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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Inspired by Sweet Child O' Mine, here are more Guns N’ Roses songs that are bad ideas for kids books

Illustration for article titled Inspired by Sweet Child O' Mine, here are more Guns N’ Roses songs that are bad ideas for kids books
Photo: Gary Miller (Getty Images)

Today, in Guns N’ Roses are now children’s authors news: Guns N’ Roses are now children’s authors, with Stereogum reporting that the Axl Rose-fronted band—still technically on tour after reuniting a few years back, despite all—have now gotten into the kids lit game. Specifically they’re teaming up with James Patterson—whose legal thriller career hasn’t stopped him from becoming a very prolific children’s author as well—on a book about two kids who used to tour with the band, based on their manager’s daughter and niece. Oh, and it’s titled “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” which: Hmm.

See, the thing is that “Sweet Child O’ Mine”—admittedly, a pretty tender song by GNR standards—is about the singer’s girlfriend, and not, in fact, an actual child o’ his. (And yes, most of the lyrics translate over to talking about a kid fairly well, but we’d definitely argue that “Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place/Where as a child I’d hide/And pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by” is at least weird in that context.) Which sort of makes the whole concept of turning the song into a children’s book (about fictionalized versions of actual children) feel vaguely inappropriate. It’d be a bit like Ringo Starr dedicating a sensitive teen novel based on “You’re Sixteen” to his own kid, or Steven Tyler casting his daughter in the music video for a song about a woman driving a man to literal insanity with her sexy, pole-dancing ways. (Hmm, again.)


Anyway, because we’re us, it took roughly 20 seconds from the announcement of this book for the Slack channels of The A.V. Club to begin filling with other suggestions for awful kids’ books that could be based around classic GNR tunes. Literary efforts like “Back Off Bitch,” about a sweet old hound dog that follows Axl and crew around on tour, or “November Rain,” a children’s primer on temporary seasonal weather patterns. “Welcome To The Jungle” could either be a fun safari trip or an introduction to the works of Upton Sinclair, depending on the target age group, while “Live And Let Die” might tell the story of a lonely d20, shunned by his six-sided brethren, who one day grows up to be embraced by a happy crew of Dungeons And Dragons nerds. Really, these things write themselves (possibly with James Patterson’s help): “Mr. Brownstone,” about a talking apartment building. “You Could Be Mine,” a child’s guide to harvesting coal. “Pretty Tied Up,” an intro text for knots.

Wait, don’t go! You haven’t even heard our pitch for a pair of Christian YA novels based around “Paradise City” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”! Our line of Asian poli-sci textbooks themed around Chinese Democracy! The sci-fi adventures of the “Rocket Queen”! “Don’t Cry,” a therapy manual for terrible therapists! The inadvisable possibilities are endless!