Back when I was 10 years old, I did a paper round and saved my money up to buy studded leather wristbands from the HM (Heavy Metal) Gear catalogue. Now there was a pamphlet of wonder. Bandannas, T Shirts with skulls all over them, posters, "chokers", leather jackets, "jams" (I never quite liked the look of them). All I could ever afford was a couple of studded leather bracelets and a cheap skull ring with adustable finger-strap that snapped when I tried to tighten it. Although I do recall my parents taking me to the Birmingham Rag Market and buying me a tiny leather jacket with tassels on it for my 11th birthday, that cost more than any birthday or Christmas present I'd ever received or would again. I became a man that day. When I got home I listened to Alice Cooper's TRASH and Extreme's Pornograffiitti and Guns 'n Roses Use Your Illusion II (the blue one - infinitely better than the Paul McCartney tainted orange one). Life was good. Apart from all the shit stuff. But I've forgotten all that now. No, 1991 was the year of Guns 'n' Roses.
And then they died. Nirvana and Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg showed up, and all GnR did was release an album of punk covers sung in dodgy British Accents ("on the fahckin' FAAAH-RMAH!") and lose all their members apart from Axl Rose, who started looking like a slapped, steroid-pumped arse with braids.
Now, 14 years after the fact, I am told "the band" have set a seemingly solid release date for their mythical Chinese Democracy LP, and the single has gone to radio.
So there you go.
I am not holding out much hope for the album being any good. But that's OK. I have the old ones, and they're still great (apart from Illusion I, which is half great, and that crappy covers album with spaghetti on the front I mentioned already). If I want to hear Axl Rose doing some wailing over mammoth guitar riffs with contemporary compression plug-ins all over it, I can listen to Sebastian Bach's last LP, Angel Down - Axl guests on three of the album's 14 songs. I think Back In The Saddle is my favourite. Axl sounds phenomenal on it (although he does start reminding me of a weird hybrid of Justin Hawkins and that gyaldem from N Dubz at the end of the thing). Wikipedia just told me its an Aerosmith song, I never knew that! Pump and Eat The Rich were my joints. Anyway. Let's all ignore the new single, and sit back and listen to Back In the Saddle shall we?
Stream: Sebastian Bach ft. Axl Rose - Back In The Saddle