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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.

Registering is free and easy.



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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:21 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 8:21 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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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:05 am


In October 1990 it was reported that Erin had experienced a miscarriage [MTV, October 1990] and that they "recently had some hard times" [Pirate Radio, October 1990, as copied in Melody Maker, November 1990].

Michelle Young, who was a friend of Erin, would confirm the fights they had:

Erin would call me and say, "Axl's crazy - he's throwing things around." She pushed his buttons, but I know that he loved her.

I was walking and he stubbed his toe behind me ... and started just attacking me and telling me it was my fault that he had stubbed his toe because he was coming to tell me something.
Spin, July 1999; from a sworn deposition in connection with a later lawsuit

As Axl would say, "Erin and I hadn’t been on the best of terms during the pregnancy" [People Magazine, November 1990] and allegedly they had been briefly separated many times [People Magazine, November 1990], but that "the miscarriage brought us closer together" [People Magazine, November 1990]. In November 1990, it was reported that Axl had bought a 2000-square foot house in the Hollywood Hills for $800,000 [Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 26, 1990] where he intended to start a family.


In October 1990, Axl both had a house up in the Hollywood Hills, in the Beachwood Canyon [MTV, October 1990; Los Angeles Times, October 1990; Daily Herald Suburban Chicago, November 25, 1990]. The condominium in West Hollywood, was where he had his business, the house was where he wanted to have his family [MTV, October 1990]. The house in the Hollywood Hills was said to have cost $ 800,000 [Los Angeles Times, November 1990].

Axl's personal assistant, Colleen Combs, would describe the house:

Axl and Erin bought a house somewhere up in the Hollywood Hills after they got married.... They redesigned it, furnished it, pushed a grand piano through the French doors. They helicoptered in two topiary elephants. But they never moved in.

Strain and tension caused him to wreck the new house:

I had a piano, which I bought for $38,000, and there’s a $12,000 statue in there and a $20,000 fireplace, and I stood there and I just snapped. I’m standing in this house going, ‘This house doesn’t mean anything to me. This is not what I wanted. I didn’t work forever to have this lonely house on the hill that I live in because I’m a rich rock star. So I shoved the piano right though the side of the house. Then I proceeded to destroy the fireplace, knock all the windows out and trash the statue and everything. The damages were about $100,000. What’s wild is that the next day Erin went to the house and she trashed the three rooms I didn’t.

To which Erin would comment,  "I had my own different reasons” [People Magazine, November 1990].


Axl also overdosed at some point due to his "relationship with [Erin] being so fucked up" [RIP, November 1992]. It is unclear when this OD happened and if it is one of those mentioned in an earlier chapter and that took place in 1987 and/or 1988. Axl also mentioned that in the Christmas of 1989 he was looking to score drugs to OD [RIP, September 1992], and it could be this was the event that was caused due to relationship issues with Erin.

Axl's arrest in relation to his issues with his neighbor caused new tension in Axl and Erin's relationship. As Erin would say, the arrest was "the last thing we needed. I was going through total pain. I’m physically and mentally sick right now" [People Magazine, November 1990].


Despite their issues, Axl was still planning to create a family with Erin in their house in the Hills:

I’m gonna try again with this baby thing and hope it will work out this time.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:42 pm


In the autumn of 1990 (Duff was unsure if it was three or four months before January 1991 [Special TV, 1989]), the band booked its first gigs in more than a year: Two nights at the Rock In Rio Festival in January 1991 [Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 171].

Looking back, the band had progressed according Axl's long-term plans, and was now topped with headlining on a large stage:

But things are going well and we're, you know, it'll get bigger. I don't think I'll relax until like we're headlining in a very, very big way and being able to put a full show across. And until then it's just we're still hungry, and then even when we get that then it's like we want to make a really big show, we've still got a lot of things that we want to do musically.

Axl would also talk about the bigger shows ("huge stadiums, huge lights, huge sound") they wanted to do in an interview in July 1989:

When we went through Australia, we kept it basic because we wanted to prove to people that, above all, Guns 'n' Roses are a band that could play, we weren't a figment of some publicist's imagination. But next time around, we're gonna take one step up. The time's right for that one further step.

It is unclear who took the initiative for the shows:

No, we didn’t have to [play the shows]. It was something we wanted to do, I think. Actually it’s kind of mixed. I don’t know who wanted to do [it or] might not have wanted to, but everybody’s here, you know.

Even if the shows were booked when the band was in the middle of making the 'Use Your Illusion' records, Duff, Matt, Izzy and Slash were able to start rehearsing for the shows:

We were right in the middle of doing a record so it was kind of pain in the ass, so... But I was done, and Matt was done, we were done with the basic tracks. All we had to do was sing backgrounds and mix. So Matt and I had time to go in and start rehearsing. Slash has still been doing guitars. Slash and Izzy came in and it was like... You know, we had just got done getting Matt as a drummer, so... Matt and I rehearsed together.

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Post by Soulmonster Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:44 pm


In late 1990, the author Danny Sugerman would write a piece on Axl that would be published in Spin Magazine [Spin, November 1990]. The Spin article, as stated at the end of it, consisted of excerpts from Sugerman's then forthcoming biography on Guns N' Roses. The band was initially opposed to the book and refused to endorse it or give any access. Alan Niven would later mention the Spin article as an example of the band's distrust towards the press and said it was "full of inaccuracies and self-serving embellishments" [Los Angeles Times, March 1991]. But in the same article, Sugerman blamed Spin Magazine for misquoting both himself and Axl:

I don’t blame Alan for being upset. [...] Spin rushed the story out two months early and they totally misquoted Axl and me. They never showed me a final draft of the piece, and they didn't make most of the corrections I’d suggested. In fact, they took sentences I’d written and put quotes around them and attributed them to Axl. I was livid about the whole thing.
Los Angeles Times, March 1991

Bob Guccione Jr., publisher-editor of Spin at the time, denied Sugerman's allegations:

Actually Danny came in wildly late with his piece. His story was the only story in later than mine. We only made so many changes because the piece wasn’t very well written. We never changed any of Axl’s quotes, not a single one. The only fixes we made were so Danny’s language would be more understandable. Afterwards we discovered that the best part of his story [an account of a police raid on Axl’s apartment] turned out to have been lifted' straight out of a People magazine story. So I had to run an apology in the next issue of Spin saying that we’d run portions of the People story without attributing it to them.
Los Angeles Times, March 1991

Sugerman replied to Alan Niven's and Guccione's accusations with a letter saying that Niven was upset because Axl had spoken with him:

Regarding the March 17 Pop-eye column: I’m not sure whether being called a liar by Alan Niven and Bob Guccione Jr., two of the sleaziest people in the music business—a business with no dearth of sleaze—is either the biggest insult or the highest compliment I’ve ever received. Despite such ambivalence, I’m prompted to inform readers that Guns N’ Roses manager Niven is upset because he couldn’t slop me from writing a book on his band and couldn’t stop Axl Rose from speaking with me or, for that matter, stop me from speaking with Axl, whom I found to be infinitely more sensible and intelligent than his manager. As for Guccione, all I can say is consider the source. We all know to what high moral standards this paragon of virtue aspires.
Los Angeles Times, April 1991

Niven responded:

1— Two years ago, Sugerman contacted our (management company] expressing a desire to write a book about Guns N’ Roses. Our clients told us they wanted no part of it. Despite their wishes, Sugerman secured a contract from a publisher. Since our clients preferred to have any such volume compiled under other authorship, we were instructed to tell the publisher and Sugerman that they would be denied any access or endorsement.

2— As for Axl Rose’s meeting with Sugerman, Axl elected to deal with the inevitable. He decided out of responsibility to his following to read the manuscript in order to extinguish the inaccuracies he anticipated after Sugerman’s piece in Spin magazine. What's more, Axl is quite capable of recognizing an exploitative sycophant when he meets one.

3— In regard to Sugerman’s slur, I am prepared to have any aspect of my business investigated by anyone at any time. My firm prides itself on its integrity and ethics, and our reputation is unimpugned. Check with anyone who is actually a part of the business (as opposed to being an opportunistic parasite).
Los Angeles Times, April 1991

Axl and Slash would have somewhat differing view on Sugerman's unauthorized book, and Sugerman himself. Axl seemingly felt flattered by the comparisons drawn up by Sugerman, and was a fan of his previous book on Jim Morrison:

I read [No One Gets Here Out Alive (Sugerman's Jim Morrison biography)] seven times and I didn’t really ever do an interview with Danny. Danny and I are friends now, but I talked to him for 15 minutes in a bar and then the story came out in a magazine a few weeks later.

[Sugerman's GNR biography] wasn’t authorized, but I proof read it cuz I got a copy right before it was about to come out, and I just went back and changed... And Danny, you know, agreed and worked with me on just changing the facts, [like] if he said “Izzy and Slash” and it was actually Izzy and I. We changed those things. But I didn’t change any of his opinions. I thought it was really - it’s a really interesting book and it’s kind of flattering to be, you know, compared, and have, like, this college thesis written about you, and your place in the world, and rock ‘n’ roll, and Greek mythology. But, other than that, I just, you know, I wish it would’ve been more fun for people to read.

My favorite book is No One Here Gets Out Alive [the biography of the Doors' legendary singer), which I've read about seven times.

Compared to Slash:

I’m gonna kill that guy.

It’s stuff like that, because kids only – well, not kids, but people in general only believe in what they read or what they see on TV, and so when a book comes out and a, say, Guns N’ Roses fan sees it on a rack and buys it, that’s all he’s got to go on. And that guy has never even met us. […] That guy is so full of it. I’m gonna kick his ass when I see him. I’ll – (laughs).

[Sugerman's book] is a complete load of garbage, man. He wrote it like he'd known us for years when he’d only interviewed Axl a few times. If I ever saw him in a club, he knows I'd get him. He's scared of us.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:26 am


With this one we’re gonna pull all the stops, everything we could think of what we want to do, we’re gonna do it.


Initially, Slash didn't want lots of stage effects for the large tour they expected of doing at some point in time:

Headlining is always the best. You’ve got lots of stage space. I'm all over the place, I can go nuts. And we don’t have to worry about keeping the set tight as far as, vroom vroom vroom, song after song so you can squeeze it all in. We can go out and play for two, two-and-a-half hours. That’s comfortable for us.

I mean, when we’re on stage, that’s us, on tour. It’s like, all this work is geared to that forty-five minutes on stage. If we had two hours it would just be better. It would just be the best and I can’t wait. But first we gotta get another album out.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

[…] my attitude is basically, fuck changing clothes to go on stage, I’m just gonna put on my jeans. My feeling about it is, if you can’t go out and kick ass, if you have to have stage props and lighting effects and this and that and the other, it’s probably because you can’t do it as a band. […] But there are a lot of bands that couldn’t just go out and strip away all that shit and kick ass. They get better every year ’cos their stage set gets bigger every year. Some bands it’s like they went out and bought the clothes first and then decided to start thinking about the music. That’s what we’re really against. I know it’s a cliche but there are bands out there whose roots go back about three years, you know what I’m saying? It’s ridiculous, there’s no soul in it, there’s no dynamics in the music or anything. It’s just bland. They pick up a 4/4 beat and then it chugs away and then that’s it. But they look good. We’re just gonna go out and we’ll have a backdrop that says “Guns N’ Roses”, right? And just hammer our amps and just go out and play...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

[Talking about doing a headlining stadium tour]: We won't have any of that [laser and pyro] shit. All it means is that we'll all have acres of space to run around and go nuts in! If anything, we're gonna play down the whole idea of putting on some kind of dumb show with a Million stage props, and go out and just fuckin' kick some ass! […] Too many bands hide behind all that stagey shit, anyway. The bigger the band, the bigger the explosions at the beginning and end of their set. Well not us . . . None of that shit for us. We ain't faking it, we play take it or leave it rock and roll and if the kids want some of that they'll come  along. Try and fuckin' stop them...

But about a year later Axl had different ideas:

We're already designing stages. […] On the 1988 tour, we wanted to show it could be done with just amps and a drumkit but that doesn't mean we're against big stageshows. We just wanted to prove that you don't need a big stageshow. Your music comes first and your performance onstage - that's priority. After that I think you can add anything you want. […] We love big stageshows, and if we come up with one that's a lot of fun for us, then we'll do it. We hope that people don't think we've sold out, 'cause it's not an attempt to sell out. We just like the lights and everything, but we haven't chosen to use those things yet and it's worked out good. […] I would like to experiment. I don't know that we'll be doing any of this stuff next year, but I'm really interested in lasers and holograms. I don't really have the time to find out about it right now, but there's the possibility of getting everything we can involved with our stageshow, 'cause it's like a living work of art.

In early 1990, Axl would say the follow-up to 'Appetite' would hopefully be out by the summer, but...

But I don’t have any idea about the schedule for touring. We definitely want a major world tour and we want to play in as many places as we can. So it’s whatever the best timing is to pull that off the best way we can. I don’t know if England will be first or America, but we’re not trying to neglect anybody this time. It’s just trying to make it work the best way for everybody. […] I really want to play all of Europe, actually. I’m really into England, but we’ve only played in three countries – Germany, Holland and England. Now I want to play all of Europe. I want to go down to Panama, too. ’Cos you know they played Guns Ν' Roses songs down there to get Noriega out? I wanted to fly down last night, and I should have done, ’cos if I’d known he was gonna turn himself in I would have been there. I wanted to go down there and stand in one of the tanks with all the troops.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993

Duff would talk more about the tour and especially about playing in England:

There’s been talk of starting in Europe, just going over and doing all over, ’cos we haven’t done Italy and France, places like that, yet. And of course, we’ll come over and play England. We’ve been more faithful to England than any other fucking place in the world, let me tell you. […] The first three gigs we ever did anywhere outside America was at the Marquee in London. Then what did we do? We came down with fuckin’ Faster Pussycat! Then we came back and did Donington. We haven’t gone back to any other places like that. We haven’t gone back to, like, fuckin’ Australia to play all the time. Or Japan. I mean, dude, we love England, it’s like our second home there. The kids just really grasped on to us the first time we were there. We were like, wow, you know? ’Cos the place has such a fuckin’ tradition of turning out these great bands. You know, I’m not saying we’re the next blah blah blah. But then we came along and we were like the next hard rock band the kids really fuckin’ went for. Like, this is our band, nobody can take them away from us ’cos they belong to us. That’s how we really felt. The food sucks, though.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

A year later, the release date for the follow-up (now given the name 'Use Your Illusion') was closer and the band had started to plan, or think about, the massive touring that would follow:

We’re slated for a two-year tour starting in April. We’ll go to New Zealand, Australia and Japan, then to the United States, where we’ll branch out to all those places we haven’t done yet. We’ll go to Europe and play Wembley [in London], I think, then go to Japan for one gig and then come back to the States. That’s just off the top of my head. We’ll do arenas here, and then we’ll come back and do coliseums.

Alan Niven would talk about the strategy of visiting Australasia and Japan before coming to the USA but that this plan fell apart because of delays with finishing the albums:

Just as I digress, I will make the point that there was a a meeting I remember at the Record Plant where I sat Axl down and said, "Look, what I'd like to suggest here is that we start Australasia, then we do Japan and then we come into America. That gives us time to work out the kinks. As a headliner, it gives us time to set up some sense of excitement and anticipation. And it means that we can work through being a headliner without being under the microscope of the American press." If we're all the way around in Australia and then we're in Japan, those are... you know, we're a long way from American press. And Japan are a very forgiving audience. We could be really rolling by the time we hit America and he loved the idea. Those dates didn't get put on the board because we didn't get the album finished in sufficient time.

In early 1991, the band was rumored to start touring after the release of the 'Use Your Illusion's' in the spring of 1991. First off was the US with Skid Row in support, and then they would play selective dates in Europe, including one stadium show in Britain in late summer [Select Magazine, February 1991].

In January 1991, Axl would say they hoped to start touring in April 1991, and would go on for two years [MTV, January 1991].

In June 1991, it was reported that the band sold 40,000 tickets the first day for the Alpine Valley shows that would start the European tour, a feat equaled only once before in history, by the Who. After touring America first the band planned to head overseas, to Australia, Europe and Japan [RIP, June 1991].

We're gonna end the States leg in L.A., at the Forum. We're tentatively scheduled to play four nights. They wanted us to do eight! Eight f?!king nights!

Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Jan 01, 2024 8:42 am; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Mar 22, 2022 12:35 pm


In an interview with Howard Stern in early 1997, Steven would talk about wanting to get the band back together again:

You know, I would really like to be able to get Axl and Slash and Duff and Izzy... […] Well, if I could get them down to Billboard Live and just come up....[…] Yeah, just get up and do a jam with my band.

[Being asked why the AFD lineup don't form a band without Axl]: I think that would be totally great, too, but it's not the same. It's like the Stones without Mick Jagger. But, I would love to do a record with those guys and like have Eric Dover, who was on Slash's solo record, fuckin' sing. But without Axl - you need to hear the voice, it's like Queen without Freddie!

His interest on rejoining Guns N' Roses remained, although he would want it to be the AFD lineup reuniting:

I would love to! If the guys want to, I want to! We owe it to our fans and the fans we don’t even have yet, and will have. I’m ready if they're ready, I wanna rock! Let Axl get out of his system what he wants to get out, so we can chill out and be a fuckin’ rock n roll band.  Slash is one of the most talented musicians ever, I’m sure once those two are into it Izzy and Duff will be too! “I wanna rock”!

[Being asked what he would say if he walked into Axl on the street]: I originally met Axl walking down the street! Sunset Blvd. from Tower Records walking over to Izzy's place 'cause I just met Izzy and I was walking down Palm Street and Axl was leaving this chicks apartment where we would hang out and party, walking over to Izzy's apartment, and if I ran into him today I’d probably say the same thing I said then, when I first met him - "Hey dude, aren't you that fuckin' guy that played last night and was a kick ass fucking singer? I got a great guitar player and a kick ass bass player, if you and your other guitar player want to get together, I think we would have a kick ass rock band. AND - with that as a joke, of course,  I would hug him and say, "I love ya, miss you bro".

But not so much in the new version of GN'R:

Ok, well, yeah I think about calling, but I wouldn’t know what to say. Axl can get any drummer in this world that he wants! I’m not  playing on this new record and personally I don’t care to tour for it. I know that together the five us can record a album greater than Appetite! So however great this album is that Axl’s putting out, he’s the only original one on it, so it’s really Axls’ record, not the bands record, however great it is, imagine how great an album with the five of us would be!

In 2003 Steven would be asked why he would reunite with Axl when Axl had treated him so badly:

[...] I totally agree with you 1000%.  Axl is a great singer but a lousy, y’know, friend or bandmate. The only reason I’d like to put the band back is for one, the five of us together could still work incredible and great and be comfortable with each other. Together we could pull something off that’s fantastically awesome. I think we owe it to the fans and ourselves. But I can't wait anymore, if it happens it happens.

And in 2004 Steven would be asked if he would join Axl if he called and said Brain wasn't working out:

I would insist that we do it all together. I wouldn't play with Axl by himself. You could pay me a billion dollars and I wouldn't do it unless it was the five of us. I don't need or wouldn't take the money 'cause it wouldn't be right! It's a shame, if we did it right now, I couldn't see Axl being a part of it. I'm not gonna be a slave. I'm a rock n' roller!

[Being asked about the chances for a reuniuon]: Didn't I just answer this? (laughs). Like I said, slim to none and it's sad. It sucks! I want to do it. That's why I'm doing it with my band.  I'm just doin' what Axl was doin'. Y'know, I'm one original member. Only thing is, I'm showin' up. I'm playing all the songs that everybody wants to hear, 'cause I love the songs, too. They're a big part of my life.

I still have a prayer in the back of my head for it, but with Axl's attitude and the lawsuits and shit, I don't see it happening and it's a shame. We owe it to the fans who have always been there for us throughout these years. Even if it was one goddamn show, like live on TV, we owe it to them.

Of course [I would rejoin Guns N' Roses with Axl]. But he would have to sign a contract saying that if he doesn’t show up, or if he is late that just, he gets fined. That, or everyone in the crowd gets to kick him in the ass.

Let's get it together. So many bands are getting back together and being successful again. If anybody could be as huge as ever, it would be the five of us.

What I actually said was that I wouldn’t do it unless it was the classic five-piece line-up. No keyboard players, no back-up singers. Axl could call up and ask, but if Duff, Slash and Izzy weren’t doing it, then I’d definitely say no - even for a billion dollars.

I think [Axl] should get his head out of his ass, and I think we should put the band back together because that's what the fans want. I know Izzy and Slash and Duff would totally do it. It's just a matter of Axl.
Blabbermouth, May 30, 2005; quote from The Hairball John Radio Show

In June 2005, Steven would have one precondition for reuniting with Axl:

I have to punch [Axl] in the face. I have to get one good shot at him first. The fucker has waisted so much of my time, so much of people's times.

Anyhow, we were a great team, and I hope one day we reunite.

In early 2007, Steven would claim Izzy wanted to reunite:

Izzy wants a reunion.

Steven would talk about the meeting with Axl [see below] again later in 2007 and state that there was a chance for a reunion:

Axl and I spoke to each other in Las Vegas recently, and I know there’s a chance. It’s just too big. Whatever the Stones make when they play, we’d triple it. It’d be ridiculous not to do it. He can’t be that goofy.

I believe I made it this far for some reason. I want to finish what we started, and ... with the love and support I got from those guys, I think we can (reunite). I'm gonna leave it up to Axl [Rose]. That's gonna be Axl's call, and I love Axl and I know he'll make the right call.

[Slash, Duff and Izzy] feel the same way I do. It's just a matter of Axl wanting to do it, [being] ready to do it. But all four of us want to do this — you know, have a nice, good reunion and play for everybody, finish what we started doing. That's what we want to do. And Slash, Izzy and Duff — even Axl, but Axl wants to put his record out. I don't know what… I can't say.

After his drug problems in 2008 and heroin possession charge, his attorney, Barry Gerald Sands, commented:

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.

Izzy would comment on Steven's desire to return to Guns N' Roses and his ongoing problems:

Steven lives a very confused life.

In 2009 Steven would dream about a reunion:

Do you know how much that drives me crazy? It’s driving me crazy; it’s driving me nuts! I hear it consistently throughout everyday of my life, and more than anything I wanna say ‘Yeah, we’re starting it tomorrow or tonight’. It’s so ridiculous not to do it.

And refer to Axl as a "selfish prick" for not wanting a reunion:

Axl is being a real selfish prick about it. Forget about the original band for a second. Axl's not thinking about the fans. The fans want a reunion desperately. It's really sad because we are all still alive and I know there's so many people that want to see us. I hope Axl gets it together soon while the fans still want it.


And the thing about Guns N' Roses is, for starters, Axl ran the whole thing into the ground and still is. It's a shame. Two, he should have named his record W.A.R. — W. Axl Rose. Then I think it would have been a bigger hit. You know what?! It's heartbreaking, because I was there from the beginning and helped get it started, and to see what he did and still doing, it's hurtful. That, and I heard that some big rock agency offered us $150 million for us to do 20 shows. And that was very hurtful that Axl said no and doesn't want to do it. Because that doesn't happen.


The way Axl is, what I know of him, is he could make a call tomorrow and say, "OK, guys we're doing it." I'm not saying he's going to call up and say, "I'm sorry guys, and we're gonna do it." (Laughs). And he is that way, so you never know. Tomorrow he could call up and say, "Let's do this, guys." As long as the five of us are alive, there's an opportunity. But I can't wait, I can't wait, and I'm not going to wait.

His desire to reunite Guns N' Roses had not died by 2010:

I know the four of us besides Axl would love to do it. I know besides millions and millions and hundreds of millions of dollars that would be involved, I think if we played for the whole world, it would be such a, 'God, they're finally playing!' It's what so many people really want, y'know?

It’s just crazy not to do it, right? How huge would it be? I would love to see die five of us back working together, because I know it would be magic.

You know what the crazy part is? We didn't finish what we started. And that's the one thing that does bother me about not working with these guys. They are my brothers, Slash and Duff and Izzy and Axl, and we didn't finish what we started — but we're still alive, the five of us. So, we have an opportunity to do it. And I hope the rest of the guys and Axl would like to do it, because I know it would be a wonderful thing, and not just for us. I know if you got the five of us in one room we would do nothing but hug each other. And probably cry. I know I would.

You get the five of us in one room, I know we'd be inseparable. It's like Freddy Mercury said, "Each one of us alone can do some stuff that's really cool but, as a unit, as a band, the four or five of us, are a force to be reckoned with. And we are unstoppable."

So, I'm hopeful.

I would love that more than anything but it’s an Axl thing; it’s up to him if he wants to do it. Put it this way it’s the stupidest thing in the world for us not to do it. If any band is wanted by the fans to do a tour, that the rock fans want to see? It would be GNR. Shit, I would buy the ticket for my own show.

It’s not up to Slash or Duff or Izzy, who wouldn’t do it for the money but for the fans. It’s all an Axl deal. He’s got to be the one to say OK. But I won’t pray to God to talk to Axl because if God tried to talk to Axl he’d make him wait. So I’m not going to bother God with that because he’ll come back to me saying, ‘Steven, you made me go talk to him and the (expletive) made me wait outside all day.

The thing that bothers me is that we didn’t finish what we started – because of me. Use Your Illusion would have been bigger and better. If they didn’t have that drummer [Matt Sorum]… He’s like a machine, nobody wants to hear that. You want to hear swing, feel, groove – that’s how I play. I did the demos for Use Your Illusion; we’d play the songs, go to the booth and say: ‘This is gonna be bigger than fuckin’ Appetite…’

And it would’ve been. But because of my fuck-up, we didn’t finish what we started. Years later, we still can’t finish what we started. It means so much to me to do that.

Slash and Duff are part of my life again. Izzy is like a gypsy, he just travels the world, but I’ve been trying to get hold of him. More than anything, I want to be part of Axl’s life again.

We’re brothers. And what do brothers do? They fight. Just because you don’t like your brother sometimes doesn’t mean you don’t love him.

But he would claim it didn't matter that much to him any more:

It would be really cool if we could do a reunion with the five of us. Would be great, but I'm not relying on that. It's been too long. I've got to take care of myself. If I want to be successful I can't rely on anybody but myself. [...] I would love that more than anything. But like I said earlier, I can't rely on that. I try to rely on that, but after 25 years already, I can't rely on it [any] more. I wasted too much time in my life. I want much, much more happiness than I had in the past.

A few days later Steven would be asked if it was ever a possibility to reunite Guns N' Roses without Axl on vocals:

No, no, never, no, no, that's ridiculous. 'Appetite for Destruction' is one of like five records that is still selling 20, 30 years later and is still popular. That shows right there how difficult it is to find four or five of the right people that can make that magic, that special magic. [...] That Myles Kennedy that Slash is working with, he's awesome. Dude, that's 'Thor,' the god of thunder. He's great and if anybody could go in there, it would be him, but he don't have the chemistry that the five of us did because Axl, his attitude, Izzy's coolness, Duff's shyness, Slash's craziness and my outgoingness, it just all meshed together right.

And more:

I would really like that [=a reunion]. I would love to work with those guys — all of them — but I’m not going to wait. I’ve wasted enough of my life, the past 20 years with the drugs and all. It’s time to do the right thing — which is get the band (GNR) together and do a reunion. We owe it to the fans and everybody who supported GNR for so long... and I got Adler’s Appetite, but when those suckers want to do something, I’m ready. [...] I put prayers in with Jesus and God all the time. ‘Please just go talk to Axl,’ I say,” Steven added. “I love the stuff we did together in my heart and my soul. It needs to be taken out of the shell and put back in the world. Two generations of people have already missed it. I think it’s unfair. I love those five guys — they mean more to me than anyone except my grandmother and my dogs. But there was so much fighting all the time (in GNR), but like my grandpa said, time heals all wounds. My wounds are healed.

For me personally, I want to finish what I started with those assholes. If it wasn’t for all these fans who still love us 20 years later, we wouldn’t have lived the way we lived, and it’s not fair for Axl to keep it from them. All they want is to see the five of us assholes play. Together. I just got off 56 shows in 62 days and had the best time ever traveling around America meeting wonderful people, and all they keep saying is: “Appetite For Destruction is the soundtrack to my life, you guys gotta do a reunion.” No kidding, if it was up to me it would happen. I know we owe it to the fans.

If the five of us got together in a room, there wouldn't be fighting, it'd be hugging. Everybody'll get a little teary-eyed, and I think we'd mold back together again. It would never be where we hang out with each other constantly like we used to, but I think we'd be able to work with each other. I believe that. I'm no fool, I'd love to get the money that we would have from doing that, but I wanna do it because my heart desires it, my soul fuckin' needs it, I need to finish what I started. I'm not going to wait for it to happen like I used to. I used to get high out of my mind and wait for it to happen. No, I'm going to do my shit. I got a new band, a new record, I'm on tour. I'm living the dream. [laughs] I'm here to show all the underdogs you can survive and you can succeed. When I got off tour, I built a big fire in my fireplace and threw my book in there because that's the past -- fuck it! Maybe in another 10, 15 years I'll write another book, but right now I'm leaving my past behind.

Why do you think we were so successful? Because it was the five of us. We had something special. We had a bond. No matter how much bulls** there's been all these years, there's one thing that Axl [Rose] and his lawyers can never take away, and that's that we were five brothers who achieved the goals we had since before we were teenagers. And what do brothers do best? They fight with each other! I don't hate them now. My wounds are healed. It's a shame that Axl and Slash won't talk. Every day they don't talk is a day that magic isn't being created. Even if we just did one tour, one record, one song together, the gods want to hear it.

I always say, as long as the five of us are alive, it could happen, but now I'm gonna turn that around and say, as long as God is alive, I think it will happen. And the most important thing is GN'R owes it to the fans to do a reunion tour.

I mean I personally would do it for nothing! I'm not going to, but I would, for nothing. For two reasons: 1) we owe it to the fans. 2) I just want to finish what I started with those guys. I cut myself short. For 20 years I was saying to myself that they cut me short, but once I started workin' with Dr. Drew and took responsibility for my life and my actions, I realized I threw that away. So I just want to finish what I started with them. I want to go to heaven, and I don't want to come back. I don't wanna come back and be a baby, and be a teenager again. Oh my god, no! No, I don't want to be a teenager again. It's too awkward. When you were a teenager you'd get a boner and you're ashamed to walk around. Nowadays I realize, dude, if I woulda realized what I know now, then, I woulda walked around with my boner straight out, and rubbed it against every girl. But these are things I realize now. So forget it.

Whatever U2 did on their tour recently, if we did a GN’R reunion, we would double that! And we owe it to the fans! We haven’t performed with each other in 20 fuckin’ years, and the fans still have our backs.

When asked what he would do if Axl decided to not go on stage:

I’d punch him in the face! Oh God—not the face, not the face! I’d punch him in the kidney! Or I would give him a severe reprimand. Or I would go out there and pick somebody out of the audience to sing for him. There’s many options. I just want to do it!

It could seem Steven hoped his autobiography (released in 2010, see later chapter) would initiate a reunion:

As long as we're alive, it's possible. I really think if those four goofballs — especially Axl — read my book, maybe they'll realize what a special thing we have as five guys. It's the hardest thing in the world to get four or five guys in the room that can make magic. Yeah, there's millions of great musicians, but you need that special ingredient of five different souls that all want the same thing and have the same goal and are focused on the same dream. I know for a fact that if the five of us assholes got in a room together, all we would do is hug each other and there would be tears.

In connection wit the band being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Steven would talk extensively about reuniting with Guns N' Roses, with only a sample of quotes added here:

We accomplished every fuckin thing that I dreamed about doing, even the DRUGS, I WANTED to do drugs.  I mean, all of my idols did drugs, I’m only saying it because it’s the TRUTH.  Most of my idols made albums, toured around the world, fucked girls and yes, did drugs and drank too much.  I did every single thing I wanted to do and got every single thing I wanted except I NEVER wanted to get kicked out of Guns N’ Roses.  I always and STILL think we should be together like Aerosmith or the Stones.  We should have been a band that lasted 30 or 40 years like that, that’s what my dream was.  That part of the dream just didn’t happen, first it was me, then Izzy, then Slash and Duff but I still love those guys, even Axl, they’re my brothers.  We accomplished so many of our dreams and to be able to all be out there still working and creating and more than anything, anything to still have our connections with the fans.  We are blessed.

After the induction Steven would say he was through with Guns N' Roses and didn't yearn for a reunion anymore [also see later chapter]:

I know [the reunion not happening is] so ridiculous and it used to bother me but after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I just had to let that go.  I just ended that chapter of my life after that night.  To be honest, I couldn’t think of a better way to end that chapter of my life than there that night.  With this new record, I have a whole brand new team and this is truly a fresh start.  Like the title of the album says, I am Back From the Dead.


Being asked if he hates Axl for what he has done to Guns N' Roses:

Well, I don’t know if I hate Axl ‘cause we’ve done so much together, so, no matter what he does that’s the way he is, and I love him so I accept it.

In late 2004, Steven would be asked about questions he dislikes and mention the "who's Axl like?":

I couldn't even tell anymore. I don't even know the guy.

The interviewer would then talk about hos Axl's looks had changed, to which Steven replied:

I have nothing to say against him except for all I know is he never had that much hair when I hung out with him. But that's alright. Some of us have it, some of us don't.

In 2005, Steven would minimalize Axl's contributions to the music of Guns N' Roses:

[Axl is] probably a misunderstood genius. I don’t know. Axl doesn’t think far ahead enough [to be a visionary]. Like, ‘If I do this, so and so will happen’. He’s definitely a great lyricist. But the thing people forget is that Slash, Duff, Izzy and I wrote the music - sometimes Axl wasn’t even at rehearsal and we just gave him a tape. For the longest time I had no clue what he was singing on our first EP [1985’s Live?!*@ Like A Suicide].

And generally speak bad about Axl:

We all know he is great but he has his moments, well lots of moments... he's a jackass basically, a fucking weirdo, and he can kiss my ass [...].

When asked what rock star deserves a big smack in the mouth:

Umm…Oh God, I wanna say Axl, I really want to. Yeah, so, not that, (pause) I love Axl, I wanna kiss his face, and slap it, well first I wanna kiss it, then I wanna kick his ass. Umm…God, see, you know…(pausing) I, yeah, there is nobody I wanna slap in the face. There are a couple of people I wouldn’t mind getting a blow job from, but nobody I really wanna slap. (everyone laughing).

Later in 2006 rumours about the AFD lineup reuniting flourished, and Steven would change his tune:

[Reacting to the interviewer talking about a reunion]: That's fabulous news. To get my friendship back with Axl again would be fabulous. I haven't spoken to him in 15 years. He's like a brother to me. I love Axl, he's the greatest and so talented and such a nice, caring guy.

Later, Steven would talk about having finally reconnected with Axl after a Guns N' Roses show at the Joint in Las Vegas in September 2006:

I saw Axl, talked with him from, shit, what was it? 10 or 12 at night to 8 in the morning, we talked. We resolved a lot of fucking shit! It was wonderful! Just wonderful. I was the same happy-go-lucky person that I've always been to him, and he enjoyed it. Dude, we talked 'till 8 in the morning! [...] It was at The Hard Rock when he played there. [...] Yeah…three people in his band all look like Izzy! I told him it sucked. I was kidding. I said, "You know the five of us have to get back together! That's when it will really fucking take off again! Nothing will be bigger. It would be the biggest reunion ever in history." [...] You know how [Axl] is. He just grinned and giggled a little bit. Everybody in his band came up to me, "You're the greatest fucking drummer! We tell Axl, 'You gotta get the band back together!'" That's what they said to HIM! It was wonderful!

About three years ago in Las Vegas. He was doing a show there so I wanted to come and maybe, hopefully try to get to see him. So I went to the show. It was at the Hard Rock. I walk in and a hundred people realized I was there and came and wanted autographs. So Axl's manager, he comes over and says, "I don't want Axl to get upset. I think maybe you should leave." I said, "No problem. Tell Axl that I love him, and that I miss him, and that he looks great."

So I go back home, I'm opening my door and my phone's ringing. I answer and it's [Axl's manager]. He says, "Stevie, I'm so sorry. Come back. Axl wants to talk to you." So we hung out 'til six in the morning drinking a three thousand dollar bottle of tequila. We talked and we apologized, we made amends with each other. It was great. Nobody blamed anybody.

First off, I walked into the venue and I saw three guys playing guitar that all looked like Izzy. It's funny that [Axl] needs three guitar players to take the place of one. He's got three guitar players to take care of [Slash's guitar duties]. That just shows how great Slash is. . . At first, his manager told me to leave. I walked in and he said, 'Dude, you better leave. I don't want Axl to get pissed off.' So I left, and I'm opening the front door to my house and my phone is ringing and I answer it and it's his manager, Del. He goes, 'Dude, I'm sorry. He wants to see you.' So I got in the car and went right back.

In 2009, Steven would again talk about having hung out with Axl in 2006:

Axl is a genius and I still love the guy. Last time we met — about two three years ago — things were great. We shared a $3000 bottle of tequila and things went smooth.

After Steven released his biography he would talk about Axl on a number of occasions:

A superstar that I was thankful enough to know and have a part in my life.

I know Axl, I've lived with him, I've played with him, I've traveled the world with him, he's one of the most loving, caring people I've ever met in my life.

Even when Slash and Duff [McKagan, former Guns N' Roses bassist] ousted me, wouldn't hang out with me, Axl was still my buddy. We were brothers! We are brothers! And what do brothers do? They fight.

Sometimes I might not like the little fella, but I'll always love him. And that goes for all of them.

I was doing interviews this weekend and a lot of people have been asking me, "If you had an opportunity, you know, to put Axl in his place..." And there's no place to put Axl. The only place I want to put Axl is in my arms and give him a hug. He's been so generous and loving to me.

Axl is one of the most wonderful people I have had in my life. He is an amazing singer. He’s up there as one of the top singers/entertainers. You have Freddie Mercury. You have Robert Plant. You have Steven Tyler. You have Axl Rose. It’s been a blessing being able to work with that guy. I want him to be a part of my life. He’s my brother. Like I said earlier, brothers fight. Enough with the fighting. Let’s move on … I want to finish what I started with him and the guys. I’m pretty sure they feel the same way. Axl has been nothing but a wonderful influence and a wonderful person to me. I love him and I want him to be a part of my life more. I’m thankful I have a history with him. No bad animosity. All love and respect.

But he's not an asshole. He's very bright, intelligent and loving. And he's a ginger, so he doesn't tan very well. He's gotten a bad rap. He's done a couple of goofy things. But compared to the millions of wonderful things that he's done, it doesn't compare. He's been marred for those one or two little things. Ok, they weren't little. Destroying a whole arena is pretty big.

He talked some pretty goofy fuckin' shit, you gotta admit. He can't deny it, but he's also done a lot of wonderful things, and those things don't get any press. People want to hear the negative.

Being asked if Axl wasn't the only one from the band vising Steven in the hospital when he OD'ed in 1988:

He was there many times, but then again, he was there kicking me in the balls for no reason. The little fella's angry.

Then in September, when asked what Axl's motivation was for keeping Guns N' Roses going, Steven responded:

You know what?! I don't even know. I don't fucking even know. He's insane — that's it. The bottom line — the fucker's insane. I said it. OK, fine, fuck me. I said it — he's insane. I try and try to be fucking so cool about him... I swear to God, he's a nutball.

Talking about Axl in 2011:

He's not a diva, he's an asshole. One of the greatest assholes of all time — and I say that with love.

I love him, he's a very important person in my life. In the past he's been important to me, and he's still important to me, because of what we achieved together

In late 2011, Steven would say he had tried to play with Axl and the current lineup of Guns N' Roses, but that GN'R's management hadn't responded to him:

I've been reading his Tweets about all the shows he's been doing in the same states. My brother e-mailed his manager to see if I could come play a song. I had him do it twice, and he has not returned the e-mail. He can't be mad at me!

After Guns N' Roses were about to be inducted into the RRHOF [see later chapter] in 2012, Steven would talk extensively about Guns N' Roses and disparage the new band members as "hacks" and "scabs" [see later chapter], still he would make an effort to compliment Axl:

He’s a superstar. I love him very much and he means a lot to me, and I hope that, you know, I could least get a hug out of him one day. He means a lot to me. If anybody’s read my book, “My Appetite for Destruction,” you know how passionate I am about the band and Axl and the other guys as well.

A few months later he would apologize for the "hacks" and "scabs" and compliment Axl:

I’m not angry with Axl anymore. I love him and I feel blessed that I got to work with him and achieve what I achieved with him. I guess time does heal all wounds. [...] I shouldn’t have said that [=scabs]. I’ve grown up and matured. Holy crap! I’ve matured in the six months since we last spoke!

Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Jan 29, 2024 6:52 am; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Jul 30, 2022 6:34 pm



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.

He would talk more about his suicide attempts in 2012:

Yeah, I had a stroke from cocaine. I was shooting it. You would think it'd be easy to kill yourself, but let me tell you, it's not easy. [...] I went from having a band, a family, management, people who had my back to… being totally alone. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know where to turn. Management ripped me off of my money. It was very hard. I tried to kill myself. You would think it was easy, but it's not. The human body can put up with a lot. I tried to kill myself many times. I guess I did succeed for a few minutes. I died by ODing, and I died in a car crash. You go to two different places when you die. When you try to kill yourself, you go to a very bad place, but when you die accidentally, it's a very nice place.

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.

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.

I had a mild stroke, thankfully it was only mild, doing drugs fucked up my body and caused that. I had to take speech lessons to learn how to just speak properly again, I’ve got the scars from teeth being knocked out!

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; Reddit AMA, January 25, 2017] 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].

I had a mild stroke when I was shooting cocaine. The only thing that it affected was my speech. I basically had to go back to Kindergarten and learn how to speak again. Dr. Drew, when I did that celebrity rehab, he had a special speech therapist come in and actually teach me how to speak again. I mean I can barely speak fucking English, as it is, but it's much better than it was in 1994.

Deanna Adler would talk about getting the news of Steve's stroke:

I was watching TV and the phone rang, it was a call from a nurse at Century City Hospital. She told me that Steven had overdosed “again” but this time he was in a coma! I was living in Las Vegas now, I thought I could run away, but in reality I couldn’t. I didn’t know much about what Steven was doing. Oh! I knew he was still doing drugs but we hardly talked. Now I get a call from a nurse and she is telling me that if Steven does not get a dialysis treatment he would die within 24 hours!! So I asked why they don’t give him the dialysis? She said they needed permission from me since I was his legal guardian at that time. That’s what happens when you’re a drug addict. You need to have someone take control of their situation! Which I did for a time, but that’s another story! I had them fax me over a permission slip which I signed right away and faxed back to the hospital. I was so thankful that they got hold of me. You see, my family in Los Angeles didn’t want me to know that he had overdosed. They know how hurt and miserable I’ve been for so long and they thought he would pull out of it again, but this time he had a stroke! Sometimes when he talks he slurs his words. But that’s because of his stroke. No mother wants her child and I say child because he will always be my child, to be sick.
Dianna Adler's blog, May 23, 2012[/url]

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

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.

I tried killing myself. It is not easy! A human body can put up with a lot. I had a stroke, a mild heart attack and I was in a coma for four days - all at once. My doctor said I would be brain dead or lose the left side of my body. I was blessed because I can still play drums and I didn't lose my brain. Not completely anyway. I lost a lot of my speech. I'm 46 now. Most of the people I knew when I was growing up didn't make it past their 20s. I beat myself up for 30 years and I came out of it semi-OK, so at least I've got that going for me.

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.

Describing this episode:

I have no veins, so when I was shooting heroin, I would get so frustrated, I would just shoot it in my arm, and it got infected," he said. "So one day, I decided to go to a liquor store to buy soda pop for once instead of alcohol — I actually was going to buy soda. And I drove off the driveway, I went around the corner and I smashed into seven parked cars. I ended up stopping in the middle of the street, got out of the truck, I fell on the floor. And I just remember floating above my body in the hospital room with my friend and the doctor and my mom, I could see myself floating around, and they took the knife and they [cut into my arm] and seven different colors of puss came out. And it smelled so bad that the lady in the next bed, she had to leave. And I was floating up above my bed; I was seeing all this happen. And then I went to a heaven — nirvana, heaven, whatever they call it… And I know you're all gonna think I'm crazy — whatever. It was so beautiful. And it had colors that they don't have on this planet. And some lady came up to me and said, 'We're not ready for you.' And I came back. And I woke up in the hospital all taped up. And the doctor [told me], 'You were lucky.' I didn't try to kill myself that time. There was one time when I did, and I did O.D. The moment I was 'dead,' I did go to a hell — so there is a hell and a heaven. And this hell was like different caves — like, I had to have different tests to go on to the next line to get through this giant cave. And once I got there and they said, 'You have to do this test,' I just saw [makes the shhh sound] and I just came back. I've heard people say, 'If you kill yourself, you go to hell.' So I was trying to kill myself and I almost did. I went through what was hell.

The DUI fined to Steven in 1995 made him turn to Dr. Howard Kornfeld for help, a known addiction specialist, who would later, according to Steven's mother, put Steven on 63 different prescription drugs in a month [New York Post, January 22, 2017].

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.

Deanna Adler would mention the rehabs and suggest Steven used them cynically to avoid jailtime:

After Steven was dismissed from Guns and Roses (I like to say that because it sounds better to me than thrown out) his heroin addiction was completely out of control. I can’t even remember how many rehabs he went into without any success. There were so many that I lost count! Every time he decided to enter a rehab it wasn’t because he wanted to stop using heroin, it was usually a choice between going to jail or rehab and he chose the rehab. Some of them were court appointed and some he did on his own but it was never successful. Did you know that a rehabilitation center charges you $25,000 or more and if you walk out the next day, they don’t return the money to you! Hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain but you pay because you want to believe this time it will work.
Dianna Adler's blog, August 23, 2012[/url]

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].

Deanna Adler would reminisce about Steven's drug use in 2001:

June 2001, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing today! Steven Started calling me first thing in the morning for money. I just gave him $1000 two days ago. So when I couldn’t take it anymore I answered the phone. I told him I would send him some money today. 15 minutes goes by and again he calls , I’m not sending it fast enough. Go to Western Union Now!!! He starts to verbally attack me. The names he calls his own mother you can’t believe them, but I know in my heart that its the drugs talking not my son. Sometimes it gets very hard to pretend that I’m so strong. Sleepless nights filled with worry that I’m going to get that one phone call a mother dreads when they have a child that’s a drug addict! ‘Hello Mrs. Adler this is the Los Angeles County Coroner’ that’s one call I pray that I never receive.
Dianna Adler's blog, June 4, 2012[/url]

2001, this year has been very stressful for me. Every time the phone rings I look at the phone and I wonder who it will be and what do they want! I am truly afraid for every time the phone rings there is something else I have to deal with. This time it is my daughter-in-law Carolina. What a blessing she has been! Carolina is Stevens wife. I had called her earlier in the day to ask how Steven was doing. She tells me that Steven is doing alright and he is sleeping. I respect her so much for what she has gone through with Steven. She gives me some phone numbers and tells me to call up the phone company to block these numbers because they are Stevens drug dealers. She doesn’t want the drug dealers calling the house anymore. It’s just too much for her. I understand completely. I had the numbers blocked but it doesn’t do any good because you see Steven will just call them. What’s the sense! It seems like we’re always trying to protect him but it doesn’t do any good!
Dianna Adler's blog, June 6, 2012[/url]

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.

Deanna Adler would also talk about Steven in 2006 and how he had wasted all his money on drugs:

The year is 2006, after all these years and earning millions and millions of dollars he has spent all but 20,000. Every dime has gone to either the drug dealers, the doctors, or the attorneys! Steven has nothing to show for all the money. So now the last of his money will go to the attorneys as they fight over meager residue of what could have been impressive bank account. I look at my son and cannot believe that he is my son. Steven is a frail emaciated skeleton sucked dry by the drugs!
Dianna Adler's blog, June 13, 2012[/url]

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.


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.

In 2018, Steven would look back at the show and participating:

Dr. Drew is the most fabulous people I've ever met in my life. The show was so great. Everybody that he has had on that show, he gave us all an opportunity to turn our lives around. Doing a TV show — and this goes for [anyone] that has friends that are alcoholics or addicts — when you see yourself on film being full of shit and lying and being in denial, unless you see yourself and hear yourself doing that, you believe yourself. When I saw myself on TV when I was bullshitting and being in denial, it opens your eyes. My wife, before I quit drinking, four years, three months, three days ago, she videotaped me drunk, and I would do stupid things that I wouldn't remember. Then she would tell me the next day, and I would go, 'You're crazy — I didn't do any of that.' This time, she goes, 'Really? Let me show you what you did.' She showed me that, and it opens your eyes and it opens your brain. It's like, 'Wow — this is really what I'm doing and how I'm acting.'


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].

Steven would later claim that Sober House, or rather failure so spectacularly at it, had become a turning point for him:

I mostly got off the heroin and the crack once I was arrested on [Sober House]. It was a turning point because it forced me to stay in rehab. I’ve only done heroin or crack once in the last nine years since that show.

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].

Duff and Axl would comment on Steven participating in reality rehab tv:

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.

I cringe, I think it's the worst thing for so-called sobriety. "Hold on, we're having a breakthrough . . .wait, we've gotta do makeup." You know? I don't think it's the best thing that could go on. There's a reason it's anonymous, because if you fail, you're failing on camera. You're failing after you've been on this rehab 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.

Slash would also talk about his role:

I’ve been really sort of hands-on supportive of Steven ever since we dragged him out of that shell of a place where he was living in Vegas a few years ago. He was really on his last leg in this burned-out house, and he really didn’t look like he had much time left on the ticker. I had to get him out of there and into rehab. And it was a long and complicated journey, but he finally did get it and hold on to sobriety, or whatever you want to call it, and he turned his life around. So I’ve been there through the rehabilitation of Stevie.

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.

I knew by doing the whole TV thing I was gonna go on and either look like the biggest jackass in the world or I was gonna be the coolest motherfucker in the world. It was the best thing that I ever did for myself. I'm very thankful and proud, and I want him [Dr. Drew] to be proud of me. He took me under his wing. He's a mentor. I'm so thankful he's a part of my life. [...] It's been two years [sober]. After 35 years of beating myself up, it takes time to heal. And I've relapsed five times. The last time was seven months ago. Of all the drugs I've done, I never did — what the hell do they call it ?– Oxycontin. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I immediately called up Slash and Dr. Drew. That was seven months ago. You know why they helped me? Because I made an effort. If I put the effort I put into doing drugs into something more positive, I'd have that Donald Trump guy working for me. I'd be telling that jackass, 'You're fired.'

In 2011 it would be reported that Steven was going back for another season of Celebrity Rehab [TMZ/Blabbermouth, March 7, 2011].

As you all may already know, I'm back here at 'Celebrity Rehab' again. Working on making sure I stay on the right track! I'm working with Dr. Drew and Bob Forrest and it's going great so far! [...] Thanks again as always for all of your prayers, love and support! Everything will be fine! I'm feeling great and it will only get better! [...] I'm here for just a good tune-up!! Thank you all !!! It feels good to be alive!

Looking back at getting sober:

I got off the heroin and the crack and the pills in 2008 when I first started working with Dr. Drew. And then I went on a marijuana maintenance program and that was working for a little while, but like all things, it started bringing me down and it kept me from getting to the next level. So I talked to Dr. Drew and he had me come work with him again on the new “Celebrity Rehab” that comes out June 29 to get off of marijuana and Jagermeister. I was drinking the loud mouth soup and smoking the herb. I was able to get to a certain level in my life and my career but the pot and Jager were holding me back, so I worked with him and it was very successful… It was just a blessing to be able to work with Dr. Drew and Bob Forrest again. In 2008, I feel like I made a 170-degree turn and now, this recent stint I’ve been working with Dr. Drew, I made a whole 180-degree turn in my life.

And on the likelihood of a relapse:

You know, I pray every day that it is. That was such a waste of time and waste of money. I pray everyday, all day that I don’t ever have to go back and do that again. I’m much stronger of a person and I believe much more in myself. Basically I realized that my addiction is something I have for life and just because I’m not doing it now doesn’t mean the addiction isn’t doing anything either. ‘Cause I know damn well addiction is just doing push-ups and working out and waiting for that one moment for me to slip. And I still have bad dreams! I still have these crazy drug dreams! I can’t even get away from it in my sleep. It’s not everyday, but it happens. I went in the ring with Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao for 35 years. Coming out of it as healthy as I did, I’m pretty lucky.

In his biography, Steven Tyler would comment on Steven's participation on Celebrity Rehab and claim that Steven had been asked to fake his drug stupor for the cameras:

They wanted [Steven] to act out his own messed-up state when he entered rehab. It was ghoulish and unreal. They gave him 30 grand for the episode, he snorted it all, crashed his car, and he ended up in jail detox.

It didn’t seem to me all that ethical using actual f---ed-up people like Steven Adler in a reality show, but who am I to say? Not to mention getting trashed celebrities to mime their own self-destructive nosedives which they then sensationalize on a melo-f----ing-dramatic reality show, which so traumatizes them they end up in worse shape than ever -- from the drugs they bought with the money from the show.

An interviewer would quote Tyler to which Steven responded:

He’s right in a way and he’s wrong in a way… To make a couple bucks is a good thing, plus all of us that did the show have hit rock bottom, so we didn’t have the money to survive, but the people could either take in the money, take an opportunity to get sober like I did and start my life again – or I could’ve taken the money and went and bought drugs with it, which most of the people who did the show did do. But Dr. Drew gave everybody an opportunity to get their lives together and doing it for me, personally, doing it on camera helped me so much. I say to anybody out there who has somebody in their life that’s an addict or an alcoholic, videotape them when they’re high or drunk. You know how people have those blackouts and their friends say, look, you did this and you did that? And the person goes, no I didn’t, you’re crazy. You videotape them and they see how terrible they act, I’m telling you, it will change their whole world on what they’re doing to themselves. When I did “Sober House” after “Celebrity Rehab,” I showed up with a bag of heroin and syringes and aluminum foil, wasted, and they videotaped me. I have to speak for myself, but I would do drugs ‘cause it made me feel more comfortable around people. It’d make me feel like I was better looking. I felt like I was taller. I was funnier. But I saw myself high on heroin and I was not funnier. I was not taller and I was not better looking. So seeing that really opened my eyes… I didn’t want to be like that, anymore.

In August he would be asked if he was completely off drugs:

Well, yeah, yeah. You don't have a future on drugs, and for 20 years I had no future. Now I'm starting to have a future. There's only one person who's had a future on drugs, and that's Keith Richards. And that's Keith Richards, okay. I keep waking up as Steven Adler every morning—not Keith Richards, but me. I take medication, but it's prescribed medication. I mean for so many years of abusing myself and my mind, I made myself chemically imbalanced. So now I take prescriptions that don't get me high or anything—occasionally I wish they would, I'm still an addict—but they don't. They're basically just to put back the things that I smoked and shot outta me. So they're good medication. I'm feeling wonderful. Things have been just fabulous. Hey, if I woulda known I would have been this happy 20 years ago, I would have got off drugs 20 years ago.

But the very same day the above quote was published, Bob Forrest, the head counselor on the "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" show and the chemical dependency program director at Las Encinas Hospital, paid Steven a surprise visit while Steven was on tour with his new band Adler's Appetite in Dubuque, Iowa, claiming that Steven had returned to "old habits" [Blabbermouth, September 13, 2021].

And in December he would talk about his health:

My health is wonderful. I work out. I'm working. Playing music. I have a beautiful wife, a nice home, a nice car, I got money in the bank. I got three beautiful dogs that love me. Like I said, I'm blessed. I survived. If you want to know what it was really like being a part of Guns N' Roses from the very beginning, you have to get my book. And Slash's book and Duff's book too. If you put them all together, it's like you are best friends with all three of us. I want to see Izzy's book. I want to know what was going on with him. I was there, but I wasn't always there.

And specifically whether he was sober:

Yeah, I'm clean. I work with Dr. Drew. I work with Dr. Sophie. I work with Bob Forrest. Now I'm very excited. I have something to live for.

Looking back at Celebrity Rehab and Sober House:

Well let me tell you, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life working with Dr. Drew and that whole crew. Like anything in life, if you show and give the most little amount of effort, people will do anything for you to help you. Dr. Drew gave me an opportunity to help myself and they give it to everybody. They all have an opportunity to change their lives around. It’s up to them. You just show an effort and I gave an effort and I still talk to Dr. Drew and he’s still my doctor. Dr. Sophie and Dr. Drew -- I still deal with them and they help me for one reason ‘cause I show an effort. It’s so important to care, to give a s--t and to show an effort, you got to give a little somethin’. You want somethin’ you got to give a little somethin’ somethin’ [Laughs]. It was the greatest experience of my life.

And his sobriety:

I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, but I do burn wood. No, that doesn’t mean blowjobs, Lonnie. Lonnie’s always like, “You got to stop saying that, it sounds like you suck d---.“ That’s not what I’m saying [Laughs]. Exclusive on Loudwire, I’m a smoker and a toker and a midnight joker. [...] I’m a smoker, toker, midnight joker -- not a morning wood smoker. [Laughs]


But Steven had been drinking and in October he would talk about having entered rehab for his drinking after the Rock And Roll hall Of Fame induction ceremony (April 14, 2012):

But I'm not just feeling good, I'm feeling great. After the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I started a new chapter. I went into detox for drinking. The last four months I've been sober, and it's great. I'm working out, practicing every day, putting a new show together, and it's really exciting.

Yeah, [the detox] was the drinking, but I haven't done heroin or coke in over four years. Three days after the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I got home and… I was drinking, and I couldn't stop. I knew I had to change. Six weeks after I stopped drinking, I lost 15 pounds - it was all alcohol weight. Put it this way: I have a new outlook. I want to achieve my destiny, and victory is a part of my destiny. I just can't drink. Drugs and drinking - I wish I could do it, but I can't. I did my share of that, and then some.

Talking about his health in November, and that he had been sober since 2008:

I work at it every day. I used to wake up in the morning and say, ‘Oh, God.’ Now I wake up in the morning and look forward to life. I work out every morning with my guitarist.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 20, 2024 1:14 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Jan 05, 2023 11:35 am



In 2015, Steven would look back at having been invited to come to Japan and play a few shows with Duff's Loaded in May 2013:

I love those guys, and I always will, but Duff, he doesn't think I'm cool. He doesn't think I'm a cool guy. This is what people tell me. And he doesn't think I'm cool and that I'm not that great of a drummer. [...]

They don't think I'm cool and they don't think I can play drums that great and they don't think I'm sober. Duff, he has a right, in a way, but, like I said, he forgets where he came from too. But we did do some shows [together] in Japan [in 2013], and Duff invited ADLER to come down, and I was still drinking then. And the second I got to the airport, I made a beeline for the bar, and I just started doing shots of Jäger. And the whole trip I was sick and I was just a mess. And, you know, Duff's sober and he's very judgmental and forgetful of where he came from. And he was just so bummed and pissed at me. I mean, the playing part, the shows when we actually were performing, that went all right, but everything else… So I kind of ruined it [...]

The same month, likely after having returned to the US, Steven again checked into rehab for addiction resulting in the postponement of a planned tour with Adler [Loudwire, May 2, 2013]. A few days later, Steven would comment:

I picked up a bottle and drank. This occurred a few times and that is a few times too many. I knew that this had to permanently stop. That is the moment I picked up the phone, before it got out of hand, to get help. I had kicked hard drugs several years ago and now it is time to get rid of the urges of drinking alcohol. I am at a great facility and will stay here until I am comfortable to be home to work the program on my own. I love you all for understanding, being patient and supporting my decision. Like my peers, I will beat this too, so I can return to music and beat my drums!

I couldn't work anymore. I had to make a stand and say, 'Either I've got to clean up or I'm going to lose everything again before I really even get it going.'

The same day, Deanna Adler updated her blog:

This morning I woke up and checked my e-mails. I had 28 messages! I thought what’s going on? I usually only have three or four messages. I started opening up the e-mails and they are saying things like ’be strong’ ‘we’re with you’ ‘don’t give up’ and ‘our prayers are with your family’. I called my son Jamie and find out that Steven is back in a rehab. You see, my family doesn’t say anything to me when they hear something upsetting about Steven because they don’t want to hurt me and they know how worried I am about Steven and how much I love him. Eventually I find out what’s going on from complete strangers. Even Jamie doesn’t know which rehabilitation center Steven is in. I don’t know what happened with him with Jamie told me that he voluntarily went into a rehab, but other than that even he knows nothing. I looked on the Internet and see that he has canceled his world tour. I also have a call into my daughter-in-law Carolina. But as of now no return call. It is sad to say but in Steven’s world I do not exist! We have had many problems through the years but no matter what, I am still his mother and I love him very much. I can take his mental abuse toward me because of my love for him. I don’t care what anyone says. All a mother wants for her child and he is My child is to be safe and healthy and have the best that life can bring them. I’m glad that he has gone into rehab.

2014-2015: SOBRIETY

In October 2014, Steven would provide an update:

Right now I'm just taking care of myself. I've been having these problems with alcohol, and right now I'm just taking care of it. I have a nice program I'm working, and I'm looking forward to having one year [of sobriety]. Right now I've got nine months and eighteen days. And then next year I'm gonna start working and getting the band back together… I'm taking care of [my alcohol addiction] — cutting it off at the neck. I'm looking forward to going out and playing again. I have my record, 'Back From The Dead', which I hope everybody will buy and listen to. And it's just been very exciting. Having a new life is exciting.

And in February and June 2015:

As of today, I have four hundred and four days sober, and I have never been happier, I have never played better or had more fun playing.

It's amazing! I wish I was capable of doing this 25 years ago. Unfortunately, I was going through this whole resentment phase for 25 years, and I couldn’t break out of it. But once I learned how resentment is the strongest form of self-abuse, and figured out how not to do it, everything in my life changed. No more taking things personally and no more making assumptions - and always doing my best. Not less and not more – just my best.

My wife has been so wonderful. I go to AA, but she's been going to Al-Anon for the last eight years just trying to figure out how to deal with me and still be a part of my life. I love and respect my wife more than anything, and she's been a huge part of me getting sober, me being able to do this art and me being able to basically do anything again. She's my Number One fan, and I'm her Number One fan.

It's been a fabulous year! I feel like what I felt like when I was a teenager, when I was full of excitement and just ready to take on the world. It's so great to have this rebirth, because I missed out on 25 years of my life. I'm not going to let that happen anymore. From now on, I'm getting everything I can out of my life. And this artwork is part [of that].

This time I'm doing the steps, I'm doing the work. I have a sponsor. I'm doing what they tell me to do: shut my mouth and open my ears.

Steven would also credit his renewed friendship with Slash as one of the reasons he was sober:

I had all these resentments towards him because he was a part of [Guns N' Roses] getting rid of me [in 1990]. We grew up together, and we accomplished our dreams. We've known each other since we were 12 years old. From the second we met each other, that was our dream – to become successful, travel the world, sell millions of records, make out with all these girls and party. Our dream came true, and I resented that he didn't stick up for me. But then I realized everybody was in a bad state of mind at that time; nobody could stick up for anybody. It's really great that I have a reasonable amount of sobriety time, and Slash himself has [been] like 11 years sober. Now that I'm [more than 400 days] sober, he's my friend again, and we hang out. I didn't understand why we wouldn't before, but now I do understand why.

In September 2015, Steven would say he was "21 months and 21 days sober" [SiriusXM's Eddie Trunk Live, September 28, 2015]. And in 2017 he would talk about getting sober:

It just snapped in my head one day. I was on my way, like I usually did, year after year, I would walk to the liquor store and I would be there before it would open. And just one day, I was walking out my front door to go to the liquor store and just something snapped in my head, and [I said to myself], 'I can't do this anymore.' And I woke my wife up and she took me to an AA meeting, and it started from there. One day at a time. And now I've got three years, seven months and three weeks [sober], and it's like that. After the first year, it's just like you don't even think about it. And I quit smoking cigarettes three months ago. That was just like drinking — it was something I hated doing and hated, but I couldn't stop. And then I did some iowaska, and I focused and prayed on that, and within ten days I was able to stop. Now I smoke these little Clint Eastwood cigars, like three or four a day, which is nothing compared to… There's no chemicals in it; just tobacco rolled. Instead of thirty chemical-laden cigarettes. I'd stink [when I smoked cigarettes]. If you notice, I don't stink right now.
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Jan 24, 2024 5:56 pm


Not long after being fired from Guns N' Roses, 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 1990.


Later, Steven pieced together another band that included former members of the Vain [Hot Metal, December 1991], including singer Davy Vain. Davy 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, same as 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.


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.

Missed opportunities! Steven was not entirely without friends who wanted him to succeed. Any time something good was about to happen he just couldn’t handle it. I remember one time when he was with his band roadcrew, this was after he was dismissed from guns n roses. They were about to sign a recording contract. The record executives were standing in front of Stevens house talking when Stevens drug dealers drove up and right in front of the executives Steven executes a drug deal! Money and drugs were exchanged. Why didn’t he tell the guys to come back? The answer to that is the drugs were more important to Steven than his band roadcrew and a record contract! Of course the executives left and in the next week or so roadcrew dismantled! It’s like every time something good is about to happen he destroys it!
Dianna Adler's blog, May 26, 2012[/url]

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.


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].

Curiously, Raz Cue would mention that Steven booked time at Cue's studio for a band, but never showed up:

Steven, the last time I saw Steven was at my studio. Like, I had a rehearsal studio in North Hollywood and in early 1998 I got robbed. And so I just told [?], I got robbed for like the second time in like 6 months and I was like tired of being a sitting duck right there. But the last band that night was a band Steven had booked - I hadn't seen Steven and he was getting back together and he jammed the night before I closed, you know? And then the next night he booked and the band showed up and he never showed up and they had a different drummer. And they were jamming when I was getting robbed. So basically you have the last band that ever rehearsed there is a band that Steven Adler booked into my studio. Which is kind of a weird thing. [...] I know who robbed me, it was somebody completely not associated with that act. They were just like, if they wouldn't have been there, I wouldn't got robbed because there wouldn't have been anybody there. Like, they did an extra hour and that extra hour... But, yeah, they had nothing to do with the guy that robbed me. I know who the guy who robbed me and you know, he just got out of jail last last summer, right around the time my book came out, which is another weird coincidence.

It is not clear what band this was nor why Steven wasn't part of the rehearsals, and it could also be that Cue has got the date wrong.


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


In early 2015, Steven released a set of paintings made using a technology called "Rhythm-On-Canvas" in connection with his 50th birthday [Press Release, January 12, 2015]. The collection was named "50" [Press Release, January 12, 2015].

Describing the technology:

The process of creating artwork from rhythm is an extensive one that begins with the drummer utilizing a bevy of drumsticks that light in a variety of ways similar to that of a painter utilizing brushes with different colors. In the creation process, the drummer is crafting rhythms that translate visually to abstract imagery before they are brought into the SceneFour studio, manipulated meticulously, and laid to canvas. For Adler's visual work, SceneFour co-founder Ravi Dosaj states, "Steven's rhythms visually look like the way he sounds...dark, gritty, and they even swing. Inside his abstract work, there are elements that seem to connect to his life."

"Welcome to the Jungle: A Visual Study In Rhythm
From Adler's "50" collection

Basically, it's a collection made of rhythm, using laser drum sticks, like a painter uses brushes. [...] I'm the canvas and the painter. [...] When you hear a rock song that makes you feel really great, this is what it actually looks like. People never get to see what they're feeling. When you listen to a song, that's what's actually coming out. That's the vibration and the energy. [...] I did all of 'Appetite For Destruction', so all 12 songs are gonna be out.

I had no idea what I was going to see, but once I saw all the emotion and the anger and the excitement of the songs, it was just amazing. I was and am still very excited to be a part of it. If you're a big fan of GNR and Appetite, this is the perfect collection for you.


In May 2017, Steven would play drums on three Guns N' Roses songs on a charity event to benefit Ronnie James Dio's Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund [Blabbermouth, May 8, 2017]. Steven would play with Jeff Pilson (bass; Dokken, Foreigner), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot),Robert Sarzo (Hurricane) on guitar, Patrick Stone (vocals; Budderside),Lita Ford (vocals) and Michael Devin (bass; Whitesnake) [Blabbermouth, May 8, 2017].

Ride for Ronnie
May 7, 2017 collection

When asked what his plans were now:

[I'll] probably take most of this band that I’m playing with here tonight and mostly just do some shows. I just love to play and they’re great guys and a lot of fun.


In October 2017, Steven would talk about a new book project tentatively named, "Steven Adler: The Shit My Friends remember I did" [The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show, October 6, 2017].

I was doing drugs for the last twenty-five years — well, not the last three and a half, but before, for twenty-five years, I drank, I did drugs — and now that I'm sober, I'm talking to people and they're telling me stories, and it's just blank up there [in my head]; there's nothing there. So I decided I'm gonna put a book together [as a] reminder of the stories. And I know, of course, I owe apologies to many, many girls around the world. When I was drinking and drugging, I would do and say things I would never normally say. So I hope you accept my apology. You know who you are. [Laughs]

To collect stories for his book, Steven launched the website Steven Adler Stories [The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show, October 6, 2017].
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