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1994.01.DD - Hot Metal - The Gunners and Charles

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1994.01.DD - Hot Metal - The Gunners and Charles Empty 1994.01.DD - Hot Metal - The Gunners and Charles

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:42 pm

1994.01.DD - Hot Metal - The Gunners and Charles Uten_n37



From the 'seemed like a good idea at the time file' here's the latest on the sordid affair of the world's biggest rock band playing a song by a man with a swastika on his forehead.

There is no end of conflicting stories surrounding the inclusion of the hidden bonus track. Look At Your Game, Girl off the Guns N' Roses covers album The Spaghetti Incident?. Everyone from every section of the Gunners camp has had something to say on the matter, so why don't we start with Axl's comments?

"We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album." says the ginger haired singer. who's often been seen wearing a 'Charlie Don't Surf' shirt featuring Charles Manson's likeness. "We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album. It's like a hidden bonus track. It's my opinion that the media is enjoying making a big deal out of Guns N' Roses covering a song that Charles Manson recorded, but if another band had recorded that song, it probably wouldn't have been of interest".

Meanwhile David Geffen, head of the Gunners record label, claims he knew nothing about the inclusion of the track, which features Axl's voice and an acoustic guitar, and given that the band has complete artistic control over their music, this is highly possible. But the tapes must have passed through the A&R department somewhere along the way, so Tom Zutaut (head of A&R) must have been aware of it!

Now aged 59 and serving a life term, Manson would have been due to receive royalties of around $62.000 per million records sold, until Geffen finally camp up with a graceful escape route. Axl Rose issued a further press statement calling Manson a 'sick individual' and denied that recording the song was an insult to the victims of the Manson family; he stated that any income he received from the recording would be donated to environmental groups.

Meanwhile, manager Doug Goldstein had a go too. He reckons Manson only ever recorded the song and didn't actually write it - despite evidence to the contrary and the fact that the band first heard the song through a mutual friend of theirs and of Manson's. Richard Lemmons, who gave Axl a tape of the song more than three months ago at a video shoot.

"Axl went nuts over it," he said. "It's like Charlie's baby, the best thing he ever wrote, and he's really proud of it. He'll get more publicity and more money than he's ever had in his life."

Anyway, every track on the record, credited or not, has to be covered by copyright paperwork, which would have definitely shown who the correct writer was.

Patti Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate who was murdered by Manson's followers, is allegedly demanding the song's removal from the record, and the president of Geffen, Ed Rosenblatt, has issued a responding statement.

"Although we are rightfully sensitive to issues of censorship, we regret more sensitivity wasn't exercised in addressing the bonus track on the album beyond its lyrical content." he says. Ed also indicated that the label would be making a donation to the Doris Tate Crime Victims' Bureau, an agency named after Sharon's mother which advocates anti-come legislation and counsels crime victims and their families.

Contrary to earlier reports, it now appears unlikely that Manson will be eligible to receive royalties from GNR's recording of his song. Desperate to avoid paying money to Manson. Geffen Records discovered that in 1972 the son of one of Manson's victims had a court order against the killer, and the royalties will now be sent to Bartek Frykowslo in Poland.

Amongst all the to-ing and fro-ing of the affair, one thing is certain. No one has actually claimed responsibility for the inclusion of the track. "We didn't want to credit Manson on the album, because we didn't want to draw any attention to him," Slash says. "We simply didn't anticipate everyone making such a big deal of it. We especially don't want Manson to think we think he's bitchin' - or anyone else for that matter."

However, when asked about the track during his first solo tour of the UK. Gunners' bassist Duff McKagan tried to distance himself from the song. "I don't know nothing about it. I swear to God I haven't heard it... I believe it's by Charles Manson," he told British rock magazine Raw. "Axl was talking about it once, and me and Slash were cringing, going, 'No! Please! It's a nice album...'."

Ironic things happen with a little research though. On their 1982 debut album Born Innocent, Redd Kross included an uncredited Charles Manson ditty called Cease To Exist. Did that get any coverage? Irony number two: On the Hate Your Friends debut by the Lemonheads, the band ripped off the first two verses of a Charles Manson tune called Big Iron Door, and called it Clang Bang Clang, which in a re recorded state appeared as Left For Dead on their Atlantic debut Lovey. No media commentary then.

Maybe Axl was right.
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