An Alternative to Guns N’ Roses: Part 1 – 10 Minute Warning

So, as we all know by now, Slash and Duff have joined Axl’s Guns N’ Roses wagon.  How long for is anyone’s guess, as is the question over why they bothered (while not exactly my cup of coffee, Slash is doing really well with that Myles Kennedy chap. So much so, that I reckon his ‘brand’ is stronger than GN’R these days).  There have also been some articles zipping around the information super-highway about them recording.  As someone who loved GN’R when I was a tad younger, I’ve been surprised by how indifferent I feel about this whole thing.  Kinda the same way I felt about Chinese Democracy.  Perhaps I’ll pick up the Record Store Day 2034 double LP.

But seriously, what happens when they’ve played Appetite For Destruction?  What then?  Cause that’s really what folks want.  And this isn’t even Guns N’ Roses.  Isn’t it just Axl Rose with guest stars Slash and Duff?

Anyhoo, to celebrate the ‘return of GN’R’, I’ll be highlighting a couple of my favourite GN’R related projects.  Reasons not to bother with ‘The Most Dangerous Band In the World’ (© GN’R 1986).  So, despite the GN’R fever gripping the world of rock n’ roll, put away your GN’R sweatbands, Charlie Manson t-shirts, red bandannas, and GN’R records / CDs / tapes (most likely Appetite For Destruction, right?).

Not that I’m anti-Guns N’ Roses or anything.

10 Minute Warning – 10 Minute Warning
Sub Pop, 1998

10 minute

Duff returned to his pre-GN’R outfit at the request / suggestion of Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard.  See, Ten Minute Warning were one of Seattle’s finest before they split in 1984.  You could say they were one of the scene’s most important bands.  They took punk and hardcore and slowed it down; played it heavier and sludgier than folks had considered doing before and their influence can be heard in the likes of Soundgarden, Green River, Alice In Chains, and even Pearl Jam (Stone Gossard credits them as the band that inspired him to learn guitar, Jeff Ament was also a fan -“we were in such awe of that band”, and Mark Arm “couldn’t believe that Duff quit Ten Minute Warning and moved to L.A. for this” when he saw GN’R “butcher the Stones” in 1985).

Though an album was recorded for Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label, nothing was released prior to their break-up.  However, following the band’s reunion, they headed in with Jack Endino and recorded their debut for Sub Pop.  Despite being absent for a good 14 years and needing to recruit a new singer, the music still flows with all that good stuff that made the Seattle scene special.  There’s the muddy Soundgarden-esque riffage and Alice In Chains-ish grind in the likes of Pictures and Earthe, while the opener Swollen Rage has the swagger of five guys walking down a street on a cold winter evening.  Buried might be something Axl Rose would have liked to rant over, while you can hear their Black Flag influences on No More Time and Is This The Way? (Henry Rollins once called them the “punk rock Hawkwind”).

Unfortunately, the band went their separate ways (again) a few months after releasing the album.  But it’s a belter.  A heavy, grinding punk-rock force.

Band Members:

Steve Varewolf (vocals 1982-1984)
Christopher Blue (vocals 1996-1998)
Paul Solger (lead guitar)
Duff McKagan (guitar)
Greg Gilmore (drums)
David Garrigues (bass)

Quotes attributed to Jeff Ament, Mark Arm, and Henry Rollins from Greg Prato’s Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History Of Seattle Rock Music.



      1. Some songs are brilliant. Title track, “I Love You”, the songs with Kravitz and Sebastian singing…but then you have that weird rap thing, and the jazz outro that sounds so stoned.


      2. I agree. I mean, I like it, but god some of it is awful. I think Duff wanted to do something really diverse to prove he wasn’t just the blonde bass guy in GNR. And I can understand that…Izzy’s album was just straight-ahead, “Here’s my real sound. Take it or leave it.”


      3. Yup – completely agree. There are definitely some interesting selections on there. Strangely enough, he’s got the most diverse discography of all the ex-gunners. Be it albums or appearances on albums by others.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. He’s so prolific. I have an interview with him from 1993 where he’s talking about how much he writes. He was saying he had like 4 albums with of non-GNR material, plus stuff he was writing with Iggy Pop, Lenny Kravitz and all these other guys.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I like your alternative theme. Looking forward to others. The Face First song has a Blondie-One Way Or Another influence as well that comes out in some of the guitar work. I will have to investigate them more. Too bad they didn’t put more stuff out.


  2. Brilliant! Duff was always my second fave GNR-er. Despite being an Alternative Tentacles geek I’d never heard of this lot at all.


      1. As far as I can tell from all the reading I’ve done, it’s real. Tickets were “retro priced” at $10 each and sold out in minutes. If this IS a prank, there will be a riot.

        Could still be a riot, we’ll have to wait and see. Believe me I will be scouring the Youtubes tomorrow, before Axl’s lawyers take it all down.


      2. But possibly unforgivable. Fans have been jerked around so much.

        Do you realize nobody is even sure what the lineup is? There has been no confirmation if Steve Adler will be there or not. The only clue is that he DID have a solo gig tonight, that was cancelled about 2 weeks ago. So we know Adler’s not doing anything else tonight.


      3. I read about Adler’s gig cancellation last week. Didn’t realise it was tonight – if this goes ahead I imagine it’ll be a run-through of Appetite with Steven. Possibly Izzy? Can’t see him jumping back into the circus full-time, though.

        I saw on Duff’s instagram that a whole bunch of dates have been announced today. Maybe this is their way to celebrate.

        Still, it would be the ultimate prank. The whole thing was leading up to today. All a big prank. Ha!


  3. Bringing The Rock J! Nice tidy little wrap up! This whole GNR thingy is just I dunno a very quick payday for about 26 dates for now! The Gunners Smash N Cash Grab Tour has basically zapped my enthusiasm for all the cool stuff Slash did with Kennedy……
    Myles Kennedy is recording another AlterBridge album..Yahoo….I’ll toss my hat in that ring instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s an argument that the ex-gunner output is better than the post-Appetite GN’R albums. Which I guess isn’t too difficult …, as it’s a fairly universal opinion that the albums are rotten – Use Your Illusion would have been an ace 12 track LP, but it’s a bit bloated, and though I like “The Spaghetti Incident?” most appear to be of the opinion that it’s dreadful.

      … that considered, it’s amazing that there’s so much hype out there for them. Though that’s for a post further down the line!


  4. Not familiar with this one. Sounds intriguing though. I wasn’t aware of Duff’s Seattle connection. I believe Greg Gilmore was in one of my favorite Seattle bands, Mother Love Bone. Another one to dig into.


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