Saturday, July 21, 2007

You're In The Jungle Baby! (Preface)

I wrote a lengthy piece for Glorious Noise concerning the 20th Anniversary of Appetite For Destruction recently, using my cousin’s experience and history with the album because it was much more entertaining than my own experience.
Also, my cousin was one of those people that was a supporter of GNR from day one, whereas I finally relented to them after a college girlfriend jumped on the bandwagon during the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” single and played the album incessantly.
Part of my issue was that, when Appetite was originally released, I was going through a very unnecessary stage of purging anything metal related from my personal collection. It made no sense, I know, and it essential was a feeble attempt at trying to hide some fairly significant portion of my life.
It also didn’t help that the girlfriend in question was also into Dokken, and this was at least three or four years after Dokken even had a hit. So with that frame of reference, I placed GNR in a similar quality even though I secretly knew that there was a lot of pretty awesome stuff to be found on Appetite.
At the radio station I worked for, we had been playing Guns ‘N Roses for quite some time and when “Sweet Child” started to get big, that meant that every other rock and Top 40 station also started to play Guns ‘N Roses.
To address this, and to appear somewhat credible to the few listeners we had, I started programming some of the deeper cuts from Appetite that I knew other stations wouldn’t touch. Songs like “Mr. Brownstone,” “My Michelle” and “It’s So Easy” received airplay, even during the day even though it probably violated some FCC guideline somewhere.
The station had a metal show that aired live every Saturday night and we had a creepy dude in his thirties that hosted the program. He lived at home with his Mother, drove a Yugo, and couldn’t figure out why he could never get laid after saying things like “I’ll eat your pussy so good you’ll see God.” He was also a huge fan of early Queensryche, which may explain something.
One week, he came into the office and wasn’t his usual, boisterous self. When pressed, he hinted that he had met a girl and it seemed like she had started to turn his life around. By the next week, he was dressing up with a tie and by the third week, he had turned in his resignation for hosting the weekend metal show. I asked him why, since he was actually pretty good at what he did and was fairly passionate about the genre. He confessed that his new girlfriend was a devout Christian and felt that his music was negatively influencing him and, therefore, thwarting any progress of their relationship.
Such a decision also meant that I wouldn’t be conversing with him on a regular basis either; instead of spending his free time harassing girls or extolling the virtues of Geoff Tate, he was trying to convince people that they needed to get right with God.
One day, he stopped by the station and told me that he was selling his entire cd collection because it was unholy. The prices he was asking was incredibly low, so I went over to his place and picked up Aerosmith Toys In The Attic, Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime, Marillion Misplaced Childhood (and some rare 12” imports from them too) and Guns ‘N Roses Appetite For Destruction.
About a month later, the dude’s girlfriend dumped him to go back with her ex, leaving the recently converted, ex-metalhead alone with Christ and a few shitty Stryper albums. He asked me if he could buy back the stuff he sold me, above the amount I paid for them. I said “No.”
The Queensryche album and Marillion’s effort didn’t make it; they were sold to a used record store for a profit compared to why I paid the former-Jesus freak. Aerosmith and Guns ‘N Roses managed to remain with me to this day.
And both I revere as classic albums that should on proud display in any record collection.
Guns 'N Roses Appetite For Destruction was released on this day in 1987.

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