In this guide, I give an issue date, release location, and a monetary value of what an item is worth to a collector. This value only applies to an item that is in perfect mint condition, i.e., it has to be factory sealed. Please refer to my Evaluation Guide for more information.
1. Reckless Life
2. Nice Boys (Rose Tattoo cover)
3. Move To The City
4. Mama Kin (Aerosmith cover)
Issued as a Vinyl album and Cassette tape only.
This rare collectors item is valued at $300 USD in perfect mint condition (factory sealed and unused).
The Live Like A Suicide EP is the hottest Guns N Roses collectors item around. Twenty-five thousand were pressed, but only 10,000 were sold worldwide. It was released as a Christmas gift to the local club scene fans, family, and management who believed in them and helped them get started. It is also very hard to find an authentic album. Rumor has it that someone in Russia purchased a vinyl cutting lathe and has been selling pirated copies in Europe. The counterfeit album has a matte finish because it is shellac or lacquer as opposed to vinyl polycarbonate which is shiny. Also, the cover is much darker than the original. Several of these counterfeit copies have been sold on Ebay by a user from Nakano, Japan who has sold at least 4 counterfeit albums since this guide was first written in October 2006. Pirating is illegal in the United States, Canada, and Europe, basically all the countries belonging to the UN who signed the Berne Convention agreement. But, is pirating illegal in Russia or Japan? Is it legal for citizens of these countries to sell pirated music on a global auction site that has strict polices about selling pirated copies of music?
Below is the cover of the counterfeit album:
It is 50% darker than the original cover which lends plausibility to the item still factory sealed and never exposed to air for 20 years. Modern technology allows for computerized inkjet or laser printers to be used for album jackets which gives them more vibrant color and a glossy sheen. Twenty years ago, the only computerized printer was the dot matrix and you can't run an album jacket through one of those. They had to be silk screened which gave them a matte appearance. A 20 year old album should not appear brand new. A counterfeit album will always appear as though it were made yesterday because it probably was.
This is the real Live Like A Suicide cover and album:
Side G of the album has the Uzi Suicide artwork covering the entire center. Side R of the album has the Uzi Suicide label at the top with a list of songs at the bottom. Always ask a seller to post or email you a clear photo of the vinyl album itself to be certain it is the Live Like A Suicide EP as advertised. Hopefully they won't steal the ones I've posted here in order to deceive you. Side R should be a pinkish mauve color to match the color of the roses on the cover which are pink; it should not be bright red. Most of the images I found for this album were photos taken of the fake.
The back cover shows a group photo of the band gathered around a vintage car. The liner is white.
The GNR Lies album has the Live Like A Suicide artwork on the back cover. Some sellers are photographing the back cover of the Lies album and selling it as the Live Like A Suicide EP. The real album cover does not have any white writing on it.
The GNR Lies album boasts this photo as well on the back of the liner, but reads, "G Side 1986" after the heading "Live Like A Suicide" across the top and above the track list.
The Uzi Suicide label is also a point of confusion. I've seen the album listed as not being produced by Geffen Records. This is not true. The Live Like A Suicide EP was an effort by Geffen Records to curb the impulse of the band to record their first full album. Instead Geffen allowed them to record the EP so they could mature before they began recording in earnest. Geffen's desire to see the band improve before they stuck their name on a record was reflected in Live Like A Suicide's release by the Uzi Suicide Record Company - the band's own psuedo-independant label created by Geffen. In short, Geffen did not fully believe in the band and did not want its label on the album in case it didn't sell. Every album released since Suicide has had both labels with the exception of the Live Era album. Presumably, the label dissolved with the band's break up. According to Geffen Records, no other bands have released material on this label, and according to the creative rights in their recording contract, the label is kept around on all their released material. The complete name is actually "Uzi Suicide Record Co." Though Geffen says no other band has released material on this label, Hanoi Rocks re-released their albums on this label. Axl is also looking for other groups to sign to this label. Davis Farm, a band from Los Angeles, will be recording their debut album on Uzi Suicide. Assassin, a band with Axl's brother in it, will also be recording an album on this label.
It is often seen listed as a live recording, but it is not a live album. By Axl's own admission, "The EP's a piece of [crap] compared to the album...that's the most contrived piece of [crap] we've done yet. It ain't a live record-if you think it is you're crazy. What we did was go into a room, record ourselves and put 50,000 screaming people on top." (The Band That Time Forgot: The Complete Unauthorized Biography of Guns N' Roses, p.30)
The songs from this album reappeared on the GNR Lies album because the band wanted all their fans to have access to the material without paying excessive amounts for an original or paying for bad copies. Upon its release, the album sold for $150, 20 years ago. It is worth twice that amount today, especially since Axl Rose has made a comeback marking the 20 year anniversary of Guns N' Roses signing with Geffen Records (March 25, 1986). The track list is as follows:
G Side 1986
1. Reckless Life
2. Nice Boys (Rose Tattoo cover)
3. Move To The City
4. Mama Kin (Aerosmith cover)
R Side 1988
6. Used To Love Her
7. You're Crazy
8. One In A Million
If you see the above 8 tracks listed for Live Like A Suicide, you're being duped. The seller is listing the Lies album or CD, as the case may be, under the guise of the Live album which only has 4 tracks.
Another misconception about the Live Like A Suicide album is a barcode in the upper right hand corner of the cover. This barcode only exists on the back cover of the Lies album. It was not printed anywhere on the Live Like A Suicide album. It also will not have the fine print across the bottom declaring that the material was "previously released on the Live album under the Uzi Suicide label." If you see a barcode on a Live Like A Suicide cover, it's a fraud. The seller is misrepresenting their merchandise. Be wary though. The barcode and white writing can be removed in an image editor quite easily. You have to see the vinyl to know whether or not the album is truly authentic. Keep in mind this is the back cover of the Lies album which is often advertised as Live Like A Suicide/Lies. I think perhaps it is listed that way by those who can't tell the front from the back. Sellers, please do not list the GN'R Lies album as Live Like A Suicide in order to attract collectors. It confuses buyers who may not know the difference. See Ebay's Misleading Titles Policy.
The cassette tape is rarer and harder to find than the vinyl album, but only worth half as much. This rare collectors item is valued at $150 USD in perfect mint condition (factory sealed and unused). There was a cassette being sold on Ebay for $1,500.00, which is the biggest rip off I've ever seen.
I got screwed out of the cassette tape. I purchased this item on Ebay for $29.95 and after waiting a month, I had to file a claim through Paypal. The seller responded that he was "sorry and didn't know what happened." He knew what happened; he was trying to rip me off and is no longer a registered user. I got my money back. After filing a claim, I saw two other cassette tapes listed. Could one of them have been the one I purchased being sold by the same person with a new user id? I know that sounds paranoid and conspiratorial, but you would be surprised how far a dishonest seller will go to rip people off. It happens on Ebay every day.
Another instance of misrepresentation is when the Live Like A Suicide description includes the words cd and jewel case. This album is only available as a vinyl EP and more rarely as a cassette tape. The Live Like A Suicide EP was never released as a CD and should never be listed as such. In 2003, the GN'R Lies CD was released as part of a 2CD boxed set along with Appetite for Destruction in both Columbia and Brazil. This was the only time that the Live Like A Suicide cover art was used as the cover for the Lies CD. The inner liner is the nude blonde with the Lies track list. There is one way to tell the difference between the two CDs. If the record label reads "Geffen/Universal", it is from Brazil. If it reads "Universal", it is from Columbia. Either CD is worth around $28.00 USD because of the rarity of this particular cover art used for this CD and where it was released. Apparently the Lies CD is being sold separately from the boxed set and it is causing a mass of confusion among sellers and bidders alike. Sellers, please list this CD as GN'R Lies--not Live Like A Suicide. The cover art contradicts the disc.
I was a victim of this type of misrepresentation as well. After paying $83.50 for what I thought was the Live Like A Suicide vinyl album, I was informed by the seller that they made a mistake. It was the Lies CD instead. They apologized profusely and voluntarily refunded my money. I left negative feedback, but it was removed. How can a seller make amends for the emotional turmoil of leading a buyer to believe they had won a rare collectors item, only to be told they can't have the item because the merchandise was misrepresented? They can't! I'm now stuck trying to purchase another copy at an exorbitant price. I've seen one listed as high as $329 GBP, which in US dollars is far more than what the album is worth.
Another spotted scenario with this album is shilling or bid padding. Usually when the auction enters the 4 day mark, a bidder with very few purchases (less than 10) or a negative rating will bid on the item once or numerous times with no one else bidding on it to raise the price and/or attract other bidders. I've also seen two bidders teaming up to do this only to make it appear as though there is no shill bidding. Watch for the same user id bidding in rapid succession; this is shill bidding. As stated on all bid histories, "Only actual bids (not automatic bids generated up to a bidder's maximum) are shown." Once the bidding reaches a certain amount (around $50), the shilling stops and serious bidders begin fighting over the item within 2 days before the auction ends. I have seen the same bidders doing this on every Live Like A Suicide listing that begins with a low price. They haven't bid on the higher priced ones for fear they might have to pay for the item, and they don't have the money for it. Visit the seller's feedback and pay close attention to the names of bidders, then cross reference them with the bids on the listings. How many purchases have the bidders for the Live album made from the same seller? Read feedback comments. Does it appear as though there may be a relationship between the seller and bidder? Shilling is illegal, by the way, and it does carry fines. If you're doing this, please read Ebay's Shill Bidding Policy. Sellers are obligated to report shilling, but those selling the Live album aren't doing anything to stop it because they benefit from the price gouging. You can almost bet that listings with evidence of shilling are fakes because it doesn't occur with the real albums selling at or above fair market value for this album. Sellers of this album have recently begun concealing the bidders' ids as a response to this statement.
Collectors should be careful when bidding on the Live Like A Suicide EP.
A lot of unethical sellers are going to hate me for writing this guide, but I don't care. I am avidly watching every Live Like A Suicide auction and reporting what I see to try and prevent others from being ripped off the way I was. A lot of abuse occurs on Ebay with every collectors item imaginable. Just read the other guides pertaining to the subject. I don't believe that a seller should make a $100-300 profit on a "rare" or "authentic" item that is so obviously bogus.
Misleading Titles Policy * Authenticity Disclaimers Policy * Legally Compliant Listings Policy * Replica and Counterfeit Items Policy