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April 18, 2019

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Commissioner, women’s shelter call ad for Guns N’ Roses concerts ‘inappropriate’

Guns n' Roses


This version of the Guns n’ Roses’ banned album cover is being used to promote its residency at Hard Rock Hotel’s Joint. A more explicit version of the artwork, used on its website, depicts the woman with a breast exposed and her underwear below her knees which, critics say, strongly suggests sexual assault.

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 | 3:38 p.m.

Guns N' Roses' Paradise City Road

Paradise Road is temporarily renamed Paradise City Road on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in honor of Guns N' Roses' run at the Hard Rock Hotel from Oct. 31 through Nov. 24, 2012. Launch slideshow »

A Clark County commissioner said she regrets the commission’s decision to temporarily rename Paradise Road to Paradise City Road to promote Guns N’ Roses concerts because an ad for the iconic group’s concerts depicts what appears to be a sexually assaulted woman beneath the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.

“Paradise City” is among the band’s best-selling songs. Guns N’ Roses will be resident artists at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel through Nov. 24. Paradise Road runs alongside the Hard Rock.

The ad is a revised version of the group’s banned cover of its first album, “Appetite for Destruction.” The cartoon-like drawing depicts a robotic monster lurking over a skeletal robot, with a disheveled woman sprawled on a sidewalk, her underwear pulled down below her knees and her blouse opened, exposing a breast. The “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, and another that reads “Welcome to Paradise Sin City” have been added to the drawing for the current concert promotion.

The artwork appears on the group’s website selling tickets to its shows at the Joint, and a somewhat sanitized version — no exposed breast and no underwear — is used in mainstream advertising including newspaper promotions and taxicab placards.

When the Sun posted the story Monday about the street name change, a reader responded, “So with this ad, do you really think violence against women doesn’t resonate? Why would the county commissioners not recognize this demoralization of women and then go ahead and name a street after this band?”

Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, who represented the county at the ceremony commemorating the temporary name change, said she was unaware of the ad promoting the concert that the county was throwing its support behind.

“I hadn’t seen the advertising before the media event,” she said Tuesday. “It’s clearly inappropriate. Maybe it’s the risk of doing business with a rock band, but I guess we’ll have some remorse over this decision. It’s a lesson learned.”

A spokeswoman for Safe Nest, a woman's shelter, said the county should rescind the street name change and that the Joint and the rock band should apologize and stop using the image because it promotes acceptance of violence against women.

"It’s very frustrating to see approval — almost a celebration — of rape and violence against women," said Lisa Lynn Chapman. "Our community has enough issues with domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and so many other violent issues that to have this being paraded around town on taxicabs and in advertising is very offensive."

Even the toned-down version of the ad reflects violence, because of the torn garments, and allowing that sort of image "makes it easier to perpetuate a culture of violence against women," Chapman said. Guns N' Roses "should not be rewarded (with a street name in its honor) for this kind of insult against our community."

Neither the Hard Rock Hotel nor Guns N' Roses returned calls seeking comment.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority offered an “Oh, boy” when told of the promotion's artwork and then deferred to county government officials for comment.

The county prepared a street sign for Paradise City Road for presentation to the group on the assurance that promoters would reimburse the county the $300 cost of making it. There were no plans to actually post the sign on street corners.

Scow said she thought she had done due diligence before attending Monday’s event, saying she even looked to the lyrics of “Paradise City.”

She said she liked the song’s chorus: “Take me down to the paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty ...”

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