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Duff Vs. Slash – Conflicting Versions of the Same Stories

May 9, 2012 1 comment

I’ve been a serious fan ever since I caught an eight-second glimpse of Welcome to the Jungle on MTV late one summer night. Who was that band? When I found out, I got on my bicycle, went to the mall, and got the Appetite cassette. I had never heard anything like it – with the dueling guitars and edgy sincerity of it all.

Oddly enough, I didn’t really like Appetite for Destruction when I first put it in. But I still listened to the entire album because there was something interesting about this sound and there was something interesting about the players. The rough overlapping guitars were leading me along a virtual maze. The guitar riffs were so angry and ruthless but precise – like a bull prancing through a china shop or a ballerina carefully beating the hell out of a heavyweight boxer.

But to most everyone who was even aware of Guns N Roses, they were just another bunch of thug dropouts with long hair that got lucky – the flavor of the month. I knew it would be futile to try to share my enthusiasm. Maybe the results of time could do it…..

Out of pure infatuation, I wanted to learn everything there was to know about GnR. I had put together my own chronology – a story and set of characters as accurately as rumors, lyrics, and news clips would allow. That’s my nature – to scrutinize anything I deem to be a phenomenon.

Duff & Slash as Authors
After GnR did indeed become a cultural phenomenon, Slash wrote a book about his Guns N Roses experience. I guess it was sometime in 2009 when I caught wind of it. Half of his stories were familiar and the other half were not surprising, being the #1 Guns N Roses fan in the world. But all of it was interesting and a fun read.

If you’re not very familiar with him, Slash is the coolest dude to walk the planet and the best guitarist ever. Certainly nobody would disagree that he’s the coolest dude to ever play the guitar. Slash’s writing style is a very stark contrast to Duff’s. I would describe it as similar to a bad ass high school kid jotting letters about the crazy things he got away with the night before. He tells you what happened in a very matter-of-fact way with a stylized speak.

Duff read Slash’s book while they were on tour together in Velvet Revolver. His book came out a few years later. Duff has a simple and emotionally open writing style that never wanders off the path of his story; the story of his life’s journey. He begins with a message to his former band mates, “I have found that all stories have many sides” and “This is my truth”. This is his way of respecting their recollections and staving off any potential offense. Both Duff and Slash very much dislike confrontation.

Not Getting Paid for Their First GnR Gig
Slash writes that after his first GnR gig, he and his band mates used prolonged physical intimidation to finally compel the club owner to pay-up. Duff’s version is that the owner never paid in spite of indirect and then direct threats made. Duff goes on to say that he and a couple other band members then tried feebly and unsuccessfully to burn down the building (because they didn’t get paid).

When I read Slash’s story, I thought …..Well, if this is what he says, then fine, that’s what happened. Why would he lie? But something seems out of place to me. Slash is not violent and has a very non-confrontational personality. Would Slash really walk into a guy’s office and go gangster on him? I also thought this version was a little too convenient.

Duff’s open writing style lends credibility to his version. He humbly portrays himself as an overzealous kid that stupidly gets himself into problem situations then finds a way to crawl out. He is not intending to write a tell-all book about rock and roll debauchery. Also in Duff’s book, he bumps into Axl some twenty-five years later in London. During that meet-up, Axl brought up that old story and specifically mentioned Duff trying to burn down the building.

Slash apparently forgot some details. I don’t believe he would intentionally misrepresent what happened.

The Birth of Paradise City
In Slash’s book, the band was messing around on their way home after a gig in the back of a rental van, and he proceeded to write the entire song right there on his acoustic guitar while fellow band members came up with lyrics, vocal harmonies, and beats. Slash claims credit for the “jangly intro” and the chord changes. He “expanded upon the structure of the song”, and “slammed into the riff” that anchors the song. And let there be no ambiguity about Slash’s version. He caps off his story with “as happy and gay as this all sounds for GnR, it definitely went down that way; and it was sort of that kind of experience”.

Duff has a very different story. He says the song started to gel during the bands first rehearsals before they even had their first gig. And the song was based on some lyrics that Duff had written in a notebook that he brought with him when he moved from Seattle. Duff never even mentions a gay band camp episode in a rental van.

Let me outline the differences here just to make sure we get all this:
Lyrics – Duff claims he wrote the lyrics before he moved to LA but Slash says everybody improvised the lyrics.
Duration – Duff claims the song took several rehearsal sessions to write. Slash says the song was born in one goof-off session.
Location – Duff claims the song came together in their rehearsal space but Slash claims the song was born in the back of a van.
Time Period – Duff claims the song was written a few days after the band first got together, even before their imfamous Seattle trip. Slash says the song was written after the band had been together and been doing gigs already.

When both guys are honest people and the stories are so different, you have to go with the less sensational version. You have to remember as well that Duff read Slash’s book before he wrote his. Duff could never have written something so different unless he knew his version was more accurate. And again, Slash’s story is a little convenient for a tell-all kind of book. He needed a gay band camp kind of story in there to balance out all the debauchery right?

In Slash’s defense, I think there was a band camp moment for the band in which Paradise City became more solidified. I think Slash remembered that moment in the van more prominently because that was when the song really came together in his mind.


A Too Damned Saucy Five Dollar Footlong

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

When I go to Subway, sometimes I get to spillin a whole lotta somethin in my lap.

Now, I don’t need to be eaten a whole footlong, but it’s only a dollar more than the six inch. I skip the chips and a drink cause I’m just crazy that way. So I deserve the footlong, you see.

And I’m gonna get everything on it cause that’s what I like and it don’t cost extra. So it’s gonna be huge by the time they’re done a make’in it and it’s gonna be hard to hold by the time I get to grabbin it.

So “How did it get so damned saucy?” you’re asken. Well, I like the light mayonnaise and the Southwestern Sauce. I can’t really control how much they put on. I mean, I want more than a little, but not a lot. I can’t stop’em from a squeezin if it gets to lookin like too much, you understand.

So then you’re asken, “Why don’t you lean over the damned table when you sit down to eat ya dinna?” Well, I do, but sometimes somethin gets to fallin, and then it just a keeps a rollin until it hits my lap. All I can do is hope there aint no sauce on it.

Categories: All Categories, Silly

My Critic Was a Cynic

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

I own and operate a crock pot. I cook turkey sandwiches and banana shakes for lunch and dinner every day. My dishes are always the best at those pot luck celebrations. And this may sound conceited or perhaps even pompous, but I get invited to several pot luck dinners every year. So I know what I’m talking about.

I explained all of this to her and she still didn’t believe I was a talented cooker. She thought I was being cocky or perhaps even over-confident.

So when I heard that Thanksgiving was coming up this year, I jumped at the opportunity to make squash casserole. And it may sound like I’m boasting or perhaps even bragging, but my dish was the best in the whole house again. And it was the first time I ever made it. I’m not lying.

But one thing was different this time. My critic – her, was there to taste the stuff I cooked for her self, right there. And it was good. So if she’s reading this, I have a message for her to look at.

Ha! I told ya I could cook, didn’t I? You didn’t think I could. But now ya know I can, right? Told ya! Ha!

Categories: All Categories, Silly

Musicians Demand Gitmo Torture Song List

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment

This news story got me thinking:

-Why???? You’ll notice that no where in the piece did anyone give a reason as to WHY

-Who the hell are “The Roots”? Do they really deserve a place in this discussion?

-Is this REALLY torture? Listening to Arabic music is torture.

-Roseanne Cash commented that “Music should never be used as torture.”, so Ms. Cash, please stop.

-She went on to say that “This goes beyond the pale”. So what kind of torture in your mind, Ms. Cash, does not go “beyond the pale”? And, do you even know where that expression started? Anti-semite!

-Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine said that we need to “close Guantanamo now”. I agree. Let’s put them in the federal prison system so they can be somebody’s bitch and then get shanked.

-A music executive said “they turned a jukebox into an instrument of torture”. No, that was the Fifties.

-He also said the public deserves to know how music was turned into a method of “enhanced interrogation”. I agree. There would be a lot less domestic violence.

The Scrabble Dictionary

October 17, 2009 Leave a comment

The light of day begins to fade but the humidity stays. The insects begin to chirp and I am caught in the moment. A gameboard sits before me and my worthy opponent is there. She stares.

Out come the wooden blocks – letters upon them lest they be the dangerous phantom squares. “How do you spell pasta?” she says. “I don’t know” say I with a whole lotta smirk.

The ominous green book is there, somewhere. It always is.

“P A S T A H, “Let’s see…that’s 2,3,4…8….12 points”. “Hmmm” I say. I keep my game face but I know I am going to challenge. I must. Not because she’s wrong, but for principle. If I must lose in defense of the English language, then so be it.

“I challenge” I say with a stern tone but incredulous smile. She reaches for the book like she knew where it was all along. It’s her companion.

“Pas…Past, Pasta, Pastah!, the Greek term for Jet Ski”.

I check for myself. Not because she would lie, but as a playful joust at her character. It’s there, and so is every other conceivable combination of letters.

In fact (not really) in there you can find the Spanish term for “electric fence”, the ebonics term for “tennis”, and the German term for “sparkling wine”.

I rather enjoy losing to a girl. Thank you Scrabble Dictionary.

Categories: All Categories, Funny, Poetic

Lawdy! I Could Never Do That!

October 17, 2009 1 comment

Do you have a “blue collar” job? If so, then I heartily congratulate you on finding a living that puts you on the side of the people. Ya get ya hands dirtehh. And ya woyk for a livin! You’re one of those “working families” that politicians talk about. You’re the heralded “middle class” and the backbone of America.

I’m, accountant…and thank god I don’t have to wear a suit. It helps. Otherwise, I’d probably never leave my corporate sanctum for fear of being lynched by the “working class”. Am I exaggerating? Perhaps a little. But check this out-

Have you seen those Quizno’s or Domino’s advertisments that claim their new product would be FREE!, but…..”the accountants wouldn’t let us”? I hope folks are smarter than that. Not just smarter than to think accountants set prices, but also smarter than to find the commercial clever whatsoever.

And here’s the meat of my piece: If I tell somebody I’m an accountant, I get a painful look with condolences and a sincere pledge that “I could never do that”. My prime example: The other day, I go to see my optometrist. When the nurse calls me back, the first thing she says is “So, what is a corporate tax accountant?”.

I explained the best I could. It took a while. Her response? “Oh gawsh, I could never brang myself to do thayat”. Once again, I am at a loss for words. I was expecting to receive praise and adulation for my new self-ascribed nickname “T-Bone” written free-hand style on the questionaire – ink still not dry.

So, after some reflection, I came to a profound realization that there is a dreadful double standard in America for which I am a hapless victim. It’s the “White Collar – Lawdy Yo Job Sucks!” double standard. If I told her I clean gutters, would she have said “Ouch!, that must be really boring and tedious”? No, because that would be rude and insensitive……………………………

The irony here is that a lot of people don’t seem to know what a corporate tax accountant is, but they sure as hell aint gonna do it.

I May Sneeze, but Shalln’t

October 12, 2009 1 comment

“Achoo” says he. “Bless You” says she. “Thank you” says he.

We all know the folklore. But this needs to be said: I’m not a “Bless You” man. Not for any malcontent ease however. And that’s where my story begins.

You see, I’ve had happen to sneeze on occasion. And I’ve received many a “Bless You” – but often times, not. And I am made to feel unseen. Not because she said no “Bless You”, but because she had before and not hereto.

Why no “Bless You”? Is it because I am not he? Or because I am nay to say it? And what of the silence that follows? It ruminates and pulsates and I can almost feel it.

Is this not an awkward and discriminate moment? If one speaks “Bless You” to a man, should he not speak it to another? Would that man not be made to feel affronted?