In 1991 a student from Akron, Ohio, won Axl Rose's apartment in Hollywood in an MTV competition: First, she had to evict him

Axl Rose on the balcony of his apartment
(Image credit: MTV)

In the glory days of music television, when budgets were limitless and audiences captive, MTV ran a competition in which one lucky viewer would win a prize that seems scarcely believable today: Axl Rose's apartment in Los Angeles. 

The condo, part of a development on Curson Ave, was handily situated for all the Sunset Strip action. This was, after all, the place where the Guns N' Roses man was arrested in 1990 and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly hitting his next-door neighbour on the head with an empty wine bottle. 

"I live next door to a psycho", Rose told MTV News, by way of explanation. He'd go on to pen Right Next Foor To Hell, the opening track on Use Your Illusion I, in tribute to his alleged victim. 

MTV drummed up interest in the Evict Axl competition by producing a short promotional video in which he acted out his best realtor impression, casually taking the viewer through the property's various highlights.  

"This beautiful Sunset Strip property has everything a rock and roller could ever want," explains Axl. "A bar. A barbecue. And a pool within throwing distance."

"The bed's never been slept in," he adds, ever the rascal. "I'm not saying it hasn't been used – it just hasn't been slept in!"

Meanwhile, a voiceover explains Axl's willingness to part with such a desirable residence. It turns out he wants to move somewhere quiet, to collect his thoughts away from that noisy neighbour and safely expand his collection of porcelain cats. Disclaimer: We made up that last part. 

Such is Rose's haste to leave for quieter pastures that the prospective competition winner can also lay claim to his furniture and stereo system. And, with such bounty on offer, it's little wonder that MTV receives more than 400,000 entries.

The winner of Axl's apartment was proclaimed to be Erika Alden, a 21-year-old student at the University of Akron in Ohio, who was slated to fly to Los Angeles in September 1991 to pick up the keys from Axl himself during an official eviction party. 

Did this ever happen? Evidence of such a handover is scant, and you'd think that MTV would be keen to make as much noise as possible. But perhaps there's an explanation. Maybe Ms Alden simply preferred to keep things quiet. You know, for the sake of the neighbourhood. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.