10 Facts About “Welcome To The Jungle” Die-Hard Fans Probably Don’t Know
via Guns N' Roses/YouTube
A Guns N’ Roses Classic
Guns N’ Roses dropped a debut album so stunning that their succeeding records paled in comparison to “Appetite for Destruction”. One of the songs that made the LP a success was “Welcome to the Jungle” – the second single they released. Here are ten interesting facts about it:
1. The song was about the dark side of Los Angeles.
In the ’80s, people flocked to LA to search for fame. But GnR lived on “Hell House” on Sunset Boulevard, and they knew there was more to LA than sunshine and butterflies. They experienced firsthand its dark underbelly.
2. It all began with Slash who came up with the riff.
“I had this riff,” the guitarist shared, “and I remember playing it for Axl on an acoustic guitar. I said: ‘Check this out.’”
3. It was the first song they all collaborated on.
“The band sort of arranged it. We got an arrangement for the whole band, ’cause that’s how we work,” Slash explained. “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.”
4. Axl Rose wrote the title and lyrics while visiting a friend in Seattle.
It gave him a much bigger perspective of Los Angeles.
“It was a very telling lyric. Just the stark honesty of it,” Slash noted. “If you lived in Los Angeles, and lived in the trenches, so to speak, you could relate to it. And knowing Axl, I could relate to exactly where it was coming from.”
5. The title was inspired by something that happened when Rose spent a night in a Queens schoolyard.
He recalled, “This black guy said, ‘You’re in the jungle! You gonna die.'”
6. Rose’s friend, Jake Query, told a different story about the title on 93.1 WIBC FM.
“When Axl Rose hitchhiked to Los Angeles, California, on the last leg, a truck driver drove him to Los Angeles,” Query revealed, “and when Rose got out of the truck, the truck driver said, ‘Welcome to the Jungle.'”
7. It was played at several sports events.
The Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL were among the first to use it during games.
8. Slash re-recorded guitar parts he was dissatisfied with.
He used a Les Paul ’59 replica that was plugged into a Marshall JCM.
9. They filmed the music video at Park Plaza and 450 South La Brea in Hollywood.
It was GnR’s first MV, and they even took home the Best New Artist Video at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards.
10. It was featured on The Simpsons, Playstation 2 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and 2017 movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to name a few.
It was also used as a soundtrack to a 2016 Super Bowl commercial for the Taco Bell Quesalupa.