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03. 1984-1985 - THE BEGINNINGS

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03. 1984-1985 - THE BEGINNINGS Empty Re: 03. 1984-1985 - THE BEGINNINGS

Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:26 am

OCTOBER 1984-MARCH 1985
GUNS N' ROSES IS FORMED


OCTOBER 31, 1994: AXL AND TRACII FORM GUNS N' ROSES


On Halloween, October 31, 1984, two young men were sitting on a couch in an apartment in Hollywood. They were discussing the future. The two men were Tracii Guns (age 18) and Axl Rose (age 22). Tracii was the lead guitarist in the Hollywood band LA Guns, and Axl had until earlier this evening been the singer in the same band until he was fired by Raz Cue, who in addition to managing LA Guns also owned the apartment and its couch. Now Tracii and Axl discussed what to do.

When we got home, Raz went into his room and Axl and I sat on the couch. We both looked at each other and said, “How in the hell can he fire anybody?” By the end of the conversation, we had constructed Guns N’ Roses.
Tales From The Stage, February 2013

[…] Axl decided that: Well, you know, I don't know what's really going on with me, and I know that L.A. Guns is doing it's thing. So, you know, why don't we just continue writing songs together, since we live together and everything? And I was like: Yeah, of course -- you know, do whatever we want. And then we came up with the name Guns N' Roses -- you know, it just made sense. You know, it was like: Hey, you know? I'm Tracii Guns and you're Axl Rose. Let's just, you know, kinda put it together. Yeah, so we'll put out singles and we'll call it Guns N' Roses.



Tracii and Axl back in 1985.


A couple of years later, Axl would claim that he was the one who came up with the name together with his old friend Izzy Stradlin (age 22 at the time), and not mention Tracii as part of this origin story. The foundation for the new band, according to Axl, also happened earlier when Axl was still playing in LA Guns:

[...] during the time I was in LA Guns, Izzy and I started doing stuff on the side and calling it Guns N' Roses.


This is likely not entirely correct. It seems reasonable that Tracii would have been part of coining the name by providing the "Guns" to Axl's "Rose". Axl would also knowledge Tracii's involvement  in the formation of Guns N' Roses in later interviews:

The name Guns N' Roses come from Tracii Guns and Axl Rose.

We got together, and we were going to change the name or something - and I was always going to do some solo stuff with Tracii anyway. And I said we’ll call it Guns & Roses. So we just decided to call the band that. And then, when Tracii and I quit working together, I just kept the name cause I thought of it and it was really working for us; plus we really dug the hell out of the name. Simple.


In 2005, Tracii would also reiterate his involvement in founding the band:

Axl ended up singing for LA Guns until he got in a fight with our manager [=Raz Cue]. But Axl decided we should continue writing songs together since we lived together. Then we came up with the name Guns N' Roses - it was like: 'I'm Tracii Guns and you're Axl Rose'.
Classic Rock, April 2005



WHY CONTINUE WORKING TOGETHER AFTER LA GUNS?


A conundrum here is that Axl and Tracii had disagreed over musical direction while playing together in LA Guns [for more information on Axl and Tracii in LA Guns, go here]. Why then would they want to form a new band together? Perhaps they intended Guns N' Roses to be musically different to LA Guns? Or perhaps they just admired each other too much, despite any musical differences that might have been? Axl shed some light on this in 1989:

The first time Tracii and I went our own directions, we decided we’d still get together to write some stuff because we still appreciated each other. And we’d call it Guns N' Roses when we collaborated.


Or perhaps Guns N' Roses wasn't intended as a band at all, but as a record label as Tracii stated in 2016:

We're all living together at this point and Axl and I sat down and went 'What are we going to do?' So we both said 'Fuck that', and came up with the name Guns N' Roses which was going to be just a record label that we'd put singles out on. Sadly that idea only lasted for about 10 minutes and then we decided to keep L.A. Guns going, add Izzy and call it Guns N' Roses. And that's it, that's the whole story.
The Quietus, 2016


In his great book, Reckless Road, Marc Canter, who was a friend of Guns N' Roses, would state that "Guns N' Roses originally began as a side project of Axl's and Tracii's" [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007] confirming both of their involvement but also the somewhat down-prioritized status of the band in its very beginning.


THE FIRST MONTHS - LA GUNS NEEDS A SINGER


As far as we know, not much happened with Guns N' Roses in 1984 after the two guys on the couch first came up with the name. It seemed to have been an idea, a concept, but not much more. Then, in early 1985, Tracii got in a fight with the new singer in LA Guns (the singer who had replaced Axl), Mike Jagosz, and Jagosz was not a friend of Axl:

About a week into 1985, I arrived to the studio to find Tracii and Mike yelling and screaming at one another. A piss-drunk Mike had pawned Tracii's bookshelf speakers to buy more cocktails. [...] As Tracii stormed away, Mike yelled, "If you do that guns and roses thing, I am going to quit." Once everything calmed down, I asked, "What was that you said earlier, 'guns and roses'?" Mike sneered, "Tracii wants to do a jam band with Bill [=Axl] and call it "Guns and Roses."
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 186


This supports the theory that Tracii and Axl came up with Guns N' Roses already back in 1984 but that it hasn't evolved into a full band yet.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:27 am

MARCH 1985
MERGING WITH LA GUNS AND ADDING IZZY


With Tracii and Mike Jagosz having a fall-out, Tracii would fire Jagosz from L.A. Guns. And with Jagosz gone, Axl spent more time with L.A. Guns again [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 195]. But Tracii and LA Guns had a problem, the band had one more gig already booked at the Troubadour for March 26, 1985, but they had no singer. Tracii asked if Axl wanted to do a one-off, one more show with LA Guns as the singer, and Axl agreed. Cue then claims to have suggested they'd do it under the "Guns N' Roses" moniker and that they'd also bring Izzy in [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 197]:

By the following afternoon, Tracii had put together an L.A. Guns flyer with pictures of him, Axl, Robbie [Gardner; drums] and Ole [Beich; bass]. When Axl dropped by to approve the artwork, I said, "If you two are going to jam together, why not bring Izzy in and do that Guns and Roses thing you talked about?" Axl did a double take, gave me one of his dog-eat-dog sly smiles, and then, after a slight pause, nodded and said, "That sounds cool. I'll see if Izzy'll do it" [...] If it sounds like I, trying to claim credit for coming up with the name, I'm not. Axl Rose conjured up Guns N' Roses all by himself, combining surnames Tracii (Guns) and Axl (Rose). It's just until that very point in time, Axl had no idea I even knew he and Tracii had considered a side project. All I am laying claim to is this: Guns N' Roses formed in my living room after I suggested Izzy join in on a previously booked L.A. Guns show."
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 197


This happened a couple of weeks before the March 26 show, so it must have been in early March 1986 [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 198].

The band who were to play at the Troubadour thus consisted of Axl Rose on vocals, Izzy Stradlin on guitar (or "Izzy Stranded" as he referred to himself back then), Tracii Guns on lead guitar, Rob (Robbie) Gardner on drums, and Ole Beich on bass. Ole and Rob were bandmates of Tracii in LA Guns. These first members of Guns N' Roses formed two factions, with Axl and Izzy being good friends from Lafayette, Indiana, and Tracii, Rob and Ole being from LA Guns and having a more metal approach to music playing.


Rob, Izzy, Axl, Tracii, Ole. [Unknown image copyright]



FIRST REHEARSAL AT WILLIE BASSE'S STUDIO


The band now had a few weeks to rehearse together and prepare for the show. They did their first rehearsal at Willie Basse's Wilpower Studios:

I'm well aware it's a common phenomenon for folks to believe their friends' mediocre band is great. But that very first rehearsal was totally awesome, dude. It was immediately evident Guns N' Roses were beyond something special. Without a doubt, L.A. Guns had delivered some major ass-kicking with Axl Rose up front, but the addition of Izzy and the new songs "Don't Cry," "Move to the City," and "Think About You" blew my mind.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 198


But this lineup was not to last long…
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:27 am

MARCH 1985
DUFF REPLACES OLE


In March 1985 the newly formed Guns N' Roses consisted of Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Tracii Guns, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner. With a show coming up at the Troubadour on March 26, the band was rehearsing and preparing. But for the band's third rehearsal, they struggled to get hold of Ole:

I will remain a fan of Ole Beich till it's time for my dirt nap. [...] I still miss the guy and feel awful that he didn't seem to care enough at the time to make sure he stayed in Guns N' Roses. Unfortunately, at times the dude could be a real downer, sullen while keeping to himself [...] After that second practice, another rehearsal was set for a tentative "in a few days." Ole neglected to tell anyone of his newest girlfriend, so when the next practice got scheduled, there was no way to get ahold of him. After three days of not hearing from him, and rehearsal scheduled for the following evening, Izzy said, "If Ole doesn't want to be in the band, there's a guy who lives across the street from me who'll do the show."
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 199


So Ole was out of the band almost before it started. The "guy" Izzy knew across the street and could replace Ole, was Duff McKagan.

It has also been said that the band found Duff by placing an ad in a local magazine [Kerrang! March 1989], although this is more likely the ad Slash and Steven placed to recruit a new bass player for their band, Road Crew earlier [for more information Road Crew, go here]].

Tracii would remember Izzy suggesting that Duff would replace Ole:

Duff was in some weird Top 40 band, but Izzy was like, 'This guy's got short hair, but he is into New York Dolls and stuff like that.' He had a Johnny Thunders T-shirt on, and we were like, 'This guy's perfect.'
The Days of Wine and Roses, Classic Rock, April 2005

And then I started playing with Axl, Izzy and a couple of other guys, called Guns N’ Roses.


Duff would later discuss meeting and playing with Izzy:

And then I started playing with Axl, Izzy and a couple of other guys, called Guns N’ Roses.

Then I met Izzy and he moved in across the street. I lived in this real bad neighborhood in Hollywood. […] So with Izzy, we see each other walking down the street, and I think he saw me carrying a bass and he goes, "Me and a buddy of mine (Axl) just got a band together. Do you wanna play bass?" I said, "Sure." I'll try anything once. So I went out there, and there was a drummer and this other guitar player.

[Izzy] he wasn't a great guitar player, but I liked that - both in him and in general. I wasn't a great guitar player, either. It was a punk thing. One night we were talking after a rehearsal, Izzy mentioned a band called Naughty Women. It rang a bell. "I know that band," I said, trying to place the name. "I think I played a gig with them once. wait, wait, wait. Were they...cross-dressers?" "Yep," Izzy said. He paused. "I was the drummer," he said. Cool, I thought., this guy really was a veteran of the punk-rock club scene. He was the real deal.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 58-59


This version of how Duff met Izzy and ended up in Guns N' Roses is also confirmed by Raz Cue [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 199]. In Kerrang! March 1989, it is claimed Duff joined GN'R after answering an ad made by Axl, but this is likely not correct and a confusion with Slash's ad for Road Crew.


Duff and Tracii. [Unknown image copyright]


Cue would comment on Ole leaving:

I sometimes wonder if it was a political play by Izzy, so Tracii would not have two automatic band-votes on his side to vote-block against him and Axl. But I think it far more likely Izzy felt Ole wasn't into it, and his style made G N' R too metal. I don't know the answer, but the next night, Izzy showed up to Wilpower Studios to introduce Duff Rose. That was his name the first time I met him, and we all knew it was a sign. Ole was an old-school, brain-damage, hard-rock 'n' roller, devoid of even the slightest punk influence. But Duff was an O.G. Seattle punk, pre-grunge glamster with a far more upbeat personality, a cool bro to hang out with, a world class musician, and no doubt perfect for Guns N' Roses. [...] Ole was surprised when I broke the news to him, but didn't argue or even ask me why until years later.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 199


In September 1987, someone in Guns N' Roses would refer to Ole as the "dumb schmuck bass player" [Rock Scene, September 1987]. This was probably Izzy since Axl was likely not present at the time when those words were spoken and none of the other guys (Slash, Steven and Duff) were in the band together with Ole (although they likely knew him from the Hollywood music scene).

Duff would reminisce about the first rehearsal he did with the band:

When I showed up at my first GN'R rehearsal in late March, 1985, Axl and I said hi to each other and started joking around about this and that. I liked him right away. Whoever was running the sound then asked Axl to test out the microphone. Axl let out one of his screams, and it was like nothing I had ever heard. There was two voices coming out at once! There's a name for that in musicology, but all I knew in that instant was that this dude was different and powerful and fucking serious. He hadn't yet entirely harnessed his voice - he was more unique than great at that point - but it was clear he hadn't moved out to Hollywood from Indiana for the weather. He was there to stake a claim and show the whole fucking world what he had.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 58


And Tracii would talk about working with Izzy:

Well, he was the silent controller, and I was the vocal one. You know, it was like he'd say: Trace -- you know, I got this idea. You know, what do you think about this? And, you know, blah blah blah. And I'd go: Well, you know, that's all right. But if we do this, it might make it a little harder, or a little cooler.


In mid-to-late March the band did their very first radio interview with KFPK FM Los Angeles. This interview came just hours after the band has been in Willie Basse's studio recording early versions of the songs 'Think About You', 'Don't Cry' and 'Anything Goes'. During 'Anything Goes', Axl can be heard introducing Duff as a new guy. The band members also say they are going to release a picture disc EP with these songs as well as 'Heartbreak Hotel', although this EP was probably never released. Tracii's mom recorded the interview and handed a copy to Cue [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 200]

Talking about joining Guns N' Roses and indicating things were good in the beginning:

After [Road Crew] I got together with Axl and Izzy; they had a band and they said, can you come and play bass for us? It was already called Guns N’ Roses, but there was another guy on guitar called Tracii [Guns] and a different drummer [Rob Gardener], and it was a real iffy band. Like, I would hardly show up for rehearsal, and that is not like me. I am always the first guy to show up at rehearsal, the first guy to do everything like that.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:28 am

MARCH 26, 1985, THE TROUBADOUR
GUNS N' ROSES PLAYS ITS FIRST CONCERT


The first Guns N' Roses show was held on the legendary West Hollywood concert venue The Troubadour on March 26, 1985. This was the show that had originally been intended as an LA Guns show but fell apart when Mike Jagozs left the band.


Doug Weston's Troubadour.


There was a lot of politics with the Troubadour. There was an older woman that ran the Troubadour and she would ban you. This woman was not somebody you would necessarily fuck with. […] [At] the Troubadour […] you could always manage to get a spot -- maybe not a weekend night, but a Monday or Tuesday. At the Troubadour, we had to pay for lights and sound, which was a racket.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007



Ad in L.A. Weekly, March 22, 1985


The lineup was comprised of Axl, Izzy, Tracii, Rob and "new guy" Duff. It is assumed the setlist consisted of songs from Hollywood Rose as well as more recent songs, including 'Anything Goes', 'Think About You', and 'Don't Cry', which would all later be officially released, as well as covers including 'Heartbreak Hotel'.

You know, I think the first show we actually sold like 80 tickets, you know -- which was like really big, you know, back then. You know, to be able to pull 80 people at The Troubadour […]


Cue would reminisce over the show:

We all met up at the Troubadour around three in the afternoon for a first-ever Guns N' Roses' sound check, but the marquee said "L.A. Guns." A weeknight meant tables and chairs were set up in the showroom. Robbie and the crew had most of the gear set up by the time the rest of the band began straggling in, but I can't remember if I smoked pot with the crew.

One of the cool things about a band's debut show, whether they never play another gig or blow up hotter than Nagasaki, is that first crowd is loaded with friends there to support their friend(s). Before the show, Izzy, Axl, Duff, Tracii, and Robbie spent varying amounts of time in the showroom, having cocktails while chatting and personally thanking folks for coming. The guys were likely as excited to hit the stage, or possibly even more, than the crowd there was to discover what Guns N' Roses were all about. I for one was super excited, because I knew those folks were in for a treat. About an hour prior to their set, G N' R departed for the dressing room to read scripture while enjoying some tasty milk and cookies. Wait, that's Stryper. I have no idea what they did, because there were stairs between me and the Troub's dressing rooms.

Most weeknights local bands typically played to a few haggard chicks, their crew, and tables. But the show had a decent-sized crowd, not huge, but slightly larger than the L.A. Guns' gig a few months earlier. A hundred fifty fans, give or take. There were several folks who I recognized as L.A. Guns regulars, a bunch of teeny boppers whose two drink tickets were mostly used for soft drinks. But there were also scores of older folks, more punk-looking and often lined up three deep at the showroom bar. Then when their beloved liquor got served, they stuffed tip jars in hopes Ms. Barkeep would keep hooking them up.

Then it all began. The showroom light dimmed. An array of colored lights cut through a nicotine haze to paint the stage in hot hues. From stage left, the guys descended the stairway onto the stage. Robbie got busy fine-tuning his drums' positions as Izzy, Duff, and Tracii plugged in, tuned up, switched their amps off of standby, twisted some knobs, and then gestured to one another. Good to go.

The house music faded away as the voice of God announced the band from on high. Izzy stuck his smoke near the head of his ax and motioned to count it out. Without a hint of hesitation, Robbie raised drum sticks high above his head and "Click-click-click-cklick." One, two, three, four, the band threw a sonic punch into the crowds' face as Axl, decked out in chaps and g-string, bounded down the stairs to burst onto that stage as if shot from a howitzer. Having only been unleashed before a crowd once in the previous five months, Axl set his pent-up dervish free with a spontaneous and fresh kinetic overload that saw him trying his damndest to stomp a hole through the Troubadour's stage straight to China.

The guys' image was more glam than later images, like the 70s glam of Aerosmith, T-Rex, Sweet, or Bowie. And not like their contemporary scene's spandex-clad trannys playing loosely inspired Val Halen or Crüe. Axl didn't offer much commentary between tunes. The band merely delivered a few blistering songs in a row, then, after a short pause to allow folks to wipe the blood from their ears, he'd let the audience know what was next. When G N' R were ready to play "Nice Boys," he dedicated it to Poison with the same mocking disdain as during L.A. Guns gigs. Although Poison was pulling huge crowds into the clubs, Axl routinely made it crystal clear he didn't like Poison or consider what they played rock 'n' roll.

Over the next five years, I saw G N' R perform or rehearse at least a hundred times, and probably far more than that. Combine all those gigs with my love for booze, pot, and various other mind-altering cash killers, and I would be guessing about what else was on that night's set list. It's safe to say, "Jumpin' Jack Flash," Heartbreak Hotel," "Shadow of Your Love," and for sure "Think About You," "Move to the City," "Don't Cry" and "Anything Goes."

The last time I had seen Izzy and Axl together on stage was in Rose, a super frenetic band that constantly hopped and bopped while bouncing off of one another. Axl was still the incredibly dynamic bundle of energy, drawing lots of attention up front, but Izzy settled into a far more laid-back groove, absorbed in song while seemingly as one with the timbre, rhythm, and melody. It was my first time watching Duff on stage, but I really dug his bass tone, smooth chops, and in-your-face energy. Tracii was Tracii, a very entertaining showman and talented shredder with a great guitar sound. Robbie remained solid and right on time, neither boring nor flashy [Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 200-202].
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 200-202
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:29 am

THE MUSIC SCENE OF HOLLYWOOD IN THE EIGHTIES


Hollywood, in that day-- I mean, Guns N' Roses probably came on the scene, I'd assume, around like '85 -- There was a very small contingent of people who thought bands like The New York Dolls, and even like The Clash, and Hanoi Rocks, and things like that, were cool. So those kinda people just kinda like, you know, knew each other. So that's how I ran into Izzy. It's like, you know, we all just kinda liked the same kinda music..

It always felt like a good place to be. I'd say from 1985-1990, I don't remember a greater time period for music as far as the scene that I'm in. The camaraderie that went along with the drama... the women, drugs, everything rock 'n roll is supposed to be. Our scene kind of came out of the whole, like reading interviews of Van Halen and Motley Crue, and all the bull shit that those guys said. And all the chicks were at those same interviews so they were willing to do all the things that they did. You know, the reason why there was no more scene is everybody got signed. They had to do records and the tours, so the whole scene disappeared. But it was the best time of my life, and to be associated with it now, even with the stigma that's attached to it from a bunch of other bands that kind of ruined it for one reason or another, I'm not sure exactly how it happened, it's great.

In the 1980's, the Sunset Strip was a thriving, micro-music eco-system, teaming with glam, sleaze and punk rockers; all attempting to bait an audience, land a deal and enjoy the bounty with bacchanalian delight like their rock n' roll predecessors. […] Although club owners could always bank on a thirsty crowd for Friday and Saturday nights, they lost money during the week. Therefore, Pay-to-Play was introduced in the 1980's: an insurance policy to cover the costs of operation during down time. It required that bands slotted to play during weeknights collect a minimum cover fee by pre-selling tickets to their own gigs. […] If the band caused trouble, however, and cost the [club] owners more than they brought in, getting blacklisted was almost guaranteed. This could be achieved by trashing dressing rooms, bar fighting and assaulting patrons. If a band was banned from enough clubs, they could kiss their dream of a record contract goodbye.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

When we were in high school, bands were mainly formed by friends. There was always a drummer, because there were no lack of parents who were stupid enough to buy drum sets for their kids, The garage would end up being the rehearsal room for many budding young bands. Then there was the singer; the charismatic, cool kid. Mostly they couldn't sing for shit, but sometimes a great singer actually emerged. Then there was me, and what seemed like a million guitar players, all practicing their Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen or Jimi Hendrix solos. Two or three guitar players would hook up and the least talented one would be urged by the others to play bass. The band was formed, except for the name. Bands broke up before playing one gig because no one could agree on a name.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

Launching a successful rock group in the early eighties required three ingredients: a dream, some talent, and die-hard ambition. The origins of Guns N' Roses can be traced to a handful of friend with similar taste in music, clothing, girls and drugs, and a collective fantasy to be the next Aerosmith, Zeppelin or Stones. Bands made their initial mark by clearing a garage, jamming cover tunes and playing underage parties. The real dream, however, required talent and skill that matched ambition, and players not up to par had to go. It wasn't personal; it was business.

For those who remained, a front-man and a few original songs were required to break out of high school keg parties and climb the Hollywood club food chain. Promiscuity ruled, as members of one band played sessions with others; everyone trying to find the right combination that could take over the Sunset Strip and land the coveted record deal. Band loyalty was achieved by growing a fan base or through the impenetrable bonds that formed while living subsistence lives together in L.A..
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

So many of the kids who were into the Sunset Strip music scene and trying to start a band were not from California. They moved here and they didn't have a background on each other and there were so many of tese hard rock, hair metal bands to select from in the early eighties. If they were sporting the same T-shirts or the same kind of stud jacket, Conch belts and service clothes, they found a way to get together. The camaraderie began with a shared interest in the genre of music that they liked and the time they spent together hanging out on the Sunset Strip and at shows. But when personality conflicts arose, off they went to start or join the next band.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

There was both an art and a hustle to promoting a club gig, especially when it came to flyering. Slash and Axl would cruise the Sunset Strip, tacking flyers up on every telephone pole an covering up their rival's flyers in the process. They gave out tickets like candy on the street to anyone who crossed their path in an attempt to raise the minimum amount to play. When they fell short, friends of the band (like Marc Canter) often stood outside the clubs on the night of the show and sold tickets one-by-one. When that failed, someone had to pony up the remaining amount or the band didn't go on. If you wanted the dream, these are the clubs you had to play.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:30 am

APRIL 1985
THE NEXT SHOWS


In April 1985 the fledgling band played four shows in Los Angeles: April 11 at Radio City, April 24 at the Troubadour, April 25 at the Dancing Waters Club, and April 27 at the Timber's Ballroom.

You know, I think the first show we actually sold like 80 tickets, you know -- which was like really big, you know, back then. You know, to be able to pull 80 people at The Troubadour -- or like, you know, this place called Radio City in Orange County, or any of those places -- was like really good. And then, you know, we just kept doing the thing -- you know, doing shows here and there.
Spin Magazine, 1999



1331 South Pacific Avenue; formerly Dancing Waters


Duff would remember the April 24 gig at the Troubadour and seem to have a somewhat different recollection than Tracii on the sizes of the audiences:

There were three people there, and one of them was our friend, and one was one of our girlfriends, and the other was the girlfriend’s friend. But we believed in ourselves from the first chord we played together.
Guitars, groupies and lots and lots of hair, The New York Times, July 2012



Ad in L.A. Weekly, April 19, 1985
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:32 am

DUFF CONSIDERS QUITTING


Duff was not initially impressed with the band or Axl and things weren't working out for Duff:

After we'd played the Dancing Waters club and another gig so forgettable I can't remember the name of the venue, any excitement I had for the band dwindled. I missed the next rehearsal.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 59


In early 1990 he would recall that his initial thoughts on Axl was, "He is good, but I don't know" but that this might have been due to Tracii and Rob being in the band [Kerrang! March 1990].

With Duff starting to lose interest and skipping a rehearsal, Axl called him up and insisted that he had to be part of the band and to give it another chance [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 59].
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:32 am

MAY 1985
TRACII AND ROB QUIT THE BAND


In May, the band played two shows, at Radio City (May 11, 1985) and at Joshua's Parlour (May 12, 1985). The band probably played no other shows in May 1985 and it is likely that this is due to the band starting to fall apart.

According to Raz, Tracii and Rob weren't as driven as Izzy, Axl and Duff:

Izzy, Axl, and Duff each had their own business instincts, ideas, and connections. But no one ever cared what a drummer has to say. And Tracii was still in baby-rock-star mode, more than content to have others worry about band stuff.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 204



DUFF PLANS A TOUR UP NORTH; ROB AND TRACII DON'T WANT TO GO


Duff was eager to travel to his hometown of Seattle to play shows there and in the region that he was so familiar with from his previous bands, what would later be referred to as the "Hell Tour" [for more information on this tour, go here.], but Tracii and Rob were reluctant. Tracii and Rob were from Los Angeles and Duff didn't see the same hunger in them to make it, compared to the rest of the band members who had moved to Los Angeles and would do anything to succeed [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 59].

Anyway, I planned a fuckin’ tour for us. Cos I'd played in punk rock groups all over the country, in punk rock clubs. So I booked us this tour - just up and down the west coast. But Rob and Tracii suddenly chickened out, like, three days before the thing was due to start. Like, “Oh, we don’t know if we wanna do it..." I was like, fuck you!
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

Rob and Tracii were skeptical about the idea [the Hell tour] from the start. I guess they weren't sure whether to take the leap of faith necessary to leave home with nothing but your bandmates and wits to depend on. And just a few weeks before we were to leave, they broke the news: they weren't up for a no-budget trip. Not knowing where we would sleep each night was too much for them. I assured them we'd find places to crash, and anyway, what did it matter - we would be on tour, a concept that to me was pure magic.
It didn't matter. First Rob and then Tracii backed out.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 61

Izzy and Axl and I were just like, "Yeah, let's do it. Let's go on the road. Let's do this thing." Tracii Guns and Rob Gardner were more concerned with where they were going to stay or how we were going to get there. They got cold feet at the eleventh hour for doing a tour of the Northwest. Izzy, Axl and I just didn't care. When they pulled out, we asked Slash and Steven to be in the band and the Troubadour was our first gig as a band.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


That Rob left the band before Tracii is supported by an article in Cream 1989 where Axl stated that Steven and Duff joined the band before Slash. In other words, that Ole and Rob were gone before Tracii.

Then Tracii and I decided to bring Izzy into the band - and then we got Steve and Duff. And then Tracii wasn't into it because it wasn’t going quite the direction that he wanted to go. So he went his way and put L.A. Guns back together, and we brought in Slash. […] And when we put the band together the second time with Izzy, Duff and Steve […].



WHY TRACII LEFT


According to Raz' biography, Axl and Tracii butted heads over musical differences, like they had in LA Guns, and does not mention the "Michelle event" which he might not have known about. Raz also claims that Tracii was fired before Rob:

Initially, only three of Tracii's tunes even made it into rehearsal, and at shows he was lucky if the guys even played one of them. Five shows in, and it was all Izzy and Axl's songs, plus some covers. Instead of taking it as a challenge, Tracii acted perpetually petulant. The morning after G N' R played the Timbers gig [April 27], Axl was in an extremely foul mood. More specifically, he was thoroughly pissed off at Tracii, who the night before reportedly remained out of sight behind his Marshall stacks the entire show, all the while playing way too loud and purposely fucking up songs.

Axl went on and on griping, and I began to get the impression he sought my okay to get rid of Tracii, so I said, "Fuck Tracii. Fire him if you want. [...]

Izzy and Axl agreed Tracii would get the boot from Guns N' Roses after their next show, the second week of May, giving them a month to find a replacement.[...]

The next afternoon, Tracii called me to tell me about Axl firing him from G N' R. Tracii didn't seem at all upset, mostly just talked shit about the guys.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 208-209

[In 1985] I just wanted to get away for a week or something, and I recall Axl or Izzy calling and leaving a message-"We got rehearsal this week." I just ignored it. I didn't hear anything for a couple of days and then finally the whip came down-"Slash is going to play guitar because you haven't come to rehearsal.

A day after Tracii got ousted, Robbie quit the band. We were all floored. No one had even contemplated Robbie abandoning the project. Izzy and Axl tried to change his mind. When that didn't bear fruit, they asked me to have a talk with Robbie and let him know they really wanted him in the band. At the very least, see if he'd stay until they found another drummer. When I called Robbie to see where his head was at and tell him he was missing a great opportunity, before I even got my whole pitch delivered, he gave me a dismissive "I'm not going to play with those guys." [...]

The guys were pissed at Robbie for leaving them hanging, so Izzy taught me an awesome trick, which I employed relentlessly over the next decade - a free ad got placed in the Recycler, something like: "Gay Drummer Available. Into Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, Pet Shop Boys, Haircut One Hundred...Call Robbie before 6 a.m.," and listed Robbie's number. Classic!
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 208-209


That Tracii went before Rob is also stated by Slash and Steven:

Rob Gardner couldn't cut it; he was scared to go. I called Steven. He came down and we had one day of rehearsal. It really was like a synergy. It was like we'd been playing together for years.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

I guess Tracii Guns and Rob Gardner didn't want to do these shows up north. So Slash calls me and says, "We have two empty shows you want to do them? One's at the Troubadour and we're going to go up to Oregon and Seattle for the others. And I said, "Fuck yeah, of course." The two other guys didn't have it in their hearts to do it ad we did.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


Tracii would say he quit the band due to having had an argument with Axl over Michelle Young and from being annoyed by Axl's stage antics:

And then, all of a sudden, I noticed that Axl was like talking a lot in between songs. You know like we'd play, and then he'd talk to the crowd for like five minutes in between a couple of songs. And that kind of evolved to the point where me and Izzy, you know, really provided a lot of direction, and, you know trying to like keep this thing right, and just rock'n'roll, and just fun, you know? And he was like: No, the people need to -- you know, they like it, you know? So like: Okay -- whatever, you know? But it kept getting worse and worse and worse. And then he started hanging out with Michelle Young, And that's what that song "My Michelle"'s about, is about this girl. The two last shows that I did, we do sound check, and Axl shows up kinda late -- and he flips out. He's like: Tracii, motherfucker. You know, Michelle -- you know, Michelle Young's name isn't on the guest list. I'm like: Oh, well, I put it on there. And I did, you know? I was just like: What's this guy's trip? But he really, you know, fucked up the gig for me, 'cause I was like not into it. You know, I was like: Oh, this sucks. You know, this guy's all pissed off, and now he's dictating to the 150 people that are here, you know.
Spin Magazine, 1999

But I also think - which is one of the reasons I left Guns 'N Roses in the first place - once we started having this very minor success here in L.A., Izzy and I were running into problems with him. His extended speeches on stage, this newfound power . . . the power of his voice to communicate how he felt about situations on stage. At that time we were allotted an hour; you know, you go up there, you've got an hour to play your songs and then get the hell off the stage. The first show we did ten songs, a couple of shows we did nine songs, and then the last few shows I did, we were literally playing five or six songs and then letting Axl just stand there and talk, and tell everybody what he thought. Which is great, but for me personally, I wasn't playing music to support any cause, or any local clothes maker or whatever.
Classic Hard Rock Examiner, 2011

And then I lasted for about seven or eight months in that, and then Axl and I got into an extraordinary fight - and we had never argued ever in the past few years before. [Then] I just kind of went my own way. [...] That fight [with Axl] stemmed from a girl named Michelle Young [of 'My Michelle' fame] not being put on a guest list at three in the afternoon before even sound check, and we did two shows after that argument and then I left. It just wasn't fun anymore. I was probably 19 then and I thought Great band, and I love these guys, but they're not worth the headaches.' Even at that age I didn't want to deal with it.
The Quietus, 2016

Then Axl (Rose) was getting real... talking out of his ass on stage and I didn't like it. You know, we'd play a song for 5 minutes and he'd talk for 10 minutes. He's a great singer, but what it boils down to is that it just got too weird for me... and the band.


Tracii would also claim it hadn't been fun playing in the band in those days:

That was the one thing, when I was playing with the guys in GNR it wasn't that much fun. It was more like one drama after another, and it still is. It just wasn't something I was prepared for. Like I'm 19 years old and I'm trying to play the guitar, hang out with fun people [...]


Later, Tracii would say he left for "the same reason Izzy left" [Kerrang! May 23, 1992].

Slash would comment on this:

Tracii had a falling out with Axel [sic], which is typical, because everybody has a falling out with Axel [sic] at some point or another. But he also played the wrong kind of guitar for the kind of band it was.


So in May 1985, the fledgling band had lost two of its members, the lead guitarist and the drummer.


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:33 am

TRACII LOOKS BACK AT HIS SHORT TENURE IN THE BAND


With Tracii being part of the band for such a short time that resulted in no official releases, it is natural to question what influence he had on the band. In 2004 he was asked how much input he had on the band:

I had 100% input because it was my band. Until the point where I left, everything came down to pretty much me and Izzy (Stradlin).


Tracii would look back at having worked with Axl:

I've seen Axl once -- I saw him in a liquor store -- and that was about seven or eight years ago. He was like: Hey, man -- what's up? We gotta talk, you know? I go: All right. And then Doug Goldstein called my house once, and I called back, but I never got an answer back -- so I don't know what that was all about.

I'll tell you the one thing about Axl that was always really cool, man -- he was really loyal, till he's not loyal anymore. If that makes any sense. He'll kill for you, until he decides not to. And then, once he decides not to, then that's it.

[…]

He's not really someone ... if you're not on the payroll you should be scared of, heh ... you know. I think he basically means well -- I think he really does, you know?. You know, he wants everybody to like him for him.


When Guns N' Roses blew up, Tracii would later express bitterness over the band being referred to as the "Gunners":

It pisses me off, I gotta say. It makes me so mad. […] Not only does that make me mad, it makes me mad that they didn’t change the name of the f**kin’ band when I split! […] It was Izzy, who was my best friend, that said, ‘No, we’re not going to change it’. I was like, ‘Why the f**k not? We’re selling out the Whiskey right now but we’re not that big. We can sell 500 tickets, so what?' In LA we’d only been playing for a year. I honestly didn't think they were going to use the name. Then they kept it and it really didn’t bother me because I didn’t think that things would happen... Then once they got really big I still never thought about it. But now, like the last two years it’s really pissed me off. They’re referred to under that name.


Especially the focus on music that was written when Tracii was still in the band would irk him:

I wanted to and I was ready to burn LA down -just like everybody else is doing right now. I was so pissed off. Everything on the first record I had done but that made sense: they got a deal, they didn't write any new songs except ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ after I left... But I dug the record. It was like, ‘Wow, it's a f**kin’ cool record. I wish I was playing on it...'.

Then they put ‘Don’t Cry’ out which was like four or five years after the fact and... Be cool, be cool to me. I never did nothing wrong to those guys. Sure, Axl will say all day long, ‘Ah, Tracii’s a dick, he left right in the middle', but I never said a bad word about those guys, never asked for nothing and they never offered me nothing so it kinda pisses me off [uneasy chuckling].

Give me five bucks, man, it's my name! Buy me a cheese burger! [chuckles].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:34 am

JUNE 1985
SLASH AND STEVEN JOINS, FORMATION OF THE CLASSIC LINEUP


With Tracii being fired and Rob leaving the band [or possibly the other way around, see discussion here], a new lead guitarist and a new drummer was needed. According to Duff, Axl knew a couple of guys who could fill in: Slash and Steven Adler [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 61; Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992], which Axl knew from Hollywood Rose. Duff knew them too after having been the bassist in Slash's band Road Crew just weeks prior to joining Guns N' Roses [Kerrang! March 1989].

So we got Slash and Steven in the band at the last minute, and it clicked. We had three days to rehearse and everybody was like, OK, we’ll give it a shot.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


Axl would later explain some of the attraction he found in Slash's guitar playing:

Slash is one of the most emotional guitar players that I've ever met or ever seen. [...] It took 5 years to find somebody who played more from the heart rather than just trying to be the fastest or trying to be this or that to be a big rock star, someone who, like, he'd be really quiet [...] most of the time and really won't let a lot of himself out till he picks up a guitar and then his heart and soul seems to pour out through the guitar. I sit down a lot of times at shows, I sit down right at the stage right in front of him amp when he's doing a solo, because, to me, it means just so much to me to hear that.

[Slash] will be very quiet and stuff, most of time, and really won't let a lot of himself out until he picks up the guitar and then his heart and soul seems to pour out through the guitar.


According to Raz, Axl was eager about getting Slash into the band while Izzy was reluctant:

Axl only had one guitarist in mind. But Izzy expressed a desire to explore all options, in hopes of finding an older, more established musician. Axl remained steadfast and eventually convinced Izzy to at least invite Slash over to talk music, and perhaps those two might play some guitar together. The day after that get-together, Axl happily reported of his plan's rousing success. Izzy was floored by Slash's talent, and a quick meeting turned into those two jamming through the practice amps in Izzy's living room for most of the day.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 210


This reluctance can be inferred from later interviews that Izzy did:

There's nothing more annoying than a guitarist just noodling. Shredding, it's horrid. It's the same thing when you try to get a band together, you always end up with these noodlers, y'know...[...] when I first met him, yeah. Slash was a noodler, man. I think he still is. Like in Guns N' Roses he would noodle but then the vocals would come back in and that would shut him up!
Total Guitar Magazine, August 2001


According to Izzy, the feeling went both ways:

I don't think [Slash] really wanted another guitar player, but it was kind of a package deal, Axl and I. We had periods where we actually wrote songs together and worked out our parts. There was a little bit more interplay on Appetite than Illusion. He was like a brother, but a brother who really wanted to be out on his own.

Originally I don't think Slash ever wanted to play with another guitarist. But we both really loved Aerosmith and the Stones and we just used that idea to make it all work. My favourite band was always the Ramones - just four guys wailing with power chords. At some point he and I hooked up and we started making it work. It became fun, just working with another guy like him, opposites attract, I suppose (...) He's a great guitar player - he'll go, he's a guy if you let him go, he's just off, out there. You gotta reel him in now and then, but that's what he loves to do. Listen to the end of Paradise City, I'm just doing the power chords, G and D. And Slash just goes manic in the last four bars. It's incredible. Those were great times..
Total Guitar, 2001


And Slash would confirm this:

When we first met we didn't click musically at all. [...] If you listen to the record, me and lzzy don't play anything alike. Our sound is completely different. He doesn't play lead hardly at all, but his rhythm style is cool. I was a lot heavier than he was. But we worked it out and it wasn't even a conscious thing. We just played together and eventually got better and better and now we sort of jell more.


Although in his biography, he would gloss over this:

I liked Izzy. He was, after all, the first guy I met and I enjoyed his style and admired his talent.
Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York


Slash had recently started playing in the band Black Sheep, so Axl, Izzy and Steven went to a Black Sheep concert on May 31 to convince Slash to join Guns N' Roses. A few days later he did [Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007].

Slash himself was not sure about joining a band with Axl again, having fought with him previously when they both played in Hollywood Rose [for more on this go here].

While Axl wanted Slash in the band, he was not so sure about Steven:

It wasn't an automatic deal that Steven Adler joined Guns N' Roses, merely an audition. When done, he packed his gear and split. After he hit the road, Joe [Raz' brother] set up Steven's kit again so the guys could audition a few other drummers. There was a dude, Chain, who Axl really dug and insisted on hiring. Izzy steadfastly refused to play with him, and almost quit G N' R over it. At some point, Chain told me, "I don't think Izzy liked me." I said, "It's worse than that." To keep everyone calm, some diplomatic maneuvers were employed. All agreed Steven would play the next show, but G N' R would keep searching for a drummer.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 210-211


Although Steven's would not mention this in his biography:

[...] one night Slash called me up. He sounded excited and told me Izzy had resurfaced and wanted us all to play together again. [...] my heart really started pounding because Slash told me that they had committed to doing a show Thursday night. And Friday they were planning on heading up to Seattle to play a couple of shows. [...] The next day I got together with them, and they told me the band was now called Guns N' Roses, after the band's founders: Tracii Guns and Axl Rose.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 76-77

I guess Tracii Guns and Rob Gardner didn't want to do these shows up north. So Slash calls me and says, "We have two empty shows you want to do them? One's at the Troubadour and we're going to go up to Oregon and Seattle for the others. And I said, "Fuck yeah, of course." The two other guys didn't have it in their hearts to do it ad we did.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007



Guns N' Roses in 1985; Izzy, Axl, Slash, Duff, and Steven


After joining the band, the rest of the guys had to change Steven's drum kit:

We really had to make a drummer out of [Steven]. We took all his drums away – he had a double-bass drum and all these fuckin’ toms – and he ended up with a kick, a snare, a floor ton, crash and ride cymbals and his hi-hats: a Ramones-style kit. The band would rehearse, then Steve and I would get together – just bass and drums – every day and work on grooves. [...] We’d put on songs like Cameo’s “Word Up,” and we’d play over it, and then we’d play it on our own, just trying to get a pocket. We played a lot of funk and R&B but hardly ever any hard rock stuff, because it was all about the groove. I’d have to lead the way with the bass, almost being percussive. But he became a unique and one-of-a-kind drummer by the time we did Appetite.

The timing for me and Steven to meld as a rhythm section was perfect. Steven had tons of drive, and we kept at it hour upon hour, day after day - just mercilessly.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 84-85


Steven talking about Izzy:

Izzy looked like a young Ron Wood, with that gaunt, angular cut to his face, perfectly framed by straight black hair that hugged his jawline, making his face look even more thin and elongated. He was into heroin, just like Ron Wood and Keith Richards, his heroes in The Rolling Stones (...). He had thick-soled platform shoes and always wore black pants with some sort of super-tight shirt. He looked more like his shadow than himself and to me he was the personification of cool. Izzy and I hit it off right from the start. We each saw something in the other: perhaps it was just the way we talked about music. Izzy was the consummate rhythm guitarist. I loved the solid power chords he built into Rose's songs.
"My Appetite for Destruction", 2010


Looking back, Tracii would be magnanimous about being replaced by Slash:

I thought Slash was much better for that band than I was. You know, I thought that like: Wow -- you know, this guy's really got a creepy image, you know. But different than a, you know, white guy with black leather on. You know, it was like a creepy dude, you know? He's like really cool-looking, played really cool -- one style, all the time -- and, you know, just like a real like Joe Perry type guy, you know? And that was -- pretty much, it had to be Axl's decision.
Spin Magazine, Outtakes for Axl Rose issue, 1999

[Talking about leaving the band and Slash taking his place]: I figured that would be the obvious choice. He had played with everybody in the band except Duff. He was one of my closest friends, and had actually come up with the original GNR logo before he was in the band. He was a real fan of Guns N’ Roses. I think that having him see the band from the audience, made him appreciate it more. As soon as he was in the band, I really started enjoying the band more. I think it worked out the best for everybody. I really do.
Tales From The Stage, February 2013


Duff would also discuss why Slash wanted to join:

[About Slash joining the band in June 1985]: Slash was inclined to try [Guns N' Roses] because Guns seemed more where he wanted to go musically than Black Sheep [his current band at the time]. [...] Slash liked the idea of joining a band with the intention of making its own mark.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 69


But the leader of Black Sheep, Willie Basse, was not as eager to see Slash join Guns N' Roses:

Guns N' Roses had a gig they were planning to get to in a station wagon to Seattle. I remember calling Slash's mom and saying, "You can't let him join the band. They're all a bunch of heroine addicts." I tried to get her to talk hm out of going. Slash told me that his mom didn't speak to him for a year after I called. I as trying to block it but it was fate. He left Black Sheep and joined Guns N' Roses.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


With these two additions, the lineup consisting of Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Steven.

In an interview in 1986, the band would refer to the coming together of this lineup as when the Guns N' Roses was formed [Los Angeles Times, 1986.06.07], probably to distance themselves from the short-lived original lineup, and to create cohesion as a band of brothers: Guns N' Roses was Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Steven. But already in December, 1986 would Axl point out that this was one of the band's lineups: "This lineup has been together for two years" [Hit Parader, December 1986].


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Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:34 am

JUNE 1985
FIRST REHEARSAL WITH THE CLASSIC LINEUP


Already at the first rehearsal sparks flew:

When this band got together, everybody felt, ‘This is the right place.’ You know how this goes. You’re in a band, and there’s always a loose link in the end. Al­ways. Every band I’d ever been in before, there’d always be one person, or two, that wasn’t cutting it. This band, it was finally like, ‘Okay, this is it.’ You could feel it at the first rehearsal. It just felt right.

[Steven] came down and we had one day of rehearsal. It really was like a synergy. It was like we'd been playing together for years.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

The first rehearsal day that we had as the five guys was at a studio in Silverlake. Playing the first few chords was like thunder had hit the room; like lightning had hit the room. That day was probably the most important day of the five of our lives, as players and musicians. It definitely ranks up there because that's when we all knew it was solidified. This was the best band that any of us had come close to being in.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

Without missing a beat [Axl] grabbed the mike in the middle of the song and just started running up and down the walls, screaming and wailing like someone had his pants on fire. I had never heard such a sound in my life. It was like some otherwordly banshee cry. I was stoked. I remember my eyes bugged a bit and my pulse shot up; I was thinking this dude was insane, so original.
"My Appetite for Destruction", 2010
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03. 1984-1985 - THE BEGINNINGS Empty Re: 03. 1984-1985 - THE BEGINNINGS

Post by Soulmonster on Sun May 31, 2020 9:35 am

JUNE 6, 1985; THE TROUBADOUR
THE FIRST SHOW WITH THE CLASSIC LINEUP


Theis new lineup played its first show at the Troubadour on June 6, 1985, only a few days after Slash and Steven joined the band. The two other bands playing this evening were The Mistreater and Fine Line.


Ad in L.A. Weekly, May 31, 1985

Unknown image copyright


This show is the first Guns N' Roses show where we have the entire setlist: Reckless Life, Shadow of Your Love, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Think About You, Move to the City, Don't Cry, Nice Boys, Back Off Bitch, Anything Goes and Heartbreak Hotel. All of these songs were either covers or original songs written before Slash and Steven joined the band, but the new guys immediately put their stamp on the songs, especially Slash's emotive leads.

We played our first show at the Troubadour and it was sold-out. It was like we were rock stars, but just in Hollywood.
The Days of Wine and Roses, Classic Rock, April 2005

On Thursday, June 6, we played our first live show with the Appetite for Destruction lineup. The bill at the Troubadour included Fineline, Mistreater, and, at the very bottom, Guns N' Roses. Slash's high school friend Marc Canter, - he turned out to be part of the family that ran Canter's Deli - came and shot pictures. He made prints f each of us the next day so we'd have head shots to put up in the places we played on our tour [the Hell Tour]. That was Friday.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 70

We had a show together, I think it was at the Troubadour, [...] the audience comprised of a bunch of our friends.
Ultimate Classic Rock, September 2014



On stage at the Troubadour, June 6, 1985]
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