Guns N’ Roses (biography)
guns n roses
Guns N’ Roses was founded in Los Angeles in June 1985. Their unique style incorporated punk, blues, thrash, and other genres of music into the popular heavy metal music of the time. The band was formed by singer Axl Rose, guitarists Tracii Guns and Izzy Stradlin’, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Rob Gardner.
The name was derived from a combination of the last names of Guns and Rose, as well as making reference to members’ affiliation with their previous bands: Hollywood Rose and LA Guns.
When Tracii Guns and Robbie Gardner could not attend the first Guns N’ Roses show in Seattle, Rose called guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler, whom he had met recently, and asked if they would join the band on stage for the show.
The two agreed and the band’s most famous line-up was finalized. On the way back to Los Angeles, the five members wrote the lyrics for the song “Welcome to the Jungle”, which eventually became their signature song.
The band released a self-produced EP, Live Like a Suicide, in 1986. Copies of the EP reached Geffen Records executives who soon signed the band. Appetite for Destruction, GNR’s debut album, was released on August 21, 1987. The album sold 20 million copies and hit #1 on the charts. The album included the songs “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City”, all of which were top 10 singles on the Billboard charts. As of 2005, Appetite For Destruction remains the best-selling debut album of all time.
The band began opening shows for major bands in the rock industry, but as Appetite for Destruction’s sales began to rise, a world tour in support of the album was scheduled. Guns N’ Roses traveled all across United States, and in the spring of 1988, they were invited to co-headline the notorious Monsters of Rock Festival in Europe. The band shared the stage with legendary groups like Iron Maiden, KISS and Judas Priest. However, the behavior of the members of GN’R was gathering attention from the media.
McKagan, Slash and Adler were constantly seen on stage under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Members of the crew at the time even stated that Slash had to be carried on to the stage by a group of people and that he often passed out after the concerts ended. A tragic event occurred during the Monsters of Rock concert in the UK, when two fans were accidentally killed when the crowd present at the concert began jumping and moving forward at the moment that the Guns N’ Roses’ show started.
The media blamed the deaths of the fans on the band, even though they were unaware of the incident until after the show ended. All these events during the Appetite for Destruction tour earned the group the title of “the most dangerous band in the world”.
Guns N’ Roses’ next release was the half-acoustic CD G N’ R Lies in 1988, which hit #2 on the music charts.
The song “One In A Million”, which used the words “niggers” and “faggots”, led to controversy that accused the band (or Axl) of racism and homophobia, which Axl denied, saying his (then) lead guitarist was half black and that he was a big fan of homosexual and bisexual singers such as Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford.
The song “Welcome to the Jungle” was included on the soundtrack of the fifth Dirty Harry movie The Dead Pool, which led to a couple of seconds of screen time for the band.
In 1989, Guns N’ Roses were presented with an American Music Award for favorite Pop/Rock single for “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.
At the televised annual award show in 1989, Duff McKagan and Slash appeared intoxicated and used strong languagewhile accepting the award for Best Heavy Metal Album for Appetite For Destruction, and Best Heavy Metal Song for “Paradise City”. Because of the incident, subsequent American Music Award shows have been broadcast using a five second