Does Mike Gatto like Guns N’ Roses? Does it fucking matter? Here are the ten definitive moments in the history of Fat Axl’s successful experiment in how to ruin a sweet career.
10. The Bridge School Disaster
Watch closely and you can see the exact moment (1:01) when Axl suffers a heart attack. That would be embarrassing under any circumstances, but is especially embarrassing when you consider this is an acoustic performance. For a bunch of disabled children, no less. 😦
9. Appetite For Destruction: Redux
No shit, when Axl went and hired himself a new Guns N’ Roses to replace Slash, Duff, Izzy and drummer, his first official order of business was to have them re-record all of Appetite For Destruction, the old band’s seminal debut. To spite the old guys, Axl tried to license the new band’s recordings, but only succeeded once. This version of Sweet Child O’ Mine from the film Big Daddy starts as a live version of the old band playing, but at the 3:08 mark, transitions into the the 2001 line-up’s version. For some reason, they added an organ.
8. DJ Ashba
It’s impossible to keep count of how many guitarists have cycled through NuGNR over the years. 9? 10 by the time this is published? Axl must have gotten this new top hat-wearing, Les Paul-playing douchebag for pretty cheap. At show after show, he’s proven himself to be tone-deaf and incapable of keeping a beat. And check out this tender jam from his solo album, “Addiction to the Friction.” It was a full two years after Kurt Cobain killed himself. Jesusfuckingchrist.
7. RIP: Irving Azoff
Axl was stunned when his new business manager, the same dude who reunited Van Halen, the Eagles and NKOTB, attempted to reunite Guns N’ Roses too. He coaxed Axl through the painful release of Chinese Democracy in hopes that once the album was done, Axl would be ready to move on with his life and make a sensible business decision again. Irving Azoff was promptly fired and sued.
6. Viva Fat Axl
Once upon a time, there was a band that headlined the world’s biggest stadiums, had multiple albums topping the charts at the same time, and dominated the media. Last year, Dizzy Reed produced this short video to promote the band’s second residency at a casino in Las Vegas.
5. The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Shame
Axl Rose refused to attend the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony because he didn’t want to appear with Slash. He did however agree to attend the Golden Gods, VH1’s cheap knock-off, because they honored Axl Rose independent of his work with Guns N’ Roses (as if there was any). But they got more than they bargained for when Axl showed up in a Carmen Sandiego costume and that tone-deaf dipshit DJ Ashba murdered Sweet Child O’ Mine.
4. Chinese Democracy
In 1991, people were lined up around the block to buy two new albums from GNR at the stroke of midnight. Seventeen years, 14 million dollars, 63 pounds, 6 managers, 5 producers and 124 band members later, and Chinese Democracy was finally released. These three losers documented the insanity…
3. Meet Beta Lebeis
Chinese Democracy might as well be called “The Ballad of Axl and Stephanie.” When the world famous underwear model dumped her abusive rock star boyfriend, he fell into a pit of spiteful resentment that gestated and mutated over the generation it took to realize his opus. She may have taken his dignity, but she left her child’s nanny, Beta Lebeis. She went on to introduce Axl to all manner of quack psychics and cult leaders and threw gas on the fire of every professional bridge he burned along the way. These days, she’s risen to become the band’s official manager (along with her children). Though ostensibly Axl’s surrogate mother, she bragged to the LA Times about using his emotional attachment as leverage to get the manager position.
2. Flop in Rio: 2012
When Axl returned to the Rock in Rio festival in 2012, he was almost unrecognizable. Axl’s disdain for rehearsals was on full display, as he massacred songs all night and shamelessly tarnished the memory of a genuinely great rock band. Most spectacular was his opiate-mired performance of November Rain. At 0:13, he stops singing and casts a bewildered gaze towards the audience, and just for a moment, the the whole sad spectacle of NuGNR comes into sharp focus. And just as quickly, it’s gone again. Nothing lasts forever…
1. “Round 2!”
After years in self-imposed exile, Axl Rose proudly took to the stage of the 2002 Video Music Awards and humiliated himself so badly NuGNR could never recover. His hair was braided and he was wearing a dumbass Gilligan hat, Rose’s new heft was poorly concealed beneath a
judicial robe XXXXL-sized sports jersey. Within seconds, he was huffing and puffing. There was no Slash, but there was some dude in a zombie costume and some other dude with a fried chicken bucket on his head. The subsequent comeback tour was cancelled, and it would be another six depressing years before Chinese Democracy finally plopped out. But in the moment of this performance’s climax — before the tape was reviewed and the reviews were read — when Axl triumphantly hoists his arms and declares “Round 2,” you can tell he really believes it. 😦