Classic Rock

All Famous Musicians Axl Rose Harassed and Fought

todayApril 3, 2024

Background
share close

Axl Rose, the firebrand frontman of Guns N’ Roses, is a walking paradox. His soaring vocals and electrifying stage presence have cemented him as a rock and roll legend. However, his temper is equally legendary, leaving a trail of scorched earth in its wake.

From fistfights with fellow musicians to inciting riots, Axl’s explosive personality has made headlines for decades. Yet, beneath the fiery exterior lies a man of surprising complexity. Axl boasts a sharp intellect and a ruthless business sense, adept at negotiating record deals and controlling his band’s image.

However, it’s often his temper that takes center stage, overshadowing his talent and leaving a long list of musical casualties in its path. This article delves into the tangled web of feuds and altercations that have become synonymous with the name Axl Rose.

We’ll explore the musicians who dared to cross paths with the “Welcome to the Jungle” singer and lived to tell the tale (or, at least, share their grievances with the press).

The Infamous “Fat Axl” Meme Storm

2011 saw a new side of Axl Rose emerge, and it wasn’t one he embraced. Leaked photos revealed a significant weight gain, sparking a whirlwind of online memes.

Fans reveled in the unexpected humor, crafting images with captions like “Sweet Child o’ Mine” knocking on McDonald’s doors and “Welcome to the Jungle: We’ve got tons of cake!” The “Fat Axl” phenomenon spread like wildfire across the internet.

However, Axl was far from amused. Infuriated by the online mockery, he demanded the removal of the unflattering pictures. He enlisted his lawyers to issue copyright takedown notices, attempting to erase any trace of the memes.

Unfortunately for Axl, this aggressive approach backfired spectacularly. Instead of silencing the jokes, his actions only fueled the fire. The attempts to censor the images drew even more attention, ensuring the “Fat Axl” meme became a permanent fixture in internet lore.

A Rocky Start vs. Iron Maiden

The early days of Guns N’ Roses were peppered with Axl Rose’s fiery temper. On their 1988 tour promoting their debut album, tensions arose when they opened for Iron Maiden. In Quebec City, frustration set in for Axl when Guns N’ Roses couldn’t soundcheck due to Maiden’s elaborate stage setup.

This only intensified when Rose insulted the French-speaking crowd, angering Iron Maiden’s frontman, Bruce Dickinson. Looking back in 2015, Dickinson expressed regret for not punching Axl, highlighting the animosity that had taken root.

The feud continued later that year at the Monsters of Rock Festival. Interviews revealed a mutual dislike. Axl scoffed at comparisons to Iron Maiden, dismissing their music as lacking “rock and roll” spirit. This public jab added fuel to the fire burning between the two bands. 

Tragically, during Guns N’ Roses’ set, a crowd surge resulted in the death of two fans despite Axl’s attempts to control the situation. This incident, however, wouldn’t be the only one marred by violence at a Guns N’ Roses show.

The Embarrassing Feud Against Vince Neil

The 1989 MTV Music Video Awards saw an unexpected turn when Mötley Crüe presented Guns N’ Roses with awards for “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. What should have been a celebratory moment turned sour.

Backstage, fueled by accusations of Izzy Stradlin groping Vince Neil’s wife, a brawl erupted. Neil punched Stradlin, and Axl Rose, enraged, charged in, threatening Neil. Security personnel intervened, preventing further violence.

The media frenzy surrounding the incident heightened tensions. Axl, on MTV, taunted Neil, issuing a public challenge for a fight, anywhere, anytime. Nearly a year later, Neil responded. In a televised interview, he accepted the challenge, specifying the time and place for a televised brawl.

Despite the media hype, the fight never happened. As grunge music emerged and Nirvana rose to fame, the Guns N’ Roses-Mötley Crüe feud faded into the background, though Axl Rose would soon find himself embroiled in another rivalry.

Another MTV Altercation, But This Time With Nirvana 

Axl Rose’s relationship with Kurt Cobain started on a strange note. Despite being a fan, sporting a Nirvana hat in their video, Axl’s gesture seemed to backfire. Cobain publicly distanced Nirvana from Guns N’ Roses, even refusing a lucrative tour offer in 1992. This perceived rejection escalated tensions.

Public insults became the norm. Infamously, Axl burned a Nirvana hat onstage and made disparaging remarks about Cobain’s family. Their animosity culminated in a dramatic face-to-face altercation backstage at the 1992 MTV VMAs.

The situation at the VMAs was volatile. Courtney Love’s taunts and Dave Grohl’s antics further inflamed tensions. Even a mistaken act of spitting almost caused chaos onstage. Despite the animosity, this incident highlights the unpredictable nature of their relationship.

Chaotic Co-Headlining Tour With Metallica

A 1992 co-headlining tour with Metallica revealed another facet of Axl Rose’s volatile personality. Tension simmered from the start, with James Hetfield mocking the excessive demands in Axl’s tour rider. Disaster struck during Metallica’s set when a pyrotechnic mishap injured Hetfield, forcing an abrupt end to their performance. This unexpected turn presented Guns N’ Roses with the opportunity to salvage the night with a longer set.

Unfortunately, Axl’s decisions further inflamed the situation. He extended the intermission for an unreasonable three hours, followed by a shortened Guns N’ Roses set due to a sore throat. This infuriated the crowd, who erupted into riots both within the stadium and out on the streets. The chaos resulted in overturned police cars, looted merchandise booths, and multiple bonfires, causing an estimated $600,000 in damage.

Metallica’s road crew reported minimal remorse from Axl after the incident. Band members publicly criticized Guns N’ Roses, with James Hetfield calling out Axl’s attitude and professionalism. This disastrous tour marked the beginning of a long-standing feud between the two bands. 

Internal Combustion

Axl Rose’s fiery temper wasn’t confined to external feuds. The volatility he displayed towards other bands also extended to his own bandmates. Guns N’ Roses, a band known for its raw energy and tight musicianship, harbored a simmering pot of tension fueled by Axl’s personality.  Creative differences became a constant source of friction.

Slash, the band’s iconic top-hatted guitarist, frequently clashed with Axl. Slash’s blues-influenced riffs and desire for a more stripped-down sound often clashed with Axl’s growing interest in more orchestral arrangements. Beyond musical direction, Axl’s increasingly controlling attitude towards songwriting and performance became a major point of contention.

This internal combustion ultimately led to the devastating break-up of the band’s classic lineup.  By 1996, the creative strain and personal animosity reached a boiling point. Slash, unable to reconcile his vision with Axl’s direction, decided to leave the band.

His departure marked the end of an era for Guns N’ Roses. While the band continued with a revolving lineup of musicians, it could never recapture the raw energy and chemistry that defined the early years, a casualty of Axl’s volatile personality.

A Reunion (of Sorts) and Continued Drama

Despite Axl Rose’s tumultuous reputation, a glimmer of hope emerged in 2016. A version of Guns N’ Roses featuring the classic lineup – Axl, Slash, and Duff McKagan – reunited for the Not in This Lifetime tour. This reunion tour became the third highest-grossing of all time, proving that the magic of Guns N’ Roses still resonated with fans.

However, even this reunion wasn’t without its share of drama. Several former band members who played with Axl after Slash’s departure spoke out about negative experiences. This cast a shadow over the “reunion” narrative, highlighting the lingering effects of Axl’s past behavior.

The legacy of Axl Rose remains a complex one. Undoubtedly a talented musician, his undeniable temper and controlling tendencies have created a long trail of conflict and animosity.  Yet, the success of the Not in This Lifetime tour suggests a potential for Guns N’ Roses to continue, even with a more measured approach from Axl.

Whether Axl can truly move past his checkered history and maintain a professional environment within the band remains to be seen.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

Rate it

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Who we are

Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, alternative, or heavy metal, LP Rock has got you covered. Our curated stations and live DJ sets will keep you entertained and rocking out for hours on end.

Listen Links

LP Classic Rock
https://cast.lprock.live/proxy/lpclassic?mp=/128k

LP Active Rock
https://cast.lprock.live/proxy/lpactive?mp=/128k

LP Country Rock
https://cast.lprock.live/proxy/lpcountry?mp=/128k

Navigate

0%