Axl Rose Was Offered $50,000 To Quit Guns N' Roses

Singer turned down offer to join another band back in the '80s.

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Iconic music producer Kim Fowley has revealed that Axl Rose was offered $50,000 to quit Guns N' Roses and join another band days before GN'R were signed to Geffen:

"I was working for a rich manager of a difficult band who had drug issues and alcohol issues and they were friends of Axl. The guy who was putting up the money for this unknown band was dating the leader of the band's mother. So he said 'I don't know about this band I'm investing in... do you know anyone else who's weird and strange and difficult but possibly platinum?' 'Yeah, Guns N' Roses.' 'Good. Okay. Let's take a look. Oh my goodness. You're right. Okay. Have the singer come by the studio tomorrow.' So we're all in the studio with the unknown band and here comes Axl by himself.

"And the manager had a $2,000 suit on and he said, 'Well, you guys are great. I want to be your manager, production company etc. And I want Kim Fowley to record and produce right here in this studio. And to show you how serious I am I'm going to open this suitcase and show you what's inside. And you can walk away with the suitcase. Or call the boys up and drive up and I'll pay for the cab if you don't have enough gas. Go ahead Axl, open the suitcase."

"So Axl opens the suitcase and there's $50,000 in cash. And the manger says, 'What do you think?' and Axl says, 'With all due respect sir, whoever you are. That's not enough for Guns N' Roses. We're going to be bigger than that. It's just a matter of time. I'll say no politely and I'll go away and I'll make more money than this on our initial signing with my guys. What don't you help these guys out?

They're deserving. They're probably not as great as we are but if you're going to piss it away, you might as well piss it away on them because you're already working with them. I gotta go rehearse. It was nice seeing all of you. Good bye.' And we all applauded him. (laughs) What else do you do, you know?

"So he called a cab. We had the money for the cab and he rode away. And I always thought of all the starving musicians I'd ever seen, even the ones who made it or didn't make it, he was the only one who knew exactly how valuable he was, and how not to panic. Because that's a lot of money for anyone. And he just wasn't interested. And of course they got 75 grand for signing with Geffen."

It's a cool story alright, but what would you have done in that situation; stuck by your Guns (yeah, we know, it's a terrible pun), or taken the money? Let us know in the comments

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ha! Good story. Strange to think that Axl Rose might actually know what he's doing
    Glad to hear that Axl stood up for himself in this situation. He's a brilliant songwriter, without him GN'R wouldn't have sounded like they do on their old records, but then again, he had a large part in the original lineup breaking up. Sad.
    Thank God for a good decision back then... We would have never gotten Appetite and that would have sucked! Appetite for Destruction = one of greatest Rock albums of all time.
    yes it was a good album, a classic, but it was their only good album UYI I and II not that good.
    I hope it was one of those terrible flavor of the month hair bands back in the 80's like Faster Pussycat or CInderella that rode the coat tails of Guns and dreams of becoming the next Aerosmith. Because of the second paragraph, if the story was true, having read Steven Adler's Duff's and Slash's books, I'd say it may have been LA Guns that tried to recruit him.
    Oi, Cinderella where by far one of the better hair bands,Long Cold Winter is a fantastic album. I agree about Faster Pussycat though, they had about 2 decent songs.
    Cinderella are awesome, and completely different to G'n'R. Next you'll be saying that Poison and Ratt are crap as well.
    Everything about Poison is wrong and evil. Ratt had good musicians, besides Out Of The Cellar, they just couldn't get their shit together. Admittedly I've only heard a few songs by Cinderella,I though they sucked the big one, and through that I've just not decided to listen to any more of their material.
    ya cinderellas first three albums are good, they have a lot more blues influence than most of the other hair bands. and they came out before guns n roses did. check out the albums long cold winter and heartbreak station.
    Face R1pper
    Luckily for LA Guns they got Phil Lewis instead and they ended up making more than one good album.
    Either he knew what he was doing or, more probable, his ego actually got him somewhere haha.
    You don't just ignore a 50,000$ briefcase! You turn down the offer then follow them as they leave and when they're on a back alley you hit them from behind and take the briefcase without them knowing it was you.
    Axl roses is guns n roses, guns n roses is axl rose.
    Is that why they're terrible?
    Nah, they're awesome, with or without Slash, Izzy and Duff. They're just different now, not better, but not worse either.
    They definitely are MUCH worse. Do your ears work? Are you kidding me?
    no they are worse. paradise city civil war sweet child o mine out ta get me vs shacklers revenge prostitute street of dreams? come on...
    You just can't compare the old GNR to the new GNR. They're two completely different bands. The only reason Axl's band is called GNR is because he made the rest of the band sign the naming rights of the band to him or else he'd quit. Although Chinese Democracy wasn't the best album it had some pretty kickass songs on it. Madagascar in particular is a masterpiece IMO
    hes right. guns n roses is axl slash izzy duff and matt or steven both kick ass. dizzy too. axl was a kick ass frontman. with everyone but dizzy and him gone, it isnt GNR anymore. he is the face of GNR along with slash.
    the challenge for Axl is that fine line between "knowing what you're worth" and "narcissistic, girlfriend-beating, ego-maniacal douschebag"
    Btw cinderella were around before gnr cinderellas first album was in 86 but I agree faster pussycat was bad
    Btw cinderella were around before gnr cinderellas first album was in 86 but I agree faster pussycat was bad