As most of you have probably heard by now there are rumors flying about Axl Rose filling in on vocals for AC/DC. Here is my unabashed opinion, like it or not.
I have stated many times before how I am of the opinion that AC/DC died with Bon Scott. Angus and the boys soldiered on with Brian Johnson and had some good songs but it just wasn’t AC/DC for me and never would be. Yes, I continued to buy every record they released because I support that way, but there was always something missing for me.
Now we hear of some sort of hearing debacle with Brian Johnson and his immediate departure from their current tour. That departure started the rumor mill going full blast with speculation upon speculation as to who would step up and fill Brian’s shoes. Who indeed…
Within my circle of friends I began to hear a rumbling of Axl’s name being thrown about. Then I began seeing it on social media, and now many websites are jumping on the “Axl replacing Brian” band wagon as well.
Here are my thoughts, the AC/DC machine runs pretty tight, Axl does not. I am of the opinion that given who Axl is (don’t get me wrong he is a great front man) and who AC/DC is it would be like oil and water. I cannot even imagine Axl performing with them for one minute. We were all just getting excited about the impending “reunion” of Guns N’ Roses (don’t get me started on that one) and now this hence the title of this writing, “Appetite for Disaster”.
I would love nothing more than to be wrong and it be a great success for Axl and AC/DC but I just don’t see it…
So, I have been sitting some info for a while. As most of have heard, some form of Guns N’ Roses will be performing at Coachella and a possible tour. Keep in mind this is some form of a reunited GNR. Stay tuned right here for more information to come….
As I sit here watching Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Democracy, and with the internet buzz of Axl and Slash making up, I am full thoughts and conjecture.
When Guns hit the scene they were so incendiary I predicted imminent flame out, and was correct. The original five members were an alchemic formula that gave us some iconic music though. Magic happened when those five guys put their talents together. When it all fell apart I was disappointed but not surprised.
Axl, in my opinion became infected with delusions of grandeur which took the chemistry away from the band. I remember reading somewhere that Duff said when he looked across the stage and couldn’t see Slash past the backup singers, keyboards, orchestra and such that he knew it was over.
I, like others, mourned the loss of what could have been another Stones, or Aerosmith rocking us for many years to come.
The demise of Guns was survived well by Slash, Duff, and Izzy, and not so well for Axl and Steven. (remember I’m only talking about the original five).
The breakup gave us Velvet Revolver, Slash’s Snakepit, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds and Adler’s Appetite all of which I still listen to. They continued to evolve and move in different ways Giving us Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Duff McKagen’s Loaded, The Walking Papers, and Adler.
All the while we waited out the infamous Chinese Democracy from Axl and co. We heard all of the stories of lineup changes and recording shenanigans and waited, and waited, and waited…
When Chinese Democracy finally dropped, so did my jaw. Personally I found the record unlistenable, believe me I tried and tried. There are a couple of ok tracks but that was it for me.
Axl put together to some stellar musicians like Bumblefoot, DJ Ashba, and Richard Fortman and took to the road. Well I am of the opinion that despite the talented players Axl put together, It was nothing but a GN’R cover/tribute band.
I remember having several discussions with peers and friends about the possibility of the reuniting of the original members and at the time I didn’t see it happening.
Now we find out that both Bumblefoot and DJ Ashba have left the band and like I stated earlier, Slash and Axl have reportedly made up.
We have seen Duff and Izzy make appearances with GN’R and Steven has said he would play with GN’R again.
I am now of the opinion that an reunion is in the making but I don’t think it would last. While we could only hope that some new music and a tour with the original five would happen, I think the old demons would surface and end it all in finality.
How many times have you heard “This band sold out” or “That band went mainstream”? I have heard this about several bands throughout the years. Let;s take a look at several bands that have “changed direction” , or have stayed the same and if that has worked for them.
QUEEN 1971 – 1991 the Freddie Mercury years
Queen remains one of my favorite bands of all times. The band was constantly evolving and changing throughout their career. They explored many styles of music during their recording career. They were never afraid to branch out and explore their creativity. Here are two songs that show their diversity. The world lost a beautiful soul when Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, we will forever miss and love you Freddie, thank you for your music. Queen pulled off, to great success, changing directions.
“Keep Yourself Alive” from QUEEN – 1973
“These Are The Days Of Our Lives” from INNUENDO – 1991
MEGADETH1983 to present
Megadeth is a band who has stayed true to their original vision. Their style of speed/thrash metal has pretty much been a constant throughout their career. While some will say it has hurt their career, their fans remain loyal, and their record sales constant. I say cheers to Dave and crew (though they have changed over the years) keep it going! Staying true to their direction has worked for Megadeth.
“Peace Sells” from Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying? – 1986
“Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” from Th1rt3en – 2011
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS 1983 to present
This band has always been in a special place in my heart. Never afraid to be who they are, always giving their all to their fans. Their members and styles have changed throughout the years but they have always managed to pull it off. Playing what they want to and disregarding the critics their music reflects the colorful personalities that infuse this band. Many people have tried to pigeonhole this band to a certain genre, to no avail. I call them a Rock N’ Roll band PERIOD. Thank you RHCP, you have given my soul much joy. Keep growing and evolving and stay true to your passions.
“True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes” from TheRed Hot Chili Peppers – 1984
“The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie” – from I’m With You – 2011
METALLICA – 1981 to present
Ahhh Metallica, the source of great contention amongst metal heads. Some say they sold out with the “Black” album, some say they didn’t. I think they have made some questionable choices in the past years, but they remain strong as one of the driving forces in metal music. As part of being human we are constantly changing and growing (well, some of us do) as the events surrounding us dictate. The guys in Metallica are not immune. Growing older, gaining families, becoming financially stable HAS to affect them, and their music. I, for one, appreciate that fact and despite their making some music that does not always appeal to me I stand by this band and remain a fan. R.I.P. Cliff Burton, miss you!
“No Remorse” from Kill ‘Em All – 1983
“All Nightmare Long” from Death Magnetic – 2008
GUNS N’ ROSES 1985 to present???
GNR WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!? They were poised to take over the world and instead they burned it down. The energy of the the five original members was the perfect combination. Then the backup singers, the keyboard players, the horn section, etc… etc… sigh. I know this band has been the topic of great controversy, and probably will remain so for a long, long time. I will always remain in love with early GNR and the music they made and I am grateful for that, post original five, not so much. I personally believe the direction that the band took killed them (this is my humble opinion). Oh well we have our memories…. if we could only find our way back to the jungle.
“Welcome To The Jungle” from Appetite For Destruction – 1987
“This I Love” from Chinese Democracy – 2008
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY 1998 to present
Ahhh BLS, now here’s a band that I totally get. Members have come and gone and yet this band gets stronger and stronger. Great music year after year, record after record and a loyal fan base that unifies together as one big BLS family. Zakk Wylde never shies away from playing whatever he wants, piano based ballads, acoustic songs, full out electric, it matters not to Zakk. With BLS it never grows stagnant and you will never be bored! GI/FD!!!
“Born To Lose” from Sonic Brew – 1999
“Overlord” from Order Of The Black – 2010
These are just my opinions on bands that have (or have not) changed direction, please feel free to comment or message me with your ideas or thoughts and I will post them here.
This has been a long fought debate among rock fans. I think that keyboards are an integral part of rock music. Keyboards have been around from the birth of rock, to its current evolution. Like everything else keyboards can be (in my opinion) misused in rock music. Again everything in this post is just my opinion and is open for (and welcomed) discussion. Let’s get crackin’:
Some early rock songs had a prominent piano sound in them that was integral to the sound. Let’s look at a video from Jerry Lee Lewis for 1957:
Jerry Lee Lewis made this song come alive with the piano. The song was rockin’ for it’s time and it would not be the same without the piano.
The Doors brought forth some great keyboard laden music on the late 60’s. Ray Manzarek took keyboards and made them cooler. The distinct sound of Ray’s playing gave the Doors their signature sound.
Foreigner in its early incarnation brought some great songs. Who doesn’t recognize the intro by Al Greenwood to “Cold As Ice”? This song was rocking us back in ’77. Although I was personally unhappy with the direction Foreigner took later on, these early songs remain dear to me.
Up until the release of Van Halen’s “1984” keyboards were not a part of the band. “Jump” took me by surprise, it was even a cool keyboard riff. What was happening to my hard rocking band???? But, it was Van Halen so most of us forgave them….maybe.
In the 90’s Guns N’ Roses gave us “November Rain”. Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed provided the keyboard/piano work for this epic song. People liked the song but I felt it was the beginning of the end for that hard charging five pieve (originally) band. Good song though.
“Du Hast” is one of those songs where the keyboard has no place in my opinion. Christian “Flake” Lorenz is adept as playing but the “keyboard riff” just confuses me in this song.
Those are but a few of “keyboard” heavy songs that come to mind. Here are some keyboard players worth noting and you should definitely check out their work:
Mike Garson (David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins)
Jon Lord (Deep Purple)
Keith Emerson (ELP)
Donald Fagan (Steely Dan)
Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band)
Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Richard Manuel (The Band)
Bill Payne (Little Feat)
Gregg Allman (The Allman Brothers Band)
Chuck Leavell (Session player, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes)
I am going to leave you with one of my favorite keyboard heavy songs:
“Bohemian Rhapsody”, Freddie Mercury’s piano playing on this is a beautiful thing. The song is timeless and is an art form to be cherished forever.
Thanks Freddie you will always live in our hearts and our ears.