Must have been back in the spring of 1988. As per our weekly rock protocol. Myself and Tbone would hit all the local record stores and check out new releases that had come out.
Our last stop was our local shopping mall Intercity which basically had two record stores that sold the most expensive CD’s/Cassettes in town and that was Music City and A&A Records. Those were our last two stops as we never expected much at these two stores. Included in the Mall were the two huge chains across Canada at the time Zellers and Sears with each store at opposite ends of the mall. Very seldom would we venture into these stores music sections as they were to put it bluntly “Shitty”.
Now having said that Tbone if you recall scored a bunch of Van Halen cassettes at Sears and peeled off the cheapie cassette tape prices that were on the crap tapes and put them on the Halen tapes.For your reading pleasure here posted below is the link!
Anyways. This one trip we find ourselves in Zellers sifting through there ridiculous priced Cassette and CD’s. As I was browsing through the cassette tapes one tape jumped out at me.
Project Driver a band that I had read about in Guitar World that featured hot-shot guitarist Tony MacAlpine. Singer Rob Rock and the dynamic rhythm section of Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge.
I called Tbone over told him this is a “Score” and we needed to get these as I had not seen Project Driver anywhere in Thunder Bay and here are two copies in Zellers of all friggin places! Yup we paid through the nostrils for this tape. I think at least $12.98 or maybe a buck or two more. (Too make a long story short we were hosed on Project Driver as it was a ton of shredding and the production sounded sterile. I can’t even remember the songs or anything. I take full responsibility for this purchase and I dragged Tbone down with me!)
So as were just about to leave I noticed off in the far corner of the Zeller’s a Jukebox! Whut? Yep you got a jukebox filled with 45 rpm single records. Singles by George Micheal/INXS/Steve Winwood/Belinda Carlisle and others. Must have been a at least 100 45’s in their….
Now Jukebox’s in the late 80s well in Tbay anyways were few and far between. But here we are and Zellers has one in there crapola music section so as I scour over what 45’s there are well looky looky…..
Sitting amidst all the 80s commercial slop is Guns N Roses with their current single Sweet Child Of Mine. Better yet on the flip side was a live version of It’s So Easy.
The first thought that pops into my brain is JACKPOT! I quickly dug into my pocket for change and dumped it into the Jukebox and selected It’s So Easy.
I was hoping for one thing and that was volume. Couldn’t find it anywhere on the outside of the jukebox so I was hoping we could hear it….
We stood around and you could hear something ….
First some crowd noise and then well here comes Duff McKagan with that classic opening bass lick and were off to the races folks! It’s loud and you could hear it well within 100 feet or so.
We howled as we couldn’t wait til Axl Rose comes off the rails at the end of the song with a tirade of F Bombs. Sure enough as Axl rained down a bunch of F-Bombs we howled with delight as it was loud and here we are in crappy music section in a crappy store!
Hey Mr Zellers! That day back in 1988 we gave your store some street cred!
About a week or two later me and Tbone returned to the scene of the crime and the Jukebox was still there! ‘Shall I cue up Gunners again Tbone?”
Tbone nodded “Affirmative!”
Only problem was someone yanked the Gunners 45 from the Jukebox! Gone…Just like that….. It’s So Easy…
So what am I gonna say about a album that has sold 28 Million copies worldwide? Lots….well kinda! Just my Simple Simon two cents worth…
There’s no need for me to go into the background history of Gunners as well all know the deal but a while back some one asked me to jot down some words on this classic piece of Vinyl Slab! My apopologies to the person who requested as I forgot who it was who asked! My Bad!
Appetite I purchased in late 1987 as i was so heavily Into Drugs! Hahahaha….kidding i was heavily into The Cults Electric album. A bonafide all time classic here at Arena Rock(‘YaYa’ Sez Ian Astbury) and it was Gunners who were the opening act for the Cult on there 1987 Canadian Tour. So I figured If The Cult is ripping out AC/DC style riffs and drums on Electric these Gunner fellas must be doing the same …
The Songs were street rock,oozing with sex,dope,hookers,cranked amps,crazy wired lead singer,raw production no gloss as it was opposite to what was the current sound of late 1987 early 1988 (take a bow Mr Coverdale and Bandanna Micheals) a sound myself and Tbone had only heard on a album like Aerosmiths Toys In The Attic and Rocks! Basically the common theme running with the two Aero records and Appetite you believed what you heard both lyrically and musically! Not to many of those low down dirt street albums are out there if you ask me.
Mike Clink the fella who produced this album has to be given props as well. He kept the production raw,simple like plug in a record! Probably has more to do with budgetary reasons than anything and for that it’s for the better sonically speaking!
One of my fav all time concert Intros was when myself,Oinks,Andre and few others caught Gunners on there second show of the Use Your Illuison Tour(May 1991)…the voice that introduced Gunners said… “You Wanted The Best? Well They Didn’t Show Up!”
Oh,one more thing! For the Love of God Guns please don’t reunite for anything ….keep your history how I wanna remember it! Sleazeball Rock before the Lawyers/Handlers/Suits/ Destroyed it ……just leave it man ..
Slash,Izzy Stradlin,Steven Adler,Duff McKagan and Axl stomp on Poisons lipstick and make B Micheals cry!
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE-So it begins the riff! And from there here’s Bill Bailey doing his siren wail like snakey slithery slippery drawl and we’re off! Guns a storming and setting LA fires as they go! Slash rips into the solo and I love the breakdown of the track when Adler nails his cowbell quicker than Tbone downing Tequila on a Saturday Night! The song cranks back up for one final push towards the drugged out finish line and man oh man what a stomper of a track!
ITS SO EASY- Duff launches his soon to be out of tune bass with a real wicked opener and it’s one of those bass lines that’s just DNA ‘d into the sonic regions of your Noggin! Adler,Slash and Izzy all join in and here comes Axl in that deep style singing which I actually prefer to his screech at times! This song is total destruction! No one and I mean no one has come close to these kind of tunes since than in regards to a debut! It’s all here on this Firecracker of a song! Of course right before Slash blasts off on the solo(I dig that little breakdown before the solo ) Axl throws down of of his many F Bombs on this album and well this song who knows how many? A Bakers 12 pack of F Bombs! Sure it’s all here….! Years ago (1988) myself and Tbone were in our local deptmartment store at then time (Zellers) and in there music section they had a actual juke box loaded with 45s! Of course we mosied on over and took a gander at such selections and Lo and behold there was a 45 record of Gunners Sweet Child Of Mine and on the flip side! Yup you guessed it it was It’s So Easy. Boom! I emptied my pockets dumped the change in and selected Its So Easy except for the fact that when it came on it was a live version and Hahahahaha….all you could hear was Axls voice throughout the store especially at the end of the song when he loses his shit on the F Bombs! Hahaha…. A few weeks later we were back at Zellers( we bought Project Driver at Zeller!!)and the jukebox was still there but the Gunners 45 was pulled! Ha!
NIGHTTRAIN-Adler smashes the tar out of his cowbell and we’re off with a huge dose of GNR smatterings all over the musical map! Axl man say what you want about his zany crazy off stage antics but lyrically the cat could write lyrics! I recall Tbone saying this exact comment to me when the Illusions came out to the effect of that there was a ton of lyrics written! Axl was never at a loss for words that’s for sure! Ha!
OUTTA GET ME-is a great rock track its Gunners skidding off the road and I mean everyone in Axls Noggin was out to get him! The verse has a real chill vibe and of course the chorus ramps up and Axl delivers us his sermon from the Rock Temple Of LSD(Lead Singers Disease) and we are followers and we all believe! Like Axl Sez its a song about people trying to hold you back yada yada yada! Like I would hold him back if I bumped Into Axl. Tbone though would pull out his business card and go a different route with Axl in conversation and it would probably pay off! Trust me I seen Tbone live and in action hand his business card to a very famous Canadian Musician and man I fuckin giggled like a school girl after that move! I will tell all in a review coming up…..(hype)
MR BROWNSTONE-one of the best Guns tracks! Love the percussion at the beginning with Izzy and Slash wahing out there guitars and its a real cool groove that is Mr Browstone! The lyrics like so many or should I say all of them are street! You believe Axl when he says ‘ “worryings a waste of my fucking time!” Great vibe and the chorus is Gold! Drugs especially Heroin are bad kiddies Uncle Ax is telling us so! This is a Groovers delight! The second video is Mr Brownstone a bootleg from Philadelphia. It’s ruff and live man……ain’t no slick polish police around these parts known as Gunnner County!
PARADISE CITY-we all know the the lyrics right? Slash begins the festivities with a nice little cool hum and strum and Heeeeeeeeere’s Axl! The song has a jacked up what sounds like to me a cranked up synth and Axl blows his whistle and we’re off! Back in day I loved this as a single because you had your Warrants/Poisons/Firehouses singing there syrupy ballads of love and heres Izzy and company blasting that shit into the next decade and here’s Paradise City cranked and no ones worrying about love…..
MY MICHELLE-a super fried out space cadet named Michelle is the topic of Axls story line and that’s what this song is about! Porno,Heroin,Partying …well well well……that Michelle she’s a messed up bird but like Axl says be careful because most of all this song is true! The rawness of this track is great. More Cowbell,Thanks! Great solo and the chorus just kicks it into another frontier! Also bonus points for the end of the song when Ax sounds like he’s comimg unglued for like the 150th time where here hollers..My,my my my my my my Michelle(repeat as many times you like …Go)
THINK ABOUT YOU-once again some great cowbell kicks this tune off and it’s a song no one ever talks about it eben Gunners! So here I posted this track as the video as its a little hard nut kicker of a track! It should get its due and by golly I giving it it’s due! I mean I could go with other tracks but c’mon peeps I can’t be that predictable…..
SWEET CHILD OF MINE-Slash man one of his epic guitar tunes and solo! What the hell could I possibly add in regards about this track?
YOUR CRAZY-Wowzers! The band fires up the Party Bus and lifts off into no mans land! Dig the chill vibe during the chorus and boom it ramps up with Adler and Slash leading the charge!
ANYTHING GOES-this one has a Aerosmithy vibe at the beginning and it could have fit snugly on side two of Aeros Rocks after Lick And A Promise and before Combination! Great tracks! Cool tempo change as well..
ROCKET QUEEN-the ultimate song ends this album! Adler and Duff lay down the groundwork and before you know it Slash and Izzy join in and Axl lays down a real good rock voice along with lyrics and man the chorus is DA SHIT! Over 8 minutes of Gunners weaving in and out of different grooves and how about the second part of the song where Axl goes real high with his voice! Man he’s one cooked dude! But he delivers it in spades here! Kudos to the other guys as well! Mint man Mint!
IN CONCLUSION- this review was more about mine and Tbones shenanigans than anything Ha! High jacking Juke Boxes, handing out business cards,purchasing cassette copies of Project Driver! Frigg that’s lame oh! But if I told Ya all we were doin hookers,blow,money and partying on the Nightrain you wouldn’t believe us so…..lame it is!
Seriously though when I think of this album 27 years later….Classic comes to mind! It does not get any more street than this ……