Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh My God: 10 Years and 14 Songs Later ...

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Oh My God," the first single of the Chinese Democracy / New Guns era.

10 years later, and what have we got? A few short tours. One album. A whole lot of empty promises. Dozens of missed opportunities, and a handful of scapegoats: Slash, Jimmy Iovine, Buckethead, and Merck Mercuriadis (to name a few).

10 wasted years.

That's my opinion. What do you think? How would you rate Axl's performance as Captain of the Guns N' Roses ship?

You can leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

And now, without any further ado, here's my third favorite Axl rose press release:

September 22nd, 1999

So here's the story behind this music

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!

Power to the people, peace out and blame Canada,



Anonymous said...

best GNR song ever.
no Bucket and no Slash.
Tobias rules.

Anonymous said...

Underrated song, but the quality of the "demo" (how's THAT for scapegoating) hurts it.

The press release rules, though. Blame Canada.

Anonymous said...

Guns N Roses rules.


Jay said...

I became a big fan of Guns when the UYI's came out. I was too young when AFD came out to appreciate them, though I do remember my friend having the cassette and listening to it. We like "It's So Easy" the best because of the use of the F word. But anyway, I kind of lost touch with Guns when they in the mid to late 90's. I didn't really follow them, though I was still a huge fan of the music. I remember being so excited when "Oh My God" came out. Though it wasn't quite what I was used to or expected. It took awhile for me to appreciate, as have many of the NuGNR songs. But I dig it; unfortunately it was on the soundtrack to a forgettable movie. The try for replay of Terminator 2 didn't quite work out. But the song still rocks. I'd love to hear them break it out live somewhere down the line.

As for what we've gotten over the last 10 years. Obviously we haven't been blessed with large amounts of material and performances. There have been a lot of dull moments and silent periods. I'm sure there are lots of reasons for this that we know very little about. Overall Axl just doesn't like to be in the spotlight, at least if it's not on his terms. He is not a fan of the media, and who can blame him? He doesn't play the game like other artists do. That's who he is, and we as fans just have to accept that.

I also don't think Axl himself could've ever envisioned things unfolding over the last 10 years the way they have. I don't think this was his master plan. It took awhile for things to develop and along the way there were many roadblocks. Bucket leaving really set them back. Bucket brought a lot to the band and his presence is strongly felt on Chinese Democracy, that's probably why he was so hard to replace and it took them 2 years to find someone capable, Ron. Then Brain left. They soldiered on and had Frank take over for him without skipping a beat. Robin's departure just before the album came out was probably the most damaging. How do you promote an album that has the 2 main guitarists missing from the band? I don't know the answer to that, and apparently they don't either since little to nothing has been done on that front.

Every time it seemed like things were moving along in the right direction it inadvertently came to a screeching halt. They've never been able to sustain any momentum they've gained over any substantial length of time. Is it Axl's fault? I'm sure he's not blameless, but at the same time I think everyone shares responsibility in the blame game. We don't really know what went on behind closed doors and why exactly Bucket and Robin left. But those 2 events really set the band back and is probably the reason we are where we're at right now. Things could've turned out a whole lot differently if neither had left. BUT, they did, so Axl/GNR moved on. And so have we, and we should continue to, until we reach the end.

Anonymous said...

Great song... love the new GN'R

bandonox said...

great song... bad production...
the end of years of silence should have been a tad more "radio friendly"... while i was jumping out of my skin with excitement.... dj's everywhere were tearing this song to shreds, thus shaping the public opinion of the sheeple....
...because of this misstep... chinese democracy never had a shot at being relevant.. no matter when it was released.. how it was promoted... or who fucking played on it... and it's a shame. had radio crammed it down the throats of the masses, like it does with run-of-the-mill cookie cutter dogshit... people would REVERE axl for saving rock and roll.. and not asking "where's slash?"...more like FUCK slash... bucket rules.... peace

Anonymous said...

Well, i'm getting the message "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters" LMAO!

So i'll send my comments to you, Mack. But for the general picture, Jay pretty much said it all for me.


Yin Harn said...

I'm one of those people who think GNR started dying when Steven was kicked out and had its coffin nailed 75% shut by the time Izzy left. But that aside, it's frustrating to see how little Axl has done with the band (and brand) name he, by all accounts, fought so hard to get the rights to.

10 years, a revolving door of musicians (are they even considered full band members or are they just 'employees' ala Matt Sorum? A far cry from the 'Us vs Them' mentality of the classic lineup), one album, zero promotion (bar that ranty online Q&A session, maybe), a whole lot of empty promises, leading to the total loss of any credibility Axl ever had. The 'Better' video never materialized. When the Asian tour dates were announced, fans immediately wondered when those dates were going to be cancelled.

When you consider how much the other original band members have done in those 10 years - Izzy released 7 albums, Slash and Duff put together a supergroup and watched it implode, Duff's Loaded released an album and toured - it's enough to make me wish Axl would let the GNR band name die a graceful death.

Anonymous said...

What I think is that 10 years later we have a pretty solid band, an amazing album, but incredibly shitty management ( and I'm not talking about Irving Azoff if you know what I mean... ).

Axl has talent and keys that could open almost every door on his path, he just misuses them...BADLY.

In the end, it's not only sad for Axl and the fans, but also for the amazingly talented people that are part of this and who constantly have to go through this shit...

I suppose they knew beforehand what was to be expected.