After all these years, I finally decided to dedicate a
site to the man whose music once saved my life--Axl Rose.
This is not a download
or file sharing site, nor is it a purchase site.
It is a tribute to a
rock icon that attempts to share information,
quell rumors and
misunderstandings, and in all fairness to
analyze him as an
artist, musician and performer.
It celebrates the man
behind the music.
"If one should desire to
know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the
quality of its music will furnish the answer."
"I wear a shirt onstage sometimes that says, TELL YOUR KIDS
THE TRUTH. I was denied what happened to me, who I was, where I came from. I was denied my
own existence, and I've been fighting for it ever since. There's a screaming two-year-old
inside me who's real pissed off and hides. He won't show himself that often, even to me because
I couldn't protect him. The world didn't protect him. Women didn't
protect him and basically thought he should be put out of existence.
You have a right to fight for yourself."
I hope you can forgive the immaturity of the language.
I was fifteen when I wrote this.
It was published in Rip Magazine, 1989.
The media really tore
Axl apart over that Robert Williams painting. I'll admit that it was kind
of offensive to me as well when I first saw it. But after I got to know
Axl through his music and interviews, I learned to overlook it as social satire. Axl has been making statements since he did his first magazine publicity shot
back in 1987. The first photo I saw of him, he was glammed out with his hair
teased and he had "Glam Sucks" written across his leather pants in white-out. That's Axl! He's
thought-provoking and controversial, soulful, genuine and passionate. He's
also kind, gentle, and caring when he's not stressed out or depressed.
He's a true artist. What makes Axl so unique is that he has
the ability to change his vocal style with each song. No other vocalist I
know of does this. Other vocalists range in pitch only; the style is
always the same. More than anything, that's what makes his vocalization
special. The man has raw talent, especially for this genre. If you
can't tolerate the music or the screaming vocals, at least read the lyrics.
In case you don't understand heavy metal, I'll fill you in on those screaming
vocals. The screaming is a means of conveying depth of emotion, which Axl does
quite convincingly. In the Metal world, we call it a Metal Yell or Primal
Scream, which is very much a battle cry among angry youth. What are we so angry
about? Everything, you name it. Our generation was born mad. We're the
generation that doesn't take any crap. We're rebellious, hostile, and
despondent. Other generations before us were rebellious, but ours seems to have
a violent rage that other generations didn't have. What sparked the rage was
domestic and sexual abuse. I know this has always been a dark side of our
society, but before our generation, no one realized they were being abused
because it was socially acceptable. Most of us just didn’t appreciate the way we
were treated and fought back. Nothing was ever done about it because there was
virtually no law against it. The year 1980 was when we first heard the words
"abuse" and "domestic violence" because that was the year that the domestic
violence law was first written in Oklahoma. By 1983, my generation of children
was exposed to after-school specials that addressed it. (Axl would have been 21
at this time and probably never saw them.)
We suddenly realized what abuse was and many of us came to a further
realization that we were being abused and we were mad as hell. We were mad
because we knew we were being abused, but we were madder still because nothing
was done about it. As late as the mid 1980s, police in Oklahoma were not allowed
to get involved in domestic disputes. I'm sure it was this way in other states
as well. The new law, it seemed, could not put an end to several thousand years
of domestic abuse or all manner of violence against women and children. This is
what Axl meant with the phrases, "Wife-beating has been around for 10,000
years", and "Ladies, welcome to the dark ages" on the Lies album. In his own
artistic manner of expression, Axl was calling the world's attention to a very
real problem in 1988 but it was misunderstood by feminists and the media who
accused him of condoning domestic violence because of the way he had beaten Erin
Everly. Instead, he was trying to admit to having a problem himself. The song
Used To Love Her from the Lies album was an artistic expression of this
admittance that was also misinterpreted. Nothing would be done about domestic
violence until 10 years later in 1990 when the system finally began taking
allegations seriously and investigating them. Until then, many authorities in
the system were still abusing their own children and had the attitude that if a
child made a complaint, it was only in retaliation for being legitimately
punished. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" ruled the day, as did the
"Rule of Thumb."
Mine and Axl's generation of 70s to early 90s teenagers suffered the most
from domestic and sexual abuse. We had no support system because we weren't
supposed to talk about what had been done to us. We were threatened, shamed, or
bribed into silence by our abusers and our adult peers felt this simply wasn't
appropriate conversation, certainly not in mixed company with children. We were
so screwed. We not only suffered with the abuse and the lifelong wounds it
caused, we also suffered with the knowledge and the injustice of it all. Is it
any wonder why so many of us ran away from our abusive homes and then began
using drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with our pain--the nightmares and
emotional instability brought on by years of trauma? Many of us, both boys and
girls got trapped into a lifestyle of prostitution because we were so young and
unprepared; it was the only way we could eat. We were also raped and sodomized,
so don't get upset with the Robert Williams painting. It's an accurate visual
portrayal of the lives and risk factors of many of these runaway teens who found
themselves on the streets trying to get food money anyway they could.
On April 9, 1992 in Chicago, Illinois, Axl made the following statement
onstage following a Rolling Stone interview (RS627 April 2, 1992) in which he
discussed his own abusive upbringing:
"I was on the phone for a long time last night with a friend of mine who was telling me how some of the members of my family and some of the friends of my family have taken a great offense at what I said in this magazine. ‘It's a shame. Look what he's done to his mother. His mother can't even go out of the house now.’ It was amazing my mother could have gone out of the house before knowing the shit she fucking knew. ‘And, why am I talking about this?’ Because it might not have happened to you, but it might have happened to the two or three people that are standing around you who got some fucked-up family life that's going to come back to haunt them when they get about the age of 25. And then you've got to try to climb your way out of what you thought was your life but looks more in your head like a fuckin' car wreck that no one told you about because the family doesn't want to be embarrassed by these things coming out. We just don't want to have to deal with this and we shouldn't have to deal with this publicly. But if we don't deal with it publicly, then we're probably not going to deal with the bullshit at all and I'll bet they like it that way. I'm not a qualified therapist. I don't know a lot of shit about this, but I do know that we're in the '90s and I do know that if we're gonna make it for another 50 years on this planet, we gotta fuckin' change our shit now. And there's a lot of motherfuckers that don't want that shit to be changed cause that's gonna dig up their crap. There are a lot of parents who've fucked up their kids through their whole fuckin' lives and they're about 40 or 50 and they think it's cool. Fuck that shit! And I'm the last motherfuckin person they thought would be climbing up their ass to tell them about it. But see for me now, it ain't about fuckin doing cocaine; it ain't how much Vodka can I drink, and how I can drink someone else under the table. It ain't about how much of a macho man rock n roller I can be. That shit don't work no more. That's great little kid rock n roll bullshit, but it don't work no more in the real world for my ass. I can't come up here and say; yeah I'm bad; I'm rock n roll; we're doing this rock n roll thing. If my life is falling apart, I can't fake it no more just because my family or my record company or somebody else tells me I should so everybody can be happy and make money. Yeah, suck my dick. Anyway, there are those in my family who plan now that I've written these things that they're gonna get revenge because it was a terrible thing I did and we're gonna get revenge. Yeah, try it. And if a fuckin scrawny Junior High 90 pound weakling can finally get his ass up here and take this shit on, so can any one of you that have the same fuckin bullshit problems in your life. They don't have to get away with it. I tried being nice. I tried being cool about it. I tried like being friends and offering forgiveness and love and all that kinda shit. All I got was, "you know how much we love you", but let's put the screws on it and keep you down like we always have. Yeah well, guess what. I changed my point of view. For me now it's like live and let die motherfucker."
Axl Rose is our voice and we are forever grateful to him for being so open
about his experiences and singing about them. The release of Appetite for
Destruction in 1987 and Lies in 1988 provoked outrage among women and the media.
But it also forced people to begin talking about a very real facet of our
society that was kept silent until then. Since GNR hit the scene, society has
learned from Axl's temper, his mood swings, tumultuous abusive relationships
with women, drug/alcohol addiction, and his music that domestic/sexual abuse
does indeed have a lasting negative impact on its survivors. The combination of
Axl's music and observing his erratic behavior gave everyone around the world a
rare opportunity to witness the effects of abuse first hand. It was indeed a
wake-up call for all of us. Suddenly we realized that we needed to stop domestic
violence and sexual abuse because we saw how many more Axls there were in the
teenagers who were drawn to his music. It spawned a movement amongst our youth
that encouraged them to speak out about their own experiences. And, again we
learned. With each new album release, we learned. With every interview, we
gleaned more insight into the mind and world of an abuse survivor. Every man,
woman, and child owes Axl Rose a debt of gratitude along with our respect and
admiration for the man who unknowingly changed the course of our social history
and made the world a little safer to live in. At least now, we can do something
about it and police are not allowed to discourage anyone from filing charges.
Thank you Axl, for bringing the effects of domestic/sexual abuse to the
public’s attention. You not only saved my life with your music, you also ensured
my future security as a woman.
This is something utterly brilliant I found on the Internet that I
thought to share:
Axl Rose, John
Milton and Paradise Lust
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
Paradise Lost, Book 1:14-16
Inspired by his readings of Milton's Paradise Lost, a young Axl Rose took his
pen to turn Milton's epic tale into a popular rock tune. Rose believed that if
he could combine the story of Paradise Lost and mingle it with blaring guitar
riffs and a melodic high-pitched singing voice, he might be the one to help
return his nineteen-eighties audience to the writings of John Milton.
In 1984, Rose began writing "Paradise City," the first epic masterpiece prior to
"November Rain" which can be found on the "Use Your Illusion" album set.
Originally titled Paradise Lust, the Geffen record label was forced to change
the name to due to copyright violations.
After spending literally hundreds of hours working along side the literary
departments at Oxford, Princeton, Harvard and Cambridge, Axl Rose met up with
Slash, one of the fellows at King College in Cambridge, and the two of them
began writing an epic recreation of Paradise Lost in musical form. The two of
them worked diligently night and day in flights of passion, letting the poetry
flow through their body--much like the muses of heroin that already flowed in
And though Rose and Slash spent months refining the meter and wording of
"Paradise City," the creativity started to slow down. Slash and Axl were
infected with a small case of writers block from a whorish dose of marijuana
they shared one drunken evening. It seemed like their creative energies had come
to a stand still, and that's when they met Duff (one of Oxford's leading
librarians). Duff offered his advice on how to work out a chorus in their poem
that would implement the drama of Paradise Lost, book 6. Axl and Slash quickly
recruited Duff to join their merry troupe and they called themselves Milton's
Angels. They would later be known as Guns 'N' Roses due to pressures from their
colleagues at Princeton.
In "Paradise City," Rose takes on the role of Satan (as a doomed cherub) that
has just fallen from Heaven for leading an angelic rebellion. He playfully
Just a' urchin livin' under the street
I'm a hard case that's tough to beat
I'm your charity case
So buy me somethin' to eat
The first quatrain doesn't hold to an identifiable English meter. Instead, as
with strokes of genius, Axl rebels against classical meter just as Satan
rebelled against Heaven. He playfully organizes his words like an opium-induced
Coleridge, yet Rose's poetry remains much more witty due to his undying love of
Captain Morgan rum and the writings of Charles Bukowski.
He begins the poem stressing the syllables in "urchin," metaphorically referring
to Satan in his new life as a bottom-dweller. The Satan/Urchin metaphor stunned
English departments around the world, causing jealous scholars to disregard
Rose's work as blatant plagiarism. Nobody could imagine that such genius could
be contained in a thin, long- haired man that drank malt liquor all day. One
professor cited Rose's work as "the worst form of plagiarism since Cat Stevens
stole 'Oh baby, it's a wild world' from Nietzche."
Ask The Pope