I so totally remember the first time this picture was on the cover of Rolling Stone. I was what - 13? And let me tell you that Gun's n Roses changed my life. It was that stage of adolescence where music starts defining you and your friends. Where the JAP (Jewish American Princess) from the Valley with the big hair and fake nails that she first got for her Bat Mitzvah and never stopped getting discovered The Cure and started wearing all black, while some of her friends went the teeny bopper Back Street Boys route, and others discovered a love for Glam Rock.
I was the glam rock lover. A wanna-be hesher girl but with a Mom that instilled a little too much style sense in me to go "all the way" into the Glam Rock look. I pretty much skirted the edge of hesherdom, with accessories such as the leather jacket and cowboy boots and torn jeans mixed into my Contempo Casual wardrobe. But lemme tell you. I loved me some GNR.
I decorated my room with posters of Axl and the gang - having great discussions with my friends over who was hotter, Axl or Izzy. I had the ALBUM. The original album that had the graphic album sleeve with a cartoon of a robot raping a woman - the OG cover art that they had to change since it was the height of the Tipper Gore censorship days and Target and Kmart wouldn't sell the album with that cover. That is I HAD it, as in past tense. I had it up until the day that my mom caught my brother looking at the image and trying to draw it himself which freaked her out so much that she ripped it up. Not really stopping to think that a) it was MY record and b) it would be worth $$$ one day with the artwork in tact. Sigh.
So back in the height of my GNR stage, I actually got to meet them. A few different times actually. Remember, I grew up in LA, so it was natural that kids in LA go to school with or are are friends of friends with children and family members of celebrities or some big wig here or there. People in LA are just very connected. My big day actually came in 1989, back stage at the launch party of Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever album. Steve and Duff were there and they actually TALKED TO US. What about I don't remember. The only thing I really remember about that night is that I was horrified to be wearing neon green shorts with my leather jacket (an outfit that I initially thought was cool.. not quite sure why..) and was also humiliated because Kurt Loder was asking my friend Adria and I about "hot new LA bands" like we were these cool chicks in the know (not like the lame-ass 15 year old Valley girls that we were) and all I could talk about was Guns N Roses and I think I even mentioned Skid Row and something about Sebastian Bach being hot.
Oh, man. I'm so happy I never have to be 13-15 again.
Beth, Steve Adler, Adria, Duff - circa 1989. Leather jackets RULE.