Mr. Brownstone

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"Mr. Brownstone"
Promotional single by Guns N' Roses
from the album Appetite for Destruction
A-side "It's So Easy" (UK)
"Welcome to the Jungle" (US)
Released June 15, 1987
Recorded 1987
Length 3:48
Label Geffen
Producer(s) Mike Clink
Appetite for Destruction track listing
"Out ta Get Me"
"Mr. Brownstone"
"Paradise City"

"Mr. Brownstone" is a song by the American rock band Guns N' Roses, featured on their debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction (1987). Slash relates that the song was begun by him and Izzy Stradlin while they were at Stradlin and his girlfriend Dezi Craft's apartment. He states that they were sitting around, complaining about being heroin addicts, when they started improvising lyrics and music ("Brownstone" is a slang term for heroin). The lyrics make a clear reference to the tolerance that the drug causes in the verse that says:"I used to do a little, but a little wouldn't do, so the little got more and more. I just keep trying to get a little better, said a little better than before". When they had the lyrics all together, with some help from Craft, they wrote it down on the back of a grocery bag and brought it to Axl Rose. Slash said the lyrics describe a typical day in the life of Slash and Stradlin. He also states that it was the first song the band wrote after being signed by Geffen Records.[1]

"Mr. Brownstone" was the first Guns N' Roses single released outside of the United States. appearing as a double A-Side, alongside "It's So Easy".

This song exhibits the Bo-Diddley beat originally created by Bo Diddley. This beat is often-used in many rock songs starting from the 1960s.[2]

The song briefly reemerged in the media when the writings of Virginia tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho were released to the public. One of his two one-act plays is entitled "Mr. Brownstone" and contains lyrics from the song.

The song also relates to biographical criticism, as the lyrics mirror what the writers had experienced.

Single release[edit]

"Mr. Brownstone" was not released as a single worldwide like all the other singles from Appetite for Destruction. It was released as a single only in the UK, but was also released as the B-Side to the singles "It's So Easy" and "Welcome to the Jungle".


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bozza, Anthony, & Slash (2007). Slash. Harper Entertainment: New York. pp. 142
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]