Inspiration in the Strangest Places

By Adam Kraemer

As some of you may know, I used to write a monthly column for a website called Given, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in Voices yet, so the only way you’d know this is if you were stalking me. That’s okay. I stalk myself sometimes.

One of the columns I wrote was about all of the life lessons I learned from hair bands. (For the record, I don’t mean plastic things that hold your hair back — except maybe in a metaphorical sense. I mean pop metal bands from the ’80s and ’90s.) It was purely tongue-in-cheek, things like:

Might as well jump.

I think this one speaks for itself. Sometimes I jump.

Example: Van Halen's "Panama":

Jump back, what's that sound?
Here she comes, full blast and top down.

Yeah, that kind of thing. I also quoted from bands like Ratt, White Snake, Skid Row, and Warrant. I’m a child of the ’80s; what do you want? And no, none of them were really inspiring. I have not chosen to live my life based on the lyrics to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” I’m not even sure what a radar phone is.

So imagine my surprise at writing the following sentence. I find Axl Rose to be an inspiration.

I can hear some of you laughing. Partly at me; partly because you just found out he spells his name Axl.

It’s true, though, and I’ll tell you why: because I saw Guns N’ Roses perform at Dodger Stadium on August 18 and beyond the fact that they sounded amazing (they did) was the fact that Axl looked and sounded like himself again.

But last summer, man, Axl looked good. I mean, he’s not in the shape he was in his 20s, let’s make that clear. However, he was thinner — I’m estimating by at least 80 lbs. — he was running around, his voice (which we know is affected by weight, among other things) sounded like it did 30 years ago…he’s my inspiration.

Anyway, that’s my entry for today. The point is Axl Rose lost weight. And if he can do it, I can do it and you can do it.

There’s also a chance the real point was just me bragging about having seeing Guns N’ Roses last summer. I’ll leave you to make your own decision on that.

Talk to you soon.

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