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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

16. JANUARY-JULY 1993: THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR; END OF AN ERA

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Post by Soulmonster Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:15 am

1991-1994
THE PRESS III


I don't even think [the press] expect us to be nice any more. I think they now see us as their puppets. It's really just sensationalism, like if there's nothing to write about let's talk about Guns N' Roses' s latest antics. When you actually meet them face to face, some of them are a little paranoid, like I'm going to smash a bottle in their face or something. Some of them want you to! [laughs] I haven't been able to figure out the psychology behind that! And if there's nothing they can say they make it up. Those are the press people we're pissed off at, in 'Get In The Ring', the ones who make it up. Because what I'd been hoping would happen at some point in our career is that our musical ability – going out there as a rock band and kicking ass – would somehow surpass the hype some day.

The press tends to really jump on the wrong things. They twist words around and just make things up about you when they want to. I have no use for that. It angers me when the fans read something about me or the band that they believe but that we know is not really true. But I've also come to realize that you either fight with the press or you try to cooperate the best you can.

_______________________________________________


In August 1991 the band would refuse to do any of the planned interviews with UK magazines as the band visited England to play at Wembley in London (August 31, 1991], although Slash did at least talk to RAW Magazine:

At some unGodly hour [Axl] called his publicist and decided that all the press Guns n' Roses were gonna do in the UK was just gonna have to be undone. Consequently there's a horde of TV crews and assorted press people standing around looking a little dismayed at the fact that despite all the assurances, there are no members of Guns n' Roses in the building.


In November 1991 Axl would indicate that he had learnt from his dealings with the press:

That you have to just deal with it. Just take the time to understand it, and go over where you feel you didn't get your point across so well before. And just being aware of the interviewers' motivations, how your interviews are being used, how much money different people are making by running articles on you or comments by you.


And in early 1992 Axl would say the following:

I’d like you to know something: unless I’m publicly somewhere saying I did this interview, half the shit you read I said, I’ve never fuckin’ said. I haven’t done an interview with a lot of magazines in three to four years.


In July 1991 (although published in August) Slash would confirm that many of the earlier press stories had been grounded in the truth and that they had been behaving outrageous with little regard to how they came across:

I’m more concerned about it now after reading some of the stuff, or watching some of the stuff that we did when we weren’t at all conscious of what we are doing. Not that we were incoherent, just that we didn’t care. Then you read it back and go, ‘This is just f**kin’ ridiculous, you know'. So I think, as we grew up a little bit, not as a band but just as individuals […]


In April 1992, Rolling Stone would publish a heavy discussion between Lonn M. Friend and Axl that talked in detail about Axl's therapy and what he had discovered about himself and his childhood. Apparently, Axl had been nervous about how the article would come out, but was so happy about the end product or its reception that he immediately made himself available to new interviews [New York Magazine, April 6, 1992].

This seems to have been short-lived though, because in an interview in May 1992, to be published in June in the Liverpool Echo, Slash would say that Axl "gets a bit worked up sometimes and things get to him" and the newspaper would imply that because of this Slash was now taking over all dealing with the press [The Liverpool Echo, June 8, 1992].

In June 1992 Slash would talk about all the articles that were written about them:

Well, you know, certain things come out, people makes you aware of certain articles or, I go to get some cigarettes. You know, from a newsstand, and I see a cover with my face on, and go "ok." Then you feel like a real idiot, 'cause the guy selling you the cigarettes is looking at you looking at yourself in a magazine. I mean, he knew who you were when you were walking up there to get the cigarettes. Which you try and walk in like you're just anybody. And you'll flip through it. But I've never do anything but look at the pictures. [laughs] I mean, who's got time to sit there and read like a page of garbage, on some band, you know. The Guitar Player ones I'll read. That's it. Axl's Rolling Stone cover, because I knew what a big deal that was. That was something I read. Every so often that you have a series article that you do… an interview that you do that you vent out a lot of stuff, personal stuff. So you gonna see how that come out. But for the most part, no, I don't read anything.


Also in June 1992 Hit Parader would publish an interview with Duff where they would discuss bad experiences with the press:

There has been things said about us.. .ya know.. .We’ve been there for the interview and like trusted the guy.. .ya know....because we were always good to them. And you think this guy’s cool....give him a beer or whatever and hang out with him and you do the interview. And then this totally slanderous interview comes out two months later. Ya know....like I thought this guy was my friend. […] It happens more than you can imagine....or happened I will say now.


In August 1992, Duff and Slash would discuss the press:

The journalists, I would think, they would practice it to more – you know, the rainforest thing that’s going on down there, and Yugoslavia and all that. I think they, sometimes, get their morals or their...[…] focus a little screwed up. Yeah, focus. Exactly. And we’re not that big of a deal, you know. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band. We’re touring and that’s what we’re doing.

Yeah. One of the things that we’ve been doing is, like, just doing more press - and especially doing it on camera - so that we can actually speak our minds about stuff, instead of letting other people do it for us. Because it just gets out of hand. And it’s just like, the tabloids and stuff kind of attitude, where they’re just feeding off of personality, and it gets to the point where it gets so negative. It’s like, what you’re trying to concentrate on, what you’re trying to communicate with the readers. You know, and the people who are interested in what “entertainers” –as they would call it- are doing, at least they should be told the truth. Otherwise, it’s like, this whole big facade is built up, and when you go out and play in front of people, they have no idea what you’re all about.


Dizzy would talk about the press in general:

I'll tell you how I see it: When journalists see a movie or a band they don’t like, they present it in a way that makes you want to check it out too! Many of them just make stuff up, and that’s a shame. That's why I tell people that they shouldn’t always believe what they read. Publicity isn’t always beneficial, so I don’t agree with the old motto that goes, ‘Any publicity is good publicity.’ We have personal lives, too, and we don’t like getting slandered in the press. That’s why we’re all wary. Of course, a way to show ourselves as we really are is to give interviews to the right people – like you. […] Many journalists are honest and trustworthy. But others make up their own stories and print them. Sometimes they make us laugh; but, in general, we take them seriously and get pissed off.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek


As before, the press was most interested in Axl and Slash. When this came up in an interview, Duff would respond:

They deserve what they get. And to tell you the truth I really wouldn't want to be that prominent in the public eye. I like the position I have, the role that I play. The guys in the band know what I do and respect it, so that's fine with me.

Axl and Slash are more the public face of GN’R than I am and that’s fine with me. I don’t envy the guys at all because they’re constantly hounded and I’m not. It’s really become a pain in the ass. I didn’t get into rock’n’roll to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or to be gawked at; I did it for the music. As far as being a household name goes - I'd rather not be, thank you very much.

I think Axl's image has really never matched the guy. I’ve known him a long time, and when I read about him in the papers or the magazines, it just doesn't make sense. He's a very strong willed guy who will fight for whatever he thinks is right. I think that's a very noble quality. That some portions of the media have made him into some kind of a scapegoat is really amazing. They don't understand him at all. He's a very complex individual.


In early 1994 Axl and Slash would be asked what it would be the would choose to change if they could change one myth about GN'R:

When Use Your Illusions came out, I actually read a review that said we should have titled the albums "Our Hitler", meaning me, or something. And I would like to change the myth that we want to control the media, and control people. That's not… You know, there's some people that believe that, or something. It's like, I don't wanna control the media, I just want things to be accurate. It's the only control that we want, is that it's accurate and the things that we say and do are there as we say and do them. Not changed around or taken out of context or distorted. A lot of times we don't get an opportunity, or chance to rectify things without having to go through a whole lot of trouble that opens up a whole new can of ones.

What I've been seeing since we've been off the road is… The simple fact that the media is the one that's really backwards and very twisted. And I think it's actually sicker what they do than anything they even try to make us out to be. And it's a drag because when it comes down to it… We've been together for a long time and I know these people and it's like… be taken that seriously for one and then, from a completely wrong direction is just… you know, it's a drag and you don't have any control over it. After a while you have to take a….


To dispel the myths the band had planned a book:

We've been working on a book since we started as Guns N' Roses, with Del James. We've been doing interviews for this book for a very, very long time, to try to get an accurate picture with all our own personal mistakes and our own personal nightmares. And actually it's very exposing. But, we wanna show, like, an accurate picture of who we are and where we've been. It's not necessarily favorable for us in some places. It's a lot of times: "I said that? What an idiot! I can't believe I said that." But we're gonna put it all out.


In March 1994, Slash would say he had stopped reading the press:

But at this point I really don't care. I've had too much flak for too long. That's why I just ignore everything. I don't even read the press anymore. I don't read magazine articles. I probably won't read this when it comes out (laughs).



"GET IN THE RING"


On Use Your Illusion II, the band would confront some of the people in the press:

And that goes for all of you punks in the press
That want to start shit by printin' lies instead of the things we said
That means you andy secher at hit parader, circus magazine
Mick wall at kerrang, bob guccione jr. at spin
What you pissed off 'cause your dad gets more pussy than you?
Fuck you! suck my fuckin' dick!


It is not entirely clear why these individuals were singled out, but Andy Secher had previously printed lies about Guns N' Roses and Stryper [see previous chapter], Bob Guccione Jr. had taken the author Sugerman's side and also printed the entire press contract [see previous chapters], and Mick Wall had antagonized Axl in his writings both in Kerrang! and biography [see previous chapter].

In 2011, Axl would shed light on these lyrics and suggest it wasn't his idea but Zutaut's and Duff's:

Yeah, a little bit, but that's an example too because that was not my idea, you know, that was Tom Zutaut and Duff McKagan's idea, you know, because there was this blank space in this song and I was trying... "Man, but we got to do something," and they were like, "Why don't you just go in and go off on Andy Secher, you know, and Bob Guccione jr?" you know and, "Sure, yeah," eventually I did and everybody was happy with it but when it hit the fan everybody disappeared, you know. And I was naive and didn't realize, you know, the political wars going on between the different publicists at the record labels and their relationships with the Rolling Stone or Spin or whatever, and then.... so I kind of, I got set up, but then nobody stepped forward to say anything.


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16. JANUARY-JULY 1993: THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR; END OF AN ERA - Page 2 Empty Re: 16. JANUARY-JULY 1993: THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR; END OF AN ERA

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:15 am

JULY 16-17, 1993
THE END OF TOURING, THE END OF AN ERA


South America so far is the going favorite audience to play live for. Why? Because they are insanely passionate about their music!

___________________________________

JULY 16 AND 17, 1993: RIVER PLATE, ARGENTINA


The band would now travel to South America for two shows at the Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 16 and July 17.

While in Argentina, the band was accused of having bought 50 g of cocaine from drug dealers in the hotel, and for indecent exposure after Slash showed his ass from the balcony of his hotel room [The Windsor Star, July 19, 1993]. A judge quickly ordered their rooms searched but no drugs were found [The Windsor Star, July 19, 1993] and both charges were dropped, the latter after Slash agreed in writing to not expose himself again, allowing the shows to take place [The Windsor Star, July 1993].



Slash mooning fans
Vos En Todas Magazine



In October 1993 it was reported that the accuser, former state intelligence agent Juan Imbessi, had been motivated by unspecified "anguish and erotic exasperation" and had "sought to cancel the show" [Gainesville Sun, October 21, 1993].

Gilby, looking back at the incident:

It was a joke. […] What it is, it’s a complete joke and it’s really inconvenient, too. But I don’t know if you remember when it happened – […] It was really funny, because they came and we were all like – I mean, we were all around laughing at this, like, “Go for it.” I mean, come on. It’s really, really silly, you know? They make all these accusations and stuff and it’s like, come on, don’t insult our intelligence, first of all. “We’re carrying drugs because you ain’t gonna find them” (laughs). But we don’t do that, you know? We’re not stupid. We don’t want to go to a country, get kicked out and never come back.


Craig Duswalt would recount the incident in his biography:

At approximately 5 p.m., a group of about fifty police officers from the city’s narcotics division descended on the hotel. They were looking for a large amount of cocaine, which had allegedly been stashed in one of the band member’s rooms. They forced their way onto our secure floor and were met by our security team and Doug. I heard on my walkie-talkie that something was going down, and it didn’t sound good. I came out of my hotel room, and there, by the elevators, were a ton of armed policemen talking to Doug and a few others. I took position in front of Axl’s door. At that point he had no idea what was going on. He was eating dinner inside his room, while Steve was taping his ankles for the show. The chief of police was demanding to see Axl’s room. […] But before they went in any of the rooms, Doug did something very smart. He negotiated with them that we have an American representative go in the rooms with their team of policemen while the rooms were searched. We were all afraid of drugs being planted in our rooms. […]Eventually the American representative showed up, and the chief of police and his posse started searching the rooms. Of course, they wanted to start with Axl’s room. And because we now had an American representative, we showed them which room was Axl’s.[…] No cocaine. After all that, the chief of police and his team were about to leave Axl’s room, when the chief turned to Axl and asked for his autograph. […] Axl had Doug and I set up an impromptu press conference and within minutes we had a meeting room, and a room full of reporters, and television crews. Axl released a live statement of what had just occurred, adding that no drugs were found in any of our rooms. It was fed live to all local television stations. Only an hour and a half later, Guns N’ Roses hit the stage and put on another amazing show.
Craig Duswalt, Welcome To My Jungle, BenBella Books, May 2014



THE FAMOUS PHOTO


After the band's last show at the Use Your Illusion tour, band photographer Gene Kirkland would take a famous photo of Slash and Axl backstage.



Slash and Axl
July 1993



Fans would debate the picture and some would suggest the rivalry and increasing animosity between Slash and Axl was visible in the image, something Kirkland would deny:

It was the last Use Your Illusion show in Argentina, and they've probably been offstage for 15 minutes. Slash always put a towel on his head after performing because he got quite sweaty. Axl still has his bandana on. Slash was a bad chain-smoker back then, and Axl quite a bit too. It’s not posed, I just happened to walk into the dressing room.

It’s a funny shot. People say it looks like a showdown, a confrontation between the two of them, but in fact they were in a good mood, making plans to go home the next day, and discussing the recording of The Spaghetti Incident?. After two-and-a-half years on tour there was a sense of ‘Finally, it’s over.’

[...]

This photo makes me happy and sad. It’s the last shot I took of Slash and Axl, and the last time I saw them together in GN’R. I’m sad I won’t get any more like that. I think everybody wishes they were still in that same realm right there.



AXL THANKS GILBY


Being asked what his worst memory from being in Guns N' Roses was:

Worst was when Axl came up to me at the last GNR show in Argentina and said it was nice knowing you...



THE END OF AN ERA


These were the last shows with Matt and Gilby, and the last shows with both Duff and Slash until April 2016. The band would not play any more shows until January 1, 2001, but then with a radically different lineup wit only Axl and Dizzy remaining.

Matt and Gilby would recount returning to Los Angeles:

The tour was awesome, though. We did two and a half years, we had our private jet, and we flew home in '93. We landed on our own private air strip in LA, and the limos pulled up. There were thirty-five people in the entourage on the airplane - the bodyguards, an accountant, a masseuse, a chiropractor, two private photographers, and a publicist. We got off the airplane and Axl looked over at me and said, "Hey Matt, I'll see you in a couple of years." So it was like, okay, we're going to take a break. I got into my own private limo, and everyone drove off in their separate directions. After that was when things got kinda bad.

Nobody wanted to come home. You know, nobody really wanted it to end, because I think everybody in the back of them thought it was gonna be over.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:16 am

LOOKING BACK AT THE 'SKIN N' BONES' TOUR


Then we went to do our own tour, the 'Skin And Bones' one. We did it in Europe, which is always better than playing in the States. […] It was really cool. European audiences appreciate the stuff I would appreciate. In the US, there are some towns where bands don't go to much and they always appreciate it. But you go to some towns, mostly the major cities, and it's different.

[…] I've got a lot of stamina, but those last records and that entire tour, it was such an endurance thing. […] That was a hell of a long tour. A lot of stuff went on. Nine kids were born, a dozen people got divorced, a dozen people got married. I got married! I'm the last person I'd ever expect to get married - it's funny! All this stuff went on while we were still doing the tour. It was like watching real life going down in this mad kind of environment - such a contradiction in terms.

The shows where we did the acoustic set were my least favorite ones. They slowed down the show so much and were too choreographed with the sofa and pizza. I like the show to just build and build, not to slow down for long periods of time.

I had been on tour with GN'R, and had a very good relationship with them ... they were much kinder to me than they needed to be, as a support artist to them as they toured the USA and Europe. We had some great times.


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Post by Soulmonster Tue May 11, 2021 8:16 am

LOOKING BACK AT THE TOURING 1991-1993


It's really hard for me to take the fact that Guns is doing so well, for granted. Because it's such a hard work to keep it going, and I see loupe-holes, aah, where we could easily fall apart and we managed to survive, you know. With member changes, with um… Oh, we just, you know, just everything in our everyday existence where we could fail, you know. We could make the wrong decision, or we could make the wrong move or, um… basically just fuck up. So, with all that going on, it's hard for me to look at us as some sort of phenomenon, you know. If I was to concentrate on that, I'll probably miss something a lot more important. Which would probably just be the integrity of the band and, and what we're standing for, and what we're trying to hold on to. Because, as hectic as, um, popularity has gotten, it just makes the work much harder. It makes that much harder to concentrate and focus on the music and, you know, being a band in general, you know.
The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993

I don’t know if it was the songs themselves or the attitude that mostly caused our fame to grow. Probably a combination of both. I hope it was the music that played the biggest part, the songs themselves. Of course our attitude is very important too, because a band becomes popular when real people feel they can identify with its members.
Pop & Rock, June 1993; translated from Greek

[Talking about touring with Snakepit]: There won't be any big guitar solos or drum solos. I hated doing that in Guns. I played "The Godfather" for a while and it got to the point where everybody expected me to play "The Godfather." If I didn't play it, people would wonder why. This time around I'm not doing any guitar solos. I just want to do an hour and a half brash show, in your face.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

[Talking about how Axl was in control and everybody just doing what he wants in fear of being fired]: And that's why we had big blow-up dolls and background singers and horns! It was ridiculous. It was an experience, but what do we end up doing? We took it back down to the skin and bones tour which was just us. Duh - we should have done that in the first place.

Axl really wanted to see how far we could take the tour. We really were on a mission to sell as many records as we possibly could. He wanted to break 35 million on Use Your Illusions worldwide. And we were at about 32 million, and I remember all of us looking at each other going, “Man, this gotta stop soon,” because we were all feeling pretty beat.

It was hard, you know? So we had a lot of canceled gigs, we had a lot of gigs we almost didn’t play, we had a lot of walking of the stage and all the stuff that happened. It was all very trying, you know.

We did so many drugs, and things got to be so toxic with Axl and his whole entourage. If I look back, they almost liked us being fucked up, because they could control us. 'Okay, there's our fucked up band, and we'll just tote these guys around and push them up on stage. Oh, man, we really love you, man; you should try to cut back on the drugs, man.'

I don’t remember half of the Use Your Illusion tour. I simply don’t remember it. I have a complete black out. There’s stamps on my passport of countries I don’t ever remember being in.

Now, 10 years later, the good stuff is what I want to remember the most. I remember how easy it was, and the shows were so great, they meant so much to the people. I’m thinking that it’s sad. Some of the members had taken it for granted, that it would always be like that. But it was a great time. Look, I knew my place in the band and I did what I had to do. I went on stage, I had my Les Paul, I had the Marshall amp behind me. I had the greatest time of my life. I loved it. I just wanted to play rock ‘n’ roll.

It was the best—one of the greatest experiences ever. As a kid, my dream was to play in a loud rock-'n'-roll band and it didn’t get any better than that. GNR was perfect loud rock and I loved their music. I wasn’t trying to be Izzy. I got to be myself, and I played exactly the way I play. Nobody told me to do anything a certain way. It was perfect.

Actually, what you saw [in 1993] was the beginning of the end. That was a rough time for us, and a very hard tour. We were on the road for three years straight, and we were the biggest rock'n'roll band in the world. And it had been a lot of fun up until that point. But it was very damaging too. By the time you saw us, we were just trying to get through each night with all the bullshit that was flying around, internally and externally. It was psychologically very stressful but I was dead set on us finishing the tour, so we kind of hid everything that was going on.


John Reese, tour manager for Guns N' Roses, would discuss his job:

As far as trouble goes, mainly it’s dealing with Axl. He walks to the beat of his own drummer. He’s not real aware of the stimuli around him. Every single night there’s a possibility of a riot. Axl would go on an hour and a half late, on average. Every travel arrangement, every hotel consideration — everything’s centered on ‘How am I going to get Axl Rose onstage tonight?’


And Robert John would look back at how the band had stopped being a band:

It now became a very big group of people traveling with the band. It went from a small, core group of friends of the band, to a humungous road crew, plus chiropractors, gurus, massage therapists, assistants to assistants, P.R. girls, stylists— all these people. It just grew and grew. At the same time, there was this gap between Axl and the others. It wasn’t really a band, as we’d known what ‘a band’ was. It was now a bunch of guys that turned up and went onstage—maybe.
Stephen Davies, Watch You Bleed: The Saga Of Guns N' Roses, 2008.


And Duff would express a similar sentiment:

The best days of Guns were in '87. We were on top of our game then. It started to go downhill - maybe not downhill - but it was different after that. When we were the biggest band in the world in '91, the whole thing was really bloated and I was too fucked up. It was a machine and we weren't having a good time anymore. We kept trying to stop the machine, but it just got bigger and worse. [...] By '91 we had 115 employees, so it wasn't just a band anymore. There are ways around that, but we were too inexperienced to deal with it. I've seen some bands keep it small: Green Day and the Foo Fighters somehow managed it. Maybe they learned from our mistakes. I've heard bands say that, actually. I remember Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] saying they learned what not to do by touring with us.


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Post by Soulmonster Tue May 11, 2021 11:16 am

THE FINANCIALS OF THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' TOURING


Despite the huge commercial success of the extensive touring in 1991-1993, the band did not make much of a profit.

It’s not because of the money [we play the long sets]. We go over time so much and have in the past, to the point where we didn’t make a dime, you know. And it doesn’t really matter to us.


Explaining why:

Well, union stuff, and promoters, and, you know, different things (laughs).


The violations of curfews would also cost the band money.

The band was paying hundred of thousands of dollars in curfew violation fees.


When asked about this in an interview in 1992, Slash would seem not to care:

I don’t give a –[…] I don’t give a... whatever about it. […] As long as we go on and feel comfortable about doing it, and, like, try and do the best show that we can –


In 2004, Matt and Duff would be asked about how much they earnt during the Use Your Illusions days and Matt would say "millions and millions of dollars" to which Duff would interject:

Well, we also had a very temperamental singer who would show up four hours late to Madison Square Garden, which is a union building. So, you're paying quadruple overtime, so you're paying to play.

We played Lausanne in Switzerland, where people take trains in, to go to the concert, [rail stations] in the stadiums. We had to pay to keep the train station open.

You know, where we lost most money was the charges for making a show four hours late. For instance, we had to keep a train station open in Switzerland all night. You know how much it cost us to play that gig? [...] I didn't realise [you could keep a station open], either, but you can do anything if you've got a lot of money. We had 80,000 kids at the show and the police didn't want 80,000 drunken kids rolling around all night until the morning train.


Touring with Metallica might also not have made much sense financially. The double-bill certainly increased the market, but finding large enough stadiums that were willing to take them on became a problem [see discussion in previous chapter]. As discussed in Los Angeles Times:

The rule of thumb in rock is that a headliner receives about 60% of the gate at a stadium show. If you figure a gross of $1.2 million for a stadium date, Guns N' Roses or Metallica would walk away with about $720,000 if they headlined their own shows. […] But production costs escalate on a twin-headline event, so the headliners on a Guns/Metallica-type bill will walk away with $500,000--or about $250,000 each, according to one insider's estimate. That's a handsome $6 million when multiplied by 24, but far less than the potential $17.2 million from a solo stadium tour. […] On that basis, Guns N' Roses and Metallica are doing the stadium shows for about the same money each receives for a successful show in a much smaller arena.


Doug Goldstein would also admit they didn't try to cut costs:

We could have cut a lot of corners--and saved a lot of money--if each band did shorter sets and used the same (staging), but the whole idea was to make this tour unique. The only reason it's happening at all is that the bands wanted to put on the kind of show that they loved when they were teenagers themselves.


Duff would also point out how the big production drained profits:

We lost so much money on the big production tour. We had to cart that whole circus all the way through Europe, and then on through Tokyo and Australia and New Zealand.


Later, in 2000, Slash would claim they had lost money, and blame it on the management and on Axl:

The Use your illusion world tour was supposed to be the high point in our lives - when you’re one of the biggest rock bands in the world and you’re headlining with Metallica and doing stadiums, and you can do basically whatever the fuck you want. But somehow, some way, between management and Axl and whatever other elements that were involved, when the tour ended we had lost a ton of money.

Trust me, I've been ripped off. Guns got ripped off, big time. My business sense was always pretty good, but when Guns got too big and there were too many cooks in the kitchen, it was really hard to control it. There were huge entourages and worldwide tours. There were huge losses and gains - all the variables on enormous amounts of cash going in every direction. I mean, you just cannot keep up with it! It was a lot easier when I working with a club promoter and doing it on behalf of the band. Now I sort of just watch what my one-fifth of Guns' percentage is and then try to be smart as far as Snakepit is concerned. […] Once you're a major success, there is so much happening around you that you really can't keep on top of it. Basically, you go from your dressing room to the stage to the dressing room to the hotel. You're really not aware of everything that's going on around you from a business point of view. It's hard to be creative and then walk around counting a bank roll. [laughs] Musicians don't really focus on that.


During the touring in 1991-1993 the band would also spend lots of money on the lavish parties [discussed in an earlier chapter]:

They blow big money on parties after the show. I think they could use that money somewhere else.

We'd spend $100,000 a night on parties. For two and a half years, there was something every night. One night was a Greek night-four greased-up, muscle-bound guys carried in a roast pig. I was so pissed off - I love pigs.


Rob Affuso from Skid Row would recount the theme parties:

Axl used to have these great parties after the shows and he would flip out quite a bank roll to roll these parties and they would vary in themes weather they'd be Caribbean, they would always involve hot tubs, and beautiful women and food, and alcohol and it was always...


And the private jet they had chartered:

It was just this huge jet. They would use even if they were going from New York to Boston. It's an hour trip. It would take them longer to get the thing off the ground. […] they had their own flight crew. They were all wonderful people. They ended up being friends with everybody. So nights off the crew, the band, the flight crew, and we used to go out quite often with Gilby and Slash. We would go out to all the local bars. We loved to go out and jam..


Later, Slash would say the parties had cost so much they had to end the, and that they had been Axl's idea:

[…] the Guns party situation was something that was very expensive and we had to stop it after a while. That was an Axl thing, too. But it was fun and we got to experience a bit of that. It was so expensive that we couldn't do it any more.

It wasn't [Metallica's] fault. It was ours. The whole thing was so over the top, we didn't make a dime. That's embarrassingly senseless. Everyone was trying to keep up with the Rolling Stones. I can see naked girls in a G-string for free - I don't have to pay 20 grand to have 600 of them coming over!

Many people probably think we [=Perla and Slash] got lots of money, but Axl Rose spent more than Guns N' Roses ever made.
Dagbladet, February 17, 2004; translated from Norwegian


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Mar 19, 2022 7:08 am

AXL AND DYLAN


In early 1992 Axl, who had talked about his desire to become a father when married to Erin [People Magazine, August 1990; MTV, October 1990], connected to Stephanie's two-year-old son, Dylan, and found similarities:

Stephanie has been very supportive in helping me deal with all this. People write all kinds of things about our relationship, but the most important thing in our relationship is that we maintain our friendship. The romance is a plus. We want to maintain our friendship and be really protective of how our relationship affects Dylan. Dylan gets priority over us, because he could be greatly damaged, and I don't want that to happen.[…] I've been with Dylan and he'll be upset about something, and I'm trying to help him, and he gets mad at me, and I've been offended. I've thought, "The only way I can deal with this is 'Okay, he's just being a jerk right now.' " But it was pointed out to me that he's not being a jerk, he doesn't know. What he needs is love. I thought about it, and I was like "Yeah, because I was told that, too." About my music, which is pure expression and honest emotion and feeling. I mean, I'll be singing something and know "Man, they're not gonna like this" and "This isn't right." But it's how I feel. The way I've been attacked has been strange. The press has actually helped me get my head more together. You know, my stepfather helped me, too. I learned a lot of things. That doesn't mean he wasn't also being an asshole. It's not quite fair to bring a two-year-old into the realities of who's an asshole and who's not. There's a part of me that's still two and getting a little better every day.


And Seymour would praise Axl for his relationship to Dylan:

Axl is the most sensitive, honest and open man I know. He is affectionate and empathetic. He loves my son and embraces his father role. It's a pity the world doesn't know him like I do, but thinks of him as some kind of monster. [...] We often go grocery shopping together and we cook together. And it's not uncommon for him to bring me breakfast in bed.
Unknown German magazine, 1992; translated from German




Stephanie and Axl



EPILOGUE


The break-up with Stephanie [see later chapter] resulted Axl becoming estranged to Dylan. In 1994, Axl would discuss how the Estranged video was a form of communicating with him:

I don’t necessarily know of anyone who’s made a video like this - you know, showing their own emotional destruction and their process of transcending that. That’s another thing about this video; it’s also communication with Dylan. It’s someone I’m not allowed to communicate with, and someone who feels that I abandoned him, and I didn’t. I was told one thing and shown another, and Dylan is robbed of certain things that he likes, and I am also, and just trying to transcend that and deal with that, and so making a video of what’s really going on and trying to show it. It was really wild when we filmed that scene, because in this room there’s a shelf. Ever since Dylan moved out of the house, I’ve always pictured myself sitting on that shelf just looking at his room. When it came time to film that scene, I went up to sit on the shelf, they got the SWAT teams breaking in and everything, and I’m kind of oblivious to this whole thing - that’s what I was supposed to be doing. And I ended up just laying down, and going to sleep and having the most peaceful sleep, because I really needed to do that for myself, and I really needed to be there, and I really needed to be in his room. And, like, it was a really strange way for me to spend time with Dylan in my own mind, that I really needed to do it for myself and I hadn’t taken the time or found the time and the right place; and it happened on film. But it meant a lot to me, and it’s weird. It was like, I don’t know how long I was asleep; it was maybe an hour, and it felt like five hours. I went to bed right afterwards, but I had a real heavy sense of peace that I really liked
Estranged: Makin' F@*!ing Videos Part IV, April 26, 1994


In late 1999, years after the break-up, Axl would express a desire that Dylan would listen to the lyrics of the then unreleased album Chinese Democracy and finally understand what had happened:

I hope he'll hear it when he grows up, if he ever wants to know the story, to hear the truth.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Mar 20, 2022 7:43 am

BETA LEBEIS AND HER FAMILY


In May 2000, Rolling Stone would publish a large feature on Axl Rose, titled "Axl Rose: The Lost Years" [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000]. In this article the name Beta Lebeis would be mentioned for the first time as Axl's "housekeeper" [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

Beta (Elizabeta) Lebeis, from Santos in São Paulo, moved to the USA in around 1990 together with her three children, Fernando, Vanessa and Alexandre (Alex), in search of a better life [O Globo, January 16, 2001]. Back in Brazil she had worked as an executive assistant at Quaker in Itajai [O Globo, January 16, 2001].

I worked at Quaker, in Itajaí, Santa Catarina. I was an executive secretary. I moved to the U.S. because the situation in Brazil was difficult and I was a divorced woman with three children. I thought I wouldn't be able to raise my children the way I wanted to if I stayed in Brazil. There were three children. I raised some money and left by myself. I left the kids with my mom and then brought them to the U.S. one by one.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

I lived twelve years with the father of my children, in Santos. In the last four years of our relationship, I didn't know that he had married another woman. It was a huge shock. Today he owns Santos Nave, a shipping company. I suffered a lot with his family. I left for the United States, and I got remarried with an American. After six years, he realized that he was not yet ready for marriage. He didn't know how to say he wasn't ready for a relationship, so he packed his things in the car and drove away. This was my second separation.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese


After a two-month stint in Delaware, the family moved to Los Angeles where she soon got a job as nanny to Stephanie Seymour's son Dylan [O Globo, January 16, 2001].

I was going to get married there just to get a visa, but I gave up. Then I met an uncle of Stephanie's and I liked him. We were married for six years, but he lived in Northern California. Today we respect each other.

I started as a nanny to Stephanie Seymour's son. She was a Victoria's Secret model. That was 11 years ago.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese


Through her work for Seymour, Beta and her children would meet Axl:

I started working for Stephanie in February and she started dating Axl in May. It seems that we were connected before.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

The first time he walked through Stephanie's door, it seemed like we had known each other forever, there was a very strong connection. He was very worried about the poor in Brazil.

The first time I met [Axl] I was 13, and I was at my cousin Stephanie's house (Beta was married to the model's uncle). I was washing the car when he stopped, grabbed my hand and spat the water he had in his mouth on me. Since then, he has always joked with me. He sees in me someone close to what he'd like to have been when he was a child.


Beta would shed light on this "connection":

I do [believe in past lives], and so does he. As a Brazilian, I believe in this. I think it’s impossible that I would have felt such an affinity with him if I’d never met him before. I don't know what happened at the moment I opened the door for him. It was like I’d already known him for a long time.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese


After Axl and Seymour's relationship ended, Beta, and later Fernando, would start working for Axl:

[Axl] asked me to stay with him when they were breaking up. But I was the boy's nanny and I was worried about him. He was two years old and Stephanie was always traveling, she was never home.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

Then [Seymour] moved to New York and Axl asked me to work with him. So then I accepted, because there was never doubt in my mind that, between the two of them, Axl is the better person 100% […]
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

I accepted right away. Our relationship was always good, it seemed that we had known each other for a long time.
O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001; translated from Portuguese

My mom worked for Stephanie, and when she was fired she went to Northern California and Axl called  the next day saying he had liked her and our family. Three or four days later, she started to work for him. So I began to listen to his songs.


Beta and Fernando would live with Axl at his house in Malibu:

[Being asked who lives in Axl's Malibu house]: Me and him. My younger son sometimes lives there and sometimes at my house. I have a house in California, in another neighborhood. But I stay at Axl’s house.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese


Tom Zutaut would later discuss how the relationship had happened at a vulnerable moment:

There was nothing Axl wouldn’t do for Stephanie Seymour. He really felt like they were soul mates and he was shattered when Stephanie left him. Axl is a very fragile human being anyway and at one of his most vulnerable moments, Beta from Brazil was there to get him through it. She mothered him and nurtured him and she probably did more for him than his real mother in a lot of senses because his real mother never protected him from the abusive stepfather…


In addition to working as Axl's housekeeper, Beta also travelled with him and acted as his chauffeur [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000]. Beta herself would describe her role:

I don't know if I can define my position, being as involved as I am in his life. We have become best friends. Sometimes I'm an employee, sometimes I am his confidant. I cook for him, I supervise the employees.

(Laughs) I think that word is more appropriate because everyone asks, "What do you do?" Well, I'm his personal assistant, okay? Then I organize everything that has to do with the house: I coordinate the employees, the gardeners...
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

I give him advice when he asks me to. He listens to my opinion a lot, you know? I never see just the bad side. I try to look at a person from every angle. You’ve got to have a 360-degrees view of people; there is always a little spot that is good. So, if he’s going to do a contract or whatever with the new band, that’s his decision. He does ask me what I think, he wants to know if he should do this or that, if it’s too much... He asks if he's being unfair. He’s very concerned about being fair. He doesn't like to do anything that isn't right. He wants to do things right, because he’s very worried about what they’ll say about him.  He wants everything to be right. So I think that I influence him a lot, but I'm a little worried about that because I feel it’s a big responsibility. It’s kind of scary.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese


Fernando would discuss having Axl as his boss:

Everybody loves him, he's always willing to hear what you have to say. He pays very well, and always wants to know what's happening. But don't lie to him. If you do it, he says: "Well, if you're gonna lie to me, better go somewhere else." Even more if the lie has something to do with Guns.


And Doug Goldstein would comment on Beta and her work:

She works 22 hours a day, and she both cooks and reads his contracts.


Beta would also discuss her relationship with Axl and indicate that it is a deeply personal relationship and not only a business relationship:

I never saw him as a bad boy. He is timid. I think that, being Brazilian and coming from a large family, I am patient. If we fight and he gets mad, I know that it doesn't mean he doesn't love me. But most people just walk away. He was raped (by his stepfather as a child), abused, beaten. He never really had a family. He sees my relationship with my children and it’s something he never had.

According to [Axl], I am the mother he never had. He was impressed by the way I raise my children, the concern ... He never had that. He calls me Beta and, sometimes, mama. […]  I always make food and take it to the studio, I make pies, cakes... I call before the show to wish them good luck. I light candles for them. It’s like I am the mom of the whole band.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

[Axl] has nothing against his mother, but the only thing he doesn't understand is why he didn't receive motherly protection and what he sees in my relationship with my children. Now he understands that a mother should be protective, and he never felt protected.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

He’s very shy, he’s a very decent person, he’s honest, he says exactly what he thinks, he’s very ethical.
O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001; translated from Portuguese

At first my children were jealous and thought that I was dedicated to him a lot, but they understood with time, and now they’re there all the time. Fernando and my brother also work for him.
O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001; translated from Portuguese

Sometimes I feel very lonely, I think it would be nice to have a boyfriend, but I don't have time for anything and it will be difficult to find someone who understands this crazy lifestyle.
O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001; translated from Portuguese

I think [Axl] ended up becoming another child for me.
O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001; translated from Portuguese


After witnessing the affection between Beta and her children, Beta would claim that Axl had said he wished he had had a mother like that [O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001].

Beta would also talk about how devastated Axl had been after the relationship with Seymour ended, and that all Axl wanted was a family and children:

In my mind he’s what many women would dream of having. I would never let something like this go. Stephanie, being beautiful and sexy, can have any man she wants. Men are like toys for her. Have you seen a child with a new toy? She plays with them and then she doesn't want to play anymore, she gets tired and decides to change. I always told her that she would affect Axl more than she ever imagined. The other guys she left may not have gone through the pain that Axl went through in his life, you know? So that's why he suffers so much. He wanted to do things right, and he thought he was doing everything right. He took it very seriously. She practically killed him. When the band was over, he thought he would have his family, he would get married and have children... He thought of that as the second part of his life. He had already worked hard to earn enough money, and now he could dedicate himself to a family. His dream is to have a family, children, the things he never had. I think that with me he has started to believe that he really has someone who cares, who is devoted to him and who really likes him. When he talks in relation to me, we have our differences, opinion differences or background differences. And I'm a very patient person, you know? I have confidence in him and he didn’t have confidence in himself. It’s much more difficult with an adult than with a child. I’m not a psychologist. He needs someone to listen to what he has to say and that's what I do. In our relationship I’m a friend when I have to be a friend, and an assistant when I have to be an assistant. I don't mix things. When I'm his assistant and I have to work, I don't mix our friendship with my work. I don't take advantage of our relationship. I have respect like I would with any other employer. That’s our professional relationship.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

I'm sure that, for everything he suffered, he will make a great father. He jokes about it, saying that when his child is born I’ll cry big-time. I think it's funny that many fans want to see him angry, because it’s not his normal character. He’s unable to start a fight, he only reacts when he’s provoked.
O Estado de S. Paulo, July 1, 2001; translated from Portuguese


An anonymous source would seem to describe this close relationship:

Beta moms him. She's as close as she's ever had to a real mother.


Near the end of the Rock in Rio show on January 14, 2001, Axl would bring out Beta and emotionally thank her for being there for him:

[Beta translating Axl's words to Portuguese]: In closing, I would like to say, without the love and support of one person, above all others, I would not be here today. In America, for the last seven years... [Axl hugs Beta] ...I have been supported by, and taken care of, and looked out for... [Beta (crying): Go ahead] This is very hard for her... The band has been taken care of. She has worked every step of the way to the rehearsals, recording, contracts and what a pain in the fucking ass I am. I’ve been taken care of for the last seven years by a Brazilian family. This is Elizabeth Lebeis, Beta, my assistant, and her three amazing children, Alex, Vanessa and Fernando. She has been a mother to me, to my manager, to my other assistants and anyone in the band who ever needed her at any time. I thank her, and I thank all of you for her. Peace, I love you, and we’ll be here next summer with a whole bunch of new songs. Be good to each other, and we’ll see you then. Goodnight.

Oh my God, I was very nervous. I always felt that my work was appreciated, but I didn't expect that.
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