Get In The Ring

by Toby Goodshank

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written by McKagen, Slash, & Rose
©℗1991 The David Geffen Company

this version performed and recorded by Toby Goodshank
Mastered by Casey Holford

"Get in the Ring" is the fifth song on the Guns N' Roses album Use Your Illusion II. It was written by Axl Rose, Duff McKagan and Slash and is directed at music critics who gave the band negative reviews because of their actions on stage. Critics from Hit Parader (Andy Secher), Circus, Kerrang! (Mick Wall) and Spin (Bob Guccione, Jr.) are all mentioned by name.

Allegedly, Mick Wall of Kerrang! music magazine was mentioned because of his book Guns N’ Roses: The Most Dangerous Band in the World, which was a no holds barred collection of interviews and stories about the band. Wall denies this, and claims that the real reason for his mention was an interview he wrote in early 1990 for Kerrang! about Axl Rose’s threat to harm Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe over an incident involving Neil’s wife and Izzy Stradlin.

The song's reference to Bob Guccione, Jr. includes a comment about how his father (founder of Penthouse magazine) 'gets more pussy' than Guccione Jr. does. The younger Guccione actually responded in a letter to Axl Rose, saying that he accepted the challenge; however, no fight ever occurred.

"Get in the Ring" is notorious for its amount of swearing. The song was originally written by McKagan with the title "Why Do You Look at Me When You Hate Me?", which is the song's first line. Nevertheless, the title was shortened, and the original title became the first line in the final version. It was then going to be titled "Get in the Ring Motherfucker," but that was changed as well.

The song heard on the album was actually not performed live, but was rather recorded in the studio and crowd noises were added to it (similar to all the songs on Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide), recorded from a concert in Saratoga Springs, New York, on June 10, 1991. Such noises included the "Guns N' Roses" chant in the beginning and the "get in the ring" chant at the end. Oddly enough, despite its live atmosphere on record, it was one of the very few songs the band never played live.

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released August 25, 2015

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Toby Goodshank New York

portrait by Shintaro Kago

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