Appetite for Destruction: The Days of Guns N' Roses

David Sugerman, Author, Daniel Sugerman, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (246p) ISBN 978-0-312-05814-2
Sugerman ( No One Here Gets Out Alive ) analyzes the phenomenal success of rock band Guns n' Roses and the larger meaning of rock 'n' roll in this thought-provoking work. Here, the same artistic impulse which drove Byron, Poe and Rimbaud is attributed to vocalist W. Axl Rose and guitarist Slash: ``the Romantic hero challenged death with excess and the rock artist is entitled to do the same.'' In Sugerman's view, seeking freedom even through excess is a noble pursuit, and Guns n' Roses is the best present-day embodiment of the Dionysian spirit; he also maintains that drug use, which is seen as both the creator and destroyer of the drive to break with dogma and imposed morality, is the core of Guns n' Roses' appeal. Axl and Slash's controversial behavior is enthusiastically catalogued but not necessarily condoned--Sugerman is vague and somewhat apologetic about Axl's well-publicized sexism, racism and homophobia. Occasional overwriting does not seriously damage this well-researched, deftly reasoned portrait. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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