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11. 1990: MOVING FORWARD WITH A NEW LINEUP

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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:21 am

OCTOBER 1990
AXL AND ERIN GOES THROUGH A PERONAL TRAGEDY


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.


BUYNG A HOUSE IN THE HILLS


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 ODS


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].


WANTING A FAMILY


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 on Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:21 am

GETTING BOOKED FOR ROCK IN RIO


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 on Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:05 am

NOVEMBER 1990
DANNY SUGERMAN WRITES ABOUT GUNS N' ROSES


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.


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 on Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:42 pm

PLANNING THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' TOUR


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.


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!
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