In the four years it took to go from being an anonymous L.A. club band to America’s reigning hard rock kings, members of Guns N’ Roses have created more controversy and publicity by being themselves than most musicians could conjure with an army of PR flacks thinking things up.
Guns N’ Roses, kicking off its first-ever headlining tour Friday night at Alpine Valley, negated the oft-repeated and seemingly true tale that today’s musicians have forgotten what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Three years after its debut LP “Appetite for Destruction” clawed its way to the top of the album charts, the controversial Los Angeles band gave an aggressive, testosterone-laced performance before an almost sold-out crowd of 40,000 fans, showing that while its members’ tumultuous private lives and business idiosyncrasies are the stuff that keeps gossip columnists in business, their music contains all the elements that make rock ‘n’ roll vital.
Guns N’ Roses have been hailed and assailed as everything from rock ‘n’ roll’s messiahs to self-indulgent spoiled brats living out a hedonistic fantasy. They are musicians whose musical justification always has packed a stronger punch than the convoluted interviews they don’t readily grant anymore.