The former Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven recently talked about his time with Guns N’ Roses and recalled the working experience with the members especially Axl Rose.
Alan Niven opens up on Axl Rose
Alan Niven is one of the few people who don’t often get talked about. It is to be noted that he played a major role in the breakthrough that Guns N’ Roses got. Niven had already made his name as the manager, songwriter, and producer of Great White when Tom Zutaut, Geffen A&R agent who had signed Guns in 1986, invited him to manage the band.
In an extensive interview with VWMusic, Niven talked about his relationship with Axl Rose that would sadly come to an unceremonious end. At the time, it would be reported how the frontman even refused to complete his work on “Use Your Illusion” before the manager got fired.
He revealed that other members of Guns N’ Roses protested Axl’s decision but the band and Niven parted ways in May of 1991. Asked to describe his relationship with Axl, Niven claimed that he was insulted multiple times by Rose.
“His first insult was to thank me in the liner notes after his fuckin’ dogs. He didn’t bother to show for the dinner with [GN’R lawyer Peter] Paterno and the rest of the band where they offered to extend my original contract for another whole three years. That was when I knew I’d be fucked over by them.
“They did offer to raise my commission rate to 20%, but I turned down the increase. I did not want my company being paid more than a band member, although I had to pay for offices and staff. I never charged back a dime in expenses, as I had the conventional right to do so.
“The only time Axl ever said thank you was from the stage of the Hammersmith Odeon – so even that was more about him than me. See me being gracious. He wasn’t a nice person back then. He may have changed. To me, he’s kinda like the Tonya Harding of rock ‘n’ roll – capable of being sublime but best known for other reasons.”