Monday, March 10, 2008

Axl Rose - Not a Harvard Graduate

As Mick Wall's new biography shows, Guns n' Rose's vocalist Axl Rose's obsessive and puzzlingly self-destructive behaviour certainly qualifies him as one of the more infuriating and fascinating characters in rock 'n' roll history.

There's some great stuff here, particularly when the book delves into Rose's obsessive handling of his bandmates. Examples of the singer's elaborately overwritten press releases regarding anyone who crossed him are often unintentionally hilarious. On the flip side, his dark grappling with self-loathing and paranoia can be riveting and tragic.

There's more than a little armchair psychology coursing through these pages as Wall tries his best to unravel Rose's conflicting personality ticks: his perfectionism versus his unprofessional behaviour; his egocentricity versus his crippling lack of confidence; his insightful talents as a songwriter versus an alarming stupidity on most other fronts. ("This guy, he's not a Harvard graduate," former bandmate and onetime best friend Izzy Stradlin quips.)

(The full article is here.)


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