The Spaghetti Incident? / New GN'R
Down On The Farm // Ain't It Fun // I Don't Care About You // Look At Your Game Girl
Sympathy For The Devil
Oh My God // Chinese Democracy
Appetite For Destruction // GN'R Lies // Use Your Illusion
Down On The Farm
"I would imagine that when we did Down On The Farm we were just doing it for the fun of it. And it was sounding good so we recorded it. And then we went and played it at Farm Aid.
[Cavanagh (1994) Call Me Mr. Extra Balls, Q - March, 1994]
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Ain't It Fun
"Stiv Bators died. And we're like, I don't know, hanging out somewhere in LA or New York, or something. And we thought, "Let's do a Dead Boys song". And that was that."
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I Don't Care About You
"That song happens to be a sentiment that I appreciated for as long as I can remember. In our junkie days, me and a friend of mine, Danny Biral, used to cruise around town in this huge green Oldsmobile and try to cop. We listened to the Fear cassette because that's all we had. That song turned into an anthem for us. When the band was talking about punk songs, I was adamant about doing that one."
[Gill (1994) Punk Days Revisited: Slash Returns To His Roots, Guitar Player - Jan, 1994]
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Look At Your Game Girl
"The reason we didn't list that song on our album is we wanted to downplay it. We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album; it's like a hidden bonus track. It's my opinion that the media are enjoying making a big deal out of Guns N' Roses covering a song that Charles Manson recorded, but if another band had recorded that song, it probably wouldn't have been of interest. The media need their "bad guys" to guarantee some ratings, so they use Manson's name coupled with mine to promo their news programs. /../ Why did I choose to cover that particular song?
Oddly enough, one of the things we do up at my house is have "Name That Artist" contests where we play obscure songs and everyone tries to name the artist. My brother Stuart found Look At Your Game, Girl at a large record chain and, needless to say, he won that round. Personally, I liked the lyrics and the melody of the song. Hearing it shocked me and I thought there might be other people who would like to hear it.
I like the words because, to me, it's about a woman who has thrown things away. She thinks she's gaining love but basically she's gaining sadness. It was very fitting for a personal situation I happened to be in. The song talks about how the girl is insane and playing a mad game. I felt that it was ironic that such a song was recorded by Charles Manson, someone who should know the inner intricacies of madness. /../
Sorry, I'm not that guy. I'm nothing like him. That's what I'm saying. There's a real difference in morals, values and ethics between Manson and myself and that is "Thou shalt not kill," which I don't. I'm by no means a Manson expert or anything, but the things he's done are something I don't believe in. He's a sick individual. Look at Manson and then look at me. We're not the same. Plus, I like the black humor of the "Charlie Don't Surf" line for the movie Apocalypse Now. /../ It is my understanding that the song was written by Dennis Wilson. To what extent Charles Manson is involved in the publishing, I'm not aware. However, I am donating all my personal profits from having that song on our album to a charity, an environmental group to help protect wildlife and our oceans.
[Bring Out The Manson, Q - March, 1994]
"We naively thought that there was a certain dark humour in Manson singing these love song lyrics at the time, but now I find the word 'humour' doesn't fit into the equation at all. Especially when we think about the families of his victims and how this makes them feel. We didn't credit Manson on the album because we didn't want to draw any attention to him. We simply didn't anticipate everyone making such a big deal out of it. We especially don't want Manson to think we think he's bichin' - or anyone else to think it for that matter. There are no words to describe him as a human being. He's the epitome of what's wrong with human existence at this point and we don't want to glorify Manson in any way."
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Sympathy For The Devil
"There is a funny story to "Sympathy...". When the movie came out (in the US) a couple of months ago, Geffen called and said, "Could you do us a favor?" That movie coming out was a big issue for me, because the books ("The Vampire trilogy" by Anne Rice) were great. They have a real kind of passion in there --a sort of dark romanticism - and I'm a real heavy-duty, old time vampire horror movie freak. And it was like Tom Cruise AND Brad Pitt? No fuckking way!
So I got this call saying would we do "Sympathy For The Devil" for the movie. I thought, "well okay, maybe it'll be a vehicle to get the band back together and get the wheels in motion for some pre-production stuff." So I went to the screening in one of those stiff theatres full of showbiz fucking suits, and I'm half asleep! I'm not having a good time, and I couldn't just get up and leave, so I was trying to be cool. I started smoking some cigarettes, which is not something you're meant to do in an LA cinema... it's like murder! So I got up and left before the lights went out. I have to say Tom Cruise did the best he could, but the film's laughable to me. The Stones' version of the song was playing in the same place ours was meant to be. Anyway, I got up and went home. I called Doug (Goldstein) and said, "Leave it: the Stones' version's fine. There's no need to do a song that doesn't need to be redone."
Then Axl went to see the film the next day, and it's inevitable that he likes it and comes out of the movie completely at odds with me! It just goes with the territory - I love this singer/lead guitarist relationship in bands... it's just f**king stupid! So Axl went and saw it and said he loved it. He was ecstatic. "Let's do the song!" he says. So I said "okay".
We show up at the studio... who shows up? Matt, Duff and I. That was it. Paul Huge came in with Axl a couple of days later. While we were doing it (recording the song), we had to write down how many bars each section was, because without vocals you don't know where the next change is going to come. But we got it done and the guitar solos on and everything, and then Axl went in to do vocals... and the next thing you know, there's this "answer" guitar going on during my guitar solo! It's Paul Huge! I will probably never forgive Axl for that. But we talked about it. We made a deal that if Paul ever plays on anything, then I should at least be told first, because it really took me off guard. I wasn't there when he did it.
Axl likes the song. I haven't listened to it since it was mixed. It's not like it was lousy guitar playing or anything; I think it's how it went down. If people like it, then fine. I haven't gone to see the movie again again because I don't think I could bear it."
[Simmons (1995), Kerrang! - Jan, 1995]
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Oh My God
"The chorus: OH MY GOD etc. deals with the societal repression of deep and often agonizing emotions - some of which may be willingly accepted for one reason or another - the appropriate expression of which (one that promotes a healing, release and a positive resolve) is often discouraged and many times denied. Emotionally the song contemplates several abstract perspectives drawing from personal expression as well as from the film (End Of Days) and its metaphors. The appropriate expression and vehicle for such emotions and concepts is not something taken for granted.
Musically the song was primarily written by Paul Huge over two years ago, with Dizzy Reed writing the musical hook of the chorus. Former member Duff McKagan as well as former employee Matt Sorum failed to see its potential and showed no interest in exploring, let alone recording the piece. When the demos were played for the new band, Josh, Tommy and Robin were as they say 'all over it.'
Once the opportunity was presented, the song was given priority in our recording process. As the verse, performance and lyrics were decided on, for us (that especially includes Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine) the choice became obvious. We were more than pleased Mr. Roswell (the film's music supervisor) agreed! Our thanks to Arnold and all for the consideration - it is an association in which we have always felt honored.
Paul Huge, Gary Sunshine and Dave Navarro appear on the song as well as Robin Finck. Robin's part was written by Paul and extensively manipulated by our producer, Sean Beaven. Robin was not involved in the writing of the final recording though did participate in the arrangement. All lyrics were written by myself. Additional programming (jack boots, screeching tires, etc.) was by Stuart White.
The fight of good vs. evil, positive vs. negative, man against a seemingly undefeatable, undeterrable, unrevealed destiny, along with the personal and universal struggle to attain, maintain and responsibly manage freewill can be and often is frustrating to say the least. In America our country's constitutional right to freedom of expression gives us a better chance to fight for that expression than many in other countries enjoy. It can be a big gig, like kickin' the crap outta the devil!"
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"The movie Kundun was on about the Dalai Lama. "..." I was, I was getting ready to, to leave, you know the TV was on and it was the end of the movie, and the Dalai Lama is about to cross over the border, to you know, be in exile for the rest of his life from his own country. And he looks back at uh, at the men who helped him, and you know heís escaped the Chinese government. And he, and he looks back at them and he waves and they wave at him and then they show a scene where he looks back at them again and he sees everyone of them dead. Because he knew they would be killed, they knew that in helping him they would be killed.
And uh, you know the emotion, in this next song its, thatís all thatís about it. Itís not like an intelligent song; it doesnít have the answer to anything. "..." And its not necessarily pro or con about China, its just that right now China symbolizes one of the strongest, yet most the oppressive, countries and, governments in the word. And we are fortunate to live in a free country. And so in thinking about that it just kinda upset me, and we wrote this little song called "Chinese Democracy."
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