COLUMN EIGHTY-TWO, JANUARY 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
VANCOUVER GNR RIOT
ATTACK OF THE MULLETARDS...LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS!
my cock big enough/Is my brain small enough/for you to make me a
star?/Give me a toot/I'll sell you my soul/Pull my strings and I'll go
- Dead Kennedys
The lines of
police advanced on the enraged crowd, drumming their truncheons on their riot
vacate the area! Disperse! There is nothing for you to see here!" one cop
shouted over a bullhorn.
you!" someone hiding in the crowd shouted back.
And then it was
on. From the sidelines, an enraged
member of the Vancouver RCMP rushed forward and slammed his truncheon into the
face of a spectator too stupid to have left the scene the moment the police
arrived. He went down, and went
down hard, where the Size 12 delivered several more viciously painful shots to
his face. The spectator was dragged
to his feet and shoved forward.
along!" the RCMP constable spat, venom flecking his lips. The spectator
showed the cop his front teeth, which lay in a coagulating pool of blood and
sputum in his outstretched, shaking hand. But
the constables had little time to examine this crude dentistry; the sound of
shattering glass and the joyous cheer of reckless endangerment had them spinning
on their heels, racing off into the darkness to kick the hell out of another
A World Trade
Order protest? Hey hey, ho ho, WTO Has Got To Go!" Nope.
British Columbia had its third riot of recent memory not over a political event
such as the APEC fiasco (also dubbed The Riot At The Hyatt), not over losing the
Stanley Cup to the New York Rangers, (which was certainly more
folks, it was a Guns 'N' Roses concert gone bad.
Say what you want about Canadians being demure, peaceful folk, but we
take our rock n roll seriously and we get mighty pissed when the Big Show
doesn't hit its mark on time...
Roses...what a band...or is that WAS a band? No one has heard a lick from the
band since 1992, when they released their double album (each sold separately in
what many fans believed to be a big money grab) just before Nirvana stepped into
the limelight and stole the "hard" music scene with Smells Like
Teen Spirit, forever changing the face of heavy music.
Poison Hairstack was passť, dreadlocks were in, acid wash and the
white-front-black-three-quarter-sleeved-airbrushed shirts were out, and flannel
and corduroy was way, way in. Also
out were white Reebok high tops and cowboy boots, replaced by Doc Martens and
London Underground shitkickers. Seattle's
"grungers" as they were called, grumbled that they had always dressed
this way; no matter---the look was High Fashion and there was nothing they could
do about it.
It took Cobain
jamming out those 3-5-7 position power chords to fell the Giants of Metal (Ozzy
omitted) and then, to kill the Whore of Grunge Babylon, nuking his face off with
a shotgun to end the madness of it all. And
into that vacuum, fell one William Axl Rose.
Say what you
will about the Glam Rokk era of late 1980's and early 1990's metal.
Most of it has no defense. With
guys out there wearing more make-up than Tammy Fae Baker and tighter pants than
many hookers, taking stage names such as Poison's Rikki Rocket, it is hard not
to laugh. I saw CC Deville on Rock N Roll Jeopardy, high as a kite on
cocaine, making a total ass of himself, buzzing in on his own Daily Double. To
his credit, the little bugger took the win, but man, that was some sad stuff...
But Guns 'N'
Roses were different. Their
break-out album, Appetite For
Mr. Brownstone has to be one of their best songs, all these years past.
They lived what they wrote. No matter how ugly they were, no matter how
foul-mouthed, tattooed and willfully ignorant they came across, there was no
question, GNR was REAL.
As the rocket
of Grunge took off, GNR broke up. Guitarist
Slash, who, incidentally, played for Michael Jackson and Lenny Kravitz at one
point, formed Slash's Snakepit, a horribly doomed band that sounded like a GNR
coverband that pumped out one, maybe two albums before getting bitten on the ass
by the mongoose of failure. The
same can be said of Duff McKaggen's band, which I think, but am not sure, was
called "Duff". But the
key player in the whole Evil Empire of GNR disappeared forever...or so it
through depression for most of his life prior to forming GNR. As the success of
GNR declined, and as bands such as Soundgarden, Tad, Hole, et al began
their own climb to stardom, Rose's depression got worse. He became increasingly isolated. His marriage dissolved,
although I would chalk that up to substance abuse and anger management, more
than the Badmotorfinger album. And
suddenly, like a bad 24-hour flu, GNR was no more.
released their first poser album (dubbed the Black Album, produced by dickhead
Bob Rock) and then metal was no more....
So imagine my
surprise as I leafed through the paper and saw an ad for Guns 'N' FN Roses
playing in Vancouver. I thought it
was a coverband. But no, it was the Real Deal, the Resurrection of the Demagogs.
They lived to Rokk again...
And the rest
was history...as Showtime approached, the mullets donned their acid wash and
high tops, and began converging on the venue like a scene out of the 80s horror
hit, C.H.U.D. I was surprised to
see so many of the Mullet Army had survived, but you know what they say, you
can't keep a KISS fan down with only a 10 year supply of steroids and crystal
methamphetamine...you need at least 100 50 gallon drums of good, strong ether
and at least as many pounds of PCP for that...
The Show Must
Go On is a euphemism for talking shit in the music bizz. Bands are continually
late to go on, being more involved in the free blowjobs and coke backstage than
actually giving the crowd the show they wanted to see, and as Ozzy said in a
recent interview, what they probably spent a week of overtime pay on.
Axl was a no-show and the place went mad, to cop a Clash line.
still feeling the effects of their straight meat and 'roids supper, became
enraged. Where was the Golden
Crooner? Drunk on JD and Lucky
Lager, they hit the streets, demanding re-payment for tickets purchased, many of
them plucked from the scabby hands of scalpers.
The promoter, realizing that the mob outside were not Celine Dion fans or
worshipers of Sir Michael Bolton, but rather enraged psychopaths with strange
and bizarre perversions for things unmentionable, called the RCMP.
The police did
their best to disperse the crowd, but the Blue Collar Boyz were having none of
it and fought for the right to stay and wait for Rose, who, if you have seen
him, is now a Fat Elvis version of his former self. Like Orangutans, they lobbed
melon-sized chunks of paving and garbage cans from two stories above the RCMP's
policemen were injured. Several arrests were made, and as the cops retaliated
violence upon the violence-doers, some in the crowd began chanting,
"Fascist! Fascist! Hate Crime!" giving more than just myself pause for
thought. I guess the Metalhead of
the 1980's is now also a conscientious objector to police brutality too. Right
on, brutha! Fight the Powa! Or something...
I can't side
with the rioters on this one. Yep,
you got bashed in the face. You got your teeth KO'd.
That sucks. I feel for you. Well,
not really. I think if you're stupid enough to hang around when the Big Boys
With the Big Toys show up, it's time to book it.
Ask yourself: Is Axl Rose worth a root canal?
Do I really have to answer that for you?
Axl, in a
"rare" interview on a Seattle radio station (rare? could it be that no
one has heard from him because no on WANTS to?) he claimed the airport was to
It may be sad to say, but GNR is a long dead dog, with nothing to show
for it except the herpes blisters and the scars of a long gone dose of
crab-itch. It's a shame, because in
this day and age, there are few bands who still kick it like they say they do,
like Ozzy and Hank Rollins to name just a couple. Sabbath and Motorhead take
honorable mention. I threw in the
Appetite bootleg my wife has, and man, that album still kicks some serious ass.
Too bad Axl can't back that kick up anymore.
But that's just this Rokk fan's opinion. And like an asshole, everyone has one... ##
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