See that to your right? That’s the ad for Guns N’ Roses current Las Vegas residency. It’s a tamed down version of the original Robert Williams cover of Appetite for Destruction, which was banned in 1987 after several distributors refused to stock it. It was then replaced by the iconic cross logo with the band members’ faces, and the rest is history.
However, it turns out that Williams art is still a little too provocative. Even the altered version of the artwork is a little too much for a Clark County commissioner Mary Beth Scow, who told the Las Vegas Sun that she regrets that decision of the commission to temporarily rename Paradise Road to “Paradise City Road.” The artwork from the original album cover features a passed out woman with an exposed breast, her underwear down by her knees. While the advertising for the Appetite for Democracy residency at the Joint tucked in her breast and pulled her underwear up, Scow told the Sun that the artwork was “clearly inappropriate,” and said she hadn’t seen it before the ceremony commemorating the name change. “Maybe it’s the risk of doing business with a rock band, but I guess we’ll have some remorse over this decision,” she added. “It’s a lesson learned.” While the altered album cover is being featured in advertising including newspapers and taxicab placards, the band’s website features a more unedited version of the residency artwork.
Scow isn’t alone in her disdain. Lisa Lynn Chapman, a spokesperson for Safe Nest, a woman’s shelter, called the artwork “approval — almost a celebration — of rape and violence against women,” and wants the street name (which is honorary only) removed. “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,” she says.
Granted, the image is pretty provocative – it’s also 25 years old. And it wouldn’t have killed them to maybe just crop the woman out of the artwork. It’s not as shocking as seeing what Axl’s been looking like these days.