The countdown rolls on! Featured today – the best overlooked song in the entire GnR canon. I give you… Rocket Queen.
This is a pretty amazing pre-Illusion performance, with them in full on Appetite for Destruction mode. Skinny Axl! Stephen Adler! Seedy looking club! You love it!
And now, as promised, a semi-coherent rant…
So here’s the thing about Chinese Democracy – I’ve heard all the silly rumors over the years. That it would feature Trent Reznor. That it would feature Moby. That it would feature Shaq. I’ve heard the awful “Oh My God” single. And at first there was a part of me that was of the “Oh man, this is going to suck – it will be hilarious” camp. But my inner high schooler has kicked in. You see, before I knew any of you, I was a HUGE GnR fan. Loved them. Would have argued at one point that UYI2 was the best album of the 90s – and while I wouldn’t go that far, it’s still up there.
And now, it’s a weird position. Are they dated? Undoubtedly. But at the same time, they were always insane, so has the past 15 years of insanity really tarnished their image somehow? And while maybe they’ve gotten crappy, the fact is we have nothing to base that off of, except one tossed off soundtrack song. So signs point to this not being a great album – and yet I can’t help but have faith. Faith that the band that made Estranged will show up. Faith that the band that made Rocket Queen will show up. Even faith that the bizarre band who made The Spaghetti Incident will show up, because those are all aspects of the whole GnR persona, and I love them all. Some more than others, but it is the My World’s and Manson covers that partly make them so amazing. And not, NOT, in an ironic way. This is a band (and at this point, just a single man) with huge aspirations. Sometimes those aspirations lead to crap. But sometimes they lead to brilliance. And for all the people who hold up Appetite as the pinnacle, I respectfully submit that it is those aspirations displayed on the Illusion albums that make GnR so much more than just another Aerosmith. Will there be garbage on this album? Undoubtedly. But there was garbage on every one of their albums, and that garbage just serves to make the best work float to the surface.
And so I’m probably getting my hopes up too high. But man, this is a moment I have anticipated for 15 years. 15. Half of my life. And it makes me happy to discover that, 15 years later, I’m not so jaded that I have lost that excitement.