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King Nothing??


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Hope you guys might be able to clear up this question for me, was Metallicas song “King Nothing” about Axl?? Or did James write it about himself? I’ve read conflicting opinions on it. 
cheers guys

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Like most things, people can read into things and interpret any way they want

The lyrics to this song are vague and ambiguous and could apply to almost anyone.

The album it was included on was released in January 1997 which means the song was written in 1996 or earlier, making it more unlikely IMO to be about GN’R. 
 

SLASH officially departed GN’R somewhere around October 1996 and DUFF had yet to officially depart before Metallica’s song and album had released.

GN’R was still in chaos at the time and I’m not sure the news about the band’s name belonging to AXL was well known yet. Or that Metallica, while friends with some members of GN’R, would have known everything that was going on or what was still yet to come.

While almost anything is possible, I’d lean heavily on the song having nothing to do with AXL.

Seriously, knowing what we know about James Hetfield, I’m very skeptical he’d care enough to immortalize AXL via one of his own songs.

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6 minutes ago, thunderram said:

Like most things, people can read into things and interpret any way they want

The lyrics to this song are vague and ambiguous and could apply to almost anyone.

The album it was included on was released in January 1997 which means the song was written in 1996 or earlier, making it more unlikely IMO to be about GN’R. 
 

SLASH officially departed GN’R somewhere around October 1996 and DUFF had yet to officially depart before Metallica’s song and album had released.

GN’R was still in chaos at the time and I’m not sure the news about the band’s name belonging to AXL was well known yet. Or that Metallica, while friends with some members of GN’R, would have known everything that was going on or what was still yet to come.

While almost anything is possible, I’d lean heavily on the song having nothing to do with AXL.

Seriously, knowing what we know about James Hetfield, I’m very skeptical he’d care enough to immortalize AXL via one of his own songs.

James did seem to really dislike Axl back then at least and you know this song could be about more than one person or character. Not saying I think it's about Axl, I have no idea.

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45 minutes ago, Rovim said:

James did seem to really dislike Axl back then at least and you know this song could be about more than one person or character. Not saying I think it's about Axl, I have no idea.


Right, I know. I think most recall the comments from the Metallica video that prompted AXL’s rants in my hometown that ended with DUFF getting hit in the head with a bottle.

But even knowing about the animosity that arose from their tour together and the circumstances surrounding the infamous Montreal riot, I still don’t feel that Hetfield would go so far as to pen a song about AXL.

I could be mistaken, but then the timing of the release of the album and the current unknown state of GN’R at that time makes it harder for me to believe.

Had the song been written circa 2005ish, I’d see more of a connection. But even then the lyrics are so vague and ambiguous that it could apply to almost anyone.

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For anyone's not aware of the story between GN'R and Metallica:

The bands were great fans of each other (well, the GN'R guys loved Metallica and at least Lars was a big fan of GN'R) and used to hang out in the early days. Eventually they would plan to tour together: (43) 15. MAY-DECEMBER 1992: TOURING AND FEUDS (a-4-d.com)

Already pretty early it became obvious the two bands operated quite differently, like this interview with Duff and James hilariously demonstrate: (43) 15. MAY-DECEMBER 1992: TOURING AND FEUDS (a-4-d.com)

During the touring in Montreal, Hetfield got injured and GN'R was asked to go on early, but left early and a riot ensued: (43) 15. MAY-DECEMBER 1992: TOURING AND FEUDS (a-4-d.com)

Looking back at having toured together: (43) 15. MAY-DECEMBER 1992: TOURING AND FEUDS - Page 2 (a-4-d.com)

Then after the tour, Axl had had enough of Metallica's mocking; Slash took Metallica's side and the rest is history: (43) 16. JANUARY-JULY 1993: THE SKIN N' BONES TOUR; END OF AN ERA (a-4-d.com)

On a sidenote, Lars was always a huge fan of Axl and would frequently defend him in the press.

Edited by SoulMonster
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I seem to remember hearing at the time that it wasn’t about Axl- but a fictional character who maybe had some “Axl Rose”-like traits (among others). A loose, vague connection at most. That said- may have just been something a Metallica fan told me. Lol.

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20 minutes ago, AXL_N_DIZZY said:

I seem to remember hearing at the time that it wasn’t about Axl- but a fictional character who maybe had some “Axl Rose”-like traits (among others). A loose, vague connection at most. That said- may have just been something a Metallica fan told me. Lol.

If you look at news reports from 1995-1996 on Youtube you'll hear stuff like "Well, whatever happened to Guns N Roses?" by people like Kurt Loder. I think this actually might be plausible. James really didn't like Axl

Edited by StrangerInThisTown
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5 hours ago, thunderram said:

Like most things, people can read into things and interpret any way they want

The lyrics to this song are vague and ambiguous and could apply to almost anyone.

The album it was included on was released in January 1997 which means the song was written in 1996 or earlier, making it more unlikely IMO to be about GN’R. 
 

SLASH officially departed GN’R somewhere around October 1996 and DUFF had yet to officially depart before Metallica’s song and album had released.

GN’R was still in chaos at the time and I’m not sure the news about the band’s name belonging to AXL was well known yet. Or that Metallica, while friends with some members of GN’R, would have known everything that was going on or what was still yet to come.

While almost anything is possible, I’d lean heavily on the song having nothing to do with AXL.

Seriously, knowing what we know about James Hetfield, I’m very skeptical he’d care enough to immortalize AXL via one of his own songs.

Load came out in 1996 and was written mainly in 1995.

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6 hours ago, Tadsy said:

Hope you guys might be able to clear up this question for me, was Metallicas song “King Nothing” about Axl?? Or did James write it about himself? I’ve read conflicting opinions on it. 
cheers guys

I've always thought it was about Axl, personally. 

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Axl was the last person James would give a fuck to in 1994 when this song was being recorded.

 

Maybe off-topic but talking about Metallica, let's not fool ourselves, Metallica was and still is in a different league. Metallica's lyrics are dealing with much more serious topics than attacking an individual.

Axl on the other hand hasn't really been serious about running GNR (except '02,'06,'10). Otherwise he wouldn't hire a prick to manage his band.

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Thank you for the input everyone. 
I personally find this topic intriguing, due to the diverse answers and all of the comments have merit even if they are conflicting. 
 
 

 

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13 minutes ago, ©GnrPersia said:

Axl was the last person James would give a fuck to in 1994 when this song was being recorded.

 

Maybe off-topic but talking about Metallica, let's not fool ourselves, Metallica was and still is in a different league. Metallica's lyrics are dealing with much more serious topics than attacking an individual.

Axl on the other hand hasn't really been serious about running GNR (except '02,'06,'10). Otherwise he wouldn't hire a Brazilian prick to manage his band.

You’re right. Then again, considering he doesn’t really wanna talk to the fans, wants to be secretive about everything, and needs a brown-noser who’ll just carry out his every command, his choice was... wise. Unfortunately. 

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19 minutes ago, ©GnrPersia said:

Maybe off-topic but talking about Metallica, let's not fool ourselves, Metallica was and still is in a different league. 

That's odd because I listen to GN'R much more than Metallica, but I suppose I have fooled myself? 

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2 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

That's odd because I listen to GN'R much more than Metallica, but I suppose I have fooled myself?

Here we go again...

What I meant by that was GNR or Axl is not that important or an interesting topic for Metallica to write a song about.

2 hours ago, jamillos said:

You’re right. Then again, considering he doesn’t really wanna talk to the fans, wants to be secretive about everything, and needs a brown-noser who’ll just carry out his every command, his choice was... wise. Unfortunately. 

Couldn't agree more 

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11 minutes ago, Senor_peligro13 said:

The memory remains is supposedly about Axl . If you look at the lyrics I’d had some relevance.

where did you get this from? never heard of this even as a rumor

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19 minutes ago, Senor_peligro13 said:

Just been a long time fan , has been discussed extensively in the past . You will have to dig around to find the thread , but the lyrics and Hetfields thoughts about axl make it seem quite likely 

no offense but sounds like it's just pure speculation 

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