Axl Rose’s Pre-Guns N’ Roses Demo Pulled Due to Copyright Claim

Craig Rosen
Stop The Presses! (NEW)

The 1983 demo by Axl Rose's' pre-Guns N' Roses band Rapidfire that turned up online last week has been pulled from the web, due to a copyright claim filed by Axl's lawyer.

The snippet of the demo of the band's recording on "Ready to Rumble" that was posted on YouTube is no longer playable. Instead it has a note that says, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Mark Music & Media Law, P.C."

"Whenever there's unauthorized Axl Rose or Guns N' Roses audio, video or merchandise, we take aggressive efforts to have it removed from the marketplace," Doug Mark of Mark Music & Media Law tells Yahoo! Music.

Now it appears that Rapidfire will be guaranteed to be a minor footnote in the Guns N' Roses story. While the band won a battle of the bands contest at the late heavy metal-haven Gazzarri's, they never secured a record deal. Axl soon left the group to form Guns N' Roses forerunner Hollywood Rose with childhood friend Izzy Stradlin, but we couldn't help but wonder what the A&R executive who signed Guns N' Roses to Geffen Records thought of the track, so we tracked down Tom Zutaut.

After directing Zutaut to the link — when it was still playable — he said, "It sounds very 70's classic rock influenced like Tesla was in the '80s with a touch of Quiet Riot and a serious bent as opposed to the party sound of hair metal."

The record executive, who also worked with such bands as Tesla, the Stone Roses and Motley Crue, added, "It's Interesting that there's no punk influence like G N' R at all, but the voice is a great preview of Axl's extraordinary talent."

That punk influence that Zutaut speaks of came primarily from Guns' bassist Duff McKagan, who played drums in Seattle punk band the Fastbacks and the Fatz, prior to moving to moving to L.A. and joining future G N'R mates Slash and Steven Adler in their pre-Guns combo Road Crew. G N 'R later put that punk influence on full display on the 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident?, which features the band's take on The Damned's "New Rose," The Stooges' "Raw Power," Fear's "I Don't Care About You" and other punk-era gems.

As of Monday, prior to the filing of the copyright claim, the folks behind the release of the Rapidfire demo were still hinting that that there could be an official release of the five demo tracks. "Over 72,000 hits! Keep 'em coming so we know there is enough interest to release!," they posted on the Rapidfire 1983 Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Axl and the current G N' R lineup roll on with an intimate gig tonight (Thursday) at the Brooklyn Bowl before hitting the Governor's Ball Festival on Saturday in Randall's Island, New York.

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