Guns N Roses was one of the first musical bands I followed when I first became interested in music. I found out about them via MTV (you know, back when they actually WERE a Music Television station). Their second single, Sweet Child O’ Mine, was the first song of theirs I’d ever heard and I fell instantly in love with that song.
Later releases from the Appetite for Destruction album would be Welcome to the Jungle – which was the first release from the album but didn’t become a successful single until it was re-released after the success of Sweet Child O’ Mine – and Paradise City cemented my fandom of this band. That Christmas, my mom told my Aunt (who was my secret Santa that year) that I really like Guns N’ Roses. I guess my aunt wasn’t sure which album to get me because by December their second album, G N’ R Lies, had already been released. So she got them both for me.
It was the first time I’d ever seen a Parental Advisory sticker. I was 11. At first I didn’t understand the label or what it meant. Then I listened to the albums. Boy was I shocked. I didn’t care though, because the music kicked ass and at 11 years old I didn’t understand a lot of the things he was singing about. When he was talking about being high in Welcome to the Jungle, I was clueless. The song Nighttrain is about wine (I think), but I had no idea then. I really thought he was singing about riding a train at night.
Their next two albums, Use Your Illusion I and II were great albums, as well. Although, both albums were composed mostly of the same songs. I believe there’s only two songs that aren’t on both albums. Never quite understood that. I didn’t get these albums until the late 90′s, however, after I went through a hip-hop phase in high school. Ugh.
Then came the Spaghetti Incident, which was a horrible album of cover songs, and it flopped.
Shortly after, all of the members of the band except for Axl quit the band because Axl is a douche. A talented douche, but a douche nonetheless.
This past weekend, Guns N’ Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It appears only the original members were invited, with the current line up not included. I guess that makes sense since GNR hasn’t accomplished anything of consequence since all of the original members left the band. At the same time I think it’s kind of a douche move. These guys, although not the original members, have been together since 1998 and have been playing all of the classic music along with releasing a new album in 2008 called Chinese Democracy. I haven’t heard it yet, but I heard it sucks so I haven’t picked it up. You kind of get a bad feeling about an album when DJ’s on multiple stations say it sucks. These are guys that never (generally) say a bad word about any of the music they play.
Axl Rose did has best to ruin the evening. In an open letter released on the 11th, he said he would not be attending the ceremony and also went as far declining his induction and reminding the general public that no one could legally accept the award for him or speak on his behalf. He felt is was insulting to the current line up that only the original members were inducted. And I get that, but, again, that line up hasn’t been successful. I don’t understand how they can induct some members of the band, but not others.
Whatever his feelings for his former band mates, Axl should have accepted the honor. Those guys created some truly epic music before they had their falling out. If he would have declined the honor because the Rock and Roll HOF is a joke, I would have understood that because it is. Rock and roll music consists of guitars, drums, and bass, yet musicians such as Madonna (pop), Michael Jackson (pop), ABBA (disco), The Bee Gees (disco), James Brown (Soul, R&B), Johnny Cash (Country, but technically by definition rock and roll), Aretha Franklin (Soul, R&B), Run DMC (Rap), The Supremes (Motown), and Hank Williams (country) are all in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So, yeah, it’s kind of a farce. But that’s not why he declined it, so I still take issue with the way he handled the situation.
I kind of lost my purpose in this post and started rambling. I guess all I wanted to say was that Guns N’ Roses was and continues to be one of my favorite bands and that Axl Rose is a gigantic douche.