Axl Rose

William Bruce Rose, known as Axl Rose, was born in Lafayette, Indiana, on February 6, 1962. He is the famous frontman of the rock band Guns N’ Roses, founder of the same, American singer and pianist. The childhood of the future Axl is not the rosiest. His real father, a homeless man named William Rose, leaves the family when his son is just two years old after sexually abusing him. At this point the mother, Sharon, remarries to Stephen L. Bailey, making him look like his real father in the eyes of her son. Even with her stepfather, however, things are not great. Little William is a lively child, while Stephen is an authoritarian, violent man, strong even of his role on the edge of fanaticism in the Pentecostal church “Holy Roller”, where Bill, as he is called in the family, takes his first steps in the world of music, shocking the faithful with the extraordinary use of his falsetto.However, during childhood and adolescence, the stepfather doesn’t spare his stepchildren a sonic beating, often for futile reasons. Moreover, the union between the mother of the future Guns N’ Roses singer and Stephen gives birth to two more children, Axl’s half-brothers: Amy and Stuart. The first will later reveal that she had suffered harassment from her father for years.Anyway, young William takes little time to get into trouble in his hometown. The local police are always on him and he’s more than just a troubled teenager. A very strong rebellious spirit grows in Lafayette’s boy, combined with a desire for revenge that finds its way into music, the only thing that really interests him.At the age of about seventeen, in the late seventies, William discovers that he is not his stepfather’s natural son. So, he decides to change his last name from Bailey to Rose. At the same time, he leaves the nursery and goes to Los Angeles, California, where he reunites with an old childhood friend of his, Jeff Isbell, who later changes his name first to Jeff Bell, then to Izzy Bell, and finally to the better known Izzy Stradlin.In 1979, when Axl came to him, soaked in rain and after days of searching, Izzy lived on Whitley Avenue. His house is frequented by many young musicians and here the future Guns frontman first meets Tracy Ulrich, who will become Tracii Guns, and then guitarist Christopher Weber. Together, all four of them, with the addition of Johnny Christ on drums and Rick Mars on bass, founded a band, which after some new changes will be called “Hollywood Rose”. William then decided to keep the name Axl, which had previously been the initial name of the band’s first line-up, and from that moment it can be said that his true musical history begins.Months passed in which the band made a name for itself in the best clubs in Los Angeles. However, relations between Axl and Chris deteriorate, and the singer leaves Hollywood and joins Tracii Guns’ band, L.A. Guns.Both bands fall apart, however, and eventually, at an important concert organized by Izzy at Troubadour, the two previous bands put the remaining pieces together and form a lineup that is half Hollywood Rose and half L.A. Guns.Meanwhile, on the Los Angeles scene, there is also the line-up of Slash, the Road Crew, who soon lose their bassist, Duff McKagan, who joins Axl’s band. Little time passes and the last reshuffling takes place, causing some misunderstandings between Tracii and Izzy. It’s the latter who leaves the band, replaced by Slash, the future guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, who at that time is attested with their historical formation. It was 1985 when, officially, the rock band was born.He spends about two years, with concerts around California, alcohol, and drugs. Then, the band is noticed by Tom Zutaut, a Geffen label agent, who decides to put his trust in the band. Guns N’ Roses then, in 1987, recorded their first, historic album, titled “Appetite For Destruction”: a new kind of glam metal that takes a while before the audience understands.A year later, Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses climbed the charts, also thanks to the popularity of historical singles like “Welcome to the jungle”, “Paradise City” and “Sweet child o’ mine”. This last song is written by Axl Rose lper Erin Everly, at the time his girlfriend and then future wife, daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers.Success becomes international and the band begins to make several million dollars. Guns’ relationship with drugs is a good thing, and the singer is no exception, a heroine lover like he is.Axl Rose plays in important concerts with his band, sharing the stage with sacred monsters like Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, the Rolling Stones. However, the use of drugs, constant brawls, and arrests do not help the band, which on the one hand carves out a reputation as wild and unruly, on the other hand, begins to slow down its musical production.In 1988 the album “G N’ R Lies” was released, which was a great success; however, this second Guns’ album was criticized because of the song “One in a Million”, interpreted by everyone as a real insult to homosexuals, black people, and immigrants. Roses and comrades earn a reputation as racists, even after due clarification. Three years must pass before a new job in the studio sees the light. It is 1991 and “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II” are released, their best and most famous work.The success is sensational but the band gets into trouble again, due to a series of brawling behaviors that have in Axl the negative protagonist. During a concert on the tour, Axl Rose jumps off the stage and attacks a fan in St. Louis because he has a camera. On August 8, 1992, at the Montreal Stade Olympique, Rose leaves the stage after singing just a couple of songs. Similar situations then, repeated over the years, together with the never confirmed news of an imminent dissolution of the band.Meanwhile, the grunge genre, of which Kurt Cobain of Nirvana is made the spokesman, makes his way and dark, along with the whims of Axl, the star of Guns. In 1993 a punk cover album was released, entitled “The Spaghetti Incident?”, which was received rather negatively. Relations between Axl and Slash begin to deteriorate, and two years later, the guitarist decides to officially leave the band.The following year, also to protect himself, Axl acquires the rights to the band’s name. After a few months, Matt Sorum is fired and Duff leaves the band too. In 1998, prey to alcohol and drugs, Axl Rose is arrested at the Phoenix airport. During this period there is a revolution going on around Axl’s band, with a bustle of musicians. The singer reveals the title of Guns’ new album, “Chinese Democracy”, which will be released ten years later.In 2002, at the MTV Video Music Awards, Axl shows up fat and his performance is not exciting, combined with the fact that the new musicians, presented at that very occasion, don’t seem to have anything of the band’s old sound. Then follows a failed tour that is soon stopped, also because of the uprisings of old Guns supporters.In 2004, guitarist Buckethead leaves the band. The following year, the old band members, Slash and Duff, sue Axl, for a copyright appropriation according to them illegal. In 2006 Axl shows up at the launch night of Korn’s new album and announces again the album “Chinese Democracy”, as well as a new European tour full of guests.The tour takes place and on the occasion of the New York concert, Ron Thal, the new guitarist of the new Guns ‘N Roses, is also presented. The trip through Europe proves to be a good success with the audience, strong also of the guests who take part, like the friend of all time Izzy Stradlin.On November 21, 2008 “Chinese Democracy” was finally released. The release of the album, which was quite well received by the fans, was followed by a series of squabbles between Axl and the record production, which accused the singer of not having spent enough money on promotion. In 2011 Axl appears more and more in decline, stunning the Brazilian audience in Rio, coming back on stage even more fat and with a far from rocker attitude.In the spring of 2016, Axl Rose joined AC/DC to finish the 2016 tour in place of Brian Johnson, who has severe hearing problems.

Discography

1987 – Appetite for Destruction

1988 – G N’ R Lies

1991 – Use Your Illusion I

1991 – Use Your Illusion II

1993 – The Spaghetti Incident?

2008 – Chinese Democracy