Special thanks to Mikey at mikeladano.com for sending me a copy of Live At The Ritz! (Fm Radio broadcast) All he asked for in return was to read my spin on it…..also folks this is my 100th post! Crazy that just this past August I started this blog with a push from Aaron,Mike and Rich and for everyone else who has been supportive at reading my stories,posting comments,following me on WordPress and Facebook ..for that…
Here it goes…
Some bands would self proclaim themselves as the Most Dangerous Band in the world,Ummm, when I would read stuff like that in magazines back in the day the first word I would think of was Poser! I mean c’mon man no one but no one is dangerous except for well ….
I would consider from the 70s Aerosmith as a dangerous band as you did not know what the hell was gonna gonna happen at a Aero show! Like would Steve Tyler pass out halfway thru the show,tumble off the stage or would Joe Perry impale at a moments notice his stratocaster into his Marshall stack! And fuck right off out of the building they were playing in!? Who knows but at least it may or may not happen and they walked that fine line of not knowing themselves! But I was too young to catch Aerosmith at there drug fuelled over the top off the rails heyday but one band that a lot of us do remember from our era is Guns N Roses circa 1988!
Live At The Ritz is one of the best unofficial live releases ever! Recorded Feb 2 1988. This is early into Guns rise to the top of the World Charts later in the 80s! This is Gunners playing at a 1500 seater on the back of one record with the original dudes …Axl/Slash/Duff/Izzy and Steve before fame turned them into a self destructing corporate rock act by like say 1993 or maybe 1992 when Guns got a brass section a extra keyboardist and they lost that street rock cred in the matter of say a few years by 1992 when they went all Vegas like with there band! Even more goofy was all these other incarnations of Guns touring around that Axl has put together! Too bad I mean back about 12 years ago I had a hard time watching bootleg vids of Guns N Roses of a guy with a upside down KFC chicken bucket on his fuckin head(Buckethead was his name,great guitar player but…)
Anyways this Live At The Ritz was broadcast on Muchmusic on there Big Ticket concert broadcast and Yep my Vcr was a rolling and man I watched this thing over an over and Geezus Much had to edit this thing to the nines so when Axl dropped the F Bomb! Mr Muchmusic Sensor guy would push the Beep Button….beep,beep,beep It’s so Beep Easy,Beep,beep and more beep like Beep right off!
I could never understand why Gunners never released this? Perhaps MTV owned the original rights? Who knows? But whatever 26 years later and Mr Ladano has Hooked me up!
Drop your change and let’s climb aboard the Night Train….
ITS SO EASY- oh yeah man,you hear the crowd and now you hear Duffs bass and Axl and everyone else joins and Guns is wired, fried,playing and swerving all over the musical map and it’s only the first song! Axl gives Er with his deep voice and goes all crazy at the end! It does not get I repeat does not get better than this! This is live folks,Duffs bass cuts out towards the end of Its So Easy and its just Slash/Izzy and Steve trying to keep the train from derailing……
MR. BROWNSTONE-Steve lays down the drums and this dude could play before he was punted from the band less than two years later! Slash and Izzy are the guitar duo in action here and they are locked and literally loaded! Love the performance on this album. Best version I have ever heard….that Ol man he’s a really Motherfucker gonna kick him on down the line! Nuff said!
OUT TA GET ME- Axl tells us all don’t take bull dung from anyone cuz everyone is Outta To Get Me! This is a straight ahead rocker! You have all heard it. Gunners have entered the saloon,have drank everything in site and have taken they’re party onto there bus! Thats Out Ta Get Me…..to Axl everyone is Out Ta get him and guess what,I’m not! Hahahaha…..
SWEET CHILD OF MINE- later by the summer of 1988 this song was everywhere! I mean this song launched em worldwide. I still remember being in Sears in the summer of 88 and as I walked by there TV display the Sweet Child vid was on so well I cranked the display TV as high as it would go and walked away! Gunners had crossed over into Sears…tell Axl that he would have punched me in the throat! This song as we all know has one of the greatest guitar solos of all time! Slash man what can Ya say! The dude smacked out on whatever vice it was still pulls it off man it’s just sick! Great version !
MY MICHELLE- love this tune on here! Slash and Izzy start off with some moody strumming and than bam the volume goes up 10 fold and here’s the drums and cowbell,love Duffs chill out backing vocals and Axl( he’s wired to say the least on the video ) proclaiming that your daddy works in porno,now that mommies not around….hahahaha….think about this song for a sec. Here you have Guns In 1988 saying My Michelle is strung out,there’s no way out,doing coke for free,party til your connection calls basically the dregs of living on the seedier side of the tracks and than you have Poison in 1988 singing cheeseball anthems like Nuthin But A Good Time …end of story!
KNOCKIN ON HEAVENS DOOR-Axl tells the crowd that there pal Todd Crew died after dancing to close to Mr Brownstone so they dedicate this Bob Dylan cover and this live version is there best one as well I found the one on Use Your Illusions to slick and polished…like this song how it’s done here!
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE-U know where u are?? Yeah it’s the Jungle and were all gonna die! Classic song this is Guns blazing forward and kicking everyone’s ass in site ! Dig the part where it breaks down (Axl chirps …And when your high..)and builds back up and oh yeah that other part where Steve nails the cowbell super quick and Slash and Izzy solo out……it’s all here folks wound tighter than a top!
NIGHTTRAIN- more cowbell please and Steve Adler smashes the drums. This song is a corker of a track! Bottoms up get aboard the NIGHTTRAIN. Great song Slash just about takes it off the rails solo wise but pulls it in last minute! Considering how kamikazed out these guys were at the time what is more impressive is how much we still talk about em today!
PARADISE CITY- shit this tune was another huge single….this version at the Ritz Is just crazy nuts good! Watch the vid posted! The last minute forty of the vid is classic!! Slash is rolling around on stage. Axl hops off the stage,people mob him,Axl apears back on stage, does a quick jewelry check of himself and continues his sleazy snakey slithering moves while head bobbing! See that’s what I’m talkin about ! That’s Rock!
MAMA KIN- Aerosmith is covered by Guns! This tune the way Guns play it could’ve been like they wrote it! Later on that year (1988) Guns opened for Aero! Wonder what Axl and crew were doing when Tyler and his posse would launch into Angel?! Hahaha….yeah I know…..where’s My Michelle?!
ROCKET QUEEN- the ultimate Gunners track it’s all hear. 7 minutes of up and downs,slips and sides,tempo changes,Axl blowing out his voice and on this track Axl just disappearing for a verse! You gonna tell him to smarten up? Yeah that’s what I thought so ! Man oh man I wish I could have been at this show!
IN CONCLUSION- this is LIVE in the truest sense of the word! It does not get any better than this! At the time of this recording hard rock bands were putting out polished pieces of recorded work! Sure some of it was pretty good but man some was bad but Guns comes along kicks us all in the heads with there street level sound and bad ass imagery! Enjoy this recording and these songs posted. I’m serious when I tell ya’s that this is the real deal!