The timeline of this is also very confusing, and there are things that don’t add up.
By all accounts, the incident took place at Gardner St. studios, where the band rehearsed and practically lived for a while (although it seems that Duff and Izzy had their own apartments, and Axl would crash in various places), in an attached small apartment where they had built a small loft, throwing those infamous parties at the parking lot. There were other bands there – one of them being Johnny and the Jaguars and then called The Wild (Dizzy’s old band) – and many people frequenting the place. Also by all accounts, after the police were informed about the incident and raided the place (according to band members the cops broke down the door of the apartment), the band had to leave it and ended up (right away or after roaming for a few days) living in Vicky Hamilton’s apartment.
According to Vicky Hamilton, who also seems to be the source for the books by Stephen Davis (Watch You Bleed) and Mick Wall in regards to the timing, the incident took place in December 1985 and by Christmas the band were at her apartment. Michelle, too, says that it happened during that month, and that two weeks passed before her mother and the cops knew about it; moreover, she says that before the incident, Axl was away in Indiana for weeks, so she wasn’t able to tell him about the alleged pregnancy and then the miscarriage (which, she says, happened five weeks after she knew she was pregnant, and then some more time passed after the miscarriage until Axl finally returned to L.A.).
Raz Cue, though, in his book, places it in January 1986, and seems very confident about the timing, as he gives details and a specific time indicator (see below).
A look at the known club shows the band played during that time period (late ’85 – early ’86) can help shed some more light, in combination with the other sources:
November 22, 1985 – The Troubadour
December 20, 1985 – Music Machine
January 4, 1986 – The Troubadour
January 18, 1986 – The Roxy
[January 26, 1986 – Starwood Club (source: a-4-d.com)]
[February 1, 1986 – The Troubadour (source: gnrontour.com) or Timbers Ballroom (source: ad & flyer at troccolitm.com]
February 28, 1986 – The Troubadour
March 21, 1986 - Fenders Ballroom
The first thing to notice here (even without the two shows in brackets) is that, in either version of December 1985 or January 1986, the band didn’t hide for a long time; which means that the issue was solved within a short period of time, at least by taking a legal route that allowed Axl and Slash to move freely without being at risk of getting arrested.
The December 20 and January 4 shows came with flyers that asked for donations for a “Keep us out of jail fund” (you can see them at gnrontour.com). Another, seemingly earlier, flyer, found in Marc Canter’s book Reckless Road, which advertised all three shows of Dec. 20, Jan. 4 and Jan. 18, didn’t contain the donation bit. This seems to underpin the December 1985 version, furthermore indicating: that the legal trouble had occurred already around mid-December (although the band still played shows - Mick Wall wrote wrongly, among many other inaccuracies, that the Dec. 20 show was cancelled); and, (going by Michelle’s version), that the incident itself happened two weeks prior, i.e. early December - so just a few days after the band had played another show on November 22nd.
As I said above, Raz Cue’s book The Days of Guns N’ Raz’s gives a different timing, namely January 1986. According to Raz Cue in the book, the “Dio Boots” girl incident (and the subsequent first police raid that led to Dizzy’s arrest and then to the band’s fleeing) took place about one week after the Roxy show on January 18. In his recent new version of events, as it appears on his website, Raz doesn’t mention anything about getting the date of the “Dio Boots” incident wrong. He only places the incident with Michelle “a couple of weeks” before the – now separate - “Dio Boots” one (so about a week before the Roxy show), and the police raid (and Dizzy’s arrest) for the Michelle incident “the next night, or the one after” the “Dio Boots” incident (so about a week after the Roxy show). So all still in January.
It could be just assumed that Raz Cue simply gets the timeline wrong and stop here, but now the big confusion starts.
According to Reckless Road, as well as The Days of Guns N’ Raz’s, the Jan. 18 Roxy show created a big buzz, which attracted many A&R people from record labels (it was the show that Tom Zutaut missed because he arrived too late).
Slash and Duff don’t give a timing in their autobiographies; Duff, though, says that the incident happened “just as the record label frenzy around us was heating up.” [Steven’s book doesn’t help: he is the only one who doesn’t mention the incident at all, and says that he has no idea why they moved into Vicky Hamilton’s apartment (!); he also seems at times to confuse the Gardner studio with West Arkeen’s and Del’s place.]
There is a recording of the Jan. 18th show at the Roxy, where Axl is heard dedicating the last song of the set (Goodnight Tonight) like this: “This is for the last two weeks worth of partying at the studio, and all those sweet girls that we asked to see their tits.” This seems to indicate that the band was still at Gardner studios at that time, giving merit to Raz Cue’s timeline.
At the February 28th show, that there is also a recording of, Out Ta Get Me is played for the first time and Axl dedicates it “to the LAPD, and any young girls that like to fuck around.” Slash is heard saying, “[...] if anybody runs into a couple of guys named Jeff and Alan (or Allen), feel free to kick their fucking heads in. These are the guys that kicked in our studio door, so if you see them, be my guest.” So that show was definitely after the incident and after the band had come back from hiding, having also written the song related to it in the meantime. That was also the show Tom Zutaut attended and decided to sign the band.
But then what about the “Keep us out of jail fund” flyers for the earlier shows of Dec. 20th and Jan. 4th? Could they have been coincidental, just a clever way to promote the band as “bad boys”? It’s so confusing...
Anyway, regardless of which version about the timing is correct and whether the incident took place in December 1985 or January 1986, there seems to be a big problem with the claim that Axl was in Indiana “for weeks” before it happened: As noted above, in the December version (going by what Michelle says about the two weeks that passed between it and the police interference, in combination with the date of the show and the flyer for it), the incident is placed in early December, just a few days after the band had played another show, so Axl was there. In the January version, also (going by Raz Cue’s timeline and Axl’s dedication at the Roxy show) the band had played a show on January 4th, i.e. just about a week before the incident happened (plus they were partying at the rehearsal space for two weeks before the Roxy show), so Axl was there.
Raz Cue says in his book that Axl went to Indiana before he joined L.A Guns (=last months of 1984 – pre-GnR) and there his parents tried to make him give up being a musician and study to be a sound engineer instead, and that made Axl give it another shot in L.A. and take the offer to join L.A. Guns although he was reluctant before because he didn’t like the music they played.
Axl would confirm that his parents had tried to make him go back to Indiana:
Axl: Up until we got signed, I lived on the streets for five years. I never lived in one place for more than two months, always crashing at people's houses. My parents would say, 'Come back home and go to college and we'll pay for it' but I would reply, 'No, I have to do this now.' [Hit Parader, April 1987]
And in an interview in late December 1987, Axl would say that he had just come back from Indiana, where he hadn’t been for about 2-1/2 years, because the last time he had been there his parents had told him that he would achieve nothing being in a band, so he didn’t want to go back there until he had made it and prove them wrong:
Axl: [...] I hadn't been back in two years and the last time I was back there - it was at least two and a half years - I thought, I just told myself, ‘I'm not coming back until I get a record out,’ because too many people kept saying ‘Oh, you'll never get anywhere.’ [Interview with Steve Harris, Dec. 1987]
So, the claim that Axl was in Indiana for weeks is disproved by the show dates, and, additionally, it doesn’t seem plausible at all that Axl would want to visit Indiana at that point, when the band had started to get interest from record labels. That was also the time that most of the AFD songs were written, and the band debuted a new one almost at each show (e.g. Nightrain was played for the first time at the Dec. 20 show, My Michelle was debuted at the Jan. 4th show, Out Ta Get Me at the Feb. 28th show), so how Axl couldn't have been there all the time? And, as it has already been pointed out, why would he want a baby at that time?!