Before I get to a couple of recently snapped photos, I wanted to go a little old school and talk about Guns ‘N’ Roses. I don’t need to go into any detail about Axl – he’s pretty much turned into a pathetic cartoon character of himself. What a downfall. The strange thing is that he didn’t actually do anything specific to facilitate it – didn’t molest children, didn’t get married/divorced in Las Vegas, didn’t start a reality show. In fact, not doing anything is the precise reason for his downfall!
Turn the clocks back to 1989-1992, though, and you’ve got a band at the top of the mountain. Appetite for Destruction is obviously one of the strongest rock records of its time. But I also believe that Use Your Illusion I and II unquestionably contains some of their best music. I still can’t really figure out why they didn’t just take the best of each Illusion and make one record. Had they done that, I could argue that collection would have trounced Appetite. I can’t make that argument, though, because they did what all the famous, narcissistic bands do at the height of their fame – a double album. Almost always the wrong move.
Anyway, here’s what I’m getting at: lots of people don’t know that it wasn’t Axl who was the glue in that band, it was Izzy Stradlin. Stradlin wrote all the best material on both of those albums. Even the strongest songs that Axl sang lead on, Izzy wrote. Take closer listens to “14 Years” and “Dust & Bones,” two incredibly overlooked songs (sung by Stradlin) that still easily stand the test of time. After you listen to those, drop the needle on tripe like “You Could Be Mine” (from Terminator 2) or the ultimate waste of time, the 5 hour power-ballad “Don’t Cry.” They sound bloated, dated and…..bad. Since Izzy left the Guns after the Illusion records were released, nothing has been the same for that band. They went through many changes and haven’t released a single studio album since, although there are some stories floating out there about a new song making the rounds. I’m not holding my breath, but I do think it would be cool if they made a kick-ass album totally out of nowhere, because expectations are so low.
This one is for all those people who are on the news saying things like “hey, it’s New England, I love the snow!”
OK, prize of the day goes to the first person who can tell me what this is.