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 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Working with Paul
Axl's Distractions
Luring Slash Back
Gearing up for Rehearsals
At the Rehearsals
New Direction
Neurotic goes on tour
Slash Leaves
Party's Over

If we do this right, we won't have to make another album for five years! (laughs) But it's not so much like five years to sit on our ass. It's like, five years to figure out what we're gonna say next, you know? (Axl on Use Your Illusion, Kerrang, 04/21/90)

H.R.: How would you react if you received a fax saying that Slash is fired?
Matt: It would be difficult.
(Matt, 09/23/96)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Working with Paul

After the new contract came into effect on 12/31/95, Axl set up shop in the Complex. Apparently, Slash's relationship with the band was at a standstill for some time since the new contract negotiations began in August '95.

"We were in the recording studio next to [Axl] in 1996. They had been renting the studio for over a year (at $3,000 a day) and had not even pressed "RECORD". Axl would drive himself to the studio every night in a pickup truck with a camper shell. [...] Nice guy though, in person very low key." (, 01/13/06)

"When the Sex Pistols were rehearsing for their 1996 reunion tour [set to begin on 06/21/96 in Finland], Pistols mainman John Lydon claimed to have heard 'some folky nonsense' emanating from the next room, only to discover it was actually Axl and co hard at work." (Kerrang, 08/21/99)

"Dizzy's got a monstrously cool keyboard set up. Macintoshes and pro-tools and sequencing. Drum beats and loops. They'd sample Matt's drums." (Chris Vrenna, Spin, 07/99)

"I had produced [techno songstress] Poe [album Hello, released in 1995] and there were drum loops in the songs, and Axl wanted that." (Matt, Spin, 07/99)

"They're using some modern technology. Axl's really excited about sampling. He loves the DJ Shadow record and Nine Inch Nails." (Moby, Icon Magazine, 10/97)

"There's a huge closet filled with DAT tapes, but there isn't one final song for the record," notes someone close to the band. "Everybody brings their sketches, but the person who is most concerned with refining things is Axl. But he wants other people to bring a lot to the table too - he loves the fact that Dizzy is down there every night working with him. Axl gets agitated when people don't show up and contribute." (Icon Magazine, 10/97)

"Axl then 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 co-wrote Back Off Bitch among other songs." (Slash, autobiography)

Axl appeared to have acquired a certifiable 'shadow' band to work on demos. Matt and Dizzy had contributed to the recording of The Real McCoys' sophomore album, and a favor was returned in the host of bassist Krys Baratto and drummer Sid Riggs.

"I was down in a rehearsal studio recording ideas with a couple other guys, a guy named Paul Huge who was in the band for a little while, and basically that's what I did five days a week.  Five or six days a week, I was just down there recording ideas. A lot of great songs came out of that. It's all still there. Something will happen with that stuff eventually. That was a very cool creative period and it was great working with Paul." (Dizzy, Rock Journal, 07/11/04)

"You played in a rather bizarre version of Guns n Roses in the mid-90s - Sid Riggs was on drums I believe, who else was involved? Paul Tobias?

KB: Well now, keep in mind Sid and I were recording on demos. Paul was involved. If you talk to him, tell him to call me too. He’s a great guy. As for the recordings, across the mixer were such people as Slash, Zakk, Matt, Duff, Dizzy, and a host of others. We were all a part of putting tracks down on the demos. So, it was never a "version" of the band. It was fun though... The only time I really talked to [Axl] was up at that particular Halloween party at his house. He was never there when I was doing any playing. He told me he liked the bass parts and asked if I was getting paid on time, gotta love that. " (Krys Baratto, Sp1at, 04/15/05)

"Paul and Axl go back to Indiana. He's kind of like the guy that's always there every night. They record all their jams and study them. I remember Paul spent like a month going through thousands of hours, just compiling. He was the guy who was making sure everything got done." (Chris Vrenna, Spin, 07/99)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Axl's distractions

"I went to Japan for two weeks [in early April] with Nile Rodgers and the original lineup of Chic. (Slash, autobiography)

Around the night Slash began his trip to the Orient, Axl went out to check out Dave Navarro and his post-Jane's Addiction band. Axl had championed Navarro to replace Izzy in GNR some five years earlier.

"[On 04/04/96, Axl] turned up backstage at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at the LA Forum." (Kerrang, 08/21/99)

"I went to see a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with Axl... I guess I never noticed that I’d undergone drastic physical changes." (Duff, autobiography)

"'Axl'd cut his hair short and grown a beard', recalled Chilis drummer Chad Smith. 'I didn't recognize him.'" (Kerrang, 08/21/99)

Duff's appearance had equally changed in the past few years, following his sobriety.

Axl, in a photo allegedly from 1996.

Both Slash and Axl also witnessed deaths by those near them at the time.

"[Following] the very last night of the [Chic] tour [04/18/96], [...] [band member Bernard Edwards] was found dead on his [hotel room] couch as a result of severe pneumonia." (Slash, autobiography)

"Axl was distracted by events tragic, potentially tragic and strange. His mother, Sharon Bailey, died in May 1996 at the age of fifty-one. Wildfires nipped at the edges of Axl's Latigo Canyon property the same year." (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00)

In the summer, Slash also worked on a film soundtrack during his GNR downtime.

"When Miramax asked me to do [...] the soundtrack to the Quentin Tarantino-produced film Curdled, [...] I immediately agreed. [...] I put hours into working out the music, which is instrumental, all acoustic, eclectic, and flamenco-influenced. I recorded the instrumental stuff with Jed Leiber, who is a great engineer I know from LA. I flew out to New York, where Nile Rodgers produced the electric versions of a few tracks. Then he and I flew out to Spain to have this major Spanish star, Martha Sanchez, do vocals." (Slash, Autobiography)

"How long did it take to record your part of 'Curdled'?
Slash: One night for the electric version and two nights for the acoustic version." (Slash chat, 10/16/96)

Curdled premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on 09/06/96, featuring some of Slash's work.

Matt and Duff were simultaneously in the studio with Neurotic Outsiders.

"Neurotic Outsiders had an album to make. We went into NRG Studios in North Hollywood, recorded the songs we’d been playing live for the past year, and by the end of the summer of 1996 we were preparing to release our self-titled debut album." (Duff, autobiography)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Luring Slash back

In around July, Axl approached Slash to return to the fold.

"Axl and I have been meeting recently and everythings progressing." (Slash chat, 07/30/96)

"One time [Axl] called me for a private meeting at his favorite Italian restaurant in Brentwood. [...] As far as I can remember, the meeting was basically an attempt to coerce me into accepting the arrangement he and his lawyers were pushing, but in a lot less heavy-handed manner.'  (Slash, Autobiography)

"Axl and I are having a very civil relationship as we speak." (Slash chat, 07/30/96)

"There were another couple of meetings like that in Doug Goldstein's office. Then, of course, there were endless meetings with the attorneys going over and over this thing. [...] [Axl] pushed this contract issue on us with so much pressure to the point that Duff and I just gave in." (Slash, Autobiography)

"I really have no idea what's goin on with the next GNR cd. I still haven't played with them yet." (Slash chat, 07/30/96)

"'I've been going to see Axl a little bit to try and get things rolling again,' says McKagan. 'Matt's gonna start coming down, and we'll see how it works out. It's always kind of like that, trying to start.' Note: an insider source says that Axl Rose has apparently done a few practices since this interview. (Hypno Magazine, 1996)

"Axl and I could've done this sooner, if we'd just made a few compromises. But I guess that when bands get so big indecision becomes everything." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96)

"The battles were during the breakup. Our people and my individual legal... basically forced me to go thru the motions...for over 2 years... Which led to the trial period." (Axl, MyGNR, 12/14/08)

"Right now we're in sort of a trial and error period. To me, the group is actually Duff and Matt and Axl. Where I stand is not etched in stone. I can't say it's all working out perfectly." (Slash, Total Guitar, 01/97)

"We signed some document that we'd agree to have put in escrow for a certain amount of time to see if we could work things out. But if we didn't agree to put the terms into effect by certain point, the contract would be null and void, so I signed and let it go."I was forced into a secondary role, while Axl was now offically at the helm if I officially let the escrow contract become effective." (Slash, Autobiography)

It appears Slash was put on a 'trial period' as a contracted employee in the new GNR partnership, and if he'd continue to work with the band beyond that time, the contract would turn into a long-term commitment.

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Gearing up for rehearsals

In August, the full band were scheduled to return to the studio to write and record new songs.

"Duff: We're in [the studio], writing new songs...
Stern: And Axl's into it?
Duff: Yeah, totally. And, actually, today I was going to have to fly back right after this. We were going to start recording for this Jackie Chan movie, the next one." (Duff, Howard Stern Show, 07/25/96)

"We'll see where it goes. I haven't rehearsed with them, or even been in the same room with them, since before the Snakepit record came out (in ´95)." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96)

Slash did share the stage on some songs with Neurotic Outsiders on 09/30/95 (The Joint, Las Vegas) and 10/20/95 (Irving Plaza, New York) before the conduction of the above interview. Slash mentions leaving for Hungary in a day or two, referring to his appearance at the Pepsi Island Festival on 08/14/96.

"I got this call from a promoter to do [Pepsi Island Festival], all expenses paid, in Budapest, headlining the jazz festival there. I agreed immediately; it was the kick in the ass I needed to go out and form a band. [...] After that, the calls rolled in for us to do more gigs, and before we knew it, we became a touring band [Slash's Blues Ball], doing whatever gigs we were offered as much for the money as for the beer." (Slash, Autobiography)

"[Slash] also enthuses about the new material Guns N' Roses have been writing. Apperently, the band members are currently trading tapes amongst themselves [before the actual recording sessions]. "It's amazing stuff," he says." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96)

"The majority of things are done on the phone, until we actually get in the studio. A lot of things over the phone and sending tapes back and forth. And we've done this for years." (Axl, Rockline, 01/03/94)

"Axl is rhythym guitar on his own songs for the time being." (Slash chat, 07/30/96)

"I can't really play guitar too well, I only play the top two strings." (Axl, Rolling Stone, 08/10/89)

"For the last couple of years, [Axl] started to go, 'Okay, I'm going to play guitar and actually learn what these notes are.' It's an innocent guitar, not unlike Izzy (Stradlin, ex-GN'R guitarist) was, but Axl's got a lot more musically than Izzy ever did.'" (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96)

"'That tripped me out when I first came back,' Slash says. 'I figured 'Okay, that's where his focus has been. I haven't really talked to him about it, to tell the truth. I guess he's just been sitting at home, figuring out chords or something. Maybe he's been taking lessons." (Slash, Total Guitar, 01/97)

"Right now, he's playing guitar and it's like he plays that instrument for ten years." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"Rose's sound is a lot more synthetic than anything I would get anywhere close to. That's about all I can say."  (Slash, Total Guitar, 01/97)

"As far as I know, Axl's intention is not to be the rhythm guitar player." (Slash, 10/18/96)

It is known that Circus of Power member Gary Sunshine has taught Axl to play guitar, although it's debatable at what point they began working together.

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

At the Rehearsals

"Doug had set us up at a studio called the Complex, which we later dubbed the Compound. [...]  Axl and I hadn't spoken directly at all since my return, either by phone or face-to-face: I got my working orders from Doug." (Slash, autobiography)

"I went back to Guns for like 12 rehearsals on the forthcoming Guns N' Roses record to re-establish the band and where it was headed," Slash said." (Slash, Addicted to Noise, 11/01/96)

"My memories of it are hazy at best because I did everything I could to forget. I do remember going to the studio and rehearsing with no direction." (Slash, autobiography)

"Guns N' Roses is back working together again, according to bassist Duff McKagan... "We've been in for two weeks as a full band with Slash and Axl (Rose) and me... Dizzy Reed is also back." (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96)

"Axl brought in a showroom full of guitars and effects. "It's a musical-instrument convention," one observer says." (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00)

"The staff was hospitable and robotic as a bunch of bellboys at a five-star hotel.

"So what do you want to play on?" I remember some guy asking me.
"What do you mean?"
"We have a wide selection of guitars here," the guy said. "Which would you like to use?"
"I brought my own," I said. "I'd like to play on that."
(Slash, autobiography)

"He has more knobs and keyboards and strings and wire and wood in there than you could possibly imagine could even be manufactured." (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00)

"The gear was set up nice... literally a room full of synths - as well as an arsenal of Pro Tools recording rigs that Axl had rented." (Slash, autobiography)

"Of Axl's guitar setup, [Dave] Abbruzzese recalls, "You could hunt buffalo with his rig. It had a lot of lights, a lot of blinking lights, a lot of things that you stepped on. It sounded like a freight train that was somehow playable." (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00)

"Rose's sound is a lot more synthetic than anything I would get anywhere close to. That's about all I can say."  (Slash, Total Guitar, 01/97)

"We'd show up at different times every evening, but by 8PM generally everybody in the band would be there... I got down there that first night around 8PM, ...and found my tech, Adam Day; Duff's tech, McBob; Duff, Dizzy Reed and Matt and Paul Huge. Axl was nowhere in sight...

We'd spend each night in the studio maybe writing music or jamming... most nights we'd sit around frustrated, waiting to see if Axl would show - which he did, usually... around 1 or 2AM; ...after most of us had left for the night... Generally I'd get home about 3AM. (Slash, autobiography)

"We go from midnight to 5 in the morning." (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96)

"After a few days, I chose to spend my evenings at the strip bar around the corner, with orders for the engineers to call me if Axl decided to show up." (Slash, Autobiography)

"With Guns, there's no problems with material. The problem has always been getting us in the same room. So now that we're in there, it's rockin'." (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96)

"And when [Axl] did show up at rehearsal, he never sang." (Slash, autobiography)

"Axl is rhythm guitar on his own songs for the time being." (Slash chat, 07/30/96)

"We were supposed to jam and jam until he said, "I like this", or, "I like that." ...We'd play for an hour or more and then finally get bored and go home, leaving him in the studio." (Slash, autobiography)

"[Axl's guitar playing] tripped me out when I first came back,' Slash says. 'I figured 'Okay, that's where his focus has been. I haven't really talked to him about it, to tell the truth. I guess he's just been sitting at home, figuring out chords or something. Maybe he's been taking lessons." (Slash, Total Guitar, 01/97)

"I can't really play guitar too well, I only play the top two strings." (Axl, Rolling Stone, 08/10/89)

"For the last couple of years, [Axl] started to go, 'Okay, I'm going to play guitar and actually learn what these notes are.' It's an innocent guitar, not unlike Izzy (Stradlin, ex-GN'R guitarist) was, but Axl's got a lot more musically than Izzy ever did.'" (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96)

"Right now, he's playing guitar and it's like he plays that instrument for ten years." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"As far as I know, Axl's intention is not to be the rhythm guitar player." (Slash, 10/18/96)

"Sorum reports in the last week that Slash has been rehearsing with GN'R bassist Duff McKagan (who plays guitar in Neurotic Outsiders), Rose, Reed and "an anonymous guitar player" who may or may not be Clarke's replacement, and Sorum." (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96)

"[Gilby's replacement is an] unknown. But I can't tell you his name because I don't know if he will tour with us." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"It's fun and the energy is there," [Duff] said only hours before joining Axl Rose, Slash, Matt Sorum and rhythm guitarist Paul Huge at a GN'R rehearsal and writing session." (Duff, Metal Edge, 11/96)

"Now whether or not Paul was going to be officially on the album or on the tour that really wasn't an actual consideration at the time. It was in the air as a possibility." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

'It sounds like the band again. Everybody's in good shape and Duff's looking really good and healthy. It was good that we took the time off, because at the end of the tour Duff was one foot in the grave. I mean it was like we were all drugged out. We just all stepped back out of the whole rock and roll debauchery for a while and just sort of mellowed.'" (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

New Direction

"The songs are really good, and I have a good vibe about it. I wouldn't want to go out and do a bad Guns N' Roses record." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96)

"We have been doing mostly Axl's material." (Slash chat, 10/16/96)

"Even if we don't sell any copy of the next album, I will be very proud of what we did. But I don't worry about it, I know that what we are doing right now is great. [...] We are working on rock songs that last only 4 minutes (laughs). We already did 7 songs and we will write 7 others. [...] It will be a single album with 10 or 12 songs." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"There will be a new Guns N' Roses 12 song minimum recording with three original "B" sides." (Axl, MTV fax, 10/30/96)

"The record will be all up-tempo rock songs ("No ballads," McKagan said firmly) and it will be just 12 songs, with a release planned for next spring." (Duff, Addicted to Noise, 08/30/96)

"So far, Slash and McKagan say the band has worked up about 16 songs, and the bassist reports that: 'the material is really strong...This record is going to fuckin' rock. There's nothing like the chemistry of Guns when we're in the same room.'" (Total Guitar, 01/97)

"It's gonna be an angry record, but that's what we were built on." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96)

"This is not as sophisticated as Illusion, but not as wild as Appetite. It's in the middle. Maybe more groovy. Musically, we are all better. I never heard Duff play like that."  (Matt, 09/23/96)

"I would like it to be hard-edged like Appetite, but at this moment in time I have no idea what direction it's going in." (Slash chat, 10/16/96)

"The first batch of material I heard definitely had an industrial thing about it, but the direction could well have taken another swing since then. Axl could go anywhere with this album." (Slash, Kerrang, 12/00)

"I originally wanted to make a traditional record or try to get back to an "Appetite [For Destruction]" thing or something, because that would have been a lot easier for me to do. I was involved in a lot of lawsuits for Guns N' Roses and in my own personal life, so I didn't have a lot of time to try and develop a new style or re-invent myself, so I was hoping to write a traditional thing, but I was not really allowed to do that." (Axl, MTV interview, 11/08/99)

"So, I opted for what I thought would or should've made the band and especially Slash very happy. Basically I was interested in making a Slash record with some contributions from everybody else." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

"Axl treated the situation as if he and I were the two most important factors in the whole thing. He tried to convince me it was all good, that it was something he and I were doing as partners. He was trying to draw me into his world, to show me his version of things in his way, which is a very nice way, but I just didn't go for it." (Slash, Autobiography)

"3 years ago, I had a real role to play. Now it's between Axl and Slash. It's working well, so it's cool." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"The band managed to do a little bit of jamming and come up with some things. A couple of the ideas I had come up with Axl apparently liked and they were recorded onto Pro Tools and stored for him to work on later." (Slash, autobiography)

"I think that some of the riffs that were coming out of [Slash] were the meanest, most contemporary, bluesiest, rocking thing since Aerosmith's Rocks. The 2000 version of Aerosmith Rocks or the 1996 Aerosmith Rocks by the time we would have put it out." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

"Slash played the key bits of Fall to Pieces, but once I showed some interest that was over." (Axl, MyGNR, 12/14/08)

"I feel that some of the recordings we did in that limited amount of time had some of the best playing that Slash had done at least since Illusions. I was there. I know what I heard and it was pretty exciting." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Neurotic goes on tour

On 09/10/96, Maverick Records released the self-titled album by Neurotic Outsiders. Sex Pistols' Filthy Lucre reunion tour was put on one-month hiatus for September, so that Steve Jones would be able to do a brief promotional tour with Neurotic.

"Even though we had told all the labels pursuing us that we weren’t willing to mount a full-scale tour, we did line up a string of gigs in September to promote the record. I was going back out on the road [for the first time since the Believe in Me tour wrapped in early '94]." (Duff, autobiography)

"The plan," announces Slash, "is for Duff (McKagan, bass) and Matt (Sorum, drums) to take off their band, Neurotic Outsiders, for a while [to a tour that would span from 09/05/96 to 09/28/96], leaving me and Axl to write stuff. If that spark gets rolling, then great. If it doesn't and we get into a fight, I'll just carry on playing gigs and jamming - with Snakepit or whatever. It's not complicated. At least, I don't see it that way." (Slash, Kerrang, 09/21/96)

"H.R.: Guns N' Roses is supposed to be in rehearsal and you're in Paris [NO played there on 09/23/96]. Not really convenient...
Matt: Axl is real cool with the Neurotic, he loves the album and he doesn't say it to be polite." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"Rather than having the Neurotic Outsiders spell death for that band, apparently Sorum and McKagan are now set to return to the Gunners' fold hoping to complete a new disc by years end." (Hit Parader, October 1996)

"H.R.: Duff told us that the deadline is for Spring 97...
Matt: Absolutely! We want to tour next summer. [...] And now, we work together and an album will be released in 97." (Matt, 09/23/96)

"We're definitely getting geared up to do another record," says Sorum, who brings his all-star side band, Neurotic Outsiders, to the Warehouse on Sunday. "We're already starting to make tour plans. We've got a possible tour starting in South America in January and then we're going to stop and finish the record and probably tour next summer." (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96)

"Steve Downs: Steve, any chance of the tour going beyond the dates you're doing in September?
[...] Steve: Yeah, maybe December or January." (Steve Jones, Rockline, 09/09/96)

The Sex Pistols tour ran until 12/07/96, while GNR was planned to tour South America in January '97 (much in the vein of their Rock in Rio II apperance in January 1991), taking a brief time-out from the album work. Possible Neurotic shows would've therefore had to be balanced in between the GNR studiotime / tour and Steve Jones' obligations. His response gives the impression of an either/or situation, depending what'd happen with the 'priority' bands.

"Me and Duff are flying back to LA 'cause we're rehearsing with GN'R every night. [...] And now that we got this band together, GN'R decides: "Ok, we're gonna do a record". So, hopefully, you know, we're gonna come out with a GN'R record soon as well. It's kinda thrown a little bit of a quality problem in the Neurotic Outsiders because, you know, we got a lot going on, me and Duff. And... [...] [Neurotic Outsiders] is single most responsible for putting GN'R and the Pistols back together, maybe." (Matt, Rockline, 09/09/96)

"I think Neurotic Outsiders is single-handedly responsible for Guns N' Roses being reunited," says Sorum. "It seems like every time something good starts happening, I get a phone call from Axl, `We're going to start rehearsing tomorrow.' But seriously, when Axl heard that me and Duff had gone out and gotten this multi-million-dollar record deal and we're going to go out on the road, he started getting a little nervous." (Matt, Toronto Sun, 09/04/96)

"McKagan understands the skepticism that surrounds the word that Guns N' Roses are finally about to complete a new album. He even shares some of that attitude. 'I hope it happens, and I think it will,' he said. 'But I've gotten my hopes up before only to see everything kind of crash in around me. But I honestly believe that everyone wants to make a new Guns N' Roses album now, and I think that everyone knows that if we don't do it now we may not get the chance.'" (Hit Parader, October 1996)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Slash leaves

"Slash came back for some writing down at the studio, totally negative and belligerent, quits the fucking band and then publicly spins it into somehow he got pushed out." (Del James, Mudkiss, 2008)

"One of the few times I actually spoke with Axl about how it was going, it was pretty clear that we were coming from very different places. I was trying to get through to him once again about how working with Huge was a chore and a creative dead end in my opinion.

"You don't have to be friends to make a record," Axl said.
"Maybe not," I said, "but you do need to have some kind of mutual respect, you know."

We might as well have been talking about the two of us." (Slash, autobiography)

"The Stones were in town during this period; they were staying at the Sunset Marquis and recording at Don Wass' house, working on Bridges to Babylon." (Slash, autobiography)

"Mick Jagger and Keith Richards began devising new numbers together in the summer of 1996 with demos to follow at the end of the year." (Wikipedia)

"One particular evening, after they were done for the day, I went [...] to dinner at Chasen's [with Keith Richards.] [...] I'd been at the studio rehearsing all day, so when the conversation swung around to my band, I let it all out. Keith took it all in, and then looked me deep in the eye. 'Listen,' he said. 'There's one thing you never do - you never leave.' [...] Keith inspired me; I felt like I had to try harder. The next day I tried to refocus my outlook and I showed up at The Complex ready to make it work at all costs. [...] Axl never showed up to rehearse and the attorneys' negotiation of our 'employment contracts' had taken a really insulting turn." (Slash, autobiography)

"The original intentions between Paul and myself were that Paul was going to help me for as long as it took to get this thing together in whatever capacity that he could help me in. So when he first was brought into this, he was brought in as a writer to work with Slash." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

"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." (Duff, Popular 1, 07/00)

"I tried to stick with it, but I wasn't alone in feeling like we were being force-fed some guy with no innate qualities who didn't deserve and couldn't handle the gig. But it was hopeless, we couldn't talk Axl out of it at all. I did what I could: I tried several times to have a one-on-one with Huge to see if I was missing some deeper spark in his character that Axl had seen..." (Slash, autobiography)

"Paul was one of the best people we knew who was both available and capable of complimenting Slash's style. You could bring in a better guitar player than Paul. You could bring in a monster. [...] Paul was a friend trying to help us and he had a huge respect for Slash." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

"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. In a word, his vibe was "I'm great, fuck you!" And my response was "Yeah? Whatever!" (Slash, autobiography)

"Paul was only interested in complimenting Slash, laying down a foundation of a riff or something. That would accent or encourage Slash's lead playing." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

"By September 1996, Slash was so miserable that he swore, 'I'm going to confront it. Either Paul goes, or...' (Q Magazine, 05/01)

On 09/16/96, Slash shared the stage with Neurotic Outsiders in Phoenix, Arizona. Three days prior, Duff and Matt had returned to the road after a few days of in-between jamming with GNR. Slash's appearance might've marked the end of the Axl/Slash/Paul Huge/Duff/Matt/Dizzy -lineup.

"Right now, Axl and I are deliberating over the future of our relationship. [...] I have only been back in the band for three weeks and my relationship with Axl right now is sort of at a stand still." (Slash chat, 10/16/96)

"I called our management office, BFD, and told Doug that I wouldn't be coming back. [...] Later that night, I called Duff, Matt, and Adam Day and let them know." (Slash, autobiography)

"I worked with Slash quite a few months before [my time with Axl in '98] for a few days (when he was still in the band, he mentioned he was quitting, I saw the announcement on MTV two weeks later)." (Dave Dominguez, 2004)

"The reality was that I was basically going to do most of Slash's songs in particular, and work on those with him, but basically, anytime we got anything that would be halfway near something that was gonna be either successful because it completely kicked ass or was just strong in any way, then it was backed away from, and I believe that this has a lot to do with trying to keep the material down." (Axl, WRIF, 11/21/02)

"Had Slash stepped up and written what we captured glimpses of, it would have created an environment that was beyond Slash's ability to control. He did not want to do that or put himself through the rigors of taking the band to that level even if he was capable of writing it. Was he capable of doing it? Absolutely 100%. [...] Slash and his ex-wife Renee and his security guy and closest confidant at the time, Ronnie Stalnacker, could not live with that." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

"Axl contacted those closest to me, telling them I should change my mind. He called my dad, my security guard, my wife, Renee, and told each of them that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. He said that I was pissing away so much money because of my decision." (Slash, autobiography)

"Last time I talked to [Axl] was on the phone. I think he was going to sue me at the time." (Slash,, 10/00)

"I think the last words, basically, it was just, 'I'm done'... And it wasn’t even me necessarily leaving the band, it was not continuing on with the new band that Axl put together that he was now at the helm of, which was the new Guns N’ Roses. I was given a contract to basically join his new band, and it took about 24 hours before I decided, 'I think this is the end of the line.'" (Slash, Piers Morgan Tonight, 05/24/12)

On 10/30/96, Axl sent a fax to MTV, announcing that there will be a new GNR studio album, yet Slash is no longer in the band.

"Duff accepted my decision without any question, and Matt wasn't surprised either." (Slash, autobiography)

"It barely registered with me - I had long since come to grips with the fact that [Slash] was done. And anyway, it wasn’t as if Guns was active. He left behind an empty studio being paid for by an entity that itself barely existed." (Duff, Autobiography)

And as for the day after...

"Axl throws a costume party every Halloween for friends and their families. Enormous pumpkins ring the swimming pool, and spider webs hang in the trees. Specially built mazes and forts rattle with squealing children. Almost as excited as a child, Axl himself has been known to dash around and toy with every attraction. One past guest gets the impression that Axl is trying to re-create his own childhood, albeit one better than his actually was. The Halloween scene in the past few years hasn't been what it once was. 'His parties have been getting smaller and smaller,' recalls one recent guest. 'The ever-shrinking universe.'" (Rolling Stone, 05/11/00)

 Rep: 150 

Re: 1996: Chinese Whispers

sic. wrote:

Party's over

The plans for the new album were altered, and a decision was made to start again from a different angle.

"I am [in GNR] & everything is going to be cool as far as that is concerned. [...] Guns is doing a record so of course Matt & I will be in the studio for at least 3-4 weeks in February. [...] We have song titles, but no album title. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag. [...] We progress naturally. As far as the rumor that one person wants us to change, that's just not true." (Duff chat, 12/17/96)

"[The 1996 tracks are] not something I would want to approach (without Slash), because, at the time, there was only one person that I knew who could do certain riffs that way. [...] That's the reason why that material got scrapped." (Axl, press release, 08/14/02)

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