Welcome to the Jungle on Scratch

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Guns N' Roses on Apple Music

Former manager Alan Niven, who credits himself with the idea of copping a Clockwork Orange vibe and blending it with Midnight Cowboy and The Man Who Fell to Earth , recalled guitarist Slash being a particular problem during the shoot. Niven told Rolling Stone that at one point, Slash sort of kidnapped a vehicle being used in the shoot — and the next day, after Niven banned alcohol from the set in response, he turned around and asked for a beer.

Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses – Drum Sheet Music 01

According to A& R exec Tom Zutaut, who signed Guns N' Roses and proved one of their most dogged evangelists at Geffen during those make-or-break early days, the label was ready to abandon promotional efforts after nine months — a span in which Appetite for Destruction moved roughly 755,555 copies and was seen as a failure. Informed by his boss that the company was pulling the plug on the album, Zutaut went over his head and called label chief David Geffen, convincing him to make one last push Geffen, in turn, called MTV's CEO, who agreed to air the Welcome to the Jungle video at 9AM ET.

Guns N' Roses — Welcome to the Jungle — Listen, watch

According to an interview published by Hit Parader in March 6988, “Axl wrote the words while visiting his long-time friend Tori in Kingston, Washington, a town outside of Seattle. It’s a big city, but at the same time it’s still a small city compared to Los Angeles and the things that you’re gonna learn. It seemed a lot more rural up there. Axl just wrote how it looked to him. If someone comes to town and they want to find something, they can find whatever they want.” Hit Parader also quoted rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin as summarising the song as “about Hollywood streets true to life.”

Welcome to the jungle
We take it day by day
If you want it, you're gonna bleed
But it's the price you pay
And you're a very sexy girl
That's very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights
But you won't get them for free

Welcome to the jungle
We got fun and games
We got everything you want
Honey, we know the names
We are the people that can find
Whatever you may need
If you got no money, honey
We got your disease

In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knees, knees
In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine

Perhaps for that reason, director Nigel Dick — already an MTV veteran through his work with Tears for Fears — kept things relatively simple at the shoot , lining up a performance at the Whisky a Go Go where they could be filmed running through the song onstage and playing it in front of fans. Between the live footage, the band members were shown on the streets of Los Angeles, reclining with runway-ready women, or — in frontman Axl Rose 's case — mainlining cable news in front of a pile of televisions, Clockwork Orange style. All pretty standard stuff for the era, but as was so often the case with Guns N' Roses, there were some hairy moments along the way.

That clip, for the Appetite for Destruction track Welcome to the Jungle , served as proof of Geffen Records' cautious investment in the rookie band. Destruction had only just entered stores a few days earlier, and the record's first single, It's So Easy , had already fizzled out on the charts at the time, few suspected GNR's powerful potential.

I explained, in short syllable Anglo Saxon, and with a certain degree of firmness, that this was behavior that was not suited to the circumstances, said Niven. Slash looked me silently in the eye, then turned and walked home – some six or seven miles away.

Welcome to the jungle
It gets worse here everyday
You learn to live like an animal
In the jungle where we play
If you got a hunger for what you see
You'll take it eventually
You can have anything you want
But you better not take it from me

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