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1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein)

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Post by Blackstar on Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:15 pm

1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein) 1989_026
1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein) 1989_028
1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein) 1989_027
1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein) 1989_029

Transcript:
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THE TOUR OF THE DECADE
AEROSMITH MEETS GUNS N' ROSES


A Behind-the-Scenes RIP Exclusive by Katherine Turman

The tour may be over, but the memories will linger on forever. Those fans lucky enough to catch one of the Aerosmith/Guns N’ Roses concerts witnessed rock history in the making. RIP thought everyone might enjoy an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how the tour came about, what really went on backstage and the people who made it happen. Enjoy.

"Blues had a baby and called it rock ’n' roll. L.A. had a baby and called it Guns N’ Roses."
—Steven Tyler, 1988

"It's not just a job—it’s an adventure." That about sums up the 1988 Aerosmith/Guns N’ Roses tour. It lasted two months, 39 shows, about 18 states, and who knows how many bottles’ worth on the part of Guns N’ Roses.

Actually, what turned out to be the tour of the year was in the works for quite a while. In November 1987, GNR vocalist W. Axl Rose noted that an Aerosmith/GNR tour "has been rumored for about a year and a half. We were supposed to have done the Done With Mirrors tour too. Basically, something just always comes up with them or us."

When the timing was finally right, other concerns were on the minds of the business folk involved—namely, that Guns N' Roses are notorious partiers and hell-raisers, while Aerosmith are newly sober and through with their once-notorious decadence days. Paranoid was a word used to describe the feelings of mixing the two groups together. “We thought about the ramifications," explains Aerosmith manager Tim Collins, "but each member of Aerosmith is responsible for his own sobriety. I hope maybe some of Aerosmith rubs off on Guns N’ Roses."

No matter who rubbed off on who, or if any rubbing went on, all concerned with the tour say it was one of the most fun ever, and for audiences as well. It was a pairing of two greats—one established, one rapidly on the rise. "There was no jealousy or animosity on either band’s part. They meshed so well,” enthused one crew member.

Still, no matter what the audience saw, Trouble is Guns N’ Roses middle name. And they found it—all over America. "The guys in Aerosmith think it’s a piss that I go through hell,” says Doug Goldstein, Guns N’ Roses brave tour manager/comanager. “I basically live in hell when I’m on the road with the guys, because something's always happening that’s major shit.” Despite the "boys will be boys” escapades of GNR, relations between the two bands, crews and management companies were warm and full of mutual admiration. Goldstein recalls the first time the two bands met. “It was cool. Actually, Steven Tyler put everybody at ease when he walked into the room. He said, ‘Hey, guys, how ya doin’? I love the album, and it's great to have you with us. Hopefully we’re gonna have a lot of fun out here.' That broke the ice."

There was a bit of tension at the initial show of the tour. "At that very first show in Chicago, there was a reticence initially on the part of the crews and some of the guys in Guns,” notes Keith Garde of Aerosmith's management company. “Axl had exhibited reservations, and he always does, but unfortunately, they're misread by people. It's not that he’s saying, 'Hey, f?!k you.’ It’s more of an indication of whatever his habits are that cause him to get up late. He’s a unique character—part of what makes him the star is that." After the maiden show of the tour, however, things gelled quickly. "We would invite the band and their crew to eat with us after the show, kind of like family. And really early on that came across,” Garde continues. "There was a very strong sense of, ‘We may be two acts and two separate companies, but we’re all out together, and this is one show.’ ”

Record-biz rumors flew fast and furious, but for those inside the tour, it was clear things couldn't be going better. For instance, there was the rumor that the bands wouldn’t be at the venue at the same time—that GNR had to leave the premises after their set. "I found them [GNR] hanging around all the time, watching the show," noted photographer Gene Kirkland, who often traveled with the tour, taking pictures of both bands. “I’d look over to stage right and see the family of Aerosmith, and also Guns N’ Roses’ people. A couple of times I was looking for Steven [Tyler], and someone would say, 'Oh, he's with Guns N' Roses.”'

Guns N' Roses even drank around Aerosmith (and their crew, who were also sober during the tour), though there were rules they were asked to follow. "Our request was that, if they’re drinking, keep in it a cup rather than walking around with the labels sticking out," explains Garde.

The Aerosmith gang took the antics of GNR in stride. "Steven [Tyler] is a cute man. He would just go up to Slash and say, ‘You can really drink that much?!”’ recalls Goldstein. "It was obvious the point he was trying to make. Slash would say, ‘Yeah, dude, it’s no big deal. I can still walk an' shit.”’

Photog Kirkland relates another Slash alcohol incident. "The night before a show I was talking to a crew member from Aerosmith, and he told me that he saw Joe Perry and Slash talking at a table. Joe was drinking tea or coffee or something out of a cup, and Slash was drinking his Jack— but out of a cup. I laughed. I thought I’d never see Slash drink anything out of a cup!”

Perhaps Aerosmith did have a good influence on the L.A. bad boys. "Guaranteed,” states Garde emphatically. "There was not a single time that anybody in Aerosmith said to anybody in Guns N’ Roses, ‘Don't do drugs and don’t drink.”' The influence came about "as a function of the old pros being there and being very open and willing to share with these guys who have killer success, which is often so threatening. There were a lot of conversations Steven and Axl had specific to what a lead man is doing and how to work with an audience. A lot of comments and things shared between Slash and Joe. The kind of bullshit that often gets in the way of being able to share honest admiration—that bullshit didn’t exist,” believes Garde. "The guys in Guns N’ Roses are growing up in the entertainment biz, and to have Aerosmith around was just killer for them. And they said as much; that’s not just my guess."

Not only were Aerosmith low-key about their sobriety; the Beantown boys have a good sense of humor about it. "At the first night of the Costa Mesa [California] shows, I got hit with a tequila bottle [while taking pictures]," says Kirkland. "Later I told Joe Perry I had a sore shoulder. He said, 'Yeah, I saw that. How dare anybody bring a tequila bottle to an Aerosmith show!’ I thought he was being serious, like, ‘How dare anybody bring alcohol.’ But then he goes, ‘Don’t they know it should be Jack Daniel’s?!’ and laughed. It was apparent to me that they’re back on top, where I remember them being when I was in high school."

In fact, the Guns N’ Roses dudes were also of high-school age (who knows if they attended regularly!) when Aerosmith was hitting their mid-’70s peak. Though Aerosmith may be the seasoned veterans, they were still happy about having the 15-years-younger band out with ’em. "The guys were very, very excited about going out with an act that was really rock ’n” roll," Garde says. “The guys in Guns N’ Roses don’t give a shit. Their attitude is not anything that’s contrived or preconceived. They are what they are, and it comes across. Mutual respect really prevailed."

And for their part, GNR "really respects Aerosmith. And there are very few bands that my band respects,” emphasized Goldstein.

Unfortunately, one thing Guns N’ Roses don’t always respect is the law—or laws of good conduct. As usual, it resulted in a few unfortunate incidents involving men with badges and hats. And of course, intrepid tour manager Goldstein would always come to the rescue. "In Philadelphia, Axl was coming to the show a little late. When Axl and his brother come to pull in, Stuart, Axl's brother, jumps out of the car and pulls the parking cones out of the way so they can get in. He tells the parking guy he’s got the lead singer in the car. The guy tells Stuart to f?!k off. Axl doesn’t want that to happen— he’s one of the most loyal people I've encountered—so he jumps out and gets into it with the parking attendant. It turned into a pretty big scene. So the lead singer’s being taken to jail with a half hour to go before the show.” Goldstein rescued Axl, five minutes to showtime. ”I practically had to blow every cop within a five-mile radius to get him out of jail,” jokes Goldstein. “Stuff like that would happen, and Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford would come and go, 'Man, you're not making enough money.’” Still, Axl was chronically tardy. “He must be part Indian, because they have no concept of time. It makes guys like myself go through the roof.”

Speaking of going through the roof—er, the window, rather—another GNR “incident" occurred in New Jersey. “Axl threw a coffee table out of a hotel window in New Jersey. It's easy to see when he's feeling stressed,” explained Goldstein calmly. “We just leave him alone.” The band was not welcomed back at those particular lodgings— nor at several other places. Hotel rooms were trashed “all the time,” confirms Goldstein. “I told the guys, ‘I really appreciate what you've done. I’ve been touring for seven years now. In one year’s time you've managed to destroy every relationship I've put together over the past seven years!’” He’s also learned from experience. ‘‘When I met the crew, they’d already been out with the band. They saw me and thought I was going to get eaten alive—I was wearing Bermuda shorts and a polo shirt.”

But he’s survived—admirably. ‘‘Doug has to be credited as a major player in the success of the tour. He’s unusual for a tour manager. He didn’t seem to wear down and become intolerable,” praises Garde. Though there wasn't much time off during the two-month tour, Aerosmith manager Collins arranged a boat excursion for both bands. It was in Boston, Aerosmith-land, and about 100 folks went for a harbor cruise-including Slash and bassist Duff ‘‘The King of Beers” McKagan, brown bags of hooch in tow. All had a blast at the "Royal Tea Party,” and if anybody went overboard, "it was nobody who mattered enough for us to remember,” jokes Garde. "There were a few big splashes.”

The biggest splashes of all came during the final two dates in California. The first night, in the middle of "Dude Looks Like a Lady,” GNR drummer Steven Adler zoomed across the stage on a motorized skateboard. "He had that innocent look on his face, of a mischievous little child who’s not doing anything terrible, who’s definitely doing something he thinks everyone is going to laugh at,” says Garde, chuckling. "And everyone did. It was a real ‘Little Rascals' move.”

The next night was Aerosmith’s turn to retaliate. During “Welcome to the Jungle,” gorilla-costumed crew members appeared onstage, while a Tarzan type swung from a vine. "I looked up and saw Axl being very professional, but cracking the biggest grin,” recalls Kirkland. “After the gorillas left, Axl went to the mic stand and said, ‘Just remember, they have to play next!”'

But instead of a prank, what happened during Aerosmith’s set was rock history—a Rose/Tyler duet. Axl, Duff and Slash joined 'Smith for "Mama Kin,” a tune GNR covered on their first Live Like a Suicide EP. Duff, playing guitar, jammed next to Tom Hamilton, while Axl and Tyler traded verses on the nearly spur-of-the-moment pairing. "When they finished the tune, they hugged each other,” says Garde, "and it was not just warmth, but the audience got the benefit of a real gelling of these two bands.”

Both groups took time out during their sets to thank the other. ‘They’re f?!kin’ great, great guys,” mumbled Slash. After the final shows, the celeb-studded backstage (Lita Ford, Chris Holmes, Tommy Lee, Heather Locklear, Femme Fatale, Derek St. Holmes, Jimmy Crespo, etc.) had a relaxed and euphoric atmosphere.

Goldstein also remembers the closing night of the tour—but for another reason. When he came offstage with Guns N’ Roses and headed for the dressing room, a surprise awaited them. "They [Aerosmith] had bought me, Alan [Niven, GNR comanager] and the guys a set of Halliburton luggage. That’s the luggage of rock. It’s amazing stuff and very expensive. That’s the nicest thing anybody has ever done for me or the band in my time with them. They gave us an Aerosmith jacket that had our name on it. I almost started crying,” recalls Goldstein. "I went to say thank you to Steven Tyler, and I was in tears. They [GNR] were so blown away by it. To get something from people you admire, you know.”

So what many feared would be a "Welcome to the Jungle” tour for all concerned actually turned out to be a match made in heaven. A bunch of hell-raisers behind the scenes, maybe, but heaven for millions of concertgoers (and all who made money from the tour!). Kirkland, who snapped about 18 of the shows, sums up his feelings: "It’s only been three weeks since the tour ended, and I find myself really missing the shows.”

Though the hard-working Goldstein won't go that far, he’s equally enthusiastic. He rates the tour as "far and away the best. Far and away. It’s the best tour I’ve ever been on as far as everybody just really, really meshing together.”


Last edited by Blackstar on Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:44 pm

I wonder if Del wrote this.
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Post by Blackstar on Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:56 pm

@Soulmonster wrote:I wonder if Del wrote this.
I wouldn't think so, since it's credited to Katherine Turman, who had done other interviews and pieces about the band. Maybe Del helped.
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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:55 pm

@Blackstar wrote:
@Soulmonster wrote:I wonder if Del wrote this.

I wouldn't think so, since it's credited to Katherine Turman, who had done other interviews and pieces about the band. Maybe Del helped.

Only now did I notice the credit...
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Post by Blackstar on Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:28 pm

Readers' letters about Guns N' Roses published in the same RIP issue:

1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein) 1989_040
1989.02.DD - RIP Magazine - Aerosmith Meets Guns N' Roses (Doug Goldstein) 1989_041
GUITAR GRUMBLINGS

This is in response of Steve from Alexandria, Louisiana (November ’88). I know someone who is better than George Lynch: Slash from Guns N' Roses, you poseur. I hate George's style of playing that cheap, two-string guitar of his. George Lynch is one of the worst guitar players I ever heard through my f!?king ears. —Puke

SD Hell House

***

GETTING OFF ON GUNS N’ ROSES

I'm writing this letter in response to the one that was written by Brian from Illinois (October ’88). He wrote about how he and a couple of his friends (girls) got to meet Guns N’ Roses. Supposedly, the band asked the girls to ride to the next town with them, if they f!?ked them on the way. The two said no, because they (the girls) had no money or a way home. I'm not a sleazy person, but if I were ever to have a chance to meet them, and they invited me to “ride” to the next town with them, I would most definitely—money or no money, ride or no ride back. There are ways. You only live life once, and you’d better live it to the fullest!

—Julie
Aberdeen, Washington

***

I'm writing about the October '88 issue. I wanted to say that those bitches that didn’t go with Guns N’ Roses are f!?ked up. If I was you, I would have f!?ked them all. I bet even if your boyfriend asked you to get laid with him (that's if you have one), you would not. As Axl would say, “You can suck me.” If I ever see your name under another letter and you say shit about Axl and the band, I will personally go to your house and f!?k you up and knock some sense in that shit brain of yours.

— Heather
New Bedford, Massachusetts

***

Anyone who says Axl Rose has got a bad attitude is f!?kin’ full of shit! Me and some of my friends saw him after the concert in St. Louis, and he took the time to shake everyone's hand, give autographs and talk to his fans. He even showed us his Guns N’ Roses tattoo! I don’t know why he’s got a bad reputation, 'cause the guy is really cool.

—Kevin
St. Louis, Missouri

***

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR MAKEUP

Hey, I would just like to say that any guy who wears makeup, like Poison or Motley Crue or sometimes even Axl Rose, has to be f!?ked up in the mind. Maybe they were born looking like a guy but having a mind like a girl. Now, look at Slayer or Metallica. They f!?king kick ass. They are #1 in metal. Slayer and Metallica don’t f!?king need makeup to rock.

—Kim
Cathedral City, California

***

DREAMING OF DONINGTON

Two of my greatest fantasies came true on the same day! Not only did I see Iron Maiden in concert, but I caught them in the act on August 20, 1988, for the Monsters of Rock at Castle Donington Park! I've been to many concerts here in the U.S., but nothing can compare to the atmosphere in England! Id heard that the Brits could bang their heads with the best, but now I know it's true!

It had rained for three days prior to the festival and was overcast on Saturday, so the ground was extremely muddy. Nonetheless, a record 100,000-plus fans packed the park to have Helloween, Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth, David Lee Roth, KISS and Iron Maiden wreak havoc on their aural senses with 500,000 watts of bone-shattering metal!

Unfortunately, there were problems for the first time in the nine years the show .has been running. There was a pileup during Guns N’ Roses in which two people were killed. Due to this freak accident, the festival promoters want to ban moshing at the concert. If that doesn't work, they plan to ban the whole event! Once England starts banning metal, the U.S. won’t be far behind. If you want to get drunk or high at a concert, be my guest. Just don’t cause problems and ruin it for me and the rest of the world! Live for music. . .die for metal!

—Jason
New Smyrna Beach, Florida

***

GETTING ON OUR GOOD SIDE

I think you guys (and gals) at RIP Magazine are the greatest. I never read RIP until I moved to California. After I read one, I had my friend get out all of his other issues, and I read each and every one, inside and out. Your mag is the greatest, especially the issues with Guns N’ Roses. Axl Rose is the hottest! Keep up the great work at RIP.

-B
Buena Park, California
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