The Making of 'Appetite for Destruction'

How Guns N' Roses Mixed Drugs, Punk, and Classic Rock to Create a Landmark Album

By BRIAN HIATTPosted Aug 09, 2007 10:03 AM

Axl rose was lying nude inside a Manhattan recording studio's darkened vocal booth, working out some unorthodox last-minute overdubs. Tape was rolling, and he knew something wasn't right. Beneath him was a cute nineteen-year-old stripper named Adriana Smith, who happened to be his drummer's girlfriend. "Come on, Adriana, make it real," Rose barked, pausing mid-coitus. "Stop faking!"

On that warm weekend evening in the spring of 1987, engineer Vic Deyglio had set up a top-of-the-line vocal microphone to capture the sounds of Rose and Smith having sex — and at one point, he had to dash into the booth to adjust the mike as they went at it. "It was like a Ron Jeremy set in there," Deyglio recalls. Smith wanted to get back at Guns n' Roses drummer Steven Adler for cheating on her — and had always liked the singer better anyway. "Iwould do anything Axl asked me to do," says Smith, now a forty-year-old mom. "He's fuckin' magical." Though she was drunk and giggly that day, Smith eventually gave Rose what he wanted: Her orgasmic moans — which ended up high in the mix on Appetite for Destruction's final track, "Rocket Queen" — are for real. But when Adler found out what had been captured on his band's album, the drummer "fucking freaked out," Smith says. She was haunted by her recording session for years: "I ended up drinking and using drugs over this for a really long time, because I had this extreme shame and guilt and stuff."

And so it went: one more depraved day in the world of Guns n' Roses. Before they had even finished their first album, the lives of the five band members had become a dark cartoon of indiscriminate sex, property damage, booze and hard drugs.

"It was just hard-core good times," says Slash. "Going out there and doing whatever we wanted. "But unlike their poufy-haired peers on the Sunset Strip scene, G n' R managed to transmute their wild times into lasting music: ferocious, sexy hard rock that found common ground between Aerosmith and the Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the New York Dolls.

Photo courtesy of Reckless Road.


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reckless road guns n roses axl slash photos gallery Photo

Axl Rose onstage at the Roxy in 1986. G n' R lived in communal squalor, but Rose had his own room - behind a padlocked door - that was immaculate.

Photo courtesy of "Reckless Road". Copyright: Marc Canter, Jack Lue, Shoot Hip Press 2007.

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