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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

1993.07.21 - Vos En Todas Magazine - Guns N' Roses In Argentina

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1993.07.21 - Vos En Todas Magazine - Guns N' Roses In Argentina Empty 1993.07.21 - Vos En Todas Magazine - Guns N' Roses In Argentina

Post by Blackstar Sun Apr 03, 2022 11:19 pm

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Translation from Spanish:
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GUNS N’ ROSES IN ARGENTINA

Throughout their history, Guns N’ Roses have sparked the most diverse reactions. There are those who love them unconditionally, to the point of offering to have a child with them without even having met them. There are those who hate them for some of their early songs in which they attacked homosexuals and blacks. There are those who consider them a bad example for the American youth because of their marginal origin and their constant defiance to the norms of the establishment. Musically, there are those who consider their approach a mere recycling of ‘70s hard rock, whereas others see in Axl a unique singer with a great rhythmic sense, who constantly shows he has guts, and in Slash one of the best guitarists of our time. Everything has been said about Guns, unless someone is indifferent to them.

For this reason, when the band that toured three continents throughout the last two years - playing in 240 cities in more than 30 countries and in front of 7,000,000 people - confirmed that the last two shows were going to be in Argentina, we decided that we were going to be there with you. Guns N’ Roses’ return to our country deserved a special issue of this type for all those who are interested in the group, regardless of whether they were able to be at River.

Fernando Cerolini


***

THE STADIUM

The preparations

The stage weighed 150 tons; it was 70 meters wide by 18 meters long and 20 meters deep. The lights, commanded by a 180-channel console, displayed 500 kW. The 240 speakers, dosed by two 80-channel consoles, let out 150,000 watts. 120 people worked at full capacity for more than 10 days for the Guns N’ Roses performance at River.

The afternoon was falling over the residential neighborhood of Nuñez. The cold Buenos Aires winter was tempered by a friendly little sunlight on the way to the Monumental stadium. There, in the background, the mass of cement harbored an unusual and incessant movement. But, for the residents of the area, there was nothing mysterious about the movement: even the most out of the loop among them were aware that Guns N' Roses would perform at the stadium on Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17 in what would be the culmination of their world tour. And when VOS entered the arena on Wednesday, July 15, the preparations had already been underway for more than a week in full-time workdays. 120 people (employees, workers, technicians, leads and production personnel) had the task of ensuring that the lights and sound were in optimal condition so that more than 100,000 people could enjoy the most popular band of these times. So, on Wednesday, the stadium was almost a factory...

“Since Amnesty (the Concert for Human Rights in 1988), I have worked in all the events organized by the company,” says Néstor Raschia, head of production, who was in charge of everything that happened in the perimeter of the stadium.  With such experience on his shoulders, the man with the Mexican mustache did not blink an eye as he watched parts of the enormous infrastructure which, once ready, would allow Axl's ferocious moves. “The particular and cool thing about this concert is that we’re working again with an infrastructure that is already familiar (from last year's shows), so we’ll be able to take advantage of every last detail,” he said, pointing out a distinctive aspect of the work in question. Extending on other recent productions, the boss of the show emphasized that “this type of shows makes the technical part grow a bit. And to think that there are many who say that this only serves to take money out of the country..."

Immediate assistant and self-proclaimed production “goaltender” Igor Burstein provided specific data on the scale of the event. "There are 60 people working in loading and unloading, 20 in production, another 40 specialized in in steel structures," he revealed, to which to which we must also add truck drivers, catering services and a few others. Do the math...

Quick meals

With such a large number of people moving around the venue and the consequent expenditure of energy, the catering service had to spend the night at stadium. Long distances to their homes and the obligation to get down to work early in the morning (workday began at 7 a.m.) were compelling factors in deciding the temporary relocation. However, when it came to judging the quality of the service, there were no complaints. There was even the traditional midday asadito (barbecue)...

***

* July is a traditionally foggy month at Ezeiza and it is not unusual for the airport to be inoperable due to this occurrence - and keep in mind that low clouds and fog were forecast for Thursday. But at the time of arrival, the guy from above showed mercy and allowed a maximum visibility of 6000 meters.

* The number of mothers who accompanied their children to the airport was striking. But Doris and Mariana (both 13 years old) are worth mentioning. They were accompanied by their grandmother, who confessed, "I really like GNR's ballads". A true Gunner.

* Guns traveled in the exclusive first class of the Aerolineas Argentinas plane that brought them to our lands. Of course, they had to buy the rest of the seats, too, to avoid the gaze of curious onlookers.

* The only TV channel that came to Ezeiza was Telefé. The guys ventured into restricted areas and were intercepted by security forces.

* The huge security deployment in the surroundings of the hotel didn’t have its sanitary correlate. In the early hours of Thursday there was no ambulance to treat a large number of girls and boys who fainted.

* The first fan to arrive at the Hyatt was Juan José, 14 years old: he stood in front of the entrance from Wednesday at 4:00 in the afternoon.

* Those who attracted the hatred of everyone during those intense days were the Hyatt's bellboys (and we’re not talking about the ones who open the car door for you). They were more than forty men dressed in black jackets and more than once they caused things to heat up: they didn’t hesitate to hit the fans who were dying to see Guns N' Roses a little closer and smash the cameras that the photographers were carrying. So much security operation was excessive and did nothing but add fuel to the fire.

* At one point, Axl Rose's personal bodyguard came up with the idea of going on a raid to the McDonald's, which is about 150 meters from the hotel. But it wasn’t a good idea. About 50 fans surrounded the dark-haired man, who is about 2 meters tall, making it difficult for him to enter, hugging him as if he were Axl himself and even trying to take off the black cap he was wearing. Quite annoyed, the black guy, who wasn’t so cute, decided to scare off the swarm of kids with a scream. But that was to no avail and he was back at the hotel in less than five minutes.

* Huddled together so as not to get lost, the kids from one of the many Guns N' Roses fan clubs were waiting in front of the Hyatt Hotel for the moment when the hand of God would let them in to deliver a silver plaque to the members of the band. The present was zealously guarded by Fernanda (16) in a blue box. She is the vice president of the club, which has about 700 members. Most of them were from Buenos Aires, but there were also people from Rosario, Bahía Blanca, Córdoba and they were dressed in their distinctive white T-shirts.

* The girls from Rock & Pop's "Loca como tu madre" program were somewhat stunned. It turns out that they had a camera at the door of the Hyatt, and when they boldly asked some girls if they would be willing "to have Axl Rose's child", they received the answer: "of anyone in the band". They were really shocked.

* Among the many banners and posters seen outside the Hyatt, some were very specific. A blonde fifteen-year-old girl had put on a t-shirt printed with fiber over her sweatshirt that read "AXL ROSE - FUCK ME PLEASE". Another one with straight black hair wore a similar t-shirt with the slogan "SLASH - YOU ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE" and on the back (somewhat covered by her hair) "SLASH FUCK ME - FERNANDA". So, what does that tell us?

* Other gifts for the Gunners that were specially prepared by the fan club people and delivered at the door of the Hyatt were: a bouquet of roses and a rosary for Axl, a snake leather necklace for Slash and traditional Argentinian leather products for everybody in the band.

* Two kids from Bahia Blanca - who we lost in the crowd before we knew their names - were truly privileged at River. They arrived in Buenos Aires without a ticket and the tickets were sold out, so their mom decided to buy them tickets in the privileged $100 seats, the most expensive in the stadium. And since she wanted to be there, too, so that she could take care of the kids, she had to pay $300 in total. "It was an unconscious act; she gave the money without thinking", said the boy and the girl about their mother's generous gesture.

* The journalists on duty at the Hyatt were running not only in search of the Gunners, but also in search of their respective cars: a menacing tow truck was strolling around Posadas, checking the parking lot with the desire to "catch" something.

* In search of food to fill their stomachs, some naive people entered the McDonald's of Cerrito near Libertador only to leave, moments later, with an empty stomach and terrified by the price of a simple hamburger. It seems that these places are only cheap in the United States.

***

Vans at dawn

On Thursday, July 15, 1993, at 7:10 am, Guns N' Roses returned to Argentina to conclude their impressive world tour. It had been exactly six months since their first visit here.

In the freezing cold and a bit late, the most anticipated band landed at 7:10 a.m. on Thursday, July 15. Flight 121, coming from London-Madrid, was scheduled for 6:05 a.m. A lot of hardcore Guns N' Roses fans were there. There were many die-hard Gunners who braved the temperature and the fatigue to get a good view of their heroes. Like Gabriela (21) and Claudia (17) who had been there since 2:30 and said with one voice, "We came from La Plata to see them. They’re great". Meanwhile, Hilda and her friend Lorena, two other brave ones, confided that they had arrived at 9:30 p.m. the night before. The wait had been long and the girls' eyes gave it away....

The cargo plane carrying all the gear was expected at 8 a.m., but it arrived earlier: the gigantic Toponov landed at 2 a.m. “I don't know how they’re going to do it," said the head of operations at Ezeiza Airport, "because all night they have only unloaded one truck and now they’re starting to bring in all the vehicles".

Long before sunrise, the fans and the press were running from the international flights terminal to the one of the Aerolineas Argentinas. Flight 121 at that time in the morning was a mystery and it could be confirmed on the spot as belonging to our airline. Consequently, everyone was ready to defy the freezing weather and get moving towards the landing stage of the Argentinian Airlines. But the rumors were contradictory: "They are taken out through the runway", "No, no, they are boarded through the international", "I’m telling you they aren’t", "after the VIP lounge, they’re leaving through the hall". The only thing that could be ascertained is that Guns N’ Roses would use one of the most secret exits of the airport.

Despite the fact that the boys from Los Angeles have reached the rank of semi-gods, we were able to confirm with immigration authorities that the famous visitors would not skip the passport checkpoint. "But for the top VIPs, the process is done remotely", said a certain Ramiro at 6:05 a.m., looking very confident. At that time VOS already knew that the only place to see the Californians was from an unknown "fixed post", which was beyond the plateau. Chilled to the bone, we watched the Boeing take off at 7:10 AM. Fans with good sense of smell and good data were hanging on the containment fence. "Please, officer, let us pass", implored the fifteen-year-old Florencia together with a friend: "Give it to him, please". The two of them, Fio and Robería, whined so much that the airport police officer gave way to them. The girls didn’t see anything, but they almost wet their pants with emotion when the convoy of minivans transporting the rockstars’ tired bodies started to move behind us.

The chase

Six white vans left with the members of the gang. There were two options: either they went out that way or they took the unknown exit of Buenos Aires Catering. As you can imagine, they chose the exit... After a few seconds, we reached the Gunners' vehicles on Ricchieri Highway.

Axl was riding in a Traffic and was accompanied by his assistants. In the microsecond that we could spy on him, the Guns N' Roses leader stretched his legs and yawned inaudibly. We had a better chance to see Slash. The guitarist was wearing a splendid Marlboro leather jacket and, living up to his attire, he lit up a cigarette as we stood next to him. The bold photographer of the magazine was shooting his flash towards the all-white caravan without breathing, while the private security was threatening and insulting, and the two federal patrol officers were looking around bored. The key point, the turning point, was the highway toll. There we could "steal" a photo of them. We arrived with a lot of advantage and in another burst of wisdom, we figured out that only mere mortals pay tolls and that the most famous Americans were going to avoid it. We drove through the lane reserved for emergencies, but the guard promptly blocked us off. Being denied the possibility of passing through, there was no choice but to back up our car. But who was behind us waiting for us to decide to move forward or back up? Yes, yes, none other than Axl himself in his Traffic. Oh my God! Our photographer jumped out to take some snapshots and left this surprised reporter in charge of the steering wheel. I've never been a war correspondent, but having Axl's motorcade honking at me like crazy and trying to find the reverse gear of the 147 was certainly a stressful experience. With the reverse gear engaged, I was able to make way for the hard rock superstars. Not to say I feel important, but Slash's sidelong glance as they drove by was directed at us and at my incompetence at the wheel in particular. We’ve never been so flattered by not knowing how to drive.

***

THE WAIT

A hotel encircled

Guests at the Hyatt saw the appearance and functionality of the hotel change abruptly on Wednesday night. The next morning hundreds of young people clung to the security fence to see Guns N’ Roses enter the hotel.

About 200 kids had camped out in the outskirts of the Hyatt Hotel since the night before in order to see the Gunners in person. Wrapped in blankets and making bonfires to endure the cold, the passionate fans kept their spirits up despite the 2°C below zero wind chill.

A large metal fence was placed around the hotel for extra security, which was completed by forty men and five police dogs guarding the perimeter. So much security turned out to be too much to handle the hundreds of fans who did their best to scream and shout for the presence of their idols.

Here they are

The clocks were striking 08:00. The 300 people who had spent the night at the Hyatt's door had multiplied by three in the early morning. Many fathers (and mothers, too) accompanied their children to Cerrito and Posadas to see the arrival of the band. And of course, they remained there.

8.04. Three white vans arrived at the hotel with Guns N' Roses themselves. Fans tried to jump on the vans, but the shrewd drivers stepped on the gas pedal and only a small curl of Slash could be seen.

By that point, so much sacrifice had been of little use: so much waiting, so much cold, to see just a curl. Even so, the fans didn’t give up on their demands to see them and, with one voice, they asked for Axl's showing up.

Hundreds of Argentinian flags, carried by the kids, pointed towards the balconies in search of a member of the band. It was at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning when Axl showed his face for the first time to greet his fans.

For five minutes he stood there staring in awe at the devotion of the kids. Dressed in a white t-shirt and wearing a red bandana, the Guns N' Roses frontman leaned his elbows on the balcony rail and, with the face of an astonished child, looked at the crowd that was paying homage to him. It was total madness, a party. At the end, the youthful Rose raised his hand in salute and went to his room. We later found out that he had his breakfast and went to sleep.

***

HASSLE WITH THE PRESS

As usually happens in these cases, there is always a journalist who gets in trouble for simply doing their job. And this time it was a photographer's turn.... Just as dawn was breaking, the Gunners arrived in six vans at the hotel where some 900 people were screaming at them. In the crowd there were also a few photographers and reporters from various media outlets. Up to that moment everything seemed under control, even the security personnel - who had set up a fence around the front of the hotel and guarded it with several dogs - asked the people to be calm for the moment of arrival. But then a photographer of the newspaper Clarín was pushed by Felipe Lovalvo, a security guard hired by the hotel. Not only did that happen, but his camera was thrown to the ground and his flash was destroyed. According to Michelle Saporiti, public relations manager at the Hyatt, "the photographer had tried to sneak behind one of the vans," which is why Lovalvo stopped him with a push to the chest. In response, the photographer kicked him in the testicles. Clarín says that there’s no truth to the claim about the kick and that a complaint for "aggression and damages" has already been filed. Really unfortunate.

***

Two days in the life

On Thursday and Friday, the area around the hotel turned into a real Gunner camp. According to the estimations, the crowd reached at times close to 3,000 people. Everyone was hoping to see their idols' faces, even if only through the windows. Good old Slash seemed to feel the chill and let more than just his face show...

"Olé olé olé olé ola, Slash come out" was the chant that invited the long-haired guitarist to greet his audience. All eyes were glued to the dozens of windows of the hotel. None of them seemed to open, until the third one from top left did so timidly. Slash was peeking his head out little by little, let's say a few centimeters at a time. The screams became deafening. Only thirty minutes had passed since Axl had been spotted. Excitement and emotion were running high.

Suddenly the guitarist poked his head out and threw a lighter into the void. The fight among the crowd for that little item lasted a few minutes. Nobody knew who ended up with it. In the meantime, that certain someone who had thrown it had disappeared. But not for long...

Nobody expected more from the Gunners; they had said hi and gave off the best vibes. But Slash continued with a game that he found amusing: throwing things at the street vendors. He came out to the balcony again, he waved once more and then started to take off his blue t-shirt. He showed his naked torso (which was much applauded, especially by the girls) and threw his garment with such a bad luck that it landed inside the Hyatt. But a security guard took charge of throwing it to the fans and there was a big scene: hundreds of hands grabbed the t-shirt. Finally, everyone left happy with a little piece of it: it was torn to shreds.

"We want something"

Slash's t-shirt was already a precious treasure in hundreds of little pieces in the pockets of the fans. But that was not enough and they wouldn’t go anywhere until they got "something, I don't know, anything". As a prelude to what would happen on Friday and Saturday at River stadium, girls and boys continued to arrive outside the hotel in groups that, in a few hours, formed a crowd of around 3,000 people. Everyone stayed at the front, while some members of Guns N’ Roses were leaning out from a window on the 9th floor to say hi and have a bit of fun.

The funniest one was Slash, who came out a few times to throw paper airplanes that didn't fly very well (it seems he doesn't know how to make them), causing the fans to scream and run to catch them. The rapture for the girls was the moment when it occurred to him that it would be a nice gesture to show his little butt. For a few seconds he played with his leather pants until he finally pulled them down and showed the crowd his bare buttocks.

Another one who caused real tears of emotion among the girls was Duff McKagan, the blond boy who has so many unknown "wives" in Buenos Aires. Some of them got desperate when they saw him stick his body out of the window, even though he was more than 50 meters away and you could barely see his blond head. Not to mention when Gilby, Slash and Duff got together at the same window. Down below, the girls' faces were full of pleasure, having the biggest star in the world close to them. From then on Gilby Clarke was seen several times in the course of a couple of hours. The guitarist emerged from his room and the girls' hysteria was unleashed once again.

The frenzy included a few parents as well. Some of the ladies showed their true colors and didn’t hesitate to scream as much or even more than their daughters, who were thrilled to see in the flesh - even if only from a distance- one of "the outlaws". The fever also reached the nearby stores: a girl who served us at a kiosk asked us desperately – whispering, because the place was full of customers - to tell her what was going on at the hotel. The poor girl had to work a few more hours and it was impossible for her to leave.

Flag bearing

Throughout the afternoon the girls were kept busy with chants asking Axl to come out. Then, a few minutes before sunset, a window was opened wide on the top floor, an Argentine and a USA flag were unfolded (just like last year) and the singer came out to present himself. He was wearing a plaid shirt and a red cap containing his red hair, and you could make out the large figure of his bodyguard next to him. That was all the girls needed: to see him. And to tell him they loved him, wanted him and a few other more intimate things. The most graphic was a girl with a t-shirt that said, "Axl f... me. Come here and I'll suck your...," which led some guys to offer themselves as a substitute.

It was during that appearance of the Guns N' Roses leader that the dark-haired Slash managed to sneak out of the hotel and go to the movies to see Jurassic Park. The guitarist escaped dressed in jeans, sneakers, the same gray sweatshirt he wore at the windows of the hotel and a baseball cap with the visor backwards. Looking like that, he arrived at the Metro accompanied by three security people and watched Steven Spielberg's blockbuster for two hours. It seems that nobody told him about Tango Feroz.

Meanwhile, inside the hotel, the guys were chatting away, coffee in between, walking through the corridors and talking on the phone. A few times someone from the entourage, who we could not identify due to the distance, entertained himself by sticking his phone out of the window to make his interlocutor hear the howl that the mere fact of leaning out of the window provoked. Axl, on the other hand, devoted himself to strengthening the muscles of his legs with a machine that resembled an escalator. He exercised on it for a few minutes so as not to be out of shape for the 70-meter stage on Friday and Saturday night.

Night falls

The band members had their own plans. If the afternoon had been a good time for Slash's getaway, the nighttime hours awakened other temptations. And no matter how much of a hick you are, everyone who has been here before knows that this is the land of cows, and that there is some of the best beef around. So, eager to sink their teeth into a good Creole steak, Gilby and Dizzy got tips on the options. There was no shortage of recommendations from the hotel staff, who were trying their best to satisfy the appetite of the Californian guests.

Eventually they chose La Cabaňa, the steakhouse in the Congreso neighborhood, whose huge stuffed cow calf was the main attraction of Gilby's curious gaze as he entered the restaurant.

Of course, the Gunners' departure from their lodging required a huge operation, to which the "distraction" vans were no strangers. Finally it took place at 21.20. Axl left shortly afterwards with an unknown destination and heavily guarded.

After midnight, the hotel bar had become that casual refuge for conversations in various languages with a melancholic piano providing the musical background, until the returning Gilby and Dizzy, along with the "homey" Slash, wanted to put a little excitement in the lives of the guests. So they strummed on acoustic guitars and began to play old songs that have a special place in their rocker's hearts - with so much spontaneity that someone out of the loop believed that it was part of the services of the luxurious hotel...

A couple of hours went by until the band members realized that it was the right time to take a refreshing rest. The next day, a day of work and strong emotions, awaited them.

Thank God it's Friday

Among the hundreds of teenagers who were lining the barriers of the Hyatt, there was a figure who stood out from the rest. A dark-haired boy recently turned fifteen walked among the groups with a polythene sheet in his hands. "Photos of Guns N' Roses", said Raul - that was his name - while tightening a green jacket that, we suppose, would be impossible to zip over his abdomen.

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At 11.30, a window finally opened and Duff, in a red jumpsuit, showed his blond mane. Suddenly Axl and Slash's fans converted to "Duffism" and cheered for the band's drunken fox, who seemed to be in very good shape. Ten minutes later, he reappeared and with the help of his bodyguard unfolded a large white banner with the inscription "Official Argentina Fan Club Love Guns N' Roses" which was left fluttering under the window. Then, to the delight of the girls, he rolled up his sweatshirt showing his chest, waved and left. By then it was already common to see some girls, who were staying at the hotel, stick their heads out and spy the neighboring windows to see if anyone would show up. The fans on the street shouted "daughters of b...es" at them, while the simple "b..., b..." was reserved for the young women who entered the Hyatt dressed as if they were going to a cocktail party. Sometime later, the little game of the windows started: some members of the crew were waving to the people from different rooms, causing confusion among the fans. At 1:45 p.m. someone stepped out onto the gigantic, single balcony at the front of the lodge. "Axl, Axl!" they all shouted and it was a while before they realized it was actually a cameraman filming the scenes below. After a while Duff came out, this time wearing a sleeveless t-shirt revealing his tattooed arms, and leaned on the railing following the other guy's instructions.

Everyone was watching Axl's "zapie", the one on the top floor where the American and Argentinian flags were hanging. Suddenly, at 13.55, a deafening scream woke up the photographers from their slumber. On the terrace, on the left side, four silhouettes were peeking out, waving. One of them was impossible to miss: Axl himself, looking more cheerful than the day before.

Moments later they went inside, and they were never seen again. At about three o'clock the crowd was still shouting at a fair-haired guy leaning against the window through which Duff had appeared. However, it was not Axelito, but another member of the crew who was having fun misleading the crowd. The guys stayed holed up at the Hyatt all afternoon and didn't make a move until the infamous raid (see separate article below) took place. After an impromptu press conference to clarify what had happened, there was barely time to get to River. The full band quickly left for the stadium to offer their fans the energy of their music.

***

THE STICKERS BRIGADE

While the crowd swarmed in front of the hotel, the screaming simulated a holocaust and the photographers shot rolls and rolls of film; the Stickers Brigade of this worthy magazine added the quota of frenzy that was missing. As soon as they showed the Guns stickers they had brought to give away and hand out two or three, the girls flocked on our long-suffering colleagues to take them out of their hands. The most fearless of the VOS commando was Marcelo, who got into the mass of people and was rushed all the way to Carlos Pellegrini. There was little he could do to escape and he decided to throw his remaining stickers in the air. It was a real furor: Marce, we’re still looking for him...

***

And the police arrived

CHRONICLE OF A PERSECUTION FORETOLD

And as expected with Guns N' Roses, there had to be some kind of drama that gave the tabloids something to talk about. This time it was caused by Juan Alberto Imbesi, a former intelligence service agent (we don't know what his job is now) who accused the members of Guns N' Roses of "possession of narcotics and indecent exposure" and "incitement to violence". In his legal complaint, he claimed to have confidential information (though he didn't) about the alleged existence of 50 grams of cocaine in the rooms the band from Los Angeles was staying in at the Hyatt. The only document presented by Imbesi in support of his allegation was a photo of Slash's buttocks, like the ones you see in these pages. According to him, “it’s not artistic nudity but repudiating and obscene" that "affects the legal good of honesty and especially the decency of our youth". "Furthermore,”  he continued,“since the crime of indecent exposure is provided for, I request that the Federal Police, Aeronautics and Gendarmerie be notified in order to prevent the band from leaving the country, so that they’re brought to justice like any other Argentine citizen, without distinctions that violate article 16 of the National Constitution".

These arguments were sufficient for Judge Nerio Bonifati and about 30 police officers from the Dangerous Drugs Division to disembark at the hotel at 5.30 p.m. on Friday - in other words, when the River stadium was already 70% full. According to some reports, all the telephone lines at the Hyatt were cut before the operation. The police force that arrived in two assault cars and four patrol cars caused a lot of tension in the area, and the kids started screaming against the police and demanding for Guns' release. And here is the million-dollar question: what would have happened in the street and, even worse, at the River stadium (which was getting increasingly crowded) if the uniformed officers decided that there was a criminal offense and the band couldn’t play or were detained? It seems that there are some people who like to play with fire... The action of the uniformed officers and the judge consisted of turning the mattresses upside down and checking all the drawers on the 11th and 12th floors to confirm the existence of drugs.

"The whole thing seems like a joke to me", Axl would say two hours later during an impromptu press conference in which the prosecutor of the case, Norberto Oyharbide, participated in a totally unusual way. At this point, the operation had produced negative results and the judicial official clarified that the only thing that had been confiscated was a small bag of vitamins. Axl would add in a mocking tone, "I love coming to Argentina" to become more serious later: "I'm fine, but I'm worried about the fans and what happens at the show; I am also concerned about what that has to do with freedom". On the other hand, the head of the international production company Rock & Pop, Daniel Grinbank, assured that "they wanted to set us up and it went wrong" and pointed out that Imbesi "was arrested in 1984 for robbing a bus". In the hotel lobby, when everyone was going their own way, someone remembered Maradona and the film he wants to shoot with Fito.


***

THE ENDURING

First in line

Just as there were those who stood their ground at the Hyatt, others preferred to be first in line to enter the Monumental. There were also those who endured more than 50 hours outdoors.

Friday dawned cold but sunny. Our reporter and photographer headed for Nunez, adjusting their jackets and scarves. At around 9:00 at River we could already see a queue of about 500 Guns fans who had been there from early in the morning and were very excited to have made that sacrifice. The kids wanted to be the first to enter, there was no doubt about it. Fatima is from Lomas de Zamora, she is 16 years old and she's wearing a coat that combines the flags of Argentina and the U.S.  "I've been here since Thursday at noon", says the blonde girl who admits her soft spot for the dark-skinned Slash. And last night? "Last night I slept over here," she smiles, "but it's worth it".

But if you want to be surprised, wait until you read about our next respondents. "Ask me," Gabriel (19) came up to VOS with a cheeky smile and a visor beanie hat. He is from La Plata and has been here since Wednesday at 05:00 pm. "I came to see Guns", he clarified as if it were necessary, but did they stay here all the time? "No, yesterday we took turns with friends, we left someone on guard and we went to the Hyatt", he replied without letting the cold take away his smile. Because, I don't know if you guessed it, Gabriel spent two nights at the entrance of the stadium.

And the Sarmiento award of this magazine goes to Leandro, Hugo and Fernando, three fifteen-year-old boys who came from Cipoletti, Río Negro. "We wanted to get tickets", they said, while surrounded by sleeping bags and thermoses. And as there was no place to go, they set up at the stadium's gate on Wednesday at 3 p.m. And what about food? "There are many places, but we managed to go to the Shell mini-market". At the corner of the gas station there has been a queue of about forty people looking for food and drinks since early in the morning.

What about the security people? "They only came today; there was no one there when we arrived", boast the people from Río Negro. "But they're cool, they even bought us Coca Cola". The sturdy guys surrounding the stadium with their gray overalls don't make any comments: their indifference is the same as always (except when there are fights, of course).

However, the optimism of the trio was confirmed by an anonymous cop, one of the many that walk around the area. "It's all quiet, these are good guys," he says with a broad smile. Meanwhile, the helicopters pass by every five minutes, without anyone giving them a second glance. Everyone is happy, waiting for show time.
 
***

THE SHOW

River was a party

More than 100,000 souls burned to the sound of the music of Guns N' Roses in the final dates of the Use Your Illusion tour. The Núñez stadium was a cauldron that never lowered its temperature during the two-hour show each night. In spite of the raids and the provocations, Axl and Slash's band proved that when they step on stage, delivering to their audience is the only important thing.

"What, here, too?", asked a journalist coming from the Hyatt, as he quickly entered the River's press room to cover the concert. Los Guarros were still on stage and the resigned look from the rest of us was a clear answer. As at the hotel, a search for drugs took place on the stage, in the dressing rooms and in some rooms on the second floor of the stadium. In the arena, meanwhile, everyone was unaware of the matter. Expectations for the Guns' first show of their second visit were growing and the incident was, thankfully, just one more anecdote in the Californians' travel diary.

The delirium begins

At 8.50 p.m., the wait was over. The band, which had arrived at River a few minutes earlier after being delayed by the police hassle, was about to play in front of their loyal fans. The stadium lights went out, George Harrison's song Stuck In The Middle With You started to play through the speakers and the unprepared fans rushed to get a good spot to see the show. The screams were non-stop, thousands of lit lighters formed a real mattress of fire and Axl's figure appeared on the stage, causing an explosion.

Without making any reference to the bad moment they had experienced a while before, the guys, who one by one took their place on stage, started with It's So Easy. By then the magic and the Gunner energy had taken hold of the 55,000 souls that populated the field and the stands.

Before the initial shock had worn off, the demolishing Mr. Brownstone and Live And Let Die took the breath away from the crowd and the suffering sound speakers. By then Slash switched his Les Paul for his double fretboard guitar (which he commanded throughout the evening like a true master), purple and blue lights created an intimate atmosphere in the slow parts of the McCartney cover and Axl was as if crucified, holding the microphone stand with his hands stretched upwards. A snapshot for a postcard...

The rock of the ants

From the top of the stalls the spectacle was priceless. A sea of heads moved across the turf, as if a giant boot had stepped on an anthill. On the fence in front of the stage, boys and girls who had broken down or fainted from the heat and the crush were being carried by security and the Red Cross. Meanwhile Axl, looking at the crowd, asked in his native language, "Do you know where you are?", to reply a little later amidst an inferno of screams, "You're in the jungle!!!" And, as expected, the first chords of Welcome To The Jungle soon started to pour out of the curly-haired guitarist's instrument. But halfway through the song, the unexpected happened. A power outage caused the set to be halted for a couple of minutes, for which Axl apologized. Cut or no cut, the bonfire didn’t lower its temperature one degree and the party continued with Attitude and Duff taking over the microphone. The bassist, with a renewed hairstyle, his classic open-legged posture and the instrument held at his waist - like Sid Vicious-, didn't get tired of interacting with the audience during the whole night (he even picked up the occasional crowd waving).

The acoustic set

One of the most anticipated moments of the concert was the advertised acoustic set. As soon as Double Talkin' Jive finished playing, the stage crew set up in a few seconds a kind of living room on the front of the stage, where the set would take place. They chose to kick off the set with the Stones cover, Dead Flowers. Then followed You Ain't The First, You're Crazy, and Used To Love Her, a song in which Tím Doyle - Matt Sorum's tech - came in dressed as a pizza delivery boy. He ended up playing the drums after Guns had tossed the two large pizza slices to the audience. The band achieved a truly homey atmosphere in that part of the set, which was followed by Patience - sung by everyone and with the full engines turned on again -, an instrumental version of Lennon's Imagine by Slash and Gilby, Knocking On Heaven's Door (by Dylan), Dust In The Wind (a song by Todd Rudgrenn (song by Todd Rudgrer sung by Axl alone at the piano) and November Rain (while the video screens fused the band with images of rain and thick clouds). Impressive...

On the attack

If the acoustic set became the most exciting part of the night, what would come in the last part of the show was the most energetic. The final onslaught began with Axl - guitar in hand- and Dead Horse. The singer introduced the band and then Matt Sorum's drumheads shook River's walls in a forceful solo. The ex-Cult man sweated his guts out, ending up half naked, and the crowd didn't hesitate to give him a loud and warm applause as the powerful intro of You Could Be Mine made the stands explode once again. The last instrumental section came with Slash's solo which, as last year, included a Gunner version of the theme from the movie The Godfather. Despite the Buenos Aires cold, the guitarist also ended up bare-chested, killing it with the sound of his instrument. With Sweet Child O' Mine the guys threatened to leave, but as expected, the encores came soon after. Don't Cry, Paradise City, the usual greetings and Axl throwing a mic to the audience, put the finishing touch to an evening in which the crowd, once again, had to save words like violence or starting trouble for a better opportunity. River was a party... and some regret it.

Martin Gimeno

*

THE OPENERS

Warming up the atmosphere

SCHANZENBACH
THE GUARD OF FIRE
THE GUARROS


Historically, in our country, the tradition of having opening bands at the concerts of foreign groups ends up being a lottery. The obvious idea is to make the wait for a show - which in this case started at 8 p.m., not too late - more pleasant. But there were people who had been waiting to see Guns N' Roses since Wednesday! And they weren't too keen to hear anything other than Axl, Slash and the rest of the band. Much less if the sound coming out of the equipment was as bad as the one the three bands were treated to.

The first band was Schanzenbach, who took the stage at River Stadium on Friday at 5:30 p.m., as scheduled. The trio formed by Alejandro Schanzenbach on bass and vocals, Marcelo Ferraro on guitar and backing vocals and Carlos Franqueira on drums had the difficult task of kicking off the show in front of the sparse audience that had entered the stadium by that time. In that mixture of hard rock, tango and rhythm and blues that characterizes them, they played five songs from their debut album, Cuatro Caras, plus a "Rodríguez" version of Sábado a la noche, the Morís classic. The problem was that the audience didn't give them much of a chance -despite being a good band- and they ended their set without much applause. La Guardia del Fuego sounded compact and tight. In the songs they did from their debut album Primera Vista, you can tell they have a lot of gigs under their belts. The people paid attention to that sound with roots in the 70's and even acknowledged with a big applause the song El amor es más fuerte, which the guitarist Ulises Butrón played for the film Tango Feroz. They were the only ones who, when their set was over, returned to the stage to play their own version of Pescado Rabioso's classic, El Monstero de la Laguna, as an encore.

After a long intermission, at 7.30 p.m. Los Guarros came up and finished warming up the audience that, by that time, almost filled the stadium, shouting "Buenas noches, pecadores" (Good night, sinners). Although the sound was still terrible (the vocals were practically indistinguishable), the band played old songs and some from their latest album Veneno. They paid tribute to our pioneer musicians with El tren de las 16 by Pappo and Bienvenidos al tren by Sui Generis; and to legends such as Jimi Hendrix (the song was Crosstown Traffic), and Deep Purple, in a powerful solo by Gitano Herrera (presented by the singer as "the best guitarist in the country"). Three quarters of an hour later, the audience was ready to get in the jungle. Job done.

Ariel Martínez

***

COOL OLD FOLKS

The presence of parents in the stadium was one of the characteristics of this second visit of Guns N' Roses. Fortunately, the yellow press didn't focus too much on the (non-existent) danger that a concert by the band entailed, and that was reflected in the audience. Many mothers -and fathers, of course- religiously bought their tickets and stood on the grass or in the seats trying to feel what the kids felt.

Standing in the crowd, some even felt like jumping up and down and screaming for Axl or Slash. We saw it, no doubt about it. Susana (39) went with her daughter Miriam (15). This mother's case is special because she didn't go with her daughter out of fear, but because she likes rock. "I already went to last year's show and to the Metallica show, and this one was great, amazing. I was impressed by the large crowd and the enthusiasm of the kids", she said (what a great lady). Those who probably forbade their children to attend the concert in December last year, this time joined in and accompanied them.

***

YOUR OPINION

After the show, everyone agreed that it was a real blast. Axl, Slash, Duff, Gilby, Matt and Dizzy proved to be a team able to make the kids, and even some parents, happy.

Fearful mother

A sign of these two concerts was the presence of parents in the stadium. There were really many, and among them Liliana (41), a mother who admitted going "with a lot of fear". But I got over it," she admitted, "and it was very good. What did I like the most? Axl, Slash... the hairy one, and I loved the drummer". Next to her was her daughter, Marianela (15). She, like so many others, was blown away by Axelito and was on the verge of crying during November Rain.

"Better than last year"

Many concert-goers, encouraged by our presence, were eager to give their opinion on what they had experienced during the last hours, like Carina (17) and Maximiliano (16). For Carina, "it was better than last year, with much better sound". She also admired the impressive moments when the dark-skinned Slash used the strings of his many guitars. As for Maxi, it was the first time he had seen them and he described the show as "spectacular". But he also had a lot of praise for the cartoon that was projected on the giant screens when it was all over.

A party group

Nothing better than going to a party with a bunch of friends. Alejandra (19), Pablo (23), Lorena (16) and Geraldine (16) made up a huge group of friends who offered themselves for a photo. They all commented that this year's concert was better than last year, that the screens were excellent and that Slash is the best. Among their favorite songs were You Could Be Mine and Mr. Brownstone, of which Lorena swore she knew the lyrics by heart. The dissatisfied one was Geraldine: "I didn't like the stage and the backing vocals were missing".

Experts on the subject

On the way out, we met Alejandro (21) and Rubén (22), both convinced that they had seen a show that left them satisfied. Alejandro liked it better than the previous ones; "it was more relaxed", he said. And Rubén, almost like a music critic, declared: "They showed up more solid as a band, they played music for enjoyment".

Roses for Slash

Paula's (18) comment was more or less a common denominator of the audience. "It was great, spectacular. I was impressed by the acoustic part, everything new that they added. This time around it was more of a concert than a show. Besides, Slash's playing is amazing". On the other hand, the boys (who didn't give us their names), were not very happy with Guns N' Roses, although we don't know if they were at the show or not.


Last edited by Blackstar on Tue Aug 16, 2022 4:56 pm; edited 7 times in total
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1993.07.21 - Vos En Todas Magazine - Guns N' Roses In Argentina Empty Re: 1993.07.21 - Vos En Todas Magazine - Guns N' Roses In Argentina

Post by Blackstar Wed Aug 10, 2022 1:10 am

I went through this and made a few correction, so it's properly translated (hence more readable) now.
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