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Guest Mr. Miser

Possible origin of the "shut up and sing" line?

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Guest Mr. Miser

This is from a Matt interview from '96:

H.R.: Honestly, what do you think about Axl?

Matt: I had very difficult moments with Axl, but he's extremely intelligent, he's a very emotive guy who writes great songs. Sometimes, I have the feeling he's a genius. Right now, he's playing guitar and it's like he plays that instrument for 10 years. He had very difficult moments, when we toured in stadiums, sold millions of albums, when everybody wanted to tell us how great we were. Axl, as the leader of the band, had a lot of responsibilities. I told him many times: "Relax Axl, don't take things to heart like that". But he can't. You can feel those difficulties in his music. What he's doing is eating him, he's living it too intensively. That's why the new album is not done yet, he doesn't want to make a shitty record. The Snakepit album could have been the new GNR album, but Axl didn't thought it was good enough.

H.R.: What do you think about this album?

Matt: There was some good songs, but it wasn't a band effort, it was Slash's songs. It had nothing to do with 5 guys working hard in a studio, what we are doing with Guns right now. When Slash says "I'd like to work on that riff" and Duff answers "Yeah, let's work on it", it's really GNR. This has nothing to do with "This is a Slash song, you will play like that and Axl will sing like that".

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Are you implying that Matt's comments from 1996 inspired the line, or some situation that Matt was referring to?

Highly unlikely Axl remembered this specific interview with Matt and wrote a song about it a decade later.

Obviously we won't know until Axl tells us, and he's not really in the business of talking to his fans these days, except from on the stage.

Could be anything....could be Slash telling him to sing the songs he wrote....could be the fans begging for new material over the years....could be an ex-girlfriend that thought he was only good at singing and shouldn't bother with anything else.

I guess we'll never know.

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We should get someone to create a huge fucking banner with this written on it and take it to Rio 4. That would be so epic haha.

Edited by combos

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I think there is a lot of unspoken stuff in this band.. Mostly about Slash's personal ambitions and forceful side, but also about Axl's stagefright..

Would be interesting to see/hear some ideas on that.. Things have been going through the same ridicoulous stories as always (Axl's a maniac).. Its getting old..

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Didn't Axl say this in one of his rants on MYGNR? I am too lazy to look but I thought I remember that from reading them way back when....

Yes I believe that is were I read it also.

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Guest Mr. Miser

Didn't Axl say this in one of his rants on MYGNR? I am too lazy to look but I thought I remember that from reading them way back when....

So at least part of his story, about Slash basically telling him to sing what he was told, or fuck off, is at least partially true. I doubt Matt would've lied on Slash, given his loyalty to him.

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I guess I am not understanding your point Miser? Axl claims Slash told him "sing what I was told or fuck off" but I am not getting the same context from Matt's interview you posted.

Who knows what Slash and Axl actually talked about and if that is actually what he said as we only have Axl's version of events and that might be what he took away from the conversation as opposed to what Slash actually said to him.

We also have Slash, Gilby and Matt in different interviews stating Axl was not intially interested in the "Snakepit" tapes while Axl implies Slash planned to go solo and Marc Canter stating that Axl was willing to work on 3 to 4 of the Snakepit songs songs but Slash sould not allow it so who really knows the real story...........

Excerpt from MYGNR Axl chat #6

And I’m not talking change of styles or sounds etc. A lot of people bought that crap and me having gone in other directions seems to many to have verified that. Then you have the mind twisting equally as true horseshit in Slash’s book but I have the rehearsal tapes. There’s nothing but Slash based blues rock and he stopped it to both go solo and try to completely take over Guns. I read all this if Axl would’ve put words and melodies on it could’ve… That was denied and I didn’t walk till several months after having 3 to 4 hour phone conversations nearly every day with Slash trying to reach a compromise. I was specifically told no lyrics, no melodies, no changes to anything and to sing what I was told or fuck off.

Complete chat

http://www.mygnrforum.com/index.php?showtopic=133371

Edited by classicrawker

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I guess I am not understanding your point Miser? Axl claims Slash told him "sing what I was told or fuck off" but I am not getting the same context from Matt's interview you posted.

Who knows what Slash and Axl actually talked about and if that is actually what he said as we only have Axl's version of events and that might be what he took away from the conversation as opposed to what Slash actually said to him.

We also have Slash, Gilby and Matt in different interviews stating Axl was not intially interested in the "Snakepit" tapes while Axl implies Slash planned to go solo and Marc Canter stating that Axl was willing to work on 3 to 4 of the Snakepit songs songs but Slash sould not allow it so who really knows the real story...........

Excerpt from MYGNR Axl chat #6

And I’m not talking change of styles or sounds etc. A lot of people bought that crap and me having gone in other directions seems to many to have verified that. Then you have the mind twisting equally as true horseshit in Slash’s book but I have the rehearsal tapes. There’s nothing but Slash based blues rock and he stopped it to both go solo and try to completely take over Guns. I read all this if Axl would’ve put words and melodies on it could’ve… That was denied and I didn’t walk till several months after having 3 to 4 hour phone conversations nearly every day with Slash trying to reach a compromise. I was specifically told no lyrics, no melodies, no changes to anything and to sing what I was told or fuck off.

Complete chat

http://www.mygnrforum.com/index.php?showtopic=133371

The thing I laugh at is how Axl tries to claim Slash tried yet take over guns, yet Axl was the one who was ALWAYS trying to take over the band and the direction they go in.

Axl has to realize that compromise is a two way street.

It seems that Axl just thinks that if everything is not going his way, then no one is compromising.

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Mired in denial an so alone.

I thought slash and Axl almost came to blows when Slash told him to shut up and sing. maybe that was just a rumor.

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just there's a studio fight quote attributed to Slash around his departure. yeah but everyone was saying at some point.

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Slash was clearly trying to take over the band. It's just that Axl was able to do it first. Either way you slice it, Axl had ownership in the band name put in the contract. Whether is was holding a crowd hostage or not, he did it. And now he uses the name for financial gain.

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Guest Mr. Miser

Slash was clearly trying to take over the band. It's just that Axl was able to do it first. Either way you slice it, Axl had ownership in the band name put in the contract. Whether is was holding a crowd hostage or not, he did it. And now he uses the name for financial gain.

He did it, and the other two signed off on it.

I think he genuinely feels Guns is his life. I don't think it's solely for financial gain or any sort of money hungry reason. I think he views Guns as an extension of himself. You have to remember, he takes his art very seriously--it's very much a part of him, it's his way of communicating with the world. I think he doesn't feel that HE is Guns, but that Guns is a part of him. That it was his baby, that he's shared with various others over the years. And in some ways that's true. The name originated with him and Tracii. The original dynamic of the band was him and Izzy, and given their relationship, they were in many ways the core of the band (despite the Axl & Slash combo being the more public face of the band) until Izzy began to lose interest and finally left.

Axl may have loved, respected and admired Slash as a talented musician, but I don't think they ever fully musically connected. I don't think as people Axl and Slash ever understood each other (they're just two VERY different guys), and I think for Axl that kind of personal understanding is really important.

Even though they created some of their best musical works together, I don't think they were on a personal level musical soul mates. They weren't brothers like Mick & Keith, behind the scenes--that was more Axl and Izzy; Izzy seemed to more or less get Axl and get what he was all about. Axl and Slash always needed some go between to bridge this gap in musical views and personalities, to make their two ideas and personalities converge into one cohesive vision. Izzy could do it, but around '89/90 Izzy seemed to be losing interest, and I think he got tired of both of them for various reasons (getting clean and not being able to relate to Slash anymore; Getting tired of Axl's antics; Not wanting to be in a huge band to begin with) and once Izzy slipped out of the picture slowly, the creative struggles and differences slowly began to show up--The UYIs are in many ways a couple of solo albums in one, like the White Album was for the Beatles. Axl wouldn't allow Gilby to bridge the gap between he and Slash for whatever reason; Slash wouldn't allow Paul Huge to because he disliked Paul personally for whatever reason--and the rest is history.

I don't think the Axl/Slash dynamic, without Izzy or someone who understood Axl in between them, could've lasted for any prolonged period. If it wasn't for the UYI tour and the massive commitment that it was, I think GN'R woul've split not long after the UYIs. The UYI tour essentially kept Guns on life support, especially after Izzy finally left.

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Guest Mr. Miser

Slash was clearly trying to take over the band. It's just that Axl was able to do it first. Either way you slice it, Axl had ownership in the band name put in the contract. Whether is was holding a crowd hostage or not, he did it. And now he uses the name for financial gain.

He did it, and the other two signed off on it. They're all equally to blame for Axl owning the band name. I tend to disbelieve the "holding the crowd hostage" story. Slash and Duff probably generally didn't give a fuck about names and legalities, and probably didn't take it too seriously. They knew what it meant, but didn't really consider it too seriously.

I think he genuinely feels Guns is his life. I don't think it's solely for financial gain or any sort of money hungry reason. I think he views Guns as an extension of himself. You have to remember, he takes his art very seriously--it's very much a part of him, it's his way of communicating with the world. I think he doesn't feel that HE is Guns, but that Guns is a part of him.

I think he feels that Guns is and was his baby, something that he's shared to greater and lesser degrees with various others over the years. And in some ways that's true. The name originated with him and Tracii, even if Tracii didn't matter in the long run. The original dynamic of the band was Axl and Izzy given their history together, and given their close relationship, they were in many ways the core of the band (despite the Axl & Slash combo being the more public face of the band) until Izzy began to lose interest and finally left.

Axl may have loved, respected and admired Slash as a talented musician, but I don't think they ever fully musically connected. I don't think as people Axl and Slash ever understood each other (they're just two VERY different guys, it's not either of their faults), and I think for Axl that kind of personal connection or understanding is really important.

Even though they created some of their best musical works together, I don't think they were on a personal level musical soul mates. They weren't brothers like Mick & Keith in the Stones were, behind the scenes--that was more Axl and Izzy; Izzy seemed to more or less get Axl's whole trip and get what he was all about.

Axl and Slash always needed some go between to bridge this gap in their musical leanings and personalities, to make their ideas and personalities converge into one cohesive vision. Izzy could do it, but around '89/90 Izzy seemed to be losing interest, and I think he got tired of both of them for various reasons (getting clean and not being able or wanting to relate to Slash anymore; Getting tired of Axl's antics and contracts; Not wanting to be in a stadium band to begin with) and once Izzy slipped out of the picture slowly, the creative struggles and differences slowly began to show up--The UYIs are in many ways a couple of solo albums in one, like the White Album was for the Beatles.

After Izzy left, it was the beginning of the end. Guns' core collapsed. Gilby fit for the UYI tour and for saving the band mid tour he should be lauded, but Axl wouldn't allow Gilby to bridge the gap between he and Slash for whatever reason; Slash wouldn't allow Paul Huge to bridge the gap because he disliked Paul personally for whatever reason--and the rest is history. They couldn't find the right middle man and the gap between them, musically and personally, grew until it pushed them apart.

I don't think the Axl/Slash dynamic, without Izzy or someone who understood Axl like him in between them, could've lasted for any prolonged period without some driving BINDING them together--like the UYI tour. If it wasn't for the UYI tour and the massive monetary commitment that it was, I think GN'R would've split not long after the UYIs. The UYI tour essentially kept Guns on life support, especially after Izzy finally left.

Edited by Mr. Miser

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Slash was clearly trying to take over the band. It's just that Axl was able to do it first.

I am assuming your being sarcastic aabout Slash wanting to take over the band SOB, Yes?

And Miser I agree with much of what you said but if you read Axl's rants he contradicts himself when he claims he did not realize the value of the brand name and then latyer states he did it to protect himself. I don't think he did it solely for money but I think he is full of shit claiming he did not know the value of the brand name. That and the desire to run things were the prime motivator for Axl to control the name IMHO...

I also agree that Slash and Duff were dumb for signing over the name so I don't feel sorry for them but I do think Axl fucked them over for personal gain which is a pretty shitty thing to do to your supposed brothers who contributed to the band success.....I don't know if Axl actually blackmailed them into signin over the name but it is not beyond the realm of possibility and Tom Zutaut did say this happened in a 1999 interview so who knows what is true.

And you are spot on about Izzy being the go between for Axl and Slash....Ronnie Woods does the same function between Mick and Keef....If Ronnie had not joined the Stones I truly beleive they would have broken up in the late 70's for good....

But the one thing I think you are missing is Axl's need for total control......To me that more then anything other reason broke up Guns...........

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Guest Mr. Miser
Slash was clearly trying to take over the band. It's just that Axl was able to do it first.

I am assuming your being sarcastic aabout Slash wanting to take over the band SOB, Yes?

And Miser I agree with much of what you said but if you read Axl's rants he contradicts himself when he claims he did not realize the value of the brand name and then latyer states he did it to protect himself. I don't think he did it solely for money but I think he is full of shit claiming he did not know the value of the brand name. That and the desire to run things were the prime motivator for Axl to control the name IMHO...

I also agree that Slash and Duff were dumb for signing over the name so I don't feel sorry for them but I do think Axl fucked them over for personal gain which is a pretty shitty thing to do to your supposed brothers who contributed to the band success.....I don't know if Axl actually blackmailed them into signin over the name but it is not beyond the realm of possibility and Tom Zutaut did say this happened in a 1999 interview so who knows what is true.

And you are spot on about Izzy being the go between for Axl and Slash....Ronnie Woods does the same function between Mick and Keef....If Ronnie had not joined the Stones I truly beleive they would have broken up in the late 70's for good....

But the one thing I think you are missing is Axl's need for total control......To me that more then anything other reason broke up Guns...........

Actually that really isn't a contradiction...One doesn't have to realize the MONEY value of things like the name, but can realize how having the name could protect himself. I don't think in 1992, when the contract was signed, that money entered into Axl's head. Remember, he's not a college educated guy; He's a hick from Indiana. I don't think the money issue really entered into his head. What probably entered his mind was that there were always floating ideas of firing him on the part of people like Niven and possibly others, and he wasn't going to let what he felt was a part of his life be stolen from him and put into the hands of two guys who were at the time junkies seemingly near the edge of death, so he ensured legally that this could never happen.

Perhaps money entered into it later--He realized maybe in 1996, 1997, that having the name could be very useful in funding the recording of Chinese D. That was a means to an end, not necessarily the end itself. I don't really think he keeps the name for money reasons...I don't think from all things I've read that he's that money hungry. Attention hungry? Yes, he admitted it from day one that his ambition was for Guns to soar, to make it big.

Power hungry? Perhaps...But from his perspective he coul'dve been seeing people like the managers, sleazy music industry people, Slash's own hangers on and the like, etc, trying to pull Guns out from under him. People whispering in Slash and Duff's ear that they didn't really need Axl, get rid of him--you know how the music biz is. And in turn he wanted to protect himself and what he felt the Guns name meant...And Slash and Duff's addictions at the time could've figured into it. Why let the Guns name die if Slash stupidly O'Ded?

Not only that, but in a business sense, a junkie IS NOT RELIABLE, and thus someone needs to assert control over a massive corporation, a major business entity like Guns had become; If someone hadn't, Guns could've been severely fucked over or manipulated by some sleazy business person, like the Stones were fucked over by Allen Klein.

This situation--running a major business entity while also relying on a junkie as your co-pilot--is why Mick Jagger took over the Stones in the late 70s-early 80s and why they broke up for a short time and Mick and Keith's relationship has never been the same since.

One person could perceive his reaction--getting the name--as a power grab, but another could see it as a matter of self defense. I think the whole aspect of them being "brothers" was really a PR thing, you know, to give off the image of a "gang." In 1985, 1986, yes, sure, they probably were broters--bound by poverty. But by the time they hit it big, they were co-workers.

The relationships in the band changed naturally as a result of the situation surrounding them changing. By '92 when the contract was signed they were just co-workers with the obligation of a massive tour hanging over them (which probably was overwhelming to some degree) so it really wasn't a matter of brotherly, tree house sort of loyalty anymore. The scenario in 1992 was far remove from the Hell House days of 1985 and 1986.

By 1992, Axl, Slash, Duff didn't really NEED each other anymore. Axl was the biggest singer in the rock world; Slash was the biggest guitarist in the world; Duff was along for the ride either way. It wasn't like 1985, where they were just "urchins livin' under the street" depending on each other's talent and combined resources to survive.

It really all depends on your perspective of the events; Even Slash himself states that Axl's narrative is just as valid as his own. It's really all a matter of how you to choose to see it. If you look at the matter from both sides--Axl and Slash's--you'd probably see both points of view. Both have merit.

Some choose Axl's version, some choose Slash's. There's merit to be found in both stories but the absolute, objective truth lies in the middle in my opinion. I don't believe Slash was totally an innocent victim, nor do I believe Axl was totally hoodwinked by Slash.

Both Axl and Slash are assholes in their own ways--Axl's an overt, blunt dick, Slash a manipulative passive aggressive type, and while it sucks from a musical level that they parted, it was probably best for them as people. They simply are far too different to successfully co-exist without an Izzy figure there. It can't happen.

And let's be honest--Izzy doesn't want to be back in that awkward middle man position, between Axl and Slash, or between Slash and any other singer. Izzy's got his own control issues too, I think, which is why he's such an unreliable, flightly fellow.

As to Axl wanting control of things, I've noticed that all of the people who've worked with Axl post 1997, when they've spoken, have never really mentioned any major control freak issues.

Robin Finck spoke very candidly about his tenure in GN'R in 2000, after he quit for the first time, and he spoke of Axl as a person very highly, and said that the disorganization, lack of motivation and delays were why he left.

It seems that the reason guys like Finck, Bucket and others left wasn't Axl's personality or him being a dictator as much as it was the delays and his perfectionism which led to them doing nothing and a sense of malaise setting in, "what am I doing here? I'm wasting my time and talent..." Not so much, "This guy's a control freak dick, fuck him."

Edited by Mr. Miser

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Not only that, but in a business sense, a junkie IS NOT RELIABLE, and thus someone needs to assert control over a massive corporation, a major business entity like Guns had become; If someone hadn't, Guns could've been severely fucked over or manipulated by some sleazy business person, like the Stones were fucked over by Allen Klein.

You and others keep bringing up the junkie angle as justiifcation for Axl to take over the band but lets be honest Axl was much more unreliable then Duff, Izzy, or Slash ever were so that is a pretty weak excuse Miser.

Duff, Izzy and Slash never missed a show due to their addictions, the same cannot be said of Axl........

Duff, Izzy and Slash were not the reason the band was chronically late getting on stage, Axl was.......

Duff, Izzy, and Slash never walked off stage mid show, the same cannot be said of Axl.....

Duff, Izzy and Slash used to show up together for recording and writing new music post 88 while Axl rarely showed up to work with the rest of the band..The Chicago UYI writing trip is a perfect example as Axl showed up a month later then the rest of the band........

I could site other examples but I think you get the picture that the junkie excuse is just that and excuse............BTW Mick Jagger did take care of businees while the others were in a drug fog but he never tried to take over the band name and cut the other Stones out..Axl could have taken care of business without throwing the others under the bus..

As to Axl wanting control of things, I've noticed that all of the people who've worked with Axl post 1997, when they've spoken, have never really mentioned any major control freak issues.

You are wrong about that Miser how many producers did he fire? Also it is a little bit of a different situation pre and post 97..Duff, Izzy, and Slash were Axl's equals while the post 97 musicians were his employees. Big difference..

Edited by classicrawker

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Has there ever been a band, that had two highly visible and recognized members where their wasn't some tension or issues?

I was thinking about this earlier this morning, and I couldn't think of one.

Metillica, Lars and James had issues.

Stones - We all know about that.

The Beatles - See Stones.

Allman Brothers - Issues.

Queen - Issues

Zeppelin - Issues

Hell even in Rap:

Outkast - Issues

Eric B. Rakim - Issues

NWA - Issues

Bone - Issues

Wu Tang - Issues

Fugees - Issues

The only band that I could think, that had two high profile members and didn't really seem to have any problems was U2 (Bono & Edge); But unless you follow them closely, you might not even know that they almost broke at least twice in the 80's.

Maybe that's just how rock is. Only one member of the band can have the "stage", for "it" to stay together. **shrugs**

Edited by SunnyDRE

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