When Guns N’ Roses Ruled Their World: 1989

I don’t know if it was something I did or said, but Axl never again called or gave me his phone number. I wasn’t officially blacklisted, and never had an issue getting show tickets and passes. Plus, whenever I ran into Axl, he never seemed unhappy to see me. We’d chat and get caught up […]

How to Get a Thrill That Will Get You: 1988

After months of relentless touring, G N’ R earned themselves a little time off. At the start of 1988, they returned to Hollywood as conquering heroes and were without a doubt the new band with the biggest buzz in the business. But in a flash, they were on the road again for most of February, […]

How the World Met Guns N’ Roses: 1987

By the start of 87, The Wild were also long gone from their Gardner Street studio. All the cool 24/7 parties moved to Orange Street, right around the corner from the iconic Chinese Theater. A recent building boom had produced several mostly-wheelchair-accessible, poorly built, half-occupied, future-overpriced-slum apartment complexes on the block. There they waited for […]

The Very First Steps to Becoming Infamous: 1986

Guns N’ Roses pulled a capacity crowd into the Troubadour on the first Saturday night of 1986. Along with a first-ever opportunity for fans to purchase Guns N’ Roses T-shirts, club goers also heard and felt the “My Michelle” debut. For months, Axl had wanted to use a particular segment from Scarface’s score for the […]

A New L.A. Guns Steps Up to Challenge GNR: 1985

Whatever Tracii Guns believed he had going on, right after getting the boot from G N’ R, never panned out. After a few months of sitting around twiddling his thumbs, one afternoon he dropped by my house to tell me he formed a new band with Nickey Alexander. Tracii asked if he could use the […]

The Guns N’ Roses You Know N’ Love: 1985

Axl only had one guitarist in mind. But Izzy expressed a desire to explore all options, in hopes of finding an older, more established musician. Axl remained steadfast and eventually convinced Izzy to at least invite Slash over to talk music, and perhaps those two might play some guitar together. The day after that get-together, […]

Let There Be Guns and Roses: 1985

Shortly after that Iron Maiden concert, Izzy and Axl regrouped Hollywood Rose for a one-off gig at Dancing Waters. The South Bay club featured an actual waterfall cascading down behind the stage, but I never actually saw it because the joint wasn’t so wheelchair friendly. The flyer warned of “Hollywood Rose: The Band That Refuses […]

How to Make Ten Bucks In The Music Business: 1985

My freelance music-business school courses depleted my settlement funds at a pace comparable to lighting up blunts using hundred dollar bills. I invested in the wind and blew through eighty-five grand in six months. Plus, when there’s a dude selling killer blow right upstairs, withdrawing two hundred bucks daily from an ATM is a recipe […]

New Singer Hired, then Mike Jagosz Fired: 1984

Six days after Axl Rose departed L.A. Guns, Ronald Regan earned a second presidential term with the largest electoral vote landslide victory in United States history. Maybe it just seemed like it because I was nineteen, but times were good in a proud and strong America. Well, except for the day all four of my […]

Axl Rose Joins L.A. Guns (For a Minute)

About two weeks later, I got a call from Mr. Axl Rose himself. He didn’t beat around the bush. Right after a hello, he straight-out asked, “Is L.A. Guns still looking for a singer?” We met up to have a few drinks and talk about the what’s-what. I pride myself on my negotiating skills, so, […]

How to Start a Fire Using Hundred Dollar Bills: 1984

Raz Records Office 1984

Barely a month after my chat with a top-ten all-time-great rock god, Ronnie James Dio, my lawyer called to report two of five opposing parties were offering to settle my lawsuit. For two hundred and fifty grand, all I needed to do was sign on the dotted line. I had planned on taking my case […]

Open G is The Best Tuning For Air Guitar: 1984

The outstanding Ian Gillian, of Deep Purple fame, banded together with Black Sabbath to put out a kick-ass metal record, Born Again. A few weeks into 1984, Mike and me went to enjoy that evil shit live at the Long Beach Arena. While waiting at the elevator, we ran into Mike’s buddy and fellow vocalist, […]