52 years

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My kids were decked out in style today. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to make myself an Axl shirt to celebrate his birthday. I’ll get it done one of these days.

Happy 52nd birthday, Axl! My 4 year old is very disappointed that you aren’t joining us for cake. Maybe next year, huh?

axl-rose-headphones-ultrasone

A few more details from St. Louis

In my last post, explaining the hows and whys of the 1991 riot in St. Louis, there was so much information to cover that I had to leave out a few details. I’ll present them here because I think they are interesting and worth knowing about!

  • During the course of the concert, Duff got nailed in the arm with a beer bottle, but didn’t want to tell Axl for fear he would stop the show.

    Axl: Also, other things happened at the St. Louis gig that I wasn’t told about until two days after the gig. Duff didn’t want me to get excited.

    Musician: Such as?

    Axl: Such as Duff getting hit with a bottle twice during the show. Duff knows I would have called the show and he didn’t want to be responsible for whatever happened out of that. Duff’s attitude is, “I’m a man about things. I got hit with a bottle, big deal.” My attitude is that no, you don’t allow yourself to get hit by bottles because that encourages it in the future.Duff has the biggest bruise I’ve ever seen on an arm because he was hit by a bottle and he didn’t want to tell me onstage. If I had known that, we would have left the stage a lot earlier! And if it happens another night, we will leave again! [Musician “There’s a Riot Going On” Sept 1991]

  • Guns N’ Roses contract at the time guaranteed at least a 90 minute show. Axl said they had met that obligation by the time he left. Concert footage on YouTube clocks in at 84 minutes, but I’m not sure if it had been edited down or whether 6 minutes makes that big of a difference in the end. GNR wasn’t sued for breach of contract, so all parties must have deemed it acceptable.
  • Guns N’ Roses could not be legally held liable for damages because, according to the performance contract, if a venue sold alcohol on the premises, the band was then not responsible.
  • The venue — Riverport Amphitheater (now called Verizon Wireless Amphitheater) —  had only been open for two weeks prior to the Guns concert. Previous shows included the likes of Jimmy Buffet, Steve Winwood, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mannheim Steamroller. Not exactly in the realm of GNR.

    I [writer Babu Barat] had interviewed Gregg Hagglund from Contemporary Productions and asked him how Contemporary was going to prepare for a Guns N’ Roses crowd. He said, “We will be prepared. I don’t think, initially, that we’re going to change a lot of things. I think that the party revelers will respect the environment that they are in. It will be a lot bigger crowd. There will be a lot more of them. Those will be the only differences in terms of how we treat the crowd. We will just have more people to deal with, more customers.”
    Axl’s response? “That’s not very intelligent.” [Musician Sept 1991]

  • Because of the destruction to the stage, instruments, and equipment, Guns N’ Roses had to cancel their next two shows in Chicago and Kansas City to give the crew time to make repairs and for the band to secure new equipment. The tour resumed in Dallas on 8 July 1991.
  • Stump admits to sneaking in not only the infamous camera, but also a knife and bottle of whiskey, “like I always have.”
  • Once the settlement was reached between Stump and Axl and court adjourned, Stump approached Axl in the courtroom with his book of photographs and asked for an autograph. Axl — as can be imagined — wasn’t particularly enthusiastic, but he did sign it.
  • About three years ago, a mini-documentary was made about the riot from the perspective of the venue staff and Stump. Scenes from the riot itself are also included. It can be seen here: Welcome to the Riot Show.
  • Inexplicably, Axl’s hair and eye color are wrong on his St. Louis mugshot (correct answer: red and green).
    axl-rose-mugshot-6706
  • I mentioned in the previous post that Axl had a special shirt made to express his feelings on the whole incident. The shirt hadn’t been revealed yet by the time Axl participated in a November 1991 Rockline radio interview when a fan from St. Louis called in to ask Axl to justify his little addition to the liner notes of the Use Your Illusion albums. Axl’s answer can be heard here.
    st louis sucks

    I haven’t had time to track down at which concerts Axl wore this shirt; if you happen to know, leave me a comment!

     

  • Unrelated to St. Louis, but perhaps interesting to note is that, had Erin not suffered a miscarriage the previous fall, Axl would have been welcoming his newborn child into the world in July 1991. He never spoke publicly about it besides a slight mention in an interview about the altercation with his neighbor, but it’s possible he had “done the math” and that this played into his state of mind that month.
  • July 1991 continued to be a difficult month as audience goers in Dallas pelted the stage with bottles; the band was met with a less-than-receptive crowd in Salt Lake City; in Tacoma, someone set off bottle rockets during “Rocket Queen;” before one of the shows at The Forum in L.A., a police officer detained Axl’s limo on the way to the concert and wrote them a ticket after another officer had directed them to take that particular route.

I hope these additional details help round out the entire riot scenario. It was a big, complicated night!

Welcome to the Riot! St. Louis 1991

It should have been just another concert, just another stop in the Midwest as the massive Use Your Illusions tour chugged its way around the world. Instead, it now features in Top Ten lists of worst concert disasters and further damaged the public’s view of Axl Rose. Even people uninterested in rock music had heard the news: Temperamental Singer Incites Riot. It was everywhere that summer. Another notch in the belt for those who had preached against the danger and wickedness of rock n’ roll with Axl Rose as their poster child.

For years, this incident has been boiled down to its most basic parts. Details have been lost in the retelling; distortions and poor generalizations have sprung up in their place. Let me be clear: I don’t condone the way Axl handled the situation; it was rash, stupid, and dangerous. However, in researching the events of that evening, once again I find that I can identify with his reasoning and that, while Axl’s actions escalated the tension, most of the blame should not be on him.

The basic gist of the story is this: In the middle of a song, Axl spots a fan with a camera. Cameras were not permitted, Axl calls to the security guards to take it. “Hey! Take that! Take that! Now, get that guy and take that! … I’ll take it, g********!” They weren’t moving fast enough for Axl’s liking, so with a spectacular leap, he took matters into his own hands. Meanwhile, the band kept playing, providing a pretty cool soundtrack to the scuffle on the floor. After a minute, band security hoisted Axl back up onstage. He snatched up his hat and microphone and delivered a line that has gone down in GNR lore:

“Thanks to the lame*** security, I’m going home!”

With that, Axl slammed the mic to the ground and stalked offstage. The band glanced around and then decided it was best to follow him. Around 20 minutes after their exit, the already-agitated crowd transformed into a horde of barbarians and literally tore the place apart. Not even an announcement that the band would return was enough to quell them. Seats were torn from their hinges and hurtled onto the stage. People set fires, slashed things with knives, kicked in the drums and speakers and fought with each other. The concert promoters and police realized the danger of the mob finding the band, so they were put on the floor of a van and escaped from the venue across the state line into Illinois.

This little comic strip is a great illustration of what happened (although it was Matt Sorum on drums, not Steven Adler). Unfortunately, the artist didn't sign their work, so I don't know who drew this!

This little comic strip is a great illustration of what happened (although it was Matt Sorum on drums, not Steven Adler).

The fact that it makes such a good comic strip shows how much of an iconic moment it became. Is Axl the super hero or the villain?

The fact that it makes such a good comic strip shows how much of an iconic moment it became. Is Axl the super hero or the villain?

Unfortunately, the artist didn’t sign their work, so I don’t know who drew this! Thanks to GNRFanarts page for tracking down the artist: DeviantArt member Isnabel!

The general reaction is, “All that over a stupid camera?!” It’s especially hard to wrap our minds around that now when seemingly everyone has a camera on their phone and modern concert footage shows hundreds of little glowing rectangles held up towards the stage.

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So when this incident gets reduced down to Axl Rose vs. Camera, he does come off looking like a lunatic. No sane person goes ballistic over a camera. And when we leave the story there, it’s easy to mock and to laugh and to think that we can sum up the whole complicated person of Axl Rose by this one event. I admit, it colored my perception for years.

As irrational as his behavior may appear at times, Axl is not crazy, nor is he stupid. So what was the real reason that Axl got so upset? To get a better understanding of the vibe that night, it helps to watch the concert in its entirety. That, combined with interviews after the event help us to create a more accurate picture of what went down. We need to be able to see what Axl saw.

The place allowed bottles and knives and whatever else inside… And they [public] think I did it just because I wanted to stop somebody from taking my picture. The camera was the last straw, the final thing. I was sick of it, at that point, with the security in the front. There was a weird space in my mind the entire night. I was thinking, “Something isn’t right up here. Why is there this weird attitude, this passiveness, in the security?” There was no feeling that they were on the same team as us. Their feeling towards the crowd wasn’t right. A young boy and a girl were getting shoved over here while rowdy bikers are being allowed to do whatever they want. What is going on? I was very confused… One thing that is not being said in the press is that Earl Gabiddon [Axl’s bodyguard and head of GNR security at the time] was on the headset and he warned these guys [venue staff] in the front that either the cameras go or the show is off. He warned them four times. He was doing his job. [Musician, “There’s a Riot Going On,” Sept 1991]

Having that information, the puzzle pieces begin to fall together. But there is more that further explains the depth of what occurred. Axl did not attack an innocent fan. As it turns out, the man with the camera was a member of the Saddletramps Motorcycle Club called Stump. Pulling out a camera wasn’t Stump’s only transgression of the night; it was just his last.

All through the concert, Stump and his buddies were on the front row, heckling Axl. If you watch the full concert video, you can see some of these things happen. During the fourth song of the set — “Dust n’ Bones” — Izzy takes the lead, while Axl dances around with a tambourine and chimes in on background vocals. This early in the concert, something was already striking him as odd: at 11:56 on the recording, he looks at the crowd and throws his arms out as if to say, “What’s that about?” About a minute later, we can hear Axl calling out to someone in the audience, throwing his arms out again, but we can’t hear what he is saying over the singing. All during the song, we can see Axl looking hard at the crowd. As he sings the closing notes, he leans down towards someone in the front row (15:48) and takes a small card. ” ‘You have people yelling and screaming during the whole show,’ says Rose, ‘but this guy just wouldn’t stop, and he was loud — almost as loud as my monitor. He’s holding up a card and I’m like, “Okay yeah, that’s great.” But he still won’t stop yelling.’ …  ‘I read his card, ‘ says Rose, ‘and I said, “Okay, you’re Stump from the Saddletramps — was that worth interrupting the show for?” Rose says he asked what he was supposed to do with the card and that Stump told him to ‘remember it.’ ” [Rolling Stone 22 August 1991] With obvious annoyance and disgust, Axl flicked the card onto the drum riser while he got himself a drink.

Two songs later, Axl, trying to be a good guy and connect with his fans, shakes as many hands as he can reach while still singing. There are a few audience members who, not content with a handshake, try to pull Axl into the crowd. Of course, we can’t tell from the video whether one of these is Stump or not, but just the fact that rowdiness like that was permitted begins to explain the vibe of that night.

Despite that, there were lighter moments: Axl grinning and making jokes with Izzy during “Patience;” Slash sitting atop the piano during “November Rain” in just his shorts and socks; Axl laughing at him afterwards as he scurried offstage “to find shoes.”

But things began getting tense again. ” ‘During “Jungle” — I don’t stand during “Jungle” — I just stood there and watched a security guy shove a young kid and walk about four feet into the aisle just to act tough and show the crowd that he was a man. Then he turned around to me with a smile of pride on his face. I looked at this slob while he was looking at me with this pride on his face going, “See what I do to your fans?” ‘ ” [Musician Sept 91] Although, the video doesn’t show what Axl saw, we can see him standing and staring intently into the audience for about half a verse before he snaps out of his inner thoughts and resumes running around. The remainder of the concert appears to go off normally and Axl is in full Rocket Queen character, when suddenly his eye is caught by Stump raising a camera. We know what happens next. When Axl disappears from view (despite the ostentatious black fur coat) it seems to corroborate his story that he wasn’t fighting — he was on the floor, hanging onto Stump so that he couldn’t get away. The band unperturbedly plays on as Axl’s bodyguard Earl lifts him to his feet. Axl is obviously still angry, pointing and yelling, and when a venue staffer leans in to say something, Axl cuffs him upside the head before being returned to the stage. Again the video seems to corroborate his story that he didn’t hit anyone except the venue security guard who was jawing at him.

” ‘When I got back onstage, says Rose, ‘I’d lost a contact, and I couldn’t see. My first thought was, “I’m out of here. I’m paying these guys’ [venue staff] salary, I don’t need to be treated like that by them.” I went backstage,’ Rose continues, ‘and found a new lens. It was getting crazy and we decided we were going to go back out and try to play, because we didn’t want people to get hurt.’ ” [RS 22Aug91]

But by that time, it was painfully obvious that it was too late. The rioters destroyed the band’s drum set, projection screens, monitors and amps in addition to the damage inflicted on the venue itself and each other. 500 police were called in, 60 people sent to the hospital, 15 sent to jail, and damages were estimated around $500,000. Izzy’s Marshall stack was later found 2 miles away, abandoned at a bus stop.

A year later, Axl was arrested in New York as he was returning from a European leg of the tour and was charged with four misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of property damage, issued by the St. Louis county prosecutor. The week following his arrest, Axl appeared in court in St. Louis where he plead guilty to the charges and was put on two years probation, and donated $50, 000 to child abuse organizations and, later, reached a settlement with Stump for injuries sustained when Axl jumped on him. Guns n’ Roses were banned from ever playing St. Louis again. When the Use Your Illusions albums came out in September 1991, that night was commemorated with a nice “F*** you, St. Louis!” in the liner notes. In an interview with Kurt Loder taking place between his arrest and trial date, Axl said, “We lost $1 million worth of equipment in that show and I don’t see anyone else taking any responsibility for anything. And I’m saying, Yeah, I jumped offstage, and yeah, things went haywire after that, and maybe I could have handled it better or whatever, but no one was really handling anything at that point. So I took matters into my own hands with what I could do… but I don’t see anybody else in St. Louis really taking responsibility for anything that happened.”

Although Axl paid his dues twenty years ago, the St. Louis riot remains one of those incidents that he’ll never live down. Understand again that I am not trying to exonerate him or justify his actions. Plain and simple: Axl screwed up. But he owned up to it and made restitution. The blame for the riot itself, however, rests solely on the shoulders of the crowd. As for all the silliness of “Don’t approach Axl with a camera or he’ll punch you out!” — notwithstanding a couple of other “camera incidents” (news crews/paparazzi hassling him in his hotel and the airport), the vast majority of the time, Axl is fairly gracious about having his picture taken, although by his own admission, he doesn’t particularly enjoy it. Axl puts up with a lot more than he is given credit for, and just like any human being, he appreciates being treated with respect. Besides, it has been 20 years since that night in St. Louis; we can stop flogging him now.

What happened to the London O2 2012 show

There has been some confusion and some unwarranted backlash towards Axl (who else?) regarding the cancellation of the London O2 Arena concert that was filmed last summer. The concert was filmed and then word began getting out that it would be shown, in its entirety, at theaters in Germany and England. People bought tickets and were looking forward to seeing the show, but then all the showings were mysteriously canceled. That is where the initial backlash towards Axl began — “He can never finish anything.” “Leave it to him to cancel something people wanted to see.” Etc, etc. Some tickets were refunded, some were not, and it looked to be another black mark on the band’s record. However, the band had never said anything one way or the other about this concert being filmed and shown. Zero promotion beforehand, zero apologies when it was canned.

Then earlier this year, VH1 got everyone’s hopes up saying that they would broadcast a one-hour condensed version of the concert and then, the following week, the entire 3 hour show would air on VH1 Classic (and also on Palladia), preceded by a Guns n’ Roses video block hosted by Eddie Trunk and a re-airing of Axl’s interview with Eddie from November 2011. The one hour concert was, indeed, played on VH1, yet the plug was pulled again a few days before the full version was set to show. On his Twitter account, Eddie cited “contract issues.” Once again, blame lay at Axl’s feet, along with all manner of insults. And yet, suspiciously, the band had nothing to say about it this time, either. That should have been a clue to thinking people that perhaps, just maybe, this thing had never been band-endorsed?

More information was revealed when a representative from Rockfuel, a media company producing a 3D bluray/DVD of one of GNR’s Las Vegas concerts from last November, came on the mygnrforum.com message boards in early March to let fans know what was coming with their production. Discussion immediately turned to “contract issues” and doubt that the Las Vegas show would ever be released. The Rockfuel representative shed some light on what happened with the London show:

For the record, the clip [promo for the Las Vegas show] that was put up briefly was unmixed (as the post stated) . You will see that Axl’s voice sounds great and strong the entire show . The 02 show was very poor editing, poorly shot, and poor mixing and was never approved by GNR camp before it aired.  It was not VH1’s fault or Axl’s fault.  It was some crazy producer who decided to take matters in his own hands and told VH1 the show was approved, when it wasn’t . The same people who announced the O2 show was being released in theaters, then suddenly was cancelled..  Axl had nothing to do with that as well.  We are doing things correctly, with the proper approvals, and the final results will speak for themselves.

With that out in the open now, the whole scenario makes much more sense. It is unfortunate, though, that Axl takes the brunt of every bad thing that happens involving Guns. And people wonder why he wrote “Out Ta Get Me.”

(Hi Nightrain visitors! Thanks for stopping by. 😉 )

Sorry I’m Late

** I began this post last October. Since then we’ve had three birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Surely the irony is not lost, given the topic. **

My husband is a punctual man. When we were dating, he’d say, “I’ll pick you up at 6:00.” And at 6:00, there would be a knock on the door. He may not have realized the full extent of what he was getting into when he married me. I am not, and never have been, punctual. If I arrive anywhere on time it’s for one of these three reasons: 1) Luck, 2) Fear of consequences, or 3) I had to skip doing something important, like eating. It’s not that I enjoy being late or even that I don’t care, because I do. Things just conspire against me.

Things? What kinds of things? Little things. Ridiculous things. A whole barrage of stupid, insignificant things that combine forces about twenty minutes before I need to head out the door. Welcome to the world of the Chronically Late.

Way back towards the beginning of this blog, I discussed how Axl’s birth order of first-born perfectionist affects and directs a lot of what he does. As Dr. Leman noted in The Birth Order Book, first-born perfectionists are often afflicted with lateness. At first, it may seem counter-intuitive. Aren’t the first-borns supposed to be the leaders? The shining beacons to the rest of society? Well, yes, but that’s where the perfectionism kicks in. Our strength is our weakness. We cannot overlook or not do certain tasks because to do so violates our sense of order. Everything needs to be in place and taken care of before leaving.

I’ll give you a real-life example: Often, I have to ready myself and my three kids for church alone since my husband has to be there early. I allot myself an hour and a half to shower, and then feed and dress us all. All of those tasks together shouldn’t take longer than about forty minutes, so where does the rest of the time go? God only knows. I sit the kids down to eat while I take a shower. When I come out, the 7 year old hasn’t finished because she has been reading the comics; the 5 year old hasn’t finished because she’s mad at her sister (don’t look for logic; there is none); and the 3 year old has dumped his bowl of cereal on the floor and knocked over his water. After cajoling the girls into eating their breakfasts, cleaning up the messes and finishing getting all the children properly groomed, before I know it, there are five minutes left until it’s time to leave and I’m still in my bathrobe with wet hair. Some of you punctual types are probably thinking, “You should just get up earlier.” It doesn’t work that way, peeps. All of the above will still happen, plus extra things to fill up all of the dead time. I realize that it sounds like I’m blaming the kids, but I was late well before they came on the scene; they just add a new dimension. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is a battle that I will never win. I will always be late; the best I can do is to strive to be a little less late.

Because I live in the world of the Chronically Late, I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of Axl and his tardiness. Just like me, it’s no new thing for Axl — he admits that he has been dealing with it all of his life [That Metal Show, November 2011]. Most people can’t wrap their heads around this so, for those of us in this club, we’re left with either making jokes or pretending that nothing is out of the ordinary. Axl uses both methods. One of his more famous jokes is from a 1992 Rolling Stone interview: “I’m late to everything. I’ve always wanted to have it written in my will that when I die, the coffin shows up a half hour late and says on the side, like in gold, ‘Sorry I’m late.'”

Axl’s explanation to Eddie Trunk [TMS Nov ’10] sounds a lot like what happens to me. Things conspire!

Not complaining or to be a wuss or whatever, just a lot of times, the day of show, everything starts going wrong. People are making mistakes. You’re making mistakes; they’re making mistakes and nobody even knows why. Y’know, it’s like, things you go, “I should know this.” It’s like everybody gets hit by ADD or whatever.

And I think he and I both know that it sounds like a load of crap to punctual people. But whatcha gonna do?

In addition to things not going smoothly, Axl has also discussed the need to mentally prepare himself for a show.

The pressure of having to do the show with whatever else is going on in my life is hard to get past. … We’re out there to win at what we do. And if that means going on two hours late and doing a good show, I’m gonna do it. I take what I do very seriously [RS 2 April 1992]

So you’re trying to sort through that and get yourself in the right headspace and physical whatever that you’ve got to work through. It’s more like sports and having to play the big game. [TMS Nov ’11]

Axl gets a lot of flack for being late and while there is something to be said for showing up when you’re expected, not all cultures are as controlled by clock time as those in the Northern Hemisphere tend to be. For an interesting revelation of what time-keeping means around the world, I recommend the book The Geography of Time, by Robert Levine. In it, Dr. Levine discusses the history of time-keeping and attitudes towards punctuality and tardiness around the world. Anyone who has traveled to another country has surely experienced a bit of culture shock when met with different views on time. Living in France was great for me because showing up 15 minutes “late” was fine and even expected. Dr. Levine learned the hard way that time in Brazil is much more fluid than in the U.S. Now, neither Axl nor I are French or Brazilian, so we can’t claim culture as the reason for our tardiness, which makes it all the harder to live in a culture that values the Anglo-Saxon view of timeliness. American and Northern European views were heavily influenced by railroads trying to get organized in the 1880s. “The moral gatekeepers of the new industrial society were equally convinced of the virtues of clock time and were more than willing to add their own voices to its promotion. The latecomer was characterized as a social inferior and, in some cases, a moral incompetent.” [The Geography of Time, pg. 69]

That’s a pretty big stigma to overcome for those of us who don’t live and die by the clock like the majority of American society. It doesn’t mean that we are excused from making an effort to conform a bit more; it just doesn’t come as naturally. Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychology professor, has observed that even within cultures, individual perceptions of time can vary wildly. He contends that each of us falls into one of three broad groups: past-oriented, present-oriented, or future-oriented (For more information on his studies this little video lecture is excellent). According to Zimbardo, each of these perspectives has a direct impact on how we conduct ourselves in life. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that Axl displays many behaviors of someone with the present-hedonist view of time and life (hedonist in this case doesn’t necessarily mean debauchery) — which is not to say that that’s all there is to him. Otherwise, the 14 year old kid who had dreams of being a world-renowned rockstar never would have made it out of Lafayette. It takes some future perspective to be able to achieve a goal like that (that’s also where evidence of being a first-born perfectionist again comes to light).

So, with a natural propensity for lateness — all the while knowing that it’s not socially acceptable, which adds its own stress —  Axl has also been accused by Slash of using time as a power play and of not caring about his fans. For a man who wants to do his absolute best at everything he sets his mind to, this is a hard pill to swallow. To someone with a strong sense of punctuality, I can see where the late starts to shows could come across as a power play move. Obviously, I don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but judging from things that Axl has said and what others have said about his habits, I find that theory less likely. Marc Canter, a friend and supporter of Guns before they were even big in the L.A. club scene, told mygnrforum.com members in August 2012, “Axl has always been late as long as I have known him; that’s just the way it is. Even for haircuts [his wife was hairdresser to the band in the early days] or a doctor visit.” Describing his childhood, Axl said,

I lived right behind my school and I couldn’t make it to the class in grade school. I had a job at the grocery store down the street and I’m running down the street with wet hair; I’m trying to tie my tie, a sandwich in one hand. It’s a comic strip. [TMS Nov ’11]

And explaining his thoughts on show days:

I don’t want to make people sit around and wait — it drives me nuts. That hour-and-a-half or two-hour time period that I’m late going onstage is living hell, because I’m wishing there was any way on earth I could get out of where I am and knowing I’m not going to be able to make it. [RS 2April92]

Recently, current guitarist Bumblefoot was asked what he perceived as the most misunderstood thing about Axl.

I think that, a lot of times, if he’s late on stage or if he’s not going to show up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or if an album is taking too long to come out – that kind of stuff – I think a lot of times people think it’s because he doesn’t care about his fans. They just take it that way. But the truth is I think, from what I see, he cares so much that it almost gets in the way. I would say he cares too much. That’s what people don’t realize about him. They take it the wrong way. They think that if he’s stalling on something that it’s that he doesn’t care but it’s actually because he cares so much that he’s so concerned about doing the wrong thing. He’s trying to feel out what the right thing is to do. That’s one thing I noticed about him: that he cares maybe too much. That’s my perspective if I were to put it into my own words. [boomerocity.com Jan 2013]

The other factor that people fail to take into account is that in the 90s when Axl developed his notorious reputation for extreme tardiness, his personal life was also falling apart, sometimes in dramatic and overly-publicized fashion. In all honesty, it’s a miracle he took the stage at all some nights.

A lot of this goes way, way back, though, to ’91 and where we were super late going onstage. And that really has more to do with, I should not have been on tour. [TMS Nov ’11]

In a 30 October 2012 interview with USA Today, Axl said, “I was expressing my emotions and took that as far as you can and still be alive. I could beat my mike stand into the stage, but I was still in pain. Maybe fans liked it, but sometimes people forget you’re a person and they’re more into the entertainment value.”

Axl has repeatedly tried to reassure concert goers in the last couple of years that “we’re doing a lot better” as far as start times are concerned. Does that mean that Axl will never be late to concerts anymore? Doubtful. But if you find yourself at a show waiting for him to go onstage, keep in mind that 1) old habits die hard; 2) he has the fans in mind as he readies himself; and 3) he’ll make it worth your time.

And there’s something to be said for giving us Chronically Late types a bit of grace, especially considering that we don’t do it on purpose in an attempt to ruin your life. 😉

Been a little busy

I realize that it looks like I dropped off the face of the planet over the last couple of months. Believe it or not, I have a post 80% written that got shelved because Christmas preparations took over. You may like to see what it was that kept me so occupied.

Sweet Child

Sweet Child

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Paradise City

Paradise City

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Once again, it all started with my youngest daughter. She specifically requested an Axl doll for Christmas, wearing the clothes from the Sweet Child video. Then my older daughter piped up and wanted Axl wearing his Paradise City duds. The dolls were met with much squealing and excitement on Christmas morning. I won’t get into all the “making of,” since this isn’t a craft blog (if you are interested in the construction process and extra details, you can read about it here).

But now that that’s out of the way, I can dust off my notebook and get back to things here!