“Patience” is a song by American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, which appears on the album G N’ R Lies and was released as a single in 1989. The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is played using three acoustic guitars and was recorded in a single session by producer Mike Clink. A music video of the song was shot and appears on the band’s music video DVD, Welcome to the Videos.
Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon later implied that Guns N’ Roses had copied Tesla’s earlier work, stating that a demo by Tesla called “Better Off Without You” was “‘Patience’ note for note.” Hannon later backtracked on his blog, saying “The song is a great song that they wrote themselves, and it is only the end part that has any similar part to the guitar chords we used. I apologize for any controversy or disrespect I may have projected in my joking around with Eddie Trunk about this.”
The motivation for the track is generally accepted to be the troublesome relationship between Axl Rose and his now ex-wife Erin Everly, though this was never stated in the album or interviews. According to bass guitarist Duff McKagan, “Axl came up with a great lyric, seemingly out of nowhere, that, of course, became the story and melody of that song.” It has also been stated by the band that Stradlin wrote the song about his ex-girlfriend Angela Nicoletti McCoy.
Steven Adler did not record on the track, although in some live performances prior to the release of the album, such as their performance at the Orange County Fair in New York in the summer of 1988, percussion (and electric instruments) were used.
In the video, the band members are situated in a hotel where they are the only constant images, as all other people are present for a moment, then fade away. More recently fans have taken another view on the song, as now Rose is the only remaining member from the original lineup. In a precognitive twist, the final parts of the video show Rose sitting alone in his home watching older Guns N’ Roses videos in what appears to be a sad and lonely state.
The video, directed by Nigel Dick, was one of many produced by the band. The video was filmed on Valentine’s Day during 1989, some scenes being shot at the Record Plant. It was the last video in which Steven Adler appeared (even though he did not play on the recorded track) and the last before the Use Your Illusion videos. Mike Clink is also featured in the video, sitting at the mixing board. The video was shot at The Ambassador Hotel, famous because Bobby Kennedy was assassinated there in 1968. The hotel was inoperative and scheduled for demolition, but was not demolished until 2006.