Happy Birthday, William Bruce Rose, Jr., (aka William Bruce Bailey, Bill Bailey, Bill Rose and W. Axl Rose). In other words, Happy Axl Rose Birthday.
Who is a more talented yet confounding figure in rock music? You’d have to stop and think a bit to come up with a better example than Axl. Guns N’ Roses stormed onto the scene in 1987 with their debut album Appetite For Destruction and we’re basically the biggest thing in rock until the grunge explosion in Seattle in 1991. That’s due largely in part to Axl’s outsized and controversial personality.
Axl was a shit-talker. And Axl talked a LOT of shit in those days. And Axl did a lot of shit, too. Assaults, both verbal and physical. Multiple arrests. Multiple lawsuits. It’s almost as if, at some point during the mid-’80s, someone in the pantheon of rock’s powers-that-be decided that rock music needed a new bad boy, and Axl was created in a lab. But that’s not the case. Axl was arrested over 20 times as a teenager in Indiana. He was just born that way.
An Axl Rose Birthday Six-Pack
Axl was, and is, the complete package. Seemingly unlimited vocal range. Responsible in part for some of the most iconic songs and lyrics in rock history. An all-time great rock frontman. You know, when he finally showed up. Almost everyone who bought a ticket to a GNR show back in the day has a story to tell about the band coming on stage late because Axl didn’t show up on time. Remember Foxboro?
As of late, Axl has added Twitter to his repertoire of artistic expression and shit-talking. So to celebrate his birthday, I’ve hand-picked a six-pack of some of my favorite Axl tweets from the past few years. He’s a rock legend, first and foremost. But he’s also a good follow.