Axl Rose picks 1968 cover song as track that he really enjoys performing live
Guns N’ Roses recently played to an audience of about 25,000 people at a concert in Reykjavik, Iceland, which reportedly means that the band played to 7% of the country’s population. Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose was recently interviewed by Iceland Magazine and he was asked what song really fires him up while performing on stage.
Rose replied: “I don’t know if fired up’s the right phrase for this but for me right now I really enjoy singing “Wichita Lineman.” It has such a haunting vibe especially with Glen’s passing and our version feels a lot like old Guns acoustically to me.”
Guns N’ Roses‘ recent concert in Iceland was the first for the band in that country. Rose was asked how does it feel playing in a new place after being in the industry for so long. Rose opined: “We just want to do a good job for the fans, that after the show they leave feeling they had a good time and maybe make some new fans that just came to see what the fuss was about.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Axl Rose at Iceland Magazine.
Wikipedia states the following in part about the song “Wichita Lineman” (with slight edits): “”Wichita Lineman” is a song written by American songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1968. It was first recorded by American country music artist Glen Campbell with backing from members of The Wrecking Crew and widely covered by other artists.
Campbell‘s version, which appeared on his 1968 album of the same name, reached number 3 on the US pop chart, remaining in the Top 100 for 15 weeks. In addition, the song also topped the American country music chart for two weeks, and the adult contemporary chart for six weeks. It was certified gold by the RIAA in January 1969. The song reached number 7 in the United Kingdom. In Canada, the single also topped both the RPM national and country singles charts. As of August 2017 the song has also sold 357,000 downloads in the digital era in the United States.
In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” ranked “Wichita Lineman” at number 195. It has been referred to as “the first existential country song”.”
Sleaze Roxx stated the following in its review of Guns N’ Roses‘ concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada back in October 2017: “To put things in perspective, Guns N’ Roses played eight songs (out of 12) from their 30 million plus selling album masterpiece Appetite For Destruction, five songs (out of 16) from their 16 million plus selling Use Your Illusion I record, five songs (out of 14) from their 14 million plus selling Use Your Illusion II album, only two songs (out of eight) from G N’ R Lies, one song (out of 13) from The Spaghetti Incident? (thank God!) and a whopping six (out of 13) tracks from Chinese Democracy. I think most people will agree that the rule of thumb is to play the most songs live from your most popular successful albums. That’s why former Skid Row lead vocalist Sebastian Bach played six songs from Skid Row‘s self-titled debut album when he last played in Toronto in November 2016.
Nevertheless, here were Guns N’ Roses force feeding the crowd with six songs from Chinese Democracy including two during the encore segment of the show. What a huge mistake. Guns N’ Roses could have easily cut all six songs and likely no one would have cared. In addition, the covers that Guns N’ Roses played that had yet to surface on a studio album were mostly on the dull side. A cover of Jimmy Webb‘s “Wichita Lineman”? Really? Who listens to Webb in the audience? Another momentum killer where you felt the wind get sucked out of the crowd.”
Glen Campbell performing “Wichita Lineman” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour:
Glen performs his greatest song on ‘”The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”
Guns N’ Roses performing “Wichita Lineman” at Download Festival at Donington Park in the UK on June 9, 2018:
Download Festival 2018, Donington Park, Castle Donington 9th June 2018)