Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses
by Stephen Davis
rating: 5 of 5 stars
I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard Appetite for Destruction. 1987: First semester of college. My art-school friend, a skinhead named Katrine, & I went to NYC on a whim & were hanging out in a nearly deserted nightclub, that despite the lack of people, had a very heavy druggie atmosphere. No one was to be found because they were all going into the bathroom to do coke! Anyway, the dj put Appetite on continual rotation. It played over & over & over again, all night, while everyone was scamming their drugs. WTF was this?!? You just felt it in your bones. Something had changed forever in the musical landscape. The evening ended with us missing the last train to Chappaqua & sleeping on the steps of Grand Central until the 5:45. And Appetite has had a special place in my heart for all these years.
The genesis of Welcome to the Jungle is a classic stroke of genius. The planets aligned, Axl found himself in the Bronx during the birth of hip-hop no less & this "innocent in the city" scenario, always a fruitful archetype, proved to be the start of something utterly inspired. The rest of the story is all about the come down.
Reading this Guns story in black & white is the next best thing to sex, drugs & rock-n-roll. View all my reviews.