Pak Hok Shan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Walled City of Most Expensive Album

Today in 2008, the most expensive album ever made was finally released after 17 years and 15 studios, costing $13 million.

The cover photo for Guns N Roses Chinese Democracy (2008) was shot at Kowloon Walled City, demolished 1993.

50,000 residents lived lawless there ungoverned in 300 interconnected buildings. Originally a pre-1898 Chinese military fort before British rule, Jackie Chan filmed Crime Story (1993) here. It is now Kowloon Walled City Park.

You might scoff that the Chinese (not gov but importers) banned Guns N Roses' Chinese Democracy (2008). But during the Gulf War, the West banned John Lennon's Imagine (and 5 dozen-plus other similar songs).

Guns N Roses' Appetite for Destruction (1987) was very popular in China during the Democracy Movement culminating in thousands of lives lost on June 4 1989 during the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Chinese Democracy (2008) was in the works from 1991 (end of Cold War) and took 17 years to release. During that time, China became a leader in capitalism.

The cover photo was taken by Terry Hardin at Kowloon Walled City at "an old decrepit building housing the low and the forgotten, best avoided at all costs. It could..mirror the Guns N' Roses brand itself. An old house on a hill held together by sheer will and a labyrinthian maze of tenuous connections."

They spraypainted Guns N Roses.

The wall was symbolic of Axl Rose's isolation in his mansion, "returning to dust," after wealth and fame (and his deterioration).

Walled City of Most Expensive Album