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Axl Rose: “I’m a %[email protected]# Hoosier rocker, too!”

Axl Rose is making a comeback of sorts, performing a handful of shows with recently reunited Guns N’ Roses this month (most notably at Coachella), and signing on as the replacement singer for AC/DC for that band’s upcoming tour.

As part of a celebration of Indiana’s 2016 bicentennial, IM included Rose, a product of Lafayette, in a roundup of greatest-ever Hoosier musicians. Contacted about Rose, noted Indiana University rock-music professor Glenn Gass shared the following anecdote.

“I think people forget how huge that band was. I went to the last night of the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour in December 1989, when Axl and Izzy [Stradlin, GNR guitarist] performed ‘Salt of the Earth’ with the Stones. I snuck into the Trump Club in Atlantic City afterwards, and Axl and Izzy showed up a few minutes later (they were not, apparently, invited to the Stones’ end-of-tour party). I yelled, ‘Axl, Indiana!’ which brought him to our table for a couple of hours of hanging out. He was utterly charming, drank only orange juice, and agreed to come guest-lecture in my rock-history class at IU. He also seemed obsessed with the fact that everybody called Mellencamp ‘the Hoosier Rocker’ — ‘even though I’m a fucking Hoosier rocker, too! NO ONE ever says that!’ He was angry and hurt that his home state had not embraced him. It was actually kind of sad and sweet.”

Since first joining Indianapolis Monthly in 2000, West has written about a wide range of subjects including crime, history, arts and entertainment, pop culture, politics, and food. His feature stories have twice been noted in the Best American Sports Writing anthology and have received top honors from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “The Collapse,” West’s account of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy, was a 2013 National City and Regional Magazine Awards finalist in the category of Best Reporting. He lives on the near-east side.