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40 Oz. Of Hell: The Mighty Book of Axl -- Lord of the Internet Bitches, Fellowship of the Chinese Democracy

By Jeff Kerby, Contributor
Wednesday, January 23, 2002 @ 5:19 PM

The Rock n' Roll Ranting Of A

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Welcome to the dump where Jeff Kerby lives in his Pinto and swills mind numbing alcohol case after battered case. I have been assured that every couple of weeks I will receive a column from him undoubtedly written on one of the torn up bags which he uses to house his malt liquor. It seems this poor guy lives with all that society throws away only to find solace in a bottle of fire. Here it is, Kerby’s 40 Oz. Of Hell. Be glad you only get to visit -- he has to live there. And yes, the below is a satire and the by product of a good 40 oz'r.– Ed.

Today’s Episode:
The Mighty Book of Axl -- Lord of the Internet Bitches, Fellowship of the Chinese Democracy

Daaammn. I need some direction.

Last week, I spent two or three days alone in my cell beating off to a photo of some naked native woman in National Geographic named Yshibi when I decided to angle my head over toward the television that was located in the recreational area of the facility. The trick was to crane my neck just right, so I could see through the bars and partially view the programs on channel eight -- for some reason the guards always left it on that station. Anyway, I was trying to catch a glimpse of the Baywatch rerun that was being aired when a commercial came on featuring some fruitcake named Matthew Lesko. You know who I’m talking about -- he’s that guy who goes on TV and wears this suit with question marks emblazoned all over it. The whole purpose of the ad was to promote a book which he claims lists all kinds of government programs designed to pay you for indulging in a wide assortment of ridiculous activities.

“When you’re getting paid for doing something you love,” he says, “it’s almost like a vacation! The government is willing to give you money for opening a canary farm, eating small house pets -- they’ll even pay you to collect refuse from Porta Potties…or write a book.”

Did I hear him right? A book? Yeah, yeah, he said “a book.” I couldn’t believe that they might actually give me some money just for putting a pen onto paper. Maybe I wouldn’t even have to write the entire thing either -- maybe I could just submit a chapter at first. Yeah, I could send it to the Library of Congress or maybe a senator or someone in charge of the Endowment for the Arts. That’d be all right—after all, what did I have to lose? I decided right then and there that since the object of penning this narrative would be to eventually make a lot of money, I’d just do what all the new metal bands do these days -- basically rip off some other idea that’s already proving to be pretty lucrative. Since everybody knows that film with those little hairy hobbits has been doing such big numbers at the box office, I decided I’d do well to incorporate just as much of this concept in my writing as I could. Although the storyline seemed interesting, I figured I’d better stay away from including any characters under five feet tall who could potentially be mistaken for midgets -- wouldn’t look very good for someone with my past. That was fine though. That film wasn’t just about small people -- it was about a quest -- so I figured I’d just expand upon the quest part.

Everyone wants to tell a prospective writer when they’re starting out to “write what you know.” This certainly narrows things down for me, since my cognitive repertoire consists primarily of trivial information dealing with various types of garbage disposal -- both literal and musical. Since I somehow just don’t think a film about questing for refuse would prove too captivating to the movie-going public, I just started brainstorming ways to include some individual or group related to music in my novel. It took me awhile -- I had to think hard—I knew it was imperative that I come up with something because if I couldn’t decide on a subject, I knew I’d be left with just a title or a cover for a book without any content or storyline. You know, it’d be just like that album Axl keeps promising -- a title and a vague concept with no discernable execution -- just blank pages of what could have been. Hell, if all authors worked at the same rate he does, every single one of them would be over a hundred years old by the time they completed even a single manuscript. Just imagine what could have been if only things had been different for Axl -- fuck that, what if things had been different for me. In an effort to reconcile my wasteful past, I decided to set forth on my journey as a novelist…

Chapter 1 -- Fellowship of a Chinese Democracy

Our scene begins in the living room of a multi-million dollar adobe mansion set in the spiritual desert of Arizona. Axl Rose is at the home of well-known psychic/therapist Yshibi for his weekly appointment. Even though she doesn’t come cheap, Axl is committed to flying in from the west coast whenever necessary because even with all the expense involved he finds that it’s still much cheaper than the bills he incurred while calling Miss Cleo at $4.95 a minute.

“Ok, Ok, Axl, darling. I know I’m your mystical psychic guru with a vast storehouse of pharmaceuticals and everything. And I also know that you pay good money to come to Sedona to see me, but you just can’t continue to blame me for all of your problems.”

“Who the fuck can I blame, Yshibi? I’ve got no album, my band is shit, and I’ve got no Stephanie Seymour either. Then, to make all this bullshit worse, I just found out that Duff and Slash are going to help Izzy with his new solo album. Help Izzy!?!? Yeah, they’re gonna help that same fucking Izzy -- the same fucking Izzy who always seemed more interested in his fucking motorcycles than making videos. What the fuck are those guys doing!?!? Don’t they know that I was the star of the show? Fuck yeah, I was -- I still am, too. Shit, I’m the one selling out the Hard Rock on New Year’s Eve – ”

The aggression that was mounting in his head had reached an apex, so Axl figured that now was the time to reach into his magical jar -- he took five pills and shoved them vengefully into his mouth.
“Not to mention you’re the one getting Slash kicked out of the lobby -- ”

“What the hell did you want me to do? He’s a fucking spy!!! They’re outta get me. It’s so bad that I’m surprised he didn’t show up with Steven Adler. You know, Slash could probably get that guy all fucked up on smack and then tell him to go after me with a needle and a spoon. I’m surprised that fucker’s even still alive. All those cocksuckers would just love to see Axl eat shit on his next album. They want to see Mr. Rose fail.”

“Hang on a second, Axl. Just wait a minute. I thought we were going to try to keep you from referring to yourself in the third person. Too much self-importance is bad for your karma. Just remember, one should strive to live within the parameters of their soul because it’s only then that a person can come closest to his total raw energy force. Remember?”

“Yeah, yeah, well right now my total raw energy force feels like kicking someone’s ass. Motherfuckers. Jesus. What the hell has happened to me? I’m a millionaire, and I know you’ve told me that I act like a complete asshole at least in part because I’m insecure and afraid of failing. Maybe so, but just consider this -- I currently play in a band with a guitarist named Buckethead. Jesus Christ, Yshibi, he wears a bucket of fried chicken on his head for chrissakes. My new project…my only project…is called Chinese Democracy. What the fuck was I thinking? My only hope is that maybe I can just keep putting this thing off and putting it off and if I’m lucky maybe the world will end before I actually have to subject myself to failure. I want to die, dammit!! That little neo-grunge bastard Kurt Cobain is always going to have that over me. ‘Kurt, Kurt, Kurt. He was wonderful. He was a great lyricist. He’s an icon’. He’s fucking dead is what he is!! Lucky bastard. He never had to play in a band with a guy named Buckethead or completely tarnish his musical legacy. Even worse, he never EVER had to worry about failing. Some guys have all the luck. That settles it -- I’m gonna kill myself.”

“Darling, you’re not really going to do that. It’s just negative energy manifesting itself again. Quit letting that darkness have a place in your soul. Just breathe in. Let the power of positivity move you…yes, yes, that’s it. Think rationally. Now, wasn’t I right when I gave you the number of that really tremendous dentist who fixed your teeth and bleached them so sparkling white? Wasn’t I right when I told you to stop wearing that God-awful baseball chest protector? Wasn’t I also right when I got you that special Tae-bo instructor? Just look at you now, you had to have dropped at least thirty pounds since then. Really, I’m so glad you did, too. You were starting to look like Jim Morrison right before he died—all bloated like a big, chubby bullfrog—” “You’re fuckin’ crazy!!”

“Breathe, breathe. Positive flow Axl, remember that. What I want you to do is look into this crystal ball. Woooooo, woooo. Can’t you see it?….Ok, I’m going to have to spell this out, aren’t I? Here goes: what I want you to do is fly back to L.A. and wish upon this amulet.” Once she had instructed him, Yshibi reached carefully under the table before producing a long white object.

“An amulet? That’s a dildo on a string!!”

“It is a magic wand, Axl. A personal massager if you want to be specific. Here, take this, and when you get to Sunset Strip, I want you to turn this on and then, instantly, you will be met by those who will assist you in your musical quest for a true Chinese Democracy.”

“You mean like Elton John and Bernie Taupin? Wow!”

“Stop it! I thought we had gotten you away from that stuff—remember? Too many power ballads can turn you into White Lion. Anyway, I want you to also take this jar. It is full of an ancient medicine passed down though the spirit world for generations. You need to take some of them after you’ve gone to Sunset and have wished earnestly upon the pendant I’ve given you.”

“What the hell? This looks like a bottle of Prozac!!!”

“Magic Prozac, Axl—look at the damn label. The time for questioning is through -- go forth. Have faith. Be true to yourself…. and make sure you don’t forget to take about six of those pills once you’ve met your guides. Things will work out. Don’t forget your appointment next week either.”

“My only hope is that maybe I can just keep putting Chinese Democracy off and if I’m lucky maybe the world will end before I actually have to subject myself to failure. I want to die, dammit!! That little neo-grunge bastard Kurt Cobain is always going to have that over me.”
As he left the room, Axl took the white oblong projectile and placed it snuggly around his neck where he was promptly stopped by security once he reached the airport -- the guards on duty feared that it might be some kind of a case for housing explosives. After cursing at six different uniformed personnel, Axl was eventually detained by authorities for seven hours until his attorney could arrive from Los Angeles and cut a deal that allowed his famous client to be reunited with his dil—I mean, amulet. After the flight was over, Axl had his limousine take him to a portion of Sunset Strip that was heavily populated with junkies, winos, pimps and whores. A couple of these people thought they had recognized him, but none of them said anything since everyone knows that the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses no longer fraternizes with regular people anymore, so they just shook their heads and kept walking. When Axl flipped the switch on the personal massager, the real show began. The bzzzing sound that emanated from the amulet instantly attracted more than a few Oriental tourists who attempted to capture the event on video. If they had, the magical incident that happened afterward was sure to have been captured, immortalized and quickly sold to the evening news. Instead, each one of them dropped their cameras to waist level, as they were shocked to see four individuals materialize, seemingly out of thin air, right in front of them. The suspense for Axl was short lived as he realized that his quest guides were none other than the original members of Guns N’ Roses circa Appetite for Destruction.

“What hell, Axl?” Izzy inquired. “What kind of voodoo shit are you into now? Damn, we were working on our new album -- except for Steve over there. I don’t know where the fuck he was. Jesus, dude, you look awful. Anyway, Axl—this shit isn’t cool -- some musicians are forced to actually finish what they start. Remember what that was like?”

“Fuck you, Izzy. I’m gonna fire that psychic bitch tomorrow. I can’t believe this! Fuck, I’d take Pat Boone over these clowns.” Axl’s face was contorting into a myriad of expressions -- all conveying fury.

“Thanks for getting me kicked out of the Hard Rock on New Year’s you asshole.” Slash said as he pushed at his former lead singer’s chest.

“That’s just too bad. You shoulda had a gig of your own. Oh, I forgot -- Knott’s Berry Farm was booked that night, wasn’t it?”

“Duuuudes.” Duff added. “This isn’t cooool.”

The bickering intensified until there was quite a crowd of curious onlookers surrounding what was by now a very public feud. After only five minutes of heated accusations that flew from one rocker to another, three bicycle cops came pedaling up investigate the commotion.

“Some kinda problem here? What’s going on?” Officer Danzig asked.

Axl looked at the others before exclaiming, “Nothin’s goin’ on. Look what you fuckers caused!! More tabloid shit. More shit for those Internet bitches. Damn it! Mutherfucker!” The aggression that was mounting in his head had reached an apex, so Axl figured that now was the time to reach into his magical jar, so while no one was looking he took five pills and shoved them vengefully into his mouth. They were swallowed in a single gulp.

“Fuck you, Axl. Fuck you and your sorry bitch-ass inner child. Go shove a crystal up your ass,” Izzy responded with violent fervor.

More screaming ensued. Amidst all the other junkies standing by the buildings, no one even noticed Steven Adler stumble into the throng. Everyone went silent as he walked right into the middle of this spectacle and screamed, “Dammit, we don’t need no Civil War!” As soon as he said it, multi-colored vomit came spewing out of his mouth splashing several members of this congregation in the process. Those who were splattered, as well as the others who had been standing there, scattered in a million different directions as Adler’s bile, which appeared to contain pieces of alphabet soup, covered at least two square yards of sidewalk.

Officer Danzig, who was completely repulsed by this odiferous substance, wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of there and bust some underage prostitutes, so he decided that he and his fellow officers needed to just get on their bikes and leave the Gunners, after telling them rather succinctly, to just “keep it down.” Their absence left the five original members of the biggest band on the Earth during the ‘90s standing in what was left of Adler’s lunch sloshing around beneath them in liquefied form. Only a couple of homeless men could be seen about twenty feet away gulping 40’s and hitting each other on the arm.

“Let’s get the fuck outta here.” Slash suggested to Izzy and Duff.

“Duuude.” Duff said affirmatively.

Izzy had already started walking away, when in a surprising turn of events, Axl called over in his direction. “Hang on Izzy. Hang on.” Izzy stopped just short after taking a few more steps, and he turned to face his old band mate.

“What the fuck do you want, rock star? Hey, do me a favor, and don’t be using your magical shit on us anymore. We have deadlines to meet. Not everyone can just sit in their ivory tower and tell the world to fuck off because they have issues to deal with. Believe it or not you sonofabitch, people all over the world do go to work even though they don’t fucking feel like it. Asshole. Jesus, you’re even wearing a plastic dick around your neck! How fucked up is that?”

“Fuck you, Axl. Fuck you and your sorry bitch-ass inner child. Go shove a crystal up your ass!”
“Look man, I know I’ve been an asshole sometimes.”

“Duuude.” Duff replied.

“Yeah, like all the fucking time after we started getting big.” Slash couldn’t wait to add.

“Here. Just come here real quick and take a couple of these.” Axl beckoned.

“What the hell are these?” Adler asked.

“Does it matter? After all, you ARE a heroine addict.” Axl said. “C’mon guys. It’ll be just like that deal where the Doors went into the desert and took mescaline. I know you don’t want to do this for me, but I’ll level with you. My fuckin’ psychic said that I would meet the guides for my musical journey once I turned on this vibrator and that together we would find the true Chinese Democracy.”

“Are you saying you want to get Guns back together again?” Slash inquired.

“No way!” Izzy shouted.


“Yeah, I am. And before you just say no, Izzy, consider this -- we were a multiplatinum commodity back in the day. Even now, I could fart onto a CD and it will sell at least a million copies. If we reunite, we’re looking at five million in sales regardless of the quality of the disc. We’ll be stars again, dammit. This time, no ego trips either. Hang on a minute -- just take these pills with an open mind before you answer.”

Each member of the band shoved the magical Prozac into his mouth, and Sunset Boulevard began to look like a colorful version of Camelot. Joyousness and fellowship welled up inside them as they each nodded their assent at the proposed reunion with Duff chiming in with an enthusiastic “duuude” for all of them.

“What d’ya say we go make some kick ass music!” Axl screamed before placing his hand in the center of the group where his new/old band mates each put one of their hands on of another’s. “On the count of three, we’ll say ‘Guns N’ Roses.’ Are you ready? One, two, three…”

“Guns N’ Roses!” They yelled.

As Steve Adler vomited again and inquired something about needing his dealer, Duff was left mumbling “duuude” while Izzy and Slash had a couple more questions to ask. “What the fuck is with that title Chinese Democracy? When did they start being democratic?” Slash began.

“Yeah,’ Izzy asked, ‘I know that dildo you’re wearing is magical and everything, but are you gonna bring it onstage? Shit, that’s worse than those spandex shorts you used to wear.”

Axl started to get annoyed and found himself wanting to glare menacingly at his band mates, so instead he just popped a couple more pills and told himself that it was all gonna be alright. A new Guns N Roses album was now inevitable -- happiness had been achieved…at least for awhile.

Once I finished the chapter and handed it to the trustee in charge of mail distribution, I told him to be careful with my package because it was a “masterpiece.” He just replied by folding it in half and shoving it carelessly into a bag with the other correspondence. Afterward, I was left to sit on my bunk and contemplate the fact that I was pretty damn happy with myself for getting off my ass and actually starting this project even though I knew I’d probably never write a chapter two or even receive a cent out of anyone associated with that dipshit Matthew Lesko. I realized that this was probably just as well, since I knew that if Axl ever got wind of this, he’d break just break something, sue me and then tell the whole world that I was an “Internet Bitch.” Or maybe things might get really bad and he could get me kicked out of the Hardrock someday. Fuck it, in the end I figured it was worth taking a chance, after all, producing something and having it get completely trashed by your audience is still a helluva lot better than just sitting around masturbating with a copy of National Geographic or hanging out with some dude named Buckethead.

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