Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting World Tour 2009: The Big Chinese Medley

The coolest Guns N' Roses video since "November Rain."

Thanks: Faldor

Koo Koo For Cocoa Puffs

Slash and Steven Adler now have at least three things in common - Guns N' Roses, rehab, and they were both granted a restraining order yesterday against the same woman.

Adler alleges a woman in Oregon named Lisa Jill Martin-Cahn hired at least three private investigators since '08 to hunt him down ... "under the ruse" they were long lost lovers who met in rehab back in the early 90's.

Adler's docs, filed in LA County, say cops who visited Cahn at her Oregon home last month found "unopened boxes of house ware items which Cahn stated [were] wedding presents for [her and Adler's] upcoming marriage."

Now here's where Slash fits into this: He claims Cahn has contacted him and his family members - including his mother-in-law - by phone and letter in desperate attempts to get in touch with Adler.

Both restraining orders were granted yesterday - Cahn has to stay at least 500 yards away from both guys, their families, work ... and on and on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Don't Be A Dick

Appetite for Discussion
Interview with Richard Fortus

What's your favorite track from Chinese Democracy; what about GN'R in general?

Favorite track from CD is probably "Chinese," but it's hard to say and changes often. As far as a favorite GN'R track ... It's one YOU haven't heard yet!

You can read the entire interview here.

As a fan, I find comments like the above particularly insensitive considering Axl's comments regarding the follow-up album, "have no idea and don't care. Hopefully, we'll be working Chinese for a good bit. Of course there's the same idiots that have been around forever already demanding release dates."

Maybe Dick shouldn't be such a tease.

Thanks for the interview ... I guess.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fizzles and Bringdowns 2009

January 17
VH1's Sober House Premieres. Steven Adler shows up wasted, with syringes in his pants pockets, and a tin foil package full of heroin down his pants. Chaos ensues and he gets taken to the home of a staff member to spend the first night, both to protect himself and the other participants.

January 26
Steven Adler is arrested again.

January 27
A mere 8 weeks after it's release, Chinese Democracy plummets to number 57 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

January 29
Former Guns N' Roses manager Alan Niven tells Classic Rock magazine that Axl fired him "to wrestle control of GN’R!" Of the new GN’R, Niven comments: “Y’know, everyone has the right to make the music they want to with whomever they wish. But just be up ’n’ up about it. All this ‘last man’ standing stuff from Axl is horseshit. He wore us all out. Drove us all off. And for a personality like Axl, solo work only makes sense. If he wants to be Elton Rose then more power to him. Go for it. Pull it off. He has the talent to do that. But don’t pretend that one person alone represents the idea of Guns N’ Roses."

February 6
Axl Rose breaks his silence and gives his first public interview in 9 years with Billboard magazine. He addresses rumors of an upcoming tour, "no plans, but there's talk. Management and our promoters are really excited with the offers coming in both here and worldwide." Axl mentions that they're "finalizing a video for 'Better' and writing a couple others now." On the subject of Slash, Axl had this to say "one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is. Those decisions were made a long time ago and reiterated year after year by one man. Anyone putting his own personal entertainment above everything else is sickening."

February 9
Matt Sorum reveals that Velvet Revolver hopes to announce their new vocalist in April.

February 9
Steven Adler heads back to rehab (again).

Febraury 9
The third single from Chinese Democracy, "Street of Dreams," appears on eBay and YouTube. It is never played on the radio, seen in stores, acknowledged by the band or heard from again. Copies of the promo disc are fetching over $150 a piece on eBay.

February 13
Regarding Velvet Revolver's new singer, Duff McKagan tells Opie and Anthony that "I think we have the guy ... yeah. You'll be blown away by the quality. I think we have the right guy. We all know he's killer."

February 14
Nick Sterling auditions for Guns N' Roses.

February 18
Jimmy Fallon says that he wants Axl Rose to appear on his new late-night show. Jimmy calls Chinese Democracy "awesome."

February 23
Rumors of a European festival tour begin to trickle in. Organizers of Spain's Kobetasonik festival list Guns N' Roses as a headliner on the festival's web page. Other rumored dates include June 26 in Norway, August 1 at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, England and June 12-14 at the Download Festival also in England. There are also reports of dates in Italy for the month of June.

February 27
Axl is interviewed by his longtime friend Del James. In the interview Axl says the he considers Slash "a cancer and better removed, avoided -- and the less anyone heard of him or his supporters, the better." In regard to a release date for the sequel to Chinese Democracy Axl says he has no idea and that he doesn't care.

March 4
Rolling Stone reports that Axl Rose intends to follow last November’s release of Chinese Democracy with a worldwide Guns N’ Roses stadium tour this summer. Guns’ manager, Irving Azoff, tells Rolling Stone that the band has big plans for this year. "We have some exciting things in the works this year for GN’R, I’m looking forward to it." Hits Daily Double reports that a co-headlining tour with Van Halen is in the works. Rumors suggest that Guns' set will feature a full orchestra and lavish stage show.

March 5

Canadian Sports Station, TSN, announces a contest to win a trip to see Guns N' Roses perform live "somewhere in the world."

March 9
Velvet Revolver demos with Gord Prior leak.

March 18

Bass Player magazine publishes an interview with Tommy Stinson where he mentions tour dates beginning in April. "I have a feeling it's going to happen, but I'm not holding my breath. It seems that every time that ball starts rolling, it rolls a bit Like a square wheel at first."

March 20
An update on Nomad Recording Studio's MySpace page reads "JT Longoria is the process of mixing new tracks for Izzy Stradlin" As of today (July 24), there is still no release date for this record.

March 21
Guns N’ Roses add guitarist DJ Ashba for “upcoming tour.” The phrase "upcoming tour" is later redacted from the band's website.

March 26
Duff McKagan's Loaded announce Spring tour dates.

April 14
Chinese Democracy comes to the Rock Band 2 videogame.

April 17
Sick, the new album from Duff McKagan's Loaded, sells 1,400 copies in the United States its first week of release.

April 22
Guns N' Roses front-of-house engineer, Ken "Pooch" van Druten appears in a pair of videos discussing the band's Waves audio set-up for their upcoming tour. Pooch talks about the challenges of live mixing a 9-piece band. You can hear the musicians rehearsing "Sweet Child O' Mine" in the background. The videos are removed from YouTube in a matter of hours and the tour is called off several days later.

April 28
Richard Fortus tells KDHX 88.1 FM that Guns "hopefully, will be announcing dates soon, I hope."

April 30
Matt Sorum tells Joe Bosso at MusicRadar that Velvet Revolver needs "a singer soon. We need the right guy in six months. We can't wait another year. Otherwise, it might not matter."

May 7
Slash appears as a mentor on American Idol's rock week.

May 19
Bumblefoot jams with Duff McKagan's Loaded at the Gramercy theater in New York City.

June 1
Slash announces that Izzy Stradlin will play with him on his upcoming solo album.

June 7
The NY Daily News reports that Axl Rose has fired and rehired his manager, Irving Azoff, at least three times in the last five weeks.

June 15
Amazon announces a June 30 release date for the Chinese Democracy guitar tablature book. As of today (July 24) it has not been released.

June 16
New, alternate artwork for the Chinese Democracy booklet appears online. An indie record store in Hollywood is selling copies of the promotional disc for $100. A rep at Universal told me that there are no plans to re-release the album.

June 30
Slash and Friends play the Quart festival in Kristiansand, Norway. The 90 minute set featured appearances from Ron Wood, Ozzy Osbourne and Fergie. The band, which featured Franky Perez on lead vocals, covered songs by Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Velvet Revolver, The Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, Black Sabbath and more.

July 7
Mister Saint Laurent resurfaces in an attempt to obtain and release a collection of hoarded, unheard songs from the Chinese Democracy sessions. He is, unfortunately, unsuccessful.

July 14
Blogger Kevin "Skwerl" Cogill is sentenced to 1 year probation for leaking 9 songs from the Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy. "No fines, no restitution, no jail."

July 15

A live chat with new Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba fails to deliver any information on the group.

July 17
Slash tells Classic Rock magazine that Velvet Revolver is "at a standstill."

July 23
Kevin Cogill tells the GN'R Syndicate that Beta Lebeis' son Fernando lied to the FBI and was responsible for past leaks of GN'R material. "He may have been trying to play hero to redeem himself, or he may have mistakenly thought he was somehow responsible. I don’t know."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

GN'R Syndicate Interview with Kevin Cogill

GN'R Syndicate
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The GN'R Syndicate: Were the authorities interested in where the songs came from, or just that you posted them online? What did they want to know? Did their actions (i.e. providing you with the tracks) result in any adverse consequences? How did they get the songs?

Skwerl: The authorities wanted to know who the source was, but I didn’t know. I had a story, but I didn’t necessarily believe it. We (and whenever I say “we”, I mean my legal team) had to conduct our own investigation to get to the bottom of all of it. This meant that we could question my leads & contacts privately, rather than having the FBI do it and cause a big crazy shit storm. I can’t get into details of who led us where, but we were able to protect my friends’ identities.

The GN'R Syndicate: I guess the biggie is: How did you come across these leaks? Was it somebody close to the band?

Ah, the big one. The one I won’t answer just yet. The decision not to talk about this is not an easy one for me to make, but I can say that it is my decision entirely. There’s no secret gag order, and I’m not involved in any sort of ongoing investigation. What I can also say is that we completed our investigation, and figured out exactly where the songs came from, and how they wound up in my hands. I could go public with this information, but for now, I’m saving it for a rainy day.

The GN'R Syndicate: Who initiated the prosecution? The band? The label? The government?

Skwerl: RIAA did the initial investigation, and packaged the case up for the government.

The GN'R Syndicate: The prosecutor wanted jail time, do you feel that this would have been appropriate in a case such as yours?

Skwerl: Well no, of course not. Do you?

Nah, but seriously, even the prosecutor conceded that it wasn’t necessarily appropriate for me on an individual level, but that doing so might deter others from committing more harmful cases of the crime. I knew ahead of time that was the situation I would probably be in. We had put up a great fight, but it would come down to whether or not the judge felt it was time to make an example out of someone. That’s a scary side of justice; sometimes what you deserve isn’t the only factor the court considers when deciding your fate. Luckily, the honorable judge Abrams is a fair dude.

The GN'R Syndicate: Do you feel that your actions sabotaged Guns N’ Roses or harmed them in anyway? The record label? The RIAA?

Skwerl: I don’t feel that my actions harmed the band or label in any way whatsoever. The finished version of Chinese Democracy went up for streaming in its entirety on Myspace before the album was released. The label paid money for this. They called it promotion.

The GN'R Syndicate: In many ways the RIAA appears to be both the dinosaur as well as comet hurling towards earth. Is dragging people into criminal court for this type of offense going to solve their problem? If not, then what would solve it in your opinion?

Skwerl: I’m going to reserve judgment on RIAA... for now.

The GN'R Syndicate: Do you regret what you have done? If so, were you able to convey your apologies to the band through legal counsel or other means?

Skwerl: I don’t regret what I did, but I won’t ever do it again. I’ll let someone else take the next one, and I’ll find another boat to rock. One that isn’t so illegal maybe. As I said the other day, my actions disrespected Axl’s right to control how his work is presented to the world. For that I humbly apologize. But that’s as far as it goes.

The GN'R Syndicate: Did anybody from the band ever contact you?

Nope. No one truly authorized to represent the band, besides Axl’s lawyer, who sent a cease & desist.

I’m sure you guys know about Beta’s kid Fernando. He was actually the first to call me, identifying himself as a member of the “Guns N’ Roses camp. ” Like I said, the songs were long gone, but he wanted to know if I was going to put them back up. I told him I would not. He asked where I got them, and I told them that I didn’t know the identity of my source. The cease and desist came via email shortly after.

Apparently the FBI questioned Fernando (before me), and he had given them a very different story. He told them that I said I got the tracks from a source at the record label, and he told them that the songs were still online when he called, suggesting that he had something to do with my taking them down. Initially we thought that he had something to do with the leaks (why else would he make so much shit up to the freaking FBI), but when we investigated, he was a dead end. He’s been responsible for past leaks, but not mine. So I don’t know. He may have been trying to play hero to redeem himself, or he may have mistakenly thought he was somehow responsible. I don’t know.

The GN'R Syndicate: There has always seemed to be a conflicting view in regards to these leaks. Few, if any, of the people I knew were strong enough to refrain from downloading them. On the other hand many of the fansites were vehemently against even discussing them (All while downloading for themselves or actively seeking them out). What kind of feedback were you getting in your mail box? Thanks? Fuck you?

Well that’s two-faced bullshit. If you’re running a fansite, you’ve gotta ask yourself who you’re doing it for. Are you doing it to get closer to the band? Or are you doing it to serve the fans? Johnny Firecloud [Antiquiet co-founder] and I ran a big fansite back in the day for A Perfect Circle. We pissed that band off so much, posting shit we weren’t supposed to, refusing to take said shit down until we got a substantial statement in return for the fans to chew on. But once you start censoring yourself, then you start becoming little more than an extension of the band’s cocktease “official ” site, only you’re not getting paid. You know what? No matter how close you may get to the band, you’re still going to be the fanboy (or girl)... unless you sell drugs too, I guess. The relationship you build with the fans is way more valuable in every single way. They’ll be there for you at the end of the day.

Sometimes you’ve gotta make real tough choices between the band’s wishes and the fans’ wishes, and I’m not saying the fans have to win every time. But sometimes you’ve gotta stand up for them, you know? You’ve gotta say, “Look, this shit is out there, I’m a journalist, it is my job to report this. Take me to court if you have to, but I’ve got rights. ” Or else I’ve gotta wonder why you still bother.

One thing that was really interesting to me was how the feedback I was getting would change with the weather; with each turning point in the story. Initially, everyone was like “Fuck yeah! Thanks! ” But when I did a couple interviews and the FBI got involved, haters came out of the woodwork, and then it was split evenly between “thanks” and “fuck you. ” It fluctuated at various points as the whole thing went up and down, but when someone reported the government’s recommendation that I do jail time, the needle swung so hard in my favor, it broke. It was more comments than ever before, and all but a few were “Fuck RIAA! Fuck the man! Free Skwerl! ” and that kinda shit.

I read the comments and emails and shit, but I never let any of it get to me. These people don’t know shit about me, so how can I take any of it personally? Besides, most of the people ranting about how I’m a scumbag piece of shit asshole don’t even have the story straight, and few of them know the first thing about how the record industry really works these days.

The GN'R Syndicate: So did you finally buy Chinese Democracy? What did you think?

Damn right I did. How could I not? I had been waiting for it longer than I’ve had hair on my balls.

For me the bottom line was that it was a great album, but it had just been cooking too long, plain and simple. When we think back to 2008, we might remember it as the year Chinese Democracy finally came out, but you’re not going to hear it playing during the flashback scenes in movies 20 years from now. It’s going to be fucking Katy Perry, or Linkin Park. Say what you want about their shitty albums, but at least they claimed their moment.

I still listen to it. There are some songs that I like even more now than I did when I wrote the review, like “Sorry. ” That’s a great song, it grew on me big time.

At least two people on my legal team purchased the album, which definitely wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m pretty sure they hated it.

This is only an excerpt from a massive interview, you can read the whole thing here.

Slash Turns 44

Slash was born Saul Hudson on this date in 1965, in Berkshire, England.

Slash is a living legend, and the most distinctive guitar player of his generation.

His guitar playing on Appetite for Destruction is the ultimate fusion of Sleazy Blues and Punk Rock, and has never been replicated since, even by Slash himself.

Currently, Slash is working on his first-ever "solo" album with fellow GN'R alums Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler as well as rock legends Ozzy Osbourne, Ron Wood and Lemmy Kilmister.

It's been a strange year for Slash.

Besides working on his solo album, Slash rocked Norway's Quart Fest with an all-star group of musicians and vocalists.

On June 5, Slash's mother Ola Hudson passed away. She was only 62. Her death was sudden and unexpected.

In May Slash was a mentor on American Idol's Rock Week. He played with Tommy Clufetos (drums), Chris Chaney (bass) and Kerri Kelli (guitar).

Slash's solo disc is expected out in early 2010. His band, Velvet Revolver is currently on hiatus.

Happy Birthday Slashman!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baz: I Was In VR For Three Weeks

Ask any musician, and they'll tell ya: one of the hardest thing about this "business" is finding the "right" band members. I can remember being in Velvet Revolver for about 15 minutes or so (about three weeks, actually) and the thing I loved about that experience (working with Duff McKagan especially) is that those guys had at least 30-40 songs on the demo CD Duff gave me, and all of us had one goal in mind: creating some great music.

That's it.

We rehearsed at Mates for five hours at a time. No one asked, "How much am I getting paid to rehearse?" "Who's paying my gas money to write this song?" etc. The subject of money never came up. We rehearsed, wrote songs and hung out together because we loved playing more than anything else, and are happier playing music than doing anything else.

Duff McKagan's Loaded Re-Loads for Another Round

According to his twitter page, Duff "will be writing new LOADED songs tonite and tomorrow. Some great ideas and riffs have come on this latest tour. Excited for sure!"

This is bittersweet news for many of Duff's fans. In my opinion, it implies that Velvet Revolver is indeed staying parked on the back burner. 2010 will see Slash's solo album and I presume, an ensuing tour. Loaded, in turn, will likely cycle through another period of songwriting, recording, touring, etc. I imagine it will be a few years before VR convenes again, if ever.

Later today, Duff tweeted:

"VR will continue our search for our singer. It WILL happen! When I speak of Loaded, I am certainly not speaking against VR!"


I've been listening to Loaded's latest Sick, and while I do enjoy it, it's a little to happy and upbeat for my tastes. I prefer their 2001 release, Dark Days.

There are some great songs on this record though. "Sick" has aggressive lyrics and a crazy guitar solo. "Forgive Me" is a perfect little alt-pop-rock song that crystallizes Loaded's sound quite well. Duff's vocals sound great on that track. "Wasted Heart" wouldn't sound out of place on the Stones' Beggars Banquet LP. "No More" is probably the catchiest tune on the disc.

In an interview with Guitar World Magazine, Duff explained that the band decided to write a new album when, at a Christmas benefit gig, they realized how many good unrecorded songs they had.

Although Duff wrote most of the songs on Dark Days, much of Sick was composed by the band or with other writers. One track, the somber “Mothers Day,” took shape from McKagan and Rouse jamming together on bass guitars. It was called “Two Basses” until McKagan wrote lyrics about friends he’s lost to drugs.

Surprisingly, although doing time in GN’R and Velvet Revolver cemented his association with Slash, McKagan credits former Gunner Izzy Stradlin as the guitarist that most influenced his own rhythm playing. “I think from Izzy I learned where a rhythm guitar player should be, within the band,” McKagan says. “As a result, I don’t overthink it.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

“Scott Weiland is like George Bush to me – I like him now that he’s gone…”

Classic Rock
Slash was unhappy throughout his entire career in Velvet Revolver – and working on his forthcoming solo album has given him a new creative lease of life. The former GN’R/VR guitarist has been talking to Classic Rock about the dissolution of VR and how the band’s split with Scott Weiland pushed him work by himself on a solo album.

“Now at this point I can talk about it,” says Slash. “I always support whatever group I’m playing with – I’ll never say anything bad about them while I’m in it. But fuckin Velvet Revolver – that was the toughest five years, dealing with that band, just because of the obvious [Weiland] and really, really bad management. Joke management for the entire time.

“For some reason in that entire five years I could never be happy. I could never get comfortable and happy with it because it was such a fucking mess. That last tour in the UK was the first time I ever had any fun in that band – because I knew that Scott was leaving and it was a huge relief.

“But, all things considered, Scott to me is now like George Bush – y’know, I like him now that he’s not here. I have nothing bad to say about Scott, but he doesn’t work well with others in a group situation. So towards the end I had written a bunch of music and there were a lot of restrictions because of him writing in Velvet and a lot of stuff that I wanted to do was just sort of squelched. Y’know Slither happened and Fall To Pieces and a couple of other songs I wrote, but it didn’t have the direction that the group – especially before Scott came into it – really set off in. Especially on that last record – which I still think is a good record, but was a lot mellower than [I would have liked].

“Anyway, so I was writing a lot of material and on that last UK tour I started taping a lot of stuff and when I got home I was like, ‘I need to get away from this group situation – I just need to be in control of something and do things my own way’. So it was a relief. And we’ll see – it’s not really about trying to make the biggest record in the world, but I will support it. I’ll go out there and do what I have to do to make sure that people go out there and listen to it cos I think it’s a cool record.”

How will that affect Velvet Revolver?

“Well Duff’s on tour, I’m doing my record, so it’s sort of at a standstill. I haven’t heard any amazing submissions from singers as of late, so I might… Y’know, Velvet when it finds the right guy will be amazing, but I’m in no rush. I’m not freaking out – because that’s how we got Scott in the first place. He was the first decent guy that came up.”

After the Norway gig everyone is going to think Franky Perez is the guy.

“I thought about that. Yeah, Franky’s fucking bad ass. You know, he did some time with Velvet but I think because I was so preoccupied with my record nothing really came of it. Anyway, we’ll see what happens. When my record comes out there’s going to be a lot of different things that I can do so what happens as far as Velvet is concerned – we’re going to be on a hiatus until we lock together and say, ‘Hey, these are our options, let’s see what we’re going to do’. I don’t know if Franky is going to be the guy or what – he’s just a really, really good singer. Even Ozzy came up and said, ‘Who the fuck is that guy? He’s fucking great!’ He actually said: ‘What the fuck am I doing up here? He’s the one that should be singing…’”

In Norway, Franky Perez confirmed that he had worked with VR in the last six months: “I’ve probably known Slash a little under a year. We have this mutual friend and we’ve run into each other a few times but we met – actually met, met – about six months ago. And then I was working with Velvet Revolver for a little bit and then Slash started doing his solo record…”

So you worked with VR after Weiland left?

“Yes. So I got to hang out with all the guys and started working with them and then about the same time Slash had to work on his solo project and Duff was doing Loaded so that dissipated, but the great thing is that I got to have a great relationship with Slash.”

Did he realise that the internet was going to be filled with ‘Franky-is-the-new-Velvet-Revolver-frontman’ stories?

The singer just smiles and shrugs: “Well, you know, if the opportunity comes around, I’m ready.”

For a full interview with Slash & Friends, see Classic Rock 136, on sale 19 August.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In the Studio with Slash, Flea and Steven

"Flea & Steven did a fabulous job on the new track. Steven is doing really well, I'm proud of him"

Failure to Communicate

Dj Ashba: Out of respect for GN'R all your questions will be answered, I promise, I'm not the man to give those answers :) I hope you understand

If you weren't there for the chat last night - don't worry - you didn't miss anything.
I won't be posting a transcript here.
I did find out that DJ Ashba has indeed met Axl Rose.

Otherwise, I'm feeling like Luke Jackson this morning.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kevin Cogill Apologizes to Axl Rose, Slams Slash

via Blabbermouth
The Los Angeles man who was sentenced to a year of probation (including two months of modified house arrest) for uploading pre-release Guns N' Roses tracks told MTV News that he was offended by the comments former GN'R guitarist Slash made about him. "A friend of mine conducted an interview with Slash last year in which he called me a thief and wished that I 'rot in jail,'" Kevin Cogill said. "I found that surprisingly crass, especially considering the guy has made no bones about shoplifting cassette tapes with the same rationale as today's downloaders. So if he wants to see me in jail, I'll see him in the cafeteria."

Cogill, a 28-year-old blogger known as "Skewrl", told MTV News that he carries a great deal of remorse for what he did, though he never intended any harm to Axl Rose — he was just a fan who was excited about a band he loved. "I've come to respect the artists' right to determine how their art is released," he said. "I do apologize to Axl for that disrespect. As a fan who had lost faith in all of the promises of release, I didn't see too many other options at the time. But in a fair world, it's not my place to judge, let alone act."

Cogill was arrested in August 2008. He was charged under a four-year-old federal anti-piracy law that makes it a felony to distribute a copyrighted work on computer networks before its release.

Assistant US attorney Craig Missakian, who pursued the case with the FBI and recording industry, said, "In the past, these may have been viewed as victimless crimes. But in reality, there's significant damage."

Cogill posted the songs at the Antiquiet web site, where they were available for public access. The site crashed from the amount of traffic it received once word of the leaked tracks got out. Cogill took them down again after he was contacted by representatives of GN'R.

Slash's Weekly Update (July 15)

Hey all, what's happening? Everything's good on this end. It has been a pretty productive summer so far. My record should be done next month & the recording has gone smoothly & sounds fucking great.

Steven Adler played on the 1st of the last 3 tracks yesterday, along with Flea on bass. The song kicks ass & the drums & bass sound so recognizable & sound so fucking good. Steven is staying clean, which is great, flea is just amazing, period. Steven, Flea & I all lived & met in the same neighborhood in West Hollywood back in the day. Yesterday, we had a great time reminiscing about when we all 1st started playing Rock & Roll & how school didn't fit into the plan, we were like 15. Flea was the 1st one to join an "established" band called "Anthem," I remember being envious. I had a band called "Tidus Sloan" but we didn't have a singer. Sound familiar? Steven & I didn't really have a band together until a few years later when we joined Nikki Sixx's old band "London" after Izzy left. Which, incidentally, was very short lived.

Izzy came down & played on a track a couple weeks ago, that sounds great too. It was good to see him, it's been awhile. Our guitars together really do have a sound all their own.

Besides having some friends of Eric Valentine's come down from Northern California & play cello & violin on a track, I haven't had any other guest musicians so far. Having Flea, Steven & Izzy play has been a real gas. There might be a couple more surprise musicians on this record I think.

The movie I scored while I was writing songs for my record last summer, "This is not a movie," is in it's final production stage & being shopped for distribution. I went to a closed screening of it at Warner Bros a couple weeks ago, its a really dark but funny movie, very indie & very raw. It really surprised me to hear/see it all put together. The score is awesome & almost entirely comprised of electric guitar. It gives the picture a distinct musical personality, which has many moods. Edward Furlong & Peter Coyote star in it, by the way & are phenomenal. Its funny, Edward Furlong was teenage delinquent "John Conner" being chased by the Terminator in "Terminator 2." His key scene was when he was escaping on his motorcycle to the tune of GnR's "You could be mine." Now he is staring in a movie that I did all the music for 18 years later.

The Norway gig happened & was a fucking blast. The band (Jason Bonham, John 5, Ted Andreadis & Franky Perez) was amazing & Ozzy, Fergie & Ronnie Wood were stellar to say the least. But, what really made the gig great was the crowd, they were pretty fucking fantastic. There is some talk of doing some more shows like that in the not too distant future, its too good of a time.

There's a lot of stuff coming up actually, all good. As it happens I will keep you up to date in as timely a fashion as I am capable.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Free at Last: Skwerl Gets Probabtion

LOS ANGELES - Blogger Kevin "Skwerl" Cogill was sentenced today to 1 year probation for leaking 9 songs from the Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy.

"No fines, no restitution, no jail."

From Wired News:
A Los Angeles man who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of uploading pre-release Guns N’ Roses tracks was handed one year probation and two months’ home confinement Tuesday after agreeing to cooperate with the Recording Industry Association of America to produce an anti-piracy message.

Kevin Cogill was arrested last summer at gunpoint and charged with uploading nine tracks of the Chinese Democracy album to his music site — The album, which cost millions and took 17 years to complete, was released in November and reached No. 3 in the charts.

Cogill faced a maximum of a year in prison. The authorities, however, originally were demanding six months, claiming the amount of infringement equaled $371,000. The higher the number, the longer the potential prison term.

According to court documents, after Cogill agreed to help produce an anti-piracy public service address with the RIAA, the government withdrew the $371,000 figure and agreed not to fine him. Los Angeles federal authorities in March said the figure was a “reasonable estimate” that gave the defendant the “benefit of the doubt.” The calculations, the government said, were based on each downloaded Guns N’ Roses track being worth 99 cents on iTunes.

As part of the 28-year-old Cogill’s guilty plea in December, he informed the authorities that he received the music online and unsolicited — a confession prosecutors said might pave the way for more “targets” to be prosecuted.

Cogill uploaded nine songs from the 14-track album on June 18, 2008. Court records show he confessed to the FBI. The case was cracked by an investigator with the RIAA.

In March, the RIAA said it believed the infringement amounted to $2.2 million. (.pdf) The record labels said it would accept $30,000, instead of $2.2 million, if Cogill “was willing to participate in a public service announcement designed to educate the public that music piracy is illegal.”

Prosecutor Kevin Missakian said in a telephone interview that the public address will either be a radio or television message of “Kevin talking about the importance of protecting copyright holders’ rights in their songs and movies.”

Missakian added that the government was “satisfied” with the sentence, but “the government had asked for some jail time in hopes of sending a stronger message.”
Related posts:
Kevin Skwerl Arrested!
Universal Calls the Feebs

Monday, July 13, 2009

Axl Rose: Do You Know Where You Are?

John over at Addictive Thoughts has written a sad and thought-provoking article addressing Axl Rose and Chinese Democracy. An excerpt follows.

In 1999, Axl Rose spoke with MTV’s Kurt Loder over the phone. Their discussion centered on the inevitable: the former rock star’s withdrawal from the public eye and the details of his pending record, 2000 Intentions, which Rose claimed had just received a new working title: Chinese Democracy.

Over the span of the following decade, these two words would take on an immeasurable notoriety and inadvertently come to represent the decay of the traditional music industry. If Guns N’ Roses’ early career – with the band’s all-time-best-selling debut album — was representative of the old industry’s peaks, Chinese Democracy would signify the final nail in its coffin.

One can’t help but wonder what, exactly, the effect of Chinese Democracy might have been if it had been released in 1999; after all, this was the year nu metal arguably hit its commercial zenith, with the likes of KoRn and Limp Bizkit roaring across the airwaves. (I need not point out how insufferable this era was.) Most classic rock bands were dead; the era of cash-grab reunions had yet to begin, since the grunge movement hadn’t exactly reinstated rock ideals; and some of the last groups of the alt-rock movement in the ‘90s were on the cusp of extinction. Legitimate rock n’ roll was, quite suddenly, in high demand.

If Rose had released it in 1999, before the age of Internet piracy and before the New York scene ostensibly brought back “real” rock n’ roll, his work could have lived up to its status. He could, indeed, have been remembered as not only the singular force in the resurrection of classic rock music, but even as the last true superstar prior to the downfall of the music industry.

Of course, that’s just wishful thinking. Expectations of quality aside, Chinese Democracy just doesn’t represent enough – it should have been an Event, but instead it’s just another album; a solid listen with intriguing songs whose longevity will mostly appeal to the pre-converted. And its mastermind, let’s face it, has proven his long-time doubters right: not only did he reveal that he never had a brilliant scheme brewing after all, but it seems he is no visionary – or at least not as visionary as we might have once been inclined to believe.

Read the FULL article here (there's much more).

Related Discussion: Guns N' Roses thread - Addictive Thoughts

Saturday, July 11, 2009

John 5 to Replace Zakk Wylde in Ozzy's Band?

via Blabbermouth
Ozzy Osbourne has revealed to Classic Rock magazine that he is currently searching for a new guitarist for his solo band.

Classic Rock caught up with Osbourne last week at the Slash & Friends gig in Norway, where the whispers backstage had guitarist John 5 lined up as a possible replacement for Zakk Wylde.

"Well, I'm getting a new guitar player as we speak," Ozzy told Classic Rock, "and everyone has been saying to me for a long time, 'Get Johnny 5!' And I tried him at one time and I didn't really give him a chance. We'll see, I don't know. I haven't fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk's got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like Black Label Society. I just felt like I wanted a change, y'know?

I've got a guy from Greece coming in — not the musical, the country of Greece — but I'm not going to say too much about it, 'cos I don't know myself at this point. I've got a new album, I'm working on it as we speak. I've got a studio at my house and I've got a guy called Kevin Churko, the guy that did the last album — he's great to work with.

And it's great to have your own studio. On one hand it's great and on the other it's not, 'cos when you're at the studio you can go, 'Sorry darling, I can't get home for dinner, I'm stuck at the studio' But she can fucking come down stairs now! But I'm just enjoying my life now"

Classic Rock: So you're taking it easy recording this album?

"Oh yeah. Zakk came down and did a bunch of stuff and I don't know if I want to use it but I've got it there if I do. And this Kevin Churko is a bit of an all-rounder so I'm getting back to basics in some respects. One thing about a guy who can't do all the finger-tapping stuff is that he plays better on the riffs 'cos it's not all [hums riff for 'Iron Man' followed by over-the-top widdling]."

Classic Rock: Does Heaven & Hell having a new album out make you more competitive?

"No. Not in the slightest. I really wish them well. I mean I've been out of that band three times longer than I was ever in them. But people say, 'What do you think about Dio?' He's great singer. I've grown up since the days when I used to get pissed and slag him off. For whatever it's worth, good luck to them. I don't want to make enemies — I made enough when I was drinking, I try to make friends with people these days!"

You can read the full interview here. Thanks to IngridMJ for the photos.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rumor: Guns to Play Hop Farm Festival in 2010

Virtual Festivals has in interview with Vince Power, the mafia don of the live music industry. In it, he discusses (among other things) his plans for next year's Hop Farm Music Festival.

Virtual Festivals: Have you got any bigger acts in mind for next year?

Vince Power: "I have. I’m going to do a second site next year as well, on the same weekend. I’ve got a site in mind in the North of England, around the centre of the Manchester/ Leeds area. I can’t tell you the names of the artists but if you think about who’s likely to be around next year you’ll get a fair idea." [VF’s tip is Guns N’ Roses]

Thanks to Appetite for Discussion for the find.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Guns N' Roses Guitarists

Slash just recorded a guitar part on a song for the British singer Estelle. He also revealed that Velvet Revolver is having a meeting next week. I expect them to announce Franky Perez as their new vocalist. Franky will replace Scott Weiland who left the band last Spring to reunite with Stone Temple Pilots.

Izzy Stradlin's new album is due to be released on iTunes any day now.

Gilby Clarke will play with Wayne Kramer of the MC5 at the Cultura Quente Festival in Caldas de Reis, Ponteverde, Spain on July 10.

After that Gilby's doing a three-week stint at The Viper Room in West Hollywood, CA on July 11, 18 and 25.

Gilby will also host & perform at the Storm Stadium Rock Fest in Lake Elsinore, CA on August 15. Adler's Appetite, Warrant, Great White, and KOTTAK are also playing the festival.

Robin Finck and Nine Inch Nails have announced NEW FINAL DATES.

They're going to play a handful of shows in NYC, Chicago and LA starting August 22. They will be informal affairs in medium to small venues with longer set-lists, possible special guests, cool openers and other surprises. In NYC they'll be playing Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall and Terminal 5. In Chicago, the Aragon Ballroom. In LA they'll be at The Wiltern, The Henry Fonda, The Palladium and The Echoplex. These should be cool, unusual and unique final shows for Nine Inch Nails.

Finally, DJ Ashba will chat live with fans (and non-fans, I suppose) next Wednesday, July 15 at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern Time at

You will need to download and install Palace chat software to join in.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

He's Back

"Was working on posting a new song of mine on, and while I was working I started receiving a series of bizarre PMs on my message board, explained best here ..."

"I've been out of the loop for a while. Maybe you guys can help me. The help I need is ...

If word doesn't travel that I have this stuff, I'll never be able to trade it. There are more songs out there, people have them, but I'm very out of the loop. I got the (Rock Band II) multitracks like everyone wanted, now it's time to turn them into something else.

The timing for me couldn't have been better as I really want people to hear my new songs and a lot of people seem to be checking out for the first time due to this stuff.

When I first started getting the files, I thought they were fake for sure, but then my drummer figured out how to make it work and I was like "oh fuck."

Hope to have more GN'R info soon guys. First I gotta wait for the hoarders to come to me. May take longer than I'd hoped for word to spread that my contacts at Electronic Arts have finally paid off."

-Mister Saint Laurent (MSL)

You can check out some new (and old) songs by MSL at

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ask DJ Ashba

Guitarist DJ Ashba will take part in an online chat Wednesday, July 15 at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern Time at

I have to say, after all the useless interviews the current band members have given over the last 6 months, why bother?

I suppose it's better than nothing, right? But is he really going to answer any of the questions the fans want to know?

Like: "When's the next album?" "When's the tour?" "Are you writing new material with Axl Rose?" "Did you replace Robin Finck's parts on the next record?"

Nardwuar the Human Serviette

My good friend Patrick recently turned me on to indie-rock expert Nardwuar, and his unique brand of Guerrilla journalism / "taking the piss." I'm amused.

"Who are you?"

Speaking of Duff, he blogged recently that he lost a bag at the airport, and it got me thinking - what would happen if Axl's luggage got misplaced? Does Axl carry around CDs of unreleased material? Is this the only way we'll ever hear "Atlas Shrugged" or "The General"? Personally, I don't check my bags - I always do carry-on. I don't trust anyone with my stuff.

Finally, I want to say "hola" to my readers at the ROCKIN' SLASH FORUM. Gracias Juan Manuel.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Slash And Friends Rock Norway

By Scott Rowley for Classic Rock.

Backed by an all-star band including Jason Bonham, Chris Cheney (formerly of Jane’s Addiction), guitarist extraordinaire John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie), and star-in-the-waiting Frankie Perez on vocals, Slash & Friends played a 19-song set of rock classics that, in a strong summer of classic rock events, stands as one of the highlights of the summer.

It started with Slash, Bonham, 5, Cheney and Perez ripping the arse out of "Immigrant Song." Perez, a Las Vegas rocker who’s done his own solo album and worked with System Of A Down side-project Scars On Broadway, is the perfect fit – amiable but bad-assed and blessed with a voice that can handle a Led Zeppelin classic as easily as AC/DC’s "Highway To Hell" or Nazareth’s "Hair Of The Dog." His take on "Slither and "Fall To Pieces," meanwhile, surely marks him out as the frontrunner for the vacant Velvet Revolver spot. (Backstage Perez and Slash revealed to Classic Rock that Frankie had been working with VR post-Weiland, before Slash’s solo album and Duff’s Loaded commitments put it all on hold.)

For "Nightrain," McQueen’s Leah Duors takes over on vocals. Slash has long championed the all-girl band and Duors shows why, with a vicious Axl-with-PMT vocal, and a stage presence that belies her current little-league status.

After Leah, it’s time for the big guns. Rumours were that Ronnie Wood had fallen off the wagon again. It’s possible, but you can’t tell. The tracks Woodsy joins them for – "Honky Tonk Women," "Stay With Me," "Knocking On Heaven’s Door" (cheekily – or sincerely? – dedicated by Slash to Michael Jackson) and "It’s Only Rock’n’Roll" – were custom-built for sloppy, boozed-up playing. Teddy Andreadis plays piano and sings in a great Dr John meets Joe Cocker voice. It’s a riot.

Black Eyed Pea Fergie is next up. Cynical? Don’t be. She looks like a rock goddess, and she sounds like a rock god, taking "Black Dog" by the scrotum and hitting high notes that Mr. Plant just can’t anymore. By the end of it the audience is a huge braying horny mass of Viking puppy dogs, with its tongues out and eyes on stalks.

Fergie: “How do you feel?”
Fergie: “I said how do you feel?”

The last time I saw Ozzy Osbourne perform was with Black Sabbath at Download 2005. Sabbath were sluggish, dreary and at the end of their tether. Tonight, by contrast, Ozzy is a ball of energy. “Lemme see your hands!” he shouts, and the whole field sways. The guy next to me starts walking around, randomly humping the legs of strangers. “Let’s go fucking crazy!” You’ve heard it a million times, but seeing it work like it does today is a sight to behold. John 5 brings Randy Rhoads back to life as they plough through "Crazy Train," "War Pigs," "I Don’t Know" and "Paranoid." The sound is so big I swear it created a new fjord behind us.

Then he’s off and Frankie and Fergie are back on for "Whole Lotta Love" and "Paradise City." The show ends, Fergie writhing on the floor, Frankie leading the charge, Slash soloing into the night. “This is one of the best gigs I’ve had in a very long time,” says the man himself.

There's more to the article here.

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

Skambankt frontman Terje Winterstø Røthing slaughters Slash, Ron Wood and Ozzy Osbourne over the show at Quart yesterday.

Skambankt frontman Terje Winterstø Røthing played at Quart yesterday. Later in the evening he complained about Slash.

The group which went by the name "Slash & Friends" arrived on the scene Tuesday evening at Quart. Slash shared the stage with Ron Wood, Ozzy Osbourne, Jason Bonham and Fergie. How well this worked, opinions varied during and after the concert. One of those who wasn't satisfied was guitarist and vocalist Terje Winterstø Røthing. He played with Skambankt earlier in the evening.

"This is the great rock 'n roll swindle. And you can quote me on that."

"Can you elaborate a little?"

"What can you really say beyond that? The biggest karaoke show ever."

Reviews after the concert were varied. Torgrim Øyre of Dagbladet described it this way: "Slash & Friends - one of the most unlikely gigs in Norwegian festival history." He gave it four stars, and described the group as a "high-profile cover-band." Harald Fossberg of the BBC was "not impressed," and called the scheme "Slash Karaoke." He gave it three stars, as did VG.

Audiences we spoke with after the concert were divided in their opinions. Arne Grimerud walked out before Ozzy went on stage.

"It was just sad. To see my old heroes up there doing karaoke wasn't anything special. It was a fun experiment, but nothing more," he said on his way out of Bendik Bay.

Sonia Nes had traveled from Denmark to get to the concert. "Fantastic! We'll never see this again. People from Guns N' Roses, The Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath together on the same stage. It was great," she said.

Vidar A. Hansen who came with a large group of friends spoke with us immediately after the show.

"Slash is a genius, but Fergie on vocals for "Sweet Child O'Mine" was not so great. Ozzy, however - well, he is Ozzy, 'The Prince of Fucking Darkness!' It's amazing that he's able to sing at all, and he actually did quite well. This was the best show - it worked surprisingly well," he said.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Franky Perez, Dave Kushner and Duff McKagan News

Franky Perez and Dave Kushner of Velvet Revolver have been working together in the studio on some material. "We've been writing some great songs and the collaboration has been amazing. I'm exited about the possibilities and I hope to post some new music soon."

Duff McKagan's Loaded has been added to Crüe Fest II's second stage. As a result, Loaded's previously announced short run of US club dates, which was scheduled for later this week, has been canceled. Crüe Fest 2, features additional support from Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils.

Slash Karaoke

"Not impressed."

There isn't much to gripe about, but we ended up with a glorified karaoke in the amphitheatre for a somewhat goofy start to the festival.

When the Guns N' Roses guitarist slipped onto the scene we got a lot of hits - and half hits - from the last decade, performed with a kind of respect, but with little extra.

Ron Wood received points for attendance, but didn't perform as if he was completely present. When he and Slash were struggling to find the key of the backing vocals on old songs like "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" you knew that this was going be a long and strange evening.

Slash surrounded himself with a group of halfway-decent performers, one of whom was John 5. The man has a long resume - David Lee Roth to Marilyn Manson - and he rubs his guitar neck with so much joy that it almost glows. But it ended like a version of Guitar Hero in "Advanced" mode.

Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas was a breath of fresh air in between all the guitar solos, and she showed that she can stack-up to Robert Plant ("Black Dog") and Axl Rose ("Sweet Child O' Mine"), but she should really drop all the pole-dancing - it was in excess even for an audience that included a fair amount of people who were young when Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" came out.

"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" was the only song dedicated to Michael Jackson, the rest of the concert was an obvious homage to so-called "Dad-Rock" - read: '70s and '80s guitar-driven hits.

And in such a setting Slash has proven himself again and again.

Almost at the very end we got the world's spookiest grandpa, Ozzy Osbourne, for a round of old Black Sabbath tunes. He was calm in the grandeur, as he sprayed the audience with water time and time again.

It was kind of sweet to see Ozzy radiating joy and jumping around (to the extent he can) on stage.

But unfortunately, even with a living legend this was quite dead.

PS: McQueen, who played second-to-last, came on with a guitarist who had only been with them for three days. It felt like a scene from last year's Quart.