Guns N Roses kicked ass during most of their 7-year run from 1987 to 1994. Its origins began in Lafayette Hollywood, where Bill Bailey (Axl Rose) spent years singing gospel with his siblings at church. Alas, Axl was often abused by his stepfather and at 17, he left home and headed for L.A. with dreams of musical success. A lot of unfortunate kids seem to follow that route but in Axl’s case it worked. GNR was formed in 1985 with members from Axl’s original band, Hollywood Rose, some of whom quit or were fired, until the band founded its famous lineup: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Steve Adler, Duff McKagan and Slash (Saul Hudson). Cool. Guns filled the house at local clubs and Geffen Records signed the band to a contract. FYI, do you remember The Captain and Tenille? You know that weirdo in the captain’s hat who played piano and that redheaded broad with the huge mouth? They owned Geffen. Those two had business sense. Who knew? In 1986 Gun N’ Roses performed as the opening act to the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Shouldn’t that have been the other way around?
video: Duff McKagen and Steven Adler Interview 1987
video: Guns N Roses Rockumentary
Their first album in 1987 Appetite for Destruction holds the record as the highest selling first release rock album of all time. Welcome to the Jungle was released as its first single, but the album tanked for a year until MTV played the video for it only once and fans requested it en masse. Guess it was meant to be. Sweet Child O’ Mine was the album’s second single co-written by Axl Rose for his first wife, Erin Everly. Slash later stated “it was actually my least favorite song we ever wrote…I hate it, but it turns out to be our greatest song ever”.
Before every concert, Guns blasted AC/DC backstage, the number one hard rock band on the charts. They were determined to knock DC down to number two and the pre-show reminder got them pumped.
video: Guns n Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine Live 1988
video: Guns n Roses Interview
video: Guns n Roses The Story
video: Axl Rose Interview
That’s where it gets tawdry.
Ha. When wasn’t it?
In 1990 Steve was fired due to drug addiction and was replaced by Matt Sorum yet the band was notorious for its bad behaviour and drug use. No surprise there. Rockers. Tsk, tsk. In 1991 during the Use Your Illusion Tour Izzy quit the band and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. In 1993 Axl abruptly fired Gilby stating he was “only a hired hand.” Ouch. Ego much? That was when the band took a serious nosedive. The band’s last album The Spaghetti Incident was an utterly pointless collection of lame cover tunes. Fans labelled them Guns N Posers. Ouch. GNR literally couldn’t keep it together and by 1997 everyone except Axl had quit. Diehard, that Axl. Axl formed a new 2001 Guns N Roses that sucked yet somehow filled stadiums during worldwide tours. Gen Ys, doubtless. They don’t know any better.
video: Steven Adler on Hard Copy
view: The Story of Guns N Roses
video: Matt Sorum talks about Rumours he’s rejoining the group
Axl may think so…that’s just the drugs doing their work.
Comeback Grade: S for Save your money and stay home.
Guns Facebook Fans: 7,712,522 seriously…