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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 Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:16 pm


- JULY 22, 1992:  HOOSIER DOME
- 1992: AXL WANTS OUT?

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:18 pm


Axl and Slash describing playing with each other:

I know one song in particular, "Patience," where Axl hits a certain vocal that gives me chills, and it affects my playing, when that goes by. And it happens every single night when we play it. It might be a spontaneous moment in the evening when he'll say the right thing, or he'll sing the right way, to just make my guitar go crazy. Make my playing go crazy.

Duff would describing his bass playing and how he developed it with Steven:

Well, it cuts through. It has a lot of nice low end but it has a top, the attack, and it's almost percussive. And it became that way because [Guns drummer] Steven Adler played a lot, we rehearsed a lot, and one of the rehearsals would just be Steven and I. His meter wasn't great so I'd almost be leading him so it became very percussive how I played. I'm a fan of punk rock but I'm also a fan of a lot of R&B and Prince, so I like the high [mimics the sound of a thumb slap on a string].

And how he and Slash would work out music together:

I listened to more grooves, an aggressiveness. [LA punks] Fear, the album was a great record - did I steal bass lines from that? No. Paul Simonon from The Clash, the attitude of that guy was sick. Great bass player? Fuck, no. But for passing notes and things like that I listen to the blues, I listen to R&B, James Jamerson. I just listen for clever ways and ideas, `Oh, that's cool, I can use that in this song.' There are songs on Appetite... that started from a bass groove, more funkier. Rocket Queen, just groove stuff. And then Slash and I had this thing where we worked off each other and we'd never have to talk about notes. `Should we go to the F there?' One of the comments Scott [Weiland, from Velvet Revolver] made when he first came into [Velvet Revolver] was, `You and Slash don't even fucking talk.' We'd stand this close to each other and fuckin' almost put our heads together and it's osmosis. And he said, 'I've never seen anything like it.' We're like minded and we know how each other plays and it's all cool.

And the band playing together:

I will see photos and I will watch video tapes of the band, and I see different things in it. I see me as sort of off the wall, like, here, there, here, there. Smoking and throwing up and shit. But Axl, if you really watch Axl, he’s got this really intense presence, very cool. Then there’s Duff . . . he’s real tall and he’ll have his bass real low. Every time he stands, his steps are like this far apart, and he goes “Grrrrr!” Duff's great, I crack up when I watch him on stage. Then there’s Izzy, who’s just sort of like . . . in the background most of the time. And Steven . . . Steven is like one of those David Lee Roth types ... Whenever I watch the band I always think there are lots of things to keep your attention. It’s all ridiculous, it’s like a circus, you know?
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

There's always a lot of tension going down between us. There's always something happening, sparks flying.

It’s not really chemistry [between Izzy and I]. Chemistry is something that, like, you mix together, and it comes out and produces a certain something that you would think is supposed to be perfect; it’s supposed to be some sort of a combination of something that’s perfect or that works. With us it’s just very impromptu and I don’t know if it works or not, but that’s the way we do it.

[…] there’s a certain type of physical aggression that you get on stage. Especially for me. Like, you're out there and you have a capacity for pain that you normally don't have. It's because of all that high-strung energy that you get in times of extreme emergency, you know? Pure adrenalin. And it’s such a physical thing...

But I would never be at the point of wanting to slash myself [like Sid Vicious]. It doesn’t interest me. I put up with some pretty intense degrees of pain when I’m on stage some nights as it is. You know, when I’ve fallen off stage and got back up and kept going. And there’s times I’ve burned myself on stage pretty badly, too. I like to smoke when I’m on stage, right? Well, there’s been a lot of times I’ve been playing with a cigarette between my lips, and I’ve let it burn all the way down and the hot coal has dropped down my pants. But when you’re playing there is no way you can stop and do something about it. It goes out eventually, but it leaves a scar. Here, do you wanna see?

Out there, on tour, you get hit by things when you’re on stage, you jump into the crowd. It’s like, no holds barred, relentless fuckin' rock ’n’ roll. To me that’s what high-energy rock ’n’ roll is all about. I punch my guitar when we play and I come out of shows all bloody...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from March 1989

I try to make things work musically in the band. I kind of consider myself the musical director, trying to keep everything together. Axl is the word-master and the melody maker. And Slash is the genius of the band... […] He’s just this fucked up guy that you wouldn’t think could... I’ve known the guy since I moved here. I’ve known him from, like, this kid where I thought, OK, he’s just another good guitar player, to, like, this total fuckin’ monstrosity that I think he is now! Maybe I’m overplaying Slash, I don’t know. But just to me, as a musician, I appreciate him so much, you know? Axl is amazing too, just amazing...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990

We [=Izzy and Slash] don't work out our parts. If it's Izzy's song, I might turn the riff around a little bit and add something. But he'll play his part the way he wrote it—very loose, very Stonesy. When it comes to my tunes, I write riffs that are a lot more intricate—that's my style. So he just takes his style and adds it to my riff. Usually, for every five notes there's one chord on that side [points left and chuckles]. We don't consciously work out parts, whereas Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing probably get into that. […] [Duff and Matt fitting hand-in-glove] was an important factor in choosing Matt. It's different from the way, say, AC/DC works, where the guitars play together and the bass just keeps a line that goes straight through the song. Izzy plays really simple; me and Duff play all the intricate stuff—it's almost like one thick part. Duff takes whatever riffs he and I play and does them with the drums. And everything has to be in sync. So if Duff's playing with somebody who's not hip to what's going on, he knows in an instant.

We go to clubs all the time. At the Roxy in L.A.. Slash was playing and I was in the balcony and I was thinking, ‘This guy is great. And I’m in a band with him’

On the record, [Matt]'s one of the most amazing drummers I've ever heard, but he's better than [what he achieved on 'Use Your Illusions']. […] When he goes off on his own creative sense it's pretty amazing. I want to facilitate that getting out.

[Talking about playing with Slash]: Oh, it was great; to me, Slash was, for me, the ultimate lead guitar player because I come from the old school and stuff. I don't know anything about whammy bars unless Jimi Hendrix did it and all that real fast approach, it's all wonderful and it's fine but I don't understand it. I'm from the old like blues school, very slow, like Keith, bending, and make it sound like a slide. And Slash has got that old blues style but he combines it with the metal thing and I hate soloing. It's like, give me one solo a night and I'm fine, I'm very happy, I don't have the attention span. We'll play 18 to 20 songs a night and I couldn't do it; and I love playing rhythm guitar and for the two of us together, even when Slash does side stuff, he always gets me to come along and play with him. It's a really good match between the two of us. Because I'm like everything he's not and he's everything I'm not but it's all within the same style.

A positive thing with my entrance in the band was that Slash finally got a rhythm guitarist whose style he likes to play with.

Well, I tell you what, there's nothing more annoying than a guitarist just noodling. Shredding, it's horrid. It's the same thing when you try to get a band together, you always end up with these noodlers, y'know… […] when I first met him, yeah. Slash was a noodler, man. I think he still is. Like in Guns N' Roses he would noodle but then the vocals would come back in and that would shut him up!

Originally I don't think Slash ever wanted to play with another guitarist. But we both really loved Aerosmith and the Stones and we just used that idea to make it all work. My favourite band was always the Ramones - just four guys wailing with power chords. At some point he and I hooked up and we started making it work. It became fun, just working with another guy like him, opposites attract, I suppose.

With Steven and Izzy gone, Slash talked about how that had affected their playing:

Well, it’s been really refreshing just to get out there and be able to have a really solid band, because... I mean,  I said I don’t like to talk the other guys, as far as Steven and [Izzy] goes […] because it’s a real personal kind of relationship and it’s real emotional. But there was a point there, where, our aspirations as a band, as far as I was concerned and as far as Axl and Duff were concerned, that I don’t know where those guys were really coming from. So it started to be unenjoyable to play with them, you know? So it was real refreshing to get in and have people that were real eager to do it. So it’s been a lot of fun thus far, you know?

Even though the band always sounded cool, Izzy and I never sat down together and worked out guitar parts. We weren't really a team, in that sense. We would just jam, and he'd play things his way and I'd play things my way. And even though Gilby is essentially playing Izzy's parts, he adjusts them so there is more of a sense of unity - more of a sense that we are playing together. This isn't to put Izzy down in any way, it's just that Gilby and I have a different relationship. […] I told [Gilby] to learn the basics and then take it from there. As the tour progressed, he progressed. I think it's important that Gilby put his own stamp on our songs. It's important that he feels he can contribute creatively. A musician's self-confidence becomes vulnerable when he isn't allowed to do his own thing.

So Gilby likes doing it. So there's a lot of interaction, and ahh, you know. I don't like to say anything against Izzy because we've all been playing together for a long time. Um, but I mean, it just got to a point where he just didn't wanna be there. So Gilby does wanna be there, so… You can feel it, you know. There's definitely some different feeling. And I don't feel like I have to rely on myself to cover the guitar and stuff, as much as I used to.

Izzy and I had a simple, unsaid agreement: I’m in my world, he’s in his, and we’ll work on the same song together using completely different approaches.

Axl and Duff would also talk positively about the changes:

One night when I was bummed, Matt came around and put his hand on me: "It's all right, man." Those little things are really special. With the new band and the new people, it's the first time I've really felt at home. It used to be just the five of us against the world. Now we've brought some of the outside world into the band. The first night we played with the new band, I was sitting at the piano during "November Rain," just looking at this and feeling really glad that I was a part of this thing.

Matt’s a great drummer, especially now that he’s been with us for two years. He’s a drummer you don’t have to pull along — he pushes you and makes you better. Nothing against Steven, but Matt takes us up a level — and Gilby’s guitar is whipped cream on the cake.

In 1992 Slash would again talk about how losing members affected them:

I don't think this band could survive any more personnel changes.

It’s hard, you know. You have to deal with the situations at hand - Axl, Duff and I, and Matt’s been in the band for a long time, so I have to include him on this subject. But you have your goal and you want to go out and keep the – you know, whatever the Guns N’ Roses thing is and what we have fun doing. So you keep that together and keep it alive, and you just thrive on it. And so when changes occur, you have to look at it from perspective and just go, “Alright, what are doing here?” You know, what’s the objective? And finally you come to a conclusion where you go, “Alright, we want to keep this going, and if you can’t keep up with it, then, you know, at least we thrive between the members that are left. And that’s it. You know, you can’t make it more complicated than that. On the outside it might look a little, you, know, more complicated than it seems. […] The relationship between bands is really complicated, in the sense that we all hang out and you guys look at us from one perspective, but, you know, we’re just – this is a family kind of thing going. And after a while, in going through everything that we’ve gone through, and all the concerts and all the tours we tried to set up as individual bands – right? - you get to a point where you really have to hold on to each other. And when it gets rough, you have to deal with it and that’s it.

Axl and Duff would also rave about the positive effects of having Gilby in the band:

Gilby is awesome, and a pleasure to be around. He works the stage and the crowd really well. Also, he helps give us a sense of rock 'n' roll normalcy - if there is such thing. Gilby has a way of understanding and dealing with situations that makes the whole trip more tolerable. His insights from being on the outside of GN'R helps us. He has his opinions of what's going on with us, and it helps us get a different perspective, ' cause Slash, Duff and myself have been in GN'R for so long and are so close to it that sometimes we don't see things like other people would. Every now and then he'll say something to me, and I'll go, "Wow, I didn't see it that way." He's been putting himself through his own rock-and-roll education with his other groups for years. Now he's a part of Guns N' Roses.

Izzy would never pat you on the back or anything like that. If I have an anxiety attack onstage, Gilby will come up to me, put his arm around me and say, "I'm here. I'm here for you, man." and he means it. Gilby won't play until I'm better. Gilby's busting his ass right now, playing with a broken wrist. He's a great player and a great guy.

Talking about the nature of their shows:

I mean, the band is the way the band is, okay? We go out and we jam. We react off the crowd and so on. Uh, yeah, we're still rough around the edges, probably always will be, but the spirit's there, y'know, and that's what the fuck matters right? "We have this responsibility for maintaining headlining status, right? Well fuckin' A, y'know? We can't keep it up all the time. We don't go out and do the same show every night. We use the fucking people that we're playing for and, if it's not happening with them, we'll keep working. We work real fucking hard y'know? I mean, I know you spent so many dollars to get into this gig, but we're not fucking robots all right? This isn't... I won't name any names, right, but this isn't mechanical. In order to play, we have to get into it. This is like emotional shit right?

And about the pressure and being nervous:

[Being asked if the big shows puts pressure on the band]: Yeah, unfortunately. What happens is that… From the pressure of having played those big gigs, you feel like that when you get up there, the huge amount of people that can't even see you, for the most part. You know, there's only the first 10 or 30 rows that really can see your expressions and, you know, if you fucking drool all over yourself. Burning yourself up with your cigarette, you know, I mean. Everybody else is just expecting some unbelievable show, which is really… that's, that's a pressure. To go out there and know that people are thinking that. I mean, I'm amazed that we can play the size of the stage we've been playing.


I still get nervous. I mean, the only time… I mean, if you're not nervous, you're gonna have a bad show. That wasn't something that was taught to me, I learned that from experience. It's still a challenge, it's still, you know, that you have something to prove, not to them, not to the people you are playing to, but to yourself. And go out, and press the people that you are playing for, with your newfound sense of confidence, right. Then you're doing alright. When you think you got it made, and you got it all together, then you're gonna screw up. I mean, that's something I've learned personally, I can't speak for everybody else in the band. Everybody has their own psych that they use to, you know, approach getting on stage and playing to that many people

In 2018, Teddy Andreadis would discuss how it had been playing with Axl:

And you know what, no matter how much of a butt head he was sometimes, Axl, when he was on there was nobody in the world that could touch Axl Rose. He was unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable singer, front man, and, you know, just in amazing shape. You know, he could do that, I mean, I couldn't do that. But so, you know, when people dog him and stuff like that, I go, "Man, you have no idea how great that guy is. But, you know, with that comes some other stuff, you know. But he was the best. Roberta will tell you, man, when he started, when he would start running up and down those ramps- [...] It was really amazing to watch.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:01 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:20 pm


As the band grew so did their professional retinue. For the tour in support of the 'Use Your Illusion" albums the crew was substantial.

Slash, being asked to talk about their entourage and how many are travelling with them:

Fuck, I don’t know (laughs). 50 of us, huh? There’s a bunch of us. It’s like the Guns N’ Roses gang.

A lot of the crew was there to assist Axl with various tasks:

[...] [Axl] had a lot of assistance going on then. I mean, it became a very big group of people. It went from something that was small and friends to, you know, chiropractors, massage therapists, assistants for assistants, managers’ assistants... I mean it just started growing and growing. It just got very, very big.

Gilby would throw praise on the professionality of the crew:

You know the people that are with the band now (road crew, assistants) are the people who were with the band in the beginning and the organization is incredible, they’re so professional. This band didn’t get successful and then can everybody, and what’s awesome is at the beginning of the tour I sat down (with the guitar tech) and said ‘This is what I like’ and I never have to say it again. When I’m playing a show I can change guitars every song and it’s always perfectly in tune, the equipment works right, you don’t have to settle for less like you do when you’re playing clubs. ‘The monitors aren’t going to work tonight’ — ‘Oh ...’ It means you can just concentrate on playing good. We still have our days when something blows up, but shit happens.

And it definitely had become a large crew. In the official tour program for 1992 [Use Your Illusion Tour program, 1992], the following crew was listed:

Doug Goldstein: Personal Manager; John Reese: Tour Manager  [MTV, June 1992]; Jerry Gendron: Tour Accountant; Earl Gabiddon: Security [Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992]; Jon Zucker: Security; Ron Stalnaker: Security; Bill Greer: Director of Security; Dale "Opie" Skjerseth: Production Mgr/Stage Mgr [Canal 33 Sputnik, June 1992]; Phil Ealy: Lighting & Set Designer; David Kehrer: Sound Engineer; Adam Day: Guitar Tech [Guitar Player, December 1991]; Tom Mayhue: Vocal Tech; Mike Mayhue: Bass Tech; Will Jennings: Keyboard Tech; Elwood Francis: Guitar Tech; Tim Doyle: Drum Tech; Art Freund: Carpenter and Joni Veage: Wardrobe; Robert John: Tour Photographer; Alex Kochan: Tour Consultant; Kirt Klingermann: Management Assistant; Craig Duswalt: Band Assistant; Amy Bailey: Press Coordinator; Steve Thaxton: Chiropractor; Sabrina Okamoto: Masseuse; Lori Perkins: Production Assistant; Michael Graphix: Monitor Engineer; Beth Turnbull: Wardrobe; Pat Ryan: Rigger; Mike Tierney: Ground Rigger & Camera Operator; Kurt Wagner: Carpenter; Chris Deters: Carpenter; Nick Passiglia: Carpenter; George Barnes: Sound Crew Chief; Jim Stanforth: Sound Crew; Doug Pope: Sound Crew; Brian Doyle: Sound Crew; Courtney Jones: Sound Crew; Paul Becher: Director; Terry Brennan: Camera; Jay Strasser: Camera; George Elizondo: Camera; Kenn Moynihan: Projectionist; Jim Perry: Show Power; Erik Dismuke: Varilite Op; Bob Jarvis: Varilite Tech; Doug Brent: Lighting Crew Chief; JR Edington: Lighting Crew; Mike Lamb: Lighting Crew; Rob Mackenzie: Lighting Crew; Dave Grayson: Lighting Crew; Charles Cochran: Lighting Crew; John Adam: Lead Truck Driver; Gary Passanis: Truck Driver; Dan Cole: Truck Driver; Tom Burrington: Truck Driver; John Bonta: Truck Driver; Kevin Collings: Truck Driver; Lindsay Davis: Truck Driver; Randy Dowell: Truck Driver; Robert Kruzscewski: Truck Driver; Max Shaeffer: Truck Driver; Dennis Mallatt: Bus Driver; Bennie Johnson: Bus Driver; Harold Russel: Bus Driver; Jerry Burnside: Bus Driver; Jeff Condon: Merchandiser and Steve Noonan: Merchandiser.

As can be seen from this list above, Axl's sister, Amy Bailey, was working as Press Coordinator for the band. Axl also mentions working with his sister in Rolling Stone in April 1992. In addition, also had a personal assistant called Blake [RIP, September 1992].

Tim Doyle is listed as drum tech. After the tour, Doyle moved to Austin and became a father, this resulted in the hiring of Mike "Sacks" Fasano as Matt's new drum tech [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996]. Sacks's employment was originally intended to just be a two-day thing in the studio, but turned into a week and then a permanent position [GN'R Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, May 9, 1996].

The wider crew was listed as:

Management: BIG FD Entertainment (Doug Goldstein, Chris Jones, Tom Maher); Tour Consultant: Alex Kochan; Publicity: Geffen Records (Bryn Bridenthal); Legal: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (Lee Phillips); Financial Control: Siegel & Feldstein (Shelley Goldberg); Merchandising: BROCKUM: Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo (Michael Rotondo, Gerry Barad, Jeff Condon, Carl Gibbs); Record Company: Geffen Records (Tom Zutaut); Travel Agency: Mark Allan Travel (Shelby Glick); Lighting: Light & Sound Design Inc (Tim Murch); Sound: Electrotec Inc (Rikki Farr); Moving Lights: Vari-lites (John Wiseman); Stage & Set: Showstaging/Showfab (Eric Eastland); Passes: Otto Printing (Mark Alger); Itineraries: Smart Art (Alan Mitchko, Sharon James); Freight: Rock-It Cargo (Duane Wood); Video: Nocturne Inc (Pat Morrow); Air Transportation: MGM Grand Air (Bob Lyons); Buses: Senator's Coach (John Aikin); Crew Travel Agency: Air Apparent (Kathleen Botting); Trucks: Roadshow Inc (Dave Kiley); Insurance: General Insurance Consultants (Bev Beilen, Ann Leiderman); Booking Agency: ICM/FAIRWARNING (John Jackson); Paintings front and back of program: Kostabi; Photography: Robert John, George Chin, Gene Kirkland; Illustration on pages 10 & 11: R K Sloane; Tour Program:  Satori  Art Coordinator (Michael Rotondo), and Additional Design: Ellen Meiselman.


Craig Duswalt, who is listed as "band assistant" above would later become Axl's personal assistant [Sp1at, April 6, 2005] in November 1991 [Craig Duswalt, June 9, 2010]. Duswalt would explain how he became involved with the band:

I toured with Air Supply with Doug Goldstein. Doug eventually became the manager of GNR and he asked me if I was ready to go on the road again.

Talking about his first day at the job in November 1991:

I get a call one day - I've been off the road for a little while and I get a call one day from Doug Goldstein. Doug Goldstein used to be the security guard for Air Supply [and] is now the manager of Guns N’ Roses. And he calls me up and he says, “You're ready to go back on the road?” “What do I have to do?” “You have to take care of Axl Rose.” “I'll be right there.” So I get my big break and I go on tour with Guns N’ Roses as Axl Rose’s personal manager, and I basically babysat Axl Rose for four years.  First day on the job, I get to Axl's house, in his Hollywood Hills house, and I'm sitting on his couch thinking about, “Oh man, I'm in Axl Rose’s living room, this is cool,” and, all of a sudden, I see a TV fly out of the bedroom window. No, okay (laughs). It was the living room - no, okay (laughs). He never did that stuff. Robert [Finkelstein], where are you? Robert, did he ever throw things out of the window? [...] Robert has worked with me - he was working with me with Axl. So the first thing I do on my day at the job, he wants me to go down the hill and pick up Slash. I'm like, “Cool, I’ll get to meet Slash.” So I drive down the hill, the Hollywood Hills, get to the Oakwood Apartments parking lot, and I pull up. I obviously recognize Slash and he doesn't know who I am at all (laughs). I pull up to him and say, “Hi Slash, I'm Craig,” “Cool” and gets in my car. I could have been some, like, crazy man and he's like, “Cool dude, alright, cool” (laughs). So he gets in my car and we drive up, and we don't say a word to each other,  because what would I say to Slash? We get up to the house, and I'm at the house. So Axl is in the house, Slash is in the house and Blake, his first manager guy, the guy at the time - Robert wasn't with us yet, so I was, like, the second guy.

So Blake now… I'm sitting in the living room again where the TV just flew out of the window - just kidding (?) - and Blake gets on the phone, and he's calling this guy and he says, “Hi Brian, this is Blake with Axl,” and he obviously said, “Hey Blake, how you doing.”  So Blake is explaining, “Listen, Axl has a doctor that can really help Freddie at this moment.” And this is November of 1991. Now, I know that Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, is sick, and he is on the phone telling Brian May, the lead guitarist for Queen, that Axl has a doctor that can help save Freddie's life who's dying of AIDS. And I'm looking - I'm a huge Queen fan and I'm thinking to myself, “This guy is on the phone with Brian May of Queen, Slash is in one room, Axl is in another… Where the hell am I? How did this happen?” And what happened was, you know, Freddie… Brian May said to Blake, “It's too late,” you know, “Freddie's just ready to go,” and Freddie Mercury of Queen passed away the next week. It's what bonded, though, Axl and I, because he was a huge Queen fan and I was a huge Queen fan, and that was what made us the good friends that we are today.

And what he did:

I took care of everything related to Axl and was with him 24/7.

I basically managed all aspects of his life, from home to business to his performing life. I managed everything. I was the liaison to Axl, anyone who wanted to meet him backstage after the show, including many famous stars, had to go through me. I was in charge of keeping him out of trouble and helping him get ready to do a show.

I was hired as Axl’s “second” personal assistant, under another guy named Blake. Prior to touring with GNR, I toured with the band Air Supply for about six years. In about 1985 or 1986 Doug Goldstein took over as Air Supply’s head security guy, and we became great friends. Doug went on to become GNR’s manager, and one day Doug called me out of the blue to see if I was interested in going on the road again. I said yes. So I joined the Use Your Illusion tour and became Axl’s personal assistant. After I was there for a few months, Blake quit, and I became Axl’s main guy for the next three years.

I basically handled everything to do with Axl. If someone wanted to talk to Axl it either went through me or Doug Goldstein. I was responsible for his house, his backstage area, and his hotel room. I handled his money, set up his travel with our travel agent, scheduled limos to and from everywhere, and coordinated all his appointments. I had an assistant that would also handle shopping for Axl, and run regular, everyday errands. I supervised that as well. I was also responsible for making sure Axl got to the gigs “on time” — the most challenging part of my job.

I also ran Axl’s teleprompter for a while until I handed that job over to another person. There were millions of little things as well, but that was the main stuff.

Despite travelling the world with Guns N' Roses, Duswalt would later lament not actually seeing much:

I’ve traveled all over Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America, Africa, Thailand, Israel, Turkey, all these places and the joke is that I got to see the hotel rooms in all these great cities because I was with Axl 24/7 and we couldn’t really go out. Every time when we did go out it was a circus with all these people following us, so we usually just brought the entertainment inside the hotel.

For his service, Duswalt would receive a double platinum record which is inscribed “presented to Craig Duswalt to commemorate more than 3 million copies each of Use Your Illusion 1 and Use Your Illusion 2” [The Signal, July 27, 2008].

Duswalt would end his position as assistant to Axl some time after the touring, likely in 1994.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:20 pm


The Appetite lineup had been a tight unit and the members had protected their rights through a recording agreement already signed on August 25, 1986 [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

But in 1990 the band's lineup started to change. When Dizzy Reed joined the band started to distinguish between "employers" and "full-time members":

Dizzy is keyboard player who is being employed to be a Gunner – he may become a full-time member.

With incoming musicians who didn't have the same back history with the rest of the band members, it was important to Slash to try to retain that particular cameraderie the band had enjoyed from the beginning:

The most important thing is – I’m glad that you asked that, because that’s a good question. One of the most important things for us in finding people to replace Steven and to replace Izzy was finding somebody that we could hang out with and feel like family still. Because Guns N’ Roses is one of those things that we were real tight, you know? And we don’t let any kind of outside people influence us, and we don’t take on any kind of, like, what you’d call session players or anything like that. So it’s got to be a really cool hangout situation. And it was sort of a godsend for Matt and Gilby, because they fit in so quickly, and it was such a stressful period for Duff and Axl and I to have to deal with. So, you know, for it to come down the way it did, and for us to feel so comfortable and finish this record, really said a lot about the whole organization as it was. And so, yeah, it’s an important thing; and no, we don’t take on any so-called business partners. Yeah.

When Steven was in the process of leaving the band, the band members signed a new agreement, March 28, 1990, in-which Steven was transformed from being a member of the previous partnership (a partner) to an "employee" [Partnership agreement, October 1992].

In July 1991 Slash would be asked if Dizzy and Matt were fully-fledged members:

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that about Dizzy. He hasn’t been with us long enough. Matt, I would call a fully-fledged member, cos he is the foundation that we play off, and he came into a very heavy situation and fitted in right away. […] Dizzy’s more - and Axl might disagree with me here - but Dizzy’s an old friend, somebody that we’ve known for a long time, since Guns started, and he was the kind of player that Axl wanted. His style was what Axl wanted for the piano stuff.

But I wouldn’t call him a full-fledged member yet because he hasn’t been on the road with us long enough - although when we played Rio he really pulled it off... Yeah.

Yet, when considering how well he had done at Rock In Rio in January 1992, Slash would admit he was a member:

So he is a member of the band, and though he hasn’t been fully initiated yet he’s been great...

In March 1992, Axl would be asked about the difference between "playing with guys you've hired, as opposed to guys you slept on floors with"?

In some ways it's not a whole lot different because in the beginning we were putting a band together to achieve something. It was always kind of a triad between Slash, Izzy, and me. And when Izzy wasn't so much being a part of that triad, Doug Goldstein, our manager, kind of took his place. As far as keeping Guns N' Roses going and figuring out what we're doing, Izzy really wasn't that much involved anymore. He wrote songs, but those songs were on the record because I wanted them on the record and because the band agreed to learn them and liked them and we all worked on them. I really believed in Izzy. I was an Izzy fan for 15 years and I wanted his songs to be a part of this project. But it was like pulling teeth to make that happen. A lot of people might have liked the way Izzy was standing there onstage and it was kind of cool, but the truth of the matter was that Izzy wasn't handling any of the weight.


On August 20, 1992, Gilby would be asked if he was a "permanent member" of the band:

I'm a member right now — you know, as permanent as anybody in this band. It's like a day to day, month to month, year to year thing. I'm not going anywhere right now. When I first joined it was kind of like they only had two weeks to finish up the tour. At first I was just doing it for the tour, but, as time went on, it definitely became different.

And in the October 1992 issue of RIP Axl would be asked if Gilby was a "member" of the band:

This "member" thing is quite interesting, I read in an interview where Matt [Sorum, drummer] said that if he didn't get made a member, he wasn't going to be in Guns N' Roses. The truth of the matter is, Matt's a member of GN'R, but it doesn't really mean anything. It's kind of like a clubhouse/gang thing. We're all members of this gang. What it boils down to is, whose yard is the tree house in? Matt's a member of GN'R, and his opinions are taken into consideration. As far as that's concerned, Gilby is a member too, Dizzy is a member of the band. With all the background singers, horn players, keyboardists - we look at it like we're all Guns N' Roses. But the bottom line is, the business is basically run by Slash and myself. Then we run whatever it is we're discussing by Duff and see if he's cool with it. Guns N' Roses is basically Slash, Duff, Doug Goldstein and myself, but there's a lot of other people involved that are a part of our lives and a part of our family.

And when asked if he thought Matt would be pissed after reading this, Axl responded:

It would be nice if he wasn't. I love everybody in this band. It's kicking ass and feels really warm and really cool onstage. At this point it's the 12 of us that get onstage and f?!king go all out. […] There's Teddy, there's Dizzy, there's Roberta, Tracy, Lisa, CeCe, Anne, Gilby, Matt, Duff, Slash and me. Slash put this new band together, did all of the groundwork. He did such an amazing job that I just can't believe it really happened. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a pretty huge thing, and we might even add some dancers, like we used to have back in the old Troubadour days. It's something we've considered.

In the tour program for 1992 [Use Your Illusion Tour program, 1992], the band was listed as being comprised of Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt, Gilby and Dizzy, while Andreadis, Maxwell, Worall, King, Amos and Freeman were listed separately. In early 1993, Gilby would also be said to have been "accepted as a full member of the band" "appearing in all the band's subsequent videos" [Hartford Courant, March 4, 1992]. And in March 1994 when asked if GN'R now was a six-piece band, Slash confirmed [Q Magazine, March 1994].


In 1994 Gilby would shed some light on the relationship between himself, Matt and Dizzy and Axl, Slash and Duff:

I have no contract with Geffen but a contract with the band (Guns N' Roses). It's the same thing with Dizzy and Matt who also has been contracted by the three original members of Guns N' Roses. […] Axl, Slash and Duff is what remains of Guns N' Roses and the rest of us is just hired members. They have a hundred dollars and we ask "can we also have a hundred dollars?" and they give us a hundred dollars when they feel like it [laughs].

In 2011, Gilby would confirm he was on a salary:

I was a band member, but I also got paid weekly but there are also perks and other things with it. But everybody was, they all took a salary.

This provide a clear hierarchy between the various band members where some where partners and others were hired guns. As for the three partners, Gilby was clear that they weren't entirely equal either:

Axl and Slash call most of the shots. The rest of us just kinda go with the flow. You just never know, cos it's not our call. You're relying on Axl, and he changes his mind quite a bit.

[…] Axl is of course the leader and after that comes Slash.

I’m really a small part of Guns N’ Roses. G N’ R is really the vision of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff. I’m there to complement them.

In 1994, Axl would retell Gilby joking about his status in the band:

Did you hear about Gilby getting asked - the talent scouts found him in some biker bar. Gilby was in a biker bar, and they were like, “You guys would be great for extras in the Guns N’ Roses video.” And he was like, “I think I already got asked about that.”


In 1995 Axl would do an interview together with Eddie Van Halen when they would be asked about whether a band needed to be a cohesive unit. Van Halen would respond with "not necessarily" to which Slash would exclaim, "Don’t say that — that’s the way Axl thinks too" [Musician Magazine, March 1995]. This was of course after Gilby's contract hadn't been extended and the band was considering new guitar players to fill his role.

Slash would shed more light on Axl's more fluid conception of what a band could be, when discussing Gilby being out with Alice Cooper:

But Axl still thinks, like he does with everybody, like, “Well, maybe we’ll have three guitar players, or maybe we’ll do this or maybe we’ll do that,” or “Gilby can come out live,” but whatever. And I come from a different point of view altogether: that you get the guy that fits naturally, you write together, he plays on the record and he does the tour. It’s not like we get a bunch of hired Guns just because Axl thinks that me and him are the only things that are really important in Guns N’ Roses, you know. I don’t think - it has always been a band to me, you know, so we’ll see what happens.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:21 pm


At the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, on May 3, 1992, Slash jammed with Carole King [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992]:

I played on Carole King’s new, what she’s working on, and I did the jazz festival with her.

[The jazz festival] was fun. A hell of a lot of fun. A very different crowd. I've never played, I swear to God, it looked like springbreak. Everybody had like fluorescent orange and pink and blue caps on, shorts. It was wild. I've never played in front of a crowd like that. The crowd was really responsive and I went up and played three songs. And of them was the one I recorded with [Carole King] and "Chains," which is an old song, and "Locomotion" with Aaron Neville singing. So I was like: "Wow." I was up there with no shoes, no shirt, leather pants, sunglasses. Like: "It's summertime, we're in New Orleans." It was fun. I didn't rehearse anything. Just went up there and winged it, as they say.

I jammed with Carole King once. Just to get on stage with her was a highpoint in my career. She knows my mom and we got to be friends. I talked to her about playing on something when she gets back to the studio.

The jam made Slash want to collaborate more with King:

I’ve got some plan about playing with Carole King on one of her songs. I love what she does. In fact, one of the calls I’ve got to make after we finishing talking is about that. I hope it happens.

And his wishes would come through because on March 16, 1993, King released 'Color of Your Dreams' which featured Slash.

The Color of Your Dreams
March 16, 1993

Slash would talk about the collaboration:

The last song that I did where I can really remember sitting down and working with the melody was with Carole King because she's that kind of a songwriter. She taught me a lot working with her. I did a song on her latest album – it has my name on there. I just went in to this little studio where she was working and the song was more or less laid out and I just did guitar answers to vocals. But she has a very great sense of arrangement. I've been friends with her for a long time but this is the first time I've worked with her.

The one date that was the most involved in terms of taking direction was a session I did with songwriter Carole King. She really kept after me to stay true to the melody, and that was really good for me. I learned a lot from her. It was the first time I really had to write a solo. Most of the time I’m just there for the afternoon. But we were in her bass player's home studio—actually, I think it was in his garage— and she was right next to me saying, “Now do this here, and do that there." She was on my case the whole time. I'm not used to that, but man, it was good. Most of the time I just cruise along and we mix together the solos afterward.[…] But she really made me think like a songwriter. That’s one of the great things about working the way I do: I get to walk into a lot of different environments and I [have to] he able to pull it off. And if you don’t do that, you never know what you're truly capable of.

Later, Slash would describe working with Carole King and contrasting it with working with Michael Jackson:

The Michael Jackson thing was a little different [than my other collaborations], probably more business-like than with Lenny Kravitz or Iggy Pop, where we just went into the studio, Duff and me, and ripped out four songs in one day and had a great time doing it. And I just did something with Carole King; she’s doing a new record and that was just a case of going to her home studio and putting a solo on a particular song. It’s usually just, have a couple of drinks, hang out, no real deadline or schedule...

Looking back at their collaborations:

I've known [King] since I was a kid; it’s like she’s part of my family. She’s got a lot of talent. I played with her at a jazz festival, then I played on her album, I also played with her at a show that was filmed for a live video, and I think we’ve played together in two or three other places. She likes the way I play and we understand each other well. She is a strong, powerful woman. There was a long time where she wrote everything! (laughs) She wrote many songs for other artists.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:21 pm

MAY 1992

Somewhere deep into to the Use Your Illusions tour, I noticed that Duff wasn't looking too good. You could see it in his face that he just didn't look the healthiest.


Duff's sobriety from 1991 did not last long. In May 1992, while Faith No More was opening for GN'R, a writer for NME would describe Duff in the backstage area as looking "punch-drunk, swollen and decaying", to which Mike Patton, the singer of FNM to say, would retort, "That's business, man. You have to hold your hat off to the guy who's done that to him" [NME, May 20, 1992]. And when doing an interview in May 1992, an Italian journalist would describe his as "may have had a little bit too much to drink" [L'Unita, May 16, 1992].

Around this time Duff  "was drinking two half-gallons of vodka a day and snorting an eighth of an ounce of cocaine" [Music West in 3-D, 1997].

What a sad place to be. Every day I woke up, I had a vodka bottle sitting next to my bed. It was like being in a cardboard box and I couldn't bend it. I could not stop, I tried to stop for a month and then I started drinking a lot. I was too far gone.

In July 1992 Duff claimed to be sensible about things and even avoid Metallica's camp because of drug dealers:

When I see kids stoned or high, I try to educate them a little, but not by preaching because I’m no AA member. We are buddies with Metallica, but I’ve seen them only once this tour because I don’t like coming down to the shows early because there’s too many drug dealers around.

[…] I’ve done my share of stuff, but I’ve never pushed anything on anybody. […] It’s too tempting—that’s not the right way to say it, maybe — but I’m just not into drugs now. It’s sad to see kids who are. So many people will push drugs on you.

In November 1992 Izzy would discuss Duff's drinking:

The doctors talked to him two years ago. They said your liver is supposed to be this big [holding his hands in the shape of a hardball]. They said his liver was this big [holding his hands in the shape of a softball]. And when his liver gets this big, it's all over [holding his hands in the shape of a canteloupe].

Ultimately, two years later, it would be Duff's pancreas that would collapse [see later chapter].

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:22 pm


We were called "anti-feminist"... and I'm the most, like, anti-anti-feminist person in the world when it comes down to it - bring 'em on, you know!


The band had been accused of sexism since the release of 'Appetite' with its original rape-scene artwork and lyrics, especially to 'It's So Easy'.

Comments from band members in the media did also not help:

[…] there are things that make me sick, like many of the girls who come to see us during the tours. Some of them have obviously listened to the album, but others haven’t; because if they had listened to it, they would’ve known that we don’t conform to anything. We can behave like the sweetest and most pleasant people in the world, but as soon as we fuck them, we show them the way out and to the nearest bus stop. I'm surprised that some of these girls really think you’re stupid. As Lemmy puts it, "Don’t judge a book by its cover;" that is, when a chick comes to you thinking that she’s gonna have her way with you, you have to put her in her place and make it clear who is who, and if she doesn’t accept it, then... out of the door. That’s why it's impossible to get enough of sex – it may happen when you’re older, but not now.
Popular 1, April 1988; translated from Spanish

With the release of Lies, the lyrics to Used To Love Her added fuel to the accusations.

It's just a song. It was done very tongue-in-cheek, we never meant for anyone to take it seriously. It is just a fucking song.

Band members would vehemently defend themselves, but not always very efficiently:

Well if the average person had to deal with the same kind of members of the fuckin' opposite sex that we have to deal with all the time, they'd probably think the same. Well, 75 per cent of the girls that hang out at the gigs, you can't tell me that most of them aren't sluts. […] They are very, very cheap. We're around it 24 hours a day. What the fuck do they want? […] Its very true. We never said anything bad against women in general and I mean everybody in the band has had girlfriends and shit that they cared about. Its nothing against women its just those occasional fuckin' tramps that hang out at every gig. They're the people were exposed to and so we write songs about that. And if the other people don't understand that then tell them not to buy the fuckin' record.

There was a picture of a young woman lying on the ground obviously about to get raped by a robot. And just above, there's a hand which is about to crunch the robot up. That doesn't mean anything special. We liked the picture, that's all. But everyone came down on us and accused us of glorifying rape. […] We're an easy target for people who like to see the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other. We look so much like the image they like to have of bad guys. We're not sexist, but that's no reason for the groupies who hang around backstage to start wanting respect. We treat them like shit because that's what they are. [Being accused of that statement being sexist] No, it's not. We're talking about groupies. not women in general. Anyway, one day one of those tramps is gonna catch AIDS from screwing some faggot and end up giving it to every group in town. That'll be the end of the rock scene in LA.

And later Slash would indicate that the Use Your Illusion albums are a bit anti-feministic:

Y'know, I detect a little bit of anti-feminism shit going on too, because the songs that are about women that are negative are like really f***ing hard. I can see girls going, 'What assholes!' But then, y'know, our angle is just like, ‘This is true you f***ing c***'. This is the way it was and we put it down on paper. But you know, these feminist groups will be like... d'you know what I'm saying?

Another things that drew criticism for the band was the practice of filming girls before shows and encouraging them to show their tits. The band would stop this after complaints from fans, and publicist Bryn Bridenthal would explain the decision:

The key thing to them (stopping the practice) was that it wasn't parents complaining, but their own fans.

Yet, during the US leg of the tour in December 1991 and January 1992, the crew would again film girls in the audience as reported in many shows reviews. Although Gilby would provide a different explanation as to why they filmed the audience and imply it was entirely innocent:

I'll tell 'ya... during the down time before our show — which, depending on our tardiness, is about an hour and fifteen minutes - we have these video screens on during that time, and the cameras are aimed at the audience for them to entertain themselves with, and we watch our fans via this before the show. And, you know, for the wildest people we see we get our security people to go out and get them — even if they're at the farthest seat away - and put them right up front. We can only see so far, so when we look down we want to see people who are totally into it, and not someone who got a free ticket from a record company. By the end of the show we feel out the crowd, and pick out the wildest people having the best time from the front, and they're the ones who are going to be the ones backstage. It's cool! It's something I didn't know they did before I got in the band, and I really respect them for it.

Am I sexist? The answer is no.

After the release of Use Your Illusion, Axl was asked if he was a misogynist:

[…]'Back Off Bitch' is a ten-year-old song. I've been doing a lot of work and found out I've had a lot of hatred for women. Basically, I've been rejected by my mother since I was a baby. She's picked my stepfather over me ever since he was around and watched me get beaten by him. She stood back most of the time. Unless it got too bad, and then she'd come and hold you afterward. She wasn't there for me. My grandmother had a problem with men. I've gone back and done the work and found out I overheard my grandma going off on men when I was four. And I've had problems with my own masculinity because of that. I was pissed off at my grandmother for her problem with men and how it made me feel about being a man. So I wrote about my feelings in the songs. […] I've been hell on the women in my life, and the women in my life have been hell on me. And it really breaks me down to tears a lot of times when I think about how terribly we've treated each other. Erin (Everly, Rose's former wife) and I treated each other like shit. Sometimes we treated each other great, because the children in us were best friends. But then there were other times when we just fucked each other's lives completely up. And so you write about that in your frustration. The anger and the emotions and stuff scare people, and it's good that people recognize these things as dangerous. I don't think our music promotes that you should feel this way, and if people are getting that, that's not right. We're saying you're allowed to feel certain ways. Now, if you want to hold on to something that you know is bad, that's your problem. I don't want to. I've already left most of the lyrics behind. I'd already grown past a lot of the things by the time I started working on my therapy in February. […] But ... I love women. I remember the last time in ROLLING STONE, saying that I liked seeing two women together, and there were letters from lesbian organizations saying, "How disgusting." I can be as disgusting as the next person, but it wasn't meant to be disgusting. I think women are beautiful. I don't like to see people used. If I'm looking at a men's magazine and I just look at the surface, I might be able to enjoy it. But if I know that this person is really messed up and that person's messed up and they're being used by the person who set up the photo session, then it'll turn my stomach.

Axl would also argue that his attitude towards women was shaped by experiences he had in his childhood when his father had been abusive towards his mother:

I got a lot of violent, abusive thoughts toward women out of watching my mom with this man. I was two years old, very impressionable, and saw this. I figured that's how you treat a woman. And I basically put thoughts together about how sex is power and sex leaves you powerless, and picked up a lot of distorted views that I've had to live my life with. No matter what I was trying to be, there was this other thing telling me how it was, because of what I'd seen.

In May 1992, Slash would agree to have been a womaniser but that it was all in the past [Melody Maker, May 30, 1992]. He would also look back at the 'Illusions':

Y'know I detect a little bit of anti-feminism shit going on too, because the songs are about women who are negative and really fucking hard. I can see girls going 'What assholes!' But then, y'know our angle is just, 'This is true you fucking cunt'. This is the way it was and we put it down on paper. But you know, these feminist groups will be like... d'you know what I'm saying? People assume we're advocating what the songs say, and they go for the throat. We're not trying to get some truth tho. We're not trying to send out any fucking messages. This is just our experiences.

In early 1993 Gilby would be asked if the band was sexist:

I don’t think so, but I’m not a female. To me women are sexist in their own ways, too.

And Slash would again argue that their lyrics were just describing bad relationships and that they are descriptive of what their world is (or has been), and not normative:

And then, as for us being anti-feminism. It's like, you write songs about relationships, everybody knows that somewhere along the way, they all have their moments when they're fucked. Being guys and having relationships with women and being pissed off at them for whatever reason.

In July 1996, Slash would participate on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect", a talkshow that focused on various topics and, as inferred from its name, would debate things that were controversial and outside of the mainstream. Slash was visibly intoxicated. Early on, Slash would talk in general about equality between the sexes:

I think it should be... I think women are really... one of those things that where...  they've been put in a place where... I don't think they get enough respect, for one, and they've been fighting this and so on for you know [laughter from other panelists] don't laugh! […]  Because as far as the way that they're accepted from an international point of view as far as their their involvement in politics, their involvement in government. Period. You know, it's like, I really think that women are, like, infinitely more intelligent than men are. [applause from the audience].

Maher would respond that that was a crowd-pleasing thing to say but imply that the band's videos and lyrics told another tale, to which Slash basically blamed Axl:

Those weren't mine [laughter]. Those were not mine.

When Maher pointed out that every band members must take responsibility for the band's lyrics, Slash responded:

We work as a group and that's how that goes. And however anybody feels that's how it goes, you know. What I'm saying is what I personal, as an individual, I always found that that women were, you know, if it weren't for women it's... it's the only thing that sustains our existence, not just in humans but just in nature all together.

Later on in the debate, when discussing whether it would be too tough for women to serve in the military and be subjected to emotional distress, Slash would point out that was a decision for women to make, and not men to take for them.

In 2023, Axl would make a comment while introducing Pretty Tied Up likely targeting media report at the time describing Guns N' Roses as a misogynistic band:

[Introducing Pretty Tied Up] We've been accused of being misogynistic. But see, the song was based on an event where the guy was tied to the fucking ceiling. Not the girl, the guy. That just didn't look so good for us to sing about at the time (laughs) ... But writers... they know everything, right? (laughs)

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:41 pm


About a month after the Freddie Mercury tribute concert, in May 1992, the band embarked upon a new leg of the tour, this time visiting Europe again. Duff would talk about the upcoming shows:

We’re gonna be playing some places that we never played before, like Prague, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Then we’re going to Spain, Portugal... And it’s the first time for Guns N’ Roses in Italy, I believe. I played there with the Cult, when I was with the Cult. So for the Italian fans that’ll be good, because when we played Wembley in England by ourselves last summer, a lot of people came over from Spain and Italy that couldn’t see Guns N’ Roses in either one of those countries, so it’s nice now that we’re going to see them, you know.

Slash, talking about the unpredictability of their sets:

We pick what song we’re gonna start with, like right when we’re all walking up to the stage, “What do you want to start with?” “Okay.” And then we know that the second song is gonna be Brownstone, but then, after that, it could be anything, in any order (laughs). […] Oh, it’s a circus (chuckles). You know, [the lighting guys are] all sitting there with their hands on the faders and stuff, going (whispers), “Okay...” (laughs). It’s fun. When the tour started, we said, “Look” – you know the girls, right? The 976 Horn Section and the two backup singers, Roberta and Tracey. We go, “Don’t leave the stage whatever you do, because we have no idea when we’re gonna pull this song out of the hat.”

For this leg of the tour they added Faith No More as an opener:

[Talking about bands that have the "what?" factor]: And I love Faith No More - their guitarist, Big Jim [Martin], he’s a “what?” all right. And their singer [Mike Patten], he’s a “what?”, too!
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January  1990

They're the only band I'm jealous of.

Faith No More was some band that we got turned on to a while back when they put their first record – not their first record, their third record came out and we loved it. So that was one. Soundgarden we got turned on to at some point. I don’t remember when, but we just thought they were great. So when it came to support bands, we like to play with people that we like and...

We always pick the support bands. You know, bands that we think are cool. Soundgarden and Faith No More, you know, two bands that we always listen to, so... It’s our tour, basically (laughs).

While touring, Slash would give his thoughts on playing large stadiums:

You have to approach the production a bit differently, because, as far as sound goes, it's really important to us to sound right onstage, in order for us to do the show the way we wanna do. We have to hear things correctly, so we have to anticipate the difference between a stadium and an arena, you have to prepare for that. Otherwise you, attitude-wise and show-wise is the same. It's more stage to fill. So it's great for us, 'cause we're into it. […] I'm very aware of everybody and where they are and where I'm gonna go. Like if I'm gonna jump off this, if he's gonna move then I'm gonna land on him, you know, it's pretty complicated. […] It's very unpredictable what we're gonna do, but at the same time there's a chemistry, where, since we've been on the road for so long, like Axl knows I'm gonna be in a certain place 'cause I know the guitar sounds good there. It's a sweet-spot, we call it. It's just certain places in certain songs when you know you need to be somewhere and you fall into sort of a regiment. Knowing that I have to switch guitars or I'm gonna have to get feedback or something. The rest of the time is just aimless wandering [laughs]. […] The only things that you really concentrate on are musical integrity, like it's not a joke when you're playing. That's the first and foremost priority. Then, the other thing is making sure you don't hurt somebody else in the band [laughs]. The rest of the time we can do whatever. But, you do have to concentrate and it's weird because you have to concentrate within the confines of, like having a great time. So, it's like a constant tug-of-war. You lose it all together, but then you sort of keeps your feet on the ground, just by knowing you have to pay attention to these things. Because if you fuck that up, you're gonna fuck the show up.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:41 pm

MAY 16-JUNE 3, 1992

Slash talking about playing in various European countries:

Aside from the crowd, everything is entirely different. I mean, it’s - I don’t even think it’s worth explaining. I mean, the United States and Europe, the culture is so - it’s so diverse in Europe, for one. And we’ve only been to London and Germany. So a European tour, for one, is all these places we haven’t even been to. So it is different. As far as the States, I mean we played Texas 15 million times. I mean, I’m just... (laughs). […]I mean, we’ve been to England. We played England, like, five, six, seven or eight times in the span of - in the time the band has been together. We’ve gone back and forth to London, and we’ve played Germany twice. So that was cool, we’re used to that. But, I mean, that doesn’t necessarily constitute any kind of idea what the rest of Europe is all about. It’s not like going from, like, Las Vegas to Kansas, where the transition isn’t really all that harsh. In Europe, it’s like, you go from one country to the next and it’s some major cultural difference, yeah.

The first show took place at Slane Castle in Slane, Ireland on May 16, 1992, a place Slash would refer to as "gorgeous" [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992]. According to press at the time, 800 police officers, one tenth of Ireland's force, would be patrolling the Slane Castle site and the little village of Slane (population 1,200) was completely sealed off to traffic as thousands of fans blocked the main and only street [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]. U2 sent a crate of 40-year-old-shiky and a barrel of Guinness to the band [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]

Lord Henry Mountcharles, 8th Marquess Conyngham, the promoter of the show would later blog about having Guns N' Roses play at his castle:

Axl Rose nearly induced a nervous breakdown. He arrived late. My son Alexander had a beer with Slash to calm his nerves. The manager was so laid back he was fishing backstage in the river Boyne. However, it was a magic show. It kicked off the nineties. Rock and roll.

And Mountcharles would also reminisce in 2017:

At one stage I had to admit that I was concerned that there might almost be a riot. My oldest son and I went to Slash and told him that the band had to go on stage.

We discovered that Axl Rose wasn’t even on site. He was still in his hotel suite in Dublin. Their manager was backstage fishing. Axl got into a chopper and I got him down here as fast as we could...Credit where credit is due. When they went on stage, they really turned it on, but there was a lot of stuff going on in the background.

Looking back at the show:

It was the first show of the European leg, and we’ve been off for a month. I’d been out jamming around, like doing the Motorhead thing and all this other stuff. But we hadn’t, as a band, played together for a month. So, as a matter of getting that chemistry in order – I think the first couple of songs probably sounded like mud (laughs) and it tightened up towards the end. Then they gave us three days off, and so we have to do it all over again today in Prague, you know?

It was a big one. It’s such an interesting thing: The size of the venue doesn’t matter, really. It is about getting in front of an audience. I get nervous any night anyway. You can go in front of tens of thousands and it’s not unlike getting in front of a crowd of 300 people. You still have that initial stage fright.

"I definitely remember the gig, because of where it was and how big it was. But as for the actual performance itself, my recollections are hazy if nonexistent.

The Irish Independent
May 15, 1992

According to a later review, the band took the stage two hours after the appointed time after Axl was helicoptered in from Dublin [Irish Times, May 27, 2017], having allegedly refused to leave his hotel [The Irish Independent, May 18, 1992].

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle)
June 19, 1992

Slash would comment on Axl's lateness and claim he was only 20 minutes late:

Just about 20 minutes. It isn’t that big a deal. I mean, come on, they had us on 6:45. It’s just stretching the imagination, as far as I’m concerned.

In 2004, Duff would talk about this show:

I remember that [show]. I don’t remember a lot of other things but I remember that ’cause it was the first time that I’d met my family. I’m Irish-American, but I’d never been to Ireland to see my cousins or that up until we played Slane. So they had a big party for me and that. They’re from County Cork. The day before the gig we had a day off so I went down to Cork and had a party by the beach.


I remember playing some guy's castle (laughs). I think there was a fire or a bomb in the castle afterwards or something. I remember the Queens of Stone Age saying they’d been there and had a blast. It was a cool place to play – I mean basically we were playing in, what is he a Duke or and Earl? [...] Oh, a Lord. There you go. Anyhow we were playing in his back yard you know. It was a good day.

Classic Rock magazine would also later write about the show:

Maybe the unusual experience of playing in daylight was having a benign effect on them (“Playing in sunshine – it’s a new concept,” remarked Axl); there was definitely a relaxed feel to the show. Axl attempted to make some Irish heritage connections on behalf of the band – “We have a McKagan in the band, in case you hadn’t noticed, and I’m half Irish myself, but you can’t tell, right?”

Later on after Duff had taken over his microphone for a version of the Misfits classic, Attitude, he unravelled a new microphone cover and rolled it on. “Much as I love Duff I would never share a condom with him,” he joked.

But the GN’R attitude was never far below the surface. “Here’s a nice pretty song,” said Axl after an impassioned performance of Don’t Cry. “It’s dedicated to all those who can’t keep their mouths out of your fucking business. Misery likes company so if you know someone like that, call them up and tell them from me that they are DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE MOTHERFUCKERS!” Cue the song.


At Slane Castle the band responded to U2’s liquid gift by playing a bit of One as the intro to Sweet Child O’ Mine. As Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door reached its peak Duff was so excited he leapt into the crowd and nearly knocked himself out with his radio pack as he tried to clamber back. As the last strains of Paradise City echoed across the Boyne valley Slash thanked the crowd for “making us so welcome. You’ve been fucking great.”

The band spent another couple of convivial days in Dublin, relaxing in the bars and clubs and watching the girls dressed up in their ball gowns going to the Trinity Ball. Slash in particular was enjoying himself. “I can always tell a drinking town when the people in the bar get drunk before I do,” he told reporters when they finally headed off to the next leg of the tour in Czechoslovakia.

After the show at Slane Castle the band travelled to Prague, Czechoslovakia, on May 20 and was introduced with the words "Okay, you ex-commie bastards, get ready to rock!" [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

Prague, it was – the crowd was great. And the people were very interested in the American culture and talking to us. They spoke English very well.

Although Duff would later struggle to remember having even been in Czechoslovakia due to his heavy partying in this period:

We were playing huge gigs, I don't even remember playing Czechoslovakia; it says it on my passport..

I don't even remember playing Czechoslovakia; we played a stadium show in one of the most beautiful cities in East Europe not long after the fall of the Berlin wall, and the only way I knew I'd even been in the country was because of the stamp I found in my passport.
Duff's autobiography, "It' So Easy", 2011, p 201

Classic Rock reminiscing about the show in Prague:

The band opened with It’s So Easy and Axl told the audience, “Some people talk about how hedonistic we are. Well, sometimes we just write songs about how really fucked up we are.”

Slash however got closer to the mark: “I guess you guys don’t know much English so I’ll just say fucking Hi!” Quite what Matt had done to be introduced as “a man made out of all the thick stuff in the bottom of your toilet” was never explained.

Then they played a show in Budapest in Hungary on May 22. The plane from Prague had been delayed after a bomb threat [Classic Rock, May 2006] and the band landed in Budapest just 20 minutes before scheduled show time, and had to be rushed from the airport to the venue [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

I'd like to congratulate you on your new-found freedom. I hope it goes well for you.
May 22, 1992, as retold in GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date

Midway through the set Axl announces: "This is a song that Freddie Mercury asked us to sing for you. He couldn't be here tonight, he had other plans, so we tried to learn it in the dressing room tonight." Axl and Slash then played the same Hungarian folk song 'Tavasziszel' that Queen performed in Budapest at their show in 1985. After two verses Axl lets the crowd take over for the third [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

Next followed Vienna in Austria on May 23 and Berlin in Germany on May 26. A bottle is thrown on stage during the set and a woman in the audience enters Labour [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]. Before Live and Let Die, Axl muses: "This is kinda tongue in cheek. I wonder if Hitler ever sang this song to himself when he was a kid" [Classic Rock, May 2006].

Next up was Stuttgart in Germany on May 28. This show started a little bit late when the band requested an NWA song to be played before they entered and a disc with the song had to be fetched to the mixing desk [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]. The concert is introduced with, "OK you beer swilling, Merc driving mugs" [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

Then a show in Cologne in Germany on May 30 where it was raining and Axl described the audience as "the biggest wet T-shirt contest in the world" and Gilby as "a sea of tits" [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]. The band played for 2 hours and 42 minutes [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

The last show took place in Hannover in Germany on June 3.

In 2006, Classic Rock magazine would write about the Hannover show:

Axl Rose has had enough. It’s June 3, 1992 and we’re in Hannover at the Niedersachsen Stadium. He’s sitting on the drum riser, a sweaty, seething 60,000 strong stadium rock crowd swarming in front of him.

The band tore on to stage (on time, for the first time on their massive Use Your Illusion tour), ripped through three songs, but now something’s not right. The petulant singer doesn’t say one word to the assembled throng, and he’s sitting down. Not the usual behaviour for a man who ordinarily races around like a maniac.

Slash, Duff, Matt and Gilby all share confused glances. They’re running around, doing their best to cover up, galloping around the stage. The monitors are checked. The Teleprompter is checked. And rechecked. Nothing’s wrong. Except the singer’s behaviour. It’s all really strange.

Axl, meanwhile, doesn’t move. Then he does. He just wanders to the front of the stage, climbs into the security pit, looks at the audience, then returns to the drum riser and sits down again. And then starts to sing. But not for long…

Blame Bob Dylan. If he hadn’t written Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, GN’R would never have covered it, and Axl wouldn’t have berated the edgy Hannover crowd for not singing loudly enough. And then perhaps he wouldn’t have introduced Sweet Child O’ Mine as “a song about getting fucked up the ass by a coke bottle”. But that’s exactly what he does. And then he storms off.

After the Hannover show the band travelled to Paris for their first pay-per-view show.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:42 pm

MAY 24, 1992

Axl had become a huge fan of U2 and in an interview with Musician that was done in March 1992 (but published in June), he said the following:

I look at U2 that way [=someone with a career he would like to emulate]. They're my favorite band right now. I'm finally getting certain songs that I never understood before or couldn't relate to. I've always listened to them, but the only song I really got into was "With or Without You." I couldn't relate to their other songs because I was like, "That's great, but I don't see that part of the world." Things were a little too dark for me. Now I can see more of the things he's talking about. […] I bought Achtung Baby and the third song, "One" - I actually wanted to do a cover of that song. I want to play it on tour this summer. I think "One" is one of the greatest songs that has ever been written. I put the song on and jut broke down crying. It was such a release. It was really good for me. I was really upset that my ex-wife and I never had a chance because of the damage in our lives. We didn't have a chance and I hadn't fully accepted that. That song helped me see it. I wanted to write Bono a letter just saying, "Your record's done a lot for me."

One of my favorite bands is U2. They used to not be, but they are now. I used not to get it. I didn't see the world they were singing about. Love and pain and caring? Only in a few instances, like "With or Without You," could I relate or understand. That was the song I saw right before I OD'd because my relationship [with his ex-wife] was so f?!ked up. I could barely see the things they were singing about in a few of my friends, and I could believe it in theory, but my true expression didn't see it at all. I can see a different thing in U2's music now, and it has nothing to do with how it's performed or what the people are wearing. There's just a different feel in the music. I think their song "One" is one of the greatest songs ever written. Now I can see and understand why people were into U2 years ago.

Not long after the two band's would cross path in Vienna, Austra, while being on their respective tours, and on May 24, 1992, Axl would join U2 on stage for a cover of 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'. Back in Hollywood, when U2 was visiting on their 'Achtung Baby tour' on April 12 and 13, 1992, Axl would attend parties with the band [Details Magazine, September 1, 1992].

Axl and Bono
May 24, 1992

Edge, the guitarist of U2, would be asked about Axl and his relationship with U2 and their music:

I personally don't trust press profiles of people, so it's not big surprise to find out how different the guy we met was from The Demon With the Notorious Reputation. I was surprised that he liked the album and the show so much, though.
Details Magazine, September 1, 1992

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:42 pm

JUNE 6, 1992

As part of their European leg in 1992, the band would do their first pay-per-view show. Axl and Izzy had been part of a pay-per-view back in December 1989 when they joined the Rolling Stones for a song a song during the Stone's own cable special [MTV, June 1992].

The televised concert took place at the Hippodrome de Vincennes in Paris, France, on June 6, 1992, before an audience of 40,000 and an estimated 200,000 watching on home TV [MTV, June 1992].

Following the tremendous success of the releases Use Your Illusion I & II as well as completing a sold out tour, GUNS N’ ROSES felt this worldwide television event would enable them to reach millions of their fans who would otherwise not be able to see them in a live show.

The only reason we’re doing this is because it’s a vehicle for us to get our show out to a bunch of people that don’t have the opportunity to see it. So that’s that.

And also, I might want to add, it’s not, like, a profit motivated thing for us to make money. It’s just for kids. Cuz we’re only playing certain towns and certain places, and kids that don’t get to see us, and can’t afford it, and just can’t make it, it gives them the opportunity to see us. So I hope it all works out great.

I think it’s a great thing for people in countries and, like, states that they don’t have the opportunity to see us. Like, let’s say, a kid lives in Montana or Idaho, which we’ll never play; I mean, maybe someday, but not this week. Or somebody in Russia, because they have MTV in Russia, right? And there’s pay-per-view all over the world. So people can see us that don’t get an opportunity to come to the concert.

We’re not really paying attention or letting it get to us that there’s millions of people watching us (chuckles). Well, you know, we’re just gonna play a regular gig. We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, you know.

I have to admit that the amount of pressure going into this pay-per-view thing is a little bit more than the average show. But all you can do is just, like, walk out there and, you know, start playing (laughs).

June 6, 1992

For the show the band had invited some of their friends to participate, Jeff Beck to play on 'Locomotive', Lenny Kravitz to play his song 'Always on the Run' which features Slash, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith for the songs 'Train Kept A-Rollin' and 'Mama Kin'.

Slash was looking forward to playing with Beck, a guitar player he had previously stated he liked [Guitar for the Practising Musician, April 1992] and wanted to jam with [WNEW 102.7, September 1991].

Beck would explain how it came about:

Well, I just got a phone call from my manager saying, “Guns N’ Roses called. Would you care to step on stage and do a number of them?” And I said, “Where?” “In Paris.” I said, “Yep, let’s go.” They told me Locomotive was the song. And it’s pretty – there’s a lot of changes in it. I guess they thought that I’d be alright for that, for a guest spot.

The band would talk about being with Beck:

The phone rings, I pick it up and I’m like, “What!” And he goes, “Is that Slash? This is Jeff.” And I’m like, “Oh, Jeff... Jeff who?” (laughs). And he was Jeff Beck and I was floored. I was like, okay, this is my all-time favorite guitar player calling me up to ask me about the song and what the schedule was gonna be. And I was like, “Well, you can play whatever you want. I don’t even care if you don’t even learn it. Just come out, that would be great” (laughs).

It was really cool because, you know, Jeff Beck was here last night, in the bar downstairs in the hotel, and we said, “Hey, do you wanna come upstairs and learn the song?” You know, he’d never really listened to it. And he came upstairs, and Duff, after a couple of cocktails, was teaching him how to play it on the guitar. And he was, like, teaching Jeff Beck how to play a Guns N’ Roses song. That was something new and different.

I just thought to myself: 15 years ago, 10 years ago, a year ago, if I would have seen myself showing Jeff Beck a song on the guitar, you know, people would have thought I was nuts.

Jeff Beck, Duff and I are in the room and Duff’s soloing (laughs). Perfect. “Duff! Let him do it,” you know?

Gilby takes everything - you know, he’s so mellow about everything. And he’s such a good player, and he’s very confident. So Gilby... What does Gilby think about this whole thing? He’s, like, “Cool, can I have a sandwich?” (laughs) You know?  “Hi Jeff. See ya.”

Beck is amazing. We were sitting around and talking at soundcheck and he was playing at the same time and Joe Perry comes up and goes, "You've been practising," and I just gave him a look and said, "It's Jeff Beck, man." Jeff is great though, I really like him a lot. I would actually at some point like to do a record with him. I was doing a photo shoot three or four days ago and I put on Guitar Shop and there's songs on there I wish I wrote.

Unfortunately on the day of the show Beck had to cancel due to tinnitus.

[Beck] was rehearsing with us all day yesterday and he had - he has tinnitus in his ear and he was having a real problem sleeping last night with this huge ringing in his ear. So he called and he said that, you know, he talked to his doctor, and they thought that it’d be a better idea if he didn’t play, cuz it could cause, you know, damage. So we thought it’d be best for him, and he thought it’d be better if sat out of this one. But it was great to meet him and play with him in the rehearsal anyway, you know.

I finally got to jam with Jeff Beck and we blew his ears out - literally! He was going to do that show with us in Paris, but for some reason his rig wasn't working, so he plugged into my system, Later that night we woke up with this insane screaming in his ears; he had to go to a hospital and everything. He called me up, and I was thinking, "Wow, Jeff Beck is calling me on the phone." But he was calling to say he was pissed, and that he might not be able to play live anymore because my amp gave him tinnitus [an ailment that creates a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear]. He was freaked. I guess doctors are working to make him a custom hearing aid that cancels out the frequencies that are bothering him. I mean, that's mind-blowing. If someone was to tell me that tomorrow, I'd be destroyed. Man, I hope he's okay. […] I know he can do studio work, because he played on Duff's new record. But I'm not sure about live performance. I don't think it was really my fault, but my rig was the straw that broke the camel's back. His tinnitus was probably brought on by years of abuse. But I still feel bad, because Jeff is truly one of the greats. I was in a jam session with him, Joe Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Gilby, and Jeff was playing all this amazing shit while simultaneously talking to me. I wanted to pack it up that day, send the amps home and find a nice, little job selling life insurance or something. I was thinking, "Hmmm, real estate - there could be a future in that [laughs].

The best memory from the Paris show was definitely Jeff Beck flying out and at least participating in soundcheck. But he blew his ears out at that rehearsal, and so he didn’t do the actual show the next day, which was a drag. But it was amazing watching him play. I was completely stunned, you know? I wanted to just pack it up at that point. Let’s see... And then, just it was the first time that we played in Paris, so that was cool. As far as the show is concerned, I can’t remember any particular highlights, other than the crowd and Jeff Beck being at soundcheck.

[Beck] was due to play Locomotive so we got up on the big stage to soundcheck and rehearse it with him. But he already had this thing called tinnitus in one ear and, when we had finished the song lots of times, his head was swirling and he’d hurt the other ear. It was really horrible to see him. I guess it’s like this constant whooshing in your head; I mean, one ear is bad enough but in both. […] There’s actually no cure for it. I haven’t spoken to him for some while but I saw that he played the Apollo Theatre and he’s put out another record so he must be a bit better.

Lenny Kravitz, who had collaborated with Slash in 1991 [see earlier section] had been waiting for the opportunity to play with GN'R:

I’ve been waiting a long time to get to actually play live with them. And so they called me a week or so ago and said, “Come to Paris and play.”

It’s always fun to play with other people, you know, and do something different from what you normally do. Especially when you’re on tour and you’re doing the same thing every night.

It was a riff [on Always on the Run] that I wrote. Initially, I mean, I write everything for Guns, you know. And, sometimes, especially when Steve was in the band, some stuff was definitely too funky. And so we just didn’t use it. So now, having Guns play it, I was like, you guys don’t even realize how funny this is (laughs).

Well, yeah. I mean, it’s gonna be Lenny singing, of course, but it’s gonna... Yeah, it’s a good way to put it. It’s gonna have the Guns N’ Roses attack on it.

Lenny came out and we did Always on the Run or – yeah, Always on the Run, which was great. We did a good version of it, which was cool.

Well, it’s more that we’re just a big jam now, everybody’s playing. We’ve got two keyboard players, three of us on guitar, you know, bass, drums, horns, background singers... It’s kind of a big jam on the tune.

I remember that time very well because we were all staying at the Hôtel de Crillon, and we were all in Paris for a few days together. It was a lot of fun.

As for Aerosmith, the guys knew each other well after having toured together in 1988.

We toured with Aerosmith, so we’re already like family with them. You know, they’re pals, and so it’s like Old Home Week or something.

[Talking about Mama Kin]: […]we were in Paris a while back for the pay-per-view thing and we did a nice little number with the boys from Aerosmith and it turned out great. They’re great guys, good friends of ours. The song was a song we’ve been covering for years, so we knew it. We knew it better than they did, cuz they hadn’t played it for a long time. But I think it turned out really cool.

Well, I think that when we first went out with them, that was, like, their first big tour or something, you know? So it’s pretty cool to see them doing what they’re doing. At the end of the tour we gave them all Halliburton luggage, you know, the metal stuff, and we said, “Man, you’re in for a ride. Dig it.” So it was cool. It’s great to see them doing what they’re doing. We haven’t really played together that much, but, you know, we can play a song like Mama Kin and it seems to mesh pretty well. And we did Train-Kept-A-Rolling too yesterday. It was pretty good. It was fun.

So they just showed up to watch Jeff play, you know, and then we just got and went out there. And we had never really rehearsed it or anything, but it sounded cool.

It’s kind of a great position to be in, to be able to ask, you know, people like that, and they go, “Yeah!” And they’re into it, you know. They did it because they want to jam, you know.

During the show Axl would rant against Warren Beatty who had been dating Stephanie Seymour previously [People Magazine, June 22, 1992].

Izzy paid $25 to see this show on TV, the first GN'R show he had seen since quitting the band in November 1991.

It was really bizarre, like an out-of-body experience. I didn't really recognize them all together. They had horn players and harmonicas and girl singers. Of course, I was Gilby for the night (a reference to his replacement, guitarist Gilby Clarke). It was weird, you know? […] I was happy to see that they carried on without me. That's all I would hope.

In 2018, Roberta Freeman would be asked to reminisce on some fond memories from while touring with the band and mention this show, and the after show specifically:

I think my most fond memory with GN'R was when we played that Paris show and Lenny Kravitz was there. It was just amazing and we hung out in this club afterwards with Lenny and it was a very - I can't remember the name of the club, but it was one of those really hard to get into places, you know - and we were walked in and to the VIP section and Lenny was hanging out with us and it was just, it was really cool, you know. I had a lot of fun that night and, yeah, sipping champagne with Lenny Kravitz.

[...] I do remember on several occasions going out with them. I remember like when we were in Paris, after that show with Lenny Kravitz, we went out to the club and it was like we were ushered to the VIP section, you know, the special section. So it was always like a big huge deal. But I thought it was fun when we did that, I don't think I did it that often but we did it, we did it.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:43 pm

JUNE 13-JULY 2, 1992

After the televised show in Paris on June 6, the band was supposed to play in Manchester, UK, on June 9 but this show was rescheduled to June 14 due to Axl being exhausted, according to band spokesman Bernard Doherty [The Springfield News Leader, June 10, 1992]. The band pulled out of the show just hours before the band was due on stage [The Liverpool Echo, June 9, 1992].

Teddy Andreadis would later recall that Axl had at first cancelled the show after a fight with Stephanie but decided to do it but then the show was cancelled anyway for a different reason:

Roberta, remember, was it in London where we did that that soccer stadium and then he had a fight with Stephanie or something and canceled the gig and they called us to come down and eat the food that was all set up for him? We eventually did the gig but something happened and the gig got cancelled. Yeah, they had actually upturned the soil with bulldozers to put the stage in. It was that stadium in Manchester that boarded along the city, a bunch of homes, so we had to be out [?] time because they closed the gates and we wouldn't be able to get out. There was a lot of stuff like that in Europe. We were told that we had to we had to get off stage at a certain time because the transit system will stop and all these thousands of kids won't be able to get home.

For this leg of the tour the band would again use Soundgarden and Faith No More. When asked about why these bands were picked, Slash and Duff answered:

They’re just cool bands, you know.

Yeah, it’s like, if you can’t do something for somebody else, and people have done things for us, you know – if you can’t do things for other people - it’s like, if you’re gonna get, like, Warrant or somebody to open for you, you know, give it up (laughs).

I think they were the only two bands that would actually tour with us, or something?

I think they were forced to [laughter].

The first show took place at Wembley, England, on June 13. The band would be joined on stage by Brian May from Queen for covers of 'Tie Your Mother Down' and 'We Will Rock You' [The Guardian, June 15, 1992].

After Wembley the band travelled to Manchester, England, for a show on June 14. This was the show that originally was planned for June 9 but had been postponed. The show started two hours late [The Liverpool Echo, June 15, 1992], but the band blamed it on technical difficulties and avoided a fine of "tens of thousands of pounds" [The Evening Chronicle, June 16, 1992].

The next show was at Gateshead in England on June 16. During the show Duff was heckled by a fan resulting in Axl stepping in and exclaiming "I wouldn’t mess with Duff he hasn’t had a drink in two weeks!" [RAW, September 1993]:

It was just some asshole that kept throwing stuff at me. I get that a lot ‘cos like you were saying, people picture me as the Punk of the band so they figure it’s cool to throw shit at me or spit at me or whatever! But no, no, I don’t like it! But this guy kept throwing shit and I was about to jump in. it’s such a wimpy thing to do ‘cos I’m a tall guy and an easy target.

Gilby, Matt and Axl
June 16, 1992

With a few days to spare, Duff and Linda flew to St. Tropez in France while the rest of the band hung out in London [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

The band then travelled to Germany for a show in Würzburg on June 20. At Heathrow airport Axl was singled out by security leading to him sending out a press report stating:

Having just given what I consider to be the best performance I am capable of at this point in my career, I totally understand why someone in the UK would want to needlessly harass me in this way. […] I don't expect to be treated any differently from anyone else traveling in and out of Britain and I understand these people have a job to do. However, to be singled out by someone who just wants to score a few points and have a story to tell his friends over a beer is really out of order.
GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date

In Würzburg they experienced a colossal thunderstorm, and it is likely it is this show Gilby talks about here although the anecdote about Dizzy pouring a beer over his head is also connected to their previous show in Budapest on May 22:

In Germany one time we had to play in a thunderstorm, like the worst thunderstorm we had in 20 years in Germany. And we are all sitting there watching all the fans (?), they’re soaked and everything and we’re dry cuz we have a roof. So Axl takes one look at them, steps out, gets soaked, made all of us step out and get soaked. Matt came out from his drum stage, got soaked, Dizzy poured a beer over his head, of course, got soaked... Yeah, every day is an adventure, something new.

The rain was so bad the steam evaporating from the audience meant people at the back at one point couldn't see the stage [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

On June 19 the band flew to Basel, Switzerland, for a show on June 21. But while going through security, Axl is detained by customs agents resulting in him threatening to never play in Europe again [The Akron Beacon Journal, August 23, 1992].

One June 21, 1992, Guns N' Roses had to pay to keep the public-transport system open late in Basel, Switzerland. The only way back into town from the soccer stadium was a tram line that normally closed long before we finished - maybe before we even started.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 204

After the show in Basel Duff was feeling ill and went to bed early with symptoms of influenza, and stayed there for most of next day hoping to get back in shape before the next show in Rotterdam [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

The next show was in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on June 23.

On Tuesday, June 23, in Rotterdam, I stewed backstage after the Dutch police told us power would be cut at 11:30 p.m. - fans had already waited two hours since opener Faith No More finished playing, and our set would not be finished by 11.30 p.m. I feared another riot. Onstage, Axl told the crowd about the police threat, and basically invited the audience to tear the place down if the show was stopped. The power stayed on.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 204

Slash and Axl
June 23, 1992

Duff was feeling even worse after this show and he was ordered to rest for 48 hours resulting in a planned show at the Flanders Expo in Ghent, Belgium, on June 24, having to be cancelled [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 25, 1992; member "Lio" on mygnrforum, personal communication, June 17, 2020].

The band also played overtime at the show in Rotterdam. Axl expected being fined because of this and when that didn't happen he donated $30,000 to the city of Rotterdam [European Stars and Stripes, July 10, 1992]. When asked why they didn't fine the band for the overtime, Rotterdam spokesperson, Anja de Jong said:

Why should we make any claims? It was only a delay of 1 hour and 15 minutes not three or four ours.

They then travelled to Turin, Italy for June 27. Before the show, on June 25, Slash, Gilby and Teddy fly to Vienna for filming of Michael Jackson's 'Give In To Me' [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]. After this show the band spend a couple of days on a yacht in the Mediterranean [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date].

The the band played in Seville, Spain, for June 30, and to the last show of this leg in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 2. Originally they were supposed to end this tour in Madrid, Spain, but according to Much Music, the facilities in Madrid were "poor" preventing the show from happening [Much Music, August 9, 1992]. An contemporary article in a Spanish newspaper would shed more light on the situation and say that the stadium was "closed for critical security reasons, as there is danger of collapse due to aluminosis" [ABC, July 2, 1992].

We were looking forward to this last date in Europe, as we love the Spanish audiences and were planning on a wild night to end the tour. We hope that we will be able to return soon and make it up to our fans.
GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date

For the last show in Lisbon "things just got a little stupid, with a little help from the crew" [Much Music, August 9, 1992], and it is likely this alludes to some prank performed by Guns N' Roses on Soundgarden, like they had done before [insert reference to earlier show where they pranked Soundgarden].

During the show Axl was worried about unruly elements in the crowd:

But I don’t like seeing people in the crowd get hurt. And that’s when I’m a little concerned about that, we’re gonna try to monitor it the best we can. And if I see anything going on onstage, I stop the show to try to stop it. I don’t care if it’s all the way in the back. When we played Portugal, in Lisbon, they were throwing (?) and throwing candles at each other. We kept stopping the show to try to stop it. By the end of the show we had it about 90% under control. But, I mean, we do the best we can; I’m worried about that though.

Slash would later talk about touring with Soundgarden:

Of all the bands we played with during the '...Illusion' tour, Soundgarden were one of the coolest, just personable and down to earth.


The cancellation of the Madrid show on July 4 resulted in a legal aftermath. In April 1995, Spain-based concert promoter Gamerco SA sued band’s Los Angeles-based company, Missouri Storm Inc., through which the booking was made, for return of advance payments totaling more than $412,000 [Billboard, April 8, 1995].

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:43 pm


I must say that Axl has fucking balls. I couldn’t do shit like that. I do the shit on my bass but I don’t have the gift of the fuckin’ gab like he has. Axl always knows what to fuckin’ say.’

[…] I couldn’t imagine saying some of the shit he does. It comes straight off the top of his head, too. If it was me I’d go up there and say, “This is another fuckin’ song, it’s called blah blah blah...” But Axl gets up there and he’s like, “I woke up this morning, man, and I really wasn’t feeling too good, and I thought back to something that happened to me once...” And he just goes on and comes up with something brilliant! Like a brilliant thing that he really means. It’s never a story, either, it’s always true. I just look over at him some nights and go, “What the fuck?” you know? He’s a one of a kind man, all right. There’s only a few people can do that. And it takes a lot of balls. He could have been killed at any time or got his ass fuckin' beat, 'cos of the way he is. But he takes that chance, he does not care. He really does not care.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January 1990



Axl's perfectionism/insecurity may also be related to his stage nerves and anxieties regarding their live shows:

[After shows], I usually need to sit down for an hour and just get my head together. I can't eat, my stomach's in knots, not in a bad way but I gotta come down from where I was on stage. Most of the time I'm usually so concerned about the show the next day even if I want to run around I won't let myself. I want to give the people my best.

I'm very stressed about the shows, which are the most important thing to me. Nothing ever really works right for this band.

Arlett Vereecke:

I mean, I don’t know anybody who gives that much, every show, like Axl did. You know, he was nervous every time and insecure, and it all came out on stage.

Axl had terrible stage fright because there was so much focus on him. Plus he was insecure. He didn’t see himself as a sexy, attractive guy. He always thought Slash was the guy who got all the attention. If he thought he wasn’t ready or he was too petrified to hit the stage, it would take him hours to calm down.

Alan Niven was also sure Axl suffered from stage fright:

Axl actually wanted to cancel [the Aerosmith tour in 1988] He did not want to do it. By that time, it was very evident he had a form of stage fright.

Vicky Hamilton would be asked about Niven's comments and suggestion that Axl was late to shows because he had stage fright:

Well, first of all, nobody would have put up with that shit back before he got famous but yeah I could see what Niven is saying by that.  I mean a lot of people who are as super famous as Axl still get performance anxiety, they just learn how to manage it.  Axl is a complex character, bi-polar, there’s a lot going on there (laughs).

In September 1991, Spin reported that Axl was suffering from stage fright and that this caused the two hour late start at the Deer Creek Music Center show in Noblesville, Indiana [Spin, September 1991]. According to "sources back stage" Axl was "extremely nervous" to play for friends and family from his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana [Spin, September 1991].

When interviewed by Kim Neely for Rolling Stone in early 1992, Neely would mentioned that Axl had previously told him he "hate performing". When confronted with this statement Axl would focus on the physical aspects of it and not talk about the psychological aspects:

I just think it's a really weird job. I'm not saying it's a bad job, I'm not saying it's a great job. But you know, it's just the work that goes into being that athletic. I mean, do you want to go out every night and jump off, like, your car? And have to do that? It's like it becomes your job. That doesn't take away the sincerity or the honesty of it, but it is a job. And sometimes I'd rather be doing something else.

In 2009, Lonn M. Friend would talk about Axl's stage fright:

You know, Blackie Lawless once told me, he said 'Axl Rose suffers from one of the most genuine forms of acute stage-fright that anybody, of any rock star ever in history'. And to what point? and he said 'to the point where he is absolutely terrified to go on stage', and there was this moment once, in Philadelphia, where he left 18,000 people in there, and that si know, the promoter and everyone went crazy. But, you know what, dude, there's something to be said about eccentricity, it's hard to forgive, it's hard to understand if you are of normal mind, or a coherent mind, but you still have to give somebody props for being true (?)
Used Bin Radio Show, July 14, 2009

Stage fright was not only an issue to Axl, though, later Slash would claim to be a victim of it although his was probably more connected to his shyness whereas Axl's was more connected to his mental issues:

I get stage fright before every show. That's why I play on stage so much, so as to combat it.

In 2015, Goldstein would argue that the reason why the band got bigger in 1992 was due to Axl's stage fright:

But you know, Mitch, I have my own opinion as to why that happened and it kind of goes towards Axl is a human being and nobody really knows this about Axl, everybody knows that he's late blah blah, they don't know why. Axl has this incredible inherent fear of not being able to pull it off live. So if you can, you know, if you can be the wizard behind the curtain by throwing horn players and keyboardists and, you know, midgets and whatever up to deviate the attention away from you possibly squeaking in your voice.


In 2015, Goldstein would mention that Axl didn't as much have a fear of performing but a fear of failing:

I don't even know if it's stage fright, Mitch. I would call it a fear of failing. And I think there's a difference between the two.


Axl's alleged stage fright could be understood by the experiences he went through when performing and trying to work with the audiences. During the touring of 'Illusions' he would repeatedly talk about struggling to control the shows and the crowds:

Yeah, that's like a gladiator thing. That's a morbid part of human nature and it can be tough to deal with. Especially if you feel it from a crowd. It's very disguised. It's not like, "Aw, you suck!" They're screaming and they're happy but they want to see blood. To figure out how to rise above that and still satiate the crowd is a tough job. I've done shows where to the naked eye it looked really positive, but onstage, being sensitive to it, it was a draining thing. These people were out for every last drop they could get. If they're giving something back, you can give more.

As the tour went on, Axl would often stop the show to confront concert goers who angered him or caused problems for the show. In April 1992 he would discuss this:

Like having somebody thrown out who is causing a commotion and basically obstructing the show. Most performers would go to a security person in their organization, and it would just be done very quietly. I'll confront the person, stop the song: "Guess what: You wasted your money, you get to leave." If a person is trying to egg me on, like "Come on out here, motherfucker, I'm gonna kick your ass," it's like "No, you're not going to kick my ass, you're going to go home. We're doing a show, there's 20,000 other people here, and you're not going to ruin it. You're leaving." Because if I jump in and get in a fight and then there's no show, the crowd's gonna love that.

When asked why he takes it upon himself to interfere:

Why shouldn't I deal with it? And why shouldn't I deal with it publicly? It's a distraction. I don't go see a band just because they suck. And if someone comes to a G n' R show for that, it's like "Go home, we don't want you here." I mean, if you throw a party at your house and somebody comes to your party just to tell you you suck all night, you are going to ask them to leave your house. And while we're onstage, that's our house and those are our guests. I've been accused of thinking my shit doesn't stink. And it does, and maybe sometimes it stinks a lot worse than other people's. But I'm not gonna say I'm wrong until I'm shown I'm wrong. Just because someone else believes they're right doesn't mean that they've shown me I'm wrong.

When asked how he deals with negative energy from the crowd, Axl would reply:

It's been different at different stages of my career. It used to be more of a punk rock thing where a band would take that negative attitude and turn it on themselves. "You want to see blood? I'll give you more than you planned on, I'll even take my own life." I've tried that avenue until finally… it was too hard. You just go down the tubes too fast giving in to that kind of anger. […] But it's really hard to stay positive when there's that kind of taking and that kind of anger in the crowd. There's places where we have played where we have turned it around. I think that's part of the job. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused when you're getting beat up by the energy. You can physically feel that you're getting beat up rather than getting inspired. It feels like a nightmare and to try to get above that is very difficult.

I do go off on the crowd, but there is a big difference between General Admission where the people who really care are right in front of you, and the situation where you've got people in the front row who are sitting there with their arms crossed and a "show me something" look on their faces. It's annoying. Especially when you know the people sitting way up in the sky could be having a lot more fun down front. I don't need people to sit there and "test" me. I'm up there, I know what I'm doing. I know how much effort we're putting into it. I don't need someone sitting there saying "impress me." I feel like saying, "no, you impress me." […] We did a show with Skid Row in Utah, and there were people sitting there like they were bored off of their asses. Finally, we left. Why should we play the encore? But what we didn't know was that people had been killed at an AC/DC concert there, and the press and local officials had gone off on the kids so much that by the time they got to the show they were just fed up. Security just kept them from getting into the show at all-and we didn't know that. We didn't know what was up. We just wanted to get out of there. My attitude was "Man, I only have a few bands that really get me off at a show. What do you want? What do you have to do tonight that's better than this?" There were 17 year-old kids there who seemed bored, and I just didn't understand why. Maybe they wanted to go home and listen to something else.

And when asked if the band members respond similarly to negative energy:

I think it's pretty much on my shoulders and I don't mind that at all. The band works the stage and gets off on the crowd, but I'm kind of a shield. If I'm gone they don't really know how to get on top of it. If I'm out there and not handling it, no one can really rescue me. It's just very hard sometimes. We've done shows where I could feel that it was a very taking thing and I turn around and Slash is doing handstands because he's still getting off on the chaos of it. And I'm having the shit beat out of me. This happened in Vegas. My jaw was hurting, my back was hurting, my leg was hurting. I call it shadow boxing because it comes down to between me and the audience. And for Guns N' Roses to be successful, I have to win. And if I win, everyone wins. If the crowd wins then a lot of people lose, including the crowd. They didn't get to be satiated, they get to go home pissed off because we crumbled under it. […] I'm such a Victory or Death type of person. I realized at one point that going onstage and just smashing everything around and singing "Jungle" wasn't getting me anywhere in my own life. It wasn't enough for me. And taking it farther and hurting myself or taking my life onstage wasn't going to do me any good. And if people are benefiting from the music it wasn't going to do them any good if I was gone. So I had to start working on other ways of dealing with it and other ways of working with the crowd. We still haven't risen above a lot of things but we've risen above some. And we're continually thriving.

In August 1991, Slash was asked why the band was so volatile and would talk about Axl and what he was going through:

Axl – Axl's got all this pent-up stuff. Like he's really into doing everything perfect, so he's been working so fucking hard. I spend a lot of time with Axl and I can't even get into all the things that he's doing, but he's going through a lot of shit right now with his past personal life and stuff, and even though we're on tour and supposedly hugely successful, these 'rock stars', we're all deafeningly human, to the point where it's like, Jesus! You've got to try and maintain some semblance of security in your personal situation while at the same time you're being completely thrown to the sharks […].

I'm less sensitive to [people throwing things] than Axl. He takes it very personally; I just duck.

The only thing I can say about it is I understand it. I understand how rough it is. And I spend so much time with Axl – to realise what he goes through to do that and to be able to sing every night. He's given me analogies – like, say, 'If you only had one guitar and you broke all the strings, how are you going to finish the show? Or when the monitors go out I'm fucked!' he's telling me. You know, we're playing Instruments, I've got replacement guitars, more strings. It's not as harsh for me to go through my personal situations onstage as it is for him. I've got something to hide behind. Him – if the entire system falls or he loses his contact lens or gets dizzy whatever – and being out there you're bigger than life. They don't want to see any fucking faults at all! And Axl's a very sensitive guy, and a lot of shit does go down onstage. There's always a bottle flying here, a bomb going off there. The other night I hear this crash, I'm like, 'What the fuck was that!' And somebody threw an M80 into the crowd!

Slash would also discuss how the band in general responded to "dead crowds" like during the Metallica tour when fans were often exhausted by the time GN'R started their set:

We interact with the crowd a hell of a lot. That’s one major thing, if the crowd happens to be particularly hostile (laughs) for some strange reason, you know, or, sort of like, dead in the front row. But then we react on that; you know, it’s just natural. […] we fuck with them a little bit and see if we can get them going or, you know – you usually blame yourself, like you’re not playing hard enough. And that’s where some of us are, like, jumping off ramps and all that stuff. I think it initially came from so much adrenaline and then the crowd would just go nuts, and so that would make us just get, you know, more into it, and the next thing you know, it’s like, we’re one and the same. It’s like, a stadium full of people, and basically the six of us on stage plus, you know, the extra people, but all getting off on material that we wrote and there’s a great vibe going on, you know? So it’s worth really getting into it every single night, because that’s the only reason you’re there.

Duff would also shed some light on how hard it could be some times:

There's a lot that goes into the two hours that we play, and I'm not just talking about the production. I'm talking about mentally, as far as the bandmembers getting to play the show. Sometimes you have to forget that you just had a knock-down, drag-out fight with your old lady, or that one of your friends is junked out, or that you don't feel happy about yourself. You're up there onstage, and you have to block all that out. Our lives get very surreal at times. I've had anxiety attacks onstage where I couldn't breath, but I still played.

In September 1992 Slash would say that Axl had become better at dealing with technical difficulties during shows:

[Axl]’s just been a lot more positive and a lot more willing to deal with the sort of the possible technical pitfalls, instead of, like, shying away from it and just getting pissed off and making it worse. He actually is into making everything better.

Despite this, when looking back at the tour, Gilby would say the following:

I'd say every one out of four shows, something happened where [Axl] would walk off stage and leave the five of us out there to fend for ourselves.

Later Slash would also talk about how attuned Axl was to the audiences mood:

[Axl]'s probably 10 times more aware of [his capacity for provoking audience response] than I am. I can hide behind the guitar because that's my thing. But I'll be sitting around with Axl after the show, and he'll alert me to particular things that happened during any given concert that I was oblivious to. He'll talk about how he used a particular hand movement to express an idea. I'll just be going, "Huh?" He's very aware of what he's doing, and of the whole sensational aspect of his persona. The only thing I think about is, "Okay, the wah-wah pedal is here, my amp is there..." I'm aware of the energy and the interaction with the crowd, but I don't really see anyone because my head is usually down. The people I look out for are the people on stage running around like madmen. I just try not to hit anyone.

Axl himself would describe how he tried to connect to the emotions of the songs he was singing:

[…] I do put myself wholly into the song, into whatever line I'm singing. Whatever the line makes me think of, I go there. If it's a tear-jerker thing, maybe that situation was written, and I'm thinking about being in a park or something. Or I think about the emotions I had as a child that those lines relate to and I go there while I'm singing it. That way I can get the best out of me because it's getting in touch with the base emotion, the base feeling and the base environment inside my head.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:44 pm


(laughs). The 80s were a weird time.  It was actually considered “cool” to be abusive or degrading towards women and looking back it is amazing to me that in that regard I really came out of the era unscathed.   I truly believe that everyone is a volunteer in their own life and those girls…..they got what they asked for basically,  you know?


The touring in 1991-1993 meant easy access to groupies, but that had also been the case in the first years of touring when Slash would estimate he slept with a new girl every second day and in total had "probably around 500" sexual encounters in this period [Kerrang! March 20, 2004].

[…] there are things that make me sick, like many of the girls who come to see us during the tours. Some of them have obviously listened to the album, but others haven’t; because if they had listened to it, they would’ve known that we don’t conform to anything. We can behave like the sweetest and most pleasant people in the world, but as soon as we fuck them, we show them the way out and to the nearest bus stop. I'm surprised that some of these girls really think you’re stupid. As Lemmy puts it, "Don’t judge a book by its cover;" that is, when a chick comes to you thinking that she’s gonna have her way with you, you have to put her in her place and make it clear who is who, and if she doesn’t accept it, then... out of the door. That’s why it's impossible to get enough of sex – it may happen when you’re older, but not now.
Popular 1, April 1988; translated from Spanish

[…] it’s hard for me to go and pick up chicks sometimes, ’cos I resent the fact that I’m getting laid ’cos I’m in a band. […]  I shouldn’t really say this but I have a tendency to get really drunk and then I get to the hotel and I’ll pick the first chick up that I can get. You’d be surprised at some of the chicks I’ve picked up. […] Sometimes you get to the hotel at six in the morning and there’s all this ...’ [pursing lips in disapproval]. So what you do is you go up to the room and just drink till they look good...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview fro June 1988

Well, there's a thing with me, not exactly a written rule, but I believe there always has to be a certain sense of rotten in you, and you have to keep a handle on it or it will take you over... In other words, I've slept with girls whose boyfriends are waiting in the lobby just because they're such big fans.

There’s a certain crowd that hangs out at the Rainbow in L.A — that’s where most of the porno chicks that I used to do, that’s where I met Savannah — that’s a scene. The thing about porno chicks — how do you explain it? It’s something that my better half would never understand — is that that whole boyish playful kind of thing, if that’s something that you happen to be and, like me, you’re just infatuated with women, and you’re surrounded by these girls at the ready and it’s all going on — Obviously porno chicks are a treat.

Back then we had this huge stage with personal rooms at the back where we could go for some coke or a drink, whatever. The road manager would bring girls back there and you'd either give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down. And if it was the thumbs-up, the girl would be waiting in the car for you after the gig.

I come from a very decadent place! [Ron Jeremy and I] used to hang out together quite a lot in those days. [...] we did a lot of partying together in the late Eighties and early Nineties, and that remains the most hedonistic stuff I've ever experienced... I remember one night, I was sitting on the edge of my pool with Ron and there were dozens of naked girls running around, it was a very festive environment. One of the girls started blowing us both, and I remembered hearing once that Ron could suck his own dick, so I asked him to do it again, just to see if he could. And he did, and it was amazing. Not that I like watching guys sucking their own dicks, I hasten to add, but I couldn't believe it was actually possible until that moment. And it didn't seem that seedy, it just seemed funny.

At some point, Slash would seek therapy for sex obsession:

I got very addicted to sex at one point. I'd keep three or four different rooms in one hotel so I could bounce around between them. That was over the top and that took me to therapy.

That was during my least-like-myself period, where I was just into thrill-seeking sex for the sake of it. I was married at the time, too. [Slash's first marriage, to Renee Suran, lasted from 1992 to 1997.] I wasn't able to just bang them and kick them out, so I sorted them all their own rooms. Everyone was happy. It was an expensive way of doing it, though.

Later, Duff would indicate that he, at least during parts of the tour, hadn't taken part in the groupie scene:

I met some really interesting people because of Guns. But for the most part it was people coming to kiss your ass just so they can sit next to you. It becomes something lonely and false. They were just excited that you were there.

But it's a weird place to be. What am I going to do? Sleep with a girl because she just saw me on this huge [video screen at one of the band's concerts]? That's not going to make me feel very good, and it's probably not going to make her feel very good. Those parties just made me lonelier.

Truthfully, the whole sex thing gets boring. If you're in the game to get some every night, it's there if you want it. But I never had much gamesmanship! For a few months in '92 I decided, 'Okay, I'm going to get me some,' but I didn't have enough game. It's pretty shallow, really. I'm not going to say I didn't do it, because I had my fair share, but I just wasn't very good at it. I was just stumbling my way through that whole period.

And later while talking to Howard Stern, Duff would emphasize that he had always been faithful to wives and girlfriends when asked if he had had a new girl every day:

No, I’ve never been that way. [...] And I’m just really down to earth. I’m the last of eight kids, I’m from Seattle, you know, my mom- [...] I’ve never even cheated on a girlfriend, man. [...] Yeah. I don’t play that game. [...]  I find no reason. I find no reason to do it.

Still, later when promoting Velvet Revolver, Duff would say differently:

As soon as [Susan, Duff's wife] became pregnant, I decided it was time to come clean. She was vaguely aware that Guns N’ Roses were a wild bunch, that we weren’t exactly monks. In terms of women, she kind of knew that there was a revolving-door in operation. I definitely sowed my wild oats.

In 2007, Matt would be challenged to tell the "nastiest and dirtiest" thing he did:

I was with two pairs of twins. I made them go down on each other, which is kind of gross. Oh, and another one would be a mother, a daughter and an aunt, all at the same time. [...] Well, the aunt was a bit big, but the mother and the daughter were pretty hot. I've had pretty many mother & daughter-pairs. Great times. A bit weird though... hahaha!

Puzzlingly, in 2018, Doug Goldstein would indicate that the band did not exploit the easy access to groupies, which is contrary to quotes from Slash and Matt in this chapter:

We had your typical backstage you know, 90% females and 10% males and they were just using people that had gotten to know somebody in the group. The guys weren’t like that [=into groupies]. All of them had girlfriends or wives and you know, when I toured with some of the other bands I toured with, it was crazy with them. But with the Guns guys, they just weren’t really into it. I mean, it just wasn’t who they were. Axl just wasn’t that kind of a guy. He wasn’t married, but that just wasn’t who he was. He doesn’t really, he’s just not into that scene, never really was.”


When asked about the threat of AIDS:

Yeah, that’s a fucked thing - because of the way that I was brought up, or the way that I brought myself up, ’cos it was at a time when I was figuring it out for myself. My whole philosophy was one way and now it’s like I’ve got a stupid thing tugging at me all the time saying, “Slash, you’ve got to watch out, you’re playing with death.” It’s fucked up because... I’m having problems with my girlfriend, right? I split up with her. I can’t handle having a girlfriend. I can get laid any time. Except for... It’s just a fucking drag.

I really can’t start wearing rubbers. I haven’t used one since I was thirteen - and then it split. What can I do? I guess it’s just part of the whole thing - if drinking doesn’t get me, AIDS will. […] [AIDS is] a ghost sent to haunt us. I have this underlying fear all the time. If anything - anything - goes wrong with me then I think, shit, this is it!

There was a point when we were in London, and I got sick one day.

I don’t get sick ever, for some reason. But what happened was I hadn’t been in London in ages, so I got to the hotel straight from the plane and I just kept drinking and drinking for four or five days. Plus the time difference and all that, that hit me and I got really sick. I was in bed. Then I went out to some pubs with some people and I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t hang out, I had to take a cab back to the hotel. And I was in bed for the next couple of days - this was right before the first gig. I thought, this is it. I’m dying.

AIDS is just like this constant thing that’s on my mind now. Welcome to the eighties, you know? I mean, nobody has said this. I’ve never heard anyone say this, like, in a magazine. But I think that everyone should realise that as soon as David Lee Roth or Gene Simmons or me, or any of us goes down with it, then we all go. It’s gonna be like clockwork! What rock star do you know of that has died of AIDS? Nobody - yet. But as soon as one of us goes then ... ’cos Dave Roth fucked some chick that I fucked that... I think that it’s gonna take out a whole legion of people. It’s gonna be like, 1989, 1990 - the year all the rock stars died.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview fro June 1988

And on whether he had ever tested himself for AIDS:

No. But, oh, man, I went out with a porno star for a while... I went to a party with the Metallica guys and got so drunk it got to the point where they were carrying me around, and I woke up the next morning in this chick’s apartment. It was just after John Rawls, the porno star, died of AIDS. But I was like in hell, and she had a flat tire and no phone. I was stranded with no money and it was just way fucked up. She used to do these things called lodes, which are the equivalent of heroin but they’re pills. So she was out of it the whole time and impossible to talk to. My first question to her the next morning was, “You haven’t fucked good old John have you?” I mean, no, she never fucked him. I found out so it was OK. But at first I was freaking...
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview fro June 1988

Slash would later mention an AIDS rumor:

I think the craziest thing I ever heard was that all the guys in Guns N’ Roses collectively had AIDS, and that if you took the first name of all the guys in the band, it spelled AIDSS - Axl, Izzy, Duff, Slash and Steven.

And talk about the AIDS period in hindsight:

The concept of safe sex didn't exist before then. I was running around dick wet from one pussy going into another, and then suddenly there were all these articles about Aids and Freddie Mercury and John Holmes in People and Time magazine. I thought, "That's it, the party’s over." [...] I've been tested for Aids a few times. But honestly, the first time I was tested I didn't care about the result in terms of my own mortality. I was more concerned about the fact that, if it was positive, I wouldn't be able to get laid for however long it took for me to kick the bucket.

And when asked if he'd stopped shagging around if he had tested positive:

Definitely. Morally, I'm actually pretty sound. I’m one of the few rock musicians I know who is. My mom and dad instilled a certain code of ethics in me and it's stayed with me.


In August 1991, Melody Maker who was interviewing the band backstage, would describe 21 girls, "hand-picked by the Guns crew from the Tacoma crowd" "panting, preening and eager to fuck a Gunner" [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

Every night's a fuckin' party, man. Chicks, beer, you name it. Take any chick you want, man. It's just like being in a candy store.

In September 1991, Slash would express boredom with the groupie scene:

[…] the novelty of just getting laid all the time wears off really quick. […] The only time that ever happens [=to go out with rock chicks] is when you go out just to have a good time and you have a few drinks somewhere and a good looking chick comes up. Basically, if they're gonna do that then you take advantage of it and it's more like a selfish kind of thing to get involved with, it's like 'okay, fine, if you're going to put yourself in that position I'm going to ...' what's the expression, you know […]

And in 1992 Slash would argue that they had cooled down due to the threat of AIDS:

The world tried to lay it on homos and needle users but it turned out that was just not the case. Now we've all changed our attitudes to sex. Although Aids hasn't cramped my lifestyle, it has taken that option away. […] We had to realise it's silly. I have to admit we have all had to see our doctors — we have physicals.

[…] I got burned out on the whole drug thing and the groupie scene. […] I had spent so much time chasing around and after a while it was like going to strip clubs. You start looking at women like pieces of furniture, something you admire for their lines. And you realize you either keep going on like that forever or you commit to someone you love--and that's what happened to me. I realized the other stuff is a sort of waste of time anyway.

Gilby would later talk about the groupies scene:

Unbelievable. GNR was the ultimate decadent lifestyle—we were expected to fuck up. I saw some pretty crazy things. GNR had a reputation for being a little tardy when we were playing, so there was always a couple of hours from the opening band until we took the stage. We had cameras that would show all the girls lifting up their shirts—they were just cameras that scan the audience before any concert, but what they didn’t realize was we were sitting in the back with walkie-talkies directing where the cameras went. [...] There’s nothing funnier than seeing some chick with a nice rack on camera with thousands of people screaming around her and our guys slapping backstage passes on them. We definitely enjoyed ourselves.

In 2007, Slash would talk about having sex with women together with other men, including Izzy and Axl, and mention a sex party he attended:

It becomes sort of an animal thing and you’re not really paying attention to them [=the other men]. You’re with the girl, and he’s with the girl, and you’re not really focusing on him at all. And you don’t want him in any… Like, I had an incident a long time ago (laughs). I used to have these parties at my house, and party-loving people would come over and we would have a lot of, you know… [...] Interaction. And I was on the landing in my house with this girl. I was on the floor and she was on top of me, and Ron Jeremy happened to be there, and he came up behind her - without even asking me - and then sort of got behind her. And I was like… [...] And, all of a sudden, I felt invaded. So there has to be some sort… it’s not one of those kind of things. I watch some porno movies and I go, “I just couldn’t handle…,” you know.


After getting engaged, Slash still had problems changing his lifestyle:

I did so much sleeping around for so long that it just got boring. I still think women are exquisite but getting involved and sleeping with them just takes so much fucking effort. And it was all I did. When I met Renee, it was someone that I actually fell for. It took four years of balancing the random sex and this one girl and we had some major incidents in our relationship which had to do with my lifestyle and what she expected from me. Once she found out how bad I was, she was like, I don't want to be with you. And we broke up for a while and I was sleeping with a bunch of other girls but finally, I dropped the others for her.

But after marriage Slash allegedly cooled down:

Before I was married, I just wanted to get laid. I'd see a pretty girl and think, She's cute, I'd love to go down on her. So if she's got some money on her and I can crash at her apartment and she's got a full refrigerator and she likes me and hasn't, as far as I'm concerned, said anything about commitment, then I was there. You sort of put yourself into a certain category by what it is you do for a living. Rock stars are notorious for fucking models, foreign girls and strippers. And that's all I could think of doing. With the exception of four girlfriends and Renee, that's all I've ever fucked. Like, attorneys fuck anything. I mean, could you see me with a librarian?! Actually, that's probably a huge turn on. That whole image of the glasses coming off and the hair coming down and all the lingerie underneath that unsuspecting outfit that she's wearing… oh, man, I just love women.

Duff, too, stayed faithful after marriage:

Road temptations, like groupies, that ain't no thing. I got my wife.

In 1995, Slash would talk about groupies:

It’s just easy for a guy. Just from my own personal experience and most of the guys that I know, when you’re in a band, all of a sudden the chicks come out of the woodwork. There’s no responsibility whatsoever, they’re just there. And some of them can be really great friends, but there’s no obligation. So you just give a call, you hang out, you score... (laughs).

I've been faithful since we got married and, you know what, it hasn't been too hard. Sometimes I'll look up a girl's skirt. I'm like a divining rod. But I wouldn't go any further than that. […] Now you can see how fucking evil women are. They want to fuck you just because you are married. Just to fuck the chick up. They want to see if they can conquer you. But I'm not stupid. […] In LA there are these professional groupies who just live to provide a sexual service for musicians. They're so fascinated with the freedom of rock'n'roll. Good rock'n'roll bands are usually pretty anti-establishment and they have a different social view from what society is supposed to adhere to. And some chicks get turned on by that. The struggling artist syndrome. Like, I'm sure there are a lot of girls who would have taken Kurt Cobain and made him lunch and sucked his dick just to keep him from killing himself.

[AIDS] changed a lot of stuff. I grew up in a generation where I managed to take full advantage of that. I did it for so long that I just got bored. I spend more time playing now than anything else, plus I'm married.


And when asked if he had ever had any venereal diseases due to his rock n' roll lifestyle:

You know what? Knock on fucking wood, I've only ever caught two things. And one thing I caught was from fucking Steven Adler.

Being asked if he fucked Steven:

No! But I let him borrow a fucking pair of leather pants and he fucking gave me crabs. I didn't even know what crabs were. I'm over at Duff's house sitting in his bathroom on the toilet, scratching furiously and I'm picking these things out of me and it's like, Aaargh! I was horrified. So, of course I wore the pants and let Steve borrow them again so he would catch them right back. And the only other thing I ever caught was something that I picked up from a porn girl. It was nothing major and I got rid of it but I've been really fucking lucky.

Steven would later explain how it happened:

And the first time we went to England, I met this bartender who lived above of the bar, and I'd hang with her and make out. It was there that I received the crabs and proceeded to pass it on to everybody else. I'm not proud of that. Then, I remember we were at this really great studio, an old studio, which every English band's played in, and I'm on the roof naked, rubbing that RID shampoo stuff all over my body trying to kill her crabs.

The other thing Slash got was genital warts:

I got genital warts on my penis. [...] But what happened was, I had these marks on my stomach, which - there was sort of like a psoriasis kind of thing. But being hypochondriac, I guess – it was right around the time that the AIDS thing was first really starting. And it just seemed like real small versions of what the AIDS lesions looked like. And, of course, it would not surprise me, because practicing of, you know, safe sex at the time wasn’t really a habit. I don’t think it worked. The only time you ever practiced safe sex was not to get a girl pregnant, but, even then, that was hard to do. [...] That was the only thing, that and crabs. That was the only-

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:57 pm



Duff would tell that when he got his first advance payment from Geffen in 1987, he went to Guitar Center in Los Angeles and bought what he thought was a stock Jazz Bass Special.

And when we got that record advance I knew the gear I wanted because the Guitar Center was right in front of our place. And I would be that guy who came in and played, like, "One day I'm going to get this." "Oh, that guy's not gonna buy... again." [...] They're Fender Jazz Specials, they were called. They only made them for one year. They were made in Japan and I got one.

If you're a bass player, Fender is the bass that all the greats played. That's the one you want to play. I did not have the money to do that. [When] GUNS started, I had this Yamaha bass [and] an acoustic 2x15 cabinet, which I still have. I don't know what my head was, but I had a sound that cut through. Things happened with GUNS — we started playing more and more in L.A., attracting bigger and bigger crowds, and we were writing what we thought were great songs. Record companies started coming to gigs, and we got signed. It did not happen overnight — I'm just shortening the story — [but] my point [is] we got an advance, money to get gear and tattoos and shit. We rehearsed right behind the Guitar Center on Sunset [Blvd.] in Hollywood, so as a result, you would go around the corner, go into Guitar Center and see the shit you couldn't afford on a weekly basis. This Japanese Fender Jazz Special — this beautiful-sounding white guitar with [a] black neck — was my dream bass. I would play it — I would be that guy who would come into Guitar Center and play the thing: 'He's here again, and he's not going to buy shit.' We got our advance, and Slash and I went out to the Valley to cash the check for the band — our portion of the advance. The bank teller was like, 'That's a lot of money' — $30,000 for us to split to get gear — and they were not going to cash this check for us. They thought we had stolen the check, and they had to call... Anyhow, we cashed the check, got the money and went straight to Guitar Center. I went in and I bought that bass. Finally, I had my Fender bass...

At the beginning, I got my first bass at Guitar Center when we got our record advance; the Special that I’d had my eye on. I was that guy going into the guitar store all the time and not buying anything because I couldn’t afford it. [...] They were probably getting sick of me coming in there, but one day I came in and I bought it.

Once Guns N’ Roses began to tour, he needed another instrument as a back up:

I told my tech I wanted one exactly like mine, so he got me one, but the neck was completely different. It turns out someone had filed the neck on my original bass, and it was more egg shaped than round. So I removed it ad sent it to the Fender Custom Shop; they measured it, and now the necks they make for me are the only ones like’em - just because I was so used to that first neck.

The basses that I use, the Fender Jazz Specials, are slightly different. My basses are made an RCH longer, to allow for the strings flapping. My particular model was only made for a year or two. It's got sort of a Jazz neck and Precision body. It has a Precision pickup and a Jazz pickup in the back. The first bass I bought, the white Fender Jazz special, that I bought at the Guitar Center, had inadvertently been screwed up when they made it. As opposed to the neck being perfectly conical, mine is half eggshaped. Somebody in the shop filed it too much. I was so used to that bass, that when I went to try other basses, something wasn't right. It's like, wait a minute, something's different with these other Jazz Specials. I went down to the custom shop, and sure enough, they spun it through this graphic computer and found what was wrong-or, for me, right-with the bass. So now I have all my necks custom-made exactly like that one.

I just retired my original white bass. It's at home. But, like I said, I had to get the other basses made exactly like it. Me and John Paige at Fender worked together. It took a long time. I didn't know it was gonna be this difficult.

When we started touring on Appetite, I just had the one bass. Maybe I had a Yamaha Precision as a backup, because that was a bass I could afford and I got it for, you know, nothing. I used the white Fender on Appetite and through the tour, and McBob [aka Mike Mayhue], my tech, said ‘We gotta get another one’ so we got another Jazz Special. They took my bass and ran it through a computer and the neck was a little more egg-shaped than round, because that’s what I needed, a thin feel. They spun another neck for me like mine, so then I had two.

When Duff released his solo album in September 1993, he would again discuss his gear:

Ok, I use the exact same thing on both [recording and touring]. Uuh, SPX 90 is all I use. You know... chorus set to... uuh, it's called "the Duff sound". 'Cause, you know, you can program the name across what certain sound you want. And I just play through a GK 800 RB and one... 15... uuh... ED 400 watt speakers, what I record through and... I really don't use that much gear, bass-wise.

My bass really is a pretty unique sound. It’s too abrasive for some people but I really dig it. I’ve always been into funk and stuff like that, so I try to keep a bright, round sound like that. I use a pick when I play but I pull off with my picky finger - that’s my version of slapping because I cannot slap. White men can’t slap!

But to get that sound on Right Next Door To Hell and You Could Be Mine is simple. For recording I use GK 800RB heads but I won’t say how exactly I set up because I don’t know! I haven’t done it for so long because in the band you get roadies and bass techs. I don’t even know how to turn it on anymore!

But for recording I use just one GK 800RB head; I use the old cabinet that I’ve always had: it’s got two 15 EV 400 watt speakers. I mic one of them and then I just run an SPX 90. I just use a simple box chorus pedal, I set the speed and the depth to where I want it - I’m not going to say where! - and then I use the old Fender Jazz Special, my first bass which I always use for recording. I mic one speaker then go direct also so I’m on two channels.

For that coarsy sound you were talking about from You Could Be Mine, that’s when I turn the chorus pedal on and I mix the DI and the one live speaker, EQ the live bright then EQ the DI to a more middley sound and the mixer really comes out with a nice sound. I use the Rotosound twin bass strings and it’s really just a great sound. I couldn’t play on anything else recordingwise because it’s what I’m used to

I love the Fender Jazz Special, the one that there are so many pictures of me playing. That's what I played all the time. But about a year ago, I designed this Gibson bass. Gibson kept sending me their basses, and I'd give them away because they sucked. They were neck heavy, and they just sounded like crap. Finally, the guy from Gibson called me and said, "We're sending you these bass-es, why don't you play them?" and I said, "Do you want me to be honest?" And he said, "Please." And I told him that they were pieces of trash. I told him, "You guys don't put any effort or research into your basses." So he asked me to help design a bass. I went to the shop like twice a week and designed an arch-top Les Paul bass; it wasn't neck heavy and had good pickups, and I made the neck thin like the Fender Jazz. So that's the bass I play in G N' R now. I've got one, and they're making me more. [...] I made all the specs exactly like the Precision, the fretboard, the fret spacing, the thickness of the neck and the pickups are exactly the same. It sounds killer and it looks totally cool. You know Slash's in Paul, the arch-top tiger strip? That's what it looks like.

I've got a Gibson '68 black Les Paul Custom, which I finally found after five years of looking for it. I've got a '57 Les Paul Junior, which is very cool. I've got a Telecaster, and a Gibson SG and...that's all I have. Uhhh...uhhh...I sound like Beavis & Butt-head. I play through a Marshall 60 watt amp, and for my clean sound, I use a Roland with a course in it, and an NSR phase shifter. So I go between a clean swirling type of sound, a Leslie speaker type of sound, which you hear on Believe In Me, and my dirty sound is a plain and simple Marshall with the gain up.

In 1997 it would be described that Duff plays "Fender Precision and Jazz basses through four Gallien-Krueger 800RB amplifiers" and that he "toggles between them with two splitters- a Whirlwind and a custom Bradshaw -and adds a dash of chorus with a Yamaha SPX90" [Bass Player Magazine, January 1997.


I use all nine Vox AC-30's reissues. They're all new, because vintage amps are too unreliable to take out on the road. When I got this gig, I made a promise to myself that I was going to take advantage of the opportunity, equipment-wise, and get everything I ever wanted. The first thing I bought was a new Marshall stack. But my tone was so close to Slash's that we ended up something like one big wall of mush.

So I took the opportunity to start carving my own identity. I've always liked Voxes, though in a club they were always too loud. But they turned out to be perfect on stage. The Voxes have a really great, natural tone, so I basically turn them up to 10 and play completely dry.

My two main guitars are a Zemaitis that I just had custom-built and a clear, lucite Dan Armstrong. The Armstrong is really loud and it sustains forever. I was using a Les Paul during the early parts of the tour, but for some reason, it just didn't sound good running through the Vox amps. I think it's because Voxes are mid-rangy by nature and so are Les Pauls, so the sound is muddy when they're used in tandem.

[Talking about his Dan Armstrong clear plexi-guitar]: It's a '71 and this is a strange story: my mom took me into a music store in Cleveland, where I'm from, and my parents said, Well, if you're serious about it, we're not buying you a guitar until you take guitar lessons.' And the teacher said I had to start on acoustic and not electric and when I walked in, the very first electric guitars I saw in a music store was the Dan Armstrongs and they were clear and ever since then, I always wanted one of those. What I didn't come to realize over the years was they were only made for two years, '71 and '72. And I used this guitar on the GNR tour; I had it in open G so we'd play like Bad Obsession' and any other songs we had in open G, I'd play it. It's a great open G slide guitar.

[…] the main guitar [for recording 'Spaghetti Incident?'] was the burnt Les Paul, the Telly, and the Zemaitis. And for the most part, through my little Fender Deluxe. People go, You're in this big heavy metal band with Marshalls,' and I use this one 12 fuckin' old Fender amp. And on Spaghetti Incident Slash and I are out there playing the parts live and I'd say 98% of my guitar tracks were the live track that I put down. And it's easy to tell because once again, I'm left, he's right. And then he always fills in the middle; I don't get to fill, I get one track and that's it. Some of the songs were already recorded and I went in and took Izzy's (Stradlin, original rhythm guitarist) track off and put my tracks on and a lot of stuff we re-cut live. We'd learn three songs in a day, then go in and almost record it the same way. We don't spend that months in the studio thing; we play it to get the magic of me, Duff, Slash, and Matt in the room together and if there's keyboards, Dizzy (Reed) would be with us. And we'd cut it live and like I said, whatever was bad would be replaced later. But me and Duff are really good about keeping our tracks that we actually lay down. They don't give me much time; if I spend more time than the others, they'll find somebody else.

[Talking about not sounding the same as Slash since they both play Les Pauls]: It used to be a problem when I first started with the band, I used to use Marshalls. And we almost sounded the same. I mean, I'm a little more percussive of a player than he is but it just sounded like one big fuckin' wall, one guitar. So, what I did was, I said, I can't do this anymore' and so I got the Voxes and I had a Vox years and years ago but it was too loud to play clubs in because there's only one thing you can do you have to turn em on 10 and they're fuckin' louder than shit. So, I talked to the Vox people, before Korg bought them out, and they sent me down 9 of them, the AC-30s with top boost and no mods, and I was trying to get a guitar sound out of it and I was having a really hard time because I didn't remember what I used to do years ago. And Brian May was rehearsing with us, this was in England, because he was going to jam with us and he goes, The key to the sound is this little box.' He had this little, it's called a treble booster box, right, and I hooked it up and I went, Wow, that's it.' So I couldn't take Brian May's box, let alone he wouldn't let me do it, so I kinda figured out how to do it with the amp and what I never thought of and the last thing you think of is turning a knob to zero and not using a knob. These amps have tone, bass, and treble; I took the bass all the way off and I fuckin' found my sound. And what's great about the Voxes is they're very midrange-sounding and now I can play a Les Paul, Slash can play a Les Paul through his Marshalls, and they sound completely different. And it really was just a matter of finding what would blend well with him without sticking out too much. So, what I do live is, I have 9 Voxes, the bottom row are just Vox cabinets; everything is loaded with Celestions and what I'll do is pump my Marshalls through the bottom ones for live and they're not miked. But on stage, in a stadium thing, sometimes you really lose your sound, so I'll pump up the Marshalls to give it a little more punch but we only mike the Voxes.

I have a wireless and a rack-mount Cry Baby so I can have more than one pedal on stage; I can have three pedals out there so I don't have to be in one spot to use it. Just a Hush to keep the noise down and that's it. If I want a boost box, if I'm soloing and stuff, I use one of those MXR Micro-Amps, the little white guys? I just pop it on and I get a little more fuzz. We're very old fashioned.

I've always just plugged right in and it's just my preference you can make it do it yourself. Even for me to use the 59 Seymours? They're very low output pickups and I love just driving the shit out of the amp.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:58 pm

JULY 11, 1992

Duff, who had divorced Mandy Brix in 1989 was single in August 1991 [Finnish TV, August 1991] and looking for "Mrs. Right":

I was married on our last tour and I never cheated once. I guess that makes me a schmuck. […] She'll be the happiest woman in the world!

During the 'Use Your Illusion' touring of 1991, Duff talked about the loneliness being the hardest part:

The worst part is the loneliness, you know. I kinda cleaned house before I left. You know, I don’t have a girlfriend or anything. So, it’s like, you don’t have a home base to call home to, you know? But, I mean, that’s part of the road, it’s part of the tour thing, you know. I’ve got my friends in the band.

But in June 1992 Duff would say he had found a girlfriend [Musicvideo, June 27, 1992] and in July Slash would confirm in an interview that Duff was about to get married [Rockline, July 13, 1992].

Talking about how he and Linda got together:

We were really, actually best friends for a couple of years in L.A. She’s from Florida, but she moved to L.A. and we were just friends.
[...] we were just good friends. I was in Hawaii and I checked my messages, and she called my machine going, “Hey, how you’re doing? I haven’t seen you for a while,” blah blah blah, “I’m in Waikiki” and I was in Maui with Doug. So I called her in Waikiki where she left the message and I said, “Hey, I’m in Maui.” So I flew her over, it’s like 30 dollars.

According to Matt's unreleased biography, the trip to Hawaii took place some time after the 1992 touring in japan, which means it happened at the end of February 1992 or later.

The lucky lady was Linda Johnson and they got married in mid-July 1992 [The Atlanta Constitution, July 31, 1992]. Linda insisted on a pre-nuptial agreement [The Howard Stern Show, September 1993].

Linda and Duff's wedding

Duff would miss Linda while on tour:

A lot of nights I wake up, and I'm, like, where am I, what city, and you run to the window and look out and try to figure it all out. You actually forget who you are. It's, like, I am completely blank. I end up a lot of times just sitting on my bed, and I'll find tears start coming out of my eyes and my heart is just aching. It's, like, please let there be another show soon. It's, like, can you get the next shot of insulin.

In October 1991, it would be reported that Duff's favorite hobby was waterskiing but also that his form of escape was to get "away to the mountains" [Conspiracy Incorporated Newsletter, October 1991]. The waterskiing had been born out of his love for winter skiing [see earlier chapter]:

Yeah, I got a cabin. It’s so awesome. I’ve got a great ski boat.

In early 1993, Linda was doing a nude photoshoot for the magazine Platinum as Duff was interviewed by MTV talking about how Linda has helped him get more in order [MTV, March 1993]. Duff would later say that Platinum had "kinda screwed [them] over" [Rockline, September 27, 1993], but it is not known what he meant by that.

In July 1993, Duff would refer to Johnson as being in "charge of [his] public relations" [Popular 1, September 1993; translated from Spanish] and he would talk more about the happiness of finally being in a stable relationship:

I'm happy now. I have a beautiful wife who was like my best friend for two years before we started realising, 'Well, wait a minute...' I wrote this song about wishful thinking, seeing a girl, like 'Is this the one?' It's a really lonely song, but it's also like a song full of hope, because it turns out that she is the one. 'Could It Be U' is for Linda, my wife.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Jan 03, 2024 2:05 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:58 pm



Band members in Guns N' Roses were big fans of Metallica. In 1988 there had been plans of touring with Metallica, either as part of the Monster of Tour or separately [Metal Hammer [Germany], April 1988; also see earlier chapter about failed touring in 1988].

When GN'R won the MTV Music Award for Best Heavy Metal act in 1989, Axl said he thought Metallica should have won [Dixon Telegraph, September 7, 1989].

Lars [Ulrich] and James [Hetfield] are the ones I know the best, I first met Jason [Newstead] in Northern California. [...] It's cool to be friends with the Metallica guys, it's one of my favorite bands.
Metal Hammer (Germany), April 1988; translated from German

Metallica is a great band - if you know these guys, because when I started out, I hated them. I hated anything to do with speed metal, and so the first Metallica album that came out I didn’t even ever bother listening to, but when Master of Puppets came out, I was amazed; it was, like, great. They turned into my favorite people, my best friends and the best band. I’m going to fly to New York next week to go see them. […]  Actually, those guys – we’re totally different kinds of musicians. But they’re just great players and really – I jammed a few times with Lars and stuff like that. They really changed things around, because those guys have – I mean, if you listen to their albums, they’re perfect, and have some amazing chord changes and this and that and the other, and very heavy-duty vocals.

That whole James Hetfield attitude, I like, though. I spent a wild night with him and Jim Martin from Faith No More, driving out to the Valley just to get drunk. James was in this car throwing beer cans out on the freeway. James always plays at being this manly fuckin’... He always reminds me of a Ranger... Like, “Goin’ out to the mountains.” But he’s a really sweet guy. Basically, he’s not anywhere as mean as he makes himself out. He’s just great to hang out with, he’s got a great fuckin’ attitude. And Lars [Ulrich] is just a sweetheart, too. Those guys are genuinely cool.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988

There's an element in Metallica that's the same with us. We couldn't really go out and do gigs with Slayer, but with Metallica it's not so much the style of music we play, it's more an attitude of going out and generating a lotta energy. Although, we're a helluva lot sloppier than Metallica!

We've thinking about tours, like, our favorite new bands out, like Metallica. We're friends with those guys and stuff and we're trying to work out something with those guys. But it's like, you know, they're going like we are, [?] we think that might be a monster show.

I really like Metallica. They're like the best band doing anything in rock 'n' roll in the past ten years. They're just like the greatest.

[Talking about bands that have the "what?" factor]: 'Metallica.’ They are definitely a big "What?”, you know what I mean? I love Metallica.
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from January  1990

Lars Ulrich would also describe hearing Guns N' Roses for the first time:

Well, the first time I heard [Guns N' Roses] was, we were in L.A., making the "Garage Days Revisited" EP in August of '87. And I just remember everybody was talking about this fucking band, Guns N' Roses, and that they were like the next big thing or whatever. So I had a flight from New York over to England, and so I'm sitting there going through a bunch of cassettes that I'd finagled up at the record company. And one of 'em was Guns. I'd never heard anything with that kinda attitude. It was not just what was said, it was the way Axl said it. And it was like so fuckin' real, and so fuckin' potent. Do you know what I mean?

And meeting Slash for the first time and becoming friends with the band:

It was probably October '87, and we went down to -- (laughs) -- incredible. We went down to a Motley Crue video shoot 'cause we'd heard Slash was gonna be down there. So we went down there, and there was Slash and his fuckin' top hat, and his fuckin' smelly leather jacket -- and it was just like-- But the minute that I met him, it was sorta like: This guy's totally real, and I -- as soon as I met him, I felt like I'd known him like all my life. […] But over the course of making that "And Justice for All" record, we became like real good friends, supertight -- and just like saw them a lot and hung out, and got up to a lot of no good ... a lot of no good. […] You know, women, drugs. I mean, you know, you can pretty much imagine. I mean, we weren't doing a lot of charity works for the homeless together.


The band had attempted to do some shows with Metallica in Europe in March 1988 [Popular 1, April 1988]. This might have been the Monster of Rock tour with Metallica, which they hoped to join, but ultimately were rejected [Spin, May 1988]. They later had a European tour in the autumn of 1988 planned together with Metallica, but this was shelved when they needed a break after the Aerosmith tour [Sounds Magazine, August 1988; Kerrang! July 1988].

According to Blast Magazine, the interest in doing something together was mutual: "Metallica's new album is tentatively called And Justice For All. The band is planning a world tour and hopes to take Guns N' Roses with them for at least some European dates" [Blast! May 1988].

As far as guitar, well, James Hetfield is awesome.


Just before Christmas 1991, Guns N' Roses made a call to Metallica's management, asking if the band would co-bill a US stadium tour in 1992 [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]. Metallica's management relayed the request to Metallica who, according to Lars Ulrich, responded with a resounding, "Hell yeah!" [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]. Soon rumors were spreading again that Metallica and Guns N' Roses would tour together [Dayton Daily News, January 10, 1992], and at the Grammys in February 1992 Metallica mentioned it backstage [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992]. The tour was confirmed in May and dates would be set with the first show on July 19, 1992 [Star Tribune, August 4, 1992].

An important meeting between the bands took place in February at Le Dome restaurant in West Hollywood [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992]. Attending this meeting were Axl, Slash and Doug Goldstein on one side with Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and the management team of Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch on the other side [Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1992].

Burnstein would recall the meeting:

We were so in sync on everything down to the point that I was wearing a Naughty by Nature T-shirt and Axl was wearing a Naughty by Nature cap.

And Ulrich would talk about the feeling afterwards:

So, it was great after the (Le Dome) meeting . . . me and Axl were standing outside the restaurant, talking about how surprised people were going to be once the tour was announced . . . and how everyone would be saying, 'I can't believe it . . . it'll never happen'.

Slash and Ulrich did an interview on Rockline together and during this interview Lars would say the friendship between Guns N' Roses and Metallica went back to before the release of 'Appetite' and that they were set up by their common lawyer, Peter Paterno, who suggested that Metallica should hang out with GN'R because of a "shared attitude" [Rockline, July 13, 1992].

Slash and Ulrich would again discuss how it came about:

We'd sit there and say, 'We should play together.'

It continued over numerous late-night gatherings all over the country. I had these conversations with Axl and Slash, and it was always 'One day we've got to go out and do gigs together.' So now -- here we are.

Like you sit there at 5 in the morning, and it's sort of like: Okay -- well, you know, hey, we should really work together one day. And it was sort of like -- you know, it got to the point where it was just like we talked about it so much that it was just like: Fuck, we gotta actually see if we could make this happen. And, you know, how cool it would be for the kids to get a chance to see two bands together, and stuff like that. It just seemed like a really cool idea, heh, at the time. (Laughs)

Jason Newstead, the bassist of Metallica, had a slightly less romantic argument for why they wanted to do the tour:

When it comes right down to it. If we worked for the same amount of time on our own, we wouldn't play to as many people and we wouldn’t earn as much money. We would have made plenty of money on our own and everybody gets taken care of real well in our organization. But if we’re looking at the big picture and we have a chance to make a few more million dollars over a six-week period, then we’re going to do it.


But there was a great deal of skepticism to the tour stemming from obvious differences between the bands and their organizations and how they operated, as described in Detroit Free Press:

It's a tour that's been regarded with great skepticism since rumors began circulating about it late last year. The organizations were too different, naysayers chimed: Metallica is known for its precise, businesslike manner, while Slash acknowledges that Guns N' Roses prides itself in "going against the system entirely." Metallica will adhere to a relatively tight schedule; Guns N' Roses could go onstage in the wee hours and play 'til dawn, depending on the whims of its members.

And planning such a massive tour was complicated. Lars would say that when the managers and lawyers got into problems negotiating the details they would call up Slash and him and they would sort things out [MTV, July 14, 1992]. Slash would confirm their good relationship was important in getting the tour organized:

It was really complicated, but we dealt with each other as friends.

It was really all the bands’ that did it. I mean, when it came down to it, it was the bands that made all the decisions, you know? And it just got kind of legislated through the management and all that. So it’s a band tour. It’s like, you know, it’s not a corporate tour or nothing like that. It’s set up by the bands.

Both of our bands have different ways of approaching things in terms of how we run our band on a day-to- day basis. It was 'Look, let's sit down and check our egos at the door.' We all had to make sacrifices to make this happen. […] But we have a lot of mutual respect for each other, so it wasn't a problem. The real reason this is happening is a genuine desire between the main guys of both bands to make this happen. That makes it stronger than what the lawyers or booking agents or managers would throw our way.

When asked why it took so long from the Metallica first said the tour was going to happen before tour dates were announced, Hetfield would say:

We were still working out logistics and seeing if this thing could even be pulled off. There were a lot of meetings trying to figure out what cities we were going to play, how many shows in a row, whose voice could hold out, who was going on last, who was playing the longest, guest lists — a bunch of political crap. The actual stage set had to be compatible.

Slash would say that the band came together as often as possible to discuss and plan, including a dinner meeting on April 19, 1992, the day before the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in London where both bands participated [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]:

You really have to feel each other out on it -- what's their trip, and what's ours? It's really simple when you actually sit down and talk about it amongst friends. When you let management deal with it, all of a sudden it becomes corporate.

Some compromises had to be made. According to Detroit Free Press, both bands agreed to play 2-3 shows per week which meant that GN'R had to play more frequently than they were used to and Metallica had to play fewer shows than what they were used to [Detroit Free Press, July 19, 1992]. It was also decided that GN'R would close every show:

[…] because [Metallica] don't want to take the risk of having us go on late and making them perform at some crazy past-midnight time [chuckle].

We’ve been on tour for so long. We're in tour mode big-time, so for us to open for somebody wouldn't make any sense at this point. It was kind of a given that we'd go like this. It's not like we’re headlining; we're coheadlining. The kids realize that. There’s no big deal there.

We knew we didn't want to follow that and we'd be on at 5 in the morning. This is a prime spot for us. There's daylight and there's nighttime. We get the best of both. During the day, you get to see faces in the crowd a lot better, which really matters to us as far as getting going. Then we get to play with the lights and get the whole other vibe. By 10:30, we're done and we get to go hang out. We beat ’em [the audience] up, and then they [Guns] have to deal with it.

Booking stadiums became a problem, too, as described by Detroit Free Press:

Venue management and city politics have actually been the biggest obstacle to getting into the stadiums," Kochan [Alex, GN'R's booking agent] says, describing curfew restrictions and other barriers to booking the tour in many cities. The 24 sites on the itinerary, he says, represent "just about every place that would have us," and a Sept. 5 show in Dallas is still up in the air.

Gilby would later state that many cities couldn't take a show including both Guns N' Roses and Metallica, and mentioned Cleveland, Atlanta and Chicago as examples [M.E.A.T., September 1992].

Ulrich would talk more about picking cities:

We sat down and , like, basically picked the 30 biggest cities in the country. And we it came down to, like, Cleveland, Philly, Atlanta, Kansas City, places like that, they just said, “Stay away.” And, like, we tried...[…] Well, [St. Louis] was one of the cities that was picked. Believe me. But, like, the stadiums there, we tried, you know, race tracks. I mean, “If you have a field, we will show up and play in a field,” you know, “find us a sewer system and we’re there.” But I just want to tell all the kids in those cities that it’s not because we didn’t – you know, not for lack of trying, all you guys in Atlanta, and Cleveland... So you guys are gonna have to do a little driving, but, hey, we tried.

During the tour, Duff and Slash would talk about how it came to be:

Well, I think, how it got started is, 1) We’re both good friends, you know. It’s like, when you hang out in L.A., and hang out, like, in the music scene, the only friends you really can keep is guys in other bands; because other people try to, you know, use you or whatever. So, it’s like, the only people you can trust are people in other bands. So, many drunken nights we talked of going out and doing a tour, and it finally came together, basically. That’s about it.

One of the cool things about it, is that Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, as much as I hate to put a label on it, we’re probably the most against-the-grain bands that have become successful and gotten this big. And, for us, to get together and, sort of, just show the fact that we managed to pull it off, it opens doors for other bands. It makes it so that the rules aren’t as restricting as they seem to be to people trying to make it, or trying to get the foot in the door. It’s like, “just go for it,” which is a good feeling, cuz we really went against all odds and managed to get here, which is cool.


In June 1992 tour dates were being set up and it was reported that a planned show in Minneapolis on August 5, 1992, was cancelled. The media would speculate that Axl's psychic had told him to avoid playing gigs in places that started with the letter "M", which, according to Star Tribune, would explain why the band did no shows in Milwaukee, Memphis, Miami or Minneapolis [Star Tribune, June 26, 1992]. This rumor would be mentioned on a Rockline interview with Slash and Lars Ulrich in July 1992, just prior to the start of the tour, and Lars would emphasize they would be playing other cities starting with "M" and that if they didn't get to play in a specific large city that was because the cities weren't interested:

I think it was some kind of... I think that somebody somewhere got hold of some very long-winded story that was floating around...[…] There was a story going around about cities that began with “M” that we were omitting, but obviously we’re playing Minneapolis, we’re playing Montreal and, you know, if... I think the misunderstanding that if places like – I think the biggest problem of this tour, and this is actually the truth, is that most of the bigger cities that we aren’t playing on this tour, we’re not playing them because we didn’t want to go there, we’re not playing them because they didn’t want to have us. Places like Philadelphia, and Cleveland, and Kansas City, and Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta, places like that. You know, we tried when we sat down in April and put all the final details on this tour. We wanted it to go to the 30 biggest cities in the country and take the show everywhere we could, so all the fans across the country could get a chance to see this once-in-the-lifetime thing. But, you know, places, like I said, Philly, and all these other cities, the stadiums there, they just weren’t interested. They “Oh, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica will come and mess up the stadium” and blah blah blah. You know, just a lot of bad vibes from a lot of people. And it’s just like, we tried, believe me, we sat there and tormented our managers, and our booking agents and everything. “Find us a race track, find us a field,” you know, “Find us a yard... We’ll play in a sewer…” […] ”We’ll be there.” There’s like, I mean, Philadelphia is the fourth biggest market in the country and it’s like a joke that this tour isn’t going there. So believe me that we tried, so this whole thing about, well, Milwaukee, you know, that we didn’t wanna go to Milwaukee because it begins with “M,” that’s just a crock of ... beep. […] I mean, believe me, believe me, we sat down, we tried to take the city, so every big – this tour, every big city in the country that we could. And, like, I don’t wanna grovel here or apologize, but, you know, to all the kids in the cities that we’re not going to, believe me that we tried.

In a later interview Hetfield would also be asked about this rumor and would go far in saying it could have been true:

They have a lot of people out with them, and who knows who tells who what to do? That's basically their business. But when it comes down to ‘We can't play this city because...' now you're stepping into our territory, and we'd like to know why. We had backup plans, no doubt, in case [things] like this came up. I couldn't confirm it, but I think it did have something to do with his psychic, or his psychic’s assistant.

Duff, on the other hand, would vehemently deny the rumor:

That [rumor] is a complete joke. Someone told me that yesterday; that’s the first time I'd heard it. I don't know where that rumor came from. That's a blatant lie.


In early 1992 it was rumored that Skid Row would be the opener of the tour, Slash would deny this and suggest it might be Nirvana:

Well, I don’t think the Skids are gonna be on it. We’re talking about doing it with Nirvana but we need to see where those guys are at. Metallica, Nirvana and us sounds pretty good to me.

In the end it would be Faith No More that would get to open the show with a 45 minute set [Rockline, July 13, 1992; MTV, July 14, 1992].


In the first half of 1992, Slash and Duff would talk more about the upcoming tour with Metallica:

Oh, it’s gonna be great! It’s one of the things that we were talking about that was really important, that was trying to bring back that great stadium tour from the 70s, where they had all these great bands. Because, after a while, it was just, like, the headlining band and the opening band, it didn’t really matter. Now it’s, like, co-headlining. It’s two really heavy bands and Faith No More is opening, so it’s gonna be a big event. It’s gonna be an all-day thing, so bring, I don’t know, a sac lunch; and a blanket[…] I think, musically, there isn’t any kind of similarities [between GN'R and Metallica]. But, attitude-wise, there is a lot. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to do it together, because we’ve gotten really far away from conforming to the industry, and doing things our own way we’ve been successful at it. And I think we opened a lot of doors – both bands will open a lot of doors for other bands, and open up the attitude of some of these, you know, very stiff white-collar executive types over the record companies and let them know that this commercial attitude that they’ve got isn’t necessarily the way to go; there is other things happening and it definitely works. So we have that similarity and, plus, we’re just good friends. […] It’s Faith No More, Metallica and us. Metallica plays for, like, three hours. We play for, like, three hours. Faith probably play for an hour – maybe 1-1/2 hour, I’m not really sure. So, it’s definitely something to get there early for.

We’re good friends with those guys and stuff, and we’ve got it worked out, so it’s gonna be a cool thing for everybody. It’s not gonna be, like, Guns N’ Roses is headlining and Metallica is opening. It’s gonna be, you know, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. And, you know, they’re gonna do their full set, we’re going to do our full set. And then, you know, what will happen after the end of that, it will be probably something cool.

Well, I mean, as you know, both bands are good friends. We hang out in Hollywood and stuff together when they are there and we were there. And we just, like – I mean, literally, at bars and stuff we talked about why we should tour together. And it finally came together after a lot of, you know, bolt.

[Why they wanted to do this tour]: Just because we’ve been buddies for a long time. […] It was real - we’d go out, we’d get drunk and we’d go, “We should do a tour”.

When asked if the bands would be co-headlining, Slash would confirm it [MTV Headbanger's Ball, May 1992]:

Yeah, that’s one thing, it’s a co-tour, right? So it’s Metallica and Guns, Guns and Metallica. That’s that. […] So, it’s not like anybody is trying to pull some sort of star trip. It’s really just a summer concert that's gonna be cool.

As for the layout of the stage:

We’ve come to an agreement as far as the stage goes, which is a little bit of a secret at this point. We’re trying to keep some things secret, yeah? (chuckles).

This is a good one, actually. Cuz we went through, like, logistics on our own, like, “Okay, what are we gonna do?” And so we figured it out, basically. You know, we have Metallica’s stage, and then, when Metallica is done – and they play forever, you know (Laughter) […] And then we go on and we do our own stage. It’s really one of those things where it’s sort of refreshing, cuz we just go out and we do our own trip and there’s no sort of, I don’t know, commercial kind of – you know, you go out and you have to this kind of production kind of thing. We go out and we do our own thing. And so everybody who’s gonna be at the show, just goes, “Oh." You know, "there it is." (chuckles).

We both incorporate a lot of the different things. You know, these guys have been out playing stadiums for a while in Europe and stuff, and they got their whole trip, like Slash is saying. And we’ve got our whole thing. We’ve got some ideas with the snake pit that we’ve had indoors, we’re kind of taking that along, and we’ve got some different things. So both our bands are basically gonna have to complete, you know, basically the normal surroundings that we’re used to playing in. And, you know, we’ll each play for forever, basically, so pack your lunch and don’t make any plans for the rest of the week.

And when discussing whether the tour would also continue into Europe:

I don’t know, because we’re doing our European thing now and Metallica, if they haven’t done it already - you know, it’s gotten to that point where we’re just gonna probably do it in the States and leave it at that; cuz we still got other stuff to do after the States.


As the bands were planning their tour together, Axl was still dealing with the fallout of the St. Louis riot. In May 1992, Slash would comment on the ongoing tribulations:

[Axl]’s going through what we call celebrity prosecution. […] And I swear to God, if it screws with our tour with Metallica, I’m gonna be really –

Just before the tour Axl, Stephanie and Dylan had a vacation in Paris, France. As they returned to USA in July, just a few days before the first show on July 17, Axl was arrested when they landed in New York and then travelled to St. Louis to stand before the court. A court date was set for October and Axl was free to do the tour with Metallica. See previous chapter for more information on the St. Louis riot and its aftermath. When asked if this lead-up to the tour with Metallica would be a problem, Axl responded:

Once the music is there, it’s kind of like getting in a car and driving it when the car is completely tuned and it’s running well. And you know how to drive – drive the car. It’s like, when the band’s got the song down, I know the song.

During the Rockline interview Slash would be asked if Axl's legal problems would cause a problem for the tour:

[The tour] will start as scheduled. And Axl was really cool with the whole thing. He just went in and went, “You know, look. You can’t expedite [extradite] me” – because, you know, they can, obviously. And this situation is, he’s in the public eye to this point where he had a little sense of humor about it, and it was just like, “Alright, cool.” He’s gonna be fine. So, everything is great. […]  I can’t give you a better answer than that, just cuz he’ll be fine, and the tour is fine.

Peter Mensch from Metallica's management team would also comment on Axl's issues:

Promoters were calling us all the time asking about the Axl and St. Louis matter. And we kept saying, 'Don't worry. We'll sort it out before the tour starts.' Doug had been assuring us that things would be OK and he delivered.

Both Slash and Ulrich would admit that the legal problems meant that many fans were hesitant to believe the tour would actually happen. Slash would use Detroit as an example:

For example, Detroit is flipping out, cuz they don’t know if we’re gonna play or not. Cuz we canceled there three times. And it’s not like we don’t wanna play Detroit. It’s just because we’ve had all these - you know, circumstances we’ll call them, which have prevented us from being able to get there. So we are playing, you know? (laughs) So if you got anybody in Detroit, that’s where, you know – we are coming.

Despite the many issues some promoters were optimistic about the tour and its effect on the industry, like Gregg Perloff from Bill Graham Presents, a San Francisco-based concert production firm:

I think this tour will have a huge effect. You have two major headliners playing together in a historic package. Other acts who normally tour alone are going to look at what is happening here and think it makes sense for them, too. […] This tour is a return to the spirit of the '60s and '70s, when you had lots of bands playing together . . . a time when you could see the Who and the Grateful Dead together. […] I'm also excited about the 'Lollapalooza' concept, which mixes music with other elements, from performance art to crafts, and allows greater socialization . . . something you can do every year, like going to the state fair.

Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Jan 03, 2024 2:07 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:00 pm

JULY 12, 1992

In March 1992 the charges against Axl were still pending and Axl was "still at large" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 1992]. To avoid being arrested the band would cancel a show in Chicago on April 3, 1992 and two shows in Auburn Hills, MI, on April 6 and 7, 1992.

Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney would respond that Axl "is easy to find. Wherever he goes, we’ll be waiting for him. If he wants to cancel his whole schedule, fine. If he leaves the country, we’ll notify Customs to get him when he comes back."

Bryn Bridenthal, spokeswoman for Geffen Records, said Chicago police had told Rose "they were coming to arrest him, so the band acted accordingly. Axl has always been where he had to, and this seemed extreme. Why arrest and extradite someone on a misdemeanor charge?" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 1992]. According to Bridenthal, canceling the concerts was "humongous-ly costly" and that Axl “felt he should retreat to a neutral corner” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 1992].

Slash would comment on it all:

I don’t know [what s going to happen], to tell you the truth. I mean, this guy, we made an ass out of St. Louis and he’s pissed off, this prosecutor is pissed off. So he’s trying his hardest to make things difficult for us. But I don’t think he’s gonna win in the long run, you know. He’s sort of pathetic, actually (chuckles).

[…] I want to get Axl through this thing that he’s going through. He’s pissed off about it, because it’s really constricting, you know.

Finally, on July 12, 1992, Axl was arrested on John F. Kennedy airport on the request of prosecutors as he flew in from Paris together with Stephanie Seymour, her child and a nanny [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1992; Associated Press, July 13, 1992].

Axl being arrested
July 12, 1992

That Axl was about to surrender had been reported in the media [St. Louis-Post Dispatch, July 10, 1992].

Axl's mugshot
July 12, 1992

Axl spent 11 hours in arrest before being released on a $100,000 bail [Associated Press, July 13, 1992]. The time in arrest was spent leisurely:

[…] I basically spent my time writing autographs for cops and talking with them about rock ‘n’ roll. I met all these cool cops that were telling me all about when they went to Woodstock and everything. It was great. New York cops are the best.

Kurt Loder, who interviewed Axl as he was released from prison, would later talk about having staged picking Axl up in a limo after the release:

Oh yeah, it was totally prearranged. Totally corny, totally prearranged. All set up in advance. [Axl] was inside signing autographs for the cops; they loved him. He had started a fight a year earlier, outside of St. Louis, and there was a fugitive warrant out for him, so he was arrested when he arrived at JFK Airport in New York. They brought him down to the jailhouse and kept him there overnight or something, so we went there, got the limo, he got in and we talked to him. It was all preplanned, of course. But he was in a jolly mood, you know? And then he went on to start a tour. … He also started wearing a lot of Versace [around then]. Maybe it was the Elton John period.
MTV Newsroom Blog, November 21, 2008

Axl then travelled to St. Louis with his lawyer, to avoid being extradited, and on July 14 he appeared before Associate Circuit Judge Ellis Gregory in St. Louis and denied his guilt. The trial was set for October 13, 1992 [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 15 1992].

Slash would comment on Axl and the case:

Axl’s fine. I talked to him yesterday. He’s dealing with the logistics of this guy in St. Louis and... I don’t want to say anything that’s gonna put the band in a weird position, but I think the guy is an asshole (laughs). […] So he’s dealing with him and he’s got a good attitude about it.

After having appeared before the court in St. Louis, Axl was in a fighting mood:

Now, I’ve been advised not to say anything - or anything derogatory- about St. Louis... Well, St. Louis can suck my dick. You saw the news; I was arrested... “by some unexpected guest”. It wasn’t unexpected! I knew that the motherfucker [=prosecutor] lied and was gonna have me arrested. And the only way we would be here tonight to do this tour was to let that asshole have his fucking way and shove it back down his motherfucking throat (?)!

Now the son of the bitch, after they dropped the deal and we’ll do the tour and I plead not guilty, he doesn’t “want to go to court now with Mr. Rose, I want to work it out with his lawyers.” Too late, little fuck! Because... I’m not fighting just for my own shit. I’m fighting for what I believe in or what I feel it’s the truth. And I’m fighting for (?) 60 fuckin’ people whose lives were threatened in that fucking riot, because that place doesn’t know how to have a rock concert. ... I mean, what... we played some place the last show they had was Jimmy fuckin’ Buffet. Give me a break!

So now, it will come down in October to one of two things: either his career or my career. And fuck him! (?) You don’t wanna another St. Louis (?)? Stop doing shit.

So (?) there’s a certain attitude required; I think it’s called “Live and Let Die”!

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:00 pm


Finally in July 1992 the long-awaited summer tour with Metallica and Faith No More started. The band had been touring for over a year now and  Matt would say the band had gotten better:

After touring Europe twice and going around the United States a couple of times, we’re much more of a unit than we were. We’re definitely a serious band now. Then. I think we were feeling out what songs were working. When you come out this time, you’ll see the difference.


Slash was awed by the band's new production:

I mean, all things considered, walking into a production of that size after being off the road for two weeks, not really knowing how it was gonna feel like or look like, walking into the building and just having that, sort of like, slow perspective of how big it got as you’re walking down the halls all opening up and you finally get outside to where the actual stage is, seeing 100 and, God knows, how many people putting up this fortress so that you can go out and play, it was a little overwhelming. And considering we didn’t plan ahead for any kind of show - you know, same way we’ve always done it. […] We just went in and we rehearsed some tunes that we haven’t played in a while in case they came up. And that was basically it, and then we just started the first show in Washington, and just said, okay, click, click, click and you’re on. And we just – you know, what we’re gonna play first....

Going into this thing, none of us really knew what it was going to be like. We just sort of went in blind. But there’s a certain kind of feeling when you’re walking down the hallway from outside the venue and then the whole stadium opens up to you as you get farther down the hall. The actual doorway opens to this huge stadium and there’s this stage that’s set up — I mean the scaffolding alone is amazing — and it’s a little overwhelming because a hundred some-odd people are putting this together and all of a sudden you feel really humbled by the size of the event. As an individual, as a band member, you feel really puny. It’s hard to see that you’re that significant and this amount of work should be going on in your honor

The new element to the live shows was the inclusion of pyro:

If anything, [the stage show] just got bigger. The stage is just a little bit different and it’s a little bit more dynamic, you know. There’s some pyro stuff, some explosions that go off, and we’ve been having a good time with it. And we can just throw in any song whenever we feel like it.


Before the first show of the tour the band rehearsed for one day:

We stayed on the road, we had two weeks off and we had one day of rehearsal in Washington before the show in Washington. That was basically it. And we don’t even get soundchecks anymore, you know? So we all have our own ways of warming up before every gig. We’ve been playing the songs long enough, to the point where I don’t think we necessarily have to rehearse on, you know – except for the old stuff that we haven’t played.

When being asked if Axl participated in rehearsals, Slash responded:

Well, ever since the band started we’ve never really rehearsed with vocals, cuz we were too loud. […] Well, I mean, obviously there would be a preference if we could all play together. I mean, we all feel that way, Axl included. But because we won’t sacrifice the band’s actual sound - we have to play that loud - there’s no rehearsal PA that can handle it. So we rehearse sometimes, like, you know, at Axl’s place or my place or Duff’s place if we want to get parts together, and then we just go and wing it at the shows. […] [Axl] couldn’t hear himself [if he rehearsed with them using the rehearsal PA], which is worse than anything because it’s bad on his vocals, his vocal cords.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:00 pm

JULY 17-21, 1992

The first show took place at RKF Stadium in Washington DC on July 17, 1992.

I mean, all things considered, walking into a production of that size after being off the road for two weeks, not really knowing how it was gonna feel like or look like, walking into the building and just having that, sort of like, slow perspective of how big it got as you’re walking down the halls all opening up and you finally get outside to where the actual stage is, seeing 100 and, God knows, how many people putting up this fortress so that you can go out and play, it was a little overwhelming. And considering we didn’t plan ahead for any kind of show - you know, same way we’ve always done it. […] We just went in and we rehearsed some tunes that we haven’t played in a while in case they came up. And that was basically it, and then we just started the first show in Washington, and just said, okay, click, click, click and you’re on. And we just – you know, what we’re gonna play first...

Going into this thing, none of us really knew what it was going to be like. We just sort of went in blind. But there’s a certain kind of feeling when you’re walking down the hallway from outside the venue and then the whole stadium opens up to you as you get farther down the hall. The actual doorway opens to this huge stadium and there’s this stage that’s set up — I mean the scaffolding alone is amazing — and it’s a little overwhelming because a hundred some-odd people are putting this together and all of a sudden you feel really humbled by the size of the event. As an individual, as a band member, you feel really puny. It’s hard to see that you’re that significant and this amount of work should be going on in your honor.

Review in South Florida Sun Sentinel
July 21, 1992

At some point after their first show, Kirk Hammett, lead guitarist of Metallica, was asked about Guns N' Roses:

We get along. I mean, there’s no rivalry. Any sort of competition would be friendly. It’s been a long time since we’ve toured with another band, so, you know, this just sort of gives us a big kick to have another act out there on the same stage. And we have to squeeze 150 percent out just to make sure that we leave the right impression on people. We’re going to be playing in front of their fans and they’re going to be playing in front of our fans.

The second show was at Giants stadium in East Rutherford on July 18. Apparently this was a particularly good show:

[Being asked if this was a great show because the audience went nuts]: They weren’t nuts. There was just more energy coming off of them. And I think a lot of it had to do with Bas [Sebastian Bach] and Mike Monroe were standing on the side of the stage and that made me really happy. It was just like, you know, go off. I was really happy that they were there. […]  And that just made me, like, work harder. I really liked that.

Yet, the reviews weren't very good:

Review in Asbury Park Press
July 20, 1992

Matt would later recount a story that he says happened at one of the two shows they played at Giants Stadium:

I remember, in particular, doing two sold-out shows at Giants Stadium and being in the little golf cart on the way to the stage going, "What's the first song?" Axl didn't say anything to me. "Come on Axl, what's the first song?" Axl didn't say anything to me. "Come on Axl, what's the first song?" He said nothing. Then we got up on stage and they started introducing the band, screaming, "From Hollywood..." and I still didn't know what the first song was going to be. Then his bodyguard ran over and said, "Welcome To The Jungle," "Night Train," "Brown Stone."

Unfortunately, with all the screaming and guitars warming up, I didn't hear him say "Night Train." So I jumped up on my big riser, the lights hit us, and I looked out at a packed Giants Stadium and kicked into "Welcome To The Jungle" and the place lit up. Then I went into "Brown Stone," which started with a Bo Diddley kind of beat on the drums on this huge timpani. Axl looked back at me and gave me the cut sign, crossing his neck, and I said, "No, man. 'Brown Stone.'" He just said, "Stop, stop," and I looked at Slash and said, "Start the song," but Slash wouldn't start it. Axl yelled in the mic' "Stop," and I stopped in the middle of this beat. I was so pissed off that I stuck my drumstick right through the drumhead. Then I looked up and I was on these fifty-foot screens on either side of the stage - all me, with this angry expression on my face. Then Axl said, "We're going to go into another song now." And that's just a little bit of what went on all of the time. It was complete insanity.

The problem is that neither of the two Giants shows started with Welcome to the Jungle, so most likely Matt is mixing shows up.

Slash would claim they tried to reduce the late starts but that the stage change after the Metallica set made it hard:

We’re trying to be a little bit more considerate about [the late starts], especially because of the heat. You know, the day is long enough for the people who are going. It starts, like – the doors open at 2:00. […] You know, Faith No More goes on for 45 minutes to an hour, Metallica’s on for 2 h and, sometimes, 2 h 15 minutes. And then, you know, the set change between us and Metallica is 1 hour 15 min, because they’re both big productions and so, turning the stage around like most bands do, we have to take down Metallica’s stuff and put our stuff up, and it takes a long time. So by the time we get on, unfortunately most of the kids are burnt out (laughs). But then, you know, we play for 2.5 hours, 2 h 45, something like that. So we try and get on as soon as possible. For the first time at Giants Stadium we were actually ready to go and the stage wasn’t up yet. [...] All of us were standing around. You know, it was an unprecedented event.

After this they travelled to Pontiac for a show at the Pontiac Silverdome on July 21. This was close to Detroit and Axl apologized to the audience for having cancelled two previous shows in Detroit [The Detroit Free Press, July 22, 1992]. Backstage the band had a beach party with a "champagne fountain, pinball machines and a pool table" [The Detroit Free Press, July 22, 1992].

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:01 pm

JULY 22, 1992

The next show was at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis on July 22. After the show, music critic Marc D. Allan, writing for the Indianapolis Star, criticized Axl for wasting the time on stage with rants that displayed an "arrogance and petulance that may be cute on the gossip pages but have no place in a concert setting" [The Indianapolis Star, July 22, 1992].

Review by Allan in The Indianapolis Star
July 22, 1992

In response, Axl penned a letter to Allan which Allan would later make public:


You don't get it... Wait that's too easy... Maybe you don't want to get it - or you'd have to face yourself and oh my God that's just too scary. Maybe It's impossible and it's too late for you - you know, have someone stick a fork in your ass and turn you over you're done. Indiana needs to wake up and hey if that takes a little taunting and 2 and half hours of music + a fireworks show + cartoon for a total of 2 hours and 50 minutes to wake up maybe 5% of a 48,000 plus crowd then so be it. I can also suffer your redneck, blind, narrow minded refuse about ranting - you nor anyone will ever dictate my actions, attitudes, comments, oratation, and musical performances on stage. Don't kid yourself and act above, better than, or even comparable to me or G N' R. If that were true there'd be no reason to censor my language in your basic Indiana attempt at journalism.

I came here to enrage... Thank you, you have helped me know I succeeded. I've made my inquires. I am your Rock N' Roll nightmare. And you... You're just gonna sit on your wanna be ass and watch me. born a Hoosier, grow larger than you could ever imagine or ever be able to stop. That's not to say I didn't appreciate your anger, hostility and general ignorance. It shows me my so called "RANTS" are a much needed, missing piece in our puzzle of society.

stay away from microwaves-

Love Axl

P.S, Oh, and it was never a battle O' the bands. I imagined this thing, and everyone wins, as long as I show up to my own dream, that is!!!.
Letter to Marc D. Allan, July 24, 1992

Axl's letter to Marc D. Allan
July 24, 1992

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:01 pm

JULY 1992

Some shows into the tour the newspaper Star Tribune did interviews with Duff and James Hetfield where they separately were asked the same questions.

One of the questions was why the tour didn't have a proper name and it is obvious the bands couldn't come to an agreement:

Who's to say what the name of this would be? Monsters of Rock is such a ridiculous name for a tour. It’s so sophomoric. Obviously, they were peddling to the 12-year-old kids who read comic books. I’m not into that commercialism type of thing. Lollapalooza, on the other hand, is cool. That's not just a tour; it's kind of an event type of thing. Clash of the Titans is catering to the comic book readers. We're rock 'n' roll bands. It's Guns Ν' Roses, Metallica and Faith No More. Need you really say more?

That was another little thing that we were trying to work out. They wanted something, we wanted something. They wanted this circus kind of vibe — Rock 'n' Roll Circus something. The words 'rock 'n' roll’ make me cringe for some reason, 'circus' as well. I don't think a name really matters. We have a T-shirt out there with both of our names on it.

Another question was how the tour was going:

Excellent. Everybody is getting along great. Everything is running really smoothly. All the bands are going on [stage] on time, believe it or not. I'm waiting for something to happen. I'm used to it not running smoothly.

Hetfield's answer was slightly more reserved:

Not bad. It started a little rough, but it's getting better as far as working out the stage (starting) times and all the piddly crap that certain bands like to blow out of proportion — little things like ego ramps [used by GNR] and stuff we don’t care about. We're there to play music.

They were also asked  to say something nice about the other band:

I like their integrity and how they relate with the crowd. When they did Monsters of Rock two years ago, they blew away every other band just because they relate to the kids so well. Of course, I love their music and the guys. It's really cool because it's like a big family on the road.

I'm still trying to figure out how many people are in the band. At different points of the set, there's different people up there. I like the fact they're really loose and they just play any song at any time. […] They get loose onstage guitarwise and just kind of jam, which I really like. I like Slash's guitar playing. Matt is a great drummer. I'm into that [Lynyrd] Skynyrd vibe, and it kind of reminds me of that a little bit. The fact that they do have other instruments up there — piano, harmonica, horn section — is really cool. They've got no limits on what they're doing musically, which I like. Oh, I like Axl's shorts; they're really cute.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:02 pm

JULY 25-26, 1992

After Indianapolis the next show was at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park on July 25. Life Magazine would describe the band preparing to go on stage:

Before their show, while Faith No More and Metallica play in the hot sun, the G NR guys spend their day at the hotel, getting mentally prepared for their performance. Slash drinks Jack Daniel's and watches cartoons. Bass player Duff McKagan talks to his wife on the telephone; his heart has been aching a lot lately. Some of the other guys sleep; they often don't get to bed until seven a.m. Axl works out on his amazing state-of-the-art exercise machine, chats with his brother and sister, who are accompanying him on the tour, then has his back cracked and his ankles taped, gets a massage and stretches his throat muscles with operatic warm-ups. When they finally get to the stadium, all the guys except Axl convene in one large dressing room where they hold their breath, squinch up their faces and work their skinny legs into impossibly skinny leather jeans. They laugh, tease one another about their latest softball-playing antics, drink, flip through Penthouse, Raw Sex, Hot Split, Big Boobs and other magazines that have been fanned out for them just so, like literature in a doctor's office. There is a genuine camaraderie here, although Axl sets himself apart from the rest and is generally regarded as a thoroughbred racehorse, a Buddha, the Wizard of Oz or some other being upon whom otherworldly powers have been bestowed.

New York Daily News
July 27, 1992

After the show, Duff and the film crew that accompanied the band during the Use Your Illusion touring would visit Niagara Falls:

I probably don’t remember the stupidest thing I did, but we had a film crew with us throughout the whole of the Use Your Illusion tour. We became pretty tight with these guys. They were with us all the time.

We were playing somewhere in upstate New York, by Niagara Falls, so after the gig the film crew say, ‘Hey, man, we’re going to go to Niagara Falls.’ It’s the middle of the night. We get up there and there’s a fence. It says, ‘Do not cross this point.’ I’m wearing cowboy boots, I’m out of my f**king mind. I say, ‘It’s just a little tiny fence,’ so I climb over it and for the film crew I’m standing on the edge of a rock. They were like, ‘Get off there!’

While Axl and Del James recuperated differently:

During the Use your Illusions tour, GN 'R had a portable 12-person Jacuzzi for backstage. We were in Buffalo, New York and one of the security guards came up to me and says 'Axl wants to see you.' So I go and Axl's in the Jacuzzi with like ten smoking hot naked girls and there was room for one more person. I told you he was a great friend and man, you didn't have to ask me twice. I threw my clothes off and jumped right in! It was so Led Zeppelin or Queen decadent. We even had waiters bringing us drinks and cigarettes while all kinds of glorious wet action was going on around us. I can't remember fuck all about that night's concert but damn if I will ever forget the after-party!  

Then followed Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh on July 26.

The Pittsburgh Press
July 28, 1992

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:03 pm

JULY 29, 1992

I got hit in the dick with a Bic!
GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date


The band then returned to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford on July 29.

Before the concert Slash would be asked whether there was a "battle of the bands" competition and if he felt the pressure of touring with Metallica:

No, and I mean that. I just want the fans to think that it was a great day--like going to the circus or the zoo, where you remember loving the day and not just one thing about it. It's not like we are out there to kick Metallica's ass or vice versa. […] There is pressure, but the way I deal with it is just having our band be as good as we can be every single night. I don't even go to the gig until right before we go on. I haven't seen Metallica since we started touring because I don't want to be intimidated or influenced even subconsciously.


The night before the show at Giants Stadium, Guns N' Roses and Faith No More, with their crews, totaling 160 people had dinner at Old Homestead in New York, Axl's favorite NY restaurant [New York Daily News, July 30, 1992]. One of their waiters revealed to Axl he would miss class next day due to the long party, to which Axl wrote a note to his teacher:

"Dear Mr. Sacco,

I’m so sorry Randy was absent from school as he was working hard to feed starving heathens. Please excuse him, as with any luck it will happen again.

Sincerely. W. Axl Rose"


Close to the ending of the set at Giants Stadium, with about 2 songs or 10 minutes left to play, during 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door', Axl "stormed off" the stage [Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1992]. According to the tour diary, Axl had been feeling acute pain in his voice during the concert [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date]. The band continued playing for another five minutes before Duff announced that Axl had left after being hit in the groin by a lighter and that the show was over [Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1992; Hartford Courant, July 31, 1992].

Life Magazine would recount the episode:

At a concert in New Jersey's Giants Stadium last July [Axl] was swaying back and forth in his white spandex shorts, white funged jacket, white cowboy hat, doing a moving rendition of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," when all of a sudden - zzzing!-some kid in the audience threw a lighter and hit him in the crotch. Axl stopped singing. He turned his back to the crowd, threw his microphone into the air, tore off his hat. And he left. Soon the crowd started chanting, "Axl, Axl, Axl," until the house lights came on and the fans stood there looking incredulous and dejected and empty.

Axl would recount what happened:

And the second night in Giant Stadium was, you know, I got hit with a couple of things a couple of different times, once when I was, like, thanking the crowd and then I got hit later, and we just kind of like – you know, I’m not gonna allow this.


A band spokesperson would claim that in addition to being hit, Axl suffered from a sore throat -- "severe damage to his vocal chords" [GN'R Use Your Illusions Tour Diary, unknown author and date] -- and because of this the next three shows would be cancelled [Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1992]. Axl's bad throat would be confirmed by Slash in his autobiography:

At the Giants Stadium show at the end of July, Axl barely made it through the set due to the state of his voice. He was adviced by his doctor to rest it for a week, so we cancelled the next three dates.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 358

The three cancelled shows, to be rescheduled, were in Minneapolis, Foxboro near Boston and Columbia, S.C. [St. Cloud Times, July 31, 1992].

Gilby would later look back at having to cancel shows:

We were so bummed because we had to take a little more than a week off because of Axl's throat. We had done two solid months of touring, and then went right into the Metallica tour. We changed PA systems and everything when we got back to America, and it killed Axl — man, we did two weeks and he was gone! We had to take time off and fix him, and the PA.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:03 pm


During the Use Your Illusion touring, Axl was at times struggling with his voice and in 2015 Goldstein would talk about him seeing Dr. Hans Von Leden during his off time:

And by the way, what Axl was doing in the off time was seeing a guy named Dr. Hans Von Leden, who was the president of the orencology [?] association internationally. He was like this 92 year old guy, worked out of UCLA, and when everybody else was saying operate on singers, this guy was figuring a way to get them to not operate. So Axl's seeing him because we had canceled some shows [...]

The time Goldstein talks above in the quote above was after the show on July 29 at the Giants Stadium, which Axl ended early probably because of pain in his throat, and the show at August 8 in Montreal.

Goldstein would talk more about what Axl's problem was with his voice and how it combined with his fear of failing:

No, I mean, you know, everybody talks about he's got the greatest range in history. Well, I mean, let me be analogous to there, if you're the strongest man in the world then you have a lot of damages to your muscles because you're constantly challenging it to move past the point that you were at before. So Axl was constantly having issues with his throat. Combine that with his fear of getting on stage and failing. That's the causation between the whole, you know, four hours to get ready for a show.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:03 pm

AUGUST 8, 1992

On August 8, in Montreal, Canada, at the Stade Du Parc Olympique, disaster struck again.

According to Goldstein, GN'R didn't want to do this show because Axl was struggling with his voice:

[...] we agreed to do Montreal primarily because Metallica's saying, you know, "We can't wait anymore and we're just gonna fucking do these shows without you if that's what it takes."

According to Goldstein, Axl was very "sick" [One On One with Mitch Lafon, April 5, 2015].


It started during Metallica's set when James Hetfield accidentally walked in front of pyrotechnics and suffered severe burns.

Metallica was halfway through that Montreal set when the flash pot blew up on him.

Come Montreal we were all set — [Axl] was back in full voice [after cancelling three gigs to rest his voice]. We go to do our first show and we're at our hotel, just about to leave, and we get the call — James from Metallica had an accident. He burnt himself very badly, he's in the hospital […].

Metallica went on, and midway through their set, James Hetfield caught on fire when a pyrotechnic malfunctioned. He sustained serious injuries to his arm and shoulder, and the band was forced to end their set immediately.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 358

Metallica front man James Hetfield inadvertently stepped into the plume of one of his band's pyrotechnics pots at the show and had to be rushed to the hospital with extensive burns. The other members of Metallica came back onstage after James had been whisked away, explained what had happened, and apologized for suspending the show.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 206-207

In 2015, Goldstein would claim that Lars Ulrich had just changed the pyro cues:

Yeah, what ended up happening, and, you know, Lars is a great guy, whatever, but the reality is Jake Berry, who was Metallica's production manager, and Lars unbeknownst to the rest of us, they took the set that we were collectively using, which had metal grading so you could see through the stage. [...] So Lars is... I'm told, the reason why he does it is because the first 50 rows, their sight lines are impaired, they can't see Lars. And so instead of the monitors, the wedges that the band uses to hear themselves, instead of them being on top of the deck, he puts some sub deck underneath and in doing so some of the pyro cues for Metallica had to be changed. So I've never heard, now was it explained to James? And he forgot? Or was it just never communicated to him? But in either case, that's why James blew up. He was standing on a pyro cue that before that had not been a pyro cue.


With Metallica having to cut their set short, Guns N' Roses was asked to step in early.

We were still back at the hotel, and they called us and told us that the fans would have to wait four hours if we came on at the time scheduled.

That thing happened so fast. I mean, you're probably gonna get the same story from  absolutely everyone. We had gotten word -- you know, we were all just hanging out at the hotel -- and somebody said that there was a big accident. James had burned his arm, and their set got cut short. The audience is, you know, going a little crazy. It would be really great if we could go on early today. (Laughs).

[…] [Metallica's] set was cut short, we have to hurry up and get there so like nothing's gonna happen. We have to prepare to go on stage early.

We were still at our hotel when it happened, and we were asked to go on early - it was a noissue; of course we agreed to do so.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 358

We could have saved the day by going right on and playing a long set. It would have been a great gesture to the fans and to the guys in Metallica. It would have been the professional thing to do, the right thing to do. And we were capable of an epic set.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 206-207


In his biography Slash would claim it took the band four hours to start their set after Metallica had to cut their set early:

The band headed to the venue right away and discussed what we'd play to fill up the remainder of Metallica's slot and ours as well. We had plenty of time to go over our options but it couldn't happen because Axl did not show up. Not only did we not go on early enough to fill the void left by Metallica, we went on three hours later than our own scheduled stage time. In the end, there was something like four hours between the time Metallica were forced to stop the show and the moment we took the stage.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 358

This is unlikely not true. Contemporary reviews said it took about 2 hours [The Montreal Gazette, August 9, 1992: The Vancouver Sun, August 10, 1992]. Duff and Matt also disagrees with Slash:

When I left the hotel and they said James was burnt, I just felt it, it just felt wrong. So we hustled on as soon as we could – it was a couple of hours people were waiting. So already they were like, “uhh”, you know. And when we got up there it was just really dead. The people were sitting down....

The same shit happened in Montreal as elsewhere, us going on late - more than two hours after Hetfield was rushed to the hospital - playing to pissed-off fans. Our own fans, pissed off at us. I sat backstage monitoring the sounds drifting in from the arena, drink in hand, and could feel the crowd's mood change. The rumble of tens of thousands of people beginning to get angry is a deep, low sound that penetrates walls and vibrates the fundaments of buildings, where dressing rooms are located. It's a horrible sound, and the panic and embarrassment and frustration in my own head was compounded by that rumble. After letting the crowd reach its boiling point, we finally went out and started playing.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 206-207

Goldstein would discuss the request to go on early:

I mean, look, you know, Metallica's contention is, Axl had the ability to come on and be the hero, and I if it was, you know, if it was David Lee Roth, who I worked for in the past, absolutely, he would have been there, he would have done it. But knowing the years and years and years that I had been with Axl and and watching his preparation and knowing that he had been at Hans van Leden's office every fucking day during that downtime, I knew he wasn't gonna get there quick. There was no way because he does these vocal warm-ups that take him about an hour. And, you know, because [of] all the running and jumping he does, he's got horrible ankles and knees and so he gets those worked on. I mean, he has this whole procedure to go through before even goes, and he shortened that.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:04 pm

AUGUST 8, 1992

In Montreal it was just really creepy. Nothing against the people in Montreal, we had a great time hanging out there. I think it was the building itself.



So we rushed around, threw everything together and raced over to the stadium, only to find out that the whole P.A. system was screwed up. [...] We all tried, and Axl - whose voice had been bothering him - really tried, but the sound couldn't salvaged. The fans were getting this half Metallica set, a Guns N' Roses set they couldn't hear - they weren't getting their money's worth.

We had just stopped the tour because I had a throat problem. I came back and I realized: “I’m gonna hurt myself.” I told Slash, “Two more songs; if we can’t get it fixed, I gotta go,” you know? And then we did more than two more songs, and finally I was just kind of like, I don’t know what to do, and I looked over, and Gilby was like, “Dude, I can’t hear.” […] And Duff was like, “I can’t hear either.” We had a little huddle, kind of, and it was like, “we’re out of here.”

So, basically, I was happening to, like, sing over 50 kilowatts of sound or something. I didn’t do major damage to my vocal cords, but I did enough that if I sang anymore under those conditions, I wouldn’t be singing. In order to hear myself, to see if I’m on key and tell how loud or how hard I need to push to sing a song properly, I have to try to sing all over the PA, which was impossible.

We got out, the PA fed back the entire time, the monitors fed back the entire time, the crowd was, like, non-existent.

So we get on stage the first show from not playing in a while, and our whole PA and monitoring system was changed — everything. I don't know whether it was they didn't have time to set up, or what, but we get up on stage and Axl just could not do it, you know, as the PA was fucking up. It's like every song, it was getting progressively worse, and it wasn't just him — he was looking at each one of us and he could see it in our faces, 'We can't hear anything!’ It was to the point where we almost looked at each other and said, 'This night is jinxed! (laughs) It's like whatever happened to James happened; their set got cut short, and we can't play anymore. Axl, if he'd finished the night, we'd be done for the rest of the tour. And the rest of the band — we were having a terrible time because we couldn't play the way we're normally accustomed to playing, and so it was just a jinxed night […]. We only played like six songs and the problem was like the minute we walked on. It was like, ‘What the Hell is going on here?' We still don't know what happened — we still don't know if it was the rush because, you know, there was going to be such a long delay that they didn't get everything set up in time. We just don't know what it was, but it wasn't Axl's voice — he was in full voice... he was fine. It's just that as each song was going by, [the PA] was progressively getting worse — he couldn't sing anymore.

So we all got ready, and we got there, and we did. But the problem is, is because of all the frantic stuff that happened -- from, you know, Metallica's crew, our crew, all the things of, you know, everybody trying to do the right thing -- by the time we got onstage -- which was early -- it wasn't together. You know, the sound was just like -- it wasn't just bad, it was like almost unplayable. And I just remember Axl coming up to me and just going: You know, I can't hear myself -- I can't hear anything. What do we do? (Laughs).
Spin, June 1999

John Freese, the tour manager, would confirm Axl was having problems with the sound:

Axl could have probably saved the day, but his voice was messed up.

As would Ted Andreadis:

He just couldn’t hear himself and chose to leave.

And Goldstein:

[Axl] came over to me after the fourth song and literally said [in a hushed, strained voice], "That's it, I'm fucked, I can't sing," I went, "Holy shit, what the fuck are we gonna do?" So we attempted a couple more songs, but, I mean, he couldn't even talk. So when I watched the Metallica movie and I see Jason Newstead talking about, "I was drinking champagne back with Axl and there was nothing wrong," first off, Axl never would have had Jason Newstead in his fucking dressing room in a million fucking years. Not in a million fucking years. And Axl was really, really, really bummed. Him, Slash and Duff all sat around talking about how fucked it was and how are we gonna handle it? There was nobody else in the fucking dressing room. It was us.


Axl had obviously been agitated during the show and at one time said, "In case anybody here is interested this will be our last show for a long time" [The Montreal Gazette, August 9, 1992]. And not only that, Axl ended the show early after only 9 songs. Contemporary accounts said Axl left after 55 minutes [The Montreal Gazette, August 9, 1992: The Vancouver Sun, August 10, 1992].

So we announced they'd get their money back and we'd play the date again.

[…] and [Axl] just said, you know, ‘Your money will be refunded — we really apologize.’ You know what happened — it was out of our control. […]

You know, and the next thing you know, he left. And that was the end of it.
Spin, June 1999

Then, forty-five minutes into our set, a microphone stand hit Axl in the mouth. He threw down the mic and left.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 206-207

[Axl] could have been the hero of the day, you know? “We continue the show” and, you know, “the band plays on and we’re up here to bring music.” And he throws this fit.

He said something into the mic, and then just threw it down and walked off stage. Axl didn’t want to be outdone, and that’s when all hell broke loose.

I go and light myself on fire, and he upstages me (laughs).

In his biography, Slash would imply he was unaware of the sound issues and Axl's problems and basically put the blame on Axl:

And once we did [take the stage], Axl ended it early, after we'd done just ninety minutes out of a scheduled two hours. I am sure he had his reasons, but neither I nor the crowd, as far as I know, knew quite what they were. I can't say I was surprised when the audience started rioting.
Slash's autobiography, "Slash", 2007, p. 358


This time the riot didn't start near the stage. We didn't even see it. The crowd blew up back at the concession areas and merchandise stands, and then spread outside into the streets. In fact, our crew did their normal teardown of the set, oblivious to the riot already raging out of view. Only when our buses pulled out of the parking enclosure did we see the full extent of the situation - cop cars turned over, vehicles on fire, lots of broken windows. Once again there looked to be lots of injuries. Once again I felt anguished and heartbroken. This time I also felt deeply embarrassed, a feeling that managed inexorably to worm its way into my vodka-numbed psyche. It didn't have to be like this.
Duff's autobiography, "It's So Easy", 2011, p. 206-207

I saw the aftermath. I actually took a walk around because we were backstage — we were trying to like iron out problems, and maybe like go back on, and like we heard what was going on and stuff, and we kind of like stayed in an area. Afterwards, I like walked around the place and saw the damage and everything.

Teddy Andreadis would remember Axl coming into the dressing room as the riot started, being visibly shaken and realizing he would be put to blame:

The story is, it's like... you know, it's not even a story, it's true, but Axl was kind of losing his voice at the time because he couldn't hear himself correctly, so he went out there to try to save the day, and again he couldn't hear himself, so he opted to leave and therein started, you know, them lifting the seats up and stuff. And I'll never forget, we were down in the dressing rooms, I was sitting there with Slash, just in an empty room, and you could hear them just going crazy upstairs. [...] A really scary sound. And in walks Axl into this room that me and Slash we just found was sitting, and we're sitting there and I said, "Should I...", you know, "Stay, stay, say." And Axl you could see he was visibly shaken, saying that, you know, "They're gonna blame this on me now," you know, "All I wanted to do was... I couldn't hear myself because..." like, "I can't fucking hear myself," he kept saying, "I can't fucking," "They're going to blame me for this," and I said, "Well..." and that's when I got up and left because, you know-

In the chaos, the backup singers and the horn section were abandoned and had to wait the riot out backstage:

I was so scared. [...] we ended up, the girls, the horn section and the girls, ended up, we got left behind [...]. The limos got you [=Teddy Andreadis], Slash and Axl and Duff and Matt out, and Dizzy out, and the girls were left behind. [...] we got left behind and I thought that they were gonna... It just sounded like they were gonna beat the doors down and get backstage and kill us. And I've never been more afraid in my life [...]. I was like, those doors didn't seem to be safe. I mean. you were hearing the banging and the stuff that was going on in, you know, the stadium, it was like it really felt like Armageddon, it was so scary. And I remember just sitting backstage going, "What the hell are we gonna do?" We thought they were coming for us and then we found out that Opie [Skjerseth; production manager] and all those guys were gone and there was no way that we were gonna go through the crowd, you know. So we had to wait it out. We were back there for hours, for hours.

The riot resulted in minor injuries to eight police officers and twelve arrests [Associated Press, August 1992].

Axl’s down there with the cigarette holder in one hand and the champagne glass in the other, and he says, “My voice is giving me trouble.” If your voice is gonna give you trouble, you shouldn’t probably be drinking and smoking.


After the riot a class action lawsuit was filed against Guns N' Roses, allegedly resulting in a $220,000 settlement out of court [MTV, April 18, 1997].

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:04 pm


Shortly after the show band members would complain about being blamed for the riot:

The poor guy [=James Hetfield] got fried, but the audience didn’t know that. They speak French. They couldn’t understand what we were saying. They were all drunk, and they got French in them to begin with. It just escalated. […] But we get blamed for it.

It's ironic, since we were trying to save the day. Oh, well.

My responsibility is to myself, then the band, and then to the fans. We would never do anything that would hurt our fans, but we've got to do things for ourselves. And we have to do things in our best position not to have things like Montreal happen. We really do try, but this thing is so unique that there really is no control at certain points. I think the fans know that going into it — I think they know they're not going to get a planned out stage show every time we play. They come for the excitement of what can happen. […] I know the whole story [about the St. Louis riot] and believe me, with that on our side, it's like we know the worst can happen – but Montreal! We had no idea! We went backstage and it was like we were - Axl was thinking what with Metallica not playing a full set, and we didn't get to play a full set, it's like the only thing we could do was to do a full refund and you know, we'd schedule another show. I mean it kind of sucks 'cause the people that came out came a long way, but it's like one of those nights!

Although I wasn't there for St. Louis, we have to share in the responsibility — the same way that anyone who was at the concert has to share that responsibility for what happened. Whether it was in our control, or not, we have to share responsibility because we were there. But, you know, we wouldn't have handled it that way — if I was in the audience, I wouldn't have done something like that. It's the same old thing — it's like a few bad eggs spoil the whole bunch. Like what can you do? I never would have expected it to happen in Canada! (laughs) Never, never, would we have expected it to happen there! I mean, you gotta understand that we tried to do everything possible not to make that happen 'cause we have the St. Louis thing right behind us. We know what fans are capable of, so it's like we really did try — it wasn't like we didn't remember what was possible. We take those precautions going into every show when we hire security you know, trying to get the best people in every city. So you know, that was just one of those things, beyond our control.

[Being asked if they would avoid playing in Canada after the Montreal riot]: Oh, no, not at all, because that was a few fans in Montreal you know — I don't think things like that happen every day. I've been on tour almost a year, and they've been on tour almost two years, and these things don't happen all the time. We didn't stop playing in America ‘cause of the same thing. I mean, we do give our fans credit — they're not all like that. And we certainly hope something like that isn't going to happen again.

[On returning to Montreal]: I don't know at this point. I mean, you know, we're gonna have legal problems and stuff first of all. […] I... you know what, uhm, being the new guy in the band and stuff, I don't do any business. I really don't know what's up with that. We have so much trouble just trying find out what's going to happen. I don't think it's going to be a problem. I haven't heard any bad news about it, yet.

In Montreal? That thing happened so fast. I mean, you're probably gonna get the same story from absolutely everyone. We had gotten word -- you know, we were all just hanging out at the hotel -- and somebody said that there was a big accident. James had burned his arm, and their set got cut short. The audience is, you know, going a little crazy. It would be really great if we could go on early today. (Laughs)

So we all got ready, and we got there, and we did. But the problem is, is because of all the frantic stuff that happened -- from, you know, Metallica's crew, our crew, all the things of, you know, everybody trying to do the right thing -- by the time we got onstage -- which was early -- it wasn't together. You know, the sound was just like -- it wasn't just bad, it was like almost unplayable. And I just remember Axl coming up to me and just going: You know, I can't hear myself -- I can't hear anything. What do we do? (Laughs) You know, and the next thing you know, he left. And that was the end of it.

Lars Ulrich would be gracious in describing what went down:

You know, Axl Rose is one of the most real people I've ever met. Okay, probably like one of the truest and more real people that I've ever met. When Axl is in the right mood and the right frame of mind, I mean, there's nobody that touches him as an artist and as a performer. But he's also the kind of person that it's sort of like if the monitors aren't 110%, then he can't deal with it. And then he just, instead of trying to find a way to deal with it, he chooses to walk off. And I'm sort of in a situation where I can sort of relate to both sides, because I think that there's a kind of purity in what he does. [...] It just so happens that that night, when James blew up onstage, and Guns N' Roses needed to come out and save the day, you know, Axl had one of his nights where he just wasn't really feeling it, and couldn't really pull it off. And that was the night where it really needed to happen -- do you know what I mean?


I gotta be honest with you. I've always had a weakness for Axl. I think he's really fuckin' intriguing. And, you know, people that know me well know that, oh, I've always found him incredibly fascinating. And I've found that he is one of the last few real rock stars on this planet.

And Dizzy would trivialize the event and be protective of Axl:

That was a bummer, obviously. [...] The way all went down, it wasn't really cool. I just remember that we were, you know, we wanted to come back in it and give them the full show and their money's worth because obviously Metallica couldn't finish their set [...] But some people didn't like that and eh, I am not sure exactly, I know that in a lot of cases, not all cases, but the press sort of blows up, blows out of proportion and likes to call it a riot. I know there was some bad things happening there... […] I do remember that we had full attention and just wanted to come back on for the full show.
One on One with Mitch Lafon, July 2014

Goldstein would claim the promoter had rejected the band's offer to come back:

[...] we absolutely talked about [returning to Montreal]. We were going to come and do a show and we were told by the promoter, "No thanks" [laughing]

In 2000, when Axl and Slash had had a fall-out, Slash would blame Axl for the riot:

[…] unfortunately, not only did those guys end their set early and we got the phone call and asked sort of to save the day. But we headed up going later than we were supposed to, and then left the stage earlier than we were supposed to, and so we had the riot. I’m not gonna name any names, but there’s definitely somebody responsible for that. But I’m not gonna get into it (laughs).


Well, it has nothing to do with – really, it’s... one of the only regrets that I have is that any time any fans have ever been disappointed, and it’s one of those things, it wasn’t my fault. And it wasn’t a lot of other people’s fault, too. The thing that’s irritating about it is that it’s so [bleep] – I mean, it’s so [bleep] easy to go up there and do what it is that you do. And you have all the [bleep] blueprints more or less laid out, and you go out there and put a show together, and all you have to do is just walk up there and [bleep] do your thing, which is what you’re supposed to love more than anything else in the world, and it’s got to have a hitch in it.
Dave's Old Interview podcast, July 26, 2017; from a phone interview with Slash in 2000, an edited version is found in Indianapolis Star, August 25, 2000

That one was a little bit more… a little mellower [than the riot in St. Louis]. That was like, when that one happened, I was like, “Christ” – you know, “not another one of these.” And we were in the dressing room, and you could hear – the dressing room was on a lower level than the stage level. So you could just hear, everybody was pounding on the ceiling. So that sound made it sound really scary. And so at one point I went out a back door and it’s like, this place is a hockey arena, so they got shops and all this on one level. There’s a stage level and there’s a place where you can get, like, food, and there’s hockey gear and, you know, all this kind of stuff that hockey people buy. And what happened was, I peeked through this door and looked at them looting the hockey shop. And that was pretty much the extent of it. Once they got to that point, they didn’t break anything on the stage or beat anybody up. It was fucking the first guy who threw a rock and broke the window at the hockey store, and then he stood there for a while to see what the reaction would be, and nothing happened, so he ran in there, grabbed a piece of clothing, and then ran back to where the crowd was. And then, once he’d done that and nothing happened, he ran back and did it again and got two pieces or two articles of clothing. And then everybody started doing it. It was like mice in a pet store (laughs). And then, slowly but surely, they emptied out the concession stand. But it wasn’t as violent, you know- All I know is just don’t ever mess with people in St. Louis. [...] For one, you know, we were supposed to cover for them [=Metallica] and go on early, and instead we went on three hours later than we were supposed to. So that was something… it made it really hard for me to even talk to James for a while after that. Because, you know, it’s never really my fault, but it’s one of those things that still… [...] Guilty by association. Perfectly put. Anyway, enough dwelling on all that stuff-

In 2013, Jason Newstead would be asked why Metallica came back to Montreal and played for free to make up for the aborted show:

Integrity and a man's word. [...] As long as you brought in your stub from the other show, you got in for free. Whoever didn't, had to give a donation to a food bank or something. We didn't take the money. It's an integrity thing and it's not the first time that we'd made up shows. When "force majeure" kept us from playing in Sweden because all the fluids had froze up on the buses... We'd always go back and make those shows up. There's only three (that I know of) that we canceled in the fifteen years that I was in Metallica.
Pure Grain Audio/Blabbermouth, January 31, 2013

In 2014, Dizzy would talk about the show:

You know, that particular... that was a bummer, obviously, that was the night that we were touring with Metallica and I know that was the night that the singer got burnt really bad. And so, you know, the way that all went down, it wasn't very cool. I just remember that we were, you know, we wanted to come back and give them the full show and give them their money's worth. Obviously Metallica couldn't finish their set. I think that would have been the way to go, but some people didn't like that. And I'm not sure exactly. I know that in a lot of cases, not all cases, but the press sort of blows up, blows things out of proportion and likes to call it a riot. I know there was some bad things that happened there, but... [...] I do remember that we had full intention of, you know, we just wanted to come back and give them the full show and [?]. The biggest problem about that was that we just, we didn't, we weren't able to play Montreal again for several years [...]

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:05 pm


The separation of band members and fractionation of the band itself had resulted in the band of mid-1992 being quite different from the band two years ago when Matt and Dizzy entered the band, or even just one year before when Gilby replaced Izzy and the band added additional touring  musicians. In addition, there had been rumours of both Duff and Matt quitting in August/September 1991 [see previous chapter] and Axl was also reported to arrive to shows separately and seldom saw the rest of the band members [Melody Maker, August 10, 1991].

Slash would explain Axl's solitude on the press, saying, "it’s like everyone hates him and wants to dig the dirt on the poor guy" [The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].

In July 1991 Duff and Slash would be asked about the relationship between the band members and would confirm that Axl were distant from the rest of the guys:

Slash and I, we hang. We always have. […] Axl hangs out with whomever, whenever. Matt and I hang out all the time. Matt rents my old house from me, so when there’s a party, we have it there!

Yet Slash would be quick to emphasize that it was like before, just that they aren't together as much:

Just so there’s not a lack of understanding here, the band’s basically the same as it ever was. The only thing is that before, we were all in the same room. […] We’re still real tight.

In August 1991, before Izzy had left, Slash would describe the overall situation but again emphasize that the bond between the band members was still strong:

F***, we don't live in the same building anymore or anything like that, but I only have so many friends and five of them are Guns. It's like family but, y'know, we have separate things — someone sleeps, someone's up, someone's drinking, someone's not... it's that kind of thing.

In 1992, the horn player Lisa Maxwell was asked about the band:

Nobody really has contact with [Axl] other than his close friends, his assistant, his chiropractor. He’s always been totally great with us, never dissed us in any way, gives us a lot of respect and jokes around when we pass him in the hall.


In 1992 it seems that Izzy's leaving had helped consolidate the friendship and union between the remaining Duff, Slash and Axl, between the partners.

[The relationships between Axl, Slash and I have] strengthened, if anything. You know, we’ve been through hell and high water together. You pointed the three of us out, of course, because we’re the original members. We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve grown mentally, we have to go through business stuff and a lot of shit, a lot of stuff, and we’ve been through all this together. So we know each other like the back of our hands.

On our nights off, we still hang around together. We’ll call and say, ‘You wanna go to a strip club’ or a bar or whatever. It’s a lot more fun to tour with guys you get along with.

But when Izzy left it brought Slash and Axl and I closer together.

Talking about how Izzy's departure affected the band:

It made us all closer. I had always been close to Duff, but the changes made me and Axl a lot closer than we had been. We had always been friends, but there is really a bond there now.

I think it makes it a little bit rougher around the edges to keep it all together and to keep focused. But because there’s been so much hype and so much hysteria around the band, it’s made us a lot closer as a group, which means the materials have a lot more integrity. And we’re, sort of like, really striving to be what we originally started out to be, just because there’s so much stuff going on in the outside; and so much – I don’t know the best way to put it – so much conflict with us and the media, and so on. So it makes us bond together as a family, and I think that’s really important for us. So, I think, it’s been - for the band it’s been sort of a plus as far as really going where we’re coming from.

After [the fight in late 1989], when we started working again, there was so much other shit going on with the other guys - Izzy and Steven - that in order to focus on our primary goal, which was to continue as a band, Axl, Duff and I got really tight. And it continued from there.

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:05 pm


From the stage in Montreal on August 8, 1992, a show that Axl would end early, Axl said, "In case anybody here is interested, this will be our last show for a long time" [The Montreal Gazette, August 8, 1992], implying things not being well in the band, but this could as much be Axl's own personal issues more than the band splitting apart. Still, later that same month it was reported about conflicts within the band. Axl was said to consider doing other things after the touring, including starring in movies and doing a solo record, after being "unhappy with his band mates" and being "disillusioned" [The Akron Beacon Journal, August 23, 1992].

Despite the band members being stoic about it to the media, according to Goldstein in 2016, the late starts had been causing significant friction in the band which was manifesting itself in early 1993:

I kept them, kind of, separate. Probably the best thing I ever did for that band was not let Axl know how the other band (members) couldn't stand him because the positions that he'd put them in. He'd leave the stage and they'd have to stand on stage and continue to play.
9 News, September 7, 2016

This animosity between Axl and the rest of the band members, according to Goldstein, meant that they not only spent much time together outside of concerts, but that Axl traveled on a "separate helicopter to the rest, stayed in a different hotel and entered the stage from the opposite side" when the band played at Calder Park, Melbourne, on February 1, 1993.

In mid 1993 Dizzy would claim the band fought at times, but that it was nothing serious:

We’re six people in the band, and disagreements are inevitable. It’s like in a marriage; when a guy and a woman live together, it’s impossible that there are no fights. Same with us, we go everywhere together. Nine or ten months a year we’re on tour! We argue sometimes, but nothing serious. […] Everyone knows what his role is and keeps to it. We don’t have ego issues.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

Duff would also talk about the internal fighting, including physical fights, but that they always squared up:

On the last leg Matt and I got into a fist fight. It wasn't the first time that's happened, but he called me, and we talked, and he knows I'm there for him, and I know he's there for me. I try to get along with everybody, but who knows what'll happen tomorrow. Maybe by the time this article comes out, Guns N' Roses will self-destruct. I doubt it. We're not that volatile. We've been doing this long enough. The Illusion tour is the longest in history, but we have no intention of killing ourselves over it. We know how to control the anarchy. Shit, we survived the anarchy. We survived St. Louis, we survived Montreal. Three of us got married. A war started and ended. We've seen a lot more than most people see in a whole lifetime through a completely different point of view. I've seen it in two states too - a drunken state and a sober one. I could write a book about emotions that most people haven't ever dreamed of having.

Izzy got a close-up view of how the band was operating in May/June 1993 when he returned to replace Gilby for 5 shows. He would later comment that nothing had changed and that Axl and Slash were living isolated lives:

It was cool in a way to be able to step back into something I'd left behind and to judge whether anything had improved, but I just found that it hadn't. It made me realise why I was glad to get out in the first place.

The band's egos are way out of control. Axl and Slash had the same attitude towards me as they did before I left, and there is a feeling of unreality about them. They lead isolated lives and don't seem to be in touch anymore with the real world. I spent all my time hanging out with the roadies. You know how many times i saw any of the band offstage? Once, that was Slash in London!

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