Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guns N’ Roses…

Numerous web sites, Guns N' Roses Official Site, The Rock Radio - Guns N' Roses, Guns N' Roses On My Space, - Guns N' Roses, VH1 - Guns N' Roses & Rolling Stone - Guns N' Roses Discography were quite helpful in preparing my tribute to Guns N’ Roses. Please click on the hyperlinks to enjoy these web sites.

Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band, one of the most popular rock and roll bands ever. At a time when pop was dominated by dance music and pop-metal, Guns N' Roses brought raw, ugly rock & roll crashing back into the charts.

While Slash and Izzy Stradlin ferociously spit out dueling guitar riffs worthy of Aerosmith or the Stones, Axl Rose screeched out his tales of sex, drugs, and apathy in the big city. Meanwhile, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler were a limber rhythm section who kept the music loose and powerful. Guns N' Roses' music was basic and gritty, with a solid hard, bluesy base; they were dark, sleazy, dirty, and honest -- everything that good hard rock and heavy metal should be. There was something refreshing about a band who could provoke everything from devotion to hatred, especially since both sides were equally right. There hadn't been a hard rock band this raw or talented in years, and they were given added weight by Rose's primal rage, the sound of confused, frustrated white trash vying for his piece of the pie. As the '80s became the '90s, there simply wasn't a more interesting band around, but owing to intra-band friction and the emergence of alternative rock, Rose's supporting cast gradually disintegrated, as he spent years in seclusion.

The band's 1987 major label debut, Appetite for Destruction, gained them world notoriety with its infamously self-destructive attitude while their 1991 second major effort, the simultaneous album releases of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, and subsequent tour cemented the band's place as a heavily influential and permanent member of rock and roll history.

Current members are (William Bailey) Axl Rose-vocals (1985-), Tommy Stinson- Bass (1997-), Brian Mantia - Drums (2001-), Richard Fortus- Guitars (2002-), Robin Finck- Guitars (2002-), Dizzy Reed-Keyboards (1990) and Chris Pittman-live keyboards and Sound Effects (1998-).

Past Guns N' Roses members include Tracii Guns, guitar (1985), Robbie Gardner, drums (1985), (Saul Hudson) Slash, guitars (1985-1996), Duff McKagan, bass (1985-1997), (Jeffrey Isbell) Izzy Stradlin, guitar (1985-1991), Gilby Clarke, guitar (1991-1994), Steven Adler, drums (1985-1990), Matt Sorum, drums (1990-1997), Paul Huge, guitar (1994-2002), Josh Freese, drums (1997-2000), Buckethead, guitar (2000-2004).

Originating in Los Angeles in June 1985, Guns N' Roses' unique style incorporated punk, blues, thrash, and other genres of music into what was popular at the time: hair metal. The band was formed by singer Axl Rose, guitarist Tracii Guns, guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Robbie Gardner. The name was derived from a combination of Guns and Rose's pseudonymous last names, while earlier band names in the same vein had been Rose and Hollywood Rose. Fans often shorten the name to the 'Gunners'.

When guitarist Tracii Guns and drummer Robbie Gardner could not attend the Guns N' Roses’ first show (in Seattle), Axl Rose called extremely talented guitarist, Slash, and drummer Stephen Adler, who he had met recently, and asked if they would play. The two agreed and the band's original line-up was finalized.

The band released a self-produced EP,, in 1986. Copies of the EP reached Geffen Records executives who soon signed the band. Appetite for Destruction, Guns N' Roses’ Geffen debut, was released on August 21, 1987. The album sold 20 million copies, had three top 10 singles, and hit #1 on the charts. Appetite for Destruction remains as one of the best selling debut album of all-time.

Guns N' Roses' next release was the acoustic cd G N' R Lies in 1988 which hit #2 on the music charts. Contributing Welcome to the Jungle to the soundtrack of movie The Dead Pool (in the Dirty Harry series) gave the band a couple of seconds onscreen in the movie.

In 1989, Guns N' Roses were presented with the American Music Award for favorite Pop/Rock single for Sweet Child O' Mine. At the televised annual award show in 1989, Duff McKagan and Slash appeared intoxicated and used strong language while accepting the award for Best Heavy Metal Album for Appetite for Destruction, and Best Heavy Metal Song for Paradise City. Because of the incident, subsequent American Music Award shows have been broadcast using a five second delay.

Shortly after the release of 'G N' R Lies', drummer Stephen Adler was dismissed from the band, reportedly due to his unwillingness to address his heroin addiction. Other members addressed their addiction after Axl Rose spoke up about them 'dancing with Mr. Brownstone' during their opening set for the Rolling Stones. In 1990 Guns N' Roses returned to the studio with new drummer Matt Sorum and keyboardist Dizzy Reed to begin work on the band's most ambitious undertaking yet. On September 17, 1991 they released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, which debuted as #2 and #1 on the charts.

After the release of the Use Your Illusion albums Guns N' Roses went on a 28-month-long world tour, during which Izzy Stradlin quit the band and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. The tour included The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. During this time, November Rain became the most requested video on MTV, eventually winning a VMA for best cinematography.

In 1993, Guns N' Roses released a collection of mostly punk covers entitled The Spaghetti Incident?. This album did not match the success of the Illusion albums and tensions were ever increasing in the band. In 1994 Axl Rose fired Gilby Clarke. That same year, a cover version of The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil was recorded by the band, joined by Paul Huge (replacing Gilby Clarke), for the movie Interview with the Vampire. Several members started up their side projects (such as Slash with Slash's Snakepit and Duff McKagan in the Neurotic Outsiders). In 1996, Slash quit the band, citing creative differences with Axl Rose. Within the following year, Duff McKagan and Matt also left the band, which left Axl Rose as the sole original member.

In 1998, Axl Rose returned to the studio accompanied by drummer Josh Freese (of the Vandals), bassist Tommy Stinson (formerly of The Replacements), guitarist Robin Finck (formerly of Nine Inch Nails), guitarist Paul Huge (aka Paul Tobias), and keyboardist Dizzy Reed.

In 1999, the band released one new song, Oh My God, which was included on the soundtrack to the 1999 Arnold Schwarzenegger film End of Days. This song was intended to be a prelude for a new album, Chinese Democracy. Guns N' Roses also released Live Era 87-93, which was a collection of songs the original lineup recorded on the road between 1987 and 1993. Later that year, Finck returned to Nine Inch Nails briefly to record 'The Fragile.'

In 2000, avant garde guitarist Buckethead joined Guns N' Roses.

The revised lineup returned to the stage in January of 2001 with two well-received concerts, one in Las Vegas and one in Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of Axl Rose, guitarists Buckethead, Robin Finck, and Paul Huge, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboard players Dizzy Reed and Chris Pittman, and drummer Brain (formerly of Primus), the band played a mixture of old hits as well as new songs from their forthcoming album. The new lineup played two shows in Las Vegas at the end of 2001. During 2002, guitarist Paul Huge left the band and was replaced by Richard Fortus, formerly of the band Love Spit Love. The band then played several shows in August of 2002, headlining festivals and concerts in Asia and Europe, and then making their way to New York for a surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

A U.S. tour, the band's first since 1993, was planned. The tour got off to a bad start. The opening show in Vancouver was cancelled by the venue due to Axl Rose not showing up in a timely manner. A riot ensued. Subsequent shows went on as planned. The tour was met with mixed results. Some concerts in smaller markets did not sell out, while shows in larger markets such as New York and Boston sold out in minutes. Due to a no show by Axl Rose in Philadelphia and the resulting riot by fans, Clear Channel, the tour's promoter, cancelled all remaining shows of the tour. As of February 2005 the band has not played a show since their December 5, 2002 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Reports issued by the band in 2001 and 2002 claimed that Chinese Democracy was to be released later that year by Interscope/Geffen Records, with whom they had apparently patched up their differences (if any). It is set to release in 2005. Despite Axl Rose's protests, legal and otherwise, Geffen released a greatest hits album on March 23rd. Similarly, Cleopatra records released 'Hollywood Rose: The Roots of Guns N' Roses' in early summer. Again, Axl Rose failed to stop its release.

In 2002, Q magazine named Guns N' Roses in their list of the '50 Bands To See Before You Die', although this was as part of a sub-list of '5 Bands That Could Go Either Way'.

In March 2004, Buckethead left the band, causing Axl Rose to cancel their May 30th appearance at Rock in Rio 4 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Former Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum from the Cult, formed the band Velvet Revolver with Scott Weiland (formerly of Stone Temple Pilots) in 2003. The band contributed a song to the Hulk's soundtrack before releasing their first album, Contraband, in June 2004. Contraband debuted at #1 on the music charts. The band toured briefly before the release of the album and in the winter of 2004/2005. Izzy Stradlin continues to release solo albums and occasionally collaborates on songs with Velvet Revolver. Steven Adler tours with his band Adler's Appetite (formerly Suki Jones) and has plans to record with this band.

Guns N’ Roses Discography…

Main Releases

Greatest Hits - 2004

Live Era: '87-'93 [Clean] - 1999

G N' R Lies [Gold] - 1999

Live Era '87-'93 - 1999

Interview with the Vampire - 1995

The Spaghetti Incident ? - 1993

Use Your Illusion I - 1991

Use Your Illusion II - 1991

G N' R Lies - 1988

Appetite for Destruction - 1987

Appetite for Destruction [Edited] - 1987


A Rock Tribute To Guns N' Roses - 2002

10 Years Of Terror - vol 1 - 2002

Burning Hearts, Vol. 1 - 2000

End Of Days - 1999

Can't Hardly Wait - 1998

Grosse Pointe Blank - 1997

Days of Thunder - 1991

Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal - 1990

Lean on Me - 1989

Baseball closers are known for having theme music blasted at their home parks, as they enter a game. When Eric Gagne would enter games at Dodger Stadium, "Welcome To The Jungle" would be blasted out of the speakers behind center field, and an onslaught of blue and white cartoon Gagne heads would overrun the scoreboard, in a hallucinatory montage, as the crowd would be whirled into a maniacal frenzy. That’s what Guns N' Roses music can do at a party, it whirls a crowd of people into a maniacal frenzy. That’s one reason I love Guns N' Roses.

My favorite Guns N' Roses songs include Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Live And Let Die, Paradise City, Sweet Child O' Mine and Welcome To The Jungle.

These guys flat-out know how to rock. They can bring it, and their music should be a staple at any party.

Thanks for the killer tunes, boys…

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