Guns N' Roses Vegas ads reuse controversial image for upcoming gigs
By Randall Roberts
When a flier similar to the bus ad pictured above recently landed in our inbox, a red flag went off: The featured image is famous to many Guns N' Roses fans as the Robert Williams painting printed on the original cover of "Appetite for Destruction." The image, of a robot appearing to have just committed an act of sexual violence against a woman, prompted Geffen Records to recall the album in 1987 and replace it with a less rape-oriented cover.
The image has been resurrected, it turns out, by the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas in service of the ad campaign promoting its Guns N' Roses residency, and at least one of the Clark County commissioners is none too happy about it. The Las Vegas Sun spoke to Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, who oversaw a recent event temporarily renaming Paradise Road as Paradise City Road.
“I hadn’t seen the advertising before the media event,” she told the Sun. “It’s clearly inappropriate. Maybe it’s the risk of doing business with a rock band, but I guess we’ll have some remorse over this decision. It’s a lesson learned.”
The Sun also spoke to Lisa Lynn Chapman, a representative for a Las Vegas woman's shelter called Safe Nest, who, according to the paper, "said the county should rescind the street name change and that the Joint and the rock band should apologize and stop using the image because it promotes acceptance of violence against women."
She said: "It’s very frustrating to see approval — almost a celebration — of rape and violence against women. Our community has enough issues with domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and so many other violent issues that to have this being paraded around town on taxicabs and in advertising is very offensive."
A spokeswoman for Guns N' Roses said that the band had indeed seen and signed off on the artwork, which appears on wrapped buses and placards around Vegas.