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Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N' Roses - Daily Song Facts

  • This song is about Los Angeles. It exposes the dark side of the city many people encounter when they go there to pursue fame. Guns N' Roses knew this side of the city well: in 1985, they lived in a place on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles that they called "Hell House." The house was often filled with drugs, alcohol and groupies.
  • Axl Rose wrote the lyrics when he was in Seattle, which gave him some perspective on the size of Los Angeles.
  • Slash (from the notes to Guns N' Roses: The Hits): "I was at my house and I had that riff happening and Axl came over and he got those lyrics together, and then the band sort of arranged it. We got an arrangement for the whole band, 'cause that's how we work. Someone comes in with an idea and someone else has input and in that way everyone's happy. That came together really quickly too, that was arranged in one day."
  • In 2007 Rolling Stone magazine ran a feature on the 20th anniversary of Appetite For Destruction. They explained that a famous lyrics from this song originated when Axl Rose spent a night in a Queens schoolyard before joining the band. Said Rose: "This black guy said, 'You're in the jungle! You gonna die.'"
  • On 93.1 WIBC FM, a radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana, Jake Query, a friend of Axle Rose, gave a different account, saying: "When Axl Rose hitchhiked to Los Angeles, California, on the last leg, a truck driver drove him to Los Angeles, and when Rose got out of the truck, the truck driver said, 'Welcome to the Jungle."
  • When this was released as a single in 1987, it charted in England but flopped in America. It finally became a hit in the US when they re-released it in October 1988 after "Sweet Child O' Mine" hit #1.
  • Slash re-recorded his guitar parts as he was dissatisfied with his first attempts. To produce the vicious yet pure tone, the Guns 'N' Roses gunslinger used a Les Paul '59 replica plugged into a Marshall JCM aided most probably by some Jack Daniels.
  • The video was shot at Park Plaza and 450 South La Brea in Hollywood. The band's first video, it was very successful, winning at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards for Best New Artist Video. Guns N' Roses performed the song on the show.
  • When Axl says "My Serpentine," he's describing his famous dance, which he copied from Richard Black, lead singer of the band Shark Island.
  • This song caused further tension between Axl Rose and Slash in 2001 when Slash wanted to let the producers of Black Hawk Down use it in their movie, but Axl refused unless he could re-record it with the new members of Guns N' Roses (the old members would have lost out on royalties). After Axl formed a new version of the band in 2001, things got testy between him and the previous members, and Axl has blocked use of their songs in movies.

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Daily Song Facts
Daily Song Facts

Facts and trivia about songs

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