Tom Zutaut is best known as the A&R manager who signed Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue in the 1980s. Without him, the two bands would probably not have achieved the fame and success they enjoyed under his management. He is now retired, but the influence he had on Guns N’ Roses especially cannot go unnoticed. You can learn how Zutaut was patient enough to mold the teenagers into renowned rock band members through these ten facts.
1. He Wishes “Reckless Life” was on Guns N’ Roses’ Debut Album
After signing with Geffen Records in March 1986, Guns N’ Roses had to record something; hence they came up with a four-track EP. The band did not have enough songs to make an album, and they only released 10,000 copies in cassette and vinyl formats. One of the songs in the EP is “Reckless Life,” and, according to SleazeRoxx, if Zutaut could go back in time, he would have it in the band’s debut album. He tried including it but reportedly did not get his way because Chris Weber co-wrote it, and including it would have resulted in a publishing issue.
2. He Has Held on to Guns N’ Roses’ 1986 LP
You would think that since Zutaut did so much to ensure that the band was a success, he would be eager to listen to the LP. However, the A&R manager held on to it and opened it for the first time in 2017saying he had saved it for a special moment. According to him, it is the last great record made by hand on a console; hence in his opinion, it will stand the test of time.
3. His Favorite Guns N’ Roses Song
Most of the songs comprising the debut album were written by individual band members before forming Guns N’ Roses. One of the songs is “Think about You,” written by Izzy Stradlin, and of the 12 tracks, this particular one is Zutaut’s favorite. He loves it so much that he insisted on it coming second on side two of the album. The record producer also ensured that the song had acoustic guitar mixed quite loud at the center, which was reminiscent of The Rolling Stones, a band he was fond of as a child.
4. “The Dirt” Made Him a Celebrity
Netflix released “The Dirt” based on Neil Strauss’s 2001 Motley Crue biography, and it changed Zutaut’s life. Since he once was an A&R manager for the band, people were curious to know if anything had been left out or misrepresented. Therefore, within days of the movie’s release, the record producer had received over 2,000 friend requests on social media.
5. He Had Faith That Guns N’ Roses Would be the Biggest Rock Band
Before Guns N’ Roses even recorded their debut album, Zutaut told Geffen that they would be the biggest rock band worldwide. He put his money where his mouth was by asking for a $75,000 advance to sign the band. The faith stemmed from him listening to them play two songs, and the record producer felt that Slash, then only 19-years-old, was much better than Jimmy Page. Thankfully, his efforts did not go to waste because after selling over 30milion copies to date, “Appetite for Destruction” is the best-selling debut album of all time.
6. How He Got MTV to Finally Play “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Although Zutaut had predicted that the debut album would be a success, he did not know that it would take so long. After nine months since its release, the album had only sold 200,000 units. The low figure was so disappointing that even Geffen was considering walking away from the record. Radio stations and MTV were not interested in playing the “Welcome to The Jungle” video and song. However, Zutaut was not ready to give up, so according to LA Weekly, he talked to David Geffen, who got the MTV CEO to play the video. After being played once, it was added to the rotation.
7. He Learned That His Ex-Girlfriend Cheated on Him after the Motley Crue Biography was Written
Zutaut had been dating his girlfriend for a year and thought they would get married. However, one morning, she told him she had to break up with him because the relationship was not working. For twenty years, the record producer wondered what made her change her mind, but the answer came when Strauss wanted to fact check for the Motley Crue memoir. It was then that Zutaut learned that his ex-girlfriend had cheated on him with Vince Neil, the lead vocalist for Motley Crue.
8. He Wishes Neil Apologized for the Infidelity
His girlfriend being unfaithful to him was terrible but what was worse is that it was with someone he trusted. After Zutaut knew that the ex-girlfriend cheated on him with Neil, he expected him to be sorry, although it happened years ago. However, Neil has avoided the record producer since then. The other band members also knew what had happened, but Zutaut felt they were reluctant to disclose the truth, fearing they would lose out on the record deal.
9. He Spent Nine Months Trying to Get Axl Rose to Record an Album
Rose began working on an album titled “Chinese Democracy” in 1994, but by 2005, he was yet to release it. According to The New York Times, after the original Guns N’ Roses members quit, Rose continued recruiting new members but without a clear direction of where he wanted the band to go. When Zutaut was brought in to try and coax Rose into recording the long-overdue album, he wasted nine months because Rose still could not do it.
10. He Can Be Conniving
When Zutaut watched Guns N’ Roses perform at the Troubadour, he did not wait for the show to end. He left after two songs and noticed many A&R representatives were looking to sign the band. So as he left, he lied to them that the band was poor, but deep in his heart, Zutaut knew that he would do anything to sign Guns N’ Roses, which he did.
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