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GUNS N' ROSES: DON'T LET THE HYPE SET YOU UP FOR DISAPPOINTMENT


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GUNS N' ROSES: DON'T LET THE HYPE SET YOU UP FOR DISAPPOINTMENT

by Buck Woodward @ 10:16:00 PM on 3/15/2006

"Did you hear the new Guns N' Roses song?"

"Did you hear Chinese Democracy is finally coming out, and it will be a three-disc set?"

"Did you read what Axl said about Slash?"

"Did you hear who Axl is touring with this summer?"

"Did you hear about Axl walking into a club at 5am and having the DJ play Chinese Democracy on the sound system?

STOP THE INSANITY, PEOPLE!

It amazes me how someone who hasn't released a full-length album of original material in 15 years can still get so much press and attention. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be amazed. After all, Axl Rose is right up there with Sly Stone, Peter Green and all the other musical geniuses who seem to go into hiding rather than sharing their gifts with the world, only to make occasional appearances that always disappoint. Because if there is one thing Axl has been good at doing in the last decade, it is disappointing people. In fact, I can think of one time he disappointed a lot of people.

Now personally, I was never a fanatic about GN'R, but I did enjoy the music. I loved Appetite For Destruction, and thought Use Your Illusion could have been an incredible single-disc release if they had trimmed off the fat. Guns N' Roses had a little Aerosmith (okay, a lot of Aerosmith), a little Sex Pistols, and a little Queen all mixed into a classic "bad boys" rock package. They were a good rock act, and when they were on, could be incredible in concert. I saw them in 1992, and while Metallica unquestionably kicked their asses (sorry, Metallica was a band, not a few guys with a bunch of hired hands), Guns more than delivered on stage.

Then in the mid-90's, it all fell apart. After only three original albums, an EP, a covers album, and a few soundtrack contributions, it was all over. Slowly, the last two original members, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, left the group, and Guns N' Roses was no more. Axl Rose, who owned the name, seemed content to do nothing, until he burst back on the scene in 2002. A new backing band, the promise of a new album titled Chinese Democracy, and the announcement of a major tour, one that would begin before the actual release of the album. A lot of people were excited. Me? I had no intention of going. I had seen GN'R at their best, so I was in no rush to see Axl and a glorified cover band reliving the past.

Then the call came. Two of my best friends from Japan were coming to the United States for a visit, and would be spending time with me in New York City while one of them trained at the Gracie Dojo in Manhattan. Naturally, being a good host, I asked what activities they would be interested in while in New York. As expected, they wanted to see some wrestling, go shopping in New York, visit Times Square ... and see Guns N' Roses (or as I now referred to them, Axl Inc.). The band was scheduled to play Madison Square Garden on December 5th, but that conflicted with other plans, so instead we opted to attend a show in Philadelphia the next night. Knowing Axl's past reputation for taking the stage late, I was relieved to read that the Garden show had gone off without a hitch, and was actually getting positive reviews.

So, it was off to Philadelphia to see Axl Inc. at the First Union Center. Thanks to a shocking lack of traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike, we got to the venue early, and around 5:30pm, were wandering around the concourse, checking out tour merchandise and listening to roadies tuning up CKY's equipment. The opening act for the show, CKY was based out of Philadelphia, and they delivered a strong 40-minute set starting right on the dot at 7pm. So far, so good. I was actually expecting a longer set, since I had seen a scheduling sheet that listed Axl Inc. as hitting the stage at 9pm. Instead, Mix Master Mike, a DJ came out around 8pm and began spinning records. He would get the occasional bit of applause for playing a Led Zeppelin, AC/DC or Van Halen cut, but for the most part his set was greeted with apathy or boos. As he set went on past the one hour mark, the boos picked up, and when he finally left the stage at 9:30pm, I suspected Axl was up to his old tricks.

Sure enough, 10pm came and went, and still no Axl. Surprisingly, there didn't seem to be many people upset about the situation. It was as if everyone accepted the fact that when it comes to Axl Rose, you may be waiting a while for the show to begin. Of course, some complaints did begin to surface when concession stands began running out of food, since they obviously didn't expect to be serving people for over three hours before the headline act hit the stage. As it creeped closer to 11pm, people began to boo and chant "Bull****" and "A**hole". Just at 11pm, I saw a man approach the soundboard in the center of the arena. A few words were exchanged, and with a look of disgust on his face, the soundman pulled the cover onto the board and walked off.

When it is 11pm, and the sound guy is covering his board up and leaving, that isn't a good sign.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who noticed this, as boos grew louder, and garbage started flying from the upper decks of the balcony, directed at the stage. After a half-full beer landed at the feet of my friend, I suggested we move to the relative safety of an entranceway. We stood there and watched as more garbage was flung, and security started ejecting a few people. Then at 11:16pm, a voice came over the PA system that "Due to an illness within the band, tonight's concert is being postponed".

They might as well have poured a puddle of gasoline and threw a lit match at it.

Fans (some of whom had been drinking in the arena's bar until they ran out of beer) who had just watched five or more hours of their lives wasted got angry. Soon it wasn't garbage being flung at the stage, but chairs. Chairs were also flung at the soundboard, which was soon toppled over as equipment was stomped and smashed. Arena security, ridiculously unprepared, seemed content to just make sure people that wanted to were able to get out of the way, while letting the others trash the stage and soundboard. When some ingenious individual realized you could tear open the seat cushion on the folding chair and light it on fire, I knew it was time to leave. Quickly.

We made it to my car, and slowly got out of the parking lot as police cars started to surround the venue. The local radio stations were filled with call-ins from angry fans, and as I made it to the safe haven of Tony Luke's (the best damn sandwiches in Philly, by the way) I realize I had just left my first riot. As I headed home that night (my friends were staying in Pennsylvania with another friend that night), I heard that all fans would receive refunds that purchased tickets via Ticketmaster.com (otherwise, you needed to bring your stub to the point of purchase). However, knowing I would get my $65 back was little consolation for not only wasting my day, but wasting the time of my friends. Understand, they paid a lot of money to come to the U.S., and a whole afternoon and evening of their short stay that could have been spent doing something else, was instead devoted to waiting around for Axl Rose to disappoint them.

As it turns out, Clear Channel Entertainment, who were promoting the tour, had enough of Axl disappointing them as well. The rest of the tour was scrapped, and to date, Guns N' Roses has not performed a concert since, although there are festival dates set for overseas this summer. Chinese Democracy? Still hasn't been released, and there is still no firm in-store date, even though there is a lot of talk that the now three-disc set will eventually see the light of day.

I won't lie, I will probably check out the new release, if and when it ever comes out. It's probably got no chance of living up to the expectations that some will have, but I always try to listen to music with an open mind. Will I buy a ticket to see Axl Inc. in concert? No chance. Maybe if it was some sort of reunion of the Illusion-era lineup, but I think we have a better chance of seeing a Beatles reunion at this point.

If you are still a fan of Axl, I implore you to be prepared for the worst. The album, the tour, anything involving Guns N' Roses at this point might very well leave you disappointed. I've seen enough disappointed Guns N' Roses fans. I don't need to see any more.

You can write me at BuckWrestling@aol.com.

http://www.pwinsiderxtra.com/ViewArticle.asp?id=1431&p=1

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Guest JohnUlmer

I lost any respect for this writer when he referred to Metallica as a "real band" and GN'R as hired hands. :) I am, suffice to say, not a very big fan of Metallica.

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I thought this was a very good article, and I agree with him 99%, with the one percent not agreeing in calling the band "Hired Hands". I also saw GNR with Metallica in 1992, and although I agree that Metallica had alot more energy, GNR still put on an AMAZING show. That was when Metallica was in their prime, so you cant go on after them, their show was just too intense. The crowd is always wanting the next band to do more, and it just couldnt be done. For the diehards they will probably say they liked GNRs show better, but for me being a HUGE fan of both bands lets just say thats the best show ive EVER been to.

Anyway, I agree with everything he is saying and he has a point. Until we have some real news I just cant get overly excited. I was at first when the leaks started, and the dates were announced, but reality has now set in and Im not getting my hopes up.

And until they start this tour I still feel Axl could pull the plug on it, and not tour at all. The man just doesnt have a great track record unfortunately.

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It's a valid opinion, of course, but a rather unsound argument. If the fans are so disappointed, then why do they continue to hang around? Guns N Roses fans still exist in large numbers today because of the relevence of the music they create, not because they tally statistics. The author goes at length to explain his reasons for not being a fan, and then appeals to his own unqualified authority to explain why the reader should not expect to be satisfied as such. :drevil:

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I think this article is based mainly on the fact that the person is still upset that Axl didn't show up at a concert he was at, and yeah sure enough he can be upset, but that was like 4 years ago. I think he needs to get over it.

you know what i really don't understand - Axl goes off in RIR 3 about how he loves the fans, the new band, w/e

BUT yet he couldn't show up on time to shows on the 2002 tour. WTF was up with that.

I REALLY hope he gets his shit together with this upcoming tour!!!

why do fans think Axl is the only the reason why the band doesn't show up. It could be something happened with a band member that results in them not showing up at concerts, like buckethead was sick during some of the 2002 tour causing cancellation, etc.

I know that Axl can be at fault, but I don't think he is the one at fault all the time when shows are cancelled and that, but the finger always get pointed at Axl.

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I think this article is based mainly on the fact that the person is still upset that Axl didn't show up at a concert he was at, and yeah sure enough he can be upset, but that was like 4 years ago. I think he needs to get over it.

you know what i really don't understand - Axl goes off in RIR 3 about how he loves the fans, the new band, w/e

BUT yet he couldn't show up on time to shows on the 2002 tour. WTF was up with that.

I REALLY hope he gets his shit together with this upcoming tour!!!

why do fans think Axl is the only the reason why the band doesn't show up. It could be something happened with a band member that results in them not showing up at concerts, like buckethead was sick during some of the 2002 tour causing cancellation, etc.

I know that Axl can be at fault, but I don't think he is the one at fault all the time when shows are cancelled and that, but the finger always get pointed at Axl.

i guess you're right, but i think that it seems like Axl is leading this band, and I guess people see him as being resposible

I think Bucket may have actually been the reason, he seems pretty off to me :unsure:

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why do fans think Axl is the only the reason why the band doesn't show up. It could be something happened with a band member that results in them not showing up at concerts, like buckethead was sick during some of the 2002 tour causing cancellation, etc.

I know that Axl can be at fault, but I don't think he is the one at fault all the time when shows are cancelled and that, but the finger always get pointed at Axl.

If Axl wants to be Mr. Rockstar, with a huge ego, trying to be the main star, than he's gonna have to suffer the consequences.

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He and he and he and he. Axl this, Axl that.

It is ridiculous how in this article he always takes it like everything's Axl's fault.

Axl didn't show up. Axl was late. Axl lied. Axl's habits. Axl Inc.

I say fuck that writer.

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If axl cancels any of these tour dates, fails to show or anything like that, he will lose so much credibility that the band will im afraid struggle to sell tickets ever again. After the fiasco of the last tour im suprised they seem to be selling as well as they are in some places.

Personally after payin a few hundred pounds to go see rir in lisbon, and also dublin with a m8 if one of those are cancelled i would never ever do it again. And im a massive fan and have been all my life.

This is my one opportunity to c this guy live i think so ive had no choice but to make the most of it. if they cancelled everythin or failed to show it would be a disaster for Guns and axl rose. Thats why i cant see them cancelling this time round, they must understand the consequences.

I believe one of the reasons for doing euro dates first is to prove to the american public that they can put on a show and axl can turn up! restore the lack of confidence that eminated from the last failure of a tour.

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Hey,I love Axl to bits when it comes to performing but i have to agree,This writer is spot on. He was very neutral with his writing and not over the top with insulting Nu-G'n'R like most others before him have. I fully agree with most of what hes say...He's right,we have to realise that from past history just because of everything that has happened over the last month,it does not mean that were gonna see C.D make the light of day or even see him turn up on a stage. I think we should just accept the worst with the album and concerts so that when(if)something appears we call all say in suprise and thankfullness "Thanks AXL"!!

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I think this article is based mainly on the fact that the person is still upset that Axl didn't show up at a concert he was at, and yeah sure enough he can be upset, but that was like 4 years ago. I think he needs to get over it.

you know what i really don't understand - Axl goes off in RIR 3 about how he loves the fans, the new band, w/e

BUT yet he couldn't show up on time to shows on the 2002 tour. WTF was up with that.

I REALLY hope he gets his shit together with this upcoming tour!!!

why do fans think Axl is the only the reason why the band doesn't show up. It could be something happened with a band member that results in them not showing up at concerts, like buckethead was sick during some of the 2002 tour causing cancellation, etc.

I know that Axl can be at fault, but I don't think he is the one at fault all the time when shows are cancelled and that, but the finger always get pointed at Axl.

He's the CEO of the damn company that's why...Every miniscule decision runs through Axl, and if he desires that amount of personal responsibility, then I'm sorry, but it comes with the assets.

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After all, Axl Rose is right up there with ....., Peter Green and all the other musical geniuses....

If you ever compare Axl to Peter Green again...I will hire Mike Tyson to punch you in the face.

So true man,so true :laugh:

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Superbly written article, accurate and insightful, and NO i didn't write it as some have pm'ed me to ask!

I'd like to see some of the Axl worshippers here (we know the names) read this thread and respond. You just can't keep fucking with people like Axl has for 13 plus years and expect to get away with it. This really is the guys last chance. The album release and the tour HAS to go off without a hitch this year or it really is GAME OVER. :anger:

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