|By Susie Steckner
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 12, 1998
With Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose, you're always welcome to the jungle - just keep your hands off his luggage.
The rock star was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after verbally abusing security employees who wanted to search his bag at Sky Harbor International Airport.
Rose, 36, whose song Welcome to the Jungle has remained popular long after being released, was booked into the Madison Street Jail. He was released a few hours later.
Rose declined to comment. But his longtime publicist, Bryn Bridenthal of Geffen Records in California, downplayed the incident.
She said Rose was just trying to protect a valuable glass art piece inside his bag.
"He just wanted them to be careful and he just wanted to protect it," she said. "He had just a normal, everyday reaction to it.
"His response wasn't a particularly rock-and-roll response or an unusual reaction."
But according to police reports, Rose raised his fists, shouted expletives and made threats at security employees during the Tuesday night incident.
At one point, he reportedly said, "I don't give a (expletive) who you are. You are all little people on a power trip."
Bridenthal said Rose was in town visiting friends and celebrating his 36th birthday. A carry-on bag was filled with gifts, she said, including the glass art piece.
As the bag went through security, an officer saw a "dark unidentifiable object," on a security screen and began to hand-search the bag, according to a police report. At that point, Rose grabbed for the bag and was told by Officer Duane Welsh
that it needed to be inspected.
The report said that Rose then "started cussing at Welsh, shaking his fist in Welsh's face, and yelling, "I'll punch your lights out right here and right now!' "
Bridenthal said she does not know if Rose made such comments. But she said he said he did not raise his fists at anyone.