During a new interview on former MTV Headbangers Ball host Riki Rachtman’s podcast, The Cathouse Hollywood Podcast, Rachtman spoke to Joseph Brooks, who was working one night at the famous Hollywood nightclub The Cathouse, when Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose and David Bowie had a run in. Here, Brooks discusses how David Bowie after getting drunk in 1989 and hitting on Axl Rose’s (at the time) girlfriend, Erin Everly, and the consequences that would follow soon after for the Starman. Alternative Nation transcribed Rachtman and Brooks’ comments below.
Rachtman: No, there is more to the story.
Brooks: You see, I wasn’t in one space, I didn’t walk around.
Rachtman: I never heard this part of the story. So I don’t kn-
Brooks: He signed my records!
Rachtman: I never met him, or did I? I was drunk, maybe I did meet him.
Brooks: I don’t know.
Rachtman: I don’t think so. Well, that night he also tries to pick up on Erin Everly.
Brooks: I can believe that.
Rachtman: So you don’t know the rest of this story?
Brooks: You see, I’ve heard this but I haven’t witnessed it. I have another story similar to this.
Rachtman: Okay, what happens is he tries to pick up on Erin Everly and my security guard George comes up to me and says “Riki, Axl is chasing David Bowie down the street saying that he is going to kill him.”
Brooks: I believe it.
Rachtman: “I’m gonna kill you, tin man” he goes. This is when David Bowie was doing that band Tin Machine. My security guard goes Axl Rose is chasing David Bowie down the street and I just looked at him, stared at him and I just turned around and went the other way. I don’t know how to deal with that type of situation. Guns N’ Roses knew they could do anything in the Cathouse but here is Axl Rose, your friend, and a guy who is a big part of the club chasing one of your heroes down the street. I didn’t even know David Bowie was there. So I guess Axl Rose was chasing David Bowie down the street.
Brooks: It’s very possible because he was coming on to all the girls who were coming into the booth and Erin would always come to the booth, we were good friends. So it’s very possible she came in at one point, Bowie said some slurry, horrible British thing to her and then pursued her afterward in the club. Easily that could have happened. Word of that could have easily gotten to Axl and Axl could have gone off as he was easily known to do. So Bowie was in the booth for a while and I think it was the lowest point in his career in the 80s too. However, he eventually cleaned up his act and became great again. Yet, at that point in time, it was not the best time to meet your hero.
Rachtman: In preparing for this show, I hit up everyone I could find that was there that night. I even did what I promised I wouldn’t do, I read an article from a major music publication that had the headline:
“Axl Rose Punched David Bowie at the Cathouse”
Rachtman: I don’t remember any blows being thrown, I couldn’t reach Axl but Duff (McKagan) said that he didn’t think Axl hit Bowie and Slash said the same thing. Several of my staff said David Bowie was a mess. Later, Axl and David met at the China Club. They made up and Axl even said he was surprised how similar he was to Bowie.