As inevitably as summer’s swift exit and post-Olympic comedown in the UK comes the news that perennial rock punchline, Guns N’ Roses, are bowing to their destiny and playing a residency in Las Vegas.
What passes for G’N’R these days. Nice hat, guy who isn’t Slash.
Oh, the bitter, bitter irony of it all. It’s as though they’ve given up on any pretence at relevance and are content to throw out softball pitches for snarky bloggers and hipster music scenesters. Cheers, Axl – well-played.
They are, of course, in good company – Motley Crue, former architects of public outrage and groupie-despoiling rock pigs of no small reputation have recently done a lucrative residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and it hardly seems like a huge stretch for Axl’s elite unit of anonymous studio musos to ply their hit-stuffed back catalogue in such a theatrical, glitzy and surface-level locale as Vegas.
And it’s not as if I begrudge musicians from finding creative ways to leverage their reputation to bring in revenue – with the music business being the walking corpse that it is, who can blame any established band for finding a way to pad their pension funds a little? – but surely there’s a better way to do that than plying one’s trade in a haven of douchery, captive tourists and investigative forensic medicine?
Is Axl really smart or just trolling us all at this point?
Filed under Geekery, Music
Awards and award ceremonies ultimately don’t mean anything – when was the last time that you bought an album because it won a Brit Award or Grammy? And have the Academy Awards made you rush out to see a film lately? Probably not.
With that in mind, it was refreshing today to come across this story with former Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver axe lord Slash ruminating on what his former band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame means to him.
Speaking as somebody whose musical taste skews inexorably towards the loud, the hairy and the be-Marshall Stacked, I too find it bewildering that Deep Purple and Rush haven’t yet been venerated for their role in forging the kinds of sounds that later bands (and 2012 inductees) like G’N’R and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have drawn from and iterated upon. If you’re going to laud the influenced before you show props to the originators, then where’s the logic in that?
Of course, that would mean going back to the pioneering Blues and R&B artists whose early work gave white suburban rockers a jumping-on point and giving them their due. Which is, of course, something that the American and British recording industries have never wanted to do as it would lead to awkward questions about how, at best, these artists endured decades of shabby treatment and, at worst, were outright ripped-off by the largely white, largely middle-class and morally questionable recording industry establishment.
It’s difficult not to wonder about how much the implosion of G’N’R and its gradual metamorphosis into Axl Rose’s touring band may have soured Slash on the idea of the band being awarded this industry honour – the Guns ‘N’ Roses operating currently doesn’t really resemble the classic line-up and it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Axl pulling some kind of diva stunt to generate press inches before the ceremony proper on Saturday April 14th…