Michael Monroe Says He Didn’t Ask For Any Money From Axl Rose

Former Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe recently sat down for an interview with the Rock Experience with Mike Brunn and shared the story behind his collaboration with Guns N’ Roses.

Guns N’ Roses started recording an album in the early ’90s in which they covered old punk rock, hard rock, and different songs. This album was later released under the name ‘The Spaghetti Incident.’ The album included songs by many bands, such as New York Dolls, the Damned, Misfits, the Professionals, and Dead Boys.

The lead single of the album was ‘Ain’t It Fun.’ On this track, a song from Dead Boys’ 1978 second studio album, ‘We Have Come for Your Children,’ Guns N’ Roses wanted to collaborate with Michael Monroe. At that time, it had been eight years since Michael Monroe had left Hanoi Rocks and was engaged in different musical projects.

A few years before the release of this album, Monroe was collaborating with his very close friend and former Dead Boys member Stiv Bators. However, in 1990, Bators was involved in a car accident in Paris and died from a traumatic brain injury. This sudden and unexpected death devastated Monroe. However, two years later, he got the opportunity to sing a song by Dead Boys as a tribute to his deceased friend.

In a recent interview with the Rock Experience with Mike Brunn, Monroe recalled the times of making that album. He said that when they spoke with Axl Rose, he told him that he didn’t know the Dead Boys very well, so he made a Dead Boys tape for Axl, and they listened to it together in the car. He remembered that Rose wanted to include ‘Ain’t It Fun’ in the ‘Spaghetti Incident’ the moment he heard it.

After they recorded the song together, Monroe revealed that he didn’t want any money from Rose and Guns N’ Roses for his contribution. He also stated that he only wanted the album to properly pay tribute to his close friend Stiv Bators and asked them to write ‘in memory of Stiv Bators.’ He humorously added that he wanted the name to be spelled correctly. He had previously revealed that it was also his only condition to collaborate with Guns N’ Roses.

Michael Monroe recalled his collaboration with Guns N Roses as follows:

“And also, one of the coolest things was, when I went to LA to work with Guns N’ Roses and Axl had told me on the phone that he hadn’t heard much of the Dead Boys. So, I made him a tape of the Dead Boys, which we were listening to in his car. At one point, you know, in Hollywood, and then he heard ‘Ain’t It Fun’ and he said, ‘Oh man, we’ve got to do this song,’ and they were doing the ‘Spaghetti Incident’ at the time, the same time as they were doing the ‘Usual Illusion’ album, on which I came, which I was, I had come to play saxophone and harmonica on.

So then, we did that as a duet for Stiv, and I was like, I didn’t want any money off that either. I said I don’t want any, I just wanted to be ended up on the album, and because, some of those bands that covered, I heard that some of these guys that got a little greedy and stuff, and I said, I didn’t want any money, I just wanted it to say ‘in memory of Stiv Bators’ and just spell the name right. That’s all [laughs].”

You can check out the full interview on Youtube below.