W. Axl Rose (born William Bruce Rose, Jr.[1] on February 6, 1962) is an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist of rock band Guns N' Roses.

Rose grew up in Indiana in a troubled family environment. His love of music was fostered by singing in church, participating in school chorus and studying piano, but his numerous run-ins with the police and activities as a teenager led to his leaving home at a young age. After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, Rose fronted various local bands, eventually forming Guns N' Roses with former L.A. Guns bandmate Tracii Guns.

As lead singer for Guns N' Roses, Rose enjoyed tremendous success, recognition, record and concert ticket sales in the late 1980s and early 1990s before dropping out of the public eye for several years. In 2001, he resurfaced with a new line-up of Guns N' Roses, and has since played periodic concert tours, finally releasing the long delayed Chinese Democracy in 2008.

The only original member still part of the band's line-up, Rose still places high in numerous polls as one of hard rock's all-time greatest frontmen, but is also infamous for his onstage antics and high-profile disputes with former bandmates and others in the entertainment business.

He was ranked 11 in the Hit Parader's Top Metal Vocalist of All Time.[2]

Biography Edit

Early years Edit

Rose was born as William Bruce Rose. in Lafayette, Indiana, the son of Sharon E. Lintner, then 16 years old, and William Rose, then 20 years old.[3] Rose is of German, Scottish, and Irish descent. His father left the family when Axl was two years old. As an adult, after recovering repressed memories in therapy, Rose publicly stated that he was sexually abused by his biological father.[1][4]

Rose's mother remarried in 1965. She changed his name to William Bailey, using the last name of her new husband, Stephen L. Bailey. He has two younger half-siblings – sister Amy and brother Stuart. Rose has stated that he and his siblings were often beaten by Bailey, sometimes for no reason. Growing up, Rose believed that Bailey was his biological father.[1]

Because of his turbulent upbringing and his mother's reluctance to leave the abusive Bailey, Rose is said to have issues with women. He claimed in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in April 1992, that during his childhood, he was made to believe that women and sexuality were evil and that due to the violent treatment of his mother by his stepfather he witnessed as an impressionable child, he had been led to think that domestic violence was the normal way of doing things.[1][5]

The Bailey household was deeply religious, and Rose grew up attending a Pentecostal church, where he was required to attend services three to eight times per week.[5] He sang in church from the age of five, and also performed at services with his brother and sister in the "Bailey Trio".[6] Rose was so involved with the church that he even taught Sunday School. Later, he spoke of his upbringing:


Church did provide an outlet for Rose's musical interests. In addition to singing in church, he also participated in his high school chorus and studied piano.[7]

Rose speaks in the baritone register, for he originally sang in the baritone range in his choir. However, his singing voice is of a tenor[8] range. He can sing parts ranging from bass, to baritone, and to a high falsetto/soprano, and has several different recognized "voices" used in his songs. He has stated that he originally started to develop his range to confuse his chorus teacher in school.[6][9][10]

He attended Jefferson High School in Lafayette.[11] At age 17, while going through papers in his parents' home, Rose learned of his biological father's existence and his own origins, and readopted his birth name, William Rose (although he was still legally William Bailey). He referred to himself as W. Rose only, however, as he did not wish to share a name with his biological father.[1]

After discovering the truth of his background, Rose began "acting out" in earnest. He was in trouble numerous times with the police and was arrested over twenty times on charges such as public drunkenness and assault. At age 16, he was kicked out of his house for not cutting his hair. At this age, Rose also met Izzy Stradlin in a driver's education class.[12] The two bonded over their love of rock music and eventually started playing in bands together. Stradlin eventually left Rose, and Indiana, to go to Los Angeles and focus on music.

Lafayette authorities threatened to charge Rose as a habitual criminal in his late teenage years.[7] When he was 17, on the advice of his lawyer, he left Indiana and began hitchhiking and taking buses across the country.[13] Although he returned to Indiana to visit family from time to time, he left for good in December 1982 and moved to Los Angeles, accompanied by a girlfriend.[14]

Rose eventually adopted the name W. Axl Rose ("Axl" after a band in which he once played [15]), and set out to re-unite with Stradlin. Rose legally changed his name to "W. Axl Rose" in 1986,[9][16] and had the moniker tattooed on his arm.[14]

Pre-Guns N' Roses years (1983–1984)Edit

Once in Los Angeles, Rose began performing with various local bands, including Rapidfire, Rose, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose.[17][18] While struggling to make an impact on the Hollywood music scene, Rose held down a variety of survival jobs, including the position of night manager at the Tower Records location on Sunset Boulevard. In an attempt to earn money, Slash and Stradlin even smoked cigarettes for a scientific study at UCLA for the reported wages of $8/hour.[16]

Success with Guns N' Roses (1985–1994)Edit

Rose and his L.A. Guns bandmate Tracii Guns formed Guns N' Roses in March 1985. The band was a merger of L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, and featured musicians who had played for one or both groups, including Ole Beich and Duff McKagan. The band debuted at the Troubadour in Hollywood and proceeded to play the L.A. circuit, eventually building a fan following and attracting the attention of several record companies.[19][20] The lineup eventually solidified with Rose on vocals, Slash on lead guitar, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, Duff McKagan on bass and Steven Adler on drums. Guns N' Roses was signed to Geffen Records in 1986 and released a four-song EP, Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide, on their own label, UZI Suicide, in December of that year.

The band's major label debut album, entitled Appetite for Destruction, was released in the United States on July 21, 1987. The record had a slow start, selling only 500,000 copies in the first year of its release.[21] However, fueled by relentless touring and the mainstream success of the single "Sweet Child o' Mine", Appetite for Destruction rose to the #1 position on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States in the fall of 1988. To date, Appetite for Destruction ranks as the best-selling debut album in the United States, has been certified 18x platinum by the RIAA, and has sold over 28 million copies.<[22][23]

With the success of Appetite for Destruction and its follow-up EP, GN'R Lies, Rose found himself lauded as one of rock's most prominent frontmen. In a 1990 interview with MTV, journalist Kurt Loder referred to Rose as "maybe the finest hard rock singer currently on the scene, and certainly the most charismatic."[24] He was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in August 1989 and again in April 1992.[1][7]

In 1990, Guns N' Roses returned to the studio to begin recording the full-length follow-up to Appetite for Destruction. Recording sessions were temporarily scuttled when Steven Adler, battling drug and alcohol addiction, was fired in July 1990 and replaced by former Cult drummer Matt Sorum.[20] The band fired their manager, Alan Niven, in May 1991, replacing him with Doug Goldstein. According to a 1991 cover story by Rolling Stone magazine, Rose forced the dismissal of Niven, against the wishes of some of his bandmates, by refusing to complete the albums until he was replaced.[25]

With enough music for two albums, the band released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II on September 17, 1991. The tactic paid off when the albums debuted at #2 and #1 respectively on the Billboard chart, setting a record as Guns N' Roses became the only group to date to achieve this feat. The albums spent 108 weeks on the chart.[16]

In the late spring of 1991, before the Illusion albums were released, Guns N' Roses embarked on the 28-month-long Use Your Illusion World Tour. It became famous for both its financial success and the many controversial incidents that occurred at the shows.

During the tour it was alleged, and long accepted that Rose demanded, and received, sole ownership of the Guns N' Roses name from bandmates Slash and McKagan.[26] However, this story was recently disputed by Rose, who claimed it would have been legally impossible for him to do such a thing [27] His relationships with his bandmates became increasingly strained: Izzy Stradlin left the group voluntarily on November 7, 1991, and was replaced by former Kill For Thrills guitarist Gilby Clarke for the remainder of the two-year tour.[4][20] Clarke himself left in 1994, and was replaced by Rose's childhood friend Paul Tobias. When Rose replaced Slash's guitar parts with those of Tobias on the band's cover version of the Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil" for the soundtrack of the film Interview with the Vampire, tension increased further. Slash, McKagan and Sorum all left Guns N' Roses at various points between 1996 and 1997, leaving Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed as the only remaining Illusion-era members of the band.[26]

While the Guns N' Roses name is owned solely by Rose, the band's back catalog is controlled jointly by Rose, Slash and McKagan. In 2004, the three presented a united front in a joint lawsuit against Universal and Geffen, in which they unsuccessfully attempted to block the release of the Greatest Hits compilation album.[28]

Slash and McKagan have also filed several lawsuits against Rose for matters related to control and administration of the songs in the Guns N' Roses catalog. One of the cases, in which McKagan and Slash stated that they had been denied royalty checks for Guns N' Roses's sales in 2005, was determined to be the result of a clerical error by ASCAP and was resolved.[29][30][31]

The New Guns N' Roses (1995–present) Edit

As the stability of Guns N' Roses collapsed, Rose began to withdraw from public view. The band never actually broke up, although it did not tour for several years and no new material was released. Rose continued to recruit new musicians to replace the charter members as they gradually defected. The last charter member of the band (aside from Rose himself) to go was Duff McKagan.

By the late 1990s, he was considered to be a recluse, rarely making public appearances and spending most of his time holed up in his mansion in Malibu. In various reports in the press, he was referred to as the "Howard Hughes of rock" and "rock's greatest recluse".[20][32] Rose was said to spend his nights rehearsing and writing with the various new lineups of Guns N' Roses, working on the band's next album, Chinese Democracy.[26]

In a rare interview with Rolling Stone in 2006, Rose shed more light on his long awaited Chinese Democracy album. "We're working on 32 songs, and 26 are nearly done," he said in the interview. "People will hear music this year," he said. "It's a very complex record, I'm trying to do something different. Some of the arrangements are kind of like Queen. Some people are going to say, 'It doesn't sound like Axl Rose, it doesn't sound like Guns N' Roses.' But you'll like at least a few songs on there."[33]

Guns N' Roses resurfaced with concert tours in 2002 and again in 2006. The band, now consisting of Rose, Dizzy Reed, Robin Finck, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (replacing Buckethead), performed their first live concerts in the United States in over three years on May 12, May 14, May 15, and May 17, 2006 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.[34] They also performed in Madrid on May 25 and in Lisbon (Rock in Rio) on May 27 to an audience of over 50,000.

On May 6, 2006, Rose appeared on the Eddie Trunk radio show and promised that the album would be released sometime in the fall or late fall 2006.[35]

On August 31, 2006, Rose presented The Killers at the MTV Video Music Awards by coming out onto the stage and screaming his trademark, "Do you know where the fuck you are?!" In an interview backstage, Rose revealed that the official Chinese Democracy tour would begin "around October 24th", and that the album would be out that year.[36]

On December 15, 2006, Rose issued an open letter to Guns N' Roses fans, discussing, among other things, the reasons why Chinese Democracy had not been released yet. In it, Axl stated that he hoped the album would appear in 2007, and named March 6 as a tentative release date.[37] However, the album's release date was pushed back once again.

In 2007, Rose collaborated with longtime friend Sebastian Bach on his solo album Angel Down, doing a duet with Bach on a cover of the Aerosmith song "Back in the Saddle". Rose also performed backing vocals on "(Love is) a Bitchslap" and "Stuck Inside", for which he was credited as a co-writer.

On October 22, 2008, a new release date was officially announced for Chinese Democracy: November 23, 2008 (the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day). The album was exclusively released through North America's largest chain of electronics stores, Best Buy. [38]

In May of 2009, reports surfaced that Rose had re-recorded 'Appetite For Destruction' with the current GNR lineup, in anticipation of the album's upcoming 25th anniversary. Several critics have denounced the mere suggestion of tampering with 'Appetite' as musical blasphemy and a blatant cash grab, effectively cutting Slash, McKagan, Stradlin and Adler out of future album royalties. In a recent interview, Slash reportedly responded to the rumor with, "Axl remakes Appetite and my lawyers will remake his balls." [39]

For a few days in 2009, Rose filled in for longtime fan Rupert Grint during a Remington Steelers tour while he was recovering from a mild case of swine flu.

Controversy Edit

Drug use Edit

Rose was not a regular drug user.[40] He did not disavow the use of illicit substances, stating in a 1989 interview "I have a different physical constitution and different mindset about drugs than anybody I've known in Hollywood, because I don't abstain from doing drugs, but I won't allow myself to have a fuckin' habit. I won't allow it".[41] After Guns N' Roses became successful, Rose noted that he had stopped using any sort of hard drugs.[16]

Although Rose has not been known for alcohol abuse, on June 27, 2006, he was arrested in Stockholm, Sweden, after an early morning altercation in his hotel lobby with hotel security. Rose is alleged to have bitten a security guard's leg and shattered an antique lobby mirror while in a drunken rage. Rose later commented in a press release: "We had a great gig in Stockholm and I am not going to let this incident spoil that. My assistant Beta and I were talking in the lobby of the hotel when security started to give us a hard time. My only concern was to make sure she was okay". After spending the next several hours in a Stockholm drunk tank, Rose plead guilty to all charges and paid roughly $6,000 in fines and was released. The Summer European tour continued as scheduled.[42]

"One in a Million" Edit

In 1988, Guns N' Roses released the EP G N' R Lies. Although the album had strong sales, there was outrage among some members of the public over the lyrics of the song "One in a Million", which included the words "niggers" and "faggots". As Rose was the lyricist of the piece and the song was composed about his personal experiences, he was labeled racist and homophobic, charges he strenuously denied.[7][43] The lyrics led to Guns N' Roses being removed from the schedule at a 1989 concert benefiting the Gay Men's Health Crisis at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.[16] When Guns N' Roses and Living Colour supported The Rolling Stones for a concert in Los Angeles in 1989, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid publicly commented on "One in a Million" during an interview the day before the concert.[20]

Rose denied allegations of homophobia, however, he claimed that he had had bad experiences with homosexuals, and, as such, he did not understand their way of life.[7] He also pointed out that many of his musical idols, including Elton John and Freddie Mercury, as well as the head of his record company, were gay or bisexual. Following this, in a surprising move, Rose performed "November Rain" with Elton John at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. John (along with Bernie Taupin) was a big influence on his musical and lyrical outlook. He also paid tribute to Freddie Mercury, another huge influence, at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, where he again performed with John, this time singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Rose has maintained his friendship with John to the current day and inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.[44][45]

In addressing the accusations of racism, Rose gave several explanations. In one 1989 interview, he stated that he had used the word to signify "somebody that is basically a pain in your life, a problem. The word nigger doesn't necessarily mean black", and referenced the rap group Niggaz with Attitude (NWA) as using the word in a positive context.[7] Rose was occasionally photographed wearing an NWA hat from then on. By 1992, however, Rose seemed to have gained new perspective on the song and its lyrics. In one interview, he conceded that the word had been used as an insult, but added: "I was pissed off about some black people that were trying to rob me. I wanted to insult those particular black people. I didn't want to support racism".[1]

Rose was consistent in strongly denying accusations that he was racist. He also expressed concern and disapproval at those who used "One in a Million" to promote their own racist views, noting: "There's a lot of people who have chosen to use that song. However that song makes them feel, they think that must be what the song means. If they hate blacks, and they hear my lines and hate blacks even more, I'm sorry, but that's not how I meant it".[5]

Riots and rants Edit

Throughout Guns N' Roses' career, Rose has been notorious for personally addressing disruptive fans and giving instructions to security guards from the stage, at times stopping concerts to deal with issues in the crowd. In his 1992 Rolling Stone interview Rose explained, "Most performers would go to a security person in their organization, and it would just be done very quietly. I'll confront the person, stop the song: "Guess what: You wasted your money, you get to leave."[1] He has also been noted for his late appearances at concerts, sometimes taking the stage hours after the opening acts.[1][46][47]

In many instances, Rose's actions have seemed to be based in concern for the safety of the band and audience members. At the 1988 Monsters of Rock concert at Castle Donington, England during which two fans were crushed, Rose stopped the show several times when asked by security, as the audience rushed the stage. The fans had begun edging forward when the band appeared onstage. The final report into the Donington tragedy noted that Rose had immediately cooperated with venue security when advised of the dangerous crowd conditions, and had attempted to calm the crowd.[48] In a more recent incident, during a concert in 2006 in Birmingham, Rose stopped the show and had a security guard ejected for assaulting a fan in the audience.[49]

In July 1991, during the early stages of the 28-month-long Use Your Illusion Tour, Rose jumped off stage during a concert in St. Louis to take a video camera away from a fan. The concert was aborted as Rose threw his microphone down and walked off stage saying "Thanks to the lame-ass security, I'm going home!" The other band members followed and the house lights came on, sparking an intense riot that caused significant damage to both the newly-constructed arena and Guns N' Roses' equipment and instruments. [50] Rose was blamed for the melee, and was charged with four counts of misdemeanor assault and one charge of property damage, for which he was arrested in 1992.[51] The case eventually went to trial in late 1992, and resulted in a conviction, two years' probation and a US $50,000 fine for Rose.[40]

Another riot occurred on August 8, 1992 at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, during Guns N' Roses' summer concert co-headlining tour with Metallica. During the performance, Metallica's set was cut short when the band's lead singer, James Hetfield, was burned in a pyrotechnics accident. Guns N' Roses was unable to take the stage early to make up for Metallica's abbreviated performance, as Rose was once again late arriving at the venue. Further compounding the situation, Rose walked off stage and left the stadium after playing nine songs (only about 50 minutes), claiming he had problems with his voice. Before "Double Talkin' Jive", Rose said this will be "our last show for a long time", and at the end of "Civil War", their last song, Rose said "Thank you, your money will be refunded" and walked offstage. A riot ensued, which spilled out into the streets. Authorities were barely able to bring the chaos under control.[20]

Problems have also occurred at several of Guns N' Roses's more recent concert events. On June 11, 2006, Guns N' Roses headlined the Download Festival in Donington Park, England. Within the first half hour of the show; Rose had become annoyed with the quality of the sound and had also lost his footing, nearly causing him to fall due to the "slippery stage". After briefly leaving and returning the set mid song, throwing the microphone on the floor and exiting the stage citing technical difficulties while leaving Bumblefoot to play an instrumental of the song "Don't Cry", he returned on stage with tennis shoes on (he was previously wearing boots), announced that he had some old friends to bring out, and was joined by Izzy Stradlin to play "Used to Love Her". Stradlin left and returned on stage multiple times, for "Patience", and the final number "Paradise City". During the night, Rose was also joined by Sebastian Bach and together they sang "My Michelle".[52]

On July 19, 2006, at a show in Newcastle, England, Rose walked off-stage during the performance of "Nightrain" after what was alleged to be a £1 coin was thrown on to the stage directly at him. Rose addressed the crowd off-stage and informed them that any person caught throwing objects at him or any other members of the band must be ejected from the auditorium. The band returned to the stage to finish the song after which Rose declared "The show is over", the band departed and the house lights were resumed. They did not play the usual "Paradise City" encore.[53]

Twice in Argentina between 1992 and 1993 the band have had to stop shows because of objects being thrown at the stage. During a performance of "Nightrain", Axl stopped the song because an object and been thrown at him. This resulted addressing the crowd. Rose words without swearing were "We have some pretty stupid people here tonight, who seem to think throwing things at the stage will relate to a better show". "It won't happen that way". Some more words were exchanged before Axl informed the crowd "Don't Try Me" and then asked them if they should continue or go home. Incident two was in the middle of "You Could Be Mine" as a rather big tooth looking object was thrown. Axl picked it up after informing his bandmates to stop the song. He embarked "Get a camera on this". "Do you think that this is funny?". He stated that "This could hurt someone real bad. Which was soon followed by Rose informing the crowd that if they saw someone in the crowd throwing things at the stage, to physically confront them.

In the middle of "Civil War" performed in Chile in 1992, Axl again was the victim of a flying object. He just stopped singing and arrogantly threw his mike away and stood with his arms crossed, looking disappointed. He then tried to point the perpetrator out to security as he was hiding. Axl then walked off stage to crowd chants of insults in Spanish. The interpreter tried to state that they shouldn't throw things. The Crowd was still noisy so Axl returned to the stage addressing the fans in a rude manner, demanding they be quiet.

In Philadelphia, Axl stopped a performance of "Welcome to The Jungle". He then confronted a fan who appeared to be moshing during the song, Axl sarcastically thanked the fan for stopping the show. The fan answered back then Rose replied. "Hey, is that what you wanna do". "You wanna flip me off?". The fan replied once again before Rose invited him to come closer, aggressively sticking out his hand and giving him an equally aggressive reply. The fan's part of the conversation was unheard but Rose's was peppered with explicit words. He implied that the fan was dumb and how he was asking for more physical abuse after he had already received some. This heated debate ended shortly after.

In another show, at the end of "November Rain" after the house lights went off, a fan some how managed to knock Duff out with a bottle of urine. Duff was taken offstage. Axl made his displeasure known before throwing his mike away and storming offstage. Slash then confronted the crowd rather politely but was not sure whether the crowd could understand what he was saying. Somewhere during the incident, it was implied that the band wouldn't return to the location.

Events Surrounding Chinese DemocracyEdit

Record execs at Geffen were reported to be furious with Rose for not doing any promotion or publicity for 'Chinese Democracy'. AOL Canada Entertainment reported that, as of December 2, 2008, he had been missing for at least two months and had not returned any phone calls or other requests.[54]

On December 11, 2008, Rose finally broke his silence, answering questions in person on three Guns N' Roses discussion boards and mentioning an upcoming music video for "Better".[55] A far more comprehensive view of Axl Rose's interpretation of the controversy regarding the release of Chinese Democracy was published on Feb 6 2009, Rose's 47th birthday, in both Billboard and on Reuters. In the interview, Rose speaks with disdain towards Interscope Records and in particular the chief of Interscope, Jimmy Iovine. He states that he never really received the support from them that he expected. The interview, technical in nature, reveals Rose's substantial knowledge of the inside workings of the music business, and how the rapid transformation of the music industry has worked against Guns n' Roses release of Chinese Democracy. Axl was coy about the internet legend that two more albums of material are ready to be rolled out, only saying that he is focusing now on Chinese Democracy.[56]

On December 16, Axl Rose made public an open letter posted on the official Guns N' Roses' website.

Work outside of music Edit

Axl plays the voice of Tommy "The Nightmare" Smith, former lead singer of the fictional 1970s rock band Crystal Ship, which in fact is reference to the song by The Doors, and radio DJ of Classic rock radio K-DST, in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.[57]

In addition, Rose appeared as an uncredited background performer in a funeral scene in Clint Eastwood's 1988 film The Dead Pool.[58]

In 2009, it was confirmed that Rose will be producing the film adaptation of the novel "Almost Home".[59]

Discography Edit

Pre-Guns N' Roses Edit

Title Release Date Label
Hollywood Rose: The Roots of Guns N' Roses 2004 (Recorded in 1983) Cleopatra

With Guns N' Roses Edit

See Guns N' Roses discography

Title Release Date Label
Appetite for Destruction 1987 Geffen
G N' R Lies 1988 Geffen
Use Your Illusion I 1991 Geffen
Use Your Illusion II 1991 Geffen
"The Spaghetti Incident?" 1993 Geffen
"Greatest Hits" 2004 Geffen
Chinese Democracy 2008 Geffen

Guest appearances Edit

Title Artist Release Date Label
The End of the Innocence Don Henley 1989 Geffen
Fire and Gasoline Steve Jones 1989 Gold Mountain
Pawnshop Guitars Gilby Clarke 1994 Virgin
Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits Don Henley 1995 Geffen
Anxious Disease The Outpatience 1996 Musikitchen
The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper Alice Cooper 1999 Rhino
Angel Down Sebastian Bach 2007 EMI

Personal life Edit

Relationships Edit

Throughout the mid eighties and into the early nineties, Rose was involved in a turbulent relationship with Erin Everly, the daughter of singer Don Everly. Rose wrote the lyrics of "Sweet Child o' Mine" about her, and she appeared in the video for the song.[60] Rose and Everly were wed in late April 1990 in Las Vegas,[61] albeit under duress: according to Everly, Rose showed up at her home, told her he had a gun in his car, and that he would kill himself if she did not marry him.[62] Rose wanted one of his heroes, Dan McCafferty frontman of Nazareth, to perform at his wedding. McCafferty commenting in 2004 said "I laughed when Axl asked me to sing "Love Hurts" at his wedding, because the song seemed to last for longer than the marriage! Around 18 people from their management kept phoning me to ask – 18 people! – but I eventually told them I was busy, which I probably was."[63]

The couple separated after less than a month of marriage,[16] but later reconciled for several months, during which time Everly became pregnant. She suffered a miscarriage in October 1990. This deeply affected Rose, who had wanted to have children of his own. The day after Everly's miscarriage, Rose was arrested after allegedly assaulting a neighbor with a wine bottle after the neighbor threatened to call the police because of Rose's loud music. The marriage between Everly and Rose was annulled in January 1991.[16][62] Rose has never re-married and has no children.

After the breakup, Rose allegedly continued to try to contact Everly for more than a year, sending her flowers, letters, and even caged birds.[62] In 1994, Everly filed a civil lawsuit against Rose, alleging various incidents of physical and emotional domestic violence had occurred before and during the marriage; the suit was eventually settled out of court.[20][26]

By mid 1991, Rose had become involved with model Stephanie Seymour. While they were together, Seymour appeared in two Guns N' Roses videos, "November Rain" and "Don't Cry". Rose became deeply attached to Seymour's son, Dylan, and tried to be a good father figure for the child, as there had been none in his own life. Seymour and Rose parted ways in early 1993, [20][40] Rose and Seymour then filed lawsuits against each other, each claiming that the other was physically abusive. In support of her case, Seymour subpoenaed Erin Everly, Rose's ex-wife, so Everly would testify that she was also abused by Rose. The lawsuits were settled out of court.[26][62]

Feuds Edit

Vince Neil Edit

In 1989, a feud erupted between Rose and Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil after Neil punched Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards. The punch was said to be in retaliation for a prior incident at the Cathouse, a Los Angeles rock nightclub, in which Stradlin allegedly harassed and assaulted Neil's wife, Sharise.[64]

Following the Video Music Awards, Neil and Rose traded insults and challenges for confrontations through the press for a number of months. The duel never happened; each singer accused the other of backing out.[24][64] In an interview with Larry King Live in 2008, when asked about the feud, Neil stated, "... it's like if somebody pulls your hair when you're in third grade, are you still going to beat them up? ... I don't think so." He also noted that he had not spoken to Rose in more than 20 years.[65]

Kurt Cobain Edit

Rose had been a big fan of the band Nirvana, who were signed to the same record label as Guns N' Roses, Geffen. He twice asked singer Kurt Cobain and Nirvana to open for Guns N' Roses for the second leg of the Use Your Illusion Tour, which Cobain declined. After declining Rose's offer, Cobain began to talk about Guns N' Roses and Rose to numerous media sources, claiming that they were "so obviously pathetic and untalented".[66] At the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, jokingly asked Rose to be the godfather to their daughter Frances Bean, to which Axl replied "Why don't you shut your bitch up." Kurt then allegedly turned to Courtney, and jokingly said "Shut up bitch!" .. prompting Rose to challenge Cobain to a fight.[67][68]

In an interview with Michael Azerrad in the unofficial biography Come as You Are, Cobain admitted there was one thing he did like about Guns N' Roses: "They totally fuck things up and then they sit back and look at what they fucked up and then try to figure out how they can fix it, whereas we fuck things up and just dwell on it and make it even worse."[69]

Cobain further commented on Rose's rock star persona, claiming, "His role has been played for years. Ever since the beginning of rock and roll, there's been an Axl Rose. And it's just boring. It's totally boring to me. Why it's such a fresh and new thing in his eyes is obviously because it's happening to him personally and he's such an egotistical person that he thinks that the whole world owes him something."[67][68]

Then-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan was one of the last people to see Kurt Cobain alive before his death in 1994,[70] and the other former members of Guns N' Roses are now getting along with the Cobain estate. Courtney Love has privately apologized to Duff McKagan for their criticism of the band. In addition, the two have performed "It's So Easy" live together,[71] and Velvet Revolver, the current band of McKagan and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, have played Nirvana's song "Negative Creep" in concert and released a version of it as the B-side of their CD-single for "Slither". Slash also appeared in a VH1 documentary where he spoke about his respect for Cobain.

Velvet Revolver Edit

In March 2006, Rose's lawyer released the following statement: "In October 2005, Slash made an unannounced 5:30 AM visit to Axl Rose's house. Not appearing to be under the influence, Slash came to inform Axl (about his new band Velvet Revolver) that: 'Duff was spineless,' 'Scott Weiland was a fraud,' that he 'hates Matt Sorum' and that in this ingoing war, contest or whatever anyone wants to call it that Slash has waged against Axl for the better part of 20 years, that Axl has proven himself 'the stronger.' Based on his conduct in showing up at Rose's home, Axl was hopeful that Slash would live up to his pronouncements that he wanted to end the war and move on with life. Unfortunately that did not prove to be the case."[72]

Slash did not comment on Rose's press release, but a Velvet Revolver spokeswoman did promise that he would be heard from "within days". Slash never released an official statement on the matter, but on May 13, 2006, during an interview on the Camp Freddy Show on Invicta 103.1 FM, he denied ever having visited Rose's house, noting that he had neither seen nor spoken to the singer since the mid 1990s. In his 2007 autobiography, Slash changed his version of events slightly, saying he had dropped off a note at Rose's house asking for a meeting, but that Rose had never responded directly.[73][74] Vocalist Scott Weiland posted an inflammatory letter, addressed to Rose, on the Velvet Revolver official website, but it was quickly removed.[75]

In 2008, after parting ways with Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland stated that his opinion of Rose had changed. Speaking with Rolling Stone, he said, "Everyone has made Axl out to be this horrendously crazy person, this bad guy, and I don't know him very well at all. He and I for whatever reason got almost tricked into this little media spat for a moment because one of our band members happened to run into him and said that he said something. So, my point being that having been in a band with Velvet Revolver now for five and a half years, I'm not quite so sure that it was all Axl's fault."[76]

On February 6, 2009, a story was posted on the official NME website that denied rumors of a reunion between the original members of Guns N' Roses. Axl Rose said that there is no chance that he and his former Guns N' Roses bandmate Slash will reunite – saying that one of the pair will "die" before such an event could occur.

The frontman told Billboard that the dispute between the pair would never be healed. He went on to say that Guns N' Roses, in its current guise, could tour in the near future.

"In regards to Slash," he said, "I read a desperate fan's message about, 'What if one of us were to die, and looking back I had the possibility of a reunion now'. My thoughts are, 'Yeah, and while you're at the show your baby accidentally kicks a candle and burns your house down, killing himself and the rest of your family.'

"Give me a fucking break. What's clear is that one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is. Those decisions were made a long time ago and reiterated year after year by one man.

"There are acts that, once committed between individuals, they are what they are. To add insult to injury almost day after day, lapsing into year after year, for more than a decade, is a nightmare. Anyone putting his own personal entertainment above everything else is sickening." In an interview with Spin magazine, Rose also stated that "Slash should not have been in Guns N Roses to begin with or should have left after G N' R Lies". He also stated that he considered Slash "a cancer, better removed and avoided-- the less anyone heard of him and his supporters, the better."[77]

Speaking about a possible Guns N' Roses tour, he added, "No plans, but there's talk. Management and our promoters are really excited with the offers coming in both here and worldwide."

Tommy Hilfiger Edit

In May 2006, Rose had a close encounter with Tommy Hilfiger at the Plumm nightclub in New York City. Hilfiger reportedly took a couple of swings at Rose, hitting him on the arm and face, before being carried away by his own security guards and ejected from the club. Rose made the claim that the attack began when he moved a drink belonging to Hilfiger's girlfriend so that it would not spill.[78]

Club owner Noel Ashman stated "Axl was a gentleman and had the good sense not to retaliate as he would have done some serious damage to Hilfiger."... Guns N' Roses were playing an acoustic set at Rosario Dawson's birthday party. Later that night Rose dedicated the song "You're Crazy" to "my good friend Tommy Hilfiger."[79] It was rumored on several celebrity gossip chat boards that Rose and Hilfiger (who was wearing a Guns N' Roses t-shirt under a blazer) were seen "hugging" and "burying the hatchet" backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August 2006, although this has not been confirmed by either side.[80]

Eagles of Death Metal Edit

On November 24, 2006 at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, Rose referred to opening act the Eagles of Death Metal as the "Pigeons of Shit Metal". He then said, "I'm sorry to say that this will be their last night with us." The Eagles of Death Metal later claimed that Tommy Stinson took his bass off and threw it on the floor saying "Fuck you, that's it".[81]

However, on December 2, 2006, Stinson posted a message: "As a matter of fact, Eagles of Death Metal were a suggestion of mine a while ago. Turns out they were the wrong band for our crowd. They were booed and did not play for as long as they were scheduled to. ... In the past I have thrown my bass. I have never thrown it at Axl or anyone else in the band nor has anyone thrown my bass back at me ... yet. Axl has been a dear friend to me for nine years. We have no problem communicating and wish that people would stay the fuck out of shit they don't know anything about."[82]

Bon Jovi Edit

Rose has had a long time feud with the members of the rock band Bon Jovi, especially with the lead singer, Jon Bon Jovi. At a 1987 show opening for Alice Cooper, Rose said "Now last night, what happened was, five guys in suits decided in the Hyatt Regency Hotel that we were scumbags. They were right, we're scumbags but that don't mean we're gonna take their shit. So first off, this guy grabs me and calls me Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi can suck my dick. Second off he tried to hit me. That's when Steven cracked him in the head with his cast. And his words were 'You never try to hit one of the family'". The audio of this speech is often referred to as "Axl's Blues" as the rest of the band play a blues jam as he speaks.[83][84][85] Incidentally, Bon Jovi had planned to name their 1986 album Guns N' Roses after Jon read an article about the band in a newspaper.[86]

In a 2006 interview, Jon Bon Jovi was critical of the public and media attention Rose received, despite not having released an album for years: "You know what pisses me off? I was reading this British rock magazine this month and there was a story about Axl Rose and the $13 million Guns N' Roses record that was never made. That motherfucker hasn't made a record in 13 years and he gets all that attention. You know what I've done in 13 years? A lot. But they have continued to write about the freak show aspect of him. Because he's a recluse. That makes him interesting, right?".[87] In addition, Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan publicly criticized Rose and his late arrivals at concerts in another 2006 interview.[88]

Dexter Holland Edit

The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland openly implied his dislike for Rose in a 2003 interview regarding The Offspring's then-upcoming album. On April Fools' Day 2003, The Offspring jokingly announced the album's title as Chinese Democracy (You Snooze You Lose) (now known as Splinter), Holland stated: "You snooze, you lose. Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title"[89], referring to his wearing of long braids during and prior to The Offspring's Smash tour in 1994 and 1995.[90] The Offspring thought that the name would be funny, since the Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy had at that time been in the works for years and still did not have a release date.[91] However, Rose was apparently not as amused when he was informed that The Offspring were throwing around this idea and subsequently requested his lawyers to issue a "cease and desist" notice to The Offspring.[91]

While it was proclaimed that The Offspring were on pretty solid legal ground despite having openly admitted to taking the title,[92] the band decided to use Splinter instead of Chinese Democracy. Holland explained that when the decision to title the album Chinese Democracy was announced, production was essentially brought to a halt.[93] Holland later explained that naming the album Chinese Democracy was just a joke and that it wouldn't have had anything to do with the record (Splinter). Holland stated that musically and lyrically Splinter more adequately described the flow and direction of the album.[94] Considering the large amount of publicity given to Dexter Holland and The Offspring when it was announced that the band would use Chinese Democracy as the album's title, it is likely that this was all simply a well-crafted publicity stunt at the expense of Rose.[95]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Neely, Kim (April 2, 1992). "Axl Rose: The RS Interview". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  3. "Ancestry of Axl Rose". William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Interview Magazine talks to Axl Rose". Interview magazine (May 1992). Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 James, Del (1992). "I, Axl – Part I". RIP. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 MTV Rockumentary: Guns N' Roses, 1989
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 James, Del (August 1989). "The Rolling Stone Interview With Axl Rose". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "THE QUOTABLE AXL". GN'R quotes and facts (1989). Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  10. Template:Citation
  11. Template:Citation/make link. Journal & Courier. November 30, 2008. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  12. "Izzy biography". Geffen Records (1998). Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  13. Loder, Kurt (November 8, 1999). "W. Axl Rose interview". MTV. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Kuipers, Dean (September 1991). "Guns N' Neuroses by Dean Kuipers". SPIN. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  15. "Birthday - Axl Rose" (February 6, 2000). Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 Template:Cite book
  17. "Axl Rose: Pre-GNR record to be released". Ultimate Guitar (February 3, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  18. "HP.html Hit Parader interview". Hit Parader (1986). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  19. "Guns N' Roses researched band history". Here Today, Gone to Hell. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 "Just a little Patience". SPIN (July 1999). Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  21. Wiggins, Keavin. ""Antisocial - Appetite for Destruction"". Antimusic. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  22. "Diamond Awards". RIAA. Retrieved on 2007-09-19.
  23. Template:Citation/make link. Sky News. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 Famous Last Words: Axl Rose. MTV, Kurt Loder, 1990 (television interview)
  25. Neely, Kim (2007-08-07). "Guns N' Roses Outta Control: The Rolling Stone Cover Story". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-08-23.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 "What Happened To Axl Rose - The inside story of rock's most famous recluse". Rolling Stone (2000-05-11). Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  27. "Axl Speaks - The Ownership of the name 'Guns N' Roses'".
  28. Wiederhorn, Jon (2004-05-04). "Axl Rose Sued By Ex-Guns N' Roses Bandmates". MTV News. Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  29. "W.Axl Rose Responds to Frivolous Copyright Suit by Former Guns N' Roses Members". Business Weekly (2006-05-25). Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  30. Vineyard, Jennifer (2005-08-25). "Slash, Duff Sue Axl Over Guns N' Roses Publishing Royalties". MTV News. Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  31. Amter, Charlie (2006-05-25). "Duff, Slash Gunning for Axl". E! Online. Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  32. "Didn't you used to be Axl Rose?". Q magazine (2001). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  33. Baltin, Steve (2006-01-17). "Axl Rose Breaks His Silence". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  34. Rogulewski, Charles and Baltin, Steve (2006-04-14). "Guns N' Roses to play New York". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  35. Harris, Chris (2006-11-30). "Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy In 2006: What Are The Odds?". Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  36. "John Norris Catches Up With Axl Rose". (2006-08-31). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  37. Rose, Axl (2006-12-14). "An open letter from Axl Rose". Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  38. "Guns N' Roses Officially Announce "Chinese Democracy": Pre-Orders Start Today". (2008-10-22).
  39. "Appetite For Destruction (Re-recording)".
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Kent, Nick (January 3, 2003). "Meltdown". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  41. James, Del (1989). "The World According to W. Axl Rose". RIP magazine. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  42. Kaufman, Gil (2006-06-27). "Axl Rose Released From Jail After Bar Brawl, Leg-Biting Incident". MTV News. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  43. Cave, Damien (2001-07-07). "Axl Rose: American Hellhound". Salon,. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  44. "Transcript of Eddie Trunk Interview, May 5, 2006". Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  45. "Inductee: Elton John". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  46. Colothan, Scott (2006-06-16). "Bon Jovi criticise Axl Rose". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  47. Hana, Jay (2006-06-19). "More Roses than Guns". Sunday Times/Perth Now. Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  48. "Report on Incident at Donington Monsters of Rock" (PDF). Music Not Mayhem (1995). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  49. "Report of Birmingham incident". (2006-07-25). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  50. Barat, Babu (September 1991). "There's A Riot Going On!". Musician magazine. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  51. "Axl Rose pleads not guilty". The New York Times (1992-07-15). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  52. "Axl Rose trips up at Download". Virtual Festivals (2006-06-12). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  53. "Message from Richard Fortus". Here Today, Gone to Hell (2006-07-26). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  54. Axl Rose Missing for Two Months
  57. "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas full credits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  58. "The Dead Pool full credits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  59. Axl Rose, Film Producer, - Your Daily Music Fix, May 15, 2009
  60. "Sweet Child o' Mine". Rolling Stone (December 9, 2004). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  61. "Clark County marriage record, certificate number C199803". Clark County NV marriage records database. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 "Bye Bye Love". People Magazine (July 18, 1994). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  63. Ling, Dave (June 2004). "Nazareth". Classic Rock magazine. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  64. 64.0 64.1 Template:Cite book
  65. "Transcript from Larry King Live". CNN (June 20, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
  66. Dalton, Steven (2004-03-20). "Ten Reasons Why Guns N' Roses Still Rock". NME. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  67. 67.0 67.1 Allman, Kevin (February 1992). "The Dark Side of Kurt Cobain". The Advocate. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  68. 68.0 68.1 MTV news report, 1992
  69. Template:Cite book
  70. "Duff McKagan: The Last One Who Saw Kurt Cobain Alive". Ultimate Guitar (2005-04-19). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  71. "Duff McKagan Talks About Being One Of Last People To See Kurt Cobain Before His Suicide". Blabbermouth (2005-04-18). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  72. "W. Axl Rose Response to Lawsuits". (2006-03-06). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  73. "Slash Addresses Guns N' Roses Rumors, Talks About Upcoming Velvet Revolver Album". (2006-05-15). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  74. Harris, Chris (2006-03-06). "Axl Files Suit Against Slash, Lashes Out At Ex-Bandmates". MTV. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  75. Harris, Chris (2006-03-13). "Scott Weiland Hits Back At 'Unoriginal, Uncreative' Axl Rose". MTV. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  76. Serpick, Evan (2008-05-02). "Scott Weiland Q&A: Stone Temple Pilots Frontman Talks Axl Rose, STP's Reunion and Tight Jeans". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2008-05-02.
  77. "Axl Rose Talks 'Democracy,' New Songs, Slash". Spin magazine (2009-02-27). Retrieved on 2009-02-28.
  78. Harris, Chris (2006-05-21). "Tommy Hilfiger Fights Axl Rose at New York Club". Fox News. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  79. "GUNS N' ROSES Get In The Ring!". Blabbermouth (2006-05-19). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  80. "Axl Rose & Tommy Hilfiger Make Nice, Courtesy VMA After Party". Jossip (2006-09-01). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  81. Template:Citation/make link. 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  82. Template:Citation/make link. 2006-12-02. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  83. "Bootleg details for December 19, 1987 show, Dane County Coliseum, Madison Wisconsin". Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  84. Young, Toby (1992). "Axl Rose: The Mussolini of mass culture". The Modern Review. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  85. "What you don't know about Guns N' Roses". VH1 Online. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  86. Interview with Jon Bon Jovi, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong 2004
  87. "Jon Bon Jovi is envious of Axl Rose". Blabbermouth (2006-03-03). Retrieved on 2007-12-24.
  88. "Bon Jovi member slags Axl Rose". The Rock Radio (June 19, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
  90. No Source (Implied)
  91. 91.0 91.1

External links Edit

Interviews Edit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.