Coma (Guns N' Roses song)
|Song by Guns N' Roses from the album Use Your Illusion I|
|Released||September 17, 1991|
|Recorded||A&M Studios, Record Plant Studios,
Image Recording, Conway Studios & Metalworks Recording Studios 1990-1991
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Writer||Axl Rose, Slash|
|Producer||Mike Clink, Guns N' Roses|
|Use Your Illusion I track listing|
"Coma" is a song by American rock band Guns N' Roses. It appears on the 1991 album Use Your Illusion I. At 10 minutes, 13 seconds it is the longest track released by the band, even though it lacks choruses.
Slash states that he wrote the music to this song in a house he and Izzy Stradlin rented in Hollywood Hills, following the Appetite for Destruction tours. In an interview, Axl talks about writing "Coma":
"I tried to write that song for a year, and couldn't. I went to write it at the studio and passed out. I woke up two hours later and sat down and wrote the whole end of the song, like, just off the top of my head. It was like, don't even know what's coming out, man, but it's coming. I think one of the best things that I've ever written was maybe the end segment of the song "Coma". It just poured out." 
In an interview, on August 31st, 1990, with MTV's Kurt Loder on Famous Last Words, Axl talks about the song "Coma":
"There's a song called Coma that's like 11 minutes 45 seconds long with no chorus. And I think there was only one verse that somewhere it repeats itself. It's Slash's baby. It's his monster. The song used to be called Girth.
"But I started writing about when I OD'ed 4 years ago. The reason I OD'd was because of stress. I couldn't take it. And I just grabbed the bottle of pills in an argument and just gulped them down and I ended up in the hospital. But I liked that I wasn't in the fight anymore and I was fully conscious that I was leaving. I liked that. But then I go, all of a sudden, my first real thoughts were that "okay, you haven't toured enough. The record's not going to last; it's going to be forgotten. This and that, you have work to do. Get out of this." And I went "No!" and I woke up, you know, and pulled myself out of it.
"But in the describing of that, some people could take it wrong and think this means "go put yourself into a coma," you know. And so it's really tricky, and I'm still playing with the words to figure out how to, like, show some hope in there." Video on YouTube 
The song has only been played live four times, possibly due to its length and the strain it causes singer, Axl Rose. A rare live version was featured on Japanese and vinyl copies of the Guns N' Roses live album Live Era: '87-'93.
Towards the end of the song, the phrase "'It's so easy' to be social/'It's so easy' to be cool/Yeah 'It's easy' to be hungry/ When you ain't got shit to lose" is considered to be reflection on Guns N' Roses between 1985 and 1989, mainly their drug use, from which the whole ending "rant" is written about. Whether or not it was actually written about a member's overdose has not been proven, although many fans hold steadfast that Slash wrote it about his. The repeated use of the phrase "it's so easy" is also a reference to the song of the same name.
- Guns N' Roses
- Axl Rose - lead vocals, production
- Izzy Stradlin - rhythm guitar, production
- Slash - lead guitar, production
- Duff McKagan - bass, production
- Matt Sorum - drums, production
- Additional personnel
- Johann Langlie, Bruce Foster - sound effects
- Diane Mitchell, Michelle Loiselle, Monica Zierhut-Soto, Patricia Fuenzalida, Rose Mann, Susanne Filkins - spoken word vocals
- Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. p. 252