“I’m late to everything. I’ve always wanted to have it written in my will that when I die, the coffin shows up a half hour late and says on the side, like in gold ‘Sorry I’m Late'”
Probably one of my biggest rock star crushes, Mr W. Axl Rose. Born as ‘William Bruce Rose’ on 06 February 1962 (age 54) in Lafayette, Indiana my hero began his journey to forming one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. His mother was 16, and his father, William Bruce Rose Sr., was 20. Rose Sr. left when his son was a toddler. Rose’s mother later married Stephen Bailey and changed her son’s name to William Bruce Bailey. Rose grew up believing that Bailey was his biological father until, at 17, he discovered the existence of his father while going through papers at his parents’ house. He began using Rose as his last name.
Axl had a very tough childhood and suffered physical, mental and sexual abuse from as young as the age of 3 from his stepfather which ultimately left him scarred for life. Axl was born in to a strict Christian family background which expected him to be a ‘golden child’, he sang in the local choir and was punished when he was found listening to the Beatles as it was not god’s music. As Axl grew older, he was kicked out because of how long his hair was ( at this point, it was just above his ears!)
Eventually, Axl said ‘enough!’ to his strict life , grew his hair out and started trying things such as drugs and alcohol to rebel at his parents. Rose was frequently in trouble with the police and spent time in jail on charges of public intoxication and battery. When the police threatened to charge him as a career criminal, he moved to Los Angeles in 1982. Shortly after, he joined the band AXL. The experience was so all-consuming that he legally changed his name to W. Axl Rose. Axl Rose happens to be an anagram for ‘oral sex’.
Axl Rose formed Guns N’ Roses in 1985 with Slash, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan after they changed their name from ‘Hollywood Rose’. They released Appetite for Destruction in 1988 and this kick started their fame. Enough of the history, time to explain just what Axl means to me. Knowing the constant battle that he went through due to his traumatising childhood, he still got up on that stage and inspired millions of people that you really can do anything if you put your mind to it. Although he was well-known for being late or not showing up at all, Axl usually had good reason. With his new earnings, he spent it on hiring psychiatrists and various other mental and physical health specialists to coach and help him up to 4 hours everyday. This was why he sometimes couldn’t make it on to the stage if he was having a really bad time. Surprisingly, he was the only band member who didn’t fall in to a deep pit of substance abuse only occasionally doing coke.
He constantly battled with many suicidal thoughts and often came close to actually acting upon them, but Doug Goldstein (the band’s manager) managed to talk him out of it. Although at one point he lost a lot of friends, he is still here today and reunited with most of the original line up of Guns N’ Roses. Proving just how strong and caring he can be after a lot of help. It is even more warming how he is able to finally put his differences with Slash behind him and focus on doing what he does best, performing. I also love him because of the way he interacts with the audience, he brings so much energy to the performance and defiantly a lot of excitement. Axl Rose will forever be one of the greatest frontmen in any rock n roll band that’s ever existed. I’m lucky enough to go and see Guns N’ Roses Live in June and I will defiantly be writing a post about my experience after I’ve gone.
I hope you now have a better understanding into the history of Axl Rose before you point any fingers at him for being a ‘dick’. I’m sure I will do other follow-up post’s about him because I seem to know a lot of stuff, Thank you for reading.