Guns N’ Roses, my thoughts as of today.

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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.

Just some thoughts on the current GN’R stuff.

it’s loud, it’ dirty, it’s Guns N’ Fuckin’ Roses!!!

-the Hellion


Team HellBangs correspondent Gabe Gambino gives his perspective of Revolt On The Rio Grande Day 2/Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2013

   The Hellion here,  We tried something different this with our coverage of the Revolt On The Rio Grande Day 2/Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2013. We asked a local New Mexico musician to be a guest correspondent and give us his perspective of covering the show, we even gave a camera to him.  We are proud to announce Gabe Gambino as a member of Team HellBangs. What is Team HellBangs you ask? Well, as you know, I co-host an internet radio show called Bleach Bangs Radio with Charlie Owens and Randy Norris. There are times when Charlie and I (who live near each other) have the opportunity to cover shows and do on camera interviews with artists. We do this a joint venture between the Hellion Rocks and Bleach Bangs. This team was dubbed HellBangs by Mr. Charlie “MF” Owens and it has stuck. Now here is his perspective along with some shots from the “Gambino-cam”: 

Ryan Johnson - Lead Vocals, Guitar: The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show - photo "Gambino-cam"

Ryan Johnson – Lead Vocals, Guitar: The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show – photo “Gambino-cam”

How do you summarize a day as amazing as Day 2 of the Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival? I ask because I’ve been asked to do so. It’s hard because the good times seem to scream out at me all at once. Either way, as the local music ambassador to Team HellBangs, I’m proud to say I got to experience this day with my buds Charlie “MF” Owens and The Hellion and see a different side of things.
I’ve played a few music festivals personally, but I never understood or was part of anything like the Rockstar. This time, I was behind a camera and asking some of these musicians the questions that help get my fellow musicians names out there.
The day started out with the late-August heat attributed to this arid desert we live in. As we navigated through the venue in the hot sun, we headed backstage to meet up with the guys from Chuck Shaffer Picture Show. The guys led us through the back and got us into the catering room, where I shared a beer compliments of Pabst Blue Ribbon with drummer Adam Gilbert. We entered the room and the gravity of the day hit me. A table over, my music hero, Jerry Cantrell, was enjoying some lunch with Duff McKagan and some members of Jane’s Addiction. Big and small bands alike were enjoying food and each other’s company here in this tour and a feeling of camaraderie was spread throughout the back.
Chuck Shaffer Picture Show are a three-piece band with a huge sound. The vocalist/guitarist used some great effects to make their sound really big. As a three-piece, they sound bigger. The rhythm section (bass and drums for the unfamiliar) really held it down and helped give them the big sound they had. They had a very powerful heavy pop-rock sound.

Jon Stevens - Vocals :The Dead Daisies - photo by "Gambino-cam"

Jon Stevens – Vocals :The Dead Daisies – photo  “Gambino-cam”


One band we got to interview as well was The Dead Daisies. What a band! The singer rocked out despite an injured hand and a broken leg due to a crocodile-related fishing accident that occurred right before the Uproar Tour. The guy was a class act and had one of the best voices I’ve heard in a live setting.
Honestly, there wasn’t a bad band all day on the supporting stages. My local friends in Port Alice took the stage and put on a great sounding show on the Coldcock Whiskey stage. This festival kicked ass.

     The Hellion here, We were not fortunate enough to have obtained photo access to the main stage so there are no pictures.

As far as the main stage, I was very impressed with Circa Survive and Coheed and Cambria. I hadn’t been that into Coheed and Cambria before but I feel I left a fan of their music. They put on a great show and sounded amazing.
Enter Jane’s Addiction. I honestly felt the most disappointed by Jane’s Addiction. I found the fact that they suspended a couple of models up pretty interesting as well as their dancing, but Perry Farrell just doesn’t sing like he used to. You can hear that they had to use lower tunings and Farrell still struggled with many of the notes. The rest of the band was kind of the saving grace for Jane’s Addiction, they were tight but Perry Farrell’s tone-deaf performance really left a lot to be desired. I don’t feel that the direct supporting band should’ve been out-shined by the band before it, and Coheed really put on a better show with less special effects or performance aspect than Jane’s did.
The main event of the night was Alice in Chains. I’m by far biased to Alice in Chains as Jerry Cantrell is my favorite musician and the man I look up to most when it comes to songwriting. I’ve heard complaints of their live show but they far surpassed my wildest expectations. Everything about it, from the songs they played to the cool video effects that correspond to the songs was really cool.
Very impressive was William DuVall, the oft-complained-about vocalist that took the spot of Layne Staley. He truly did every song justice, from the old stuff to the new stuff. He passionately sang “Nutshell” in tribute to fallen Alice in Chains members Layne Staley and Mike Starr, during which the letters “LSMS” were lit up on Sean Kinney’s kick drum. I really enjoyed their set list, they played new headbangers “Stone” and “Hollow” while reaching far back into the band’s storied history and played classics like “Man in the Box”, “Down in a Hole” and “We Die Young”. The band played these songs with perfection and really set a mood in the venue. One of the biggest moments was the band closing with “Rooster”, before which Jerry Cantrell, Sr., the focus of the classic song, took to the stage and was applauded by the thousands in the venue. Prior to AiC’s set, he accepted a guitar signed by all of the bands and came out again before they played “Rooster” to give the band members a hug. It was an extremely emotional moment, When Jerry, Sr. left the stage, they went right into Rooster and rocked it out. After they finished, there were no encores or anything, but the entire audience left satisfied with Alice’s very solid performance. Again, I’m biased, but I felt as if there was a religious experience personally. I truly enjoyed that show and I’d easily put it on top as far as concerts I’ve been lucky enough to go to.
I’d like to thank Charlie and the Hellion for dragging me along and getting a local musician’s perspective on the show. I really took in a lot of the sights and sounds of the show and really felt like a kid again, before that point in a musician’s life when they become jaded and take the things at a big concert for granted. It was a great experience. – Gabe Gambino

     There you have it! Enjoy!

     Team HellBangs