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Axl, 1987: "WE HAVE 40 SONGS"

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Axl, 1987: "WE HAVE 40 SONGS" Empty Axl, 1987: "WE HAVE 40 SONGS"

Post by ludurigan on Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:33 am

Just saw this on the 1989 History section in the "- OCTOBER 1987-MAY 1989: PLANNING THE FOLLOW-UP TO 'APPETITE'" chapter (https://www.a-4-d.com/t4988-10-1989-things-unravel#19269)

Axl: "We have about 40 songs ready to go that we believe in"

Surprised

Let's say that is true.

Let's say GNR actually had 40 songs "ready to go" at that point in October 1987

I am gonna try to make a list of the songs that we know for a fact that existed at that point...

There are the songs who made into Lies:

1 - Patience
2 - Used to love her
3 - One in a million

There are the songs that made into the Illusions

4 - Don't Cry
5 - Perfect Crime
6 - Bad Obsession
7 - Back Off Bitch
8 - November Rain
9 - Dead Horse
10 - Yesterdays*
11 - You Could Be Mine

* was it already written in October 1987?

There are the West Arkeen songs that Axl recorded vocals for but that never made into any GNR album

12 - Crash diet
13 - Too much too soon
14 - Just another sunday
15 - Sentimental movie
16 - Bring it back home

There are also songs that were performed live by the band pre-October 1987 but that never made into any GNR album

17 - I ain't going down  
18 - Cornshucker
19 - Goodnight Tonight
20 - Indiana Ain't My Kinda Town **

** this is more of a joke song and I don't think Axl or anyone in the band ever actually considered it for an album

There is also...

21 - It Tastes Good, Don't It

...but was it already written in October 1987?

There are the Hollywood Rose songs that never made into any GN'R album

22 - Rock n' Roll Rose***
23 - Rocker
24 - Killing Time
25 - Cold Hard Cash
26 - That Something
27 - Rock n Roll Survivor
28 - Everything is OK
29 - Taxi Driver

*** according to an Izzy interview for a German magazine this was considered for the Illusions

And there are the new "songs" that appeared on the Appetite box

30 - New Work Tune
31 - The Plague

(those are not really songs are they?)

There are the covers who were previously played live pre-October 1987...

32. Knocking on Heaven's Door
33. Hair of the Dog
34. Heartbreak Hotel
35. Jumping Jack Flash
36. Whole Lotta Rosie
37. We're an American Band

And other covers that we don't know if were ever played live and/or in studio pre-October 1987

38. New Rose
39. Dead Flowers
40. Raw Power
41. Down on the Farm
42. Attitude
43. Marseilles
44. I Got a Line on You
45. Scarred for Life

My point is...

I think that among the "40" songs that Axl was thinking about, there are LOTS of them that are not on this list above

meaning... we don't even know they exist!
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Post by Blackstar on Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:18 pm

Another option is that Axl was exaggerating about the number.
Or, maybe, he included jams and fragments that had not been developed into full songs yet. This could have been the case of some Izzy songs that made the Illusions, You Ain't The First, for example; or, maybe, some never developed into songs.

--------

The Garden also existed before 1987, probably from around 1985).

Yesterdays must have been written around that time, too, based on the Duff quotes here (he's most likely wrong about 14 Years, though - he probably confuses it with Bad Obsession):
https://www.a-4-d.com/t122-yesterdays#140

and also on some information from Billy McCloud's (who is credited as co-writer) sister:





---------

In regards to the covers, Axl mentioned in an interview conducted in mid-1988 that they used to play Human Being:

Axl: ... I saw David Johansen when he did his Buster Poindexter show at the Roxy. I couldn't get in because it was sold out, but I saw him walking out of the Roxy - and we got introduced to him as guys from Guns N' Roses, and he had heard of us. And I told him that we used to do the Dolls' “I’m A Human Being." We used to play that one a lot.

This is an interesting one. I wonder if by "we" he meant Hollywood Rose.
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Post by ludurigan on Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:57 pm

@Blackstar wrote:Another option is that Axl was exaggerating about the number.
Or, maybe, he included jams and fragments that had not been developed into full songs yet. This could have been the case of some Izzy songs that made the Illusions, You Ain't The First, for example; or, maybe, some never developed into songs.


Yeah, he could be exaggerating the number, sure! But for him to say "40 songs" you would guess that there should be at least about 30 songs, no? What do you think?

I actually think that the second option -- "he included jams and fragments that had not been developed into full songs yet (...) or, maybe, some never developed into songs" -- is the most plausible possibility. That happens with so many bands!

I have been in writing sessions and I have seen with my own eyes bands with two or three writers come up with five, six, seven songs ideas in one single writing session. In most cases, they would pick one, two or three of those ideas and forget about the others. I can easily see that happening with Guns n' Roses.

Specially because Guns n' Roses had four(!) writers, which is not that usual in bands. So I think you can imagine that during a rehearsal (writing session) ideas would come from all directions. Izzy, Axl, Slash and Duff.

Also we know by quotes from band members that they liked to jam freely without planning "let's-write-this-song-that-sounds-like-this" and that's a good way to come up freely with new ideas.

So I can not really even begin to imagine how many ideas, jams and fragments these guys must have started and never properly finished...

They must have created tons of stuff like that that was left behind in different stages of completion... from just a Slash riff, or an Izzy chord progression, or some Axl lyrics, to something more elaborate like two or three parts put together, like a verse and a chorus... to even more complete stuff like almost finished songs or actually finished songs that were never properly recorded for release.

Do you think it is possible that GN'R recorded rehearsals and jams and writing sessions?

If rehearsals and jams and writing sessions were in fact recorded, do you think that there might be lots of ideas for songs and unfinished stuff on the recordings?

If rehearsals and jams and writing sessions were in fact recorded, do you think someone still has these recordings?

Do you think that Axl, the meticulous one in GNR, could have kept some of these recordings?



@Blackstar wrote:The Garden also existed before 1987, probably from around 1985).

Yesterdays must have been written around that time, too, based on the Duff quotes here (he's most likely wrong about 14 Years, though - he probably confuses it with Bad Obsession):
https://www.a-4-d.com/t122-yesterdays#140


Great info, thanks a lot for that, I have updated the list of songs that could possibly be on Axl's mind when he said "we have 40 songs" in 1987!



@Blackstar wrote:and also on some information from Billy McCloud's

Wow you probably won't believe me but for whatever reason I was wondering yesterday about who Billy McCloud was! You have answered my question!



@Blackstar wrote:In regards to the covers, Axl mentioned in an interview conducted in mid-1988 that they used to play Human Being:

Axl: ... I saw David Johansen when he did his Buster Poindexter show at the Roxy. I couldn't get in because it was sold out, but I saw him walking out of the Roxy - and we got introduced to him as guys from Guns N' Roses, and he had heard of us. And I told him that we used to do the Dolls' “I’m A Human Being." We used to play that one a lot.

This is an interesting one. I wonder if by "we" he meant Hollywood Rose.


Wow, that is pretty interesting indeed! I think it could be Hollywood Rose, yes, or maybe LA Guns or some other pre-GNR band... When I learn about info like this I think that there is so much stuff that we don't know about the songs played by those guys on the pre-GNR days...

I have updated the list of songs written pre-October 1987 that could possibly be on Axl's mind when he said "we have 40 songs"!


Lies songs:

1 - Patience
2 - Used to love her
3 - One in a million


Illusions songs:

4 - Don't Cry
5 - Perfect Crime
6 - Bad Obsession
7 - Back Off Bitch
8 - November Rain
9 - The Garden
10 - Dead Horse
11 - Yesterdays
12 - You Could Be Mine


West Arkeen songs:

13 - Crash diet
14 - Too much too soon
15 - Just another sunday
16 - Sentimental movie
17 - Bring it back home


Non-album songs

18 - I ain't going down  
19 - Cornshucker
20 - Goodnight Tonight
21 - Indiana Ain't My Kinda Town *

* this is more of a joke song, right?


Hollywood Rose songs

22 - Rock n' Roll Rose**
23 - Rocker
24 - Killing Time
25 - Cold Hard Cash
26 - That Something
27 - Rock n Roll Survivor
28 - Everything is OK
29 - Taxi Driver

** according to an Izzy interview for a German magazine this was considered for the Illusions

Appetite box "songs"***

30 - New Work Tune
31 - The Plague

***those are not really songs are they?


Covers known to be played live pre-October 1987...

32. Human Being
33. Knocking on Heaven's Door
34. Hair of the Dog
35. Heartbreak Hotel
36. Jumping Jack Flash
37. Whole Lotta Rosie
38. We're an American Band
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Post by Blackstar on Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:53 pm

@ludurigan I just remembered about the case of Slash songs or ideas that didn't make the GnR albums and then Slash used them on his solo albums or in collaborations.

One that we know the story of is "Night Crawler" that appeared on Ain't Life Grand as "Speed Parade". In late '89/early '90, Slash had mentioned "Night Crawler" among the songs they had for the next album:

Slash: Let's see, there’s "Ain’t Goin’ Down," "Don't Cry,” “You Could Be Mine,” "Perfect Crime,” another one called “Night Crawler" and one called “Back Off Bitch.” I have a song, too, that I wrote. It’s really personal, about how estranged I felt from everybody else in the band—and from society, friends and stuff—during the bad period. It’s about how cold and materialistic people really are. It was just one of those sitting on the edge of the bed, being a little depressed and playing a slow song things. Most of the lyrics will be written by Axl, but they’ll reflect the thoughts, pain and feelings of the individuals in the band, 'cause we all go through it together.
https://www.a-4-d.com/t4188-1990-02-dd-rip-magazine-slash-under-the-black-hat

In 2001 he would say that "Speed Parade" was written before AFD:

Q. Has your interest in the music you want to play remained pretty much the same? I ask that because a song like Speed Parade on Ain't Life Grand almost sounds like a pre-Appetite for Destruction song.

Slash: Actually, that’s a good call. In its rawest form, Speed Parade was written before Appetite.. . . There’s not too much old material on the new record, but that’s one that is. It’s very urgent material, and when Guns started to move away from that - which is what I’ve been trying to perfect since I was 15 years old - I got interested in doing something else.
https://www.a-4-d.com/t4765-2001-06-21-the-akron-beacon-journal-slash-and-chuck-go-one-on-one

Marc Canter has confirmed it was the same song:

Marc: nightcrawler ended up on the second Snakepit record but with a new name speed parade
http://www.mygnrforum.com/topic/191799-nightcrawler/?do=findComment&comment=3192304

It's likely that the riff for "Mama Said" was also written before 1987.

Axl here, in early 1990, mentions Slash songs he had put lyrics on but didn't make the GnR albums:

Axl: ... And so that ends up with Slash bringing in eight songs [for the Illusions]. It’s never been done before, Slash bringing in a song first and me writing words to it. I’ve done it twice with him before and we didn’t use either of those songs. Out of Slash’s choice. Now he’s got eight of them that I gotta write words to and they’re bad-assed songs!
https://www.a-4-d.com/t536-1990-04-21-28-kerrang-stick-to-your-guns-axl#12456

And here:

Axl: ... Slash is, though, one who really has a backlog of some material, and I don’t know what he plans to do with that.
https://www.a-4-d.com/t3048-1991-11-27-rockline-interview-with-axl
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Post by ludurigan on Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:54 pm

amazing info...

that adds more fuel to the "theory" that there might be A LOT of songs (in all different stages of completion) that were just abandoned by the band...

I can totally "see" Slash playing the riff to Nightcrawler in a band rehearsal, then the guys in the band starting to jam on it for a bit, maybe for a while, maybe for hours...

Maybe they did it on different occasions, maybe they came up with new parts, cool arrangements, great little transitions from part to part, those were all trademarks of GNR songs...

Maybe they developed it into a full song, maybe not... Maybe Axl added lyrics and vocals to it at some point...

The fact that Slash mentioned it by name in an interview about possible new songs gives me the impression that it is a finished song, at least instrumentally... possibly with Axl vocals...

Do you think that that instrumental song on the Aces High CD is in fact Nightcrawler?

And if it is, do you think that that is as far as they went in terms of developing the song?

===

About the other two songs that Axl mentioned, wow, i had no idea about that as well!

Can you imagine how cool would it be to listen to those two songs?

I wonder, are they finished songs?

Did they recorded the songs in studio with the entire band?

Was it just an Axl-Slash thing?

Did Slash gave Axl a tape with just him playing the track and Axl recorded vocals by himself over the Slash tape?

So many questions!

Oh I really want these recordings to exist and I really want to listen to them all!
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