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May 31, 2020

Inside Iconic Hard Rock Band Guns N' Roses' Path to Worldwide Success

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How the five members of the legendary 1980s rock band, Guns N' Roses', came together and became the famous group that took the 80s by storm.

At the very beginning, what would, one day, become a part of Guns N' Roses' was an unlikely duo who happened to attend the same high school.

Adler (Steven Adler) and Slash( Saul Anderson) were the first to meet up. They became fast friends, and Alder ended up inviting Slash over to check out his electric guitar and amp.

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They formed a band in Fairfax high, which mainly served as a meeting point for them at the time. Unknown to the two, something similar was happening miles away in Indiana. 

At Jefferson highschool, church vocalist Bill Bailey and his schoolmate, Izzy Stradlin, were bonding over their similar taste in music. The two started creating their music. 

They also had a close brush with death in what was a car accident.

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Bailey dropped out of school after starting his music career with a band while Stradlin chose to finish high school. They crossed paths later on in L.A and teamed up with a guitarist, Chris Weber. The group, Hollywood Rose, started drawing some attention. 

Bailey, who now went by Rose, became recognized for his energy on stage. Chris described how he was whenever they took the stage. He said:

"...he would shake, literally tremble, when he got up there, He'd be letting this energy out, and I could see him just vibrating…"

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For the first time, four of them came together in 1984 when Slash and Alder joined "Hollywood Rose." However, this did not last long, and they soon went their separate ways and subsequently joined other groups.

The last piece to the puzzle, McKagan, arrived L.A during the fall of the same year. He had come from Seattle in response to an ad put out by a band known as "Road Crew."

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McKagan was in awe of Slash and Adler's skills on the guitar, but he was not in tune with the other two members of the band, and so he opted out.

In 1985 which turned out to be an eventful year for the group, all five of them finally came together with McKagan on the bass to make music for the first time, and they knew they were meant to be together almost immediately. McKagan recounted what the experience felt like:

"...we could all hear and feel that the fit was right, The chemistry was immediate, thunderous, and soulful. It was amazing..."

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In the same year, the group set off on what later earned the name of "Hell Tour" as it involved an 1100-mile hike to Seattle after their car broke down.

They also had a close brush with death in what was a car accident, after returning to Los Angeles, but they survived and ended up trumping over all the other bands at the time with songs that topped many charts and successful albums.

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