Saturday, 23 March 2013

GIVE ME A GUITAR!!! - Guns N' Roses - 'Civil War'

Give me a guitar!! Songs that'll make you want to hold your index and pinkie fingers in the air and use your head to ferociously agree over and over !! 

Guns N' Roses - Civil War (1991)

OMG WTF happened to G N' R !!
After Appetite For Destruction they were undoubtedly the best Rock band on the planet. They followed that with the self indulgent double release of Use Your Illusion I & II. They then went into what I call their foodie phase. The Spaghetti Incident album of Punk covers which included possibly the worst Cockney accent on Down On The Farm since Mary Poppins !!
Then Axl went a bit bonkers, everyone else left and new people joined including one guy called Buckethead who played with a KFC bucket on his head (I see where he was going with that one). Now I like Chinese food, but I usually build it  up and am disappointed with the outcome. Chinese Democracy was very much like this, the only difference was the long long wait. I would have expected a discount on the next order if my crispy chili beef took 15 years to get here.

We had it all...
I was a regular patron of Rainbow Records in Feltham (ah the memories) and had great pleasure in forking out the £13.99 for both Use Your Illusion CD's expecting big things. I rushed home and put them both into my 5 CD system which was as big as most sheds !! Thankfully they didn't fail me and I was hooked straight away. Initially the standout tracks for me were the great covers Live And Let Die and Knockin' On Heaven's Door. But after a few plays my absolute favourite was the first song on UYI II.
In my late teens and up I used to go to Richmond most weekends for drinks by the Thames, and the late opening hours of O'Neill's next to the train station. It was at the station where I remember there was a poster for a charity album called 'Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal' amongst the many tracks was Civil War by Guns N' Roses. I had probably looked at this poster 50 times before I heard the song as it was released before being featured on a G N' R album. I think the poster was still there for most of the 90's too for some reason.
It starts with a speech from 'Cool Hand Luke' and then goes into a well known whistled tune from an American Civil War song before Axl's voice comes in. For me it's almost 8 minutes of brilliance and at times the hairs on my arms and neck stand up, perhaps to attention. The lyrics are 20 years old, but are still relevant and I'm sure that if it wasn't for the negative press about the band it could be a hit again.

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GIVE ME A GUITAR!!! - Guns N' Roses - 'Civil War'
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23 March 2013 at 23:03

Brilliant post LS, with a great and accurate description of G'nR's career till now (didn't we have tickets to see them before Axl went off on one). It was right before Chinese Democracy so just as well then. 'Estranged' was my favourite from Lose Your Illusion but maybe it should be 'Civil War' for rekindling some happy memories.

27 March 2013 at 11:46

Great post LS...Illusions were fabulous and as you say the follow ups never really happened...Ah! Richmond! Great track!