52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Friday, March 18, 2005

You're not the only one

I've just been sat at my desk listening to the genius of "Appetite for Destruction" by G'n'f'n'R.


It's made me think of the video for "November Rain". I don't really like this song all that much. By this point a lot of the rawness that made them great has gone, to be replaced by Axl's delusions of grandeur and his overuse of a grand piano. The video is nothing short of magnificent though...

Like all the best videos, this one tells a story.... It tells us of Axl Rose and his model girlfriend Stephanie Seymour getting married, having a party, and living out their lives together in bliss until their tragic, tearful deaths. The band were so keen on getting everything just right, that they paid for the video themselves:

- wedding dress -> $8,000
- specially constructed coffin -> $8,000
- renting a symphony orchestra -> $25,000
- specially constructed chapel -> $150,000
- total cost of video -> $1.5m +

So far, so ridiculously overblown. Axl in particular looks a bit blowdryed - he's not a handsome man, bless him, but he looks like he's made a real effort for his special day.

The best bit by miles, and the reason for bringing this up in the first place, is the solo. In the middle of the ceremony, Slash stands up and walks out of the chapel. The rest of the guests are all dressed up, but Slash is wearing his customary leathers, denim and a top hat (naturally). He throws open the doors and walks out into the middle of a desert (as you do). He walks until he is a little way in front of the church, and then he launches into an EPIC, widescreen guitar solo (the longest ever in a top 10 single and voted number 6 in the 100 greatest guitar solos by the readers of Guitar World Magazine, fact fans!)


They were a brilliant band once. Now they have a guitarist called Buckethead who, yup, wears a bucket on his head all the time....

I hate to shatter any illusions you may have had, but I don't think Axl and Stephanie Seymour lasted the distance either, so I guess they never got to use those custom made coffins after all. Still. If the song teaches us anything at all, it teaches us that nothing lasts forever, even cold november rain.

ho hum.


  • At 5:40 pm, Blogger Mark said…

    Not at all inspired by this post I hope... .

    Spot on. Most of the songs on the elusive new GNR record are apparently written by Axl about Stephanie Seymour and it sure would be weird for her teenage son to hear those songs now... I mean, cripes, W.Axl, its thirteen years, get over it!

  • At 8:15 pm, Blogger Mike Davis said…

    I was a big fan of G'n'R...until I saw them live.


    A Rose by any other name...could sing.

  • At 8:32 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    Mark - that's funny. I think you may have had something to do with it too. I was reading that only last night, I think. You planted the subconscious seed that made me stop listening to Pavement at work this afternoon and put G'n'R on. Good work. I think.

    Adamant - I saw them at Wembley just before "Use Your Illusions" came out. They played too much new stuff. It was Izzy's last gig, I think. They were still pretty good though, and Skid Row were supporting them, so all wasn't lost.

  • At 9:14 pm, Blogger Lazygal said…

    I've seen them twice - when they opened for Aerosmith and were amazing, and the last show "G'n'R" played a few years ago. The difference left me speechless: Axl had teleprompters all over the stage, Buckethead can't play and, well, it wasn't G'n'R, it was a bloated, pale immitation. Too bad, but at least we had them for a little while.

  • At 10:01 pm, Blogger Tom said…

    When was the last Guns 'N' Roses record, again?

  • At 10:51 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    Use Your Illusions was 1991, I think. "Chinese Democracy" is still forthcoming...

  • At 12:27 am, Blogger Ben said…

    Appetite For Destruction is still amazing, no doubt about it. I saw them at the Leeds Festival in 2002, and although the only surviving original member was Axl Rose and they looked like they'd all come from different bands, they sounded brilliant. Axl obviously knows where their strongest songs are - we got 9 out of the 12 from Appetite From Destruction! 'Welcome To The Jungle' first up - blew me away, completely.

  • At 2:43 am, Blogger Mike Davis said…

    I think it was '91 I saw them.
    It was Paris and I must be fair, it was outdoors.

    As you say, too much new stuff and I think Axl had spent the previous night in 'La Locomotive' which always caused me to leave with a sore throat too!

  • At 11:59 am, Blogger Mark said…

    The last record was "The Spaghetti Incident", an appalling collection of punk covers that was originally intended to be b-sides. Buckethead left after they built a chicken coup for him to play him in the studio. And if you're currently in GNR you get between $6500 to $11000 a month for doing bugger all.

  • At 2:40 pm, Blogger Erika said…

    Perhaps I'll take this opportunity to ask the burning question...

    What the hell actually happens in November Rain? Is she shot? Who shoots her? Why does the coffin hide half her face?

    I was always so confused.


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