Axl Rose bemoans the state of L.A. radio
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On a recent Saturday morning in Seattle, Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose sat down for a long, freewheeling interview after his band’s three-hour concert the night before at Key Arena. A sharp, well-spoken Rose tackled many topics, among them what happened to L.A. radio?
What are your listening habits these days?
I like radio, and the vibe of whatever -- I like finding some obscure station on the radio dial playing Eric Carmen at 3 a.m., you know? I like that rather than necessarily putting an album on. But the radio died in L.A. Just died. To me, corporate radio killed radio and you hear the same . . . ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’ might be a great song, but there are other songs on that album, and there are other songs on Queen albums.
Have you heard anything recently that surprised you?
There was a station dumping their easy-listeners, and it was the best two weeks of music in L.A. I ever heard. It’d go from Queen’s ‘Dead on Time’ to ‘Fingerprint File’ by the Stones, to ‘Rockaria’ by ELO, to ‘The Theme from ‘S.W.A.T.’ ‘ Just crazy, fun music. I turned to my friends and everybody was like, ‘Yes!’ I called the station and said, ‘I will do anything to help promote your station.’ And they go, ‘It’s not a real station. We’re just dumping listeners.’ I said, ‘But this is it! This is amazing!’
Pet peeves now?
It kills me when someone will call KLOS from Builder’s Emporium on their lunch break going, ‘Play Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung.’ ‘ It’s like, why even request it? They’re going to play it anyway. And they’re going to play ZZ Top’s ‘Legs.’ And why does everything have to sound old? The only time I hear fresh sounds is in movies. Like ‘Drive.’ There are great songs in that -- all kinds of stuff in movies where I’m like, ‘I’ve never heard this song, and I didn’t even know it existed.’ I really miss that.
-- Randall Roberts