GUNS N’ ROSES LIVE @ THE RITZ, Scott Kalvert 1988
After watching this performance in ultra low quality resolution and sound one question comes to my mind: Why haven’t MTV masters yet issued this concert on DVD as they did with Unplugged series? I can’t find any powerful reason for not releasing one of the wildest and most spontaneous gig by Guns n’ Roses, one of the most influential rock bands ever.
Recorded in February, 2nd in 1988, in NYC, we can find Guns N’ Roses at a point they were prominent but yet not as successful as they became thanks to the very same musical channel MTV when broadcasting Sweet Child O’ Mine.
Those gifted to see Guns N’ Roses at a venue may not be as impressed as I was when I saw the performance. I would pay lots of money to be able to witness any of those past wild shows.
The set list is just perfect, starting with It’s So Easy and ending with Rocket Queen, not forgetting classics such as Mr. Brownstone, Nightrain previously confirmed by a drunk and/or stoned Slash as not related to drug addictions (hilarious!!), Aerosmith cover Mama Kin included in Guns N’ Roses Lies afterwards and the most outstanding Appetite For Destruction hits.
Stage was completely filled by the musicians moving and dancing all the time: Axl snakedancing non stop is the best, Steven Popcorn Adler high in cocaine and smiling everytime he was noticing a camera recording, Duff sweating in leather jacket and ruling with backing vocals, Izzy smoking cigarrette after cigarrete in his Keith Richards pose and Slash completely stoned and even making mistakes when playing. It didn’t matter, the gig was so wild audience were getting crazy and some people even reached the stage to be caught by the security staff immediately…wow man! What an awesome show!
Personally, I got most shocked with Axl with such a violent and aggressive attitude on stage, I had never seen him like this before, he’s been always on of my favorite frontmen, but at Ritz you can see he’s full of rage, and can already realize he was the one who controlled the band and acted as he felt like, leaving the stage in the middle of Rocket Queen for a break, while the rest of the band kept on playing not sure about what was happening or when he was coming back.
Still, you can see the band is fresh and innocent, interacting with audience, something that later on caused lots of trouble when Axl started to feel harassed by the fans, we still have in our mind St. Louis riots…Ritz is so far away from that.
One of the most stupid facts of Ritz editing is the damn obsession of censoring swearing words…you know they are Guns N’ Roses, you know Appetite for Destruction is full of Fuck’s, why the hell you annoy me with those f***in’ beeps all the time?!
Anyway, thanks to MTV we have the opportunity to see original Guns N’ Roses at their finest and that’s priceless.