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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:32 pm

CHAPTER INDEX

- COPING WITH SUPERSTARDOM
- 1993-1996: SLASH'S MUSICAL COLLABORATIONS
- 1994: SLASH WANTS TO TOUR
- SLASH BECOMES AN "IDENTIFIABLE PERSONA"
- JANUARY 1994: THE SINGLE 'SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU' IS RELEASED
- JANUARY 17, 1994: AN EARTHQUAKE HITS SLASH
- JANUARY 17, 1994: THE SINGLE 'ESTRANGED' IS RELEASED
- JANUARY 19, 1994: AXL INDUCTS ELTON JOHN AT THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND DUETS WITH BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
- JANUARY 1994-FEBRUARY 1995: GUNS N' ROSES AND HIGHLANDER III
-1993-1994: D-F-R
- JANUARY-APRIL 1994: SLASH, MATT AND GILBY WORKS ON SONGS FOR NEW RECORD
- FEBRUARY-MAY 1994: THE NEW SONGS ARE REJECTED
- "SHUT UP AND SING"
- AXL WANTS TO CHANGE THE SOUND; SLASH DOESN'T
- MARCH 1994: ERIN EVERLY SUES AXL
- "SHATTERED ILLUSIONS" - THE LOST BIOGRAPHY
- MAY 10, 1994: DUFF'S PANCREAS QUITS
- 1994-1996: DUFF MAKES CHANGES TO HIS LIFE
- MAY 1994: IS GILBY OUT?
- KISS-ASS SYCOPHANTS, THROWING PENANCE AT YOUR FEET?
- JUNE 1994: IT IS TRUE, GILBY IS OUT
- EARLY 1994: TRYING TO REPLACE GILBY, PAUL HUGE IS CONSIDERED
- JULY 24, 1994: GILBY RELEASES 'PAWNSHOP GUITARS' AND GOES TOURING
- MAY-OCTOBER 1994: THE BAND IS SPLINTERING AND LITTLE IS DONE
- JUNE-DECEMBER 1994: SLASH STOPS COMING TO BAND REHEARSALS
- 1994: TRYING TO REPLACE GILBY, DAVE NAVARRO IS CONSIDERED
- JULY 1994: THE GUNS N' ROSES PINBALL MACHINE
- SUMMER OF 1994: AXL WANTS THE SONGS AND THREATENS TO SUE SLASH
- OCTOBER 1994: SLASH INSULTS KEITH RICHARDS
- OCTOBER 1994: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
- NOVEMBER 1994: UZI SUICIDE IS RESURRECTED
- NOVEMBER 1994: GILBY SAYS HE HAS QUIT GUNS N' ROSES
- GILBY LOOKING BACK AT HIS TENURE WITH GUNS N' ROSES
- GILBY AFTER GUNS N' ROSES


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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:33 pm

COPING WITH SUPERSTARDOM


After returning to Los Angeles from the massively successful Use Your Illusion touring in 1993, the band weren't only stars anymore, they were superstars, they were celebrities.

When it comes down to it, you get up in the morning, try and find something to eat, and figure out what you’re going to do for the day. You’re not a celebrity. Then, when you walk out the door and get into your car to do some errands, and that's when things start to get weird.

Yeah, it’s weird. I mean, there’s no school to go to learn about it, there’s no book you can read. You know, there’s nobody to actually tell you what’s gonna happen. So you learn the lessons the hard way. And we’ve all learned the lessons. We’ve all actually learned from them.
Rock & Pop Argentina, September 1996; translated from Spanish

I arrived in this band that was the modern version of Led Zeppelin. I remember riding in a limo up the back way through Madison Square Garden and going, 'Man, this is exactly like "Song Remains the Same."' I was in the limo, driving up the ramp, getting on the private 747 jet and doing it, being there and living everything I'd dreamed.


This new celebrity status posed more problems to Axl and Slash who were by far the most recognizable and popular band members:

I have to admit that our social life, personal life, or whatever, is a little bit more restricted. I don't go out as much anymore. We stay in hotels and we don't come out during the day, and we hardly go to clubs anymore at night, just because it's a hassle. I sort of feel raped because of that. But it's a small price to pay for being able to go out on tour and play to all these enthusiastic people that like the band and everything.

[Talking about being recognized]: I'll go someplace like Portofino, Italy, and the next thing you know, you've got to stop eating dinner because there are people all around. […] LA is probably the easiest place for me to get around, and the second would be New York. In New York, it's like, 'Yo, Axe'. But they can spot me no matter what I'm wearing, so I don't bother to go in disguise. It just doesn't work. They think it's Axl's new look.

If I go to a bar in LA, every so often I run into someone who really appreciates the music, or they know a certain direction a song has that they relate to. That lasts for a week. That really does work when people appreciate the music and don't care about the other stuff. They may not even read the papers or know about it! […] The thing I can't stand, the thing that irks me, is I cannot get into my car and go to local clubs I used to hang out at. I can't go to the local store or market without feeling everybody's f**king staring at me! Some people are really nice and genuine and you appreciate that, but some people see you like you're a f*king cartoon character, like you're Bugs Bunny walking down the street! That gets to be a drag. I cannot hang out like I used to. And as far as the press goes… I don't read it! I don't wanna be bitter or overly jaded, but I can see changes in myself when I get around certain people.

I can't hang out on the street like I used to be able to do without getting hassled. So I've got this house and this studio - I've even got a pinball machine! I don't go anywhere any more.


Slash's solution to this, when the pressure from media and people got too high, was to escape to Africa:

[…] Africa's where you go! I've done that a couple of times, and it's extreme. Every time a record comes out I leave town. I don't wanna be around when it comes out. I don't wanna deal with LA so I go to a place where there is no 'community'. There's just animals around. I take my wife, we put up a tent, hang out for two weeks - there's no phones. You clean out. And your woman turns into an awesome creature if she's in the jungle and into it! It's great. You hang out with in the forest for a couple of weeks, and when you come back, everything that was worrying you before you left seems really f**king stupid!


Duff, despite being a less popular member, would also have to cope with the new reality of Guns N' Roses being the most popular band in the world, but would realize that he had remained the same:

When we started to get big and make some money — whereas before we were just a band making a record — I was doing interviews and people were asking, 'How much has fame and fortune changed your life?' And I could never really give an answer. I was always like, 'Well, I don't know.' And then it finally hit me — that it hadn't changed me, it just changed other people, how they react to you. I'm the same person, you know. All this money or whatever hasn't changed me. I'd give it all away to charity in a second if I thought it had. [laughing] Luckily, it hasn't!


In early 1995, Slash would talk more about being famous:

It depends how you handle it. Sometimes it gets uncomfortable if you're on your own and you want to take a walk or go to the record store and you can't browse without people breathing down your neck. That can be a drag, but… you know, I was driving through the streets this morning, pretty much shagged out of my mind and going to do some promo thing for Snakepit, and I see a guy with a jackhammer drilling in the street. Nothing I do is that hard a job. And musicians take themselves so f***ing seriously and think the world is on their shoulders, and that's where I draw the line. I can complain about this or that, but I'm not that guy on the street, I'm not one of the guys I saw working on the Thames Barrier this morning. I mean, that's hard work, and I'm about to do, what? — get into a bed with some chick for TV. What have I got to complain about, really?


When returning home from tour in 1993, Matt experienced some of the same things the rest of the band had experienced when returning back to Los Angeles after touring in 1988/1989, with people suddenly wanting to be your best friend and take advantage of your good fortune:

Being able to have a stable sort of existence was really hard to adjust to... I came home and there were a few people who wanted to get to know me a little bit better, maybe a few people who weren't exactly my friends, and I had to adjust to that as well.

I think I lived the dream of every kid who wants to be a drummer in a rock 'n' roll band. A lot of the reason I got into drumming was because of Ringo Starr. And I grew up emulating great rock drummers - Roger Taylor, John Bonham, Ian Paice, and Ginger Baker. And I remember, at fifteen, seeing Roger Taylor get out of a Rolls Royce in Hollywood with a few pretty girls. I remember honestly liking the craft of drumming, but I remember being very excited about what came with it. They were boy dreams. So when I eventually got to that level of success, all those things came true - and more. […] I got very confused about who my friends were. My trust level sort of changed, and I got out of focus. I became someone who was always "on." GN'R was at such a level that everybody wanted a piece. Of course, there was a ton of money, and then all of the egos became involved. It's traditional with great rock bands - all the same garbage you see on VH1's Behind The Music. […] I think that I stayed the same in certain areas, but I definitely felt like I needed to be "Matt Sorum the rock drummer guy" all the time. I wasn't able to step out of that or separate it from my regular life. I felt like it was a major part of who I was, and if I relaxed a little bit, I wouldn't keep that edge. It was a whole lifestyle with that band, and it wasn't abou tbeing a great musician or getting on stage with other great musicians.



MANAGING WEALTH


You know what? It's neither here nor there (Laughs). It's never been the issue with me. But obviously when you're at the airport or some local restaurant bar, and your credit card doesn't work because of any number of whatever incidents might have happened, there's some people that, when they're talking about $6 million here and $90 million there, not any person on this planet can sit there and go, 'I wonder if he has any real financial problems?' When you're getting $180 million a season, it's like 'I bet his parents call him a lot.'

But then, life does happen in some shape or form, and you start to lose track of where it's all going. So you end up having to grow up a little bit, and stay a little bit grounded or rooted so you don't blow everything. It's not like when you got your first big record advance check, and you bought your old lady a Lamborghini Countach and yourself a Countach and a new house, and then next thing you know you're broke.

I've seen people do that. That does happen. But for me, I basically have been focused around playing, and the only money I really lose, the only big expenditure, the most frivolous I am with money, is dealing with attorneys. You have to watch them, and you have to hire people to help you watch them (laughs). So that's where the money really goes, it's not really me or my old lady or my eccentricities, having this lifestyle, or drugs or anything like that. But I am aware of what to watch out for. It doesn't mean I'm all that great at it, but I have my act together. No matter how much of a rock 'n' roller you are, at some point you have got to pay attention.


Being asked if he was lucky enough to have your money managed by someone who was trustworthy:

Nope. In a perfect world, it could have been, but the more money that guys like us make, the more money that people who work for us rip off. Being a musician and doing what it is that we do, we actually have a life. A lot of the people that work around us live vicariously off of that for fun, and financially off that because they think we're not paying attention. There are people who've been working together for years, and have a mutual relationship where one hand feeds the other and it just goes smoothly that way, but in my short experience, I realize you have got to watch your back (laughs).


After Slash was out of the band in 1996 he was asked whether he still earns money from GN'R back catalogue and guitar endorsements:

Yeah. But we're also still paying back a lot of people. I'm not tremendously excited about it. My whole reality is that I'm not sitting around and waiting for the next Guns check to come in. I pretty much just move forward and try and keep my slate clean as I go.


And on whether he invests in stocks:

I didn't get caught up in all the stock stuff. Don't expect to. Being as I'm as disinterested in finances as it is, and I don't gamble, not as a rule, it just never interested me. Money for me is a necessity, depending on your lifestyle standards, and mine aren't necessarily that high. I need a TV set, I need a couch -- you know, basics.



MEETING FANS


It’s very surreal when somebody comes up and says [you’re my inspiration as a guitarist]. It happens every so often and you’ve got a myriad of emotional reactions to it. You can’t really pinpoint, but there’s a lot going on. When a kid walks up to you and he goes, “I started playing guitar because of this song” or “that song” or whatever, you’re like, “Wow!” – you know? And you can’t take it with a grain of salt, because it’s such a big deal. You don’t know how to react, so you just say, “Thank you very much” and try not to flip out over it, you know? (laughs) But it has a huge effect on you for the moment. It’s a big deal, because I know how I am about guitar players that I’ve met, that I’ve grew up listening to, and how over-the-top you get when you get to meet one of them. You don’t even know where to begin to ask questions, if you ask any at all, so you get sort of frozen in that time. So if somebody comes up to me, I sort of know what they’re feeling, and that’s probably one of the biggest compliments as a musician you can get.



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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:34 pm

1993-1996
SLASH'S MUSICAL COLLABORATIONS


[Slash is] a maniac. That guy'll play anywhere, at anything...He'd probably play at a department store opening if someone asked him.

____________________________________________________________

In March 1994 it would be reported that Slash had played with Billy Joel and had intended to play ukulele with Bette Midler but that "there was no place in the show" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

I like to jam, and Billy is a cool guy. We got drunk together, that's all it takes for me to get my guitar. There are people I can’t imagine myself on stage with, but they’re not too many. If I like the music, I can play it. I have some difficulties with jazz fusion, hehe! But I never listen to jazz fusion anyway.


When asked if he lost credibility from playing with so many different artists, he responded:

No! That’s anal retentiveness. If I were to sit down and try to guess what other people are going to think, I’d never do anything and we’d be a very different band. The worst thing in the world is to judge someone because they’re playing with so-and-so rather than with someone else. That’s stupid and pretentious. Instead, the public should focus on the fact that I’ve led my life in such a way that I can still play.


On June 26, 1994, Slash participated at the 'Gibson Night of 100 Guitars' at Wembley Arena, London:

It was real fun. I had a great time, although I suffered from severe jet lag because my schedule only allowed me to fly from LA to London the day before the gig - and I had to fly back again the following morning. Still, it was worth it, just to be able to play with someone like Paul Rodgers.


Talking about his collaborations:

[Being asked why he do all the collaborations]: Because I dig playing and, you know. Some people go out, you know, doctors go and they play golf. I get together with musicians and we jam. And we've recorded. And most of these people I've played with are, they are cats that I've met and, you know, people I admire or respect in some wayship before. And gotten to know. And we get together and we play. And we record and it comes out cool. And whenever Guns isn't doing anything, in order for me not to sit around and fester, you know, hanging out with somebody, you know. Just jam with them. And so that's where that started. And then I started doing it a lot. And then, um, more recently I started getting all the phone calls. You know, will you play on this and will you play on that. Um, are you gonna be available at this such and such date. Which is gotten a little bit more then, you know, I never planned on doing it this much. But I'm still having a good time and all things considered, it's been a lot of fun.

I spend most of my time writing material that's focused towards Guns N' Roses. But there's some songs that we just ended up not doing. And so I just go recorded it with someone else. [laughs] I mean, when Steven was still in the band, he couldn't play certain songs. There were certain songs that didn't make the record that I recorded with other people. And Axl and Duff were like: "Why did you do that?" I was like: "'Cause Steve couldn't play 'em". And we got a new drummer and we could have played 'em. Especially the Lenny Kravitz tune. But I'm happy I did it with Lenny, 'cause he's great and I'm glad the way that turned out.

Well, it's good experience, is what it is. It's like, a lot of these people I know. Michael was the one I didn't know at the time. But, a lot of these people I just gotten to know. Either from the business, or people I went to school with. Or... people that were friends with my parents. You know, stuff like that. And so we just get together and play. It's really not that big a deal. But, at this point, it's great to work in other people's environment. You know, I'm a pretty decent studio guy at this point. I can deal with any situation in any studio, just because I've worked with so many people. And it's how I keep active. Otherwise I'd fuckin'... I don't wanna be a complacent, fat, you know... Sitting around in a house somewhere doing nothing, because of, you know, I was successful with, you know, a couple of records. I mean, it's like good to keep working, and knowing that you still have the groove happening and your chops are still together and so on.

Everyone's so amazed that I go to these things and want to do it; I'm so totally out of place, but it's really cool. It's just grounding for me. It keeps me focussed on what I'm supposed to be doing. When I'm home, I can't just sit around and take it easy to the point of kicking back and doing the housework. I'll never change to that extent. So I just keep myself playing all the time, and then I'm happy.

It's a good thing that I've been doing so many outside projects where I'm so adaptable that I can play with almost anybody, within reason. All that experience of working with different people, in different studios, with different engineers and producers, not to mention musicians and so on, really is worth it. You might not think about it at the time. It just seems like fun. Looking back on it, it's really important for you to be able to take that experience and use it to your advantage.

I jam a lot now. When Guns was first starting, I didn't go out and jam with many other bands. And now I've jammed with so many people and done so many records and I've taken all that experience. […] People will read stuff about me getting involved in different stuff and give me a hard time about it. But fuck it, life is short, and if there is an opportunity to go out and do something, at least try it. I mean that's all I do. These guys are all friends of mine and where some people going out to play golf, we hang around and make a record.

I like jamming with other people — when it's their band; I like getting up with people that are way above par to see if I can stand up on my own and pull it off. If you have a good night, it means the world to you.

[Commenting upon why people want to collaborate with him]: Usually it's either people I hang out with, that I get along with, that happen to be musicians as well, or it might be something about my guitar playing, I don't know.

I just like playing and then it makes you sort of, you learn to work with different people in an environment that's theirs, it's not yours, it's theirs and it's cool because you get a lot of experience and then, at the end of the day, you can walk into any recording studio and work and be able to adapt to the situation, whatever, the environment might be like. As opposed to if I only worked with Guns N' Roses then if I walked into a studio and it wasn't, say, Axl and Duff and Izzy, Matt, Steve or you know, I wouldn't know what to do. So you go out and you take your chances and you just play with different people.

It's too much fuckin' fun, and life is too short. When things are getting too slow, you can always find a day in the week or a weekend to go out and play...If you don't take chances, you don't know what it would turn out like. […] Yeah, sometimes it can be bad, but rarely is it not fun. The first gig I had with Les Paul, was six years ago. I got up and jammed with him at Fat Tuesday's. He basically wiped the stage up with me; I never wanted to be off stage so badly... But it was an experience, a lesson definitely well-learned. I've played with him three times since and it got better and better. I know now you've got to pay attention, don't get ahead of yourself and play in the situation, you know?


In May 1995, Slash would say he was going to do something with Iggy Pop again, but that he might have missed his chance due to being too busy with other projects [Guitar Player, May 1995]. He would later mention that Iggy Pop was his favorite artist to work with after Guns N' Roses [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996].

In 1996 he contributed to a "a couple of soundtracks", including the Beverly Hills Cop 3 soundtrack [Netscape Online Chat, July 30, 1996]. He would also travel to Mexico and play on two songs with Alice Cooper on his June 2 show in Cabo Wabo [Online Chat, October 16, 1996].


Slash, Alice Cooper and band, Rob Zombie, and Sammy Hagar
June 1996


When asked what he had been doing while Guns N' Roses were on a hiatus, he offered:

I've done, like, since the last... Guns' last show from the Guns' tour, I've done like 580 some odd gigs. So no I haven't had any downtime. I've been doing a soundtrack for a movie called Curdled -  that's a Quentin Tarantino movie. I wrote a song for that. And then we're working on the Howard Stern movie right now, which is uh… and actually in this particular hotel, I've been writing all this stuff in the studio downstairs. So I've been working and then I just keep playing, you know, doing gigs. Because if I'm not playing I'm not happy, you know, and if Axl and I aren't seeing eye-to-eye on something having to do with Guns then I just go, "okay peace, I've gotta go, see ya!" [laughter] and I go on off to work elsewhere until we do come to a meeting of the minds, you know.


He would also say he had played on what would likely be his mother's record [The Howard Stern Show, September 30, 1996] and would describe the music as "a Sade kind of thing, dance music but with a little more to it than that" [Total Guitar, January 1997].

Among many other collaborations, Slash also played with Bobby Blue Band:

At first I asked Bobby 'Do you have a tuner or something?' He looked at me and said 'You got ears, man.' So then I go onstage, and I said 'What do I plug into here? There's no chord!' Finally someone gave me a chord and it was great...But that's just a reminder that if you want to play, you have to be ready for whatever unexpected occasions arise. You have to learn to adapt to any situation, no matter what it is.



1995: AXL NOT SUPPORTIVE ANY MORE?


Axl had been supportive of Slash's musical collaborations [see previous chapter], but in early 1995, Slash would indicate that the opposite was now true:

[…] [Axl]’s got this distorted vision, or thought, that when I apply my talents to the guitar - or however we wanna call it – that it’s automatically Guns N’ Roses material, which isn’t the case. That means Lenny Kravitz stuff, Iggy Pop, Michael Jackson and Carole King would all be Guns N’ Roses material (laughs). That’s not the case at all.


And in late 1999, Axl, admittedly hurt by the "divorce" between him and Slash, would state that Slash was throwing his talent away:

I never said that I was bitter. Hurt, yeah. Disappointed. I mean, with Slash, I remember crying about all kinds of things in my life, but I had never felt hot, burning tears...hot, burning tears of anger. Basically, to me, it was because I am watching this guy and I don't understand it. Playing with everyone from Space Ghost to Michael Jackson. I don't get it. I wanted the world to love and respect him. I just watched him throw it away.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:34 pm

1994
SLASH WANTS TO TOUR


I wanted to go on a club tour for Spaghetti Incident, get back to the kids, but Axl and I didn't agree on that one.

_______________________________________________________________

After returning after the marathonic 'Use Your Illusion' touring and getting 'The Spaghetti Incident?' released, Slash wanted to get back on the road quickly. To him, the period between touring was always hard and he was suffering from "post-road depression" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

If I don't play, I'll be a junkie in a hotel room somewhere. That's the honest reality.

I like being excited, which is why I have so much trouble when we have time off. When I get up in the morning, I need to have something to look forward to. I'm not very self-motivated; I'm not one of those guys that can get up and say, "I'm going to write a great song today." But if someone focuses me on something, I'll work my ass off. But usually someone or something else has to provide the impetus. I can be the laziest motherfucker in the world when there is nothing to focus on. I'll just watch TV and feel sorry for myself. [laughs].

If I don't keep busy, I go crazy. Considering the amount of hours I spend awake, I really find it hard to… Even if I'm laying there watching TV, I have to be thinking about something I'm gonna be doing. A phone call or a practicing or something. And it's just because I like to be active. If not, I might start to get stagnant, then I find things to keep me… stagnant. You know, something I can just… lay back and not care about anything. Which isn't really the pattern I'm using at this point, to keep myself moving on. So I hide myself in working all the time.


Despite Duff having said they had grown too big for club shows [Rip It Up, January 1993; Kerrang! January 1994], the Boston Globe would in November 1993 report that Slash had "half-persuaded" Axl to agree to a club tour, which would be "the best way to put the lid" on the Spaghetti Incident-project [Boston Globe, November 26, 1993].

In March 1994 Slash was talking about an arena tour and that he was "just trying to get back on the road!" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994]:

I'm thinking maybe we should go back to doing some medium size arenas or whatever with this record [= 'The Spaghetti Incident?'], so enough people can get in but I don't have to play in front of a hundred f**king thousand people a night.


Slash failed to get this tour happening. Eventually it was Axl who didn't want to do it:

'Cause I can't get Guns to go back and play clubs. Duff would do it, but Axl won't.


In early 1995, he would look back at this dream tour:

When ‘Spaghetti Incident’ came out, I wanted to go play clubs and get a chance to get toe to toe with people again. But Ax wasn’t into it. So now what? I thought we should play somewhere. We just never got a cohesive idea happening.

[Being asked why they didn't do a club tour]: Well, to begin with, there was the controversy over the Charles Manson cover that we did. That complicated things. But I suggested that we did a club tour - after we had played in so many stadiums, it seemed like a good idea to play in clubs, so I suggested it and Axl said, ‘No fuckin’ way.’ And I thought,  ‘Okay, fine...’ (laughs). That's why I'm doing this solo thing now, because it's good to be close to the people you play for, in the clubs, and see the expression in their eyes, and then go to the bar and chat with them instead of getting into the limousine, going to the airport and flying to another city to play in another stadium of 100,000 people a night, night after night, night after night... Where do you go after playing in stadiums of that size? You have to go back and find something to fill you in. Clubs are cool, because it's a more personal environment. The reason Guns N’ Roses doesn’t play in clubs is that Axl doesn’t want to do it.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

We don't really have anywhere to go but backward into clubs, and Axl doesn't want to do that.

I mentioned to Axl, “Let’s go play some clubs for the Spaghetti Incident, when that came out, and Axl wasn’t into the idea. And I was like, “What are we gonna do?” And you know, like, I don’t wanna get a huge orchestra, all that kind of crap on the stage. I just wanted to get back down to a normal rock ‘n’ roll level, which meant going back to clubs. You can’t get any bigger than the stadiums, you know. It’s not possible.

I can’t knock playing in stadiums ’cos there’s a sense of accomplishment there, but I don’t see why we couldn’t go back when we did ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ and play some clubs. But Axl just wouldn’t do it. So I’m getting a lot out of my system by doing this [Snakepit tour].
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:35 pm

SLASH BECOMES AN "IDENTIFIABLE PERSONA"


The "bad boys" reputation which has started back in the 80s followed the band into the 90s:

I mean, now were not so shocking, but they still expect us to do bad even when we don't. Like I said 'f**k' on MTV—big f**king deal! But now they expect it from us. If we stray away from being the predictable bad guys, then they get freaked out about that too. The whole thing is ridiculous. Everybody is just sitting there waiting to pounce on everything we do. People say, 'What's the gimmick?', you know, but there was no f**king gimmick!


Despite this, Slash was clearly creating a brand out of his looks to a point where he would mention he had stopped wearing his tophat in public:

If I go out to the record store or market, especially if I wear my top hat out, it's like all of a sudden I'm Mickey Mouse, you know, that cartoon character. Everybody's like, "Whoa!"

It’s like I’m some (expletive) cartoon character.


When pointed out that he had chosen to include the tophat himself on the cover of the Snakepit album, Slash replied:

Yeah, I’m a schmuck.


Slash would also be impersonated, including by Kiefer Sutherland at Saturday Night Live, but also more maliciously:

Yes, on Saturday Night Live (laughs). I mean, I saw it... (laughs). I had something worse happen to me recently. I was in New York mixing this record when the MTV Awards took place. I got an invitation but I didn’t feel like going, plus I had work to do, so I didn’t go. So, the next morning, a guy that I’d been working with in the studio all night phones me and he’s like, ‘I saw you and Renee in the newspaper, at the MTV Awards.’ I go, ‘What are you talking about? I was with you all night!’ and he goes, ‘But there’s a picture of you in the newspaper’ and I didn’t understand anything. Then Renee came with the paper, and there was that picture of a guy disguised just as me, with a top hat and a bottle of Jack Daniels, and with his arms around a blonde woman. I contacted the newspaper right away and asked them to correct their story, because it wasn’t me in the photo. It was embarrassing, that guy could ruin my reputation. Then, a few days later, they sent me a letter with an interview with the impostor, who had been arrested. It turned out he was an MTV employee who had been fired and wanted to get attention. The guy was copying my movements until he got to look a lot like me. There are people who are crazy. How can they take things so far? That was worse than Saturday Night Live. SNL is fine, because it's entertainment.

It’s nice to be recognized in the entertainment world. I’m not gonna complain about the success Guns N’ Roses has had, but there comes a point when it feels like Disneyland and the sense of reality disappears. Some people confuse you with Mickey Mouse. I go down the street and people shout at me, 'Uuuhhh, uuhh, uuhh!' (laughs) It's fun, but sometimes it's hard to have to go through all that in order to make music. But, like I said, I'm not complaining. I love working, despite the fatigue. I like to get up in the morning, meet people on time, be prompt, go to a radio station, talk to the kids that call and carry out commitments. I prefer that instead of being out of sight and acting like a rock star.  The communication between the band and the public is very rewarding. It’s worth the effort.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish


Slash's market value would just increase into the 2000s:

I don't really wear the hat around that much. I used to, but now it's just too recognizable. I love wearing them at shows and all, but when I go out in the street with one on, people act funny, like I'm the poor man's Mickey Mouse. It's just a $35 hat. I guess people notice the leather pants too, but that's different. They're the only pants I've got; I've been wearing them forever.


In October 2000, Slash would talk about being proud of succeeding at becoming an "identifiable persona":

I’ll always be Slash from Guns N’ Roses, but I do so much other stuff and work hard at being an individual. Over the years, I’ve managed to get an individual, identifiable persona. I don’t know too many guitar players who have been able to leave their bands and be identified. So I’m very lucky.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:35 pm

JANUARY 1994
THE SINGLE 'SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU' IS RELEASED


In January 1994, the second single from 'The Spaghetti Incident?' was released (at least as a promo single) [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 28, 1994].


Since I Don't Have You
January 1994


The only time I really lost a battle on a video was on 'Since I Don't Have You' where I came out of the water. That was something I had nothing to do with, but Axl refused to finish the video unless I did it.

When we did "If I Don't Have You," this lady who's now the president [of MTV] and very into women's rights, even little nuances in a girl's body were offensive as far as she was concerned. We had to fight. [MTV is] a very corporate, non-feeling organization.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:35 pm

JANUARY 17, 1994
AN EARTHQUAKE HITS SLASH


At 4:31am on January 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck the San Fernando Valley in California. The earthquake killed 60 people, injured more than 9,000 and caused significant damage.


The collapsed Interstate 5 connector
January 17, 1994


Slash's house was not spared the devastation:

Actually I just gotten done recording and come down the stairs, and was getting in bed and kiss the little woman goodnight, kind of thing. And all of a sudden: "Bam!", and the TV popped out across the room and that's when it started. The whole house blacked out and it was pretty much one of the most violent things I've ever been through. […] the house is fucked! [laughs] Everything living in the house, my pets and my wife and my cousin-in-law are all fine. All things considered, I could give a fuck about the house.

It was major. That had to be the most shocking experience I’ve ever had. The house was devastated. And my wife was there and her cousin and I’ve like some 40-plus animals and t he whole thing was just a panic. Some of the cats were so freaked out, they were wedged in areas where you couldn’t even find them. And one of the major priorities after the initial shock was over was to check the cobra cages, but it was OK. They hadn’t gotten out.

Besides, it was just a house. I can still play guitar and everybody close to me is still alive and all the animals are fine. So, I’ve got nothing much to complain about.

On the hill where I was by Mulholland, it was an 8.3 not 6.9. I lost all my neighbors, all their houses collapsed. Mine was the only one that didn't completely fall down. My cousin-in-law from Chicago was staying with us. he'd never been to LA. before. First earthquake. It moved through town in veins. I have a house I used to live in that I still own that I'm trying to sell, the first house I ever bought in Laurel Canyon. That house, nothing even fell off the mantel. […]  We went to Chicago after the earthquake, I was like, 'Fuck this." A house is material. The things I care about—my guitars, my wife, my snakes, my cats— everything was fine. It was very grounding. I think LA. needed it. We just don't need another one right away. It's funny, when it happened I'd just mixed three demos of the Snakepit tunes in my studio. I'd never mixed three series in one night. I went to bed, kissed Renee, we started to get into it, and all of a sudden the TV flew across the room. It was very surreal. I cut my foot a little. The refrigerator flew like five feet. Everything broke except a huge half gallon of Jack Daniel's that hadn't been opened yet. The only picture that didn't fall was one from my and Renee's wedding.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

You can see through [the house] [laughing]. When all was said and done and the dust had cleared, the whole house was totaled, everything that was material of mine was pretty much wasted. But the studio was more or less still intact. My wife was fine, I was fine, the snakes were fine, the cats were fine. My cousin Greg, who was visiting from Chicago, who’s never been to L.A. before, he was fine. […] And I realized that none of the (“stuff’) really mattered in the first place, so we just left. […] And we had a bottle of Jack that didn’t break.

The coolest omen was the night I recorded three songs and mixed them that night, which I normally wouldn't do. I went to bed with the DAT in my hand, all 14 songs. Actually, I was going to have sex [impish grin]. I took my tape and said [to wife Renee], `Honey, I'm done...' And it was like Godzilla came to town. It was so freaky, so surreal. I'm pulling down my clothes, trying to get into bed, and all of a sudden the TV at the foot of the bed, it just went. […] Everything I really cared about, which is my snakes and cats and Renee, were OK. I lost one guitar.


The damage meant that Slash and Renee would evacuate to a hotel for some time [Kerrang! March 12, 1994]. And in December 1994they were leasing a house in Hollywood:

When the earth-quake hit, my house was hit really hard. All the cages have plexiglas fronts so I didn't lose the snakes. but before that all the snakes were in the house, every room had snakes in it. But I had to move out of there. I still own it but it's not live-able. I'm back in Hollywood, which is nice. I'm leasing this one. Before I was on the cusp between the Valley and Hollywood. I hate the Valley. But Renee's from the Valley so I ended up hanging out there for the most part. The building where the snakes are is in the Valley.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994
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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:36 pm

JANUARY 17, 1994
THE SINGLE 'ESTRANGED' IS RELEASED


The third video in the trilogy was for the single 'Estranged'. The video was recorded in 1993, but the label had a problem with two records out and singles from both waiting to be released. Geffen decided that the song would not be released as a single. Mel Pusner, head of Geffen Information, would comment:

With the release of 'The Spaghetti Incident?' album in November, we were then faced with a choice of starting to release singles from this album or continuing with the 'Use Your Illusion' tracks. It was decided not to confuse the marketplace and the fans and to focus on the new album material. This does not preclude a possible future single release of 'Estranged' in Europe. In America, they're are not faced with the same problems as Europe as they are able to work more than one track on the radio simultaneously, as they have many different radio station styles in their country.


Despite this, the song was released as a single on January 17, 1994 [but maybe only in the US?].


Estranged
January 17, 1994


Axl would talk about the story of the music video:

Eventually, I wrote the theme song to the story [by Del James]. […] I wrote it about my own life. […] It’s actually the song Estranged. […] It’s based around a song that this guy writes when it’s over in his relationship and what happens. And I wrote that song, you know? And I wasn’t even planning it - after I wrote it, I call Del and I go, “Del, I wrote the song for it.” And I had never planned on that. I never even thought of that. It just ended up fitting together, and I was on a different track, but the two came together. […] ["Without you"] is the last words of the last verse in Estranged. It just came about, it just fit. You know, it was not planned; it just fit. And all of a sudden I was like, “No way!”

We released a making of… One for "Don't Cry" and one for "November Rain" and we're making one for "Estranged"… Actually "Estranged" isn't… in some ways a part of the trilogy. It's more like part four. Part three was a mutual self-destruction of the couple that was in "November Rain". And… well, someone had other plans and we were in a position, where something we had worked on for five years had to be rewritten to kinda transcend it. So, it's a video about transcendence of a real life situation, that didn't have a whole lot to do with the story that was intended. And actually I'm kinda glad we made this video instead of the one we were going to make. To know about the story that was in "November Rain", you have to wait on Del's book. It's a story called "Without You."

[…] my friend Del James wrote a short story called "Without You", that was influenced by me and my ex-wife, in some ways. And then I ended up writing a song that fit that story, which was "Estranged". And so… You know, that was about, I don't know, four or five years ago and… The story started, then a couple of years later the song came about and then we started working on this project. And then in the middle of the project, or two thirds into the project, real life kind of changed all the plans. And we had to make something else and figure out how to rise above… As an artist, I had to figure out how to rise above my own creation that meant a lot to me. That I was kinda stop dead in my tracks and had to figure out how to make something else and… Like, write a whole new thing on top of something I'd been living to make, that I liked even more. And it was a really hard challenge and myself and the director, Andy Morahan was involved in this whole thing all along. And so was Del James and the band and… For all of us, it was a really hard challenge to rise above. Plus, we've spent 2.5 million dollars and we had to put it out.

Estranged [=the video] was way late in the making, actually; because, I mean, it [=the song] was recorded two and a half years ago. […] Yeah, that’s when the record came out. […] we just did it [=the video]! You know, as far as schedules go, this band is just not adhering (laughs). So that’s two and a half years late. We’re not gonna do any more.


The video for 'Estranged' was filmed after Axl and Stephanie had broken up, which lent various challenges to the script of the video and how to resolve story lines from the previous videos:

At the end of the November Rain video, it says, “Based on the short story ‘Without You’ by Del James” - and that would be me. A lot of people have asked where’s the story, how did she die, and this and that. What we were going to attempt to do was let people know what her fate was in this video -

- where we had intended to make the sequel or the follow-up and the conclusion of November Rain. Things changed, plans changed. […] There was an evolving that took place that’s very hard to rise to, to transcend the story that we had and that we intended. But I’ve kind of been put in a situation where that’s what was necessary to make the right video.


Talking about the water scene in 'Estranged':

You know, when you see the video, it's not anything close to as hectic as it was, at the time. I got down to... We did it at Universal Studios, and I figured it would be in some sort of tank or something like that. And I get there and it's the "Jaws" set, right. Which is a huge lagoon, man-made lagoon. And they had... guys on jet-skis, huge hydraulic fans making the storm happen. That whole sky behind me, the backdrop. And the water was like, some, I don't know, ten below zero. I had to stand in it from eight in night to eight in the morning. All right, it's three lousy seconds out of the video. [laughs] […] I had like paramedics checking me for hypothermia and all that stuff. It was a nightmare. […] And then, you know, the video comes out and it's like, you pop out of the water and there you have it... guitar solo bit. And then it's over. […] And all of Axl's shots in the water were either in Miami or in 92-degree water tank.

Last week I played a helicopter rescue guy (laughs); and I attempted to save Axl in the middle of an ocean kind of setting. We actually went into this huge soundstage, where there was this really big, huge, gigantic tank that had a wave machine that created waves and flopped Axl right in the middle of this wave (?).

I was just informed, moments ago, that I’m gonna throw a thing, a little lifesaver thing off a ship (laughs). I don’t know. We don’t really act, you know (laughs). It’s like, they just kind of give us direction and we just kind of do it. I think if we, like, try to do any kind of acting it looks really stupid, because we’re not very good at it.

My part was really – I don’t know if it really came across in the video; to me it does, but probably people don’t know really what’s going on. It’s trying to save Axl in the middle of the ocean. And really, when he was in the water and I was in the boat, it was pretty scary. I mean, at one point I was like, “Shit, I should jump in and save his ass” (laughs). And a few times I fell into the water. The thing tipped over, you know.

Another drowning scene that was very – I went into the water for about eight hours or so, and freezing water. And it’s more mentally exhausting than physically exhausting.

I really, really tried to save him, but no lucky. He went down and we’re gonna replace him. We’ve heard Elvis is back in business, and he’s gonna sing lead for us now, so... He’s actually nearby, we’re gonna go find him in a little while, and he’s gonna do the gig from now on. Axl has drowned. I’m sorry (laughs).


Talking about the dolphins:

The dolphins was to assimilate a state of peace or state of grace. It was not originally intended, but in the next scene I will be drowned and go to heaven; and I really didn’t want to shoot a heaven scene. […] The music in the song always reminded us of whales at that particular point, and so dolphins showed up and it kind of brings all that together.


Talking about his solo scene:

We’re doing this Estranged concept, and I felt with the town that I grew up in, where  – I don’t know, this where I used to hang out, so it’s coming back to it where it’s a completely different deal, and the environment is completely different and the people treat you differently. So I’m just going to be doing a guitar solo through a group of – you know, the average Sunset hangout people, and I’m just going through and they’re totally oblivious to me. It’s very moody and I’m just gonna be playing the sad solo.


Talking about the live footage used in the video:

When we did this live footage we were somewhere in Germany. That was a real gig, you know. It’s no bullshit, it was a big show out there in Germany. And then we went down to Long Beach Arena, and rent out the entire arena and basically set up the entire staging again, and they got closer shots which is hard to control in a live situation.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:36 pm

JANUARY 19, 1994
AXL INDUCTS ELTON JOHN AT THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
AND DUETS WITH BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN


As previously discussed, Axl was a huge fan of Elton John. They had previously sung together at the Freddie Mercury tribute show in April 1992 and at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards where Guns N' Roses performed 'November Rain' together with Elton John.

Elton John has always been one of my biggest influences, and if it wasn’t for Elton John wouldn’t necessarily probably exist for Guns N’ Roses. And then John Connelly of MTV came up with the idea of having him play it with us in the MTV Awards. So that was a great honor, to have him play the song. I didn’t think that he really got his place in the song live, but just looking over and seeing him playing this song was just – I’ve never been that nervous but I felt that much under pressure and I was also blown away. You know, that’s Elton John sitting across playing the song, and he’s just into it, just doing it, whatever. And he kept teasing me and laughing, and I was, like, trying to keep concentrating cuz that was the longest version of November Rain, just mentally, to play ever. I was like, “When this song is gonna end so I can relax?” (laughs) That was pretty extreme, but that was kind of like taking the song to its highest peak for me.



In January 1994 Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Axl held the induction speech:

I've never done anything like this before, so this will be kind of simple put together.

I've never really understood what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was about, but tonight I'm getting an education, and I'm thankful for that. I've always considered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame kind of in my record collection, on my radio or now on MTV; but, more importantly, in our hearts and minds. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors the musicians who make the music, that not only becomes the soundtrack to our lives, but it actually helps us get through each day of our life.

And for myself, as well as many others, no one has been there more for inspiration than Elton John.  Also when we talk of great rock duos, like Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, John and Paul, Mick and Keith, I like to think of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Also tonight I think that Elton should be honored for his great work and contribution in the fight against AIDS; and also his bravery in exposing all the triumphs and tragedies of his personal life, and the knowledge of these things helps ourselves get through things every day.

When I first heard “Bennie and the Jets,” I knew at that time that I had to be a performer. So now a man, who in ways is responsible for more things than he ever planned on (laughs): Elton John.



Elton John and Axl
January 19, 1994


At the end of the induction ceremony which also included John Lennon's posthumous inducted, Paul McCartney was supposed to sing 'Come Together' with Bruce Springsteen. But supposedly according to jetlag, McCartney decided to opt out of this. On short notice Axl was reined in to do the duet instead together with Springsteen [Hartford Courant, January 21, 1994].


Bruce Springsteen and Axl
January 19, 1994


Another version of what happened would later be posted at Bruce Springsteen fan forum and youtube by "Will Hoffmann":

This duet was originally scheduled / planned for Rod Stewart and Elton John. Rod Stewart didn't make the event because of the earthquake in Los Angeles shortly before the event. As Bob Weir / John Popper and others performed on stage the production personnel approached Bruce with the lyrics to "Come Together". Bruce politely refused, repeatedly. The producers then approached Axl Rose who was at the next table over. Axl agreed and then pulled up a chair next to Bruce. After a minute or two of conversation, Axl put the lyrics on the table and Bruce and Axl hovered over the paper for a few minutes. As Bob Weir / John Popper et al. left the stage, Bruce and Axl simply got up, walked onto the stage and rocked. No rehearsal. No practice. Amazing to witness.


It is impossible to determine which version is correct (that McCartney and Springsteen was supposed to do the duet or Rod Stewart and Elton John), and it is also possible both are correct and that the original plan was for Stewart and Elton doing the song together but when Stewart couldn't make it to the show, McCartney and Springsteen was asked before McCartney pulled out and Axl was reined in at the last minute.

Elton John would later reminisce about the experience:

[...] I think the first time David really saw one up close was the night in January 1994 when I was due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York. I didn't want to go, because I don't really see the point of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I loved the original idea of it – honouring the true pioneers of rock and roll, the artists who laid the path in the fifties that the rest of us followed, especially the ones who got ripped off financially – but it quickly became something else entirely, a big televised ceremony with tickets that cost tens of thousands of dollars. It's just about getting enough big names involved each year to put bums on seats.

The smart thing would have been to politely decline the invitation, but I felt obliged. I was being inducted by Axl Rose, who I really liked. […]

So I went along to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As soon as I got there, I decided I'd made a mistake, turned round and left, ranting all the way about how the place was a f****** mausoleum. I dragged David back to the hotel, where I immediately felt guilty for blowing them out. So we went back. The Grateful Dead were performing with a cardboard cut-out of Jerry Garcia, because Jerry Garcia wasn't there: he thought the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a load of bullshit, and had refused to attend. I decided Jerry had a point, turned round and left again, with David dutifully in tow. I had got out of my suit and into the hotel dressing gown when I was once more struck by a pang of guilt. So I got back into my suit and we returned to the awards ceremony. Then I got angry at myself for feeling guilty and stormed out again, once more enlivening the journey back to the hotel with a lengthy oration, delivered at enormous volume, about what a waste of time the whole evening was. By now, David's sympathetic nods and murmurs of agreement were starting to take on a slightly strained tone, but I convinced myself he was probably rolling his eyes like that at the manifest failings of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rather than at me. This made it easier to decide – ten minutes later – that all things considered, we had better go back to the ceremony yet again. The other guests looked quite surprised to see us, but you could hardly blame them: we'd been backwards and forwards to our table more often than the waiting staff.

I'd like to tell you it ended there, but I fear there may have been another change of heart and furious return to the hotel before I actually got onstage and accepted the award. Axl Rose gave a beautiful speech, I called Bernie up onstage and gave the award to him, then we left. We drove back to the hotel in silence, which was eventually broken by David.

"Well," he said quietly, "that was quite a dramatic evening." Then he paused. "Elton," he asked plaintively, "is your life always like this?"
Elton John's biography, 2019
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:36 pm

JANUARY 1994-FEBRUARY 1995
GUNS N' ROSES AND HIGHLANDER III


In January 1994 it would be reported that Axl was playing the role of the villain's henchman in the Highlander III movie [The Daily Sentinel, January 7, 1994]. The villain was played by the actor Mario Van Peebles.

The same month it would be reported that Guns N' Roses would do the music for the movie, although Slash would say it wasn't decided yet:

I didn’t even know that rumor had gotten out yet. […] Anyway, I’m gonna check out some footage, but we have no idea whether we’re gonna get involved in that, in all honesty.


The movie was released in November 1994 in the UK and January 1995 in the US. Curiously, in February 1995 newspaper short notices would state that Axl featured in the movie [Press Democrat, February 5, 1995; Northwest Herald, February 10, 1995]. But the movie did not feature Axl.

Andy Morahan, who directed the movie and had directed the November Rain video, would later provide an explanation for why Axl dropped out of the cast, as told by Empire Magazine:

Morahan had worked extensively with Guns N’ Roses, not least on the infamously overblown November Rain clip, and for a while it seemed that he had secured the coup of Axl Rose and co. providing the soundtrack. 'They loved that Queen had done the music on the first one and I had Axl ready to go,' says Morahan. But Rose suddenly revealed an unexplained dislike of Mario Van Peebles (on hand as cartoony main villain Kane) and refused to provide any songs if the actor remained in the film. 'So that screwed that one,' says Morahan. 'Miramax wouldn’t get rid of Mario. At the time I thought it was more important to have Guns N’ Roses!'
Empire Magazine, July 2009


So the movie did not feature music from Guns N' Roses.


Highlander III,
a movie not featuring GN'R
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:36 pm

1993-1994
D-F-R


After returning to Los Angeles after the massive 'Use Your Illusion' touring in July 1993, Dizzy would start playing occasional shows at LA clubs under the moniker "D-F-R" ("Dizzy Fuckin' Reed") [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

Dizzy would also work on a solo record, to which Slash would contribute:

I've just been recording two of Dizzy's songs. I'll play you one. It's only piano and acoustic guitar. I heard it when we were on the road. […] It's really pretty.


It is not clear what happened with this solo record. Dizzy would release a solo record in 2018.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:37 pm

JANUARY-APRIL 1994
SLASH, MATT AND GILBY WORKS ON SONGS FOR NEW RECORD


When 1994 came around the band had song ideas for the next record, most coming out of rehearsals at the 'Use Your Illusion' tour but also at least one song from Axl ('This I Love'). See earlier chapter for details. In an interview published by Kerrang! in January, Slash would indicate they expected to record in February:

Me and Axl are talking about going in to record a new album in February, so I’m hoping to be on the road by the Summer...


The same month Slash would talk about what they had done so far:

Everybody had their own things to do [after the tour that ended in July 1993], and everybody gets isolated because no one wants to deal with the pressure of being on the street; people coming up to you and recognising you and all this other crap. […] Then we started recording, writing new songs, and got happy. We forgot about the outside bullshit.


He would also say he had been recording 8 new songs in his home studio:

And I built a studio in my house, so I've been spending all my time in there, from 8pm to 10 in the morning, recording new material for the next record. It sounds awesome!. […] And now me, Axl, Duff, Matt and Gilby are writing some awesome tunes. We're eight songs into the next record already.


And discuss the music they were working on:

Well, I don’t know how cheery it’ll be in terms of lyrical content; and what’s more, I won’t ever knock the ‘...illusion’ records for whatever vibes they might have, because they really f**kin’ mean a lot to us. […] With this one right now, everyone is really happy, even though we’re dealing with court cases, lawsuits, this, that and the other. […] The grooves on this record are f**king great. I don’t know what the finished product will sound like or how it will be received, but we’re all very happy and that’s all I care about.


On a joint radio interview on January 3, 1994, and likely conducted after the Kerrang! interview, Slash and Axl would talk about writing for the next record and Slash would say he had just sent his latest tape [likely containing the eight songs described above] to Axl [Rockline, January 3, 1994].

The majority of things are done on the phone, until we actually get in the studio. A lot of things over the phone and sending tapes back and forth. And we've done this for years.


In the same interview they would be asked about the musical direction of the next record:

Musical direction with the band really has to do with what the band… you know, what we do as a group or as an organization of people. You know, the six of us, constitutes. […] I mean, it's really simple and it's a lot less complicated than most of the public thinks. […] It'll be what we think is good at the present, that's all.

How about it's like, compared to the "Illusions", the direction will be a shorter direction [laughs].


Later, sometime in January after the 17th, Slash was up to 14-15 songs:

Anyway, so ['The Spaghetti Incident?'] was set and done and I built the studio in my house. And started recording material for the next record. So we got about 14 or 15 songs for the next record. […] we've got 14 songs done, at this point and as soon as I get back to LA from Canada, I'm gonna rent a place to live next to the rehearsal studio and then we'll just go in there and start jamming.

I’ve been working on the Gunners record ever since I got home after The Spaghetti Incident? was finished. I’ve built a studio in my house that the band can use and so far we’ve done 14 songs.

The Use Your Illusion records, if you really knew, if anybody knew the whole story of what we were going through, they’d realize how important those records are to us and why they took so long — but you had to be there. When you read the lyrics, it starts to come out. It was a real period of turmoil. This time around everybody’s more stable.

I mean, we had every reason to split up before those albums turned out as far as the obstacles we had to face. So as far as being able to pull off that tour and Izzy leaving in the middle of it and this, that and the other thing and being able to go back into the studio and do The Spaghetti Incident? . . . well, we just wanted to go straight back to work and do something else. So, it shouldn’t take as long (for the next album to come out).

[Talking about the direction of the new music]: […] it’s gonna be like, well, we have a new fusion jazz approach. We’ve been listening to Yes a lot lately [laughing]. No, it’ll be rock ’n’ roll.

I’m hoping we’ll be out before next year. But the best laid plans with Guns, as you know....


In the same month he would also say that the making of the next record was progressing quickly:

[…] we’re working on it, yeah. And it’s going very fast, considering we got off the road six months ago, put out “The Spaghetti Incident” and already started on the next record. It’ll be out sooner than usual, you know? […] I’d like to have it out this summer.


In a Q Magazine interview published in March 1994, Slash would talk more about the songs he was making and indicate they had nine songs done, compared to the 14-15 he had mentioned previously:

I instantly went back into the studio and started working on the next record, so we're about nine songs into it. In a perfect world, we'd have the record out in the summer.


In a Kerrang! interview also published in March, he would shed more light on the new music:

Most of it's really sort of slinky groove things, but real mean. They're cool. […] They're sort of like dirty sex, and there are some that are just fast and hard. There's a lot of really brash stuff that we've finished already that's really killer.


He would also suggest getting the record done quickly:

What I want to do, as opposed to last time with all the distractions and shit, is get between eight and 12 songs done, get in and record them real simply and quick. […] Because of all the work we've been doing up here, when we go into pre-production and were sitting in a room with a stack of amps and a real drum kit, it should be that much better. I can't wait!


And that there would be no covers or left-overs:

Some written on the road, some since we've been off. No covers - 'The Spaghetti Incident?' took care of that one - and no left-overs; anything even vaguely resembling an earlier-era song was squashed onto one of the two ....Illusion's. […] It's really important not to look back. When we did the '...Illusion' records we cleaned our whole slate. We did all the songs that Izzy ever wrote - because Izzy was really on the way out at the beginning of that; he started to phase out and we grabbed a bunch of his old songs, some of the ones that we were currently doing, some old songs from before Guns N' Roses, so we'd never have to think about it again. This is all just new stuff. […] You know how a lot of bands go, 'This is our best stuff'? It's such a cliche, so I hate saying it, but I'm really happy with this, so let's just see what happens.


Slash would also say that he and Mike Clink was supposed to enter pre-production by now, but that the January 17 earthquake in Los Angeles and Slash's subsequent evacuation to a hotel, had postponed this [Kerrang! March 12, 1994].

In an interview published in July 1994, but likely done March-April 1994, Slash would again say they now had nine songs set for the next album:

We no longer live in the same room like in the early days, but we’re in constant contact for all the important decisions. I have a recording studio at my place, where Gilby (Clarke) and Matt (Sorum) come to play. We already have nine songs set for the next G n'R album.


In the same interview, Slash would say he had started working on his solo record, and so had Gilby, indicating that there were disagreements over some of the songs they had written and that Axl didn't want them for Guns N' Roses. So maybe only 9 out of the 14-15 songs they had in January were considered good enough for Guns N' Roses and the rest would go to solo projects?
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:37 pm

FEBRUARY-MAY 1994
THE NEW SONGS ARE REJECTED


And then I played some of the songs for Axl, and he didn't want to do them. The music was too retro for him or something.


____________________________________________________________________________

As previously noted Slash, Gilby and Matt had been busy working on new material for GN'R's next record.

Usually, I'm at Slash's every night. We work on new material and different things, whether it's my stuff, his stuff or whatever. He's got a studio in his house. We're working on some stuff right now - me, him and Matt.

I've never written a note with Axl; I've written a lot with Slash. He has a studio at his house, so we got up to his house and me, him and Matt will get together, we fuck around, we write songs, record them […]


In May 1994, though, Matt would say that the material was now intended for a "side project" after having been offered up to Guns N' Roses but rejected:

They didn’t like it. We were working on it for eight months and they really didn’t dig it. […] It’s just heavy, solid rock ’n’ roll. No pianos, no ballads.


Gilby would confirm:

There is no 'next GN'R album'! […] I don't know about ever. For now. We started working on one, and it got canned. […] it's an Axl thing. He just wasn't into what we were doing, so he's kind of rethinking what he wants to do. He just kind of threw a wrench into everything that me, Slash and Matt had worked to. And then Duff came in. […] Duff and Axl have an idea what the album should be, and the rest of us have another idea. So right now, we're not gonna do anything. […] GN'R's not gonna do anything, so we just go up to Slash's place and work.

For a while there, I contributed a lot [to the writing]. But now, I don't know how much I'm going to contribute. Like I said, Axl pretty much threw a wrench into everything. He didn't like what we were all doing. […] It's Axl's band, and he runs it the way he wants. And whatever he wants to do is gonna happen. So we can work on songs all year long and come up with 20 songs, but when it comes down to it, if Axl writes 10 songs, he'll go, 'I want my 10 songs on the record'. And that's what's gonna happen.

[…] Axl is of course the leader and after that comes Slash. It is true that the rest of us is contributing with material, but if you are a productive songwriter like myself it's impossible to give them all compositions.


Slash would later shed light on what had happened:

At one point I was actually encouraged to do a solo record because this material was a little bit, as Axl put it, 'too retro’.

I was hoping it would work with Guns. I was just writing at home, I built a studio, and I was experimenting.[…] It's a simple studio and Matt would be there to help me arrange the stuff. […] So I wrote all these songs and played the demo for Axl and he just wasn't interested. I said, "But this is really what I want Guns to do," and he wasn't into it. So I had all this material and Axl had all these lawsuits going on and he wouldn't have time to get into writing at that point anyway. So he sort of suggested I did a solo record.

I played some of the stuff for Axl and he didn’t seem to take to it too well. So I kept it and – I mean, it could have been Guns N’ Roses material at the time, if he’d been really into it, but that wasn’t a musical direction that he wanted to go.

I played Axl the material when it was in demo form and he said he didn’t want to do that kind of music anymore.

When I started writing all this stuff, you know, and I played [Axl] some of it, he was like, that wasn’t the direction musically he wanted to go in, because it’s basic hard-rock stuff. And at the time, I think Pearl Jam was like what he was into, and [laughing] I said, ‘Oh, wait a second, OK. I won’t have anything to do with that.’

When I finally made a record. He was like ‘I like this song and this song and that song.’ I said ‘Yeah? You hated it when I wrote it.

I played some of this stuff for Axl at one point, and... he was, like, going, ‘It’s too retro, it’s too like old hard rock, and I want to do something more like Pearl Jam.’ And I said, ‘Oh, no, no, no. We’re not going that direction.' So I kept the material […].

It's our band. So if I write something, my first and foremost priority would be to dedicate it to Guns. At the time, no one seemed to be interested in the material. Axl said, `That's not the kind of music I want to do.' I said, `OK,' and took it all back. We've had that happen too many times in Guns, when certain songs just didn't make it, and they would have been killer. I didn't want to lose any more material.

Before that was even really a concept as far as an album was concerned, when it was just like demos, I was like, “Well, this would make great material”, at least a great foundation for the band to work on. But Axl had made up his mind that he didn't want to play that type of music any more. So I was like, “OK, cool. Fuck it then!”


In another interview, Slash would say the songs were intended for Guns N' Roses, but that Axl didn't like them because he "was going through a Pearl Jam phase at the time" [Associated Press/Greenville News, March 3, 1995].

I wouldn't go as far as to say that [these 14 songs would have been the next GN'R record], especially with the way we all work together. I don't know what’s happening with the band. These songs wouldn’t sound the way they do if they were played by Guns, and maybe these songs wouldn’t be on a Guns record.

I was just writing the way that I write. A lot of stuff that I wrote for the Use Your Illusion records, you don't even know it's there. The kind of material that I like is on this record, which I would have loved to have been a Guns N' Roses record, but that's not the direction that Axl wanted to go in. I was really amazed that Axl was like, "No. I want to sound like Pearl jam." I was like, "Okay. I'm going to keep this stuff." That's where I got the concept of making a record out of it. I didn't know where I was going. I never seem to know that. I just stick my foot somewhere and take it from there.

Axl’s been wanting to make a record this whole time. But when we finally got together and I'd written some material, he didn’t want to do that type of music, cos the scene had changed. I’m not going to keep up with trends, so we had a conflict of interests.

And actually, that first Snakepit record [It's Five O'Clock Somewhere] was initially ideas that I had for the [next] Guns record. But at some point, Axl and I had a falling out over what kind of music would be on the album. I played him a demo of some of my songs, and he said, "I don't want to do that kind of music." And I was like, "But it would be an awesome Guns record, done Guns' way!" But he wanted to do industrial music, and he wanted to do "Pearl Jam"-[type] stuff.

When I presented my typical off-the-cuff riff writing to Axl back around 1994, he told me he didn't want to do that kind of music anymore. He told me he wanted to do something that was a cross between Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam. Axl was very adamant about pursuing that direction, and I think that was the beginning of the end for me.


Gilby would indicate the songs they had worked on might end up on a Slash solo record and that his own 15 songs would go to his solo record:

So as much as we work on 'em, it doesn't mean anything, because they may never get anywhere. Slash and I are working on some stuff right now together. It's stuff that we put together for the next GN'R record, stuff that isn't gonna make it now. So we're putting something together. We don't know if this is gonna be a Slash solo album or what it's gonna be.

[…] I had a collection of songs, there's like 15 songs that I had, right? And knowing when we started working on the GNR stuff, they were gonna use no old stuff, it was all gonna be fresh new stuff. I had all these songs and I didn't want them to disappear or have to give them to somebody else to do.

I gathered all my songs and did it.


These songs would end up on Gilby's solo record, "Pawn Shop Guitars" which would be released in July 1994 [see later section].

In June 1994, Gilby wasn't sure what would happen to the songs he and Slash had been working on but would reveal that Slash was now considering a solo album:

Me and Slash are working on some songs. It’s not for Guns N’ Roses, not for anything in general. […] It could be Slash’s album, this is what it could be, because Slash has been talking about making his own album. You know, because Duff did it, I did it, he can do it (laughs). He has some really, really good songs and, like I said, it’s gonna be a while before GN’R is gonna do a record, and this stuff isn’t really for GN’R, so he’s been talking about doing his own album. So he’s been working with me and Matt on it, you know, just trying to get it in together.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:37 pm

"SHUT UP AND SING"


Matt would indicate that the songs that were rejected simply weren't good enough and that it was Slash's songs and that he wanted others to play and sing the way he wanted it:

The Snakepit album could have been the new GNR album, but Axl didn't thought it was good enough. […] There was some good songs [on Snakepit record], but it wasn't a band effort, it was Slash's songs. It had nothing to do with 5 guys working hard in a studio, what we are doing with Guns right now. When Slash says "I'd like to work on that riff" and Duff answers "Yeah, let's work on it", it's really GNR. This has nothing to do with "This is a Slash song, you will play like that and Axl will sing like that."
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


This claim would later be supported by Doug Goldstein, Beta Lebeis, and Fernando Lebeis:

In 1996, Slash decided to walk away from Guns N' Roses. He wanted to pursue his Solo career and musically he had gone in a different direction from the other band members. He was not fired, point of fact we made every effort to keep the band intact. He brought in a completed album, and no one in the band thought it was a viable way to work. Historically the band has always collaborated on material, and this wasn't done with Slash's music. He left with his music and recorded it as Slash's Snakepit. With hopes of success, he failed to convey these events to the public.

Axl took so long because he was trying to make the record with the old band. Slash came saying that he had the band’s ‘next album’ ready, lyrics and music. It had never been like this before, everyone wrote together. The bassist and the drummer came to me and told me they were afraid, because the songs sounded like they were from the ‘80s. Axl knew that he needed to bring the Guns N’ Roses’ sound into the new millennium in order to stay relevant. Slash wants to be like AC​​/DC, every record is the same. Axl wants to be like the Beatles, every record is an evolution. When Slash released the first Snakepit record [which contained the rejected songs], I had to tell him, ‘You’re going to ruin your career.’ I got fired.

The problem was that Slash, at that time, said he already had the new Guns N’ Roses album ready, which would be the next one, right? That "next" album was the one he would then release, which was terrible. Slash's last two records were terrible. Axl wanted to do something more advanced for the new generation. You can't stay on the same thing, like the same kind of music that he played 15 years ago.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese

But Slash wanted the Snakepit songs on the Guns album and Axl didn't want them. So he started making things difficult. He wouldn't accept other songs except his own songs.


In late 1999, Axl would finally shed some light on what had happened and confirm that both he and Duff had not thought the songs that ended up on Slash's Snakepit album were good enough for Guns N' Roses. Furthermore, Slash had been unwilling to work on the songs to improve them, indicating that he considered them finished, which corroborates Matt's statement above:

[…] what people don't know is, the [Slash's] Snakepit album, that is the Guns N' Roses album. I just wouldn't do it. […] Duff walked out on it, and I walked out on it, because I wasn't allowed to be any part of it. It's like, "No, you do this, that's how it is." And I didn't believe in it. I thought that there were riffs and parts and some ideas, I thought, that needed to be developed. I had no problem working on it, or working with it, but you know, as is, I think I'm with the public on that one.



EPILOGUE


In May 1995, rumours would state that Geffen Records was angry Axl had dismissed the material Slash had presented for him [New York Daily News, May 8, 1995]. The songs had been released on Slash's side-project, "Slash's Snakepit" and "bombed" [New York Daily News, May 8, 1995]. Geffen Records allegedly concluded that the material would have done much better if it had been released by Guns N' Roses [New York Daily News, May 8, 1995].
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:38 pm

AXL WANTS TO CHANGE THE SOUND; SLASH DOESN'T


The sections above describing Slash and Axl disagreeing on how the future record should sound like, illustrates a deeper conflict between Axl and Slash. Axl had always been interested in musical trends and new bands, like when he wanted Nirvana, Faith No More and Body Count to open during the Use Your Illusion touring. He had also expressed a desire to make Guns N' Roses into more than a one-trick pony hard rock band, but expand upon its musical repertoire, similarly to what Queen had achieved. It is also likely that he realized that to remain hugely popular, as Guns N' Roses had recently achieved, they needed to reinvent themselves for their next album. The music scene had changed and alternative rock bands were taking over. This can help explain why Axl had been dismissive to the music Slash had worked on.

We look at the music scene in a different way. I see trends come and go and then come back again; that bands today seem to be playing with a 70s flavor a lot of the times. Axl always wants to be a little out there, setting the trends rather than following anything that may already be established. Together, that's how we get the sound of Guns N' Roses. It’s kind of like we try to bring together the best of two worlds.


Axl rejected the material Slash had worked on in early 1994, according to Slash because Axl "was going through a Pearl Jam period at the time" [Associated Press/Greenville News, March 3, 1995]. Gilby would confirm Axl wanted the band's music to evolve:

As soon as I finished [Pawnshop Guitars], before it came out, Axl came up with the idea that he wants to change the sound of the band. He wants to take the band in a more Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction direction.

Axl wanted to change the sound of the band for a while, he wanted to take advantage of some of the new sounds. Guns N’ Roses is at its best as a hard-rock band and if it’s not that, I don’t think that any of the band members would really want to be in it.


As 1994 continued there were further indications that Axl and Slash didn't see eye to eye on the musical direction of the band.

We were supposed to do some stuff this month [=December] but we haven't done anything up till now and in March I'm gone [on tour with Snakepit]. Maybe in February, if we can come to some sort of an agreement as to what we're gonna do. So I did what I said I'd never do, which is a solo record, to get it out of my system. We'd been doing so many ballads and conceptual videos that I started to get a little concerned about where it was going.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

Axl's got an agenda but it doesn't really match mine. Every day is a new test, one after the other. It would be easier if the same test would happen repeatedly but instead there's one test, you deal with that and the next one is altogether different. You have to be tenacious to be able to handle it.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

Axl was on a different trip, where he wanted to sound like Pearl Jam, last I heard, with keyboards, and heavy-duty epic videos. That was all really tedious for me, [Snakepit] kept me sane.

Right now there seems to be a fucking confusion about what "a good Guns-record" is.

There are some things that need to be sorted out. Axl wants Guns to do a lot of ballads and stuff, and I want to do rock stuff. I don't care about the current musical climate or what is commercially viable. […] I'm just a street-level guy, and I don't fucking live on the beach in Malibu. And I'm not gonna conform to any of that shit either.

I wasn’t writing to make a new record, I was just writing. And it was over a period of a month or so after all the guys in the band had started to get together, and I realized we had all this material. I did play it for Axl at one time and that wasn’t the direction he wanted the band to go in. I still, to this day, do not know where he wants to go as far as Guns is concerned. So I just kept the material, since I wrote it, and started the other – you know, came up with another band.

There was a point there when Axl was going to do a solo record, and he wanted to do it with Trent, Dave Navarro, the drummer from Nirvana and then he changed his mind and thought why do a solo record if he could do it with Guns N’ Roses, which is the last thing I heard.


Later, Jim Barber, a former Geffen executive who had worked with Axl and his work on 'Chinese Democracy', stated:

An artist [like Axl] who's had as much success with Guns N' Roses as he has gets to a point in his career where he can settle into one sound and do it over and over again, usually with diminishing returns. Axl is determined not to do that. There's a sort of ruthlessness about pushing Guns N' Roses to grow, and to find some depth in their music, and to evolve.



SLASH DOESN'T WANT TO CHANGE


Despite playing with many different bands and artists, when it came to the music he wrote himself, Slash was less adventurous. When asked why his Snakepit record [released in early 1995] wasn't more diverse in musical styles, reflecting Slash's collaboration with other artsts, Slash would reply:

When it comes to writing, I don't have any interest in rap or punk.


Slash would confirm he wanted Guns N' Roses to go back to their original sound:

It’s just got to be such a big band that it didn’t seem to have any real direction anymore. It was like, it just got more and more expensive, big videos, big tour, blah blah blah. And I wanted to go backwards, back to sort of our roots, and Axl didn’t wanna do that. So that’s understandable, because once you finally reach being a big band, why would you want to go backwards.


Matt would later confirm that Slash had also little interest in changing musical style:

I had produced [techno songstress] Poe and there were drum loops in the songs, and Axl wanted that. But Slash is a rock guitarist. He doesn't want to do techno-industrial.


Despite these differences, Slash would claim to work on Axl's music in early 1995:

Axl has gotten very into a lot of stuff (musically) that I don't necessarily relate to, but we still work together on it. It's like we've expanded into different realms.

Guns is in no hurry to rush out the next record to keep up with current trends. I wouldn't want to sacrifice what Guns does naturally to try and keep up with the generational changes in music that happen really quickly. […] I'm not gonna sacrifice what I do to try and keep up with, say, the Seattle scene. It's not like I have any new rap material coming out.

My traditional values – as far as Guns is concerned or just in general, having to do with integrity and music sense and so forth – haven't changed. Everybody grows in their own way and when we all get together in a room, we know each other very well... but you want to get to where there's a meeting of the minds. And it's like pulling teeth actually to do that. But the guys in the band and I call ourselves the "bricklayers", the guys who really do a lot of hands-on work. And then there's the lead singer who has a whole other vision of his own. You just have to deal with it. You can't, like, stress out – I have no intentions of quitting the band or anything like that – and the only reason I'm doing a solo project is just to sort of get away from that for a while because Guns doesn't have to record now or next year. They can do a record whenever.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:05 am; edited 2 times in total
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:38 pm

MARCH 1994
ERIN EVERLY SUES AXL


In March 1994 Erin Everly, Axl's former wife, sued him for assault and battery, sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress [Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1994; Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994; Detroit Free Press, March 9, 1994]. In the suit, Every would seek payment for injuries, pain and suffering and unspecified punitive damages [Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1994] from Axl "punching her, slapping her, shoving her, kicking her, tying her up, gagging her, spitting on her and dragging her by the hair" [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994].

After one alleged beating, Every had been injected with cocaine and heroin resulting in her being hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994]. The latter allegation likely refers to the Steven incident as described before and if so it wasn't Axl who was responsible for her overdose.

Everly's suit would be connected to the upcoming May trial between Axl and Stephanie Seymour, for which Everly intended to deliver a deposition [Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 9, 1994]. Everly had waited until now to file suit "because she feared for her safety" [Detroit Free Press, March 9, 1994].

The Seymour and Everly lawsuits would not be the first time Axl was accused of violence and domestic abuse. Gina Siler was an early girlfriend of Axl from Lafayette who moved with Axl to Hollywood and stayed with him there for some time. In an interview she did with Spin Magazine in 1991, she implied that Axl could get violent or at least threaten with violence:

And I don’t think [Axl]’s even conscious of what he does, or how angry he gets. […] I always thought that there was something chemical that happened to him when he was angry. That image of him sitting in that electric chair in that video ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, looking crazed, says it all. That’s what he looks like when he’s pissed off. And when you see that coming at you from across a room, coming near you, it’s frightening as hell. And I’m not very big, and that made it even worse. I won’t go much into that.


As noted before, in September 1991, when the band was filming the video for 'Don't Cry' which featured featured a fight scene between Axl and Erin Everly, Stephanie Seymour, who played Everly, said the situation was wierd because she had never fought with Axl:

It certainly makes things a lot nicer [to do a scene with Axl]. I mean, I’m a lot happier when he’s around. I think he’s a lot happier when I’m around. […] No, I’ve never had to do a scene [with violence] before. But it was weird, because we’ve never fought. […] Never. I mean especially not physically, but never even verbally or – we’ve never had a disagreement.


This scene was filmed before the Christmas party of 1992 when Seymour and Axl fought, indicating that in difference to the alleged violence with Everly, the relationship between Axl and Seymour, bar one incident, had been peaceful.

In July 1994, People Magazine would publish an interview with Everly where she would go in detail on how it has been living with Axl and repeat the domestic violence charges from the lawsuit [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. She would also claim that she had married Axl because he threatened to shoot himself if she didn't [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. After they broke apart, Axl tried to reconcile with Everly and according to Everly, sent her "flowers, letters and even caged birds" [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. The magazine would interview a female friend, unknown to whom, who would argue that it had been Everly who was the aggressor [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. Another friend, this one a friend of Everly, would state she had witnessed Axl beating Everly and acted like "a rabid dog" [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. Axl's former girlfriend, Gina Siler, would also be interviewed stating that Axl "could be kind and loving, and at other times he was violent and irrational" [People Magazine, July 18, 1994]. Axl would not give any statements to People Magazine, but his "camp" would state that Everly sued for monetary gains [People Magazine, July 18, 1994].

During the deposition, Erin friend and Slash's former girlfriend, Meegan Hodges-Knight, would describe violent encounters with Axl:

I'd wake up to Erin saying, 'Please stop. Don't hurt me, don't hurt me,' and Axl screaming at her. And then all of a sudden he'd come out and he'd like, break all of her really precious antiques, and she would be, 'Please don't break them, please.' And trying to get them back from him. And he'd push her and he'd break everything he could get his hands on.

I remember sleeping and waking up to crystal flying over my head, shattering on the floor."

[…]

I remember asking Slash to do something, or I was going to do something. I said, 'I have to do something' or something like that. And he said "No, you're going to make it worse.'


Hodges-Knight also testified that Axl had kicked Erin with his cowboy boots, dragged her around by her hair, and spit on her [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000]. Erin would testify that Axl had sexually assaulted her [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

Alan Niven would comment on the allegations:

It was a very volatile relationship, but it takes two to tango. I think she contributed in certain ways, too. She definitely had a way of pushing his buttons.


In the end the case was settled out of court [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

Slash would imply that the ongoing suit with Erin took Axl's focus and was partly to blame for Guns N' Roses not working on music:

Axl has allowed some personal stuff to get in his way in recent months, but that hasn’t affected our relationship in any way. Once he gets those things out of the way the band should be getting on with things. […] I don’t really want to get into it, but there are some issues with people he’s been involved with in his personal life that had to be taken care of. He just needed to take some time and get that part of his life together, but it had nothing to do with me or the band.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:38 pm

"SHATTERED ILLUSIONS"
THE LOST BIOGRAPHY


In 1992 Axl talked about writing an autobiography:

I've been working with a friend on putting information together and stuff. More truth and reality is going to come out if l talk with him than if l talk with someone who doesn't know what's up. I've always believed that the truth about what's going on in Guns N' Roses' lives is just as exciting and just as dangerous and just as heavy and just as real as people thought the hype scene to be.


This friend was likely Del James, because in the November 1992 issue of RIP Magazine, James would talk about writing a biography on Guns N' Roses:

[…] this summer I'll begin writing an authorized Guns N' Roses biography, which will come out when the time is right.


In January 1994, Axl would say more about the book, and indicate it was a biography of the band and not just Axl:

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 July 1994 Kerrang! would report that the book was destined to be released by DEL Books in 1995, that it was written by Del James and contained photos by Robert John [Kerrang! July 16, 1994].

In November 1994 the book's title would be revealed as "Shattered Illusions" and was "understood to be the inside story of the band with a great deal of input from the vocalist's side" [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

Unfortunately this book was never released and its status is unknown.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:39 pm

MAY 10, 1994
DUFF'S PANCREAS QUITS


On May 10, 1994, Duff's alcoholism finally caught up with him dramatically. Slash would be one of the first to allude to something having happened:

Duff never had a drug problem; he had an alcohol problem as of late, which he's since physically had to stop.


Duff would later describe what happened:

I had to [stop drinking]. My pancreas blew up. It was pretty black and white for me there when I was in the hospital: 'If you drink, you die.' But I didn't know how to stop. I really didn't.

My pancreas blew up. […] I was in so much pain they shot me up with two shots of Demerol and morphine, and then morphine, and I was still just completely doubled over. And then seeing the doctors faces turn white once they did the ultrasound. Like, "how is this guy still alive?"

I had health problems after that tour. I was very sick. […] It was really serious. My pancreas exploded! So I became clean […]
Hard Metal, August 1996; translated from French

I was in my house in Seattle when a small pain became acute. It was so bad that I couldn't pick up the phone to call anyone. Luckily, my best friend happened to come over to my house, and I got to [the emergency room].

I didn't go to rehab, I went to the hospital. My rehab was a lot different from the norm. Effective as hell, though. Ya' see, my pancreas blew up so bad, I was admitted into a regular hospital. I saw an image of my doctor's face turning white. I was going to die. Another surgeon came in, and I had to sign something. Meanwhile, I'm out of it on morphine, but sensing I'm to die, I let them cut out my pancreas to put me on dialysis. And then my mom - she's got Parkinson's Disease - she's crying. I even saw myself above the bed, like I was floating up by the ceiling. I question everything, ya' know? I've had two really close calls now where I saw some things. You can read these books like Into The Light, but I'm telling you, I saw something and I was enveloped by something. It was great. If they could make a pill of this and give it to everybody in the world, we'd never have a war again. Whatever it was, some people say it's just nerves firing off massive amounts of endorphins. I can't put it to that. I don't know what it was but it was something. It was bright and it was warm and I was very, very fine with going to where it was taking me. It was amazing and I'm not scared of death because of it.

We got off that tour and I, like, woke up one morning and I kind of hurt, you know? And then going from kind of hurt to I can’t move or even dial 911, you know? Luckily, a friend of mine came over to my house and I heard him downstairs, “Hey, where are you?” And he came upstairs and he said, “Fuck, it finally happened.” So my pancreas had burst.

I had laid off the drugs and joined [Guns N' Roses] for a European tour. I didn't do drugs anymore, but was drinking like crazy. I always needed a cocktail by the bed when I woke up in the middle of the night, because else I'd feel awful. I wanted to stop the whole thing but I couldn't. After Europe I went to Japan and then back home. I had bought this house in Seattle, the place were I was raised. I was laying at home when I felt this pungent pain. At the moment I thought it was weird, though to be honest I was in pain all the time, I was real fucked! But this time the pain began to extend and became so severe, and lasted so long that I couldn't even move. Not even wake up to call 911. Luckily a friend of mine dropped by, and I heard him down the stairs crying "Hey, were are you?" when he entered the door. I couldn't even shout I was upstairs, but he came into my room, found me and took me to the hospital. My pancreas had exploded and a shitload of toxins were running around my stomach. When this kind of thing fucks up a lot of people die, but I did not. I could go on telling you the experience in the hospital, but you don't want to hear the details.

It was 1994. I had stopped drinking vodka, but in a fucked up way I'd replaced it with 20 bottles of whine a day. I mean, I thought I was cutting down. I was taking Quaaludes, anything to bring me down. And one day I had a pain right under my sternum. I thought it gas pains. It felt like someone sticking a knife in me. And I remember my best friend came round. He could always come without knocking, and I heard him downstairs, but I couldn't get out of bed. He got me to hospital. Sometimes, just before you die, they'll stick a knife in you just to relieve the pressure and the pain. I wasn't quite that bad, but I was in hospital for 10 days.

I was on Librium for the DTs, the delirium tremors. That got rid of the withdrawal. They wanted me to go to rehab, but I just felt that I'd had enough. I didn't want any more alcohol.


He would also emphasize that it was the continuous drinking that caused it, and not any drugs [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996], and that the experience had been so bad that he didn't even want to drink anymore, two years later [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996]. Although in a later interview he would imply it was a combination of pills, booze and cocaine that did it [The Howard Stern Show, May 24, 2004].

It was the constant seven-days-a-week drinking and drugs. I couldn't wake up without there being a cocktail next to my bed. It was just constant abuse.


The burst of his pancreas resulting in third-degree internal bleeds [The Howard Stern Show, May 24, 2004]. Eventually it would heal up on its own:

If you’re lucky enough for it to repair itself, which I was. [...] But a lot of guys die from it.


Interestingly, the doctor who treated him was the song of the doctor who was there when he was born [Music West in 3D, 1997].

Duff's condition, pancreatitis, does not result in the pancreas literally blowing up, but is an inflammation that caused swelling and possibly rupturing.

According to one magazine from 1997, Duff had planned another solo tour when he was hospitalized [Music West in 3D, 1997].

Slash would come and visit Duff in hospital:

[…] Slash, my friends in Seattle and my family were there. […] I'm the youngest of eight brothers, so I had my family by me in the hospital. It was very nice that Slash was there as well. He and me, we've shared some stuff together. We're like brothers.


And Izzy would call Duff:

By the way, when my pancreas fucked Izzy phoned too. We've always been friends and our friendship has gone beyond music. We've been through a lot of things together.


After being sent home after 8 days in hospital, his doctor told Duff that just one more drink could kill him [Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1998].

When I was released from the hospital the doctor said, 'if go and have even one more drink, you will die. Just have a beer, and you'll be dead.' I'm fortunate that happened. Before that happened, I was trying to stop, but I couldn't.

I had acute pancreatitis, which is not fun. It was pretty scary. That's what changed everything. That's what drew the line in the sand. When you get out of the hospital, if you drink, you're going to die! That very day, you'll die! That's pretty black and white." So is it easy to maintain sobriety? "Easy is not the word but hard is not the word either. It's just my way of life now. I don't have a choice so it's not easy or hard, that's just the way it is. For me to say, oh, sometimes I really crave a drink, would be copping out.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:21 am; edited 3 times in total
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:39 pm

1994-1996
DUFF MAKES CHANGES TO HIS LIFE


MARTIAL ARTS


After coming home from the hospital after his ruptured pancreas, Duff took up martial arts in Benny Jet's dojo [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996] to keep his alcoholism in check [Addicted to Noise, August 30, 1996] and by 1996, his health had improved vastly:

I had to do what I had to do or else I would be dead.

Well, my health is very good. Thanks for asking. Yeah, my pancreas basically… umm, expanded then exploded. So, that was two and a half years ago. […]  I really turned things around and I do martial arts and… and I just think totally different way about life. So, nothing takes its toll on the road now, you know. I'm ready for anything. So, thanks for asking.

You speak in the English language again, too. [laughs].

Well it had to happen. It's the only way you will stop. I saw myself in the hospital with all those tubes and shit. It changed my life completely. It was like "Hey, you can be proud for being here, you haven't died. You've done a lot of crazy stuff, and you ain't dead. It was the end you were heading for, but it did not happen. You are here for a reason". Now I'm enjoying a second life.

At that time [=after getting out of hospital] I started getting into kick boxing, and I found a martial art that I loved. More than anything, it taught me to think sober. It changed the way I thought about things. I started washing my clothes. I cleaned my house. I went to the grocery store. It was real life, little things. I did the martial art twice a day.


When guesting the Howard Stern Show in July 1996, Stern claimed to barely be able to recognize a fit Duff [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996]. During the show, Stern would play a phone message of Duff's being wasted [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996]. When asked what Duff wanted them to do with the tape, he replied:

Ah, man. I will let Howard and Gary hang on to it, man. Just to remind me, what I don't want to be. Man, that doesn't even sound like me.


Duff would also confirm that he had sobered up entirely on his own without going to rehab [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996].

In 1995-1996, Duff was still recovering from his serious health issues in 1994, and would continue with kickboxing at Benny Jet's dojo [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996; Hard Rock, August 1996]. By september 1996, he was finally ready to work fulltime on new music with Guns N' Roses:

I’m ready for this. I’ve been in training, mentally and physically, as opposed to a couple years ago. when I couldn’t have done this, no way. Now I look at life differently. I work out every day no matter what. I got my life back. As opposed to live-fast-die-young, I love life again.



MOVING TO SEATTLE


I don't think: 'Oh, this city [=Los Angeles] has all this shit that nearly killed me'. I have a lot of great friends here. But when I got sober I couldn't drive down the streets in LA without thinking: 'That's a drug dealer's house there, that's a drug dealer's place...' I had to get away from that when I was sober. I'd earned the right to not be there. What LA came to represent for me was that attitude of 'keep them on the road, get them whatever they want, just keep them out there making their money.' That is what LA is. When it was ripping the band apart, I remember thinking to myself: 'This is hell.' We weren't the first band to go through it. We knew the stories, we'd read them. We knew it was happening.




MOUNTAIN BIKING


In late 1994, Duff would also talk about his hobby doing mountain bike racing:

What happened was I stopped drinking. I bought a mountain bike in '88 and l'd ride a lot. I’d ride every day but not seriously. Kind of just get on and ride up this hill that was right by my house. Me and Adam - Slash's guitar tech - I'd ride with him. Every day he’d come over and we’d ride. And then Slash and I would ride mountain bikes to rehearsal. That was kind of our way to get healthy and cut down on drink­ing. We'd each strap a jug of wine to our bike and ride to rehearsal. That was our exercise and cut down on drinking plan.
But then we went on the Illusions tour and shit and then I went on my own tour and by the time that was over I gained like 40 pounds. I was drinking way too much. So, I just stopped and bought a mountain bike and just started riding hard and taking it seriously. I ride every day and I ride between - depending on what kind of workload day I want for riding - It’s between 6 and 20 miles. So, I cruise. I love it. That’s what I do. Except when I get a flat — like today.

I’ve been in two races and I got another one coming up. I went to Nationals - the Big Bear. I didn't know it was the fucking Nationals. At the bike shop, I bought the bike and filled out the application for the race. Cross-country is pretty gnarly, man. It's like 15 miles. Fifteen miles of uphill and shit. So, that was kind of my goal: I’m gonna buy this bike and work and then go up and do this race and finish it. I get up there, and there’s fuckin’ 30,000 people up there. And I rode my bike at least once a day, if not sometimes twice up these fuckin' hills and shit. And I went up and i finished the race and it turned out it was the Nationals. I was just in the beginning amateur part. I met some pros and really got into it and got a better bike. So, then I was in the Fall Classic, which is the state championships or something and I did bet­ter. You know, I'm just getting better and better. With anything, if you do it every day, you're going to get better.

There’s pro, expert, sport and beginner. I'm beginner. I’m gonna race next season, which starts in Spring: I’m gonna race as a sport Hey dude, there’s guys who are Olympic athletes. And here I am, just off the booze-fuckin’-wagon. I’m racing against some of these guys. Like at the Fall Classic. I was racing against whoever, you know, pros, experts, guys who have been riding for 20 years. I got a taste for competition at the Fall Classic. I was 11th on top of the hill out of, like, 80 dudes. See, I’ve only really been riding since July so my technical - I can fucking hammer with the best of them, I find out, but my downhill technical is just sucky, so like 17 guys passed me on the downhill.

This is an 18 mile race - the Fall Classic. You’re going up a moun­tain, man. You’re going up a moun­tain. Part of it was rolling single track - meaning just a trail, a sin­gle-track trail. Part of It was real steep - I'm talking about coming down. I mean, going up, it’s just grinding for about 13 miles. Grind. Grind. Grind. Guys just dropping out. But the downhill on this particular race is like - it's called the "fall line" on this particular mountain and it’s jagged rocks. Pros just fuckin' dance from rock to rock and they're just cruisin' down. Me, I’m not that good yet. I'm just kind of holding on for dear life, feeling every bump. Guys just fall off, roll over their handlebars. I mean, it’s just straight down - internal bleed­ing and shit, broken necks, broken col­lar bones.

The first race, coming down the downhill, I was like yeah, I fuckin' did it! I bought the bike, I entered the race, I'm finishing, man! I'm coming down the downhill and this girl with a bell jumps out of nowhere - biddle-liddle-liddle-ling! Fuckin' scared the shit out of me. I'm probably going 20 to 27 miles an hour - boosh! - my front tire hit a rock or something. I went over the fuckin' handlebars. […] I was scraped up. My bike was fucked up. I straightened it out, got back on and fin­ished. Yeah, you see guys failin' all the time. That's part of it.


About doing this hobby while being famous:

I try to keep it kind of low. Not until I get good, man. I go up there to get away. So, last thing I want to do is say, "Hey, I'm the guy from Guns N' Roses." I want to be a rider. I don't want to be getting any step-up or handout because I'm in the band, I want to do it on my own.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:39 pm

MAY 1994
IS GILBY OUT?


In the first half of 1994, rumours would be spreading that Gilby intended to quit the band. Allegedly, he had informed close friends that he intended to quit his "day job" as soon as his solo record was out [Hit Parader, December 1994]. In May rumours would spread that Gilby had been fired. When asked about this, Gilby evaded the question [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].

Being fired had apparently happened many times to Gilby and was par for the course when being an underling in Guns N' Roses:

I've heard so many reports that I got fired - and, you know, I've been in the band for two-and-a-half years, and I've been fired a few times. All kinds of people have been fired! […] For real. I've seen more than just me being fired. I've seen other people quit, I've seen other people fired, you know, whatever. It's not that big a deal. […] I don't know what's going to happen. From the day I got the job, I didn't know if I'd be there for a week, a year, whatever. […] I have been fired a few times, and it was for nothing that I did. That was another reason for me making my album - you don't know what's going to happen in GN'R. I don't know if I'm going to be around for the next album. I don't know who's going to be around!


In a letter sent from Gilby's lawyer, Jeffrey Light, on April 14, 1994, to GN'R lawyer Laurie Soriano it would be confirmed that Gilby had been fired three times in April/May but not necessarily rehired three times:

As you are aware, Gilby has been fired at least three times by the band in the past month and has been rehired at least two times.


And it all comes down to Axl's fickle nature:

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.


Tom Zutaut would be asked about the rumors Gilby had been fired:

Those stories go round and round constantly, I don't think we'll really know who's (in the band) until they start recording.... I've learned with Guns N' Roses since 1986 that you never really know what's going to come out until it's finished.


Kerrang! would also speculate that with no official statement from the band about Gilby being fired, there was a possibility he was back in the band again [Kerrang! July 16, 1994].

I've been working with them all this time and I know the way things go. Axl is one of those people where it's just a lot easier if you don't figure him out because you'll never figure him out.
The Gazette/Reuter, September 4, 1994; from unknown earlier source
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:40 pm

KISS-ASS SYCOPHANTS, THROWING PENANCE AT YOUR FEET?


As the band splintered and grew bigger, different groups, or "camps", could be glimpsed among the band and its organization. Especially did Axl spend more and more time away from his band mates during the touring in 1990s, and more and more time with his friends and entourage.

As Lisa Maxwell would describe it:

Nobody really has contact with [Axl] other than his close friends, his assistant, his chiropractor.


And Izzy looking back:

I think these days Axl even has somebody to open the beer can for him. I don't know, I'm joking of course, but it got a lot like that. Those guys, especially Slash and Axl, are being protected from the outside world now. Even if they wanted, the powers controlling the band wouldn't allow them to go grab a beer in a local bar.


As usually, James Hetfield would be blunt:

[Axl]’s got a lot of yes men, which doesn't help him mentally […].


An anonymous spokesman from Geffen Records would say:

I think [Axl]'s learned to enjoy being Axl Rose. He likes the idea that he can snap his fingers and make things happen. He can get away with it because once you get to know him he can be a very charming guy. He can drive you nuts one minute, then make you want to do anything he asks the next. That's part of his magic.


Axl were asked if he had people around him who would disagree with him, and he replied:

Yeah. I have some close friends in the band and in our organization. That's why I'm friends with them. We pretty much lay things on the line with each other.


One of these close friends was Del James:

I proudly consider [Axl] a friend, but I'm not afraid to tell him what I feel or when I think he's being a jerk.

We value each other’s opinions and have found a way so that our lives work together. If I need Del, he’s going to be there for me, and if he needs me, I’m going to be there for him. He treats people the way he would want them to treat him and a lot of people aren’t like that. That’s who Del is.
Del James, "Language of Fear", 1995


Slash would imply that there were outside forces making it hard for them:

The bigger it gets the harder it is, because the pressures get worse, the amount of time that you can spend being creative is limited, you have to deal with a lot of the business end of it and money, which is something, I don’t know, I don’t think anybody wants to deal with; you know, money and the hardships that go along with it. So it can be a drag. I mean, there’s a lot of bullshit that goes on and there’s a lot of, you know, people outside our organization, the record companies or in the press and so on, that just fuck with us all the time. And it makes life difficult, you have to get really tough. And the bigger you get, the tougher you have to get.


And Duff would also blame "yes men" for the downfall of the band:

A lot of drugs and yes men came in, and that killed the band.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:19 pm; edited 3 times in total
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:40 pm

JUNE 1994
IT IS TRUE, GILBY IS OUT


Rumours about Gilby's being out of the band had circulated throughout 1994 [see previous chapter], among rumours that the band was breaking up [see previous chapter]. In an interview with Kerrang! published in late June, Slash would confirm that Gilby had indeed been fired and was indeed out of the band:

Gilby was fired from the band by Axl recently. We have been trying out a couple of potential replacements, but so far no one has really worked out. Gilby is working with me at the moment, and we shall just have to see what happens with him.


So apparently, this time he had been fired one more time than he had been re-hired as indicated in previous chapters, this ultimate firing had probably happened in May or April.


AXL DOESN'T WANT TO WORK WITH GILBY


As discussed previously, it was uncertain from the very beginning if the band ever intended to write with Gilby or if he was just intended as a touring replacement for Izzy found on short notice. As 1994 came along, Slash obviously wanted to work with Gilby and together they wrote songs intended for the next Guns N' Roses album, but Axl had not changed his opinions and found Gilby's type of rock less aligned with his visions of where Guns N' Roses needed to go to be relevant [see later discussions].

When (frontman Axl Rose) explained to me how he wanted to change (GNR's) music, it was clear to me that I was going to be a pretty small part of what was going to go on. He basically worked me out of the band […]

I haven't spoken to him (Rose) in four years. Axl came to me and explained he wanted to make music that was Nine Inch Nails meets Pearl Jam.

As soon as I finished [Panwshop Guitars], before it came out [in July], Axl came up with the idea that he wants to change the sound of the band. He wants to take the band in a more Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction direction.

It became pretty clear to me that I wasn’t going to be involved. Because I told him that I like a loud version of the Rolling Stones, that’s the band I want to be in. He said, ‘You know what, we're never going to be like that again.'

[Being asked when he last talked to Axl]: My last conversation with him was when he called me and was trying to explain what he wanted to do. And, basically, it was: I want to change the sound of the band. You know, I want to go more into a current direction. You know, I want to use, you know, more industrial type things. You know, he was really into bands like Jane's Addiction, Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails. And I just kinda laughed and said: You know, look -- I want to play guitar in a loud version of The Rolling Stones, you know?

[Being asked when he had had enough of Guns N' Roses]: Actually, I never really had enough. My leaving was a strange thing. I left and was fired at the same time. I didn’t want to go along with the program. When Axl called me about the direction of the band he wanted to take, I voice my opinion. I said, “I think this is a great hard rock band and I think we should continue that.” He didn’t agree with me. I said, “Look, if it is a hard rock band then I am in but if you are going to have three or four guitar players then I am out.” Then I was out. I kind of made my statement and lived by it. […] The new Guns & Roses has three guitar players in the band and Axl plays guitar. That was not something that appealed to me. It is his band. He can do whatever he wants but I didn’t agree with it.


In April 1995, Slash would confirm that the reason why Gilby was fired came down to musical differences with Axl, and also that he wasn't really fired:

Axl and Gilby had some musical differences […]

He didn’t really get fired. It’s just that something between Axl and him wasn’t working


That Gilby wasn't fired per se, but just not on a retainer anymore but possible again in the future, also ties in with Axl's more fluid views on what a "band" could be, compared to Slash's more traditional perspective of a band being a fixed number of guys who are friends, hang out together, and play together [see other chapters].

That Axl might be open to working with Gilby in some capacity later is also implied by Gilby when he in 1997 would say he and Axl had planned to discuss the future after Gilby returned from his tour, but this discussion never took place:

We never talked when it was all done. It was clear I wasn’t part of the band any more.



HOW THE FIRING OF GILBY WENT DOWN AND SLASH'S ROLE


When this first came up, Gilby, Duff, Matt and myself were rehearsing. It wasn’t a great rehearsal, I was just trying to get Guns together. I had weird thoughts about what was going on, and then I got a phone call from Axl (about) the fact that he didn’t wanna write with Gilby but we'd keep him on as a side guy. He’s adamant. […] So I took Gilby to dinner and said this is what's going on; I just don’t want you to hear it from somebody else. Then Gilby had a conversation with Axl that didn’t turn out well, then there was a fight with Duff and the next thing you know everything was f***ed up.

One night, after I came home from a rehearsal with Gilby, Matt and Duff – we were writing new songs - Axl called me on the phone and told me that he didn’t want to work with Gilby anymore. I thought, ‘Fuck...’ From the way he said it, I understood that he was serious. […]  Anyway, from the way Axl talked to me about it, I realised that there was nothing I could do to fix the situation. He had made his decision, and I don’t even know the reason that led him to it. So I went out to dinner with Gilby and told him what was going on, because I didn’t want him to find out from third parties. He had already recorded his solo album when the problem with Axl came up. Gilby was the perfect guitarist for Guns N 'Roses, and now the void is evident, and I don’t know who his permanent replacement will be. But my band, Snakepit, is doing great. Gilby and I played very well together.  This whole issue with Gilby was typical Axl stuff, you know...
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

The whole Guns N' Roses situation with Gilby wasn't as cut and dry as it seems. He wasn't really fired officially. Axl just didn't wanna write with him. He never even got a chance to write with us. And so, I told Gilby that that was going on. So he didn't hear it from somewhere else. Because if you know, in this business, leaks are like crazy. And it's just best to be upfront and honest about thing. So I told him what was going on. Then he had words with Axl and then in turn he had words with Duff. And that sort of cemented the, you know, the relationship, the departure. Whatever you wanna call it.

You know, I would love for none of this to have happened. It’s personally, on a pride level, very damaging and I don’t expect him, even if he was asked to come back, to come back. But he was never officially fired. Axl just didn’t want to write with him. Gilby never even got a chance to write, except for with me.

Anyway, so as far as Gilby is concerned, I wouldn’t expect him to come back even, like I said, if he was asked, only because his feelings were hurt. Axl didn’t want to write with him and I had to go and tell Gilby myself that this was going on, so he didn’t hear it, you know, in the field or something or turned into some sort of weird rumor. So I went and told him and then – well, I think the thing that really etched in stone Gilby’s dismissal from Guns was the fact that he had words with Duff and he had words with Axl, and that sort of cemented the fact that he wasn’t in the band. 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.

I got a phone call from Axl after Gilby, Duff, Matt, and I had come home from rehearsal. He was adamant that he didn't want to write with Gilby, and he wanted to explore some other kind of writing approach. He's always had this vision of teaming me up with a guitar player that's going to stretch my boundaries, whereas I still come from the old Guns N' Roses school where I do what I do and he does what he does. Getting two lead players to meet eye to eye is difficult, not to mention overflowing the record with self-indulgent guitars. I told Gilby about this. He was never officially kicked out of the band, but I think the feelings were so strong, and Gilby was so taken aback by the whole thing, that he was a little confused. Then he had words with Axl and Duff, and that more or less cemented his position out of Guns N' Roses. Then he went on to do the Gilby Clarke project. Gilby and I have always been the closest of friends. I will never really understand why that happened, and that was the first thing that instigated a separation between Axl and me. And that's why there's still a hole in the band to this day.
Guitar Player, May 1995; interview from December 1994


But Slash would also imply that he had agreed with the decision to let Gilby go:

[The firing of Gilby is] a sensitive subject. Put it this way, it wasn't my idea. [...] What happened was we were rehearsing and Gilby was really out of it one day. The morale of the band, we were all trying to keep it together and he was the odd man out that day. I was complaining and then Axl called me that same night and said he didn't want to work with Gilby anymore for a lot of different reasons. In a way I sort of went along with it, at least Axl thought I was going along with it because I had my own complaints from that night at rehearsal. This was about a year ago. […] [The dismissal of Gilby] was never etched in stone, but it was etched in Axl's mind. I knew there was no argument. Axl probably thought I was totally behind it. I went to talk to Gilby because I didn't want him to hear anything on the street. I told him what was going on, and everything was in a state of flux for a while.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

[Gilby] got fired. […] I think it was writing differences basically. But it wasn't with me. I actually liked Gilby at the time.


The quote above suggests there could have been a misunderstanding between Axl and Slash where Axl assumed Slash also wanted Gilby out. Slash explicitly states that it was likely Axl thought he wanted Gilby out, too. Failure to correct this misunderstanding may have cemented Axl's decision. When Gilby then talked to Axl, it is natural Axl would be steadfast on the decision, thinking he and Slash was in agreement.

Later, Doug Goldstein would discuss the talk between Gilby and Axl and say it was Gilby who had quit the band:

Gilby toured with us to complete the "Illusions" tour. Shortly thereafter Axl and Gilby spoke about what Axl wanted to try next. […] After Izzy's departure Axl felt Guns could use a little help in the writing department. Axl thought the addition of another guitar player (#3) would help the situation. Unhappy with this, Gilby stated "I don't want to be in Molly Hatchet" and quit.


And Marc Canter would try to remember how it went down:

Axl didn't like what he was hearing with what Slash and Gilby were coming up with. He wanted Slash to work with Paul [Huge/Tobias] instead. Thats all that I remember. I don't even remember if Gilby then quit because he wasn't going to be able to work on the record or if he got fired. I think he just walked away knowing that there was nothing for him left to do? I think his only chance was to maybe tour again which was nowhere in site at that point. Also when Slash decided not to hang around with Axl, Gilby went with Slash to start Snakepit.


Interestingly, in 1999, Gilby would claim Axl had tried to get Slash to fire Gilby a few times, but that Slash hadn't done it:

I had known for a long time that Axl was going to change the direction of the band. I knew the end was coming. That's why I dug deep into my solo career. There were days when Axl would call Slash and go, Fire Gilby - he doesn't fit in with my plan,' but he would never tell me. That was going on for a long time.

One day, the money stopped, and that was my clue [laughing].

But I knew what was going on so it wasn't a shock. I was never officially fired or anything.


If this is correct that would explain why Gilby was so ambiguous about his own status in the band - he simply didn't know he was fired!

The comment about a fight between Gilby and Duff likely implies that Duff had taken Axl's side, too, or agreed that Gilby shouldn't write with the band.


HOW IT AFFECTED GILBY'S RELATIONSHIP WITH AXL AND DUFF


Later, after having left the band, Gilby would on a few occasions talk about his friends in Guns N' Roses and tellingly not include Axl or Duff [The Acron Beacon Journal, January 27, 1995]. This quote also informs us that the firing of Gilby happened before the end of June, since Gilby was still in Los Angeles rehearsing with the band at that time before embarking on his solo tour in July.


SLASH MAKES IT CLEAR, VERY CLEAR, THAT THIS WAS ALL AXL


[Gilby] was shocked when he was fired, because there was no other reason behind it other than Axl had made up his mind. And of course I had to be the f**king messenger of bad news, which was f**ked for me because Gilby and I are really close. You don't play with people like that.

That had nothing to do with me. I want to sort of try to set the record straight.

[…] Gilby had just been kicked out of Guns N' Roses but was still with me. I didn't kick him out anyway.

[…] you know, Gilby got fired, Axl got to fire Gilby and that was one of the main key things that separated me and Axl by miles.

It was something between [Gilby] and Axl, I'm not informed completely.
Folha De Sao Paulo Journal, July 21, 1995; translated from Portuguese


These quotes imply that it was entirely Axl's decision and that Slash was against it, and downplay the fact that Slash had "sort of went along with it" as he admitted above. It serves to put the responsibility for Gilby's departure entirely on Axl's shoulders, while the quotes in Metal Edge and The Gazzette indicate that Axl had been under the impression that Slash agreed with the decision (and even initiated it) and that Duff also agreed with the firing. As such, what went down is much more complex than the simple "Axl fired Gilby" as Slash would be pushing in 1995 when he was on increasingly bad terms with Axl. And since Axl had stopped doing press, Slash's "Axl fired Gilby" became gospel in the media. That Slash wasn't "fully informed" about the reasoning for Gilby dismissal, sounds quite unlikely considering the fact that he had talked to Axl about it prior to it happening, that Slash was the one that informed Gilby, and that he talked extensively to Gilby about it afterwards. Again, it seems like Slash is trying to wash his hands of it and put all the blame on Axl. Granted, this interview is translated from Portuguese, and there could be an error in the translation.

In 1996, Matt would also imply it had been all Axl's decision and that the rest of them were informed in a phone call:

We all got a phone call, he's out. And we were kind of bummed out 'cause we really like Gilby. He's a really nice guy. Now he's suing us.


Again, this is not entirely true since Slash, and possibly Duff, had been part of the process. And in another contemporary quote from Matt he would imply that Axl, Slash and Duff were all behind the decision:

When it was Gilby, humm, when I learned that he was fired, it was difficult. There was Slash, Duff and Axl, the 3 original members of the band and they said they had to tell me. I didn't knew what to say. It's their band and I didn't knew how to react. I said OK. […] [Gilby's] a great guy. But I don't know if he was the good guy to write the new album with us. We did some songs together, but Axl thought it was not good enough. And Axl is really intelligent and he always make the good choices. I must agree with him, because he's a visionary. He knows what GNR should be 2 or 3 years in advance.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French



HOW THE FIRING OF GILBY AFFECTED AXL AND SLASH'S RELATIONSHIP


Later Slash would claim the firing of Gilby was the start to the end between his and Axl:

Unfortunately, when he got fired from Guns, I was completely - that was the beginning of when I left Guns, because I felt that Axl was losing touch with where I was coming from, and it sort of snowballed after that, on the down side. I sort of just went, OK, Axl, you do what you're gonna do. But as far as rock'n'roll is concerned, yeah, there's a few guys around that actually know it pretty well.


That Gilby's dismissal became a thorn in Slash's side and would make his relationship with Axl harder in the coming period, will become clear from future chapters.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:40 pm

EARLY 1994
TRYING TO REPLACE GILBY, PAUL HUGE IS CONSIDERED


EARLY 1994, AXL BRINGS IN PAUL HUGE


From the following quote it would be implied that the band had started working with a guitarist called Paul Huge already shortly after Axl had rejected Slash's material, and before Gilby was officially out of the band:

Axl’s been wanting to make a record this whole time. But when we finally got together and I'd written some material, he didn’t want to do that type of music, cos the scene had changed. I’m not going to keep up with trends, so we had a conflict of interests. That’s when Paul Huge came in.



WITH GILBY BEING OUT THE NEED FOR A REPLACEMENT IS OBVIOUS


Gilby was fired from the band by Axl recently. We have been trying out a couple of potential replacements, but so far no one has really worked out. Gilby is working with me at the moment, and we shall just have to see what happens with him.


In November and December, Slash would mention that another guitarist had come in to take Gilby's place:

We’ve talking about it for the last year. We just haven’t really - you know, with the absence of Gilby there was a hole in the band. Then there was a new guy that came in, but we haven’t really all come to a cohesive decision as to what exactly we’re gonna do.

Axl wanted to bring a friend of his in that I didn't like. Right now there's a big hole on second guitar.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994


The guitarist that Slash refers to here, and who was an Indiana friend of Axl's, was Paul Huge (also referred to as Paul Tobias) [The Gazette, January 26, 1995]. When Slash mentions they have not reached a "cohesive decision" on Paul, that would be something of an understatement hiding Slash's refusal to work with him [more on this in later chapter].

In October, media would claim the replacement guitarist was indeed Paul Huge ("pronounced Oo-gee") who was described as a "thinner, lighter-haired Axl" [News Pilot, October 7, 1994]. Slash would later say they played with Paul for two weeks [Kerrang! September 14, 1996].


SLASH DOES NOT LIKE PAUL


Slash would later talk about trying to work with Paul at his Snakepit studio, but that the rehearsals broke down due to Slash and Paul not getting along:

Then finally, as time went on, I started trying to work with Axl up at the Snakepit studio with this guy, Paul Huge, who I couldn’t stand but tried to make things work. And finally, because of the fact that nobody besides Axl liked this guy, it built friction between Duff and Matt and I, which has never existed before. So once I saw that happening, I said rehearsals are over. Axl was out of town for a week or something, and he came back and he goes, “What time is rehearsal?” I said, “There is no rehearsal,” so that started another fight. Plus I took that guy, Paul, off the payroll, so there was a big conflict of interest there.


What is interesting from this is that planned work on the record broke down due to Slash and Paul not getting along, that Paul had been on the band's payroll, and that this conflict somehow caused friction also between Slash, Matt and Duff.

Slash's feelings towards Paul will be discussed in more depth in later chapters.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:41 pm

JULY 24, 1994
GILBY RELEASES 'PAWNSHOP GUITARS' AND GOES TOURING


I enjoy making my own music. I certainly enjoy working with the members of Guns N' Roses, but there really isn't much room for my songs in the band. Slash and Axl really have an incredible capacity for creating great songs, and I don't want to be appeased with having maybe one token song on an album. I think I'd find that a little frustrating.
Hit Parader, December 1994; originally from earlier source

___________________________________

Gilby had been working on a solo record for a while. By January 1994 Slash would say Gilby's solo record was "pretty much finished" [Rockline, January 3, 1994], and in May 1994 he would report it would be called 'Pawn Shop Guitars' but didn't know what his solo band would be named [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].

I had this project in mind long before I joined Guns n' Roses. In fact, most of the songs on Pawn Shop Guitars date from that period, which doesn’t have much to do with the music of Guns, even if it's still rock n' roll.

Some of this stuff was before GNR - you know, when we were playing in The Blackouts and stuff. And then, some of it I wrote on the road, but, you know, I didn’t have any time to write songs and stuff while we were out. But, as soon as I got off the road is when I went in to make it, you know, just a – I didn’t know what we were gonna do with GNR, so I just wanted to go in as fast as possible.

Well, we took, like, about three months to make it, and that was too much longer than I wanted to do it. So I kind of like (?). “I know you wanna work harder on it,” “Nah, it’s just fine, man, let’s just leave it.”


In 1999, Gilby would admit the songs had been intended for Guns N' Roses, but that the band simply wasn't interested in them:

I had a backlog of songs that I had ready to go. I brought those songs to the band, because we weren't sure if we were going to make a new record. Nobody was really interested in them, so I just said, You know, I'm gonna put out my own record. If anyone buys it, they buy it; if they don't, they don't.


This would be highly similar to the fate of the songs Slash had worked on [see previous chapter].

Gilby intended to do a tour in Japan and then a tour in the US in July [Kerrang! May 14, 1994], because of his touring plans he had informed Guns N' Roses he would be unavailable from "July until the end of the year" for any GN'R work [Kerrang! May 14, 1994].

(It was) something I'd always wanted to do. It was the perfect time - I knew that the band wasn't going to do anything for a long time.



Pawnshop Guitars
July 24, 1994


Slash, Duff, Matt and Axl would all feature on the record [UG Rock Chronicles, June 13, 1994].

I don't know why Axl didn't play on Duff's album, but he was easy to work with on mine. He came down to the studio, wasn't terribly late [laughs] put down the vocals and the result was good. […] Axl came down, played piano and when he was ready he said "do you want me to sing too?". I was surprised and answered "and I thought you didn't want to."

All the Guns members came to help me out - even Axl plays the piano and sings on a song. I think it gave them a good opportunity to get their heads together before they started writing the songs for the next album. Then there’s my friend Frank Black of the Pixies and Rob Affuso, the drummer in Skid Row, who also guest on the album. It's good to make a record like that, with friends.

I had actually asked Axl to come play piano on the song, because he plays piano very well," Clarke said. I just thought it was kind of like an odd thing, kind of like having Frank Black (ex-Pixies) play on 'Jail Guitar Doors.' I had no intention of him singing, and then he said, "So, you want me to sing with you or what?"


Talking about touring with his own band while GN'R was on a break:

I don't know! We did the Spaghetti Incident to hopefully buy us some time and shit and I think towards the end of the year we might like re-group and see what's gonna happen. But right now I don't think anybody's in the right state of mind to make a Guns N' Roses record. And I gave them my notice as to the next six months and I said, So, wait!' That doesn't mean they're gonna wait, you know, but I made a commitment to myself and my record company and people I play with. I think GNR is something that will be around for a long time so if I take a little break for now, I think it's OK.

I would like to do it. I even considered putting together a touring band, but we started rehearsing with Guns n' Roses. We are working on the songs for the next album and I don't know if I’d have the chance to do a solo tour.


In late 1997, Gilby would summarize what happened:

After that (“The Spaghetti Incident”) we got together and said, ’It's going to be awhile before we put out a record, everybody go do what you want to do.’ I said, I’m going to put out a solo record.' The band was very supportive, everybody came and played on it. It was awesome.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:41 pm

MAY-OCTOBER 1994
THE BAND IS SPLINTERING AND LITTLE IS DONE


I think we're all looking forward to a long break. We love being on the road and playing for the fans. But after almost two straight years out there you've got to get back in touch with reality. I think we'll all be dong that, but we won't be far from music. I know Axl has some ideas that he wants to try out, and that's great. Let him get 'em out of his system. When the time is right, I'm sure we'll all get back together again.

Whatever I may do in my free time, there will always be a Guns N' Roses. As long as Slash and I stay interested and motivated the band will be here, and there's no question about that. Where the band will go in the years ahead is anyone's guess, but I'm as anxious as anyone to see where that might be.

The band will be together again at some point, just – The band has not broken up. We’re just taking a break.

We came from poverty together and wrote songs that were or songs- we didn’t write them just to get signed, and we didn’t write them to sell. When we did get signed, the album didn’t sell at first. Then boom- it hit a year later. So we toured and toured and made two more records and they hit; we were playing stadiums before we knew it. When the tour was over, huge egos had been created, and we weren’t prepared for any of it. So a lot of shit happened.

______________________________________________________________________

After a dramatic tour that had held the band together through a collective goal, the band started to fall apart upon returning to Los Angeles in the second half of 1993. Slash would refer to trying to keep the band together in March 1994 when he would say that he was "trying to keep the band together as a cohesive unit so we don't splinter off" [Kerrang! March 12, 1994]. Around the same time, but published in July, Slash would refer to the band as his "family" and deny any rumours of the band breaking up:

You’re talking about my family. Rather than complain, you’ve got to move forward, be practical and reasonable about everything. I always try to communicate with the other guys in Guns, both on a personal and on an emotional level. I think you’re asking me this question because of the breakup rumours that have been flying around, but there’s no truth in any of that. We’re still working together.


So Slash tried to keep the band from splintering. But it didn't work. The material that Slash had worked on was ultimately rejected by Axl and (possibly) Duff around April and then in May Duff was hospitalized. With this disagreement over musical direction and Duff likely being out because of rehabilitation, Slash would continue working on the songs and contemplate another way of releasing them and Gilby would take his songs and start working on a solo record [see later chapter], while nd Axl likely had enough to do with his ongoing legal entanglements [Musician Magazine, March 1995]. The result of all this was a break, a band on hiatus.

In late 1997, Gilby would summarize what happened:

After that (“The Spaghetti Incident”) we got together and said, ’It's going to be awhile before we put out a record, everybody go do what you want to do.’ I said, I’m going to put out a solo record.'


In May, Matt would indicate that the band had fallen apart, but that it would get back together "when the feeling is right" [The Windsor Star, May 20, 1994].

Nothing's happening right now. We're not gonna do anything. We were gonna do a lot of shows, but we're not gonna do 'em now. Nobody's really getting along right now. Everybody just called everything off, and we'll work on it when everybody feels like doing it again.

It's really strange, because the band is like two separate things. There's the guys, everybody except for Axl, and then there's the band with Axl. […] When we're on the road, we're always together. We hang out together, just like a band. But that's not including Axl. And then there's the band with Axl. He just kinda comes in and does what he does, puts the vocals on and all that kind of stuff. So when we're in the studio, it's cool.


In June Gilby would again talk about the future of the band and imply nothing was expected to happen until the end of the year, and reiterate that he would focus on his own solo record:

I don't know! We did the Spaghetti Incident to hopefully buy us some time and shit and I think towards the end of the year we might like re-group and see what's gonna happen. But right now I don't think anybody's in the right state of mind to make a Guns N' Roses record. And I gave them my notice as to the next six months and I said, So, wait!' That doesn't mean they're gonna wait, you know, but I made a commitment to myself and my record company and people I play with. I think GNR is something that will be around for a long time so if I take a little break for now, I think it's OK.

Guys, you know what? There’s always rumors [about GN'R breaking up] (laughs). What happens is, when we’re on downtime like this, a lot of rumors fly because nothing’s happened. So people just kind of – you know, they – […] They have to write something. Look, as far as GN’R is, the band has always been in that situation where we always knew that it could be there one day and it could not be there the next day. It’s a very volatile situation. We don’t know what’s gonna happen. Right now we’re off time. Nothing’s happening. Everybody’s just gonna take – a lot of people haven’t even seen each other in a while. It’ll probably be another six to eight months before we even get back together to work on some stuff.


In July, Los Angeles Times would write an article about the problems within the band, writing "reports are that the volatile rock band Guns N' Roses has divided into two feuding camps, with singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash at war" [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994], and this story would be repeated in many newspapers [The Winnipeg Free Press, July 27, 1994; Star Tribune, July 30, 1994]. The main problem was the divide in the band between Axl and Duff on one side and Slash, Matt and Gilby on the other, with different perspectives on the musical direction of the band resulting in Slash starting a new band, 'SVO Snakepit' [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994] more on this in later chapters. Axl and Duff was also said to start a separate project [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994].

A spokesman for the band's management would also deny that the band had broken up but were officially on hiatus for the moment but intended to start pre-production for the next record shortly [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994]. Zutaut would confirm that GN'R, or "some part thereof", was supposed to start working on the next record "this weekend" [Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1994].

Around the same time, Gilby would say the band was on a long break:

We made a band agreement that we’d take a long time off until the next record.


The Times would also raise the point that the public didn't really care any more about GN'R, and quote Bryan Schock, program director of L.A. hard-rock radio station KNAC-FM:

When Guns first came out it was fresh and exciting. But now Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam are the exciting things. If Guns N' Roses puts together a solid record with an hour's worth of great material, sure, there's gonna be interest. But if they don't, this could be it.


At the same time as the Los Angeles Times' article was published, Kerrang! would shockingly report that Duff had been fired, after Gilby [Kerrang! July 16, 1994]. Slash would strongly object to the rumors that Duff had been fired and that Dave Tregunna, former bassist with Sham 69, Lords Of The New Church and Kill City Dragons, had replaced him [Kerrang! July 16, 1994]:

I’ve heard the Duff story myself over here in Los Angeles and I’m frankly really pissed off about it. It’s a nasty thing for anyone to spread around. That’s one of the worst rumours I’ve heard about us in a long time! […] Duff is an important member of this band - and nothing has happened to change that. As for this guy Dave Tregunna, who is he?! I’ve never heard of him before.


Slash would claim the band was working on new music, but that nothing had been put down on tape yet:

We’ve been busy on new material for some while. There’s actually nothing down on tape as yet, but the band is working together on a regular basis.


Around the same time the band would be pursued to play at Woodstock II which would happen in August 1994 [AP/Press and Sun Bulletin, April 21, 1994]. As usual, there would be protests against GN'R on the bill, especially due to the recently released Charles Manon cover on 'Spaghetti' [Los Angeles Times, May 1, 1994]. Eventually, then band declined the offer to play but Slash would play there together with Paul Rogers and Jason Bonham on a cover of Jimi Hendrix' 'I Don't Live Today' [Public Opinion, August 15, 1994].

I played Woodstock with Paul Rodgers. Guns was supposed to play Woodstock but we turned it down because I don't think Guns represents the generation that Woodstock represents. There's nothing about the '9os that relates to the '60s to me except for a couple people running around trying to keep the fashion going. It seemed very commercial so we bowed out. But I didn't mind going down there and playing with Paul Rodgers. He's one of the originals. But the crowd wanted so much for it to be real as possible. They made the gig. It was the crowd response and enthusiasm that made it. I had a great time. It was actually a lot cooler than I thought it would be. Aerosmith is from those days so you can't knock them. But I'm glad Guns didn't do it..
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994



EPILOGUE: LOOKING BACK AT THIS PERIOD


Duff would later look back at the reasons the band was falling apart in this period:

You know what it was? It was the fame. It was the press. It was the almost unlimited power. We got too fuckin' huge, too fast. It got so big, so fast, that in most countries, we couldn't even go out after the show when we were on tour. I remember we'd all be sittin' in the damn hotel room watching CNN just to see what was going on. It was that kind of isolation, that kind of fame'¦ and of course, us trying so hard to be bad boys like The Rolling Stones. For me, personally, it was one of the darkest points of my life when we were that big. It was so unreal. Izzy left halfway through the Illusions tour. We still were holding on to that band family thing. And like a trooper, he came back out on the road with us - even though his heart wasn't in it - when Gilby broke his wrist. Later, he told me we were like zombies. Nobody on the stage was even talking to each other. It wasn't because we were hating each other, we were just kind of going through the motions. So scary. In Europe and South America, especially, it was fanatical, and we were just dazed. WE WERE FUCKING ZOMBIES! Izzy couldn't believe the change. I mean, we were hell-bent on doing whatever we had to do to continue. There were riots in the streets. We couldn't go from our cars to the gig. That shit scared the hell out of me. Yet, through it all, I still thought we were gonna pull it together after we got off that long tour. It started to happen again for a second for us. I got excited again'¦ For about a minute. But no, it was just too big a business, and none of us had the training for that.

We started going to Slash's house. I'd gone out on the road promoting my first solo record [1993's Belive In Me]. I was touring Europe and Japan, then I got sick. That's when I started visiting Slash at his house. He has a little studio there and we had a batch of songs. But, ya' know what? Without Izzy, we just weren't writing the old way. We had a bunch of great songs, but the way we uses to write wasn't all sitting in a room and trying to force ourselves to be a family. We just were. But there was a point up there where it was looking good and we started cranking out songs, but it just started falling apart.



STATUS OF THE WORK


In June 1994, Slash would mention that they already had songs down on tape:

And, contrary to what some people might think, Guns N' Roses haven't been idle. We already have some songs down on tape.


These songs would come in addition to the 25 songs Slash had set aside for possible inclusion on his upcoming solo record [Kerrang! June 25, 1994].

In September The Gazette/Reuter would report that Geffen publicist Bryn Bridenthal had issued a statement saying that all members of the band were now working on new music for the next record [The Gazette/Reuter, September 4, 1994]. But, as stated above and later, with Duff recuperating from his illness and Slash's attention being elsewhere, very little was likely being done.

Rumours would also fly in the media, claiming the band was making music together. One "source close to the band" would describe the new music as "a little bit more moody" than previous material [News Pilot, October 7, 1994].

As for when a new album could be ready, Bryn Bridenthal would respond:

We don’t ever predict on Guns, because that’s wanking. The album will be finished when it’s finished.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:42 pm

JUNE-DECEMBER 1994
SLASH STOPS COMING TO BAND REHEARSALS


With Axl rejecting the music Slash had written, Slash decided to use them for his own album Snakepit [see later chapter for details on this band and record]. But Axl still wanted to work on the next GN'R record and this prompted Slash to speculate that he would have to work on both records simultaneously:

So I thought I’d go ahead and use the songs I’d been working up for a solo album... only now Axl has decided we should start on the new GN’R album anyway! So the two projects will be run almost in tandem.


But soon Slash would focus exclusively on Snakepit and stop coming to Guns N' Roses rehearsals:

And a lot of time went by, we started working the Snakepit album and I wasn’t coming down to Guns N’ Roses rehearsals, so Axl was getting pissed off about that. So I took some time out from Snakepit and rehearsed with Guns, and Zakk Wylde was playing with us at the time.

At one point I was actually encouraged to do a solo record because this material was a little bit, as Axl put it, 'too retro.’ So I just took the material and said, 'It’s mine now.’ […] He got pretty upset about that but he did say do a solo record. But then two weeks later it was done.


Later Slash would say he wasn't able to write music for GN'R anymore:

I got so disillusioned with Guns that I even stopped being able to write for the band. That was in '95 when I started doing Snakepit. I remember Axl threatening to sue me because he thought that material should have been for GN'R. I just didn't see Guns doing it so I slapped it all together for a solo record.


Zakk Wylde would first play with GN'R in January 1995, which implies that Slash didn't make himself available to Guns N' Roses for the remainder of 1994, except for the recording of 'Sympathy for the Devil' [see later chapter].

In November, after the recording of 'Sympathy' [see later chapter], the official statement was that the band planned to reconvene in the second half of 1995 - after Slash had toured in support of his Snakepit album - to work on their next record [Raw Magazine, November 1994]. Still, the media was rife with rumors suggesting the band was breaking apart, including a rumor that Matt would join Led Zeppelin for their reunion tour [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

It is unlikely that the band were able to get much work done together as a band in this period. The recording of 'Sympathy for the Devil' happened with Axl coming in separately from the rest of the band [as discussed in a later chapter], and Slash likely recorded new music in his own studio while playing with and rehearsing with Matt and possibly Duff but without Axl. This is corroborated by this quote from Matt in late 1996 where he said they "didn't really work" together:

I must agree with [Axl], because he's a visionary. He knows what GNR should be 2 or 3 years in advance. When we got out of the plane [in 1993], he said: "Guys, we'll see us again in 96". It was 3 years ago. And now, we work together and an album will be released in 97. […] I saw him! But we didn't really work.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


And Slash would talk about his not being there for Guns N' Roses:

I had to get away from Guns for a minute just because it's such an institution. I want to get really inspired to do any now Guns stuff. Guns is big enough that it doesn't matter what year we come out with a record so much. I know that people want one to come out, but I want to make sure that it's a great Guns record, not churn it out just because. So I'll get away from it for a while, have fun dicking around in clubs and get toe to toe with the kids. I'm looking forward to It.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

I love Guns with a passion. It just got to the point where - after two band member changes, ballads about Stephanie (Seymour), multi-million-dollar videos, the whole f**king cabaret thing that went on onstage - I just went, ‘There’s too much going on!


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:42 pm

1994
TRYING TO REPLACE GILBY, DAVE NAVARRO IS CONSIDERED


It is not known who else were potential replacements and played with the band as indicated in the Kerrang! quote. One likely possibility is Dave Navarro, whom Axl had tried getting in when Izzy left [see previous section]:

But the idea of working with [Navarro] excites me to no end because I still put on Jane's Addiction and it always seems brand new, no matter how many times I hear it. I'd like to try to achieve a fusion of what they were trying and what GNR is doing. I think that blend, if taken seriously and patiently, could be amazing. It could be a fuller thing than anyone's done before. Dave and Slash together could be incredible-two guys very "out there" on their own, working together. […] I think the world kind of missed Dave. I'd really like to help fix that.
Hit Parader, June 1993; interview from December 1992


Media would report that the band was indeed considering hiring Navarro [Hit Parader, December 1994] and Navarro would later confirm that it had been considered:

[Being asked if he ever thought about joining the new Guns N' Roses]: No, only because I already had my hands in my new book and in this record and the possibility of a Jane's reunion. I didn't wanna bite off more than I could chew. And honestly, I love him as a person and I love his music, but I don't know if it's necessarily suited for me personally.
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:42 pm

JULY 1994
THE GUNS N' ROSES PINBALL MACHINE


Slash was a big fan of pinball machines:

[…] I didn't play pinball until, It was Christmas a couple of years ago I bought one for Renee. I was in Chicago visiting her family and there was nothing to do and it started to get to me. They had three pinball machines in their basement and to kill time I started playing them. I'd never played when I was a kid. I smoked pot. I came home and bought her an Addams Family one, and one machine turned into two, two turned into four and so on. They're all over the house. We don't even have a dining room table. We always eat takeout anyway.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

All the pinball companies are in Chicago. My ex-wife, her family lives in the suburbs of Chicago, and I went there to visit for the first time - I never played pinball as a kid - so I was bored. there was nothing to do except drive into the city and get fucked up and never be able to find my way back. But they had a basement - those are real popular in Chicago - and they had pinball machines down there. So I played pinball every night for a week. We came home and I bought The Addams Family (pinball machine) for Renee. That was the first one. Then one turned into two, two turned into four, four into six, and next thing you know, I was designing one!


Then in 1993, after having returned from touring, Slash got an idea of a Guns N' Roses pinball machine:

Then while the studio was being built and Guns wasn't doing anything I thought Guns could do a pinball machine 'cause there hasn't been a genuine rock 'n' roll machine in a long time. The whole idea came together. The basic idea is to get all six guys on stage, because we have a penchant for being late.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

I’m designing the Guns N’ Roses pinball machine now. It’s gonna be killer — the loudest machine ever. It’ll be a six-ball machine ... with songs from the albums on it.


In early 1994 Slash would talk about a Guns N' Roses pinball machine that was slated for launch in the summer.

It's almost done. I've been working... Actually, to tell you the truth, when the earthquake hit [on January 17, 1994], I'd already planned on going to Chicago to work with the Data East Company, who make awesome pinball games. And I came out to Chicago to work on the artwork for it. So, it's sort of like, my little project, that I'm working with them. And it should be out in the summer. […] there's like 13 songs on it.

I like pinball because it’s physical and it’s definitely more rock ‘n’ roll. Video games are wimpy. I got really hooked at it, you know? And I thought, well, they haven’t done a rock ‘n’ roll machine in about 15 years. I think the last one was Ted Nugent. So I thought Guns could probably get away with making a machine at this point. […] It’s definitely a hip game. Plus, it’s the first game that’s ever had real guitars. It’s the loudest one made today. So I’m really proud of it.



The Guns N' Roses pinball machine


The pinball game would feature unreleased music from GN'R:

There’s a song called Ain’t Going Down, which we just never finished, and we have a chorus for it, so I figure we’d use that, you know, and finally get it out there. So now that we’ve done it we have to actually record it.


'Ain't Going Down' had previously been intended to be released on 'The Spaghetti Incident?' [see previous section].

Talking about the pinball machine after its release:

A few years ago, I spent a couple of weeks in the suburbs of Chicago one winter. After a couple days of just sitting there watching TV. I got pretty bored. I was at my uncle-in-­law’s house. In Chicago they have base­ments, and in his basement he had three or four pinball machines that sort of cut the boredom a little bit. I’d never ever been into pinball when I was a kid, never was interested. Finally, I broke down and I was like, well this is something to do, and I got into pinball. I bought my wife one for the following Christmas. And then one turned into about 20. And the whole house was completely — I mean, the living room, the upstairs bar, everywhere there’s pinball machines. Anyway, the band was off the road, finally, and I started thinkin' Guns could probably do a pinball machine. We haven't had a rock n' roll machine in 15 years that was based on a particular band. So, I just started jotting ideas on scraps of papers and napkins - that’s how I always come up with ideas - doodling. And I came up with the basic framework for what I’d consider to be a really different kind of pinball machine. The next thing was which company to go with and who would be interested. I didn't want to go with Barry and Williams because I would have given them the idea and then that would have been the last I would have seen of it until it came out. I wanted to have — you know, more or less creative input through the whole making of the game. And a couple of the machines that I have at home which are the most original and the most, like, on- the-edge machines - you know that take chances - are the Data East machines. So, I went to Chicago and I met with them, showed them my basic designs and stuff and I said, like, "Can you do this? Can you do that?" And they said, "We can fuckin’ do anything." You know, that’s more of the attitude where I come from. We hooked up. And those people at Data East are wonder­ful. They’re really great people. I’d bring a bottle of Jack and we’d all hang out in the drawing room with a big sheet of paper and draw things out into the middle of the night. So, we basically came up with a game and the design team that I worked with — I can’t give you all their names, but there was a guy named Lymon and there was a guy named John Borg who - if you see the machine, it’s designed by John Borg and me. Then, they were serious. They got into it. And before you know it. I'm flying back and forth to Chicago, like, shit, once every couple of weeks, and going over details and so-on and so-forth. So, to actually see it finished and working right now - I'm really proud of it. But it's the loudest game ever made, it’s the only time that real gui­tars and real vocals have ever been used on a pinball machine. So, it’s real Innova­tive. At least at present. God knows what the next pinball machine’s gonna be like. I got to go into the studio and take the origi­nal Guns N' Roses masters from the record and strip them back down to the individual tracks and that was sort of nostalgic. And then we went in and did some voice overs for it. You know, "jackpot" and this and that - little things that the pinball machine says. And that's basically it. It's out and you can find it in arcades. And I have one here at home and it drives me crazy 'cause it plays "Welcome to the Jungle" as the main song and I'm sick of hearing it. And you can crank it as loud as you want - we keep all the machines pretty loud. Everybody who comes over plays it. It’s a good game though. I mean gamewise and also strategically.

It's actually pretty much the most original high-tech kind of game to date, because it's got real guitars on it, and real vocals on it. I'm really happy with it, I was sitting around at home and writing on pieces of napkins, getting the design together. I actually managed to pull off about 80 percent of it, so there's not really any other game like it.

I took the original master tapes out of the vault and stripped them all down to 24 tracks, and then took the guitars and pulled them off. I lifted the riff off ‘...Jungle’, and all Axl’s vocals. The drum samples are ones that Matt uses when he does drum clinics. It’s really unique the way it’s done.


And about making it different to other pinball machines:

Well, obviously it's got to have great sound because it's a rock band. It plays nine dif­ferent Guns N’ Roses songs. So, it has to sound good. That was our first and fore­most priority and then I came up with the idea of a "G" ramp and an "R” ramp -I really wanted to pursue that. The whole idea of the game — the whole premise of the game, right from the get-go is to get the whole band on the stage; so, it's a six ball machine. There's a mode for every band member. So, when you go into, say, Axl's, you've got the "Mystery Ball;" Dizzy’s got the "Dizzy Ball" which has magnets that can turn on - when the balls coming down the playing field, the magnet will shoot it off somewhere else so it’s, like, out of control. There’s “Riot Ball" when all six balls come out - it gets real crazy. There’s "Coma Ball" that plays "Coma." There’s “Nightrain." There's "Matt Ball" where all the targets turn into drumheads. There’s "Gilby Rolls" which is on the dot matrix, and that's on the backboard where you have, from a heli­copter's view, a motorcycle that you can control with the flippers - with the buttons for the flippers. All you have to do is avoid traffic and hit pedestrians. There's the "Death Mode" which plays "It's So Easy." Anyway, there’s "Slash Solo," there’s "Snakepit" which is — see, it’s a two lane game so there’s a gun on one side - there’s a plunger and there’s a rose on the other side of the machine that's got a lane where the ball goes into a snake. So, there’s a lot going on. You can play it for four or five hours and you’ll never get close to how much information this game’s got. Those people over there at Data East, they call 'each other "pinheads." As fanatical as I am about guitars, that's how they are about pinball machines. They get up in the morn­ing and they play until midnight. They get other people's machines and fuckin', you know, scrutinize them and figure them out. It's a whole different world over there. But, they’re all really great people to hang out with. […] I had what you call my own produc­tion team to make this. So, we would all get together. We got to be good friends. There was just no end to the ideas that we could come up with.

It's the most technically advanced game to date. I'm really proud of it. And all my ideas are all on there. It sounds really great, there are eight or nine songs on there. Making a record is one thing but making something that's totally out of your league and have it actually come to fruition is really great.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm

SUMMER OF 1994
AXL WANTS THE SONGS AND THREATENS TO SUE SLASH


In 1994, the press would report that there was a big fight between Slash and Axl over Slash's solo plans, including a rumor that Axl had sued Slash over Slash's decision to use the songs he had worked on on a solo record  [RAW Magazine, November 1994]. RAW Magazine would deny that this rumor was true, but state that the conflict between the two band members was very real [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

According to the rumor, Axl didn't want Slash to release all the songs that Slash, Matt and Gilby had been writing, on Slash' solo record, but instead keep them for Guns N' Roses [Kerrang! November 5, 1994] and Slash would confirm this:

[…] it wasn’t until later that [Axl] wanted [the songs] back - but at that point I’d got this band together, and my focus had shifted completely from Guns for a while.


This is interesting considering earlier reports that Axl and Duff had rejected the material flat-out. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or perhaps Axl wanted them, or some of them, for a future release.

Slash would also comment upon this apparent paradox:

I played Axl the material when it was in demo form and he said he didn’t want to do that kind of music anymore. Then after the record was done, he said he wanted to do it. ... To this day I don’t know where Axl’s head is at.


And talk in more detail about how it happened:

Axl at some point decided that he wanted certain songs back and they were already - the album was already finished by that point. It sort of was a shock to him that it was done so quickly, you know? And then he was like, “Well, I want those songs back,” and I was like, “No, it’s too late, they’re gone.”

[Axl's] used to me taking care of everything. No matter whether he shows up or not, he thinks I'm going to be there taking care of writing new songs and setting things up for Guns N 'Roses. What happened was that he was convinced that the material I was recording in my house would go to the next Guns record. I let him listen to what I’d been writing, and he didn’t like anything, so I said, 'Okay, no problem.' At that time he was preoccupied with the lawsuit from his ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Seymour. The songs I had written were very similar to Guns N 'Roses, but he didn’t like them, and I thought about doing my own record. I know I said many times that I’d never make a solo album, but I had those songs and I wanted to get them out. Then, after my album had been recorded, Axl came to see me and told me he wanted those songs. I told him that it was impossible, that the album was already done, and we had an argument. He tried to convince me that this material belonged to Guns N’ Roses, and I had to answer that it was done in my fucking house and it was mine. I’ve always been totally dedicated to Guns N' Roses and he’s now worried because he thinks that I won’t go back with the band. But that's not gonna happen, I’ll always be in the band. So he’s been a little paranoid over this thing, that’s what’s happening. It’s not right that Axl tried to sue me, because I've been his best friend.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

[Axl] just wanted these certain songs and he didn't like them at first. And this is way before Snakepit even became like, a reality. This is when I was just writing at home. And he didn't like them. So I was like: "Cool".

You know, it's sorta like old Guns stuff and then all of a sudden, after the album was finished, he goes: "Remember those tapes I have. You know, I want to...". He didn't know we'd finished the record. And he goes: "This song, this song, this song, this song and this song." And I went: "Dude, we finished it already. It's gone". And he goes: "You couldn't have done an album in two weeks." I said: "Oh yeah. I can". You can do that. And it turned into a big fight.

At one point [Axl] didn't like the songs, and all of a sudden he wanted them and the [Snakepit] record was already done. That set me off. What the f.ck is that? It turned into a bit of a fight.
Metal Edge Magazine, October 1995; interview from May 15, 1995

So Axl and I, there was some conflict of interest over my doing this record and making a priority of that instead of concentrating on my relationship with Axl, and Guns N’ Roses in general, and doing a Guns record. He wanted that first before I went on to do this. But before I went on to do this, he had encouraged me to do a solo record because he wasn’t ready to get to work yet. Then, once he did want to get to work, he was like, “I want this song, and this song, and this song,” the songs he'd turned down. I said, “Dude, the album is finished already, it’s done.” So that pissed him off […]


In 2002 Axl would claim he originally had wanted to make an Appetite-style record but when that wasn't possible to make a "Slash record with contributions from everybody else":

Originally I intended to do more of an Appetite style recording but with the changes in the band's dynamics and the band's musical influences at the time it didn't appear realistic. So, I opted for what I thought would or should've made the band and especially Slash very happy. Basically I was interested in making a Slash record with some contributions from everybody else. There'd still be some chemistry and some synergy happening and whatever dynamics anyone else could bring in to the project.


This is perplexing since Slash would in various interviews claim he also wanted to make a Appetite-style record and since we know Axl, at least at first, rejected the songs Slash had written. Taken everything into account, it seems Axl changed his mind after first rejecting the songs, possibly when it became clear Slash wouldn't compromise on a more modern sounding album, and decided to work on the songs Slash had presented but by then Slash had already taken them for for his Snakepit project.


WHEN DID IT HAPPEN?


Since Axl was surprised about how quickly Slash had recorded the songs, this realisation likely came before the press started writing about Slash's album and his search for a singer, which could put the fight between Axl and Slash regarding the material to as early as June 1994.


AXL THREATHENS TO SUE SLASH


More specifically, the "big fight" included Axl threatening to sue Slash:

The rest of the band was very supportive of me doing this album, but Axl has a problem with it. With my taking it on the road for so long with the whole thing. But there's always a bit of tension - nothing major, but it’s part of us.

I took off and then he threatened to sue me, because he wanted the material back that I'd written and already recorded.

[Axl] just wasn’t into it. Now he wants the songs back and we’ve sort of got this pending situation. He was going to sue me!


Slash would comment on the litigation rumours:

Legally, it's all verbal stuff. We have never gone into litigation of any kind with this. Axl just thought that the songs were rightfully Guns' because they were written with the intention of them being Guns songs. I disagree.

[A lawsuit] was brought up; I’m surprised that anybody knew about that - I never went public with it. What happened basically is ever since Guns N’ Roses... even when they first started, it’s always been my thing to be the glue that keeps things organised. That’s always what I’ve done. Not to say that Axl or Duff don’t help, it’s just that that’s always been my thing. I live, sleep, breathe Guns N’ Roses. That’s all I ever did.

So all of a sudden for me to get up and disappear really blew Axl’s mind, ’cos he’s always had me to lean on. All of a sudden he wants to do a record. Now, I’ve waited around for years at a time for him, so when I ended up hanging out with these guys and made a record...

Axl had a tape of demos with no vocals on it that he turned down on me, so I said, ‘Okay, well no big deal, I’ll write more stuff, whatever you don’t like about this particular direction ... What direction do you want to go? Because I’m not really sure what you’re getting at because I wanted to do a real hard, back-to-basics kind of thing?’. So he wasn’t sure and we really weren’t getting on that well: he fired Gilby and that started a whole big slew of f**kin, you know, that caused a mess between us for a while. Then Eric, Matt, Gilby, Mike and myself went in the studio to do a record like that! (snaps his fingers).

All of a sudden Axl decides he wants some of the songs back and I go, ‘They’re gone!’ And he goes, ‘You couldn’t have done a record that fast!’ I said, ‘Well, it’s done!’. So he says, ‘Well, I’m gonna sue you!’. ‘Like, for what?’. ‘Because they’re supposed to be Guns N’ Roses material!’. ‘No they’re not, I wrote them!’.

He has this sort of distorted image in his head that because I’m such a part of Guns N’ Roses that anything that comes out between this hand and this hand is Guns’ material. At the time I wasn’t thinking about doing any kind of side-project or starting another band, I was just writing. I was sitting around the house, I had a new studio, and when he said he didn’t like them I was like, ‘Cool! Whatever!’.

Then I started hanging out with these guys and we had such a good time I thought, ‘We should record this, because we have a decent band,’ so we went and did it. Then he was like, ‘Woah, wait a second, slow down!’. Axl moves at like a quarter of the speed that I do. That’s always been one of the issues with Guns N’ Roses, that’s just the way it is, always has been. I mean, Axl’s awesome but sometimes I need to get back to having to get to work on time. I need that drive. Not just be some sort of lazy Rock star waiting around till whenever.

[…]

[Axl] just works slower. He takes things a little bit more seriously than I do. And he has to wait till the timing’s right, and this and that. I mean, I can write a song at the same time as falling out of a car! I just sort of do what I do and I don’t like to think about it too much, whereas he does like to think about it. So that’s one of the things, opposites attract; that’s one of the great things between the two of us, but at the same time this happened so quickly for him he was like, ‘Woah! Woah! Stop! What happened?”


Being asked if Axl really threated to sue him:

Yeah, yeah, but we worked it out. That’s just Axl’s way.

He just thought that the songs were rightfully Guns’, because they were written with the intention of being Guns songs. I was hoping they would be Guns songs. He can't sue me for that!


Looking back:

The typical fights between guys in bands, between Axl and I, have been blown way out of proportion. There was a little bit of concern about me taking off to do [Slash’s Snakepit], but I really needed to do it. I need to get that vibe back. I don’t want to feel like some unobtainable rock-star character. This is grounding me.


In February 1995, Slash would say he and Axl had "come to terms" with the fact that Slash had taken the songs for himself:

And so we’ve come to terms about it at this point, but there was a little bit of friction there for a while.


Slash would also imply that Axl considered all music Slash makes while a band member of Guns N' Roses as belonging to Guns N' Roses, and that he didn't like Slash's collaborations with other artists:

[…] [Axl]’s got this distorted vision, or thought, that when I apply my talents to the guitar - or however we wanna call it – that it’s automatically Guns N’ Roses material, which isn’t the case. That means Lenny Kravitz stuff, Iggy Pop, Michael Jackson and Carole King would all be Guns N’ Roses material (laughs). That’s not the case at all.

When I first got into this thing, there were certain songs he wanted back, like he thought anything – like any time that I apply this hand and this hand with a guitar in between, it’s supposed to be designated Guns N’ Roses material, Guns territory, which wasn’t the case.


In an interview published on March 1, 1995, Slash would claim the Snakepit songs hadn't been intended for Guns N' Roses:

I didn’t write them for anybody! […] I’d have a riff and Matt would come up with a beat, and by the end of the day we’d have a song. We didn’t take it so seriously ’cos we had no reason to.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm

OCTOBER 1994
SLASH INSULTS KEITH RICHARDS


In the first half of 1994, The Rolling Stones would finish their upcoming album The Voodoo Lounge in Los Angeles, and Slash would hang out with Keith Richards [The Chicago Tribute, February 3, 1995].

I went to dinner with [Richards], and we hung out for a couple of weeks. I can tell you that he’s quite a character.
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish


Then, when The Stones toured the album and came to The Rose Bowl in Pasadena in late October, Slash and Renee would have seats for the show:

We were saving a couple of seats for our friends who went to the bathroom, and these other people tried to take them. I said, ‘These seats are taken,’ they start arguing, and we said, ‘[Expletive] you’ and left. The next day, Keith calls, all ticked off. Turns out the people we argued with are his in-laws.

I can’t count all the magazines I’ve read, and how, whether true or not, that’s how we get to know about our rock star heroes. That’s all I ever expected as a kid. And now suddenly it’s gotten to the point where I’m getting yelled at by Keith Richards. One way or another, that’s sorta cool.


Late in the year, Slash would say state "as much as Keith hates me right now for fucking telling his in-laws off" [Metal Hammer, November 1995], but this could have been said jokingly.

Slash would mention the 2000:

[Being told he is like Keith Richard's apprentice]: Don’t ever let him hear that. He’ll f- with me. I’ve been on his bad side, I know. […] Um, I pissed off his f- wife’s parents. I didn’t know who they were. But he’s totally cool as long as he gets to be Keith and I’m just the younger kid. It's a seniority thing.


Slash would allude to the "seniority thing" in another interview from 2000 where Slash listed Richards on his "villain" list:

I think this one is self-explanatory. He once pulled a knife on me in a hotel room. I don’t know for what reason, I guess just to let me know who’s boss. But it wasn’t a big knife, just one of those little Chinese jobs. He’s like the classic villain.


Talking about Richards:

What I admire about Keith really has nothing to do with image. To this day, Keith continues to have a backbone: He's still in the same fucking band he's always been in. I've hung out with him only a few times. Keith emphasizes the motto that I try to live by, but as an older, more experienced guitarist - which is to say, he's been through it all but continues to maintain his focus. No matter what happens, he's always Keith and you couldn't pry it from him with a crowbar. Keith doesn't bend, and that applies to me, too. […] I make no comparisons, but that's what I respect about Keith. I don't think he likes me, though. Keith thinks I'm very "L.A." I think he doesn't give me my due, because I'm so much younger than he is. Once I get a few more years under my belt without having succumbed to the whole fucking rock & roll cliché, I think he'll respect me.
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