Tag Archives: Guns N’ Roses

Up the Duff: Criticising Guns N’ Roses Reason

Readers who don’t know or understand my writing over the last decade at the greenYgrey, fmpoetry and here might think I don’t like Guns N’ Roses, and especially Duff McKagan, after my last blog post cited some criticisms. However, they will have missed the point, and one of my biggest motivations in my writing: that everything is criticisable, including your biggest heroes.

Kill Your Idols: Just Be Open to Criticising Them Really

In fact, I’m following the advice of Guns N’ Roses, or Axl at least, as he once wore a t-shirt with Kill Your Idols (metaphorically, I’m pretty sure, as it featured Jesus on, who’s not around any more; I think Axl’s a Christian too, as he wears big crosses now!) on; a punk message I’m sure Duff will understand, and probably support.

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I’m also probably influenced by my decade in university, when I was taught to look at issues from all angles.

I was always a bit of a contrary rebel anyway. I was at a young impressionable age when punk started, followed by Pink Floyd’s The Wall, then a full on Metal and Rock headbanger, so I don’t know if it was nature or nurture.

Unfortunately, Western culture seems to be less open now, partly because of political correctness (somebody’s very offended about everything), and partly because of the openness of social media leading to more crassness and less eloquence, volume rather than quality, therefore making more censorship seem reasonable (I accept that some people may think the same about me; and that I could also sound snobby writing that!)

Duff’s My Closest Guns N’ Roses Life Comparison

Out of the three autobiographies I read, I think Duff was my most comparable life, as he went to university and took up endurance sports to escape the excesses of the rock n’ roll life, or at least to give him another dimension to his life. Duff has also been working as a journalist, and he and his wife have also been supporting animal welfare issues.

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Of course, our lives are not equal or comparable really, as he’s one of the stars of Guns N’ Roses and I’m one of the fans, and that’s the way it’s always been; and always will be as far as I’m concerned.

Dreams do Happen, but so do Nightmares

While it may appear I have an Eminem ‘Stan’ relationship to Guns and other stars, I’m completely in touch with reality; but try not to let it box me in. Lars Ulrich of Metallica fame was a fan who did travel to California (from Denmark) chasing the rock n’ metal dream, and it worked for him!

I’ve written several books since becoming a Doctor of Philosophy, achieving my initial ambition to be published (against those who want to make me a failure), and had a little success (for the nice people who want me to be humble), but I know my place in rock n’ metal music is just as a long-term and not very fanatical headbanger.

Lars Ulrich went to the right place at the right time. Music and writing are both struggling now, due to the internet, but there are still opportunities, and I’m still doing it… because I love writing, and especially writing about things I love, such as rock n’ metal, and its culture of freedom, openness, escape and dreams…

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Guns N’ Roses Song Remembered On The Road

I didn’t remember citing a Guns N’ Roses song in my diary travelling through the old Yugoslavia in 1987 until re-reading it recently, but was delighted to do so, after naming my memoir of the journey: The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller.

Living the Dream is sometimes a Nightmare

This page of the diary also shows that I have always preferred slim waify women, preferably blonde, or honey brunettes, considering a Samantha Fox lookalike fellow traveller a ‘bit overweight’. That’s because when I said the same after a ‘relationship’ with a similar looking woman went pear-shaped people just thought I was saying that.

It also shows that I have usually been too standoffish with women, and was usually happy to take the easier option of watching the view go by, or get drunk, than enter into a relationship, or take the necessary steps of courting to make that happen. That was down to good ol’ simple shyness or uncomfortableness, and one of the reasons I liked a drink.

It also features a meeting with an old man, that was as far as I know genuine. I didn’t try and visit him in Athens afterwards. The book does include some similar situations that were dodgy, in part featured because of the grooming situation I knew was going on in Britain and Europe, and as a general warning for youth about the dangers on the streets; as bands like Guns N’ Roses were also warning.

Warnings for youths about grooming were a constant during my decade of writing, and I also tried to do the same in (post) university and work. It was my goodbye present to youth, as I passed into middle-age; as seen in poems such as the fictional what could have been Professor Green / Plan B inspired Middle-Aged Memories.

Maybe I should still be trying to be a youth, as Lemmy of Motorhead seemed to be, and was loved for it, and as I’ve said before, the goldlilocks zone for women is still 21-40; but only if they want to be with me for me, and not gold-digging! But, to be truthful, I hanker more after mature sophisticated conversation than partying and debauchery; although it’s nice to have an occasional drink.

I’m sick of explaining everything I write, but then remember that my doctor and professor examiners didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to do in my PhD. I was beyond them then; in my head and world anyway, and their perception of me; which I think was generally classist, and sexist where applicable.

It’s quite ironic that people were trying to retire me when I was in my early 30s, but now they wonder why I don’t want to go out on the town when I’m in my early 50s! C’est la vie!!

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Animals and Epiphanies in the Wild Extremities

The authoress of Wild walked 1100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, which is really impressive in itself. I walked 150 miles this summer, (60 over 3 days one month, 90 over 4 days the next month) and it was quite tough, although like they say in the movie, it gets easier, and the second longer trip seemed more comfortable.

Foxes and Deers

In the Wild movie the hiker/authoress has a bit of a meeting of minds with a fox. I’ve had some of those in the city, but not in the countryside. I did have a couple with deer on the walks though. One time a young stag bolted past me about from a 50 metres/yards away after emerging from another field, and probably only seeing me when it entered the field I was in. It ran about another 100 metres/yards, but then stopped and calmed down, and looked back at me until I walked away.

Another time I heard some rustling from over a wall while walking through a forest, and thought it must be a stray sheep or wild horse. Then when I got to somewhere I could look back at where the noise had come from there was a deer looking at me inquisitively from an opening in the wall.

I had only decided at the last moment to look back, not expecting to see anything there now, but the deer had obviously gone to the opening, planning to see what it had heard. When I reached for my camera it left.

Although it’s nice to have those experiences I try not to get too close, as the next human could be a hunter. I walked past one young rabbit who’d obviously seen me coming and had just ducked down where it was. It’s eyes seemed wide open with fear.

Sunrise and Sunset

She also talked of her mother saying that the sunrise and sunset were special times, and that you could either choose to be a part of that beauty or not. They were also one of the main reasons I wanted to get out into nature this summer, always missing them in the summer months where I live, although the winter sunrise location is ideal.

I did see some beautiful sunsets, with PinkyOrangePurple (POP) colours above green dales and wolds, or yellow crops. And I woke up to the sunrise on the east coast, bright and warm over the calm sleepy sea.

I’d been going on regular day trips to the countryside before that, but haven’t felt the need, or even desire, since. As if I filled myself up with enough nature on those two trips to last me a while, like a camel in the desert.

But I’d love to do a few months one sometime (soon), like the PCT; so all those humanity who think I’m only where I am because of them (apart from the nice positive ones, especially really beautiful single women to my slim and preferably light-haired taste), I’d probably rather be somewhere else, freed from them and the restrictions on the mind and movement of human society; restrictions that have increased since the New Wave of Monotheist Religion (NWOMR).

It’s not the colour of your skin I don’t like, it’s the way your mind works, and how it restricts my mind, and the freedom to live and think freely of people like me: the native people, as the Native Americans suffered, and other native people have around the world, including the Masai in Africa.

I didn’t like the ‘British white establishment’ for the same reason in the 1980s, which was one of the reasons I so related to Guns N’ Roses. But now I’m middle-aged, and can see why they were so critical of youths like me. I still believe in youth freedom though, and try to be an advocate like one of my heroes, Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo, but some make it difficult… although they are often just pawns to my critics and enemies… formerly frenemies (a term I heard a few weeks ago, combining friends and enemies, for those people you hang around with in youth but don’t really get on with; another thing I liked about travelling, you could just kill them and bury them somewhere… I jest… I mean they were often just brief On The Road, and you could part with them quickly… as some probably did with me!)

Appetite for Destruction Before Leaving Blighty Nearly Thirty Years Ago

I think the first stamp is when I left the U.K. on August 25th, 1987 but I’m not sure. It fits in with my departure date, so probably is. There weren’t many stamps after that, until I got to Greece at the end of the continental Europe journey just over a month later.

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Keeping a Diary to Write like Kerouac

I kept a diary on loose paper at first, before buying exercise books along the way. I posted them home. Here’s the first day and its eve, when I wrote of listening to Guns N’ Roses’s Appetite for Destruction (30th anniversary tomorrow!) before leaving:

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Here’s an exercise book from later in the trip, where I reference Ozzy (Diary of a Madman), Anthrax (NFL: Nice F***ing Life) and Lynyrd Skynyrd/Blues Brothers (Sweet Home Alabama or Chicago) and proclaim my ambitions to write a Kerouac On The Road (updated to the highest musical level by Guns N’ Roses’s Appetite for Destruction, following other street living songwriters such as AC/DC, Van Halen, Rose Tattoo and Motley Crue) style memoir (I’ve Lived It So You Can Read It).

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My first travel memoir, The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller, was published by Chipmunka, and I have since written several more books, available on Amazon.

Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction Always One Month Ahead: Passport to France

When I decided to finish this blog off to commemorate 30 years since my travels started last week I didn’t know Guns N’ Roses were planning a thirtieth anniversary event for Appetite for Destruction. Today I read they are playing a special AFD gig in the Apollo, New York on Friday July 21st to mark its 30th anniversary/birthday on Planet Rock and Classic Rock. Best of luck to the band and fans for that… will Izzy and Steven be there… hopefully!

Passport and France Photos

When I left home and travelled to the European continent a month and four days after AFD was released I had a passport from 1982 with the photo of me as I was then: a typical young rock and metaller with hair down to shoulders and a denim shirt:

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After hitching from the Belgian coast via the outskirts of Brussels I reached Lille and took my first photo of my travels in its main central square. The blog continues after the photo, which includes a big space below it from the scanning:

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My first travel memoir, The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller, was published by Chipmunka, and I have since written several more, available on Amazon.

I’ll continue blogging my travels, which greatly influenced my fantasy travel trilogy pioneering the new concept of writing fiction from Google Maps and web information.

First Travel Departure 30 Years Anniversary Next Month

Travel 25 years has become 30, with a trip to the beautiful Baltic last year to complete my 12 years – marathon every 3 years until 50 – ambition in riveting Riga, Latvia, continuing to enchanting Estonia (Parnu and Tallinn) and holistic Helsinki, Finland; articles published on TravelThruHistory and available from the above links. I’ve also been on trips around the U.K., from Abbey Wood in Kent to John O’ Groats on the northern tip of Scotland and the U.K., and hobo hiked around Yorkshire and Cleveland.

Hobo Travelling Trip Down Memory Lane… Coastal Path

In May I recaptured some of the ethos of my first trip by hiking and camping from Scarborough to Withernsea through Hornsea (about 55-60 miles over three days). Some of the secluded beaches were particularly reminiscent of some of the European deserts if I ignored the sea to the side (seeing Hornsea’s Marine Bar in the desert was like a movie mirage!); while being able to dip into the sea and waking up to the rising sun reminded me of times living on the beach. The birdlife on the chalk cliffs and stacks from Bempton to Flamborough Head looked truly world-class.

Last month I did an even longer walk from Helmsley to Scarborough (about 90 miles over four days), seeing some nice dales scenery, especially around Hawnby, and walked down the Cleveland Way coastal path from Saltburn-by-the-Sea; a picturesque coastal town like a bigger version of the more southerly villages of Staithes, Runswick Bay and Robin Hood’s Bay either side of Whitby.

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Secluded beaches above Scarborough were a great way to finish the walk on a sunny Sunday, and the town had great food and drink to replenish and refresh (UNESCO site(s) of future after Lake District celebrating award on weekend!?).

 

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Robin Hood’s Bay sunset on last night of my hike.

Guns N’ Roses Reunion Trip down Memory Lane… Balmy Day

My visit to Abbey Wood campsite, an idyllic green space replete with wild parakeets in the trees, was to see Guns N’ Roses at the Olympic Stadium, London, with Duff and Slash rejoining last year for their current very successful world tour. The gig reminded me of Wembley Stadium in 1991, which was also hot and sunny.

I was just getting to know Guns N’ Roses’s Appetite for Destruction this time 30 years ago, and it provided the main soundtrack to my travels.

 

I left on August 25th, 1987, and I’ll hopefully complete this site’s backwards chronology working to that date this year in 2017. My first eleven months journey was originally just supposed to be around Europe, but extended to the Middle-East mainly through a desire for more sunshine warmth over the winter; with tourist sites a secondary factor.

It was immortalised in my memoir The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller, published by Chipmunka, realising an ambition I’d had since reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road: to travel, keep a diary and write a book about it.

The Guns 'n' Roses Worker - Traveller

That fulfilled my writing ambition, but I’ve continued writing for a decade; fulfilling no more ambitions, for there were none; but creating some new concepts, supporting some good causes and improving my writing.

My name is Marc Latham, and I’m still alive. My story is true, and I’ll prove what I can to you…