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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:42 pm

CHAPTER INDEX


- AUGUST 1987: MAKING A MUSIC VIDEO FOR WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
- AUGUST 14, 1987: TOURING WITH THE CULT, FIRST SHOW IN HALIFAX
- AUGUST 15-SEPTEMBER 4, 1987: THE CULT TOUR
- SEPTEMBER 5, 1987: LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA; THE SHOW IS STOPPED EARLY
- SEPTEMBER 6-17, 1987: THE CULT TOUR FINISHES
- LOOKING BACK AT TOURING WITH THE CULT
- SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 1987: 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' IS RELEASED AND FLOPS
- SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 8, 1987: HEADLINING IN EUROPE WITH FASTER PUSSYCAT
- ZUTAUT CALLS IN A FAVOR; MTV STARTS PLAYING WELCOME
- OCTOBER 16-18, 1987: HEADLINING IN USA WITH EZO; IZZY IS SLOSHED AND PEES AT A DESK
- OCTOBER 20-NOVEMBER 1, 1987: HEADLINING IN USA WITH EZO; THE RITZ, CGBG'S AND OTHER SHOWS
- THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS
- NOVEMBER 3-21, 1987: OPENING FOR MÖTLEY CRÜE, PART 1
- NOVEMBER 22, 1987: THE OMNI, ATLANTA, AXL GETS ARRESTED
- NOVEMBER 24-29, 1987: OPENING FOR MÖTLEY CRÜE, PART 2
- 1987-1988: "THERE'S NO CHEMICAL DEPENDENCIES IN GUNS N' ROSES"
- DECEMBER 3-12, 1987: OPENING FOR ALICE COOPER
- DECEMBER 12-17, 1987: STEVEN BREAKS HIS HAND AND FRED COURY STEPS IN
- DECEMBER 18-19, 1987: "BON JOVI CAN SUCK MY DICK"
- 1987-1988: THE DEVIL MAKES WORK FOR IDLE HANDS
- DECEMBER 26-30, 1987: PLAYING FOUR SHOWS AT THE PERKINS PALACE
- 1987-1988: STEVEN STARTS ON HIS DOWNHILL DESCENT
- JANUARY 5-21, 1988: ACTIVITY IN EARLY 1988
- WHO IS THE BOSS?
- JANUARY 31, 1988: THE LIMELIGHT
- 1988: SLASH'S HABITS GET OUT OF CONTROL
- FEBRUARY 2, 1988: "WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, RITZ!!"
- FEBRUARY 1988: 'APPETITE' FINALLY SELLS TO GOLD
- 1988: DUFF; THE KING OF BEER II
- FEBRUARY 4-8, 1988: TOURING WITH 'TSOL'
- FEBRUARY 12-13, 1988: AXL IS FIRED FROM THE BAND
- 1988: IZZY AND HIS ADDICTION
- FEBRUARY 1988: LOSING A TOUR WITH DAVID LEE ROTH
- AXL JUST SAYS 'NO'
- THE MAKING OF AN ACOUSTIC EP
- FEBRUARY 26, 1988: PLAYING ON 'UNDER THE WHEELS' WITH ALICE COOPER
- PROFESSIONAL CREW
- AXL'S MENTAL ISSUES
- MARCH-APRIL 1988: LOST TOURS WITH AC/DC AND MONSTERS OF ROCK
- MARCH 31, 1988: PLAYING AT THE LATE SHOW
- APRIL 26-MAY 11, 1988: US TOUR WITH ZODIAC MINDWARP & THE LOVE REACTION AND UDO
- DOCUMENTARY, BOOK PLANS AND THE CONSPIRACY INC. FAN CLUB
- MAY 13-25, 1988: OPENING FOR IRON MAIDEN
- MAY 27-28 1988: DUFF MARRIES MANDY; HAGGIS STEPS IN
- MAY 30-JUNE 5, 1988: OPENING FOR IRON MAIDEN
- JUNE 6, 1988: GUNS N' ROSES QUITS THE TOUR WITH MAIDEN
- JUNE 1988: THE "SWEET CHILD O' MINE" SINGLE AND MUSIC VIDEO
- JUNE OR JULY 1988: SLASH IS SENT TO HAWAII FOR DETOX
- ARTISTIC SACRIFICES: EDITING 'SWEET CHILD O' MINE' FOR RADIO PLAY
- JULY 1988: 'THE DEAD POOL'
- JULY 1988: AEROSMITH AND GUNS N' ROSES TO TOUR TOGETHER
- JULY 9-10, 1988: MAKE-UP GIGS IN PHOENIX
- BUT AEROSMITH ARE SOBER
- JULY 17-AUGUST 2, 1988: THE AEROSMITH TOUR
- AUGUST 4-5, 1988: AXL FIGHTS A PARKING ATTENDANT
- AUGUST 6, 1988: 'APPETITE' REACHES NO. 1 ON BILLBOARD
- EXPLAINING THE SUCCESS OF 'APPETITE'


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:44 pm

AUGUST 1987
MAKING A MUSIC VIDEO FOR WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE


In early August 1987 the band did a video shoot for their upcoming music video for 'Welcome to the Jungle' on August 2 at the Park Plaza Hotel Ballroom in Los Angeles [Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019]. The music video would be released on September 28 in the UK and in October in the US.

It is clear that Axl already a year before had a plan for the music video's thematic content:

[Our first video] is going to be realistic and it might show a lot of violence so it might get banned. There's a lot of violence in the world. That's the environment we live in and we like to show what we live in rather than hide it and act like everything is nice and sugary.

Everybody likes to paint their pretty pictures, but that just ain't how it is. It just seems easier to know the rougher side [of life] than the more pleasant side just because it's more readily accessible.


The video was directed by Nigel Dick. Niven would later claim he came up with the idea of combining "a Clockwork Orange vibe and blending it with Midnight Cowboy and The Man Who Fell to Earth" [Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019].

That was basically ours and Alan's concept.


During the movie shoot, Niven would recall having to deal with a drunk Slash who wandered into the streets and "terrified rush hour motorists":

I explained, in short syllable Anglo Saxon, and with a certain degree of firmness, that this was behavior that was not suited to the circumstances. Slash looked me silently in the eye, then turned and walked home – some six or seven miles away.


According to Vicky Hamilton, the 'Welcome to the Jungle' video was partly inspired by the 'Faces Of Death' series of snuff video clips which Axl had studied in detail while living in her apartment [Vicky Hamilton, "Appetite For Dysfunction", 2014, p. 134]. The band had paid for news footage that didn't make it into the final edit:

There's a few changes been made to this video. We bought actual news footage that had been shown on television from NBC and CBS and ABC, but we had to cut a lot of that out.


Axl would refer to this video shoot as the "most fun [he] ever had" [Metal Edge, June 1988]
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:45 pm

AUGUST 14, 1987
TOURING WITH THE CULT, FIRST SHOW IN HALIFAX


Despite the problems getting tours, the band started their first proper tour in August 1987, opening for the Cult across Canada and USA.

Do you know how we got this tour? Because Ian Astbury, the Cult's lead vocalist, came to our first show at the Marquee, the one we got such a slagging for, and liked it so much he offered us the tour. So f**k those journalists who wrote those bad things, Ian Astbury liked what he saw, right?


In addition to having seen the band live in London in June 1987, Astbury also had gotten hold of an advance copy of the soon-to-be-released debut album 'Appetite for Destruction' [Guitarist Magazine, November 1993], which likely helped him in his decision to invite the band to open for the Cult.

The first show was in Halifax, Canada, August 14, 1987.


Poster and ticket stub


On crossing the border to Canada, Axl was arrested for trying to bring in a stun gun, allegedly the only time in 1987 he was arrested [Spin, January 1988].

Guns N' Roses started the Cult tour in Halifax on August 14, with shows almost every night for a little over a month. Halifax is in Nova Scotia, in the easternmost corner of Canada. Despite everything else, it was an exciting prospect [...]. Hitting the stage that night was extra special. It did not matter in the slightest that there were maybe fifty people in the audience when we took the stage. One thing I hadn't reckoned on were the barricades between the stage and the audience, leaving a ton of space where the building's security personnel could gather and show their force. Because of that gap, the stage lights did not illuminate the few people in attendance. And all of those lights were blinding. The overall effect was to make us feel like we were playing to this big yawning void.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 126-127


In 2008 Axl would look back at this show and say this was his relationship with Slash was starting to unravel:

I like touring with [the current] guys a lot more than the old band. The beginning was fun but it started going bad our first gig opening for the Cult in Halifax between Slash and I. That’s when the ok I put up with all Axl’s and Izzy’s crap now I’m gonna be the man trip started with him runnin’ right out front on the ego ramp for the whole show. It was pretty funny. :rolleyes:
Axl's chat with the fans, mygnrforum, December 14, 2008
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:46 pm

AUGUST 15-SEPTEMBER 4, 1987
THE CULT TOUR


After the opening show in Halifax on August 14 followed shows in Moncton, Canada (August 15) and Montreal, Canada (August 17).

When looking back at the tour in August 25, Izzy would say the best show had been the one in Montreal:

The best show so far was... in Montreal. The people were just great. To have that response from people who’ve never heard of us, the album has just come out, it’s great.


The next show was in Kicthener, Canada (August 18), Toronto, Canada (August 19), Detroit, USA (August 21), Chicago, USA (August 22), Winnipeg, Canada (August 25), and Edmonton, Canada (August 26).

The review for the show in Edmonton would say that the band displayed "a wide scope for non-linear arrangements and cathartic and often quite personal hard rock" and "their signals are a bit mixed but they hint at a vulnerability made all the more poignant by their swagger and volume" [Edmonton Journal, August 27, 1987].


Review in the Edmonton Journal
August 27, 1987


The next show took place in Calgary, Canada (August 27) and the review would say that "this was a show that recaptured the emotional centre that has always represented the best and most powerful rock 'n' roll, both with The Cult and the raw, sexually aggressive opening set of Guns N’ Roses" [Calgary Herald, August 28, 1987].

For their August 29 show at the Coliseum Theatre Stage in Vancouver, the press would claim the band would be "the first band to play Vancouver whose contract calls for the promoter to supply condoms (multi-colored)" [Province, September 18, 1987].

The review from the next show, on August 30 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle would conclude "Guns N' Roses may have a rosy future" [Seattle Times, August 31, 1987].

When we played the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, I got a bunch of my friends in for free.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 127


The band then continued to San Francisco, USA (September 2).

Malcolm Dome, writing for Kerrang!, would review the San Francisco show:

So, what is this danger? It's an uncontrollable edge, a sense of unpredictability that is a constant companion, straining at the leash of convention and always likely to break loose and push Axl and his troops (Izzy and Slash on guitar, Duff on bass and Steven Adler on drums) right over the precipice. It happened in San Francisco, when Gn'R recently opened up for the Cult. Right at the climax of a spectacularly frightening performance, Duff ripped off his bass and threw himself, Mosh-style, into the audience. It was an impulse act, folly coupled to adrenalin, and certainly not a pre-rehearsed contrivance. It had the effect of bringing home to me just what is the essence of this brilliant rock 'n' roll band: they don't give a toss!" "Duff hasn't done a stage dive like that since the last night at the Marquee," said Slash backstage after the show. "And that really is the point, you don't know what you're gonna get from this band, but whatever it is you can be sure it's worth the wait!

[…]

In San Francisco, the Gunners had a dark, foreboding insolence. They seethed with a magnetic malevolence, at once invoking an uneasy, tempestuous spirit whilst kicking sharply with the sheer fortitude of their street-forged greed and hunger for gouging out a niche.

There is no arrogance about Guns, nor an air of superiority. They simply lash straight and burn with an incandescent fragility.

Izzy and Slash (the former operating with amps that threatened to pack up at any time) literally tore neon-glitz viscera out of their strings, rather like a pit bull terrier ripping apart a panicking victim at the shoulder blade, feeding the torn torso avariciously into the rhythmic rotary stare and the sawblade cutting thrust that is Duff and Adler. And holding the entire cannibal atmosphere in the palm of his hand is Axl, the knave at the court of crimson death, Rasputin defrocked for the jean jeanie jeneration. Possessed of a rapturous vocal range, possessed of a mesmeric presence, Axl is ... possessed. He commands and demands, shadowboxing, lunging, triggering, never more than a hair's breadth away from bedlam as he lasciviously twirls his lyrics, twisting 'em into a frenzy of erotic homicide.

THE SONGS speak of drugs, sex, violence. They are the poetry of the alleys, this band are the laureates of the gutter - God knows, I love 'em for it. 'Welcome To The Jungle', 'It's So Easy', 'Mr. Brownstone', 'Paradise City', 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' ... this was another definitive performance from perhaps the latest band to deserve that irrelevant accolade of 'The Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Band In The World'.
Kerrang! October 1987


The followed Santa Cruz, USA (September 3) and San Diego, USA (September 4).
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:46 pm

SEPTEMBER 5, 1987
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA; THE SHOW IS STOPPED EARLY


The next show was in Long Beach, USA on September 5.

The next tour stop [after Seattle] where any people came early enough to see Guns play our set was at the Long Beach Arena; it was a homecoming show for us after not playing there much that year.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 127



Ad in L.A. Weekly, August 28, 1987


This show would be abruptly ended when the PA closed down. Rumours would have it that The Cult had turned it off out of jealousy, although The Cult would deny this [L.A. Weekly, September 11, 1987].

Later, Raz Cue would suggest an alternative explanation:

About two-thirds into Guns N' Roses' set, the free Heinekens caught up with me. I stashed my current Heineken on top of a stack of Peavey power amps and headed for the pisser. Just as I exited the restroom, the music stopped on a dime. Except for the murmuring crowd, the house was silent. I hurried back to the stage and almost bashed into an ultra-pissed Axl as he hit the bottom step. After he stormed past me, the rest of the guys were not far behind. I asked someone, "What happened?" Apparently, the PA had quit. Later, I heard someone from the crew guessing that a jealous Cult had ordered the sound guy to shut G N' R down.

Remember that Heineken I set on those power amps? Don't ever do that shit, because it might get knocked over. If beer spills into a power amplifier, not only must you procure more beer, a protect circuit will shut it down. From the stage monitor's failure onward, it was all a chain reaction toward a total PA failure. I almost fessed up later during a little after-show get-together inside an Embassy Suites room, but didn't want the party supplies cut off. Besides, G N' R were almost finished with their kick-ass set before... Oops! For those of you who attended the show, no worries. I managed to find another beer.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 248
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:47 pm

SEPTEMBER 6-17, 1987
THE CULT TOUR FINISHES


The next shows was in Tucson, USA (September 6) and Phoenix, USA (September 7) before the band came to Sunken Gardens Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, on September 11.

During this show Slash cursed from the stage resulting in the police looking for him after the show:

Me and (Cult singer) Ian (Astbury) were hiding on the bus after the show. We got pulled over a few blocks down the road and had to hide in the luggage bays, which are really hot 'cause they're right behind the engine.

On top of that, we had pockets full of gum we ripped off from a convenience store 'cause we had no cash. But I'm a law-abiding citizen now.


Then followed shows in Austin, USA (September 12), and Dallas, USA (September 13).

Duff and Slash would later talk about an incident at a show in Dallas, it could be either this or on December 4, 1987.

It's gotten bad at times. In Dallas once we almost got arrested, and we had to pay like $3,000. We tore all the doors off our rooms, and there were a lot of local kids around.

The worst I think I’ve done up to this point was, me and Duff both completely destroyed two hotel rooms in a Four Seasons hotel in Texas.

Another time when we were in Dallas, Duff and I had adjoining rooms connected by a door and we invited over too many friends with piles of coke. Our party lasted all that night and well into the next afternoon. Things got out of hand, of course, and a big glass coffee table got smashed, and I walked all over it barefoot and bled everywhere. At some point someone kicked the dividing door off the hinges and tipped the beds over and smashed all of the lamps. There were too many of us behaving badly for Ronnie[/i] [=Stalnaker, Slash's security guy] [i]to deal with, so he came up with a plan to get us out of the hotel without the management noticing. He somehow herded us into a service elevator and snuck us out of a loading dock and onto the bus. The hotel had heard all of the noise and was very aware of the party going on, but Ronnie had kept security out of there somehow for an hour or so. We thought we’d gotten away, until the cops pulled us over a few miles down the road at a convenience store where, if memory serves, I’d actually just stolen a bunch of candy.

We were lined up against the side of the bus and taken in for trashing the hotel rooms. It was expensive and I can say in all honesty that it was the last time I’ve ever really destroyed a hotel room. Sure, I’ve been through a couple of TV sets and done a few other stupid things since, but that was the last time I engaged in total annihilation because I got the bill for that one.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007


In Dallas, the band fired its tour driver and Slash decided to hitchhike to their next show in Houston [The Galveston Daily News, April 30, 1995]. He got a ride with "these two chicks":

They had this car with no windshield wipers and it was pouring down rain. Guns had just fired its bus driver while we were on a couple-day break and I went on to the next gig without them. They eventually showed up, but I was there first.


The tour followed in Houston, USA (September 16) and ended in New Orleans, USA (September 17).

For the last gig The Cult had a surprise for the band:

It's sort of a rock 'n' roll ritual for the headlining act to play a practical joke on the opening band on the last night of the tour. I was definitely the people person of the band, so I was always in with the roadies and the bands we toured with. The Cult's crew, and the band themselves, were all in on this practical joke. In New Orleans, during one of the last songs in our set, the Cult's crew came out and took my drum set apart piece by piece. First, the cymbal, then the cymbal stand, finally the snare drum, until I was just sitting there looking like a dork. Izzy, Duff, Axl, and Slash were all pointing an laughing at me. The the guys brought the drum set back one piece at a time. Now, usually the opening bands dare not play a practical joke back at the headliners, but we got along so well, we knew it'd be cool. We got naked, with only towels wrapped around our waists. Then the five of us, and a couple of our roadies, walked onstage while the Cult was playing. I had mixed a disgusting concoction of eggs, mustard, and relish in a Styrofoam cup. I walked behind Ian [Astbury] holding it. He didn't see me, and I motioned to the crowd, "Should I?" holding it over his head, ready to pour, and they were like, "Yeah!". He turned around and started chasing me all over the stage. He grabbed at me and pulled the towel off of my waist. I was totally naked onstage in front of everyone.
Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 131-132
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:47 pm

LOOKING BACK AT TOURING WITH THE CULT


During the touring as an opener band for The Cult very few knew who they were. Although Appetite for Destruction had just come out in the US the Canadian release date was 6 weeks after the US release date. Because of this, for most shows they played for a small audience who were there just waiting for the main act.

Despite this, the band thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Cult and would praise how well they were treated by the headlining act. According to Kerrang!, Ian Astbury even "dashed out to get Duff a ripped black T-shirt to use as a headband" at one point [Kerrang! October 1987]. And later Matt would claim it was Astbury that suggested to Axl to change his hair style:

A lot of people were influenced by Ian - a lot of people - (by) his persona and his stage thing. He gave Axl his first headband. He told him to take that puffy hair and comb it straight, put that headband on. Because all those other bands in L.A. were doing it. If you watch the 'Welcome to the Jungle' video, you can see the difference in Axl's hair between that and 'Sweet Child of Mine.'

The Cult is great. I really like the direction their music is moving in and, as people, they’re so cool to us on the road. Hell, they even give us a sound check before the show. It makes the whole tour a helluva lot of fun.

The Cult are the first band we've met who really have treated us right. […] We've been having a great time with the Cult, and Ian seems to spend more time in our dressing room than his own.

The last time we played in Canada was with The Cult and our album wasn’t even out yet—you know because of the postcard cover [the original 'Appetite' cover]. Now the album is out and we’re looking forward to playing there again. We had a great time in Canada last time. The kids in the au­dience were really great.
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 1988

The Cult and GNR got along phenomenally well, and we had a great time together. They always had catering at sound check, great food that positively spoiled us. During our set, Axl made it a point to announce to the crowd how great the Cult was to us.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 131

It was a good tour for us. Both bands got on real well together, and they were nicer to us than most headlining bands are expected to be. It was a good start.


In an interview in October 1987, the interviewer would allude to the band having "redecorated" many hotel rooms [MTV Headbanger's Ball, October 24, 1987]. Slash would later admit to this:

[We've trashed] a few. It costs a lot of money to do that, though. […] I don’t know [how much], it just costs a lot. I mean, I’ve been broke for a long time just paying back things I broke (chuckles).


Despite being treated very nicely by the headlining band and enjoying the tour in general, Axl would be struggling with adjusting to a regular touring schedule:

It was traumatic for me. I was just so disorganized, a f.ckin' wreck. I don't follow anyone's time schedules but my own, and all of a sudden you gotta get up at 9 in the morning. I'm screaming, 'I didn't get enough sleep!' I'm much more organized and everything's a lot smoother now.


When looking back at the tour in 1993, Duff would comment that Astbury was so impressed with the band he prophesized the Cult would one time open for Guns N' Roses:

Our first tour, like I said, was opening for The Cult and we started up in Nova Scotia and came across Canada; ‘Appetite’ wasn’t even out in Canada so nobody knew who we were but Ian had managed to get a pre-release of the record, or something, and he got us on the tour. Back then we just played things like Reckless Life and all the fast punk things for 40-45 minutes, just whipping it out. But Ian said then that one day he would be opening for us and sure enough...!
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:48 pm

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 1987
'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' IS RELEASED AND FLOPS


When I first heard 'Welcome to the Jungle' I was jealous of that song. Very rarely do I hear a song that I'm jealous of and I was jealous of that song. I was sitting there going, 'Jeez, why didn't I write that?'

___________________________________________________

The second single from Appetite for Destruction was Welcome to the Jungle and it was released on September 28, 1987, in the UK and on October 3, 1987, in USA. The reason for the earlier release date in the UK was likely that the band would embark on an European tour in late September and wanted more radio air play as promotion.


Welcome to the Jungle single


Despite cutting a lot of the violent video footage out [see previous chapter], the music video was controversial and received little attention on MTV.

Steven Thompson, one of the engineers at the recording of 'Appetite' had big hopes for the single:

I think we released "Welcome to the Jungle" first, which I thought was an anthem. I was pretty shocked that it didn't break the way it should have. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was not even in the picture. It was a good song, but to say that I thought that was the song that was going to break GNR, I couldn't predict that. I'm usually good at predicting what songs are going to hit. To me it was "Welcome to the Jungle".
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


In July 1988 Geffen President Eddie Rosenblatt would refer to the low initial sales of the 'Welcome to the Jungle' single as a "flop".


NOVEMBER 1999: AN UPATED VERSION OF THE WELCOME MUSIC VIDEO IS RELEASED


In connection with the release of the live album, Geffen decided to release updated music videos for 'It's So Easy' and 'Welcome to the Jungle' [Rolling Stone, November 9, 1999].

Doug Goldstein would comment on the new video for 'Welcome to the Jungle':

It's very 'end of the Millennium' based. Waco, Columbine, Nike shoes, Rodney King… anything newsworthy.

We just decided to put out another video, the idea came along, (video director) Jeff Richter did a great job cutting it, and we went for it.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:48 pm

SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 8, 1987
HEADLINING IN EUROPE WITH FASTER PUSSYCAT


After touring with the Cult, the band had planned to open for Aerosmith in Europe, but they pulled out in the "11th hour" [Kerrang! March 1989] allegedly because Aerosmith hadn't got their new record out [Endless Party Magazine, August 1987] or due to "finances" [Kerrang! October 1987]. Instead of scrapping the plans altogether, they decided to headline with Faster Pussycat as their opener. The band thus went to Germany, Holland and UK as headlining acts from September 29 to October 8, 1987.

At the start of this tour Axl's voice was in a bad shape and the band was starting to feel exhausted:

[...] Axl's voice is getting to the point where he can't keep going. Everybody's been having a good time. The thing is, we're burned out.


The first show took place at the Markthalle in Hamburg on September 29:

The next night we did the gig, the first one of our headlining tour, and it's good that it didn't set a precedent. The venue was on the water; it was this really industrial, dark room with benches and long tables on the sides. Everything in there was painted black - it was the blackest club I've ever seen and it just reeked of stale beer [...]. The audience was without doubt the most lackluster crowd we had ever played to in our lives; as I recall, they were as cold and miserable as the weather. I remember that before we went on and the second we got off, the club played nothing but Metallica, nonstop. It was obvious that any American band, or any band at all, that didn't sound like Metallica wasn't going to go over. And I was right. We got through the show and the only thought going around in my mind when we finished was I would fucking hate to have to do this again tomorrow.
Slash's autobiography, p 205-206


After Hamburg the band travelled to Düsseldorf, Germany (September 30) and to Amsterdam, Netherlands (October 2).

If I had to choose my favorite show of the tour, it was The Paradiso in Amsterdam. The venue is amazing: it is a dark, foreboding building that used to be a church. Inside the main hall are high ceilings, arches, and great acoustics. [...] I remember Axl going off on old rock stars that night during the set: I don't recall his exact words but the gist of it was that any older-generation rock star who felt that we were ripping them off was right - we were, but we were doing it better. I think he capped that speech off by telling Paul Stanley to suck his dick.
Slash's autobiography, p 208


Then followed five shows in England. Axl looked forward to re-visiting England after having been there for the three concerts at the Marquee in June earlier that year:

We are looking forward to this so much. It's a chance to get out around the country and visit some of the places that fans travelled from to see us at the Marquee [in June earlier that year]. We had a blast in London earlier this year and I'm sure this tour will go extremely well.


The UK shows were Newcastle, England (October 4); Nottingham, England (October 5); Manchester, England (October 6); Bristol, England (October 7); and London, England (October 8).

During their October 5 show at the Rock City in Nottingham, England, Axl was refused entry to the show when he came alone dressed in nothing but a bathrobe. Apparently, he had locked himself out of the tour bus and had to return with his security pass to be allowed into the venue [BBC, December 2015].

In particular, their October 7 show at the Bristol Colston Hall went well:

Last night, in Bristol, it was fantastic, people wanted to jump from the stands, and many of them ended up dancing on the PA. I don’t believe there’s any band that’s not able to lift the spirits of the people in Bristol. When we play at Hammersmith, I’ll ask people to see if there’s no other crowd as good as in Bristol – even though I may get into trouble if I encourage people to go too wild.
Popular 1, April 1988; interview from October 8, 1987; translated from Spanish

Bristol Colston Hall were full of slammers and stage-divers and people jumping off the balconies, jumping off amplifiers.


Mick Wall, writing for Kerrang!, would say that the Hammersmith Odeon in London was a fantastic show [Kerrang! March 1989], and he would also applaud the show at Manchester Apollo show [Kerrang! October 24, 1987].

The band would also be happy about the London show:

We ended our tour on October 8, 1987, in London and it was amazing. The band was really coming into its own; we'd had enough road time by then to know what we were doing. We had become comfortable as players: we knew one another well enough that we didn't have to think much about what we were doing the movement we went on. Once you have that familiarity, you can improvise and build from there and make every show unique. The Hammersmith Odeon show was explosive; die-hard fans that I run into to this day tell me it was the best show of ours they've ever seen. [...] It couldn't have happened in a better venue: the Hammersmith Odeon is the famous room where everyone from Motörhead to The Who to Black Sabbath to the Beatles to Johnny Cash had played; and it's where Bowie did his final gig as Ziggy Stardust in 1973.
Slash's autobiography, p 208-209

Returning to London on October 8, three months after our first visit, we had a date at Hammersmith Odeon. This was a huge step up. It was a legendary theatre - both the Clash and Motörhead had written songs abut the place. when I found out we would be playing the Hammersmith Odeon, I thought to myself, Whoa, that's it, we've made it.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 128

Our last show in England was at the Hammersmith Odeon on October 8, 1987. We opened with 'It's So Easy' and rocked that place, closing with 'Sweet Child O'Mine' into 'Whole Lotta Rosie.' Playing there cemented our popularity, which had grown during the tour. The Odeon seated over thirty-five hundred, five thousand standing room only. From Cream to Van Halen, a lot of the biggest, most legendary bans played there, and it felt amazing when I looked out over the crowd. It was nearly packed, ad those Brits caught one hell of a show. GNR was moving up over hallowed ground to the big time.
Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 138


Despite this Slash would not be too positive about the five UK shows they did:

When [the next LP] comes out, we're all very adamant about going to England first to tour... It seems like out of everywhere we've played we've sort of, like, cut England short. We haven't given it, I dont think, enough of our time. I mean, we did a tour in England with Faster Pussycat, and there were a couple shows that were great, bit the whole tour itself was sort of half-assed. It was only five shows and I don't think we gave enough in a lot of those shows....


He also didn't visit his English family while travelling through the country:

I'm thinking of visiting them but they haven’t seen me since I was about ten or eleven years old. I don’t really know if they’re still there. We went through Stoke on our English tour. I could have stopped and gone over there - I knew exactly where it was. I couldn’t take the pressure, though. Can you imagine?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988


Axl would echo the statement of wanting to do more shows in England:

We miss England. We miss England. Japan was great, we miss England. I hope that when we will do our next tour we can plan out something really big and do it right for your [?]. We had a lot of fun when we did our last tour over there and we would like to make it a lot more special next time.



LOOKING BACK AT THE TOUR


[…] the people in the first row at a Guns show are, like, pretty nuts. Even in the first 10-15 rows that I can see - cuz the lights make it so you can only see so far - it can be pretty crazy. In Europe, we had people jumping off the balconies and – I mean, we jump into the crowd, too. It’s at the point now where it’s, like, Axl jumped in the crowd at one of these gigs that we were – it was one of those nights where just everything was technically going wrong, but it was a great show; and to top it off at the end of the night, just to get that last – squeeze that last drop out of it, Axl jumped into the crowd. And you just cannot do that anymore. It’s gotten to the point where, you know, you can’t get back. They just take you.

It was our first headlining tour; it began in Germany, at the Markthalle in Hamburg on September 29, 1987. It was great to headline, but we had a few issues. Faster Pussycat was one of those bands we hated from L.A.; they were exactly the kind of people we tried to avoid. The tour was also a bit of a culture shock: Hamburg still felt like it was a post-World War II casualty - the place had a pretty narrow viewpoint. It was dark, industrial, sort of sour city that seemed, as a whole, as if they'd rather not have us there if they could help it. That kind of environment always inspired us to show our true colors more than usual, which didn't go over well. Every time we'd walk into a restaurant, every head cranked around and the room got quieter. And when it did, we were all the more determined to order a bunch of drinks and smoke and carry on more than we ever would have in the first place.
Slash's autobiography, p 205-206
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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS Empty Re: 08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:49 pm

ZUTAUT CALLS IN A FAVOR; MTV STARTS PLAYING WELCOME


Tom Zutaut fought for the Welcome to the Jungle single and the record:

MTV basically said, "we will never play this band because they are drug addicts, they are scary, and the cable operators have threatened to drop MTV off cable." The guys who ran the big cable companies were basically putting pressure on MTV to tone it back. They said, "This is HBO, this is about family entertainment, and MTV, if you cross the line we're going to pull you off the cable network because we're not going to have our cable franchises pissed at us because of your programming." Now MTV says they will never play Guns N' Roses, they're way to dangerous, and they'll get thrown off the cable networks. We've sold 200,000 units by word of mouth only. People who are buying the record are people seeing them open for Motley or The Cult and they are telling their friends. Honestly, it was like clockwork. They'd go into town and open for somebody, and the next week, spike in sales. I get called into the president of the company's office one day and he looks at me and says, "Hey kid, it was a great run, but you've got to quit beating up the promotion people. They can't get it on the radio, MTV's not going to play it, and we're done with this record at 200,000 units." So I looked at my half-boss, who was a great guy, and as smart-aleck of a kid as I was then and as sure of with Gins N' Roses, I had to give him some deference. I said, "with all due respect Eddie, this is the biggest rock and roll band in the world, and 200,000 hasn't even scratched the surface yet. I will not go in the studio and make the next record, I will not stop pushing for this record. It's only the beginning; I don't know how you can say it's over. I'm going to call David Geffen, because I disagree with this decision. I'm not going to accept this decision that we're giving up on this record."
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


So Zutaut called David Geffen:

MTV was afraid that if they played GN'R, local cable systems would throw them off. So Appetite was up to about 200,000 and it was standing still. I got called up into the president of Geffen's office and he said, "This record is over." So I went up to David Geffen's office and I said, "Could you get MTV to play the video for 'Welcome to the Jungle'?" A couple of hours later, he said, "They're going to play it at five in the morning on Sunday as a personal favor to me." Even in the wee hours of Sunday morning, MTV got so many requests that it blew their switchboard.

I called David Geffen and David said, "I've never heard you so adamant about something." And I said, "I'm telling you, 200,000 records is a disgrace." And he said, "do you know how many new bands sell 200,000 records?" And I said, "well this band can sell ten million, so it's not enough." So David said, "What's the one thing I can do?" And I said, "Well, you could put the 'Welcome to the Jungle' video on MTV. I mean, you're best friends with Fresten the guy who runs it, and they owe you favors. MTV owes you favors." And Geffen's like, "Yeah, I could do that. I'll take care of that and I'll put in a call."
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

So the next day David Geffen calls me up into his office and he says, "You tricked me!" And I said, "What?" And he said, "Well, first off you didn't tell me that they already, adamantly vowed and sworn to never play this band on MTV. If you had told me that in advance I might have been able to do better for you." I said, "You're David Geffen, you're the man, they either owe you a favor or they don't." He said, "Next time, don't forget minor details like that, because it's very important when I call somebody to know what I'm up against. I said, "I promise if something ike this comes up again, I'll give you all the nitty gritty." And he goes, "Ok, in spite of that, I did get them. They'll play it one time, this Sunday at 5am New York time, 2am L.A. time." I sad, "That's it?" And he said, "Look, don't be a schmuck, you could have gotten nothing." And I said, "Alright." So I called the band and said, "Look, we'll stay up all night and watch it." It was exciting. Here it was on MTV in all its glory and it looked amazing. So I come into work the next day, not thinking much of anything other than I hope something happened. I took my shot with David Geffen and the record's over ad I don't know what I'm going to do.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007

The next day, I had multiple phone calls from my office. I got in around four in the afternoon, and the head of promotion told me the video had lit up MTV’s switchboards. He was yelling hysterically and said MTV finally added the video into rotation after just one play of 'Welcome to the Jungle'.
L.A. Weekly but copied in Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019

So the head of promotion was this real excitable guy named Al Corian. Because I was up all night with the band, I probably didn't get in until 1:00pm. […] I get an urgent message from Al Corian as soon as I get in and I went to his office immediately. And this guy starts babbling, "I've got to tell you, that Guns N' Roses thing -- it's unbelievable. We're going to get it everywhere." He said, "You don't understand, they blew up the switchboard at MTV, I'm telling you the switchboard blew up. They're putting it in heavy rotation. This is amazing." I told this guy for months it was going to be the biggest band in the world. They wanted to drop the record on Friday and now on Monday it's the biggest thing that ever happened. MTV had put the video into heavy rotation, and it explodes, and we go from 200,000 units to million units practically overnight.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


In an article in Los Angeles Times in July 1988, the story is told somewhat differently. In this article it is said that Geffen president Eddie Rosenblatt made a personal effort to make MTV air the 'Welcome to the Jungle video: "Rosenblatt started sending its execs a weekly computer run of the band's record sales. Impressed, MTV put the "Welcome" video into its "Headbanger's Ball" program" [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].

Regardless of who were responsible, when MTV's Headbanger's Ball played 'Welcome to the Jungle', the record and single sales picked up quickly. Geffen responded by promptly re-releasing the 'Welcome' single [Los Angeles Times, July 1988]. This increase in sales coincided with Guns N' Roses touring with Mötley Crue, and more and more of the audiences seemed to appreciate the opening band.

Steven and Slash would describe the breakthrough this way:

Even though we had shot it, our video was not getting played. David Geffen had to call in a huge favor from the head of MTV to get one fucking airing of "Welcome to the Jungle." They tried to bury it at like five A.M. on a Sunday morning. But guess who's wide awake at that hour on a Sunday and just getting in from a night of partying? That's right, kiddies, GNR Nation! Legend has it that "Welcome to the Jungle" hadn't even gotten done with its one airing and the MTV switchboard was lighting up like a Christmas tree. They were all demanding to know one thing: when would MTV be airing the video again?
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 143

The problem, from what we understand, is that new people took over MTV right about the time our first clip came out. They didn’t know anything about rock and roll, and their main concern was just not to offend anyone. And you know that when it comes to not offending people, you’re dealing with the wrong guys when you’re dealing with us. But once we did get the clip on the air, the response was incredible. Yeah, we flipped when it made it all the way to the top of their dial-in show. That proved the fans really were behind us.


Nigel Dick, the director of the music video, would as the result of GN'R's success be highly sought after:

I became, for a while, the go-to guy for that kind of band, and I'd get all these awful band managers coming up to me, 'The job you did for that band was amazing, man, so you've got to do for my band what you did for Guns N' Roses,'You just go, 'Oh my God.' If the guy ain't Axl, he ain't Axl. You can be the best video director in the world, but if the singer doesn't have his oats together, you're f---ed.
Rolling Stone but copied in Intense Guitar, August 1, 2019
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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS Empty Re: 08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:49 pm

OCTOBER 16-18, 1987
HEADLINING IN USA WITH EZO; IZZY IS SLOSHED AND PEES AT A DESK


After returning to US, they toured the East Coast (October 16, November 1, 1987), supported by EZO who were also on Geffen Records which, according to Axl, "made it really easy just to do quickly" [Rock City News, January 1988].

The first show was at The Sundance, Bay Shore, USA (October 16) followed by a show at the Airport Music Hall, Allentown, USA (October 17).

The third show on this tour took place at a place called Hammerjacks in Baltimore, MD, USA on October 18. Apparently, Izzy got so wasted the band had to turn his amp down:

Izzy—he’s not usually the one to cause any trouble at all, but he got totally annihilated at this place called Hammerjacks—the most fucked place I’ve ever played. First, they got about thirty [uniformed] security guys that look like West Hollywood sheriffs. And Izzy got in arguments with them early in the day about some bullshit they were giving our crew, who were just trying to do their jobs. So Izzy got drunk, and was really hating this club. Then, right before we played, and there are more hassles, and Izzy’s fucking sick of everything, he walked into the club manager’s office and just whipped it out and pissed all over the guy’s desk—with the guy sitting there! It just blew their minds. Then we go on, and Izzy is so drunk we had to turn his guitar down, and when he realized what was going on, he unstrapped the guitar and threw it into the crowd.
Original source unknown, but found in Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses by Stephen Davis, Penguin Group, 2008


Slash would confirm Izzy had peed in the manager's office [The Baltimore Sun, April 9, 1995] and that he could barely play:

I remember playing there. Hammer-jacks is the gig — I don’t know if you should print this or not — but it was the gig where... […] Me and Izzy got really messed up. When you're touring around in a bus, you get there in the morning, you have a day room at the hotel, you go to the gig way too early... and you get bored. […] I play well when I’m messed up. Izzy, on the other hand.... [laughter] So during the gig, he just sat on his amp. But he had a Marshall stack behind him, so he sat on the tiny lip of the bottom cabinet, and we just sorta covered for him. [...] I think he was pretty much turned off at that point [laughter].


Years later, Bud Becker, Hammerjacks' national talent consultant in the 1980s, would comment on the Izzy incident:

Actually, I think the security guys threw him out or something. Of course, nobody knew what the band was going to become at that point, or they’d probably have invited him to urinate on stage!
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:50 pm

OCTOBER 20-NOVEMBER 1, 1987
HEADLINING IN USA WITH EZO; THE RITZ, CGBG'S AND OTHER SHOWS


During this touring Axl was still "fighting a see-saw battle with a tenacious case of laryngitis" [BAM, November 1987]. Slash also fell out of the tour bus in October when travelling in upstate New York:

Slash fell against me and I fell out of the chair straight to the ground, about five feet. Concussion time. Knocked out. They thought I was dead.


The next shows was at the Trocadero, Philadelphia, USA (October 20). After the show Fred Coury would introduce Steven to his future wife Cheryl Lynn Swiderski [The News Journal, June 1989].

Then the band travelled to Palace Theatre, Albany, USA (October 21), a show that would be remembered fondly:

That night, the members of Guns N' Roses were everything a lean, mean rock act should be. They pumped out raw, powerful and genuinely dangerous music with little regard for the consequences. If memory serves, the band was furious that the orchestra pit had been lowered to create a moat between the stage and the fans. It must have been Slash, the guitarist, who jumped into the pit like a buccaneer -- guitar in one hand, bottle of Jack Daniels in the other.

Ironically, there was no need to separate the band from the fans: Only 187 fans attended the show, in a theater that could have held 2,500 more.
Albany Times Union, November 21, 2002


And then a show at Obsessions, Randolph, USA (October 22) before travelling to the Ritz in New York City (October 23). At this show a drunk Dave Mustaine was thrown off the stage when he wandered on with a guitar in his hands ("We didn't know who he was. We just thought it was some weirdo out of the crowd" [Kerrang! March 1989]).

At the Ritz, Axl would talk about Todd Crew:

Now, if you have known of us, then you know that we recently, a couple of months ago, lost a friend of ours. A little over a month ago, I OD’ed, and I ended up in a hospital called Cedars-Sinai. I was in a coma for about two days. When I got out of the hospital, the first person I saw was a guy named Todd Crew. Todd used to be in a band called Jetboy, and one of the reasons he got kicked out – Jetboy sucks. One of the reasons he got kicked out, was for hanging out with us. I think we were more friends than the people he knew all of his fucking life. When I got out of the hospital, the first person I saw was Todd, and I really didn’t wanna see anybody I knew, because I didn’t know if I had any friends left. Todd came up to me, and gave me a hug and said, “You can’t do this to the family, man.” Two weeks later, Todd OD’ed here in New York. We tried doing this song without dedicating it to Todd, and every time we feel too fuckin’ guilty and we end up doing it anyway. And a friend told me that we won’t get over it till it happens again. So until then, this is for Todd. And this is “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”


Axl would also take the opportunity to talk about pidgeon-holing the band into a specific genre:

I’ll do my best to make a point for what it’s worth. We’ve got a lot of people, a lot of magazines and a lot of things going, “It’s a glam band,” “It’s a metal band,” “It’s a glam metal band,” “It’s a hard rock band,” “It’s a thrash band,” “It’s a...”. Fuck it! It doesn’t make a good god damn whether my hair is up, my hair is down, or I’m fucking bald. It’s all fucking rock ‘n’ roll to me.


After Ritz the band travelled to The Chance, Poughkeepsie, USA (October 25); Providence, USA (October 26); The Paradise, Boston, USA (October 27), after which they would get the following review:

Guns n’ Roses play with the requisite rough-and-rowdy rawness. fueled by desperation. The main flaw during Tuesday’s 70-minute set was that most of what came out of Rose’s mouth sounded like “Rawr, raaagh, grrrbdz!," but a quick check of the album's lyric sheet - and Rose's more pointed song introductions - gave a clearer idea of what's going on. Which is, basically, living fast and hard and playing music to match.

But these bad boys cut the fun with, dare we say, a certain social consciousness. “My Michelle” doesn’t celebrate excess as much as it suggests the flipside of the too-much-ain’t-enough ethic; ditto for "Mr. Brownstone," for which Rose admonished "Make sure you wake up in the morning." And why else cover Dylan’s "Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” if not to make the point that a little bit of reflection and redemption never hurts? Guns n’ Roses is about living life on the edge, but being smart enough to pull bark at the right time. Climb, bill don’t fall off the mountain.


The next show would be at L'Amour, Brooklyn, USA (October 29).

I remember one particular night at L'Amour in Brooklyn, which was one of the most classic metal/hard-rock venues that anyone could ever play in New York City. Izzy got totally drunk downing beers backstage while we were waiting to go on. But he remained cool in his own way - Izzy was always funny like that. That night he let on like nothing was wrong, spending the entire show sitting on the tiny ledge between the top and bottom cabinet of his rig. It was hilarious to watch.
Slash's autobiography, p 225-226


The band would do a second show in New York, this one at legendary CBGB (October 30, 1987). This was an acoustic show and the band would debut songs for their upcoming new EP, Lies,

Next up was a show as CBGB, the famous punk rock club in Manhattan. Duff was particularly excited because his heroes Iggy Pop and the Ramones had played there. A lot of my favourites like Blondie and Talking Heads has started out there too. When we got there, I said, "Are you sure this is CBGB?" It was the smallest room, very, very intimate. It held only like fifty to seventy people. I just couldn't imagine that all those famous bands had played there. We performed an acoustic set and I rocked the tambourine. We debuted some songs that we hand't played publicly yet. The lyrics "I used to love her...but I had to kill her" from "Used to Love Her" got a huge laugh. And "Patience" got a very nice response. We also played "Mr. Brownstone" and "Move to the City". Someone yelled out, "Drum solo!" so I shook the tambourine wildly. Everyone laughed.
Steve's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 145


After the CGBG show Axl would talk about an incident that happened at the Gramercy Hotel in New York:

We stay at the Gramercy hotel here [in New York], and one of our friends, West Arkeen, the guy jumped over the counter. His dad had a heart attack and they didn’t give him the message, and then when he yelled at the guy, the guy jumped over the counter and hit him. And then three guys jumped in - it was at the hotel here in New York. So then he came up and got me. I went downstairs and two big guys come with a club. So I grabbed a huge metal sign, you know, and it was like a showdown, they backed off. And then the cops came and, you know. That’s, like, the most recent thing that’s happened.


After this the band travelled on for the two final shows, at The Horizon, Syracuse, USA on October 31 and in Washington D.C., USA on November 1. The band would then immediately proceed with opening for Motley Crue.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:50 pm

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS


As the band grew in popularity, the band members would argue that they were picking up on the business side of it:

We learned how to survive. We learned who's who in the music business. We learned how to tell when someone's full of shit. We've learned some hard lessons and had to pay some out-of-court settlements. At least we're smart enough to talk straight business now. If someone in this band is like, 'Okay, we're up against a wall' we have people - lawyers, other lawyers and other accountants - so that any mess we manage to get into, we can get out of.

What I'd tell any kid in high school is "Take business classes." I don't care what else you're gonna do, if you're gonna do art or anything, take business classes. You can say, "Well, I don't want to get commercial," but if you do anything to make any money, you're doing something commercial. You can be flipping hamburgers at McDonald's, but you're a commercial burger flipper.

Izzy and I had always done a lot of reading on Alice Cooper. Not only because we admired him, but also because we figured that anyone who could get this act off the ground had to be a genius ­and that would be his manager (Shep Gordon). So we'd always read as much as we could about Shep, and we met Shep in Long Beach that night [February 26, 1988], and we told him about how we'd read about him. And he said, "Yeah? Well, that's great, man, because I always used to go in and pull out my book on Elvis when we were first starting out." He told us that Elvis had in his contract that when he put out a record, every piece of RCA stationery must have the title of his new record on it, no matter which act it was promoting. Shep wanted to do that, and the record company said it couldn't be done - and Shep got his Elvis book and said "It's right here on page 42"


And their friend, Robert John would concur:

[…] as far as business goes, these guys really know what they're doing.


As the band blew up in 1988/1989, Slash was probably the band member mostly involved with the day-to-day running of the business [also see previous chapter from the very beginning of the band]:

[Being asked about his typical day]: A typical day? Some days I get up at eight-thirty, nine o’clock in the morning. Go down to Geffen - talk on the phone to radio stations. Do all this other shit... […] Depends on how hard I’ve been at it the night before. I’ve done phone interviews at five-thirty in the morning - talking to Japanese press and all that shit. Except I don’t get up for those, I just stay up... It’s a small price to pay for not having to worry about your rent and getting to work on time,’ he added. ‘You don’t have many responsibilities as a band member - you have to fuckin’ be there for the few responsibilities you do have.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988

I do take care of all the business and stuff for the band aside from what the manager takes care of. But I'm the one member of the band. Not just me, I mean, Axl does, too. And so, but it's the one thing that I've always been a very conscientious about. […] I'm always involved in knowing what's going on with promoting, what's going on with when we're on the road with the T-shirt sellers and the like... You know, it's just everything. Just like, how a gig went as far as to, you know, ticket sales. I take care of all the interviews and make sure that they all get done, because Axl doesn't really like to do interviews, and I make myself available for it and stuff like that. I always am the first one to pick up on, like, when there's a new video. I'm the first one to look at it and give my opinion on what's good and what's not. And so on and so forth. I mean, everybody in the band is concerned and everybody's involved. It's just something that I'm on top of right away because, you know, I'm just like a workaholic and I like, you know, everything that's going on.


And explaining why he worked so hard:

Yeah, I do it. I’m up for it. If I don’t do it then I’ll just sit around and do drugs and get drunk. There’s also a feeling of if I don’t do it no one will.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988


When asked if he was alluding to Axl:

Axl's very involved - he does it and gets really into it, then other times he doesn’t want to do it. He’s very emotional, so I’ll do it. But if he wants to he could be talking to fuckin’ somebody from Trouser Press for three hours... Axl does this, this and this - and this, this and this, Axl doesn’t do. It’s not any particular thing, it’s just what his frame of mind is.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988



THE NINETIES


Before we had to figure out where to live, now we have to figure out how to deal with whatever legal things are going on.

______________________________________________________________________________________

You know, as far the business side of things go we have to be able to get up in the morning and do shit, otherwise it just flies over your head and it’s too late. I’m constantly on top of it and Axl is too on a daily basis. It never stops. It’s cool because I’m in my element and I enjoy it. […] normally we wouldn’t talk about it, but since we’re getting picked apart so much we might as well tell people what goes on. It’s a huge contrast to when we’re on stage. It has nothing to do with music. I’ve always done business for the band ever since we started. It’s just the way I am. I dig the challenge of doing the business as much as I like to Rock out. I’ll take the latter over the former any day, but someone has to do. If you want something to be done you have to do it yourself. Our manager (Doug Goldstein) is great but you have to communicate what you want because his final decision may not be the right decision for what we do as a group. Financially it may be, but not as far as what you believe in as a Rock band.

The last tour we did cost us two million dollars and we didn’t make a penny off the tour except for maybe the ‘T’-shirts that we sold. The truth is that I’m still watching my money. We put so much back into the group that we won’t really see anything until a long time down the line when we’ve sold records consistently. We haven’t even re-negotiated our contract so that might never happen. To me that means I still feel the same as I always have. I’m happy though, but it’s like that old Jimi Hendrix quote which goes ‘The more money have, the more Blues you can sing’. People like to see the glamour that surrounds bands. They like to think that that’s what it’s all about and it isn’t.

One of the few indulgences is getting drunk. Otherwise we’re always working. I get up in the morning, and I know this is gonna sound terrible, but I get on the fuckin’ phone to take care of business and get more dates, dealing with promoters and shit. Being on stage is great, the travelling is fine, but doing what we do is far from glamourous and I think people probably wouldn’t last five minutes doing what we do. I don’t mean that to sound bitter because it isn’t, but there’s times when we’re slaving away and we can’t even get jet-lag anymore because we just don’t sleep. At the same time people have paid to come and see us and they don’t give a shit and you’ve got to be able and deliver every night, whether you’re sick or not. There’s no work compensation in this business. I’m not knocking people who lead regular lives because that’s their choice and they probably complain in the same way as anyone else, but we ain’t just out here living an easy life.

I was real fortunate that I grew up in this business, so I watched a lot of people fuck up before I even started, you know (laughs).


Gilby would comment that the band had integrity:

What surprised me was the integrity of the band. Just watching how they do their business and the way they run the band. It’s never like: ‘We can make a lot of money on this; let’s do it.’ It’s like, I watched Slash sit down and go over the designs of the T-shirts and stuff, and it’s like, ‘I wouldn’t wear that, why would I let someone who likes the band wear that?’ It really impressed me, because from where I come from, it’s so hard to be successful in the music business, so you would do a lot of things you normally wouldn’t think is right. And for some reason, the band did everything they wanted to do. And it worked.


In early 1994 Slash would say he enjoyed the business side of the band: "It's more or less my constant function with this band. I love the fight; I love to get into it, get our point across and make decisions people can't argue with. So that's fun" [Kerrang! January 8, 1994].


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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS Empty Re: 08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:51 pm

NOVEMBER 3-21, 1987
OPENING FOR MÖTLEY CRÜE, PART 1


After having played individual shows headlining around the US, the band opened for Mötley Crue on parts of their "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour in the US (November 3-29, 1987), something Izzy had been looking forward to [Concert Shots, May 1986]. Originally, Guns N' Roses was supposed to open from the start of the tour (The "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour started on June 19), but since 'Appetite' wasn't out yet Whitesnake got the job:

Well, we were gonna do it on the original beginning of their tour, but we weren’t ready. Our album hadn’t been put out yet. And so they got Whitesnake and they were real happy with that. But now Whitesnake is ready to start headlining on their own, and they like us and we like them, so it’s like, we’re ready to do it.


In November Whitesnake dropped out to headline their own tour and Guns N' Roses stepped in [Kerrang! March 1989].

The bands knew each other from before, and especially Nikki Sixx and the Guns N' Roses band members had partied together previously:

[Talking about almost meeting Axl for the first time in early 1986]: At first, it was a big party. Izzy Stradlin would be rolled up in a ball in front of the fireplace, porn stars would be passed out in the living room, and Britt Ekland would come stumbling out of the bathroom One night, two girls came by and said that they were with a guy named Axl who was in a band called Guns N’ Roses, and he wanted to come in but was too shy to knock and ask.

“I think I’ve heard of him,” I told them. “I know his guitar player or something.”

“Then can he come in?” they asked.

“No, but you can.” I told them. And they did.
The Dirt, HarperEntertainment, 2001


Axl was excited about opening for Motley Crue and grateful for the how accommodating the headliner was:

They’re like, they’re rolling out, like, the red carpet. I mean, they’re giving us more lights than they usually give an opening act. They’re giving us more monitors and more things. […] They’re like, they’re really helping us, because they’re into what we’re doing. And like, someone told me the other day, Circus Magazine told me that Vince Neil said some nice things about us (?). I figure that any kid that has the Guns N’ Roses album has a Motley Crue album too, so it should be great.


The Crue tour was a much bigger show then what the band was used to by then, and, according to Axl, the band "learned a lot about professionalism from that. Fuckin’ a lot" [Rock City News, January 1988]. The band also learnt a lot about partying and wild living:

Well, touring with Motley everybody tends to get very excessive, which we like. If I get too wasted and carried away or pissed off about something, rather than punch someone in the mouth I'll throw a phone, smash a picture on the wall. The first night of the Motley Crue tour, Slash, Steve, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx got in a wrestling match at their hotel, trashed the whole place. We got the bill, but that's the nature of the business—seeing how much you can survive. Nikki's version of winning a drinking contest is not who drinks the most but who can get away without drinking as much and who can make the other guy pass out.



THE SHOWS


The first two shows of the tour were at Mobile Municipal Auditorium, Mobile, USA (November 3, 1987) and at the Albany Civic Center, Albany, USA (November 4).

The next show took place on November 6 at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana. Not sure on whether the concert should be allowed to take place, a six-man delegation of local officials attended the earlier show in Mobile, Alabama on November 4, to find out if it "warranted any concern". This little mission was described in the Daily Advertiser on November 5. Some excerpts follow:

Cajundome officials found a Motley Crue concert in Mobile to be “way better” than expected and anticipate “no major problems” when the rock group appears here Friday, the Dome Commission’s chairman said Wednesday. […] Bill Rucks III, speaking for a six-man contingent that previewed the act, said while it “may not be suitable to all people” a local assistant district attorney agreed it is “so far from” violation of obscenity laws as to not warrant serious concern. […] The trip followed complaints by several Lafayette citizens and groups that Motley Crue is not up to area legal and moral standards. […] Rucks added that performers used “tough language,” but claimed there was no promotion of drugs or Satanic views in the lyrics he heard.


The same newspaper also published a review of the November 6 show at Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Indiana:

It was a 14-year-old’s fantasy and a parent’s nightmare. […] Even before the opening act, Guns and Roses, took the stage, the decibel level was deafening. When Guns and Roses did go on stage, sound levels became excruciating. There is little to say about the music. Each song was indistinguishable from the one before. This was the heaviest of heavy metal. […] Profanity was the order of the evening. Unprintable four letter words spewed forth with unpleasant regularity. The band even offered up a little of their own philosophy while commenting from the stage about the controversy that preceded their appearance here. “The apathy of the young,” said the lead singer, “is the strength of the old.” A telling point about the overall tender years of the audience members is that the singer followed that comment by asking if the audience knew what the word apathy meant. […] Musically, Motley Crue is light years ahead of Guns and Roses. Crue band members can and occasionally did play their musical instruments with a high degree of skill […]. And Lafayette was not spared the group’s cheeky salute as the drummer dropped his pants and mooned the audience. [...] The insult to the injury here is that neither band is especially good. Mediocrity rises to the top again. There is good rock ’n’ roll. There is even good heavy metal. The Motley Crue/Guns and Roses concert was neither. It was just a chance for the younger citizens of Lafayette to rebel.


The next shows were at Lake Front Arena, New Orleans, USA (November 7); Lake Front Arena, New Orleans, USA (November 8); Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, USA (November 10); Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, USA (November 11); Coliseum, Columbia, USA (November 14); Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, USA (November 15); Jefferson Civic Center, Birmingham, USA (November 18); and UTC Arena, Chattanoga, USA (November 21). The band also played Coliseum, Columbia, USA and Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, USA but it is not known when these shows took place.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:51 pm

NOVEMBER 22, 1987
THE OMNI, ATLANTA, AXL GETS ARRESTED


In Atlanta on November 22, at The Omni, when touring with Motley Crue, Axl jumped into the crowd to fight a security man he claimed pushed one of his friends [The Atlanta Constitution, November 24, 1987; Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to Doc McGhee, the manager of Mötley Crüe, the security man was an off-duty cop [Nikky Sixx biography, 2008].

Charlie Brusco, the Omni's head of security would later describe the incident like this: "First strike, he hit an Atlanta police officer. Second strike, he hit a female Atlanta police officer. Third strike, he hit a black female Atlanta police officer. He’s going to jail" [Vulture, 2016].

With Axl detained, roadie Big Ron got on stage to sing 'Honky Town Women' and 'Communication Breakdown' [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to McGhee, he sang 'Communication Breakdown' four times, "not terribly well" [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008]. McGhee would also say that Slash sang "a few songs", including a Rolling Stones song [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008].

According to Brusco, he begged for Rose to be allowed to finish the show and finally the head of security said, "If he apologizes to the police officer in writing, we’ll let him go." Axl signed his apology, and security brought in the female officer who had been hit. Axl looked up and said, “Fuck you, you fucking jag-off cop.” Axl was then hauled to jail, and the show was canceled.

"I don’t think,” Brusco would say, "I did another Guns show after that" [Vulture, 2016]. To avoid a trial, Axl pleaded guilty to assaulting the police and paid a fine [Rolling Stone, November 1988] and was released the day after [Nikki Sixx biography, 2008].

The band members would remember it this way:

Two nights ago we did a show in Atlanta. At about the second song, I found myself on the way to jail. I won’t go into a lot of detail on that, but, basically, that was a case of people getting pushed around to sit in the back, people getting hurt to sit in the back; and people abusing their authority and guys going “Look, I got the lead singer!”. I’m gonna dedicate this to the “Atlanta’s finest” and to the guys that bailed me out. This is a song called “Out Ta Get Me”!

This guy named Scott, he works in a record store up in Detroit, and he sells records, he’s got a Guns N’ Roses tattoo and stuff, and he comes to a lot of our shows. And the show is in Atlanta, at the Omni, and they make the people... the people can’t get in the aisles, people can’t come to the front of the stage, it’s a big law there; the security will get fined like $25,000 if people are in the aisles or anything. But some of the security doesn’t really seem to care about that, they like the job so they can push around kids. On the Friday night show [11.20.1987] there was this one guy particularly hassling the kids... and the kids don’t know, they come round to the front of the stage, they just think it’s a concert. And this guy like was being overly rough and I jumped off the stage into the pit, leaned on the barricade and grabbed him.

We just recently did a show in Atlanta, opening up for Motley Crue [...], and I [...] actually warned a security guard being a little shit and pushing the kids around, really proving that he was an asshole, and he called me out. So I dived down over the fucking rail, and before I got over the rail, the fucker hit me. So I got him about three times, and now I’m being charged with four counts of assault for hitting police that I never touched. These are the kind of people that can just suck my dick! You know, I’ve got nothing against fucking security. [?] you're out doing your job, but you don’t need to fucking push kids; not my friends that come here. These are the kind of people that get me down. They make me feel that somebody out there is out to get me!

I can think of a few people I wouldn't want to have [Appetite For Destruction] in their collections, like the Atlanta police. I don't want them to even have listened to it at all.

There was one crowded show we did, where Axl jumped in the crowd to beat up a security guard who pushed one of our friends around, and we did the whole show without him. He went to jail and we did, like, Honky Tonk Women and guitar solos, and we had a roadie come out and sing Communication Breakdown and we hung out (?) As long as that real feeling and that sincerity is there, people always pick up on it, because that’s what rock ‘n’ roll is all about.

We played in Atlanta and Axl jumped off the stage to help out a fan who was getting beaten by these security guys. He never made it back on stage so we improvised a seven minute blues jam.

In Atlanta I dived in and I had police saying I hit them. I never did, but I had to plead guilty because we didn't have any money at the time. Lie? Yes, I guess I did lie once. I lied and said that I hit four cops. I guess we should reopen the case and take me to trial for perjury. But I didn't have $56,000 to pay them off under the table.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:52 pm

NOVEMBER 24-29, 1987
OPENING FOR MÖTLEY CRÜE, PART 2


After the November 22 show in Atlanta, the band played five more shows on the Motley Crue tour. The first took place at the Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, USA (November 24).

[Being asked if it was a good show]: Fucking righteous, man! It kicked ass. I had a good time. Highly satanic. In a big way


Then followed a second show at Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, USA (November 25); Jacksonville, USA (November 26); and Lee Civic Center, Fort Myers, USA (November 27) before the last show of the tour at the Sportarium in Hollywood, Florida, on November 29, 1987. As customary, the headliners decided to prank the opener band:

We had one bomb explode on us once. And we didn't even do it! The guys in Mötley Crüe when we toured with them. Scared the shit [interrupted]. It was the first song [interrupted]. 'It's So Easy', and it comes in goes "bom-cha-bom-bom-cha-BOOOOM!" and I watched everybody in the band, standing in front, in one leap they were all behind me.

Scared the shit out of me, too! […] It was sick. It was the last show. They did it as a joke to us.



NOVEMBER 29: NIKKI SIXX OVERDOSES


Presumably after the band's last show with Motley Crue, Slash and Nikki Sixx visited the Rainbow club in Los Angeles for some post-tour partying. Sixx overdosed and was wheeled out of the Rainbow on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital where for a period of six hours doctors feared for his life [Hit Parader, November 1988].

According to Izzy, they should also have continued touring with Motley in Europe after the US tour, but this was cancelled when the guys in Motley had to "go into detox" [The Face, October 1987]. This was likely due to Sixx' overdose. This planned European tour with Motley is mentioned in other contemporary sources, and was planned to extend into 1988 [Interview with Steven Harris, December 1987; Rock City News, January 1988].

Sixx would incidentally have another overdose on December 23:

I needed to go out on the scene to escape from my own decay and loneliness. I flipped through my phone book in search of old friends. I called Robbin Crosby, then Slash, because Guns N’ Roses were going to open for us in America after the European tour. I picked up Robbin at his house in a silver limo I liked to rent and gave him some blow. On the way to the Franklin Plaza Hotel, where Guns N’ Roses were staying because they were all homeless, I threw up all over the limo. I wiped the chucks off on an antique beaver-hair covered top hat I had bought for Slash and gave it to him at his door along with a bottle of whiskey. Some of the guys in Megadeth were also staying at the hotel, so we all piled into the limo. Robbin scored some junk from his dealer, who wasn’t too happy about the conspicuous limo outside his house, and we did drugs until our minds went blank.
The Dirt, HarperEntertainment, 2001



LEARNING FROM THE CRUE


Obviously, this was a very raucous period for the band and the match between Guns and Motley was explosive:

These guys are nuts. I mean, they keep me hopping, all the time. I'm getting about two hours sleep a-night. […] They are the craziest guys I ever worked for. […] I have to make sure that I always have enough alcohol. It doesn't matter if it's 8 am or when.

That was the craziest tour we'd ever been on.


One incident happened when Slash and Nikki Sixx were wrestling, resulting in neck injury for Slash:

When I was on tour with Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx fell on me when we were wrestling one night when we were drunk, and dislocated through the vertebras in my neck, and I had to go onstage – I had to go to chiropractors every day and stuff. I was in serious agony, I couldn’t move on stage. It was like, I just had to stand there..


Another incident was when the Motley guys fooled Steven into sniffing washing powder:

Talkin' of sick. Y'now Motley Crue? Sick fuckin' guys, man! Real sick fucks, those guys! […] You wouldn't have believed these guys. Like they're doin' an ounce of cocaine each a fuckin' day. These guys are walkin' into fuckin' walls, man. And they're doing this shit... Y'know, havin' this chick tied to the bed and stuff. And they tried to get us into that shit too, just to fuck us up, right. Which is what happened. I mean, can you believe... These guys gave fuckin' Stevie fuckin' Ajax to snort all fuckin' night. Fucked him up. You don't pull that kinda shit on another musician!



LOOKING BACK AT THE TOUR


But all in all, the band was happy about the tour and their increased popularity:

And then we went out with Mötley and that was that was pretty insane, you know, 'cause like any night that we did two nights in a row, the first night, you know, we got them going, but if we did two nights in a row when we came back to the second night they were like, "Whoa, now we know who these guys are. The first time people see us, a lot of times unless they've really heard us and are into us, they are more into watching and checking us out and watching every little thing. But by the time you do a second night they lose their minds. They're like, "Yeah, now I can let myself go. It's it's cool to act like I like these guys."

Then we went out with Motley Crue, which was great. I mean, playing 15,000 seaters and stuff with bands like ourselves just fresh out of the clubs. It went over real well.

I had tonsillitis the whole two weeks of the tour. It was a real bitch just getting on stage, one of the hardest things I've ever done. But the guys [in Motley] were great. Every night they were on the side watching our show. We did the same with them. They gave us 50 minutes, we'd go to 52 or 53 and it was cool.

[Reminiscing about walking around at the arenas when they were opening for Crue] and just freaking - our little band as a part of this huge, major thing.


In June 1988, Axl would list some of his favorite musician to be Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee [Metal Edge, June 1988].

There were many similarities between Guns N' Roses and Mötley Crüe, something Sixx would acknowledge:

We've had our influences, and Guns N' Roses have theirs. We've toured together, and hung out together, and I think we call each other friends. That's cool. I don't see them as competition to us because we're all working towards the same goal - to play rock and roll for the kids out there. They're going through some of the things that we went through five or six years ago, and they're having a great time. More power to 'em. Bands like Guns N' Roses are what rock and roll are all about in my book.
Hit Parader, November 1988


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:52 pm

1987-1988
"THERE'S NO CHEMICAL DEPENDENCIES IN GUNS N' ROSES"


You get warned that when you go on the road, people will try and push drugs and booze on you. In this in­stance, we're going to push it on them.

_______________________________________________________________________

Before the release of 'Appetite for Destruction', Slash sobered up [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991], and around the time he would claim the band was through with heroin and that it was "an old thing now":

At the moment, I'm on three bottles of Jim Beam a day. Yeah, I fucking know that's a lot. It's a heroin thing, a tapering off from that. The heroin thing in this band is an old thing now but it was bad at one time. Me and Izzy were addicts at one time, even dealing it. You'd be surprised though. We've had and have a lot of integrity. Sure, we have a very loose attitude to things but we also have a very cheeky attitude. We're not stoopid. We're smart enough to be able to put things in perspective. No denying it's a sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll lifestyle but we're not overblown with it.


Despite the band's transparent drug abuse, band members would occasionally, and outrageously, deny any drug addictions:

I'll put it this way, there's no chemical de­pendencies in Guns N' Roses.

There’s not really any drugs involved.

The junkie thing, the drug thing, all that shit is sort of like an easy thing for people to stab at. But the fact is, the band’s been pretty much clean for a really long time, whether you want to believe that or not.

Izzy hardly even smokes anymore! Steven doesn't have any problems in those regards and Duff and I drink.

We’re not saying we’re angels in this band, because that would be a fucking lie. But we don’t use drugs, and we really never have. When you live in a place like L.A., you get to see what cocaine does to people every day. It’s not cool.


Again, in early 1988, Slash would claim the band was through with drugs:

Like with the drugs, they've pretty much gone now and that's because we've never met a single person that took a substantial amount of drugs over a long period of time who didn't have to go into rehabilitation or who didn't go down the drain. It just leads to instability and insecurity.

The drug thing is no big deal. Two years ago, maybe it was. [...] [Being asked if it is part of the past] As far as you know.


At times there was no way of escaping the drug rumors, but the band tried to downplay the seriousness:

[…] it wasn’t even the whole band [who struggled with drugs], you know. I mean, there was a period that - like, Duff has always been really clean, as long as I’ve known him, and Axl has always been pretty cool. And we’re just like, we’re just bored kids sometimes and we get involved in stuff that people don’t necessarily, you know, relish (laughs).

I'm not saying we're angels in this group - in fact we're just the opposite. But when it comes to drugs we're pretty smart. We know how that shit can really screw you up. When you've had as much good luck as we have over the last few months, why would we want to run the risk of fucking it up?

You know, things like that gets blown way out of proportion, but uh, I mean, yeah, we probably do party a lot more than most people. But, you know, I don't see death in the imminent future here. It's a real morbid thought, you know, I wouldn't like to think that any of us are going to die.

Our drug situation's not as bad as it was. Yeah, I have been out a few times - 'blue' and all that. We used to sing 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'; that's dedicated to my best friend Todd, who died in a hotel room in New York a while back. We'd copped some stuff and he got it right there. I tried to bring him back... and he was like my best, best friend. That really scared me. I had a habit and I finally stopped it. And every so often, I'll 'chip,' you know, just for the fun of it. But that's not something you talk about because you don't want people to think, 'He's a drug addict.'

Well, the funny thing is, you know, everybody tries to make it out to be this fucking sort of outlaw fuckin vino renegade, outlaw rock and roll band that like is constantly getting involved with like all this really bad decadent shit. And there's tons of people out there who've done way worse stuff than we have. You know, I mean, it's like none of us really, you know, like compared to, say, Sid Vicious. Right? I mean, you know, that was a guy who was way out there, you know what I mean? We're not even that bad. […] They like it, it is sensationalism, you know, and it just so happens that this particular time, you know, in this place and time that we're in right now, that we're in the middle of it, just so happens that everybody's into like bright colors and physical fitness and, you know, not doing drugs and not drinking and eating healthy and taking vitamins and all this other stuff. And everything's real, you know, techno pop and smooth and glossed over. And it's like we just happen to be the opposite of that so everybody is like, "!", you know what I mean?


Although when it came to drinking they would be much more forthcoming, and any denials would, of course, be difficult since they regularly drank, or were drunk, during interviews. Slash, for instance, would insist on being drunk before interviews due to being too "introverted" to talk sober, asking the interviewers to bring Jack Daniels [Rock Scene, September 1987].

I do have a chemical dependency. Just one. I drink. But it's all-Amer­ican. When I get thrown out of a bar I say 'How un-American!'

I don't think I'm gonna buy a car for a while, though… I'm too psychotic behind the wheel, I'd kill somebody. I lost somebody's car the other night. I borrowed a car to drive myself home from a friend's, and I was so drunk that I parked it somewhere, but I can't remember where. It's just gone, kaput! I have the keys sitting on the table in my living room, and I don't even know where it is. And the thing is, I always want to drive when I'm drunk. It doesn't really interest me as much when I'm sober. I get drunk and I want to drive fast, and I just know it's gonna get me into big trouble one day if I don't watch out… I've been through the experience once already of hitting somebody in a car… I hit a van, it was when we were recording [Appetite]. I realised pretty quickly then that one drunken night just isn't worth years in jail, or being responsible for somebody else's misery…

We don’t do drugs - but we do drink a lot.

[After having ordered his fourth vodka double during the interview]: This sounds sort of childish, but I have to drink a certain amount before we go onstage or I'm awkward and I can't play right. Otherwise I'm too jittery. But a lot of people see me hanging around clubs drunk off my ass, and they think that's all we're about. We get this image for being irresponsible punks who don't care about anything. Well, we are sort of like that, but we don't do it on purpose, we're just being young! I think the Stones were like that.


At some point the band was banned from all Four Season hotels because of damage to the rooms, and this ban was not lifted until 1992 when the band was touring again [The Washington Post, July 18, 1992].

Axl would be more forthcoming and indicate that Izzy and Slash had a serious heroin problem in late 1986, and indicate it wasn't over in 1987:

It happens lots of times and we kind of kick each others ass. 'Put the bottle down or l' m gonna put it over your head!' It's come down to that. It came down to that with heroin about a year ago. Izzy and Slash were way into it and everybody else was dabbling. It came down to this shit has to go or we might as well just stop right here.


Axl would echo this sentiment in mid-1988:

I think we keep [the drug use] under control because we all want what we’re doing. It does get out of hand sometimes – but then the guy who’s getting out of hand all of a sudden has the other four guys coming down on his ass.



PARTYING WITH RICK NIELSEN


One story that was mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine in November 1988, was that the band was invited to Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen's house for a party [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. According to Rolling Stone, Nielsen challenged Slash to a tequila challenge which resulted in a brawl that ended with Izzy kicking Nielsen in the balls [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. Nielsen would deny this happened and claim he "decked Slash" [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. Izzy and Axl would later deny this version of the events from Rolling Stone:

Absolute shit. (laughs). That’s absolutely a lie. […] No, that’s not true at all. It was something that appeared in the Rolling Stone magazine totally twisted and the rumor got bigger. […] a great party, the only thing that happened was that at the end of it, we all ended up face down on the road. That’s the only thing that happened (laughs).
Popular 1, November 1992; translated from Spanish

There was a thing in Rolling Stone where [Rick Nielsen] said he fuckin’ decked Slash. He didn’t deck Slash. Do you think fuckin’ anybody’s gonna deck Slash with Doug Goldstein stand­ing there between Slash and them? It’s not gonna happen... [...] [The band provokes that kind of reaction] because Guns N’ Roses have this reputation for being bad and the new bad boys. And so, like, hey man, it perpetuates fuckin’ Rick Nielsen in the youth market and whatever else, and he’s bad, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

I remember we were at Rick Nielsen’s house at a party. It was all very crazy! We had a huge tankard of beer, and at one point, Rick told us: “Hey guys, do you want to see something?”. He opened a box, and it was full of dynamite! Sticks of dynamite! We were like: “Wow, dynamite!”, and he said: “Guys, do you want a little?” “Yes!” So, we took a couple sticks. Then he opened another suitcase and pulled out a gun. We thought: “Wow, this is crazy, man!”. We said to him: “Will you let us hold it?” And he said: “No way, I can’t do that.” We had a great time at Rick’s house. He’s a good guy. […] As I was saying, after the party when we were leaving, we decided to go back inside and return the dynamite, but when we went back inside, Rick was on the floor totally unconscious. A few weeks later we exploded them by a river, something very illegal, but we had a great time.
Popular 1 (Spain), July 2001, translated from Spanish


Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS Empty Re: 08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:53 pm

DECEMBER 3-12, 1987
OPENING FOR ALICE COOPER


The Mötley Crue tour ended after Nikki Sixx' overdose on November 29, and the band, who had planned to continue touring with Motley in Europe [The Face, October 1989] was without a job. Fortunately, the band got a call from Alice Cooper asking them to open for him for two weeks in December (December 3-19, 1987) [The Face, October 1989].

We said, 'Alice Cooper... Fuckin' A!' Hey, I grew up listening to y'know "Sick Things", "I Love the Dead". It was a lot better than fuckin' reality. So we did 'em. Alice was cool. He's still... Y'know... "Alice".

Opening for Alice Cooper was monumental because me and Izzy, it's funny, we leave Alice Cooper onstage and go backstage to get our showers and have an old Alice Cooper taped in, you know, in the deck playing, and not because we were on tour with Alice Coopers but because it's stuff we listen to. And I go, "Wait a minute man, we'll shut the tape off and go out and watch it live for the first time in our lives."

We did a tour of a stage with Alice Cooper, and he just really likes the band. And it was a huge compliment to have someone like Alice Cooper actually have any kind of respect for us, only because we've loved Alice Cooper for so long. So when he said that he liked the band, we were like, "fucking great!", you know?


Alice Cooper would reminisce about taking them on tour, but here he probably mixes up shows, because the Rolling Stones shows at the Coliseum took place in 1989, well before Guns N' Roses opened for Alice Cooper in 1987:

It was backstage at the Rolling Stones show at the LA Coliseum during the Steel Wheels tour. Axl found me and said, "You have to do me a huge favor. My mom is here. Could I please introduce you to my mom?' I came over and he says, 'Hey mom, remember that time back in 1974 when Alice Cooper was on TV and you wouldn't let me watch it? Well, guess who I'm friends with now?' And I was very charming. She was a lovely lady. I said, 'Don't worry, I'll take care of Axl on the road.' I've been sweet revenge to a lot of people. I've met so many mothers. Even better when somebody comes up and says, 'Hey, dad, this is Alice Cooper. He can beat you at golf.'


The first show took place at La Villa Real Special Events Center in McAllen, TX, USA, on December 3, 1987. While touring in South America in late 1992, Axl would mention how Mexico is one of his favorite states to tour in and that the McAllen show in 1987 was particularly good due to all the Mexicans attending:

We did a show in McAllen, Texas when we were opening for Alice Cooper, and there was 5,000 people and the majority was Mexican. It was one the most exciting crowds we’ve played to.



Guns N' Roses and Alice Cooper,
December 1987


The band then went to Fair Park Coliseum, Dallas, USA (December 4); Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, USA (December 5); Pan American University Field House, Edinburgh, Texas, USA (December 7); Chaparral Center, Midland, USA (December 8) (this show was likely cancelled due to too few tickets sold [Odessa American, Dec. 8, 1987]; Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau, Missouri (December 11); and Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, USA (December 12).
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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS Empty Re: 08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:53 pm

DECEMBER 12-17, 1987
STEVEN BREAKS HIS HAND AND FRED COURY STEPS IN


STEVEN FIGHTS A LIGHTPOST


Some time after the band's December 12 show at Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky, Steven broke a finger in his hand, according to Izzy after having got in some trouble at a Holiday Inn.

I’ll explain to you very basically what happened with my hand. I went to this bar in Michigan for lunch, and I had 14 Kamikaze’s (7 but they were doubles). Anyway, I got drunk, got a little out of hand, got into this fight with the manager, no, what do they call them? [...] Lumberjacks. This big old dude just pushed me around, tossed me out of the door of the bar. There was this lamppost outside, I got mad, punched it, kinda missed and hit the metal part. I wasn’t the nicest guy in the universe after that.

He drank 7 double kamikazis and punched a lightpost outside the bar.


Izzy would mention that it was connected to Alice Cooper's father passing away:

Anyway, after like a week Alice's old man died or somethin', a gig was canceled and we got, like, really slaughtered in a Holiday Inn like somewhere in West Michigan. And it's snowing, right, fuckin' Stevie's fucked up, he goes and punches out a fuckin' electric light bulb in the fuckin' street, man. His hand's fuckin' swellin' up like an egg and he's on the bus cryin' and shit. We're goin', 'Shut the fuck up!' This shit tends to use up an awful fuckin' lot of our time.


This suggests the band had travelled to the destination of their next show, Muskegon in Michigan, but that this show was cancelled after the sad passing of Alice Cooper's father which resulted in heavy drinking for the band at a local Holiday Inn.

The rumours in the newspapers had it that Steven was frustrated with having to be longer on the road due to logistic surrounding the death of Cooper's father [L.A. Weekly, December 25, 1987].

Apparently, Steven was so messed up Slash and Duff had to drag him away across the street, resulting in wounds to his back. Doug Goldstein then took him to the hospital [Late Night Bull, December 1987].

Because of Steven's mishap, or possible due to Cooper's father's death, the band missed the three next shows with Alice Cooper: LC Walker Arena, Muskegon, Michigan, USA (December 13); Lakeview Arena, Marquette, Michigan, USA (December 15; possibly cancelled); and Duluth Arena, Duluth, Minnesota, USA (December 16).


FRED COURY GETS A CALL


In August 2018, Fred Coury, the drummer for the band Cinderella, would describe how he became the stand-in for Steven:

I got a call on my answering machine that simply said “learn the song on your outgoing message, I’ll call back in an hour”. (I had Welcome To The Jungle on my machine) it was GNR’s manager. 3 hrs later I was on a flight to Minneapolis to play a show that night with them. Steven had broken his hand and they asked me to fill in for the remainder of the tour.
Thunder Bay Arena Rock, August 2018


The band would discuss how it happened:

Right now we're using Fred Coury from Cinderella because our drummer has a broken hand, and so him and Fred are really good friends and Fred flew in and Fred knows all the songs because he has time off right now. And so the other night we were playing with Alice Cooper and Fred played two songs he'd never played before all his life live. [...] He did great, he did great [?]. I told the crowd, "Not bad for a guy who's never played the song before, huh?" and they went screaming.

So, we were up in the northern part of the country a couple of months ago and we met the likes of this character right here (points to Fred). He came to a few of our shows. You know, he told us that he practiced to our album. Drummers do that, Steve practices to Frankie Vallie and Fred practices to our album. We thought, Stevie broke his hand but we’re obligated to finish this tour. We’re obligated to a lot of things actually. So we called Fred Coury and he was gracious enough to come out and do this for us.

Fred’s really cool, and he came and filled in at the last minute, and he knew all the songs and he really saved our necks.

That was very strange. Freddy is a great drummer, but every drummer has a different feel, and even if he's playing exactly what Stevie's doing on the record, it's not the same. You know, I was a drummer before I played bass, and that gave me more insight into working with a drummer, because you know what's going on inside his head. So it creates a much better groove because we can talk to each other. Most drummers are odd things to begin with, and usually the band can't understand what he's saying. But me and Stevie are real tight, so I did not enjoy playing with a different drummer.


Coury would claim to be paid $ 25,000 per show [Late Night Bull, December 1987].


Steven, with cast, unknown, and Fred Coury


Interestingly, Slash would admit to having broken his hand, too, some time before Steven's incident, in Seattle and having to wear a cast for eight weeks [Late Night Bull, December 1987].


ROY WILKINS AUDITORIUM, FIRST SHOW WITH COURY


The first show with Coury on drums was at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul, USA on December 17.


Ad for the December 17 show
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:54 pm

DECEMBER 18-19, 1987
"BON JOVI CAN SUCK MY DICK"


The next show was at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago on December 18, 1987. Before the show, the band got in a major brawl at their hotel.

Rolling Stone Magazine would describe what happened:

[…] the band members got hassled when they tried to check into the hotel early. A fight was narrowly averted. Later that night, in the hotel bar, Axl punched a business man who hassled his friends and called the singer a "Bon Jovi look-alike." Dozens of cops broke up the brawl, and Axl and Steven went to jail.


This story is corroborated by Monica Gregory, an old friend of Axl whose ex-husband, Dana, was with Axl at the time:

[…] for very little reason, these guys started hassling them: 'Who do you think you are? Bon Jovi?' It was like: 'No, leave me alone'. The guys with the ties and short hair were yelling obscenities at Axl and Dana 'cause they got long hair. All the cops came in and basically beat the crap outta Axl.....Just because.


Steven would later prefer to not say too much about this incident:

I went to jail in Chicago once. We got into this big fight, a major fight in the bar of a hotel. But I better not say anything else about that


Axl would later talk about the incident:

We got in a fight in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency. It was about a 60 person fight, cops and paddy wagons, security guards, guys in suits from a wedding who started throwing the first punches. They told us they knew it wasn't our fault.


Rolling Stone would describe what happened later at night:

Afterward, Goldstein found Slash drunk in the bar, threw the guitarist over his shoulder and carried him back to his room. To show his thanks, Slash peed on Goldstein's shoulder.


The next show, and the final show of the tour with Alice Cooper, was at Dane County Coliseum, Madison, USA on December 19.

From the stage in Madison Axl would talk about the previous day's brawl and say he got in a fight because he had long hair and that one guy grabbed him and told him he looked like Bon Jovi, causing him to utter the now famous "Bon Jovi can suck my dick":

Now last night, what happened was, five guys in suits decided in the Hyatt Regency Hotel that we were scumbags. They were right, we are scumbags, But that doesn't mean we're gonna take their shit. So, first off this guy grabs me and calls me Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi can suck my dick. Second off he tried to hit me, that's when Steven cracked him in the head with his cast. [...] You never try to hit one of the family. Then another guy tried to hit me [...]. And after that they kicked us out of the bar and the same five guys holding ice bags on their heads blocked us off in the hallway and called us out away. He knocked the same motherfucker out twice. After that the cops came and started arresting people who weren't even involved in the fight! Because they have typical cop mentality. The reason I went to jail was because this real big fucking cop told this 17 year old girl who they were trying to arrest her boyfriend and she was upset, that if she didn't shut her fucking mouth he'd kick her fucking ass and that she was a stupid bitch. Pretty low, right, for a big fucker? And then he went to hit her, and so, to distract him I told him to fuck off. This guy chased me for about 20 feet and threw me ten feet [?] into the bar. I wasn't een fighting and it took 5 fucking assholes to hold me down. People wonder what we write our songs about. I think you can get the general idea when we write a song like...out to get me!.



LOOKING BACK AT THE TOUR


The band would remember the shows with Alice Cooper this way:

We were the epitome of Red Dog surviving on the road. Plus we had to play in the corner of the stage because Alice’s stage set was so large.

Everybody in the band on the Alice Cooper tour was really cool to us, they dug it. They’d be walking down the halls going, “Welcome to the Jungle”, you know. And we hung out with Alice and was like, you know, this is a great band and stuff, and we did photos with him.

The last night of the tour he was getting off the stage, and me and Axl were hanging out on the side, and he goes by and says, “Hey man, thanks for everything.”

With Alice [Cooper] we had to be a strict 45 [minutes' set]. Alice has still got it, and he's a really nice person. We didn't meet him until the next-to-last show. He likes his privacy.


Alice Cooper would look back at the shows:

They had a reputation for fighting and getting in trouble and getting thrown in jail but they were never late for a show. Never late for a soundcheck. They had a lot of respect for us. Slash knew every Alice Cooper song. He was the invisible member of Alice Cooper. He's still got an invitation at all times to come up and play guitar, whenever he's in town...without asking. Sometimes I'll be playing and singing and I'll hear this extra guitar and I'll turn around and it'll be Slash.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:55 pm

1987-1988
THE DEVIL MAKES WORK FOR IDLE HANDS


During the 'Appetite for Destruction' touring in 1987 and 1988, the band lived out lives of sex, drugs and rock and roll. This was a period of constant touring, gigs every week, and learning from the headliners, especially Mötley Crüe, who had been on this circuit of debauchery for much longer.


DECEMBER 23: NIKKI SIXX OVERDOSES AGAIN


One famous incident in this period was when Nikki Sixx, bassist of Motley Crue overdosed on December 23, 1987, in a party with Slash and Steven:

So I was kicking around, getting drunk, doing drugs in Hong Kong. And the soothsayer said, "You'll die before the end of the year if you don't change your ways." Ah yeah, fuck off and whatever. So I fly home and pick up the phone and call Slash, and say, "Hey dude, I'm going to get a car, a couple bottles of Jack, and I'm coming over. And we're going out."

I came and I picked him up and we went out to the Cathouse and you know, doing everything that we could get our hands on, and I was asking around to get some smack and this guy had showed up after we had gone back to the Franklin Plaza Hotel and Slash passed out, and I think his girlfriend was stumbling around, and Steven was stumbling around out somewhere in the hallway, and I think there were some other people in the hotel they were hanging out with, and the drug dealer came, and almost always you shoot yourself up, you never let anybody shoot you up. Drug addicts are very particular about that. And I don't know why, I guess I was so drunk, I said "Go ahead and fix me" and I fuckin' turned blue instantly. Steven Adler and Slash's girlfriend at the time came around the corner and there I was turning blue and they started beating on my chest, and they sent me into the shower, and they called the paramedics, and Slash was passed out through the whole thing.

I saved Nikki's life. I dragged him into the shower and put cold water on him. I had a broken arm and I was slapping him in the face with my cast. Then I finally got Slash's stupid girlfriend to call the paramedics. Nikki called me the next day and said, "Dude, what happened? My face is killing me."


According to NME, this wouldn't be the last time Nikki Sixx was to OD while partying with a member of Guns N' Roses. As the story goes, and it might not be true at all, Slash found Sixx blue from an overdose but instead of calling for an ambulance, he called a friend who saved Sixx while Slash left to not get in any trouble himself [NME, December 25, 1999].


COPING WITH BOREDOM


But compared to before they were signed, this was also a period with substantial down-time between recordings and between tours:

Yeah, I’m kind of bouncing off the walls. Getting prepared to record [Appetite] is involving a lot of time sitting around with nothing to do. And that’s time that I need to fill. It’s not just me. We all really need constant activity. We hate the dead time, sitting around waiting for something to happen.

It pretty much began when we signed with our record company. Before that we were rocking out and kicking ass all the time. Then all of the sudden we found ourselves sitting around with a lot of money, being told not to do anything, there’s only one thing you can do. Party!

When I’m at home the thing that gets to me the most is being inactive. You know, just sitting around and doing nothing. We actually had an eight-week break in Los Angeles before we started our tour.
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 1988

'The thing about being on the road constantly is that you never really have any big problems hanging over you. When you’re moving around from place to place the whole time you don’t think about anything except getting to the next gig. Then when you come off the road, it’s like this whole other world that you thought you’d left behind, but that’s been waiting for you to come back to it so it can start fuckin' with you again. I mean, I hate having to deal with normal day-to-day shit. It leaves no time for anything else...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from March 1989


That downtime in-between activity would get the boys in trouble, and especially Slash, would become a recurring theme.


WORKING WITH ADDICTIONS


In July 1988, Alan Niven would describe the band this way:

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Their reputation is not unjustly earned. But I also think there's been a tremendous amount of exaggeration about their exploits. [...] Let's just say that they are very willful and they do like to enjoy themselves. In fact, sometimes they really enjoy themselves. And right now I'd just like them to enjoy their career.


Later, in 1997, he would look back at managing addicts:

Oh it was horrific! It got totally out of hand. Izzy went through a period of appalling self-destruction with cocaine. He got himself into a mess, which scared me personally very much indeed. Steven Adler was the worst. He became quite tragic. I remember one time in San Francisco when Steven was rushed to the hospital for an overdose. Doug Goldstein was literally running up the streets with him on his shoulders!


When the band toured with Aerosmith in July to September 1988, they did their best to hide alcohol and drugs from the recently sober Steven Tyler and Joe Perry [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 135]. In fact, according to Rolling Stone in November 1988, their rider said they should confine drinking to their dressing room and leave the arena right after their set as to not tempt Aerosmith [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

Originally that was their managers plan, but there was no need for it. I mean, by the time the second show rolled around, it was that soon, it was like "Come on, let's go hang out". There was no problems.


And Aerosmith wasn't just aware of the rumors of drug use in Guns N' Roses, they had themselves directly bought drugs from Guns N' Roses before, according to Slash [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. This was likely from Izzy or Slash who both sold drugs at a time [Melody Maker, June 1987].

Raz Cue hung out with the band in September 1988, and noticed a change in the intra-band dynamics although he wouldn't go in any specifics:

Less than a year before, whenever I'd hang out with any of the guys, we'd have a blast. Get two or more of them together, and it was a legendary, good-time rock 'n' roll fun. When I headed out on the road with the second-most dangerous band in the world, I fully expected to live it up like we used to. But sadly, there were no big bags of blow or endless partying. [...] And although I left out all the gossip-column-style tell-all dirt, you might have heard that, at times, the guys didn't get on well. So of course there were a few tense, stressful interactions amongst folks during my visit.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 268
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:56 pm

DECEMBER 26-30, 1987
PLAYING FOUR SHOWS AT THE PERKINS PALACE


After the Alice Cooper tour the band played four shows at The Perkins Place in Pasadena, California in late December (26., 27., 28. and 30.).

The band was still not winning over all reviewers, as these reviews indicates (although from different shows):

If an outspoken blues (or even rock) purist had walked into Perkins Palace on Saturday night, he or she would probably have screamed bloody murder at the way that pack of local bad-boy rock princes Guns N' Roses was making a grooveless hash of a simple 12-bar blues number.

But who would have heard the complaints above the full-throated screaming of approval from the band's rabid hometown fans--the same kind of fans that have also helped catapult such other flash 'n' attack bands as Motley Crue to megabuck celebrityhood.

Rock's ultra-aggressive heavy metal wing may have been rooted in the blues, but the ersatz blues progressions--handed down from one generation of metal-mongers to another--have become so far removed from their sources that what passes for metal now has to be considered as a new offshoot of traditional rock.

Welcome to the brave new world of contemporary metal and the genre's newest desperadoes, Guns N' Roses, whose "Welcome Back to L.A." noisefest helped explain why all these glam-slam outfits have popped up on the LP charts lately.

It's simple: They don't give a hoot for the icons of the past, and neither do their fans. And the quintet makes an awfully strong case for this new culture of "found" music.

The rude note was sounded right off with "It's So Easy"-- not a Buddy Holly cover, but a bratty primer on how to sponge off women and still treat them badly. The aptly-named lead guitarist Slash provided the cue by cranking his instrument up as loud as possible and playing fast and mean.

Guns N' Roses' first radio song--"Move to the City," from its 1986 mini-album, "Live Like a Suicide"--followed in similarly rude, feisty fashion. Then came two other tunes from the new album: "Mr. Brownstone," a somewhat irresponsible "getting high is cool" number and "Out Ta Get Me," concerning the low-grade persecution that rebel-rockers often endure at the hands of police, girlfriends and record company executives.

Amazingly enough, "I Used to Love Her but I Just Had to Kill Her" didn't seem to faze any of the teen-age girls in the audience; they seemed to understand just fine the superb drum pounding of substitute drummer Fred Coury (from the glam-metal band Cinderella). (Guns N' Roses' regular drummer, Steven Adler, couldn't perform because of an injured hand, it was announced from the stage.)

Throughout the night, the grinding guitar interplay of Slash and rhythm ace Izzy Stradlin bespoke a tightness and understanding beyond their three years of musical acquaintance. And W. Axl Rose, though he needs to loosen up even a little more on stage, is a singular metal vocalist: by turns baritonally crooning and screeching in the best full-bore manner. He's very much in charge on stage--no swigs off the communal Jack Daniels bottle for him--but the power comes from his musical skill, which is certainly a refreshing change from metal's usual posturing.

There were a couple of dead spots in the set: a cover of Bob Dylan's soulful "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," dedicated by Rose to a departed friend, ambled woozily, and an instrumental blues number went into a yawning run-though of the new album's "Nightrain." But a blistering, disrespectful cover of Aerosmith's "Paradise City" closed the show the way it began: noisy, but oh-so-powerful. The group's Perkins engagement continues Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Guns N' Roses backdrop lowered as the crowd cheered in a frenzy. The charismatic W. Axl Rose, clad in a pair of tight pants, T-shirt and boots, lead the rest of the boys into ”It's So Easy,” from their ”Appetite For Destruction” LP. The sound was a little too loud in the beginning, which made it difficult to understand Rose clearly. Somewhere towards the end of the song, the sound engineer came to his senses and Rose became more audible. Guns N' Roses proceeded to play ”Move To The City” off their ”Live Like A Suicide” mini-LP and then the infamous ”Mr. Brownstone” which nearly brought the house down.

The show so far was going extremely well. Then Axl gave his spiel on an incident that occurred the prior evening at a local club which led the band into ”Out Ta Get Me.” Guitarists Izzy Stradlin and Slash really tore into this song and displayed fine teamwork along with Bassist Duff McKagan. They followed suit with the evertouching "Sweet Child O' Mine.” The stage for this song was perfectly set with kaleidoscope lights and dry ice, setting the mood for Axl's soulful singing which he did so well, it could give a gospel choir a run for their money.

Next came a new song, ”Used To Love Her” which was well-received with the audience. ”My Michelle” followed with full force and power as did ”Rocket Queen.” In the middle of ”Rocket Queen,” the temp changes sent the audience into a zealous hand-clapping fury. Guns N' Roses had the house up in arms…literally.

The real tightness that the band possesses became evident in a fine rendition of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door” which they dedicated to the late Todd Crew of Jetboy. Axl was trying to make some valid points in relation to the responsibility of taking drugs, but some callous people in the audience kept interrupting him. Disgusted, Rose told the loudmouths to “Shut the fuck up!” which made everyone cheer.

It was at this point that the drummer Steven Adler (out of commission due to an injured hand) introduced substitute drummer Fred Coury of Cinderella. Coury did a fine job filling in, and Guns N' Roses continued with ”You're Crazy.” Then both Axl and Slash introduced everyone in the band and they did it perfectly, so not a single name was slurred or lost.

Slash spearheaded into a new instrumental song (title unannounced). This song enabled all members in the band to showcase their talent without any lengthy solos. Steven Adler joined Coury to share drumming duties on this very blues-influenced number. ”Nightrain” ended the set before the first encore. During the first encore, they played the very popular ”Paradise City” followed by a new song entitled ”Patience” (next LP released) and a cover of Aerosmith's ”Mama Kin.” The second encore gave us a song also on their next LP entitled, ”Don't Cry” and finally ”Nice Boys.”

Guns N' Roses played an outstanding two-hour set that was beyond comparison. A rejuvenation in the local and national rock scene has long been overdue and Guns N' Roses have risen to the occasion. A very real band not to be missed!

After the show I headed backstage to talk to the guys. There was already a sizeable crowd, and for some reason the temperature inside the club had taken a sudden nosedive.

Steven Adler was still upset because he couldn't play, but he managed to keep his sense of humor. He told me his favorite part of the tour was their time with Mötley Crüe.

Slash was firmly entrenched by a circle of friends, but I was able to find out that he felt the four night set in L.A. was his favorite part of the tour.

Izzy seemed to appear from nowhere. He liked the night in New York when he smashed his guitar, and also enjoyed their second night at Perkins Palace.

Rose looked a little tired, but was still on his feet and fencing questions from all sides. He liked the New Orleans show with The Cult, but also liked the recent local shows they'd done.

It was a night to remember, and as I headed towards my car, in hopes of thawing out, I heard the songs still playing in my head. With talent like this, it's not hard to come up smelling like a rose.



Axl at Perkin's Palace
December 1987


The band though was happy with these shows:

We only booked one, and then that sold out and then we tried another one. And then after 4 shows we were going to try for 5, but the people at the Rose Bowl wouldn’t let us. Can you imagine booking the Rose Bowl?

The Perkins Palace shows were some of the best shows we'd ever done...and Fred Curry [sic] was playing.
Slash's autobiography, p. 223


After the final show at Perkin's Palace Axl invited everybody down to Riki Rachtman's invitation-only party at The Central, resulting in long queues before 8:45pm [L.A. Weekly, January 8, 1988]. Guns N' Roses would then play two songs there and Axl would lead everybody in an a capella rendition of 'Honky Tonk Women' at closing time, before invitation everybody to continue the party at his West Hollywood hotel room [L.A. Weekly, January 8, 1988].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:56 pm

1987-1988
STEVEN STARTS ON HIS DOWNHILL DESCENT


During the tour with Alice Cooper in December 1987, Steven broke a bone in a finger when he in anger hit the door of a bar where he had just been thrown out. As a result of this, Fred Coury from Cinderella had to step in for Steven on drums on the following shows.

After that incident, things started to accelerate downhill. The band was just like, "What a dumbass, breaking his hand." They didn't care about me one bit. No one called the hospital while I was there. There was no talk of postponing anything until I knitted up. They just went out and got someone else to fill in. I swear, if it was anybody else in the band, they would never have gotten a replacement. No way in hell.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 152-153


Steven was also becoming a heroin junkie. He tried it for the first time in Amsterdam in October 1987 [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 133] and he had his first heroin overdose in August or September 1988:

I woke up in a hospital room the day we were supposed to be filming our second scene for [The Dead Pool]. I had no idea how long I had been out. In fact, I had no idea where I was or what has happened, but as my Visio cleared it was apparent someone was keeping vigil over me. Someone was at my bedside patiently waiting for me to come out of it, though no one knew if or when that would be.

I blinked. I blinked again. It was Axl. Axl got up and was now standing over me. He smiled. He looked genuinely relieved. He said, "Man, that was close, Stevie." He was the only one there. Later, a nurse told me he had sat by my bed the whole time, The other guys went ahead to do the movie but Axl stayed at the hospital.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 162-163
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:56 pm

JANUARY 5-21, 1988
ACTIVITY IN EARLY 1988


The band started 1988 with selected shows in the Los Angeles area. The first one was a 'Find the Children Benefit' show in Santa Monica (January 5). 'Find the Children' was involved in putting missing children's faces on milk cartons. The bands playing at this charity show included Armoured Saint, Great White and Party Ninjas [Los Angeles Times, January 7, 1988; L.A. Weekly, January 15, 1988].


Review in L.A. Weekly
January 15, 1988


Then the band played a show at The Whisky on January 10 to fight a lawsuit against Ruben at the Hollywood magazine Rock City News [source?]. For this show Steven was replaced by Howard Teman, possibly because his hand was still not entirely okay.

After this at least some of the GN'R members did a Drunk Fux (now going by the name 'Drunks') show at the Coconut Teazer in Hollywood (January 14). For this show Steven had got rid of his cast [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1987]. Axl would also join the Fux this evening and one of the songs played would be 'Honky Tonk Women' [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1987].

A few days later, on January 18, a couple of members of GN'R and a couple of members of Drunk Fux would come together with some other guys and play a show under the moniker Pigs at Large on Coconut Teaszer [L.A. Weekly, January 15, 1987].

This was followed by a proper Guns N' Roses show at The Cathouse (January 21). This was an unannounced show in support of a well-known Hollywood DJ (likely Joseph Brooks) who had gotten into financial straits after an incident with his car and having no car insurance [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1988]. For this last show Steven was finally back on drums again, and Vince Neil would join the band for the closing song, Whole Lotta Rosie [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1988].

The band was likely happy to finally have Steven back on drums again, although Duff would later joke about Fred Coury being a good replacement:

That’s always been a philosophy of the band, that we’d be around for a long time, not just a flash in the pan— here’s our record; see ya. And [jokingly], if Steven dies, we’ll just get Fred Coury.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:57 pm

WHO IS THE BOSS?


The internal rivalry in the band would be fully apparent in the 90s, but already in the 80s were the seeds for these conflicts sown.

In June 1987 the band members were asked how the band operated, and Axl would reply:

It’s democratic, like many other bands.


Still, Axl quickly took a leading position and would to an increasing extent describe the band as his, as in an interview with Steven Harris in December 1987:

[Being asked if he is the moral head of the band]: With the direction, yeah. With the direction and with, you know, my real strong believes and faith in what we do as artists, yeah. I'd say so.


A year later, Harris would interview Duff and Steven and took the opportunity to ask for their comments about Axl's comments in-which he claimed Axl said he had to take care of the rest of the guys in the band:

As far as he knows! [laughter] Fuck! Did he say that?! Yeah right! […] He wasn't laughing when he said that or anything?

Yes, he is just there, every day, taking care of us! […] Don't get me wrong, we love Axl and we always will, but that's just the way he is. But we are all big boys, we can take care of ourselves.


During interviews Axl was often the most vocal, both due to his strong personality but also due to his band mates invariably being under the influence. Here is Karen Burch's description in April 1986: "Although I hate to focus solely on Axel Rose, the vocalist's personality certainly demands attention. Axel appears to be the creative force that drives the band. Soft-spoken and intensely serious, he prefers to converse mainly about "the music." While the band refutes that there are any one leader, per se, Axel emerges as the dominant figure [...]" [Music Connection, April 1986]. In this interview Slash would also famously quip that Axl wants to be the Ayatollah.

In the very early days, Izzy was more vocal, but as the band grew in popularity, he gradually slid into the shadows, allowing Axl and, to an increasing extent, Slash to front the band. As Izzy would state in September 1988:

I don't really enjoy being a center of attention. [...] It suits me fine. I don't even have to think about actually planning out what I want to say in interviews, or what topics I'm gonna talk about. It's funny, because I can walk through a club without anybody recognizing me, knowing me or bothering me, whenever I want to. [Axl and Slash], they're so out front, no matter where they go they get spotted.

I never was the leader, in fact. I was the member that gave balance […].


Duff would feel the same:

I don't give a shit. Slash and Axl are vocal and they like talking a lot. I mean, we're all onstage when we play, and that's what's most important. As far as magazines and stuff like that goes, it doesn't matter who does what. It's a band, and our fans know it is. They know it's not just Axl and Slash. There's no jealousy about that between anybody in this band.


In late 1987, Axl would also indicate that any disagreement in regards to the musical direction of the band had been put to rest by late 1987, and that the band now was on the same page:

[...] we were practising in a one-room studio and I was standing outside because there was no PA, so I stood outside to listen clearly, in a parking lot, I heard 'Nightrain,' and 'Rocket Queen,' and 'My Michelle' coming together for the first time in rehearsal, right, and these guys were all okay, they were on top of it. I was like, my eyes were watering and I had chills, and I was like going, "We finally got the songs I've been looking for," and Izzy told me, you know, out [?], "Now I see what the fuck you've been talking about for the last three years." It's hard to convince someone, they don't know what they had, I'm real good at seeing a person's potential, okay. Sometimes so much so that it costs me problems because I see the potential in this person and I put so much belief in them, you know, but they never, but they don't have the guts to dig for what I see inside of them, you know, so some times that's been problems. But other times, like with Izzy, I was always pushing him with songs and now he's really glad I did and it worked out good for the both of us.


Again, Steve Harris would confront Duff and Steven a year later with this comment from Axl, receiving the following response:


We were going nowhere when we were in the studios. We didn't even have a record out the.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:57 pm

JANUARY 31, 1988
THE LIMELIGHT


On January 31, 1988, the band played a show at The Limelight in New York City. The show was semi-acoustic and for some reason the band was drunker than usual:

Well, we pulled off the acoustic set pretty well. The problems started when we tried to do an electric set afterwards (laughs). It was pretty nuts if you ask me!
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 5, 1988

(Grimaces) I hate to say it, but that was more of a money thing—we had this gig at the Limelight for $7,500 for 45 minutes. So we said O.K., but my heart wasn't into it. I didn't want to do it because . . . my major problem with acoustic stuff is that we've never sat down and arranged any acoustic material. Those songs weren't written as Guns N' Roses rock & roll. No one's really got their own parts; Axl sings, the rest of us just wing it. I got really drunk before we went on stage, which is something I never do.

The worst [gig we ever played]... I can easily tell you the worst gig I personally ever played. There is no such thing as a worst gig for the whole band, because - like bad gigs and good. We’ve had bad gigs all the time, to the point, like, we have – when we’re bad, we’re bad, when we’re good, we’re good, you know? It’s like, when the inspiration is there and everything, it’s happening. You can’t always go out and be great. But the worst gig I’ve ever done was, we played a gig at the Limelight, not too long ago, and if you’ve ever heard about that one, where I was just completely wasted out of my mind and fell into the crowd three times, and all that stuff. That was sort of a drag. It was fun, though, at the time. […] I fell into the crowd with my guitar, like, three times. Something like that. That’s happened to me just a few times, though. I’m never – I make a point never to get so bombed before we play that I can’t keep it together.

[...] we played The Limelight, acoustically, or semi-acoustically, everyone was so fucking drunk. Slash fell off the stage like three times, Steven fell off his drum set, Izzy, just, like fell over, and the only people left on the stage was Axl and myself.

[...] the worst thing that ever happened to me onstage was probably stage diving at the Limelight in New York. The crowd parted like the Red Sea, and I landed flat on my back on the cement floor!

Two night before [the Ritz] show, we decided to play a semi-acoustic surprise show at a venue in Manhattan called the Limelight, a former church. By the time we headed into the sanctuary, everyone in the band was so fucked up that we lost members one by one as the set progressed. eventually everyone except me and Axl went down. It was a comical gig, but I took something serious away from it. I told myself I would never get so deep in my cups that I wouldn't be able to play.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 132



At The Limelight
January 31, 1988


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:58 pm

1988
SLASH'S HABITS GET OUT OF CONTROL


As mentioned earlier, Slash had cleaned up before the release of 'Appetite, and he also cleaned up before the start of the tour in 1987 [Detroit Free Press, May 6, 1988; Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

It just caught up with me. You can’t sustain a drug habit and keep doing good work.

[…] there would be no Guns N’ Roses right now if I hadn’t stopped and Izzy hadn’t stopped. […]Drugs in general but, like, heroin, too. That is one of the things that has fucked up so many people. It really has fucked up a lot of people. So you have to quit. But look at Clapton, he was really lucky, he did some good albums on it. The same with Aerosmith. They all did some great albums. If Keith had a fuckin’ buzz he’d probably still be doing it...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988


But early in 1988 he was back at it again. Again, it was the period between activity that got to him. The band spent most of January 1988 in Los Angeles because a tour with Motley Crue fell through, and Slash did not handle the idleness very well:

We just spent a month in L.A. that I really thought was going to be the end of me. I have to keep moving because it isn't healthy for me to stop.

I haven’t mellowed at all. I’ve actually – that’s sort of my trademark, having not mellowed out so far. But it’s been obviously doing irreparable harm (laughs), just haven’t noticed it yet. You know, I’m thinking what a hard day I had yesterday, because I can’t get off the floor over there, right? But it’s life, you know. This is what rock ‘n’ roll to me was all about, you know? I wouldn’t give it up for anything. If it cuts my life, like, a little bit shorter and all that stuff, it’s alright, because I had a good time when I was here, you know? I had a lot better time than a lot of kids I know who’ll be here for the next 60 years or whatever.

I can't live comfortably any other way [other than when touring]. I’m a lot happier when we are going from city to city and I don’t have to feel attached to anything. Being off the road is probably the worst time for me. I like living out of one bag, knowing where my stuff is, and not having to deal with the same people every single day. You don't see your girlfriend on a constant basis; it’s better.

Being an impatient sort of workaholic type, before the band went on the road and before the record came out [in 1987], we had our problems. Then I cleaned up, went on the road and it was great for two years and then bam! Back again. I said, 'Okay, all right, I can make a phone call and kill this time'.


At some point, probably beginning of 1988, Slash would move to a TraveLodge apartment in Hermosa Beach to get away from Hollywood [Spin, May 1988].

I'd rather be on the road. See, living in a hotel actually gives you that feeling of not being tied down. But I've just never stayed in L.A. for so long. That's the thing. Staying in one place for too long is uncomfortable for me, and I don't really know how to live in one place. I want to get going, and I end up get­ting f**king bitchy and stuff. The other nice thing about living in a hotel is that nobody knows where I am except for the people who I want to know. And I don't have to have peo­ple coming over all the time, and interrupting when I'm practicing, and I can get a lot of recording done. When I was living in Hollywood, I can't even begin to tell you how decadent it was. It was ridiculous.
Creem Close-up Metal, October 1989; interview from mid-1988


His drinking was also getting out of control:

I've suddenly got a lot more friends now than I did before. I've never been one to be real close to people in general, so on the whole, I don't find people trustworthy and I don't hang out with a lot of them. That's probably why I drink so much, 'cause it brings me out of my shell. […] Realistically, it's not the wisest thing .. . to drink yourself into the ground. People don't give me too much shit about it because they know what my reaction is going to be. I don't like being told what to do I make my own decisions. If I decide I want to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord. But I never get drunk before a show.

I've got a bad drinking problem. It's the only thing that brings me out of my shell enough to be able to deal socially. [...] I'm an alcoholic in the sense that I need to drink all the time, but I don't have a physical dependence on it the way some people do.

This sounds sort of childish, but I have to drink a certain amount before we go onstage or I'm awkward and I can't play right. Otherwise I'm too jittery.


TO BE MOVED:

By October Slash had switched from Jack Daniels to Vodka:

It's just that my tongue got black stripes on it. It’s a mix of the tobacco in cigarettes and the Jack, which has charcoal in it. That’s what was making these black stripes on my tongue. The first time I noticed it I was like, what the fuck! My teeth were really getting stained, too. Then I started drinking it with Coke, thinking that would help, but that didn’t work either. Then eventually I thought, fuck it, and Duff talked me into switching to vodka. Duff always drinks vodka. So then I started drinking vodka and my tongue returned to a normal colour and my teeth are clean again.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988


When the interviewer joked about the moral being that if you want beautiful teeth drink vodka, Slash responded:

Uh huh. And don’t drink Jack for five years straight. A bottle a day for five years, that’s what I was doing. Plus, you have really bad breath in the morning - you know, you can't have sex in the morning till you’ve brushed your teeth, which is a real fuckin’ drag.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988


But by March 1989 he had switched back to Jack Daniels again, because he "got bored with vodka" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from March 1989].

Slash would talk about cutting down on his drug use occasionally:

[…] I admit there's a conscious thing to like, you know, at least on my part where, you know, I know when I hit my limit, when it's time to like mellow out and, you know, don't lose touch with it, with what it is, you know, that I'm really doing. That happens all the time. You know, like I get back on the wagon, you know, for like a couple weeks sometimes just to fucking clean my system out. And like, just concentrate on being and just get rid of all the fucking chemicals and shit.


Any sobriety reached by Slash as the result of the trip to Hawaii did not last long, if it happened at all, because about a month later, on July 18, 1988, he would be shooting heroin together with Todd Crew, with fatal results for Crew. So Slash claims that from that point onwards he reduced his drug use, is not entirely true. And if this is true, then it was only temporarily because Slash would be struggling with heroin addiction in 1988 and 1989, too.

In August 1992, Slash would say the last time he and Axl fought was in 1988 during his worst drug period, saying the drug abuse had cut him off from the band:

The last fight we had was four years ago and that stemmed from the fact I cut myself off by being completely loaded.


Apparently, he cut down on the use while touring in the second half of 1988, but started again when the tour came to Australia in December:

We’d nearly finished being on tour, and dabbled with this and that, but we were more or less clean the whole time... then we found all these junkies in Sydney, and got the taste back!


Slash was given a man, Ronnie Stalnaker, whose job it was to "follow Slash around when he was drunk" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

I have to take a security guard with me when I’m on the road now, though, ’cos they’re scared I’m gonna die, or something. It’s sort of embarrassing ’cos nobody can just walk around and hang out with you or whatever. So it’s a drag in that sense, but it’s also cool because when a flock of people come up and they all want autographs, I don’t have the personality to just say fuck off. So he’ll keep them off my back and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993
; interview from June 1988

I'm one of those blackout drunks. I get so fucked up I don't remember anything. I probably give the impression of being a real asshole most of the time, but I'm not really that bad.

When I get drunk I get like [Steven] does but I still manage to keep enough up here [in his head­] and to not fuck up things that concern my ultimate surroundings. [...] My most immediate surroundings I fuck up, but not the band stuff. Just my own personal shit. And, when Duff gets drunk he just gets very jovial, nice, and short-tempered. See, we take everything very unseriously, very lightly because, how really important [no matter what], in the general scheme of things [life in general], how important is a Rock & Roll band?
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:58 pm

FEBRUARY 2, 1988
"WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, RITZ!!"


On February 2, 1988, the band would play a show on The Ritz that was videotaped by MTV. The Ritz show was extensively aired on MTV and got the band much publicity.

In New York, we filmed a show for MTV, which was another one of those nights that was a great show for fun, and the crowd was crazy. The show didn't necessarily go as well as I think it should have. We had a monitor man, and on stage, it was the twilight zone. I stage-dived, and my Thin Lizzy shirt got shredded right off my body. The crowd grabbed my necklaces and started choking me, pulling my hair. Some little kid had my arm between his knees with his legs wrapped around and his hand behind his back holding onto my hand, trying to steal my bracelets and was not going to let go of me until he got them. I couldn't get a hand free to punch him in the head because Doug Goldstein (GNR's tour manager) had my other arm and was trying to yank me back to the stage, an I'm getting split in two. There like, 30 people trying to throw me back on stage and another 30 trying to get a piece of Axl. It was a blast!

Personally, I think we looked like a bunch of idiots on it [...]

You see on that live MTV thing, everything was pro except this monitor man who didn't have a clue what was going on. The crowd's hearing the show, everything's great, we're hearing spaceships' landing onstage, backwards echoes, screaming feedback, and the drummer doesn't know what, Steven doesn't know what's going on. Finally I tried to nail the monitor man with my microphone and my tour manager moved and I nailed him [laughs]. That was messy. But it leaves for some excitement.

Like, there’s gigs where we’ll go out, like the Ritz. We did a show at the Ritz in New York as an MTV special – I don’t know if you ever saw it. I mean, playing-wise it was just one of those nights where we’re using borrowed gear - you know, rented gear and all this stuff; and we hadn’t rehearsed in a month, it was the first gig on the tour. But, I mean, the energy level and the attitude was so right on, that even though the fact that some kid grabbed my guitar and knocked it way out of tune, it was, like, still very hardcore; you know, a very New York gig. […]  There was no guy [to tune the guitar]. I only brought one guitar with me. No, I brought two with me, but I think – see, the problem with me is I get so manic, that switching guitars is a hard thing for me to do, you know?

Ahh, I hate that concert. [...] You know everybody likes it, but it was the worst playing...especially on my part. It was just bad. [...] Yeah, [the audience] did everything to me! They untuned my guitars and they pulled my jacks out. [...] We were all out of tune for the first three songs. It was chaos.

It's bad, it's terrible![...] My bass went out of tune for two songs.[...] I think people like it more like in the way when you drive past a car accident and somebody's mutilated, you know, it's like you can't help but look at it!

The Ritz show in New York we played that trip was hugely popular on MTV. It wasn't one of our greatest shows by any means: Axl was having vocal problems, and though we didn't play badly, we'd played so much better in the recent past. In any case, it was loose and out of tune and punk rock, and for those reasons alone, it is something to be recognized. That footage is important because it is the essence of the band. The crowd was great, and like so many memorable moments, it was over and done before I knew it.
Slash's autobiography, p 225

MTV had contacted our management about taping one of our live performances while in the Apple, and it was scheduled for our appearance at the Ritz on February 2. Label mates Great White opened for us. After their set, it was time for us to hit the stage. I'm all ready to go, and fucking Axl is holding us up. Of all the times for him to do this. MTV was there, and this was huge, but eventually the MTV guys were like, "We gotta go, we gotta get this going, guys". Axl's like, "Fuck it. I'm not going on unless I have my bandanna!" Apparently, he couldn't find it after tearing apart the little hovel they gave us backstage. Of course the rest of the band was avoiding any eye contact with Axl, preferring to wander off, out of earshot, to do their grumbling. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. "What's wrong with you, Axl?" He shrugged me off and continued with his insane tirade. He had all of our roadies looking around for people who had scarves or bandannas. I said, "C'mon, Axl, let's just go on." He blurted out, Fuck that. Fuck you. I need a bandanna or a scarf or I'm not doing this. Now, we're thirty minutes late. The cameramen were tired of standing around and said, "We're outta here." I was the only one who was openly begging them to stay: "Please, don't go, we'll go on." I'm sure that's why I am featured prominently throughout the video, because I showed some respect for the MTV crew. Axl finally found a fucking scarf, some bowder-blue, girly-looking thing, and the show began. He put it on, and he got this Little Rascals Alfalfa look going, because his hair was pushed up, like a ridiculous cowlick, on the back of his head. I'm sitting there playing and just laughing. "You dick, look at you. You couldn't go on without your scarf, and now you look like you're in an Our Gang movie."Someone must have tipped him off, because he finally got wise to it and adjusted the bandanna. In spite of all the drama, the show went off fantastically. It's become one of the most widely bootlegged performances of the band.
Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, p. 156-157

I think that was the same night that I stage-dove and the crowd parted like the Red Sea and let me hit the floor. I lay there for a moment taking stock of whether I'd broken any bones or not. Then I got back on stage and tried to maintain some semblance of cool.
Slash's autobiography, p 225



At The Ritz
February 2, 1988


This was the first show where Axl introduced Steven as "Popcorn":

Oh man, every night when Axl would introduce the band he would always introduce me as Steven "Indigo Buds" Adler 'cause I was always sayin' I just live for the "Three P's - Pot, Pussy and Percussion." And one night, just because we were on MTV, at the Ritz, because he was so pissed, he was threatening not to go on until he found his scarf. So I think he was really trying to fuck with me, instead of calling me Steven "Indigo Buds" Adler, and he said later that it was because of the way I play, I jump up and down with my hair bouncing so he called me "Popcorn." It's cool. Funny and cool.


Slash would later talk about dealing with unruly crowds:

Like, in the middle of our sets, there’s been a lot of times where somebody will throw something on. I mean, some people get really carried away and one of the main things I really don’t relate to, because it never happened to kid, is that rock stars are bigger than life always, and some people just want to see you react and they throw stuff at you. This is actually sort of something I learned about from Aerosmith when I got the firecracker or whatever thrown at them in Philly a while back. And it’s the same thing with us; like, all of a sudden, you’re standing there and a kid reaches out and un-tunes your guitar. And that really throws things off, you know? It completely deletes your energy level for a minute, because what if you need that particular string, right? You got to rethink your solo out, right? And then people hit Axl with stuff. So there’s a lot of me kicking somebody in the first row or Axl inviting somebody on for a scrap, or whatever. That kind of stuff happens, but that makes – I think it’s great, you know?


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:59 pm

FEBRUARY 1988
'APPETITE' FINALLY SELLS TO GOLD


Getting their debut album out was in itself a great success for the band, and Axl would sound optimistic of its fate when interviewed on October 8, 1987, about two and-a-half months after its release:

[Commenting on the "success they have achieved]: Yes, things have started to roll very fast and in a very exciting way for us. […] Well, we're selling more and faster than any other new rock band of the latest batch. We’ve had some problems with certain radio stations and with MTV, because the owners of those companies don’t support rock. We believed that rock 'n' roll was going to have a great come-back on those stations, but the owners shattered our hopes and didn’t give us any air play. It’s like we were the last straw for them. They are willing to go up to a certain point, but when they see us they say: 'No, we won’t go there.' That’s why we had to fight a lot to be accepted. […] It's very hard. We’re just street kids and we want to scream, 'Fuck you!' But that’s exactly what makes these people ditch our album after they hear it.
Popular 1, April 1988; translated from Spanish


This was after the release the single, 'Welcome to the Jungle' (released on September 28, 1988), and the band was expecting the single to drive sales of the record. In the December the same year, Axl would again lament over the observation that radio wouldn't play their music:

[...] it's been going up and down, between 60 and 50 for the last month and a half. It's doing okay with very little radio play and limited video play. So, for that it's doing great. Especially since we are a new band, you know, people don't really know who you are. It's doing really good. […] The record's selling alright. [...] You know, people think every song on our record has the word 'fuck'. Four songs have obscenities in them, four songs. Not twelve, four. You know, and we're were not asking them to play those four, you know, pick one of the others. Also, that, you know, we have loud guitars, real guitars, real drums. [...] I'm getting limited by a radio station that plays 'Welcome To The Jungle' as a joke because they've got all these papers and everything sat on it. They play it as a joke, a top-40 station, [?] said we're the number one request so that they decide definitely not to play it. That makes me mad. That frustrates me. People are scared that they're going to open up a can of worms and what really frustrates me is the fact that fucking radio is basically run by advertising dollars. We are not talking money, okay, we are not talking art, we are not talking music, we're talking, "What kinda of music can we play that we can get this guy to put his commercials on our radio station so we can make lots of money?" You know, to me that's, I mean, then you have no business being in radio. Get the fuck out. Go home. If you want a job like that then work in a factory or something. Get the fuck out of this and leave these people that really care about their music alone, because these people are screwing with my bank accounts when I am being sincere, I got some insincere fuck worried about paying his rent so he is kissing ass and playing Madonna songs that he hates and he won't play Guns N' Roses that he loves. That guy's fucking with my bank account. I don't like wimps like that. That makes me mad.

Well, there was profanity all over the album, and radio didn't want to touch us. People wouldn't play us 'cause of the original album cover, MTV wouldn't touch us.


When in Seattle, in early February 1988, the band was informed that Appetite had sold to gold:

[...]at the time, I knew it was gonna happen. The day before, I got woken up in the middle of the night. And I was like, 'If this is about going gold I'm gonna be so pissed off.' God, if other people had my problems, right?
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:00 pm

1988
DUFF; THE KING OF BEER II


Duff soon realized that his panic attacks were triggered by flying, and he dulled his senses by drinking in excess before flights [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 130]. He would not talk publicly about his anxiety before his own biography, but his fear of flying might be gleamed from an interview he did at the day of Monster of Rock festival at Donington in August 1988:

[Being asked what it meant to him when he heard Guns N' Roses was on the Monsters of Rock bill]: It meant we'd have to fly over here and fly back. [...] We took the Concord out here. It was great. We ate dinner and we were here. We get to the airport and they send us to this Concord lounge, which has got a bar, free bar. I was in heaven. Food. Then you get escorted to the plane. We almost didn't make it. We actually got into a fight in the airport with some guy. So all these cops came. The pilot said, "one foul word out of any of you guys and you're out of here!" Fair enough.


Despite trying heroin together with Steven and Slash and experimenting with pills like quaaludes [Rock City News, January 1988], Duff mostly kept to alcohol. Alcohol would later also become the end of his pancreas and almost the end of him [more about this in later chapters].

[Recalling how the drummer from Faster Pussycat passed out in Duff's bed]: I couldn't understand it, but this made Duff super-pissed. Duff's the mellowest guy, but the booze could turn him into one mean mother. "Fuck this shit," he said. He wanted to play a practical joke on the guy, so he had me help him grab and tie the drummer's legs and wrists with duct tape. We taped all around his mouth and head too and we carried him to the hotel elevator. It was one of those really old lifts with the gate that you have to pull open. We threw him in, and at that point, I thought it was funny as hell.

Then Duff pressed all the buttons in the elevator, closed the door, and let him go. The next day at the show, Duff and I saw hi, bruised and very hungover. He avoided us completely, never uttering a word about the previous night.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 134-137


Duff writes that a turning point in his addiction came at the very last show of the Aerosmith tour in Costa Mesa at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Orange County, CA (September 15, 1988). Actually, this show was not their latest of this tour, they would do one more show in USA before heading to Japan for 9 more shows. During the Costa Mesa show, their friends from Los Angeles came out to party. Duff, who had been careful about being sober during the tour with Aerosmith, was handed an eight of an ounce of cocaine and took it in combination with Valium and vodka.

When I hit the stage with Aerosmith, I was experiencing that toxic mix of uppers and downers for one of the first of what would become countless times in the future. Little did I know it would become my secret potion and cure-all for the next six years. I did it when I was happy. I did it when I was sad. I would do it until I was almost brain-dead, hopeless, and left for dead.

In hindsight, I can see that night as the moment I started the transformation from a guy who had spirit and soul and who looked at the cup as half full into a blackened shadow of my former self.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 139
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