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Axl Rose is not a hasbeen and here's why...


Towelie

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It always makes me laugh when people call Axl a "hasbeen" and other such derogatory insults. To me, the definition of a hasbeen is someone who continues in their chosen field despite continually waning popularity and relevance (Sebastian Bach, Motley Crue, Def Leopard etc). These are people who continue to make new music but the sale figures are poor and they regularly tour but the venues are increasingly remote.

Okay, GNR is no longer a stadium band, but Axl still performs in respectable world-class arenas the world over! How many other so-called "hasbeens" can play venues like the London o2 Arena on consecutive nights??

The key difference between Axl's GNR and many other 80s rock acts in 2012 is that he CHOSE to take a hiatus from 94-2000 and he CHOSE to only release one album in the last 20 years. Frustrating as that is, he is the one calling the shots and the truth is, he has thousands of people in the palm of his hand waiting on his next move.

Granted, Chinese Democracy didn't set the world on fire like AFD or UYI, but who these days is selling those kind of figures?? The days of epic million-dollar music videos and albums selling 10-20 million+ ended long before 2008, so to place these kind of expectations on Axl's GNR is hugely unfair. The reality is, if Axl dropped a new album next month, it would almost certainly enter the top 5 on Billboard which is not something many "hasbeens" could achieve.

Edited by Towelie
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How big of venues do you think Axl would be playing if he went under his own name instead of the GNR name? I find the whole situation to be really sad. He could have had an Ozzy type solo career under his own name if he was able to release albums on a consistent basis. Keeping the name wasn't worth it from an artistic sense.

Edited by Randy Lahey
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How big of venues do you think Axl would be playing if he went under his own name instead of the GNR name? I find the whole situation to be really sad. He could have had an Ozzy type solo career under his own name if he was able to release albums on a consistent basis. Keeping the name wasn't worth it from an artistic sense.

exactly. axl's goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses, he miserably failed. the only thing he's been able to build is a karaoke band to cover old songs.

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exactly. axl's goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses, he miserably failed. the only thing he's been able to build is a karaoke band to cover old songs.

I disagree. How exactly did he fail? They released a new album which I think is pretty awesome. They put on a hell of show, playing and selling out stadiums all over the world. Doesn't sound like someone who failed miserably to me.

As for the karaoke argument, yes they are playing a bunch of their older hits. Most artists do put their greatest most popular hits in the set, no matter how old they are. They play what the fans want to hear, including a bunch of songs from their latest album. Metallica is still playing 'Enter Sandman' during their set today. Red Hot Chili Peppers is still playing 'Give it away' and 'Under the Bridge' during their set today (they've also changed members).

Today's Guns N Roses isn't a new band anymore. Dizzy has been in the band for 22 years. Tommy and Pitman for 14 years. Fortus for 10 years.

They still get a lot of media attention when they come to town. Look at the high demand for the London O2 Recordings.

Miserably failed karaoke band? I don't think so :shrugs:

Edited by Jeez
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Might as well put this here too.

He failed to keep "GNR" relevant through continuation, and new material. He has the legacy and the name attached to him, and continues to play it safe through the ridiculous emphasis he still relies for the old material to put asses in the seats. Not to mention it's much easier replacing an instrumental aspect for the sake of nostalgia than it is a vocal aspect. Living in yesteryear is what keeps him putting asses in the seats, not anything he's done since Slash and co booked. Fact. If Axl were to follow VR's or Slash's lead, and have his heyday GNR stuff make up the minority of his set list, it'd be interesting to see how the tables would turn, and what venues he'd be playing then. So in that aspect, as a hardcore, I can see why he's looked so down upon.

He's essentially an nostalgic act now, and a declining one (vocally) at that. Nothing more. Not trying to hate, just calling it how it is.

Edited by Bobbo
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So let's say the original lineup were still together. Don't you think the exact same UYI and AFD songs would be in the set as it is today? I doubt the setlist would look a whole lot different - and you would still be able to use the exact same argument as above.

Edited by Jeez
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So let's say the original lineup were still together. Don't you think the exact same UYI and AFD songs would be in the set as it is today? I doubt the setlist would look a whole lot different - and you would still be able to use the exact same argument as above.

Depends if the situation were the same in terms of how they went about recording the next album. Gotta figure that a lot of the time that it took to take Chinese Democracy off the ground was due to lawsuits and shit with the old guys, and continuing Guns N' Roses without any of the other people that helped Axl define what Guns N' Roses is to the majority of the public. So there's a lot of things you gotta factor. But even if it was, it'd be more accepted all around, especially because at least it'd be with the people who were actually the methods to the madness. Not just a glorified cover band cashing in on another band's success.

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How big of venues do you think Axl would be playing if he went under his own name instead of the GNR name? I find the whole situation to be really sad. He could have had an Ozzy type solo career under his own name if he was able to release albums on a consistent basis. Keeping the name wasn't worth it from an artistic sense.

exactly. axl's goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses, he miserably failed. the only thing he's been able to build is a karaoke band to cover old songs.

Exactly, I couldn't agree more. It's really sad how he ruined the legacy, fame and reputation of what once was the biggest band in the world. A respected band that he almost single-handedly made into the biggest joke in the business.

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How big of venues do you think Axl would be playing if he went under his own name instead of the GNR name? I find the whole situation to be really sad. He could have had an Ozzy type solo career under his own name if he was able to release albums on a consistent basis. Keeping the name wasn't worth it from an artistic sense.

exactly. axl's goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses, he miserably failed. the only thing he's been able to build is a karaoke band to cover old songs.

Exactly, I couldn't agree more. It's really sad how he ruined the legacy, fame and reputation of what once was the biggest band in the world. A respected band that he almost single-handedly made into the biggest joke in the business.

Saying that "axl's (sic) goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses" is pure conjecture. I believe that in Axl's mind there was a GN'R before Slash and he sees GN'R existing without him. Axl formed GN'R with Tracii and Izzy, they bailed, and it's Axl's band. He can tour and record with whomever he wants.

He took his sweet time releasing an album that he wanted to make and even four years later he stands by it by playing several of the songs live. He has a killer band, a strong legacy and a fanbase that still wants to see him live. I don't see that as "failing miserably."

If you don't like Chinese Democracy, that's fine. People are entitled to their opinion. But to say that he is a failure because he isn't living up to your standards really isn't fair. No wonder Axl doesn't like to come here, he has the worst "fans" in the world.

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and continues to play it safe through the ridiculous emphasis he still relies for the old material to put asses in the seats.

Relying on classic Guns N' Roses songs when playing Guns N' Roses concerts to an audience who mainly want to hear the classic material -- while still playing 5-8 songs from the most recent album! -- is not a "ridiculous emphasis on old material", it is giving the audience what they want while still showcasing the new songs and overall giving a kick-ass show few in the industry can match. I am sorry this is beyond you, but, to be honest, I think you are aware of this and just post crap to rile up people. Sad, really.

Saying that "axl's (sic) goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses" is pure conjecture. I believe that in Axl's mind there was a GN'R before Slash and he sees GN'R existing without him. Axl formed GN'R with Tracii and Izzy, they bailed, and it's Axl's band. He can tour and record with whomever he wants.

He took his sweet time releasing an album that he wanted to make and even four years later he stands by it by playing several of the songs live. He has a killer band, a strong legacy and a fanbase that still wants to see him live. I don't see that as "failing miserably."

If you don't like Chinese Democracy, that's fine. People are entitled to their opinion. But to say that he is a failure because he isn't living up to your standards really isn't fair. No wonder Axl doesn't like to come here, he has the worst "fans" in the world.

Brilliant, just brilliant. Thank you.

I never really respected Axl much at the beginning of his career, but the way he stubbornly refuses to cave in to what others want but instead insists on playing the game his way, is pretty admirable. He does what he wants, regardless of what others think and the amount of flak he receives as a result, and that requires quite a lot of integrity which I must respect.

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To the original poster, Def Leppard and Motley Crue are as big of a draw or bigger then Guns so I'm not sure why they were used In your example. As a matter of fact aren't Guns following In Motley Crues footsteps with the whole Vegas residency thing.

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To the original poster, Def Leppard and Motley Crue are as big of a draw or bigger then Guns so I'm not sure why they were used In your example. As a matter of fact aren't Guns following In Motley Crues footsteps with the whole Vegas residency thing.

A comparison of Def's, Motley's and Gun's last album sales figures, show how very little you know.

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To the original poster, Def Leppard and Motley Crue are as big of a draw or bigger then Guns so I'm not sure why they were used In your example. As a matter of fact aren't Guns following In Motley Crues footsteps with the whole Vegas residency thing.

Motley Crue and Def Leopard have to tour with other 80s bands as a nostalgia package to play the same kind of venues GNR play.

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It's not about how big nuGNR are, Axl has failed to establish the band as an entity in its own right. If they were a smaller act, but had a clearly defined identity and an actual body of work, there'd have more legitimacy and it would be a greater achievement. Having a large fanbase is a result of past successes and the GNR name, not because this incarnation has built its own resumé that holds up to the stature of GNR, and justifies the time and money that's been spent.

If it were a solo project it'd matter less, but Axl is trying to sell this as a band.

And I don't believe for one minute that he intended to release one album in twenty years.

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He didn't choose to take a hiatus or put one album out. It just panned out that way.

Epic videos are still being made, but when GNR were at the top, they were a household name, a mainstream band, and competing with what was on the radio at the time. Axl's not competing with anything except his past.

A lot of artists that have been around for a while eventually dip in sales, unless there's some sort of comeback, but comebacks and reunions don't guarantee record sales.

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I don't think Axl came up with the band name.

could have been Izzy.or a combination of ole and tracii.

to be sure Axl came up w name is ignorant.

we weren't there.

You'd be wise to not inform us about what you "think".

Tracii: In the beginning Izzy [stradlin] lived at my house, years ago. And he had Hollywood Rose with Axl [Rose] - that was their band. I never played in Hollywood Rose. And I had my highschool band and I was really looking for a cool name and I loved Hollywood Rose. And I had a girlfriend that had been calling me Mr Guns. One day me and Izzy were sitting in the living room of my house and I said 'L.A. Guns' and I made this Cheap Trick looking logo on a blank album cover, and I show it to Izzy and go 'What do you think of this for a band name?'. And he goes, 'That's great.' So that's been my band name ever since. So anyways, we had a little manager guy at the time and he hated our singer Mike Jagosz, so we fired him. So then I asked Axl to join L.A. Guns and he was in the band for about six, seven months, and then the same manager ended up hating Axl and he wanted to fire him. We're all living together at this point and Axl and I sat down and went 'What are we going to do?' So we both said 'Fuck that', and came up with the name Guns N' Roses which was going to be just a record label that we'd put singles out on.

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So let's say the original lineup were still together. Don't you think the exact same UYI and AFD songs would be in the set as it is today? I doubt the setlist would look a whole lot different - and you would still be able to use the exact same argument as above.

are you joking? The difference would be that those 'hits" would have been made by the people on stage playing them. As stated above, when the core band broke up, Axl just should have gone solo. he could have still palyed all the hits. All the examples above of other bands, still have MOST of the band together. The UYI band had a different drummer and some new members, but the core was still there. For years, we have heard axl say that he wanted to take the band in a new direction. Well? So far, the "new direction" was releasing an album that too WAY to long to release, sold pretty well, but was not really accepted by the general public, had no hit song on the radio, and endless touring of every place on earth playing old songs with new guys. Love him or not, you have to admit it, things did not really go as he sold it. You cant say they play most of "their" hits, because those hits have nothing to do with any of them. I know one thing, if there ever was a reunion, they wouldnt have to play one new song, and it would do better than any tour this new band has been on. So is he a has been? HELL NO! their will always be interest in him for what he was part of in the past. But honestly comparing what gnr was and what they are today? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Edited by fabrph5
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exactly. axl's goal was to take a revenge on slash by proving that he could build a new guns n'roses, he miserably failed. the only thing he's been able to build is a karaoke band to cover old songs.

I disagree. How exactly did he fail? They released a new album which I think is pretty awesome. They put on a hell of show, playing and selling out stadiums all over the world. Doesn't sound like someone who failed miserably to me.

As for the karaoke argument, yes they are playing a bunch of their older hits. Most artists do put their greatest most popular hits in the set, no matter how old they are. They play what the fans want to hear, including a bunch of songs from their latest album. Metallica is still playing 'Enter Sandman' during their set today. Red Hot Chili Peppers is still playing 'Give it away' and 'Under the Bridge' during their set today (they've also changed members).

Today's Guns N Roses isn't a new band anymore. Dizzy has been in the band for 22 years. Tommy and Pitman for 14 years. Fortus for 10 years.

They still get a lot of media attention when they come to town. Look at the high demand for the London O2 Recordings.

Miserably failed karaoke band? I don't think so :shrugs:

Today's Guns N' Roses will be a footnote in the book of rock & roll. No one will remember GnR post-Slash, Duff and company. And I'm a fan of Axl's "new" work. But let's be honest. He's living off the name. That's what sells tickets.

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I don't think Axl came up with the band name.

could have been Izzy.or a combination of ole and tracii.

to be sure Axl came up w name is ignorant.

we weren't there.

You'd be wise to not inform us about what you "think".

Tracii: In the beginning Izzy [stradlin] lived at my house, years ago. And he had Hollywood Rose with Axl [Rose] - that was their band. I never played in Hollywood Rose. And I had my highschool band and I was really looking for a cool name and I loved Hollywood Rose. And I had a girlfriend that had been calling me Mr Guns. One day me and Izzy were sitting in the living room of my house and I said 'L.A. Guns' and I made this Cheap Trick looking logo on a blank album cover, and I show it to Izzy and go 'What do you think of this for a band name?'. And he goes, 'That's great.' So that's been my band name ever since. So anyways, we had a little manager guy at the time and he hated our singer Mike Jagosz, so we fired him. So then I asked Axl to join L.A. Guns and he was in the band for about six, seven months, and then the same manager ended up hating Axl and he wanted to fire him. We're all living together at this point and Axl and I sat down and went 'What are we going to do?' So we both said 'Fuck that', and came up with the name Guns N' Roses which was going to be just a record label that we'd put singles out on.

this is interesting.what's the source for this interview?

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I don't think Axl came up with the band name.

could have been Izzy.or a combination of ole and tracii.

to be sure Axl came up w name is ignorant.

we weren't there.

You'd be wise to not inform us about what you "think".

Tracii: In the beginning Izzy [stradlin] lived at my house, years ago. And he had Hollywood Rose with Axl [Rose] - that was their band. I never played in Hollywood Rose. And I had my highschool band and I was really looking for a cool name and I loved Hollywood Rose. And I had a girlfriend that had been calling me Mr Guns. One day me and Izzy were sitting in the living room of my house and I said 'L.A. Guns' and I made this Cheap Trick looking logo on a blank album cover, and I show it to Izzy and go 'What do you think of this for a band name?'. And he goes, 'That's great.' So that's been my band name ever since. So anyways, we had a little manager guy at the time and he hated our singer Mike Jagosz, so we fired him. So then I asked Axl to join L.A. Guns and he was in the band for about six, seven months, and then the same manager ended up hating Axl and he wanted to fire him. We're all living together at this point and Axl and I sat down and went 'What are we going to do?' So we both said 'Fuck that', and came up with the name Guns N' Roses which was going to be just a record label that we'd put singles out on.

That's cool. I'd love to hear some Axl-era LA Guns demos. They released one with Mike Jagosz and it wasn't very good.

Their new album, Hollywood Forever (which Tracii doesn't play on) is really good and I'd recommend for anyone who likes 80s sleaze-metal. I like it better than the new Slash.

Edited by RichardNixon
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I don't think Axl came up with the band name.

could have been Izzy.or a combination of ole and tracii.

to be sure Axl came up w name is ignorant.

we weren't there.

You'd be wise to not inform us about what you "think".

Tracii: In the beginning Izzy [stradlin] lived at my house, years ago. And he had Hollywood Rose with Axl [Rose] - that was their band. I never played in Hollywood Rose. And I had my highschool band and I was really looking for a cool name and I loved Hollywood Rose. And I had a girlfriend that had been calling me Mr Guns. One day me and Izzy were sitting in the living room of my house and I said 'L.A. Guns' and I made this Cheap Trick looking logo on a blank album cover, and I show it to Izzy and go 'What do you think of this for a band name?'. And he goes, 'That's great.' So that's been my band name ever since. So anyways, we had a little manager guy at the time and he hated our singer Mike Jagosz, so we fired him. So then I asked Axl to join L.A. Guns and he was in the band for about six, seven months, and then the same manager ended up hating Axl and he wanted to fire him. We're all living together at this point and Axl and I sat down and went 'What are we going to do?' So we both said 'Fuck that', and came up with the name Guns N' Roses which was going to be just a record label that we'd put singles out on.

this is interesting.what's the source for this interview?

Sorry, I forgot the source: http://thequietus.com/articles/04450-dr-rock-tracii-guns-interview-la-guns-nikki-sixx-poison-guns-n-roses

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