GN’R: THE MOVIE

HERE’S FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM GUNS N’ ROSES’ DOC­U­MEN­TARY, PRE­MIER­ING FEB 5 ON BBC FOUR…

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1) The roots of the band are re­vealed, from Slash’s early in­tro­duc­tions to the gui­tar while jump­ing around on his bed lis­ten­ing to Kiss, to William Rose chang­ing his name to Axl, coin­ci­den­tally, on the day that he fi rst met Slash.

2) Ever won­dered why the skull head of Slash on Ap­petite For De­struc­tion’s cross sleeve has straight hair, rather than his trade­mark curly locks? The fi lm re­veals early footage of Axl and Slash in con­ver­sa­tion, with the for­mer ex­plain­ing that the im­age was a replica of a tat­too the front­man got on his arm. The gui­tarist joked that he had told Axl to straighten his hair in his ink as “you’re never gonna draw curly hair right”.

3) Per­haps the sad­dest fall­out from Guns N’ Roses he­do­nis­tic ways was the fate of Steven Adler, whose spi­ralling drugs ad­dic­tion led to his dis­missal from the band in 1990 and sent the drum­mer into a de­pressed, self-de­struc­tive down­ward spi­ral. The fi lm recounts the sticks­man’s later su­ing of his for­mer band­mates, re­veal­ing footage from in­side the court­room. The same court­room Steven shame­fully ad­mits smug­gling heroin into dur­ing the trial.

4) Such was the at­ten­tion put on the band dur­ing their chaotic Use Your Il­lu­sion world tour, Matt So­rum recounts how the band were sub­ject to round-the-clock se­cu­rity from ho­tel bed to stage. The band re­veal the lengths they went to to avoid ar­rest fol­low­ing the St. Louis riot in 1991, in­clud­ing send­ing out de­coys dressed to look like Slash and Axl.

5) The fi lm claims to fi nally an­swer the mystery of why Axl and Slash spent so long at log­ger­heads… The story, ex­plained by A&R man Tom Zu­taut, goes that after Slash’s fa­mous eight-minute death in a ho­tel cor­ri­dor in San Fran­cisco, Axl be­lieves the gui­tarist’s soul left his body, and that an­other ‘per­son’ en­tered the ‘ves­sel’ and has in­hab­ited Slash’s body ever since. Yes, you heard that right…

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