Deciphering Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction 35 years after its premiere

Guns N’ Roses is a legendary band hard-rock formed in 1985 that worldwide, is one of the most successful bands in history, being nominated 20 times for awards such as: American Music Awardsthe Grammy Awardsthe MTV Video Music Awards and the World Music Awards, winning 9 times. In addition to this, the band has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide and has appeared at the top of the charts. rolling stone Y Billboard.

Guns N’ Roses on their Not In This Lifetime Tour

Much of this success is due to their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, well andste ranks 20th on the top 500 list albums of all times and the position number 4 on the list of the 100 best debut albums of all timeboth produced by Rolling Stone magazine, in addition to being the best-selling debut album in all of musical history, with around 35 million copies sold worldwide.

Guns N' Roses at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards

This album is a wonder on a musical level, since each instrument complements the others, giving a truly unique sound. However, as for the lyrics, they are a clear reflection of the personal problems and drug addictions that the members of the band suffered at that time. As is well known, much of the repertoire of GN’R written by Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlinwho through personal experiences were inspired to compose a good part of the band’s hits.

Axl Rose photo taringanet1

Most of the lyrics Rose they resulted in resounding successes, but they were also involved in quite a few controversies. Since the themes of substance abuse, sex and displays of dislike and little respect for women were constant in the lyrics of the band. So now, at a time when the meaning and lyrics of the songs have become more important due to the intense female struggle to obtain gender equity and equal treatment before society, the historical guitarist of the band, slashhas declared:

When the #MeToo movement broke out, I thought of a group of musicians who might be involved. But for most, as far as I know, it wasn’t. We didn’t have that predatory relationship with girls. In some cases, although the songs were a bit sexist in their own way, they weren’t meant to be taken that seriously. I don’t think they were malicious

So, let’s take a look at the background to some of the birthday boy themes. Appetite for Destruction.

Welcome to the Jungle

This topic was conceived shortly after Axl Rose was mugged on his first visit to Los Angeles. After robbing him, the thief left saying the famous phrase “Do you know where you are? You are in the jungle… you’re gonna die!” (Do you know where you are? You are in the jungle… you are going to die!).

Apart of this, Axl He was inspired by the frequent riots that took place in the streets of Los Angeles, related to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, among others. In accordance with slash:

It was a very revealing letter. very honest. If you lived in Los Angeles I’m sure you could relate to her and knowing Axl I can totally relate to where the topic came from.

It’s So Easy

It’s So Easy it is one of the band’s heaviest songs and is the first single the band released. This song was written by Duff mckagan and according to him, in an interview published in 1988, the lyrics for this song arose because of how easy it was to get women in the Sunset Strip area at the time, since they were not yet stars or had large amounts of money , but there were always girls hanging around them.

night rain

This piece is the third within the Appetite for Destruction and shortly after it was released, it became one of the band’s most famous songs. This topic is dedicated to a brand of wine called Night Train Expresswhich accompanied the band throughout the recording of the album, due to its low cost and high alcohol content.

slash He reported that the musical part of the song was written “in situ”, that is, they composed it in one of the moments in which they consumed that wine. The lyrics were composed by Axl during their frequent purchases at the liquor store.

Mr Brownstone

In this song was composed by Izzy Stradlin lamenting that he could not control his addiction to heroin. B.rowstone, in Spanish coffee stonewas a term widely used at that time to refer to the drug to which the band had a great addiction.

The lyrics make a clear reference to the tolerance that the drug provokes: “I used to do a little bit, but a little bit didn’t work, so the little bit got more and more.” slash commented that the lyrics described a typical day in his life and Stradlin.


The song is inspired by a girl named Michelle Young, a friend of the band. Initially, Axl He wrote a rather sweet draft of this song to impress the girl, but ended up discarding this version because it seemed to him that it was very far from Michelle’s reality. For this reason, the vocalist decided to highlight the dark aspects of the girl’s life, such as the death of her mother, her father’s work in the pornographic industry or her addiction to drugs.

Apparently, Michelle did not mind the letter because it was completely honest, although she says that she would like it not to be known who inspired her because she is currently a mother and a person of importance in the company where she works.

Rocket Queen

In the book of credits of the album appears mentioned Barbie Von Griefindicating that it was on this woman that he based Axl Rose to write the song. slash stated about Von Grief:

Despite being thirty years old, she was the queen of the underground scene at that time. In the end she became a lady, but Axl was obsessed with her back then.

For its part, Axl Rose said the following:

I wrote this song ‘inspired’ by this girl, she wanted to have a band and she was going to call it ‘Rocket Queen’. She was the one who helped me a lot, shortly after we arrived in Los Angeles in 1981, when we met. When I arrived in LA chasing my dreams, I had nothing, not even a place to sleep. After we met she helped me a lot, she let me stay in her apartment, she helped me ‘stay alive’. That’s why the last part of the song is my message dedicated to this person. It’s like a light of hope and a note of true friendship at the end of the song

However, this song is somewhat particular, since in the middle of the song, you can hear moans of a woman having sex. Rose he wanted sexual sounds in the song, so he brought the drummer’s ex-girlfriend Steve Adler and had sexual relations with the girl for approximately 30 minutes. To which the producer of the band, Steve Thompson would say:

Axl brought a woman into the studio and they had sex there. Without a doubt it is the most bizarre recording session that I have participated in in my life.

Being considered for a long time as “the most dangerous gang in the world”, there is no doubt that Guns N’ Roses is one of the most important and influential bands of all time. And although several of the members no longer feel identified with those ideals and lifestyles, the essence and career of the band was forged under the motto “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll”.

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Deciphering Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction 35 years after its premiere