• Axl Rosenberg

I think Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” was actually the first “life on the road” music video, but regardless of who created the genre, it existed before Guns N’ Roses’ Nigel Dick-directed clip for “Paradise City,” and has continued to exist long since. (A recent example would be DevilDriver’s video for “Fate Stepped In.”) And they seem to be a rite of passage in some sense — even Metallica have made one.

But there was a candid quality to “Paradise City” that, even if it was ultimately manufactured, felt real-enough to differentiate it from, say, Warrant’s video for “Heaven.” Jani Lane just looked right into the camera, and all the “home movie” footage looked like regular, glossy MTV footage with some kind of after-effect added in post, and, generally speaking, the whole thing just seemed pretty staged. Whether “Paradise City” was entirely authentic or not is beside the point; Dick did a top-notch job of making it feel authentic, which was enough to sell GN’R’s image as a “real” band to kids like Vince and myself, who thought they were the cat’s pajamas.

In that context, it’s difficult to watch Slash’s new video for “Back to Cali” without thinking that it’s intended to be a direct call-back to “Paradise City” — it’s got the grainy B&W footage, the odd and unnecessary use of random Dutch angles, the playing in front of crowds disproportionate to the band’s current success (The “Paradise City” footage was actually filmed when GN’R was opening for Aerosmith; Slash seems to playing mostly European festivals in this video), etc. I don’t know who directed it and I’m not sure why he or she would make such a decision; kids who know Slash as “that dude from Velvet Revolver” won’t remember the “Paradise City” video and won’t care, and I don’t really think it’ll do much for the nostalgia of old bastards like me.

But, uh, whatever, I guess. “Back to Cali” is one of the better songs on Slash’s solo record; it’s basically just blues-based bar rock, which is to say, it plays to Mr. Saul Hudson’s strengths.

And here’s the “Paradise City” video, if you’re one of the aforementioned kids who have never seen it before…


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits