APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

06. JANUARY-DECEMBER 1986 - GETTING SIGNED

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06. JANUARY-DECEMBER 1986 - GETTING SIGNED - Page 3 Empty Re: 06. JANUARY-DECEMBER 1986 - GETTING SIGNED

Post by Soulmonster Fri Feb 11, 2022 1:28 pm

LATE 1986
ZUTAUT GIVES THE GO AHEAD TO RECORD THEIR DEBUT LP


In late 1986 Zutaut finally felt they had enough good songs to start recording:

It wasn't until I heard "Sweet Child O' Mine" that I believed they finally were ready because now they had a record. They had all these great raw, punky, thrasher songs from their early days, but now they also had "Welcome to the Jungle" and they had "Sweet Child O' Mine" and they had a bunch of other songs to flush out what became "Appetite for Destruction".
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

It was very difficult because I wouldn’t let the band go into the studio until I thought they had a song that was a hit but that would match the spirit of Appetite. For example, they had Don’t Cry - which by anybody’s reasoning could be a hit – but somehow I felt that, given the aggressiveness of the rest of the material, I didn’t think it would really fit in on Appetite. And now they have November Rain, which was an even better songs, and they want to add that to it. And by that point we already had Sweet Child O’ Mine. [...]

The reason that song is at the end of Appetite... is because I knew that if the radio promotion people heard it they’d try and promote it first. And it wouldn’t be right, because it was the one melodic, more pop song on the whole record and y’know, you wanted them to get to Welcome To The Jungle and Mr Brownstone. The spirit of Guns N’ Roses was about It’s So Easy and Mr Brownstone and Nightrain – it wasn’t about Sweet Child O’ Mine. [...] But record companies tend to want to go for the hits first and fuck the rest. So there had to be a way to hide that. I had learned by then that promotional people don’t listen to the whole album – they just listen to the first three or four songs. [...] I actually taunted one of the heads of promotion at Geffen. I said to him: ‘There’s a song on this record that’s going to be a number one hit worldwide.’ And he laughed at me and said, ‘What is it?’ And I said, ‘I’m not going to tell you – listen to the record.’ They never found it.”


So the matter wasn't the number of songs, but having the right songs for Appetite. In June 1988, Axl told Rock Scene Magazine that when they signed with Geffen Records they had 27 songs:

When we went into the studio initially, to do some test tracks and lay down some songs and see what we had together, we had about 27 songs together when Geffen first signed us.


That they had plenty of material ready to be recorded and released is also confirmed by Axl saying they originally wanted to release a double album:

Most of the songs on Appetite were written in the two-year period we were playing the clubs. We wanted to put them on a record so we could move on. We had like 27 songs that we felt very strongly about. We wanted a double album for the first one but that wasn't a good marketing move.

[…] Appetite for Destruction was meant to be a double LP too, but Geffen got cold feet about putting out a double as a debut LP.


Clink would later say he worked on more than 20 songs:




Zutaut would later talk about wanting to keep November Rain, Patience and Don't Cry off the band's first album:

[...] the band were just oozing song ideas. When we were at Rumbo [studios] doing Appetite..., there were two songs written during the period – one was November Rain and other one was Patience. [...]

I was sitting out in the lounge with Izzy at Rumbo and he was doodling on his guitar and I was like: ‘That’s fucking great – what is that?’ And he starts singing it to me and I couldn’t believe it. I mean, the guy is just sitting there doodling and he’s got a track that I think could be a top five single. And I’m thinking: ‘We’ve got to be really careful’ – because when a band first comes out, if they get too polished or have too many songs that are too melodic, then it turns people off. [...]

With November Rain, we were almost done recording Appetite... and I get to the studio and Axl is really excited. He sits down at the piano and he plays November Rain from top to bottom and he sings a rough outline of the vocals. And I was stunned. You just knew instantly that it was going to be a really big song. He wanted to add it to Appetite... and I told him there was just no way we could do it. We had already kept Don’t Cry off of Appetite... and now there was November Rain which was arguably a better song. So we had a huge row about it. Because Axl was like: ‘You’re holding Don’t Cry – why hold November Rain? I wanna put it on the record.’ We probably talked for eight hours straight and I was able to convince him to hold both of those songs.

Tom Zutaut was the one who said, “Let's save [November Rain] for another record.” And I think Axl was a little miffed about that. But it was fine with me. I was already fucking petrified about doing one ballad! [...] But Axl was bitter about the “November Rain” thing for a while, until we did it for Use Your Illusion. And, actually, there are a few songs on the Illusion records that date back to the Appetite period. We wrote “Perfect Crime” while we were in preproduction for Appetite, and “You Could Be Mine” came together right before we went in to record the album.


But in the end they opted for one consistent hard rock album:

We can only put so many songs on one, album, and we wanted our first record ('Appetite For Destruction') to be a full hard rock record from beginning to end.


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Post by Soulmonster Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:24 pm

DECEMBER 21, 1986
OPENING FOR CHEAP TRICK AT THE FENDER'S BALLROOM


The next show didn't happen until December 21 at Fender's Ballroom in Los Angeles when they opened for Cheap Trick.

Excellent show, excellent show. It was excellent. [The audience were] like the LA Street Scene, but a little bit more in control.

That was probably one of the better shows we ever played. Fantastic, the people that were there. We went on an hour early, so it wasn't as full as by the time Cheap Trick came on. They were slamming. It was every kind of people you could imagine there, and everybody was thrashing.


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06. JANUARY-DECEMBER 1986 - GETTING SIGNED - Page 3 Empty Re: 06. JANUARY-DECEMBER 1986 - GETTING SIGNED

Post by Soulmonster Sat Mar 12, 2022 5:55 pm

DECEMBER 23, 1986
THE BAND THROWS A RELEASE PARTY AT THE CATHOUSE


We’ve got one friend who owns a club called the Cathouse and he likes it. He likes to watch us take over the club.

______________________________

Not long after the release of the band's first EP, Live!?*@ Like a Suicide, the band threw a release party at the Cathouse. It included live acoustic performances from Guns N' Roses, Jetboy and L.A. Guns [Onstage advertisement from Axl, December 21, 1986].



From the release party
[someone is holding the EP in the background]



Invitation in the band's newsletter:

You ... Yeah you – the hardcore faction of our support, are invited to our “Live?!*@ Like A Suicide” release party at: Tame and Ricky’s Cathouse 333 La Cienega Blvd. (Osko’s) L.A., Ca. Phone # (213) 652-9333 –

It’s free! ... Yeah, free, with invitation till 11:00 pm., party starts at 9:00 pm. With ... $1.00 drinks till 11:00 pm., mayhem till 3:00 am., including: Live (not dead) strippers, free records, and assorted entertainment –


Riki Rachtman would later recount how it happened:

[The Cathouse] just got bigger and bigger, and I said 'I just want it to stay a rock & roll dance club'. Everybody was like 'Hey, when are you gonna have a band play?' The reason I didn't wanna have a band play The Cathouse is if I had a band play, let's say I had Motörhead, it'd be like 'Dude, Motörhead's playing The Cathouse!' then the next Tuesday comes along and it's 'You wanna go to the Cathouse', 'Who's playing?', 'I don't know if anybody's playing', 'Forget it, we'll go next week' and I didn't want it to be a live venue. [...] I kept that rule about no bands playing for a long time [...] [Then] Axl or Steven said to me 'Hey, we're coming out with this EP called 'Live?!★@ Like a Suicide', can we do a record release party at The Cathouse?' and I was like 'Yeah, okay' [...] and he's like 'Can we just play acoustic?' and I'm like 'Yeah okay, you're gonna do this Christmas party and we're gonna let you play acoustic', it's the first time anyone has ever played The Cathouse. The very first night we had bands play, it was Guns N' Roses, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, and Jetboy; all playing acoustic and it was absolutely incredible, and that really put Cathouse on the map.
Facebook, September 23, 2001


And Axl would look back at the whole period after signing with Geffen and the release of the EP:

We were just getting so bored, we had to do something [=so we released the EP]. We were looking for the right producer, but all these guys we met were wasted on coke and other stuff, success had definitely left them jaded... Ah, I don't blame them, these things happen, but our search for a producer who wasn't just interested in the millions of dollars we didn't have made it all the more difficult. Robert John "Mutt" Lange? Does what Mutt is doing today have anything to do with what he did with AC/DC? No! So? Well, we didn't get off our asses for about four months and we were wallowing in drugs during all that time, because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. We couldn't get out too much either, because once we were signed, it became a little too hectic when we went out in public. The people who had been following us since the beginning, the groupies, the fans, were so happy for us that they would have liked to spend all their time with us. A lot of girls were like, "This guy, I have a thing with him, I must have him!" Like this chick who came up to me at the Cathouse (owner: Taime Downe, Faster Pussycat) last night, and said "I've always been in love with you, and you know it!" When the mini-LP was released, we had a party; the amount of marriage offers that night was spectacular! Although if I had offered myself a month earlier, these girls would have told me to fuck off! So, to avoid all this circus, we locked ourselves up doing nothing, and one of the ways to kill time in this situation is to get high on drugs! But it ended up preventing us from being efficient in what we wanted to do, so we got rid of it. Not without difficulty, because it' s not an easy thing to do... [...] That's when we decided to put out the mini-LP. The lack of activity was killing us! "Live Like A Suicide" also helped to keep people interested in us, because by that time they would probably have thought, "these guys who just got signed think they've already become rock stars, even though they have done fuck all!


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Post by Soulmonster Mon Jun 27, 2022 7:15 am

AXL AND STEVEN


According to Steven in his biography, there seems to have been an animosity between Steven and Axl, occasionally resulting in violence. This is not as clear from contemporary interviews, including quotes from band mates, and although the two were obviously rarely hanging out together, that in itself is no evidence for there being lots of violent fighting between the two. It could simply be that when Steven wrote his biography he felt had an axe to grind against Axl and exaggerated stories. This being said, there does seem to be suggestions that they were not the best of friends.

Steven would himself point out that he and Axl didn't hang out much:

Axl, West, and Del had their own little clique that wasn't really part of the Drunk Fux, and I couldn't have given less of a fuck about it. I don't mean that as a slight to Axl. I just wasn't into piing away at not being asked into his elite crew. I got along with everyone and was always laughing, having the time of my life.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 85


But it would turn into ugly incidents:

I always thought Axl was a totally cool asshole. I knew he was a fucking star, a truly great performer. But I was also aware that at times, he would be an insecure prick. As long as he wasn't fucking with me, however, we were cool. That's how it was. Then he pulled the first of a series of fucked-up shit that he did to me over the years.

I remember Axl was staying with Jo Jo at his apartment. I stopped by to hang out a bit. I just opened the door and Axl jumped up and lunged at me. The place wasn't that big so he only had to take two steps.

It happened so fast, I was like, "Huh?" He hauled off and kicked me in the balls. I could tolerate a lot of bullshit from Axl because he had some really unfortunate hang-ups, but getting my nuts cracked was the last thing I expected. I doubled over from the pain, and my eyes teared up. Then, when I was finally able to breathe., I just yelled, "Fuck you!" and left. It was the weirdest goddamn thing. But ultimately I let it go. At the time I felt I had to.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 85


Vicky Hamilton would recall another episode that happened on February 28, 1986, the same day as the band had a Troubadour gig, when Axl was staying at her apartment. Steven helped her clean up mess in the apartment while Axl was sleeping on her couch. Axl woke up and repeatedly asked Steven to stop. When Steven refused, Axl jumped at him and a fight broke out [Vicky Hamilton, "Appetite For Dysfunction", 2014, p. 145-146]. This could also be explained by Axl being stressed about the show to happen later that day.

Steven would talk more about their relationship:

I never did anything against [Axl]. Any chick he liked I wouldn't fuck, although some made it clear they wanted me. If Axl was interested, I figured it was his girl. I could respect that because in the end, I didn't care and everyone knew how insanely fucked up he was around women.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 86

I became more frustrated with Axl's actions over the next year [1986]. Axl's behavior became seriously unpredictable. He was getting into fights, often starting shit at the Hell House with random people who came to party, so they just learned to give him lots of room. Some of the uglier incidents were just hushed up, because, well, it was Axl. Axl had one rule for himself: there are no rules.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 86


In his biography, Steven also talks about how the rest of his band mates would not help him in 1987 when Axl demanded more in royalties than the rest of the guys, and accepted 5 percent from Steven's share, resulting in Axl receiving 30 percent and Steven 15 percent:

As long as Axl got more than everybody else he was a happy pig in shit. And at this point we were all trained to feel that as long as Axl wasn't being pissy, as long as Axl was content, then we should all be happy. [...]

We didn't know that Axl had a medical condition, manic depression, at the time. We just knew that dealing with Axl was tricky, that he was a moody motherfucker, and that you had to be prepared for craziness. One day he'd be hugging you and the next day kicking you in the balls. But Axl did some loving things for me that surpass anything the other guys ever did for me, so who am I to praise or condemn. I love the guy to this day, I honestly do. But that doesn't mean I'm going to lie to you about the way he was.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 113-114


In his biography Steven would also imply that the fact that he didn't cozy up to Axl was part of the reason Steven was later fired from the band:

Axl could be very uptight, while I was usually the opposite. [...] Fact is, Axl had trouble getting along with himself. Axl was always living in his own little high-class snobby world, or at least he was in his twisted little mind.

I remember at this one show, he left after the first song because the monitors sucked. So he just split. As he stormed off the stage, he walked right by me. I shouted, "Why don't you come to sound check? Then you'd know what the monitors are going to sound like. You could even get it straightened our before the show" Nut no, that was asking too much.

Axl stood up thousands of fans without a second thought. [...] and after we became famous, he kind of took the GNR fans for granted.

[...] Later that night we were in a bar and he's sitting away from the band with his latest bunch of "friends," who were lately shaping up to be B-list actors and wannabe models. He's shoving his smokes into a fancy cigarette holder, and he's looking fucking ridiculous. The other guys wanted me to leave it alone, but I couldn't, so I stood up and said, "Look at you, you pathetic little stuck-up motherfucker."

Axl just laughed at me: "Ha. Stevie, you're funny."[...]

The other guys knew better than to draw the wrath of Axl, I guess. They would just look the other way and stow their feelings. But there were times when Axl treated me with twice the respect that anyone else in the band did, and I think it was because I was real with him. Somewhere in the depths of that tortured soul, he appreciated that. But eventually I would pay dearly for standing up to Axl, because I became the guy with the bull's-eye on his back.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 114-115


One issue of conflict between them was Steven's on-and-off girlfriend, Adriana Smith:

[Axl] came to a party at my place. I took a bunch of pills, I was getting blitzed. I knew Steven was seeing this other girl behind my back; he said she was just ‘driving him around’. I really cared about Steven. I loved him. The only way I could get him jealous was to fuck the singer.

I had the party in my bathing suit. I was already on the warpath. Me and Axl started fucking, on my roommate’s bed by the way, when Steven came in with that girl. I said, “Oh hey baby, why don’t you join us?” He was like: “Uh, that’s okay.” He got all bent out of shape, that’s the reaction I wanted. I come back to find out that the girl that drove him over has jumped in bed and taken my place! So Axl starts fucking her! Then my roommate’s boyfriend comes in and gets in Axl’s face about fucking that girl on his girlfriend’s bed, and Axl and Slash and this guy got in this big tussle and they fell through my bedrooom window like in a cowboy movie!

[But Steven] and Axl had some kind of rivalry, not just over me, they just did. If Axl was around, he and I migrated toward each other and caused Steven nothing but heartache, then he would go and do something stupid like shoot up in an elevator or sleep with some sleazy chick.


Smith would also have sex with Axl during the final mixing of Appetite for Discussion, resulting in the sex sounds on Rocket Queen, which also may have upset Steven [see later chapter for more information].
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