Q. Why hasn't Axl Rose self-destructed yet?
A. Up until a while ago, the lead singer of the heavy metal rock band Guns 'N Roses seemed to be headed in that direction. Controversial, wild and rambunctious, given to occasional heavy drinking bouts and prone to smashing guitars and furniture, many rock insiders likened him to singer Jim Morrison, who died in his prime. Morrison was found in his bathtub, dead of heart failure. There were rumors of heavy drug use. But Morrison, strangely enough, is the one who turned Rose around."You know, I went to Morrison's grave site last year," says Rose, referring to the tomb in France. "I knew I could go the same way Jim did; that I could go down in flames; crucify myself on the altar of rock 'n' roll. Everyone's always talking about me dying anyway, it would be easy to do . . . I just sat down next to where he was lying, if he's even there. I was just thinking. I don't even remember how long I was there.
"It was one of those depressing gray days. Nobody recognized me, so I was left alone. And, you know, it was like a turning point. I just realized that I could sacrifice myself like Morrison did, if I wanted to. That was my turning point - that it was up to me. I could keep going the way I was going and end up like that."
After looking at Morrison's grave, Rose realized that "if you die, the path of excess leads to a dirt plot in a foreign land that people pour booze on and put out cigarettes on." What he saw more than anything, however, was "death. And it wasn't hip and it wasn't glamorous. It was just a waste."
Q. Why hasn't Claus von Bulow made any public comments about the film "Reversal of Fortune"?
A. Von Bulow, now living in London, hasn't commented on the film that dramatizes his second trial for the suspected insulin poisoning of wife/heiress Sunny - because he can't. Sunny's two children from her first marriage, it seems, have forbid it (von Bulow, played by Jeremy Irons in the film, was ultimately found not guilty; Sunny remains in a coma).
"I'm sorry," von Bulow told a member of the media lately, "but I am contractually precluded from speaking to any member of the media . . . about the movie or about the weath-ah. In other words, the December 1987 `family peace treaty,' which enabled my daughter to inherit her share (of Sunny's fortune), precluded me from saying anything."
The reporter, interviewing him over the telephone, suggested to von Bulow that he was being "affable" yet "wary."
"Well," von Bulow responded, laughing, "wouldn't you be in my situation? Hah-hah-hah-hah!"
Q. What's the latest, most trendy celebrity hangout in Hollywood?
A. Surprisingly, it isn't a restaurant, or a nightclub or a champagne bar but . . . a gun club. Founded nine years ago by jewelry security consultant Arthur Kassel, the Beverly Hills Gun Club has suddenly become all the rage for bull's-eye loving celebs.
Among those who frequent the club - for either amusement, security reasons or to prepare for movie roles - are Geena Davis, Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, George Peppard, Robert Culp, Jermaine Jackson, Rebecca De Mornay, Lisa Hartman, Charlie Sheen, Arsenio Hall and Mickey Rourke. Sean Penn, of course, loves the place, as does Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis is such a pro with a gun that one of her recent paper targets is on display at the club. Out of 10 shots, she hit six bull's-eyes. "That's good shooting by anyone's standards," says club range master Craig Cox.
One of the reasons so many celebs love the Beverly Hills Gun Club is that they are left to their own devices. "Most of them come in with the attitude that they already know what they're doing," says Cox. "It's fairly casual. Celebrities talk about things like the movies they're doing."
Most of the rich and celebrated who drop by to blast a few, notes Cox, aren't there to prepare for an attack against a zealous fan, though. Although business has picked up after the death of Rebecca Schaeffer (who was shot and killed by a crazed fan in July 1989), Cox says most celebrities "tend to take their needs to professional security services..."