Did Axl Rose Swindle Guns n' Roses and Steal Slash's Song?

December 15, 2008 5:20 PM ET

Axl Rose didn't give any magazine or TV interviews to herald the release of Chinese Democracy. But just days after breaking his silence with a pair of Q&As on Guns n' Roses message boards, Rose has published a 4,594-word post and an additional Q&A on the two fan sites. Those who haven't been following the Gn'R saga for the past 20 years may be a bit confused by some of his references to age-old beefs with Slash and other bits of Guns jargon. We've broken out the juiciest bits and explained them here:

Claim I. I didn't swindle my bandmates.

Backstory: Slash has alleged that Axl refused to go onstage one night during the Use Your Illusion tour in 1992 unless the band signed away the name rights to the band. "Unfortunately, we signed it," said Slash. "I didn't think he'd on stage otherwise."

Axl's take: "Never happened, all made up, fallacy and fantasy. Not one single solitary thread of truth to it. Had that been the case I would've have been cremated years ago legally, could've cleaned me out for the name and damages. It's called under duress with extenuating circumstances."

Plausibility: Axl makes a surprisingly strong case. Might Slash not have had the clearest head during that tour?

Claim II. Slash lied in his book.

Backstory: In Slash's 2007 book the guitarist claims that Guns n' Roses' final recording sessions were stalled due to a vast musical direction between himself and Axl.

Axl's take: "I have the rehearsal tapes. There's nothing but Slash-based blues rock and he stopped it to both go solo and try to completely take over Guns. I read all this if Axl would've put words and melodies on it could've... I was specifically told no lyrics, no melodies, no changes to anything and to sing what I was told or fuck off."

Plausibility: It's a classic case of he said, Slash said — but again, Slash's memory of events from the 1990s is always questionable.

Claim III: We won't reform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Backstory: Fans have been clamoring for a reunion tour from the original lineup when the band is eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Slash has said, "If this comes up, I'd hope we'd be mature enough to get up and do that."

Axl's take: "Never thought about that, with the RRHOF. The whole 'mature enough' bit was cute. Not to offend anyone but personally I don't have an interest... It's a ways away and seems a bit presumptuous to be contemplating being inducted now."

Plausibility: Axl is now managed by Irving Azoff, a reunion miracle worker who reformed the Eagles and got David Lee Roth back onstage with Van Halen last year. His work is cut out for him this time. If it ever happens, it probably won't be at the Rock and Roll Fall of Fame in two years.

Claim IV: Velvet Revolver took our song.

Backstory: Velvet Revolver had a hit single in 2004 with "Fall To Pieces."

Axl's take: He claims the song originated during the band's ill-fated final sessions in the mid 1990s. "Which led to the trial period where Slash played the key bits of 'Fall to Pieces' but once I showed some interest that was over."

Plausibility: Hearing it again today, it's easy to imagine Axl singing the song — which could have been a classic Gn'R hit if done right. Did Slash play it for Axl, only to pull it when interest was showed? Probably.

Related Stories:
Axl Rose Talks Chinese Democracy, Kanye, "Better" Video In Gn''R Message Board Chat
Dr Pepper Responds To Guns N' Roses Free Soda "Fiasco" Lawsuit
"Chinese Democracy" Hits Best Buys in New York With a Yawn

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