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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:12 am


There's no set rules. I might write a guitar solo or maybe I'll just keep it in my head, or maybe I'll get together with Axl. There's loads of ways.

Well, I never tape anything; I keep them in my head and the good ones stay there. At this point I’ve got all these really cool riffs, but I’m patient; I’ll keep them in my head and play it at soundcheck, and if it doesn’t sound right I won’t use it.

So there’s that sort of innocent element in songwriting, and then some of the stuff is really stupid, like Sweet Child O’ Mine, which was actually a joke. I was going (sings the opening notes) and Izzy started playing chords and then Axl got into it and that’s where that song came from. So there are so many different scenarios, but I don’t really take songwriting that seriously until we start doing vocals, and then I usually put riffs together. It’s real simple, real basic.

You write when you feel like it. It's whenever it comes to me. A lot of the time I write songs I hear in my head, and they're almost finished when I actually apply them to guitar. I don't have a diary, I just keep it in my head. It saves the trees [laughter]. I don't know how I do that, but if it's a cool melody, it sticks with me. I've written a lot of stuff which I've forgotten because I didn't have a guitar with me. Usually if I sit down and play, it might pop up, or sometimes, three months later, it'll pop up again in my head.

I scrutinize everybody else's playing to the point where I wouldn't make that same mistake twice. Do you know what I'm saying? When I hear a guitar, I listen to it. I listen to licks that other people are playing and go, "God, he could've hit this note and it would've been really cool." And so when I'm playing, I try to hear exactly what I want to hear and have it come out of my finger.

I write what I call a cool signature riff, and maybe a good chorus and some good guitar parts, then I work with the other guys.

I always think about music during the wake hours. If I don't play with Guns or play on a record, I write songs, rehearse or talk in the phone with somebody about music. I would go nuts in no time if I didn't have something to do.

When I'm practising at home, I like to play a lot of chromatic stuff. I stop in between different notes and come up with different ideas and stuff. I'll play however many notes in succession, and all of a sudden I'll catch four and realise there's something there...and I'll start fucking with that. Rocket Queen is indicative of that approach - basically just sitting around and playing, maybe zoning out, watching TV and playing guitar at the same time. All of a sudden, the ear catches something. Welcome To The Jungle has a lot of that, too. It's more or less the same kind of way I've always written; if I'm just tying notes together, not really paying attention, when you catch onto something you start there and begin working on an actual tune.

In late 1996, Slash would describe writing songs with Axl, although at this time they were arguing about the future of the band and this might have affected Slash's description (he was also being interviewed by Howard Stern who was trying to put words in Slash's mouth):

It's a matter of sitting down with somebody that you love very much and like going, "you know, let's try this," and he goes, "that's a great idea" or... […] ...but it doesn't always work that way.  […] And then you get into an argument.

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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:14 am


[…] we've got to pay [Steven] a lot of money. For no fuckin' reason that I can understand.


In August 1993 the lawsuit between Steven and GN'R finally came up in court. Steven had sued the band on July 19, 1991, claiming members of the group forced him to use heroin, then made him quit the band while he was trying to kick the habit. In the lawsuit he asked to have the agreement he signed on March 28, 1990, that led to him being fired, annulled. The suit sought unspecified damages and a breakup of the band so assets could be doled out to members [AP/Vidette Messenger, July 1991]. Later it would be reported that Steven claimed " one fifth of the millions of dollars they have made from touring and record sales" [E! Cable TV News Report, August 19, 1993].

The trial started with Steven testifying on August 19, repeating that "the group encouraged his drug use and presented him with a complicated termination agreement to sign while he was under the influence of withdrawal medication" [L.A. Daily News, August 24, 1993]. Steven's attorney, David Chodos, would contend that the band owed Steven $4 million [The Reno Gazette, August 24, 1993] and that:

Steve has never been able to comprehend an agreement like that. He was totally dependent upon the people who were advising him, and those people were working at the same time for the band.

Slash would later comment upon Steven's testimony:

It got to the point where I was like, ‘Okay, whatever it is I feel about the kid, I’ve gotta fight for us’. And you should’ve seen him nodding out in court on the stand - it was pathetic. […] When I saw him in court I was just like, ‘C’mon, Steve; what is that all about? We should all go home. I mean, look at you; this is why we’re in this court in the first place - because you could not get it together...’

GN'R attorney, Morton Rosen, would state that "the band had the absolute right to withdraw from a partnership relationship with Steven Adler, and they simply exercised that right" [E! Cable TV News Report, August 19, 1993].

In court, Slash and Doug Goldstein testified that Steven had been put on a 30-day probation period to scare him into quitting with his heroin habit, not as a means to fire him [Star Phoenix, August 21, 1993; The Los Angeles Times, August 21, 1993]. Slash also admitted that Steven had been "strung out" when signing the probation contract [The Montgomery Advisor, September 25, 1993; The Tennessean, September 25, 1993].

You can only speak English, so you can only communicate to, you know, the limits of the language that we speak (chuckles). So we told him exactly what it was about, but Steven’s never really known exactly what he was doing, apparently.

Slash would also confirm that while on probation, Steven was an employee of the band [Star Phoenix, August 21, 1993].

I tried for a year and a half to get him clean, and we decided we had to do more. We had to clean him up because he'd wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars" in worthless studio and rehearsal time.

In his testimony, Axl would contend that they tried to get Steven to quit drugs:

My intent with the document was that Steven quit drugs, play properly or be fired.

Axl would also say they had discussed replacing Steven with "Alan Niven and Doug Goldstein, Slash, Duff, Izzy" and "Peter Paterno" and that Axl, the band's management and attorneys had discussed the terms of the probation and that if Steven didn't quit drugs he would be fired [Excerpt from Axl's testimony at the trial for Steven's lawsuit, August 23, 1993]. He also said that prior to the probation contract being signed, there had been questions on what would happen if Steven was fired, how much Steven would be owed and how they would pay him, but that they hadn't concluded [Excerpt from Axl's testimony at the trial for Steven's lawsuit, August 23, 1993].

Duff would testify that Matt had been brought in when Steven "appeared incapable of performing in the studio" [L.A. Daily News, August 24, 1993] and that he had warned Steven to quit heroin the first time he saw him doing it [The Reno Gazette, August 24, 1993]. Duff would also testify that he had to help Steven with drum parts for songs on the band's first two records [The Reno Gazette, August 24, 1993].

On Friday September 24, the band and Steven reached a settlement shortly before the the lawsuit would have gone to the Superior Court jury [The Montgomery Advisor, September 25, 1993; The Tennessean, September 25, 1993; The Gazette/Los Angeles Daily News, September 26, 1993]. As per the settlement, the band would pay Steven $2.3 million, Alan Niven would pay him $150,000 and Doug Goldstein would pay him $50,000 [The Montgomery Advisor, September 25, 1993; The Tennessean, September 25, 1993; The Gazette/Los Angeles Daily News, September 26, 1993].

After the settlement was reached, juror members allegedly stopped to shake Steven's hand [The Montgomery Advisor, September 25, 1993].

Niven had a prepared statement:

I consider it insane that Steven Adler should have his junkiedom rewarded. There is something fundamentally wrong with a situation in which a junkie, expelled from a band before he can destroy both it and himself, hands over to lawyers the money he apparently retained from his days in G N’ R to sue the very people who saved his life and who attempted to prevent him from squandering those funds. That he can parlay that money into millions more through legal extortion is a travesty.[…] I resent having to pay a single nickel in settlement.

The band would also release a statement:

We’re not thrilled about having to pay Steven Adler more money than we already were paying him, and we continue to believe in the defenses we asserted in the lawsuit. But we are certainly glad to have the dispute behind us.

Slash would later look wistfully back at the settlement:

It’s over with now, and I try not to hold too much sentiment at this point, but yeah, I was the guy’s best friend.

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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:34 am

SEPTEMBER 28, 1993

[…] I bared my heart and soul on this record. There's a lot of emotion in there. Every song is like how I was feeling at the time. Sometimes you feel like an orchestra. Sometimes you just feel like aaarghhhh!!! Sometimes you feel all the angst in the world. Sometimes you just feel really straight-forward, like the Punk Rock Song. People have all different ways of dealing with their emotions, and this album is mine. And if people want to criticise it and put it down, they'll be stepping on my heart and soul.


Although other band members had solo record aspirations, as discussed previously, the first one out was Duff.

So, when we got back from the Appetite tour, I bought this big house, bought all this furniture, I was by myself, I was divorced, the door closed and there I was in this big house all by myself and I'm going, 'Okay, what do I do now?' So I started going down to these clubs, trying to meet girls, whatever — you know, do all the things that I was either too busy or too broke to go out and do before. And it kind of hit me. It slapped me slam, right in the face after a lot of months of being jerked around, that people weren't interested in me. They didn't want me for me, they wanted me because I was this guy in Guns N' Roses. And after a few months of this, getting ripped off, my heart getting stepped on or whatever, I just stayed in my house. I took comfort in going up into my loft, where I had an eight-track, and just doing some tunes. And that's really where the whole thing started.

Duff would repeat this story in many contemporary interviews he did around the release of the record.

I never actually set out to make a solo record. I had gone through a period of time before we even made the ‘Illusion’ records when I lived alone in this big house in L.A. I’m from Seattle and I didn’t have a girlfriend or anything, and I would go down to the clubs in Hollywood and I was so fed up because the girls and people in general didn’t really care about me - they were only interested because I was in this big band and I had some money. So, I basically had enough of that. It was really a mind blower when I really realised they never wanted me for me.

So I sat up at my house with my eight-track for a couple of months and just wrote and recorded something like 60 tunes; they just poured out. Then when we were doing the ‘Illusion’ records and we had a day off, I realised there was a drum kit there, and a Marshall stack and everything.

So I went down to A&M with my song, The Majority, and put down a drum track, guitar and some bass.
Lenny Kravitz had been hanging out at my house, and he heard it and loved it and used to sing it; so when I was at the studio I decided to give him a call and he came right down and sang it.

So, I thought: ‘Cool, I’ve just recorded a song in a real studio just for the hell of it.’ Then we mixed it and I realised I could record some more: I can play drums and guitars and make it work. But still I just financed it myself and thought that I would just have these recordings for myself. But as more and more songs were recorded the more Geffen got interested and the more other people wanted to play on them and it turned out cool.

In 1991, he had started recording some of these songs for his solo record. As reported by The Seattle Times in July 1991: "While here next week, McKagan will spend a day recording a song dedicated to Wood at a local studio, working with local musicians. It's for a solo album he hopes to release later this year. Lenny Kravitz and Sebastian Bach have already recorded tunes with him, and he's asked Prince to join him in L.A. in two weeks to complete the project" [The Seattle Times, July 1991].

The first songs were recorded in studios booked for 'Use Your Illusion' recording, but which went unused as band members didn't show up:

Fuck this, there was this studio with amps and drums and everything set up in it. I'll go record something.

As the 'Use Your Illusion' tour started in May 1991, Duff would continue to record while touring:

I carried on doing it on days off — sometimes not even days. The last song on the album, 'Lonely Tonite' — we played for like three hours in Dallas and got done at about 1.30 a.m. And I went into the studio at about three in the morning and came out about three the next afternoon, and I recorded that song and did drum tracks for another song. It was like, if I felt like it, I'd do it, the time is now. Whether it be after a three hour gig or whatever. I never did it out of boredom or whatever. I never planned on when I was going to do it. I just did it when it was right.

In October 1991, it was reported that Duff had "already signed the deal with Geffen, has got Lenny Kravitz involved and says Prince might sing on several tracks" [VOX, October 1991].

I have Slash playing, Lenny Kravitz is singing on one song, Sebastian is gonna sing. I sing on the rest. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Nothing selfish or anything. It’s just, you know, I’ve had all these songs and I wanted to get it out, and that was the best way to do it. I was supposed to get another drummer come in, but I could play drums, and who would be better to play it than myself. They’re my songs, right?

I got Lenny Kravitz, he’s singing one song. And Sebastian from Skid Row, he’s going to sing on another song. Slash is putting some leads on here and there. And Prince, hopefully he wants to do it. He’s like an inspiration to me as far as songwriting goes, big time. It’s turning out pretty cool. I’ve got eight tracks done, all my tunes.

In February 1992, Duff would say the record was coming out in the summer and that it was on Geffen [Video Interview, February 1992]. The same month, Slash was asked about Duff' solo record:

[…] it’s not so much a solo record as a record [Duff] did working with all kinds of different people. It’s one of those records which came from the fact that he had a load of songs hanging around. He started recording it when me and Axl were doing guitar and vocals on the last album and he had dead time. He was just keeping busy. It’s gonna come out after the tour’s over. It sounds pretty good some of it although I haven’t heard the whole thing. There’s a song on there that I have to play on. It’s got to get finished.

It's basically something I wanted to do since I started playing guitar. We had some down time last spring, before we hit the road, so me and [producer/engineer] Jim Mitchell started cutting tracks. I play drums, bass and rhythm guitars. Slash plays some lead, I play some lead and Snake [Dave Sabo, from Skid Row] plays some lead. Sebastian [Bach] sings one song. It's working out very cool. We're recording it here and there, no big rush. The working title of the record is Believe in Me. It's different from a Guns N' Roses record, because it's stuff that I've written all on my own, a lot of times when I was alone. There's a lot of heavy Duff-isms. […] This is something I've always wanted to do. And it's not to differentiate myself from Guns N' Roses. I've wanted to do this since before Guns, but now I have the opportunity and the resources. Hey, I'm not trying to depart from GN'R - everyone knows that - it's just my own little trip. You know, I've been touring since I was 15, and I'm 27 now. The time is right.

For the April issue of Guitar for the Practising Musician, Duff would discuss his solo record and say he intended to release it in the summer or fall because he wanted to tour it together with Slash:

I got a solo deal with Geffen. The record's called Believe in Me. I recorded the majority of it while we were on the road, which kept it pretty fresh. I've been recording all over the place, from London to Seattle. I did some drum and piano tracks in Dallas for a song called "Lonely Tonight," where I went in after we played three hours. It was four in the morning and I recorded till one or two in the afternoon. […] At first I was going, 'Okay, we'll try doing it this way.' Jim, who engineered the Guns N' Roses record, is co-producing it with me. I didn't know if it would work or not, or if you'd be able to tell by the tracks that I was tired. But you get a second, third or fourth wind, and it puts you in this state of mind. I don't know how to explain it, but it's great. Matt played drums on one song. Rob Affuso from Skid Row did drums on one song. I did drums on the rest of them. Bas sang on one song when we were in London, and Rob played drums in Denver and Snake played guitar on one song. I pulled some real bluesy stuff out of him that he didn't realize he had. I turned off all the lights and lit some candles. It's piano, bass, and just a kick and a snare. It's real bluesy, low, subtle. We just got him in the mood. It took a wile but he just let go. I said to him, just pretend you're on a porch somewhere. […] I'm almost done recording, but I'm not going to release it till late summer or early fall, because I'm going to tour on it. I'll play rhythm guitar and sing, Slash is going to play lead, Mac will play drums, and this guy London McDaniel is going to play bass. Teddy, who plays with us now, is gonna play keyboards, sax and harmonica.

This has been a dream of mine, since I was 15, to do something myself. I was always a big Prince fan, especially of the early stuff, like Dirty Mind, that he did by himself. Now I'm afforded the chance to do it. Some of the songs are bits and pieces of stuff I've written years ago. I have an 8-track up at my house, and I've got 40 or 45 complete songs.

In April Duff would comment on what instruments he plays on the record:

I play drums on most of the tracks. Matt played on one track. And I played bass, obviously, and I play guitar, and I sing, sort of.
MTV Special, July 17, 1992; interview from April 20, 1992

He’s got a rock tune with a rap in the middle. And it’s - you gotta hear it. It’s different, man. It’s definitely Duff.
MTV Special, July 17, 1992; interview from April 20, 1992

In an interview in September 1992, Duff would say he intended to release the record in February 1993 [The Gazette/Orange County Register, September 26, 1992].

This is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was 15 years old.

It was rumored that Matt and Gilby would play on the tour intended after the release [Heavy Mental, 1992], and Duff would confirm this in April 1993:

Oh, man, it’s cool! I’m not going to release it until we’re just about one touring. I’ve got a fucking awesome band together: our drummer Matt’s playing drums, Gilby’s playing lead guitar, I’m playing rhythm guitar…. We’re going to play five nights a week, very scaled down, only two tour buses, playing theaters - kinda like it should be, ya know? Just getting up there and playing. […] People ask me what the album’s like, and I say, ‘Well, it’s songs that I’d written or ideas that I’ve had rolling around in my head since I was 15’. It’s got a Hardcore Punk song on it, but it’s really mainly power songs, heavy, Rock-Pop. I don’t know. I hate categories. You just have to hear it.

Yet in an interview with Duff in July, Matt and Gilby was out and the lineup would be listed as Duff on guitar and vocals, Richard Duguay on bass. Joie Mastrokalos on lead guitar, Aaron Brooks on drums, and Teddy Andreadis on keyboards [Kerrang! July 17, 1993].

In March it would be reported that Axl, Slash, Matt, Jeff Beck and Sebastian Bach would be featured on Duff's solo record and that it would be released in August [The Boston Globe, March 12, 1993].

The guys who played on my record were all friends who just wanted to play. They'd hear something and say, 'Hey, can I play on that?' Even Jeff Beck. He was supposed to play with us in Paris, that's how I met him, and he had tinnitus, that ear thing, and he blew out another ear in soundcheck so he couldn't play with us. So I was back in my hotel room and I was just playing the song, and he heard what I was doing and said he'd like to play on it. And I was like 'Uh, uh, when? Where? Of course? We set it up in London. He drove all the way down, like 100 miles from his house to The Townhouse, where we recorded at. He really was a nice guy — unpretentious, that's for damn sure. He plays with his fingers — a really odd style, I've never seen anybody do it. He goes, 'I used to always drop my picks, so I had to do it with my fingers. I don't question how I play now. Don't make me think about it', he goes. 'I might fuck up!' It was really cool.... The guys from Skid Row — that's from when they were touring with us. […] They'd just come down the studio and join in.

But in interviews in the same month and in July, Duff would not mention Axl:

Lenny Kravitz played on a song, Jeff Beck asked me if he could play on it. It took me, like, a tenth of a millisecond to say yes. Now let me think about that for a second. Slash played on a song, Matt Sorum is gonna be playing drums on a song, Teddy played keyboards, and then Dizzy, Sebastian and Rob from Skid Row played on a song. It’s great. I mean, I got, you know, a little help from my friends. It’s great.

They were there, they heard what was happening and they just joined in. Slash did some great stuff on there. It was really interesting, because I had written the part and played it myself on the demo, and it was great how Slash interpreted what I'd done. There was no pressures. He just went in there and played great.

Interviewers would comment that Axl wasn't featured on the record:

Oh, yeah. You know, I didn't realise everybody except Axl had played on it until I looked at the credits. I was putting the credits together and it was like", he laughs, "Oh shit...! […] No no [it doesn't bother me that Axl isn't there], not at all. It wasn't a show-off thing, who'd be on the record. He didn't feel pressured that he had to be on it; it just turned out how it did. […] The truth is, Axl's the biggest fan of the record. He called me a couple of weeks ago — he had the schedule for my tour and he goes, 'Number one, you're crazy going out on tour again' — laughing; he admires me for what I'm doing. And then he said, 'Is it okay if I come and hang with you on a couple of dates?

It’s just the way things turned out. In fact, Axl has been the biggest fan of my record. I mean, all the guys in the band are completely behind me, but Axl even asked if he can come out on tour with me!

It wasn’t premeditated. I only realised it when I was putting the credits together. Maybe he didn’t feel the need to be part of it, maybe he didn’t feel like it... It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like the record. He’s the biggest fan of this album!
Popular 1, January 1994; translated from Spanish

The album would also contain a rap/rock hybrid:

I have many friends that are rappers. The Guys that were in NWA, like Ice Cube, and the guys in Body Count. We used to barbeque with each other.

Duff would also talk about the upcoming tour, scheduled for October 1, and compare it to the recent GN'R touring:

Yeah, well it's a whole different thing — relaxing, kind of a therapy thing. Everything just fell into place. There wasn't any work in trying to get a tour or trying to get a band together or anything. Everything came together perfectly, so the stress level is really low.

The exact dates and venues wasn't decided yet, partly because Duff had to prioritize GN'R:

I don't know exactly where; wherever the fucking plane lands I'll get out and play! We're going to do some one-off club dates as well — I'm not going to tell you where, but there'll be a couple in London. The Scorpions [who are headlining some of the shows] have been really cool. They've even taken my equipment on their truck and everything. They've heard my record and say they like it. They've offered us the Canada dates, but I haven't given them a definite answer. […] [Mostly because, come next Spring] we're all planning to get back together to work on GN'R stuff, and of course that's the priority.

Eventually, the tour would be preceded by three September warm-up dates in the US [Guitarist Magazine, November 1993].

We’ll be doing some one-off solo dates as well - in London I think we’re doing the 100 Club. But The Scorpions gig was offered to us, they’re big in Europe, and we get to use all their P.A. and lights and stuff; so we took it. And we only have to play 45 minutes a night!

In an interview in September 22, a week before the release, Duff would say that his band was called "DUFF" [Much Music, September 22, 1993].

On why he decided to release a solo album:

Well, it’s really something that I’ve always wanted to do, since I was, like 15 years old, Prince’s first record that he did, and I went, “Wow!” You know, I always played drums, I always played bass, guitar and sang songs. And I went, “Wow, this guy did it. I can do it.” Then I went through a period of my life, after we did the Appetite for Destruction tour for two years. We had no money and nothing, and I got back and they handed me a credit card, a gold card - I didn’t even know how to use a credit card - to buy a house. So I bought this big house, and bought furniture and got all of that loaded in; and the door closed, and here I was, going, “Okay, now what?” So I started going out in the clubs in Hollywood, and all of a sudden people liked me, people that wouldn’t give me the time of day before. And I was like, “Wow, maybe I should have more confidence” or something. You know, I’m not naive, but I guess I was to that. And so, after about two or three months of finally realizing that they just kinda liked me for being in the band, or maybe I had a couple of bucks in my pocket or something, I went back up to my big house, and shut the door, and realized, “Okay, Duff, you’ve got yourself. That’s about it, for now.” It was a positive thing, you know. So I went off to my loft, and songs just poured out, and that’s what is on here.

Basically, when we've gone off tour, you know, I got a credit card and… Which, I never even knew how to use a credit card and… They said: "buy house", so I bought this nice, big house and got furniture and all that. And… And… And moved it all in and the doors shut and I was like: "Wow, what am I gonna do now?" It was the first time off I'd had in years and years and years. And so… I started to go down to clubs in Hollywood, just to meet people. And all of a sudden, you know, these people that wouldn't give me the time of the day before, were like: "Wow, this guy…". You know, they were coming up to me, and girls and all that. And I just thought to myself: "Wow, I must be holding myself better, I must have more self-confidence or something". And… And… You know, I'm really not naive, but I really was when it came to that. And after about two or three months of this, after kind of getting stomped on a bit, I went: "To hell with this!". And went back up to this big house and I had a 8-track recorder and a drum machine, and just wrote like… Songs just poured out, like 50 tunes, so "Believe In Me" was just about... I had to believe in myself, and I think that's… If you got that, you don't need anything else.

On recording the album while on tour with GN'R:

It was a therapy. I’d get my feet on the ground. I’m playing to people - 50,000 to 140,000 people a night. And that gets very surrealistic, you know? So I’d take solace in the studio, and just turn off all the lights and light candles, and there it was.

Well, I wouldn't, you know, suggest to record this way to, you know, other people. But for me it was a way to kind of keep my feet on the ground. And it was also… you know, we were playing to lots of people. You know, the smallest crowds was like 50,000. You know, that was the smallest. And… umm, so, it's pretty intense… I'm a very simple guy and… So, after… I mean, things got hectic I would go into a recording studio, wherever we were at, and kind of just turn off the lights and light candles and roll tape. And… you know, I started before the tour, and it was written like, after the Appetite tour and… There was reasons why I wrote it and here it is. It's out.

I wasn't out to make a solo record. I just wanted to get these kind of things out of my system. These... these feelings, and these songs and... I financed it myself, you know. Until Geffen signed it... "Let's sign the kid", you know. Umm, you know, it was just something I wanted to do and... And friends came in and would listen at the studio and say: "Hey man, can I play on that?" You know, it was really gentle and that cool.

And on getting people to play on it:

Yeah, like, Jeff Beck, he heard me playing at my hotel room, and I had all the basics. And knocks on the door and he comes in and he says, “What’s this?” I told him what I was doing, and he goes, “Man, can I play on it?” And I’m like, “Oh, when?” – you don’t say no to Jeff Beck, you know? And Lenny, he’s such a good friend of mine, and he used to come and play at the house, and he really liked this song, “The Majority;” and I got it down and recorded it in the studio, in A&M, a studio in L.A., and I called him and said, “Dude, I recorded at a real studio. Do you wanna sing it?” He was there in five minutes singing it, and that was that.

Umm, we were in Paris. [Jeff Beck] came actually to the room, and I was playing a rough track of the song "Beyond Belief". He goes, "What's this?" And I told him what was going on. He goes, "Can I play on it?" And, you know, it took me about a tenth of a milli-second to answer.

We were in Paris doing that pay per view satellite broadcast thing, and he was supposed to play. We were going to do ‘Locomotive’ with him. He already had tinnitus in one ear but he got to soundcheck with us and, the poor guy, he had it in his other ear too, so he couldn’t do the gig. Anyway, he was staying in the hotel room right across from mine and I was playing a cassette of the rough mixes for ‘Fucked Up Beyond Belief’ and a couple of other songs on my ghetto blaster and my door was a little bit open. Suddenly I hear this knock, and Jeff puts his head around my door. I explained to him what I was doing and he goes, ‘But what’s that song. Can I play on this?’. And I’m like, aaah, I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”

Being asked if the solo record would cause any conflicts with the band:

Well, no. I mean, the guys in the band, they’d come in and check it out, and say, “Wow, can I play on this?” And I talked to Axl last night, and – they are the biggest fans of the record, they’re all gonna fly out and join me on tour; “Can I come out and hang with you?” you know. And they respect what I did and the reasons why I did this. GN’R is my band, you know. This is something I had to do. It’s nothing like, “Oh, see what I can do.” It’s nothing like that.

They love it. They're like the biggest fans of the record.

It's just, you know... uuh, a thing that, again, I must say, that I did... umm, that had to come out. And then... we got done touring about two and a half months ago, two months ago, and the album was coming out and so like, "Well..." Joie [Mastrokalos, guitar in Duff's band] and I, "Let's put together a band, you know. Let's go tour on it." And, you know, GN'R is my band, you know, but this is... These guys... Joie and the guys are... you know, also... It's just a different thing. I don't know really how to explain it. And the guys in GN'R are completely, way a 110% behind it. So...

Before the band did their first show in Hamburg, Germany on October 1 [Much Music, September 22, 1993], the band played a gig on September 26 n New York City, attended by "all" his band mates in Guns N' Roses [Rockline, September 27, 1993].

Talking about music videos:

Well, as a matter of fact, as we sit here, we're just gonna finishing up the video for "Believe In Me". We... taped all weekend long, the gig and, just kind of walking around and... you know, in the city and... and... and doing like, Rockline. And we did MTV Headbanger's Ball today. We played , the whole band live and... Yeah, so, that's a good question. Yes, we are and it'll be out... when it comes out [laughs].

And on whether he offered up any of the songs for GN'R:

Uuhm... Well, it doesn't really work that way with the band. We all co-write everything. These songs are really kind of personal for me to, you know... This is something I had to get out myself. And also, it... Even if it came to that, which it wouldn't, you know, it wouldn't be fair for me to, umm... to ask Axl to sing the personal things that are coming from my heart, you know. 'Cause he wouldn't be honest.

[Talking about whether there are any differences between a song he would write for GN'R and one he would write for himself]: Yes and no: I mean there are songs that didn’t make the album that Slash and Axl said, ‘Come on, man, can we have these? Please.’ But for the main they are real personal songs. I’ve got plenty of other songs for GN’R, but it’s Slash and me and Matt who write the songs music-wise there; for most of the songs that I wrote for GN’R - although not all of them -I needed that magical chemistry.

But this is much more on a personal level. I couldn’t have - or ask - Axl to sing one of my personal songs because it wouldn’t be coming from his heart.

And on who produced the album:

Actually I co-produced it with Jim Mitchell, who engineered... uuh, the Illusions records. And he's just a good friend and he knows how to run all the stuff. [laughs] I know how to run some of the stuff but, you know, you need a guy in the room when I'm out in the, you know... out recording drums or bass or something, and... So, we just did it together. […] when I kinda got in the mood, I would just... I said, "Jim, get our here, you know, there's a ticket waiting for you, you know... you know, I'm in the mood to do this one particular song, or track drums or these two tunes […].

And on how personal the songs were to him:

I couldn't ask Axl to sing what's in my heart and soul. I'm not a singer, for God's sake. It's a human record. People critisize me for playing all the instruments myself; they say the musicianship ain't so great…That's not the point. I had to get these things out. When you hear my voice crack on the records, maybe its because I was crying.

Looking back at the album years later:

I think it was a private record. I think it was me trying to fix my private life, and was not really a whole album. It was more like a diary. I don't know if you knew already, but while we were touring I was writing songs and one thing led to another. […] I think it was a good picture of my life at the time. Would I release that record now? No way! But I'm proud of it for what it is, for several reasons. It was my Johnny Thunders record.

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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:37 am


I knew she was bad news to start with.


The quarrel between Axl and Stephanie had not been resolved and in September Axl sued Seymour for $100,000 in gifts [The Pantagraph, September 2, 1993; People Magazine, September 13, 1993]. Listed in the suit were "wedding and engagement rings, a gold and diamond turquoise necklace and a diamond and sapphire antique watch" [The Pantagraph, September 2, 1993].

Amy Bailey, Axl's sister who worked for Axl at the time, would comment on Axl's suit:

He wants them returned. Rather than keep them as a sad and sorry reminder, he wants to give them to a child-abuse charity. […] The whole relationship was wonderful. Until last Christmas.

The suit followed a letter Axl had sent to Seymour on August 13, requesting that she return the gifts [The Pantagraph, September 2, 1993]. In the suit Axl would claim that Seymour had "attacked him without warning or provocation" at a party she threw at his home last Christmas, punching and kicking him [The Pantagraph, September 2, 1993].

In her sworn deposition, Seymour would describe what had happened during the Christmas party:

I had a verbal argument with Rose ...[and he] announced that there would be no Christmas party.... Guests began to arrive in the late afternoon [and] at some point in the middle of the party, Rose entered the house, slammed the door, was obviously very angry, went upstairs and then came downstairs and left the house again.... [My mother] went to speak to him ...[and] Rose began yelling and screaming at her and ultimately told her in no uncertain terms that she was not welcome in his house. Thereafter, most of the people at the party left.... When I attempted to talk to Rose to address the issues that had upset him, Rose started yelling and swearing.... He then lifted up the kitchen table, knocking off bottles and glasses. I reached for Rose in an attempt to calm him. However, he would not be consoled and he was clearly out of control.

Axl's sister would defend Axl:

I never saw Axl strike, punch or slap her. […] [Stephanie] wants to push things to the edge.

Slash, being interviewed in early 1995, would support Amy's comment:

You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised [if Stephanie beat Axl up]. She’s really pulling out all the stops on him.

Seymour, who was now romantically linked to Peter Brandt, would respond to Axl's allegations and claim she would donate the jewelry to charity [People Magazine, September 13, 1993]:

I strongly disagree with Mr. Rose’s version of these matters. I was never engaged to Mr. Rose. I have gone on with my life, and I hope that he can do so as well.

An interesting note here is that Stephanie, while filming the 'Don't Cry' music video had claimed she and Axl had never fought, not even argued:

[…] I’ve never had to do a scene before. But it was weird, because we’ve never fought. […] Never. I mean especially not physically, but never even verbally or – we’ve never had a disagreement.
Don't Cry: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part I, June 22, 1993; footage recorded before the Christmas argument at the end of 1992

In November the conflict between Axl and Stephanie escalated when Stephanie filed a counter-suit to Axl's lawsuit, claiming assault and battery by Axl [AP/Logansport Pharos Tribune, November 11, 1993]. More specifically, Axl allegedly beat her after the Christmas party and refused to return her and her 2-year old son's, Dylan's, clothes until February [AP/Logansport Pharos Tribune, November 11, 1993]. By now Axl had dropped parts of his lawsuit demanding that Stephanie return jewelry, but kept the part about her attacking him at the Christmas party [AP/Logansport Pharos Tribune, November 11, 1993].

A court date would be set for May 9, 1994 [AP/The Galveston Daily News, December 23, 1993].

In early 1994, when talking to a fan that would say she "always loved him", Axl would quip:

Don't love me. People that do usually cost me lawsuits [laughs].

And in March 1994 Slash would be asked if Axl was a happy man these days:

Well, aside from the lawsuit with his ex-girlfriend, yeah, he's great.

In court, Stephanie would describe an incident between her and Axl where Stephanie had been dragged through broken glass and then beat [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000]. Axl would claim Stephanie had grabbed his ball and that he was just defending himself [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

Axl himself would comment on the ongoing conflict with Stephanie while making the video for 'Estranged'. Stephanie had been featured in the videos for 'Don't Cry' and 'November Rain' but now they had to manage without her:

It’s really wild to be doing this video, and things going on in my home with my family that... It would have been nice if it would have happened with Stephanie and I, but the woman continually worked very subtly at destroying that and trying to keep me from being here, for whatever fucking reason, I don’t know. And it’s amazing when certain things are happening and it’s nice to, like, realize, “Wow, this wouldn’t be as cool if she was here as the person she was when she was with me.” That’s very strange. It’s also very strange to know that deep inside, underneath all the varying emotions, I do love this person and care about what happens to them – but not at the point of being a martyr or hurting anyone that’s in my life.

In 1995, Slash would be asked what he thought of Stephanie:

Stephanie Seymour?! I don’t even know Stephanie Seymour. […] Well, she was Axl’s girlfriend at the time [of the 'Don't Cry' and 'November Rain' music videos]. I don’t really like her or dislike her. She’s useless. I don’t care (laughs). I don’t care about her.

Finally, in March 1995, it would be reported that Axl and Seymour had settled out of court [MTV, March 1995]. Rumours would state that Axl's insurance company paid $400,000 to Seymour, although a settlement payout was denied by both parties [Parade Magazine, May 14, 1995].


From various sources it is apparent the break between him and Stephanie, affected Axl greatly.

In late 1999, Axl would tell how he wanted Stephanie's son to come upon 'Chinese Democracy' some time in the future and learn what really happened.

I hope he'll hear it when he grows up, if he ever wants to know the story, to hear the truth.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999

An anonymous source who was a frequent visit to GN'R's recording studio, would also imply that many of the lyrics Axl's was writing was about Stephanie:

When Stephanie Seymour's birthday came around, Axl seemed to shut down for weeks. A lot of this record is about Stephanie. She was his perfect woman, at least his image of what she should be.

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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 am


Back in November 1992, Axl had agreed to a plea bargain that concluded the misdemeanor charges that had been filed by the St. Louis public prosecutor. But civil suits were still pending, including the one from Bill Stephenson ("Stump").

In late May 1993, Axl was questioned by lawyers before the impending court cases [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 1, 1993]. During the deposition, Axl wore a t-shirt that said "St. Louis Sucks" and said, "I dived off the (stage), into the chairs" and "I didn’t land on Stump.” This deposition would be shown during the trial [The Associated Press via The Springfield News Leader - October 16, 1993].

In his suit, Bill Stephenson wanted $2,000,000 from Axl due to injuries to his back and knee when he was attacked by Axl before the riot [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 1993]. In the following trial, a friend of Stephenson claimed that Axl "dived onto Stephenson, and both of them fell over chairs bolted to the concrete floor." This would be corroborated by a security guard who said he saw Axl "land on top of William "Stump" Stephenson and begin throwing punches" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 1993]. Stephenson would describe the incident this way: "As I’m turning back, I look up and Axl Rose is in flight, coming toward me. He hit me on my right side, headfirst in a dive position. I was just freaked out" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 1993].

Axl, on the other hand, would deny the allegations: “I dived off the (stage), into the chairs. I didn’t land on Stump” [The Springfield News Reader, October 1993]. A doctor would also testify that Stephenson had not suffered any lingering back or knee injuries as a result of the shuffle [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 1993].

In the end, the suit was settled for a "very minimal figure" and an autograph. Axl signed Stephenson’s rock concert scrapbook: "Stump Axl Gn’R 93". The "minimal figure" was later disclosed to somewhere between $160,000 and $2,000,000 [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 1993].

After Axl's settlement with Stump, he settled in many of the other civil suits [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 1994; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 1994].

In a curious afternote to the St. Louis case, Slash would later talk about meeting "Stump":

When I returned to St. Louis with the Snakepit in 1995, the night before my show, I was walking from my hotel down to this row of bars nearby. I wasn’t going far, so I didn’t bring security because I knew that I was meeting our crew down there, but as I walked up this main drag, I saw five bikers in front of me and no one else around and for a moment I got worried. It was a pretty dark night on a pretty dark street, where tall streetlamps illuminated spots of ground every few yards. I got closer to them and they were looking at me; and I was looking at them. One of them got off of his bike and came at me and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down.

“Hey, man,” he said, grinning wide. “I’m the guy who Axl hit.” Like I was supposed to pat the guy on the back. He had this attitude like, “Hey, we’re both anti-Axl, right?” He seemed to think we had something in common, but I don’t work like that; if any of you talk shit about Axl I’m going to get up in your face. Only I can do that; because I have that right, not some punk on the street who doesn’t even know him. Things got tense in that moment, but the guy started in with his own story, almost apologetically.

He had just won all of his money in the lawsuit; I think he’d been awarded his damages by the court like two days before. It was a tense situation: it was obvious to me that this was a guy who was riding high on that cash he’d just gotten and he wasn’t going to spend it wisely. His “friends” seemed to be enjoying his good fortune with him, that was for sure, because all of them were clearly out on the town. He was the shortest of the bunch, and as all small guys do, he was trying to impress everyone in sight. He had earned his bragging rights—and a decent amount of our cash—but as he told me in the few minutes I paused to speak with him, in the days after the incident, he couldn’t even leave his house. He received death threats by phone, hate mail, all of it. Only after the city won the lawsuit—after which he won as well—did the whole tide turn for him.

I was totally not impressed with this guy. I told him so and that I had to go and that was that
[Slash's autobiography, 2007].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:30 am

NOVEMBER 9, 1993

On November 9, 1993, a tribute record to Jimi Hendrix called "Stone Free" was released [MTV, October 1993]. Slash contributed with the song "I Don't Live Today" together with Paul Rogers and band of Gypsies.

We had a list of songs to use from, you know. Some of it was, like, inherently Hendrix. […] And it was just natural for us to do a good homage to Jimi. But at the same time, I’m not trying to rip him of, or use too much – you know, try and copy him, like a lot of guitar players do.

I played with the original Band Of Gypsys, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. Paul Rodgers on vocals. We did the Jimi Hendrix tribute. Fuck, Buddy is out there. A strange character. I stopped talking to him after a while because, you know, he's still struggling and I started getting that feeling that he wanted something from me. He was treating me like we were really tight friends and, I don't know, maybe he liked me but I didn't really fall for that. Then he would call me when he needed money. He had a car crash and needed money, weird shit like that. But fucking Billy Cox is about as cool as they get.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:31 am

NOVEMBER 20, 1993

We did Ain’t It Fun with Mike Monroe, and it was really strange because when we did it, you know, both of us in certain places, without even trying I ended up sounding a bit like Steve [Bators], you know. Candles would flicker and bells would ring for no reason, and we’re like, “Steve’s here.” (Chuckles)

We were talking about it earlier, that the lyrics to that song pretty much sum up where we come from as a band. Like, you know… Especially on the surface.

Or things that we've been through, stupid mistakes we've made.

And when I hear it, I just go: "Yeah, ok, check, check". [laughs].

'Ain't It Fun', which was something that represented what we've seen and been through as a group - and even before the group, as people, the shit that we've seen in this bullshit, and what's gone with us since we became successful, that became the key song, the one that was very indicative of what GN'R is.

What I think is funny is that people can understand us better through this record than through the songs that we wrote ourselves. Really, the lyrics of "The Spaghetti Incident" are closer to our personal beliefs. You understand more clearly what Guns n' Roses is about than by trying to interpret a song like "Estranged" (on "Use your illusion II" - Editor's note). No one has thought of it yet, but "Ain't It Fun" is a great description of the band.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:34 am

NOVEMBER 23, 1993

You know, I’ve got made fun of for liking The Ramones. And then, you know, eight years go by and then everybody that was making fun of me is sitting around watching Rock ‘N’ Roll High School - and loving it. And I want a lot of these people to hear songs that they didn’t hear. I mean, there’s selected cuts that you can’t really find the original recordings that they’re on, and B-sides and stuff of songs we think really rocked and way, way influenced us. And we also do a tribute to Steve Bators. We did Ain’t It Fun with Mike Monroe, and it was really strange because when we did it, you know, both of us in certain places, without even trying I ended up sounding a bit like Steve, you know. Candles would flicker and bells would ring for no reason, and we’re like, “Steve’s here.” (Chuckles).

We started The Spaghetti Incident? without even knowing that we were going to finish it and have an album to put out. We started it just to alleviate all the pressure of doing the Use Your Illusion records. We’d just jam on songs that we grew up with, just off the top of our heads.

They were a lot of fun to do and nobody in the business took it all that seriously so there was none of this outside business bull.... going on. It was a relief and it was also very grounding when the stress seemed so unbearable.

It was like a real bonding thing for the guys in the band just to book a studio without asking anybody for the money or anything. I’d call up some studio, let’s say, in Boston and just go: Yeah, this is Slash from Guns N’ Roses and can we book the studio from such and such a time to such and such a time and record a song.’ And they’d go: Yeah, right.’ And then we’d all show up with borrowed gear. “It was just nice to know that the foundation of the band is still the same. It’s just that everything around us has changed so much. And it was probably one of the things that was most instrumental in keeping us going.


With the Use Your Illusion tour finally being over in July 1993 the band could turn to release the long-awaited next record. The release didn't happen immediately after the tour ended, though, and this is likely at least partly due to Axl not having finished the vocals and due to it having to be mixed and mastered:

Also, we've got the punk-rock EP to release. Basically all that needs to be done on that is Axl's vocals.
RIP Magazine, November 1993; but interview done in late September.

Since we've been off the road for the last four months, I instantly went back into the studio to mix and master 'The Spaghetti Incident?' record, to help myself wind down from the tour pace.

Since we've been off the road for the last four months, I instantly went back into the studio to mix and master 'The Spaghetti Incident?' record, to help myself wind down from the tour pace.

When I got home, I went straight back into the studio. That was my antidote for post-road depression. We finished up recording the '...Spaghetti...' album, and then I got completely wrapped up in mixing lt.

But in October 1993 the label could send out a press release informing that the release date would be November 23:

Guns N' Roses will unveil "another album chock full of unsavory subject matter" with their much anticipated collection of cover songs, The Spaghetti Incident?, set for release November 23, 1993 on Geffen Records worldwide.

The notoriously unpredictable rock 'n' roll band has conjured up a few surprises for this album, including a Slash N' Axl vocal, a guest appearance by former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe and a GN'R version of "Since I Don't Have You," originally recorded in 1958 by The Skyliners. The album also includes scorching renditions of songs such as "New Rose" (originally recorded by The Damned), "Down On The Farm" (The UK Subs), "Human Being" (The New York Dolls), "Raw Power" (Iggy And The Stooges), "Ain't It Fun" (The Dead Boys), "Buick Makane (Big Dumb Sex)" (T.Rex/Soundgarden), "Hair Of The Dog" (Nazareth), "Attitude" (The Misfits), "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" (Johnny Thunders) and "I Don't Care About You" (Fear).


Eight of the tracks were produced by Mike Clink and Guns N' Roses, one by the band alone and one by GN'R bassist Duff McKagan and Jim Mitchell. All were mixed by Bill Price.

On the day of the release Geffen would send out another press release which included some quotes from Slash:

It’s not so serious but it’s real honest. […] It’s live and haphazard, just us hanging out. It’s not making any particular statement; it’s just about passion and spontaneity.

We thought we’d do three or four really cool punk tunes we don’t hear enough of. […] But this isn’t a punk record. These are G N’ R’s version of songs from when punk was happening, a tribute to songs and bands that had a lot to do with where we come from. There were some great bands back then but they aren’t being recognized as newer generations get into music. We want to help make them known again. We were originally fans – I remember seeing Fear and The Misfits. Part of our fantasy was also playing songs from bands we would’ve loved to have seen but never had the chance.


It was important to the band to not over-hype the record. As written in an article in The Boston Globe:

Slash is willing to discuss the album, but he is wary of over-hyping it. He’s been assured that the record company, Geffen, will undertake a relatively low-key promotional effort. “The Spaghetti Incident?” isn’t intended to carry the import or weight of the “Use Your Illusion” simultaneous double releases in September of 1991. And in the liner notes, Guns N’ Roses gives credit to all the original bands and suggests listeners seek out those originals.

The Geffen people were thinking ‘How brilliant!’ [when they heard about the record plans] and we were just like ‘whatever.’ I think it was a cool idea and the recordings were genuine - you know the heart and soul of the band is laid out - but I didn’t want it blown out of proportion.

It was really something that wasn’t supposed to be taken all that seriously. There was a point when we were in the studio doing the ‘Illusion’ records and we would just go in and [mess] around on some things and we realized that we sounded pretty cool at covering songs that we really liked, songs that had some major influence on us, really. We recorded four songs and we knew we didn’t have enough room to put them on the ‘Illusion’ records, so we thought we’d do an EP - and it sort of grew from there. We started realizing that it was a great catalog for people who would never, ever hear any of these songs, probably for the simple reason that they’re a generation behind or because a lot of the stuff is out of print. Some people don’t even know what the Nazareth song [‘Hair of the Dog’] is! Heaven forbid someone bring up the UK Subs and ask if anyone’s familiar with that.

It’s not supposed to be taken that seriously; these are just some cool songs that we sort of grew up on, things that have a lot of influence on us. There’s no digging deep as far as what it’s about.

The record wasn't thought out too much and it wasn't supposed to be taken so seriously. To us it was like a joke. I have no idea how the general public is going to react, although it is very aggressive, and people usually like it when you say "fuck you" on a record. The kids who have grown up with us probably don't know some of the material. Then there are going to be some people who will go, "No fucking way! 'Raw Power' is on there?"


As for explaining the title:

It has nothing to do with the record. But then there’s no point to the album either. It’s something for fans to listen to and tide them over until we complete the next original one – God knows when that’ll be.

An inside joke, an actual incident when we were trying - to get it together to write the ‘Illusion’ records in Chicago, but it’s one piece of trivia I don’t think anybody will ever get.

It’s an inside joke. It’s from a certain time when we were in Chicago writing music, really having a hard time. No one will be able to guess what it is.

It’s an inside joke for the band, and I can’t wait for the rumors as to what the “spaghetti incident” is all about (laughs). But I’m not gonna divulge that information.

It's an inside joke. I won't get into it. There definitely was a spaghetti incident. […] [The readers] will probably come up with stories that are a lot worse. I can't see anybody being able to imagine exactly what it was. I can't wait for the rumors to start flying.

Duff would also finally explain the title of the record:

The title is – I can talk about it now, because the trial is over, the Steven Adler trial. It’s actually from my deposition. Steven, Slash and myself lived in Chicago for three months to write tunes, and we all lived together in this condominium, in an apartment above an Italian restaurant - this is very funny, this is why it’s called “Spaghetti Incident.” So in the deposition, Steven’s lawyer asked me, and he goes, “Did you guys ever get into any fights while you were there?” And I said, “Well no, not really. It was just kind of like brotherly fights.” Then I said, “Maybe,” you know, “just maybe, if I got spaghetti from the Italian place below us one night, and ate half of it and saved the rest for the next morning – because everybody likes cold spaghetti - and maybe somebody else ate it, and I was looking forward to eat it, maybe there’d be, like, a real fight.” And that was it, period. And the lawyer was like, “Okay.” So we get to court, and I’m up on the stand, there’s a jury and everything. “Now, about your spaghetti incident...” and I just – and the guys in the band and everybody started busting up [laughing], because the lawyer took it seriously. So we got done with the court that day, and we were like, “We gotta call this album ‘Spaghetti Incident’.” So that's where that’s from.

Still, Slash would be reluctant to explain the title:

It was something they mentioned in the court case (with Steven Adler). I don't want to say exactly what, since we've been having a great time getting tons of letters from people as to what they think the spaghetti incident is! We've been getting these sex ones. It's unreal! […] There was something in People magazine which said I was going out with this porno chick, and they said I stuffed spaghetti in her! In public! In a club in New York! Can you imagine the time it would take to do that?

First in April 1995, would Slash explain the title:

I guess it's been a while now, so it's easy to let the cat out of the bag. 'The Spaghetti Incident' was something that was brought up in court when Steven Adler was suing Guns N' Roses for kicking him out. When Guns was in Chicago writing material which initially ended up on 'Use Your Illusions.' Duff and Steven got into this argument over spaghetti. It got brought up in deposition, and it was called 'The Spaghetti Incident.' I thought that was great, and wanted to name the record that.


On the cover the inscription JYE / ZQS could be found, when asked about it Slash replied:

There is a meaning, but I’ve forgotten it. […] It has nothing to do with the title, but I’ve forgotten [what it means], it’s been a long time.  I’ve since  worked on my solo album and the next Guns n' Roses album. I haven’t even listened to “The Spaghetti Incident?” since we finished it.


Neither the pre-release press release or the press release on the release date, would mention the hidden track, 'Look at Your Game, Girl' a cover of a Charles Manson song.


In the liner notes of the record the band would encourage listeners to go out and buy the original music:

It would be cool if our fans discovered the bands that meant so much to us, says Slash. That's why we wrote "A great song can be found anywhere. Do yourself a favour and go find the originals" in the booklet. It was written so damn much good songs when we grew up. Most of the records are hard to find and several of the musicians are dead, almost everyone are broke. It didn't go well for our heroes.
Okej, November 1993; translated from Swedish

We wanted to make a point of making sure all the Guns N’ Roses fans of a certain age who wouldn’t be familiar with these bands — the Dead Boys, Fear, UK Subs — knew who wrote these songs, that we didn’t write them. ... We didn’t want another “Train Kept ’a Rollin’ ” situation like Aerosmith had. (The Yardbirds originally recorded it in the mid-60s.) So we made it a point in the liner notes to give a three- or four-line history of the song.

[Commenting on being truthful about their influences] Yeah, we don't lie. It's not like, 'Oh, we never listened to anybody. We never copped.' If I could list the shit that we - I wouldn't say rip off, but you use everything you've heard in your life for your writing. And anybody who says they haven't is full of shit.

[When pointed out that their influences should be very happy being acknowledged by 'The Spaghetti Incident?'] [laughing] And very rich!

Can say we wanted to call the record "Pension Fund". 'Cause we're kind of paying some… Helping these guys pay some rent.

Some of the guys who wrote these songs are fuckin' stoked because they'll get some money.

The royalties due to the originals caused some issues, as Popular 1 would describe:

The old punks are in for a treat. After many years in obscurity, people like the U.K. Subs or Fear are going to see money raining down from the sky. The best selling band in the world wanted to play tribute to its roots and picked them, among a few others. Not everyone, however, is going to enjoy the benefits. The selection of particular songs has caused some delirious side effects. For example, “New Rose,” the Damned song that Guns N’ Roses chose to cover, was only written by guitarist Brian James; which means that the other three members won’t be getting a dime. As expected, this has led to controversy among the members of the Damned, and while James has been talking about Guns N 'Roses with admiration and respect, the rest (Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies) are unloading their anger towards them. It seems that James had two years of sleepless nights, fearing that the song might be left out of the track list at the last minute and he wouldn’t get his slice of the cake.
Popular 1, January 1994; translated from Spanish


After the release Slash would shed more light on the song pickings:

I met Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols at Matt's wedding. He asked when the record came out and if our version of Black Leather sounded better then the "cover" the Runaways did. Absolutely, I said, it sounds better then your version too...
Okej, November 1993; translated from Swedish

I saw [former Sex Pistol] Steve Jones at [Guns Drummer] Matt Sorum's wedding. He goes, "When is the record coming out?" I said, "Probably in November. 'Black Leather' sounds really good." He says, "I hope it's better than the Runaways' version." I said, "Steve, I'm sorry to say it's a lot better than yours too." [Laughs] I've known him for a while, I was just fucking with him

I wanted to do Nazareth's "Hair of the dog", T-Rex "Buick Makane", and Fears "I don't care about you". Those are songs that meant much to me. Axl always hums on the Skyliners' "Since I don't have you", and he loves "Black leather" so those were his choices. […] Duff picked "Down on the farm" by the UK Subs, and we all wanted to a song by the New York Dolls. It became "Human Being"
Okej, November 1993; translated from Swedish

The songs we picked out were what you call 'neutral.' The New York Dolls, as a whole, were not my favourite band, although they had certain songs I dug. So everyone in the band had to be able to relate to whatever song each one of us wanted to do. […] We could've done a million other bands, but these are the ones that came off the top of our heads when we got on a roll. We didn't have any interest in doing a Zeppelin cover or another Aerosmith cover, and I don't see much justification in redoing an old Stones song, because those songs just don't need to be covered. […] The songs we picked for 'The Spaghetti Incident?' were songs that relate to this band as a whole. Some of them were really easy and some of them took some thought - like which Iggy Pop song we were gonna do, which Dolls song… […] The UK Subs song was obvious. The only T-Rex song I wanted to do was 'Buick McKane', and the Fear one was their only one I wanted to do. […] But also there was the lyrical content to consider, like The Dead Boys' 'Ain't It Fun', which was something that represented what we've seen and been through as a group - and even before the group, as people, the shit that we've seen in this bullshit, and what's gone with us since we became successful, that became the key song, the one that was very indicative of what GN'R is.

I never got to see The New York Dolls, The Dead Boys or T- Rex. And obviously I didn’t see the The Skyliners, although I can’t honestly say I ever wanted to see The Skyliners!

Everybody picked songs that they wanted to cover. Axl wanted to do [the Sex Pistols'] "Black Leather" and [the Skyliners] "Since I Don't Have You," which he used to sing all the time. "New Rose" by the Damned was definitely Duff's choice. We did [the UK Subs] "Down On The Farm" at Farm Aid, but I can't remember how that came up. We wanted to do a New York Dolls song and "Human Being" was the best one. We did two Stooges songs, but Axl liked the vocal on "Raw Power" the best. It was Mike Monroe's idea to do a Dead Boys song as a tribute to Stiv Bators. "Buick Makane" [T. Rex], "Hair Of The Dog" [Nazareth], and "I Don't Care About You" [Fear] were my ideas. I can't remember whose idea it was to do the Misfits' "Attitude." I didn't play on [Johnny Thunders'] "Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" and an unmentioned track, which features a guy named Carlos on guitar.

We did a Hanoi Rocks tune but we decided not to put in on the album because we didn't wanna give Andy McCoy (former Hanoi guitarist) the money! McCoy's an asshole! The basic track was done but we never did any vocals on it. Wo also recorded a basic track on Iggy's 'Down On The Street', but we didn't finish that either. We stuck with 'Raw Power' — it just sounded cooler.

We did a Hanoi Rocks tune but we decided not to put in on the album because we didn't wanna give Andy McCoy (former Hanoi guitaristThe only thing that we didn't record that we should have done is 'Heartbreak Hotel' (the Elvis Presley classic). I'm going to try to get us into the studio to record it for a B-side. We used to do a killer version of that song, but we haven't played it in a long time. You can buy it on bootleg. There's an old demo tape wo did that was bootlegged. It had 'Welcome To The Jungle', 'Think About You', 'Anything Goes' and 'Heartbreak Hotel'.

We actually did a couple of Hanoi Rocks songs that never made it, and a bunch of Iggy Pop songs that never made it, though one did make it.

Mmm... it wasn’t intentional, but if gives a better idea of our roots, that's cool. We didn't want to send a message, it was just a cover album... We started it during the sessions of the two “Use Your Illusion” albums, just as a way to relax and forget the pressure, the directives and everything that had really nothing to do with music. We turned on the amps to warm our fingers, jam, and have fun with some of these songs. We recorded three or four of them that we knew well, without any intention to make an album or even a pirate cassette. But when we sat down and listened to the tapes again, everyone in the band really liked what they heard, and we decided to make it an EP. Then we went into the studio, and the EP turned into a full album. People often call it "the punk record," which isn't really the case, even if some of the original bands were punk. These are just the G n'R versions of songs we love. Punk is just a term for an attitude, not a musical style. It is a form of determination in order to end up doing things the way you want, in your own way. The music you play doesn't matter, as long as it goes against the grain. Mozart was punk, he had the attitude!

[Talking about the three songs that Duff sings]: These are the the songs he wanted to cover. We decided to fully respect each other’s choices. I chose three or four songs, Axl chose three, so did Duff and these are songs that he liked. At the same time, Duff recorded his solo album, he sang a lot, and we let him sing "Attitude" and "It's So Easy" on tour.

[Talking about the songs he chose]: There’s one that I had to sing myself for it to be on the album, a medley of "Buick Makane" by T. Rex and "Big Dumb Sex" by Soundgarden. Axl didn’t feel comfortable with this song and asked me to sing it. I did, but I hate singing and you won’t hear me sing this song often in the future. The Fear song, "I Don’t Care About You" has been my point of reference for a long time. It was the only record I had when the band started, the only tape I took on the road with me. "Hair Of The Dog", by Nazareth, is a song that Axl and I often played when we were in the band Hollywood Rose, before Gn’R. And "Since I Don’t Have You" by the Skyliners, it’s a doo-wop song from the 50s that Axl used to sing a long time ago and I wanted him to record it.

We didn’t try to recreate the sound of the original versions, because we create our own vibe in the studio. We just took what we liked in each song - sometimes it was just the fact that we loved them and we had fun playing them. This is the cornerstone, the spirit of "The Spaghetti Incident?"

I picked the T. Rex song 'Buick Makane.' I helped pick 'Hair Of The Dog' (by Nazareth). I really liked (The UK Subs) 'Down On The Farm.

These quotes, and the quotes in the previous chapter about the making of the record indicate that the the following unreleased songs exist from the various 'Spaghetti' sessions: 'Down on the Street' (the Stooges) likely without vocals, and unknown Hanoi Rocks song. In addition, if we are to trust Gilby's quote there would be additional Hanoi Rocks and Iggy Pop songs, but likely without vocals.

Slash would mention that lyrically the record was more about Guns N' Roses than any of their other records:

The coolest thing about that whole record is that the songs that we picked to do were more indicative of what GN'R was about, and the lyrics explain more about us, than even our own songs do. You can look at the band from a completely different perspective. This is us just blatantly picking a page out of a book and going, 'This is us'.

And how they did the vocals:

I do a lot of vocals, yeah. I sing on – you know, I just laid down scratch tracks, because I knew all the songs better than anybody else. It was my record collection that all the songs came from. So I would lay down a scratch track for Axl, like Raw Power I sang, and New Rose by the Damned, Attitude... And I’d lay down a vocal for Axl to listen to, and he’d come down to hear it and he’d go, “Hey man, that’s good. I’m not gonna sing it.”

In early 1994 Slash and Axl would point out that these are punk songs made the "GN'R way":

You know, we have our version of [Black Leather], but then again, I like listening to the original better. It depends on what mood people are in. What they want to hear. I mean, I've heard criticism about: "Well, a punk record shouldn't have drums this heavy." And this and that. But we do it GN'R-style.

It was GN'R doing all these songs of ours the way that we play 'em. I mean, there's no changing that. So, we're not exactly "the best sounding punk band"… technology and decent marshals at work.

Then we put out this really easy, relaxed record of songs that we dug. We thought we'd pay homage to people who we thought everyone had forgotten about, all the stuff that's out of print. Half these guys are dead! 'The Spaghetti Incident?' is a record to show where the f**k a band like us came from, and the critics try to tell us we didn't use the right amps or whatever! F**k! You gotta just do what you do!

Well, we didn't even have any access to most of the originals to learn the songs correctly, you know what I mean? So we just play them the way that we play them. It's basically a Guns N' Roses record, just a bunch of songs the way that we interpreted them. But the original versions have that natural raunch. They represent the times that they were recorded in. They tell a million stories in three minutes, y'know? So the original versions always are more romantic.


And Duff and Axl would talk about why they did this album:

The album is out for – I think it’s a dedication to all these bands that haven't gotten recognition. So the only reason I hope it sells a lot is so they can get some money, you know, because a lot of these guys are poor. And they’re also waiting for it to come out (laughs).

We had an idea of this going into the first album… that there were some songs that, what we called "punk" to us, or whatever, that we wanted to record a long time ago, that we wanted people to hear, that we liked a lot. And there's songs that Izzy and I liked, there's songs that Slash and I liked, there's songs that Duff and Izzy liked. Things like that, and then it turned into… We had a collection over about nine years of over ten songs that we really liked and we realized we could make an album instead of just a little EP and throw out there.

I guess I'm the one with the biggest collection of punk records in the band. But the other guys wanted to make a record like that, too, and we have common influences, so that’s why we did it. It was our way of chilling out during the Illusions sessions and of paying tribute to the people who inspired us.
Popular 1, January 1994; translated from Spanish


We’ve just put out 'the Punk record’ or whatever you wanna call that, and I think you can hear that we had a lotta fun putting that together.

Spaghetti Incident was cool. We did songs in different places. Sometimes I would borrow somebody's guitar and rent an amp and cut a song. When we did that song 'Since I Don't Have You', we were in Boston with a day off and I got on the phone and asked for the best recording studio. I found out there are no fucking recording studios in Boston! Anyway, we finally found a place and I said, "This is Slash from Guns N' Roses," and at first they didn't believe me. Anyway, we rented some gear, I borrowed Gilby's piece-of-shit practice Tele that he has for before show warn-ups, and we just showed up and played. The whole thing was done in a way that I would like Guns N' Roses to more or less be, within the confines of the business we're in. But it was fun, it was sort of like an outlet.

It's not a punk album. You can't really say Nazareth is a punk band, can you? It was us doing a bunch of songs that we grew up on, bands that were icons when I was getting into this stuff in the late 70s and then ceased to exist.

It started out as warm-up jams for Use Your Illusion and evolved into something else. It was the first really good time that we've had without any outside pressure in ages. That's basically it. The coolest thing about the whole record — which is something that these fucking idiots haven't even touched on, as usual; you don't know how bitter I am at this point toward the press — is that the songs we picked , the psychology behind the music we naturally chose, is more indicative of what Guns are about, the lyrics explain more about us, than even our own songs do. 'Aint It Fun' wraps us up nice and neatly in a nutshell. It's so perfect. And we never really thought about what we were doing until all you fuckers came up and asked us questions!


Because of its controversy, and from a desire to create something "positive", Rolling Stone would in early 2000 claim that Axl would remove 'Look at Your Game, Girl' from future pressings of 'The Spaghetti Incident!?' [Rolling Stone, January 2000].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:35 am


A summary of songs that were intended or recorded for 'Spaghetti':

* Black Leather (Steve Jones/Sex Pistols) - mentioned in April 1989, and ended up on the covers record.
* Jumpin' Jack Flask (Rolling Stones) - mentioned in April 1989, and recorded versions from 1986 exist, but not re-recorded for the covers record.
* Unidentified (Misfits) - mentioned in April 1989; likely 'Attitude' which would be recorded and end up on the covers record.
* Unidentified (Fear) - mentioned in July 1989; likely 'I Don't Care About You' which would be recorded and end up on the covers record.
* Unidentified (Adolescents) - mentioned in July 1989; probably never recorded.
* Down on the Farm (UK Subs) - mentioned in December 1990, recorded and originally intended for 'Use Your Illusion' but ended up on the covers record. Guitar parts replaced by Gilby.
* Live and Let Die (The Wings) - mentioned in January 1991, recorded and initially intended for the covers record but ended up on 'Use Your Illusion'.
* Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bod Dylan) - mentioned in January 1991, recorded and initially intended for the covers record but ended up on 'Use Your Illusion'.
* I Don't Care About You (Fear) - mentioned in January 1991, recorded before January 1991, guitar parts would be replaced by Gilby later, released on the covers record.
* Attitude (Misfits) - mentioned in January 1991, recorded before January 1991, guitar parts would be replaced by Gilby later, released on the covers record.
* New Rose (Damned) - mentioned in January 1991, recorded before January 1991, guitar parts would be replaced by Gilby later, released on the covers record.
*Ain't it Fun (The Dead Boys) - mentioned in June 1991, recorded and originally intended for 'Use Your Illusion' but ended up on the covers record. Guitar parts replaced by Gilby.
* Unidentified (Hanoi Rocks) - mentioned first in late 1991, unknown song. Only basic track with no vocals.
* Ain't Going Down (GN'R) - mentioned in February 1992, not a covers song but included to make the EP into an LP. Recorded but not included on the covers record.
* Unknown song (Unknown) - mentioned in February 1992, a song where Slash was supposed to sing and which he had played in a band "a long time ago".
* Unknown song (T-Rex) - mentioned in September 1993, likely "Buick Mackane" which was recorded and released on the covers record.
* Unknown song (Nazareth) - mentioned in September 1993, likely "Hair of The Dog", recorded and released on the covers record.
* Beautiful King (T-Rex) - mentioned in September 1993, supposedly recorded but did not end up on the covers record. The journalist probably made a mistake hear and misheard 'Buick Mackane'. As far as we are aware, T-Rex never released a song called 'Beautiful King'.
* Hair of the Dog (Nazareth) - mentioned in September 1993, recorded and ended up on the covers record.
* Unknown song (New York Dolls) - mentioned in September 1993, likely 'Human Being' which was recorded and ended up on the covers record.
* Down on the Street (The Stooges) - mentioned first in January 1994. The band recorded two The Stooges songs, but Axl liked the vocals on 'Raw Power' the best. According to Slash, vocals were never added.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:36 am


Axl played me the Manson song, "Look at Your Game Girl," and I said, "That's pretty good." Then he told me what it was and I just went, "What?"


Back in October 1993, before the release of 'The Spaghetti Incident', rumors would claim that the record would include a song by convicted murderer and cult leader Charles Manson [Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1993]. Geffen Records denied these rumors, but on November 21, sources "close to the label" would confirm the rumors were true but that the song, 'Look at Your Gane, Girl', would not be listed on the album nor would Manson be mentioned [Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1993]. Allegedly, to keep the song a secret it was not included on advance copies of the record distributed to reviewers [Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1993].

There is a bonus track on the album, but Axl wants it to speak for itself. […] It wasn't done for the critics or anybody else. It was a bonus for the fans.

But apparently it got out that the song was by Charles Manson:

[Being asked how people found out about the hidden track]: I don’t know; somehow word got out.

Despite Goldstein saying that Axl wants the song to speak for itself, a week after the release of the record he decided to send out a press release inwhich he would explain the inclusion of the song and state that all proceeds from the song would go to charity:

It's come to my attention that some people have taken offence to a particular song, Look At Your Game, Girl, on our new album The Spaghetti Incident?. What it all boils down to is this: The Spaghetti Incident? is 13 historical and musical gems that may have been overlooked. For instance, New Rose was one of The Damned's main songs but for whatever reason a lot of the world didn't hear it.

In Indiana, I was ridiculed and physically attacked for my musical tastes, tastes that I never made any effort to hide. I thought it would be interesting for the so called mainstream and the people who were against this material when I was a teenager to actually hear these songs. Maybe they'll hear something they like, and more importantly, maybe they'll go and find the originals better, including Look At Your Game, Girl. The reason we didn't list that song on our album is we wanted to downplay it. We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album; it's like a hidden bonus truck.

It's my opinion that the media are enjoying making a big deal out of Guns N' Roses covering a song that Charles Manson recorded, but if another band had recorded that song, it probably wouldn't have been of interest. The media need their "bad guys" to guarantee some ratings, so they use Manson's name coupled with mine to promo their news programs.

However, when I do something positive, like contribute to charity, it's hard to get the news to pick up on those stories. The media is an interesting beast.

Why did I choose to cover that particular song?

Oddly enough, one of the things we do up at my house is have "Name That Artist" contests where we play obscure songs and everyone tries to name the artist. My brother Stuart found Look At Your Game, Girl at a large record chain and, needless to say, he won that round. Personally, I liked the lyrics and the melody of the song. Hearing it shocked me and I thought there might be other people who would like to hear it.

I like the words because, to me, it's about a woman who has thrown things away. She thinks she's gaining love but basically she's gaining sadness. It was very fitting for a personal situation I happened to be in. The song talks about how the girl is insane and playing a mad game. I felt that it was ironic that such a song was recorded by Charles Manson, someone who should know the inner intricacies of madness.

Manson is a dark part of American culture and history. He's the subject of fear and fascination through books, movies, and the interviews he's done. Most people hadn't heard anything Charles Manson recorded.

A lot of people can say I wear the "Charlie Don't Surf" T-shirt for shock value, but I've worn that shirt for the past year on tour, all over the world. Yes, I was trying to make a statement. I wore the T-shirt because a lot of people enjoy playing me as the bad guy and the crazy. Sorry, I'm not that guy. I'm nothing like him. That's what I'm saying. There's a real difference in morals, values and ethics between Manson and myself and that is "Thou shalt not kill," which I don't. I'm by no means a Manson expert or anything, but the things he's done are something I don't believe in. He's a sick individual. Look at Manson and then look at me. We're not the same. Plus, I like the black humor of the "Charlie Don't Surf" line for the movie Apocalypse Now.

I think people think I'm crazy because I believe in telling the truth. I'll admit sometimes I don't do a perfect job of it, but my efforts are true.

It is my understanding that the song was written by Dennis Wilson. To what extent Charles Manson is involved in the publishing, I'm not aware. However, I am donating all my personal profits from having that song on our album to a charity, an environmental group to help protect wildlife and our oceans. In our video for Estranged, which will be the last video for the Use Your Illusion albums, we used dolphins, and this is my way of giving something back to the dolphin, which are endangered and threatened with extinction.

Unfortunately I Don't Surf Either.

Axl had a point when arguing that the media made more out of this cover than if another band had done it, because Hot Metal would discover that both Redd Kross and the Lemonheads had covered Charles Manson before without any media backlash [Hot Metal, January 1994]. But, of course, Guns N' Roses was the world's most popular band at the time and their impact and influence much greater.

David Geffen, who had known two of the victims of Manson's cult, and head of Geffen Records, was not impressed:

I would hope that if Axl Rose had realized how offensive people would find this, he would not have ever recorded this song in the first place. The issue is not the song itself. The fact that Charles Manson would be earning money based on the fame he derived committing one of the most horrific crimes of the 20th Century is unthinkable to me.

Patti Tate, sister of one of the victims, also took affront:

Doesn't Axl Rose realize what this man did to my family? It really hurts and angers me that Guns N' Roses would exploit the murders of my sister and others for capital gain.

It is likely that neither Geffen or Tate knew all revenues from the song would go to charity, not that this would necessarily remove all criticism.

Parts of the press was outraged by the song's inclusion on the album and also by Axl's wearing a shirt with Manson's face on it on one side and the text "Charlie Don't Surf" on the other side during numerous concerts in 1993. This shirt was apparently officially licensed and Manson would receive 10 cents per shirt sold [The San Francisco Examiner, December 19, 1993].

According to Los Angeles Times, "sources" close to then band said that "most of the five band members want the song taken off future copies of the record, and that Rose is considering that action" [Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1993].

When asked about the song Slash would say:

I don't even play on "Look at your game girl", it's a guy named Carlos...[…] It was exactly what we wanted to avoid. That's the reason why we didn't wrote neither the name of the song or Manson's name. We didn't want to be elated with him. But things never turn out the way you want...
Okej, November 1993; translated from Swedish

And Duff would distance himself from the song:

I don't know nothing about it. I swear to God I haven't heard it... I believe it's by Charles Manson. Axl was talking about it once, and me and Slash were cringing, going, 'No! Please! It's a nice album...'

Yet only a week later Geffen Records would send out a new press release stating that the song would not be removed from future releases of 'The Spaghetti Incident?' [Geffen Press Release, December 8, 1993; Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1993]. According to the press release, Axl and Slash had considered removing the track when they heard that Mason might benefit, but after discovering that he wouldn't and that any royalties would go to the family of one of the victims, they decided to leave it:

When it was confirmed this week that Manson would not receive royalty payments, we decided to leave the track on the album. We feel it only fitting we can help the family of at least one of the victims.

When we heard Manson might get the money, we were ready to pull the song off the record. But then we found out that all the money would go to this guy in Poland who lost his dad.

"That guy in Poland" was the son of Wojiciech Frykowski, Bartek Frykowski, one of the victims of Manson's cult [Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1993].

The press release would also contain a statement from Slash:

We naively thought there was a certain dark humor in Manson singing these love song lyrics at the time, but now I find the word 'humor' doesn't fit into the equation at all. Especially when we think about the families of his victims and how this makes them feel. Even though I was only four in 1969, I remember what a shock it was to my hippie parents that there would be someone like Manson out there. It was one of those 'wake up and smell the roses' kind of things that signaled the end of the whole love era.

We didn't credit Manson on the album because we didn't want to draw any attention to him. We simply didn't anticipate everyone making such a big deal out of it. We especially don't want Manson to think we think he's bitchin' - or anybody else to think it for that matter. There are no words to describe him as a human being. He's the epitome of what's wrong with human existence at this point and we don't want to glorify Manson in any way. But rather than pull the track it seems like we could at least help out a kid who lost his Dad.

Ed Rosenblatt, President of Geffen Records, would also be quoted:

We would have preferred the song wasn't on the album, but given our belief in freedom of speech, as well as the clear restraints of our legal agreements with the band, it is not our decision to make. That decision belongs solely to Guns N' Roses. Although we'd reviewed the lyrics for warning sticker purposes, none of us fully appreciated the impact the song would have. We genuinely regret the distress this situation has caused.

Despite what was said in the press release, Slash would be exasperated by the backlash:

Y’know, only in Los Angeles are we going through this f**king backlash for doing this. Y’know what really happened? It’s typical Guns N’ Roses dark humour. One night at Axl’s house, his brother Stuart, who is a character in himself, played this 14-song Manson album without telling anybody who it was. Axl had no idea. He picked out this one song, ‘Look At Your Game Girl’, the one we recorded with his current ex-­girlfriend (supermodel Stephanie Seymour). And so his brother goes, ‘Ha ha, it’s Manson!’. A few days went by and most of the record was completely done, and Axl goes, ‘I’m just gonna go in and record this song’. He played it for me over the phone. I had no idea who it was either, and he told me what it was and we laughed! The guy's turned into such a Hollywood cartoon character at this point, regardless of the tragedies of 24 years ago. We weren’t trying to draw attention to him, but there is sort of an ironic sense of humour in the lyrics, in contrast to to what he's all about. Manson’s stuck around for a while. He’s been on TV making these public statements that are so psycho, trying to get parole, and he’s turned into this Hollywood character. We covered the song, but didn’t draw attention to it. And if you’re listening to a CD, the average person who sits and listens to a CD seven or more seconds after the final song has ended is probably drunk or stoned! So we didn’t think it was any big deal, but it got out somehow, and the media was hot to make a big deal and jump on a 'hot' subject that they didn't realise all the proceeds are going in a different direction and that we still haven't found out who actually wrote the song. Geffen Records have told us that Dennis Wilson wrote the song. […] At this point, we're getting so much shit, I feel like it'll blow over.

According to sources to Los Angeles Times, Axl had recorded the song without the rest of the band's knowledge and only got their reluctant acceptance for its inclusion on the record if it would remain unidentified in print or in interviews [Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1993].

In early 1994 Axl and Slashwould be asked if he considered pulling the song off the record:

At this time, no. But, we've also been notified by a fan that if we do pull the song, he'll sue us and Geffen Records for one dollar per album sold, as of the date that we pull the song. You know, he'll file s in federal court. But we don't have plans of pulling it as of now.

There was a time when we were planning on pulling it because of the fact that it was… I don't know… the messages were all crossed. As far as to what we were really doing. I mean, basically, all we did was do a track that had something to do lyrically with the band. Or… you know.

Axl and Slash would also talk about why the song was included:

I like the lyrics of the song. I also thought it was something that people hadn't heard and was a missing part of the puzzle. And almost everything about Charles Manson has been public, but this was something that wasn't public really, on a big scale, to my knowledge, and just thought that people would be interested in hearing it. But… you know, even the… One of the… The victim's son whose getting money supposedly, was talking about people worshipping Charles Manson and I was like, getting a vibe that people were trying to paint a picture of me worshipping Charles Manson now. It's exactly, for me, the opposite of that. […] He's a pop-cartoon-icon of absolutely how far off the edge you can go, which… I don't have any desire to go that far.

Stuart, Axl's brother, had a copy of the Manson cassette, and that particular song had significant lyrical matter, especially since Manson was singing it. We were a little bit shy about doing it, because we didn't want anybody to pin us on a Manson thing. There's a rumor that he didn't write it. I got a phone call from someone who said it was written by Dennis Wilson and somebody else. To this day we still don't know who the fuck wrote it. We did it anyway, but we didn't want to put its title and Charlie Manson's name on the record. None of us are into that for a serial killer's sake. We didn't want to give him the credit.

So both Slash and Axl would say the song came from Axl's brother Stuart. The San Francisco Examiner, on the other hand, would claim Axl received a tape containing the song from a Richard Lemmons who he had met at a video shoot [San Francisco Examiner, December 19, 1993]. Richard Lemmons and his brother Dan were the guys behind Zooport Riot Gear, the company that sold the 'Charlie Don't Surf' t-shirt [San Francisco Examiner, December 19, 1993]. The magazine Hot Metal also tell the story that Axl got the tape from Lemmons and Lemmons would be quoted as saying that "Axl went nuts over it" [Hot Metal, January 1994].

Slash would defend the inclusion:

It was supposed to – it wasn’t supposed to be anything. It was just a joke. We were surprised that the guy even sang, you know? (laughs). […] and a lot of other bands have covered him before we did. I don’t think there’s anything sick about taking an obvious psychotic and taking his material, and going, “Look what this guy did.” And that was all we did. We buried it on the record, it’s not on the sleeve, it’s not on the credits or anything like that. […] And it just turned into one of those Guns N’ Roses media blisses, and that’s it. It’s a dead issue now, you know? And he’s not gonna get anything out of it.

We buried it on the album.

When the interviewer pointed out that "burying it" would be to not include it on the album:

We didn't want to draw attention to it. If you're that f**ked-up that you're going to sit there for seven seconds after the CD ends, you deserve to hear it.

Slash would also refer to other bands having covered Manson before:

Other bands have covered his material, there’s even one band that did the same song we did, and it’s a little disturbing that just because of who we are we seem to be the pinnacle of media attention because of something that we thought was, well, fun

The dark humour behind the idea of someone as psychotic as [Manson] writing a love song like 'Look At Your Game, Girl',.. I mean, it's entertaining. The Lemonheads already covered a Manson song before we did, and I don't hear anybody moaning about them! […] [Manson was] so **king Hollywood! He was the antithesis of the end of the '60s. All of a sudden, everybody had to wake up and realise that this whole little fantasy was not realty happening. The world was not going to change that much. He was the perfect psycho for that period of time, everything about him.

Slash would also reveal that Manson had complained about the band not asking for permission before covering the song:

[Manson] complained because we didn't ask his permission. So f**k him!

When asked if he wasn't afraid of "pissing off a madman who made a successful hobby out of sending nutcases into the Hollywood Hills to murder celebrities?" Slash would defend himself saying he didn't pick the song nor played on it:

Well. I didn't mean to do that. I can't take it seriously at this point. Although, if any weirdos show up outside my house... You have to understand it wasn't something I picked, and it wasn't something I even played on.

In June 1994, Gilby would distance himself from the song:

It was all Axl (laughs). Honestly, what happened with that song is, nobody from the band played on that song. That’s none of us. Slash didn’t play guitar, I didn’t play guitar. It’s a song that Axl liked, and he just picked it and he put it on the record, you know? It was – he did it. I don’t really know a lot about it. He said that he found this song. I don’t think he really knew that Charles Manson wrote it, though. I think he was under the impression that he just sang it, and he liked the song.

And in early 1995, at a time when the situation between Slash and Axl was stressed, Slash would claim he didn't want the song on the record:

I didn’t play on it. […] I didn’t even want to do it.

This implies that Axl talked to Slash about the song and that it was even discussed whether Slash would play on it.


The funny thing about it is 20 other bands have done Manson songs – not to mention that Trent Reznor lives in Tate’s house. […] And all of a sudden - we throw something out and it’s, like, taboo all of a sudden and everybody – […] Yeah, it goes with the territory. It’s been like that – we’re the band that came out and the first press release was a quote from a magazine that said “They’ll be great if they live long enough.” From day one, you know?

Like we did a (Charles) Manson song, and there were 20 bands before us that did Manson songs, but we're the bad guys. It's like we're supposed to be some sort of influence on the youth of America, so that was a bad example. It's Guns N' Roses, for crissakes. When did that change? Why are we all the sudden some sort of half-ass role models for people to judge harshly? Are we chosen for that? Is one band every decade allotted to be in hell?

The only thing that was wrong with that Guns record was that Manson song. Axl is from Indiana and I don't think his upbringing relates to mine at all. I come from Los Angeles more or less and my whole family was very embedded in the whole hippie movement. Axl was from a very structured and sheltered churchgoing family in the middle of Indiana somewhere. The effects of Manson was like a smack in the face for the '60s; there was a certain realisation that the '60s were no longer. And to everybody who grew up in Los Angeles it (the 'Manson Family' and the murder of Sharon Tate) was a big deal. Axl put this song on and had some other guitar player play on it and he called me on the phone. I was mixing the record at the time and I was looking forward to it being really cool. And he calls me up and plays this thing on the phone and I said, "Yeah, whatever," and then he told me it was a Manson song. We didn't know who wrote it; we had word that Dennis Wilson from The Beach Boys wrote it. I didn't want to deal with it, being the politically mild guy that I am, so I said, "Whatever" and I buried it in the mix – I put it two minutes after the last song and it's not listed. But word got out eventually and then it turned into this huge upheaval. Because you know how people love to come down on you for anything they possibly can. And so it killed the record in the States, and everybody in LA and who was 30 or older was in complete upheaval. Not to mention David Geffen, who said, "Don't work the record." End of story.

The Manson thing was much more problematic than "One in a Million." I could never understand why that song was so important to Axl.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:40 am


When it comes down to it, you get up in the morning, try and find something to eat, and figure out what you’re going to do for the day. You’re not a celebrity. Then, when you walk out the door and get into your car to do some errands, and that's when things start to get weird.

Yeah, it’s weird. I mean, there’s no school to go to learn about it, there’s no book you can read. You know, there’s nobody to actually tell you what’s gonna happen. So you learn the lessons the hard way. And we’ve all learned the lessons. We’ve all actually learned from them.
Rock & Pop Argentina, September 1996; translated from Spanish


After the successful and massive Use Your Illusion touring Guns N' Roses was one of the most popular bands in the world. This posed more problems to Axl and Slash who were by far the most recognizable and popular band members:

I have to admit that our social life, personal life, or whatever, is a little bit more restricted. I don't go out as much anymore. We stay in hotels and we don't come out during the day, and we hardly go to clubs anymore at night, just because it's a hassle. I sort of feel raped because of that. But it's a small price to pay for being able to go out on tour and play to all these enthusiastic people that like the band and everything.

[Talking about being recognized]: I'll go someplace like Portofino, Italy, and the next thing you know, you've got to stop eating dinner because there are people all around. […] LA is probably the easiest place for me to get around, and the second would be New York. In New York, it's like, 'Yo, Axe'. But they can spot me no matter what I'm wearing, so I don't bother to go in disguise. It just doesn't work. They think it's Axl's new look.

If I go to a bar in LA, every so often I run into someone who really appreciates the music, or they know a certain direction a song has that they relate to. That lasts for a week. That really does work when people appreciate the music and don't care about the other stuff. They may not even read the papers or know about it! […] The thing I can't stand, the thing that irks me, is I cannot get into my car and go to local clubs I used to hang out at. I can't go to the local store or market without feeling everybody's f**king staring at me! Some people are really nice and genuine and you appreciate that, but some people see you like you're a f*king cartoon character, like you're Bugs Bunny walking down the street! That gets to be a drag. I cannot hang out like I used to. And as far as the press goes… I don't read it! I don't wanna be bitter or overly jaded, but I can see changes in myself when I get around certain people.

I can't hang out on the street like I used to be able to do without getting hassled. So I've got this house and this studio - I've even got a pinball machine! I don't go anywhere any more.

Slash's solution to this, when the pressure from media and people got too high, was to escape it all, to Africa:

[…] Africa's where you go! I've done that a couple of times, and it's extreme. Every time a record comes out I leave town. I don't wanna be around when it comes out. I don't wanna deal with LA so I go to a place where there is no 'community'. There's just animals around. I take my wife, we put up a tent, hang out for two weeks - there's no phones. You clean out. And your woman turns into an awesome creature if she's in the jungle and into it! It's great. You hang out with in the forest for a couple of weeks, and when you come back, everything that was worrying you before you left seems really f**king stupid!

Duff, despite being a less popular member, would also have to cope with the new reality of Guns N' Roses being the most popular band in the world but would realize that he was the same:

When we started to get big and make some money — whereas before we were just a band making a record — I was doing interviews and people were asking, 'How much has fame and fortune changed your life?' And I could never really give an answer. I was always like, 'Well, I don't know.' And then it finally hit me — that it hadn't changed me, it just changed other people, how they react to you. I'm the same person, you know. All this money or whatever hasn't changed me. I'd give it all away to charity in a second if I thought it had. [laughing] Luckily, it hasn't!

In early 1995, Slash would talk more about being famous:

It depends how you handle it. Sometimes it gets uncomfortable if you're on your own and you want to take a walk or go to the record store and you can't browse without people breathing down your neck. That can be a drag, but… you know, I was driving through the streets this morning, pretty much shagged out of my mind and going to do some promo thing for Snakepit, and I see a guy with a jackhammer drilling in the street. Nothing I do is that hard a job. And musicians take themselves so f***ing seriously and think the world is on their shoulders, and that's where I draw the line. I can complain about this or that, but I'm not that guy on the street, I'm not one of the guys I saw working on the Thames Barrier this morning. I mean, that's hard work, and I'm about to do, what? — get into a bed with some chick for TV. What have I got to complain about, really?

When returning home from tour in 1993, Matt experienced some of the same things the rest of the band had experienced when returning back to Los Angeles after touring in 1988:

Being able to have a stable sort of existence was really hard to adjust to... I came home and there were a few people who wanted to get to know me a little bit better, maybe a few people who weren't exactly my friends, and I had to adjust to that as well. .


I mean, now were not so shocking, but they still expect us to do bad even when we don't. Like I said 'f**k' on MTV—big f**king deal! But now they expect it from us. If we stray away from being the predictable bad guys, then they get freaked out about that too. The whole thing is ridiculous. Everybody is just sitting there waiting to pounce on everything we do. People say, 'What's the gimmick?', you know, but there was no f**king gimmick!

Slash would also mention he had stopped wearing his tophat in public:

If I go out to the record store or market, especially if I wear my top hat out, it's like all of a sudden I'm Mickey Mouse, you know, that cartoon character. Everybody's like, "Whoa!"

It’s like I’m some (expletive) cartoon character.

When pointed out that he had chosen to include the tophat himself on the cover of the Snakepit album, Slash replied:

Yeah, I’m a schmuck.

And in 2000:

I don't really wear the hat around that much. I used to, but now it's just too recognizable. I love wearing them at shows and all, but when I go out in the street with one on, people act funny, like I'm the poor man's Mickey Mouse. It's just a $35 hat. I guess people notice the leather pants too, but that's different. They're the only pants I've got; I've been wearing them forever.

In October 2000, Slash would talk about being proud of succeeding at becoming an "identifiable persona":

I’ll always be Slash from Guns N’ Roses, but I do so much other stuff and work hard at being an individual. Over the years, I’ve managed to get an individual, identifiable persona. I don’t know too many guitar players who have been able to leave their bands and be identified. So I’m very lucky.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:41 am


[Slash is] a maniac. That guy'll play anywhere, at anything...He'd probably play at a department store opening if someone asked him.


In March 1994 it would be reported that Slash had played with Billy Joel and had intended to play ukulele with Bette Midler but that "there was no place in the show" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

I like to jam, and Billy is a cool guy. We got drunk together, that's all it takes for me to get my guitar. There are people I can’t imagine myself on stage with, but they’re not too many. If I like the music, I can play it. I have some difficulties with jazz fusion, hehe! But I never listen to jazz fusion anyway.

When asked if he lost credibility from playing with so many different artists, he responded:

No! That’s anal retentiveness. If I were to sit down and try to guess what other people are going to think, I’d never do anything and we’d be a very different band. The worst thing in the world is to judge someone because they’re playing with so-and-so rather than with someone else. That’s stupid and pretentious. Instead, the public should focus on the fact that I’ve led my life in such a way that I can still play.

On June 26, 1994, Slash participated at the 'Gibson Night of 100 Guitars' at Wembley Arena, London:

It was real fun. I had a great time, although I suffered from severe jet lag because my schedule only allowed me to fly from LA to London the day before the gig - and I had to fly back again the following morning. Still, it was worth it, just to be able to play with someone like Paul Rodgers.

Talking about his collaborations:

[Being asked why he do all the collaborations]: Because I dig playing and, you know. Some people go out, you know, doctors go and they play golf. I get together with musicians and we jam. And we've recorded. And most of these people I've played with are, they are cats that I've met and, you know, people I admire or respect in some wayship before. And gotten to know. And we get together and we play. And we record and it comes out cool. And whenever Guns isn't doing anything, in order for me not to sit around and fester, you know, hanging out with somebody, you know. Just jam with them. And so that's where that started. And then I started doing it a lot. And then, um, more recently I started getting all the phone calls. You know, will you play on this and will you play on that. Um, are you gonna be available at this such and such date. Which is gotten a little bit more then, you know, I never planned on doing it this much. But I'm still having a good time and all things considered, it's been a lot of fun.

I spend most of my time writing material that's focused towards Guns N' Roses. But there's some songs that we just ended up not doing. And so I just go recorded it with someone else. [laughs] I mean, when Steven was still in the band, he couldn't play certain songs. There were certain songs that didn't make the record that I recorded with other people. And Axl and Duff were like: "Why did you do that?" I was like: "'Cause Steve couldn't play 'em". And we got a new drummer and we could have played 'em. Especially the Lenny Kravitz tune. But I'm happy I did it with Lenny, 'cause he's great and I'm glad the way that turned out.

Well, it's good experience, is what it is. It's like, a lot of these people I know. Michael was the one I didn't know at the time. But, a lot of these people I just gotten to know. Either from the business, or people I went to school with. Or... people that were friends with my parents. You know, stuff like that. And so we just get together and play. It's really not that big a deal. But, at this point, it's great to work in other people's environment. You know, I'm a pretty decent studio guy at this point. I can deal with any situation in any studio, just because I've worked with so many people. And it's how I keep active. Otherwise I'd fuckin'... I don't wanna be a complacent, fat, you know... Sitting around in a house somewhere doing nothing, because of, you know, I was successful with, you know, a couple of records. I mean, it's like good to keep working, and knowing that you still have the groove happening and your chops are still together and so on.

Everyone's so amazed that I go to these things and want to do it; I'm so totally out of place, but it's really cool. It's just grounding for me. It keeps me focussed on what I'm supposed to be doing. When I'm home, I can't just sit around and take it easy to the point of kicking back and doing the housework. I'll never change to that extent. So I just keep myself playing all the time, and then I'm happy.

It's a good thing that I've been doing so many outside projects where I'm so adaptable that I can play with almost anybody, within reason. All that experience of working with different people, in different studios, with different engineers and producers, not to mention musicians and so on, really is worth it. You might not think about it at the time. It just seems like fun. Looking back on it, it's really important for you to be able to take that experience and use it to your advantage.

Axl had been supportive of Slash's musical collaborations [see previous chapter], but in early 1995, Slash would indicate the opposite:

[…] [Axl]’s got this distorted vision, or thought, that when I apply my talents to the guitar - or however we wanna call it – that it’s automatically Guns N’ Roses material, which isn’t the case. That means Lenny Kravitz stuff, Iggy Pop, Michael Jackson and Carole King would all be Guns N’ Roses material (laughs). That’s not the case at all.

And in late 1999, Axl, admittedly hurt by the "divorce" between him and Slash, would state that Slash was throwing his talent away:

I never said that I was bitter. Hurt, yeah. Disappointed. I mean, with Slash, I remember crying about all kinds of things in my life, but I had never felt hot, burning, burning tears of anger. Basically, to me, it was because I am watching this guy and I don't understand it. Playing with everyone from Space Ghost to Michael Jackson. I don't get it. I wanted the world to love and respect him. I just watched him throw it away.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999

In May 1995, Slash would say he was going to do something with Iggy Pop again, but that he might have missed his chance due to being too busy with other projects [Guitar Player, May 1995]. He would later mention that Iggy Pop was his favorite artist to work with after Guns N' Roses [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996].

Talking about his musical collaborations:

I jam a lot now. When Guns was first starting, I didn't go out and jam with many other bands. And now I've jammed with so many people and done so many records and I've taken all that experience. […] People will read stuff about me getting involved in different stuff and give me a hard time about it. But fuck it, life is short, and if there is an opportunity to go out and do something, at least try it. I mean that's all I do. These guys are all friends of mine and where some people going out to play golf, we hang around and make a record.

I like jamming with other people — when it's their band; I like getting up with people that are way above par to see if I can stand up on my own and pull it off. If you have a good night, it means the world to you.

[Commenting upon why people want to collaborate with him]: Usually it's either people I hang out with, that I get along with, that happen to be musicians as well, or it might be something about my guitar playing, I don't know.

I just like playing and then it makes you sort of, you learn to work with different people in an environment that's theirs, it's not yours, it's theirs and it's cool because you get a lot of experience and then, at the end of the day, you can walk into any recording studio and work and be able to adapt to the situation, whatever, the environment might be like. As opposed to if I only worked with Guns N' Roses then if I walked into a studio and it wasn't, say, Axl and Duff and Izzy, Matt, Steve or you know, I wouldn't know what to do. So you go out and you take your chances and you just play with different people.

It's too much fuckin' fun, and life is too short. When things are getting too slow, you can always find a day in the week or a weekend to go out and play...If you don't take chances, you don't know what it would turn out like. […] Yeah, sometimes it can be bad, but rarely is it not fun. 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?

In 1996 he contributed to a "a couple of soundtracks", including the Beverly Hills Cop 3 soundtrack [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996]. he would also travel to Mexico and play on two songs with Alice Cooper on his June 2 show in Cabo Wabo [Online Chat, October 16, 1996].

When asked what he had been doing while Guns N' Roses were on a hiatus, he offered:

I've done, like, since the last... Guns' last show from the Guns' tour, I've done like 580 some odd gigs. So no I haven't had any downtime. I've been doing a soundtrack for a movie called Curdled -  that's a Quentin Tarantino movie. I wrote a song for that. And then we're working on the Howard Stern movie right now, which is uh… and actually in this particular hotel, I've been writing all this stuff in the studio downstairs. So I've been working and then I just keep playing, you know, doing gigs. Because if I'm not playing I'm not happy, you know, and if Axl and I aren't seeing eye-to-eye on something having to do with Guns then I just go, "okay peace, I've gotta go, see ya!" [laughter] and I go on off to work elsewhere until we do come to a meeting of the minds, you know.

He would also say he had played on what would likely be his mother's record [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996] and would describe the music as "a Sade kind of thing, dance music but with a little more to it than that" [Total Guitar, January 1997].

Among many other collaborations, Slash also played with Bobby Blue Band:

At first I asked Bobby 'Do you have a tuner or something?' He looked at me and said 'You got ears, man.' So then I go onstage, and I said 'What do I plug into here? There's no chord!' Finally someone gave me a chord and it was great...But that's just a reminder that if you want to play, you have to be ready for whatever unexpected occasions arise. You have to learn to adapt to any situation, no matter what it is.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:42 am


I wanted to go on a club tour for Spaghetti Incident, get back to the kids, but Axl and I didn't agree on that one.


After returning after the marathonic 'Use Your Illusion' touring and getting 'The Spaghetti Incident?' released, Slash wanted to get back on the road quickly. To him, the period between touring was always hard and he was suffering from "post-road depression" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

Despite Duff having said they had grown too big for club shows [Rip It Up, January 1993; Kerrang! January 1994], the Boston Globe would in November 1993 report that Slash had "half-persuaded" Axl to agree to a club tour, which would be "the best way to put the lid" on the Spaghetti Incident-project [Boston Globe, November 26, 1993].

In March 1994 Slash was talking about an arena tour and that he was "just trying to get back on the road!" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994]:

I'm thinking maybe we should go back to doing some medium size arenas or whatever with this record [= 'The Spaghetti Incident?'], so enough people can get in but I don't have to play in front of a hundred f**king thousand people a night.

Slash failed to get this tour happening. Eventually it was Axl who didn't want to do it:

'Cause I can't get Guns to go back and play clubs. Duff would do it, but Axl won't.

In early 1995, he would look back at this dream tour:

When ‘Spaghetti Incident’ came out, I wanted to go play clubs and get a chance to get toe to toe with people again. But Ax wasn’t into it. So now what? I thought we should play somewhere. We just never got a cohesive idea happening.

We don't really have anywhere to go but backward into clubs, and Axl doesn't want to do that.

I mentioned to Axl, “Let’s go play some clubs for the Spaghetti Incident, when that came out, and Axl wasn’t into the idea. And I was like, “What are we gonna do?” And you know, like, I don’t wanna get a huge orchestra, all that kind of crap on the stage. I just wanted to get back down to a normal rock ‘n’ roll level, which meant going back to clubs. You can’t get any bigger than the stadiums, you know. It’s not possible.

I can’t knock playing in stadiums ’cos there’s a sense of accomplishment there, but I don’t see why we couldn’t go back when we did ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ and play some clubs. But Axl just wouldn’t do it. So I’m getting a lot out of my system by doing this [Snakepit tour].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:58 am


In January 1994, the second single from 'The Spaghetti Incident?' was released (at least as a promo single) [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 28, 1994].

The only time I really lost a battle on a video was on 'Since I Don't Have You' where I came out of the water. That was something I had nothing to do with, but Axl refused to finish the video unless I did it.

When we did "If I Don't Have You," this lady who's now the president [of MTV] and very into women's rights, even little nuances in a girl's body were offensive as far as she was concerned. We had to fight. [MTV is] a very corporate, non-feeling organization.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:59 am


The third video in the trilogy was for the single 'Estranged'. The video was recorded in 1993, but the label had a problem with two records out and singles from both waiting to be released. Geffen decided that the song would not be released as a single. Mel Pusner, head of Geffen Information, would comment:

With the release of 'The Spaghetti Incident?' album in November, we were then faced with a choice of starting to release singles from this album or continuing with the 'Use Your Illusion' tracks. It was decided not to confuse the marketplace and the fans and to focus on the new album material. This does not preclude a possible future single release of 'Estranged' in Europe. In America, they're are not faced with the same problems as Europe as they are able to work more than one track on the radio simultaneously, as they have many different radio station styles in their country [RAW Magazine, 1994].
Despite this, the song was released as a single on January 17, 1994 [but maybe only in the US?].

Axl would talk about the story of the music video:

Eventually, I wrote the theme song to the story [by Del James]. […] I wrote it about my own life. […] It’s actually the song Estranged. […] It’s based around a song that this guy writes when it’s over in his relationship and what happens. And I wrote that song, you know? And I wasn’t even planning it - after I wrote it, I call Del and I go, “Del, I wrote the song for it.” And I had never planned on that. I never even thought of that. It just ended up fitting together, and I was on a different track, but the two came together. […] ["Without you"] is the last words of the last verse in Estranged. It just came about, it just fit. You know, it was not planned; it just fit. And all of a sudden I was like, “No way!” [November Rain: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part II, June 22, 1993].
We released a making of… One for "Don't Cry" and one for "November Rain" and we're making one for "Estranged"… Actually "Estranged" isn't… in some ways a part of the trilogy. It's more like part four. Part three was a mutual self-destruction of the couple that was in "November Rain". And… well, someone had other plans and we were in a position, where something we had worked on for five years had to be rewritten to kinda transcend it. So, it's a video about transcendence of a real life situation, that didn't have a whole lot to do with the story that was intended. And actually I'm kinda glad we made this video instead of the one we were going to make. To know about the story that was in "November Rain", you have to wait on Del's book. It's a story called "Without You" [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
[…] my friend Del James wrote a short story called "Without You", that was influenced by me and my ex-wife, in some ways. And then I ended up writing a song that fit that story, which was "Estranged". And so… You know, that was about, I don't know, four or five years ago and… The story started, then a couple of years later the song came about and then we started working on this project. And then in the middle of the project, or two thirds into the project, real life kind of changed all the plans. And we had to make something else and figure out how to rise above… As an artist, I had to figure out how to rise above my own creation that meant a lot to me. That I was kinda stop dead in my tracks and had to figure out how to make something else and… Like, write a whole new thing on top of something I'd been living to make, that I liked even more. And it was a really hard challenge and myself and the director, Andy Morahan was involved in this whole thing all along. And so was Del James and the band and… For all of us, it was a really hard challenge to rise above. Plus, we've spent 2.5 million dollars and we had to put it out [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
Estranged [=the video] was way late in the making, actually; because, I mean, it [=the song] was recorded two and a half years ago. […] Yeah, that’s when the record came out. […] we just did it [=the video]! You know, as far as schedules go, this band is just not adhering (laughs). So that’s two and a half years late. We’re not gonna do any more [Musique Plus, January 1994].
The video for 'Estranged' was filmed after Axl and Stephanie had broken up, which lent various challenges to the script of the video and how to resolve story lines from the previous videos:

At the end of the November Rain video, it says, “Based on the short story ‘Without You’ by Del James” - and that would be me. A lot of people have asked where’s the story, how did she die, and this and that. What we were going to attempt to do was let people know what her fate was in this video - [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
- where we had intended to make the sequel or the follow-up and the conclusion of November Rain. Things changed, plans changed. […] There was an evolving that took place that’s very hard to rise to, to transcend the story that we had and that we intended. But I’ve kind of been put in a situation where that’s what was necessary to make the right video [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
Talking about the water scene in 'Estranged':

You know, when you see the video, it's not anything close to as hectic as it was, at the time. I got down to... We did it at Universal Studios, and I figured it would be in some sort of tank or something like that. And I get there and it's the "Jaws" set, right. Which is a huge lagoon, man-made lagoon. And they had... guys on jet-skis, huge hydraulic fans making the storm happen. That whole sky behind me, the backdrop. And the water was like, some, I don't know, ten below zero. I had to stand in it from eight in night to eight in the morning. All right, it's three lousy seconds out of the video. [laughs] […] I had like paramedics checking me for hypothermia and all that stuff. It was a nightmare. […] And then, you know, the video comes out and it's like, you pop out of the water and there you have it... guitar solo bit. And then it's over. […] And all of Axl's shots in the water were either in Miami or in 92-degree water tank [97.7 HTZ-FM, January 1994].
Last week I played a helicopter rescue guy (laughs); and I attempted to save Axl in the middle of an ocean kind of setting. We actually went into this huge soundstage, where there was this really big, huge, gigantic tank that had a wave machine that created waves and flopped Axl right in the middle of this wave (?) [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
I was just informed, moments ago, that I’m gonna throw a thing, a little lifesaver thing off a ship (laughs). I don’t know. We don’t really act, you know (laughs). It’s like, they just kind of give us direction and we just kind of do it. I think if we, like, try to do any kind of acting it looks really stupid, because we’re not very good at it [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
My part was really – I don’t know if it really came across in the video; to me it does, but probably people don’t know really what’s going on. It’s trying to save Axl in the middle of the ocean. And really, when he was in the water and I was in the boat, it was pretty scary. I mean, at one point I was like, “Shit, I should jump in and save his ass” (laughs). And a few times I fell into the water. The thing tipped over, you know [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
Another drowning scene that was very – I went into the water for about eight hours or so, and freezing water. And it’s more mentally exhausting than physically exhausting [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
I really, really tried to save him, but no lucky. He went down and we’re gonna replace him. We’ve heard Elvis is back in business, and he’s gonna sing lead for us now, so... He’s actually nearby, we’re gonna go find him in a little while, and he’s gonna do the gig from now on. Axl has drowned. I’m sorry (laughs) [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
Talking about the dolphins:

Axl talking about the scene where police raided his house:

The dolphins was to assimilate a state of peace or state of grace. It was not originally intended, but in the next scene I will be drowned and go to heaven; and I really didn’t want to shoot a heaven scene. […] The music in the song always reminded us of whales at that particular point, and so dolphins showed up and it kind of brings all that together [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
Talking about his solo scene:

We’re doing this Estranged concept, and I felt with the town that I grew up in, where – I don’t know, this where I used to hang out, so it’s coming back to it where it’s a completely different deal, and the environment is completely different and the people treat you differently. So I’m just going to be doing a guitar solo through a group of – you know, the average Sunset hangout people, and I’m just going through and they’re totally oblivious to me. It’s very moody and I’m just gonna be playing the sad solo [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].
Talking about the live footage used in the video:

When we did this live footage we were somewhere in Germany. That was a real gig, you know. It’s no bullshit, it was a big show out there in Germany. And then we went down to Long Beach Arena, and rent out the entire arena and basically set up the entire staging again, and they got closer shots which is hard to control in a live situation [Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:00 pm

JANUARY 19, 1994

As previously discussed, Axl was a huge fan of Elton John. They had previously sung together at the Freddie Mercury tribute show in April 1992 and at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards where Guns N' Roses performed 'November Rain' together with Elton John.

Elton John has always been one of my biggest influences, and if it wasn’t for Elton John wouldn’t necessarily probably exist for Guns N’ Roses. And then John Connelly of MTV came up with the idea of having him play it with us in the MTV Awards. So that was a great honor, to have him play the song. I didn’t think that he really got his place in the song live, but just looking over and seeing him playing this song was just – I’ve never been that nervous but I felt that much under pressure and I was also blown away. You know, that’s Elton John sitting across playing the song, and he’s just into it, just doing it, whatever. And he kept teasing me and laughing, and I was, like, trying to keep concentrating cuz that was the longest version of November Rain, just mentally, to play ever. I was like, “When this song is gonna end so I can relax?” (laughs) That was pretty extreme, but that was kind of like taking the song to its highest peak for me.

In January 1994 Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Axl held the induction speech:

I've never done anything like this before, so this will be kind of simple put together.

I've never really understood what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was about, but tonight I'm getting an education, and I'm thankful for that. I've always considered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame kind of in my record collection, on my radio or now on MTV; but, more importantly, in our hearts and minds. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors the musicians who make the music, that not only becomes the soundtrack to our lives, but it actually helps us get through each day of our life.

And for myself, as well as many others, no one has been there more for inspiration than Elton John. Also when we talk of great rock duos, like Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, John and Paul, Mick and Keith, I like to think of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Also tonight I think that Elton should be honored for his great work and contribution in the fight against AIDS; and also his bravery in exposing all the triumphs and tragedies of his personal life, and the knowledge of these things helps ourselves get through things every day.

When I first heard “Bennie and the Jets,” I knew at that time that I had to be a performer. So now a man, who in ways is responsible for more things than he ever planned on (laughs): Elton John.

At the end of the induction ceremony which also included John Lennon's posthumous inducted, Paul McCartney was supposed to sing 'Come Together' with Bruce Springsteen. But supposedly according to jetlag, McCartney decided to opt out of this. On short notice Axl was reined in to do the duet instead together with Springsteen [Hartford Courant, January 21, 1994].

Another version of what happened would later be posted at Bruce Springsteen fan forum and youtube by "Will Hoffmann":

This duet was originally scheduled / planned for Rod Stewart and Elton John. Rod Stewart didn't make the event because of the earthquake in Los Angeles shortly before the event. As Bob Weir / John Popper and others performed on stage the production personnel approached Bruce with the lyrics to "Come Together". Bruce politely refused, repeatedly. The producers then approached Axl Rose who was at the next table over. Axl agreed and then pulled up a chair next to Bruce. After a minute or two of conversation, Axl put the lyrics on the table and Bruce and Axl hovered over the paper for a few minutes. As Bob Weir / John Popper et al. left the stage, Bruce and Axl simply got up, walked onto the stage and rocked. No rehearsal. No practice. Amazing to witness.

It is impossible to determine which version is correct (that McCartney and Springsteen was supposed to do the duet or Rod Stewart and Elton John), and it is also possible both are correct and that the original plan was for Stewart and Elton doing the song together but when Stewart couldn't make it to the show, McCartney and Springsteen was asked before McCartney pulled out and Axl was reined in at the last minute.

Elton John would later reminisce about the experience:

[...] I think the first time David really saw one up close was the night in January 1994 when I was due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York. I didn't want to go, because I don't really see the point of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I loved the original idea of it – honouring the true pioneers of rock and roll, the artists who laid the path in the fifties that the rest of us followed, especially the ones who got ripped off financially – but it quickly became something else entirely, a big televised ceremony with tickets that cost tens of thousands of dollars. It's just about getting enough big names involved each year to put bums on seats.

The smart thing would have been to politely decline the invitation, but I felt obliged. I was being inducted by Axl Rose, who I really liked. […]

So I went along to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As soon as I got there, I decided I'd made a mistake, turned round and left, ranting all the way about how the place was a f****** mausoleum. I dragged David back to the hotel, where I immediately felt guilty for blowing them out. So we went back. The Grateful Dead were performing with a cardboard cut-out of Jerry Garcia, because Jerry Garcia wasn't there: he thought the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a load of bullshit, and had refused to attend. I decided Jerry had a point, turned round and left again, with David dutifully in tow. I had got out of my suit and into the hotel dressing gown when I was once more struck by a pang of guilt. So I got back into my suit and we returned to the awards ceremony. Then I got angry at myself for feeling guilty and stormed out again, once more enlivening the journey back to the hotel with a lengthy oration, delivered at enormous volume, about what a waste of time the whole evening was. By now, David's sympathetic nods and murmurs of agreement were starting to take on a slightly strained tone, but I convinced myself he was probably rolling his eyes like that at the manifest failings of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rather than at me. This made it easier to decide – ten minutes later – that all things considered, we had better go back to the ceremony yet again. The other guests looked quite surprised to see us, but you could hardly blame them: we'd been backwards and forwards to our table more often than the waiting staff.

I'd like to tell you it ended there, but I fear there may have been another change of heart and furious return to the hotel before I actually got onstage and accepted the award. Axl Rose gave a beautiful speech, I called Bernie up onstage and gave the award to him, then we left. We drove back to the hotel in silence, which was eventually broken by David.

"Well," he said quietly, "that was quite a dramatic evening." Then he paused. "Elton," he asked plaintively, "is your life always like this?"
Elton John's biography, 2019

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:34 pm


In January 1994 it would be reported that Axl was playing the role of the villain's henchman in the Highlander III movie [The Daily Sentinel, January 7, 1994]. The villain was played by the actor Mario Van Peebles.

The same month it would be reported that Guns N' Roses would do the music for the movie, although Slash would say it wasn't decided yet:

Slash: "I didn’t even know that rumor had gotten out yet. […] Anyway, I’m gonna check out some footage, but we have no idea whether we’re gonna get involved in that, in all honesty" [Musique Plus, January 1994].

The movie was released in November 1994 in the UK and January 1995 in the US. Curiously, in February 1995 newspaper short notices would state that Axl featured in the movie [Press Democrat, February 5, 1995; Northwest Herald, February 10, 1995]. But the movie did not feature Axl.

Andy Morahan, who directed the movie and had directed the November Rain video, would later provide an explanation for why Axl dropped out of the cast, as told by Empire Magazine:

"Morahan had worked extensively with Guns N’ Roses, not least on the infamously overblown November Rain clip, and for a while it seemed that he had secured the coup of Axl Rose and co. providing the soundtrack. 'They loved that Queen had done the music on the first one and I had Axl ready to go,' says Morahan. But Rose suddenly revealed an unexplained dislike of Mario Van Peebles (on hand as cartoony main villain Kane) and refused to provide any songs if the actor remained in the film. 'So that screwed that one,' says Morahan. 'Miramax wouldn’t get rid of Mario. At the time I thought it was more important to have Guns N’ Roses!'" [Empire Magazine, July 2009].

The movie did also not feature music from Guns N' Roses.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:26 pm


If I don't play, I'll be a junkie in a hotel room somewhere. That's the honest reality.


I like being excited, which is why I have so much trouble when we have time off. When I get up in the morning, I need to have something to look forward to. I'm not very self-motivated; I'm not one of those guys that can get up and say, "I'm going to write a great song today." But if someone focuses me on something, I'll work my ass off. But usually someone or something else has to provide the impetus. I can be the laziest motherfucker in the world when there is nothing to focus on. I'll just watch TV and feel sorry for myself. [laughs].

One of the reason Slash was always busy working on different projects was to avoid getting back on drugs:

If I don't keep busy, I go crazy. Considering the amount of hours I spend awake, I really find it hard to… Even if I'm laying there watching TV, I have to be thinking about something I'm gonna be doing. A phone call or a practicing or something. And it's just because I like to be active. If not, I might start to get stagnant, then I find things to keep me… stagnant. You know, something I can just… lay back and not care about anything. Which isn't really the pattern I'm using at this point, to keep myself moving on. So I hide myself in working all the time.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:53 pm

1993-1994 - D-F-R

After returning to Los Angeles after the massive 'Use Your Illusion' touring in July 1993, Dizzy would start playing occasional shows at LA clubs under the moniker "D-F-R" ("Dizzy Fuckin' Reed") [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

Dizzy would also work on a solo record, to which Slash would contribute:

I've just been recording two of Dizzy's songs. I'll play you one. It's only piano and acoustic guitar. I heard it when we were on the road. […] It's really pretty [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:01 pm


When 1994 came around the band had song ideas for the next record, most coming out of rehearsals at the 'Use Your Illusion' tour but also at least one song from Axl ('This I Love'). See earlier chapter for details. In an interview published by Kerrang! in January, Slash would indicate they expected to record in February:

Me and Axl are talking about going in to record a new album in February, so I’m hoping to be on the road by the Summer...

The same month Slash would talk about what they had done so far:

Everybody had their own things to do [after the tour that ended in July 1993], and everybody gets isolated because no one wants to deal with the pressure of being on the street; people coming up to you and recognising you and all this other crap. […] Then we started recording, writing new songs, and got happy. We forgot about the outside bullshit.

He would also say he had been recording 8 new songs in his home studio:

And I built a studio in my house, so I've been spending all my time in there, from 8pm to 10 in the morning, recording new material for the next record. It sounds awesome!. […] And now me, Axl, Duff, Matt and Gilby are writing some awesome tunes. We're eight songs into the next record already.

And discuss the music they were working on:

Well, I don’t know how cheery it’ll be in terms of lyrical content; and what’s more, I won’t ever knock the ‘...illusion’ records for whatever vibes they might have, because they really f**kin’ mean a lot to us. […] With this one right now, everyone is really happy, even though we’re dealing with court cases, lawsuits, this, that and the other. […] The grooves on this record are f**king great. I don’t know what the finished product will sound like or how it will be received, but we’re all very happy and that’s all I care about.

On a joint radio interview on January 3, 1994, and likely conducted after the Kerrang! interview, Slash and Axl would talk about writing for the next record and Slash would say he had just sent his latest tape [likely containing the eight songs described above] to Axl [Rockline, January 3, 1994].

The majority of things are done on the phone, until we actually get in the studio. A lot of things over the phone and sending tapes back and forth. And we've done this for years.

In the same interview they would be asked about the musical direction of the next record:

Musical direction with the band really has to do with what the band… you know, what we do as a group or as an organization of people. You know, the six of us, constitutes. […] I mean, it's really simple and it's a lot less complicated than most of the public thinks. […] It'll be what we think is good at the present, that's all.

How about it's like, compared to the "Illusions", the direction will be a shorter direction [laughs].

Later, sometime in January after the 17th, Slash was up to 14-15 songs:

Anyway, so ['The Spaghetti Incident?'] was set and done and I built the studio in my house. And started recording material for the next record. So we got about 14 or 15 songs for the next record. […] we've got 14 songs done, at this point and as soon as I get back to LA from Canada, I'm gonna rent a place to live next to the rehearsal studio and then we'll just go in there and start jamming.

I’ve been working on the Gunners record ever since I got home after The Spaghetti Incident? was finished. I’ve built a studio in my house that the band can use and so far we’ve done 14 songs.

The Use Your Illusion records, if you really knew, if anybody knew the whole story of what we were going through, they’d realize how important those records are to us and why they took so long — but you had to be there. When you read the lyrics, it starts to come out. It was a real period of turmoil. This time around everybody’s more stable.

I mean, we had every reason to split up before those albums turned out as far as the obstacles we had to face. So as far as being able to pull off that tour and Izzy leaving in the middle of it and this, that and the other thing and being able to go back into the studio and do The Spaghetti Incident? . . . well, we just wanted to go straight back to work and do something else. So, it shouldn’t take as long (for the next album to come out).

[Talking about the direction of the new music]: […] it’s gonna be like, well, we have a new fusion jazz approach. We’ve been listening to Yes a lot lately [laughing]. No, it’ll be rock ’n’ roll.

I’m hoping we’ll be out before next year. But the best laid plans with Guns, as you know....

In the same month he would also say that the making of the next record was progressing quickly:

[…] we’re working on it, yeah. And it’s going very fast, considering we got off the road six months ago, put out “The Spaghetti Incident” and already started on the next record. It’ll be out sooner than usual, you know? […] I’d like to have it out this summer.

In a Q Magazine interview published in March 1994, Slash would talk more about the songs he was making and indicate they had nine songs done, compared to the 14-15 he had mentioned previously:

I instantly went back into the studio and started working on the next record, so we're about nine songs into it. In a perfect world, we'd have the record out in the summer.

In a Kerrang! interview also published in March, he would shed more light on the new music:

Most of it's really sort of slinky groove things, but real mean. They're cool. […] They're sort of like dirty sex, and there are some that are just fast and hard. There's a lot of really brash stuff that we've finished already that's really killer.

He would also suggest getting the record done quickly:

What I want to do, as opposed to last time with all the distractions and shit, is get between eight and 12 songs done, get in and record them real simply and quick. […] Because of all the work we've been doing up here, when we go into pre-production and were sitting in a room with a stack of amps and a real drum kit, it should be that much better. I can't wait!

And that there would be no covers or left-overs:

Some written on the road, some since we've been off. No covers - 'The Spaghetti Incident?' took care of that one - and no left-overs; anything even vaguely resembling an earlier-era song was squashed onto one of the two ....Illusion's. […] It's really important not to look back. When we did the '...Illusion' records we cleaned our whole slate. We did all the songs that Izzy ever wrote - because Izzy was really on the way out at the beginning of that; he started to phase out and we grabbed a bunch of his old songs, some of the ones that we were currently doing, some old songs from before Guns N' Roses, so we'd never have to think about it again. This is all just new stuff. […] You know how a lot of bands go, 'This is our best stuff'? It's such a cliche, so I hate saying it, but I'm really happy with this, so let's just see what happens.

Slash would also say that he and Mike Clink was supposed to enter pre-production by now, but that the January 17 earthquake in Los Angeles and Slash's subsequent evacuation to a hotel, had postponed this [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

In an interview published in July 1994, but likely done March-April 1994, Slash would again say they now had nine songs set for the next album:

We no longer live in the same room like in the early days, but we’re in constant contact for all the important decisions. I have a recording studio at my place, where Gilby (Clarke) and Matt (Sorum) come to play. We already have nine songs set for the next G n'R album.

In the same interview, Slash would say he had started working on his solo record, and so had Gilby, indicating that there were disagreements over some of the songs they had written and that Axl didn't want them for Guns N' Roses. So maybe only 9 out of the 14-15 songs they had in January were considered good enough for Guns N' Roses and the rest would go to solo projects?

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:10 pm

MARCH 1994

In March 1994 Erin Everly, Axl's former wife, sued him for assault and battery, sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress [Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1994; Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994; Detroit Free Press, March 9, 1994]. In the suit, Every would seek payment for injuries, pain and suffering and unspecified punitive damages [Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1994] from Axl "punching her, slapping her, shoving her, kicking her, tying her up, gagging her, spitting on her and dragging her by the hair" [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994].

After one alleged beating, Every had been injected with cocaine and heroin resulting in her being hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994]. The latter allegation likely refers to the Steven incident as described before and if so it wasn't Axl who was responsible for her overdose.

Everly's suit would be connected to the upcoming May trial between Axl and Stephanie Seymour, for which Everly intended to deliver a deposition [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994]. Everly had waited until now to file suit "because she feared for her safety" [Detroit Free Press, March 9, 1994].

The Seymour and Everly lawsuits would not be the first time Axl was accused of violence and domestic abuse. Gina Siler was an early girlfriend of Axl from Lafayette who moved with Axl to Hollywood and stayed with him there for some time. In an interview she did with Spin Magazine in 1991, she implied that Axl could get violent or at least threaten with violence:

And I don’t think [Axl]’s even conscious of what he does, or how angry he gets. […] I always thought that there was something chemical that happened to him when he was angry. That image of him sitting in that electric chair in that video ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, looking crazed, says it all. That’s what he looks like when he’s pissed off. And when you see that coming at you from across a room, coming near you, it’s frightening as hell. And I’m not very big, and that made it even worse. I won’t go much into that.

As noted before, in September 1991, when the band was filming the video for 'Don't Cry' which featured featured a fight scene between Axl and Erin Everly, Stephanie Seymour, who played Everly, said the situation was wierd because she had never fought with Axl:

It certainly makes things a lot nicer [to do a scene with Axl]. I mean, I’m a lot happier when he’s around. I think he’s a lot happier when I’m around. […] No, I’ve never had to do a scene [with violence] before. But it was weird, because we’ve never fought. […] Never. I mean especially not physically, but never even verbally or – we’ve never had a disagreement.

This scene was filmed before the Christmas party of 1992 when Seymour and Axl fought, indicating that in difference to the alleged violence with Everly, the relationship between Axl and Seymour, bar one incident, had been peaceful.

In July 1994, People Magazine would publish an interview with Everly where she would go in detail on how it has been living with Axl and repeat the domestic violence charges from the lawsuit [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. She would also claim that she had married Axl because he threatened to shoot himself if she didn't [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. After they broke apart, Axl tried to reconcile with Everly and according to Everly, sent her "flowers, letters and even caged birds" [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. The magazine would interview a female friend, unknown to whom, who would argue that it had been Everly who was the aggressor [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. Another friend, this one a friend of Everly, would state she had witnessed Axl beating Everly and acted like "a rabid dog" [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. Axl's former girlfriend, Gina Siler, would also be interviewed stating that Axl "could be kind and loving, and at other times he was violent and irrational" [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. Axl would not give any statements to People Magazine, but his "camp" would state that Everly sued for monetary gains [People Magazine, July 18, 1994].

During the deposition, Erin friend and Slash's former girlfriend, Meegan Hodges-Knight, would describe violent encounters with Axl:

I'd wake up to Erin saying, 'Please stop. Don't hurt me, don't hurt me,' and Axl screaming at her. And then all of a sudden he'd come out and he'd like, break all of her really precious antiques, and she would be, 'Please don't break them, please.' And trying to get them back from him. And he'd push her and he'd break everything he could get his hands on.

I remember sleeping and waking up to crystal flying over my head, shattering on the floor."


I remember asking Slash to do something, or I was going to do something. I said, 'I have to do something' or something like that. And he said "No, you're going to make it worse.'

Hodges-Knight also testified that Axl had kicked Erin with his cowboy boots, dragged her around by her hair, and spit on her [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000]. Erin would testify that Axl had sexually assaulted her [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

Alan Niven would comment on the allegations:

It was a very volatile relationship, but it takes two to tango. I think she contributed in certain ways, too. She definitely had a way of pushing his buttons.

In the end the case was settled out of court [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:17 pm


There is no 'next GN'R album'!

And then I played some of the songs for Axl, and he didn't want to do them. The music was too retro for him or something.


As previously noted Slash, Gilby and Matt had been busy working on new material for GN'R's next record.

Usually, I'm at Slash's every night. We work on new material and different things, whether it's my stuff, his stuff or whatever. He's got a studio in his house. We're working on some stuff right now - me, him and Matt.

I've never written a note with Axl; I've written a lot with Slash. He has a studio at his house, so we got up to his house and me, him and Matt will get together, we fuck around, we write songs, record them […]

In May 1994, though, Matt would say that the material was now intended for a "side project" after having been offered up to Guns N' Roses but rejected:

They didn’t like it. We were working on it for eight months and they really didn’t dig it. […] It’s just heavy, solid rock ’n’ roll. No pianos, no ballads.

Gilby would confirm:

There is no 'next GN'R album'! […] I don't know about ever. For now. We started working on one, and it got canned. […] it's an Axl thing. He just wasn't into what we were doing, so he's kind of rethinking what he wants to do. He just kind of threw a wrench into everything that me, Slash and Matt had worked to. And then Duff came in. […] Duff and Axl have an idea what the album should be, and the rest of us have another idea. So right now, we're not gonna do anything. […] GN'R's not gonna do anything, so we just go up to Slash's place and work.

For a while there, I contributed a lot [to the writing]. But now, I don't know how much I'm going to contribute. Like I said, Axl pretty much threw a wrench into everything. He didn't like what we were all doing. […] It's Axl's band, and he runs it the way he wants. And whatever he wants to do is gonna happen. So we can work on songs all year long and come up with 20 songs, but when it comes down to it, if Axl writes 10 songs, he'll go, 'I want my 10 songs on the record'. And that's what's gonna happen.

[…] Axl is of course the leader and after that comes Slash. It is true that the rest of us is contributing with material, but if you are a productive songwriter like myself it's impossible to give them all compositions.

Slash would later shed light on what had happened:

At one point I was actually encouraged to do a solo record because this material was a little bit, as Axl put it, 'too retro’.

I was hoping it would work with Guns. I was just writing at home, I built a studio, and I was experimenting.[…] It's a simple studio and Matt would be there to help me arrange the stuff. […] So I wrote all these songs and played the demo for Axl and he just wasn't interested. I said, "But this is really what I want Guns to do," and he wasn't into it. So I had all this material and Axl had all these lawsuits going on and he wouldn't have time to get into writing at that point anyway. So he sort of suggested I did a solo record.

I played some of the stuff for Axl and he didn’t seem to take to it too well. So I kept it and – I mean, it could have been Guns N’ Roses material at the time, if he’d been really into it, but that wasn’t a musical direction that he wanted to go.

I played Axl the material when it was in demo form and he said he didn’t want to do that kind of music anymore.

When I started writing all this stuff, you know, and I played [Axl] some of it, he was like, that wasn’t the direction musically he wanted to go in, because it’s basic hard-rock stuff. And at the time, I think Pearl Jam was like what he was into, and [laughing] I said, ‘Oh, wait a second, OK. I won’t have anything to do with that.’

When I finally made a record. He was like ‘I like this song and this song and that song.’ I said ‘Yeah? You hated it when I wrote it.

I played some of this stuff for Axl at one point, and... he was, like, going, ‘It’s too retro, it’s too like old hard rock, and I want to do something more like Pearl Jam.’ And I said, ‘Oh, no, no, no. We’re not going that direction.' So I kept the material […].

It's our band. So if I write something, my first and foremost priority would be to dedicate it to Guns. At the time, no one seemed to be interested in the material. Axl said, `That's not the kind of music I want to do.' I said, `OK,' and took it all back. We've had that happen too many times in Guns, when certain songs just didn't make it, and they would have been killer. I didn't want to lose any more material.

Before that was even really a concept as far as an album was concerned, when it was just like demos, I was like, “Well, this would make great material”, at least a great foundation for the band to work on. But Axl had made up his mind that he didn't want to play that type of music any more. So I was like, “OK, cool. Fuck it then!”

In another interview, Slash would say the songs were intended for Guns N' Roses, but that Axl didn't like them because he "was going through a Pearl Jam phase at the time" [Associated Press/Greenville News, March 3, 1995].

I was just writing the way that I write. A lot of stuff that I wrote for the Use Your Illusion records, you don't even know it's there. The kind of material that I like is on this record, which I would have loved to have been a Guns N' Roses record, but that's not the direction that Axl wanted to go in. I was really amazed that Axl was like, "No. I want to sound like Pearl jam." I was like, "Okay. I'm going to keep this stuff." That's where I got the concept of making a record out of it. I didn't know where I was going. I never seem to know that. I just stick my foot somewhere and take it from there.

Axl’s been wanting to make a record this whole time. But when we finally got together and I'd written some material, he didn’t want to do that type of music, cos the scene had changed. I’m not going to keep up with trends, so we had a conflict of interests.

And actually, that first Snakepit record [It's Five O'Clock Somewhere] was initially ideas that I had for the [next] Guns record. But at some point, Axl and I had a falling out over what kind of music would be on the album. I played him a demo of some of my songs, and he said, "I don't want to do that kind of music." And I was like, "But it would be an awesome Guns record, done Guns' way!" But he wanted to do industrial music, and he wanted to do "Pearl Jam"-[type] stuff.

Matt would indicate that the songs simply weren't good enough and that it was Slash's songs and he wanted others to play and sing the way he wanted it:

The Snakepit album could have been the new GNR album, but Axl didn't thought it was good enough. […] There was some good songs [on Snakepit record], but it wasn't a band effort, it was Slash's songs. It had nothing to do with 5 guys working hard in a studio, what we are doing with Guns right now. When Slash says "I'd like to work on that riff" and Duff answers "Yeah, let's work on it", it's really GNR. This has nothing to do with "This is a Slash song, you will play like that and Axl will sing like that".
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

Gilby would indicate the songs they had worked on might end up on a Slash solo record and that his own 15 songs would go to his solo record:

So as much as we work on 'em, it doesn't mean anything, because they may never get anywhere. Slash and I are working on some stuff right now together. It's stuff that we put together for the next GN'R record, stuff that isn't gonna make it now. So we're putting something together. We don't know if this is gonna be a Slash solo album or what it's gonna be.

[…] I had a collection of songs, there's like 15 songs that I had, right? And knowing when we started working on the GNR stuff, they were gonna use no old stuff, it was all gonna be fresh new stuff. I had all these songs and I didn't want them to disappear or have to give them to somebody else to do.

I gathered all my songs and did it.

These songs would end up on Gilby's solo record, "Pawn Shop Guitars" which would be released in July 1994 [see later section].

In June 1994, Gilby wasn't sure what would happen to the songs he and Slash had been working on but would reveal that Slash was now considering a solo album:

Me and Slash are working on some songs. It’s not for Guns N’ Roses, not for anything in general. […] It could be Slash’s album, this is what it could be, because Slash has been talking about making his own album. You know, because Duff did it, I did it, he can do it (laughs). He has some really, really good songs and, like I said, it’s gonna be a while before GN’R is gonna do a record, and this stuff isn’t really for GN’R, so he’s been talking about doing his own album. So he’s been working with me and Matt on it, you know, just trying to get it in together.


In late 1999, Axl would finally shed some light on what had happened and confirm that he and Duff had not thought the songs that ended up on Slash's Snakepit album were good enough for Guns N' Roses. Furthermore, Slash had been unwilling to work on the songs to improve them:

[…] what people don't know is, the [Slash's] Snakepit album, that is the Guns N' Roses album. I just wouldn't do it. […] Duff walked out on it, and I walked out on it, because I wasn't allowed to be any part of it. It's like, "No, you do this, that's how it is." And I didn't believe in it. I thought that there were riffs and parts and some ideas, I thought, that needed to be developed. I had no problem working on it, or working with it, but you know, as is, I think I'm with the public on that one.


In May 1995, rumours would state that Geffen Records was angry Axl had dismissed the material Slash had presented for him [New York Daily News, May 8, 1995]. The songs had been released on Slash's side-project, "Slash's Snakepit" and "bombed" [New York Daily News, May 8, 1995]. Geffen Records allegedly concluded that the material would have done much better if it had been released by Guns N' Roses [New York Daily News, May 8, 1995].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:23 pm


In 1992 Axl talked about writing an autobiography:

I've been working with a friend on putting information together and stuff. More truth and reality is going to come out if l talk with him than if l talk with someone who doesn't know what's up. I've always believed that the truth about what's going on in Guns N' Roses' lives is just as exciting and just as dangerous and just as heavy and just as real as people thought the hype scene to be [Interview Magazine, May 1992].
This friend was likely Del James, because in the November 1992 issue of RIP Magazine, James would talk about writing a biography on Guns N' Roses:

[…] this summer I'll begin writing an authorized Guns N' Roses biography, which will come out when the time is right [RIP, November 1992].
In January 1994, Axl would say more about the book, and indicate it was a biography of the band and not just Axl:

We've been working on a book since we started as Guns N' Roses, with Del James. We've been doing interviews for this book for a very, very long time, to try to get an accurate picture with all our own personal mistakes and our own personal nightmares. And actually it's very exposing. But, we wanna show, like, an accurate picture of who we are and where we've been. It's not necessarily favorable for us in some places. It's a lot of times: "I said that? What an idiot! I can't believe I said that." But we're gonna put it all out [Rockline, January 3, 1994].
In July 1994 Kerrang! would report that the book was destined to be released by DEL Books in 1995, that it was written by Del James and contained photos by Robert John [Kerrang! July 16, 1994].

In November 1994 the book's title would be revealed as "Shattered Illusions" and was "understood to be the inside story of the band with a great deal of input from the vocalist's side" [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:26 pm


I think we're all looking forward to a long break. We love being on the road and playing for the fans. But after almost two straight years out there you've got to get back in touch with reality. I think we'll all be dong that, but we won't be far from music. I know Axl has some ideas that he wants to try out, and that's great. Let him get 'em out of his system. When the time is right, I'm sure we'll all get back together again.

Whatever I may do in my free time, there will always be a Guns N' Roses. As long as Slash and I stay interested and motivated the band will be here, and there's no question about that. Where the band will go in the years ahead is anyone's guess, but I'm as anxious as anyone to see where that might be.

The band will be together again at some point, just – The band has not broken up. We’re just taking a break.

We came from poverty together and wrote songs that were or songs- we didn’t write them just to get signed, and we didn’t write them to sell. When we did get signed, the album didn’t sell at first. Then boom- it hit a year later. So we toured and toured and made two more records and they hit; we were playing stadiums before we knew it. When the tour was over, huge egos had been created, and we weren’t prepared for any of it. So a lot of shit happened.


After a dramatic tour that had held the band together through a collective goal, the band started to fall apart upon returning to Los Angeles in the second half of 1993. In the beginning of 1994, Slash, Matt and Gilby were busy writing new material intended for the next record [see previous section].

Slash would refer to trying to keep the band together in March 1994 when he would say that he was "trying to keep the band together as a cohesive unit so we don't splinter off" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994]. Around the same time, but published in July, Slash would refer to the band as his "family" and deny any rumours of the band breaking up:

You’re talking about my family. Rather than complain, you’ve got to move forward, be practical and reasonable about everything. I always try to communicate with the other guys in Guns, both on a personal and on an emotional level. I think you’re asking me this question because of the breakup rumours that have been flying around, but there’s no truth in any of that. We’re still working together.

So Slash tried to keep the band from splintering. But it didn't work.

The material was ultimately claimed to have been rejected by Axl and (possibly) Duff around April. With this disagreement over musical direction, Slash would continue working on the songs and contemplate another way of releasing them, Gilby would take his song and start working on a solo record, and Axl likely had enough to do with legal entanglements [Musician Magazine, March 1995].

In late 1997, Gilby would summarize what happened:

After that (“The Spaghetti Incident”) we got together and said, ’It's going to be awhile before we put out a record, everybody go do what you want to do.’ I said, I’m going to put out a solo record.'

In May, Matt would indicate that the band had fallen apart, but that it would get back together "when the feeling is right" [The Windsor Star, May 20, 1994].

Nothing's happening right now. We're not gonna do anything. We were gonna do a lot of shows, but we're not gonna do 'em now. Nobody's really getting along right now. Everybody just called everything off, and we'll work on it when everybody feels like doing it again.

It's really strange, because the band is like two separate things. There's the guys, everybody except for Axl, and then there's the band with Axl. […] When we're on the road, we're always together. We hang out together, just like a band. But that's not including Axl. And then there's the band with Axl. He just kinda comes in and does what he does, puts the vocals on and all that kind of stuff. So when we're in the studio, it's cool.

In June Gilby would again talk about the future of the band and imply nothing was expected to happen until the end of the year, and reiterate that he would focus on his own solo record:

I don't know! We did the Spaghetti Incident to hopefully buy us some time and shit and I think towards the end of the year we might like re-group and see what's gonna happen. But right now I don't think anybody's in the right state of mind to make a Guns N' Roses record. And I gave them my notice as to the next six months and I said, So, wait!' That doesn't mean they're gonna wait, you know, but I made a commitment to myself and my record company and people I play with. I think GNR is something that will be around for a long time so if I take a little break for now, I think it's OK.

Guys, you know what? There’s always rumors [about GN'R breaking up] (laughs). What happens is, when we’re on downtime like this, a lot of rumors fly because nothing’s happened. So people just kind of – you know, they – […] They have to write something. Look, as far as GN’R is, the band has always been in that situation where we always knew that it could be there one day and it could not be there the next day. It’s a very volatile situation. We don’t know what’s gonna happen. Right now we’re off time. Nothing’s happening. Everybody’s just gonna take – a lot of people haven’t even seen each other in a while. It’ll probably be another six to eight months before we even get back together to work on some stuff.

In July, Los Angeles Times would write an article about the problems within the band, writing "reports are that the volatile rock band Guns N' Roses has divided into two feuding camps, with singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash at war" [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994], and this story would be repeated in many newspapers [The Winnipeg Free Press, July 27, 1994; Star Tribune, July 30, 1994]. The main problem was the divide in the band between Axl and Duff on one side and Slash, Matt and Gilby on the other, with different perspectives on the musical direction of the band resulting in Slash starting a new band, 'SVO Snakepit' [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994] more on this in later chapter. Axl and Duff was also said to start a separate project [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994].

A spokesman for the band's management would also deny that the band had broken up but were officially on hiatus for the moment but intended to start pre-production for the next record shortly [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994]. Zutaut would confirm that GN'R, or "some part thereof", was supposed to start working on the next record "this weekend" [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994].

Around the same time, Gilby would say the band was on a long break:

We made a band agreement that we’d take a long time off until the next record.

The Times would also raise the point that the public didn't really care any more about GN'R, and quote Bryan Schock, program director of L.A. hard-rock radio station KNAC-FM:

When Guns first came out it was fresh and exciting. But now Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam are the exciting things. If Guns N' Roses puts together a solid record with an hour's worth of great material, sure, there's gonna be interest. But if they don't, this could be it.

At the same time as the Los Angeles Times' article was published, Kerrang! would shockingly report that Duff had been fired, after Gilby [Kerrang! July 16, 1994]. Slash would strongly object to the rumors that Duff had been fired and that Dave Tregunna, former bassist with Sham 69, Lords Of The New Church and Kill City Dragons, had replaced him [Kerrang! July 16, 1994]:

I’ve heard the Duff story myself over here in Los Angeles and I’m frankly really pissed off about it. It’s a nasty thing for anyone to spread around. That’s one of the worst rumours I’ve heard about us in a long time! […] Duff is an important member of this band - and nothing has happened to change that. As for this guy Dave Tregunna, who is he?! I’ve never heard of him before.

Slash would claim the band was working on new music, but that nothing had been put down on tape yet:

We’ve been busy on new material for some while. There’s actually nothing down on tape as yet, but the band is working together on a regular basis.

Around the same time the band would be pursued to play at Woodstock II which would happen in August 1994 [AP/Press and Sun Bulletin, April 21, 1994]. As usual, there would be protests against GN'R on the bill, especially due to the recently released Charles Manon cover on 'Spaghetti' [Los Angeles Times, May 1, 1994]. Eventually, then band declined the offer to play but Slash would play there together with Paul Rogers and Jason Bonham on a cover of Jimi Hendrix' 'I Don't Live Today' [Public Opinion, August 15, 1994].

I played Woodstock with Paul Rodgers. Guns was supposed to play Woodstock but we turned it down because I don't think Guns represents the generation that Woodstock represents. There's nothing about the '9os that relates to the '60s to me except for a couple people running around trying to keep the fashion going. It seemed very commercial so we bowed out. But I didn't mind going down there and playing with Paul Rodgers. He's one of the originals. But the crowd wanted so much for it to be real as possible. They made the gig. It was the crowd response and enthusiasm that made it. I had a great time. It was actually a lot cooler than I thought it would be. Aerosmith is from those days so you can't knock them. But I'm glad Guns didn't do it..
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

Duff would later look back at the reasons the band was falling apart in this period:

You know what it was? It was the fame. It was the press. It was the almost unlimited power. We got too fuckin' huge, too fast. It got so big, so fast, that in most countries, we couldn't even go out after the show when we were on tour. I remember we'd all be sittin' in the damn hotel room watching CNN just to see what was going on. It was that kind of isolation, that kind of fame'¦ and of course, us trying so hard to be bad boys like The Rolling Stones. For me, personally, it was one of the darkest points of my life when we were that big. It was so unreal. Izzy left halfway through the Illusions tour. We still were holding on to that band family thing. And like a trooper, he came back out on the road with us - even though his heart wasn't in it - when Gilby broke his wrist. Later, he told me we were like zombies. Nobody on the stage was even talking to each other. It wasn't because we were hating each other, we were just kind of going through the motions. So scary. In Europe and South America, especially, it was fanatical, and we were just dazed. WE WERE FUCKING ZOMBIES! Izzy couldn't believe the change. I mean, we were hell-bent on doing whatever we had to do to continue. There were riots in the streets. We couldn't go from our cars to the gig. That shit scared the hell out of me. Yet, through it all, I still thought we were gonna pull it together after we got off that long tour. It started to happen again for a second for us. I got excited again'¦ For about a minute. But no, it was just too big a business, and none of us had the training for that.

We started going to Slash's house. I'd gone out on the road promoting my first solo record [1993's Belive In Me]. I was touring Europe and Japan, then I got sick. That's when I started visiting Slash at his house. He has a little studio there and we had a batch of songs. But, ya' know what? Without Izzy, we just weren't writing the old way. We had a bunch of great songs, but the way we uses to write wasn't all sitting in a room and trying to force ourselves to be a family. We just were. But there was a point up there where it was looking good and we started cranking out songs, but it just started falling apart.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:27 pm

MAY 10, 1994

On May 10, 1994, Duff's alcoholism finally caught up with him dramatically. Slash would be one of the first to describe allude to something having happened:

Duff never had a drug problem; he had an alcohol problem as of late, which he's since physically had to stop.

Duff would describe what happened:

I had to [stop drinking]. My pancreas blew up. It was pretty black and white for me there when I was in the hospital: 'If you drink, you die.' But I didn't know how to stop. I really didn't.

My pancreas blew up. […] I was in so much pain they shot me up with two shots of Demerol and morphine, and then morphine, and I was still just completely doubled over. And then seeing the doctors faces turn white once they did the ultrasound. Like, "how is this guy still alive?"

I had health problems after that tour. I was very sick. […] It was really serious. My pancreas exploded! So I became clean […]
Hard Metal, August 1996; translated from French

I was in my house in Seattle when a small pain became acute. It was so bad that I couldn't pick up the phone to call anyone. Luckily, my best friend happened to come over to my house, and I got to [the emergency room].

I didn't go to rehab, I went to the hospital. My rehab was a lot different from the norm. Effective as hell, though. Ya' see, my pancreas blew up so bad, I was admitted into a regular hospital. I saw an image of my doctor's face turning white. I was going to die. Another surgeon came in, and I had to sign something. Meanwhile, I'm out of it on morphine, but sensing I'm to die, I let them cut out my pancreas to put me on dialysis. And then my mom - she's got Parkinson's Disease - she's crying. I even saw myself above the bed, like I was floating up by the ceiling. I question everything, ya' know? I've had two really close calls now where I saw some things. You can read these books like Into The Light, but I'm telling you, I saw something and I was enveloped by something. It was great. If they could make a pill of this and give it to everybody in the world, we'd never have a war again. Whatever it was, some people say it's just nerves firing off massive amounts of endorphins. I can't put it to that. I don't know what it was but it was something. It was bright and it was warm and I was very, very fine with going to where it was taking me. It was amazing and I'm not scared of death because of it.

We got off that tour and I, like, woke up one morning and I kind of hurt, you know? And then going from kind of hurt to I can’t move or even dial 911, you know? Luckily, a friend of mine came over to my house and I heard him downstairs, “Hey, where are you?” And he came upstairs and he said, “Fuck, it finally happened.” So my pancreas had burst.

I had laid off the drugs and joined [Guns N' Roses] for a European tour. I didn't do drugs anymore, but was drinking like crazy. I always needed a cocktail by the bed when I woke up in the middle of the night, because else I'd feel awful. I wanted to stop the whole thing but I couldn't. After Europe I went to Japan and then back home. I had bought this house in Seattle, the place were I was raised. I was laying at home when I felt this pungent pain. At the moment I thought it was weird, though to be honest I was in pain all the time, I was real fucked! But this time the pain began to extend and became so severe, and lasted so long that I couldn't even move. Not even wake up to call 911. Luckily a friend of mine dropped by, and I heard him down the stairs crying "Hey, were are you?" when he entered the door. I couldn't even shout I was upstairs, but he came into my room, found me and took me to the hospital. My pancreas had exploded and a shitload of toxins were running around my stomach. When this kind of thing fucks up a lot of people die, but I did not. I could go on telling you the experience in the hospital, but you don't want to hear the details.

He would also emphasize that it was the continuous drinking that caused it, and not any drugs [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996], and that the experience had been so bad that he didn't even want to drink anymore, two years later [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996].

It was the constant seven-days-a-week drinking and drugs. I couldn't wake up without there being a cocktail next to my bed. It was just constant abuse.

Interestingly, the doctor who treated him was the song of the doctor who was there when he was born [Music West in 3D, 1997].

Duff's condition, pancreatitis, does not result in the pancreas literally blowing up, but is an inflammation that caused swelling and possibly rupturing.

According to one magazine from 1997, Duff had planned another solo tour when he was hospitalized [Music West in 3D, 1997].

Slash would come and visit Duff in hospital:

[…] Slash, my friends in Seattle and my family were there. […] I'm the youngest of eight brothers, so I had my family by me in the hospital. It was very nice that Slash was there as well. He and me, we've shared some stuff together. We're like brothers.

And Izzy would call Duff:

By the way, when my pancreas fucked Izzy phoned too. We've always been friends and our friendship has gone beyond music. We've been through a lot of things together.

After being sent home after 8 days in hospital, his doctor told Duff that just one more drink could kill him [Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1998].

When I was released from the hospital the doctor said, 'if go and have even one more drink, you will die. Just have a beer, and you'll be dead.' I'm fortunate that happened. Before that happened, I was trying to stop, but I couldn't.

After coming home from the hospital. Duff took up martial arts, in Benny Jet's dojo [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996] to keep his alcoholism in check [Addicted to Noise, August 30, 1996] and by 1996, his health had improved vastly:

I had to do what I had to do or else I would be dead.

Well, my health is very good. Thanks for asking. Yeah, my pancreas basically… umm, expanded then exploded. So, that was two and a half years ago. […]  I really turned things around and I do martial arts and… and I just think totally different way about life. So, nothing takes its toll on the road now, you know. I'm ready for anything. So, thanks for asking.

You speak in the English language again, too. [laughs].

Well it had to happen. It's the only way you will stop. I saw myself in the hospital with all those tubes and shit. It changed my life completely. It was like "Hey, you can be proud for being here, you haven't died. You've done a lot of crazy stuff, and you ain't dead. It was the end you were heading for, but it did not happen. You are here for a reason". Now I'm enjoying a second life.

When guesting the Howard Stern Show in July 1996, Stern claimed to barely be able to recognize a fit Duff [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996]. During the show, Stern would play a phone message of Duff's being wasted [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996]. When asked what Duff wanted them to do with the tape, he replied:

Ah, man. I will let Howard and Gary hang on to it, man. Just to remind me, what I don't want to be. Man, that doesn't even sound like me.

Duff would also confirm that he had sobered up entirely on his own without going to rehab [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:31 pm

MAY 1994

In the first half of 1994, rumours would be spreading that Gilby intended to quit the band. Allegedly, he had informed close friends that he intended to quit his "day job" as soon as his solo record was out [Hit Parader, December 1994]. In May rumours would spread that Gilby had been fired. When asked about this, Gilby evaded the question [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].

That being said, being fired had apparently happened many times to Gilby and was par for the course:

I've heard so many reports that I got fired - and, you know, I've been in the band for two-and-a-half years, and I've been fired a few times. All kinds of people have been fired! […] For real. I've seen more than just me being fired. I've seen other people quit, I've seen other people fired, you know, whatever. It's not that big a deal. […] I don't know what's going to happen. From the day I got the job, I didn't know if I'd be there for a week, a year, whatever. […] I have been fired a few times, and it was for nothing that I did. That was another reason for me making my album - you don't know what's going to happen in GN'R. I don't know if I'm going to be around for the next album. I don't know who's going to be around!

In a letter sent from Gilby's lawyer, Jeffrey Light, on April 14, 1994, to GN'R lawyer Laurie Soriano:

As you are aware, Gilby has been fired at least three times by the band in the past month and has been rehired at least two times.

And it all comes down to Axl's fickle nature:

Axl and Slash call most of the shots. The rest of us just kinda go with the flow. You just never know, cos it's not our call. You're relying on Axl, and he changes his mind quite a bit.

Tom Zutaut would be asked about the rumors Gilby had been fired:

Those stories go round and round constantly, I don't think we'll really know who's (in the band) until they start recording.... I've learned with Guns N' Roses since 1986 that you never really know what's going to come out until it's finished.

Kerrang! would also speculate that with no official statement from the band about Gilby being fired, there was a possibility he was back in the band again [Kerrang! July 16, 1994].

I've been working with them all this time and I know the way things go. Axl is one of those people where it's just a lot easier if you don't figure him out because you'll never figure him out.
The Gazette/Reuter, September 4, 1994; from unknown earlier source

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:57 am


As the band splintered and grew bigger, different groups, or "camps", could be glimpsed among the band and its organization. Especially did Axl spend more and more time away from his band mates during the touring in 1990s, and more and more time with his friends and entourage.

As Lisa Maxwell would describe it:

Nobody really has contact with [Axl] other than his close friends, his assistant, his chiropractor [The Boston Globe, July 31, 1992].
And Izzy looking back:

I think these days Axl even has somebody to open the beer can for him. I don't know, I'm joking of course, but it got a lot like that. Those guys, especially Slash and Axl, are being protected from the outside world now. Even if they wanted, the powers controlling the band wouldn't allow them to go grab a beer in a local bar [Hot Metal, November 1992].
As usually, James Hetfield would be blunt:

[Axl]’s got a lot of yes men, which doesn't help him mentally […] [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].
An anonymous spokesman from Geffen Records would say:

I think [Axl]'s learned to enjoy being Axl Rose. He likes the idea that he can snap his fingers and make things happen. He can get away with it because once you get to know him he can be a very charming guy. He can drive you nuts one minute, then make you want to do anything he asks the next. That's part of his magic [Hit Parader, July 1994].
Axl were asked if he had people around him who would disagree with him, and he replied:

Yeah. I have some close friends in the band and in our organization. That's why I'm friends with them. We pretty much lay things on the line with each other [Musician, June 1992].
One of these close friends was Del James:

I proudly consider [Axl] a friend, but I'm not afraid to tell him what I feel or when I think he's being a jerk [RIP, September 1992].
We value each other’s opinions and have found a way so that our lives work together. If I need Del, he’s going to be there for me, and if he needs me, I’m going to be there for him. He treats people the way he would want them to treat him and a lot of people aren’t like that. That’s who Del is [Del James, "Language of Fear", 1995].
Slash would imply that there were outside forces making it hard for them:

The bigger it gets the harder it is, because the pressures get worse, the amount of time that you can spend being creative is limited, you have to deal with a lot of the business end of it and money, which is something, I don’t know, I don’t think anybody wants to deal with; you know, money and the hardships that go along with it. So it can be a drag. I mean, there’s a lot of bullshit that goes on and there’s a lot of, you know, people outside our organization, the record companies or in the press and so on, that just fuck with us all the time. And it makes life difficult, you have to get really tough. And the bigger you get, the tougher you have to get [Videomusic, June 27, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:25 am

JUNE 1994

Rumours about Gilby's being out of the band had circulated throughout 1994 [insert sources], among rumours that the band was breaking up [insert sources]. In an interview with Kerrang! published in late June, Slash would confirm that Gilby had been fired and was out of the band:

Gilby was fired from the band by Axl recently. We have been trying out a couple of potential replacements, but so far no one has really worked out. Gilby is working with me at the moment, and we shall just have to see what happens with him.

And later Slash would explain how it happened:

When this first came up, Gilby, Duff, Matt and myself were rehearsing. It wasn’t a great rehearsal, I was just trying to get Guns together. I had weird thoughts about what was going on, and then I got a phone call from Axl (about) the fact that he didn’t wanna write with Gilby but we'd keep him on as a side guy. He’s adamant. […] So I took Gilby to dinner and said this is what's going on; I just don’t want you to hear it from somebody else. Then Gilby had a conversation with Axl that didn’t turn out well, then there was a fight with Duff and the next thing you know everything was f***ed up.

The whole Guns N' Roses situation with Gilby wasn't as cut and dry as it seems. He wasn't really fired officially. Axl just didn't wanna write with him. He never even got a chance to write with us. And so, I told Gilby that that was going on. So he didn't hear it from somewhere else. Because if you know, in this business, leaks are like crazy. And it's just best to be upfront and honest about thing. So I told him what was going on. Then he had words with Axl and then in turn he had words with Duff. And that sort of cemented the, you know, the relationship, the departure. Whatever you wanna call it.

[The firing of Gilby is] a sensitive subject. Put it this way, it wasn't my idea. [...] What happened was we were rehearsing and Gilby was really out of it one day. The morale of the band, we were all trying to keep it together and he was the odd man out that day. I was complaining and then Axl called me that same night and said he didn't want to work with Gilby anymore for a lot of different reasons. In a way I sort of went along with it, at least Axl thought I was going along with it because I had my own complaints from that night at rehearsal. This was about a year ago. […] [The dismissal of Gilby] was never etched in stone, but it was etched in Axl's mind. I knew there was no argument. Axl probably thought I was totally behind it. I went to talk to Gilby because I didn't want him to hear anything on the street. I told him what was going on, and everything was in a state of flux for a while.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

[Gilby] got fired. […] I think it was writing differences basically. But it wasn't with me. I actually liked Gilby at the time.

One of the reasons Axl didn't want to work with Gilby anymore was likely that Axl felt Gilby's music didn't fit with the new music Axl wanted to make with Guns N' Roses. As explained by Gilby:

When (frontman Axl Rose) explained to me how he wanted to change (GNR's) music, it was clear to me that I was going to be a pretty small part of what was going to go on. He basically worked me out of the band […]

I haven't spoken to him (Rose) in four years. Axl came to me and explained he wanted to make music that was Nine Inch Nails meets Pearl Jam.

As soon as I finished[Panwshop Guitars], before it came out [in July], Axl came up with the idea that he wants to change the sound of the band. He wants to take the band in a more Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction direction.

It became pretty clear to me that I wasn’t going to be involved. Because I told him that I like a loud version of the Rolling Stones, that’s the band I want to be in. He said, ‘You know what, we're never going to be like that again.'

[Being asked when he last talked to Axl]: My last conversation with him was when he called me and was trying to explain what he wanted to do. And, basically, it was: I want to change the sound of the band. You know, I want to go more into a current direction. You know, I want to use, you know, more industrial type things. You know, he was really into bands like Jane's Addiction, Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails. And I just kinda laughed and said: You know, look -- I want to play guitar in a loud version of The Rolling Stones, you know?

The latter of Slash's quotes above suggests there could have been a misunderstanding between Axl and Slash where Axl assumed Slash also wanted Gilby out. Slash explicitly states that it was likely Axl thought Slash wanted Gilby out, too. Failure to correct this misunderstanding cemented the decision. When Gilby then talked to Axl, it is natural Axl would be steadfast on the decision, thinking he and Slash was in agreement.

Interestingly, in 1999, Gilby would claim Axl had tried to get Slash to fire Gilby a few times, but that Slash hadn't done it:

I had known for a long time that Axl was going to change the direction of the band. I knew the end was coming. That's why I dug deep into my solo career. There were days when Axl would call Slash and go, Fire Gilby - he doesn't fit in with my plan,' but he would never tell me. That was going on for a long time.

One day, the money stopped, and that was my clue [laughing].

But I knew what was going on so it wasn't a shock. I was never officially fired or anything.

If this is correct that would explain why Gilby was so ambiguous about his own status in the band - he simply didn't know he was fired!

The comment about a fight between Gilby and Duff likely implies that Duff had taken Axl's side, too, or agreed that Gilby shouldn't write with the band.

Later, after having left the band, Gilby would on a few occasions talk about his friends in Guns N' Roses and tellingly not include Axl or Duff [The Acron Beacon Journal, January 27, 1995]. This quote also informs us that the firing of Gilby happened before the end of June, since Gilby was still in Los Angeles rehearsing with the band at that time before embarking on his solo tour in July.

Slash would later again emphasise that it wasn't his decision to fire Gilby:

[Gilby] was shocked when he was fired, because there was no other reason behind it other than Axl had made up his mind. And of course I had to be the f**king messenger of bad news, which was f**ked for me because Gilby and I are really close. You don't play with people like that.

That had nothing to do with me. I want to sort of try to set the record straight.

[…] Gilby had just been kicked out of Guns N' Roses but was still with me. I didn't kick him out anyway.

These quotes imply that it was entirely Axl's decision and that Slash was against it, and downplay the fact that Slash had "sort of went along with it" as he admitted above. It serves to put the responsibility for Gilby's departure entirely on Axl's shoulders, while the quotes in Metal Edge and The Gazzette indicate that Axl had been under the impression that Slash agreed with the decision (and even initiated it) and that Duff also agreed with the firing. As such, what went down is much more complex than the simple "Axl fired Gilby" as Slash would be pushing in 1995 when he was on increasingly bad terms with Axl. And since Axl had stopped doing press, Slash's "Axl fired Gilby" became gospel.

In April 1995, Slash would explain that the reason why Gilby was fired came down to musical differences with Axl, and also that he wasn't really fired:

Axl and Gilby had some musical differences […]

He didn’t really get fired. It’s just that something between Axl and him wasn’t working

This is likely explained with Axl not wanting to write with Gilby but possibly tour with him again in the future, which also ties in with Axl's more fluid views on what a "band" could by, compared to Slash's more traditional perspective [see other chapters]. It also likely reflects Axl's decision to evolve GN'R away from the style of music that Gilby was into [see later chapters]. This is also implied by Gilby when he in 1997 would say he and Axl had planned to discuss the future after Gilby returned from his tour, but this discussion never took place:

We never talked when it was all done. It was clear I wasn’t part of the band any more.

In May 1995, Slash would explain what happened this way, avoiding mentioning that he had been complaining about Gilby and that he had left the impression with Axl that he agreed on the decision:

I got a phone call from Axl after Gilby, Duff, Matt, and I had come home from rehearsal. He was adamant that he didn't want to write with Gilby, and he wanted to explore some other kind of writing approach. He's always had this vision of teaming me up with a guitar player that's going to stretch my boundaries, whereas I still come from the old Guns N' Roses school where I do what I do and he does what he does. Getting two lead players to meet eye to eye is difficult, not to mention overflowing the record with self-indulgent guitars. I told Gilby about this. He was never officially kicked out of the band, but I think the feelings were so strong, and Gilby was so taken aback by the whole thing, that he was a little confused. Then he had words with Axl and Duff, and that more or less cemented his position out of Guns N' Roses. Then he went on to do the Gilby Clarke project. Gilby and I have always been the closest of friends. I will never really understand why that happened, and that was the first thing that instigated a separation between Axl and me. And that's why there's still a hole in the band to this day.
Guitar Player, May 1995; interview from December 1994

In July 1995, Slash would claim the problem was behind Axl and Gilby and that he wasn't fully informed:

It was something between [Gilby] and Axl, I'm not informed completely.
Folha De Sao Paulo Journal, July 21, 1995; translated from Portuguese

That Slash wasn't fully informed about the reasoning for Gilby dismissal, sounds quite unlikely considering the fact that he had talked to Axl about it prior to it happening, that Slash was the one that informed Gilby, and that he talked extensively to Gilby about it afterwards. Again, it seems like Slash is trying to wash his hands of it and put all the blame on Axl. Granted, the interview is translated from Portuguese, and there could be an error in the translation.

In 1996, Matt would also imply it had been all Axl's decision and that the rest of them were informed in a phone call:

We all got a phone call, he's out. And we were kind of bummed out 'cause we really like Gilby. He's a really nice guy. Now he's suing us.

Again, this is not entirely through since Slash, and possibly Duff, had been part of the process.

In another contemporary quote from Matt he would imply that Axl, Slash and Duff were all behind the decision:

When it was Gilby, humm, when I learned that he was fired, it was difficult. There was Slash, Duff and Axl, the 3 original members of the band and they said they had to tell me. I didn't knew what to say. It's their band and I didn't knew how to react. I said OK. […] [Gilby's] a great guy. But I don't know if he was the good guy to write the new album with us. We did some songs together, but Axl thought it was not good enough. And Axl is really intelligent and he always make the good choices. I must agree with him, because he's a visionary. He knows what GNR should be 2 or 3 years in advance.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

Later, Gilby would talk about coming to grips with being out of the band:

It came at the strangest time. I was at that point where I was really happy. I had my big band, I really liked the band. I was making my own songs and everything was perfect. Then boom! ‘No! We’re changing directions.’ I knew it was going to end. I always had that feeling that something bad was going to happen in that band. I was just bummed.

Later Slash would claim the firing of Gilby was the start to the end between his and Axl:

Unfortunately, when he got fired from Guns, I was completely - that was the beginning of when I left Guns, because I felt that Axl was losing touch with where I was coming from, and it sort of snowballed after that, on the down side. I sort of just went, OK, Axl, you do what you're gonna do. But as far as rock'n'roll is concerned, yeah, there's a few guys around that actually know it pretty well.

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:25 am


With Gilby being fired from the band they needed a replacement for the replacement.

It seems from the quote below that the band had tried out replacements for Gilby even before he was fired, and at least before June 25 when the quote below was published:

Gilby was fired from the band by Axl recently. We have been trying out a couple of potential replacements, but so far no one has really worked out. Gilby is working with me at the moment, and we shall just have to see what happens with him.

It would also be indicated from this quote from Slash where he says that Paul Huge can in after Axl rejected the new material, and not necessarily after Gilby had been fired:

Axl’s been wanting to make a record this whole time. But when we finally got together and I'd written some material, he didn’t want to do that type of music, cos the scene had changed. I’m not going to keep up with trends, so we had a conflict of interests. That’s when Paul Huge came in.

In November and December, Slash would mention that another guitarist had come in to take Gilby's place:

We’ve talking about it for the last year. We just haven’t really - you know, with the absence of Gilby there was a hole in the band. Then there was a new guy that came in, but we haven’t really all come to a cohesive decision as to what exactly we’re gonna do.

Axl wanted to bring a friend of his in that I didn't like. Right now there's a big hole on second guitar.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

The guitarist that Slash refers to here, and was an Indiana friend of Axl's, was Paul Huge [The Gazette, January 26, 1995]. When Slash mentions they have not reached a "cohesive decision" on Huge, that would be an understatement hiding Slash's refusal to work with Huge [more on this in later chapter].

In October, media would claim the replacement guitarist was Paul Huge ("pronounced Oo-gee") who was described as a "thinner, lighter-haired Axl" [News Pilot, October 7, 1994]. Slash would later say they played with Paul for two weeks [Kerrang! September 14, 1996].

It is not known who else were potential replacements and played with the band as indicated in the Kerrang! quote. One possibility is Dave Navarro, whom Axl had tried getting in when Izzy left [see previous section]:

But the idea of working with [Navarro] excites me to no end because I still put on Jane's Addiction and it always seems brand new, no matter how many times I hear it. I'd like to try to achieve a fusion of what they were trying and what GNR is doing. I think that blend, if taken seriously and patiently, could be amazing. It could be a fuller thing than anyone's done before. Dave and Slash together could be incredible-two guys very "out there" on their own, working together. […] I think the world kind of missed Dave. I'd really like to help fix that.
Hit Parader, June 1993; interview from December 1992

Media would report that the band was indeed considering hiring Navarro [Hit Parader, December 1994].

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:26 am

JULY 24, 1994

I enjoy making my own music. I certainly enjoy working with the members of Guns N' Roses, but there really isn't much room for my songs in the band. Slash and Axl really have an incredible capacity for creating great songs, and I don't want to be appeased with having maybe one token song on an album. I think I'd find that a little frustrating.
Hit Parader, December 1994; originally from earlier source


Gilby had been working on a solo record for a while. By January 1994 Slash would say Gilby's solo record was "pretty much finished" [Rockline, January 3, 1994], and in May 1994 he would report it would be called 'Pawn Shop Guitars' but didn't know what his solo band would be named [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].

I had this project in mind long before I joined Guns n' Roses. In fact, most of the songs on Pawn Shop Guitars date from that period, which doesn’t have much to do with the music of Guns, even if it's still rock n' roll.

Some of this stuff was before GNR - you know, when we were playing in The Blackouts and stuff. And then, some of it I wrote on the road, but, you know, I didn’t have any time to write songs and stuff while we were out. But, as soon as I got off the road is when I went in to make it, you know, just a – I didn’t know what we were gonna do with GNR, so I just wanted to go in as fast as possible.

Well, we took, like, about three months to make it, and that was too much longer than I wanted to do it. So I kind of like (?). “I know you wanna work harder on it,” “Nah, it’s just fine, man, let’s just leave it.”

In 1999, Gilby would admit the songs had been intended for Guns N' Roses, but that the band simply wasn't interested in them:

I had a backlog of songs that I had ready to go. I brought those songs to the band, because we weren't sure if we were going to make a new record. Nobody was really interested in them, so I just said, You know, I'm gonna put out my own record. If anyone buys it, they buy it; if they don't, they don't.

This would be highly similar to the fate of the songs Slash had worked on [see previous chapter].

Gilby intended to do a tour in Japan and then a tour in the US in July [Kerrang! May 14, 1994], because of his touring plans he had informed Guns N' Roses he would be unavailable from "July until the end of the year" for any GN'R work [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].

(It was) something I'd always wanted to do. It was the perfect time - I knew that the band wasn't going to do anything for a long time.

Slash, Duff, Matt and Axl would all feature on the record [UG Rock Chronicles, June 13, 1994].

I don't know why Axl didn't play on Duff's album, but he was easy to work with on mine. He came down to the studio, wasn't terribly late [laughs] put down the vocals and the result was good. […] Axl came down, played piano and when he was ready he said "do you want me to sing too?". I was surprised and answered "and I thought you didn't want to."

All the Guns members came to help me out - even Axl plays the piano and sings on a song. I think it gave them a good opportunity to get their heads together before they started writing the songs for the next album. Then there’s my friend Frank Black of the Pixies and Rob Affuso, the drummer in Skid Row, who also guest on the album. It's good to make a record like that, with friends.

I had actually asked Axl to come play piano on the song, because he plays piano very well," Clarke said. I just thought it was kind of like an odd thing, kind of like having Frank Black (ex-Pixies) play on 'Jail Guitar Doors.' I had no intention of him singing, and then he said, "So, you want me to sing with you or what?"

Talking about touring with his own band while GN'R was on a break:

I don't know! We did the Spaghetti Incident to hopefully buy us some time and shit and I think towards the end of the year we might like re-group and see what's gonna happen. But right now I don't think anybody's in the right state of mind to make a Guns N' Roses record. And I gave them my notice as to the next six months and I said, So, wait!' That doesn't mean they're gonna wait, you know, but I made a commitment to myself and my record company and people I play with. I think GNR is something that will be around for a long time so if I take a little break for now, I think it's OK.

I would like to do it. I even considered putting together a touring band, but we started rehearsing with Guns n' Roses. We are working on the songs for the next album and I don't know if I’d have the chance to do a solo tour.

In late 1997, Gilby would summarize what happened:

After that (“The Spaghetti Incident”) we got together and said, ’It's going to be awhile before we put out a record, everybody go do what you want to do.’ I said, I’m going to put out a solo record.' The band was very supportive, everybody came and played on it. It was awesome.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:04 pm; edited 17 times in total
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