CRAIG DUSWALT - Welcome To My Jungle
July 14, 2014, a year ago
Author Craig Duswalt was Axl Rose’s personal assistant and manager during Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion World Tour from 1991 to 1994. This massive trek ‘round the globe saw the band play 196 concerts in 31 countries – while only causing two riots. Throughout it all, Duswalt “had one goal – get Axl to the show,” as the frontman was notoriously late to venues. The 200+ page hardcover clearly demonstrates how removed Axl was from the rest of GN’R; constantly surrounded by an entourage and adhering to his own personal schedule. Amusing anecdotes are numerous, including the tale of a South American promoter who emptied a whorehouse and brought all 50 of the girls to the band’s hotel in a bus – completely naked! The chili and cheese story is laugh out loud funny; conversely, the tale of a drug raid in Buenos Aires is downright scary. Also described are the perils of running Axl’s teleprompter, as well as on-stage pizza delivery. Undoubtedly an easy read, Welcome To My Jungle would be much more interesting if it had been published years earlier, prior to the release of autobiographies from Guns’ guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan. Those books go into vivid detail, whereas Welcome To My Jungle is actually more about the author – who surprisingly admits to signing autographs for Axl – than the guys responsible for “November Rain” and “You Could Be Mine”. Even though Duswalt was aboard the MGM Grand and backstage at the MTV Video Awards as an official employee of Guns N’ Roses, the salacious shenanigans one would expect to learn of are unfortunately abbreviated into PG-rated Readers Digest accounts.