A Wedding And A Few Funerals: Guns ‘n’ Roses Video Showdown!

Nov 16th, 2007 // 21 Comments

slashnovemberrainstill.jpg Every few months or so, it rains here in Phoenix, and inevitably, it’s quite an event, the highlight of the radio traffic reporter’s month, the lead story on the ten o’clock news, and the only allowable topic of workplace conversation. So when it rained last night, every radio station that could squeak it into their format seemed to have “November Rain” playing as I skipped around the dial. Get it? It’s November, and there’s rain! Hilarious. However, the nine minutes–less on the adult contemporary station that fade out early–of Axl and Slash brought up an important question: Which epic-imagery-filled Use Your Illusion-era video do you think is better, “November Rain” or “Don’t Cry”?

“November Rain” is much more popular these days, and it’s hard to argue with the video being at least a slight front-runner. There’s a symphony conducted by Kenny G’s Italian uncle, a deeply symbolic wedding complete with a ruined cake, and Slash rocking the desert church’s parking lot. It really does have everyhing you could want.

However, “Don’t Cry” might be all a dream inside the mind of a baby, which is kind of awesome, and, possibly coincidentally, the premise behind the entire recorded output of Coheed and Cambria. The whole thing makes much less sense, which is something I appreciate, from Gollum-Axl underneath the graveyard, Hollywood-Axl walking through a mirror, and the added bonus of Shannon Hoon’s finest hour. And babies, with changing eye color! It’s madness!

So we leave it in your hands. Decide once and for all, which is more awesome?

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November Rain [YouTube]
Don’t Cry [YouTube]


  1. dentist

    B bb b but “Estranged” has dolphins!

  2. J DTZR

    Did they make a video for “Locomotive?” Or “Coma?” “Cuz both them songs are way cooler than the bloated, overblown mess that is “November Rain.”

  3. The Notorious T

    Don’t forget that “Don’t Cry” has the added bonus of having two versions with alternate lyrics. Neither of which make the meaning of the video any clearer.

  4. Bob Loblaw

    Yeah, but “November Rain” has the added bonus of Stephanie Seymour dying from Phantom of the Opera disease.

  5. Camp Tiger Claw

    Don’t Cry because Axl was wearing that bitchin pair of Converse that said “AXL” on the back.

    It was an omen since now all of his clothes say “XXL” on the tag.

  6. Bob Loblaw

    (And the most gratuitous leap into a wedding cake in the history of leaps into wedding cakes.)

  7. Halfwit

    Jeez… tough call. “November Rain” has desert guitar solos AND live orchestra performance shots. “Don’t Cry” has Axl on a rooftop (and Shannon Hoon), plus Slash commiting some pretty awesome vehicular manslaughter (but still living to do the solo).

    As far as songs go, though, “November Rain” is just 8 minutes of delayed orgasm followed by 90 seconds of awesome. “Don’t Cry” wins hands down (though the alternate lyrics are awful).

  8. Al Shipley

    @dentist: Seriously! I don’t know if you guys remember this, but “Don’t Cry” and “November Rain” and “Estranged” were actually part of some sort of batshit video trilogy, and I think all 3 parts should be represented here. I’d totally vote for “Estranged” if it was an option (best song, craziest video).

  9. Al Shipley

    @J DTZR: I think those were literally the only Use Your Illusion songs they didn’t make videos for.

  10. The Notorious T

    I can’t view streaming media here at work, but didn’t “Dont Cry” also have the infamous “Where’s Izzy” sign?

    +1 “Don’t Cry”

  11. tigerpop

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my vote’s with Don’t Cry: for the Phil Spector-esque domestic battle; for the we-can-afford-it-so-why-not helicopter flyover; and for the totally awesome girl-fight (made doubly awesome by Duff, Slash and Matt cheering the whole thing on). And Slash coming back from the dead? Poetry, brah. (November Rain wins for best overall Slash presence, however.)

  12. dorothyshaw

    On the rewatch, Don’t Cry definitely takes the cake. It makes November Rain seem positively linear.

    MTV must’ve edited the fuck out of the beginning of Don’t Cry, because I swear I have never seen Axl stomp through the snow in the keep all fantasy novelish before.

  13. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @Camp Tiger Claw: I THINK that was the video for “Estranged.” I seem to remember those sneaks getting a close-up in that one…

  14. cassidy2099

    Ditto on the girl fight. Also the graveside picnic.

  15. Vince Neilstein

    Dude, you left off “Estranged,” the final episode of the three-part trilogy! That one would get my vote. Judging by the comments, I’m not the only one.

  16. Chris N.

    I went for “Don’t Cry” solely for the “Where’s Izzy?” sign. That sign said a great deal about Guns N’ Roses.

  17. the rich girls are weeping

    OMG, not just any ruined wedding cake — a wedding cake ruined by flying Riki Rachtman!

  18. Trackback

    Our buds over at Idolator are having a little poll about the epic Guns N’ Roses videos from the Use Your Illusions, “November Rain” and “Don’t Cry.” In one corner we have wedding-day Axl and Slash’s desert church parking lot guitar solo, and in the other…

  19. Jay-C

    I remember trying to find the short story “Without You” for months when this was in MTV heavy-rotation…It was only recently when reading Slash’s book that Del James was just a buddy of Axl’s not some famous writer…I still voted for it…

  20. katieee

    I voted “November Rain” for the delightful tomfoolery in which Slash pats himself down for Axl’s ring, only to have Duff coolly present it to him on his pinky. But really, the entire trilogy deserves some scholarly analysis.

  21. PrinceHal

    “Don’t Cry,” although Slash’s “November Rain” solo shots are undeniable.
    It appears Axl’s therapy is going nowhere.

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