This is a tribute of (Saguijo) a bar that plays rock music....
visit them at http://saguijo.com/news.php
"Paradise City saGuijo: A Tribute To Classic Guns & Roses"
Everybody has a story…
When I was in the second grade, my English professor used to assign what she (terrifyingly) referred to as "Quarterly Written Assessments." The first one I remember …well…we were asked to do the mini-biography of a living person we admired and WHY said individual was worthy of our pre-pubescent adoration. Needless to say, a list of my classmates' respective subject matters read like a who's who of 1990 Pop Culture. The jocks-in-training praised Michael Jordan or Sonny Jaworski. The brown-nosed suck-ups cited a favorite teacher. ONE clever motherfucker even wrote about Jesus Christ. Because…you know…God is a LIVING God? Fucktard. But not me. As would later become a trend in my not-so-predictable life, I would NEVER have chosen to do something so obvious. You must take note, though…I was no idiot. Just ask Angelo. While HE was perfectly content (and wisely so) with maintaining a "C" average, I would weep like a little girl if I ever saw anything less than a 95 on my report card.
Still…a full year of sharing a room with and listening to big bro's "noisy music" was laying the groundwork for a rebellious streak. A streak that would REALLY emerge as puberty hit and my emotions (AND penis) went haywire. I didn't go for the typical. Nor would I ever again. Nope. It MAY have been a curse that my hormones came to the fore sooner than my peers. But it was ALMOST inevitable that my chunky nine-year-old ass wrote about…believe it or not… William Bruce Bailey. Better known as Axl Rose.
What can I put down on paper that you haven't already read previously? What words can I utter that you haven't heard a zillion times before? I mean…really…I don't have to say JACKSHIT about Guns & Roses' not-so-long, yet infinitely SORDID, career. Formed on the seedy L.A. Sunset Strip in 1985? Over 90 million albums sold worldwide? Originally composed of Rose, bassist Michael "Duff" McKagan, drummer Steven Adler (later Matt Sorum) and guitarists Saul "Slash" Hudson and Izzy Stradlin'? Most of you are aware of this factual crap. What is more interesting, I think, is why…WHY do so many of us in the saGuijo crowd remain steadfastly enamored with a band that was effectively rendered irrelevant once Kurt Cobain came along? And why some…just SOME… of us out there are still mildly curious enough to wait for "Chinese Democracy." A yet-to-be-released album that has been in the pipeline for WELL over fifteen years now.
I don't know about the rest of you (although I'd love to hear your stories)…but whenever I hear the name "Guns & Roses," I am irrevocably drawn back to that fateful night in late 1989. I am sitting on my bed, in my Voltes V shirt and pudding bowl haircut, reading (as usual) when Angelo bursts into our room. After the painfully compulsory noogies, a punch on the arm and a mocking laugh, he goes, "Okay BUTT-head! Are you ready to piss your fat-ass pants?" He slips a cassette into that white Sony player that had become the undisputed CENTER of our existence. G' n R's "Lies" E.P. I clamp my chubby palms over my ringing ears. And then briefly over my whiny protests, those words came. Words that made my heart beat just THAT much faster. Words screeched in an inhuman caterwaul. An epiphany. "Nice boys! Don't play Rock and Roll! I'M NOT A NICE BOY! And I never was!" Throw in the towel. I was hooked.
'Tang-fucking-ina! There it was when you think about it! There I was. An overweight, overeducated Lola's boy and all I could think about…at that moment…was this screeching banshee of a singer. And how I could get more of this rampage of an act. It was messy. It was dirty. It was GLORIOUS. I was a changed man. Child. Whatever. I would never come back.
Because it was NEVER about the Music. Not for me. At least not AT FIRST. No. It was about ATTITUDE. About scaring the neighbors. About provoking a worried glance from a teacher. About eliciting the most screwed up comments from my friends' misguided parents. Shit like, "you watch out for that Christopher Carlos. He's not right in the head. I think he worships Satan." Fools all. Dimwits and fucktards. And most importantly, it was about putting the "F" and "U" back in "FUN." G' n R made it okay, you know? I can't imagine my fellow overachievers EVER understanding this…but G' n R made it okay NOT to always smile with glaringly white teeth. They made it okay NOT to be what your parents, peers or OTHER punctilious people EXPECTED you to be and become. You were free to be whomever and whatever you wanted. To be imperfect. To be yourself. THEY certainly were.
And it didn't end there. No. I had to pick up my first Fender Stratocaster…a blue (my girl says "purple"), Japanese number to really appreciate the genius of this Music. I could go on for hours about the rhythm section's effectiveness. How McKagan and Adler provided such a reliable, punky beat for Rose to vocally riff over. How Slash and Stradlin' taught me that guitar technique WASN'T about expertise or virtuosity…it was, and always will be, about FEEL. It's about getting into the crevices…the rise and fall…of a melody. Like a woman's body. And how to elicit the most orgasmic of reactions with a single caress. Each stroke. Every touch.
They seemed too good to be true. And, much to my chagrin, I was proven correct. You see, the "most dangerous band in the world" became, arguably, the most commercially successful one as well. To a point. Egos got too bloated. Visions contrived. Ambitions too high. Oh…and a little thing called chemistry.
The punters out there MAY think I'm referring to the band's infamous travails with heroin and booze. I wish it were that simple. Chemistry. They sacked Adler for the much more hard-rocking Sorum. It was then that Izzy Stradlin' decided to come out of the chemical haze long enough to realize that this WASN'T the band that he wanted to be in. Not with a keyboard player. Or backup singers. Or fucking HORNS. Stradlin'…who almost single-handedly composed hits such as "Mr. Brownstone," "My Michelle," "Don't Cry" and COMPLETELY penned "Patience." Their greatest "hit." Stradlin' who had FOUNDED the band…who was NEVER as popular as Axl or Slash…who was "the quiet guy that could slip in and out of a room unnoticed." Stradlin' who, ultimately, was the glue that held it all together. When he got sick of Axl's riot-inducing brattiness…and walked away… G'n R was screwed. Hard.
Hell. What IS a band, really? It is a group. A collection of misfits. Brothers-in-arms who just happen to have a singular vision. When one element is missing, the whole thing falls apart. Implodes. Collapses inwards. Caves in. Falls down. Folds. And when a band that meant something to us DIES, a bit of us goes to the grave with them. Our past. Our youth. That momentary paradise when all things seemed possible. Personally, I feel like I've come a full circle. Now it's your turn. On July 26, we proudly invite you to "Paradise City saGuijo: A Tribute To Classic Guns & Roses." Participating bands include Concrete Sam, Valley Of Chrome, Soapdish, Giniling Festival, BlindTrigger, Angulo and Silent Sanctuary. We hope to see you there. As always…
…where the grass is green…
…and the girls are pretty…