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Axl’s ornithology

From Popbitch:

Guns & Roses dropped support act Eagles of Death Metal from their tour after one night. Axl called them “Pigeons of Shit Metal”.

Nice. At first glance I thought “shit” for “death” was a bit of a disappointment after the ingenious replacement of “eagles” with “pigeons”. Then I thought it was funny anyway, as it partakes of an established trope whereby the reader is first led to expect something clever and instead gets something stupid or simple. (What is the name for this trope? Answers in comments please.) But then I realised it was even better than that. Pigeons are known above all for shitting, so Axl Rose has quite brilliantly conjured an image of pigeons actually shitting a kind of metal music down on the heads of unsuspecting GN’R fans – music that is, like pigeon-shit, runny and smelly and somehow pusillanimous, not robust and earthy like steaming elephant dung.

A propos of which, although Paul McCartney certainly sings “this ever-changing world in which we’re living” on the original version of “Live and Let Die”, Axl audibly changes it to “in which we live in” on the Guns N’ Roses cover (on Use Your Illusion II), thus entrenching the lamentable misunderstanding from which Paul has so long suffered.

  1. 1  graham  December 1, 2006, 3:15 pm 

    Pigeons are known for shitting on metal – specifically bronze statues, typically of Queen Victoria. I don’t know where that leads.

    When I was little I always wondered what “God Save Our Grey Shuss Queen” meant. What is a “shuss”? Nevertheless I always sang it with great gusto and gratitude toward the shuss queen. As directed.

    Perhaps a grey shuss queen is a bronze statue of a queen upon which pigeons have sat and shat.

  2. 2  Steven  December 1, 2006, 3:22 pm 

    That’s a very good point. Perhaps “shit metal” is a comment on the inadequacy of statuary in general, Axl being no fan of Queen Victoria, Horatio Nelson etc.

    Or perhaps “shit metal” is something like polonium, probably a shit metal for most applications besides murdering spies.

  3. 3  graham  December 1, 2006, 3:45 pm 

    It’s cetainly a shit metal for the murdered spies.

  4. 4  Tom the Peeper  December 1, 2006, 3:53 pm 

    I actually thought Shit Metal was a genuine musical category. See Europe’s The Final Countdown as a fine example.

    Imagine if the original Eagles had been called the Pigeons. I bet they wouldn’t have sold so many records.

  5. 5  graham  December 1, 2006, 4:31 pm 

    Mr Fish has a new cartoon, ‘Which came first, the chicken or the shit?’ I am like a total fan of Mr Fish. He is heaps good.

  6. 6  Steven  December 1, 2006, 5:02 pm 

    In point of objective musical fact, “The Final Countdown” is a work of unalloyed genius.

  7. 7  sw  December 1, 2006, 5:24 pm 

    Surely the trope you’re discussing above is a type of bathos. Whether or not there is a particular bathos applicable to the clever-stupid transition, or its own term, I don’t know. Perhaps we could call it “Axlirating”.

  8. 8  Steven  December 1, 2006, 5:37 pm 

    A kind of bathos – yes indeed: for this you deserve the rare and eminently collectable quiz prize of this asterisk: * ; please take care of it. I still wonder if there is a term for this specific clever-stupid transition. There may be in Scriblerus’s Peri Bathous, but I don’t have a copy to hand. If not I’m happy to accept the delightful Axlirating.

  9. 9  copernicus  December 1, 2006, 9:51 pm 

    As an Eagles of Shit Metal fan, I’m affronted by Axl’s failure to grasp the up-tight bourgeois nostrum that a preposition must never appear at the end of a sentence. Good clue here was that it had already put in an appearance.

    EoDM are of course a side-project supergroup off-shoot of QotSA whose pared down, blue collar sound (think spartan AC/DC rather than NWOBHM) must havae come as a bit of shock to GnR.

  10. 10  IMReadingu  December 3, 2006, 5:54 pm 

    Beatl Paul is right, come on. He can claim to have participated in an “ever-changing world in which we’re living”. There is a correlation between his living and that world. Axl, though, ex G&R, is just in it, living – and not to any degree interestingly, unless having corn rows and fights with Hilfiger count for something.

  11. 11  F7  December 3, 2006, 5:59 pm 

    As a long time member of Steaming Elephant Dung, I would like to take this opportunity to mention we have been hired to tour with Mr. Rose, and are greatly to piling it on.

  12. 12  pig  December 4, 2006, 4:29 am 

    Eagles of Death Metal are a total joke band with stupid lyrics and don’t even know how to play without messing up what is on the cd! The cd is crap and they are an even more horrible live band. Axl was just apologizing for subjecting his fans to such a crappy band. The crowd thinks they suck because they do and the Queens of the Stonage guy doesn’t even play with them either anymore because he probably doesn’t want to be associated with them either just like Axl. Axl has talent and has ever right to say whatever he wants if a crappy band opens for GNR. You rule Axl!!!! Don’t take sh*t from a band that pay$ to play! We are proud of you for speaking your mind.

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