Jay Leno may have snagged Barack Obama for a late-night sit-down interview on Wednesday, but the president of the United States has nothing on a competing booking. Jimmy Kimmel sat down with Guns N' Roses cofounder Axl Rose, who gave a rare live television interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Rose's band will open a 12-night run in Las Vegas on Halloween night, and no doubt to drum up sales and interest in the gigs, the notoriously grumpy and outspoken singer agreed to talk to Kimmel -- and in the process endorsed Obama for president.
True to form, Kimmel didn't waste any time ribbing Rose. After the oft-tardy Rose received a huge ovation from the crowd, the host offered a compliment: "First off, you're right on time. It's unbelievable. You're very punctual."
"It's a miracle," replied the singer, who said he was recovering from a recent bout of strep throat.
"Are you on antibiotics?" asked Kimmel.
"I'm on a bunch of different things, legal and illegal," joked Rose.
From there the two had a freewheeling conversation that touched on, among other topics, Rose's pre-rock star life as a manager of the Tower Video store on Sunset Boulevard, his affection for making and decorating "Halloween trees," how he once dressed as an ear of corn, his former cornrow hairstyle (he doesn't regret having them at all), and other semi-surreal topics.
Kimmel records his show at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Boulevard, only a few hundred yards from the rehearsal space where the first incarnation of G 'n R first practiced in the '80s. Kimmel asked Rose if he remembered that time in his life.
"Unfortunately," Rose replied tersely.
Another question involved politics. Kimmel asked Rose whether he votes, which prompted an awkward silence. "Uh, I haven't really voted," followed by Rose's rationale that he lives in California, which usually leans Democratic, "and that's usually where I'm leaning anyway."
"Ok, so you figured, 'Let them do it?' " Kimmel said.
"Well, no, no," Rose said. "It's not like, 'Let them do it.' But going for the presidential stuff, it's usually such a landslide anyway."
"This would make a great 'Rock the Vote' commercial right here," Kimmel joked.
Rose then gave his endorsement: "I would lean Democrat. I would lean Obama."
The rest of the interview was about the Vegas residency, and punctuality. At the end, Rose pulled an Oprah and gifted the crowd tickets to the Vegas shows, as well as gift certificates to redeem at a Tommy's Burgers truck outside Kimmel's studio.
What a guy.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit
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