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Local pop act bill recently returned from Toronto, Canada, where their new album End of the Hits was mixed by Steve Thompson, famed for his work on Guns N’ Roses’ hit disc Appetite for Destruction. “We learned all the gossip we ever wanted to know about Guns N’ Roses,” says guitarist Dagart Allison. “Steve let us listen to the demo version of ‘November Rain,’ which had been in the works years before Use Your Illusion came out. It was a lo-fi recording of an out-of-tune guitar and a scratchy-voiced Axl that seemed like a very distant relative of the grandiose final version.”

Outside the studio, however, “We were surprised to be rudely snubbed by Canadians at the airport and at the bus stop.… We went to jump on the metro [bus], but we didn’t have exact change. Not sure how things work in Canada, before jumping on the bus we asked the driver, ‘Do we need exact change?’ He answered ‘No’ but proceeded to slam the door in our faces and drive off.…

“Just when we thought we were all set to return to the good ol’ USA, customs security decided to do a thorough search of Jon [Coyle, singer/keyboardist]. Upon inspection, they found a small pumpkin with a face painted on it. While holding the pumpkin face squarely pointed at Jon, they proceeded to lecture [him] about the dangers of agricultural infringements and threatened a $10,000 fine. But they let Jon go with the agreement that the pumpkin stays.”

– Jay Allen Sanford

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