(NOTE: I may try to branch out a little more with my posts, and introduce my readers to other topics I care about, one of those being rock music; interestingly, when I opened my Blogger account, that’s all I wrote about at first, then one day I just stopped, but I’m glad to bring back a little nostalgia, even if it’s for one or two posts here and there.)
At the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, Jimmy Fallon introduced “Guns N F-ing Roses!” to a very enthusiastic crowd and there they were, well, two of them were, Axl Rose and 90s era keyboard player Dizzy Reed. The only other new member I had heard about was Buckethead, and he was there too. Let’s re-visit this awkward moment:
After that weird-ass disaster, I think it was Kurt Loder who started peppering Axl backstage with questions, and the main one was “When is Chinese Democracy coming out?” Axl danced around it of course, what was up with those cornrows??? GN’R’s follow-up of completely new material since 1991’s double album, Use Your Illusion 1 & 2, would not be released for another six years. Chinese Democracy finally saw the light in November of 2008, although several songs had leaked in the previous two or three years prior because I was still working at a rock station when we played “I.R.S.” I though it was bold Axl snuck in “Madagascar” in between “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” at the VMAs. We’ve all read what the band we used to know as Guns N’ Roses has become: a mish-mosh of rock musicians and the only one who stood strong was the mysterious front man Rose who had annoyed his former bandmates with trying to take one of history’s greatest “in your face” rock bands and turning it into something like Queen. It’s crazy, but Rose wanted it.
Fast-foward through countless South American tours to the fall of 2011 when it was announced Guns N’ Roses would embark on their first US tour in five years and it is as ambitious as it questionable. They’ve only completed a few dates, but the important fact is, they have completed all the dates so far. When I heard of this tour and yes, there will be a show in Nashville on December 4th, I totally shook my head and I doubted every bit of it. Then on Friday, an interview with Axl, conducted by the hosts at VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show aired. I was unable to see it in real time, wait, we went over this already. Luckily, the YouTube Gods smiled on me today and I was able to see it! And? I’m a little disappointed.
Mainly because I was hoping Axl would be a little more open about why his original band had to break up. Eddie Trunk pointed out Guns N’ Roses is now eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; will they be inducted with old members, new members, or what? Axl sort of evaded it, but then I found out he has in fact had successful reunions, on-stage, with both Duff McKagan and his old songwriting buddy, Izzy Stradlin. I knew Stradlin bailed when things with Guns got really artsy, for example, “Estranged”. Sure, he co-wrote a lot of the Use Your Illusion material, but Rose’s ego chased him away. I was glad to hear all those guys are trying to mend fences. As for Slash, the hosts did not directly ask Rose about what their current relationship, if any, is like, and I’m sure Rose decided pre-interview he wasn’t going to talk about Slash and that’s fine. Axl went into why he’s so late for shows; according to him, it’s been a lifelong problem. Although he didn’t say it out right, Rose strives for perfection for the fans which now include kids who weren’t even born when Guns started their rock revolution almost 25 years ago. As for Rose’s voice, I was shocked to hear it was just as good as it was 20 years ago; there is a performance clip of “Live and Let Die” from the Miami show the band played prior to Axl’s sit down with Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine. I think Rose learned some valuable lessons from that awkward VMA appearance; he’s not running around the stage as much like he used to and he’s just singing; that’s all he needs to do. Botox, cardio, and vocal exercises have been kind to W. Axl Rose.
(a rare look into the eyes -gnrdaily.com)