First of all, I realize that some people doubt my story because I didn't
post my photo. I
sent a message to GNRJuan that I do not want to post the photo publically, but I would be
happy to send it to him to verify that I met Axl as long as he does not post the photo
I believe strongly in respecting people's privacy, and even though Axl
is a public figure,
he was nice enough to allow my wife and I to take a picture with him. I don't think he
intended this to be a photo to be distributed around on the internet. He may or may not
care; I really don't know, but I feel it would be a somewhat of a betrayal to distribute
the photo around on the internet.
When GNRJuan sees it, he can verify that I am telling the truth, and
hopefully that is good
enough for everybody.
I posted this in GNR Bar, but here are a couple of things that I also
wanted to mention
about what Axl told me.
The other thing that he mentioned that I failed to mention in my post
was that there were
some problems in the show on the 29th, and that he said for the first time the band came
together and overcame adversity and that they had never had to deal with that before.
Maybe someone can shed some light on this, but something else Axl commented
on was that they
couldn't use "drum tracks" on the new recordings, that they needed to rerecord the drum
parts. I was pretty nervous and I probably should have dug a little deeper, but I guess he
was referring to Josh Freeze's former drum tracks. I also understand that maybe Brain has
not been in the studio. In any event, Axl made it clear that the inability to get live
drumming in the studio had been part of the hold up.
I asked him if this was anything like when they were recording "Civil
War" and had to piece
together the drums with Steven Adler, and he said something to the effect of that being much
different because Steven couldn't make it through a recording session.
Anyway, here are my observations based on the conversation as to why
the album is taking so
1. Problems with getting Brain in the studio with everybody else
2. Axl wants them to be cohesive as a band
3. Legal troubles with other stuff (he mentioned that it was a pain in the ass whenever he
had to try to do something that needed the approval of the old band, like putting a newer
version of "Jungle" in Black Hawk Down)
I truly believe that he is absolutely devoted to getting a new album
out and making the new
band the best that they can be. If there was one thing I noticed about him, it was that he
was extremely passionate and very intense. At one point, he was talking about how difficult
it was to get things done legally sometimes, to which my friend who was with us replied
"sometimes it sounds like more trouble than it's worth."
At that point, Axl said "no, it's my career and my livilhood, so it's
not more trouble than
it's worth.." He wasn't snapping at my friend, but he was simply expressing his passion and
drive to do things right.
Another thing he said to me was that they were much sharper than last
year. I was at the
concert last year, and I remember him saying that they had only rehearsed a couple of days.
I brought that up to him, and he kind of laughed, saying that the rest of the band had
rehearsed together but he hadn't rehearsed with them until a couple of days before last
year's New Year's Eve Show.
Based on that, I think that 2001 was probably the first time that all
of these guys really
were together as a band. I think that Axl probably realized after last year's performances
that they weren't ready for prime time yet, because he mentioned a couple of times how much
better they were this year than before and it seemed that he was very excited about that.
I know it is stupid to say, but I would be very surprised if we didn't
see an album by
Summer and a single or two before the album comes out. Axl really seemed focused, and
mentioned that there would be new material that would "blow people away" and that they would
play more new songs by the time they toured, but first they wanted to make sure people knew
the songs first. He seemed very confident that the songs that would be released would be
I didn't have enough balls to ask him when a single might come out or
what the single might
be, but that's what happens when you are nervously drinking a Jack and Coke talking to a guy
whose music you have listened to at least 5 times a week since the 11th grade.