In a new Revolver interview, Slash reacted to fans criticizing the expensive new Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction 30th anniversary box set.
“The box set was for the 30-year anniversary. We wanted to put everything in there that we’re aware of. There was stuff we had in the can that no one has ever heard — plus some live stuff and different things that the band has done and put in this one package. It was fun to get all that stuff together. It was cool to sit there and remaster it and hear that stuff again for what’s been years and years.”
He also said, “[Laughs] A lot of people were complaining about the price of it [$999], but there’s so much stuff in there. And the box itself is this wood thing that’s hand-done in leather. You can get all the material in a less grandiose package. It’s really cool. For me personally, it was cathartic to get that stuff out there.”
Former Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven criticized Guns N’ Roses’ $1,000 Appetite for Destruction 30th anniversary box set in a recent Appetite for Distortion interview. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.
“For me personally I think it’s a little bit unfortunate. Actually I might borrow a word from the esteemed manager of Guns N’ Roses Fernando, and use the word clueless, because unfortunately he was public in describing Guns N’ Roses fans as clueless, which is a little bit of a shame.
With the box set, first of all the pricing I thought was absolutely out of the park to ask somebody to pay $1,000 for a box set, especially because it’s basically stuff that anybody who is a fan of the band, they would have found most of that stuff back in the day. There were bootleg copies that I think came from one band member’s set of demos, but bootleg copies of the GNR demos available in the vinyl stores in Manhattan before we even had Appetite for Destruction released, so they’ve been around forever.”
“Let’s start with the pricing, then we’ll go through the creative. As far as the pricing goes, I don’t know if all of your listeners are aware, but basically you can manufacture a printed CD for about 80 cents. You can press a vinyl record for a dollar if your run is big enough.”
He then said, “So there are your fundamental cost for the items themselves, so keep that in mind. Let’s look at it from a different perspective, my point of view is that rock and roll is fundamentally a blue collar and working class medium. At its best, rock and roll does a couple of things: it brings people together by their own consent, but it also gives at its best what I might call the disenfranchised. Disenfranchised sounds a little scholarly, I’ll take a line out of one of the songs, it gives a voice to the urchins under the streets.
To me it’s fundamentally a blue collar exercise, and part of its beauty and its power is that there are those we have come to love who speak truth to power. It’s a medium where you can give the finger to the man, and deservedly so. Part of the reason I love rock and roll is it’s anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment. I cannot imagine anything more establishment than Rodeo Drive pricing on a box set that is basically old music. That tells me that whoever is in the band, or running the band, has lost the plot, in terms of who is your audience, and how did you end up in Malibu. You ended up in Malibu on a wave of blue collar response, that’s how you surfed into that community.
That bothers me, that really bothers me. Who is going to spend $1,000 on a box set? One of your actor friends, some of your model wife’s friends maybe, but who else? It’s certainly not going to your fundamental audience. That tells me that somebody somewhere has lost the plot. To use Fernando’s words, I think it’s clueless.”
He then criticized the idea of releasing a remastered version, praising the original mix.
“The whole remastering aspect of it is bullshit.”
He then said the original lineup should have reunited for a special performance of Appetite for Destruction that could have been released for an affordable reissue with the Marquee recordings.
“That way you’re honoring the past by being in the moment, and maybe creating something that might have a future. It will have a future if you put a realistic price on it. You have four CD’s, and call it 20 or 25 bucks.”