November 19th -MATT SORUM IS BORN
Drummer: Matt Sorum, born in Venice Beach, California. (He wasn't in the original GN'R line-up, but joined the band in the summer 1990, since they had fired Adler.)
More info. about Matt here
February 6th - W. AXL ROSE IS BORN
Lead singer: Axl Rose (William Bailey), born in Lafayette, Indiana.
More info. about Axl here
April 8th - IZZY STRADLIN' IS BORN
Rhythm-guitarist: Izzy Stradlin (Jeff Isabelle), born in Lafayette, Indiana.
More info. about Izzy here
August 17th - GILBY CLARKE IS BORN
Rhythm-guitarist: Gilby Clarke, born in Cleveland, Ohio. (He wasn't in the original GN'R line-up, but joined Guns in November 1991, since Izzy Stradlin had left the band.)
More info. about Gilby here
June 18th - DIZZY REED IS BORN
Keyboard player: Dizzy Reed (Darren Reed), born in Cleveland, Ohio. (He wasn't in the original GN'R line-up, but came to the band in spring 1990, to develop and give the band a new and "stronger" sound.)
Some more info. about Dizzy here
January 22nd - STEVEN ADLER IS BORN
Drummer: Steven Adler, born in Cleveland, Ohio.
More info. about Steven here
February 5th - DUFF MCKAGAN IS BORN
Bass: Duff McKagan, (Michael McKagan), born in Seattle, Washington.
More info. about Duff here
July 23rd - SLASH IS BORN
Lead-guitarist: Slash (Saul Hudson), born in Stoke-on-trent, England.
More info. about Slash here
1984 -"and earlier" - THE TIME BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES
During 1984 and earlier, the GN'R band members were playing in some various band. Duff passed through over 31 bands during his early days in Seattle - including a hardcore punk band called the Fartz. He did also play in a band called "10 Minute Warning", which included the Pearl Jam members; Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. When Mr. McKagan moved to L.A. he joined Slash's band, "Road Crew", since he had read in a newspaper that Slash and Steven Adler were looking for a bass-player. Axl Rose were playing together with Chris Weber in a band called 'Rose', later Izzy Stradlin' joined the band, and they changed the band's name to Hollywood Rose. Before the time in "Hollywood Rose", Rose was the lead-singer in a band called "Axl". That's the reason why he changed his name to Axl.
June 6th - THE GUNS N' ROSES LINE-UP WAS FINALIZED
From the beginning there were two bands, Hollywood Rose (where Axl n' Izzy played in) and L.A. Guns (where Slash, Duff, and Steve played in). Axl left Hollywood Rose for L.A. Guns, and in the meantime Izzy had booked a gig for Hollywood Rose and there was no band left. Then Tracii Guns (guitarist in L.A Guns) had booked a gig for L.A. Guns and somehow there was no band there either. The problems in these two bands created opportunities for a new band, they mixed what was left of two bands and Guns N' Roses was born. The line-up wasn't really finalized yet, but when Tracii left GN'R and went back to L.A. Guns, Duff joined Guns N' Roses. Slash was quickly assimilated into the new line-up, and after two of rehearsal the final chapter of Guns N' Roses played its debut gig on a Thursday night at L.A.'s Troubadour.
The original GN'R Line-up:
Steven Adler (drums) Slash (lead guitars) W. Axl Rose (vocals) Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar) Duff McKagan (bass)
June 10th - GN'R ON THE "HELLTOUR"
Four days later the new-found Guns N' Roses embarked their first tour ever, called the 'Helltour'. In these days the band was really terrible. There was really no back beat and no soul to it, but the first time they all played together they knew that they had a perfect match of musicians.
1985 - NO RECORD CONTRACT = HARD EARNED MONEY
No record contract, no money, and playing at various clubs etc. didn't make that very much money, so the guys had to take some "normal" jobs. Steve endured a variety of menial jobs: dishwasher, bowling alley janitor, lawn mower and pizza maker. Izzy was briefly employed in a guitar shop, and Slash did time in a clock factory. Axl did telephone sales and held position as night manager at a Tower Video outlet. To help make ends meet, Axl and Slash volunteered as medical test subjects for UCLA, smoking cigarettes for $8 an hour. But in the meantime they kept on rockin' as hard as possible. Every weekend, the biggest party in L.A. was down at their place. They had about 500 people packed in an alley and their old roadie was selling beers for a buck out of his trunk. It was like a bar and everyone had their whiskey etc. Guns N' Roses made so much noise in the city... so finally the labels started to come to them!
Month? - PAUL STANLEY DISCUSSED RECORD-PRODUCTION WITH GUNS
KISS's Paul Stanley expressed interest in the band; at one point he discussed production with Axl and Slash and listened to the demo they'd done with Spencer Proffer; but according to Axl, "He wanted to rewrite two of our very favourite songs, so it was over right then and there."
March 26th - GUNS N' ROSES SIGNS FOR 'GEFFEN RECORDS'
Guns N' Roses signs for Geffen Records, label of David Geffen, an old friend of Slash and his parents. Izzy maintains the reason GN'R opted for Geffen was because "They were the coolest; they were very hip to what was going on. They know about rock n' roll. There were labels we went to who didn't know who fuckin' Aerosmith was, that wanted to sign us". Geffen A&R man Tom Zutant was impressed by the Guns' ability to play louder than AC/DC, and that was the first major label executive they felt they could talk turkey with.
December - THE "LIVE ?!'@ LIKE A SUICIDE" EP, IS RELEASED
Amidst legal threats and rumour maelstrom, Guns N' Roses released their first record in December of ´86, a self-produced EP on their own Uzi-Suicide label, entitled "Live?!*@ Like A Suicide". Without any advertising, it sold over 10,000 copies in four weeks and became an instant collector's item.
June - SINGLE RELEASE -IT'S SO EASY /MR.BROWNSTONE
June 19th, 22nd, 28th - GN'R MADE 3 GIGS IN ENGLAND
The 'Gunners' made 3 shows in London at the Marquee Club, this was the first time they ever played in Europe.
Appetite For Destruction is released, the resulting debut LP, got its title from a postcard the Guns spotted in a shop. The cover artwork, depicting what appeared to be a robot rapist and its dishevelled female victim, was condemned by several major record chains who refused to stock the LP, thereby promoting Geffen Records to remove it. GN'R liked the artwork, but it wasn't something that they felt so strongly about that they'd die for it. After the first few thousand copies, it was removed. Appetite was produced and engineered by Mike Clink (veteran of Triumph and UFO session), and mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero.
September - SINGLE RELEASE -WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE /WHOLE LOTTA ROSIE
May 28th? - DUFF MARRIED MANDY BRIX
May-June GUNS N' ROSES TOURING WITH IRON MAIDEN
On the Iron Maiden tour Duff was replaced by ex-Cult bassist Haggis. The reason? He was gettin' hitched!
July - "APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTIONS" -'CLIMBING' ON THE BILLBOARDS
"Appetite For Destruction" reaches #1 on the Billboard charts.
August - SINGLE RELEASE -SWEET CHILD O' MINE/ OUT TO GET ME
August 20th- CASTLE DONINGTON 'MONSTERS OF ROCK' FESTIVAL
107.000 people came to see Guns. Duff had expressed the sentiment that "You are making history if you play Donington". However the only history made at this performance was of the most tragic sort. As soon as GN'R entered the stage, the fans surged forward, and two teenagers, 18 and 20 years old, were trampled to death. Read more about it at the: World Tour Incident-section.
August- September - ON TOUR WITH AEROSMITH -"THE DREAMTOUR"
Even the "dream tour" with Aerosmith had it's moments of tribulation. Doug Goldstein, the Guns tour manager for that jaunt remembers, "In Philadelphia, Axl was coming to the show a little late. When Axl and his brother come to pull in, Stuart, Axl's brother, jumps out of the car and pulls the parking cones out of the way so they can get in. He tells the parking guy he's got the lead singer in car. The guy tells Stuart to fuck off. Axl doesn't want that to happen - he's one of the most loyal people I've encountered - so he jumps out and gets into it with the parking attendant. It turned into a pretty big scene. So the lead singer's being taken to jail with half hour to go before the show... I practically had to blow every cop within a five-miles radius to get him out of jail." Axl made the gig with five minutes to spare.
September 6th - GN'R GET NOMINATED IN THE MTV MUSIC AWARD
Guns N' Roses won the MTV "Best New Artist" Award, and did also take the prize for making the "Best Video" -"Welcome to the Jungle". The band did also perform at the MTV Video Music Award. After these nominations, the word was out: Guns N' Roses were "the next big thing".
October -SINGLE RELEASE -WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE/ NIGHTRAIN
'GN'R Lies' (subtitled: The Sex, The Drugs, The Violence, The Shocking Truth) was released by Geffen Records. Containing the songs from the Uzi-Suicide EP- Live?!*@ Like A Suicide (of which only 25.000 were originally pressed), and four newly recorded acoustic songs. This wasn't a follow-up (to Appetite For Destruction), they just wanted to put something out between the last tour and the next album. Duff and Slash says, "We also heard that kids were having to pay $50 to $100 for the original Live?!*@ Like A Suicide. And we wanted to give it to them for the right price, and also do some songs that show another side of us. These are songs we just felt like doing. Yes, this is a rock n' roll band, but there are lots of different influences within Guns N' Roses. We write a lot of our songs on acoustic guitar. So doing 'Lies' seemed a natural thing for us. And it's real simple, real sloppy. You can hear us talking, there's guitar picks dropping. Real off-the-cuff stuff..." The album artwork, designed to resamble a tabloid magazine cover, is the Guns ironic response to the incessant rumours surrounding them. "We've been the centre of attention and hype and sensationalism," Slash states, "And all that bullshit. We've heard that we've all died in a car crash, that we've done this or that. This was our chance to turn it around and stick it back in their faces." Guns N' Roses have proven time and again that they can transcend any hype, any rumours, any setback that destiny dishes out.
1988 - GN'R ON TOUR WITH SOME OTHER BIG BANDS
During 1988 Guns N' Roses was also touring and playing gigs with other BIG bands like; Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe. The reason why they were touring with Alice: They just didn't feel for going home! At the same time as the tour (with Alice) was going to start, Steve Adler broke his hand. After visiting a bar in Muskegon, Michigan, he had tried to punch a lamp post (the glass part), but punched the metal part instead, and broke his hand. There were shows getting cancelled like here and there. While Steve's hand healed, 'Cinderella' drummer Fred Coury completed Steve's tour obligations.
February - GN'R LIES JOINED "APPETITE" IN THE US TOP FIVE
When "GN'R Lies" joined "Appetite For Destruction" in the US Top Five, it made them the first band in the eighties to have two albums in the top five at the same time.
March - SINGLE RELEASE -PARADISE CITY/ I USED TO LOVE HER
March - PARADISE CITY REACHED THE UK 10-TOP-SINGLE LIST
This was GN'R's first song to become a UK 10-Top Single
May - SINGLE RELEASE -PATIENCE/ ROCKET QUEEN
May - SINGLE RELEASE -SWEET CHILD O' MINE/ OUT TO GET ME
This single become re-released
August - SINGLE RELEASE - NIGHTRAIN/ RECKLESS LIFE
September - AXL AND IZZY JOINED TOM PETTY
Axl and Izzy Stradlin' performed "Free Fallin'" together with Petty.
September- GN'R NOMINATED AT THE MTV MUSIC AWARDS
The "Sweet Child o' Mine" Video took the prize for being the "Best Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Video".
October 18th-22nd - GUNS - OPENING BAND FOR THE ROLLING STONES
GN'R was the opening band for the Rolling Stones, at the L.A. Coliseum. The Gunners made 4 gigs here.
December 19th - AXL N' IZZY PLAYED TOGETHER WITH ROLLING STONES
Axl and Izzy Stradlin' joined Rolling Stones, and played the song "Salt of the Earth", together with them.
January 22nd - SLASH AND DUFF APPEARS AT THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS
When Slash and Duff were invited to the 1990 American Music Awards, no-one tipped them off that they'd carry off two trophies. Slash was delegated to pick them up - and in doing so dropped a number of f-words on national live TV. "Out of all the people there, we were the only ones not putting on a facade," he insisted.
April 7th - GUNS N' ROSES APPEARS AT THE "FARM-AID" IN INDIANAPOLIS
This is the 4th "Farm Aid". GN'R played some songs, but at the "Farm Aid IV charity show" it was the very first time they performed "Civil War" live. They did also play a cover version of "Down On The Farm" by British punk veterans the UK Subs.
April 28th - AXL MARRIED ERIN EVERLY
Axl married Erin Everly on april 28th in Las Vegas. It lasted less than a year, before Axl pitched up in the divorce court and told an astonished judge that he wanted the marriage annulled because Erin wasn't prepared to "comply with her promise to raise a family and be involved in a well-adjusted marriage situation".
'Spring' - DIZZY REED JOINS GUNS N' ROSES
Keyboard-player Dizzy Reed joins the band, not to compensate anyone just to develop and give the band a new and "stronger" sound.
June 26th - "KNOCKIN' ON HEAVENS DOOR" APPEARS ON THE "DAYS OF THUNDER" SOUNDTRACK
July 24th- "CIVIL WAR" APPEARS ON THE CHARITY-ALBUM "NOBODY'S CHILD..."
The "Use Your Illusion II" written song "Civil War" became a gift from GN'R to the charity- album "Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal".
July - STEVEN ADLER IS FIRED
The summer 1990 became the end of Steven's career in Guns N' Roses, since the band had made an agreement with him which said that if he didn't stop taking drugs he was out. When this didn't seem to help, he was fired. Adler's compensater became "The Cult's" drummer Matt Sorum. (the brittish band had toured with the Gunners earlier on GN'R's first coast-to-coast tour.) But how does it come that Sorum became the new drummer in Guns? As hope began to fade (for finding a compensater to Adler), Slash caught a gig at the local Universal Amphitheatre by the Cult. He straightaway homed in on drummer Matt Sorum - and liked what he saw, concluding that "it wouldn't hurt to try him... Thank God I went to that show that night," he continued. "The fact that Matt could play and fit in is what saved us. If we hadn't found somebody it would ultimately have been the demise of the band. Matt's been capable of keeping up with it, if not enhancing it totally, and bringing new stuff to it."
January 18th - DIZZY AND MATT MADE THEIR GN'R DEBUT CONCERT
Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed made their Guns N' Roses stage debuts - not as some low-key bar-band gig, but with typical panache at Brazil's International, satellite-televised Rock in Rio Festival alongside Judas Priest and a star-studded bill, and a crowd of 260.000 people. With the eyes of the whole world upon them, they took the stage at the vast Maracana stadium, home of the Brazilian World Cup soccer legends - and scored straight away with a team performance of staggering intensity and swaggering bravado. As the opening chords of 'All Tied Up' rang around the stadium, Axl strutted and posed with the appetite of master showman starved of public acclaim for far to long, while Sorum laid the foundations of an earth-shattering sound with a four-square rock rhythm. And the electric guitar department Slash, Izzy and Duff were sparking as never before. Despite the delays, this wasn't clinically over-rehearsed performance, by any manner of means. Reed, for one, had to get to work himself into each and every song: with a typical offhandedness, Axl suggested he played percussion on a track he'd never played before! Clearly the musical philosophy best expressed by Duff remained, as ever, a down to earth one. "None of us are the greatest, technical musicans, you know: we all have big technical holes. We'll never be like Rush, we'll never be that good. But I think we're honest. In some ways it's a calling of a rebel spirit to kids. 'Cause we always do what we want."
May 9th- 17th - WARM UP 'GIGS' FOR THE 'UYI'-WORLD TOUR
Before the world tour was going to kick off the 'Gunners' made some warmup gigs (Here Now and Going To Hell). They played at; 'The Warfield' in San Fransisco, CA (9th)., 'Pantages Theatre' in Los Angeles, CA (11th)., a secret gig at 'The Ritz' in New York, NY (16th)., and the last show was also held at 'The Ritz' (on the 17th of May).
May 24th - GN'R STARTED ONE OF THE WORLD'S LONGEST WORLDTOURS EVER
This huge Worldtour started in East Troy, Wisconsin (USA)... and it wouldn't stop before in the middle of July, 1993.
June - SINGLE RELEASE - YOU COULD BE MINE/ CIVIL WAR
This was the first single GN'R released containing songs from the "Use Your Illusion" albums, as a taster of what was to come. 'You Could be Mine' also appear on the soundtrack for the movie - Terminator 2.
July 2nd - GN'R PLAYED IN S:T LOUIS, AND THE AUDIENCE RIOTED
When GN'R performed at the Riverport Performing Arts Center, in S:t. Louis the show came to an abrupt halt when Axl tackled a member of the audience who had been giving grief to other fans and then stormed out. The audience rioted, smashing up the theatre and costing a quarter of million dollars worth of damage. About seventy people, fans, security staff and police were hurt. The band lost most of their equipment and had to cancel subsequent concerts.
August - THE 'USE YOUR ILLUSION' WORLD TOUR COMES TO EUROPE
The first two shows are held at the Ice Stadium in Finland (on the 13th -14th), thereafter the band went to Sweden where they were going to perform two shows at the Stockholm Globe Arena (on the 16th and 17th). Here is the setlist for the last show in Sweden:
(Intro My Way), 1.) Welcome to the Jungle 2.) Mr.Brownstone 3.) Bad Obsession 4.) Live And Let Die 5.) Dust N' Bones 6.) Nightrain 7.) Double Talkin' Jive 8.) 'Slash solo' 9.) Civil War 10.) 'Slash solo' 11.) Patience 12.) November Rain 13.) You Could Be Mine 14.) 14 Years 15.) My Michelle 16.) 'Matt Sorum solo' 17.) Jam session 18.) 'Slash solo' 19.) Godfather theme 20.) Sweet Child O' Mine 21.) Only Women Bleed 22.) Knockin' On Heavens Door 23.) Estranged 24.) Paradise City 25.) Rocket Queen
September - SINGLE RELEASE - DON'T CRY (ORG. + ALT. LYRICS VERSION)
The 2:nd single that contains material from the forthcoming "Use Your Illusion" albums is released. This was just like the 'You Could Be Mine' -single, a taster of what was to come. Don't Cry was actually the first song they ever wrote in Guns N' Roses, and this single became a real runaway chart success, and that really proved that GN'R was a group who had certainly not been forgotten.
It was now almost 3 years ago since last time they released an album (GN'R Lies, Nov 1988). This long-awaited new LP had been scheduled for April 1991, but was postponed. But finally they were going to release their Use Your Illusion albums, and once agian with Mike Clink in the producer's chair, and in the same room (at Rumbo Studios, L.A.). Before they confirmed to call the album Use Your Illusion, there were all kind of titles for the record, like; 'GN'R Sucks', and 'Guns N' Roses - BUY Product'. From the beginning it was supposed to be released as a double-album, but the band decided to put out two separate albums instead. Why? Slash says: "The whole point of doing two separate albums is, number one, a double album's going to cost the kid, what, 25 or 30 bucks? A young kid can't really afford that, so he and his friend can go out and buy one record each, and tape the other one. Also, it's never been done before, and you know us, we like to try shit that's never been done. It's just a funny idea to fuck with the system. It might work, it might flop. I know the critics are looking for the things to flop, but I know it won't because I'm big-headed, because I love our material, and because our heart and blood, everything is in there".
Fully three dozen of songs had been committed to tape in 30 frantic days, each and every one to be used on album, EP or as a B-side/12-inch bonus. The songs they recorded reflected the problems of the past: Slash describes the mood of the LP as "pretty pissed off... there's not a ton of really happy material on it". He also said: ' Use Your Illusion' is also very ironic for us. I mean, I don't know why but this band has just generated bullshit hype for so long that it's like throwing it back in their faces. And d'you know what? The album is so controversial. It's the same and worse than the last one. The subject matter deals with drug stuff. And, uh, I don't think we cut any coners as far as profanity goes. And, uh, it deals with bad relationships and all that kinda crap".
Different from their earlier albums, there were horns, sitars, mandolins and other exotic influences here, there and everywhere on the Use Your Illusion. When these two albums reached the stores all over the world, Guns N' Roses was the first major contemporary rock artist who had released two separate albums on the same day! The albums debuted as number one and two on the Billboard charts. This monster album could only mean one thing - a mammoth world tour!
November 7th - IZZY STRADLIN' IS LEAVING GUNS N' ROSES
Just a month before Guns N' Roses was going to kick off the second leg of the 'Use Your Illusion" - World tour, Izzy left Guns. There were a lot of reason why he left GN'R, but the main reason was probably the drug problems in the band. Another reason was the hard work on the Use Your Illusion albums that took such a long time that everyday just felt the same as nextone. Or as Izzy explained it: "It was such a day-to-day existence, I never really knew what was happening". (Read more about why Izzy left: here) Anyway, Izzy was 'gone', and they needed a compensater... and they found one - Gilby Clarke. Rhythm guitarist Gilby came from the band "Kill For Thrills", a band that had been playing at the same clubs as GN'R in the early days.
December - SINGLE RELEASE - LIVE AND' LET DIE (ALBUM + LIVE VERS)
This single did also contain a previously unreleased song - "Shadow Of Your Love" (Not available on any of their albums.)
December 5th - GUNS KICK OFF THE SECOND LEG OF THE 'UYI'-WORLDTOUR
After having a needful pause for a couple of months, GN'R kick of the second leg of their "Use Your Illusion" -World tour. The first show was held in Worcester, MA, Centrum, USA, but for this leg they a new and "stronger" line-up, since they had started to use background vocals and horns.
Here's the new line-up:
W. Axl Rose (lead vocals, piano) Slash (lead guitar, backing vocals) Duff McKagan (bass, backing vocals) Gilby Clarke (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) Dizzy Reed (keyboards, percussion) Matt Sorum (drums)
Ted Andreadis (keyboards, harmonica, background vocals) Diane Jones (background vocals) Roberta Freeman (background vocals) Tracy Amos (background vocals)
Lisa Maxwell (horns) Cece Worrall (horns) Anne King (horns)
The History of Guns N' Roses between the year 1992-1997 is still under construction. I'll try to make it done as soon as possible... /Andreas Björlenstam
Sources: "Guns N' Roses - Low Life In The Fast Lane", by: Eddy McSquare... "Guns N' Roses - In their own words", by: Mark Putterford... "Okej" (some of their Magazines from '92)... Interviews from: "Metal Hammer", and - "Kerrang"... "MTV"- Interviews with the band + "MTV" -News section... "Axl Rose -Back In Britain"... "Expressen" (-swedish newspaper)... + some other magazines, and articles, GN'R web-p@ges...