Axl Rose’s Top Five On-Stage Rants
So I was watching this really lame Josh Homme on-stage rant about The Grammys, and that got me thinking about the on-stage rant as an art form, and that got me thinking about the Pablo Picasso of on-stage rants, W. Axl Rose, and that sent me down the YouTube rabbit hole.
(Of course, having great on-stage banter is an important part of being a front man — but banter is different from a rant. What Frank Mullen and Valient Himself do is wwwaaaaayyyy different from what dudes like Homme and Rose do, which is ostensibly get the audience to cheer on their rage, presumably so that they feel like they’re the “good guy” in whatever situation they’re pissed off about.)
Now selecting just five to include here was actually quite a task, because you’re talking about a guy who goes off on a fairly regular basis. I mean, just do a Google video search for “Axl Rose Rant.” You will get literally dozens of pages of video and audio of Axl Rose over the years just endlessly bitching about whatever was bothering him that day. These rants should bother GN’R fans — many of them last so long that the band easily could fit another song into the setlist if Axl had just kept his pie hole shut — but Axl admirers actually look forward to these things. They’re, like, part of the evening’s entertainment. It actually speaks a lot to the fact that Guns fans are masochists; Axl Rose’s illogical and unbridled vitriol is part of his appeal.
ANYWAY, I did manage to narrow this down to five rants. I hope you find them as amusing as I do. Here they are, in chronological order:
Axl Rose Hates Parking Attendants
“Axl Rose hated parking attendants way before it was cool, bruh.” In 1988, decades before Nicko McBrain and Vince Neil’s own run-ins with parking attendants, Rose turned what sounds like a fairly basic misunderstanding into an epic civil rights battle. So strong. So brave.
Axl Rose Hates Warren Beatty
In 1992, Guns N’ Roses did a pay-per-view concert live from Paris, and prior to launching into “Double Talkin’ Jive,” Rose decided to take out some time to offer some constructive criticism to the Oscar winning actor/filmmaker. The source of Rose’s beef, we can assume, was that his then-girlfriend, Stephanie Seymour, had previously been involved with Beatty. What Beatty did at this juncture to make Rose so cranky, though, remains a mystery. Funny enough, Rose is now almost as old as Beatty was then.
Axl Rose Hates Kurt Cobain
Although Axl Rose was walking around in Nirvana merch telling anyone who would listen how much he loved the band, they refused to open the GN’R/Metallica tour of ’92, solely because they hated Guns so much. The fact that any band would turn down this massive, massive tour was unfathomable at the time, and the fact that doing so didn’t hurt Nirvana’s success one iota clearly triggered some fear in Rose that his band was about to be phased out along with the Poisons and Warrants of the world. So Rose decided to make sure everyone knew that Guns N’ Roses and Metallica were “alternative,” too.
Axl Rose Hates Metallica
Yup: just a year after Guns N’ Roses toured with Metallica, Axl Rose decided he didn’t like Metallica anymore. I assume the initial source of frustration was ‘Tallica’s A Year and a Half in the Life Of… video, in which James Hetfield openly talks smack about Rose. In any case, here Rose calls the kettle black, accusing Hetfield of being a racist, and asserting that Metallica are overpaid egomaniacs who behave like pricks to their crew.
Axl Rose Hates His Stage Crew
Okay, so, I’m actually cheating with this 2006 rant, in which Axl chews out his crew while the band attempts to continue to play “You Could Be Mine” on the last night of that year’s Download Festival. But it’s so great, I just couldn’t leave it out. Rose obviously didn’t realize that anyone was recording him, so you get a sense that, yes, this really is how Axl treats the help. He must threaten to cut the show short on a nightly basis. Oy.
Do you have any favorite Axl Rose rants of your own? Share them in the comments section below. Or just rant. Whatever.