|Jimmy Kimmel: Our first guest tonight is the founding member of one of the biggest bands in rock n' roll history. Guns N' Roses begins a twelve date residency at the Joint at the Hard Rock in Vegas starting October 31st. Please say hello to Axl Rose!
JK: Everyone's excited, I'm excited too. First off, you're right on time, it's unbelievable. You're very punctual.
Axl: It's a miracle.
JK: I know you don't do this a lot, so I'm honored to have you here, I really am. I really appreciate you... Why are you doing this?
Axl: I was asked to, and you wanted me to come here and...
JK: Everyone asks you... All the time.
Axl: And I was asked so...
JK: We've asked a million times, and are happy that you're here. And you're sick tonight I know too.
Axl: Oh, I'm doing better now. I was a little sick the last couple of days.
JK: You have strep throat right? Are you on antibiotics or anything like that?
Axl: I'm on a bunch of different things...Legal, illegal. No! [laughs]
JK: I have to be honest, part of me doesn't want to get sick. But part of me like to tell people I got strep throat from Axl Rose.
Axl: I'm a lot better today. I think you're safe.
JK: I learned that just a couple of hundred feet from our theatre here, is where you guys, where Guns N' Roses first played. For the very first time. A rehearsal space right near here. Is that true?
Axl: Yeah, yeah. That is true.
JK: And do you ever drive by there and go "Wow!"
Axl: A while ago, but not in a little while.
JK: Do you remember that at all? Is it something that...
Axl: Unfortunately. [laughs]
JK: How old were you when you moved to Hollywood?
Axl: I think like 19...
JK: Nineteen years old and you came by yourself?
Axl: Yeah, I hitchhiked out here.
JK: You hitchhiked? Wow! You meet a lot of shady characters along the way?
Axl: Yes I did... Unfortunately yes.
JK: How long would you have to wait in between cars to get somebody.... And were you wearing the cod piece? And the...
Axl: Yeah, I was! When I wore the cod piece, I got a ride little quicker.
JK: [laughs] And how long was it before you guys started making money as professional musicians?
Axl: Am I? I don't know if I'm making money now. No, uh, a few years after we got Appetite going.
JK: A few years... What did you do during that time? Did you have jobs before that?
Axl: Now and then. I worked at Tower Video for a while.
JK: The one on Sunset? The big one?
JK: Oh, it's not there anymore... What did you do at Tower Video?
Axl: I became a manager for a very short amount of time.
JK: Wow! So would you discipline employees?
Axl: I let everybody have beers after work...
JK: [laughs] Did you have to umm... You know I think it's funny because every video store employee thinks they're gonna be a rock star one day. You're the only one that actually did!
Axl: I hired everybody else too. I hired people from the old line up, I hired all my other friends. We had a great time for a while.
JK: I would think so. And as manager, did you have to scold people for being late?
Axl: Ahhh. A little. I was more lenient, much more lenient.
JK: That's a great story. Would you yell at people for not rewinding their VHS tapes?
Axl: Yeah, that was fun.
JK: You noticed this one when you walked it. This is a flyer from... [holds up flyer] Was this your first band, Rose?
Axl: Ah, yeah that was one of the fir... Not exactly. It was one of the first line ups that we had.
JK: I like this "they're living fast and they'll die young! See them now!" [laughs] Who made this? Did you guys make this yourself?
Axl: Yeah, yeah. Izzy and I. Yeah.
JK: You and Izzy made this, you put it together. That's great. And I have something else. This is from your home I believe. This is, it appears to be a Halloween tree [holds up photo].
Axl: Yeah, this is one of the most evil things I've ever done.
JK: And why?
Axl: Because... We have these Halloween parties and I decided let's have a Halloween tree...
JK: Uh huh.
Axl: So we did the tree, put the presents, families come with their little kids and the little kids stand there [staring] and then I'll go "Wow, you don't have a Halloween tree?"
Axl: "No...." And then I would give them a present. And then their parents will call me for about three months "you son of a..."
JK: [laughs] That's... I didn't imagine you answering the door for trick or treaters...
Axl: It's just really fun to have the Halloween tree because their little faces [opens mouth and stares] and then they're pulling on their parents "Why do they have it?"
JK: You like Halloween?
Axl: Love Halloween.
JK: Do you dress up for Halloween?
JK: Sometimes. Do you remember the last costume you wore?
Axl: No. But once I was a giant ear of corn.
JK: Oh really?
Axl: Because we have a saying in Guns N' Roses... When somebody's gonna get yelled at, they're gonna get the corn.
JK: The corn.
Axl: So one year I was the corn.
JK: [laughs] And do you have like adult parties or is it just to torment the parents in your neighborhood?
Axl: Umm, it was like for kids during the day, and then more adult in the evening.
JK: I got you. Now your web site, or your Twitter... Actually the official Guns N' Roses Twitter page asked...
Axl: We have one of those?
JK: You have one of those, yes...
JK: I had a feeling you weren't that involved in tweeting.
Axl: No, sometimes, yes I am.
JK: They asked people, they asked your fans to ask, what questions they would like me to ask you...
Axl: I just head about this...
JK: So I'm a conduit in a way here... And I wanna ask some of the questions. A woman named Melrose Medori [?] wants to ask if you think it's weird that her teacher has a son named after you? I guess this is a kid.
Axl: No, I think that's a good thing.. Unless I know the teacher.. Intimately... [laughs]
JK: That could be a problem. "Hey Axl" This is from maggiemay047: "If you could go back and re-do a year, which year would you pick?"
Axl: Hmmm. That probably, it'd be somewhere within the last five or six.
JK: Oh really?
Axl: Yeah. I kinda had a little more fun now.
JK: "Do you regret your corn rolls?" I think they meant corn rows.. "Do you regret your corn rolls from the 90s?"
JK: Do you have them?
Axl: [laughs] Did I save them?
JK: Are they in the Smithsonian?
Axl: It was braided into my hair. So, I.... [laughs] No...
JK: I just thought of something. When you were dressed up as the giant ear of corn, did you have corn rows coming out of it?
Axl: Yeah, I guess did. I guess I did...
JK: That's double corn there...
Axl: [laughs] The double corn...
JK: Slater715 says: "I always wondered why Axl always ran backstage all the time during a song?"
Axl: Sometimes.. Well I don't like to stand out there during the solos. I feel like an idiot just stand over at the side [waves arms], you know? There's that, I'll change clothes, you know... And anything that needs to be take care of whatever, figure out what we're doing, next song...
JK: I got you. This guy rabbit25 asks: "Who are you gonna vote for?" Are you a voter?
Axl: Ah, I haven't really voted..
JK: It seems weird that a guy with the Appetite For Democracy...
Axl: I'm in California and it usually leans Democratic and that's usually where I'm leaning anyway..
JK: Ok, so you figure let them do it?
Axl: No, no. It's not like "let them do it", going for the presidential stuff it's usually such a landslide anyway...
JK: This would make a great Rock The Vote commercial.
Axl: I'm not helping, but I would lean Democratic, I would lean Obama...
JK: We're gonna take a break here. We'll talk about your shows at the Hard Rock...
Axl: I was afraid of that question.
JK: Axl Rose is here with us! We'll be right back...
JK: .... Axl Rose is here with us. You have a twelve night residency at the Hard Rock beginning on Halloween night. That's gonna be... Are you... Is twelve days in Vegas a good idea for you?
Axl: Yeah, it will be a challenge in a different way.
JK: You know in Vegas they like to get people in and out of these shows so they can get them back to gambling. Which is what they want them to do...
Axl: Uh huh.
JK: But you have a different clock..
Axl: We play a little longer...
JK: You play a little longer...
Axl: But by then they might have had a few more drinks and want to stay at the tables longer.
JK: This is something somebody gave me the head's up, this is hanging in your home. This is a.... Looks like a calligraphy. It says "Punctuality is the Thief of Time".
Axl: Its an Oscar Wilde quote [laughs].
JK: I think that's the truth probably. So.. What time will you guys go on? And what time will you guys really go on in Las Vegas?
Axl: We're probably really go on what time we're supposed to really go on, as soon as I find out what time that is. Or as soon as it's negotiated.
JK: I see, I got you. 'cause it's a risk, if it says nine o'clock on the ticket, they'll say "he's not gonna be on at nine o'clock"...
Axl: We've been doing a lot better lately.
JK: Have you really? That's almost the worst possible answer. Once again you're gonna lure people into being there on time.
JK: You know what would be fun? Have an opening comedian that you can torment by leaving him on stage for an hour and a half...
Axl: When we did the Rose Bowl we had Dice Clay.
JK: Ok, get him then [laughs]. He can do an hour and a half, that should be no problem at all. And you got... Who's in the band right now?
Axl: We have Bumblefoot over here [points at Bumblefoot sitting in with the band].. Ron Thal.
JK: He's in our band too now.
Axl: We have Dj Ashba, Richard Fortus, on guitar. Tommy Stinson on bass, Frank Ferrer on drums, Chris Pitman, on keys and Dizzy Reed on keys. It's a whole bunch of us.
JK: And of those guys, who's gonna be the first to go?
Axl: Probably Pitman [laughs].
JK: Pitman? He's on thin ice right now?
Axl: Well, Neil Pitman, that's what we're calling him now after the Neil Young shows.
JK: Oh, ok. How was the Neil Young show? You did that big benefit...
Axl: It went great, it was great to meet him....
JK: Oh, that was your first time meeting him?
Axl: Yeah, yeah and he's such a... And then he came out and did a song with us. Because I've always liked the song of his, Don't Let It Bring You Down. And he agreed to sing it with us. And then when he came out singing, he's just a power house. It was...
JK: Do you still get excited about performing with these guys that you...?
Axl: Yeah, plus I mean he's so the real deal and so strong, and everything.
JK: Who did you listen to when you were a kid, musician wise?
Axl: Well my favorite band was Queen, and Sweet and stuff like that. But I listened to the Beatles, and the Stones and everybody that I can. I was raised on Elvis...
JK: I remember everyone being surprised that you were an Elton John fan...
Axl: And Elton was probably my favorite, or one of my favorites. As a band it was Queen. But Elton and Bernie Taupin's lyrics are still my favorite lyrics. Favorite lyricist.
JK: Well I tell you what. I had a lot of fun talking to you. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect.
JK: When you came out here. I was worried that I would be the only one talking...
Axl: I think we got, some tickets under the peoples' seats.
JK: For the audience...
Axl: There might be, there should be like two sets of tickets under.. Reach under your seats... And also I have another surprise.
JK: What is this surprise?
Axl: I wanted to bring you something, and then I thought I should bring like the audience and the crew something. So I brought a Tommy's burger truck.
JK: Oh you did?
Axl: So there's gift certificates and there's a burger truck outside.
JK: Wow, that's kind.
Axl: So everybody can have something to eat. Just thought it would be something fun!
JK: Axl Rose is like Santa Claus everyone. Guns N' Roses, their twelve date Appetite For Democracy residency at the Joint at the Hard Rock in Vegas, starts Halloween night October 31st. Thanks so much for being here...
Transcribed by HTGTH - apologies for possible misquotes.