Why “Defending Axl Rose”?

The impetus for this blog came from seeing an interview Axl Rose gave a few years after the release of his long-gestating album, CHINESE DEMOCRACY.  Though the album was considered to be both a commercial and artistic failure, I found Axl’s continued enthusiasm for the record to be moving.  Inspired, I dusted off my copy of the CD and found that CHINESE DEMOCRACY wasn’t as bad as I had remembered.  In fact, I found that with the passage of time (and lowered expectations) the record stands up as being pretty damn impressive.  In the end, Axl won me over and it got me thinking about music once again.

This blog is going to be an outlet for me to write about music.  I’m going to write long, rambling essays and short single-track reviews.

But more than that, I want it to be an exploration of the mad geniuses that continue to blow our minds.


35 thoughts on “Why “Defending Axl Rose”?

  1. I remember how I thought it sucked when hearing the original band was done. I still listen to their music all the time. I just recently did a lot of research on Axl after seeing all the negative comments posted or written. I now have an understanding of Axl and think so many haters should think before they speak. In my opinion any one who lived the childhood/ teen years he did would be a messed up/ confused/ angry individual. If you look for the truth, you can find it. I actually feel sorry for him. All he wanted was to live a normal life and sing, be in a band. Many “professionals” who know more than me or any other average joe blow say only good, positive things about his talent. People should remember no one is perfect and you shouldn’t judge. I just recently got a copy of Chinese Democracy and I happen to like it. Sure, it doesn’t sound like Appetite, but it shouldn’t. Hello, people, that was guns 25 yrs. ago. Things change and life goes on. I am a fan of AC/DC. Although I like their music, it all pretty much sounds the same. Axl has so much talent. I feel bad that so much of his time between the “old” and the “new” was lost. From what I understand he not only was writing /making music, he had several issues to deal with. If you want some truths you have to go to the reliable resources. That’s what I did. Peace.

    • First off, thanks for your continued interest and support of both this blog and Axl Rose. Fandom is a funny thing, and I think that sometimes the people online with the biggest mouths (saying the most negative things) are often just frustrated fans. It’s always frustrating when anyone, famous or otherwise, seems to turn their backs on their talents. I’m not saying that’s exactly what Axl Rose has done/did, but I can see how many people might think that’s what he did when he essentially turned his back on the original GnR.

      I agree with you about CHINESE DEMOCRACY sounding different from the band’s earlier albums, and how that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I too love AC/DC and I too think they’re no different musically than they were when they first started. The Ramones were like that, too. Some bands do that, and they do alright for themselves. Sometimes a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is called-for, but most of the time it’s boring. Why some bands are hailed for being dynamic (The Beatles, for example) rather than static in their sound, while others are condemned for experimenting is beyond me.

      What I do know is this: the same things that make Axl Rose the musician and artist that he is are the same things that keep him from being a model citizen. We all have problems and he’s no different. It’s difficult at times to separate the art from the artist, but that’s what I try to do–even though I often fail. The average consumer of music probably doesn’t even try at all to keep the two things separate. This, however, is not their fault. The music industry, with a BIG help from MTV, has created a cult-of-personality around musicians/songwriters. It’s simply impossible to keep Axl the man apart from CHINESE DEMOCRACY (or whatever).

      Did Axl have the world by the balls? Yes. Did he squander our goodwill? Yes. Did he cheat us all out of awesome records? No. The albums GnR created still remain. Anyone wishing for “more” from any artist is just being selfish and greedy (which as a music fan I’m more than guilty of being from time to time). Axl Rose doesn’t owe any of us fans anything. He gave us some of the greatest hard rock songs of all-time. What we owe his is some slack, because he’s not perfect he’s a human being.

      • Hi Jason and Stacy I would like to share whare what I just recently shared ( by your FB link, JASON ) on my facebook

        and here it comes

        Here on DEFENDINGAXLROOSE.COM U can all read about how he as an old fan have grown wiser and older- Today he embraces the record Chinese Democras
        Also there are sites for both old n´new fans like paradise.com as well as all their individual projects Slash n´Duff both single ones as well as their common band Velvet revolver and Axl on the other part.They alltogether with Axl sounds pretty much liKE the formerG n´R if you zap fast or slow between them. n´´ some of us might think it´s a great idea to have them all gathered in PEACE liKe a BIG family At an ARENA n´Don`t you forget how Use your illusions 1 and 2 already were a compromise between them-Chinese Democrasy is actually parts you already can hear on these records;))) Now PEACE Brothers n´sisters

      • Patrick M says:

        Well spoken, but I’d like to make the distinction that Axl did not turn his back on the band. Fucking Slash did, and the rest of them followed suit after that. Axl had to spend the next 13 years trying to pick up the pieces.
        Truth be told, Izzy left first and that should not be overlooked, but it gets in my craw how the public conception is that Axl broke up the band. He begged Slash to come back. Adler was the only one who was kicked out, and that was a group decision.

        Also, as a side note: the Ramones sound did change later in their career, first with the advent of more radio-friendly, “pop” songs like Pet Cemetary and Sedated, and later when Joey began singing with a much grittier, aggressive voice.

  2. Stacey says:

    I totally agree with all of that. 🙂 I was not intending to be rude or disrespectful towards you, I hope you didn’t take it that way. And, yes, cut the man some slack people. Although I personally like him, he has faults.

    • I just want it to be about the music. But unfortunately I’m just as guilty as everyone else about sometimes focusing on the wrong stuff (i.e. personal stuff).

      The title of my blog is a bit of a joke, because I don’t really think Axl Rose needs any defending–the work speaks for itself.

      • Dylan says:

        Gnr with Ashba and Bumblefoot were awesome. I’ve been a fan of Axl since 1990. Loved GNR. For me Chinese Democracy is my favorite thing he has put out. Truth be told I don’t listen to GNR since he went back to Slash and Duff. Slash butchered Better and This I Love.

  3. le says:

    I agree … the expectations where just to high .

    It should have been a double album . What i mean is it was like he tried to put to many songs in to one .

    It had its good parts , some bad and average but two or three great parts .

  4. le says:

    Forgot to hit notification button

  5. adam rose says:

    axl he is the best frontman of rock n roll.

  6. stephen1001 says:

    Nice idea for a blog – I found this worked for me with Chinese Democracy: I bought the cd, imported it in itunes & then changed the track info to being “Axl Rose” as the artist. It’s just not GNR proper without at least Slash, but playing it as an Axl Rose album, I was a fan, particularly Shackler’s Revenge & Catcher in the Rye.

    • Patrick M says:

      Whenever I hear someone say that it’s not GnR without Slash, I can go one of two routes: first off, it’s technically not Guns and Roses without Tracii guns, because he was the original lead guitarist and also half of the band’s namesake.
      Of course, you were referring to the sound and feel of the music, which I do sympathize with, however, I feel that the real magic of Appetite was the dynamic chemistry between all of the members, and Adler & Izzy are too often overlooked as vital parts of it, especially Izzy.

      • I have never said it’s not GNR without Slash.

        • Patrick M says:

          I know, was referring to what Stephen1001 said.

          • Yeah, I was using the WordPress app which didn’t make that super-clear to me. I was like “what is this guy’s problem?” I even re-read the post to see of is even mentioned Slash.

            • stephen1001 says:

              I’d forgotten I’d made that comment (October 2012) – I’d agree with that, Izzy certainly wasn’t a spare part. Many think of the ‘rhythm’ guitarist as being replaceable but that’s certainly not the case here (from what I understand he was a key songwriter as well).
              Still stand by the statement of Chinese Democracy working better when thinking of it as an Axl record!

  7. Re Heller says:

    Cool blog idea and name. I think it’s sometimes very difficult for an artist to not hurt quite a percentage of their following, as they (hopefully) develop musically and (probably) do this in their unique direction.
    Hah, not being a big GnR follower, I now got a new album recommendation … thanks!

  8. M. Alice says:

    I feel like I’ve been defending Axl Rose forever. Glad someone else is doing it. The new lineup is terrific and people don’t give them a chance. Yes, there’s more they could have done and could still do to reintroduce the band, but the music industry is different. And, arguably to his credit, Axl doesn’t seem that interested in reclaiming the visibility/ubiquity that he once had. Unfortunately, that results in a lot of popular media outlets taking a dump on him and any of his new exploits, highlighting his off-performances and his inability to look as pretty as he did 20 years ago. A shame because the band is putting on some remarkable shows. I hold out hope that, perhaps in the longer run, he’ll be vindicated.

  9. Chinese Democracy has just grown and grown on me. I think it’s a work of genius. I think it may have been received more favourably as a solo record but the music speaks for itself. I genuinely think it’s one of the best records of the last decade!

    Great title and a great idea to hook a blog around. I’m looking forward to reading more posts.

  10. xineba beron says:

    hellouaxl sy fan tuya dsde q tengo memori te amo axl i love yyou axl
    soy de uruguat

  11. Jason Murphy says:

    I don’t give a damn what anyone idea of you is.the song on g&r lies album saved me from suicide. That was at the age of 14 when my father told me he was leaving my mom.and when i found out that my sister was using black tar i played mr.brown stone for her she cried and I told her that I didn’t want to louse her. She off of it now but she has payed a big price for it.she has 4kids and she has none of them.

  12. jay capiral says:

    I love axel he is my idol!

  13. Stones fan says:

    He still SUCKS! Always has. Ruined the ‘Stones’ “Steel Wheels” tour opener in Los Angeles, ALL 4 nights. Can’t stand the ground that woman beating prick stands on. Maybe some of you have forgotten how he beat the hell out of Stephanie Seymore, Victoria Secrets model he dated for a short while..Wish Vince had kicked his ass a little harder at the Whiskey and just maybe he would have gone away for GOOD! He’s an insult to Rock and Roll.

    • Patrick M says:

      As said above, the blog is focused on the music and not the character of the man behind it. Although I do sympathize with people who were unfortunate enough to have experienced that Stones tour. A guy I met recounted his experience of it and you could see the very palpable bitterness in his eyes.
      I do get a little defensive when I hear people bashing him as a wife-beater. Look at the video for Don’t Cry and tell me they didn’t have some kinky “fist fight turns into impassioned love-making” thing going on. The video clearly shows her attacking him with fists flailing and then he pins her to the wall to stop her… I’m guessing that on one occasion she got the best of him and he lost control and hit her back. Note that her charges against him were dropped when he counter-sued her for assault. Not that I’m defending spousal abuse or anything, but I also don’t like when bitches try to push a guy to hit them so they can play victim.
      I never heard anything about Vince “kicking his ass” at the Whisky: knew they had a public feud which never seemed to amount to the grudge-match they both talked about. I would not use a member of Motley as a redeeming figure when slamming a rocker for wife-beating.

    • Kat says:

      Don’t ever call him a woman beater. On 1 occasion he did hit her, after she had been hitting him non stop. She continually hit him until he lost his temper just so she could have some dirt on him when their relationship ended. She was screwing around with another guy and knew he wouldn’t take that so she collected the meager amount of crap on him that she could because she knew he wasn’t going to stay quiet about her being a skank. I hate the double standard pricks like you have created with men never being able to defend themselves against a woman hitting them. And I am saying this as a woman

  14. Amalia Costa says:

    I am so glad that this forum is here. I was introduced to Guns N’ Roses a few years ago when I was about ten and completely fell in love with them. Axl is my favorite member but I get really sad when I see all of the negative comments about him. I, and I’m sure almost every other GN’R fan on the planet, wish that the original line up would get back together, or at least settle their differences, but I’m sure that narrow minded individuals will make nasty comments about him, which isn’t fair. He had a tough childhood and experienced things that no one should have to go through, so we can’t expect him to be all nice and peaceful; lashing out would be the only way I would cope with it. Anyway, I’m really glad that there are open minded people out there who appreciate Axl’s talent and intelligence, thank you!

  15. Ghetto? says:

    He is cool and all but he needs to lose weight and get rid of Ashba

  16. sfsdf says:

    axl is shit now before he was the boss he got a brazilian family good he is settling down hahah lol fuckers

  17. Annie Shultz says:

    I absoutly hate it whenever anyone disses my band. I grew up listening a to Guns N’ Roses and I’ve always loved them. Axl’s album Chinese Democracy is one hell of a album and I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. In my opinion, Guns N’ Roses is one of, if not the best, band I’ve ever heard and it takes a lot for me to say that about any band.

  18. marilyn says:

    I was never really that into Guns n Roses back then , was watching TV & stopped on AXS ch . Guns n Roses concert on , no date but I’m sure it’s recent (Appetite for Destruction). Wow ! Haven’t seen Axle in years , he’s put on a few lbs & voice ……. well , he sounds different ! But great ! Great new band , great songs ! Awesome stage show ! He sang a few old God’s songs , they were great . I loved the solo’s from the other musicians , n when Axle came down playing the piano . That was cool. OMG I couldn’t change the channel , like I’m mezmorized watching him ! I’m only writing this cuz I was dieing to see what he looks like now , & I found you . Ok gotta go now I’m missing the concert & HOT AXLE ! I hope Axle is in my dreams TONITE ! Mmmmmwwwwet muaw , sleep tight , just let Axle bite . O my I’m getting horny ! I think I wanna see these guys in Concert , haven’t been to one in awhile , I’m due

  19. Vanessa says:

    Eu adoro axl ele é o meu preferido da banda

  20. jose says:

    come’on Guys!
    They made a reunion
    what do it has to be with izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler?
    Where is your appetite for destruction?

  21. 1badjesus says:

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS BLOG! about time someone defended the man properly!!

    I honestly got emotional when i heard the demo for TWAT (There Was A Time) in 2006. I remember knock-knock-knocking on my neighbors door (Karl) and havin him come over to listen to it, we lived in Hollywood and 90% (myself included) of the tenants in our building were pursuing the arts …his was music. Karl wasn’t as big a fan og GN’R/AXL as i but he thought it was good and and in retrospect probably gotta KICK seeing the absolute JOY on my face lol. Looking back i realize my happy emotional state i experienced from listening to those leaked tracks (didn’t stop me from buying 23 Copies of the CD!!) stemmed from the FACT IT WAS GOOD!! …I am indeed an Axl Rose fanatic and if the music was BAD I’d admit it so…but it wasn’t. It was Amazing and at the tome i thought “Vindication! All who gave Axl shit will eat their proverbial words!”. I’m not ashamed to admit that i was
    ….but as for the album purchasing public… alas…not so much. Tho’ a Great album Christmas Democracy didn’t set the world on fire for the band.l and honestly it could have been tbe Rock Equivalent of Beethoven’s 9th and people would have STILL panned it. Ce La Vie…if it had come out in 2006 like it was supposed to things would have been enormously different for the band. Anyway…here’s hopin we get new music soon because in
    27 years…
    let that sink in…
    to release only ONE ALBUM is a lil absurd ESPECIALLY with THAT kind of talent .
    Incidentally IMHO 2006 was BEST YEAR for the band! They were a Juggernaut!! Saw em 4x that year! I’d KILL to see Pro Shot video of their multiple Hammerstein Shows ESPECIALLY the night they performed TWAT! Robin’s solo from the footage available was amazing!
    2006 Rock an AM Ring show is only PRI shot i could find of that year. Notice Robin’s expression as Axl finishes opening scream to Jungle…he knows AXL NAILED IT! 😁
    Mr. B is my personal fav from the show you can hear every…well here see for yourself:

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