APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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SoulMonster
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

1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash)

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1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash) Empty 1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash)

Post by Soulmonster Fri Mar 18, 2022 8:41 am

1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash) 20220319
1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash) 20220317
1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash) 20220318
1988.08.17 - East Coast Rocker - America Will Never Be The Same (Axl, Slash) 20220320

Transcript:

GUNS N' ROSES
America Will Never Be The Same
by Mike Greenblatt

Axl Rose is pissed. He's sitting in his Canadian hotel room waiting for room service and screaming into the telephone. "We're very fortunate that we're getting any radio airplay at all! And there's all kinds of fuckin' compromises that make you feel really small as a person. The thing that kills me is because it's all down to some asshole being worried that if they play our song, will so-and-so buy my washers and dryers. Well, man, I could give a fuck about your washers and dryers. This is my music!"

Axl Rose just happens to be the most monitored man in rock 'n' roll today. As lead singer of Guns N' Roses, he's monitored practically every day of his life by his record label, his management, his road crew, his bandmates and his fans. Nobody wants to lose him. And he's not exactly known for taking care of himself.

And here he is literally biting the hand that feeds him. Elvis Costello wrote in his "Radio Radio." "I want to bite the hand that feeds me." Axl does it every day. He doesn't care. He doesn't know it but he's slowly sliding down the razor blade of America...with no bandaids. If the title of the debut Lp is any indication—Appetite For Destruction-then these boys are on a one-way collision course. That they know. They even joke about it.

"See you in August," AxL yelled to an adoring crowd in New York recently, "if we don't OD first." Hey, folks been talkin' bout Keith Richards' demise for years...and he's still around. The Guns N' Roses OD sweepstakes is in full bloom.

They had a friend who died. His name was Todd. To celebrate Todd's life and probably as an omen for their own, Guns N' Roses perform Bob Dylan's "Knock Knock Knockin' On Heaven's Door." The total incongruity of seeing this hard-as-hell speedpunk metal band slowing things down for a heartfelt Dylan song is incredible! And what is even more incredible is that they get all the punkedout nose-earringed, purple mohawks in the audience to sing this Dylan song right along with 'em! (I guess now all Guns N' Roses has to do is find the perfect Phil Ochs song to cover.)

"It's too hard to get work because all the other big bands think it's too risky to take us out on the road with them," Axl says. "We've already come real close to getting arrested for inciting a riot. When we were out on the road with The Cult—and they've been out there for six years or so—one of 'em got busted for that 'inciting a riot' crap in Vancouver and it was real messy. And then, of course, us being the new band and all, we got in trouble right away.

"That s one of the things on this Aerosmith tour we're supposed to do," he continues. "We were supposed to be on the Done With Mirrors tour, so you can tell how long we've been working on this thing...years, man! We got signed to it when that record was just coming out. We were going to go on in and record a record real quick and go out on tour. Then it kind of fell apart because there was too much going on. And to think we were even going to be managed by their management company, too, at that time."

Booking agents, managers, labels, promoters and venue operators are all scared of this band. And they really shouldn't be because when you think about it, rock 'n' roll itself is meant as a swift kick in the balls to authority. And if so, these guys—bassist Duff McKagen, drummer Steven Adler, guitarist Izzy Stradlin, Axl and lead guitarist Slash (just Slash, thank you...and definitely avoid this guy)—are its living personification.

"I manna watch you bleed"
—"Welcome To The Jungle"

"See me hit you/You fall down"

—"It's So Easy"

"I got one chance left/
it a nine live cat/
I got a dog eat dog sly smile/
I got a Molotov cocktail with a match to go/
I smoke my cigarette with style/
As I can tell you honey/
You can make my money tonight. "

—"Nightrain"

These guys write their own lyrics. Many northeastern critics, myself included, mistook the horror stories that emanated out of LA at their signing to Geffen Records as badboy hype. Although they they have Kim Fowley working for them at one point, they didn't need him. It was no hype.

They started out in a grungy Hollywood studio filled with garbage, hot and cold running buss and constant weirdos coming and going at all hours. One time they totally trashed the lady's Room at The Whiskey, a popular club on the strip. Early interviews had them intimidating fearful journalists and even forcing most to run out and buy the hand cheap wine and cigarettes (at the writer's expense ) before they'd talk. And then when they did talk, they made Jerry Lee Lewis look positively polite. One writer (Katherine Truman of Music Connection) wrote (11/30-12/13 issue) that "interviewing Guns N' Roses is like being the substitute teacher at a kindergarten in hell."

Then came The Los Angeles Times story (7/6/86) that reported rape charges filed against Slash and Axl. "Everyone was trying to hide it from the record company," Axl told The Times. "Rape charge? What rape charge? The charges were dropped eventually, but for a while we had to go into hiding. We had undercover cops and the vice squad looking for us They were talking a mandatory five years. It kind of settled my hormones for awhile."

But they did get signed. They wanted to put one of their favorite originals, "I Used To Love Her But I Had To Kill Her," on the debut but didn't. Now that the debut is platinum, it'll be on the followup. Slash's quick reply when I told him that he should expect major outrage from woman's groups was a simple "fuck 'em."

There was a point when the band was supposed to tour with AC/DC. Axl picks up the story: "Flat-out, we were supposed to get $3,500-a-show. Then they decided that since something might happen with us not showing up fore a show or something, they'd give us a $1,000-a-show and hold the rest in escrow. They figured if we fucked up, they'll keep all the money that they held. That would come to about $4,500 or so." Axl pauses to take a sip of something.

"So," he continues, quite refreshed: "This would be like a probation period for the rest of the tour, right? Then we find out through the grapevine that they signed White Lion to the rest of the tour...right as we were supposed to be signing the fuckin' papers. So we just said 'OK, you guys'll probably wind up keeping the money on us anyway!' We were doing it mainly to get the rest of the tour. I know it's business and politics and all but at the same time, it kind of hurt. AC/DC is one of our mentors, y'know?"

Ultimately, Axl and the boys will play the New York area somewhere around the 11th Anniversary of Elvis' death. That's Aug. 16. Axl mentioned it onstage at The Felt Forum last month. Now even that date IS in jeopardy. "They're going back and forth on a Garden date with Aerosmith. Y'know, I realized it after I told all those people we'd be there Aug. 16. Then I realized it wasn't even firm. We will be with Aerosmith — another huge inspirational band to us, by the way—but they're trying to get a bigger venue than The Garden. Maybe Giant Stadium. We did three shows in Boston and pulled about 45,000 people, so if they can get one big night in New York, they'll do it."

The Boston shows went beyond wild. Axl got bashed in the mouth by a stagediver. Axl likes this to jump up on stage and then jump right off. He encourages it. What he hates are stagedivers who don't jump right off but sun to dance onstage. He'll beat the shit out of any dude who tries to dance onstage. He told me. In Boston, this guy who accidently bashed Axl in the face got a good conk on the head from Axl's mikestand. Axl's got pictures of himself in London holding guys up by the scuff of the neck and throwing them into the rabid crowds. One time, some jerk in the upper balcony threw a beer bottle at Axl.

A Guns N' Roses concert is a Felini-esque journey through improv, rock 'n' roll, theatre of the absurd and a carnival geek show. The crunch of human flesh at the lip of the stage is some sight: writhing, contorting bodies —all skinny, most males unclothed on top--with a more than occasional swan diver. Heads knocking against heads, drinks spilling, cigarettes barely missing human skin. At The Felt Forum, security had to rescue fan after tan who would get entangled in a sea of limbs. They'd fish him or her out from the front and hustle 'em off through a stageside exit. Fans who stagedive without getting off fast would be thrown by guards back into the melee before Axl could get his hands on 'em.

Axl, Steven, Slash, Izzy and Duff get so crazy on their own music that its amazing they can keep in time with each other. The sense of expectancy and dread mingles with that great rock 'n' roll exhilaration and geekshow curiosity to produce a feeling hard to describe. I guess the best comparison would be the feeling one got while watching Jim Morrison on a stage and that sense of knowing what the fuck this madman would do next.

Axl Rose has a similar onstage charisma. And that's what makes this band so important. Here today, gone tomorrow. Catch 'em while you can. As of this writing, portions of the tour are already being cancelled. Official word is that Axl has a sore throat. Street talk says that you can't keep fucking, playing, drinking, smoking, sucking, and traveling without collapsing.

"I'm not a practicing drug addict anymore," Slash tells me. He's lying on the floor of his hotel room and his tour manager is knocking loudly. It's checkout time. Slash could care less. He hasn't even showered yet and he tells me he's having too much fun talking on the phone to go anywhere. We've already ran through Elvis, Jerry Lee, mass murderers, other bands (he thinks Poison and Kingdom Come suck) and female body parts. "What else do you want to talk about," he asks.

Drummer Steven Adler thinks it's no big deal about his band's violence towards property. Adler's a kid. He's got that bright eyed enthusiasm and he's clearly loving every minute of his new-found notoriety. He tells me he learned to drum from listening to Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. I ask him if he's familiar with "Drum Battle." He says no. I make him a tape and give it to him backstage in New York. He could've just said thanks. Instead, he lets out a few war whoops and gives me a crunching bear hug. He still calls to tell me how the tape has changed his life and he's a better drummer for it.

I used to do a little but a little wouldn't do/
So the little got more and more/
I just keep trying to get a little better/
Said a little better than before.

—"Mr. Brownstone"

Your daddy works in porno/
Now that mommy's not around/
She used to low her heroin/
But now she's underground/
So you stay out late at night/
And you do your coke for free/
Drivin' your friends crazy/
With your life's insanity

-"My Michelle"

Guns N' Roses like to think of themselves as a punk band. And they are. You can't hear the lyrics from the stage. Most know the words anyway and sing 'em out. The defiant fuck-you attitude the band puts out is a crowd turn-on. (MTV's wimpy cameras that night kept focused on Axl at the Ritz show it broadcast when riotous stags-side action went on below.)

Sex is the drug that fuels the musk. Axl's moves elicit swoons. Now that the band is teen idol fodder, Axl and the boys had to fill out a teen mag questionnaire. None of it could be printed. But in the interest of fair journalism, we now know the following: Biggest Turn-On: "women who beg to get fucked up the ass" (Axl). What Do You Look For In A Girl: "muscle control" (Axl). Steven Adler says once you reach these heights as a rock star you're expected to shave the girl's pussy. That's a quote.

Panties 'round your knees/
With your ass in debris/
Doin' that grind with a push and squeeze/
Tied up, tied down, up against the wall/
Be my rubbermade baby/
An' we can do it all

—"Anything Goes"

So the/re crude. So you wouldn't want to bring them home to your parents. You're not supposed to bring rock 'n' roll home to your parents. All I know is, you look and look for years for a real one to come along and only every so often does one actually appear. Guns N' Roses may be scumbags to some...but they're certainly living (and maybe dying) for their art. Rock 'n' roll martyrs? I think so. That's why they're the only ones who matter right now.

And even if they never play another gig, they'll have left an indelible stain on rock. Those fortunate enough to witness that first album/first tour glory on the road might have seen history.

As I write, they've already had major portions of their our cancelled and there's a chance it's already all over. If they do ever play here again, there certainly will not be any other rock 'n' roll worth seeing on that night. So, in the end, I've done just what I originally rebelled against in my inaccurate original assessment of these guys—I've unwittingly added to the starmaker machinery by writing like this about them. Emotion over intellect. That's okay. Fuck it. And fuck you.



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