Skip to content

Guns n’ Sodas and the Great Leap Backward

What would you say to the crazy guy in the park muttering about alien spaceship landings on the day the mothership finally beams down to bring him home? The makers of Dr. Pepper must be wondering the same thing. Earlier this year, Dr. Pepper notoriously promised that if professional head case Axl Rose finally released Guns n’ Roses’ perpetually unavailable Chinese Democracy album to the public after 17 years –and thereby deprived the music world of one of its best synonyms for incompleteness–it would give a free Dr. Pepper away to every American (except for departed guitarists Buckethead and Slash). That day has finally arrived. Any time today, and today only, you can visit the Dr. Pepper website and claim your free soda.

As I’ve never really been a fan of the band, I could ignore the media hype over Chinese Democracy if it weren’t for a few things:
• It’s messing with my sense of integrity. Back in the day, I considered the head cases in the Replacements to be the anti-Guns n’ Roses, delivering mostly heart and soul where Axl and his gang delivered mostly hype and bluster. But hell must be freezing over, because Tommy Stinson of the Replacements is now Guns n’ Roses’ bassist.
• It’s reminding me that Axl Rose is an idiot savant, not just an idiot. It wasn’t just a lucky fluke that “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” have become air guitar/ karaoke classics. As late finishers go, he’s certainly no Brian Wilson, but file the band under guilty semi-pleasure–and skip the icky power ballads.
• Since Axl Rose has been known to pen lyrics that make him come off like Ann Coulter with better hair, it’s interesting that the “new” album features a sample of Martin Luther King.
• Despite Axl’s best efforts, I still think he’s only the second-best rock degenerate to use China as a metaphor (see Johnny Thunders, below).

Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, “Chinese Rocks”

Guns n’ Roses, “Chinese Democracy”

From → Quick Shots

Comments are closed.