Which Aerosmith song deserves a revival

Guns N ‘Roses: The story of a rock‘ n ‘roll icon

by Niki Kamila,

“From my point of view, we haven't lost anything. For me the glass is always half full. We were five street boys who believed in their dreams. We played in clubs and suddenly we rocked the big arenas. We were never trendy. We hated the other L.A. bands. All those pretty, stupid bands with their teased hair. We came from punk rock and did real, honest rock ‘n‘ roll. We took the band out of the gutter and into the stadiums. It's just a shame how it ended. "

That's what Duff McKagan, ex-bassist of one of rock's most successful acts, says. Guns N ’Roses caused success, scandals and headlines like no other band in just a few years. Guns N ’Roses has written countless hits, celebrated successes, broken records and a few taboos. She took care of the running gag of the music business and has now made it come true. In 2008 it was time to raise the curtain on the album 'Chinese Democracy', which was hardly considered possible - the first in 15 years. Let's remember what happened so far ...

Welcome to the jungle

In 1985 a couple of young musicians rehearsed in a lousy apartment not far from the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The room, barely larger than 15 square meters, is both the center of life and the headquarters of two friends from Lafayette, Indiana, who fled the province to make the American dream come true in the metropolis. Singer William Bailey is now called Axl Rose, guitarist Jeffrey Isbell is now called Izzy Stradlin. Both start off with different bands.

The economic hardship leaves them with no right choice. Stradlin straps his guitar on for several formations: Naughty Women, Shire and Atoms, at the same time Rose is founding her own band with guitarist Chris Weber, bassist André Roxx and drummer Johnny Christ. It's called the Hollywood Rose. But the band doesn't last long. Rose joins the L.A. Guns. Their formation consists of Rose, guitarists Tracii Guns and Izzy Stradlin, drummer Rob Gardener and bassist Ole Beich.

When the woofer dropped out, a certain Duff McKagan answered a hastily placed advertisement and bragged that he had already played in 30 bands, had just dropped out of the Road Crew formation and would be exactly the right person as a multi-instrumentalist (bass, guitar, drums) anyway . The pale bass player from Seattle, with dyed blond hair and his punk attitude gets the job. It is also he who a little later will bring his friends from Road Crew - guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler - to Guns N ’Roses.

Slash, a wiry, chain-smoking curly hair with a low-hanging Paula, was born in the English Stoke-On trend and tries his luck as a Gunner, as does Ohio-born drummer Steve Adler. The band is born. Fusel, butts and white bread with peanut butter serve as staple food, and the stage is the quickly notorious 15 square meter sinkhole on the Sunset Strip.

“There was an acute risk of infection in this place,” McKagan later recalls. “A very uncomfortable prison cell,” Slash finds amused later, “but we had the biggest party in L.A. every weekend. There was booze on the next corner.

There was a liquor store that sold this booze called Nightrain. For just five dollars, we were all dead. We ate that stuff. ”While the band forges a consensus of rock, blues and heavy metal, McKagan is the interface to punk, which he likes to do with“ Ramones ”and“ CBG.B.'s ”shirts Show poses. He almost even accepted an engagement with the British punks Angelic Upstarts: As a drummer! But now he's getting started with Guns N ’Roses and is trying to get gigs for a first tour on the US West Coast. He convinces the others to quickly create a set with a few songs and get started. After allegedly only four days of rehearsals, they load a rickety bus and set off with a few hastily knitted numbers in their luggage.

The dress rehearsal goes completely wrong: Your bus collapses, the performance is canceled and Guns N ’Roses put on" a completely shitty gig "at the hastily organized alternative date. The Süddeutsche Zeitung later knows "because there is not enough money for the rehearsal room, they give learning-by-doing concerts." The title also says it all: "Hell Tour 1985". But they want to know. You tour across the USA fearlessly - and even have success! The band needs a manager.

They meet up with Tim Collins from Aerosmith, but he quickly backs down after the musicians empty the hotel bar after the meeting and present Collins with a bill for 450 dollars. After a few overwhelmed candidates, Alan Niven from New Zealand feels up to the band and advises the guys to record an EP: 'Live?! * @ Like A Suicide'. The 25,000 pressed copies are sold out quickly and will be traded for $ 100 in second-hand markets soon after the debut album has been released. A rapid increase in value that documents the steadily increasing importance of GN’R.

Manager Niven succeeds in arranging the deal with Geffen Records in 1986. Of course, after the band had previously been courted and entertained by all interested record companies. The A&R scouts from all major companies are fascinated by the “What The Fuck” attitude of the newcomers

Cravings for destruction

With their hedonistic lifestyle and uncompromising high-energy rock, Guns N ’Roses are the hottest tip in Los Angeles in 1987. The band has now moved to "Hellhouse" in West Hollywood, a factory building known for wild parties, groupies, drugs and raids. According to music journalist Paul Elliott, “Guns N’ Roses don't just pretend to be the most degenerate bastards rock n ‘roll has ever produced. It really was you. Axl Rose has had more than 20 arrests in his home state of Indiana, Stadlin was a junkie, and another member dealt heroin. "

And McKagan has a handsome list of car break-ins in L.A. The band walks a fine line, and their record company actually strengthens that image: "They'll make it if they live long enough." It's time to make their debut. Of all people, producer Mike Clink, who polished Survivors' Eye Of The Tiger, is supposed to produce Appetite For Destruction. The man is seriously shocked when he meets the boys and takes over the job on one condition: "No drugs in the studio!"

Slash countered easily: "So during the day I limited myself to Jack Daniel’s, coffee and Marlboros". To then switch to the evening program: “Back then I drank half the night. At some point I crashed my van after passing out at the wheel. When I woke up, I was sitting in the middle of the street, some girl next to me. "

A typical scene for the musicians in this band, which was to take on unimagined proportions for the 'Use Your Illusion' tour. GN’R are working hard on the debut and creating an aggressive, loud, electric and casual sound with influences from the Rolling Stones, Motörhead and the Ramones, who give them a good dose of adrenaline, dirt, drugs and drunkenness. Guns N ’Roses are not reinventing rock‘ n ‘roll.

But they give him a damn exciting attitude to life. Singer Rose tries to put that into words and screams out his feelings in 'Welcome To The Jungle', what it's like to come to L.A. as a country bumpkin. To add extra authenticity, Axl “screwed a stripper for the song 'Rocket Queen' in the studio. And she was in a good mood, ”McKagan remembers later. But there is also the gentle Axl who serenades his future wife Erin Everly, the daughter of Everly Brother Don, with 'Sweet Child O' Mine '.

The song was created in just five minutes. But the rest of the band initially thought Slash's guitar lick was just a joke. "They laughed each other out and said: What the hell, is that supposed to be for a song?" However, the success proved Slash right. The American Rolling Stone meanwhile calls GN‘R a "brutal band for brutal times". Because while Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof, Sting and U2 try to unite the world musically, if not to save it, Rose sneers that the music scene has degenerated into "damn cock-sucking" since the Sex Pistols.

To demonstrate the opposite in practice, they go on tour with The Cult and even replace Whitesnake on Mötley Crüe's US tour. Europe welcomes GN’R with skepticism at first: At the first guest appearance in the UK, the stage of the venerable London Marquee Club is covered knee-deep with paper cups. Welcome greetings look different. And the Daily Mirror says: "More disgusting than the Beastie Boys."

Nevertheless: The “acute risk of infection” described at the beginning seems to be proving to be true. Not just with the fans. Unfortunately also very specific in the direct environment of the musicians. During the tour with Mötley Crüe, bassist Nikki Sixx can just be revived after a heroin overdose in the hotel. Then various band and crew members check into rehab clinics. Only GN’R continue to celebrate.

After all, 'Appetite For Destruction' was released on August 1st, 1987. But sales started slowly. Media mogul David Geffen uses his position of power and intervenes personally so that the video for 'Welcome To The Jungle' is broadcast by MTV. A clever and effective move: When the video ran for the first time that Sunday morning, the telephone switchboard at MTV collapsed. All viewers have the same question: who is this band? Parallel to the airplay, the album climbs slowly but steadily into the top 40 of the Billboard charts until it settles in pole position in February 1988.

Rose & Band celebrate the stage win: From the gutter into the glam world! Welcome to the jungle! Appetite For Extension! Because the debut work will sell 15 million times in the first few years, a whopping 5 million more than Nirvana's work of the century 'Nevermind'. And that although the American wholesale chains are initially boycotting the sale of the album! Every GN’R musician earns around $ 60 million in the first four years of their career. Side note: During the joint tour with Aerosmith there is a strict announcement from Tyler & Perry not to celebrate backstage parties that could cause the former "Toxic Twins" to get stupid ideas.

Altamont & Worries

Manager Goldstein, formerly the bodyguard of the band Air Supply, is now in charge of the band. And get her an even better deal for the next album 'GN‘R Lies'. The album, the original title of which was “Guns N’ Roses Lies! The Sex, The Drugs, The Violence, The Shocking Truth 'should be called and is described by magazines like "Circus" as "psychotic garage rock", provides a new explosive: Rose once again makes new friends with racist and homophobic allusions, According to the weekly newspaper, "a sweeping blow against homosexuals, immigrants, blacks".

Even if Rose later revises that he has nothing against homosexuals and makes "nigger music" himself. The successor shoots into the top 5 of the album charts and keeps 'Appetite For Destruction' company - long covered with precious metal. You are in the best of company, because not many rock bands enjoyed the high air of the album charts at that time, where otherwise without exception pop rules: Sometimes Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Def Leppard or Whitesnake get a taste of their success.

And now also the filthy kids from L.A. who “made it from life on the street to the penthouse”. A real success story. But a band that is so on the brink, that practices the pleasure of (self-) destruction, will at some point be confronted with reality and sometimes tragic consequences.

In 1988 the band first experienced their Altamont. At the "Monsters-Of-Rock" festival in Donnington, GN’R heated up the 100,000 visitors. In the mosh pit in front of the stage, the crowd is boiling over, there is no stopping them. Two fans die in the crowd. "When our manager told me about it, everything suddenly changed," says Slash. “After the summit straight into the abyss - that was too much. After that we were never as carefree as before. ”It's 1990. The next album is always postponed. In the media, the opinion is spreading that the band spans the spectrum. In fact, GN’R have a lot of internal problems to contend with. Initial ailments turn into chronic absences, the band, already unstable in terms of health, is ailing.

The tightrope act of drugs, drunkenness and the stressful life on tour takes its toll. Author, intimate connoisseur and biographer Dany Sugerman quotes Slash from those days in his book 'Guns N' Roses' (Goldmann ISBN 3-442-41412-1): “When we get up in the afternoon to do the sound check, we drink so much, that we can play because our hands flutter like the blades of a windmill. So what do we do We drink. We drink and drink and then we are in a good mood.

The next day you wake up with some chick ... you don't even know what her name is ... you have some crazy fucked up shit on your dick ... your bed is completely wet with piss and you say: listen baby, do me Please, get me some Booze. ”Disputes begin within the band. And the front man is particularly sensitive. On July 24th, GN’R will be performing at the amphitheater in Dallas.

The day before, Slash had extensively celebrated his 23rd birthday with his friends - except for Rose, who barricaded himself in his hotel room, insulted. The rest of the band gave Slash a cake that said "Happy Fuckin 'Birthday You Fucker". At the concert the band plays the Queensrÿche song 'The Needle Lies' - a reference to the problems in the band. “I had the greatest difficulties, especially between tours,” Slash admits later. Sure: The adrenaline rush every evening is missing. In 1990 Slash lived in the apartment of the PR manager Arlett Vereecke.

When the Slash is caught injecting heroin, the curls can barely escape a targeted frying pan attack. Axl Rose also recognizes the seriousness of the situation. He repeatedly threatens his colleagues with intoxication or going it alone in the event that they cannot get their drug use under control. It wasn't for nothing that he had “Victory Or Die” stabbed in the forearm. Rose doesn't want to jeopardize success.

Ironically, he of all people is furthest away from the Ramones quote that he likes to sport "Never Too Young To Die" on his T-shirt. But the singer is serious: In September 1990, drummer Steven Adler was fired after a last gig at the “Farm Aid IV” festival in England, at which Adler's condition was so unfortunate that he could hardly play his part even on this short set .

He will be replaced by The Cult drummer Matt Sorum. At the same time, keyboardist Dizzy Reed is brought into the band. Adler, however, founded a sad Gunner tradition: he took his former band to court. He is suing his buddies for damages because they encouraged him to use drugs. You agree (of course) out of court. The drummer received $ 2.5 million in hush money and from then on played in Las Vegas with his band Adlers Appetite.

Is it all just an illusion?

In mid-1990, the recording of 'Use Your Illusion' began. Rose has now taken control of the band. “He was behaving more and more like a dictator,” complains Duff McKagan. After the end of the band with the original line-up, Axl Rose will tell Rolling Stone magazine: “Never buy a car with friends. Nobody was behind the wheel. Or all at the same time.

In the end, the car inevitably falls into the abyss. The thing was: take the boys' solo albums, there are great things on them. But they would never have been suitable for a GN’R record. ”But Rose's regime does not bring any real continuity and does not change the status quo. He's frustrated. Ironically, at a support concert with the Rolling Stones, it is he who gets his band into trouble by making them (and the fans) wait an hour.

He gets his moods, his unpredictability and his outbursts less and less under control, which brings him the reputation of the manic depressive.Colleen Combs, Roses ’longtime assistant, recalls in the American“ Spin Magazine ”:“ Axl was showing more and more paranoid traits. He thought someone was after him, someone wanted to kill him. "He became more and more vain, colored his eyebrows and suddenly ate only sushi." How shocking ... Nevertheless, Rose is significantly involved in the upcoming magnum opus 'Use Your Illusion I + II'. September 1991 appears.

McKagan will later interpret the title as an imperative for the fans: “Go and make your dream come true. You can live your dream, anything is possible if you work hard enough on it. I've achieved my dream. ”The major work comprises 36 songs, whose first single 'You Could Be Mine' is also the title song of the box office hit“ Terminator 2 ”. On November 17th, record stores in the US open at midnight. By the early hours of the morning, 80,000 albums will be over the counter. Both records top the US Billboard charts and sold 20 million times in the first few months.

But the triumph is bought at a high price. Izzy Stradlin leaves the band shortly before the release of 'Use Your Illusion' on the grounds that "the commercial overkill and the sell-out of GN’R go hand in hand with his dwindling identification with the band." So much for Stradlin's opinion. Other voices use the unfriendly word "fired". Because Izzy has massive problems getting his part of the live set up and running. Finally, he needs a teleprompter for the few lines of text in his vocals. Embarrassing absences are also increasing, such as the arrest in 1989 at Phoenix Airport after he urinated on the cabin carpet while drunk on the plane, insulted a stewardess and smoked persistently.

But Axl is also tinkering with the image of the bad boy: He fills the headlines with the divorce from his wife Erin, who claims that Axl tied her up while being drugged and sexually abused her. The "Rolling Stone" takes on this story in great detail, and reports on drug withdrawal, Axl's luxurious vehicle fleet, and the rumors about the possible split of the band. Rock-‘n‘-Roll-Gossip Deluxe.

Stradlin released his solo debut 'Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Hounds' a year later. In the Gunnern he is replaced by Gilby Clarke, whose career began as Candy guitarist and who already has record experience with Kill For Thrills. Clarke conveniently lives in Los Angeles and has known Stradlin for years. Clarke hesitates when Slash offers him the job at GN’R. It is a time of upheaval ...

Meanwhile, the band invites you to tour under the motto “Get In The Ring”. And in August 1991 she travels through Germany for the first time since 1987; The highlight is a scandalous concert on the Mannheim Mainmarkt area: Rose makes the fans wait more than an hour, then leaves the stage again after only 15 minutes because he thinks the audience is "lame". He allegedly only continued the concert because a foresighted employee of the concert promoter had all the stage exits locked.

With a lot of anger in his stomach, Axl finally puts on a furious show. After 192 concerts in 27 countries in a period of 26 months with an incredible seven million visitors, the band is so exhausted that it will break apart as a result. Slash has long since switched his diet to rock-n‘-roll whole foods: Jack Daniel’s and vodka, order optional, the main thing is high speed.

Luxury on tour has long since taken on bizarre forms. Matt Sorum states that the band runs an entire casino. “There was no end of lobster and champus.” GN'R spend up to 100,000 dollars per evening on their after-show parties, excluding those “curfew violation fees”, i.e. those fines because the band is late for theirs Concerts overshoots or doesn't finish properly - or worse.

Like on July 22, 1991 in Riverport, a suburb of St. Louis. Rose is furious because a fan allegedly provoked and photographed him. Rose jumps off the stage and takes on the alleged provocateur and is said to have hit him. Then he breaks off the concert under savage insults. The crowd turns the venue into kindling.

Property damage: two million dollars. The show, however, is monumental: 250,000 watt sound system, pyrotechnic effects and fireworks, lots of stage lighting and water fountains for the ballad 'November Rain', for which a white grand piano is lifted onto the stage by means of hydraulics. Rose uses a converted Harley Davidson as a piano stool. In addition, there have recently been two backing singers and a brass section, which no one among the fans really understands.

The magazine “Life speculates, however, that“ the energy this band exudes live is enough to supply all households in the USA with electricity. ”Meanwhile, according to the press backstage,“ all rock'n'roll clichés are being declined ”there meanwhile “more groupies than roadies” accompany the entourage.

Slash said later in the Musikexpress: “The whole fuss put a strain on the band. We couldn't handle it at all, with all the luxury. ”And although this tour is immortalized on DVD, the full truth will probably never come to light. The material from the film team that accompanied the band, which has the working title 'The Perfect Crime', was quickly locked away in the band's poison lockers.

Another side note from pop history: Backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards there was a scandal between the camp of Guns N ’Roses and Nirvana, which almost ended in a fight between Rose and Cobain. Courtney Love had dared to ask Axl in a alcoholic mood whether he would not be godfather of daughter Francis Bean, whereupon Rose's answer to Cobain is quoted: "Tell your slut to be quiet or I'll knock you down!" Cobain takes revenge by spitting with relish on the piano of the waiting Axl after his performance.

With the end of the tour in December 1992, the band lost another member. Rose fires Gilby Clarke, who - how else - is suing the band for believing he should be entitled to royalties. In 1995, he received a letter from GN’R attorney Laurie Soriano with the approval of an unspecified sum that clears the matter up. In between, the rather listless punk cover collection 'The Spaghetti Incident' appears with songs from the U.K. Subs, The Ramones or The Misfits. The album flops.

Critics mock it as 'The Spaghetti Accident'. Otherwise those days are characterized by working up and licking wounds after the last tour. The volume has masses of lawsuits and proceedings from all countries, claims amounting to millions, fines and contractual penalties. According to Rolling Stone, these documents, writings and court records document “the rise and fall of a band” and show the profile of Axl Rose, “a complicated person who can be sensitive and funny, but also domineering, obsessive, unhappy. A man whom fame has changed a lot. "

And who rarely leaves the house. The only people who see him regularly are his bodyguard Earl and his housekeeper Beta. “He just doesn't like a lot of people,” says manager Goldstein diplomatically. Rose is hiding more and more often in his villa in Malibu. He learns to play the guitar and to produce songs on the computer while McKagan's pancreas goes crazy and he narrowly escapes death. The positive effect: McKagan has been clean since then.

Meanwhile, Rose discovers homeopathy for himself and tries to popularize echinacea, green tea and protein cocktails with his band. In January 1994 he visited Sharon Maynard, aka Yoda, the director of a New Age center in Sedona, Arizona. The center is loosely translated as “Himmelsbogen” and sees itself as an educational institution. Rose needs rest. The band is taking a break. Slash, on the other hand, suffers from the well-known syndrome: Yesterday another god on stage, today taking down the trash at home.

But before the dangerous phase of drug use attacks him out of boredom, he preferred to make his solo debut 'It's Five O' Clock Somewhere '. “After a tour I often get to the point where I don't know what to do with myself. Then I usually cause trouble. After two and a half years traveling through big stadiums, being home is really awful. So I set up a small studio and started writing. "

The exit of Slash and McKagan

"Knock, Knock, Knocking On Studio's Door" was the headline of the Musikexpress in February 1996. Guns N ’Roses had pulled themselves together again and were working on a new album, that's what it sounds like from the USA. Axl, Slash and Duff would work independently on new ideas and one could expect a new album in the fall, manager Goldstein is also quoted as saying.

But 1996 will be a difficult year for Rose. His mother dies in May, just 51 years old, and his songwriting partner West Arkeen at just 36, after an overdose. Whether the band will go on tour depends primarily on how the album will sell, says Goldstein, but he is "confident" that the band, in their current condition, is able to retain their former importance in the world of rock 'n' roll.

“The guys are clean and in great shape”, he goes offensive against all rumors. “It's exactly the right time to show the world again.” For Slash, on the other hand, it's exactly the right time to get out. He left the band in 1996, also because he couldn't do anything with Gilby Clarke's replacement Paul Huge - a friend of Axl's. Rose took this farewell to the cylinder girder even years later. "I've cried about all sorts of things in my life, but such hot tears of anger ... especially because I just didn't understand what was going on. Slash played with everyone from Space Ghost to Michael Jackson. I just don't buckle. "

Worse still: bassist Duff McKagan is also quitting his job. He officially quits in 1998. Rose retreats to Sedona again, and is arrested again after a conflict with a security officer at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. The security man had dared to inspect Axl's hand luggage. He didn't want that. When he is threatened with arrest and Rose grumbles that he “doesn't give a shit”, the authorities take it seriously. The “public order disturbance” case only costs a ridiculous $ 5,000 fine.

Meanwhile, McKagan worries in an interview: “Axl is still my friend, my brother, we went through a lot together. But too many people around him soften his brain, confuse him. To put it this way: He may no longer live in the same world as you and me. “As always, when a band is in a state of upheaval, the old treasures are sold. The record company reports the live CD 'Live Era 87-93' with pretty much all hits (except 'Civil War'). The release also gives Rose time to work on new songs.

A first piece called 'Oh My God' appears on the soundtrack to the Schwarzenegger flick 'End Of Days', which Axl later says is about “the social repression of powerful, often paralyzing emotions, some of which are tacitly accepted But cause research is made more difficult and often prevented. ”Well, yes.

The musicians Rose is now gathering around her are keyboardist Dizzy Reed, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, guitarist Paul Huge, Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and Nine-Inch-Nails guitarist Robin Finck (who died in August 1999 gets out again, which Axl is so angry about that he has his traces completely erased), plus session drummer Josh Freese and ex-replacements drummer Dave Abruzzese. “Imagine Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, remixed by Beck and Trent Reznor, and you get an idea of ​​what the new Axl sounds like,” wrote Rolling Stone at the time.

The new Guns N ’Roses work in the Complex Studio in L.A.“ Axl has tons of guitars and effects on board, ”it continues. "It is the purest music fair," one participant is quoted as saying. As for the guitar system, drummer Abruzzese says: “That sounded like a freight train that you can somehow play.” When asked about his new line-up, Axl first announced that he had the sole rights to the band's name.

And it is important to him that all Gunners, with the exception of Adler, were not fired, but that they left the band of their own free will. We remember: Behind the scenes there is a silent paper war going on by the lawyers of the former members, which continues to this day: It's about song rights, lost royalties, intellectual property rights, in general. In March 2006, Rose's attorney responded to one of “manipulator Saul Slash Hudson's various unfounded lawsuits” again

End of the wait: The Guns N ’Roses Reunion

"I think he's making a fantastic record," supposes Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich about 'Chinese Democracy', the mysterious new GN’R album that is due to be released in the summer of 2000. In fact, in February the US journalist David Fricke got an audience with Axl Rose in a recording studio in the San Fernando Valley and presented a handful of new songs, which Axl has been working on with meticulous perfection - according to his own statements - since 1991. Rose is now in her mid-thirties and not quite as wiry as it was a decade ago.

The excesses cost substance, even if he does kickboxing and is supposed to live mercilessly healthy. Manager Goldstein explains full-bodied that the band has “99 percent of the music and 80 percent of the singing in the can.” The starting point for the most legendary of all today's running gags in the music biz. "We're trying to rebuild GN‘R," Rose enthuses in an interview.

“I've always made music under this name before the others joined. But at some point it didn't feel right anymore. After all, I wasn't the one who just ran away. ”Rose speaks of Slash like an aggrieved husband speaks of his divorce. “At the beginning we were very poor, that kept us together.

That made us what we were. ”Shortly thereafter, Rose gave an interview on MTV and announced“ that she had recorded over 70 new songs ”, that the album would be called 'Chinese Democracy' and was produced by the New York jack-of-all-trades Moby, the Guns N ' Roses should make fit for the new millennium. But it disembarks pretty quickly. "Rose seemed to distrust everyone. He looked like a beaten dog, ”Moby later reveals. “It just took too long. Too much was tried, recorded, put aside again, forgotten. "

The first songs have working titles like 'Catcher In The Rye', 'The Blues' and 'TWAT (There Was A Time)', another called 'Oklahoma' deals with the divorce from his wife Erin. The list quickly grows longer: "If The Word", "There's A Time", "Prostitute", "Sorry", "Leave Me Alone", "Seven", "The General" and a good dozen more. The title 'Better', for example, accompanied an advertising clip on the Harley Davidson homepage in 2006, but was withdrawn after just one day.

Axl is euphoric about his new band, led by producer Sean Beavan (Marilyn Manson, NIN). “The boys are a good match, he says,“ that wasn't always the case in the past. ”Nevertheless, Rose invites guests like Zakk Wylde. He is amazed. "There was no melody for any song, and zero lyrics." Wylde prefers to concentrate on his Black Label Society project. And the magazine "Rolling Stone" dares the heretical question: "Who actually wants a band with only one original member?"

At the same time, in 2002, Slash, McKagan and Matt Sorum appear together at a benefit concert and decide to form a band. After several line-up changes, the line-up with singer Scott Weiland is finally there. They call themselves Velvet Revolver and send 'Set Me Free' - from the soundtrack to 'Hulk - to the race as their first single. They see themselves as a “contraband”, which is also the name of their debut, which will be released in June 2004.

But it is well known that there are (drug) problems with front man Weiland, who recently left the band.The staff carousel doesn't stop at Rose either: In March 2004 guitarist Buckethead leaves Guns N 'Roses due to “health and internal problems.” Nevertheless, the band gives their comeback concert on May 12th in New York and starts a tour it also leads through Europe. Whitsun the band “Rock Am Ring” plays and plays an acclaimed set with old and brand new songs.

Even Izzy Stradlin is said to have stopped by as a guest at individual shows. Drummer Mantia, on the other hand, throws in the towel halfway through the tour and is replaced by Frank Ferrer. Also new on board are lead guitarist Ron Thal and rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus. In February 2007, GN‘R officially announced that the work on 'Chinese Democracy' had been completed. The album will be released on November 23, 2008. According to a preliminary announcement by “Der Spiegel” magazine, the legendary work will initially only be available from the consumer electronics group Best Buy in the USA.

The first single 'Shackler's Revenge', on the other hand, is to be released in the video game 'Rock Band', as Metallica have just demonstrated, and the second single 'If The World' will be part of the Hollywood film 'The Man Who Never Lived 'with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Not bad.

Hell yeah !!!

Should the G’N’R running gag actually be dissolved? The countdown to the release is ticking steadily on the band's website - days, hours, minutes, seconds. Exactly 15 years to the day after the last studio work, 'The Spaghetti Incident', the album was released, about which the New York Times once wrote that it was "the most expensive record that was never made."

That changed at the latest with the advance presentation on the Internet platform myspace, where 'Chinese Democracy' will be available from November 20th. could be heard in full. And while the record company was still promoting the highest level of secrecy, user "Jimmie MF James" is already cheering about "Chinese Democracy": "Hell Yeah !!!"

One would like to join this already after hearing the opener of the same name. It starts after an atmospheric intro with a rich staccato guitar riff based on the theme of the song.

The new GN'R musicians - as members are Axl Rose (voc), Tommy Stinson (b), Dizzy Reed (kb), Ron Thal (aka Bumblefoot, g), Chris Pitman (kb / b), Richard Fortus ( g) and Frank Ferrer (dr) - present their typical high-energy rock, as if this song were to discharge everything that has pent up at Rose in 15 years.

Guitar fans will soon pull up the corners of their mouths over a sporty and tricky toggle switch acrobatics solo by Buckethead (g) in the opener of the same name. The follow-up, 'Shackler's Revenge', a mid-tempo rocker with an anthemic chorus and a few weird guitar accents, also offers a furious solo with sweep arpeggios in the middle section, Bumblefoot Ron Thal's next fragrance brand on the album (more information is available at www.bumblefoot. com). The versatility of Axl Rose's voice is also striking.

In 'Better' he delivers a vocal performance that you would want from a shouter in his class: casual, powerful, unmistakable - this is the Axl Rose that fans have been waiting for years. 'Better' also provides motivation for guitar fans, because in addition to a sporty first solo, the second part of the song features the first melodic solo with a buttery Les Paul sound to melt away.

Undoubtedly one of the strongest numbers on the album. With 'Street Of Dreams' there is of course the obligatory piano hymn in the style of' November Rain ', with' Catcher In The Rye 'an airy, springy mid-tempo rock' n 'roller and with' Riad n 'The Bedouins' a mysterious one seeming rocker who in terms of sound and composition - and not least because of Roses' high vocal voice - clearly reminds of Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, until finally the 'Prostitute' refined with strings gives the album a worthy final chord.

Good album, no doubt about it. But just that: an album. Whatever has led to its realization that took so many years and is said to have swallowed more than 13 million US dollars - at some point Rose will admit that there were wasted years in which he offered so many other things to fans at this level Studiowerk could have given.

In March 2008, the American beverage manufacturer Dr. Pepper wanted to give a can of drinks to every US citizen - except for renegade guitarists Slash and Buckethead - if 'Chinese Democracy' was actually to be published in 2008. Rose responded by offering to buy his own can and share it with Buckethead. This promise actually had to be kept in the fall - Chinese Democracy appeared on November 22nd.

Since December 2009 Guns N ’Roses toured repeatedly through Asia, Europe, South America, Australia and also the USA. The rockers played their last concert in Germany on June 8th in Mönchengladbach. Bassist Duff McKegan made guest appearances in 2010 and again in 2014.

Guns N ‘Roses on tour in 2016!

Since April 8th it has been clear: You really do it! In Las Vegas, founding members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan stood together on stage





Guns N ’Roses discography


  • Live?! * @ Like A Suicide, EP 1985
  • Appetite For Destruction, 1987
  • Lies, 1988
  • Use Your Illusion I, 1991
  • Use Your Illusion II, 1991
  • The Spaghetti Incident, 1993
  • Guns N ’Roses - Live Era 87-93, 2000
  • Greatest Hits, 2004
  • Chinese Democracy, 2008
  • Appetite for Democracy: Live at the Hard Rock Casino - Las Vegas, 2014

You can find playalongs and karaoke versions of Guns N ‘Roses pieces in our playalong shop!

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