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misterID
 Rep: 468 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

misterID wrote:

Here's a question I've thought about, and before this degenerates into a civil war (Axl Fans Vs Slash Fans) this isn't what this is about. We really don't know much about the facts of what went down when Axl, Slash and Duff were making that 95 GN'R album, so I'm going to go on what I know, and if anyone knows anything else, or can correct me if I'm wrong, please jump in.

Do you think its possible that that GN'R album was ruined when Slash refused to work with Paul Tobias and do you think it could have been great if had worked with Paul? Somehow Paul has turned into some kind of villain and hack but listening to Sympathy For The Devil, it really makes me interested in what that GN'R album would have been like had Paul been included, not as an official member or Izzy replacement, but as an official songwriter/producer? I think SFTD kicks ass, and I don't hear the bad guitar work people claim is there from Paul. I think he does compliment Slash pretty damn well on it. And considering that Paul was involved in some of the best songs off of CD, couldn't he have brought something really special to those recordings?

Slash has said that Paul was his biggest problem with Axl. When Axl wanted Paul to come in and write with the band, Slash refused, which seems to be what killed the band. I don't believe that Slash didn't want to be an "employee." Their last meeting, according to Slash, had nothing to do with any of that. And I don't believe that it had anything to do with Slash "not wanting to evolve." I think Paul was the main problem, for whatever reason, and I think Slash missed out on creating something really special.

This isn't blaming Slash at all for the break up. I mean, if he didn't want to work with the dude he didn't need to. And maybe he had a legit reason, or personal conflict. But I've always thought that the well was dry between Axl and Slash, creatively. Which explains bringing in Zakk Wylde, bringing back Izzy, firing Gilby, trying to get Dave Navarro, something to ignite a spark. Spending over a year doing nothing, and nixing each others ideas kind of shows nothing was progressing between them as chief songwriters, something neither had done with each other before.  Could Paul have been that spark?

Let this sink in:

Axl, Slash, Duff, Paul, Dizzy & Matt (or Josh Freese or Chris "POD" Vrenna, as I don't think Matt was long for the band had they stayed together.)

SFTD
IRS
TWAT
This I Love
Catcher
Fall To Pieces
The Blues
Prostitute
And whatever other songs Axl and Paul wrote together (Atlas?) that we haven't heard. Maybe some Izzy songs?

I really think that album could have been made, finished, and yeah, I think it could have been awesome.

Intercourse
 Rep: 212 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

Intercourse wrote:

Hey ID,
There was more than Slash who didn't want Paul there. here are some quotes from the band about his role in GNR.
Slash was not alone in his distaste for Paul...

Matt:
"Then Paul Huge walked into the studio and made a bad comment about Slash. I said, "You don't say that when I'm in the room." Then Axl laid in, I argued with him and it was over. Huge followed me out into the parking lot and said, Come back. I said, I can't come back, he's fired me. Do you feel good about breaking up one of the greatest bands that ever lived? [...] Paul Huge is the Yoko Ono of GN'R [Q Magazine, May 2001]

Duff:
[Axl] had hired his best friend for the band. I couldn't play with him. Paul Huge, that was the guy! He's a friend of Axl, he's a 'yes man.' [...] Man, you can't be in Guns N' Roses just like that. That was a real band. [...] Well, imagine you and I grow up together and you're my best friend. OK, I'm in Guns N' Roses and I tell the rest you're going to join the band. "OK, Slash, Axl, Matt, guys, this guy is in the band". "Duff, you got a minute?" "No, he's in the band" "Well, no. Everyone in the band has to vote it, Duff, so no way!" "Fuck you, this guy is in the band! I'm not doing anything unless this guy is in the band" "OK, you know what? We'll try and play with him, since you're that much interested in it. Hey Duff, the guy can't play" "I don't care" "Well that's not very reasonable." "I don't care". At that point, what would you do? I came to a point where I couldn't even look at [Paul Huge]. If I were in such a situation, if I were the friend joining the band, I'd say "Hey guys, you've done very good yourselves alone, I'm not going any further. Hey, Duff, thanks for the offer, but I'm breaking your band." But he didn't say it [Popular 1, July 2000]

Slash
Axl then [after firing Gilby in 1994] insisted on hiring Paul Huge, this guy he knew from Indiana who, for whatever reason, also calls himself Paul Tobias. They had history: the two of them cowrote 'Back Off Bitch' among other songs. I was open to the idea...until Paul showed up: he had no personality whatsoever and no particular guitar style or sound that I could identify with. He was, without doubt, the least interesting , most bland guy holding a guitar that I'd ever met. I tried my best to work with him, but it went nowhere. It was even more awkward then it sounds because our stilted interaction took place at rehearsal with everyone else watching us (...). No, it was useless; the guy was irredeemable. It was like talking to a wall, a wall with a bad attitude. He was totally arrogant and gave off the vibe that he was Axl's boy, that he was in, and that everyone else had to deal with it [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.377-378]

So in summary, I would say there was no chance that this was going to work. I think Axl needed to accept the will of the majority here but he was too pleased with "the power rewards of my vision" to listen to his team.

apex-twin
 Rep: 199 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

apex-twin wrote:

There's the old singer vs band thing, too. The GNR sound was made by anyone but Axl. Let's set aside the occassional tinkering with the piano and focus on who generally plays anything on stage. That's the backing band. They (re)create the music Axl sings to. They have a completely different thing going amongst themselves, they need to figure out a way to work as a unit, to mesh, to create a sonic landscape. In order to make it happen at an appropriate level, you need a lot of trust and respect all around. That's what makes a solid band, I think.

Axl's not there in the rehearsals, yet he appoints his man to play rhythm. Slash, Duff, Matt and Dizzy aren't consulted. They're not obliged to audition him. Paul's just tossed into it with a note, 'Play nice'. And these guys, for many reasons likely beyond us, fail to click with Paul at a human level. It's their band, one that's toured the world and sold platinium. They have every right to feel good about what their musical chemistry has bestowed on them. And now they have this guy, whose past merits include some "Axl songs" and Mank Rage, that Indiana band he's had with Dave Lank. To them, Paul's like a guy from the street that Axl recruited just to have someone in the band and be done with it. That move was begging for hostility.

Had Axl gone, 'Yeah, I'll write with Paul as a duo to get the melodies down', or whatever, and sent the tapes to the band to flesh them out into GNR songs with proper solos and whatnot, it might've gone better. At least there would've been a sense of direction, a loose structure to hone further. Furthermore, the band would've been able to keep up with it without having to deal with an outsider appointed from the above. But Axl acted bossy there, not coming down and sitting down with the band enough, and instead pointing out his hangers-on to deal with it. The others aren't innocent - Slash had a serious substance abuse problem going on at the time - but the Paul thing seems to have been started with the wrong foot, and they never got down to making things right.

misterID
 Rep: 468 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

misterID wrote:
Intercourse wrote:

Hey ID,
There was more than Slash who didn't want Paul there. here are some quotes from the band about his role in GNR.
Slash was not alone in his distaste for Paul...

Matt:
"Then Paul Huge walked into the studio and made a bad comment about Slash. I said, "You don't say that when I'm in the room." Then Axl laid in, I argued with him and it was over. Huge followed me out into the parking lot and said, Come back. I said, I can't come back, he's fired me. Do you feel good about breaking up one of the greatest bands that ever lived? [...] Paul Huge is the Yoko Ono of GN'R [Q Magazine, May 2001]

Duff:
[Axl] had hired his best friend for the band. I couldn't play with him. Paul Huge, that was the guy! He's a friend of Axl, he's a 'yes man.' [...] Man, you can't be in Guns N' Roses just like that. That was a real band. [...] Well, imagine you and I grow up together and you're my best friend. OK, I'm in Guns N' Roses and I tell the rest you're going to join the band. "OK, Slash, Axl, Matt, guys, this guy is in the band". "Duff, you got a minute?" "No, he's in the band" "Well, no. Everyone in the band has to vote it, Duff, so no way!" "Fuck you, this guy is in the band! I'm not doing anything unless this guy is in the band" "OK, you know what? We'll try and play with him, since you're that much interested in it. Hey Duff, the guy can't play" "I don't care" "Well that's not very reasonable." "I don't care". At that point, what would you do? I came to a point where I couldn't even look at [Paul Huge]. If I were in such a situation, if I were the friend joining the band, I'd say "Hey guys, you've done very good yourselves alone, I'm not going any further. Hey, Duff, thanks for the offer, but I'm breaking your band." But he didn't say it [Popular 1, July 2000]

Slash
Axl then [after firing Gilby in 1994] insisted on hiring Paul Huge, this guy he knew from Indiana who, for whatever reason, also calls himself Paul Tobias. They had history: the two of them cowrote 'Back Off Bitch' among other songs. I was open to the idea...until Paul showed up: he had no personality whatsoever and no particular guitar style or sound that I could identify with. He was, without doubt, the least interesting , most bland guy holding a guitar that I'd ever met. I tried my best to work with him, but it went nowhere. It was even more awkward then it sounds because our stilted interaction took place at rehearsal with everyone else watching us (...). No, it was useless; the guy was irredeemable. It was like talking to a wall, a wall with a bad attitude. He was totally arrogant and gave off the vibe that he was Axl's boy, that he was in, and that everyone else had to deal with it [Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York, p.377-378]

So in summary, I would say there was no chance that this was going to work. I think Axl needed to accept the will of the majority here but he was too pleased with "the power rewards of my vision" to listen to his team.

Thanks for looking that up. I guess it's clear no original GN'R album was ever going to happen with those guys then. It was over. Done. Finished. I didn't even bother reading the Matt quote 16

I still think that Paul album could have been cool, but then again, its clear here it wouldn't have happened and Slash and Duff wouldn't have stuck with Paul to get TWAT, IRS, Prostitute, etc. out of him.

For the record, according to Axl, and I've never really heard anyone refute it, Paul was never meant to be in GN'R, which is why he isn't in the new band, but he was brought in to help write songs.

elevendayempire
 Rep: 88 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

The killing irony is that 1) based on his CD writing credits the guy could write a tune, even if he didn't have the "particular style" to make it interesting when he played it, and 2) he ended up leaving the band 'cause he wasn't comfortable performing on stage. If Axl had only got Huge to co-write with him, and found someone else to fill the vacant guitarist slot, it might've worked.

buzzsaw
 Rep: 423 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

buzzsaw wrote:

Or he could have...I don't know...written with the lead guitar player of his band.

metallex78
 Rep: 192 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

metallex78 wrote:
buzzsaw wrote:

Or he could have...I don't know...written with the lead guitar player of his band.

I have to give you karma for that! 14 14 14

buzzsaw
 Rep: 423 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

buzzsaw wrote:
metallex78 wrote:
buzzsaw wrote:

Or he could have...I don't know...written with the lead guitar player of his band.

I have to give you karma for that! 14 14 14

I don't know why people want to make this so complicated.  If Axl had things he wanted to do musically, he could have easily gone off with Huge and made an Axl solo record the same way Slash did.  This is why there's a resentment towards Axl about how things went more than anything else (other than maybe taking the name).  The answer should have been so simple, yet Axl chose the hardest path for whatever reason and then (in my opinion) just gave up on it all.  So disappointing...

misterID
 Rep: 468 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

misterID wrote:
buzzsaw wrote:

Or he could have...I don't know...written with the lead guitar player of his band.

If it was that simple they would have. I'm pretty sure they tried it.

Axl didn't want to make a solo album, though. And it's obvious he couldn't just write with Slash, they tried it, it didn't work. Axl didn't like what Slash was writing and Slash didn't want to write what Axl wanted, I guess, like burying FTP.

It sounds to me Paul was nixed because Slash and Duff didn't like him. None of them have to like each other, and they didn't. During that time, all that would have needed to happen is for Paul to have jammed some ideas with Slash and I guess he and Duff didn't want to do that. Paul ended up writing with Mother Goose and Dizzy and made some pretty incredible stuff so I don't see how it was just: "this guy sucks, he can't play and he can't write" when he's shown that isn't true.

I think it's a shame we never got to see what IRS, TWAT and Prostitute had been had Slash contributed to them with Paul. It wouldn't have been the same as what we got (tbh, I love how they are now and wouldn't trade them), but I would liked to have heard it.

Me_Wise_Magic
 Rep: 70 

Re: Slash and Paul Tobias

Before I start I would like to thank ID for adding this topic for further analysis and discussion. It's good to go back to the past and see what could of been or and see why it didn't work out. As for Paul Tobias, I appreciate his contributes in the writing and recording process of Chinese Democracy and what went into it. I really liked his playing on Sympathy as well. It's one of my favorite covers and in my opinion it tops the original Stones version by a ton.

I would like to point out that even though I think Slash's substance problems were part of the main issue it was also him and the rest of the band losing two guitar players in not a period of time. Slash and the guys were disappointed with Izzy left and then they gelled so well with Gilby on tour. But Axl didn't like Gilby's contributions to the writing process and was let go. Which Slash and the others felt wasn't fair, they didn't have a say, and they were getting along so well with the guy. This is where Axl is the problem, he hires some guy who the rest of the band doesn't know. Only Axl knows him and they wanted Gilby back or someone who they could both jam and get along with. It seemed that Paul wasn't that guy for the band. He helped write great songs and contributed to a good amount of material after the original guys left; but that was the cost. Axl didn't discuss to the guys that he wanted Paul to be in the band. He shows up with the guy and there is confusion. Everyone has to have an equal say in the decision making process when a band is involved. Axl didn't do that. He wanted it his way and someone he knew that could work with him without any doubt or question.

As for Paul as a person/musician, it seems he helped Axl a great deal to get the initial album in a workable form and probably helped him just a friend to talk to. He played pretty well during the live performances of the Rio 2001 show from what I saw.  Would of liked to see more of the guy's playing and songwriting on later releases; but I doubt it will happen. Axl did say a couple years back that Paul is more comfortable in a studio setting and hasn't ruled out that he would be working with the band again.

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