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2002.11.20 - The Flint Journal - Axl Rose And Band Stirring Memories (Tommy)

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2002.11.20 - The Flint Journal - Axl Rose And Band Stirring Memories (Tommy) Empty 2002.11.20 - The Flint Journal - Axl Rose And Band Stirring Memories (Tommy)

Post by Blackstar on Thu May 21, 2020 1:28 pm

Axl Rose and band stirring memories

By Doug Pullen
JOURNAL ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

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-minute 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."
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