More Guns ‘n’ Roses

“Like apples and oranges”. “Beyond compare”. “No comparison”. “Like sleeping with your girlfriend and then her mother”.  In Persian we say “do not even want to compare”- with huge emphasis on the want.

So, we use this linguistic twitches falsely, when two things have already been compared, and one has come out the clear winner, and yet, we cannot, for political, artificial reasons, indeed for non-reasons, admit that one is the clear winner. And so we leap deep into this ocean of words, trying to deny that the comparison ever took place, ever can take place. There is no comparison, you insist, waving your hands wildly about. But of course there is. And the comparison has already been done, and your side lost.

Gentle reader, in the context of furious some decision-making going on here in this part of world, on whether it is worth shelling out upwards of $150 plus to see Slash and someone called Myles Kennedy perform together on 31st July, to promote their new album but also of course, one hopes, to sing old Guns n Roses songs, I give you a classic case of apples and oranges. Axl versus somebody who looks alarmingly like Steve Tyler’s younger brother.

There is no comparison! While Axl is busy falling down, off tables and down stages, gaining weight, losing weight, indulging in horrific fashion, and generally behaving dreadfully, the clean-cut Myles, dressed in cool grey and black well-cut suits, washes and straightens and glossifies his hair  and struts (politely) on stage with the ever-amiable, ever-humble, media-friendly Slash. Plus, Myles remains thin. Indeed he is so good that some commenters are confused: Is he a Christian rocker, they wonder, damningly? Can there be any worse confusion?

But since when was good behaviour and nice hair the hallmark of a rock star? Since when was a good voice the mark of a frontman? Of course there is the comparison- how can there not be? The Good Myles has sung practically all of Axl’s hits which made him famous, and of course they are  compared. And of course – Myles voice is harsh and high and screechy and all the things Axl’s is, but it doesn’t have the wail and anger, the misery and fury, the gunfire power and desolation, the sneering hysteria. The madness.  It’s a nice voice, that of Myles, a cool, gravelly voice. And it’s nothing. Does not even bear comparison.

See? I did it again.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Guns ‘n’ Roses in Rio 2011: Estranged

In the world of modern rock music, Axl Rose embodies Shakespeare’s tragic heroes. In the nineties, he was Hamlet performing Estranged: screeching outbursts alternating rage and beauty, a manic dynamo whirling and screaming on the stage, drowning in sorrow and self-pity, battling a destiny of violent separation. But in 2011, when he does Estranged after 18 years, he is King Lear. He stands still, presenting his time-ravaged face and body fully to the audience, daring them to mock him and the awful hat and clothes he is wearing to conceal. He sings as an angry old man, still furious, still caring about it all too much, but too fatigued to do anything much about it. His voice is querulous and demanding, and he sings as though only now he appreciates the full force of the lyrics, what it is to be estranged. Before, it was all raging hormones, but now, now he is facing the real chasm of emotional destitution. The irony of “but I’m only twenty-eight” is as heavy and unsubtle as a sledge-hammer, a truly and uniquely un-postmodern moment hanging in the air like a contemporary, sung version of  Cordelia’s hanging body. Half-way through, some girls in the audience hold up a Guns n Roses banner bearing an enlarged photo of the young Axl. Old Axl pauses and stares out at them. He is not angry or sad at that moment, but there is a dreadful wonder in his eyes. He must be surrounded by images of his young lovely self, but it seems that this one, presented full force to him by young half-naked girls, hits home the hardest. Then he moves past it “I don’t know how you’re supposed to find me lately…”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guns ‘n’ Roses: Mr. Brownstone

It’s almost as if there are two Axls singing in this clip- the first is a low atypical growl, almost like an ordinary talking voice, which then becomes the high-pitched snarly Axl shriek we all know and love at the end of each stanza. His movements- can’t call it dancing, really, is so, so Axl. So typically himself, and so nobody else. That awful gold snakeskin jacket with the gigantic shoulder pads! That blue sparkly tasseled headband! The way Slash rests his head on Axl’s shoulder right at the end! Moments like these, and I can see why those old GnR fans can’t stop the bellyaching and the hope-against-hope that these two will get back together.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Golden Earring: Twilight Zone

This is supposed to be a creepy, surreal song, and if you watch the accompanying video, then it certainly is. A song about madness and pain. When I started listening to it, a few months back, I missed out on the madness – I thought it was about the pain of sanity.

But anyway, the video is well worth a watch, the ‘seventies aura merely adding to its creepiness and not as annoying as it could be.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Jackson Feat. Slash: Give In To Me

Michael Jackson does not fall technically under the scope of this blog, being neither white nor old. Still, I think I can give him a pass: it’s certainly not his fault that he’s not old, and given the propensity of rockers to die young (ish), I hereby put in a clause which allows me to blog about dead rockers as well as old ones (cf. Freddie Mercury up there). As regards his skin colour, he was born black, true, but he understood quite well the need to be white to acquire true rock-king status, and he tried his best. With good results, we have to admit.

You mean, he's not white?

With these trifling matters cleared up, we can now turn our attention to the song. Undeniably one of the best, but simply the best love song of all time. And Slash, freed of  the inhibiting presence of Axl, pulls all stops, jumping about and head banging like nobody’s business. Something tells me that Michael was much easier work with than Axl, though Slash has a certain extremely irritating quality which is hard to define- something to do with the angle which he holds his guitar, I think, which would try the patience of a saint.  And have you noticed the absolutely gorgeous second guitarist? Who is he? What happened to him after this?

The song is so beautiful that I can listen to it and actually enjoy the music, instead of becoming all nostalgic about our road trip last summer listening to this on the car CD player, on the way to the Caspian sea…

photo credit:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pearl Jam: Alive

Another song flickering in the corner of my consciousness. I had heard the song, and I had heard of Pearl Jam, but I hadn’t realised the lead singer, Eddie Vedder is so damn good-looking, a kind of counter-point to Axl, you could say, with such amazing hair and cheekbones. In fact, I do believe I prefer his hair to Axl’s. Which is saying something.

Ah yes, the song. An anthem to the fierce joy of living, it is ironic that Vedder, He of The Gorgeous Brown Mane looks so desperate while singing it. Maybe he had run out  of conditioner? But yeah, he’s still alive. Unlike Some Other pretty pretty rock stars. He made it. Others didn’t.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Red Rider: Lunatic Fringe

Have you watched the kids’ animation movie “Cars“? No? Still, you have probably heard its theme song “Life is a highway” a million times since it was released, back in 2002 or whenever.

Ha! Stuck in your head now, isn’t it? Life is a highway… i’m doin’ my way… ALL NIGHT LONG…   sorry, you’re stuck with it for another five hours at least.

But the people who sang that are no one-hit wonders. However, it is their misfortune that they are Canadian, and so, despite having an impressive array of songs, nobody has ever heard of them, and think that their songs are from Pink Floyd – or some other  British/American skinny old white male song.

To serve my adopted country, allow me to set the record straight: this is a song from Red Rider and the lead singer is called Tom Cochrane, and he was performing in Halifax last year, only nobody was interested in going to see him.  Now that I have listened to a few more of their songs, I think I would, if he were to return.  Here’s one to savour:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment