During a conversation on the ‘Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon’ YouTube program, former Guns N’ Roses manager, Don McGhee, gave some insider information considering Axl Rose‘s career aspirations and explained how he ended up becoming Guns N’ Roses’ lead vocalist.
Don McGhee is one of the most famous music managers of all-time and he’s known for working with legendary bands such as Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and of course, Guns N’ Roses. Being such an active figure in the rock scene, obviously makes Don McGhee a great source of insider information.
During a recent conversation with Mitch Lafon, McGhee talked about his experience working with Guns N’ Roses and revealed that at first, Axl Rose was not as happy to be the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses as people thought he was. He also shared his personal opinion on Guns N’ Roses lead singer and said that it’s hard to be such a famous rockstar.
McGhee said that all of the Guns N’ Roses members are great guys and that the hard part is what happens in the business. He said that Axl is really smart and talented, and a great person to have a conversation with. However, he also stated that they weren’t able to communicate very well during the early years of the band’s success.
Moreover, McGhee revealed that contrary to general belief, Axl Rose was actually not thrilled to be the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses and that the initial plan was for him to be the keyboard player. However, when the lead singer of the original line-up quit, he was given the option to either be the lead singer or leave the band, and thus, Axl Rose agreed.
He also said that what he understood from the way that Axl talked about his career was that he actually never ‘got the chance to really be what he wanted to be‘ which surprised Guns N’ Roses fans.
Here’s what Don McGhee said during the interview:
“The band itself are great guys. It’s just all the shit that goes around it, that’s the hard part. Axl is a really, really smart kid. He’s very musical, he’s very… you know, I talked with him a lot.
We tried in the early days but we didn’t really get to sit and talk much, and he’s got a big heart, he’s very generous, but he never got a chance to really be what he wanted to be. That’s what I kind of got from it, so it was tough in the sense that there were so many factors that came into managing them, and it just kind of imploded. They always wanted to manage themselves anyway.”
He went on to say:
“But they wrote amazing records. ‘Appetite for Destruction‘ – it was that record that you just can’t repeat. It was just one of those things that the stars aligned and the guys came out and did this.
Axl wasn’t even supposed to be the singer – he was a keyboard player, and Izzy went, ‘We lost the singer, you got to sing.’ ‘Well, I can’t sing’ he goes, ‘Well then you’re out of the band.’ Just all those things that came up, and then everything blows up, the world changes for people.”
Click here for the source and you can watch Don McGhee’s appearance on Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon below.