Hollywood Rose

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Hollywood Rose
Hollywood Rose playing Madame Wong's East on June 28, 1984. From left to right, bassist Steve Darrow, singer Axl Rose, drummer Steven Adler, guitarist Slash
Background information
Also known asAXL, Rose
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresHeavy metal, hard rock
Years active1983 (1983)–1984, 1985, 1989–1990
LabelsDeadline, a division of Cleopatra [1]
Associated actsGuns N' Roses
L.A. Guns
Road Crew
Past membersAxl Rose
Izzy Stradlin
Chris Weber
Johnny Kreis
Rick Mars
Andre Troxx
Steve Darrow
Steven Adler
Rob Gardner
Tracii Guns

Hollywood Rose was an American hard rock group formed in 1983. They are best known as the precursor for what would eventually become Guns N' Roses. The group was founded by Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin and Chris Weber, while they were aided during live shows by Rick Mars, Johnny Kreis, Steve Darrow and Andre Troxx. Rose, Stradlin and Weber, along with Kreis, recorded a five-song demo in 1984. However, after a number of lineup changes, which includes Weber and Kreis being replaced by Slash and Steven Adler (both then of Road Crew) as well the departure of Stradlin, the group disbanded the same year.

Hollywood Rose reunited for a New Year's Eve show in 1985 with Rose, Stradlin, and Darrow returning and adding former L.A. Guns drummer Rob Gardner to the group. L.A. Guns founder Tracii Guns replaced Weber for the reunion gig. In March 1985, they merged with L.A Guns to become Guns N' Roses.

The five-song demo, recorded in 1984, was released in 2004 with the title The Roots of Guns N' Roses. A number of Hollywood Rose songs were included on the Guns N' Roses albums Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide (1986), Appetite for Destruction (1987), Live from the Jungle (1987), and G N' R Lies (1988).


Formation (1983)[edit]

Prior to forming, guitarist Chris Weber was introduced to Lafayette native Izzy Stradlin, in the parking lot of the Rainbow Bar and Grill, by friend Tracii Guns, who was leading the first incarnation of L.A. Guns at this time, after Weber expressed an interest in forming a band.[2][3] Soon afterwards, Weber and Stradlin started writing material and, at the suggestion of Stradlin, recruited his childhood friend, former Rapidfire and L.A. Guns singer Axl Rose, then known as Bill Rose. At the suggestion of Rose, the group called themselves AXL, with Rose adopting Axl as his first name.[4] They played their first gig at The Orphanage in North Hollywood and played a few more shows before changing their name to Rose.[3] The group soon changed their name, for the final time, to Hollywood Rose when Weber discovered that the name Rose was already being used by a New York band.[4]

During the group's live shows, they were aided by bassists Rick Mars, Andre Troxx and Steve Darrow, along with drummer Johnny Kreis, who remained the only consistent member of the group outside of Rose, Stradlin and Weber.[5]

Lineup changes, Guns N' Roses (1984–1985)[edit]

After borrowing money from Weber's father, the group recorded a five-song demo in Hollywood in 1984.[6][7] After playing a number of shows, they appeared at the Music Machine in '84. During the show, Weber accidentally hit Rose with the headstock of his guitar. Rose stormed off and eventually fired Weber from the band, with former Road Crew guitarist Slash joining the group.[5] Unhappy at the firing of Weber, Stradlin left the group when Slash first came to rehearse, going on to join London.[8][9] Slash's Road Crew bandmate Steven Adler also replaced drummer Kreis during this time.[5] The group continued to play more shows before eventually disbanding, playing their final show at The Troubadour in 1984.[5] Rose went on to front L.A. Guns, while Slash auditioned for Poison at the suggestion of former guitarist Matt Smith.[10]

The group reunited for a New Years celebration show in 1985, with Rose, Stradlin and Darrow returning along while L.A. Guns drummer Rob Gardner also joined the group. Weber, who left to move to New York City, was replaced by Tracii Guns for the gig.[3][2][6] Hollywood Rose then merged with L.A. Guns in March 1985, forming Guns N' Roses. The initial lineup consisted of Axl Rose, Tracii Guns, Izzy Stradlin, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner. Beich, Guns and Gardner were all gone from the band within two months and replaced by Duff McKagan, Slash, and Steven Adler. The lineup of Rose, Stradlin, McKagan, Slash and Adler became known as the "classic lineup" of Guns N' Roses.[6]

A number of Hollywood Rose songs would be included on releases by Guns N' Roses, including "Anything Goes" (from Appetite for Destruction), "Reckless Life" and "Move to the City" (both from Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide and G N' R Lies) as well as "Shadow of Your Love" (from Live from the Jungle).[11]

In 1998, former guitarist Weber sued Axl Rose, claiming that he co-wrote two songs he was not credited for, "Shadow of Your Love" and "Back Off Bitch" (from Use Your Illusion I).[12]

Reformation (1989-1990)[edit]

In 1989, Weber reformed Hollywood Rose with new vocalist Jimmy Swan and they were signed to Summa Music Group. A full-length album was recorded but went unreleased. One track from the album, "Sweet Little Angel", was subsequently released on the soundtrack to the 1990 film Miami Blues. A second studio track, "Come A Little Closer" with Jimmy Swan on vocals can be heard on the four disc box set Rock 'n' Roll Rebels & the Sunset Strip, Vol. 1.

The Roots of Guns N' Roses (2004)[edit]

In 2004, Weber, who had formed U.P.O. since leaving the band, sold the five-song demo the group recorded in 1984 to Cleopatra Records.[13] They released the album, which included, along with the original recordings, remixes by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke (which featured addition guitar overdubs by Tracii Guns) and former London and Cinderella drummer Fred Coury (who had filled in for Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler for a few shows) on June 22 with the title The Roots of Guns N' Roses.[13] The Japanese edition of the album included a DVD with footage of the group.[14]

On June 21, 2004, Axl Rose had sought an injunction against the release of the album, suing Cleopatra Records for trademark infringement, violation of rights in his name and likeness, and for unfair competition. Slash and former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan were also named as plaintiffs with Rose. However, on July 6, United States district court Judge Gary A. Fees denied the motion of Rose and his Guns N' Roses partnership for a preliminary injunction against the independent record label.[13][15]

Band members[edit]


Compilation albums[edit]



  1. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia "Hollywood Rose-Discography" "AllMusic.com", Retrieved Oct. 25, 2017
  2. ^ a b "HOLLYWOOD ROSE: 'The Roots Of Guns N' Roses' To Surface In June?". Blabbermouth.net. April 28, 2004. Archived from the original on December 3, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c The Roots of Guns N' Roses (booklet). Hollywood Rose. Cleopatra Records. 2004.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ a b "Ex-HOLLYWOOD ROSE Guitarist: AXL ROSE Was 'Very Ego Motivated'". Blabbermouth.net. November 19, 2004. Archived from the original on September 21, 2005.
  5. ^ a b c d Slash; Bozza, Anthony (2007). Slash. HarperCollins. pp. 88, 89, 90, 92, 93. ISBN 978-0-00-725775-1.
  6. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Hollywood Rose Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved September 16, 2004.
  7. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "The Roots of Guns N' Roses Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 16, 2004.
  8. ^ Stone, Doug. "London Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved September 16, 2004.
  9. ^ Slash; Bozza, Anthony (2007). Slash. HarperCollins. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-00-725775-1.
  10. ^ Slash; Bozza, Anthony (2007). Slash. HarperCollins. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-00-725775-1.
  11. ^ Appetite for Destruction (booklet). Guns N' Roses. Geffen Records. 1987.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ "U.P.O. Guitarist Diagnosed With Brain Tumor". Blabbermouth.net. November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on March 18, 2007.
  13. ^ a b c "GUNS N' ROSES Singer Loses Motion To Stop Release Of Early Recordings". Blabbermouth.net. July 7, 2004. Archived from the original on September 1, 2005.
  14. ^ "HOLLYWOOD ROSE: Pre-GUNS N' ROSES Demos To Receive Japanese Release With Bonus DVD". Blabbermouth.net. October 5, 2004. Archived from the original on October 12, 2004.
  15. ^ Krgin, Borivoj (July 7, 2004). "Guns N' Roses singer loses motion to stop release of early recordings". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved August 18, 2015.