BenBella Books has set a May 13 release date for "Welcome To My Jungle", the memoir from GUNS N' ROSES lead singer Axl Rose's former assistant Craig Duswalt, featuring many of Duswalt's road stories from 1991-1993, when GUNS N' ROSES was the biggest band on the planet.
GUNS N' ROSES fans know the "Use Your Illusion" tour went on nonstop from 1991 to 1993. They know that concerts sold out in minutes all over the world so fans could hear chart-topping singles "Welcome To The Jungle", "Sweet Child O' Mine", "Paradise City" and "November Rain" live. They know the "Use Your Illusion" tour was the last for the band with Slash and Duff McKagan. But they've only heard rumors of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
Fortunately for fans, Duswalt hasn't just heard rumors — he knows what went on backstage on one of the longest and most popular music events because he lived it.
As Rose's personal manager during the ridiculously long world tour, Duswalt experienced things that would make most people run the other way and never look back. And in "Welcome To My Jungle", he shares the sometimes hilarious, sometimes just plain reckless, and always insane actual happenings on the tour.
A true must-read for GUNS N' ROSES fans, "Welcome To My Jungle" delights readers with hilarious and entertaining exclusive firsthand stories like:
* The day Axl Rose, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love got into a "huge war" backstage at the MTV Awards
* Why GUNS N' ROSES is forever linked to Charles Manson
* The night Liz Taylor walked in on a very nude Slash — and stayed a while
Featuring little-known facts for the ultimate GN'R fan, "Welcome To My Jungle" gives an inside look at what it’s really like to live and work with a hugely popular band, from the middle of a rock and roll hurricane.
For more details about some of the stories featured in the book, read this May 3 New York Post article by Larry Getlen.
In a brand new interview with MyGNRForum, Duswalt stated about his tenure with GUNS N' ROSES: "I was hired as Axl's 'second' personal assistant, under another guy named Blake. Prior to touring with GN'R, I toured with the band AIR SUPPLY for about six years. In about 1985 or 1986, Doug Goldstein took over as AIR SUPPLY's head security guy, and we became great friends. Doug went on to become GN'R's manager, and one day Doug called me out of the blue to see if I was interested in going on the road again. I said yes. So I joined the 'Use Your Illusion' tour and became Axl's personal assistant. After I was there for a few months, Blake quit, and I became Axl's main guy for the next three years."
He continued: "I basically handled everything to do with Axl. If someone wanted to talk to Axl, it either went through me or Doug Goldstein. I was responsible for his house, his backstage area, and his hotel room. I handled his money, set up his travel with our travel agent, scheduled limos to and from everywhere, and coordinated all his appointments. I had an assistant that would also handle shopping for Axl, and run regular, everyday errands. I supervised that as well. I was also responsible for making sure Axl got to the gigs 'on time' — the most challenging part of my job. I also ran Axl's teleprompter for a while until I handed that job over to another person. There were millions of little things as well, but that was the main stuff."
Asked if he has supported the GN'R lineups from 2001 onwards, and whether he has seen any shows by the band's current incarnation, Craig said: "I support Axl. He was very good to me and my family.
"I last saw GN'R at Universal Amphitheater in 2006, and the show was amazing. After the concert, my friends and I were invited backstage to Axl's dressing room. Usually my wife Natasha would have come, but she had been diagnosed with cancer and was going through chemo and didn't have the strength to go to the show. Del James and Beta walk us to Axl's dressing room — I hadn't seen Axl in a few years. I go back to Axl's personal area and Axl gives me a hug, and the first thing out of his mouth was, 'How's Natasha?' That is exactly who Axl Rose is."
Surprisingly, Duswalt also stressed that "Welcome To My Jungle" "is not a tell-all book." He added: "If you're buying the book because you think I'm going to share all the dirt, save your money — you will be disappointed.
"Over the last twenty years, everyone I meet who knows I toured with GUNS N' ROSES always asks me to tell a story or two. Well, my book is filled with these stories — funny and interesting things that happened on the road, touring with one of the biggest bands of all time."