Rethinking the Band: Appetite for Destruction

Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at June 8, 2005 10:21 PM

Over the weekend, I caught an episode of "Behind The Music" on the rock group Guns 'N Roses. My wife, at the time, commented that the band's lead singer, Axl Rose, was clearly being villanized. I had to agree. What do you expect when the only ones interviewed for the rockumentary were the other members of the band (I presume that Axl declined to be interviewed).

So what (according to the other band members) lead to the death of the band?

Control. Control? Yes, according to the other members, Axl changed over time, becoming more and more controlling, more and more demanding. Axl became crazy, they said....and they all left the band so as to not have to deal with Axl anymore.

I have a different take. Axl was a rethinker. He had rethunk(?) the band...wanted to make them bigger, better, stronger...and the band revolted.

They were a group of party animals. Your typical drugs, sex and rock and roll band. Heavy drinkers, addicted to drugs, their music reflected that...they loved to rock it out. Axl appears to have been the one who got his act together. He realized that something needed to change...and sought to reinvent the band.

And the rest of the band was dare he want to improve the band, how dare he suggest they get their acts together, how dare he want to do what fans (clients) want (produce "hits"), how dare he not do it the old way...the fun way. "We just want to rock!"

So. Where do you stand? For you, is it about the fans or is it about the music? Are you willing to rethink the band if they won't change...if they aren't willing to produce the music fans want?

Sometimes someone has to get their act together and rethink the band.


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Frédéric Says:

June 9, 2005 04:30 AM

Seeing a mention of Guns'n Roses on an IP blog reminds me of a decision regarding the name of this very band. Prior to releasing their debute album "appetite for destruction" some band members recorded a demo under the name "Hollywood Roses". Record label Cleopatra later purchased the rights to these recordings and released them as "Hollywood Roses: the roots of Guns n Roses".

A legal battle went on regarding issues including the question whether Cleopatra could claim fair use of the "GUNS N ROSES" trademark.

A very interesting judge's opinion, available here.

Further decision re: attorney's fees

Daniel Says:

June 11, 2005 11:04 AM

Therein lies the difference between the rethinker and the leader. It is one thing to have a good idea, another thing to convince people it's a good idea. From what I hear, this skill often requires convincing the other person that they actually were the rethinker.

Perhaps Axl should've reviewed his Socratic dialogue techniques and through intelligent questioning enlightened the band to the errors of their ways. Under the influence of The Philosopher, what inspiring songs they would be able to record! Here's a song list:

Sweet Child O' Virtue

Welcome to the (Metaphysical) Jungle

Double Talkin' Dialectical Jive

Paradox City

You Could Be Mine (Platonically)

There is still time... and Bill and Ted have a time machine.

dave morales Says:

September 12, 2006 03:38 PM

well its a deep subject band disbands, but the control was owner of the bands name, licence, etc. i.e. vh sweat brothers or axle rose GnR

April Cheek Says:

December 13, 2006 12:26 PM

i think that guns n roses was an incredible band. they all had there time in history so i think axl just let things be the way that they are and leave good enough alone because guns n roses will never be as big as they were in the 80s. i am a hugh fan the only way the band would be a big hit again is with all the original band members!!!

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