Throwback: My Grumpy Dad Parties With Guns N Roses

Before the grump, dad did some pretty cool things (and still does).

Check out the previous three columns in his very own collection: here.

"Tess' Note"

Happy #ThrowBackThursday and remember that the Grumpy Old Man column runs here every Monday!

Tess' Note: If you're really into 80's pop culture, this post will blow your mind...if you're not, it'll still blow your mind. I'm going to hyperlink every name you see if you want to put the time period into context. Happy reading everyone!

Tess' Note:"Money Talks"

The second picture is of dad reporting around 1988, the third is one of him covering a wildfire in Oakland in 1991, a year before my ass was born.

Here we go.


It was 1988.

so the star-struck kid who’d arrived from Tucson in 1985 was long goneAnthony Perkins

John LandisJoan Van ArkKate JacksonJames StewartBob HopeRaquel WelchVanna White

Truthfully, I was never a celebrity worshipper.I was a “hard” news guyI had won my first L.A. Emmy two years earlier for coverage of a jetliner crash in Cerritos that killed 84 people.Tess' Note:plane crash over AlbuquerqueMenendez BrothersChristian

So, it was with limited enthusiasm that I listened to the urgent request of our managing editor, Pete Noyes, that I leave Burbank at 3:00 p.m. in search of Axl Rose, who was said to be living in an apartment in West Hollywood.

[Tess' Note:.]

Lou Grant

“I’m more of a Neil Diamond guy,”Tess' Note:“Do they have a picture of the Rose character?”

“I think they might. Bring it by here when you get it so I know what he looks like, too,” said Noyes.

Tess' Note

SlashIt wasn’t one of those basic assignments where you could call ahead and set up an interview.

It was more like a hostile wild goose chase—one of those complex assignments that reporters and photographers dread because even if by some miracle they find the subject, he won’t want to be interviewed.(This one’s degree of difficulty was an 11 on a scale of one to 10.)

I arrived at the Sunset Boulevard address the assignment desk had provided.We did not expect to find anyone thereOne In a MillionWe were there to get his response to the allegations, as well as to inquire as to his involvement in some sort of vague (to us) drug-inspired assault case.

I knocked on the apartment door with my camera man rolling just in case someone actually answered. A few seconds later, someone did. A rock-star-looking guy with a marijuana joint in his right hand and a can of beer in his left asked, “Who are you?”

“Matt Stevens with KNBC,”“We’re looking for Axl Rose.”

“Let ‘em in,” yelled another rocker type from inside the smallish apartment.

It was Slash.

The one in the middle on the couch looked like Axl Rose.

“What can we do for you?” Rose asked.

“Sit down and have a beer with us and I’ll give you an interview.”

“I can’t really drink on the job,”“It’s pretty much frowned upon.”

“Come on! Have one!” said another fellow, handing cans of beer to my photographer and me.

So I asked myself, “If you were in the newsroom and took a poll of those who mattered, would they tell you to drink the beer and get the interview? Or would they tell you to maintain your professionalism and leave without it?

Tess' Note:

“We’ve got a pretty tight deadline, so…”

“So have one more,” said Slash with a straight smile.

“No. I couldn’t,”

“One more and you get the interview,” said Axl.

“All right,“What the hell. But then we really have to go.”

After we’d guzzled five beers each, Axl finally said, “Okay, Let’s talk.”

I was totally buzzedHis answers were straightforward and articulate.I suggested that we call one of the NBC couriers and have him pick us up.


“We don’t have time for that,” said the camera man. “I’m fine.”

He managed to negotiate the drive down Sunset and over the hill on Barham Boulevard to Alameda Avenue. I ran the tape into the edit room before anyone could stop me for a conversation. I called Noyes from the edit bay and told him to come and look at the tape. He brought the executive producer.

“You got him?” Noyes asked.

“Yup,”“But here’s the deal: They made us drink beer with them before they’d do the interview. I’m pretty drunk right now.”

They wrote an introduction for the anchor to read. “Our exclusive interview with Axl Rose” aired at five, six and eleven.

They never explained why I wasn’t fronting the story.Tess' Note

Until now, only a few people ever knew the truth about my encounter with Axl Rose.


Miss. Tuffsey

Join us again for #GrumpyMonday next week!

So how's that for a throwback?

Any cool stories in your parents' back catalog?

The good ship sails on: Musician, Artist, Writer, Poet, Actress Follow me on Twitter: @TessStevens My Music:
4.7 Star App Store Review!***uke
The Communities are great you rarely see anyone get in to an argument :)
Love Love LOVE

Select Collections