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Will
 Rep: 225 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

Will wrote:

You've probably read most of this before and it shouldn't be taken too seriously. This is merely fun speculation and something to mull over.

Down By The Ocean / Down By The Sea

The first mention of this song originates from an Izzy interview in 2001:

Popular Magazine wrote:

Izzy: In '95, Duff and me recorded songs for the band [GN'R]. We made a tape that went nowhere. Then, a couple of months ago I have a message on my answering machine: 'Yo! It's Axl, I need a copy of the songs that you did.' There was one called 'Down by the Ocean' or 'Down by the Sea', they may have used it.

No other information was given. Even the true title remained a mystery, but at least we know the year it was written.

It's 1995

The only times Izzy surfaced in the public eye was for two guest appearances. The first was in March with Duff:

Izzy wrote:

I returned to Los Angeles after Duff's phone call. "Hey man, you come back, we'll play for the opening of a new casino in Las Vegas. It's me who's handling the roster. There'll be Iggy Pop, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, etc." I answered him "Whoaa! When do you want me to find you over there? If I can play with Bo or B.B., I'll come.

The following month Izzy played with Snakepit in Chicago. Slash tells the crowd that Izzy came to the show just from Indiana.

Either a few weeks prior or immediately after appearing with Snakepit we know Izzy recorded demos for GN'R, thanks to a 2001 french magazine article:-

Izzy: In April, 1995, Duff calls me again: "I'm trying to compose new songs for the guys in GN'R. Come and give me a hand." [...] I'd left Guns but I said to myself: 'Well shit, after all, why not?' Duff and I wrote ten pieces in the space of a week. We even recorded them as demos."

May 17th 2006

Izzy Stradlin joins Axl on stage for the first time since May 1993 and in June he again returns to the fold touring Europe as a special guest.

At this point 5 years had passed since that one mention of "Down By The Ocean" or "Down By The Sea", 11 years since it was written, and despite Izzy's touring with GN'R the song was all but forgotten about.

"Fire, the acoustic album"

Izzy had spent some of that time on the road writing new songs, which were released on iTunes as "Fire, the acoustic album" in November 2007. The song "Box" stood out immediately:-

Lives in a box down by the ocean, down by the sea side at the hill

When the album was released Izzy sent along the following message for fans:-

Izzy wrote:

There are 2 songs I co-wrote with an old friend of mine.... Timo Kaltia [guitarist/songwriter]. He lives in UK, the songs are "Box" and "Seems To Me"... The writing started with those 2 songs and I took off from there.

Izzy doesn't specifically say that "Box" was written whilst on tour in 2006, but based on the fact Izzy was with Guns in the UK that Summer we assume it was. Can we rule out Timo being involved in the songwriting back in 1995 based on his following comment?

Timo Kaltia wrote:

I was in touch with Izzy after I moved back to London in 1990 for many years, but eventually we lost each other's numbers... I got his email address a while back and been in touch again since...

Initially that was enough proof for me to confirm that "Box" and "Down By The Ocean" were two entirely different songs. Then I recently stumbled upon this old Izzy interview from November 2006 which tells me "Box" is GNR related...

The Box, Down By The Ocean

Jeff Price (Tunecore) wrote:

Prior to [Appetite For Destruction] just taking off were you just sleeping on the floor of a van in a cockroach infested neighbourhood?

Izzy wrote:

[...] The best places that the band, the GNR guys had, we all used to live in this like, I think it was a 12x14, I call it the box.

And it literally was a rehearsal studio that we built bunks in, and we all lived in this thing. There was no running water or TV's or cable, there was nothing really it was just a box, and we lived in this thing for a while.

It's right behind where the Guitar Center is now on Sunset Strip.

beg7mf.jpg
^ A - Guitar Center on Sunset Strip. The blue in the bottom left would be the ocean tongue

Theory: A Memory Lapse

What if Izzy forgot that Axl had already requested those tapes from 1995?

It's 11 years later, he's back on the road with Guns/Axl, and whilst in London he asks Timo to help finish the songwriting process for one of his old unreleased songs originally penned back in the day? Whilst "Down By The Ocean" may have been written for GN'R it was written after Izzy had quit the band, Chinese Democracy still hadn't been released at this point, and it was Izzys song after all.

It's a rather loose theory, granted, but it's not the first time this may have happened.

Jimmy Ashhurst (Ju Ju Hounds) wrote:

That was the first time I realized that he [Izzy] was going to continue to put out albums without me, and that he had used some of the tracks and never even printed my name anywhere on the album. To add insult to injury, there was even one of our songs, "Gotta Say", that was a collaboration between me and him... just like Shuffle and Somebody and a few others... and there's just no credit for me at all. I've taken the position all these years that it was just a mistake, a memory lapse on his part, and not done out of malice. I'd like to think of it that way...its a more pleasant memory than the alternative.

Another example could be Velvet Revolvers "Do It For The Kids" released in June 2004. Izzy fans instantly noticed that it was a rip of Izzys "Bomb" from "Like A Dog" - previewed online in 2003 but not actually released until 2005, a year after VR claimed it for themselves.

In Slash's biography there is also mention of "The Project" possibly working on a song called "SNAFU" but again this was already recorded for Izzys "Like A Dog" in 2003.

Or how about this quote from Izzy:-

Izzy wrote:

There's also a song which I had already worked on in 1992 with the Ju Ju Hounds. I had to record it at least five times, there's even a version where Slash does the lead guitar. It was a good song, but there was something which didn't stick. I changed the lyrics and it finally became the reggae which is reproduced on River (2001) [...] I can leave an idea in a corner for six months or a year before returning there, I created a kind of musical bank for myself where I can draw ideas according to my desires or my inspiration.

Was touring with GN'R for the first time in 13 years the inspiration Izzy needed to pull "Down By The Ocean" from his musical bank?

Axls Online Chats

BringBackBrain wrote:

Axl, here's a list of rumored song titles.  Can you tell us which ones are bogus and which ones are real? [...]

Axl wrote:

Ides Of March, Oklahoma, Atlas Shrugged,  Oh My God, Silkworms , Down By The Ocean (Izzy), Leave Me Alone, Seven, The General, Thyme, Quick Song, Zodiac.

Most all titles subject to change w/out warning and r considered working titles.

Maybe the title was subject to change, and "Down By The Ocean" is in fact "Box"?

izzy

otto
 Rep: 81 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

otto wrote:

I don't know man, the chats were in 2008 and Axl is too focused on the other members not to notice they were the same song.

Perhaps it's the same case as 14 Years, which both he and Izzy had written songs with the same title, meshed them together and voilà?

I think they are two songs with the same theme but positive karma for you, great work on putting this together!

Axlin16
 Rep: 768 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

Axlin16 wrote:

Yeah definitely well put together. I've always been of the belief that the lyrics are just coincidental and that they are infact two entirely different songs.

apex-twin
 Rep: 199 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

apex-twin wrote:
Izzy wrote:

I can leave an idea in a corner for six months or a year before returning there, I created a kind of musical bank for myself where I can draw ideas according to my desires or my inspiration.

Who else works this way?

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

Sky Dog wrote:

Indiana...nuff said. Birds of a feather...

Neemo
 Rep: 481 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

Neemo wrote:

i think its entirely possible that Izzy used it...

I mean Fall to peices was supposed to be a gnr tune reject and alot of snakepit, i've always felt that some of gilbys first album was meant for gnr, same with a couple tracks from Beleive in me

cool post Will cheers

Will
 Rep: 225 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

Will wrote:

Cheers guys smile It's been suggested quite a few times before over the years by other posters and usually it was me shooting down the possibility of them being the same 16

I just don't think Izzy reads into things as much as fans do, or perhaps as Axl does. eg. Izzy has been quoted as saying the Ju Ju Hounds never played GNR songs, and yet....

Also, when asked about unreleased Ju Ju Hounds songs Izzy replied: "Nothing i know of is unreleased, 117 was new stuff back then". Eddie Ashworth (JJH producer) later followed up with:

Also-not to open a can of worms-but to set the record straight, we did record a few songs that did not appear on the Ju Ju Hounds record or on any subsequent release.

He named and described 4 songs, one of which was later found on a video bootleg. I'm not suggesting Izzy lied, more that he just forgot they'd recorded these songs because it was so long ago and he doesn't really dwell on stuff like that smile

Izzy wrote:

"I mean he had a fucking notepad. I could hear him [turning the pages] going, 'Well, ah, you said in 1982... blah, blah, blah...' And I'm like, what the fuck - 1982? He was bringing up a lot of really weird old shit. I'm like, whatever, man.

sp1at
 Rep: 34 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

sp1at wrote:

'Box' and 'Down by the Ocean' are two different songs.

otto
 Rep: 81 

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

otto wrote:

Have you heard Down By The Ocean?
Is it any good?

Re: Down By The Ocean Speculation

Lomax wrote:
sp1at wrote:

'Box' and 'Down by the Ocean' are two different songs.

I believe you for some reason, you're trading on good stock I suppose. Would be great to hear some proof nonetheless.

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