So this got modded in the pit, so I came here.

I did an article on Guns N Roses for my music history class. I would appreciate some constructive criticism, corrections, and other comments. Please no flaming

my resources are Slash (the autobiography) and Watch You Bleed, with a few small details from wikipedia.

Please don't mod me, this is too long to put in the GNR thread

Be warned now of the Wall of text

Just a little Patience:

Guns N Roses was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985 when members of the Lost Angeles based bands L.A. Guns joined members of the band Hollywood Rose. The original lineup consisted of Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Tracii Guns, Ole Beich, and Rob Gardner. Soon Tracii, Ole, and Rob would leave to rejoin the L.A. Guns and Slash, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler joined the band. With this lineup, they wrote, recorded and released, and then toured in support for Appetite for Destruction, their debut album.

Axl Rose was born William Bruce Rose, Jr. on February 12, 1962 in Lafayette, Indiana. For his first couple of years of life he lived with his teenage mother, Sharon Lintner, and his father, William Rose. His parents had a falling out and at the age of two, Axl was kidnapped by his father. He was recovered by his family and went to live with his mother and grandparents. Through therapy for repressed memories, Axl discovered that he was sexually abused by his father when he was kidnapped by him. The following year, his mother married Stephen Bailey, a local man. Bailey adopted Axl and gave him his name, so William Rose became William Bailey. Given his young age when his mother remarried, Axl grew up thinking Stephen Bailey was his biological father. Stephen Bailey was a member of the ultra conservative Pentecostal religious movement, of which Axl’s family attended church, and which is where Axl got his start in singing through the church choir. Stephen Bailey physically abused Axl and his two half-siblings on a regular basis, as Axl’s mother did nothing to stop the situation.

In high school, Axl was a bit of an outcast. He befriended Jeffrey Isbell, who would later become Izzy Stradlin. Axl and Izzy shared a love of music, and a hatred for everything Indiana. Izzy recalls: “ We were long-haired guys in a high school where you were either a jock or a stoner. We weren’t jocks, so we ended up hanging out together.” Izzy moved to Lafayette from Florida before he started school when his parents split up. When Izzy was thirteen, he asked his parents for a drum kit, and the family got one for him. Axl and Izzy later ran away from Lafayette together; Axl dropping out of high school, and Izzy graduating. They toured the United States until finally landing in Los Angeles, at which point Axl legally changed his name to William Axl Rose.

Slash, real name Saul Hudson, was born on July 23, 1965 in Stoke-on-Trent, England to Tony and Ola Hudson. When Slash was a young boy he and his parents moved to Los Angeles, where Slash became attuned to American rock music of the late sixties and early seventies. His mother was a fashion designer for musicians who included David Bowie and Joni Mitchell. His father was an artist who later designed album covers. David Geffen was also a close family friend, which is ironic because twenty years later he signed Guns N Roses, not knowing who Slash was. Shortly after the birth of Slash’s brother, his parents split up, which was very hard on him.

As a result, Slash spent his early teenage years being a hoodlum. He lived mostly with his mother and grandmother, who had trouble controlling him. He would spend all night staying out and raising trouble in town, vandalizing property, running around with a bad crowd, and smoking marijuana. Before he ever picked up a guitar Slash had a potential promising semi-professional career in BMX bike racing. He worked in a BMX shop where he hung out with the owner’s kids, who taught him all about bikes. He entered and won several local BMX competitions. Despite being a troubled teenager, Slash was always a Momma’s boy, who loved his mother and grandmother. One of the people who hung out with Slash was none other than Steven Adler, the classic Guns N Roses drummer.

Slash and Steven would spend hours hanging out together. They liked the same music and had the same hobbies. Steven was obsessed with KISS, and dreamed of being a rock star like Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. His parents bought him a guitar and he played until his fingers bled every day. While Slash was at his house, Steven would spend hours slamming out chords at full blast yelling, “Dude, we should like, start a band!” They decided that Steven would play guitar and Slash would play bass, so Slash set out to learn bass.

Slash asked his grandmother for a bass. She dragged out an old guitar with only one string on it and gave it to her grandson. Slash then took his new find to a music teacher and asked him to teach him how to play bass. Little did Slash know that the instrument he was holding was actually a guitar, and not a bass. At age 15 Slash started taking guitar lessons, and at age 16 had started a band with other people from his high school. Steven moved schools and Slash and Steven would not speak to each other again for three years.

Slash continued to play guitar in his high school band and learn more about music. He eventually got a job at Tower Records. One day when Slash was working, a man recognized him from one of his shows and they talked music all day. This man was Izzy Stradlin, who had started a band with Axl.

Slash then began jamming with the band known as Hollywood Rose, which consisted of Axl, Izzy, and a couple of their other friends. Immediately the three felt the chemistry. Slash loved what Axl and Izzy were doing. He felt like it was truly authentic among a wasteland of early 1980’s Los Angeles glam bands. Despite the good vibe of Slash playing with Axl and Izzy, he opted to remain with his then current band, Tidus Sloan.

Tidus Sloan played shows all throughout Slash’s high school career. They became locally popular and soon started to tour southern California. They were all very good musicians, but there was only one problem. They couldn’t find a singer. So they wrote instrumental music and played instrumental versions of rock hits. Slash dropped out of high school when he was 17 to focus on music. Eventually the other members of Tidus Sloan moved on with their lives. Slash stayed focused on music despite this.

Slash was then reunited with his longtime childhood friend Steven Adler, who had learned to play drums. They decided to form the band Road Crew, and put an ad in a newspaper looking for a bassist, to which Duff McKagan responded. Duff was a punk rocker from Seattle. Duff played every rock instrument, including bass, guitar, drums, and singing lead vocal, in various bands. Duff is often regarded as the most musical former member of Guns.

Then Tracii Guns, Ole Beich, and Rob Gardner of the L.A. Guns joined forces with Axl and Izzy of Hollywood Rose to form the very first version of Guns N Roses. Before Guns N Roses had even played any shows, Tracii, Ole, and Rob quit to reform the L.A. Guns. Axl and Izzy were worried about the future of GNR, and somewhere among their panic, Izzy remembered Slash. Izzy contacted Slash and soon, Slash, Duff, and Steven all joined Guns N Roses to form the classic lineup.

They hit the ground running. Immediately they started writing music and playing shows. After the release of the Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide EP in 1986 they continued to play shows and write even more material. After a long time in the studio they released the famed Appetite for Destruction in 1987.

Appetite was a lukewarm success upon its initial release, yet Guns didn’t quit. They continued playing shows until finally a year later, Appetite became a sudden success. It sold out in record stores everywhere and hit number one on all the charts. Guns entered their golden age.

Guns N Roses released another EP in 1988, Lies, which included the hit, “Patience”, and the controversial track, “One in a Million”. Lies was a modest commercial success and everything seemed to be going well, at least, on the outside.

He's a freak of nature, but we love him so.

Quote by John Frusciante
Music isn't the Olympics. It's not about showing other people what you can do with a piece of wood in your hands that has strings on, it's about making sounds that are good.
Last edited by Spartan070sarge at Jan 6, 2009,

Every member of the band except for Axl was heavily into cocaine and heroin. Duff, Izzy, and Slash gladly indulged in the finest drugs money could buy. Steven tried to resist, and was the last of the members to enter drug culture, but when he did, he fell the hardest. He was unable to play drums the same as he used to. He could no longer keep time. The last track he ever did with Guns and the last straw for the rest of the members was “Civil War”. Guns’ producers had to manually fix Steven’s drum tracks; they were a half second behind the rest of the track. This was before computer recording, so they had to spend several hours in the studio literally cutting the tape tracks with a razor blade and putting them in the right place. In 1990, Steven Adler was thrown out of Guns N Roses.

Soon after Adler’s departure, Matt Sorum joined Guns N Roses to play drums and they hired Dizzy Reed to play keyboards. They jumped into the studio and began writing and recording the Use Your Illusion albums. Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II debuted and numbers one and two on the charts respectively, and Guns N Roses embarked on the Use Your Illusion tour.

The Use Your Illusion tour was a worldwide tour which spanned over two and a half years and eight legs. In 1991, in the middle of the tour, Izzy Stradlin quit the band. He could not handle the success and split.

Guns put their tour on hold and started searching for a new rhythm guitarist. They found Gilby Clarke and set back out on the road. The Use Your Illusion tour held some famous concerts, including the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert, and the concerts in Tokyo which are shown in their Live in Tokyo DVD’s. It was also the subject of controversy. On the tour, a show in St. Louis, Missouri caused Axl Rose to be arrested and banned from the city. A fan was illegally taping the show, which angered Axl. In the middle of “Rocket Queen,” Axl jumped off the stage and attacked the fan. After the altercation Guns N Roses left the stadium before their set was done, and the fans started rioting. Sixty fans were injured and millions of dollars of damages were reported. The band lost most of their equipment.

After the tour, Gilby was fired for one of Axl’s friends, Paul Tobias. They headed back into the studio, but it wasn’t the same. With Izzy, who was one of the primary songwriters of the group, gone, Duff and Slash didn’t feel like it was right. The last straw for Slash was when they recorded their version of “Sympathy for the Devil”. Axl had Tobias record an exact copy of Slash’s guitar track and played it over Slash’s. Slash left the band in 1996. Duff left and Matt was fired a year later, and Axl filled their spots with random replacements.

For awhile they each did their own thing. Slash formed Slash’s Snakepit and went touring. Duff formed Loaded and started writing, and for awhile Steven simply fell off the radar. It wasn’t until 2002 when these three members were reunited by a benefit concert that they formed the super group Velvet Revolver. Axl is the only remaining original member of Guns. He has put a hodgepodge of musicians together to form a lineup of the “new Guns N Roses.” After 15 years in the studio and burning through 13 million dollars and several band members, Axl released Chinese Democracy in 2008. Despite it’s major hype it has been merely average among reviews and sales.

No matter the current state of it, Guns N Roses was one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Appetite is the greatest selling debut album of all time. It is RIAA certified 18x platinum and has sold 28 million copies worldwide. They hold the record for the world’s longest tour with the Use Your Illusion tour, and their hit “November Rain” from Use Your Illusion I holds the record for the longest guitar solo in a rock song. The legacy of Guns N Roses will live on forever, and only time will tell what the future holds for these great rock stars.
He's a freak of nature, but we love him so.

Quote by John Frusciante
Music isn't the Olympics. It's not about showing other people what you can do with a piece of wood in your hands that has strings on, it's about making sounds that are good.
Last edited by Spartan070sarge at Jan 6, 2009,
Well damn wikipedia then.
He's a freak of nature, but we love him so.

Quote by John Frusciante
Music isn't the Olympics. It's not about showing other people what you can do with a piece of wood in your hands that has strings on, it's about making sounds that are good.
Pfft. I wouldn't trust wikipedia either. How long is that solo anyways? The Freebird solo is over 5 min.

EDIT: Sorry, I'm not being helpful. I'd erase that part, but I'd say that the video for November Rain has been the most expensive one in the history of music videos, and the solo is considered one of the best.
Last edited by Fiberglass Gum at Jan 6, 2009,
Ok, I changed that. Thanks.
He's a freak of nature, but we love him so.

Quote by John Frusciante
Music isn't the Olympics. It's not about showing other people what you can do with a piece of wood in your hands that has strings on, it's about making sounds that are good.
At the end, it should be "Slash re-formed the Snakepit", he had already had it going after USI while he was still in Guns.

November Rain definatly doesn't have the longest rock solo
Angus plays a 2 minuite solo at the beginning or Soul Stripper as far as I can remember and Freebird is effing long too.
Last edited by Nilpferdkoenig at Jan 8, 2009,
I think November Rain has the longest solo to ever be a in a US top ten song. I think.
all I ever wanted was to pick apart the day
put the pieces back together my way