David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Day 124: Guns N' Roses (Civil War)

August 28, 2020

There is nothing symbolic of Day 124's song choice.  Really.  Nothing to see here.

Honestly, what could I be trying to suggest?  Guns N' Roses were huge in their day (now Axl is huge in current day).  I didn't particularly get them at the time. Had a friend in my Strat-o-matic baseball league at the time who was really into them, but that was only really noteworthy to me at the time because he seemed like such a staid sort.

But that's really about it.  What more can I say? End of post.

Well, I admit Slash and Axl, especially, seemed like cartoon characters, especially as Slash adopted some rock guitarist stereotypical stance, cigarette dangling from his lips while playing the over-the-top riffs that defined their songs.

So, what are you still reading for? What is it you are expecting me to say about this song that fits some metaphorical need you have?  Good Lord, go back to your Beyonce, your Luke Bryan, your little Bieber. You're really starting to irritate me.

So, yeah, "Civil War" has got some cool elements. The twitch of the bass in the laidback opening is a nice foreshadow for the song. Best use of a Strother Martin since Gilligan's Island. Axl whistling "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is a nice touch. Hoorah, boys, you've done very well.

But, really, a song about an event that occurred 125 years earlier?  Desperate for material, guys?  And just 'cause you update it to include 20th century events like the assassination of John F. Kennedy or all those boring old civil rights peace marches of the 1960's?  Wow, aren't you so clever?  And then you throw in that so witty aside at the very end, "what's so civil about war anyway?"

Seriously, would the reader go away?  The more you draw attention to something, the more significant it becomes.

Oh, who the f*ck am I kidding?

My hands are tied. For all I've seen has changed my mind. Too much is getting swept aside.

I don't wanna hear no more lies. I am tired of the leaders we've followed.

For the love of God and our human rights someone put this damn song on auto-repeat and blare it across stadium speakers all over the country.

I can't pretend not to need your civil war, Axl, Slash, Duff.  I need it like a bullet in the head that may come from the 17-year old punk down the street, who at least in Missouri now, doesn't even need his parents' consent to buy a guy. We don't think a kid has the maturity to handle a beer, but a weapon? Hell, yes!

But, as has often happened the last 120 and some days, I digress (kind of). Really, Axl, and this is said in all honesty, we could've done without the "power hungry soldiers in a human grocery store." One of the cringiest lines ever for a song perfect in every other way.

And we end up back with Strother: "What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it." 

Peace and out. Fade to orange.

"Civil War." Guns N' Roses. Use Your Illusion II. Geffen. 1993. Link here.

Day 123: Ray Davies "A Place In Your Heart."

Day 125: The Temptations "Papa Was A Rolling Stone."->

See complete list here.