Jump to content

*more positive* how did you discover GnR?

Recommended Posts

I discovered them through my older brothers friend, he gave me a mix tape of videos from Kerrang when it was just starting out. He recorded Sweet child and I was hooked, He also gave me a cassete tape from the UYI I & II tour in Tokyo (old school). Next up was Appetite and the rest is history. was that 1999 or 2000? not sure but it's been a long time one way or the other :)

I'll do a Dj on it... :P how did YOU! get into GnR, fawkers! blessed™

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew I shouldn't have mentioned him... oh well, let it commence. We can keep it jovial though, lets try and not mention current day as in 2014... unless you've just discovered the band in 2014... :mellow: my condolences :lol:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my friends was big into old GNR, you know that period as a teenager where you think AC/DC is the pinnacle of rock? So I got into old GNR when he would play them non-stop. I briefly read the history of the new band online and found it fascinating (at this point I had made no attempt to hear what they'd done musically - after all, without Slash, they were a farce). Some time later a demo of Chinese Democracy played over my friend's old-ass iPod Nano, and I was like, the fuck is that? It was a very bizarre sound to me, but in an interesting sort of way. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but weeks later it kept popping into my thought process. I started the inevitable downloading, and the newer GNR quickly became my go-to band. My friend was very baffled as to how I could like the new GNR style.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting, I listened to Guns for years before I found out about the whole Chinese democracy thing, I actually thought they were called Guns N Roses 2 for a good few years :rofl-lol: I then caught around the the time of the leeds and reading shows in 02? that they were making a record... and that's where the first glint of false hope crept in :) I was sure, adamant even that I was going to get a new record that year and that they would come to Ireland as well seen as they were in the UK... so very, very wrong.

It wasn't until after the 2006 show that I started to search for new guns material (thank you Limewire) seen as they played a good few songs that I had never heard and had no idea of their names, before that I had no idea that it was online, the lightbulb went off when I saw a guy singing every line to unreleased songs in 2006 "how does he know the words?" first song I heard was IRS, very pleased then better, took some time but I was pretty impressed, then street of dreams (which was the blues at the time) I thought that was just amazing, not everybody's favourite track but I love it :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw WTTJ video on the Headbanger's ball and loved it and them and bought the cd.

Since back in those days MTV actually played videos, once GNR became more known, MTV covered anything and everything GNR and always played their videos.

Those were good days.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I discovered them by accident actually. I was really into AC/DC at the time and I was trying to get the songs I liked the most and do a greatest hits sort of thing.

One of the songs was named ACDC - Paradise City, and I listened to it and it wasn't the band I thought it was. Two days later, AFD was my favorite album of all time.

I was also starting to learn how to play guitar at the time, and the thing that I liked best in records was to check out the rythm guitars, and I thought right away that

what Izzy was doing on Nightrain and Welcome To The Jungle was nothing short than genius; his style, his playing and his vibe was something that I had never experienced

before, and so the first thing I'd do when trying to figure out a song from GN'R was Izzy's parts because I thought his were better than Slashes.

I spent the next two years listening to GN'R all the time, they were my favorite band. It's hard to believe how long that was.

I think the magic's gone by now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when i was getting a feeling for music around being 14/15 the video game burnout paradise came out and there i heard paradise city as it is the soundtrack of the game and from that moment i sold my soul to their music lol, it was like the best thing i ever heard and i loved it right from that moment!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw an ad for the DVD release of Welcome to the Videos on TV. That was in my first couple of years of really getting into music and guitar and when I heard Welcome to the Jungle I thought it sounded pretty cool. Next time I was at HMV I saw the DVD for ten bucks so I scooped it with my weekly allowance and the rest is history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never was alive for the real guns but Watched new Gnr on vma 2002 and didn't take much notice but when burnout came out on ps3 and the song was there I actually searched up guns n roses on the internet and boom became a fan and couldn't believe how long people had been waiting for CD. And I start hearing axl is an asshole for breaking up the best band on YouTube etc

Edited by H454NLFC
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started writing about this a year or so ago, only got halfway through, will finish it some time:

Madagascar in Bazas:

A Chinese Democracy Love Story of Four Years

And Eleven Concerts

Much has been written of one man’s quest to write the greatest rock album of all time, taking 14 years and $14 million, having all his old band members quit or be fired, replacing them with, among others, a masked bucket-wearing guitarist, a founding member of The Replacements, and at one point even Brian May (who, sadly, did not appear on the final album). How he courted said bucket-helmeted guitarist with a Michael Myers doll and a trip to Disneyland; how he spent years as a recluse, holing himself up in his Malibu mansion before making infrequent trips to the recording studio after all his hired musicians had long since gone to bed; how his ex-fiancée’s housekeeper became his adopted mother and subsequent manager. If you would like to know more of the bizarre history of Chinese Democracy, I recommend Chinese Whispers, the remarkable efforts of a fan by the name of “sic.”, available at http://www.gnrevolution.com/viewtopic.php?id=5059. This is not the story of the making of that album; this is the story of how I went from barely knowing of its existence, to listening to it with contempt and derision, to hailing it as one of the greatest pieces of art of the past decade, and to being struck with awe upon being blessed to meet its creator: Axl Rose.

Sent on a Year Abroad in September 2008 to the south of France, ostensibly to learn the language, I was stationed as an English Assistant in a small town called Bazas, not far from Bordeaux. While many a wine-fuelled weekend was spent away in the city famed for its wine, free time during teaching days was mostly spent surfing the Web on the school computers. Even though I had no intention of buying the game, I decided to read a review of the then-upcoming Rock Band 2 video game. A glowing five-star review from Xplay, the only downside according to the reviewer was that “Chinese Democracy is gonna suck.” Included with the game was the first official release of a song off that album, “Shackler’s Revenge”, that was not long after announced for release on the 23rd of November, 2008. I was trying to recall where I’d heard of this mythical album before, and I suddenly recalled that I had Wikipedia’d the guitarist Buckethead after hearing his song “Jordan” in Guitar Hero II (YouTube link for the lazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTcg9JybEp8). I’d never really heard killswitch in a song before, and the guitarist’s name was intriguing. Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Reading the biography of a man who has spent the best part of his life being a guitar virtuoso with a KFC bucket on his head, I was surprised to read that from 2000-2006 he was part of Guns N’ Roses.

Wait, isn’t that the band with that Slash guy with the guitar and the top hat? And that screechily annoying singer called Axl Rose? That “November Rain” song was pretty cool, had that on my iPod.

I had a lot to learn.

After my initial brief look at the history of Guns N’ Roses circa Buckethead, the release of “Shackler’s Revenge” prompted a more thorough Internet search. Soon I was reading of band name disputes, cancelled tours, on-stage rants, and cornrows.

I had to know more.

I read what rare interviews there were with Axl Rose himself, I heard other Gunners, old and new, tell their stories, and I found demos and leaks of the long-in-the-making album on YouTube. A picture formed of a troubled man, seeking artistic credibility, wishing to move past the blues-based rock preferred by his one-timed guitarist Slash, and instead drawing upon darker, more modern influences such as Nine Inch Nails and Tool, more befitting the depressive mood he spent those lost years in, while at the same time harking back to his childhood favourites Queen and ELO for their bombast and grandiosity. A man who wished to exorcise his own demons through his lyrics, while at the same time having the audacity to draw parallels between his own struggles and those of the inhabitants of the People’s Republic of China.

A sucker for unfinished passion projects by demented geniuses, I was hooked.

While my first few listens of “Shackler’s Revenge” via Rock Band 2 YouTube videos elicited a few chuckles and much confusion, I knew I had to listen to the whole album when it was streaming on the band’s MySpace page a week or so before its official release. The feeling of confusion and befuddlement grew with each track I listened to, with the wall of guitars clashing with synths, an orchestra, and, above it all, layer upon layer of the singer’s anguished screams.

It was upon first hearing the intro to the 12th track of the album, curiously entitled “Madagascar”, that I started to consider that there may be some artistic merit to Chinese Democracy. A doomy chord progression played out with French horns, a shimmer of strings, and then… Who is this person singing with this solemn yet powerful, low raspy voice? At first, I thought it was an aged African-American woman. Underscored by rumbling bass and funky, almost hip-hop, drums and beats, Axl Rose sings of a struggle that has defined his years of self-imposed exile and is the theme of the near entirety of the work composed in that time:

I won’t be told any more…

That I’ve been brought down in this storm…

And left so far out from the shore…

That I can’t find my way back, my way any more…

An extended scream raises in pitch to match a wailing guitar, and the two become one from 1:19-1:21 (just check out the track here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3wZFYfqMAE ). He goes on to sing of choice, of freedom, and being rid of chains, before, well… Before a sequence involving samples from films as varied as Braveheart, Casualties of War and Cool Hand Luke (the latter already featured in the intro to “Civil War”, evidence perhaps of a martyr complex from the lead singer), interspersed with audio from a Martin Luther King speech. It is this marriage of film score grandiosity and classic rock musicality that appeals to me, but over time I came to identify with the album more and more. The track “Sorry”, widely interpreted as an attack against his former bandmate Slash, among others, was the second track that caught my attention, with its Pink Floyd-like guitars and synth, Buckethead’s Gilmoureqsue solo, and the following lyrics:

Truth is the truth hurts,

Don’t you agree?

It’s harder to live with the truth about you

Than to live with the lies about me

His unwavering self-conviction in his own truth, his refusal to compromise on his vision and accept anything less than perfection, his overwhelming dedication to his art… I was smitten. At times it’s hard to tell whether he is looking for liberation from label pressures, expectations from the public and the press, or from his own perfectionism, as expressed in his lyrics for the song “I.R.S.”:

I bet you think I’m doing this all for my health

I should have looked again then at somebody else

Feeling like I’ve done way more than wrong

Feeling like I’m living inside of this song

Feeling like I’m just too tired to care

Feeling like I’ve done more than my share

Could it be the way that I carried on

Like a broken record for so long

It was these songs of a tortured soul seeking sanity that drew me in to the music, the myth, and the man. I read his rambling letters and his fan forum chats soon after the release of Chinese Democracy, increasingly fascinated by a man who seemed so different to me yet whose lyrics spoke to me like no one else’s had before.

In the following months I listened to the album over and over; songs I initially hated I came to like, and most I eventually came to love. When I returned to the UK that Christmas, I finally bought a CD of Chinese Democracy, and then snapped up the classic Guns N’ Roses discography from the HMV sale. Growing up a classic rock fan, songs such as “November Rain” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” were often played on the various MP3 players I had over the years, but now I came to have an appreciation of fan favourites such as “Nightrain” and “Estranged”. My obsession with everything Guns N’ Roses became all-consuming. I listened to nothing else. While previously I had appreciated Slash’s guitar-playing, especially his solos on “November Rain”, I now read up and listened for every classic band member’s contribution: Duff’s bass, Izzy’s rhythm, Steven’s drums. And while in the past I had found Axl’s shrill shrieking aggravating, the more mature tones of Chinese Democracy gave me a new-found appreciation for the various voices the talented singer employed on albums new and old. The mystery of the Chinese Democracy years and the revolving door of musicians involved was what fascinated me most, though as I have said earlier you’ll have to read Chinese Whispers for more of that.

The following year was spent mostly in anticipation for the announcement of a tour that was notable by its absence. Having spent so long working on what many believed he saw as his magnum opus, the public and the media were shocked that Axl seemed unwilling to promote his labour of love. Rumours of a tour with Van Halen in March 2009 came to nothing (though this may be to do with a falling out with Irving Azoff, Axl’s then-manager). Month after month, and nothing. There were rumours of more material from the Chinese Democracy years being released, as Axl had talked about a double-album to be followed by another album; but again, nothing. A version of the album with alternate artwork was supposed to be released, but it was not until February 2011 that these (beautiful) images were leaked onto the Internet. My personal favourite is the image used for “This I Love”:


Hundreds of Thousands, Rankin

A music video for what was ostensibly the “lead single” (Chinese Democracy received almost no airplay), “Better”, was delayed from its intended December release date due to paperwork that needed to be signed off by Lars Ulrich, as the Metallica drummer appeared in some backstage footage. This video would not see the light of day until an unknown source uploaded it in September 2012. It comes as no surprise, then, that in the intro penned by Mr. Rose in the previously mentioned alternate album booklet, and framed on a wall in the man’s home, is this Oscar Wilde quotation: “Punctuality is the thief of time.”

Just over a year after its release, the first date of the Chinese Democracy World Tour (there had been a few of these from 2001-2 and 2006-7 prior to the album’s actual release) was set for December 2009, in Taipei, appropriately. Japan dates soon followed, but no news of anywhere near me. Events in my personal life meant the summer of 2010 was my lowest point. Later in the summer, I was teaching in Iran. Puttingt the painfully slow Internet café connections to the test, I decided to book tickets and an easyJet flight from London to Paris, and fuck it, from Paris to Geneva (where there was a gig a few days later) and back to London again (all said and done I think the plane tickets came to less than £80). Fast-forward to September, and I find myself CouchSurfing (in this case, bed-sharing) in Paris, barely able to sleep as I was finally going to see the man behind my obsession of the past two years. My plans to queue from the early afternoon were thwarted, as I was unable to pick up my ticket until an hour before opening. I tried making conversation with some fans in a café, but when I tried to bring up music other than Guns N’ Roses I was met with silence. Entering the arena as doors opened, I managed to make my way close to the front, being on my own. The openers, Murderdolls, were an entertaining hybrid of Spinal Tap and KISS. But I was here for one man. Being so close to the front, and the stage being so high, I could make out little but the front of the stage. As the doomy synth intro music played (rumoured to be from an unreleased track called “The General”), I could just about make out one or two band members coming onto the stage. The chattering Chinese voices of the album title track, the pounding drums, the grinding industrial guitar, building up, building up to lights, to screams, to fireworks… to Axl.

There he was, clad in a shiny silver jacket, hiding his face behind a pair of sunglasses, a fedora, a ginger “biker” moustache, and a red-capped microphone. I was in awe. I told myself it couldn’t get better than this, as I welled up with emotion during “November Rain”. The following night, I was browsing the Guns N’ Roses forums, when I came across a post about a rumoured private concert a club called L’Arc (so called because it’s by the L’Arc de Triomphe). The concert was supposed to start at 22:30, that night. I had to be there. I grabbed the only decent-looking shirt I’d stuffed in my backpack (no time to iron) to better my chances of getting in the club and ran out the door. I stood outside from about 21:00, chatting to other fans, and eventually people in the queue. A few girls got talking to me, and one of them said she had a spare ticket and she’d get me in. The bouncer was having none of it. Shit. I introduced myself to another girl, who said she knew Frank Ferrer, the drummer. She waited for a couple of friends to turn up, but they were denied entry as they didn’t have ID.

Edited by Amir
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My family moved into a new house in 1988 and i became friends with the kids next door, who were my age. They were super into "Dial MTV"(a request show for videos. And they were into GnR. I'll always remember Armageddon It, Every Rose Has Its Thorn, and Welcome to the Jungle duking it out for the top 3 spots on Dial MTV. We used to call in all the time voting for GnR. When Lies came out, it was a biiiig fuckin deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It happend one night in 1992...

I was watching The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and during the Bohemian Rhapsody a man in black leather skirt appeared on stage, running and skreaming like crazy.

... after that moment I was addicted to Guns N` Roses and believe it will be till my end no mater what. I adore them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A friend in school gave me a tape that had some Iron Maiden, Metallica and GN'R on it - Instantly loved what I heard from GN'R - went out and bought Appetite and that was it - Hooked. That was in 1995, so I had just missed them :(
Could go into so much more detail, but that was the moment - that tape.

P.S. the GN'R songs on the tape were WTTJ, It's So Easy, Mr Brownstone and Paradise City.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...