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Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,578 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling epic tale of the last great rock band

From the bestselling author of Hammer of the Gods comes the complete story of Guns N? Roses ? from their drug-fueled blastoff in the 80s to the turbulent life of legendary singer Axl Rose, and his fifteen-year, multimillion dollar quest to make the perfect hard rock album.

Riotous world tours. Drug-induc
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Avery (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 07, 2009 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music-film
I have a tendency toward hyperbole, but believe me when I say that this is the most amateurish, poorly written book that I've ever read in my entire life. This includes novelizations of video games. No, I don't expect Joycean prose in a Gun's N' Roses biography, but I do expect a little talent and professionalism from the author. The only reason to read this book is if you are a moron or if you really want to know how many times Izzy accidentally ejaculated on Slash's leg.

The best way to display
Dec 30, 2008 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this band was a big part of the development of my identity when i was 12. i was listening to Appetite for Destruction the first time i ever got drunk (and subsequently very hungover). To this day, i still feel the tinge of a hangover whenever i hear "Nightrain."

with the release (and inevitable disappointment) of Chinese Democracy, my obsession with "Guns" has somewhat been reawakened--part nostalgia-trip, part sincere appreciation for them as probably the last great rock band (as cheesey as tha
Michael Edwards
It would have been nice to read an unauthorized, uncensored biography of the last truly great rock n roll band by someone who actually regarded them as such. Stephen Davis didn't seem to be a fan, or even an admirer of Guns. It is almost as if he'd written the entire thing after getting scorned like a wimp photographer who got kicked out of the dressing room before a show. He sure implemented many of his own personal evaluations of their work, stating that Appetite for Destruction was the only n ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Anthony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Not the most accurate book. It was interesting getting some back story on Axl. But it seems like the author simply wrote down the VH1 Behind the Music transcript, magazine articles, and MTV interviews. As a fan, I didn't learn anything new which was disappointing. At the end of the book it seems very rushed as if he just wanted to get it over with and out the door to make a quick buck. This book could have been a lot shorter and without the play by play of old concerts which was annoying because ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Chingsta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
90% gleaned from secondary research. if you are any kind of gunners fan, you will have read all of this in creem or hit parader back in the day. now take that one to heart. huh!
Jan 04, 2009 Meridith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard Appetite for Destruction. 1987: My art-school friend, a skinhead named Katrine, & I went to NYC on a whim & were hanging out in a nearly deserted nightclub, that despite the lack of people, had a very heavy druggie atmosphere. No one was to be found because they were all going into the bathroom to do coke! Anyway, the dj put Appetite on continual rotation. It played over & over & over again, all night, while everyone was scamm ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Iggy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very comprehensive book at least from the band formation to the early nineties which is both a bad and a good thing. You would probably struggle to find another book about GNR with anywhere close to that amount of information. It often gets down to the level of detail where it describes, for a particular concert, what each person is wearing on stage, what songs they played, what tantrums Axl threw, how many hours late they were, how the crowd reacted etc. This can be a bit tedious although some ...more
Kevin Summers
Jun 27, 2014 Kevin Summers rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I was really disappointed by this book. Here are two of the major problems with this book: 1. The quality of writing is poor; and 2. Davis seems to have cobbled together information from a variety of publicly available sources for almost all of the details in this book--anyone with average writing and research skills could have written a book of such below-average quality.

Sample quote: "Both albums [Use Your Illusion I and II] bore black parental advisory stickers, because Guns' new songs featu
Dec 28, 2008 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book about a great band, but there were quite a few mistakes. Makes me question the sincerity of the whole thing...?
Dec 10, 2008 Yvette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't know much about these guys. I guess I know something now. I am not quite sure that all the details of 'The Saga Guns & Roses' are reliable
Mark Glover
Guns n Roses were a BIG part of my formative years providing the soundtrack to my teenage years of truanting, underage drinking, smoking cigarettes and other stuff that I thought rebellious but now look back on with a wry smile realising just how tame they were. Still many an impromptu road trip was made with either Appetite for Destruction or one of the Use Your Illusion albums blaring from the tape deck, GnR were dangerous, widely touted as the most dangerous band alive and any one looking for ...more
Tom Gase
Nov 11, 2009 Tom Gase rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little surprised how bad this book was while I was reading it, and then I finished it and realized I shouldn't have been shocked. Stephen Davis has written good books with "Hammer of the Gods" on Led Zeppelin and "Walk This Way" about Aerosmith. But the fact is, time has done a lot to the myth that is Guns N Roses. They just weren't THAT good.

I picked up this book for a buck in the bargain section and thought, heh, why not? I've always wondered what happened to most of these guys (beside
John Branney
This book reads like a poorly written comic book. I was surprised the author did not use "POW" and "BAM" to describe the various drug and alcohol related exploits of the band members. The author's use of hyperbole and metaphor to describe Slash's guitar playing was laughable, "Hendrixique riff", "squeezed off notes like tracer rounds", "spewing 'atomic hyper-crunch guitar riffs'". Who writes or speaks that way, anyway???

There were so many factual errors in the book (other reviewers have document
Richard MacManus
Oct 02, 2008 Richard MacManus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guns n' Roses was one of the seminal bands of my era. They were most popular in the final years of high school for me, when Appetite for Destruction had exploded onto the mid-to-late 80's scene in a flash of realism and rock n' roll attitude. W Axl Rose was a great rock showman, with a killer voice and enigmatic personality. Lead guitarist Slash was a cartoon figure in his leather pants, hair over his eyes, cigarette and bourben bottle permanantly attached to his person, and top hat. But he was ...more
Jenny Organa
I won't bore any or every one with a summary. If you want bored, then I suggest you read the book. However, there are a few things I want to say about it.

One. It is far too long. Faaaar too long! He could have shorten it to half, I'm sure, and still got the relevant pieces across. I bet they had come across even more actually, had it been shorter. For example, there are far too many shows described in detail for it to even be interesting, one or two set-lists and descriptions of the atmosphere a
May 31, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book did not disappoint. I bought the book because, as a GnR fan, I was interested in the subject matter and have never read an authoritative account of the band, other than a number of magazine articles.

Secondly, when I saw that Stephen Davis wrote it, I knew that it was coming from someone who can appreciate and articulate the band's contribution to music (and culture), who can at once be a fan but who won't shy away from the seedier elements in the band, and who will deliver an extremely
Jul 22, 2009 Baiocco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
The one thing I learned about Guns N Roses from this poorly organized biography by the guy who wrote Led Zepplin's "Hammer of the Gods", was how cool Izzy was. I mean, Slash was probaly my favorite musically (difference between Slash and any other guitar player from that era was how melodic his solos were. you can hum each one, unlike Eddie Van Halen or any other fingertapping shredder), but Izzy went out to Hollywood by himself from Indiana, dressed like late 70's Keith Richards, sold Heroin to ...more
Brian James
Oct 20, 2011 Brian James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ru
As a die-hard Gunner since the age of 11, I think it would be impossible for a book about the band to please me, but for the most part I did find this one entertaining. The exploration into the earliest years of the the band roaming the streets of Hollywood was by far the most interesting. However, it's hard not to assume the book is riddled with inaccuracies and skeptical facts. I found several instances where the author had the wrong year for things. Granted, these seemed like typos, but it ca ...more
Xandro Lombardi
Stephen Davis ran out of time and rushed the ending to an almost great account of the greatest rock and roll band.
The last two or three chapters were badly written with a sense of urgency as if the publisher was asking for the manuscript in a hurry.
There are a lot of thing a-miss or deleted from the conclusion of this "saga" as I had experienced them to be in Australia.

Guns & Roses travelled to Australia in 1993, and I am of the opinion that Davis either didn't follow things up or they wer
Melissa Hedges- Rankin
Have to be honest, the first third of the book was difficult to get through. The book was hard to follow and the events that occurred seem to flip-flop chronologically. Also found the writer used cliché statements about the band, ie, 'they were the best rock band in the whole world' etc. Sometimes the personalized stories of the band members rambled, and didn't really make sense why it was a valid point when explaining a piece of the band's history.

However, I believe what set apart Guns from a
Tsvetelina Stambolova-Vasileva
Явно не съм приключила с Гънс. :)
Липсваше ми гледната точка на Изи и Аксел, но не мога да кажа, че тази книга ми помогна да я намеря. Разочарована съм. Стивън Дейвис е автор на една от признатите за най-добри биографии на групи - тази на Лед Зепелин, затова наистина очаквах повече.
Основният минус на тази книга е, че ѝ липсва уважение, няма дори капчица. Въпреки краткото си съществуване, наркотиците и алкохола, дрязгите между членовете и т.н., т.н., Guns N' Roses си остават легендарна група, ед
Oct 14, 2014 Gwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual Stephen Davis has written a book that kept me interested through every page. It is a well researched and fact filled work that chronicles Guns N' Roses from beginning to end (as up to date as a book can possibly be). I didn't care for the foul language that permeates the book, however I do understand these were for the most part direct quotes from the speakers and therefore in keeping with the integrity of the account.

Mr. Davis includes details of recording sessions (especially for "App
I'm very conflicted about this book. The writing is mediocre-to-bad, the content sketchy and mostly available from the Behind the Music and various interviews (did he have any real sources or interviews?). There's some great anecdotes, but most fans will have heard them before and the ones I haven't I can't trust the author so that throws everything into doubt. He contradicts himself directly, often on the same page.
Also, full disclosure, I've only read until Izzy leaves because after that is li
Christopher Ortiz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2008 Ellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, memoir
I started reading this book and had to stop, I just could not take it anymore. The writing style was terrible...this author was abviously trying rip off Motley Crue's memoir, "The Dirt" and failed miserably.

This book tells you nothing new about GnR, or thier history. It is nothing more than a collection of old news taken from VH1, and countless rock mag and TV interviews. He did not sit down with ANYONE in the band or anyone who was close to them on thier way up.

Most upsetting this author did n
Oct 28, 2008 Alnora1227 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Guns fans and fans of rock biographies
I found this to be more the story of Axl Rose rather than the group Guns N' Roses, which was both fascinating and disappointing. The story of this band could only be incarnated in America with their excess, lust, drugs, and dysfunction that went back almost to the beginning.

The reader watches Axl Rose go from hell-raising Indiana hometown boy to the volatile front man of the hardest rocking band in the world. Even if you know the band burned bright and quick and died mesdy in a quagmire of lega
Nov 30, 2011 Love rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim Holscher
May 05, 2014 Jim Holscher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book for anyone interested in rock music. It gives a good insight into what happens when talented, young, disturbed people rise to fame quickly and don't know what to do with it.

Having read Stephen Davis' book about Led Zeppelin, Hammer of The Gods, I was interested to see his take on this band. Davis pulls no punches. Davis has a way of turning up the descriptive dial when describing music often crossing over from being a fan of the music into describing a spiritual like connection wi
Janne Paananen
Aug 05, 2011 Janne Paananen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lienee lähes mahdotonta kirjoittaa Guns N' Roses -yhtyeestä täysin tylsää kirjaa. Sen verran mielenkiintoiset persoonallisuudet pistivät orkesterin pystyyn 80-luvun alussa. Ja tämähän olisi kuin suoraan amerikkalainen unelma from rags to glory ellei Izzya lukuunottamatta koko konkkaronkka olisi enemmän tai vähemmän menettänyt mielenterveyttään touhussa. Ironisinta tässä lienee se, että juuri Izzy oli bändin alkuaikoina se heroiinidiileri, joka veti pohjasakkaa puoleensa niin, että muut huolestui ...more
John Treanor
No masterpiece of literature here, but an interesting read nonetheless. Watch paranoia and drug/alcohol abuse destroy a pretty good band. Axl wanted to be Elton John and the other guys just wanted to rock. The tales of debauchery are more sad than anything else, as is the relationship between the band and Axl after they got big. Someone accused the Nirvana/Soundgarden set of being a bummer, and "hey, us rock guys like to have fun and party", but their version of partying was just about escaping ...more
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American music journalist and historian
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