Although the series concludes with the gritty disenchantment of early Nineties grunge, its final episode proposes Guns N’ Roses as “the ultimate American band”. Over shots of a scrawny Axl Rose gyrating with leonine threat to the metal groove of a band almost completely obscured by massive manes of shaggy hair, a voice over explains that “they had the swagger, theatricality and arrogance of the big Seventies bands like Aerosmith and Alice Cooper but mixed in with the sleaze and energy of punk and British hard rock. They existed in the mainstream alongside pop stars and power ballads but they were completely anti-establishment.”
Well it is true, that they sold 28 million copies worldwide of their 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction (not the 50 million claimed in the programme), and I purchased one myself. But I look at all that flamboyant screeching, widdly guitar and sexist posturing and think is that really the best a country of three hundred million can do?