Axl Rose / Guns N' Roses

 


Axl Rose

 
Axl Rose is my favourite singer, I've been a huge fan of Guns N' Roses since 1989 when I was 16. Back then the only music formats were vinyl record albums or cassette tapes, and I have both for GNR's Appetite for Destruction album. There were no CDs or digital downloads, or even an Internet. Since then however, I've collected all eight of the Gun's N Roses albums on CD as well as the Hollywood Rose: The roots of Guns N Roses CD. The Live Era '87-'93 album is probably my favorite of them all as the music they made live in concert, without anything holding them back, is just so awesome!

In 2006 I was fortunate enough to finally see Axl perform live here in Ottawa with the "new" GNR band. It was an awesome show. Although I've seen every GNR music video a million times, I never fully realized just how talented Axl Rose was until I saw him perform live in concert. When he played the piano for November Rain I was awed. Clearly the studio recordings, as amazing as they are, don't fully capture his musical talent. Axl has to be seen in a live performance to fully understand. I suspect that he could do an entire "unplugged" style album on the piano and it would be awesome. In any case, I thought I'd do a blog page about him so here it is!

I've always liked Axl's style and his attitude. Axl's rebellious persona tends to overshadow the fact that he's a multi-talented musician and singer, but he wouldn't be Axl without the attitude! When Axl was in his 20's, back in the late 80s and early 90s, he was quite an attractive guy. He doesn't look that bad now that he's into his 50's either.

In my late teens and throughout my 20's I thought Axl was so handsome that I had a big crush on him. I know that seems strange as he's made some anti-gay comments over the years, but I ignored that stuff. I didn't have a choice really! First of all, I was too smitten with Axl to care, and secondly, there weren't exactly any openly gay, long haired, hard rockers back then to identify with or idolise, so Axl got the job by default!

Actually, I still don't know about any gay, long haired rocker dudes... the Hard Rock / Heavy Metal scene isn't exactly friendly toward gay folks, which is bizarre considering how many rock legends are gay or bisexual (such as David Bowie, Elton John, Freddy Mercury, Michael Stipe, Billy Joe Armstrong, etc.). In any case, I keep a framed picture of Axl hanging up where I can see it every day, and I also have a small shrine for Axl on one of my bookshelves with all of my GNR stuff. I'll always be a fan of Axl Rose!!!

 
Axl in 1988 at age 26, when GNR first rose to fame.

 
 
 

 
Axl had quite a few different leather jackets. Here's the GNR circle logo on a black leather jacket, and....


..here's the same logo on a white leather jacket. The picture below shows the front with the cross logo on the right.




This leather jacket has a skeleton pattern on it!


 


Here's the original band in the early days during the 1980's, L to R: Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar), Axl Rose (lead singer, piano), Slash (lead guitar), Duff McKagan (bass guitar), and Steven Adler (drums). This was the original group that started Guns N' Roses.


 The teased hair look suited Axl's attitude well. Here's a guy who has cool to spare!
Here he's about 23 or 24 years old.



 

It always seems to me that Axl had a bit of gay flair with his fashions, which for me was part of what made him so cool. He was without question all about the skin-tight leather pants! When I was much younger I hoped that Axl would someday come out of the closet... but that's never going to happen! It's well known that he is exclusively interested in women. 


Another picture of the original band: Duff, Slash, Axl, Steve, and Izzy. They made history and changed the lives of millions with their music and attitude. What an awesome band! I used to have a black flag with a black and white version of this picture silk screened onto it. I regret that I didn't keep it. 

 
 
 
Axl's tight leather pants were his fashion statement of choice during the 1980s and early 1990s. In the mid 1990s he switched to cycling shorts or tights.

Gotta love the purple leather jacket and pink shirt! Here Axl manages to be cool and cute at the same time!







Axl also had matching purple leather pants to go with the purple jacket, though it seems he never wore them both at the same time. Not sure what's up with the bathrobe?

 
 
 
As I said, a bit of gay flair...

 
 


In the late 1980s wearing suspenders was one of Axl's trademarks (they say Harley Davidson on them).

 
 


Slash and Axl

Slash!

Axl and Izzy with the band sleeping together on the same bed.
So cute!




I love this picture of "classic" Axl, the young rebellious rocker! This is the July, 1999 issue of Spin magazine but the photo was taken a decade earlier in the late 80s.



 

 
 
 
This is also one of my favourite pictures of Axl. Very cool!

When I was 16, in 1990, I found this awesome two page picture of Axl in a Metal magazine. I thought this was the coolest picture of Axl so I used it to draw a picture of him from (no tracing). My drawing, shown below, was done with a black pen.
 

I also did a similar drawing of Guns N Roses drummer Steven Adler! Unfortunately, so far I haven't been able to find the original magazine image that I used, but when I do I'll add it here too!
 
This picture of Duff and Steve is too cute!
 
Another picture of Steve! When I was a teenager I had a bit of a crush on him as well, but not as much as Axl!
 
  

 
W. Axl Rose!!!
 
 
Guns N Roses!
 
I like every single song from the Appetite for Destruction album. 
Sweet Child O' Mine is my favourite song of all time.

 



 


 
 
 
 
The video for Sweet Child 'O Mine from the GNR YouTube channel.
 
 

Welcome to the Jungle is my second favourite GNR song. The video is awesome too.


 

 
 

 
 
 
The video for Welcome to the Jungle from the GNR YouTube channel.
 
 
 
This is my GNR T-Shirt from the late 1990’s showing a great illustration of Axl and the band. I stopped wearing it before it got too worn out. It's one of about four GNR shirts that I have along with some other GNR collectables, such as pins, books, magazines, posters, etc. Below is the original photo that the T-shirt illustration is based on.
 
 

Axl was a very handsome man in his 20s. Note that in this picture he is wearing the same style of hat and sunglasses as seen in the above T-shirt illustration.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Here's my collection of GNR patches. The patch with the scull is from 1990 or 1991.


The two patches above and the two below are from 1989 or 1990.


This patch is also from 1989 or 1990.


These two patches are more recent. I may have bought them at the GNR concert in 2006.

This is a small square pin that I bought in 1989 or 1990 showing the original band.
 
Here's a limited edition GNR picture disc that I bought in 1989 or the early 1990s. It has a picture of Axl Rose on the front. The back is shown below with a photo of Duff and Axl. The disc has an interview on it, but I forget if it's Axl or Duff who is being interviewed. I really like this disc, it's something that I would never part with. I especially like the picture of Axl screaming into the microphone.



 



 
 
 
This is an awesome picture of Axl for several reasons. Not only does Axl look really cool, but he also looks to be somewhat stunned or distracted by the rip in the knee of his leather pants. Could it be that this photo captured the moment when Axl's trademark leather pants met their end?! If these are the same pair of black leather pants he wore since 1987 during his rise to fame, could this rip in the knee be the reason he seemed to suddenly stop wearing leather pants in the early 1990's, switching to tights or shorts instead? Considering the degree to witch Axl's distinct wardrobe is recognized within the fashion industry, this could be a very telling and historically important photo! ...Stop the presses!!!!
 
 
 
 
 
Axl with Elvira Mistress of the Dark.

Axl with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

Axl with George Michael
 
Axl with his idol Elton John
 
Axl with a puppy!

Sad but true, Axl is a smoker. Very strange habit for a singer to have.
 
 

 


These B&W photos show how open Axl was to being photographed. The pictures highlight his natural beauty. I think these pictures are works of art.


This photo is by Herb Ritts, taken in 1991 when Axl was 29. It was a cover photo for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1991, and was later republished in the massive hardcover book "Rolling Stone: Images of Rock & Roll" in 1995, as shown below without all of the cover text.
  
 
 
This version of the photo shows that Axl was wearing ripped jeans. It would make for a nice poster.
 
 
Axl as seen in the music video for "Patience".
 
"If I can't have you right now I'll wait dear."
 
 
 
 
The video for Patience from the GNR You Tube channel.
 
 
Look at that nice long red hair
 
Here's a awesome picture that I found on a Danmark fan site for Guns N Roses. (That's Denmark to us North Americans!) If I understand the info correctly, this is a photo of a lucky Danish fan who got a picture taken with Axl. The image was posted by "Michael" (another Mike!) and I'm guessing it's from the 1990s. Love the awesome long hair on this dude! Very cool pic, I'm soooo jealous!!! What an awesome opportunity and memento for that guy to have! I found the image at this link: http://gnfnr.dk/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1405#p13166 FYI: There's a tone of awesome GNR info on this Danmark site. Here's the link for the home page: http://gnfnr.dk/ 
 
 
 
A rare moment of serenity amidst the chaos! ...I think he's smiling!!!
 


This is another of my favourite Axl pictures. I wish that I had a poster of this one!
I love this outfit too, what a cool jacket!


Axl looks especially sharp in this snake skin patterned jacket, which matches
nicely with his trademark leather pants and grey cowboy boots!


Axl is a Hottie!

 Another cool outfit! I love it!!!


William Axl Rose = W.A.R

Axl sometimes writes his name as W. Axl Rose.

Even though William is a nice name he doesn't seem to use it often.


What a Cutie Patootie!
 

This is one photo that I do have a poster of. The picture is from the 1991 Rio show when Axl
switched from wearing his trademark leather pants to wearing cycling shorts or tights.
 

Here is a Muppet trading card from 1993 showing Gonzo as "Axl Nose" from the band Gonz N' Noses. Note the shorts match those that Axl Rose wore during the Rio show, seen in the above photo.



By the end of the Rio concert Axl had lost his shorts and finished off the show wearing a skimpy thong-like pair of underwear which left little to the imagination!

I found the above video on You Tube. It shows the chaos at the end of the Rio concert with Axl walking around in his skimpy thong! One of the security/bouncer guys gets his drawers yanked down accidentally by another security guy so that he is momentarily left totally exposed center stage in front of the audience! The poor guy! ...but it's hilarious!


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Axl n' Slash




 
 
Axl kicks ass!
 

Here's Axl in his mid 40s (above and below)

Now into his 50s, Axl is still a handsome man though I was never too fond of the dreadlocks. I saw some images of him online recently and it seems as though he's back to the long hair look, which I think suits him best. In any case, I'm still a fan and enjoy his music. Chinese Democracy is an awesome CD, and I'm really happy with it! I bought it the same day it was released, Nov 23, 2008.  Axl's voice still sounds just as it did for Appetite and all of his other albums. My favourite songs from this new CD are "Better" and "If the World".

This news article from the Ottawa Sun, Nov 2006, is about the GNR concert that I saw here in Ottawa, Ontario.

This article is from the Ottawa newspaper "24 hours", Dec 2008, and is about the success of the new GNR album, Chinese Democracy, hitting No. 1 in Canada. Seems that us Canucks love Axl! 

 
Regretfully I missed his concert when he came to Ottawa again in 2010 (I was a tad strapped for cash at the time). Here's hoping that he keeps touring and making new music for as long as he's able to. I think he has so much more to offer the music world. It's my hope that he does an all-piano disc some day, in the style of his idol Elton John. That would be awesome!!! Axl's piano playing is quite remarkable.

I

 
 
In any event, whatever Axl does musically with his career from here on I know will be successful. It would be great if he keeps at it and makes as much music as possible in the years to come.

Updates:

In 2016 Axl, Slash and Duff teamed up for the "Not in this lifetime tour" which reunites three of the original five members of the band from the Appetite for Destruction album. For over a decade Axl and Slash have been telling fans that such a reunion wouldn't happen "in this lifetime". As such the popular phrase is a very suitable title for this tour, which is a dream come true for GNR fans. It would be awesome if Steve and Izzy joined them at some point to complete the original band, though that unfortunately really does seem to be a "not in this lifetime" scenario. Well, three out of five isn't bad! Here is the official Gun N Roses website page about this tour: http://www.gunsnroses.com/tour

Perhaps someday years from now they'll do another tour with all five band members called the "Extremely unlikely to ever happen in a million f***ing years reunion tour". It kinda has a catchy ring to it, don't you think?


In January 2017 Guns fans got some more good news. The Funko toy company released three Guns N Roses action figures as part of their popular line of "Pop!" toys. To my knowledge this is the first ever commercially made action figure of Axl Rose, shown above in his football jersey and leather kilt. (Many bootleg or custom figures and bobble heads of Axl have been made over the years, though these were generally poorly made.) There has previously been several official action figures of Slash produced by other toy companies, though Funko's is the most unique of the bunch. Duff rounds out the set, which is sold with the circular GNR logo on the box therefor officially reuniting and immortalizing these three members of the band in plastic for fans all over the world! Of only we could get Pop figures of Steve and Izzy as well! It would also be fun to collect more Axl figures, with each wearing one of his various iconic outfits!!!
 

       
      
     
  
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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Photographs of Axl Rose were found online.
Text and photos of collectables © Mike Artelle 2008, 2016 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

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