Content warning: this article about Axl Rose discusses suicide. If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Former Guns N’ Roses manager Doug Goldstein recently sat down with Appetite for Distortion Podcast, to discuss his involvement in the recent documentary Axl Rose: Guns N’ Roses Frontman.
The two-hour biopic is an extensive investigation into the early years of Axl Rose, his troubled teens, his abusive upbringing and his manic depression diagnosis.
Goldstein managed Guns N’ Roses between 1991 and 2008. During the interview, the conversation veered into a discussion about Axl Rose and his ongoing mental health battle and 1989 suicide attempt.
“The other thing I felt was when you were talking about his suicide attempt,” the interviewer began. “I don’t know if I forgot that; that shocked me… So while you want to get things out there about what a good guy Axl is, and it’s what I do on this podcast, talking about mental health, and sometimes there are traumas that will explain or help understand why there’s erratic behavior.”
He continued, “How did you feel? What were the emotions going through when telling that story to a camera? I know there’s more to it, and I don’t know if you want to say it now or save it for another time.”
Goldstein went on to explain, “You know me, I’m an open book, I got no problem talking particularly to the fans because without fans you have no band.”
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He continued, “So as it relates to talking about the suicide attempt, I wasn’t doing that to be anything other than giving an explanation as to his state of mind during a major portion, particularly of the Use Your Illusion [era] and to give some credence to – you’re not alone.”
Goldstein went on to detail the unfathomable pressure and isolation of being a frontman who performs to hundreds of thousands of people, only to return home to silence.
“There are boatloads, and boatloads, and boatloads of Guns N’ Roses fans who go through a similar depression. And to understand that here’s a guy who can go out and entertain in front of 220,000 people, and go home and be alone with nobody looking after him or praising his accolades,” he explained.
“It’s a massive depression that one goes through, and it’s not just him, it’s entertainers in general. I have this conversation with a lot of people who go from particularly the loved ones – when he comes home, there’s this massive adjustment.
“I’ve been explaining that for years – 220,000 people in the arena, and you do that for a year and a half, and you come home and your wife says, ‘The dog’s not going to clean up his own shit. And I fired the maid.’
“It was more speaking… I didn’t feel like I was speaking about anything that Axl hadn’t spoken about himself, being depressed and having gone through his own battles and issues.
“So I didn’t feel like I was really speaking out of turn, just more to give a better understanding of some of the pain that he was particularly going through.”