The Truth Behind Axl Rose’s Controversial Reputation

Many rock stars have built a reputation for being a pain to work or even have a conversation with. While the list of controversial musicians is quite long, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose is arguably at the top of that list with his sharp tongue and the series of unbelievable incidents he has caused.

From arguing with almost every other artist he has encountered, including his bandmates, to being the lead character of mind-blowing stories, Rose is a legend when it comes to being the rocker every musician refrains from collaborating. Still, many consider the GN’R singer a misunderstood person who treats others with much kindness.

Let’s break down some of Rose’s most controversial disputes with other rock stars, history of shocking incidents, and the people who think he’s fun to collaborate with. In this way, we’ll find how he built his reputation as one of the most famous troublemakers in the history of rock music.

Axl Rose Had Countless Feuds And Incidents

If there were a timeline of Axl Rose’s infamous feuds with other rock stars, there most likely wouldn’t be a year that passed without a dispute. Perhaps one of his biggest fights with another artist must be when he had a verbal and almost physical confrontation with late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

In a nutshell, Rose, as a person who doesn’t like being rejected, was turned down by Nirvana when he asked them to play at his birthday party while offering them to join Guns N’ Roses’ tour with Metallica. Though their vendetta didn’t just start with this, it escalated quickly when both sides started talking ill about each other during interviews.

It got to a point where Rose and Cobain almost had a fistfight right before the MTV Video Music Awards back in 1992. Fortunately, it did not get that far, but the entire world witnessed the living and breathing hate between two celebrated leads. Long story short, they remained on bad terms until the passing of Cobain.

Kurt Cobain wasn’t the only singer Axl Rose spent his time picking on, as you can imagine. In fact, the frontman has one of the most tangled disputes in his career with one of his bandmates, guitarist Slash. While tension was rising among bandmates due to Rose’s dominant character and attitude towards others, Slash ignited a spark by collaborating with Michael Jackson.

Rose was hurt by Slash’s choice of collaboration since there were speculations regarding Jackson, who was accused of being a child molester and pedophile. Because Rose is particularly sensitive about this subject due to his traumatic experiences, seeing one of his bandmates working with an alleged pedophile sparked the feud between the two that later ended with Slash’s departure from the band combined with other reasons.

Their hard feelings didn’t end there as Rose stirred the post by giving statements to the press about Slash that started another feud. The musician even filed a $20 million lawsuit because of his hate for Slash. Fortunately for every GN’R fan, both Slash and Axl Rose buried the hatchet after many years of emotionally hurting each other. Still, their dispute added another layer to Rose’s reputation as a controversial rocker.

Arguing with other artists isn’t the only reason Guns N’ Roses gained the troublemaker title, as he also instigated riots, fought with cops, had quarrels with random people that also ended with an arrest. These are just a few stories surrounding Rose’s notorious reputation.

Some People Believe Axl Rose Is Misunderstood

The incidents mentioned above are only a peek at Axl Rose’s career filled with stories like this. Despite having countless reasons to stay away from the musician, like many others who judge Rose based on these incidents, several artists have mentioned the GN’R singer with much appreciation.

Amid his feud with former bandmates, Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows defended Rose by saying he’s a nice, humble, and great guy to talk to. Moreover, Shadows stated that Rose is a very respectful person who is also a kind musician towards his fans, as he takes the time to take pictures with them.

According to Blabbermouth, Shadows said:

“I feel Axl is a better singer; Guns N’ Roses was a better band. Stone Temple Pilots wasn’t even close to that status. Axl was nothing but a nice, down-to-earth, great guy to talk to when I met him. Very respectful and generous, taking pictures with everyone and just seemed to be having a good time.”

Let’s look at a relatively new statement about meeting Axl Rose’s for the first time. Mammoth WVH founder Wolfgang Van Halen reflected on meeting the GN’R frontman for the first time a few months ago. According to him, the musician was incredibly friendly and kind regardless of Wolf’s nervousness. Furthermore, Axl even reached in for a hug, although Wolfgang put his hand out for a handshake.

About the first time he met Rose, Wolfgang said:

“Then, at the end of the night, Axl finally walked up. It was very nerve-racking. It was like, ‘Okay, I think Axl’s coming up. Everybody be on your best behavior and be nice.’ And he was so affable, just so kind. I was like, ‘Hi, Mr. Rose,’ and I put out my hand, and he brought me in for a hug and everything, and he talked about how much he liked the ‘Don’t Back Down’ video, which was crazy just to think that he had even watched it.”

Those who believe Axl Rose must be a pain to have around have good reasons due to the musician’s not-so-clean record track. However, many people believe that the rocker never came for another musician unless he had a good reason. For instance, AC/DC’s members were pleased with Axl Rose’s performance when he temporarily replaced Brian Johnson during the band’s 2016 Rock and Bust tour.

The band members, especially Angus Young, praised the rocker for his dedication and hard work and said they would always be ‘grateful’ to him. In addition, it should be noted that the press loves to exaggerate the incidents for an extra sensation which probably contributed to Rose’s bad-boy image in the rock community.