Neil Murray Recalls Axl Rose Getting Angry While Touring With Brian May
The bass guitarist Neil Murray recently talked about when he toured with Guns N’ Roses as a part of Brian May’s band. According to Murray, Axl Rose got angry at a technician and broke his monitor during the tour.
After Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, the Queen members disbanded, and Brian May pursued a solo career, releasing his first solo album in 1992 and following it with a tour. Neil Murray was one of the session musicians in the album; hence he also took place in the tour backing up May. During the tour, the May team supported Guns N’ Roses, and they hung out and spent time with each other.
They toured together for two years, and even after that, May’s band stuck together. They still perform from time to time, with their original lineup Neil Murray, Cozy Powell, Spike Edney, and Jamie Moses surprising the audience with their changing vocalists. Many inspirational musicians such as Paul Rodgers, Roger Taylor, and Lionel Richie have performed as lead vocalists in the band.
While recalling how it was like to tour with Brian May, Murray pointed out a problem Axl Rose had during the tour. Even though the concerts were huge with a lot of partying, Rose’s reputation for causing trouble showed face. Because he had gotten angry with a monitor guy, he destroyed his monitor desk and got a couple of gigs canceled. Neil referred to his behavior as ‘typical Guns behavior’ and continued to say that no matter what Axl did, at least he was always friendly afterward.
Here is the story as told by Murray:
“It was great. Slightly annoyingly, this was the year after they had their enormous tour. That’s when all the mega parties and completely over-the-top outrageousness had gone on. When we joined the tour the following year, it was like, ‘We’re much more sensible. Everything is cut down. We’re not going to behave like that now.’ Oh? That’s a shame. We were hoping for some rock ‘n’ roll Babylon.
They still had their moments. We played a show somewhere in the Midwest and then got on the bus and drove to Nashville. When we got there, we discovered that not only was that gig canceled, but maybe another couple of nights because Axl had gotten so angry with a monitor guy when they went on stage the previous night that he jumped on the monitor desk and wrecked it.
It was typical Guns behavior. They were in awe of Brian. Cozy was probably on their level, in terms of being a bit of a hooligan. In general, some of the rest of us – they didn’t pay much attention, or they weren’t very much on this planet a lot of the time. You could easily say hi to Axl and get nothing back, and the next day he’d be perfectly friendly.”
You can listen to May’s performance with Murray below.