There are certain songs whose lyrics you know without ever owning the album. Then there are some songs that define an album. For me, “It’s So Easy” was one of the songs that defined Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 gritty classic Appetite for Destruction, and I wasn’t even a headbanger.

At LA Weekly, Matt Wake tells the untold stories of the two musicians who co-wrote two songs on GNR’s iconic album: Chris Weber and West Arkeen. Weber and Arkeen are the only two people who earned co-writing credits on the album outside of the core band members, yet only one briefly played in the band, and their faces didn’t appear as skulls on the album cover. One died young. One lives peacefully with his family in LA. Neither got rich or famous. Somehow I knew these musicians’ songs without ever knowing their names, and somehow I missed this…

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