of those fuckin’ weirdos, it’s just that so much shit has happened to me that there’s got to be a reason. And even if there's not, it’ll work anyhow. It’ll work anyhow, fuck it...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


In an interview after the American Music Awards in January 1990, Slash would say they had 35 songs but are doing 24 and that it would become a double album [Interview after AMA, January 1990]. The band would not disclose the title of the albums at this time, nor say they had decided upon them. In the end, the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums would contain 30 tracks, including 'My World' and two versions of 'Don't Cry'.

Steven was briefly interview in January and would be very positive about the progress:

The sound is great, the songs are coming together and we’re just really looking forward to get it out. […] But it’s coming on really well. We’re very pleased.


In the same month Duff would confirm they had 35 songs:

Well, there’s so many of them for a start. We have songs for days... We have thirty-five fuckin’ songs written for this next fuckin’ album! It may be a double-album, I don’t know. None of us knows yet. […] we have thirty-five songs that we are proud of. And I tell you what, man, not to brag, but my bass playing has gotten so much better. Slash’s guitar playing has gotten immense! And fuckin’ Axl’s voice has gone from... The vocals on the Appetite album were great, but he was still a kid back then learning how to use his voice. Now he’s like [smacking hand into palm] he’s got it nailed, man.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


And talk about some of the songs:

It's a song l wrote about the press. It's called "Why Do You Look at Me When You Hate Me?". It means like, why do you keep writing about us when you already hate us? Why? Why don't they do their job and write about something they think is fuckin’ cool instead? I don’t mind if people hate us after they’ve seen the gig. But if they hate us before they even come to the gig, why the fuck are they there? So I wrote a song about that...

Slash has got some really fuckin’ cool tunes too, which Axl has put some words to. And Izzy’s got some really great tunes as well. There’s one Izzy's got called "Pretty Tied Up”. It’s actually a factual story about this chick down on Melrose we know, she’s like a dominatrix chick, you know? You pay her and you’re pretty tied up. It’s a great song...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


As far as name of the record, Duff suggested "Girth" or Heinous" mentioning that they already had a song called "Girth" [Kerrang! March 1990]. "Girth" would later end up being renamed "Coma". In the beginning of 1990, Axl would mention "GN'R Sucks" and "BUY-product" as possible names [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

In January 1990, Axl was asked if his "Mr. Brownstone" speech at the first show with Rolling Stones in October the previous year had amounted to anything and was the reason for the apparent band activity:

It way worked, man! ’Cos Slash is fuckin’ on like a motherfucker right now. And the songs are coming together, they’re coming together real heavy.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


When Axl was asked if the reason they had spent so much time, with the whole of 1989 not amounting to much, was only due to drug issues, he would answer:

Partly. But another reason things have been so hard in a way is this. The first album was basically written off Axl coming up with maybe one line and maybe a melody for that line or how I want to present that line, how I’m gonna say it or yell it or whatever, OK? And then we’d build a song around it. Or someone came up with one line, OK? On this, Izzy’s brought in eight songs - at least. Slash has brought in an album, I’ve brought in an album.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


And when asked to comment on the peculiarities of 1989:

Yeah, but if you look at it, it’s not peculiar at all. Because number one, we had to find a whole new way of working together, because everybody got successful. OK? And everybody’s had a dream that when they got successful they could do what they want. And so that ends up with Slash bringing in eight songs. It’s never been done before, Slash bringing in a song first and me writing words to it. I’ve done it twice with him before and we didn’t use either of those songs. Out of Slash’s choice. Now he’s got eight of them that I gotta write words to and they’re bad-assed songs! Meantime, I was working on, like, writing these ballads that I feel have really rich tapestries and stuff, and making sure each note in effect is right. […] ’Cos I also write with a lot of... whether I’m using a lot of instrumentation and stuff, I’ll still write with minimalism, right? But it has to be the right note and it has to be held in the right way and it has to have the right effect, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

It’s taken a lot of time to put together the ideas for this album. And... in certain ways nobody’s done what we’ve done. Come out with a record that captured, like, an essence of the Sex Pistols’ spirit, and stuff like that. And then got taken all the way... And no one’s followed it up. Well, we’re not gonna put out a fuckin’ record until we can, you know? That’s all. So we’ve been trying to build it up. And now it’s like, I’m writing the right words. And that’s just really started happening in the last month. And now, as of last week, I’m on a roll with the right words for Slash’s stuff. So it’s taken that long time to find ’em. And, you know, I hope the people are into it. I think that the audience has grown enough. Has grown with us. It’s been three years, they’ve gone through three years of shit too. So hopefully they'll relate to some new things.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


Slash would also be in high spirits in an interview published in February and indicate that the troubles they had endured in 1989 was now indeed behind them:

Me and Axl are on a roll right now. Last night we were listening to one of the new songs, trying to put lyrics to it. I went upstairs to get my hat, and he was singing. I got chills, thinking, F?!k, man, this album is gonna be a killer. I'm really excited about it now. The distractions, the problems, the bullshit are truly behind us now.


So band members were claiming that the recording was coming along nicely in the very beginning of 1990, in fact, Axl would say that the record would "hopefully be out by the summer" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

Slash would also repeat that it would be a double album:

Well, first off, it's gonna be a double album, because we've got too many songs, and we wanna do the best album we possibly can. Our attitude is not like, "Save it for the next record.” Hell, there might not be a next record. Right now all that lies in the future for Guns N’ Roses is the next LP.


And list some of the songs:

Let's see, there’s "Ain’t Goin’ Down," "Don't Cry,” “You Could Be Mine,” "Perfect Crime,” another one called “Night Crawler" and one called “Back Off Bitch.” I have a song, too, that I wrote. It’s really personal, about how estranged I felt from everybody else in the band—and from society, friends and stuff—during the bad period. It’s about how cold and materialistic people really are. It was just one of those sitting on the edge of the bed, being a little depressed and playing a slow song things. Most of the lyrics will be written by Axl, but they’ll reflect the thoughts, pain and feelings of the individuals in the band, 'cause we all go through it together.


Duff would talk more about the choice of studio and using Mike Clink again as the producer:

Yeah, just because we’re familiar with it. We could have chosen any studio we wanted, but it’s not that expensive, and we’re even using the smaller studio here, not the big one. We use the same room, the same producer [Mike Clink]. It’s like the ‘If the dog doesn’t bite you, why kick it in its ass’ theory.

The magic about Mike [Clink] is, he gets on tape exactly what's being played. This is what rock 'n' roll recording is all about. It's simple, dry; that's it. Don't mess with it. Don't trigger any samples on it. I would never allow that to be done. Just record the band, live. We're not a studio band. He saw that, and we knew that, so you just press play and record. He got all our sounds perfectly.


In an interview published in April 1990, Slash would again confirm they were going for a double album and that they by now had 13 songs recorded with 16 or so more songs to record [Raw Magazine, April 1990].

Out of the 13 songs we’ve done, there’s about five old ones. If that. ‘Back Off Bitch’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Ain’t Going Down’. These were songs which could have surfaced on the first album, but we weren’t really working on them at the time. We were concentrating on the songs that came on that first album, so we saved them for later. Some of the new ones are ‘Coma’, ‘So Fine’, ‘Dead Horse’ and ‘Civil War’.


Axl would also mention that he wanted Jeff Lynne to collaborate on string arrangements for November Rain and "three of four possible other songs" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]. In July, later that year, Axl would mention to Howard Stern that he had then actually been in talks with Lynne about the "string arrangement for [November Rain]" but that "we got it right" [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990].

There’s, like, thirty-seven songs, and I know by the end of the record there’ll be forty-two to forty-five and I want thirty of them down. […] Well, a double record but a single 76-minute CD. OK? Then I want five B-sides – people never listen to B-sides that much – and that will be the backside of another EP. You know, we’ll say it’s B-sides. Plus, there should be four extra songs for an EP, if we pull this off, OK? So that’s the next record. And then there’s the live record from the tour... If we can pull this thing off, if we do this right, it’ll be five years before we have to make another album. […] And we can have five years to... It’s not so much like five years to sit on our asses. It’s like, five years to figure out what we’re gonna say next, you know? After the crowd and the people figure out how they’re gonna react to this album, and then the mental changes we will go through... […] This record will have seen us grown a lot. There’ll be some childish, you know, arrogant, male, false bravado crap on there, too. But there’ll also be some really heavy, serious stuff.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


As planned from 1988 and 1989, the album was turning out to be more diverse than 'Appetite':

The new album is so diverse, and it goes to extremes that we haven’t really communicated to the people who listen to us. Maybe in concert, we’ve come close to it. It’s a lot heavier in concert than the ‘Appetite‘ album. We seem to be extreme in two ways. It’s really heavy or really mellow. There’s acoustics and horns and shit like that. […] But it’s going to be different. The songs are longer, and the lyrics are very serious. Very defined and very direct at certain issues. Very harsh. […] When we did ‘Appetite...’, I didn’t think it was going to be commercial, but it was. So I don’t know what this will do in that sense. It doesn’t sound like a commercial album to me.

Yeah, there’ll be, um, there’ll be a few acoustic things. There'll be some songs that are acoustic going into electric back to acoustic, and stuff like that. I actually play guitar on a couple songs for the first time (laughs). I only play two strings but it's some pretty cool punk rock type stuff (chuckles).


In March/April 1990, Arlett Vereecke, GN'R's publisher and friend of the band, would describe the status of the work:

The fact is, Axl and Slash have been working very closely on their next project, with Axl again writing the lyrics while Slash churns out the cool guitar licks. Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Slash have been rehearsing for months and are just rolling along in the studio. A double album can be expected hopefully before summer, followed by their first headlining world tour.


The actual fact is that things were not progressing this smoothly anymore, and especially Steven was in trouble...


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:55 pm

GEFFEN RECORDS GROWS IMPATIENT


By now Geffen Records would be well used to the band moving slowly. 'Appetite' had taken longer than planned, partly resulting in the release of the EP Live? Like A Suicide. And now the follow-up to 'Appetite' was taking much longer than what the label wanted. The label saw the need to release quickly while the band enjoyed immense success from 'Appetite,' but writing and recording was a very slow process and again the label decided to release an EP, 'GN'R Lies'. Still, the band was far from having the follow-up ready and they started re-releasing singles.

Well, you can took at it from the point of view that ‘AFD’ is two years old, but it you recall the LP only really began to take off about a year ago, so in those terms it’s not that old. One thing all of the band are pissed off with, though, is the fact that Geffen Records have seen fit to re-release ‘Sweet Child...’ again in the UK. Why? We certainly weren’t consulted on this state of affairs and whilst I know that the label don’t need our permission to put out anything as a single from our LPs, nonetheless it seems to us that they’re milking the fans. And I just hope that we don’t get the blame [Raw Magazine, July 1989].[/i]
In June 1991, Axl would indicate that the label had suggested release dates:

But we had people at the record company come up with deadlines on when they wanted the record out and we'd go, 'OK, we'll do our best (to meet the deadline),' and we tried. But we were not going to give anybody the record until we felt it was done [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].[/i]
In November:

But, you know, there’s a business and they might not necessarily understand where the artist is coming from. And, you know, they want to do their job and get a record out; and if they’re excited about something, you know, they just might get like, I don’t know, too excited and and try to make it happen too fast. And it was like, there was no way for us to actually put a deadline on trying to achieve a certain feeling with our album. And so sometimes things got a little bit messy [Rockline, November 27, 1991].[/i]
Talking about going on tour in 1991 before the recoding was complete:

It broke the record company's stride! It didn't break ours. We were happy. They kept saying, "When are we gonna see that record, guys?" Our attitude was, "We don't know. When it's done, it's done" [Guitar World, February 1992].[/i]


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:56 pm

JANUARY 22, 1990
SLASH AND DUFF SWEARS AT THE AMA


After a troubling 1989, 1990 started well with the band winning two awards at the American Music Awards, the first was for favorite heavy-metal group the other for best heavy-metal album, "Appetite for Destruction."

To accept the award, Duff and Slash would attend the ceremony. Axl was at the time vacationing in Paris, Izzy didn't want to go, and Steven "had to stay home" "per orders from his manager" and wasn't allowed to attend [Blast! May 1990].

Slash and Duff, obviously under the influence, delivered acceptance speeches and Slash uttered the word "fuck" twice and the broadcast was cut. ABC had to apologize:

"We regret that last night's live telecast of the American Music Awards contained some offensive language. This has not happened before in the 17 years this awards show has been on the air. We will take precautionary measures to see that it does not happen in future telecasts" [Los Angeles Times, January 1990].

I said 'Ooops'... I know that things like this add to our image. I understand that now, but still - who cares? […] We don’t calculate this shit. We’re not creating a hype. I can’t figure us out, so why analyze it? I reckon it’s just that our lives are a whole lot deeper than the press can print on a fucking page.

It's not that big a deal. If people were offended by a few swear words that everybody says every day, well, in the whole scheme of things, who cares? At least we didn't have some contrived (bleeping) speech. It was real and that's what the band is about.


Slash would later recall what happened:

The fucking music awards…What happened was I got this phone call the day of the show asking if I wanted to go. We were nominated for two awards, and someone from the band needed to accept if we won. So me and Duff and our girlfriends all got drunk and flipped on down there after a stop at Carl Jrs. When we arrived, it was mass confusion, the whole paparazzi thing. I really didn’t give a shit; I just wanted to hang out and have a good time. Anyway, we had third-row seats, and the show was real cheesy and boring. We were smoking and drinking wine, and all of a sudden we won this award. We weren’t ready for it. I don’t know what I said onstage, but it was short and sweet. I don’t think there were too many “fucks” in it. Then we went backstage. I met Lenny Kravitz, which was cool, but Prince blew us off. He and his entourage just ignored us when we walked by. He didn’t say anything, and he probably didn’t know who we were. I don’t think we’re what he’d call good company, and I really didn’t care. He looked like a fag that night anyway. Afterward, we went back to our seats, and when the second award came, it was totally unexpected. I got up to the microphone and started to thank the people who helped us out over the years. I said “fucking” again, and I knew it was live television, so I said, “Oops.” But it just slipped out again and again and again. Once I started, that was it. It was just like using an adjective. […] I wasn’t really drunk. All I had was wine. I had, like, two glasses of wine during the show, and I wasn’t that fucked up. That’s just me — really, you have to know how I am, especially when I’m in a crowd of people. All this attention is focused on you, and I get very shy. I don’t know why, but I can’t approach a public situation like that without loosening up. That night, I didn’t wear my hat, I didn’t have a guitar to hide behind, and I wasn’t performing. You walk into one of these places, and you feel almost like you’re being X-rayed. Besides, I sort of wanted us to be the fuckups there, because everybody else was so polite and stiff and unnatural. We were trying to have a good time, and I think out of all the people there, we were the only ones who weren’t putting on a façade.


The media would claim that Axl had been pissed off at Slash's drunkenness (this was just a couple of months after the infamous Mr. Brownstone speech), but according to publicist, Arlett Vereecke, writing for Blast!, a "little drinking doesn’t bother" Axl [Blast! May 1990].

The swearing on national TV made some radio stations boycott the band's music [Detroit Free Press, May 1991], yet Slash was not apologetic:

I think it was the funniest thing that happened during the whole show. It was a really stiff awards show. It was really a bore. I tried to make it a good time. It slipped out. I was a little nervous. They called me up and asked me to do the awards again this year.


For the 1992 awards Slash's appearance would be pre-taped due to him being on tour [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:56 pm

MARCH 1990 - GEFFEN RECORDS IS ACQUIRED BY MCA INC.


In March 1990, Los Angeles Times reported that Geffen Records had been sold to MCA Inc. The sole owner of Geffen Record, David Geffen, received stock options in MCA worth about $550 million [Los Angeles Times, March 1990].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:57 pm

MARCH 1990 - DIZZY JOINS THE BAND


Axl would announce that they had got a piano player in the band in early 1990:

But here is new news. There is a new member of GN’R. […] Erm, a guy named Dizzy. […] Dizzy. D-I-Z-Z-Y. […] We just call him Dizzy. But he’s the sixth member of Guns N’ Roses. He’s our keyboard player and piano player. […] He was in a band out here called The Wild. And he used to be our next-door neighbour. He was actually asked to join three or four years ago. But the very same day that we decided we were gonna ask Dizzy to join the band he was in a car wreck and had his hand smashed, so he had to get pins and stuff put in it. Then he came into rehearsal a few months ago and played three songs that he’d never heard before, songs that we didn’t even plan having piano in, that were heavy metal. But he put heavy metal piano into it, you know? And it was amazing. […] So the other day, Monday, I found out he was going to be put out on the streets... no, it was a Sunday night. So I called Alan on Monday and I said, secure this guy, hire him, write up the contracts. Put him on salary and give him an advance so he can get an apartment. So now we have a piano player... [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].
Dizzy would explain how he had called Axl and told him he was about to be vacated from his apartment where he couldn't pay the rent:

Having a keyboard player in the band was something they talked to me about a long time ago. I never really thought it would happen. I go "Dude I'm starving. As of tomorrow I'll have no phone, no apartment, no food, no nothing and if you guys need to know where to get a hold of me I can't tell you where I'm gonna be [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
The next day Axl called him and told him he was in the band:

Basically, they fuckin' saved my life [Rolling Stone, September 1991].
I was doing this thing called “the couch tour” and it was like getting (?), I was, like, squatting in this apartment. And I had, like, one day left, and the phone was getting turned off, and they’re gonna make sure that, you know, we always have your number. And I was just like, I had no money, no food, nothing to drink; like, there’s no furniture in this joint, right? Finally, I got ahold of Axl and go, “Dude, man, it’s like, tomorrow there’s not gonna be a place to get ahold of me.” Quite frankly, man, I was starting to give up hope, you know, on the L.A. scene and the L.A. life. It’s just like it’d be really tough. […] The next day I got a call, and he said, “Dude, congratulations, you’re in the band.” […] I said, “Let me sleep on that." (laughs). […] I think that all it has to do is just a hope. You can’t give up hope, and you can’t give up your dreams. […] Giving up is too easy, you know. It’s something I always wanted. I never actually thought that I would be in the band, you know. But, I mean, six years later, here I am [Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993].
The band would also formally tell their fan base that Dizzy was in the band in May 1990 through the official fan club newsletter, but say that he was "employed" and that he might "become a full-time member" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Getting Dizzy in the band was obviously Axl's decision and not enthusiastically appreciated by the rest of the band:

…Another thing Axl had been working on. One day Dizzy came down to our rehearsal. He must have had a terrible time, 'cos everyone ignored him for two weeks. I tried to be friendly. I'd say: 'Hey man, how's it going? I don't know what we're doing either! We've just been in this studio for the last two years and we're supposed to be making a record or something. By the way, do you have a keyboard?' - 'cos the guy didn't even own a fuckin' instrument. After a few weeks I said to him: 'Hey man, seeing as we're Guns N' Roses, maybe someone can lend you a keyboard or we can get you an endorsement or something'. In fact, the guy's turned out to be a really cool addition [VOX, October 1991].
Slash would admit to giving Dizzy a hard time:

I had to get used to the idea. At first I thought, "We don't need no stinking keyboards!", and I really gave Dizzy a hard time. He was the new guy, and I would be like, "You screwed up there. Just don't play." Now he's really part of the band and I love him to death. But he probably remembers how bad it was at first. […] Now, I think the keyboards are great, especially live. They give as many more expressive options [Guitar World, February 1992].
Regarding the challenge of joining Guns N' Roses:

To me it’s just as anything else. I just looked at it as another challenge. And it’s like, if I can pull this off, I could definitely do anything (chuckles) MTV, May 1991].
In a press release from Geffen in 1991, it was said that Dizzy was included to "give some additional color to the sound" [Geffen Press Release, September 1991].

There are signs indicating that Dizzy may not have been considered a band member of equal stature as the rest of the guys. Izzy's story above about how Dizzy had been given a cold shoulder at the first rehearsals attests to that. Whereas Matt was quickly embraced, other band members seemed more lukewarm towards Dizzy. When Duff mentioned how they would rehearse for the Rock in Rio shows, he mentioned Matt but not Dizzy [Special TV, 1991]. And when Duff was talking about how the Rock in Rio gigs would be the debut for Matt, Dizzy was mentioned almost in a side-sentence [Special TV, 1991].

The difference in how Dizzy and Matt was welcome can probably be explained by Axl thrusting Dizzy upon the rest of the band members while Dizzy was Slash and Duff's choice, and disagreement on whether they really needed a keyboard player.

Being asked if Dizzy was brought in to add a dimension to their music, Slash would answer:

No, we just did cuz we wrote the songs that way. You know? [MTV, May 1991].
In May 1991, Dizzy would talk about fitting in the band:

I'm lucky enough that Axl has a really good... You know, he wrote a lot of the songs on piano and stuff, so he has a really good concept of keyboards in music and whatnot. And to me it’s just as anything else. I just looked at it as another challenge. And it’s like, if I can pull this off, I could definitely do anything (chuckles) [MTV, May 1991].
In July 1991, the journalist Nick Kent who wrote an article for VOX that was released in October, and who hung out with the band backstage before their July 19 show at Mountain View in California, would comment that Dizzy "still looks a bit lost in the midst of it all" [VOX, October 1991].

Around the same time Slash would deny Dizzy being a fully-fledged members of the band because he hadn't been in the band long enough (yet say that Matt was, despite having been in the band for about equally long), and also imply that bringing in Dizzy had been all Axl's idea:

Dizzy’s more - and Axl might disagree with me here - but Dizzy’s an old friend, somebody that we’ve known for a long time, since Guns started, and he was the kind of player that Axl wanted. His style was what Axl wanted for the piano stuff [Kerrang! July 27, 1991].
In May 1993, while being interviewed on a boat together with Matt and Duff, Dizzy would be asked how he had been fitting into the band:

Well, it’s been three years now. I think if I hadn’t settled in I probably wouldn’t be on this boat [The O-Zone BBC, May 31, 1993].
Slash would refer to him as "the sucker in the bunch"

When we got really f**ked up [at the 'Use Your Illusion' tour], we'd party in Dizzy's room. He was like the sucker in the bunch - you know how there's one in every band? [laughing] We'd all party and charge it to Dizzy's mini-bar tab! [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].
Although this sounds somewhat mean-spirited, Slash would work with Dizzy in 1994 for Dizzy's solo album, indicating they had become good enough friends or colleagues.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:58 pm

DIZZY BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


Darren Arthur Reed was born on June 18, 1963.

The band members knew Dizzy from their early days in Hollywood when Dizzy played in a band called 'The Wild' and used to hang out at the Gardner place. Slash would refer to him as an "almost pseudo-roommate" [MTV, May 1991].

Dizzy's an old friend of the band's, too. When Guns were all living in one room off of Sunset, he was in the room next door with his band. We used to have big parties in the parking lot. We always liked him [Guitar for the Practising Musician, November 1992].
Both the band and myself went through some hard times. When I first met the guys, I was in another band in Hollywood and we were all living in the same place. We worked in the same studio. At that time, Guns N’ Roses was very successful [in the club scene] and everyone said that they’d manage to get signed and make it. So I wanted to be part of it too... It must’ve been 1986 – but, at the time, I wasn’t in position to figure out what year we were in, ha! [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
[…] it was after Guns moved out and I was still with The Wild. And Mary’s band moved in to the same little studio, and we’d been living there for a year-and-a-half, and there was no shower – there was, like, a faucet in the parking lot of a hose. […] We never thought about building a shower. She moved in and in, like, one day she sets up a shower. Like, she goes to the hardware store, comes back with all the stuff - the tools and everything - and sets up a shower; and she hooks it up to the faucet out in this parking lot and puts, like, a crate there to stand on. And I was like, “Woah, no way, I’ve got a shower! How could we never thought of that?” Like a year-and-a-half later, right? And so, I was so excited, man. I just stripped down naked and cruised over there. So it’s just in the middle, it’s out in the open, and I’m standing there naked taking a shower (laughs). This other girl (?) is around and I’m just like, “Hi, how you doing? Alright” (laughs). And then, like two minutes later, Mary pulled up the stuff and then she went to the store to build the curtain (laughs) [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
Anyway, to go back to the old days, that studio I was telling you about – we lived in a room that didn’t have a bathroom. There was only a toilet out in the parking lot and everybody went there. I really felt disgusted to go there. Then I remember that we had those big parties. There was a faucet in one corner of the parking lot, so we got those big glasses and went there, all of us together, to fill them up and wash ourselves! But the hardest thing was getting food. Sometimes, girls we’d met at some club the night before came to the studio, and the first thing we said to them was to bring us a cheeseburger or something! You got to have some nerve to ask other people to buy you something to eat. I also remember the big parties in the parking lot. It was a really good place for that, because there was a big brick wall that separated the studio from the street. We didn’t like it so much, of course, when the police came! [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
I remember a friend of ours, Jo-Jo, had a Mustang, and every Friday and Saturday night he'd load it with a hundred cans of beer that he had kept cold on ice. So after the bars closed at 2:00, he would come to the parking lot around 3:00 and sell beer to us... Three bucks for Budweiser, four bucks for the other ones! When the police would come and ask who was in charge there, Jo-Jo would lock his car and we’d all play dumb: "We don’t know, this is a parking lot." […] the parties were fun. But it’s no fun at all to have nothing to eat. I think it's still like that in Hollywood, but thankfully there are some good people who’ll help you get by [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
But where Guns N' Roses enjoyed success, Dizzy's bands went nowhere and 6 years after having met the guys, Dizzy hadn't "made a penny playing music" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

In the summer of 1986, when playing in the band Johnny and the Jaguars (under the name of "Dizzy Zin" [L.A. Weekly, October 30, 1986], Dizzy got in a serious car accident and injured his hand:

A friend of mine is a keyboardist in a band called Johnny and the Jaguars and got in a car wreck and smashed his fucking hand. We want to dedicate this next song to him, because he is our bro. This song is called "Nightrain." This is for you Dizzy [Onstage at Club ingerie, July 24, 1986].
Dizzy would later talk about the accident and mention that he had been considered to do some shows with GN'R, and possible recording, before it happened:

I was supposed to do some shows with the band [before Appetite], and I think some recording too. But, a couple of days before the first show, I kind of got a little car accident. […] I got, like, a big toe instead of a thumb now. […] It made [playing the piano] a little difficult at first, but, you know, when your life is depending on it for whatever, you figure out a way to do it [In Your Face, October 1992].
Anyway, they made it, and they called me and asked me to go on tour with them. But two days before I was supposed to go, I had a bad car accident and broke my hand. So I didn’t go [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].
If this is true, it implies that the band, or perhaps only Axl, considered adding keyboards to Appetite for Destruction.

But we kept in touch and we’d see each other in clubs here and there; and years later, when they started recording “Use Your Illusion," Axl got ahold of me and asked me if I was still interested in joining the band [Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:58 pm

EARLY 1990 (?)
THE STEVEN AND ERIN DRUG CONTROVERSY


At some point in the first half of 1990, an incident happened between Axl, Erin and Steven, probably alluded to in the bold parts of the quote below:

We gave him every ultimatum. We tried working with other drummers, we had Steven sign a contract saying if he went back to drugs, then he was out. He couldn't leave his drugs and... [b]Other things have happened involved with Steven, that Steven is basically someone I used to know. That makes me feel bad, but there's other things beside the band that he was involved in with his drugs that’ve been very dangerous and scary, and I want nothing to do with him.


In the October 1992 issue of RIP Axl would mention this incident:

I even forgave [Steven] after he nearly killed my wife. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit because her heart had stopped thanks to Steven. She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine? I kept myself from doing anything to him. I kept the man from being killed by members of her family. I saved him from having to go to court, because her mother wanted him held responsible for his actions.


This story would be alluded to in the lawsuit Everly would file against Axl in March 1994. In the suit she would claim Axl had beat her severely that night and that it resulted in her being injected with heroin and cocaine, suffering cardiac arrest, and ending up hospitalized [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994]. The lawsuit did not specify who had short her up, though.

In early 1997, Steven would be confronted with the rumour that he had had sex with Erin, and he would tell his version of the story:

Erin Everly, beautiful girl, comes over with this guy, I'm not going to mention his name, and Izzy's old girlfriend. […] She came over [?] and this guy who's this girl was going out with were playing in my studio in the backyard. Erin comes over with this other girl and I said, "Don't come over," "Don't bring him over" and they just came over after we start playing and there's a knock on the door and Erin's not looking right, as I bring her in my room, I lay her on the bed, I'm going "What's up? What's up?" and then the girl goes, "Oh, I gave her 30 Valiums and 35 clonidines" which are all... […] ...lowers your blood pressure. And she gives her all these pills and I said, "What the hell did you do that for?" And she goes, "Because she got in a fight with Axl and is depressed," [?] and I was watching this girl die on me. […] so I call the ambulance. Ambulance comes, wakes her, gets her back up. And Axl thinks I shot her up with heroin....[…] There was no sex but that I shot her up with heroin and almost killed her. I never did anything like that. I was just in my studio plan. And they just came over. And Axl wants to kill me. I got a bad rap, it was this goofy girl who did it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:01 pm

TRYING NEW DRUMMERS AND PUTTING STEVEN ON PROBATION


STEVEN STRUGGLES IN THE STUDIO


During 1989 and early 1990, Steven's increasing heroin and crack use made him unreliable and this affected the band's work on the Use Your Illusions.

Steven Adler would show up at the recording studio completely high. Recording sessions would abort for several days when he couldn't put it together.

Steven [...] was beginning to get erratic. His participation in rehearsals and writing and recording sessions became less frequent, and his ability to perform suffered big-time.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 162


This became explicitly clear after the Farm Aid concert on April 7, when the band tried recording 'Civil War' for the Nobody's Child charity album:

The first thing we wanted was a fluid drum take. Bass and drums always got done quickly in the early days. I hardly ever had to do bass fixes because Steven and I were so solid as a rhythm section. But when we had tried to lay down the basic tracks for 'Civil War,' producer Mike Clink and I had to patch together the drum tracks from dozens of inadequate takes-by hand, as this was before editing made that sort of thing much easier.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 163

It's been over the course of years where we just had little problems here and there and then it got to be major and it held the band back for a while. Finally it came down to `it's either going to f*** up the whole band's career and everybody as an individual or we're going to have to make a decision about this.

I didn't want to go into the studio because his playing was so far off. He'll argue with me even now and say, "I played great." But he didn't—he couldn't. The guy was nodding out all over the place. That went on for a couple of months, and then I cancelled the studio time because it was a waste of money. So the only song on the album that Steven played on is "Civil War." He thought he was great, but we had to edit the drum track like mad just so we could play along with it. Even then, I had to remember where the drum mistakes were to keep the guitar in time with them.

We went into the studio to start working on some of the songs on the ‘...Illusion’ albums, and it was a waste of time and money. We had to drop out, which was about 100,000 dollars later.

We had recorded like 18 tracks for the Use Your Illusion I record with Steven and it just wasn’t happening. […] We put him through rehab like three times. I even went to his drug dealer’s house and threatened him with a gun and said, ‘Dude, if you ever...’


This last reference Duff makes to threatening his dealer with gun, may be what a story in NME in December 1999 was based on. In this story, Steven was held captive his drug sellers and Duff decided to try to release him [NME, December 25, 1999].
Duff, armed with a shotgun, got a friend to drive him to a residential area in the Valley where Duff twice entered the wrong house in search of Steven, scaring the people living there [NME, December 25, 1999]. This could of course be a second incident, or just a myth.

The problems with recording the drum tracks for 'Civil War' would be mentioned by Slash and Duff in more interviews [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].  As Slash would say it, "[Steven's] chops were all over the place" [Musician, December 1990].

To help Steven sober up, the band hired a sober coach, Bob Timmons, but nothing changed [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].


SIDE EFFECTS OF OPIATE BLOCKERS?


Steven would later claim he he struggles in the studio was due to him suffering from the side-effects of opiate blockers he had taken two weeks earlier:

I asked the guys, 'Please, can we wait until next week-end when I wouldn't be so sick?' […] They gave me such a hard time. They kept accusing me—saying I'm high—and they knew I was sick from medicine I got from a doctor.

[…] the bottom line was Slash calls me up he says, "We're going in the studio and record Civil War". And a week before then, I said, "Okay", you know they're giving me crap about the drugs, it's okay, manager took me to the doctor, he gave me this opiate blocker but you're not supposed to take an opiate blocker when you have opiates in your body, right? The doctor didn't tell me. He gives me an opiate blocker. I'm sick for six weeks. If I had to go to bathroom I had to crawl. It was that bad. And he calls me, Slash, "We got to go in but you're just messed up," and....[…]  I got to the studio. I just was so sick I had.... I couldn't... I had no timing cuz I was so weak and dizzy. […] but Slash is all, "We can't waste the money" and I'm "Don't even go there with 'waste money' cuz there is one other person we know who is very good at that."


Yet despite this, and even in the Circus Magazine interview from the first quote, Steven would also claim that the demo tapes they made in Rumbo Recorders were fine and that he had "kicked ass":

I kicked ass on those tapes. If I could find them [Adler claims they were stolen by "some jerkoff"], I'd go on any radio station and play them. […] Slash told me that I suck, that I can't play anymore and it was the biggest waste of time.


Slash would disagree:

At Rumbo, Steven would nod out to the point where he would be on a stool, but his head would be touching the floor. He'd say, 'I'm tired. I'm sleepy,' and he couldn't play. That was basically it. We gave him so many chances to turn around. We took him to Indiana, to play Farm Aid, and he jumps on the drum riser and almost breaks his f?!king neck. Look, Steven was a part of what made Guns N' Roses happen. He had a great energy. He wasn't an insanely great drummer, but he had tons of attitude. When the sex and drugs and the whole bit started to get out of hand, he went right along with it. But there's a certain time when you really have to control your life. I'm not preaching - I'm in no position to preach - but you must be aware of your own existence and take care of your own business. You just can't be loaded all the time and expect everything to be okay. Trust me, I know. As far as the rest of us, we bounced back, we straightened up. Steven never did. We always told each other when it was getting real bad. Everybody was there for the individual who needed help. That's how we're survived as a band. But Steven would never cop to anything, as far as telling us how bad it was.



SLASH ACCUSES STEVEN OF LYING


According to Slash, Steven was also lying and deceiving the band:

And he was lying to us on a daily basis.

See, [Steven] never quite made it to that growing-up period that the rest of us went through. It was always just a big game for him—fun all the time. That's a rock and roll attitude, which I've always appreciated, but Steven was just out there [on drugs], and I had just come back from that. So he couldn't lie to me about it. But he still kept trying to lie.



TRYING OUT REPLACEMENT DRUMMERS


At some point in March 1990, or earlier, Steven was out of the band, resulting in the band testing out the drummers Adam Maples [from Sea Hags] and Martin Chambers [from The Pretenders], and this was reported in the media, including in L.A. Weekly in March [L.A. Weekly, March 30, 1990].

When we went to try out drummers, I got really depressed, because it's hard, especially for me, as I used to play drums. I know what goes through a drummer's head, and I know how it should be. It was really scary, 'cause Steven was the drummer since the beginning of the band. We're used to our style. […] [The drummers] tried out with Slash and I. Since our albums weren't out, we'd usually have them learn "Jungle," "Brownstone," maybe "Paradise City"-things that they might be familiar with.


According to Duff, part of the reason they tried out other drummers was to force Steven to clean up:

We got a new drummer in to shock Steven into cleaning up so he could come back, but that didn’t work.


And it might have worked because Steven was let back into the band:

[Steven] is back in the band. […] He was definitely out of the band. He wasn’t necessarily fired. We worked with Adam Maples, we worked with Martin Chambers. Then Steven did the Guns N’ Roses thing and got his shit together. And it worked. He did it. And Steven plays the songs better than any of ’em. He’s just bad-assed and he’s GN’R. And so, if he doesn’t blow it, we’re gonna try the album with him... and the tour.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


Rumors about Steven being about to leave Guns N' Roses were widely reported [L.A. Weekly, March 30, 1990] and the band addressed this in their May issue of the fan club newsletter by saying Steven is "definitely a band member" and that he was "winning his battle with hard drugs" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Slash would comment on the possibility of Maples replacing Steven:

The guy from the Sea Hags was a really cool guy, and we got along, but he just didn’t have the right vibe.


And later Slash and Duff would say that none of these replacements were good enough:

And we went through a few people and it just wasn’t clicking and it was getting really frustrating.

We tried Martin Chambers from the Pretenders and that wasn’t happening, and a few other people. Drummers are the hardest part of the band to find. Especially with this band because it’s like totally a family, so we had to find somebody that’s like a bro.


The quote also suggests the band considered using Adam Maples and Martin Chambers to both get the record finished and to replace Steven for the upcoming touring. Maples would do the recording and Chambers the touring [Hot Metal, May 1990].


MARCH 28, 1990 - THE PROBATION CONTRACT


To try to get Steven into sobering up, the band then presented Steven with a probation agreement in which Steven would refrain from drugs. This agreement also reduced his position in the band from "partner" to "employee" and the contract would end after 30 days, basically implying that Steven would have to be re-hired after this period, and put on another employee contract, to continue his job in Guns N' Roses, or, as Axl implies, get his partnership back:

You know, we worked out a contract with [Steven]. He’s going to do the album and, if he doesn’t blow it, then he’s going to do the tour. Then if he doesn’t blow that he’s fully reinstated.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

So then we had a contract made up saying he was no longer a partner if he didn’t get his situation straight. He just kept lying to us, and from my point of view and the other guys, lying to us is a heavy thing.


According to Steven, the probation agreement was signed a week before their Farm Aid concert [Circus Magazine, October 1991], which would have made it in early April 1990. But from the contract itself, and other sources, we know the date was March 28, 1990 [Associated Press/Vidette Messenger, July 21, 1991; Excerpt from Axl's testimony at the trial for Steven's lawsuit, August 23, 1993].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:01 pm

APRIL 7, 1990 - THE FARM AID CONCERT


The band only played one show in 1990, at the Farm Aid charity festival at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, on April 7. The band played two songs, debuting 'Civil War' and a cover, 'Down on the Farm" originally by the UK Subs.

When we had played a couple songs to a huge crowd at Farm Aid in April, [Steven] was a mess onstage [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].
After Farm Aid, Izzy would have "one of the best rides" of his life when he rode his Harley motorbike back to Los Angeles, through Memphis, New Orleans and Texas [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:02 pm

APRIL 1990
STEVEN IS FIRED


I would be safe to assume that if there was somebody to leave or if...whatever, the band would not be happening anymore. I would almost be safe to assume that. […]  I mean, because it takes personalities and a certain, uh, way with each other to fucking make whatever is going to happen. […] said we kicked Stevie out of the band, you can't just bring fucking Tommy Aldridge in the band and it's going to be the same.

_________________________________________________________

Steven did not improve despite the band's efforts [see previous chapter], and only about two weeks into Steven's probation period, which would make it a week after Farm Aid, the band decided to permanently replace Steven with Matt Sorum who had been brought in to help out with recording the record. This indicates that Matt replaced Steven in mid-April 1990.

[The lawyer threat] was meant to scare him, but it proved convenient for Slash, Axl, Izzy and me. In the end, we had our lawyer tell his lawyer that he was permanently out.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172


Steven would claim it was Doug Goldstein who told him [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997]:

Dougie called me up and said I was out of the band. Then I tried calling the guys up and they would not talk to me.

Well it's more like, "Come down to the office, I want to talk to you." I get down to the office. [Goldstein] has his papers, that's about half a foot thick, going, "Sign everywhere where the little colored paper clips are" and I'm under [?] signing away and "What's this for?" and he said, "Oh nothing, it just means you are on probation for three weeks." But then what I really find out, I'm signing away all my rights.


The firing of Steven would be not be officially disclosed in quite a while, and first when Matt Sorum recorded 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' for the Thunder Days soundtrack would the rumours start flying that Steven was out of the band [Metal Hammer, July 30, 1990]. On Axl's interview with MTV's Kurt Loder that was aired on August 31, 1990, Axl would explicitly say that Steven was out of the band [MTV, August 31, 1990].

In an interview in September 1992, Izzy would be asked if firing Steven had been "all Axl's idea" (like firing Alan Niven which they had discussed earlier in the interview), to which Izzy would indicate the entire band agreed Steven was a problem but that it had been the "industry's machine" - so perhaps the label? - who had made that call:

At this time I had nearly managed to get clean up, from everything. When I was looking at the band, I would see Stevie, who was a good guy, who's been struggling with us during all these years, but couldn't handle it anymore. He was a real millstone, he needed to clean up! Fuck... We all tried to help him, to support him. But no, finally, we'd been on the road with this guy for years and we lived this dilemma: "OK. We leave him six months doing nothing without any guarantee it gets better, or we forget about the double album and we burry the band?" Actually, the industry's machine woke up and the answer was: "We take someone else to cut these records." It's wasn't an easy decision.


Slash would also be asked if he was Steven's "champion" at the time:

More that I just stuck by him.



OTHER POSSIBLE REASONS FOR STEVEN BEING FIRED - NOT GOOD ENOUGH?


Other factors may have played a role in Steven being fired. In early 1992, Slash would imply that the new material was too complex for Steven:

But Steven [Adler] would have been happy just to do the same thing [as on 'Appetite'] again on the new album. He wouldn't have made it through the record.

Well that’s always been a sensitive subject, because Stephen had, I wouldn’t say no metre, but very bad metre; he used to watch my foot to keep time! And because we were all really young then, we had a kind of aggressive, almost punk attitude; it was great, very brash and very abrupt. But it wasn’t like, say, the Ramones, where we were just going to keep doing that forever. So after we did ‘Appetite’ and ‘Lies’ and toured, and because Axl, Duff and I really do love all kinds of areas of music, we all had different musical things we wanted to achieve, we got to a point where Stephen... well... you know...

But I noticed that some of the immediacy of our sound was lost in losing Stephen; it almost had a touch of anxiety to it. With the situation of Stephen leaving and Matt coming in, I did listen to see what changes were happening in the attack of the band, and all of a sudden it turned into a very precise, big thing, and it was like, ‘God, we can do all kinds of stuff with this.’ And I like that because I feel like I’ve matured and I’ve been able to do a lot of things that, with Steve, we couldn’t have done. I mean, I did a song on a Les Paul tribute record that’s coming out. I wrote this tune and Stephen could never play it; it was a very ‘black’ groove thing and he could just never get it right, and so I shelved the song.

And there were a lot of other songs that went by the wayside because of that, which has a lot to do with why the ‘Illusion’ albums sound so diverse. There were so many things that we wanted to do that were stifled by the group as it was. So releasing these two albums simultaneously was a big orgasm for us...


A specific example of Steven not being good enough was when Duff allegedly had to help Steven with the intro to 'You Could Be Mine', back in 1986, something Duff would testify on while in court in 1993:

[…] I used to get behind the kit when Steven was in the band. That song was written for ‘Appetite’ and at that time Slash and I would have to try and explain to Steven how the drum part should go; I’d have to tell Slash to chill out and I’d do it - a guitar player relating to a drummer just doesn’t work.

So I ended up getting behind the drum kit and showing Steve. I’m not technically a great drummer but I know how to get the playing across. And that’s what I testified yesterday, too.


The topic of Steven not being skilled enough would also come up when Slash would explain why he took the song 'Always on the Run', which was originally intended for Guns N' Roses, to Lenny Kravitz:

Axl and Duff were like: "Why did you do that?" I was like: "'Cause Steve couldn't play 'em"



OTHER POSSIBLE REASONS FOR STEVEN BEING FIRED - ERIN INCIDENT?


And the incident between Erin Every and Steven [see other section] might also have soured the relationship between Axl and added that to the decision:

We gave him every ultimatum. We tried working with other drummers, we had Steven sign a contract saying if he went back to drugs, then he was out. He couldn't leave his drugs and... Other things have happened involved with Steven, that Steven is basically someone I used to know. That makes me feel bad, but there's other things beside the band that he was involved in with his drugs that’ve been very dangerous and scary, and I want nothing to do with him.



OTHER POSSIBLE REASONS FOR STEVEN BEING FIRED - ODD MAN OUT?


Steven makes a point in his biography to emphasize that the band already in its early years had a problem with him. During rehearsals for the 1987 shows at the Marquee in London, for instance, the band started playing 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' without informing Steven that it would be played:

It was Axl's idea to do "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." He told Slash about it, they learned it, and we did it. They never even mentioned it to me though, just expecting me to pick up on the beat on the fly. I didn't know if this was a tribute to my drumming adaptability or a sign of their abject disregard for my needs as a member of the band (but I could venture a pretty good fucking guess).
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 126


In Steven's opinion, this feeling of disrespect towards him, although he doesn't explain where it came from, was a major component in the decision to fire him:

[...] this growing disrespect only snowballed until it put me in an awfully embarrassing situation at Farm Aid.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 126



BEING SHUNNED


After being fired, Steven would claim he tried to contact the band members, including calling Duff and Slash for their birthdays, but that they wouldn't see him:

They would not let me in. I left their birthday gifts on the porches of their houses. I feel totally betrayed! […] The thing with Slash is [Steven's voice verges on tears] we were family. I know his mother, his grandmother, he knows mine. We were best friends, man. How could you just desert somebody like that?


Then Steven sued the band [see below]. According to Steven in the October 1991 interview, he first met Slash again "recently" when they crossed paths outside the Rainbow in Hollywood:

Slash says, 'So, you're suing us'. I say, 'Yeah,' And he says, 'Well Axl's going to kick your fucking ass.


Steven's claims that the band avoided him is disputed by Slash, who claims he tried to keep in contact with Steven, but that Steven's insufferable behavior pushed him away:

I did keep in touch. I'd pop into his house every now and then to see how he was doing. I stuck with him, as you'd do for a loved one. And then he started getting on my case, saying, `I've heard you guys are all on heroin and what's the difference, blab blah blab....' And finally I couldn't talk to him anymore. I'd take him out to dinner and it would turn into this huge fight, to the point where I couldn't take it. So now I don't see him anymore. I call his doctor and I think about him a lot. And I worry. 'Cause it's a scary thing. And he was my best friend for a long time.



THE FIRING OF STEVEN, IN HINDSIGHT


Later the band members would comment upon firing Steven:

I was trying to talk some sense into [Steven] but it never happened. He wouldn't listen to anybody—none of us will! And Axl and Duff had had it. […] As amazing as it seems in this `drug-free' exercise and health age, there's a bunch of us who are still clinging fast to the late '60s and '70s. But Steve never grew up to the fact that it's not all just sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. To him it was a big fantasy and we took care of him. And now he's on his own.

I felt really bad for Steven. He’s saying stuff like “How could they do this to me?” But it wasn’t a matter of how could we do this to him. It was how could he do this to us. He was taken care of by this band. Anybody who thinks we just kicked him out is just somebody who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and doesn’t know what went on. We waited for him for a fucking year. How long is a band supposed to wait around? We all wanted to get out and play, and he wanted to play, too. He was just too loaded to do it. Really, we did all kinds of things for this kid to get him back to normal, and he refused. Every time he went into rehab, he took off. I mean, I took off from rehab, but it’s because I didn’t want to be controlled by anybody else. I went and cleaned up on my own. Steven had no control whatsoever. He didn’t want to be in rehab and still wanted to be doing what he’s doing. He thought it was very rock & roll. What do you tell a guy like that? So I just said, “Fuck it, that’s it, I can’t deal with it anymore, we have to get a new drummer."

Steven is about as rock & roll a personality as you can get. All he lived for was sex, drugs and rock & roll — in that order. Maybe drugs, sex and rock & roll. Then it was drugs and rock & roll. Then it was just drugs.

We tried our best to get Steven back together. Steven - he's always been the child of the band, the one that was always just the happy-go-lucky, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and that's it. He couldn't understand why the drugs were so separated from rock'n'roll all of a sudden; why he couldn't be a junkie and be in a rock'n'roll band, because the twain are supposed to meet on the same ground. But after a while it's really not like that. You have to take care of yourself. People will not go around wiping your ass for you. So a year went by (three visits to rehab) and I finally said, Steven, you've got to go. […] It still fucks with me. And I still check up on him. I won't go so far as to say he's clean and I won't go so far as to say he's still fucked up. I know he's unhappy. I hadn't seen him since the day it that it was over. Then I was at the Rainbow one night, of all the places to run into him, and I was with Duff and with Matt, who he'd never met...It was really awkward. I haven't really seen him since. It's too deep a thing to get into. But the upside of it is that Matt has made the band - I think it was a shot in the arm, no pun intended, that the band didn't necessarily need but that took the band beyond what we were before. I think we're a little bit more - just tight, more focused, more serious about what we're doing. We're not so much the punk band as we were, only because we've been doing it for a while and we're all sort of really aspiring musicians, regardless of the lifestyle. The most important thing I've gotten out of this whole fucking stupid circus that we've been involved in all this time is to sit back and know that we're actually good. And not only that we're good, but that we're original. And if I'm sleeping in a chandelier one night - I stole this from Keith Richards, OK? - I can still get up the next morning and actually play, and play with some sort of integrity, as opposed to hitting one chord as many times as I can as quickly as I can and then continue partying. My playing is my priority, and my playing's actually a lot better. When I listen to the record, it's really good. And that's the thing that's my saving grace and my feelings for the whole thing that happened with Steve.

That's a sensitive subject. It's because as everybody grew up a little bit and tried to get out of the heroin thing and that whole trip [Steven] just never went along, he never grew up with the band. When I gave up a really serious habit he just kept going, the whole sex, drugs and rock'n'roll concept was pretty much all he could fathom and we couldn't work he wasted a lot of money in the studio with us. We've all gone through our trips and we've all had our fucking problems but we've dealt with it, if not for our personal lives for the band itself. We always took care of him and it stopped the band working for a fucking year. When I came back after cleaning out— and I had a really fucking bad habit with all kinds of shit and lzzy came back and we were ready to go, and having to go through this whole thing with Steve going to the hospital, we were wasting tons of money. The guy is sitting on the stool in the studio with his nose touching the fucking floor, with the whole band just staring at him. We'd wake him up and he'd go 'I'm just tired'. Finally it came to the point where I called him up and said 'Steve, it's over.'

I took it pretty hard when Stevie was out of the band. It was pretty upsetting, cos I was watching Stevie trying to get himself together after pulling myself together, and it was kinda hard seeing somebody trying when they're not really ready for it. Weeks and months were going by, we were in that old dilemma; it had been two or three years and we didn't have a f**king album out, we gotta move.

The misconception is that we kicked him out for the hell of it, and that I was the dictator behind it. The truth is, I probably fought a little harder to keep him in the band, because I wasn't working with him on a daily basis like the other guys were. They grew tired of not being able to get their work done because Steven wasn't capable of it. I've read interviews where he's saying that he's straight. Most of the time he isn't. He's the type of person who wants everything handed to him, and he did get it handed to him. He got it handed to him from me. At one point, in order to keep this band together, it was necessary for me to give him a portion of my publishing rights. That was one of the biggest mistakes I've made in my life, but he threw such a fit, saying he wasn't going to stay in the band. We were worried about not being able to record our first album, so I did what I felt I had to do. In the long run I paid very extensively for keeping Steven in Guns N' Roses. I paid $1.5 million by giving him 15% of my publishing off of Appetite For Destruction. He didn't write one goddamn note, but he calls me a selfish dick! He's been able to live off of that money, buy a shitload of drugs and hire lawyers to sue me. If and when he loses the lawsuit he has against us, and he has to pay those lawyers, if he has any money left, it'll be the money that came from Guns N' Roses and myself. At this point I really don't care what happens to Steven Adler, because he's taken himself out of my life, out of my care and concern. I feel bad for him in ways, because he's a real damaged person, but he's making choices to keep himself in that damage. There's nothing we can do at this point. We took him to rehabs, we threatened his drug dealers, we helped him when he slashed his wrists. I even forgave him after he nearly killed my wife. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit because her heart had stopped thanks to Steven. She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine? I kept myself from doing anything to him. I kept the man from being killed by members of her family. I saved him from having to go to court, because her mother wanted him held responsible for his actions. And the sonofabitch turns on me? I mean, yeah, I'm a difficult person to deal with, and I'm a pain in the ass to understand, and I've had my share of problems, but Steven benefited greatly from his involvement with me - more than I did from knowing him. Steven had a lot of fans, but he was a real pain in the ass. I need to keep him in my life for you? F?!k you!

The first time I realized what Steve did for the band was when he broke his hand in Michigan. Tried to punch through a wall and busted his hand. So we had Fred Coury come in from Cinderella for the Houston show. Fred played technically good and steady, but the songs sounded just awful. They were written with Steve playing the drums and his sense of swing was the push and pull that give the songs their feel. When that was gone, it was just...unbelievable, weird. Nothing worked. I would have preferred to continue with Steve, but we'd had two years off and we couldn't wait any longer. It just didn't work for Slash to be telling Steve to straighten out. He wasn't ready to clean up.

I took it pretty hard; it was upsetting.

I know Steven, and he was, like, beyond repair. Or it wasn’t coming within the next couple of years. You can do whatever you like to do but you’ve got to be able to make the gig. We still go out and party and have a lot of fun, but we make it to the gig the next night.

The reasons [why Steven was fired and Izzy quit] were very different. Steven didn’t leave only because of his drug problem, but also because he couldn’t handle the pressure. And I hate to say it, but I miss him much more than Izzy, who thought that being in the band was just a question of ‘sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll’; he didn't accept the other aspects of this job.
L'Unita, May 16, 1993; translated from Italian

Somewhere along the way, how seriously you take things becomes important as things get bigger. You have to really pay attention; but for Steven it was all about chicks, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, and that was it. […] He was never what you’d call a schooled, intelligent person, but he’s a sweetheart. Yet after a while he couldn’t keep up with it. […] The guy we had to replace the most on a tour was him, and when the whole dope thing came up and we were all locked up in our own individual houses for God knows how long, there did come a point where l had to clean up if I was going to retain any sort of foundation, so far as the band and myself were concerned. […] So I stopped, Izzy stopped as well, and Steven never came back.
[…] We went through all these fights and hospitals and this, that and the other, and I figured somewhere along the line he would come around. He just never did.

[…] when Steven, when Steven Adler um… […] Who I love dearly. I talk to him all the time. When it came to a point where he could not play as part of the band, after a while we're just like... […] But there is, you know, there is a point there as long as you can play, as long as you're part of the group and, like, you show up and you get into it, then everything's fine. I heard that you slept with 15 or 16 chicks the other day and it was outside of the beach and you did, you know, three grams of this blah blah blah but you still show at rehearsal..

It sounded ironic to a lot of people for us to kick someone out of such a notoriously debauched band for drugs. The truth is we didn't care what drugs people did or how much they did. We cared only about our work and our ability to keep the band moving forward now that we finally had songs to record and shows to play. We didn't give a shit about cause, just effect. Drugs? Sure. But it could just as easily have been something else. Lack of motivation. Jail time. Death. For me, I always thought death and death alone could ever push me across that line when it came to this band. (I was wrong.) For Steven, coke and heroin proved enough to nudge him across.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172

It was real hard to see Steven go, because he was my friend. He was a big pan of what made us happen, and he had a great energy in the beginning. But when the rest of us straightened up and bounced back, he didn't.


Steven became bitter over being fired and would repeatedly attack the band and especially Axl for the what happened; in the words of Slash Steven "slandered us like crazy" [Guitar World, February 1992]. When contacted by Los Angeles Times in July 1991, he would refer to Axl as the "most ruthless and meanest person" he's ever met [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. Shortly thereafter, on July 19, he would file a lawsuit against the band [see section below for details].

Later on, he would describe the firing this way:

Obviously everybody knows about the drug thing but, hey, I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I know drugs aren't right and can screw your life up. I know first hand, but I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong because I was doin' them with my band. They were doin' it, so was I, and I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong. […] I wish that maybe someone would've, not just put their hand on me, but given me a hug and said, 'Hey y'know, slow down.' But the drug thing, I don't really wanna talk that much about it because I'm getting away from it. Like I said, I was doing it with my band. It didn't seem abnormal then. […] "I was their scapegoat. Everyone knows that Guns N' Roses were drug-oriented, everyone knows that. […] They had the record company comin' down on them, saying, 'You've gotta straighten up.' And no way were they gonna straighten up, so to make it look better they decided to 'point the finger at the nice guy'. Because (at the lime) I was no more f ked up than them. […] To tell you the truth, they're the meanest people I ever met in my life, that's why we didn't get along. I got along with Slash and Duff but with Axl it was just a total difference in personality.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:03 pm

MARCH-APRIL 1990
WORK ON THE FOLLOW-UP GRINDS TO A HALT, AGAIN


In the May issue of Blast, GN'R's publisher and friend of the band, Arlett Vereecke, would describe the status of the work:

The fact is, Axl and Slash have been working very closely on their next project, with Axl again writing the lyrics while Slash churns out the cool guitar licks. Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Slash have been rehearsing for months and are just rolling along in the studio. A double album can be expected hopefully before summer, followed by their first headlining world tour.


The actual fact is that things were not progressing this smoothly anymore, and especially Steven was in trouble...

Despite Slash and Duff now apparently working efficiently on recording, they were, as mentioned before, having problems with Steven whose drug addiction meant he had trouble keeping his time in the studio [VOX, January 1991]. Problems were so bad the band was considering having Steven replaced to be able to record the drum tracks and eventually fired him [see previous chapters].

In early April 1990, Mick Wall talked to Axl over the phone and asked about rumors that Steven was out of the band:

No. He is back in the band. […] He was definitely out of the band. He wasn’t necessarily fired. We worked with [former Sea Hags drummer] Adam Maples, we worked with [former Pretenders drummer] Martin Chambers. Then Steven did the Guns N’ Roses thing and got his shit together. And it worked. He did it. And Steven plays the songs better than any of ’em. He’s just bad-assed and he’s GN’R. And so, if he doesn’t blow it, we’re gonna try the album with him... and the tour. […] You know, we worked out a contract with him. He’s going to do the album and, if he doesn’t blow it, then he’s going to do the tour. Then if he doesn’t blow that he’s fully reinstated.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from April 1990


Being asked if they told him to quit drugs or else he'd be fired:

Yeah, exactly. But like, you know, it’s worked out. You know, it's finally back on and we're just hoping that it continues. It's only been a few days. What's today? Saturday? It's only been since Tuesday it was on and he's doing great.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from April 1990


From the quote above it is obvious that the band had struggled with Steven for a while, long enough to collaborate with two possible replacement drummers. They had also put Steven on a probation contract [this happened on March 28, 1990] to force him to shape up. It is logical to assume these issues would have severely delayed recording in the beginning of 1990 and possible second half of 1989.

Axl would admit the issues with Steven meant they had to end the recording process and that studio time was now delayed until May 1, 1990:

Ah... we don’t start recording till May 1st. We pulled out of the studio and went back and rewrote some of the songs, and because of the Steven situation. But what was cool about the Steven situation is that it made the four of us realise that we’d got to get our shit together. Because if we bring in Martin Chambers then we better have the songs down. You know, so then we worked out eleven songs in a week, that we really had down. And so we worked those out and got those tight. And then worked on a bunch of things in rehearsal, you know, with other drummers, and got all of our weak areas pretty tight.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from April 1990


Despite Axl's optimism, they eventually did replace Steve in April 1990 [see separate chapter]. According to RIP in June 1991 the problems with Steven lasted for "almost 18 months" [RIP, June 1991]. This would mean that the problems started in about the beginning of 1989, and if so it would imply that a big reason why the band got little done in the whole of 1989 was due to Steven's issues. This is likely not entirely true, it is clear from quotes in previous chapters that the band also struggled with other member's addictions, with adjusting to fame and wealth, and with Axl's numerous issues.

Slash would also emphasize the problems they had with Steven:

We had recorded all these songs but a lot of situations went on with Steven not being altogether there in the studio. We tried helping him out, we stuck it out with him for like a year, and then it was like `Well, something's got to happen'.

I don't want to say anything against Steven, but we went through so much miscellaneous bullshit. I mean, for years all the other distractions, and with Steven for more than a year alone. Then, all of a sudden, Matt enters the picture. We rehearse 36 songs in a month and record the whole LP, all the basics, in five weeks - I mean all the guitars, bass and acoustical stuff; the vocals took a little longer. When Matt came in, we just went into the studio and did it. Just like that! We were entangled in the biggest procrastination situation you ever heard of.


Here Slash is indicating that Steven held up the production for "more than a year". Although it is likely that Steven did cause significant delays to the process, it is not fair to put the blame entirely on him as discussed above.

Replacing Steven with Matt caused further delays. Matt joined the band in April 1990 and had to learn all the songs in rehearsals and make charts for them for the recording sessions. When Matt joined the band, the band was in chaos:

When I joined the band about 8 months ago [interview is done in January 1991, during Rock in Rio], everything was in turmoil. And the band has really come together and we pumped out a lot of tunes for this new album.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:04 pm

MAY-JUNE 1990
MATT JOINS THE BAND


With Steven in the process of being kicked out of the band, the band needed a new drummer to finish the recording which was dragging out.

It was heartbreaking, especially for me and Slash, but we had to find a replacement drummer.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172


Finding a replacement drummer wasn't easy, both because Steven's drumming was such an integral part of the band's sound but also, as Slash would say, "we couldn't place an ad in the paper" [Musician, December 1990].

The same thing that had made Steven an important part of our sound also made it difficult to replace him-his sense of groove We tried out drummer after drummer. Things started to look a bit grim.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172


So Steven was ultimately let go and then we couldn't find anybody to replace him. We're a very tight-knit little family. Every single guy that we tried out would have to walk into this room with a bunch of guys just sitting there, looking like they were going to kill him!


Eventually, the band found Matt Sorum from the band The Cult. Guns N' Roses knew the band well, having opened for The Cult on their 1987 tour in Canada and USA.

Thankfully, at the very last moment we found Matt Sorum, who had been playing with the Cult.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172


Slash would announce the news in an interview with Guitar Player that was published in October 1990, but done before July 1990:

We've got a new drummer, named Matt Sorum. The press doesn't seem to know about it, which is cool. We've had problems for months with Steven [Adler], and it was holding up the band. Once I swallowed the reality that things had to change, I started scouting drummers. We obviously couldn't put an ad out -- we would've had the Goon Squad knocking at our door. So we started auditioning people we heard about through the grapevine.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone with the right attack or feel. I was really depressed over the situation for a while. Then one night, not too long ago, I went to see the Cult. I was at the sound board, and I was thinking, "This drummer is really awesome." I think Lars from Metallica told me about him, too. I was really, really impressed. He was literally one of the best rock drummers I had ever seen.

I initially didn't contact him because he was with the Cult. But I was at an all-time low and I knew that the Cult were off the road, so I decided to give Matt Sorum a call. I went through all these different sources to get in touch with him. Finally we hooked up, he came down to a rehearsal, and things immediately clicked. It was great and he was a great guy -- the chemistry worked.

Steven wasn't a technically great drummer, but we had been playing together for so long that we had a great collective feel. His meter, however, was always changing-up and down, up and down. So we had never really played with a great drummer. We didn't know what it would feel like. Not to say Steven isn't any good -- I don 't want to put him down -- but we never really played with anybody that was awesome. Duff and I started realizing how good Guns N' Roses could be after playing with some great drummers, like Kenny Aronoff from Iggy's band. We just looked at each other after playing with Kenny and went," Wow!" Then when Sorum came down and kicked ass, it confirmed things. The band sounds about 100 times better.

The difference is insane. At one point Duff thought it was his fault. We couldn't get a decent groove going, and we couldn't figure what was going wrong. Then we thought it was the whole band! You should've seen us! Y'know, long faces and shit ... [laughs].


Slash would later talk about seeing Matt play with the Cult:

What happened was I went to the Universal Amphitheatre and saw The Cult, I watched the show from the soundboard and the main thing I noticed was that the drummer was great and I said, 'Well, why can't we find a drummer like that? What's the problem?

I didn’t wanna go and see The Cult that night. I had just got a new girlfriend who’s now my wife, and I thought, ‘I’ll take her to a concert’. And that’s where I saw Matt, and that’s how that happened.


Matt would confirm that Slash and Duff had come to that show and watched him play:

Slash and Duff came down to see me play at the Universal Amphitheater. Then Slash called me up. I was staying with my mom 'cause I didn't have a house and they asked me to join.


This show with the Cult was the final gig on the The Cult tour in 1990 and took place on April 3, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. But both Slash and Duff had seen Matt play with The Cult a few months earlier, on June 24, 1989, at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy when they were hanging out in Chicago waiting for Axl and Izzy to show up [Chicago Tribune, May 1991] and had been impressed with his performance.

Matt says he was contacted the day after the April 3 show, while Steven was still on the probation contract, and that initially the idea was to only bring Matt in for recording the album:

They didn't approach me again until the very last show I did with the Cult in April last year, so I had a sneaking suspicion something was going on. The next day I got a call from Slash at my house. Originally I was just going to go down and do the album. Then about two weeks into rehearsal, I went up to Slash's house for a little barbecue and he asked me to join the band.

I was just finished with The Cult tour in 1990. It was a couple... It’s two years ago that I’ve been in Guns. And I got a call from Slash. And originally I was just gonna go and do Use Your Illusion I and II, the records, and go back to The Cult. And they would go with Steven out on tour. And I started rehearsing with the band and we just got along really well. Duff and Slash and myself mainly rehearsed at first, then Izzy would come in and then Axl. And about two weeks into it, I was up at Slash’s house, where we had a little barbecue - you know, cook us a chicken – and he said, “Hey, do you wanna come to Guns N’ Roses?” And I go, “Wow” – again (laughs).


This would be confirmed by Slash [MTV Rockline, March 1992].

This implies the band still hoped that Steven could remain in the band. But that after two weeks they gave up that idea and asked Matt to replace Steven permanently. This would place Matt joining GN'R to mid-April 1990. This also fits with a comment he made during an interview at Rock In Rio II, in January 1991, when he said he joined GN'R "about 8 months ago" [Special TV, 1991]. Despite this, in a Geffen press release from 1991, it was stated that Matt joined the band in August 1990 [Geffen Press Release, September 1991]. And later, in an official newsletter, Matt would say he started rehearsing with the band in May but joined in June:

I joined GN'R in May of 1990. I mean I joined them in July 1990, but our first rehearsals were in May 1990.


Slash has also given statements that could imply Matt joined the band much later than April:

What happened was I went to the Universal Amphitheatre [April 3, 1990] and saw The Cult […] So three months or something went by and I was tearing my hair out trying to find a guy who would fit in the band and have the right feel and get along with us on a personality basis. Because as much as everybody would like to try and believe it, we're not like a business when it comes to just the five of us. It's not like we just hire some outside guy as long as he can play the parts right. And I think then I remembered that Cult gig and figured out I'd just try and steal him. And that's what I did.


This would imply Matt joined the band in June-July 1990.

Press rumours about Matt joining started first in August [L.A. Weekly, August 24, 1990] and that's when it finally had to be confirmed by the band, despite it having happened in May/June.

Matt would claim to have had reservations about joining Guns N' Roses:

I heard a lot of horror sto­ries, and I had mixed opinions about joining this band. Final­ly I decided that this is a once in-a-lifetime opportunity and that if I didn’t take it now, I’d probably kill myself later.

You hear the stories, the drug abuse, the lifestyle. I just didn’t know what to expect, it was crazy, a wild ride.


And this might have been what Matt was referring to in this later quote:

When I was hired in GNR, it was hell in the band and I patched things up.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


But the band had few reservations about him:

He has saved the band’s life. He came in, he's in an up mood, he works, he writes his own material. He writes a lot. He works real well with us. He takes suggestions while he keeps everybody in line, keeps the timing great... Yeah, I mean, he played 29 songs in a month.

[Matt had] the best groove I'd heard. So we got together, and he fit in with us from day one. […] In the past, Steve used to watch my feet for meter, and I always rush things in certain places—not on purpose. So a lot of our tempos would be all over the place. We just got used to that. A couple of times we had a drummer fill in for Steve on the road, and in the middle of 'Welcome to the Jungle' I'd realize I'm four bars ahead of the drummer. So, now I'm learning to play with an actual musician.

He’s amazing. Can’t say enough nice things about him. He’s a great guy to hang out with, he’s always friendly, he’s usually always in a good mood.

The fact that Matt could play and fit in was what saved us. If we hadn’t found somebody, it would have ultimately been the demise of the band. Matt’s been capable of keeping up with it, if not enhancing it totally and bringing new stuff to it. He still can’t show up anywhere on time, though [laughing].

When Matt happened, it was the one final thing that we needed to pull it all back together. It was just loose; we were all together but we were all just hanging on the edge, trying to figure out how to keep the band going. There were a lot of, uh, chemical situations going on and so forth, and Matt was like a godsend because he was the one thing we needed.

There was a point there that we thought we couldn’t play. It was very weird. Matt’s a f**kin’ great guy, an awesome drummer, and he f**kin’ made the band solid. He was the kick in the ass that re­motivated us, because at one point, I think we forgot what we were here for. When Matt joined the band, we pulled 30 songs together in a month. So after two years of going through all this bullshit, when the band finally came together, we just clicked like we always have.

Matt came in and kicked ass. And that put a foot up our ass. It was like, ‘That’s right! We’re a fucking band, man, that’s right!’ It’s like we forgot we were a rock and roll band that could kick ass. And it all came back. It was completely natural.


Izzy seemed to be a little bit more reserved:

[Talking about what Matt has done for the group since he became a member]: Um, as a drummer I would say... I don’t know, it’s good, you know? (chuckles). […] Yes, different style [than Steven's]. But, you know, they’re both good drummers and Matt is working good.


Matt himself would comment on replacing Steven:

It was hard for them to bring someone new into the band, because they had known Steven for so long and he was a really good person; he just had his problems. And they were having a hard time finding someone that they could really open up to and hang out with the way they had with Steven.

Basically, I never was really a member of the Cult. And when these guys came on and asked me to do the album – I was just gonna do the record and go back to the Cult and hopefully Steven would get his thing together, but it didn’t work out, so they asked me to join the band. And, you know, it was basically something I couldn’t turn down; I’d have probably kicked myself in the ass real hard later, you know.
Rapido, September 1991; from Press Conference, August 1991

Slash and Duff came to see a Cult show and liked my style of playing. They called me to work on the records (Use Your Illusion I and II). Originally I wasn't going to tour with them, but Steven had to be let go and I became a full time member.


With Steven being entirely replaced by Matt, and Matt joining Guns N' Roses on tour in 1991, Guns N' Roses had practically "stolen" the drummer from the Cult. Asked about how Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy from the Cult reacted, Slash would reply:

Actually, I just ran into them, like, two days ago. They were really cool about it, because... Of course I called Matt on the sly, you know (chuckles). I didn’t call Ian and say, “Can I steal your drummer?” But I called Matt and said, “Well, do you wanna do the album?” you know. I didn’t really tell him I was stealing him for the whole tour and everything. So he was like, “Well, The Cult’s off tour and the record is done” and so on, and so, “Yeah, I’ll come down.” And we clicked, you know, in the first five minutes. So then it was like, obviously we’re not gonna replace him, and we did the whole record and everything. So we made him an offer of such... You know, right? […] And so, as far as Ian and Billy were concerned, that was Matt’s deal, really, to confront them with it. And then, as time went by, running into Billy and Ian... I mean, Ian was great about it. I didn’t really talk to Billy about it, you know, but Ian was like, “Whatever, it’s cool.” Yeah, so it was amicable.


Duff, on the other hand, would claim they talked to Astbury before offering the job to Matt:

We didn't steal their drummer away. We talked to Ian first. It was their last gig of the tour, so it fell right into place. I was crossing my fingers, 'cause he seemed perfect. Then when he came in for an audition, I was like, "Okay, yeah!'

Then Slash and I went to see The Cult on the last night of their tour and we were amazed by this guy Matt on drums. We were friends with Ian [Astbury] and Billy [Duffy] because our first tour ever was opening for them so I asked Ian whether they would be hanging onto the drummer now the tour had finished. They wanted to get all British guys in the band so we got hold of Matt, he came and played and we knew it would work. He’s an awesome drummer.


Slash, summarizing what happened:

Matt I found after being seriously frustrated looking for a drummer. It was a crucial period where we had to get it together if we were gonna stay together. He was playing with the Cult. I saw him a few months before I called him. I had to sit down and go, "Okay, who's the best drummer I've seen, regardless of what band he's in?" I remembered being blown away by Matt with the Cult. So I thought, "I'll just give him a call. The Cult's off the road." I called him, and he came down and we hit it off right away.


IN HINDSIGHT


Matt talking about replacing Steven:

I replaced Steven Adler and many people said Use your Illusion is very different from Appetite For Destruction. It wouldn't have been constructive to do Appetite 2. Many people also said I'm better than Steven. No, I only play in a different way.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:04 pm

1960-1990
MATT BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


I wish I’d played on Appetite For Destruction.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Matthew William Sorum was born in Long Beach, California, on November 19, 1960 and grew up in Orange County near Laguna Beach [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991; GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996] into a musical family where his mother was music teacher and his brother a classical violinist [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991]. He has two older brothers and a younger half brother [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

He got his first drum kit, a "Sears Tigger Tiger Drum Kit" from Sears and Roebuck, when he was 5 but his older brothers broke it because they "didn't like the way [he] played it" [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996]. Matt but "got serious" about drumming at age 9 [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991]. He got inspired to play drums after having seen Ringo Starr at the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966 [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

I just always wanted to play drums. I got my first set of drums when I was about 5 years old. You know, I was just always banging on things, I don’t know. My first band I was really into was probably Black Sabbath. You know, during, like, junior high school. I guess that’s what made me hit drums so hard, because I saw Black Sabbath and, you know, his drumming was just so amazing, Bill Ward, back in those days. And I liked his power. And then I got into Zeppelin and all the stuff that the rest of the guys were into, you know, Aerosmith and...

[Talking about the first record he bought]: 1966, A Hard Day’s Night. I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show — I was six years old. I wanted to be a drummer when I bought that record — I was playing then too.


Playing drums was a good way to get out anger:

[…] you know, it was my way of getting it out. It was great that I’d come home from school every day and thrash (imitates playing drums). And right after that I’d feel really good and mellow. […] I’d say for anybody out there that, like - let’s say people down in, like, East L.A. that want to go out and beat somebody up. They should just buy a drum kit or something, you know? Really. Beat on a drum, don’t beat on each other or something. I think that’d be a great model for the world. You know, everybody buy drum sets. And when you feel like you wanna go, like, hit your kid or something, go in a room and play a beat.


Other bands and artists that inspired Matt were old Genesis, Deep Purple, Louis Belson and "some other jazz artists" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991], while his favorite drummers are "probably John Bonham, Ian Place from Deep Purple and Bill Ward from Black Sabbath" and Keith Moon [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

Kiss Alive was the first concert I ever saw in the ninth grade, so I bought that album, but it was probably Led Zeppelin ‘Good Times Bad Times’ that made the biggest impression on me or Ginger Baker playing drums on Fresh Cream.


Another hobby of Matt was surfing:

[…] I was a surfer. I surfed all the way up until the tenth grade and then I gave up surfing to then be completely enthralled by rock.


Matt started his career as a drummer in various Los Angeles-based hard rock bands in 1976. Then he played with an Australian new wave band called IQ, toured with a guitarist named Greg Wright, and returned to LA to work as a session drummer, including playing with Gladys Knight. He also played with E.G. Daily, Belinda Carlisle, Shaun Cassidy, Jeff Paris and Spencer Davis [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

There’s a lot of different types of music, which I didn’t have a problem with, because I come from, like, a lot of different musical backgrounds. I played with R&B artists and I played with a lot... […] Gladys Knight & the Pips I played with… […] I played with them about two years ago, I did one of their albums. I got one track with them. And then I worked with Belinda Carlisle, who is a pop star, so I have all kinds of different, like, stuff just to make ends meet. It’s what I did in the studios in LA. If someone called me up, you know, I wouldn’t argue. I’d play with anyone.


After playing with Gladys Knight he hooked up with The Cult [Rolling Stone, September 1991] and played with them in "December of ’88 and through May of 1990" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

In the Cult every night was a big party. Now I take it a little easier.

I was in L.A. for more than 10 years, trying to live in playing music. I was a session-man. I played with a lot of bands that never did anything. I even worked on Tori Amos' first album. Do you believe in it (laugh)? It became really frustrating. Then I did an audition for The Cult. I thought: "Cool, this is a great opportunity, it's a good band, I will do a tour". I lived in a shitty place, I slept on a sofa, I had no shower, I had a shitty car, then I'm with The Cult and for the first show, we opened for Metallica in front of 25,000 people. "Cool, now it's true!" So I stayed with The Cult for 2 years.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:07 pm

EARLY 1990
ICE-T AND EAZY-E WANTS TO COLLABORATE WITH GN'R


In mid-1990 it was reported that Axl was rumored to have received a request from Ice-T to make a new version of 'Welcome to the Jungle' with them [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].

Axl would comment on the rumors:

It’s like, I had this big heavy conversation with Ice-T and Eazy-E. Ice-T sent a letter, wanting to work with me on “Welcome to the Jungle” if I ever did it as a rap thing. And I got the word to Eazy-E that I’m interested in having him be a part of it too, if we ever do it. I mean, don’t think it’ll be on this record now, there’s already too much material.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


The rumour that Ice-T would include a version of Welcome on his album Escape from the Killing Field would be reported again later in the year [Lethbridge Herald, November 8, 1990]. Ice-T never released an album with that title [he had a song called Escape from the Killing Fields, though, that was released on his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster]

In the end nothing seems to have come out of this.

In June 1992, it would be reported that Eazy-E had collaborated with Axl and Slash [Santa Ana Register, June 12, 1992]. This collaboration supposedly had resulted in the song 'Apocalypse' intended for the album 'Temporarily Insane' [Rip It Up, January 1993]. The album was never released and the song, featured Slash [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996] and possibly Duff, but without Eazy, is not circulating among fans. It is also claimed that GN'R collaborated with Eazy-E on the unreleased song "The Yellow Road of Compton," but this might be another name for 'Apocalypse'.

In 1996, Slash would say he "never heard the Eazy-E album" [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996].


EPILOGUE


Eazy-E died from AIDS in 1995. Slash would be asked about this death and comment upon AIDS in general:

That really blindsided everybody. This whole business is geared towards avoiding reality. We knew all about AIDS and everything... and we’d still be out there pushing needles (having sex with) anyone we could. I’ve given up a lot of that stuff, but I hope this wakes up some more people.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:08 pm

APRIL-DECEMBER 1990
THE BAND ENTERS A PRODUCTIVE PHASE AND 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' IS NAMED


After Matt joined the band (minus Axl) would enter a productive phase:

As soon as I got into the band, it was like clockwork. We rehearsed for a month every day for four or five hours. There was none of this calling in sick because you were up too late the night be­fore partying. If you were, you had to show up anyway. […] More songs just kept com­ing out. Some of the better ones on the album were actually writ­ten in the studio. Some were done on the first or second take, real spur-of-the-moment stuff. It ended up being 36 songs and we went, ‘God, how are we gonna put all this on an album?’. […] About one-third of the stuff we updated, because it’s been around with those guys from the beginnings of the band and they wanted to get it out now.

What took us two years to get together came together in a month.


Matt did not get to put his own stamp on the drumming, though, and had to follow the blueprint put down by Steven on most of the songs:

[Talking about the first Snakepit record]: This is the first record that Matt's been able to do whatever he wanted on because most of the songs were arranged when we did the Use Your Illusion set and the songs were pretty much done when he was in the Cult. He had to work within the confines of what was there.


In the band's official fan club newsletter for May 1990, it would be said the band was "hard at it recording the almost forty songs" and that recording sessions had been held at "Rumbo, A&M, Take One and One on One in Los Angeles" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

At this point Dizzy had also joined the band and got to make his print on the songs they were writing and recording:

I started going down to pre-production and we were kind of listening through (?). We listened to, you know, all the songs. And I was there and, like, if I had an idea I got up and I played it, and if they liked it, we worked on it. If they didn’t want keyboards on that song, we just threw it out. And then I went in, they did all the basic tracks and I went in, like, a couple of weeks and just did (?) keyboard stuff on the new album.


In July 1990, Axl would say they had just "laid down 29 basic tracks", that the record "won’t be out till the beginning of the year", and that it would contain 31 songs  [The Howard Stern Radio Show, July 1990]. The same month he would say the planned to "start the album in about a week or so" [Unknown Source, July 1990]. That the main recording took place in the summer of 1990, would also be confirmed by Slash:

So we worked for a month on 30 songs and then went in the studio—I guess it was the summer of last year [must be summer of 1990 since the interview with GW happened in 1991]—and recorded basic tracks. We ran through 30 songs in 30 days.


In July 1990, Axl would for the first time disclose the possible name of the albums:

It might be called Use Your Illusion. We’re talking with an artist named Kostabi, because I bought a painting and we want to use it as a possible cover, and the title of the painting is “Use Your Illusion”, and that’s what we may use. I wrote a song the night before that says, “I bought me an illusion and put it on the wall”, and the next day I found a painting called “Use Your Illusion."


Despite this, as late as January 1991, RAW Magazine would refer to the name as "Lose Your Illusions" [RAW Magazine, January 9, 1991].

According to rumors in the press the band "were getting along so badly that they recorded their studio parts at separate times [New Musical Express, November 1990] and it would be reported that a record company staffer had been overheard saying "we'll be lucky to see an album from them by the end of 1991, if ever..." [Hot Metal, August 1990], indicating that the problems in the band hadn't gone with Steven.

Slash and Duff would later describe how Slash worked in the studio:

For the basic tracks, I play with the band, using headphones; we're all in one room. The main goal is to get the bass and drums down. It's a great vibe and I wish I could record my final tracks that way, but I can't. I need to be in my own studio—away from where the basic tracks are done—in the control booth. I don't let anybody in from the band, if I can help it. On "Shotgun Blues" (Illusion II) Axl and some friends popped in, and I did the solo in one take. Sometimes you just want to fuckin' jam in front of somebody. Usually no one was in the studio except for Mike [Clink, producer] and Jim Mitchell, our engineer. That's really my element. I love it.

I'm basically the only one Slash will even let in the studio. He doesn't like anybody around when he records. He gets real nervous, but I drop by. Sometimes he'll call me and say, "Come down, man, and listen to this thing I did." Who am I to tell Slash what to do? But I love playing with the guy. I might make a suggestion here and there, which he listens to, 'cause he knows if I make a suggestion it's at least valid. I don't know where he comes up with his stuff. His solos are never random, off-the-cuff solos. He thinks, he maps them out, but they're not contrived.


Slash would discuss working with Clink:

[Clink] has a good ear and if I'm overplaying, or if I might be a little bit out of pitch, he'll let me know. I can take it home and listen to it that night if I disagree. By the next morning, I'll either keep disagreeing, and we'll keep it on there, or he might be right. The outro solo on "Heaven's Door," I did the first day after I came up with the melody for the first solo. I did the second one and he wasn't really happy with it. I thought it was fine. I took it home and listened to it. The next morning, on my way somewhere, I stopped by the studio and just pulled it off one more time and did it way better.


Then, with the basic tracks recorded, Slash would redo his parts, completing his work for 27 songs in five weeks:

I redo all my parts. There are a lot of guitars on the album. Izzy has only one guitar throughout the whole record; he comes out of the left speaker. He recorded most of his stuff during basic tracks. I did all the overdubs and harmonies, plus my regular rhythm track. There are a couple of songs, especially ones I wrote, where I beefed up the tracks over on Izzy's side, 'cause he's got a particular sound that doesn't necessarily... ["weigh as much" would be suggested by the interviewer] Yeah, exactly. It falls out of balance. I did all that, the acoustics, and my other instruments in five weeks. For 27 songs, it was pretty quick. […] Actually, I didn't spend too much time on anything. It was always one or two takes, more or less. If the intonation was really off, Clink would tell me, and I'd go back and maybe punch in. But we never spent entire days on guitar solos. We'd take an entire day and do a whole song. Of course, for the really long songs, it would take two days to get all that shit right. But I'd like to think that it was more rock and roll than what most bands are doing these days.

Then I worked on guitar parts and overdubs for five weeks. I played a lot of guitar on this record, though five weeks isn't bad for 30 songs.


Slash had a preferred spot to stand on when recording:

I'd find a cool spot and put a piece of tape on the ground. Then girls would come down to the studio and hang out. I'd get in the next day and find these shapes on the floor where they'd had a ball with the tape. I was completely confused: "Where's my spot?" Or somebody would come in and tidy up. I'm like, "Fuck, do not touch anything, leave everything alone!" I love things to be a complete disaster. For every beer we drank, we'd stick the label on the [control room] glass—we almost covered the whole thing. One day we got to the studio and the manager had cleaned up. The whole environment was shot—all the porno pictures were taken down.


In November 1990, Melody Maker reported that the band had almost finished recording and that they intended to tour in the summer of 1991. According to a spokeswoman for the band, "Before they even got to the studio, they had 56 songs ready to go, and that was before Axl came in with his. It was a matter of working through which ones were right for the album" [Melody Maker, November 1990]. What was left at the time was Axl's vocals. The spokeswoman would elaborate, "Axl still has to do quite a bit of vocal. He doesn't sing every day he sings when it suits him. But if everything goes according to schedule, it should be released in mid-April or the beginning of May" [Melody Maker, November 1990]. The band also recorded "four live tracks in one-and-a-half hours, for B-sides, and it sounds great" [Melody Maker, November 1990].

Around the same time Slash would say things had happened very fast for the last three months:

We've done everything over the last three months. We rehearsed 35 songs in 30 days, got them all 'recordable' and then went into the studio and did 30 songs in 30 days on basics. We recorded five more while I was doing my guitar overdubs, did five more in a day, and then Axl's doing the vocals. The whole process, once we got it together, was really fast. Not that everybody would believe it.


In December 1990, Musician would release an interview with Slash where he said the new record is tentatively scheduled for release early in 1991 and that he's put on nearly all the guitar parts for the record's 30-plus tunes [Musician, December 1990].

This month Axl would also physically move into the recording studio to add vocal tracks:

There was no heat in that room. It was a cold, lonely place, but it was the only place I could stay to keep myself in the work. It was cool-looking, but it was dark, cold and weird! It got to the point that certain people could tell just by the way I was talking, the tone of my voice, that I wasn't right. A friend brought by some Christmas presents. Another flew out unannounced and stayed with me Christmas Day, because they were very worried that I wasn't going to make it through. I couldn't leave the studio, but I couldn't go back to my condo because of my neighbor. That was a nightmare.


While Slash in the end of 1990 and beginning of 1991 was sober and productive, Axl's mental instability and issues with everything from his marriage, the police and his neighbor, was allegedly holding up the record resulting in Slash's growing frustration:

Well, [Axl's problems are] a pain in the ass, and they keep things from getting done. I’m the most uptight about all of this. It’s just my nature — Axl thinks I’m this sort of sick-minded workaholic. And it’s true — in some ways, I do get uptight. I can get very negative about it. But there are moments when it [Axl’s troubles] really gets in the way of what I think is productive, and we end up spending a lot of money. Sometimes I think Axl has no idea, or has a very slight idea, of what the financial reality is. I mean, to me $400,000 or whatever to make a record is ludicrous. Of course, if I was to say that to Axl outright, he’d say I don’t know what he’s going through, and there’d be a fight right there. That’s the way we’ve always been — there’s something I can’t relate to or vice versa, and that’s where we butt heads. So I just sit there with my head between my knees, freaking out…But Axl’s craziness drives me crazier than it does Axl, unbeknownst to him. And that’s the truth.


As for the amount of material Slash would say that due to their stormy history, they couldn't be sure they would release another record, and:

It's all material we would never have gotten off our chest if we didn't do it now.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:11 pm

JUNE 1990
IGGY POP RELEASES 'BRICK BY BRICK' FEATURING SLASH AND DUFF


In 1990, Slash and Duff would be featured on four songs on Iggy Pop's 'Brick by Brick' [Musician, December 1990]. Slash even picked up a co-writing credit for revamping "My Baby Wants to Rock and Roll" [Musician, December 1990].

I've known [Iggy Pop] since I was little. My mum went out with David Bowie when I was little. Iggy was in a mental hospital when I first met him and so my mum and I and David went to visit. He's such a fragile, sweet, soulful, honest and sincere guy. I really love him a lot. That was great. We did that in one day and it kicked ass.

The first record I did was with Iggy [Pop], who is just one of the sweetest guys. He was doing Brick By Brick and had some songs he thought me and Duff might want to play on. We hung out one night, listened to his home demos, and picked out songs. We went into the studio and cranked out four songs in one day. I co-wrote one. That was great.

All four of the songs I did with Iggy Pop were done in one day. I went in and it was just fun. There's the song "My Baby Wants to Rock 'n' Roll," that I wrote with lggy in the studio. That's a real spontaneous, off-the-cuff riff that I wrote on the spot.

One of the most pleasurable sessions I’ve ever worked on. Duff McKagan and I went out with Iggy one night and heard some simple acoustic demos he’d done. We'd decided to play on some songs. So Duff and I went down to see Iggy and Don Was at the studio in Hollywood. We basically put down bass and guitar on three songs, just one or two takes apiece, and that was it. Very rock, very live. And then on the fourth song Iggy was playing something, and I just strapped on some headphones and I went in with the actual band and just raped the song - turned it into something totally different. A day’s work and it turned out really cool. Just went in one afternoon, and a couple of beers later it was done.


Pop would comment on Slash and Duff:

They’re not dumb boys. They’re canny guys. They’re very aware of the world around them and things. They know a lot of stuff I didn’t learn until just this last year.


And also on Guns N' Roses in general:

The band didn’t sound like they were biting the weenie, like all the other bands. They didn’t sound fake to me. At least they didn’t sound like they were faking it for somebody else. Everybody in this world fix things for themselves. You can’t help it, you’re a human being. But – and musically it sounded exciting, in a way that it didn’t sound like it was dependent on some click track in the drummer’s ears or some machine going “bum-bum-bum” to give them a muscle they didn’t have. It sounded like it might fall apart at any time, and they would change tempos, and so I thought, “Ooh, a real band. How exciting. How cool.
Rapido, September 1991

They really have the energy of a good punk band, and lyrically, that guy [=Axl] actually does what a good punk lyricist tries to do. He describes what's bugging him, no matter how out there it is, and he describes what's going on around him faithfully.
Altoona Mirror, November 18, 1990


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:16 pm

JUNE 26, 1990 - 'KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR' AND 'DAYS OF THUNDER'


On June 26, 1990, the world would finally hear new music from Guns N' Roses, a studio recording of the Bob Dylan cover 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' featured on the soundtrack 'Days of Thunder' for the movie of the same name. The band had previously released a live version of the song.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:43 am

JULY 24, 1990
'CIVIL WAR' AND THE NOBODY'S CHILD CHARITY ALBUM


In July 1990 Guns N' Roses would again contribute to a compilation album, this time the charity album 'Nobody's Child: The Romanian Angel Appeal'. GN'R's contribution would be the song 'Civil War' that would later be released on 'Use Your Illusion II'. This would be mentioned in the band's official fan club newsletter in May 1990:

The first completed track is “Civil War”, which was also performed at Farm Aid [April 1990]. This track may make an early appearance on a record George Harrison is compiling for the relief of Romanian orphans, many of whom are AIDS stricken.


Axl would discuss how it came to be:

It ended up on the benefit album 'cause Tom Petty called me and asked me, which was really weird, asked me if George Harrison could call me. […] And then George Harrison called me and we we're talking, and all of a sudden he started talking about his wife flying to Bangladesh… It just… All of a sudden my mind was like, boom… hyper-space, I'm talking to a Beatle. And he was very Beatle-esque talking about Bangladesh [laughs]. […] It was pretty wild. They asked for the song and the inspiration was… A friend asked me to write a song about just how crazy the world is and certain things and… I just thought it was an interesting subject and just… Slash had this music and it exactly fit what I'd written.


In early July 1990, Axl would announce the song was coming out:

[…] we’ve got a new track coming out in about three weeks. […] (?) benefit album, with, like, Elton John and Eric Clapton and the Wilbury's and shit.


Reviewers would comment on the more mature lyrics of the song:

I’m not a great fan of Guns N’ Roses - in fact I despise them in many ways, not least for making reckless living look cool to young impressionable kids - but it has to be said that ‘Civil War’ shows Axl and Co could be maturing. At first you probably won’t recognise this as a GN’R song, until Rose bursts into his unmistakable screech on the run up to the chorus.

Maybe their new album will show Guns N’ Roses to be deep thinking old farts who just want to sing about the Kennedys or the Vietnam war, in which case I guess they've already achieved what they set out to do..


Duff would discuss why they chose 'Civil War' for the project:

It was something that, at that point, we were really excited about playing. We just kinda, put it together. It was before we recorded, you know, the "Illusions". A long time before we recorded. And so we said: "Yeah, let's do "Civil War."" Because we had just, you know, learned it and wrote it and all that, so... And it kinda seemed somewhat appropriate for... you know, something that has meaning.

When we recorded [Civil War], it wasn't in our normal studio. I didn't have a normal amp. It was one of those things where we had to do it because we were doing it for a benefit album, and it was a rush thing. The song was great, but Steven couldn't play. It took two days just to get the drums. That's out of the norm for us. I had to use a rented amp, and I wasn't particularly happy with the sound. Then Clink tried to mix it in a couple of different studios. I wasn't happy with the mix, and we usually don't use Clink to mix. We sat in on the mix, but I couldn't get it right. I didn't like the studio. When it came time to use it for our album, we had it mixed by Bill Price, who is awesome.



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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:43 am

SEPTEMBER 10, 1990
BOB DYLAN RELEASES 'UNDER THE RED SKY' FEATURING SLASH


In 1990, Slash was called upon by Bob Dylan to contribute to the album 'Under the Red Sky,' which featured many guest artists. He was specifically asked to "strum an acoustic like Django Reinhardt" only to have his solo erased from the song [Musician, December 1990].

Don Was [Dylan's producer] called me up and asked me to play with Dylan, which turned out to be one of those mistakes you learn from. He must have said two words while I was there. One was “Hi” and the other was “Play it like Django Reinhardt.” With all due respect to Django, that would have been a great concept had it fit the song. The whole thing was just a drag. Nothing against Dylan, because my dad liked him. I mean, I grew up on Bob Dylan; he was the guy my family listened to. And I never disliked him until the last five or six albums. I did get to meet George Harrison while I was there, though, and that was great. He was doing some fucking awesome slide playing.

That was a drag. I really regret that. I'd just finished the Iggy Pop thing and Don Was approached me. I grew up with Bob Dylan stuff, but Bob Dylan then is not the same as Bob Dylan now, and I hadn't really paid much attention to him. But I said OK. I went to the studio and I met George Harrison, and he was great. He was playing when I wasn't there, this gorgeous slide guitar, and then I met Kim Basinger who could have done anything! Anyway, I finally met this little guy who looked like an Eskimo. It was a summer day and he's wearing a heavy wool sweater with a hood over it and a baseball cap underneath the hood and big leather gloves on and appeared to be stoned out of his mind. And he was really just impolite. I didn't have a good time at all. I was being as outwardly nice as possible, just trying to finish the guitar part, and I did one of the best one-offs that I can remember doing. And everybody was happy and I left and the record was about done. And then at last minute he took my guitar solo off because he said it sounded like Guns N' Roses.

And you know, that's that and I just know, from now on, I'll never play on anybody's record, or play with anybody that I don't admire or respect, or… I'm not friends with or something.

I did Dylan, and he flicked me over. I hate that guy. That was the most miserable session, too. I did a really good job on it, and he kept my playing on there even when the advance copies went out to the record company. Then at the last moment he took it off because he said it sounded too much like Guns Ν’ Roses. Why did he call me, y’know?

The guy was impossible to work with. No matter how amiable I might be, Dylan was just impossible to relate to, to communicate with. I couldn't figure out whether he knew what he was talking about or not. I played on a track that was really good -- I wouldn't say it was good if it wasn't -- and then he took it off at the last minute. It was really sort of perturbing, you know? It's not like I tried to do it for the money.

I played acoustic underneath the lead, right? Well, [Dylan] wanted me to play like Django Reinhardt! But the chords were a typical I-IV-V progression—I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. I ended up doing some strum patterns, and he went, "That's it." I'm like, "This is not Django Reinhardt." The space is still there in the song, so now when it gets to the guitar solo all you hear is me strumming these stupid chords. I learned my lesson from that.

They invited me to come along, and when I get there [Dylan] was wearing these gloves and a hooded jacket, and be barely even said ‘Hello’. I did one of the best solos I've ever done, straight off, and then later I hear they cut It out and you can only hear me playing a bit of rhythm guitar. He said it sounded too much like Guns N' Roses! What the f- - - did he expect me to play?

I did a thing with Bob Dylan. That was terrible. They didn't use what I played. When they took it off, I said to Don Was, the producer, What the fuck was all that about? And Don said, Bob thought it sounded too much like Guns N' Roses. I'm like, Well that's what I fucking do.

The worst session I dealt with was working with Bob Dylan. I had just worked with Don Was on the Iggy Pop record and had a great experience, so when Don asked me to do the Bob Dylan record, I agreed. But Bob ended up taking the guitar off the record, because he said it sounded too much like Guns N’ Roses! [laughs] You hear the song now, and it’s so obvious it’s leading up to a guitar solo.


Then that point comes, and there's nothing—just my backing acoustic rhythm guitar. You just know there's supposed to be something there, but Bob just wiped it completely off the track and left a big huge hole there.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:43 am

OCTOBER 30, 1990
RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HELL


On October 30, 1990, police would respond to a call from one of Axl's neighbours. The neighbour claimed that "[Axl] had shouted at her when she came home at about 2:30 in the morning, tossed her condo keys off the 12th floor and down on the ground, and then took a wine bottle she was carrying and hit her in the head with it [MTV, October, 1990].

Axl, as he was leaving the police station from bail, had a different opinion:

I live next door to a psycho.


A spokesman for Axl said, "This woman has repeatedly caused Axl problems. She is basically a fan who's been harassing him since the beginning of the year. After she abusively assaulted him the night of the incident, he requested the building's security officer call the police on his behalf. Despite the call for protection, the sheriffs did not arrive until after a call from his assailant. The neighbour was neither hit by Rose nor hospitalised, contrary to earlier news reports. The incident constitutes Rose's continuing dispute with the sheriffs' department which appears to be harassing him. An earlier complaint he filed against the department remains unresolved" [ Melody Maker, November 30, 1990].

After having been released on a $ 5,000 bail, Axl said the following to Pirate Radio in Los Angeles:

My wife and I recently had some hard times, and so she was asleep, and me and a friend of mine were sitting here, cos we're working on some songs together for the new album, and we were talking very quietly. My neighbour was in the hallway, drunk and yelling, trying to talk to one of my friends that she doesn't even know, and I went and told her to chill out. She came at me with a wine bottle she swung it at me, and I grabbed the bottle. I didn't hit her with it - if I had she wouldn't be walking, she wouldn't be alive. She threw her keys at me and I shut the door and threw her keys off the balcony and poured the wine out and threw it away. She proceeded to beat on my door for 20 minutes. I then called the sheriffs and they didn't give a fuck. They she went downstairs and did a great acting job when the police showed up. She doesn't complain about my stereo to me. I don't know if she complained to other people or not. I have my suspicions about the problems I've had with the sheriffs being somewhat directly related to her. I had problems with the sheriffs when I had Sebastian Bach over here and we had the stereo up. Then she proceeded to play my album full blast every night for the next two weeks. She likes to have sex to my album and beat on my bedroom door. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when I am the one busted for it, that's not what's good.


And this to MTV:

I was sitting here at home with a friend of mine, Dave Lank, and his fiancee, (?). My wife, Erin, was asleep, um, she had a miscarriage last week, and she’s just been in bed. My neighbor was out in the hallway about 1:30, um, drunk and yelling to talk to Dave - and she doesn’t even know Dave, she just seems to [?] my friends from Indiana. And he didn’t want anything to do with it, and she was out there yelling for a while. And finally, I just went outside, went out in the hallway, and said I wanted her to shut up and go in and crush. (Laughs) She was wasted and she came flying at me, screaming, “What you gonna do, who are you and what you gonna do, hit me, hit me” and swung this bottle of wine at me. I grabbed the bottle of wine out of her hands, and then she threw her keys at me which went into my apartment, so I just said, “Well, I guess you don’t need those either”, and I shut the door, threw her keys off the balcony, and poured the wine out. Then she proceeded to... For about 20 minutes she just ran full speed into my door and kicked it, and bashed into my door, and... We’ve taken some photos of the door and everything, there are black marks and [?], and the doorbell all bashed up and stuff... And screaming that she is going to stub me, and get me when I’m not looking, and all these other things. And I thought I was calling the police, I had the building call the police on her, and for me - and we called the sheriff’s office. They didn’t really seem to care. And she went downstairs, and was screaming and yelling; and called the sheriffs from downstairs and they came, and she told them that I hit her with the bottle. So they came up here and arrested me on felony assault with a deadly weapon.


In an interview likely done in November 1990, Slash would comment on the episode:

What happened with Axl, when I heard about it, I was like 'Oh, cool, is he going to make it to the studio tomorrow?' It was no big deal.


As the result of the court case, Axl won a temporary restraining order against his neighbor. She was ordered to "stay away from [Axl], his wife, Erin, and their guests" [Los Angeles Times, November 1990]. The district attorney would not prosecute charges against Axl, citing lack of evidence [Los Angeles Times, November 1990]. Axl and the neighbor later entered an agreement to stay away from each other, which was filed on November 29 [Los Angeles Times, December 1990; Daily Herald Suburban Chicago: December 6, 1990].

In early 1991 it would be reported that the neighbour was suing Axl, asking for undisclosed punitive damages [The Daily Press, January 31, 1991]. Axl would share his views on the upcoming court case in November:

I don’t think I’m gonna have much of a problem. But then again, you never know, and I’m not, you know, going to sit here and say that everything will be just fine, ‘cause you never know in a court of law, what can happen. I just know that I’m gonna take the step also... and with a civil suit against her for all the inconvenience and the stress to my wife and, you know, being arrested falsely and everything.  So it’s just been an ongoing problem and I’ve been on the phone with my lawyers and management for about the last year-and-a-half, saying, “Something’s gonna happen,” “Something’s gonna happen,” you know. And this is her 15 minutes, as Andy would say. She’s inventing her life, she’s one of these people that, like, I feel sorry for. She’s lonely and doesn’t have much in her life. But, you know, she’s trying to cling on to something and now she’s found a way to get involved, and she would rather be in a confrontational argument than be ignored.


According to the Los Angeles Superior Court database, the civil suit case was either dismissed or settled in October 1993.

The incident with his neighbour would inspire the song "Right Next Door To Hell" on Use Your Illusion I:

[One song]has a verse about life in L.A., and the chorus came when I was at home and couldn’t figure one out. All of a sudden [the neighbor] started beating on the walls and had her television cranked on 10 to bother me, and I just wrote this chorus called ‘Right Next Door to Hell.’ It works really well.

Well, the song wasn’t necessarily written about [the wine bottle incident]. It’s just - the incident with my next door neighbor just inspired the chorus. […] The situation with the neighbor was just that she just kinda lost it after I realized this wasn’t a person I wanted to be involved with. And she just couldn’t handle the rejection of living next door, you know, and that was, like, her big claim to fame. And she was drunk and swung a wine bottle, and I took it, and now she just couldn’t deal with that. And so her way to be involved was the same as Steven Adler suing us. It’s like, “Okay, let’s make a law case out of it”. You know, the D.A’s threw it out, but now it’s a civil suit and, I mean, she’s trying to tell people that I’m insinuating that she actually emanated from hell (laughs). That’s her case.


By December Axl moved into the studio to work on the record, at least partly because he "couldn't go back to [his] condo because of [his] neigbor" [RIP, September 1992].

Around the same time as Axl and his neighbour agreed to stay away from each other, Axl bought a house in Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills [Daily Herald Suburban Chicago, November 25, 1990]. One of his new neigbours allegedly wrote to Los Angeles Time, "We are hoping Mr. Rose won't blast us out of our beds at night" [Daily Herald Suburban Chicago, November 25, 1990]


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:43 am

NOVEMBER 1990 - DANNY SUGERMAN STARTS WRITING ABOUT GUNS N' ROSES


In late 1990, the author Danny Sugerman would write a piece on Axl that would be published in Spin Magazine [Spin, November 1990]. The Spin article, as stated at the end of it, consisted of excerpts from Sugerman's then forthcoming biography on Guns N' Roses. The band was initially opposed to the book and refused to endorse it or give any access. Alan Niven would later mention the Spin article as an example of the band's distrust towards the press and said it was "full of inaccuracies and self-serving embellishments" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991]. But in the same article, Sugerman blamed Spin Magazine for misquoting both himself and Axl:

"I don’t blame Alan for being upset. [...] Spin rushed the story out two months early and they totally misquoted Axl and me. They never showed me a final draft of the piece, and they didn't make most of the corrections I’d suggested. In fact, they took sentences I’d written and put quotes around them and attributed them to Axl. I was livid about the whole thing" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991].

Bob Guccione Jr., publisher-editor of Spin at the time, denied Sugerman's allegations:

"Actually Danny came in wildly late with his piece. His story was the only story in later than mine. We only made so many changes because the piece wasn’t very well written. We never changed any of Axl’s quotes, not a single one. The only fixes we made were so Danny’s language would be more understandable. Afterwards we discovered that the best part of his story [an account of a police raid on Axl’s apartment] turned out to have been lifted' straight out of a People magazine story. So I had to run an apology in the next issue of Spin saying that we’d run portions of the People story without attributing it to them."

Sugerman replied to Alan Niven's and Guccione's accusations with a letter saying that Niven was upset because Axl had spoken with him:

"Regarding the March 17 Pop-eye column: I’m not sure whether being called a liar by Alan Niven and Bob Guccione Jr., two of the sleaziest people in the music business—a business with no dearth of sleaze—is either the biggest insult or the highest compliment I’ve ever received. Despite such ambivalence, I’m prompted to inform readers that Guns N’ Roses manager Niven is upset because he couldn’t slop me from writing a book on his band and couldn’t stop Axl Rose from speaking with me or, for that matter, stop me from speaking with Axl, whom I found to be infinitely more sensible and intelligent than his manager. As for Guccione, all I can say is consider the source. We all know to what high moral standards this paragon of virtue aspires" [Los Angeles Times, April 1991].

Niven responded:

1— Two years ago, Sugerman contacted our (management company] expressing a desire to write a book about Guns N’ Roses. Our clients told us they wanted no part of it. Despite their wishes, Sugerman secured a contract from a publisher. Since our clients preferred to have any such volume compiled under other authorship, we were instructed to tell the publisher and Sugerman that they would be denied any access or endorsement.

2— As for Axl Rose’s meeting with Sugerman, Axl elected to deal with the inevitable. He decided out of responsibility to his following to read the manuscript in order to extinguish the inaccuracies he anticipated after Sugerman’s piece in Spin magazine. What's more, Axl is quite capable of recognizing an exploitative sycophant when he meets one.

3— In regard to Sugerman’s slur, I am prepared to have any aspect of my business investigated by anyone at any time. My firm prides itself on its integrity and ethics, and our reputation is unimpugned. Check with anyone who is actually a part of the business (as opposed to being an opportunistic parasite).
[Los Angeles Times, April 1991].
Axl and Slash would have somewhat differing view on Sugerman's unauthorized book, and Sugerman himself. Axl felt flattered by the comparisons drawn up by Sugerman, and was a fan of his previous book on Jim Morrison:

I read [No One Gets Here Out Alive (Sugerman's Jim Morrison biography)] seven times and I didn’t really ever do an interview with Danny. Danny and I are friends now, but I talked to him for 15 minutes in a bar and then the story came out in a magazine a few weeks later [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
[Sugerman's GNR biography] wasn’t authorized, but I proof read it cuz I got a copy right before it was about to come out, and I just went back and changed... And Danny, you know, agreed and worked with me on just changing the facts, [like] if he said “Izzy and Slash” and it was actually Izzy and I. We changed those things. But I didn’t change any of his opinions. I thought it was really - it’s a really interesting book and it’s kind of flattering to be, you know, compared, and have, like, this college thesis written about you, and your place in the world, and rock ‘n’ roll, and Greek mythology. But, other than that, I just, you know, I wish it would’ve been more fun for people to read [Rockline, November 27, 1991].
Compared to Slash:

I’m gonna kill that guy [The Guardian, September 1991].
It’s stuff like that, because kids only – well, not kids, but people in general only believe in what they read or what they see on TV, and so when a book comes out and a, say, Guns N’ Roses fan sees it on a rack and buys it, that’s all he’s got to go on. And that guy has never even met us. […] That guy is so full of it. I’m gonna kick his ass when I see him. I’ll – (laughs) [Australian TV Channel 7, January 25, 1993].
[Sugerman's book] is a complete load of garbage, man. He wrote it like he'd known us for years when he’d only interviewed Axl a few times. If I ever saw him in a club, he knows I'd get him. He's scared of us [The Age, January 29, 1993].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:11 pm

PLANNING THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' TOUR


Initially, Slash didn't want lots of stage effects for the large tour they expected of doing at some point in time:

Headlining is always the best. You’ve got lots of stage space. I'm all over the place, I can go nuts. And we don’t have to worry about keeping the set tight as far as, vroom vroom vroom, song after song so you can squeeze it all in. We can go out and play for two, two-and-a-half hours. That’s comfortable for us.

I mean, when we’re on stage, that’s us, on tour. It’s like, all this work is geared to that forty-five minutes on stage. If we had two hours it would just be better. It would just be the best and I can’t wait. But first we gotta get another album out.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

[…] my attitude is basically, fuck changing clothes to go on stage, I’m just gonna put on my jeans. My feeling about it is, if you can’t go out and kick ass, if you have to have stage props and lighting effects and this and that and the other, it’s probably because you can’t do it as a band. […] But there are a lot of bands that couldn’t just go out and strip away all that shit and kick ass. They get better every year ’cos their stage set gets bigger every year. Some bands it’s like they went out and bought the clothes first and then decided to start thinking about the music. That’s what we’re really against. I know it’s a cliche but there are bands out there whose roots go back about three years, you know what I’m saying? It’s ridiculous, there’s no soul in it, there’s no dynamics in the music or anything. It’s just bland. They pick up a 4/4 beat and then it chugs away and then that’s it. But they look good. We’re just gonna go out and we’ll have a backdrop that says “Guns N’ Roses”, right? And just hammer our amps and just go out and play...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

[Talking about doing a headlining stadium tour]: We won't have any of that [laser and pyro] shit. All it means is that we'll all have acres of space to run around and go nuts in! If anything, we're gonna play down the whole idea of putting on some kind of dumb show with a Million stage props, and go out and just fuckin' kick some ass! […] Too many bands hide behind all that stagey shit, anyway. The bigger the band, the bigger the explosions at the beginning and end of their set. Well not us . . . None of that shit for us. We ain't faking it, we play take it or leave it rock and roll and if the kids want some of that they'll come  along. Try and fuckin' stop them...


But about a year later Axl had different ideas:

We're already designing stages. […] On the 1988 tour, we wanted to show it could be done with just amps and a drumkit but that doesn't mean we're against big stageshows. We just wanted to prove that you don't need a big stageshow. Your music comes first and your performance onstage - that's priority. After that I think you can add anything you want. […] We love big stageshows, and if we come up with one that's a lot of fun for us, then we'll do it. We hope that people don't think we've sold out, 'cause it's not an attempt to sell out. We just like the lights and everything, but we haven't chosen to use those things yet and it's worked out good. […] I would like to experiment. I don't know that we'll be doing any of this stuff next year, but I'm really interested in lasers and holograms. I don't really have the time to find out about it right now, but there's the possibility of getting everything we can involved with our stageshow, 'cause it's like a living work of art.


In early 1990, Axl would say the follow-up to 'Appetite' would hopefully be out by the summer, but...

But I don’t have any idea about the schedule for touring. We definitely want a major world tour and we want to play in as many places as we can. So it’s whatever the best timing is to pull that off the best way we can. I don’t know if England will be first or America, but we’re not trying to neglect anybody this time. It’s just trying to make it work the best way for everybody. […] I really want to play all of Europe, actually. I’m really into England, but we’ve only played in three countries – Germany, Holland and England. Now I want to play all of Europe. I want to go down to Panama, too. ’Cos you know they played Guns Ν' Roses songs down there to get Noriega out? I wanted to fly down last night, and I should have done, ’cos if I’d known he was gonna turn himself in I would have been there. I wanted to go down there and stand in one of the tanks with all the troops.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


Duff would talk more about the tour and especially about playing in England:

There’s been talk of starting in Europe, just going over and doing all over, ’cos we haven’t done Italy and France, places like that, yet. And of course, we’ll come over and play England. We’ve been more faithful to England than any other fucking place in the world, let me tell you. […] The first three gigs we ever did anywhere outside America was at the Marquee in London. Then what did we do? We came down with fuckin’ Faster Pussycat! Then we came back and did Donington. We haven’t gone back to any other places like that. We haven’t gone back to, like, fuckin’ Australia to play all the time. Or Japan. I mean, dude, we love England, it’s like our second home there. The kids just really grasped on to us the first time we were there. We were like, wow, you know? ’Cos the place has such a fuckin’ tradition of turning out these great bands. You know, I’m not saying we’re the next blah blah blah. But then we came along and we were like the next hard rock band the kids really fuckin’ went for. Like, this is our band, nobody can take them away from us ’cos they belong to us. That’s how we really felt. The food sucks, though.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


A year later, the release date for the follow-up (now given the name 'Use Your Illusion') was closer and the band had started to plan, or think about, the massive touring that would follow:

We’re slated for a two-year tour starting in April. We’ll go to New Zealand, Australia and Japan, then to the United States, where we’ll branch out to all those places we haven’t done yet. We’ll go to Europe and play Wembley [in London], I think, then go to Japan for one gig and then come back to the States. That’s just off the top of my head. We’ll do arenas here, and then we’ll come back and do coliseums.


In early 1991 the band was rumored to start touring after the release of the 'Use Your Illusion's' in the spring of 1991. First off was the US with Skid Row in support, and then they would play selective dates in Europe, including one stadium show in Britain in late summer [Select Magazine, February 1991].

In January 1991, Axl would say they hoped to start touring in April 1991, and would go on for two years [MTV, January 1991].

In June 1991, it was reported that the band sold 40,000 tickets the first day for the Alpine Valley shows that would start the European tour, a feat equaled only once before in history, by the Who. After touring America first the band planned to head overseas, to Australia, Europe and Japan [RIP, June 1991].

We're gonna end the States leg in L.A., at the Forum. We're tentatively scheduled to play four nights. They wanted us to do eight! Eight f?!king nights!


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:12 pm

JANUARY 20-23, 1991
ROCK IN RIO


READY FOR THE BIG STAGE


In the autumn of 1990 (Duff was unsure if it was three or four months before January 1991 [Special TV, 1989]), the band booked its first gigs in more than a year: Two nights at the Rock In Rio Festival in January 1991 [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].

Looking back, the band had progressed according Axl's long-term plans, and was now topped with headlining on a large stage:

But things are going well and we're, you know, it'll get bigger. I don't think I'll relax until like we're headlining in a very, very big way and being able to put a full show across. And until then it's just we're still hungry, and then even when we get that then it's like we want to make a really big show, we've still got a lot of things that we want to do musically.


Axl would also talk about the bigger shows ("huge stadiums, huge lights, huge sound") they wanted to do in an interview in July 1989:

When we went through Australia, we kept it basic because we wanted to prove to people that, above all, Guns 'n' Roses are a band that could play, we weren't a figment of some publicist's imagination. But next time around, we're gonna take one step up. The time's right for that one further step.


The Rock in Rio shows were booked when the band was in the finishing stages of recording their follow-up to 'Appetite'. It is unclear who took the initiative for the shows:

No, we didn’t have to [play the shows]. It was something we wanted to do, I think. Actually it’s kind of mixed. I don’t know who wanted to do [it or] might not have wanted to, but everybody’s here, you know.


Even if the shows were booked when the band was in the middle of making the 'Use Your Illusion' records, Duff, Matt, Izzy and Slash were able to start rehearsing for the shows:

We were right in the middle of doing a record so it was kind of pain in the ass, so... But I was done, and Matt was done, we were done with the basic tracks. All we had to do was sing backgrounds and mix. So Matt and I had time to go in and start rehearsing. Slash has still been doing guitars. Slash and Izzy came in and it was like... You know, we had just got done getting Matt as a drummer, so... Matt and I rehearsed together.



THE FIRST SHOWS FOR DIZZY AND MATT


This was the first time the band had performed together on stage since Farm Aid in April 1990 and the debut for Dizzy and Matt [MTV, January 1991].

We’re going on stage in front of 140,000  people, first time [Matt]’s up to play with us. And, for that matter, Dizzy, the piano player, who was actually kind of shitting bricks cuz the biggest crowd he had ever played to was, like, 400.

[Introducing Matt from stage before his drum solo]: I’d like to introduce you to somebody new in the band. Someone who came along and if it hadn’t worked out we wouldn’t be here tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Matt Sorum. Rate it, bear his ass, right now. Take it away home.

The first big shock for me, personally, was at Rock in Rio, where we played in front of 150,000 people. But the other guys helped me, they explained to me what it would be like.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek


Not only was it Matt's and Dizzy's first live show with the band, they had never played with Axl before at all:

For me it was kind of wild because, you know, it was the first time I ever heard him sing with the band, with me playing, you know? So a couple of times when he did some screams and stuff, you know, kind of throwing me for a second. Maybe, you, know, messed up my fill or something [laughs].

Matt and Dizzy had never played with us as a complete band, because Axl doesn't come to rehearsals. They'd never seen Axl sing with us. […] So, anyway, we tell Matt, three minutes before he goes onstage in front of 140,000 people, that he's gotta do a drum solo. And he pulled it off! He rocked! Dizzy, shit, the biggest crowd he ever played for was about 400, opening up for L.A. Guns at the Country Club. Let's just say Dizzy had a few cocktails before we went on, but he pulled it off too. Right before we went onstage, the whole band - and this hadn't happened for a long time - got together in one room. You could just feel the electricity. No matter how many people were out there, or our families, or the press and photographers, bla bla bla, what it came down to was , we were just the same guys that we were five years ago, and you could feel that in the nervous laughter. It was f?!king amazing.


This was also warm-up shows for their upcoming tour:

We’ve been rehearsing at a little rehearsal place and just getting warmed up for... being geared up and psyched up to tour. Rio should get us in groove. I mean, you know, usually you don’t play those gigs til the end of the tour. We’re doing it backwards, that’s how we do everything.


As the band prepared for the high-profile shows, they would let Matt in on how they operated:

And for [Matt] to come into this band... Cuz we don’t have a setlist, you know. We just kinda call of songs - if that, you know. Or we just kind of like, someone starts off the next song and... We kinda told Matt that, like, 5 minutes before we went on. “This is not a setlist by the way, Matt. It’s a call list. And, by the way, you’re doing a drum solo (?)." So he can take the pressure (laughs).



MARACANA STADIUM, 280,000 PEOPLE


The two Rock in Rio gigs took place at Maracana Stadium in front of 280,000 Brazilian fans [Special TV, 1991].

It was like a blur, it was like, no, I can’t believe this. You know, I mean, I would be, like, completely lying and ridiculous if I said I wasn’t nervous for that. Actually it’s weird, after doing it I looked back at it and, like, we did that little show in LA and, like, 500 people were there that I knew, at least, you know. And that was, like, a lot scarier than doing Rock in Rio, because Rock in Rio is just... you just get kind of numb, cuz there’s so many people. You’re just kind of numb. It’s like doing novocaine over your whole body, you just play.


The Rock in Rio concerts were heavily focused on new material, and over the two shows the band would debut the following songs: Bad Apples, Pretty Tied Up, Double Talkin' Jive, Dead Horse, You Could Be Mine, and Estranged.

After the shows, Axl and Slash were satisfied:

It was the first gig with everybody involved in a long time. Especially, you know, with two new people, right? It’s the first show that we’ve done that it was fucking – no matter how many technical problems we had and this and that – we fucking had a fucking blast, you know? And I could turn around... It was like, turn around and there’s those people that I know so well, you know? It was great.

It was the funniest show that I’ve ever played. It was the funniest show. And the reason I wanted to talk with you so much was to thank Rio. […] I want to thank Rio for being so responsive, so into it. It was great. It’s amazing. I had a blast. We did two hours and it was a blast. It was the best show, funniest show I’ve ever played. I really like it, I really like it down here. It’s like, I hope to come back here in a year and play again. You know, play more shows and play in Sao Paolo. […] This was the biggest crowd that we’ve ever played to and one of the most responsive. Donington was like, they knew all the words but, I mean, a lot of people down here don’t know English and they could still sing all the songs and everything. Like, Sweet Child; they sing every chorus with me. It’s so much fun.


From Axl's comments it seems his love for Brazil was born during Rock in Rio and the band would come back to this country again and again in the years to come.


MICK WALL, JUDAS PRIEST, AND DAVE MUSTAINE


But the shows did not go down without public spats with other bands. Mick Wall, writing for Kerrang! Magazine, would claim the band had set limits to Judas Priest's performance:

Upon their arrival at the Maracana, Axl Rose announced that neither he nor Guns N’ Roses would take the stage  that night if a) Judas Priest used any of their pyrotechnics; b) played more than one encore, c) didn’t cut their set by at least 20 minutes and d) used the motorcycle. […] Eventually, after much to-ing and fro-ing of messengers between the opposing dressing rooms, it was agreed to allow Priest to play their two encores and Rob was told he could keep the motorcycle. But Priest were still forced to drop five numbers from their set... and the use of their pyrotechnics was definitely ruled out. […] But if Guns N’ Roses thought that putting a vice on the performance of Judas Priest would make their own entrance more plausible, the results had exactly the opposite affect, Priest turning in a show that left the Maracana audience stunned and howling for more. […] Rob Halford, in particular, was brilliant, the best I’ve seen him in years, and the band were - as advertised - pure steel. […] 'If anything, being treated like that only made us more determined to put on a really hard show,” said a still- pouring-with-sweat Halford afterwards. “You know, I think it sorts out the professionals — the men from the boys. I mean, we’ve dealt with all this before. [...] And I think that, more than anything, when people try and pull a stunt like that on you it always backfires on them. It’s like, what are you trying to prove here anyway? Do you think that by taking away those things you’re gonna restrict the band’s ability to get a crowd reaction, or affect our performance as musicians? […] There’s no way! We’ve been around too many years to let something like that affect us. Out of all the people at this Rock In Rio festival, Priest have got the longest history. We’ve made more albums, we’ve done more festivals, we’ve done more tours. […] So it’s easier for us to handle but I still can’t understand that kind of attitude problem. It just doesn’t make sense.'


Axl would vehemently deny this:

We went onstage early because Judas Priest had pulled off on their own accord, and then said that we asked them to leave the stage early, trying to make us look bad. We had told Judas that they could play as long as they wanted, they could have whatever they wanted. The only thing they couldn't have, which the fire marshal wouldn't allow, was their pyro. Then Rob Halford is in magazines saying that I wouldn't allow him to have his Harley. I heard about that during the day. One of the guys who worked with us was in my room with a walkie-talkie, so I grabbed it and said, "Tell Robbie he can have anything he wants." There was no way I wasn't going to allow Judas Priest to do whatever they wanted, because I didn't want bad vibes. Judas Priest was one of the major influences on my singing because Rob Halford is one of the technically best in the world at what he does. And for me to tell them that they couldn't have their Harley is stupid! This guy was saying that I wouldn't allow it, which was a lie!


Another writer for Kerrang!, Stephan Chirazi, would confirm that Axl never refused Judas Priest to ride the motorbike:

About three weeks later I get a call, 'Is this Steffan? It's Axl'. To which I immediately said 'Fuck off Lars' because I thought Lars Ulrich was calling winding me up. So then he calls me back, 'This is Axl and I wanna tell you a few things!' For twenty minutes he was going on about what an arsehole I am and 'How dare I ?', 'This is outrageous, I would never do that.' He then says to me, 'Why didn't you just ask me? I would've told you there and then it was a bunch of bullshit.' I said, 'Do you know how hard it is to talk to you?' And I explained to him about the contracts, how no one was getting close to him, how their whole camp was separated from everyone and just how utterly in a bubble he was. He completely chilled out after that, he really calmed down and actually apologised saying he had no idea. […] We spent another half an hour talking and I think he might've been a bit unaware. Apparently he had not in any way said that Judas Priest couldn't do any of that stuff and Rob Halford did ride his bike that night


There also was an issue with Megadeth's Dave Mustaine:

When we played at Rock In Rio II, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth had been trying to get me to hang out with him the whole show. He had all kinds of people coming up to me and asking me to talk to him and so on. But due to my past experiences with Dave Mustaine, every time I've talked to him, no matter how good the conversation or how good I thought things were, a couple of days later he would try and pull a fast move, backstabbing, just to get himself some coverage. It's just somebody I didn't want to hang out with. It was handled nicely. The only person I spent time with in any of the bands was Billy Idol. We came back to L.A. and Dave's on the radio saying that they won't be playing any dates with Guns N' Roses. That there were deaths at the show. Guns N' Roses shouldn't have played on the night that they played and all this other stuff. What Dave didn't realize is that Guns N' Roses was one of the reasons there was a Rock In Rio II. The people who ran the television station down there and were major financers wanted to see Guns N' Roses. The owner of the television station wanted to see Guns N' Roses.



IN HINDSIGHT


Duff answering what was his most memorable and special moment of his career:

Probably the "Rock In Rio" festival. We were in Rio de Janeiro, a somewhat exotic city. We had no idea how many people knew us and we found ourselves playing in front of 100,000 people. It was incredible. We said, "Oh my God, we’re huge.” And our first contract with Geffen; that’s something you never forget..


In their biographies, both Duff and Slash would point to the Rock In Rio shows as especially memorable:

It was incredible; we played two nights in a row to 180,000 fans in Maracanã Stadium. [...] It was something else; I'm not sure that I've ever seen a more insane Guns N' Roses crowd - and that is saying something. When we kicked into the bridge of "Paradise City," people swan-dived from the upper tier of the stadium - seemingly to their death.
Slash's autobiography, p 325

Maracaña Stadium: 175,000 people and a river of sewage streaming right through the place. An actual river. Of shit. People chanting, "Guns N' Roses, Guns N' Roses!" The audience cried and sang along to every word as we launched into our set. 'Fucking hell, there are a lot of people up here onstage.'
Duff's autobiograpy, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 176


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:19 pm

SLASH CONTRIBUTES TO THE LES PAUL TRIBUTE ALBUM


Some time, likely in the end of 1990, Slash collaborated with legendary guitarist Les Paul:

Les Paul called me up to play on this tribute record where he’s producing tracks by Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and all these cats. So I took another song called “Burnout,” which should have been a Guns tune, and got Iggy Pop to sing it and Kenny Aronoff to play drums. Duff’s going to play bass, and Lenny sang backup on it.

When we were at the studio, Les Paul said to me, “You’re pretty good when you learn how to play.” Thanks, God. You know, that was pretty fucking intense. I just sort of, like, crept away.

I played on his tribute album, which is on hold right now. I knew the project was disorganized, but I decided to do it anyway. I put the band together with Iggy, and [drummer] Kenny Aronoff. Fernando Saunders played fretless bass on it, but it didn't sound right, so I took it off and put Duff on it. And Lenny Kravitz does background vocals. […] We did a song that was supposed to be a Guns N' Roses' song, but Steven could never play. It's a slow blues shuffle called "Burnout." It's really different now, though, 'cause Iggy's singing. […] [Jamming with Les Paul] was the most humbling experience in my life. He and his rhythm player are amazing. They play chords like...I mean, how they get from one of these chords to the other just blew my mind. And Les is a great guy. Funny, eccentric, and very, very smart. Once, before this tribute thing ever happened, he called me up out of the blue. I picked up the phone and was like, "Whoa, Les Paul!" We talked for an hour.

[…]  I did a song on a Les Paul tribute record that’s coming out. I wrote this tune and Stephen could never play it; it was a very ‘black’ groove thing and he could just never get it right, and so I shelved the song.


It was on hold in 1991 and wouldn't be released until 2005. On the record Slash's song was called "Vocalise" and it was said to be based off "Burnout". Slash would also make another song based on "Burnout", "Ain't Life Grand" which was released on the second Slash's Snakepit album in 2000.

Slash got to jam more with Les Paul:

I got to jam with Les Paul. I did a song on a tribute record for him, and jammed with him. And that was like, a totally humbling experience. It sort of reminded me as to how long I've been playing. Not that long. [laughs].


Slash would later talk about jamming with Les Paul:

[Les Paul]'s great! I jammed' with him over at Fat Tuesdays. That must have been one of the most humbling experiences in my life. I was like, "Christ! Get me off the stage!" […] [The song we recorded] was my own tune, "Bum Out," so I just played it my way. That was cool. I got Duff to play bass on it because the original bass player didn't sound right.

I had Les Paul wipe the stage with me the first time I jammed with him. I never wanted to be off a stage so badly. And Les will (mess) with you, because in his own mind, as well as the public’s mind, he is the king. He looked over at me like “Well, you’ll learn how to play one day, kid.” But I did jam with him recently, and I’ve gotten better — we managed to play four songs together without any altercations or any serious faux pas, and that was nice. It gives you a little more confidence.

The first gig I had with Les Paul, was six years ago. I got up and jammed with him at Fat Tuesday's. He basically wiped the stage up with me; I never wanted to be off stage so badly... But it was an experience, a lesson definitely well-learned. I've played with him three times since and it got better and better. I know now you've got to pay attention, don't get ahead of yourself and play in the situation, you know?

Les Paul literally wiped the stage clean with me the first time I played with him. I swear to God. I went down to Fat Tuesdays one night, and I thought, 'I'll play some blues with him,' or whatever. It was like, 'Get up here kid, c'mon!' And he just kicked my fuckin' ass. I played with him four or five times at Fat Tuesdays after that, and I got better at it. I'm not a schooled musician, and Les Paul is one of those guys that wrote the book. He also plays traditional music, American traditional music, which is not your basic Stones shit, and it's not your basic American rhythm and blues. It's like Mary Ford shit, ya know? I don't even know... his rhythm guitar player blew my mind. I respect the shit out of that. And, just to be able to go up there and impromptu try and play along with those guys, I got better at doing it.


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THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS - Page 6 Empty Re: THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:19 pm

FEBRUARY 1991
AXL SEEKS THERAPY


My growth was stopped at two years old. And when they talk about Axl Rose being a screaming two-year-old, they're right. There's a screaming two-year-old who's real pissed off and hides and won't show himself that often, even to me. Because I couldn't protect him. And the world didn't protect him.

_______________________________________________________________________

As described previously, Axl suffered from occasional depressions and in early 1991 the depressions, which made him remember his past, resulting in Axl seeking therapy [Life Magazine, December 1992]. The therapy would start in February 1991 [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992; Interview Magazine, May 1992] before their massive tour in support of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums.

l reached a point where l was basically dead and still breathing. I didn't have enough energy to leave my bedroom and crawl to the kitchen to get something to eat. I had to find out why I was dead, and why I felt like l was dead. I had a lot of issues that I didn't really know about in my life and didn't understand how they affected me.


According to Axl, the therapy sessions lasted five hours a day, five days a week [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

I know people are confused by a lot of what I do, but I am too sometimes. That's why I went into therapy. I wanted to understand why Axl had been this volatile, crazy, whatever, for years. […] I was told that my mental circuity was all twisted...in terms of how I would deal with stress because of what happened to me back in Indiana. Basically I would overload with the stress of a situation...by smashing whatever was around me… […] I used to think I was actually dealing with my problems, and now I know that's not dealing with it at all. I'm trying now to (channel) my energy in more positive ways...but it doesn't always work.


Axl would also keep going to therapy during the touring of 1991 which was tarnished by Axl's behavior which led to multiple stops, late starts, and rants:

I was like, I’d come off stage, and either get on the phone or have the person fly out personally into four or five hours right after stage. You know, where someone goes, like, once a week to work out their problems for half hour or an hour, I was doing four-five hours a day; like, every day.


When asked if he takes his therapist with him on tour:

Sometimes, when I feel I'm going to be needing to do some work. If we weren't on tour, I would've concentrated harder on getting this work finished and then gone out, but that was impossible. The albums needed to be worked.


In 1992 he would also mention that his therapist, or one of them at least, was a homeopath [for more information on Axl and alternative medicine, see later chapter]:

I came with a nice big package of defects. So I do past-life regression therapy work with a homeopathic doctor.


In the November 1992 issue of RIP Axl would go in more detail about the therapy:

I'm continuously learning that when I get depressed there may be a reason for it that I'm not aware of. It could be something that happened a long time ago, and I've carried a base thought ever since. That base thought hasn't been exposed since it happened, and it's never been healed. I've buried it so deep that I don't even know it's there. I can talk about life and love and happiness, but beneath that there's some ugly thought. Or hatred. Or fear. Or hurt. Something I'm still acting on. By going back slowly…[…] There's all kinds of methods, but it's basically figuring out how you feel and what really bothers you, getting more focused. Then, with my therapist, I work on releasing my unconscious mind. Unless your true self is in pain, why would you want to be detached from it? Yet most people are detached. Who knows how to go back and heal their own pain? Having help and being able to accept it is a lot stronger and sometimes easier. Sometimes it's harder though. I mean, who wants to need help? I found someone I trust and can work with. The methods aren't necessarily important; what's important is the getting there and the healing. A therapist could talk about it better than I could; and if I do, it may throw certain people off. It probably sounds very weird, but the important thing is that it's working. I have certain emotional, mental and physical problems that I don't want to have to live with any longer than I have to, so I'm obsessed with getting over them. The only way a person can tell if they need help is if underneath however happy you think you are, you know that you're miserable. I've been miserable for a long f?!king time, and now I'm not so miserable. […]  I could get really depressed and OD next week, but I don't think so, and I'm hoping not to.



THE EFFECT OF THE THERAPY


In 1992 Axl was still working on himself and the results of the therapy:

I didn't realize that I felt certain ways toward women, toward men, toward people in general, and toward myself. The only way to get through that was to go back through it and find it and re-experience it and attempt to heal it. I'm still working on that but I'm a lot further along than I was.


Los Angeles Times would report that "those around Rose say he is calmer since beginning the therapy, but they don't think they've seen the end of the outbursts [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. And Rolling Stone would report that "those around Rose say his therapy has helped him make a great deal of progress. At the very least it has helped him deal with the depression that so often made him feel suicidal in the past" [Rolling Stone, September 1991]. In September 1991, Izzy would imply Axl was doing better:

[Axl] understands responsibility a lot more. Before, he used to be one of those guys who, if he even thought someone was looking at him weird, would just haul of and smack 'em. And sometimes, y'know, the people he went for weren't even looking at him.


In interviews published in 1992, Axl would again claim that the therapy had worked:

I'd already grown past a lot of the things by the time I started working on my therapy in February. It takes a lot of work to slowly dig that out. And I've been doing this while I'm on the road. Some of this stuff is coming out at four in the afternoon, when you don't expect it.

I've found a lot more peace in the last year than I've ever known and I feel a bit more creative than ever. I'm not writing a whole lot but I write a little bit and I play a bit on the piano and it comes easier than it used to. […] I've done a lot of emotional therapy and getting in touch with my real self, rather than the self that I've created to deal with life. Even though I was fighting to be myself, I wasn't really in touch with who I was. I guess I allowed it, but what are you going to do? You're a baby and things happen. You get affected.

Now I feel I know why I've gotten myself into negative situations and why I've been negative in situations and how I've kept that ball rolling whether I wanted to or not. I can see a lot of that in my life and in the albums. I was pretty much trying to express the anger and frustration and I was blaming certain things on the women involved. That's not to say that when I was writing a song like "Locomotive" that the person I was inspired by wasn't doing something completely fucked up. You know, I can even have some love for my real father now, which I never had before, but that's not to say he wasn't an asshole. I can understand Izzy leaving the band and be fine with that, but that's not to say he didn't go about it like an asshole. Someone could understand why I stormed offstage but I have to take responsibility for that. I could have been bein' a fuckin' baby. […] I'm trying to learn how to take more responsibility for my actions. I just wish I didn't have so many actions that were fucked up that I had to take responsibility for.


And that the therapy produced explanations but not excuses for his behavior:

One thing I want to say is, these aren't excuses. I'm not trying to get out of something. The bottom line is, each person is responsible for what they say and what they do. And I'm responsible for everything I've said and everything I've done, whether I want to be or not. So these aren't excuses. They're just facts, and they're things I'm dealing with.


For an interview in Star Tribune in August 1992 when Metallica was co-touring with Guns N' Roses, both James Hetfield and Duff was asked identical questions separately. One of the questions was about Axl:

Axl's not really that bad of a demon as he's made out to be. I can't really look at it objectively because he’s my good friend. When it comes down to it, he's really a sweetheart. If you were to sit down and talk with him, you'd see what I'm saying. You’d go: 'He's just a normal dude. What's everybody writing about him?’ […] In England, it’s the worst with all the tabloids. He reads it. He’s already got enough problems of his own, let alone people saying he's got AIDS or something. He’s very sensitive and that kind of stuff gets him down. I tell him it’s some [jerk] making up something and he says, 'Yeah, but my girlfriend’s going to read this,' or something like that. He's a normal dude who just grew up a little differently than the status quo. […] He’s got that anger. He doesn’t hold back his feelings onstage, which is very cool.

I tried to communicate with Axl. He likes to talk and thinks he's got his thing together. He’s got a lot of yes men, which doesn't help him mentally, I think, but speaking with him is really difficult. He tries to project himself as a real humanist and trying to make everything best for everyone, make this a better world and try and make life fun for everyone. […] I don’t really like hearing [information] secondhand from people. ‘Oh, his psychic said this,’ or, ‘Guess what he did today?' I hate the whole gossip thing. To sit down and talk face to face is the best way to do things, and I don't really have the desire to do that.


About the same time, Gilby was asked about Axl:

Axl is a very eccentric person, very talented. And if he wasn’t eccentric and talented we wouldn’t be where we are right now.


In early 1993 Matt would say that therapy and Axl's relationship to Stephanie Seymore had made him healthier:

I think I can speak for Axl on how he’s feeling about everything. I think he’s a totally changed person. […] Now he’s into playing, and everything’s pretty cool. […] [But Axl still has bad days] because a lot of stuff goes on with him... just basically being Axl Rose. […] I don’t know if I’d want to be him, to be honest with you. You’d have to think about that yourself: ‘Would I want to be Axl Rose?’ Yeah, millions of people would, but then you’d have to be in his shoes for a little while to see what it’s actually like. [...] I think he really enjoys being in a big band and all that, being a big rock star or whatever, but there’s times when he doesn’t, and that’s the times when he just doesn’t want to... do anything. […] It’s real interesting. After being in the band for almost three years now, I can understand the guy. For a while there I just couldn’t, and neither could millions of people.


Duff would also concur that the therapy was working and that Axl was at a better place:

Axl is just a happier person these days. We all go through our stuff. He just vents it sometimes the wrong way. The only thing I can say is that people vent it in different ways - some people beat their wives or some wives beat their husbands. I personally don't deal with things the way he does, but I'm not him.


Yet, the everybody had to tip-toe around him and his friend Josh Richman, would mention how they'd hide reviews to avoid him getting angry:

If there was a bad review, [manager] Doug Goldstein and I would be in the hotel stealing all the newspapers, because if Axl read it, who knows if he would get on the plane to the next city.



AXL'S DEPRESSIONS


Another issue that likely was discussed in Axl's therapy sessions, were his depressions:

[…] l was miserable and suicidal and I realized I had to do this work [=therapy] or I would check out. […] It's helped give me a drive. I have a definite survival drive, and the pressure gave me a drive to get on top of it. It was either sink or swim. Sometimes l would want to sink, and then while I was sinking I'd go, "Wait a minute, this isn't what I want to do," and I would calm down while I was sinking and then start rising back to the surface again.

I used to jump ship every three days. And I wasn't crying wolf. It would usually come down to I was leaving but there was no place to go. What am I gonna do, go to Paris, do poetry? Look at art museums and hope that not going after what I set out to do didn't eat me alive? Go pump gas? I was leaving to pump gas a few times, and ready for it. Then, I don't know, something in me would go, 'You can deal with this now'. It just took time to be able to deal with it. And that's when I would get hassled for not doing photo shoots and interviews, because at that time I needed to be able to deal with just being able to stay here. And that took a lot of time. A lot of my anger came from people not understanding that I needed that time. I would turn myself inside out to certain people, and they still wouldn't get it. They're no longer with us, because I just didn't feel safe, ever. […] For over two years, I lived in a black room. Blackout curtains, black floors, black walls. It's what I always thought I wanted, and sometimes it was really cool and sometimes it was a nightmare. And for two years, I worked on trying to put my head together, and find answers, because I couldn't find a reason to stay alive. I know a lot of cool people, but I wasn't thinking about them missing me, or me missing them - I was just like 'Hope they'll be all right, and I want out of here'. I just wanted to leave. […] I don't so much want to leave anymore. I'm finally starting to settle into my life. Ever since that point, it's been rough, but I knew I'd walked into my life. And the touring is the combat zone of it.


The Christmas in 1991 turned out to be "probably the nicest" in Axl's 29 year long life, with the two previous Christmases in 1989 and 1990 marred by depressions [RIP, September 1992].


FORMING FRIENDSHIPS


Despite all his emotional instability, Axl would continue to develop strong relationships with people whom he trusted, including the Geffen publicist Bryn Bridenthal:

He’s been doing a lot of reading and really working on educating himself. He’s really thirsty for information and growth all the time. […] I absolutely adore him, because he’s a very sincere and loyal person. He cares so honestly and deeply about doing it right... It doesn’t necessarily always come out that way, in other people’s perception, but his intentions are always correct.


Axl would also talk about his close friends:

I have a certain close group of friends that I try to spend as much time with as possible... and it's like for some reason Guns N' Roses is always on the brink of some kind of disaster and whenever there's a major problem, it's amazing that I get a few phone calls from a few of those close friends. Well these same people help keep me in perspective of myself.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:21 pm

JANUARY-JULY 1991
ADDING VOCALS AND MIXING ISSUES FOR 'USE YOUR ILLUSION'


In January 1991, Rolling Stone would report that what was still remaining to be done on the follow-up to 'Appetite' was "the completion of Axl’s vocals and the mixing chores" [Rolling Stone, January 1991; Special TV, 1991].

By then they had recorded 35 songs:

Thirty-five of the most self-indulgent Guns n’ Roses songs…It’s a lot of material to work with — like four albums’ worth. For most bands, it would take four to six years to come up with this much stuff.


For Axl's recording of vocals, which took place at The Record Plant, it would be reported that he took his "Life Cycle, StairMaster, drawing table, smoking jacket, bed, Seals & Crofts CDs" into the studio and lived there for a month [Colorado Springs Gazette, March 7, 1991].

With so much material recorded and ready to be released, the band was discussing how to do it:

There’s a ton of material we want to get out, and the problem is, how does one release all of it? You don’t make some kid go out and buy a record for seventy dollars if it’s your second record. We’re trying to think of a way to distribute the material where each of the four discs of material can be separated, so you can buy the whole thing or you can buy just one. But since it’s not released yet, nothing is etched in stone. It might change, and I don’t want to mislead anybody. I know the thing that it’s not going to be is one big boxed set, where you have to buy the entire thing or nothing. I can tell you that much.


Slash would describe the albums as they were taking shape:

The album spans our whole career. It's such a self-indulgent record, it might come out and everybody will go. 'What the f*** is this?', but we don't care, because it's ours. It's a killer album. It's very heavy and it's not mainstream. […] We're doing this one with the attitude that we'll just get it done, but everybody else has such high expectations and... the f*** with trying to live up to them!


And according to Kerrang! in January 1991, Axl would arrive later than the rest of his band mates for Rock in Rio II in Brazil, because of "hurriedly putting the finishing touches to his vocals on the new ‘Use Your Illusion' opus" [Kerrang! January 1991].

This would be confirmed by Slash:

Axl went in and did vocals, then in the middle of the sessions we went out on the road. From that point, Illusion was thrown all over the place; we recorded the album in like ten different studios or something.


The mixing of the album, which took place at Skip Saylor Recording in Hollywood [New York Times, December 8, 1991] "early in the year" [Circus Magazine, December 31, 1991], was also a laborious process [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

The band first tried the respected sound engineer Bob Clearmountain, but the band was not happy with his mixes and Clearmountain was not happy with the process [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Clearmountain was quoted as saying that Axl "seemed to have a lot on his mind at the time,” and that getting the singer to join the rest of the band in the studio — Clearmountain preferred his clients to be heavily involved — was "an absolute nightmare" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. According to Entertainment Weekly, this was due to Slash and Rose going through one of their "periodic personality clashes" at the time and Clearmountain would say that Slash deliberately stayed away from the studio so as not to "distract" the singer, and instead worked with him over the phone. Clearmountain would also claim that he didn't "hear from [Axl] for a week, and then he’d show up." Clearmountain recalls, "I’d ask if he listened to the last couple of mixes I did, and he’d say, ‘Oh yeah, man, it’s happening.’ And that’d be about it. He basically wasn’t paying attention" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991]. Furthermore, according to Clearmountain, Axl would threaten to "quit the band three times a week" [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

It would later be revealed that Slash had a big problem with how Clearmountain mixed his guitars:

In the early days of mixing Use Your Illusion, I definitely did not see eye-to eye with Bob Clearmountain. We just had different ideas about what the guitar was supposed to sound like. And this was Bob Clearmountain! It was nothing about Bob. He was a nice enough guy, but we had different ideas about mixing guitar music.


Additionally, for unknown reasons, the band refused to talk to Tom Zutaut at the time [Entertainment Weekly, August 1991].

With Clearmountain being dismissed, Slash suggested Bill Price to mix the albums [VOX, October 1991] and Price came in "at the 11th hour" and did the job [New York Times, December 8, 1991]. It would be reported that Price had replaced Clearwater in March 1991 [Kerrang! March 30, 1991], indicating that Clearwater had worked on the record before this.

According to Inger Lorre from The Nymphs, Price had been involved in producing their record at the time and Axl basically stole Price from them:

I don’t care what you say about the band and me, but one thing that’s got to make it into the article is how I feel about Axl Rose. That little fuck stole our producer after Tom played him our tape. We didn ’t even get copies of our own rough takes. I think Axl is a pig-faced, sexist, homophobic, racist piece of shit, and I'd love to kick his ass. I’ll give him my address, the little wimp.


Zutaut would give his version of what happened:

With Guns N’ Roses, we gave a copy of the Nymphs’ rough tracks to Guns manager Alan Niven, because Lorre wanted the opening slot on their tour. But problems developed between Lorre and Axl Rose through Lorre’s boyfriend at the time, Josh Richman, and that idea had to be scuttled. When Guns started to mix Use Your Illusions, they remembered that Bill Price had been their original choice to produce Appetite for Destruction, and so they called on him to mix for them. I objected to this, but I was overruled by the company’s president and CEO. After all, Guns N’ Roses is the label’s biggest act.


And on Lorre and Axl:

Axl and Inger have never met, actually. You know, if they did, I think they’d be soul mates. But I wouldn’t want to be there if the sparks start to fly.


At some point in the mixing process they also realized they needed more vocals done:

At one point, we realised we didn't have all the vocals finished, so I started mixing the songs that were finished in the studio opposite, while Axl was still singing the other ones.


Matt would comment upon the mixing issues:

Then we ran into problems with the mixing. The guy that was doing the mixing didn't do a good job, so we had to call in Bill Price who re-mixed almost all the material.


Slash would recount the mixing issues without mentioning Clearwater at all:

We couldn't work with Thompson-Barbiero, who were the two guys who mixed Appetite. At first, we chose not to work with them, and then by making that decision, they took on another gig, and we didn't have anybody to mix it. Then we asked them to do it and they couldn't, because they were working on Tesla. Being that we don't know that much about mixing and because we were so close to the music, we got to a point where we didn't even know what it was supposed to sound like anymore. Bill Price is somebody that we originally wanted to produce the album, in the early days, because he'd done the Pistols and the Pretenders. We really liked the sonics on those records. So we got in touch with him and he came out, and he brought a whole new life to the album. He has a great overall idea of what separation's all about, as far as instruments go, especially because there were so many things going on in some songs. He was great to work with, and he has great ears, so it was a real relief, 'cause I thought the album was destroyed. The hiring of Bill Price is one of the reasons this album took so long to get out.


Getting Bill Price in to do the mixing would cost a lot of money and time, according to Kerrang! in July 1991, and would postpone the expected release date to August 19 [Kerrang! July 20, 1991].

In late April/early May, Slash, Duff and Tom Zutaut was reported to have spent time mastering some of the songs that would end up on the records [RIP, September 1991]. In May 1991, Duff and Slash was in New York mastering or mixing parts of the album [Howard Stern Show, March 1991]. Around the same time, Robert John, who was still the band's photographer, was given "half an hour" to shoot the records' back covers, "something he'd been working on for over a month" [RIP, September 1991].

In May 1991, when the band was to embark on the touring for the albums, Axl, Slash and Duff "were putting the finishing touches" on the 36 songs expected to be released, with an expected release date of mid-July [Chicago Tribune, May 1991].

[…]we started touring before the record was finished! It really was as ass-backwards as it gets!

I’m actually gonna be recording some stuff here [in Wisconsin] to finish it up. […] Recording on the road, yeah. […] Finishing up what we went through mastering of, like, 25 of the songs right before we left. And we went through all the approval of lyrics and all that stuff and how it works all coming together and... Yeah, it’s definitely coming out.


The long wait for the follow-up to 'Appetite' was hard on fans who were eagerly waiting for new music:

'When’s the album coming out, dude?’ is the expres­sion. I’m at the point now where I don’t mean to be rude, but I just say, ‘When it’s in the stores. When you see it in the store.’


Slash would shed some light on what was remaining:

I think we still have three songs left. […] they’ll be on the record. They’re gonna get done while we’re here in Wisconsin. Just vocals.


These three songs are likely songs that the band decided to include at a late stage, one of them being '14 Years' [VOX, October 1991].

At that point it was planned to release the records on Slash birthday, July 23 [MTV, May 1991].

In June, Los Angeles Times would report that Axl still needed to put the vocals on "one selection" and that the band had booked studio time on June 7 while in Toronto [Los Angeles Times, July 1991].

In July, Axl would talk to Musician about getting the record out:

Guns N' Roses pretty much calls its own shots with a lot of other people trying to call other shots and trying to tell the world that this is when the record is going to come out and whatever. It's like saying there are delays on the record. There are no delays on our record! There have never been any delays on our record. The record will not come out until we're done with it. But Geffen Records says it's going to come out by May 24th or whatever. We try to meet those things, but we've known from day one that the record wasn't going to come out until we're ready. That's one reason why we worked so hard to sell so many records the first time around - so that we could make sure we got this record done exactly the way we wanted to. Then the press comes out with how we are delaying the record. No! What do you mean delaying the record? It's my record! Delaying it? Do we want another Godfather III? No. We don't want Godfather III with our record. We want it to be right! We don't want it coming out six weeks early and saying, "I wish we would have had the time to get this part right.


Then further delay was caused by the firing of Alan Niven. Rumor has it Axl refused to work on the record until Niven was replaced by Doug Goldstein [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

On September 4, Geffen would send a letter saying the albums would be released on September 11 [Geffen Letter to Media, September 1991].


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