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2004.03.05 - The Glasgow Daily Record - Slashed and Burned (Slash)

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Post by Blackstar on Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:02 am

Slashed and Burned

the Ex-Guns N'Roses Guitarist Reveals Why He Will Never Go on Tour Again with Axl Rose

THERE'S a Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits CD due out later this month, but there's little chance of guitarist Slash and singer Axl Rose getting together to celebrate the event.

There has been a tidal wave of bad blood between the two camps especially over the decision by Rose to keep the name.

While Rose still uses the band's name, Slash and original group members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum are now in Velvet Revolver with singer Scott Weiland and guitarist Dave Kushner.

And when asked about a possible reunion, Slash, who was born in England and whose real name is Saul Hudson, said: "I haven't talked to him since I quit. I don't really see a reunion happening.

"The things that are keeping us apart are so much tougher than money.

"He made some idle threats while we were touring and wouldn't go on stage unless we signed a piece of paper. We opted to go on stage and not let everybody down so we signed the piece of paper.

"I didn't want to be involved with the name if the band's not together anyway.

"Even to this day I still don't care. But now he's dragged it through the mud so much that even if he said, 'Look guys, I've been to therapy and I'm a better person now, let's get back together and do a show,' we'd all be like, we don't want to be in that band. 'None of us would have even bothered to think about taking the name."

While the bad feeling simmers away, it is perhaps better to remember some of the great rock tunes the band produced.

The Greatest Hits package, released in the UK on March 15, is a 14-track collection and includes Welcome To The Jungle, Sweet Child O'Mine and Paradise City as well as covers of Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Live And Let Die and Sympathy For The Devil.

Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin started the group in 1984 and over the next couple of years they brought in Steven Adler on drums, guitarist Slash and Duff McKagan on bass.

They became Guns N' Roses and their off-stage activities made Liam Gallagher's antics look like schoolboy pranks.Their appetite for drugs, drink and groupie sex was legendary.

But, like the title of their first album Appetite For Destruction, bad times were always around the corner.
Two fans died during crowd disturbances at the Monsters Of Rock show at the Donington Festival in 1988.

GN'R are the only act to hold the top two album spots in both the UK and the US on the week of releasing Use Your Illusion I and II in September 1991.

The beginning of the end of the classic line-up began in September 1990 when Adler was replaced by Matt Sorum. The following year saw the departure of Stradlin. He actually returned to the fold in 1995, but by that time Rose and Slash, the main focus of the band, were at loggerheads.

In November 1996, Slash confirmed Rose's departure. Then in February 1997 it was Slash who was was on his way out with the singer purchasing the rights to the band's name.

Slash said: "The way things were headed I wanted to quit while it was still cool.

"I didn't want to go down the drain with Axl in that sense.

"When you're in a band which goes in that direction it's rare that you ever make a comeback. Leaving Guns was hard, but I'm glad that I left, despite all the legal problems and stuff that goes along with leaving."

In November 1999, Rose surprised everyone by contributing Oh My God to the soundtrack of End Of Days. Backed by new musicians, he also embarked on The Chinese Democracy tour and claimed to have finished the band's long-awaited new album.

They started a tour, but after just nine performances it was scrapped (including a date at Glasgow's SECC). Chinese Democracy has still to be released and there have been many member changes.

So what would it take for Axl and Slash to kiss and make up?

Slash said: "No amount of money will make that happen. It's a relationship that's too human, too delicate and too volatile to have money manipulate it.

"There was a period where people said, 'Why not do one show?' And I'd say, when you get him straightened out, then we can talk about doing a show, but right now it's just not my priority. I'm not really waiting around for Axl to get his head together."


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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:42 pm

There are a few things to unravel in this interview.

First it is stated that Izzy did rejoin GN'R in 1995. I would think this is based on something Slash said in the interview.

Secondly, it is claimed Slash confirmed Axl's departure from GN'R in 1996.

Thirdly, it says Slash finally left in 1997 when Axl purchased the rights to the band's name.

So maybe Axl left the partnership in 1996 when the fax was sent to MTV and then purchased the rights to the band name in 1997, meaning Slash couldn't legally do anything with the band's name and hence was in that sense out of the band for good (even if he had left the year before)? I dunno.
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Post by Blackstar on Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:27 pm

@Soulmonster wrote:There are a few things to unravel  in this interview.
First it is stated that Izzy did rejoin GN'R in 1995. I would think this is based on something Slash said in the interview.

Secondly, it is claimed Slash confirmed Axl's departure from GN'R in 1996.

Thirdly, it says Slash finally left in 1997 when Axl purchased the rights to the band's name.

So maybe Axl left the partnership in 1996 when the fax was sent to MTV and then purchased the rights to the band name in 1997, meaning Slash couldn't legally do anything with the band's name and hence was in that sense out of the band for good (even if he had left the year before)? I dunno.
I think the article just got its band history information from the press and has it all messed up. For example, probably the part about "Slash confirming Axl's departure" was based on Axl's fax and the writer reversed the names, and then the rumour that Axl had purchased the rights to the name appeared in the press in early 1997 so that's where he got it from.

According to a lawsuit document later in 2004, Axl, using the added clause about the ownership of the name in the 1992 partnership,  left the partnership in the end of 1995 and formed a new one. Axl said in the fax that Slash had been "officially and legally" out of the GnR partnership since Dec. 31 1995, which means that Slash didn't join the supposed new partnership. It is unclear what happened with Duff.

But I have reasons to doubt that Axl practically ever left the old partnership, as he continued to have control of the assets (which he couldn't have done as a "terminated partner"). I also doubt that he formed a new "partnership", as there were no other partners, but he definitely formed a new entity which was the  entity for the new band and in which he was the only principal.

There is no indication that Axl purchased the rights to the name.

According to another lawsuit document (the Greatest Hits one, which is also ahead in 2004), Axl signed a new recording agreement with Geffen in 1998 with which Geffen released Slash and Duff from their obligations as band members. So Slash and Duff were officially and legally out of the band, as far as the record label was concerned, in 1998, which means that until then the label considered them still members based on the old recording agreement.

However, Slash and Duff remained partners in the old GnR partnership, controlling the assets like the band's back catalogue along with Axl (except for the name). In 2002 two of the corporations owned by the old GnR partnership were dissolved (I had posted links to the documents in the Notes thread) but apparently there were more business entities, like the GnR publishing that owned the rights to the songs, in which they remained shareholders, so they were still partners after that.

It's really very complicated. Slash has alluded to the legal complications of him leaving the band in interviews. Axl also mentioned in the 2008 forum chats that the partnership issue was very complicated legally.


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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:21 am

It is really complicated but thanks for your insight.

As for there being no indication that Axl purchased the rights to the name, we do have Steven's comments to Howard Stern about Axl approaching each band member and offering money for the band name: https://www.a-4-d.com/t5018-19-december-1994-october-1996-axl-and-slash-fights-slash-quits#20211
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Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:44 am

@Soulmonster wrote:It is really complicated but thanks for your insight.
As for there being no indication that Axl purchased the rights to the name, we do have Steven's comments to Howard Stern about Axl approaching each band member and offering money for the band name: https://www.a-4-d.com/t5018-19-december-1994-october-1996-axl-and-slash-fights-slash-quits#20211
I think Steven most likely was referring to an earlier time.

His comments didn't make much sense to me at first, because he said Axl approached him after he he was out of the band, which means he wasn't a partner anymore and wouldn't have rights to the name, so why would Axl have approached him to buy it?

But then I reread the related parts in Slash's book, and I think I understand now what Steven was talking about. Slash wrote in his book that Axl first brought the name into the table after Steven was out, and insisted on "litigating" it.

According to the U.S. Trademark Office, the Guns N' Roses name was first trademarked by the GnR partnership in 1992. Which means that until then, although the band recorded, performed and did business as Guns N' Roses, the name was not an asset as it wasn't on paper, so in theory, anyone else (Steven, for example, after he left the band) could use it. So, probably, after Steven left, Axl wanted to put it on paper so that it would be clear who could legally use it in case someone left or the band broke up. And maybe, at that early point, it wasn't about himself owning it but just about putting it on paper.
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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:32 am

Sounds reasonable.

What is funny here is that I am sure Axl would be happy to write extensively about this to get the facts straight.
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Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:23 am

He wrote some things about it in the 2008 forum chats, but because what he wrote was in response to specific questions from fans and he sent the answers without quoting the questions, it's not easy to get a cohesive narrative of his side on the matter.
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