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Gotham Sleaze Flashback: 1988 Guns N’ Roses Live From The Ritz

During the eighties, MTV had a series of concerts titled Live from The Ritz. The show aired on Saturday nights and included some of the biggest rock bands of the decade, including a young band named Guns N’ Roses.

The Ritz rock club in Manhattan’s East Village brought in the best. During the eighties U2, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Ozzy Osbourne, Run DMC, Iggy Pop and hardcore bands The Exploited and D.R.I. all recorded sets in the building. In addition, the MTV series performances included Gene Loves Jezebel, The Saints, The Cult, Great White and Guns N’ Roses.

The Guns N’ Roses set blasts off with a super charged version of “It’s So Easy” followed by “Mr. Brownstone”, both songs displaying the raw rock energy and band chemistry impossible to duplicate. Axl Rose was already way too confident (or full of himself), dedicating songs to anyone he has ever had a beef with. Other songs to note included: “Out to Get Me”, a showcase of rage and high leg kicks, both equally impressive. The band followed with “My Michelle”, the song where Axl strips down to his suspenders. During the set you see the band (Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler) were close, like a gang and got along well. It’s hard to remember this band was inseparable for a period of time. “Paradise City” and “Rocket Queen” now often found near the end of most sets were front and center with the band closing with “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” Everything for the band came together that evening. The concert was new and Guns N’ Roses provided the kick in the a** rock and roll needed at the time.

In 2012 Guns N’ Roses came back to celebrate their original show. The venue, now called Webster Hall was renamed back to The Ritz for one night only. Only Axl Rose was left from the original lineup and despite a great three hour performance it wasn’t the same. Guns N’ Roses: Live At The Ritz was a coming out party for one of the last great rock and roll bands.