You guys have all seen Axl in Rio, right? No? Oh, shit. Well, you should really google it. For those of you who are too lazy to go and see for yourself, let me paint a picture, if I may. Axl is in Rio with a band that he’s calling Guns n Roses, but who is VERY clearly not Guns n Roses (the drummer, according to my sources is a black Cuban guy, just for example), and he’s playing a humongous outdoor concert with these guys, and they’re playing Guns N Roses songs (or approximations of them, but we’ll get to that in a sec) and it’s raining. That’s pretty much the clip…
Except for a couple of details. First detail: Axl is clearly fat as shit now. He looks, to quote my friend Summer, like he’s slowly turning into Mario Batali. Next detail: because of the rain, he’s wearing a bright yellow, knee length rain slicker, a la Paddington Bear. Third detail: He comes out, and before launching into what would be a pretty passable version of Mr. Brownstone were it being performed by a band that wasn’t supposed to be Guns N Roses (say, in Baraboo, Wisconsin on a Tuesday night at the Larue Tavern and Dance Hall), he announces to the massive crowd of Brazilians that due to the rain and the slipperyness of the stage, he’s gonna go ahead and forego the dancing and instead just concentrate on singing and hitting the notes. In his yellow rain slicker. And Cab Calloway style pimp hat. Did I mention that? No? Okay, detail four: Axl is wearing, besides the knee length, bright yellow rain slicker, a big, stupid Cab Calloway hat and some sunglasses. That’s pretty much all you could ever need to know about this whole deal. Well, except for detail five, which is that Axl’s voice sounded like complete dogshit. It was pretty fucking disgusting, honestly.
Now, I know, that sounds harsh. Axl is fifty for fucks sake! He’s allowed to get fat! Who cares if he’s got a different band? What the fuck is wrong with wearing weather appropriate gear or not wanting to fuck yourself up in slippery conditions? Well, I’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong with that, mother:
I’m gonna leave the fatness aside for now because I’ve got a different problem with the fatness than I do with the rest of it. I’m gonna start with detail two: He’s wearing a rain slicker. Sure, what the fuck? No big deal? The man doesn’t want to get wet! That’s practicality, brah. You wear raincoats and hats in the rain! Get off Axl’s cloud, captain businessman! No. No. No. No. He looks like a pud. He looks like a squeezebottle of mustard. Look, if he’s gonna take every other person out of Guns N Roses and replace them with weird Cubans, a dude from the Replacements (who is cool but who also wore PAJAMAS when they made their legendarily crappy reappearance on some pointless, jerka--thon awards show when Axl first unveiled his new band and his Terence Trent D’arby braids) and a Slash impersonator who wanks his way through a BluesHammer-esque approximation of the (traditionally AMAZING) main riff in Mr Brownstone, the least we can ask for is a little genuine Axl at the helm, right? And you know what Axl Rose is NOT known for: dressing appropriately. This motherfucker used to wear nothing but American flag spandex and a cropped top mink fur coat! He used to wear boxer briefs and an umpire chest pad! In the Estranged video where he’s swimming with Dolphins, he’s wearing jeans and a flannel in THE GODDAMNED WATER!!!!! Don’t tell me you need a fucking slicker. It will not fly.
That leaves only one, very obvious explanation, namely, he’s ashamed of his fatness and he’s hiding behind all sorts of hats and coats and excuses not to dance (which, by the way, since when are we concerned with Axl dancing? I know he does the awesome Serpentine and all that, but we love him for his amazing voice and his reckless, ‘fuck em all’ attitude, which…well, eschewing the dance portion due to slippery conditions ain’t reckless, bro. That’s like the announcement on the deck of a cruise liner, not a Guns N Roses show) so we won’t all make fun of him for being fat.
But guess what, David Blaine! You didn’t make your fatness disappear. You just put a big yellow circle around it and then announced that you weren’t gonna do any cardio before wheezing your way through what should be a low-mid-level song in terms of the vocal difficulty of your cannon. That’s highlighting your fatness, not hiding it. And here’s the biggest thing: YOU’RE FIFTY!!! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BE FATTER THAN YOU WERE WHEN YOU WERE 22!!!! Fuck, you can even have a different band and not dance and all that, but what we really, really want is that same ‘go fuck all y’all’ attitude. That’s what makes the whole thing such a travesty. Axl is a meek, apologetic, shy little fat boy who feels bad that he’s past his prime.
Fortunately, Axl, if you’re reading this (and I know you are) I’ve got the solution. And it’s easy. Read on:
Fuck, look, if Christina Aguliera can do it, so can you: Get out there in the fucking spandex American flag shorts and the harley suspenders and be fat and gross, for fucks sake! Can you imagine how rad that would be? There’s no dignity in gracefully (?) trotting out songs that made you famous with the kinds of people that participated in gangbangs 20 years ago, so fucking go for it, Axl! Be fat and gross and show us your belly and get down on your knees and act like an asshole and sneer and serpentine with all your sloppy glory and kick ass like the aging miscreant that you are. Don’t apologize! Revel in your current look, because really, if you take away all the bullshit (raincoat, lame hat, dorky band) you still look AWESOME. You don’t look like young Axl anymore, but guess what? You wouldn’t look like young axl even if you were still in good shape.
Embrace it. You’ve got a fanbase that would love it, and I for one need to see that kilt and catcher’s mask setup again. I think it would look even better now. In closing, (and these are words that I didn’t think would ever need to be written) Axl Rose, quit being such a goddamned pussy.