Now, just you hold your music snobbery horses there, cowboy. Yes, this is about Guns N Roses. I gave them a capital N, look.
Sometimes when you’re online you can’t help but notice a certain musical bias: I don’t use the word facism lightly. I’m not a fan of musical snobbery; food snobbery I like, it’s funny, but music is about your soul and therefore I think demands a little tolerance.
Take Axl Rose. [insert “please” gag here]. Is he a bit of a prat? Yes. Should Guns N Roses grow up and turn up on time? Yes. Should Axl stop throwing all his toys all over the place & stamping his artiste’s feet? Of course. Will I love Guns N Roses forever? Yes, I’m afraid so, because they are The Band. We all have a band who introduce us to the music we end up loving. Guns N Roses are my band. And Paradise City is my song.
I can remember where I was, who I was with and what we were doing the very first time I heard it. It was the 80s, and this was the moment when I first realised there was more to life than Wham. I was 11. I had just finished a starring role in the school production of “Bugsy Malone” (This is a lie. I was a first year and therefore an extra, although the Sixth former who played Bugsy did brush my arm thereby fuelling an almighty crush). We were having the after show party in the exclusive venue of the Sixth Form common room and someone put on Paradise City. Suddenly I stopped being a petrified First Year and I was in the crowd of big boys and girls, dancing. I made my friends come too, including the one who was quite cross with me because I’d made her tie into a “peanut”. They weren’t that fussed, but I was in full on epiphany mode and taking no prisoners.
Since then, Guns N Roses have been a soundtrack to my (ongoing) growing up process.
When I was 16 and visiting my older cousin at Uni, I was able to join in the Axl chat, which made me pretty damn cool, oh yes.
When MrBird and I were in the early stages of going out, we had a holiday in the Lake District and we played Appetite for Destruction while he taught me to riffle shuffle (#notaeuphemism). I perfected my card sharp moves to the sound of Axl wailing, which made me just about the coolest person ever.
Much later, I was blessed with two daughters, neither of whom enjoyed the going to sleep thing. Sweet Child of Mine was one of the songs I used to sing to get them to sleep or at least be quiet in the car. “The Wheels on the Bus” can kiss my rock n roll arse. It helped keep me sane, which was cool.
So. I love Axl, I love Guns N Roses, I love them despite the fact that they are 40somethings who need to stop behaving like teenagers. I love them because of it. One day I might finish growing up and not need them any more, but until then I am theirs.
I wonder if either of the girls would like to walk down the aisle to November Rain….?