Meet 'The Most Dangerous Band in the World'...
"We've all got 'Never Mind the Bollocks' and Aerosmith's 'Rocks' and right now we listen to 'Exile on Main Street' a lot," crowed Axl Rose in Guns N' Roses' first cover feature in June. It was pretty much all you needed to know about four scumbags from LA who changed the face of rock music.
With a desperate and dangerous hunger, Guns N' Roses arrived with one of the greatest albums of all time - 'Appetite for Destruction' - and a string of shows that pissed on the immaculately coiffeured hair metal hordes. 1987 was officially the year the quintet became the greatest band in the world.
Slash: "1987 was us fucking going out, coming to England, playing the Marquee, hanging out, and being more-or-less accepted in the UK. And, from there, just starting a fucking long two-and-a-half-year tour. It was crazy, man. We'd show up in places and people would look at us like 'Jesus, fucking Christ', and we'd be like, 'What? FUCK YOU!'. We were pushing ourselves to the hilt every fucking day and just having a blast. If you could bottle it, people would be dying all over the place.
"Just before our first Kerrang! cover shoot, me and Duff were on a two-and-a-half week binge in Seattle, and had flown in that day. We were all there for the photo shoot which was very rare. When that issue came out it was so fucking cool to be in it. We had a two-page spread. And the way the interview read, it was pretty true to life. That was my first real Kerrang! experience."
Duff McKagan: "1987 was a really good year. In America it took a long time for 'Appetite For Destruction' to get noticed, but here in the UK it came alive really quickly.
People seemed to get it straight away. And we came over here, which was a big deal for me, as I'd never been out of the States before. There were tons of girls on hand for us to enjoy. You guys certainly made us very welcome. Later in that year, though, we came back for our second visit and suddenly we were playing places like the Hammersmith Odeon (now Apollo), which was just amazing."
The Year Death Stalked Donington
August 20, 1988 was always going to be a historic day. Britain's biggest metal band were promoting their 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' album with their very first appearance at the Monsters of Rock at Donington Park. The bill they'd put together was a cracker, showcasing fast rising stars Guns N' Roses and Megadeth alongside rock legends Kiss and David Lee Roth.
When a record 107,000 metal fans turned up at the East Midlands site, everyone knew this would be one of the most memorable Maiden shows ever.
And so it proved. The weather was, as ever, rubbish, but spirits were high throughout the day. In the early part of the day, all eyes were on Guns N' Roses, at the time the hottest band in the world. Halfway through the set, Axl Rose was forced to call a halt to proceedings, as a combination of treacherous ground conditions and the sheer weight of people wanting to see the band was causing pandemonium. "Don't kill yourself," cautioned Axl Rose as he left the stage.
Rose's words were to prove horribly prophetic. At 7pm Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood received the new that two young men, Alan Dick and Landon Peter Siggers, had died during GNR's set. He opted not to tell the band, who turned in a blinding headline performance. As elated fans trouped from the arena however, they heard the PA solemnly break the news of the two deaths. Suddenly rock music didn't seem quite so important.
Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses): "It makes me cry if I think about it. I saw the whole fucking thing. We were screaming, 'Back up! Back the fuck up!'. And the mud was about a foot deep, and the other kids there couldn't tell they were stepping on people. I felt it was our fault for months and months. A part of me will probably feel that for the rest of my life."
Guns N' Roses slam Kerrang! In A Song
Axl Rose's beef with Kerrang! originated at 1991's Rock In Rio festival. Reporting from Rio, K! writer Mick Wall suggested that success had gone to Guns N' Roses' heads. Wall claimed he had been snubbed by his former friend, GN'R guitarist Slash, and that Axl had curtailed the band's show in Rio after the crowd had responded poorly to new songs. Axl retaliated with a vitriolic rant in the song 'Get In The Ring', from the band's 'Use Your Illusion II' album: "All you punks in the press that want to start shit by printing lies - that means you Mick Wall at Kerrang! - fuck you. Suck my fuckin' dick." Wall declined.
Thanks to AdZ