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As stated by Axl Rose in an interview with Geffen Records for a video collection, this song was the first song written by the band. Rose wrote it with guitarist Izzy Stradlin after they each fell for the same girl. She wouldn't make a choice and told Axl while he was sitting on a park bench, "Don't Cry Bill," which provided the title. (thanks, Ted - Kingston, Canada)
Shannon Hoon, who was lead singer of Blind Melon, sang backup on this track. Hoon and Axl Rose both grew up in Lafayette, Indiana. Hoon also sang on "November Rain
This song appears on both Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. The second version is considered the alternate, and contains different lyrics.
Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose
. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."