Before becoming a professional musician and being in a successful band most artists have to get a normal job to get things going until they get a record deal. Although they now are famous Rock stars and multi-millionaires, one day before everything happened they had normal jobs just like all the rest of us. Sometimes they even worked together at the same place which was the case of some members of Guns N’ Roses.
So Rock and Roll Garage now tells the story of the curious jobs that Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, who are the original members of Guns N’ Roses currently in the band, had before fame.
Which jobs the members of Guns N’ Roses had before fame
Axl was the manager of a video store
Can you imagine Axl Rose as the manager of a video store? Well, that’s what he used to do back in the early 80s after some time after he arrived in Los Angeles. The aspiring musician hitchhiked all the way from Lafayette, Indiana to California. The only dream in his mind was to become a Rock star.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in 2016 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) he recalled the experience of working at Tower Video at Sunset Boulevard. It was just across the street from the legendary records store Tower Records.
“I worked at Tower video for a while (at Sunset Boulevard). (Then) I became a manager for a very short amount of time. I (would) let everybody have beers after work, I hired everybody else too, I hired people from the old line-up, I hired all my other friends. We had a great time for a while. I was more lenient (with people being late),” Axl Rose said. He curiously was even Slash‘s boss for a while.
Slash worked as a shop assistant in the video store Axl was the manager
Axl and Slash knew each other at the time and even were bandmates in the band Hollywood Rose, which was one of the early versions of Guns N’ Roses. But before they started working together at the video store there was some bad blood between them briefly. The reason was that Slash was mad at Axl because he had supposedly slept with his then-girlfriend at the time. The singer actually had slept with the girl but it was before Slash and her were together. So after that was clear to Slash, Axl told him about the job opportunity and started working there too.
So the legendary guitarist worked as a shop assistant at the Tower Video on Sunset Boulevard, a famous avenue in Los Angeles. As the guitarist told Rolling Stone in 2019, he worked there for a year and half in the mid-80s.
Duff McKagan worked a Pastry Chef and Appetizer server before Guns N’ Roses’ success
Something that most Guns N’ Roses fans would have never imagined is that the band’s bassist Duff McKagan is a talented cook. Not long after he decided to drop out from high school in the tenth grade he worked as a pastry chef for the Great American Food and Beverage Company. He worked there while earning his General Educational Development (GED).
He recalled in an interview with The New Statesman in 2019 that at the time he used to make blueberry muffins. Then they evolved to what he called “a kind of raspberry torte”.
Born in Seattle, Washington, McKagan decided to move to Los Angeles in 1984. There he found work at Black Angus restaurant, working as an appetizer server. It was around that time that he answered a local newspaper ad of artists looking for a bassist. They were Slash and the drummer Steven Adler.
It wasn’t long after having those jobs that Duff, Slash, Axl Rose wrote alongside Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin one of the most successful debut albums of all time.
Appetite for Destruction (1987) is one of the best-selling debut albums in history. It has sold an estimated amount of more than 30 million copies sold worldwide. That number is more than many famous bands and artists ever sold during their entire career.
Their success continued with the release of other praised albums and they have sold more than 100 million records. After almost two decades out of the band, Duff and Slash joined Axl again in 2016. Since then they are successfully touring around the world.