Guns N’ Roses released their debut four-track EP Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide on December 16, 1986. While original vinyl and cassette copies are rarer than a hen’s tooth, the songs were later included on the band’s 1988 EP G N’ R Lies.
Here are 10 things you might not know about the band’s landmark recording.
- While the official label for Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide was Uzi Suicide, this actually didn’t exist. It was Axl’s idea, and then GN’R manager Alan Niven used his previous experiences with the likes of Mötley Crüe to make it work.
- While the EP is ostensibly live, but it was actually done at Pasha Studios in Hollywood, with crowd noises added. Supposedly, the audience comes from a Texxas Jam show in the 70s. In drummer Steven Adler’s book My Appetite For Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses, he says that Geffen engineers told him “it would cost too much to actually record a live record”.
- The opening song, Reckless Life, dates back to Hollywood Rose, a band who were a precursor to GN’R. Guitarist Chris Weber, who gets a co-writing credit, founded the band and went on to form U.P.O., who released two albums.
- The band’s cover of Rose Tattoo’s Nice Boys also dates back to Hollywood Rose days. It was part of their set on June 16, 1984, when Axl, Slash and Steven Adler first played together, at Madame Wong’s West.
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- It’s Slash who screams “Hey fuckers! Suck on Guns N’ fuckin’ Roses!” at the beginning of the recording, right before Reckless Life. He also designed the logo on the front cover.
- Move To The City, the second original track here, gives Del James a co-writing credit. He was a close friend of Axl’s, and wrote extensively about the band for American magazines. He wrote a short story which inspired the November Rain video storyline.
- Three of the songs on the EP were in the band’s set when the Appetite For Destruction line-up made their live debut at The Troubadour in West Hollywood on June 6, 1985. The sole missing track? Mama Kin. But on June 28, the band did perform the Aerosmith cover for the first time. This was at The Stardust Ballroom.
- The song Shadow Of Your Love was considered for the EP, but ultimately rejected.
- Released on 12” vinyl and cassette at the time, the latter had all four tracks on both sides. Only 25,000 copies were pressed up at the time, sold as one consignment to Important Records, and the resultant $42,000 used to fund the band’s first trip to the UK in 1987, for their legendary shows at the Marquee Club in London.
- The vinyl version was only ever released in black. However, there are unofficial versions in various colours, including red, green, yellow and white marble. It’s said that one intrepid Russian bootlegger bought a vinyl cutting press in the early 90s and printed up to 1000 copies. And he is claimed to be the source for much of the coloured vinyl.