, once Lord and Savior of the Sunset Strip, has been beaten down and discarded by heavy metal (not to mention Tommy Hilfiger
If the Guns N' Roses
front man doesn't want to fade into obscurity (more so), he needs to find another creative outlet. Luckily, country is the Ellis Island of the music industry, taking in the "wretched refuse" of pop's "teeming shore." Want proof?
- Kid Rock is now BFFs with Hank Williams, Jr.
- Staind's Aaron Lewis was nominated for a 2011 CMT Award for his song Country Boy.
- Robert Plant teamed with bluegrass darling Alison Krauss and won an armful of the Grammys that eluded him during his Led Zeppelin heyday.
- Jon Bon Jovi has always considered himself a Jersey-born cowboy.
- And Bret Michaels ... well, Bret wears a 10-gallon hat to hide his male-pattern baldness.
would stop being such a reclusive a-hole, he could easily transition into a honky tonk sensation. The guy was born in rural Indiana to a teenage mother and an alcoholic father who ditched the family and was later murdered. That's an entire country album right there.
In the beginning of the Welcome to the Jungle
video, when Axl
steps off a bus in the big city, he's wearing a flannel shirt and a trucker cap. Within seconds he goes from a hay-chewin' farm boy to a leather-clad demon rocker. If he'd press rewind, he'd revitalize his career.
First of all, he should change his name back to Bill Bailey or go by William Rose
– there's something honest and folksy about those monikers.
Next step: makeover. Mr. Rose needs to ditch the cornrows and unleash that lovely, strawberry-blonde mane … or go the Willie Nelson
route and sport pigtails. When it comes to clothing, Axl's wardrobe can best be described as "tragic." From kilts and baggy football jerseys to translucent Spandex shorts, his onstage garb is more moronic than bada--. He'd look better in a T-shirt, faded jeans and one of his beloved bandanas. After sprouting a five o'clock shadow and strapping on cowboy boots, he'll be ready to headline at the Grand Ole Opry.[Tienes que estar registrado y conectado para ver este vínculo]
Which brings us to the next step in Axl's comeback: the music.
Rather than write new material (he doesn't have another 15 years to pen a Chinese Democracy
follow-up), he can "countrify" some Guns n' Roses songs. Carrie Underwood
regularly sings Sweet Child o' Mine
in concert (cringe) and Nightrain
is a bona fide trailer park anthem; all it needs is a steel guitar and a fiddle solo. Charlie Daniels
would tear it up on that track like a white-trash Slash
When it comes to performing live, Axl could learn a lot from Kenny Chesney
Kenny sings stupid drinking songs to an audience that likes to get stupid drunk. It's all about aesthetics. Kenny embraces the kind of boozy, beach bum lifestyle that advocates quaffing tequila for breakfast.
Axl sings about early-morning binges, too, but his brand of alcoholism is dark and sinister. And whereas Kenny volleys beach balls back and forth with his fans, Axl jumps off stage and tries to kill them. That doesn't help ticket sales, dude.
Rose alienated a lot of people over the years by inciting riots, releasing crappy albums and generally being a racist, misogynistic jerk, but his fans (myself included) are loyal. Unfortunately, even diehard Axl apologists would probably shun him for going country. I can't blame them. For most of my life, I hated the whole genre.
When I was a kid, I liked Dolly Parton
because she had comically over-sized boobs and her own amusement park, but I never considered her a singer. The only "real" exposure I had to country music during my formative years came from Jon Brennan
, the redneck doofus on Season 2 of The Real World
. Back in 1993, when the show first aired, I was a high school freshman with a bad perm, horrible acne and braces, yet I still knew
I was cooler than Jon. His Garth Brooks
-ian twang did not persuade me – or any other self-respecting MTV viewer – to flip to The Nashville Network.
It wasn't until I moved below the Mason-Dixon Line that I started to give country a chance. Outlaw crooners like Johnny Cash
, Johnny PayCheck
and Waylon Jennings
all seemed to rock harder than the so-called rock stars on the Billboard
Through them, I developed an appreciation for Southern drawls and autoharps, but Appetite for Destruction
still holds a permanent place in my CD player. It's my "desert island" album. I'll never tire of hearing My Michelle
, Mr. Brownstone
or Rocket Queen
, a song in which Axl deftly uses a stripper's orgasm as a percussion instrument.
I think he could recapture that same passion if he went back to his rural roots.
Maybe Paradise City
isn't about Los Angeles
after all – maybe it's about Nashville
.Note: Today's Metal Monday column is guest-written by Pittsburgh reader Kristy L. (undeadhead).