• Axl Rosenberg

Sam Strange is a director of such momentous talent that after he once screened his latest film for Spielberg, Spielberg got a job at Jack in the Box, and had to be talked into returning to the business to direct his masterpiece, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. A little-known fact is that Strange also directed Guns N’ Roses’ infamous video trilogy, “Don’t Cry,” “November Rain,” and “Estranged.”

Now Strange has opened up about his experience to C.H.U.D. in a special guest blog. Apparently, the concept for the video came about via inception, the now-famous method of dream invasion portrayed in Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Strange writes of his encounter with rock’s most dangerous front man:

The strangest story I have involves this guy Axl Rose (Real Name: Hacksel Rosenbaum). When Axl came to us he was leader of an struggling local Rock n Roll band called Guns n Roses. Axl felt destined to rock stardom, but some unhappiness deep in his subconscious kept this fate out of reach.

“So Mr. Rose, please tell us what IDEA you want us to Incept in your brain and how many tickets you think it will sell.”

“I dunno. I just wanna be a rock guy.”

“Do you know how hard it is to Incept someone? An IDEA like that is far too broad. You’ll have to think of something more specific.”

“That’s the best I can do. Here’s two billion dollars.” (Axl was super rich because his dad had been an extra in Pump Up the Volume.)

Strange also offers an analysis of each individual video, for the benefit of those of us who always found the storyline a tad confusing. Here’s an excerpt of his explanation of the “November Rain” clip (above):

*We see a church. The inside features no bathrooms, but it does have one piano and an Axl. So far, so good. We’re very nearly in REM’s “Losing My Religion” territory, and that’s what I was hoping for.
*Slash lurks on stage. He knows he’s been taken out of his element, but at this point all he can do about it is smoke…and plot.
*Jesus Christ weeps a blood tear either for Axl’s pain or his piano playing. Probably the pain.
*The wedding begins. I was surprised to find that guests at a Guns n Roses wedding are all either A) Guns n Roses or B) old people in suits.
*Sgt. Pepper Axl meets his bride. He looks very happy and hair-conditioned.
*Uh-oh. We suddenly re-enter the Rainbow Bar, which is exactly where Slash took over last time [in the “Don’t Cry” video] with that blonde girl. Everything here is too smoky and Bud Light poster-girl dirty for Axl’s happiness.
*But the song and Axl’s happiness is simply too much for Slash’s cigarette lighting to overcome.
*Weakened by Axl’s weakness, Slash resorts to stopping the wedding through childish means, like pretending he can’t find the ring.
*Too bad, Slash. The knot is tied. Axl tongue-kisses his wife so hard.
*A defeated Slash takes his frustration outside for one final shirtless guitar wail while a murderous helicopter repeatedly tries to land on him (Rock n Roll).
*And that’s what does it. The solo is just too fucking good. Suddenly, before heading to the reception, my bride lady looks sad and forlorn. Slash, you motherfucker, what did you do!?
*Axl walks down the street of an old western town. I have no idea why. Maybe Western Axl and Frozen Elf Axl are Rock n Roll brothers, like Kevin and Jimmie-Dean Bacon.
*Slash’s plan goes into effect. Basically he brings down a Rock n Roll rain, which is highly acidic from all the whiskey-soaked bile. This is why everyone at the reception freaks out and that guy jumps through the wedding cake like he’s Jason Bourne.
*Axl’s bride gets too much November rain on her face and dies.
*Triumphantly, Slash mounts Axl’s pussy piano and makes sure 2 of this song’s 9 minutes kick ass.

No true Guns N’ Roses fan can afford not to read Sam Strange’s stunning insights. Check out the rest at C.H.U.D.


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