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THE HISTORY - IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:52 pm

FEBRUARY 1998
LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER - YOUTH?


In February 1998, it would be reported that fors producers were considered for the project: Scott Litt (R.E.M.), Steve Lillywhite (U2), Mark Bell (Bjork) and Youth (the Verve) [Rolling Stone, February 20, 1998]. In February 1998, Bryn Bridenthal would also confirm that Axl was meeting with different producers [MTV News, February 11, 1998]. In April it was reported that Youth had been selected, but again no one would officially confirm this [MTV News, April 21, 1998].

Youth would later talk about the band rehearsing the old songs for a Greatest Hits package:

When I walked into the studio, they were rehearsing the old songs to record for a greatest hits package. They were gonna do them exactly the same way. So my first project was to sort of dissuade Axl from doing that.


Interestingly, Axl wuold later confirm that the band did re-record almost the entire Appetite for Destruction, but the songs that would be featured on the band's upcoming Greatest Hits record would not contain re-recorded music.

By April 1997, rumours would spread that Youth (Martin Glover) had indeed been chosen as the producer for the album [Rolling Stone Magazine, September 18, 1998], but according to sources, things just "didn't work out" [Rolling Stone Magazine, September 18, 1998]. In September, it was again reported that Youth would indeed be producing the music that would come out of the planned September recordings [Muzic.com, September 3, 1998].

Doug Goldstein would later shed light on Youth and GN'R:

Axl tried out Youth; he was great, he just wasn't the guy.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:51 am

DECEMBER 1997-1998
WORK ON THE NEW RECORD


In February 1998, when asked about what the current lineup was, Bryn Bridenthal would only mention Axl and Dizzy, and not confirm that either Matt or Duff was out [MTV News, February 11, 1998]. But then, just some days later, Doug Goldstein would confirm that the lineup was comprised of Axl, Dizzy, Paul and Robin [Rolling Stone, February 20, 1998]. Goldstein would also shed some light on their work process:

They each take a CD home, listen for cool parts, pick them out, and that's how they build songs.


He would also confirm they had recorded more than 300 hours of material [Rolling Stone, February 20, 1998].

In April though, it would be claimed by MTV that they hadn't finished any songs, and that they didn't intend to start recording until the summer [MTV News, April 21, 1998]. That no songs were recorded seems to be contradicted by Moby who knew the project well:

Axl had finished several songs that sounded like rock music with sampling technology and were really good.

They wanted to make a record that involved more contemporary production techniques. At one point Rose told me how much he liked the DJ Shadow record.


A spokesperson said that it was highly unlikely a record would be out this year [MTV News, April 21, 1998]. At the same time, according to Spin, a source would claim that the band has amassed more than 1,000 rehearsal tapes [Spin, April 1998].

It's entirely possible that Guns N' Roses will deliver an album by the end of the year. But I've been saying that for the past three years.


Talking about the slow progress:

Axl is concerned about being relevant.

Axl is really worried about what's gone on musically in the '90s. Most of Use Your Illusion I & II was written while we were on tour. But then when it came time for this record, he had too much time on his hands and started overanalyzing everything and studying bands he heard on the radio and saw on MTV. Truth is, if kids want to buy a techno record, they're not going to buy Guns N’ Roses.

Axl isn’t going to force an album because of commercial pressures. He’ll keep trying different people and things, and when it’s right—however long it takes—he'll be ready to put out a record.

Slash and Axl really thought they could work out their differences. They tried for a couple of years to see if they could agree creatively. Once it became clear that they couldn't, we then had to assemble people who could.


By April is was claimed Geffen had spent "well over $1,000,000" on the project and that the ever-changing release date had "become a running joke at the label" [Spin, April 1998].

In early July it would be stated that the band had booked studio time for August [Muzic.com, July 10, 1998]. Later in the same month, it would be reported that the band was indeed recording [Stevens Point Journal, July 11, 1998; MTV News, July 28, 1998] with a lineup that included bassist Tommy Stinson and drummer Josh Freese [Entertainment Weekly, July 31, 1988], making the new lineup Axl, Robin, Dizzy, Tommy and Josh. Paul would not be mentioned. The plan was to release the record in 1999 [MTV News, July 28, 1998].

An anonymous person from "Rose's camp" would state:

I think this news will put to rest any rumors that Axl has joined the witness protection program.


The recording caused some scheduling conflicts for the highly sought-after session drummer Josh:

As soon as I discovered the studio time would conflict with the Vandals tour. I told the other band members [of the Vandals] they should find a replacement. It was a hard decision, but I figured it would be better than canceling the tour altogether.


In early September, it would be claimed the band hadn't done any recording yet, but was scheduled to go in later in the month [Muzic.com, September 3, 1998].

In September 1998, the remixer/engineer Critter, was said to be working with the band on recording and programming [Rolling Stone Magazine, September 18, 1998], and the band was said to be hoping for a mid-1999 release [Rolling Stone Magazine, September 18, 1998].

In October 1998, a spokesperson at Geffen Record would say that the band hoped to have a record out by 1999 [MTV News, October 21, 1998].

Although Guns N' Roses was quickly becoming less and less relevant to the music scene, Axl still had his fans:

I know Axl pretty well, which basically means I don’t understand him at all. I just don’t get it. Guns N’ Roses is the last great hope for hard rock. If they got back together and made a straight rock record, it would sell 15 million copies.

I mean I can't wait for him to make a record, and come back, and I think Axl is great. I know I'm very much of the minority, but I think Axl is great. I think he's gonna make a great record, whatever decade it ends up being, and, hum, you know, I'm counting on it.

I think I'm totally the minority, in that I think he's gonna pull it off. A lot of people think he's just really selfish and stuck-up, but he's also really smart. It's not gonna be a Guns N' Roses record, in what the rest of the world understands as a Guns N' Roses record.


In December it would be reported that the band had been working in the studio since July, but mostly been in pre-production [New York Daily News, December 17, 1998]. A spokesperson would say:

[Axl]’s only seriously now in the studio recording.


The estimated release date was in the summer of 1999 [New York Daily News, December 17, 1998].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:54 am

JANUARY 1998
CHRIS WEBER SUES GUNS N' ROSES


In February 1998 it would be reported that Chris Weber, from Hollywood Rose, was suing Guns N' Roses over royalty disputes for the songs 'Shadow of Your Love' and 'Back Off Bitch.' [Los Angeles Daily News]. According to the suit, Weber had been part of writing these songs and were owed royalties [Los Angeles Daily News]. It would also be reported that Weber had launched court action in 1991 involving three songs that he was credited on, but that these records were sealed [MTV News February 6, 1998].

In 1998, Weber was allegedly thinking about starting Hollywood Rose again [MTV News February 6, 1998]. It would also be said that he had considered releasing Hollywood Rose songs, but that Axl had blocked this [MTV News February 6, 1998].

Doug Goldstein would comment on the suit:

I'm not overly concerned about it. Basically, it's a nuisance lawsuit. I checked with all the clients I represent, and they vehemently deny his (Weber's) writing those two songs. In fact, one of the songs was written before he was even in the band, according to Axl.


Gregory Ehrlich, Weber's publisher, would claim there was video evidence from 1983 of Weber and Axl performing one of the songs together, to which Goldstein would remark:

I've been hearing about that video for four years and have yet to see it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:15 pm

FEBRUARY 11, 1998
AXL IS ARRESTED IN PHOENIX


In the evening of February 10, 1998, Axl was arrested at Phoenix airport for "disorderly conduct" [MTV News, February 11, 1998; Arizona Republic, February 12, 1998].

Rose had been celebrating his 36-year birthday in Phoenix with friends, and got in a fight with security screeners at the security gate at the airport [MTV News, February 11, 1998; Arizona Republic, February 12, 1998]. According to a spokesperson for Axl, "a bubble-wrapped glass gift" that had been in his carry-on baggage, "began to topple to the floor" and when Axl "grabbed the falling gift" he was told to stop which resulted in a squabble [MTV News, February 11, 1998].

According to sergeant Mike Torres of the Phoenix Police Department, had refused to let airport personnel inspect his carry-on bag, and began shouting obscenities which resulted in his arrest  [MTV News, February 11, 1998].  More specifically, as Axl was told the carry-on had to be hand-checked, he allegedly started swearing, shaking his fist in the person's face, and yelling, "I’ll punch your lights out right here and right now!" [Police Report, February 10, 1998; Arizona Republic, February 12, 1998]. He also allegedly said, "I don’t give a fuck who you are. You are all little people on a power trip"  [Police Report, February 10, 1998; Arizona Republic, February 12, 1998]. When he was told that if he didn't stop his behaviour he would go to jail, Axl allegedly replied, "I don't give a fuck. Just put me in fuckin' jail. You are all a bunch of little people on a power trip!" [Police Report, February 10, 1998].

Bryn Bridenthal would comment on the incident:

[Axl] just wanted them to be careful and he just wanted to protect it. He had just a normal, everyday reaction to it.

His response wasn’t a particularly rock-and-roll response or an unusual reaction.


As the result of the commotion, Axl was charged with one case of a class one misdemeanor, which would merit either a $2,500 fine and/or six months in jail [MTV News, February 11, 1998]. Axl would have to go before the court in ten days for sentencing [MTV News, February 11, 1998]. Court date was later set to January 8, 1999 [MTV News, December 3, 1998] and then postponed to February 5 [MTV News, January 8, 1999]. At the court hearing Axl phoned in a plea of no contest and received a $500 fine and time served (the 2-3 hours Axl spent in jail when arrested) [MTV News, February 19, 1999]. According to sources, Axl decided not to fight the charges to be able to continue the work on the record [MTV News, February 19, 1999].


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:28 pm

MARCH 1998
JOSH FREESE JOINS THE BAND


In March 1998 it would be reported that Josh Freese had started rehearsing with the band [MTV News, March 5, 1998]. Band management would not confirm this rumour though, saying, "there's nothing we can confirm at this time, hopefully soon, but not now" [MTV News, March 5, 1998].

In 2000, Josh would describe how it happened:

The music business can be a very small community sometimes. I guess my name came up. I thought it was different than a lot of projects I've been involved with. It turned a lot of heads with my friends.


Despite this, a "source close to Josh" would imply that Josh was just in it for the money:

They're paying Josh an obscene amount of money for two days of rehearsal a week. [But] Josh has kind of an 'I don't give a fuck' attitude about it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:49 pm

JOSH BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:51 pm

APRIL 1998
TOMMY JOINS THE BAND


The first rumours that Tommy Stinson would be replacing Duff came in April 1998 [MTV News, April 21, 1998; St. Cloud April 30, 1998].

Initially it would be reported that Tommy had been jamming with Guns N' Roses for three night a week for the last three weeks, but that he was not a permanent member of Guns N' Roses [Star Tribune, April 28, 1998]. Peter Jesperson, the head of Tommy's band Perfect's label Medium Cool Records:

This is not a permanent thing. Tommy made it clear from the start that he's got his own band. If Tommy were available, maybe they’d make an offer. It’s like someone asking him to do a session. […] He’s a musician. One day, he rehearsed with Perfect from 4 to 7 and with Guns ’N’ Roses from 10 to 3:30 in the morning. Tommy is working; it’s a joy to see.


In August it would be reported that Tommy was not officially part of Guns N' Roses [City Pages, August 5, 1998].

An anonymous source "close to" of Tommy would imply he joined Guns N' Roses because he was broke:

[Tommy] hadn't worked in a long time. Tommy didn't get nickel one from the Replacements. [So] he bought a used copy of Appetite, and learned the bass lines.


Despite apparently working with Guns N' Roses, Tommy still had time for other projects, and on November 14, 1998, he was scheduled to play a show in New York city with his band 'Perfect' [Rolling Stone, November 14, 1998].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:01 am

TOMMY BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


PERSONAL LIFE


Tommy has a daughter, Ruby, who, in 1998, was living with his ex-wife in Minneapolis [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998].


THE REPLACEMENTS


Tommy's most famous band before joining Guns N' Roses was 'The Replacements'.

The Dallas Observer would describe the band:

What he was with the Replacements was the bass player, the guitarist's little brother, the teenage freakshow. His brother Bob might have lit fireballs of angst and reckless hilarity onstage, Tommy and drummer Chris Mars might have contributed equally to the band's hedonist legend, but it was singer-guitarist Paul Westerberg's songs of deep romantic yearning and youthful dissatisfaction that made the band's antics ring true. A bunch of drunk guys onstage pinching each other's asses doesn't mean much, but coupled with such songs as "Color Me Impressed" or "Here Comes a Regular" or "Unsatisfied" or dozens of others, the mischief played like passion, like every note might be the last.

As ever, the hard living took its toll. Bob was kicked out in '87 when his bad habits became too much even for his bandmates. Westerberg's marriage eventually fell apart. So did Tommy's. And Westerberg's songs became contemplative, mellow, mature. The band's cult and legend had failed to turn into much commercial success; the broken expectations, the personal conflicts, and the lifestyle itself eventually caused the band to self-destruct in 1991. Tommy had spent his teenage years in a drunken rock cartoon, and, since he hadn't been the songwriter, had few tangibles to show for it--save the stories about stink bombs, trashed Winnebagos, pissing in ice machines, bouncer riots, and chemical intake.


Tommy would himself talk about the reputation they had:

We did all that, no doubt about it. At one point we were actually laughing at the stories we were reading about Guns N' Roses: 'You've got to be kidding! They're writing about this?' We were an emotionally fucked-up bunch of guys. We were a few fries short of a Happy Meal, for sure. But I get really tired of people coming up and going, 'Man, you guys were so great! I saw you when you guys couldn't even stand on stage!' But do you remember any of the songs?


Interestingly, this quote came from an interview published in May 1998, about a month after the first rumours started spreading about Tommy being involved with Guns N' Roses. Curiously the interview doesn't contain questions regarding Tommy and GN'R, but Tommy's reference to GN'R above is unlikely to be entirely coincidental.


BASH & POP


After The Replacements ended, Tommy travelled up in Los Angeles where he tried to get another band up and running, but it didn't happen [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998]. This band was Bash & Pop and they released one record, '93's 'Friday Night is Killing Me' [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998].

That record's raw. It's just me and my guitar and my guts basically, and you can hear that. It's crappy in a good way to me. Because I don't mind growing up in public. I've been doing it all my life: OK, here I am, my pants down to my ankles.


The Bash & pop record was a failure and Tommy took a job selling computer supplies over the phone [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998]:

For two months I felt like 'worm-boy.' But then I got kind of good at it. As hard as it was getting up at five in the morning to do that gig, it's the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. It made everything make a lot more sense. It was the first job I ever had. It did a lot for me and made me a lot stronger person.



THE PERFECT


After almost leaving music for a career in telemarketing, he ended up founded the band 'Perfect' in 1996 [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998]. They were about to release their debut album, 'Seven Days a Week', on July 14 when Tommy joined Guns N' Roses [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998; LA Weekly, June 18, 1998]. They had also planned a tour with Franck Black [St. Cloud Times, April 30, 1998].

Talking about The Perfect:

I've been doing music since I was 11. What I grew up with, what I turned into, and where my inspirations come from haven't changed. I don't aspire to be a whole lot different from what I am.

I have more invested in the Perfect record than I did in the 'Mats, because I'm writing the songs. I can understand what Paul felt a lot now, freakin' out a lot of the time from having his soul on the line, and having it just come back as a piece of coal.


Around this time, early 1998, Tommy would be back focusing 100 % on music again, adding revenues from solo shows [The Dallas Observer, May 21, 1998]:

I haven't been very good at it, but that's sorta why I keep doing it. Damn it, one day I'm going to be all right at it, and it'll be fine. It's a challenge. It's more about the words and emotion. That's a hard bit.


But after Tommy joining GN'R, both the Perfect album and their planned tour was postponed [St. Cloud Times, April 30, 1998]. Then, in June, it was reported that he struggled to get his label, Restless, to release the record [LA Weekly, June 18, 1998].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:02 am

SEPTEMBER 1998
LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER - SEAN BEAVAN


Then, in the second half of 1998, it was reported that Sean Beavan was discussing with the band to be the new producer [Rolling Stone Magazine, September 18, 1998]. According to insiders, Beavan and Axl had agreed in principle, but details and contracts had yet to be worked out [Rolling Stone Magazine, September 18, 1998]. By November the pair was allegedly working together in the studio, although Beavans's manager, Shannon O'Shea, would not confirm that Beavan's involvement [Rolling Stone, November 14, 1998]:

[Beavan is] up for several things right now. Guns n' Roses may or may not be one of them.


Throughout 1999 it would be clear from numerous media reports that Beavan and engineer Critter were selected for the project.

And in 2000, Goldstein would confirm Beavan's prominent producer role:

[Beavan has] been the only producer. The others were people we met with or tried out on some tracks [with].


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:15 pm

OCTOBER 27, 1998
'WELCOME TO THE VIDOES' IS RELEASED


On October 27, 1998, Geffen Home Video would release a 70-minute compilation of music videos from Guns N' Roses [Press release, October 19, 1998]. The video would contain the following 13 music videos: "Welcome to the Jungle," "November Rain," "Estranged," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Paradise City," "Patience," "Don't Cry," "Live and Let Die," "Yesterdays," "Garden of Eden," "The Garden," "Dead Horse," and "Since I Don't Have You".


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:58 am

DECEMBER 10, 1998
GEFFEN RECORDS IS MERGED WITH INTERCSOPE


On December 10, 1998, Seagram acquired Polygram from Phillips and in the process merged Universal Music Group (from Seagram) with Polygram's music holdings [The New York Times, December 21, 1998]. Geffen Records, who had been underperforming for some time [Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1997] were part of Universal music group and now became part of Interscope [The New York Times, December 21, 1998]. As a result of the restructuring, Seagram's management pledged to cut costs and save $300 million annually and it was expected that two-thirds of the rosters at each label will be dropped outright [The New York Times, December 21, 1998].

This merger meant that Slash's second Snakepit album would be released on Interscope, a change he felt a bit disconcerting:

You sort of just roll with it and deal with it as realistically as possible, and maintain your own personal integrity as far as your music and the decisions you make. You hope you're smart enough to play the game your way and still work within the confines of the industry. […]

I'm going to miss a lot of the Geffen people because that's family. That's the only thing I regret about it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:52 am

1998-1999
PLANNING A LIVE ALBUM


RECORDING LIVE SHOWS


The band had been recording many of their live shows throughout its history:

Yeah, we’ll doubtless record and video shows on the next tour. In fact, we’ve already done some dates in Japan that way.


All shows from the Use Your Illusion Tour were recorded with the plan being a live album [RAW, June 23, 1993].

We recorded every single show we did and there is a… You know, we've talked for a long time about compiling something out of that. I have no idea… I mean, then again, it could sound like crap. [laughs] We don't know.

Basically we're just waiting to find somebody who has the patience to sit trough it. [laughs].



1998-1999: RELEASING A LIVE RECORD


By late 1998, the band was discussing a live release:



However, Bryn Bridenthal, director of publicity at Geffen Records and still connected to the ongoing version of Guns N' Roses, would refer to a live album as a "fantasy concept" [Rolling Stone, November 14, 1998]:

Axl can only do one thing at a time. When he focuses, he really focuses well, but he sometimes can't see outside the periphery of his laser.


In December it would be speculated that Geffen would try to force a live record if Axl and Guns N' Roses wasn't ready to release a new album [MTV News, December 2, 1998].

In July 1999, Slash would shed some light on this project, informing that mixer Andy Wallace had been selected and would work on mixing tracks for the live album from July 12 to July 29 [MTV News, July 9, 1999]. According to the same report, Axl would be working with another producer for the tracks that involve vocals [MTV News, July 9, 1999]. A spokesperson for Slash would stress that this initial work was only "exploratory" and that a live album was not a done deal yet [MTV News, July 9, 1999].

Later, an anonymous source would say that Slash and Duff, and Axl has worked on shift so to not meet each other during the work:

It was all very odd. Slash and Duff would get together and work on it, and Axl would be sent CDs. He never came to the studio when they were there. It was done in shifts.

Even though I wasn’t in the band anymore, I was there for the mixing, just to make sure it was as honest a representation of GNR live as I thought it should be.


In August it would be rumoured that the re-recorded version of 'Sweet Child O' Mine' that was featured on the 'Bid Daddy' soundtrack [see other chapter], would also be included on the new live album [Metal Hammer, August 13, 1999]. This turned out to not be true.

It would also be rumoured that it might be a double album [Rolling Stone, September 2, 1999].

Andy Wallace, the album's producer, would comment on the material:

It definitely has a live feel, but it's well-recorded and well-played. They were great live and had a lot of concerts to work from.


The tracks would be taken from concerts in Tokyo, Las Vegas and Mexico City [Rolling Stone, September 2, 1999].

In September, it would be reported that Geffen intended to have the live album out by Christmas [Metal Hammer, September 1999].

Then, in November 1999, Axl would talk about the live album and agree that it was a "farewell to [an] era":

It is exactly that. It's a farewell to that.... It was something we wanted to give to the public in a way of saying farewell. It was a very difficult thing to do, as listening to it and the people involved... [it] wasn't the most emotionally pleasant thing to do. […] For me, when I hear certain things on the "Use Your Illusion" tour, I... on that record, it's... since I'm in it, I can hear a band dying. I can hear when Izzy was unconsciously over it. I can hear where the band was leaning away from what Guns N' Roses [had] originally been about.

People may have their favorite songs, and it may be on "Use Your Illusion," but most people do tend to lean towards "Appetite" as being the defining Guns N' Roses record, and I can hear how, in the sound, it was moving away from that there. There's just so much I was able to do in keeping that aspect together.


Del James had been in charge with collecting live tapes to sift through to find quality versions of songs to be included on the album:

Del James worked for a couple of years off and on going though every single show we did on DAT tape from the "Use Your Illusion" tour and then every available tape, and finding tapes, and finding people that have recorded things, so he could have in his mind what was recorded best from the entire time Guns N' Roses was together. There were a lot of difficulties where things weren't... when they were recorded, when they were fully recorded to 24, 48 tracks, it wasn't recorded that well at times, and so it took a long time to find what tracks were available to use, because we had never officially recorded a show to make a live album.


Discussing the live version of 'It's alright' that is included as an intro to 'November Rain' on the album:

Oh, that's on the live [album]. I just like the piano song ["It's Alright"] and the words, and when you play it for people, they had no idea it was a Black Sabbath song. So it was just kind of fun, and then it worked out as a intro to "November Rain" live, and it just so happened that [it] came out well on tape, so we were able to use it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:48 pm

1999-
FORMER BAND MEMBERS TALK ABOUT REUNITING WITH AXL IN GUNS N' ROSES


As previously discussed, Slash considered the breakup between him and Axl to possibly only be temporarily. In early 1999, he would again reiterate that he could join Guns N' Roses again if Axl would just ask him [Sonic Net, February 1, 1999]:

If Axl was to break down and finally realize what the meat and potatoes of Guns N' Roses always has been, I'm only a phone call away.

When Axl’s head is together and he decides to put the band together, I’ll be around. It’ll be a lot more fun then.

I still play with Duff, with Matt, and with Izzy from time to time. I keep in touch with pretty much everybody. And I don't want to say that I don't miss working with Axl. I just miss working with him under the circumstances that I would consider optimum.


Gilby on whether he would like to rejoin at some point:

My part of the band was with Matt, Slash and Duff, but you can never say never.

[After Axl had jammed with Gilby in June 2000]: Whatever reasons he came down I really don't know. It is what it is. I don't have any interest in putting the band back together, and I don't think he does either.


Tracii would also chime in:

I'll tell you what I know, as far as what's going on. I know that Slash has said he'd do it now -- okay. Axl will never say he'll do it, but that doesn't really mean anything. And then off in this corner is Duff and Matt, talking about doing something, as far as Guns N' Roses is concerned. And someone called Izzy, and Izzy said he'd play New Year's Eve for like, you know a couple million bucks. And that's the state of Guns N' Roses. And then Axl has actually put the name Guns N' Roses in his name, saying that he owns the name. So that's all I know.


And Slash would say he was open to a one-off but claim that Axl would never do it:

We broke up, period. It's different story if we agreed to reform for only one show in the future, but we will need huge effort to make it happen. There is a chance if it happens like that. That's OK with me if that will be next week. I don't care about the timing, because those shitty things fucked up us. And it has to be original members. But I think AXL would rather shoot himself than reforming with original members. He has hatred to ex-members. I hope he wakes up and smell the roses. Even if he wakes up, he needs huge change to make me and other members understand.
BURRN! Magazine, 1999; translated from Japanese


They had already been offered millions to reunite:

If someone comes up to me and asks me if GN’R is going to get back together, I say that if it was the original band and if everybody could straighten their heads out enough to be in the same room to do it, then I would do one show if the situation was right. We’ve been offered millions of dollars to re-group. Originally, I thought, ‘Shit! A couple of days of rehearsal and then go out and play in front of a really excited, enthusiastic audience? Might be fun.' But when we recorded a Stones song (Sympathy for the devil for the Interview with a vampire soundtrack), Axl didn’t even show up. So everybody lost interest. If it was the original band, and Steven Adler could get his shit back together, which I know he’s been trying to do since time began, since I still talk to him all the time. But, the chances of that happening are pretty much nil.

I wouldn’t quit what I’m doing now to go back to Guns for any amount of money. It’s not about the money.

We've had so many offers to do gigs, and none of us has done it for the money. But if the band wanted to get together and go, 'You know what? Let's just hash it out for a second and then see where that takes us,' I would go and do a show. F--k, yeah. I mean, what would it take to go into three, four, six, 12 hours of rehearsal for one, two, three, four, five shows with Guns, with guys I f--king basically lived with for God knows how long. I would do it in a heartbeat. […] The underlying thing is that we have to be straight [with each other]. That's the only reason why we did it in the first place--we were clear on why we were doing it.

If it's something democratic between the five of us, that's something I would love to do. Not long ago we were offered several shows to begin the new Millennium in Australia. But there's no way it could be like the old days. Things have changed.

I don’t see it in the foreseeable future.

[Being asked about working with Axl again]: Probably not.

You know what? Everybody keeps talking about it. Chances are, I don't see it in the foreseeable future (laughs). There's too much bullshit. I mean if somebody goes, “Hey, you know what? There's a weekend here, or a weekend there. You guys want to all get together and fucking go and do these two shows here at such and such a place or whatever”, I'd be like, well, first things first. It's got to be the original band and then you've got to get us all into one room and, schedules permitting, I have no fucking intention of slowing down what I'm doing with Snakepit. I'm saying that, but, more so than anything, I think the person that would rather not have that happen would be Axl. That's the whole reason this all started in the first place.

For the fans and for the excitement of the whole thing, if it was the original band and we all had some sort of meeting of the minds and we were going to do one show and schedules permitting . . . you know, I’ll be around. It’s not like I’m going anywhere. But I don’t have time to wait around for it for any reason other than just doing it for fun.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:17 am

1999
WORKING ON THE NEW RECORD


In early 1999 the band was said to be back in the studio after a Christmas break [MTV News, January 8, 1999]. Insiders said to expect a "strong album with a big sound" [MTV News, January 8, 1999].

In mid-1999 there would be rumours that Axl was presenting unfinished tracks to the label [Spin, July 1999].

There would also be rumours there was tension between Paul and Tommy, because, as a source would have it, Paul "has the whole Guns attitude but he's never toured" [Spin, July 1999].

Youth, who had been involved as a possible producer for the band in the first half of 1988, would mention that Axl had been working on a song called 'Prostitute' but that he was struggling in the studio:

They sold millions of records in a few years. He had a big crew of people in the studio ... and I think that kind of pressure chokes creativity.


Around the same time, Chris Vrenna would speculate on how the record would sound:

I have a feeling it's gonna be more like Appetite than people are expecting.


In February, Tommy would say he wasn't allowed to talk about the work they were doing, but still say that:

This is the hardest I’ve worked on a record.


In April, sources would claim the band was almost finished [E! News Online, April 2, 1999].

In early June, The New York Daily News would claim that the record was getting closer and might be out by November, in the words of a "source close to" Axl:

November is looking possible. ... Axl [Rose] swears he’s going to deliver a record by late fall. The head guys at Interscope have heard what he’s doing, and everybody’s pretty excited - and they haven’t even heard the vocals. The tracks have been recorded for a long time, but Axl’s just starting to lay down the vocals.


Around the same time, Moby would offer some advice to the band:

My advice to them would be to stop worrying about it and just make a record. Go into the studio for a month and at the end of the month, your record has to be finished. Go in and play and have fun and sing songs and don't worry about selling billions of records, just have fun and make a nice record. At this point, they've spent so many years on it, and they don't seem to be any closer to actually having a finished record.
MTV News, June 8, 1999[/url]


In August Kerrang! would present possible song titles: 'Prostitute', 'Cock-a-roach Soup', 'This I Love', 'Suckerpunched', 'No Love Remains', 'Friend Or Foe', 'Zip It', 'Something Always', 'Hearts Get Killed' and 'Closing In On You' [Kerrang! August 21, 1999]. The magazine would also list possible titles for the album: 'Cockroach Soup' or '2000 Intentions' [Kerrang! August 21, 1999]. These titles were all taken from an unknow earlier source.

The same month, Robin left the band. Robin would later describe what they had written and recorded by the time he left:

We wrote and rehearsed and argued about, and laboriously recorded, dozens of songs in L.A. for several years. Of those songs, two fistfuls are musically finished.

We experimented with all kinds of methods of writing and recording songs, from traditional piano to traditional rock songs to too many tracks of way-too-stereo keyboard blurbs and everything in between.

Many lines have been crossed, way too many Fridays going, ‘Hmm?’

What actually makes it to the record, I don’t really know.

We recorded a lot of cool songs and potential tracks.


And:

[M]ost of the stronger songs that ended up on A-lists when I was there were huge rock songs, built for the masses, really guitar-driven.


This is in-line with Axl's comments that the first record would be more guitar-focused than the second [see other chapter].

Kerrang! would also speculate that Axl had recorded the album three times and that the production costs now exceeded $ 1,000,000 [Kerrang! August 21, 1999].

Josh was a busy session drummer while also working on the new Guns N' Roses record. Amongst other, he also worked with Chris Cornell at the time, who would talk about Josh and the new GN'R record:

Yeah, [Josh is] a busy guy. He was showing up playing from like noon to four, then he’d go off from like nine till four in the morning playing with Axl, and then he’d show up the next day when we needed him. He’s got lot of energy though, so he was OK. […] He’s also very, uh, word careful. We asked him certain questions [about the Guns record], but he knew what he should and shouldn’t talk about. I just wanted to know what it felt like for him to be playing ‘Sweet Child 0’ Mine’ with a band made out of all these punk rock guys and Axl, cos I think that’s really fucking weird, but it must be kind of cool. […] I think they actually have a lot of creative freedom with what they’re doing with Axl, they’re getting to write parts and stuff - and when he’d come to work with me it’s almost the opposite of what you would think. I would tell him exactly what to play when the song was finished.
Metal Hammer, October 1999


In September and October, Sonic Net would be doing surveys to gauge what the interest was from the public on Guns N' Roses. On the question, "Can Axl Rose successfully revive Guns n' Roses?", 70 % answered 'no' and only 30 % 'yes' [Sonic Net, September 9, 1999]. And on the question, "Can Guns N' Roses conquer the airwaves again?", 61 % answered 'no' and only 39 % answered 'yes' [Sonic Net, October 12, 1999].

With the release of 'Oh My God' media was asking if this song would represent the new style of Guns N' Roses, and Doug Goldstein would comment:

It’s not entirely indicative of what the album’s going to be. It’s a song that seemed to fit the movie. You know how diverse Axl’s always been.


Goldstein would further state that the record should be out in 2000 and that it would be called 'Chinese Democracy" [Los Angeles Times, November 7, 1999]. According to Goldstein, the name had been clear for "at least six weeks" [Rolling Stone, November 9, 1999].

Axl would explain the title:

Well, there's a lot of Chinese democracy movements, and it's something that there's a lot of talk about, and it's something that will be nice to see. It could also just be like an ironic statement. I don't know, I just like the sound of it..


Discussing the process and material:

We've been working on, I don't know, 70 songs.

The record will be about, anywhere from 16 to 18 songs, but we recorded at least two albums' worth of material that is solidly recorded. But we are working on a lot more songs than that at the same time... in that way, what we're doing is exploring so, you know, you get a good idea, you save it, and then maybe you come back to it later, or maybe you get a good idea and you go, "That's really cool, but that's not what we're looking for. Okay, let's try something new." You know, basically taking the advance money for the record and actually spending it on the record. […] and I don't want to be in a situation again where I have to depend on other people and have [to] start all over. So we have material that we think is too advanced for old Guns fans to hear right now and they would completely hate, because we were exploring the use of computers [along with] everybody really playing their ass off and combining that, but trying to push the envelope a bit. It's like, "Hmm, I have to push the envelope a little too far. We'll wait on that." So we got a list of things.

It's a lot of different sounds. There's some other really heavy songs, there's a lot of aggressive songs, but they're all in different styles and different sounds. It is truly a melting pot.

I go back to listening to Queen -- you know, we're still hoping to have Brian May come in and do some tracks, and I got a fax today that he's coming in -- Queen had all kinds of different-style songs on their records, and that's something that I like. 'Cause I do listen to a lot of things, and I really don't like being pigeonholed to that degree, and it's something that Guns N' Roses seem to share [with Queen] a bit. With "Appetite," even though it seems to have the same sound, if you really go back, you can pull all the little parts from different influences. That's not really the case by the time we're on "Use Your Illusion." People are kind of set in their ways. ["Chinese Democracy"] is coming from all over the place.


With Robin recently having left the band to rejoin Nine Inch Nails, they were again working with different guitarists:

What we're doing is we're rehearsing with different guitar players, and we're still recording.


Because of this, media would speculate the release date would again be postponed because Robin's guitar tracks had to be replaced [Metal Hammer, September 1999]. Although Axl would seem to deny this in November:

[…] we will be continuing to look for and or decide who the official new guitar player will be, but it's not that important to the band at this time, as that person's not really needed. There's not a whole lot for them to do at this time in regards to recording, as we've recorded [a] majority of material.


Axl was also in the process of adding vocals, and would say this was challenging:

I'm doing the vocals. I'm about three-quarters of the way through, and it's a very difficult process for me.

I write the vocals last, because I wanted to invent the music first and push the music to the level that I had to compete against it. That's kind of tough. It's like you got to go in against these new guys who kicked ass. You finally got the song musically where you wanted to, and then you have to figure out how to go in and kick its ass and be one person competing against this wall of sound.

Why I chose to do it that way is that, you know, I can sit and write poetry 'til hell freezes over, and getting attached to any particular set of words... I felt that I would write to those words in a dated fashion, and we really wouldn't get the best music. "Oh My God" is a perfect example. When we finally got "Oh My God" where it needed to be, then I got the right words to it. With "Appetite," I wrote a lot of the words first, but in, like, "Oh My God," I wrote the words second, but the music was written like "Appetite." We kept developing it until it we got it right. [With] "Appetite," everything had been worked on, and worked on, and worked on. That was not the case with "Use Your Illusion"


And talking about his guitar playing:

It's all right. I just wanted to be good enough to be able to contribute what was needed to this main album.


As for when the album could be out:

We're hoping [early next year]. Yes, definitely, everything seems to be going well. Robin's departure was abrupt, sudden, you know, not expected....


As for having some hip hop guys work with the music:

No, we haven't done anything like that. It's been thought of, but it's kind of [like] we would really be wasting somebody else's time, as we're trying to figure out how to develop this ourselves. Maybe if it were to get closer to, say, mastering or mixing, maybe there could be something someone else could add to it.


And as for touring or doing single shows in the near future:

Nah. […] Nah! […] Na-nah-na-nah! [Laughs].


As for future recording and overall plans:

I'm not working on all this to keep it buried. We plan on getting out there and doing it right. The new guys are a lot of fun, and like I say, we will be continuing to look for and or decide who the official new guitar player will be, but it's not that important to the band at this time, as that person's not really needed. There's not a whole lot for them to do at this time in regards to recording, as we've recorded [a] majority of material.


In November 1999, Axl would also do an interview with Rolling Stone magazine who asked if the next record would come out sometime in the twenty-first century:

Yes, I think that would definitely be the right time.
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999


And explaining one of the reasons why it is taking so long was that Axl had to "educate [himself" on new technologies:

It's like from scratch, learning how to work with something and not wanting it just to be something you did on a computer.
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999


Doug Goldstein would answer with a little more detail:

As far as I can tell, we are now 99% musically done and 80% vocals done. I see the record being done Feb or March for a summer release.
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999

After years and years of trying to work with his old band mates, it's taken [Axl] quite some time to get the unit he now has together. Along the time we were trying to put it together with the other fellas, I certainly had my doubts. But now he has a group of guys that he appears to be friends with, and it's a very cohesive unit, which wasn't necessarily the case in the past. Everything I've heard is spectacular. It's exciting and diverse and - I think - absolutely well worth the wait.
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999


Rolling Stone got to listen to almost a dozen new songs, although Axl wasn't entirely finished with all of them. The magazine would also list some of the song titles:

Song after song combines the edgy hard rock force and pop smarts of vintage Guns N Roses with surprisingly modern and ambitious music textures. In addition to the album's almost grungy title track, tentative song titles include ''Catcher in the Rye,'' ''I.R.S,'' ''The Blues'' and ''TWAT,'' which [Axl] says stands for ''there was a time.''
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999


Axl also played for them a song called 'Oklahoma' which was in an instrumental form and had been inspired by Axl's litigation with Stephanie Seymour:

I was sitting in my litigation with my ex-wife, and it was the day after the bombing. We had a break, and I'm sitting with my attorneys with a sort of smile on my face, more like a nervous thing - it was like, 'Forgive me, people, I'm having trouble taking this seriously.' It's just ironic that we're sitting there and this person is spewing all kinds of things and 168 people just got killed. And this person I'm sitting there with, she don't care. Obliterating me is their goal.
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999


In November Brian May would also get to hear much of the recorded material when he flew over to Los Angeles to add guitar parts to the music. He would then shoot down the rumour that except for 'Oh My God', Axl hadn't added vocal parts to any of the tracks:

Oh yeah, there's a whole album of vocal parts - in fact there's two albums' worth that they've got there, at least. They played me EVERYTHING. Axl actually sat down and MADE ME listen to everything (laughing) and there's some wonderful stuff there.

[…] it's a long time project. They'd been really..., from the inception I think it's 5 years  since they started making the record. But they made many many many tracks. And now they've chosen just a few they want to be on the first new record. And I think it's very good stuff. I was very impressed, Axl is singing fantastically. I mean, actually such a unique sound and style. I don't know if you know his work very much. But... […]  it's very passionate and very... very exciting, you know. And I was happy to play some stuff on that. I think it will be out on...they talked about spring, I think, you know, late spring probably and maybe they can tour in the summer.


This means that by the end of 1999, the following song titles had been mentioned in various articles: Prostitute, Cock-a-roach Soup, This I Love, Suckerpunched, No Love Remains, Friend Or Foe, Zip It, Something Always, Hearts Get Killed, Closing In On You, Catcher in the Rye, I.R.S., Oklahoma, and There Was A Time.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:41 pm

JANUARY 1999
RUMOURS ABOUT GUNS HEADLINING SUMMER FESTIVALS OF 1999


In early 1999 it would be claimed Guns N' Roses were considering headlining Lollapalooza '99 after having received an offer from organizers at the William Morris Agency [Rolling Stone, January 17, 1999]. But in the end of January, Ted Gardner, co-director of Lollapalooza, would state that no offers had been sent out to bands yet [Los Angeles Times, January 31, 1999].

The band had allegedly also received an offer from the annual OzzFest tour [Rolling Stone, January 17, 1999].

A source close to the band would say, "we wouldn't be discussing it if we didn't think they could [get an album out in time for the tour to start] [Rolling Stone, January 17, 1999].

In April it would be rumoured that Guns N' Roses were close to signing on as one of the headliners for Woodstock '99 [Los Angeles Times, April 1, 1999]. Then, a few days later, it was reported that Guns N' Roses would not headline Woodstock, because they simply wouldn't be ready with their album in time [Rolling Stone, April 4, 1999]. Then a few days later, Michael Lang, one of the co-producers of the event would claim it was 50/50 whether Guns N' Roses would be there, and:

It would depend on how well they are coming along with the recordings and whether they're ready to do it. They very much want to.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:44 pm

MAY 1999
GUNS N' ROSES ON THE 'HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K. 2' SOUNDTRACK?


In May 1999, it was reported that Bruce Berman, music supervisor for the soundtrack to the movie "HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K. 2", was in discussion with Axl to include a new Guns N' Roses song in the movie [MTV News, May 24, 1999]. The movie would never be released.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:27 am

JUNE 25, 1999
A NEW VERSION OF 'SWEET CHILD' IS FEATURED IN THE 'BIG DADDY' MOVIE


As discussed previously [see earlier chapter], when Youth came in as a producer one of the first things he said he had done, was dissuade the band from re-record Appetite for Destruction. Despite this, in June 1999, 'Big Daddy', the new Adam Sandler movie, would feature a new version of 'Sweet Child O' Mine' [MTV News, July 9, 1999]. During the closing credits of the movie, a hybrid version of the song would be played, starting with the original version and morphing into a new version [MTV News, July 9, 1999]. In addition, at the start of the song, Axl is heard repeating the word "Figaro", which was a last-minute addition "for fun," according to Lori Lahman, a musical supervisor for the movie [MTV News, July 9, 1999].


IT IS TRUE: APPETITE IS RE-RECORDED


Moby would claim that the new lineup had indeed recorded a new version of 'Appetite' [Kerrang! August 21, 1999] and Axl would later confirm this:

In fact, actually, I have re-recorded "Appetite" and-- […] Yes, I have [re-recorded Appetite for Destruction]. Yes [the whole album]. Well, with the exception of two songs, because we replaced those with "You Could Be Mine," and "Patience," and why do that? Well, we had to rehearse them anyway to be able to perform them live again, and there were a lot of recording techniques and certain subtle styles and drum fills and things like that that are kind of '80s signatures that subtly could use a little sprucing up... a little less reverb and a little less double bass and things like that.


And Axl would also list the musicians on the re-recording:

Josh Freese on drums, Tommy Stinson on bass, Paul Tobias on guitar -- you guys know him as Paul Huge, that's how it's been written everywhere. It's Paul Tobias on guitar, and Robin Finck was on lead guitar, but that... that will stay on some of it. Robin's guitar will stay on some, but not all.


And discuss his plans for the album:

I don't know what I'm going to do with it, exactly, when I would be putting that out. But you know, it has a lot of energy. Learning the old Guns songs and getting them up, you know, putting them on tape, really forced everybody to get them up to the quality that they needed to be at. Once the energy was figured out by the new guys, how much energy was needed to get the songs right, then it really helped in the writing and recording process of the new record.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:53 am

AUGUST 1999
ROBIN LEAVES THE BAND


I was done absolutely with tracks and songs I was writing and recording with Axl - tenfold. My work was really completed there.

_______________________________________

In August 1999, it would be reported that Robin had left Guns N' Roses [MTV News, August 4, 1999; Kerrang! August 21, 1999]. Allegedly, he had been hired on a two year contract and it had expired on August 1, 1999 [Allstarmag, August 4, 1999; Kerrang! August 21, 1999]. With no tour or new album in sight, sources said Robin returned to Nine Inch Nail who was planning to embark on a tour [MTV News, August 4, 1999].

Robin would comment on his decision to rejoin Nine Inch Nails:

I'd made the decision to come back before I'd heard the record, which is something I did intentionally. I'd been in contact loosely with mostly Danny [Lohner] through the past couple of years, so I knew what stage they were at and that they'd never replaced me - they'd never needed to for a live situation.

It was a difficult decision to make because I was so wrapped up in what I was doing at the time and I was proud of the work I'd done. But when it came down to it, I couldn't imagine NIN going out without me or with somebody else. I'm in a good place right now.

I was with [Cirque de Soleil] for about a year and a half. I got a call from Axl. We’ve been working on the record but I will doubt that will come out any time soon. The drummer in A Perfect Circle (Josh Freese ) was also working with us. That’s basically what I was doing while Trent was doing the Fragile. I had kept in touch with with Danny, Trent and Charlie and my work was through with Axl. My time with Axl was up. I was excited to come back to NIN. It was right for me. It was right for Trent. The timing was uncanny.


Doug Goldstein would indicate Robin might return:

Robin [Finck] is doing his Nine Inch Nails thing and we have no idea how long that's gonna last.


Despite this Robin's contract being up, Axl would express surprise with Robin's departure:

Robin's departure was abrupt, sudden, you know, not expected but at the same time, it's turned out to be a good thing. We've been able to push some of the guitar parts a step farther, that had he been here, it's not something that would have been considered, and I wouldn't have been rude enough to attempt to do that. Robin did a great job, but we've been able to up the ante a little bit.


A spokesperson for the label would say:

Robin finished recording several albums worth of material with Guns N' Roses. Axl is now working on the vocals for the album.


Robin was excited about the work he had done while in Guns N' Roses:

I was with Axl for a little over two years, and we recorded dozens of songs together. I’m really proud of what we did as a band. I’m anxious to see how it’s completed.. [Will it be?]  Oh, yes [grinning]. You may depend on it.

I'd helped write and arrange and recorded enough songs for several records. Honestly, we recorded so many different song ideas and completed so many different types of songs — from quiet, very simple traditional piano songs to 16 stereo tracks of keyboard blur and everything in between.


In 2000 Robin would say he wasn't involved anymore and didn't know anything about release dates:

Each month that flips past is a month that I don’t really keep in touch with them. I don’t really know what is going to happen.


He would also indicate that he one of the reasons he had left because of the slow process, and especially the lack of lyrics:

It was great for a while, but then it became terribly frustrating not seeing anything completed because no lyrics were finished. It's one of the reasons I'm not there anymore. No one song was ever completed — and I was there for two and a half years. […] When he finishes the lyrics, I assume [the songs] are going to be released. I hope they turn out great. There's a lot of potential there.

My work with Axl was completed from my perspective. I’d been with him for 2 1/2 years and the band sounded great. I was writing and recording all these songs and we had several albums worth of material. It was really exciting for a while, but until I’d left, nothing was completed lyrically. So I was done. I was no longer inspired to spend 14 hours on track number 41 when track 40 wasn’t even finished.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:08 pm

NOVEMBER 2, 1999
'END OF DAYS' SOUNDTRACK WITH 'OH MY GOD'


In August 1999, it would be rumoured that Guns N' Roses might contribute a song to the soundtrack to the movie 'End of Days' [MTV News, August 8, 1999], and in September the rumours were confirmed [MTV News, September 8, 1999].

Thus, on November 2, 1999, the world would finally hear new music from Guns N' Roses, just over 5 years since the band released 'Sympathy for the Devil.' Again, the music would be a one-off song intended for a movie soundtrack, this time for the movie 'End of Days'. The Guns N' Roses song was 'Oh My God' [MTV, November 8, 1999].

The song was initially claimed to have been written specifically by Axl after seeing an advance screening of the movie [MTV News, September 8, 1999].

G. Marc Roswell, the film's music supervisor, would state:

It’s absolutely classic Axl, but it has a lot of new elements. It fits the movie really well.


In connection with the release, Axl would release a statement:

So here's the story behind this music...

The chorus: OH MY GOD etc. deals with the societal repression of deep and often agonizing emotions -- some of which may be willingly accepted for one reason or another -- the appropriate expression of which (one that promotes a healing, release and a positive resolve) is often discouraged and many times denied. Emotionally the song contemplates several abstract perspectives drawing from personal expression as well as from the film (End Of Days) and its metaphors. The appropriate expression and vehicle for such emotions and concepts is not something taken for granted.

Musically the song was primarily written by Paul Huge over two years ago, with Dizzy Reed writing the musical hook of the chorus. Former member Duff McKagan as well as former employee Matt Sorum failed to see its potential and showed no interest in exploring, let alone recording the piece. When the demos were played for the new band, Josh, Tommy and Robin were as they say 'all over it.'

Once the opportunity was presented, the song was given priority in our recording process. As the verse, performance and lyrics were decided on, for us (that especially includes Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine) the choice became obvious. We were more than pleased Mr. Roswell (the film's music supervisor) agreed! Our thanks to Arnold and all for the consideration -- it is an association in which we have always felt honored.

Paul Huge, Gary Sunshine and Dave Navarro appear on the song as well as Robin Finck. Robin's part was written by Paul and extensively manipulated by our producer, Sean Beaven. Robin was not involved in the writing of the final recording though did participate in the arrangement. All lyrics were written by myself. Additional programming (jack boots, screeching tires, etc.) was by Stuart White.

The fight of good vs. evil, positive vs. negative, man against a seemingly undefeatable, undeterrable, unrevealed destiny, along with the personal and universal struggle to attain, maintain and responsibly manage freewill can be and often is frustrating to say the least. In America our country's constitutional right to freedom of expression gives us a better chance to fight for that expression than many in other countries enjoy. It can be a big gig, like kickin' the crap outta the devil!

Power to the people, peace out and blame Canada.


The song would feature a guitar solo from Dave Navarro [MTV, November 8, 1999] who had been drafted in since Robin had left:

Robin's departure was abrupt, sudden, you know, not expected but at the same time, it's turned out to be a good thing. We've been able to push some of the guitar parts a step farther, that had he been here, it's not something that would have been considered, and I wouldn't have been rude enough to attempt to do that. Robin did a great job, but we've been able to up the ante a little bit. Dave came in and did something great on "Oh My God," and we've had a few other people come in, so that was a setback for a while, but then it's turned out to be a good thing.


Robin would comment upon the track which he had had no part in writing and recording:

We recorded a lot of cool songs and potential tracks. I hope [Oh My God] not very typical of them.


Axl would talk about Navarro:

I've always been a fan of Dave Navarro, to the point that when we got signed, I had a Jane's Addiction demo tape [laughs] and was actually trying to convince the record company, "No, no, no, no, I suck. We suck. These guys rock!" And I was trying to get Tom Zutaut, at the time [at Geffen], to sign Jane's Addiction, and he was actually in negotiations to sign them at one point. I was just into Jane's Addiction.

[…]

That's really what finally got the public to find some interest in Guns N' Roses, and there was a lot less [interest] for Jane's Addiction. Where now, I think, we would consider Jane's Addiction one of the great rock and roll bands in the last however many years. They were a great band, they were a bit ahead of their time. I was a very big fan of them, and Dave.

Dave's a great guitar player. It's a different style. It's not like Guns N' Roses. It's not blues-based, and it's not all that Guns N' Roses is, and that was done on purpose. There will be elements of blues-based things on the new Guns record. It's a very diverse record. There's a lot of hip-hop beats, there's straight-ahead rock. But if someone says, "Hip-hop beats," what do you mean by that? Well, Radiohead uses beats that are similar to hip-hop beats. There's actual, "official" hip-hop beats and then there's "Radiohead-style" hip-hop beats, there's rock beats. Like I say, "Oh My God" has a disco beat in it. I read a review where somebody caught that. That made me laugh.


And Navarro would talk about the project:

There's no story. We didn't hook up at, like, The Rainbow and said, 'Hey, let's get together and do a song.' They just called me up, and I went down to the studio. I spent about an hour and a half there. I played a guitar solo, and that's it.

It was an existing track. I played a guitar solo on it. There really wasn't much direction to give me. I think that that's why they called me, because they figured they wouldn't have to give me any direction.


The song would represent a break with the classical sound of Guns N' Roses, and Axl would describe how it came about:

Basically, [I'm] listening to everything that's out there as far as music goes. That was a big difference between myself and Slash and Duff, is that I didn't hate everything new that came out. I really liked the Seattle movement. I like White Zombie. I like Nine Inch Nails, and I like hip-hop. I don't hate everything. I don't think everybody should be worshiping me 'cause I was around before them.

So once it was really understood by me that I'm really not going to be able to make the right old-style Guns N' Roses record, and if I try to take into consideration what Guns did on "Appetite," which was to kind of be a melting pot of a lot things that were going on, plus use past influences, I could make the right record if I used my influences from what I've been listening to that everybody else is listening to out there. So in that sense, I think it is like old Guns N' Roses as far as, like, the spirit and the attempt to throw all kinds of different styles together. If you get to the second guitar solo in "Oh My God," Paul's doing a very Izzy Stradlin-Aerosmith-type riff in the middle of the song, which is a completely different thing than everything else that's going on in the music, but yet it blends. There's a disco drum beat in the post-chorus, in the heaviest section of the song. We blended a lot of things.


Duff would later comment on Axl's statement that he and Slash didn't appreciate new music:

I want to say something against that MTV interview. He said the he likes the Seattle sound, but Slash and me hated the new music that comes out. It's stupid, but let me defend myself. I'm the one who brought ICE-T or Killing Joke etc. in the band and listened to other kind of music. I'm not a country boy from Indiana. I'm from Seattle!
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese


Slash would later comment on the song:

I’m not gonna pass judgement. […] Listen, listen. If that’s what [Axl] wanted to do and that’s why – the development of that is what made me quit. […] Whatever it is, it’s not what I was –

Yeah, I heard it when I went to see the movie End Of Days. And I don’t have any real opinion about it. […] And when I heard Oh My God, it convinced me that my departure had been a wise decision and that Axl and I were definitely no longer on the same wavelength musically.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French


Axl would also mention that for 'Oh My God' as with other songs they were working on, Axl would write the lyrics after the music was finished:

I write the vocals last, because I wanted to invent the music first and push the music to the level that I had to compete against it. That's kind of tough. It's like you got to go in against these new guys who kicked ass. You finally got the song musically where you wanted to, and then you have to figure out how to go in and kick its ass and be one person competing against this wall of sound.

Why I chose to do it that way is that, you know, I can sit and write poetry 'til hell freezes over, and getting attached to any particular set of words... I felt that I would write to those words in a dated fashion, and we really wouldn't get the best music. "Oh My God" is a perfect example. When we finally got "Oh My God" where it needed to be, then I got the right words to it. With "Appetite," I wrote a lot of the words first, but in, like, "Oh My God," I wrote the words second, but the music was written like "Appetite." We kept developing it until it we got it right. [With] "Appetite," everything had been worked on, and worked on, and worked on. That was not the case with "Use Your Illusion."


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:38 pm

1999: 'APPETITE FOR RECONSTRUCTION'
A GUNS N' ROSES TRIBUTE RECORD


I have an interesting anecdote to tell you on this topic: one day, a barman in New-York told me how much he loved Guns N’ Roses and asked a friend to buy Appetite For Destruction for him so I could autograph it. When the friend came back, he handed me this Appetite For Reconstruction that you mentioned. I hallucinated when I took a look at the credits and realised that all the washed-up has-beens of the West Coast, the losers, the ex-somebodys were all gathered on this shitty record! (laughs) Even Tracii Guns plays on most of the tracks. Fuck, this album is basically the record all these guys dreamed of making one day! So I didn’t even bother listening to these covers. It can only be crap anyway. It’s really fucked up. I don’t feel honored or flattered whatsoever. It’s all about money.
Hard Rock (France), October 2000; translated from French


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:36 pm

NOVEMBER 1999
BRIAN MAY WORKS WITH THE BAND


As discussed in previous chapters, Guns N' Roses had a lot of respect for Brian May. In 1994, Axl would discuss wanting to work with May:

We may work with Brian May on a project upcoming… We don't know… And we're hoping to pull that one off. We get along with Brian really well. […] And Slash and Brian did a pretty amazing job on… When we did "Heaven's Door" live somewhere in Europe. And I've never seen two guitarists get along like that, the way they played together, complementing each other, in my life. It was pretty magical. But the rest… The whole band, we were all kinda waiting: 'When is the solo gonna end?' […] After five minutes we're all running around and we're getting tired and these guys are still soloing. […] It was pretty wild. It was great.

[May is] one of the most unpretentious rock stars of his caliber that I've ever met and… You put the two of us together onstage playing guitar, and it basically free rain [laughs].


May would also describe his respect and fondness for the band:

I have a lot of history with those guys as you know, because, well, I was on tour with them for a while - you know, my own band supported them - which was great fun. They also did the Freddie Tribute with us, and I think I regard them as great friends, Axl in particular.

(laughs) I tell ya, Axl is a very persuasive guy. He's magic. Really he is, and I think he's not always easy, as, you know, genius very often isn't. You know, Fred was not the easiest person in the world to get on with, but someone who has that amount of passion and gives a million percent of themselves, you'll take any amount of stuff from, and I would from Axl. I think he's that good, you know.


And in August 1999, it was rumoured that Brian May would join Guns N' Roses in an unknown capacity [Rolling Stone, August 25, 1999]. The rumours were shot down by a spokesperson for Brian May who described the rumours as "highly improbable" [Rolling Stone, August 25, 1999]. In addition, Doug Goldstein would say:

There haven't been any conversations like that.


Queen's UK publicist, Brian Symes, would concur and deny any rumours that May might join Guns N' Roses on tour:

I was just with Brian last week, so I think we would know. I think he very much enjoys what he does, doing his own music and working with other members of [Queen].


But in November 1999, Axl would reveal that he might indeed collaborate with Brian May on the new music:

I go back to listening to Queen -- you know, we're still hoping to have Brian May come in and do some tracks, and I got a fax today that he's coming in -- Queen had all kinds of different-style songs on their records, and that's something that I like. 'Cause I do listen to a lot of things, and I really don't like being pigeonholed to that degree, and it's something that Guns N' Roses seem to share [with Queen] a bit. With "Appetite," even though it seems to have the same sound, if you really go back, you can pull all the little parts from different influences. That's not really the case by the time we're on "Use Your Illusion." People are kind of set in their ways. ["Chinese Democracy"] is coming from all over the place.


And in February 2000, May had indeed recorded with the band:

So, like, last week, I was in Los Angeles to play on the Guns N' Roses record. It's very interesting. […] Something very nice and different. But, hum... I just went on the plane. And I took my guitar with me. And  they met me the other end. And they said "Why you brought your original guitar?" And I said "yeah" [when I] play some[thing] important, I always wanna play on [this] guitar.


May would explain that the reason Axl invited May over was to replace Robin's guitar parts:

And they just said, "Come over and do some stuff." It's a long story to be honest and I won't bore you with all the details, but Axl was feeling that he was in a difficult place because the guitarist that he'd been working with on this new album had sort of replaced Slash, because they fell out, sadly. I think that is sad actually, 'cos they're both, well you know, brilliant talents and great with each other, but the guitarist that had done most of the tracks had departed and Axl had a real emotional attachment to what he'd done, and yet he didn't want him on the album - and I hope I'm not saying too much here - he didn't really want him to stay on the album because he'd disappeared, you know - so he's feeling a kind of divided loyalty and he said: "Brian, can you come and do stuff which I WILL LIKE, (laughing) and I won't feel too bad about ditching this other stuff?"


And talking about the new Guns N' Roses:

So I did, I went over there, and I think I played on three tracks, and messed around on various other things, but it worked out pretty well as far as I can tell. And its very strange cos most of the Guns'n'Roses people are not there cos Axl sacked 'em all, you know, so you're talking about Axl and the new Guns'n'Roses, but BOY is there a lot of energy there, you know, and his singing is outrageous. There's some great tracks on it.


Axl would ask May about the music they had created so far:

Axl actually sat down and MADE ME listen to everything (laughing) and there's some wonderful stuff there.


When asked if it is possible to be genuinely criticize someone as allegedly mercurial as Axl:

Well (sigh), Axl sort of holds Queen and, and our whole thing in a great deal of respect so I always figure as long as I tell my truth, he's fine - and its always held out so far. He's always been very good, you know, to me. He will tell you if he doesn't agree with what you say. I mean, I went in and immediately, you know, Brian May opens his mouth and "Blab, blab, blab" - and I told exactly what I thought of the stuff as it was and some of it he went "Yeah", and some of it he went "I couldn't do that" - you know, like some of the suggestions, and that's it. And Axl's a very emotionally kind of 'connected' person, I mean, to the point where he's so intense about EVERY single note that's on there, and the solos that I played, he was totally into it VERY much in the way that Freddie used to be. You know, Freddie used to go through my solos and, and say "You know there's this particular note here and I think if you did this and this and this". You know, and I thought I would just go in there... I'd forgotten what Axl was like, and I thought I would just go in there and he'd like it. He did like it, but he wanted to get into EVERY single take of every single note, and sort of string, you know ... I would go in there and he - from one day to another Axl would have been in there like from 5 o'clock in the morning to 7 o'clock in the morning, comping little bits of my solos and saying, "Can you get Brian to try this?" You know, he's UTTERLY meticulous.


And how May felt about being micro-managed by Axl:

Oh, I'm fine. I don't care, because I'm there to deliver, you know. And in this context, I'm a session player, and people can take what they want, it doesn't bother me. I'll give my best and if someone will make a comment, generally it will be - you know if someone makes a comment to you about your playing, and it's someone who cares, and then its probably gonna do you some good whether you like it or not. So I'm always open to that stuff - always.


May would also comment on being willing to tour with Guns N' Roses as one of their guitarists:

I don't know if I would be up for those long tours anymore. I did that for twenty years of my life, nine months a year and I'm not in that position anymore in my life, you know. I don't feel like I wanna have that kind of chaotic lack of balance in my life any more. I dealt with it, and I loved it, but I'm just not in that place anymore. I don't think I could do that. If it was a short tour, its possible, but...


A spokesperson for the band would comment on the collaboration:

Brian spent a week with the singer. They recorded several songs worth of material, but we have no idea what's going to end up on the end product.


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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:41 pm

REPLACING ROBIN


Axl did not appear stressed by Robin's departure:

[…] we will be continuing to look for and or decide who the official new guitar player will be, but it's not that important to the band at this time, as that person's not really needed. There's not a whole lot for them to do at this time in regards to recording, as we've recorded [a] majority of material.


Yet Doug Goldstein would state that they were looking for replacements, and that Dave Navarro was still very much in the picture [Rolling Stone, November 9, 1999].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:54 am

NOVEMBER 23, 1999
'LIVE ERA '87-'93' IS RELEASED


This live album closed the chapter.
BURRN! Magazine, 1999; translated from Japanese

Guns N' Roses made it in the first place by being an effective live band. I'm really proud of the albums we made in the studio. But it was in our live shows that you could see the band's true colors.

____________________________________________

On November 23, 1999, the double live album, 'Live Era '87-'89' was released.

Slash's manager, Tom Maher, would discuss the double album:

The guys starting fooling around with this a few years ago, seeing if there was anything worth releasing.

Once the merger [between Interscope and Geffen Records] was over they starting working on it again, and the guys sent tapes back and forth between the different camps.

I think Slash got involved because it's been so long since they had a record out. When you listen to these tapes, you just go, 'Oh man, they were a really good band.'


Slash would also discuss the live album:

Believe it or not, it's still a very mutual effort. All things considered, it's as close as we ever got.

[…]

I have a standard for live records, because when I was a kid, I didn't have a lot of money, so rather than take my chances on buying a whole record based on songs that I liked or on hearsay about a great band, I'd always buy the live record. I think that's what established in my own subconscious what it was supposed to sound like. So I always got the live record before I got the studio albums. Aerosmith's Bootleg, Budokan by Cheap Trick, Get Yer Ya Ya's Out! by the Stones...and anything by Jimi Hendrix live is awesome. Bootleg is my favorite, because it's by far the most rock. And when I heard this one, it was like very little post-production work -- almost none, because there's no one that's going to show up to do it! [Laughs]

It's very honest, and it's like, 'What a f---ing bad ass band. It's one of the best live records I've ever heard. I'm proud of it.


And Duff would recount how it came to happen and indicate it was the label who wanted the album out and not the band:

Let me explain this. At first Geffen Records was bought up. Axl, Slash, and I were still partners of GN'R. Seagram was buying up everything and put them together. Contract, master tapes, everything. I still had one live album to release in that contract. I had the tape in my hand, but I was expected that somebody will use the right. And now is the time. That's great. Me and Andy Wallace were in the studio and mixed the album every day in last August. He is great. Slash called me up and asked me how the sound like, because he was busy working on his record. This album is supposed to be sent to Axl. It's funny thing that guys from "Universal/ Interscope" or something said they won't release the album unless I decide the title of the album. I said that's fine. I said "You are the people who want to release the album". But they were giving me mental pressure.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese

A year ago [since I talked to Axl]. That means we haven't talked since he was putting live album together. Our managers talk to each other or FedEX it back and force. It was not like Slash. I told Izzy to check out mixing. "You are in that album also. Come check it out." He said, "I might as well check it."
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese


Slash would confirm it was the label who wanted to release the live album:

Well, the concept of the live record came up and, from a business point of view, I know it was the record company trying to fill the quota for the simple fact that there's been no new, original material from the band since we all broke up. But as far as the "band of old" is concerned, I'm always there to make sure that at least somebody's paying attention so things don't get messed up. Back then, we only had mobile [recording] trucks at certain shows, and we had some board tapes from '87 - like from when we played at the London Marquee, which was one of our first road trips that we ever took. So we just picked out like an average night's set list-those certain songs that we played all the time.

Once that was done, rather than sit there and analyze each individual take of a particular song, I just said, "Just grab this song, this song, and this song from whatever shows you feel like," because I wanted it to be as honest [a representation of the band] as possible. And I've never listened back to anything we've ever done after it was recorded and mixed, but [after listening to the tapes], I realized how good the band was. For the most part, it's one of our almost three-hours-long shows, just assembled from different places and different years.


Being asked if some of the songs were from shows in Tokyo:

I know there's three, but I don't know which ones they are. We didn't put any details on [the CD]. I know there are songs that were recorded in Las Vegas, Minneapolis, England, Japan, but I don't know which ones. There's a photo inside [the CD sleeve] from Tokyo Dome too.


Talking about 'Coma' being included on the Japanese and European version of the album:

We only played [Coma] probably two or three times that whole tour, because it was just so involved. Izzy used to have a "cheat sheet" for the chord changes on it - like the size of a table-onstage when we played that song. It's got a mathematical chord structure at the end, where the chord progression stays the same, but it's transposed to different keys. You have to pay attention because the chords are skipping all over the neck. So Izzy would follow it by reading the chords off his sheet. And I think the version of "Coma" that's on the record is the first or second time we ever played it live. We'd just go out there and go, "Let's try this!" And then Izzy would bring out the big piece of cardboard and tape it to the stage [laughs]. So it's not perfect, but it's got attitude.


And the absence of Slash's 'Godfather' solo:

I've had a couple passing thoughts about that, after the fact, because when we were making the record, it didn't even occur to me to use that. But a little bit later, I was going, "I wonder if we should've put that in there?" But there are so many different versions of it. It's so inspired by the night, and it's such an impromptu thing-you never knew how long it was gonna go, it wasn't like a "set" thing. So, it being that spontaneous, I was like, "If you were there at that time, then it meant something to you at that moment." But to put it on the record would signify "that's how it went," and none of them were the same. And also, I never got into that big "guitar solo" thing. Eddie Van Halen's great at it, but I just never got into that. The only reason that I ever did it was to give Axl some time to cool out, basically. I didn't think it was more important to put on there-and kill time on the record-and have to lose another song.


Talking about the record:

It's not pretty, and there are a lot of mistakes. But this is Guns N' Roses, not the fucking Mahavishnu Orchestra. It's as honest as it gets. All the other bands in the mid Eighties were trying to have Top 40 hits—even bands like Motley Crue. We didn't care about that. We just wanted to kick some ass.

The live record was cool. It was one of those things that came out of nowhere and I got involved with it because, regardless of any kind of, you know, rumoured animosity having to do with myself and the Guns guys, that's still my family, that’s where I came from. So when I heard that that was going to happen, I got into the whole mixing of it and all that kind of stuff. I was surprised we were as good a band as we were! (laughs) I was sort of amazed! But it's a really good honest representation of our shows. That's like about as in-your-face, blatant fucking Guns N' Roses as it gets. There's no fixes, no fucking bullshit.


The first pressing of the album was "mislabeled, [had] flaws in the accompanying booklet artwork, and [had] a serious 'skip' (which is actually a 'loop'), apparently a factory error", but this was to be corrected in the second pressing [MTV News, December 15, 1999].

Slash would discuss the various mistakes:

Now you have to be a really fuckin' fanatic to find some of this shit. But, originally, we had guitars going in the wrong direction. I said, "There's no left-handed players in this band!" I mean, it was really that green. I was looking at the picture of the Tokyo Dome in the CD sleeve, and I was going, "I could've sworn the red tapestry was on the other side of the Dome." But it's been a long time, so I let it go. Someone got a magnifying glass and found out that Marlboro and Coca-Cola signs were spelled backwards [laughs]. And I was like, "I knew the blue tapestry was on my side of the stage!" Other than that, there's this picture of Axl that's the other way; someone brought to my attention that his tattoo is on the other side of his body. But the only problem I could relate to was which direction the guitar necks were going. Other than that, everything else is flyers from the old days, most of which I made. I remember poster-boarding those things all over the place when we were doing gigs, and going out and handing them out [laughs].

But the main problem on the first version of the live record was that the sequence was backwards. And when it came out-800,000 of them went out-Disc 1 was Disc 2, and Disc 2 was Disc 1. And then there was a loop on "Paradise City," where it just kept saying, "Las Vegas." [Laughs] And I found out about it when I was in Miami. I get this phone call, and I'm like, "You're kidding me!" A one-in-a-million shot that that would ever happen, and it happens to us [laughs]. But it is a collector's item, because when they made the new one they changed the new cover around a little bit, so anybody who has the old one, hold on to it.


Later, Slash would imply that the live albums could have been better if the band had been together when they made it:

As far as I'm concerned, the cool thing about it was that it sounds good and it's real. Everything they did after that was between Ax and Interscope and all the kind of s--t, as far as shoving it down the toilet is concerned. It would have been great if Guns, at that particular point in time, was together and we were touring. That album would have been amazingly huge but there was no reality to that so I mean, how to work a Guns N' Roses record when the band's not together and Axl's on some trip-- I can't really give you an answer.



RE-RELEASE OF MUSIC VIDEOS


In connection with the release of the live album, Geffen decided to release updated music videos for 'It's So Easy' and 'Welcome to the Jungle' [Rolling Stone, November 9, 1999]. The video for 'Its So Easy' "was a mildly modified version of an old but rarely seen video shot at the Cathouse in Los Angeles in 1988, with original footage of ex-wives and naked women replaced with still photos from a Robert John Guns N' Roses photo book" [Rolling Stone, November 9, 1999].

Doug Goldstein would comment on the new video for 'Welcome to the Jungle':

It's very 'end of the Millennium' based. Waco, Columbine, Nike shoes, Rodney King… anything newsworthy.

We just decided to put out another video, the idea came along, (video director) Jeff Richter did a great job cutting it, and we went for it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 14, 2020 7:17 am

LATE 1999
IZZY TRIES TO MEET WITH AXL


To tell the truth, [Izzy] visited Axl's house about two weeks ago. […] Yes, he did visit there. But somebody told him that Axl is not home, answering over the interphone at the gate. First he said "Wait a minute" and he came back and said "He is gone." Izzy said "OK" and went back. There is always emotional thing with GN'R. At least the old GN'R.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese


Axl would likely reference this episode in an interview he did with Rolling Stone magazine in November 1999:

[Axl] casually mentions that a while back his security camera caught an unannounced visit by Izzy Stradlin to his front gate, but quickly adds that he had no interest in getting together with the old school buddy and former collaborator, whom he originally followed to Los Angeles from Indiana.
Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000; interview from November 1999


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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:55 am

LATE 1999
DOUG GOLDSTEIN SUES SLASH AND DUFF


GN'R's management company, Big F D Entertainment (headed up by Doug Goldstein) is suing former bandmembers Slash (Saul Hudson) and Duff McKagan (Michael McKagan) for what Big F D says are monies owed, according to papers dated December 14 and filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit claims that the pair is in debt to the company to the tune of at least $400,000.

Slash's lawyer, Zia Modabber, told MTV News that the guitarist's contract with Goldstein ended some time ago and that the manager isn't owed anything. The lawyer added that Slash intends to vigorously defend himself in court.

The filed documents include a copy of Goldstein's contract, which covers not only the bandmembers' work with GN'R, but also the individual members' solo projects. The contract appears to be valid for either a term of three-years or until the last day of the next GN'R tour cycle, which ever comes last. The three-year period appears to have started in October of 1992 and ended in October of 1995.

GN'R released its last original product, the "Use Your Illusion" album set, in 1991, and the group last toured in 1993.

The key issue apparently lies with the definition and timeline of the term "tour cycle." Big F D legal counsel Bert Deixler told MTV News there's a new Guns N' Roses record on the way (presumably "Chinese Democracy," the project Axl Rose first mentioned to MTV News' Kurt Loder in November of last year) that will give rise to a GN'R tour, and that when that tour is over, the contract will expire.

Slash left the group in 1996 and was followed by McKagan in 1998. Rose retained the rights to the Guns N' Roses name and has assembled a new band that will be using that moniker. According to the documents filed last month, the band is expected to finish recording this spring and will start touring in the summer or fall.

McKagan is also accused of breaching the management contract by hiring independent managers in 1997 and again in 1999, although Slash's manager, Tom Maher, is not referenced in the documents. Maher declined to comment for this story, and McKagan's current manager, Katrina Sirdofsky, was not immediately available.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:09 pm

LATE 1999
BUCKETHEAD JOINS THE BAND


In February 2000, Rolling Stone magazine would write about the various musicians that had been connected to Guns N' Roses in recent years, and mention "cult hero Buckethead" [Rolling Stone, February 3, 2000] and in March, it would be reported that Buckethead had indeed recorded with the band but that he wasn't necessarily the band's new lead guitarist [MTV News, March 15, 2000].

Buckethead's involvement with the band would be confirmed in October 2000 [MTV News, October 27, 2000].


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:50 am

JANUARY 2000
KNAC.COM OFFERS A LIVE VERSION OF 'COMA'


To celebrate KNAC-FM radio station's knac.com website, Guns N' Roses allowed the station to offer a live version of 'Coma' to their web users.

KNAC was the only station in the country playing us back when we were in the clubs in Los Angeles, and the fact that they have gone online with the same people working who were around before is amazing. Giving rock fans a technology-based alternative to some of the crap radio...and doing it internationally, I feel very strongly about supporting their efforts. It was also a way to give the fans a cool live version of "Coma," and I felt this was the best way to get it to the fans.


The live version of 'Coma' had been mixed by Andy Wallace and was to be found on the Japanese version of 'Live Era '87-'93' [knac.com, January 19, 2000].
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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:14 am

MARCH 2000
JOSH LEAVES THE BAND


In March 2000, it would be reported that Josh had quit the band to focus on his other project, A Perfect Circle [Allstarmag, March 14, 2000]. According to sources "close to Josh", his contract had run out and he was no longer willing to remain available for the band [MTV News, March 15, 2000]. Goldstein would remark that his drum parts were done and since they wouldn't be touring anytime soon, the door would be open to Josh in the future [MTV News, March 15, 2000]. That Josh's future with the band was uncertain would be emphasized in other press reports, and it would be speculated that he had quit the band for good or that he was just taking a break from the band to focus on other projects [VH-1, March 18, 2000].

I'm hearing these rumors, and nobody has officially told me anything....[Freese] hasn't had an attorney or manager tell me he's out of the band.


Later in March Josh himself would comment upon the situation:

The only thing I can say about that is for the time being is that I'm not working with them. When they finish the record and when it comes time to tour we've kind of left the door open, where if they feel like calling me, and if they still want me involved, I'm going to do it with them.

[On whether he had learnt anything from playing in Guns N' Roses]: Yeah, I learn something from everyone I work with. I've worked with a billion different artists. I've played on almost a hundred records. Depending on the situation, you can learn from every experience -- whether it's a good experience, a bad experience, or I might work with somebody that I could pick up some engineering skills from, or just learn to communicate better with people or just...No comment.


Apparently, according to Joe Escalante, a band mate of Josh from the Vandals, Josh sent in his resignation over email:

He e-mailed his resignation because he didn't want to sit around waiting another year, so he joined A Perfect Circle with a couple of his bald friends. That guy has to rock. He's a road dog.


Josh would also be asked to talk about Axl, but would always express nothing but admiration and respect:

[Axl's] great. People always want to hear stories and I can give stories about other people but really it's amazing what a good guy he is, but he just has a bad reputation through press and stuff. Maybe in the past, but I didn't know him ten years ago.

I enjoyed the time in the studio with [Axl] — he was a pleasure to work with. But I had to make a decision and I decided I wanted to do A Perfect Circle and get out on tour.



JOSH AFTER GUNS N' ROSES


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:27 am

1996-
AXL'S RELATIONSHIP WITH FORMER BAND MEMBERS


AXL AND SLASH


After Slash left Guns N' Roses a public spat between the two former friends would develop.

In Axl's first interview since Slash left in October 1996, Axl would criticize Slash:

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 tears...hot, 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


Slash would follow with by pointing out that they never had much of a personal relationship:

I haven’t spoken to Axl in almost five years, and I have no interest in talking to him. He wouldn’t talk to me. No big deal, it just would be a waste of time. ... If Axl and I hadn’t been in a band together., we'd never have been friends. ... With Axl — even though we looked like the two frontmen — we really didn’t have that much of a personal relationship.

[Being asked who he would eject from a Bond car]: There is one guy I'd like to eject. I can't tell you his name, but I think you know who it is.


And that Axl held sole responsibility for the dismantling of previous lineups:

[Axl would] systematically eliminate or alienate everyone so Guns N’ Roses wasn’t fun anymore. […] I’m a huge Axl Rose fan. I’d love to hear what it is that he decimated a band of that stature for. ... There has to be some sort of method to the madness.

What was the point? Realistically, you have a situation where it was all centered around one person, you're like going, 'What is it you want to do so bad that you forced everybody out like that?'


Being asked when thing fell apart between him and Axl:

It was before Guns even started! I mean, he’s a brilliant man. I’m a huge Axl fan, but he’s got one way of doing things which I just don’t understand.


Slash would also repeatedly take swipes at Axl when talking about his new bands:

The guys in the band are great—there are no rock stars. Everyone’s very levelheaded, we have the same aspirations. Everyone’s just so enthusiastic and moving in the same direction, including our singer, which I’m not used to.


Yet Slash would consistently compliment Axl as a musician:

You know what? Alright, okay, okay, okay. We’re not at war. It’s not like – I’m not, you know -. I’m the hugest Axl fan in the world, because the guy’s great. We don’t see eye-to-eye on stuff, but – […] he is great. He can sing and he’s a great performer.

Axl's brilliant. He's one of the overall best performer/singer/writer guys, in my book.


And defend Axl against other people:

It’s like, ‘Don’t talk [badly] about Guns or about Axel [sic] or about any of that stuff, because that’s where I come from.


By the year 2000 it would be five years since Slash last talked to Axl [The Howard Stern Show, June 7, 2000]:

I just haven’t talked to Axel [sic]. I think the split-up between [us] was a little more bitter. But it wasn’t so much personal as it was a disassociation from what I thought he was doing and consequently what it was that I wanted to do. So we just parted ways and I haven’t talked to him since.


Slash would also continue to put the blame for the break-up squarely on Axl, and indicate that it was Axl who didn't want to continue with the band:

The only reason the band broke up was because it was not what (vocalist Axl Rose) wanted to do.


And he would put the blame on the riot in Montreal on Axl's shoulders:

It’s really one of the only regrets I have: any time fans have been disappointed. It’s not my fault, and it wasn’t a lot of other people’s fault.

I'm not going to name names, but there’s definitely somebody responsible for that.

All you have to do is walk up there and do your thing. It’s what you’re supposed to love more than anything else in the world, and it’s got to have a hitch in it.


At the time of these last two quotes, Slash allegedly was not allowed to name Axl in interviews:

Because of pending litigation in the Guns N’ Roses camp, Slash has been instructed not to make specific references to Rose during interviews.


Talking about whether he is at peace with Axl now:

I guess so. I haven't spoken to him since (laughs). I see Izzy and Duff and Steve Adler and Matt, those guys. I haven't talked to Axl for a long time. Five years ago.


In October 2000, NME would ask Slash about his "heroes and villains", and Slash would list Axl as a "villain":

He’s the closest person I’ve ever worked with that was as villainesque as they get. You know, in a sort of harmless kind of way, but not totally. All that is sort of self-explanatory as well. I definitely gotta put him on the list cos as much as I love the guy he’s definitely way up there. I don’t know how familiar you are with Guns history, but I quit the band five years ago and haven’t looked back since. Axl’s probably still in them, but I haven’t seen him. He’s just a really fucking huge mindfuck. He has a sweet side to him and a nasty side to him, if memory serves. He would be very, very violent and have very wicked thoughts and sore points.


Talking about singers in general:

Everybody is different. You have to have a disorder to sell your soul to rock ’n’ roll in the first place. To really be a dedicated entertainer 24-7, you’re already f- up. You have an ego problem or something. When you go out in front of an audience and want people to buy your records, something must be going on in your head. Singers have to go out there without having to hide behind the top hat and guitar, and they have to talk about s-they’re feeling. You couldn’t even get me to write a letter, let alone go out there and do that. Everyone has got their own dysfunctional reality, so it comes out in their public appearance. Hence, you’ve got a lot of whacked-out singers, but they’re all very sweet people. They’re just a little complicated.



AXL AND DUFF


[I have talked to him a] couple of times. [...] I don't know if [our relationship] is for him. I don't know. I think Axl is really pissed at me now. I think he's getting more and more pissed. First time I saw him, everything seemed to work out fine, but it looks like things have changed.


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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:08 am

MARCH 2000
BRAIN JOINS THE BAND


Brian "Brain" Mantia would first be announced as the band's when drummer in October 2000, when the lineup for 2001's Rock in Rio was discussed in the media [MTV News, October 25, 2000].


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