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Posts tagged "Axl Rose"

The Secret History of William Axl Rose [Super Deluxe Edition]

The Secret History of William Axl Rose [Super Deluxe Edition]

Well, the unthinkable has happened. Axl and Slash have buried the hatchet and are confirmed to be playing a headlining set (with Duff, possibly others) at Coachella this year. True to my word, to celebrate the momentous news, I’m posting the full Guns n Roses chapter of A Mess of Help. Portions of it appeared years ago in various forms on this site, but what you’ll find below was completely rewritten and is about three times longer – thus the Super Deluxe descriptor. Hope you have a fraction of the fun reading it that I had writing it. 

Intrigued, excited, and…

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Why I Spent Last Year Writing a Book About Pop Music

Why I Spent Last Year Writing a Book About Pop Music

Thought I’d kick off the new year with the introduction from A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll (minus the footnotes), something of a personal essay and one which spells out a bit of the thinking behind this whole Mockingbird project.

It was the kind of question that sticks with a person, especially when they’re seventeen. My father asked me one day, out of the blue, “What do you think matters more to people your age—music or movies? Which has more influence?” Even then, I knew enough not to speak for ‘people my age’. But my…

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Another Week Ends: Louis CK, Sam Spade, Prevailing Grace, Heavy Metal, Axl Rose, Viennese Creativity, Cabin in the Woods, and yes, more Damsels in Distress

Another Week Ends: Louis CK, Sam Spade, Prevailing Grace, Heavy Metal, Axl Rose, Viennese Creativity, Cabin in the Woods, and yes, more Damsels in Distress

1. “The Filthy Moralist: How Louis C.K. Became America’s Unlikely Conscience” in The Atlantic is remarkable, especially in its conclusion. As always when it comes to Louis, there’s a high depravity quotient, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. But also as always when it comes to Louis, the darkness is not neutral or meaningless (or merely shocking). In fact, it might even be worth the discomfort in this case to get to the final couple of paragraphs, which truly capture what Louis is about, whether he wants to be or not. It strikes me as especially pertinent as we…

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High-School Jesus Phases and Doubts About One's Doubts

High-School Jesus Phases and Doubts About One’s Doubts

How to create a Pavlovian response in yours truly: 1. Produce extended, compassionate essays on Michael Jackson and Axl Rose. 2. Let it slip that you were raised Episcopalian. 3. Prompt a number of your colleagues to compare you with David Foster Wallace, going so far as to proclaim you his literary heir. 4. Write an extremely funny and not entirely unsympathetic article about a Christian Rock festival. This is what John Jeremiah Sullivan has done in the past few years.

I remember reading his piece on the initial GNR comeback shows in 2006 and thinking it was the best writing…

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The Secret History of William Axl Rose, Pt 3: Left So Far Out From The Shore

The Secret History of William Axl Rose, Pt 3: Left So Far Out From The Shore

Concluding our three-part series on Axl Rose. Read part one and part two.

“The name [Guns n Roses] helped the music [on Chinese Democracy] more than you could ever know, and I’m not talking in regards to studios and budgets. I mean it as in being pushed by something, and having to get the music to a place where I can find my peace regardless of what anyone says.” – Axl Rose, 2009

We come now to the third act, or what some might call the epilogue of the story. With the original band having gone up in smoke sometime in the…

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The Secret History of William Axl Rose, Pt 2: Everything Was Roses When We Held On To The Guns

The Secret History of William Axl Rose, Pt 2: Everything Was Roses When We Held On To The Guns

Continuing with our three part series on Axl Rose. Read part one here.

“Those who are predisposed to fall into despondency as well as to rise into the ecstasy may be able to view reality from an angle different from that of ordinary folk. Yet it is a true angle; and when the problem or the religious object has been once so viewed, others less sensitive will be able to look from a new vantage point and testify that the insight is valid.” – Roland Bainton, writing about Martin Luther

“I just want to bury Appetite. I don’t want to live my…

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The Secret History of William Axl Rose, Pt 1: Things Get Worse Here Every Day

The Secret History of William Axl Rose, Pt 1: Things Get Worse Here Every Day

There are 101 reasons to love Axl Rose. His music, his voice, his antics, his hair, his moves, you name it – all undeniably fascinating. One of the unsung aspects of his career, however, is the extent to which it illustrates the Christian understanding of Judgment and Love. I’m serious. The crushing power of the Law (the omnipresent “oughts” of life), in both its sacred and secular forms, finds unfortunate yet serious traction in the saga of Guns N Roses, with Axl Rose as its main object (and part of its subject). Yet his story also touches on the inspiring…

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Welcome to the 3-D Jungle (of Pandora) - James Cameron's Avatar

Welcome to the 3-D Jungle (of Pandora) – James Cameron’s Avatar

As Avatar-fever begins to grip the nation and the world, writer/director/deep-sea-diver James Cameron is once again back in the spotlight. Any time an ambitious and successful figure takes such a long layoff (Axl Rose), it is important to take note – has it really been 12 years since Titanic?! How our hearts have gone on…

In case it wasn’t abundantly clear before, Cameron’s layoff has everything to do with an almost astronomical need to prove himself. To be the best and the biggest. His identity is so completely wrapped up in his achievements, in his works if you will, that each…

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A Malleable Feast? Perception, Reality and the Cross

A Malleable Feast? Perception, Reality and the Cross

I ran across this op-ed piece by A. E. Hotchner in the NY times the other day objecting to how the new edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast,

“…has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife. The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light. Ten other chapters that roused the grandson’s displeasure have been relegated to an appendix, thereby, according to the grandson, creating…

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The Wisdom Of W. Axl Rose, pt 1

The Wisdom Of W. Axl Rose, pt 1

On the misuse of God’s Law and the importance of a low Ecclesiology: “I was brainwashed in a Pentecostal church. I’m not against churches or religion, but I do believe, like I said in “Garden of Eden,” that most organized religions make a mockery of humanity. My particular church was filled with self-righteous hypocrites who were child abusers and child molesters. These were people who’d been damaged in their own childhoods and in their lives. These were people who were finding God but still living with their damage and inflicting it upon their children. I had to go to church…

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CHINESE DEMOCRACY

CHINESE DEMOCRACY

With the Holy Grail scheduled to drop in a mere two days, I had planned to post a magnum opus in tribute. Others have beaten me to the punch. The best thing I have read so far (and I’ve read everything) is by Chuck Klosterman over at The Onion A/V Club. Say what you will about Klosterman, but he’s always stuck by Axl; even in his (near constant) ribbing, the genuine affection was always clear. There may be many, many amusing things about Guns N Roses, but at the end of the day, they are not a joke. Not to…

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Links, Whit, Jarvis, Wes, Axl

Links, Whit, Jarvis, Wes, Axl

1. I’ve finally revamped the links section. There are a bunch of new ones, so be sure to check them all out. Of special note: contemporary sacred music doesn’t get any better than High Street Hymns. And Caroline Henley’s Buy Or Don’t Buy never fails to amuse.

2. IFC just published an interview with Whit Stillman where he discusses some of his new projects. Last year I got to read a copy of the Dancing Mood script (a love story shot mainly in Jamaican gospel churches…!), and I really, really hope it gets made. Even better, his debut film…

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