Rocket Queen

Album: Appetite For Destruction (1987)
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  • The "Rocket Queen" is a woman named Barbi Von Greif, at least according to the Appetite For Destruction liner notes, which thank "Barbi (Rocket Queen) Von Greif."

    She hung out with the band in their early years along with her roommate, Pamela Manning. According to Manning, she and Von Greif had a band for a short time (Barbi sang, Pamela played drums) and Von Greif wanted to name it Rocket Queen. She was 18 years old at the time, but full of fire - Slash called her "a queen of the underground scene." Little is known about her, but she is not the girl moaning in the song.
  • Regarding Barbi Von Greif, Axl Rose said, "She kind of kept me alive for a while." Near the end of the song, he sings:

    Don't ever leave me
    Say you'll always be there
    All I ever wanted
    Was for you to know that I care

    "The last part of the song is my message to this person, or anybody else who can get something out of it," he told Hit Parader in 1988. "It's like there's hope and a friendship note at the end of the song."
  • There is a legend attached to this song that happens to be true: the moaning and other sex sounds that appear in the middle of the song were recorded while Axl Rose was having sex with a woman in the recording studio - and she was drummer Steven Adler's girlfriend.

    Her name is Adriana Smith, and she did the deed "for the band" one night when she was mad at Adler. "For that song there was also something I tried to work out with various people - a recorded sex act," Axl Rose explained. "It was somewhat spontaneous but premeditated; something I wanted to put on the record. It was a sexual song and it was a wild night in the studio."

    Smith came to the studio looking to make Adler jealous, which is when Axl made his pitch about recording the act - you know, for art. Engineers miked up the floor of a vocal booth, dimmed the lights and hit the red button while Rose and Smith had at it. According to Smith, it was a bit awkward, as Axl wanted serious passion, which was hard to deliver under the circumstances. It took a while (and some alcohol), but they got what they needed and mixed the lovemaking into the song.

    Smith had a hard time in the aftermath, saying the incident "weighed on her soul." All she got out of it was a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a degree of infamy. The band headed out on tour, became wildly famous, and left Smith behind. She became a drug addict and spent a lot of time dealing with the shame she felt.
  • While performing this song in St. Louis in 1991, Axl Rose jumped into the crowd and hit a fan who had a camera. The singer said, "Thanks to the lame-ass security I'm going home," then walked off stage. The rest of the band soon followed, causing a full-scale riot to break out. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Owen - Liverpool, England
  • Michael Barbiero, who mixed the album, wanted nothing to do with recording the sex scene in the studio, so after setting up the microphones, he had assistant engineer Victor Deyglio record it. On the album, Deyglio is listed as "Victor 'The F--kin' Engineer' Deyglio" because of this contribution.

Comments: 26

  • Blake from LodiMost underrated song ever.
  • Estranged from Arkansas It wasn't "planned"; it just happened. \m/
  • Mike Pellegrini from BiloxiAll I can say as a Guns fan since I first saw them in 87 opening for the Crue on the Girls Tour is that ya just gotta watch that VH - 1 The Women of Sunset Strip & hear the dirt on this classic & my all time fav from the chick herself. Adriana was a kick ass metal chick in my book! Hell yea bottle of Jack & I'll do whatever for the band! NOW THAT'S f--kING METAL!!!
    And gotta say that last verse starting with
    I see you standing.....
    I still get goosebumps till this day jamming on 11 to that one! Classic Guns song that is and will be forever timeless!

  • Saraya from UsCati and Jon - Jon , you're dead wrong. Brayden, you got it on point... straight from the horses mouth(s).
    Some of ya'll need to do some research before you open your mouth.
  • Cait from UkIt says in Slash's autobiography that the girl was the drummer, Steven Adler's girlfriend and Axl DID have sex with her in the recording studio. The band put out candles, rose petals and covers to "set the mood".
  • Shannon from Houston, TxIt was for a FACT AXL not DUFF! BEST f--kING SONG THEY EVER RECORDED! althought they are all bad ass f--king songs.....just saying.
  • Snowjewel from Sudbury, OnTHE REAL DEAL "I wrote this song for this girl who was gonna have a band and she was gonna call it Rocket Queen. She kinda kept me alive for a while. The last part of the song is my message to this person" --Axl Rose Hit Parader 03/1988...READ the booklet for Appetite for Destruction it reads Barbi(Rocket Queen)VonGrief",NOW the moaning on the track was done by ADRIANA Steve's GF having sex with Axl. Axl asked her to have sex with him in the STUDIO so they could track it..she said yes I'll do it for the band and a bottle of JD. Watch VH1 women of sunset strip and hear it from Adriana herself...who the song was written for and the sex track have nothing to do with each other..
  • Elena from Paradise City, Australia, --I absolutely adore the Live version of this on Live: Era '87 - '93 disc 2 xD So angst-filled and thrill seeking, awesome. Though it's not actually part of the song, I love it when Axl says;
    "Alright, before we get into this next tune I wanna get some houselights on these f---ers? Can we do that? F---in', you can dance to this s--t...come on,"
  • Derek from Auburn, CaIn Slash's book he says the chick's name is Adriana Smith.
  • Muh from Essex, United KingdomGuys its simple enough to clear it all up, just check the details on wikipedia. It covers all the gossip, and also all the facts:

    "A credit in the booklet for Appetite for Destruction reads "Barbi (Rocket Queen) Von Grief", implying that she was "this girl" Rose mentions in the quote. Slash states that he and Duff McKagan wrote the main riff to "Rocket Queen" when they first got together, before either of them had joined Hollywood Rose or L.A. Guns.

    It has also been said that Rose brought a woman, Adriana Smith, to the studio for recording. Steve Thompson, an engineer on the album, said the following in an interview:

    Axl wanted some pornographic sounds on Rocket Queen, so he brought a girl in and they had sex in the studio. We wound up recording about 30 minutes of sex noises. If you listen to the break on Rocket Queen it's in there.

    It was later stated in the music magazine Classic rock, as well as Rolling Stone, that the person who had been recorded performing sex noises on the song was Adriana Smith, an on-off girlfriend of drummer Steven Adler, who also allegedly had an intimate relationship with frontman Rose."
  • Cati from Atlanta, GaLol Joshua and Brian, dead on. Anyways, Adrianna SMith didn't do it to get back at Steven Adler or cause she couldnt stick to no sex with other people (well, that was partway it). She had just always liked Axl more. And they didnt have sex in the studio, they recorded pornography sounds from her and over dubbed it. And she was a stripper, so it makes since.
  • Chelsea from Cincinatti, OhTruthfully,it's sick...but that's just my opinion don't bother listening to it, not like it has a matter anymore.
  • Vence from Los Angeles, CaNone of you have the story behind the sex sounds during "Rocket Queen" straight! Yes her name was Adriana Smith, and she did have sex with Axl!! But it was not to get back at Steven for cheating on her! She just had a hard time saying no to sex with anyone of the band members!!! She in fact cheated on Steven!!! I know because I knew her at the time and she tried to have sex with Slash while I was with him!!!!
  • Nicole from Chicago, IlAccording to a book about the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Axl Rose told John Frusciante that he specifically had the RHCP in mind when he wrote this song.
  • Joshua from Kingston Springs, Tnbrian in canada:you are dead on!old music will stick around,unlike the new stuff.can any one remember britney spears fir album?noooo!i'm eleven and this is all i listen to.
  • Brian from Vancouver, CanadaI know its 2008, but this song is my favourite right now....old music is ten times better than all the new stuff
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjYes I can spell. Just not on my last post
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjI like how the point of view changes in the lyrics. At first its a simple one night stand/sex song, then swiyches to this heartfelt plea from Axl to this girl to to take care of herself. You can't tell for sure if it's a girl friend, ex--girl friend or what. Greta song. greta riff,lyrics and vocal
  • Brayden from Lawrenceburg, TnGuys LOL Nick is the only correct one here her name was Adriana Smith Axl had sex with her in the studio while overdubbing the song. Get the Guns N' Roses issue of the Rolling Stone. it answers these questions.she was gettn back at Adler bcuz he cheated on her (the drummer), so she was drunk & giggly but gave Axl her orgasmic moans.
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlA Rolling Stone article in August 2007 pretty much lays to rest any of the questions anyone had about this song.

    There are indeed 2 people having sex in the background of this song. Those people are Axl Rose and a woman named Adriana, who at the time was the girlfriend of then-drummer Steven Adler. Adriana went along with this to get back at Adler for cheating on her.

    Having participated in this, and having millions and millions of people buy and listen to the record it was on caused a lot of psychological damage to her, according to the article, as she heavily abused drugs and alcohol in the years following the release of A4D. She's now 40 and a single mom.
  • Mr.goodtimes from Edmonton, Canadapretty sure it was axl that had his way with the babe in rocket queen...check the LA Guns self titled sleeve, it has a little tribute to barbie as well...
  • Jon-jon from Jhb , South Africaand by the way her name was Barbie Vongrief , from LA , her nick name was Rocket Queen
  • Jon-jon from Jhb , South AfricaIt was Duff who had sex with a groupie while they were recording the single in LA not Axl , yes its true they recored her and put it in the track .
    True brillance .
  • Bill from Raleigh, NcDEFFINETLY one of the best GNR songs ever to exist;if you like GNR to to youtube & search forr thee was a time
  • Jeremy from Lafayette, LaI really doubt he actually did some chick in the studio. I REALLY doubt it. Axl might be out of his mind, but he has some common sense. That's a little far-fetched.
  • Oneinamillion from Nyc, NyHonestly, one of my favorite songs off of Appetite for Destruction. "Only Anything Goes" & "Think About You" beat it for me, really. Pure sex, yo :P
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