Axl Rose (born William Bruce Rose Jr., 6.2.1962)
Axl Rose is best known as the singer of the heavy rock band Guns N' Roses
Axl Rose: Childhood
Axl Rose was raised in Indiana - the son of Sharon and William Rose - in a turbulent family environment. The singer has publicly stated that he was sexually abused by William and physically abused by his mother's new husband, Stephen Bailey, who Axl believed to be his biological father whilst he was growing up.
Although he expressed his love of music by singing in church and learning to play piano, he frequently encountered run-ins with the police.
Axl left home at a young age and moved to Los Angeles. He sang for a number of local rock bands, eventually forming Guns N' Roses with Tracii Guns, with whom he had been in the band L.A. Guns. In L.A. he was reunited with Izzy Stradlin. In 1986, he legally changed his name to W. Axl Rose and had the name tattooed on his arm.
Axl Rose: The early years of Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses was formed in March 1985. The band was a merge of two bands: L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose. The band members at this point were Axl, Tracii Guns, Ole Beich and Duff McKagan.
The band's debut gig was at the Troubadour club in Hollywood. They built a fan base by playing regularly on the L.A. club circuit and eventually caught the eye of a number of record companies.
After a number of line-up changes, the band settled with Rose on vocals, Slash on lead guitar, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, Duff McKagan on bass and Steven Adler on drums. They signed to Geffen Records in 1986 and in December of that year, self-released a four-track EP, entitled 'Live?!*@Like A Suicide.'
Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses' Commercial Breakthrough:
Appetite For Destruction, the band's major label debut album, was released in 1987. Although it sold only 500,000 copies in its first year of release, the band's relentless tour schedule, along with the commercial success of the single 'Sweet Child O' Mine,' propelled the album to the top position of the Billboard 200 album chart the next year. The album has since been certified 15 times platinum and has sold over 27 million copies.
Whilst recording the follow-up to Appetite For Destruction, the band fired Steven Adler, who was struggling with a drug and alcohol addiction. He was replaced by Matt Sorum, former drummer with The Cult.
As the band had enough material for two full-length albums, they released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II at the same time in 1991. The albums debuted at the first and second spots on the Billboard 200 chart. Guns N' Roses are currently the only band in history to have achieved this.
Cracks started to appear in the band, though, as Axl Rose began to make increasing demands on the band. He received sole ownership of the band's name and Stradlin left the group in 1991. He was replaced by Gilby Clarke, who in turn was replaced by Paul Tobias, a childhood friend of Rose's.
Tensions increased when Slash's guitar parts on their cover of 'Sympathy For The Devil' by the Rolling Stones, were replaced with Tobias' parts. Soon, Slash, McKagan and Sorum all left the band, leaving Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed as the only members remaining from the debut album era.
Although the name is owned solely by Axl Rose, he co-owns the rights to the band's back catalogue with Slash and McKagan. The three band members tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent Universal and Geffen from releasing a Greatest Hits album.
Rose withdrew from public view as the band collapsed but he is now known to be spending time working on a new Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy.
The band performed their first live shows for three years in 2006, with a new line-up. Rose has been publicly promising the release of Chinese Democracy since 2006, but a release date has yet to be confirmed.
Axl Rose: Acting work
Axl played the voice of Tommy "The Nightmare" Smith in the computer game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He has also appeared as an un-credited background performer in the 1988 Clint Eastwood film, The Dead Pool.