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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

The First 50 Gigs Host Photo Exhibit Celebration of Guns N’ Roses’ 35th Anniversary of Debut Album

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

The First 50 Gigs: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction podcast hosted a special celebratory photo exhibition on July 21, exactly 35 years since the release of the groundbreaking album, at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. The exhibition included exclusive never before seen images and Marc Canter’s personal collection of Guns N’ Roses memorabilia, as well as a Q & A with Marc Canter and Jack Lue, the first Guns N’ Roses photographers.

The Q & A was moderated by MTV’s 120 Minutes television host Matt Pinfield. Pinfield interviewed Marc Canter, co-author of Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite For Destruction and co-host of the Top 50 Gigs podcast, and Jack Lue, music photographer and the original Guns N’ Roses photographer.

Canter joined the interview via Zoom after testing positive for COVID; however, that did not stop Canter from sharing his fascination and knowledge of Guns N’ Roses with guests. Canter took the audience down memory lane, sharing various stories regarding the origin of the band, his friendship with Slash, what made the group stand out, and his impact on the band. Canter spoke about early concerts performed by the band that caused riots and the band’s impeccable crowd control despite being booed, hit by bottles and nearly thrown off stage.

Before all their success, Guns N’ Roses members shared a single-room space together, which did not have a bathroom, forcing the members to use the bathrooms of local restaurants. Canter shared that Axl Rose’s first goal was to get a gym membership simply to have access to a shower. Even as he saw the struggle Guns N’ Roses faced amidst the early years, Canter felt the need to document the band as he was sure he was witnessing his friends’ rise to stardom.

Mid-interview Pinfield asked Jack Lue to join him on stage to share his story and perspective of the early years of Guns N’ Roses. Lue spoke about meeting Slash and Canter through his brother and becoming friends as he was the only one with a car. Lue was quickly asked by the band to be their official photographer as the band needed images for flyers and press photographs. Lue shot some of the photos after the Hell Tour at Canter’s Deli and at the Troubadour July 21 show.

Upon arrival at the Bourbon Room, guests were allowed to browse and see the exclusive personal collection of photographs and memorabilia of Marc Canter. The Bourbon Room transported guests into the early stages of Guns N’ Roses, decorated with flyers from concerts at the Whisky a Go Go, The Wiltern and other venues before the band was popular. The Bourbon Room played Guns N’ Roses songs and early video footage of the band as guests browsed photographs up for sale. Guests were also allowed to bid on a NFT photograph of guitarist and rock and roll icon, Slash, performing on stage for the first time ever in public in 1982 at Fairfax High School.

Ex-drummer and original member of Guns N’ Roses, Steven Adler, was a planned special guest but was unable to make it to the event for unknown reasons. More Guns N’ Roses stories are available on the first season of Top 50 First Gigs podcast, available on Spotify and Patreon; bonus episodes and exclusive audio and videos from Canter’s archive are available via subscription.

(Original article can be found on

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