Axl Rose has had a busy year. The Guns N’ Roses front man spent the early part of this year preparing for a massively-hyped reunion of his legendary hair metal band, and ended up taking a gig fronting hard-hitting classic rock outfit AC/DC in the process. All the while, Rose has slimmed down, getting back into shape after a few years touting a less-than-healthy physical appearance.
The internet began poking fun at the sex symbol as his appearance got more and more cream-filled, picking a particular set of unflattering images and adding hilarious Guns N’ Roses-lyric-inspired captions. Our favorites include gems like, “Welcome to the jungle/We’ve got lots of cake” and “Take me down to the bakery city/Where the pies have cream and the cakes are tasty.”
The singer, unlike the average meme reader, doesn’t appear to think the use of his beefy image is funny, and now wants the internet to forget about his heavier phase entirely. Rose has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Google, demanding that a series of memes poking fun at his portly appearance be removed immediately, according to Torrentfreak.
The photos, which were originally taken by Boris Minkevich for the Winnipeg Free Press six years ago, belong to Rose, according to the request.
“Please be advised that no permission has been granted to publish the copyrighted image so we cannot direct you to an authorized example of it,” wrote Web Sheriff, an anti-piracy company based in the U.K., in the related notice.
Rose is totally within his legal bounds to request a takedown, as his team requires that all photographers who shoot his shows sign contracts, Web Sheriff reports. And Web Sheriff goes on: “We can gladly confirm that all official/accredited photographers at [Axl Rose] shows sign-off on ‘Photography Permission’ contracts/‘Photographic Release’ agreements which A. specify and limit the manner in which the photos can be exploited and B. transfer copyright ownership in such photos to AR’s relevant service company.”
Here’s the thing: You don’t want to anger the internet, and requesting the images get taken down absolutely does not mean that more portly Rose memes won’t be created. Likely, news of the request will throw some fuel on the fire for those who came up with it in the first place.
As of this post, all the memes remain accessible via a Google search.