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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

31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:40 am

CHAPTER INDEX

- JANUARY-APRIL 2011; NORTH AMERICA TOURING RUMOURS; AND CONFIRMATIONS
- JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: BUMBLEFOOT RELEASES SINGLES
- 2011- : WHERE DO WE GO NOW? THE BAND IS UNCOMMUNICATIVE, THE FANS WANT ANSWERS
- LICENSING MUSIC AND DRAWING THE LINE
- SLASH'S AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- MARCH 2011: TOMMY MOVES TO NEW YORK
- 2010-2011: TOMMY AND HAITI
- APRIL-JULY 2011: RICHARD TOURS WITH THIN LIZZY
- 2009-2016: SIXX:A.M. AND DJ'S OTHER MUSICAL PROJECTS
- DJ TALKS ABOUT AXL'S UNRECORDED MUSIC
- JUNE 1, 2011: BUMBLEFOOT GETS INJURED IN A CAR CRASH
- 2011- : DUFF'S LOADED PART 2
- 2011: TOMMY TOURS WITH HIS SOLO BAND
- AUGUST 30, 2011: TOMMY RELEASES 'ONE MAN MUTINY'
- SEPTEMBER 6, 2011: TOMMY POSSIBLY QUITS GUNS N' ROSES BUT DENIES IT
- 2009-2016: CHRIS' PERSONAL LIFE
- OCTOBER 2, 2011: ROCK IN RIO IV
- ESTRANGED RETURNS TO THE SETLIST
- OCTOBER 2011: DUFF RELEASES IT'S SO EASY: AND OTHER LIES
- OCTOBER 5-23, 2011: THE LATIN AMERICAN TOUR
- OCTOBER 29, 2011: AXL DOES AN INTERVIEW WITH 'THAT METAL SHOW'
- 2009-2011: THE LONG SHOWS
- TOMMY TALKS ABOUT HIS LONG TENURE WITH GUNS N' ROSES
- THE SETTLEMENT WITH AZOFF OPENS UP FOR TOURING IN THE US
- OCTOBER 28-NOVEMBER 5, 2011: START OF THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
- NOVEMBER 7, 2011: BAND MEMBERS VISIT THE MEDICAL CITY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN DALLAS
- NOVEMBER 5-19, 2011: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES
- NOVEMBER 2011 (?): BUMBLEFOOT TRIES TO DRINK HIMSELF TO DEATH
- NOVEMBER 20, 2011: WILKES BARRE; BUMBLEFOOT IS "ONE CONVERSATION AWAY FROM QUITTING"
- NOVEMBER 25-28, 2011: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES
- OCTOBER-DECEMBER, 2011 PETER KATSIS COMES AND GOES
- AXL COMMENTS ON THE DISPARITY BETWEEN WHO HE IS AND WHO THE PUBLIC THINKS HE IS
- BUMBLEFOOT COLLABORATES WITH POC; FRANK PLAYS THE DRUMS
- DECEMBER 1-13, 2011: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES
- "THE BEST VERSION" OF GUNS N' ROSES
- DECEMBER 16 AND 17, 2011: LOADED OPENS FOR GUNS N' ROSES AND DUFF PLAYS WITH THE BAND AGAIN
- DECEMBER 7, 2011: GUNS N' ROSES IS NOMINATED FOR THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
- DECEMBER 21-31, 2011: THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONCLUDES
- DECEMBER 2011: 'TEAM BRAZIL' BECOMES THE BAND'S NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM
- DECEMBER 2011: AXL TALKS ABOUT REUNITING WITH FORMER BAND MATES
- JANUARY 2012: GUNS N' ROSES WINS ULTIMATE CLASSIC GUITAR'S '2011 TOUR OF THE YEAR'


Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:12 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:42 am

JANUARY-APRIL 2011
NORTH AMERICA TOURING RUMOURS; AND CONFIRMATIONS


Being asked if they will be back on the road in February 2011 for a rumoured US tour:

We’re supposed to be and suddenly there’s silence. I don’t think it’s gonna happen. Figuring February is weeks away and I’ve yet to see a single confirmed date. It’s the kind of thing where you have a tour that’s coming together, but it’s so complicated at this level with managers and booking agents and different promoters and venues and itinerary and the production. The manager has to figure out how to get the gear from point A to point B all the time, without us going broke, and making sure all the crew is available.

With everything, all it takes is just one link in the chain to get weak and everything unravels. So, I don’t know what the status is of this U.S. tour that I’ve been impatiently waiting for. It’s been five years since we’ve played the U.S. Last year we did some acoustic shows in New York in February, but as far as a real tour, we haven’t done that. A couple of shows in May and September of 2006 and then a fall tour from October to December.

You know I really can’t say because there’s nothing to tell. It’s frustrating for me because there is nothing to tell about the future of G’N’R because it changes minute to minute. [...] I mean shit! We are supposed to tour the US in February and it’s the end of January and no one has even like…. yeah. You can’t make plans. You cannot make any plans when dealing with Guns N’ Roses. Things are just going to happen and they are not going to happen when you think that they are going to happen. That’s just how it is and it can’t be controlled, it can’t be changed. This is just how it is in G’N’R world. And you just roll with it and say “alright”. We were going to tour and then now we are not. It will happen when it is going to happen, and it does. It’s not the kind of thing where… Like if you ask me about my stuff, I can tell you all kinds of plans for the future and what’s going to happen. If you ask about G’N’R, it’s all a big question mark and it really is. It’s not like anything is being hidden, it’s just that nothing can be predicted (big laugh). It’s a weird fucking thing man! (big laugh again)


Then in March it was announced that the band would play on this year's Rock In Rio festival in Brazil on October 2 [GN'R Daily, March 20, 2011].

Right now we're headlining Rock In Rio in October. I'd love to do more dates later this year. Getting everybody – the band, the crew, the whole production – down there to do one show is a pretty big deal, so it'd be cool to do more shows. But I have to wait and see what everybody says.

As far as any other plans, I think GN'R fans know that it's not often good to speculate too much because plans change all the time with this band. I only like talking about things that are definite, and right now the only definite thing is Rio.


DH would also hint at shows in the US:

We just booked Rock In Rio [in Brazil] for October 2, but there's talk.... We're gonna be going out way sooner. And hopefully we're gonna be [doing some dates] here in the States this year. I'm hoping. That's the plan.


In May, Tommy would confirm they would be doing more shows in October and November:

We have dates in October, November, and then I'm still waiting to get the 411 on what will happen next year.


Interestingly, parts of the settlement between Axl and Irvine Azoff [see earlier chapter] had included  "a comprehensive touring agreement in which Guns N' Roses would perform at various [...] venues" [Beverly Hills Courier, June 14, 2011].

On June 10, a show in Chile was rumoured [Blabbermouth, June 10, 2011] and on June 15 a show in Peru was rumoured [Living in Peru, June 15, 2011].

DJ gave an update in June:

Well, I mean, I don’t want to put anything out there yet, the only thing that’s in stone right now is Rock in Rio, on Oct. 2, but I know that we’re all itching to get out there, and one of our main big goals is to tour the States. When everything goes through, obviously, everyone will know about it. I’m hoping it happens; it’ll be a lot of fun.


In July, Nikki Sixx would say they had tried getting on tour with Guns N' Roses this summer after the fans having voted the band as their favorites, but that the band hadn't been "available":

The fans chose Guns N' Roses first, Def Leppard second and Poison third and we're like, 'Really?' We talked to Guns N' Roses, talked to Def Leppard, talked to Poison who was available and the other two weren't. It just worked out.
The Delaware County Daily Times, July 15, 2011


In September the band's first US' tour in 5 years was announced [Rolling Stone, September 9, 2011; Press Release, September 21, 2011]. In addition to touring USA in late October through November and into December, the band also announced additional Latin American shows to follow their appearance at Rock in Rio in early October [Press Release, September 21, 2011]. Buckcherry was announced as one of the opening bands [Press Release, September 21, 2011].
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:43 am

JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011
BUMBLEFOOT RELEASES SINGLES


In November 2010, right after returning from the European tour, Bumblefoot would update social media with a video of him recording vocals for a new song called Invisible [Blabbermouth, November 18, 2010].

Being asked if he intended to release a new solo album:

I'm not gonna do an album. It's a big investment of time, and I don't have time. It's the big ongoing battle in my life, finding time for everything and everyone. So I'm gonna take it a song-at-a-time, and release each digitally. I'd rather keep releases at a steady simmer than wait for a big pot to boil every few years, know what I mean? We have the technology to do it this way now, wanna give it a try...

This year I'm going to release a song at a time, singles. An album is more of an investment of time than I have with all the touring. A song at a time is manageable, it's the best way to get music out, and to keep it going. I'm not just putting out the songs though, I'm doing it differently. I'm releasing the song in a bunch of hi-res formats - WAV, FLAC, MP3 (320kps), M4A - I'll also be making the instrumental version of each song available. Then there's a 'Player Pack' for guitarists, it has a full transcription of all the lead guitar parts and soloing, with TAB, music notation, picking, fingers, and any other directions, and that comes with a WAV and MP3 of a Backing Track, it's a mix of the song minus the lead guitar so people can play along. I'm also releasing a 'Producer Pack' for the studio-minded, it's 24-bit WAV stems of the song - a stereo file each of drums, bass, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, lead vocals, and backing vocals so you can load it into your multi-track software and make your own mix, edits, or just solo the tracks and see what each sounds like on its own. I released the first song "Bernadette" in mid-January, it's a punky heavy cover of an old Motown song by the Four Tops.


Talking about juggling being in GN'R with his solo projects:

It’s like having a testicular problem. You’ve got two balls and one of them of is humongous and you have to figure how to walk with that. It’s basically having one big ball and a bunch of other smaller balls, so walking becomes very difficult. It’s a challenge sometimes with how to budget time and be in multiple places at once without an army of clones. It’s not easy. When Guns needs me I’m there and when my time is free I run like the wind, haha.


The plan was to release a new single each month [Truth In Shredding, February 4, 2011].

[...] it's just a different way of doing things, I mean, it's becoming more popular where people are just... we have the technology to do it, we can just keep busting out songs and keep this constant simmer going where you always have music coming out, it's not like you put out a dozen songs, two years later another dozen, now you can just keep it going at a steady pace. [...] so what I did is I asked everybody on my forum, asked different people, said, "What do you want? How should I do this? What is good for you? Because it's about all of you, it's about how you are going to get the music, how you want the music." Uh, I got a lot of ideas and I found the best way to do it that would really give the people that follow what I do what they would like, is to put out the song in all the different in high res formats, to do a guitar transcription that has backing tracks so all the guitar players can play along with it and learn the song note for note, everything, and then I also put out all the the tracks themselves that you can get and load into your multitrack software so you can make your own mixes and do everything like that. So for every song instead of just taking a song and sticking it on iTunes you get all these different options that you can have but however you want the song. You can have a song, you can have instrumental to sing along with, you can have backing track so you could play guitar along with it, or you can load it all into your software and make your own mixes of it.

I wanted to do a full length album for a long time, but I really don’t have the time. I’m simply not around long enough at one place to build up some momentum and get everything recorded and focus on that. There are too many things going on and with all the traveling I do that doesn’t help either. I found that doing one song at a time was the best thing to keep the music flowing and it made me consistently stay active and it isn’t as overwhelming as doing a full length album. Luckily there is the technology available which enables me to do it this way.


But the idea was still to eventually put all the songs on an album:

I think they will [end up on an album]. A lot of people had said to me that they want these songs on an album, so I guess at some point I'll compile everything. With me, right now it all comes down to the investment of time. I have more passion than time right now. So I can't take on a whole album. Plus, with the GN'R schedule, I don't know when the fire alarm is going to go off and I'll have to throw on my suit and slide down the pole. [laughs] It's really hard to focus on making an album. I was able to do that in late 2007 when everybody was getting Chinese Democracy ready for release, but right now…I don't know. I don't want to spend nine months making an album, and it's a big deal for two weeks, and then everybody's going 'OK, where's the next album?'



JANUARY 2011: BERNADETTE



Bernadette
January 2011



Not gonna do an album, just gonna release a song at a time. With all the touring I can't devote a chunk of time to a whole album, I can't get the momentum going. But taking on one song when I can, that's doable. I released the first one “Bernadette” in mid-January, it's a cover of a Motown song by the Four Tops. The next one I release will be an original, called “Invisible”. I'm hoping I can get a video together for that song too.

This week I just put out the song “Bernadette”, which is cover song from an old Motown hit from 1967 by The Four Tops’. So I put that out in all of the high resolution formats: WAV, Apple Lossless, FLAC, MP3 HD, MP3 320 and AAC. I did an instrumental version and then I did things just for guitar players. It’s a backing track mix which comes with a complete transcription of the guitar parts of the song which is like 12 pages of all of the fingers, the picking, the tabs, musical notations and even little hints about how to do things. I also did something for studio geeks like myself which I would have loved to have for various albums and songs. I put out stems which are like a mix of just the drums, just the bass, just rhythm guitar, just lead guitar, just the vocals and just backing vocals. You can load it into your software and play with the mix. You can also edit and play with the levels to see how the song was made. I did that this week and every week is going to be something crazy. I’m going to get something done because now I’m here and I know that I’m not running on tour next week or anything so I have a chance to get shit done. I’m just going to do as much I can and try to get as much of my music out there until we hit the road again.



FEBRUARY 2011: STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER



Strawberry Fields Forever
February 2011



MARCH 2011: INVISIBLE



Invisible
March 2011



'Invisible', yes! Next song I'm puttin' out. When I get back from the GNR tour I'm going to take care of the final touches and release it. We're in Abu Dhabi this week, gettin' home before Christmas. Will keep everyone posted and updated...

The first one [of Bumblefoot's original songs originally intended for his new band in 2009] is a song called “Invisible”. It’s about 6 minutes long. It sounds like a band; it has drums, bass, one guitar and vocals. This stuff was made to be played live. When people hear it they say that it sounds like a mixture of Led Zeppelin and Pantera. So it should be interesting and I hope people like it. I would like to put out that song next. I just put out “Bernadette” and it’s just a song to put out there, but the next song that I really want to put out there is this song “Invisible”.

It's all down to just timing and juggling everything that I'm doing. I had put out "Abnormal" in 2008 and then Chinese Democracy came out after which I popped out a quick acoustic EP called "Barefoot", and then for two years I was away and couldn't really do too much. When I'm on the road I can never write. For me to write a song, I need to be able to step away from everything going on in music, just live the life and then write from that. So I have a hard time writing on the road and I get kind of burned out on all the music constantly. We finished at the end of December last year. All the words just started to flow and I was able to start banging out songs. This is one of the first ones that came about. Originally I had written the music in the mid 90s and that's why the song sounds grungy. It goes back that far, I just never did anything with it. Now, I just laid the drums and vocals and just popped it out. I didn't over-think it. Write a song and put it out, that's all I'm trying to do now. I do that every month and so far, I've been able to keep up with it.


Discussing the artwork:

[...]the art totally kicks ass. There's this guy in Australia, he's like my official artist now. I love his artwork so much, he's been doing all my stuff. He's phenomenal. So he did that art and we made a shirt of it. This time I went for full color digital printing so you get the full image and it's not just a cutout. So yeah, it's kickass art.



APRIL 2011: GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD



Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
April 2011



MAY 2011: FATHER


Yeah, there was a song, Father. Had a metal... a medal-ish...




Father
May 2011



JUNE 2011: CATFIGHT


The sixth singer would feature Mark Tornillo of Accept as guest vocalist:

This was a fun song to make!! Very happy Dennis [Leeflang; drums] and I had the music done and invited Mark to sing on it. I've always been a huge fan of his, from his band TT Quick I'd follow as a teenager to now as singer of Accept. While touring, he sent me ideas for lyrics, came to the studio while home for a few days between legs of the tour, hung out and blasted out killer vocals. Then, the song art... had an idea for a vintage movie poster vibe, and put a message on Facebook and Twitter inviting people to take photos for the song art. Photos started comin' in, and the winning pic jumped out.

So the song I did with Mark was called Cat Fight, by the way that one worked was I just did the music and I said, "Do whatever you want with the lyrics, just make the song yours in that way," and listening to what he came up with, the whole concept and everything, all the words, the melodies and all. And he came and just banged it out, like two takes, boom, and that was it.

Catfight, yeah, which is just like a fun sort of... almost had like a 80s-ish sort of thing to it. It's just a fun song.




Catfight
June 2011



JULY 2011: THERE'S A KIND OF HUSH


That one, I know, Herman's did it first in 66 but Engelbert Humperdinck did a cover of it and that's the one that inspired the version I did, I get very kinda cheese lounge, I love old cheesy lounge s**t. So yeah that's what I went for is that vibe but just with a contrast, I love the contrast.




There's a Kind of Hush
July 2011



SEPTEMBER 2011: LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD


Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has released the eighth in a series of singles being made available digitally this year, a punk-metal anthem called "Let Your Voice Be Heard". The track is available in MP3 (320kps), AAC, and higher-quality formats FLAC, MP3 HD, Apple Lossless and WAV. An instrumental version of the song is available in these formats as well.

For guitarists, there's a Player Pack that has a transcription of the entire lead guitar track as a PDF file musical notation, TAB, fingers, picking, and helpful hints. Included with the transcription is a "Backing Track" mix and a "Boosted Lead Guitar" mix, in both WAV and MP3 formats.

The Producer Pack contains 48kHz/24-bit Stereo WAV files of the mix "stems" individual files of drums, bass, lead & rhythm guitars, lead vocals and backing vocals in a bundle that you can load into your multi-track software to play with levels, make your own mixes, and hear every nuance of each instrument's performance on its own track.
Blabbermouth, September 13, 2011




Let Your Voice Be Heard
August 2011



After the release of Let Your Voice Be Heard, no further singles were released until December. In November, Bumblefoot would explain his plans regarding the singles and say the tour had made it difficult to keep up with one single per month:

Ah well, I mean, if I wasn't on tour I would be doing one every month, and that was the plan to do every month to put out a song because I just can't take on an album right now. Like, I can't just say, "All right, I'm gonna take nine months and I gotta right now record and put it out and do the whole thing." It's much easier to just put out a steady stream of music, one song at a time and I find that with that I can do a lot of... what do you call, special, the added features that I wouldn't really be able to do if I had to do it for a whole album. It's just too much. So what I've been doing is, I would put out a song, either a cover or an original song, and we put it out in, you know, the usual, you know, mp3 or AAC but then also wave and flag and a higher-end uncompressed types of files and stuff. I do an instrumental version for people that want to sing- [...] People who can't stand my voice. This way they can just have the music and not hear me-


He would also mention that he might compile the songs on a future album:

A lot of people did ask me about that and, you know, at first I wasn't thinking about it but give the people what they want,  if the people are saying, "Hey, we'd like to have an album of it," give them an album. So, that's something, that I was thinking about doing, is that maybe adding a few extra songs that warrant put out on that song a month thing and have a whole album of that. With the tour I don't know when I'll be able to do that, though.

I can have a few extras that I could put on there to make the album something special rather than just a disc of everything that people might already have.


And talk about the tablatures he was releasing for every single:

But the one cool thing about what I've been doing with those individual songs, is I've been putting out a tablature that people can get where for every song- [...]  Yeah, I go through and make sure that it's, yeah, it's exact. So it has the picking, it has the fingers, it has the tablature, it has a musical notation and any other instructions that are needed. And then it comes with a backing track that has that guitar part missing. And then it has a booster track where it's pushed up so you could really hear, it's is like a sort of audio guide to everything. So that's for all the the guitar players that want to hear and want to figure out what I'm doing, that's all.



DECEMBER 2011: THE PINK PANTHER THEME


The final release in Bumblefoot's single series became the Pink Panther Theme, release in December 2011.

The last I put out was the Pink Panther theme [?]. So I did a version of that and I had all the guys from Guns N' Roses play on it. So I pretty much put out the only new Guns N' Roses music myself. [laughs]. It's missing Axl and Dizzy, so it's really new Guns N' Roses. Like Guns without Roses.

I love the old Pink Panther movies, Peter Sellers was fantastic! The song has a great vibe to it, it's been a fun song to play Smile I released the song last year at the end of the 2011 tour (www.bumblefoot.com/pinkpanther.htm), it has my GNR bandmates playing on it (I guess that makes it the only music released with current members of GNR... so far)




The theme from Pink Panther
December 2011



This had been Bumblefoot's solo song during the touring in 2009-2011. Bumblefoot would explain how it was chosen:

I never liked taking guitar solos. Ya wouldn't think so considering, but it's true. I always cared more about a song in its entirety, the musical aspect, I've never been comfortable with the 'attention' of standing on stage alone and noodling away. Maybe it's insecurity or lack of belief in myself, maybe it's obstinacy and an overly idealistic stance to my own detriment about the importance of a song, maybe it's just how I'm wired and I shouldn't psycho-analyze. Regardless, that's me. The 'song' is everything to me, I'm the anti-rockstar, I'd rather be heard than seen, I'm not about mystique or larger-than-life idol worship, although a good chunk of that philosophy goes out the window once I hit the stage and the switch is flicked. But ultimately I love music, making it, giving it, feeding souls, bringing smiles, it's that basic.

It was November 2009, Guns N' Roses was rehearsing at the LA Forum for the start of the next year(s) of touring, and we were to come up with our own solo spots for the show. Richard [Fortus] had his James Bond inspired spot, DJ [Ashba] had a song he made specifically called “Ballad Of Death” and I had nothing prepared, I had avoided it throughout the year, and was unwilling to bend on my anti-solo attitude. I'd spout off, “People didn't come here to see me screw around, they came to hear GNR songs...”, “I'll walk before doing something I don't believe in...” Methinks I doth protest too much. Perhaps I read too many YouTube comments.

Three days left of full-production rehearsals before we go home and our gear floats to Taipei for the start of the tour, and I give in. “Has anyone done a version of the Charlie Brown theme?” I ask. “Pretty much every kid in GIT [guitar school]” Fortus responds. “OK, how's about the Pink Panther?”  Nope, hasn't been done. “OK, Frank, gimme a 'tsss, ts, t-tsss, ts, t-tsss' on the cymbals, Tommy, go 'dammmm, dommmm, dummmm' on the octave 5th & root, Rich, gimme the...” (Rich was already playing the part before I finished the sentence), “Deej, hit the heavy 'duh-dah, duh dah!' and we quickly threw the song together. And that was my solo for the next two years of touring. And I enjoyed it! It was a *song*, and it was fun.

I'd finish 'November Rain', the lights would go down, I'd carefully climb around the piano and swerve through the oncoming flurry of crew rushing to move the piano off-stage, McBob [my tech] would be meeting me half-way with my Vigier fretted/fretless double-neck and thimble in hand [thimble goes over my picking hand 4th finger for tapping high notes on the string past the fretboard], I'd be removing the single-cutaway guitar and he'd be strapping the 30-pound behemoth over my neck, and I'd get to the front the stage as Axl would be announcing me in an ever-changing amusing fashion, “The one, the only...”, or some twist on my name, “Ron 'Thalshank Redemption'...”

And half the time I'd be taking a solo Axl would be telling jokes into the band's in-ear monitors that only we hear. He'd do that to us all from time to time. So, if you ever see us bursting into a random laugh, shaking our head as we play, or looking behind us toward the side of the stage in mid-solo, that's why.

“The Pink Panther Theme”, written by Henry Mancini – featuring my GNR bandmates Frank 'Thunderchucker' Ferrer on drums (recorded August 2011, while laying drum tracks for the debut album 'Rise Above' of an artist I produced 'Poc'), Tommy Stinson on bass, Richard Fortus & DJ Ashba on rhythm guitars and myself on lead (recorded September 2011 between rehearsals and the start of the 2011 tour of the Americas.)


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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:44 am

2011-
WHERE DO WE GO NOW?
THE BAND IS UNCOMMUNICATIVE, THE FANS WANT ANSWERS


As the most fan friendly and outspoken band member, Bumblefoot would regularly be asked about the band and its plans, but refuse to say anything:

I've said often, and said why it in a previous post - I won't address that stuff, rumors, business plans, none of it. You'll know other people's business when they decide it's time for you to know, in the way they want you to know. Frustrating for you, but makes perfect sense to the people who's life and business you want them to expose.

I WON'T discuss future plans. It's inconsiderate of everyone else - Axl, management, the band, everyone working on doing things right. I'm not just gonna blab about *their* business without consideration, it's wrong. I've had it done to me in the past and it pissed me the fuck off, felt like it was someone blabbed about a surprise party I spent a lot of time planning. And let's *respect* the fact that Axl started this band, it's his 25-year vision, I'm not gonna act like it's mine to do whatever I want and not consider a dozen folks that were there before me. It's about respect. AND it's about business - ya simply don't squeal about unfinished business, it's wrong to do. So while this thread touched on questioning morals, it would be *immoral* if I discuss things, it's wrong, it's thoughtless, inconsiderate, I won't do it. No 'gag order' or other made up shit, it's simply about having respect. I won't talk about business unless I get everyone's ok, or if it's something that was properly announced. But even then, I really don't want to. Making music = yes, GNR bizz = no.

[...] the reality is that the music is rock n' roll - everything else is business. You wouldn't have any albums or concerts or anything if the business didn't happen to bring you the music. A yogurt is food, but think of how much business goes into it before it reaches your mouth. Your job, to get the money to put gas in your car to go to the store and buy it. Car companies, fuel companies, the store, their distributor, the yogurt manufacturer, the farm that grew the berries, down to the dude that rigged up the cow pumps. All that business had to happen for you to get a $1 yogurt. Business is a necessity for all things, it's not evil, it's part of the process, every process. And in every aspect, there's competition of companies, timing when to release products, a million things that affect how successful or even sustainable things will be. Ya can't fuck with it, ya can't release info prematurely, ya can't give away what the new features of a software upgrade will be too soon, a competing company can hijack your plans. In music, you have to consider other releases and tours when planning your own, for example. There was the old story of how Van Halen was working on their first album, they mentioned covering Ya Really Got Me, and another band tried to record it quicker and beat em to the punch. When I was in my early 20s I shared a demo with another guitar player who then made an almost identical song to mine and sent it to the labels that were considering me to be on their comp CDs, to take my spot. Shit happens, I learned early on - don't talk about future plans, unless 1) you're the CEO of a business and don't have investors to answer to, 2) you're dealing with low-valued things that don't have a big effect on people and their business. I'll talk to you for hours about music. Not business.


With rumours running rampant, Axl did the rare thing to give an update over Twitter:

Contrary to anyone's claims there are no concrete plans nor were there ever for a tour, a relaunch or sponsors (n' certainly not to replace anyone in the band) beyond a collection of random ideas thrown out by various individuals w/out any real foundation or negotiations in place other than our prior involvements (which wouldn't take a rocket scientist to put together). And 4 the record Doc McGhee is no longer involved w/either myself or GN'R.
...
N' b4 it's twisted "prior involvements" has nothing to do with old GN"R.
Twitter, February 5, 2011


Bumblefoot would also address rumours that were spreading on fan sites:

OK, here's the deal with all the GNR rumors. Some trolls tried to get attention by starting rumors, as they had seen others get. I called a few out on it personally, smacked 'em down and their panties are still all bunched up over it, so they've been going to different GNR fansites, they create an account with an IP scrambler, post these fake stories, and then disappear. They're 1) trying to get me back for bruising their ego, 2) they're trying to mindfuck the *real* GNR fans and make them lose faith in the band and bandmembers they've gotten to know over the years, 3) they saw someone else get a lot of attention in a similar scenario recently, and want some attention themselves, from fans, and from me.

All they want to do is hurt the fans and the band. All the credible GNR fansites see it and have been deleting the silly posts by their own choice. Don't buy into it. Don't stand for it. And don't believe a WORD of it. If the people spreading this would like to come forward and show who they are, I'd be happy to bring them into a courtroom with a libel suit, and if they can prove their statements to be true I'll cover all costs and whatever else. But that wouldn't happen because every word of it is made up and that's why they don't stick around and remain in hiding.

To any news sites that spread the rumors without fact-checking, that'll post anything any sociopath makes up and give it a platform, you need to do better.

To sum it up, I have a life, you have a life, these particular trolls don't - they're just trying to tear us both down, because they're bitter.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke) Don't give these people power, and don't do nothing. Find out who they are, and hold them personally accountable for fucking with you and the band.

OK, back to making music, loving my band, my family, the fans, and looking forward to seeing you all as soon as possible. Smile

What have I learned? That there is no truth, only entertainment. If a lie is more entertaining than the truth, people will go with the lie.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:45 am

LICENSING MUSIC AND DRAWING THE LINE


Axl was obviously reluctant to license Guns N' Roses music to many different purposes and had vetoed the partnership from licensing songs for specific soundtracks and commercials, and partly as a result he had been sued by Slash and Duff in 2004 [see earlier chapter for more information].

According to the 2004 suit, Axl had vetoed licensing Guns N' Roses songs to half a dozen movies, including "Just Married," "We Were Soldiers," "Death to Smoochie" and "Old School" [Celebrity Justice, May 3, 2004]. Axl had also, according to the suit, refused to license the original version of 'Welcome to the Jungle' to the movie "Black Hawk Down" [Celebrity Justice, May 3, 2004].

In the recent lawsuit against Activision, Axl had also stated that he had "vigilantly preserved the integrity of the Guns N' Roses name and reputation" [Law suit, November 23, 2010].

In early 2011, Slash would comment on where he drew the line when asked if they'd okay Glee doing a Guns N' Roses themed episode:

Actually, we got asked about that once already but it got turned down. In the current climate of what’s going on in entertainment these days, I try to be more optimistic than negative because it’s really easy to get negative about it, but I draw the line at Glee. Glee is worse than Grease and Grease is bad enough…. When Grease came out I was like, “Oh, c’mon, give me a break.” Actually, I look at Grease now and think: Between High School Musical and Glee, Grease was a brilliant work of art.


Ryan Murphy, the creative director of Glee responded to Slash's comment:

Usually I find that people who make those comments, their careers are over; they’re uneducated and quite stupid.
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:46 am

SLASH'S AWARDS & ACCOLADES


Over the years, Slash has received numerous recognitions for his musicianship and contributions to culture. Some of these awards are discussed in separate chapters, others are mentioned here.

Slash's views on his accomplishments:

This might sound sort of negative, but I’d rather be as good as possible in the amount of time that you can do it, and do it to the hilt. Then fall apart, die, whatever. I’d rather do that than do five or six albums, ten albums, and end up like Kiss..
Mick Wall, GUNS N' ROSES: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K. 1991, 1993; interview from June 1988


And when awards and recognition started to come:

For me, it's like certain compliments come from different sources and I take them in different ways... Like, getting Best Guitarist in Kerrangl- that right there is one of the all-time greatest compliments, right? […] And then not only does it happen, but I find out Gibson's putting out a Slash model Les Paul... And this is all completely fuckin' amazing stuff that I would never have dreamed of happening to me when I was a kid! […] But instead of letting it go to my head, the way I honestly feel about it is, like; really don't see my playing as being truly worth that, y'know? I tend to put it down to record sales and 'cause it's hip to like Guns N' Roses right now. […] I mean, it would be a real joke if I was to start thinking of myself as the world's best guitarist, because that's just not true, and I should know... […] I mean, God, I would hope I'm twice the guitarist now than I was when we recorded the first album. But in another way, it gives me the energy and motivation to really play my ass off on this next record, so I can at least prove myself of being even just a little bit worthy of all the praise and attention I've had and the band's had this last year or so. […] It's fatal to believe in your own hype... I've seen it happen to people in other bands - they win some poll and immediately they start walking around thinking they're the fuckin' greatest! Believing too much in your own image - it's instant brain death.
Kerrang! April 1989

You know, I've been voted 'Best Guitarist' in the polls conducted by a number of magazines across the world. But this doesn't mean I'm the best in the world. It's simply that my band is really popular.
Kerrang! April 1989

We were never really thought of as a band that was musically gifted. We were just another one of those loud rock ’n’ roll bands that fall over on stage and they’re funny. At this point in time, I think we’ve gotten past those hurdles, where we can express ourselves and people are actually listening. […]I’m no longer just the guy that said f— on TV. I’m a guy who can actually play.
St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1991


After the release of the 'Illusions', Slash would get a lot of praise in credible magazines like Guitar Player and Guitar World:

[Being called "the father of the back-to-basic movement of guitar playing:] I don't feel that way. I'm real proud of the work that went into these records, although most of the stuff was spontaneous. The guitar parts on Appetite were more worked out. With Illusion, I just did the guitar lines the day we recorded. In order to give each song its own unique quality, I'd do all the overdubs for one song before moving on to the next. And to this day I can't remember some of what I played. I can't duplicate it live. So I feel puny as a guitar player. I like what I do and I know where it comes from, and I'm proud of the fact that it is for real. But I'm way far removed from feeling like the father of anything.
Guitar World, February 1992

[…] I’m pretty humble about that kind of stuff. You know, it’s like, Guns N’ Roses to me is the coolest thing I could possibly be involved in. But as far as going, “It is the best rock ‘n’ roll band around”, I don’t even think in those terms, you know. We just keep doing what we’re doing.
Countdown, May 1992

I hope to be remembered as a decent guitarist, which is the hardest thing, probably, because of all the sensationalism surrounding us.



Still, Slash would downplay their contributions to music:

The only thing that I, you know... When it comes to, to Guns right now, especially in 1993, is that we're here and we're like surviving. But, I mean, come on, we've only done, um… One real studio record, one comp… One, um, aah…mini-EP, kind of, with acoustic stuff on, or whatever. We did two full-size records, which is probably about the size of about three, and then. To me that's just not enough yet, to even say that we're anybody, you know. I wanna do another record and have that, you know, being an accomplishment and to go, I wanna have that feeling of like: "Yeah, we really are established as, as not a shit in the pan. And in the future, like when all said and done, and maybe Guns is gone, I just like, I'd like to, to know what we'll be remembered as, you know. And I, I don't, I'm not working towards being some historic band or something. But I like to think that at least in the nineties we were significant, you know.
The Civil War EP, March 15, 1993

I'll listen to something that we're working on or whatever and listen to it, like a rough mix in the car of just that day's rehearsal. I'll go, "This sounds cool and I like it." I might think, "Would I like it if it wasn't me?" I don't know what people are going to think when they hear it. I think it's a good-enough record, where I expect everybody to like it to an extent. But reading to it and what the guitar is about or any of those sounds or styles, I don't know what the perspective is going to be. I don't dwell on it because, like a lot of things in life, it's just pointless to really spend any time. It always turns out different than what you end up initially believing in the first place, so you just sort of go with it.

But it's been nice to be recognized as a decent guitar player at this point in my career. Kids come up and say they started playing guitar because of me and this and that, and that's pretty overwhelming. The thought of anybody actually sitting around and learning stuff the way that I used to do it is like, Really?


Slash would also suggest he was uncomfortable with praise:

When you say something like that, it's hugely flattering and people come up and remind me of that from time to time... that I have an influence on younger players... but I'm so insecure as a guitar player that I have a hard time accepting myself as someone who is influential. I'm still trying really hard to get my own shit together and get better at what I do so it's really hard for me to say I have an impact on other guitar players because I'm trying so hard to reach my own standards as a player.
Epiphone News, September 14, 2010


In 2009, Time Magazine put Slash as the second greatest guitarist of all time:

IAll things considered, it's very flattering. But I was thinking today that there're so many fantastic guitar players and I sort of feel humbled by them. When people put me on top of the list, I think it's really nice, but I don't like to talk about it because I know that there are so many guitarists who are better than me and I'm working really hard to be as good as [they are].

I'm not a technique guitarist. I admire technique guitar players because they know a lot of stuff that I don't. But the thing that affects me most, that I strive for is emotional content and melodic content. I feel it when I'm playing, and you feel it as a listener. That's what I strive for.


Talking about his legacy:

I mean people ask you questions like how do want to be and you’re forced to think about it. Otherwise I think, you know I definitely don’t walk around going: „God I want to be remebered for this and that and the other“. I don’t think you really get to choose that anyway.


For his work for children and young adults who suffer from addiction, physical and sexual abuse, and chronic illness, Road Recovery arranged a honorary concert for Slash on September 13, 2011 [Blabbermouth, September 15, 2011]. This would be a semi-reunion of Guns N' Roses, with Duff, Matt and Gilby being in the main band together with Slash and Wayne Kramer [Blabbermouth, September 15, 2011].

In April 2012, Slash would be honored with the Riff Lord award at the fourth annual Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles [Golden Gods Awards, April 11, 2012].

Well, you know, like, water sports comes to mind right away (laughs). Well, what do you think of Golden God… I just think of golden showers. Anyway, that went… Anyway, I don’t know where that name came from. I think maybe Robert Plant? I’m not sure. But anyway, when I think of this particular event though, I just think of an acknowledgment of everything that’s hard rock and heavy metal. I’m looking forward to performing. We’re gonna play a new song, the single off our new record, so I’m excited about that. We also got a special thing coming up with a special guest, which is gonna be really cool, but I can’t tell you right now. It’s somebody that I’ve admired for a long time, I’ve worked with before, and just one of the great rock ‘n’ roll personalities and singers and…



2010: STATUE IN STOKE?


In 2010 there were talks about erecting a statue in Slash's honor in Stoke-On-Trent:

I don't know, I think they are lobbying to have a statue. I don't know- [...] I know that they want to build one of me and one of Lemmy from Motorhead.

I think that's very cool. I think it's a statue of Lemmy and myself. They're petitioning it. It's very flattering. It's nice to be in the company of Lemmy, who's a longtime hero of mine and good friend and everything. I don't know if it's actually going to see the light of day, and we'll see.


But in 2011 councilors rejected the bid, saying that "they did not support the statues idea, and would rather see a broader tribute which would include all of the city's celebrated sons and daughters" [This Is Staffordshire, January 18, 2011].


2011: TOM F. MANKIEWICZ LEADERSHIP AWARD


In May 2011, Slash received the inaugural Tom F. Mankiewicz Leadership Award from the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for his longtime contributions to establishing environmental welfare programs [Los Angeles Ties, May 5, 2011].

The biggest compliment for me is that it's Tom's award. I really adored that man. I miss him very much, and that aspect is very special and resonates deeply. Additionally, I profoundly appreciate the implications of the award itself. It's a fantastic honor.



2012: HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME


On June 17, 2010, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Slash would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame [Blabbermouth, June 20, 2010].

I am sincerely honored and humbled by my induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

What an amazing honor!

I came from the ground up in Hollywood, so this is the most genuinely special distinction I could ever receive.

It sort of came out of nowhere, so I guess I haven't really digested the news yet. So yeah, I mean it's an interesting kind of thing. I was speechless about the whole thing (laughs). Having my own star in Hollywood is sort of an honour. What else am I supposed to say (laughs)? It's not quite getting knighted, you know? Getting I guess some sort of appreciation from the town that I basically started in.




Unveiling ceremony
July 10, 2012



Speaking after the ceremony:

I definitely feel like I’m cresting a certain wave in my career where I’m having a really great time, I love what I’m doing, I love the people I’m working with and I’m feeling very energized. [...] The moment when we lifted the thing today and I saw the cement is when it really hit me, and the best way to put it is I just saw all my childhood and all those years hanging out here. It just all hit me at that one moment.

As a kid growing up, I was totally sucked into the whole fantasy of Hollywood and I still am. But I will probably never come up here and see it again. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to read or watch anything that I do after the fact, so I will probably keep a reasonable safe distance from it. My kids can come and check it out.

Yeah, it was very, very cool! On the personal level, it had a significant feeling for me because it was totally where I grew up and a lot of my young adult and adult experiences all across the board and every extreme happened all in that particular neighborhood. Even from when I started playing guitar in my first band, and even for Guns ‘N’ Roses, it was all within that fuckin’ however many square mile radius. And so it was very sort of a…not what you call an achievement, but it was definitely sort of a very personal kind of milestone, I guess, for me.

It was flattering. I've spent a majority of my time on the streets of Hollywood. It was where I got my sensibility in the entertainment business. It was a fantasyland when I was a kid. To have a star bestowed upon me was a huge honor.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:50 am

MARCH 2011
TOMMY MOVES TO NEW YORK


I look back on the last 10 years fondly. Even with all the heartbreak involved. I wouldn’t trade anything for the last ten years I’ve had. I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to my 20s though, that was a pretty shit time, but 30 on has been great so far. I’m way happier and more inspired by writing music now than I’ve ever been. I’ve finally gotten to that place that’s sort of the sweet spot—I’m writing because I feel like writing, and I’m not worried about how other people are going to perceive it or who’s going to put it out. I’m just doing the music how I want it and by my terms. There are so many weird struggles that you have to go through to get to that spot. It was something that the Replacements were always struggling with. We couldn’t sort of rise to the occasion of exploiting ourselves to make the band famous and make other people a ton of money. We tried to go about it in a more rock ’n’ roll kind of way, and in the end, that’s probably how we fucked ourselves.


In March 2011, Tommy with his girlfriend, Emily Roberts, and second daughter, Tallulah, moved to Hudson, N.Y. [Star Tribune, May 19, 2011; Performer, September 30, 2011; Magnet Magazine, November 21, 2011] after first having moved to Philadelphia:

I moved to Philadelphia and the whole operation came East because my fiancé and I had a baby. Her family is from that area so it was a move of convenience, in a way.

I just moved to upstate New York in March and set my studio up in my house. It’s the first time I’ve had all my stuff in one place, so I’m excited to get into it and get some more work done on my own and get some more music recorded. I’ve met a lot of great people up there in the upstate New York area that play all kinds of different instruments and we are looking forward to getting in to some different stuff. I mean the same stuff, but with different instrumentation. I’ve got lots of people up there I’m looking forward to playing with and getting in to the mix. I’m thinking as the winter sets in, in January, and it’s just cold and fucked up outside, that’s when my house is gonna be rockin’!

It’s a roundabout story. Five years ago, my girlfriend (Emily Roberts) was living in Seattle, and I was living in L.A. We were corresponding on MySpace, we met one time, and we really hit it off. We got pregnant, and then we had the baby and all that. Her family is from around here. In L.A., I had work with Guns N’ Roses, I had a studio, I had an apartment I was renting. But it got to be like, “Why don’t we go somewhere where you can have some help with Tallulah, our baby, while I go out and do this thing I gotta go do (with GN’R). And when I get back from that, we’ll figure out where we want to be. I lived in L.A. for 16 years. I’d done about all I needed to do there. Whatever I do, I can do it from anywhere in the country. But now we’ve kind of found our own place here in Hudson. I have my own studio; it’s very laid back.

I live in upstate New York. I moved out of L.A. two years ago; I'd had a baby with my then-fiancee and moved to the Philly area first because her family was there, and then we moved upstate. We got married two months ago. I originally moved to L.A. in 1993, and lived in Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Burbank for a while.

Emily has relatives in the area, and we just fell for the town when we came up to visit. So we found a place we liked and saved up for it.

Everyone’s been really friendly here, and we’ve met a lot of cool people. It’s definitely more my style than some white-bread suburb.

I've been out of here three years. I think I moved... I don't know, yeah, must been three years ago that I moved back east. You know, and I kind of left a really great supporting cast of friends here that I miss dearly every day. But it came a point when all my friends were, you know, starting to have kids and get busy with their jobs and things like that, and I'd done everything I could do out here in my mind that pertained to, you know, my future musically and things like that, and I just thought, "This place is getting so goddamn expensive I'm bleeding money trying to just, you know, record and live." I'm like, "I got to get out of here," and it really kind of came down to that. It's like when you start looking at, "Okay, I can afford to buy a house now," and you're looking at it, you know, fifteen hundred square foot house in a crap neighborhood for $700,000 you kind of go, "You know what, I gotta get out of here, it's just a little bit much." And I knew that I needed to have a place to live, I need a place to record and set up my stuff so that I could keep making music because really that's all I do. I do other things within and around music, you know, that interests me and stuff, like cooking and stuff like that, even but it really comes down to: I have to have a place to work, otherwise I can't do what is now my work. [...] we moved up there and we got, you know, for all intents and purposes, it's a great sort of gay, art, music community, really great people, real diverse, a lot of real talented people and it's just this weird little one mile by one mile strip on the Hudson River.


With this move, Tommy got closer to his first daughter, Ruby, who was studying in New York at the time:

[...] the kicker is that I have a 20-year-old daughter (Ruby) who’s going to Parsons (The New School For Design) in New York.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:50 am

2010-2011
TOMMY AND HAITI


You know, when I turned 30, I started getting sort of a social conscience, I really started seeing things happening in the world that were starting to trouble me and it kind of, like, it snuck up on me cuz I had been pretty much, you know, just way out of it and not really caring about much anything except what's in front of me, you know. And I started to kind of think about stuff and when Katrina happened, you know, I felt really bad but I was traveling a lot, I didn't have time to, like, go get involved so I donated money to the Red Cross like everyone else thought was a good idea. And then I saw what they did and didn't do, which was totally heartbreaking to me, and was really just bummed out by it.


Then Haiti was hit by a terrible earthquake and Tommy got involved with the Timkatec Project and met kids who "stole his heart":

So when the Haiti earthquake happened and all those people lost their lives from that, I was watching this kind of from, you know, my TV, just go on, "Jesus! What the hell can I do?" And so I had a friend of mine, in Philly, that headed an organization called Kids of Cajun, which is a nonprofit that helps get school supplies to different tribes in, like, Senegal, in different parts of Africa. It's actually expanded quite a bit since he's been doing this - he did it right out of high school. But I called him up and I said, "Luke, do you know anybody that I can call to try and find out what I can do to help in Haiti? I don't want to just send money somewhere, I want to, you know, find out where it's going to go and try and make sure I can do something good with my time and what money I can raise." And he actually knew somebody, so I got a hold of this guy, Matt, and he turned me on to this foundation that works for the school called Timkatec down there and father Simon who runs it, and I went down there with my manager Manny, saw saw the school, met the guy, father Simon, an 80 year old saint, basically, that takes these kids off the street, you know, as young as five years old, homeless kids that don't have family, anything, takes them, gives them housing and shelter, educates them, turns them out with a trade of some sort, whether it's a mechanic of some sort, you know, electrician, a mason, whatever, stuff, tools that, you know, education that they actually use in their community to help rebuild it in effect, it's the goal. And I just, you know, I fell in love with them, I met the kids and, you know, they just took my heart. [...] at that point I had a kid and I went... my heart got into wanting to help these people anyway I could, I got down there and then I, you know, was heartbroken and really wanted to help. And I think I'll always, you know, have that mindset. I've always loved kids. I've always been that guy that, you know, gets along with kids and, you know, has some, apparently.


Talking more about raising money for Timkatec:

I’m also going to be doing an online fundraiser with some fabulous prizes (one of my GnR basses, a couple of retired plaid suits, and more) to help raise money for an organization called Timkatec, who have built and maintained trade schools for the poor and homeless kids in Haiti for over ten years. They need our help now more than ever since the earthquake. The people of Haiti will need our assistance in rebuilding their schools, hospitals, and cities for years to come, and this is just one small way to help. I hope all of you will join me in the effort. I will be rewarding those that participate with a free download of the first track off of my upcoming solo record.

We've got some stuff to auction off that I think will span all three bands I've been in, from Soul Asylum, Replacements, Guns N' Roses. We're just going to try to do our best to raise some money to help in our way, help the kids the best we can. [...] It's not just people talking about it that's going to help the earthquake survivors get past this. It's going to be a lot of years. ... We're just trying to our little share of the work here with what we've got.

A friend of mine, Luke Klien, who runs Kids of Kadiogne outside of Senegal, I knew him in Philadelphia and he hooked me up with a guy who lived in Haiti during the earthquakes. Eventually I was hooked up with the right people to get into Timkatec and I went down there and saw what was going on. I made an auction and put up some suits and guitars and shit like that I had sitting around; got Duff [McKagan] (Guns N' Roses) to sign some stuff; got Paul Westerberg to sign some things; and I had an auction to try to raise money for them. And after that, it turned into this huge thing and it was a huge experience. From the moment I got down there, til we had the auction, I knew it was something I needed to do. And it's something I plan on doing one way or another.

After the earthquake, I reached out to a friend of mine, Lou Klein, who has a charity that he had been running in Africa, in Senegal, called Kids of Kadiogne, and I asked if he knew anyone on the ground in Haiti that could help me help them. I’d had a bad experience giving money to the Red Cross after Katrina and I wanted to get more involved. I figured I’ve got some money and I’ve got some time, so why don’t I figure out what to do that’s gonna get the money to the people who need it the most. Lou suggested a friend of his that actually worked for Timkatec down in Haiti and he hooked me up with the right people to talk to. I ended up taking a trip down there with my manager, saw the school, met some of the people involved and really just fell in love with it and thought this would really be a good place for me to put my efforts.

After the [2010] earthquake in Haiti, I'd see a lot of stuff going on about it and I just felt like I wanted to help. I was completely disappointed with what [the Red Cross did after Hurricane Katrina] did. So I decided with Haiti, if I'm going to do anything, I've got to get involved emotionally and get down there and see what's going on. I didn't feel that giving money blind to some entity to hopefully do the right thing was going to work again.


As part of his efforts, Tommy would visit Haiti:

You can see the pride in their faces. You can see the hope. You can see the gratitude.

I don't really have the money to do this kind of thing, but I put aside the money because I think it's important. [...] After ... spending 30 years of chasing the rock dream, [laughs] you know, there's a few more important things in life than that.

I saw what had happened in that country and it just kind of got to me. My manager and I visited and got hooked up with the school. I met the kids and fell in love with them. I wanted to do something meaningful, not just throw money to the Red Cross. What I can do for the school will go a long way, it’s one of those things that I can do, and it comes easy for me to give back.

People I had made connections with said there's the school that takes abandoned homeless kids off the street and teaches them a trade. Hopefully they'll be the kids that'll rebuild their country. I just thought that was a winning prospect for something I could do to help.




Tommy visiting  a graduation ceremony at Timkatec
July 31, 2010



Patrick O'Shea of Sanford, Fla., founder of Friends of Timkatec in America, which raises funds for the Haitian organization's relief efforts, would comment:

I'm not a rock fan personally, and I didn't know anything about Tommy, but I do know that this is a guy with his heart in the right place, flying down at his own expense to see what we do, coming here to help raise money to help these kids.

When Tommy contacted us out of the blue wanting to help I told him if he really wanted to understand the situation [in Haiti] he should come see it for himself—not thinking he’d really do it. With the relief efforts we’ve met a lot of people with good intentions who never follow through. But Tommy came down right away, and I could see he was emotionally impacted by it all. He’s done everything he said he was going to do, and more.


In September, Tommy was auctioning several guitars and trademark plaid-suits to raise money for Timkatec [GN'R Daily/Charity Buzz, September 21, 2010].

We had an auction two years ago and raised a little over $40,000. And, as you can imagine, $40,000 in an earthquake-ravaged Third World county goes a long way. We did a lot with that.


Talking about his work for Haiti:

When I heard about the earthquake in Haiti I sought out a way I could help and not by giving money to the Red Cross as that didn’t work too well with [Hurricane] Katrina. I was left thinking I could do something better than that so I wanted to find a way to really get involved with the relief effort and do something that would be long term and a little more substantial. So we got this auction going and got involved with Timkatec (http://timkatec.org/) and got to go and see first hand what it was that we were going to be doing felt that was a really good cause.

Now we’ve done that auction and raised over 50 thousand dollars for it and now we’re working with another program to help build jobs by helping the students that graduate with a tailoring degree help them to find work. We were working with an idea involving a clothing line or specialty item that people could purchase so instead of donating money they would actually buy the outfit they would make down there. So we’re working on stuff like that to help keep them going and try to make their own path to success and own way to earn money because it’s super poor down there.


And how it had been visiting Haiti:

Life-changing. After 45 years of being on this planet, I've realized that giving back is more important than trying to be a rockstar. I still can't believe we raised over $40,000 for this little school in this little country. Just the other day, I saw a picture of one of the buildings at the school that was the beneficiary of our auction, and saw the 3rd floor of a building that had only two stories when I was there, and knowing that I had something to do with that addition brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing how a little amount of effort can do a lot for people.


Half of the proceeds from his solo album One Man Mutiny would be donated to Timkatec:

They still need so much help. I mean, they don't even have a ruling government. They're just struggling. Before the earthquake they were the third-poorest country in the world, so I just want to help out as much as I can, and I have the ability to do that with this record.

Go to Timkatec.org and donate. Or donate to any organization that you see fit. If I had one goal for my record right now, it would be to encourage anyone and everyone to try and give as much as they can to their brothers, sisters, or whatever. And as far as rebuilding, the people of Haiti are rebuilding their own county and are not stopping. They are very resilient.

This time around, I didn’t have time to work an auction, but I wanted to raise money still, so I decided to take half the revenue from the CD sales and give it to Timkatec. I’m also doing whatever I can via interviews and playing shows and working my record, trying to keep Timkatec in the public’s eye as much as I can and hopefully inspire people to help out, give money to Timkatec, help them to grow the kids that ultimately are going to be rebuilding that country as time goes by.

I went down and really fell in love with the place and the people. We raised money with an auction two years ago, and this year I didn’t have stuff ready, so I decided to give half the proceeds from my CD and see how much influence I can have on the rest of the free world to get them to join in. I can’t help all of Haiti, but I thought if I could help with this basic thing, they can turn out educated kids to help rebuild their own country. It’s something I’ll probably be doing the rest of my life. The kids down there are beautiful. This kid came up to me, he didn’t know why I was there, he handed me his diploma and gave me a big hug because he was so proud. It was awesome, so I’m in.


In March 2012, Tommy would suggest it was his own mortality that has spurred on his charitable work:

I was talking to Paul [Westerberg] about it yesterday in fact, because [Replacements guitarist] Slim [Dunlap] is in the hospital. He had a major stroke. He's on the mend right now, but it's going to be a long fucking mend, and you get to that age where people start popping off or getting sick. It makes you think about your mortality a little bit more than you want to. When Alex Chilton died, it was the first sort of .... All of these guys that I know died in a very short amount of time. They were all young, you know. Rock & roll is not kind to the health, I'll put it that way. It's a stressful existence.

I guess I was kinda feeling like I wanted to give something back. I’ve had a pretty good run in life.


In early 2013, Tommy was trying to ship tools to Haiti:

So since [2010] I've been trying to do everything I can to raise money for them, because everyone's forgotten about Haiti and their plight and now there's a bit of a civil war happening down there and they're just getting fucked. And there are people trying to help, like Sean Penn's down there trying to do the best he can with whatever he's got, and he's got probably more resources than anyone to do what, you know, the work he's doing down there, but it's just not enough. It's sort of so much.... you know. But, you know, I haven't gone in with the idea that I'm going to help Haiti per se and try and help the whole country, I've found a little pocket of kids that I can help by raising money. So that's what I've been doing. [...]  I'm trying to raise money for them every year and then last year we brought and got some tools for them. I'm still trying to find out how to get down there, because you try to get them through customs and they're going to steal them, so I've got about 19 thousand dollars worth of tools sitting in Philadelphia with the Mennonites organization that's waiting for a window of opportunity to get that stuff in and hopefully it will happen this spring.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:51 am

APRIL-JULY 2011
RICHARD TOURS WITH THIN LIZZY


Richard played his first show with Thin Lizzy on April 1, 2011, for two songs, at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, and would replace temporary guitarist Vivian Campbell for the band's summer touring [Blabbermouth, April 3, 2011].

Talking about how he got involved with the band:

I received a call from them around April of last year. They had been touring with Vivian Campbell and he was going back to Def Leppard. They asked if I'd be available to fill in for him for the summer. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to play with one of my all-time favorite bands.


Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorman:

Richard is a true pro who blew me away the first time I heard him play.  We literally ran through the songs once in soundcheck and Richard was spot-on. He will make a great addition to the band and look forward to having him on the road with us.


Thin Lizzy guitarist/vocalist Ricky Warwick:

Richard, like myself, is a lifelong Lizzy fan, a fantastic guitar player and great guy and I am sure will be welcomed by Thin Lizzy fans everywhere. We all can't wait to get back on the road, so see you all this summer!


In July 2011, there were questions on whether Richard would continue touring with Thin Lizzy in January 2012, and Richard was certainly hoping so:

I certainly hope so. We (GNR) are doing some shows in October but hopefully I’ll be free and clear by January.


And in April 2012, Richard would talk about how Thin Lizzy had wanted him as a permanent member but how he wanted to play with them during GN'R touring in the summer of 2012:

Before we'd even done our first gig, they asked me to join as a full time member. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it because of conflicts with GNR's schedule. However, I've managed to have them open for us this summer! So hopefully I'll be able to play a song or two with them. Playing with Thin Lizzy was one of the greatest moments of my career. They are like family and it was an absolute honor and a pleasure to be a part of that rock n' roll lineage!




Thin Lizzy with Richard
2011



In December 2012, Richard would again be asked if he had any plans coming up with Thin Lizzy:

No, they’re actually getting ready to record a record and hopefully I will get to play on some of it.


Looking back at having toured with Thin Lizzy:

I enjoy playing music and I always learn from everyone that I work with. Some gigs are more inspiring than others. Playing with Thin Lizzy was simply amazing and stands out as a definite highlight. They were all just so great to be around and the time I spent with them on stage was absolute bliss and at times, was the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had on a stage.

That was totally the zenith of my career, just because that band was so important to me growing up. To be part of that guitar legacy was an honour. It was a wonderful experience, and amazing people, it was such a great vibe every night, and those guys are still like family to me.

But yeah, I love that... that was for me as a guitar player to play with them [?]. It's hard to beat that.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:55 am

2009-2016
SIXX:A.M. AND DJ'S OTHER MUSICAL PROJECTS


MAY 2011: SIXX: A.M. RELEASES THIS IS GONNA HURT


Sixx:A.M. is a side project, a real treat. We don't write for radio. We don't have to please anyone. We write to make people think.


DJ's sophomore album with SIXX: A.M., This Is Gonna Hurt, was released on May 3, 2011 [Bare Bones Music, April 20, 2011].

I’ve played so many different styles my whole life but when I really sit back and go, “This is really who I am,” you’re gonna hear that in Sixx: A.M. Because I can be me and I can be myself and I’m not trying to be anything else. That’s what I love about Sixx: A.M. If you listen to a lot of the solos on Addiction to the Friction and kinda compare ‘em 15 years later or whatever it is to This Is Gonna Hurt, it’s very similar.

We’re all three our own individuals and we’re all three best friends and songwriters and producers. So we all have so much respect for each other that we try everything. It’s never, “Hey, why don’t you play it this way or play it that way.” We all have ideas we bring to the table and we’re all so open to trying everything and anything. Sixx: A.M. is basically an open canvas and we each get a paintbrush and we have every color in the rainbow and we can paint outside the lines and there are no rules. ‘Cause we’re not writing for radio; we’re not writing for anybody.

We still to this day don’t really look at this as a band. We’ve always looked at it like kind of a side project; we get together and we just have a lot of fun. The fans have kind of turned it into a band because the song, “Life Is Beautiful” took off. We still to this day don’t have a drummer and we never will get a drummer; me and James do all the programming for all the drums. It’s kind of funny because we get to work with a lot of different drummers when we do things like videos or maybe play shows. We pull in different people left and right and it’s just a lot of fun; it keeps things interesting.

I really tried to step up the guitar end and just bring it up to a whole new level. I use a wah and a slide and then I do a harmony, an octave low with the slide. So it’s basically two slides going with a wah on each slide and they’re doing a harmony of each other.

I know for a fact in my heart, I can go to bed at night smiling because I know when people get this record they’re not gonna be disappointed. It’s something I’m always gonna be proud of and the guitars, I really feel like it’s some of my best work to date. That’s kind of what it’s all about: you’re only as good as your last thing. As long as I can sit back and go, “OK, I know the songs, I know the lyrical content, I know the overall message and I know my playing on this record definitely outperformed The Heroin Diaries.” In my heart I know that; then I know we did our job.




This Is Gonna Hurt
May 3, 2011



The record would become the #1 album in USA:

[...] with Sixx A.M. it was never about creating a band or writing for radio. So basically it was just a great artistic outlet for all three of us as song writers and producers to say “You know what? This is a great opportunity to sit back with two of my best friends and create music and just be as artsy as we wanna be.”

The fact that people actually like it and it ended up on radio is just a big shock to all three of us. We’re scratching our heads, saying “Fuck, we should’ve done this years ago!” But I think that if you’re true to yourself as an artist, you know, I really think, no matter what the outcome is, if this record had never done anything, I would still be super proud of it.

I’m excited about the new Sixx: A.M. record. I’m really happy that radio is playing the s–t out of it, that fans are really getting it. We really dumped our heart and souls into it, as we did the last time, but this one is real special to all of us. We really tried to step it up in terms of the whole overall message, to make a solid record from beginning to end. I think we did that, and it’s nice to see people are enjoying it!

You know, we're just in a weird creative vacuum when we're writing these records. We really dig so deep into our own personal lives and things that we've been through — we bring up a lot of issues and things that people tend to bury and forget about. The one thing about SiXX:A.M. is we just kind of expose those feelings. Actu-ally I was just jamming the album in the car yesterday cause after I finish a record I tend to step away from it. I try not to listen to it for about a month and I gotta tell you, man, I had goosebumps. I was like 'Holy shit we really nailed this album.' You don't understand how powerful it is until you give it a little space and step out of it. I gotta be honest — we didn't realize how high we had set the bar with The Heroin Diaries. I mean the record started hitting and people started getting it. We were like 'This was never supposed to be on radio and why are people liking this?' I mean, it's something almost so personal that it should've never caught on but it did and I think it's because were so true to ourselves as artists that we really didn't care about what people thought. It was the first project I'd ever been a part of that we honestly did not care because we knew inside we wrote an album that we could — look, that record is gonna be here long after I'm gone and it's something I'm always gonna be proud of. This new album is a really strong record and I believe we really outdid ourselves. We really wanted to up the stakes — up it from The Heroin Diaries.

I mean if this album doesn't win a Grammy, I — I don't — I'll be shocked because this is by far my best work and I know it's Nikki's best work and James' best work and we're really proud and thankful people are out there buying the record.


Comparing This Is Gonna Hurt to their debut album The Heroine Diaries:

I would say that there are a lot of differences in it. Like I said, we really tried to up the songwriting, the production, and the lyrical content and we focused a lot harder on the overall message on this album. The Heroin Diaries showed the whole “animal” in itself, and I was doing really quirky orchestra music for it, like “Life After Death,” and “Xmas in Hell,” and “Intermission.” With this one, we started out writing some “circus-y” type stuff for it, and then when we got in the studio, we just felt like we’d been down that road. We said “You know what – we gotta do something different with this.”

The Heroin Diaries deserves to be what it was, and it’s a special album. I felt like we were kind of cheapening The Heroin Diaries if we went down the same road. So I said “Ya know what, let’s leave The Heroin Diaries as it is, that’s a special thing.” And on this one, we all decided to focus more on the songs and the song writing. Now we know that radio is accepting Sixx A.M. and the fans “get it.” Let’s dive even deeper, let’s push it musically just a little harder. I’m super proud of the record; I think it’s some of the best guitar playing I’ve ever done in my life and I’m just really proud of it.


Being asked if there were any plans to tour the new album:

There is. There is talk of us finally doing some shows and getting out there, which is exciting for everybody. Sixx: A.M. has always been a labor of love. We are a band but we are lucky as it is what music was always supposed to be about, fun. We’re not writing for radio, we’re writing for the message. It’s amazing to all of us that Walmart and Target are carrying us.

Regarding a possible tour with SIXX:AM:
You know, there is talk about us, you know, finally doing some shows and getting out there. which is is really exciting for everybody. And, you know, of course SIXX:AM has always been a labor of love, you know, and as much as people try to turn it into this, you know, like, we are a band, I guess you could say that, we're more... we look at it more like we're... this is fun for us, this is what music was always supposed to be about. You know, like, you know, we're not writing for anybody other than, you know, let's write whatever's right for the message we're trying to get out there. And we're not trying to write for radio. It's just amazing to all of us that, you know, that Walmart and Target are carrying an album called Heroin Diaries and, you know... And I remember Target called us in the beginning and said they wouldn't carry it because it, you know said, "heroin diaries", they didn't understand. It wasn't, you know, we weren't like advertising, like, "Hey, do heroin!" This is actually a really powerful message to get out there and, you know, they wanted us to change the name and we refused and we didn't care if they carried it or not and they finally, you know, understood kind of where we're going with it.



DECEMBER 13, 2011: 7, THE EP


In December 2011, SIXX:A.M. released an EP, 7, with acoustic version of their old songs, plus one previously unreleased song:

You know, it's something, we just kind of got on the phones and we're like, "Man, it would be great," because we had a couple acoustic versions of, like, Life Is Beautiful and, you know, I think, I believe, Pray For Me, and Accidents [Can Happen] and certain different things. And, you know, I don't know really, I believe, you know, it's kind of Nikki's idea. Like, he kind of brought it up and it would be like, "Yeah, it would be be great to do a couple of acoustics up a new record and let's let's package it," and you know, "give it away for Christmas." I think, you know, that we've had such amazing fan... we have amazing fans and we've had such an amazing support from the fans, you know, and we know we haven't been touring, everybody wants us to tour, and it was just kind of our way to say thank you for, you know, hanging in there and, you know, and supporting the band, so we can continue to make music for you guys, you know. So it was just one of those things. We put it together and once it started coming together we realized, "Wow, this thing is really cool because they're completely different versions of these songs," and it just gave people a different perspective on that song which is kind of neat to listen to.




7
December 13, 2011



OTHER MUSICAL PROJECTS


[...] I'm scoring a new movie, and I'll tell you more about that later. [Laughs] But it's a horror movie, so it's good.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:57 am

DJ TALKS ABOUT AXL'S UNRECORDED MUSIC


DJ would on a few occasions mention having heard Axl play him songs that hadn't been recorded yet:

[Axl]’s got more talent in his pinkie than most people out there. It’s sickening to sit there and watch this guy play piano in his hotel room and he’s singing shit equally as great as “November Rain” that has never been recorded. I just sit there with my mouth open and I’m like, “Holy fuck.” He’s like, “This is just stuff I’m tinkering around on” and I’m like, “Dude, you gotta get this out to the public. This is sick.” So he has a lot of great songs up his sleeve that I pray to god the world could hear one day ‘cause it’s gonna blow people’s minds.

The stuff I've heard… I've been up in his hotel room many nights and he just sits down at the piano and plays. I'm like 'this is amazing, people have to hear this song' and he's like "ah, this is something I'm tinkering on'.
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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:57 am

JUNE 1, 2011
BUMBLEFOOT GETS INJURED IN A CAR CRASH


On June 1, 2011, Bumblefoot was involved in a serious car crash:

SUV plowed into me full speed. Car is totalled, 2 other cars she smashed me into. Well enough to tweet, means I am not dead yet.
Twitter, June 1, 2011

Thank you @Toyota for the functional seat belt, air bags & crumple zone, you saved my skull...
Twitter, June 1, 2011

Some lady in an SUV was doing 50 mph up the road behind me and not paying attention. She drove into a line of cars stopped at a red light. I was in the back of the line, so she smashed me and the car in front of me, and she turned my car into an accordion.




Image tweeted by Bumblefoot
June 1, 2011



On June 3, Bumblefoot tweeted that he had sustained neck injuries:

Neck injury can do funny things to guitar playing... (Hold your ears on Saturday, ahh!!!)
Twitter, June 3, 2011


And on June 4 he wasn't able to play a show with Pisser [Twitter, June 4, 2011].

On June 7 he revealed that his injuries was causing problems to him:

Having a hard time. Brain rattled, have mild concussion - doc prescribed neck & brain MRI. [...]
Twitter, June 7, 2011


Later he would go in more detail on the injuries:

I was brain damaged for about a month, I couldn’t speak right, I couldn’t raise my arms. I went to physical therapy.


In September, he would complain about the pain he was in:

One thing I ask.  Do not hug me.  Do not touch me.  My body isn't healing and hugging *hurts* now.   Let me make any moves.  Thanks.
Twitter, September 28, 2011

Yes, be gentle with me.  I'm just a precious little petunia.
Twitter, September 28, 2011


In a third tweet in the series, that he later deleted, he would also complain about having to tour with the pain:

Car accident - busted stuff in my neck, constant pressure on spine, constant pain... should NOT be touring, but I am. Until I can't. And then I won't. Suck it. OK, back to packing........
Twitter, September 28, 2011


The neck injuries became a considerable issue to Bumblefoot during the touring in the fall of 2011, who had already before the accident mentioned how heavy his new double necked guitar was to carry and how he could struggle with touring:

There is not really time for sight seeing, because with the travel schedule you often definitely need a rest before you go to the next show, because we are doing a 2 1/2 hour show, I have a 30 pound double neck guitar running round with and I can’t afford to be tired.

I found that half a shot of Jägermeister before I go on stage and I am the happiest motherfucker in the world! (laughs). It took me 40 years to figure that out! Yes, Jägermeister, I call it my liquid smile. No matter how I feel, I take a shot of Jäger and I feel wonderful. It takes away all of the aches and pains. That’s another thing! Sometimes you’re on stage and if you have the flu or you are sick, you barely have the strength to stand up and I’m up there trying to run around for two and a half hours and sing and I have a 25 pound double neck guitar around my neck so I’m just praying that my heart will stop so that I can just drop dead and just end the agony (laughs). Or there are a lot of times, you know, where I am always banging my head around because I’m an old metal head so I’m doing that on stage and then the next day I can’t get out of bed because my back is all fucked up. On this last tour, there were a lot of spine injuries. Jäger helps that too! Jäger helps everything! They should get rid of all antibiotics, they should get rid of casts, they should get rid of hospitals and all kinds of medication and surgery and just give everybody Jägermeister! And everything will be fine. Wars will end. Everything will be cool. Domestic disputes will end in nice dinners. Yes Jägermeister! Or at least it does for me.


In November, Bumblefoot would talk about what problems the injuries still caused:

[...] now I'm on tour and instead of getting better I'm just making myself worse every night, so yeah. And it's just a struggle to get it through every fucking show and to, you know, sometimes it's a little easier, sometimes I can't even lift the guitar off my head.

This tour in particular has been the most difficult thing I’ve done in my fucking life. I was in a car accident a couple of months ago, and I fucked up my neck pretty bad, and it’s hard to have a guitar around my neck. And to be wearing a 30-pound, double-neck guitar while running around stage for three hours a night, it’s been really difficult, and I’ve had to resort to a combination of pills and booze and anything else I can get just to try and numb the pain.


And in January 2012, he would be asked how he felt:

Pretty numb so that's good, it's just a question of dealing with pain management and trying to find what works, whether it's pain killers, muscle relaxers or acupuncture or surgery or a combination of all different things or like deep tissue massage or I mean just anything or exercises and for me I found what works is whiskey so I just keep a constant simmer going with that and everything is ok and there's no mind bending pain that makes me want to just f**king stab myself in the face and I can be functional. So yeah, I just do that, I'm doing that right now infact.


And also talk about having big difficulties during the touring in 2011 and how his heart had actually stopped:

I was heavily drugged to get through the tour (spine injury from recent car accident) and sometimes the combinations of drugs didn't work so well. After we left Paraguay I found out I was 'growling' at people in the airport, and had stopped breathing a few times on the plane.


And as for a full recovery:

No. I’m not recovering, and I probably never will. I’m just going to have to deal with it until I can’t deal with it anymore. That’s life. What are you going to do?


In April 2012, he would talk about still being medicated:

Just on Monday I was in the hospital and they injected medication into my spinal column.  Maybe in a few months I will feel the positive effects of it, but so far I don’t feel much better.  I don’t know. It’s very hard to live with.


And in May he would provide an update:

Pain has become the center of my Universe, and everything else revolves around it.  It’s a whole new existence.  Pretty fuckin’ metal.


The pain made Bumblefoot dress differently:

For a while I had some health issues and was wearing a long black priest-like coat and had black and red blood dripping down my eyes – the external often reflects the internal. You just express yourself without thinking too much about it, sometimes it’s understated and other times it’s bold.


And summarize how touring in 2011 had been for him:

I couldn't lift my arms and didn't know if I'd ever be able to wear a guitar again. So I started producing more, while going to physical therapy for months. I was not ready to start touring last year. It was the most difficult time in my life, I did whatever possible to get through shows, combining drugs and alcohol, to be well enough to play and numb enough to withstand the constant pain. It was brutal. This European tour is the first time since the accident that I'm on stage without poisoning myself to be physically able to. Before the tour began, I had steroids injected into my spine. Not fun. But I'm able to endure the pain and get through shows without drugs. It was a year of suffering like I never imagined, and it's not over. It almost killed me, for real. But it didn't, I'm a fighter. I'm fighting for what I love.


And in July:

My life is governed by pain, and will be until it ends. Will be continued treatments and living cautiously, which doesn't really feel like living to me, but that's a compromise I'm supposed to accept according to everyone else. It's improving though – I can live without being on painkillers or continuously drunk, and after a year I can finally lie on my side. Pillows are like torture devices still, can't have them anywhere near my shoulders or neck, gotta lie completely flat. Majority of the brain damage is gone. I think? Haha. Grandma was right, health *is* most important.


But by October it seems like Bumblefoot was recovering and that things looked better for him:

Getting the last of pain meds & steroids out of my system, starting to feel sane again Smile [...] 40 injections, a lot of tests, a lot of correcting damage from meds.... Worst is over, can see the sunny sky ahead Smile [...] Will always be in some amount of pain but am working on finding 'peace' with it

It's a permanent spine injury that causes constant pain – the focus of my life is about trying to keep the pain minimized and living life around it.
ChainREACTION, January 2013; interview from fall 2012


And in early December he would talk about changing his diet and how this had affected his health:

Oh it's definitely better. I mean, it's something I'm always gonna have to deal with for the rest of my life, but I went to a doctor after the last touring, we had three months off, and I finally had a chance to take care of myself because I was just constantly being drugged up and injected and pilled up, just to keep me going. But each one was a temporary fix that led to other issues that weren't good so I had to just kind of clean up and clean out. So I went to, I guess you can call my "wellness doctor", and he went through all my blood and figured out which hormones were off, which vitamins were deficient, what I needed to do to, and came up with a very extreme plan for me. And it worked phenomenally and... you know, I've never been that type of guy that preaches about food and organic and this and grass-fed, you know, non-hormone and all that stuff, but I'll tell you, I'm converted because this change has been better than any medicine and I realized that either you can spend more money on doctors and medicine that doesn't work as well or you could spend a little bit less money on better quality food and it'll help your body more. And it made all the difference, And I would not have made it through this tour had I still been taking pain medicine to help with the pain instead of figuring out the right anti-inflammatory diet that works with my body.


Looking back at the injury:

At first I couldn’t raise my arms. It was three months of physical therapy. I have a permanent spine injury, it was painful to have a guitar around my neck. The double-neck is about 15kg. It’s been a long road to overcome the physical restrictions and the pain.

Well, after a year I had to go through a 112-day, very strict cleanse to get all the drugs and residue and everything out of my body. And I had to start reading, as part of that cleanse, a lot of books from Indian gurus, and Richard would actually recommend lots of books for me and all kinds of things to help. Just to get my mind in the right place, and to get past all that, to kinda get sane again. ‘Cause, I mean, when you torture yourself for a year - post traumatic stress is a real thing, and to have been completely disassociated and becoming very reckless and destructive - getting past that was a really tough time.

Um... With it is always good days and bad days. Like right now, my neck hurts, but you don't think about it. Now it's just more constantly annoying as opposed to mind-bending. But you learn to put mind over matter. You learn to just not even think about it. If we weren't talking about it, I wouldn't be thinking about it. And you just have to change your whole damn life. And make it work. Now, the only thing that keeps me functioning is food. A specific diet of things that I can eat and can't eat to keep inflammation down. And that change of diet is not what you'd expect. I would eat piles of steak and lose tons of weight from it - by not eating other things. A lot of blood work, balancing the hormones and vitamin deficiencies - through food. And it is the only thing that worked. Food did what medicine couldn't. And I realized that food is the best medicine. When you eat the right things for your body - and everybody's different, but when you do that - it'll make more of a difference than any medication could ever do. I never felt like that. To me, that was like hippie bullshit. You know, fuck that. Go eat a hamburger and go work out, and you're fine. But the funny thing is that by just changing what I eat, I lost 40 pounds and put on muscle without even exercising. It made my body healthier and stronger on its own. Just from food.

Doing good, yeah, the car thing, I think it that was three years ago already now. [...] Three years. As long as I eat right and watch how I move, I'm okay.


Furthermore, Bumblefoot would state he had attempted suicide while touring in 2011 [more about this in later chapter].


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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:58 am

2011-
DUFF'S LOADED PART 2


2011: THE TAKING


In July 2010 Duff would talk about the band's forthcoming new album:

We have been writing for the last few months and next week we start pre-production on the new Loaded record! We couldn't be happier and we think you fuckers will be, too! As it is looking, we will be recording it in August and thus begins Loaded Mach III!


The record would be named Taken [Rolling Stone, March 10, 2011].

Talking about the record:

Some concept records are “geniusly” funny, and they're not even meant to be funny, so I'd never thought I'd… I'm in on the joke of rock - you know, like I can take the piss out of myself more often than somebody else can take the piss out of me, but I think we made a concept record. But it was a concept of something we witnessed and the end of the first lyric for Easier Lying really informed the second song lyric that Jeff turned in, She's An Anchor. There was a situation that was happening personally to somebody in the band and his partner, and we're good friends with both of them. And it was kind of unraveling, sort of like the kind of big elephant in the room. You know, do you feel guilty because it's happened? Like, how you go about this, you just be a friend and that's about it.

It was the first record that Loaded's ever done coming off a tour. I think a lot of bands, when you go out and tour - at least bands I've been in - the songs you just recorded on the record, you always play them heavier. Coming off of that Sick record, we played a shit ton of gigs, and just got heavier and louder. We were writing riffs, and it's four guys. There's testosterone, adrenaline, caffeine - all those good things that go towards songwriting. We came off that tour and started demoing the songs in our drummer Isaac's little Pro Tools studio. He's got a real drum kit in there, so it wasn't like we were "drum machining" these songs. It was like, "We're performing these songs."

It's a concept record that revealed itself just before we started mixing. What happened was, during our last tour, there was a guy on the bus - I don't want to say who - and we're friends with him and his wife. Unfortunately, there was a fracture in their marriage, and we watched the whole thing deteriorate. We couldn't take his side, because his wife is our friend, too. So we had to witness everything in a Zen Buddhist kind of way.

I don't know if we realized at the time how their relationship was affecting us, but ultimately it did. Watching the lies and the deceit and the anger…we took it all in. The end of their story is that they divorced and reconciled as good friends. But the entire ordeal informed the darkness of the album. We didn't go into the recording like, 'Let's write an album about this.' But it is what happened. So I don't know if it's a 'concept record' so much as it's an 'absorbing life' record.

This record really sort of took on a life of its own, and the songs really revealed themselves to us as we went along. Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera, Deftones) came into the picture at a time when his genius ear helped to capture a sonic theme for the record. You can't underestimate what a guy like TD brings to the table. The Taking is the closest thing to a concept record that I have ever been involved with. Pain, loss, triumph, and redemption. Life. Bring it.

We had gotten done recording a bunch of songs for the record. We recorded about 17 songs, because we knew we needed bonus tracks and whatnot. Once we pared down the songs to eleven for the record, we realized that there was kind of a theme. It was kind of an accidental, after-the-fact concept record.

It was something we'd all witnessed on this last tour. It was one of the guys on our tour bus - I'll just say that, I won't say who it is - but we know him and his now ex-wife really well, and their marriage had gone through a fracture right before the tour. And we couldn't really talk to him about it because it wouldn't be fair to his wife, but he was on our bus and we couldn't really be confidants.

So we were just kinda watched their thing go through that deception, heartbreak, heartache, lying to yourself, lying to the other person, anger . . . all those different stages that I've been through myself, and I think a lot of people have. But as a band, watching it go down and not talking about it is almost like Zen Buddhism. And then writing a record and not realizing that you're writing about this thing.

Well, Loaded is a band that definitely doesn’t stay static musically… We were all kind of laughing the other day that it’s the longest band that any of us, including me, have ever been in. Ten years, same lineup basically. [...] While touring extensively on the last record, we just started writing these riffs, these darker, harder thought riffs… I live in a house with three women: my wife and my two daughters. And I love them, and they are my life… but it’s pink and fluffy and shit around my house all the time, and I need this to exorcise the shit out of me… I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs and so songwriting has become that place where I can get out all that dark shit. [...] We came right off the road, and that caffeine was still there, that testosterone, adrenaline, all that…and we went in and recorded the demos for the whole record that is The Taking. So it’s really pretty aggressive, and I’m proud of the lyrics.

We wrote a lot of the record on tour for our last record ‘Sick’. We kinda knew that we were going to go almost straight into the studio with it. We didn’t go straight into the studio but we went in and made the demos for this record in our drummer Isaac Carpenter’s garage. You know, a lot of those licks and those lyrics still have a lot of that testosterone, adrenaline and caffeine hangover from the tour. Coming in and doing the record with Terry Date, he really gave us a brutal, dry and great perspective on our thing. This is our third record and we have been together on and off for 10 years. It’s the same guys. It just feels like we are really moving forward, especially in regard to songwriting. I just really like some of the clever changes from a verse to a chorus into a bridge or whatever. I am very satisfied with this record.

[...]  we witnessed something. There was somebody on our bus, one of our guys. We know him and his now ex-wife, but at the time it was his wife, very well. Their marriage went through a serious fracture right before we went out on the road. We couldn't really be this guy's confidante. We're living on the bus. We're together all the time. We couldn't be his confidante because we were friends with his wife and it just wouldn't have been cool. That's borderline taking sides. You don't want to get in to that. He wouldn't ask us to do that. So we witnessed this fracture and then this deceit, lying to yourself, lying to this other person. Pure heartbreak and anger. All the different phases. They got a divorce. We were watching this thing like Zen Buddhists -- not talking about it, not gossiping about it. Nothing. What happened was the riffs we were writing got a little harder. The first lyric we wrote was a song called "Easier Lying" that really set the tone like, "Oh shit. We're going there." Mike Squires wrote that lyric for that first song. The next lyric was either "Wrecking Ball" or "She's an Anchor" -- one of those two. It really became this backward concept record, a concept record after the fact about, well, fucking life. All things we've been through I'm sure. That inspired the record. I was reading a lot. I go through phases of what I'm reading. I read every night. I was reading Cormac McCarthy. I've written about Cormac McCarthy in my columns. People either love him -- like me -- or hate him. I just absolutely love him. There are just a lot of different influences -- just being a band, testosterone and adrenaline and witnessing this thing together.




Loaded's The Taking
April 19, 2011



Discussing the cover:

It will all be unveiled when the movie comes out. Patience, my son! Patience! [laughs] The movie is about our drummer getting kidnapped by a former Soviet State. There's a ransom, and we're trying to raise the money to our drummer, Isaac, back. So, the cover of the record is kind of a two-fold thing. The record was an accidentally concept record. After we had record 16 or 17 songs, we had to pick 11 songs for the album. We were putting those 11 songs together and only then was it unveiled that the record had this concept. And that's how records usually work; one song goes into the next song, which goes into the next song. In the movie, we went to the absurd. Our drummer gets kidnapped for fucking goats or doing something untoward to goats. [laughs] That's why he's held for ransom. But the record has this dark, heavy, twisted feel to it.


And how Loaded had developed:

I'll tell you, it's pretty cool the way the band has progressed. When I formed Loaded in 1999, it was this safe, tucked-away thing for me. And now, suddenly, it's my band. It's my only band. It's what I do. We came off the road after our last album, Sick, and we had all of these riffs and some whole songs, and we were like, 'Hey, let's get into the studio and make another record.' Which is what we did.

These last two records from Loaded [Dark Days and Sick] are really representative of the growth of this band and I’m really proud of this new record.


Talking about touring to promote The Taking:

It all depends on how the record does. You can only tour when the people come. We're playing the Golden God Awards in April, which is a pretty big deal. We've got a great partner with Eagle [Rock Entertainment], who have already put more money into us than Century Media ever did. I'm going to do some stuff for VH1, and in turn they'll run some ads for the record. It's the day of partnerships, man. [...] But we'll play all the festivals in Europe. We're doing some dates with Judas Priest, and this will be their last tour, so that's great. Because we've done a lot of festivals, we're getting better slots, better stages. We'll do some club gigs and probably a UK tour - the UK has always been a cool place for us to play - and then we'll dot the US as much as we can. [...] The US is hard for a band like us. We're not a radio band; we're not Shinedown. US radio is a hard nut to crack. They play, like, 10 songs. If you get added into those 10 songs, it's cool. I don't know if Loaded is the type of band to get those adds.



2011: THE TAKING THE MOVIE


In late 2010 it was announced that Duff and Loaded would be collaborating with West Seattle filmmaker and documentarian Jamie Burton Chamberlin to create a film about Loaded [West Seattle Herald. November 4, 2010]. The movie was scheduled to come out with the new album, in February or March 2011 [ESPN, November 5, 2010].

We're not a band that doesn't see the humor in the whole thing - that is, being in a rock band. The subject matter of the record is kind of heavy, but we're a band that has a lot of contrast. We have heavy discussions on the bus about politics and whatever. People always have preconceptions of what musicians are - especially rock musicians. And if you came on our bus, you'd see it's a real nerd-fest. There's Scrabble, crosswords, books and discussion. But there's a lot of humor. We made some webisodes for our Sick record, just these funny little webisodes. When we were in the studio with Terry, we'd drink a lot of coffee, and we'd have these genius ideas at about 9:30 a.m., that luckily, most of them don't ever get much further than 10:00 a.m. We were like, "This record sounds cinematic...we have to make a movie!" So we thought of this A Hard Day's Night idea, where the record is the soundtrack - very little dialogue, about our drummer getting absconded by a Soviet state. They have him, and there's a ransom. He'd done something on tour toward a goat, and it's illegal in this country. This all happens in one day. We have to raise the ransom, and I've been taken in a Ponzi scheme. It's just this really madcap kind of thing, and there's some great cameos.

We've got a bunch of smart alecks in this band, but we've always got a really great, fucking weird sense of humor. In this movie, our drummer, Isaac, gets kidnapped by a former Soviet State henchman. We don't ever learn why he's kidnapped, but it's got something to do with goats. So he's gone, and we've got a gig that night. It's madcap and funny, but it might only speak to people who understand Spinal Tap - we'll have to see.

Hopefully it's funny. It's about our drummer getting kidnapped and more in line with a very twisted A Hard Day's Night, where the songs on the record did the "talking" and the band tried to make its way through a bunch of insane circumstances. So we try to "act."

If it was just a simple documentary, it would be out by now. However, it's a movie. There's a lot of performance. The album is the soundtrack for the movie, but there is also almost a madcap, comedic storyline to the movie. It looks amazing! There are some hilarious parts. I think he'll be done editing in June. Let's just say this summer.



2012-2012: TOURING WITH IZZY AND ADLER?


In an interview from June 2011, Duff would talk about wanting to do a tour in South America and the UK with Loaded that included Izzy:

It would be, it will be, really fun to go to South American and the UK with Loaded and Izzy to do a tour together. He and I have talked about it and it'd be great. At the end we'd do some songs together like 'Dust N' Bones' and 'Pretty Tied Up' or whatever. It would be really cool.


A few days later, Duff saw the need to emphasize that nothing was actually set in stone and that it was just something Duff thought would have been cool:

[...] The interview I did at D'load about me n Izzy touring, was me simply 'wishful thinking' out loud. I shud keep trap shut!
Twitter, June 16, 2011


Then in early 2013 it was reported that Loaded would play two shows in Japan with Adler on March 7-8, 2013 [Blabbermouth, November 20, 2012].


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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:59 am

2011
TOMMY TOURS WITH HIS SOLO BAND


To promote his forthcoming solo album, Tommy would tour in August 2011 with a band that included Mike Gent from The Figgs as well as Wisconsinites Tim Schweiger and Jon Phillip (the latter from Limbeck) [Maximum Ink, May 2011].

Well I’m looking forward to trying something new. I’ve got these guys from Limbeck and Mike Gent and my fiancee. I’m excited to see how this all works, never thrown together something like this to go out and play some shows. If this goes like I think it will be a good little band to use to do shows. That’s what my hope is.


Talking about the lineup:

My manager Benny Perlstein knows Tim Schweiger and Jon Phillip from Milwaukee and knew they’d be good guys to play with and that they knew my stuff. Mike Gent was already in the neighborhood because he was already doing some Figgs shows. So it was like ‘Should we book some shows around and see how it goes?’ And they were like ‘Why not? We have nothing better to do in the month of May, at least in the middle of it.’ So I decided I’d take a stab at it and we’ll see. It could be totally great or it could a total disaster.


And touring as a solo artist:

It’s costly to get a band together to go and play shows. I like doing it, but I’m not really able to put my time and effort towards building up a career, so to speak, after all these years. I’m not sure I really have it in me to go play a bunch of clubs, and then next year play to maybe a few more people. I’ve been doing that my whole life. It’s a little daunting to get out and play shows on my own, and that’s why these ones coming up are going to be kind of special and fun.


During the Guns N' Roses North American tour in the fall of 2011, Tommy would continue playing occasional solo shows:

I’m trying to fill in some gaps. The Guns N’ Roses production takes so long to set up and move around, there’s some good days off in there to take advantage of some record store appearances or play a show here or there. It’s going to be a slow-building record no matter what, because I don’t have a record company behind me. I put it out myself.
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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:59 am

AUGUST 30, 2011
TOMMY RELEASES 'ONE MAN MUTINY'


With time on his hands, Tommy worked on a solo album:

There are a bunch of songs I’ve been working on for the last few years. I might just put them up as a free download—it’d definitely simpler that way. I can’t be bothered going the record label route; that’s a big pain in the ass, and they don’t seem to know what they’re doing right now anyway.

I finish stuff when I have the time. The new album is a culmination of a bunch of years. I keep stuff that is not quite ready to be let out of the bag. There is stuff that has sat around for years. "Destroy Me" is from 19 years ago when I moved to L.A. Stuff just kind of works its way around.


In November 2010, Tommy would release the song 'One Man Mutiny' recorded while on tour with Guns N' Roses and featuring Richard and Dizzy [Blabbermouth, November 7, 2010]. Tommy would connect the release to his charitable efforts for Timkatec in Haiti [see previous chapter for more on Tommy's work for Haiti]:

Thanks to you, we raised over $50,000 in my auction to help the Timkatec schools in Haiti. As a token of appreciation, I give to you 'One Man Mutiny'. You can watch the video [see below] and download the MP3 for free. I can hardly express how much this has all meant to myself and to those involved. It's all especially impressive considering the current world economic climate. 'One Man Mutiny' was inspired by a conversation between our tour manager Del James, Richard Fortus and myself somewhere in Ireland. The video is Dizzy Reed, Richard, and I recording the song live to my laptop in the restaurant of the Conrad Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. Thanks to Richard and Dizzy for helping to make the song what it is — well done, men!

It might be a little more rootsy, and it might be more rocking. I've got more slide on this than the last one.
The Boston Phoenix, February 15, 2011


In May 2011, the album's title was revealed as One Man Mutiny [Star Tribune, May 19, 2011]. The title came from a dispute on the GN'R tour bus in Ireland:

We had a little inner-bus dispute going. I started writing it on the bus in Ireland and by the time we got to Brussels, I had it written.

The song kind of came from the odd things I wrote when I was determined on that last European run to write some music while I was out there. I had enough downtime to make that happen, if I made myself do it. And that song came from an inner bus dispute between me and a couple of other guys. It was a funny thing and by the time we got into Brussels it was pretty much written out and we found a piano in the hotel restaurant and they let us go and record it.

It was actually some playful drama. It was more of a funny inner-bus deal. It had more to do with guys getting cranky because they were tired and had to get on the bus to do shit. And I got dragged into their little fight and I was like, "No, no, no. If I gotta fucking dispute, man, I'm a one man mutiny." And that's where the song came from.

I was inadvertently dragged into an inner-bus dispute about some travel plans that someone was going to make a big stink about and include me. And I came out and said, “Hey man, you have your own mutiny, I’m a one man mutiny,’’ and from there we had a laugh about it and by the time we’d gone from Ireland to Belgium, I had the whole song written. I included [GNR keyboardist] Dizzy [Reed] and [guitarist] Richard Fortus on it because it was our dispute. (Laughs.)

We played it a couple times and rolled the tape. I was traveling with my computer set up for recording, and we did it quick and flat-out.


Being asked what the dispute had been about:

There were some of us going on about why the hell are we travelling to do this when we could be doing that? It was just one of those. We didn't have a clear picture of what was really going to go on. Day sheets didn't come out or something like that. And the e-mails that were going around were "Wait 'till Tommy gets a load of this s---!" or something like that. And I read the e-mail and got to the bus and was like, "Listen, man. Don't include me in your f---ing mutinies! I'm a one man mutiny if I've got a problem!" And that's how it happened, just blurted it out. History's made. [...] It had nothing to do with Axl. It was just silly band s---. People having to travel when they don't want to. You know, your cranky pants. Older guys get cranky on the road.


Paul Westerberg collaborated on a song, coincidentally named, Match Made in Hell [Star Tribune, May 19, 2011].

Talking about who else is featured on the record and mentioning that his fiancée, Emily, was singing background vocals:

My friend Gersh played drums on a few songs. Uncle Chip Roberts played slide guitar all over it, as well as my fiancée Emily Roberts, who sang on the whole thing. She sings in this sort of Kinks way, I always loved the way female vocals fit into their repertoire. The title track was written and performed by Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus from Guns N' Roses and I in a nice hotel in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Belgium.

Working with Emily is a work in progress. I always loved the sound on those old Kinks records, with a female singing way in the back. It had a shimmering quality and I kind of wanted that. It definitely adds something different than I have ever done before.


Being asked if he considered asking Axl to contribute to a song:

I wouldn't think to ask Axl. I'm sure if I asked him he would be amenable to it, but the logistics of it would be kind of kooky. I live in New York and he lives in L.A. You know, it's hard to hook stuff up like that when you live that far away.


Talking about the record:

It's a little more rootsy than the last record, and more upbeat. I did most of it in L.A. and Philadelphia over the last couple years, piecemeal between Guns N' Roses tours. I just work on it when I can. Hopefully, I'll move quicker now. One of the goals of moving up here to Hudson was to have my own place with my own studio.

For my own stuff, I'm just trying to be me. I don't have any lofty aspirations anymore. I like music and I write it and I might as well put it out myself, let people hear it. I'm not going to get anywhere writing music for myself or playing for myself -- it's sort of self-defeating. But you know, hopefully it will still work where I can afford to make music and put it out and not lose my shirt. At the end of the day, I'm always going to want to write songs, play shows. That's kind of the whole purpose of putting it out on my own because f---ing record companies don't do s--- for you anyway.


Talking about making the album:

It was pretty cool. I’ve been compiling stuff over the past couple of years from my studio in the West Coast to when I moved my studio to the East Coast. I kept compiling stuff and finally had enough stuff to put out. I got to work some different elements this time. For example I got my fiancee singing on a bunch of it which adds a very cool dynamic vocally and I have her uncle Chip playing slide [guitar] on a lot of them which adds an element that I didn’t get or at least much of on the last record, last two records really. So it’s pulled many things into it, which is what I’m always looking for. I’m always looking for something different from the last record I made. I want to keep it interesting and keep it evolving.

I hired my very good friend Sean Beavan to mix it, because he knows how to make the oddball and miscreant and make it sound like a record. My producer was my left arm, Phillip Broussard. He produced my record because he told me what to do and how to do it. When I'm doing something wrong, he tells me how to do it right.

I’ve been slowly compiling songs over the last few years and it just got to the point where I thought, “Well, I’ve got these songs here, I should do something with them. I should just finish them up and put them out and that’s how the last one came out really, the same way. I just compiled enough songs and finally just put something out. And I think in the future, they’ll probably come out a little more often than that.

Over the last five or six years I’ve been compiling. I had a studio in L.A. in my friend’s house. I was living there, and I had a studio in there and that’s kind of where most of this record started from. I had moved in after finishing the tour for the last record and right around that time I was doing the Catch and Release soundtrack. It kind of evolved into where I had a full studio set up in his house. Did that and then about two or three years ago now, I moved to Philadelphia and the whole operation came East because my fiancé and I had a baby. Her family is from that area so it was a move of convenience, in a way. Then I set up shop in her uncle’s basement and that’s where I finished most of this record.


And how he writes songs:

I don’t have any one way of doing it. Songwriting to me has become a vague thing. I could start with a guitar riff, a vocal line, or a melody. And they all end differently as well. There would be a song I started 15 years ago that I’ll finally find the right parts for and it’ll be the 15 year song. They go through their own pieces to become a song. They just turn into things.

When I write songs, they’re totally organic [...]. I don’t sit there and contemplate, ‘Well today I’m going to write a Stones love song.’ Whatever it is just comes out of me, and I kind of just let the baby come. I try my best to let each song become its own little entity. I don’t like to try and ‘re-invent the wheel’ or anything. It comes out the way it is and I get it recorded, and it sounds the way the song should be. That’s pretty much good enough for me.


In June 2011, it was reported that the album would be released on August 30 [Blabbermouth, June 2, 2011].

The album was produced by Phillip Broussard, Jr. (who has engineered records for such groups as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer as well as Tommy's first solo effort, "Village Gorilla Head") and recorded at Tommy's Bipolarbear studios in both Los Angeles and suburban Philadelphia. The exception would be the title track, "One Man Mutiny", which was recorded with Guns N' Roses members Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus in the restaurant of the Conrad Hotel in Brussels, Belgium on a day off from their 2010 European tour, which was documented on video (along with all sorts of other adventures on the road with Guns N' Roses) on Tommy's web site. The album was mixed by Sean Beavan (Guns N' Roses, Nine Inch Nails, and Tommy's "Village Gorilla Head").


On recording at home:

Yeah, I mean that’s kind of where I’m at. I can’t really see the point in renting studios anymore because I think that they’ve always been over-priced and out of my budget, especially now that I’m doing my records out of my own pocket. So it was the only way I could do it because it’s one of those ‘labor of love’ things. Although, the last record I did make a good amount of money off of, but most of that came from doing Catch & Release.


Tommy's fiance would add vocals to the album:

She’s singing on most of the tracks, in fact. She’s my secret weapon right now, and I keep using her because it’s worked out really well, and we sound good together.




One man Mutiny
August 30, 2011



Being asked how his various musical projects shapes his own music:

More than anything, it keeps me being me. Because what I do in Guns N' Roses isn't necessarily who I am. I'm not a heavy rock guy, any more than I am a singer-songwriter type of guy like Paul was with the 
Replacements. I've always wanted to try to do a little bit of everything.


Half of the proceeds from One Man Mutiny would be donated to Timkatec (see previous chapter for more about Tommy's and his involvement with Haiti) [delaware.com, August 11, 2011].

I don't really think I strayed too far from my roots in anything. Not that it's a comfort zone, but I like to rock, I like interesting pop structures and things like that.


The record was released on his own Done To Death Music label, distributed by Redeye Distribution:

Well, there's a lot of trial and error. I mean, we're trying to figure out what, you know, what makes sense, where should I - because I got to put my own money into it - and I knew that going in, I knew what I was gonna have to figure out. Like what makes sense? Should I get a publicist? Should I get someone to help with the marketing idea? Maybe I can get both? And, you know, we're trying to figure out where is a good place for me to invest in my own music to where it's going to mean something and be meaningful. A lot of times with record labels, big or small, they'll just cover cross the board way of doing things and they'll give you a publicist that's not very good, and you'll do this and they'll give you a marketing team that will try and do this, and none of it really has anything to do with you or your music necessarily, it's just: that's what we do.

I figured the time was right. The record industry is falling apart, so I thought I'd figure it out on my own and make a permanent place for my music.

Really, it's a whole new thing for me. From putting it out on my own, and trying to use that to kind of bring awareness to the Timkatec Schools in Haiti, which is a trade school that I will sponsor for the rest of my life. My only goal was try to make it all work out where it's a winning prospect. I don't see myself trying to get another record deal again because I think they're pretty useless with that. I have to try to figure out, how do I do this? Where do I put my efforts and my money into promoting my record and getting more people to hang onto it and make it a success?


After the release of the album, Tommy posted on his personal blog:

I’m completely stoked that my record is finally out there, and want to thank all of you who have bought it so far. For those of you looking for it on vinyl, there was a production snafu and it’s now looking like the LPs will hit stores in November, just in time for Christmas. In the meantime, it’s available digitally and on CD, and if your local record store isn’t carrying it, tell them that they can order it from Redeye Distribution.

Also, in case you haven’t heard, a portion of the money you spend on my record will go directly to the Timkatec Schools in Haiti.[...] I can’t begin to say tell you how good this makes me feel, and I can’t wait to contribute more and I encourage you to as well at Timkatec.org.


In late November, Tommy would speculate on touring the album in 2012:

I think probably in the new year I’ll get out and do some stuff. It’s a bit daunting to try to get on tour these days because you gotta find a way to make it cost effective. I can’t really afford to just go out and pay a bunch of guys to come out and be my band unless I make enough money to do it. So I’ll probably be hitting certain markets that warrant it. I’ll probably do regional things in the new year and just see where it goes from there.


And in 2012, Tommy would be talking about his touring band:

I have a guy from Dallas, Marc Solomon. The guy owns Zounds Music. He played in Perfect. My wife is singing back up and I am playing bass. My father-in-law is also in the band. It's kind of a family affair.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:00 am

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011
TOMMY POSSIBLY QUITS GUNS N' ROSES BUT DENIES IT


On September 6, 2011, Tommy tweeted the following:

I regretfully have to tell you guys my time with Gn'R is at an end. I had a blast!!
Twitter, September 6, 2011


The tweet was deleted and later the same day Tommy followed up with:

oopsy. my 3 year old got her little paws on my computer. ignore the  the last
Twitter, September 6, 2011


Then:

Fully dedicated to GNR and all you great fans!
Twitter, September 6, 2011

No i am not quitting GNR someone just hacked my account thats all
Twitter, September 6, 2011

Wow there are some nasty peeps out there i twwet world.
Twitter, September 6, 2011


Finally, Tommy would make it clear that if he were to quit the bad, he would not do it per tweet:

If i were to quit GNR i'd do it in a much more dignified way. really now people.
Twitter, September 6, 2011


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:01 am

2009-2016
CHRIS' PERSONAL LIFE


Chris married his Brazilian girlfriend, Ana, in 2011, and they would live in Los Angeles [Bon Vivant Record News, August 24, 2011]. The same year, Ana and Chris travelled Brazil on their honeymoon. During the trip, Chris would also do shows in Brazil, playing along to rock songs.

[...] it's a DJ show that I a mix rock and roll music with electronic dance music. [...] I'll play... like tonight, I'll play bass guitar and synthesizer along with music for maybe five or six songs and then I move to more electronic music and twist knobs you know and play keyboards.


Comparing playing his smaller shows with large shows with Guns N' Roses:

[...] I change every show, it's all original, I try to make every show completely different whereas if you're touring with a large band you kind of do the same show over and over.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:06 am

OCTOBER 2, 2011
ROCK IN RIO IV


On October 2, 2011, the band returned to Rock in Rio in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 10 years since they last headlined the festival.

Talking about his expectations prior to the show:

You know, I have no expectations. [...] because when you expect something, it's usually different. You know, so I just go with the flow and I know it's gonna be fantastic. It can't be the same as ten years ago so I don't expect that, you know, ten years ago. But it's gonna be new discovery, you know, it'll feel new. Plus always playing for Brazilian people is lovely, it's a warmth you get from the audience, you know.




Axl and Beta, on their way to Brazil




THE BAND IS LATE ON STAGE


According to Época, the band had agreed to pay a fine if the band showed up later than the scheduled time [Época/Blabbermouth, April 2, 2011]. Rock in Rio's vice president Roberta Medina would explain the decision:

[Guns N' Roses in 2001 was] the hardest to arrange in the history of the festival. [...] Bands are usually on time, but Guns is a different case. Latenesses like the one in 2001 one can make the audience feel uncomfortable and cause them to possibly start a riot.


Despite this threat of a fine, the band started the show two hours late. A few days after the show, the band would take an offensive stance on its Facebook account when discussing what had happened:

Love it Hate it Accept it Debate it - You want 8 o'clock shows go find F-R-I-E-N-D-S or hit a cinema somewhere.. or you wanna be informed go catch the 10 o'clock news.. this is Rock N' Roll! Treat yourself don't cheat yourself thinking you're gonna go to school or work or whatever you "normally" do the next day. Oh and remember before you get high and never want to come down. "you can have anything you want but you better not take it from me!" This is Guns N'Roses and when the time is right the stage will ignite. Looking forward to sharing that with rockers soon!


The organizer, Roberto Medina, on the other hand, expressed his disappointment with the band:

One (Axl) arrived very late and didn't respect the audience. [...] I found a lack of commitment, respect for the public, his immense delay (it took more than two hours).


Medina would also suggest he would not book Guns N' Roses again:

And Axl had that Rock in Rio connection thing, but it was unfortunate.


This spurred a statement through the band's publicist where it was stated that the band would never disrespect their fans but that the fault for the late start lay with the organizer and the bad weather:

GUNS N' ROSES would like to set the record straight on Rock In Rio. The festival's inadequate production and the downpour of rain delayed the event. Anyone who was there knows that SYSTEM OF A DOWN did not leave the stage until close to 1:15 in the morning. SYSTEM's extensive stage production did not finish coming offstage until 1:45 a.m. GN'R's production was up and ready to go at 2:15 a.m. Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES lead singer] got to the venue before 1 a.m. and he came ready to go onstage. The inadequate cover of the Rock In Rio stage caused a further delay when the soundboard went down due to water damage and was replaced as quick as possible. GN'R walked onstage at 2:40 a.m. and played for two-and-a-half hours in the pouring rain. GN'R would never seek to intentionally disrespect anyone, especially their fans.


A few days later. Dizzy would be asked if it is a "little silly" that the media pays so much attention to the band's late starts:

As a matter of fact, I never thought about it, but yeah, it is silly. It’s a rock and roll concert for Christ’s sake! I would think we get more than our share of that, certainly. But yeah, (music) is supposed to be inspired by creativity and good things in life, and having a good time.



A SHOW MIRED IN PROBLEMS


During the show the rain was pouring down causing difficulties. Axl's choice of a bright yellow raincoat would also be ridiculed by fans and media after the show.



Axl at Rock in Rio
October 2, 2011



In an interview in early December 2011, Richard would be asked about photographers having to sign photo release agreements resulting in the band owning the rights to any photos they take at shows, a practise that was developing at the time with other bands like Foo Fighters also doing it [CityBeat, December 1, 2011], and Richard would mention he was not aware of this but speculate that it could stem from the press using photos of Axl in the yellow raincoat to mock him:

Nobody has said anything to me about this, but I know that I see that picture of Axl at Rock in Rio where he was in the yellow raincoat and it was a very unflattering picture. It was everywhere and I still see that picture. It may stem from that, but I have seen a ton of pictures since then. I saw (the raincoat picture) yesterday. It’s just funny. The people that want to make him look bad use that picture.


Bumblefoot also didn't make it easy for himself when he donned a stormtrooper helmet that made it hard to see for 'Welcome to The Jungle':



Bumblefoot at Rock in Rio
October 2, 2011



Apologies for f'ing up the Jungle solo tonight, I couldn't see through that stormtrooper helmet and was trying to get it off my head, haha!! [...] But at least I know I can still do this. (With help from Advil, whiskey & massage...) Thanks to ALL of you for tuning in, was an HONOR 2011.10.02 - Rock In Rio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 679352 [... ] #FUCKESTRANGED ! ! Nahhh, just kidding. SO happy to play that song for you all (while pretending I hated it for the last few months, haha!)[...] Thanks to Rua for letting me where the stormtrooper mask! Saw her in the front row with it, HAD to wear it!!
Twitter, October 3, 2011

Playing in the rain at Rock In Rio 2011 as the stage was getting flooded, I put on a Star Wars helmet from the audience and it immediately fogged up and stuck to my face, I couldn't see and couldn't remove it...! Right as I had to play the solo! And of course it was televised, what a mess!
Teraz Rock Magazine, July 2012

Playing in the rain at Rock In Rio 2011 as the stage was getting flooded, I put on a Star Wars helmet from the audience and it immediately fogged up and stuck to my face, I couldn't see and couldn't remove it...! Right as I had to play the solo! And of course it was televised, what a mess!


Review in Monsters of Rock:

Guns N’ Roses played to a soggy but massive audience this evening/morning at the Rock in Rio as a part of their kick off for their tour in 2011. Guns N’ Roses was nearly at top form for the most of the concert. But due to the rain and possible audio issues (at least on my end), there were small delays in between songs. At times during the delay, sometimes a quick instrumental would be played between band members while something was possibly fixed or adjusted. But, when the band played, the band was tight and was amazing. Axl first came out what I thought was a yellow raincoat but by the third song, it was taken off. Axl mentioned in the beginning that they would be playing it safe but playing songs. It was at this time I saw people with brooms pushing the water off the stage creating a waterfall at times. Yeah, lots of water.

With the torrential down pour, it was amazing that the band played as well as they did due to the circumstances but by the end of the concert, it seemed they were getting tired and going through the motions. But that didn’t detract from the concert itself. Axl was in top form and his singing actually surprised on how his strong his voice was. During songs like “Sorry” he sung it with a passion that really made me pay attention to his performance. The were only two negatives that I saw in the concert: between songs, there were delays that kept breaking the flow of the concert. Your all into the song and bam, delay. Get going again, bam! Delay. That got a little old after while. Again, however, probably due to rain issues which at times I did see crew on stage while they were performing and in between the songs. Axl even changed into fresh clothes during a solo. The second thing was that toward the end, it got slow and a few times I was looking at my watch. Over all, the concert was great to see, especially at the Rock in Rio festival and well worth the wait. Looking back at this concert, you know this band is going to get stronger as the tour progresses as most bands do when they tour and when that happens, watch out. This could be one hell of tour this fall. See them if you can.
Monster of Rock, October 2011


Excerpts of review in Metalholic Magazine:

Axl Rose is nothing if not temperamental, but on a damp October night in a downpour of rain, he and his legacy, Guns N’ Roses returned to Rio de Janeiro for Rock In Rio IV, and he was in an exceptional mood. Despite the inclement weather and a very poor job by the sound man early on (you couldn’t hear his vocals to start the show, and yet he never once threw his mic), Axl took it all in stride.

The band opened with “Chinese Democracy”, arguably a poor choice to kick off the show, but the crowd responded loudly and warmly. Axl took the stage in a massive yellow coat that looked more like a Gucci raincoat. With cowboy hat and sunglasses in place the band continued on into “Welcome To The Jungle” Guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal wore a Star Wars storm-trooper helmet for this one.

[...]

One of the show’s highlights came in the form of “Estranged” from Use Your Illusion II, which Axl announced the band hadn’t played live in 18 years.

[...]

Bumblefoot got his own chance to shine on a band jam of the “Theme from the Pink Panther”, where Thal lit the fretboard up to the delight of everyone. Fellow guitarist Richard Fortus came out with an acoustic guitar for “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” where Axl found a moment of levity, with a self-deprecating mimic of Elmer Fudd hunting wabbits.

Guns N’ Roses closed out the set in raucous fashion with an ass-kicking monster performance of “Nightrain”. They soon returned for a double chorus of “Patience” and “Paradise City”.

In all it was a very engaging and exciting performance despite a few less than stellar moments. Axl may be the lone member of the original band, but Ashba, Fortus and Thal add their own unique style, as well as the rhythm section of bassist Tommy Stinson and drummer Frank Ferrer.
Metalholic Magazine, October 2011


Bumblefoot would later talk about it being a bad show:

The show's been really good, really good, except for Rock In Rio, that was a big mess. It was the first show we did [...] and there was about three inches of water on the stage and all our gear was shooting out, our guitars were crapping out, our gear was crapping out, pyro's misfiring. It was insane to try to play with so much rain that was just killing everything [...] Band's like: "No, why this one?" [...] of all shows, that's the one that is televised in front of 100,000 people. But what are you gonna do? That's the beauty of live shows, you don't know what's gonna happen [...] You can't fight the rain, you are gonna lose.
The Gary Garver Live Radio Podcast, November 10, 2011


Dizzy thought it was a rocking show:

I'd say we got off to a rocking start, not a rocky one.
StarTribune, November 10, 2011


And DJ and Axl would agree it had been fun:

Rock in Rio, that was fun.

Rock in Rio was amazing.

Rio was amazing, that was a lot of fun. I was blindly, uh happy, it's been kind of a big dream to do that [...]


And DJ would talk about the energy:

At Rock In Rio, we played to 100,000 people and it was just incredible, just the energy.
Saratogian Mobile, November 2011

I think some of the highlights, Rock in Rio was amazing. That was probably one of the big highlights.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:06 am

ESTRANGED RETURNS TO THE SETLIST


In 2008, being asked what older song he might resurrect for a future show:

I’d like to do Estranged at some point but there’s no plans. I know the guys pick a couple every so often on their own to get down but I don’t know what those are.


And on Rock in Rio, October 2, 2011,  the song was introduced back in the set for the first time since 1993.

It’s kind of a beast for me, and for everybody, but it’s such a great song. At the end of the song, you look out and people seem really appreciative to hear that again, so that’s been very cool. When we first started playing that way back when, before even “Use Your Illusion” albums were out, it was almost kind of the opposite; people were scratching their head going, “What the hell?” But so many years later, they seem really into it and seem to really appreciate that we’re doing that song. It’s a lot of fun to play now.


Explaining how that came to be:

It just happens. A lot of times Axl might just say, hey, we’re doing this one. And then we say cool, and just nail it down. It might be something we already know, and it’s like hey, let’s start playing that. Or it might just be spontaneously, like A Whole Lotta Rosie. We just started playing that one last year, and it wasn’t planned, or anything. We either just sang a line, or I played the riff, and next thing you know we all knew the song, just because we know a lot of songs and stuff. And often things like that happen. Like the little jam before November Rain, that was spontaneous. A lot of the jams are spontaneous, and sometimes even the songs are. Estranged, that was something that I think Axl just wants to add to the setlist this tour.


Bumblefoot would talk about which song he enjoyed the most and shed light on how fans had been pressuring for Estranged to be played again:

You know what, it's become Estranged because for years everybody would just badger me on the Internet. They would badger me. [laughs] They would just badger me... Twitter, Facebook, it's like, "Play Estranged!" "Play Estranged!" "Play Estranged!" I had to start blocking people, they were just badgering me [laughs]. So finally we got to play it and the audience is really happy. It's, you know, it's whatever they like.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:07 am

OCTOBER 2011
DUFF RELEASES IT'S SO EASY: AND OTHER LIES


I maybe would want to write a book, but I want to write it myself and it wouldn't be a tell-all book about my time with Guns N’ Roses; it would just be a a funny book about my observations on life and going through the bands. Maybe I'll write that book, I don't know.

I never felt compelled to do a book. It wasn’t some burning story I needed to get out but, simply, a product of me writing weekly newspaper columns.

________________________________

2008-2009: EARLY TALKS ABOUT A BIOGRAPHY


Being asked if he would ever do a book like Slash had:

No. [laughing]. I don’t have any plans on that.

I thought of writing a book years ago, after I got sober. People are telling me great stories of things I did, cool guys would tell me, like the guys from Soundgarden - ‘Remember when we were on tour, when we went and did this insane shit?’ And I don’t remember. [...] Not at all. Tell me more, it may spark something…after years of hearing stories from people…Elton John told me, when I saw him a year and a half ago here in London, and he came up to me and he goes ‘Duff, man, it’s great to see you, you look so good, I’m so glad you’re sober’ and I’m like, one, Elton John knows my name, and two, that’s really nice of him to think. He goes, ‘Do you remember man at Wembley Stadium? At the Freddie Mercury thing?’ I said, ‘I remember playing it,’ he goes ‘At the side of the stage I was holding you up at the side of the stage, I was physically holding you up. If I hadn’t you woulda fallen straight over.’ I’m like, ‘Wow! Elton John held me up at the side of the stage at Wembley Stadium and I don’t remember that!’ So that would be the book, me going out and interviewing all the great people that I did really fantastic shit with… [...] and I’d call the book ‘All The Shit I Don’t Remember.'

I’ve been approached recently by different publishing houses to write a book ... If I wrote a book, ‘90 through ‘93, it’s a grey area in my memory. It would open up something like, ‘Here I sit in my living room. I just hit my 45th year. I remember my dad was 45. Some might have said I wouldn’t have made it to this age. I’ve got kids underfoot.’ And maybe flashback to 1994, when I was in the emergency room when my pancreas blew up. But it would have to be funny.

If I wrote about what happened to me in 1994, it would have to be called All The S**t I Don't Remember.



2010: A BOOK DEAL


In March 2010 it was reported that Duff was auctioning out the right to publish his autobiography and that the bidding allegedly had topped $250,000 [The Rock Radio, March 2, 2010].

And, Yes, I Got a Book Deal

By Duff McKagan
Thursday, Mar. 25 2010


I am not sure if any of you have heard the rumors about me getting a book deal. I just wanted to announce here first that it is in fact true. The reason for any announcement at all is twofold, actually:

1. Most important, I want to thank the readers of my column for really pushing me to write this book. Those constant suggestions and prodding really made me take a look at what I was saying, and indeed at how I was writing it. The Weekly staff have also been invaluable to me--certain editors here have made a big difference as far as what they expect from me. That too makes for a better product.

2. I want to also make clear that this book is not a GN'R "tell-all" or some other such "rock" book. There are a lot of those at this point. Sure, I will touch on all of that, as it is part of my story, but only just a part of it. Rather, it will be a story of an ordinary guy who met with extraordinary circumstances, and the circumnavigation through these situations. If you have been a reader of my column, then you get the general idea of my headspace. I WILL be writing this myself, thick or thin.

Touchstone, a division of Simon and Schuster, will publish my book in Fall 2011. Stacy Creamer, Touchstone VP and Publisher, will be my editor. I am excited that Tim Mohr, my old editor at Playboy, will be joining me too on this challenging venture and chapter of my life. Tim has edited the likes of Hunter S. Thompson. I look forward to him throwing out thousands of my words and telling me that I am full of shit on a daily basis!



2010-2011: WRITING THE BOOK


The book was written by April 2011:

If anybody's a fan of my columns [on SeattleWeekly.com, Playboy.com, and ESPN.com] more than my rock bands...because it's not really my story, it's really not even my autobiography or memoir. I think that term is overused. It is a story of some shit that happened to me, but probably not the typical [things] what people might expect. It's not my story of Guns N' Roses or Velvet Revolver. All of those things are sort of in it, because they're things I bounced through as I was getting deeper and deeper into addiction and finding my way out. It was challenging going through some of these things that I hadn't thought about for a long time. And writing forces you to take your own part of your life, of what role you actually played - as opposed to the one you make up later on. [...] It's called It's So Easy and Other Lies.

The book I'm writing has Guns N' Roses stories in there, but really it's a story of "How does a guy go from growing up in this family to moving to L.A. and getting into this band and then having a lot of fun, experiencing all this stuff and then all of a sudden getting more and more addicted to more and more things?" I can tell you, "I drank a gallon of vodka a day" and you?d probably go "Wow, that's a lot." But more than likely you have no experience with that. There are a lot of rock books that have that stuff -- "Oh, I drank and I did x amount of blow a day," but that means nothing to anybody unless you are me. It means something to me. I get it. So I"m trying to take the reader through the experience with the narrative and make it an interesting book in that perspective and then share the recovery from that, and going on and having kids and experiencing that shit. I'll be at the restaurant with my little family and someone is like, "Oh my God, it's Duff McKagan," and my daughter is looking at me like I'm an asshole and like that guy is an asshole, and that's really what life is about for me now. I wouldn't want it any other way.

It’s not really an autobiography. It’s about how does a guy become completely f—ing addicted. My career and drugs and stuff started pretty early and then escalated. I take the reader through that process and then my fall and then the hospital and then, way more important than all of that, is my coming out [of it]. I wouldn’t want to write the book again. Some of it was painful, some of it was pretty f—ing funny. But at least I was honest.

I wrote a book; I wouldn’t call it a memoir at all. There are a lot of those. I’ve been writing for the last two years now and I write a lot and I decided in writing my Seattle weekly column there was some discovery in there; when you write something there are statements and then you’ve got to follow it up by supporting things. You look back in your rearview mirror and it’s easy to accuse others of your own faults. And in writing, I started to discover my part and really be kind of honest about my own part in my demise in drugs and alcohol. Maybe it wasn’t everybody else’s fault this whole time. It starts off in the present day being a father and it goes back to how did a guy like me get so into those stages of addiction and then how did I get my way out. Two of the biggest common questions to me are, “How much did you fuckin’ drink and how much drugs did you do?” and “How did you get sober?” So it’s not really my Guns N’ Roses story; it’s not my story about my relationship with Slash or Scott Weiland. It’s about my journey down and my journey back out. That’s it.

As for the autobiography, I kinda write in my column voice. It is my story as I would tell it in my writing, not as I would sit down and tell you my story because I wouldn’t really know how to tell you my story. I can write it and get into the bleaker, darker things a lot easier and the more joyful things that have happened, especially after I got sober.

It is basically a story of “How did a guy like me get from Seattle to addiction, totally, fully addicted — How did that happen?” Because the most common question that I get asked in private is “How did you get sober?” I get asked that a ton by people that are still out there using. So, I wrote about it. I wrote about how I got into that place. [laughs] It is also my story of playing in punk rock bands up here and going down to L.A. and the first band that formed was Guns N’ Roses. That band wasn’t the reason that I got addicted. It was just the situation that I was in. Drinking, drugs and whatnot was completely condoned, especially by our band. I am not blaming anyone else. I take my part in my life. I take accountability for myself. I think that too often we go through life and if something like that happens in your life, you are quick to point a finger and say, “Well those motherfuckers …” or “That guy …” or “Us going on late was that guys fault …” or “it was management.”

I just took accountability for things that I probably could have done differently. Going all the way into the addiction part was gnarly to write about. I really hadn’t figured that to happen but I went through a couple of months of really saying, “Whoa! Fuck! I never even thought about this stuff. It is in my past.” I think it is a good book [pauses] because I wrote it! [laughs] I am editing it so I have written and read the words, different edits, about eight to 10 times! I think it is good, I can’t tell anymore!


Being asked if there was anything special that made him write his book:

No. Just because I am writing so much and I was offered a book deal from my columns, which interested me more. I have no burning need to tell my Guns N’ Roses story. Ya know, book deals are not that lucrative after you split off money from your agent, pay your taxes and all that kind of stuff. It’s not like it is going to change the way I live. It is not a case of “OK, great! I will cash in on my writing!” It is just a challenge. That is the way that I look at life. I try to challenge myself and it keeps life pretty fun and exciting for me! It was really a challenge to write a book. It is not like a thousand word column. I wrote 130,000 words! [laughs] That is a lot more than a fuckin’ column! I wrote it in thousand word spurts because I am comfortable doing that. Piecing it all together was a challenge as well. I brought in the Senior Editor to help me do that.

For me, I started getting my writing chops about three years ago, out of nowhere really, to write an article for Italian Men’s Vogue about 1987 in Hollywood…I wrote a 2,500 word article for Men’s Italian Vogue, and I kind of dug it…But from that, one of the editors of Playboy magazine saw that article and asked me to write another 2,500-word article for Playboy on the music business. And then Seattle Weekly had a spot that had just opened up, this is about two and a half years ago, and I started a weekly column, a 1,000-word column. And then Playboy.com offered me a financial weekly column…So, I’m not a journalist, but I’m a writer…

So anyhow, why a book now? Well, because I’ve kind of developed a style. The question I’ve gotten the most is, how bad did it get? How much did you drink, how much drugs did you do? And how did you get sober? And I can’t really ever explain. If I told you on the phone—and I assume you’re probably a “normy,” a normy meaning you don’t drink a gallon of vodka a day, or do a ball of blow every day or smoke heroin—so if I ever tell you how much I did, it wouldn’t make any sense. You would go, “Wow that sounds like a lot,” but you wouldn’t really know what I’m telling you.

So I started experimenting with writing about what that was like and the descent down into that. I was supposed to die at 18, 19. And everybody in Seattle thought I was the chosen one, musically wise. You know, if anyone was going to make it, it was going to be that guy. I was never the one into doing heroin. The influence of doing heroin came to Seattle and I dodged it. I moved to Hollywood away from the heroin. The first band I performed with was Guns N’ Roses [in L.A.]. Three weeks into being in Hollywood I was playing with Slash through an ad in the paper. So it kind of chronicles the whole story. It’s really about my descent, and then my rise out of addiction.

I was kind of terrified when I wrote my first column, but by about week four I started to get comfortable and I found that I could articulate thoughts and points for myself.

I could articulate it much better in the written word. That was unexpected for me.

I could get a bit more honest and I started to write these other side stories that weren’t necessarily appropriate for my column. That basically became my book.

It’s a really personal, warts-and-all story, me being honest with me. If you’re looking for a tell-all rock n’ roll book, get some other book, don’t get my book.

A few years ago Seattle Weekly offered me a weekly column. I was kind of terrified. Around week three I suddenly realized that I could articulate my thoughts in the written word much better than I ever could talking. I could organize what I was really getting at. A few months after that I was offered a financial column for Playboy. Suddenly I had two weekly columns and two deadlines, so I was writing a ton. I started writing other things that weren't right for my columns. I wrote a letter of gratitude to my older seven siblings. I got to my oldest brother John, and I thanked him for being our patriarch and bringing mom to the hospital. And it stopped me, that sentence right there. Our mom had Parkinson's and it took me into this whole other thing, and I started writing about that. I was dealing with things, wondering what my part was in my life.

What I found is that we're speeding along through life and in the rearview mirror on the left you see all the bad shit, which is all that other motherfuckers fault. All the good stuff, in the other rearview mirror, is all the good stuff – which you had everything to do with. I'm being simplistic, but you know what I mean. I started delving into all that. How did I get here? What's the real story? I'm a dad and I better get all my shit straight. The writing really helped me with that. I wrote twice as many words than are in the book. Some of it you wouldn't want to read. But a story started to come to the surface when I was writing and I really liked the whole idea of it.


And on whether he had any reservations:

Well, here’s the deal. I wrote the book myself. You write alone. You don’t write with someone else sitting there. I was sitting there like, “I’m not going to sit here and throw someone under the bus.” No one else that is part of my story asked me to write about them here, ya know? In making that sort of my mantra, I started to discover my part in things.

I had reservations about confidences of old band mates and friends. If you are a band mate or a friend of someone, you don’t leave that band or friendship and start telling everyone things. That is sorta like gossiping! Kinda like “chick shit.” But whatever, that isn’t the point. I wouldn’t do that. I think that my story is interesting enough and will have relevance to the people. I think that “rock people” will like the book. You know, I’m a dad and I think that parents will like the book. The book starts off at my daughter’s 13th birthday and then unravels to the past and comes forward again. I don’t know if you have read any of my Seattle Weekly columns but, like I said, it is told in that voice, from now.

My reservations were, “What does the book company want? Do they want a Guns N’ Roses book?” because if they want that, there are enough of those out there. I don’t need to write another one of those and I don’t have a burning desire to unleash and I don’t have some burning secret that I need to tell.


Talking about struggling to remember:

You don’t have to remember it all. It’s not like gig by gig. It’s actually my memories. But the editor would go, “Um, you weren’t there then. You were actually in Greece. You weren’t in f—ing Japan!”

I don’t write about stuff I don’t remember – that’s a key element.

There's a ton of it [=things I can't remember]. So I didn't write about the stuff that I didn't remember. I kind of experimented with that by trying to remember stuff by writing about it, and I couldn't. I didn't want to guess or grab some dates I found on the Internet and try and write about. That would have felt disingenuous. I wrote about the stuff that I remembered, and I tried to take a reader into the insanity of addiction. Thoughts and days start melting together and you don't know where the fuck you are. I don't know if I succeeded in that, but I tried.


Commenting upon there being different version of stories in his and Slash's books:

Yeah. I put a thing at the beginning of the book. I said, "To people that were there, you might remember it differently." That's just human nature, I think. Slash and I were in the seats right next to each other on a lot of that ride. We remember things completely differently sometimes. At times he won't remember a whole thing I remember, or vice versa. That's a whole other discussion why we retain certain things…especially when you're fucked up.


Being asked if he wanted to correct things from Steven's and Slash's books:

No. No, I read Slash’s book because we were on the road together with Velvet Revolver when that came out. It doesn’t matter what’s correct or what’s not correct. There’s stuff in Slash’s book that I remember in a different way, but that’s all there is. My experience of the same situation is different than his — that’s what life’s about, right? We all have different experiences sometimes with the exact same thing.


The book was released in October 2011:



It's So Easy: And Other Lies
October 2011



The book isn’t a self-help book by any means, it’s just my story: a regular guy from Seattle, a guy playing in bands who met with extraordinary circumstances.


Being asked if writing the book was cathartic:

I think in ways it was, but now I’m nervous, I wrote the truth, but now I’m worried what people will think, about what my sobriety experts will think. But I know it launches the next step. Maybe that will be my new mantra, let it be cathartic.


And how it was to revisit the dark days:

Not that I live with regret, but if I’m going to write my story about addiction and how I got there and how I got out, I have to be culpable for my actions, or non-actions, and it sort of got dark for a couple of months. My wife asked me at one point, ‘What are you writing about?’ I was like, ‘I’m writing about the darkness.’ She didn’t know me then, at that point of my life.


Duff would also mentioned that despite the "tell all" nature of the book, he kept a lot out:

While it may seem like I revealed a ton in writing, you can reveal what you want to reveal. I keep my private life as private as I can. I revealed the important things as they relate to this book and the subject matter of this book.


And tried not to antagonize other people:

I was careful about that. It's not necessarily their story, so why throw somebody underneath the bus? They didn't ask me to write a story about them, or my ex-wife didn't ask me to write this. My point was to really take responsibility for my shortcomings. I tried to not bring somebody else into it. I kept reading through my passages and trying to make sure there wasn't any passive aggressive tone. At the end of the day, it doesn't read very well.


And whether he thought about his daughters as he was writing:

Well, as your daughters get older, you talk to them about this and that, and they ask you questions like “Why don’t you drink when everyone else does?” and “Why can’t you have a glass of wine?” I have to say, “Well, I can’t, because if I do, I’ll drink everything in the house maybe, and then I’ll have to go to the store and get some more, and then I’ll buy some more there, and I’ll come back to the house, and then I’ll be upside down, and then I might crash my car, so I don’t.” They they say, “Wow, yeah, that’s probably a good idea that you don’t.” So it’s a natural conversation that we have as they’re young.

I’ve been really fortunate that I have the Seattle Weekly column especially, because I’ve been able to write about some things, and learn how to write about them without including all the gory details. My book has plenty of gory details, for sure, but when it’s really bad I just let the narrative fall apart, so you get a sense of where I was without me spelling it all out into this many ounces and that many drinks, and all that. You get the gist — I don’t need to spell it all out.

I did a reading last Thursday in Seattle at a theater with a video and pictures behind me. This theater’s beautiful — it’s a hundred year old theater, and there was a lap steel player behind me, playing songs from my whole career, and I read certain passages. And it was heavy, but it was good. I picked the guitar up once or twice here and there, and I’d play a little piece of the song with the guy. My daughters came and I read some heavy excerpts from the book — the hospital excerpt (when McKagan’s pancreas exploded), and my girls had known about it, and they think it’s kind of boring. “Yeah, yeah, Dad, the drugs and the alcohol, blah, blah, blah…” But I think we had a moment there, after I did the event, and they really understood. I don’t know if they’ll ever read the book. They might just say, “We got it. Our dad almost wasn’t here way before we were born — got it.”



REACTIONS TO THE BOOK


In 2012, Alan Niven would discuss Slash's and Duff's books and imply they were full of inaccuracies:

Just as I never did press back in the day I don’t read the books now … its funny enough to be sitting in a car with Duff n’ Slash on the way to a Jimmy Kimmel Show, reminiscing about a particular event, and have them both turn round and say “Is that what happened Niv?” – when they were both present at the event I am recalling! Whats the old saying about the Sixties? If you remember them you weren’t there? Same deal with GnR it seems! Marc’s is a great book for the very reason you state … I thumbed through it in Borders. I also thumbed through Duff’s and that’s all I will say about that.


Axl had not read the book by 2013:

I read Slash's [biography] to have an idea what I might be facing then, but haven't read anyone else's.



NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER


By the end of October the book had become a New York Times Bestseller.

I don’t know if I’ve had a moment to even realize that the book’s out, you know? (laughs) This is a whole new thing for me, being on the New York Times Best Seller list. The New York Times Best Seller List… it hasn’t sunk in at all.



2012: "A PUNK's REVUE" BOOK TOUR


In 2012, Duff would do occasional readings from his book, accompanied by music. On one such reading at the House of Blues in Cleveland on April 13, Duff was joined by Gilby and Matt on stage [Blabbermouth, April 14, 2012].


TURNING THE BOOK INTO A DOCUMENTARY


Rainstorm Entertainment has announced that it will produce the biographical documentary "It's So Easy And Other Lies", which will be directed and produced by Christopher Duddy ("Cougar Club"). The film will be produced by Steven G. Kaplan ("The Big Empty", "F*CK" and "Sunset Strip") for Rainstorm Entertainment, and by former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, whose life story the film is based on. The start date is scheduled for later this year. Executive producers include Daniel Zirilli ("Locked Down"), Joe Mundo ("Sunset Strip"), Christopher Shelburne and Kati Thomson ("Sunset Strip").

The film, which takes its name from the title of Duff McKagan's best-selling autobiography, will document the remarkable life of one of the founding members of both Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver. It is the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety and eventual redemption. The book was a best seller in 2011, with the film being targeted at not only that fan base, but to fans of Duff's bands, including Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and Loaded. Combined, these bands have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.

Said Steven G. Kaplan: "We are thrilled to partner with Duff McKagan on this impactful documentary which transcends the rise, fall and redemption of a rock star and delves into real life issues of addiction and sobriety."

I'm a book nerd, and I've seen authors that I love, I've gone and seen them speak or read from a book. And some authors that I've loved their internal voice, their narrative, and then you see them speak, and it's, like, 'Ohhh…. Shit.' So they wanted me to do aa book-reading tour, and [I thought that was] boring and a little… So they came up with this thing with music behind it and video and me reading… but kind of more dramatic, reading parts from a ook, and there's music behind it… live music, but down, like pedal steel and stuff. Kind of like Walking Papers music. And I did some shows — I did one in London, I did one at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the night before, and I did one in L.A. and Seattle, at a big theater. And this director guy said, 'I'd love to film that show and do kind of a documentary,' not just about me, but about rising above — people who have risen above, overcoming shit. So we have some rally amazing people. Randy Blythe's [Lamb Of God] gonna be in it, and this guy Steve Gleason. He used to play for the NFL and he has ALS, so he only talks with is eyes now But you wouldn't know it if you followed him on Facebook or Twitter, 'cause he's always doing something for somebody else. And he's got a wife and a little boy. He's recorded his voice before it went for his little boy to grow up to. So we've got some really fascinating, cool people in the movie. Hopefully you'll come out of it going, 'Fuck, yes, I can do anything.'


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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:07 am

OCTOBER 5-23, 2011
THE LATIN AMERICAN TOUR


Rock in Rio IV had kickstarted the Latin American tour of 2011, and the band proceeded to Chile for a show at the Moviestar Arena in Santiago on October 5. In Chile, the band would debut a new AC/DC cover, Riff Raff.

The next shows took place at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 8; Salón Metropolitano in Rosario, Argentina, on October 10; and Orfeo Superdomo in Córdoba, Argentina, on October 12.

The band then travelled to Jockey Club in Asunción, Paraguay for a show on October 15.

Very cool to be here in Paraguay! Thanks to all of YOU for the warm welcome at the airport late last night!!
Twitter, October 15, 2011

Paraguay is pretty f**king cool, gotta say.......... having a great time Smile
Twitter, October 15, 2011

What an amaaaaaaaaaaaazing audience in Paraguay, thank you all so much
Smile Heading to the airport now, next stop Mexico City...... Smile
Twitter, October 15, 2011


While in Paraguay, Dizzy would describe the current tour:

Right now, we’re in sort of the same mode that we’ve been in the last couple of years – like all of last year. I was thinking about South America last year and I go, ‘Oh, wait! I’m in South America again!’ It’s the same show. We’re doing a couple of new songs that we haven’t done – new ‘old’ songs and new ‘new’ songs. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same. We’ve had DJ Ashba on board now for going on two years, I guess. So, that’s different but it’s great!


Later, Bumblefoot would talk about being in serious pain when playing Paraguay and even claim he had stopped breathing on the plane leaving Paraguay:

There's something exciting about playing places I've never been, especially where the band has never been. Had a great time in Paraguay, people were loving.   I was heavily drugged to get through the tour (spine injury from recent car accident) and sometimes the combinations of drugs didn't work so well. After we left Paraguay I found out I was 'growling' at people in the airport, and had stopped breathing a few times on the plane.


Then followed four shows in Mexico: Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City on October 18 and October 19; Arena VFG in Gualdalajara on October 22; and Arena Monterrey in Monterrey on October 23.

In Monterrey people were throwing beers and DJ would later reference this:

Every band should make a point of telling crowds not to throw beers at them, if they somehow feel that's the only way to express their enthusiasm.
StarTribune, November 11, 2011


Blabbermouth would also write about this:

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose halted a live concert Sunday night (October 23) at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico after objects were thrown on stage during the group's performance. One minute into the concert's opening number, "Chinese Democracy", Rose stopped his band and warned the crowd that he would pack up and leave if they continued "throw[ing] shit."

"Is that what you wanna do?" Axl asked the audience. "'Cause we will go home. Is that what you wanna do throw shit? We would like to have fun. You wanna have a good time?" He then told his bandmates, "Alright, let's just skip that song," before launching into "Welcome To The Jungle".

According to SDPNoticias.com, the city of Monterrey, Mexico imposed a fine of $870 (approximately 200 times the minimum wage) on the organizers of Guns N' Roses' concert at Arena Monterrey after the show was delayed by more than three hours. The band's late start was blamed by the organizers on "technical issues" and not directly on Rose who is notorious for his late arrivals onstage.
Blabbermouth, October 24, 2011


Looking back at the tour:

It’s going amazing. Rio was amazing. It was a big dream to do that. Argentina was outstanding. We had a nice reception at the airport from the fans at the airport.

We got through it, we did all the shows, and it seemed great. It’s always great down there, the crowds are always really good in South America and Mexico, man. They like to rock out. It’s also nice to have a couple of days off, though!

It was amazing. Rock in Rio was absolutely a blast to play. Everywhere we went was massive and sold-out and tons of fun.

It's tough getting around South America, from a travel standpoint, so that was rough. But from my perspective, the shows were still great.

South America worked out pretty good; it was brutal on the travel side, but it always is because they don’t have it dialed in down there.


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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:08 am

OCTOBER 29, 2011
AXL DOES AN INTERVIEW WITH 'THAT METAL SHOW'


On October 29, Axl would do an interview with Eddie Trunk's 'That Metal Show' while backstage in Miami.

Trunk would explain that he had built a connection with Axl during the radio interview they did in 2006 [see previous chapter]:

The only radio appearance Axl has done in the past few decades was on my radio show about five years ago. He walked into my radio studio in 2006 completely out of left field. Nobody saw it coming and he hung out with me for over three hours on the air. We had some connection, so I had a feeling that there was a chance this TV interview might happen. We have a level of trust. He’s been at the top of our list for a long time. But it’s always a gamble.

It was all pretty loose. They [GN'R's managament] said, ‘Well, we have a pretty good chance we can get Axl to you if Eddie’s there and the crew is ready to go.’ [VH1 Classic] was willing to roll the dice and give it a shot.


In the above quote, Trunk says that the interview came about because the band's management wanted it. There was no direct communication between Trunk and Axl.

Trunk would also suggest that Axl was wary at first, but loosened up:

When he first came into the room he had his guard up. He knows me, but he did not know my co-hosts. But he looked great. About five minutes into the interview we had him chuckling. He loosened up and had some fun. We were not going to beat him up for coming in late.


The only thing Axl had asked to not talk about, was a reunion with a previous lineup:

The only thing he didn’t want to discuss, understandably, was a reunion with the original lineup. He’s all about this band, this lineup. Journalists constantly bring up the idea of a reunion. But there’s nothing imminent about it. It defeats the purpose of what they’re doing now. Axl feels like it’s disrespectful to his new band. But we talked about past members of the band throughout the interview. Axl brought up some of the old guys before we even did.


Steven was not impressed with the interview:

I didn't like that interview he did on That Metal Show. I was very disappointed. He didn't answer one question. I guarantee you – and I could tell by the looks on Eddie and the other guy's faces – that before Axl came out, his manager told those guys, "If you ask him this, if you ask him that, he will stand up and walk out in the middle." I guarantee it. And the questions that that they did ask, he didn't answer. He just started talking about whatever he wanted to. And, he blamed everybody else. He blamed everybody! Who gives a crap? Don't blame people. I was disappointed. I was hoping to hear something better from him.


In December, DJ would discuss the interview and claim that Axl had been unaware it was going to happen that night:

It was really weird. And to be honest, it wasn't Axl's fault [that the interview took place so late]. Axl had no clue [he was supposed to be interviewed for 'That Metal Show' until after the concert had taken place]. He walked into the dressing room after the show. And I had heard about it, 'cause I had done an interview right before we went on stage. And I happened to bring it up in the dressing room. 'Ah, it was pretty cool doing the VH1 thing,' and I mentioned it. He kind of looked around, like, 'What are you talking about?' Its sad how in the dark he is sometimes. But he was cool. He went and took a shower and he was, like, 'They're here and I'll definitely do it. I just wish I would have known about it.' So it was one of those things.


If DJ is correct it would suggest Peter Katsis, the band's manager, had set up the interview without Axl's knowledge or agreement. This fits with the quote from Trunk earlier in this chapter where he discussed his involvement with the band's management.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:08 am

2009-2014
THE LONG SHOWS


For the touring that started in 2009, the band would play increasingly long shows. The final show of the short Asian leg, at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, on December 19, 2009, set the tone, clocking in on 3 hours and 37 minutes.

Longest GNR show ever - 3 hours, 37 minutes. Thanks sooo much to everyone in Taipei, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo for making this tour kick ass!
Twitter, December 19, 2009

In Tokyo, we broke the all-time Guns record for the longest show. I think it was around three hours and 47 minutes.
Saratogian Mobile, November 2011

The one in Japan where we just played, and played, and played? I would love to do that every fucking night. That was so cool. It started to happen in Osaka, where we ended up playing three hours and seventeen minutes. We have a list of songs that's sort of like a set list, but we just call them out. There's a little microphone on the stage that only we hear, and someone will go up to it - Tommy or Axl - and say "Hey, what do you wanna do next?". One of us will then just mention a song, and they'll say "Yeah, cool", and we'll go into that one. I remember I started playing the riff to "Whole Lotta Rosie" from AC/DC, because we're all huge AC/DC fans, and then Axl started singing. I thought "Oh, cool. We'll keep going", and we ended up playing the whole song, and then we did it again in Tokyo. That was just completely spontaneous, and it was the same thing when Tommy started playing "My Generation" - we all jumped in, and just played that song. One night, he said "Yeah, let's do "Sonic Reducer" from The Dead Boys". I said "Hell yeah", and we just busted that out (laughs).

[...] we were just playing and playing. When you're onstage, you forget how long you're there and it all becomes a blur. It could be a 4 hours and you know it for one hour or four. I'm used to be in rehearsal room playing for 10 hours. But yeah it was good. We just kept playing more songs. Axl would say "What do you feel like playing next?" and I'd played intro to "Whole Lotta Rosie" and we started doing that from AC/DC. "What do you feel like doing next?" So someone would say "Let's do this one off Chinese". We ended doing 13 out of 14 songs of Chinese Democracy. It's a lot of fun playing the Chinese songs for me. I have a double neck guitar with the fretted and fretless and I'm switching from one neck to the other one, while singing, so it definitely keeps my brain busy. If anything is harder for me is running on the stage, because I have a 30 pounds guitar. But yeah, it's very solid, strong musical show.

[...] we were just having an absolute blast. We went, I think, almost four hours. It was one of those things where we came back [from the main set], it had been 3 hours and 16 minutes, and we had no idea. [...] The crowd was going nuts; we kind of lost ourselves. We went back out for the encore, we were gonna do two or three songs, and we ended up doing quite a few more. By the time we got off, we realized we beat the all-time Guns N’ Roses record for longest show, which we didn’t set out to do, but it was cool.

In Tokyo, we broke the all-time Guns record for the longest show. I think it was around three hours and 47 minutes.


The trend of playing increasingly longer shows, was a trend that had actually continued throughout the band's history.



Average Guns N' Roses set length - 1985-2021
Only full songs are included, solo spots are excluded



We're doing a good three hours set.

I don't know if we're necessarily going on late. We're coming off late, because it's a long show. That's more the issue, as far as I can tell.

We play between three and three and a half hours.

I guess that’s just the way that Axl [Rose] and we can really feel like we’re giving the people what they deserve. A lot of the songs are ten minutes long so when you start to lumping those together the next thing you know an hour has gone by [laughs].


Bumblefoot would not be unequivocally positive about the late shows:

I mean there's people that would love for us to play for 20 hours, then there's a people that's like, "All right, this movie is getting too long, I got things to do and I got work tomorrow, and I also want to stand." When people go to a concert or whatever their entertainment choice is for the evening, if it reaches a time for them where they have to choose between it becoming a distraction or an intrusion on the next day of work and, look, nobody could afford to lose a day of work, doesn't matter who you are-


And DJ would take about hos physically demanding they are:

[...] not many people realize how physically demanding it is to do a 3 hour show. Physically, it takes a lot out of you that you’re running around with a 10 pound guitar for 3 hours. It tires me, watching[Axl] sing the songs.

You know, and I don't think people really realize, it is brutal, you know. I mean, if anybody, let alone running around for three hours performing, but you know, you're carrying a 10 pound Les Paul for 3 1/2 hours straight. It's one of those things where it is tough on your body and you know.... but we absolutely want to give the fans the best show we possibly can. And you know, I think people see it. They might not talk about it too much, but I think the fans appreciate the effort that we put in for sure.


In 2014, Axl would talk about why they play long shows:

When we do that, as a band, we know we gave the most we could and we gave what felt right. And, generally, we like to give people more than they feel they paid for. I don't think it's necessarily fair for people to expect that from us, but it's something where we feel good when we do it. Like we rose to the challenge and we delivered and we didn't take the easy way out. We like that.


And DJ would talk more about hos exhausting long shows are:

[It is] a super-high-adrenaline show. Like, we are running for three solid hours up there and playing our asses off. It takes its toll on your body, for sure. We're basically doing the equivalent of two shows in one, kind of. [...] I remember we played a festival and we only played, like, an hour and a half, and it seemed so short. When I got off stage, I was, like, 'Wow. That's pretty much a normal show length for most bands.' It's just weird when you're so used to doing three-hour shows, your body is just used to that [physical demand]. So it's kind of weird when we do a festival and have to play half the time, which is still a long show.



AXL PAYS FOR THE LONG SHOWS


Before playing in Cincinnati on December 2, 2011, Richard was asked what the fans could expect:

They can expect to be there for a long time. It’s a long show.


When the interviewer stated that fans' get their money worth, Richard replied that that was Axl's intention, and that he also covered the venue fees to be able to play that long:

That is really what Axl’s intentions are. He wants to deliver fans their money’s worth and a lot of the times he really pays for it. [...] he literally pays for it. [...] We pay the venue outrageous fees. On top of that, our production costs are huge. This is a huge production. He is really intent on delivering the best possible show.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:09 am

TOMMY TALKS ABOUT HIS LONG TENURE WITH GUNS N' ROSES


And longer than [original GNR members] were in the [expletive] band. (Laughs.) That’s [expletive] funny.

It's been a good run, and I still have fun with it.

I've been a replacement longer than I was a Replacement.

I think they're [=Westerberg, Pirner and Axl] hugely talented, a bit misunderstood in a lot of ways, and maybe I subconsciously think I can help them in some way. I guess I'm kind of used to that kind of personality; maybe I'm drawn to those kind of people and they work out good for me. Maybe I've got a yin and yang kind of thing about it.

The title of my (expletive) book would be, ‘I Was a Replacement Longer than I Was a Replacement.'

You know, it's been a good gig for me. it's been fun, and you know, it's served me well in a lot of ways. Axl and I get along pretty good, and now is kind of the time to stick it out if we're going to make another record. The lineup is working, and the camaraderie is good; it's a good fit for me.

In the beginning it was more that it seemed like a real ballsy idea. I thought, ‘You know, I’m going to do it. If I’m going to do something other than my own thing right now, it’ll be taking a chance like that with Axl'. It’s been a really good gig for me.

It's been a good gig for me, from day one, you know, it's been fun. We travel the world seeing all kinds of fun shit and done lots of fun shit.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:09 am

THE SETTLEMENT WITH AZOFF OPENS UP FOR TOURING IN THE US


Finally, in October 2011, the band's North American tour started, five years since they last toured this continent. The tour came about as part of the settlement between Axl and Irving Azoff which came about in June 2011. Although details of the settlement were not disclosed at the time, Axl's lawyers would state that the final accord would involve "a comprehensive touring agreement in which Guns N' Roses would perform at various [...] venues" [Beverly Hills Courier, June 14, 2011]. In December 2011, The Los Angeles Times, who interviewed Axl, would provide additional details on the settlement:

[Axl's] current tour is part of a settlement agreement with former GNR manager (and Live Nation Entertainment executive chairman) Irving Azoff that dictated the band do a number of performances with Live Nation as the promoter, and Rose is worried that it's not being properly marketed.


And Axl would mention the settlement and the tour:

This whole tour is part of — it’s not like there’s a lot of money going to Live Nation or anything, but it’s part of how we worked out the settlement [with former manager and Live Nation exec Irving Azoff]. And I could have gone on to court, but that was going to block other things, so Live Nation's not getting paid, we’re not getting paid, but we’re putting it out of the way, so we did this tour.


DJ would talk about being excited before the tour started:

Yeah, the first time, like, in five years, so it's exciting. It's fun because for one, just being in the U.S. is awesome because so many things: you get to have friends and family coming out to see you play and hang out with people.


In early 2012, Dizzy would be asked why it had taken so long to tour the US, and seem unsure:

That's a good question. I think logistically, I don’t really know. I don’t have much to do with that. I think at some point I probably said to myself, “Hey man, how come we haven’t played the states?” I guess the timing wasn’t right as far as production or whatnot. Maybe they weren’t ready, I don’t know.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:10 am

OCTOBER 28-NOVEMBER 5, 2011
START OF THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR


The first show of the 2011 North American tour, took place at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL, on October 28, 2011.

Review in Orlando Sentinel:

Well, I never had a chance to see the old, fat Elvis Presley in Las Vegas, but I saw Axl Rose on Friday at Amway Center.

That’s has to be close, right?

Rose and the current no-name lineup of Guns N’ Roses – sort of the strike-season-replacement-team of rock bands – unleashed a bloated, but surprisingly strong 3 hours on the opening night of its first U.S. tour in more than five years. Yeah, there was a lot of it – just like the lead singer’s expanded mid-section.

Just kidding, sort of.

Actually, it was hard to make a judgment about Axl’s physique, since he was dressed in a frumpy black jacket, untucked shirt and baggy pants that concealed his waistline. His face also was hard to see beneath pulled-down brim of a flashy fedora and the big video screens never offered a close-up.

Maybe his eyes were shielded to keep him from seeing that there weren’t enough fans to fill the lower bowl or require opening the arena’s upper level. Perhaps the faithful were turned off by horrendous reviews out of the band’s recent Rock in Rio performance – or maybe chubby Axl consumed some of them at the meet-and-greet.

It was hard to hear his voice above the onslaught of guitars and drums in an opening foray that included “Chinese Democracy,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “It’s So Easy.”

When the mix stabilized, though, his strident tenor was strong (by Axl standards) in “Estranged,” “Live and Let Die,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and others. The gut-busting histrionics in “This I Love,” another Chinese Democracy song, were harder to love, however.

Maybe the band was turned up loud because it rocked instrumentally: Guitarists DJ Ashba, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Richard Fortus channeled riffs of signature hits above the foundation of bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer. Fewer time-chewing solos between the Guns N’ Roses songs would’ve been nice, though.
Orlando Sentinel, October 2011


Axl talking about playing Riff Raff in Orlando:

[...] on stage, it's kind of between Tommy and I, and Tommy's talking with the other band guys and stuff and I'm going with what I feel I have the most energy I can put into and what, you know, my guesstimate of where the crowd's at at that time with what to try to hit him with. I mean, like in Orlando, you know, we went into the AC/DC song Riff Raff, I just needed that to pick myself up at the time and I told him that, I go, "Yey, I need some to get my mojo going, so I got to do this song for me."


The next show took place at the American Airways Arena in Miami, FL, on October 29. Afterwards, Axl was interviewed for That Metal Show [see previous chapter] and would comment on the show:

I feel really good about the show. We had a fun show and I feel like, you know, the band's starting to fire on the right cylinders and it's interesting to be back in the US.

And we're having fun together as a band you know. It's an interesting thing because of the way we work on stage and the way we work the crowd, we're trying to develop a little more interaction where first we were... everybody was, you know, more concerned with getting their parts right and figuring out how to interact with the crowd, we feel we got that kind of going. Now, we're trying to figure out how to interact with each other a little bit more on the stage, you know, and how far to take it. It's like Tommy was slamming me in the other night, you know, and then the next night he was doing it- [...] I was just having fun but I realized, "Wait, I got him in a headlock!"



Axl would also mention that he had thought about how the songs weren't only theirs any more, but belonged to the fans, too:

I was thinking about it, at the the first show in Orlando, and, you know, there was a long period of time that, I don't think it was a wrong thing because as I was talking with people tonight, back in the early days our crowds were much more violent, you know, and rowdy in a sense, and there was also a sense of like fighting for the songs as as our songs and, you know, and how we're putting them out there and then, you know, I'm watching the people last night, and I've thought about this before, but I just realized, you know, just feeling how much it's also their songs and their, you know, their memories and stuff and I really want to put as much into it as I can for them, you know, so that they they feel like the song that they liked all these years, you know, or whatever,  that they still have a reason, you know, or it makes them feel good about whatever experiences they had.


And how other band members were involved in choosing the setlists:

It's an interesting thing because it's not just me, it's like it was in kind of starting with some of these guys but now, like, when we did this last run after being off the road for a while, it's like they're coming to me wanting to throw more songs in the set, "Hey, Frank wants to do this," I'm going, "Well, tell Frank nobody asked". You know, we're joking on stage you know, but it's like that, it's like they want to throw more stuff in, it's like throwing it out to get me that, and Shackler's was something that they wanted to do. Everyone in this has their own reasons for  wanting to push themselves and they like going out there feeling, like, they saw, they gave, they got back on the bus.


And that Izzy was supposed to have come to Miami for the show:

Actually, [Izzy] was supposed to be here tonight, he was going to drive here and then he couldn't make it. He, you know, because I saw something and text him... Oh, I heard some Stones song that I had never noticed before, Please Go Home, and then... because with this iPod, it's like I've had other people put some songs and stuff and I saw one of Izzy's songs, Please Go Home and it's the same one and it was the same Stones song and I liked his version of it and I texted him and he said, "Hey, you know you're playing it's like maybe I'll meet you in Miami." I guess... he bought his own tour bus. [...] And he drives it. [...] He loves to drive. He goes in the desert and drives. And he writes... he's got songs about doing donuts, you know.


The band continued to BI-LO Center in Greenville, SC, for a show on Halloween, October 31. Before the show, DJ would be asked if they intended to dress up for this show:

I know [Axl]'s really into Halloween — he usually likes going off and trying to get to a Halloween party — so, yeah, it should be a lot of fun. [...] I have no idea [if we will dress up], but there's always a good chance of that.


Blabbermouth would also report Axl wasn't in the best of shapes and was suffering from bronchitis and stomach issues:

An insider from the Guns N' Roses management has informed Blabbermouth.net that the band's lead singer, Axl Rose, has been battling bronchitis and the so-called Montezuma's Revenge for the past couple of weeks. Despite this, he continues to play three-hour shows with the group, which is scheduled to perform at the Bi-Lo Center Arena in Greenville, South Carolina tonight (Monday, October 31).




Axl and Tommy
October 31, 2011



The band then travelled to the Phillips Arena in Atlanta for a show on November 2.

Excerpt of review on WSB-TV 2, November 3, 2011:

But once fans get over the fact that Slash won't be slamming back the guitar at the concert, it's a pretty incredible show for fans.

The band opened up to "Chinese Democracy" before moving right into "Welcome To The Jungle." In total, the band was slated to play 32 songs over three hours. The performance included several solos. Reed played "Baba O'Riley" on the piano and Rose played "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" on it, too. The hits from the earlier years were mixed in with some of the band's more recent songs. "Estranged," "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "November Rain" were a few of the fan favorites played in the regular portion of the show. The encore included both "Patience" and "Paradise City."

Rose did reference the fact that the last time he played in Atlanta, in 1987, he was arrested at the concert. Guns N' Roses was slated to play in the Omni in the early 90s, but the show was canceled.

A number of stories have been reported that the band was making fans wait a long time before taking the stage. That wasn't the case Wednesday night in Atlanta. Guns N' Roses took the stage about a half hour after BuckCherry wrapped its opening set. Kellen Heller was on the bill, too.


And from OMFG Atlanta Blog, November 8, 2011:

Axl’s performance reminded Atlanta what a real rock star should look and sound like. He was in a great mood throughout his 3 hour set and frequently joked with band members and his audience. He is quite a jokester. He mentioned his last visit to Atlanta and how he was arrested on-stage for punching a security guard at the Omni in 1987. He teased about 3 songs in and said “Well, I’ve gotten farther tonight than I did in 1987.” He told us the story about when he was sitting in the Paddy wagon with cuffs on. His manager came to him and said “I think we’ve got this worked out, all you need to do it apologize to the Security Guard.” Axl’s apology consisted of two words that weren’t “I’m sorry” but started with “F – you”.

By the end of the show, he expressed a heartfelt appreciation for the good reception he received from the audience. When the show ended at nearly 2am with Paradise City, many of the people stayed and sang every word to the songs they knew. When it was done Axl twirled around some girls panties and bra that were flung onto the stage and kept running back and forth on the stage. Axl seemed to not want to leave the stage telling everyone to get home safe and come back and see him again and wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

Love him or hate him you cannot deny his incredible talents as a musician and song writer. Axl Rose is one of the greatest front man's of our time and I am so glad I got to witness him lay it down!


Erin Everly, who was living in Atlanta, attended the show:



Friend with Erin Everly
November 2, 2011



Then followed a show at the Toyota Center (November 4) and the Gexa Energy Pavilion (November 5) in Houston, TX.

Before the show in Houston, DJ would talk about the tour:

Sold out every night … We’re all excited to be here. We’ve been looking forward to touring the States for quite a while now, and the response has been just overwhelming. [...] They’re going to hear everything from ‘Appetite’ to ‘Chinese.’ We’re doing a massive, massive show, huge production. They’re just going to get blasted by the whole catalog.


For the beginning of the tour, Buckcherry had opened for Guns N' Roses. After the tour, Keith Nelson, Buckcherry's guitar player, would be asked why they had been chosen:

I’m not really sure! We got offered the shows, and of course we jumped at the opportunity, and it was a phenomenal experience for us. It was a good time. I think a Guns N’ Roses, Buckcherry tour was a long time in the works. So, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do the shows.
Gibson.com, November 30, 2011


And was for his best memory:

I’ve got to tell you, there were a lot of good memories, but Axl Rose – before they went on stage and after we were done – got us all together and gave us really nice gifts for being a part of the tour and was really gracious. He was really sweet and nice. So, actually, meeting him and his generosity was probably the most memorable thing of that tour.
Gibson.com, November 30, 2011


And why it was such a good pairing:

I think it’s probably because we’re one of the few rock bands left – true rock ’n’ roll bands, as opposed to what seems to be the current the flavor. It’s obvious Guns N’ Roses was an influence on us. So, I think that has something to do with it. There were a lot of Les Pauls on stage. [Laughs]
Gibson.com, November 30, 2011


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:11 am

NOVEMBER 7, 2011
BAND MEMBERS VISIT THE MEDICAL CITY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN DALLAS


On November 7, Bumblefoot, Frank, Dizzy, Tommy and DJ visited the Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas to visit patients, play, pose for photos and sign autographs [Hennemusic, November 8, 2011].


Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas
November 7, 2011


Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas
November 7, 2011



We went to Dallas to visit a children’s hospital. I took my guitar and one of the kids there had his guitar, so we jammed a little bit. It was cool.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:11 am

NOVEMBER 5-19, 2011
THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUES


The next show of the tour took place at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha on November 8.

Excerpts from review in Omaha World-Herald:

Though it was a late show, it could have been worse. Guns N' Roses is notoriously late to the stage and has begun recent performances as much as two hours late, according to reviews.

Rose - in a bandana, jeans, chains and at least eight different hats he switched out through the show - also looked and sounded better than recent reports had led me to believe. Some said he was off-key and out of rhythm and the victim of some major weight gain.

In Omaha, he was svelte and incredibly active. Throughout the show, he did his trademark jerky, twirling dance moves and his voice - one of the most recognizable in rock - was like a smack in the face: sharp, strong and surprising.

The thousands in attendance - some in leather and faded GNR shirts and others in Rose-style red bandanas - were mesmerized by the band and cheered until their lungs were sore. During solos, the crowd threw fists in the air and jumped around, too.


And excerpts from review in Gateway:

It's easy nowadays to dismiss Guns N' Roses. Axl's always late. It's not the "real" Guns N' Roses without Slash or Izzy. There's no way they can sound as good as they used to.

But Tuesday night, Guns N' Roses proved everyone wrong. Sure, they were a little late taking the stage, but given the fact that they have a penchant for rolling in almost two hours late, the fans packed into the stadium were pretty lucky.

[...]

Say what you want about Guns N' Roses and Axl Rose, but most who saw this show would have a hard time disagreeing with the fact that when they're on, they're on. For a guy pushing 50, Rose is still one of the best front men in rock. Wearing jeans, a t-shirt and his trademark red bandana, Rose is still an exceptionally charismatic performer. For the entire set his energy never waned. Running back and forth, doing those famous jerky dance moves, Rose was hitting the notes he hit in 1987.

"What a really nice audience," Rose screeched during the middle of the show. "Thank you for spending your night with us. God knows there's better things to do."

Though a bit belated, Guns N' Roses proved they still know how to put on one heck of a show. For the audience at CenturyLink, there was truly no better way to spend the night.


Then followed Lloyd Noble Center in Noble on November 9.

Excerpts of review in NewsOK.com:

One month ago, a viral video of Guns N' Roses performing "Welcome to the Jungle" in Rio de Janeiro immediately downgraded expectations for Axl Rose's Wednesday/Thursday performance at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. In the widely circulated clip that hit major music blogs in early October, Rose looked desperately out of shape and sounded just as desperately out of tune.

But what a difference a month makes.

When Rose took the stage at 10:45 p.m. after an opening set by Oklahoma City's Hinder, he looked fit and sounded much like the snake-dancing dervish who dominated stadiums in the late-1980s and early 1990s. Launching into the title track from 2008's "Chinese Democracy" and immediately hitting the crowd with "Jungle," he seemed to have no trouble reaching the high notes and, just as importantly, sustaining them. And he kept doing it for three solid hours, a massive march through "Appetite for Destruction," "G N' R Lies," "Use Your Illusion" and "Chinese Democracy" that drove roughly half the crowd back to their beds before the last explosive notes of "Paradise City" rang out at 1:45 a.m. Thursday morning.


DJ would talk about the longs shows they did:

We don't want to obviously bore anybody, but the shows are just awesome, as far as the production and a lot of rockets and bombs and stuff. We play everything from "Appetite [for Destruction]" to "Chinese [Democracy]." Everyone seems like they're having a great time.

It couldn’t be better, every show has been just unbelievable. The crowds are just overwhelming — we got a really good warm welcome here in the States, it’s been amazing.


And talking about his reception in the band:

I think the thing that blew me away the most was how just incredible crazy the fans are. They’re so hardcore — they definitely make you win them over. Their definitely not the type of fans that are like “Okay, here’s the new guy. We love him,” which is cool, I love that.


And Dizzy about what fans could expect:

We have a new guitar player, DJ Ashba, and he's amazing. We've got everything off 'Chinese Democracy' ready to go, and we've been re-addressing some older classics. I think the band is a little bit looser. Not playing-wise, it's just more of a party now.


The band continued to Sprint Center in Kansas City for a show on November 12, Target Center in Minneapolis for a show on December 13 and Allstate Arena in Rosemont for a show on November 15.

Excerpts from review of the Rosemont show in Chicago Tribune:

It helped that Rose was in excellent spirits and voice. He capably nailed rafter-scraping highs and cackling wails, even channeling deceased AC/DC singer Bon Scott's rowdy shrieks during scorching renditions of the Australian band's "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Riff Raff." Wearing designer jeans and an assortment of leather jackets and fedoras, the 49-year-old front man resembled a Sunset Strip hustler. Rose's handlebar mustache, bracelets and gaudy, finger-choking rings completed a sleazy demeanor that complemented the strip-club slide of "Rocket Queen" and vitriolic spite of "Better."

Along with the reappearance of his signature bandanna and circle-based microphone stand, the vocalist revived classic moves in the form of wind sprints, leg kicks, crossover shuffles and suggestive hand signals. Visibly having fun and utilizing monitors as a platform, he cut down on the frequency of back stage trips for oxygen, and when present, usually stayed in motion.

[...]

Yet Rose's dramatic deliveries turned several sweeping ballads into poignant mediations on unrequited love ("November Rain"), anguished loss ("This I Love") and antagonistic relationships ("Sorry"). A cathartic reading of "Estranged," a 1991 epic dusted off for this tour, presented in intimate fashion the emotional dichotomies, illusory perceptions and inward struggles that have seemingly consumed Rose throughout his career. In opting for vulnerability over anger, and sentimentality over menace, the less-reckless Guns N' Roses reticently hinted at redemption. Too bad it's taken so long.


DJ would be asked if Guns N' Roses was still the most dangerous band in the world:

It’s pretty dangerous, but I think in a good way. I don’t think Axl is getting arrested as much anymore.

The shows are just unbelievable — tons of fire, rockets and bombs, and it’s just high energy from song one until the end. As soon as the lights go down, you see bomb fires going off and just crazy stuff, gates flying up in the air and people flying up in the air.

At Rockin’ Rio, we played to 100,000 people and it was just incredible, just the energy. I think what makes it so dangerous and reckless is you never know what song is coming up next.


Around the same time, Bumblefoot would complain about reviewers nitpicking on irrelevant things:

I mean, you know, the funny thing about reviews is, like, you'll do a show that, you know, it was a pretty good show and then the next day someone [?] put out this fucking review where they're talking about how somebody looks 25 years after the fact or what time we went on and they just find the things to nitpick at and to just tear it down as if it's just become, you know, the thing to do. But, I mean, really, as long as 10,000 people or more, or whatever it is, as long as they go home happy, feeling like they got a good night and a good memory and something they really enjoyed, got their money's worth, got their ears' worth, everything, then a s[?], and one reviewer can say whatever he wants as long as everywhere we go there's 10,000 people that will say, "No, it was a great show," because it's about them. It's not about that one reviewer. It's about them.


The band continued to the Izod Center in East Rutherford for a show on November 17 and the Comcast Theatre in Hartford on November 19.

For the shows on November 19, 20 and 23 (which got cancelled), Sebastian Bach would be the opener [Blabbermouth, November 2011].


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31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS Empty Re: 31. JANUARY-DECEMBER 2011: TOURING THE AMERICAS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:11 am

NOVEMBER 2011 (?)
BUMBLEFOOT TRIES TO DRINK HIMSELF TO DEATH


In 2013, Bumblefoot would talk about the pain of touring while injured, and state that he had attempted suicide during the tour:

And I did try and commit suicide on tour in 2011. Didn't work! (laughs) Obviously. [...] I'm not a drinker, but I tried to drink myself to death. Yeah. In the hotel room in New York. And, just... Didn't tell anybody that my goal was to die. I just drank as much as I could as fast as I could. I laid on the bed, crossed my legs, put my hands on my chest and waited to die. Just waiting for the alcohol poisoning to kick in. And to black out. Didn't quite work. And it was a very difficult week after that. And this is all ‘cause of that fucking car accident.


He says he was in a hotel in New York which could place it to late November 2011, but he could also be wrong and this really happened in February 2012 when the band did more shows in New York. Still, putting the suicide attempt at November 17 or around that date, fits well with Bumblefoot's tweets in the next chapter which happened on November 20.

Talking more about the pain he was in:

I mean, even after the car accident, I couldn't raise my arms. I had to re-learn how to move my whole body. I had to re-learn how to pick things up. How to sleep. How to walk, how to get out of a chair. I had to change every single thing. You have to relax this muscle, you have to pull your shoulders back and tuck your neck. I had to re-learn how to move - otherwise it just pops the wound again, and then you're in pain for a month. So, imagine that, and then putting on a 30-pound double-neck and trying to run around a stage for three hours. All I can say is that - and I say it all the time, when people say, “if you had one wish in life, what was it?” - it's that the woman drove faster. And finished the fucking job. If I had the choice, I would rather never have lived through that. [...] If I had one wish, it was that I had died in that accident. But, I didn't. And I'm here now. And that part of it is done. So now it's about making peace with the world, with yourself, accepting it and just doing what you can. You know, acknowledging that your time is short.


And looking back at the period:

In 2011/2012 to get through touring with the spine injury from the car accident, there were experimental cocktails of alcohol, nerve blockers, pain pills, Advil, enough to kill a horse - fortunately no permanent damage from it. And luckily no addictive reactions.
[/left]

For more information on Bumblefoot's car accident and his recovery, see an earlier chapter.


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Post by Soulmonster Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:11 am

NOVEMBER 20, 2011
WILKES BARRE; BUMBLEFOOT IS "ONE CONVERSATION AWAY FROM QUITTING"


The next show took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre on November 20. That same day, Bumblefoot expressed frustration and talking about quitting at Twitter/during a livestream:

All good for tonight Need drugs. Can't physically or mentally deal with the fucking pain & everyone trying to save me from myself.
Twitter/livestream, November 20, 2011[/url]

I'm one conversation away from quitting this. Let's see if it happens.
Twitter/livestream, November 20, 2011[/url]

Wow. Was gonna finally do it and the stuff I need is missing from my luggage. Guess I'll see y'all tomorrow......... #FuckYouGuardianAngel
Twitter/livestream, November 20, 2011[/url]

Alone. Contemplating......
Twitter/livestream, November 20, 2011[/url]


This was likely a very hard period for Bumblefoot with constant pain from the car crash [see earlier chapter] combined with his father being sick from Alzheimer's.

The next show was supposed to be at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York on November 23, but this show was cancelled due to "production issues beyond the venue's control" [Blabbermouth, November 22, 2011].

Richard would emphasize there was no story behind the cancellation:

No. There was no drama or anything like that. There were permit issues with the building and the venue. We have a huge production and it is very heavy. The production, it has to be supported and we have to feel safe about it and it has to be within their restrictions and that didn’t work out. They tried to resolve everything. We have had this issue a few times in different venues and it has been resolved and we were just not able to resolve it there. [...] It wasn’t like anybody was sick or having a meltdown like that.


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