The Tragic Childhood Of Axl Rose

When it comes to rock personalities who are often portrayed by the media as "kind of a jerk," Axl Rose has historically been a part of the ranks. No one can deny that the guy has put out some seriously catchy tunes as the frontman of Guns N' Roses. And though his childhood isn't an excuse for any unpalatable behavior he may have exhibited, it certainly gives us a little insight into the trouble he's had in his past.

To be honest, it's surprising that Rose ever became a musician in the first place. His stepfather was a strict, religious man who didn't much approve of Rose's love of music. Rose told the LA Times that he was forced to keep his love quiet, going so far as to have his friends play him songs over the phone while he pretended they were having a conversation. He also had trouble in school. In 1992 he told Rolling Stone that he was quite the smart cookie, but it didn't prevent him from dropping out of high school twice. This certainly adds to the tragedy of Rose's life, but the darkness gets much, much worse.

Rose's real father is a dark stain he actively suppressed

During the Rolling Stone interview, Rose discussed his experiences going through regression therapy and some of the unsavory memories that were dredged up in the process. To begin with, Rose didn't even know his "real father" was a thing. He was raised to believe his stepfather was his biological dad, only to discover insurance papers that said otherwise when he was 17. And if Rose's regression therapy dredges were real, it's probably better he didn't know about the guy.

Rose says his mother's "eyes turn black" any time his real father is mentioned in conversation. He proceeds to lay out a memory that sounds much like a horror story. Rose claims to have been kidnapped by his father when he was only two years old. "I remember a needle. I remember getting a shot," Rose says, "And I remember being sexually abused by this man and watching something horrible happen to my mother when she came to get me."

This alleged incident, from what Rose says, had a lasting impact; he believes it to be the source of his negative thoughts towards women, sex, and homosexuality.

He had issues with his stepfather as well

Though Axl Rose admits his stepfather helped him get his "head together," he never says the guy was a good man, and in fact says the exact opposite, dropping the man's alleged evils all over the interview. It goes way beyond emotional issues, and further, Rose claims his mother picked his stepfather over him at every conceivable turn.

According to Rose, his stepfather wasn't much better than his biological father. Rose says that his stepfather molested Rose's sister for 20 years, a detail Rose didn't know until he was already an adult. He also says the man beat them often and tried to control every part of their lives. "My stepfather is one of the most dangerous human beings I've ever met. It's very important that he's not in my life anymore or in my sister's," Rose told Rolling Stone. To go from one dark parental situation directly into another is no way for any child to live.