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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

28. AUGUST 2008-FEBRUARY 2009: CHINESE DEMOCRACY IS RELEASED

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:27 am

UNRELEASED SONGS AFTER THE RELEASE OF
CHINESE DEMOCRACY


According to people involved in the various recording sessions, and people who were invited to listen to some of the music while in development, there was a lot of material in various states of completion.

Axl would be asked if he had 2-3 albums of unreleased material after the release of Chinese Democracy, and respond:

For now we'll concentrate and keep our focus on this album but I will say I've always thought of it as a double. And no offence but no one's trying to talk in parables. The issues are a bit more complex than anyone would like.


In early 2009 he would claim they had less than Sebastian Bach thought:

Not as much as Baz [Sebastian Bach] thinks he heard! Really, it doesn't matter.


And when asked if this unreleased material was finished:

Depends how you look at it.


But would comment on what the unreleased music was like:

What I can say is if you don't like this, then you probably won't like that. Same people, lots more approaches, bit meaner in places and darker in some. Robin does a really great Stevie Ray Vaughan-type solo on one track.


Chris would also be asked about the amount of unreleased music they had:

Yes, we did have a large collection of songs recorded through the years, and many I don't even remember now! But to think of a favorite song right now as we speak, I would have to say its one called 'Beta's Barn'.


Bumblefoot would also mention that he had added guitar parts to many songs that didn't end up on Chinese Democracy, saying there's a "whole big chunk" of music from that era:

The songs released in Chinese Democracy weren't all of what we recorded. There's more and we expect to use it in the next albums.

We just did a whole lot of time in the studio, and I kept playing and playing and playing – until we ran out of songs! I played on the stuff that wasn't released, too. I mean, there's a whole big chunk of music from that era, and I played on pretty much everything. Then they decided what to put out, and I'm sure something at some point will happen to the other existing songs. But I'm hoping we could write some music now, with the current line-up, and do something completely fresh.

Two weeks in October 2006 and another two weeks in January 2007 in New York. I was doing one to three songs a day. There are also sessions that weren’t used for “Chinese Democracy,” which might end up on future albums, if Axl wants…


When asked to talk amore about the unreleased songs (and the alternate Chinese Democracy covers and booklet), Bumblefoot got tight-lipped:

Ah man, I never get into things that haven't happened - it can affect the final outcome of things, ya can't do that. It's like going up to a stranger and saying, 'In 10 seconds I'm gonna try to steal your car.'  Guaranteed, the outcome won't be the same. So I never talk about plans, things that haven't happened yet - also, as I'm here typing this, managers could be walking out of a meeting in LA, and I don't know what's up until they tell me. Anything I'd say would be mis-information until it's so absolutely undeniably definite, in which case you'd probably find out from them soon after I did.  In my own band, there's less riding on things, it's ok to open the window and let everyone see inside. And I enjoy that, making videos in the studio as an album's being recorded, letting people know what I'm planning for myself - no biggie, if the plans don't happen, it's not like multi-million dollar companies have invested time and the work of hundreds of people are affected by the change. There's a need for protection and privacy when it comes to GNR bizz, or anything on that level. I know it can make you feel frustrated, invisible, abandoned - even though it sucks, I hope you understand that there's too much at stake to risk being irresponsible with information.


Still, a bit later in the same interview he would share some more information:

I played on a good handful of songs that weren't on Chi Dem. Can't predict what the fate of any of those songs will be. I haven't written any new songs with GNR, would like to see it get to that point.


Brain had also helped write a few songs (The General included) that were unreleased:

a couple others, but i don't know what the working titles are


When asked what his favourite GN'R song is, Richard responded:

It's one YOU haven't heard yet!



22 TRACKS


In May 2011, DJ would claim there were probably enough material for three records:

Axl has a lot of great songs up his sleeve. He probably has three albums worth of stuff recorded.

Axl has so many songs up his sleeve from the ‘Chinese Democracy’ era. He has three albums of really amazing stuff. He’s played me quite a bit of it, it’s really good.

I have really great respect when it comes to the music side of things, too. Sitting down and listening to him play piano, he has stuff up his sleeve. My jaw hits the ground. He's playing stuff I'm praying the world gets to hear. He has some really great stuff laying around.

After every show we usually end up throwing a party here or there and it always ends up being moved to somebody’s room — usually Axl’s room. He’ll sit down and play me stuff then, and it’s good man. He has a lot of really solid, solid songs that nobody has ever heard. I produce and write for a lot of artists and I can’t wait for people to hear some of the stuff he has up his sleeve.


Being asked how many unheard songs are kicking around:

A lot. (Dozens), easily. Hopefully, the future holds good things for all of them, but I don't know (about a new record). I never know about that. There are some great songs and it would a shame if they don't come out. But after the whole 'Chinese Democracy' thing, I don't want to make any predictions.


In September 2011, Tommy would talk about the unreleased material and suggest they had recorded three albums' worth of material but that some of it was lacking vocals and that at least some of the songs weren't properly mixed:

We certainly did record a lot of stuff. We recorded three records worth of material over the course of that 10-year period, but I think that a lot of the unfinished bits were mostly lyrics and mixes and things like that.


Later in the same month he would say he was inclined to think Axl had worked on finishing the material:

There is a bunch of stuff that was left over from the last record that didn’t make it because it wasn’t finished. But I’m not sure if Axl has been working on that stuff or not. I would be inclined to think that he probably has been. There’s definitely, I mean when we made the record, there was definitely two full records worth of material there at least. A lot of it’s really good, so maybe he’ll get around to finishing up some bits and singing and stuff like that. That’s kind of where it’s been left at.


Then in November, in an interview with Tommy in Chicago Sun Times, it was stated that they recorded 22 additional songs that were not included on Chinese Democracy [Chicago Sun Times, November 13, 2011].

In early December, Tommy would be quoted as saying that the leftovers are "almost ready to go" and that they could be "polished up for a potential release" [Detroit News, December 1, 2011]:

Who knows, maybe there will be Chinese Democracy 2. Who knows?



In an interview in November, Dizzy would talk about the unreleased material:

[...] all of it is great, so any selection of another 12, 15 songs would be awesome. I'm not just giving you an easy answer; I truly believe all of it's pretty amazing.


The following list song titles that have been confirmed to be real and have been confirmed to be bogus [to be updated]:

Confirmed to be real:
Atlas Shrugged [htgth.com, December 12, 2008; chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Soul Monster/Elvis Presley and the Monster of Soul/Leave Me Alone [mygnrforum, December 12, 2008]
Silkworms [Leith FM 98.8, October 23, 2008; chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008; also played live; chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Ides Of March [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Oklahoma/Berlin [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008; chinesedemocracy.com, December 14, 2008]
Down By The Ocean (Izzy) [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Seven [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008; Appetite for Discussion, August 18, 2010]
The General [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008; GNR-Online Br, July 18, 2010]
Thyme [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Quick Song [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Zodiac [chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008]
Beta's Barn [htgth.com, March 28, 2009].

Confirmed to not be real:
No Love Remains [htgth.com, December 12, 2008]
Take That [htgth.com, December 12, 2008]
When Love Collides [htgth.com, December 12, 2008].


UNRELEASED SONG INFORMATION


THE GENERAL

In 2008, Axl would suggest people might have heard parts of The General already:

You may have heard parts of it somewhere.


And in 2010, when someone on twitter asked what intros they play at live shows, the official Guns N' Roses account replied:

there are several.. "the General" is probably most played before CD
Guns N' Roses twitter account, December 11, 2010


In 2010, an interviewer would mention to Brain that he (Brain) had written The General, and Brain would not deny this and instead talk about the song:

it's an awesome jam... i hope it's released soon!!!!!! [...]  it will come out... the shits to good!!!!!



ATLAS SHRUGGED

Song doesn't have all that much to do with the book other than trying to do what you believe in and a line about shoulders not being wide enough.


When asked if Brian May would be featured on the song:

Perhaps on an alternate or bits, on that track it has more to do with recording issues and getting the mix to a good level.



THE SOUL MONSTER

The bridge in "Elvis Presley and the Monster of Soul aka The Soul Monster (working title Leave Me Alone)" which will no doubt end up "Soul Monster". I think it's r most Black Sabbath moment. Sang it on a Christmas eve. Imo the meanest section of anything I've sung to date. Which having said that I'm sure when it's heard others may disagree but we felt it was a Christmas card of unadulterated venom so to speak. I felt a lot better afterward.



SEVEN

In August 2010, Brain would say that his favorite unreleased song was Seven, and when asked to describe it would say:

ITS AN TIMELESS BALLAD WITH A BLOW YOUR FACE OFF CHORUS AND A SUCK YOUR BALL SACK BRIDGE!!!!!


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:30 am

DECEMBER 2008
BUMBLEFOOT RELEASES
'BAREFOOT - THE ACOUSTIC EP'


In December 2008 Bumblefoot released a new album with acoustic versions of previous songs:

It's just about done. I just got to think of a name. I don't know. [laughing]  [...] And, rather than going on tour, I don't know what my schedule's going to be like, I knew that this moment, this Chinese moment, was coming up, so rather than making any plans and possibly needing to cancel, I figured I'd just better get back into the studio and just put out some more music while I have the chance. So I went back in and started doing acoustic versions of songs from Abnormal, from Normal, from the past records, and it came out really nice. It's such a different approach and it almost felt I was doing covers of my own music and having to rewrite and reinterpret parts of songs that normally would work for, you know, an electric guitar through an driven amp, now I had to find new way of making that part work on just a plain acoustic guitar. So it was almost rewriting parts of songs and coming up with variations and vocally it brought out a whole other side of things. It wasn't about the power, it was about the dynamics, the emotion. So I found myself really singing a lot differently. And I hope people like it. It was very fun... I wouldn't say challenging, it was just a.... something different and it was enjoyable. I hope you all like it. I'm hoping to have it out there and available by the middle of December. So we'll see what happens. If I can come up with a name.

There's not even drums on there, it's just a rhythm acoustic guitar, a lead acoustic guitar, vocals, and a bass in the background, and that's it. It's completely stripped down, naked, bare, so... not even raw, just skeletal, just... yeah. Really stripped, stripped down.

I wanted to take songs, strip away the grit and show what they were made of. I had never released a batch of acoustic music, which is funny because most of the time I'm playing it's on an acoustic, lounging around watching TV and playing along with the background music and commercials. Usually to entertain my wife - a commercial will pass, I'll pick up the guitar and play the music right after, chords and melodies, it makes her laugh. So yeah, it just felt like it was time...

I love the purity and nakedness of Dave Grohl's acoustic versions of Foo Fighters' songs, that was somewhere in my head. As the vocals were being tracked I started feeling some kind of swagger in the adlibs, a Plant/Zeppelin inspired thing. Don't know if anyone else hears it or feels it, but it felt like it was moving into this 'What Is & What Should Never Be' loose vocal flow in adlibs of 'Shadow'... and in 'Dash' some of the background vocal adlibs seemed to be heading towards that 'Whole Lotta Love' trippy place a little. You listen to a band and it gives you a certain sense of being. I don't know if I've ever done that for anyone, but there have been plenty who've done that for me...

I'll tell you, it's something that I never did before. Yet, most of the time when I'm just noodling around on guitar, I'm on an acoustic, doing versions of whatever I hear. So it just seemed like something good to do. Plus, 'Chinese Democracy' was on its way towards coming out, and I didn't know what the schedule was going to be like... whether we were going to be touring, or what was going to be happening. I thought, let me just do this. Let me just start banging out some songs. It was great, because it was like doing cover versions of my own shit. (Laughs)

I was reinterpreting parts. Figuring out... okay, I've got this part that's all tapping, a high energy guitar part. How can I translate that to an acoustic instrument? I was just getting creative with it that way. Dynamically it was great. Vocally I didn't have to be so loud. I personally feel that it's the best thing I've ever done. The best guitar playing, the best singing and the best versions of the songs that I've ever done.

[...]

It was really a damn cool thing. I'd love to do a few more of those kinds of things. To do it again, grab another batch of songs, twist 'em up and make them look pretty. (Laughs)

I had never done an unplugged album, and most of the time I'm playing, it's unplugged, just relaxing with an acoustic guitar. It just felt like the time to do it. It came together easier than any other recording I ever did, and it was a lot of fun re-writing and re-interpreting existing songs to fit acoustic guitars, and to re-sing them. As for the fans choosing songs, the music is for them, they should have some participation in it. I've had them sing backing vocals on albums, pick songs, pick setlists for tours... it's a combined effort, the artist and the fans are two pieces that fit together to complete the picture.

I've done Abnormal and then Chinese Democracy came out and I knew I was about to get very busy with Guns N' Roses. I figured out it would be a good time to just quickly release some more music, while I could. And most of the time I'm playing acoustic guitar. Like I'm just at home or on the tour bus or on rehearsal. I have an acoustic guitar in my hand. A lot of times I pick songs and just turn them into like funny little one guitar versions of the songs, that I'm bringing the guitar parts, the vocal parts, the rhythm, any other melody lines all at once. And I just do that very spontaneously. So when it came the time to do this album, finding ways to do that for my own music, it was actually very easy and very comfortable. The songs were already written and all I had to do is just find the ways to make them work for acoustic instrument, instead of electric.




Barefoot - the Acoustic EP
December 2008



Discussing whether the album was getting discovered:

[...] it's the kind of thing with every album you put out. You want people to freak out over it and go, "Oh that's the greatest thing I've ever heard in my life!" And I don't think I pushed it enough to the right audience. I think my audience, which is used to noodly noodly guitar shit, I don't know if they get it completely. I think a lot of them do, but then again a lot of them just want to hear a bunch of pyrotechnics and that kind of stuff. So I think it's going to be a slow move as the audience for it discovers it.

But it's happening. I'm finding every once in awhile that someone will come to me and say, "Hey, I heard your acoustic stuff. I play acoustic guitar too, and I really liked it. I never heard your music before and it's really cool." So that's good when you know that it's reaching the right ears that will appreciate that kind of stuff. That's what it's about. The whole world isn't supposed to like any piece of music. You just have to find the people that it was meant for, and make sure they get it. That they're aware of it, check it out, and decide whether or not it's for them.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:31 am

2008-2009
THE FOLLOW-UP TO CHINESE DEMOCRACY


With plenty of material having been worked on through the years and Axl having indicated he considered the project to result in at least two albums, there would be a tremendous amount of speculation on when the next album would be released among fans and press alike.

In December 2008, not long after the release of Chinese Democracy, when asked if he had a tentative release date, Axl would suggest a new album in about a year's time but that this was uncertain:

No, maybe same bat time, same bat channel next year but we'll have to see.


A couple of days later he would be asked when the next record was coming out and whether he was "still planning the multiyear thing":

No idea and that was someone else’s thoughts.


He would also restate his thoughts that the next album would be connected to Chinese Democracy like a double album:

[The follow-up has] a lot more different styles than on this one. As I’ve said it seems more like a double album to me meaning Chinese and the followup.


In February 2009, Axl would again stress that although they wanted to release another album, the focus was on Chinese Democracy:

We'd like to get another album out at some point, but for now our focus is on "Chinese."


And later the same month when asked when the next record was coming out he would pour cold water over anybody's hope of a quick release:

Have no idea and don't care. Hopefully, we'll be working 'Chinese' for a good bit. Of course there's the same idiots that have been around forever already demanding release dates. [...] If things go well enough, we'd like to get another out at some point in our lifetimes.


In Mid-2009, Bumblefoot would be asked if they planned a trilogy of albums:

I wouldn't expect for a trilogy because I learned that each album gets its own life and it doesn't matter if we want to plan this kind of thing. It doesn't work always.


And in early 2010, he would be asked what fans can expect about future albums:

Ya' never know what's gonna happen, and the thing about G N' R is just when you think you know what direction the storm is moving in, it does a 180° and just defies nature (laughs). You can never predict.


Bumblefoot would also share his thought son what Guns N' Roses should do:

What I would love to see happen is that we buy a big compound (laughs), our headquarters, somewhere to work - Metallica has a cool place like that. A place where we can record, where we can write, where we can rehearse, where we can take care of business, and can do everything. This is just my imagination, what I would love to see happen. I mentioned this to them before too, saying "We should get a studio". I think they looked into it years ago, but it didn't happen. A studio though where we can be our own record label, and put out G N' R albums as well as anything else that anyone else wants to do, and when we're on tour, make the studio available for whoever else - if Caram for example, the guy who did 'Chinese Democracy', wants to work with someone in there. I would just love to see a place where we can just make music, and just take care of things. That would be my happy little scenario, if I had one, kind of like what I have in New Jersey - just it's very small (laughs).

In New Jersey, I have this small house that is just a place to write, record, rehearse, and do anything I wanna do musically. It's my bat cave, my headquarters, my compound, my escape (laughs). My place to make music. It's just a hundred year old house that I've been improving, and making nicer and nicer. We did the bathroom, which is now beautiful, put in a tankless water heater, and now you have instant hot water that never runs out... an electric tankless water heater - it kicks ass. Just stuff like that. I would just love to be more independent, basically, and that's what I'm saying. I would love for G N' R to be very independent, where it just does its own thing its own way, and however it wants to. It's like that already, and I think conflicts come when you have such a unique situation that is in a cookie cutter record business.

I'm not a fan of the music business, or the music industry. I am very much not a fan of it, and I think that every musician should be self-sufficient, and do things their own way. I think G N' R kind of does that, but it ends up being a battle with a music industry that wants it to follow the same mould. I can't say for sure, because I have not been in meetings with management or the label, and I don't want to be. I just wanna play guitar and make music - everything else is a headache that I don't want (laughs). Just tell me when to get onstage. But that would be what I would love to see happen; I would love to see G N' R be very independent, and just do whatever the fuck it wants to do, however it wants.


In July 2010, Brain, who was still working on GN'R material in the background, would be asked if he knew about any plans to release the unreleased material:

no i wouldn't... i leave that shit for the suits. i'm just into makin' the MUSIC!!!!!


When asked around the same time, Bumblefoot would both suggest it would be a bad idea to talk about the band's plans, but also that they were more focused on touring than releasing another record:

It’s not good to talk about plans, it increases the odds of them not happening…. http://sivers.org/zipit Right now the focus is the touring, we’ll see what happens after that, but for now it’s all about touring and more touring.


In August he would echo this statement and say he wasn't sure what Axl wanted to do with the remaining and unreleased music from the Chinese Democracy recording sessions:

Right now the only thing we've got going on is looking at touring. There's nothing to be said yet about anything beyond that. I know it sounds cryptic and like I'm holding back or something. It's no secret that there's other music from the Chinese Democracy days, it's just a question of what's going to happen with them. I guess that's up to Axl and what he wants to do with them.


Bumblefoot would also talk about how much he wanted the band to record new music in-between the legs of the touring, and that he had been urging the band to do this for a long time:

At this point, shit man, I want to make some fucking music. I'm itchin'. I need to make something that comes from this band, in this decade. I've been telling them for a long time that before every leg of the tour I would love to just go into the studio for a week together and just bust out a song and give it to radio stations, make it available for downloads, and play it live. After a couple of legs we'd have a good batch of music of our own.


In September, Tracii would suggest Axl was missing a great musical partner:

I kind of equate Axl almost to a Jim Morrison type — almost. [But] they're obviously very different. [...] The thing about [Axl] is that he wants to do it his own way. He goes by his gut and he has a weird spiritual thing with psychics. In his mind, he's expanded to a higher level. [...] I think if [Axl] had a solid partner — music partner — in his life that not only that he listened to but somebody that he truly respected musically and somebody that he had a great time with and somebody he believed in, I think that it could go more the way of the rock that the fan base would prefer, I think. But you can't do it on your own and a lot of people in Axl's position think they can do it on their own. And that's the only thing I can criticize about him is that he doesn't have that great partner. Elton John's got a partner, McCartney's got a partner, Lady Gaga's got a partner, everybody's got a partner. I've got Jizzy [Pearl, L.A. Guns singer] and Jizzy's got me. And that's the only thing missing from Axl's life — a great partner.
Triple M/Blabbermouth, September 6, 2010


In September 2011, Tommy would also talk about the unreleased material and suggest they had recorded three albums' worth of material but suggest some of it was lacking some vocals and that the songs weren't properly mixed:

We certainly did record a lot of stuff. We recorded three records worth of material over the course of that 10-year period, but I think that a lot of the unfinished bits were mostly lyrics and mixes and things like that.


When asked when the follow-up would come:

I’m not a liberty to talk about that. I don’t get into that aspect. That’s Axl’s business.


And Axl would also be asked what his thought process was on new music:

It's a combo of different things and it's trying to figure that out, we're working with new management and, you know, we'll be figuring out what we're doing with the label and, you know, kind of feeling things out in the US as we're going across the country.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:32 am

EXPLAINING THE LYRICS


In December 2008, Axl would discuss what influences his lyrics and whether the songs were about specific persons:

The whole whose it about bit w/songs doesn't work for me that much as in whether a line or whatever was inspired by a particular person or situation doesn't mean that in the end that's what or who the song's about. I could be working with clay and think of someone or something and somehow that could inspire me to take the work in a different direction at the moment but in the end it could just be a nice vase. I often wonder where the people who inspired so many songs are now and why it's only important with some songs such as Layla as opposed to others. I'm guessin' a fair # of beautiful love songs or otherwise were inspired by some that the artists and public might consider now or in hindsight to be the opposite of how they are depicted or allegedly represented. [...]
Also where possible I'd like to give people the opportunity to get what they can from the material for a while before clouding that with my inspirations. Of course that's not always avoidable.


Fans had speculated that the lyrics to Sorry was directed at Slash or fans, and Axl specifically addressed that:

With Sorry.. like a lot of the material is drawn from a lot of different situations. The main focus on the boards w/the track seems to be either Slash or "the fans" (and the collective of "the fans" is another thing that doesn't work for me) and is much too restrictive or narrow and limits what I feel I intended.
For me it's for anyone talking nonsense at mine and the public's expense and that many of those as well as the public don't know who to believe.


And which women had inspired the ballads:

Ha! We’ll get to these a bit later as they’re a bit more complicated than a simple answer of a few names but most are composites and became much more about the song than particular individuals. Also again I’d like people to have a chance to develop their own relationship with the material a bit. Not dodging as most of these answers will come out over time.


Axl would also be asked if the lyrics references the making of the album:

I'd say there's a lot in the lyrics regarding the journey to make the album, even if not in so many words.


When asked what the line, "Why would I choose to prostitute myself to live with fortune and fame?" from the song Prostitute meant, Axl replied:

In this business, someone is always telling you why to compromise on every issue imaginable. Generally ... it's just personal interests as opposed to what's best for the music or anyone involved, and least of all the fans, regardless of their preferences. It's about money in the short term. However you can be used to make whatever anyone can for whatever reason is important to them for the quick buck that's what you deal with 24/7.
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:33 am

BRAIN AND MELISSA REESE WORK ON CHINESE DEMOCRACY REMIXES


In December 2008, Axl would mention that they had made a remix of Oh My God:

There’s a remix w/lots of new vocals and a wilder guitar intro but it’s not taken all that seriously.


And later Brain would talk about making a remix of Shackler's Revenge and that Axl wants to release a remix album:

Axl is really interested in having everybody bring what they do into the picture. I just did a remix of “Shackler’s,” made it kind of more club. And I think he wants to put out a remix album of some of the other songs we did. The great thing is he lets you do what you do. He still has the final say and wants it to work as a Guns N’ Roses cut. But he definitely will let you stretch it out in that way, and I think that’s where my influences come in. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and R&B. I listen to all of Questlove’s productions. Every time a Roots album comes out I’m in line at the store; I’m still a fan that way.

Been doing some cool re-mixes for guns!!! That shit is sick!!! It's gonna rip peoples faces off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


When asked what he was up to in 2010, he answered:

i'm doing some top secret shit right now!!!!!!!!

That's top secret stuff!!!


This "top secret shit" is likely to have been remixes of songs from Chinese Democracy.

According to NewGNRoldGNR, Brain had been collaborating on three remixes of songs off Chinese Democracy together with the keyboardist Melissa Reese [NewGNRoldGNR, July 18, 2010].



Melissa Reese and Brain



By 2012, it seems like the remixes were done:

But I’m still doing stuff, I’ve done some remixes for [Axl].


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sun Feb 20, 2022 9:07 am; edited 9 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Jul 21, 2021 3:45 pm

MERCHANDIZE


I haven't been involved much in any of our merch and the reasons are it's been a mess legally for years. Unbeknownst to most of you I was recently sued again by Duff and Slash for some murky Merckiness that I was unaware and not involved in. Fortunately that was resolved but it got ugly and took a while going into arbitration. Merck shifted our merch from some of our newer styles to incorporating more of the old with some scam that actually and surprisingly lost sales in comparison but that's old news. What I look forward to is incorporating the new artwork into our merch and getting some for myself. I think u'll like a lot of it. My vote's for the How Are You grenade and the Sorry automatic rifle artwork on shirts etc.
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:27 pm

FEBRUARY 2009
AXL REEMERGES FOR INTERVIEWS,
BLAMES THE MEDIA FOR BEING "PRO-SLASH"


In February 2009, Axl would do his first interview after the release of Chinese Democracy, and do sporadic interviews throughout the year.

Axl would say that the reason he didn't do much promotion was due to bad relations with the media:

The opinions expressed or "jumped" on publicly regarding promotion seem to be [about] my or our involvement with mainstream media -- talk shows, rock magazines and dot-coms -- which have generally held negative public stances toward myself or the band for years, [and they] unfortunately have not been resolved. Efforts are being made to understand the relationships and evaluate how best to proceed.

I didn't talk forever. If I talk I need to 'shut the f-- up.' If I don't talk, it's much worse.


A couple of years later, Dizzy would talk about hos Axl was treated by the press:

I think most of it is cruel and malicious and unnecessary. I don’t think [Axl]’s like that at all. He’s a good friend. He’s like a brother.


He would also explain why he chose Billboard/Reuters as the first magazine for an interview despite them having "generally taken a "pro-Slash and -old Guns position" in the past and having been "particularly ugly toward [him] and the band for years":

Lots of reasons I've gone into elsewhere, but I can say why I'm doing this one. First, because in all this time it's one of the first actually formally presented: I was asked to consider it, I liked the questions and I felt it was a good time to address some of these issues publicly. Also, because it's my understanding that these answers may be "considered" for use with Billboard.com and Reuters [with which Billboard has a syndication deal] and this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to express myself accordingly.

With Reuters, I get their reach. That said, they've been particularly ugly toward me and this band for years, with nearly everything they've written being condescending or negatively judgmental with the cute little press trick of using negative adjectives across the board whenever they've written anything. In our regard they're one of the media outlets that appear to continually attempt to set a tone for a negative mainstream public perception regarding either us or myself, at least in the United States, if not the world.

I get freedom of the press, but I'm not clear in regard to their writers or those who choose to run their spin, why someone who no one's ever heard of with so little "real" information is deemed qualified -- let alone allowed so much corporate backing -- to promote negative and often completely inaccurate and purely opinion-based (at best, if that) shots in forums with so much exposure at the public's and our expense.

Billboard.com has generally taken a pro-Slash and -old Guns position as well, and I don't recall having been particularly negative toward them previously either. In my opinion it seems a bit less professional than tabloid in nature. This is an attempt to begin sorting these things out when more than shots across the bow have been taken by both of these organizations -- but obviously much more so with Reuters -- if not a deliberate public stating of both position and intention, in my opinion.


In February 2010, Axl would again talk about what he considered inaccuracies in the media and again claim that the media is more supportive of Slash than of him:

So in closing...Fuck the LA Times, TMZ, Contact Music n' Spinner. I don't need "forgiven" for alleged n' fabricated nonsense. I've no respect for mean spirited aholes gettin' paid talkin' shit at other's expense or irresponsible biased partisan politics wanna be journalism by dated hacks. Go on! Back ur boy! But when he says he never killed no one that ain't exactly true. Yeah, that's right, stone cold. So if we happen to play your neighborhood or for that matter anywhere at anytime regardless of the circumstances, presales, public sales, give aways, even free shows consider yourself uninvited. It's a free country but you're formally n' publicly not welcome.

Bottom line is we ain't makin' efforts to rain on ur parade why piss on or take cheap shots at r's. Oh that's rt...how u make ur livin's all that counts not others, whatever. U ain't above anyone regardless of who or what corporation u work for n' unfortunately most of u'll get to learn that the hard way.


"Back ur boy!" is highly likely a reference to the media being Slash-friendly. Around the same time as Axl made these comments, Slash had discussed his previous drug use and state he didn't regret it because "he never killed anyone" [QC, February 1, 2010], and Axl obviously suggests that isn't the case, likely having the overdose of Todd Crew in mind [see earlier chapter].

In the years leading up to the release of Chinese Democracy, media had often referred to the album as "Axl's masterpiece" and this probably resulted in Del James asking Axl if he had ever felt or told his band mates they had to make a "masterpiece":

Of course not -- more unaccountable nonsense. Obviously, media, elements of the public, fans and our detractors had all kinds of things going on such as high hopes, expectations, pressure, naysayers, etc. I don't think anyone would mind discovering a diamond mine and I don't think anyone in any competitive field would get very far if they didn't have dreams, aspirations or simply hope to do well. That said, these types of comments are more from our detractors, pulled out of their ass if not thin air.


And on whether he had set out to create the "best album ever made":

No. That's f---ing ridiculous and more negative media nonsense. We were all just trying to do our best for the fans and ourselves.


In July 2009, Lonn M. Friend, longtime friend of Guns N' Roses and former editor of RIP Magazine, would talk about Axl and his bad relationship with the press:

Well, Axl had a pathological aversion to the press. We reap the benefit of that, eh, of that illness, because he only trusted Del (James), and I hired (him) to be senior editor of RIP not long after he got here from New York, he was hanging out with Axl. But there's something to be said about that trust between a writer and a rocker, however it has been taken to almost pathological extremes with Axl because he really was so overly paranoid about how he was perceived. Kim Neely (?) did some fantastic stuff with him in Rolling Stone's, but when you think about it, man, Axl in 20 years has probably talked to three or four journalists and that is an astounding fact.
Used Bin Radio Show, July 14, 2009


Friend would then be asked why he hadn't done a long-form interview with Axl lately, and reveal that they were not friends anymore:

Okay, I will give you two facts, and this impacts that whole scenario. First fact is that Axl was angry with me for a line I said in the VH1 Behind the Scenes on Metallica in 1998. I said something to the effect that what Guns N' Roses is in radio and media has been erased from memory and Metallica to rule the world. That was trying to speak in context, that they hadn't found their classic rock format yet, this is 11 years ago. But he got really angry with me, he told his whole scene to cut off all ties to me and that was that. And the second point, which is pertinent, is, I wrote a letter to Axl at the behest of Jimmie Iovine (?) in 1999 when Jimmie was trying to figure out how to get the Guns N' Roses record out through Geffen. That was the only time I spent three hours with Jimmie Iovine and we talked about Axl.[Long digression on the Jimmie guy]. But I wrote a long letter to him and it was delivered to him and I never really got much of a response. I tried to explain myself, I though that that was an adequate explanation for that moment. I am also all about forgiveness too.
Used Bin Radio Show, July 14, 2009


The comments Friend had made in the VH1 special:

Isn’t it funny how history has almost erased Guns N’ Roses? One of the great frontmen in the past twenty years disappeared. Yet Metallica continues to play anywhere in the world in front of any mass of people, comes out with a new record which will always go platinum, they are the Led Zeppelin of this generation.
VH-1: Behind The Music episode on Metallica, November 28, 1998


Friend would also mention trying to meet with Axl at a recent show (likely in 2006):

The show that you guys attended, at the Universal Amphitheatre, I was taken to that show by, uhm, the junkman from KMNC.com (?). He said 'I wanna take you to the show', I said 'I don't think I will feel comfortable there', he said 'no man, you're going there as my guest, we've got second row seats right behind the (?) and we're gonna have a great time, you'll see lots of people you know', so we went. And I really kinda felt like...to me it was like Las Vegas Guns N' Roses and there were parts of it that I really enjoyed, but afterwards, we were waiting to see if Axl's gonna show and stuff and Del comes up to me and he goes, I swear, 'don't let him see you', and I go 'what?', and he goes 'Axl, he's still (?)', 'Del, you gotta be kidding?' and he 'no, man, he's got a loooong memory'.
Used Bin Radio Show, July 14, 2009
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Post by Soulmonster Mon Mar 21, 2022 7:57 am

2009
VELVET REVOLVER, PART VI


2009: LOOKING FOR A NEW SINGER


In January 2009, Duff would talk about how difficult it was to find the new singer:

Oh, ok, so we really, when we parted ways with Scott last spring we thought, you know, the band was going really, I mean, the guys in the band, meaning me and Slash and Matt and Dave, we were going like this [gesticulating upwards], we were starting to play so much better and better. Now our relationship with Scott was going south, he was really headed in one direction, we were headed in another and that's fine that's the way life is, I'm not saying one is right and one is wrong, that's the way it was. So we thought we were going to be able to part ways with Scott and find some guy, you know. There's no right or wrong way to find a singer and there's no really proven way to find a singer. So we said, "Ok, we'll kind of put the word out there an we'll find a guy right away." What happened with us, we started to the get people by the droves, these singers coming in, it's really hard to listen, it's kind of like coming here [gesticulating at the background music], you start not being able to distinguish, "Wait, was that guy any good? I can't even tell." So, I think that was our biggest problem, trying to figure out a way to listen to guys and we've narrowed it down and we'll see.


In February 2009, Duff would claim they were only "two weeks" away from announcing the band's new singer after having narrowed it down from 400 to just two candidates [Rolling Stone, March 12, 2009]:

It’s down to a couple of guys. That’s way down from the 400 original guys we got submissions from. [...] It’s not like Chris Cornell or one of those guys. We just want someone that fits. It can’t just be good. It has to be amazing or we won’t do it.

[...]

We thought it was going to be real easy. After Scott left we said, ‘Ok, we’re just going to find a guy in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to be easy.’ You start hearing all these singers and you’re like, ‘This guy’s really good. That guy’s really good. Wait? Was that guy any good?’ You start getting really confused.

In the last, I would say, about eight weeks, we got three guys in that were all really good — like, far and above, more fitting than the rest. So I can say this much: we're headed in a very positive direction, and you might be hearing something soon.

We haven't exactly picked the guy. I think rumors have gotten ahead of our actual thing. We’ve got it down to a few guys, that's for sure. I hate to say we've stopped looking, because maybe that… It’s a hard place to be in, man, because we want the fuckin’ – the guy’s got to be amazing, you know? And we've got three guys that are amazing. They are amazing and we won't know until we get into the studio with them in a couple weeks if they're the right guy. So it's kind of early – too early – to tell.


Country rock star Shooter Jennings would later claim he had been offered the job, twice, but declined [Classic Rock, March 19, 2009].

We’re looking… I’ve said things like I think we have the guy, and then that’s been overused. The songs we’ve written are the best we’ve written. I don’t think Velvet Revolver have made their best record. We’ve listened to probably 300 singers, and there have been some really amazing guys in there. We’ve played with Royston from Spacehog, and he was probably 95 per cent there but you can’t put a finger on what was missing. We’ve been playing with this guy recently, and I won’t say his name, but it’s not someone you’d particularly know. I hope he’s the guy, because he’s a good guy and a hell of a singer.


But things weren't so easy and not everybody in the band were "100 percent into" the guys Duff wanted:

We will find a singer at some point. We just have to find the guy. There's bee a couple guys I thought were perfect, but everybody's got to be 100 percent into it. We have an albums worth of material -- great, big, huge songs. Zepplinesque. Once we find the guy that can complement those and take it to another level, that'll take off. But I can't give any sort of timeline at all.


A few weeks later, Duff would provide another update:

We thought we landed on the singer. We all did. We played with him and we said, ‘OK, we got our guy. He’s great.’ [...] Maybe if we would’ve got there and had gigs booked right then and there it would’ve been a different story. But we didn’t have gigs booked. We were given too much time and we were able to go, ‘Ah, fuck, I don’t like that about the guy.’


It seems like Duff disagreed with the others on the decision:

We had a couple of guys that I thought we should have went with—one guy in particular. Everybody has got to be 100% in that situation and I respect my bandmates opinion. My opinion could be wrong, and I respect that. We have written all of the material. I don’t think VR has made our best record yet. We need to find the right guy to compliment the material, and when we do, people are going to be blown away. We were just starting to hit our stride when things started going crazy. We will find the guy. There is nobody yet that we have asked. We are actively looking right now.


And around the same time Slash and Matt would discuss what had happened:

In reading your mail I find that I've been receiving a lot of questions about VR. Mostly about if we have found a new singer & if we're going to tour again. In response to the former, no we haven't found a singer yet. There was a lot of talk about our announcing a new singer in March but it obviously didn't happen. We had somebody that we thought was a really good candidate, but it just wasn't meant to be. So, we're still looking. In response to the latter question, of course VR is going to tour again, we just have to find the right person to front the band. We have a bunch of new material & we're all anxious to get going, but the key ingredient for a rock & roll band such as VR is an amazing frontman, & we haven't found the right man for the job, yet.

We need a singer soon. We need the right guy in six months. We can't wait another year. Otherwise, it might not matter.

[...] The way I like to put it is, we were 'dating' [chuckling]. We had already tried out Spacehog's Royston Langdon - came close there. Then we tried out a few more people, including this guy from Canada [Gord Prior], but nobody seemed appropriate. Then we found this other dude... This guy felt like he could be the one. So I took him into my studio and recorded his vocals over a bunch of instrumentals we have. Immediately, he blew me away. 'This is the guy!' I told myself. I was on top of the world. [...] [He was] way more rock 'n' roll than Scott Weiland. The guy almost had a Chris Cornell/Phil Lynott thing going on - he could really bring it, you know? [...] It seemed like a slam-dunk. [But in the second sessions] the guy gave maybe 70 percent of what he had before. It was very sad. Already it was a case of diminishing returns, and you shouldn't get that so quickly, especially from a guy who really wants the gig. [...]There was something missing in the swagger department. His vocals were great, but the attitude, it wasn't really there, not all the way at least. Plus, I played his recordings for my girlfriend and a couple of friends and I didn't get the reaction I was hoping for. Nobody went 'Holy shit, that's amazing!' That really sent signals to me that something was wrong. [...] I'm shocked that we're still without a singer. But if we're going to do this again, we have to find the guy who blows people away. Otherwise, why bother? We can do other things. I'm not saying we want to do other things - we'd much rather be doing a Velvet Revolver album or tour right now - but if it's not going to be awesome… The truth is, we can't wait another year or two. We need a singer. We don't want to lose momentum with one another, and we don't want to lose the fans.

[...]

Face it: people forget. Contraband did great, Libertad did less well. We have to come back stronger than ever, or else we might be looking around for other bands, and nobody wants that. We're still very committed to Velvet Revolver.

Well we don't have a singer. We've written all the material but we're still looking for one. We're waiting for the right guy to come in but for sure we don't have him yet. We've worked with a couple of guys, but they're got to be 100% behind us because for all we do, we've got to go to war together. There's been a couple of guys, man, I thought were perfect, but we'll find the right guy.. They've got to be great, not just good.


By May there had been little development:

There’s no news to share yet, man. Trust me, nobody wants that ball rolling more than I do- but it’s gotta be the right guy. We thought we had him, but it didn’t work out. It’s just gotta be right.


In July, things looked a bit more encouraging:

To all VR fans, the band had a meeting Monday & although we haven't found a new singer yet, this recent search has turned up a lot of really good singers, which is a step in the right direction. We're keeping our eyes & ears open & feeling really positive about our prospects for finding the right individual to front Velvet Revolver sooner than later. Although most of us have been keeping busy with personal projects, we haven't relinquished the quest. And, we are not, contrary to rumour, "waiting for a singer to fall in our laps." Lol


And in August:

But, my VR bandmates & I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago & although the search for a singer will continue, I am going to tour on my solo record most likely thru next summer starting in March or April. We (VR) will keep the word of mouth system going & listening to submissions from singers & checking out different singer's sites etc, we know the right guy is out there somewhere. It's possible somebody could turn up before I do my tour & we could start working on new material sooner than later, in a perfect world.


In September, Duff, Matt and Slash would provide updates:

We've got a top 10 list of singers we'd like to try out and enough material for a great new record.

We have been emailing back and forth, in search of a singer, so we have high expectations. We want to make sure this singer will work and be a better thing. We looked a long time before we got Scott [Weiland] and I don’t know if we got Scott because it seemed like an easy way to fill the bill. I know we want to take it up a notch and make it better. When we got Scott, we jumped into it pretty quick. Even though Me, Slash, Duff [McKagen] and Dave [Kushner] have been working together on the first record before Scott came on, then Scott jumped on and we went on the road and did the record pretty quick. The second album I think we fell prey to more of what Scott wanted to do and we wanted to straight up rock-n-roll. I think this time around we would like to make a real strong rock album and stick with more of our roots.

Well, Duff’s on tour, I’m doing my record, so it’s sort of at a standstill. I haven’t heard any amazing submissions from singers as of late, so… Y’know, Velvet when it finds the right guy will be amazing, but I’m in no rush. I’m not freaking out – because that’s how we got Scott in the first place. He was the first decent guy that came up.


In 2011, Franky Perez would say he had been the singer in Velvet Revolver for about 6 months, thus happened in 2008:

When the first audition process came up for Velvet Revolver, I was introduced to Slash, and I wrote a couple of audition songs. They ended up loving it, and they brought me in. So I was an actual member of the band for probably a little less than six months. In those six months, we wrote, went in the studio, did a bunch of stuff. And for whatever reason, it just didn’t work out. Maybe I’m not the right singer for that band. Just because they consider me a good singer doesn’t mean I’m the right singer for that project.
Las Vegas Weekly, February 9, 2011


In 2009, Perez would sing with Slash and Friends, and Slash would talk about Perez and Velvet Revolver:

I thought about that. Franky’s fucking bad-ass. You know, he did some time with Velvet last year but I think because I was so preoccupied with my record nothing really came of it.

We’ll see what happens. When my record comes out there’s going to be a lot of different things that I can do, so as far as Velvet is concerned we’re going to be on a hiatus until we can lock together and [work out] our options. I don’t know if Franky is going to be the guy – he’s just a really, really good singer.
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Mar 31, 2022 7:29 pm

ALUMNI CHARITABLE WORK


NOVEMBER 2009: SLASH AND LAYN ROCKS


In November 2009, Slash and Friends would play a show at LAYN Rocks:

This Sunday November 22nd at Avalon in Hollywood, SLASH & Friends will play a benefit show for Los Angeles Youth Network [LAYN], an organization aiming to end homelessness among kids. Some of those "super friends" appearing at LAYN Rocks include Ozzy Osbourne, Perry Farrell, Billy Idol, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park & Dead By Sunrise, Travis Barker, Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother, Dave Navarro and a few surprise guests. Plus, Mr. George Lopez will be MC-ing.

My wife, Perla, and I support LAYN. She's actually on the board. We're trying to raise money to keep it going, and we've been doing these SLASH & Friends gigs recently. Basically, we get a bunch of people together and put on a concert. Perla had asked me if I'd be interested in doing it to support LAYN, and I was fully into it! This will actually be the first SLASH & Friends gig I've done in Los Angeles. Basically, I wanted to put together something that would be a really big blowout, and that's what we've done! We've got all these different artists, and it should be an amazing event.

My wife and I are both big supporters of the Los Angeles Youth Network which is this really cool non profit organization. Basically they take in homeless kids anywhere from 12 to 21 years old and give them a new lease on life. Most of them are either abused or in some kind of deep trouble. They've been through a lot at a young age. It gives them the wherewithal to get on their feet, get into the world, be independent and get their shit together. They really take good care of educating these kids on all different levels, housing them, all sorts of stuff. It's a great support group and I'm just amazed at how the kids have turned out. I'll go and visit on occasion and see what they've got going on. It's really cool to see the developments so we're trying to help LAYN stay on its feet because it's expensive to keep all these kids together.

[...] this will be the first “Slash & Friends” gig I've ever done in L.A. We did one in Vegas recently and I did one in Norway a while back. I try and get as many cool people as possible but this is unique because I've [performed] with Ozzy before, Ozzy's great, but then all these other cats I haven't really worked with in this capacity: Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother; Billy Idol who I'm friends with but have never done one of these gigs with; Chester and Perry Farrell I have; Dave Navarro which is great; and Travis Barker who I've never jammed with before either. Then there's Chris Chaney who played bass on my record which is coming out next year … and Frankie Perez who's the house band vocalist. He's fuckin' killer. It's just going to be one of these rocking gigs. Steve Adler's coming up for one song. Tom Morello's coming up as well. It's going to be rad. We've managed to sell a lot of tickets so I'm glad we've been able to come through for LAYN. We want to sell it out.


Talking about the importance of the benefit show:

I definitely feel a bond with these kids. Even though I wasn't abused or anything, I chose to hang out on the streets from a very young age so I've seen a lot of the same stuff they're going through first hand. I've been through it and can just totally relate. So, yeah, I hadn't even really thought about that … [laughs] that's probably why I was so attracted to the [organization]. I can understand how violated some of them feel because I've seen kids go down the same paths who weren't lucky enough to have an organization like this to help them get out. When I was in junior high school, in 7th grade, we had girls that were prostitutes in Hollywood. I remember running in to one of them in Griffith Park doing these three guys in a burned out old car and it turned out she was turning tricks for money because she didn't have any parents. She was lucky to be in school. I saw all sorts of weird shit like that.


At the LAYN show, Slash would be joined by Duff and Steven [NME, November 23, 2009].


MARCH 2011: DUFF DONATES PROCEEDS TO US VETERANS


Duff decided to donate the proceeds from two of Loaded's new songs, "Fight On" and "We Win", to US war veterans:

I got inspired by my friend Tim Medvetz. Tim really opened my eyes to how important it was to help the soldiers, no matter how I might feel about the war. So I visited some military hospitals, including the [Veterans Affairs] Puget Sound Healthcare System near Seattle. [...] I was really struck by these young men and women. What they had been through, their stories -- it affected me deeply, and it's something I can imagine being a part of for a long time. We've had some really amazing visits.

It's the least we can do. These men and woman do so much for us that many of us will never see or be aware of. The song 'Fight On' was actually inspired by the soldiers coming home. So if it can help in any way, I'm proud to contribute the proceeds.

It is kind of a long story. I have written a column for Seattle Weekly for about two-and-a-half years. I also climb. I climb with a guy by the name of Tim Medvetz who was on the show called ‘Everest’ on the Discovery Channel. The show follows a team as they take on Mount Everest. He got into a really bad motorcycle accident back in 2001. The doctors told him that he would lose his foot and that physical activity was a thing of the past. He is a big guy and he told the surgeon to not remove his foot. He said, “If you remove my foot, I will remove your foot!” So they kept the foot on and Tim sat in the hospital bed for quite a few months. One of the things that he did while he was there was read ‘Into Thin Air’ about the Mount Everest tragedy. He said, “I am going to climb Mount Everest!” So he did it! He fucking climbed Mount Everest! He has climbed a bunch of other big mountains since then. On his way back from Europe, he met a kid who is a veteran when he was coming back from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Germany. The kid was missing a leg and Tim talked to him the whole flight home on the way to the Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. This meeting really inspired him. Tim is one of my really good friends and we climb together all the time. He has been taking these veterans up the mountain and telling me all about these kids. They leave home after high school and go to boot camp, straight from their Mom’s living room and end up in Iraq or someplace like that. One week into it, Boom! They lose a leg and their lives have been changed. They end up in Walter Reed, they give them a prosthetic and they end up back in their Mom’s living room saying, “What the fuck just happened?” They are probably sitting there thinking, “My life is over. No one cares.” Tim, through his stories, got me to think about it and care about the cause. We went down to the VA in Seattle as a band. One of the guys in LOADED, the lead guitar player, Mike Squires, was a Marine. I had written about Tim and this story in the Seattle Weekly. Ken LeBlond, who is basically public relations for the VA, got a hold of me through the column. We went out there and ended up playing the Veteran’s Appreciation Day at Qwest Field in October. We have been up to the VA a few times and made the song “Fight On.” That song was inspired by Tim’s story. I made it so the proceeds for that song would go to the VA, the Puget Sound Healthcare System and that’s it! We are tied in!



FEBRUARY 2011: SLASH AUCTIONS OFF ITEMS FOR LOS ANGELES YOUTH NETWORK


In March 2011, Slash would auction off items for the Los Angeles Youth Network:

Highlights from the sale include guitars from Slash's fabled personal collection, including a one of a kind custom Stravinski Fender Stratocaster (Est: $3,000-5,000), a B.C. Rich Red Mockingbird guitar (Est: $2,000-4,000), and two versions of Slash's very own Gibson and Epiphone Slash Les Paul signature model guitars in Tobacco Sunburst (Est: $4,000-6,000).

Clothing and accessories highlights include a stage-worn Chrome Hearts leather top hat ($1,000-2,000), various custom Marc Vachon leather motorcycle jackets, including one decorated in a Velvet Revolver "Libertad" theme (Est $1,000-2,000), performance worn t-shirts from all phases of Slash's life and career (multiple lots, Est $600-800), and a leather Chrome Hearts suit (Est: $2,000-3,000), Ray-Ban large aviator sunglasses (Est $200-300), a custom Rockin' Couture Guns N' Roses belt (Est $300-500), and a custom skull and crossbones in a top-hat necklace (Est: $600-800)

Personal jewelry worn by Slash, one of the world's most recognizable rock performers, featured in this sale include a diamond encrusted guitar pendant (Est: $12,000-18,000), a Slash Guns N' Roses silver cuff (Est: 600-800), a sterling skull link necklace (Est $1,000-2,000), and a Cartier Roadstar wristwatch (Est: $4,000-6,000).

The auction will also feature the eclectic residential décor including a number of exotic Southeast Asian furniture items, such as the carved polychrome painted and gilded armoire (est. $400-600), as well as contemporary pieces including a pair of monumental red suede conversation sofas (Est: $3,000-4,000), accented by lots that also include a pair of silver and black beaded skull pillows (Est: $200-300). Other distinctive items offered in the sale include a Velvet Revolver Nolde Pottery Skull (Est: $400-600), an Asian-carved wooden cobra statue (Est: $400-600), and a large collection of model dinosaurs, some crafted by noted Paleo-sculptors Bob Morales and Michael Trcic, and a group featuring Pterodactyls (Est: $1000-2000).

Ever the archetypal rock star and ranked as one of the world's best guitar players of all time, Slash has spent years traveling the world and collecting various items which will now come to the auction block for the very first time. Some of his eclectic collection tells the story of Slash's love of film, television and fast cars. Offered are items which include the bench from the "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" movie set (Est: $6,000-8,000), a "South Park" pinball machine (Est: $2,500-3,500), a 2007 Harley Davidson V-Rod VRSCAW twin racing street custom cruiser (Est: $8,000-10,000), and the star of the show is his 1966 Corvette equipped with a big block 427 cubic inch V-8 engine with 435 horsepower, 4-speed manual transmission (Est: $90,000-$100,000).

This is for the Los Angeles Youth Network, an organization that takes in wayward youths. When I say wayward, I mean homeless, kids with drug problems, any kid that's sort of stranded. [...] We moved into a new house and we had all this stuff in storage. And we're like, 'This doesn't get used, so an auction would be really, really cool. Let's give it away to charity and just let some of this stuff go.' It was definitely an exercise in tearing yourself away from things.



MARCH 2012: SLASH SUPPORTS GAY MEN'S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES


In March 2012, Slash would also offer his support to the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and it's Alive Music Project:

I know what it's like to be different to look and sound different and to stand out. For many students. especially gay youth, being different can be an invitation to be bullied, sometimes resulting in the worst possible outcome. When I was young music made a difference for me. From the first rock album I listened to to playing the guitar over the last 30 years. Music has made me who I am. That's why I stand with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and it's Alive Music Project. AMP brings music to schools and perspective to young lives. It challenges values and bigotries while providing the hope of acceptance and harmony. Join me in showing your support for the unique and vital work of GMCLA.



SLASH AND THE LOS ANGELES ZOO


Talking about the advertisements he did with Betty White:

I’m on the board at the L.A. Zoo and Betty’s on the board at the L.A. Zoo, but we’re sort of the resident celebrities, I guess? We’re the most known public figures on the board. So there’s this new exhibit that’s been opened [and] that’s been highly anticipated for years, which is the new reptile exhibit. And I’m a big proponent of the whole, sort of, reptile support, and so they came to us and said, you know, ‘Would you want to do some ads to help promote the grand opening of ‘The Lair?,’ which is what it’s called. So we said ‘Yeah,’ and then they wrote up these commercials that we thought were pretty funny and we just spent an afternoon at the zoo doing these commercials. But I’ve known Betty for five or six years.


Talking about his Board duties:

There’s so much stuff that goes on, especially because at the moment the zoo is owned by the city and we’re trying to move it to being a privately owned zoo -- so there’s a lot of red tape that goes along with that -- but anything having to do with the zoo’s budget, having to do with new animals moving in and out. We had an issue a couple years ago with an elephant that we were moving into a new enclosure, and we had some clashes with the animal rights people. Stuff like that. There’s always things going on with the zoo and so the board sort of makes all the zoo’s decisions. I’m an animal fanatic.



2010: MATT AND ADOPT THE ARTS/div>

In September 2010 it was reported that Matt had founded the non-profit organization Adopt the Arts [Little Kids Rock, September 21, 2010].

Yeah, and [charitable work] changed my life. For me, a guy who's been in a rock 'n' roll band, most of the world is spinning around you at the time… I got on Twitter, and I heard from all of these kids, and I started talking to them, and it was like, 'Wow, I really affected a lot of people's lives with music.' Through that, I wanted to give back. I formed a charity called Adopt The Arts - I've got two branches, Adopt The Arts and Global Sound Lodge - and I give instruments and music to public schools. I have a pilot school, and I'm their main guy, so I go up and hang with the kids and play music with them.

I love it. I go there and forget about any worry that I have. What's happening is, they're trying to cut arts out of the public school system. A lot of these kids in the LA public school system are underprivileged and lower-income - they don't have a lot of hope. If kids have music and art, 52 percent of them will go on to college - that's a fact. That they're trying to cut music and art is really scary. Not to say that they're going to be rock stars, but music sparks the brain. They could be the next Steve Jobs.

My ancillary of Adopt The Arts is Global Sound Lodge. I do women's shelters, and right now I'm working with the Wounded Warriors. With Wounded Warriors, I'm doing a music therapy program with a lot of the guys - I'm doing a documentary on it right now. The suicide rate in the military is close to one every couple of days because of post-traumatic stress disorder. But music is a very strong healing force.

I brought a bunch of guys in the studio and we recorded a really heavy song. And I'm working with a couple of other guys on a country song. They're writing lyrics. To see the inspiration in these guys… a lot of them aren't able to open up. They can't talk to somebody and tell them what's going on. With lyrics, they can get out their inner feelings. It's really cool, and it's helping a lot of them. It's pretty heavy.
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