Going back through the Use Your Illusion tour at the start of the ‘90s, there were a lot of times that Axl would either cut the show short because he didn’t like the mix or didn’t even bother to show up at all for the show.
If you think this is something that started happening during the Illusion tour though, think again. This behavior started even before then.
In between the tours for Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion, the band was playing a show when Axl came across someone who was recording the show from the crowd.
After Axl asked for security to take the guys’ camera away from him, he decided to take matters into his own hands, diving into the crowd and assaulting the guy, slapping him in the face before he was thrown right back onstage.
Now that the guy’s dealt with, the show must go on, right? Wrong. Right as Axl should have gone into the next song, he decided to quit on the spot, saying “thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home” before slamming the microphone on the ground and leaving the rest of the band onstage.
The band originally was going to carry on for a little bit to see if Axl was going to come back, but once he had left the building, the show was basically over, as the rest of the guys threw their instruments down and left the stage.
And the crowd didn’t exactly take it well to put it lightly, storming the stage and starting to throw stuff on the stage, with Slash later saying “the whole place just collectively destroyed everything. It was one of the scariest things that I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Axl did offer a bit of an explanation after the fact, telling MTV Behind the Music:
“I jumped off the stage and things went haywire after that. Maybe I could have handled it better, but no one was really handling anything at that point.”
The Guns had to come back with their tails between their legs, but this was far from their last chaotic performance. The rest of the tour was up to the next, and they were about to get put through the wringer.