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Rose was married to Erin Everly, the daughter of Don Everly, from April 1990 until the marriage was annulled in January, 1991. They met in 1986 and had a very tumultuous relationship that ended in court proceedings and allegations of abuse. In a 1994 People magazine profile, Everly claimed that Axl beat her repeatedly and even removed the doors to their home so he could keep an eye on her. She sued him in 1994 after she was called to testify in a lawsuit brought by Axl's ex-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, which alleged similar abuse. Everly later dated David Arquette before disappearing from public life.
Rose and Stradlin formed the band. They took their name from two bands they used to play in, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose.
Axl Rose had a persistent stalker. Her name is Karen Jane McNeil, and she claimed to communicate with Rose through telepathy.
"Axl Rose" is an anagram of "Oral Sex."
played on Michael Jackson's albums Dangerous
, and HIStory
. He also played at Jackson's 2001 reunion shows in New York City.
Their first gigs were in Seattle. About 100 miles outside of Los Angeles, their van broke down, so they hitchhiked to Seattle, where they played 5 sparsely attended shows.
Slash got his nickname from a family friend because he was always in a hurry.
In 2001, Rose reformed the band with all new members - he was allowed to keep the name because he owns the rights. He played with various versions of the new group over the next few years, working on Chinese Democracy, which was finally released in 2008.
Slash's first guitar was a one-stringed acoustic. When he was 15 his grandmother gave him a electric Les Paul copy. (thanks, Alex - Little Rock, AR)
Early in their career, they lived in a small apartment in Los Angeles they called Hell House because of alcohol, drugs, girls and all manner of sin. (thanks, Micha - Opole, Poland)
Before taking up guitar, Slash was mainly interested in BMX riding and competed at a professional level. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
McKagan's pancreas exploded in 1994 because of his severe drinking habits. He has been sober ever since and now sticks to non-alcoholic beer.
After this incident, he started taking economics classes to better understand his residuals, and he became an expert on the subject, getting his own monthly financial column for Playboy.com in 2009. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The "Guns" part of their name comes from Tracii Guns, who is a guitarist that was with the band when they first formed, but left before they settled on a name. Guns later formed the band L.A. Guns.
Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin were both native from the small town of Lafayette, Indiana, which Axl has described as very "close-minded." Asked about small town values, Axl replied: "That's a load of s--t."
Steve Adler was the first to leave the band, getting kicked out in 1990 when his drug abuse got out of control. He sued the band, claiming he was owed royalties and that the other members exasperated his downward spiral. At the trial, a lawyer asked Duff McKagan about "The Spaghetti Incident," referring to the drugs Adler kept in a refrigerator when the band was rehearsing in Chicago. That phrase became the name of the band's 1993 album. The case was settled, with Adler receiving $2.5 million.
In the summer of 1988, they toured as Aerosmith's opening act. It was a thrill for G N' R, since they idolized Aerosmith, and the bands got along great. At first, a system was put in place to keep the bands separated, since Aerosmith had been through rehab and their management didn't want them around drugs and alcohol. As the tour progressed, a mentor relationship formed among the bands, as Aerosmith saw their young selves in Guns N' Roses. By the end of the tour, Guns was getting more media attention; Rolling Stone sent a crew to do a story, and Aerosmith was dismayed to find out it was Guns N' Roses who would be on the cover, not them.
Before he joined Guns 'N Roses, Axl Rose was so hard up for cash that he joined a UCLA medical study where he was paid $8 an hour to smoke cigarettes.
Slash told UK's Metro newspaper that Guns N' Roses 1989 concert at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas was the worst gig he's ever done. He recalled: "It was horrific. Everything that could go wrong went wrong and the band didn't have enough experience to handle it properly. It was a huge disaster in front of 65,000 people. We fell apart on stage. It's stuck with me ever since."
Slash's father, Anthony Hudson, is an English artist who created album covers for musicians, including several for Joni Mitchell. Slash recalled to NME: "I remember as a kid him having all the artwork spread out around the lounge in our house when he was working on them."
Axl Rose has developed a reputation for being temperamental and difficult to work with, but those who worked with him often praise him as well, noting his talents as a lyricist and singer. In our interview with Matt Sorum
, he said: "When we got to the studio, we had a great experience together, and he was always very kind to me up until the machine got crazy. When the machine got crazy, everybody got crazy. He's one of the greatest, most talented frontmen I've ever been behind. I've never seen anybody be able to hold an audience of 50,000 people like he can."