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Guns N' Roses : The Most Expensive Album Never Made
Old 6th March 2005
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Guns N' Roses : The Most Expensive Album Never Made

NY Times article about the "new" Guns N' Roses album.


The Most Expensive Album Never Made
By JEFF LEEDS

Published: March 6, 2005
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.

IN the faint red light of the Rainbow Bar and Grill, Tom Zutaut sips at his drink and spills a bit of regret. It's been 19 years since he signed the then-unknown rock band Guns N' Roses to a contract with Geffen Records, where they turned into multiplatinum superstars. Back in those days, the Rainbow was their hangout of choice.

Years after he left the label, he returned in 2001 to try to coax Axl Rose, the band's magnetic leader and by then its only original member, into completing one of the most highly anticipated albums in the industry: an opus tentatively titled "Chinese Democacy." The deadline for turning in the album had passed two years earlier.

"I really thought I could get him to deliver the record," said Mr. Zutaut, who spent nine months trying. "And we got close."

He is speaking in relative terms. Mr. Zutaut is but one of a long series of executives and producers brought in over the years to try to conjure up the maddeningly elusive album - to cajole the reclusive rock star into composing, singing, recording, even just showing up. Like everyone else who had tried, or has tried since, Mr. Zutaut came away empty-handed.

Mr. Rose began work on the album in 1994, recording in fits and starts with an ever-changing roster of musicians, marching through at least three recording studios, four producers and a decade of music business turmoil. The singer, whose management said he could not be reached for comment for this article, went through turmoil of his own during that period, battling lawsuits and personal demons, retreating from the limelight only to be followed by gossip about his rumored interest in plastic surgery and "past-life regression" therapy.

Along the way, he has racked up more than $13 million in production costs, according to Geffen documents, ranking his unfinished masterpiece as probably the most expensive recording never released. As the production has dragged on, it has revealed one of the music industry's basic weaknesses: the more record companies rely on proven stars like Mr. Rose, the less it can control them.

It's a story that applies to the creation of almost every major album. But in the case of "Chinese Democracy," it has a stark ending: the singer who cast himself as a master of predatory Hollywood in the hit song "Welcome to the Jungle" has come to be known instead as the keeper of the industry's most notorious white elephant.

AT THE STROKE of midnight on Sept. 17, 1991, Guns N' Roses was the biggest band in the world. Hundreds of record stores had stayed open late or re-opened in order to cash in on the first sales that night of "Use Your Illusion," Vols. 1 and 2, the band's new twin albums. On the strength of that promotion - and the coattails of the band's blockbuster 1987 debut - the band set a record: for the first time in rock history, two albums from one act opened at Nos. 1 and 2 on Billboards national album sales chart. But by 1994 their fortunes had changed. After years of drug addiction, lyric controversies, onstage tantrums and occasional fan riots, their members had started to drift away, their lead singer had become bogged down in personal lawsuits, and "The Spaghetti Incident?," their collection of cover versions of classic punk songs, had been released to mixed reviews and disappointing sales.

The members of the band - what was left of it - reconvened at the Complex, a Los Angeles studio, in a massive soundstage with a pool table and a Guns N' Roses-themed pinball machine, to prepare for their next album, which Geffen executives expected to release some time the following year. But they quickly began suffering from an ailment that has proved fatal to bands from time immemorial: boredom.

"They had enough money that they didn't have to do anything," said a longtime observer of the band, one of the 30 people involved with the album who spoke for this article. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, as did many others who had signed a confidentiality agreement while working with Mr. Rose. "You couldn't get everyone in the room at the same time."

Mr. Rose had appointed himself the leader of the project, but he didn't seem to know where to lead. As Slash, the band's longtime guitarist, said recently, in reference to the singer's songwriting style: "It seemed like a dictatorship. We didn't spend a lot of time collaborating. He'd sit back in the chair, watching. There'd be a riff here, a riff there. But I didn't know where it was going."

Geffen was riding toward an uncertain destiny as well: its founder, David Geffen, retired, and its corporate parent, MCA Inc., was sold to the liquor giant Seagram, led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. With all those changes swirling, and with old Guns N' Roses material still ringing up millions in new sales, executives decided to leave the band alone to write and record.

A cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," however, which was released as part of a movie soundtrack, would be the last addition to the original band's catalog. Slash quit the band in 1996; the drummer Matt Sorum and the bassist Duff McKagan were the next to go. Of the founding members, that left just Mr. Rose. But instead of starting something new, he chose to keep the band's name and repopulate it with new musicians. Geffen wasn't in much of a position to deny him. The label was on a cold streak and wagered that fans would still flock to the singer, even if a band had to be rebuilt around him.

Geffen wasn't in much of a position to prod him forward, either. In 1997 Todd Sullivan, who was then a talent executive for the company, sent Mr. Rose a sampling of CD's produced by different people, and encouraged him to choose one to work on "Chinese Democracy." Mr. Sullivan says he received a call informing him that Mr. Rose had run over the albums with a car.

The singer had encouraged everyone in the band's camp to record their ideas for riffs and jams, hours and hours of song fragments that he hoped to process into full compositions. "Most of the stuff he had played me was just sketches," Mr. Sullivan recalled. "I said, 'Look, Axl, this is some really great, promising stuff here. Why don't you consider just bearing down and completing some of these songs?' He goes, 'Hmm, bear down and complete some of these songs?' Next day I get a call from Eddie" - Eddie Rosenblatt, the Geffen chairman - "saying I was off the project."

Around the start of 1998 Mr. Rose moved the band that he had assembled to Rumbo Recorders, a three-room studio deep in the San Fernando Valley where Guns N' Roses had recorded parts for its blockbuster debut, "Appetite for Destruction." The crew turned the studio into a rock star's playground: tapestries, green and yellow lights, state-of-the-art computer equipment and as many as 60 guitars at the ready, according to people involved in the production. But Mr. Rose wasn't there for fun and games. "What Axl wanted to do," one recording expert who was there recalls, "was to make the best record that had ever been made. It's an impossible task. You could go on infinitely, which is what they've done."

As time and dollars flew by, pressure mounted at Geffen. The label's dry spell lingered, making them more dependent than ever on new music from their heavy hitters. "The Hail Mary that's going to save the game," the recording expert who spoke on the condition of anonymity explained, "is a Guns N' Roses record. It keeps not coming and not coming." The label paid Mr. Rose $1 million to press on with the album, with the unusual promise of another $1 million if he delivered "Chinese Democracy" by March 1 of the following year. Geffen also offered one of the producers Mr. Rose had recently hired extra royalties if the recording came in before that.

He never collected. The producer, who goes by the name Youth (his real name is Martin Glover), started visiting the singer in the pool room of his secluded Malibu estate, to try to help him focus on composing. But that collaboration didn't go any better than his predecessors' had. "He kind of pulled out, said 'I'm not ready,' " Youth said. "He was quite isolated. There weren't very many people I think he could trust. It was very difficult to penetrate the walls he'd built up."

Youth's replacement was Sean Beavan - a producer who had previously worked with industrial-rock acts like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails - and under his care the riffs and song fragments that the band had recorded slowly began to take shape. But costs were spiraling out of control. The crew rented one piece of specialized equipment, for example, for more than two years - at a cost well into six figures - and used it for perhaps 30 days, according to one person involved with the production.

Mr. Rose appeared sporadically, some weeks just one or two days, some weeks not at all. "It was unorganized chaos," the same person said. "There was never a system to this. And in between, there were always parties to go to, different computers Axl was trying out or buying. There were times when we didn't record things for weeks."

So the studio technicians burned as many as five CD's per week with various mixes of different songs, which were driven to Malibu for Mr. Rose to study. The band's archive of recorded material swelled to include more than 1,000 digital audio tapes and other media, according to people who were there at the time, all elaborately labeled to chart the progress of songs. "It was like the Library of Congress in there," said one production expert who spent time on the album there.

By one count, the band kept roughly 20 songs it considered on the A list and another 40 or so in various stages of completion on the B list.

All that material, however, didn't do much to reassure the band's label. "In 1998 and 1999 you start getting a little bit nervous," Mr. Rosenblatt, the executive who led the outfit after David Geffen's departure, said delicately. "Edgar Bronfman picks up the phone more than once. He wanted to know what was going on. You unfortunately have got to give him the answer, you don't know. Because you don't." To take the pressure off, Mr. Rose's manager at the time presented the idea of releasing a live album from the original band, which. Mr. Rose's crew began to assemble.

In January 1999 Seagram orchestrated a massive restructuring of its music division, firing 110 Geffen employees, including Mr. Rosenblatt, and folding the unit into the corporation's bigger Interscope Records division. The unfinished album was placed in the hands of Interscope's chairman, Jimmy Iovine. Mr. Iovine declined to comment for this article.

Mr. Rose was said to be crushed by the departure of his Geffen contacts - just as "White Trash Wins Lotto," a musical satire that sent the singer up as a star-eyed hayseed forced to learn the harsh lessons of the music industry, was developing a cult following in Los Angeles. When he missed his March deadline, however, he set a pattern that would repeat itself for years to come: a flurry of energetic activity, followed by creative chaos and a withdrawal from the studio.

That June he allowed a version of the old Guns N' Roses hit "Sweet Child O' Mine" that begins with the original band playing but almost seamlessly shifts into the new band to appear on the soundtrack of the film "Big Daddy." Later that summer he agreed to release his first original song in eight years, the industrial-flavored "Oh My God," for another soundtrack and introduced it in a commercial on MTV. (Mr. Rose fussed over the song so much that he, Mr. Iovine and studio technicians stayed up until nearly dawn adjusting the final mix, according to people involved.) News of its release stoked speculation that an album might follow. But it was panned by many critics and quickly forgotten.

In late 1999 he invited Rolling Stone to preview about a dozen tracks. The magazine reported the album appeared "loosely scheduled" for release in the summer of 2000. In fact, Mr. Rose's visits to the studio had become so irregular, according to several executives and musicians involved with the band, that an engineer working with him, Billy Howerdel, and the band's drummer, Josh Freese, found time during that period to start their own project, the band A Perfect Circle, and to begin recording an album, "Mer de Noms," which went on to sell 1.7 million copies.

Label executives still clung to the idea that if they could just bring in the right producer, he could find a way to finish the album and finally bring a return on their ever-growing investment. They summoned Roy Thomas Baker, famed for his work with the art-rock band Queen. (Mr. Beavan, who was said to have tired of the project, soon bowed out.) But instead of wrapping things up, Mr. Baker decided that much of what the band had needed to be re-recorded - and painstakingly so, as he sometimes spent as long as eight hours on a few bars of music.

The process was drawn out even further after Mr. Rose hired two new musicians - the guitarist Buckethead, a virtuoso who wore a mannequin-like face mask and a KFC bucket on his head, and the drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia - whom the singer directed to re-record all the music that their predecessors had spent months performing.

Still, Mr. Rose seemed to be emerging from his sullen shell. In mid-2000, for what was thought to be the first time since the "Illusions" tour ended in 1993, he performed in public, with the Thursday night bar band at the Cat Club on the Sunset Strip. "He was psyched," recalled one person who worked with the band at Rumbo. "It seemed like it boosted him again, people still want to hear him."

At about 4 a.m on New Year's Day 2001, at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, he and the new lineup of the band finally unveiled some of their new material. "I have traversed a treacherous sea of horrors to be with you here tonight," Mr. Rose told the crowd, which received him with roars of approval. Warm reviews followed. Making the most of the moment, he took his band on the road, going to Brazil to play in the Rock in Rio festival.

With the band's return, Mr. Rose's machinery cranked up again. One internal cost analysis from the period pegs the operation's monthly tab at a staggering $244,000. It included more than $50,000 in studio time at the Village, a more modern studio where Mr. Baker had moved the band. It also included a combined payroll for seven band members that exceeded $62,000, with the star players earning roughly $11,000 each. Guitar technicians earned about $6,000 per month, while the album's main engineer was paid $14,000 per month and a recording software engineer was paid $25,000 a month, the document stated.

Label executives were losing patience. Interscope turned to Mr. Zutaut, the original band's talent scout. Could an old friend succeed where so many others had failed? He was offered a roughly 30 percent bonus, he said, if he could usher the project to completion within a year.

But Mr. Rose's renewed energies were not being directed toward the finish line. He had the crew send him CD's almost daily, sometimes with 16 or more takes of a musician performing his part of a single song. He accompanied Buckethead on a jaunt to Disneyland when the guitarist was drifting toward quitting, several people involved recalled; then Buckethead announced he would be more comfortable working inside a chicken coop, so one was built for him in the studio, from wood planks and chicken wire.

Mr. Rose was far less indulgent of his producers and label. Around Christmas, he ousted both Mr. Baker and Mr. Zutaut (who said there had been a miscommunication). It would be weeks before the singer would even allow an Interscope executive to visit him in the studio, according to people involved with the production. Interscope dispatched a senior talent executive, Mark Williams, to oversee the project. Mr. Williams declined to comment for this article.

If Mr. Rose appeared more remote, his vision of the project became more grandiose, people involved with the band said. He directed that music produced by Mr. Baker be redone again, those people said. He now spoke of releasing not merely one album but a trilogy. And he planned one very big surprise.

At MTV's annual awards show in 2002, publicists buzzed through the audience whispering about a big finale. And with just minutes to go in the broadcast, a screen lifted away to reveal the band and Mr. Rose, in cornrows and a sports jersey, looking strikingly young. The musicians burst into "Welcome to the Jungle," one of the original band's biggest hits, and the crowd went wild. But on television Mr. Rose quickly seemed out of breath and out of tune. He ended the performance, which included the new song "Madagascar" and the original band's hit "Paradise City" in a messianic stance, raising his arms and closing his eyes. He left the audience with a cryptic but tantalizing message: "Round one."

Round two never came. The band went on a successful tour, but in the hours after their triumphant Madison Square Garden appearance, Mr. Rose was reportedly refused entry to the Manhattan nightclub Spa because he was wearing fur, which the club does not allow. That killed the mood. He didn't show up for the band's next performance, and the promoter canceled the rest of the tour.

Months dragged on as the band waited for Mr. Rose to record more vocals. In August 2003 when label executives announced their intention to release a Guns N' Roses greatest-hits CD for the holidays, the band's representatives managed to hold them off with yet another promise to deliver "Chinese Democracy" by the end of the year. But the album, of course, did not materialize. And then the game was over.

"HAVING EXCEEDED ALL budgeted and approved recording costs by millions of dollars," the label wrote in a letter dated Feb. 2 , 2004, "it is Mr. Rose's obligation to fund and complete the album, not Geffen's." The tab at Village studio was closed out, and Mr. Rose tried a brief stint recording at the label's in-house studio before that too was ended. The band's computer gear, guitars and keyboards were packed away. Over a legal challenge by Mr. Rose, the label issued a greatest-hits compilation, in search of even a modest return on their eight-figure investment.

Released in March of 2004, it turned out to be a surprisingly strong seller, racking up sales of more than 1.8 million copies even without any new music or promotional efforts by the original band. The original band's debut, "Appetite for Destruction," which has sold 15 million copies, remains popular and racked up sales of another 192,000 copies last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is a sign that Mr. Rose's audience still waits.

Mr. Rose is reportedly working on the album even now in a San Fernando Valley studio. "The 'Chinese Democracy' album is very close to being completed," Merck Mercuriadis, the chief executive officer of Sanctuary Group, which manages Mr. Rose, wrote in a recent statement. He added that other artists including Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder "have throughout their careers consistently taken similar periods of time without undeserved scrutiny as the world respects that this is what it can sometimes take to make great art." There's certainly more than enough material; as Mr. Zutaut says, even years ago "people felt like the record had been made four or five times already." But of course, rumors of the album's imminent release have circulated since almost the very beginning of the tale, more than a decade ago.
Old 6th March 2005
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krid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
And at the center of that tale, now as then, is the confounding figure of Axl Rose himself. A magnetic talent, a moody unpredictable artist, a man of enormous ideas and confused follow-through, he has proven himself to be an uncontrollable variable in any business plan.

His involvement on "Chinese Democracy" has outlasted countless executives, producers and fellow musicians - even the corporate structure that first brought the band to worldwide celebrity. Even, in fact, the recognizable configuration of the recording industry as a whole, which since the band first went into the studio in 1994 has consolidated to four major corporations from six, and staggered amid an epidemic of piracy, leaving it more focused than ever on the bottom line, and on reliable musicians with a proven track record of consistent performance. The sort of rock stars that the original members of Guns N' Roses, who recently submitted a claim seeking $6 million in what were called unpaid royalties from its catalog, used to be. But which Mr. Rose, with his mood swings, erratic work habits and long dark stretches, no longer is.

He hasn't disappeared entirely. His voice can be heard on the latest edition in the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series, in the character of a grizzled 70's-style rock D.J. "Remember," he advises the radio station's audience, "we're not outdated and neither is our music."

Interscope has taken "Chinese Democracy" off its schedule. Mr. Rose hasn't been seen there since last year, when he was spotted leaving the parking area beneath Interscope's offices, where witnesses reported that a small traffic jam had congealed when attendants halted other cars to clear a path for his silver Ferrari. Mr. Rose punched the gas and cruised into the day.
Old 6th March 2005
  #3
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heinz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by krid
then Buckethead announced he would be more comfortable working inside a chicken coop, so one was built for him in the studio, from wood planks and chicken wire.
Man I woulda thought this would've been the catalyst that got the album done. I'm now adding planks & chicken wire to my "studio essentials" list. heh
Old 6th March 2005 | Show parent
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well it seems that Mr. Rose is managing to take everything wrong with the record industry today and use it to his total disadvantage...

You don't spend millions "building" a rock and roll song.


I think he forget the key formula that made him his money to begin with. He was part of a rock and roll band. Imagine that.

They didn't make it on the strength of his wonderful voice (cough cough) alone. Or his fantastic song writing ability {sarcasm}.

Rose is obviously afraid to actually complete this "project" because it will once and for all expose him for the worthless hack poser that he is. If the original band can't get it together, it ain't going to be Guns and Roses. And even if they did, and pulled it off, their sounds is dated and it isn't likely to strike the same chord as it once did.
Old 6th March 2005 | Show parent
  #5
Wave Distro
 
GilWave's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Beatles did everything they were ever going to do in 8 years, Jimi Hendrix in 4 - Axl can't get a record out in 11?

Even Peter Gabriel only took 10 years to give us "Up" after "Us", but then again he kept his main band intact.

C'mon Axl, put this to bed already.

-g
Old 6th March 2005
  #6
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4 Reviews written
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krid
"In 1998 and 1999 you start getting a little bit nervous," Mr. Rosenblatt said.
You don't say!
Old 6th March 2005 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great
I think he forget the key formula that made him his money to begin with. He was part of a rock and roll band
If the truth was really known, the talent in the band was Jeff Izbell (AKA Izzy Stradlin) he wrote all the classic songs, GnR are nothing without him.

Why do you think the Spaghetti incident came out after he left, hmm no one around to write decent songs ?

So really it's no wonder that all this money has been spent on this production, lets wait and see what he makes of it, and if it surfaces what it's like. I can tell you this I bet there are no GnR classics like child o' mine or paradise city on there.

Peace

DD
Old 6th March 2005 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 15 years
It would seem that mr. bizzarro Axl is well on his way to becoming the Howard Hughs of rock and roll..A Boring pathetic waste
Old 6th March 2005 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
The thing that made me laugh out loud about that article was the bit about them ACTUALLY STAYING UP UNTIL NEARLY DAWN, to finish a mix.,
as though this were UNHEARD of.

The Rutles: their first album was recorded in 20 minutes, the second album took EVEN LONGER.


Amazing how people can write with an air of authority about things they clearly know VERY little about.
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Cowbell time! heh heh
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great
Well it seems that Mr. Rose is managing to take everything wrong with the record industry today and use it to his total disadvantage...

You don't spend millions "building" a rock and roll song.


I think he forget the key formula that made him his money to begin with. He was part of a rock and roll band. Imagine that.

They didn't make it on the strength of his wonderful voice (cough cough) alone. Or his fantastic song writing ability {sarcasm}.

Rose is obviously afraid to actually complete this "project" because it will once and for all expose him for the worthless hack poser that he is. If the original band can't get it together, it ain't going to be Guns and Roses. And even if they did, and pulled it off, their sounds is dated and it isn't likely to strike the same chord as it once did.
Here, Here....
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
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🎧 15 years
First off the label should have cut-off this hack who got lucky well before the million dollar mark.

Second Dangerous Dave hit the nail on the head. Izzy was the only real songwriter of the band.

Third the feel in that band was based in Steven Adler, and his grooving with Izzy and Duff.

No Izzy, no Steven, why bother?



Did any of this go down at Cello? Maybe that's why they closed, Axl might owe them millions...
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbeh
The first Izzy solo album, Izzy Stradlin and the Juju Hounds, is really good, believe it or not.
I saw the tour. The show was short but really great. My brother had the record, so I haven't heard it in a while.
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Jeff is a close personal friend of my brother, so I know that what I am talking about is correct.

The Juju Hounds stuff is ace, the next album 117 degrees is even better, I think Steve Steven's is playing on there but don't quote me on that one.

Izzy's songwriting is brilliant.

Peace

DD
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #15
Wave Distro
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous Dave
Izzy's songwriting is brilliant.
I don't think we should discount Slash's contributions to the band.
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
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The original post was why the latest offering from Axel rose was way over budget and late.

I simply posted a reply to make it known that Izz wrote all of the classic songs featured on appetite and UYI I and II, and this was probably a contributing factor as to why the new release was late. No Izz no decent songs...

While I agree with you that slash made a significant contribution to the sound of GnR without the songs there would be no GnR.. This could be seen clearly after izzy left and they released the "spaghetti incident" Slash had a contribution on that album but it was no where near as sucessfull as UYI or appetite.

If I am not mistaken Axel wanted to use some of Jeffs other material prior to spaghetti and it nearly happened except for a demand from the Rose camp that he be credited with part writing some of the material, at that point Izzy simply said no and took the material with him.. Again don't quote me but I recall my brother mentioning something like this to me a few years ago...

Peace

DD
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 15 years
I hope he takes another 11 years - so I don't have to hear whatever mindless crap he manufactures on the rock station here every 5 minutes.
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
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🎧 15 years
hehehe... Nice one.
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Spaghetti Incident was all covers, so by it's very nature Izzy's songwriting wouldn't enter into it.

I agree with most that the G nR phenomenon was due in large part to the fact that it was a band, and rthe whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Slash put out two solo records with Snakepit, and of course now has Velvet Reveolver, which hasn't exactly set the world on fire like Appetite For Destruction did.

-g
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GilWave
Spaghetti Incident was all covers
-g
Why do you think that was ? No decent songwriting talent perhaps ?

My point exactly, anyway who cares!!

Peace
DD
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #21
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Jack Pettit's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I remember waiting for hours for G&R to come on stage.
I thought Axel was a asshole then and I think the same now.
Old 7th March 2005
  #22
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🎧 15 years
dfegad axl rose is a PUNK! . He should take what hes got and move far far away! I cpould care less if I ever hear is name again!
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
I did some work with Matt Sorum back in '99 and he mentioned that Axl had a remote truck (with overdub booth) rented parked outside of his house with an engineer on site at all times, for when he felt 'inspired'.
It was a ProTools rig BTW.
I would have hated the non momentum of that situation.

I agree with earlier points made here, such as they were a BAND and Izzy was the songwriting brains of the outfit.
Axl abused his control freak 'singer is the center of the universe' fantasy and caused the band to breakup.
You cannot replace an original member and expect the magic.
When Matt became the drummer, the band lost a lot of the synergy.
When Izzy left, it was all over for me.
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #24
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ProFool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Pettit
I remember waiting for hours for G&R to come on stage.
I thought Axel was a asshole then and I think the same now.
I stil have four tickets in my closet from two gigs in Holland they didn't showed up and canceled the last moment, never got refund since it would take +- six months + a post office bill dfegad but i still like the albums they made, long live rock and roll.
The Izzy and Duff records are great too !!!
Axl should have made it with a solo career instead of messing up the legend G "N" R once was, it almost gave me a heart attack when i first saw Axl performing with this buckethead in a band called G "N" R
BTW krid great post thumbsup
Old 7th March 2005 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 15 years
I agree that alot of the magic that was Appite for Destruction was that the rhythm section seemed on the edge all the time, great R&R section... but Adler was WAYYYY beyond able to play by the time that the band axed him, its not like they woke up one day and said.. hey lets get a new drummer....

I had a great conversation with someone very close to the band in about 95' and he said to me, and I loosly quote " Axl will never finish this new album he is workign on... if it is out in the next 10 years I will be shocked"

so far he seems pretty accurate...
Old 8th March 2005 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Gotta agree with Izzy being the songwriting brains behind the band but Id still give Slash his dues. To me the GNR sound was a moulding of Izzy's songwriting, Slash's fine guitar playing and the anger of Axl. When Izzy left you could see the band start to spiral out of control. It seemed like Izzy was the only person who could keep Mr Rose's ego in check. When Slash, Duff, and Matt left thats when GNR should have died.

On a side note its nice to see Duff, Matt and Slash having some success with Velvet Revolver.
Old 8th March 2005 | Show parent
  #27
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i only saw one GnR show... they opened up for Aerosmith and were wasted. but it was still fun to see them and it was EARLY in their AFD release [obviously being an opening band]

izzy was the talent but AFD they were a BAND... then it was gone. axl is NOT GnR and never will be alone to himself. AFD was pretty much their only great release and it was a great album, i STILL listen to it every so often.

i dont know why the label funded axl after the band departed...

i had always heard Izzy played it smarter than any of the others and pretty much "retired" doing whatever he pleases having invested his fortunes of AFD.
Old 8th March 2005 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Waylon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Also, FWIW, The last M Jackson album cost about 30 million......
Old 8th March 2005 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
quasimodonyc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylon
Also, FWIW, The last M Jackson album cost about 30 million......
Are you kidding me? Is that just production costs, or are you factoring in marketing, videos, etc.
Old 8th March 2005 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Waylon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
not joking... I cant remember where I heard that, but I think it is accurate for some reason, rumor has it they recorded the album multiple times.

here is a link... http://www.celebritystorm.com/mceleb...biography.html


from the page

"RUMOR has it that Michael spent more than $30 million and four years working on Invincible. But if you have to pay that much for the amazing quality of an album, then by all means SPEND SPEND SPEND. Invincible needed some quality control: At 16 tracks and about 77 minutes, the album is fast and hard hitting ....... "


Even if that total does include videos, etc.. it is ludacris....
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