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In rock history, you'll be hard-pressed to find another personality this capricious and insufferable. | Photo: Dena Flows
In rock history, you'll be hard-pressed to find another personality this capricious and insufferable. | Photo: Dena Flows
Jan Hamerský -

6 Reasons Why Playing With Axl Is Painful

Axl Rose just turned 60. I wonder if anyone wished him a happy birthday. While he has co-written some of the most canonical albums in rock history, you'll be hard-pressed to find an equally whimsical and insufferable personality in that same history. I'll explain why you don't want to tolerate such a genius in your band, even for all the gold in the world, in six points.

1. He's an irresponsible lunatic

When Adriana Smith, the then-girlfriend of drummer Steve Adler, found out he was cheating on her with another woman, Axl thought it would be a great idea to help the disgraced and drugged woman have her revenge. He convinced her to have sex with him in the studio vocal booth and record their moans as a background to the song "Rocket Queen." Adriana Smith later admitted—a professional addict by then—that this episode only prolonged and deepened her addiction.

2. He's a pain-in-the-ass prima donna

How come the Guns are banned for life from playing in St. Louis? Axl was annoyed in June 1991 that security didn't intervene against an unauthorized photographer in the corridor. So he smashed his microphone and walked away, whereupon angry fans started trashing the old place. Axl unleashed an even greater Mordor on the streets of Montreal, Canada, in August 1992. He didn't understand that why, when Metallica couldn't finish their set because Hetfield was taken off stage by an ambulance, the Guns should step in to save the night. Instead, they angered the fans even more by being two hours late and playing only nine songs.

2. He's moody and unpredictable

When Guns N' Roses were on tour in Japan in August 1989, Axl wouldn't leave his hotel room for days, refused to talk to anyone, and told the guy he was paying to wake him up at the appointed time to go to hell.

3. Touring with him is frightening

The Hell Tour kicked off on June 7, 1985, in style. The band missed several shows. Two hours outside of Fresno, California, the band's car broke down. The next show they played was in Seattle, forty hours away, hitchhiking and on borrowed equipment. Beginner's luck, you might say. But even after nearly twenty years, there's been no sign of progress in that regard. When the Guns—who were already playing with a different lineup—had their van burn down in Philadelphia in 2002, not only was there no show, but riots broke out. Rumor had it that the Master had put baseball and the New York Knicks game ahead of the fans.


4. He occupies himself with bullshit issues

The Pistols almost didn't sign a deal with Geffen Records. How did this happen? Axl lost his contact lenses and thought someone had stolen them just to sabotage the deal. Luckily for the band, it was worth the management's while to wait two to four hours before a producer found Axl's lenses.

5. He found inspiration for the band's greatest hits

You know what's a bigger nightmare than having to play "Wonderwall" until the end of time? Knowing that some of Guns N' Roses' most romantic songs, i.e. "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "November Rain," are quite possibly the ultimate kitsch. That's how it is for Erin Everly, who has sued ex-husband Axl for assault, rape, and restraint of personal liberty. According to the 1994 indictment, Axl kept her in an apartment without a door. And because there was no #MeToo yet, the unpleasant dispute ended in an unspecified out-of-court settlement for both parties.

6. He's kind of a homophobe and a racist

The following point is somewhat related to the previous one. In the song "One in a Million" there is nothing to hide behind poetic license. Axl literally sang: "Immigrants and faggots / They make no sense to me / They come to our country / And think they'll do as they please / Like start some mini-Iran / Or spread some fucking disease." And he added fuel to the fire when, in his defense, he said he had had "very bad experiences with gay people" and that the song "is very simple and universal."

Would you like to have Axl in your band? If so, let me know why in the comments below.

Tagy top 10 Axl Rose Guns N’ Roses just for fun

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Jan Hamerský
Born in 1988. When he was fifteen and deciding what to do next, writing was the obvious choice. At nineteen, he changed his mind. It seemed to him that it is history that writes stories. Then he found out that history is written by winners—he joined the losers. He majored in h…