Posts Tagged ‘Izzy Stradlin’

stp case closedI have done many of these when Metal bands fight posts and usually there has never been any resolved circumstances except for maybe one. One instance that definitely closes out a case is none other than death because one side can not obviously fight back in their case. I am going to take the time now to close out some of our cases that have been left out there in When Metal Bands Fight: Case Closed. The first one that was closed was the case of Scott Weiland vs the members of Stone Temple Pilots. I first reported on the case back in April of 2015. Unfortunately on December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland passed away without ever resolving any of the issues. The band has since moved on with a new vocalist in Jeff Gutt and a brand new album as well. The next case that was closed was the only one to actually be resolved and that is the case of Axl Rose vs Slash which saw the duo reunite along with Duff McKagan for the Not in This Lifetime Tour that was a record breaker in 2016. The band has since gone strong since then, but I feel people are thinking that it’s about time for Axl to finally stop messing around and reunite the two remaining members of the band (Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler).

pantera case closedSome cases are just cases of people opening their mouths and nothing ever comes of it ever again until something else happens between the two. For instance, N.W.A. has already been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and there is nothing that Gene Simmons can do about it. The Mayhem Fest is officially dead and all Kerry King may have done is just predicted the ending of it especially now that he doesn’t have to deal with Kevin Lyman anymore. The one case that was never going to be resolved regardless of who lived is the case of Vinnie Paul vs Phil Anselmo which is really a sad case that breaks a lot of hearts. Vinnie Paul recently passed away which is what prompts me to say case closed. I was supposed to come out with a second part to it, but I just didn’t have the time. In an interview that Ultimate Classic Rock posted, Vinnie comments on what could be considered the reason it would never be resolved saying, “He’s done a lot of things that tarnish the image of what Pantera was back then, and what it stood for and what it was all about. And it’s sad. But I carry on with what I do, which is Hellyeah – which I’m very, very proud of. And, you know, I can’t control anything that goes on with that dude. I mean, honestly, I haven’t spoken to him since 2000. We tried to make amends of things when we were doing Damageplan, and he didn’t want anything to do with it. And then the horrible thing that happened to my brother happened. And, to me, that was the nail in the coffin. Period”

sabb_ozzy-1_2jpg copyIf I was a betting man I would say that was evidence enough that it would have never happened anyways. One case that could potentially become a case closed is one that involves the case of Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler) vs Bill Ward. Apparently, Birmingham, England is going to be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games and according to Loudwire there are parties that could be interested in reuniting for a one off gig. Ozzy Osbourne told ITV that he loved the idea and that he would perform, “with Black Sabbath or on my own.” Tony Iommi apparently loved the idea and told the Birmingham Mail, “I think that it would be a great thing to do to help represent Birmingham. I’m up for it! Let’s see what happens!” The only question that really remains is whether Bill ward will join the gang for the one off gig for a proper send off the original Godfathers of Metal. It remains to be seen and if there is any news of it then we will deliver it to you.

Afd_locked_n_loadedIt has been quite some time since we last did a rock video of the week and there is a video that I have buzzing about lately from one of the best pure hard rock bands to come out of the 80’s. On June 29, 2018, Guns N’ Roses is going to be releasing one hell of a box set to commemorate one of the greatest debuts of all time in Appetite For Destruction with the Lock N Loaded edition. Here is what is included in the box set according to wikipedia, “The box set will include 73 songs on four CDs (49 of which were previously unreleased) and seven 12-inch 180-gram LP’s. It will include remastered versions of the album, Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide, an EP of b-sides, 25 recordings from the group’s 1986 Sound City Studios sessions, and two previously unreleased tracks from the group’s sessions with Mike Clink. All of the songs from the G N’ R Lies album will also be included, with the exception of “One in a Million”. In addition to the music, the set will include a 96 page book with unreleased photos from Rose’s personal archive, 12 lithographs visualizing each song on the album, and assorted replica memorabilia.”

gnrThe real thing that I am buzzing about is the band has released a never before seen music video for one of it’s classic tracks. According to the video, the video for It’s So Easy was worked on, but it was never finished hence why it’s unreleased. The video for the track starts off with Axl talking to the crowd at the world famous Cathouse that was once owned by Riki Rachtman and he tells them about how they were given money to make a video for MTV to try and help sell more records. He then tells them that he wants to make the video on GNR wants to see and then the chaos and excess begins. The video itself is primarily a performance based video with some extra shenanigans thrown in there to show you how decadent the 80’s really were. There is just something so amazing about seeing the original lineup in this video. There is something magical and electrifying that you wish you could see once again and you know these guys had it. Check out the video below and be sure to pick up the box set.

use your illusion 2For this week’s album of the week, I decided to choose an album from Guns N Roses considering all of the buzz that is going around as far as the reunion is concerned. I have already covered Use Your Illusion 1 from the band and now it’s time to finish that off today. Just like the first one, the album Use Your Illusion II was also released on September 17, 1991 and despite both albums released on the same day, this one did a lot better. The album once again featured Axl Rose (Vocals), Slash (Guitars), Izzy Stradlin (Guitars), Duff McKagan (Bass), Dizzy Reed (Keys), and Matt Sorum (Drums) along with one track featuring original drummer Steven Adler on drums. Just in it’s first week alone, the album sold 770,000 copies to Use Your Illusion 1’s 685,000 landing this album at number one on it’s debut. The album alone has sold over seven million copies making it go seven times platinum. The album also went number one on the Billboard End Of Decade Charts (1990-1999) which is pretty amazing given the albums released in the 90’s.

use your illusion 2 back1. Civil War– In an interview with Rockline, Duff McKagan explained how the protest track came about, “Basically it was a riff that we would do at sound-checks. Axl came up with a couple of lines at the beginning. And… I went in a peace march, when I was a little kid, with my mom. I was like four years old. For Martin Luther King. And that’s when: “Did you wear the black arm band when they shot the man who said: ‘Peace could last forever’?” It’s just true-life experiences, really.” This seven plus minute epic described that all war was civil and what a powerful statement this song was. This is also the only track on the album that features former drummer Steven Adler. 5/5

2. 14 Years– One of the only songs on the album sung entirely by Izzy Stradlin with Axl singing the chorus. The song is supposedly about Stradlin and Rose’s friendship which was about 14 years by the time the song was written, but it more than likely has to do with a guy and his relationship dealing with a girl for so long. 4.5/5

3. Yesterdays– My favorite song on the whole album that is a power ballad, but it’s lyrical content is so powerful in my opinion. The song’s lyrics deal with forgetting about all the things that have happened in the past or things that you didn’t get to do because yesterday’s got nothing for me. 5/5

4. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door– Both albums had a cover song and this Bob Dylan cover was the one for this album. 5/5

5. Get In The Ring– Is a very controversial song that sees Axl firing back at all of his critics for the bad reviews they gave him. Critics like Andy Secher (Hit Parader), Circus, Mick Wall (Kerrang!),  and Bob Guccione, Jr. (Spin). 4/5

Use Your Illusion 2 CD6. Shotgun Blues– an in your face rock track from the band that has some punk attitude to it and some very aggressive lyrics. 4/5

7. Breakdown– a track that features Slash playing Banjo on the song. According to Slash, this was the most difficult song on the album to record. It’s not all banjos and pianos as this track turns into a bad ass rock song. 4/5

8. Pretty Tied Up– Izzy Stradlin once descibed the lyrics of the song and it’s content saying, “My Mexican friend Tony took me to meet this woman named Margot at her house. She gave us some tequila or something and she goes in the bedroom and we walk in and there’s this big fat naked guy with an onion in his mouth. He’s wearing women’s underwear and high heels and he’s tied up with duct tape against the wall. Me and Tony were like, What the fuck is going on here? Cracking up laughing. She was this dominatrix chick.” I love the Sitar in the beginning of this bad ass rock song that just shreds. 5/5

9. Locomotive (Complicity)– This is the band’s adventure into Funk Metal probably influenced by Faith No More. The track features a cool piano part towards the end of it 4.5/5

10. So Fine– A track that was written in memory of Johnny Thunders by Duff McKagan who also sang lead vocals on the track. 4.5/5

GNR311. Estranged– This nine minute guitar/piano epic is one of the best songs on the album and it’s also the second longest GNR track ever recorded. 5/5

12. You Could Be Mine– This was the lead single off the album and it’s one of the coolest rock songs the band has ever written in my opinion because it has balls. The song is supposedly about Izzy’s failed relationship with his ex-girlfriend Angela Nicoletti. 5/5

13. Don’t Cry (Alternate Lyrics)– This is the alternate lyrics version of the ballad that appeared on this album. 5/5

14. My World– it’s only 1:24 long, but the industrial tinged  track was written while the band was high on shrooms according to Axl. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– These two albums showcased the writing talent that was behind Guns N Roses. It was the band evolving into what they could have been later on had they all continued together. You can guarantee that a lot of the tracks on this album will be played live on their 21 city reunion tour and I cannot wait. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

Tony-Martin-Tony-Iommi1So many bands or people that have collaborated in the past have been reuniting left and right lately. So, why can’t estranged members of Black Sabbath do the same exact thing. You’re probably wondering what in the world is he talking about? Well, apparently at a memorial plaque unveiling for Cozy Powell in Cirencester, UK, Tony Iommi and Tony Martin ran into to each other and talked for the first time in 15 years or so. Tony Martin sang on five Black Sabbath albums before his exit from the group and the two hadn’t spoken in years, but a reunion could happen. Here is what Martin had to say on his Facebook page, “Well what a great day… I attended the unveiling of Cozy Powell’s memorial plaque in his home town of Cirencester, along with Brian May, Neil Murray, and Tony Iommi… And to my surprise was greeted by Tony Iommi VERY warmly. Its the first conversation of any length I have had with him in 15 years!!!! ….. and it turns out we may well be working together soon!!!” Of course, he’ll have to wait for the end of the current Sabbath lineup before he’ll ever work with Iommi again, but fans can hopefully look forward to that in the future. After all, Iommi worked with Glenn Hughes on an album and he worked with Ozzy on an whole entire record.

Izzy-StradlinI have seriously tried not to report on the Guns N Roses lineup thing until all details were revealed and certified authentic. While we know that Duff McKagan and Slash will be working with Axl Rose, there are rumors flying as to who the other members would be and this new one is one that I am seriously hoping for. Alan Niven, who managed GNR from 1986 until 1991 is saying that he believes that Izzy Stradlin could be rejoining the lineup. Niven claims, “Izzy will sit on the sidelines until he feels like he wants to get his toes in the water. He doesn’t like all the drama.” He goes on to say and boldly claim, “I think he’s written with them.” That is definitely quite the statement that can send the rumor mills flying high as fans wait and pray for a full reunion. We’ll just have to wait and see, but expect tons more for news as far as rumors are concerned.

dimebash2016poster_0The Ride For Dime Dimebash is one of those events that is worth attending especially if you were a fan of the metal legend Dimebag Darrell. Well, we have some news for the 2016 edition of the event as far as performers paying tribute to the late guitar legend. This year’s Ride For Dime Dimebash will take place at Lucky Strike Live venue in Hollywood, Calif on January 22ND. Promoters for the show are promising that members of Pantera, Slayer, Black Label Society, Alice in Chains, Machine Head, Hatebreed, Stone Sour, Type O Negative, Danzig, King’s X, DevilDriver, Prong, Kyng and Armored Saint will be there. Rita Haney commented saying, “I think the thing that embodies this event and entity is unity; bringing everyone together to celebrate the music played and loved by Darrell and to benefit the foundation of a very beloved man, Mr. Ronnie James Dio. Dimebag Darrell was notorious for giving us all so much, in some way, even to this day. So to be able to give back in his name is such an honor. With all of this amazing talent in one place it makes for a damn good celebration! C’mon out and getcha pull!” Tickets for the event can be found here.

Update (1/6/2016): The only update I can really add to this article is that the fact that through a press release Guns N Roses has confirmed that Slash, Duff McKagan, and Axl Rose are the original members that are back. There is still no further word on whether any one else will be apart of this. So stay tuned and check out the original article right below:

580375_1217056461644832_9177222988360825212_nLast week, I wrote an article giving my opinion on all of the talk about a Guns N Roses reunion (read it here). Last night some very exciting news dropped for all fans of Guns N Roses as it was announced that the band was reuniting for two gigs at Coachella. Axl, Slash, and Duff McKagan are reuniting to play the festival on April 16 & 23 and tickets go on sale tomorrow (check it out here). Now the reports I read are not sure as to whether Izzy Stradlin or Steven Adler are going to be apart of it, but rumor has it that Matt Sorum could be or members of the newer lineup could be instead. Now, Axl was supposed to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but for unknown circumstances, Axl has canceled the appearance. There is also word that the band is working on a 25 date Summer Stadium tour that could potentially bring in some big bucks for the group. Well, you wanted a reunion and you sort of have one, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out if any other original members join up.


gnrI have tried not to comment yet on all the Guns N Roses news that is hanging around the internet because I may fan boy if it’s true. There are definitely signs all over the internet that suggest that something  could be happening as far as a reunion is concerned. The first sign that pointed to this was the change on the official GNR website that featured the classic Guns logo which you can see here. Then there are reports everywhere including that speak of Gusn N Roses headlining one of the dates of Coachella, the world famous California festival which takes place over two weekends (April 15-17, April 22-24). The during the opening week of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, the theaters played a trailer which featured the voice of Axl Rose asking fans Do You Know Where You Are” with footage of fans at a concert on the screen which thanks to some fan filmed footage, you can see it here.

screen-shot-2015-08-22-at-12-50-07-pmOne of the other reports I read about is that the lineup for the group will likely only feature Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan along with some members of the newer incarnation of the band. There is no word on what Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum, or Gilby Clarke are up to as far as this is concerned. Now according to, Axl Rose is going to be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live sometime next week to announce what every fan is hoping for and that is the reunion rumors. GNR is however booked to play at the brand new Las Vegas Arena which officially opens on April 6Th, but who is going to be in the lineup? We’ll have to wait until Jimmy Kimmel Live for that as a 25 date stadium tour is also supposedly looming. I am definitely going to file this as I will believe it when I see it because I do not want to get my hopes up as a fan of what the group accomplished in it’s time. So stay tuned here or all the news sources all over the web for any news regarding the lineup.

screen-shot-2015-11-10-at-9-07-59-amThere is some big news concerning the upcoming year which looks to be one hell of a year as far as touring is concerned. The first piece of news involves the band The Cure, the English Goth rock kings have announced that they will be heading on a 27 show, 22 city North American tour that kicks off in New Orleans on May 11 and ends in Miami. The band which is made up of Robert Smith (Guitar/Vocals), Simon Gallop (Bass), Jason Cooper (drums), Roger O’Donnell (keys), and Reeves Gabrels (guitar) will be performing 37 years of hits as well as, “mixing hits, rarities, favourites, and as yet unreleased tracks in a brand new stage production.” Here are the tour dates:

The Cure 2016 Tour Dates:
05/11 – New Orleans, LA @ TBA *
05/13 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center *
05/14 – Houston, TX @ TBA *
05/15 – Dallas, TX @ TBA *
05/17 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center *
05/19 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Chelsea Theater at the Cosmopolitan *
05/20 – Chula Vista, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheater *
05/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl *
05/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl *
05/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl *
05/26 – Mountain View, CA @ Shorline Amphitheatre *
05/31 – Vancouver, BC @ Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park *
06/03 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Maverik Center *
06/05 – Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre *
06/08 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre *
06/10 – Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion *
06/11 – Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion *
06/12 – Toronto, ON @ TBA *
06/13 – Toronto, ON @ TBA *
06/14 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre *
06/16 – Boston, MA @ TBA *
06/18 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden *
06/19 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden *
06/20 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden *
06/22 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion *
06/24 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheater Lakewood *
06/26 – Miami, FL @ Bayfront Park Amphitheater *

* = w/ The Twilight Sad

Decibel-Magazine-Tour-2016With more exciting tour news on the mind, we turn to the heavier side of things with a big announcement. Abbath, the former singer/guitarist of legendary Norweigan Black Metal group Immortal is heading out on tour here in America on the 2016 Decibel Magazine Tour. Abbath who will be touring the states for the first time as a solo artist is joined by High On Fire, Tribulation, and Skeletonwitch. Abbath decided to go solo after a long legal dispute with his former bandmates and rather than drag it out, he took the high road and decided to go solo rather thna continue Immortal even though he wrote most of the music. Abbath will be releasing a solo album in 2016 and his band features King Ov Hell (ex-Gorgoroth, ex-Sahg, God Seed, I) on Bass and Creature (real name: Kevin Foley — Benighted, ex-Disavowed, live session Sepultura, Sabaton, Decapitated). High On Fire will continue to support their amazing record Luminferous which the band released back in 2015. Meanwhile, Skeletonwitch will be touring with a new singer for the first time on this tour as his identity will be revealed soon. Ina very excited mood, guitarist Scott Hedrick talked about the tour, “Cheers everyone! We are proud to announce that we will be a part of the mighty Decibel Tour. They had us at Abbath, then tripled the ante with High on Fire and Tribulation! All three artists are in my personal top tier of heavy music. Definitely going to have some embarrassing ‘fan moments’ on this one. Just ask Matt Pike – as an overly excited teenager, I punished him with a game of 20 Questions when I saw them on their first U.S. tour. He still regrets giving me his phone number! New tunes, new singer, new tour, new chapter for Skeletonwitch. Looking forward to seeing you all out on the road.” This is definitely one tour that you are not going to want to miss out on. Check out the tour dates below:

The Decibel Magazine 2016 Tour Dates

3/17—Baltimore, Md. @ Baltimore Soundstage
3/18—Charlotte, N.C. @ Amos’ Southend
3/19—Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade
3/20—Ybor City, Fla. @ The Ritz Ybor
3/22—Dallas, Texas @ Gas Monkey Live
3/23—Austin, Texas @ Emo’s
3/25—Scottsdale, Ariz. @ Live Wire
3/26—San Diego, Calif @ The Observatory North Park
3/27—Santa Ana, Calif. @ The Observatory
3/28—Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Regent Theater DTLA
3/29—San Francisco, Calif. @ The Regency Ballroom
3/30—Portland, Ore. @ Roseland Theatre
4/01—Seattle, Wash. @ El Corazon
4/02—Vancouver, British Columbia @ Commodore Ballroom
4/05—Denver, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre
4/06—Lawrence, Kan. @ Granada Theater
4/07—Minneapolis, Minn. @ Mill City Nights
4/08—Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
4/09—Cleveland, Ohio @ Agora Ballroom
4/10—Toronto, Ontario @ The Opera House
4/12—New York, N.Y. @ Webster Hall
4/14—Boston, Mass. @ Royale
4/15—Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer

tool-band-640x360Everyone’s favorite Art Rock, Progressive rock band Tool have announced in a message that they are going on tour in 2016 as well. The band has been promising fans a record for quite some time and after fans showed their impatience, the band is rewarding them with a tour to try and hold them over. All we know right now is that we think the band is in the studio reocrding the new record which would be the follow up to 10,000 Days. Here is the announcement from the band:


For those of you who only like NEWS about TOOL, here’s something that should be of great interest. The impenetrable veil of my dark scrying mirror FINALLY CLEARED today – enough so, in fact – that I could perceive a large heptagram on a complexly lit stage where four performers were dwarfed by dramatic video projections. Evidently the sonic and visual extravaganza that I was receiving is a rare glimpse of future TOOL U.S.A. TOUR DATES in the month of JANUARY, 2016 e.v. However, with some of the images in the depths of the black glass not being clearly distinct… YET, fans will have to keep checking back (SOON) on the Tool websites and Tool facebook page for an official announcement containing a list of the SHOW DATES, CITIES and VENUES, as well as for info about a tour support act(s). Regarding an opening band(s), what I was able to discern through the ever-shifting veil will in all likeliness be exciting to many Tool enthusiasts. STAY TUNED, FOLKS… as my trusty SCRYING MIRROR CONTINUES TO CLEAR…

axlrosevegas2013solo2_638If you’ve been living under a rock lately then you may not have heard a rumor that is going around the internet that would involve one of the biggest reunions in rock history that every fan has begged for since 1996 or so. The rumor going around is that Guns N Roses are going to be reuniting which means we are going to get Axl and Slash back together on stage again. When I first read the reports that Duff McKagan’s wife let the cat out of the bag, I was jumping up and down like a girl with excitement. I kept telling myself not to believe all the hype and that it was just rumors, but they are things that are letting me think otherwise. Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue basically came out when a fan on Twitter asked him if they should reunite and he basically answered, “They Are, Everybody Knows.” Now another report has emerged that says that if something does happen that it won’t feature all the original members of the band. The report from basically says that the band will feature Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan as far as original members are concerned. The line up will be rounded out by Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer on drums with Dizzy Reed on Keyboards. That means no Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, or Matt Sorum. Knowing this information that is present, would you still go and check them out on tour or are you holding out for the original lineup?


use yourWe want to continue the theme of Axl Rose and Slash (Saul Hudson) burying the hatchet after o many years by covering one of Guns N Roses albums that featured the two of them. So for this week’s album of the week, we are covering Use Your Illusion 1 which was the first of two albums released on the same day on September 17, 1991 with Use Your Illusion 2 being the other album. If you think about it, this was business wise the smartest move GNR did when they released the two albums cause they could have released it as a double album, but get people to pay twice instead of once. The album was drastically different then their first album where there was more production involved and Steven Adler was replaced by Matt Sorum as far as drums were concerned. The rest of the lineup consisted of Axl Rose (Vocals), Slash (Lead Guitar), Izzy Stradlin (R. Guitar), Duff McKagan (Bass), with Dizzy Reed making his debut on the keys. One of the other interesting facts about this album is that a couple of weeks or so after it was released, Izzy Stradlin left the band and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. As far as sales are concerned, the album was a complete success for the band and considered the best of the two Illusion records thanks to Izzy Stradlin. The album peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, number 2 on the UK charts, number one in Canada, and number 71 on the end of the decade (1990-1999) Billboard Charts as well as going seven times platinum (7,000,000 sold).

GNR_Illusion1Back1. Right Next Door To Hell– Truly one of my favorite introductions to a record ever with it’s amazing bass line and high octane energy about a woman who was Axl’s neighbor that was suing him claiming that he hit her with a wine bottle. 5/5

2. Dust N’ Bones– This is one of my favorite blues rock tracks on the record that Izzy Stradlin sings main vocals on with Axl doing back up on the chorus. 5/5

3. Live And Let Die– This is the bands amazing cover of the classic James Bond Wings track that features Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon doing backing vocals. 5/5

4. Don’t Cry- This is one of my all time favorite power ballads from GNR that also features Shannon Hoon again on backing vocals. Its version one of two with the other having alternate lyrics and featured on Use Your Illusion 2. 5/5

5. Perfect Crime– A high octane, in your face track that never lets up for a second. A Perfect Crime is a term used for crimes that go undetected and I think the track is about an entity that goes undetected 4/5

Guns_N_Roses-Use_Your_Illusion_I-7-CD-6. You Ain’t The First– A very bluesy acoustic track that features Izzy doing lead vocals about being able to get over a girl because she ain’t the first. 4.5/5

7. Bad Obsession– This is another favorite dirty rock and roll/bluesy track that features Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks playing the harmonica and saxophone on the track about drug and alcohol abuse. 5/5

8. Back Off Bitch– This was a track that was written before Appetite For Destruction about Axl’s ex who moved to Los Angeles with him. It never made it to any album before this one. 4/5

9. Double Talkin’ Jive– Another fierce in your face track like Perfect Crime or Right Next Door To Hell that features Izzy Stradlin on vocals about a man who could be a bookie. 4/5

10. November Rain– What can I say about this track that hasn’t already been said before, it is the greatest ballad or rock track since Stairway To Heaven and the greatest song in my opinion of the 90’s. 5/5

11. The Garden– a very cool and dark track that features vocals from Alice Cooper. 5/5

gnr_circa_uyi12. Garden of Eden– Not one of my favorites on the record, but same style as Double Talkinn Joe, Right Next…, and even Perfect Crime. It has that punk feel to the track. 4/5

13. Don’t Damn Me– a geat track that features an amazing guitar riff and some powerful vocals from Axl who is telling you not to judge him for his beliefs. 4.5/5

14. Bad Apples– A very unique track with some great bass riffs and a bluesy guitar riff that make it magical in a track that talks about fame, fortune, and all the headaches that follow. 4.5/5

15. Dead Horse– So, the acoustic section in the beginning features a guitar riff written by Axl which I thought was cool. The electric guitars will dominate most of the able, but some cool effects follow. 4/5

16. Coma– This is the last track on the record that Axl has gone on record saying, “I tried to write that song for a year, and couldn’t. I went to write it at the studio and passed out. I woke up two hours later and sat down and wrote the whole end of the song, like, just off the top of my head. It was like, don’t even know what’s coming out, man, but it’s coming. I think one of the best things that I’ve ever written was maybe the end segment of the song “Coma”. It just poured out.” It’s 10 minutes long in length. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Someone once said that there was a lot of filler on this record, but they didn’ realize what kind of a classic this really was. It took five years for this record to see the light of day and while it was different than Appetite, it was still a masterpiece that stands the test of time like an Aerosmith or Led Zeppelin record. I am giving the record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

Axl Vs SlashOne of the biggest bands to ever hit the scene in the mid to late 1980’s was the band Guns N Roses who were also the most dangerous band in the world. They were a band that everyone has stated from time to time including myself that they could have been the next Led Zeppelin, but something went terribly wrong in 1996. In fact, that was the last time anybody in the world would ever see Slash and Axl on the same stage together three years after the recording of The Spaghetti Incident. In fact, here is what Slash said about a certain moment in 1996 to Piers Morgan, “It wasn’t even me necessarily leaving the band, it was not continuing on with the new band that Axl put together that he was now at the helm of, which was the new Guns N’ Roses. I was given a contract to basically join his new band, and it took about 24 hours before I decided, I think this is the end of the line.” At one point Axl claimed that his bandmates were a “cancer…better removed, avoided, and the less anyone heard of him or his supporters, the better.” He also claimed that Slash and Duff McKagan did, “damage to my ability as a writer. At the time of the [Use Your Illusion] tours, Slash and Duff said, ‘You’re an idiot, you’re a loser.’ I didn’t write for years. I felt I was hindered for a very long time.” There have been so many claims as to who said what and who did what that it’s hard to keep track of all of it. At one point, the band’s ex-manager pinned it on Slash playing with Michael Jackson. Doug Goldstein claims in an interview with Rolling Stone Brazil, “In 1991, we were on the road, and Slash went to my office and said ‘I’ll be leaving tomorrow to play with Michael Jackson on a tribute concert. I told him not to do it because Axl was molested by his father when he was 2, and he believed the charges against Michael Jackson.”

download (2)Slash at one point does claim that the media has a bigger deal of the break up then what actually happened. He says, “because there was so much attention on the breakup. it got built up into this monster that led to a kind of animosity that wasn’t the focus for me. Neither one of us wants to be down each other’s throats for no reason. At this point, I’m trying to put it to rest. So I try to avoid the subject.” He has gone on to claim things in his autobiography that he wrote like one reason being the fact that both Steven and Izzy were not in the band. Another reason had to do with his many stage antics that Axl became notorious for like walking off the stage because someone was taking pictures. The other reason being the fact that Axl claimed full ownership of the name. He goes on to also describe the Sympathy Of The Devil incident in which Axl had Paul Huge play over Slash’s part. Paul Huge was a member of Hollywood Rose which was the band before Guns N Roses and he replaced Gilby Clarke in Guns N Roses. Slash said, “When I got a DAT of the song with Axl’s vocals on it, I noticed that there was another guitar layered on top of mine in the solo. Axl had gotten Paul Huge to double over me. In other words, that guy copied what I was playing on another track and they layered them. It was like really bad plagiarism.”

hqdefaultIn an interview with the USA Today back in 2012, Axl made some more claims about their abuse of him and his abilities like the quote above, “To those three, it was all crap. It beat me down so much. At the time of the [‘Use Your Illusion’] tours, Slash and Duff said, ‘You’re an idiot, you’re a loser.’ I didn’t write for years. I felt I was hindered for a very long time. I was also trying to figure out what I wanted to say, when it’s right to be venting and when you’re digging a bigger hole. Lyrics on ‘Chinese’ took a long time.” He also describes what could have kept the original Appetite lineup intact for longer, “Maybe if we could have worked together in the way ‘Appetite’ was put together. I was really naïve. I thought the success of that record would bring everyone together more. It did the exact opposite. They got success and wanted to run in their own directions. I thought they’d go, ‘Whoa, it did work.’ But they wanted to do their own huge bigger success off of Guns.” Finally when asked that certain question they always get asked he says, “I feel that ball’s not in my court. I’m surviving this war, not the one who created this war.” The feud got so bad that MTV did a version of Axl vs Slash on Celebrity Deathmatch which you can check out here.

axl_rose_and_slash_reunion_guns_n_rosesThere has been some talk however of some of the guys since then that have made it seem like a possibility that the original lineup will indeed reunite. Duff has stated in an interview with WIND-FM, “It could happen, and it could not. And I think it would be wonderful, one day, if we reconciled, first and foremost. That alone would be cool. I think every band is different, for sure. With our band, it was a lot of things. We just got really big. Once we started getting big, we got really big really fast. And there’s no ‘how-to’ instructional manual for that thing, what happens to your life. We just fall into every kind of stupid typical thing that we thought we’d never fall into.” Slash also had something to say on CBS This Morning saying, “Never say never. I got to be careful what I say there, I mean, if everybody wanted to do it and do it for the right reasons, I think the fans would love it. I think it might be fun at some point to try and do that.” I know that these are prototypical answers just to appease the media, but one can only imagine the what if. What if the original lineup did reunite and then reality hits that it hasn’t happened yet. Look to the picture to the left of this paragraph which is an updated photo of the both of them today and someone photoshopped them together in a pic. That would be a truly great sight for all of us to see once again someday. The jury rules that the real losers of this case are us the fans because we are the ones losing out.


The original banned cover

For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to pick an album that had changed the landscape and sort of brought some legitimacy back to the sunset strip scene. The scene had become too over-saturated with bands that cared about the way they looked rather than the music they played. That is where Guns N Roses comes into the picture,a band that was staring the LA scene down and saying that they weren’t going to follow those rules. Guns N Roses were the biggest badasses in LA at a time where a band like Poison ruled the scene. The band was made up of five guys who were different in their looks and personalities, but man were they a force to be reckon with. Axl Rose (Vocals) and Izzy Stradlin (Rhythm Guitar) left their homes in Indiana to pursue rock and roll stardom where they would join forces with a punk rocker in Duff McKagan (Bass), wild child Steven Adler (Drums), and the cool and collective man who went by just one name, Slash (Guitar). One of the coolest stories about the band coming together was the fact that Slash was supposed to audition for their eventual rivals Poison, but when he heard he had to wear make up, Slash said no way and he left. The album is one of the highest selling debut albums of all time and has been certified platinum 18 times with an overall worldwide sales equally 30.5 million copies.

File:Welcometothejungle.jpgThe iconic Welcome To The Jungle, a tale about a person who visits a big city for the first time and the things he learns opens up the album. The breakdown or main riff originated from a song Duff had written when he was in a punk band called The Vains. The high energy It’s So Easy follows as the next track in a song about a time in where the band was broke, but they had plenty of girls to live off of. Nightrain an anthem that serves as a tribute to a cheap, but infamous bottle of California wine with Izzy Stradlin playing the lead intro and the first half of the guitar solo. Out Ta Get Me is a track about all the trouble that Axl went through while living in Indiana. It’s also one of the fastest songs written by the band which means it was written in under three minutes. Mr. Brownstone is the first song the band wrote after they were signed by Geffen Records. The song explores a day in the life of Heroin addicts with Brownstone being slang for the drug. It’s one of the most iconic songs GNR wrote besides the aforementioned Welcome To The Jungle and the next track. Paradise City is an a true rock and roll anthem that as a fan of the genre you cannot ignore it’s awesomeness. The song was written in the back of a van when the band was making a return trip home from a gig in San Francisco. The style of the song has the ascending chromatic riff style while it’s the only song on the album to feature a synthesizer.

gnr 3The next track on the record is a dark tale about a friend named Michelle. Of course, you knew I was talking about My Michelle which was written after Axl and this friend had heard the song Your Song by Elton John. She had apparently said she wished someone would write a song about her and sure enough Axl did. Surprisingly to the dismay of Slash, she loved the song. Think About You isn’t a ballad, but it’s a rock and roll anthem begging for lovin from someone special. You’re Crazy is one of the fastest songs in GNR’s repertoire that was originally recorded as a slower acoustic track.  Sweet Child Of Mine might be the most overplayed GNR song that has ever existed and it’s their only US number one single. The song is played according to wikipedia in “D (D-Flat)/C (C-sharp) mixolydian, which is a mode of G♭/F♯ major.” In a issue of Hit Parader Duff told them, “The thing about ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine,’ it was written in five minutes. It was one of those songs, only three chords. You know that guitar lick Slash does at the beginning? It was kinda like a joke because we thought, ‘What is this song? It’s gonna be nothing, it’ll be filler on the record.’ And except that vocal-wise, it’s very sweet and sincere, Slash was just fuckin’ around when he first wrote that lick.”

gnrAnything Goes is one of the earliest written GNR songs as it was written in 1981 and even played by Hollywood Rose. I call it a mix of dirty rock and roll and some punk rock attitude mixed in with it. Rocket Queen is the most legendary song on the record for what I am going to say. In an interview with Hit Parader Axl told them, “I wrote this song for this girl who was gonna have a band and she was gonna call it Rocket Queen. She kinda kept me alive for a while. The last part of the song is my message to this person, or anybody else who can get something out of it. It’s like there’s hope and a friendship note at the end of the song. For that song there was also something I tried to work out with various people—a recorded sex act. It was somewhat spontaneous but premeditated; something I wanted to put on the record.” During the recording of the song, Axl took Steven Adler’s girlfriend at the time, Adriana Smith, and had sex with her in the booth. Those are the moans that you hear in the track. It is definitely one of the greatest debut albums by any band, but unfortunately they could keep the act going. I believe that they would have been the biggest band ever, but you know how it goes in show business. I am going to give the album five stars out of five because it is that iconic.

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