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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.


2015.04.08 - Daily Mail - Interview with Vicky Hamilton

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2015.04.08 - Daily Mail - Interview with Vicky Hamilton Empty 2015.04.08 - Daily Mail - Interview with Vicky Hamilton

Post by Blackstar Thu May 19, 2022 4:11 pm

EXCLUSIVE: 'Axl Rose hid from police in my one-bedroom apartment - then Guns N' Roses joined him, took drugs on my roof, brawled in the lounge and covered bathroom in hair dye.' Band's first manager reveals all

- Vicky Hamilton gave the hair metal band their first home and guided them to their big break and is now writing a tell-all book on her days with the band
- She was booking gigs for them when Slash asked her if Axl could sleep on her couch because he had to get away from police
- He was wanted for alleged rape but denied it and was later cleared - but stayed at her apartment and other band members moved in too
- They partied hard, using the roof to take heroin and cocaine, and she and her roommate had to barricade themselves in the bedroom
- The bathroom was covered in Izzy and Slash's blue-black hair dye and the police kept calling
- Axl could be a 'monster' says Hamilton, who stopped managing when they signed with David Geffen

The former manager of Guns N' Roses has lifted the lid off life with one of the world's most notorious rock bands – revealing how she once had to harbor a fugitive Axl Rose on her sofa as he hid from cops over an alleged rape charge..

In an exclusive interview, Vicky Hamilton has told of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll-fueled debauchery she witnessed – including how she had to stop volatile front man Axl from 'killing' drummer Steven Adler just a day before a huge showcase event which would help catapult the rock band to stardom.

Almost three decades after Guns N' Roses conquered the world with their rock anthems, Vicky has penned an as-yet published book chronicling her journey from small town Indiana to the burgeoning hair metal music scene of Los Angeles' Sunset Strip.

She details how she rose from cocktail waitress to become the manager of Guns N' Roses in just a few years.

Vicky, who went on to work with some of the biggest rock bands of the 80s including Motley Crue and Poison, told Daily Mail Online how her world was turned upside down when she let singer Axl, guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler move into her one bedroom apartment at 1114 North Clark in Hollywood.

The apartment was just up the road from the famous Whiskey a Go Go venue that gave so many rock bands their big break as hair metal music exploded.

'I had started booking gigs for them and I was interested in managing them,' Vicky recalls.

'At that point they had moved into a rehearsal hall just off the Sunset Strip. It was a little hole-in-the-wall type place.

'Over where they were rehearsing they had built this loft and about three people could sleep there. Apparently they were having bonfires at night in the parking lot and doing drugs and stuff.

'One night Slash called me up and said, "Can Axl come and sleep on your couch for a couple of days?"

'I said, "Why" and he said, "Oh the police are looking for him - something to do with a girl."

'I started thinking "Oh God I'll be harboring a fugitive" but then I just said, "OK yeah, sure".'

Soon Axl arrived under cover of darkness and swore to Vicky he hadn't raped the girl.

'He said it was consensual but he'd thrown her out of the studio and locked her out without her clothes and she was mad. He went to court for it months later but the charges were dropped.'

What was supposed to be a couple of days of Axl sleeping on Vicky's sofa ended up being six months and before long she had the whole band sleeping over.

She said: 'The rest of the band had to move in because they were staying at the rehearsal space and the cops were trying to question them about the rape so they all moved in - except for Duff who was living with his girlfriend.

'I wasn't their manager up until this point but that kind of cemented the deal seeing as I was harboring the "fugitive".'

Vicky describes her six months living with the band as like a 'having a heart attack every day' with an endless stream of parties, girls, drinking, drugs and mayhem.

Her roommate Jennifer Perry and the four hell-raising rockers crammed into the tiny one bedroom apartment - which didn't even have a refrigerator.

She and Jennifer were forced to barricade themselves into their bedroom to stop the wannabe stars bursting in during their wild parties.

The young musicians would down bottles and bottles of Jack Daniels, smoke cannabis and climb up on to her roof to shoot up heroin and snort cocaine.

The band would later become infamous for the drug and alcohol abuse - Steven would go on to suffer 28 overdoses, two heart attacks and a stroke, while Slash would spend much of the next three decades in and out of rehab facilities for heroin and cocaine addiction.

Izzy was once sent into a 96-hour coma after ingesting his entire stash of drugs, while bassist Duff abused drugs so badly his pancreas exploded.

Although she witnessed nothing so extreme in those early days, Vicky definitely saw the beginnings the chronic drug and alcohol problems that would plague the band.

'It was insane,' she recalls. 'I came home one day and Jennifer's dog Babe was hiding in the bath tub shaking because of all the c*** that was going on.

'I guess someone had ramped the amps up full blast. The dog was freaked out.

'The table was always littered with drugs paraphernalia, cigarette burns.

'The bathroom was the worst with black-blue hair dye all over the walls from Izzy and Slash.

'There was some unidentifiable slime on the bathtub. I would take a bag in the shower as I didn't want to stand there.

'There was McDonalds French fries and Marlboro Red cigarettes all through the dining room and the living room. There was a TV and records on there.

'You could usually find Axl watching horror show Faces of Death and rewinding a part where a guy gets electrocuted and his eyeballs pop out.

'I drank Jack with them and smoked pot but they knew that I wasn't a heroin or coke enthusiast. They went up on the roof to do that.

'Girls would come at night – they would do zip up their sleeping bags together to make double ones to fit the girls in.

'Me and Jennifer would barricade the doors so they couldn't get in. In the day time I tried to barricade because they were always stealing my T-shirts.

'The cops beat open my door a bunch of times. I'd wake up to a cop flashing his flashlight in my face. It was a crazy, crazy time.'

Most of the time officers would be looking for Axl, whose volatile temper and violent mood swings would often land him in trouble.

Axl would go on to become a difficult and controversial figure, initiating long-running feuds with his fellow band mates, angering fans with chronic lateness and diva-like behavior and becoming embroiled in a number of costly court cases and brushes with the law.

He was accused of shocking domestic violence in court documents by ex-wife Erin Everly and later girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, who both claimed he regularly beat them, kicked them down the stairs and left them needing hospital treatment.

In 1991, the flame-haired front-man was also charged with inciting a riot during a show in Riverport, Missouri. During which he attacked a fan and stormed off stage. That was followed by a riot. He was cleared in civil lawsuits but convicted of four counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of property damage following the riot.

He was then sentenced to two years probation and had to pay $50,000 to local charities.

Even in the early days, Vicky said she saw the makings of the 'monster' Axl would become.

The worst incident Hamilton witnessed was when an enraged Axl set on drummer Steven, hurling a heavy wooden coffee table at him in a seemingly unprovoked attack.

She said: 'The band were a little intimidated by Axl and there were fights.

'One time Axl was sleeping on the couch and Steven Adler was trying to help me clean up all the bottles from the previous night's parties.

'It woke Axl up which annoyed him and he was like "Stop it, stop it".

'Then he gets up, lifts the coffee table and heaves it at Steven Adler they get into a fight.

'I was like, "seriously you're gonna kill your drummer on the day before the showcase how does that make any sense? Stop!"

'Steven has since told this story and said it was a glass coffee table – but I still have the coffee table it was definitely wood.

'But there was stuff like that all the time. I saw Axl be violent a lot.

'He has two very distinct personalities - one is a very sweet boy the other is demon dog from hell and you can tell where he's at by looking at his eyes.

'If I saw that bright green color in his eyes I would think "Right I'm staying clear of this."

Axl would disappear when he was in his 'demon' phases, said Vicky.

'Luckily I didn't have to deal with it very often in my apartment - apart from the time he tried to kill Steven Adler,' she said.

'He had a major temper he could go from one to 60 in a second that was alarming for me you never knew when he was gonna explode.

'He hadn't been diagnosed with anything but it was clear there was something wrong nobody wanted to set him off everybody was a little scared or at least intimidated by him. If he was already off you just had to get out of the way.

'It would happen at shows he'd get mad with someone in the audience then stage dive off and beat their ass.

'If someone heckled or threw something but you never knew what was gonna set him off it could be something very small.

'He was doing this from the very beginning his personality never changed,

'I heard he locked Erin Everly in a closet and lit it on fire but I wasn't there I never witnessed him being violent towards women. That was way after.

'Once he broke the mirror in the Roxy bathroom over something some girl had done to him.

'He had a short fuse and I was the clean-up person. I definitely saw the makings of the monster Axl became. I told everyone at Geffen that he was crazy.'

Vicky, who said she fell in love with the band's sound as soon as Axl insisted on coming to her office and playing her some tracks on his ghetto blaster, worked tirelessly in the early days to promote the band and land them a sought-after record deal.

She remembers it was always a challenge to keep tabs on the band and ensure they turned up on time for performances – particularly Axl who would later become notorious for coming on stage hours late – enraging fans and costing the band thousands in fines and insurance fees.

She said: 'I was like the mommy trying to keep tabs on them all getting them to the gigs on time.

'He got a lot later, later on and it cost them a lot of money because of insurances at big gigs but from day one it was a problem for Axl.

'He was a diva. He wasn't - at that point anyway - outrageous with rider demands in the no brown M and Ms kind of way but I think he had a lot of nervous energy. He suffered from stage fright. There is something that goes off in his mind that he has to be completely ready to perform or he just doesn't.

'They went on late a lot. Eventually he'd show up and play but he was late a lot.

'Usually they were the headliners so the kids would wait for them to go on and it wasn't the hours and hours that he was going on late in the later years it was more like a half hour or whatever, but it was still frustrating.

'I mean if you can't find somebody its very nerve wracking you know especially when you have the owners of the club looking for you and asking "Where the f*** is he?" and you have to lie and say "Oh he'll be here any minute" and you don't really know if he'll be there or not.

'Sometimes later he didn't even show up but he always showed up with me.'

She remembers one time when Axl's mood swings and lateness almost cost them their record deal with Geffen, the label who signed Guns N' Roses.

Vicky had organized a meeting to sign the long-awaited contract with several record executives at Geffen in March 1986.

But on the day Axl lost his contact lenses and refused to go.

He flew into a rage thinking someone had stolen his contact lenses, refused to go to the meeting and stormed out of the house telling the others to 'go without him'.

Vicky recalled: 'All I wanted to do was get down there and sign the contract and the clock in my mind was going tick tock and it's getting later and later. I'm just thinking "Don't blow it, let's get the money".

'In my mind I was thinking: "Please God just let me get my apartment back to myself."

'What was going through Axl's head was "Who took my contact lenses so I can't read the contract?"

'Then we eventually found him sitting on top of the Whisky A Go Go, in an easy pose looking over the city where he would become the new reigning king.'

Axl had climbed up to the roof via a fire escape.

Eventually he was persuaded to come down after Slash told him his contacts had been found - in his pants.

'So then he rolled down and we went down there and signed the contract. I think we were about four hours late. Luckily they had all waited - except David Geffen but the others had.

'Nobody was angry it was kind of the status quo - every day it was something like that.'

Despite the tantrums and traumas, Vicky said the original members of Guns N' Roses also had a great camaraderie, which allowed them to create legendary hard rock tracks such as 'Paradise City', 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine'.

'They had moments when they were totally connected - you would have to - to write that kind of music. They were brilliant.

'I'm sure they wrote some of the songs in my apartment but I didn't have a piano and Axl liked to write on a piano.

'He wrote November Rain while he lived with me and Rocket Queen about one of the dancers that danced on stage. She was one of the many girls who used to come to the apartment I'm pretty sure.

'I think they knew who they were they always knew they could do it and I knew they would do it too. To the degree they did nobody could have known that – I mean they sold 100 million records.'

Vicky also recalls a time when she saved the band from potentially losing millions of dollars in revenue when she walked in on Axl thrashing out a deal to sell record producer Kim Fowley three of what would become the band's biggest hits from Appetite for Destruction for a mere $2,500.

She told him: 'Dude you cannot do that, we're in the middle of a bidding war with lots of record labels here you cannot sell out these songs.'

'Axl was just like "I can write a million songs" and I said 'Maybe so but can you write a million songs like these?'

'It was Welcome to the Jungle and two of the others that ended up on Appetite.

'He just said, "We really need the money". He was ready to say OK and I was like: "Are you crazy you cannot do that."

Vicky left the pair and went to do some laundry and Fowley followed her screaming at her, 'You messed up my deal! I deserve a piece of that!'

She added, 'Fowley always denied this happened but it did.

'I saved the band millions and millions of dollars that they would have lost if I let him sell them.

'Axl never said thank you – I'm still waiting for that.

'For an artist publishing is your retirement fund, hungry record label people that's what they want - your jewels, your publishing money and Axl nearly gave it away.'

Vicky's relationship with Guns N' Roses came to an end after they signed with Geffen.

'After Guns I got an A and R job – Tom Zutaut told me that if I helped sign them to Geffen he'd help me get an A and R job as he wanted to get them major management.

'I think because I was a woman they didn't see me as a major manager.

'By then I was ready to go - I wanted to make record, get a steady pay check and an apartment to myself.'

Although Vicky's leaving the band was mutual, relations soured even further around a year later when Axl became angry with something Vicky said in an interview and threatened to kill her.

'Yeah he threatened to kill me.' she said. 'I described him as a demon dog from hell in an interview with Musician magazine and he left a message on my answer machine saying, 'You better watch out bitch I always get what I want and right now I want your ass' or something like that. It was pretty threatening. My friend still has the tape.'

Vicky was also forced to sue Axl over $25,000 which she had loaned from guitar dealer Howie Hubberman to buy the band stage clothes and musical gear. She eventually got the money back and was able to repay her debt.

While Guns N' Roses went on to sell 150 million record world-wide, Vicky's career although rich in rock history made her little money.

She is now trying to raise enough money to self-publish her book 'Appetite for Dysfunction' on crowd-funding website Pubslush. She has so far raised just shy of $5,000.

She said: 'I decided to write the book because I'm going to be 57 and the memories start to fade and I just want to get it down and document it.

'I absolutely helped the band find their way.

'Who knows if they'd even have all lived while they were living in that rehearsal hall having bonfires and doing God knows what. There was no one looking after them which is just scary.'

As well as detailing her time managing Guns N' Roses, the book also tells the tale of how she moved from Fort Wayne, Indiana in the early 80s and worked as a waitress.

She then took a job in record store Liquorice Pizza on Sunset Strip where she met Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and started working for them as a management consultant.

The band ditched her when they hit the big time and still owe her $3,000 in unpaid fees, she says.

Vicky went on to manage hair metal band Poison, Christian rockers Stryper before being approached by a young Axl Rose to book gigs for Guns N' Roses and eventually becoming their manager.

The last time Vicky saw Axl was in the early 90s when the red-headed singer blanked her.

But despite everything, Vicky still has a soft spot for the fiery frontman, who she claimed never lied and never changed from when he was unknown to when he hit the peak of his fame.

'The thing about Axl was that he was a very honest person. He took me to the Rainbow one night and told me he didn't think I'd be their manger forever. He was very truthful – so at least I knew that was coming,' she said.

'He was pretty consistent out of the gate. Axl is very truthful, sometimes you don't want to hear what he has to say but at least he doesn't lie.'

Vicky said she would love to be able to bury the hatchet with the rock star and also believes she could be the key to mending the long running feud between Axl and Slash, and getting the original line up of Guns N' Roses back together.

'We shared so much history it would be nice to be able talk to him and give him a hug and say it's all good,' she said.

'I sometimes think that if I had Axl and Slash in a room together that I could fix it. There's a difference in how you deal with people when you grow up together with them.

'They know I love them for who they are. I loved them when they were nobody.

'I didn't have an ulterior motive other than to help them be as good as they can be and I think I was successful in that.

'I saved them from making major mistakes.'

Although the band she helped start off and land a record deal making millions, while she was left with nothing, Vicky insists she is not bitter.

'I try not to be bitter about things,' she said. 'I'm sober 15 years now and I wrote Guns 'N Roses out on resentment lists time and time again but now I try not to be bitter about all this stuff.

'And for me the fat lady isn't singing - I don't think it's over yet.'

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