Tag Archives: Guns N’ Roses

RÓBT WILLIAMS & HIS APPETITE FOR LOWBROW ART

Robert Williams is an artist I have maximum respect for, since I discovered that he was responsible for the name and the cover artwork of one of the most iconic albums  not only in rock and music history. Do you have any clue which one I’m referring to?

What about this? Does this look familiar to you?

Yes, Appetite For Destruction was painted by the hot rod artist, and Axl Rose, not only had such a crush on the artwork, but also the name of the piece made such impact on him, he decided, well, better said, suggested, that should be the name for the debut album of the most dangerous band in the album, Guns N’Roses, and my personal favorite as you might already know. I reckon he nailed it. Surely you know this cover was censored due to the explicit content on it. Absolutely insane, yet super hypnotic. I’m sure I already told you about my own replica at the Hellhouse, what can I say?

Williams conceives his prolific work as Conceptual Realism, and also the term Lowbrow is frequently related. Not sure about what that means, you know artistic terms are not my strength, but yeah, it’s true he deals with realistic elements, of course translated into his personal universe. Knowing already my taste for the extreme and sometimes vulgar, you can imagine, illustrations dealing with underground culture imagery, it’s my kind of thing.

Hot Rod, easy women, sex, violence, past-present-future, all kind of icons, comic culture, countless elements to reflect dissatisfaction and disappointment with American society in essence.

If you dig a bit into this artist’s career and personal life, you come to the conclusion he’s a kind of art outlaw, a rebel. Involved in the car culture since very young, seems that his only way to stay out of trouble, and avoid the can, was to focus into his painting skills and passion. And he succeeded, as many publications and Juxtapoz magazine he founded in 1994, are the proof.

I remember seeing all these billboards and ads of Vans Vault Icons,  featuring him some years ago in Manhattan. I had a crush on some of his designs.

Williams, a revolutionary with a paintbrush, able to shock the world with his powerful stories, reflecting the lowest and darkest side of the mean society, with corruption, vice, greediness, we’re part of.

Most likely many of you dislike his pieces so color saturated and overloaded. On his credit, so much meaning implicit in every stroke, as to get hooked observing and noticing millions of details impossible to assimilate at just a glance. Personally, I find his work fascinating.

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!

KINDLE, E-BOOKS? NAH, I STAND BY THE BRICKS

I’m a consumerist. Period. I can try to deny myself, but my willpower  very often succumbs to temptation, and having the world at a single click, I catch the bait more than I should. I could go to therapy, but it’d be more expensive than purchasing certain items which provide me a massive wave of pleasure. Still, same as cigarettes, I’m cutting down, not so rad, but little by little.

And what  are my late main acquisitions? Books.

They are not for imminent consumption as a CD or a vinyl, I could have waited to buy them, but you know, sometimes you feel the urge to have the book, touch it and smell it, and think “I got you, babe”. Reading is slow combustion pleasure, mmmm, I love it, but the problem is that lack of time is an issue, and this wonder requires the world to top. And it’ difficult.

It’s true that I have abandoned fiction for a while, perhaps on behalf of films, thus I’m enjoying biographies overall.

These have been the latest entries at the Hellhouse,  I’m really proud of.

CRONENBERG ON CRONENBERG – Edited by Chris Rodley

The Baron of Blood is one of my favorite directors. Nowadays, thanks to his last films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, has become a more prominent and public figure, up to major consumption, however his earlier films, managed to twist sci-fi into something more insane, with great dose of science and psychological features.

This book is nothing but excerpts of interviews in which he talks about this early works, conditions related to budgets, plot concepts… basically what he had in mind when he filmed them.  They Came from Within, Rabid, The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome up to Crash… I read it a couple of years ago, and was fascinated by the way the Canadian talks about his work.

If you are into his filmography, this is a MUST have.

RECKLESS ROAD   GUNS N’ ROSES AND THE MAKING OF APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

Another present I bought, this time for my friend Jaume, in NY, in 2008.

Autobiographies aside, reckon this is the most valuable document of the earliest years of Guns N’ Roses, the (former) most dangerous band in the world, captured in amazing shots by their fan #1, and best friend, Marc Canter. No doubt their close relationship in that time, and his love for the band, made Reckless Road possible. Captures, press reviews, fliers… this compilation of band memorabilia is like time travelling back to Sunset Strip era, when Axl’s obsessions were still at the rear of his mind, and they used to hang out with hookers, for sex, drugs, a shower and some Night Train.

THE MAKING OF THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Despite the fact that I really love Star Wars, and I’m a diehard fan, to be honest I’ve never been an avid collector of stuff. It’s true I have posters, soap dispenser, t-shirts, toys…but I’m not obsessed by the holy saga at all.

Up to date, my most serious possession was a present I received from my ex brother-in-law, another super fan. It was The Making Of Star Wars.

I told you about my New Year’s Day tradition of starting with the holy trilogy. Well, it was then when I decided that  the book revealing all the details of how my favorite movie ever was developed, had to be mine. I haven’t dived into it properly yet, but I know some hours of pleasure are guaranteed.

A DEVIL ON ONE SHOULDER AND AN ANGEL ON THE OTHER: THE STORY OF SHANNON HOON AND BLIND MELON

What can I say? I love Blind Melon and need to know more about Shannon Hoon. My friend Enric insisted I had to get it, and eventually the writer himself advised my where to purchase it…unbelievable! I still have it sealed, waiting for me to close other pending readings so I will focus on it exclusively. I’m scared of what I might find. I’m  still mourning Hoon’s loss and most likely I’ll feel devastated once I really get to know him in detail. But I have to. Blind Melon are essential in my life.

WE GOT THE NEUTRON BOMB: THE UNTOLD STORY OF L.A PUNK

This was actually a Xmas present from the cake couple, and it was really a nice surprise. Just had a quick look at it, but seems it’s gonna be endless fun. Resembling in the style and format to Please Kill Me, based on quotations by personalities who were part of that story, and covering the whole punk era in L.A up to hardcore movement. Pretty interesting, to be honest.

I really can’t pile these treasures up in a shelf and forget about them till I finish my current readings, thus here they are, moving from one place to the other at the Hellhouse, waiting to be settled, and swallowed by their crazy owner some day.

NEW YEAR’S DAY TRADITIONS

These day we’re currently passing through are a whole set of traditions, perhaps too many and too concentrated. For 15 days approx, we live in a mess, and all routines are temporarily erased due to so many changes in our daily biorhythms. So many lunches, dinners, parties, booze, heavy meals, breaks… my schedules are gone, I’m a creature of the night, more than ever, and all the home duties and other stuff have been disturbed.

Living in a different city helps me to lessen the impact of Xmas a bit, freeing me from some obligations, but still, until January the 9th, I won’t get back to normal, and I know it will take me some time to readapt.

Anyway, hope you’ve started 2012 great, and whatever you’ve done these days, to be worth.

Despite the first complaining lines of this post, I don’t regret anything done the past days, starting 2012 surrounded by great friends, celebrating the New Year at the Hellhouse, made me immensely merry, and last Saturday night was a blast, from top to bottom, from the starters to the moment I crushed on my bed completely wasted at 7AM. Aaaah!

Lack of plans and a hangover that was actually smoother than expected, made me wake up already in the afternoon. I was a bit dazed and disoriented, because although I’m a night owl, don’t sleep too much and seldom wake up later that 10-11. Anyway, after feeding with some of the leftovers (I ‘ve brought all the stuff to the office today, and there was plenty of food for all of us)m taking an ibuprofen, and getting my head clearer, I started to think of all this traditions and special things people do on this day.

I’m not making commitments to myself, just want good things from past year to go on, and whatever this year brings, let’s hope it’s positive and worthy. Yes, I wanna give up smoking and do some exercise, improve some habits and many other things, but this hasn’t to do with the new year.

Anyway, I’m diverting from the subject. I was trying to remember what I did one year ago, a bit messy start in the process of moving to my current  Hellhouse. I was quite anxious, trying to start from zero on my own, and forget about the previous tortuous events which had affected me greatly. I reckoned I had done something special to myself, which was to become my personal tradition, which, perhaps in the future, I might share with someone else (remember I still believe in love 😉 ), but I couldn’t recall what it was.

It was this pic posted by my friend Xavi on FB and the subsequent “conversation”, what brought me back to that day.

I watched the Holy Trilogy of star Wars. Hell yeah! Couldn’t be other way!

Once this discovered, there was only one more thing to recover as my personal ritual. Music. And, is anything better that starting the year with your favorite album? I don’t think so, so I played it, I played Appetite for Destruction, and I felt, as we say in Spanish, like GOD!

I watched the 3 films in a row, and can’t really put into words how I felt. You must believe me when I reckon I discovered myself crying while watching certain scenes, and having goosebumps with the Imperial March. It’s amazing I’m still experiencing such emotions after so many years and so many reviews. Really, what kind of person would I be without Star Wars? Han, Leia, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Luke, Hoth system, Tattooine, the Death Star, Tie Fighters…they all are part of my life.

You see? At the end of the day I don’t need much to feel happy, and I’m glad to have assured my personal New Year’s day traditions. Therefore, if you wanna know what I’ll be doing in a year, remember what I’ve just told, and give me a call if you wanna join. Certain traditions are not to die.

Happy New Year, friends!

GUNS N’ ROSES SAVED/CURSED MY LIFE

Acts have their consequences, so do likes. When you start loving something you don’t have any clue the way this is going to mark your life.

This thought is a consequence of one of these lists related to music and a friend’s answer to the reason why he bought his favorite album Appetite for Destruction (same as mine). Gonzalo has been brilliant, he’s said: if Guns n’ Roses weren’t in my life, I’d never had the chance to meet the wonderful people I know in the world of rock. You stop thinking of it and he’s got it damn right!

My teenage days are coming to my mind quite often lately.  A couple of months ago I was talking about 1991, a year that, I reckon, marked a generation musically speaking. Probably because of that, I’m wondering what would had happened if I didn’t like Guns n’ Roses or Pearl Jam, or rock in general. It wouldn’t be me I guess. All the passion that grew inside of me and features my personality so much, wouldn’t exist.

I’m not saying I’m special or different. Hell! I used to think like that when I was younger, but those thoughts were long gone when I realized most of my problems are the same as ¾ of global mankind, and the way of life I have, same as others’.

What I mean by all this is, if I didn’t get to like Guns n’ Roses I wouldn’t had enjoyed such good memorable times in my life nor  wouldn’t got to know wonderful people so close to me nowadays, who otherwise would be complete strangers.

If if if if if… Forget about if only’s. The fact is that I felt on such state of grace, I’m so proud of.

I’m thinking of a list of good things which have happened thanks to rock (and Guns n’ Roses), but that would be too much: friends, gigs, love, hate, pleasure, pain, memories… in short, my life!

Those were the questions (and my answers) related to music I was talking about. Feel free to add yours, I’d love to know:

MUSIC CONFESSIONS

  1: First Album I bought. LIKE A PRAYER (MADONNA)

  2: Last Album I bought. THE SHAPE OF PUNK TO COME (REFUSED)

  3: Last Album I listened to. SOME GIRLS (THE ROLLING STONES)

  4: Earliest Music Related Memory. TORREBRUNO TOOK ME ON TO STAGE TO SING ROCKY CARAMBOLA, WHEN I WAS 3

  5: Favourite Music Video. HOT FOR TEACHER (VAN HALEN)

  6: Favourite Genre. ROCK

  7: Favourite Band. GUNS N’ ROSES FOREVER, FOREVER GUNS N’ ROSES

  8: Favourite Member of your Favourite Band. MOST TIMES IS DUFF, THE OTHERS IZZY

  9: Favourite Song. ARGH, WHAT QUESTION IS THAT? CURRENTLY I’D SAY AN AMERICAN TRILOGY (ELVIS PRESLEY)

 10: Favourite Album. APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

 11: Favourite Music Related Memory. GETTING DRUNK WITH DAVE WYNDORF DURING A GIG OF QOTSA

 12: Favourite Album to drive to (If you don’t drive, just imagine one) KING OF THE ROAD (FU MANCHU). I EASILY IMAGINE MYSELF DRIVING TROUGH CALIFORNIA HIGHWAYS LISTENING TO BOOGIE VAN

 13: An Album your Parents always used to put on that you weren’t too keen on. MY MOTHER USED TO TORTURE ME WITH DIANGO

 14: The reason you bought your Favourite Album. BECAUSE GUNS N’ ROSES WERE THE MOST DANGEROUS BAND IN THE WORLD

15: Ratio of Legal to Illegal Music you own. 95% LEGAL.

As you can imagine, answers to questions 2 & 3 have changed. The last album I’ve listened to was  Riff after Riff After Mother Fuckin’ Riff (The Wildhearts), and the last album I’ve bought, via Amazon, is Through a Crooked Sun (Rich Robinson).

I’m so glad I went to the Jungle!

SUMMERTIME, ESTRANGED AND GET IN THE RING

Why, regardless of the busy season at work I’m currently suffering, summertime gets me totally nuts and routines seem to be on vacation?

Everything seems turn upside down. Not only the things I do on a daily basis, but also my weight, my hair, eating habits, and moreover, sleeping  hours, lack of savings and booze.

Will I get back to normal at some point? Of course I will, but it will happen for no reason. Guess weather affects human being more than we think. The weirdest of all is that I used to become super lazy in Summer, but nowadays I’m pretty much nonstop. I had to force myself to calm down a bit few weeks ago, otherwise I was gonna fall ill for sure, and ruined too. At this point in mid August, gotta admit I’m much exhausted, mainly mentally, due to work overload.

Enough complaining! On the positive side of the coin, I’m enjoying really good times with my friends, and even at work, in the middle of chaos, we have much much fun. Please, don’t misunderstand me, I’m happy at my office, it’s just peak season combined with my partners holidays is hard to endure sometimes.

I’m not sure the aim of this post, if there is one. First I’ve started thinking of cocktails, then about how everything is being random and chaos lately, and finally, 5 minuted ago, I’ve remembered something happened on FB.

I don’t usually pay much attention to ads pages or friends suggested. I’m interested in my friends’ stuff, bands updates, pix and that kind of stuff. Birthdays calendar is a good reminder sometimes, although I have already my alarms set for them.

Anyway, wasting my time on FB as usual, all of a sudden I started to see status flashbacks of previous years. How much “memory” has FB got? Not sure, but it sounded a bit scary to me. Truth is my status show some kind of mood in the time, but I’m not super explicit as almost to write down my account number (believe it or not, I’m exposing part of my life here, but privacy settings on my profile are high) or describe that I’ve just farted.

Well, first status I saw was dated on the same day, back in 2009. Quite average, it read “summer watching”…good ol’ summer days working for Damco! From time to time I kinda miss those years.

Second flashback experience made me feel that knot on the stomach, a Guns n’ Roses song title, one of my favorite although many people agrees is rubbish, Estranged. Uh uh! Me no like that. A rollercoaster of memories started passing by at the speed of sound. Yeah, man, one year ago I was fucked up to the max! you know one month ago I was making some balance of the past year, on purpose. To recover tough and sad memories all of a sudden by chance is another thing. Didn’t feel very well because this reminded me my state of mind and heart were pending on a loose rope for a couple of months keeping the hope at some point everything could get back to “normal” somehow. My mistake, sometimes I’m so innocent I think of myself being in the middle of a nightmare to be stopped as soon as I shake my head. You know what the end was, and I don’t complain nowadays, but hell! I could have saved some pain.

Fortunately I’m in a positive mood and am able to twist the thing as to put an end to this crap in an optimistic way. No matter I’m anxious and stressed lately, nor I’m swearing on some people’s mothers 8 hours a day… when I leave the office I’m fine, don’t feel lonely nor despised, and can sleep without nightmares, I can be tired, upset, happy or horny among others, but fortunately not feeling related to such an  state as Estranged anymore.

estrange /ɪˈstreɪn(d)ʒ, ɛ-/

verb

  • 1 cause to feel less close or friendly; alienate.
  • 2 (as adj. estranged) (of a husband or wife) no longer living with their spouse.

Arrrgh! For better or worse I’m more in Get in the Ring mood 😉