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Appetite for Distortion - Bob Guccione Jr. gets in the ring to talk GNR - Ep. 111

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"Bob Guccione Jr. at Spin
What you pissed off 'cause your dad gets more p..."

The founder of SPIN discusses his career and the Guns N' Roses song that has immortalized him forever.

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Do you think Bob Jr secretly/publically hated Axl because of the GITR rant even though it wasn't Axl's idea? Axl got kinda left holding the bag on that one by the band & co. 

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1 hour ago, Edward Nygma said:

Do you think Bob Jr secretly/publically hated Axl because of the GITR rant even though it wasn't Axl's idea? Axl got kinda left holding the bag on that one by the band & co. 

Bob seemed to be genuine in his response...liking the band, thinking they would be the next big thing, but wasn't a fan of the interview contract. Who's idea was it? 

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Posted (edited)

Why do I listen to you/ Because Axl hates you

Its like the act of listening to this interview with Guccione writes a new verse of GITR :lol:

****

Very cool interview and interviewee! 

Edited by soon
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5 hours ago, moreblack said:

who's idea supposedly was it?

I don't know if is true, but i read time ago, this song was Duff idea.

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1 hour ago, sidman69 said:

Duffs and Tom Zutauts idea to call out journalists 

Very cool, I always assumed it was Axl's idea.  But I'm sure that Axl was more than happy to take the reins and run with it.😄

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15 minutes ago, Blackstar said:

Interesting and... unexpected interview :)

The article "Guns N' Neuroses" was in the September 1991 issue of Spin that was released just about 3 weeks before the release of the Illusion albums. The albums must have already been printed and packaged by then - or at least they were in the process of. So, although Axl seemingly had a problem with that article, it couldn't have been the reason for Bob being called out in Get In The Ring.

Spin published the contract for the press in the June 1991 issue

http://www.a-4-d.com/t3224-1991-06-dd-spin-magazine-no-appetite-for-criticism-guns-n-roses-contract-for-the-press

and we know that the Get In The Ring rant was recorded in Toronto on June 6th 1991. That press contract wasn't something the band was secretive about, though. It was floating around since Rock in Rio, and the band had claimed (via Alan Niven) that it was aimed only at non-US publications, namely British ones. So, the publishing of the contract alone doesn't seem to me as enough of a reason for the attack to Bob Guccione Jr.

I wonder if it had something to do with another article printed earlier in Spin and with the author Danny Sugerman  (for those who don't know, Sugerman had worked with the Doors since he was very young and later he became their second manager; then he became a writer and wrote books on the Doors, most notably "No one gets here out alive"). Sugerman was interested in GnR and started writing a book, but, according to Alan Niven, the band was opposed and wanted nothing to do with it. At one point Sugerman had a conversation with Axl (mostly) and Izzy at a bar, and then wrote a story for Spin (which was also a preview for his then forthcoming GnR book) that was published in the November 1990 issue:

http://www.a-4-d.com/t554-1990-11-dd-spin-magazine-bad-to-the-bone-axl

In March 1991, Alan Niven did an interview with the L.A. Times, where he defended the press contract, and mentioned Sugerman's story in Spin as an example of the band's distrust towards the press: 

http://www.a-4-d.com/t2465-1991-03-17-interview-with-alan-niven-in-los-angeles-times

A look at Spin’s feature story on Axl Rose, titled "Axl Comes Clean to Danny Sugerman," offers an intriguing glimpse at the often messy aftershocks of a celebrity profile. According to GNR manager Alan Niven, the piece was “full of inaccuracies and self-serving embellishments.”  [L.A. Times, March 17, 1991]

Sugerman, though, blamed Spin for editing his piece and misquoting both him and Axl:

Danny Sugerman: “I don’t blame Alan for being upset. [...] Spin rushed the story out two months early and they totally misquoted Axl and me. They never showed me a final draft of" the piece, and they didn't make most of the corrections I’d suggested. In fact, they took sentences I’d written and put quotes around them and attributed them to Axl. Ϊ was livid about the whole thing.”  [L.A. Times, March 17, 1991]

L.A. Times asked for Bob Guccione Jr's comment on Sugerman's accusations:

Bob Guccione Jr.: "Actually Danny came in wildly late with his piece. His story was the only story in later than mine. We only made so many changes because the piece wasn’t very well written. We never changed any of Axl’s quotes, not a single one. The only fixes we made were so Danny’s language would be more understandable. Afterwards we discovered that the best part of his story [an account of a police raid on Axl’s apartment] turned out to have been lifted' straight out of a People magazine story. So I had to run an apology in the next issue of Spin saying that we’d run portions of the People story without attributing it to them."  [L.A. Times, March 17, 1991]

Then there was some bickering between Alan Niven and Danny Sugerman. Sugerman fired back at Niven and Guccione Jr. and said that Niven was upset because Axl had spoken to him:

Danny Sugerman: I’m not sure whether being called a liar by Alan Niven and Bob Guccione Jr., two of the sleaziest people in the music business—a business with no dearth of sleaze—is either the biggest insult or the highest compliment I’ve ever received.
Despite such ambivalence, I’m prompted to inform readers that Guns N’ Roses manager Niven is upset because he couldn’t slop me from writing a book on his band and couldn’t stop Axl Rose from speaking with me or, for that matter, stop me from speaking with Axl, whom I found to be infinitely more sensible and intelligent than his manager.
As for Guccione, all I can say is consider the source. We all know to what high moral standards this paragon of virtue aspires.
[L.A. Times, April 7, 1991]

Niven replied, saying that Axl, although displeased with Sugerman's piece in Spin, agreed to read Sugerman's book draft to check for inaccuracies:

Alan Niven: In response to Danny Sugerman’s April 7 letter:
1— Two years ago, Sugerman contacted our (management company] expressing a desire to write a book about Guns N’ Roses. Our clients told us they wanted no part of it. Despite their wishes, Sugerman secured a contract from a publisher. Since our clients preferred to have any such volume compiled under other authorship, we were instructed to tell the publisher and Sugerman that they would be denied any access or endorsement.
2— As for Axl Rose’s meeting with Sugerman, Axl elected to deal with the inevitable. He decided out of responsibility to his following to read the manuscript in order to extinguish the inaccuracies he anticipated after Sugerman’s piece in Spin magazine. What's more, Axl is quite capable of recognizing an exploitative sycophant when he meets one.
3— In regard to Sugerman’s slur, I am prepared to have any aspect of my business investigated by anyone at any time. My firm prides itself on its integrity and ethics, and our reputation is unimpugned. Check with anyone who is actually a part of the business (as opposed to being an opportunistic parasite). 
[L.A. Times, April 7, 1991]

A few months later, after Sugerman's book was released, Axl would confirm that he initially had a problem with the Spin article and Sugerman, but then Sugerman agreed to let him proof read his book and they were "friends now":

Axl: I didn’t really ever do an interview with Danny [Sugerman]. Danny and I are friends now, but I talked to him for 15 minutes in a bar and that story came out in a magazine a few weeks later. [...] [The book] wasn’t authorized, but I proof read it ‘cause I got a copy right before it was about to come out, and I just went back and changed... Danny agreed and worked with me on just changing the facts, [like] if he said “Izzy and Slash” and it was actually Izzy and I. We changed those things. But I didn’t change any of his opinions. It’s a really interesting book and it’s kind of flattering to be, you know, compared, and have, like, this college thesis written about you, and your place in the world, and rock ‘n’ roll, and Greek mythology. But other than that I just wish it would’ve been more fun for people to read. [Rockline, November 27, 1991]

So, since Axl was in good terms with Sugerman and he liked his book, he probably believed Sugerman's accusations against Bob Guccione Jr about the Spin piece and in general. 

(Slash, on the other hand, was furious about Sugerman's book: Then there’s an unauthorised biography by erstwhile Doors hagiographer Danny Sugerman, called Appetite For Destruction: The Days Of Guns N’Roses. “I’m gonna kill that guy,’’ fumes Slash. [The Guardian, September 12, 1991])

--------

Axl also said in 1991 that the rant was Duff's idea and Tom Zutaut endorsed it: 

Axl: "Get In The Ring" was a song that was… basically put together by Slash and Duff and… I came up with the… with the low vocal part. And Slash and I wrote that part together. We wrote different verses. And we wrote a whole song that when the whole band actually had the song together, the words didn't fit the arrangement of the song. And so, we were in Toronto, playing a show in Toronto. And we had one last song to re… to finish recording, that was "Get In The Ring". So, we went in the studio and just kind of started putting things together. And then Duffdecided that I should express my feelings about how we've been treated by the press, because that was his initial concept for the song, and that I should just go for it. And I was kind of like: "Are you sure? You sure I should do this?". And then Tom Zutaut, of Geffen, was there and he was like: "Go for it." So I got behind the mike and went for it. And everybody was really happy and we just decided to do it. [WNEW, September 9, 1991]

He repeated that on Eddie Trunk in 2011 and also implied that it had to do with record label politics (favouring Rolling Stone over Spin) which he had no idea of at the time. 

Great stuff Blackstar, per usual. 

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Posted (edited)

Some more quotes after Get in the Ring was released:

Bob Guccione Jr.: “I have just heard your song Get in the Ring and I want you to know I heartily accept the challenge and thank you for the invitation. Let’s do it, I say, at your earliest convenience. By the way, I mentioned in the press that I’d be only too happy to oblige you. I take the fact that there has been absolutely no response from you to indicate how busy you must be. I mean, what with canceling concerts, starting riots and beating up paying fans trying to take pictures of you, what a schedule you’ve had! I sympathize. So I just wanted to let you know, directly, that as soon as you're ready I am too. Perhaps until then, you shouldn’t sing that song. At least not too loudly, eh?" [Indianapolis News, October 3, 1991]

Bob Guccione Jr.: I don’t think Axl Rose sits at home and wonders how he can make himself look more of a bad boy. I think he’s just a bad person. [A Current Affair, November 7, 1991]

Axl replied to Guccione's challenge, admitting also that he had "hit him below the belt":

Axl: [...] I did hit [Bob Guccione Jr.] below the belt with my comments. [...] And, you know, that’s a problem of mine, but he wouldn’t let up. But this Get in the Ring thing isn’t necessarily literal about getting in the ring with boxing gloves, you know. Otherwise I would be a boxer. [...] But to get in the ring, I feel you need integrity, you know, and that disqualifies Bob right off the bat. I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot from him and he’s made certain actions that I know about and he doesn’t know I know, and there’s other problems. But the guy should just, like, shut up and write about rock ‘n’ roll, you know, and forget about Axl Rose and just... If he’s got a problem with Axl ,he could do something else. I just want him to shut up and print the truth. You know, he’s printed a lot of lies and a lot of things I said that I didn’t say and it pretty much makes me sick. And it creates problems that I have to work with in my life. [*] But we’re doing alright and Bob seems to be the one who’s really upset, so it’s cool. [Rockline, November 27, 1991]

[*] Axl maybe is referring to the "Guns N' Neuroses" article - that was released at the same time as the Illusions, though, so Get In The Ring didn't stem from it.

He also said that he intended to sue the magazines:

Axl: Now there’s a lot of people - kids, adults and otherwise, other bands – that don’t understand why we did a song like Get in the Ring. I’ll tell you a little bit about that song. I think that I hit Mr. Bob Guccione a little bit too hard below the belt. He’s proven the reality of that by the way he’s acting. Cuz there’s a lot of these magazines that... The real reason that they say shit and they won’t back down and stuff, [is] cuz they don’t want to lose face with people that buy their magazine. Because it’s all about giving their Mafia boss distributors your money. It ain’t about rock ‘n’ roll. It ain’t about what bands they like and what they don’t like. It ain’t about what’s true or what’s false. It’s about how much money some fuckin’ greedo in his suit telling fuckin’ people (?). And how much money they get from you. And we’ve got a little something to announce. You know, we gave them their chance to get in the ring. Then we’ve got Bob going, “Guess who put on their boxing gloves and it’ll be pay-per-view.  What is Don King. It’s gonna be amazing.” Wrong. If it was about boxing, you’d see me in (?) hanging. There’s two things you need to get in the ring. That’s integrity, and there’s something you earn and that’s called respect. Now Bob, and Vince, and Circus, and Kerrang, they don’t have either of those two things. If they really wanted to get in the ring, they’d sue my fuckin’ white ass. But they’ve been notified now that we gave them their chance. We gave them a chance to be cool, we would have pulled the song off the record. But no, they just had to keep starting shit. So now we’re suing them! This started just about two days ago. It started on a flight here to Boston when we made the decision. Because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a Double Talkin’ Jive Motherfucker!  [Onstage in Worcester, MA, USA, December 5, 1991]

And that someone of those called out in Get In The Ring had paid a hitman to kill him:

Axl: [...] And so there’s a lot of people that say, “Oh, Axl Rose has wimped out and didn’t want to get in the ring.” Honey, I won’t put on no boxing gloves, I’ll have you shot in the fucking head. Then again, I’ve got such a big mouth. You might not know this, but, you know, there was some people out there who got really upset about Get in the Ring, so they hired some people to shoot me and it didn’t work in L.A. That’s a real pussy approach, I think. If you wanna get in the ring with me, you bring two things: you bring some integrity and you bring some respect. And Bob Guccione and Circus Magazine, you don’t fucking have any. Now these people have been starting shit for about three years. I haven’t done an interview with Circus Magazine for three fucking years. I mean, a lot of money’s been made off shit I never said. I mean, there’s a lot of people that’ve been ripped off for shit I never said, because of the bunch of assholes who want to make money off of you, motherfuckers, by using us. So we got pissed off and we put a little song on the record about it. Now, doing that song live is about the same as doing One in a Million live. There’s really no need for it. It’s a little bit of a hit below the belt, it’s been done, it’s been said, it’s over with. But these people wanna just keep starting shit. So we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is. We’re going to court. You wanna get in the ring? We’ll get in the ring. We’ll sue your motherfucking ass. Let’s go. We dedicate this to Get in the Ring part 2, and the action starts. This is called “Double Talkin’ Jive, motherfucker”. [Onstage at Madison Square Garden, NY, USA, December 5, 1991]

Now Bob says that he was told by John Cougar Mellencamp that Axl wanted to kill him. Mellencamp is from Indiana, but I haven't read anything about him and Axl being friends or talking.

Edited by Blackstar
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11 hours ago, Blackstar said:

Some more quotes after Get in the Ring was released:

Bob Guccione Jr.: “I have just heard your song Get in the Ring and I want you to know I heartily accept the challenge and thank you for the invitation. Let’s do it, I say, at your earliest convenience. By the way, I mentioned in the press that I’d be only too happy to oblige you. I take the fact that there has been absolutely no response from you to indicate how busy you must be. I mean, what with canceling concerts, starting riots and beating up paying fans trying to take pictures of you, what a schedule you’ve had! I sympathize. So I just wanted to let you know, directly, that as soon as you're ready I am too. Perhaps until then, you shouldn’t sing that song. At least not too loudly, eh?" [Indianapolis News, October 3, 1991]

Bob Guccione Jr.: I don’t think Axl Rose sits at home and wonders how he can make himself look more of a bad boy. I think he’s just a bad person. [A Current Affair, November 7, 1991]

Axl replied to Guccione's challenge, admitting also that he had "hit him below the belt":

Axl: [...] I did hit [Bob Guccione Jr.] below the belt with my comments. [...] And, you know, that’s a problem of mine, but he wouldn’t let up. But this Get in the Ring thing isn’t necessarily literal about getting in the ring with boxing gloves, you know. Otherwise I would be a boxer. [...] But to get in the ring, I feel you need integrity, you know, and that disqualifies Bob right off the bat. I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot from him and he’s made certain actions that I know about and he doesn’t know I know, and there’s other problems. But the guy should just, like, shut up and write about rock ‘n’ roll, you know, and forget about Axl Rose and just... If he’s got a problem with Axl ,he could do something else. I just want him to shut up and print the truth. You know, he’s printed a lot of lies and a lot of things I said that I didn’t say and it pretty much makes me sick. [*] And it creates problems that I have to work with in my life. But we’re doing alright and Bob seems to be the one who’s really upset, so it’s cool. [Rockline, November 27, 1991]

[*] Axl probably means the "Guns N' Neuroses" article - that was released at the same time as the Illusions, though, so Get In The Ring didn't stem from it.

He also said that he intended to sue the magazines:

Axl: Now there’s a lot of people - kids, adults and otherwise, other bands – that don’t understand why we did a song like Get in the Ring. I’ll tell you a little bit about that song. I think that I hit Mr. Bob Guccione a little bit too hard below the belt. He’s proven the reality of that by the way he’s acting. Cuz there’s a lot of these magazines that... The real reason that they say shit and they won’t back down and stuff, [is] cuz they don’t want to lose face with people that buy their magazine. Because it’s all about giving their Mafia boss distributors your money. It ain’t about rock ‘n’ roll. It ain’t about what bands they like and what they don’t like. It ain’t about what’s true or what’s false. It’s about how much money some fuckin’ greedo in his suit telling fuckin’ people (?). And how much money they get from you. And we’ve got a little something to announce. You know, we gave them their chance to get in the ring. Then we’ve got Bob going, “Guess who put on their boxing gloves and it’ll be pay-per-view.  What is Don King. It’s gonna be amazing.” Wrong. If it was about boxing, you’d see me in (?) hanging. There’s two things you need to get in the ring. That’s integrity, and there’s something you earn and that’s called respect. Now Bob, and Vince, and Circus, and Kerrang, they don’t have either of those two things. If they really wanted to get in the ring, they’d sue my fuckin’ white ass. But they’ve been notified now that we gave them their chance. We gave them a chance to be cool, we would have pulled the song off the record. But no, they just had to keep starting shit. So now we’re suing them! This started just about two days ago. It started on a flight here to Boston when we made the decision. Because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a Double Talkin’ Jive Motherfucker!  [Onstage in Worcester, MA, USA, December 5, 1991]

And that someone of those called out in Get In The Ring had paid a hitman to kill him:

Axl: [...] And so there’s a lot of people that say, “Oh, Axl Rose has wimped out and didn’t want to get in the ring.” Honey, I won’t put on no boxing gloves, I’ll have you shot in the fucking head. Then again, I’ve got such a big mouth. You might not know this, but, you know, there was some people out there who got really upset about Get in the Ring, so they hired some people to shoot me and it didn’t work in L.A. That’s a real pussy approach, I think. If you wanna get in the ring with me, you bring two things: you bring some integrity and you bring some respect. And Bob Guccione and Circus Magazine, you don’t fucking have any. Now these people have been starting shit for about three years. I haven’t done an interview with Circus Magazine for three fucking years. I mean, a lot of money’s been made off shit I never said. I mean, there’s a lot of people that’ve been ripped off for shit I never said, because of the bunch of assholes who want to make money off of you, motherfuckers, by using us. So we got pissed off and we put a little song on the record about it. Now, doing that song live is about the same as doing One in a Million live. There’s really no need for it. It’s a little bit of a hit below the belt, it’s been done, it’s been said, it’s over with. But these people wanna just keep starting shit. So we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is. We’re going to court. You wanna get in the ring? We’ll get in the ring. We’ll sue your motherfucking ass. Let’s go. We dedicate this to Get in the Ring part 2, and the action starts. This is called “Double Talkin’ Jive, motherfucker”. [Onstage at Madison Square Garden, NY, USA, December 5, 1991]

Now Bob says that he was told by John Cougar Mellencamp that Axl wanted to kill him. Mellencamp is from Indiana, but I haven't read anything about him and Axl being friends or talking.

Smart Axl's respost.

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On 3/23/2019 at 9:43 PM, Blackstar said:

Some more quotes after Get in the Ring was released:

Bob Guccione Jr.: “I have just heard your song Get in the Ring and I want you to know I heartily accept the challenge and thank you for the invitation. Let’s do it, I say, at your earliest convenience. By the way, I mentioned in the press that I’d be only too happy to oblige you. I take the fact that there has been absolutely no response from you to indicate how busy you must be. I mean, what with canceling concerts, starting riots and beating up paying fans trying to take pictures of you, what a schedule you’ve had! I sympathize. So I just wanted to let you know, directly, that as soon as you're ready I am too. Perhaps until then, you shouldn’t sing that song. At least not too loudly, eh?" [Indianapolis News, October 3, 1991]

Bob Guccione Jr.: I don’t think Axl Rose sits at home and wonders how he can make himself look more of a bad boy. I think he’s just a bad person. [A Current Affair, November 7, 1991]

Axl replied to Guccione's challenge, admitting also that he had "hit him below the belt":

Axl: [...] I did hit [Bob Guccione Jr.] below the belt with my comments. [...] And, you know, that’s a problem of mine, but he wouldn’t let up. But this Get in the Ring thing isn’t necessarily literal about getting in the ring with boxing gloves, you know. Otherwise I would be a boxer. [...] But to get in the ring, I feel you need integrity, you know, and that disqualifies Bob right off the bat. I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot from him and he’s made certain actions that I know about and he doesn’t know I know, and there’s other problems. But the guy should just, like, shut up and write about rock ‘n’ roll, you know, and forget about Axl Rose and just... If he’s got a problem with Axl ,he could do something else. I just want him to shut up and print the truth. You know, he’s printed a lot of lies and a lot of things I said that I didn’t say and it pretty much makes me sick. And it creates problems that I have to work with in my life. [*] But we’re doing alright and Bob seems to be the one who’s really upset, so it’s cool. [Rockline, November 27, 1991]

[*] Axl maybe is referring to the "Guns N' Neuroses" article - that was released at the same time as the Illusions, though, so Get In The Ring didn't stem from it.

He also said that he intended to sue the magazines:

Axl: Now there’s a lot of people - kids, adults and otherwise, other bands – that don’t understand why we did a song like Get in the Ring. I’ll tell you a little bit about that song. I think that I hit Mr. Bob Guccione a little bit too hard below the belt. He’s proven the reality of that by the way he’s acting. Cuz there’s a lot of these magazines that... The real reason that they say shit and they won’t back down and stuff, [is] cuz they don’t want to lose face with people that buy their magazine. Because it’s all about giving their Mafia boss distributors your money. It ain’t about rock ‘n’ roll. It ain’t about what bands they like and what they don’t like. It ain’t about what’s true or what’s false. It’s about how much money some fuckin’ greedo in his suit telling fuckin’ people (?). And how much money they get from you. And we’ve got a little something to announce. You know, we gave them their chance to get in the ring. Then we’ve got Bob going, “Guess who put on their boxing gloves and it’ll be pay-per-view.  What is Don King. It’s gonna be amazing.” Wrong. If it was about boxing, you’d see me in (?) hanging. There’s two things you need to get in the ring. That’s integrity, and there’s something you earn and that’s called respect. Now Bob, and Vince, and Circus, and Kerrang, they don’t have either of those two things. If they really wanted to get in the ring, they’d sue my fuckin’ white ass. But they’ve been notified now that we gave them their chance. We gave them a chance to be cool, we would have pulled the song off the record. But no, they just had to keep starting shit. So now we’re suing them! This started just about two days ago. It started on a flight here to Boston when we made the decision. Because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a Double Talkin’ Jive Motherfucker!  [Onstage in Worcester, MA, USA, December 5, 1991]

And that someone of those called out in Get In The Ring had paid a hitman to kill him:

Axl: [...] And so there’s a lot of people that say, “Oh, Axl Rose has wimped out and didn’t want to get in the ring.” Honey, I won’t put on no boxing gloves, I’ll have you shot in the fucking head. Then again, I’ve got such a big mouth. You might not know this, but, you know, there was some people out there who got really upset about Get in the Ring, so they hired some people to shoot me and it didn’t work in L.A. That’s a real pussy approach, I think. If you wanna get in the ring with me, you bring two things: you bring some integrity and you bring some respect. And Bob Guccione and Circus Magazine, you don’t fucking have any. Now these people have been starting shit for about three years. I haven’t done an interview with Circus Magazine for three fucking years. I mean, a lot of money’s been made off shit I never said. I mean, there’s a lot of people that’ve been ripped off for shit I never said, because of the bunch of assholes who want to make money off of you, motherfuckers, by using us. So we got pissed off and we put a little song on the record about it. Now, doing that song live is about the same as doing One in a Million live. There’s really no need for it. It’s a little bit of a hit below the belt, it’s been done, it’s been said, it’s over with. But these people wanna just keep starting shit. So we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is. We’re going to court. You wanna get in the ring? We’ll get in the ring. We’ll sue your motherfucking ass. Let’s go. We dedicate this to Get in the Ring part 2, and the action starts. This is called “Double Talkin’ Jive, motherfucker”. [Onstage at Madison Square Garden, NY, USA, December 5, 1991]

Now Bob says that he was told by John Cougar Mellencamp that Axl wanted to kill him. Mellencamp is from Indiana, but I haven't read anything about him and Axl being friends or talking.

Probably when GNR played Farm Aid but musicians are funny as far as who they keep in touch with. Fermanager knows. 

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Izzy has played on some Mellencamp records so I guess they know each other in some way.

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