Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Appetite 24

guest review by "Starry"

I think I am ready to call this one as the best hard rock album ever. It's that good. I remember buying this on cassette as a kid; it was one of the first I ever bought, if not the first. Not sure whatever happened to that cassette but I now have this on CD, as should anyone who listens to rock. There is no filler on this record whatsoever. The vibe jumps off the speakers into your body with an electricity that makes you feel you're in front of the stage circa '87, rubbing elbows with the dissident dregs fresh off the streets of L.A.

There are no bands these days that even come close to this type of vibe, licks, or writing. The attitude of this record just slaps you right in the face. It holds up as well in 2011 as it did the day it was released. If anything, I have much MORE appreciation for it now, realizing how mind-blowing the whole thing is. You can just feel the intensity coming from all of the band members listening to this. And of course, it features one of the greatest lead guitarists ever, showing his prowess like a ferocious lion.

If you were around when this came out, a lot of the songs are sure to bring you a wave of nostalgia as well. They might even if you weren't around back then. Everyone has heard the singles from Appetite a hundred times or more but let me tell ya, they don't ever seem to get old and they sound a lot better off the CD even than on the radio. To sum up, I would consider this basically the untouchable reigning masterpiece of hard rock and I don't think anyone could ever top it.

Axl sums up the overall attitude of this record very well at the end of Out Ta Get Me when he says, "So you can suck me-- Take that one to heart!"

P.S. This recording was played with a lot of soul that no one plays like anymore.

Steven Adler TV Star

Why the Sleaze Doesn't Stick to Dr. Drew
The 'Celebrity Rehab' guru wades in the trash heaps of celebrity culture – but it doesn't seem to rub off on him

Dr. Drew Pinsky may be the Col. Kurtz of the War on Drugs. He's gotten off the boat and set up his own compound for his Celebrity Rehab empire at the Pasadena Recovery Center. Conventional medical practices be damned — he rules a houseful of fame junkies who wander the hallways with a haze in their eyes that says, "If Bai Ling is crawling on the roof, this must be sobriety."

The doctor has an original prescription:

(1) gather a cast of fragile addicts,
(2) expose them to cameras and
(3) make them hang with Steven Adler.

What could go wrong?

Obviously, it's not like you feel good about yourself when you watch Celebrity Rehab. These people are in rough shape, and you don't have to be a doctor to question whether any of this counts as humane medical care. Even medieval peasants, whose idea of healing involved leeches and bloodletting, knew better than to go through detox while sharing a bathroom with a drummer.

But somehow, the sleaze doesn't seem to rub off on Dr. Drew. This man is definitely the blue in the toilet bowl. He oozes calm and compassion, and no matter how tawdry or exploitative the surroundings, he never loses his patrician cool. By combining America's two favorite addictions — getting wasted and getting filmed — he's built himself into a one-man redemption industry.

Ever since he became a star on MTV's Loveline, his trademark has been to look the viewer in the eye and coax forth the magic words, "Wow, that guy really cares!" That's a more difficult trick than it seems, especially after nearly 15 years. The fact that he chooses to appear in such trashy vehicles? That just makes it seem like he cares even harder!

Every time I watch, I'm impressed by the advice he gives out, and I think, "He must be an incredible therapist." But I also think, "So why the hell is such a sensible medicine man giving Amy Fisher a platform to promote her porn career? Why did he commemorate Corey Haim's death by complaining that he could never get Haim on the show? What does it take to embarrass this man?"

His Mr. Rogers mensch appeal takes a real beating with his new tabloid-headline chat show on HLN. It's straight-up sleaze, but the presence of an M.D. just makes the proceedings more humiliating for all concerned — what is a doctor doing on the same network as Nancy Grace? Nobody blames Pantsuit Nance for this crap — she's an idiot, so how else is she going to spend her time? But it's a worse look for Dr. Drew, because there isn't even the slightest hint of taking the medical high road. He chases the same scandal-slobber stories as everyone else, covering every gory detail of the Casey Anthony trial. He can't pretend there's any therapeutic goal here.

The new season of Celebrity Rehab makes you marvel at how much he gets away with. In recent months, two former cast members have died, Jeff Conaway from Taxi and Mike Starr of Alice in Chains. You'd think that might cast a major shadow over the whole idea of televised detox, right? Yet Drew merely mentions them in passing: "Sadly, this year we lost two of our own. But it only strengthens my resolve to fight this deadly disease."

It boggles the mind. If two Dancing With the Stars vets died in the line of duty — crushed in a fox-trot mishap, or trampled by an enraged pasodoble — it's hard to imagine that wouldn't be a big deal. But for Dr. Drew, it just proves the world needs more of him.

Celebrity Rehab is not exactly the strongest case you could make for rehab, or for sanity, or for celebrity. The star is Steven Adler, the only guy who could get kicked out of Guns n' Roses for doing too many drugs. As for his fellow addicts, they're the usual basket cases, angling for enough screen time to land them on a more upscale reality show. Everybody here knows that they'll get rewarded with screen time if they snap — so they snap, while Dr. Drew keeps acting surprised.

Why is he doing this? That's the mystery. The harder Dr. Drew cares, the more baffling he seems. Despite the fact that he has an admirable ability to point out flaws in everyone else's decisionmaking process, his own decisions led him to Celebrity Rehab and HLN. People watch him, but none of us will ever really know him, and he likes it that way. Someday, soldier, this war is gonna end.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slash's Guitar Tone Still Gets Me
Even if I haven’t exactly been thrilled with Slash’s post-Guns N' Roses output, I never thought his guitar playing got bad; listening to "No More Tears" over the weekend, I was struck (again) by the fact that Zakk Wylde's playing has become a parody of itself, but Slash still seems to have an endless arsenal of killer guitar solos left in him. If the dude could just get Izzy Stradlin to write him some decent songs, I have little doubt that the man would be able to turn me back into a fanboy faster than you can say "Saul Hudson."

Case in point: "Kick it Up a Notch," a new song Slash has recorded with a couple of cartoon characters. And, no, I don’t mean Axl Rose and Scott Weiland.

The song comes from the Disney Channel original movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, which debuts August 5, and which I guess is a spin-off from some television series, although I don't really know because I don't have children and I don't care to do the research because life is short and I have other things to do.

ANYWAY, it's not an especially great song, which is kind of beside the point, because I don't know if Slash had anything to do with its writing or was just a session player or what. And the vocals, which I assume are by one of the title characters, are certainly so irritating that if I was a parent and my kid insisted on listening to this on repeat, I would probably have to Casey Anthony them*.

But Slash's leads are fantastic. And, more than that, whomever recorded his guitars deserves a beer or ten, because Slash's tone hasn't been this sweet since Slash's Snakepit's Ain’t Life Grand?, which, holy shit I am getting old fast, came out eleven years ago. It's just way grittier than he sounded on either Velvet Revolver album or even his solo album, without losing any of his signature warmth. I would be really, really stoked if they released an instrumental version of this song, so I could enjoy it without wanting to find whomever does that cartoon voice and crush his windpipe.

ANYWAY, you can check out the song over at Noisecreep. It will be released as part of the soundtrack for the T.V. movie on August 2.


*Too soon?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Slash France

Photo © Nicolas Gaire

Slash at Le Zénith, Paris, France -- July 12, 2011

Been There Lately
Mean Bone
Back From Cali
Rocket Queen
Civil War
Nothing To Say
We're All Gonna Die
Speed Parade*
Watch This
Rise Today
Sweet Child O' Mine
By The Sword
Mr. Brownstone
Paradise City

*first time ever played

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jimmy Ashhurst Urges Stradlin to Take McKagan’s Offer
When Duff McKagan suggested at Download that he would like to tour with old Guns N' Roses partner Izzy Stradlin at some point this year, he opened a can of worms. At the time he said, "it would be, it will be, really fun to go to South American and the UK with Loaded and Izzy to do a tour together. He and I have talked about it and it'd be great. At the end we'd do some songs together like 'Dust N' Bones' and 'Pretty Tied Up' or whatever. It would be really cool."

Tweeting later that it was probably just wishful thinking, McKagan cut the story down in an attempt to calm the clamour of voices which had started popping up on various forums excited about the prospect of another small piece of the great GN'R reunion jigsaw falling into place.

But former Ju Ju Hound’s bass player, Jimmy Ashhurst, now of Buckcherry, told RockAAA at Sonisphere Switzerland recently that the likelihood of seeing Stradlin’s re-emergence on to the touring circuit, even for a short run of shows, was very unlikely.

Still rankled at the way in which Stradlin left the Ju Ju Hounds high and dry during the recording of a second album in Trinidad, Ashhurst suggested that he would love nothing more than to be able to coax his friend out of the shadows.

Commenting on McKagan's claim that a tour with Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds was a possibility and his subsequent recanting of the statement Ashhurst said, "they are a confusing bunch of guys, right? If you listened to every rumour which came up in the last 25 years you’d go mental. I'm not sure what Duff's position on that is, or was, but from my perspective I find that (The Ju Ju Hounds) as having been a great experience and I find it hard to understand why you wouldn't want to do 5 or 10 cities in the world to make a lot of people happy. It's not that difficult and if you don’t want to do press, then, don't do press! He could pretty much make it under his own terms. So, for a guy like me who enjoys touring – I find it difficult to understand."

When asked if he had heard anything from Izzy on the potential of getting the Ju Ju hounds back together in light of McKagan's claims, Ashhurst was equivocal, "I haven’t heard from Izzy, which is to be expected – I barely heard from him when we were together! (laughs) He's a private guy. After touring as long as I have, I understand his position all these years ago clearly. But that’s our fundamental difference of opinion. Why wouldn't you want to go out there and make a lot of people happy? That's what this (music) is all about."

And Ashhurst remains very open to the idea of putting the Ju Ju Hounds back on the road, "I actually tried to get a message to him. I said 'If you do it, I'll pay my own way. It's not going to cost you a dime.' I'll reiterate that now. If he wanted to do it, it wouldn’t cost him. I certainly wouldn't take any money for doing it. It would be fantastic."

Alan Niven: "None of the Band Members Died on My Watch"

ultimate classic rock
In a startling indication of just how crazy things got at the peak of Guns N' Roses' fame, former manager Alan Niven stated in a recent interview that he’s grateful "none of the band members died on my watch."

"That took a lot of effort," Niven explains to Classic Rock magazine while chronicling his efforts to get the musicians free from various drug addictions, "you have to help them fight the battle, but only they can win the war."

He goes on to explain the various tricks he’d employ to get the band into rehab facilities, such as telling Slash he had to come into the office for an interview with a guitar magazine, then whisking him off to Hawaii instead.

The article goes into great detail about the recording of GN'R's twin Use Your Illusion albums back in 1990, a herculean effort made even more difficult by the band’s struggles with drugs and alcohol, adjusting to their new fame and wealth, and living up to expectations in the wake of their 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction.

The pressure led to the departure of drummer Steven Adler, who according to Slash, was not able to pull himself together in time for the recording sessions, "we were resigned to the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to do it in the time frame that we needed to get going ... we might fall apart again and take another year to get it together."

Guitar God Slash Set to Rock Milan
Legendary guitarist Slash will play live at the Civic Arena in Milan later this month.

The former Guns N' Roses star, who released his self-titled debut solo album last year, is set to perform in the Italian city on Thursday July 28th.

Slash – real name Saul Hudson – is frequently hailed as one of the world's greatest ever guitar players.

He rose to fame alongside singer Axl Rose in Guns N' Roses, performing his trademark solos on hits such as Sweet Child o' Mine, Paradise City and November Rain.

After leaving the band, he continued to write music and perform with his side project Slash's Snakepit, until the formation of rock supergroup Velvet Revolver in 2002.

Comprising former Guns N' Roses members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, as well as Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland, the band realised two albums before going on hiatus three years ago.

Slash has since launched his solo career, with last year's eponymous LP featuring collaborations with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop and Kid Rock.

Tickets for the iconic musician's show in Milan can be purchased online, priced at €41.40 (£37.20) plus booking fee.

Fans planning to visit luxury hotels in Milan will find a range of options at, which recommends the Hotel Berna Milan.

For more information on this event, visit

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Guns N' Roses Wiki Project

We've been working on it for awhile, and decided it's about time to make this public. Feel free to contribute all you like, the pages are rather skeleton-ish right now. Please only include facts that you can provide a source for though.