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Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses Hardcover – August 26, 2008
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-- "New York Post"
"The gold standard of rock biographers."
-- "Boston Globe"
"Stephen Davis - America's rock biographer."
-- "ABC News.com"
"Five stars! Stephen Davis's real coup is to show how Guns could be electrifying one moment and spectacularly stupid the next. You might not like Axl Rose upon finishing the book, but you may understand him better."
?Rampant rockin? sex ? a lurid tell-all.?
-- "New York Post"
?The gold standard of rock biographers.?
-- "Boston Globe"
?Stephen Davis ? America's rock biographer.?
-- "ABC News.com"
?Five stars! Stephen Davis's real coup is to show how Guns could be electrifying one moment and spectacularly stupid the next. You might not like Axl Rose upon finishing the book, but you may understand him better.?
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This was my third Stephen Davis book. Maybe he set the bar too high in the first two. The problem with this book is that it offers no more insight than the VH1 Behind the Music on Guns N Roses that aired a few years ago. As a matter of fact, he quotes that episode throughout the entire book. It doesnt seem like he talked to anyone close to the band. It seemed to me that his research was limited to the Behind the Music, Mtv interviews, and Rolling Stone articles. All of which I had already seen or read. This book told me nothing that I didnt already know.
Davis mentions in his credits that most employees of GNR had to sign confidentiality agreements in order to keep their jobs and that 13 people interviewed for the book asked to remain anonymous. Maybe thats why this book lacks any punch. Nobody in the band wanted anything to do with it, and nobody that knows anything is talking. The inside information feeling that I got from his other books didnt show up this time around.
If you insist on buying this, I would recommend that you at least go to the bookstore and read the credits. When you see that its all from interviews that you remember watching or reading, you may think twice about spending your hard earned cash on a rerun.
Having said that, the Guns' saga is too filthy and compelling to not read. Too bad a better writer willing to do the proper research (never mind a publisher that employs a fact-checker) hasn't picked up the ball yet.
The previous reviews are quite correct when they point out the copious amount of laughable errors in "Watch You Bleed". My personal favorite, which these reviews seems to have missed was The Scorpions being from England. Yep.
Stephen Davis is not a bad writer. I've read and enjoyed his other error-riddled tomes on Zeppelin and Aerosmith. They are typically engaging and briskly paced, and deliver the kind of minutiae that we rock bio dorks crave. The main reason he strikes out so badly here is simply his clear and obvious ignorance and disdain for Heavy Metal in general (at least Zeppelin and Aerosmith were bands that this child of the sixties could somewhat wrap his noodle around). I don't think there is a single example in the early chapters (concentrating on the Sunset Strip scene)where he doesn't feel the need to flat-out insult and sneer at every band he mentions. Ratt, Motley Crue, Poison, etc all mentioned only with a nasty adjective preceding their name. Although there are chuckles galore to be had at his utter cluelessness in this regard. German Power-metal pioneers Helloween being referred-to as "Kiss clones" was one of my personal favorites (as if this clown had ever heard Helloween, no less heard OF them). His smarmy contempt is even directed at the very band he's covering, describing Slash receiving an award for his "alleged" virtuosity.
Probably the all-time award winner for the "I was much too busy to research anything" award though, is his hilarious contention that Motley Crue, immediately following the Girls, Girls, Girls tour, were consigned to "the scrapheap of history". No, I'm not making this stuff up.Read more ›
That said, since I knew little about Guns n Roses beyond fond teenage memories of Appetite for Destruction, Davis' book was a breezy, enjoyable read. He does a great job bringing those hundreds of interviews and insights together, and by the end I felt I knew Axl, Slash and the rest of the band as well as anyone not witnessing their wild lives first-hand ever could. The book is almost 80% about Appetite and the lives of the band until then. It devotes little time to Use Your Illusion and the lesser albums like Lies and Spaghetti Incident, and that's probably a good thing. I finished it in a few days.
If you are a general reader just looking for a great book about the glam-metal-rock era, there's a much better book out there: The Dirt, the story of Motley Crue, by Neil Strauss. It's hard not to compare the two works, and what makes The Dirt so great-- it's told largely in the voices of the band members, looking back on their years of debauchery-- highlights the weaknesses of Watch You Bleed.
By no means a must-read, but an enjoyable and easy trip into the insane lives of Guns n Roses. A whiskey bottle is thrown, on average, every ten pages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the few rock biographies I've read that actually matches the stories told by the bandPublished 1 month ago by Jeff Swartz
If you're a GnR fan this is a must read although I would have liked some more insight into the bands break up such as from the members themselves but I'm just nit picking as I... Read morePublished 6 months ago by James Stanton
Every time the author uses the word "fact" I throw up a little.
Three words he really should have paid attention to were "research"
and "proof... Read more
Should be a good/ok read for those who dont know much about Guns n Roses. For the initiaded, like me, it is sort of superficial. Read morePublished 12 months ago by LuDurigan
I very enjoyable book. I have read Steve Alder's and Slash's book. I never realized how difficult a person Axl Rose was. There are, however, a couple mistakes in the book. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer