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W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose

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A journalist who had unprecedented access to Guns n' Roses at their peak delivers a big, brash history of the band's charismatic, fantastically talented and idiosyncratic leader--W. Axl Rose Even in the world of rock and roll, a figure like Axl Rose doesn't come along very often. Mercurial and brilliant, deluded and imperious, Rose defies easy description or analysis. Few p A journalist who had unprecedented access to Guns n' Roses at their peak delivers a big, brash history of the band's charismatic, fantastically talented and idiosyncratic leader--W. Axl Rose Even in the world of rock and roll, a figure like Axl Rose doesn't come along very often. Mercurial and brilliant, deluded and imperious, Rose defies easy description or analysis. Few people have studied Rose as closely as Mick Wall has. Traveling with Guns n' Roses and writing about them in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wall first earned Axl's trust and later his fury. "W.A.R." goes back to the beginning, revealing Rose's childhood influences (and how he got his name), and tracking the birth of the band and their enormous success with albums like "Appetite for Destruction" and "Use Your Illusion." With fame and money came substance abuse and infighting, and a lead singer who morphed from eccentric to seemingly unhinged. Wall's book is richly detailed and offers surprising new views on some celebrated Guns 'n Roses and Axl Rose incidents, including: --the death of two fans at a concert in Donington Park in England, --Rose's fall-out and eventual split from every one of the other original Gn'R band members, --fights with perceived enemies like Kurt Cobain, Motley Crue's Vince Neil and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, --Rose's consistent refusal to show up at concerts throughout his career, --Axl becoming a virtual recluse at his Malibu mansion for most of the past 15 years. The book goes right up to the present, to explore why a new Guns n' Roses--with a reconfigured band--has toured but still hasn't released their long-awaited album "Chinese Democracy," now over a decade in the making at a cost of over $13 million. "W.A.R." is about great music, bad relationships, and the public and private personas of one of the most controversial performers of our time.


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A journalist who had unprecedented access to Guns n' Roses at their peak delivers a big, brash history of the band's charismatic, fantastically talented and idiosyncratic leader--W. Axl Rose Even in the world of rock and roll, a figure like Axl Rose doesn't come along very often. Mercurial and brilliant, deluded and imperious, Rose defies easy description or analysis. Few p A journalist who had unprecedented access to Guns n' Roses at their peak delivers a big, brash history of the band's charismatic, fantastically talented and idiosyncratic leader--W. Axl Rose Even in the world of rock and roll, a figure like Axl Rose doesn't come along very often. Mercurial and brilliant, deluded and imperious, Rose defies easy description or analysis. Few people have studied Rose as closely as Mick Wall has. Traveling with Guns n' Roses and writing about them in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wall first earned Axl's trust and later his fury. "W.A.R." goes back to the beginning, revealing Rose's childhood influences (and how he got his name), and tracking the birth of the band and their enormous success with albums like "Appetite for Destruction" and "Use Your Illusion." With fame and money came substance abuse and infighting, and a lead singer who morphed from eccentric to seemingly unhinged. Wall's book is richly detailed and offers surprising new views on some celebrated Guns 'n Roses and Axl Rose incidents, including: --the death of two fans at a concert in Donington Park in England, --Rose's fall-out and eventual split from every one of the other original Gn'R band members, --fights with perceived enemies like Kurt Cobain, Motley Crue's Vince Neil and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, --Rose's consistent refusal to show up at concerts throughout his career, --Axl becoming a virtual recluse at his Malibu mansion for most of the past 15 years. The book goes right up to the present, to explore why a new Guns n' Roses--with a reconfigured band--has toured but still hasn't released their long-awaited album "Chinese Democracy," now over a decade in the making at a cost of over $13 million. "W.A.R." is about great music, bad relationships, and the public and private personas of one of the most controversial performers of our time.

30 review for W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I'm very torn about this biography by Mick Wall. I should first say that the biography can be very enjoyable to read. There is, however, something that keeps getting in the way of making this book truly memorable. Many people have issues with Axl Rose and it is clear that Mr. Wall is no exception. It is also obvious that he has not "moved on" from the falling out they had many, many years ago. Mr. Wall will have several paragraphs of objective storytelling and then ruin the whole thing but putti I'm very torn about this biography by Mick Wall. I should first say that the biography can be very enjoyable to read. There is, however, something that keeps getting in the way of making this book truly memorable. Many people have issues with Axl Rose and it is clear that Mr. Wall is no exception. It is also obvious that he has not "moved on" from the falling out they had many, many years ago. Mr. Wall will have several paragraphs of objective storytelling and then ruin the whole thing but putting in a snide, irrelevant comment. These comments are frequent and tiring. Certainly, Axl is not an angel but instead of making Axl look bad, they make Mr. Wall seem self-important and childish. I also read the autobiography by former Guns N' Roses guitarist, Slash. Slash's book handles his issues with Axl in a much more objective and mature manner. I would recommend Slash's book over Mr. Wall's book any day.

  2. 4 out of 5

    P.J.

    Given that Mick Wall was put on Axl's sh-t-list even before Use Your Illusion dropped, a lot of what Wall writes here is based on constructions of second-hand accounts, new reports, court documents, etc. Which would be fine if it were well-written or engaging. But Wall is only an adequate writer, and while he tells Axl's story well enough to to not bore readers, his structure choices and time shifts make it a bit hard to follow. Worse, this really ends up being less a biography of Axl Rose and mo Given that Mick Wall was put on Axl's sh-t-list even before Use Your Illusion dropped, a lot of what Wall writes here is based on constructions of second-hand accounts, new reports, court documents, etc. Which would be fine if it were well-written or engaging. But Wall is only an adequate writer, and while he tells Axl's story well enough to to not bore readers, his structure choices and time shifts make it a bit hard to follow. Worse, this really ends up being less a biography of Axl Rose and more of Guns N' Roses, which is fine for a GNR fan like me, but that's not that the title of the book leads you to believe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    You'll remember journalist and critic Mick Wall as one of the gents Axl invited into the ring in the song from Use Your Illusion II. This book, proving that there aren't any hard feelings, is fair, well-researched, and reveals some new things even for those who've been following the band and the main man all along. The portrait of Axl delves a bit into his psychosis and psychiatric treatment so that we see him not as the bad guy who's megalomania broke up our favorite band, so much as the troubl You'll remember journalist and critic Mick Wall as one of the gents Axl invited into the ring in the song from Use Your Illusion II. This book, proving that there aren't any hard feelings, is fair, well-researched, and reveals some new things even for those who've been following the band and the main man all along. The portrait of Axl delves a bit into his psychosis and psychiatric treatment so that we see him not as the bad guy who's megalomania broke up our favorite band, so much as the troubled guy who's megalomania broke up our favorite band. It's good to go back to a time when everything was roses when we held on to the guns, and about time we had more information about what's going on now with the everchanging, unwieldy incarnation of GN'R. This book pulls it all together and keeps the hope alive.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    Some mildly interesting stuff, but nothing new. Plus, the author seemed mainly concerned with addressing his personal issues with the subject.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Randee

    Axl Rose is in my top 5 of English mother tongue (I love a number of Asian singers that I rank separately) singers. In no particular order, he, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Robin Zander and Steve Marriott are my all time favorites. I've known that Axl was a troubled personality but I did not know to what extent until reading this book. After reading this, I guess I am one of the lucky ones who saw the original Guns 'n Roses without waiting a couple of hours for concerts to start, etc. I play t Axl Rose is in my top 5 of English mother tongue (I love a number of Asian singers that I rank separately) singers. In no particular order, he, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Robin Zander and Steve Marriott are my all time favorites. I've known that Axl was a troubled personality but I did not know to what extent until reading this book. After reading this, I guess I am one of the lucky ones who saw the original Guns 'n Roses without waiting a couple of hours for concerts to start, etc. I play their cd's to this day just about every week, especially "Use Your Illusion" which I think is just as good as 'Appetite for Destruction' Different but brilliant. I'm giving a generous 4 stars to this because I think the author gave as much information as he could about Axl Rose. I found it interesting. And, of course, tragic that someone as uniquely gifted as Axl does not seem to have any happiness from his success. I got the feeling he might have been better off if he had not become a 'legend'. Many do not handle fame and fortune well, it damages them in unpredictable ways and I feel this applies to Axl Rose, who already had issues before he became famous. I love his voice and I may be in the minority but I like 'Chinese Democracy.' Now, I wish Axl would tell his own side of the story...maybe one day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ollie Bradshaw

    I have mixed feelings on this book. On one hand I really enjoyed it was as a book fan one of those so bad its kind of good. But as a Axl Rose fan I am upset and disappointed. Not only that its probably the most biased books I ever read! The author would go off on a bunch of facts about other bands witch often made me feel that the book was more Guns N' Roses compared to the rest of rock and less about just Axl.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    DUDE. yes. the unauthorized biography of axl rose! can i just say how totally into guns n' roses i was when i was younger? my parents were weirdo bike speed freaks, & they were way into heavy metal (they once had to sell their house & move after the neighbors found out they had attended a scorpions concert & stopped talking to them), & they got me into heavy metal. as a child, i only wore black & stuff with skulls on it, & i was really into all those metal bands, including guns n' roses. i still DUDE. yes. the unauthorized biography of axl rose! can i just say how totally into guns n' roses i was when i was younger? my parents were weirdo bike speed freaks, & they were way into heavy metal (they once had to sell their house & move after the neighbors found out they had attended a scorpions concert & stopped talking to them), & they got me into heavy metal. as a child, i only wore black & stuff with skulls on it, & i was really into all those metal bands, including guns n' roses. i still quite enjoy flipping around the radio & stumbling across "sweet child o' mine" or whatever. & the awesomest thing about them is that w. axl rose is a total...i don't even know. he has issues. i don't really understand what those issues are, & i don't think his uauthorized biographer (who was called out in "get in the ring" when axl threatened to kick his ass) knows either, but they make for an entertainginyl bitchy book. read all about how axl quit drugs & got into past life regression therapy & keeps an astrologer on staff. read about how he forced his bandmates to relinquish their legal rights to the guns n' roses band name & then spent fourteen years perfecting the "chinese democracy" record, which is sure to be a SERIOUS LETDOWN of historic proportions. the dude is like the michael jackson of heavy metal or something. this book ruled! & it gave me so much new material to work into all kinds of different conversations.

  8. 4 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    I decided that it was silly to force myself to read a book that I wasn't enjoying, just so I could say that I had read it all. Besides, I borrowed a small stack of graphic novels from the library yesterday and got two new books to review for the Feminist Review in the mail. So I have plenty of good stuff to read. I do want to point out that this book contains some of the worst writing I have ever encountered. I've read a lot of fluffy, simple writing, books that I think of as easy readers for adu I decided that it was silly to force myself to read a book that I wasn't enjoying, just so I could say that I had read it all. Besides, I borrowed a small stack of graphic novels from the library yesterday and got two new books to review for the Feminist Review in the mail. So I have plenty of good stuff to read. I do want to point out that this book contains some of the worst writing I have ever encountered. I've read a lot of fluffy, simple writing, books that I think of as easy readers for adults, but this is just plain bad. It is full of sentence fragments, and I don't think they were a stylistic choice. Here's one example of the bad, bad writing: "Clearly there were other things affecting the way Axl thought about things." Really? Some guy got paid to write that sentence? What I find most unbelievable is that the author is a professional. The back flap of the book jacket says he "has been a rock journalist since 1977 and currently writes for Mojo, Guitar World, Classic Rock and several other newspapers and magazines around the world." Yikes!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ray Cavanaugh

    Some say that Axl Rose “killed the rock star,” and that GnR could’ve been the next Rolling Stones were it not for the antics of this charismatic, albeit oft-unlikable, front man. In their prime, Axl & Co. were an apotheosis of chaotic rockers. Aside from digging their music, I found something enticing about their hard-knocks glamour and volatility. So I figured I’d give this book a shot. Read about thirty pages. Didn’t seem poorly written, certainly accessible. But then one chapter concluded wit Some say that Axl Rose “killed the rock star,” and that GnR could’ve been the next Rolling Stones were it not for the antics of this charismatic, albeit oft-unlikable, front man. In their prime, Axl & Co. were an apotheosis of chaotic rockers. Aside from digging their music, I found something enticing about their hard-knocks glamour and volatility. So I figured I’d give this book a shot. Read about thirty pages. Didn’t seem poorly written, certainly accessible. But then one chapter concluded with Axl saying: “Unless it’s like, this is it, man! Like, fuck it, let’s go down in fuckin flames with this motherfucker…you know?” At this juncture, I feel like my IQ would drop ten points were I to continue reading. Perhaps I’m just not meant to “go down in fuckin flames” with Axl.

  10. 4 out of 5

    William Lawrence

    Great biography of the troubled lead singer. The book is built off of mostly credible and easy to locate sources. There are only a few passages here and there which are suspect, but there's really no bias on Wall's part. The author is very up front about his role in the band. As for Rose, I don't happen to think this paints a completely terrible picture of him. In many regards the book makes you feel bad for the guy, but Rose's own past actions highlighted here in one place really stand to lock Great biography of the troubled lead singer. The book is built off of mostly credible and easy to locate sources. There are only a few passages here and there which are suspect, but there's really no bias on Wall's part. The author is very up front about his role in the band. As for Rose, I don't happen to think this paints a completely terrible picture of him. In many regards the book makes you feel bad for the guy, but Rose's own past actions highlighted here in one place really stand to lock his place in music history as just another troubled thoughtless rock star. In the end he is far less likable than any other member of the original band and this book only confirms yet another reason why I won't spend another cent on making this guy rich, unless he can get it together with the original members. As a society we need to stop rewarding jerks for their "art" and start rewarding the folks with a sense of realness and integrity. There are many more bands and musicians that have kept it real.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Roberson

    Even though the author, Mick Wall, said that he had no ill feelings toward Axl, you could tell from the very beginning that that is not the case. I thought an autobiography about a certain person is supposed to be about that certain person. This book was anything but about W. Axl Rose. The author paid more homage to three drug addicts (Slash, Steven and Izzy) and a drunk (Duff) than he did about the actual person (Axl) he was supposed to be writing about. According to most of what was written, i Even though the author, Mick Wall, said that he had no ill feelings toward Axl, you could tell from the very beginning that that is not the case. I thought an autobiography about a certain person is supposed to be about that certain person. This book was anything but about W. Axl Rose. The author paid more homage to three drug addicts (Slash, Steven and Izzy) and a drunk (Duff) than he did about the actual person (Axl) he was supposed to be writing about. According to most of what was written, it was made out to be all Axl's fault. To me it seemed as though Axl was the scapegoat for everything that went wrong. Anyone, when attacked will attack back in like manner to protect themselves. Your formative years play a big part in the kind of person you grow up to be and Axl's childhood was anything but good. He literally was the "red-haired stepchild". With his voice range and showmanship, Axl was and will always be the best frontman/rock singer EVER. The only good thing about the book was the pictures. I will never read another book by Mick Wall. I give this book 3 thumbs down.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    W.A.R. is really but a bio about GnR. Armed with virtually a PHD in Hair metal/hard rock, fueled with attitude Wall write's “You had to work fast just to write it all down”. Entertaining as hell. Chocked full of details. More so than the Slash/Duff/Adler books, I feel this one puts the GnR story in proper context. The amazing 87-93 era is laid out quite well. Unfortunately Axl is a monster and a dysfunctional jerk. Broken friendships, death's, cancelled tours, delayed albums. The last half of W. W.A.R. is really but a bio about GnR. Armed with virtually a PHD in Hair metal/hard rock, fueled with attitude Wall write's “You had to work fast just to write it all down”. Entertaining as hell. Chocked full of details. More so than the Slash/Duff/Adler books, I feel this one puts the GnR story in proper context. The amazing 87-93 era is laid out quite well. Unfortunately Axl is a monster and a dysfunctional jerk. Broken friendships, death's, cancelled tours, delayed albums. The last half of W.A.R. could have been more personal, perhaps Wall just didn’t have the direct access to Rose? I am left a feeling a bit bewildered by how Axl moves. I wish him well!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Unauthorized biographies are the way to go with figures that have created their own mythology, unless you can get an autobiography. The story told herein is a good cautionary tale on artistic "genius" and how the creative process can become a black hole of ever-expanding expectation, soured relationships, and hope for the next big thing. Despite or because of self-destructive tendencies, Rose remains a sympathetic figure as he goes from top dog to underdog in the race to capitalize on the Guns n Unauthorized biographies are the way to go with figures that have created their own mythology, unless you can get an autobiography. The story told herein is a good cautionary tale on artistic "genius" and how the creative process can become a black hole of ever-expanding expectation, soured relationships, and hope for the next big thing. Despite or because of self-destructive tendencies, Rose remains a sympathetic figure as he goes from top dog to underdog in the race to capitalize on the Guns n Roses legacy. Here's looking forward to the next comeback.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    The book isn't so much insightful as to the persona of Axl Rose, as it is yet another overview of the rise and fall of Guns n' Roses, the band. Not to heap the blame entirely on the author, but his very public falling out with the lead singer doesn't exactly make him the ideal choice to give a close up perspective of Axl Rose. Much of the book relies on quotes from interviews with third parties and the latter portion of the book just plays out like a tour diary, not shedding much light or anythin The book isn't so much insightful as to the persona of Axl Rose, as it is yet another overview of the rise and fall of Guns n' Roses, the band. Not to heap the blame entirely on the author, but his very public falling out with the lead singer doesn't exactly make him the ideal choice to give a close up perspective of Axl Rose. Much of the book relies on quotes from interviews with third parties and the latter portion of the book just plays out like a tour diary, not shedding much light or anything of value regarding the troubled front man. Not much worth the time to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Hicks

    Whenever I see the word "unauthorized" in a book title a couple of things come to mind - without input from the subject how accurate could this be or without the subjects involvement material won't be held back to save face. So damned if you do damned if you don't. What's compelling is that the very author of this book has been called out by Axl himself in the song "Get In The Ring". The song where Axl chose to "name names." All considered though as a fan I enjoyed this book and it's revealing d Whenever I see the word "unauthorized" in a book title a couple of things come to mind - without input from the subject how accurate could this be or without the subjects involvement material won't be held back to save face. So damned if you do damned if you don't. What's compelling is that the very author of this book has been called out by Axl himself in the song "Get In The Ring". The song where Axl chose to "name names." All considered though as a fan I enjoyed this book and it's revealing details. If you are a fan of GN'R I encourage you to read this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    JoshuaHartman

    The book is solid, basing it on pure facts and information about Axl’s post-illusion days alone. Wall discloses a lot of information that die-hard fans, such as myself, were likely unaware of. However, where the book falls short is that it purposely goes out of its way to tear Axl apart. He isn’t without his flaws, Axl, but he does deserve an objective, not a slanted, biography written about him just like any other person.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Slytano

    I read this book after seeing the band. I was on holiday in St John while I read it. Usually I was drinking beer by the pool or the beach. It's a terrible beach read. There is no romance or even a protagonist. This book was like reading hate mail that you stuffed in your desk 30 years ago and forgot about.

  18. 5 out of 5

    William Carter

    The less said about this book the better. Mick Wall likes to think of himself as a top music journalist......I don't think so.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Coyney

    Not as good as the slash autobiography

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brett buckner

    I love Mick Wall's writing style and the way he engages his subject. The trouble with focusing an entire book on a subject as mercurial and reclusive as Axl Rose, is that answers and understanding of his odd behavior is difficult, if not impossible to nail down, especially when that subject isn't cooperating. Few rock journalists had the access to Guns 'n Roses supersonic rise from gutter punks to the biggest band in the world that Wall. This bio leans heavily on that early access. But as Axl st I love Mick Wall's writing style and the way he engages his subject. The trouble with focusing an entire book on a subject as mercurial and reclusive as Axl Rose, is that answers and understanding of his odd behavior is difficult, if not impossible to nail down, especially when that subject isn't cooperating. Few rock journalists had the access to Guns 'n Roses supersonic rise from gutter punks to the biggest band in the world that Wall. This bio leans heavily on that early access. But as Axl steadily isolates himself as the band he helped create self-destructs, that access is lost. Once the band is done and Axl is lost in the seemingly endless creation of Chinese Democracy - a long-delayed Axl Rose solo album under the Guns 'n Roses banner - Wall is mostly fact gathering from bits and pieces from other sources. Sadly, the book was published while the world still waited - with less that baited breath - for the album's release. This is unfortunate because it's undoubtedly that album's failure and brutal reviews (deserved, the album is terribly bloated, though there are a few stellar tracks), that led to Axl's willingness to reunite with Guns' original members Duff and Slash before embarking on a record setting, 2-year world tour, the success of which would likely have made Axl at least a little more cooperative. But that's all conjecture, like a lot of this bio.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    I couldn't finish reading this book and I'm a huge fan of Guns N' Roses. Mick wall tried to make his writing in this book unnecessarly complex, i didn't enjoy his writing style. It was a very boring read. If you want to read about Guns N' Roses then I'd recommend reading an Autobiography by one of the other band members instead of this. Axl Rose was very public about his dislike of Mick Wall, so it seems odd that Mick would choose to write Axls biography. He also mentions at any given opportunit I couldn't finish reading this book and I'm a huge fan of Guns N' Roses. Mick wall tried to make his writing in this book unnecessarly complex, i didn't enjoy his writing style. It was a very boring read. If you want to read about Guns N' Roses then I'd recommend reading an Autobiography by one of the other band members instead of this. Axl Rose was very public about his dislike of Mick Wall, so it seems odd that Mick would choose to write Axls biography. He also mentions at any given opportunity how "important " kerrang magazine (Mick Wall used to write for Kerrang) was for Guns N' Roses success.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Well, it's a well written book. Spoiler: When you finish it, you will think that Axl is a very talented, mentally unstable, control freak who is vulnerable to a lot of "Wooooo" type of crap. Maybe he is... probably he is, but not knowing the man personally, I can't say for sure. This book, however, makes a good case for him needing psychotropic medication and a good, solid kick in the pants. However, there is no denying that he is a talented vocalist who busted his ass to earn his fame and fortu Well, it's a well written book. Spoiler: When you finish it, you will think that Axl is a very talented, mentally unstable, control freak who is vulnerable to a lot of "Wooooo" type of crap. Maybe he is... probably he is, but not knowing the man personally, I can't say for sure. This book, however, makes a good case for him needing psychotropic medication and a good, solid kick in the pants. However, there is no denying that he is a talented vocalist who busted his ass to earn his fame and fortune.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I was prepping to see GNR in concert this summer, and wanted to read up on the members. I remember reading a really great biography of Axl in the past, but I don't think it was this one. I'm not learning any new details, but at least it is a refresher course on the band. I feel the book is almost as much Mick Wall's story, and I would prefer for all his experiences to fade into the background. Walls also goes on lengthy tangents about other bad members. It's interesting, but detracts too much fo I was prepping to see GNR in concert this summer, and wanted to read up on the members. I remember reading a really great biography of Axl in the past, but I don't think it was this one. I'm not learning any new details, but at least it is a refresher course on the band. I feel the book is almost as much Mick Wall's story, and I would prefer for all his experiences to fade into the background. Walls also goes on lengthy tangents about other bad members. It's interesting, but detracts too much focus from Axl, since I wanted to read a book about Axl.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Piper Winchester

    As interesting as it was. It was more of the history of Guns n Roses then a biography of Axl Rose.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Isorgu

    This book is totally terrific.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laraine Ryan

    Not bad though like most rock books, after the main part of fame and attention is over, it ends up being a list of events that is dull to read. Though Axl's shenanigans are always outrageous, so some of the anecdotes are entertaining in themselves. I wound up feeling sorry for him. He was severely disturbed and still seems to be so. And for the other band members - he made what should have been fun into a bit of a nightmare. It was especially striking how one of them wanted to work up a song to Not bad though like most rock books, after the main part of fame and attention is over, it ends up being a list of events that is dull to read. Though Axl's shenanigans are always outrageous, so some of the anecdotes are entertaining in themselves. I wound up feeling sorry for him. He was severely disturbed and still seems to be so. And for the other band members - he made what should have been fun into a bit of a nightmare. It was especially striking how one of them wanted to work up a song to sing for the times he left them onstage to take an unscheduled break of some kind. Wow, that one cared about the audience being entertained. Axl apparently could have cared less - or that was part of his act. His failing to show for a concert with thousands of people waiting for him, or how he so often made everyone wait until 11 p.m. to start, or violating noise ordinances by playing later and intimidating the cops themselves from enforcing them - ego gone mad. If it hasn't been done already a movie about a character like this would be hilarious.

  27. 5 out of 5

    K

    The book is a nice read if you don't really believe in everything that's said in it. It's easy to judge Mr Axl Rose for being this and that, it's easy to say bad things about him, but for most of people, it's difficult to understand him - therefore he shouldn't be judged. The book doesn't help - it shows both good and bad sides of the singer, but mostly the bad ones - you can't expect more from a person who has been called out by Axl Rose himself in the song Get In The Ring: 'And that goes for a The book is a nice read if you don't really believe in everything that's said in it. It's easy to judge Mr Axl Rose for being this and that, it's easy to say bad things about him, but for most of people, it's difficult to understand him - therefore he shouldn't be judged. The book doesn't help - it shows both good and bad sides of the singer, but mostly the bad ones - you can't expect more from a person who has been called out by Axl Rose himself in the song Get In The Ring: 'And that goes for all you punks in the press/That want to start shit by printin' lies/Instead of the things we said/That means you/Mick Wall at Kerrang.' Besides, the story itself focuses more on the band than the singer himself - however, you get to read a lot of things Axl actually said. I'm giving it five stars just because of the quotes and the topic itself, because I believe Axl Rose is the best frontman of all times.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristyan

    Some good insights into the early days but loses steam as axl faded from public view. Without many interview to draw from there is only the word of axl (as infrequent as it has been over the last 15 years) and the various interested parties. Not updated to include the fact that Chinese Democracy is now out and doesn't offer much more about it then what wikipedia has had for years. A quick companion to the more detailed, and vastly superior, Duff and Slash books. Enter Night (a Metallica bio) is a Some good insights into the early days but loses steam as axl faded from public view. Without many interview to draw from there is only the word of axl (as infrequent as it has been over the last 15 years) and the various interested parties. Not updated to include the fact that Chinese Democracy is now out and doesn't offer much more about it then what wikipedia has had for years. A quick companion to the more detailed, and vastly superior, Duff and Slash books. Enter Night (a Metallica bio) is also by Mick Wall and is much, much better.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    An OK book with not a whole lot of new information - but Mick Walls paints an interesting picture of a sad sack that is Axl Rose. If Chinese Democracy ever does come out, I'm sure the record company will have no problem recouping the $13million they've laid into it so far. People will be curious and buy it - of course, in the age of illegal downloading, maybe they will lose some cash there. But if it's half as good as the hype that surrounds it, I look forward to it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Most of the information in this book was pulled from magazines, MTV, newspapers, radio, etc. Not really a biography, more of a compilation. If you're a fan of Axl Rose, you probably already know most of the information in this book. I wouldn't have read it except my 7-year-old son checked it out at the library because he knows how much I love Axl. I didn't want to disappoint him by not reading it. :o)

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