Monday, December 28, 2015

Guns N Roses - 'Rocket Queen', Live 1988, The Ritz (non-HD version)

This is my favorite song on Appetite For Destruction, and it is also part of a sub-genre of AXL songs I like the best which is: after however many songs worth of sleaze and vitriol, potentially ignorant statements, and aching/oozing sentimentality, I will offer a quasi-confessional song at the end of my album/e.p./cassette which somehow both fulfills, negates, and magnifies all of the above qualities into an even larger but even tastier hot mess than that which preceded it. This is exactly why I love GNR, and always have and always will. 'Rocket Queen' is my favorite early GNR song for lots of reasons, but in the 1980's, it seemed to reopen questions of performative gender roles and sexual identity in a way that something like Poison could only play at doing. Whatever was going on with AXL & Co. was REAL in a way that just destroyed everything else on the ground. I mean I LOVE UNTRVE HAAIR METALZ but honestly my heart lay with GNR/L.A. Guns, Hanoi Rocks, Motley Crue and W.A.S.P., of these, my heart belonged first and foremost to GNR. I really fought with myself to put on the HD version of this, but it sounds so sharp and bright and clangy that I just couldn't do it. This version is gauzier and quieter, but the sounds actually blend together like they are supposed to, rather than just clashing like silverware in a dishwasher. I am old. I like things necro because I am close to the grave and tinnitus. Also, this performance rules despite/because AXL decides to wander off rather than sing the second verse in order to get a cigarette and then bother SLASH for a light off of his cigarette. AXL and SLASH are both totally shirtless so when some audience dude is like "hey! I also am shirtless! can I be part of your awesome club?" he gets pushed back into the crowd without even a glance of contempt. Love, Forever. And just for the record, I have heard about the possible reformation of the O.G. lineup of GNR and I have to say that is not something I particularly care about one way or another. I mean, sure, fine, ok. But what I REALLY WANT is new GNR songs. By this I mean AXL. Being someone who has had Appetite For Destruction on cassette since 1988, and who has bought every GNR album new in the store (except maybe The Spaghetti Incident? which might have come from Columbia House?), I will tell you all that my favorite GNR album hands down is Chinese Democracy and I have always wanted AXL to really tour with that lineup so I could see them and he hasn't exactly ever done that. Here is my for realz favorite GNR song (for the record, it is ALSO one of the above AXL-sub-genre songs. So Epic!!! I am so very predictable! - by the way, my Ties-For-Favorite AXL song is 'There Was A Time' which is probably a better song, with its Finck/Buckethead solos and being the apex of retropsective AXL ruefulness, but 'Prostitute' has a warmth and generosity of soul-searching which does something to my heart)::

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