"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> "MY APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION"
By: Ban Tasers
THORNS AND AMMUNITION DEPARTMENT: I've wasted enough time in my life, thinking about corporate rock sell-outs, and why do some rebellious rock'n'roll motherfuckers, from humble origins, hit the lotto, to paraphrase Andy Prieboy, and BECOME the exact same, rich and powerful, bully abusers, they once rebelled against. Fat Elvises. Cops, at heart. I don't squander anymore energy on self-obsessed, bully abusers, if I can avoid it. I'd rather spend what little energy I have left, giving coverage to more deserving, and neglected artists, and musicians. Like Jayne County reminds us, all too many of these eighties rockstars are actually, conservatives. Selfish, longhaired, power mongering, authoritarian, hypocrite, Joe Liebermans. They demand freedom for themselves, and their rich friends, but they don't mind shitting on the less powerful. They're takers. Might makes right. There's always thousands of indulgent fan letters, to ease their troubled consciences with, from sad girls with no self-esteem, thanking them, for writing some only so-so power-ballad, about their first loves, twenty five years ago, so they get to live in their absurd make-believe lands, where they're doing us all some big favor. The singer from the Police once said, that cocaine was God's way of telling you that you have too much money.
One guy I always had some abiding compassion for was Steven Adler, the happy-go-lucky, fuck-up, original, one and only, real, GUNS'N'ROSES drummer, who was the first, of many, to be forced to walk the plank, off the pirate-ship, that flew the Jolly Roger, for our generation. He would have been really popular at my midwestern high school. He had that apple pie, boy next door-appeal, that the squares, and hick-town cheerleaders all love, especially, in small-town America. All the preppie dudes, who liked Journey and Dokken, and drove Trans-Ams, forever revving their flatulent engines in Arby's drive-through, every Friday night, all looked just like him, with the sweat-bands, the Colgate smile, the Farrah 'do, the Checkered vans, parachute pants, and Rising Sun muscle-T, from Spencer Gifts, in the mall. Poor Steven Adler was the butt of a thousand punch-lines, courtesy of a zillion creepy radio d.j.'s, and stand-up comics, already. Silly kid, Adler, has been spiraling downward, ever since he was frozen-out, by his old pals, after foolishly breaking his hand, and stumbling on a Farm-Aid stage, back in 19-whatever. Me, too, Stevie, me, too...
This book follows Ohio born, Steven, and his British born buddy, Saul, from their skateboard and dirt-bike days, as Hollywood juvenile delinquents, to imperiously, receiving multi-mouthed blowjobs, underneath the tables at the Rainbow. From backstage-orgies, choreographed by none other than, "American Idol" judge, Steven Tyler, to being asked to leave Denney's, and directed towards a homeless shelter, for appearing to be indigent. From opening for the Rolling Stones, to the sudden stroke, that left him speaking with a slur. The convulsions that required plastic surgery. Heart issues, overdoses, botched suicide attempts, law-suits, and arrests. Showing up at Martha Quinn's doorstep, half naked, drunk, and bleeding. Remind you of anyone? Har Har. The low-life hustlers, druggy sluts, pawned awards, and non-stop heartbreak, that followed, "APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION". Everyone, except for certain members of the Organization, knows that "USE YOUR ILLUSION", pretty much sucked. Only a couple of good songs, on a double album! I tried to sit through a Gilby-era VHS concert, awhile back, and it was painful to behold. I loved Candy, and even Kill For Thrills...I liked Matt when he played with the Cult, but no one else, has that Adler swing. I consider Martin Chambers one of THE BEST drummers in rock'n'roll, but not even he could fill Steven's shoes. Even if his shoes were usually some big, silly, sporto, tennis shoes, like the jocks in the mall...but heck, what about Axl? He went from looking just like the red-haired Michael Monroe, to looking like a redneck kid, on a high school wrestling team, in no time flat. No singer should wear shorts on stage. Save it for the gym, man. I guess in any group, someone gets appointed resident scapegoat. I think post-stardumb, the other guys just became so preciously, hipper-than-thou, that Adler's goofy, classic-rock enthusiasms, and perma-grin giddiness, may have seemed cheesy, while the other dudes were still busy perfecting their sullen, and furrow-browed, sleazy and "mysterious", Keith Richards, and Andy McCoy impersonations. Duff and Izzy should have simply coached Adler, about punk rock, like they did Axl. Who would it have hurt, to turn the kid on to the U.K. Subs, and Johnny Thunders, and all the cooler punk rock stuff, PRIOR to Farm-Aid??? If he loved Mott The Hoople, that much, it probably wouldn't have been much of a stretch, to turn him on to Generation X, or the Clash. Adler instinctively recognizes authenticity, and even acknowledges the under-appreciated, and often overlooked, contributions, and presence on the scene, of Mister Jeff Drake's immortal sleaze-punks, The Joneses.
After stubbornly negotiating a higher royalty rate than the drummer, since he was the lyricist, and eventually kicking Adler out of the band, Rose, mistakenly, blamed Adler for getting his ex, Erin Everly, high, threatening to kill him, when it was actually, Andy McCoy's old lady. Weird how Adler changes her name, in the book. That's one example of what I mean, when I say he was seemingly appointed the "blame-hound", for any of the other guy's unrest, or "issues". He was never treated as an equal by the ego-trippers, maybe he was just too "nice", for the coolsters. It seemed like a personal grudge, the way Axl insisted he got a higher royalty rate, on songwriting publishing, to chump Adler, specifically. Some people just like to be the boss. Even Van Halen split credit four ways. The Guns guys were ALL druggies, drunks, and fuck ups. At least one of 'em still has a real problem with violence. In a way, it's a shame Steven ever took these cold fish to heart. Lots of people in this world just refuse to ever apologize, for anything.
Like many others, I was surprised, and touched, by the poignant story about, AXL ROSE, showing up, alone, and keeping vigil, at his brother, Steven's bedside, after some groupie slipped him a mickey. It's noteworthy, how Slash and Fergie, act out that exact story-line, in their new video. Personally, I'm way more interested in Duff's work with LOADED, JANE'S ADDICTION, and MANIC STREET PREACHERS, than I ever was, with the ho-hum corporate-wanking of Velvet Revolver. IZZY STRADLIN, will hopefully, put out some more records, with the always great, Ju-Ju Hounds, sooner, than later. I've heard the ADLER'S APPETITE single, on-line, and it's, at least, as cool as any of Slash's Snakepit Records. While SLASH is slightly more interesting than AXL, he's still become a corporate shill, simultaneously, straddling the worlds of badass rock'n'roll mother-fuckery, and embarrassing, commercial wankage. His current record is very consciously, half and half. I've seen Axl's recent performances, and really have nothing much to say about his current line-up, other than, he is one bewildering dude.
I knew that Carmine Appice from Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, and Cactus helped Rod Stewart write "Hot Legs", but had NO IDEA, he also co-wrote, "YOUNG TURKS"-probably the last good Rod Stewart song, besides his covers of "Cigarettes And Alcohol" by Oasis, and "Leave Virginia Alone", by Tom Petty. Dear Rod, quit it with all the soft-rock, menopause music, willya? You're settin' a poor example for the Axls of the world. Once Adler and Izzy were out, it was really obviously, all over. They were trading on their super-fame, at that point, appealing to more sports-fans, than music lovers. I remember Adler got some hype in the early nineties, in the slick pages of all the old metal-mags, like, "Raw" and "Kerrang!" for a new group he formed with Davy Vain, to be called, "Road Crew", but Slash copyrighted the name, before Steven thought to do the same. Seemingly, just to spite Steven. Ouch. Izzy, Duff, and the perennial underdog, Adler, seem more in touch with reality, with all us real people, than either of those big guns. DUFF still remembers what good rock'n'roll sounds like. He writes a boss column for a Seattle mag, and will very likely, go down in history, as one of rock'n'roll's coolest bass-players. He's smart, has good taste, still "gets it". He's one of "us". Izzy ain't talkin'. The rest of the boys seem like they are all still livin' much too high off of "Appetite". 'Thing is, Axl Rose was never really Michael Monroe, kids. In fact, his original mission statement was, more or less, "I wanna watch you bleed". So maybe the generation that fell in love with him, and the dynamic-synergy, co-created by the original five...has been unfair, to Mister Rose...by ever expecting him to behave any differently than he has... or become anything more than whoever he is. Those millions of fans who continue hoping for a righteous rebirth of the classic line-up, are in all likelihood, going to continue to be disappointed. GUNS N ROSES was a wonderful moment, that we got to share. Our youth. Romantic gutter punks, running from the malevolent authorities, banding together, to survive the perils of Hollywood, finding love and redemption in the arms of a rocket queen...Now they are rich and powerful millionaires, who don't owe anybody anything. They're rich and unreachable. Chasing that next high. Money and power are the ultimate chaser-drugs. If you want to be appreciated by a member of that band, go see Adler's Appetite. He's one guy, who really seems to still appreciate the fans. After years of self-abuse, and the non-stop, hard-knock realities of everyday life, outside that lime-lit, celebrity bubble, Adler is enjoying his good fortune. I don't have cable, so I missed his tv shows, but I can recommend this book, (and Slash's, too!!) to any casual GUNS N ROSES fan. David Lee Roth finally reunited, with the Van Halen brothers. Like the astonished physicians, who witnessed Steve Adler's miraculous return from death's door, proclaimed, on a plaque they gave him, "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE".