Today is Axl Rose’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than a slew of Guns N’ Roses “fun cards”? I’m not going to touch the 2008 Chinese Democracy lineup. Instead, we’ll start with Gilby Clarke, who joined the band in 1991 following Izzy Stradlin‘s departure. He hit the road with the Gunners on the Use Your Illusion tour but didn’t make his studio debut until 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident?, a collection of cover songs ranging from The Stooges to Soundgarden to Charles Manson.
Following his time with Guns N’ Roses, Gilby released several solo albums and recorded with Slash’s Snakepit, Nancy Sinatra, and Rock Star Supernova, a supergroup that also featured vocalist Lukas Rossi, Metallica‘s Jason Newsted, and Mötley Crüe‘s Tommy Lee.
Every year, I make a stop at the Book & Music Exchange while visiting family in Owensboro, Kentucky. It’s like any other used music store…lots of current artists and iconic albums for $5-$10, and a “bargain bin” that is full of indie bands that you’ve probably never heard of, along with a few mainstream acts that were so overplayed back in the day that they will never command a higher price. BME’s bargain bin is $2, or 20 CDs for $10. And for the past several years, I have stocked up on albums that I would have never ever ever bought for more than fifty cents, as well as a few gems that are inexplicably cheap. Here’s my haul from this year:
- *Nsync (self-titled) – I needed a 20th CD, ok? This was honestly the last one I picked up, and I’m not even sure I remember any of the songs…maybe “I Want You Back”?
Nope, that’s not it. Oh well, when I finally get around to listening to it, I’m sure something will make me say, “Oh yeah, I remember that song.”
- LeAnn Rimes Blue – I picked this one up for my wife. I’m not a big fan of modern country. There are a few artists I can tolerate, and even a few that I like. LeAnn Rimes falls into neither category.
- Pete Townshend Psychoderelict – The legendary guitarist released this rock opera in 1993, but I’ve never heard it before. It has been considered for Broadway, and was turned into a webcomic a couple of years ago (though I can’t find any images of it).
- Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Zoot Suit Riot – I have vague memories of loving this song in college. Very vague.
- Wild Cherry Play The Funk – The cover features the exclamation, “Includes Play that Funky Music!” How could I say no? Nevermind that I already have PTFM on two or three other albums. Now I have it on a Wild Cherry album.
- Enuff Z’nuff Strength – I almost didn’t buy this one because I thought I already had it, but I don’t, and now I do, and I’m happy about that. Enuff Z’nuff is such an underrated group. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself to them. They’re friendly guys with nice music.
- Madonna Music – I have no memory of this 2000 record whatsoever, and do not recognize any of the song titles, so I’m really looking forward to hearing it.
- Madonna Ray of Light – The title track is the only song I remember from this album, so it should be a nice experience hearing it for the first time also.
- Faith Hill Faith – Another one for the wife. I like Tim McGraw, and can tolerate a little Faith Hill, but it’s just not my cup of tea.
- Justin Timberlake Futuresex/Lovesounds – Don’t judge me.
- Ricky Martin (self-titled) – Are you kidding me? How could I pass up “Livin’ La Vida Loca” for only fifty cents?
- Hanson Middle of Nowhere – No, it was not an accident. “MMMBop” is a catchy song.
- Richard Betts Highway Call – The debut solo album for former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts. I have listened to this one, and while it’s not earth-shattering, it was well worth a couple of quarters.
- Various Artists The Bridge School Concerts, Vol. 1 – Neil Young, Tom Petty, Beck, David Bowie…a solid compilation. Add to that Elvis Costello and you have one of the greatest compilations ever.
- Various Artists Over The Edge – One of the many compilation discs that was produced during the 1990s, this has a few really cool songs on it, including The Refreshments’ “Banditos,” which brings back so many memories from college.
- Gilby Clarke Rubber – Gilby Clarke is actually quite a good songwriter. I’m disappointed that he never got to write with Axl and Slash.
- Kik Tracee No Rules – I have heard of the band, but I’ve never heard their music before…that will change very soon.
- Arrested Development 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of… – This was my, “What is this doing in here?” moment. I couldn’t believe such a classic record would be in the bargain bin…but it was, and not by accident. I didn’t have to think twice about grabbing it.
If you’re counting, that’s 18 CDs. The other two were classical albums, one Beethoven and one “best of” featuring Ludwig, Mozart, Haydn and others. They have already been hijacked by my kids.
I sure do. And they still are, if you buy them new. There are a ton of used CD stores around though, including Book & Music Exchange in Owensboro. That’s where my parents-in-law live, and every time we go to visit I have to stop at that store. They always have some bizarre deal, and this time was no different. All CD’s with an orange sticker cost $2, or 20 for $10. Yep, fifty cents each. I didn’t look through every stack, but I found 20 that I wanted. Some alternative, some pop, some punk, and a few “hard rock” that are usable for my radio show.
I picked up the following, and got them all for a 10-spot.
- 24-7 Spyz This Is…24-7 Spyz
- Gilby Clarke Swag
- Culture Club The Best Of
- EMF Schubert Dip
- Saigon Kick The Best Of
- Saigon Kick The Lizard
- Richie Sambora Undiscovered Soul
- Joe Satriani Joe Satriani
- Semisonic Feeling Strangely Fine
- Sex Pistols The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle
- Tommy Shaw 7 Deadly Zens
- Shaw/Blades Hallucination
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd Trouble Is…
- Britney Spears …Baby One More Time
- Britney Spears Oops!…I Did It Again
- Britney Spears Britney
- Spin Doctors Pocket Full Of Kryptonite
- Stuttering John Stuttering John
- Toadies Rubberneck
- The Zoo Shakin’ The Cage
I think I got a pretty good deal…what do you think?
With Chinese Democracy set to hit the store shelves on Sunday, we’ll be celebrating with a special two-hour GNR-themed show this Saturday on Hard Rock Nights! Be sure to tune in to catch some of the best Gunner tracks ever recorded, as well as some of the bad boys’ side project material and other related songs and artists. It’s Saturday night, November 22, 9-11 pm eastern on classxradio.com!