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2020.10.26 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Doug Goldstein Talks Live Era

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2020.10.26 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Doug Goldstein Talks Live Era Empty 2020.10.26 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Doug Goldstein Talks Live Era

Post by Blackstar on Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:10 pm



Excerpt transcribed by UG:
-------------------------------------------

During an appearance on Appetite for Distortion, former Guns N' Roses manager Doug Goldstein - who managed the group from 1991 to 2008 - talked about the 1994 firing of guitarist Gilby Clark after he had spent three years in the fold.

Goldstein also touched on the making of "Chinese Democracy" and Buckethead's infamous studio chicken coop.

Focusing on Gilby, Doug commented (transcribed by UG):

"The one thing I have to say is - Gilby still believes that Axl [Rose, vocals] was the bad guy who threw him out of the band, and all I can say is that Axl, from the beginning of Gilby being hired, said, 'Once the tour's over, guys, that's it for Gilby - because I want to take this in a different direction.'

"And they all knew it, yet particularly Slash - and to a great extent Duff [McKagan] as well - were telling Gilby, 'We're going to keep you around, we're going to keep you around, we're going to keep you around.'

"And Axl stayed consistent, 'I've always said it, once it's over - it's over!' And so, it was pretty unfair to Axl that he took the heat for shitcanning Gilby when that really wasn't the case at all.

"And maybe they really wanted Gilby to stay in the band, but they certainly weren't very vocal about it to Axl at all.

"They didn't put it this way, they didn't stick up for Gilby when it came time for Axl to say, 'That's it, we got to go in a different direction.' There was no conversation about, 'But, wait, we love him and he's got to be here.' None of that."

I guess maybe that was all agreed upon at the beginning, but when you're on that kind of tour, I can't imagine the brotherhood that's established and saying goodbye to a friend.

"Yeah, right, so all the explosions that are going on around you, you tend to stay close to the people that you love and know."

Sure. And speaking of the different direction that Axl was taking the band, and you kind of alluded, we touched on this a little bit - obviously, they were asking for 'Chinese Democracy' for a while, but how come this wasn't released or something wasn't released earlier in 1999? Why wasn't something released in the mid-'90s to pacify the label?

"I think we all felt that Axl would have another project done. And so anything that would be taking his time away from closure on that, none of us knew it was going to take 10 years.

"So it really didn't come up until '99 when, as I said, even Jimmy was saying, 'This is crazy! I need something!’ I mean, for me, look, there's not much I can talk about with it.

"It's just a sign of facilitating a chicken coop for Buckethead to play his leads in. Other than that, I really wasn't all that involved in it. "

Oh man, I love Buckethead! I still love the fact the only interview he's done was with his therapist. I still think that's brilliant... I love the chicken coop story, that's a great one.

"Oh yeah! The best part of it is when you actually walk into the studio and see it, you're like, 'Wait a second, this is really a chicken coop! It's a man-sized chicken coop, but it's a chicken coop all the way!'

"Complete with the wire and, I mean, I was cracking up when I walked in!"

Did you have to hire people to tend to the chickens or Buckethead did that himself?

"I never saw any chickens in there, it was only for Buckethead to be in."

OK, I thought there were also chickens in there!

"Only Buckethead. He was cooped up, I guess."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/gnr_manager_explains_what_fans_need_to_know_about_gilby_clarke_firing__axl_being_bad_guy_talks_bucketheads_infamous_studio_behavior.html

More excerpts from UG:
--------------------------------

Asked about the "Live Era '87–'93" album and how much the recordings were embellished in the studio, Doug commented (transcribed by UG):

"Basically, all we were doing was calling out fixes. It was the original recorded material but Slash spent most of the time re-dubbing tracks.

"And it wasn't like Slash is the most fallible guy in the band, he just is very concise and considers what the fans are going to listen to. And so, if he had made any errors then he would go back and redo the tracks.

"Axl did a couple of fixes but from what I remember it certainly wasn't every track. And there were fixes as opposed to redoing the whole thing.

"Unlike, by the way, [the 1986 live album] 'Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide,' where you've got canned audience noise which just drives me crazy."

That's why it's so lively - because it was canned! So that's why people also thought with 'Live Era' that they were canned audiences.

"Yeah, real audiences here. I'm not a fan of the contrivances, I never would have - and it wasn't my call at the time, I wasn't around when 'Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide' was released.

"But when I listened to it - because I know it was canned, 'Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide' just drives me crazy! You can tell how funny it is now in retrospect."

It's interesting that you say Slash is a perfectionist because it seemed to be a lot of the questions were focused on Axl re-recording 'Rocket Queen.' Is there a reason why wasn't it left with blemishes? It's funny because this is just written on Wikipedia, so I'm sure it does have a citation - Slash notes the album is 'not pretty and there are a lot of mistakes, but this is Guns N' Roses, not the fucking Manavishnu Orchestra.' It's as honest as it gets, which I guess is not true.

"Well, they didn't redo the entire record - like I said, there were fixes and, by the way, that's pretty common. When somebody does a live record, they just don't put it out, live.

"I mean, they go back and make sure that if there are some horrendous takes or mistakes they fix them before release. It wasn't that uncommon certainly not at the time."

And me as just a general fan who's not a musician, I didn't notice!

"Really funny you say that because I used to have this argument with the band all the time. They would draw attention to a mistake they'd made during a show early in their career - it didn't happen much later because I was able to finally get it through.

"'Guys, 99.8% of your audience - they've never touched an instrument so they don't know if something's fucked up unless you draw attention to it!'

"So yeah, pretty much every man I've ever worked with I've tried to get that across. I said, 'Guys, stop explaining, they didn't know you just made a mistake until you said, 'Hey, I made a mistake. I fucked up,' or you're pissed off about something. Don't draw attention to it."

Did Robin Finck - because he was in the band at the time [Finck was a member of GN'R between 1997 and 2008, 'Live Era '87–'93' was released in 1999] - re-record vocals on 'Mr. Brownstone'? Were any of the current members in 1999 involved?

"Not to my knowledge. But again, I don't specifically remember - a lot of the stuff that happened in the studio. I'm never going to tell Guns N' Roses what to play in the studio unless they asked me to come down to kind of share.

"And that's really all they were ever asking me to do - was to come down and share as opposed to come down and share my opinion. My opinion was never really asked for in the studio and nor would I ever want to give it because, you know, I think they were doing OK without my input prior to me being there.

"But the one thing that should be said hasn't been asked and I probably will be, but how did we decide to do that record? What it came down to literally was every single month I'd have to have a meeting with Jimmy Iovine, once Geffen was sold to the Interscope A&M Grouping.

"And jimmy would just rip my ass about why he didn't have the 'Chinese Democracy' record. And so he came to me and said, 'Look, you need to give me something... Something!'

"And so I arranged where the live record counted against our album commitment and it also put something out that the label would be able to take a look at.

"And I'm a huge fan of live albums, such a huge fan, and being a huge fan of Guns N' Roses, I thought, 'This is perfect! It fills the space, it counts against the album commitment so it gets us out of our deal sooner, and I had renegotiated the contract where they were making a boatload of money, so why not?'"

People were asking was it a label contract agreement kind of thing?

"The contract agreement is literally something that I came up with to try and appease Jimmy Iovine from how angry he would be every time I had a meeting with him. He'd have this running total of how much we've spent up to that point."

What was Axl's reaction to that? Because he was, as I understand, very focused on promoting and rebuilding this new version, but to go back and kind of highlight what the band was. Was there any sort of pushback?

"No, not at all. He actually liked the idea because he could breathe. He felt like it bought him more time to make the 'Chinese Democracy' record. So, no, there was no pushback on his part at all, there was no push back on anybody's part.

"They all like me, they're rock fans, and so the ability to put something out, live - everybody seemed to be into at the time."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/gnr_manager_explains_what_fans_need_to_know_about_gilby_clarke_firing__axl_being_bad_guy_talks_bucketheads_infamous_studio_behavior.html


Last edited by Blackstar on Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:33 pm

Fits very well with quotes from the time, both from when Gilby was hired when the band says it might just be a temporary thing and Gilby saying he fears it will just be a temporary thing, and later when Gilby's contract wasn't extended and it is obvious Axl and Slash discussed Gilby and Slash to a large extent admits not fighting for Gilby.
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Post by Blackstar on Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:11 pm

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