Musician - September 1991
by Babu Barat
There's A Riot Going On!
Axl Rose Defends His Actions
On July 2, 1991 16,000 St. Louis Concert goers attended the Guns
N' Roses show at the newly constructed Riverport Amphitheatre, 15 miles
west of St. Louis in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The band took the stage
to a standing room crowd thrilled to see the band after it's three-year
absence from the city. Guns N' Roses performed several cuts from its debut,
Appetite for Destruction, as well as numerous tracks from its forthcoming
Use Your Illusion twin albums.
An hour-and-a-half into
the show, while performing the song "Rocket Queen," it was obvious
something was wrong. Vocalist Axl Rose began to shout into the microphone,
take that away from him!" to
the security guards along the front of the stage. Rose paused, realized
that his words were not getting through and said, "Then I'll take
it from him." Rose then leapt into the first few rows of the crowd
and a scuffle followed. The rest of the band, seemingly bewildered, continued
to play. Seconds later, Rose was returned to the stage by Guns N' Roses'
own security crew. He motioned for the band to stop playing and announced
over the microphone that due to the poor security, "I'm outta here."
Slamming the microphone down, Rose stomped off stage, followed shortly
thereafter by the rest of the band.
Approximately 20 minutes
passed while the house lights remained off; half of the crowd chanted,
"Bullshit! Bullshit!" At about 11:30 p.m. the house lights were
turned on and the band's roadies began removing their equipment from the
stage. This infuriated the crowd, who began booing and throwing cups of
beer and soda at the stage, pelting the road crew. As the shower of cups
turned to bottles, cans and anything else the crowd could get their hands
on, one fan took it upon himself to climb onto the stage and make a dash
all the way around the risers, where he was met by roadies and security
guards. This personal moment of glory was cheered by the fans. As the
runner was dragged from the stage, a surge on the floor broke down the
four-foot-high chain-link fence that was used as a barrier during the
Seeing that matters had gotten out of control,
Guns N' Roses security man Ear Gabbidon secured a microphone through which
he attempted to tell the crowd that the band would return if they would
calm down. This was too little too late; the crowd was beyond the point
of rationale. Shortly thereafter another announcement was made that the
show was over, but this only fueled the crowd's anger. Several police
officers converged on the stage. At this point, the venue's security,
B&D Concert Services, was making itself scarce. There were a few of
them scattered among the people, but they were having no effect on anything.
More and more people found their way onto Guns N' Roses' stage. More police
officers were called in. At one point there were as many as 25 policemen
on the stage and they met the crowd with their nightsticks, beating several
people who were helpless. Chairs were ripped from their hinges and thrown
by the crowd, sections at a time towards the stage. Police and security
threw these and other objects back into the audience.
Mayhem broke out. Concert
goers were out of control. The authorities were out of control. Hundreds
of people crowded onto the stage, tearing it apart and throwing large
metal pieces at the authorities. Tables from the box-seat area of the
venue were flung towards the stage. At the height of the riot a fire hose
was brought to spray people who attempted to enter the stage area. Fights
broke out between fans and the authorities.
Leaving the venue, fans
could be found taking home parts of the band's stage, speaker cabinets,
drum set and anything else they could claim as a souvenir. Trees and other
brush were uprooted and burned. Trash cans were emptied and their contents
set aflame. Windows at the ticket booths were smashed. Signs designating
parking sections were torn down. The band's projection screens were destroyed.
In the hours that followed a "Code 1000," the riot call, was
dispatched to every major police department in St. Louis County. Over
500 police officers were called in. The use of tear gas to disperse the
crowd was reported, but denied by local authorities.
Ultimately 60 people
were sent to the hospital. Many other injured persons made their way home.
Fifteen people were arrested on charges ranging from disturbing the peace
to destruction of property, and damage estimates from the venue are in
the middle six figures. Since the majority of damage was to Guns N' Roses
equipment, the band's damage estimates are even higher.
Following this unfortunate
incident the mass media were quick to point the finger at Axl Rose and
the rest of the Guns N' Roses camp. Accusations were made in every direction.
The police were contemplating whether to file charges against the singer
for "inciting a riot," but said they needed to make a thorough
investigation before any action was taken. The ball has just begun rolling
for civil suits. The police, security personnel, fans and officials from
Contemporary Productions (who were the show's promoter and major investors
in the Riverport Amphitheatre) made comments and accusations against each
other and the band to the press.
I am the editor of Just
Rock, a St. Louis music tabloid. I was interviewed by the Los Angeles
Times for an eyewitness account of the riot. Later that week, I received
a call from Guns N' Roses management saying that Axl wanted to speak with
me regarding the incident.
"The riot happened
because we left the stage after we had done an hour-and-a-half show,"
Axl said, "which we were contracted to do. The people want a lot
more out of Guns N' Roses and usually they get it, but that night they
were upset because they weren't getting it. The place allowed bottles
and knives and whatever else inside, which is evident from looking at
the videotape. It was all over the stage. The people pretty much had an
attitude that they could run over security. There's a reason to have a
'better not fuck with security' attitude in the crowds: It's for their
safety. I'm sure a lot of people got hurt that wouldn't have because of
all the craziness. When we left the stage the venue was not prepared to
call us on that circumstance. The rights that I have and the band has
are written all the way through our contract. Nobody has really ever questioned
it. Nobody has said, 'No, these are my rights and I'm claiming them right
now.' Usually if you have an experienced staff at the venue, if there
is a problem you can call the show, go backstage, get the problem worked
out and come right back out. None of that happened. Nothing happened except
for the riot. They just weren't prepared. And when we called them on it,
all of the mistakes they made surfaced."
Musician: Riverport only
had a handful of shows up until Guns N' Roses. They had Steve Winwood,
Jimmy Buffet, the Ninja Turtles and Mannheim Steamroller. I had interviewed
Gregg Hagglund from Contemporary Productions and asked him how Contemporary
was going to prepare for a Guns N' Roses crowd. He said, "We will
be prepared. I don't think, initially, that we're going to change a lot
of things. I think that the party revelers will respect the environment
that they are in. It will be a lot bigger crowd. There will be a lot more
of them. Those will be the only differences in terms of how we treat the
crowd. We will just have more people to deal with, more customers."
What do you think of that?
Axl: That's not very intelligent. At Alpine Valley, our first shows, they
put in new sod every year. $100,000 worth of sod. During the first show,
that sod was on the stage. Also, other things happened at the St. Louis
gig that I wasn't told about until two days after the gig. Duff didn't
want me to get excited.
Musician: Such as?
Axl: Such as Duff getting hit with a bottle twice during the show. Duff
knows I would have called the show and he didn't want to be responsible
for whatever happened out of that. Duff's attitude is, "I'm a man
about things. I got hit with a bottle, big deal." My attitude is
that no, you don't allow yourself to get hit by bottles because that encourages
it in the future. If someone goes and tells a story that he threw a bottle
at Guns N' Roses, three years, five years from now some kid could remember
that story he heard at a kegger, and throw at someone else and take them
out. I learned this from Lemmy of Motorhead. I have more respect for what
Lemmy's gonna tell me about how to run a rock show than some kid on the
street going, "That's kinda wimpy that you pulled off." It's
like, no, I'm sorry, I listen to people other than you.
Musician: How do you feel
about the false reporting of the event? The adults in this community are
assuming that you jumped into the audience and the riot erupted immediately:
Axl: And they think I did it just because I wanted to stop somebody from
taking my picture. The camera was the last straw, the final thing. I was
sick of, at that point, with the security in the front. There was a weird
space in my mind the entire night. I was thinking, "Something isn't
right up here. Why is there this weird attitude, this passiveness, in
the security?" There was no feeling that they were on the same team
as us. Their feelings towards the crowd wasn't right. A young boy and
a girl were getting shoved over here while rowdy bikers are being allowed
to do whatever they want. What is going on? I was very confused.
I don't stand during "Jungle," I just stood there and watched
a security guy shove a young kid and walk about four feet out into the
aisle just to act tough and show the crowd that he was a man. Then he
turned around to me with a smile of pride on his face. I looked at this
slob while he was looking at me with this pride on his face and going,
"See what I do to your fans?" It took me a couple of days to
understand the look on his face
I was very confused. I was like,
"What is going on with these guys?"
Our people have worked
the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowls, the Olympics, Grand Prix, they've played
on major sports teams and they run their own security companies now. They've
been around professional events for a long time. They've seen a lot of
things and they do their best to make sure that nobody gets hurt. They
will take someone out if they have to, but usually there is a lot of warning.
One thing that is not being said in the press is that Earl Gabbidon was
on the headset and he warned those guys in the front that either the cameras
go or the show is off. He warned them four times. He was doing his job.
Musician: Who is Earl?
Axl: Earl is part of Guns N' Roses security. He's a large black man. He's
played for several professional football teams. He has been around. He
told them the cameras had to go. The security at the venue just didn't
plan on me calling them on it. Sometimes it's not a big deal. But when
I say something to security and the person is in reach, and the security
just doesn't care, it's wrong! They're playing favoritism with the crowd
over the artist who's paying their salary that night.
Musician: More than half of
those crowd-control guards had just been hired.
Axl: It's a two-week old venue.
Musician: Many of the security
guards there that night were new to their profession. They were letting
people sit wherever they wanted
Axl: We don't encourage certain strictness. We prefer general-admission
seating because it's a lot more fun.
Musician: I saw two people
with cameras from where I was sitting. And I could only see a very small
part of the crowd. I saw numerous bottles and cans. I saw a girl putting
a camera between her legs and another girl putting one in her bra.
Axl: When someone says, "Axl didn't want his picture taken,"
they are not considering the big picture. We are the most bootlegged new
band in history. There are over 47 albums out. Even songs that are on
the new record. When I play "November Rain" people cheer. They
know the song. It's already sold a few million copies on bootleg. When
people aren't working together to help avoid that, it really gets me mad.
Musician: How do you react
when the people, your fans, who are saying, "I won't ever buy a Guns
N' Roses record" or "Axl is this" or "Axl is that"?
They're blaming it on you just because everybody else is pointing the
finger at you.
Axl: They don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. I dived
into that crowd. And when I dive I'm aware of what can happen. I wasn't
aware that they were going to tear the place down, but I'm aware of all
the legal things that can happen with me. Someone getting hurt or whatever.
But I've got a videotape of people destroying our equipment. It wasn't
the building's equipment. I think people got ripped off of a good show.
When my audience is denying me the right to call my show for reasons that
don't have anything to do with them, that's not fair.
We realized the police
were not handling the situation. Their method was not working.
Musician: After you guys left
the building people were getting beaten by the police. I saw two police
officers go up and beat a guy with their sticks. Then two other officers
came up behind them and pulled the first two officers away. They were
like, "What the hell are you doing?" People were going crazy.
People were hurling parts of the stage at other people. It was like a
Axl: A lot of people don't realize that we tried to come back, but we
found out the drums were damaged while the police were on the risers,
so we couldn't. We felt we had a better chance of calming everybody down
than the police, but by that time everything was too far gone. We were
told to leave and now people are saying they don't remember that.
I've learned a lot about
power in this situation. And the abuse of power, and the power that we
have, and the responsibility of that power.
Musician: Contemporary Productions
has been receiving calls from other promoters asking whether they should
cancel the Guns N' Roses show.
Axl: We're not really worried about that. We don't want people to get
hurt at shows. That's our main concern. When you're dealing with people
who are not as concerned with the music or the crowd as much as the money
that they can make from it, they're not taking everything into account.
We care about how the show is run, and that people have a good time.
When we played at Rock
In Rio II, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth had been trying to get me to hang
out with him the whole show. He had all kinds of people coming up to me
and asking me to talk to him and so on. But due to my past experiences
with Dave Mustaine, every time I've talked to him, no matter how good
the conversation or how good I thought things were, a couple of days later
he would try and pull a fast move, backstabbing, just to get himself some
coverage. It's just somebody I didn't want to hang out with. It was handled
nicely. The only person I spent time with in any of the bands was Billy
Idol. We came back to L.A. and Dave's on the radio saying that they won't
be playing any dates with Guns N' Roses. That there were deaths at the
show. Guns N' Roses shouldn't have played on the night that they played
and all this other stuff. What Dave didn't realize is that Guns N' Roses
was one of the reasons there was a Rock In Rio II. The people who ran
the television station down there and were major financers wanted to see
Guns N' Roses. The owner of the television station wanted to see Guns
N' Roses. We had the say-so of who was allowed to play. One of the deaths
was caused by the police shooting the fire marshal for not allowing 20,000
people with tickets in the show when they allowed 20,000 people without
tickets in the show and were taking the money for themselves. There were
80 bootleg Guns N' Roses T-shirt booths run by the chief of police. The
other deaths happened during Megadeth's show. We went onstage early because
Judas Priest had pulled off on their on accord, and then said that we
asked them to leave the stage early, trying to make us look bad. We had
told Judas that they could play as long as they wanted, they could have
whatever they wanted. The only thing they couldn't have, which the fire
marshal wouldn't allow, was their pyro. Then Rob Halford is in magazines
saying that I wouldn't allow him to have his Harley. I heard about that
during the day. One of the guys who worked with us was in my room with
a walkie-talkie, so I grabbed it and said, "Tell Robbie he can have
anything he wants." There was no way I wasn't going to allow Judas
Priest to do whatever they wanted, because I didn't want bad vibes. Judas
Priest was one of the major influences on my singing because Rob Halford
is one of the technically best in the world at what he does. And for me
to tell them that they couldn't have their Harley is stupid! This guy
was saying that I wouldn't allow it, which was a lie!
The crowd was really
rowdy up until the time we went onstage because a lot of people came to
see Guns N' Roses. We had four songs in the Top 10 and a number one song
down there on MTV, and four songs on MTV's Top 10. We were huge at the
time. We didn't know how huge we were until we got there. There was my
picture right beside a picture of the hostages in the war; on the front
page. It was like, "Axl takes his shirt off." It was really
wild. The promoters and some people in the press were thanking us for
going onstage when we did because it calmed the crowd down. When I called
a friend of mine in L.A., Del James, I described the show as really "nice."
He said, "That's not a word that you usually associate with Guns
N' Roses." Something happened when we went onstage. It calmed the
people down. They were happy that we were there. We try to keep the crowd
enjoying the show rather than getting violent and beating each other up.
We will leave the stage if the crowd is too crazy. Leaving the stage is
usually done to calm things done. A lot of times that works. You leave
the stage so the crowd calms down and then you come back. Or sometimes
you leave the stage and then the crowd will get rowdier, and if it does
then you come back so they will calm down.
That night in St. Louis
I got hit in the eye when I jumped off the stage. When I did I lost a
contact. I wear these experimental lenses and I didn't know I had another
set. So I am half blind going, "Okay, I can't see. The show is over.
As a matter of fact my next few shows are over." I was really upset.
I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't know that I had anymore
lenses. But once I realized I had another contact I got the band together
and we were going to go back out because now they know there is a problem
with security and stuff, so things are going to be handled differently.
But by that time the riot had already started and there was nothing that
could be done. The police were trying to figure out whether they should
just arrest me and let the crowd do whatever they wanted to do. It's really
hard to handle the frustration I get, and the anger, at being portrayed
consistently so negatively. There are certain areas of the media who do
that to me all the time.
Axl: Why? The sensationalism of creating a bad guy. I've had problems
with the Hollywood sheriff's department, and had 14 officers in my hallway,
and people wanting to sue. Then we find out there are six members on this
council that can't afford to side with Guns N' Roses, even if we are right,
because of how it would look for them. They're dealing with people who
don't want rock 'n' roll around. So they can't afford to vote in my favor
even though I have a legitimate case. A lot of people jump on the sensationalism
of saying, "Yeah, he's the bad guy." It's how they make all
One of the things I got
up thinking about last night is that St. Louis is the place where I said,
"What? Am I a liar? Do I have a reputation for lying?" I think
I have the exact opposite reputation. It's in our music and everything
we do. That's one of the reasons why Guns N' Roses is successful and people
are into it much as they are. The truth comes through and you can feel
it in the music. We're being as honest as we can. Whether you like opinions
or not is another story. But it's real.
Musician: The St. Louis
Post Dispatch dug up every negative aspect of the band in their headline
article. Once they established this negative vibe they went into blaming
you for the riot.
Axl: Well, they have a lot of people who go, "See, we told you!"
There are a lot more of those people who care about the news and the newspapers
than the kids. It's kind of like the Rock the Vote thing. A lot of people
want me to get involved in Rock the Vote. I say, "What happened last
time you had all these rockers Rock the Vote? You found out that none
of them voted." Well, I've never voted because I haven't had the
time to explore any of the candidates and find out more about them. Most
of the time it comes down to which one is the lesser of the two evils
anyway, for me. My attitude is, I have got my life to live and I guess
I'll just have to deal with whoever gets into office and whatever rules
they make. I barely have the time to do what I'm doing now.
Musician: Let me read you
some of the coverage from the St. Louis Dispatch. "Guns N'
Roses, the band that helped ignite a riot late Tuesday night at the Riverport
Amphitheatre, has an aptly named debut album: 'Appetite for Destruction.'
The band - and lead singer Axl Rose in particular - seem to be as good
at generating controversy as selling music. Two young men were trampled
to death while Guns N' Roses played in 1988 in England. In Atlanta, Rose
jumped from the stage to grab a security guard. And in Philadelphia, Rose
fought with a parking-lot attendant. Millions of Americans heard two of
the band's members utter profanities last year on the American Music Awards,
and ABC later apologized. Rose has been arrested on a charge of hitting
a female neighbor with a wine bottle. Another band member - a guitarist
known as Slash - is a recovering heroin addict."
Axl: You know what is really strange about the whole thing, and at the
same time a really heavy weight to deal with, along with all the negativity?
This will do nothing in the long run, but make us even bigger. That's
Musician: The funniest thing
about the whole event is that they are saying Guns N' Roses will never
be invited back.
Axl: At this point, it's like, St. Louis, wait a minute? The album will
come out, and if they want Guns N' Roses they can buy the album, but these
people tore up our equipment and they're saying it's my fault. As far
as coming back, I don't know. How much will I be offered to come back?
We probably will come back if we're offered enough and security is handled
well enough. Other than that I have no interest in playing St. Louis.
Not that I hate St. Louis, I just go, "That's the place where they
tear up your equipment."
Musician: Do you mind the
rebellious image that follows the band? Do you think it is good or bad
for the band?
Axl: It can work good. But as of right now we are considered the most
dangerous band in the world. That's kind of a good reputation to have
as far as a rock band is concerned. That means you're doing great and
you're going to do better. At the same time we'd like more people to like
us and enjoy us and not have negative opinions of us. Guns N' Roses fans
are a very strange breed. I find more and more that I have less in common
with my fans than my fans have in common with me. Do you know what I mean?
Musician: Why do you say that?
Axl: Or that I have certain things in common with my fans, but they don't
have things in common with me. This is because I have a lot of responsibility.
I have a big job. We work very hard at what we do. I have never been the
type of person to go to a show, even when I was little, who tries to pull
the singer off the stage when he shakes my hand because, "I just
have to have Axl Rose here right now." I've never been like that,
but a lot of Guns N' Roses fans are that way at the show. Out of 10 people
whose hands you shake while you're onstage, three try to pull you in every
time. I don't understand that. If I'm injured I can't do my job and go
on with my life. And there's 10,000 to 130,000 people here, depending
on the size of the audience, that are going to be ripped off out of a
show because some person had to pull me into the crowd with them. I don't
get that! I don't get
"I love Guns N' Roses, yeah!," and
then throw a bottle at the bass player. Duff has the biggest bruise I've
ever seen on an arm because he was hit by a bottle and he didn't want
to tell me onstage. If I had known that, we would have left the stage
a lot earlier! And if it happens another night, we will leave again!
Musician: Can you compare
this to what happened to Sebastian Bach and Skid Row last year?
Axl: You can compare it, but it's not right. I didn't randomly throw a
bottle into the crowd. I'm not against Sebastian for that. It just happened
so quickly for him. He got hit and he threw the bottle back because that
had never happened to him before. My thing was that security was determined
that nothing was going to happen to this guy with his camera. I told them
three times on the microphone. They heard me. They were like, "No,
we're not going to do anything." Okay then, I will!
Part of me goes, the
promoters, the people that put that show on, the people that hired those
people to work the front of the stage, and the people that hired the people
to do the checks should be responsible. Also the way they chose to sell
the amount of alcohol they did. There was supposed to be a two-beer minimum.
There was no minimum. There was supposed to be ID checks. There were no
ID checks. They got what they deserved. I think if St. Louis were to look
at it correctly, they would put these guys out of business and
keep them away from their kids, not Guns N' Roses. Guns N' Roses just
brought it to the surface.
It's like the song "One
In A Million." I'll get lambasted and filleted all over the place
over that song. Dave Marsh will be writing about this "We Are The
World" consciousness, but Dave, I don't know where you were doing
your "We Are The World" consciousness, but we were getting robbed
at knifepoint at that time in our lives. "One In A Million"
brought out the fact that racism does exist so let's do something about
it. Since that song, a lot of people may hate Guns N' Roses, but they
think about their racism now. And they weren't thinking about that during
"We Are the World." "We Are the World" was like a
Hallmark card. After what happened in St. Louis I think people will think
about running a show more carefully. We have talked about this among our
people and everybody is very supportive of how I am going to be about
this. If I go to a gig and I have negativity from the local officials
at the gig, and I have negativity from the venue's security, if I have
any type of negativity and an attitude like "We don't work for you,
we do what we want, we don't care," we will not play that night!
All this will be established before I go onstage or we're not playing!
I am not going to go into any place and make a lot of people money who
don't give a shit about me or my band. I'm not going to be just somebody
else that the promoter uses.
Musician: The night of Warrant
[July 5], the first show since the Guns incident, the venue was not selling
Axl: I don't condone that. But if you're going to do it, you better have
everything down. I'm not talking about heavy-handed security, I'm talking
about well-run security. Have you ever seen the movie Roadhouse
where Swayze says, "Be nice, be nice, until force has to be used,
be nice." But be on top of it. That's what we ask for.
Musician: There are a lot
of simple precautions that could have been taken that weren't. Things
like bracelets with punch holes along with a hand stamp to limit your
Axl: I thought about all that stuff. If I was a fan going to these places
and they made me wear a bracelet, I would be mad. But it took what happened
in St. Louis for me to realize that they do it for your own safety. It's
like when you get on an airplane and they give you that whole speech about
where the exit doors are, or when you can smoke. You can get mad at all
of that, but it's all done for your safety. When they don't want you to
bring bottles or knives into the show, that is for your safety. We don't
want cameras and videotapes and tape-recorders, that's for our safety.
I like hearing a bootleg of a band I like just as much as anyone else,
but at the same time I have to enforce that there's no cameras, no videotapes
and no tape-recorders because I don't want crappy material out there.
I want to approve tapes before they go out. If we did a shitty version
of a song one night for whatever reasons and we had technical difficulties,
I don't want that being a representation of me out there. There's things
done to protect the fans and there are things done to protect the artist.
In St. Louis there was no respect for fans or the artist. It pretty much
comes down to whoever hired that security and who really didn't give a
shit. The reactions towards me are only natural. That's the way it's been
in rock forever. It really makes you mad and you wish it wasn't that way,
especially because I know that's not what happened
and it's happening
We all work together.
If you have one bad link then you're in trouble. If you have negativity
from the local officials that are working the show, if the police hate
rock 'n' roll bands or if they hate anyone with long hair because they
think everybody with long hair is a drug dealer or whatever (which is
sometimes hypocritical because sometimes you have cops dealing cocaine.
I had three cops as my guests at that show. I met them at a strip bar.
It was my first time to a strip bar on this tour and I met three police
officers who happen to be Guns N' Roses fans and I had them come to the
show), if the people in the front at the venue don't care about the band,
or whatever, whenever there's a weak link people are going to get hurt.
Well, the officials who were working the gig were definitely not into
rock 'n' roll. The people at the venue just wanted to get paid and go
home. They didn't really care either way. And maybe they'll get to hit
some little kid and work out some frustrations on somebody's head. I saw
some of that going on. Whenever there is a weak link people are going
to get hurt. We just said that's it, we're outta here! Usually when you
do that somebody figures out how to get things back together. They didn't
know how to get that together. We tried to do it on our own and it wasn't
possible. Guns N' Roses will go on to be Guns N' Roses and do what it's
going to do, and it will leave this situation as part of its past.
I'm sure it's a combination
of a lot of things. Guns N' Roses wasn't completely innocent. I wasn't
completely innocent. I'm sure we could have handled things better too,
but I think we were the last link in the chain. And then we said, see
ya! We're not putting up with it.
Guns N' Roses pretty
much calls its own shots with a lot of other people trying to call other
shots and trying to tell the world that this is when the record is going
to come out and whatever. It's like saying there are delays on the record.
There are no delays on our record! There have never been any delays on
our record. The record will not come out until we're done with it. But
Geffen Records says it's going to come out by May 24th or whatever. We
try to meet those things, but we've known from day one that the record
wasn't going to come out until we're ready. That's one reason why we worked
so hard to sell so many records the first time around - so that we could
make sure we got this record done exactly the way we wanted to. Then the
press comes out with how we are delaying the record. No! What do you mean
delaying the record? It's my record! Delaying it? Do we want another Godfather
III? No. We don't want Godfather III with our record. We want it to be
right! We don't want it coming out six weeks early and saying, "I
wish we would have had the time to get this part right."
Musician: Axl, I appreciate
Axl: Oh, and by the way, I never hit the guy with the camera. All I did
was grab his vest and didn't let go of that motherfucker for anything.
I dived in and grabbed that guy and did not let go of that guy. The only
guy I hit was the security guy who was screaming at me and grabbed me,
and I didn't even hit him, I slapped him. I was like, "Wake up!"
I wouldn't let go of the guy with the camera because the security was
trying to get me to let go of him so he could get away. I was like, "No,
no, no." Those four guys were yelling and driving me nuts the whole
night. It had nothing to do with us playing. They were like "we know
Guns N' Roses and we're going to prove we're his best friend and we are
his biggest fan and so on." I was like, "Shut up!" I don't
care about people screaming, but this guy kept on waving his motorcycle
card for his gang, the Saddletramps. I just didn't care about it.
We don't like people
to get hurt. One of the things I am happy about is that security should
be run a lot differently from now on, for the first time in our lives
in dealing with venues. I've had a lot of problems with the security for
a venue beating up kids and nobody does anything about it. I'm the closest
person to the situation because I'm right there on the end of that ramp.
I'm not going to let a kid, or especially a friend of mine, get beat up
by security if he didn't do anything. In Atlanta I dived in and I had
police saying I hit them. I never did, but I had to plead guilty because
we didn't have any money at the time. Lie? Yes, I guess I did lie once.
I lied and said that I hit four cops. I guess we should reopen the case
and take me to trial for perjury. But I didn't have $56,000 to pay them
off under the table.
One of the things that
I want to do is make sure that this is not overlooked. A lot of the media
want to consider this unfortunate event dead in the water. They'll say
it's not news anymore. They will try to drop it after only putting the
negative points out. I want to get past that. I was a part of a very unfortunate
night for everybody. It wasn't a good time for us. I wasn't Mother Theresa