-“Don’t you understand? You haven’t even listened to those songs, have you? The Live Era songs! All you know is November rain! MTV stuff- pretentious crap for the crowds! Have you even seen his hair in Welcome to the Jungle? That’s the real Axl! I listened to those songs everyday for three years, walking back and forth to that goddamn awful high school! Every day! Where he says antagonize me, mother-coffee-lover? You didn’t even catch that allusion did you? With all you blog posts and silly Axl-worship- you just know November Rain! pah!”
Attacked by this sudden verbal onslaught, I make a weak attempt to defend myself – “actually, Estranged…” I mumble. But no use- betrayed love does not even admit the existence of Estranged.
“Whatever- jumping around with dolphins in Estranged– you think that’s the real Axl? Prancing around in a lame white wedding? Do you? You’re so wrong!” here her voice changes, the fury lessens and her face becomes full of sorrow and wonder, “He changed- I don’t understand- he was the best in Live Era, just himself, all of them, Slash, Duff, so raw, so powerful, unpolished, but the best, then he changed… I don’t know why, MTV sucked his soul…”
No. I refuse to accept it. I listened to the “raw” screaming in Get in the Ring, Rocket Queen, Night Train. Those best GnR “under-rated” songs. I guess I can see why the old “real” die-hard fans will burst into tears and cry when there is any mention of those days. But for me, yes, I don’t see anything wrong with a little polish. Yes, dolphins and MTV are too much, and I never said anything about liking those glossy silly video clips (though please allow me to remind you that people’s jaws had to be swept from the floor the first time they watched those now-so-derided, oh-so-commercial clips, back in the nineties)
But the music. So shoot me now, deny me entrance to the Real Axl Fan Club, The Wild Hair Axl Appreciation Event… I prefer Sorry to Rocket Queen. There Was A Time to Night Train. Better to Get in the Ring. And yes, Estranged remains my favourite, ever.