Once Sebastian Bach joined, a bidding war happened between Geffen Records and Atlantic. Geffen wanted a Bon Jovi act and Atlantic wanted a Guns N’ Roses act. And these two labels were in an East vs West Coast war. Geffen even brought in a producer who said that “18 and Life” and “Makin’ A Mess” should be kept and songs like “Youth Gone Wild” and “I Remember You” should be scrapped. Doc McGhee wanted them to go with Geffen. Everything pointed towards to Geffen except for the guys in the band especially Rachel Bolan.
Atlantic A&R guru Jason Flom had been following the band for a while and increased the Atlantic offer at the last minute.
Both labels saw “18 And Life” as a quality song. A serious subject matter, so far removed from the romantic vibes of “I Remember You” and the rebellious “stand your ground” anthem “Youth Gone Wild”.
The video dominated MTV in the US but not so much in Australia. The fans made this a cult favourite.
The C#m arpeggios in the intro, moving to an A and B chord got me interested. If you’ve watched Skid Row live (the Bach led version that is), they extend this intro, with a pretty kicking lead break from Scotti Hill. Actually, Jorn did a cover of Don Henley’s “New York Minute” and the intro sounds like the live version of “18 And Life” that I remember.
And Skid Row is becoming forgotten.
When I googled “18 and Life lyrics” it came up with the lyrics for the song and the artist was listed as “Asking Alexandria”. So whatever issue, Rachel Bolan and Dave Sabo have with Sebastian Bach, its leading their band into irrelevance and into the history pages of the internet. Because come on, one of their biggest songs doesn’t come up listed to them, but to a band who covered it.
Ricky was a young boy, he had a heart of stone
Lived nine to five and worked his fingers to the bone
It summed up most of the kids growing up in the 80’s and 90’s (when I started working). I remember getting my first wages and I felt like I was on top of the world. But at that time I was still living with my parents and social reality hadn’t hit me yet. And I didn’t have a heart of stone. I cared for my family and friends. But I knew people who were just like Ricky.
Fought like a switchblade so no one could take him down
You all know how a blade just explodes out/pops out when a button is pushed. Well imagine a human just losing control like that. Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas” sums up this kind of action. I knew a few people like that, always getting into fights from out of nowhere.
And he fought the world alone
No one is alone. For every feeling a person has like this, remember there are people out there that feel like you and there are people out there that care for you. Talk to em.
Tequila in his heartbeat
His veins burned gasoline
It kept his motor runnin’
But he never kept it clean
You can interchange tequila with any other alcoholic beverage. Drinking whiskey makes me jump out of moving cars. I’m Superman.
He married trouble
Had a courtship with a gun
I don’t think I have met a person who doesn’t love adventure. But adventure which leads to mischief and trouble, could be cool while you are young, but as you grow up, it could be dangerous and deadly. And in Australia, we don’t have a law that gives us the right to bear arms to protect our property, so our courtship with a gun isn’t as strong as it is, in other countries.
He fired his six-shot to the wind
That child blew a child away
Accidents happen, but a life lost is a life lost.
The lead break and that outro arpeggio riff (with the lead break as well) are my favourite pieces to play on the guitar, along with the intro guitar arpeggio riff.