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Before it all went bad. Still, you can see the look in his eyes...
Axl Rose, arrested at 17. This happened a lot. Still, check those bangs!
By 1982, Rose was already looking the part of a career criminal. That, and a Bruce Springsteen superfan.
Axl Rose in his teased hair days, right around the time his first band, Axl, also known as Hollywood Rose, joined L.A. Guns.
Chances are this is the Axl Rose you remember, seen here early on in Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction tour.
Axl Rose in 1989. Move over, Zack Morris!
Axl entered into his full facial hair years in 1990, seen here with a crop-top L.A. Raiders jersey and a belt so wide he'd no doubt later adapt it into some sort of lace-y girdle.
Axl Rose’s style through the years
Axl was taken to court in 1993 by former drummer Steven Adler, who accused Rose and the rest of his bandmates of getting him hooked on drugs. They eventually settled out of court, as Axl somehow had money left over after spending what we'd imagine was a lot on that snazzy green jacket.
By 1994, Axl Rose had seemingly gone full-Cobain. He's seen here with Elton John at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
For a brief two year period, from 1997 to 1999, Axl traded in his luscious long ginger locks for something shorter and more controlled. If only he'd kept it... the braids (or, as fans call them, "cornrose") came next.
Axl Rose in 2002. Here, his Raiders jersey fits a little better—thank god—but it's not like anyone would notice with those braids. WHY DID WE LET THIS HAPPEN?
Axl Rose's 2007 look was somewhere between Ali G and Danny Bonaduce.
Axl kept his braids, but added in an airbrushed leather jacket for the ultimate cool-dude style clash. Yes, that's a dragon.
Axl Rose's "James Hetfield" years. Yarrrrrr.
Last year, Axl Rose went through an odd phase, looking like a bloated disco pirate and walking with a cane.
It’s hard to believe it now, but there was a time when Axl Rose was on top of the world.
Born William Rose Jr, Axl had an incredibly rough upbringing, starting when his sexually abusive father and namesake, William Rose, disappeared. He was raised in an incredibly religious family, and by his late teens had become Lafayette, Indiana’s resident hooligan. He was arrested upwards of 20 times, spent months in prison and, after the local authorities threatened to charge him as a “habitual criminal,” moved to Los Angeles in 1982.
And that’s when the magic started. By 1985, he’d started Guns N’ Roses, the combination of he and Tracii Guns’ existing bands, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose. A few months and several line-up changes later the band enlisted Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. Two years later, Appetite for Destruction came out, and from there, the band, and Axl’s, steady rise and equally sloping decline.
And by decline, we mean aesthetically.
From goatees to corn rows, pimp canes to belly tops, Axl Rose has been through more than a few phases. Some were funny. Some were sad. All were worth remembering.