In contrast, their Wembley Stadium at the end of August under a baking sun was a relatively restrained affair, although the jobsworths at Brent Council had done their best by demanding that the band desist from swearing on stage. Wembley Fucking Stadium. The language from the stage was equally blunt. But the joke had worn too thin for Izzy Stradlin who had already taken to travelling separately from the rest of the group. A few weeks later it was confirmed that he was leaving. Slash made the call to Gilby Clarke. In fact he was the only person we auditioned.
I brought him into the studio with us and we jammed and it worked, just like that.
And one day I got home and there was the call. For the first week I was coming in every day and not knowing if I was coming back tomorrow.
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I just had to put everything else to one side and concentrate on learning odd songs. They flew to Japan for three shows that were filmed for a video and made their first foray into South America with a concert in Mexico City at the start of April. But this was not about sexual preference, it was about Queen. They were one of the main bands we were into at the start.
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So when they asked us to play we jumped at the chance. Then we had this whole gay activist thing going against us but we just decided to do it anyway. So it was a relatively relaxed-looking band that arrived in Dublin to start the European tour. Axl even managed a smile for the photographer who was brave enough to greet him at the airport. We always seemed to be hanging around, waiting a couple of days or more for the next gig. And then losing Steven Adler and Izzy — that must have been hard for them. Thriving on it.
It was his medication.
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But he was always nice and friendly whenever you came across him. They got engaged midway through the tour and they were really sweet together. He was closeted away and there was this whole entourage looking after him.
He had a personal assistant. And the personal assistant had an assistant. There was also a chiropractor and a hypnotherapist. And then there was his sister, Amy. There were a lot of people around him.
If Axl was incommunicado, Slash and Duff were happy to talk to the media. And guess where it went? So that was that. It was an piece band that showed up for a two-hour sound check the day before the opening date of the tour at Slane Castle, a picturesque spot on a bend in the river Boyne that provided a natural amphitheatre. The ,watt sound of the band could be heard in the nearby village of Slane which was already filling up with fans.
Another source remembers passing through the village on the morning of the show.
Obviously loads of them were carrying cans but it was all really peaceful. Meanwhile the Irish tabloids had been doing their best to whip up a controversy, fearing for those good catholic Irish girls who might be induced to bare their breasts for the video cameras, following a growing American tradition that provided pre-show entertainment for the crowd on the giant screens as well as the band watching backstage.
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A police chief was quoted as saying that they would be monitoring the situation closely. Of course. In fact there were over policeman being drafted in for breast patrol and other more mundane tasks. Sadly they would see more hairy arses than tits as the crowd amused themselves by building human pyramids in front of the stage with the guy at the top getting the chance for a quick moon before the whole edifice collapsed.
Still, the rest of the band could console themselves with the crate of year-old Irish whisky and barrel of Guinness that had been sent by U2 who were currently touring Europe with their Zooropa show. Later on after Duff had taken over his microphone for a version of the Misfits classic, Attitude , he unravelled a new microphone cover and rolled it on. Later on Slash turned the Theme From The Godfather into a solo tour de force as part of an instrumental jam that included a drum solo and, on a good night, a bass solo.
But you never knew when the others would crop up. The band spent another couple of convivial days in Dublin, relaxing in the bars and clubs and watching the girls dressed up in their ball gowns going to the Trinity Ball. Slash in particular was enjoying himself. Prague was a sobering contrast. The country was still emerging from 50 years of communist rule and its status as a stag weekend capital was many years away.
No wonder there was a market for cut-price forgeries although it was a bit stupid of the forger to advertise his wares on a university noticeboard complete with a phone number. Meanwhile the hotel booked for the band had cancelled the reservation on discovering their identity.
They were forced to relocate to a tourist hotel on the edge of town where such basic amenities as room service and a telephone switchboard were deemed surplus to requirements. In the event the show drew a respectable 30, crowd. Well, sometimes we just write songs about how really fucked up we are. In Hungary there was a Hilton Hotel waiting for the band. Unfortunately they arrived at Budapest Airport just 20 minutes before they were due to play, having been held up at Prague Airport for four hours by a bomb scare. Dizzy meanwhile tried to show solidarity with the others by pouring a bottle of beer over his head.
Midway through the show the crowd got an unexpected treat. As the crowd joined in Axl tossed the microphone at them and let them take over. Back in the Western European comfort zone in Vienna, Axl was in playful form. Both bands were trying to challenge the whole idea of stadium rock. The next part of the tour was focussed on Germany.
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