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No More Updates

2 Feb 2003:After running this page for over two years and trying to follow every little bit that happens with GN"R ,I am in no mood to update this site any further.We had put a lot of work into it so we hope that some of the stuff on this might still be of interest to visitors.Its still a GNR fan site but one that doesn't keep up with the happenings.

Thanks to everyone who visited this site.Hopefully GNR will come out with many more albums after Chinese Democracy..Bye!
 

14 Dec 2002

Guns N' Roses Tour Update (src:launch.yahoo.com)

12/10/02, 6 p.m. ET) -- The Guns N' Roses tour is down, but apparently not completely out. The promoters, Clear Channel, still would not acknowledge that the tour is finished. A publicist for the band admitted the tour is in limbo, with some dates still on and others off.

The show scheduled for Wednesday (December 11) at Greenville, South Carolina's BI-LO Center was canceled mid-afternoon on Tuesday (December 10), but the band claimed that it was pulled by Clear Channel, not the group.

Six other dates on the itinerary are definitely canceled--Greenville on Wednesday (December 11); Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 21; Phoenix on December 22; Las Vegas on December 28; Sacramento, California on December 30; and San Jose, California on December 31.

After the tour situation is sorted out, GN'R is presumably free to concentrate on finally finishing its new album, Chinese Democracy. A spokesperson for the band told LAUNCH the band needs to put a few finishing touches on the album and that it will be out in spring 2003. It's GN'R's first studio album since 1993 and its first set of new material since 1991. The collection has been in the works for more than four years. Chinese Democracy has gone through several producers, including Sean Bevan, Roy Thomas Baker, and Youth.

GN'R bassist Tommy Stinson, formerly of the Replacements, acknowledges that the process has been frustrating at times, but that GN'R leader Axl Rose has reassured him that Chinese Democracy will eventually be released. "I had doubts at certain points, and the thing that kept me going every time is that I would talk to Axl about this and that, his ideas about what we're doing and what we're gonna do and stuff like that. And every time, I just kinda had to stop and go, 'You know, he really, he's a smart f--kin' guy, knows exactly what he wants to get.' How to get there is another issue, but he knows what he wants, how he wants it to be. And every time I had a doubt, I would talk to him about stuff, and (would) totally be back in it. I mean, I never at one point thought, 'Oh, I'm gonna quit.'"

 


Promoter Pulls Plug on Guns N' Roses Tour (src:The Associated Press)

Promoter Pulls Plug on Guns N' Roses Tour After No-Shows in Vancouver, Philadelphia

N E W Y O R K, Dec. 12 — When Guns N' Roses announced they were going on tour this fall after a nine-year hiatus, fans of the heavy metal band snapped up tickets. Axl Rose was back and there was talk of a new album.

But the comeback has been no "Paradise City."

Rose, the mercurial frontman whose disappearing acts have long irritated fans, failed to show up for the opening show Nov. 7 in Vancouver, prompting thousands of ticket holders to riot outside the venue. The band was a no-show again last week in Philadelphia, and fans got unruly.

By then it became apparent that the "Chinese Democracy" tour was finished. On Wednesday, promoter Clear Channel Entertainment made it official: The rest of the tour has been scrapped. Clear Channel didn't offer a reason.

The group's management, Sanctuary, referred all calls Thursday to Guns N' Roses' label, Interscope Geffen A&M, which declined comment.

"In a strange way, this tour has been very reflective of pretty much everything that has happened to the band since about 1992," said Chuck Klosterman, a senior writer at Spin magazine.

Led by Rose's screeching vocals and Slash's fiery guitar, Guns N' Roses broke onto the scene in 1987 with the hugely successful "Appetite for Destruction."

Containing the hits "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child O' Mine," the album was filled with rage, paranoia and profanity, and provided a glimpse into the excesses of a band rising through the ranks of Los Angeles' burgeoning metal scene.

But Guns N' Roses was plagued by a series of ugly episodes. Drug and alcohol abuse was rampant, band members had numerous scrapes with the law, and Rose's volatility and eccentricities put a strain on the group.

Still, the band managed to carry over the success of "Appetite" into the 1991 "Use Your Illusion" double set. The album and ensuing world tour enhanced its popularity, but infighting persisted and band members parted ways in the mid-1990s.

Rose became a recluse and reportedly began work on the long-running "Chinese Democracy" project.

All the while, Guns N' Roses followers held out hope for a reunion.

That sort of happened this year, when a new core of band members played a boisterous, surprise finale at the MTV Video Music Awards in August. A new tour was announced; Rose and keyboard player Dizzy Reed were the only holdovers from the "Use Your Illusion" days. (Rose is the lone original member.)

Then, however, came the Vancouver no-show, which a band spokesman blamed on poor weather in Los Angeles that held up Rose's flight. In Philadelphia, a promoter said the cancellation was because of an illness by a band member.

The band also was playing to thin crowds in venues they would have sold out a decade ago, Klosterman said. "They just must be losing money hand over fist," he said.

One bright spot was a Madison Square Garden show earlier this month that won critics' praise and sold out quickly.

Interscope Geffen A&M would not comment on whether a new album is planned


Guns N' Roses Axes Shows

BY GEOFF BOUCHER  LOS ANGELES TIMES

HOLLYWOOD -- The uncertain saga of the Guns N' Roses tour took another twist this week as six upcoming shows were canceled, including stops in San Jose and Sacramento, Calif., and Wednesday night's scheduled performance in Greenville, S.C.
    A spokesman for Clear Channel, the promoter for the tour, said there was no new information about other dates.
    Still, there is reason to doubt that Axl Rose and company will appear onstage any time soon. The band has missed three shows in the past five days, including a last-minute cancellation in Philadelphia last Friday that inspired unruly fans to throw seats and bottles onstage. MTV has reported that the tour is off, and Cky, an opening act on the tour, posted a message on its Web site saying the same thing.
    On Tuesday, the entire tour itinerary was pulled from the Web site of Pollstar, the concert-industry trade publication.
    "We took it down because, personally, I think the whole tour is history," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of Pollstar. "I think the lawyers are taking care of the details now and soon they will announce it."


Update on Slash s new Project

With Axl Rose's incarnation of Guns 'n' Roses turning into a shambles, his former band members are going back on the road without him.

Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum have been rehearsing singers for the job with Days Of The New frontman Travis Meeks even going as far as releasing a statement to say he had the job … but he hasn't.

Meeks announcement stated "This is the best rock music I have heard since 'Appetite for Destruction. Guns 'n' Roses and Days Of The New fans will not be disappointed. They will be ecstatic! The new material has that vintage GNR feel that millions craved and loved in the late Eighties and early Nineties".

According to Slash's site though "It is true that Travis Meeks of Days of the New has been working with the band and rumor has it that he has done some good things there. No final decision has yet been made".

7 Dec 2002

Sunday Guns N' Roses show canceled after Friday ruckus

Guns N' Roses canceled Sunday's concert in Philadelphia, hours after angry fans tossed chairs and debris when they learned the band wouldn't take the stage at the First Union Center on Friday

A promoter for the hard-rock band told arena officials Friday night that an unidentified band member was ill, according to Ike Richman, a spokesman for Comcast-Spectacor.

"People were throwing beer ... they were tearing the seats apart and throwing them," said Ryan Knowles, 22, a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., who watched from his balcony seat.

No serious injuries were reported, although a few people were taken to a hospital with minor problems, Richman said. Police said no arrests were made.

Angry fans who paid $37 to $67 waited for more than an hour after two extended warm-up acts before learning around 11 p.m. that Guns N' Roses wouldn't play.

"We're kind of mad, but it's not like it was the most important night of my life," said Knowles, who bought his ticket online for $55 and traveled to Philadelphia for the show with friends.

Messages left by The Associated Press Saturday morning with the band's promoter, Clear Channel Entertainment, its management agency, Creative Artists Agency, and its label, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, were not immediately returned.

The band is scheduled to play in Washington, D.C.; Greenville, S.C.; and Tampa and West Palm Beach, Fla., this week, according to the label's Web site.

The Philadelphia shows won't be rescheduled. Refunds will be available at the place of purchase, Richman said. Friday's show was a sell-out, with about 14,000 fans packing the center, but tickets remained for Sunday's show across the street at the First Union Spectrum.

The First Union Center was back in business on Saturday afternoon, when the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the St. Louis Blues, Richman said.

Guns N' Roses, reformulated since its last tour in 1993, missed the first show of its "Chinese Democracy" tour on Nov. 7 in Vancouver, apparently after lead singer Axl Rose had problems with a flight from Los Angeles. Police used pepper spray to disperse thousands of irate fans who rampaged outside afterward


Guns N' Roses Cancel Philly Concert, Fans Riot  (src:nbc10.com)

No-show by the rock band Guns N' Roses in south Philadelphia Friday night led fans at the First Union Center to get rowdy.

Police were called in to take care of the rioting crowd of 20,000 after the opening band played and the featured act never appeared. The lead singer, Axl Rose called in sick and the crowd hit the ceiling, literally. "Yeah, it was scary. Guys behind us were throwing ceiling tile at us. We were soaked with soda," said Kristen Spiezio of New Castle, Del.

Concert growers said that the crowd grew unruly after the opening acts played for two hours. Then, when fans saw them packing up and leaving, they went berserk.


"From around 9:30 To 11:30, nothing came on, no announcements. People were throwing drinks," explained Bruce Lewis of Newark, Del.

"People were throwing chairs, throwing beer and hitting people in the head with, like, all kinds of stuff. It just got really, really crazy," said Teressa Mele of Marlton, N.J.

It took more than 100 police officers to restore order. No one was arrested, but several people were taken to the hospital.

First Union Center officials denied that there was any trouble and the organization even allowed media cameras access during the cleanup to prove fans left in an orderly fashion.

Guns N' Roses has a history of canceling concerts and riots.

Last month in Vancouver, police used pepper spray when thousands of fans rioted for an hour after Axl Rose failed to show due to a delayed flight.

"They charge outrageous prices, get everybody's hopes up. We haven't seen these guys for years. Of course we're going to be mad," Spiezio said.

There have also been riots at other Guns N' Roses concerts in St. Louis and Montreal.

First Union Center officials said that concert goers can get a refund at their place of purchase. A second concert scheduled for Sunday has also been canceled


Guns N' Roses Rocks N.Y.C.'s Madison Square Garden (src:launch.yahoo.com)

12/06/02, 6 p.m. ET) -Guns N' Roses' show at New York City Madison Square Garden Thursday (December 5) was the first sold-out show on the reformed band's tour. The band, comprising all new members with the exception of singer W. Axl Rose, impressed the audience with spectacle and musicianship, but mystified some long-term die-hard fans with its new image and musical approach.

Rose was focused for the entire show, and hit every screeching high note through a set of favorites from the band's 1980s Appetite For Destruction era, including "Welcome To The Jungle," "My Michelle," "It's So Easy," and "Out Ta Get Me," among others. New songs from the forthcoming album Chinese Democracy also went over well, considering the tough reputation of New York concert goers and the fact that nobody had heard the songs before.

The new band members provided distinct and unusual stage personalities. Drummer Brain looked like he was right out of P.O.D., keyboardist Dizzy Reed wore typical rocker clothing, and a youthful-looking Tommy Stinson (formerly of the Replacements) looked like he could have been part of Linkin Park. Guitarist Robin Finck sported a partly-shaved head, a white suit and a black hat, looking like something out of A Clockwork Orange. Guitarist Richard Fortus looked right out of Nine Inch Nails.

Lead guitarist Buckethead was the most unusual, however. The quirky guitarist wore a KFC bucket on his head, which at one point in the show was adorned with Christmas lights, as well as a mask. His solos included playing all the Star Wars themes, among other songs, and a showcase of his martial arts skills with nunchaku clubs combined with robotic movements. After that solo, to an eerie musical backdrop he bizarrely pulled little toys out of a bag, and threw them at the audience.

Regardless of the crowd's reactions to the new band, the energetic Rose seemed happy to be playing in front of a sell-out crowd, and sincerely thanked the audience, saying the band "needed this."

The complete Guns N' Roses setlist for the evening: "Welcome To The Jungle," "It's So Easy," "Mr. Brownstone," "Live And Let Die," "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," "Think About You," "You Could Be Mine," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Out Ta Get Me," "November Rain," "Chinese Democracy," "Madagascar," "Rocket Queen," "The Blues," "My Michelle," "Patience," and "Nightrain," with "Paradise City" as an encore.


AXL COMES UP ROSES AT GARDEN SHOW (src:nypost.com)

December 7, 2002 -- WITH Axl Rose as the only original member of Guns N' Roses onstage at Madison Square Garden last night, naysayers might call them Guns N' Posers - but, defying all the negative word of mouth about this tour, the band pulled off an excellent concert that lived up to it's name.
It has been almost a decade since Rose last sold out MSG, so it was no wonder he actually was ready 'n' raring to play, getting onstage in a timely manner, something he had yet to do on this tour.

This one-night sellout was the turning point for the refitted Guns N' Roses. Axl was greased and the band was terrific. It was an amazing transformation from the group that stunk up the MTV Awards ÿ

earlier this year. GN'R played a crisp concert worthy of a punk-metal band that had as big an appetite for destruction as it had 15 years ago.

Opening with the apropos "Welcome to the Jungle," Rose was uncharacteristically subdued and the band's sonics didn't boom; instead, they were stuck in the mud. Maybe that initial misstep was a case of NYC jitters, because on subse´quent numbers, the man and band fared much better.

That doesn't mean this was a perfect show, but it was exciting to hear Rose's sonorous primal scream again, even if his pipes were just a little rusty when he was in his upper register. While he didn't hit ÿ

all the highs as he did when he was in his glory daze of the late '80s, this poster boy for bad living still thrilled.

Rose was best on a pair of cover songs - Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die" and Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." The staging for "Live and Let Die" was especially good, with its combination of seizure-inducing lighting and flash-pot pyrotechnics.

Rose showed a soft-belly bottom when he dusted off the power ballad "November Rain." He worked the tune soulfully as he accompanied himself on piano. Although it was just this side of sappy, it ignited Bics and had the house on its feet in a synchronized sway. Some might complain that this tune pulled the plug on any momentum that the performance had built to that point, but there's no arguing with the solid roar of cheers it elicited.

This edition of GN'R placed giant emphasis on guitar crunch. To that end, the band now features three guitarists, but in the end, you only remember one - Buckethead.

Buckethead is a very talented metal jammer, who currently has a striking solo record in the racks, "Bermuda Triangle." Yet, those who have never heard or seen him before this concert probably found his strange sartorial style his most memorable quality.

The guy wears a KFC bucket as a hat, and covers his kisser with a white hockey mask. Eggheads will tell you it's a protest of the faceless commercialism in music today, but it comes off as a silly affectation that undermines his talent.

While there were a handful of new tunes offered, the best turns of the evening came when the band worked it oldies from "Appetite for Destruction."

It would be easy to dismiss Rose and his new gunners as irrelevant in today's music world, but this performance found Rose in bloom


Guns N' Roses Members Describe 'Chinese Democracy' (src:launch.yahoo.com)

(12/04/02, 1 p.m. ET) - The revamped Guns N' Roses (GNR) is on the road with its first North American tour in nine years, playing material from the long-awaited new album, Chinese Democracy. The oft-delayed set is now expected in 2003, and GNR is playing several songs from it, including the title track, in its shows.

Keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who joined GNR in 1990, tells LAUNCH that he thinks fans will be pleased when they finally get to hear the results: "It's a pretty intense musical journey, really. Everyone that is in the band, or was in the band at some point--'cause there, you know, there's been a few guys who have come and gone even since the old band--has contributed, and because of that I think it really takes you to some interesting musical places. When you add Axl and guitars, of course, though, it kinda glues it all together. There's something for everybody, but I think if you're a Guns fan, if you're an Axl fan, you'll like it all. You'll love it all."

Bassist Tommy Stinson, meanwhile, adds that Chinese Democracy includes elements both familiar and new to the GNR sound: "Kind of a wide spectrum of things. It touches on a lot of different elements of, you know, old GNR in some ways, and in other ways it touches with more current-sounding music. There's rockers, there's ballads, there's midtempos--I mean, there's, like, a lot of stuff. And I think in some ways, where it differs from the old GNR is lyrically--it's a lot deeper."

GNR next performs Thursday (December 5) at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Tommy Stinson Claims Westerberg Has Bigger Ego Than Axl Rose  (src:chartattack.com)

Tommy Stinson knows how to pick ‘em. Not only has he worked with revered lyricist and frontman Paul Westerberg as the former bassist in The Replacements, but he also accepted an invitation by W. Axl Rose himself to join his revamped version of Guns N’ Roses. Two frontmen with strong reputations behind them. The question really is, who’s better to work with?

"Oh, Axl’s a whole lot better to work with," chuckles Stinson while sitting in a dressing room a couple of hours before GN’R was slated to perform at Toronto’s Air Canada Center this past Friday (November 29). "The Replacements stuff we did I’m still proud of. It’s all great, fine, good, all that. But I feel like I’m actually part of a band right now. Paul wrote the songs, we played ‘em. But here, we’re all writing these songs, we’re all fuckin’ playing them. I just feel more a part of it.

"If it’s even fuckin’ imaginable at all, Paul’s got a fuckin’ bigger ego than anyone I’ve ever known," Stinson continues. "To play with, he’s got a bigger ego than anyone I’ve ever worked with. And he’s more self-conscious than anyone I’ve ever known. Axl doesn’t work like that. He’s like fuckin’ whatever it is he’s got with him, he checks it at the door. He comes in and fuckin’ gets involved, ya know? That’s a way better vibe to make music with."

It’s been nine years since Guns N’ Roses toured and released an album. Since Rose had the original members of the hard rock outfit up and quit on him, he’s been determined to keep the GN’R flame burning by recording a masterpiece with the upcoming Chinese Democracy, which he's been working on for the better part of the last half decade. He’s now settled on Stinson as bassist, former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, guitar prodigy Buckethead, third guitarist Richard Fortus, remaining GN’R keyboardist Dizzy Reed, second keyboard player Chris Pitman and former Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia for his band. Stinson still doesn’t have a clue as to a definite date of when the record will be released, but anxiously says the record will be out "Really soon. First part of the New Year I would think."

"The writing process is what’s been taking it so long," says Stinson. "The thing that makes this writing process this particular thing with this band, and I’m sure it was probably the same in the old band as well, is that it’s not like Axl comes in with a song and says ‘Here’s how it goes, y’all play it now. That’s it. We record it. We’re done.’ It’s like, everyone that brings in a song, gets their song put through the mill, so to speak. I think the end result is that everyone has lived with the music and put their self into the music so that we all are a part of it, as opposed to one guy writing it and everyone’s kind of copying what he did. The process is longer that way because you got eight guys hammering it out and beating it out. Took many years and there’s a lot of songs."

So they don’t know when it’ll be out and what songs will exactly make it onto the record. Sounds like a band that’s excitedly flying blind. Kind of like the good ol’ Guns N’ Roses, isn’t it? And what if this gamble and new rebirth of the band and album doesn’t work?

Stinson laughs out loud: "It’ll fuckin’ really be a fuckin’ big flop, now won’t it?!"


London, Ontario, Canada (30 Nov) Review  (sent in by Patrick Long.Thanks! )

Hey! I was at the GNR concert in London Ontario last night. I thought I'd write and tell ya about the show. CKY was great but I wish they had stayed on longer ( 6 or 7 songs) then almost an hour later Mix Master Mike came on, and though I know Axl pick him he shouldn't have been at a rock concert. People all around me were complaining, then my section started chanting GNR! that didn't work and he finally finished after an hour opening act. Then we waited for over and hour for GNR. But when it cam holy shit was it awesome. The music was incredible. Buckethead's solo was awesome, with some star war themes thrown in. Robin Was amazing also. The entire concert was great ( even though the long wait) I got out around 1:30am. The only problem was there was a little narc running around telling people to stop smoking. That didn't stop anyone but it made smokign a joint hard seeing how much smoke there is(lol)Well thats the short of it. Guns and Roses kick ass

More from the shows in Canada.

Papparazi somehow found out that the members of GNR and their road crew
were going to celebrate Thanksgiving at the Centro Bar & Grill in Toronto.
 After dinner Axl and longtime GNR associate, Del James, were spotted at
the 721 club, a notorious afterhours establishment where everyone entering
is frisked for guns.  Axl smoked cigars, drank, and chatted with the
locals until 5am.  Not too bad considering he had a sold out concert at
the Air Canada Centre the next day.

An unofficial rumor going around is that a new building record for
merchandise as well as a record for the amount beer sold was set the night
of GNR's performance in Toronto.  One thing is certain, by the time GNR
went onstage all of the beer in the Air Canada Centre had been sold and
drank.  The lively crowd was on their feet for a solid two hours from the
opening notes of "Welcome To the Jungle" until the final strands of
"Paradise City."  Sporting a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey in a building
where hockey borders religion, Axl addressed the Montreal riot of '92 as
well as the recent cancellation in Vancouver.  Guns N' Roses performed an
amazing set that included three new songs.

Two days later in Boston, Dizzy Reed and Robin Finck were spotted at the
Fleet Center at a Boston Celtics vs New Orleans Hortnets basketball game.
Before the opening tip off, the crowd was getting pumped up for action as
"Welcome To The Jungle" played over the PA system.

 

30 Nov 2002

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (29 Nov) Review 1 :Guns N Roses thrill Toronto crowd

TORONTO (CP) - The 1980s returned to Toronto on Friday night in all their pyrotechnic, metal-rock glamour - albeit nearly an hour late.

Led by an energetic Axl Rose, Guns N' Roses stormed onto the stage at the Air Canada Centre - the band's first trip to a Canadian city since the riot in Vancouver on what was to be the band's opening night of the Chinese Democracy world tour - answering the all-too familiar question: "Do you know where you are?"

With green flood lights swirling wildly, Welcome to the Jungle kicked off a vintage Guns N Roses set of songs taken mostly from Appetite For Destruction and Use Your Illusion I and II.

For a while it seemed the show would not happen. Rose and the clan were 50 minutes late getting to the stage. Cameramen tried to keep the audience occupied by displaying crowd shots of what seemed to be a Toronto version of Girls Gone Wild - hot young women in cleavage-revealing tanks tops flashing their breasts - on the two big screens on either side of the stage.

It's raunchy appeal seemed to wear off after a while, the crowd's chants of "G and R" grew dimmer and at least one scuffle broke out in the aisles.

But the approximately 14,000 fans thought the wait was well worth it, clapping and singing along for the majority of the show.

A charismatic Rose, 40, wearing a Maple Leafs hockey jersey, put on a vigorous show filled with lots of frenzied rock 'n roll energy. He sprinted from one end of the stage to the other, his long braided hair whipping through the air in a show all its own. His notorious wailing was on full display, although the enthusiastic crowd often drowned his voice out chanting along with every word.

Vintage hits were trotted out throughout the two-hour show including Live and Let Die, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Sweet Child O Mine, You Could Be Mine, Mr. Brownstone, Patience, and Paradise City.

November Rain saw Rose playing a grand piano under a waterfall of fireworks.

New songs from the upcoming Chinese Democracy album included the title song.

The multi-tiered stage, allowing Rose lots of running space, sat on top of a large red circle with Chinese symbols. Multi-coloured flood lights worked overtime. Explosive, old-school fireworks pumped up the crowd and brought '80s-style glamour rock to the arena.

It's the band's first North American tour since 1993.

Rose has been busy trying to finish the new album since 2000. It's expected to be released in February.

After a falling out with his band, Rose formed a new crew for the tour, retaining only keyboardist Dizzy Reed.

New additions include former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, bassist Tommy Stinson from the Replacements, ex-Primus drummer Brian Mantia and avant-garde guitarist Buckethead.

Wearing a white mask and a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head, Buckethead's solo - which also included playing the Star Wars theme song and several minutes of waving numchucks and break-dancing - was clearly a crowd pleaser. Judging by the reception to his performance and the fan in the second-row who wore a KFC bucket throughout the show, Buckethead is quickly establishing a cult-like following on the tour.

Much has been said about Rose's chops not aging well but a shaky sound system made it difficult to know for sure. It should be noted that five teleprompters, in clear view, were scattered on the stage, scrolling through lyrics for Rose.

The rocker, however, has remained confident about his abilities.

"To the ones who are negative and want to see either myself or the new band fall on their faces, personally I can't pass up an opportunity to upset so many of them in one quick swoop. I get misty-eyed just thinking about it," he said prior to the tour.

Regardless of the sound, the lively crowd enthusiastically bopped up and down to the music, enjoying the old-school flavours released with every rock-steady anthem performed. Cigarette lighters were whipped out and flames proudly displayed during all the ballads.

The scene was a far cry from the riot in Vancouver on Nov. 7 after the opening show of the band's North American leg of the world tour was cancelled when Rose missed his flight.

Thousands of fans rioted for about an hour outside GM Place in downtown Vancouver. Police used pepper spray to disperse the rioters.

It wasn't the first time chaos has erupted at a Guns N Roses show.

At a concert in Santiago, Chile, in 1992, 10 people were hurt and 178 people were arrested. The group's departure from the country was delayed for about nine hours while authorities searched their private plane for drugs. Nothing was found.

In 1991, Rose precipitated a riot in a St. Louis suburb by jumping off the stage and attacking a fan videotaping the concert. Sixty people were hurt and the Riverport Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, Mo., was wrecked.

Several lawsuits were filed and Rose was charged with assault and property damage. Rose never surrendered to face the charges and was arrested a year later by federal agents at Kennedy International Airport in New York as he returned from a European tour. He was eventually put on probation for two years and ordered to donate $50,000 to five social service organizations.

The rockers entered the music scene in 1985, earning fans with their punk-infused heavy metal sound. The band's heydays were between 1987 and 1992 when Welcome to The Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child O' Mine and November Rain dominated the airwaves.

The band has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (29 Nov) Review 2 :Guns 'N Roses T.O. concert cohesive, powerful

TORONTO — The fact that they actually showed up and the fact that there wasn't a riot would deem Friday night's Guns 'N Roses show at the Air Canada Centre a success.

Not that the hoards of police and the strict ACC staff were going to take any chances. The police were outside and inside the arena and they made their presence very visible to anyone who might have been thinking of repeating the riot that took place at the cancelled show in Vancouver earlier this month.

The ACC turned off the taps at 9:30 p.m. ET because it had been decided the crowd was liquored up enough. A fight that broke out in the upper stands was quelled by security so fast there wasn't even a second punch laid.

And while the tunes being played over the sound system were like listening to your dream punk rock mix CD, people were getting antsy. I head a few guys behind me muttering to themselves.

"You don't think they've bailed do you?"

"Naw, dude that's just Axl being Axl. He'll come on when he feels like it."

Well, the GNR frontman and his crew didn't take the stage until almost 10:40 p.m. ET, by which time even the mulletheads and the geezers had gotten bored of watching pretty girls in the audience gyrate and flash their breasts on the giant video screens set up around the stage.

But as soon as the opening chords of the band's classic "Welcome to the Jungle" started and Axl, in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, screeched in to the mic "Do you know where you are, you're in the jungle baby" all was forgiven.

Throughout the band's two hour set, that love and dedication from the 16,000 plus audience forgave a band that is still finding its touring legs.

This was the 12th stop on the band's North American "Chinese Democracy" tour, which Axl has said "is going to go off and on for the next two or three years" and will see the band release at least two new albums worth of material. Let's hope the band doesn't hit too many bumps in the road, because they still have to work out how to put on a show.

Axl Rose is the only original member of GNR in the band today. Since the mid-nineties, through lawsuits, busts, and slagging from his former bandmates in the media, Axl's been retooling the band to meet his musical vision, going through producers and players to find the perfect line-up. The current band is the result

The new band, described by surprisingly chatty, can no doubt play. The mysterious Buckethead's guitar solo that turned into a stunning Wagnerian rendition of the Star Wars theme proved that.

But in that example also lays the problem. Buckethead's solo was so long I watched the first part of it, went to get a drink, came all the way back to my seat and he was still playing. People were looking at their watches, and most of these fans love that type of stuff.

There is a real core of a really good, down and dirty rock 'n roll band in former Primus drummer Brian Mantia, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, and guitar player Richards Fortus. Time after time last night, the three locked into grooves that were tighter than a vice.

In comparison, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, and dueling lead guitarists Robin Finck, formerly of Nine Inch Nails, and Buckethead were too remote, too clean. Most of the time, it was like these guys didn't want to break much of a sweat.

Sure, they had all the pyrotechnics and sure they played all the hits and almost all of the band's 1987 major label debut "Appetite For Destruction" and sometimes they really cooked in that way that reminds you that GNR were once the most dangerous and probably best rock'n roll band in the world. But last night's the show lacked focus and because of that the energy lagged.

It was a collection of little things. Numerous technical problems and inconsistent sound levels. The stage going dark between every song, which essentially pulled the plug on the crowd's roar. Or Axl oddly leaving the stage during every instrumental section of every song. Was he going back to sip tea for his throat? Who knows. Or Buckethead's wandering around the stage between solos like he didn't know what to do with himself.

Maybe Axl has to let the new guys off the leash more, or maybe they get kind of bored playing other people's songs. I think the latter might be the case, because when they launched into the as yet unreleased new songs like "Chinese Democracy" it all became much more cohesive and powerful.

Was it a great show? No. Was it a good show? Yes. And would I say go see them again? Yes. You know why? Because once the usual GNR controversy of riots and temper tantrums dies down and they are just a working band on tour, and once people start to hear and know the new songs, well, then Guns 'N Roses, this Guns 'N Roses, will truly kick. And that will be a sight to see.


 

26 Nov 2002

Cleveland Review (24 Nov,Gund Arena): Guns N' Roses right on target  (src:www.cleveland.com)

Any doubt as to whether Axl Rose and his revamped Guns N' Roses could still deliver the hard-rocking goods Sunday night at Gund Arena was erased by their fourth number, an incendiary cover of Paul McCart ney's "Live and Let Die."

Rose's alley-cat croon was riveting as ever - and he hasn't lost his unique gift for stretching monosyllabic lyrics to the breaking point, either. But if this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in and cry-y-y-y-y / Say "Live and let die!" he sang.

It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for GN'R as the group makes the rounds on its first major tour in nearly a decade.

A riot ensued earlier this month when the opening-night concert in Vancouver, British Columbia, was canceled at the last minute because Rose was running behind schedule. Subsequent gigs have been plagued by late starts, technical difficulties and poor turnouts.

Fewer than 10,000 people caught GN'R in a half-full Gund Arena. But at least the band had its act together.

Following a mediocre set of headbanging fare by opening act CKY and a fun interlude of turntable tricks by DJ Mixmaster Mike (who put his own spin - literally - on everything from Metallica to Missy Elliott), GN'R announced its arrival at the relatively reasonable hour of 10 p.m. with a raucous "Welcome to the Jungle."

Rose took the stage sporting dreadlocks and an Ohio State University football jersey. He later donned Browns and Indians jerseys. The 40-year-old frontman has put on a few pounds, although he got a good workout in concert, running from side to side and occasionally breaking into one of his trademark serpentine dances.

Ex-guitarist Slash and the band's other estranged members were barely missed as Rose and his new sidekicks (the only other holdover from the group's pre-grunge heyday is Dizzy Reed, who now shares keyboard duties with Chris Pitman) did justice to "Patience," the immortal "Sweet Child o' Mine" and other vintage GN'R tunes.

Brian "Brain" Mantia (formerly of Primus) and Tommy Stinson (Replacements) provided an airtight rhythm section. Even more impressive were the three new guitarists. Buckethead (he of the KFC crown) and Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails) speed-dialed frenetic solos throughout the performance. Richard Fortus (Psychedelic Furs) had his chance to shine during "Rocket Queen."

Rose accompanied himself on piano for "November Rain," a bittersweet power ballad greeted by a sea of flickering cigarette lighters. Other songs, including a triumphant encore of "Paradise City," were embellished with all sorts of indoor fireworks. Signs taped to the two-tiered stage warned: NO SMOKING - PYRO ZONE.

Rounding out the two-hour show were three tantalizing selections from the upcoming album "Chinese Democracy" (due in stores next year), including the epic Led Zeppelin-style ballad "Madagascar." Clearly, the bloom isn't off Guns N' Roses yet

25 Nov 2002

Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, and Matt Sorum post mp3 of their new song

former GN’R members Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, and Matt Sorum have posted an mp3 of their new song called “Pleasin’”. The track features the lead vocals of Brad Cox from the band Grayson Manor. Click here to download the track or visit BradCoxRocks.com. Other singers who auditioned for the new band includes ex-Buckcherry frontman Joshua Todd and Kelly Shaefer of the now defunct Neurotica. A permanent singer has yet to be announced as well as a band name.


Pittsburgh Review (22 Nov,Mellon Arena): Guns N' Roses stalls with a screech  (src:www.post-gazzette.com)

As usual, Axl Rose was running late.

About 10 years late.

Rose is trotting out an unrecognizable version of Guns N' Roses long past the point where most of his old fans will really care.

As for the ones who do, they were left with a long wait Friday night at Mellon Arena. Guns N' Roses, perhaps stalled because of stormy wea-ther, didn't take the stage until 10:45.

Till then, the crowd occupied itself with promising metal band CKY, the scratching of Mixmaster Mike and the distasteful sport of trying to pressure young women to lift their tops for the camera.

Finally, with a cloud of smoke from the wings, guitarists Robin Finck, Richard Fortus and Buckethead took the stage, teasing the opening riff of "Welcome to the Jungle," then letting it rip in all its retro-metal glory.

The full band kicked in, the pyro went off, Rose jumped out wearing a Jerome Bettis jersey and when he went to sing the opening lines ... not a whole lot came out.

Partly, it was the sound mix failing him, but clearly, after a decade on the sidelines, that feral wail wasn't what it used to be.

Looking like a bloated version of his old self, Rose did his signature wobble and raced around ramps as he led the band through most of GNR's "Appetite for Destruction" and assorted other hits.

Guns N' Roses 2002 doesn't lack for chops, and between the guy with the KFC bucket on his head, industrial-looking Finck and bassist Tommy Stinson (of the late, great Replacements!) in the plaid suit, they are just as much fun to look at.

Buckethead and Finck, doing most of the lead work, played everything with monstrous precision, but you couldn't help but sense that these hired guns are a little removed from the material. And how could they not be when the material is a lot removed from the current reality of the music world?

Even if Rose were still hitting it just right, that screeching vocal sound -- the one where it sounds like your privates are in a vice -- was starting to sound silly about 10 years ago when Guns N' Roses gave up the first time. Needless to say, what once sounded fresh and dangerous was wiped out by the smell of Nirvana's teen spirit and the subsequent wave of nu metal followers.

But as long as GNR was plowing through old favorites -- from "Think About You" to "November Rain," with Rose doing some fancy piano work -- the small crowd at the Arena seemed thrilled. As it dragged on, through a change to a Lemieux shirt and a streak of new songs, about half the crowd seemed about half asleep.

Come to think of it, the most exhilarating moment of the set may have been when Buckethead was left alone for a brief clinic in metal machine music that ended with a humorous version of "Old McDonald."

It's not out of the question that Axl Rose can be relevant again. He's just going to need help from people who are. And a decent vocal coach.

Beneath The Bucket, Behind The Mask: Kurt Loder Meets GN'R's Buckethead (src:www.vh1.com)

The Buckethead backstory begins with a kid named Brian Carroll growing up in a Southern California suburb not far from Disneyland. He's a shy kid and spends a lot of time in his room, which is filled with comic books, video games, martial-arts

movie memorabilia, slasher-flick stuff, all the usual youth-culture detritus. He also spends a whole lot of time at Disneyland.

As a teenager, Brian takes up the guitar, plonking away under the sway of such metal masters as Angus Young of AC/DC; the late Randy Rhoads, of the Ozzy Osbourne band; and Swedish overdrive virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. Like the latter two, Carroll incorporates a considerable amount of classical-music consciousness into his burgeoning style. He reads a lot of music theory. He starts getting really, really good.

Unlike his idols, however, Carroll is anything but flamboyant. Mane-tossing guitar-god moves are not something he'll ever be comfortable attempting. In fact, in an ideal world, there'd be somebody else he could one day take up onstage with him and hide behind. Some sort of alter ego.

Nobody much liked the 1988 fright flick "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers." After 10 years, this slasher franchise was pretty much played out. (Even though it's still with us today!) But Brian Carroll was inspired by the film. He went right out after seeing it and bought a Michael Myers-like white mask. Then, that night, as he was eating from a bucketful of take-out fried chicken, another inspiration struck. He described it in a 1996 interview with Guitar Player magazine: "I was eating it, and I put the mask on and then the bucket on my head. I went to the mirror. I just said, 'Buckethead. That's Buckethead right there.' It was just one of those things. After that, I wanted to be that thing all the time."

Unlike the editors of Guitar Player (for which Bucket once wrote a column called "Psychobuddy"), you needn't be conversant with minor 9th intervals or quadratonal arpeggios to be knocked sideways by Buckethead's war-of-the-worlds guitar eruptions. His star-burst chord clusters and eye-frazzling eight-finger solos aren't like much else you'll be hearing on this planet anytime soon.

Of course there are all kinds of aspiring guitar wizards out there (although probably none within pick-flicking distance of this guy). But what sets Carroll decisively apart from the pack is the outré "Buckethead" persona he's so painstakingly created. This character, with its vaguely sinister mask, soberly upended KFC bucket, and absurdly detailed chicken fetish, is pure American surrealism. Buckethead is a star of a strange new kind: not the projection of a preening personality, as is usually the case, but a mirror, a screen, a somehow lovable cipher. As a musical presence, he seems almost (one of Carroll's favorite words) disembodied.

Although most people are probably experiencing Buckethead for the first time in his current stint with the new Guns N' Roses, the man has been putting out solo albums for the last 10 years. Some, like the 1999 Monsters and Robots, are pure "post-metal psycho-shred," as one writer put it. Others, like the just-released Electric Tears, are serenely ambient. Buckethead also records under the name Death Cube K (an anagram); the 1994 Dreamatorium is a good one.

In addition to this solo output, Buckethead has also recorded and performed with a wild array of other musicians, from P-Funk all-stars Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell to Iggy Pop, Primus, avant-fusion bassist Bill Laswell and the late Miles Davis Quintet drummer Tony Williams. He's played on three albums by "The Lord of the Rings" star Viggo Mortensen, one by the painter Julian Schnabel, and some movie soundtracks and scores, too ("The Last Action Hero," "Mortal Kombat," "Beverly Hills Ninja"). He longs to do an all-Disney album. ("When You Wish Upon a Star" is one of his favorite tunes.)

We encountered Buckethead backstage at two recent Guns N' Roses shows, in Vancouver and Seattle (see "Fans Riot After Guns N' Roses Tour Kickoff Canceled: Kurt Loder Reports" and "Axl Blows Out Throat, Dons Chicken Bucket For Glitchy Guns Tour Launch"). On both occasions he was standing in his dressing room, in full Bucket regalia, wailing away, at subdued volume, on his extra-large, custom-made Flying V guitar. (Since he stands about seven feet tall — with bucket — he feels that regular, off-the-rack guitars look too dinky in his hands.) His fingers, like those of such renowned forebears as Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix, are extraordinarily long, and dizzying to follow as they caper among the frets. (He says he has a "really huge" big toe, too. Whatever.)

As he played, he appeared to be meditating on a large rack in front of him filled with odd dolls and objects: Michael Myers, of course; Leatherface from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"; a little plastic replica of Colonel Sanders, the late KFC impresario; and a rubber chicken straight out of vaudeville.

Brian Carroll is very soft-spoken and self-effacing. He seems to be the sort of person who's consumed by music, and one wonders, in talking to him, if there's any musical style or school with which he doesn't have at least a glancing acquaintance. Since the Buckethead character was famously raised by chickens, and has made it his mission in life to alert the world to the ongoing chicken holocaust in fast-food joints around the globe, we wondered about the presence of the Colonel Sanders doll in his travel rack. Carroll said, "It's like your father; maybe he beats you, but he's still your father, and you love him, and ... it's complicated."

Unlike Carroll, Buckethead doesn't speak at all, at least not for public consumption. When our cameras were about to start rolling, he fitted a whole-head rubber monster mask over his right hand and said that this improvised puppet — he calls it "Herbie" — would answer all questions. We asked what the chicken deal was. Apparently, the evil man who owned the farm where Buckethead was raised (with chickens, remember) came to the coop one day and cruelly slipped some fried chicken pieces inside.

"And for the first time," Herbie says, "he realized they were cooking chickens. And they were his family, so he tried to put them back together, and he just kind of went nuts. And he put the bucket on his head 'cause he thought he could help all those dead chickens come back to life. So when he plays, it's like the sound of all those dead chickens coming through his hands."

Okay. And this rubber chicken here?

"This is kind of sad," Herbie says. "It makes him play more pretty. When he sees this, he thinks of lullabies and that sort of stuff. But it's not real, and he knows it's not real."

When Brian Carroll first got a call from Axl Rose inviting him to join Guns N' Roses, he was nonplussed at first. He knew the band, of course, but it wasn't really ... his kind of thing, right?

Axl persevered, though. At Christmas he invited Brian over to his house. It hadn't been a happy Buckethead holiday up to that point: he'd really, really been hoping that someone would give him a certain hard-to-find Leatherface doll he'd been coveting as a gift, but no one had. Then he arrived at Axl's place, and Axl had that very doll — and he gave it to him. Brian took this as a sign ("He must understand me somehow"), and he joined the band.

So has Axl been any help to Buckethead in scoring chicks on this tour?

There's a pause, then Herbie says, "He's scared of, uh, girls. He just gets a weird feeling. He doesn't understand the feeling that he gets."

Some sort of chick/chicken confusion, maybe?

"That's a possibility," Herbie says. "I've never thought of that. And I'm sure he hasn't, either."

By this point, showtime is impending. Bucket has to head for the stage. We've pretty much covered everything, though: the chickens, the bucket ... But wait — the mask. What about the mask?

"There is no mask," Herbie says.

—Kurt Loder
 

 

Dizzy Reed Says Fans Don't Miss Old Bandmembers (src:www.launch.com)

(11/20/02, 4 p.m. ET) -- Guns N' Roses is in the midst of its first North American concert tour in nine years, a trek that will keep the group on the road into early January. Of course, this is not the GNR that became a multiplatinum sensation in the late '80s and early '90s--only frontman Axl Rose remains from the original lineup, while keyboardist Dizzy Reed has been with the group since 1990.

However, Reed tells LAUNCH that, from his perspective, the new GNR is still going over well with the band's fans. "I know that no matter what, there's gonna be some people that are just not gonna let go of the old band, and no matter what we do, you know, we're not gonna make them happy. Being away for so long and now finally being back out here touring, you know, I'm enjoying every second of it, and I'm trying to put the pressure aside. There's some people that we're just, we'll never make happy, but the majority of the people that I see out there are having a great time. They're losing their minds--they're dancing, they're singing along, and it doesn't seem to me like they miss the old guys."

Besides Reed, the current GNR lineup--which has been together for about seven months--includes bassist Tommy Stinson (the Replacements, Perfect, Bash-N-Pop); guitarists Buckethead (Praxis, Primus), Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Cirque Du Soleil), and Richard Fortus (Love Spit Love); keyboardist Chris Pitman (the Replicants, Lusk) and drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia (Primus, Praxis, Tom Waits). The group plans to release its new album, Chinese Democracy, in 2003.

GNR next performs Thursday (November 21) at the Palace Of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.


Axl Rose and band stirring memories (src:www.mlive.com)

This article features few interseting quotes by Tommy Stinson on the new band etc.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Tommy Stinson knows what everyone must have thought when a riot broke out after the first show of Guns N' Roses' comeback tour was canceled Nov. 7.

"People jump to conclusions and say, Here we go again,' " said Stinson, former bassist for the notoriously raucous Replacements, who joined Axl Rose's reconstructed GNR four years ago. "Your reputation precedes you, as mine has for many years."

But, he adds, it wasn't the band that canceled the show. It was the arena's owners, he said. GNR would've gone on, albeit a little late, he insisted. Though it was reported that Rose was grounded in Los Angeles because of problems with his flight, Stinson said he was in the air when word reached the band of the cancellation.

"We had no idea what was going on. We, the band, were at the show interviewing with MTV. Axl was in flight to meet them as well. We were sitting there when they pulled the plug. We heard it over the loudspeakers. They didn't tell us. We were in the dressing room," Stinson said.

The band - singer Rose, guitarists Buckethead, Robin Finck and Richard Fortus, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, drummer Brian Mantia and Stinson - thought it was a joke perpetrated by one of the opening acts.

"It made no sense to us ... the whole tragedy," he said of the riot, which resulted in broken windows and numerous arrests. "There was no point to it, no need for them to pull the plug. Axl was enroute to the gig and we were at the gig fully intending on playing," Stinson said.

Ah, just another day in the weird world of reluctant star Axl Rose and the new incarnation of Guns N' Roses. Once one of the top hard rock bands in the land, GNR dissolved in 1993 amid ego clashes, particularly between Rose and guitarist Slash, and the increasingly strange behavior of Rose.

After all but disappearing from the music scene, Rose began assembling a new version of the band in 1988. Dizzy Reed, who joined the group in 1990, is the lone holdover. Stinson is the only new addition to come from a traditional rock band background. Guitarist Buckethead, known for wearing masks and Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets on stage, comes from an experimental background. Finck was a member of Nine Inch Nails.

"That's really sort of the intrinsic kicker," Stinson said. "He didn't go out and hire a bunch of Sunset Strip metalheads to fill the gap. He got the best of the worlds he was interested in."

The new GNR is performing mostly old GNR hits, such as "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle." But, Stinson noted, there's a decidedly contemporary age with touches of electronic and heavier metal than before.

"People are really excited as (bleep) to see Axl out there singing the songs," Stinson said. "They are a lot more accepting of the rest of this band. I don't think they walk away going, you know, Where's Slash?' at the end of the show. Well, a lot have, but I get a feeling that we have been accepted."

The tour is designed to set up the long-delayed release of "Chinese Democracy," the first album with the new lineup and the first album of new GNR material since the "Use Your Illusion" albums in 1991. The band is performing as many as six new songs in the show, which runs nearly 2 1/2 hours long. As is typical with Rose, no album release date has been announced because he's still working on it. An early 2003 release is expected.

"It's mostly done," Stinson reported. "We're doing some last-minue bits here and there on it that we're sowing up."

Stinson said the tour and the new album should make clear GNR is back in business.

"You've got a band that is pretty much done with making the record, a public that is trying to find out what it's all about, so you want to try and make your moves according to that," he said. "Also, you have to be careful not to let too much out of the bag before you are ready to do that."

 

19 Nov 2002

Former Guns N' Roses Members Form Band, Don't Rule Out Courtney Love As Singer (src:mtv.com)

This news from mtv.com reports that Izzy is also on board the new band slash is putting and its current status.

Sl
"What better way to kick off a Guns N' Roses tour than to miss the first gig?" — Slash

 

Axl Rose might own the legal right to use the Guns N' Roses name, but with four ex-Gunners regrouping, the question arises: Will the real Guns N' Roses please stand up?

Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum are forming a band together, and all they need now is — surprise, surprise — the perfect singer.

"This is all very ironic timing, because it's been six or seven years since we all quit Guns," Slash said, "and we just started doing this in the last six months, and all of a sudden, Axl's got his Guns out right now, so it's almost comical."

Despite the bad blood, Slash said they weren't looking to create a rival project to Guns N' Roses, nor were they even looking, at least at first, to form a band. "There's just a certain chemistry we have," he said. "None of us were planning on getting together. None of us knew it was going to happen. But when we get together, there's a certain kind of click we have."

Slash, McKagan and Sorum — who played lead guitar, bass and drums for GN'R, respectively — first found that "click" again when they played a Los Angeles benefit for the family of drummer Randy Castillo last spring, following his death (see "Ozzy Osbourne Drummer Randy Castillo Dies"). With Buckcherry's Josh Todd and Keith Nelson aboard, the group was jokingly referred to as both Buck N' Guns and Cherry Roses.

"The five of us played this gig," Slash recalled, "and it was just insane. It was just really powerful, and Steven Tyler got up with us, and it was just an amazing night. And so we all talked about it, the chemistry, and how that was the first time we had all played together, really played together, since Guns broke up. And so we started writing songs."

Todd and Nelson dropped out of the venture, but the group — still without a proper name — soon attracted rhythm guitarist David Kushner, as well as Stradlin. "Izzy showed up, all of a sudden," Slash said, "and so we wrote a whole bunch of songs with Izzy. Izzy's sort of in and out. He's not what you would call a permanent fixture in this thing, but we've just been writing a lot of really great songs with him. And we just decided to go the full nine yards."

It's not the first time that former GN'R mates have joined forces since leaving the group — McKagan played bass on previous Stradlin solo albums (see "Izzy Readies Second Post-GN'R Solo Effort"), Slash has jammed over the years with Stradlin (see "Slash: Making His Mark Without Guns") and all three worked together earlier this year on Izzy's most recent solo album (see "Slash, Duff & Izzy Reunite: Three Out Of Five Ain't Bad"), their first time playing together since the Use Your Illusion albums in 1991, when the enigmatic rhythm guitarist left GN'R.

The focus for the band right now is finding its voice. For the past four months, the group has been soliciting material to find someone who could not only take over mic duties, but also contribute to the songwriting process. Slash estimated that they've heard about 500 singers, some of whom they've given instrumental material to put vocals on, and if that has passed muster, they've been invited to jam in the studio. Neurotica's Kelly Shaefer, Psychotica's Pat Briggs and Lit's A. Jay Popoff have all auditioned. The short list now includes some six to seven top candidates, none of whom Slash was willing to identify just yet.

"This is f---ing poor man's 'American Idol,' " he laughed. "I'll know it when I hear it. Right off the bat, I'll know. We're just trying to find a really great f---ing rock and roll singer, and it's really hard to find anybody that you'd consider genuine, and it's also somebody who's got to fit in with us. It's not impossible, but it's not easy. It could be somebody known, or somebody unknown, who's just a star and doesn't know it."

Female contenders aren't being ruled out, either, Slash added. "If we got a girl that sounded like Janis Joplin crossed with Joan Jett with a bit of Tina Turner, that would be rocking," he said. "That would be an unprecedented move, because no one would expect that. But just not that many girls have actually applied."

What about Courtney Love, who's got the rock wail down, and might also be looking for a gig?

"It's funny, we were joking about that yesterday," Slash said, "but I just don't see her being into it, all things considered. But you know what? We haven't exhausted that idea, let's put it that way."

So which of the two Guns bands — Axl's version or Slash/ Duff/ Izzy/ Matt's grouping — will be the one to revitalize the GN'R repertoire?

"There's some [old Guns] material we would play, a couple of songs that are really indicative of the real hard rock side of what Guns N' Roses was," Slash said. "But it's in no way, shape or form a Guns reunion, or supposed to be labeled as the original Guns back together to rehash Guns material. We've written up to 60 songs at this point, and we're not really concerned about old sh--."

But for the fun of it, he said, they'd whip out songs such as "Paradise City," "Mr. Brownstone," "It's So Easy" and "Nightrain." "I don't think I'd ever go near 'Welcome to the Jungle' or sh-- like that because it's too Guns N' Roses," he said, "signature material that I think is better left off to Axl to do."

As for the Guns tour kickoff that became a riot instead, Slash said it didn't surprise him (see "Fans Riot After Guns N' Roses Tour Kickoff Canceled: Kurt Loder Reports"). "Nothing surprises me," Slash said. "When he really has all his sh-- together, Axl is brilliant, so it'll be happening. It just takes him a while to get around to it. As far as showing up to gigs? That's all par for the course. We've all seen that movie. What better way to kick off a Guns N' Roses tour than to miss the first gig?"

For the time being, the new songs — and their new voice — are more on Slash's mind. "It's time for another really good rock and roll band," he said. "And we have the perfect canvas to do it on, and we're not going to stop until we get it done. That sounds very valiant, doesn't it?"

Singers can send tapes to Slash, 13636 Ventura Blvd., Suite 434, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.


Guns N' Roses blooms again (src:www.upi.com)

This article published as feature on United Press International site features quotes from Tommy Stinson and Dizy Reed on the new band,chinese democracy etc.Read on

Published 11/19/2002 12:27 PM

The current members of the hard rock group Guns N' Roses acknowledge that following the group's past lineup -- which sold more than 80 million albums worldwide -- is no easy feat.

"There's people in the audience who have 'Where's Slash?' banners or "We Love Slash' or whatever," notes bassist Tommy Stinson, referring to the group's founding guitarist.

But despite that, Stinson and the rest of the GNR camp -- now led by frontman Axl Rose -- remain undaunted as they try to establish the new edition of the group before devoted fans and skeptics alike.

"Y'know, all those people, they don't leave," says Stinson, who replaced founding bassist Duff McKagen in 1998. "They must not be hating it if they don't leave. People seem to be pretty jazzed by the show that we put."

Adds keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who joined GNR in 1990 and is the longest-tenured member of the band besides Rose: "No matter what we do, there's gonna be some people that are just not gonna let go of the old band. But the majority of the people I see out there are having a great time; they're losing their minds and dancing and singing along. It doesn't seem to me like they miss the old guys."

GNR is touring North America for the first time since 1993, following scattered shows during the past two years in Las Vegas, Rio, Hong Kong, Japan, Belgium and England and an appearance on the MTV Music Video Awards in September. The tour got off to a rough start Nov. 7 in Vancouver; after Rose's arrival was delayed, GM Place officials canceled the concert, and rioting fans caused $100,000 worth of damage to the venue.

That's only part and parcel of what's been a tumultuous nine years, which has seen the founding core of the group fall apart and Rose wrest control of the name and the direction of the band.

Keyboardist Reed notes that "it probably seems to a lot of people that the band just disappeared and now it's back and it's totally different."

But he says GNR never stopped working and that Rose spent time assembling a new corps of musicians as well as recording the new album "Chinese Democracy" -- expected out during 2003 -- with a number of producers.

The new, well-credentialed lineup of the band has been together for about seven months, with Reed, former Replacements member Stinson, guitarists Buckethead (Praxis, Primus), Robin Finck (nine inch nails, Cirque du Soleil) and Richard Fortus (Love Spit Love), keyboardist Chris Pitman (the Replicants, Lusk) and drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia (Primus, Tom Waits, Praxis).

Former guitarist Slash derisively refers to the group as "Axl and his merry men," and reserves terms such as "control freak" and "maniac" for his former band mate.

In fact, Slash, McKagen and former GNR guitarist Izzy Stradlin are forming their own group, which draws chuckles from Reed.

"I say good luck, and I hope they have a good time -- and they should enjoy it 'cause Izzy'll probably quit in a couple of weeks," says Reed, 39, adding: "I think some of those guys really go complacent. I know Axl thought we really needed to change, and in their mind we didn't need to change, we should just do what we do and everything will be cool.

"But you look around and you see bands that did that, and they're trivial now. They're nostalgia. We didn't want to be that way ... and one by one, people started quitting. The old band was a little more hell-bent on self-destruction; this band, I think, is kinda headed upwards as opposed to downward."

With no firm release date for the album -- GNR's first studio effort since 1993 -- both Reed and Stinson, 36, are purposefully vague in describing the long-in-the-making "Chinese Democracy," which the group has produced with collaborators such as Sean Bevan, Roy Thomas Baker and Youth.

Reed says to expect "a pretty intense musical journey. It takes you to some really interesting musical places."

Stinson, meanwhile, promises that "it touches on a lot of different elements of old Guns N' Roses in some ways; in other ways it touches with more current-sounding music." He also lauds Rose's lyrics, which he says are "a lot deeper" than on previous GNR releases.

The group is playing several of the new songs in concert each night along with old favorites such as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child of Mine," "Patience" and "November Rain." But the musicians are anxious to get "Chinese Democracy" out so that the audiences will be able to sing along to them as well -- even though they know there are skeptics who still wonder if it will ever actually be released.

"We wouldn't be doing this if it weren't going to come out -- are you kidding?" Stinson says with a laugh. "If it works out, it could be history making, 'cause no one's ever done this before. A lead singer's never taken the (band) name and continued on with an entirely new band and done that successfully before.

"I kinda got into this for exactly that reason; if you're gonna try to do something really whacked, this would be the way to do it. I really don't think about the consequences either way; it's either gonna work or it's not, and in the meantime we're all having a good time trying to make it happen."

14 Nov 2002

Review: Minneapolis concert (src:Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Guns N' Roses fans -- or what's left of them -- have waited 10 years for the decadent hard-rock band to reemerge, so what's an extra hour or two?

That may have been the thinking of Guns guru Axl Rose on Thursday, when his wholly reorganized but still notoriously unorganized group was about 70 minutes late taking the stage at the Target Center.

Unlike last week's canceled concert in Vancouver, British Columbia -- which resulted in riots and about $100,000 in damage to the arena after Axl's plane was reportedly delayed -- the Minneapolis show did go on. But the 6,000 or so fans were forced to wait until 10:40 p.m.

The wait was compounded by the fact that Rose, 40, has been living like a hermit in Los Angeles for the past decade. He has fired all the original members of the band and hired a new crew that includes former Replacements bassist and local boy Tommy Stinson, plus former members of Nine Inch Nails and Primus, as well as the mysterious KFC-bucket-wearing guitarist Buckethead. Rose has also delayed release of the band's in-the-works album, "Chinese Democracy," since 2000.

However unhappy fans had grown, the tension was lifted as Rose took the stage in a Vikings jersey and asked his familiar question, "Do you know where you are?"

That line, from the visceral show opener "Welcome to the Jungle," was answered confidently as the band tore through two other classics, "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone." This was a legitimate GNR concert.

Judging by the first 45 minutes, which also included covers of "Live and Let Die" and "Knocking on Heaven's Door" (songs the band played heavily in its 1988-92 heyday), the greatest thing that can be said of the new Gunners is that they do a great job of mimicking the old ones. "Sweet Child O' Mine," in particular, raised the nostalgia level to bliss.

Even the two new songs played before this edition of the Star Tribune went to press sounded great but not altogether different from classic GNR. Which forces the question: If that's all there is, then what took so long

 

 
 

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