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Old GN'R = the perfect rock band.


Vincent Vega

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As we all know, Old GN'R was a musical soup of varied and very different influences. I think this mixture resulted in literally THE perfect rock band. GN'R had all the musicianship, precision, and excellence of Led Zeppelin, with all the grit, dirt, and attitude of the early '70s Rolling Stones and early Punk; The grandeur (yet not to the point of pretension or utter excess) of '70s Queen, Pink Floyd, Rush and early Elton John, with flavors of Funk in the mix, and a great deal of the bluesy, down to Earth, American spirit of Aerosmith all around. With a tiny bit of that Glam/Sleaze Rock thing of the '80s.

Their vast array of influences allowed them to traverse a wide valley of musical genres and subgenres in just the short 4 year span from 1987-1991.

In that time, they played, with skill, classic rock, heavy metal, punk rock, thrash metal, acoustic soft rock, country rock, progressive rock and ballads, pop rock, and even an experimentation with industrial. That's a wide variety of music to play over just 3 1/2 albums in 4 years.

Hell, visually, in terms of attire and appearance, you had Axl, who was just the perfect frontman; Slash, who was basically a perfect combination of Joe Perry, Mick Taylor and Jimmy Page in appearance; Izzy, who had that Keith Richards-bluesy sort of guy look down flat; Duff, a true Punker, a Sid Vicious devotee, Steven and Matt basically just looking like '80s Hair Band drummers, and Dizzy with his bluesy Honky Tonk Piano player look.

It's this perfect mixture that really set GN'R far above the other rock bands of the late 80s and early '90s and make them really an ideal rock band. If they had come and done what they did even just a decade earlier, they'd be even more beloved. I think GN'R arrived a little too late to the scene. They certainly had a lot more to offer and were more musically inspired and more willing to take risks than the Grungers.

Edited by Vincent Vega
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Their imperfection made them perfect. Cause there was a lot wrong with them from the start.

I agree. It was that imperfection that set them apart. Zeppelin were better musicians, The Stones better songwriters, but GNR had just enough of both with a mix of The Stooges to be a great amalgamation of classic rock. We'll never see that again.

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I know it's been debated to death, but I'll never understand why conversations about the band that gave the current guys the weight they carry today have to be separate from this section.

I've seen all the counter arguments, and still think it does nothing more but tighten the dividing line of users on here. Doesn't do the nu guys any favors in terms of looking at them as the real deal Guns N' Roses and not be even be allowed to converse about, say, The UYIs in this section. I don't know, one logical flaw about this forum I'll simply never understand.

How would you say the current band fits this description, or how does it differ?

They're pretty good at covering, but it's difficult, no fuck that, impossible emulating what made the old band what they were in the studio.

They were truly one of a kind, and the way they fed off each other was unmatched.

Edited by Bobbo
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Yeah they were sloppy but also sloppy serious. These guys were all in their 20s and could play the fuck out of their instruments. Add to that the perfect mix of musical influences and Axl singing like no one before or since and you have a volatile combination.

And yeah the people that care to frequent this website dedicated to GNR should be allowed to discuss the band past and present here in the main section.

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Watching the old videos of the original line up, you can sense there was that special chemistry between them. They had been through it all and it showed in their music, it was genuine and honest. During the UYI tour, you can see that that chemistry had diminished when the shows got more elaborate and less authentic.

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They were great!

I dunno even if they had stayed together it would've been the same though. The chemistry would be gone with the way they treated each other. They were famous and rich. Slash and duff were doing too much drugs axl was overdoing the crazy asshole rockstar thing Izzy was already gone. They probably would either die or become miserable cunts.

Still would be really interesting to see.

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It was all about energy. It just poured out of them and that's what RnR is about. Who cares if they're a bit off key or off beat? It just doesn't matter. It's the energy that matters.

I think Axl had a prescence on stage and his amazing voice that made it hard not to be drawn to him, male or female.

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And now for a little bragging.....

Saw the AFD band 4X live...1987 Ritz, 1987 L"Amour and twice opening for Aerosmith in 1988 and there was no band then or since that could equal the energy and excitement of those shows, except maybe the 1969-73 Stones........the raw power and energy they put into the shows back then cannot be described in words.....

I also saw them 3X on the UYI tours and, while the shows were good, IMHO they were already starting to lose the mojo that had made them so amazing back in 1987 to me...the stage show had become bloated and predicatable for me....the band from 85-88 was as close to a perfect RnR band as you could get........

Edited by classicrawker
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And now for a little bragging.....

Saw the AFD band 4X live...1987 Ritz, 1987 L"Amour and twice opening for Aerosmith in 1988 and there was no band then or since that could equal the energy and excitement of those shows, except maybe the 1969-73 Stones........the raw power and energy they put into the shows back then cannot be described in words.....

I also saw them 3X on the UYI tours and, while the shows were good, IMHO they were already starting to lose the mojo that had made them so amazing back in 1987 to me...the stage show had become bloated and predicatable for me....the band from 85-88 was as close to a perfect RnR band as you could get........

I envy you. :) *sigh* Living in Europe made it impossible for me to just hop over to go see Guns at the Ritz. But I did see some fucking great shows in the 90s which I'm very happy about.

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As we all know, Old GN'R was a musical soup of varied and very different influences. I think this mixture resulted in literally THE perfect rock band. GN'R had all the musicianship, precision, and excellence of Led Zeppelin, with all the grit, dirt, and attitude of the early '70s Rolling Stones and early Punk; The grandeur (yet not to the point of pretension or utter excess) of '70s Queen, Pink Floyd, Rush and early Elton John, with flavors of Funk in the mix, and a great deal of the bluesy, down to Earth, American spirit of Aerosmith all around. With a tiny bit of that Glam/Sleaze Rock thing of the '80s.

Their vast array of influences allowed them to traverse a wide valley of musical genres and subgenres in just the short 4 year span from 1987-1991.

In that time, they played, with skill, classic rock, heavy metal, punk rock, thrash metal, acoustic soft rock, country rock, progressive rock and ballads, pop rock, and even an experimentation with industrial. That's a wide variety of music to play over just 3 1/2 albums in 4 years.

Hell, visually, in terms of attire and appearance, you had Axl, who was just the perfect frontman; Slash, who was basically a perfect combination of Joe Perry, Mick Taylor and Jimmy Page in appearance; Izzy, who had that Keith Richards-bluesy sort of guy look down flat; Duff, a true Punker, a Sid Vicious devotee, Steven and Matt basically just looking like '80s Hair Band drummers, and Dizzy with his bluesy Honky Tonk Piano player look.

It's this perfect mixture that really set GN'R far above the other rock bands of the late 80s and early '90s and make them really an ideal rock band. If they had come and done what they did even just a decade earlier, they'd be even more beloved. I think GN'R arrived a little too late to the scene. They certainly had a lot more to offer and were more musically inspired and more willing to take risks than the Grungers.

GN'R hit at the perfect time. Had they come out 10 years earlier, they likely get ignored by the cultural obsession with punk rock, disco, and new wave. They would have ended up being one of those cult bands kinda like one of their influences, Hanoi Rocks. If GN'R came out just a few years earlier, they would have been ignored due to the initial wave of hair metal. By the time they really hit big in 1988, people were starting to get tired of hair metal and needed something with more edge. They came along at the perfect time to give rock and roll a big kick in the nuts.

In terms of their popularity today, they've actually endured pretty well. You can't go to a sports event without hearing WTTJ multiple times. SCOM and PC also get a lot of airplay at sporting events. And they've even transitioned into being a classic rock radio staple. It doesn't seem that long ago that the classic rock stations refused to play them, perhaps because the sound was too edgy or perhaps because it just wasn't old enough yet. What would have really boosted the GN'R legacy more today is if Axl never came out of hiding. Had he stayed a recluse, the original GN'R would be even more mythical.

And if you really want to get down to it. Appetite for Destruction. Think about that title. A number of legendary musicians died at an early age. The members of GN'R seemed to be on that course, but all 5 of them somehow managed to survived their various brushes with death over the years. Imagine if they all died by the mid-90's. Instead of firing Adler in 1990, they had to replace him because he died of a drug OD. Then Izzy OD's on drugs during the 1991 tour. Then Slash OD's in 1992. Then Duff dies from his pancreas exploding in 1994. Then Axl gives in to his bipolar disorder and pulls the trigger. With as great as their catalogue of music is, and with an immortal debut album titled Appetite for Destruction, they would have been lumped in with the likes of Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, and Cobain.

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