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2002.12.11 - The New York Times - Half the Battle Is Showing Up

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2002.12.11 - The New York Times - Half the Battle Is Showing Up Empty 2002.12.11 - The New York Times - Half the Battle Is Showing Up

Post by Blackstar on Fri May 22, 2020 6:55 pm

THE POP LIFE; Half the Battle Is Showing Up

By Neil Strauss

Trust, any relationship counselor will tell you, is something you earn. And W. Axl Rose's relationship with his fans is suffering accordingly. On Friday night a concert by the new lineup of his band Guns N' Roses at the First Union Center in Philadelphia was canceled at the last minute, as were his next three concerts (in Philadelphia, Washington and one tonight in Greenville, S.C.). The official reason was an illness in the group, although there have also been reports that the Philadelphia cancellation occurred because Mr. Rose remained in his New York hotel room to finish watching a basketball game.

Mr. Rose's record label, Interscope, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

As of yesterday, the concert's promoter, Clear Channel, had not canceled the remainder of the tour. Many in the concert industry said the shows had been booked into arenas too large for the band's fan base.

Last month the tour's opening concert in Vancouver, B.C., was also canceled at the last minute and, as in Philadelphia, that created a melee and several hospitalizations. This has been the first American tour in nine years from Mr. Rose, who has earned in that time a reputation for arriving late to concerts, canceling shows and tours and thin-skinned, unpredictable behavior.

''There's always been a certain rebelliousness to rock 'n' roll,'' said Gary Bongiovanni, the editor in chief of the concert trade magazine Pollstar. ''But ultimately you have to show up and do your show.''

Yet despite financial losses from these cancellations, the name Guns N' Roses still may not be anathema to the concert business, though certainly fans will be more wary of buying advance tickets. ''Someone else may want to take a try at it,'' Mr. Bongiovanni said, referring to promoting a tour. ''It would be wrong to say that they are banned for life.''

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