Tag Archives: Axl Rose

Wake up! It’s time to play!

I guess you already know one of my favorite topics of discussion has to do with the Guns N’ Roses universe. It’s been long time since I don’t write about this band, but events and confirmations need to be commented. At least I need to talk about them.

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Three years ago GN’R were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Many fans thought this would be the right opportunity for the band to leave all the arguments and bad blood behind, and perhaps, to have a fresh start and start considering a reunion. However Mighty Axl, Mr One in a million, decided not to get involved in that circus, thus he didn’t attend the celebration, and rejected it, becoming a weird event with former members of a band they weren’t part of anymore, while the singer and his new line up continued performing as Guns N’ Roses supporting Chinese Democracy. Personally speaking, my feelings were very contradictory, as on one hand I stood by Axl’s decision, cheering up the fact that he was stubborn yet honest to his beliefs, and not yielding to the pressure of this title, but on the other hand assuming that after his rejection, a reunion would never take place. And to be honest, I didn’t feel the need to encourage such reunion anymore, as it would be just a matter of money, a business, but not a true one. You can call me romantic, ‘cause I am.

In 2015 rumors started to spread on social networks, and the gossip was alive again. A reunion seemed to become a reality, with Slash and Duff willing to go ahead, but as usual, you couldn’t take anything for granted until Axl would open his mouth.

What’s been fascinating during these months it’s the fact that established music magazines were taking these rumors as actual news, and lots of information was decontextualized and twisted as to sell this comeback. For instance, some musicians just expressed their excitement on the possibility of this reunion, but their statements were manipulated as to confirm it was going real.

2016 arrived with the scheduled interview to Axl Rose by Jimmy Kimmel on TV. Expectations had risen to the moon, and everybody was super enthusiastic about him confirming this reunion through a camera. But again, 24h before the show, Axl Rose name was removed from the site, getting thousands of fans disappointed.

All of a sudden, Coachella festival confirmed Guns N’ Roses headlining the festival to take place in April, Slash and Duff were posting a terrible Photoshop poster with the band classic logo with the festival background, and eventually, after making jokes confirming his love for Taco Bell, Axl spoke through this tweet.

gnr coachella

Holy shit! It’s showtime!

Being aware of Axl’s tricked mind, how much time did it take him to post that tweet? What can be inferred from it? Tell me it’s not wonderful, like a modern cypher. Any single emoticon can have different readings, and his patronizing tone is absolutely nasty, as if he was doing us all a favor joining the reunion. Wonderful!

Axl tweet

At this point many of you might think I’m as nuts as Axl is, the truth is that I’m still skeptical. Too much time till Coachella becomes a reality, too much tension in the air, I reckon this reunion is on the verge, and it can explode at any time, no matter the strict and multimillionaire contracts signed up. Axl is unpredictable, still keeps part of his current band colleagues on the payroll, Adler, Sorum and Stradlin are not officially part of the team, and Slash’s IG posts are simply brilliant, as if trying to break Axl’s balls a bit in a subtle manner.

Like I said, I don’t need this reunion, and I’m not the only one on this. When I raised the subject on an interview to Michael Monroe, he was clear: “that’s not a real reunion, it’s not honest, the band members are incapable of putting all the shit behind, and most likely it would not have a happy ending”.

Truth is that if there was a chance, I’d move mountains to attend a show. Too attractive to be missed.

Rumors are spread on a daily basis, the craziest fans, me included, are looking for plots and new theories, with every picture, every tweet, every statement pronounced by someone close, or close enough to be a reliable source, is analyzed and commented.

Which band can create this halo of excitement? Who can turn the world upside down and get all the attention from fans and media just clapping their hands? Guns N’ Fuckin’ Roses, the ultimate rock band.

Whatever happens in the next months is worth following. So friends, get the popcorn into the microwave, because the show has just started. Have fun!

CHINESE DEMOCRACY. 5 YEARS LATER.

It is time for another exercise of nostalgia. This time it has to do with the last release of my favorite band, or better said, of the current project under the name of my favorite band, Guns N’ Roses, led by Mighty (and nutter) Axl Rose. I’m talking about the infamous Chinese Democracy. The cursed album which took about 15 years to be completed, or again we could say it took Axl 15 years to feel it was ready to come out.

chinese democracy

I don’t think an album was surrounded by so much controversy as Chinese Democracy did. Fans were divided already, after the split of the band, with Axl as the only former member remaining, who acquired Guns N’ Roses rights and decided to go on like that, hiring a bunch of super musicians as his mercenaries. You know, Buckethead, Dj Ashba, Bumblefoot, Richard Fortus, Robin Finck, Josh Freese, Bryan Mantia, Tommy Stinson…and so on. Guns N’ Roses were divided into pro Axl versus pro Slash, quite supported after his revelations included in his autobiography. And then this album split opinions even more.

I don’t think Chinese Democracy has much to do with the former GN’R style. Of course Axl is there, and his unique singing style will prevail throughout the years, but the introduction of new resources, recording elements, crazy and overwhelming layering, and more industrial and electronic sounds, didn’t fulfill may people’s expectations.

Yesterday was November 23rd. 5 years ago FINALLY Chinese Democracy became a reality and it was released worldwide, even though some of us had already our copy, as in Spain, album releases are set on Tuesdays. We loved it. We loved it HARD, and to be honest I reckon if Axl had released an album with songs inspired in my hometown folk, we’d have loved it all the same. Arguments, tension in forums, excitement and emotion, it’s unbelievable such landslide of situations came from the release of an album. If you think of it, this is the greatness of Chinese Democracy. It was capable to turn the world upside down, and Axl was responsible for that.

Many would like to kill the ginger, others think he lost his mind long time ago, and his eccentricity has been blamed for destroying the last great rock band in the world. Probably everybody’s is partially right, but I love Axl just because he’s done whatever the fuck he’s wanted any time, facing fans, critics, record labels and band members. He’s never justified his acts and decisions through statements, or autobiographies for laving. And I respect him for that. He’s always doing it his own way, even though I might not follow him as closely as I used to.

Back to the release of Chinese Democracy 5 years ago, I remember that time clearly. I even arranged a DJ’n session for celebrating the final release of the album so many times we had bet  against it seeing the public light. My life was completely different back then, and my “half orange” was as excited as I was, thus the memories of those days are funny.

I hope he doesn’t get upset or something but one of the greatest things witnessed on a music forum was my later friend Joaquin creating a profile for Axl in the forum we used to participate. Rumours were saying that Axl was chatting in forums with fans, so this guy started impersonating him and addressing to his fans in English, asking what we thought of the album and stuff. It was awesome!

Now it’s the end of 2013. Axl is still performing, no video from the album was ever broadcast either, and apparently a new albums is being recorded. Hope for a reunion has vanished. And my life is completely different.

What do I think of Chinese Democracy 5 years later? I seldom listen to ir, but from time to time I like spending some time with its 14 tracks. I still like it. I love it, partly because of the good all times I enjoyed related to it, because it’s Axl’s, and finally because there are great songs included.

artwork chinese democracy

As some sort of tribute I’ve decided to write a comment on every song, to rate it accurately. Hope I don’t get you bored. It’d be awesome if you were trying the same yourselves and wrote your input here, but I know you won’t. Anyway, let’s start with the experience.

1. CHINESE DEMOCRACY

The gates of Axl’s universe open really slow, and the increasing Chinese buzz touches your ears. Everything is sort of apocalyptical, as if it as the starting of a new era. You know? It makes me think of the futuristic Blade Runner.

The opening riff, with the echo, is damn powerful, and starting Axl’s yell is so high pitched and acute I just can believe it. I adore Axl’s low voice.

Very good starter.

2. SHACKLER’S REVENGE

Or the videogame song. I always visualize a video as some sort of arcade videogame. It sounds super artificial and industrial, with lots of special arrangements, and Axl’s voice in chorus layered thousands of times, but it’s still impressive.

Buckethead’s main solo is overwhelming and excessive.

3. BETTER

I don’t think I will ever get tired of Better. This was one of the first songs to be leaked and I’ve listened to it in all the possible ways. Verses are awesome, and lyrics talking about broken hearts are priceless “A broken heart provides the spark for my determination”.

4. STREET OF DREAMS

For many this is one of the best songs of Chine Democracy. For me it’s weird because there are parts which do not drive me crazy, but there are others I love much. it’s an in crescendo song, so by the end I always think it’s great. Axl’s falsetto is brilliant, and piano parts are very nice.

5. IF THE WORLD

On the other hand most people admit If The World is crap, but I have a huge thing for it. It really turns me on. I don’t know whether is the Spanish guitar, the exotic rhythm or the lyrics, so fateful. If the world would end today I’d see myself dancing this song naked, holding someone really tight and grabbing a bottle of something. Decadent and desperate.

6. THERE WAS A TIME

THE song of the album. Excessive, grandiloquent and HUUUUUGE. This is a song of hate, and lyrics couldn’t be sharper. Orchestral arrangements, piano, guitars… I just love it.

It’s always driven me crazy this verse:

Social class and registers, cocaine in the hall
All the way from California on the way to your next call
To those non-negotiations to stimulate a cause
For the betterment of evils and your ways around the laws
That keep you up and sitting pretty on a pedestal or bed
And now you’re sleeping like an angel near the man who you give head

Brilliant!

7. CATCHER IN THE RYE /8. SCRAPED

Catcher overrated song (same as the novel). This is probably one of the songs I like least. I don’t need it, and right now I’m changing to the next song which is Scraped and always saturates me. Next, please.

9. RIAD N’ THE BEDOUINS

It might sound contradictory that I say Scraped saturates me and immediately after I state that Riad is terrific, because it’s one of the most overproduced songs in the album, but I can’t help it, when I listen to Axl yelling “Oh my salvation, and all my frustrations, caught in the lies no one had wove as well, somewhere in time where only I could tell”, I feel up!

10. SORRY

This is a song whose greatness is inside its lyrics. Another song of Axl’s in a revengeful attitude. Probably Beta advised him to channel his anger in beautiful and calm down songs so everybody could get the message clearly.

I’ve always wondered how many times it took to Axl to record that “But I don’t want to do it”. At least 3 months.

11. I.R.S

It’s a great song that I think with the passing of the years has lost strength comparing to other songs. Chorus is still powerful, and I’m sure on stage it has to be a bomb, but at home I miss more attitude and raw sound.

12. MADAGASCAR

Another magnificent song with that orchestral intro combined with a programmed electronic base. As soon as guitars start, this song takes off and it turns into something really big. That moment with the sequence of samplers including  “What we got here is failure to communicate” and “Free at last, thank God almighty we’re free at last!” still gives me goose bumps.

13. THIS I LOVE

I don’t need This I Love when I’m aware that Prostitute comes next, so…let’s go for it.

14. PROSTITUTE

Stephanie Seymour, you really fucked Axl. Not that I blame you for it, but after the whole album and especially through this song, it’s confirmed that he didn’t take it well you eventually turn him down. Wow! You defeated WAR and it’s impressive, but you also inspired one of the most powerful love revengeful songs ever written.

Axl starts almost apologizing trying to express he tried to do well but as the song advances he starts vomiting pearls I’d really like to know how his ex swallowed things like this:

I told you when I found you if there were doubts

 You should be careful and unafraid

Now they surround you and all that amounts to

Is love you fed by perversion and fame.

It’s been said sad and anger caused by love failures are especially useful to enhance creativity. In this case it was the ignition point Axl needed to write a whole album, and it worked, and kept truly intense after 15 years of recording.

I love the Fade Out end of the song. When I reach the end since the very first time I listened to Chinese Democracy 5 years ago, the same thought comes to my mind and is this:

BRAVO AXL, YOU FUCKIN’ MADE IT AGAIN!

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YOU’RE ONE IN A MILLION

Today’s William Bruce Bailey’s birthday. Under that name I’m positive many of you don’t know who I’m talking about. What if I say today Axl Rose is 51? Now you know, huh?

Every year when I update my organizer with birthdays and remarkable dates I add some of my personal heroes’ birthdays and anniversaries too. I already told you that. I never forget Axl’s despite the rough times he’s forcing all GN’R fans to go through.

We could discuss about him for hours, days, weeks and even months, and the only conclusion we would reach is that he’s one in a million.

Those who think his bizarre behavior was caused by GN’R’s meteoric ascent to stardom, and a rough comprehension of their situation, are wrong. Axl was a freak from the very beginning, partly due to all the family issues, child abuse and other traumas he had to go through at early age, and also because of his explosive nature.

I remember one of the funniest episodes of Axl’s outbursts and unexpected reactions Slash narrated in his autobiography. The guitarist always reckoned he had to treat his bandmate with “kid gloves” due to his unpredictable temper. To make it simple, Axl’s never taken criticism very well.

slash and axl

For a short period of time Axl was crushing  at Slash’s basement  because he had no other place to stay at. However he had an argument with Slash’s grandmother when he was politely requested to move off a sofa he had passed out on. His reaction was quiet rude and Slash was immediately reported and advised to put things in order with his guest.

Let me quote this passage from the biography, so you will get the picture:

One morning, I took off to work, and in the afternoon I guess he woke up and passed out on my grandmother’s couch.
“I came home from work and my mom said, `You know, that guy Axl, I came home and he was asleep on the couch and grandma had nowhere to sit.’
“I told him he had to get up and whatnot, so he went downstairs.’ I thought I had to confront this issue.
“So we got in the car and I very delicately put it that that was sort of rude. His reaction was to jump out of the car at about 35, 40 miles per hour on Santa Monica Boulevard. I realised what I’d said to him had offended him.

As far as I can remember, Axl didn’t show up at rehearsals for few days, and he acted as  if nothing had happened, and Slash didn’t have the guts to bring out the subject. By the way, Axl didn’t come back to the basement as you can imagine.

Thus, as you can see, this is Axl Rose, an unpredictable freak with a dreaded personality. Take him or leave him. I chose first, long time ago. At the end of the day he’s the last greatest rockstar on Earth, pretentious, diva like, willful, with a defiant attitude. He’s so beyond good and evil it took him 15 years to have Chinese Democracy ready to see the public light, and hasn’t recorded any video single up to date. All his decisions have been questioned, but at the end of the day, no matter his personal guru, the pressure coming from bands, nor the record companies and other parts, he’s always had very clear which address to take, and has always done whatever the fuck he’s wanted. Guess this is the reason why I love Axl. He’s constantly defying the world.

TIME TO CELEBRATE THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WILDEST ALBUM EVER

The 25th anniversary of my favorite rock album started in the most appropriated way: with a huge hangover. I perhaps, didn’t accomplish the axiom sex, drugs and rock n’roll, but last Friday night was epic in many ways.

Still  yesterday I had strength enough and time to listen to Appetite for Destruction and watch a trashy copy of the unedited peak of Guns n’ Roses universe, their Live @ The Ritz, that show broadcasted by MTV. Ridiculous it hasn’t been officially edited yet, this is something beyond my understanding, really.

Anyway. 25 years since Appetite for Destruction was released. Amazing!

My first approach to this album was in summer 1989. I had this very posh neighbor who had this album in CD! Her parents were divorced and she could get whatever she wanted. You know, this sad blackmailing shit, with parents providing anything in order to achieve love and respect from their children and feel less regret for their marriage failure.

Beatriz had this album only because she liked Sweet Child o’ Mine. In her words, this song was a blast, but the rest of the album was crap. I borrowed it from here, and it was the hardest stuff I had ever listened, but there were a bunch of cool songs. But I wasn’t ready for Guns n’ Roses yet, and it took me another couple of years, till the Use Your Illusions’ arrival, to focus on what has to become my all time favorite band.

Many memories are attached to this band and this album: most guys I’ve been with were GN’R diehard fans too; my first show I had to travel to a city outside my hometown was in 1993 to see them in Madrid with my dad; we had to listen to It’s so Easy every night we were hanging out at least once; my favorite dance step is Axl’s snake dance; my “surname” and nickname in forums is the female version of Mr. Brownstone. And you all know I love Róbt Williams album cover so much, I got myself a copy of the poster at the Hellhouse. Ah, yes! My house is named after their rehearsal dump.

Appetite for Destruction was the most killing debut album ever, which immediately positioned Guns n’ Roses on top of the rock n’ roll Olympus, and christened them as The Most Dangerous Band in the World. Such was the overwhelming success, the band was unable to cope with the impact and soon problems started. It’s been a pity what’s happened over these years, and prefer not starting judgments nor discussions about who’s to be blamed, Axl, Slash or whoever. I just want to pump up the volume out loud, place the needle and listen to the best album in rock history, by the last great rock band on Earth, and enjoy.

Timeless, rough and mean… what else can you ask for, punk?

ALBUM + EP OF WEEK 14 – BLIND MELON / SONIDO JAMBOFÓNICO

Super delay in updating the albums of these two past weeks, mainly caused by my getaway to Zaragoza, and last days which have been quite busy socially speaking. I’m immediately sorting this out.

With the great taste left by Abandon Jalopy’s Death & Joy still in my mouth, from the previous weeks, responsible for reminding me of the constant hunger for Blind Melon stuff,  I  spent much time recovering and enjoyed  the short yet one of the most intense and amazing discographies ever. Some months ago I talked about Soup, said to be my favorite one. But the band’s self-titled debut album introduced by the already classic video of the little fatty girl in glasses, wearing the bee costume, is also an essential in my life, and an absolute MUST HAVE, in a decent discography.

Of course I love No Rain, but to be honest, I got up tired of the famous video. That 90’s aesthetic, the saturation of the prairie and the blue sky, why not? The bee girl, and MTV constantly bombing for some time, were finally hard to endure. Guess I’m lucky not to have judged the band by the video, otherwise I might not be writing about Blind Melon.

And of course, key fact to pay attention to this band was, no doubt, the guest appearance of Shannon Hoon in Guns n’ Roses’  Don’t Cry video. It was like, “Who’s this guy?”. Now I remember that rumors at that time were that Hoon was Axl’s younger brother. And we thought it was true. it was that time when we started to hear about the singer’s childhood trauma, child abuse, his father…as news and gossip took very long to be clarified, for obvious reasons, we thought Axl and Hoon were brothers for some time, till we knew they were friends, from Lafayette.

This album contains what I consider one of my greatest personal anthems ever, a complete declaration of principles, in the shape of the beautiful Change.

When you feel your life ain’t worth living 
you’ve got to stand up and
take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken, 
keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin’ it’s time to die.

How many times have I listened to this song when low spirited? Pfff, hundreds I think, and never get tired of it, as the feeling in my belly never leaves.

Change and No Rain are fantastic tunes, but Blind Melon is more. Tones of Home, I Wonder, Dear Ol’ Dad, Deserted, Holyman…well, no song was included for filling purposes, as any is magic.

Of course, the great weight of the band was on Hoon’s voice, but the more I listen to Blind Melon’s stuff, the more I adore the band.

Despite the fact that some songs lyrics are not precisely very happy and positive, in general terms, and of course, personally speaking, this album is an upper.

Plan for Easter was to stay at my parents’ few days, to celebrate my nephew’s first anniversary, take a break to recover from the shocking news of my current working status, or better said, my imposed inactivity, and hang out with friends.

Great news was that Los Mambo Jambo were in town on Saturday night, so the plan was a WIN. My soul bro Gonzalo were definitely attending the show. Therefore, it was a great opportunity to recover their wonderful EP Sonido Jambofónico. 4 excellent instrumental tunes, ready to rock your soul. You know, the kind of 50’s inspired tunes that unavoidably set you in the right mood for party and dancing.

Their sound is sober and elegant, the perfect and solid rhythmic foundation on one hand, thanks to Kovacevic’s powerful double bass and Jarl’s awesome drum parts, the rockin’-surfin’-swingin’ work of Mario Cobo on guitar, and the unique style and distinctive mark provided by Dani Nel-lo’s Tenor Sax.

Los Mambo Jambo are the accompaniment band at Taboo, The Burlesque Barcelona Night, hosted once a month at Apolo venue.  Never got the chance to attend them but hopefully this will change soon.

Glad to see they’ve decided to spread their Jambophonic sound and delight us with their performances from time to time. I’ve attended two shows and they’re definitely worth seeing, because quality and fun are guaranteed.

BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!

The aim of this blog is not echoing relevant news related to music or films, neither is to lecture nor enlighten the reader with my (lack of) knowledge. I’m here to talk about what’s going on around me, to tell personal experiences and stories, show you the things which move me, excite me or piss me off.  As simple as that.

Once this is has been clarified, I gotta talk about recent awesome news I got acquainted with yesterday. Might not be important for you, but means lot to me.

Few months ago, we all were surprised by the announcement of the induction of Guns N’ Roses into the classic and iconic Rock And  Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland. The rules mark bands can be eligible to be part of this Hall, 25 years after their debut album released, and induction nominees are voted by a special committee.

Well, this year we are to celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest (hard) rock albums in history, and personal favorite gotta say, the unique and awesome Appetite for Destruction. While writing this, I’m having goosebumps, so imagine.

Well, considering the current situation of Axl’s Guns N’ Roses, the former members’ projects and the tense (absence of) relationship among some of them, the whole world started to question who’d turn up to the event, original lineup, current lineup with Axl and his puppets, the so-called eternal substitutes Sorum and Clarke… everything was a mystery, and again, Guns N’ Roses started to be an active subject for rock n’ roll press and media, as back in the good ol’ days.

And it was yesterday when all the doubts were cleared, and media spread the word: Classic Guns n’ Roses Line-Up to turn up for the induction in Cleveland, on April 14th.

Can’t wait for the picture, it’s gonna be something to be carefully studied when available. Jeeez!

Another question still remains to be confirmed: will they perform at the event? Aaaaah! Too soon to know, everything is possible whenever Axl is involved, so, let’s set the countdown and stay alert for the breaking news.

It is SHOWTIME!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY W.A.R!

A bit late, but still February the 6th in the US, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to wish a happy 50 birthday to one of the main icons in my personal universe, and quite a character, Mr. William Axl Rose, aka W.A.R, aka William Bruce Bailey…

Yeah! The last greatest frontman, that ginger guy who used to be the most dangerous guy in the world, a genius, a nutter, histrionic, hysteric, a divo, beyond good and evil, has turned 50 today.

Times of the Ritz and Appetite for Destruction are long gone, still he’s managed to survive, and still receive very remarkable  attention and media coverage, and we, the diehard fans, to enjoy our fix of Axl.

Despite all the redlocks, controversy generated, fights and other stuff, Axl is one in a million, and I will keep on writing down his birthday in the calendar year after year. He and Guns n’ Roses changed my life, and for that, I owe him respect, regardless.

Happy Birthday Axl! Keep on Snake Dancing with Miss Brownstone!