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W. Axl Rose: The Unauthorised Biography Hardcover – Unabridged, 20 Jul 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson (20 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0283070471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0283070471
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 869,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Mick Wall is qualified to tell this story...he has assembled a catalogue of lawsuits, sackings and all-round appalling behaviour which, taken together, rivals the best moments of the Borgias or certain middle-European dictators. --Daily Telegraph

Book Description

The first in-depth biography of legendary Guns N' Roses frontman, the controversial W. Axl Rose. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are a number of problems with this, largely caused by Wall's delusion. In common with most Kerrang journalists of the day he convinced himself that he was friends with the bands that they wrote about. Against this background he is clearly very put out that Axl "fell out" with him and the book is essentially a long whine about this lost, unrequited friendship. There are numerous, very basic factual errors that prove he couldn't be bothered to do his basic research properly (Slash came from London, did he? Nikki Sixx's autobiography is "The Dirt", is it? That's funny, when I read it, I thought it was a book about the whole of Motley Crue and isn't written by Sixx, at all). The book itself tells the interesting tale of GnR's rise and fall, largely through already published material, which is a shame. Throughout Wall constantly drops in bits like "Steven told me" and "while talking to Duff", forgetting to mention that it was during interviews. They're not your chums, which is why you didn't have enough access to generate any new material for this book, Mick. The fact that he's so excited about having boiled eggs with Axl's brother speaks for itself. All of that said it's an interesting story, somewhat spoiled as a result of being lazily put together by a journalist who over-estimates his own part in the tale.
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By Culture Enthusiast TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
If you do not know anything about GN'R and Axl Rose this is a book that will give you some insight. However, if you are a GN'R fan and have read the original interviews back in the 80s/90s (Rolling Stone, etc) this is a deja-vu. What this journalist did was to literally cut and paste some bits and pieces of the most famous published interviews and paste them in this "book". There are also bits literally taken from articles/posts that you can easily find for free on the internet. I am not convinced the author is unbiased as he was involved in a dispute about an interview that he had allegedly did with Axl himself for Kerrang! (check out the lyrics of Get In The Ring! to get more insight).

This is NOT a biography, but just a collage of previously released info. The first chapter made me cringe: the author starts by talking about what it means being born under the sign of Aquarius (I thought it was a joke, do we get the horoscope as well?!). Axl Rose was no angel, his upbringing was not the best (biological father that disappeared when he was only 2, the mother that got pregnant at 16 and remarried with a priest who sexually abused Axl and his siblings). The background (which was disclosed by Axl himself in an interview with Rolling Stone back in the days) contributed to the make-up of this artist, in addition to severe problems of manic-depression. Violent, mysoginist, abusive, controlling - with his tantrums, lateness at the shown, paranoia and dictator behaviour he contributed to the band's self-destruction. At the same time one of the best singers and showmen of all times (back in the days).
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Format: Paperback
There are some fair points made by other reviewers in regards to the second hand stories that Mick has woven throughout the majority of this book, however what you do get is a great insight into a number of bands, and the whole music scene in and around LA between the mid 1980's and early 1990's. This is after all an `unauthorised biography', and therefore there is enough room for the odd things to be a little sketchy.

I agree that a lot of the flippant comments are meant to sound like Mick hung out with these guys all of the time, and not that they were well planned answers in many scheduled interviews. That said, Mick did live in LA and was living and breathing the LA scene. I found the book fascinating as it pulled together facts, stories, rumours and allegations that I had already read about in, `The Dirt - by Motley Crue (Neil Strauss)', `Tommyland by Tommy Lee (Anthony Bozza)', `Slash by Slash (Anthony Bozza)', `The Heroine Diaries by Nikki Sixx', and `Don't Try This At Home by Dave Navarro (Neil Strauss)'. Hearing similar stories from different people's point of view is hugely entertaining (like both sides of the Vince Neil & Axl Rose feud).

The disappointing side was that the details of Axl Rose's life from the late 1990's to 1997 (a time period rarely documented anywhere) is still very sparse predominantly built around the band's erratic live reviews. I remember a great interview back in 1998 with one of the (many) drummers that quit, citing the reason as frustration over having to play over 100 hundred instrumentals before Axl would bother to write any lyrics. However there was no mention of this (presumably because it was in Kerrang! At a time when Mick had left; or that the interview was not done with himself.).
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Format: Hardcover
Being a big Guns N' Roses fan, I was pleasantly surprised to find this book in my local bookshop. I knew Mick Wall's history with the band and had enjoyed some of the articles he had written for 'Classic Rock' magazine. Unfortunately, this book doesn't seem to be saying anything that isn't already out there. From summaries of interviews from Kerrang!, Rolling Stone, RIP etc. to stage quotes from live shows that can be found on youtube, this book could have been written by anyone. There also seems to be a lot of presumptions about how Axl felt about certain things. Obviously, not many people wanted to be interviewed for this book and it really shows. For nit-pickers like myself, there are a bunch of basic factual inaccuracies e.g. Slane Castle is in Co. Meath, Ireland NOT Co. Dublin. Wikipedia could tell you that...

I'm still waiting on the definitive Guns N Roses book....
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