STEVEN ADLER On GUNS N' ROSES' VMA Performance: 'I Was Expecting To Be Impressed'

October 16, 2002

Former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler was "expecting to be impressed" by Axl Rose and co.'s performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, but found the group's eight-minute appearance on the show to be decidedly underwhelming. Responding to a fan question on The Official Steve Adler Fan Site, Adler said: "I was expecting to be impressed [by GN'R at the VMAs]... Just watch the '88 performance, that was a real band..." In response to another fan question on the same site, Adler recounted the experience of rehearsing and recording the Use Your Illusion material with the rest of the band before he was unceremoniously booted from the group and replaced with former THE CULT drummer Matt Sorum. "We rehearsed all the Illusion songs [together]," Steven said. "We had studio time in Chicago for three months. On like the last day, Axl shows up and all he wanted to work on was 'November Rain'. So that set back the recording process. As for 'Civil War', I had to play it like 25 times until it was useable. My timing was so up and down because I was so weak. The whole time I kept telling the guys, 'I don't feel good, I'm really down,' and they kept saying, 'You're just fucked up.' [I said], 'I'm not fucked up,' I was sick from an opiate blocker I got from a doctor that [manager] Doug Goldstein took me to. I think he knew what effect it would have on me...I wanted to wait another week or so before we went in to the studio to record. Slash says that we couldn't waste the money, and we had to do it that day. They all knew I was sick... It's a great song, it came out great, but I'm sure had I not been in the position that they put me in I would have nailed it in one take. Slash called me on a Thursday, knowing that I was sick, and said, 'We're going in the studio this weekend.' I said, 'Dude, you know I can't go, I'm sick from this bullshit medication.' He said, 'We can't waste the money,' and I said, 'Don't even tell me about wasting money, we know somebody who wasted plenty of fucking money!' If one of them was sick, it would have been postponed! We just weren't a team anymore."

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