Axl Rose Rewriting History, Demanding Photos of Him Looking Fat be Removed from the Internet
Last week, MetalSucks received an e-mail from Web Sheriff, a company devoted to “creative protection,” instructing us to remove two photos of Axl Rose from the site. The first photo was a very poorly Photoshopped image of Rose’s head on the body of Fat Bastard, a character from the Austin Powers movies, sprawled on a bathroom floor beside a walker. The second photo, which you can still see here, was an unflattering profile shot of Rose in a yellow suit with a fist in the air atop a bent arm; to this picture, we had added the words “Yes! They have chicken wings!” The message from Web Sheriff asserted that the photos constituted copyright infringement, and threatened legal action if they were not removed from MetalSucks at once. We complied. We thought it was funny, but that was about it. It honestly hadn’t occurred to me that there was a correlation between the images beyond that they were both of Rose. Vince and I probably never would have discussed it again…
…until we read on TorrentFreak this morning that there have been “a wave of copyright claims sent to Blogspot and GoogleUserContent on May 31, 2016 demanding the removal of pictures depicting Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose” — specifically, a 2010 photo of Rose performing at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Canada. Which, not coincidentally, is the photo which had provided the head we used for the Fat Bastard image, and had been used for a meme about Rose’s weight. TorrentFreak says nothing about the yellow suit image, so maybe that one was unique to MS; maybe if it didn’t have the “chicken wings” joke, that one would be okay. Like I said, I didn’t make the correlation between the two images at the time.
The fact that Rose is going to such great lengths to try and erase the photo from the net is hilarious for a number of reasons. For one thing, you can’t really erase anything from the net, so good luck with that. For another thing, okay so people bust your balls about your weight, who gives a shit? Celebrities who go from svelte to zaftig always take shit in press, but you’re still a megarich rockstar so whatever. And for another another thing, did it not occur to anyone on Team Rose that people would notice the mass deletion of the photo from various websites, and so the attempt would become a story — a story which is only going to prompt people to give Rose even MORE shit about his weight because they know it bothers him? Like, we would not be talking about this right now had he not started this whole crusade, and we definitely wouldn’t have an excuse to re-post these embarrassing performance clips of the singer.
The best thing Rose could have done would have been to ignore it, or, if asked about it, take a cue from Dino Cazares and show a sense of humor about the whole thing. Instead, all he’s done is ensure that we continue to make jokes about his weight regardless of how he does or does not look in the future. Good to know that no matter what his weight, Rose will always have a talent for shooting himself in the foot.