Posts Tagged ‘Guns n’ Roses’

Alternative Nation posted a write-up of an interview former Guns n’ Roses manager Doug Goldstein gave to the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone. (NOTE: Consequence of Sound and Ultimate Classic Rock have also done similar write-ups of the Goldstein interview) The headline is that Goldstein blames the demise of Axl Rose and Slash’s relationship on the fact that Slash played a show with Michael Jackson and Axl wasn’t happy about it because he had allegedly been abused by his father and he believed the molestation allegations against Jackson. (NOTE: I don’t speak Portuguese, so I’m analyzing this article assuming Alternative Nation’s translation is accurate.)

Goldstein seems to be conflating several different issues together, but if you look at the timing and sequencing of events, I would highly doubt this explanation’s accuracy. (Either that or the magazine misquoted or mistranslated his comments) I read Slash’s memoir several years ago, in which he was pretty honest about the problems going on behind the scenes with Guns n’ Roses.  He briefly mentioned his collaboration(s) with Michael Jackson, but did not mention that as an issue between himself and Axl. Duff McKagan made no mention of this in his book either, nor did Stephen Davis in his biography of the band.

Beyond this, take a look at the timing and sequencing of events:

  • September 17, 1991: Guns n’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II albums released (Source: RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database)
  • November 26, 1991: Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album released.  (Source: RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database)
  • July 17, 1993: After two and a half years of constant touring, Guns n’ Roses play the last show of that tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to being the final show of the band’s Use Your Illusion-era lineup, it was also the final show Slash played with the band. (Source: Guitar World)
  • August 24, 1993: The Los Angeles Police Department announces Michael Jackson is the subject of a criminal investigation, which began on August 17 based on a complaint filed against the singer. (Source: New York Times)

It’s difficult to prove a negative – that something didn’t happen – but in this case it is possible based on the available evidence. Based on the time table of events, Slash probably recorded his guest parts for the Dangerous album some time in 1990-1991. The Michael Jackson molestation allegations would not become public until August of 1993 – a month after the band had played its last show together from the Use Your Illusion tour.  Bottom line – there’s no way Axl and Slash could have had a falling out over the Michael Jackson allegations two years before they happened.  Beyond that – books by/about the band show that there were problems building within the band for a very long time. I highly doubt Michael Jackson had anything to do with the deterioration and collapse of Axl’s relationship with Slash.

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Ann Romney addresses her husband’s Republican critics during an interview with Radio Iowa:

“Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said. “This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

Axl Rose, circa 1991:

2011 Update: I found this unpublished draft of my review of GNR’s “Chinese Democracy” album sitting in my WordPress posts, originally written in 2008 but never published for reasons I’ve since forgotten. I’ve tweaked it a little for clarity, but the fundamental editorial points remain unchanged.

 

So it looks like hell finally froze over and Axl Rose finally released the much anticipated Chinese Democracy, which has been in the works for well over a decade.

One of the sources of friction between Axl and the rest of the original Guns lineup, besides the fact that by the end of their heyday, he owned the name and the rights to the band exclusively and could hire and fire people at his will, was musical direction. Axl was very much influenced by industrial music (listen to the Use Your Illusion II track “My World”), particularly Nine Inch Nails (historical irony: one of NIN’s early breaks was as the opening act for Guns n’ Roses and Skid Row during a European tour back in 1991) and that influence is abundant on Chinese Democracy.

Thankfully I didn’t have waste time or money buying or downloading the record, but it’s still an hour of my life I’ll never get back again. The guitars and vocals, which were the driving force of every previous Guns n’ Roses record, are an absolute mess. It’s not that the musicianship is bad or amateurish. It is high quality production and technically proficient, but there’s no attitude or groove to any of it. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke gave it a rave review recently. I read it and am left wondering whether he and I listened to the same record.

I remember reading an interview with Slash ages ago where he said something to the effect of, “I thought The Fragile was an amazing record, but I wouldn’t want to make it.” The bottom line here is Axl tried to make a Nine Inch Nails record and failed. Call it whatever you want, but don’t call it Guns n’ Roses.