Blind Melon Guitarist Christopher Thorn Talks Axl Rose & Touring With Guns N’ Roses!

Blind Melon Guitarist Christopher Thorn and Jeff Ross lookalike was recently interviewed on the Appetite for Distortion Podcast. During the interview he talked a bit about Axl Rose and what it was like to tour with Guns N’ Roses in 1992 and 1993. For those who don’t know Blind Melon opened two shows in Mexico for Guns N’ Roses in 1992. Blind Melon also opened numerous dates for Guns N’ Roses during the Skin N’ Bones tour in the United States and across Europe. Shannon Hoon also made several live appearances during 1991 and 1992 with Guns N’ Roses. During the interview Thorn had this to say about Axl:

“It was a huge deal for me even at that time. They’re the biggest band in the universe at that point, there’s nobody bigger, so to sort of have Axl kind of bless you, and say, ‘I believe in these guys.’ You kind of get the finger on your head, being blessed by Axl. We knew it was a big deal, we were really grateful. We were really grateful, Axl was really good to us. People try to get me to say about Axl, and I can’t say anything about him, other than he might be crazy. But he was lovely to us, and he helped our career so much, and he was always so cool to us.”

He added, “He was crazy Axl for sure. I saw him be pretty’ crazy for sure.”

“Well people were scared the out of him, I do know that. I do know that the crew would just sort of back away whenever he would walk through the hallway. People were in fear of him, I wasn’t because he was always so cool to us because we were Shannon’s buds. He was always super cool to us, but he ran a really tight ship. People were on eggshells around him, I can tell you that.

But it was crazy, he was a perfectionist. I would see him get off stage every night and go back to his room and watch the entire ’ performance and take notes. He was really a pro man, I got to tell you, I learned a lot about just being professional, he was very professional at that point. They were playing stadiums, and you can’t afford to just be okay when you’re playing stadiums. He took it really seriously, and ran a really tight ship, and they were amazing every night.”

Check out the clip below of VH1’s Behind the Music documentary about Blind Melon where they talk about Shannon Hoon recording with Guns N’ Roses.

Thorn also went on to talk a bit more about touring with Guns N’ Roses. I have summarized his comments below:

  • Shannon Hoon’s Sister was friends with Axl Rose. Shannon Hoon’s Sister went to school with Axl.
  • Thorn talked about going down to the Record Plant in the early 1990’s with Shannon Hoon to see him put background vocals on songs including the Garden, You Ain’t the First, Don’t Cry and several others. Thorn claimed Hoon recorded the vocals for 4 or 5 songs in one night.
  • Thorn said life on Guns N’ Roses private plane, which the members of Blind Melon sometimes shared was awesome if you were a member of Guns N’ Roses. Thorn said Blind Melon members would stay in the crew quarters and as soon as you walked on the plane there would be lobster, shrimp and a bar. Shannon Hoon would end up in first class with Slash and Duff getting drunk each night.
  • Everyone smoked on the plane so it sometimes the plane felt like a giant cigarette.
  • Many times Duff, Slash and Shannon Hoon were taken off the plane by several bodyguards because they were too intoxicated.
  • Thorn said it was funny to get off the plane and see five limos for the members of Guns N’ Roses and a tiny van on the runway for the members of Blind Melon.