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2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis

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2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis Empty 2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis

Post by Blackstar on Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:30 pm

Original text in Portuguese:
https://web.archive.org/web/20010526152932/http://bolsademulher.com.br/revista/?id_secao=5&id_materia=269&id_pagina=410
https://web.archive.org/web/20010427003110/http://bolsademulher.com.br/revista/?id_secao=5&id_materia=269&id_pagina=426
https://web.archive.org/web/20010427002324/http://bolsademulher.com.br/revista/?id_secao=5&id_materia=269&id_pagina=425

Google translation with corrections:
---------------------------------------------

Axl Rose’s “nanny”

by Claudia Altschüller
 
Who is this woman? Until January 14, she was a simple 45-year-old woman from São Paulo, now living in California, divorced and mother of three children. Oh, and in her spare time she’s "the big Mama" of rocker Axl Rose, leader of Guns N Roses. When she was paid homage onstage at the American band's concert in Rock in Rio, Elizabeth Lebeis, affectionately nicknamed Beta, became a celebrity.
 
The hassle has been enormous. Ηer picture has appeared in the headlines of the main publications in the country. We ran after her, too, but for a different interview. During our chat in the bar at the Intercontinental hotel, "Big Mama" talks about her love life, her children, and reveals that Axl is an eternal romantic - so passionate, that when he broke up with model Stephanie Seymour, he "went to her house in a suit, riding a white horse and carrying flowers".
 
Drugs, rock 'n roll, depression, abortion, sexual abuse and the fights between Axl Rose and guitarist Slash were also among the subjects discussed by the cheerful Beta.
 
Axl, according to Beta
 
BM - Axl considers you a mother hen. Have you adopted another child?
 
BL - I'm a a mother hen. According to him, I am the mother he never had. He was impressed by the way I raise my children, the concern ... He never had that. He calls me Beta and, sometimes, mama.
 
BM - Mama?
 
BL - I always make food and take it to the studio, I make pies, cakes... I call before the show to wish them good luck. I light candles for them. It’s like I am the mom of the whole band.
 
BM - Has he written any songs for you?
 
BL - I don't know, I don't think so (laughs). He says that one of the new songs is about me and my family.
 
BM - When did Axl leave his home?
 
BL - He left home very young. His stepfather used to beat him a lot and he even abused him sexually. This has made him timid. I’m not quite sure, but I think he left Lafayette when he was 14 or 15 years old. Now he’s 38.
 
BM - And he came to discover motherly affection now.
 
BL – He has nothing against his mother. The one thing he doesn't understand is why he didn't receive motherly protection and what he sees in my relationship with my children. Now he realises that a mother should be protective, and he never felt protected.
 
BM - And that has affected him a lot?
 
BL - I think we all reflect the way we were raised, the way our family behaves at home, our parents' relationship. We are a mirror of our family. The foundation comes from our home, and he didn't have that. This sentiment is more difficult in an adult's mind. As we grow up we see this example every day, the affection, a good night kiss... He never had that. So he doesn't know how to show this kind of affection. It's very difficult to pass this on to an adult, you know?
 
BM - And his music reflects this lack.
 
BL - Absolutely. The old songs have that anger, the new ones not so much.
 
BM - Does he have any contact with his mother?
 
BL - She passed away 5 years ago.
 
BM - Who lives with him in Malibu, the classy resort near Los Angeles?
 
BL – Me and him. My younger son sometimes lives there and sometimes at my house. I have a house in California, in another neighborhood. But I stay at Axl’s house.
 
BM - I feel that you are his life’s housekeeper. Do you organize everything?
 
BL - (Laughs) I think that word is more appropriate because everyone asks, "What do you do?" Well, I'm his personal assistant, okay? Then I organise everything that has to do with the house: I coordinate the employees, the gardeners...
 
BM - And his career? Do you advise him?
 
BL – I give him advice when he asks me to. He listens to my opinion a lot, you know? I never see just the bad side. I try to look at a person from every angle. You’ve got to have a 360-degrees view; there is always a little spot that is good. So, if he’s going to draw up a contract or whatever with the new band, that’s his decision. He does ask me what I think, he wants to know if he should do this or that, if it’s too much... He asks if he's being unfair. He’s very concerned about being fair. He doesn't like to do anything that isn't right. He wants to do things right, because he’s very worried about what they’ll say about him. He wants everything to be right. So I think that I influence him a lot, but I'm a little worried about that because I feel it’s a big responsibility. It’s kind of scary.
 
BM - How did you get into his life?
 
BL - I started as a nanny to Stephanie Seymour's son. She was a Victoria's Secret model. That was 11 years ago. I started working for Stephanie in February and she started dating Axl in May. It seems that we were connected before.
 
BM - Do you believe in past lives?
 
BL – Yes, I do, and so does he. As a Brazilian, I believe in this. I think it’s impossible that I would have felt such an affinity with him if I’d never met him before. I don't know what happened at the moment I opened the door for him. It was like I’d already known him for a long time.
 
BM - Do you know what Axl says about Queen?
 
BL - He loves Queen, it’s his favorite band. Freddie Mercury really liked Axl. Axl even paid tribute to Freddie at the second Rock in Rio, and he’s still friends with Brian May. He played guitar on one of Axl's songs on the new album.
 
BM – Did you stay with Axl after his breakup [with Stephanie]?
 
BL - He asked me to stay with him when they were breaking up. But I was the boy's nanny and I was worried about him. He was two years old and Stephanie was always traveling, she was never home.
 
BM - And why did Axl and Stephanie break up?
 
BL – They broke up because she cheated on Axl with many people and he finally found out. He was crazy about her. Then she moved to New York and Axl asked me to work with him. So then I accepted, because there was never doubt in my mind that, between the two of them, Axl is the better person 100%, even though he’s a man and all that. Our friendship is amazing, he’s someone I trust. Axl is the same person in front of me and behind my back. Stephanie was one way with me and behind my back she was another way. He values me much more than she did.
 
BM – Tell me about his depression phase.
 
BL - Axl is a man who wants to do the right things. I think he was the type of boyfriend that every woman would like to have, like a prince charming. The things he did for her were something you only read in books.
 
BM - So he was an old-fashioned lover?
 
BL- Oh yes, it was unbelievable, you know? Let's just say that when they were about to break up, he went to her house begging, dressed in a white suit, riding a horse and carrying flowers... I’m telling you, the things he did for her I’ve only read in history books. They don’t exist in real life. In my mind he’s what many women would dream of having.  I would never let something like this go. Stephanie, being beautiful and sexy, can have any man she wants. Men are like toys for her. Have you seen a child with a new toy? She plays with them and then she doesn't want to play anymore, she gets tired and decides to change. I always told her that she would affect Axl more than she ever imagined. The other guys she left may not have gone through the pain that Axl went through in his life, you know? So that's why he suffers so much. He wanted to do things right, and he thought he was doing everything right. He took it very seriously. She practically killed him. When the band was over, he thought he would have his family, he would get married and have children... He thought of that as the second part of his life. He had already worked hard to earn enough money, and now he could dedicate himself to a family. His dream is to have a family, children, the things he never had. I think that with me he has started to believe that he really has someone who cares, who is devoted to him and who really likes him. When he talks in relation to me, we have our differences, opinion differences or background differences. And I'm a very patient person, you know? I have confidence in him and he didn’t have confidence in himself. It’s much more difficult with an adult than with a child. I’m not a psychologist. He needs someone to listen to what he has to say and that's what I do. In our relationship I’m a friend when I have to be a friend, and an assistant when I have to be an assistant. I don't mix things. When I'm his assistant and I have to work, I don't mix our friendship with my work. I don't take advantage of our relationship. I have respect like I would with any other employer. That’s our professional relationship.
 
BM - Is he happy that he played for 200,000 people?
 
BL – It was his dream to come back to Brazil. When we first met, our first conversation was about Brazil. He was talking about the favelas, the diseases and his dream of building a hospital where poor people would receive treatment for free.
 
BM – My perception is that the new generation in Brazil is connected with the band. 
 
BL – Yes, very much. It’s amazing. It’s a surprise for us. This generation is not the Guns N' Roses generation, yet they love the band.
 
BM – What is the new record of the band going to be like?
 
BL - Great. I have an emotional connection the band,  but I think it will be amazing. It will come out in June or July. There are 48 songs and the label is selecting from them.
 
BM - Is Axl out of drugs?
 
BL - He doesn't use drugs. I’ve known Axl for ten years and I’ve worked with him for seven and a half. There has been nothing, no drugs ever.  He has quit smoking, too. Absolutely nothing.
 
BM – Does he drink?
 
BL – He has a drink every now and then.
 
BM - In Brazil, young people get arrested if they are caught with marijuana, but if they drink a liter of cachaça, nothing happens. In the United States, not much happens if a teenager is caught with marijuana. What do you think? Is there a certain demagogy?
 
BL – I’m against drugs, whatever it is. Alcohol is as bad as marijuana, you know what I mean? I don’t think it’s right. I think that both should be treated the same. When you drink, you can run over and kill someone or get into a fight. You have no control in your mind. I think there is demagogy and it’s bullshit.
 
BM - You probably have known people who became addicted to heroin. Is it difficult to quit?
 
BL - Look, I’ve never seen it. Axl doesn’t accept it in his house or in his band, not anywhere. Not even smoking is allowed in the studio, no one smokes near him. You have to go out if you want to smoke. I’ve never witnessed anyone doing drugs.
 
BM – Is there a studio in the Malibu house?
 
BL – Yes, there is.
 
BM - Wasn't the drugs the reason Axl and Slash fought?
 
BL - There wasn’t any fight. The problem was that Slash, at that time, said he already had the new Guns N’ Roses album ready, which would be the next one, right? That "next" album was the one he would then release, which was terrible. Slash's last two records were terrible. Axl wanted to do something more advanced for the new generation. You can't stay on the same thing, like the same kind of music that he played 15 years ago.
 
BM – There is an electronic element in these new songs.
 
BL - In the year we are in, 2001, music is more electronic. The new record is not all electronic though. Yes, there is more electronic stuff now than 15 years ago. Slash wanted to keep doing the same thing. And then drugs was another reason. Axl could never count on Slash. For example, Slash didn’t go to the rehearsals, it wasn’t going well. The drummer was drunk. It didn't work.
 
BM - Does Axl have a routine nowadays?
 
BL - We have a nutritionist who tells us what to eat. Axl exercises all day long. He runs between three and five miles every other day. He works out for three or four hours. He doesn’t go out much. We go to the movies a lot, he loves watching a movie. He doesn't like bars.
 
BM – Does he go to sleep late?
 
BL – His grandmother says that he was never a day person. He writes a lot at night. There is no phone, no interruptions. This is the time when he is most creative.
 
BM – Is his grandmother still alive?
 
BL – His grandmother from his mother’s side is still alive. He never met his father. He thinks he was never protected by anyone in his family. He feels a lot of sorrow inside. His sister was raped by her stepfather, and his mother continued to live with him. Nobody did anything, not even his grandmother.
 
BM - And what does he like to eat? Feijoada?
 
BL - He doesn't eat now because of his diet. He eats a lot of healthy food, turkey breast, chicken breast, plenty of salad, and drinks a lot of water... He also likes Brazilian food a lot. He even tried cabbage and liked it.
 
Personal Life
 
BM - How old are your children?
 
BL - 24, 23 and 22 years old.
 
BM - Did you raise your children by yourself?
 
BL - I got divorced fifteen years ago. I practically raised my children on my own.
 
BM - Are you the type of protective mother?
 
BL - Very protective (laughs). Too much. I shouldn't be that much.
 
BM - Are you a rock mom? I can see you have tattoo, you have a stripped-down style.
 
BL - (Laughs) I wasn't a hippie. Well, I watched the first Rock in Rio because of Queen.
 
BM - Were you a secretary before moving to the United States?
 
BL- I worked at Quaker, in Itajaí, Santa Catarina. I was an executive secretary. I moved to the U.S. because the situation in Brazil was difficult and I was a divorced woman with three children. I thought I wouldn't be able to raise my children the way I wanted to if I stayed in Brazil. There were three children. I raised some money and left by myself. I left the kids with my mom and then brought them to the U.S. one by one.
 
BM – You went there determined?
 
BL - Exactly. I sold everything I had, so that I wouldn’t come back. After a year I took one of my children, then another, and finally the third one.
 
BM - You said that everyone is phoning you. What do you think about all this hassle?
 
BL- I didn't think it would happen. I'm translating what Axl is saying, you know? Suddenly, he comes back again and calls me to the stage. I thought he would thank the audience, and then when he said, “Seven years ago...” I started to choke, I couldn’t speak. I went away and his manager pushed me back to the stage, right? Then I was translating everything wrong, I saw that nothing came out. The most difficult thing is to translate someone talking about you. Nothing came out. I know everything went wrong, I was nervous. There is no way to explain what I went through at that moment, in front of all that crowd...
 
BM - What is the thing that you must always carry in your bag?
 
BL - The cell phone and the pager. I don't leave without knowing that he can contact me at any time. Lipstick, too.
 
BM - Talk about your love life.
 
BL- I lived twelve years with the father of my children, in Santos. Before the last four years of our relationship, I didn't know that he had married another woman. It was a huge shock. Today he owns Santos Nave, a shipping company. I suffered a lot with his family. I left for the United States, and I got remarried to an American. After six years, he realized that he was not yet ready for marriage. He didn't know how to say he wasn't ready for a relationship, so he packed his things in the car and drove away. That was my second separation. I get very attached, I fall in love, I want everything to work out and then I suffer a lot. Now I think I have a goal, I either finish my mission with my children or I don’t do anything else. I'm afraid to get involved again and get hurt. I have put a barrier in love life and I have no one. I only work and take care of my children.
 
BM – Do you spend time with friends?
 
BL - Axl's friends are my family. So much, that the band calls me “Big Mama.”
 
BM - Do you come to Brazil often?
 
BL - I hadn't been in Brazil in six years.
 
BM - What is your opinion on abortion?
 
BL - Look, I am in favour of abortion. It’s necessary in certain situations. Are you against it?


Last edited by Blackstar on Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:58 am; edited 10 times in total
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2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis Empty Re: 2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis

Post by Blackstar on Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:37 pm

This interview has been around on various fan sites, without the exact date and original source being mentioned. Some fans thought  it could be manipulated or even fake. The texts that have been circulating could have been English translations of translations in other languages and not directly from Portuguese, and some parts of the interview were omitted.

I found out that it was done with a Brazilian online women's magazine and released on that date.


Last edited by Blackstar on Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis Empty Re: 2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:03 pm

I can understand why some fans might not think this interview is genuine. They might not be comfortable with all she says and some fans go to absurd lengths to revise history.
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2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis Empty Re: 2001.01.22 - Bolsa de Mulher - Interview with Beta Lebeis

Post by Blackstar on Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:22 pm

@Soulmonster wrote:I can understand why some fans might not think this interview is genuine. They might not be comfortable with all she says and some fans go to absurd lengths to revise history.

It seems there is slight manipulation as well as some mistakes and omissions in the text that has been circulating, e.g. here:
http://ladydairhean.0catch.com/Axl/Interviews/article0155.htm
(the date stated is obviously wrong)
and here
http://www.angelfire.com/rock2/2001axl//articles/BETA1.html

It most likely originated from a Spanish translation that was posted on an old Argentinian fan site. I have noticed that a lot of the stuff posted there was "creatively" paraphrased.
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