27 Years Ago Guns N’ Roses Release ‘The Spaghetti Incident”
27 years ago today, in 1993 Guns N’ Roses released their last studio album to feature Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan. Titled ‘The Spaghetti Incident?”, the album was full of covers, but it would be one song in particular that got the band in hot water. Axl Rose would record a cover of the Charles Manson song ‘Look At Your Game Girl.’ as a hidden track on the album. Check out Rock N’ Roll True Stories video about the controversy that ensued.
Guns N’ Roses would rule the world for six short years from 1988 to 1993 and remake rock n’ roll in their own decadent image. Of course it didn’t come without any costs as drug abuse, in fighting and controversy seemed to tear the band apart by the mid 90’s with the only remaining member by 1997 being original vocalist Axl Rose. The last studio album from the band to feature the classic members Axl Rose, bassist Duff McKagan, and guitarist Slash would be the group’s 1993 cover album ‘The Spaghetti Incident?” It seemed like with every album release leading up to the Spaghetti Incident the band was marred in controversy.
The band’s debut record Appetite for Destruction was criticized over it’s original artwork that depicted a half naked woman with some criticizing the band for glorifying rpe. The band’s subsequent release, the 1988 EP GN’R Lies created a firestorm over the song ‘One in a million’ that featured explosive lyrics against immigrants, and gys. 1991’s double album Use your Illusion was no different as the band was accused of being misyogenstic with songs like back off bitch and locomotive.
And of course 1993’s Spaghetti Incident was no different. Only a week after the album hit store shelves in November of 1993 law-enforcement and victims-rights groups began expressing outrage What were the outraged over? Stay tuned to find out! The covers album was mostly a tribute to the glam and punk bands who influenced Guns N’ Roses including the Dead Boys, The Misfits, T-Rex, but included was a hidden track written by cult leader Charles Manson called ‘Look At Your Game Girl.’ Even David Geffen, head of the the band’s label Geffen Records wasn’t aware of the song’s inclusion until he saw a news report on CNN.
He was appalled by the song releasing a statement to the LA Times that read. “I would hope that if Axl Rose had realized how offensive people would find this, he would not ever have recorded the song in the first place. The fact that Charles Manson would be earning money based on the fame he derived committing one of the most horrific crimes of the 20th century is unthinkable to me.” If you’ve looked at pretty much any photo of Rose in 1993 then you’d see him frequently wearing a Charles Manson shirt in concert. He even wears one in the band’s music video for the power ballad Estranged. According to the California Board of Corrections, for every million copies the band sells, Manson would receive $62,000 in royalties. Rose, in a Nov. 30 statement, claimed the band had no intention of glamorizing the cult leader revealing
“The reason we didn’t list that song on our album is we wanted to downplay it. We don’t give any credit to Manson on the album; it’s like a hidden, bonus track.” Rose was correct on the packaging for the album “The Spaghetti Incident?” doesn’t list the song or mention Manson anywhere. The song plays after 12 seconds of silence following the final listed track a cover of the Fear song “I Don’t Care About You”. Well you’re probably wondering how the song even ended up on a guns n’ roses album. It was Rose’s brother Stuart who brought it to Axl’s attention According to interviews with band members over the years it appears it was the singer’s idea to include the track, while the other members reluctantly agreed to it provided it was hidden. You’re probably wondering why Rose chose the songs to begin with. Well in early 1993 he broke up with long time girlfriend model Stephanie Seymour and it affected him deeply and Rose would claim what appealed to him about the song was and i quote “it’s about a woman who has thrown things away. She thinks she’s gaining love but basically she’s gaining sadness.” The only members of the band who played on it included Rose, keyboardist dizzy reed who played bongos and I kid you not Axl Rose’s gardener a guy named Carlos Booey who played guitar. . . . The song talks about how the girl is insane and playing a mad game. I felt that it was ironic that such a song was recorded by Charles Manson, someone who should know the inner intricacies of madness.” Regarding Manson possibly collecting royalties Rose would claim. “It is my understanding that the song was written by Beach Boys member Dennis Wilson,” Rose wrote, adding that in any case, he was donating any personal profits from the song to an..