Anyone looking for R-rated revelations during Axl Rose's surprisingly tame first live TV interview in more than 20 years, which took place on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show Wednesday night, was bound to be a bit disappointed. However, the Guns N' Roses frontman did disclose one juicy tidbit, which he claimed was "one of the most evil things" he'd ever done in his life.
Don't worry, mom and dad. It turned out be merely to be a Halloween prank. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, Rose showed Kimmel a photo of his annual "Halloween tree" he'd put up for Halloween parties--basically, a Christmas tree in black-and-orange decor--and noted how he'd punk unsuspecting parents who came to visit with their kids. When the tree was spotted, Rose would pretend that everyone out there had a Halloween tree...all except the poor kiddies who came to call, of course.
"I'd go 'What?! You don't have a Halloween tree?' and I'd give [the kids] a present," Rose quipped, faking a shocked face. "Parents would call me for about three months and say 'You son of a...'"
Rose, 50, who is the only original member remaining of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame-inducted '80s and '90s phenomenon Guns N' Roses, was ostensibly on Kimmel to promote a 12-date residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas starting on Halloween night. However, he made little mention of this--indeed engaged in very little self-promotion overall, choosing instead to respond good-naturedly to Kimmel's mild attempts at ribbing.
Kimmel set the tone for the segment from the very beginning, introducing the show with the line "I want to welcome you all to the jungle," and pondering what time Rose would actually show up for the interview. (Rose appeared as scheduled, and noted wryly, "It's a miracle.")
He also ribbed Rose when discussing the singer's former job as a Tower Video manager: "Did you have to scold people for being late?"--and procured a framed Oscar Wilde quote stating "Punctuality is the thief of time" before asking if Rose planned to be tardy for his upcoming Vegas gigs. (Rose rolled with all the punches, stating affably, "We've been doing a lot better," to much applause from the audience.)
In addition to the funny Halloween prank confession, Kimmel also managed to get the icon to disclose whom he's backing politically in November--after all, the Vegas run is named Appetite for Democracy. When asked point-blank who he was voting for, Rose initially demurred, noting that "California...it's kind of a landslide"--to which Kimmel retorted "This would make a great 'Rock The Vote' commercial." When pressed, Rose admitted he leans to the Democrat side anyway--"I would lean Obama."
Less politically charged was a question tweeted by a fan asking if Rose regretted his cornrowed hairstyle from the '90s. Rose answered simply: "No."
The frontman ended his interview in a pleasantly benevolent spirit conducive to his entire appearance, revealing that pairs of tickets to Guns N' Roses' upcoming Vegas shows were hidden under select seats in the audience. He also informed Kimmel that he'd chartered a truck from famed Los Angeles eatery Tommy's Burgers for everyone to partake of.
Of course, fans may have been disappointed that there was no discussion of meatier topics such as Rose's controversial no-show at GN'R's R&R Hall of Fame induction; nor his puzzling rumored flirtation with the much-younger pop tart Lana Del Rey; nor whether, you know, he still hates Slash or whatever. On the other hand, it's really not every night you get to hear Jimmy Kimmel (or, really, anyone for that matter) crow, "Axl Rose is just like Santa Claus!" Yeah...or perhaps, given his "evil" stunt--the Great Pumpkin?!