Sometimes people are surprised to hear this, but I love Guns N Roses. I really do. I think that they were one of the few undeniably great rock n roll bands. Seriously. Look at those guys. Slash rolling around on the floor. Axl chucking himself about. Duff and Izzy cool as anything. It's sweaty, vicious, shambolic. It's everything I could want from a band. A bit of Stones here. A bit of Pistols there. That's the sweet spot.The problem with liking a band as mad as Guns N Roses (apart from having to defend them every time they come up) is that people prefer the myths to the truth. It's hard to know what was ever really going on. Until a few years ago, the few Guns N Roses books in existence were poorly researched and generally pretty negative.That's started to change recently. Slash has his book out. Duff has put a couple of books out. And Marc Canter has compiled his photos from the early, pre-Appetite For Destruction days - and got those who were there to offer their memories to go alongside them.Half photo album, half oral history, Reckless Road is the book that Guns N Roses fans, starved of material for so long, didn't even know was possible.
Going back as far as The Doors, Canter's Deli has always had a reputation for being somewhere rock n roll bands could come and hang out. Why do you think Canter's Deli has always drawn the sorts of people it does?
Well in the 60's there was the Los Angeles rock n' roll scene and Canter's was open 24 hours and had a good vibe and great food so it just became a safe haven for the hippies and musicians to hang out in the daytime or late night. Still to this day it holds the same feeling.
Throughout Reckless Road you track the progression of songs that ended up on Appetite For Destruction. Many of them (Sweet Child, Paradise City, Welcome to the Jungle etc) are still regularly played on the radio to this day and have become part of the fabric of classic rock. Having heard these songs so much over the years, can you still listen to them and connect them to the band you saw developing in those early days?
When I hear those songs on the radio, I'm so proud of them. It was a special time for me to be involved in watching those songs being put together back in 1985/1986. Those guys were the perfect match for each other at that time. They all knew just how to add to what was on the table.
Are there any moments with Guns N Roses that you wished you'd captured that you didn't manage to?
Yes I wished that I shot more backstage moments and also some recording studio photos.
With a band that's always been surrounded with as much rumour and misinformation as Guns N Roses, has it been difficult to adjust over the years to hearing things about your friends that you know not to be true?
Yes a lot of people have put out books that are at least 1/3 filled with info that is not true. Today with how the internet works any rumour turns into a news clip as it were true and spreads like crazy.
Finally, what was the last thing (song, band, book etc) that you totally fell in love with?