ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Axl Rose - From Rags To Riches

Updated on March 14, 2014

From Rags To Riches


"Maybe A Greyhound Could Be My Way"

When William Bruce Bailey known today as Axl Rose left Indiana at the age of 17 he probably never thought in a million years he’d end up being one of the biggest rock stars the music industry has ever known.

A destined trip on a greyhound bus Los Angeles bound is what marked the beginning for the soon to be frontman of Guns N Roses. Living the lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock n roll, he literally went from rags to riches before signing onto Geffen Records with the band Guns N Roses.

Before Guns N Roses

William Bailey grew up in a strict religious household in Lafayette, Indiana. He developed his vocal range while playing in the church choir with his brother and sister under the name The Bailey Trio. Later on in high school, William took up piano lessons and studied choir before dropping out of high school completely.

During his teen years he accidentally stumbled upon some paper work that revealed the identity of his true biological father whom he never met. His fathers name was William Bruce Rose. He was apparently murdered by a criminal associate and his body has never been recovered.


Delinquency in Indiana

During his teen years William had many run ins with law enforcement officials leading him to eventually skip bail and head to Los Angeles on a greyhound bus. Out to search for his high school buddy Jeff Isbell also known as Izzy Straden, Bill and Izzy finally met up and played in several bands together including Rapidfire, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose before forming the band Guns N Roses. The original line up of Guns N Roses included Axl Rose, Izzy Straden, Slash, Steve Adler and Duff McKagan. William legally changed his name to W Axle. Rose before signing onto Geffen Records.

The Rock N Roll Life Style

Like all bands starting off playing in clubs and bars wasn’t very rewarding at first until they started getting noticed by record label talent scouts. Many executives shied away from signing them on because of their tendency to party out of control, but eventually Guns N Roses got their big break with Geffen Records and that’s just what they needed to hit it big. After many tour dates and the successful video release of Sweet Child O’ Mine, Guns N Roses became known as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Their first album Appetite for Destruction sold 28 million copies worldwide.

Guns N Roses Breaks Up

Axls short temper on and off stage coupled with his tendency to be late for shows caused a lot of hardship for Guns N Roses throughout the years. Other band members were getting out of control in their own way with heavy alcohol and drug abuse and eventually their rock n roll lifestyle took its toll. In 1996 Slash finally left the band followed by Duff McKagan who was the last surviving member to leave. All rights to the band name have been turned over to Axl Rose who currently tours under the name Guns N Roses with his own line up.

Paradise City


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Anthony Moreau profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard de Mey 

      4 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

      Thanks Sandy, Axl Rose was definitely one of those guys you can say was "saved by Rock N Roll".. literally

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Good history on Axle Rose.

    • Anthony Moreau profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard de Mey 

      4 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

      Thanks Bk42.. yeah I've always been fascinated about celebrity backgrounds, G&R being amongst one of my favorite bands, I just had to do the research and learn more about their lead singer.

    • Bk42author profile image

      Brenda Thornlow 

      4 years ago from New York

      Interesting hub. I always liked G&R but never knew much about Axl Rose's background. Voted interesting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)