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‘I’m gonna kill you, Tin Man!’: Axl Rose’s knuckle-brawl with David Bowie over a girl, 1989
01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Axl Rose and David Bowie hanging out at the China Club in Los Angeles in 1989. Photo by Gabriel Lorden.
 
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but David Bowie’s fistfight with Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose wasn’t the first time Bowie got himself a face full of knuckles for trying to make time with somebody else’s girl. The story about Bowie’s startling eye color involves a young Ziggy getting popped in the face by his pal George Underwood when they were both fifteen after Underwood discovered Bowie was lusting after the same girl he had eyes for. But Axl and Bowie coming to blows over a girl in 1989 is the definition of random—and the strange event was discussed by G N’ R guitarist Slash in his 2007 New York Times bestseller, Slash. You see, snakes-best-friend Slash and David Bowie go way, way back. Slash’s mom Ola Hudson was a celebrated fashion designer and had been making clothing for Bowie starting around the time Bowie released his 1975 album, Young Americans. After divorcing her husband, Ola began an affair with Bowie who was married to Angie Bowie at the time. According to Slash, he even walked in on his mom and Bowie in the nude, but let’s get back to the story of Axl Rose and a not naked Bowie throwing punches at each other over a girl in 1989.


It all began at the Cathouse—the legendary heavy metal “clubhouse” owned by Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat fame and MTV VJ and host of the Headbangers Ball, Riki Rachtman. Guns had selected one of their favorite hangouts as the spot for their warm-up before opening the first of four shows for the Rolling Stones. Slash remembers Bowie attended the show with his mother Ola who was sitting with the Thin White Duke in front of the stage when Axl started to hurl nasty insults at him, causing Bowie to leave mid-way through Guns’ set. Ola didn’t understand any of it until Slash told her later on Axl was pissed at Bowie for allegedly hitting on his girlfriend Erin Everly (the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers). Now, here is where the story gets a bit murky concerning Axl and Bowie and their glammy “fistfight.”
 

Slash’s mother Ola Hudson and David Bowie.
 
In addition to the warm-up gig at the Cathouse, the band also shot footage for the video “It’s So Easy,” and this is where club co-owner Riki Rachtman (as told to Rolling Stone) recalls a very drunk David Bowie showed up to watch everything go down. The video, which didn’t see the light of day until 2018, prominently featured Everly in leather bondage gear, handcuffs, with a ball-gag in her mouth. According to Rachtman, when Axl caught wind of Bowie sizing up Everly for his next meal, he went ballistic, and the two (maybe) threw their fists in each other’s general direction. The event concluded with Axl chasing Bowie out of the Cathouse screaming “I’m gonna kill you, TIN MAN.” As much as I adore Bowie, you gotta hand it to Axl for that one. But wait! There’s more, and it involves Mick Jagger—another rock star who has had his fair share of girlfriends pilfered by Bowie. In an interview with heavy metal bible Kerrang! in 1990, journalist Mick Wall queried Rose about his alleged punch fest at the Cathouse with Bowie. While Axl doesn’t exactly confirm he got into a physical altercation with Bowie, he doesn’t exactly deny it either. In fact, the story had already made it to the ears of Mick Jagger who approached Axl along with Eric Clapton backstage during soundcheck at the LA Coliseum. Here’s Axl on the special moment Jagger and Clapton asked him if he had punched David Bowie’s perfect face:

“I was out doing a soundcheck one day when we were opening for the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton cornered me. I’m sittin’ on this amp and all of a sudden they’re both right there in front of me. And Jagger doesn’t really talk a lot, right? He’s just real serious about everything, and all of a sudden he’s like (adopts exaggerated Dick Van Dyke-style Cockney), “So you got in a fight with Bowie, didja?” So I told him the story real quick, and he and Clapton are going off about Bowie in their own little world, talking about things from years ago. They were saying things like when Bowie gets drunk, he turns into the “Devil from Bromley” (Bowie’s family moved to the London Borough of Bromley when he was a teenager). I mean, I’m not even in this conversation. I’m just sittin’ there. Listening to ‘em bitch like crazy about Bowie. It was funny.”

If you’ve been curious about the photo at the top of this post of Axl and Bowie looking like BFF’s out scoping for chicks, here’s the story; after the incident at the Cathouse, Bowie and Axl chatted and decided to meet up at the China Club where they smoothed things over. And while they didn’t become best pals in real life, Axl felt he shared a lot in common with Bowie, especially when it came to their “experimental” creativity and their mutual love of sex and drugs. Awww. Speaking of things that make you say “aww,” after the jump you will see photos taken at Guns’ warm-up show, the video shoot, a few taken backstage at the Rolling Stones gig, and images of Ola Hudson and Bowie back in the day. Lastly, you can also check out the NSFW video for “It’s So Easy,” in all its sleazy glory—if you’re into that kind of thing. (PS: You are).
 
Continues over…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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That time the FBI investigated the alleged murder of Trent Reznor
05.09.2017
10:58 am
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Other than the fact that the FBI, the Michigan State Police and Chicago’s finest all believed that Nine Inch Nails vocalist Trent Reznor was dead, 1989 was a pretty good year for NIN. The band released their first album, Pretty Hate Machine which contained the soon-to-be smash single “Down In It” that would help propel NIN to early stardom. Prior to the release of the first song ever written by Reznor, NIN headed to Chicago to shoot a video for the single. And that’s when this story starts to get very, very weird.

In order to achieve the aerial shots for the video, the crew attached balloons to a few cameras. One of the cameras decided to go rogue and floated over 300 miles to Michigan before landing in the middle of a cornfield (I told you things were going to get weird). The camera was then found by a farmer who, after looking at the footage of Reznor covered in cornstarch (in order to enhance his dead-guy look), surrounded by guitarist Richard Patrick and drummer Chris Vrenna, turned it into the police. The footage appeared to be authentically nefarious in nature to the cops who were convinced that the footage in the camera was either the product of some sort of satanic ritual, gang-related slaying or even a suicide.

If you’re a fan of NIN you may already be acquainted with this bizarre bit of history, especially if you also watched the television tabloid show Hard Copy back in the early 1990s. Hard Copy took NIN and Reznor to task then when they ran an exposé on the faux-murder and its lengthy criminal investigation. During the broadcast which originally aired on March 5th, 1991, the show used cheesy “re-enactments” of the “crime” as well as providing equally cheesy and condescending commentary by way of host Alan Frio and the glib curator of the segment, actor Rafael Abramovitz. They even included an interview segment with Reznor himself during which he shared his thoughts about the bizarre debacle:

“When the news came through that this was some sort of a cult killing, and that I had been killed, this great story, my initial reaction was that it was really funny, that something could be that blown out of proportion, and so many people were working on it. And I felt kinda good that the police had made idiots of themselves.”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.09.2017
10:58 am
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Bettie Page, even more eye-popping in 3-D
01.30.2017
07:05 am
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The cover of 1989’s ‘The Betty Page 3-D Picture Book.’

Though I’m sure the first thing you will notice about this book of photos and illustrations by Hugh Fleming (and others) of Bettie Page is that her name is not-so-curiously misspelled as “Betty” and not “Bettie.” The alternative spelling of Page’s name as “Betty” is actually fairly common, and its use can likely be traced back to photographer Bunny Yeager who worked with Page in the mid-50s. We also see the alternate spelling of Page’s name credited to Dave Stevens, the illustrator behind early 80s comic The Rocketeer and a Bettie Page superfan. In the comic “Betty,” the girlfriend of “Cliff Secord” (the Rocketeer’s alter-ego) was modeled after Page. Then in 1987 a fanzine detailing the bombshell’s real-life exploits called The Betty Pages became hugely popular thanks to its founder Greg Theakston. There are also other, more modern publications that also refer to Page as “Betty” including this naughty fetish book by Dirk Vermin that we’ve previously featured here on Dangerous Minds.

According to the introduction written by Dave Stevens, the photos that were used in the book came to him through a man named Walter Sigg who had a stash of color photos of Page in what Stevens refers to as “3-D,” many of which had never been seen before. Stevens’ mention of “Walter Sigg” is also curious as the only Walter Sigg of note that I able to conclusively identify was a Swiss graphic designer from Zurich. While I was frustrated by the fact that is seems Walter Sigg might not even exist, as Stevens’ notes in the book’s introduction color 3-D stereo slides of Page do exist and sometimes pop up on auction sites on sale for as much as $500 bucks. When it comes to the book itself, you can find copies of it for anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on its condition on eBay. I’ve included a few photos from the book which is an absolute must-have piece of memorabilia for any Bettie Page fanatic, below. And since this is Bettie Page we’re talking about, they are NSFW.
 

 

 
More Betty/Bettie in 3-D after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.30.2017
07:05 am
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Rhythm Device: perhaps not the ‘Acid Rock’ you were expecting
11.21.2012
03:58 pm
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image
Some ravers, yesterday
 
“Acid Rock’ by Rhythm Device is actually from Belgium in 1989, and not California in the late 60s, as the name might conjure up.

Hence the uber-silly video of leather-clad danse-boyz rocking out in a cheap looking discotheque.

The bass riff in this New Beat classic is naggingly familiar, it reminds me of the KLF a bit, but I am guessing it’s all nicked off some Chicago acid original anyway. That hasn’t stopped “Acid Rock” from being sampled by Nine Inch Nails, no less, on their late 80s hit “Down In It”.

Rhythm Device was the nom-de-techno of producer Frank De Wulfe, who followed up “Acid Rock” with the “Dream Trance” / “Higher Destiny” 12”. Although Discogs helpfully informs us that, even though they had different names:

These tracks are actually four different mixes of “Acid Rock”.

What a surprise.

Anyway, it’s all about the video. A perfect guide in how to look devastatingly butch and astoundingly gay at the same time, it’s all sold by the singers unwavering seriousness:
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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11.21.2012
03:58 pm
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