Michael Monroe Shares His Only Condition For The Axl Rose Collaboration

Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe recently appeared as a guest on the Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White Show and revealed his only condition for his collaboration with Axl Rose.

Guns N’ Roses released their fifth studio album, ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ on November 23, 1993. The album included covers of older punk rock, glam rock, and hard rock songs from bands such as New York Dolls, Misfits, Dead Boys, The Stooges, Soundgarden, and others. 

The album’s lead single, ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ a cover from Dead Boys, featured Hanoi Rocks lead vocalist Michael Monroe as a guest singer. Monroe was with Guns N’ Roses to play harmonica and sax on their song, ‘Bad Obsession.’ Monroe made a cassette for Axl Rose since he had never heard of Dead Boys’ music. After hearing ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ Rose wanted to record it for the new Guns N’ Roses album and invited Monroe to sing with him.

Michael Monroe shared the only condition for the Axl Rose collaboration during his latest appearance. When Rose asked him to perform a duet, he requested it to be in memory of the late Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators. Bators had just passed away after being hit by a car, and Monroe was close friends with him.

The singer explained that it was a magical experience to sing face to face with Axl Rose. He felt like Stiv Bators was also there with them in spirit, and Axl Rose sounded like the late frontman. Monroe didn’t want any money for the session. He just wanted to make sure that the song ended up on the album, and it said ‘In memory of Stiv Bators’ in the credits.

Michael Monroe speaking on his only condition for the Axl Rose collaboration:

“They were recording ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ and Axl said, ‘Let’s do this song,’ and I said, ‘Wow, it’s cool.’ He said, ‘Let’s do it as a duet,’ and I said, ‘Well, could it say in memory of Stiv Bators because Stiv had just passed away and he was a dear friend of mine, a big influence on me and all that. He said, ‘Oh yeah, of course.’ So I thought it was fantastic. We did the vocal face-to-face. It was magical.

I had candles around. It was the Record Plant Studios. They were keeping the studio open for their session. The studio would close down, but they kept it open for the Guns N’ Roses sessions. Axl lived there, in one of the rooms. We put candles around us and sang face to face. It was really magical. Stiv was there in spirit, for sure.”

The singer continued:

“It is like even Axl sounds just like Stiv in places when he says, ‘Ain’t it fun when you feel like you just gotta get a gun.’ His voice is like Stiv’s, so it wasn’t only a duet. It was like a trio; Stiv was there in spirit for sure. I thought it was great to have an homage to Stiv and have all those millions of Guns N’ Roses fans see Stiv’s name on the album.

That was so cool. I didn’t want any money for it either because I wanted to make sure it made the album. I heard many of those bands got a little bit greedy, the bank of the Roses, big money, and all dollar signs. I just wanted to make sure that the song ends on the album. I didn’t want any money. I said, ‘I wanted if you could say in memory of Stiv Bators and spell my name right.’ That’s all.”

You can watch the conversation and listen to the song below.