There’s nothing as good as seeing your favorite band live. And I love getting to share those kinds of stories with you guys from time to time.
So when my Twitter pal, and fellow blogger, Samantha asked if she could write another guest post for me (check out her first one on traveling to the Counting Crows multiple times last year!), I said YES ABSOLUTELY! She has such a genuine love for music, and I was excited to share more.
And man, Samantha did NOT disappoint. Read on as she chronicles how she fell in love with Guns N’ Roses in the most unlikely way and what it was like finally seeing them live this summer.
“I just need a little patience”
By Samantha, samanthacycles.com
I was 14 years old when I sat in front of my best friend’s television mesmerized at the spectacle in front of me as I watched the video for “Paradise City.” Who were these guys? And they barely have any clothes on. There was a guitar rift I couldn’t get out of my head. They were very in my face.
So different than the bands I was obsessed with at the time – Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths. I was the goth girl with the black clothes and the white make up. I couldn’t let anyone know of my new fascination. There was no Internet then. I had to go to the grocery store and look at the magazine rack to find out more. And I had to stay up late to secretly watch Headbanger’s Ball.
Soon I saw the scribbles on the binder of the girl who sat next to me in biology. I prodded a little to find out more. Turns out she was obsessed with the band and the guitar player. She said his name was Slash. That he was “so fine.” I replied, “You can’t even see his face! How do you know what even really looks like? And why does he wear that stupid hat? I don’t get it!”
Shortly after she brought in a magazine photo of Slash’s face. “Ohhhhhhhhh. I get it.” Later she brought me a cassette tape copy of Appetite for Destruction. I went home that day, put it in my little boom box, and sat in my room and listened to the whole thing. ABOUT 50 TIMES. They blatantly sang about drugs, sex, getting arrested and all around debauchery. But the music was catchy and had a certain bluesy groove to it with all the right hooks. It felt so honest. No gimmicks. Just good old fashioned rock n’ roll.
Not too long after this, it became more than obvious to my best friend that when MTV played one of their videos I watched intently, and I knew the words. The cat was out of the bag. This goth girl who worshiped at the feet of Dave Gahan was a full-fledged obsessed Guns N’ Roses fan.
And it turned out, so was she.
And thus is the story of the beginnings of my love for Guns N’ Roses. It carried through high school with November Rain, Don’t Cry, Estranged and everything else on the Use Your Illusion albums.
And then POOF! The original five members finally all split apart. And I never got to see them live in concert. There seemed to be no hope for an Axl Rose and Slash reunion as time wore on. It was never going to happen. And honestly I lost faith like everyone else.
For me, Guns N’ Roses was about Axl, Slash, and Duff McKagan. They were the core to me. The chemistry between the three of them or Axl and Slash was just never matched for me as Guns N’ Roses continued on in various forms over the years.
I continued to follow Slash and everything he’s done over the last 20+ years. Imagine my utter shock when it was announced Gun N’ Roses that included Axl, Slash and Duff were going to play some shows and then tour. I’m pretty sure I ran around the house screaming like a 14-year-old teenage girl. I also never thought they would make it past a few shows before everything just melted down.
Turns out I was dead wrong. No meltdowns. Shows started on time. There was no Alx of years past throwing down the mic and storming off stage. Slash and Axl seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. There was so much chemistry when they were on stage. I know this because I’ve watched every single video from the tour that has been posted to YouTube. The tour now moves on to South America, Australia and Japan. What an amazing thing for these fans in these countries.
I ended up getting to see them in San Francisco and Seattle. In San Francisco, I was up front in the pit, on Slash’s side of course. IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING. It was everything I ever dreamed it could be and more. There was a lot of high-fiving happening down there in the pit and everyone singing at the top of their lungs. It was a party – an appreciation/I can’t believe my eyes party.
In Seattle we had great seats, second row up from field level. I could see the whole spectacle of the stadium show from these seats as opposed to when I was down in the pit in San Francisco. We danced and sang for 2.5 hours. Again, more high-fiving from random strangers. The concert was at Century Link Field, where the Seattle Seahawks play, and it was the loudest crowd and concert I have ever been to. Holy hell it is loud inside that stadium. I loved every minute.
Turns out I just needed 20+ years of patience to see my teenage fantasy come to life right in front of my eyes. Dreams sometimes do eventually come true. May I not have to wait another 20, because frankly the band and I will be mighty old by then.
Samantha loves music, photography, travel, and bicycling around her home state of California. She blogs about all these adventures and more at SamanthaCycles.com. For more adventures from Samantha, find her at @samanthacycles on Twitter and @samanthacycles on Instagram.