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Tue, March 19

Trading LA for WV

Alan Vincent-Niven signs his copies of CDs from bands he used to manage Saturday at Bad Influence Records in Prescott Valley.
Courier/Jo. L. Keener

Alan Vincent-Niven signs his copies of CDs from bands he used to manage Saturday at Bad Influence Records in Prescott Valley. Courier/Jo. L. Keener

After decades in the music business and managing such hit bands as Guns N' Roses and Great White, Alan Vincent-Niven left the madness of Los Angeles behind in 1995 and settled in the more peaceful environs of Williamson Valley.

"I can see the stars more clearly and think more profoundly here.

"I needed to get away and find out what was really meaningful and significant to me," said Vincent-Niven from his friend Brian Sirk's Bad Influence Records store on Highway 69 in Prescott Valley where he signed previously unreleased demos of the famous bands he managed.

"There is an aspect of management that involves conflict.

"It's an occupation in which you should anticipate contention and expect things to get out of hand."

Vincent-Niven managed the contentious members of Guns N' Roses from 1986 until their break up in 1991.

"There is no love at the top of the billboard charts."

The band members' still contentious relationship was the subject of a VH1 "Between the Lines" show in which guitarist Slash blamed lead singer Axl Rose for most of the band's problems.

"Axl wasn't even on that show. He isn't crazy at all. He is the least understood individual.

"He's a tremendous talent who has had a bum rap," Vincent-Niven said.

"I'd love to have them together making music again. There hasn't been a really great rock 'n' roll band since (they broke up)."

A Guns N' Roses reunion is, in fact, the only way Vincent-Niven said that he would get back into band management.

"Never say never, the possibilities are actually pretty good."

The public has yet to forget the band whose 1987 debut album "Appetite for Destruction" has sold over 16 million copies.

"They definitely have to change their approach," said Vincent-Niven's wife Heather.

As for the demos, the band's manager said, "There is no such thing as demos, just unreleased masters."

Vincent-Niven also managed Great White from 1982 through 1995.

He also wrote more than 50 songs for the band.

"The only things I'm good at are recording and writing.

"To have two bands break at the same time like that is extraordinary," said the songwriter-guitar player-music manager who took a break from music for a while after moving to Prescott .

He owned and operated Desperados on Cortez Street in Prescott from 1999-2003 where he met his also musically talented wife.

As 2005 draws to a close however, he has plans to get back into it via recording and possibly launching a new record label all from his Williamson Valley base.

"You can record anywhere. The mystique that you need a perfect room to record in is BS."

Vincent-Niven and Sirk also have plans to launch a Web site that will include rock 'n' roll memorabilia and follow local musicians.

"Along with all the growth there is quite a bit of talented musicians in town now," said Sirk.


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