Roadie-biker Bean recalls the bottle-in-the-nuts craziness of an early “Guns N’ Fucking Roses” gig

By Steve Newton

Last week I posted a blog about the Iron Maiden/Guns N’ Roses gig I went to in Vancouver 30 years ago, on May 30, 1988.

That was fun to write, but the best thing about it is that it inspired a friend of a friend, Andy Bean David, to contact me with his own recollection of first seeing Guns N’ Roses, in its infancy. Check it out:

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I was living in Westwood, Cali in 1987. I went to a south L.A. biker bar by myself. I’m a biker. I walked into the place & everyone stared at me like who the hell was I. There was 2 inches of peanut shells on the floor. There was a biker chick with a short skirt with no panties, pubic hair, covering the pocket of a pool table, while a guy was trying to shoot the 8 ball.

OK, everything looked fine.

Then this big biker said, “Hey, you have the same T-shirt as me!”. I said, ”No I don’t” & turned around & showed him “Trev Deeley Vancouver B.C., Canada”. I thought he was about to hit me but put his big hand out & shook mine. He said, ”you’re alright, Brother.” He introduced me to a few of his friends & ladies & said, “this guy is cool, he’s from Canada”. They all welcomed me.

Meanwhile the band that was playing were stoned, drunk & out of tune & out of touch with each other. The bass drum skin had 2 pistols, entwined with roses & in hand drawn, (badly) “Guns And Fucking Roses”. Yes, it was the original band & seriously, they sucked! They were out of tune, they were fighting with each other & Slash just kept doing these weird guitar riffs, & Duff was playing muted bass behind him. There was no elevated stage. The peanut shells were drifting under their feet. Axl had a 4 button foot switch, to change 4 stacked pars on each side of the stage.

A biker said, ”You guys suck!” & Axl Rose kicked a full beer bottle right into the guys nuts & he went down! All Hell broke loose! Slash turned his back to it all & ran into the small band room with his prized Gibson. Izzy & Steve ran outside, Duff scooted into the crowd & I ended talking with him (because I’m a bass player). He said, “Wow, this is 1 of the worst nightmares we’ve played in this bar!” Duff was real cool about it all. Axl was a raving lunatic, as the bikers held both him away from the biker, & the biker away from him!

At the end of ’87 they dropped the “Fuckin’” out of their name, (for marketable reasons) & released, “Appetite For Destruction”. I moved back to Canada & became a professional Roadie/tech with IATSE 115. 10 years later, I set up Guns & Roses @ BC Place, where Axl said, ”Fuck you Vancouver” & threw his live mic over the crowd & crashed into the back of the air lock.

Andy Bean David is currently writing a book about his former career as a roadie, stagehand, and sound-and-light technician.

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