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2002.11.07 - The Province - Axl Rose: Behind The Music

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2002.11.07 - The Province - Axl Rose: Behind The Music Empty 2002.11.07 - The Province - Axl Rose: Behind The Music

Post by Blackstar on Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

2002.11.07 - The Province - Axl Rose: Behind The Music 2002_114


Axl Rose: Behind the music

By Sorelle Saidman
Special to The Province

They say Axl Rose is a rock star poster boy for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

It’s an illusion.

For one thing, Rose was never really into drugs, say acquaintances. His perceived lunacy comes naturally.

He was born to a 15-year-old mother and an abusive father. Three years later, his mother married a heavy-handed bible thumper who spoke in tongues. Rose’s life was a scene out of Carrie.

Quiet at first, he became the red-headed stepchild of Lafayette, Ind., in his mid-teens — a constant source of trouble and a favourite target of the local police.

He moved to Los Angeles for good when he was 20, eventually co-founding Guns N’ Roses and selling well over 20 million copies of their debut Appetite For Destruction.

While his bandmates were given to legendary excesses, Rose was not.

“He went through a brief period of doing heroin when the band was really breaking,” says a source. “But Axl never got too far out there with anything. He was a control freak, he didn’t want to lose control.”

Rose was, however, showing up late, launching long rants from the stage, and fighting with security guards and other authority figures. He became even more insulated from the outside world, his band-mates included.

According to Rolling Stone, he hung with a therapist who took him back to the womb via transgression therapy and a psychic dubbed “Yoda” who checked out auras and manipulated heavenly bodies.

“I remember everybody up on the roof with her watching her ‘move the stars’ or some such thing,” recalls a former employee of Guns N’ Roses. “Everybody just shook their heads but Axl was seeing those stars move.”

Court documents in the mid-’90s revealed that the bipolar Rose indulged in a wrap therapy session — reported to have cost more than $100,000 — and had somebody steal photos of his ex-wife’s dead dogs so he could have their souls transferred into a new set of pets.

The band barely got a sophomore album recorded in 1991. They were falling apart. For years, there was no new music. Then, there was too much music. Rose was collecting players and notes on thousands of feet of tape — and couldn’t let go.

The new GNR debuted at a Vegas club show New Year’s Day, 2001, followed by the giant Rock in Rio concert, before retiring for another year. The reviews were phenomenal but there was little evidence: Security had been sent out to confiscate cameras, tape decks and cellphones. No photos were issued, broadcasters were denied permission to use Brazilian video footage and a Japanese company that paid for the rights to the Vegas footage were denied permission to release it.

The following year, two tours of Europe were booked and then cancelled. Two months ago, they finally performed a handful of festival dates overseas. Rose honed his reputation as the Howard Hughes of rock.

“I decided not to check out GNR when Axl rode up in his limo with presidential-style security guys running alongside,” said Noodles, guitarist for The Offspring, on his website. “His whole security thing was such a hassle for all the other bands and crews, and such a needless scene.”

In Vancouver, Guns N’ Roses had a day of rehearsals without Rose, who rarely, if ever, rehearses with his band. He’s scheduled to arrive separately today.


Ten reasons why Guns N’ Roses rocks

By Stuart Derdeyn
Music Reporter

Axl Rose and his new hired guns tear up GM Place tonight on the opening night of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy world tour.

To say that GNR’s return is one of the most anticipated rock events of the year is an understatement.

Fans have waited more than a decade for this gig to go down. Now here it is, named after an album that isn’t out yet.

What else can you expect from a singer whose public tantrums and reclusiveness threaten to
overtake his band’s former glory?

But there is still a buzz around the rowdy party kings of the ’80s Sunset Strip. Simply put, GNR rocks.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Appetite for Destruction. When the group’s debut came out in ’87, initially it sold squat. When the band opened for the Cult in Vancouver that year, it got booed.
When Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler and Duff McKagan dropped by the former Arts Club on Seymour Street to catch a set by Duff’s old Seattle pals Green River — featuring future members of Pearl Jam and Mudhoney — the punks in attendance laughed at them.
A year later, the same punks were cranking “Welcome to the Jungle” and writing rock songs. Appetite still has a place in the Billboard chart and was recently rated the No. 1 Metal Album of All Time in Spin Magazine's September 2002 issue.

2. Forgettable follow-ups: After its killer debut, GNR imploded just like any really cool rock band should. The sprawling Use Your Illusion Vol. I & II barely contained one album of quality material. And
The Spaghetti Incident...

3. The ’do rag and oversize aviator sunglasses look.

4. Slash’s top hat.

5. The Axl Rose hip shimmy-shake captured forever in the “Sweet Child of Mine” video.

6. “Take me down to the Paradise City/where the grass is green and the girls are pretty/take me home."

7. Drummer Steven Adler got fired in ’91 for drug use. His replacement, Matt Sorum, got dumped for insubordination.

8. The Chinese Democracy album. In progress — depending on who you believe — since ’92. Rose insists he’s waiting to make it “just right.”

9. Slash’s replacement is called Buckethead. McKagan’s replacement, Tommy Stinson, was a Replacement.

10. Izzy Stradlin, Slash, McKagan and Sorum have a new band together, likely with eNeurotica’s Kelly Shaefer or Buck Cherry’s Joshua Todd singing. The group intends to tour and play the same tunes. Suggested names could be the Thorns. Or perhaps the Pricks.

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