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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

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08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS - Page 2 Empty Re: 08. 1987-1988: TOURING AND SUCCESS

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:01 pm

FEBRUARY 4-8, 1988
TOURING WITH 'TSOL'


In late January 1988, it would be reported that Guns N' Roses would tour with the band T.S.O.L. [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1988].

Duff knew T.S.O.L. from before:

In fact I roadied for [The Fastbacks] [...] on a tour where we went down to California, opening for D.O.A. and T.S.O.L. Which, years later, T.S.O.L. opened for us and I had to tell them "remember years ago I roadied for your opening band?" Because back then T.S.O.L. were godlike, I was just happy to get a chance to see them.


The tour would take place in the beginning of February, and the band would do eight shows in California with T.S.O.L. as the opener (February 4-12). Originally, they should have done nine shows, but crises happened.

The first three shows were at Crest Theatre, Sacramento, USA (February 4); Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, USA (February 5); and at the Old Town Saloon, Fresno, USA (February 6).

The next show took place on February 8 at Montezuma Hall in San Diego. Apparently, Axl caused some problems when he changed the setlist around too much for Slash's liking:

[…] there’s been a few gigs we’ve done, like in San Diego, where we had a gig where we came on late, we were really late coming on. And, you know, it was just one of those shows where I didn’t know what the next song was gonna be, because Axl was changing the setlist all around - we do that anyway, but sometimes it can be really inconvenient because it screws up pacing and stuff. So it was one of those shows where we basically stood around on the stage for, like, 45 minutes headlining, right? And the whole crowd was, like, confused trying to get into it.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:01 pm

FEBRUARY 12-13, 1988
AXL IS FIRED FROM THE BAND


The band then came to Phoenix for two shows on February 12 and 13 that were to end the tour with TSOL. The band had been intended to play in Phoenix while opening for The Cult, but that show had been cancelled [Blast! November 1988].


FIRST NIGHT, AXL ENDS THE SHOW EARLY


The first show in Phoenix, and the sixth of the tour with TSOL, took place on February 12, at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Axl ended the show early, right after 'Nightrain' preventing the band from going through their encore [Yahoo Music, April 2016]. According to Circus Magazine, Axl had actually "collapsed" during Nightrain [Circus Magazine, May 1988].

Axl would blame it on an accident leading to a split lip:

In Phoenix, everything went wrong! The first show we did was okay, but there were a lot things, like the wireiess wouldn't work because of radio signals or something, picking up radio stations. I had a chord mike, and it was a different-shaped microphone, and the chord kept getting tangled on everything. It was a jinxed chord that had a mind of its own. All of a sudden, when I pulled the mike back, it whipped and smacked me in the mouth real hard. Someone else's chord got tangled on mine or someone tripped on mine. It cut my top lip in half. They were telling me to get stitches and everything like that. I couldn't go back on, so the band did a blues thing, and we were outta there.



SECOND NIGHT, AXL DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY


The next day the band had another show scheduled at the Celebrity Theatre, but Axl was not in the best of shapes:

By the time of the next show. I was trying to avoid everybody in the band--not because I don't like anybody, but because when you're mad, you tend to say things you don't really mean, and I wanted to wait until I'd calmed down. I wasn't feeling well. I started feeling pretty down and out and sick. My lip was bothering me. The hotel kept sending maids in, and they couldn't get anything right when I ordered food. I wasn't in any condition to go out. I was just trying to get myself together for the show, so I ended up ripping my phone out of the wall and smashing it, as well as smashing a couple of lamps and some tables. I was just trying to get some peace and some sleep before the show. The next thing I know, there are people knocking on my door, and I'm telling 'em to get away from me. They're trying to break in my door, but I had it chained. No one knew what Axl's doing. They think I'm in there shooting up or killing myself or I'm mad at the world and won't do the show. I had every intention of doing the show. I was feeling pretty sick, and I got to the show late, and they'd already cancelled the show, unbeknownst to me.

We cancelled our last show there because I was late, and the band thought I wasn’t gonna show up, and when I got there, they had already cancelled the show, thinking I wasn’t gonna show up.


The show promoter for the Celebrity Theatre shows, Danny Zelisko, recalled in 2016 that he had been across town when he got the call from the manager at the venue on that fateful night: "Man, you better get down here right away. This place is going to explode" because, as Zelisko would describe it, "The opening act had been on for 90 minutes and Axl wouldn’t come out of his hotel room" [Vulture, 2016]. T.S.O.L. was only intended to play a 40 minute set, but Niven had told them to continue playing.

Dean Mitch from TSOL would recount the experience:

We do our set in Phoenix, and the whole band is there except Axl, and they say, "Play another song." Then it's "Can you play two more?" By that time, we were in the middle of John Lennon's "Cold Turkey."

I was trying to buy time. Finally, these poor guys in T.S.O.L. came offstage after playing Beatles covers. They looked at me mournfully and said, ‘We’ve played absolutely everything we know. We’re beat. Can we quit now?’
Yahoo Music, April 2016


Niven would try to get into Axl's room:

We tried everything to get him out. We banged on the door and shouted, ‘C’mon, dude we got a gig. Come out!’ and he’d shout back, ‘Fuck off!’ I don’t know if Axl and Erin were fighting. That was probably something that happened more often than not, but he refused to come out no matter what we said.
Yahoo Music, April 2016


Niven told Zelisko that Axl wouldn't come causing Zelisko to wonder, "How are we going to get out of this building alive?” then turning to Niven, "You have a nice British accent. You make the announcement. I’m not getting torched.” Niven complied, saying to the audience that Rose had "throat problems" [Vulture, 2016].

That was the moment I had to walk onstage and say, 'Tonight’s performance by Guns N’ Roses, unfortunately, will not occur due to a medical emergency.' Immediately, people started throwing shit at me and it got ugly fast. The crowd rioted and it spilled out into the parking lot, and at least one car was turned over and set on fire.
Yahoo Music, April 2016


According to Blast Magazine a "full-scale riot broke out" with damages "into the thousands" [Blast! May, 1988]. But Axl was on the way to the venue, and would describe the scene as he arrived:

I saw, like, 12 cop cars--cops everywhere, kids smashing in windshields, kicking in cars. I realized the show had been cancelled, so I took a cab real slow around the place, watching the whole scene and then went back to the hotel.


Zelisko's story of the riot differs, saying that "the crowd dispersed peacefully".

Rolling Stone Magazine would later describe the cancellation of the show:

Axl decided not to show up […] leaving the opening band, T.S.O.L., to improvise Zeppelin jams until the Gunners' cancellation was announced.



AXL IS FIRED


This incident was the final straw for the band and Axl was fired:

Axl was kicked out of Guns N' Roses in February 1988. He disappeared before a show in Phoenix, Arizona, which was subsequently cancelled. When Axl finally showed up the band told him he was no longer singer in Guns N' Roses. The split lasted two tense days before Izzy and Slash decided they'd hear Axl out and let him explain his absence. Clearly, his explanation was a good one.

Axl Rose began acting too unpredictably for the other members of the group, and a vote was taken to kick Axl out of the band. Thankfully, cooler heads soon prevailed, and Axl was sent to a clinic where he was quickly able to regain control of his life and resume responsibilities as Guns' front man.


While the band was, in Slash's words, in upheaval over Axl's behavior, Niven cancelled the planned 3-month tour with David Lee Roth [see later chapter].

Axl would comment on what happened:

There's really not much to say about what happened. It got blown out of proportion in the press. It was something that went on within the band, and it's been settled now. So let's just put it behind us and look ahead, okay?


The band would comment on it this way:

That was no big deal. Except when you cancel a gig it starts this whole big upheaval. Everyone freaks out and the press plays up about it. We weren’t scared that the band was gonna fall apart, we were pissed off at Axl. But we sat down and talked about it over a couple of beers and everything was fine.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

[…][Axl] didn’t get fired! We just got pissed off. […] Well, things always get thrown out of hand, I mean, thrown out of proportion.

Axl had a problem one night; we missed a gig and we decided not to continue the tour for the sake of keeping him all right. Axl is a singer, and there is a certain mentality you need to stand with a microphone in front of a bunch of people and sing to them. That and acting, I think, are two of the most nuts things you can do. Also, because he is a singer he is probably one of the best singers in a long time — he is a real deep person. Axl is what you would call a tough guy, but at the same time he is sincere, and when it comes to lyrics there is no lying in him. Axl lives for getting up and doing the show and being really good at it. Sometimes he is impossible to work with, but he doesn't do it just to be a pain, but because he doesn't want to deal with it. It has taken a long time to adjust to what he’s all about, and we’ve gone through major changes to go along with his day-to-day happenings, but that’s just the way he is. I don't want to make a big deal out of it.

That's been one of the stories that's gotten bigger than all of us. And, as little as it was, it's past tense and it's not worth talking about cos it doesn't relate to what's going on now.

Look, there were some problems a while back, but those are more-or-less in the past now. This is the kind of band probably always have something strange going on in it. People don’t really understand us. They hear part of a story and they try and guess their own ending. The truth is that we had some problems with Axl. He started pulling some weird shit on everybody and we just didn’t dig that. But we’re pretty close, and we were able to sit down and work things out.

We’re not breaking up. if that’s what people want to know. Let’s just say that some of the talk people might have heard over the last few months is true and some of it isn’t. I really don’t want to get into it much deeper than that. Things are pretty cool within the band at the moment, and that’s the way we want to keep it.


Slash would defend his colleague and friend:

Hey. I don’t think it’s fair to dump everything on Axl. We ended up getting the Aero­smith tour, so we probably got the best tour for us of the four. There were some problems with Roth because his people got wind of those rumors about Axl and that the band was breaking up. They really never bothered to confirm what they heard. If they had, I think we would have been able to patch everything up.


Axl not showing up for the gig prompted Los Angeles Times to ask "what's wrong with W. Axl Rose? speculating that he was either "seriously ill" or "had suffered a breakdown" [Los Angeles Times, February 1988]. Other newspapers would claim Axl had suffered an OD and that the band had broken up, as mentioned by RIP Magazine although they checked this story out and reported that Axl had indeed been hospitalized but that it wasn't drug-related and that the band was still together [RIP Magazine, June 1988]. A spokeswoman for Geffen Records said Rose had been sick, but "it was not drugs or a deadly disease. We don’t know exactly what—his management company says they’re still waiting for test results" [Los Angeles Times, February 1988].


LOOKING BACK


Axl would later talk about the incident:

I flew back to L A. and have since gone to a doctor, who said I was just exhausted. He also said I suffer from insomnia. They're taking blood tests and stuff. A lot of people think it's drugs or I have AIDS because that's the new popular rumor. It's nothing that serious, but it's something serious enough that it caused problems in the machinery of Guns N' Roses. Now we're taking the time to regroup. We've had countless meetings, and everybody's on really good terms. Everything seems to be worked out real well, and we're planning our next stages. I know everybody says that--a lot of bands say that, and the next thing you know, they're trying to kill each other, but we're actually trying to put things in order. It's good that we're doing this now rather than selling a million records and then everybody splits and no one in the band talks to one another because you hate each other's guts. This band is a family, and that's very important to me. […] One of the things that makes Guns N' Roses work is the fact that we are very volatile. We put that into our music. At this point, we're not breaking up. As a matter of fact, it seems to be tighter than ever. Everybody realizes there's a lot more work to do and a lot more communication needed. Duff came up to me the other day, and I explained that the situation in Phoenix didn't have anything to do with the band. I said, 'I felt really bad because I love you guys, and he goes, 'I thought you hated me.' I was like, 'No, man, I don't hate you.' He's like, 'Well, call me,' and I'm like, 'I didn't know you wanted me to.' I didn't know he wanted to hear from me because I thought he was busy with his own life. What we found out is that while we thought everybody was mad at each other, and we were in a position where it looked like breaking up would be the best thing, everybody basically digs the hell our of each other and was mad that we don't hang out together more. We've sat down and talked it all out and found out that we really care about each other much more than we real thought. Nobody wants to play with anybody else.


And say they band had overcome their problems:

We haven't had a lot of those problems now. We work together a lot better. We're on the same wavelength. […] [the conflict's] the reason we weren't together five years ago instead of 2 1/2. And now we have a lot more common ground than we did six months ago


In 1989 Slash would be confronted with the rumors that the band had been on the verge of breaking up the previous year:

We've had some things we've had to live through and overcome. The stuff you've read about in the mags is basically true, but it's nothing that serious. We all have always gotten along pretty well, and when there's a problem we confront it. That's the only way to make sure it doesn't grow into something more serious.


This incident and Axl being fired is also discussed in the chapter about Axl's mental health.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:02 pm

1988
IZZY AND HIS ADDICTION


When describing his new apartment and domestic life, Slash would happily comment on Izzy being drunk:

Except the vodka - that goes in the freezer. Until Izzy comes round... Izzy’s classic when he gets drunk. Me, when I get drunk I fall over, I puke, I do whatever is stupid. Izzy is like one of those drunks you see in the movies. He’s so entertaining, he’s so un-Izzy...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988


At some point in 1988, Izzy got in a scuffle with Vince Neil's wife at a party. According to Izzy, he had her ejected from a private room at a local rock club; but according to Neil, Izzy had attempted to remove Neil's wife's clothing and later kicked her in the stomach. Neil's wife pressed assault charges against Izzy, but they were dropped. In September 1989, Neil would try to get his revenge when he would attack Izzy at MTV Music Video Awards [Los Angeles Times, September 1989].

Izzy also got in trouble at the very end of 1988 when the band headed to Japan for some gigs. Alan Niven told the band to get rid of any drugs they had, resulting in Izzy swallowing his stash and allegedly sending him into a 36-hour coma.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:02 pm

FEBRUARY 1988
LOSING A TOUR WITH DAVID LEE ROTH


In late January 1988, it would be reported that after the February tour with T.S.O.L., Guns N' Roses would tour with David Lee Roth [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1988]. But after the infamous Celebrity Theater gig in early February [see earlier chapter], and Axl being fired only to be allowed back into the band, Alan Niven cancelled the Lee Roth tour:

And what happened was, the management - in order to keep a good steady relationship in this business, you can’t screw around; you have to be a week, two weeks, a month on top of things. And when that happened [=Axl causing problems] and everybody was pissed off, Alan, our manager, had to make sure to connect with the Roth people and set things straight before - you know, if we had broken up and he didn’t tell them anything until the last minute, that really would have screwed them up. So when we were in upheaval over this Phoenix gig that we missed, he called them up and said, “Look, there’s some problems,” so that they got somebody else. Then, when the problem was resolved, we wanted to do it, but it was too late. You know what I’m saying, it was no big deal, except for we were off the road for three months.


According to RIP Magazine, the planned tour with Lee Roth was cancelled the day after Axl missed the gig in Phoenix [RIP Magazine, June 1988], which corroborates with Slash's story above.

The band then took a 6 week hiatus from touring [Circus Magazine, May 1988; Blast Magazine, May 1988] in February/March 1988. For the Lee Roth tour, GN'R would be replaced by Faster Pussycat [Blast! May 1988]. That the band had to cancel the tour with Lee Roth due to Axl's behavior would be reported by numerous magazines [Hit Parader, October 1988; The Calgary Herald, July 1988; Blast! May 1988].

The cancellation would also be explained as Roth hearing that "one or more of the band were about to enter a rehab clinic for drug problems".

Blast Magazine would directly connect the cancellation to Axl not showing up on time for the second Celebrity Theater show (February 13) resulting in a riot [Blast! May 1988].

Slash would defend Axl:

Hey. I don’t think it’s fair to dump everything on Axl. We ended up getting the Aero­smith tour, so we probably got the best tour for us of the four. There were some problems with Roth because his people got wind of those rumors about Axl and that the band was breaking up. They really never bothered to confirm what they heard. If they had, I think we would have been able to patch everything up.


Axl himself would feel bad about the situation:

I feel real bad about it. I feel real bad for the kids who were planning on it but more so for Dave Roth, himself, because he was planning on us doing something, it was all set up, and we let him down. They (Roth's people) think we shined it for other opportunities, and that's not the case at all. The last thing we wanted to do was let down someone who's been influencing us for years and was giving us a break.


With free time on their hand, the band members found other things to do. Duff played in a side band with his girlfriend, Mandy Brix, called Dr. Love and the Love Connection [L.A. Weekly, February 19, 1988]. The band would play a show at the Coconut Teaszer on February 22, 1988 [L.A. Weekly, February 19, 1988]. Duff would be "Dr. Love" [MTV Headbanger's Ball, April 1988].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:03 pm

AXL JUST SAYS 'NO'


Axl had his share of issues in 1987 and 1988. The problem with Axl was not drug and alcohol use, though; he would steer away from excesses to perform at his best:

Axl doesn't do any drugs or even drink hardly anymore. He lives to be on that stage. He eats, sleeps and plays. That's it.

And then on top of that, it's like Axl just because his voice, don't drink or do drugs or hardly smoke at all.

Since injuring his voice earlier in the year, and his future's uncertainty while recuperating, Axl was all business. No "champagne  and cocaine" rock star lifestyle, at least while I was around. Wahhhhhhh! Believe it or not, Aerosmith were a good influence on G N' R, who had agreed to substance-ly change their behavior when the Aero boys were present. Whatever the reason, Axl was attempting to live as healthy a lifestyle as the road would permit, all the while valiantly attempting to get adequate rest between performances.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 258-259

I don't really go out to clubs anymore -- although I used to love to. I don't really drink that much either cause I try to keep my voice in shape, I'm using it a lot, you know. If I go out to clubs, I have to talk to so many people about so many different things that have who knows what to do with, and I'll end up having a few drinks or something. I kinda miss it, but that's fame for you, that's show biz.


Josh Richman, friend of Axl, would confirm that Axl stayed away from hard drugs:

People got the impression that these guys were junkies, but Axl wasn't that way.


In 1987 and 1988, Axl also started to distance himself from the band, allegedly to not be tempted to drink and use drugs:

And for me personally it's like I'd like to party as much as the other guys, but, you know, it's like they don't have to worry about if they're able to sing. They can get up play the guitar even if they got trashed the night before, or the next day. Doesn't hurt my energy so much by running around but where it takes [?] me first is in my voice. So I gotta monitor my social life more closely. I can't really go party unless I know I know I have a few days off.

You gotta understand that with this bunch, excess is best an' all that shit. Axl knows he has to keep from smoking or drinking or doing drugs to maintain his voice. He doesn't hang out that much because the atmosphere that's created by the other four members of this band is pretty, uh...

[Finishing Slash's sentence]: ...conducive to deterioration.

He just hangs out by himself. He takes it all pretty seriously. I couldn't do it. He's doing well to maintain a certain sanity level seeing as he can't go out cos of his position in the band. If he was doing what we were doing he wouldn't be able to sing at all!


Rolling Stone would report that by November 1988, Axl was traveling on his own tour bus, both because he slept during the day and stayed awake at night, but also to avoid friction with his band mates [Rolling Stone, November 1988], furthering the distance between himself and the rest of the band. In an interview with RIP in April 1989, Axl would comment on this:

First of all, it was Izzy's idea to get a separate bus, and secondly, after shows I can't afford to party out like the other guys. There's been several times when I had to leave the bus because of nerves. It's impossible to sit there completely straight, listening to someone who is annihilated go off about something or another. Also, it gives us more space. We all used to live together, but we've outgrown being crowded in together. Not because we don't like each other, but because we have different lifestyles.


Axl's tendency to sleep in is also implied in this quote from an unknown Geffen representative: "We now know not to call him too early in the morning – that way he doesn’t become disoriented and start freaking out" [L.A. Weekly, June 1988].

In 1989 Axl was still keeping sober:

I have a different physical constitution and different mindset about drugs than anybody I've known in Hollywood, because I don't abstain from doing drugs, but I won't allow myself to have a fuckin' habit. I won't allow it. I'll have done blow for three days and my mind will go "Fuck no". I'll have the physical feeling of knowing my body needs it, and I'll just refuse to do coke that day. I'm not going to do it, because if I was going to do it, I know I won't be able to hit my goals with what I want to do with this band. I can't let myself get into coke as much as I'm into the band. The same thing with heroin. I did it for three weeks straight and had one of the greatest times in my life, because I was with a girl I wanted to be with in this beautiful apartment, and we just sat there listening to Led Zeppelin, doing drugs and fucking. It was great, 'cause at that time I had nothing to do but sit on my ass and make a few phone calls a day. I stopped on, like, Saturday, because I had serious business to attend to on Monday. I felt like shit, sweated, shook, but on Monday I was able to function. I can't hide in drugs. A lot of people can, but whenever I do any drugs - pills, booze, smack, whatever - to enjoy it, my life has to be perfect - no fuck-ups, nothing going wrong. Otherwise, when I'm high, I'll analyse the shit out of everything that's happening in my life and why things are going wrong. That's not enjoyable. And if I have shows to do, I won't touch drugs because it fucks up my throat. My advice is don't get a habit, don't use anybody else's needle and don't let drugs become a prerequisite to having a good time. Do things in moderation, and just be careful.


A few months later, Axl felt a need to comment on his statements to RIP:

I'm not and never have been a junkie. The last interview in RIP Magazine got taken out of context about me talking openly about my drug use. That was over two years ago and was only for a few weeks when there was nothing to do. I was also very safe about it. That doesn't mean that at some point I won't get really sick of life and choose to OD. Then people will go, "He was always a junkie." That's not the case, but you can believe what you want, I don't give a fuck. No one's really gonna believe anything I say anyway as far as what I do or don't do with drugs, 'cause it's such a taboo subject. Lately I've been drinking champagne for fun, a few beers, you know. Right now drugs get in the way of my dreams and goals. I really don't want drugs around me now, I'm not necessarily against the use of drugs, they just don't fit in my life right now. Then again, I could be out on tour for six months and a blast might be what cheers me up that night.

Right now, for me, a line of coke is too far. A line of coke puts my voice out of commission for a week. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I did a lot of stuff before. Maybe it's guilt and it's relocated in my throat. All I know is it's not healthy for me right now. And if somebody goes, "Oh, man, he's not a partyer anymore," hey, fuck you! Do you want a record or not?


In early 1995, Slash would comment on one of the "huge misconceptions about Guns", that Axl had been hooked on heroin, and say, "he never was strung out. Ever" [The Howard Stern Show, February 1, 1995]. Slash had also denied this earlier:

Like everybody thinks that Axl is a major drug addict. that's never been the case. Axl's never been addicted to anything - except maybe cigarettes.


As the band embarked on touring in 1991, Axl still refrained from much drug use.

[…]I would also like it to be known that I'm not a person to be telling the youth of America, "Don't get wasted." Because many times drugs and alcohol -- there's a technical term that they're called, emotional suppressants -- are the only things that can help a person survive and get through and be able to deal with their pain. But l think that it would be good for people to realize and understand that they are doing something to deal with their pain and they aren't really going to be allowed to escape it and outrun it forever without side effects and certain consequences, as far as emotional and mental happiness and their physical condition. And I'd like people to be aware of those things. Fine, party and get wasted, but prepare yourself to be ready to make a change and face the actual reasons why you have to go get drunk. That's what I like, rather than someone saying, "Well, you know, doing this was the wrong way." Don't know if it was. A lot of bands have cleaned up now and talk about things they did and how they were wrong. I don't know if it was necessarily wrong. It helped them survive. At the time they weren't given the proper tools to do the proper healing. I personally don't do any hard drugs anymore, because they get in the way of me getting to my base issues, and I'd rather get rid of the excess baggage than find a way to shove it deeper in the closet, at this time in my life.

Okay, first off, I'm on very specific, high-tuned vitamins. My body needs these vitamins. I'm also involved in extensive emotional work to reach certain heights with myself that doing hard drugs would interfere with. I'm doing several detoxing programs to release trapped toxins that are there because of trauma. Doing a lot of coke would get in the way of my work. Doing dope would definitely get in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. Some pot doesn't really get in the way too much. It gets in the way of the work for, like, the next day, but sometimes it's a grounding thing. If I'm flipping out in the middle of Idaho, then a little bit of pot helps me be sedate. Also, coming off stage, going from such high energy into a very sedate world, is heavy - I don't care how many strippers you have. It's like going off a cliff in a car, and that's when I can use some smoke. […] About a year ago [in 1991], while we were recording the records, I smoked a lot of pot. I was in a lot of pain, and that was the only way I could keep myself together enough to work. It was the the only thing that could take my mind off my problems, so I could stay focused and record. It helped keep me together. Now it would interfere with things.


Gilby would talk about how health-conscious Axl is:

Axl even jogs now. And he sits on machines.


In 1996, Slash would again have to deny rumours that Axl was addicted to heroin:

No, never has been. Axl actually... well, for the most part the only guy who's never been addicted to anything in the band.


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:03 pm

THE MAKING OF AN ACOUSTIC EP


After returning home from touring in 1987, the band recorded some acoustic songs originally intended to be used for "B-sides or whatever" [Duff's biography]. According to Axl, they "wrote some of the songs during or before the recording of Appetite and revised them until we felt they were strong enough to put out" [RIP, April 1989]. The new acoustic songs included 'Patience' and 'One In A Million' [Duff's biography].

Originally, the plan had been to record some, presumably, electric songs and use them for B-sides for songs off Live?!*@ Like A Suicide in an extended version of the EP:

But we’re going back to L.A. to record three or four more live tracks for the B sides of singles. Geffen will then reissue the LP "Live?!*@ Like A Suicide" in another form. So we’re going to remix it, and there’ll be one side with the four songs, which will have the title of the mini-LP; the other side will have live B sides and will be titled "The Sex, The Drug, The Violence, The Shocking Truth!" There’ll actually be two front covers for the same mini-LP.
Hard Force [French], October 1987; translated from French


Only a few months before they would release these tracks on an EP, the band didn't know exactly what to do with these songs they had recorded. Steven thought they would be put out on an album with "some real surprises: songs that you'd never expect us to do. There's one about 15 minutes long with strings, synthesizers, piano, and a lot of big drums" [Superstar Facts & Pix, No. 16, 1988], obviously thinking that this album would also include the song 'November Rain'. As it turned out, the band did not include 'November Rain' and decided to put the songs out on an EP instead.

In June 1988, Axl would describe the plan in detail:

Well, it's something we always planned on doing. We always planned on releasing an acoustic thing and when the record [=Appetite for Destruction] starts to die off, it will do good for us there, financially, and keeping the buzz going about Guns N' Roses, while we take the time to make the next record. Also, it's a way to get out certain things that we don't necessarily want to put on our albums.

We've got so many other things we want to put on the record, so this gives us a way to get rid of excess material. Like we did the live thing, now we want to do an acoustic thing, and stuff like that, and so we don't have to spend like $50,000 dollars to go in and record this thing. This way we can get out a lot more of our material and I think it will help make us... with the EP, the record, and then the new EP, that will be like having two records out. So, that will give us a lot stronger base quicker. There will be a lot of stuff for people to pick from, in a lot less time than it would take to release three albums.


In the same interview, Axl would imply that the acoustic songs came out at the end of an electric recording for Appetite for Destruction:

[Being asked what is happening with their planned EP]: That's what we're doing next week. We've just been recording, and we might even leave it intact, as it is, or use it as a B-side. When we went into the studio initially, to do some test tracks and lay down some songs and see what we had together, we had about 27 songs together when Geffen first signed us. So we went in, laid that down, and we were in there for like two days, and at the end of the second day we just got into an acoustic jam.


Axl and Izzy would talk more about the acoustic EP:

Well, it’s a lot rougher than we in­tended it to be, and that’s because we didn’t spend a lot of time on it.
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 5, 1988

We've already recorded another EP. We did it all in one night.

[Talking about the songs they recorded]: 'Patience,' "I Used to Love Her But I Had to Kill Her,' the original version of 'You're Crazy,' done slow and acoustically, with maracas, tambourines, congas. It's heavy in its own way. There's a song called One in a Million,' about living in L.A..

We recorded the new tracks at the Record Plant recording studio off Sunset by Paramount Studios. The entire process was done over a single weekend.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 176


And when it would be released:

Hopefully next fall. We'll probably rerelease the first EP and this'll be the flip side. At this time it's called The Sex, the Drugs, the Violence, the Shocking Truth. I don't know what that has to do with the record but we love the title.


Duff would elaborate:

The acoustic stuff we did in like, a day, right. So, I mean, we didn't... It wasn't a huge project or anything like that. It's just, I think, to show another side of the band, sort of. And also, you know, our next album is not gonna be out for a while. So, there's a huge void space then we'd like to fill in a bit.


Slash, though, would be unsure of what would be next:

We still haven’t decided exactly what to do next time, but we have thought about doing some acoustic stuff. For those fans who don’t know, we like to play acoustic sets every now and then when we get the chance. We do those when we have in-store record signings and things like that, and people really get off on it. Maybe it would be too radical a departure from what people now expect after Appetite For Destruction, but we kind of like keeping everyone a little off balance. If we can keep doing that, we’ll be around for a long, long time.


The band would stress that this EP shouldn't be looked upon as their second album but rather as something quick between Appetite and its follow-up:

[…] we did all of this in just an hour. We sit around when we get we're at home together, we drink and you know we have bongos and tambourines and all kinds of percussion stuff, acoustic guitars, we sit around at home, you know, get drunk and write stuff, so we say, "Hey, let's record some of this stuff, maybe the kids might like it." […] It's for the kids, the fans! But this is something, you know, we're hanging out, and we had no gigs, nothing up, and you know we were hanging around and said "Hey, let's just go in the studio and record this." [?] "Let's go and do it, see what happens." And that's what happened.

[…] we just did it in like two days. We recorded that. This is not our next album, you know, I must clarify that, it's just an in-between. The next album we'll start recording in January. That's when we're gonna to take a lot of time, months, okay? So this is just...how do I word this, I don't wanna say it's filler because it's not, but it's just in between the two records, it's a different side of us.

This EP is just to hold everyone off until we get the next album done. Since this record's done so well, we stayed on tour longer than we expected. That pushed our recording plans back a bit. We want everyone to understand that this EP isn't our second album - it's just to fill the gap until that record's done. We've already gotten a lot of songs written for that one and they're really good. We think it's safe to say that we're gonna be around for a long time to come - no matter what everyone says about us.

The EP's not meant to be taken all that seriously. It's not done... It wasn't done expensively. It's not like, a major album. It's not anything... It's just like, a sort of filler. [...] I didn't think should go on the actual album. And we needed something to put out to fill the gap between the first record and the next one. It's really not that big a deal. [...] It's not meant to be taken as seriously as, say an album is taken. It's real sloppy, it's got us talking in the background, guitar picks dropping. You know, stuff like that. It's out of tune at a lot of places. It's just us sort of hanging out, getting drunk and playing.


One motive was to make the songs on 'Live Like A Suicide' more accessible to the fans:

We wanted to put something out between the last tour and the next album. We heard that kids were having to pay $50 to $100 for original copies of our first EP, Live Like A Suicide. We also wanted to do some new songs that showed another side of us. So what we did on Lies was re-release the four songs that had been on Suicide, and we added four new songs that are very different from anything we've done before. These are songs we just felt like doing. This is a rock and roll band, but there are a lot of different influences within Guns N' Roses. We write a lot of our songs on acoustic guitar, so doing Lies seemed a natural thing for us.

Yeah, for the fans you know. And we saw the live stuff, the earlier stuff, being sold now -- because it was a limited release -- being sold in L.A. for 150 bucks a copy which is ridiculous. What fan of ours can afford that? So we re-released that and put out this new stuff which is just another side to us, we do play sometimes acoustic, we do acoustic shows, so and the daring part of, we've never really kind of clung to the commercial, I mean, we've never clung to that road that like Whitesnake say or something like that would take.

It was only because our first EP [‘Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide’] was selling for enormous amounts of money in record stores that we released it. If the kids wanted it, we’d give it to them for the right price. And we had some acoustic shit lying around, so we threw that in too.


Another motive was to show the world a different side of themselves:

So now we have come to the point where the industry, we're accepted now in the industry, something we actually despise, but we can do, the success that we have gotten we can do really what we want to do now, you know. And which is both sides, you know, acoustic stuff, you know, I'm sure kids are interested if they're interested in the album they're gonna be interested in some acoustic stuff and how the songs are written and all that, and it's just, you know, it's not to be taken seriously.


In an article in Musician, it is implied that Axl in September was putting the final mikes on the acoustic tracks [Musician, December 1988].


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:04 pm

FEBRUARY 26, 1988
PLAYING ON 'UNDER THE WHEELS' WITH ALICE COOPER


In January 1988, Alice Cooper decided to re-record his song 'Under the Wheels' with Axl singing duet with Cooper [L.A. Weekly, January 29, 1988]. The song was originally released on Cooper's 1971 Killer album. The new version would be released in June 1988 as part of the documentary film "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years".

Axl and Slash were thrilled getting to participate on the song:

It was really cool because I'd originally heard that some other singer had gotten [to sing on it]. Well, we were on tour with Alice, and I didn't even know that we were going to get to do it, so I was really bummed out. And we heard that the singer from Cinderella had gotten it [= Tom Keifer], and we'd become friends with those guys. In fact, we had the drummer from Cinderella out on the road with us because Steve had broken his hand. And he said, "Yeah, Tom got this gig." But then something didn't happen with that, and all of a sudden I get this phone call, and it was like "Do you want to do it?" And it was like "Yeah!!" Because "Under My Wheels" is more his rock 'n' roll type song - less of that horror type thing. And we were psyched to do it.


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? And then somewhere along the line he had to record this song so he asked Axl to sing on it and me and Izzy to play guitar on it. So we just said, "fuck, yeah!", you know, and just did it.


Then when Alice Cooper visited Long Beach on February 26, Axl, Izzy and Slash joined him onstage for 'Under the Wheels'.

And then we got up on stage with him in, like, Long Beach and did it live, you know, and Motorhead opened, it was great.

Slash and I also went onstage and did it live with him when he played in Long Beach. It was intense. It was fun being onstage with someone you'd looked up to since you were a little kid. We had toured with him, of course, but then to get up onstage with him in L.A. was phenomenal. He's such a mellow guy.

It was 1988. We were playing the Long Beach Arena, our big LA show. Guns 'N Roses were just breaking big. For the encore, we did 'Under My Wheels,' and Axl, Slash, and Izzy came up to play. That was the first time ever that anybody ever joined Alice Cooper onstage. They were the only guests ever in 20 years to be allowed on an Alice Cooper stage because that was my holy ground. It was the only time I ever felt comfortable with someone on my stage. My show doesn't really allow for guests, but I just said, let's go ahead and do this.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:04 pm

PROFESSIONAL CREW


I must say that our manager [=Alan Niven], our road manager [=Doug Goldstein] and our security guy [=Ronnie?] are the best.

Everybody in our organization is great. Ronnie, Toddy, Mike, Bill (Bartholomew Augustus Cezar), are great. Then we have Dave Kehrer, McBob, and Doug Goldstein.

_____________________________________________________

ADAM DAY


During their touring of Appetite, Guns N' Roses started to obtain a larger crew of professionals who helped them out. Slash's guitar tech was Adam Day, who had been working with George Lynch of Dokken.

When I got my break, luck definitely played a part. I knew a guy who worked for Guns'n'Roses from the very beginning and every time I would see him anywhere I'd always say: "Hey, if anything comes up, gimme a call". That's what you say when you're a working tech jumping from tour to tour - you put the word out that you're looking whenever you can.

And, in this instance, it paid off. Guns 'n' Roses made some crew changes near the end of the Appetite For Destruction tour when they were opening for Aerosmith, Slash had heard that I'd worked for George Lynch [of Dokken fame] and apparently he was into George's playing at the time so that, along with referrals from other guys on their crew who knew me, got me the gig. I started at the end of '88 and the very first week I was with the band, the album went to number one which made me go 'hello!' And, to be able to stay on like I have, what can I say? It's been great. I mean, I've been with Slash for nearly nine years now.


Day would stay with the band for years and actually live with Slash at times [Kerrang! April 1989].

In a word, or two words, three words . . whatever! Adam is the greatest guitar tech anybody could ever have. We've done some of the craziest, off-the-wall, last minute gigs together over the years and he's always been there for me and never let me down.



MIKE "MCBOB" MAYHUE


Mike "McBob" Mayhue was Duff's bass and Izzy's guitar techie.

I met [Duff] in '87. […] If was after they recorded Appetite for Destruction and they were preparing for their first real tour. […] We met at a rehearsal studio. I had just fin­ished working for the Everly Brothers and then I got this gig working for Duff. […] You don't have to really hit it off with a tech, but I guess we did a bit. It takes a while to get to know someone and I have been working for him ever since then.
Conspiracy Fan Club Newsletter Volume One Issue Two, July 1995; unknown publish date, but before July 1995


In an interview in 1995, Mike would talk about having worked as stage manager for the band, too (like his brother Tom, see below):

I take care of all [of Duff's] guitars, amps and equip­ment. Now, actually, I take care of all the band's equipment up at the studio except for the drums. I used to be their stage manager. There is a lot of things to do in terms of keeping up the equipment. I make sure the equipment has all the new things and is in repair, ready to go.
Conspiracy Fan Club Newsletter Volume One Issue Two, July 1995; unknown publish date, but before July 1995



TOM MAYHUE


McBob's brother, Tom Mayhue, came onboard as the drum tech and also remained for years [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p 135]. In December 1988, Tom Mayhue had become the band's stage manager and Steven would joke about Tom sitting behind him during shows to make sure he didn't make any drumming mistakes [Interview with Steve Harris, December 1988]. Steven developed a particular fondness for Tom:

He's my mentor. He's my idol. I do look up to him and I respect him more than anything.



EARL GABBIDON


In 1991, one of the band's bodyguards was Earl Gabbidon:

I started doing security in Arizona locally and it turned into a nice living! There’s nothing better than liking your job! I've also worked for Prince, Madonna, Will Smith, the Stones.
Metal Sludge, December 17, 2002; THIS INTERVIEW IS POSSIBLY FAKE

Earl is part of Guns N' Roses security. He's a large black man. He's played for several professional football teams. He has been around.


Earl would eventually become Axl's personal bodyguard and stay with the band until into the 2000s.

Axl and I are very close, he knows he can ask me for anything 24 hours a day and I'd be happy to do it, but yes technically I'm on call 24/7.
Metal Sludge, December 17, 2002; THIS INTERVIEW IS POSSIBLY FAKE

Axl’s very generous, I’m fortunate enough to be on retainer, so my pay fluctuates, but like I said Axl is a wonderful, generous guy.
Metal Sludge, December 17, 2002; THIS INTERVIEW IS POSSIBLY FAKE

Axl is a warm, caring person that tries hard to make people happy. Sometimes when it’s not in his best interest to. He’s funny as hell, extremely talented, he can have his difficult days, but who doesn’t? We’ve been around the world together a dozen times. We’ve had many laughs around the world. He’s a great guy, who I’m proud to call my bro.
Metal Sludge, December 17, 2002; THIS INTERVIEW IS POSSIBLY FAKE


___

Their press manager which they got before the London tour in 1987, was Arlett Vereecke [Unknown UK Source, June 1987]. She had been hired by Alan Niven [Kerrang! March 1989] and was described as "flamboyant and free-wheeling" and owned an apartment in West Hollywood [Kerrang, April 1989]. In 1989, when the band refused to do interviews with US magazine, she would interview Axl for the British magazine Kerrang! [Kerrang! June 1989].

In this period they also worked with Bryn Bridenthal at Geffen [Unknown UK Source, June 1987].

Peter Paterno, the lawyer who Vicky Hamilton had asked to have a look at the band's contracts, was still employed by the band [Rock Scene, September 1987].

Steven's drum tech for this period was his friend, Ronnie Schneider [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 125].

Slash had a guitar tech called Rudy Leiren [Metal Edge, January 1989].

In late 1987, Axl had a bodyguard named Ronnie [Spin, January 1988]. Later the band would have two security guards because, according to Slash, Axl and Slash had received death threats, but would later go back to only Ronnie [Circus Magazine, May 1988].

Axl would also have his younger brother, Stuart Bailey, who was studying in Los Angels to become a lawyer [Metal Edge, June 1988], acting as his personal assistant [Rolling Stone, November 1988].

We've been hangin' out together and we're havin' a blast.


In early 1990, Stuart was the lead singer in the band Dr. Whiskey [L.A. Weekly, January 19, 1990].

At some point, Izzy had a guitar tech called Scott [Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 125].


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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:04 pm

AXL'S MENTAL ISSUES


UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOUR


In addition to his mood swings which are described in previous chapters, Axl also behaved unpredictable in ways that caused problems for his band mates.

In October 1988, Hit Parader wrote: "Over the last three months there’s been a constant stream of talk concerning the bands breaking up" [Hit Parader, October 1988].

The next month Hit Parader would also claim that around the time when Appetite for Destruction went platinum, "Axl Rose began acting too unpredictably for the other members of the group, and a vote was taken to kick Axl out of the band. Thankfully, cooler heads soon prevailed, and Axl was sent to a clinic where he was quickly able to regain control of his life and resume responsibilities as Guns' front man" [Hit Parader, November 1988]. This incident is described in more detail in a separate chapter.

Hit Parader in October 1988 would further state that "Axl's unpredictable behavior cost the band tours with David Lee Roth, AC/DC and Iron Maiden." This would also be mentioned by The Calgary Herald in July 1988.

[Inferred from Hit Parader [March 1989], Axl was also kicked out of the band for three days in February/March 1987, but likely this was meant to be February 1988.]

Vicky would recall that when they were to start the tour with Aerosmith on July 17, 1988, no one knew where Axl was or even if he'd make the gig. People who knew the band were sitting in the Hard Rock Café taking bets on it. He did appear that evening, one hour before showtime [Musician, December 1988; Juke Magazine, July 1989]. And Doug Goldstein, the tour manager at the time, would recall that toward the end of the Aerosmith tour in September 1988, Axl approached him and was concerned that others felt he'd become a prima donna. "I haven't changed, have I, Doug?" Axl inquired. "Of course not," Goldstein replied affectionately. "You've always been a prick" [Musician, December 1988].

Axl's a real temperamental guy. He's hard to get along with. [...] He does a lot of weird shit no one understands, but I love the guy. I mean he's a real sweetheart.

If it wasn't for the band, I just hate to think what he might've done. [...] He can still be a tyrant, but then he can turn around and be the nicest guy in the world.

[Axl] has tendency to break down every so often.

Here's the thing about Axl. He demands emotion. "Love me, hate me, but don't you dare fucking ignore me." He will not tolerate a vacuum. Sometimes I think that's why he would keep fans waiting for three hours before going on. He demanded an emotionally charged atmosphere at all times. He wanted a life spent on the frantic jagged edge, and that's why he could deliver that unique urgency in his lyrics: he lived it.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 153


In December 1988, when the band was touring in Japan, he seemed to have a good period:

He's temperamental, he's a pain in the ass, but we love him too. He is really... He's been great since we've been in Japan, he's been really cool. So it's like the kind of thing where when Axl's, like, easy to be around, he's great; when he's hard to be around, he is a pain in the fucking ass.



BIPOLAR DISORDER


Axl's mental problems goes back a long time. According to the Rolling Stone interview in November 1988, a psychiatrist who evaluated Axl back in Indiana noted his high IQ and "decided that his behavior was evidence of psychosis." In an interview in October 1987, Axl would describe himself a "maniac depressive" [NME, October 1987], but whether this was self-diagnosed or as a result of a psychiatric examination is not clear. The media started to question his mental stability: "Is Axl Rose crazy? Or is he just a sensitive, high-strung kid whose band wants to be successful without compromising what made them so good in the first place: attitude and street credibility" [L.A. Weekly, June 1988]. In later 1988, though, he had definitely been diagnosed being manic-depressive and he put on lithium, although "[Axl] thinks it's ineffective and claims to be in control of his moods" [Rolling Stone, November 1988]. It would be claimed that he didn't always take his medicine [Musician, December 1988]. In the beginning of 1989, radio host Howard Stern would refuse to accept that Axl was manic-depressive and Axl would jokingly attribute it to him just always having been pissed off [Howard Stern, February 1989].

I’ve really learned to control myself. It used to be that I would get mad, break everything in the fucking room, smack somebody in the face and then leave. Now I work real hard at trying to keep things cool and together.

Basically, right now I'm just trying to get myself together. I know I'm seen in a lot of different ways. Without being humorous, it's like I have multiple personalities -- schizophrenic. It depends on the situation and the mood I'm in.

I'm psychotic, and that's a real problem to try to like, you know..."Ok, now I'm done with business. Now I can go in this room and be psychotic and tear it up. You know, I have to like, balance up. You know, when can I destroy everything around me to when I have to be nice to everybody. [...] I usually end up trying to take vacation and destroying everything around me, because I can't calm down. I don't know, it just... [...] I just destroy my apartment and then rebuild it.

I can be happier than anybody I know. I can get so happy I'll cry. I can get completely opposite, upsetwise.

A lot of things about my mood swings are, like, I have a temper and I take things out on myself. Not physically, but I'll smash my TV knowing I have to pay for it, rather go down the hallway and smash the person I'm pissed at. […] With all the pressure it's like I'll explode. And so where other people would go, 'Oh well, we just got fucked,' Axl's going, 'God damn it!' and breaking everything around him. That's how I release my frustration. It's why I'm, like, pounding and kicking all over the stage.

[…] I react to everything. I react to thoughts. I can be sitting here in a good mood and think about something really fucked, and if I can't get it out of my head, I'll react to it. If I hold it back, I walk around frustrated for a very long period of time. When I talk with an interviewer, it hurts my feelings if they act like my best friend, then chop me down. I always try to let people know what they want when we're talking.

I'm very sensitive and emotional, and things upset me and make me feel like not functioning or not dealing with people, the band or anything. I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was take one 500-question test - ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of sudden I'm diagnosed manic-depressive. "Let's put Axl on medication". Well, the medication doesn't help me deal with stress. The only thing it does is help keep people off my back because they figure I'm on medication.

I have a lot more control over [mood swings] compared to when I used to break every single thing in my room. This way I can go for two months before I do that. That's a long time.

I think his inner turmoil is derived from the external turmoil that we have around us all day. A lot of us either choose to, or are more adept at, shutting it out. He doesn't. He doesn't choose to shut it all out. He looks it right in the eye.


In 2000, Howard Stern would ask Slash if Axl "had a sort of disorder of some kind", to which Slash responded:

No - well, Axl is Axl. You gotta talk to him about him, alright?


Axl's sensitivity also shone through in his live performances and made for intense experiences:

There are a lot of bands where the guitar player or someone else writes all the words, like Cheap Trick, where Rick Nielsen writhes most of the lyrics. Robin Zander’s able to put this heart and soul and feeling into it, but I don’t think it really rips up and destroys his life. Because it’s not really him. Me, it’s like I put exactly where I’m at into every song. There’ve been times when I’m singing a certain song onstage and it’s, like, I get all chocked up and I’m havin’ a problem singin’ the next line, because I’m so emotional about it. Maybe something happened that day that I feel relates to that song, or whatever. Nowadays, I’m trying to work out some problems, like why I want to grab somebody by the fucking neck, and instead of just doing it, trying to understand it. So I’m writing, not necessarily nicer words, but ones that I can read and sing in my head. And they’ll, like, help calm me down or whatever.



INSOMNIA


As if all this wasn't enough, Axl was also struggling with insomnia:

I flew back to L A. and have since gone to a doctor, who said I was just exhausted. He also said I suffer from insomnia. They're taking blood tests and stuff. A lot of people think it's drugs or I have AIDS because that's the new popular rumor. It's nothing that serious, but it's something serious enough that it caused problems in the machinery of Guns N' Roses. […] now I've switched it around. Now I'm sleeping at night instead of during the days. I've had insomnia since I was a little kid, and I never really realized it until this past week. I've talked to my parents, my brother and my sister, and I've traced it all of the way back to when I was a baby and I wouldn't go to sleep. I only sleep after staying up for countless hours or doing various drugs or doing whatever to the point of exhaustion. Then you'd sleep through the day, and the only reason you'd go to sleep then is because the light hurt your eyes so bad and you've had so many beers or so much alcohol and taken whatever that you finally just go to sleep.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 pm

MARCH-APRIL 1988
LOST TOURS WITH AC/DC AND MONSTERS OF ROCK


The band then lost a planned tour with AC/DC [Hit Parader, March 1989; Juke Magazine, July 1989] in North America (this leg of the Blow Up Your Video World Tour lasted from May to November 1988), because AC/DC "wanted to hold their pay as security for three weeks, and then planned to kick them off the tour at the end of the grace period; they declined the offer" [Spin, May 1988]. Axl would confirm this story and express his disappointment:

We were gonna do the AC/DC tour, but AC/DC got cold feet and decided to withhold money from us. Then they decided to sign White Lion for the rest of the tour without telling us. That was real nice of them. That's not what I expected out of someone I'd looked up to for years. AC/ DC was a dream tour, so it was a big letdown.

Well, that was actually minor business technicalities. Nothing too serious.
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 1988


Circus Magazine would describe it as due to "a disagreement between AC/DC's management and Guns N' Roses". Hit Parader, on the other hand, would again claim the real reason was Axl's behavior [Hit Parader, October 1988].

Regardless of the reason, the decision was likely also devastating to Slash who had said that opening for AC/DC would be "a total turning point in my life" [Concert Shots, May 1986]. Axl had also mentioned that he wanted to tour with AC/DC because he figured they "could learn so much" from such a seasoned band [Metal Edge, June 1988].

In May-July 1988 they would also be refused to join the Monster of Rock tour which featured Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come, to which Slash would comment:

I mean, what am I going to do? Get the bassist from Van Halen or Judas Priest strung out on something? We’re just a bunch of kids, you know.


With little else to do, the band would hang out at Hollywood clubs, jam with other bands and party. Duff did another show with his girlfriend Mandy in their band, Dr. Love and the Love Connection on March 24 at the Cathouse and the same evening Slash would get up on stage with T.S.O.L [L.A. Weekly, March 25, 1988].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 pm

MARCH 31, 1988
PLAYING AT THE LATE SHOW


On March 31 the band would do a televised performance on The Late Show, a program on Fox TV. The band played two songs, You're Crazy and Used to Love Her, both to be featured on the upcoming EP.

On March 31, 1988, we did another acoustic performance, with me playing drums, on a show that was called Fox Late Night, a variety show. It featured a black host, so 'One In A Million' was out of the lineup. Instead we did a medtempo version of 'You're Crazy' and also 'Used To Love Her'. [...] The reason why I remember that performance so well is because we played 'Crazy' the way it was always meant to be played: slower, sleazy, more bluesy, with much more feeling, and not the frantic sped-up version on Appetite. Even though Axl had to censor himself for TV and leave out all the "fuckin's," he did a masterful job, and it's definitely my favourite rendition of 'Crazy.'
Steven's autobiography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2012, p. 160
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:06 pm

APRIL 26-MAY 11, 1988
US TOUR WITH ZODIAC MINDWARP & THE LOVE REACTION AND UDO


Instead, the band did their first headlining tour of the US with Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction and UDO as the openers from April 26 to May 11, 1988, taking them to 11 smaller cities in the Midwest.

The first show took place at Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, VT on April 26. In preparation of the tour the band had spent a week rehearsing at the Memorial Auditorium [Burlington Hawk Eye, September 17, 1991].

The show itself got mixed review with the Burlington Hawk Eye reporter complaining about the feedback and the vocals dropping out [Burlington Hawk Eye, April 27, 1988].


Review in Burlington Hawk Eye
April 27, 1988


The band then travelled to Oshkosh Center, Oshkosh, USA (April 27) and Coronado Theatre, Rockford, USA (April 29). Before their April 30 show at the Danville Civic Center in Danville, Slash commented on playing at smaller places:

It’s amazing playing these small towns. There’s not a whole lot to do. It’s like these people are starved for this type of thing. […] And the people are so friendly. We left our door (at our hotel in Burlington, Iowa) cracked and people just kept walking into the room unannounced. I didn’t know what they were doing, but I am getting used to it.


The band continued to Toledo Sports Arena, Toledo, USA (May 1); Devos Hall, Grand Rapids, USA (May 3); before coming to the Music Hall in Cleveland (May 5).

The day before this show, Izzy had met with Tom Garcia from the local radio station WSBC during a Ted Nugent concert and promised to play DJ for a few hours at the station the next day, possibly together with Axl [Rock Scene, December 1989].

[Talking about getting back to his hotel after the Ted Nugent show]: (Laughs) Oh Jesus! When I got dropped off at the hotel, a cop caught me pissing inside the car garage. “What do you think you’re doing,’’ he said. I answered, “What does it look like I’m doing,’’ and I continued piss­ing! So he took me into the lobby. To make matters worse, I lost my room key! But I managed to get back in.
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 5, 1988


Unfortunately, because of "red-tape", as Izzy phrased it, he was not allowed to come in to the radio station so instead he called in to the show and did an interview on-the-air that would be released in Rock Scene Magazine in December 1989 [Rock Scene, December 1989]. During the broadcast Izzy would be asked how the tour was progressing:

I guess I’m straddlin across the US of A. Man, that Nugent concert last night was excellent! I couldn’t see that much of it, but it sounded pretty good. I thought Tracii Guns—(Izzy’s good friend and guitarist in LA Guns which opened a few shows for Nugent in the south—Ed.) was gonna be there though. The tour is going great, we’re getting a good response wherever we play. It’s nice to have a day off once in a while. Man, I love hearing all those classic tunes on the radio again, especially that old Accept. I love Accept.
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 5, 1988


Being asked about how they hadn't been to Cleveland before, preferring to talk about the Ted Nugent show:

You know what? It blew my mind when we went to that concert last night. I took a cab down there and got dropped off in front of the theater, I didn’t see one person hanging around—not one! Then I cruised to the back of the theater and saw all the cars in the parking lot. When i went inside... WOW! Millions of Rock & Roll fans getting into the NUGE!
Rock Scene, December 1989; interview from May 5, 1988


The tour continued with shows at the Saginaw Civic Center, Saginaw, USA (May 6); State Theater, Detroit, USA (May 7); and Felt Forum, New York, USA (May 9).

Axl was late to the show at Felt Forum:

In New York I was late to the show at the Felt Forum because I'd passed out after drinking Nightrain and doing an MTV interview. I showered, did my vocal exercises and got dressed within 15 minutes and went to the gig. We got out of an $8,000 overtime debt because the barricades that separate the fans from the stage were set up wrong, and by the time they'd fixed it, I'd gotten there and everything was cool.

That night at the Felt Forum in New York when you saw us was a particularly good night. I mean, sometimes we make bad mistakes onstage too. I remember in the old days we'd go so nuts we'd fall right off the stage. Sometimes we'd jump off the stage on purpose. You can't stay too tight when you do that!


The last shows of the tour took place at the Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, USA (May 10) and Orpheum Theatre, Boston, USA (May 11). Axl would recall a little episode at this last show:

We were doing strobe lights for the end of "Paradise City" and I spun around all the way around to the back of Slash's amps. It was a huge stage. All of a sudden, there's this dude in my face who obviously couldn't see where the hell he was heading and he winds up bashing me right in the mouth. He goes running to the front of the stage with me right behind him and I got him in the back with my mike stand. Then one of the security guards did a swan dive on top of him and threw him back in the audience. I don't know, man. It was like this kid lost control of himself and just had to get on up there with his favorite band or something.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:07 pm

DOCUMENTARY, BOOK PLANS AND THE CONSPIRACY INC. FAN CLUB


In 1987 the band started thinking about making a documentary or home video [Metal Edge, June 1988] about the band supported by live footage:

We are recording a lot of our shows for a future live album and a video-documentary on the band, with a show that will soon be filmed at Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles.
Hard Force [French], October 1987; translated from French

We have stacks of videos of all the shows we did in the clubs. We plan on trying to do another club taping. We've taken video cameras on the road and we'll see what comes out of that.


The idea of a documentary goes all the way back to 1986, when Izzy says it was part of the contract with Geffen [L.A. Rocks, August 1986].

In early 1989, Slash would talk more about this home video in connection with them making a raunchy music video for 'Its So Easy':

[…] we’re gonna have a home video at some point, so we wanted to do some videos that were, like, completely no holds barred, uncensored type of things. Just live shooting, instead of worrying about whether MTV is gonna play it. Just go out there and do a fuckin' blown out live, real risky video... […] I want some special stuff on the home video anyway, that’s just ours and that you can’t get anywhere else. […]  Erm... I really haven’t got a clue at this point [about what else would be in the home video]. I want... I mean, the next album’s got to come out first before we even start to focus on that.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from March 1989


Axl would also mention a book about the band, but that "the project may take two or three years" [Screamer, August 1988]. Nothing came out of either the documentary/home video or the book.

In 1988 the band also started a fan club titled 'Conspiracy Incorporated'. The membership fee was $12 for domestic and Canadian members and $15 for overseas members, and members were promised membership card, band photograph, 'Appetite' sticker, tour dates, discounts on merchandise, press clippings and a quarterly newsletter [Membership form, 1988]. By March 1989 the fan club was comprised of 1500 members [Conspiracy Incorporated Fan Club Newsletter, March 1989].

In April 1989, Axl would mention that they might makt a movie [Unknown Source, April 1989]. This might have been the same documentary movie, or something else entirely.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:08 pm

MAY 13-25, 1988
OPENING FOR IRON MAIDEN


Having missed tours with AC/DC and Monster of Rock, Guns N' Roses then opened for Iron Maiden in Canada (May 13 -June 8, 1988) on their 'Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour'.

Axl was grateful for the opportunity:

I'm looking forward to doing Canada again. I'm also looking forward to doing the West Coast in larger venues. Maiden has a faithful following, and this is a big challenge, winning them over. Rod Smallwood [Maiden's manager] has been great. This is a chance for us to learn things from a band who's been doing it for years. I can't wait to start playing live again.



NOT A GOOD FIT


At the beginning of the tour Slash was not happy with how things were being done:

Yeah, they’ve got this major stage production happening, and this is the first time we’ve ever been on the beginning of a tour with another band, so this might happen with every band. So it’s nothing against Iron Maiden. It’s just that their production is not together, and we never get sound checks, and their monitor guy doesn’t work for us, so he doesn’t know what we want. And it’s just been sort of like a disaster. But we’re, you know, basically...[…] The other thing is, that it’s like two sides of coins as far as music goes. You know, it’s like, Iron Maiden sings about Vikings, and gothic-influenced this and that, dragons and stuff. And we, just basically, just hang out (laughs).


Mick Wall would later claim that there was significant animosity between the two bands [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

The Iron Maiden fans were also not very receptive to Guns N' Roses, as mentioned by Duff in his biography:

To be fair to the audiences, what they were picking up was correct: much as I respect metal, we didn't fit the bill musically. We wanted to be different. After all, Steven had only one bass drum. And while Axl sang in a high voice much of the time, he wasn't operatic. [...] Oh, and also we didn't write songs about elves and demons and shit-unless of course, you considered Mr. Brownstone a demon.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 133


Bruce Dickinson (the vocalist of Iron Maiden) was also not impressed with Axl. At the May 16 show at Quebec Coliseum, Dickinson claims Axl treated the audience poorly because they were talking to him in French:

I should have come onstage and given him a punch. How could he dare speak to my audience in that way? I always regretted not having done so.
Journal de Montreal, September 2015



THE SHOWS


The tour started at the Moncton Coliseum, Moncton, Canada (May 13); Metro Centre, Halifax, Canada (May 14); Quebec Coliseum, Quebec City, Canada (May 16); Montreal Forum, Montreal, Canada (May 17); Ottawa Civic Center, Ottawa, Canada (May 18); CNE Grandstand, Toronto, Canada (May 20); and Winnipeg Arena, Winnipeg, Canada (May 23).

Despite having to win the audience sover, Guns N' Roses received great reviews, this one from the May 23 show at Winnipeg Arena:

Guns N' Roses managed to do the impossible for a rough-hewn metal act - it sounded better live than on vinyl. And singer W. Axl Rose is a completely commending presence on stage.

The band has mature songwriting and arranging ideas and played with dynamics under an appealing rough, explosive edge. far superior to Motley Crue and their ilk, Guns N' Roses deserves to be tough metal's next star.


The tour continued with a show at the Northlands Arena, Edmonton, Canada (May 25).
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:08 pm

MAY 27-28 1988
DUFF MARRIES MANDY; HAGGIS STEPS IN


Duff broke off the ongoing tour opening for Iron Maiden to travel home for his wedding with Mandy Brix of LA's Lame Flames and hostess at Japanese restaurant in LA [L.A. Weekly, April 22, 1988; L.A. Weekly, June 3, 1988; Metal Edge, January 1989; Sounds Magazine, November 1989]; they'd been engaged since at least January 1988 [L.A. Weekly, January 22, 1988]). Reportedly, the church was decorated with white orchids and Duff wore a custom-made leather tuxedo [L.A. Weekly, June 3, 1988].


Duff and Mandy


Duff arranged for Kid "Haggis" Chaos, from The Cult, to fill in for him for the May 27 show at Olympic Saddledome in Calgary, Canada, and was back for their next show [Circus Magazine, September 1989].

According to Duff, Niven was at fault for Duff missing that gig. The wedding arrangements had been prepared before the Iron Maiden tour was settled [Metal Edge, January 1989]:

We had planned the wedding for a year prior, and I asked our manager [Alan Niven] when he thought a good time would be, that we wouldn't be touring. So he told me to make it for May. And he promised me. So every two weeks I would remind him: 'All right, we've set the date, we've paid all the money, and made all the plans.' And then, a month before the wedding, he calls me and he goes, 'Yeah, we're on the Maiden tour now!' And I said, 'What about May 28, Alan?' And he says, 'What's May 28?' And I said, 'My fucking wedding!' It pissed me off, but you've got to deal with it, so I called Haggis, took one day off to get hitched, then came back on the tour.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:08 pm

MAY 30-JUNE 5, 1988
OPENING FOR IRON MAIDEN


The tour opening for Iron maiden continued at the PNE Coliseum, Vancouver, Canada (May 30); Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, USA (May 31); Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, USA (June 1); Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, USA (June 3); and Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, USA (June 5).


Ad in The Province
May 30, 1988


In June, Metal Edge would publish an interview were Axl would talk about touring and show performances:

I just try to get myself in tune with how I feel and get my feelings over to the crowd. I try to make sure that the people get some kind of real feeling out of what we do instead of just 'that was a blast party!' and then they forget about it. I try to leave some kind of emotion in their mind. Afterward, I usually need to sit down for an hour and just get my head together. I can't eat, my stomach's in knots, not in a bad way but I gotta come down from where I was on stage. Most of the time I'm usually so concerned about the show the next day even if I want to run around I won't let myself. I want to give the people my best.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:09 pm

JUNE 6, 1988
GUNS N' ROSES QUITS THE TOUR WITH MAIDEN


The Iron Maiden tour was cut short with their last show at the California Exhibition Center, Sacramento, USA, on June 6, when Axl needed to save his voice. It also meant they had to postpone a planned tour of Japan:

[...]Man, it is a fuckin' drag having to pull out of the Iron Maiden tour. But there's nothing we can do. We just have to sit tight for three weeks and wait for Axl's voice to heal. […] I guess it's something that had been building up for some time. In the end he just completely lost his voice. Right now we're waiting to see if Axl's going to be OK to make the tour of Japan we have lined up […] The bottom line is, if Axl has to have surgery, we'll have to wait a week for the swelling to go down, and then give it another week or so to heal. So it's feasible that with something like three weeks to go before we start the Japanese tour Axl could make it. […] But more than anything else I don't want anything to jeopardise us going out on the Aerosmith tour, which we're due to start in a couple of months. If rushing Axl into singing by going to Japan is going to fuck up his voice and make us blow those dates out, I'd rather forget all about going to Japan...

Ah, man, it’s fucked. The guy’s not even allowed to speak. Can you imagine that - Axl not being able to open his mouth?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993



AXL'S VOICE IS SHOT


Axl would explain what had happened to his voice:

Well, basically, driving over the mountains over and over again to get to the last five shows we did with Iron Maiden caused my ears to clog up in such a way that I couldn’t hear that well, so I would yell twice as loud and overstrained my vocals on the tour. Plus, getting back to the West Coast shows, there were more GNR fans, and it was real hectic and a lot more fun, so we were yelling twice as loud. We were slamming onstage, and, basically, I overused my throat, and the doctor told me if I didn’t take some time off, there was a good chance I’d never sing again! I went to four different specialists, and I was told I needed surgery immediately. I went to the top specialist in the world, who treats severe throat problems like I had - a guy named Hans Von Laiden, and he said I didn’t need surgery, but what I did need was a lot of vocal rest and then proper training to bring the voice back. So, rather than take a risk of coming to Japan and not being able to give a good show or only being able to give, like, half a show and not guarantee that we’d be able to make all of the dates we promised, we thought it best to postpone and do the shows at a later time when we could give the people exactly what they pay for.


About a week after aborting the tour Slash would describe the damage to Axl's vocals:

I'm no doctor. But what it is, he’s got nodules on his vocal chords and he can’t hit a certain range - which is his whole high voice. The chords crowd each other because of these bumps or nodules or whatever. So he just can’t sing right now. It got to the point on stage where it just sounded awful. Trying to sing 'Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, or one where he really screams it, he would get to this note and just go. It was like, where’s he going? It was like no key at all, it was really strange.

We did a date with Maiden in Palo Alto which was really bad, to the point that I was having to do guitar solos to fill the space ’cos Axl couldn’t sing. So he went to the doctor there and the rest of us drove to the next gig in Sacramento and set up our equipment. We sound-checked, everything sounded great. We were waiting for Axl to show up when our road manager gets this phone call saying that not only is Axl not going to be able to make the gig, but they didn’t think he’d be able to finish the tour!

The fucking thing is, what they did was go back out after the doors had been opened, after our banner was up on stage and everything, and start taking off the gear. The kids saw the gear going off and started freaking out. I had to go out in front of, I think it was like 22,000 kids, and go, “Axl’s voice isn’t working right at the moment, we’re not going to be playing tonight.” They just went nuts! Then Axl showed up about ten minutes later and we drove straight to LA.

Since then he’s seen another doctor here in LA who says the problem with Axl’s voice has been developing for a long time. So he’s going for a final opinion on Tuesday and we’ll know then if we’re going to Japan at the end of the month or not.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993
; interview from June 1988


And when asked how long they would have to wait for Axl's voice to heal:

If he has to have surgery, we have to wait a week for the swelling to go down before he has the surgery. Then we have to wait for that to heal. We’re looking at about two weeks - if the operation goes well and Axl stays out of trouble. Basically, we have three months on the Aerosmith tour coming up, so I don’t want anything to fuck up that. Of all the tours we’ll have done in the last year - besides the Monsters of Rock thing in England which we’re doing this year - that is the tour for us. Us and Aerosmith - that is really a great combination for a live show, doncha think?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993
; interview from June 1988


Fortunately, after inspection by four different doctors no nodules were found and Axl didn't have to undergo surgery [Sounds Magazine, August 1988]. IT would later be said he had developed polyps in his throat [Metal Edge, January 1989]. Kerrang! would say he was "ordered by his doctors to take to his bed and rest his voice completely for three weeks" [Kerrang! March 1989].

During an interview with Rockling in July 1988, Slash, Duff and Izzy is asked how Axl is doing and they would reply that it is inevitable that his singing style after so much touring would lead to problems but that he is coping well [Rockline, July 1988].

Steven and Slash would indicate that it was important to restore Axl's voice before the (more) important tour with Aerosmith:

We took him off the road because we didn’t want to f.ck up the Aerosmith tour.

[...][Axl] had dropped out of the end of the Iron Maiden tour to give his voice a good rest. You see, Aerosmith meant so much to him, and so much to us, that he didn't want to blow out his voice. He wanted to be well rested.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 165



WAS GUNS N' ROSES KICKED OFF THE TOUR BECAUSE OF AXL?


Another explanation for ending the Iron Maiden tour was that the band was kicked off because of Axl's unpredictable behavior [Hit Parader, October 1988].

The Iron Maiden incident was when [Axl] accidentally knocked over a meal tray in the dressing rooms just before the first show, and the Maiden boys heard Axl was thrashing the dressing rooms. They decided it'd be tiresome to put up with this behavior for the two-month US tour and gave the band its walking papers.


Raz Cue would comment on such alternative explanations:

The grueling pace caught up with Axl, and because of an injury to his vocal cords, he wisely shut [the tour] down before doing any further career-threathening damage. But there's an old saying about journalists: "They never report that a plane landed safely." The truth is, "It if bleeds, it leads," so those highly ethical rock "journalists" had a field day conjuring up several contradictory "real reasons" G N' R had departed the Iron Maiden tour early.
Raz Cue, "The Days of Guns, & Raz's", 2015, p. 252



LA GUNS REPLACES GUNS N' ROSES


To replace Guns N' Roses, LA Guns was drafted in, and for their first night Duff and Slash would jam with the band. For the next night, after LA Guns' set, GN'R minus Axl would go on stage and play 'It's So Easy' with Duff on vocals [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]. Duff felt it an ordeal:

I was never so fuckin’ scared in all my life!
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993



LOOKING BACK AT TOURING WITH IRON MAIDEN


In August 1988, when Guns N' Roses and Iron Maiden met again at the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington, UK, Axl would also comment on the band's differences:

[Being asked if there are any similarities between Iron Maiden and Guns N' Roses]: I hope not. I don't know whether or not, I mean, they're nice guys but, you know, it's like political organizations. Your band's like a political thing and your music or your albums kind of like your political stance. Well, theirs completely different to ours and I think this doesn't have anything to do with rock and roll as far as I'm concerned. We're a rock and roll band, what they do is what they do, I don't know what it is and I hope to never be like that. I hope it's not catching.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:09 pm

JUNE 1988
THE "SWEET CHILD O' MINE" SINGLE AND MUSIC VIDEO


The third single out from 'Appetite' was to be 'Sweet Child O' Mine.' The single was released in late May 1987 in the UK and June 1987 in the US.


The Sweet Child O' Mine single


Tom Zutaut had big hopes for the song and considered it a gem on the record:

I didn't tell anyone at Geffen about "Sweet Child O' Mine," and I buried that song towards the end of side-two. I did that because I knew that promotion people and radio people at that time very rarely listened past the first two or three songs. I did not want that song to be discovered until later. And my reason was, that Guns N' Roses needed to start based on its punk roots. And that song was way too refined. In some ways it was almost like a song for the second album. But I figured, if we buried it on side-two, we'd eventually get to it and there would be enough of a buzz and a base on the band that we could get an opportunity to take a shot at a song like that to mainstream radio. So I didn't tell anyone that. It was my little secret.
Marc Canter, "Reckless Road", 2007


The hope was that this ballad would boost record sales which was low for the first period after the release of 'Appetite'.

[...] we're hoping 'Sweet Child' will have a chance to get through in a lot of ways, you know, we don't know. I think it should, you know, and I believe it should and I don't see any problem with that. I can see the hassles with 'Jungle,' I can see the hassles with 'It's So Easy,' definitely, I can see the hassles with 'Paradise City' because it's really long and the verses are a little bit too heavy for a lot of radio stations. But I don't see a problem with 'Sweet Child' and I didn't write 'Sweet Child' to get it on radio but I don't see the problem with it doing that. And it doesn't do it, then someone's just slamming the door on us, purposely.


And according to Duff, it did:

You should have seen the difference in crowd reaction before and after that single came out. Before, only the people up front knew who we were. People came to see us who were our fans, and there weren't very many, to tell you the truth. Afterwards, when that song came on, all the cigarette lighters switched on and everybody was on their feet. It was amazing, like night and day. And it happened that quickly, too. […] I've actually seen a full-on preppy guy - the type who wouldn't even say hi to me - whistling that song. I stopped dead in my tracks and just stared at this guy.



AXL WANTS TO MAKE A MUSIC VIDEO


Before recording the music video it seems like the band discussed their approach to music videos:

We really want to do [a video] for 'Sweet Child.' We're trying to decide if we should take the Metallica route and just not worry about videos, but we really want to make them. 'Welcome to the Jungle' was a blast. The most fun I ever had.


It is likely that Axl argued for more elaborate music videos, as he would later push for the cinematic videos for songs off 'Use Your Illusion' and also later discuss taking up acting.

In the end, the band did make a music video for 'Sweet Child', although Axl wasn't happy with the result and had more ambitious plans:

We did "Sweet Child" the other night and I wasn't thrilled with it. I like where we have the band playing live, and working on that. Other than that, I have to see what came out. We filmed a lot of stuff with us just hanging out, so I have to see that. What we did, the filming, was pretty fun, but some things came up, like "Sweet Child" is used when they roll the credits to the movie Bad Dreams, and we had come up with this whole concept of how we were gonna film our video in an insane asylum, then when we went and saw the screening of the movie and no one, including our manager, knew that the whole movie was filmed inside an insane asylum! That kind of shot down all the fun. I really wanted to do the conceptual footage, and we really didn't do any for this video. So that's the part that I guess, that little bit of acting, that I like doing.


Slash, on the other hand, would be happy with it:

Then the second [video] that we did, which I don't know if that's out there yet, Sweet Child O' Mine? […] You've seen that, okay. That was just basically just us, it was very candid. And we were happy with that.


'Sweet Child O' Mine' became a very popular single and won both an American Music Award (AMA) for “Favorite Single, Pop/Rock” and the MTV award for “Best Metal/Hard Rock Video” [Geffen Press Release, September 1991].

The video would feature Steven girlfriend Julie and Slash’s guitar tech Rudy Leiren’s dog [Metal Edge, January 1989].
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:10 pm

JUNE OR JULY 1988
SLASH IS SENT TO HAWAII FOR DETOX


After the early ending of the Iron Maiden tour in June 1988, Slash put his drinking and heroin use in high gear again due to the idleness.

The afternoon we found out we would have to quit the Maiden tour I went around grabbing every bottle of Jack I could find stashed around our dressing room and took it all back to the hotel. That was five days ago and I’ve been living off it ever since. But now I’m down to my last bottle and a half. After that, I guess I'll be back to buying my own. It’ll be the first time I’ve had to go out to a liquor store for my own booze in ages . . . Maybe I won’t remember how to do it.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

I mean, to this day I still have a tendency to go out and screw up once, you know, because I’m bored. And that’s just life, and just because I’m in a big rock ‘n’ roll band, and this and that and the other. I’m not gonna tiptoe through life just because of –it’s like, I’m an extremist, you know?


When asked if he ever considered sobering up:

I don’t know what’s gonna happen with me. I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future. Right now I’m just doing what I do... […]

I don’t know how long my system will hold up. I could be superhuman and drink forever, you know what I mean? We are a young band and we’ve got a real hunger for... everything! And that will last as long as it lasts. I know anybody who thinks they’re gonna be king of the hill forever has got it wrong. See, I learned that, ’cos of my background with my parents and shit. I’ve seen everything. I’ve seen the worst. And I’ve never met a person who hasn’t quit while they’re ahead, or it’s fucked up their lives.

The thing about coke and dope and valium and shit like that, you have a great time and it’s the best, but eventually it catches up with you. And if it catches up with you and you don’t take notice and you get real arrogant about it, it’ll... you’ll be sitting in a rehab centre going to AA meetings every fuckin’ day. It’s just not worth it to go through all that shit.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988



SLASH IS SENT TO HAWAII


Yet not long after this interview the band management sent Slash on an 8 day trip to Hawaii to get him away from the toxic environment of Los Angeles and to sober up:

All in all I can't say that it hurt me. I took vitamins for, like, eight days, didn't drink that much, got a suntan. I hadn't been out of a pair of black jeans since I was about 14! I was getting ingrowing hairs on my legs!

I know a lot of people think that [we are gonna die]. But when we really start going over the edge I have a lot of self-control. I don’t often fuck up that hard. Alan will send me out to some ungodly place to clear my head. Or Steven, or whatever. Other than that I don’t see anything really happening to us.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988

[When asked how many times he had been sent away to sober up]: Once. I got sent to Hawaii... […] But he can't beat me. I had a girl fly out.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988

They forcibly sent me to Hawaii before the Aerosmith tour. I hated it. There was nothing to do there. […] when I went to Hawaii, that was like, I've never been so [?] crazy in my life. I hated it.

It’s boring. I’ll never go there again unless we’re touring. It’s gor­geous, but I’m a city kid. I need action all the time.

Slash will tell you this: We used to basically kidnap them every now and then and take them to Hawaii to clean up. We'd call Slash and say, 'Interview tomorrow with Guitar Magazine, 12 mid-day.' He'd arrive at the office, we'd put him in a car, drive him to the airport, and take him to the island. These were people I cared about and I just didn't want to see them destroyed.


Izzy would imply the forced trip was justified:

You'd really stepped off the edge, though.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:10 pm

ARTISTIC SACRIFICES
EDITING 'SWEET CHILD O' MINE' FOR RADIO PLAY


The band had to make sacrifices when they released radio edits of songs and music videos:

Since this is our first record, we had to make compromises to get a certain level of sales so that we could get a certain level of power to do exactly what we wanted next time around. [...]Like, with 'Sweet Child,' the video version will be... they'll be an even shorter version put out for the single. To me, that's like a heart-wrenching compromise, and I just don't like to make any compromises with our art, so it's really hard for me to live with an edit or anything. At the same time, I can see what it will do for us, but I have to keep weighing back and forth, what's it gonna do to me? I don't know. It's something that I have to live with and figure out what my values and things are. I don't want to end up like a lot of bands that have been out playing the circuit for so long and they want to make this amount of money, and be looked at a certain way, so they'll do whatever they have to do to their song. They'll delete all the hard rock or mellow the guitars out for a version of it. If that's something I set out to do, fine. If I want to put out three versions of a song, that's one thing. But if I'm doing it just to get sales, that will really bum me out.

We're not a product to be sliced up. Editing really sucks...that's not what we're all about. ['Sweet Child'] was our first experience with a single, so we didn't know what was going on. [The editing] was done behind our backs, and we're not gonna let it happen again. [...][We've shot] a video for 'Paradise City' in Giants Stadium and at Donington. Whether or not we'll release it as a single, I can't really say. They'll take the whole thing or nothing - we're not gonna let them edit this one.

We weren’t too proud of editing use of our songs purely for radio purposes, but we finally broke down and did it anyway at the request of our record company. We figured if it will wake that many more people aware of us who normally wouldn’t be, then cool.

Not that any of our songs compare, but if you hear a short version of "Layla," I think you're gonna be pissed off, especially if you're planning on hearing the big piano part at the end. I hate the edit of "Sweet Child o' Mine." Radio stations said, "Well, your vocals aren't cut." My favorite part of the song is Slash's slow solo; it's the heaviest part for me. There's no reason for it to be missing except to create more space for commercials, so the radio-station owners can get more advertising dollars. When you get the chopped version of "Paradise City" or half of "Sweet Child" and "Patience" cut, you're getting screwed.

It's fuckin' stupid. This scene is harmless. There's no nudity or obscene behaviour. And yet MTV object to it. What sickens me is that the George Michael video for 'I Want Your Sex', which is far more suggestive than ours, is allowed to go out uncensored. Explain that one if you can. We're just being picked on.


The experience of having to edit 'Sweet Child O' Mine' may be the reason why Slash would argue that they might never release another single:

I don't think we'll ever release another single. The success of Sweat Child O' Mine was more a fluke than anything else. We only did that as a single because the record company wanted us to. It was successful, but we're not a singles band. We want people to react to our entire album. I'm sure we'll do some more videos, but we'll really have to have our arms twisted to do another single.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:11 pm

JULY 1988
'THE DEAD POOL'


A sales pull came when 'Welcome to the Jungle' (and band members) were featured in the Clint Eastwood movie 'The Dead Pool', allegedly after a suggestion by business affairs executive Debbie Reinberg.

[…] the reason Clint used us was because they wanted a popular rock and roll band for the first song, I think, to help to help sort of tie the movie in with current trends and stuff. And so someone suggested Guns N' Roses and that's how that happened.


The band members would talk about their appearance in the movie:

We're the friends of this rock star who OD's in the movie. And so we're at a funeral. And then there's another scene where me and Izzy and Duff are, like, on this boat where they're shooting a movie within the movie. You know what I'm saying? And so the three of us are on this boat. And I shoot off this whale harpoon. And it's just like a scene that they're shooting for a movie within the Clint Eastwood movie.

Clint Eastwood! One of the most intimidating people I've met. You'll have to try and picture this: we're on location in a graveyard, all these people and then this funny looking rock band, totally out of place. And in between takes this nine-foot character comes over and goes, Uh, nice record, and walked away. And that was it. I bet he never heard it and they're obliged. But he was more Clint in person than he is on the screen. He seemed nice.

Oh! That was amazing. I was nervous. First, we were in a group, with Stevie, drugged up, totally hungover, early in the morning waiting in a cemetery and I told myself “What are we doing here?” A big black car appeared, two guys came out, which I guess must be Clint Eastwood’s managers or bodyguards or something like that; while we wondered if he liked our album or not, and what we were doing there… he approached us and simply told us “great album!” (laughs) and he left, it was really intense, shit.



Scene from The Dead Pool


The song played throughout the film's heavily-publicized 90-second trailer [Los Angeles Times, July 1988].

Afterwards, the band members and management was not impressed with the movie

I'm a little disappointed that it's not a better film, but the trailer is really spectacular. And I'm sure it helped our momentum. After all, it was on practically every TV station in the entire country.

It's actually a really horrible movie. It's really bad. But we did it because it was Clint Eastwood and we thought that would be really cool.

Actually the film isn’t very good. The trouble was that we were so naive and green about the movie business that in the end we came across as kinda dumb. Perhaps we shoulda asked more questions about what was going on. And I can’t help feeling that Eastwood fucked us over with his direction. In fact, Clint didn’t talk to us much on the set at all. We had very little contact with him. Just about the only thing he said to us was, ‘Hey, great album’.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:11 pm

JULY 1988
AEROSMITH AND GUNS N' ROSES TO TOUR TOGETHER


ABORTED EARLY TOURING WITH AEROSMITH


In July 1987, Axl said they were supposed to tour with Aerosmith in England in the fall of 1987 [Melody Maker, July 18, 1987] but later this European tour fell apart 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]. This record was 'Permanent Vacation' and it was released on August 21, 1987, so the argument that the record wasn't out yet doesn't make complete sense timing-wise.

In connection with the planned tour for the fall of 1987, Axl had stated:

[Aerosmith is] a tradition I grew up with. They were the only band that the people who lived in my city in Indiana would accept wearing makeup and dressing cool. These people thought the Stones were fags, but everybody liked Aerosmith. We’re coming to England with them this fall. It’s something we always wanted. We are influenced by them […]


Commenting on how they hadn't managed to tour with Aerosmith earlier:

[An Aerosmith/GN'R tour] has been rumored for about a year and a half. We were supposed to have done the Done With Mirrors tour too. Basically, something just always comes up with them or us.
RIP Magazine, February 1989; quote from unknown original source in 1987



JULY 1988, THE BANDS ARE READY TO TOUR


In July 1988, Aerosmith was ready to tour their new album and wanted Guns N' Roses to be the opener.

As Steven Tyler had said previously:

Blues had a baby and called it rock ’n' roll. L.A. had a baby and called it Guns N’ Roses.
RIP Magazine, February 1989; quote from unknown original source in 1988

Apparently [Aerosmith are] real excited about having us out. I talked to their manager and he said they’re looking forward to it because we kick ass and we’ll make them kick ass that much harder. So now I’m thinking, I’m gonna have to go out and play my ass off if we’re gonna make any kind of mark on this tour.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988


Guns N' Roses, on their side, had cut the Iron Maiden tour short, and rested for a month and a half, and were open for Aerosmith's national summer tour which was going to last from July 17 to September 15, 1988.

The Aerosmith tour was a highly anticipated tour, Slash would refer to Aerosmith as their "teenage heroes" [Musician, December 1988].

I think that’s gonna be one of the best tours going in the summer.

Of all the tours we’ll have done in the last year - besides the Monsters of Rock thing in England which we’re doing this year - that is the tour for us. Us and Aerosmith - that is really a great combination for a live show, doncha think?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993
; interview from June 1988

Man, it's gonna be the best! We're going out together for three months and, aside from the Monsters Of Rock tour that's currently going on, I think this will be the Summer show to see ... If I was a kid looking to go to a hot rock and roll concert this Summer, I know I'd be there.


As Slash would say at a later date:

In the days when I really started playing and like, getting into the whole thing, amongst other guitar players, Aerosmith and Joe Perry and Brad Whitford were definitely an influence. They're just the coolest, most screwed up band in the world [laughs].


Axl had also listed Aerosmith among the bands he most wanted to tour with:

Metallica. We're so into those guys. AC/DC, I figure we could learn so much. Aerosmith, that's always been a dream.


And Izzy had expressed excitement about touring with them:

We’re going out with Aerosmith throughout Canada, which should be a really great tour. 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


Apparently, Aerosmith was also impressed by Guns N' Roses, as Doug Goldstein would say in November 1987:

I get calls from Aerosmith's management and they told me the guys love the band.


And Keith Garde from Aerosmith's management team concurred:

The guys were very, very excited about going out with an act that was really rock ’n” roll.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:12 pm

JULY 9-10, 1988
MAKE-UP GIGS IN PHOENIX


Before the tour with Aerosmith started GN'R did two warm-up gigs at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on July 9 and 10. Phoenix was chosen to make up for the two cancelled gigs from February 1988, when Axl had had a breakdown and was fired from the band [see earlier section].

The band used the opportunity to raise money for a benefit cause, raising $16,000. The concert promoter, Danny Zelisko, who had been the promoter in February, was asked to choose the charity and chose the Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Cancer Center. Zelisko's stepdaughter, Abigail, had died of leukemia two years ago [Arizona Republic, July 17, 1988].

We cancelled our last show there because I was late, and the band thought I wasn’t gonna show up, and when I got there, they had already cancelled the show, thinking I wasn’t gonna show up. So, we wanted to go back and make some amends with the fans and the people there, and the money from those shows went to charities. We did a benefit because we felt that was another way of showing we were trying to make amends for things. One of the promoters involved had a child who died, I believe, from leukemia, and we felt that would be a good cause because one, he was a promoter who worked the shows in Phoenix, and two, it didn’t necessarily have anything to do with money going into his pocket. It had to do with a cause he believes in, and it’s also a cause anybody should basically believe in. These shows were also to get warmed up for the Aerosmith tour and to get used to playing live again so that by the time we got out with Aerosmith, we’d have a couple of shows under our belt. I had no idea of what to expect from the Phoenix, Arizona shows, but I had hoped they weren’t going to be so much smash-crash-boom type of shows... at least, not on my part. I was just going to try and take it a bit easy and try to have a good time. I gave it everything I’ve got. It was basically to get the feel of things back together and play with some new songs in front of a crowd I thought deserved to see them.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:12 pm

BUT AEROSMITH ARE SOBER


Bands were afraid of touring with Guns N' Roses due to their reputation and Aerosmith had recently sobered up:

I cut a deal with [then Aerosmith manager] Tim Collins for the band to open for Aerosmith. He made a rule that nobody in GN'R could be seen with a joint, hard drugs, or even a beer in front of Aerosmith. If Slash was caught in front of Joe Perry with a beer, they'd be thrown off the tour. So all the insanity was happening behind closed doors.

We're working on [a tour with Aerosmith], we're pushing for it. But everybody's worried about the influence we might have on other bands. We're the trouble that all these guys used to get into.

It’s a drag. I mean, I’m glad they’re clean and all that but I wish they hadn’t got as fucked up as they had, because we’re not allowed to hang out with them at all now. This happened to me with Nikki Sixx from Motley. Like, Nikki and me are pretty good friends. But after we did the tour with Motley Crue and Nikki got clean, he grew away from me, I never saw him. Then I ran into him in the Cathouse one night. I was sitting up in the VIP section, just sitting there. And I had four of these tall glasses filled with Jack, and Nikki came by and was sitting next to me. He said, “That Jack smells good.” I said, “Oh, do you want one?” Not thinking. He was like, “Oh, no, no...” That was so fucked, I shouldn’t have done that. So for a while I didn’t hang out with Nikki. And it’s that kind of thing with Aerosmith, it’s very strange. But I respect trying to clean up before you kill yourself.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988


As Aerosmith manager Tim Collins would state:

We thought about the ramifications, but each member of Aerosmith is responsible for his own sobriety. I hope maybe some of Aerosmith rubs off on Guns N’ Roses.


Still, the Aerosmith management would make some precautions to shield the Aerosmith members, as Keith Garde from Aerosmith's management team would say:

Our request was that, if they’re drinking, keep in it a cup rather than walking around with the labels sticking out.


But in the end there was little to worry about:

Steven [Tyler] is a cute man. He would just go up to Slash and say, ‘You can really drink that much?!’ It was obvious the point he was trying to make. Slash would say, ‘Yeah, dude, it’s no big deal. I can still walk an' shit.’


As the photographer Gene Kirkland would recall:

The night before a show I was talking to a crew member from Aerosmith, and he told me that he saw Joe Perry and Slash talking at a table. Joe was drinking tea or coffee or something out of a cup, and Slash was drinking his Jack— but out of a cup. I laughed. I thought I’d never see Slash drink anything out of a cup!
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:13 pm

JULY 17-AUGUST 2, 1988
THE AEROSMITH TOUR


To promote the tour, Geffen released promotional-only "tour" disc featuring songs from Aerosmith as well as GN'R's 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine' [Goldmine Magazine, May 1989].

Doug Goldstein would remember the first time the two bands met:

It was cool. Actually, Steven Tyler put everybody at ease when he walked into the room. He said, ‘Hey, guys, how ya doin’? I love the album, and it's great to have you with us. Hopefully we’re gonna have a lot of fun out here.' That broke the ice.


Although Slash had met the band earlier:

Yeah, I’ve met the whole band. I went to see them when they played here in LA last time. I got dragged into this room where they were all lined up against this table, signing posters and stuff. I got pushed in front of them and introduced by someone from Geffen. I was like, “Hi...” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. These guys have been my heroes for life, you know? But I didn’t get nervous, I got speechless and it was real weird. They were all looking at me - I had my top hat on, leather jacket and jeans - and there was this vibe like I was being checked out. The only one who actually spoke to me was Steven Tyler. He was like, “How’re ya doin’?” and “Where’s Axl?” He was real cool. He called us once when we were in Amsterdam. He called us from America and spoke to Axl - to apologise for something he’d said on radio or something like that, which was cool.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988



THE TOUR STARTS


The tour got off to an ominous start when Axl was late for the very first show at Hoffman Estates in Chicago on July 17, 1988:

The First night of the Aerosmith tour was tumultuous: it started in Illinois, and while the rest of us showed up early enough to watch them sound-check, Axl was missing in action until half an hour before show-time. I remember Steven Tyler coming up to me and saying, "Hey...so where's your singer?" It's become a recurring punch line; it's his standard greeting whenever he sees me. Axl showed up the very last minute, which obviously caused tension to be high all around, but we played well enough to make up for it.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 233


As Keith Garde from Aerosmith's management team would describe it:

At that very first show in Chicago, there was a reticence initially on the part of the crews and some of the guys in Guns. Axl had exhibited reservations, and he always does, but unfortunately, they're misread by people. It's not that he’s saying, 'Hey, f?!k you.’ It’s more of an indication of whatever his habits are that cause him to get up late. He’s a unique character—part of what makes him the star is that.


But Garde would emphasize that Aerosmith made an effort to make everybody feel comfortable:

We would invite the band and their crew to eat with us after the show, kind of like family. And really early on that came across. There was a very strong sense of, ‘We may be two acts and two separate companies, but we’re all out together, and this is one show.


The tour continued with shows at the Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, USA (July 19); Wheeling Civic Center, Wheeling, USA (July 20); Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau, USA (July 22); Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, USA (July 24); Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, USA (July 26); Hilton Coliseum, Ames, USA (July 27); Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, USA (July 29); Val Du Lakes Amphitheatre, Mears, USA (July 30); and Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, USA (August 1).


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As the tour progressed Guns N' Roses were really happy with how things were going:

This is like the first rock 'n' roll tour we've done. The Mötley tour was fun, but this is the most compatible. The vibe between the two bands is great. These guys are around their thirties or forties, they've been through a lotta shit and we have a lotta respect for them. We grew up listening to their music; this and the Stones and AC/DC, that's what sorta formed what we are. That's the only way you get any kinda personality — through influences. [...] It's funny. They like to talk about drugs. They don't do drugs, they just like to talk about them! It's cool to be around that. [...] They're eating watermelon and drinking tea. They love to ask you about what you did last night and how fucked up you got. They go, "Man, I've been up since nine o'clock this morning," and you say, "What drugs are you doing?" They say, "No, I just been up since nine"!

Everything's going great. Even better than what we expected. [...] [The reception]'s been really good. Everywhere we've been going and the package [?] on his tour is working out phenomenal for us.


On August 2 the band visited Indianapolis and played on Market Square Arena. Some of the reviews from the show:

Guns N' Roses - two of its members, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin, hail from Indiana - opened the evening with a 45-minute set that served to whet one's appetite for seeing them perform as headliners.

It's hard to imagine that the crowd could have been screaming as loud as the band was playing, but fans worked hard to display the intense level of devotion the group inspires. This was not lost on Rose, who termed the audience "the most responsive we've ever played to."

Guns N' Roses earned the applause for both its exciting performance and its knack for storytelling. Rose amused fans with details on his 20-odd arrests in this state, all of which he alleged were on false charges.

Seven or eight years ago, he noted, he was nabbed while trying to enter MSA to see and AC/DC concert. "I haven't been back since then," he said, "but it's always been my dream to open an Aerosmith concert right here at home. This is the most important gig in our career."

Opening the show was Guns n’ Roses, one of the only acts in America that can make Aerosmith look clean cut. Touring in support of an immensely successful album, Guns n’ Roses lead singer Axel Rose spent an inordinate amount of time Hoosier-bashing.

It seems Axel lived for a time near Lafayette at least seven years ago and has bad recollections about local teachers and police officers.

Guns ’n’ Roses is perhaps the most outrageous of the bands promoting teen-age anarchy, with songs like "It’s so Easy" (flouting parental authority; "Mr. Brownstone” (flouting the 9 to 5 workday routine) and "Out to Get Me" (flouting cops).

Frontman Rose did make a plea for fans to party responsibly. "We’d like you to be careful ’cause I’d like to see you again when we headline this arena."

The response of the crowd indicates that may be soon.

"Guns-N-Roses" should be mentioned for their fine performance. Lead singer Axl Rose, originally from Indiana, showed extreme enthusiasm.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:13 pm

AUGUST 4-5, 1988
AXL FIGHTS A PARKING ATTENDANT


An incident took place at the first of two shows at the Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, USA (August 4 and 5).  According to Rolling Stone magazine "just minutes before a concert, Axl got into a fight with a parking-lot attendant who, Axl says, shoved Stuart, Axl's younger brother and personal assistant. Doug Goldstein, the group's tough but temperate and shrewd tour manager, persuaded the police to release Axl in time for the show" [Rolling Stone, November 1988].


Axl and Izzy in Philadelphia
August 1988


Goldstein would recount the episode:

In Philadelphia, Axl was coming to the show a little late. When Axl and his brother come to pull in, Stuart, Axl's brother, jumps out of the car and pulls the parking cones out of the way so they can get in. He tells the parking guy he’s got the lead singer in the car. The guy tells Stuart to f?!k off. Axl doesn’t want that to happen— he’s one of the most loyal people I've encountered—so he jumps out and gets into it with the parking attendant. It turned into a pretty big scene. So the lead singer’s being taken to jail with a half hour to go before the show. I practically had to blow every cop within a five-mile radius to get him out of jail. Stuff like that would happen, and Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford would come and go, 'Man, you're not making enough money.’



Review in The Philadelphia Inquirer
August 5, 1988


Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:47 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:14 pm

AUGUST 6, 1988
'APPETITE' REACHES NO. 1 ON BILLBOARD


The slow success of 'Welcome to the Jungle' and the immediate success of 'Sweet Child O' Mine' together with the band's almost constant touring activity helped album sales.

On August 6, 1988, almost exactly a year after its release, 'Appetite for Discussion' reached the number one spot on the Billboard sales list in USA [Circus Magazine, November 1988; Rolling Stone, November 1988].

It was a big surprise! When I talked to you [=Mick Wall] the last time [=June 1988], I wasn’t expecting it at all. But it’s like, it’s just words and numbers, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988

We were in a place called Sandstone, just outside of Kansas City, when we found out. And we were like, 'Ok, we're Number One.' There was no big fanfare. It was during our soundcheck, so we didn't even celebrate or anything. Geffen sent us a cake, though.

It's kinda like those Izod shirts that were fashionable once, a while back. We're cool to like now. Six months ago, kids were afraid to like GNR because their parents, teachers, or friends would come down on 'em. When I was on the track [in high school], if you said you liked Alice Cooper, you had to run an extra lap.

Now it's cool to like us. And don't get me wrong, we're all happy and everything that we went Number One, and that so many people like us now. But it's gotten to the point where you walk down the street and you'll see some preppy guy singing 'SCOM' and you'll go 'wait a minute...'

I mean, did that really happen to us? It's like, there's that, and then there's regular life. The rest is just words and numbers that don't really mean a thing.

I was surprised, man. It was pretty exciting while we were on tour. We had been touring for six or seven months, and none of us had any kind of root. Nobody had apartments, nobody had a house. We didn’t even have a penny. David Geffen arrived one day and told us “Your record is number one. You are going to make a lot of money”. Someone said “Uaau!”
Popular 1, November 1992; translation from Spanish


The single 'Sweet Child O' Mine' was released in August 1988 and went to no. 1 three weeks later.

With the success of Appetite, the label started to push the band into milking the success:

Because of the success of the record, everybody in the business is getting so damn excited. (mimicking) "Gee, we have such a big seller now, we can push this one." So because in the record company world, our album has been moved into a position where it's now the record to push. And with us being out on the road all the time, things are getting goddamned out of hand! There's people preparing to put out different mixes and edits of songs before we even get a chance to get a grip on what's going on. It's really not a representation of what our band stands for… or what our sound is. Hopefully, what will happen is they'll do their bull, we'll sell another million records, and that'll give us more power next time to say, "No, you sons of bitches." […] it's rough to hear about some of our "b"-sides being put out while we're on the road and can do nothing about it. We only hear about it after they go on and do it and we ask, "What do you mean?" It gets kinda weird with people taking liberties with your music. We could throw a big monkey wrench into the thing but that would mean a complete halt and right now we don't wanna do that, so we're gonna have to put up with this over the next few months and we're not real happy about it or proud of it. We'll show a change by our next record and I just hope the kids out there don't think we're coming out with some of the stuff they'll wind up seeing… because it has nothing to do at all with us. Y'know, you battle to a certain point and all of a sudden you're face to face with the big monkey-making machine.
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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:29 pm

EXPLAINING THE SUCCESS OF 'APPETITE'


Already before 'Appetite' started to sell well, in October 1987, Axl would explain what set them apart:

The fact that we focus a lot on our music. There are many people out there who are great pop stars, but don’t send a message with their music. There are also people who can sing very well, or are surrounded by studio musicians that may be really good, but play just for the money, without feeling anything special for what they’re doing. We try so that every little part of each song is as special as possible, and has a real and honest meaning coming straight from the heart. In the years I’ve been into this, I’ve seen many people who want to live the life of a rock star without wondering about the merit of their art. That’s something we care about. Each song is like a painting for us; we try to turn it into a work of art that we can be proud of in the next ten years. I don’t want to look back one day and say, 'I made a million dollars with this song, but it's the biggest crap ever made.
Popular 1, April 1988; translated from Spanish


Later, when asked about why Appetite became so successful, the band mostly showed humility:

When we went gold I was surprised. When we went platinum I was shocked. The fact that we broke the top ten is unreal. I mean, this isn't supposed to happen. This isn't right.

That void is something I was looking at for a long time. The punk movement was dying out, and there were all these metal bands starting up, so [guitarist] Izzy and I put out these ads for a guitarist for a “punk metal glam thrash band.” So we were looking to fill this void. Now it’s starting to get across in a big way. For a time there, we didn’t think it was going to. I thought after Poison we’d be welcomed with open arms as the logical next step. It didn’t quite happen the way we thought it would. But now it’s starting to explode. It took a lot of patience. When we first started out this band was banned. No one wanted to book us, manage us, take us on tour or play us on the radio. Now our video’s been in the Top 5 on MTV for nine weeks.

Well, right at this very point where, you know, we’re sitting down talking and everything has changed, we just broke into CHR, which is top 40, with Sweet Child O’ Mine. We’re basically getting picked up now by a lot of major stations. But what you’re saying is – I know what you’re saying - it’s that we could never get any airplay at all. You know, radio stations wouldn’t touch us, there’s profanity all over the album; people wouldn’t play us just because of the album cover, the original album cover; MTV wouldn’t touch it. And what happened is, it was really the way I guess things should be, which is we went out and played, and proved ourselves to our own audience to the point where word of mouth caused a big enough buzz where we were req... requested a lot – I can’t even pronounce English anymore. Anyway. And it was just getting to the point where the kids wanted it that bad, and the radio, in order to stay – you know, they’d better do something about it. And the record company put out more records and it just sort of snowballed. It’s still going, we’re almost two million. It just, like, went back to number 7 in Billboard, so –.

We weren't gonna let it not [become a success]. This may sound egotistical but I'm in my favorite band. I'm playing with my favorite people. The songs are close to my heart. We didn't know what was gonna happen initially. We had to hold on with everything we could just to get this record done. If everything else fell through, and I end up pumping gas, at least I'll have the record on tape.

[Being asked why he think they reached no. 1]: I'm not sure. I think the only reason it could have possibly gone to Number One is we're filling some sort of void. That's really the only thing I can attribute it to. It's not because the songs are all huge hits - that's the last thing they are, they're just a bunch of dirty rock 'n' roll songs. So I figure, we're just like the resident down and dirty rock band in town at the moment. Everybody wants to have that record because it's not really that safe... and it looks cool next to George Michael records in their collection.

I think the only reason it could have possibly gone to No. 1 is that we’re filling some kind of gap. A gap that hasn’t been filled by this particular kind of music for however long it’s been. That’s the only thing I can attribute it to. It’s not because the songs are, like, huge hits. They’re not, they’re just rock ’n’ roll songs and fuck the Top Forty, you know? I figure we’re just the down and dirty Guns N’ Roses band,’ he continued. ‘Everybody wants to have that album because it’s not that safe and it looks good next to the George Michael album...[…] Like I said, we filled a void which someone had left a long time ago. Aerosmith used to do, I think, what we do. But even Aerosmith isn’t the same thing any more. Even though they’re still around, because they’re older and experienced, been through the mill and this and that, they’re on another plateau now where they’re not gonna fill that gap that they left. So along come these guys... us, right? And we’re, like, fuckin’ ... just going for it.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from October 1988

What is the reason? Timing. We didn't time it, it wasn't like, "Okay guys, let's get together here in 1985 and then," but it was just, we're at the right time at the right place, you know. There wasn't very many honest bands.

It's not that we are that great or anything, but at least, you know, at least we're realistic and we're sincere about what we do. […] we're like affected by shit the same way that most normal people are affected. We don't, like, pose so that we can fit into the business. So it's like you don't get up in the morning depressed and you put on a smile on your face and go out to the offices and start going through the bullshit. We're, like, get up depressed, go to work depressed, and it's like, you know, one way or the other, you know. If we're happy, we're happy. That's just the way it is. So the album is, sort of like, very emotional, you know, and all the shit we do is usually very emotional. We have a really shitty crowd we get, you know, affected by it, we get pissed off, sometimes we really insult [?] the crowds because it's like, "Well, fuck you!" [laughter]. So somehow, I guess, that works, I guess. I mean, I don't think we would be as popular in 1976 or 77 as we are now because it was, I think there was more bands sort of like us. So I think would have been different. But we're the only band like us right now so it's just timing and shit, you know […].

[…]Aerosmith and AC/DC were still around, they're great bands, but I think kids, you know, of the late 80s here didn't really have a band who were their peers to cling on to […].

[…]everybody asks us that question, like, "Why do you think you guys have hit this point". It's a hard question to answer. I think one of the main things is that we sort of, like, filled, you know, a gap in music business right now, because for the last, since 1970-1980 it's been pretty bland as far as rock and roll is concerned, and so at least, if nothing else, the attitude of the band has come over and people are like, "Yeah!". I mean, that's sort of, like, what rock and roll is all about. And also that freedom-kind-of-thing.

You wanna know why I think it is? Because Steven is one sort who nobody can really explain. Izzy is another sort that nobody can really explain. Axl is like... Axl - who has brought this whole new thing with him that people try to imitate all the time now. And Slash is... what? He’s a "what?", that’s what he is. And there hasn’t been a “what?” in years, do you know what I mean? Am I making sense? Basically, it's obvious we’re all different kinds of people into different kinds of things. We don’t like absolutely everything about each other, we don't agree on everything. But we don’t lie about it, and somehow it works.

They just look at us and go, “What!?”
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990


Yes, Slash could also be proudly honest:

We've sold six million LPs because it's a good album. It's a fucking good album, it'd be fucking false modesty if I pretend it wasn't.


Andy Secher, the editor of Hit Parader, would shed his thoughts on why they caught on:

They’re presenting an image so strong that the music is almost secondary. They've presented this wild-man image. ... To a lot of kids, that's very appealing. […] It’s a major dilemma — how do you present these guys without glorifying what they do? You can only hope that they're just an outlet for their fans, that the kids can feel like they’re living vicariously through the wild actions of a Tommy Lee of Motley Crue or an Axl Rose of Guns 'n’ Roses, so they won’t feel the need to do anything nasty to themselves.


Axl would also discuss why it had taken to long:

Well, we've been working really really hard, we haven't let up. It's not necessarily so quickly to us. I thought it would happen a lot quicker because of the acceptance of Poison and Cinderella. I thought we'd get welcomed with open arms, but we were finding radio stations going, 'That's a little too much,' and 'We played too much rock 'n roll for the last couple of years, and we gotta get our advertising dollars back.' So it's just like it's always been.


Then, when other rock bands started to become more mainstream, door were closed:

[…] then they turned around and came out with the more commercial type stuff. That's helped close a lot of doors. They're going, 'Well, you have to write songs like that.' FORGET IT.


Looking back:

I mean, Guns was a fluke, to come out of LA at that time - it was a mesh of five people who just happened - I don't know if it was fate, however we met, but none of us were from LA, none of us were born there, and we all happened to meet - and we went through different bands, and we all ended up meeting each other over and over and over again, to the point where we the only band of its kind that could possibly exist in Los Angeles, we didn't get along with anybody else, inevitably, that was the case. And then at that time, it was during the 80s when music was during its weakest stage, and we were like the Anti-Christ, you know what I mean? And for some reason that caught on in Los Angeles, we got picked up by Geffen, they had the one guy with the ears to hear what was genuine - and I won't brag, but I will admit that Guns is probably one of the best rock'n'roll bands that came around at that time. And so we went on and we were like totally - not so much irresponsible, but we scared everybody! We couldn't get a manager, the record company wanted to drop us because we were more trouble than we were worth, and so on and so forth. So when we got signed they put us on the shelf for a while, you know - "We got to find someone to work with these guys, someone with a little bit of adventure..." And when the record was finally released, we toured opening for - you know, you name it, The Cult, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, all these different bands - Iron Maiden - and that's - all of a sudden, a year after the record was released, we broke, just from being an opening band. And that was just genuine fuckin' down-and-out rock'n'roll stuff. And it had nothing to do with exactly what style of music it was, it was the attitude.

Guns n' Roses was the result of only five guys that could have gotten along together, in Los Angeles, as a band. We all had the same dislike for what was going on currently in the early Eighties. We all had pretty much the same tastes - everything from Kiss to Thin Lizzy, and underground bands like Hanoi Rocks and the New York Dolls. Aerosmith broke up, heaven forbid. AC/DC lost Bon Scott. John Lennon was killed. And then all these plastic bands came out. We put a band together against all odds at a time when the environment didn't welcome us with open arms. We were against the grain to the point where even rock bands of our own peers didn't like us. We said, "Fuck you!" That's why we had such a violent attitude, I suppose. And we had bad habits, and this, that and the other. And then around that time other L.A. bands like Motley Crue, Dokken and Quiet Riot started to surface - we hated all of them. When Guns got together we were doing our own thing, and for some reason we went from being way in the bottom of the barrel, under the barrel, actually, to becoming extremely popular. We attracted all different types of people with different musical tastes - we had punk and heavy metal people, the "hair" guys. We had pseudo-folk kind of people, some of the pop people. So on and so forth would come to our gigs for whatever reasons. I think we were more of a spectacle than anything. [laughs] Guns was a product of its time, but it was genuine and not just a fabricated thing.

I didn't think the album was going to sell even 15 copies. [laughs] I didn't know a platinum record signified that your album sold a million units. Back in the Eighties, record-industry producers tried to impress us by showing us their collection of gold and platinum records. We were like, "Do you have anymore Jack Daniels?" [laughs].
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