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      MYGNRFORUM Theme Template Update - Additional Features   09/09/2017

      Happy to announce that the upgrades have almost been completed and the new custom theme is available for all users. There are still a few bugs to work out which we hope to have solved over the next day or two.   To use the new template, click on Themes at the bottom left side of the page and click on MYGNRFORUM (New): It is now set to default in case you did not previously changed themes. A new feature of this update are the new reactions to posts.  By click on the like button, users have a choice of five different reactions (two of our own design): Remember, if you GNR like something, make it a dolphin like! Please use the Ask Staff Anything thread with any questions or concerns. Thanks to everyone for your patience and cooperation over the last couple of weeks while we got this done.  

Axl's Agony Aunt

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About Axl's Agony Aunt

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  • Birthday 10/01/1965

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    U.K.
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    Writing, running, music, television, travel, mind, health, nutrition, animals, society, politics, history...

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  1. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    My latest Guns N' Roses relevant blog post: Up the Duff: Criticising Guns N’ Roses Reason Readers who don’t know or understand my writing over the last decade at the greenYgrey, fmpoetry and here might think I don’t like Guns N’ Roses, and especially Duff McKagan, after my last blog post cited some criticisms. However, they will have missed the point, and one of my biggest motivations in my writing: that everything is criticisable, including your biggest heroes. Kill Your Idols: Just Be Open to Criticising Them Really In fact, I’m following the advice of Guns N’ Roses, or Axl at least, as he once wore a t-shirt with Kill Your Idols (metaphorically, I’m pretty sure, as it featured Jesus on, who’s not around any more; I think Axl’s a Christian too, as he wears big crosses now!) on; a punk message I’m sure Duff will understand, and probably support. I’m also probably influenced by my decade in university, when I was taught to look at issues from all angles. I was always a bit of a contrary rebel anyway. I was at a young impressionable age when punk started, followed by Pink Floyd’s The Wall, then a full on Metal and Rock headbanger, so I don’t know if it was nature or nurture. Unfortunately, Western culture seems to be less open now, partly because of political correctness (somebody’s very offended about everything), and partly because of the openness of social media leading to more crassness and less eloquence, volume rather than quality, therefore making more censorship seem reasonable (I accept that some people may think the same about me; and that I could also sound snobby writing that!) Duff’s My Closest Guns N’ Roses Life Comparison Out of the three autobiographies I read, I think Duff was my most comparable life, as he went to university and took up endurance sports to escape the excesses of the rock n’ roll life, or at least to give him another dimension to his life. Duff has also been working as a journalist, and he and his wife have also been supporting animal welfare issues. Of course, our lives are not equal or comparable really, as he’s one of the stars of Guns N’ Roses and I’m one of the fans, and that’s the way it’s always been; and always will be as far as I’m concerned. Dreams do Happen, but so do Nightmares While it may appear I have an Eminem ‘Stan’ relationship to Guns and other stars, I’m completely in touch with reality; but try not to let it box me in. Lars Ulrich of Metallica fame was a fan who did travel to California (from Denmark) chasing the rock n’ metal dream, and it worked for him! I’ve written several books since becoming a Doctor of Philosophy, achieving my initial ambition to be published (against those who want to make me a failure), and had a little success (for the nice people who want me to be humble), but I know my place in rock n’ metal music is just as a long-term and not very fanatical headbanger. Lars Ulrich went to the right place at the right time. Music and writing are both struggling now, due to the internet, but there are still opportunities, and I’m still doing it… because I love writing, and especially writing about things I love, such as rock n’ metal, and its culture of freedom, openness, escape and dreams…
  2. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Here's some more photos from my time in 1987, and the first page of my diary, previously previewed on my https://travel25years.wordpress.com blog: The passport photo I carried, which was from about five years previously, when I was about sixteen. The first page of my diary, when I write of listening to Guns N' Roses the night before leaving. The cover of The Guns N' Roses Worker-Traveller, published by small press mental health specialists, Chipmunka.
  3. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Thanks Jan. Yes, good to relive the old days, and hopefully there's more new developments to follow... I was there in '91 by the way, and was at Monsters of Rock in '88. I only went on different albums tours, so wasn't as big a fan as you in that way.
  4. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Thanks Jan, Steven was born in '65 too. Duff's a little older, born in '64, while Axl and Izzy are ancient, born in '62!! I read Duff's autobiography last year and thought we had a lot of similarities, as he went to university and took up extreme sports to get him out of the rock n' roll lifestyle: I was of course copying people like him's rock n' roll lifestyle, and was also aware of Aerosmith and Motley Crue going to the gym to recover. When did you get into Guns, and what do you remember from the classic era?
  5. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Yes, for sure, more the better. Hard to believe it was 30 years ago! Never imagined I'd be discussing them on something like this then. Thought I'd just have a concert video to remember them!!
  6. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Thanks soon. Yes, it was special period of my youth, although I regret not being in L.A. when they were emerging, along with all the other great bands there at the time! The U.K. was big on them though at that time, thanks largely to Kerrang magazine, so it seemed like the U.K. was their second home, and quite special to them. At least now you have all the concert videos etc from that time, which weren't around much then apart from in their singles and on MTV; I probably saw most of them the same time as you on YouTube.
  7. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Thanks Gracii
  8. Remembering Guns N' Roses on the road in 1987

    Was reading my 1987 diary again recently as part of blogging it again, and was delighted to see I'd written about being reminded of a Guns N' Roses song over a month after leaving home, having only had Appetite for about a month before leaving, and having been into other rock in a big way for seven years: https://travel25years.wordpress.com/
  9. Are we too hard on Guns?

    Being the coffilosopher who created greenYgreyology (greenygrey3.com) I love both the above comments, and think they are both correct and viable. Having been a fan of Guns since the 1980s I think it's great that they are doing as well as they are, with Axl and Slash playing together, as jmapelian writes. However, as Ronin writes, they have become too much of a commercial band for most people's liking - especially considering their original bad boys street rebels against capitalist exploitation image. Like me, Guns are now middle-aged, and I think they probably think like me. We've taken our minds to the edge, as Van Halen sang in Runnin' With The Devil, and once you know how far you can take it, and if you survive, then in the end you know you have to get out, as Duff, Slash and Steven's autobiographies say; and as happened with the 1950s Beat and 1960s Hippy countercultures. Then the rebellion/counterculture changes with the generations, starting for Guns and similar bands with Seattle Grunge killing most of them off. Now the biggest global conflict seems to be between Western 'capitalism' and Islamist 'religion'. So, I'm not surprised if Guns are choosing to support Western 'capitalism', even if it's not what they really want, but it's the best option available. Plus, records don't make any money any more, because of freely available music; as is the case with writing for me. So, c'est la vie mon Cherie (paraphrasing Pepé Le Pew, Looney Tunes hero, and another thing I like and share about Guns; they've never taken themselves too seriously, even if some of their music has been seriously epic) and try to accept it like me... we've come a long long way (Fatboy Slim 'Praise You') from Paradise City... together... and apart... but always somewhere in memory... for this post has been an example of Guns-inspired coffilosophy!
  10. Are we too hard on Guns?

    I agree with you. I've been a fan 30 years, and I think it's great they are still playing. I was at the Olympic Stadium this year, and while I had mixed feelings watching it, thinking back to when we (Axl, Duff and Slash and I) were young and it seemed like Guns were going to change the world; or die trying!; it was still a great concert with 3 hours of fantastic music, and seemed to be enjoyed by all around me. I only got around to seeing Black Sabbath for the first time at Download last year, and it's probably a similar experience to Guns today. I know Ozzy would have sounded better in his heyday, and been more mobile, but I still loved seeing the band live at last, and hearing all their best known songs. I do think this should probably be the last Guns tour unless there's some new innovations: new music, or Izzy/Steven rejoining. That's my opinion anyway, and I won't be going again until then, but there may be millions of fans who still want to see them, so it's up to the band; it's their life and music, and we have the choice whether we want to share it with them....
  11. 07/20/17 - NYC - Apollo Theater

    Thanks Nico, I might have got carried away with the general expectations consensus, with the marketing making it seem like a special gig for AFD's 30th. As you point out, it was never clearly promoted as only an AFD anniversary show. I think L.A. would have been the right place for that anyway... or/and London, remembering they were bigger here when Appetite was released, according to the band's autobiographies etc.
  12. 07/20/17 - NYC - Apollo Theater

    I'm glad they did an AFD anniversary gig, but like most people, disappointed and surprised that they didn't focus on AFD and that Izzy and Steven weren't involved. The band were probably the most unpredictable and innovative around 30 years ago, but now seem happy to go through the motions, albeit providing a great and rewarding musical show. Maybe it's Axl getting revenge for all the criticism he's had for being late etc, as some people think it was his decision. I'm not a very musical person, and am impressed with the technical criticism in some of the posts/reviews, but have become an experienced writer, partly inspired by bands like Guns. One of the first lessons I learnt, in university on essays and as a freelance for articles, is that you should focus on the subject, rather than trailing off into irrelevant material; related or unrelated. I think that's like the mistake the band/Axl made at the Apollo: they tried to fit all their favourites/information in rather than focusing on AFD/the subject. We the fans seeing the Apollo set list are like examiners/editors reading a paper/article thinking they included a lot, but didn't address the subject enough. The band must be applauded for their long set, but probably would have made most people much happier if they'd played an AFD set for an hour!? I'm trying to avoid that mistake at my 30th anniversary of my travels starting blog: https://travel25years.wordpress.com/ Guns will always be an inspiration though, and I'll always remember and recognise that.... as well as being great musicians... and maybe even with more music released in the future... although hopefully after recapturing some of their creative magic...
  13. Sorry to harp on about me and my book, but some people have been disputing my rock pedigree for the last twenty years, and partly inspired by the partly classic line-up reformation and 30th anniversary of Appetite I'm providing the proof at https://travel25years.wordpress.com/ Today's post includes my diary from the night before I left on my trip around Europe, with a similar ethos to Axl and Izzy leaving Indiana for L.A., where the last thing I do is play Appetite to some friends. I was the first one in my town I know about to own and rave about it! It also includes my day hitch-hiking from West Wales to Dover, and the cover of a later exercise book used as a diary with other rock references. I was just a fan of rock and metal, and will always pay homage to the songwriters as some of my biggest writing inspirations.
  14. It's Appetite's 30th anniversary this week, and just over a month later I left for my travels on the European continent I wrote a memoir about titled The Guns N' Roses Worker-Traveller: at a time when chances of a classic era reunion seemed remote. I've started blogging about it again today, after previously working back from recent times to 2007. It's at https://travel25years.wordpress.com/ Guns had been the most exciting new band in the year before I left, and I got Appetite for Destruction soon after it was released. It lived up to expectations, and I played it to death before leaving on August 25th, 1987. I returned the next year in time to see them at Castle Donington.
  15. Agree that fans get a better deal in that way, with a full brilliant catalogue of classic songs three hours long, and nice and punctual and everything; appreciated as I had to get public transport afterwards. The concerts in the early days were hectic and unpredictable, with that adding to the energy and excitement; for me anyway. Thankfully I never had a cancellation, and had two great concerts at Donington (unfortunately two fans lost their lives, but that was nothing to do with the band, who tried to calm the frenzied fans who thought they were the messiahs of metal they'd been waiting all their rock lives for, like me) and Wembley. For those who had cancelled concerts and shortened ones, I guess that'd put them off the band, like it did for you.
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