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 Rep: 200 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

apex-twin wrote:

There's a nice 2006 artice out there, which got a bit buried in the tour craze. The personal essay format failed to do it too many favors either. It was all about the author visiting Lafayette, zeroing in on an old police report, attending a show and reflecting on how Axl is, in his opinion, dangerously crazy. But there was good stuff in between, which deserves more attention.

"When I asked Jeff Strange, a morning-rock deejay in Lafayette, how he thought about this part of the world - for instance, did he think of it as the South? after all, it's a Klan hot spot (which I am inclined to read as a somewhat desperate affectation); or did he think of it as the Midwest or what - you know what he told me? He goes, "Some people here would call it 'the region.'"

The city cops found and processed the negatives of some heretofore unknown mug shots for me, from '80 and '82, the latter of which (the one where he's shirtless) is an anonymous American masterpiece.

Then the ladies in the records department rummaged some and came back with this report, which I've never seen mentioned in any of the bios or online or anything. It's written by an officer signing himself "1-4."

The Sheidler Incident

Lafayette, 1980.

Dana Gregory was Axl's oldest friend. Gregory played bass in a local band called Axl, his friend was never a member. "I call him Ax."

A little kid named Scott Sheidler was riding his bike in front Dana Gregory's house. He made skid marks on the sidewalk.

Dana Gregory wrote:

"My dad was in construction... Mostly residential concrete... We poured that sidewalk. He'd get so pissed if he saw it was scuffed up... He'd think we done it and beat our ass. So, I saw [little Scott Sheidler's handiwork], and I said, 'No, I don't think that's gonna do.'"

Dana Gregory ran out, picked Scott up under the armpits, kicked over his bike, and ordered the boy to get on his hands and knees and scrub the skidmarks off the sidewalk. The kid went squealing to his old man, Tom Sheidler.

Tom Sheidler went to Gregory and asked if it was true, what Scotty had said. Dana Gregory said, "Yes, and I'm going to beat the fuck out of you." The mom, Marleen, ran up to the scene and began to shout. Around the same time, Bill Bailey, 18, appeared, red, green, slender, and fair.

With a splint.

"I can tell you how he got the splint," Gregory said. "It was from holding on to an M-80 too long. We thought they were pretty harmless, but I guess they weren't, 'cause it 'bout blew his fucking hand off."


M. Sheidler stated that Bailey was also arguing with Sheidler. Ax stated he'd told her "to keep her fucking brats at home".

M. Sheidler stated that she went up to Bailey and pointed her finger. Ax stated "MARLEEN SHEIDLER struck him in the face."

Little CHRIS GREGORY, 15... probably spared Axl a battery charge by corroborating the assertion that M. SHEIDLER had struck first.

Ax "struck M. SHEIDLER in the FACE with his LEFT HAND, the hand without the splint. (Dana's brother, Chris, corrobrates)"

M. Sheidler stated that Ax "struck her on the arm and neck with the splint (her son, Scott, corrobrates)".

The story ends with a strangely affecting suddenness: "BAILEY stated SHEIDLER then jumped at him and fell on his face, he then left and went home..."

What everybody agrees on is that Ax cussed and hit her. Big surprise he'd - eleven years later - jump into a crowd in St. Louis. Ax was pretty fearless when aggravated.

The Moonman

"So, what is there of Lafayette in his music, do you think?"

"The anger, man. I'd say he got that here."

"His condo had these giant mirrors going all around it. And every now and then, he'd take that spaceman statue they give you when you win an award on MTV and smash up the mirrors with it. Well, he slept till four o'clock in the afternoon every day. Somebody had to let the guy in when he came to fix the mirrors. Shit like that."

The rock star life was not all it was cracked up to be. Imagine Ax haunting his Malibu house at night, wielding the Moonman gotten from the WTTJ video and wrecking giant mirrors with it.


"Haven't talked to him since 1992. We had sort of a falling-out... It might have been over a woman."

Or Doug Goldstein, who was - at the time - busy becoming Axl's main handler. He certainly inherited Gregory's job.

Q Magazine wrote:

Described by Izzy Stradlin as "the guy who got to go over to Axl's at six in the morning when his piano was hanging out the window of his house. Axl smashed his $50,000 grand piano out the fuckin' picture window of his new house. Dougie took care of all that."

Dana Gregory may have turned Doug Goldstein, but the anger remained. Gregory was following Izzy on the way out. The Lafayette connection was fading. The Lebeis clan moved in.

To this end, Paul Huge is a vital piece in the puzzle. For Ax, the jungle was always called Lafayette.

We were quiet for a minute, and then Gregory leaned to the side and pulled out his wallet. He opened it and withdrew a folded piece of white notepaper. He placed it into my hand, still folded.

"Put that in your story," he said. "He'll know what it means."

But everything we've ever known's here. I never wanted it to die.

The Devil Woman

Axl has said, "I sing in five or six different voices that are all part of me. It's not contrived." I agree. One of them is an unexpectedly competent baritone. The most important of the voices, though, is Devil Woman. Devil Woman comes from a deeper part of Axl than do any of the other voices. Often she will not enter until nearer the end of a song.

[In SCOM,] around 5:04, she arrives. The song has veered minor-key by then, the clouds have begun to gather, and I never hear that awesome, intelligent solo that I don't imagine Axl's gone off somewhere at the start of it, to be by himself while his body undergoes certain changes.

And what does she say, this Devil Woman? What does she always say, for that matter? "Sweet Child," "Paradise City," "November Rain," "Patience," they all come down to codas - Axl was a poet of the dark, unresolved coda - and to what do these codas themselves come down?

Everybody needs somebody. Don't you think that you need someone?
I need you. Oh, I need you.
Where do we go? Where do we go now? Where do we go?
I wanna go. Oh, won't you please take me home?

To wit, let's check out some CD codas.

There was a time, I would do anything for you.
What I thought was beautiful is only memories.

I don't believe there's a reason. I don't believe it.
I know the reasons, you tear me apart.

I can't find my way back, my way anymore.
All that amounts to is love that you fed by perversion and pain.

Half the songs end with a painful emotional twixt; hurt and stuck.

Also, the Devil Woman has her highlight in the middle of Better.

I never wanted you to be so full of anger (anger)
I never wanted you to be somebody else
I never wanted you to be someone afraid to know themselves
I only wanted you to see things for yourself

He might as well hold the Moonman on it.

They brought out a piano so that he could do "November Rain," and the way they positioned the piano, he was facing me directly. Like we were sitting across a table from each other. This is as close as I ever got to him and as close as I ever wanted to get, truth be told.

And what I noticed at this almost nonexistent remove was the peace in his features as he tinkled out the intro. Absolute peace. A warm slackness to the facial muscles way beyond what Botox can do, though I'm not saying it didn't contribute.

His face was for now beyond the reach of whatever it is that makes him crazy.

Lafayette certainly taught Ax another Scheidler incident could be just around the corner. He was already flying into offensive mode back then, if he saw his personal space violated. Still, that hair trigger is more of an effect.

The anger itself is personified in the lyrics and the delivery of the Devil Woman. Early on, there was the desire to share a life with someone, somewhere. The hermit years were all about contemplating on things that had caused much pain.

Better is a late song on the CD spectrum. That midway verse may include some of the most introspective lines Ax has ever written. The Devil Woman says the anger was an accident; she only wanted him to become aware of what was going on with him.

When people say Ax in his prime ran around and screamed like a man possessed, they may be on to something.

 Rep: 473 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

misterID wrote:

Axl is such an underrated songwriter. That was the best part of that whole thing. I never even noticed the "coda."

 Rep: 484 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

Neemo wrote:

Interesting.. .always cool to read about people's personal experiences with Axl before fame

 Rep: 36 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

zombux wrote:

so this again confirms the story about AXL band already existing in Lafayette, cool! smile

 Rep: 19 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

dalethirsty wrote:

dope article

what are axl's other five voices?

deep it's so easy voice
down on the farm/silkworms
if the world/high falsetto
mickey with slight rasp?

 Rep: 286 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

Aussie wrote:

Just seen this. Actually a good article. That coda thing and the Devil Woman voice is interesting.

 Rep: 129 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

mitchejw wrote:
dalethirsty wrote:

dope article

what are axl's other five voices?

deep it's so easy voice
down on the farm/silkworms
if the world/high falsetto
mickey with slight rasp?

mickey v mickey w/ rasp...


16 16 16

I always thought that was just age.....maybe you intentionally meant that as a joke

 Rep: 205 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

PaSnow wrote:

Yeah, The Devil Woman part is real cool.

 Rep: 90 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

This is an interesting read - not directly related to Axl, but insightful all the same: … eir-voices

 Rep: 19 

Re: The Devil Woman of Lafayette

dalethirsty wrote:

not sure which voice this is, but axl sounds like a fuckin' monster on chorus of better at the apollo theatre

a man capable of singing like that needs to be locked in a fucking studio until he's recorded 3 full albums worth of vocals

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