To A Musician Dying Young (or simply, "Fat Axl")

Yesterday I was driving home from Santa Monica, and KROQ was getting mighty annoying. Endless cycles of P.O.D., Puddle of Mudd, Incubus, Disturbed, Nickelback, Creed, Staind -- all these bands that we're never going to remember in 2003. That's why my brother calls it 'krock', like 'crock', not 'kay-rock'. (It makes more sense if you say it out loud. Preferably in a sentence.)

Anyway, I was flipping all around the stations. (Did I mention traffic on the 405 was a bitch? Sunday afternoon. Imagine that.) Power 106 is a bit, well, Hip-Hop for me. I was going to say 'ghetto' - but I don't even know what that means. I'm too white. Being so cracka, I checked the classical station. Too slow today - that's only good if you're hauling ass at seventy-five miles per hour. I got to KLOS. Classic rock that really rocks.

Classic rock. Now, first off, when did Nirvana become 'Classic Rock'? In Utero came out on September 21, 1993!! Just over eight years ago. "All Apologies" isn't classic rock by any means. I mean, it's good, and will be classic, in due time. But not yet.

Regardless, it's better than "Outside" by Staind for the five-hundredth time this week. Poor Kurt Cobain. It's so sad that he was married to Courtney Love. Kidding! Well, not really, but still, it's sad. That and that he killed himself. (Well, wouldn't you if you were married to her?)

The next song was Paradise City by Guns N Roses. From 1987, a little more classic. A fine song.

After that came Riders On The Storm by the Doors. Did you know that if he were still alive on Saturday Jim Morrison would have turned fifty-eight? Can you imagine a portly grandpa Jim?

That got me to thinking of Axl Rose's recent Guns N Roses baloney. A decade after they break up, Axl gets out the old headbands, grabs some other musicians (sans Slash and Duff) and does a few concerts. With no shirt on. Was he trying to distract us from how bad he sucked? Blind us with his belly? Oh that Fat Axl.

Now the dude's almost forty, so I really shouldn't poke fun of him. But really, put a shirt on.

And that got me to thinking (traffic was really slow) about my mental image of Jim Morrison. It's that series of him, in black and white, shirtless, no beard. Looking like Val Kilmer and shit.

Then I was thinking of Kurt Cobain. My mental image of him is from the Unplugged show. Not that he changed looks much, but it's pretty classic Cobain.

My next thought was the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. You know, where Nirvana tore up the stage and Dave Grohl starting yelling, "Where's Axl? Hi Axl! Hi Axl!"

At that point Axl was bigger than Nirvana. (Heck, I betcha he's 'bigger' than they are today, too!!) But seriously, look how far Nirvana and Dave Grohl came in the past ten years. Then look at Axl.

Isn't it sad, really, that we have these young images of Morrison and Cobain in our minds, and now you say Guns N Roses and you think Fat Axl? There really is something to that "athlete dying young" story.

home | e-mail

This page made with a Macintosh

Last Updated on: December 10, 2001

© 2001-2004 Joshua Paul Edwards

Void where prohibited.