Stephen Davis – Watch You Bleed: The Saga Of Guns N’ Roses
What drew me to G n’ R in the first place was that primal edge of Appetite, the perfectly rendered raw sound that viciously tore speakers apart. I liked most of the Illusion records, too, but not as much. Haven’t cared since. Why? It’s hard to follow a group so bent on delaying doing their job and simultaneously destroying themselves. It quickly reaches a point of apathy.
Davis (of Hammer of The Gods – see this site for review) does a pretty good job of trying to piece together the early years from the mess of their history, but it was clear to me that even in those days that Axl was bug-fuck crazy. How anyone tolerated working with him (and how the ladies could want to be in a relationship with him) is beyond me, but it may partially explain everyone else’s substance issues as well. Further, it’s a wonder Axl allowed this book into print at all – he comes across like the bi-polar egomaniac he seems to be. Hardly flattering.
To be honest, Guns would have stayed beautiful if they’d flamed out after Appetite, just let it go the way of James Dean cool. Instead, it became what it did (and still is), a rubber-necking car crash we all know well because it couldn’t be avoided, and all of which is told unflinchingly in this book. These days, Guns is an empire of fools with only one of the original players remaining, and no one really giving a rat’s ass about them anymore. Myself included.