2017 is the 30th anniversary of the Guns n’ Roses’ first album, Appetite for Destruction. It was the biggest selling debut album of all time, clocking up an incredible 30 million sales worldwide. Yet they were certainly not the most productive band releasing only 6 studio albums in 21 years.
Guns n Roses: The Life And Times Of A Rock N Roll Band is not a comprehensive history of the band but it does give a reasonable account of their rise to fame and subsequent descent into acrimony. Much of the book details the interminable splits, solo projects, drugs, booze, bad behaviour which was all the trademark of the band. At times I found myself losing the plot when trying to follow the twists and turns of people leaving, re-joining and then going solo. A rock family tree style diagram might have helped achieve a bit more clarity.
British rock journalist Paul Elliott has been writing about the band for 30 years. He has written for magazines such as Sounds, Kerrang!, Q, Classic Rock and Mojo. He is also a big fan of the band. But it seems ironic to publish a coffee table book commemorating what was once described as the most dangerous band in the world.
The Life And Times Of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Band is profusely illustrated with over 200 fine colour photos of the band including several taken at concerts. It is printed on good quality paper and the colour reproduction is very good. There is also a comprehensive discography of the band and the book does have a happy ending. G ‘n’ R reformed in 2016 with Axl Rose, Slash and Duff from the original line-up. With 30 million would-be fans out there, The Life And Times Of A Rock N Roll Band will do well.