Why Joe Elliott Labeled Guns N’ Roses A ‘Dysfunctional Soap Opera’

Guns N’ Roses have had their fair share of feuds and controversies throughout the years, from the time Axl Rose accused Slash of sabotaging him to the time Izzy Stradlin left the band mid-tour in 1991. These ‘problems,’ surely, helped the act make headlines often, since ‘all press was good press.’

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott was also thinking about the ‘spotlight’ GN’R received from all the ‘chaos,’ as he called the band a ‘dysfunctional soap opera’ during a chat in 2001 on Get Signed.

The frontman was discussing how ‘chaos’ and ‘dysfunction’ made bands great while also claiming how acts like the Ramones, Oasis, and GN’R profited from their ‘problems.’ Joe said:

“We  [Def Leppard] came together because we had an interest and worked at it. So did U2. The Ramones couldn’t play in the grand scheme of things; they weren’t musicians’ musicians, but what a band! They were anti-establishment but they were cool, they did their own thing.”

He continued by exemplifying how Oasis’ dysfunctional dynamics were under constant spotlight for almost two years:

“Oasis is about the last band I can think of that came along [and] kicked the industry in the face. They were on the front page of the newspaper every day for 18 months. They had all the bad attitude that kids love. Music to piss their parents off. So, the kids go out and buy it. Music needs that every now and then.”

Then, Elliott discussed how the type of ‘chaos’ GN’R created in the industry couldn’t be matched:

“As good as Train and Matchbox 20 are, they’re not the kind of artists that you end up talking about like we did with Axl [Rose] and Slash, that dysfunctional soap opera that Guns N’ Roses are. But there was substance behind it. They had it all, the attitude and the songs. We never had the attitude that Guns N’ Roses had, we were never the bad boys of rock ‘n’ roll but we had the substance in the songs.”

Joe’s thesis that ‘chaos brings spirit into music’ could be right as Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx admitted on a previous chat that his band used their problems and ‘chaos’ to ensure all the spotlight was on them. So, any press is good press, right?