Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Ax!

"Some people got a chip on their shoulder and some would say it was me."

Love him or hate him, Axl Rose celebrates his 47th birthday today.

What is there to say about Axl Rose that hasn't been said here or elsewhere?

Well, for one, as a teenager growing up in the late-1980s, I absolutely worshipped the man. His punk/outlaw style appealed to young, angry men such as myself. He was an anti-authoritarian figure who burst onto the scene in 1987, shaking-up the conservative Reagan/Bush '80s.

It wasn't just his music and lyrics that were so appealing, but his entire persona. In 1988-90, Axl Rose was everywhere.

MTV was GNRTV. Every magazine had interviews with the man. The band swore on awards shows. Axl swore in his songs. Sure, it was the hits that got me hooked, but it was his interviews that kept me digging deeper.

In 1989 he told Rolling Stone magazine: What I'd tell any kid in high school is "Take business classes." I don't care what else you're gonna do, if you're gonna do art or anything, take business classes.

And I did. All of them, I took every business class my High School offered, because Axl said so.

The past 12 months have been pretty amazing for Ax, he released his magnum opus, Chinese Democracy, and he finally told his side of the story regarding the breakup of Guns. Keep in mind, these 2 events took over 10 years to come to fruition.

Axl Rose may be extremely polarizing, but his place in Western Culture is firmly cemented.

Forty-seven years ago today Axl Rose was born.

Happy Birthday Ax, and thanks for all the great music, dude.

-Mack Arillo

"Old at heart but I'm only 47, Much too young to let love break my heart"


Brandonio! said...

What no mention of the passing of the late great Lux Interior? Now the was a REAL talent.

Anonymous said...

Well...what to say?!

That since 1992, when I found out Axl's birthdate, I always celebrate with a glass of something (vodka to champagne or even tea - when there was lack of alcohol!).
I was 14 years old when I first saw that blue & yellow cd cover. A wise friend of mine said "if you're gonna hear it, here this first", then showing me AFD. Guns, AFD and Axl all together were life altering to me. They were the soundtrack of my life ever since. "Coma" is one of the most brilliant songs EVER written and indeed, it was the soundtrack of another life changing event day for me.

But hey, i'm here to talk about Axl. As a girl, of course I found him beautiful beyond words, but I took pride in not being one of those silly girls that screamed and tore their hair apart because of his looks, leaving songs and lyrics and speaches far behind. I'm really interested (at times, obsessed) in axl's personality, history, background...Back in 92' it was really a luxury to be able to buy Rip Magazine, Metal Hammer and others, because you could only
buy those at airports. So i'd steal money, hitch hike to the airport and sneak into free shops so I could buy these magazines. I still have and cherish the 3 part interview axl has done with del james of rip magazine, where axl sets a mindblowing interview. Again, these interviews changed the way I look at the world back then and a huge part of how I look at the world today, being 32. My name is ard from "ana rose drums", because then I began playing in garage bands, the grunge years for all that matter. I still have every single poster, every single clip, every single item, and of course, the concert at lisbon in July 2nd 1992.

Axl is such an inspiration, a prick, a genius, a persona, an interesting character...a huge part of why I'm a psychologist today and the way I am (not sure if it's a good thing, though!).

Just like Duff yesterday, I'm grateful Axl's still alive, although ever fighting for his own peace of mind.

Take care, axl, luv ya. Happy birthday!


bandonox said...

great piece, mack... and the video.. awesome..
you've inspired me. at some point this week i'm prolly gonna WRITE sumpin on the blog..

fuckin' estranged.... give's me goosebumps every time.

my story is essentially the same as yours... minus the business classes.
Every magazine that featured axl in it.. i owned it. i robbed i dunno even how many library magazine archives... i had a scrapbook with EVERYTHING in it... till i abruptly left my dad's house... ugh

Pat said...

Happy Axl Rose/Bob Marley Birthday/s!