Before we get into this, I want to make one thing abundantly clear to my friend and associate Daulton Gatto (no relation to Mike Gatto): Fat Axl sucks. He’s fat, he can’t sing and he dresses like a clown. He’s brought shame to himself and the legacy of his entire band. Fat Axl is the punchline to the joke that was the record industry.
However… Fat Axl was once Axl, a man who was not only skinny, but was spectacularly awesome in the sweetest ways imaginable. And while it’s true that a handful of Faith No More songs are sweet, and I do agree that the subjective act of shitting in orange juice is also sweet, even when their respective sweetnesses are combined, Mike Patton is still nowhere near as sweet as Axl Rose.
But don’t take my word for it: let’s trust science.
Guns N’ Roses have sold over 100 million albums around the world. Faith No More? Almost 10 million. Their two career high points were when they opened for Axl in the 90’s and when they were briefly mistaken for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the 80’s.
Now let’s consider the official star ratings compiled by Mike Gatto, the most brilliant and respected
cock mind in the universe, in his 2-part examination of GNR and FNM’s bodies of work. The highest rated Faith No More album was Angel Dust with a respectable 4.5 stars. However, Appetite For Destruction broke the scale a whopping 15 Stars! I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Daulton advances a theory that 4.5 is actually more than 15, and you’ll be able to read all about it on his new blog, Ron Kaye is a Sweet Dude.
It’s cute to hear Daulton herald Faith No More’s accomplishment of landing a #1 album on Billboard’s Hard Rock Chart — a sub-chart of a sub-chart. Rock is fucking dead. Hard rock? Even fucking deader. We’re talking about 31,000 albums — paltry even by Faith No More’s standards. According to this week’s Billboard Hard Rock Chart, they beat out Whitesnake’s new album (#7), Sammy Haggar’s new solo venture (#8), and yet another greatest hits collection from The Who (#6). So woo-hoo!
While Daulton is correct to label Chinese Democracy a failure (both artistically and commercially), it still sold about 3 million copies, which was good enough to debut at #3 on the Billboard Chart (the real one), just behind Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Music aside, the only reason that’s considered a failure is because people honestly expected more from Axl Rose than they did from Taylor Swift or Kanye West, which suggests a degree of cultural relevance that Mike Patton could only dream about.
But of course, Mike Patton fans would argue that he was never about fame, record sales or popularity, so using such metrics to evaluate his sweetness is unfair. And to a degree, I agree with that sentiment. Part of Mike Patton’s appeal (like the blonde guy in Nirvana) is that he was anti-fame and would do things that gullible rock fans could perceive as lashing out at the industry (which only helped the industry).
But seriously… if you wanna talk contempt for fame, Mike Patton ain’t got nothin’ on Axl Rose. Not only did Axl build a bigger band than Patton, he willfully destroyed a bigger band than Patton. Patton ran off his guitarist? Big fucking deal. Axl ran off his entire band — at least 3 times. Patton reunited* for money while Axl would rather die. And just the other night, Mike Patton appeared on The Tonight Show… while Axl ate a bunch of ribs and oxycontin and went the fuck to sleep.
And sure, Fat Axl shows up in Vegas every few years with another new band and and another airbrushed piano, but it’s so transparently just for cash and pharmaceuticals that it’s hard not to respect his commitment to selfish indifference. It’s as close to shitting on your fans as an artist could get without literally shitting on his fans. And I’m fairly certain that Mike Gatto would agree, that’s far sweeter than shitting in orange juice.
* According to marketing and public relations, Faith No More has reunited. However, Faith No More’s original guitarist and principal songwriter isn’t a part of the album or the tour. That’s about as cynical and disingenuous as Axl promoting a GNR reunion without Slash.