Overnight as the clock ticked over the Monday in the United States William Bruce Rose Jr, who would become better known by the name Axl, awoke to find himself half a century old. Yes, it was 50 years ago that Axl came kicking and screaming into this world and he’s been kicking and screaming ever since.
Axl has become a legend of rock n roll, fronting the troubled Guns N Roses who delivered a slew of amazing records before infighting led the band to self-implode leaving it a skeleton of its previous glorious existence.
Born in the deeply religious community of Lafayette, Indiana, Rose escape his upbringing as soon as possible when he moved to the city of sin, Los Angeles, at age 20 in 1982. A short three years later he started a little rock band called Guns N Roses that seemed to epitomise the sleaze of the clubs they played in the cities famous Sunset Strip.
In 1987 the band released their debut album Appetite For Destruction which went on to sell over 28 million copies and became the classic rock n roll album for a generation around the world.
In 1991 the band returned with their iconic double albums Use Your Illusion Part 1 & 2 which contained perhaps one of their most iconic songs, November Rain, which went on to score the band a number three hit on the Billboard singles chart.
But a short 6 years later the band had completely fallen apart, with legendary guitarist Slash deciding it was time to move on along with a number of other original members. Unperturbed, Axl continued on what would become a journey that took over a decade to the record that many said would never happen, Chinese Democracy.
Unfortunately even a decade of anticipation was unable to deliver Axl and his band of merry men the kind of commercial success he enjoyed in the nineties, with Guns N Roses failing to deliver a top 10 hit since the band imploded. Later this year however Axl will get some of the recognition he no doubt thinks he deserves when he and some of his original bandmates are honoured as Guns N Roses are inducted into the rock n roll hall of fame.
But regardless of what anyone says, and pretty much everything that can be said has about Axl, no one can deny that he’s done it his way. He’ll no doubt be enjoying today with a bottle of Jack in one hand and his middle finger in the other pointing out to the rest of the world.
We’ll leave the final comment to former bandmate and longtime rival Slash who sent Axl a birthday message via Twitter: