David Zahl has a theological interpretation of Axl Rose and Guns N Roses in three parts. Here’s a snippet from the first:
So Axl is sadly the product of the worst kind of religion: ultra-bootcamp Pelagianism compartmentalized to the point of cruelty (not to mention completely at odds with its founder). It wouldn’t be a leap to say that the distance that young Axl had to travel to escape, both geographically and lifestyle-wise, correlates pretty closely to the toxicity of his circumstances in Lafayette. As soon as he could, and after finding out that the preacher in question wasn’t even his biological father, he hopped a bus to LA, following his friend Izzy Stradlin, where he proceeded to dive headfirst into one of the more decadent scenes in the country. Or so the story goes. We all know that strict parents often produce rebellious kids, that the Law does indeed tend to increase the trespass, but still, there is only one Axl Rose. And his story just begins there.