Does Axl Rose sing on Bloomington in Guns N ‘Roses Paradise City?


Bloomington is without a doubt a quintessential college town, with rolling hills and stunning scenery. A city of “both dreamers and doers”. Home of Indiana University Hoosiers.

But is the city of 85,000 inhabitants in southern Indiana, in the heart of America, really the ultimate utopia for an 80s rock star?

This is what some people have speculated for years, suggesting that the Guns N ‘Roses song “Paradise City” isn’t about New York or Los Angeles or London or Paris but is, in fact, all places, about Bloomington. All this because the natives of Lafayette Axl rose and Izzy Stradlin are said to have taken road trips to IU, “where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.”

Take me to the city of Paradise

Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty

Oh won’t you please take me home

Take me to the city of Paradise

So could Bloomington, in fact, be the ‘City of paradise’?

For some time now, Indianapolis sports broadcaster Jake Query has been linked to the theory, attributed “every few years” as a “friend of Axl Rose.”

Query is indeed a long-time proud fan of the rock band. He was in his sophomore at North Central High School when “Appetite for Destruction” came out and saw them in concert several times, most recently earlier this month at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But be prepared to be disappointed.

Query never met Axl Rose or spoke with Guns N ‘Roses frontman singer

He’s not “close friends” with Rose, as they say, and he’s never even met the musician. And although he worked in radio, he says he was never a DJ, as people have quoted him.

The story originated as an “urban legend” during his years at North Central High School, but was further fueled by the “natural rivalry” between Purdue in West Lafayette and Indiana University at Bloomington, when Query was student.

“Somehow we convinced ourselves of that… that the folks at Purdue would come to IU to party because it was a nicer campus with nicer girls,” Query told IndyStar. “We all joked, like ‘Paradise City’, yeah Izzy and Axl wrote that about Bloomington because they’re from Lafayette, so they know what ‘Paradise City’ would be. And it’s not Lafayette, it’s Bloomington.

The campus-wide rumor is specifically tied to him, he believes, due to comments on a radio show over a decade ago.

Bloomington as “Paradise City” was an absurd theory he repeated on the radio

He worked at WIBC when they were on the air discussing funny incidents of misunderstood music and song lyrics.

“We were talking about it, and I was just saying, ‘Oh, listen to this one.'”

He told his friends’ theory story about “Paradise City” – poking fun at their own nonsense, he says, but “somehow or another that has turned into reality.”

Query says that if he met Rose in real life, he would share this story and her somewhat accidental involvement.

“I’ve been really lucky to have had some really cool, cool people in my career – 99% of whom weren’t exciting enough to be in the newspaper,” Query said. “And the one people seem to want to talk about the most is the one that never happened.”

Contact Rashika Jaipuriar at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @rashikajpr.



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