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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!
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Was Axl okay on Use Your Illusion 2 album? :/

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Post by Soulmonster Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:45 am

No, he wasn't alright.
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:57 am

Axl's emotions were always 110%. The way he could channel all his emotions into his singing and live shows is part of what has made him into a legendary frontmann and vocalist.
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:37 am

Karice wrote:
Soulmonster wrote:Axl's emotions were always 110%. The way he could channel all his emotions into his singing and live shows is part of what has made him into a legendary frontmann and vocalist.

I don't get why the Music Producer released Use Your Illusion 2 album when it was clear Axl was acting crazy. They should have just let Axl rant out his emotions for about 2 hours in a private cassette and not send that album out.

I think a broader question is why people didn't help Axl and if there were any moral questions about benefitting from a man who was clearly struggling with mental issues. Although Axl openly admitted having issues, and seeking therapy around this time, he himself had no apparent problems showing his angry side in his arts. It was part of who he was and aggressive songs require aggressive lyrics and delivery. So I don't think anyone necessarily should have stopped him. I mean, arts is full of emotions, occasionally from artists who genuinely have some emotional issues. It helps make arts great, and as long as it doesn't hurt the artist, then or now, I think it is entirely fine. As for the touring, Axl has been pretty clear back then and in recent times, that he shouldn't have toured. It caused him a lot of distress and resulted in all kinds of issues (contributing to riots, late starts, conflicts, etc). Perhaps his band mates should have supported him and said, "No, we can't do this now, Axl needs help." On the other hand, Axl agreed to do it, so it is always a difficult decision for others to make. I also think Axl could be a bit fickle and prone to bouts of emotions, so maybe they thought that he was exaggerating and would be okay?

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Post by Soulmonster Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:41 am

I would think that if we were to ask Axl, he would say other people exploited his vulnerable state for monetary gains. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some truth in that, but based on what I know from the outside, I can see it wouldn't necessarily have been easy to always make the right decisions when dealing with someone like Axl, and that always keeping him happy might not itself have been the right thing to do. There is a place where communal obligations ends and personal obligation begins. Although clearly having mental issues, Axl is the one that primarily must take responsibility for putting himself in the situation.
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:59 pm

Use Your Illusion 1 and Use Your Illusion 2 were released together and the songs on 2 weren't necessarily made and recorded at a different time than the songs on 1. I also don't think the UYI2 is necessarily more of a testament to Axl's troubles than UYI1, and it is probably a bit arbitrary which song ended up on which album.

As for the divorce, Axl's troubles with Erin is definitely a component in his emotions in this period. The divorce happened after all the songs were written, so the divorce itself probably had little to do with it. Still, as I said, he had troubles with Erin in the period (they lost a pregnancy, too), and there were other things in Axl's life that troubled him and likely affected the songs, his lyrics and delivery. As a specific example, his conflict with his neighbour influenced Right Next Door to Hell.
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Post by Uli Wed Dec 29, 2021 4:46 pm

From memory: Axl said he felt he was backed up by the band when they decided to release "Get in the ring", but then he felt "let down" by them because he was the only one having to defend the song in interviews etc.

Here's a few words about "Get in the ring":

Wall's extensive reporting may have delivered a nuanced, holistic portrait of Guns N' Roses and their mercurial frontman — but Rose's rant in the middle of "Get in the Ring" revealed more about him than any book ever could.

Musically, "Get in the Ring" was unremarkable and somewhat regressive when compared to Use Your Illusion's towering art-rock epics, such as "November Rain," "Coma" and "Estranged." The sneering, blues-punk rave-up originated with McKagan, a lifelong Johnny Thunders acolyte, under the title "Why Do You Look at Me When You Hate Me?" It was typical us-against-the-world hard-rock fare, replete with campy effects such as a ring announcer introducing the band and a "Get in the ring!" chant courtesy of the June 10, 1991, crowd at New York's Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

"Get in the Ring" would have likely been relegated to the dustbin of history based purely on its musical merits — but Rose's vitriolic spoken-word interlude against reporters whom he felt had misrepresented the band would cement its place among the pantheon of scorched-earth diss tracks.


Read More: When Axl Rose Went Ballistic on the Press in 'Get in the Ring' | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/guns-n-roses-get-in-the-ring/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral
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Post by Uli Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:12 am

Of course this was only one event and Axl felt a bit let down, but that does not mean they didn't back him at other times.
In general, there were tensions within the band, because of the drugs and Axl's position as the "front man" (which made him the target of comments in the press etc.)!
However, I believe these tensions were part of the "package" - they made the band play more aggressively and to their best abilities, thus rocking the sh!t out of many venues they played.

Of course sometimes things would get "out of hand" and end in a riot. (Some crowds got a bit nervous when gigs would start much later as planned.)
But, as mentioned, back then that was part of the "deal". You can't expect "the most dangerous band in the world" (as GN'R was often called) to act like a teddy bear...

As Soulmonster already pointed out, the band recorded a lot of songs between 1989 and 1991, it was not the producer's decision to release 2 albums at the same time. (I'm not quite certain, who decided on the tracklist of UYI I & II, but I guess the band had a say in it, possibly helped by A&R people from the record company, managers, producer etc.!)
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Post by Uli Fri Dec 31, 2021 10:03 am

Axl was definitely a great rock'n'roll frontman and a unique singer back in '91. He had his personal problems and sometimes things went too far (shows starting late, or ending in riot)...

Anyway, if you wanna know more about the UYI albums and why there's two of them:

While it could have been easy to capitalize on the early successes and churn out another album quickly, the band instead chose to double down on their work and release an ambitious two-volume collection on Sept. 17, 1991 called Use Your Illusion.

Frontman Axl Rose told Rolling Stone in 1991 that the project was well thought-out and a calculated career move, choosing to challenge themselves to do something special rather than taking the easy road.

But getting there was no easy task. The band had a tumultuous split with drummer Steven Adler after his hard-partying ways became too much for the band to ignore. Adler would later file suit against the group. Guns N' Roses also bid adieu to manager Alan Niven amongst other key members of their crew.

In 1990, keyboardist Dizzy Reed was invited to join the group. And with Adler on the way out, the group needed a new drummer and found their man in Matt Sorum, whom the band had seen drumming with The Cult. "Having a keyboard player in the band was something they talked to me about a long time ago," Reed stated. "I never really thought it would happen."

But Reed got the call at just the right time as he was about to be thrown out of his apartment right as he got the invite. As for Sorum, he took over behind the kit for a majority of the songs, though Adler still received credit on the song "Civil War."

With the new lineup intact, Guns N' Roses started putting together the disc in 1990, spending nearly a year on the recording. The band made use of numerous studios, including A&M, Record Plant, Studio 56, Image Recording, Conway Studios and Metalworks Recording Studios.

Ever the perfectionists, the band also mixed 21 tracks with engineer/producer Bob Clearmountain, but later scrapped the mixes, starting from scratch with Bill Price handling the mixing. But when it came down to it, Guns N' Roses had set the bar high with their previous work and were intent of maintaining that push for excellence.

"I've had a good understanding of where I wanted Guns N' Roses to go and the things I wanted Guns N' Roses to achieve musically," says Rose, "And I can't say that everybody's had a grip on that. We're competing with rock legends, and we're trying to do the best we can to possibly be honored with a position like that. We want to define ourselves. Appetite was a cornerstone, a place to start. That was like 'Here's our land, and we just put a stake in the ground. Now we're going to build something.'"

As for the separation of the tracks, Rose told Here Today Gone To Hell, "We didn't actually take into consideration that people knew more songs on II than I. We thought that 'Civil War' and 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' would be old news, rather than people wanting to get them in their hands. We looked at it like the first half of Use Your Illusion I was more similar to the energy on Appetite for Destruction, and would be a lot more fun to skateboard to. We thought of it that way. We thought it would be more successful in the beginning and we'd have to work on II, but actually II took off harder so it gave us the time to work on I and also drive wide and push it."

He added, "I'd say 'Civil War,' 'Heaven's Door,' 'Breakdown,' 'Estranged,' 'Locomotive,' and the second version of 'Don't Cry' are a bit deeper and more mature than some of the songs on the first side of Illusion I. Those are just as important to us, but were more fun and more raw expressions of emotions."

The first song to arrive came from the Use Your Illusion II album. The propulsive rocker "You Could Be Mine" was used for their soundtrack of the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day after Arnold Schwarzenegger personally invited the band to dinner at his home to negotiate a deal.

As for the touring cycle, it took it's toll on the band. There was the incident in St. Louis when Rose was cited with inciting a riot after going into the crowd after a photographer. There was the ill-fated 1992 tour with Metallica where riots erupted. And during the run, Izzy Stradlin tired of life in the band and eventually exited, with Gilby Clarke eventually joining the group.
Read More: 30 Years Ago: Guns N' Roses Issue 'Use Your Illusion I' & 'II' | https://loudwire.com/guns-n-roses-use-your-illusion-i-ii-album-anniversary/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

When Guns N' Roses released their Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II albums in the fall of 1991, large retail chains such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart refused to stock the titles because of the explicit lyrical content featured on tracks such as "Back Off Bitch" and "Pretty Tied Up."
...
Despite the massive loss in sales they faced, the band refused to alter their work by releasing censored versions of the records. In fact, they added their own warning sticker to the albums, suggesting that anyone who doesn't like their words could "fuck off and go buy something from the new age section." (Reportedly, and hysterically, the sticker was also later banned from use.)
https://ultimateclassicrock.com/guns-n-roses-use-your-illusion-single-disc/
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Post by Uli Mon Jan 03, 2022 2:43 pm

Glad you like it - sometimes I enjoy doing a little bit of "research", it seemed apt as the UYI albums are 30 years old now. With a boxset coming later in '22, there will be new articles for sure. Cool
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Post by Uli Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:46 pm

Karice wrote:Hmm. About Use Your Illusion Part 1, I have fallen asleep

Wow, the UYI albums are pretty long, but falling asleep during that "noise" is quite an achievement! Surprised Wink
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Post by Uli Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:38 pm

Karice wrote:but calling us Feckers and dedicating Get In The Ring to us ?

I guess it was meant as a term of his kind appreciation in this context! Hay
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Post by Uli Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:37 am

Karice wrote:
I would have appreciated if Axl could have shown us his appreciation for sticking with Guns N'Roses without calling us Feckers. 🤪

Didn't they call themselves Guns N' F***in'Roses on the t-shirts at the time? Razz
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Post by Uli Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:07 pm

Karice wrote:
If they did call themselves that, it would mean that Axl was calling him and his Band that, not us.  😏

I know, but what I wanted to point out was: that kind of language was "normal" for GN'R at the time.

It still is today... or what does G N'F'N R's mean? Razz
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