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

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

LOOKING BACK AT THE TOURING 1991-1993


[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.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:16 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 the 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.


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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