Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rock n Roll Exes: Axl Rose's Stuff for Sale

Good morning!

Today's post comes to you courtesy of Yahoo news's main page... I secretly hate having an email account with them because of that 90 slide long news ticker that features on the Yahoo page and always sucks me in with  tantalizing bylines. Nothing makes me feel more like a ninety year old than reading "Two Guys, One Angry Snake" or " Vatican Unveils St Peter's Bones" and being compelled to click through to the accompanying video. So when I saw "Axl on the Auction Block", of course I clicked through to see what kind of stuff we're talking about here.
Clockwise: A video of Axl Rose's 1990 wedding, a pair of his own tie-dyed stirrup pants, and
Axl's all access passes from back in the day. Juice up the credit card, let' s shop this closet!
Yep, these are genuine, bonafide artifacts from when Guns 'N Roses ruled the world, circa year of our Lord 1988. It may seem a distant memory now, but twenty five years ago, Appetite for Destruction spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, spawning the hit singles "Welcome to the Jungle", "November Rain" (FAIL, that was from Use Your Illusion I...I know even less about GnR than I thought I did!), and everyone's favorite late night karaoke selection "Sweet Child O' Mine". The latter song was written for Axl's girlfriend and later wife, Erin Everly. I know, you thought it was your eyes that were of the bluest skies and  your hair that reminded Axl of a warm safe place where as a child he'd hide, but you were mistaken. Daughter of Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers ("Wake Up Little Susie", "Bye Bye Love") and a model in her own right, Erin and Axl started dating in 1986, before the GNR train had quite left the station toward superstardom, and married in 1990 at a Las Vegas wedding chapel. Both the marriage certificate AND a video of the ceremony are up on the auction block in EE's Julien's sale items.

According to Wikipedia:
Rose and Everly were married on April 28, 1990 in Las Vegas. Everly later claimed that Rose showed up at her house the previous day with a gun in his car and told her that he would kill himself if she did not marry him. Less than a month later, Rose first filed for divorce. The couple later reconciled, during which Everly became pregnant. She suffered a miscarriage in October 1990, which deeply affected Rose, who had wanted to start a family. Everly left Rose the following November; they annulled their marriage in January 1991. After their break-up, Rose allegedly tried to contact Everly for more than a year, sending her flowers, letters, and even caged birds
The course of true rock n roll love never did run smooth-- a few months after their breakup, Axl started seeing supermodel Stephanie Seymour, and Erin went on to marry an Atlanta businessman and start a family of her own. Seeing all these ultra personal items (clothes, scribbled apologetic notes, Polaroids) up for auction made me think on other celebrity tell-alls where former wives and girlfriends cash in on a love affair long gone cold...not that I blame her for selling a bunch of her ex's old clothes and knickknacks, but isn't it strange to think of how you'd feel if you were Axl Rose. "Hey....so that's where my Mickey Mouse watch went! What the heck! I would kind of like that back!"

Axl's sorry yo' birthday sucked, Erin.
Looking at this auction, I thought back to when I first read (act like I haven't read this book like nineteen times) Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac by ex-girlfriend Carol Ann Harris, or ex wife Jo Wood's recent book on her thirty year union to Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood. Or when Angie Bowie famously shared the story of finding her ex husband and Mick Jagger in bed togethe while promoting Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side with David Bowie (which, for the interested, is way more about Angie Bowie than her famous husband). And don't even get me started on the mother of all I-knew-him-when memoirs, Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. You could fill several bookshelves with the number of "rock star or celebrity I used to date" books I've read over the years-- morbid curiosity compels me to see what kinds of secrets are revealed about larger-than-life entertainment icons. How does one go about securing a celebrity boyfriend/girlfriend? What did they like to eat for breakfast? What did they really think about xyz other celebrity? The associative power of these memoirs, or, indeed, these souvenirs from Axl Roses's long extinguished love affair, make me think on the idea of exes using that association to make money-- should we be glad they release these items and stories to the public? A little embarrassed about how eager we are to "sneak a peek" into a celebrity's private life? How would you feel if you were Axl seeing childhood photos and letters-your-dead-dad-wrote-you auctioned off to the highest bidder?

Lindsey Buckingham and Carol Ann Harris
I have to say while reading Storms, for example, I kept thinking about two things-- one, how I would feel about say, my freshman year college boyfriend writing a tell all about dumb, eighteen year old me running around Knoxville, TN as if it were Caligula's Rome (and I didn't even have a best-selling record to help fuel the bacchanal!); two, how weird the last couple chapters of the book reads. And how it has that in common with 90% of celebrity ex memoirs. That twilight period of a relationship when you were together longer than you were broken up, and you might still reconcile. Remember Charlotte from Sex and the City's advice that you need half the total time together to get over a breakup? What if you lived and breathed, for example, Fleetwood Mac on tour for five years, 24 hours a day, and suddenly that was out, gone? You're in some apartment in the valley. How do you rebuild an identity for yourself? How do you look back on that period without feeling like it was some kind of pinnacle?  In some of these cases, thirty plus years have passed and the subjects don't seem quite over their moment in the celebrity firmament. There's that one chapter where you're like, maybe they'll get back together! It could happen! And of course, it doesn't. Which makes for a fascinating, if skewed, narrative.

Todd Rundgren Bebe Buell, and Alice Cooper-- BB is also Liv Tyler's mom (long story)
Guiltily or no, it's of significant more interest to me than the Trudie Styler-Sting, multi-decade union, or Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower's successful marriage, to see or intimately read about disunions of celebrity couples like Bebe Buell and Todd Rundgren, or Cyrinda Foxe and Steven Tyler. Relationships in which the non-celebrity ex lost a lot of the luster of being an A lister post-breakup as most if not all of that status was conferred onto them by said relationship. Also, imagine if the only personal account of your life and especially your life with said ex, was written years after any fondness they might have harbored for you at one time had completely evaporated. As exhilarating as the first half of all these books are, the tone ALWAYS turns acidic by the midway mark. But! Why couldn't you work things out with Keith Richards!! I unreasonably ask of the former girlfriend. Was George Harrison that hard to live with? How can we trust the memoirist to be fair in reporting back what said breakup was like when you know the only account you're going to get is colored by probably years to think up all the ways you, the celebrity, probably could have treated them better? I don't have a single nice word to say about any of my exes, and imagine how many times magnified that feel would be if the status of being my ex's girlfriend previously afforded me luxuries like hotel stays in the Georges V, ordering caviar as room service, walk on roles in music videos, etc, etc?
A proto Gwen Stefani looking Cyrinda Foxe with Bowie in "Jean Genie"
I've gone far enough off on my tangent...I need to make a list of these kind of books to revisit! Where do you weigh in on this? Is there a celebrity memoir you were just dying to read, and felt the teeniest bit guilty/excited reading laundry lists of their trespasses against their exes? Is there a celebrity you wish someone would write a tell all about? What is it about these glimpses into "how the other half lives", either on in an auction lot or between the covers of a bestseller, that make them so addictive? Which of Axl Rose's personal effects would you bid on? Let's talk!

That's all for today, I gotta get back to work! Have a great Tuesday, and I'll see you tomorrow. Til then!


  1. I read Pattie Boyd's memoir about George Harrison and Eric Clapton and found the lot of them and their behavior disappointing. Maybe it was the multiple marriages or the infidelities. Maybe it was just the "make a buck" feel of the read. Perhaps Rod Stewart's exes will collaborate on a multi-volume edition. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. HAHA, now THAT I would pay money for. Did you read Rod's autobiography? I actually liked him MORE after reading it, which is so rarely the case! Happy thanksgiving to you, too!

  2. Someday I will read Patti Boyd's book. I enjoyed "I'm with the Band"--very good.

    Girl, "November Rain" was not on Appetite for Destruction. Maybe the hit you're thinking of was "Paradise City"?

    1. I think I listened to too much to the Guns n Roses VEVO and got confused-- you are so right.

  3. How is it possible that Appetite for Destruction was 25 years ago? Sheesh. Paul's a big G-n-R fan going all the way back to 1988. There's even a photo of him with long blond hair, t-shirt and ripped jeans (and maybe even a bandana? can't remember) looking for all the world like Axl-Rose-goes-to-preschool. I need to see if I can get a copy of it from my mother-in-law--Paul is super embarrassed by it. I always say, "it could be worse! You could have had a mullet!"

    I'm completely fascinated by the notes--I would have never imagined Axl Rose writing on pink paper or country cows dry erase.



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