Guns N’ Roses – Stoned in L.A. 1989

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1989-10-21 Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

[…]The third [show, opening for The Rolling Stones] was even better [than the second]-we really got it all down by then [Slash’s autobiography, p 279]

Appetite For Destruction and GNR Lies had collectively sold
some 15 million copies and propelled Guns N’ Roses into rock’s
elite pantheon, but by the summer of 1989, the band’s voracious fans were clamouring for new product. And needless to say, David
Geffen and the rest of the label’s execs were equally keen to get the band into the studio. Indeed, they would probably have been content just to get the five musicians in the same room together as the Gunners appeared to be drifting apart. Although no one was pressing the panic button, there were a few furrowed brows pacing
up and down Geffen’s corridors of power. Between December,
1988 and January, 1991, Guns N’ Roses, a band which prided itself
on its live shows and had spent the previous two years constantly out on the road – aside from the odd awards ceremony, guest appearance, or warm-up show – put in just four live appearances, and these all came supporting the Rolling Stones in October, 1989.

POP MUSIC REVIEW : No Surprises in 3rd Night of Stones N’ Roses
October 23, 1989|JONATHAN GOLD
The third Stones N’ Roses show at the Coliseum Saturday was routine as the 47th date on an 80-city tour, a bread-and-butter show in Ames, Iowa, or someplace with a weekend party crowd. Nobody threatened to break down, no one fell off the stage, and the Stones had to manage the blues segment without the help of Eric Clapton. Living Colour’s leering dedication of “Glamour Boys” to Arsenio Hall was about as racy as it got.
Guns N’ Roses even managed to play a couple of songs without speeches or Angst , though the band was kind of listless until Axl Rose woke them up with a little press-bashing 15 minutes into the set–controversy is to Guns N’ Roses what gasoline is to a car. Rose has never been what you’d call publicly repentant about those famous lyrics, but in an apparent show of solidarity with the gay community, he performed “Rocket Queen” clad in nothing but black leather jacket, motorcycle cap and bare-bottom chaps, mooning the audience while Slash soloed on guitar.
The Stones’ stage set still looked like a cross between an airport runway at night and the entire city of Irwindale, they still spent a lot of time covering the disco years, and Jagger still told the same jokes before the same songs. (After 26 years, the Stones don’t have a lot to get off their chests.) “Dead Flowers” occupied the optional-song spot on the set-list–you could tell because there wasn’t an elaborately timed light show. And the Stones still sounded best where they were closest to the blues.

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