15 Things You Never Knew About Guns N’ Roses
Duff McKagan, bassist of Guns N’ Roses, has released an autobiography called It’s So Easy (And Other Lies). Here are some fascinating facts you probably didn’t know.
1. The members in the band would cure their STDs by visiting the local pet store. ″You could get dirt-cheap antibiotics – intended for use in aquariums – at pet stores. Turned out tetracycline wasn’t just good for tail rot and gill disease. It also did great with syphilis″
2. The first proper gig for the band supporting the Fastbacks would see all five members hitchhike over 1,000 miles to get to The Gorilla Garden Venue in Portland.
″With no money left, our only hope now was to straight-up hitch hike on the side of the freeway. From a less determined perspective, it would have seemed a hopeless long shot that anyone would pick up five fucked-up-looking guys with their guitars – if anyone even had enough room space. But we didn’t see it that way at all then. We just had no alternative.″
3. To this day Slash still considers ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ the worst Guns N’ Roses song. Ironically it’s been their biggest selling hit all over the world.
4. Bassist Duff McKagan couldn’t yet play bass when he took on the role of bassist for the band. ‘″I own a bass″ I said. I was getting comfortable playing four strings by then.’
5. The first Guns N’ Roses song to be written by the original line-up was their classic hit ‘Paradise City’. ″During those first rehearsals, the five of us started working up a new song together based on some lyrics I had brought with me in a notebook from Seattle. The song became ‘Paradise City’.″
6. There was already tension between Axl and Slash before forming Guns N’ Roses after Axl had reportedly slept with one of Slash’s ex-girlfriends.
7. The Guns N’ Roses world famous logo was hand drawn by Slash. Although Axl would later rule this as untrue and say it was his tattoo artist Bill White who had actually designed it.
8. Duff Beer made famous by The Simpsons was named after Duff McKagan, who within his close circle had gained the name ‘Duff King of Beers’ because of the high volumes of the beverage he could consume on a daily basis.
9. The dancing skills of the band are something that are often hidden rather than promoted. ″A little known fact about the original members of Guns N’ Roses: We dance. Everyone knows Axl’s serpentine slither, of course. Far fewer people know that Slash is also a world-class Russian crouch-down and kick your legs out dancer″
10. On their tour supporting The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger would often criticise bassist Duff McKagan’s choice in wearing cowboy boots on stage due to the metal flooring and the risks of sliding on stage;
″I’ve got some trainers, he said. What size do you wear?″
″Eleven″ I said.
″Me, too,″ he said. ″We must have the same size willy.″
11. It took Axl Rose and Duff McKagan thirteen years after the split of Guns N’ Roses to speak again. It was a chance meeting at a hotel in London that rekindled their friendship. ″From then on, there was no awkwardness at all. It turned out it wasn’t much of a big deal for either one of us, I don’t think. We both seemed eager to mend a personal fence, to bridge a gap between us.″
12. It was the world famous martial arts choreographer and kick boxer Benny Jet that helped bassist Duff McKagan overcome his demons from drug and alcohol addiction. ″I wasn’t really sure what it was about him that struck me so, but I immediately knew I wanted to receive whatever wisdom and mentorship Sensi Benny was willing to offer me.″
13. At the start of their music careers Axl and Izzy Stradlin smoked cigarettes for a research study for The University of California and Los Angeles in order to earn cash.
14. All five members of Guns N’ Roses were banned from St Louis in 1992 after their Co-Headlining tour with Metallica ended in a fierce riot after Axl announced 50 minutes into their set that the band was to stop playing – after delaying the start of the show by two hours already. To this day Guns N’ Roses are still banned from entering St Louis.
15. There could have been another original line-up album from Guns N’ Roses after the ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums. However Axl rejected all the new material Slash wrote; “One of the points of contention between Slash and Axl was a batch of songs Slash brought to the table. Axl thought it was Southern Rock not Guns N’ Roses…”