Appetite for Adventure


I've been listening to music today, an old favourite Guns N' Roses and it reminded me as music often does of times gone by :0).

I think I Appetite for Destruction came out in 1987 when I was about 13 years old. I didn't buy it straight a way, at that time I was drowning in a musical waste land. I hadn't found the sound track to my life and really just listened to whatever was on the radio or played by other people.

The album release went unnoticed in my world but about a year later they released Sweet Child of Mine which made it into the UK single charts. I loved it but there was no chance of it getting air time on TV, top of the pops - heavy metal/rock no way. It was played during the charts but even then they cut it short so I decided to buy it. I went to the local shops one weekend but they didn't have the single just the album and I couldn't afford that. So I saved my pocket money and on the first day I had enough I nipped out of school at lunch time and headed for the nearest Woolworths. When I got there they only had vinyl, no cassettes left. I didn't have a record player but I bought it anyway. After school I made an extremely rare trip to my Dad's house so that I could copy the album onto cassette. And then I had it Appetite for Destruction!

At first some of the tracks were a bit heavy for a metal novice but after a few plays I loved the album. I played it so much I'm surprised it didn't wear out. The album was life changing, it was the first time I'd liked something away from the main stream and it made me realise there was so much more out in the world.

A couple of years later Guns N' Roses announced a world tour that included a stop in London to play at Wembley Stadium. I knew I had to go to that concert, I just had no idea how I was going to do it. The tickets were going on sale in March 1991, I was 15 and the concert was over 300 miles away.

By that time I had friends with similar taste in music and they wanted to go too. You would think the fact that the father of one of my friends wanted to go and said he would take us would have made this simple. Sadly not because the adult in question was a bit of a stoner to say the least and my Dad knew him. However, I started my campaign early and by the time tickets went on sale I had negotiated permission to go.

Finally the day arrived, 31st August 2001. I was up early to get a lift to the bus station to get the bus to London. I was so excited it was like every Christmas rolled together. I met my friends and the token adult and we boarded the bus. The journey seemed to take forever, I think it was the furthest I had travelled from home and it was without my parents. The excitement built as we got closer. ? thought I would explode, then finally finally we could see the white domes of Wembley Stadium (the old one) and we were there.

It was like nothing I had even seen before, the stadium was massive and the people! Thousands and thousands (76,000 in fact) of men and women dressed in black jeans, black T-shirts, leather jackets and DMs. It was like a uniform really. The atmosphere was electric, the excitement was almost unbearable for me. The decision of which tour T-shirt to buy was way harder than the GCSE exams I'd sat a few months earlier.

My friends and I instantly lost the adult and headed across the covered field to get a good position, we were pretty close to the front when we sat down and waited. It probably wasn't long but it felt like an eternity until finally the first warm up act came on stage. Nine Inch Nails, I guess they were OK but I didn't really know their stuff and they weren't important to me!

After that there was a second warm up act and one that I had been waiting for, Skid Row. I had such a crush on the singer Sebastian Bach, my room at the time was plastered with pictures of him. They were fantastic, pure raw energy, and Seb's voice was just great.

I'm pretty sure this was their set and through the power of You Tube you can have a look at some of the show:
Slave to the Grind
Big Guns
Piece of Me
Riot Act
18 & Life
Psycho Love
Seb's Rant
Get the Fuck Out
Monkey Business
I Remember You

I can hardly believe it now but I'm somewhere in that crowd, near the front, slightly to the left of the centre I will be jumping up and down yelling out the words to every song. One thing I remember is how good the crowd was, they were totally different to the crowds I've experienced more recently. I guess we were three girls in our early teens so maybe people looked out for us, I don't know.

After Skid Row there was a long long gap, I'm pretty sure Guns N' Roses were late. The crowd were getting pretty impatient and I remember there were a few surges were you just had to go with it. I didn't know enough to be scared and I think that the guys behind us made a big effort not to push too suddenly.

Finally after so so long they were on stage but here's were it got a bit disappointing. I knew every word, every note of Appetite and Lies, I could still tell you them now, here's the play list:

Perfect Crime
Mr. Brownstone
Bad Obsession
Welcome To The Jungle
Live And Let Die
Dust N' Bones
Double Talkin' Jive
Civil War
I Was Only Joking [Intro] / Patience
You Could Be Mine
November Rain
Nightrain
Drum Solo
Guitar Solo
Godfather Theme
Sail Away Sweet Sister / Bad Time [Intro] / Sweet Child O' Mine
14 Years
My Michelle
Only Women Bleed [Intro] / Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Estranged
Paradise City

The concert was on 31 August 1991 and the Use Your Illusions albums were released on 17 September 1991. I guess you can see the problem. Over half the songs they played had never been heard before. They were still fantastic, but no way could the great Guns N' Roses live up to the power of the Skid Row's performance with songs I'd never heard.

New songs aside they were good. We managed to weave our way right up to the front and I have the privilege of knowing that at the age of 16 I was pulled out of the front of a Guns N' Roses concert, I think during Nightrain. After that we actually went and sat down for the rest of the set. It was hot and we had been pretty crushed near the front. The final song was Paradise city and that was everything it was supposed to be. It's an experience I'll never forget although it's all a bit blurred now.

Then just the long trip home, we arrived back at the bus station much earlier than expected. In the days before mobile phones and not wanting to wander the city in the early hours to find a phone we sat on the floor in the station and waited until my mum came to collect us. The "responsible" adult was lost, assume he got a different bus.

So that was it, my first big adventure without supervision. My first concert and what a way to start!

7 comments:

SJ said...

"The "responsible" adult was lost" lol I've seen that happen so many times : )

DanWins said...

Loved the read, and as a first adventure away from Mom and Dad, no wonder you still remember it so well.

fizzee rascal said...

I could never like G'n'R because I had an instant hatred for Axl. Shame really.

Amber said...

I love this post, Midnite. I remember how much I loved GNR, got to see them in 1989 with Metallica and they were great.

I have to kinda agree with Fizzee though, Axl is a real ass.

Mrs Midnite said...

Great voice but yeah think he might be, Skid Row were my favourite!

Iron Criterion said...

Lucky...*broods with jealousy*

Mrs Midnite said...

Very lucky still can't believe my parents agreed.

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30 something female, GSOH, independent, unreliable, seeks sanity. Must like dogs and handbags!