Friday, 19 December 2008

~ I, Axl: An American Dream
will return in early 2009 ~

Seasons fuckin' greetings to
one and all.

143. Air Miles

American Airlines
has the best big-assed

more generous with their

I spend
my flights secluded
behind eye mask,

headphones and
pretzels, a frequent flyer -
club class.

I pine for
the days when
lack of funds

meant the others
flew economy
with the other cattle

smoking, whoring,
snorting at
30,000 feet

but now America
is becoming
like communist China.

These days they
let any old riff-raff
into the player’s lounge.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

142. ‘Four Wheels and a Full Tank’: A Medatitive Poem by Duff McKagan, Aged 29.

There is no end
to the road
there is no friend
to be found out here
on the road
only ghosts
of nights gone by
no Kerouac voyage
of kicks and discovery
only weak coffee
white lines
of all types
and road-side signs
museums for the
world’s biggest pencil
and the world’s oldest
waffle house

This is America.
This is the American Dream:
four wheels, a full tank
and the freedom to be;
only the dream is
endless and boring
and nothing happens here
nothing but
endless movement,
a mass displacement
of isolated individuals
we are reduced
to crossed paths and
missed connections -
I mean
what use is this dream
if you can
never wake from it?

It’s hard not
to see the truth
when you’ve broken
from your moorings
and find yourself adrift
on the tide of fortune -
moving, always moving
yet still never more
than 93 million miles
from the sun.
We labour under the
illusion that we
are moving forward
yet we can only
ever circulate this orb
like ants on a
bored kid’s soccer ball
wilting in the sun.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

141. Cancelling Atlanta

The simple version is
six long years ago I
got arrested for teaching
some security bitch a
life lesson after he beat
on one of my buddies
in the crowd in Atlanta.

Back there today I could
feel vibes that were wholly
negative and I’m just not
that guy any more; today
I’d put a bullet in the back
if any yellow-shirted assholes
who much as even talks to me

so on the advice of my lawyer
my manager and taking into
account my current parole
obligations we decided to
pull the show. I'm not willing
to be a sitting duck for the police.
I'm familiar with that experience.

Reno, Nevada
Salt Lake city, Utah
Rapid City, South Dakato
Omaha, Nebraska
Auburn Hills, Michican
Atlanta, Georgia (cancelled)

Monday, 15 December 2008

140. On The Endless World Tour, Duff Redefines Indignity

I’m in the middle of a song
we’re rocking out
then I’m on my back
and everything is black.

No man has put me down -
yet something is amiss;
here I am knocked out cold
by a warm bottle of piss.

139. Tokyo, Japan

"Hey this song is called
‘Live And Let Stir-Fry’,

Friday, 12 December 2008

Austin, Texas
Birmingham, Alabama
New Haven, Connecticut
Portland Oregon
Hamilton, Ontario
Maine, New England
Boston, Massachusetts
Iowa City, Iowa
Fargo, North Dakota
Winnipeg, Winnipeg
Saskatoon, Canada
Vanocuver, Canada
Portland Oregon
Sacramento, California

138. Auckland, New Zealand

"Australia! How the hell
are you motherfuckers?"

Thursday, 11 December 2008

137. 'November Rain' Video Treatment

A fiery vision heralds the autumn sun singeing
the land with frosted crust hues of umber, carmine
and crimson; skies so wide they stretch
and smile for many a mile over plane and
canyon. Cut to: a young man and women

so very much in love they appear drunk.
They are Anthony and Cleopatra, they are
Catherine and Heathcliff, John and Yoko
they are star-crossed visions of purity and
beauty. Cut to: a band performing with a full

orchestra in opulent, theatrical surroundings.
A man is seated at a grand piano. We see that
it is he, the young lover. As he begins to sing
his voice is full of longing, longing for his lover
who he envisions in a snow-white wedding dress

it the girl of his dreams, a creature of such
ethereal and staggering beauty that the viewer is
nearly struck dumb. Cut to: a church, a wedding.
It is our young protagonists at the altar, surrounded
by their family and friends and band. Cut to:

The Rainbow Bar & Grill where the young man
is with his pals and his loved one. Cut to: the church,
where the best man temporarily loses the ring (evoking
‘pathos’), cut to: the open road, to Harleys, to fireworks,
cut to: the priest, the vows, the exchanging of rings.

Cut to: the kiss, to the exterior of the church, to the
desert, Slash in leathers, legs akimbo, soloing like
his life depends upon it. Cut to: the live show,
to the church, to the lovers, to the wedding party,
but most importantly cut to: some November rain.

Please note: the rain must coincide with the climactic
section of the song; if we get nothing else right it must
be this. Please also note: it is imperative that the rain
looks like it is falling in ‘November’. Cut to: a funeral
service, more rain, whose funeral – the young bride?

Cut to: more rain, a tossed wedding bouquet in slow motion,
a casket being lowered into the earth. Torrential rain now.
The young man tossing and turning alone in bed. Outside:
rain falls. The casket is buried, he wakes in a sweat.
Repeat all of the above for nine minutes, fade out. Roll credits.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

136. Steve The Bodyguard

I guess that film with Whitney
got one thing right; in this game

the safety of your client is paramount.
It’s your job to make sure they’re OK

at all times. You also have to comport
yourself with discretion, not get phased

and you have to tread a fine line between
following what you’re meant to do

and what the client wants you to do; with
rock stars there’s definitely a difference.

Typical example: Sweden, August 1992.
I’m asked to stick to my client like glue.

His management tells me he’s been
getting a little wacky of late; unpredictable.

So it’s show time and we’re due to leave
Outside the hotel the limo is waiting.

I’m suited, in shades, smelling like roses.
I’m alert, I’m primed, I’m ready for anything.

“I’m due on in twenty minutes,” says my client
fixing his hair. “Let’s get this thing rolling.”

We hit the elevator, down from the penthouse,
then glide across the smooth floor of the foyer.

“Oh wait,” he says. “I want to play some roulette.”
and with that he hits the casino for an hour.

Meanwhile, the phone is ringing off the hook
with people flipping out “Yo, where is he, Steve?

What have you done with him? Is everything alright?”.
On and on, down through all tiers of the organisation.

So I’m, like, OK, you gotta chill on this. Right now
he’s gambling, but I’m gonna bring him over very soon.

This is when a bit of diplomacy comes in handy.
I speak to the guy and gently suggest we should get going.

Finally he cashes in his chips and agrees, “Yeah.
Let’s get this thing rolling,” and we’re on our way.

Only it doesn’t end there. We’re ten minutes from
the venue where 13,000 Swedes are drunk and bored

and my client suddenly snaps alert. “Stop the car!
Stop the car now!”. I’m like, what’s up brother?

Is everything OK? What can I do? And he’s, like,
“Look – over there: fireworks” and I’m thinking

yeah, and?, and he’s like “They’re awesome.
I love fireworks. Let’s go see them close up”

so next thing I know we’re taking a diversion
to go see some stinking firework display when

we should be halfway through a show and though
I want to say, dude, get a grip, I can’t because

the safety and happiness of the client comes first
and besides he could fire me on the spot and

then what do you have? A rock star lost in Stockholm
and me stranded, jobless, the cold shoulder treatment

and, furthermore, you’d have 13,000 pissed off Swedes
and four very annoyed musicians ready to tear you a new ass.

See, you have to think professionally, so I’m like:
Sure buddy, let’s go see some fireworks,

and all the while I’m thinking ahead
trying to maintain, remembering procedure.

So that’s exactly what we do: we go watch
some fireworks until the client gets bored or

psyched or whatever it is he needs to do to
play a show and eventually we’re pulling away

and speeding to the venue at 100mph and the client
is sitting looking out the window, totally unphased

We drive straight down a ramp and through a
loading bay and park up twenty feet from the stage

where the band are in the middle of some sort
of shitty blues jam dirge and though everyone

backstage is losing their minds no-one dares
rag on my client because, after, all, this whole

thing still hinges on him, even though, deep down,
I know, none of this would possible without

guys like me. The bodyguards. The drivers. The techs
The caterers. All the assholes you see straight through

when you’re too busying idolising the latest pipsqueak
ego-tripping little fuckhead who I’m paid to serve.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Monday, 8 December 2008

134. April 1992: Axl Meets Kurt At The MTV Awards

In hell’s green room
two worlds collide
two viewpoints merge
and sparks will surely fly.

In the red corner:
the reigning king
teetering on his chrome throne
holding court for the dregs of the decadent 80s.

In the blue:
the rag-clad serf
who scaled the gates
of the fortified compound screaming songs of revolt.

The king’s court
contains jesters and handmaidens
there to serve their benevolent master
to hang on every cracked prophesy

The serf meanwhile
is a reluctant leader of men
the peasant who dared to put his head
above the parapet, only to be welcomed in.

Tactical of mind,
the king first extends an olive branch
only to have it returned bent all
our of shape.

The serf see through
the political moves of the king,
laughing, he stays in his seat,
knows that never the twain can meet.

Yet today their paths conjoin
in the arena of entertainment
with TV cameras positioned
on every corner, a rapt audience waiting.

The serf’s maiden mocks the king
suggests he should bless their new baby
so the king responds as only the king knows how:
with a gauntlet thrown down,

but the challenge of a fight
is met with derision and laughter;
and now the king fears for the future
of his career hereafter.

The king wishes to take a scythe
to the arms of the serf with the people on his side
but the people have the power
so the king lets it slide.

Even so, he can’t forget -
even when their envoys interject,
this slight upon his character
this silent generational threat.

While the bile will rise inside
so too the serf will ascend the tower
while the king watches, devoid of direction
devoid of all power.

Yet the serf is ill-prepared for what awaits him
he’s installed on a new throne
only to find he hate it
he wants to return to his people

but his people have turned away.
He can never return to his humble state
now he’s trapped in a tower
in a castle by a lake.

Now as his new Rome burns
he fiddles with a gun
turns on the radio and
the music of the old king is on…

Friday, 5 December 2008

133. A Call From The Rocket Man

"Hello cutie. It’s Selton. Selton John. Listening darling,
a few of us are having a bit of a get-together for Freddie
at Wembley and we’d love it if you and your reprobate
friends could pop along for a bit of sing-song.

We’ll all sing some Queen numbers and raise shit-loads
of money for AIDS awareness. Dame Bowie is threatening
to say prayer, and legends like Seal, Paul Young, Extreme
and that lemon Stansfield have all already confirmed.

I was thinking maybe you and I could do a duet on ‘Rhapsody’.
Then we’ll finish by all singing a rousing rendition of ‘Champions’.
Then maybe afterwards we could all go out carousing together?
It’ll be a party! So call me back darling. It’s Selton. Selton John."

(Image by Sexton Ming)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

132. Soul Crisis In The Rose Vortex

A constant:
the same words
returning to
describe the empty
feelings of removal
that consume me
when faced with a
wailing walls of faces.

The vortex
the void
what I call
‘the big empty’
or sometimes
‘the death camp’
or maybe on a
good day
‘the devil’s
sports hall’,

where the sound is
a hollow echo
like the wind
whipping at a turret
of an abandoned
castle in a remote
and desolate place

or else the strangulated
cries of desperation
that must surely
soundtrack what we
commonly perceive
to be ‘hell’;

or maybe just that dividing line
between pain and pleasure
between life and death
between protest and celebration
state repression and
total abandonment
and/or emancipation.

Either way:
the sound is ice cold
like a nail in the spine
that instant feeling like
everything you’ve ever
known has slipped away
and left you stranded.

Like every regret you
have ever harboured
comes home to roost at once
like every wasted second
like every girl you ever loved
like every single salted tear

re-appears, to remind you
that this life – any life -
is a lonely life, and that
in the end, when the scores
are counted, and the tallies
noted we live and we exist
and we die alone.

Afterwards: as expected
- as is now customary -
the shrill layers
of human voices
in exultation and the
screams of expectation
and unadultered adoration
(or is it adulation?)
peel away like an onion
to reveal nothing at its core.

It is this nothingness
that consumes me each
night; the silence of
fifty thousand echoes,
deafening even when
they’re long gone;

it’s like the building
is haunted by the night,
like all those screams
are eternally trapped
inside to rebound off the walls
bouncing and colliding
like a phalanx of lost souls
caught between life
and that great celestial
otherness known as infinity,
resigned to a life sentence
in a chaotic, deafening limbo;

it is this that I fear
the most - the very real
possibility that nothing
- and I mean nothing
means anything; love,
money, fame, success;
nothing: zip, zilch, nada
the big goose egg; all
for what? For nothing.
It is thoughts like these
that, out on tour, in the
spotlight, exposed, naked,
scrutinized and dissected
I have to deal with each day
in my own little way.

Lord only knows
where I will find
the strength to
keep on giving.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

131. Oklahoma!

“You know, they don't want things
like this concert here in Oklahoma to fucking happen.
Yeah, there's a lot of people who
don't know why they do things.

They don't want people like you, that are here tonight,
to see some little loud mouth fucker like me,
who crawled out some shithole somewhere,
and worked his way up onto this stage.

There's something out there that doesn't want
people like you to realize that you can do
whatever the fuck you want with your goddamn life.
And there are those that unless they get a piece of the pie,

unless they get a piece of your ass,
unless they get a piece of your life,
they just don't want it to happen.
You do it their way or you don't do it.

Well, they can suck my dick! (crowd roars)
I believe that deep inside everybody,
there's something inside you that knows
what the fuck you're supposed to do with your life.

And no matter what anybody tells you
if you keep looking and you keep digging
you're gonna find it. And you can be
the person you fucking were meant to be

on this goddamn planet.
And don't let anybody, anybody,
ever get in your way, including me.
And I know it's not like the most humane thing,

but when it gets real rough, you can think
of a theme song that somebody else wrote.
Namely Mr. Paul McCartney.
And when they're trying to keep you down,

just hold on and know someday you'll bust out,
you'll get onto your own shit and they won't
be able to fucking keep up with your ass.
And you can be thinking just ‘Live And Let Die’ motherfucker!'."

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

130. Duff On Therapy

Axl’s therapist.
Yeah. That’s was another turning point.

I mean, the guy
has a lot of issues to work through.

Crazy shit
from his childhood. Violence, religion…

though it quickly
seemed like he had the monopoly on pain.

I don’t know
what his therapist said, but he got righteous

all of a sudden.
It was like we had to tread twice as carefully.

I thought
a therapist was meant to make things better?

But no.
that definitely wasn’t the case here.

It didn’t really matter
so much when we off the road because

back home
we were all doing our own things,

back home
we were living individual lives.

But when Axl
brought this therapist out on tour

questions were asked.
Like: who is this guy and why

does he want
us to go into these ridiculous group hugs?

If he knew
anything he’d know that Guns isn’t that band.

We’re not
touchy-feely, love-sharing type of guys.

We each
have our roles, we each cover our backs

That was
always the way, right from day one:

Play the show
and everything else beyond it is your call.

But no.
Axl’s therapy session increased.

Out there
We wouldn’t see him except for stage time

And we’d play
these shows with this therapist in the wings,

giving Axl
the thumbs up every time he looked his way.

Many jokes
were cracked about that, I tell you.

It was like
he substituted drugs with therapy

and sure enough
he got himself addicted to ‘sharing’.

We could hire
a thousand therapists and they’d still

be unravelling that
dude’s personality on his death-bed.

Axl talked
a lot about being ‘healed’ round that time.

Suddenly he was
talking about feelings and ‘bad energy’.

He talked
about getting to the core of his ‘id’,

he talked
about ego, childhood, sexuality and recovery.

None of which
we would have minded if it hadn’t

turned him
into an even bigger a-hole than he was before.

Monday, 1 December 2008

129. Just Another Vegas Breakdown

From the sky
it looks like an electric snake
undulating across the hot desert floor
the way it twinkles
and shimmers

I take over a floor at the Bellagio
and move my shit in.
I’m in total
‘ignore the band
at all costs’ mode

I just don’t
want to be around those assholes -
they sap my energy
misinterpret me
always want to party.

I seal the doors
order some food
run a bath,
meditate, but
the only mantra I can reach

in my head like a woodpecker
a drill deep inside.

I drink some
honey tea
try and read some Hubbard.
That guy had

it going on, fucking started
a religion off of
his writing shit
(now there’s a
thought…ah, fuck it
rock ‘n’ roll is my racket
and I know it).

no place
else I can

fear, loathing
and so much more
fills me with anxiety.
On TV an infomercial plays
and I don’t know where
to put myself;

suppressing the urge to scream
even though my throat
is shot again
I lie back and make phone calls:

my management
my lawyer
my accountant
my realtor

no-one answers
I’m met by
a wall of voice-mail
to growl and snarl at
which I do
for an hour or so

in my head like a woodpecker
a drill deep inside

I take a bath
Vegas lies beneath me
sin city sanitised
fun for all the family
Disneyland with tits
and tips for
dawn brunch waitresses.

This place excited me once
but not any more
nothing excites me
the gamble is dead
the war can’t be won

Milestones become moments,
faded Polaroid pictures
to file away;
I find myself craving
some semblance of simplicity
in a life that is
inordinately complicated.

I guess I’m just burned
by night after night
of the fire fight
in the spotlight

in my head like a jackhammer
(just kill yourself,

It’s Vegas;
it steals your soul
at the entrance
and returns it at
the end-game
tattered and bloody

it fills your eyes
with dollar signs
as if they weren’t blinded already
it appeals to the basest appetite.

It’s sick
a cathedral for vulgarity
a celebration of obesity
a theme park for the living,
spending, farting,

I step out the bath
towel myself off
and wander naked
from pristine room
to pristine room,
four thousand of them
in all and I have
the best dozen.

I press my face to the
cool class of the window
and see nothing but casinos
cars and the thick black night
beyond the edge of town

in my head like a woodpecker
(just end it all,

The desire to run into
the blackness engulfs me instantaneously,
the desire
to fill my nostrils with dust
to see the moon silent
and stars that weren’t glued
there by men

to escape The Strip,
the town, the tour
the trip
to run and just keep running
barefoot, wild like a coyote

out across the road
between headlights
down alley ways
through vacant lots
and beneath the
neon giants
that demarcate
the edge of town.

Soon they’ll
find me feral
unrecognisable and
hard-bitten from experiences
out there alone
in the night

they’ll find me snarling,
howling at the moon,
chasing my tail,
the gnarled leg of a lesser
animal wedged in my jaws,
my hair matted
my eyes a different shape
and colour.

I’ll no longer respond to
my birth name.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

128. The Axl-Slash Dynamic

I love Slash like a brother
and like brothers we fight.

We’re polar opposites;
two energies in collision.

It’s a star sign thing.
A yin and yang thing.

We’ve had so many run-in’s
it’s pretty much laughable.

The last time was during
a show in Dayton, Ohio.

I’d cut my hand open and
was backstage fixing it up

when I thought I heard him
take a pot-shot at me on the mic.

So I ran out with my bandaged
hand and I confronted him

in front of twenty thousand people.
I think I told him I’d kick his ass

and I actually meant it because
I knew I could, no contest.

Of course, I’d misheard so now
I was the dick and I apologised.

Slash just stood there, sloppy and
unflappable behind his Les Paul.

We carried on playing and
delivered another killer Guns show.

And that’s the root of our success:
the anger, interplay, the spark.

Well, anyway. That’s just one incident.
It wasn’t the worst. It won’t be the last.

But I think it illustrates your point -
the fact that we’re still just crazy fuckers.

Worcester, Massachusetts
Madison Square Garden, New York
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
St Petersburg, Florida
Miami, Florida (New Year's Eve Show 1991)
Baton Rouge Louisiana
Biloxi, Mississippi
Memphis, Tennessee
Houston, Texas
Dayton, Ohio
Minneapolis, Minneapolis,
Les Vegas, Nevada

Friday, 28 November 2008

127. Postcard From Rehab


Rehab sucks. I miss smack. I miss my snakes.
They got me on the good old 12-step programme.
They said I had to put faith in a higher power
so I chose Axl. I couldn’t think of anyone else
as powerful and almighty as our divine leader.
If he can’t help, then what hope does God have?

Send some smokes. They only got Lucky’s here.

Your pal,
Slosh Hudson

Thursday, 27 November 2008

126. Six-String Wish List

In order of preference:

Keith Richards
Jimmy Page
Joe Perry
Dave Navarro
John Frusciante
Ronnie Wood
Brian May
Lenny Kravitz
Wayne Kramer
Steve Jones
Sylvain Sylvain
Pat Smear
Rich Robinson
Brad Whitford
Andy McCoy
Big Sick Ugly Jim Martin
Gilby Clarke.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

125. Pulling Teeth

Getting Izzy to do anything was like
pulling teeth.

When he showed up he’d decide to play
in another key;

we’d say “Play it again” and he’d say

He just wasn’t raising his game
enough for me.

He’d become this really selfish user,
a loser.

He was strung out and not exactly easy
with fame.

It was real, real shitty when he left.
My oldest friend

trying to turn my brothers against me
with a power-play.

The lies the guy came out with just aren’t
worth repeating.

He tried to divide and conquer but it
all backfired.

Suffice to say the band knew who really
holds the power.

And Homeboy found himself left out
in the cold.

The day he drove over to tell me he
was quitting

I wouldn’t even let him in my house.
I just knew.

Friends don’t do that. Friends don’t shit
on friends.

And that was that, Izzy was out. Because
no man

is bigger than this band, not even me.
Yeah. It sucked.

But what can you do? Cry over splilled milk?
Nah. We soldiered on.

So, another warrior fell but the world war

Guns N Roses lived to fight
another day.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

124. Exit Izzy

After six years I wanted to get off the ride
It was making me dizzy. It was making me

Being a rock star was everything I expected
The only surprise was how little I enjoyed it

I suppose you could say I enjoyed the pussy
and I enjoyed the drugs, but did I, did I

Monday, 24 November 2008

123. Mass

Fifty thousand mouths agape
one hundred thousands fists raised

a Sargasso sea of blood and bodies
borderless, it spreads itself wide

a flash-flood of energy and expectation
a collective yearning for a makeshift community;

ritualistic, it belongs to age-old traditions
of communal gatherings and catharsis

stretching way back to pre-recorded religions.
Wordless, it is more a mass recognition

of man’s right to worship idols of
their imagination’s own making -

catholic in the original sense of the word, this
mass knows no name, follows no concrete doctrines

rejects such as ideas as immaculate conception
or divine intervention and instead places onus

on the moment, the simplicity of volume and rage;
a brief sense that anything can happen in the next hour

and it is here in the moment when the devotees
feel closest to some sort of God, an entity

whose divine presence is recognizable when as
parts seas with a wordless wave of the hand.

122. Tour Poster, August 1991

Guns N' F____g Roses
Wembley F____g Stadium
Sold F____g Out

Paris, France
Mannheim, Germany
Helsinki, Finland
Copenhagen, Denmark
Cologne, Germany
Berlin, Germany

Saturday, 22 November 2008

121. Europe's Finest Hotel (1991 tour)

I don’t like this

The view is

That’s not a
bed it’s

a fucking postage

The air-con

or maybe it

either way – lose

There’s no

in the mini

I don’t like that

he looks like
a narc

there’s only two

where’s the

The ceilings are
too low

or maybe the

is just too

either way – change

You could only
fit four

people in that tub
at a squeeze

is this some sort
of joke?

I’m tired. I don’t
need this.

Is this place

I specifically asked
for east-facing.

What’s that

It smells
like ass – lose it.

No white truffle

This room service is
a joke.

Those curtains are
fag curtains,

the tap water is
too cold

the gym equipments is

the elevator is
too small

I don’t like the

can we

I guess I’ll do

I always

suffer in silence

some asshole in the

couldn’t be bothered
to find

something more suited
to my tastes

because it’s too

to change, because
I’ve got

a show to

I mean what
city are

we in

Friday, 21 November 2008

120. Guy In Front Of Queue For Tower Records On Sunset

I’ve been here for twenty hours
and I’d wait twenty more just
to get my hands on Illusion I
and II. I slept out here all night.
Look, I brought a sleeping bag
and a flask of soup and my girl
Trudy. Say hi Trudy. Trudy’s
kind of shy, except when she’s
in the sack, heh heh. Why am I
here? Because I love Guns N
Roses of course and because I
love rock ‘n’ roll and because
I want to be able to say I was one
of the first people in the world to
hear the new record. Where do I
live? In the suburbs, about three
hours drive from here. No, I only
have a radio in the car. What do
you mean? Oh, like how am I going
to listen actually listen to the record?
On my turntable at home, blazin’ a
J, of course! So what’s the point
of queuing all night if I’m not one
of the first to hear the records? Well…
Well, shoot. You got me there. I
hadn’t really though of it like that.
Damn, man, now you’ve got me
thinking about maybe I could have
just stayed in bed and bought the
record at my local store when it
opens in the morning. Oh, man. Shoot.
Well, we’re here now. One of us
might aswell stay and pick up the
records. Hey Trudy, I’ll pick you up
back here in the morning OK? You’ll
be alright – there’s still some soup in
the flask and if you get cold there’s that
Salvation Army place about ten blocks
from here. Watch out for the weirdo’s
though. It’s Hollywood. It’s fucked up.
But it’s worth it for Guns man. Yeah!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

119. Axl Jumps The Shark



White lycra
bulging vulgar -

goodbye danger,
“hello sailor”.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Dallas, Texas

Denver, Colorado
Englewood, Colorado
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tacoma, Washington
Mountain View, California
Sacramento, California
Costa Mesa, California
Inglewood, California

Monday, 17 November 2008

117. Head Of Marketing

Pardon my French but

Axl Rose is fucking insane.

His ideas are totally unrealistic.
completely untenable, unworkable.

He’ll walk into a meeting and say things like:
‘The new record will have 100 song songs on it

it’ll be released on seven-inch picture disc only
One hundred singles in a box-set. It’ll retail for

$16.99 because Guns are all about value for money
and because unlike Crue, we don’t rip off the kids.’

And I’d have to say, ‘That’s an awesome idea brother,
but it might not be financially do-able, you know?

Maybe we could put it out as a double album and
save the rest of B-sides and a rarities albums?’

at which point he’d flip out, break something,
curse us all out, then disappear on tour for three months.

Meanwhile we’re left here scratching our heads
holding a bunch of songs, thinking what the hell?

So eventually compromises have to be made.
Hundreds of faxes are sent and received.

Many late night conference calls are made because
Axl doesn’t surface during daylight hours.

Threats are issued and unrealistic demands made
We learn to ignore them, not take it personal.

The word from the top comes down ‘Axl is a genius, no:
asshole, no: genius’; either way, he’s our most bank-able artist.

So tasks are delegated, weekly meetings held with the
marketing guys, the publicity people, and key retailers.

More compromises are made, decisions in reached in abstentia.
We decide on two double-album, released on consecutive days.

Opinion is divided: some think it’s a stroke of marketing genius
others think it is the plastic personification of a raging ego.

Me, I don’t care so long as I get to keep my job; so long
as I don’t have to see in another meeting with Mr W. Axl Rose.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

116. The St Louis Riot


Some guy, some asshole
thinks just because he paid his
fifty bucks he can film me
from down in the front row.


That shit don’t roll with me, homes.
And I warn him, I tell him, get
that camera out my face, bitch
before I bust your chrome dome.


Then the fucker has the nerve to flip me
off while the security retards are just
standing around scratching their balls,
doing nothing but vibe on the free music.


Of course I have to handle it myself as per usual.
Like I haven’t got enough to do, what with
delivering the music and the rigourous
physical demands of fronting a kick-ass band.


That’s what I think they want sometimes
only this time I flip it, decide to give them
blood. So I do what anyone would do when
their soul is being stolen by assholes. Serious.


So I take a running dive into the throng head-first
and the crowd parts like the sea of Galillee
for Moses or whatever and I bust that fool on the
chops. Of course, I take my hat off first though.


then the security finally decide to jump in before
I bitch-slap 15,000 fools one by one and I
climb back on stage and I’m all, like, “Thanks
to the lame ass security, I'm going home.”


I throw my mic down and it sounds likes a gun
going off and I exit stage left while the band
are just standing around but by this point I’m
so beyond giving a fuck it’s almost funny.


Then I’m the limo, in my robe, towel round my neck,
drink in hand, cruising back to the hotel, and
everything is silent apart from the crackle of the
radio reporting a riot at a show in St Louis.

St Louis?

Fucking St. Shit-hole more like. City of Barbarians.
It’s months later when the cops arrest me for ‘incitement’
but they’ve got nothing on me because they know
I’m Axl Rose, and Axl always takes care of business, baby.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Landover, Maryland

Hampton, Virginia
Charlotte, North Carolina
Greenboro, North Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lexington, Kentucky
Birmingham, Alabama
St Louis, Michigan

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

115. Slash On Semantics


Monday, 10 November 2008

114. A Succession Of Glances

Duff glances over at Izzy
and raises an eyebrow;
Izzy shrugs a thin shoulder
readjusts his guitar strap
cocks his hat; Slash takes
a shot, fiddles with his amp,
catches Sorum’s eye
who sighs and glances
at Duff who tips the faintest
of nods to their leader then,
with his back to the
audience, tucked behind
the speakers, he throws
a comical seig heil.
Suppressing laughter, they
lurch into another song:
“A-one, a-two,
a-one two three four…”

This nightly ritual
is the only thing that
still unites them;
the only thing that
makes them feel
like they are
still a band.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

113. Plea

“Yo, listen. This is serious.

I want to tell you something.
I want you to do me a favour tonight.
If you see anyone throwing shit at me
I want you to beat the living fuck out of them.
You have my permission.
Suckerpunch those motherfuckers
I’m serious.
‘Cos if you keep throwing shit I won’t
throw shit back. I’ll just leave.
I have that power within me.
This one’s called…”

Friday, 7 November 2008

112. Note Handed To Axl From Demure Underage Fan In Corridor

Dear Mr Rose,

I want to have your babies. I want to kidnap you and
bring you home.
I want you to do stuff to me I’ve never
done before.
I want you to kiss and bite my neck and
pull on my titty ends.
I want you to lick me and fist me
and force your cock down
my throat. I want you to
hold me down, piss in my face and
tell I’m a dirty cunt
bitch whore. I want you to tie me up with
leather belts
then squat over me and squeeze out a link.

I want you to film it all and take Polaroids
so that we could never forget a moment.

Call me.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

111. Tour Catering

Sum up Axl’s

eating habits
in five words
or less?

Oh, that’s easy.

Bacon bits
and grits.

He can’t get
enough of
that shit.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Toledo, Ohio
Richfield, Ohio
Toronto, Ontario
Saratoga Springs, New York.
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

110. Grunge?

It sounds like

something I’d
scrape out my ass.

Looks like
something I’d
scrape out my ass too.

Monday, 3 November 2008

109. We Are The Road Crew

Out here
it’s a dog’s life, dawg

First up in the morning for load-in
last to bed with ears ringing
and nostrils stinging;
there is no leisure time
or sight-seeing for
the road crew.

No first class
no primo ass
just cast-off skanks
and crooked spines
from humping gear
and dodging guitars.

Seventh generation herpes scabs
and the dust off the speaker cabs
is the best we can hope for -
an album thanks
free daily catering and a
well-stamped passport at best.

But we don’t do this for the money
or even the drugs or chicks
we do it for the music
we do it because
like the band, without it
it’s either prison or death for people like us.

It’s a dog’s life, dawg
and it’s a good job we’re all road dogs.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

108. Out On The Road, Duff’s Patience Is Tested

If I see another
backstage platter
of crudités and dips
I swear man,
I’m gonna flip.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

107. Axl Finally Arrives (An Exercise In Victimhood)

“Yeah, I know it sucks.
If you got any real complaints,
you could do me a favor though.

You could write a little letter
on how much that sucked
and send it to Geffen Records.

Tell those people
to get the fuck
out of my ass.

The new record will be delayed again.
Geffen Records decided they wanted
to change the contract and I'm deciding:

fuck you. And since I don't have time to
both go back there and argue
and bitch with them and be on tour,

I guess we'll just be on tour and
have a good time and fuck them.
It's a shame but we'll play a lot

of the new shit tonight
and it really
doesn't matter does it?”.

Friday, 31 October 2008

106. Axl Is Tardy In Uniondale, NY

Where’s Hitler?
We were due on forty minutes ago.

Fucked if I know, bro.
What we gonna do?

Damn, I tired of this shit.
It’s every other night.

I know, I know.
It’s like we’re his hired hands.

Can you hear them out there?
Those kids paid good money.

We do what we always do.
Sit tight, do shots, give him ten minutes.

Damn, I tired of this shit.
It’s every other night.

I know, I know.
It fucking sucks.

We’re going to have to open
with a blues jam again.

I know, I know.
It fucking sucks.

I mean, imagine Zep opening
with ‘Bonzo's Montreux’?

Ah, fuck it. We’re here aren’t we?
And those fuckers are wasted.

True, true. We could fart on the mics
and they’d still give us gold discs.

Ha! Yeah. What are you going do.
Hey, let’s have some vodka.

Hell yes. Shoot, line them up.
It’s going to be a long night.

Los Angeles, California (warm up)
New York, New York (warm up)
East Troy, Wisconsin
Noblesville, Indiana
Grove City, Ohio

Thursday, 30 October 2008

105. Slash Immortal

I don’t fear death.

Death is there to be ignored.
Death is there to be challenged, defeated.
Death is there to be beaten in an arm wrestle

a card game, Russian Roulette, a rusted needle,

He’ll let you know when it’s your time sure enough.
In the meantime, why let it concern you?
No. I don’t let death bother me.

If anything I gently mock it.
I prod it and it feels pliable
I shake it between my teeth

I face it with bemusement
but I don’t fear it.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

104. Johnny Thunders

They found his body

beneath the bed
bent double like a discarded
paper clip
in a New Orleans flop-house.

Tell the people:
the original NY Doll
the Heartbreaker
the gypsy king who was born too loose
is dead and gone.

Rigor mortis set in and
so did the conspiracy theories.
The roaches were out the wood-work
each with a different version of the same story.
But all I know is

when they carried
out his pale corpse
the body bag was
three feet in length;
and all his guitars were gone.

It’s true what he said:
‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’
but believe me, that night,
high or straight,
each of us tried.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

103. Police Escort

It takes sixteen cops cars with sirens

blaring and blue lights spinning to
get us out through the crowds and back
to our hotel twenty miles away.

We all share a dark chuckle about this:
about how the cops are protecting us
from the people, rather than the other
way round. It makes for a nice change.

Monday, 27 October 2008

102. Guns N Roses Mark II: Matt Sorum Debuts In Rio

Unless you’ve been told at three minutes notice you got
to do a drum solo in front of 140,000 people with a
band who’ve never even rehearsed together, you don’t
know the meaning of the phrase ‘in at the deep end’.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

101. Tour Prep (May 1991)

Slash calls me up
freaking out yelling
something about blood
something about goblins
incoherent, the ramblings
of a feral man who suddenly
finds he has no reason to
leave the house.

In the background I can
hear what sounds like
a girl laughing or maybe
she’s screaming
or maybe he’s just
playing a porno
on his new widescreen
home cinema.

It’s funny that Slash
has a home cinema
because he doesn’t
have a bed and he
doesn’t have a fridge,
just dozens of snakes.
He keeps his drinks and
frozen mice in an ice bucket.

But I’m done laughing
at Slash’s antics right now
so I dish it to him straight:
Dude, you have to clean up your act
the tour starts in three days
that’s just enough time to detox
the kids have paid good money -
yada yada, the usual spiel.

I really give it to him actually:
you wanna end up like Johnny,
washed-up and strung out to dry
at twenty-five? You wanna be like
Janis, Jimi and Jim man, another
H-wood r ‘n’ r victim, “Fuck yeah,”
he gurgles. “Totally!” then I hear
what sounds like breaking glass

I’m sitting there thinking maybe
an intervention is the only way,
how it won’t be the first time one of us
is dragged kicking and screaming to rehab
in readiness for a stint on the road
when I notice it’s all gone quiet.
I figure maybe Slash has fallen through
his coffee table or something.

I figure there’s no point trying to
talk someone down when they’re reaching
the zenith of a five-day weekend
so I call up management and tell them
that our guitarist needs patching up
and of course they say “which one?”
and I say “the one with the hat – the one
they’re calling the best of his generation”

and the girl who works over there,
the girl who answers the phones
she says to me – get this – she says
wait a second, who’s calling please?
and I say: It’s Axl, sweetie
and she’s like, Oh, OK…Axl who?
and I’m like, it’s Axl Foley from Beverley Hills Cop
who the fuck you think it is?

And while all this is going on
at home Slash is rolling around in shards of glass
laughing and gurgling and trying to get his
zippo to work so he can fire up another pipe
and though I’d dearly love to fire his ass
the fucker has a habit of bouncing back
from these drug jags and either way
another world tour starts in seventy-two hours.

100. Illusions: The Final Cut

Bad Apples
Bad Obsession

Back Off Bitch

Civil War

Dead Horse
Double Talkin’ Jive
Don’t Cry (Original)
Don’t Cry (Alt. Lyrics)
Don’t Damn Me
Dust N’ Bones
14 Years

The Garden
Garden Of Eden
Get In The Ring

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Live And Let Die
My World

November Rain

Pretty Tied Up
Perfect Crime
Right Next Door To Hell

Shotgun Blues
So Fine

You Ain’t The First
You Could Be Mine

Now let’s go

tour this shit.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

99. Axl Leaves A Series of Messages

Hey, it’s Axl.

Listen. I’ve
got the title.

Are you
ready? OK:

Use Your

Pretty cool
isn’t it?

That shit’s timeless,
right there.

And so long as
everyone from

David Geffen
to the band

to the fucking
lighting guy

does exactly
what I say

I think that this
is going to be


Tuesday, 21 October 2008

98. Matt The Drummer Corners Axl Rose In The Studio Parking Lot

- Hey Axl.
- Hey bro. What can I do for you?
- Nothing. I just thought I’d say what’s up?
- Cool, brother. You want an autograph or something?
- Autograph?
- Sure. Should I make it out to you, uh…?
- Matt.
- Excuse me?
- I’m Matt.
- Sorry, bro. Hey, you look really familiar. Have we met before?
- Um, dude. I’m your drummer.
- Shoot! Sorry, man. I’m a little fried right now. It’s the album. Too long in the studio. I’m leaving right now, but you should swing by sometime.
- I did. But, you know, security wouldn’t let me in.
- Did you call ahead?
- No. Management said it would be fine.
- Always call ahead. It’s kind of a rule.
- Even for the band?
- Only for the band.
- OK. So, um, do you need me to come do my drum parts.
- Nah.
- No?
- Nah.
- How come?
- It’s in hand. Don’t you worry about it. You know, I don’t want to hex it or anything, but I really think this is a classic album we’ve made together. Good vibes. You know?
- Right. I mean, I’d love to hear it.
- Dude, you totally will. All being well, it’s being released next September.
- I don’t get to hear it beforehand?
- Better not.
- Why not?
- Dude, I can’t just go playing it to anyone. It might get bootlegged, then I’d have to take out a bunch of law-suits.
- But I am…you know, kind of in the band.
- So? I’m in the band too, but I don’t hassle you about your drumming.
- Sure, sure bro. But, I mean, you’ve not actually heard me drum yet.
- That’s cool.
- So you’ll let me hear it?
- Nah.
- OK. I mean, if you don’t mind me asking, when do we get to jam?
- I’ll let you know bro. Just sit tight and wait for the call.
- You told me that six months ago, guy.
- I did? Are you sure?
- Definitely.
- Are you working right now?
- Only for you.
- Cool, cool. Well, you know, maybe you might want to think about getting a little part-time work.
- Won’t that look a little funny though? I mean, I am in Guns N Roses: the worlds’ biggest rock band.
- And baddest. You forgot baddest.
- I mean, I’m in Guns N Roses: the world’s biggest and baddest rock band.
- You are? Oh, right, yeah – the drummer! Sorry. I keep forgetting. I’m a little fried right now. It’s the album. Too long in the studio. Um. So can you play drums?
- Sure. I’m the best in the business. I eat drums for breakfast.
- Great. Congratulations then dude, you’re in.
- In?
- The band. You’re in Guns N Roses, dude! Welcome to the brotherhood. How do you feel?
- Pretty good…I guess.
- Awesome.
- So when do we get to jam?
- Soon, dude. Soon. Any day. I’ve just got about ninety-odd songs to finish off first. Then we’ll do some shows. That cool?
- I...I guess.
- Awesome. Nice talking to you Mitch. See you around dude. Keep living the dream.

97. Love Thy Neighbour

“Rock star Axl Rose put on a personalised leather jacket
as he left jail for freedom in the early hour of today.

The lead singer of the rock band Guns N’ Roses allegedly
slammed a wine bottle into a woman neighbours’ head.

“I live next door to a psycho,” said Rose.

Rose and 37 year old Gabriella Kantor both live on the
twelfth floor of this condominium in West Hollywood.

Deputies say Rose confronted Cantor in a hallway, threw
her keys over his balcony and then hit her with the bottle.

Cantor called the sheriff’s department and paramedics
took her to the medical center. She was treated for bruises

and then released three hour later, coincidentally about
the same time Rose’s manager posted $5000 bond securing

his release from jail. Rose delights in maintaining a
‘bad boy’ image. Profanity is part of his act, and not

just on stage - he also cursed on a live national television
music awards programme. Axl Rose, chauffered away

is to appear in Beverley Hills municipal court, November 19.”

(Extracts from NBC News Report, October 31 1990)

Monday, 20 October 2008

96. Dizzy Speaks

Man, it sure would be

great to meet Axl.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

95. Slash Works With Dylan

I grew up on Dylan

but, man, what a drag.

He was just this weird little
guy who looked like an
Eskimo, dressed in a wool
sweater, leather gloves and
a baseball cap even though
it was 90 out. He was also
really impolite and there’s
nothing I hate more than that.

After I’d recorded my solo
he took it off the record anyway
because apparently – I quote –
“it sounds too much like
Guns N Roses.” Yeah? And?
Nah, I didn’t dig Dylan at all.
But, you know, maybe he was
just having one of those days?

Friday, 17 October 2008

94. Back In The Studio

Late – about 8am.
Snakes in my arms.
Pins in my eyes.

Words on scraps of
paper scattered
at my bare feet.

Honey, hot water,
six sliced lemons
and a baby grand.

A pair of cans

around my neck
like a noose.

“Don’t worry,” says
a disembodied voice
from the control room:

“We’ll straighten
it all out
in the mix.”

Thursday, 16 October 2008

93. Matt and Dizzy Learn The Way Of The Rose

I guess we’re making a quadruple album?

I mean, that’s what we read in Spin.

‘G n R Frontman Unveils Ambitious
Plans For Two Double Albums’

“I’ve got 652 songs demo’d, I just
need to teach the band them,”

is what it said, so I guess that’s what
we’re doing. Just waiting for the call.

It’s cool because I get to go cycling in the hills
a lot more and Dizzy has his water-colours.

But, you know, it would be kinda cool to,
like, you know, jam some tunes or something.

At the moment being in Guns just means
sitting around eating steak frites and watching TV.

Which is actually kind of like my life before I joined
the band, only the TV is bigger, and I have a boss now.

I guess we’ve just got to sit tight and be ready to
rock that shit, right Dizz? Dizz? He’s nodded off.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

92. D-I-V-O-R-C-E

I was crazy about this girl;

for four years it was L-O-V-E, love.

I was a 24 year old hungry nothing
she a 19 year old model-slash-angel

two lost kids with
fuck-ups for parents.

She’s the chick I wrote
Sweet Child O’Mine for.

She’s the chick I quit drugs for
the chick I washed my clothes for.

One day I’m so overwhelmed, so consumed
by passion, I propose without thinking

I say to her, if you don’t marry me Erin
I’ll blow my brains out right now.

And she’s laughing and going, ‘Oh yeah? What with?
A hair-dryer?’; and though her sarcasm makes her cuter

and I’m laughing along too, deep down she knows I’m
packing, deep down she knows I’m serious about this

so a few days later we drive to the desert and have
ourselves a good old crummy Vegas shotgun wedding

in some tacky joint called the Cupid Wedding Chapel
somewhere just off The Strip at 4am.

We spend the wedding night shooting craps,
ordering beluga from room service and fucking noisily.

It was a time, man, but even then the arguments
were already commonplace; drunk, dumb shit

with lots of screaming and hurling of household
objects – just like all regular kids in love, you know?

But this girls, she’s a ball-breaker,
always all up in my shit so’s that sometimes

I can’t breath, can’t move, can’t think
and one day she’s cleaning my CDs

and I just snap: back off bitch – leave now
before I turn your ass out to the gang-bangers.

I mean, this chick made me feel like OJ
and all’s I knew was I didn’t want to see

myself on Fox News one day heading a
dumb-ass 20mph hour live TV car chase.

We reconciled, fought, reconciled again;
a spin-cycle of love and hate. I guess sometimes

my temper got the better of me.
When that red mist descended

like a curtain after an encore
I guess maybe I lashed out on occasion

but, you know, you got to understand
I was fronting the world’s biggest rock band.

I had big deals going down, people to keep in line,
songs to write, people to hire, people to hire.

When she miscarried I knew it was over.
The children in us were still best friends

but the adults had taken over, soured the mood,
spoiled the party. Everything was corrupt.

Everything was corrupt and everything was rotten;
everything had gotten crazy. We nearly killed those

crazy spirits that brought us together
but in the end it just couldn’t work.

Eight months later I had that shit annulled.
Filed for divorce and got myself a new girl.