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

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

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:02 am



Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:45 am; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:05 am


In September 1987 it was indicated the band has "lawsuits slapped on them" and Duff would say that "all the lawsuits that have come about are totally unfounded” [Rock Scene, September 1987]. Izzy would embellish:

We have quite a few of them [=lawsuits] already, but our attorney says you’re not a real band until you have at least a dozen lawsuits, so we have about eight or more to go.

Axl and Slash would refer to the lawsuits in 1988:

Law is something that interests me, cause there's always someone that wants to sue you, so I like to know everything I can about it. So, I'll be learning as much as I can from him and maybe, eventually, one day that's something that I'll turn to, just because it's something that I want to know about.

If I'd gone on through school, I'd probably be a lawyer. Then I could take half the people who screw with me to court.

Right now it’s not too bad. I don’t think we’re in the middle of any suits at the moment. We’ve managed to either settle or whatever, you know. Right now we’re doing okay. We’re very hard to pin down, too. We’re not that stupid and it’s very hard for us to get in a position where we’re stupid enough to be sued. Well, till we get sued tomorrow and I’ll stick my foot in my mouth.

In 1989, Axl would mention that they have had "some out-of-court settlements," one obviously being the Hamilton case [RIP, April 1989].

Slash would also comment on the lawsuits in 1989:

We've got lots of lawsuits pending, but I don't think it would be wise of me to state any names, or someone will hold it against me somehow. They're richer and more influential than we are, on the average.

In early 1990, Duff would say they had "people wanting to fucking sue you all the time" [Kerrang! March 1990].

1990: K MART CORP.

Yet, in October 1990, it would be reported that the band was suing someone else, K Mart Corporation [Associated Press, October 26, 1990]. The band sued for $2 million for alleged "unauthorized use of the rock band’s picture and name in an advertisement for a toy drum set" [Associated Press, October 26, 1990]. According to the suit, the band members "suffered damage to their reputation, loss of good will, mental anguish resulting from the use of the advertisement without their consent" [Associated Press, October 26, 1990].


In September 1990, it was reported that a photographer hired by MTV, Jeff Kravitz, sued the band when a bodyguard for the band had pushed him during the MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 1989. According to the suit, Kravitz had lost his footing resulting in a "sprained or strained back", causing “severe neck pain” and “massive headaches” and also "aggravated a previous injury to his elbow" [The Dispatch, September 1990]. The bodyguard was actually Axl's brother Stewart [Jeff Kravitz' instagram, February 7, 2020]. The case was settled out of court [Jeff Kravitz' instagram, February 7, 2020].

Some of the lawsuits would be frivolous i nature, an example being an artist suing the band over 'Don't Cry', claiming it was based on his own song [Evansville Courier & Press/MTV, July 19, 2000].

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:07 am


This album is the album I’ve always been waitin’ on. Our second album is the album I’ve been waitin’ on since before we got signed. I mean, we were planning out the second album before we started work on the first one, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993


After trying to record throughout 1989, the band came to a showdown at the Rolling Stones shows in October 1989. After this, Slash went away for a month (likely to rehab) and when he returned in late November 1989 they were supposed to start working on the record, but Steven was in a very bad state:

[…] so we played the Rolling Stones gigs to whip it out and actually play. And that brought us hack together. […] Then I took oft for a month and when I came back Steven wasn't ready. I booked this studio out here in Canoga Park and Steven wasn't ready for it, so it turned out to be a waste of money. At this point I'm very aware of what our financial situation is. You have to be. You're forced to be. So I cancelled the time in the studio.

Duff was interviewer on January 2, 1990, and would indicate that they planned to hit the studio later in the month:

We’re going into the studio on the 15th of this month... […] The basic tracks could take about three weeks. Stevie and I are really fast, we work real hard together. Then Slash could do his guitars in another three weeks. Axl... it’s hard to say how his voice holds up, and he’s bound to come up with new ideas. So that’s already six weeks. It’ll take a few months, but if we can start touring again by the end of the summer, it’ll be great...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

In fact, the studio had "already been open for [them] for about a year" and the agreement with the studio was "open-ended" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990].

They would also be using Mike Clink as the producer again:

Yeah, as far as the basic tracks go. I talked to Axl about this, and he agrees, and so does Slash: the drums and bass on the last record are just so awesome. I loved Steven's drum sound, I loved my bass sound - it's so round and in your face! So I mean, why change? I'm even using the same old amps and shit I always use. […] because they still sound so great. They’re not old, anyway, they're good amps. It’s this whole cabinet I put together.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

And that it would likely result in a double album:

OK, here's what it is. It will be a double album - if we can make a double album. If we burn out after, like, fourteen songs then why go on just to make a double album?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

And about the title:

I think Girth or Heinous would be a great name for the record. Girth… We could have special promos of, like, a big dick... I don't know, we joke about it but we have actually got this song called "Girth"... Well, it's not going to be called "Girth" on the album, it'll get changed, but it's such a heavy song we call it "Girth" for now. It’s named after this guy Wes [Arkeen], who writes with us sometimes. He’s a real little fucker, right? But his dick, it’s only about this long but it’s like this wide, man! So he's got the girth, right? So we call this song "Girth"...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

And on whether Arkeen had helped write other songs for the album:

Yeah, we got a song called “Yesterdays” - a great fucking song. And, er, ‘Just Another Sunday”. Both great tunes that we wrote aeons ago... Like, “It’s So Easy" Wes and I wrote together, that’s what we did for the last record. Axl put about a quarter of the lyrics into that. But this time these songs are almost fully his, I guess, if I remember right... Maybe I wrote part of them with Wes and Axl, yeah, whatever. But, yeah, Wes is gonna be with us on this one.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

According to other sources [list them], the band had entered the studio already in December 1989 for pre-production, and the studio ended up being Mates Studio Rehearsals and not a studio in Canoga Park. When the actual recording did start in 1990, though, it was Rumbo Studio in Canoga Park that was used. It could be that it is the recordings in Rumbo Duff is talking about, and that they had indeed at the time of his interview in early January finished pre-production at Mates.

When Duff was asked why it had taken so long to get to the point of recording he would prevaricate:

OK, here’s the deal. We’ve always had enough songs, right? But we went to Chicago - Slash and myself and Steven went there - to try and make a start on the songs. And we waited for Axl and Izzy, but Axl had some reasons for not coming out - he was just waiting for us to do our trip as musicians - and Izzy... Izzy was having a hard time with life at that point and was just travelling the world. So we sat in Chicago for three months, the three of us, and kinda got suicidal. But at that point we also got a lot of shit done. So if people are gonna ask, have these guys lost their fuckin’ edge, I’d have to say no, we’ve gained a lot more edge.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

We'll get it done. Things fall into place – or they don't - for a reason. If we’re not doing the record till now then there’s got to be a good reason. I always believe in that shit. It's not that I'm one of those fuckin’ weirdos, it’s just that so much shit has happened to me that there’s got to be a reason. And even if there's not, it’ll work anyhow. It’ll work anyhow, fuck it...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

In an interview after the American Music Awards in January 1990, Slash would say they had 35 songs but are doing 24 and that it would become a double album [Interview after AMA, January 1990]. The band would not disclose the title of the albums at this time, nor say they had decided upon them. In the end, the two 'Use Your Illusion' albums would contain 30 tracks, including 'My World' and two versions of 'Don't Cry'.

Steven was briefly interview in January and would be very positive about the progress:

The sound is great, the songs are coming together and we’re just really looking forward to get it out. […] But it’s coming on really well. We’re very pleased.

In the same month Duff would confirm they had 35 songs:

Well, there’s so many of them for a start. We have songs for days... We have thirty-five fuckin’ songs written for this next fuckin’ album! It may be a double-album, I don’t know. None of us knows yet. […] we have thirty-five songs that we are proud of. And I tell you what, man, not to brag, but my bass playing has gotten so much better. Slash’s guitar playing has gotten immense! And fuckin’ Axl’s voice has gone from... The vocals on the Appetite album were great, but he was still a kid back then learning how to use his voice. Now he’s like [smacking hand into palm] he’s got it nailed, man.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

And talk about some of the songs:

It's a song l wrote about the press. It's called "Why Do You Look at Me When You Hate Me?". It means like, why do you keep writing about us when you already hate us? Why? Why don't they do their job and write about something they think is fuckin’ cool instead? I don’t mind if people hate us after they’ve seen the gig. But if they hate us before they even come to the gig, why the fuck are they there? So I wrote a song about that...

Slash has got some really fuckin’ cool tunes too, which Axl has put some words to. And Izzy’s got some really great tunes as well. There’s one Izzy's got called "Pretty Tied Up”. It’s actually a factual story about this chick down on Melrose we know, she’s like a dominatrix chick, you know? You pay her and you’re pretty tied up. It’s a great song...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

As far as name of the record, Duff suggested "Girth" or Heinous" mentioning that they already had a song called "Girth" [Kerrang! March 1990]. "Girth" would later end up being renamed "Coma". In the beginning of 1990, Axl would mention "GN'R Sucks" and "BUY-product" as possible names [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

In January 1990, Axl was asked if his "Mr. Brownstone" speech at the first show with Rolling Stones in October the previous year had amounted to anything and was the reason for the apparent band activity:

It way worked, man! ’Cos Slash is fuckin’ on like a motherfucker right now. And the songs are coming together, they’re coming together real heavy.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

When Axl was asked if the reason they had spent so much time, with the whole of 1989 not amounting to much, was only due to drug issues, he would answer:

Partly. But another reason things have been so hard in a way is this. The first album was basically written off Axl coming up with maybe one line and maybe a melody for that line or how I want to present that line, how I’m gonna say it or yell it or whatever, OK? And then we’d build a song around it. Or someone came up with one line, OK? On this, Izzy’s brought in eight songs - at least. Slash has brought in an album, I’ve brought in an album.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

And when asked to comment on the peculiarities of 1989:

Yeah, but if you look at it, it’s not peculiar at all. Because number one, we had to find a whole new way of working together, because everybody got successful. OK? And everybody’s had a dream that when they got successful they could do what they want. And so that ends up with Slash bringing in eight songs. It’s never been done before, Slash bringing in a song first and me writing words to it. I’ve done it twice with him before and we didn’t use either of those songs. Out of Slash’s choice. Now he’s got eight of them that I gotta write words to and they’re bad-assed songs! Meantime, I was working on, like, writing these ballads that I feel have really rich tapestries and stuff, and making sure each note in effect is right. […] ’Cos I also write with a lot of... whether I’m using a lot of instrumentation and stuff, I’ll still write with minimalism, right? But it has to be the right note and it has to be held in the right way and it has to have the right effect, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

It’s taken a lot of time to put together the ideas for this album. And... in certain ways nobody’s done what we’ve done. Come out with a record that captured, like, an essence of the Sex Pistols’ spirit, and stuff like that. And then got taken all the way... And no one’s followed it up. Well, we’re not gonna put out a fuckin’ record until we can, you know? That’s all. So we’ve been trying to build it up. And now it’s like, I’m writing the right words. And that’s just really started happening in the last month. And now, as of last week, I’m on a roll with the right words for Slash’s stuff. So it’s taken that long time to find ’em. And, you know, I hope the people are into it. I think that the audience has grown enough. Has grown with us. It’s been three years, they’ve gone through three years of shit too. So hopefully they'll relate to some new things.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

Slash would also be in high spirits in an interview published in February and indicate that the troubles they had endured in 1989 was now indeed behind them:

Me and Axl are on a roll right now. Last night we were listening to one of the new songs, trying to put lyrics to it. I went upstairs to get my hat, and he was singing. I got chills, thinking, F?!k, man, this album is gonna be a killer. I'm really excited about it now. The distractions, the problems, the bullshit are truly behind us now.

So band members were claiming that the recording was coming along nicely in the very beginning of 1990, in fact, Axl would say that the record would "hopefully be out by the summer" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993].

Slash would also repeat that it would be a double album:

Well, first off, it's gonna be a double album, because we've got too many songs, and we wanna do the best album we possibly can. Our attitude is not like, "Save it for the next record.” Hell, there might not be a next record. Right now all that lies in the future for Guns N’ Roses is the next LP.

And list some of the songs:

Let's see, there’s "Ain’t Goin’ Down," "Don't Cry,” “You Could Be Mine,” "Perfect Crime,” another one called “Night Crawler" and one called “Back Off Bitch.” I have a song, too, that I wrote. It’s really personal, about how estranged I felt from everybody else in the band—and from society, friends and stuff—during the bad period. It’s about how cold and materialistic people really are. It was just one of those sitting on the edge of the bed, being a little depressed and playing a slow song things. Most of the lyrics will be written by Axl, but they’ll reflect the thoughts, pain and feelings of the individuals in the band, 'cause we all go through it together.

Duff would talk more about the choice of studio and using Mike Clink again as the producer:

Yeah, just because we’re familiar with it. We could have chosen any studio we wanted, but it’s not that expensive, and we’re even using the smaller studio here, not the big one. We use the same room, the same producer [Mike Clink]. It’s like the ‘If the dog doesn’t bite you, why kick it in its ass’ theory.

The magic about Mike [Clink] is, he gets on tape exactly what's being played. This is what rock 'n' roll recording is all about. It's simple, dry; that's it. Don't mess with it. Don't trigger any samples on it. I would never allow that to be done. Just record the band, live. We're not a studio band. He saw that, and we knew that, so you just press play and record. He got all our sounds perfectly.

In an interview published in April 1990, Slash would again confirm they were going for a double album and that they by now had 13 songs recorded with 16 or so more songs to record [Raw Magazine, April 1990].

Out of the 13 songs we’ve done, there’s about five old ones. If that. ‘Back Off Bitch’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Ain’t Going Down’. These were songs which could have surfaced on the first album, but we weren’t really working on them at the time. We were concentrating on the songs that came on that first album, so we saved them for later. Some of the new ones are ‘Coma’, ‘So Fine’, ‘Dead Horse’ and ‘Civil War’.

Axl would also mention that he wanted Jeff Lynne to collaborate on string arrangements for November Rain and "three of four possible other songs" [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993]. In July, later that year, Axl would mention to Howard Stern that he had then actually been in talks with Lynne about the "string arrangement for [November Rain]" but that "we got it right" [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990].

There’s, like, thirty-seven songs, and I know by the end of the record there’ll be forty-two to forty-five and I want thirty of them down. […] Well, a double record but a single 76-minute CD. OK? Then I want five B-sides – people never listen to B-sides that much – and that will be the backside of another EP. You know, we’ll say it’s B-sides. Plus, there should be four extra songs for an EP, if we pull this off, OK? So that’s the next record. And then there’s the live record from the tour... If we can pull this thing off, if we do this right, it’ll be five years before we have to make another album. […] And we can have five years to... It’s not so much like five years to sit on our asses. It’s like, five years to figure out what we’re gonna say next, you know? After the crowd and the people figure out how they’re gonna react to this album, and then the mental changes we will go through... […] This record will have seen us grown a lot. There’ll be some childish, you know, arrogant, male, false bravado crap on there, too. But there’ll also be some really heavy, serious stuff.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

As planned from 1988 and 1989, the album was turning out to be more diverse than 'Appetite':

The new album is so diverse, and it goes to extremes that we haven’t really communicated to the people who listen to us. Maybe in concert, we’ve come close to it. It’s a lot heavier in concert than the ‘Appetite‘ album. We seem to be extreme in two ways. It’s really heavy or really mellow. There’s acoustics and horns and shit like that. […] But it’s going to be different. The songs are longer, and the lyrics are very serious. Very defined and very direct at certain issues. Very harsh. […] When we did ‘Appetite...’, I didn’t think it was going to be commercial, but it was. So I don’t know what this will do in that sense. It doesn’t sound like a commercial album to me.

Yeah, there’ll be, um, there’ll be a few acoustic things. There'll be some songs that are acoustic going into electric back to acoustic, and stuff like that. I actually play guitar on a couple songs for the first time (laughs). I only play two strings but it's some pretty cool punk rock type stuff (chuckles).

In March/April 1990, Arlett Vereecke, GN'R's publisher and friend of the band, would describe the status of the work:

The fact is, Axl and Slash have been working very closely on their next project, with Axl again writing the lyrics while Slash churns out the cool guitar licks. Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Slash have been rehearsing for months and are just rolling along in the studio. A double album can be expected hopefully before summer, followed by their first headlining world tour.

The actual fact is that things were not progressing this smoothly anymore, and especially Steven was in trouble...
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:07 am

JANUARY 22, 1990

After a troubling 1989, 1990 started well with the band winning two awards at the American Music Awards, the first was for favorite heavy-metal group the other for best heavy-metal album, "Appetite for Destruction."

To accept the award, Duff and Slash would attend the ceremony. Axl was at the time vacationing in Paris, Izzy didn't want to go, and Steven "had to stay home" "per orders from his manager" and wasn't allowed to attend [Blast! May 1990].

Slash and Duff, obviously under the influence, delivered acceptance speeches and Slash uttered the word "fuck" twice and the broadcast was cut. ABC had to apologize:

"We regret that last night's live telecast of the American Music Awards contained some offensive language. This has not happened before in the 17 years this awards show has been on the air. We will take precautionary measures to see that it does not happen in future telecasts" [Los Angeles Times, January 1990].

Slash and Duff at the AMA
January 22, 1990

I said 'Ooops'... I know that things like this add to our image. I understand that now, but still - who cares? […] We don’t calculate this shit. We’re not creating a hype. I can’t figure us out, so why analyze it? I reckon it’s just that our lives are a whole lot deeper than the press can print on a fucking page.

It's not that big a deal. If people were offended by a few swear words that everybody says every day, well, in the whole scheme of things, who cares? At least we didn't have some contrived (bleeping) speech. It was real and that's what the band is about.

Slash would later recall what happened:

The fucking music awards…What happened was I got this phone call the day of the show asking if I wanted to go. We were nominated for two awards, and someone from the band needed to accept if we won. So me and Duff and our girlfriends all got drunk and flipped on down there after a stop at Carl Jrs. When we arrived, it was mass confusion, the whole paparazzi thing. I really didn’t give a shit; I just wanted to hang out and have a good time. Anyway, we had third-row seats, and the show was real cheesy and boring. We were smoking and drinking wine, and all of a sudden we won this award. We weren’t ready for it. I don’t know what I said onstage, but it was short and sweet. I don’t think there were too many “fucks” in it. Then we went backstage. I met Lenny Kravitz, which was cool, but Prince blew us off. He and his entourage just ignored us when we walked by. He didn’t say anything, and he probably didn’t know who we were. I don’t think we’re what he’d call good company, and I really didn’t care. He looked like a fag that night anyway. Afterward, we went back to our seats, and when the second award came, it was totally unexpected. I got up to the microphone and started to thank the people who helped us out over the years. I said “fucking” again, and I knew it was live television, so I said, “Oops.” But it just slipped out again and again and again. Once I started, that was it. It was just like using an adjective. […] I wasn’t really drunk. All I had was wine. I had, like, two glasses of wine during the show, and I wasn’t that fucked up. That’s just me — really, you have to know how I am, especially when I’m in a crowd of people. All this attention is focused on you, and I get very shy. I don’t know why, but I can’t approach a public situation like that without loosening up. That night, I didn’t wear my hat, I didn’t have a guitar to hide behind, and I wasn’t performing. You walk into one of these places, and you feel almost like you’re being X-rayed. Besides, I sort of wanted us to be the fuckups there, because everybody else was so polite and stiff and unnatural. We were trying to have a good time, and I think out of all the people there, we were the only ones who weren’t putting on a façade.

The media would claim that Axl had been pissed off at Slash's drunkenness (this was just a couple of months after the infamous Mr. Brownstone speech), but according to publicist, Arlett Vereecke, writing for Blast!, a "little drinking doesn’t bother" Axl [Blast! May 1990].

The swearing on national TV made some radio stations boycott the band's music [Detroit Free Press, May 1991], yet Slash was not apologetic:

I think it was the funniest thing that happened during the whole show. It was a really stiff awards show. It was really a bore. I tried to make it a good time. It slipped out. I was a little nervous. They called me up and asked me to do the awards again this year.

For the 1992 awards Slash's appearance would be pre-taped due to him being on tour [Star Tribune, January 21, 1992].
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:08 am


As his band mates Slash and Duff were cursing at the VMA back in the US in January 1990; Axl and Erin were on vacation in France where Axl got in problem; Arlett Vereecke would recount what happened:

As I mentioned before, Axl and his girlfriend vacationed in Paris for 10 days, and were actually attacked by some seven or eight French loonies, whose only reason for hating them was the fact that they were Americans! They never even heard of GnR, and that happened on the posh Champs Elysees. Axl and Erin counter-attacked, and the total damage was a shiner of a black eye to decorate Erin’s beautiful face and two broken fingers for Axl.

A few months later he would recount this episode to Howard Stern, saying they fought twelve guys and that he still had one broken finger as the result of smacking one of them in the head [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990].

Izzy would also comment on this:

After this tour's finished, I'd like to go hang out in Europe, preferably somewhere near the ocean, and just keep writing songs. I think Axl will probably end up living over there at the end of this tour too. He's talking about getting a place in Europe, in Paris or Spain maybe, 'cos he really liked it over there, even though a bunch of French guys ended up macing him. He phoned me up straight afterwards: 'Izzy, man, I just got into a gnarly fight'. He said these guys were talking shit - though I don't know how he'd know 'cos he doesn't know any French. Maybe they were looking at him funny.
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:08 am


In January 1990, it was reported that Duff's marriage with Mandy Brix from 1987 was falling apart and that they were about to divorce [L.A. Weekly, January 19, 1990; Kerrang! March 1990]. The decision had been made that Christmas, "the worst Christmas" and "one shit fuckin Christmas" as Duff would describe it [Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990].

She told me she hated me and I told her to get out and she did. It was the shittiest fuckin' Christmas I ever had.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

I will say, though, that I’m happy now about the way things turned out. The marriage wasn’t going anywhere. We hadn’t been happy for a long time... We tried, it didn't work, end of story. All I’m thinking about now is going back in the studio and starting work on the new album. And then getting back on the road. There’s a reason for everything, I think. Good or bad. And what with everything coming up that the band has to do maybe it's better that I’m on my own right now... I certainly feel better already.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

Years later Duff would look back at the marriage to Brix:

The personal issues had affected Duff's beliefs in his ability make another record with Guns N' Roses:

In the last eight months or so I just wasn't sure if I, or if we, were mentally capable of making the next record. When we made the first record, man, I had one foot like this and one foot like this… In those days, man, there was two-inch deep marks where I was dug-in to do this. I wasn’t sure that I could do that again - just dig in and do it. But I’ve just gone through a bunch of shit in my personal life and now I hope I’m dug in again. I’ve been hanging with Slash, we’ve been playing together, and I’m ready again...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

In October 1990, Duff was dating model/actress Kim Anderson [L.A. Weekly, October 19, 1990].

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:09 am


By now Geffen Records would be well used to the band moving slowly. 'Appetite' had taken longer than planned, partly resulting in the release of the EP Live? Like A Suicide. And now the follow-up to 'Appetite' was taking much longer than what the label wanted. The label saw the need to release quickly while the band enjoyed immense success from 'Appetite,' but writing and recording was a very slow process and again the label had decided to release an EP, 'GN'R Lies'. Still, the band was far from having the follow-up ready and they started re-releasing singles.

Well, you can took at it from the point of view that ‘AFD’ is two years old, but it you recall the LP only really began to take off about a year ago, so in those terms it’s not that old. One thing all of the band are pissed off with, though, is the fact that Geffen Records have seen fit to re-release ‘Sweet Child...’ again in the UK. Why? We certainly weren’t consulted on this state of affairs and whilst I know that the label don’t need our permission to put out anything as a single from our LPs, nonetheless it seems to us that they’re milking the fans. And I just hope that we don’t get the blame.

In June 1991, Axl would indicate that the label had suggested release dates:

But we had people at the record company come up with deadlines on when they wanted the record out and we'd go, 'OK, we'll do our best (to meet the deadline),' and we tried. But we were not going to give anybody the record until we felt it was done.

In November:

But, you know, there’s a business and they might not necessarily understand where the artist is coming from. And, you know, they want to do their job and get a record out; and if they’re excited about something, you know, they just might get like, I don’t know, too excited and and try to make it happen too fast. And it was like, there was no way for us to actually put a deadline on trying to achieve a certain feeling with our album. And so sometimes things got a little bit messy.

Talking about going on tour in 1991 before the recoding was complete:

It broke the record company's stride! It didn't break ours. We were happy. They kept saying, "When are we gonna see that record, guys?" Our attitude was, "We don't know. When it's done, it's done."


In March 1990, Los Angeles Times reported that Geffen Records had been sold to MCA Inc. The sole owner of Geffen Record, David Geffen, received stock options in MCA worth about $550 million [Los Angeles Times, March 1990].

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:09 am

MARCH 1990

Axl would announce that the band had got a new members, a keyboard player, in early 1990 in an interview with Kerrang!'s Mick Wall:

But here is new news. There is a new member of GN’R. […] Erm, a guy named Dizzy. […] Dizzy. D-I-Z-Z-Y. […] We just call him Dizzy. But he’s the sixth member of Guns N’ Roses. He’s our keyboard player and piano player. […] He was in a band out here called The Wild. And he used to be our next-door neighbour. He was actually asked to join three or four years ago. But the very same day that we decided we were gonna ask Dizzy to join the band he was in a car wreck and had his hand smashed, so he had to get pins and stuff put in it. Then he came into rehearsal a few months ago and played three songs that he’d never heard before, songs that we didn’t even plan having piano in, that were heavy metal. But he put heavy metal piano into it, you know? And it was amazing. […] So the other day, Monday, I found out he was going to be put out on the streets... no, it was a Sunday night. So I called Alan on Monday and I said, secure this guy, hire him, write up the contracts. Put him on salary and give him an advance so he can get an apartment. So now we have a piano player...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

Dizzy would explain how he had called Axl and told him he was about to be vacated from his apartment since he couldn't pay the rent:

Having a keyboard player in the band was something they talked to me about a long time ago. I never really thought it would happen. I go "Dude I'm starving. As of tomorrow I'll have no phone, no apartment, no food, no nothing and if you guys need to know where to get a hold of me I can't tell you where I'm gonna be.

The next day Axl had called him and told him he was in the band:

Basically, they fuckin' saved my life.

I was doing this thing called “the couch tour” and it was like getting (?), I was, like, squatting in this apartment. And I had, like, one day left, and the phone was getting turned off, and they’re gonna make sure that, you know, we always have your number. And I was just like, I had no money, no food, nothing to drink; like, there’s no furniture in this joint, right? Finally, I got ahold of Axl and go, “Dude, man, it’s like, tomorrow there’s not gonna be a place to get ahold of me.” Quite frankly, man, I was starting to give up hope, you know, on the L.A. scene and the L.A. life. It’s just like it’d be really tough. […] The next day I got a call, and he said, “Dude, congratulations, you’re in the band.” […] I said, “Let me sleep on that." (laughs). […] I think that all it has to do is just a hope. You can’t give up hope, and you can’t give up your dreams. […] Giving up is too easy, you know. It’s something I always wanted. I never actually thought that I would be in the band, you know. But, I mean, six years later, here I am.

Apparently, Axl had planned to have Dizzy in the band for some time:

[After Appetite hit it big] [Axl] said 'Our long-term plan is to have a keyboard player and it's going to be you.' I ran into him a little later, and he said 'It's almost time; be ready.'

In 1990 I joined Guns N' Roses when they decided to add a keyboard player.  I had known Axl and actually the whole band for a long time, like five years.  Axl would always tell me when they added a keyboard player that I was going to be the guy.  And when it was time, he found me, tracked me down, and said, "Its time to do it."

[...] we met in Hollywood when I first moved there and... [Axl] just liked the way I played the piano. At the time, in the 80s, most of the keyboard players that were playing at the time were kind of classically-trained and you know... they were good but they would not have fitted in with Guns N' Roses songs. And I think he realized that I would be able to play and add something that would raise the songs.

1991 (?)

Regarding the challenge of joining Guns N' Roses:

To me it’s just as anything else. I just looked at it as another challenge. And it’s like, if I can pull this off, I could definitely do anything (chuckles).

Looking back at joining the band:

When I came along it was already to the point of flying on a chartered jet everywhere. So I skipped the whole bus thing and went straight to the plane. It was literally like one day I was living my life-long dream to be in a big, giant, touring rock band. I was having a blast, there’s no question about that.

In a press release from Geffen in 1991, it was said that Dizzy was included to "give some additional color to the sound" [Geffen Press Release, September 1991].


I was in a band with a drummer named Aaron. Having an Aaron and a Darren in the same band sounded gay. Ironically, when I joined Guns, we had an Izzy and a Dizzy.

When Dizzy first joined Guns N' Roses he still went with his artist name Dizzy Zin [Kerrang! May 1990], but would soon drop the Zin for his real last name, Reed.


Getting Dizzy in the band was obviously Axl's decision and not enthusiastically appreciated by the rest of the band:

…Another thing Axl had been working on. One day Dizzy came down to our rehearsal. He must have had a terrible time, 'cos everyone ignored him for two weeks. I tried to be friendly. I'd say: 'Hey man, how's it going? I don't know what we're doing either! We've just been in this studio for the last two years and we're supposed to be making a record or something. By the way, do you have a keyboard?' - 'cos the guy didn't even own a fuckin' instrument. After a few weeks I said to him: 'Hey man, seeing as we're Guns N' Roses, maybe someone can lend you a keyboard or we can get you an endorsement or something'. In fact, the guy's turned out to be a really cool addition.

Slash would admit to giving Dizzy a hard time:

I had to get used to the idea. At first I thought, "We don't need no stinking keyboards!", and I really gave Dizzy a hard time. He was the new guy, and I would be like, "You screwed up there. Just don't play." Now he's really part of the band and I love him to death. But he probably remembers how bad it was at first. […] Now, I think the keyboards are great, especially live. They give as many more expressive options.


The band would formally tell their fan base that Dizzy was in the band in May 1990 through the official fan club newsletter, but say that he was "employed" and that he might "become a full-time member" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

There are signs indicating that Dizzy may not have been considered a band member of equal stature as the rest of the guys. Izzy's story above about how Dizzy had been given a cold shoulder at the first rehearsals attests to that. Whereas Matt, who would join the band a few months later, was quickly embraced, other band members seemed more lukewarm towards Dizzy. When Duff mentioned how they would rehearse for the Rock in Rio shows, he mentioned Matt but not Dizzy [Special TV, 1991]. And when Duff was talking about how the Rock in Rio gigs would be the debut for Matt, Dizzy was mentioned almost in a side-sentence [Special TV, 1991].

The difference in how Dizzy and Matt was welcome can probably be explained by Axl thrusting Dizzy upon the rest of the band members while Matt was Slash and Duff's choice, and disagreement on whether they really needed a keyboard player.

Being asked if Dizzy was brought in to add a dimension to their music, Slash would answer:

No, we just did cuz we wrote the songs that way. You know?

In July 1991, the journalist Nick Kent who wrote an article for VOX that was released in October, and who hung out with the band backstage before their July 19 show at Mountain View in California, would comment that Dizzy "still looks a bit lost in the midst of it all" [VOX, October 1991].

Around the same time Slash would deny Dizzy being a fully-fledged members of the band because he hadn't been in the band long enough (yet say that Matt was, despite having been in the band for about equally long), and also imply that bringing in Dizzy had been all Axl's idea:

Dizzy’s more - and Axl might disagree with me here - but Dizzy’s an old friend, somebody that we’ve known for a long time, since Guns started, and he was the kind of player that Axl wanted. His style was what Axl wanted for the piano stuff


In May 1991, Dizzy would talk about fitting in the band:

I'm lucky enough that Axl has a really good... You know, he wrote a lot of the songs on piano and stuff, so he has a really good concept of keyboards in music and whatnot. And to me it’s just as anything else. I just looked at it as another challenge. And it’s like, if I can pull this off, I could definitely do anything (chuckles).

In May 1993, while being interviewed on a boat together with Matt and Duff, Dizzy would be asked how he had been fitting into the band:

Well, it’s been three years now. I think if I hadn’t settled in I probably wouldn’t be on this boat.

Yet Slash would refer to him as "the sucker in the bunch":

When we got really f**ked up [at the 'Use Your Illusion' tour], we'd party in Dizzy's room. He was like the sucker in the bunch - you know how there's one in every band? [laughing] We'd all party and charge it to Dizzy's mini-bar tab!

Although this sounds somewhat mean-spirited, Slash would work with Dizzy in 1994 for Dizzy's solo album, indicating they had become good enough friends or colleagues.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:10 am


Darren Arthur Reed was born on June 18, 1963, in Illinois.

I was born in Chicago, grew up in Colorado and now I live in Southern California.

He was taught to play organ by his grandmother and formed his first band at age six [Glam Metal, August 18, 2004].

My parents were always listening to music. They loved music. My dad and mom had a big record collection. My dad listened a lot to Neil Diamond. He got into rock in the seventies, when the band Boston came out with their first record. He fell in love with the song “More Than a Feeling.” He used to crank that song.

I started a band when I started playing in sixth grade, we did the prom and stuff like that. [...] We were kind of the novelty act. We knew "Freebird."

I started playing when I was really young, like 6 or 7. My grandma had an organ which I started playing on, and soon after I realized that the instrument was very cool in rock and roll. I was 11 or 12 when I formed my first band. It was called 'Hairy Bananas.' Yeah, from 'Hairy Bananas' to 'Hookers & Blow.' [=Dizzy's side band in 2005]

I’ve been in bands pretty much since I was, I don’t know, 11. I started playing bars and stuff when I was a kid.

In 1985, Dizzy moved to Los Angeles [Glam Metal, August 18, 2004].

It was all about finding the next big thing and Los Angeles was the hot spot at that point in time. That's where you had to go. Everyone ended up in L.A. at some point in time and most of the bands chose to come out here and conquer the club scene and show the record companies they were the next big thing. There was an insane energy but a lot of people kind of took the wrong direction. It was also a self-destructive time period.

Gusn N' Roses band members knew Dizzy from their early days in Hollywood when Dizzy played the bands 'Johnny and the Jaguars' and 'The Wild' and used to hang out at the Gardner place. Slash would refer to him as an "almost pseudo-roommate" [MTV, May 1991].

Dizzy's an old friend of the band's, too. When Guns were all living in one room off of Sunset, he was in the room next door with his band. We used to have big parties in the parking lot. We always liked him.

Both the band and myself went through some hard times. When I first met the guys, I was in another band in Hollywood and we were all living in the same place. We worked in the same studio. At that time, Guns N’ Roses was very successful [in the club scene] and everyone said that they’d manage to get signed and make it.  So I wanted to be part of it too... It must’ve been 1986 – but, at the time, I wasn’t in position to figure out what year we were in, ha!
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

From early on Axl said, "I want to add a keyboard player and you are the one."

Article in L.A. Weekly about
Johnny and the Jaguars
October 30, 1986

[…] it was after Guns moved out and I was still with The Wild. And Mary’s band moved in to the same little studio, and we’d been living there for a year-and-a-half, and there was no shower – there was, like, a faucet in the parking lot of a hose. […] We never thought about building a shower. She moved in and in, like, one day she sets up a shower. Like, she goes to the hardware store, comes back with all the stuff - the tools and everything - and sets up a shower; and she hooks it up to the faucet out in this parking lot and puts, like, a crate there to stand on. And I was like, “Woah, no way, I’ve got a shower! How could we never thought of that?” Like a year-and-a-half later, right? And so, I was so excited, man. I just stripped down naked and cruised over there. So it’s just in the middle, it’s out in the open, and I’m standing there naked taking a shower (laughs). This other girl (?) is around and I’m just like, “Hi, how you doing? Alright” (laughs). And then, like two minutes later, Mary pulled up the stuff and then she went to the store to build the curtain (laughs).

Anyway, to go back to the old days, that studio I was telling you about – we lived in a room that didn’t have a bathroom. There was only a toilet out in the parking lot and everybody went there. I really felt disgusted to go there. Then I remember that we had those big parties. There was a faucet in one corner of the parking lot, so we got those big glasses and went there, all of us together, to fill them up and wash ourselves! But the hardest thing was getting food. Sometimes, girls we’d met at some club the night before came to the studio, and the first thing we said to them was to bring us a cheeseburger or something! You got to have some nerve to ask other people to buy you something to eat. I also remember the big parties in the parking lot. It was a really good place for that, because there was a big brick wall that separated the studio from the street. We didn’t like it so much, of course, when the police came!
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

I remember a friend of ours, Jo-Jo, had a Mustang, and every Friday and Saturday night he'd load it with a hundred cans of beer that he had kept cold on ice. So after the bars closed at 2:00, he would come to the parking lot around 3:00 and sell beer to us... Three bucks for Budweiser, four bucks for the other ones! When the police would come and ask who was in charge there, Jo-Jo would lock his car and we’d all play dumb: "We don’t know, this is a parking lot." […] the parties were fun. But it’s no fun at all to have nothing to eat. I think it's still like that in Hollywood, but thankfully there are some good people who’ll help you get by.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

[...] we had a rehearsal space next to [Guns N' Roses]. We lived there and would have crazy after-parties. This was before they had even gotten signed, but you could see Guns N' Roses were gonna be huge. Being around them you could tell. Axl had told me he wanted a keyboard player and he wanted it to be me. People talk like that all the time … but he kept his word.

Talking about seeing Guns N' Roses in those early days:

I saw great stage presence and characters that were larger than life. They had good songs, too, but (most) couldn't tell because they were the loudest band in town. There was a certain dark energy. Being around them, I knew they were real.

But where Guns N' Roses enjoyed success, Dizzy's bands went nowhere and 6 years after having met the guys, Dizzy hadn't "made a penny playing music" [Rolling Stone, September 1991].

I was in a band in L.A. called The Wild.  I had been in that band for about five years.  We were just trying to get a deal.  I had a few deals, they fell through, but we were doing really good playing the clubs.  We were basically just drinking a lot and chasing girls.

No, [The Wild] never [opened for Guns N' Roses]. I am not sure why, we had a lot of parties together. We lived in this place that had a studio and Guns lived right next door. We use to have a lot of after hours parties.

In the summer of 1986, when playing in the band Johnny and the Jaguars (under the name of "Dizzy Zin" [L.A. Weekly, October 30, 1986], Dizzy got in a serious car accident and injured his hand:

A friend of mine is a keyboardist in a band called Johnny and the Jaguars and got in a car wreck and smashed his fucking hand. We want to dedicate this next song to him, because he is our bro. This song is called "Nightrain." This is for you Dizzy.

Dizzy would later be asked if Axl was indeed referring to Dizzy Reed in this dedication:

Yea... I think they just signed a deal with Live like a suicide and were touring and wanted to add a keyboard player too. And my band- we were doing a little tour then around the southwest and I broke my hand in a car accident... so around that time... because nightrain was my favorite G'n'R song at the time... Axl dedicated the song to me at that concert.

Dizzy would later talk about the accident and mention that he had been considered to do some shows with GN'R, and possible recording, before it happened:

I was supposed to do some shows with the band [before Appetite], and I think some recording too. But, a couple of days before the first show, I kind of got a little car accident. […] I got, like, a big toe instead of a thumb now. […] It made [playing the piano] a little difficult at first, but, you know, when your life is depending on it for whatever, you figure out a way to do it.

Anyway, they made it, and they called me and asked me to go on tour with them. But two days before I was supposed to go, I had a bad car accident and broke my hand. So I didn’t go.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

If this is true, it implies that the band, or perhaps only Axl, considered adding keyboards to Appetite for Destruction.

But we kept in touch and we’d see each other in clubs here and there; and years later, when they started recording “Use Your Illusion," Axl got ahold of me and asked me if I was still interested in joining the band.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:11 am


In the May issue of Blast, GN'R's publisher and friend of the band, Arlett Vereecke, would describe the status of the work:

The fact is, Axl and Slash have been working very closely on their next project, with Axl again writing the lyrics while Slash churns out the cool guitar licks. Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Slash have been rehearsing for months and are just rolling along in the studio. A double album can be expected hopefully before summer, followed by their first headlining world tour.

The actual fact is that things were not progressing this smoothly anymore, and especially Steven was in trouble... Despite Slash and Duff now apparently working efficiently on recording, they were, as mentioned before, having problems with Steven whose drug addiction meant he had trouble keeping his time in the studio [VOX, January 1991]. Problems were so bad the band was considering having Steven replaced to be able to record the drum tracks and eventually fired him [see next chapters].

During 1989 and early 1990, Steven's increasing heroin and crack use made him unreliable and this affected the band's work on the Use Your Illusions.

Steven Adler would show up at the recording studio completely high. Recording sessions would abort for several days when he couldn't put it together.

Steven [...] was beginning to get erratic. His participation in rehearsals and writing and recording sessions became less frequent, and his ability to perform suffered big-time.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 162

It's been over the course of years where we just had little problems here and there and then it got to be major and it held the band back for a while. Finally it came down to `it's either going to f*** up the whole band's career and everybody as an individual or we're going to have to make a decision about this.

I didn't want to go into the studio because his playing was so far off. He'll argue with me even now and say, "I played great." But he didn't—he couldn't. The guy was nodding out all over the place. That went on for a couple of months, and then I cancelled the studio time because it was a waste of money. So the only song on the album that Steven played on is "Civil War." He thought he was great, but we had to edit the drum track like mad just so we could play along with it. Even then, I had to remember where the drum mistakes were to keep the guitar in time with them.

We went into the studio to start working on some of the songs on the ‘...Illusion’ albums, and it was a waste of time and money. We had to drop out, which was about 100,000 dollars later.

We had recorded like 18 tracks for the Use Your Illusion I record with Steven and it just wasn’t happening. […] We put him through rehab like three times. I even went to his drug dealer’s house and threatened him with a gun and said, ‘Dude, if you ever...’

We all managed to sort of straighten out, with the exception of Steven. Steven was so locked up that he just couldn’t get it together.

This last reference Duff makes to threatening his dealer with gun, may be what a story in NME in December 1999 was based on. In this story, Steven was held captive by his drug sellers and Duff decided to try to release him [NME, December 25, 1999]. Duff, armed with a shotgun, got a friend to drive him to a residential area in the Valley where Duff twice entered the wrong house in search of Steven, scaring the people living there [NME, December 25, 1999]. This could of course be a second incident, or just a myth.

We were saying to him, 'Steven, you're fucked up." We said: 'Me and Slash, we're fucked up, but you're really fucked up'. I remember saying to him: 'If me and Slash think you're fucked up, think about who's saying that...'

To help Steven sober up, the band hired a sober coach, Bob Timmons, but nothing changed [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172].

Later, Doug Goldstein would describe the problems they had with Steven:

Beginning with the termination of Steven Adler in 1990, the band had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to record basic tracks (trying to get the drums and bass recorded). Steven had a number of drug issues that I personally was trying to help him with.

Yet despite this, Steven would also claim that the demo tapes they made in Rumbo Recorders were fine and that he had "kicked ass":

I kicked ass on those tapes. If I could find them [Adler claims they were stolen by "some jerkoff"], I'd go on any radio station and play them. […] Slash told me that I suck, that I can't play anymore and it was the biggest waste of time.

Slash would disagree:

At Rumbo, Steven would nod out to the point where he would be on a stool, but his head would be touching the floor. He'd say, 'I'm tired. I'm sleepy,' and he couldn't play. That was basically it. We gave him so many chances to turn around. We took him to Indiana, to play Farm Aid, and he jumps on the drum riser and almost breaks his f?!king neck. Look, Steven was a part of what made Guns N' Roses happen. He had a great energy. He wasn't an insanely great drummer, but he had tons of attitude. When the sex and drugs and the whole bit started to get out of hand, he went right along with it. But there's a certain time when you really have to control your life. I'm not preaching - I'm in no position to preach - but you must be aware of your own existence and take care of your own business. You just can't be loaded all the time and expect everything to be okay. Trust me, I know. As far as the rest of us, we bounced back, we straightened up. Steven never did. We always told each other when it was getting real bad. Everybody was there for the individual who needed help. That's how we're survived as a band. But Steven would never cop to anything, as far as telling us how bad it was.


According to Slash, Steven was also lying and deceiving the band:

And he was lying to us on a daily basis.

See, [Steven] never quite made it to that growing-up period that the rest of us went through. It was always just a big game for him—fun all the time. That's a rock and roll attitude, which I've always appreciated, but Steven was just out there [on drugs], and I had just come back from that. So he couldn't lie to me about it. But he still kept trying to lie.

He couldn’t play. He would lie to us, and we’d go over to his place and find [bleep] behind the toilet and find stuff underneath the sink...

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:11 am

MARCH 1990

At some point in March 1990, or earlier, Steven was out of the band, resulting in the band testing out the drummers Adam Maples [from Sea Hags] and Martin Chambers [from The Pretenders], and this was reported in the media, including in L.A. Weekly in March [L.A. Weekly, March 30, 1990].

When we went to try out drummers, I got really depressed, because it's hard, especially for me, as I used to play drums. I know what goes through a drummer's head, and I know how it should be. It was really scary, 'cause Steven was the drummer since the beginning of the band. We're used to our style. […] [The drummers] tried out with Slash and I. Since our albums weren't out, we'd usually have them learn "Jungle," "Brownstone," maybe "Paradise City"-things that they might be familiar with.

According to Duff, part of the reason they tried out other drummers was to force Steven to clean up:

We got a new drummer in to shock Steven into cleaning up so he could come back, but that didn’t work.

Rumors about Steven being about to leave Guns N' Roses were widely reported [L.A. Weekly, March 30, 1990] and the band addressed this in their May issue of the fan club newsletter by saying Steven is "definitely a band member" and that he was "winning his battle with hard drugs" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Slash would comment on the possibility of Maples replacing Steven:

The guy from the Sea Hags was a really cool guy, and we got along, but he just didn’t have the right vibe.

And later Slash and Duff would say that none of these replacements were good enough:

And we went through a few people and it just wasn’t clicking and it was getting really frustrating.

We tried Martin Chambers from the Pretenders and that wasn’t happening, and a few other people. Drummers are the hardest part of the band to find. Especially with this band because it’s like totally a family, so we had to find somebody that’s like a bro.

The quote also suggests the band considered using Adam Maples and Martin Chambers to both get the record finished and to replace Steven for the upcoming touring. Maples would do the recording and Chambers the touring [Hot Metal, May 1990].

Axl would admit the issues with Steven meant they had to end the recording process and that studio time was now delayed until May 1, 1990:

Ah... we don’t start recording till May 1st. We pulled out of the studio and went back and rewrote some of the songs, and because of the Steven situation. But what was cool about the Steven situation is that it made the four of us realise that we’d got to get our shit together. Because if we bring in Martin Chambers then we better have the songs down. You know, so then we worked out eleven songs in a week, that we really had down. And so we worked those out and got those tight. And then worked on a bunch of things in rehearsal, you know, with other drummers, and got all of our weak areas pretty tight.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from April 1990

According to RIP in June 1991 the problems with Steven lasted for "almost 18 months" [RIP, June 1991]. This would mean that the problems started in about the beginning of 1989, and if so it would imply that a big reason why the band got little done in the whole of 1989 was due to Steven's issues. This is likely not entirely true, it is clear from quotes in previous chapters that the band also struggled with other member's addictions, with adjusting to fame and wealth, and with Axl's numerous issues.

Slash would also emphasize the problems they had with Steven:

We had recorded all these songs but a lot of situations went on with Steven not being altogether there in the studio. We tried helping him out, we stuck it out with him for like a year, and then it was like `Well, something's got to happen'.

I don't want to say anything against Steven, but we went through so much miscellaneous bullshit. I mean, for years all the other distractions, and with Steven for more than a year alone. Then, all of a sudden, Matt enters the picture. We rehearse 36 songs in a month and record the whole LP, all the basics, in five weeks - I mean all the guitars, bass and acoustical stuff; the vocals took a little longer. When Matt came in, we just went into the studio and did it. Just like that! We were entangled in the biggest procrastination situation you ever heard of.

Here Slash is indicating that Steven held up the production for "more than a year". Although it is likely that Steven did cause significant delays to the process, it is not fair to put the blame entirely on him as discussed above.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:11 am

MARCH 28, 1990

To try to get Steven into sobering up, the band then presented Steven with a probation agreement in which Steven would refrain from drugs. This agreement also reduced his position in the band from "partner" to "employee" and the contract would end after 30 days, basically implying that Steven would have to be re-hired after this period, and put on another employee contract, to continue his job in Guns N' Roses, or, as Axl implies, get his partnership back:

You know, we worked out a contract with [Steven]. He’s going to do the album and, if he doesn’t blow it, then he’s going to do the tour. Then if he doesn’t blow that he’s fully reinstated.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

So then we had a contract made up saying he was no longer a partner if he didn’t get his situation straight. He just kept lying to us, and from my point of view and the other guys, lying to us is a heavy thing.

All I remember, there’s colored paper clips. Doug was saying, “Just sign all the colored paper clips.” All handed on, you know, “Just sign it on.” And I had no idea what I was doing.

According to Steven, the probation agreement was signed a week before their Farm Aid concert [Circus Magazine, October 1991], which would have made it in early April 1990. But from the contract itself, and other sources, we know the date was March 28, 1990 [Associated Press/Vidette Messenger, July 21, 1991; Excerpt from Axl's testimony at the trial for Steven's lawsuit, August 23, 1993].

Putting Steven on probation seems to have worked, at least initially:

No. He is back in the band. […] He was definitely out of the band. He wasn’t necessarily fired. We worked with [former Sea Hags drummer] Adam Maples, we worked with [former Pretenders drummer] Martin Chambers. Then Steven did the Guns N’ Roses thing and got his shit together. And it worked. He did it. And Steven plays the songs better than any of ’em. He’s just bad-assed and he’s GN’R. And so, if he doesn’t blow it, we’re gonna try the album with him... and the tour. […] You know, we worked out a contract with him. He’s going to do the album and, if he doesn’t blow it, then he’s going to do the tour. Then if he doesn’t blow that he’s fully reinstated.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from April 1990

Being asked if they told him to quit drugs or else he'd be fired:

Yeah, exactly. But like, you know, it’s worked out. You know, it's finally back on and we're just hoping that it continues. It's only been a few days. What's today? Saturday? It's only been since Tuesday it was on and he's doing great.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from April 1990

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:12 am

APRIL 7, 1990

The band only played one show in 1990, at the Farm Aid charity festival at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, on April 7. The band played two songs, debuting 'Civil War' and a cover, 'Down on the Farm" originally by the UK Subs.

Farm Aid IV Poster

When we had played a couple songs to a huge crowd at Farm Aid in April, [Steven] was a mess onstage
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171

Well, I’ll never forget that moment - it could have been the most embarrassing moment of my life - except for, I don’t really get embarrassed anymore! I mean, I’ve been naked in front of 10,000 people in New Orleans, and that’s got to be the most embarrassing thing that could actually happen to a human being, I mean think about it, and...I thought it was cool and fun, so....but when I tripped on that cymbal, when I jumped up there, if you watch you can see, it fuckin’ woke my ass up! I needed that to happen, if it didn’t that show might have sucked! Obviously I went out there, and we hadn’t played as a band, even in rehearsal, well maybe we did some recording, but we hadn’t rehearsed in a month before that show! And I never played that song, “Down on the Farm” I never even heard it in my life, and we played it, and it came out fucking great, and “Civil War” came out amazing! So it woke me up, and I think it even woke the other guys up. My friend Brooke gave me these bootleg shows, and I watched Farm Aid, and I was smiling when I was up there, I was fuckin’ so happy, ‘cause playin’ is the greatest thing in the world I can’t help but smile when  I play, it’s not even something I think about, my body is happy, my eyes are happy, my mind is happy, and I’m just smilin’!

The last show I ever played with them was over at Farm Aid. And to this day, I never heard the original version of “Down on the farm.” I guess some punk band ( UK Subs) did it, and we’re on stage and all of a sudden Axl goes; “This is a song ‘down on a farm.” And I yelled at Duff: “I go, Duff, Duff, what the fuck is this, how does this go?” And he just clapped his hands and just says; “just do this (clapping hands) boom, boom, boom.” And that song came out so kick ass, because I knew what Duff was gonna play before he played it.  Yeah, each of us knew what we were gonna do before, we were, each of us were gonna do it. And I mean, if somebody was gonna hit a wrong note, which rarely happened, or something, (pauses) we knew it was gonna happen before. It just was so tight.

I was drinking a little bit, but when I fell down, it woke me right up. [...] I’d never heard that song [=Down on the Farm] in my life!

After Farm Aid, Izzy would have "one of the best rides" of his life when he rode his Harley motorbike back to Los Angeles, through Memphis, New Orleans and Texas [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

Slash and Axl
April 7, 1990

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:12 am

APRIL 1990

In April 1990, the band entered the studio to record the new song 'Civil War' for an upcoming charity compilation album [see later chapter for more information on this record]. It is likely this recording came abruptly on the band because Axl had previously stated they would not start recording for the new albums before May and had cancelled their previously booked studio (due to Steven's drug issues) [Mick Wall, April 1990] and Slash would later say they didn't use their normal studio:

When we recorded [Civil War], it wasn't in our normal studio. I didn't have a normal amp. It was one of those things where we had to do it because we were doing it for a benefit album, and it was a rush thing.

By April 25, it seems the band was working on completing the song for the compilation:

After delivering the funds to Romania, Harrison realized much more was needed and enlisted her husband, who in turn enlisted fellow Traveling Wilburys Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. They recorded a song, "Nobody's Child" (it will be out in a few weeks), and that in turn has led to an all-star charity album to be released by Warner Bros. So far Ringo Starr, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Edie Brickell, Van Morrison, Dave Stewart and Mike + the Mechanics have donated tracks, and there are plans for songs from Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Guns N' Roses.
The Washington Post, April 25, 1990

But Steven was worse for wear despite being on probation:

The first thing we wanted was a fluid drum take. Bass and drums always got done quickly in the early days. I hardly ever had to do bass fixes because Steven and I were so solid as a rhythm section. But when we had tried to lay down the basic tracks for 'Civil War,' producer Mike Clink and I had to patch together the drum tracks from dozens of inadequate takes-by hand, as this was before editing made that sort of thing much easier.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 163

The problems with recording the drum tracks for 'Civil War' would be mentioned by Slash and Duff in more interviews [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992].  As Slash would say it, "[Steven's] chops were all over the place" [Musician, December 1990]. And Axl would allegedly claim Steven had been falling from his drums while recording and that the drums on 'Civil War' had been remixed 90 different times [O Globo, January 16, 2001].


Steven would later claim he he struggles in the studio was due to him suffering from the side-effects of opiate blockers he had taken two weeks earlier:

I asked the guys, 'Please, can we wait until next week-end when I wouldn't be so sick?' […] They gave me such a hard time. They kept accusing me—saying I'm high—and they knew I was sick from medicine I got from a doctor.

[...] Doug Goldstein (band manager) took me to this doctor, the doc gave me this thing called an opiate blocker, and it works by making you violently sick if you take any opiates. You can absolutely not take it if you have any trace of heroin in your system, because you can die. Now I did have, they put this injection in my buttocks and I have never felt pain like that, I can still remember it now, I was so sick, I will never forget that needle in my ass. I was sick for 6 weeks, and during that time, Slash called up and said that they were in the studio recording Civil War, and I had to get down there. I said shit, man, I can't, he said, but we can't waste the money, so I got up and went and I was so weak and sick that I had to play the song 25 times if not more, Slash and Duff got fucked up, I was not, but I was so sick. I never said nothing bad, I love those guys, Guns n' Roses was always the five of us. This was something that Axl wanted, there was a whole plan to get rid of me. Then Izzy cleaned up and couldn't stay with them because of the drugs, it hurts me so bad that I didn't play on the Use Your Illusions, if you listen to Civil War it sounds like a totally different band to the rest.

As for 'Civil War', I had to play it like 25 times until it was useable. My timing was so up and down because I was so weak. The whole time I kept telling the guys, 'I don't feel good, I'm really down,' and they kept saying, 'You're just fucked up.' [I said], 'I'm not fucked up,' I was sick from an opiate blocker I got from a doctor that [manager] Doug Goldstein took me to. I think he knew what effect it would have on me...I wanted to wait another week or so before we went in to the studio to record. Slash says that we couldn't waste the money, and we had to do it that day. They all knew I was sick... It's a great song, it came out great, but I'm sure had I not been in the position that they put me in I would have nailed it in one take. Slash called me on a Thursday, knowing that I was sick, and said, 'We're going in the studio this weekend.' I said, 'Dude, you know I can't go, I'm sick from this bullshit medication.' He said, 'We can't waste the money,' and I said, 'Don't even tell me about wasting money, we know somebody who wasted plenty of fucking money!' If one of them was sick, it would have been postponed! We just weren't a team anymore.

[…] the bottom line was Slash calls me up he says, "We're going in the studio and record Civil War". And a week before then, I said, "Okay", you know they're giving me crap about the drugs, it's okay, manager took me to the doctor, he gave me this opiate blocker but you're not supposed to take an opiate blocker when you have opiates in your body, right? The doctor didn't tell me. He gives me an opiate blocker. I'm sick for six weeks. If I had to go to bathroom I had to crawl. It was that bad. And he calls me, Slash, "We got to go in but you're just messed up," and....[…]  I got to the studio. I just was so sick I had.... I couldn't... I had no timing cuz I was so weak and dizzy. […] but Slash is all, "We can't waste the money" and I'm "Don't even go there with 'waste money' cuz there is one other person we know who is very good at that."
Steven's biography

I heard them say that I was very weak and it took, like, about 25-30 times to play the song, and they are really, really frustrated with me.

When I got to the top, my best friend Slash kicked me in the head and I was like, “what the hell am I going to do now?” They were like, “you’re getting too fucked up”, and at that time, I wasn’t fucked up from the drugs. It was from a drug the doctor gave me. The manager took me to the doctor and I was on an opiate blocker. If you do heroin, you don’t get high, but you can’t take the heroin if you take the blocker in your system. So, he gives me this and I couldn’t even get out of bed or eat. If I had to go to the bathroom I had to crawl. Slash calls me and says “we are going into the studio to finish Civil War” and said we could not waste the money. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Slash and I both lived in Laurel Canyon. We'd call each other up and ask if the other had any money. For a month I’d get out $300 a day, then give Slash $200 of it. He’d give me a piece of heroin that was the size of a little pebble. He’d have a piece the size of a [significantly larger] 50-cent piece - I was so naive. After about a month, this one day came along when I didn’t do heroin and I was sick as a dog. I couldn’t understand it, so I called the manager [Doug Goldstein], who took me to a doctor that gave me an opiate blocker. I didn’t know that you couldn’t take opiate blockers with opiates in your system. It only made me worse. I literally had to crawl to the bathroom. [...] Slash called me to say we had to go into the studio to record Civil War. I was so sick, I just couldn’t do it. He said it was booked and we couldn’t afford to waste the money. I told him we both knew of somebody who’d wasted way more cash than one day in the studio. Anyway, I went in there and tried to play the song 20, maybe 30 times. But I was so weak, my timing was like a rollercoaster. Every time we played it back they’d all shout at me, ‘You’re fucked up’. Then every two seconds they would go off to the bathroom and do coke.

According to the quote below, Steven had just started heroin, yet still wanted to get off it, and wasn't aware how sick he would get:

I wanted to get off heroin and, because I just started doing it with the guys. And I didn’t know you got sick. The first day I got sick I called up my manager and I said; “dude, I don’t what the fuck is going on, but I feel sick.” And (pauses) he took me to this doctor and this doctor gave me an opiate blocker. But you can’t take an opiate blocker when you’re on heroin. And then if you did do heroin, nothing would happen. But you can’t take it until you’re completely off the heroin. And I got completely, so sick, and they wanted to go in and record “Civil War.” I said: “Slash dude, I’m so sick I can’t do it right now.” And he said; “We can’t waste the money, we got to do it now!” I said dude; “Don’t even tell me about wasting money, we know one other person who is wasting SO much fucking money, we can wait another week.”

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:13 am

APRIL 28, 1990

Erin and Axl got married on April 28 in a "middle-of-the-night ceremony" in Las Vegas [People Magazine, May 1990]. The wedding took place at Cupid Wedding Chapel and it was a five-minute ceremony with their limousine driver as the witness [Aiken Standard, May 3, 1990; The Independence Examiner, May 3, 1990].

Erin and Axl
April 28, 1990

But Axl would file for divorce only 28 days after the wedding [Los Angeles Times; May 1990; People Magazine, August 1990]. The filing would be cancelled and in July Axl would describe the marriage as "stronger than ever" despite having broken up many times before [The Howard Stern Show, July 1990] and in August he would say:

[Our marriage] is good when we’re communicating. Then it opens up a lot of doors and things of hope that I really didn’t see or believe in before and just read about in books. Being married is more a part of me. The ‘institution’ of marriage itself is mumbo-jumbo paperwork, but the union of two people when you get that involved just blows me away. […]I’m looking forward to [fatherhood]. We already have the children named. We wanna have a boy named Shiloh Blue and a girl named Willow Amelia.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:13 am


I would be safe to assume that if there was somebody to leave or if...whatever, the band would not be happening anymore. I would almost be safe to assume that. […]  I mean, because it takes personalities and a certain, uh, way with each other to fucking make whatever is going to happen. […] said we kicked Stevie out of the band, you can't just bring fucking Tommy Aldridge in the band and it's going to be the same.

Steven had bad drug problems and that was making him unreliable. We did everything we could to encourage him to come to terms with his addiction. But he just couldn’t stop. Steven's habits were bad for this band, so we took action to try to help him. And when it became obvious that it wasn’t working and that we were faced with having a sub-standard album as a result, then we did what was necessary.


Steven did not improve despite the band's efforts [see previous chapter], and the band decided to permanently fire Steven.

[The lawyer threat] was meant to scare him, but it proved convenient for Slash, Axl, Izzy and me. In the end, we had our lawyer tell his lawyer that he was permanently out.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172

Steven would claim it was Doug Goldstein who told him [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997]:

Dougie called me up and said I was out of the band. Then I tried calling the guys up and they would not talk to me.

Well it's more like, "Come down to the office, I want to talk to you." I get down to the office. [Goldstein] has his papers, that's about half a foot thick, going, "Sign everywhere where the little colored paper clips are" and I'm under [?] signing away and "What's this for?" and he said, "Oh nothing, it just means you are on probation for three weeks." But then what I really find out, I'm signing away all my rights.

Doug Goldstein called me into the office about two weeks later [after the Civil War recording]. He wanted me to sign some contracts. I was told that every time I did heroin, the band would fine me $2,000. There was a whole stack of papers, with coloured paper clips everywhere for my signatures. What these contracts actually said was that the band were paying me $2,000 to leave. They were taking my royalties, all my writing credits. They didn’t like me anymore and just wanted me gone.

The firing of Steven would be not be officially disclosed in quite a while, and first when Matt Sorum recorded 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' for the Thunder Days soundtrack would the rumours start flying that Steven was out of the band [Metal Hammer, July 30, 1990]. On Axl's interview with MTV's Kurt Loder that was aired on August 31, 1990, Axl would explicitly say that Steven was out of the band [MTV, August 31, 1990].

In an interview in September 1992, Izzy would be asked if firing Steven had been "all Axl's idea" (like firing Alan Niven which they had discussed earlier in the interview), to which Izzy would indicate the entire band agreed Steven was a problem but that it had been the "industry's machine" - so perhaps the label? - who had made that call:

At this time I had nearly managed to get clean up, from everything. When I was looking at the band, I would see Stevie, who was a good guy, who's been struggling with us during all these years, but couldn't handle it anymore. He was a real millstone, he needed to clean up! Fuck... We all tried to help him, to support him. But no, finally, we'd been on the road with this guy for years and we lived this dilemma: "OK. We leave him six months doing nothing without any guarantee it gets better, or we forget about the double album and we burry the band?" Actually, the industry's machine woke up and the answer was: "We take someone else to cut these records." It's wasn't an easy decision.

According to Goldstein 2000, it was Mike Clink (?) and Alan Niven who urged for Steven's termination [Newsweek, January 6, 2000]. Goldstein would also indicate that Axl was the last to sign the termination papers:

After numerous failed attempts at rehabilitation, the band's producer, and their former manager, convinced Slash and Duff to fire Steven. Axl was the last person to sign Steven's termination document. He sat with it for over a week until the then manager convinced him that it was the right decision.

This would also be stated by Robert John:

I remember Slash complained during the rehearsals and recording, about trying to do stuff but Steven was too high to work. They all talked about getting another drummer in there, but I remember Axl was the last person that wanted to fire him. He thought Steven was an important part of the show. But nobody - especially Slash and Duff - could take it anymore. It was killing the band.
Stephen Davis. Watch You Bleed: the Saga of Guns N' Roses. Gotham Books, August 2008

And Axl would support this:

The misconception is that we kicked him out for the hell of it, and that I was the dictator behind it. The truth is, I probably fought a little harder to keep him in the band, because I wasn't working with him on a daily basis like the other guys were. They grew tired of not being able to get their work done because Steven wasn't capable of it.

Slash would also be asked if he was Steven's "champion" at the time:

More that I just stuck by him.

Steven would later claim that Izzy apologized for the sacking:

Izzy Stradlin was the only one who apologized to me [...]


Other factors may have played a role in Steven being fired. In early 1992, Slash would imply that the new material was too complex for Steven:

[Being asked if firing Steven had compromised the band]: No, keeping Steven Adler in this band would have been a compromise. He did a great Job on 'Appetite For Destruction'. Nobody could have done a better job than him. But this time round we needed something a little different and Steven wasn’t able to do what was needed. We realised this early on, so brought in Matt Sorum, who's a lot more able to do the things we want. Yes. we could have stuck with Steven, but then we'd have had to accept a very limited drumming technique from him. That would have been us compromising on the standards we've wanted to hit just to keep him in this band. And I know we'd all have been unhappy, including Steven. With Matt on board we've grown as a band, and that's important to us.

But Steven [Adler] would have been happy just to do the same thing [as on 'Appetite'] again on the new album. He wouldn't have made it through the record.

Well that’s always been a sensitive subject, because Stephen had, I wouldn’t say no metre, but very bad metre; he used to watch my foot to keep time! And because we were all really young then, we had a kind of aggressive, almost punk attitude; it was great, very brash and very abrupt. But it wasn’t like, say, the Ramones, where we were just going to keep doing that forever. So after we did ‘Appetite’ and ‘Lies’ and toured, and because Axl, Duff and I really do love all kinds of areas of music, we all had different musical things we wanted to achieve, we got to a point where Stephen... well... you know...

But I noticed that some of the immediacy of our sound was lost in losing Stephen; it almost had a touch of anxiety to it. With the situation of Stephen leaving and Matt coming in, I did listen to see what changes were happening in the attack of the band, and all of a sudden it turned into a very precise, big thing, and it was like, ‘God, we can do all kinds of stuff with this.’ And I like that because I feel like I’ve matured and I’ve been able to do a lot of things that, with Steve, we couldn’t have done. I mean, I did a song on a Les Paul tribute record that’s coming out. I wrote this tune and Stephen could never play it; it was a very ‘black’ groove thing and he could just never get it right, and so I shelved the song.

And there were a lot of other songs that went by the wayside because of that, which has a lot to do with why the ‘Illusion’ albums sound so diverse. There were so many things that we wanted to do that were stifled by the group as it was. So releasing these two albums simultaneously was a big orgasm for us...

A specific example of Steven not being good enough was when Duff allegedly had to help Steven with the intro to 'You Could Be Mine', back in 1986, something Duff would testify on while in court in 1993:

[…] I used to get behind the kit when Steven was in the band. That song was written for ‘Appetite’ and at that time Slash and I would have to try and explain to Steven how the drum part should go; I’d have to tell Slash to chill out and I’d do it - a guitar player relating to a drummer just doesn’t work.

So I ended up getting behind the drum kit and showing Steve. I’m not technically a great drummer but I know how to get the playing across. And that’s what I testified yesterday, too.

The topic of Steven not being skilled enough would also come up when Slash would explain why he took the song 'Always on the Run', which was originally intended for Guns N' Roses, to Lenny Kravitz:

Axl and Duff were like: "Why did you do that?" I was like: "'Cause Steve couldn't play 'em"


Steven makes a point in his biography to emphasize that the band already in its early years had a problem with him. During rehearsals for the 1987 shows at the Marquee in London, for instance, the band started playing 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' without informing Steven that it would be played:

It was Axl's idea to do "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." He told Slash about it, they learned it, and we did it. They never even mentioned it to me though, just expecting me to pick up on the beat on the fly. I didn't know if this was a tribute to my drumming adaptability or a sign of their abject disregard for my needs as a member of the band (but I could venture a pretty good fucking guess).
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 126

In Steven's opinion, this feeling of disrespect towards him, although he doesn't explain where it came from, was a major component in the decision to fire him:

[...] this growing disrespect only snowballed until it put me in an awfully embarrassing situation at Farm Aid.
Steven's biography, "My Appetite for Destruction", 2010, page 126


After being fired, Steven would claim he tried to contact the band members, including calling Duff and Slash for their birthdays, but that they wouldn't see him:

They would not let me in. I left their birthday gifts on the porches of their houses. I feel totally betrayed! […] The thing with Slash is [Steven's voice verges on tears] we were family. I know his mother, his grandmother, he knows mine. We were best friends, man. How could you just desert somebody like that?

Then Steven sued the band [see below]. According to Steven in the October 1991 interview, he first met Slash again "recently" when they crossed paths outside the Rainbow in Hollywood:

Slash says, 'So, you're suing us'. I say, 'Yeah,' And he says, 'Well Axl's going to kick your fucking ass.

Steven's claims that the band avoided him is disputed by Slash, who claims he tried to keep in contact with Steven, but that Steven's insufferable behavior pushed him away:

I did keep in touch. I'd pop into his house every now and then to see how he was doing. I stuck with him, as you'd do for a loved one. And then he started getting on my case, saying, `I've heard you guys are all on heroin and what's the difference, blab blah blab....' And finally I couldn't talk to him anymore. I'd take him out to dinner and it would turn into this huge fight, to the point where I couldn't take it. So now I don't see him anymore. I call his doctor and I think about him a lot. And I worry. 'Cause it's a scary thing. And he was my best friend for a long time.


In 2005, Steven would offer the explanation that he was fired because of monetary reasons, and not because of his drugs, which he didn't do, and if he did, so did the others:

[Drug abuse] was the ridiculous official explanation. They were stupid. They said they fired me because of drugs, but I wasnt experimenting with the hard ones. And if I was doing it, in that case, they were even. So, I think it was' cause of a monetary issue, which is ridiculous too because we were on our way to making loads of money.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:14 am


Later the band members would comment upon firing Steven:

I was trying to talk some sense into [Steven] but it never happened. He wouldn't listen to anybody—none of us will! And Axl and Duff had had it. […] As amazing as it seems in this `drug-free' exercise and health age, there's a bunch of us who are still clinging fast to the late '60s and '70s. But Steve never grew up to the fact that it's not all just sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. To him it was a big fantasy and we took care of him. And now he's on his own.

I felt really bad for Steven. He’s saying stuff like “How could they do this to me?” But it wasn’t a matter of how could we do this to him. It was how could he do this to us. He was taken care of by this band. Anybody who thinks we just kicked him out is just somebody who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and doesn’t know what went on. We waited for him for a fucking year. How long is a band supposed to wait around? We all wanted to get out and play, and he wanted to play, too. He was just too loaded to do it. Really, we did all kinds of things for this kid to get him back to normal, and he refused. Every time he went into rehab, he took off. I mean, I took off from rehab, but it’s because I didn’t want to be controlled by anybody else. I went and cleaned up on my own. Steven had no control whatsoever. He didn’t want to be in rehab and still wanted to be doing what he’s doing. He thought it was very rock & roll. What do you tell a guy like that? So I just said, “Fuck it, that’s it, I can’t deal with it anymore, we have to get a new drummer."

Steven is about as rock & roll a personality as you can get. All he lived for was sex, drugs and rock & roll — in that order. Maybe drugs, sex and rock & roll. Then it was drugs and rock & roll. Then it was just drugs.

We tried our best to get Steven back together. Steven - he's always been the child of the band, the one that was always just the happy-go-lucky, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and that's it. He couldn't understand why the drugs were so separated from rock'n'roll all of a sudden; why he couldn't be a junkie and be in a rock'n'roll band, because the twain are supposed to meet on the same ground. But after a while it's really not like that. You have to take care of yourself. People will not go around wiping your ass for you. So a year went by (three visits to rehab) and I finally said, Steven, you've got to go. […] It still fucks with me. And I still check up on him. I won't go so far as to say he's clean and I won't go so far as to say he's still fucked up. I know he's unhappy. I hadn't seen him since the day it that it was over. Then I was at the Rainbow one night, of all the places to run into him, and I was with Duff and with Matt, who he'd never met...It was really awkward. I haven't really seen him since. It's too deep a thing to get into. But the upside of it is that Matt has made the band - I think it was a shot in the arm, no pun intended, that the band didn't necessarily need but that took the band beyond what we were before. I think we're a little bit more - just tight, more focused, more serious about what we're doing. We're not so much the punk band as we were, only because we've been doing it for a while and we're all sort of really aspiring musicians, regardless of the lifestyle. The most important thing I've gotten out of this whole fucking stupid circus that we've been involved in all this time is to sit back and know that we're actually good. And not only that we're good, but that we're original. And if I'm sleeping in a chandelier one night - I stole this from Keith Richards, OK? - I can still get up the next morning and actually play, and play with some sort of integrity, as opposed to hitting one chord as many times as I can as quickly as I can and then continue partying. My playing is my priority, and my playing's actually a lot better. When I listen to the record, it's really good. And that's the thing that's my saving grace and my feelings for the whole thing that happened with Steve.

That's a sensitive subject. It's because as everybody grew up a little bit and tried to get out of the heroin thing and that whole trip [Steven] just never went along, he never grew up with the band. When I gave up a really serious habit he just kept going, the whole sex, drugs and rock'n'roll concept was pretty much all he could fathom and we couldn't work he wasted a lot of money in the studio with us. We've all gone through our trips and we've all had our fucking problems but we've dealt with it, if not for our personal lives for the band itself. We always took care of him and it stopped the band working for a fucking year. When I came back after cleaning out— and I had a really fucking bad habit with all kinds of shit and lzzy came back and we were ready to go, and having to go through this whole thing with Steve going to the hospital, we were wasting tons of money. The guy is sitting on the stool in the studio with his nose touching the fucking floor, with the whole band just staring at him. We'd wake him up and he'd go 'I'm just tired'. Finally it came to the point where I called him up and said 'Steve, it's over.'

With Steve, the whole 'sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll' thing is great, but there comes a time where you have to concentrate on the craft. And Steve could never swallow the idea that he had to get his life together.

I took it pretty hard when Stevie was out of the band. It was pretty upsetting, cos I was watching Stevie trying to get himself together after pulling myself together, and it was kinda hard seeing somebody trying when they're not really ready for it. Weeks and months were going by, we were in that old dilemma; it had been two or three years and we didn't have a f**king album out, we gotta move.

The misconception is that we kicked him out for the hell of it, and that I was the dictator behind it. The truth is, I probably fought a little harder to keep him in the band, because I wasn't working with him on a daily basis like the other guys were. They grew tired of not being able to get their work done because Steven wasn't capable of it. I've read interviews where he's saying that he's straight. Most of the time he isn't. He's the type of person who wants everything handed to him, and he did get it handed to him. He got it handed to him from me. At one point, in order to keep this band together, it was necessary for me to give him a portion of my publishing rights. That was one of the biggest mistakes I've made in my life, but he threw such a fit, saying he wasn't going to stay in the band. We were worried about not being able to record our first album, so I did what I felt I had to do. In the long run I paid very extensively for keeping Steven in Guns N' Roses. I paid $1.5 million by giving him 15% of my publishing off of Appetite For Destruction. He didn't write one goddamn note, but he calls me a selfish dick! He's been able to live off of that money, buy a shitload of drugs and hire lawyers to sue me. If and when he loses the lawsuit he has against us, and he has to pay those lawyers, if he has any money left, it'll be the money that came from Guns N' Roses and myself. At this point I really don't care what happens to Steven Adler, because he's taken himself out of my life, out of my care and concern. I feel bad for him in ways, because he's a real damaged person, but he's making choices to keep himself in that damage. There's nothing we can do at this point. We took him to rehabs, we threatened his drug dealers, we helped him when he slashed his wrists. I even forgave him after he nearly killed my wife. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit because her heart had stopped thanks to Steven. She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine? I kept myself from doing anything to him. I kept the man from being killed by members of her family. I saved him from having to go to court, because her mother wanted him held responsible for his actions. And the sonofabitch turns on me? I mean, yeah, I'm a difficult person to deal with, and I'm a pain in the ass to understand, and I've had my share of problems, but Steven benefited greatly from his involvement with me - more than I did from knowing him. Steven had a lot of fans, but he was a real pain in the ass. I need to keep him in my life for you? F?!k you!

The first time I realized what Steve did for the band was when he broke his hand in Michigan. Tried to punch through a wall and busted his hand. So we had Fred Coury come in from Cinderella for the Houston show. Fred played technically good and steady, but the songs sounded just awful. They were written with Steve playing the drums and his sense of swing was the push and pull that give the songs their feel. When that was gone, it was just...unbelievable, weird. Nothing worked. I would have preferred to continue with Steve, but we'd had two years off and we couldn't wait any longer. It just didn't work for Slash to be telling Steve to straighten out. He wasn't ready to clean up.

I took it pretty hard; it was upsetting.

I know Steven, and he was, like, beyond repair. Or it wasn’t coming within the next couple of years. You can do whatever you like to do but you’ve got to be able to make the gig. We still go out and party and have a lot of fun, but we make it to the gig the next night.

The reasons [why Steven was fired and Izzy quit] were very different. Steven didn’t leave only because of his drug problem, but also because he couldn’t handle the pressure. And I hate to say it, but I miss him much more than Izzy, who thought that being in the band was just a question of ‘sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll’; he didn't accept the other aspects of this job.
L'Unita, May 16, 1993; translated from Italian

Somewhere along the way, how seriously you take things becomes important as things get bigger. You have to really pay attention; but for Steven it was all about chicks, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, and that was it. […] He was never what you’d call a schooled, intelligent person, but he’s a sweetheart. Yet after a while he couldn’t keep up with it. […] The guy we had to replace the most on a tour was him, and when the whole dope thing came up and we were all locked up in our own individual houses for God knows how long, there did come a point where l had to clean up if I was going to retain any sort of foundation, so far as the band and myself were concerned. […] So I stopped, Izzy stopped as well, and Steven never came back.
[…] We went through all these fights and hospitals and this, that and the other, and I figured somewhere along the line he would come around. He just never did.

[…] when Steven, when Steven Adler um… […] Who I love dearly. I talk to him all the time. When it came to a point where he could not play as part of the band, after a while we're just like... […] But there is, you know, there is a point there as long as you can play, as long as you're part of the group and, like, you show up and you get into it, then everything's fine. I heard that you slept with 15 or 16 chicks the other day and it was outside of the beach and you did, you know, three grams of this blah blah blah but you still show at rehearsal..

It sounded ironic to a lot of people for us to kick someone out of such a notoriously debauched band for drugs. The truth is we didn't care what drugs people did or how much they did. We cared only about our work and our ability to keep the band moving forward now that we finally had songs to record and shows to play. We didn't give a shit about cause, just effect. Drugs? Sure. But it could just as easily have been something else. Lack of motivation. Jail time. Death. For me, I always thought death and death alone could ever push me across that line when it came to this band. (I was wrong.) For Steven, coke and heroin proved enough to nudge him across.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172

It was real hard to see Steven go, because he was my friend. He was a big pan of what made us happen, and he had a great energy in the beginning. But when the rest of us straightened up and bounced back, he didn't.

Ah, man, it was fucked-up. But Steven... Steven... he just wouldn’t quit it, and everyone was saying, ‘Oh, his playing’s off.' But he was never that great with his time-keeping or whatever anyway. It wasn’t about being the perfect drummer. Steven was just GNR through and through. He just was. We shouldn't have let him go really...

Well, we all had problems with heroin, me, Izzy and Steven — but we just had to get over it. But we could never a reel Steven back in. We just couldn't get him back out.

Guns were a bunch of nutcases and with the original band there was a real sense of family. When we had to let Steven [Adler, Guns N' Roses' drummer] go, which was moronic, we came to him and said, ‘Hey, look who's telling you you're too f***ed up! It's us! If we're telling you you're too f***ed up then you're too f***ed up!'

Steven became bitter over being fired and would repeatedly attack the band and especially Axl for the what happened; in the words of Slash, Steven "slandered us like crazy" [Guitar World, February 1992]. When contacted by Los Angeles Times in July 1991, he would refer to Axl as the "most ruthless and meanest person" he's ever met [Los Angeles Times, July 1991]. Shortly thereafter, on July 19, he would file a lawsuit against the band [see section below for details].

Later on, he would describe the firing this way:

Obviously everybody knows about the drug thing but, hey, I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I know drugs aren't right and can screw your life up. I know first hand, but I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong because I was doin' them with my band. They were doin' it, so was I, and I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong. […] I wish that maybe someone would've, not just put their hand on me, but given me a hug and said, 'Hey y'know, slow down.' But the drug thing, I don't really wanna talk that much about it because I'm getting away from it. Like I said, I was doing it with my band. It didn't seem abnormal then. […] "I was their scapegoat. Everyone knows that Guns N' Roses were drug-oriented, everyone knows that. […] They had the record company comin' down on them, saying, 'You've gotta straighten up.' And no way were they gonna straighten up, so to make it look better they decided to 'point the finger at the nice guy'. Because (at the lime) I was no more f ked up than them. […] To tell you the truth, they're the meanest people I ever met in my life, that's why we didn't get along. I got along with Slash and Duff but with Axl it was just a total difference in personality.

In 2000, Slash would imply it was Axl's fault:

Axl always had this kind of vision of where he wanted to be, what he wanted the band to be. He didn’t like people he thought were trying to hold him back.

In 2008, Del James would comment:

Steven Adler is always so quick to ride Slash's tip yet please remember that when it came down, Slash was among the first ready to fire Stevie and the last guy to sign the termination papers was Axl. And this is after Steven almost killed Erin Everly with drugs. Know you're fucking history.

And Izzy would compare the old and the new drummer:

Steven had a more accidental style and Matt is more precise.

In 2009, Axl would talk about how bad Steven's playing had been in rehearsals, and suggest Izzy and he couldn't take it:

The public has no idea what went into Steven's parts and the notion of getting through songs in rehearsal if ever, with no exaggeration, was unfortunately a nightmare that neither I or Izzy could take, and eventually the others as well, though they lasted longer for other reasons.


Being asked if he took responsibility for his own behaviour while in Guns N' Roses:

Of course. Nobody forced me to do those stupid things. It was all a part of growing up, and they didn’t have shows like Behind The Music in those days. I’d read interviews with all my favourite rock stars and just wanted to be like the guys I idolised. You never read in Hit Parader what it was like to throw up blood, or to wake up in hospital. When GN’R toured with Aerosmith back in the day, Slash and I had looked up to Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, but we weren’t even allowed to have beer in their company. Then again, nobody tells you how sick you can get. I was very naive to the dangers of heroin. The first times I did it were two years apart. It made me so sick. Then the third time I did it, it didn’t affect me that way. So I did it every day for a month.

In 2010 Steven would also express understanding of why he had been fired and admit he was to blame:

I was stunned. The thing was, we were a gang. So often I'd get into fights in bars defending them. To me, I had my dream taken away. But there again, I understand now why they had to do it. I was out of control, and didn’t even realise.

I realized that I thought the guys in the band kicked me out, but they didn't. I kicked myself out. I blamed them for 20 years for all my downfalls, especially Slash, because we have history. They didn't let me down. I let them down. When they kicked me out, I had two directions. One, I take care of myself and get back in the band or two, I do the drugs. I went off the deep end and beat myself up since I blamed them.

It took me 20 years to admit and realize that I blamed Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Axl for my downfall with the band and all the drug abuse I went through after that. I blamed them. When I started working with Dr. Drew … I realized that I thought they let me down, but it wasn’t them who let me down, it was me who let them down.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:52 am; edited 14 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:15 am


The split with Guns N' Roses hit Steven hard:

Well, I was always very independent and I did what I wanted to do, but I never did anything really wrong. Obviously everybody Knows about the drug thing, but, hey, I didn't think I was being foolish.

I know drugs aren’t right and can screw your life up, I know first hand, but I didn’t think I was doin' anything wrong because I was doin' them with my band. They were doin' it, so was I, and I didn't think I was doin’ anything wrong.

Obviously it didn’t work out... I personally haven’t changed from when I first started playing drums when I was 12 and I moved out and lived on the streets, which is when I met Slash. We were hangin' at the rock clubs, makin’ out with girls... I’m the same person I was then. But they changed, my other band changed, and that’s why we weren't getting along. We may have been partying together, but I don’t think it was the drugs really that got in the way...

I wish that maybe someone could've given me a hug and said, 'Hey, y'know, slow down'. But like I said, I was doing the drugs with my band, okay? And it didn't seem abnormal back then.


To tell you the truth, they’re the meanest people I ever met in my life. That’s why we didn’t get along. I got along with Slash and Duff, but with Axl it was just a total difference in personality.

I’ve always enjoyed this business and what I do. As I say, I was the scapegoat for Guns N' Roses. They had the record company comin’ down on them tellin' them to straighten up... and no way were they gonna straighten up.

So to make it look like they were gettin’ straightened up it was ‘point the finger at the nice guy’. Because at the time I was no more f*'ked up than they were. Besides losing my best friends and my family, which was that band, my wife left me...[...] Yeah, I was married and my wife left me. First the band treats me like I’m dead, then my wife leaves me. At that point I was feeling so sorry for myself it was ridiculous. The people who helped me pull it together? The fans. I got thousands of letters from the fans saying that they loved me and wanted to see me back out there. I got fed up feeling sorry for myself...

One thing that also helped me a lot was meeting other musicians who’d had drugs f**k them up, people like Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Steven Tyler. Seeing those people made me realise that I wasn't the only one. Because I felt like the only one, y’know... the only one who’d ever got thrown out of a band and got f"ked up on drugs. But it's happened to a lot of people. I was lucky because I got to speak with people who I can relate to; I can relate to the kids, because I'm a fan too.

Besides losing my best friends and my family, which was that band, my wife also left me… […] I was married and my wife left me. First the band treats me like I'm dead, then my wife leaves me. And at that point I was feeling so sorry for myself it was ridiculous.

I did everything I possibly could to try and kill myself. I had nothing to live for. I mean, everybody that I knew, that I thought were my friends, took everything they could from me and disappeared. I would drink a whole bottle of vodka, just down it, (?) just I could pass out.

It was a very hard thing that happened to me, leaving the G N" R guys. It took me many years to be able to handle it and move on.

The thing that hurt me the most was that Slash didn’t stick up for me. We were blood brothers.

Not long after being fired, Steven briefly attempted to form a new band with former Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy [VOX, October 1991]. According to an anonymous GN'R member "it lasted maybe a couple of weeks, then someone overdosed over at the house and that was that" [VOX, October 1991]. It is reasonable to assume this incident was the Erin overdose incident described in a later chapter and which likely occurred in July.

Steven would never really seem to get over having been thrown out of Guns N' Roses. Over the coming years he would talk about this frequently in the media, and his career would to a larger and larger extent revolve around playing covers of Guns N' Roses songs.

It was devastating. My dream had been taken away from me. Saddest part was I had their backs; we were a gang. There were so many times when I had their backs. I used to get into fights at bars defending them. We we a gang. I guess the hardest part was Slash not having my back. We were childhood friends and that was the hardest part not having Slash's back when I got kicked out.

What does bother me the most, I have to say, is, especially with Slash, that was our dream since we were 11 years old to be rock stars and make records and travel around the world, do all these drugs and have sex with all these women. And our dreams came true and then right when you get as famous, as rich, and as big as possible? He says, “The dream’s over for you. We’re gonna give it to some stranger.” Hey, who the hell is this Matt Sorum f-cker? He wasn’t there. It was just like they threw me out like I never existed and gave my life over to some stranger. “Here, you take over everything Adler worked for; you live his life.” So it was crushing; it was devastating, very devastating. That’s the word I’m looking for: devastating.


Later Steven pieced together another band that included former members of the Vain [Hot Metal, December 1991], including the singer Davy Vain. Vain would later discuss his connection with Steven and Guns N' Roses:

The first time we met was in late '86/early '87. It was the first time Vain had played the Stone in San Francisco. We were supporting Guns N’ Roses, in fact. I remember the gig because Steven and Duff (McKagan) hung out for our set and watched us. It turned out that a good friend of mine, the super-roadie McBob and his brother Tom Mayhue, ended up working for Guns. We were always the derelict rock kids from this town called Santa Rosa and when McBob and Tom started working for Guns, that was the beginning of the connection. When we were in LA we'd always stop by and say hi, and I got to know Duff and Slash quite well.

Steven's new band was called Road Crew, the same name of the band Slash and Steven had in 1983, before Guns N' Roses [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

I loved the name of that band, and it's copywritten under my name. Slash has Guns N' Roses, so I got Road Crew.

What it means to us is, we love travelling, we love being on the road and we're five guys. A crew. I can't wait to go on the road. I love it, I love playing for people... plus it’s a mean name, a cool f“kin' name... did you ever hear of a pussy Roadcrew?

Steven would further claim he had been clean for "more than six months" and that people could "expect a tour and album by summer 1992" [Circus Magazine, October 1991].

Slash was not happy about Steven resurrecting the 'Road Crew' band name:

Okay, Road Crew was a name that I came up with. It was a while before Guns N’ Roses even started and before I even met Axl. And there was different versions of it, you know, I could never find a singer, so it didn’t do that much. And there was one point when I did have a singer when we played a bunch of places. I’d known Steve previous to that and he was in the band for a couple of weeks; when we first met Duff and we rehearsed together, we had a big fallout and we broke up. And that’s when Guns N’ Roses consequently started to come together. Anyway, just recently I find out that Steven has started a new band called Road Crew and I was like, he had nothing to do this; and I’m like, where does he get off? You know, I haven’t even hassled him in the press or anything, nothing compared to what he said about us, and finally I just got to the point where I was like, “No”. Because it’s just personal to me and if I ever did, like, some sort of outside project from Guns N’ Roses, I don’t want to have that taken away from me, especially because he had nothing to do with it. So I feel a little bit... agitated; I think this is a good word for it (laughs) […] I trademarked the name and everything.

Not happy at all:

So I don’t know what he’s gonna do. But if he had any kind of imagination, or any sense of integrity, or any brains whatsoever, he wouldn’t have used it in the first place. At this point, I’m going, don’t use it, because if you do, there’s gonna be a big conflict, because I will defend it, you know? […] I don’t talk to that guy anymore. (Whispering) He’s a fucking idiot.

And when confronted with Steven claiming he had been in 'Road Crew ' longer than three weeks, Slash would respond:

No. The band round was for a year. We just rehearsed in a little room on Highland in Hollywood for – I mean, literally - a couple of weeks; like, maybe, seven songs we got through. And Duff can attest to that too, because all three of us went through it together. So my message to Steven is just leave it alone, don’t – because he doesn’t want to mess with me. Steven knows that. He doesn’t want to get started. And haven’t hassled him at all. So it’s, like, time to think of a new name, because it’s something that it’s just... You know, I don’t want to go “It’s mine, mine, mine.” It’s just, like, real personal to me, and I think he should go out and do his own thing anyway, you know? […] and it’s a cool name too. It’s, like, perfect for a heavy metal garage band that I want to, like, sort of do, you know, on the side or something. So that’s my feelings on it. I got a fax from his attorney saying - One of the contentions in this lawsuit that Steven and Guns N’ Roses have been going through was, “... and I want the rights to the name Road Crew.” You know, anytime somebody comes up to you and challenges you like that, for me, it makes me just want to go out and fight. It’s part of my nature, so if that’s what he wants to do, then fine.

And when asked if Steven's lawyer would be aware that Slash owed the rights:

Yeah, but that’s why he was forced to ask, you know, or demand the rights in this deal that he was trying to come up with, so that we can settle on the whole breakup story; which is the whole thing in itself.


Later, Steven would claim he suffered from depressions after not being able to get work because Axl had brandished him as a drug user:

When Axl went on MTV and said I was a heroin addict, I was fucked up and couldn’t play drums anymore. I could not get a gig if I paid someone. No one wanted to play with me and that’s when the depression really kicked in. That’s when I had nothing to live for. What was I going to do, go back to the garage and put together another band?

According to a 2005 interview, Steven also attempted suicide and when asked how serious they had been, Steven answered:

Well, they’re behind me now but I woke up a couple of times with charcoal coming out of every hole. I was very miserable. Everything I’d worked my whole life for had been taken away from me. And it was the people I’d worked with that had turned on me. I didn’t know what to do. From having hundreds of friends, to getting kicked out of the band by my best friend - and a guy who I was doing the drugs with! - it left me with no-one to turn to. I was very sad and lonely. My wife left me, and I didn’t blame her. It’s hard to watch someone you love trying to kill themselves. That’s what I was doing.

In the second half of 1992, Izzy would talk about having reconnected with Steven after having heard he wasn't "doing so well":

Look, yesterday, I talked to him over the phone for the first time in a year. I told him: "God Stevie, get your act man, record..." And he answered: "Fuck, man, my reputation is fucked up." I couldn't help laughing! And I told him: "Open your eyes, your reputation has always been fucked up (laughs)! Get a band! Play!"

I actually spoke to Steve probably a month ago - against the advice of the legal system, the attorneys, all that f**king bullshit. That part of the business, that part of the band, is such a load of shit — it seems it f**ks up so many good things. But I talked to Stevie; I'd heard he wasn't doing so well, and it was a trip talking to the guy, cos I hadn't talked to him for what must've been a year. […] He was a good-natured guy; I hope he can get a it together. He was never malicious, he never tried to f**k people around, he was just happy playing his drums. In some ways he's a little naive, I guess. […] I just tried to offer a little support, y'know? I just talked to him for a little bit. He was a good drummer. He wasn't a virtuoso, a Neil Pearl from Rush or something, but he's a f**king damn good rock drummer, he's a good guy, and he was funnier than shit on the road. […] I was always laughing when I was hanging out with Stevie. Some of the shit he'd pull, you'd just go, 'No f**king way'! One time we were in New York: I was rooming with Stevie and due to overbooking, we got a huge $500-a-night suite. We had this big room so we had a big party... and two days later we're still up! […] Stevie's a hairy guy, he's naked, his f**king eyes are red and swollen like goggles, and he's walking around when the maid comes in. The look on this lady's face, man — it just freaked the shit out of her, this f**king red-eyed ape guy! […] He was funny. I hope he gets it together. I told him to get a real job, clean himself up and start doing studio work or something. […] He was saying that he just really missed playing. All these lawsuits, it's just so f**king ugly, y'know? I guess it's inevitable...

I talked to him about a month ago. The lawyers said don't because of the lawsuit, but I'd heard he was in a bad way. He said he was having a hard time stretching it for more than a day or two. Really scared me. I know how I'd feel if he did himself in and I didn't make an effort to help him. I said if he cleaned up, I'd like to cut a couple of reggae tracks with him next summer. I know he's really bitter about the whole situation. He needs to start thinking forward.

I spoke with him a while back, two or three months ago, and he was kinda hanging in there y'know. I gave him a little support, because I always got on with Stevie really great and I always considered him a really good friend. It was very unfortunate how things went down. It was good to hear his voice, y'know.

People in this sort of business come and go, and I hope all the best for him. I hope he gets himself together. I told him to get some studio work.


In November 1992 it would be reported that Steven was still struggling with addiction and that he had been fired from Road Crew and that the band had changed name to Vain (after Davy Vain) [Popular 1, November 1992].

I recorded some stuff with Davey Vain for the band Roadcrew which didn't happen because of my own doings, but he put some of the songs that I'm playing on, on the record, I think it was the second Vain record, which was released in Japan and features 3 or 4 songs that I'm playing on.

[...] the man who runs [The Steven Adler official fan site], gave me a video of Roadcrew.  If you can get this thing, this bootleg -I was watching this video - it’s just straight hard fuckin’ rock n roll, you guys gotta hear these fuckin’ songs. If you guys know Davey Vain’s website, tell him that you fuckin’ want to hear Roadcrews’ demo tapes. I want to put those tapes out. Goddamn, Davey Vain’s a kick ass songwriter and this band Roadcrew that we had kicked ass, and you guys will love these songs. I think they could be classics. But I fucked the whole thing up. We were rehearsing, we played 4 or 5 shows, I think it was Atlantic or Electra, they liked it. They came to our rehearsal, loved the band, loved the look and how we sounded, then they wanted to go back to my pad. This chick comes over out of the blue, comes drivin’ up and hands me an empty cigarette box full of heroin, and it was over right then and there. It fucked everything up. All I know is that drugs have nothing but fucked up my life up. But besides that, I’d really like to put that stuff out,  I  guarantee you that music brings a lot of happiness and good times. We defintely recorded an albums’ worth of material.

That was great while it lasted, but unfortunately I was still getting high at the time and I blew it. That’s the truth of that situation.

We made a record, and a record company loved it and was going to sign us. I forget which label it was; it began with ’a’, maybe Atlantic or Arista? They came to a rehearsal and afterwards came back to my house to talk some more, but at the same time so did this girl who I was getting my drugs from. It was crazy - I hadn’t even called her, but she just happened to turn up. She was standing there at the gate, and handed me a cigarette box full of drugs. I accepted it... right in front of the band, the label people, everyone. The label wouldn’t even come into the house, the band all told me to forget it. My phone didn’t ring for years. Not unless it was a drug dealer calling me back. It was a very bad time.

Steven would not bear grudges against Vain, though:

I love Davy Vain. Davy Vain is fucking god. [...] Davy Vain, Jamie Scott, Ashley Mitchell, Shawn Rorie… fucking god. I love Davy. I wanna do a fucking Roadcrew record and put it out. We recorded - me and Davy, Ashley, Jamie Scott and Shawn Rorie, we did Roadcrew, amazing fucking shit. If you guys go on the internet, you can get it, there’s a tape out of us playing at the Limelight in New York and it kicks ass. I would love to do it. Just… I love Davy. Amazing songwriter.

I Love Davy Vain. He is one of the most greatest guys, I lived with, he let me rent one of his rooms out, ahh, 4-5 different times. The most wonderful guy, we had a band called Roadcrew that we put together and man those songs, he is just an amazing song writer, and I would love to play with him again. In fact this European tour, I wanted Vain to come with us, and open up for us. Yeah, I had that band with Jamie Scott, Ashley Mitchell, Davy Vain, and I, wonderful guys, and amazing song writers. Davy’s been very good to me, very good friend to me. He helped me out, and took care of me, a very good friend.

I did put a couple bands together and they were great but I was still doing drugs. I’m worthless when I’m on drugs and I ruined a band that I had called Road Crew with Davy Vain. And we had great songs and those were great guys; those were great people, Davy and Jamie [Scott] and Ashley [Mitchell] and Shawn [Rorie.] Wonderful guys but I messed that up with drugs. It was all pretty much just self-destructive stuff. I couldn’t believe that they [GNR] were able to just throw me away like that.

Izzy would again talk about having talked to Steven (still "probably a month ago"):

But I actually spoke to Steve probably a month ago - against the advice of the legal system, the attorneys, all that fucking bullshit! That part of the band's business is such a load of shit. […] I just tried to offer a little support, y'know? I told him to clean himself up and start doing studio work or something...He's a good guy, and he was funnier than shit on the road. We had this party in a New York hotel once for two days. I remember him being naked, and his fucking eyes were red and swollen like goggles, when the maid came in. It just freaked the shit out of her - this fucking red-eyed ape!


In early 1994 Slash talked to Steven:

I talked to Steven Adler on the phone a couple of weeks ago and he doesn’t sound too much better [...]. (Adler) doesn’t seem like he’s turned around much, put it that way.

And in August 1994 it would be reported that Steven had suffered an overdose and was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center:

I'm detoxing after doing heroin and coke and I'm just thankful I'm alive and that I was able to get in here. It's great waking up in the morning and not being sick. […] It's such a terrible, terrible sickness. I wasn't shooting it (heroin), I was smoking it. If I didn't save some for the next morning my eyes would water, my nose would run, I'd be throwing up, dry heaves.

Steven would also say he had been taking drugs almost nonstop since being fired from Guns N' Roses [The Houston Chronicle, August 7, 1994].

At some point in 1994 [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997] or 1996 [Classic Rock, June 2010], Steven overdosed again after "snorting too much coke" [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997] and fell on his bathroom floor, suffering a stroke that would lead him partly paralyzed [Hard Copy, December 25, 1996]. His fall also resulted in one tooth being knocked out [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997].

Despite the stroke causing a speech impediment, Steven was still able to play dryms:

I had a stroke; it f-cked my speech up. Thank god I could still play drums! How lucky is that? I’m one of the luckiest guys in the universe.

MTV News would later cite a passage from an early version of Steven's biography where he described this incident:

I knew this was going to be some hellacious speedball trip and the only thing I could do was hang on for the ride. In the next moment, I was on my stomach, my face uncontrollably hitting the tile floor. My eyes were open -- I was aware of what was happening -- but I couldn't stop. I could glance over to the tub where in arm's reach was a towel draped over it. All I had to do was grab the towel and shove it underneath my face. But I couldn't do it. I could feel my face hit the tile floor -- up and down, over and over again. And I couldn't stop as the convulsions swept over my body. I felt my teeth loosen as they broke away from the gums. I felt the lacerations on my face. The last thing I remember was pounding my face into a pool of blood.
MTV News, February 3, 1998; excerpt from biography in-writing

Despite this horrific OD, in early January 1995 Slash would claim that Steven was still on heroin [The Howard Stern Show, February 1, 1995].

And in April 1995 the media would again report that Steven had OD'ed, this time in a parked bronco together with his two dogs [The Los Angeles Times, April 22, 1995]. Steven was rushed to hospital and recovered, although the police considered taking legal action against him [The Los Angeles Times, April 22, 1995]. LAPD detective John Edwards would comment:

He overdosed himself on what appears to be heroin while in the car. Later on at the hospital, when he came to, he admitted he was the former drummer of Guns N’ Roses.

According to an interview aired in late 1996, the OD Steven had suffered in 1994 had resulting in Steven cleaning up and turning to spirituality, painting and making amends with friends and family [Hard Copy, December 25, 1996]. He also intended to go on a high tour school to talk about the horrors of drug addiction [Hard Copy, December 25, 1996]. Of course this is not entirely true since Steven suffered another overdose in 1995, as described above. In early 1997, he would imply that he had gotten sober because of realizing he had become paranoid [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997].

Because of the paralysis Steven had suffered, Steven started to go to a speech therapist in late 1996 [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997]. In early 1997 Steven would confirm he was off drugs [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997]. Talking about the process of sobering up:

It took two years of just going, "I can't take it," "I'm sick of being sick," and stopping and then messing up again...

But he wouldn't claim his battle with drugs were over:

You know, sometimes, like everybody else, I get a little depressed and in the back of the mind is that monkey still sitting going, "Just gotta take one hit" but I've been real good, I don't want to feel that.

And would admit to having had a few setbacks:

You know, I have... there was a little bump here and there within this year and a time I did twice…. […] One little line of coke. And I did my brain, I just started thinking, and I got that feeling in my stomach, "this is ain't cool." I mean the feeling in that stomach I had before I walked in this room, you know, butterflies, was way cooler, and I can control it. […]  I was I was doing a stroke [?], I couldn't control myself and so...[…] ...walking around in my underwear…I had no idea what I was doing. I was stealing popsicles from 7-eleven.

He would also claim to have been in rehab 23 times but that they are just a waste of time, and one could hardly argue with him over that:

I went to 23 wasting… wasted time rehabs. Let me explain the rehab thing to you. You go in there and you're of course wasted, that's the reason you go there. And you're gonna be sick of course, they give you medication for five days. When five days are over, boom, they give you nothing. I did seven years of damage does, actually since I was twelve… […] Since I was 12, I'm 32 today. […] Cuz they give you, like I said, meds for five days and then you're right back. There's 18 years of damage they're trying to fix in five days.

In early 1998 Steven would say he had spent the 2.3 million he received in settlement on drugs and that he had been sent to the hospital 31 times because of ODs [MTV News, February 3, 1998].

In 2004 Steven was asked if he'd do it all again knowing the outcome:

Yes, because it was everything I ever, always dreamed of. I worked my ass off for it, believed and never doubted, and I believed in myself and I made it happen. It was everything or nothing. I always knew that drugs were a part of it. That's what all my idols did, drugs. Back then you didn't have "Behind the Music". It was just magazines like Creem, and I would read this and it was always just one big party. You didn't hear about the throwing up blood and being sick, y'know. I didn't know, I just wanted to be a rockstar and party just like they all did.

In another interview in 2004, he would be asked what he would have done differently:

I would not have done so much heroin.

For the VHI documentary on Guns N' Roses, Steven had been interview but only a small part of the interview was used:

Let me tell you! They come over my house, they sit in my house for three f-u-c-k-in’ hours, and we did all kinds of great shit. I got these people laughing. And all they put in there is, “I did everything I could to try and kill myself.” Well, they didn’t put the rest of it in there. It was, I said, “That was my life, that was my band. Me and Slash, we grew up together, we put that band together, we did what we did. Everybody was doing drugs, there was no one certain person. And then they threw me out. And then I did everything I could to try and kill myself.” They just put that part in. That was what I said and they didn’t put that crap in. I hate that shit. And they put all this Matt Sorum and all these groovy people that have no idea. Half of those people never even hung out with us.

In early 2005, Steven would be asked what he had been doing for the last 14 years:

I wish I could say better things. Pretty much getting high, trying to kill myself. That didn’t work after 10 years, so god has better things in store for me. I should have been dead so many times.

When asked if he stopped playing drums during his drug period:

Pretty much, I’m ashamed to say. I wish I could say that I did a lot of travelling or self-improvement, but all I actually did was sit on the couch and get high - while the TV watched me. It was a very, very hard time.

And how he had got his life in order:

This one time, I was so depressed I took 100 valiums, drank a big bottle of Jager and shot up ¾ grams of heroin. I woke up 8 hours later and I had the best sleep of my life. After that, I though that there had to be something really good and exciting for my future. It took a couple of years, but that’s not really too much considering that I have been around for 39 years. The beginning of 2000 started off slow and the same with 2001, but the last two years have been amazing.

Despite this, during an interview published in February 2005, the interviewer would describe Steven as being drunk [MetalShrine, February 17, 2005]. And in 2005, when asked if he was sober:

No, I am not. I never claimed to be. But I’m not shooting heroin or doing cocaine. I’ll have a beer or a shot of Jager[-meister], or I’ll smoke a joint. It’s all in control if I stick to that. But heroin and cocaine makes me useless.

Later it would be made clear that at some point in 2005, Steven was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance and driving on a suspended license [MTV News, July 18, 2008]. When Steven failed to show up for the connected court case in 2006, he was issued with a warrant [MTV News, July 18, 2008].

In 2006, Steven would be honest about his drug use:

Umm, I smoked a little rock about 2 months ago. God it tastes so good. [...] It makes your cock fucking hard! And you get so fucking horny, and you have the best fucking orgasms that you could God forsaken believe. Believe me, there is a reason for somebody to do something like that.

The 2006 tour with Adler's Appetite would fall to pieces because of drug use [see separate chapter], and an intervention would be done with Slash flying in to participate [Rolling Stone, August 9, 2007]. Steven commenting on Slash participating in the intervention:

That was friendship. That was love.

Later, Slash would make a deal with Steven that if he managed to stay sober, he would get to play on Slash's solo album:

I promised Steve Adler if he stayed clean long enough he could play on the record. I hadn’t played with Steven in 20 years and it was great. One of the reasons Appetite For Destruction is so great is the energy that he brings to the table. It was great to get in a room with him and start playing and just to recognise that sound that he has.


Despite Steven suing the band, and reaching a financial settlement [Steven-GN'R settlement], Slash would claim to be in much contact with Steven in 1996:

[…] when Steven, when Steven Adler um… […] Who I love dearly. I talk to him all the time.

Despite reaching a settlement with the band, Steven still had a website where he would sell merchandise, including " t-shirts, hats, boxer shorts, autographed sticks and drum heads" and "personal paintings" [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997].


In late 1996 it would be reported that Steven was playing with Gilby for a new band tentativelly named 'Freaks in the Room' [News Pilot, November 15, 1996]. The lineup included Coma-Tones guitarist Joel Soul and bassist Stefan Adika and allegedly the band sounded "kick-ass" [News Pilot, November 15, 1996].

Gilby doesn't seem to have been long in the band, because on January 22, 1997, Steven does not list him as a member [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997]. At this time Steven's band was supposed to start playing at the Billboard Live club in Los Angeles on February 24 and every Monday thereafter [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997]. According to Steven, they would get all kinds of people coming out and jamming with them, including Sebastian Bach and:

[…] every Monday we're the house band - we got people from George Clinton, to Rick Springfield, to Mick Jagger coming out and hanging out and they come up and do a song.

He would also inform that his brother, Jamie, was managing 'Freaks in the Room' [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997].


In June 2008 it would be announced that Steven would be one of the celebrity patients on the second season of Celebrity Rehab [Blabbermouth, June 10, 2008]. The cast also featured Jeff Conaway, Sean Stewart ("Sons of Hollywood"), Amber Smith (model/actress), Rodney King, Nikki McKibbon ("American Idol"), Gary Busey and Kitaen [Blabbermouth, June 10, 2008].

Later, Steven would say he had also been asked for the first season of the show:

The first time they asked me to do it, I wasn't ready, so I turned it down [...]

The series will chronicle the patients' intensive 21-day program with both group and one-on-one therapy and non-traditional therapies like art and music. Returning to the show to help Dr. Drew are drug counselor Bob Forrest and resident technician Shelly Sprague who have each spent years on both sides of the rehab fence. Dr. Drew is also bringing in some additional prominent physicians to help him give the patients supplementary one-on-one care. The patients' families will also be more involved with their recovery programs and, in some cases, will receive treatment themselves. After they completed the program, the patients will be strongly encouraged to continue their treatment in a sober living facility or treatment center for at least three months at VH1's expense.

Talking about saying yes to the show:

When they asked me to take part in the second season, I felt different about things. I was a little older and wiser, and I didn't want to go through all of that crap again, so I let myself give them an opportunity to help me.

I just wanted to give myself a chance to get better than I was yesterday. That first few weeks were the toughest, because once the drugs wear off, all of the emotions come out. The hardest part to get through was that first month.

Rolling Stone would comment on the first episode of Celebrity Rehab Season 2 as it aired in October 2008:

Ex-Guns n’ Roses Drummer Steven Adler Is Having the Worst Week Ever

What are the chances that exciting news breaks about your ex-band’s 14-years-in-the-making album finally coming out the same week you make an embarrassing appearance on a VH1 show about celebrity drug treatment? Unfortunately, that improbable set of circumstances has befallen original Guns n’ Roses drummer Steven Adler, who was the most cringe-worthy addict on Celebrity Rehab last night: sobbing about how his friendship with Slash has deteriorated to the point where the guitarist didn’t ring him up to drum on his upcoming solo LP, sucking down bong hits while proclaiming his desire to die, declaring his admiration for Jeff Conaway (whose leather jacket and curled hair made him look like a zombie Kenickie). We’re not sure what the success rate for reality-TV interventions is, but we’re rooting for you, Steven.


After Celebrity Rehab Steven was part of the cast in the spin-off series Sober Living [MTV News, July 18, 2008]. In July 2008, during the recording of Sober Living, it would be reported that Steven had been arrest again on new drug charges [Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2008]. The police had been called out to a home on Canyon Drive on 4am where Steven had caused a disturbance and refused to leave [Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2008]. Steven was arrested on suspicion of possessing narcotics and being under the influence, and for an outstanding warrant [Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2008]. A few days later, it would be reported that the incident had taken place at the house where Sober Living was being recorded, and that a member of the Sober Living staff had called the police when Steven allegedly did drugs in the house [TMZ/Blabbermouth, July 25, 2008].

In a court hearing not long after, Steven admitted to having relapsed:

I'm feeling much better. I made a recent mistake. I had a relapse after 37 days. I just wanna take care of this and move on. I'm back to seven days sober, so I wanna keep that going — seven days, seven weeks, seven months, seven years. It's the first day of the rest of my life right now. I wanna keep the sobriety going and keep my health going. I'm just glad I've got my friends behind me. I've got Slash behind me, Duff, Izzy, Axl… [they're] all behind me. I've got their prayers. [...] The bottom line is, I made a mistake, I relapsed. You've gotta pay for your mistakes, and I'm just paying for it. And whatever I have to do to take care of this to keep this in the past so I can move on to the future, I'll do it.

The court case was on August 20; Steven pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered by a judge to remain in drug rehabilitation at the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, California, for at least the next month [MTV News, August 20, 2008]. The decision hit Steven hard who broke down in court [TMZ, August 20, 2008]. Steven also had to use the money he earned from participating on Sober House to pay for lawyers and rehab:

Whatever I got paid, I had to - because the Sober House VH1 people and Dr. Drew had me arrested, all the money that I got paid I had to pay to my lawyer and for this rehab stuff. So, basically, I really made nothing, but… a very difficult time in my life now.

Then in November Steven pleaded no contest to a heroin possession charge "in the hopes of avoiding jail time by entering a treatment program". His attorney, Barry Gerald Sands, would comment:

When he gets sober they’ll accept him into the band and then they’ll do a comeback album and a world tour, that’s the dream of Steven Adler.

On December 18, a court commissioner agreed to place Steven in a state-sanctioned rehabilitation program and keep him out of prison [Associated Press, December 18, 2008].

Then, on January 26, 2009, Steven was arrested again, this time for not having finished his community service in the time frame given by the judge [TMZ/Blabbermouth, February 1, 2009] and on February 6 he was in court again where the judge ordered back into the Cri-Help Treatment Center rehab [TMZ, February 6, 2009].

In February, Duff and Axl would comment on the reality series Sober House:

I watched about four minutes… somebody said, ‘Dude, you got to watch this thing.’ It was too hard for me to watch. My stomach started getting queasy and I couldn’t watch it. It seems a little dirty, the whole deal. I know the Dr. Drew guy, and he is a strong member of the sober community and he’s helped a lot of people and I think his thing is, ‘Hey man, if one person can get sober out of this whole experience… great.’ I’ll put it this way: if I was still using, I would never go on that show. I don’t get it. I just don’t like reality TV.

I wish Steven the best; unfortunately Steven's given us the spoiler for that. I hope people are able to find answers and get the help they need; other than that, I'm not the biggest fan of the show.

In March, Steven would discuss being sober:

Making it one day is a long time, and I've made it, like, six months. The last time I did anything goofy like that was on the show ("Sober House," a VH-1 reality show spin-off of "Celebrity Rehab," both of which featured Adler), when I got arrested (last summer). I've been so lucky, and I've got a great team of people around me; I've got my best friend Slash back in my life; and I'm happier than ever.

It's like I'm seeing things for the first time. To have survived everything I went through -- a stroke, the band -- and get a second chance at life, it's crazy. And I'm so grateful I did those two shows. As much as I despised rehab and the whole AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) crap, it works!

And on whether Sober House was the reason he had gotten sober:

Oh yeah. I went in to rehab eight days before I started the show because I wanted to do the show properly and I didn't want to go through withdrawals like everyone else did.

Talking about having seen it on TV:

[...] it was on like three times a day so I would see some of it sometimes. I hated seeing that girl, whatever her name was, dial 911 and call the police on me. I am just watching my life change when she was dialing 911 to have me arrested. That really sucked. Otherwise it was great people and I had a great experience. It helped me and I have been sober.

In August 2010, he would talk about having seen the scene from Sober House the very day after, and claim this was a turning point:

Well, as you recall, I got arrested on the show. I went back the next day and they showed me the film of how I looked and acted. I was devastated. It crushed me that I looked so terrible and that I was such an asshole. And it's all because of the drugs. It made me see. I think everybody who has somebody in their lives that has a problem with drugs or alcohol, they should videotape them and show it to them the next day. I guarantee you'll change your mind on what you're doing with your life. I was devastated. I don't want to ever look like that again.

In August 2009, it would be reported that the felony drug case against Steven had been dropped after he had successfully completed a court-ordered drug program [Radar Online, August 4, 2009].

In 2010, Steven would talk more about Slash's role in him cleaning up:

One thing that’s definitely helped me has been working again with Slash. He’s been clean for a few years, and when he asked me to play drums on one song from his new album (Baby Can’t Drive), it was the boost I needed. At last someone was showing confidence in me.

Slash and I go back such a long way; we were school pals. To have him back in my life is huge for me. Right now, the thought of not letting him down is enough to keep me together. I really want to take the break he’s given me here and make it work. 1 owe him so much for this.

I’ve come to realise that, because of my drug addiction, I missed out on so much. I have nobody to blame but myself, however I am just grateful to be alive and to be able to have a career again.

In July he had been sober for half-a-year:

Well, it's been 2 1/2 years since they started the Dr. Drew thing, and I relapsed twice. ... I don't know, like five months.

Working with Dr. Drew I learned so much about myself and about life. It's been nothing but a pleasure and an honor having him in my life. Also, in recovery there are relapses. I relapsed a couple of times in the last two or three years. The last time I relapsed was five months ago. I had to start all over again five months ago.

Out of all the drugs that I've done in my life, I never did that OxyContin stuff. And I was at the wrong place accidentally at the wrong time and somebody gave me a couple of those, and then three weeks later my wife shows me a picture of me passed out in the hallway of the house. I saw that and it reminded me, it brought me right back to Sober House. I called Dr. Drew and Slash up and I said, "I got myself into this predicament and I need some help. Can you do something for me?" He said, "When can you go into detox?" And I said, "Right now!" And see me, just showing an effort to take care of myself, I have everybody backing me.

I have relapsed four or five times in two years. I got almost six months sober now. Part of recovery is relapse. I dust myself off and move forward again. Six months ago, I relapsed on a drug I never did. It was Oxycontin and I never did it before. It was a bad decision and two weeks later, my wife took a picture of me and showed me. I was passed out in a hallway of my house. I took one look at it, called Slash and Dr. Drew and said, 'Can you help me?' I wish I realized I had the best people behind me 20 years ago. I had a mild stroke, which affected my speech. It was like I had to go back to kindergarten, to learn how to talk again I have problem with my S's. I got arrested on the show, which was the best thing for me. You might think it's the worst thing, but after 35 years of beating myself up, it takes time to heal. It was either go to jail for one year -- and I've been there before and I don't want to go back-or spend 90 days in rehab, so I went to detox. Every minute is like an hour in rehab ... until you realize you have a nice bed. It's warm and comfortable. They give you three meals a day, and you listen to encouraging words throughout the day. When I was doing drugs, I wouldn't be eating, sleeping.


Yes, I am really excited. It's called "Steven Adler's Getting Started With Rock Drumming". It is the basics for beginners to start playing. I have so many fans from differrent age groups that always ask questions about starting out and advice. This DVD is to get everyone started on a life of drums! It is available everywhere. You can buy autographed copies thru my MySpace or Facebook.

Steven Adler's DVD

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:15 am


With Steven in the process of being kicked out of the band, the band needed a new drummer to finish the recording which was dragging out.

It was heartbreaking, especially for me and Slash, but we had to find a replacement drummer.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172

Finding a replacement drummer wasn't easy, both because Steven's drumming was such an integral part of the band's sound but also, as Slash would say, "we couldn't place an ad in the paper" [Musician, December 1990].

The same thing that had made Steven an important part of our sound also made it difficult to replace him-his sense of groove We tried out drummer after drummer. Things started to look a bit grim.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172

So Steven was ultimately let go and then we couldn't find anybody to replace him. We're a very tight-knit little family. Every single guy that we tried out would have to walk into this room with a bunch of guys just sitting there, looking like they were going to kill him!

When I was looking for a drummer to replace [Guns’] Stephen [Adler], there was a point where we had a million top-notch drummers and I could not find anybody. That was probably the first real break-up of Guns, was when we couldn’t find a drummer… It’s like -- a bad drummer? Can’t do it. It just won’t happen.

Eventually, the band found Matt Sorum from the band The Cult. Guns N' Roses knew the band well, having opened for The Cult on their 1987 tour in Canada and USA. Axl and Izzy had also jammed with Matt and The Cult in July 1989 [see previous chapter].

Thankfully, at the very last moment we found Matt Sorum, who had been playing with the Cult.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 172

Slash would  talk about having seen Matt play with the Cult:

What happened was I went to the Universal Amphitheatre and saw The Cult, I watched the show from the soundboard and the main thing I noticed was that the drummer was great and I said, 'Well, why can't we find a drummer like that? What's the problem?

I didn’t wanna go and see The Cult that night. I had just got a new girlfriend who’s now my wife, and I thought, ‘I’ll take her to a concert’. And that’s where I saw Matt, and that’s how that happened.

Matt would confirm that Slash and Duff had come to that show and watched him play:

I was doing the tour with the Cult, and our last two shows were in L.A. at the Universal Amphitheatre. Slash and Duff, the guitarist and bass player for Guns N' Roses, came out to the show. They hung out at the sound board the whole time.

Slash and Duff came down to see me play at the Universal Amphitheater. Then Slash called me up. I was staying with my mom 'cause I didn't have a house and they asked me to join.

This show with the Cult was the final gig on the The Cult tour in 1990 and took place on April 3, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. But both Slash and Duff had seen Matt play with The Cult a few months earlier, on June 24, 1989, at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy when they were hanging out in Chicago waiting for Axl and Izzy to show up [Chicago Tribune, May 1991] and had been impressed with his performance.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:16 am


Matt is unclear on when he was contacted by the Guns N' Roses camp. In one quote he says he was contacted the day after the April 3 show with the Cult, while Steven was still on the probation contract:

They didn't approach me again until the very last show I did with the Cult in April last year, so I had a sneaking suspicion something was going on. The next day I got a call from Slash at my house. Originally I was just going to go down and do the album. Then about two weeks into rehearsal, I went up to Slash's house for a little barbecue and he asked me to join the band.

In another quote he says it happened five weeks later:

About five weeks after [the Universal Amphitheatre shows with The Cult] I got a phone call from a producer named Mike Clink. He said, "Someone's going to be calling you, and I'm not going to tell you who." I was sitting around the house going, "Who is this?" I finally got the call: "Hey Matt, this is Slash. Do you want to come and record our album? Steven is no longer in the band."

Regardless, initially the idea was to only bring Matt in to finish recording the album:

I was just finished with The Cult tour in 1990. It was a couple... It’s two years ago that I’ve been in Guns. And I got a call from Slash. And originally I was just gonna go and do Use Your Illusion I and II, the records, and go back to The Cult. And they would go with Steven out on tour. And I started rehearsing with the band and we just got along really well. Duff and Slash and myself mainly rehearsed at first, then Izzy would come in and then Axl. And about two weeks into it, I was up at Slash’s house, where we had a little barbecue - you know, cook us a chicken – and he said, “Hey, do you wanna come to Guns N’ Roses?” And I go, “Wow” – again (laughs).

This would be confirmed by Slash [MTV Rockline, March 1992].

The date of when the band formally contacted Matt aside, we know that Slash and Duff had Matt in mind after having witnessed him play on April 3 [see later chapter].

With Matt only being intended to replace Steven in the studio, it is likely the band still hoped that Steven could remain in the band. But that after two weeks they gave up that idea and asked Matt to replace Steven permanently.

I went down [to the recording studio] thinking I was just going to do the album, which is what I told the guys in the Cult, figuring I'd be able to do the Cult album after that. About two weeks into rehearsals, Slash asked me if I wanted to be in the band as a member.


If the band called Matt already in early April, this would place Matt joining GN'R to mid-April 1990. This also fits with a comment he made during an interview at Rock In Rio II, in January 1991, when he said he joined GN'R "about 8 months ago" [Special TV, 1991]. Despite this, in a Geffen press release from 1991, it was stated that Matt joined the band in August 1990 [Geffen Press Release, September 1991]. And later, in an official newsletter, Matt would say he started rehearsing with the band in May but joined in June:

I joined GN'R in May of 1990. I mean I joined them in July 1990, but our first rehearsals were in May 1990.

Slash has also given statements that could imply Matt joined the band much later than April:

What happened was I went to the Universal Amphitheatre [April 3, 1990] and saw The Cult […] So three months or something went by and I was tearing my hair out trying to find a guy who would fit in the band and have the right feel and get along with us on a personality basis. Because as much as everybody would like to try and believe it, we're not like a business when it comes to just the five of us. It's not like we just hire some outside guy as long as he can play the parts right. And I think then I remembered that Cult gig and figured out I'd just try and steal him. And that's what I did.

This would imply Matt joined the band in June-July 1990, and that Matt was incorrect in saying he was contacted immediately after the April 3 show.

Press rumours about Matt joining started first in August [L.A. Weekly, August 24, 1990] and that's when it finally had to be confirmed by the band, despite it likely having happened in May/June.

Slash would talk about hiring Matt in a Guitar Player issue that was published in October 1990, but the interview was done before July 1990:

We've got a new drummer, named Matt Sorum. The press doesn't seem to know about it, which is cool. We've had problems for months with Steven [Adler], and it was holding up the band. Once I swallowed the reality that things had to change, I started scouting drummers. We obviously couldn't put an ad out -- we would've had the Goon Squad knocking at our door. So we started auditioning people we heard about through the grapevine.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone with the right attack or feel. I was really depressed over the situation for a while. Then one night, not too long ago, I went to see the Cult. I was at the sound board, and I was thinking, "This drummer is really awesome." I think Lars from Metallica told me about him, too. I was really, really impressed. He was literally one of the best rock drummers I had ever seen.

I initially didn't contact him because he was with the Cult. But I was at an all-time low and I knew that the Cult were off the road, so I decided to give Matt Sorum a call. I went through all these different sources to get in touch with him. Finally we hooked up, he came down to a rehearsal, and things immediately clicked. It was great and he was a great guy -- the chemistry worked.

Steven wasn't a technically great drummer, but we had been playing together for so long that we had a great collective feel. His meter, however, was always changing-up and down, up and down. So we had never really played with a great drummer. We didn't know what it would feel like. Not to say Steven isn't any good -- I don 't want to put him down -- but we never really played with anybody that was awesome. Duff and I started realizing how good Guns N' Roses could be after playing with some great drummers, like Kenny Aronoff from Iggy's band. We just looked at each other after playing with Kenny and went," Wow!" Then when Sorum came down and kicked ass, it confirmed things. The band sounds about 100 times better.

The difference is insane. At one point Duff thought it was his fault. We couldn't get a decent groove going, and we couldn't figure what was going wrong. Then we thought it was the whole band! You should've seen us! Y'know, long faces and shit ... [laughs].


Matt would claim to have had reservations about joining Guns N' Roses:

I heard a lot of horror sto­ries, and I had mixed opinions about joining this band. Final­ly I decided that this is a once in-a-lifetime opportunity and that if I didn’t take it now, I’d probably kill myself later.

You hear the stories, the drug abuse, the lifestyle. I just didn’t know what to expect, it was crazy, a wild ride.

And this might have been what Matt was referring to in this later quote:

When I was hired in GNR, it was hell in the band and I patched things up.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

When I joined the band about 8 months ago [interview is done in January 1991, during Rock in Rio], everything was in turmoil. And the band has really come together and we pumped out a lot of tunes for this new album.

But the band had few reservations about him:

He has saved the band’s life. He came in, he's in an up mood, he works, he writes his own material. He writes a lot. He works real well with us. He takes suggestions while he keeps everybody in line, keeps the timing great... Yeah, I mean, he played 29 songs in a month.

[Matt had] the best groove I'd heard. So we got together, and he fit in with us from day one. […] In the past, Steve used to watch my feet for meter, and I always rush things in certain places—not on purpose. So a lot of our tempos would be all over the place. We just got used to that. A couple of times we had a drummer fill in for Steve on the road, and in the middle of 'Welcome to the Jungle' I'd realize I'm four bars ahead of the drummer. So, now I'm learning to play with an actual musician.

He’s amazing. Can’t say enough nice things about him. He’s a great guy to hang out with, he’s always friendly, he’s usually always in a good mood.

The fact that Matt could play and fit in was what saved us. If we hadn’t found somebody, it would have ultimately been the demise of the band. Matt’s been capable of keeping up with it, if not enhancing it totally and bringing new stuff to it. He still can’t show up anywhere on time, though [laughing].

When Matt happened, it was the one final thing that we needed to pull it all back together. It was just loose; we were all together but we were all just hanging on the edge, trying to figure out how to keep the band going. There were a lot of, uh, chemical situations going on and so forth, and Matt was like a godsend because he was the one thing we needed.

There was a point there that we thought we couldn’t play. It was very weird. Matt’s a f**kin’ great guy, an awesome drummer, and he f**kin’ made the band solid. He was the kick in the ass that re­motivated us, because at one point, I think we forgot what we were here for. When Matt joined the band, we pulled 30 songs together in a month. So after two years of going through all this bullshit, when the band finally came together, we just clicked like we always have.

Matt came in and kicked ass. And that put a foot up our ass. It was like, ‘That’s right! We’re a fucking band, man, that’s right!’ It’s like we forgot we were a rock and roll band that could kick ass. And it all came back. It was completely natural.

Izzy seemed to be a little bit more reserved:

[Talking about what Matt has done for the group since he became a member]: Um, as a drummer I would say... I don’t know, it’s good, you know? (chuckles). […] Yes, different style [than Steven's]. But, you know, they’re both good drummers and Matt is working good.


With Steven being entirely replaced by Matt, and Matt joining Guns N' Roses on tour in 1991, Guns N' Roses had practically "stolen" the drummer from the Cult. Asked about how Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy from the Cult reacted, Slash would reply:

Actually, I just ran into them, like, two days ago. They were really cool about it, because... Of course I called Matt on the sly, you know (chuckles). I didn’t call Ian and say, “Can I steal your drummer?” But I called Matt and said, “Well, do you wanna do the album?” you know. I didn’t really tell him I was stealing him for the whole tour and everything. So he was like, “Well, The Cult’s off tour and the record is done” and so on, and so, “Yeah, I’ll come down.” And we clicked, you know, in the first five minutes. So then it was like, obviously we’re not gonna replace him, and we did the whole record and everything. So we made him an offer of such... You know, right? […] And so, as far as Ian and Billy were concerned, that was Matt’s deal, really, to confront them with it. And then, as time went by, running into Billy and Ian... I mean, Ian was great about it. I didn’t really talk to Billy about it, you know, but Ian was like, “Whatever, it’s cool.” Yeah, so it was amicable.

Duff, on the other hand, would claim they talked to Astbury before offering the job to Matt:

We didn't steal their drummer away. We talked to Ian first. It was their last gig of the tour, so it fell right into place. I was crossing my fingers, 'cause he seemed perfect. Then when he came in for an audition, I was like, "Okay, yeah!'

Then Slash and I went to see The Cult on the last night of their tour and we were amazed by this guy Matt on drums. We were friends with Ian [Astbury] and Billy [Duffy] because our first tour ever was opening for them so I asked Ian whether they would be hanging onto the drummer now the tour had finished. They wanted to get all British guys in the band so we got hold of Matt, he came and played and we knew it would work. He’s an awesome drummer.

Matt would explain that he wasn't an actual member of the Cult at the time, but was negotiating it:

I was negotiating that. My deal with them was that I was going to tour with them for one year, and then I was going to become an equal member. I said to Guns N' Roses, "If you want me in the band, you have to make me a member, because I already have an offer to be a member of the Cult." Guns N' Roses brought me right into the organization, and that was nice

Any drummer in my position at the time would have been kicking themselves had they not done it. At the time, GNR were the biggest band in the world! The fact that I got the call to do the gig was such an honor. They came to the show and liked the way I played. So I went back to Billy and told him I'd just been offered the GNR gig, not as a sideman, but as a band member (Matt was a waged session player while in The Cult). Billy told me that if it was him then he'd do it - at the time it was like winning the rock 'n' roll lottery.

Slash, summarizing what happened:

Matt I found after being seriously frustrated looking for a drummer. It was a crucial period where we had to get it together if we were gonna stay together. He was playing with the Cult. I saw him a few months before I called him. I had to sit down and go, "Okay, who's the best drummer I've seen, regardless of what band he's in?" I remembered being blown away by Matt with the Cult. So I thought, "I'll just give him a call. The Cult's off the road." I called him, and he came down and we hit it off right away.


It was hard for them to bring someone new into the band, because they had known Steven for so long and he was a really good person; he just had his problems. And they were having a hard time finding someone that they could really open up to and hang out with the way they had with Steven.

Basically, I never was really a member of the Cult. And when these guys came on and asked me to do the album – I was just gonna do the record and go back to the Cult and hopefully Steven would get his thing together, but it didn’t work out, so they asked me to join the band. And, you know, it was basically something I couldn’t turn down; I’d have probably kicked myself in the ass real hard later, you know.
Rapido, September 1991; from Press Conference, August 1991

Slash and Duff came to see a Cult show and liked my style of playing. They called me to work on the records (Use Your Illusion I and II). Originally I wasn't going to tour with them, but Steven had to be let go and I became a full time member.

I replaced Steven Adler and many people said Use your Illusion is very different from Appetite For Destruction. It wouldn't have been constructive to do Appetite 2. Many people also said I'm better than Steven. No, I only play in a different way.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

That was like winning the rock-and-roll lottery. I was a sideman in the Cult. Fans came up to me for years and asked if I left for the money. That had nothing to do with it. I wanted a full partnership and I got that with Guns N’ Roses. I wanted to make a name for myself and I did.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:16 am


I wish I’d played on Appetite For Destruction.


Matthew William Sorum was born in Long Beach, California, on November 19, 1960 and grew up in Orange County near Laguna Beach [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991; GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996] into a musical family where his mother was music teacher and his brother a classical violinist [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991]. He has two older brothers and a younger half brother [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

I grew up in a surfing community and if you weren't a surfer, you weren't one of the cool guys. When I started playing drums, I got some attention, so it made me wanna play all the more.

He got his first drum kit, a "Sears Tigger Tiger Drum Kit" from Sears and Roebuck, when he was 5 but his older brothers broke it because they "didn't like the way [he] played it" [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996]. Matt but "got serious" about drumming at age 9 [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991]. He got inspired to play drums after having seen Ringo Starr at the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966 [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

I just always wanted to play drums. I got my first set of drums when I was about 5 years old. You know, I was just always banging on things, I don’t know. My first band I was really into was probably Black Sabbath. You know, during, like, junior high school. I guess that’s what made me hit drums so hard, because I saw Black Sabbath and, you know, his drumming was just so amazing, Bill Ward, back in those days. And I liked his power. And then I got into Zeppelin and all the stuff that the rest of the guys were into, you know, Aerosmith and...

[Talking about the first record he bought]: 1966, A Hard Day’s Night. I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show — I was six years old. I wanted to be a drummer when I bought that record — I was playing then too.

In high school I was in marching band and jazz ensemble. I actually took three band classes a day in high school. We could have three electives, and I picked all music—wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, marching band. And we had a really good drum corps at Mission Viejo High School. I played timp-toms.

I took some [lessons] from Jay Wanamaker. In those days I wasn't really into the rudiment thing. I was just into playing hard rock. When I was in the eighth grade I had my first band, and I was totally into Black Sabbath. So I kind of got turned off to lessons until I got into marching band and that kind of stuff. Once I got into doing that, it took up a lot of my time. Marching band was two hours after school.

[Being asked if he didn't take any lessons after that]: Not really. The only thing I did was attend jazz retreats and clinics and things. At home I played to records. In 1974, when I first got into high school, I really got into early Genesis and Gentle Giant—more progressive stuff. I wasn't really into Led Zeppelin until much later. I was more into the weird stuff like Gentle Giant, which helped me with my odd meters. I learned how to play in 7/4 and things like that in the ninth grade, because early Genesis was really into that.

My parents split up when I was a child and that's when I started playing drums. I was unhappy, angry, aggressive.

Playing drums was a good way to get out anger:

[…] you know, it was my way of getting it out. It was great that I’d come home from school every day and thrash (imitates playing drums). And right after that I’d feel really good and mellow. […] I’d say for anybody out there that, like - let’s say people down in, like, East L.A. that want to go out and beat somebody up. They should just buy a drum kit or something, you know? Really. Beat on a drum, don’t beat on each other or something. I think that’d be a great model for the world. You know, everybody buy drum sets. And when you feel like you wanna go, like, hit your kid or something, go in a room and play a beat.

Other bands and artists that inspired Matt were old Genesis, Deep Purple, Louis Belson and "some other jazz artists" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991], while his favorite drummers are "probably John Bonham, Ian Place from Deep Purple and Bill Ward from Black Sabbath" and Keith Moon [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

Kiss Alive was the first concert I ever saw in the ninth grade, so I bought that album, but it was probably Led Zeppelin ‘Good Times Bad Times’ that made the biggest impression on me or Ginger Baker playing drums on Fresh Cream.

I liked Deep Purple because they were kind of orchestral in a way. I liked everything with kind of a classical sound to it. Then I got into the early fusion drummers like Billy Cobham, Lenny White, and Tony Williams. I learned a lot from them, like playing real fast and applying rudiments to the drumkit. I went off in that direction for a while, but I came to the realization that I really couldn't compete with those guys, and I found my niche in rock 'n' roll. I kind of moved around for a while and couldn't figure out what my style was until I finally started getting a lot of calls from rock bands. I played new wave, country—everything. But I didn't really figure it out until I did the Jeff Paris album, and then I got back into rock and grew my hair out. Then when the Cult gig came up, I said, "This is it."

Another hobby of Matt was surfing:

[…] I was a surfer. I surfed all the way up until the tenth grade and then I gave up surfing to then be completely enthralled by rock.

Matt started his career as a drummer in various Los Angeles-based hard rock bands in 1976. Then he played with an Australian new wave band called IQ, toured with a guitarist named Greg Wright, and returned to LA to work as a session drummer, including playing with Gladys Knight. He also played with E.G. Daily, Belinda Carlisle, Shaun Cassidy, Jeff Paris and Spencer Davis [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

There’s a lot of different types of music, which I didn’t have a problem with, because I come from, like, a lot of different musical backgrounds. I played with R&B artists and I played with a lot... […] Gladys Knight & the Pips I played with… […] I played with them about two years ago, I did one of their albums. I got one track with them. And then I worked with Belinda Carlisle, who is a pop star, so I have all kinds of different, like, stuff just to make ends meet. It’s what I did in the studios in LA. If someone called me up, you know, I wouldn’t argue. I’d play with anyone.

Matt with Tori Amos' band
Y Kant Tori Read

After playing with Gladys Knight he hooked up with The Cult [Rolling Stone, September 1991] and played with them in "December of ’88 and through May of 1990" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, July 1991].

I was playing around town a lot, and a few different people recommended me. The Cult is an English band, so they were looking for English players, but Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols and his bass player, Terry Nails, recommended me, as well as Chuck Wright, the bass player from House Of Lords. So they finally called me up and asked me to come down to audition. I went down, and it was a real cool audition; we jammed stuff like Zeppelin. It wasn't a real pressure situation like other auditions I had been involved with. […] I picked up a couple of their albums, but I didn't go crazy learning them—and I'm glad I didn't, because we didn't end up doing anything like that. It was just to see how I played. They weren't trying to run me through this thing of, "Play this exactly like Mark Brzezicki," who played on their Love album. When I got done with the audition, they said, "You've got the gig if you want it." I was the only guy they auditioned. They were going to audition Pat Torpey, but he decided to go with Mr. Big. The Cult album sold about a million in a month and went to #10—it really took off. The tour was great. On my first gig we played for 15,000 people, and I had never played for that many people before, so it was pretty scary.

In the Cult every night was a big party. Now I take it a little easier.

I was in L.A. for more than 10 years, trying to live in playing music. I was a session-man. I played with a lot of bands that never did anything. I even worked on Tori Amos' first album. Do you believe in it (laugh)? It became really frustrating. Then I did an audition for The Cult. I thought: "Cool, this is a great opportunity, it's a good band, I will do a tour". I lived in a shitty place, I slept on a sofa, I had no shower, I had a shitty car, then I'm with The Cult and for the first show, we opened for Metallica in front of 25,000 people. "Cool, now it's true!" So I stayed with The Cult for 2 years.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French

I was just blown away by this band. [...] I was pumped about having an opportunity to play with these guys. I studied English drummers like John Bonham and Keith Moon my whole life.

Matt never got to record for the Cult, though:

The Guns N' Roses thing came up. The only thing I did with the Cult was a recording session in London where we did about eight tracks, but the last I heard, they were going to do them over. There is a live CD that I'm on, though.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:17 am

EARLY 1990

In mid-1990 it was reported that Axl was rumored to have received a request from Ice-T to make a new version of 'Welcome to the Jungle' with them [MTV Famous Last Words, August 1990].

Axl would comment on the rumors:

It’s like, I had this big heavy conversation with Ice-T and Eazy-E. Ice-T sent a letter, wanting to work with me on “Welcome to the Jungle” if I ever did it as a rap thing. And I got the word to Eazy-E that I’m interested in having him be a part of it too, if we ever do it. I mean, don’t think it’ll be on this record now, there’s already too much material.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

The rumour that Ice-T would include a version of Welcome on his album Escape from the Killing Field would be reported again later in the year [Lethbridge Herald, November 8, 1990]. Ice-T never released an album with that title [he had a song called Escape from the Killing Fields, though, that was released on his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster]

In the end nothing seems to have come out of this.

In June 1992, it would be reported that Eazy-E had collaborated with Axl and Slash [Santa Ana Register, June 12, 1992]. This collaboration supposedly had resulted in the song 'Apocalypse' intended for the album 'Temporarily Insane' [Rip It Up, January 1993]. The album was never released and the song, featured Slash [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996] and possibly Duff, but without Eazy, is not circulating among fans. It is also claimed that GN'R collaborated with Eazy-E on the unreleased song "The Yellow Road of Compton," but this might be another name for 'Apocalypse'.

Matt and Slash with Eazy-E

In 1996, Slash would say he "never heard the Eazy-E album" [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996].

In 2008, Axl would be asked about the song and hanging with N.W.A. and say it was Slash and Duff that recorded with Eazy-E and that it sounded a bit like Bodycount:

[Eazy-E] recorded w/Slash and Duff. He really wanted to attack the media over attacking me for One in a Million. There wasn't really any Easy on it. I wasn't there. He gave me the tape to consider. Sounded a bit like the other guys doing Bodycount. The idea was ok but the track wasn't really there and I felt it would get more heat than the track could stand up to. Only hung a couple times after a show with any of them. Was glad I got to meet Easy.


Eazy-E died from AIDS in 1995. Slash would be asked about this death and comment upon AIDS in general:

That really blindsided everybody. This whole business is geared towards avoiding reality. We knew all about AIDS and everything... and we’d still be out there pushing needles (having sex with) anyone we could. I’ve given up a lot of that stuff, but I hope this wakes up some more people.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:17 am


Replacing Steven with Matt caused further delays to the work on the new record because Matt had to learn all the songs in rehearsals and make charts for them for the recording sessions. But after this the band would enter a productive phase:

As soon as I got into the band, it was like clockwork. We rehearsed for a month every day for four or five hours. There was none of this calling in sick because you were up too late the night be­fore partying. If you were, you had to show up anyway. […] More songs just kept com­ing out. Some of the better ones on the album were actually writ­ten in the studio. Some were done on the first or second take, real spur-of-the-moment stuff. It ended up being 36 songs and we went, ‘God, how are we gonna put all this on an album?’. […] About one-third of the stuff we updated, because it’s been around with those guys from the beginnings of the band and they wanted to get it out now.

What took us two years to get together came together in a month.

Matt would describe taking over from Steven:

They had tapes of a lot of stuff. They had recorded some of the album with Steven already, although a lot of it got canned. They kept "Civil War," which had Steven on it, but before all the rehearsals, we went in and cut the track for the movie Days Of Thunder, "Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door." We rehearsed that for about an hour, got the groove, and went in. That was my first day of playing with those guys, but we had to get the song done because the movie was going to be out the following week. They played the live video that Steven played on, which was weird, but it’s me you hear on the radio.

[Being asked if he was brought demos with Steven's drums]: Maybe about five of them, but the rest were just them sitting around the house with acoustic guitars. When we met in the studio, a lot of other songs came up as we were recording. Axl walked in a couple of nights with some songs he played on piano. We always tracked live, no click tracks ever. There were some tracks where Axl played piano and sang live, too. It’s a real live-feeling band.

Slash would later say that Matt did not get to put his own stamp on the drumming, but had to follow the blueprint put down by Steven on most of the songs:

[Talking about the first Snakepit record]: This is the first record that Matt's been able to do whatever he wanted on because most of the songs were arranged when we did the Use Your Illusion set and the songs were pretty much done when he was in the Cult. He had to work within the confines of what was there.

Talking about his favorite songs from the recording process:

My favorite is probably a song called "Coma." The song is about ten minutes long and has a lot of different kinds of parts. It starts out real heavy, almost like Metallica or something, and then it breaks down into a Pink Floyd thing. I overdubbed some timpani over it, and I used a gong on it. I warmed up the gong with a Superball, which makes a really eerie sound, like you’re under water. I have some really eerie effects in the middle where I use triangles and shakers and stuff.

There’s a song called "Locomotive" that I like a lot, which is about eight minutes long. It has kind of a funky groove on it, sort of like "Welcome To The Jungle." At the end it goes into something that almost sounds like "Layla." It goes out with a lot of Phil Collins-type tom stuff. I did timbale overdubs on the end fills.

Then we did some big ballads where Axl asked me if I could sound like the drummer from Elton John, Nigel Olsson. So I did big Nigel Olsson-type fills and stuff. We also re-cut the Wings tune "Live And Let Die," but much heavier than the original. It’s basically the same arrangement, but with heavier guitars, and it’s not as orchestrated.

And talking about the recording process:

This band requires a lot out of a drummer, but mainly energy. To be able to go into the studio and cut 35 tracks was...well, by track 35 I was pretty beat. It took a month, but we only like to do two tracks a day, regardless of how long it takes. There were days when I felt really good and I could have done ten, but they didn't like to work that way. The attitude is how everyone feels, not just one person. I had to sacrifice sometimes because even if my drum track wasn't the greatest, if everyone was happy with it, it went. That's how this band works.

[Being asked how many takes it took for each song]: Two maybe. Those tougher songs maybe took six, but the band doesn't believe in punching in anywhere, ever, so those eight-minute songs had to make it all the way to the end. On the song "Coma," I made it all the way through the track and then blew the last fill. When that kind of stuff happened I'd say, "Can't we just punch that in?" "No way, sorry." They like the consistency, and if the band moves around and makes it all the way through, that's the real stuff. That kind of stuff was hard; that took a lot out of me, recording ten-minute songs.

[…] I did dial up some tempos, but usually once we got in the studio...Slash is real good with tempos, and he likes stuff real up. With the Cult, we were into playing everything back, slower and heavier. With Guns N' Roses it's faster, more energetic, so there's a lot of stuff that's real up on the album and on top of the beat. And live, that's going to work great. When we'd take some of the stuff off the Sonic Temple album with the Cult, it didn't work because it didn't always get the crowd moving. With Guns N' Roses, in the studio we played it just like it was live. They stood in front of me, and everyone jumped around. It was a lot of fun.

In the band's official fan club newsletter for May 1990, it would be said the band was "hard at it recording the almost forty songs" and that recording sessions had been held at "Rumbo, A&M, Take One and One on One in Los Angeles" [Conspiracy Incorporated, May 1990].

At this point Dizzy had also joined the band and got to make his print on the songs they were writing and recording:

I started going down to pre-production and we were kind of listening through (?). We listened to, you know, all the songs. And I was there and, like, if I had an idea I got up and I played it, and if they liked it, we worked on it. If they didn’t want keyboards on that song, we just threw it out. And then I went in, they did all the basic tracks and I went in, like, a couple of weeks and just did (?) keyboard stuff on the new album.

In July 1990, Axl would say they had just "laid down 29 basic tracks", that the record "won’t be out till the beginning of the year", and that it would contain 31 songs  [The Howard Stern Radio Show, July 1990]. The same month he would say the planned to "start the album in about a week or so" [Unknown Source, July 1990]. That the main recording took place in the summer of 1990, would also be confirmed by Slash:

So we worked for a month on 30 songs and then went in the studio—I guess it was the summer of last year [must be summer of 1990 since the interview with GW happened in 1991]—and recorded basic tracks. We ran through 30 songs in 30 days.

In July 1990, Axl would for the first time disclose the possible name of the albums:

It might be called Use Your Illusion. We’re talking with an artist named Kostabi, because I bought a painting and we want to use it as a possible cover, and the title of the painting is “Use Your Illusion”, and that’s what we may use. I wrote a song the night before that says, “I bought me an illusion and put it on the wall”, and the next day I found a painting called “Use Your Illusion."

Despite this, as late as January 1991, RAW Magazine would refer to the name as "Lose Your Illusions" [RAW Magazine, January 9, 1991].

According to rumors in the press the band "were getting along so badly that they recorded their studio parts at separate times [New Musical Express, November 1990] and it would be reported that a record company staffer had been overheard saying "we'll be lucky to see an album from them by the end of 1991, if ever..." [Hot Metal, August 1990], indicating that the problems in the band hadn't gone with Steven.

Slash and Duff would later describe how Slash worked in the studio:

For the basic tracks, I play with the band, using headphones; we're all in one room. The main goal is to get the bass and drums down. It's a great vibe and I wish I could record my final tracks that way, but I can't. I need to be in my own studio—away from where the basic tracks are done—in the control booth. I don't let anybody in from the band, if I can help it. On "Shotgun Blues" (Illusion II) Axl and some friends popped in, and I did the solo in one take. Sometimes you just want to fuckin' jam in front of somebody. Usually no one was in the studio except for Mike [Clink, producer] and Jim Mitchell, our engineer. That's really my element. I love it.

I'm basically the only one Slash will even let in the studio. He doesn't like anybody around when he records. He gets real nervous, but I drop by. Sometimes he'll call me and say, "Come down, man, and listen to this thing I did." Who am I to tell Slash what to do? But I love playing with the guy. I might make a suggestion here and there, which he listens to, 'cause he knows if I make a suggestion it's at least valid. I don't know where he comes up with his stuff. His solos are never random, off-the-cuff solos. He thinks, he maps them out, but they're not contrived.

Use Your Illusion was scratching all the rhythm tracks and then doing all the guitars over - same as Appetite. I couldn’t deal with the headphones and would only play with the band because we needed to play together to get the feel. I would consciously know I wasn’t keeping the guitar tracks so I would play like shit a lot of the time!

Slash would discuss working with Clink:

[Clink] has a good ear and if I'm overplaying, or if I might be a little bit out of pitch, he'll let me know. I can take it home and listen to it that night if I disagree. By the next morning, I'll either keep disagreeing, and we'll keep it on there, or he might be right. The outro solo on "Heaven's Door," I did the first day after I came up with the melody for the first solo. I did the second one and he wasn't really happy with it. I thought it was fine. I took it home and listened to it. The next morning, on my way somewhere, I stopped by the studio and just pulled it off one more time and did it way better.

Then, with the basic tracks recorded, Slash would redo his parts, completing his work for 27 songs in five weeks:

I redo all my parts. There are a lot of guitars on the album. Izzy has only one guitar throughout the whole record; he comes out of the left speaker. He recorded most of his stuff during basic tracks. I did all the overdubs and harmonies, plus my regular rhythm track. There are a couple of songs, especially ones I wrote, where I beefed up the tracks over on Izzy's side, 'cause he's got a particular sound that doesn't necessarily... ["weigh as much" would be suggested by the interviewer] Yeah, exactly. It falls out of balance. I did all that, the acoustics, and my other instruments in five weeks. For 27 songs, it was pretty quick. […] Actually, I didn't spend too much time on anything. It was always one or two takes, more or less. If the intonation was really off, Clink would tell me, and I'd go back and maybe punch in. But we never spent entire days on guitar solos. We'd take an entire day and do a whole song. Of course, for the really long songs, it would take two days to get all that shit right. But I'd like to think that it was more rock and roll than what most bands are doing these days.

Then I worked on guitar parts and overdubs for five weeks. I played a lot of guitar on this record, though five weeks isn't bad for 30 songs.

Slash had a preferred spot to stand on when recording:

I'd find a cool spot and put a piece of tape on the ground. Then girls would come down to the studio and hang out. I'd get in the next day and find these shapes on the floor where they'd had a ball with the tape. I was completely confused: "Where's my spot?" Or somebody would come in and tidy up. I'm like, "Fuck, do not touch anything, leave everything alone!" I love things to be a complete disaster. For every beer we drank, we'd stick the label on the [control room] glass—we almost covered the whole thing. One day we got to the studio and the manager had cleaned up. The whole environment was shot—all the porno pictures were taken down.

In November 1990, Melody Maker reported that the band had almost finished recording and that they intended to tour in the summer of 1991. According to a spokeswoman for the band, "Before they even got to the studio, they had 56 songs ready to go, and that was before Axl came in with his. It was a matter of working through which ones were right for the album" [Melody Maker, November 1990]. What was left at the time was Axl's vocals. The spokeswoman would elaborate, "Axl still has to do quite a bit of vocal. He doesn't sing every day he sings when it suits him. But if everything goes according to schedule, it should be released in mid-April or the beginning of May" [Melody Maker, November 1990]. The band also recorded "four live tracks in one-and-a-half hours, for B-sides, and it sounds great" [Melody Maker, November 1990].

Around the same time Slash would say things had happened very fast for the last three months:

We've done everything over the last three months. We rehearsed 35 songs in 30 days, got them all 'recordable' and then went into the studio and did 30 songs in 30 days on basics. We recorded five more while I was doing my guitar overdubs, did five more in a day, and then Axl's doing the vocals. The whole process, once we got it together, was really fast. Not that everybody would believe it.

In December 1990, Musician would release an interview with Slash where he said the new record is tentatively scheduled for release early in 1991 and that he's put on nearly all the guitar parts for the record's 30-plus tunes [Musician, December 1990].

This month Axl would also physically move into the recording studio to add vocal tracks:

There was no heat in that room. It was a cold, lonely place, but it was the only place I could stay to keep myself in the work. It was cool-looking, but it was dark, cold and weird! It got to the point that certain people could tell just by the way I was talking, the tone of my voice, that I wasn't right. A friend brought by some Christmas presents. Another flew out unannounced and stayed with me Christmas Day, because they were very worried that I wasn't going to make it through. I couldn't leave the studio, but I couldn't go back to my condo because of my neighbor. That was a nightmare.

While Slash in the end of 1990 and beginning of 1991 was sober and productive, Axl's mental instability and issues with everything from his marriage, the police and his neighbor, was allegedly holding up the record resulting in Slash's growing frustration:

Well, [Axl's problems are] a pain in the ass, and they keep things from getting done. I’m the most uptight about all of this. It’s just my nature — Axl thinks I’m this sort of sick-minded workaholic. And it’s true — in some ways, I do get uptight. I can get very negative about it. But there are moments when it [Axl’s troubles] really gets in the way of what I think is productive, and we end up spending a lot of money. Sometimes I think Axl has no idea, or has a very slight idea, of what the financial reality is. I mean, to me $400,000 or whatever to make a record is ludicrous. Of course, if I was to say that to Axl outright, he’d say I don’t know what he’s going through, and there’d be a fight right there. That’s the way we’ve always been — there’s something I can’t relate to or vice versa, and that’s where we butt heads. So I just sit there with my head between my knees, freaking out…But Axl’s craziness drives me crazier than it does Axl, unbeknownst to him. And that’s the truth.

As for the amount of material Slash would say that due to their stormy history, they couldn't be sure they would release another record, and:

It's all material we would never have gotten off our chest if we didn't do it now.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:18 am

JUNE 1990

In 1990, Slash and Duff would be featured on four songs on Iggy Pop's 'Brick by Brick' [Musician, December 1990].

Duff and I met Iggy here [=at the Rainbow in Hollywood], and he brought his demo tape, and it was just Iggy on acoustic. And he asked us if we’d be interested in playing on it, which, of course, was a huge thing for Duff and I. So we hooked up with Don Was and Iggy at a studio in Hollywood after that, and we sort of worked up these four songs. It was a great experience. Iggy sort of epitomizes the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that I was weaned on.

I got a call from Iggy in 1990 in my house and I pick up the phone and it’s unmistakably his voice. It wasn’t like somebody fuckin with me, and he said, “Is this Duff?”, and I was like “Yeah.”, “Hey man. Its Iggy”. I was shaking and he said, “Would you like to play on my record?”, “Fuck yeah I’ll play on your record!”, That was probably the biggest honor I’ve ever experienced. Just playing on his record and hanging out and I became friends with him.

Slash even picked up a co-writing credit for revamping "My Baby Wants to Rock and Roll" [Musician, December 1990].

Iggy Pop's Brick by Brick
June 1990

I've known [Iggy Pop] since I was little. My mum went out with David Bowie when I was little. Iggy was in a mental hospital when I first met him and so my mum and I and David went to visit. He's such a fragile, sweet, soulful, honest and sincere guy. I really love him a lot. That was great. We did that in one day and it kicked ass.

The first record I did was with Iggy [Pop], who is just one of the sweetest guys. He was doing Brick By Brick and had some songs he thought me and Duff might want to play on. We hung out one night, listened to his home demos, and picked out songs. We went into the studio and cranked out four songs in one day. I co-wrote one. That was great.

All four of the songs I did with Iggy Pop were done in one day. I went in and it was just fun. There's the song "My Baby Wants to Rock 'n' Roll," that I wrote with lggy in the studio. That's a real spontaneous, off-the-cuff riff that I wrote on the spot.

One of the most pleasurable sessions I’ve ever worked on. Duff McKagan and I went out with Iggy one night and heard some simple acoustic demos he’d done. We'd decided to play on some songs. So Duff and I went down to see Iggy and Don Was at the studio in Hollywood. We basically put down bass and guitar on three songs, just one or two takes apiece, and that was it. Very rock, very live. And then on the fourth song Iggy was playing something, and I just strapped on some headphones and I went in with the actual band and just raped the song - turned it into something totally different. A day’s work and it turned out really cool. Just went in one afternoon, and a couple of beers later it was done.

I first met [Iggy Pop] in a mental institution with my mom. This was when I was a kid. My mom had to explain to me, so I could understand what the hospital was and why he was there. He was crazy because of the drugs. That was my introduction to Iggy and I always remember him, at that point, being this sort of sad, sweet little guy.

Pop would comment on Slash and Duff:

They’re not dumb boys. They’re canny guys. They’re very aware of the world around them and things. They know a lot of stuff I didn’t learn until just this last year.

Iggy, Duff and Slash

And also on Guns N' Roses in general:

The band didn’t sound like they were biting the weenie, like all the other bands. They didn’t sound fake to me. At least they didn’t sound like they were faking it for somebody else. Everybody in this world fix things for themselves. You can’t help it, you’re a human being. But – and musically it sounded exciting, in a way that it didn’t sound like it was dependent on some click track in the drummer’s ears or some machine going “bum-bum-bum” to give them a muscle they didn’t have. It sounded like it might fall apart at any time, and they would change tempos, and so I thought, “Ooh, a real band. How exciting. How cool.
Rapido, September 1991

They really have the energy of a good punk band, and lyrically, that guy [=Axl] actually does what a good punk lyricist tries to do. He describes what's bugging him, no matter how out there it is, and he describes what's going on around him faithfully.
Altoona Mirror, November 18, 1990

Looking back:

It still trips me out. Like I’ll see him somewhere like at the Mojo awards, I got to present ‘The Stooges’ with the Lifetime Achievement award, and he came bounding up on the stage and gave me a hug and I was freaking out the whole day.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:18 am

JUNE 26, 1990

On June 26, 1990, the world would finally hear new music from Guns N' Roses. A studio recording of the Bob Dylan cover 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' was featured on the soundtrack 'Days of Thunder' for the movie of the same name.

Days of Thunder soundtrack
June 26, 1990

This would not be the first Guns N' Roses release of this cover, they had earlier used a live version as a B side on singles.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:18 am

JULY 1990

In July 1990 Erin overdosed at Steven's place. Steven would be confronted with the rumour about this incident and that he had had sex with Erin, in 1997, and he would then tell his version of what had happened:

Erin Everly, beautiful girl, comes over with this guy, I'm not going to mention his name, and Izzy's old girlfriend. […] She came over [?] and this guy who's this girl was going out with were playing in my studio in the backyard. Erin comes over with this other girl and I said, "Don't come over," "Don't bring him over" and they just came over after we start playing and there's a knock on the door and Erin's not looking right, as I bring her in my room, I lay her on the bed, I'm going "What's up? What's up?" and then the girl goes, "Oh, I gave her 30 Valiums and 35 clonidines" which are all... […] ...lowers your blood pressure. And she gives her all these pills and I said, "What the hell did you do that for?" And she goes, "Because she got in a fight with Axl and is depressed," [?] and I was watching this girl die on me. […] so I call the ambulance. Ambulance comes, wakes her, gets her back up. And Axl thinks I shot her up with heroin....[…] There was no sex but that I shot her up with heroin and almost killed her. I never did anything like that. I was just in my studio plan. And they just came over. And Axl wants to kill me. I got a bad rap, it was this goofy girl who did it.

The guy mentioned in the quote above was Andy McCoy and his girlfriend, who according to Steven gave Erin the drugs, was Angela who would later marry Andy. In the quote above, Steven also offer that there "was no sex", indication that rumours had suggested he had had sex with Erin, too.

In the October 1992 issue of RIP Axl would mention this incident:

I even forgave [Steven] after he nearly killed my wife. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit because her heart had stopped thanks to Steven. She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine? I kept myself from doing anything to him. I kept the man from being killed by members of her family. I saved him from having to go to court, because her mother wanted him held responsible for his actions.

It is worth noting that Axl in this quote refers to Erin as "his wife". In 1992 Axl and Erin had divorced, indicating that he meant that she was his wife at the time when the incident occurred, which must mean it took place after the wedding on April 28, and after Steven had been fired from the band.

This story would be alluded to in the lawsuit Everly would file against Axl in March 1994. In the suit she would claim Axl had beat her severely that night and that it resulted in her being injected with heroin and cocaine, suffering cardiac arrest, and ending up hospitalized [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994]. The lawsuit did not specify who had injected her with drugs, though, and it is very likely she would have explicitly mentioned it if it was Axl who had done it to her. In other words, the hospitalization happened as a result of the overdose and not the fight between Axl and Erin.

People Magazine would also mention an incident between Axl and Erin where Erin was hospitalized:

One month [after the wedding], says Everly, Rose first threatened divorce. And two months after that, he beat her so badly she was hospitalized.

Again, if this is the same incident (and it likely is because there are no sources indicating that Erin was hospitalized two times), Erin was hospitalized due to a cardia arrest resulting from the overdose, and not the fight between her and Axl. The timing in the quote above also implies that the overdose took place in July (three months after the wedding).

Axl probably alluded to the incident in the bold parts of the quote below:

We gave [Steven] every ultimatum. We tried working with other drummers, we had Steven sign a contract saying if he went back to drugs, then he was out. He couldn't leave his drugs and... [...] Other things have happened involved with Steven, that Steven is basically someone I used to know. That makes me feel bad, but there's other things beside the band that he was involved in with his drugs that’ve been very dangerous and scary, and I want nothing to do with him.

In 2005, Steven would offer to tell a story about Andy McCoy's wife in an interview. In the interview Steven would again point the finger at Angela, claiming that she had given Erin valium and "some other stuff" and asked for Steven to give her heroin. And again, Steven would deny any allegations of having sex with Erin:

His wife – if she’s still his wife – used to be Izzy’s girlfriend back in the day. She’s the biggest cunt, slut, whore, loser, piece of shit I’ve ever met in my life! After they let me go from G ‘n R, Andy was living up the street from me. We started writing together. He would come down and I would say, “Do not bring that goofy wife of yours!” I’d be in the front yard and I’d see him up the hill and I’d flip him off because he was bringing her. One afternoon we were playing and I had a locked gate. The wife and Erin Everly come over. Axl and Erin had got in a fight. That’s what really did it. This girl gave her valium and some other stuff and kept telling me to give her heroin. There is no way in hell I would ever do anything to Erin, even sexually. The closest we ever got was eating sushi in Studio City once.

After this interview, Angela McCoy would reply through and accuse Steven of being the one who gave Erin drugs and also raping her:

Well I was not gonna post anything on this comment cuz Imo it's not news it's his own guilt & He wants us to speak s~t!
Just consider the source! The guy could of spoken about so many topics! His band,etc.. Instead he slagged me off! Im flattered. Really to think that this guy had the nerve to say that just shows us that he's talkin about himself! It's public record what really happened to Erin and this guy is The Biggest wimp Andy or I have ever met! If it was not for Andy that woman would most probably be dead(we thank the divine)And he would be in jail for attempted murder amongst ...!When Andy thankfully went over there she was blue with her panties to her ankles(with the guy well I will not go there)...well....Andy called me to call a ambulance immediatly as he tried to revive her. When the cops came(the guy ran into the shower, he had to save his own ass & his s~t? like nothing was happening.)I ran over w/A eyewitness and actress friend and she(Erin) was not coming to! It was the scariest thing I(we) have ever witnessed. Thankfully she's fine) Actually, I feel sorry for the dude and have not seen him or spoken(Andy too)For some 15 years or so when that went down! Imo: He hadda great gig w/'HANOI' and blew it(your off the gig gig's) !Bye dude & whatever happened along time ago it should be just that, Something in the past! I have so much dirt on you however I'm an adult now and wil not participate in this sandbox play anymore! Please Get new songs &a life Little man! Oh yeah as he pointed out: 'GOT LET GO' FROM GNR!! :jackass: Duh,(Get back in that little closet, you know)...You got fired just admit it you Dufus.(If I'm Goofy, Thanks, We Luv Goofy)You must be sleepy the dwarf...We Thank all out there that understands our view..
Angela McCoy, February 6, 2005

In the above quote. Angela refers to Steven's new band, Adler's Appetite, losing a tour with Hanoi Rocks. Andy McCoy was the guitarist in Hanoi Rocks at the time, and Angela obviously did not appreciate Steven's accusations. More on this in another chapter.

Steven would later discuss the outfall of his comments:

Ohhh, it had nothing to do with Andy! I love Andy and I don't even know who his wife is. I don't give a fuck! Well, she´s not worth talking about! We were supposed to play in England with them and they dropped us out of the show. Whatever, because ninety-five percent of the people went back and got their money back. So that kind of says something about us! And it's a shame... and fuck it, I don't even wanna talk about it! I love Andy and I love blah blah yada yada yada...

In 2006, Steven would be asked to say a few words about Andy McCoy and go on a new rant about Angela McCoy:

God I loved Andy. And I hated his fucking wife man that piece of shit whore. [...] That piece of shit whore.

And also suggest an explanation to why Axl was mad at him:

You know shit happens, but, I never did nothing to Axl. Axl thinks I gave; this is why I hate Andy McCoy’s fucking wife. Okay, Andy McCoy’s wife gave Erin Everly all these fucking pills, these KLONOPINs and these CLONIDINEs, because Axl got in a fight with her. She told Axl, I gave her heroin. I ‘m the one who called the ambulance cause they brought her over to my house. [...] Me and Andy were in my studio in my backyard, we were writing songs okay. And his wife, cause he lived up the hill from me, in Laurel Canyon. So, fucking the wife comes down with Erin, she’s all, she can’t stand up barely, she’s all blah, blah, blah.  And I said: “What the fuck did you give her?” She said: “Well Axl got in a fight and beat her up. So she came over and I gave her all these KLONOPINs and shit.” [...] KLONOPINs and CLONIDINEs. And they’re MAJOR downers.  She’s all fucked up, And I’m going; “What’s wrong with her?” And she’s: “Blah, blah, blah, I gave her all these pills.” I’m the one who carried her, and put her in my bed. And called the ambulance and saved her life. The whole time this bitch is telling me to; “Give her some heroin, give her some heroin.” And I’m all; “Fuck you bitch!” I’m not giving her fucking heroin. For one, I only have a little bit left, and if you’ve ever been a heroin addict, you ain’t giving your last bit away. Two, this was Axl’s fucking girl. And you never fuck, with your fucking, your band mates. Your mates woman.  Okay. And I would never do that to anybody in the first place. I called the ambulance and saved her, this bitch tells Axl I gave her heroin.  He calls me up and says he’s coming over with a shotgun to kill me. [...] But he never did anything. So that, I mean, I never did anything to Axl. Axl didn’t do anything to me, for me to hate him [...]

I 2009, Andy McCoy would release his autobiography where he would retell what had happened:

One fine day at Laurel Terrace, Erin showed up. I was watching TV and half-listening as she cried hysterically to Angela. She was begging for pills, sobbing that it was time to end it all. “Shut up already,” Angela said. Erin explained that while driving drunk, she’d tried to crash her car off Mulholland Drive at a spot where there’s a 150-yard drop down the cliff. It’s a perfect spot if you want to commit vehicular suicide—there’s not much left of you after a 150-yard drop. That’s where James Dean and a lot of other people were killed. But Erin didn’t have the guts—she was just vying for attention.


I went to check out the upstairs bedroom, and sure enough, Erin had disappeared. Angela thought for a minute and remembered that Erin had wanted to visit Steven next door. Erin had already asked me for heroin, but I had told her she wouldn’t find that stuff in my house no more. Erin even offered to give us five hundred bucks if we copped a fix together. If I had been a junkie, I’d have instantly made a $480 profit. But no way! You never introduce no one to heroin—that’s a matter of principle.

At the time, Steven was just about to get sacked from Guns N’ Roses. Angela and me looked at each other and said simultaneously: “Steven’s!” Erin was surely at Steven’s. Suddenly all that talk about suicide took on a whole new meaning, and we realized it was a young woman’s cry for help—a woman who didn’t want to live anymore. Angela instantly said to me: “Andy, you run to Steven’s house right now! Where else could she be? Her Jeep’s still parked in front of our house. Go see if there’s evil afoot!”

I could tell from Angela’s face that she was really worried. She told me to call as soon as I could. I ran over like some motherfucking rapist with the cops after me, fuck, and a pack of bloodhounds, too. I rang the bell for at least three minutes, until Steven Adler came to the door. He looked like an Alphabet City junkie, not stylish at all, the motherfucker, scratching his armpits, shit, even his balls—really fuckin’ disgusting.

He tried to open the door and finally managed to get the safety chain off. I rushed in, like, “Erin, where is she? Is she okay?” “Oh, she’s in the bedroom,” Steven mumbled. “She’s turning blue.” He said it so calmly as if nothing in the world mattered a bit. I became really pissed off and yelled at him: “Steven, how much did you give her?”

Well, at least I had a good idea what she had taken. No answer from Steven. I grabbed him by the shirt and slammed him against the wall. I asked again: “Steven, this could be a matter of life and death! How much?!”

I panicked. I tried to revive Erin. I slapped her face. I gave her mouth to mouth. I kept banging on her chest. Then I remembered what my late friend, my wife’s cousin, Johnny Thunders taught me: If you see somebody overdosing, you must use buprenorphine, or even just salt. Buprenorphine is ten times more effective. It stops the division of heroin in the body, and salt does the same thing to an extent. I finally found a vein and did what Johnny taught me.

I screamed at Steven to call a fuckin’ ambulance. It was useless. That fuckin’ chickenshit was so scared that he couldn’t do anything. He was just like, “No, man, I gotta hide, fuck, I’ll go to the shower.”

Well, no wonder the guy broke a sweat: He had just given our good, mutual friend her first fix of smack, and she was about to die in his house. But I still couldn’t understand how somebody could say something like that, without any sympathy for human life. It made me sick, but I kept on banging Erins chest and everything. Finally she began to breathe, very slowly and faintly, and I could feel a feeble pulse. Then I called Angela: “You call the ambulance now. I can’t do that, I have my hands full trying to save her life.”

I scattered ice on Erin’s half-dead body and tried forcing some strong coffee into her mouth. I tried to walk her around, simultaneously slapping her face. Every once in a while I had to lay her on the floor so I could bang her heart and administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

“Erin, Erin, you’re a strong woman! Breathe!”

I prayed to the holy and good Saint Sara-la-Kali, the patron angel of us Gypsies.

Angela came over with Judie Aronson, her actress friend who lived next door. Judie was always around, although she wasn’t a part of the rock 'n' roll scene. Now she surely realized what kind of people her neighbors were. She and Angela both went white in the face. Angela came to help and took care of first aid, I mean resuscitation, while I kept banging Erin’s heart. I didn’t give a fuck if her rib bones cracked, as long as her heart kept beating.

I took a five-second breather. It seemed like, shit, Erin’s panties were down to her ankles. Remember this: Erin never did drugs, she sometimes took a Valium and sometimes had a drink, but never simultaneously. Although you couldn’t deny that her downward spiral had already begun. In many respects she was like a child, a very naive person who always needed somebody around. I think Axl had written their huge hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine” about her for that reason: Erin was like a small child. When I saw her there with her pants down and almost dying, I couldn’t help wondering if Steven had done something to her while she was out cold. What a cocksucker if so!

We could just about feel Erin’s pulse when we heard the ambulance and the LAPD arrive outside the house. The ambulance guys got to work right away, and I mean instantly. Goddammit, I so respect these guys; they dedicate their lives to helping others. That’s something we should all learn, even if it’s just small things, because then this world would be so much better to live in.

I watched them take care of Erin, and she looked almost like a doll. When they asked me what she had taken, I had to tell the truth: “Heroin, I don’t how much, maybe also Valium. I don’t know about the amounts.”

I talked to the cops. Steve was still hiding in the shower. Motherfuckin’ fuck, what a chickenshit! Me, Angela, and Judie, Angela’s actress friend, began to fear the worst. Would Erin pull through?

“We don’t know,” the paramedics said. They tried to kick-start her heart.

First time: “DUM!”

“Pump it, the pulse is rising, the pulse is rising, yeah, we got her. Hey, she’s breathing again!”

They carried Erin out, and the ambulance chief asked me: “Have you taken a first-aid course or something? I’m sure you have.”

“No, man, you’re talking to the wrong guy,” I said.

He took me by the arm: “You’ve just saved a life. Without you, we would have carried her out in a different kind of bag altogether. In a black one, if you know what I mean.”

“You mean she would’ve died?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

A couple of cops came to shake my hand.

“Thanks, man, you saved her life.”

I watched as the cops and ambulances left and took Erin away. I was starting to feel bad. For the first time in my life— although I had already kicked the habit myself—I was struck that heroin is really public enemy number one. It’s first-rate poison. It’s not just a “small personal problem,” you know what I mean, like, “I just have a small cold.” That’s what I used to say before the withdrawal symptoms got so bad that I couldn’t even get out of bed. The craziest thing is I never received any thanks from Erin, although she reappeared in our life later on and naturally messed everything up once again.

Later that night Axl Rose called me and said, “Thanks, Andy, how can I ever thank you? I really owe you big-time. Whatever you need—money, whatever—you only have to call.”

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:19 am

JULY 24, 1990

In July 1990 Guns N' Roses would again contribute to a compilation album, this time the charity album 'Nobody's Child: The Romanian Angel Appeal'. GN'R's contribution would be the song 'Civil War' that would later be released on 'Use Your Illusion II'.

Nobody's Child soundtrack
July 24, 1990

This would be mentioned in the band's official fan club newsletter in May 1990:

The first completed track is “Civil War”, which was also performed at Farm Aid [April 1990]. This track may make an early appearance on a record George Harrison is compiling for the relief of Romanian orphans, many of whom are AIDS stricken.

Axl would discuss how it came to be:

It ended up on the benefit album 'cause Tom Petty called me and asked me, which was really weird, asked me if George Harrison could call me. […] And then George Harrison called me and we we're talking, and all of a sudden he started talking about his wife flying to Bangladesh… It just… All of a sudden my mind was like, boom… hyper-space, I'm talking to a Beatle. And he was very Beatle-esque talking about Bangladesh [laughs]. […] It was pretty wild. They asked for the song and the inspiration was… A friend asked me to write a song about just how crazy the world is and certain things and… I just thought it was an interesting subject and just… Slash had this music and it exactly fit what I'd written.

In early July 1990, Axl would announce the song was coming out:

[…] we’ve got a new track coming out in about three weeks. […] (?) benefit album, with, like, Elton John and Eric Clapton and the Wilbury's and shit.

Reviewers would comment on the more mature lyrics of the song:

I’m not a great fan of Guns N’ Roses - in fact I despise them in many ways, not least for making reckless living look cool to young impressionable kids - but it has to be said that ‘Civil War’ shows Axl and Co could be maturing. At first you probably won’t recognise this as a GN’R song, until Rose bursts into his unmistakable screech on the run up to the chorus.

Maybe their new album will show Guns N’ Roses to be deep thinking old farts who just want to sing about the Kennedys or the Vietnam war, in which case I guess they've already achieved what they set out to do..

Duff would discuss why they chose 'Civil War' for the project:

It was something that, at that point, we were really excited about playing. We just kinda, put it together. It was before we recorded, you know, the "Illusions". A long time before we recorded. And so we said: "Yeah, let's do "Civil War."" Because we had just, you know, learned it and wrote it and all that, so... And it kinda seemed somewhat appropriate for... you know, something that has meaning.

When we recorded [Civil War], it wasn't in our normal studio. I didn't have a normal amp. It was one of those things where we had to do it because we were doing it for a benefit album, and it was a rush thing. The song was great, but Steven couldn't play. It took two days just to get the drums. That's out of the norm for us. I had to use a rented amp, and I wasn't particularly happy with the sound. Then Clink tried to mix it in a couple of different studios. I wasn't happy with the mix, and we usually don't use Clink to mix. We sat in on the mix, but I couldn't get it right. I didn't like the studio. When it came time to use it for our album, we had it mixed by Bill Price, who is awesome.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:19 am

AUGUST 1, 1990

Axl was having problems with the West Hollywood police. On August 1, 1990, Axl filed a complaint over "police harassment and heavy-handed intimidation":

My wife [Erin Everly], my friend [Sebastian Bach] and I were sitting there on the balcony having dinner, and my wife suddenly saw about seven to nine police cars pulling up below. She thought someone had been killed. It took some 13 or 14 cops about 40 minutes to organize downstairs. They thought they were pulling some big sneak attack or something. My wife couldn’t see through the eyehole to see who was knocking, so she opened the door, and there they were, and they said to me, ‘Step out,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, right.’ This cop shoved my wife, walked into my place and is saying that I invited him in. He’s lying. That’s assault and trespassing, and I want an investigation. I don’t know if they’re out to get me, but they hate my guts, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because if you’re working the [Sunset] Strip and you saw long-haired guys with earrings who have no socially redeeming qualities going out with these girls you wished you had, it might tend to piss you off after a few years.

The police had come to Axl's apartment after complaints about loud music [Del Rio News Herald, August 9, 1990]. Axl would later speculate that his neighbour from the flat that he owned, turned the police against him [Pirate Radio, October 1990 - copied in Melody Maker, November 1990]. This neighbour would later claim Axl had hit her in the head with a bottle, leading to Axl being arrested [see later chapter].

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:20 am

SEPTEMBER 10, 1990

In 1990, Slash was called upon by Bob Dylan to contribute to the album 'Under the Red Sky,' which featured many guest artists. He was specifically asked to "strum an acoustic like Django Reinhardt" only to have his solo erased from the song [Musician, December 1990].

Don Was [Dylan's producer] called me up and asked me to play with Dylan, which turned out to be one of those mistakes you learn from. He must have said two words while I was there. One was “Hi” and the other was “Play it like Django Reinhardt.” With all due respect to Django, that would have been a great concept had it fit the song. The whole thing was just a drag. Nothing against Dylan, because my dad liked him. I mean, I grew up on Bob Dylan; he was the guy my family listened to. And I never disliked him until the last five or six albums. I did get to meet George Harrison while I was there, though, and that was great. He was doing some fucking awesome slide playing.

That was a drag. I really regret that. I'd just finished the Iggy Pop thing and Don Was approached me. I grew up with Bob Dylan stuff, but Bob Dylan then is not the same as Bob Dylan now, and I hadn't really paid much attention to him. But I said OK. I went to the studio and I met George Harrison, and he was great. He was playing when I wasn't there, this gorgeous slide guitar, and then I met Kim Basinger who could have done anything! Anyway, I finally met this little guy who looked like an Eskimo. It was a summer day and he's wearing a heavy wool sweater with a hood over it and a baseball cap underneath the hood and big leather gloves on and appeared to be stoned out of his mind. And he was really just impolite. I didn't have a good time at all. I was being as outwardly nice as possible, just trying to finish the guitar part, and I did one of the best one-offs that I can remember doing. And everybody was happy and I left and the record was about done. And then at last minute he took my guitar solo off because he said it sounded like Guns N' Roses.

And you know, that's that and I just know, from now on, I'll never play on anybody's record, or play with anybody that I don't admire or respect, or… I'm not friends with or something.

I did Dylan, and he flicked me over. I hate that guy. That was the most miserable session, too. I did a really good job on it, and he kept my playing on there even when the advance copies went out to the record company. Then at the last moment he took it off because he said it sounded too much like Guns Ν’ Roses. Why did he call me, y’know?

Well, Don Was, since we’d done the Iggy Pop record, I think he found that I was pretty easy to work with. Bob was doing this record called Wiggle Wiggle, which was like… I don’t know when exactly this was… in 1990 or somewhere in there. And [Don Was] asked me if I’d be interested in playing on a Bob Dylan record, which I was. I’m a huge fan of Bob Dylan’s and that was one of - you know, Blonde On Blonde and stuff like that were records that my dad loved and I was basically raised on, along with the Stones and all this other shit. So I jumped at the chance, but I went down there and… There was a great session, George Harrison was there, and Kim Bassinger was there. Why she was there- [...] You know, my guitar tech and I were just sat there and we just like, “Wow, in the summertime it’s like, how could you go (?)”. So I went in and I met Bob, and he sort of told me what he wanted, and I just sort of played in the way that I heard it. Then I got the finished version of it later, and Bob had taken the guitar solo off and kept the acoustic rhythm track (laughs). And I was like, “What the fuck.” I mean, that was one of the better one-offs, you know, spontaneous sort of… I said, “So what was up with all that?” and he goes, “Well…” He thought the guitar solo sounded too much like Guns N’ Roses and “just liked your acoustic stuff.” Which was a big hole in the song. If you listen to it, the song goes along and then the solo section, you know, you just hear the strumming, and then the song picks up again. But it was a learning experience, because, you know, I adapt easily, but sometimes you really need to pay attention to who the other artist is and what their… because he had mentioned at one point, I had this great quote, “Play like Django.” Which is, there’s a style, there’s a little bit of a style, that’s a request that’s he’s looking for a certain kind of feel. But I was just very rough and tumble about the whole thing and just did it my way.

Under the Red Sky by Bob Dylan
September 10, 1990

The guy was impossible to work with. No matter how amiable I might be, Dylan was just impossible to relate to, to communicate with. I couldn't figure out whether he knew what he was talking about or not. I played on a track that was really good -- I wouldn't say it was good if it wasn't -- and then he took it off at the last minute. It was really sort of perturbing, you know? It's not like I tried to do it for the money.

I played acoustic underneath the lead, right? Well, [Dylan] wanted me to play like Django Reinhardt! But the chords were a typical I-IV-V progression—I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. I ended up doing some strum patterns, and he went, "That's it." I'm like, "This is not Django Reinhardt." The space is still there in the song, so now when it gets to the guitar solo all you hear is me strumming these stupid chords. I learned my lesson from that.

They invited me to come along, and when I get there [Dylan] was wearing these gloves and a hooded jacket, and be barely even said ‘Hello’. I did one of the best solos I've ever done, straight off, and then later I hear they cut It out and you can only hear me playing a bit of rhythm guitar. He said it sounded too much like Guns N' Roses! What the f- - - did he expect me to play?

I did a thing with Bob Dylan. That was terrible. They didn't use what I played. When they took it off, I said to Don Was, the producer, What the fuck was all that about? And Don said, Bob thought it sounded too much like Guns N' Roses. I'm like, Well that's what I fucking do.

The worst session I dealt with was working with Bob Dylan. I had just worked with Don Was on the Iggy Pop record and had a great experience, so when Don asked me to do the Bob Dylan record, I agreed. But Bob ended up taking the guitar off the record, because he said it sounded too much like Guns N’ Roses! [laughs] You hear the song now, and it’s so obvious it’s leading up to a guitar solo.

Then that point comes, and there's nothing—just my backing acoustic rhythm guitar. You just know there's supposed to be something there, but Bob just wiped it completely off the track and left a big huge hole there.

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:20 am

OCTOBER 30, 1990

On October 30, 1990, police would respond to a call from one of Axl's neighbours. The neighbour claimed that "[Axl] had shouted at her when she came home at about 2:30 in the morning, tossed her condo keys off the 12th floor and down on the ground, and then took a wine bottle she was carrying and hit her in the head with it [MTV, October, 1990].

Axl, as he was leaving the police station from bail, had a different opinion:

I live next door to a psycho.

A spokesman for Axl said, "This woman has repeatedly caused Axl problems. She is basically a fan who's been harassing him since the beginning of the year. After she abusively assaulted him the night of the incident, he requested the building's security officer call the police on his behalf. Despite the call for protection, the sheriffs did not arrive until after a call from his assailant. The neighbour was neither hit by Rose nor hospitalised, contrary to earlier news reports. The incident constitutes Rose's continuing dispute with the sheriffs' department which appears to be harassing him. An earlier complaint he filed against the department remains unresolved" [ Melody Maker, November 30, 1990].

After having been released on a $ 5,000 bail, Axl said the following to Pirate Radio in Los Angeles:

My wife and I recently had some hard times, and so she was asleep, and me and a friend of mine were sitting here, cos we're working on some songs together for the new album, and we were talking very quietly. My neighbour was in the hallway, drunk and yelling, trying to talk to one of my friends that she doesn't even know, and I went and told her to chill out. She came at me with a wine bottle she swung it at me, and I grabbed the bottle. I didn't hit her with it - if I had she wouldn't be walking, she wouldn't be alive. She threw her keys at me and I shut the door and threw her keys off the balcony and poured the wine out and threw it away. She proceeded to beat on my door for 20 minutes. I then called the sheriffs and they didn't give a fuck. They she went downstairs and did a great acting job when the police showed up. She doesn't complain about my stereo to me. I don't know if she complained to other people or not. I have my suspicions about the problems I've had with the sheriffs being somewhat directly related to her. I had problems with the sheriffs when I had Sebastian Bach over here and we had the stereo up. Then she proceeded to play my album full blast every night for the next two weeks. She likes to have sex to my album and beat on my bedroom door. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when I am the one busted for it, that's not what's good.

And this to MTV:

I was sitting here at home with a friend of mine, Dave Lank, and his fiancee, (?). My wife, Erin, was asleep, um, she had a miscarriage last week, and she’s just been in bed. My neighbor was out in the hallway about 1:30, um, drunk and yelling to talk to Dave - and she doesn’t even know Dave, she just seems to [?] my friends from Indiana. And he didn’t want anything to do with it, and she was out there yelling for a while. And finally, I just went outside, went out in the hallway, and said I wanted her to shut up and go in and crush. (Laughs) She was wasted and she came flying at me, screaming, “What you gonna do, who are you and what you gonna do, hit me, hit me” and swung this bottle of wine at me. I grabbed the bottle of wine out of her hands, and then she threw her keys at me which went into my apartment, so I just said, “Well, I guess you don’t need those either”, and I shut the door, threw her keys off the balcony, and poured the wine out. Then she proceeded to... For about 20 minutes she just ran full speed into my door and kicked it, and bashed into my door, and... We’ve taken some photos of the door and everything, there are black marks and [?], and the doorbell all bashed up and stuff... And screaming that she is going to stub me, and get me when I’m not looking, and all these other things. And I thought I was calling the police, I had the building call the police on her, and for me - and we called the sheriff’s office. They didn’t really seem to care. And she went downstairs, and was screaming and yelling; and called the sheriffs from downstairs and they came, and she told them that I hit her with the bottle. So they came up here and arrested me on felony assault with a deadly weapon.

In an interview likely done in November 1990, Slash would comment on the episode:

What happened with Axl, when I heard about it, I was like 'Oh, cool, is he going to make it to the studio tomorrow?' It was no big deal.

As the result of the court case, Axl won a temporary restraining order against his neighbor. She was ordered to "stay away from [Axl], his wife, Erin, and their guests" [Los Angeles Times, November 1990]. The district attorney would not prosecute charges against Axl, citing lack of evidence [Los Angeles Times, November 1990]. Axl and the neighbor later entered an agreement to stay away from each other, which was filed on November 29 [Los Angeles Times, December 1990; Daily Herald Suburban Chicago: December 6, 1990].

In early 1991 it would be reported that the neighbour was suing Axl, asking for undisclosed punitive damages [The Daily Press, January 31, 1991]. Axl would share his views on the upcoming court case in November:

I don’t think I’m gonna have much of a problem. But then again, you never know, and I’m not, you know, going to sit here and say that everything will be just fine, ‘cause you never know in a court of law, what can happen. I just know that I’m gonna take the step also... and with a civil suit against her for all the inconvenience and the stress to my wife and, you know, being arrested falsely and everything.  So it’s just been an ongoing problem and I’ve been on the phone with my lawyers and management for about the last year-and-a-half, saying, “Something’s gonna happen,” “Something’s gonna happen,” you know. And this is her 15 minutes, as Andy would say. She’s inventing her life, she’s one of these people that, like, I feel sorry for. She’s lonely and doesn’t have much in her life. But, you know, she’s trying to cling on to something and now she’s found a way to get involved, and she would rather be in a confrontational argument than be ignored.

According to the Los Angeles Superior Court database, the civil suit case was either dismissed or settled in October 1993.

The incident with his neighbour would inspire the song "Right Next Door To Hell" on Use Your Illusion I:

[One song]has a verse about life in L.A., and the chorus came when I was at home and couldn’t figure one out. All of a sudden [the neighbor] started beating on the walls and had her television cranked on 10 to bother me, and I just wrote this chorus called ‘Right Next Door to Hell.’ It works really well.

Well, the song wasn’t necessarily written about [the wine bottle incident]. It’s just - the incident with my next door neighbor just inspired the chorus. […] The situation with the neighbor was just that she just kinda lost it after I realized this wasn’t a person I wanted to be involved with. And she just couldn’t handle the rejection of living next door, you know, and that was, like, her big claim to fame. And she was drunk and swung a wine bottle, and I took it, and now she just couldn’t deal with that. And so her way to be involved was the same as Steven Adler suing us. It’s like, “Okay, let’s make a law case out of it”. You know, the D.A’s threw it out, but now it’s a civil suit and, I mean, she’s trying to tell people that I’m insinuating that she actually emanated from hell (laughs). That’s her case.

By December Axl moved into the studio to work on the record, at least partly because he "couldn't go back to [his] condo because of [his] neigbor" [RIP, September 1992].

Around the same time as Axl and his neighbour agreed to stay away from each other, Axl bought a house in Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills [Daily Herald Suburban Chicago, November 25, 1990]. One of his new neigbours allegedly wrote to Los Angeles Time, "We are hoping Mr. Rose won't blast us out of our beds at night" [Daily Herald Suburban Chicago, November 25, 1990]

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