…but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.”
This is the subtitle of “Slash“, the autobiography of the ex G.N.R guitarist,but it also expresses the essence of Guns ‘ N’ Roses. The hard rock band was born in Los Angeles in 1985. In that period Los Angeles was the cradle of many musicians, but also artists and I guess of art (maybe a bit nonconformist type) in the main.
Originally the band founded members from two rock bands, the Hollywood Rose and the Los Angeles Guns, so the name Guns and Roses is the fusion of the two names. But the first SOLID formation included:
From the Hollywood Rose:
– Axl Rose – (founder) (voice)
– Izzy Stradlin – (founder) (accompainment guitar)
From the L.A. Guns:
– Slash – (solist guitar)
– Duff McKagan – (bass guitar)
– Steven Adler – (drums);
Every member of the band, with his own differences, embodies the spirit of the Los Angeles of that time. Drug was a common problem, as well as alcohol. They followed the motto “Sex, Drug and Rock N’ Roll” litterally and this is why the band will split up in the end. Despite that, in 1987 they produced their first, and according to me their best, album: Appetite For Destruction. Sincerely I don’t know how many copies this album has sold, but I know that it ranks among the 500 best albums ever according to the magazine Rolling Stones.
As far as I’m concerned, I like the Hard Rock sound of this album, and, as I have read “Slash“, the story that is behind the making of the album, maybe too long to tell you about now.
Songs like “Welcome To The Jungle“, “Nightrain” and “Rocket Queen” are perfect mirrors for the world of Guns ‘N’ Roses. And songs like “Paradise City” (absolutely my favourite) and “Sweet Child of Mine” are among the 500 best songs ever according to Rolling Stones, ranking respectively in position n° 453 and n°196.
After the publication of “Lies” in 1988, drug problems got worse.
Slash, Duff and Steven decided to enter therapy, but in 1990 Steven was sent away by Axel. This caused discontent in the band, although Matt Sorum took Steven’s place.
Meanwhile the band was working for the new album “Use Your Illusion“, published in 1991. Izzy Stradlin left the band because of the bad relationship between Slash and Axel, and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. Besides Axl hired the keyboarder Dizzy Reed, a childhood friend of his. The “Use Your Illusion Tour” was characterized by serious episodes, on Axl’s part, like late arrivals or absences from the stage, quarrels with the audience and complaints, all this as a protest against his bandmates’ drug addiction. Here (2: 14 min.) is a famous episode:
The biggest concert of the tour was in Tokyo in 1992. I think that the most famous songs of this album (actually divided in two) are November Rain (the video for this song is one of the most expensive videos ever: 1 million and a half dollars), Estranged, Don’t Cry, the mythical Knockin’ on Heavens Door (Bob Dylan’s cover), You Could be Mine ( Terminator 2 o.s.t.), Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & the Wings’s cover, o.s.t. of one of the James Bond films).
In 1993 Guns N’ Roses produced an album of punk-rock covers, “The Spaghetti Incident?” that according to me highlights the decline of the band. In these years in fact, Axl bought the rights on Guns ‘N’ Roses name, the relationship with Slash came to an end, and Slash left the band. Here, FOR ME, ends the story of the real Guns ‘N’ Roses. A short time after also Duff left the band.
Now “Guns ‘N’ Roses” are still playing around the world, but not for me :-).