Tag Archives: Slash

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!

GUNS N’ ROSES AND LIVE AT THE RITZ. RESPECT!

There are not many bands which have been the source of so many conversations, discussions and theories as Guns N’ Roses. Their career as a solid band was too brief, if we consider they were solid at some point, which I doubt, yet impressive. Their legacy based on Appetite for Destruction, Lies (Live Like a Suicide) and even the Use Your Illusion I&II (and The Spaghetti Incident joke, which I love) can kick many bands’ more extended discographies right away.

This post is open for discussion regarding the Illusions as probably many of you are shaking your heads in disagreement, thinking they are shitty albums or they should be reduced to one, but you won’t change my mind. Feel welcome and comment, anyway. You’d really make my day.

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Back to an earlier stage, and while listening to Appetite for Destruction, which, for many who don’t know yet I must remark it’s still my favorite album, I feel like talking about one of the wildest live performances I’ve even seen, if not the best. I’m talking about the classic Live at the Ritz, directed by Scott Kalvert for MTV.

Every time I watch this killing show I wonder why MTV never released it on DVD as they did with the Unplugged sessions. It’s a shame we gotta watch ultra low quality videos on youtube or TV crappy downloads. You don’t have to be a genius to foresee a commercial blockbuster by issuing one of the most spontaneous and wildest show of Guns N’ Roses just about to become the ultimate rock band on Earth. As simple as that.

Recorded early in 1988 in NYC, GN’R were really close to their turning point in their career. They were prominent and popular, but still not as successful as they turn thanks to the explosion of Sweet Child O’ Mine caused by the massive broadcasting of the video by MTV itself.

Probably many fortunate who attended GN’R live shows in clubs won’t regard this performance in the same way as I do, but I still remember when Joe played the video back in 1994 and I was overwhelmed. I’d have sold my soul for attending that show.

Perfect setlist to remember: opening with It’s so Easy and closing with the brilliant Rocket Queen, not forgetting Mr. Brownstone, Nightrain, Outta Get Me,  Aerosmith’s Mamma Kin cover, and what became the main singles of Appetite For Destruction. In essence it was a reckless show.

slash ritz

The stage was on fire. Axl’s snakedancing at its finest, Steven Popcorn Adler totally high on cocaine smiling every time he noticed a camera was around, Duff sweating like swine in his leather jacket and ruling with backing vocals and his punk rock mean attitude on bass (love it!), Izzy smoking cigarette after cigarette in his Keith Richards pose, accompanied by a raw guitar sound, and Slash completely stoned, making mistakes when playing, confessing not being on drugs to the audience (ha! You did drugs till Velvet Revolver era according to your bio)…the atmosphere was so wild audience started to get crazy and jump onto stage to be reduced by security staff members. Insane!

 Personally what shocked and caught me the most was Axl’s aggressive attitude on stage, spreading a halo of pure violence which at some moments I identify as threatening. Never seen him like this again. Full of rage, controlling the band, you could already notice he acted as he felt like, leaving the band alone in the middle of Rocket Queen trying to go on until he decided to be back.

The band is fresh, somehow innocent, interacting with the audience, something which would cause lots of trouble afterwards when Axl became paranoid, constantly feeling harassed by fans, driving him to those weird outbursts which drove to sudden end of the shows. Having still fresh in mind the infamous St. Louis riots, Ritz is so far from that!

What happened after this show it’s already history. Labeled as the Most Dangerous Band in the World, they couldn’t cope with their fame, wealth and other pressures. Mighty Axl’s neurotic behavior were uncontrollable, massive drug abuse by several members of the band was unbearable, and 5 years after this performance, Guns n’ Roses band concept had radically changed for good. From Rags to Riches is perfectly applied to this band. What happened next, such decline and fall, it’s hard to explain. But I still love Guns N’ Roses all the same.

 

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?

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!