You’re my number one guy, Axl. I didn’t actually watch this landmark television event that placed the author of “Mr. Brownstone” mere inches from the guy who used to co-host “Win Ben Stein’s Money” but I heard it was barely worth it ’cause Kimmel didn’t ask Axl a damn thing about the “Estranged” video or why it took a decade to record all the drums for Chinese Democracy. COME ON JIMMY, GET WITH THE PROGRAM.
I went on a severely long road trip with a handful of friends to parts unknown; on the way back, we stopped at a McDonald’s in the Midwest noted for its immense shrine to Appetite For Destruction era Guns n’ Roses. Five massive obelisks had been erected in a grassy field next to this McDonald’s—one for each member of the band, each decorated with something unique to the personality of the band member in question (Slash’s obelisk had a top hat, obviously; Axl’s had a kilt and a bottle of Night Train; etc).
It was cool gawking at this GNR memorial but eventually I craved chicken nuggets. I went into the McDonald’s to discover the kitchen was being sublet to a group of sorority sisters from a nearby college. Thus, no one really knew how to make the food. I wandered back outside where I saw Sean William Scott taking his shoes off so he could meditate in front of the Axl obelisk.
Guns n’ Roses Drummer Issues Lengthy Statement About Guns n’ Roses Three Days After Announcing He Was Done Talking About Guns n’ Roses
The Matt Sorum of Saturday was all, “I don’t wanna talk about Guns n’ Roses anymore.” The Matt Sorum of today is all, “LOL, here’s eight hundred words about Guns n’ Roses I just wrote.” What’s up, bro? Sounds like you need some time to just chill out and think about things. Why don’t you plop yourself on the sofa, tear open a Schlitz, and just take a few hours to contemplate the mess in your head. You’ll feel better afterward, trust me.
Today is April 16th, 2012, and we are now living in a world where Guns n’ Roses is a museum exhibit. It was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s their fault for living beyond forty. Can you believe every single member of Guns n’ Roses is still alive? None of them died! Three Ramones are dead, and they drank Yoo-Hoo. Axl Rose ate large blocks of cocaine like coffee cake in the late eighties and somehow he sashayed his way into the Ed Hardy era. Of course, Axl and the rest of Guns have been culturally condemned for a while now: The only question anyone’s had for anybody on that totem pole since the release of Chinese Democracy has been, “Hey, when’s the real Guns n’ Roses getting back together?”
It must really sting now that the Guns are officially enshrined in the Cleveland Temple of Doom. I say that because drummer Matt Sorum announced shortly after
his carbonite freezing process the induction ceremony that he’ll no longer be “commenting” on his former band in interviews or on Twitter or down at the tattoo parlor (or anywhere else, ever, I guess). Okay, Matt, but that doesn’t leave a whole lot to discuss.
I’ll admit I could read a healthy magazine article about that Neurotic Outsiders record you made with Steve Jones, and sure, maybe I have some questions about Y Kant Tori Read, but where do we go after that? I’d be lying if I said I gave a tinker’s damn about your performance on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme song. I have even less interest in your bandana collection.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, Matt, I know, but look at Axl. He did the most logical thing he could after he fired all of you: He assembled a rag tag crew of MVP musicians to constitute the “new” Guns n’ Roses, and the world still sniffed with massive, crushing indifference. The whole thing came across like those final seasons of “Happy Days” where they had Ted McGinley and Crystal Bernard. It’s not that Ted McGinley and Crystal Bernard aren’t great, it’s just that we grew up with Ron Fucking Howard, and goddammit, that’s who we wanna see getting the business from Potsie and Mr. C. Yes, I am equating Tommy Stinson with the chick form “Wings,” and neither one of them should have any issue with that.
But I digress. Let me know how that whole “not commenting” on GNR thing goes after you’ve been stuck at the Kansas City Airport for thirteen hours amongst a gaggle of weary travelers who don’t follow your Twitter. If you didn’t want to spend the rest of your life fielding questions about a potential reunion with Axl or Slash’s shoe size or the cymbal hiss on “Don’t Cry,” maybe you should have just stayed in the Cult.
The Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers also went into the Rock Hall over the weekend, which means the nineties might be over, the eighties are definitely over, and those socks the Chili Peppers wore on their genitals are probably being delicately handled by a RNRHOF intern as I type this. Make sure the decades-old sweat stains are visible in that display case, Mortimer! That’s what the people are paying to see!
“South Park” ramped up the debate over their rather curious Dr Pepper connection on last night’s season finale by making the soft drink a semi-major plot point. The episode found Kenny and Cartman briefly living in a foster home run by a pair of strict Agnostics. As the father is giving his new children a tour of his home, he declares that they are only allowed to drink “Agnostic beverages.” He then opens the fridge to reveal it packed to the gills with Dr Pepper.
“What flavor is it?” the father opines as he holds up a can. “It is neither root beer nor cola. Nobody is sure what flavor it is, and nobody can be sure.”
The foster parents later get in trouble for providing nothing to drink but the Pep, and it’s eventually revealed they cruelly (and hilariously) punish the insolent members of their brood with gallons of the sticky sweetness. It should be noted that the episode singled out another leisure beverage, Pabst Blue Ribbon, as the cause of any and all domestic disputes between lower class caucasians in rural areas.
So, this would all seem to confirm Dr Pepper’s recent assertion that they have no affiliation with “South Park,” right? Would a Texas-based soft drink giant agree to get into bed with this show if it knew their product would be aligned with Agnostics? Would any soft drink company sign up for this if they knew their product would be used as a torture device on frightened children in a dimly lit basement? Doesn’t seem likely. I guess this was the Parker/Stone way of saying, “We do not have any kind of placement deal, we’re just gloriously fucking with another American institution.”
On the other hand, Dr Pepper got in bed with those rabble rousers Guns n’ Roses a few years ago by trying to give everyone in the country free soda to mark the release of Chinese Democracy. Granted, that turned into a complete wash, but it proves that this beverage brand isn’t above working with profane, subversive, and strange entertainment entities. Again, I declare this investigation ongoing, and the bottom shall be reached hopefully before I expire.
On the left, W. Axl fronting Guns n’ Roses 2.0 Sunday night at Rock in Rio in Brazil. On the right, Tracey Walter as the Joker’s right hand man Bob in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. The media can run their mouths all they want about “Breaking Bad” references, but us Bat-fans know the real deal behind Axl’s eye-catching wardrobe.
Direct from the Dr’s mouth, here are the official instructions on how to obtain your free twenty ouncer once Chinese Democracy hits the streets (provided it actually does hit the streets):
1. On the Nov. 23, 2008 release date, go to www.drpepper.com.
2. Register your information to receive a coupon for one free 20-oz. Dr Pepper.
3. When your coupon arrives, redeem it wherever Dr Pepper is sold.
4. Drink your Dr Pepper slowly to experience all 23 flavors. Dr’s orders.
Coupons will be available for 24 hours, starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 23, 2008. Allow 4-6 weeks for coupon to arrive. Coupons will expire on Feb. 28, 2009. Limit one coupon per person. Full terms and conditions available at http://www.drpepper.com.
Personally, I think it’s kind of bullshitty that the coupons will only be available for twenty-four hours. I mean, there’s a pretty good chance drpepper.com will be completely crippled by the number of thirsty Americans logging on that day. We’re on the verge of a goddamn depression. Everyone wants free everything. Dr P better have enough bandwidth or else I’m suing.
And why the hell do the coupons expire so friggin’ early? What if I want to cash in my free Dr P when I really need it—in the middle of July? Dr Pepper, you’re kind of being an asshole about this. If you don’t knock it off, I’m going to switch primary health care physicians to Dr. Thunder.
The first single from Chinese Democracy was released today, but I don’t necessarily take that as a sign the long-awaited album will actually hit Best Buy shelves next month. There’s plenty of time between now and November 23rd for Axl to cancel the whole thing with one wave of his freckled forearm.
I can already envision Blackwater-esque armed guards raiding Best Buys across the country minutes before the clock strikes 11/23, acting on strict orders from William Bailey himself to round up every copy of Chi Dem and send the bulk to the same Arizona landfill that houses all the unsold E.T. Atari cartridges from the 1980s. It would be a dick movie, sure, but at least Axl’s sanity would momentarily be in check and Dr Pepper would save God knows how many gallons of their delightful sugary pop.
But I digress. The newest GNR single is the title track from CD, which you can hear here (complete with an annoying female voice sexily saying, “Music on demand!” to discourage you from bootlegging this shit and throwing it on YouTube!). It’s a barely different version from the one included in the infamous June 2008 Nine Song GNR Leak (which I reviewed here). I stand by my original opinion. “Chinese Democracy” is nothing special. It’s certainly not the door-smasher Axl needs to get the world revved up about his fourteen years-in-the-making project. He probably should have lead off with something completely fresh—i.e. a tune that wasn’t part of the aforementioned leak, like “Sorry” or “Prostitute.”
Of course, who am I to be giving Axl Rose armchair advice? He’s the botoxed, cornrowed genius who fired Slash and replaced him with Buckethead. I’m just some schmoe in Brooklyn who’s never had the balls to even once combine a kilt with a Charles Manson t-shirt.
I mean, this is a perfectly acceptable album cover following a decade plus of musical shenanigans:
No way does that look like the cover to a Blues Traveler b-side. You’re on target, Axl. Stay the course and all will be forgiven. You know I’ll be linin’ up at midnight for this shit, wrapped in a couple extra sweaters in case the riots get too out of hand. Chinese Democracy starts now, bitch tits! It’s gonna make the Super Bowl look like the Pro Bowl (oh, SNAP)!