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    Axl Rose's last public appearance (in terms of being actively outside amongst other celebrities) occurred on January 20th 1994, at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame to induct Elton John. He inducted Elton, and then performed with Bruce Springsteen to induct John Lennon. This would be his last known live performance of the 20th century. Axl and Slash took part in a joint radio interview on January 3rd 1994, their last interview together and Axl's last published interview for five years. After January 1994, Axl stepped out of the public eye. He contributed vocally to Gilby Clarke's first solo album, Pawnshop Guitars, which was released in May 1994, and sang on GN'R's cover of Sympathy for the Devil, which was recorded in October 1994, and he lended his vocals as a guest on the recording of The Outpatience's (a band created by West Arkeen, a GN'R songwriter and friend) song Anxious Disease in 1996. Slash guested on guitar on this track and as such it is the last song they performed on together. According to a person who was involved in the process, Axl and Slash's parts were recorded separately as both would not have contributed if they knew they'd be on the same track. In August 1993, Axl had sued Stephanie Seymour, claiming she had stolen jewelry from him and had attacked him physically. She countersued, claiming Axl had abused her. At the same time in August 1993, Axl defended Guns N' Roses in court against Steven Adler, but ultimately GN'R lost the case. Seymour summoned Erin Everly, Axl's former ex-wife, to testify and then in April 1994, Erin sued Axl on her own behalf, with the case lasting over a year (Axl reported being in depositions with his ex-wife as late as the Oklahoma City Bombings in April 1995). After 1994, Axl's whereabouts, looks and 'recluse' status became something of a legend in the music industry. Axl sightings were reported as if he was Bigfoot, and like with most Bigfoot sightings, the reports were at times exaggerated and dubious. Courtney Love claimed in a May 1994 interview that Axl had left the public eye because his hair had fallen out because he had "mixed Prozac and Heroin." This little guide will track Axl's evolution throughout his time in the 'Wilderness', the 'Recluse years' visually as well as using information gleaned from people who were in contact with him during these years. This will hopefully prove a fun little piece for fans who have wondered about Axl in the '94-'00 period. Axl, January 20th '94 Axl's last public appearance. Note his hair here in January '94 is still UYI era length and still styled as such, and he has begun to dress in the same way as many Grunge singers of the era, in flannel and shabby clothes, which was the trend of the time. Axl with Sante D'Orazio March 1994: Again, same length as UYIs. Note also that in both pix, he has full stubble, a stubbly full beard. Sante would be Axl's companion throughout the next few years. Duff's pancreas burst in May 1994 and he and Axl became much closer after this near-death experience. Duff recalls Axl visited him in the hospital and that in the following months, they often went mountain biking together, and talking about GN'R's past, present and future (according to Duff's autobiography). Meanwhile, Slash, Gilby, Matt and Dizzy worked on what would become the first Snakepit record. Axl, February 1995 (his birthday). This rare photograph was taken with a fan who happened to come across Axl. Axl, March 1995 (Beta's birthday). This photo was put up on Instagram a while back as a Throwback Thursday and shows Axl in good health, not bald, and looking just as he did on the UYI tour, contrary to the rumors that he'd grown 'fat, bald, and strange' in his time out of the spotlight. Again, note in those two pix, his hair is still very long, same length as it was on the UYI tour. His face looks as skinny as it did during the UYI era, but now his stubbly beard is a stubbly goatee. Mid 1995: Axl's look has begun to change a bit. His hair is cropped a bit shorter than the AFD and UYI years but not by much. He is rarely cleanshaven here, and he looks a little more fuller in the face than in previous years. By 1994, Axl's weight had jumped from 137lbs in 1990 to 145 lbs. During this uncertain period in GN'R's history, after Gilby had been let-go from GN'R, Axl began trying to play at being a guitarist himself: In reference to who had replaced Gilby, Matt Sorum said: "Right now, [Axl]'s playing guitar and it's like he plays that instrument for ten years." (Matt, 09/23/96) "For the last couple of years, [Axl] started to go, 'Okay, I'm going to play guitar and actually learn what these notes are.' It's an innocent guitar, not unlike Izzy (Stradlin, ex-GN'R guitarist) was, but Axl's got a lot more musically than Izzy ever did.'" (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96) "Axl is rhythm guitar on his own songs for the time being." (Slash chat, 07/30/96) "[Axl's guitar playing] tripped me out when I first came back,' Slash says. 'I figured 'Okay, that's where his focus has been. I haven't really talked to him about it, to tell the truth. I guess he's just been sitting at home, figuring out chords or something. Maybe he's been taking lessons." (Slash, Total Guitar, 01/97) Axl was throwing himself and Guns into the studio at this time, but he was unable to come up with any ideas. Of Axl's guitar setup, [Dave] Abbruzzese recalls, "You could hunt buffalo with his rig. It had a lot of lights, a lot of blinking lights, a lot of things that you stepped on. It sounded like a freight train that was somehow playable." (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00) "And when [Axl] did show up at rehearsal, he never sang." (Slash, autobiography) "We were supposed to jam and jam until he said, "I like this", or, "I like that." ...We'd play for an hour or more and then finally get bored and go home, leaving him in the studio." (Slash, autobiography) Axl, 10/28/1995: Axl, October 28th 1995: Note Axl's hair here is much shorter then in any previous point in these two pix. He also looks a little chubbier in his face, and he has a stubbly goatee (you can tell clearly the rest of his face is shaved). Axl, Halloween 1995, October 31st 1995 Axl, December 1995 This picture appeared in a Dec 1995 issue of Metal Hammer originally. Note Axl's hair is EVEN shorter, just barely chin length. Axl, mid 1996: You can tell Axl's face is much chubbier and the chubbyness is hidden by the big beard. His face looks similar there to how it does now, actually. This photo was taken in April 1996, backstage at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. "Axl was distracted by events tragic, potentially tragic and strange. His mother, Sharon Bailey, died in May 1996 at the age of fifty-one. Wildfires nipped at the edges of Axl's PRIVATE Canyon property the same year." (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00) "[On 04/04/96, Axl] turned up backstage at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at the LA Forum." (Kerrang, 08/21/99) "I went to see a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with Axl... I guess I never noticed that I’d undergone drastic physical changes." (Duff, autobiography) "'Axl'd cut his hair short and grown a beard', recalled Chilis drummer Chad Smith. 'I didn't recognize him.'" (Kerrang, 08/21/99) At this point, GN'R had regrouped again for another round of sessions, this time with Paul Huge actively playing a role in the band. Dizzy had apparently quit at same point, but was back: "We've been in for two weeks as a full band with Slash and Axl (Rose) and me... Dizzy Reed is also back." (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96) "Sorum reports in the last week that Slash has been rehearsing with GN'R bassist Duff McKagan (who plays guitar in Neurotic Outsiders), Rose, Reed and "an anonymous guitar player" who may or may not be Clarke's replacement, and Sorum." (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96) "[Gilby's replacement is an] unknown. But I can't tell you his name because I don't know if he will tour with us." (Matt, 09/23/96) "It's fun and the energy is there," [Duff] said only hours before joining Axl Rose, Slash, Matt Sorum and rhythm guitarist Paul Huge at a GN'R rehearsal and writing session." (Duff, Metal Edge, 11/96) "We have been doing mostly Axl's material." (Slash chat, 10/16/96) "Even if we don't sell any copy of the next album, I will be very proud of what we did. But I don't worry about it, I know that what we are doing right now is great. [...] We are working on rock songs that last only 4 minutes (laughs). We already did 7 songs and we will write 7 others. [...] It will be a single album with 10 or 12 songs." (Matt, 09/23/96) "The record will be all up-tempo rock songs ("No ballads," McKagan said firmly) and it will be just 12 songs, with a release planned for next spring." (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96) "So far, Slash and McKagan say the band has worked up about 16 songs, and the bassist reports that: 'the material is really strong...This record is going to fuckin' rock. There's nothing like the chemistry of Guns when we're in the same room.'" (Total Guitar, 01/97) "It's gonna be an angry record, but that's what we were built on." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96) "This is not as sophisticated as Illusion, but not as wild as Appetite. It's in the middle. Maybe more groovy. Musically, we are all better. I never heard Duff play like that." (Matt, 09/23/96) "We're definitely getting geared up to do another record. We're already starting to make tour plans. We've got a possible tour starting in South America in January and then we're going to stop and finish the record and probably tour next summer." (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96) 'It sounds like the band again. Everybody's in good shape and Duff's looking really good and healthy. It was good that we took the time off, because at the end of the tour Duff was one foot in the grave. I mean it was like we were all drugged out. We just all stepped back out of the whole rock and roll debauchery for a while and just sort of mellowed.'" (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96) Axl, '96 or '97: By this point, Slash was out. In 1997, Axl was described like this by Moby: "His nemesis, Courtney Love, has since accused Rose in the press of vanishing partly because he's supposed to be losing his hair. Moby can't confirm the hair situation because he says, "Axl's always worn a hat when I've been around him. I don't even know if he has long hair anymore. He has a beard that's clearly not been groomed. If you passed him on the street, you wouldn't stop and say, 'Oh, there goes one of the most successful rock stars on the planet.' (Moby, 10/97) By this time, Guns N' Roses was composed of Axl, Duff, Paul Huge, Robin Finck, Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed Axl would meet the public eye again but not in a way he ever intended...On February 26th 1998, Axl was arrested for disorderly conduct at a Phoenix airport: Axl, February 26th 1998 "You are just all little people on a power trip!" Axl exclaimed to the arresting officers. In the original arrest record, Axl's hair is described as short, "over ears"; not tied in a ponytail, and his height is said to be 5'8'' and his weight is at 160lbs. Axl would not be seen again for another two years, by which point his hair had regrown, when he suddenly appeared on stage with Gilby Clarke in June 2000:
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