LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES-MAY 3, 2020…TWENTY SEVEN YEARS AGO MARKED THE WORLDWIDE RELEASE OF GUNS N’ ROSES’ SINGLE ‘CIVIL WAR’. THE SONG ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON A CHARITY ALBUM RELEASED IN 1990 TO BENEFIT ROMANIAN ORPHANS ‘NOBODY’S CHILD:ROMANIAN ANGEL APPEAL’, AND THEN ON THE GUNS N’ ROSES ALBUM ‘USE YOUR ILLUSION 2’.
THE TRACK IS A PROTEST SONG AGAINST WAR. DUFF MCKAGAN EXPLAINED WHERE THE SONG CAME FROM IN A RADIO INTERVIEW:
“Basically it was a riff that we would do at soundchecks. Axl came up with a couple of lines at the beginning. I went in a peace march, when I was a little kid, with my mom. I was like 4 years old. For Martin Luther King. And that’s when: ‘Did you wear the black arm band when they shot the man who said: ‘Peace could last forever?’ It’s just true-life experiences, really.'”THE SONG TOUCHES ON CIVIL RIGHTS, THE VIETNAM WAR, AND HAS AN ENTIRE VERSE ABOUT PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S ASSASSINATION
THE SPEECH AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SONG IS FROM COOL HAND LUKE: “What we have here is failure to communicate…”.
IT’S ALSO INTERESTING TO NOTE THIS WAS THE ONLY SONG ON BOTH ‘USE YOUR ILLUSION’ ALBUMS TO FEATURE STEVEN ADLER ON DRUMS. EVERY OTHER TRACK HAD MATT SORUM, WHO REPLACED ADLER IN THE GROUP.
HERE’S A GREAT LIVE VERSION OF ‘CIVIL WAR’