|by Daniel Frankel March 6, 1998, 2:20 p.m. PT
It can't be too flattering to hear that someone's writing a musical satire--loosely based on your life--called White Trash Wins Lotto. But then, if you're severely faded Guns N' Roses frontman Axl
Rose, you're probably used to ridicule by now.
Welcome to the jungle, indeed, Axl. Andy Prieboy, once a singer for his own '80s band, Wall of Voodoo, is at work on a musical that pokes fun at the '80s music industry in general, and the life
of Rose specifically.
The musical will track the now-reclusive Rose (or as Prieboy carefully puts it, an "Axl-like character") from his arrival in Los Angeles on a Greyhound bus all the way to what could be called
the pinnacle of his GNR career: opening for the Rolling Stones in 1989. (Not much is said about the band's fade to black in the '90s, however).
Prieboy (whose own band is famous for that "Mexican Radio" song) is currently putting the finishing touches on the script. And he hopes to have the musical ready for public performance in Los Angeles by April.
He says the idea came to him while listening to a couple of his L.A. neighbors perform the "bad musicals" they wrote. "I just started goofing around with the idea about a year and a half ago,
and it just sort of took off," Prieboy says. "It's not just about [an Axl-like character]. It's about music in the Reagan years. There's a lot of knife-throwing at a lot of people in rock 'n' roll."
An article in Spin magazine's April issue describes Prieboy's songs as being of the "Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado variety." Tunes include "Cocaine and Blowjobs," "I Think I Wrote a Symphony" and "Give 'Em the Meat." (The latter describes Aerosmith's Steven Tyler coaching the young Rose on how to write a hit.)
"The challenge is taking an Axl Rose-based character and cleaning him up for the Broadway stage," explains Prieboy. "We want to create a likable Axl character."
For Rose's part, Prieboy has enlisted the help of a thespian friend--former teen idol Rex Smith. Smith has the perfect résumé: He's a Gilbert and Sllivan vet, having starred in a juiced-up Pirates of Penzance on stage and screen.
More importantly, Smith, 40, insists, he knows the rock 'n' roll life, having toured with the likes of Ted Nugent and Lynyrd Skynyrd in the '70s--a lifestyle he claims is similar to professional wrestling in its chaos.