In honor of the 52nd birthday (yesterday) of William Bruce Bailey (Axl Rose) and my post about their dreadful 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident?”, I decided this week’s Metal for Friday had better be a good Guns N’ Roses song, and here it is: “Don’t Cry,” which originally appeared in two different versions on the band’s 1991 double album Use Your Illusion.

This song has an illustrious history. It was written in the 80s and, although a ballad, became a staple of the band’s stage shows in the early days, even before their 1987 mega-hit album Appetite for Destruction. The recording of Use Your Illusion was sort of GN’R’s Finnegan’s Wake, where they wrote not only new material but threw in original stuff they’d written previously but never had a chance to use yet. The second version of the song, with alternate lyrics, was written in 1991 just as the album was being recorded.

Made in 1992, the video was one of the most ambitious music videos made up until that time. The centerpiece of it is obviously the fiery Hollywood-style car crash. Visible in the video, and audible doing backing vocals, is Shannon Hoon, who later had his own band Blind Melon. Hoon was a childhood friend of Axl Rose and they grew up together in Indiana. Hoon, of course, met a tragic end, snorting his life away in a cocaine overdose in the back of his tour bus in October 1995. The bus was parked outside of Tipitina’s, a club in New Orleans. I lived in New Orleans at the time and in fact this happened only a few blocks from where I was. Although I won’t claim I was planning to go to the Blind Melon show that was supposed to happen that night–and never did–I’ve been to Tipitina’s many times.

Anyway, enjoy the video. Have a great Friday, Shabbat Shalom. \m/

metal